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Subject: Level-up variant rss

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Philip Moerenhout
Belgium
Lede
Oost-Vlaanderen
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Hi Mr. Elliott, Mr Rowland, Thunderstone players,

Lately I’ve been playing Thunderstone with a variant rule which IMO is so good, I should let you know about it.


The variant consists of three parts :

1- Militia costs 2 Gold to purchase instead of Zero.

This is the only card change that would be necessary for the rule to work as intended,
but I reckon, since you’ve already provided us with new militia cards once,
providing us with another Militia deck is surely not an insurmountable obstacle.

2- When you level-up a Hero you pay XP equal to the COST DIFFERENCE between the two cards.

Example : When you level-up a Stoneguard Brute ( cost : 8 ) into a Stoneguard Bruiser ( cost : 11 ) you pay 3 XP
( instead of just 2 XP as currently indicated in the purple circle on the bottom left of the card )
For most Heroes this will make leveling up to lvl 2 just a bit harder.

The impact on Militia however is very interesting : with Militia costing 2 Gold and so many lvl 1 Heroes costing 5 Gold,
leveling-up a Militia remains mostly the same, still costing 3 XP most of the time.

It becomes harder however, to upgrade into the more "powerful" heroes, the "hitters", which currently is a little too easy to do IMO.
When you have the choice to upgrade your Militia into a "Magic Attack +1" hero or into an "Attack +3" Outlands Warrior,
the choice is easily made ( and is not really a choice )

With this rule however, it would cost 6 XP to upgrade a Militia ( cost : 2 ) into an Outlands Warrior ( cost : 8 )
meaning, now you really would have to make a choice.
Do you keep your 3 XP and try to get to 6 XP so you can upgrade your Militia into this mighty Hero
or do you upgrade into ( for example ) a ( cost : 5 ) Divine Healer ?
A lot of considerations can come into play : are you on par with the others, behind or ahead, what are they picking
what monsters are in the Dungeon, what synergies are available in the village etc ...

3- Just like you can always BUY the TOP CARD of any Hero stack, you may also LEVEL-UP into the TOP CARD of a Hero stack.

At first, I wasn't sure if this would work out, but in the end it works fantastic IMO.

What does it mean in practice :
Under the current rules, you can't level-up a Hero two or three levels at once.
You still can't do that with this variant rule, UNLESS it is the TOP CARD of the Stack ( just like you can always BUY the TOP CARD )

Example : it's late game and you have a Militia in your hand and something like 10 XP lying around.
In the village, there's still one ( lvl 3 hero ) Toryn Gladiator for sale at a cost of 12.
( It's the last card of the stack and thus ON TOP of the stack )
You get only like 9 gold from your hand, so not enough to right out buy him, but ... you could upgrade your
( cost : 2 ) Militia into a ( cost : 12 ) Toryn Gladiator for 10 XP
... or a ( cost : 7 ) lvl 1 Toryn Scrapper into this ( cost : 12 ) Toryn Gladiator for 5 XP

This third part of the variant rule has multiple beneficial effects and has, in my playing experience at least, no negative effects so far

A- Militia remain useful throughout the game, in fact it's often a good idea to keep a few around. ( depending on strategy, of course, but overall the improved usefulness of Militia increases the strategic abilities of the game )

B- If you started slow and the ( lvl 1 ) heroes of your choice are already gone by the time you get running, this often means you're going to go on a downward spiral from there on because you can't upgrade your militia anymore as planned and you have to go to plan B ( usually less effective and thus usually not enough to win the game. )

But ... you can still get back into the game, with the Heroes you had planned from the start, ( aside from just trying to buy them ) with this variant rule by simply spending more XP during level-up and immediately getting to lvl 2 or even lvl 3, provided the selected Hero is on top of its stack and you have sufficient XP available, of course.
This is a major mechanic to get players who are seemingly out of the running back into the game.

C- Now you have something very useful to do with the ( useless ) XP you usually have lying around during the late game.



That's it.

I really hope you good people take a few minutes of your precious time to read and think about this.

... and hopefully this could one day become "official"

Thanks for reading,

Philip.
 
