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Subject: Cooperative (or Solo) variant with a new event deck rss

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Niels Taatgen
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World of Warcraft - Cooperative or Solo variant (1-3 players)

In this variant only one faction is played, either the Horde or the Alliance. Start the turn marker at either 1 (Horde) or 2 (Alliance), and move it two steps at a time. Add items to the store and draw merchant items as normal.
If the players haven’t defeated the overlord when the turn marker reaches 30, they lose the game. All other rules are the same.
For this variant, a special Event deck is used. In this event deck, certain existing events are replaced by new events. Ideally, a new deck should be constructed (maybe I will do that sometime), but alternatively the alternative text for a card can be looked up from the list. Sometimes this requires a die roll to determine which particular instance it is. When one card has been used, make sure to use another text the second time.
For example, if a Beasts of Lordaeron card is turned up, rol a die. If it is a 5, use the text under “Beasts of Lordaeron” after (5-6): “Put two blue Murlocs...”

One advantage of this variant is that it plays about twice as fast as the full game.


Beasts of Lordaeron
(1-2) Put a blue gnoll in Aerie Peak and one in the Bulwark and move all independent creatures in Hillsbrad and the Tirisfal glades one step towards the nearest character. Independent creatures can never end up in the Southshore or in Brill. If there are multiple choices of steps, the players may decide.
(3-4) Put a blue spider in Marris stead and one in Plaguemist ravine and move all independent creatures in the Silverpine forest and in the Western Plaguelands one step towards the nearest character. If there are multiple choices of steps, the players may decide.
(5-6) Put two blue Murlocs in Shining Strand and move all independent creatures in the Eastern Plaguelands and in the Hinterlands one step towards the nearest character. If there are multiple choices of steps, the players may decide.
(7-8) Put one blue Wildkin in the Uplands and one blue Worgen in the Sepulcher and move all independent creatures in the Alterac mountains one step towards the nearest character. If there are multiple choices of steps, the players may decide.

Wars
When a war is drawn from the event deck, put an independent creature in each of the two areas. The reward can only be claimed if the independent creatures are defeated ot have moved out of the area:
Andorhal War: Naga's, reward: 5 gold and 3 exp each
Hinterlands War: Worgen, reward: 5 gold and 4 exp each
Domination War: Scarlet Crusaders, reward: 5 gold and 3 exp each
Silverpine War: Two murlocs each , reward: 5 gold and 3 exp each
Two Towers War: Two Gnolls each, reward: 5 gold and 3 exp each

Auctions
Each player selects a secret bet for the card. After revealing the bets, roll three dice. Each of the dice is an additional opposing bet. If one of the dice is higher or equal to the highest player's bet, the auction is lost. Otherwise, the player with the highest bet gains the item.

Subterfuge
Draw a quest card from the opposing faction's decks in a color of your choice (except for gray). This becomes and extra available quest that will yield one less XP when completed. When this quest is completed, no new card is drawn.

Old Hatreds
If you draw an apprentice card when there already is an apprentice card in play, discard it (also ignoring the fate number) and draw a new card.
(1-3) Dragon apprentice
Place a green drake in Quel’Danil Lodge. If the drake is defeated, the characters earn 10 gold and 6 XP. If it is not defeated at the time the characters challenge the overlord, they have to fight the drake together with the overlord. In that fight the drake will have a threat of 7, but does not use his special power (the special powers of the overlord apply).

(4-6) Doom guard apprentice
Place a green doom guard in Tyr’s hand. If the guard is defeated, the characters earn 10 gold and 7 XP. If it is not defeated at the time the characters challenge the overlord, they have to fight the guard together with the overlord. In that fight the doom guard will not use his special power (the special powers of the overlord apply).

(7-8) Ogre apprentice
Place a red Ogre in the Ruins of Andorhal. If the Ogre is defeated, the characters earn 7 gold and 5 XP. If it is not defeated at the time the characters challenge the overlord, they have to fight the ogre together with the overlord. In that fight the ogre will have a threat of 7, but does not use his special power (the special powers of the overlord apply).

