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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Expert Game Variant rss

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James McMillan
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I am not by any stretch a card game expert but having played the 'Expert' game in the rules I was not overly impressed. Also the "Nightmare' just seemed impossible. Might be my deck building skills lacking but to be honest 'Nightmare' just felt like luck of the draw. Thus after a bit of forum searching and tweaking of my own games I made some house rules to try and give the passage of play through different quests a more contiguous, story-like feel. Whaddya think?

1. Shadow Decks: Shadow decks are used as per the rules. This may mean that some decks are used for 2 quests in a row. If this is the case then any cards in the staging area from a deck that is being removed are also removed and any from a deck that is staying remain in the staging area.

This mechanic attempts to convey that some threats are location based and so having finished a quest and forged through certain locations, certain threats are gone. Some will continue to hound you though.

2. Conditions: Like shadow decks, any conditions affecting your characters from a quest deck that is removed from the game are also removed from your characters.

e.g. As an example 'Caught In A Web' would only seem appropriate if you are still in Mirkwood. Having succeeded at that quest chances are you would be freed up.

3. Current Allies,Items and Resources: Stay as they are.

I see no reason to change these. Your characters are not going to drop their precious things just to move onto the next quest! Neither are your allies likely to leave you.

4. Current Discards: They stay as discards.

Again these are things that have happened on your journey in the past.

5. Rally Step: Reduce your threat level by the total willpower of remaining heroes and allies ( or just heroes if you want more of a challenge). Do not reduce further than your starting threat level would be under normal circumstances. Also heal 1 damage from each character.

In the vein of all good quests there is a period of rest and calm before the next onslaught. A time to bandage the wounds and draw breath. The more characters you have to demonstrate will and resolve, the better prepared for the next quest you will be.

Now before all you die-hards berate the fact that this is an easier way out - it is. I know it is. But it is fun. I have tried it and I feel like playing this way gives me half a chance of playing through all the quests I want to join together. The challenge is how many quests you can get through this way.

Let me know of any successes / failures you have this way. If the mechanics break down at some point that would be a good thing to know too.

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Mike Stevens
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I like it and will give it a try. Instead of calling it Nightmare mode, I will just call it Bad Dream mode.
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Jamie Riehl
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We tried it with keeping all allies and attachments, and even without the "rally step" it was still far too easy. Like you say, we had fun though. The problem with nightmare mode is that it just encourages stalling. With reshuffles you can easily get down to 0 threat if you're willing to manage and balance long enough. So, yeah, haven't really found a balance that works.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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camipco wrote:
We tried it with keeping all allies and attachments, and even without the "rally step" it was still far too easy. Like you say, we had fun though. The problem with nightmare mode is that it just encourages stalling. With reshuffles you can easily get down to 0 threat if you're willing to manage and balance long enough. So, yeah, haven't really found a balance that works.


Are you using 50 card decks? I just have not found a way to get the threat reducing cards to cycle through often enough to result in a net negative, even on the easy quest...
 
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