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sonny sonny
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i think the exp cost is too high under these rules. i wouldn't ever use the even more precious exp to upgrade a militia to a hero.

under your rules the cost for militia should be 3, so you don't have just a cost increase but also a possible reduction, to balance it out. something similar should be done to balance the upgrade cost for heroes too, like using only half the price difference.

we currently play that militia can be upgraded to cost-5 heroes for 2 exp (and to other heroes for 3 exp as by the original rules).
 
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Philip Moerenhout
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letsdance wrote:
i think the exp cost is too high under these rules. i wouldn't ever use the even more precious exp to upgrade a militia to a hero.

Not even if you have 10 or more XP lying around, doing nothing ?

letsdance wrote:
under your rules the cost for militia should be 3, so you don't have just a cost increase but also a possible reduction, to balance it out. something similar should be done to balance the upgrade cost for heroes too, like using only half the price difference.

we currently play that militia can be upgraded to cost-5 heroes for 2 exp (and to other heroes for 3 exp as by the original rules).

Seems like we're doing something similar, in the end,
only you seem to be in favour of making upgrades easier,
while I prefer them to be a little harder.
 
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Ben MacFarlane
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Maybe I'm doing something wrong - admittedly I haven't played Thunderstone that much, despite owning all the expansions and very much enjoying the game - but I have never seen:

1) Anyone upgrade a militia to an actual hero, or
2) XP not be useful

Are these things that happen commonly to other people?

Edit to make this relevant to the original post:

I really like this idea - it does kind of seem like all heroes using the same costs to level up, despite differences in power, could be a little imbalanced. Also I like the level-skipping with xp addition - having only level 1s of a class with all the level 2s gone, so you can't use xp to get to level 3, is an annoyance this would solve nicely.
 
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Mik Svellov
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If I cannot get rid of my Militia any other way but resting, I will prefer to spend my money on expensive Spells etc. and upgrade my Militia with the XP.

And during the latter half of the game, you often have way more XP than you will ever need.
 
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sonny sonny
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Great Dane wrote:
And during the latter half of the game, you often have way more XP than you will ever need.
yes because i don't visit the village anymore.

in our games i'd say there is - on average about 1/3rd or 1/4th of the players having more exp than they need. it happens more often if you play with low player numbers (or solo) and don't scale the dungeon to player size. but the point when you have too much exp is too late to really matter anymore. especially because - like i said above - you don't enter the village that often anymore. at this point i never have any militia's in my deck.

it's much more important to improve levelling in the early game when you actually do enter the village.
 
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Philip Moerenhout
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letsdance wrote:
... but the point when you have too much exp is too late to really matter anymore. especially because - like i said above - you don't enter the village that often anymore. at this point i never have any militia's in my deck.

Those are exactly the points I'm making.

1- you don't go the village often anymore late in the game, so being able to upgrade a militia straight into a lvl 2 or 3 is certainly an incentive to pay another visit to the village = more options.
2- late in the game you don't have any militia anymore because in most decks they are not useful anymore at that point . This alternative rule would change that. Militia could still be useful late in the game = more options.
 
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sonny sonny
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Borg wrote:
2- late in the game you don't have any militia anymore because in most decks they are not useful anymore at that point . This alternative rule would change that. Militia could still be useful late in the game = more options.
i'm sure i still wouldn't keep militia for so long. i would rather have a better deck and use the exp for upgrading my heroes.

but the real problem is, that while your variant might be o.k. for the endgame, it kind of kills the early game.
 
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Philip Moerenhout
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letsdance wrote:
[q="Borg"]but the real problem is, that while your variant might be o.k. for the endgame, it kind of kills the early game.

Could you elaborate on that ?
How exactly do you think it kills the early game ?
 
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sonny sonny
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Borg wrote:
letsdance wrote:
[q="Borg"]but the real problem is, that while your variant might be o.k. for the endgame, it kind of kills the early game.

Could you elaborate on that ?
How exactly do you think it kills the early game ?
because you don't get enough exp early to lvl up sensefully. as it is, people are usually struggling to get exp for leveling their heroes (at least in our games).
 
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