Bounty
(1-3) Goblin bounty: A goblin merchant offers a 3XP 5 coins and /2\ treasure reward for three independent Murlocs. Put an independent Murloc in Fenris isle. Put any defeated independent Murlocs on this card until there are three. The rewards go to the character(s) that defeat the last Murloc.

(4-6) Wizard bounty: A wizard offers 5XP, 8 coins and [2] treasure for two independent spiders. Put an independent spider on Gahrron’s Withering. Put any defeated independent spider on this card until there are two. The rewards go to the character(s) that defeat the last spider.

(7-8) Dragon bounty: A dragon offers 5XP, 3 coins and [2] (1) treasure for two independent wildkins. Put an independent wildkin in Darrowshire. Put any defeated independent wildkin on this card. The rewards go to the character(s) that defeat the last wildkin

Thanks to David desJardins, Luca Iennaco, Brian Jones and Judd Jensen for their input.
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Marc Knopfler
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Nice.... really. Good idea. Though normally I play with more than 3 players. But for 1-3... perfect. I like the bounty aspect.... maybe I will insert this rule into the normal game.
 
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David desJardins
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I don't think the "Sudden treasure dispute" really works. If the players are working together to win (and why not?), then they will just arrange a situation where one player loses as little as possible from being defeated (e.g., he's already heavily wounded), and does as little damage to the other as possible (i.e., he doesn't use any of his items or skills to fight back).

The rest of this all seems plausible. The "Wizard bounty" is inconsistent about whether the goal is 2 or 3 spiders.
 
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Niels Taatgen
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I don't think the "Sudden treasure dispute" really works. If the players are working together to win (and why not?), then they will just arrange a situation where one player loses as little as possible from being defeated (e.g., he's already heavily wounded), and does as little damage to the other as possible (i.e., he doesn't use any of his items or skills to fight back).

The sudden treasure dispute is indeed one of the cards I am not too sure of yet. I wanted some cards that trigger PvP, but the rewards for this one may be a bit too good. I have playtested this series of rules once, but unfortunately neither dispute card came up.
Quote:

The rest of this all seems plausible. The "Wizard bounty" is inconsistent about whether the goal is 2 or 3 spiders.

It must be two spiders. I guess I was a bit too lazy with the copy/paste
 
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David desJardins
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niels wrote:
The sudden treasure dispute is indeed one of the cards I am not too sure of yet. I wanted some cards that trigger PvP, but the rewards for this one may be a bit too good. I have playtested this series of rules once, but unfortunately neither dispute card came up.


Perhaps it should only trigger if two characters are in the same space at the time it is drawn. That would make it less subject to manipulation (and the characters couldn't realistically avoid ever being subject to it, because to team up for quests they will have to be together sometimes).

But you would still have the problem of one of the two characters "throwing" the contest, and deliberately not doing any damage to the other, just to help their team win. So I'm not sure that the whole idea of PvP in a game where everyone is on one side can really work.
 
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Niels Taatgen
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One reason for is to shorten the game. I am not sure about the PvP yet, but I welcome suggestions for other cards!
 
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David desJardins
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niels wrote:
One reason for is to shorten the game. I am not sure about the PvP yet, but I welcome suggestions for other cards!


For Subterfuge, you could allow the players to draw an extra quest card from the opposite side's deck of their choice (green, yellow, or red), and then have the opportunity to complete it as per the standard Subterfuge rules.
 
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Luca Iennaco
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I like the idea.
At the moment, other than inventing something else for the "Subterfuge", I'll simply keep the auction as an auction: you bet (each character on his own or they can agree to have only one of them betting) and then three "foreign competitors" bet 1d8 coins each (roll separately for each of them). Best bet wins (and pays!); ties between characters and "foreign competitors" are automatically won by the character (the average result for "the best of 3d8" is about 6,4... so the total effect is still very similar, on average, to your "fixed price of 6", but adds a bit more uncertainty as in the original auction).
 
