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Two simple difficulty variants (ignore "unless" on Mythos cards & Final Battle Elder Sign adjustment)


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#1 Grudunza

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:36 PM

On Mythos cards, ignore anything from the word "unless" onward.

At the start of the Final Battle, move the clock one time (3 hours) for each Elder Sign that you were short.
Or, for an even harder version:  At the start of the Final Battle, the GOO gets one Attack for each Elder Sign you're short.
 

Here are the notes about these variants, copied from BGG...

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I've been thinking about my dissatisfaction with the difficulty of ES, and how the app is definitely harder (I've only lost 3 times in about 15 games, but many of the wins were very close, as compared to the dice game usually being a cakewalk.) The steadier stream of doom tokens in the app is probably the biggest factor, so for my next few plays of the dice game I'm going to try a simple adjustment...

On Mythos cards, ignore anything from the word "unless" onward.

So, for example, "Add a Doom token to the Doom track unless at least 1 investigator has a Spell." would become "Add a Doom token to the Doom track."

I believe this is the single biggest reason that doom tokens are not enough of a threat in the dice game, and why the dice game is such a cakewalk most of the time. In my experience, those "unless" conditions are almost always met and therefore no doom token is added. The only one that is not as likely to be fulfilled is the one for the Ally, but even then you might get lucky and have one when that card is drawn. Now, by comparison, I don't mind the "either" Mythos cards, because those have some teeth. (e.g., "Either add 1 Doom token to the Doom track or 1 investigator with 4 or more Sanity must lose 3 Sanity.") And the cards where a doom token is not added usually have a good balance for their lingering effect (e.g., 2 monsters are added, a green die is captured, Sanity/Stamina damage is increased by 1, etc.). So I'm okay with all of those Mythos cards, but I think if we just ignored the "unless" effects, that would increase the doom threat and the difficulty of the game quite a bit. It's possible that with that simple change, everything else in the game might even be just fine as it is, without need for other difficulty tweaks. Well, that's the hope, anyway, for the sake of keeping any changes simple, but I'll have to test it out a few times and see how it goes.

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I just played my first game against the new Daoloth GOO from Arkham Nights. Man, that sucker is hard! There were monsters flowing and devourings left and right. I was also using my new Mythos card variant, where you ignore anything where it says "unless," and that added two Doom tokens that otherwise wouldn't have been added. So it's hard to say that Daoloth would have had quite the same strength on his own, without that Mythos card variant, but as it was, the Doom track filled up when I had gained only 9 out of 13 Elder Signs, and I was happy that for only the 3rd or 4th time in about 25 games, a final battle was triggered.

But then... I easily won the Final Battle.  So the whole challenge of the GOO to begin with was kind of wasted. It's just too easy when there's only an Attack for the GOO every 4 rounds. That may not have been the original intention and may be yet another example of the screwy rules issues this game has had, but nonetheless, going by the rules, that's how it's supposed to be. So I came up with a variant that I think might work well, and is a good representation of a penalty for the players, depending how well they did up to that point...

At the start of the Final Battle, move the clock one time (3 hours) for each Elder Sign that you were short.

In the case of my game, it would have moved 4 times and reached midnight... one green die would have been locked, and I'd have had a much harder time knocking doom tokens off for the win. (As it was, I had knocked off 6-7 before the first midnight struck.)

An even harder version would be:

At the start of the Final Battle, the GOO gets one Attack for each Elder Sign you're short.

In this case, that definitely would have cost me the game, as I never would have won with 4 green dice locked. But I think I'd be okay with that, knowing that it's too bad for me that I didn't get more Elder Signs before it awoke. And for some of the other GOOs, that wouldn't necessarily put you out of the game, though it would hurt you. And from that point on, the Final Battle continues as per the rules, with one Attack every midnight. But the GOO gets a little head start which varies depending on how close you came to defeating it.



#2 SexyMike44

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 05:44 AM

I like the ignore the "unless" part on mythos cards, i agree that sometimes the doom track just doesn't get filled fast enough to be a big challenge.  but sometimes it does.  so i don't like your GOO rules.  I just don't like the idea that the boss can get loads of attacks and possibly win before the investigators even have a chance to go. 

I kinda like how arkham horror does it in that the investigators each get an attack then the boss goes.  But I can't think of a way to incorporate it into ES that is balanced with the game.

On a side note though, Maybe limit investigator rolls on the GOO fights if you want it to be more challenging.  I.E. investigators just get one roll of the dice per turn.  Or investigators loose a die each roll even if they had a successful attack.



#3 SexyMike44

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 05:50 AM

and an idea for expansions. Doom track on more adventure cards.  Because let me tell you, I have played some games where the doom track fills up fast with people failing at some of the harder adventures (bad rolls happen).  And sometimes it fills up from them winning too. Maybe even an adventure card with a doom track terror effect (probably not too many of these though because that could be rough).






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