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Daemonos

Hard mode is easy...

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We are experienced boardgamers having played S&S, Mage Knight, Descent and other similar games.

So we run a 2 player game through all the missions of the game on hard mode.

Starting the campaign seemed to be challenging as it required good planning and preparing. As the story went on we noticed our heroes and decks became more powerful, as they were supposed to, but sadly we found the game difficulty scaling problematic. As we were able to literally demolish a troll, a boss and his guardian (will not refer for spoil reasons) - Only Aragorn with 2 attacks killed both of them and Beravor alone killed the troll. 

So a nightmare mode from FFG tweaking some things would be welcome.

We would like to see stronger enemies and weakness cards to actually have a negative effect that triggers when you draw the card - and be able to negate it somehow (maybe with insp tokens). 

I want to hear your thoughts.

Edited by Daemonos

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I don't have any thoughts to add about a nightmare mode, but do you have any tips? Specifically for having enough time to interact with search tokens, person tokens, etc. That discovery from side quests, trinkets, etc, is a big draw to me, but it seems like you rarely have enough time to interact with those tokens while you try to actually complete the adventure.

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Many reviews state that normal mode is too hard and an easy mode would be welcome 🙂 It seems that at least 4 different modes are needed: easy (too be), normal, hard, nightmare (to be) 🙂

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Maybe we will get more difficulty variation. The app would allow that easily! Here some suggestion to home usage.

easy mode:

start the game with x inspiration. Maybe Farmer Maggot did give you mushrooms and good meal before you did go after those stolen mathom items! (Start the game with hobit food trinket)

Normal

hard

nighmare:

after scenario x you can not recover every wound and horror you collect. So you start the next scenario with one/x wound and one/x horror. You have to deplete your trinket ones before you start your scenario. For each success icon XP card you have to have at least one card without success icon and one with Leaf icon.

 

 

And Yep, the game is much easier than most people seems to give merit! Most playtrough videos have been terrible by how badly They did play tactically and strategically. Is I astonished that They have not lost more often after so bad Gaming desisions! They really make their game much harder by playing badly... I hope that we will see at least one playthrough were They play wisely. These so far have not been good in showing how to play this game smartly!

Edited by Hannibal_pjv

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They did not prepare card every time They did scout. They looked card and desided that the power was not so usefull and desided to prepare none... Many times It is 99% of cases better to prepare something than none, because it thins the deck aka make it more easy to finding those good cards. Even when you allready have 4 card prepared, it is usefull to prepare a card because the one card from the prepared goes to the discard pile and not to the deck, so you can a really thin 15 card deck to 10 card deck and that is huge advantage! 4/15=26% vs 4/10=40% 

also Many player did try to attack again or try other check when They allready did have 3 success in discard pile... so only one success left in the deck. In that case it is better to move/explore or do something else that does not require skill check (unless you Are sure that the last succes is the next card (via scouting etc.)) 

Many playthrough did not use the terrain tiles to full advantage in battle maps. It makes huge difference to fight in boulder of firepit location vs. Any other! Or They did forget to use bushes to hide... 

many did forget to use characters powers. For example always gives fight inspiration to elena! When she do a check, she can give one inspiration to another hero, so you douple your inspirations! Aragorn can give her 3rd action so elena can use 3 inspiration and give each of those to another hero to reuse... noup... that did not happen in those games. They even forget to use Gimlis power, and leave Aragorn too far away to give scout boost, did not prepare card via Berovor power and so on...

they Also did time their actions Many times rounds wrong. First move your burglar far away and then do a check then move Aragorn near and five scout bonus... They often did it backwards. Move burglar near someone and lose the convert bonus from burglar 1 card and after They ruin the burglar turn... move other character away after that. Timing is essential in this game. What order you do things, what characters act first. It make huge difference in how high odd characters have in succeing their check.

they spent inspiration to non nesessary skill check and so on. So Many, Many non optimal choises that makes the game harder than it actually is. Did not change character to do check even the character doing the check first time was not wery good at it... Many Many tactical and strategigal errors.

