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

Subject: Ranged/Sentinel rss

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simon cogan
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Having just purchased the game - and having geat fun being trodden into the ground learning the rules in the Mirkwood scenario - I am playing solo.

I am surprised that, as far as I understand it, the Ranged and Sentinel keywords are useless in solo play. It seems the keywords are on a lot of cards - including Heroes - and since solo play is hard enough, has anyone come up with, or are there 'official rules' for using these keywords in solo play?

Could Legolas (who has Ranged) attack an Enemy in the staging area by spending a Resource point for example.

Could a Sentinel character gain +1 Defense when no travel took place or there's no Active location by spending a Resource point?

Just ideas from the top of my head - but other people might know a lot more than me - perhaps there are uses for these keywords in later packs or expansions??
 
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Jason
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dragoncymru wrote:
I am surprised that, as far as I understand it, the Ranged and Sentinel keywords are useless in solo play. It seems the keywords are on a lot of cards - including Heroes - and since solo play is hard enough, has anyone come up with, or are there 'official rules' for using these keywords in solo play?


Unfortunately, you understand correctly. I don't know of any official variant rules for solo play.

If I were to house rule either ability, I'd go with:
Characters with Ranged may attack enemies in the staging area.
Characters with Sentinel don't exhaust to defend.

Quote:
Just ideas from the top of my head - but other people might know a lot more than me - perhaps there are uses for these keywords in later packs or expansions??


There are some cards which make it useful to have a character with Ranged even in solo play. Rain of Arrows is an example in the Core Set, and there are a couple enemies in A Journey to Rhosgobel.
 
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Michael Szymanski
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binaryeye wrote:


Characters with Sentinel don't exhaust to defend.


This would make them way too strong. You would only need one strong defender with Sentinel to fight against five enemies and still have the chance to attack with this character.

I like the ideas of dragoncymru though.
 
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Bart Rachemoss
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Here is a thread that discusses how to make solo play easier:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/7890250

IMO you would be much better off by spending your time learning how to beat the various scenarios solo instead of working on changing the rules to make solo play easier. Solo play is hard but it is not broken and it doesn't need fixing (IMO).

It is incredibly hard at first but some people eventually start looking for ways to make it even harder. One challenge is "One deck to rule them all" finding one solo deck that can beat all the scenarios. It may not be possible to find one deck that can beat them all reliably.

The important thing is to have fun. If you are tired of getting constantly clobbered then there is nothing wrong using house rules to make the game easier. Eventually, you might start using house rules that make the game more difficult.

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Tony Fanchi
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I starter a topic here a while back with some ideas of what you could do with those keywords for solo play. I don't play solo much, so I haven't tried them out myself, but maybe you'll find them interesting or they'll help you come up with some of your own.
 
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Mike Loftus
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Ranged becomes important in Kazad Dum, there are goblins who can only be hit by ranged characters.

some cards are better than others, but I have found that the more you buy into the game as a "TV" show with 6 episodes a season, the richer and better some old cards become.

There are cards I would NEVER have used that suddenly become KEY as you progress through the "show"

 
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Derek Coon
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Here are the abilities that I feel are truest in spirit and not too powerful:

Sentinal - Exhaust a Sentinal character to add his defense to another defending character. The defending character takes all damage.

Ranged - Exhaust a Ranged character to deal one point of damage to an enemy in the staging area.

Being able to attack the staging area at full strength is essentially Dunhere's ability, so I didn't want it to be that strong, but more in line with what Goblin Sniper can do. I am worried that the Sentinal ability is too strong as I've written it.

I'm not opposed to finding uses for these abilities in solo at all.
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Joel Miller
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deckbuild and play as though you are two people. You will find it very enjoyable once you get the hang of it. Great combos early on would be Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli (the fighting side, uses ranged/sentinel to protect) and Eowyn/Eleanor/Beravor (the questing/control deck). Deckbuilding this way allows you to utilize ALL of the best cards/combinations in the game, and provides you with flexibility to avoid some of the luck that comes with solo play.

Then you can rope one of your buddies into playing with you by letting him do all the killing with the leader/tactic deck and play with the coolest heroes from the movie while you do all the real strategizing with your spirit/lore deck
 
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simon cogan
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Thanks for all your help folks.

PS Reading some of the posts on the linked threads, is it the opinion that the single sphere starter decks just don't work - and get beaten into the ground each time?

(Or is that just me...)
 
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Derek Coon
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Actually, the Spirit deck is pretty good. A lot of that has to do with the need to Quest on each and every turn and that's Spirit's strength (Eowyn in particular).
 
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Chris D
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Bullroarer Took wrote:


I'm not opposed to finding uses for these abilities in solo at all.


