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Subject: Hard Mode 1 rss

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Jeremy Anderson
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Shuffle 2 monster decks together.
Shuffle all 6 Shadowrifts in, regardless of whether there are 6 players. All 6 must be sealed to win the game.
For purposes of knocking down walls and granting bonus points to the monsters, the monsters' heroism values are unchanged. For purposes of handing out Heroism, though, they're reduced by 1.
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Robert Hill
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Thanks for the variant!!!
While I do love the game I do think it is to easy to win.
I want my co-op games to be VERY hard.
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Scott Burns
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I've probably played 30 times now. I've lost 4 of my last 5. In the last game I played, we were facing the Demons. The top two cards of the traveler deck were Cultists. We fought valiantly, but lost our last villager the turn we were going to seal the last rift. We lost another game when 2 of the 4 rifts came out turn 1.

I'm not getting the "too hard" thing.
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Brian M
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I like Shadowrift - a lot. But it worries me a little to see this variant coming from the designer.

This sounds like a viable variant who people who want an epically long game; I personally think Shadowrift goes just a little long as is, and this variant sounds much longer and, honestly, a little dull to me.

You've got the huge deck to wade through, which is just going to take a much longer time to even get all the Rifts into play.

You can't win via walls, so that removes the "active" path to victory. Instead, you just have to wait for Shadowrifts to come up.

As is, you don't do a ton of deckbuilding, and I don't see you doing much more with this variant, so you're going to spend a lot of the game not having much to do with your resouces. With much less heroism, it will be a lot harder to get walls and travelers, so mostly you'll build up gold and buy off wounds.

Quote:
I want my co-op games to be VERY hard.

Personally, I want my co-op games to be fun most of all. If it gives a good experience, I'm indifferent on the difficulty. And I think there are different kinds of "hard". There's "tough to play well enough to win" and there's "tough to get lucky enough to win". I like the first - not the second.

Some thoughs on making the game harder:

* The really easy way: Add power as though you had more players.

* Aggressive Powers: When a power comes into play, have it advance through the 1-3 stages like a monster. Every time it exits stage 3 it activates then goes back to Start. (It still coutns as being in the monster power area in all ways while going through the stages).

* Ramp up the game: Once half the Shadowrifts are out, add an exta power per turn (on top of what the Shadowrifts are adding).

* Ramp up the monsters: Monsters gain +1 Health for each Shadowrift that has come into play (even if that Rift has been closed!). Or you could do +1 Health once half the Shadowrifts are out.

* If you want an epic long game, how about this: shuffle two monster types and 6 Shadowrifts as described above. Divide the monster deck into 2 even piles. Place a distinctive card (perhaps a spare wound) in between the two piles. Get heroism normally.

You must "Fortify" two towns to win. To "Fortify" a town, you may do one of the following (X= The number of players):

A) Shuffle (X) Shadowrifts back into the deck and remove from player's hands and discard piles a total of (4X) heroism.

B) Remove (2X) Walls from play and the town remove from player's hands and discard piles a total of (4X) heroism.

If you reach the divider card and have not yet fortified the first town, you lose.

This makes for a longer game, and sets you back on heroism so you don't just walk through at the end, but still lets you build up at a normal pace.

Just brainstorming. Love the game. More variants are good, but I wanted to get my 2 cents in that I (and those I play with) would rather not see expansions that force really long drawn out games.
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Jeremy Anderson
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Not to worry, Brian! This is just a mod - not to be taken any more seriously than if any other fan of the game had released it. It doesn't reflect the future of the game, or anything like that; I just tried it out a couple weeks ago and it makes for a long, tough fight to challenge players who've gotten really good at working as a team.
Which was necessary; My gaming group had been playing it every couple weeks for over a year, generally 2-3 times in a row when we played it.
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Christine Biancheria
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What about this:

Each round, add power tokens equal to the number of players plus 1.
Additionally, for each Shadowrift that is sealed, add one more.
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Brian M
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Christine Biancheria wrote:
What about this:

Each round, add power tokens equal to the number of players plus 1.
Additionally, for each Shadowrift that is sealed, add one more.


The one thing I don't like about this approach is that if a Shadowrift is just as bad in the power area or sealed, there's no incentive to get it sealed fast. Usually a Shadowrift produces a "oh hell, need to deal with that!" response which I think is fun.
 
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Brian M
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Quote:
We lost another game when 2 of the 4 rifts came out turn 1.

Oww. That just hurts.

So far we've only lost one game, and that was our first play.
 
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Christine Biancheria
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StormKnight wrote:
Christine Biancheria wrote:
What about this:

Each round, add power tokens equal to the number of players plus 1.
Additionally, for each Shadowrift that is sealed, add one more.


The one thing I don't like about this approach is that if a Shadowrift is just as bad in the power area or sealed, there's no incentive to get it sealed fast. Usually a Shadowrift produces a "oh hell, need to deal with that!" response which I think is fun.


