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BigKahuna

Solo Variant - Feedback appreciated, Testing Welcome

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I have been testing a house ruled variant for solo play and so far my testing has been really good, but I was hoping for some feedback and perhaps some people might be willing to test it.  The goal here was to make playing solo with a wider range of decks possible.  So far my results have been quite good, game is still ridiculously difficult but with this variant I'm able with enough deck building muscle and puzzle solving to defeat many quests that are just too hard for me.  This makes the game a little bit easier, but not nearly as much as it might appear.  Anyhow, any testing and feedback is appreciated.  This is a low rez version of the card, produced using Strange Eon.

 

Fellowship.jpg.ed10a2087088c1942ad1d54fe3e5e9b4.jpg

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"When the game beings only 3 heroes start with a resource"

Is this in reference to easy mode where each hero gets a resource at the start of the game? Because normally they do not. Or do you mean in the first planning phase of the game, you can only choose 3 heroes to gain a resource?

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49 minutes ago, Seastan said:

"When the game beings only 3 heroes start with a resource"

Is this in reference to easy mode where each hero gets a resource at the start of the game? Because normally they do not. Or do you mean in the first planning phase of the game, you can only choose 3 heroes to gain a resource?

I took it to mean that of your 4 heroes, only 3 collect resources during the first Resource phase.

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It's an interesting variant. You might change the resource rule to instead read, "At the start of the Resource Phase, choose a hero. Do not add a resource token to that hero's resource pool this phase." That would actually lead to a more interesting game, as you'd consistently have to choose which heroes (and which spheres) you need resources on for each round.

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I'm assuming you meant "+10 engagement cost", not "+10 threat"…?

If so: You can take Folco as your 4th hero, then discard him right away to essentially get a -1 starting threat (or less) with the double benefit of significantly higher enemy engagement costs and a higher threat elimination level. This comes at the negative of a 60-card deck, but I kind of feel that the added setup time allowed by the first benefit is going to far outweigh this drawback, even without redesigning a build to take advantage of the accelerated cost curves.

Mono-sphere is probably disproportionately buffed, from all the Record attachments to Pelargir Shipwright to Caldara to Mithrandir's Advice (although this last one is mitigated by the increased deck size).

Still, it's an interesting idea, much in keeping with previous attempts to field more than 3 heroes in true solo but in a cleaner fashion than the other tries I've seen.

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Quote

I took it to mean that of your 4 heroes, only 3 collect resources during the first Resource phase.

This is correct.

Quote

I'm assuming you meant "+10 engagement cost", not "+10 threat"…?

Also correct

One general thing I'm considering for the variant is make it scale to the difficulty of the quest.  The trouble with that is that the official difficulty rating and actual difficulty are.. well lets just say, not always on the money.   In any case, I like to do a lot of testing before I apply additional changes, though I do agree with that Mono Sphere decks might be getting too much of an advantage here (I will run some quests this week with some mono decks to see how that holds up).  It may be necessary to require a minimum of 2 spheres with this variant.

Thanks for all the great responses, I will post an update in a while after I do more testing.  I plan to also write a instruction book for the rule set and post high resolution printable cards for proxy use in the future.

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Playing with 4 heroes really change the whole games. Even more than playing on easy mode. A lot of cards are not balanced and there is a lot of possibility to make insane decks, both mono sphere or 4 sphere. With a huge collection I think this mode is not recommended. With only a few cards I can't tell.

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2 hours ago, Rouxxor said:

Playing with 4 heroes really change the whole games. Even more than playing on easy mode. A lot of cards are not balanced and there is a lot of possibility to make insane decks, both mono sphere or 4 sphere. With a huge collection I think this mode is not recommended. With only a few cards I can't tell.

You are right, but also off-topic. This is not a variant for power players. The point is not to "make insane decks" by optimizing the **** out of the build, but to offer new possibilities for creative deck-building combinations that otherwise wouldn't be feasible. For example, wouldn't it be fun to take the original four Hobbits -- Merry, Pippin, Sam, and Frodo -- on a non-saga quest? If having four heroes enables an OP combo that trivializes the game, then simply don't use those cards when playing this variant. It's a homemade way to adjust the difficulty curve in any case, and the deck-builder has all the flexibility in the world to experiment with which difficulty balance seems most fun and interesting to him or her. I think this is a creative, intuitive, and fun option. Not for everyone, of course, but then again, that's why mods exist!

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I don't have any relevant things to say until bigkahuna discuss about abuse potential of playing mono sphere. I respond that I don't think mono sphere was especially to ban, since there is many ways to build around decks very powerful. If you don't try to exploit the 4 hero advantages I think mono sphere is even less powerful than other combination.

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Well this card is really a first draft of what would be a scalable set of difficulty adjustment cards.  The concept of the variant is to create a way to decrease the difficulty of quests you find unbeatable.  There will be some cards that make minor adjustments like "you gain 2 extra cards into your starting hand" or adjustments to your lose condition like "you lose at 60 threat instead of 50".  I have experimented with a lot of variants and what I found is that in some cases one or two of these cards is enough of an advantage to overcome some quests, I found in other cases even with 4 heroes quests I can beat a quest once out of 20 plays.  

Skill level is definitely a factor here and thats why the system will be scalable, adjusting to your skill.

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