Edited by Hannibal_pjv
Typos

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I personally do not find the game too easy, nor do I find it too hard. I like the balance. Having said all that, I'm a very casual gamer. I'm in it for the story and out of 10 scenarios I've probably only ever done 3 last stands. Maybe this means it is too easy!  Of note also, I failed 2nd and 5th scenarios.

My personal tweak to make it easier would be have the inspiration cap be that character's starting inspiration or have no inspiration cap. Haven't done any adaptations myself, so don't know how much this would alter the game's balance. 

Edited by HirumaShigure

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As the game progresses you get a better deck with more successes, you upgrade weapons you have trinkets and titles but the game does not scale with that progression. So eventually its get easier. 

A suggestion would be that weakness cards have a negative effect that triggers when you reveal them while testing or attacking/defending. 

Bosses and monsters can be a bit stronger and sometimes threat can be raised if you fail an interaction token.

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On 5/8/2019 at 11:00 PM, Daemonos said:

As the game progresses you get a better deck with more successes, you upgrade weapons you have trinkets and titles but the game does not scale with that progression. So eventually its get easier. 

A suggestion would be that weakness cards have a negative effect that triggers when you reveal them while testing or attacking/defending. 

Bosses and monsters can be a bit stronger and sometimes threat can be raised if you fail an interaction token.

I think it depends on how wisely you selected your team, starting equipment, and roles. I just played a map that made me run back and forth across it several times, and it was easy with the pathfinder, especially when he is Aragorn and scouts extra. Paths Unseen brought Elena in to do the skill checks and fighting. Elena also had the ranged dagger and burglar/hunter role so combat isn't a big issue for her. Plus this team has 5 trinkets (though I only get 2 per mission)

 

But what if I didn't bring a pathfinder? Or didn't have any trinkets?

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2 hours ago, Elfik2018 said:

I think it depends on how wisely you selected your team, starting equipment, and roles. I just played a map that made me run back and forth across it several times, and it was easy with the pathfinder, especially when he is Aragorn and scouts extra. Paths Unseen brought Elena in to do the skill checks and fighting. Elena also had the ranged dagger and burglar/hunter role so combat isn't a big issue for her. Plus this team has 5 trinkets (though I only get 2 per mission)

 

But what if I didn't bring a pathfinder? Or didn't have any trinkets?

I agree to your point, but we can not talk with "ifs". Ofc pathfinder is all about movement on the map and the game is designed for team play (fellowship) and every character can have 2 roles. You can play for example Legolas as a Pathfinder/Hunter. 

So the "issue" still exists... 

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20 hours ago, Daemonos said:

I agree to your point, but we can not talk with "ifs". Ofc pathfinder is all about movement on the map and the game is designed for team play (fellowship) and every character can have 2 roles. You can play for example Legolas as a Pathfinder/Hunter. 

So the "issue" still exists... 

True. My point is more from the perspective of game balance difficulties that come with designing a campaign filled with random events and unforeseen events. They probably didn't want the game to, by random chance, be too difficult for new players.

One of my campaigns is on adventure 10 and we found not a single trinket. I'm still flabbergasted by that, it's not as if we don't search things. And if it's your first campaign you don't always know what role is best for the mission. So I might not have taken the pathfinder role in my example. Even with pathfinder cards in your deck it's not the same as actually having that role. Trailblazer and paths unseen were the key cards in that mission.

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True. The Main purpose of this game is to offer some challenge to normal Gaming croup that plays game casually.

Then there ofcourse Are people like me and Daemonos who has long history of finding combos and optimal deckdesigns. Who optimise the characters, roles and decks even before playing their first gaming sessions. (And I consider myself only semipro deckbuilder. Not competative level MTG guru)

I am sure that most Gaming croups finds the difficulty suitable. Struglin in the Beginning, having easier time when learning how to optimise their Gaming and move to hard mode when things gets too easy.

