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Subject: Journey down the Anduin - negative score rss

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Patrik Eden
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An odd situation appeared in a Journey down the Anduin last night.

During quest card 3B, I managed to empty the staging area, and have a single enemy engaged but trapped (by a permanent attachment), so that it did not attack. Since the staging step of the quest phase is cancelled during this 3B, no more evil cards were drawn, and since the scenario continues as long as there are enemies in play, I could play for as long as I wished.

Instead of killing the enemy, I let the game stay stalled. Granted, in every turn my threat level went up by one, but I also gained 3 resources and one card. I used Beravor's ability to draw more cards per turn, and played Galahdrim't greetings and Gandalf when I had them and could afford them. With three cards drawn per turn and three resources, that kept threat level from growing too much.

Then, I could use Will of the West (the card that allows you to shuffle your discards into your deck). And redo the whole thing. Now the density of good cards was pretty high and the threat level stayed stable. After the second time played a card to reshuffle discards, there were only the highly useful cards there (Gandalf, Galahadrim, WotW). Then, I could play Gandalf and Galahadrim's greetings at such a pace that I could lower my threat more than it rose.

Furthermore, I had the healing lady (Daughter of Nimrodel) in play, and used her. When I finally killed the last enemy, I had zero heroes lost, zero damage on them, threat level 0, and 14 points of victory.

Final score: -14!

If this is allowed my post is a session report. If it is not, it is a rules question: what prevents this? Since I had two copies of WotW, it doesn't matter if the WotW itself is included in reshuffling: if it begins the new discard, it will return to the deck when another copy of the card is played.

If this whole procedure is allowed, I would like to prevent it. It makes scoring meaningless (in this scenario). Maybe one could house rule WotW to end with "then remove this card permanently from play"?

Ok, so this became a session report / rules question / variant suggestion. But I think most a session report.


Edit: More use of proper card names.






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Session report it is!

Rulebook page 22 wrote:
With this scoring system, a victory with a low score is more desirable than a victory with a high score, and it
is even possible, if the players do remarkably well, to
achieve a negative score on a quest.


I don't see anything wrong with the way you played. It happened to us in two-player games a couple of times. Before we play the new scenarios we usually play an old one for points to warm up the deck. There are other less extreme cases, where you are all buffed up and can easily handle anything that comes of the encounter deck. Now it just becomes a game of waiting for that Gandalf, Greeting, Born Aloft, Dwarven Tomb or Sneak Attack. There were cases in which neither of us had any cards left in the player deck at the end of the game.
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Tristan Hall
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Yep, Will of the West really needs taking out of the game. Some cards are under or over-powered but this one is just redonculous.
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Markus
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oldshortsnout wrote:
If this whole procedure is allowed, I would like to prevent it. It makes scoring meaningless (in this scenario).


I think things like this make scoring as whole meaningless. At the moment the score measures not how well you played but whether you used a threat-reducing deck or not.
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Allan Clements
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Yeah, scoring needs to also be based on how many turns you took to complete it. I like the threat mechanic but since it can be altered with cards it should not be the primary method of scoring.

I think there have been some suggestions here on the forum, something like each turn is 10 "threat" or some such number, so taking longer is much worse than pushing quickly (I am sure the other suggestions are better than mine )

I would like to see some sensible scoring system from FFG in the first deluxe expansion.
 
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For two player games, I don't think it is bad to have one player cover the threat reduction part of the game for scoring purposes as well as being able to be sneaky and choose your opponents rather then them choosing you. I can see where that causes problems for solo play, since many cards are "compulsory" and limit your deck building choices.
The problem is, that it now often feels like you have to do 99% of the quest, then go into this lenghty process of dealing with your score, and finally finish that last stage. This is kinda counter-intuative to the narrative nature of the game. That is why we decided to play through every scenario without scoring in mind at least a couple of times and then do a separate session for scoring.
 
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Kamakaze wrote:
Yeah, scoring needs to also be based on how many turns you took to complete it. I like the threat mechanic but since it can be altered with cards it should not be the primary method of scoring.

I think there have been some suggestions here on the forum, something like each turn is 10 "threat" or some such number, so taking longer is much worse than pushing quickly (I am sure the other suggestions are better than mine )

I would like to see some sensible scoring system from FFG in the first deluxe expansion.


