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About tripecac

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    , Otago, New Zealand

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  1. Thanks! I went ahead and used my Dwarf decks to play The Redhorn gate, and managed to win. Tough scenario! The third stage caught me by surprise, and killed Dain! I still managed to win, but it was a struggle. I wonder how a secrecy deck would deal with that third stage. The key would be high-willpower allies, right? How many allies are 2 willpower or more, though?
  2. Okay, so to save some headache, should I skip the new Secrecy (and Hobbit) cards for now, and come back to them in a later cycle (or perhaps the last quest of Dwarrowdelf)? Do the Dwarrowdelf packs add other [good] non-Secrecy themed cards, or is Secrecy the main focus of this cycle?
  3. I'm going progression style, and today opened Redhorn Gate. It introduces the Secrecy mechanic. Whenever I open a new pack, I put at least one copy of each new card in one of my decks (I play 2 handed). That way, I force myself to learn the new cards instead of sticking with my old favorites. If I then lose the quest, I am free to go back to using whatever cards I want. I recently finished the 3 Khazad Dum quests with 2 Dwarf-themed decks. All 6 heroes were Dwarves, and almost all of the allies (I couldn't resist Gandalf and a Northern Tracker or two). I wanted to start the Dwarrowdelf cycle with similarly Dwarf-centric decks, but now Redhorn Gate adds Secrecy cards, and at least one Hobbit-specific card. So, in order to use the new cards, I had to add at least one Hobbit, and then I realized that my Dwarves' starting threats were too high, so I started trying to find ways to reduce them, and then started looking at Denethor as a way to take advantage of one of the Secrecy cards, and then started thinking about 2 hero decks and by then was utterly overwhelmed by the number of changes I would need to make, so I stopped trying to deck build and started reading articles about Secrecy. The problem is, most of the prominent Secrecy articles were written long after the Dwarrowdelf cycle. They, in fact, often state that Secrecy wasn't really viable "in the beginning" and only recently started becoming worthwhile, thanks to the increased card pool. So I am wondering: Should I try Secrecy now, "progression style" (which means limiting the cards to Dwarrowdelf and earlier), or should I save my attempts at Secrecy for a later cycle? If so, at what point does Secrecy become worth trying out? NOTE: I'm not really into deck building (yet), but I don't want to copy other people's decks, so I'm not looking for specific card or deck advice. I'm just wondering if running a Secrecy deck (or two) with Dwarrowdelf-era cards would be fun... or frustrating. Thanks!
  4. I played again a few hours later, and managed to get Unexpected Courage on Dain (who had Abandoned Tools). This time I won, and overall it felt pretty easy, even after losing 2 heroes on the way (I was playing 2-handed). Songs are awesome, especially when used with Steward of Gondor and Horn of Gondor. Those 2 heroes were not actually missed, especially since by then I had lots of allies out. Anyway, something I thought about before I played that second game: 1) Playing 2-handed seems to lengthen the game, which makes losing more painful. 2) Using ringsdb to deck build, and then exporting to OCTGN means each deck build has quite a bit of "overhead", which makes losing more painful. Is that what you guys have noticed too? Do you also feel that playing 2-handed via OCTGN makes losing more "painful" than playing 1-handed and/or with physical cards? What do you do to make losing less painful? Is this where Easy Mode comes into play?
  5. I was doing pretty well. I had the abandoned tools and was chipping away at the exit. But then I drew New Devilry, so I had to switch to another quest card. I found the exit again, and was chipping away (starting with 0 progress) and had 3 on it and then again, New Devilry came and threw that out the window. A third time I found the exit, and was progressing nicely, but then again, you guessed it, New Devilry. This time I found the a quest card that let me choose to either discard a card each (and eliminate the player if the card is a treachery) or pick another quest card. I was very tired by this point, so I chose the riskier option. I discarded the first card and it was an enemy (good). For the 2nd player it was a treachery, so bye bye 2nd player. And then, thanks to some lousy shadow cards, my other player lost 2 heroes by the end of the turn. So, it all came crumbling down. What an aggravating quest! I think what really bothers me is not knowing how much time it will take to finish. I was expecting an hour, but New Devilry kept prolonging the game, until I passed the 2 hour mark. By then I was really, really tired of the scenario, so I stopped playing safe and took a risk that lost me the game. Has anyone else found this scenario frustrating and exhausting? Are there other scenarios like this in later cycles, where the game seems to be "toying with us" until we finally quit (or self-destruct) from exhaustion?
