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Different cards with the new reprint?

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1 hour ago, lleimmoen said:

What universe are you living in that you are able to claim this, based on what? There can be any given person with more decks built. It makes little difference, so it makes very little sense to make such a hollow egocentric claim in the first place.

If you read the text I quoted from Dale Stephenson, you'd see that we are talking about published decks on RingsDB being invalidated. I happen to have the most. You may read that at an ego flex, but I think it's a relevant reply to the conversation. The amount of your published work that gets invalidated by an errata should understandably effect how you might feel about it.

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50 minutes ago, Seastan said:

If you read the text I quoted from Dale Stephenson, you'd see that we are talking about published decks on RingsDB being invalidated. I happen to have the most. You may read that at an ego flex, but I think it's a relevant reply to the conversation. The amount of your published work that gets invalidated by an errata should understandably effect how you might feel about it.

In his defence, your sentece is somewhat ambiguous: The first time reading it sounded like you were boasting about having caused errata:

3 hours ago, Seastan said:

(...) and I say this as someone who has had more decks invalidated by errata than anyone(...)

Then after reading your response above I realized, that is not what you meant.

3 hours ago, PocketWraith said:

Aside from agreeing with everything Seastan has been saying, I just want to point out that Beregond has 4 hit points, not 5. It's not a significant point but you keep bringing it up and it's bugging me.

I assume, Dalestephenson uses a Hauberk of Mail regularly, which is not restricted, and thus tends to see Beregond as a 5 HP hero, but I might be wrong.

14 hours ago, Seastan said:

That's sort of what they're doing. The errata aren't "forced" on anyone accept at an organized play event. You are still free to play them the old way at home or with your buddies.

That is what I love about board games: You can play as you want, even use house-ruling, if you feel so inclined. I used to play Lord of the Rings Online heavily from 2009 to 2013, it was one of my top 2 games ever, and being an online game it forced you to play with the newest patch (like an errata) whether you liked them or not. After the Helm's Deep expansion I stopped playing this game, as it was changed too much in a direction, I detested. If I could use an older version of the game, like I can with many others on Steam or through patching manually, I would totally do that, but due to the nature of an online game, this will never be possible, alas.

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16 hours ago, Seastan said:

That's sort of what they're doing. The errata aren't "forced" on anyone accept at an organized play event. You are still free to play them the old way at home or with your buddies.

Yes, the errata will be on the reprints, so in a sense new players will be "forced" to use updated text through ignorance (unless they dig up the originals online), but your complaints seem directed more toward a player who already owns the card having their current decks invalidated.

If they will be publishing optional lists with erratas to be used in oficial events (gencon...) or by those who prefer them, that would be giving a choice and not enforcing. Making reprints with errated cards is quite enforcing.

By the way, on the topic of the Erebor Battle master I am very disappointed as well.

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Posted (edited)

Do what you want, designers. But give us those errated cards in a stand-alone package. It is increasingly more difficult to keep track of those errata. 
Especially if I play with more casual players - friends. 
"Oh, I am sorry, this card is errated, not working this way any more, and this one too, and you cannot ready your Borromir,......"
 

Edited by OlorinCZ

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On 5/9/2019 at 11:16 AM, Seastan said:

This a fact of errata in general, and less to do with ABB. Errata is always going to invalidate decks, and I say this as someone who has had more decks invalidated by errata than anyone, many of them in direct response to something I published. With this discussion I am trying to point out why the ABB errata might actually be healthy for the game, but if the above is actually the core of your argument (that all errata is bad by nature) then it's perhaps better to start there than continuing on about ABB.

All errata has a *cost* by nature.  Whether the cost is worth the benefit for any particular errata is a subjective thing which players can and will reasonably disagree on.  The cost is not just affected by how much the errata changes the card but also by how widely the card is used in its original form.  ABB is the most widely used card ever errata-ed, and both changes are IMO significant to ordinary game play, not just edge cases.

I think when a card has been widely used for years, there should be a strong bias against "fixing" it to conform how it would've been designed in retrospect.  That A Burning Brand (or Steward of Gondor) would be weaker if redesigning the game from scratch is not sufficient reason IMO to redesign it *now*.  Minimal errata to prevent a truly game-breaking combo is acceptable; changing a card designed to provide blanket shadow protection because it happens to provide blanket shadow protection is not what I consider game-breaking.