If scoring is based on the amount of turns, the luck-of-the-draw factor would have a bigger effect. Its hard to come up with a meaningful balanced scoring system, but maybe the amount of enemies you killed or the amount of locations you explored could be factored in aswell, since those are the two main things where your player deck can shine. It would have to be combined with a time limiting factor of course, to keep players from endlessly going through the encounter deck.
 
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Allan Clements
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true, but it definitely should be a factor, and definitely not so heavily weighted on threat. If killing enemies and exploring locations is added without "time" then it will just be the same but with killing things.
 
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Christian Kløve
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ninjadorg wrote:
Yep, Will of the West really needs taking out of the game. Some cards are under or over-powered but this one is just redonculous.


I've found Will of the West to be extremely powerful in a solo deck, but not nearly as useful in our two-player sessions, mainly because you cannot maintain that same narrow focus. You play two decks solo, right Ninja? What is your experience with WotW in that setting?
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Kamakaze wrote:
true, but it definitely should be a factor, and definitely not so heavily weighted on threat.

Yep, I agree.
Gandalf's When played effect is a great example. The reduce threat by 5 option is so powerful that it kinda takes away the meaningful decision. It also has an effect on cards like Sneak Attack, where it could be considered a waste to play this combo with anything other than Gandalf. It feels like there are countless options, but once you get started with scoring those options are severely limited
 
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Allan Clements
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I would like to see more threat reduction cards for all spheres and a rework of the scoring system tbh
 
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Tristan Hall
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Kløve wrote:
You play two decks solo, right Ninja? What is your experience with WotW in that setting?


Regardless of the number of decks, WotW is literally the only card that automatically stays in the box, I just don't use it any more. Combined with Lore's card-drawing it just gets crazy and makes simple scenarios like Carrock even easier. Since I started deck-building, if I'm playing solo now I only use one mixed deck - and with a little luck I can tackle most scenarios (apart from Dol Guldur, obviously).
 
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Patrik Eden
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Thank you all for a nice discussion!

Somehow, I feel that my true score was set when I could have killed the final enemy. To play cat-and-rat with a poor, trapped enemy for a long time is not really hero-style, and should not be rewarded.

I'm leaning towards a house rule:

* Will of the West is removed from play after it has been resolved.

and/or perhaps (but I'm not sure):

* The score is based on the highest threat level on each dial during the game.

The latter requires some fiddly notes to be taken, and may influence strategy in some situations, but at least it will prevent a new experience like mine.

Oh, by the way, did I say that I think the game is great?


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Martin Hoefer
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oldshortsnout wrote:
Oh, by the way, did I say that I think the game is great?




That's the spirit!

I mostly play solo, so I think threat reducing cards are a good way to "lengthen" the phase where you prepare for your final strike. If however that moment has come I don't care for my score, I simply finish.

The best thing is that this still feels like an accomplishment (mostly).
 
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Benedetto Loffredo
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ins3kT wrote:
It also has an effect on cards like Sneak Attack, where it could be considered a waste to play this combo with anything other than Gandalf


According to a statement of Nate French himself, the combo Sneak Attack + Gandalf is illegal: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/691877/stand-and-fight-o...
 
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Mr. D
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Sportacus wrote:

According to a statement of Nate French himself, the combo Sneak Attack + Gandalf is illegal: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/691877/stand-and-fight-o...


This is incorrect. That thread refers to Stand and Fight, not Sneak Attack. The Sneak Attack card only refers to "any ally." There are no further restrictions like there are on S&F.

 
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Jonan Jello
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That's an incredible score Patrik. Congratulations.
I played this morning, two-player Solitaire and won, but with 95 points yuk

~

Two questions regarding this scenario.
First, at the beginning of the quest, event cards are pulled for each player. So there will be two in the staging area and an additional two cards when I quest. Four right off the start, correct?

Also, during that initial set-up, when pulling the two cards before play begins, what if The Necromancer's Reach is pulled? Do I apply its affects once I commit characters to questing? I played that I did apply its affects once my characters committed to the quest. But I was aware, I could choose not to quest and avoid the Reach's affect.



 
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Patrik Eden
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Should point out that the scoring system has changed since I posted the session report. Today I would have added very, very many multiplets of 10 for all the turns I spent in safety at the end.
 
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