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Catastrophic09

Encounter deck size

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Is it just me or does the encounter deck size seem to keep getting smaller? each quest is a lean and mean size. This actually affects several things:

-Denethor and other abilities putting cards on the bottom of the encounter deck are less valuable since before if you put a card on the bottom of the encounter deck you would likely not see it again. (Out of the Wild however gets better)

-Naturally you go through the encounter deck more times each game and you deal with the same cards more frequently and the cards revealed become less random.

-There seems to be more theme in the encounter deck, it synergies with itself better and fights against the players more consistently.

-With Easy Mode, the encounter deck is refined even more!

-So many cards seem to have Surge now or you deal additional Shadow Cards so you go through the deck that much faster.

 

So, do you all prefer a larger or smaller encounter deck? And in general how much do you think this affects the play experience?

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It's not just you. Encounter deck size has definitely been getting smaller over time and it has a big impact on play experience. In general, I think this is a good thing, as the lean and mean decks tend to provide a more consistent experience, with less swings one way or another. The only thing you lose is variety, as the larger encounter decks can obviously provide a more varied set of enemies/locations/treacheries.

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I like bigger encounter decks for exploring searching type quests, like Emyn Muil, but that's not a great example. I like the feeling of searching through easy and mundane cards then finding the winning card (victory points, winning condition) or something dreadful you didn't see coming.

PsychoRocka likes this

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To be honest I prefer when they are a little bigger, not massive mind you but the bigger the encounter deck the more variation and re playability it provides. If the card pool is too small it just feels the same every time. 

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I definitely prefer a larger encounter deck because I like the variety of cards that can come up. However, when playing a series of quests (wasn't it the "original" nightmare mode to play quests back-to-back?), it can be tiring to see the same cards come up in each quest. To that end, I really like what On the Doorstep did, and have three massive decks of unique cards, while sharing a much smaller encounter set of generic stuff. I'd definitely like to see more of that as the game goes on.

In fact, as I mentioned over on bgg a whiles back, I'd much like to see APs come out that are entirely encounter sets. I don't think it would be too much to ask that we had one in the six that was a completely unique in-and-of-itself scenario, like the POD things but, y'know, not. But that's a whole other story.

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it can be tiring to see the same cards come up in each quest. To that end, I really like what On the Doorstep did, and have three massive decks of unique cards, while sharing a much smaller encounter set of generic stuff. I'd definitely like to see more of that as the game goes on.

 

Totally agree. I think the requirement to recycle the same sets from the core/sagas on and on in the APs comes from the need to make the players buy the deluxe expansions (you need Khazad-Dum to play any Dwarrowdelf adventures, etc.). But it has got its side effects: repetitiveness and limited quest creativity.

 

Hobbit sagas shown how much better it is when the creators let go a bit. I hope the design will go along that road. I think at the current stage of game development it would not substantially hinder sales of saga boxes if the following APs would not recycle parts of the saga encounter decks. I think people would buy them regardless, just for the story and completion. But it is just guessing on my part.

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Yeah I agree with some of you that the larger encounter deck has some benefits: more sense of searching, less repetitive cards for possibly more replay value.  But also the smaller encounter deck is good for being more difficult, focused and making for a steady quest where you know what cards to expect.

 

I would personally rather have a somewhat larger encounter deck than what we've seen most recently. 45 cards in the encounter seems to be a real good size and is close to what the individual POD's are and with each AP at about 30, you can add one or two Deluxe card sets for around 15 cards and that seems to be real good.  

 

Fords of Isen literally had 32 cards for the encounter deck and it's an awesome quest but you definitely cycle through those cards a lot especially with some of those abilities that discard even more encounter cards to search for enemies and again seeing similar cards is bound to lessen replayability somewhat so decks should be a little bigger.

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Totally agree. I think the requirement to recycle the same sets from the core/sagas on and on in the APs comes from the need to make the players buy the deluxe expansions (you need Khazad-Dum to play any Dwarrowdelf adventures, etc.). But it has got its side effects: repetitiveness and limited quest creativity.

 

 

 

 

I think the recycling of sets also has to do with including player cards in the AP's, which limits the size of encounter cards that can be included, and I imagine this all has to do with production budget for each pack as well. 

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Totally agree. I think the requirement to recycle the same sets from the core/sagas on and on in the APs comes from the need to make the players buy the deluxe expansions (you need Khazad-Dum to play any Dwarrowdelf adventures, etc.). But it has got its side effects: repetitiveness and limited quest creativity.

 

 

 

 

I think the recycling of sets also has to do with including player cards in the AP's, which limits the size of encounter cards that can be included, and I imagine this all has to do with production budget for each pack as well. 

 

 

hmm, yes, that seems a very likely factor.

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