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On 5/9/2019 at 3:10 PM, Amicus Draconis said:

I assume, Dalestephenson uses a Hauberk of Mail regularly, which is not restricted, and thus tends to see Beregond as a 5 HP hero, but I might be wrong.

I do use Hauberk of Mail regularly, but I just misremembered the 10-threat Beregond as 0-1-4-5 instead of 0-1-4-4.  The original Beregond is interesting in that most heroes with threat greater than stats have a cool ability to justify it, but Beregond's ability saves a handful of resources over the course of the game and isn't remotely worth an additional threat.  Only the excellent stat distribution justifies the additional threat, and I don't think any other hero pays a threat penalty for having well-distributed stats.

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On 5/9/2019 at 10:55 AM, Seastan said:

You keep trying to say that it hurts other heroes more than Beregond. I haven't been arguing against this. I'll say again, that Beregond is still obviously a good defender even with the ABB errata. But if you don't see how this weakens the "defend everything with 1 hero" archetype, I'm not sure what else I can say.

I certainly see how this weakens the "defend everything with 1 hero" archetype.  I'm just making the point that *how much* it weakens that strategy is dependent on the hero being used to defend, so a player who continues with Hero Defense has an even stronger incentive to use Beregond instead of a lesser defensive hero, with the exception of the Erkenbrand alternative.  So I expect the change to make Beregond more popular instead of less in that role, and I don't see that as a good thing.

I also don't see weakening hero defense as an intrinsicly positive thing in the first place.

I do expect the errata to make Silver Lamp more popular.

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5 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

I do use Hauberk of Mail regularly, but I just misremembered the 10-threat Beregond as 0-1-4-5 instead of 0-1-4-4.  The original Beregond is interesting in that most heroes with threat greater than stats have a cool ability to justify it, but Beregond's ability saves a handful of resources over the course of the game and isn't remotely worth an additional threat.  Only the excellent stat distribution justifies the additional threat, and I don't think any other hero pays a threat penalty for having well-distributed stats.

I don't want to turn this thread into a Beregond discussion, but to add to this I don't think Spirit Beregond's ability justifies the additional threat either. Nori has a similar (and one might argue better?) ability and he doesn't have any threat penalty.

To be more on topic, as a more recent joiner to this community most of my cards have their errata already printed and for the most part I have been playing them as such without much complaint. Horn of Gondor and Master of Lore are the really egregious exceptions to this, I have not been inspired to try and make either of them work.

The only cards I am aware of that I don't have printed errata for are Boromir and ABB. I played Boromir using his updated wording and found him fine, but it definitely hurts his effectiveness. I would still use him in the future.

For ABB I don't know yet if I will choose to play with the new wording. Certainly I think it is still a playable card. One thing that may change is my willingness to try and use it with non-lore characters. In a lot of cases I think it would just be more effective to include other Shadow cancellation effects rather than the the Songs etc required to use ABB more freely.

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What do you think? Now that ABB has been errated it only feels fit that other OP like Steward of Gondor, Warden of Healing, Northern Traker... get erratas too, doesn’t it?

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Steward of Gondor, if it were designed today, I think would certainly be weaker.  But Leadership has built on its back for years and it's a godsend for new players.  I would hate to see it be nerfed, and as a unique attachment that exhausts I don't think it seriously unbalances multiplayer.  It's fair to say it's the easiest way to power up obscene values on Blood/Fire, but putting a cap on either of those cards would be far less intrusive -- and having obscene attack/defense in the first place has diminishing returns.

Warden of Healing is the best healer in the game, but in absence of Elrond or loads of lore resources isn't *that* powerful.  I'd leave it alone, and apparently it's just been reprinted in its original form.

Northern Tracker, the indispensible remover of location lock should absolutely be left alone, since location lock is quite possibly the least fun way to lose.

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Posted (edited)

I would think the most thematic and logical nerf to Steward of Gondor would be changing "Attach to a hero. Attached hero gains the Gondor trait." to "Attach to a Gondor hero."

