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

Subject: Ideas to make solo a hair easier. rss

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Josh Buchanan
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Can some folks comment on these ideas for making solo play just bit easier.
My goal is to make it slightly easier, not make it easy. At this point I feel like it takes a pefect deck, perfect opening hand, perfect play and good pulls from encounter deck to have a shot.

1. Simply increase all heroes WP by 1 for the whole game. I feel that in solo play you win or lose the game in the first 3 turns. I think this would help.

2. Play four heroes. This may be overpowered. Not sure.

3. No repeat locations. Just discard and not replace any locations already cleared, in staging, or currently active. This makes thematic sense as well.

4. Allow sentinels to block with others.

5. Allow Ranged to attack staged enemies at -1.

I am yet to test any of these so comments would be helpful.
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Josh
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If you want to stick to what the rules suggest, it would be to ignore the use of shadow effects. (p. 27)
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Matthew Roskam
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Play with all the Gandalfs in your deck
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Josh Buchanan
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I thought about that but the problem I tend to run into feels directly related to questing and staging. Things quickly spiral out of control as a solo player. In a two player game, your questing power is basically doubled but the increase in threat is only about 2-3.
 
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Thanee
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What kind of decks do you play?

One thing, that does make the game and deckbuilding easier without changing much, is to build a 30 card deck.

Bye
Thanee
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Josh Buchanan
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Thanee wrote:
What kind of decks do you play?

One thing, that does make the game and deckbuilding easier without changing much, is to build a 30 card deck.

Bye
Thanee


Well part of the problem is that when playing solo Ithink your deck needs to do everything well. I am a MTG vet and in that game jack of all trades usually means jack of all losses. So I admit my decks are not well contstructed. At the same time, I dont have hours at a time to test, tinker, etc. I feel stuck between cheating and losing.
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Thanee
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Why don't you open a thread here (in Strategy) and post one (or more) of your decks to get some critique and hints that are a little more focused?

Bye
Thanee
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Lee Murdock
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You could use a rule similar to the monster limit rule in Arkham Horror. Limit the number of encounter cards in the staging area at any one time to 6, 8 or 10. Whichever still gives you a challenge but doesn't make it impossible. Test it out and adjust as needed.

One possible problem is that you could have the staging area full of locations and be safe from attacks. In this case you may want to have the oldest encounter cards in the staging area go to the discard pile when a new card is added. Ignore the active location when doing this. I'm sure there are more problems with this setup than i can think of now. Give it a shot!
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Eric Sawler
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Are you using just the Core set? Cards from other sets make things a lot easier. I tried soloing with just the core with low success rates. My suggestion on using solely the core would be to choose your starting hand, that way you'll have an optimal start.
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Mark Griffiths
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Something I used to do back in the day was, if I optionally engaged an enemy, I attacked first. I actually started doing this because I misread the rules or something, but it does make it easier (though not easy). Something that has always bugged me about the game is that heroes/allies can only attack or defend, they can't do both, which seems just odd. Declaring guys as "participants" rather than specifically "attackers" or "defenders" could perhaps help?
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John Davis
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The advice I'd give is:

1) Stick to 35 card decks until you are finding the game too easy, then go to 50 card decks.

2) Play two-faction or three-faction decks (if you aren't already).

3) You really do need to be able to quest aggressively if playing solo. Play at least one hero with a high willpower (Eowyn is a good candidate).

One way to tone the quests down a little is to reveal one less card from the encounter deck during setup or on the first turn. This should give you a slightly easier start, which is often the most difficult part of the quest.
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notrub eneg
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"The advice I'd give is:
1) Stick to 35 card decks until you are finding the game too easy, then go to 50 card decks.
2) Play two-faction or three-faction decks (if you aren't already).
3) You really do need to be able to quest aggressively if playing solo. Play at least one hero with a high willpower (Eowyn is a good candidate).
One way to tone the quests down a little is to reveal one less card from the encounter deck during setup or on the first turn. This should give you a slightly easier start, which is often the most difficult part of the quest."

I would second most of John's suggestions. I play strictly solo but with 50 cards. I never play with less than two or more than three factions.

I would argue that my quest ability is middle of the road but I do tend to counter that with control (as much threat reduction as possible), which tends to require spirit as one of the factions. Most often I play spirit, lore with a trace of leadership.

Edit: forgot to add, I don't make any adjustments to the rules, as listed.
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Joel Miller
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My absolute favorite variant is to simply start with an ally in play.
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Rod Aguirre
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Check the Variants section of the Forums. This question has arisen many times and some people have posted very good ideas to deal with it.
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RobaL86
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I balanced my game perfectly by playing without the Shadow Cards. As the rule book states, one can make the game a bit easier by not drawing Shadow cards in the combat phase. I have found that difficulty 5-10 are not that enjoyable for me (playing solo), when the game is over in the first couple of rounds. So this little adjustment did it for me!
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Josh Buchanan
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RobaL86 wrote:
I balanced my game perfectly by playing without the Shadow Cards. As the rule book states, one can make the game a bit easier by not drawing Shadow cards in the combat phase. I have found that difficulty 5-10 are not that enjoyable for me (playing solo), when the game is over in the first couple of rounds. So this little adjustment did it for me!


Ive started using this and it seems to have done the trick. My issue is for the first few turns you have to let some attacks go unblocked and this prevents an insta-kill on turn 1 or 2 on a hero.
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Kasuya Meshima
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Quote:
3. No repeat locations. Just discard and not replace any locations already cleared, in staging, or currently active. This makes thematic sense as well.

