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About starhawk77

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    , Oregon, United States
  1. For anyone interested, I will be at Rainy Day Games in Aloha for their LCG Night next Thursday (5/22). I will bring my LotR stuff if any of you can make it and want to play. After that, I'll show up every other Thursday for the rest of the summer. Swing on by if you'd like to run through a few quests. http://rainy-day-games.com/
  2. If it helps you enjoy the scenario more, then it's fine. I tend to think a better solution is to include Shadow of the Past in your player deck, since that will allow you to retrieve key encounter cards (including Gollum in TDM, should he be discarded as a shadow card) without breaking the rules. SotP is a criminally underutilized card that makes quests like AJtR, TDM, and TRG considerably less luck-dependent. Even if you aren't playing one of those quests, you can use it to recycle benign encounter cards. Ultimately, though, it's your game experience. If you enjoy your variant and don't mind bending the rules, then go for it. But give SotP a try.
  3. Rapier said: Honestly I don't see the point. What I mean is - this isn't FFG adding anything, all they're saying is take out the hardest cards and start with a resource. This isn't exactly an amazing inovation. We already had an easy mode where they suggested playing without shadow cards. If I had suggested starting with bonus resources (as a fan suggestion) people would have been saying it was cheating… I don't get why people are fooled into thinking this is any different. (MInd you, I never objected to peopple taking out cards they didn't enjoy anyway - which is essentially what this change suggests). You're superficially correct, but I think there is a material difference between voluntarily adding/removing encounter cards to adjust difficulty and doing so according to officially sanctioned guidlines published by FFG. You're right that it's not an "amazing innovation," but it is important. Prior to this announcment, altering the encounter deck of one's own accord resided in the same psychologically uncomfortable zone as the classic "let's just ignore that encounter card and reveal another one" play. It was formally cheating. Some players were certainly fine with that, but I know many others didn't want to "cheat" in order to enjoy the game. Now that Easy Mode exists, that self-imposed stigma no longer needs to apply. Players can adjust the difficulty to suit their tastes without feeling as if they are circumventing the official rules. Additionally, the Easy Mode document provides a level of standardization that was previously absent. All of this results in a less challenging game experience but one that retains an important degree of legitimacy. It's one thing to make up your own rules; it's another thing entirely for the publisher to say, "Here's another way to play our game. You can play this way and it's totally fine. You aren't cheating." That means a lot to many players. I say this as a very experienced LotR player who will probably never use the Easy Mode variant: it is a fantastic and necessary addition to the game. It will only help bring jilted players back into the fold by providing them with a new way to play--and, hopefully, succeed--without feeling as though they are breaking the rules. The official blessing from FFG is significant in and of itself.
  4. PadmeSkywalker said: I hope that they will also come out with easy mode versions for the print on demand. Yeah, I thought that was a curious omission from the announcement. Based on the existing breakdown, I'd guess the lists for MaO and Lake-town would look something like this: MaO: 3x Cut Off 2x Wainrider Captain 3x Captured Watchtower 2x Pelennor Fields 1x The Witch-king (just kidding) -- Lake-town: 3x Esgaroth Wharf 1x Great House 1x The Master's Manor 2x Reckless in His Rage 2x Close to the Flame This one is particularly difficult to adjust because so many of the nasty encounter cards are locations that provide crucial victory points. Removing them makes it easier to quest and battle Smaug, but may make it harder to amass the necessary VP level at the end of the game.
  5. I'm calling it right now: the Hobbit/Pipe deck will be the next big thing.
  6. Terrific move. Those who want to take advantage of it will do so, and those who don't need or want to play Easy Mode won't have their gaming experience affected at all. It may bring frustrated players back to the game, which is great for the long-term vitality of LotR. Of course, we've always been able to do this. Some players have been adding and removing select encounter cards to adjust difficulty for quite some time. Still, it's different when FFG officially endorses that model and provides a standardized framework. Allowing players maximum ability to customize their play experience--while still playing by a version of FFG's official rules--is the right thing to do. There's absolutely no downside here.
  7. richsabre said: what i find hard to understand….is how some players can walk some quests that others find impossible. now given the same card pool, can experience really be that big of a game changer? take me for instance…i have the whole card pool and 2 years gaming experience…but this is my first and only lcg game. so are players who player games such as the decipher and mtg really got that big an advantage over me? or am i just really bad? i do not consider my self a weak player. as i say i can walk the quests before HoN so that is why i think my self fairly competant. rich So much of it has to do with deck matchups. Most of the scenarios are like puzzles; they are going to be fairly challenging until you figure out the correct series of operations (i.e. hero lineup, which treacheries you NEED to counter, etc.). The players who waltz through scenarios and the players who struggle with those quests are generally separated by both deck composition and how quickly they've been able to figure out the key elements of the scenario. I don't know that experience has a lot to do with it, apart from the possible advantage of being able to more quickly analyze what kinds of strategies a given scenario requires. I definitely don't think a background in MtG or other similar games really helps you in LotR. Beyond understanding that drawing cards is important and that resource acceleration is a good thing (things most new LotR players realize pretty quickly), it's difficult to apply any lessons from most other card games. LotR is just a completely different animal. I don't think struggling with HoN is indicative of any lack of skill on your part. They're just difficult quests that punish even the most experienced players. They kicked my butt for a while until I figured out that, for instance, OHaUH Gandalf is AMAZING in all three scenarios. Even now, I still get blown out more often than not in Cair Andros.