Edited by Kjeld

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That's a thematic nerf, but it amounts to taking Steward of Gondor completely off the table for at least 90% of the decks that use it.  That would make the change to A Burning Brand trivial, both in terms of number of decks and the change in functionality.

Note that anyone who prefers a Gondor-restricted version of Steward of Gondor can do so simply by choosing only to put SoG on their Gondor heroes.

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43 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

Steward of Gondor, if it were designed today, I think would certainly be weaker.  But Leadership has built on its back for years and it's a godsend for new players.  I would hate to see it be nerfed, and as a unique attachment that exhausts I don't think it seriously unbalances multiplayer.  It's fair to say it's the easiest way to power up obscene values on Blood/Fire, but putting a cap on either of those cards would be far less intrusive -- and having obscene attack/defense in the first place has diminishing returns.

Warden of Healing is the best healer in the game, but in absence of Elrond or loads of lore resources isn't *that* powerful.  I'd leave it alone, and apparently it's just been reprinted in its original form.

Northern Tracker, the indispensible remover of location lock should absolutely be left alone, since location lock is quite possibly the least fun way to lose.

Agreed that Blood and Fire deserve attention instead of steward.  Making them discard to use would turn them into interesting cards instead of boring ones. Making them run like song of hope would be less intrusive,  but less interesting.

Warden of healing probably needs a limit once per round on its reading response, but nothing more.

Northern tracker would be more fun if it placed progress on X locations in the staging area (x = # of players in the game, maybe plus 1), but doesn't actually need a nerd. Asfaloth would be a more fruitful look at location control nerfing.

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I'm not sure what problem limiting the locations to the number of players (or players+1) is solving -- ensuring that even if a solo player is willing to shell out 4 spirit resources for a Northern Tracker, it won't actually fix location lock?  Northern Tracker as is already scales with player counts because locations in staging scales with player count.

Asfaloth, being unique, doesn't scale with player count, and at 2 cost is really only compelling on Glorfindel IMO.  But since 2 progress isn't going to be huge on 2-4 players, I again don't see a problem needing solving.

This reminds me of a rules issue relative to monopolizing combat in multiplayer games.  Engagement and attacks are strictly laid out by player, but the "declare defender" 6.4.1 in the online rules reference only mentions the active player, and only allows him to declare character he controls as defender.  At what point does another player get to declare a sentinel defender, and in what order?  I presume the active player can't commandeer someone else's character to defend.

If the active player has first dibs on defending, neither SuperBoromir (now with sentinel/ranged) nor SuperBeregond  set up by someone else's deck can defend attacks *against the active player* without the cooperation of the active player.  If a player wants to monopolize combat *and the other players let them*, how are they victims of the monopolizer?

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14 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

This reminds me of a rules issue relative to monopolizing combat in multiplayer games.  Engagement and attacks are strictly laid out by player, but the "declare defender" 6.4.1 in the online rules reference only mentions the active player, and only allows him to declare character he controls as defender.  At what point does another player get to declare a sentinel defender, and in what order?  I presume the active player can't commandeer someone else's character to defend.

If the active player has first dibs on defending, neither SuperBoromir (now with sentinel/ranged) nor SuperBeregond  set up by someone else's deck can defend attacks *against the active player* without the cooperation of the active player.  If a player wants to monopolize combat *and the other players let them*, how are they victims of the monopolizer?

It is indeed confusing, as Ranged is mentioned in the framework steps themselves, but Sentinel is not. You have to go to the glossary proper, RR Sentinel, for the appropriate rule/timing:

Quote

Sentinel is a keyword ability. A character with the sentinel keyword may be declared as a defender during enemy attacks that are made against other players.

A character may declare sentinel defense after the player engaged with the enemy making the attack declares no defenders.

[emphasis added] Since player order isn't mentioned anywhere here, I guess it's technically a 1st-player decision as to who actually gets to Sentinel defend when multiple people are clamoring for it.

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2 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

That's a thematic nerf, but it amounts to taking Steward of Gondor completely off the table for at least 90% of the decks that use it.  That would make the change to A Burning Brand trivial, both in terms of number of decks and the change in functionality.

Note that anyone who prefers a Gondor-restricted version of Steward of Gondor can do so simply by choosing only to put SoG on their Gondor heroes.