If you manage to optimise the game before the first Gaming run, then even hard mode is somewhat too easy, but I Expect that future expasions offer more difficult experience expesially when played in hard mode. This first adventure is an introduction to this game and because of that it will be easier than the coming upp adventures!

In the meanwhile we can make up house rules when needed to tinker the difficulty system. This is a co-op so house rules are a good way of making the game suit to each player croup!

Edited by Hannibal_pjv
Typos

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On 5/6/2019 at 8:12 AM, Daemonos said:

Only Aragorn with 2 attacks killed both of them and Beravor alone killed the troll. 

How?! This leaves me puzzeled.

We havent found a single item in our 7 scenarios and are now able to upgrade 1 item.

We play Aragon + Beravor.

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I've played the first two adventures now and lost both of them lol.  In hindsight, I can see mistakes that I made, things I could have done better, and rules I overlooked that could have been to my advantage.  For some reason, I tend to forget about the abilities on the big Tarot-sized cards at the bottom.  Specifically, like Aragorn's ability to scout 3 every turn (along with a nearby hero).  I've thought about starting over for that reason.  

Anyway, I've decided this game is like one of two things:

1)  It's either like a video game along the lines of many of the EA Sports games;  Where you start out weak but you build your character up along the way.  At the beginning you can't really beat Roger Federer or Raphael Nadal, but by the end you get your character built up and you can whip up on them.

2)  OR it's like a video game where your character gets stronger along the way, but the challenges you face also get stronger, so the level of challenge remains about the same all the way through.

Which one is true?

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Interesting question,,, for me it was harder in the beginning. Mainly because if you win, After 3 games your deck has 5 success from 16 card instead of 4 and 15. So ods are 5/16=31% or 5/11=45% (after preparing 5 cards) vs 4/15=26% or 4/10=40% (after preparing 5 cards) so ods gets better and better when you add success cards to your deck and prepare those that Are not. And it seemed that the difficulty did not scales based on those odds. But because there Are randomnes in the game. It would require Many gametroughs to confirm it.

the game definitely get harder when you move on, so there is scaling up. But if I have to ques. You may run ahead of the scaling, remain the same or fall behind depending on how often you lose and how much you can collect trinkets etc. So the anver is c. It all depends...

Edited by Hannibal_pjv

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On 5/12/2019 at 7:02 PM, thePREdiger said:

How?! This leaves me puzzeled.

We havent found a single item in our 7 scenarios and are now able to upgrade 1 item.

We play Aragon + Beravor.

Prepared card spike trap, then prepares successes from the scout (with Aragorn bonus) - she had the "Rage" wound and was in a tile with a campfire and used pierce. Counterattack didn't apply because of the stun effect.

As Aragorn, I had prepared a Strike 3 card and used it with the sword maximized. So 1 attack hit for 9 plus 3 for a total of 12 plus pierce. For the guardian "smite" was used from a campfire. Note that one of the boses was weakened by a ballista.

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10
On 5/14/2019 at 7:59 AM, Hannibal_pjv said:

Interesting question,,, for me it was harder in the beginning. Mainly because if you win, After 3 games your deck has 5 success from 16 card instead of 4 and 15. So ods are 5/16=31% or 5/11=45% (after preparing 5 cards) vs 4/15=26% or 4/10=40% (after preparing 5 cards) so ods gets better and better when you add success cards to your deck and prepare those that Are not. And it seemed that the difficulty did not scales based on those odds. But because there Are randomnes in the game. It would require Many gametroughs to confirm it.

the game definitely get harder when you move on, so there is scaling up. But if I have to ques. You may run ahead of the scaling, remain the same or fall behind depending on how often you lose and how much you can collect trinkets etc. So the anver is c. It all depends...