  8. I think the difficulty in HoN is just about perfect. However, that's just my personal preference, and I fully understand why many players are growing frustrated with the challenge level. I expect we'll see some easier scenarios in the Against the Shadow cycle, so hopefully those will provide a welcome reprieve for those players who fell like HoN is impossible (early word on TSF seems to suggest that it's a notch below HoN). Also, I expect the HoN scenarios will appear considerably less formidable by the conclusion of this AP cycle. Remember when The Massing at Osgiliath seemed like an absurdly difficult quest? It took me FOREVER to beat it with my solo deck; now, I crush that scenario probably 90% of the time. That's partly a result of more playing experience but mostly a product of the expanding player card pool. Just hang in there--these quests will all get easier as time goes on.
  9. Just one for me. No need for additional copies, although I do occassionally miss having a third Test of Will.
  10. GrandSpleen said: Incidentally, the manual says Actions can only be triggered by that card's controller. As nobody controls a location card, it seems like the card text actually can't be triggered. Is anyone aware of some rules clarification that talks about this? I didn't see anything when I looked at the FAQ just now. This was addressed in the KD rules insert (p.1): "An 'Action:' on an encounter card in play may be triggered by any player, following normal restrictions on triggering abilites."
  11. Ellareth said: Hauptmann said: I'm all for difficulty. However, I'm much more for balance and playtesting. I remember remarking to one of the FFG employees at Gencon that the Laketown scenario we were playing was flawed because the Tactics sphere had absolutely no use at all. The employee didn't seem phased and I don't blame him, there are plenty of trolls out there that don't offer much in the way of constructive criticism but I was disappointed that something as major as that slipped right by and into a printed scenario. Going to stick with the game for now but I really don't want to hear, "So, is anybody having fun with this?" asked at the table again. It was very disheartening. I know this is off-topic but I couldn't help but comment on this. I never actually noticed this problem because I treated Tactics like it didin't exist until Heirs of Numenor expansion. But how ironic is it that the sphere that represent Battle-Strength is absolutely useless in slaying the last firebreathing dragon. It's not. You need boatloads of attack to take down Smaug. Tactics is very good at that. I don't understand the assertion that Tactics is useless in Battle for Lake-town. That's simply untrue.
  12. Mattr0polis said: starhawk77 said: Nothing needs to happen. Nothing. At all. Not banning, not errata. Nothing. There is no competitive parity to enforce. If somebody organizes a competitive event, he/she can compile a banned/restricted list or otherwise structure the tournament to eliminate degenerate combos. Apart from that, if you and your friends enjoy using this deck, then more power to you. Have fun with it. If you don't like it, exercise some self control and use something else. I would agree with you, except for FFG must feel otherwise because they have already established precedent that they will fix things like this. Why would they fix one major problem (Zigil Miner) while leaving a worse one? And there IS going to be a events everywhere very soon with the incoming game night events. What you suggest is fine when it's just your friends or people you know, but for people like me that plan to run a lot of these events and hopefully grow a player base, it's a bit harder to tell someone you just met that they definitely can't use their deck or a certain combo even after they drove however far to get here. Especially when there is nothing official to point to. None of the cards in this game should have received errata. That was a philosophical mistake by FFG. If you're worried about certain combos in your tournament, publish a banned/restricted list beforehand. That will give the players plenty of time to plan accordingly.
  13. Nothing needs to happen. Nothing. At all. Not banning, not errata. Nothing. There is no competitive parity to enforce. If somebody organizes a competitive event, he/she can compile a banned/restricted list or otherwise structure the tournament to eliminate degenerate combos. Apart from that, if you and your friends enjoy using this deck, then more power to you. Have fun with it. If you don't like it, exercise some self control and use something else.
  14. FiendishDevil said: Some gripes I have Realistically only going to play 5 of your objectives making that first 4 extremely important and there's no mulligan! Too fiddly with all the chits (mainly bothered by focus tokens) Focus chits and damage chits are the same color (red) and I get confused sometimes knowing what I have ready or not I don't mind the abundance of tokens, but I agree that the damage should have been more visibly distinct from the focus. Blue for focus, red for damage, white for shield (or something like that). I love the mechanic connected to the focus tokens, but I do occassionally mistake them for damage chits.
  15. If you manage to draw two Defense Protocols, you can trigger both of them individually at the start of your draw phase. If you can start the game with both in play, it can be very hard for the LS to establish any sort of foothold. Probably my least favorite objective to play against.
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