Which is exactly why I think that issuing errata should be an action of last resort! Because the question should not be, "How would this card ideally work, knowing what we know now about LotR LCG?". As you point out, a logical and thematic rewrite of SoG -- which, incidentally, would also help curb abuse of Blood of Numenor and Gondorian Fire -- would massively change the way the game is currently being played. In other words, the issuance of errata cannot simply ignore the historical state of the game and work from an assumed "blank slate". However, many errata that have been issued, especially this new crop, seem to assume just that.

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5 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

If a player wants to monopolize combat *and the other players let them*, how are they victims of the monopolizer?

Defending with ABB+Beregond is always a better strategic choice than any other defender. So while you don't literally take away someone's choice to defend, you do in practice, because people aren't usually willing to pointlessly risk the outcome of a big multiplayer game just for their own enjoyment.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, dalestephenson said:
10 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

not what I consider game-breaking.

"Game-breaking" has never been the only criteria for errata. If you look at all the errata'd cards there are many there, like Caldara or Boromir, that became so overpowered and meta-dominating as the game grew that the designers felt the need to nerf them.

10 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

I certainly see how this weakens the "defend everything with 1 hero" archetype.  I'm just making the point that *how much* it weakens that strategy is dependent on the hero being used to defend, so a player who continues with Hero Defense has an even stronger incentive to use Beregond instead of a lesser defensive hero, with the exception of the Erkenbrand alternative.  So I expect the change to make Beregond more popular instead of less in that role, and I don't see that as a good thing.

There aren't actually that many heroes that can perform the "defend everything" role. The lore heroes, which you mention are hurt most by the errata, and for that matter any hero that does not have an intrinsic sentinel ability, had already fallen way out of favor due to the unlikeness of being able to play ally Arwen in a multiplayer setting. There's the Dunedain Signal option, but that doesn't seem as popular (probably because it leaves you needing another card for the defense boost).

Dain with Armor of Erebor is an option, but this is such a new combo that it doesn't have anywhere to go but up, errata or not.

Grimbeorn has 3+ defense and sentinel, so he's a candidate. But Burning Brand only appears in 1% of Grimbeorn decks, while it appears in about 10% of Tactics Beregond and 20% of Spirit Beregond decks (according to Ringsdb), so this errata seems to hurt Beregond more.

Erkenbrand is the only other hero with 3+ defense and sentinel, and we both agree that the errata favors Erkenbrand over Beregond.

Given the above, I'd bet that the errata will result in a decrease in Beregond's market share as a table-wide defender.

Edited by Seastan

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5 hours ago, Seastan said:

Defending with ABB+Beregond is always a better strategic choice than any other defender. So while you don't literally take away someone's choice to defend, you do in practice, because people aren't usually willing to pointlessly risk the outcome of a big multiplayer game just for their own enjoyment.

That's a shame -- surely the point of playing a game is for enjoyment, not to maximize the chances of victory.  Is it considered impolite not to bring a power deck to a pickup game?

I'm sympathetic to the problem of combat monopolization with strangers, the only case where a player acting alone can impair the enjoyment of others, but when they cooperate in losing that enjoyment in the interest of victory, I question whether that rises to the level of requiring errata affecting the enjoyment of the (surely more numerous) solo and coordinated play who do the same things on purpose.

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4 hours ago, Seastan said:

"Game-breaking" has never been the only criteria for errata. If you look at all the errata'd cards there are many there, like Caldara or Boromir, that became so overpowered and meta-dominating as the game grew that the designers felt the need to nerf them.

I know "Game-breaking" is not the only criteria for errata -- but it's the criteria (along with misprints) that I think has been universally accepted by the player base and is clearly a sufficient reason for errata -- we might complain about the *way* a game-breaking combo was fixed, but not really the need for it.  No one complained about Out of the Wild errata.

Straight power nerfs are a comparatively *recent* development in the game's history, and I (and others) are not at all pleased that "the designers felt the need to nerf them."  I don't think there is an actual *need* to nerf them at all.  In a cooperative game, "overpowered" is purely subjective and "meta-dominating" is nearly meaningless -- this isn't a competitive game, where the most efficient combinations stultify game play by rendering less efficient combos unfun through constant losing.  The opponent is the game, and losing to the game *at a level the player prefers* is part of the fun.  Designers nerfing powerful cards they created and we enjoy, to try to tilt the losing level to something the *designer* prefers, I find obnoxious.