Because the deck gets better and better (more success cards compared to no success) your trinkets and weapons get better, so the end game can be easier. 

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:59 PM, Hannibal_pjv said:

Interesting question,,, for me it was harder in the beginning. Mainly because if you win, After 3 games your deck has 5 success from 16 card instead of 4 and 15. So ods are 5/16=31% or 5/11=45% (after preparing 5 cards) vs 4/15=26% or 4/10=40% (after preparing 5 cards) so ods gets better and better when you add success cards to your deck and prepare those that Are not. And it seemed that the difficulty did not scales based on those odds. But because there Are randomnes in the game. It would require Many gametroughs to confirm it.

the game definitely get harder when you move on, so there is scaling up. But if I have to ques. You may run ahead of the scaling, remain the same or fall behind depending on how often you lose and how much you can collect trinkets etc. So the anver is c. It all depends...

I agree with "it depends". Knowing how to build your team up helps a lot to making the game easier. As does knowing what the "trick" is to each adventure. I beat every mission but the last one. Without spoilers I'll just say that I failed to see what had to be done several times, and also failed to optimize my combat prowess enough so that I just couldn't beat it. I could probably beat it with that team if I tried again, but knowing what I know now, I can more easily prepare for that challenge.

Overall the campaign did get easier for me, until I got slammed on the last mission. The missions prior to the last mission were quite easy, especially the second to last mission, which I won on the second turn. There was one mission I almost lost due to threat, but I didn't have foreknowledge. Knowing that now it'll be easier the second time.

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On 5/15/2019 at 3:48 AM, Daemonos said:

Prepared card spike trap, then prepares successes from the scout (with Aragorn bonus) - she had the "Rage" wound and was in a tile with a campfire and used pierce. Counterattack didn't apply because of the stun effect.

As Aragorn, I had prepared a Strike 3 card and used it with the sword maximized. So 1 attack hit for 9 plus 3 for a total of 12 plus pierce. For the guardian "smite" was used from a campfire. Note that one of the boses was weakened by a ballista.

Yes, fire pits are your friend in a BIG way.  A lot of the weapons become amazing when you get the first upgrade as well - especially the Great Bow (easy access to Cleave, which makes those otherwise annoying groups of 3 enemies evaporate) and the Staff (Stun is probably the single best modifier to an attack you can get).

Rage is MOST of the time terrible, but both Beravor and Legolas are well-suited to using it to their advantage.  In my one completed campaign, the final boss went down fairly quickly to a flurry of blows using Rage, Emboldened, and a fully upgraded Torch (I forget the level III name as I didn't get to use it for long, but Pierce + Smite + Stun is ridiculous).

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9 hours ago, Doug DeMoss said:

Yes, fire pits are your friend in a BIG way.  A lot of the weapons become amazing when you get the first upgrade as well - especially the Great Bow (easy access to Cleave, which makes those otherwise annoying groups of 3 enemies evaporate) and the Staff (Stun is probably the single best modifier to an attack you can get).

Rage is MOST of the time terrible, but both Beravor and Legolas are well-suited to using it to their advantage.  In my one completed campaign, the final boss went down fairly quickly to a flurry of blows using Rage, Emboldened, and a fully upgraded Torch (I forget the level III name as I didn't get to use it for long, but Pierce + Smite + Stun is ridiculous).

Yeah this is a good example of the randomness and/or foreknowledge factor. Before playing the campaign once, it's impossible to know all of these tricks. In addition, not finding the torch REALLY hurts against the final boss. It makes (or would've made) a huge difference. There also aren't that many cards that can provide stun or smite, so you'd have to run coordinated strike, run crescendo of dawn, or have that fire-y title, or prepare from before the first mission by taking weapons that can get those modifiers (or even all of those things).

Once you know the tricks, it becomes a lot easier. But probably the game is balanced towards not knowing them.

Edited by *player3640663

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