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

Subject: 3-4 players with one Core set rss

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Eli Silver
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Am I right in assuming that you could play this game 3 or 4 players with only one core set? Each player would just pick a regular deck of 30, or they could each make their own deck of 30, right?

That brings up another question. Can you make working decks of 30 cards? Do you NEED 30, or is it just what FFG wanted you to do?
 
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Mr. D
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For learning the game on the 1st quest, you can have each player pick a different sphere and 1 Gandalf. It's a good way to have several people learn how to play and it gives everyone a good idea of the strengths/weaknesses of each sphere. (Win the quest, everybody switches decks and do it again.) You can probably win the 2nd quest and maybe even the 3rd this way.

You won't have ANY deckbuilding options though. And the game is balanced in terms of players having 50+ card decks - so the quests will be much easier than intended.
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Mark Judd
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You could technically play with any number of cards - as few or as many as you want. If you play with too few, there wouldn't be much variety in your deck and it would get very boring. Or it would make the game too easy. If you play with too many, you'll have a hard time getting certain cards into play when you want them.

With a single core set, you can play with 3 or 4 players. You would just need a pen and paper to keep track of the threat for the other two players. If each player made their own 30 card deck, I'd suggest they stick with 2-sphere decks - 2 heroes from one sphere and a single hero from another. 3-sphere decks with the limited card pool would really struggle.
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Eli Silver
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Why no deck building? If players combine decks into 30, with (probably) 2 different spheres per deck, wouldn't that work?

I mean, of course it would be tricky, but it could work, right?
 
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Mr. D
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board_game_freak wrote:
Why no deck building? If players combine decks into 30, with (probably) 2 different spheres per deck, wouldn't that work?

I mean, of course it would be tricky, but it could work, right?


Sure, it's possible. The problem with 4-player deckbuilding from 1 core set is going to be resources and card cost.

If you have a 2-sphere deck, it's going to take a minimum of 3 rounds to pay for the 5/6 cost card of the sphere. That's a long time of not playing any other cards. (So you end up not playing that card and it clogs up your deck.)

So now the "deckbuilding" becomes:
- Take all the 3/4 cost and most of the 2-cost of your major sphere.
- Take all the 1-cost and a couple of the 2-cost of your minor sphere.

The advantage to this is to easily teach people about the required resource match. But the only deckbuilding choices are which spheres to combine and how to split the 2-cost cards. Again, fine for learning the game, but once you have, there's not much replayability.

Of course, 2 players playing 50-card 2-sphere decks with 1 core set and no expansions has the same exact issue. But at least the game difficulty will be where the designers intended it. Remember - both more players and smaller decks make most of the quests easier.
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Rob Rob
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I know the fewer cards supposedly the easier but I'm not sure why? Assume a 60 card deck of 3 x each card. Why would it inherently be worse than a 20 card deck of 2 x each?
 
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Chris Corbin
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Robrob wrote:
I know the fewer cards supposedly the easier but I'm not sure why? Assume a 60 card deck of 3 x each card. Why would it inherently be worse than a 20 card deck of 2 x each?


It's all about probability, if you really need Steward of Gondor for example, you are much more likely to get it in a deck of 20, almost 45% chance of drawing it in your opening hand (assuming you have 2 of each card in your deck); that is cut down to about 25% in a deck of 60 cards (with 3 copies of each card).
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Tim Sharpe
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Robrob wrote:
I know the fewer cards supposedly the easier but I'm not sure why? Assume a 60 card deck of 3 x each card. Why would it inherently be worse than a 20 card deck of 2 x each?


Look at it this way. You'll draw about 16 cards in a game (6 upfront plus, say, 10 rounds). Design your perfect tableau of 16 cards and play. You'll draw it and probably win. Every time you add more cards you increase the variation in what you draw and reduce the likelihood you'll get your perfect setup. So it's harder; you'll be dealing with suboptimal cards, and a different set each time.

Of course, that's part of what makes it fun: both coping with that variation, and designing decks which are flexible enough to work well even given that variation.
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