Caldara and Boromir were strong, but they were not the strongest, and in the case of Caldara didn't even have combat monopolization potential.  Caldara's errata was particularly obnoxious because Caldara was a little-used hero until the designers introduced new cards *specifically designed* to synergize with Caldara.  This is one of my *favorite* things that the designers do, create new cards that bring new life to old cards.  And having succeeded brilliantly by creating an archetype that was enjoyable, unique, varied, and powerful (though not more powerful than all other archtypes), they felt the need to nerf it.  Caldara's not as popular anymore -- it may be a reason for errata, but it's not what I consider a *valid* reason for errata, and I think it's done more harm than good.  YMMV.

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5 hours ago, Seastan said:

There aren't actually that many heroes that can perform the "defend everything" role. The lore heroes, which you mention are hurt most by the errata, and for that matter any hero that does not have an intrinsic sentinel ability, had already fallen way out of favor due to the unlikeness of being able to play ally Arwen in a multiplayer setting. There's the Dunedain Signal option, but that doesn't seem as popular (probably because it leaves you needing another card for the defense boost).

Dain with Armor of Erebor is an option, but this is such a new combo that it doesn't have anywhere to go but up, errata or not.

Grimbeorn has 3+ defense and sentinel, so he's a candidate. But Burning Brand only appears in 1% of Grimbeorn decks, while it appears in about 10% of Tactics Beregond and 20% of Spirit Beregond decks (according to Ringsdb), so this errata seems to hurt Beregond more.

Erkenbrand is the only other hero with 3+ defense and sentinel, and we both agree that the errata favors Erkenbrand over Beregond.

Given the above, I'd bet that the errata will result in a decrease in Beregond's market share as a table-wide defender.

There are a lot of heroes that *can* perform the "defend everything" role -- there just aren't any heroes who can do it better than Beregond, who starts with the best defensive stats in the game.  (I suppose once fully loaded with all possible attachments Hobbits are better due to Fast Hitch, but they need more cards and start very fragile).  It's harder to play Dunedain Signal on a Lore hero than to play Song of Wisdom on Beregond, but in a multiplayer setting not much harder, and if a Lore hero had Beregondish stats, I think people would manage it.

Gandalf has the potential too, as he starts with 3 defense, can take ABB natively when played from top of deck, and has Shadowfax to ready and give sentinel without using a restricted slot.  But he's higher threat than Beregond with worse defensive stats, and he blocks all Gandalf allies.

Grimbeorn is a recent hero and with his counterattack potential is very attractive for solo decks, I wouldn't read much into his lack of ABB decks.  I think he's *very* attractive as a defend-the-table candidate because his counterattack has no per-phase limit (future errata coming?) and does not require exhaustion.  But Raiment of War is a perfect fit for Grimbeorn and that's now completely incompatible with ABB.  Absent the errata I think Grimbeorn would gain popularity at the expense of Beregond.  I think he still might, since he's both shiny and powerful.

Spirit Dain is even shinier and at 4/5 for the first three attacks (if you're willing to discard) starts better than even Beregond.  I think the ABB errata may be a wash for him relative to Beregond, though he does block LeDain-loving dwarven swarms, which might be an unfriendly thing to do when playing with strangers.

If Beregond is so dominant already in 3+ player, simply because he's the best (caveat for the potential of Grimbeorn and Spirit Dain, both recent additions), then I'll concede that his major loss relative to Erkenbrand could cost him market-share in that particular slice of the LOTR world.  Meanwhiile, at 1-2 player a *lot* of heroes besides Beregond are used for hero defense, and practically all of them just lost ground relative to the game's iconic defender.  At that count the addition of Restricted may loom larger than the ABB exhaustion, at least outside Carn Dum.  I don't think weakening the *many* heroes who can be used for hero defense in 1-2 players is justified just to shift some of the defend-the-table action from Beregond to Erkenbrand.