Good point; so maybe add a power for each Shadowrift that is in play (sealed or otherwise).

So:

Each round, add power tokens equal to the number of players plus one.
Additionally, add a power token each round for each Shadowrift that is in play (sealed or not).
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Jeremy Anderson
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If you want the ramp-up variant for a 4-6 player game, how about a game where each Shadowrift provides the monsters with 2 points every turn it's in play, and 1 once it's Sealed?
At that point you may find yourself making the tactical decision to drop an early Shadowrift to the bottom of the monster deck, rather than Sealing it, so you can continue building up Heroism without the monsters going too nuts.
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Christine Biancheria
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karishi wrote:
If you want the ramp-up variant for a 4-6 player game, how about a game where each Shadowrift provides the monsters with 2 points every turn it's in play, and 1 once it's Sealed?
At that point you may find yourself making the tactical decision to drop an early Shadowrift to the bottom of the monster deck, rather than Sealing it, so you can continue building up Heroism without the monsters going too nuts.


What would be bad about that with 2 or 3 players?
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Brian M
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Quote:
At that point you may find yourself making the tactical decision to drop an early Shadowrift to the bottom of the monster deck, rather than Sealing it, so you can continue building up Heroism without the monsters going too nuts.

Hmm. That's a tough trade off. I might just be inclined to usually drop the Shadowrifts - we almost always win with walls anyway.

Quote:
What would be bad about that with 2 or 3 players?

I have no idea how the variant would work out, but each extra point of power is more significant with fewer players. With 2 players, the monsters getting +1 power per turn gives them 150% of their normal power; with 5 players it only gives them 120%.
 
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Christine Biancheria
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It needs the most boost with 2 or 3, I think. I'm going to try out the players plus one, and then plus one for Shadowrift in play and see what happens, with the idea that the Shadowrifts cannot get put under the deck. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Christine Biancheria
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Here's what we're currently trying out, and early testing seems pretty good, but we have only tried it with 2:

Preparation: Shuffle half the Shadowrifts into the the top half of the monster deck and half in the bottom (if it's uneven, put the extra in the bottom).

Adding Power: Each round, add power equal to the number of players +1.

Shadowrifts: Each Shadowrift in the power area adds +1 power until it is sealed. Shadowrift cards may not be removed from the power area by player card effects.


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Richard Ham
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Christine Biancheria wrote:

Shadowrifts: Each Shadowrift in the power area adds +1 power until it is sealed. S

That's the standard rule, is it not?
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Brian M
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rahdo wrote:
Christine Biancheria wrote:

Shadowrifts: Each Shadowrift in the power area adds +1 power until it is sealed. S

That's the standard rule, is it not?

I figured she meant an extra +1 on top of the +1 it normally provides.
 
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Christine Biancheria
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Christine Biancheria wrote:
Here's what we're currently trying out, and early testing seems pretty good, but we have only tried it with 2:

Preparation: Shuffle half the Shadowrifts into the the top half of the monster deck and half in the bottom (if it's uneven, put the extra in the bottom).

Adding Power: Each round, add power equal to the number of players +1.

Shadowrifts: Each Shadowrift in the power area adds +1 power until it is sealed. Shadowrift cards may not be removed from the power area by player card effects.




The problem is that, with more play, when we play 2-player against the Glaciens, we have it pretty rough.

So this is my current thinking:

Preparation: Shuffle half the Shadowrifts (rounding down if necessary) into the monster deck. Then divide the monster deck in half, and shuffle the remaining shadowrifts into what will be the bottom half.

Adding Power: Each round, add power equal to the number of players +1.

UPDATE: Good news. The two of us played the way I described directly above against the Storm Lords, which are tough with 2. We wanted to be sure the variant didn't make things impossible. We played it over and over again, maybe 8 to 10 times, before we finally won. So I feel pretty confident about the variant (a) making it harder, but (b) it can still be beat.

 
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Matthew Dimalanta
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Here is a variant, that my group has played and it is suprisingly pretty hard.

Each player draws 7 cards instead of 5. If it is a two player game, draw 8 instead of 5.
Choose 2 monster factions, each gets a separate stack and separate power pool. Power gained for each faction is equal to the number of players in the game.
In a two player game shuffle 2 shadowrifts in each monster deck. Otherwise split all the shadowrifts between the two monsters decks.
Game can be won by building all walls or sealing all rifts.

With this variant, you would think that with the amount of cards you are drawing that winning via building walls would be easy, but that's generally not the case. Having that any monsters coming at you and Villagers begin dying really quick and so do the walls. Also having 2 separate power pools instead of one big one is actually harder to deal with because the monsters tend to come in bunches rather than a 1 monster per turn scenario you get by shuffling the decks together. It's cleaner as well as you don't end up with powers that make no sense or don't work together.
 
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