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The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: I pose a solo mechanic... rss

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Jeff Hannes
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Unfortunately, it's not as simple as saying you are playing selfishly or selflessly. The "selfish" play is buying a unit that can earn you more glory points when mustered, with the trade-off that you have to add another die to Sauron's pool. The "selfless" aspect of the game comes from the fact that if no one buys extra dice, no new dice get added to Sauron's pool. The real problem here is -- that is boring. You can easily win by never purchasing any dice (other than Bill the Pony) but where's the fun in that? If you're not putting forth Aragorn and Gandalf and Ents and the like, what's the point of even playing a LotR-themed game?

And the problem with your proposed variant is that playing "selfish" isn't necessarily a bad thing... it just means you're making the game harder on yourself, with the trade-off of making the game more interesting. But at the same time, you ARE getting a unit that's better equipped to handle larger threats. The theory probably being that ultimately the two should balance out, but in reality without the glory bonus there's NO good reason to recruit better dice.

This, in my opinion, is the biggest flaw with the base game (rules as written) and the biggest reason you should NOT strive to play a solo variant that preserves the "integrity" of the original game. If you're really interested in giving this game a try, I'd strongly recommended taking a look at my proposed Full Co-Op/Solo rules in another thread. Yes it has several rules adjustments, but it doesn't change the flow of the game at all -- and it's certainly not a "crippled" version. The only really big difference I made was to have Sauron's dice pool grow regardless of whether or not you buy the better units. (The theory being, in a competetive game, SOMEONE is going to be buying units every round, so Sauron's pool will grow anyway.) In this way, you WILL play with all the cool characters and dice, without having to put some arbitrary constraint on whether or not you add dice to your bag.

I will note that in my solo variant you have to play at least two separate dice bags. (I've played it with four as well, and that was actually quite fun, though two is certainly easier to keep track of.) Any solo variant that tries to play with only once dice bag is going to have to REALLY change the rules of the game, since it would all but eliminate the Prepared area. And that would be a shame, since the difference between Mustering and Preparing a die is one of the deviations from Quarriors that I really enjoy in this game.
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