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Niels Taatgen
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Those are both good suggestions (for the subterfuge and the auction, because I wasn't particularly satisfied with either. I will update the original posting with these ideas. Thanks!
 
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T France
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Just wondering if people have been trying this variant, and the level of its success compared to the team v. team "real" version...
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Luca Iennaco
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Titeman wrote:
Just wondering if people have been trying this variant, and the level of its success compared to the team v. team "real" version...


It works, but it's a bit easy once you know the game (it is nice to learn HOW to play, however). To keep it "hard enough" I've modified it (mixing it with the ideas presented in another thread here on BGG and with my own).
Of course the "team VS team" works better: the game is designed for that! But with a bit of work it CAN be modified to create a "cooperative" game for 1, 2 or 3 players (what YOU prefer after that, it's up to your tastes ).
Have fun! meeple
 
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Niels Taatgen
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I played it twice now myself, and we won once and lost once. I guess that if you indeed now all the tweaks in the game it might get too easy. That is why it is a race game in the first place! But with two players with two characters each you have to do a lot of bookkeeping, so I like the cooperative variant for that.
I did post cards I concocted with photoshop in the picture section, I will link them to this thread as soon as they are up.
 
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Brian Jones
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niels wrote:
I played it twice now myself, and we won once and lost once. I guess that if you indeed now all the tweaks in the game it might get too easy. That is why it is a race game in the first place! But with two players with two characters each you have to do a lot of bookkeeping, so I like the cooperative variant for that.
I did post cards I concocted with photoshop in the picture section, I will link them to this thread as soon as they are up.


Niels, and anyone else who worked on this, thanks for posting it. I've played three solo games now (I'm only 1-2!) and have enjoyed each one. Each game I played with a different Overlord, and have a few suggestions. With the random nature of the event deck, of course, things can be either too easy or almost impossible. In all three of my games I managed to draw at least 1 "Old Hatreds" card, and in two of the games I drew 2! Guess which ones I lost I know that this should not happen often, but my suggestion would be to increase the EXP and Gold reward for the Dragon apprentice and Doom Guard apprentice. The risk/reward for these does not seem to be in balance. Another option would be that instead of having to fight the apprentice along with the overlord (has anyone actually won when having to do this?), they would add 4-8 points to the Overlord's attack value only. A late game draw of an Old Hatreds card can make it virtually impossible to win, especially if fighting Kazzak or Kel'Thuzad.

The only other change I might make would be to alter the drop for Beasts of Lordaeron (3-4). Two blue Wraiths is really nasty (I think they are some of the toughest creatures in the game, threat 7 and curse). Maybe only 1 Wraith, or possibly keep the two drops but make it Ghoul or Naga?

Ok, that's all the criticism for today, but thanks again for the great variant. I think FFG should look at this for an official variant. I might even enjoy the game more 1-2 players, if only for time reasons. I am surely getting more plays out of the game.
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Judd Jensen
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I love the solo rules although I have to agree that the Old Hatred Cards might need a slight change so that they aren't game breaking if they come out late. Maybe they should just provide the Overload +2 attack and health for each one that is not resolved. This would still maker the Overlord more difficult without making him impossible to defeat.

Everything else looks really well done and I think they will definitely help me get more use out of my game.

Thanks!!

Judd
 
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Niels Taatgen
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Ok, the cards I made are up in the pictures section, here are the references. Thanks for the feedback: I can image Old Hatreds might be too hard if you have two of them out. One option is to add the rule that you can only have one out at a time, and that if you draw another it is ignored.
There are a few minor changes in these cards: I notice I put out blue spiders too often (there aren't that many in the box), and I increased some of the XP values slightly.


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Brian Jones
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Thanks for your work Niels, I like the changes. Will you also update the pdf in the file section for the co-op/solo variant? I most likely will continue to use a sheet for alternate rules for the cards. I think the biggest + for your variant is that it is very simple to use, with only two sheets of rules. I personally do not see any need to print out new cards, but thanks for posting them. I like the changes in blue creature spawns, and agree that if only 1 Old Hatred mini-boss is allowed per game the late game spawn will not be as much of a problem. What do you think of a 6XP reward for the Drake and 7XP for the Doom Guard? Thanks again, I will be playing many more solo games!
 
