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Subject: Prince John - Thoughts and Slight Tweak Idea rss

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Hi everyone, you’ll have to excuse me, this is my first post on this site. I recently got into this game and have been hooked ever since. I wanted to understand each villain so I started playing three player rounds by myself so I could get a grasp on how unique each objective is. It’s also beneficial to know what your opponents progress is and what can be used for and against them.

After several matches I found that Prince John has a much easier (or should I say, much quicker) win condition than anyone else. There’s not much you can do to stop him. Fating him too much benefits him with, “Beautiful. Lovely Taxes” and “Sheriff of Nottingham.” Not fating him allows him to complete his objective without obstacles. There’s only a few tricks you can do to effectively slow him down, but nothing concrete to set him back like the other villains. After defeating Hero’s that have stolen power from him in his realm, PJ regains all the power that was stolen. So I’ve noticed I’m not the only one who doesn’t want PJ in the game when playing with friends.

So my first solution was to increase his condition for winning from 20 power to 30. Then I realized all that did was increase the timer. Then I thought what if we add a mechanic to the heroes. For instance; Robin Hood and Little John are not the type of characters to stick around and get caught. They always try to escape (and are quite good at it). So what if those two, and only those two, could escape (be discarded) if they haven't been defeated in 3 turns. Or however many turns seems reasonable for both the player and the opponents, it’s just a number I picked to make a point. If they successfully escape, they discard all the power that was attached to them. This way there’s a setback condition for PJ just like the rest. So getting to 20 power would finally have some challenge.

Let me know what you guys think. Because I’d love to play with and against all the villains. It would just be nice to not dread playing against any one of them.
 
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Erin B
United States
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PJ is the most straightforward, true. It will take him 9 turns to win as long as there isn't a Hero at Friar Tuck's Church (the gain 2 Power location).

However, many of the other Villains can win in fewer turns, provided they draw the right cards early and aren't Fated. For instance, if Maleficent draws her 4 Curses in the first couple of turns, she can get them all down in 4 turns and win at the beginning of the 5th round.

Queen of Hearts can get her Card Guards down early also. She has a bit of a power bottle neck to be able to convert them to wickets and play Take the Shot, but if she isn't Fated and draws the right cards, she can win quickly also.

The only difference between PJ and the rest of the Villains is that he doesn't really need his cards at all in order to attain his objective. My husband plays PJ all the time and wins about 3/4ths of the time because he hops back and forth between the Jail and Friar Tuck's Church.

So what does PJ have in common with the other Villains? At least one Hero who can totally screw them over. In PJ's case it's King Richard (and maybe Robin Hood, Little John, and possibly Lady Kluck). King Richard stops PJ from playing Effect cards like BLTaxes and Imprison, etc. This is the card PJ's opponents are hoping for early in the game. After KR is played, keep Fating and hope to get a Clever Disguise on him. This shuts down PJ for a good long while, when PJ has to slowly get enough power to get enough Allies down in order to vanquish KR. Yes, PJ is sort of the game's timer, but you can extend that timer with KR.

Despite all that, I have thought about making Prince John have to obtain 30 power. But that's only when I play much tough villains like Jafar and Ursula.
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Jean lou Castonguay
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We had the opposite experience in our group: it seemed impossible to win with him, as his fate deck is really brutal.

We played 3 games at 1v1 (against Hook, Jafar and Maleficent) and he lost each time.

We also had 2 games at 3 players that the player playing PJ lost.

4 out of 15 cards in his fate deck can steal 4 power, wich is brutal,but the best way to slow him is to stop his power 2 early, as playing allies or imprison to get rid of the hero there will cost him power anyway.

Overall we find PJ to be one of the slowest villain. He may not need any particular card to win, but it does not take a lot to stop him.
- Robin Hood appear? He has to be killed ASAP, as he will slow PJ immensely, but killing him will require a minimum of 4 power (Rhino + arc)
- King Richard appear? If he is not taken care of, PJ will have no option to gain power outside of power action and stealer heroes will soon rampage his kingdom
- Remember that his best card to gain money (taxes) will give him a lot of power if there are a lot of heroes, but having many heroes in the kingdom greatly increases the chance that a 'Steal from the rich' appear, as there are 3 in the deck

In games with many players, what I suggest is:
- make sure there is 1 or 2 heroes in his realm early. This way he will be slowed by either losing time and power to vanquish them or ignore them and lose the top power action gain(and you will have fantastic unoposed targets for stealing)
- finding robin or Richard would actually totally stop his early progress and require immediate action by the player, so it is a very potent play
- change your mindset. In most games, player will only tend to fate when someone approach victory, As location with fate action are normally the less atractive, this mean that fating is rare early game. But as mentioned in the previous points, some early, not necesserly over agressive, fating can be crucial to control the progress of PJ in the future.
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Bruce Kaplan
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It is true in my experience, you can't really stop or even slow down Prince John; especially in the hands of a skilled gamer. Instead of trying to "fix" him, and since I have the expansion, I only give Prince John to a brand new gamer or a young child.

Most of the time, I will put a game together with up to 6 other characters. There are a lot of villains now.
 
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