Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

Thunderstone» Forums » Variants

Subject: Ordered Monsters Variant for Thunderstone rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mike Elliott
United States
Unspecified
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Ordered Monsters for Thunderstone

A number of players have expressed a desire to be able to play with a progression of monsters rather than a random order. While I felt the random version provided for more distinctive games, I can understand that not everyone enjoys the games that have a longer buildup or a bottleneck due to larger monsters coming out early. Since Thunderstone is a toolkit as well as a game, here is a fairly easy way to do a variant with ordered monsters with a little extra setup.

Step 1 - Take a deck of cards. From the deck take the 4-A of Clubs, 4-A of Diamonds, 4-A of Hearts, and the Ace of Spades.
Step 2 - Put the 4 of Clubs, 4 of Diamonds, and 4 of Hearts next to where you will place the dungeon hall as marker cards. Put the Thunderstone you are using there also.
Step 3 - Using the monster randomizers, select 3 sets of monsters as normal. Instead of shuffling them, place each stack on one of the playing card 4 marker cards face up, ordered from weakest on top to strongest on the bottom. For reference the order is:

Humanoid - Goblin, Orc, Lizard, Cyclops, Troll
Undead Spirit - Haunt, Spectre, Wraith, Ghost, Revenant
Undead Doom - Harbinger, Famine, Kingdom, Suffering, Lord of Death
Ooze - Black, Green, Red, Gray, Noxious
Enchanted - Blink Dog, Nixie, Pegasus, Griffon, Sphinx
Doomknight-Humanoid - Lord Mortis, Judgement, Darkness, The Prince, Knightmare
Dragon - Skaladak, Mythlurian, Uyril, Tyxr, Ebon
Abyssal - Grudgebeast, Unchained, Succubus, Tormentor, Archduke

Step 4 - Shuffle up to 5-A of clubs, diamonds and hearts together. Take 10 cards from the shuffled stack and mix in the Spade Ace and put it on the bottom of the stack. This is your dungeon hall deck.
Step 5 - Play as normal, but when you flip up playing cards to fill the hall, replace the flipped playing cards with the top monster of the stack matching the suit drawn, with the following exceptions.
5-10 of suit - replace the playing card with the top remaining card of the corresponding monster pile.
J of suit - (out of depth +1) replace the playing card with the second card down of the corresponding monster pile
Q of suit - (out of depth +2) replace the playing card with the third card down of the corresponding monster pile
K of suit - (out of depth +3) replace the playing card with the fourht card down of the corresponding monster pile
A of suit - (out of depth +4) replace the playing card with the fifth card down of the corresponding monster pile
If there are not enough cards to select the indicated card, replace the playing card with the bottom card remaining in the monster stack.
Ace of Spades - When the Ace of Spades is revealed, replace it with the Thunderstone.

It is slightly more setup, but this will give you a relatively ordered progression. The out of depth concept came from months of playing Angband.

You can also use index cards with colors, in which case the markers would look like
Blue (Marker, Nx6,+1,+2,+3,+4)
Red (Marker, Nx6,+1,+2,+3,+4)
Green (Marker, Nx6,+1,+2,+3,+4)
Black Thunderstone

I won’t be offended at all if someone wants to make and post a player aid using this setup as a guide. I personally use basic Magic lands with the plus numbers written on with a sharpie for this variant, but the deck of cards works well also. Feel free to devise other ordered variants as well. This is just the one I liked the best. If this variant is wildly popular, perhaps we can include a player aid in a future release. Enjoy,

-Mike
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Gassett
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A LITTLE more setup? laugh
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like it, but it takes a while to wrap your head around how the card stuff works. (Its a mechanism for having harder monsters sometimes come out earlier - which does seem important, but overall this is weighted towards them being mostly in order).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Olesen
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just bought the game and haven't played it yet - this seems like a good idea.

BUT - why not just sort each monster type into three piles: Easy, Middle and Tough, using the info provided by Mike above, then combine the three difficulty types and shuffle them. Shuffle the Thunderstone into the Tough pack and stack the easy on top and the tough ones at bottom. If need be, make sure that the Tough pile has in total 10 cards plus the Thunderstone.

Much simpler and should have much the same effect.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Smith
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Robert Olesen wrote:

BUT - why not just sort each monster type into three piles: Easy, Middle and Tough, using the info provided by Mike above, then combine the three difficulty types and shuffle them. Shuffle the Thunderstone into the Tough pack and stack the easy on top and the tough ones at bottom. If need be, make sure that the Tough pile has in total 10 cards plus the Thunderstone.


One problem with the Easy, Middle, Tough method is that you will not see too many tough creatures. It's possible you will see none depending on where the Thunderstone is. Some variation of it might work though.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Olesen
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chucker101 wrote:
One problem with the Easy, Middle, Tough method is that you will not see too many tough creatures. It's possible you will see none depending on where the Thunderstone is. Some variation of it might work though.