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Niels Taatgen
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Ok, I updated the variant above to reflect your suggestions, thanks for them! Eventually I will submit and update the pdf-file and the image files, but I will wait until I think I have reached the final version.
 
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Gael
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Well played Niels!

To me I really like this cooperative (even solo) variant and a special thanks to this new deck you made. I printed them and I slipped them into deck protector (with the "old" ones too), and here we go with my new coop'deck!
I gave up just the Subterfuge New Horizon and a few craft somehing(I don't have it here) cards.

While waiting for a "better" PVP mode (Shorter and more usefull) we'll play this variant; Even at 4 player (with the Overlors for 6 characters of course)
Note that I understand the mean of the rare PVP (to slow down your oponent because it is a race game (killing the Overlord) or lasting the game to a final PVP (wich you obviously have already won if you did manage to slow down the other team by killing them) but it lasting to long for us.

Gael.
 
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Luca Iennaco
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A side note: the game was quickly becoming too easy for us. That's because the original game was intended as a race with the other team; if you must beat only the clock (30 turns), once you know how to play you can lose only because of extremely bad luck.

One easy system to add a bit of difficulty (for us, at least) was to draw the Quests for the other faction (to spawn the creatures). Whenever your faction completes a Quest, discard the oldest Quest of the other faction as well and draw a new one (of the same colour you choose for your own new Quest). Note that you could complete those Quests thanks to a "Subterfuge" Event card (that now can be used in its original form).
We've tried it and it works fine for us.

Antoher option is to play with all the Overlords: you win defeating any two of them (all three seems rather difficult, but if want to try...). As a reward for defeating an Overlord you get all your Wounds and Energy restored (you may wish to add money and/or XPs, but I don't think it is necessary). Alternatively (or in combination, if you dare!), if you're only 2 characters, use the Overlord for 6-players.
We have NOT tried it yet, so it could need tweaking...

Have fun!
 
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Niels Taatgen
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Luke the Flaming wrote:
A side note: the game was quickly becoming too easy for us. That's because the original game was intended as a race with the other team; if you must beat only the clock (30 turns), once you know how to play you can lose only because of extremely bad luck.


That is always the danger of cooperative games: once you master the game the challenge is unsufficient. We still have a hard time beating the Overlord, so I am still pretty satisfied with the level of difficulty for now. Your suggestion of placing the encounters for the other faction is one that we also tried initially. In principle you only have to place the independent creatures (apart from subterfuge). The reason we dropped it is that it adds to the bookkeeping in the game which is already on the heavy side: each time you draw a quest you also have to draw another quest and place that one too. Therefore I opted to have new Event cards that place independent creatures.

I think you best bet to make the game more challenging is to increase the overlord's power. The game is designed so that level 4 characters are likely to beat him. If you would increase his power to a level where level4's have to be really lucky, and that you need two five level characters (or five level characters with really good stuff) instead, the game would already be more of a challenge. Assuming that there is a linear relationship between level and power (which might be completely untrue!), one would have to multiply the damage and health of the overlord by (5/4) or 1.25 to achieve this.
 
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Brian Jones
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niels wrote:

I think you best bet to make the game more challenging is to increase the overlord's power. The game is designed so that level 4 characters are likely to beat him.


Well said, Niels. I'm finding the Overlord's to be a bit easy when playing 2 characters as well. I have not tried co-op with 3. Even in the 2 faction game it seems the Overlords need more bite. Changing the Overlord stats is certainly the least intrusive measure on the game, and most likely the most simple method of increasing difficulty. Have you fiddled with the stats, and if so what are your new settings for the Overlords? I have not played in a few weeks now, so I will post again after tweaking. I suppose it is possible to just build a couple level 4 characters and go straight to the end game to test it. My only concern is with Kazzak, as his difficulty is increased/decreased based on luck. If the players "find" him late, or he is surrounded by blue creatures, his difficulty increases greatly.
 