  6. Yeah, I'd rather see the loss coming. But I guess that's the point of a Sudden Pitfall; you don't see it coming. On the other hand, how thematic is a Sudden Pitfall in Middle-Earth? I can see it happening in the Game of Thrones universe (where sudden character deaths are common), but in Tolkien's stories, deaths were usually foreshadowed, protracted, and/or deserved.
  7. I played Into the Pit last weekend. Dain was my superstar, laden with resources and attachments, including Unexpected Courage, and leading a whole host of Dwarves. I was kicking butt, and almost to the last quest stage. I had to defend against an orc. I could've used a weakened ally to defend, but the orc would've killed him. So I defended with Dain, since he could easily handle an attack, and didn't have anything else to do. So you can guess what happened. The shadow card was Sudden Pitfall. And I didn't have any counter to it. Yikes. I'd only gotten to Khazad Dum once before, a few years ago, so I had forgotten about Sudden Pitfall... Grrr... So you know what? Instead of discarding Dain, which would almost certainly cause me to lose the game, I decided to go back in time and block with the chump. In the end, I "won" the quest, but it felt like a hollow victory, because I effectively cheated by saving Dain from Sudden Pitfall. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like it was the game which was cheating, not me. Sudden Pitfall is a mean "gotcha" card, and the first time you encounter it, there is a good chance that you will end up losing, tweaking your deck to counter that one card, and then restarting the scenario. Where's the fun in that??? And how is it thematic, exactly? What are some examples of insta-death in Tolkien's stories, where a perfectly healthy and uncorrupted hero is suddenly killed, with no chance to at least go down fighting (like Boromir)? Personally, I don't like insta-perma-death puzzles in video games, and I don't enjoy them in card or board games either. One unlucky move/draw/roll and you are dead, and have to start all over again. It just seems like a waste of time. At least in modern video games, there's checkpointing, so if your hand slips and you fall off a cliff, at least you only have to repeat the last few seconds or so. But having a single card draw force you to restart an entire quest in which you just spent an hour carefully building up your army... well, that just sucks. This feeling of "insta-death" is why I've been reluctant to encourage my kids to play this game, and to be honest it dampens my own enthusiasm for the game. So what is the solution? Pull out all the really mean (difficult to counter) cards, or allow one "do-over" per game? Or should we just obediently "play along" with the puzzle by creating a deck specifically to mitigate the destructive power of that one card? (So, in the case of Sudden Pitfall, we'd need more cheap allies and fewer attachments).
  8. I went ahead and ordered anyway, despite the crazy shipping to NZ. There are proxy options (e.g., YouShop) but I don't know how much those would end up saving us... and certainly they would impose more delays, which would be a pain! I guess the question is: how much is our time worth? And do we plan to play (or at least open) the game right away?
  9. Hi, thanks for the recommendation! We've got For Sale - my daughter (8) played it with the neighbour girl yesterday and they seemed to enjoy it. Not such how much the neighbour girl understood it, though! Ticket to Ride is my 8yo's favourite game! In the Ticket to Ride boxes I kept seeing fliers for Memoir '44 (also published by Days of Wonder), and eventually I researched that and ended up getting it! So now Memoir '44 is a frequent game to play with the kids. They're not too much into the WW2 theme, though... I think I need to show them more WW2 movies! (So far they've only seen Saving Private Ryan). KingDominoes - We got this too. It was really easy to learn, and we've progressed to the Giants expansion. Is that the one you're talking about? 7 Wonders Duel - We bought this, but haven't tried it. 7 Wonders is one of the few games the whole family likes to play, so we haven't yet felt the need for a 2 player version. King of Tokyo - Bought but not tried. I also got the Power Up expansion. Some day we'll get around to trying them out! As for LotR LCG, I've sort of given up playing it with the kids, at least for the next few years. It's just too hard for them. Too much reading and learning. I think they like games where they don't have to read. And, to be honest, so do I. There's something really primally satisfying about moving plastic soldiers around on a hex board! That said, I've been enjoying the digital version of Lotr LCG. I've only finished the first couple missions, though. But I like the music, voice overs, and the fact that the computer remembers most of the rules for me. Too bad it's no longer going to be Free to Play, because I was looking forward to getting the girls into it. Still, it's fun for me... although it's now competing in time with the new Witcher/Gwent game (Thronebreaker). So many games, so little time!!!