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1 hour ago, dalestephenson said:

Straight power nerfs are a comparatively *recent* development in the game's history…

This gets into muddy waters about what it means to "break" the game vs simply be OP, but I submit that the following errata are straight power nerfs:

* Beravor – dates back to FAQ 1.3 (2012)

* Protector of Lorien – FAQ 1.3 (2012)

* Nori – FAQ 1.4 (2013)

I'll stop there. As the game only dates back to 2011, I wouldn't call these "comparatively recent".

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14 minutes ago, sappidus said:

This gets into muddy waters about what it means to "break" the game vs simply be OP, but I submit that the following errata are straight power nerfs:

* Beravor – dates back to FAQ 1.3 (2012)

* Protector of Lorien – FAQ 1.3 (2012)

* Nori – FAQ 1.4 (2013)

I'll stop there. As the game only dates back to 2011, I wouldn't call these "comparatively recent".

A fair point.  I'll amend my statement to straight power nerfs to long-released cards.  If Grimbeorn were errataed in the next FAQ to restrict the number of counterattacks, it wouldn't make much of a wave.  If the same errata came five years later, it's a horse of different color.

If Legacy of Durin had been nerfed back in 2013, I wonder if Nori ever gets errataed at all.

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11 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

A fair point.  I'll amend my statement to straight power nerfs to long-released cards. 

"Power nerfs to long-released cards is a recent development" is almost a tautology. You couldn't have nerfs to long-released cards early in the game life, because it was early in the game's life. But anyway, I'll grant whatever point you're trying to make here because I don't think it matters. "The developers have never done X before, so they should not do X now" is not a convincing argument, in my view.

Quote

I don't think there is an actual *need* to nerf them at all.  In a cooperative game, "overpowered" is purely subjective and "meta-dominating" is nearly meaningless -- this isn't a competitive game, where the most efficient combinations stultify game play by rendering less efficient combos unfun through constant losing.  

Again, there is competitive organized play for this game.

13 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

That's a shame -- surely the point of playing a game is for enjoyment, not to maximize the chances of victory.  Is it considered impolite not to bring a power deck to a pickup game?

I'm sympathetic to the problem of combat monopolization with strangers, the only case where a player acting alone can impair the enjoyment of others, but when they cooperate in losing that enjoyment in the interest of victory, I question whether that rises to the level of requiring errata affecting the enjoyment of the (surely more numerous) solo and coordinated play who do the same things on purpose.

It is considered impolite to make pointlessly risky decisions in a game with strangers, yes.

Player 1: "Ok I need to defend this attack."

Player 2: "I've got a Beregond with ABB and extra readies."

Player 1: "No thanks, I'm running a Dunedain deck and part of the fun is defending. Oops, it's Sleeping Sentry. All my guys just died, and my 4 engaged enemies now get pushed back to the staging area. Looks like you guys are going to fail questing next round and threat out."

Players 3&4: ....

 

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What is a bit annoying about all this is also that the errata is taking place after so many cycles have been released and most of you veteran long time players have already got to use the "game-breaking OP awesomeness" or conversely used heroes during their normal progression release before certain attachments or combos made those cards stronger.

 

So for new players it's like "here are these same quite difficult scenarios but we are taking away the tools your longer-playing peers used to beat them or just straight up bypassing a particular cards moment in the light. Like when I opened and first looked  at the new version, as well as the only version (since it's printed on the cards) of Horn of Gondor or Master of Lore. And they are kind of lame and not great instead of being able to try to experiment and have awesome shenanigans with said cards.

 

I get that to some of you guys there is an organized play scene but I would counter and argue that the vast majority of players do not partake in that scene, and thus the balancing that they "needed" for certain cards would be much better suited with a restricted list, banned list, or alternate versions of cards for that specific one to two times a year event. Do that instead of making the vast majority of the player base's experiences more difficult by physically changing cards in new reprints. It's just harder, more confusing or just outright weird. 

 

But meh either way I don't much care, for me and my players Boromir will continue to blow his horn whenever I want to raise my threat. Just like Burning Brand will be able to be used multiple times if you have the readying. I'll play what's on the cards because it's simpler and more fun and as adults playing a cooperative game we can regulate our experience by changing things up if something is too strong or boring.

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