Indeed it might. Here is a breakdown of the types in the order from weakest to strongest listed by Mike:

Humanoid - 2 Goblin, 2 Orc, 2 Lizard, 2 Cyclops, 2 Troll
Undead Spirit - 2 Haunt, 2 Spectre, 2 Wraith, 2 Ghost, 2 Revenant
Undead Doom - 2 Harbinger, 2 Famine, 3 Kingdom, 2 Suffering, 1 Lord of Death
Ooze - 2 Black, 2 Green, 2 Red, 2 Gray, 2 Noxious
Enchanted - 2 Blink Dog, 3 Nixie, 2 Pegasus, 2 Griffon, 2 Sphinx
Doomknight-Humanoid - 2 Lord Mortis, 2 Judgement, 2 Darkness, 2 The Prince, 2 Knightmare
Dragon - 3 Skaladak, 2 Mythlurian, 2 Uyril, 2 Tyxr, 1 Ebon
Abyssal - 2 Grudgebeast, 3 Unchained, 2 Succubus, 2 Tormentor, 1 Archduke

So, if you

- Take the three strongest monsters of each type
- Shuffle them in one stack
- Pick 10 randomly from this stack
- Shuffle them with the Thunderstone
- Put these 11 cards at the bottom of the Dungeon stack
- Shuffle the remaining 20 monster cards together and
- Put them on top of the Dungeon stack

then you should have the effect you want: Stronger monsters at the bottom of the Dungeon stack, and a mix of strong and weak monsters with a predominance of weak monsters at start, And it's a reasonably simple setup process. You will have 16-18 stronger monsters in the stack where you pick the last 10, depending on the type of monster selected. The first 20 monsters you will see in the game will contain 12-14 weaker monsters and 6-8 of the stronger ones.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Vanden Heuvel
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Gaamessz... need more Gaammesz...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Someone else had a simple way of "sorting".

-3 monster type (30 cards, no thunderstone yet)
-draw 3, put the weakest into play in the dungeon, discard the other 2
-when the pile is exhausted (10 draws), shuffle the discard pile
-at this point you could start drawing 2, choose the weakest, etc.
-when there are 10 cards left (in the discard pile) add the thunderstone, shuffle once more.

The beauty of this is that there will be a tendency towards weaker monsters at the beginning but doesn't guarantee it. It's still random but should even things out a little.

I'm going to try this next game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Olesen
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deefer wrote:
Someone else had a simple way of "sorting".

-3 monster type (30 cards, no thunderstone yet)
-draw 3, put the weakest into play in the dungeon, discard the other 2
-when the pile is exhausted (10 draws), shuffle the discard pile
-at this point you could start drawing 2, choose the weakest, etc.
-when there are 10 cards left (in the discard pile) add the thunderstone, shuffle once more.

The beauty of this is that there will be a tendency towards weaker monsters at the beginning but doesn't guarantee it. It's still random but should even things out a little.

I'm going to try this next game.

How do you define "weakest" unambiguously?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Vanden Heuvel
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Gaamessz... need more Gaammesz...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
in order, rank by:
-VP's (lower is weaker)
-hit points (lower is weaker)
-XP (lower is weaker)
-gold value (lower is weaker)
-spoils effect (absence is weaker)
-trophy effect (absence is weaker)
-battle effect (presence is weaker)

(that may not necessarily be the right order for the effects, but you get the idea) Ties don't matter as you just pick the first one drawn. No need to rate the different battle effects since we don't need an absolute ranking, just a general streamlining of the difficulty.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Romian Tuesta-Vilca
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deefer wrote:
in order, rank by:
-VP's (lower is weaker)
-hit points (lower is weaker)
-XP (lower is weaker)
-gold value (lower is weaker)
-spoils effect (absence is weaker)
-trophy effect (absence is weaker)
-battle effect (presence is weaker)

(that may not necessarily be the right order for the effects, but you get the idea) Ties don't matter as you just pick the first one drawn. No need to rate the different battle effects since we don't need an absolute ranking, just a general streamlining of the difficulty.



I do something like this: I take all the monsters that were selected with the randomizer cards, then I separate them in two decks. One deck with the 10 or 12 monsters with the highest HP (usually 7HP or 8HP and more) + the thunderstone. I shuffle it and place another shuffled deck with the lower HP monsters on top of it. This have worked pretty well for us.

Good luck!

Romian
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Vanden Heuvel
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Gaamessz... need more Gaammesz...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
to me, that gives an equally problematic (ie. boring) issue. All the easy monsters are first and all the hard monsters are last.

I still think you want *some* hard monsters first, just not a lot of them...

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Smith
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A lot of great ideas here. Here is what I was initially thinking of doing.

1) Select your three types of monsters
2) Take out the 10 easiest monsters (sorted by health)
3) Shuffle the easy monster deck and put 3 cards on the side.
4) Shuflle the harder monster pile and take 3 card and add them to the easy monster pile
5) Shuffle the "new" easy card pile and these are the top 10 cards of the dungeon deck.
6) Combine the harder monster pile with the 3 inital easy creatures taken out and shuffle and add to the bottom of the dungeon deck
7) Add the Thunderstone as usual.

On step 2 you will most likely get more than 10 monsters. You'll need to shrink that value down to 10. For example, the easy monster list is 4 at 3hp, 4 at 4hp, and 5 at 5hp. Randomly select 2 of the 5 hp and add to the easy pile. The 3 other 5hp go to the harder pile.

