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

Subject: Balancing too-good cards and combos rss

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John Davis
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One of the problems of many card games with a large and changing pool of cards is that some of the cards, or combinations of cards, often end up being "too good". By this I mean they are much better than the alternatives. Examples in LotR include Steward of Gondor, Sneak Attack/Gandalf and Unexpected Courage/Berevor.

This can lead to rather dull and same-y decks, as players figure out ways to maximize the benefits of just a handfull of cards so as to "beat the game" and get the best possible score.

My preference is to have a small set of house rules to fix these percieved problems. It's obviously a judgement call of what is "good" and what is "too good", and I've tried to fix only the biggest problems I've seen so far.

My current set of house rules is:

* Steward of Gondor provides 1 resource, not 2.

* Northern Tracker pnly places 1 progress token when he quests.

* Gandalf only gets his "comes into play" effect if played normally.

* Will of the West is removed from the game when played.

* Cards with abilities which exhaust the card may only be used once per turn.


Can anyone see any problems with these? Are there any other cards or combos which are still too good, in your opinion?
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Bart Rachemoss
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jrd23 wrote:
* Will of the West is removed from the game when played.

I would either remove this card entirely or limit its use to once per game. If someone has 3 copies in their deck then removing one copy when it is used seems rather weak. Perhaps you meant that all copies are removed but that could require some people to search through their player decks and then reshuffle when someone else plays it.

In general, your house rules look interesting and seem fair. They seem well thought out.

Do you use these rules for both solo play and multi-player?

 
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John Davis
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BitJam wrote:
jrd23 wrote:
* Will of the West is removed from the game when played.

I would either remove this card entirely or limit its use to once per game. If someone has 3 copies in their deck then removing one copy when it is used seems rather weak. Perhaps you meant that all copies are removed but that could require some people to search through their player decks and then reshuffle when someone else plays it.

The main abuse I've seen for Will of the West is to draw the deck and then keep recycling a few cards (typically Sneak Attack, Galadheim's Greeting etc). With the change, you get one recycle per WotW. You can put 3 in the deck if you want, but they're going to be useless draws in the early part of the game.

If after further testing WotW still seems too good, I will consider alternatives, but I don't want to eliminate deck recycling completely. It's harder to draw your whole deck with the other changes anyway...

BitJam wrote:

In general, your house rules look interesting and seem fair. They seem well thought out.

Do you use these rules for both solo play and multi-player?


I have play-tested them with solo play. I hope to give them a try in two player with a friend next week.

Thanks for the comments.
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I understand your concerns, some cards are much more powerful than others.

But you could go a more elegant way than houserule each powerful card: Create a "restricted card list" (similar to other LCGs from FFG). Every player may chose one card from that list and include that card (up to 3 copies) in his player deck. The other cards from that list are banned from play.

My restricted card list would be as follows:

Northern Tracker
Unexpected Courage
Gandalf
Steward of Gondor

you might want to add:

Will of the West (dunno as it gets broken bc of Unexpected courage + Beravor)
Dwarven Tomb (as it copies Will of the West, Northern Tracker and Unexpected Courage)
 
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