  10. We played the first Harry Potter scenario. The girls really enjoyed it. Since it's been a while since we've played, we'll probably replay the first scenario before continuing to the second. I thought it was okay. It was hard to get into it, story-wise, because I was teaching, playing, and acting as the "bank". Hopefully our second session will result in more immersion!
  11. Things I would like to see: 1) Campaigns which reuse existing encounter sets, but give us brand new quest cards with the aim of "linking" the individual quests into a progressive narrative. Initially there could be one campaign per cycle, but later campaigns could jump back and forth between cycles. This series of campaigns would be cheap to produce, and would give buys a compelling reason to collect entire cycles. FFG could also combine each cycle's campaign and packs in a single "complete cycle" box so that new LotR LCG players don't have to collect the expansions individually (which can get frustrating and expensive due to shipping). For example the "Complete Moria" box would contain Khazad Dum, the 6 Dwarrowdelf quest packs, all related Nightmare packs, and the new campaign for that cycle. 2) A single Nightmare Collection for each cycle (to reduce the frustration and cost of individual collection). Or, take it a step further and include multiple cycles' Nightmare decks in one big collection. 3) A set of Fortune Decks which work just like Nightmare decks, but in the opposite direction. These would consist of encounter cards which make the game easier. For example: easy locations and enemies which give bonuses when explored/eliminated, "treacheries" which help the player, and shadow effects which make the enemies' attack LESS effective (e.g., "fumble" could cause the attack to do 0 damage). These cards would be added, so we wouldn't be "losing" anything from the original quest like we do with Easy Mode. 4) A book containing lots of LotR LCG related information, including tips, maps, and "official" decks for tackling each cycle (for those of us who do not love deck building).
  12. I like the idea of reducing the difficulty level without missing out on any content. So, I'll continue to avoid Easy Mode (which omits cards), and will continue to use Shadow Cards, but will instead switch from pack-to-pack to cycle-by-cycle. It's not the tactical difficulty I'd like to reduce. It's the deck building. Even though I play digitally (via OCTGN), the overhead of deck editing (login to ringsdb, find load a deck, clone it, add/remove cards, save it, download it, load it into OCTGN) is a HUGE pain. If there were a true digital version of LotR LCG, with a really good build-in deck editor, then the deck building wouldn't be such a turn-off. But right now OCTGN's deck builder is a pain, ringsdb has a lot of overhead, and playing with the physical cards has even worse overhead. At least, that's how I feel now. Perhaps once I get multiple thematic decks in my ringsdb library I'll be more enthusiastic about editing them. Right now my decks are all hodge podges of staples and whatever cards seemed to counter the previous quest.
  13. OMG, thanks!!!! I've been using BGG for months and never figured out how to get those forums to sort "normally"! I never thought to click on "Active". Thanks again!!! (Man, BGG sure needs a UI overhaul!!!)
  14. I just finished the Mirkwood Cycle, and am getting ready to start Khazad Dum. I'd like to create my first thematic/tribal deck (Dwarf of course), but am wondering whether I should limit it initially to the cards in the deluxe box (and then earn new player cards as I progress through Dwarrowdelf), or "splurge" and allow myself to use any cards in the entire Dwarrowdelf cycle. In other words, should I treat progression style as "strict" (pack by pack) or "lenient" (cycle by cycle). The "lenient" approach means a larger card pool, so early quests will be easier, and there will be less need for deck-building (which in my mind is a good thing). On the other hand, there will be less "reward" for beating a quest, since no new player cards will become available. So, I am wondering what you do: Do you (a) "open" one pack at a time, or (b) "open" an entire cycle at once? Where do you find the sweet spot to be between convenience and reward? Also, do certain cycles seem designed to trickle out cards in a deliberate order, so that getting later cards "too early" is a sort of "spoiler"? Or do cards seem to be distributed somewhat arbitrarily throughout each cycle?
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