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Power creep and Railroad tracks


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#1 NZEngineer

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:46 PM

Is it just me or is the difficulty of this game ramping up which leads to less and less options of how to build decks?

 

Does the easy mode compensate for this?

 

As for deck builing we have all the expansions bar the recent two (blood of gondor & morgul vale) and two of the base game so it isn't a lack of cards.  We play two player, and sometimes 3.

 

To explain more, my Wife an I don't have lots of time to grind through quests taking 10 times to get a first victory, and like more thematic enjoyable decks.  Something like a 50/50 win ratio would be nice.  And specifically building a deck for a single adventure is anoying, we also like playig through a block with the same decks (maybe with a small sideboard).

 

The main area we can see the issues are is that the treachery cards are getting worse and worse, at the start you could just suck them up, now in the Gondor expansion they are almost all game ending (we just played into Ithilien, which seems particularily bad).  It gets boring having to have every deck being spirit.  3 treachery cancelers in a deck of 50 cards more often than not results in not actually getting one before you have lost or have seriously got into a long grind.

 

 

So any ideas how to make this great game work a bit more thematically?  Other than the easy rules all we could think of is starting with extra cards depending on the difficulty of the quest or perhaps the number of players in the gonder block since more is harder.

 

Thanks for your help in advance.



#2 GrandSpleen

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:51 PM

I think things ramped up continuously up through Heirs of Numenor.  After that, we had some hard quests and some very easy quests in the Against the Shadow cycle.  The Black Riders expansion was pretty moderate difficulty throughout, with A Knife in the Dark probably taking the 'most difficult quest' spot in that expansion.  

 

But definitely quests like Encounter at Amon Din are there to remind us that not every quest is going to be excruciatingly difficult.  Blood of Gondor is a good recent example of a quest that can be challenging -- but also very easy if you build the right deck.  I agree that building for each scenario can get stale, especially if you have limited playtime available, but I guess that is the game that the designers are setting out to make.



#3 Bullroarer Took

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:28 PM

Easy mode - a name I hate - definitely makes it easier for theme decks to be successful.
"I will not be released in the second quarter!" - Nalir the Dwarf

#4 NZEngineer

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:27 PM

Easy mode - a name I hate - definitely makes it easier for theme decks to be successful.

 

What name would you prefer?  Have you actually played in this mode?



#5 Bullroarer Took

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

Yes.

Easy mode - a name I hate - definitely makes it easier for theme decks to be successful.

What name would you prefer?  Have you actually played in this mode?
I prefer "Themed Mode". I've called it that either here or BGG before. And yes, I used to play it and probably will again. When appropriate. It seems like you've misunderstood me. I like easy mode, I just don't use it most of the time.
"I will not be released in the second quarter!" - Nalir the Dwarf

#6 NZEngineer

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 02:54 PM

Themed mode sounds much better.  We can now play without the obligatory spirit cards everywhere.

Tried it a couple of days ago with into Ittilien, and it is now a playable quest and still enough of a challenge which makes it much more enjoyable.



#7 ChaosSixthFleet

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 10:46 PM

It feels impossible to play without spirit sometimes, especially when you run into cards like "discard your hand", like seriously, it isnt fun, its just really really annoying after awhile



#8 rzarectz

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 05:05 PM

and like more thematic enjoyable decks.  Something like a 50/50 win ratio would be nice. 

Sorry but here lies your unrealistic expectation about this game.  You cant expect to build on theme and achieve a 50/50 win ratio in this game.  FFG has to keep this game challenging for the people who build the most competitive decks they can. The good thing is that this game is a co-op so you can adapt the rules however way you like to find that sweet spot.



#9 Bullroarer Took

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 07:31 PM

Would you consider a dwarf deck or an elf deck a themed deck? Those are two of the most powerful decks around. Now if I try to run a Three Hunters deck I can expect to lose big time (adding in eagles helps a lot though).
"I will not be released in the second quarter!" - Nalir the Dwarf

#10 camacazio

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:18 PM

I like easy mode for the super hard quests solo. I ignore the extra resource but it makes threat management far more doable going solo on return to mirkwood, for example.

 

Recently, we went through and didn't get particularly hung up by each quest of the mirkwood cycle (normal, not easy), me with rangers (core aragorn, theodred, bifur) and him with dwarves (only with the two hobbit box and a core cardpool; thorin, bombur, and ori). We put them together to tackle the hobbit boxes, and they did well enough there. These aren't power decks by any means. I think the real thing is that they have always done a wonderful job of making the quests just right for two players, and some just end up being super easy solo and others end up being super hard solo. The difficulty has just ramped up solo, I reckon.