4. Allow sentinels to block with others.

5. Allow Ranged to attack staged enemies at -1.


I totally agree with those 3 variants. They just make a LOT of sense to me.

You know, the greatest problem with the solo game is that you might draw too much locations on the staging area, which means a simple "game over", as you may not be able to pass through the crescent threat power of the staging area and, if you can't do that, you cant finish exploring the active location (and by consequence, the quest, so the game stay stuck). That's a kind of "bug" on the game that really doesn't makes sense.

Furthermore, it seems not fair at all having abilities such as "ranged" and "sentinel" being simply useless at a solo game (some allies are more expensive than others equally powerful just because they are "ranged", for example).

I didn't like the other variant rules stated (the 1 and 2 ones). They're more drastic tweaks.

Quote:
have you tried allowing yourself to atack first if you optionally engage an enemy? that makes it a touch easier, and it also fits quite well flavour-wise, because why should the enemy still be allowed to attack first if you chose to engage it?


I like this tweak, it really makes more sense.

I'm gonna try this four tweaks in my next game, and I'll put here my impressions.
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Kasuya Meshima
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So, I tried the tweaks.

I played with core starter tactics deck (Gimli, Thalim and Legolas, as main heroes), and I didn't use the shadow rules (I always forget using it, I don't know why gulp).

The chosen deck was used specifically for trying the most weak questing deck the core set provides (so I could really feel if the "excess of locations" bug is solved or not).

I tried the first quest from the core set.

My impressions are:

- Attacking first (at the optional engaging) makes the game a LOT more easy, because you can avoid almost all the critical problems (ally looses, high damage to heroes from powerful undefended attacks, etc). BUT, I feel I can't value it very well, as I didn't use the shadow rule;

- Also the "attacking first" variant made the quick strike card almost useless;

- You still will need some luck while questing because you still can draw too much locations cards, but, if you are playing with a more questing deck you will make it without problem (come on, the only hero with willpower 2 is Gimli, the others have only 1, while ALL the tactics deck have zero, except for the dwarf who has just 1 and the Gandalf cards you may put);

- Sentinels blocking together made the sentinel allies from the tactics deck very powerful, as you can do up to 3 (undefended) damage for free while defending, so you will prefer defend from high defense enemies than attacking them directly;

- The "ranged" variant rule I didn't had an unique use for that, as the high threat heroes and the very fighting deck both prevented the monsters from staying more than a while in the staging area;

- The last impression: if the tactic starter deck had a lot of action cards too expensive to be using every turn, now they're mostly almost useless, so you still stay with a hand full of cards, but now you don't really want to use them so much.

___________________________________________________________________________

EDIT: I was thinking about it. Maybe attacking first at an optional engaging makes the game too easy.

What about giving +1 attack and +1 defense for the characters while fighting the monster you had optionally engaged (you are prepared for the fighting)?

Maybe ranged characters could exhaust to make a "solo attack" (nobody can help in this attack) before the actual monster attack, so the "ranged" keyword can be very useful, but no too powerful as the "first attack variant rule" presented here (I think this rule do not need replace the "attacking staging enemy" rule, so you would have both options).

What do you think?
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Cordeiro Cordeirooo
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Try starting each hero with an attachment.

You could also make it more loreish by giving Legolas a bow, Gimli and Thalin an axe (Dwarven Axe or Dwarrowdelf Axe). It would make the fighting easier, but you should go for a better built deck than the core pre-built decks.
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Kasuya Meshima
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It's not necessary. The tactic deck is the *fighting* deck. The monsters can be defeated more easily than with the others decks (both Gimli and Legolas are very powerful, and Thalin penalizes every enemy encountered with damage while he's questing).

The problem with this heroes is the questing part, as they have a very low willpower both by themselves and by the tactic starter deck, and their threat cost doesn't help at all.

So I miss the point of giving weapon attachments to them at the game setup.
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Cordeiro Cordeirooo
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Hence why I said to build a deck instead of using the pre-built.

EDIT: Also, I said only attachments, not weapon attachments. They are well versed in fighting, but if you play with that deck alone you're damned to fail. Put in Éowyn, for example, and you already have a nice boost in questing, but you diminish your fighting expertise, so, a Citadel Plate would do wonders during the combat phase to avoid having a Hero killed so early.
Attachments are great!
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Kasuya Meshima
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Look, I guess you didn't understand my point at using the starter tactic deck: it's obviously the worst deck at questing. This unique feature from this deck makes it nearly impossible to win a solo game with it.

So, I tried the tweaks and won the game with this deck without much difficult. That's the point: maybe this first attack variant made the game too much easy, you know... (if it was easy with this deck, imagine with a more efficient deck at questing).

I'll keep testing this tweaks, now with the shadow effects (if my head allows me to remember ¬¬) and with other starters decks.

PS: the point of using the starter decks for this tests is just because they tend to be the less efficient decks you can build. So, if the tweaks change the game so that playing it with starter decks is too easy, then the tweaks fail in their objective (make winning solo games more viable, but still challenging).
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Cordeiro Cordeirooo
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I understand now! Please disregard my previous statements.
I'll try to think of something with those premises in mind and get back to you asap.
 
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Kasuya Meshima
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It's alright. =)

I couldn't test again the tweaks yet, but I will as soon as I can.

I'll post here any ideas.
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