Another alternative with the above example is to keep all 13 easy creatures and randomly set cards aside until you are at 7 then continue with step 4.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Smith
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deefer wrote:
Someone else had a simple way of "sorting".

-3 monster type (30 cards, no thunderstone yet)
-draw 3, put the weakest into play in the dungeon, discard the other 2
-when the pile is exhausted (10 draws), shuffle the discard pile
-at this point you could start drawing 2, choose the weakest, etc.
-when there are 10 cards left (in the discard pile) add the thunderstone, shuffle once more.

The beauty of this is that there will be a tendency towards weaker monsters at the beginning but doesn't guarantee it. It's still random but should even things out a little.

I'm going to try this next game.


I really like this idea. Please let us know how it goes. My copy of Thunderstone is currently on a UPS truck and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival tomorrow night. I'll probably play the normal way for a bit so I can get a baseline of sort before trying variants.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Olesen
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chucker101 wrote:
I really like this idea. Please let us know how it goes. My copy of Thunderstone is currently on a UPS truck and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival tomorrow night. I'll probably play the normal way for a bit so I can get a baseline of sort before trying variants.

I tried it in a solo game today, and it worked quite well. It's easy to use. The monsters got progressively difficult, and my deck was reasonably matched with the monsters all along. And there was still some variety. It helps you to keep track of time, which is a good thing, but also eliminates some of the surprise when you get caught up in the game and suddenly flip the Thunderstone.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Olesen
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have been playng some solo games with this now. I may not continue using it, as the standard rules provide more variety, but I'll certainly use it when introducing the game to new players.

This simple way of sorting can be changed to go
- pick weakest of 2 cards 15 times
- shuffle remainder
- pick weakest of 3 cards 5 times
- shuffle remainder with Thunderstone
- draw one card at a time

This gives a wider spread of monster strengths, and still keeps mostly difficult monsters till the end.I like it.

These methods have a weakness, which should be noted. It reduces the effect of the Thyrian Lord's ability to kill monsters with 1 or 2 VP in addition to the regular attack, as there will not be all that many monsters with 1 or 2 VP when he comes into play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Vanden Heuvel
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Gaamessz... need more Gaammesz...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
good point. I'm interested in why you chose to select 1 of 2 for 15 turns, then 1 of 3.

It seemed to me that a good progression would be 1/3 x 10 turns. 1/2 for 10 turns, then shuffle in the thunderstone.

I recognize that ultimately it doesn't really matter but I was curious about the thinking behind your method.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Olesen
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deefer wrote:
good point. I'm interested in why you chose to select 1 of 2 for 15 turns, then 1 of 3.

It seemed to me that a good progression would be 1/3 x 10 turns. 1/2 for 10 turns, then shuffle in the thunderstone.

I recognize that ultimately it doesn't really matter but I was curious about the thinking behind your method.

It's simple. When selecting 1 out of 3 you get weaker monsters at start. Selecting 1 out of 2 gives you more stronger monsters at start, while still keeping some weak ones. Also, it's simpler to compare 2 than 3 cards.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Hendiks
Netherlands
Veldhoven
Noord Brabant
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After last game's start with the strongest Golem AND the strongest dragon(?) AND 1 8 or 9 health magic attack only guy or something start, we spent the first 15-20 turns orso villaging before the FIRST monster was slain.

So next game, this is my solution:

=============================

Take out the easiest 2 monsters from each type
Take out the hardest 2 monsters from each type

Shuffle the rest and split deck in 2 halfs

Add the easiest monsters to the top half of the deck
Add the hardest monsters to the bottom half of the deck


=============================

Still very random, but prevents impossible starts.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sonny sonny
Austria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
we just order the first drawn monster so that the easiest one is at front. if we only draw the hardest monsters i think i would just reshuffle.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Murray
England
Plymouth
Devon
flag msg tools
badge
Azorius Senate
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have a reasonable idea:
Split the monsters into 3 piles of 10, Weak, Medium and Strong.
Shuffle these piles separately.

Variant 1 ("Ordered"): Shuffle the Thunderstone into the Strong deck. Place Weak on top of medium, then this on top of strong. This is your monster deck (very nonrandom)

Variant 2 ("Slightly ordered"): Take 5 Weak cards, 3 Medium cards and 2 Strong cards and shuffle to form deck A. Take 3 Weak cards, 4 Medium cards and 3 Strong cards and shuffle to form deck B. Take 2 Weak Cards, 3 Medium Cards and 5 Strong cards and the Thunderstone and shuffle to form deck C. Place A on top of B, then this on top of C.

Variant 3 ("Slightly ordered v2") (avoids awkward starting 3):
Similar to above. When making deck A, shuffle in only 4 Weak Cards. Once shuffled place a weak card on the top of A, insuring a weak card in the first 3.

Some pictures to aid understanding:


Feel free to fiddle with the numbers.

As for how to determine which 10 are Weak, which 10 are Medium and which 10 are strong, I'll think about that for a while.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.