Edited by camacazio, 07 January 2014 - 12:21 PM.


#11 chuckles

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 02:12 PM

I have mostly played solo with one deck and I have found most of the quests in the shadow comparability easier than when I was playing Mirkwood solo. So I'm not sure that this cycle has been a big power creep in terms of the Quests. I think of it more like a bit of a roller coaster with some challenging quests and some very easy ones.

 

"Theme" mode is a cool idea, wish they had it from the get go... oh well.. bought the game initially cos I was bored of easy to win games.


"Do not believe him! He has lost all power, save his voice that can still daunt you and deceive you, if you let it."

 


#12 NZEngineer

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:02 AM

Would you consider a dwarf deck or an elf deck a themed deck? Those are two of the most powerful decks around. Now if I try to run a Three Hunters deck I can expect to lose big time (adding in eagles helps a lot though).

 

We did quite well with our 2 or 3 dwarf decks when we had them made up.  But with only one deck being spirit, there are just not enough treachery canceller.  The only elf deck we have played is Elrond (+vilya), loragorn and spirit glorf.  That was quite strong but had to be put away after to much use.



#13 NZEngineer

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:03 AM

It feels impossible to play without spirit sometimes, especially when you run into cards like "discard your hand", like seriously, it isnt fun, its just really really annoying after awhile

Exactly, and when we can only play 2 games a week that sort of card gets old quick.



#14 NZEngineer

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:05 AM

I like easy mode for the super hard quests solo. I ignore the extra resource but it makes threat management far more doable going solo on return to mirkwood, for example.

We were thinking of ignoring the extra resources as well, as playing that to much will make it problematic to go back to normal mode.



#15 booored

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:17 AM

The problem I see in this game is that there is a real problem with the game not "really" being about questing. What you are "really" doing is revealing locations you need to get past and fighting anything that is at those locations. Basically.. yeah I know. .give me a sec.

 

Anyway, the designers have been trying very hard to put theme back into this game, and while the Saga expansions with all there unique rules are doing very well at giving us a quest feeling, not so with the APs. Yet they are trying and the result of this trying is that the AP quest are becoming very specific, with in some cases some quite game changing rules on the quest cards and new keywords that are unique to the ap cycle.

 

What this is causing is a smaller range of "keys to fit the lock", so to speak. As in the deck need to hit and hit hard on certain  requirements. So the modern decks HAVE to do certain things very well, or you simplyu can not win. In the old original quest even up to Darowdelf, while there were some unique things going on the quest themselves had generic requirements (apart form a few like return to rivendale and that dying eagle.

 

So imo, the game isn't that much harder than it used to be (not if you take the card pool at the time when the old quests came out) but with the increase of powercreep to allow the encounter deck to deal with out of control player decks AND the encounter decks now requiring more and more specific functions in any deck that attempts it is what is leading to the standardization of deck build.


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#16 NZEngineer

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:32 AM

The problem I see in this game is that there is a real problem with the game not "really" being about questing. What you are "really" doing is revealing locations you need to get past and fighting anything that is at those locations. Basically.. yeah I know. .give me a sec.

 

Anyway, the designers have been trying very hard to put theme back into this game, and while the Saga expansions with all there unique rules are doing very well at giving us a quest feeling, not so with the APs. Yet they are trying and the result of this trying is that the AP quest are becoming very specific, with in some cases some quite game changing rules on the quest cards and new keywords that are unique to the ap cycle.

 

What this is causing is a smaller range of "keys to fit the lock", so to speak. As in the deck need to hit and hit hard on certain  requirements. So the modern decks HAVE to do certain things very well, or you simplyu can not win. In the old original quest even up to Darowdelf, while there were some unique things going on the quest themselves had generic requirements (apart form a few like return to rivendale and that dying eagle.

 

So imo, the game isn't that much harder than it used to be (not if you take the card pool at the time when the old quests came out) but with the increase of powercreep to allow the encounter deck to deal with out of control player decks AND the encounter decks now requiring more and more specific functions in any deck that attempts it is what is leading to the standardization of deck build.

 

 

That sounds about right, which is good for game development.  But when we are time constrained making specific decks all the time gets difficult.  Maybe I need a few types of specific decks, one with good fighting mulit enemy fighitng, one with good big enemy fighting (balrog, smaug, trolls etc), one with good will power etc






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