Yeah, expecially if you have only the base set, Tactics for example has two allies identical except traits (moot point) and the ranged ability, and the ranged one costs one resource more. Finding a fair usage for the ability isn't unreasonable, imho, since it's not like you have that many options for deckbuilding.

Your suggestions seems the most balanced, I haven't used them yet since I usually play with two decks, but I'm gonna try them sometime...
 
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simon cogan
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jobes2007 wrote:
I've never played the game solo, but I would recommend going with at least two spheres. We use two dual sphere decks and have so far been able to get the first 4 quests with the same decks, but when we were using mono-sphere even the first encounter was tough.


But that's a bit strange isn't it?

I mean, you buy the Core set and expect to have a fighting chance with the preconstructed decks out of the box?

Otherwise, like now, all you get is frustrated players because you have to really start delving into the game to make it work.

And the game is for 1-2 players. I take that to mean solo play as in 3 Heroes - not 1 player 'playing as 2' with 2 decks, 6 Heroes etc.
 
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simon cogan
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jobes2007 wrote:
Also, I'm going to define "relative ease" here as, it can be done. It was tough, because it's a tough game, but we beat it twice I believe.


But isn't the first quest Difficulty 1 - ie the easiest game for learning purposes?

I think that using the preconstructed decks against this Quest, if no other, should have at least a fighting chance of winning?

I'm no CCG virgin here and i regard myself as generally a fairly good player (and am a mature rather than young player who might get frustrated quicker) but I'm getting trodden into the ground (albeit enjoyably) at every game. I've played all the sphere decks in rotation but I haven't even got off the first Quest card yet!!

If this is DL 1 - sheesh...!
 
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simon cogan
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I suppose it's a bit of everything - but probably not being able to muster enough willpower on the quest phase to get any progress counters on quests or locations whilst fighting off hoards of nasties!

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the experience and getting a feel for the game as I do it. I'll be tweaking and testing new decks soon and expanding my cards as I master the game, but I go back to my original premise.

If I'm a seasoned gameplayer with a modicum of intelligence, and as long as nothing really unlucky happens, then the first quest (only) should be beatable with any of the preconstructed decks. That's what it (and they) should be there for.

IMO FFG perhaps set the bar too high too early and perhaps some, more inexperienced or younger, players (and a few threads I've glanced at have similar points) might be put off and not actually get into the game at all.

If the preconstructed decks are that useless against Flies and Spiders then it is a poor reflection on game balance and that the quest (rather than the decks) should have been made a little easier.

That's all I'm saying...
 
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Bart Rachemoss
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dragoncymru wrote:
If I'm a seasoned gameplayer with a modicum of intelligence, and as long as nothing really unlucky happens, then the first quest (only) should be beatable with any of the preconstructed decks. That's what it (and they) should be there for.

[...] If the preconstructed decks are that useless against Flies and Spiders then it is a poor reflection on game balance and that the quest (rather than the decks) should have been made a little easier.

IMO the weakest pre-constructed deck is Tactics. After banging my head against the wall for quite some time I was eventually able to get a 30% win rate with Tactics in Passage Through Mirkwood.

It is easier with any of the other pre-constructed decks and easier still with custom decks and/or multiple players. OTOH, at least for solo play, it is always possible for the encounter deck to deal you a couple of nasty surprises at the very beginning before you've had a chance to prepare and it is GG.

For me, a big draw of this game is that it forces me to learn. If an experienced CCG gamer could waltz through even the first scenario in their first handful of games then the potential for learning would be greatly reduced.

There are a lot of ways for you, as the player, to make the game easier:
o gain experience,
o use custom decks,
o increase your card base,
o play with multiple decks or players.


If it doesn't start out really hard then it gets too easy too soon.
 
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Chris D
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dragoncymru wrote:

If the preconstructed decks are that useless against Flies and Spiders then it is a poor reflection on game balance and that the quest (rather than the decks) should have been made a little easier.


Well, of course I don't know exactly what went wrong in your plays, but the thing is, they are NOT that useless, except Tactics that has a really hard time because of low willpower issues.

The other preconstructed decks surely can and will beat the first quest (the easiest one is probably the Spirit deck), barring extremely unlucky draws from the encounter deck. Non consistently of course - but it's not like they don't have a fighting chance either.

It's always kind of awkward to ask, but are you sure you are playing everything correctly? You say that you are a seasoned player and that with this game can actally works against you - I know just coming out from Magic I had some troubles adjusting with the correct timing in the various steps of LOTR in the beginning for example...

Why don't you write a session report so you can get some feedback?
 
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simon cogan
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Actually I beat the first quest today - much jubilation from the gaming attic!

The Spirit deck is by far the best with Eowyn's amazing ability and Dunhere being able to attack the staging area with gay abandon.

Keep your threat low is the best advice for anyone!

looking forward to trying with the Lore deck next
 
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