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Niels Taatgen
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bclayj wrote:


Well said, Niels. I'm finding the Overlord's to be a bit easy when playing 2 characters as well. I have not tried co-op with 3. Even in the 2 faction game it seems the Overlords need more bite. Changing the Overlord stats is certainly the least intrusive measure on the game, and most likely the most simple method of increasing difficulty. Have you fiddled with the stats, and if so what are your new settings for the Overlords? I have not played in a few weeks now, so I will post again after tweaking. I suppose it is possible to just build a couple level 4 characters and go straight to the end game to test it. My only concern is with Kazzak, as his difficulty is increased/decreased based on luck. If the players "find" him late, or he is surrounded by blue creatures, his difficulty increases greatly.


I haven't tried it yet, but according to the formula I proposed above the stats would be: (assuming the 4 player version)

Lord Kazzak: Attack 20 & Health 28
Nefarion: Attack 15 & Health 33
I don't have Kel'Thuzad stats at hand, but just multiple Attack & Health by 1.25 (rounding up ).
 
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Raistlin
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I've played this variant all the summer and it works quite well. Very good idea.
 
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Leone Fenzi
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Quote:

If the players haven’t defeated the overlord when the turn marker reaches 30

Being said that I played a couple of times this solo-variant, and that I liked it quite a lot (congrats ), there should be (imho, at least) a "variant inside the variant" since the new TBC Bosses (Illidan especially, but not only him...) could make the "30-turns" limit a bit too hard to live with, both to reach lvl 6 AND to get some decent gear before venturing inside the Last Dungeon...
Ideas? 36 (i.e. 18)? 38 (i.e. 19)? ...

L.
 
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I know this is a very old thread but i wanted to thank for the variations and make some further suggestions, all of which increase difficulty in a pretty natural way, in line with the official rules, and compatible with this variant:

At the start of the game, i also set up one quest card from each of the opposing factions quest decks. I spawned the blue beasts from all, and RED versions of the quest creature for two quests (those which were not the highest nor the lowest of the four cards). I did this because, in an official version of the game, there would be more independent creatures to deal with on the board. If one of the independent creatures from an opposing horde is slain, a card of the same colour replaces it to spawn a replacement blue creature.

You would also have two other spaces where "proxy players" would be. I represent these with the red characters from the opposing faction quests and put faction tokens under them. They are generally a weakish red and a strong red. Their position is static, but i treat them as blue creatures in that if you wish to pass them or attack another beast in that space you must deal with this "proxy" player first. I know they are not moving around but it still helps to clog up the board with troublesome non-quest enemies (increasing difficulty). For defeating these, you gain only the items on the quest card (no XP) to mimic PvP more closely.

When i draw a PvP focused event/destiny, i first determine whether it can be mimiced more closely by moving these proxies around, or i consider using the suggestion in your file, or i simply discard and redraw (playing with SoW expansion makes this quite an easy thing to do). When slaying these proxies i replace with a new opposing faction quest card of the same colour, spawning both the quest as red and the blue as standard.

These extra enemies really clog up the board. in the last game i played my shaman was trapped in the north west corner between some blue doom guards/rock monsters; they wouldn't have the been there without the additional spawns. I had to send the warrior over to slay one whilst the shaman rested, which wasted a couple of turns.

I also do a rather convulted process for the auctions:

Decide how much to bid. Roll a number of dice equal to the bidding character's level, and add up all values. If your bid is higher you win. If you have different character levels take the higher. This makes the auctions harder as the game goes on, and you really have to consider whether you want to bid say 10 or 20, rather than no more than 8. Paying 6 gold when you have over 30 seems a bit too easy to me.

Regards TBC, i do not own it, but if i did, i would probably roll two dice at the outset and add these values to determine the number of additional turns on top of the standard 30. I have got characters to level 5 after 20 turns before, so i would not see getting to six as impossible by c.40. I barely have the time/space for the base game but would love to try TBC one day when i do.
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