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letsdance

fixing locations / northern trackers

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I don't think we should consider cards from the Core Set as old as opposed to cards from the Adventure Packs being considered new.

There's a good chance all the AP and the Core Set were developed as a whole by the same design team during the same period. To us they may look new, but to the design team, there was probably some "plan" in bringing new features to the players (such as the Evasion mechanic we'll see later, Ally objective cards, etc.).

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But you did comment on 2 players.  I'm specifically addressing your comment (below, bolded )  that you seem to need them in 2 player HfG games.

northern trackers are absolutely required to win scenarios with certain player numbers. for the gollum expansion scenario it seems you even need them in 2 player games.

As for the assertion that it is absolutely required to win with certain player numbers (3 or 4 based on your subsequent) comments, that assertion is simply not true from my experience with 3-4 player games.  While I've definitely played more 2 player or solo, my only complaint about the game is that it is too easy with 3 or 4 players...and that has nothing to do with Northern Tracker.  The last thing we need is to make the game easier for 3-4 players.  I don't believe that your rule would make it harder somehow.

To be clear, I'm not trying to belittle your opinion.  I just respectfully disagree with it and think that the rules are fine the way they are now for travelling.  I would also expect to see additional options for player cards in dealing with the travel limitation.

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Woz said:

But you did comment on 2 players.

northern trackers are absolutely required to win scenarios with certain player numbers. for the gollum expansion scenario it seems you even need them in 2 player games.

true. though i put an "it seems" here, because i'm not sure. after playing HfG twice we decided to bag it again and leave it there, unless we want to use parts for a selfmade scenario. that's not really enough to make a qualified statement. but i don't think the problem persists with 2 player games in general, just if you have unlucky draws and in HfG because it has a very high percentage of locations.

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Surely the problem we are talking about here, is with extremes. If you get a good mixture of cards out of the encounter deck, then things will generally be fine. The problem is when you get a run of a single type of card:

 Treachery cards have multiple ways of being cancelled/replaced, some do not effect at all (increased location threat with no locations, damage to characters of players on 35+ threat with no player on 35+ threat etc.)

Enemies can be fought by all four players with varying degrees of effectiveness, and different spheres have different ways of dealing with them. Forest Snare/ Feint, Gondorian Spearman/Dunhere etc.

A Run of locations though has VERY few possibilities for dealing with it. Yes Strider's path, particularly in combination with Strength of Will offers some expanded scope, but the fact remains that IF you get 3 or 4 locations revealed a round for more than one round, particularly if there are no enemies (and thus no progress tokens from Legolas or blade of gondolin) then you need a Northern Tracker to get those locations under control. It's not a guaranteed  occurance, regardless of the scenario or the number of players, but if it does happen, Northern Tracker is currently the only real option.

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 To my eyes Northern Tracker looks like the sort of card that slipped through development. Generally in a game with named and un-named characters, named characters have bigger, splashy and more fundamental effects. That's because you want people to play with the named characters and named characters themselves have a drawback of being one per table.

In 3+ player games, Northern Tracker tends to dominate. It doesn't always win you the game but drawing him early vastly increases your odds of winning. Possibly more so than most (maybe all) other allies. 

The easiest way to judge power levels is to consider whether Northern Tracker was named: you would still put 3 in every deck you could put him in. Similarly if he cost 6, you would still think he's a good deal but he would become more specialised. 

I am however wondering if the other side of the issue is locations so I'm wondering if at least as a house rule I might change what happens when duplicate locations show up. E.g. the deck produces a location of one already in play.

1) the card is discarded and a replacement drawn (i.e discarded and gets surge) OR

2) Each player gets +1 threat then the card is discarded.

3) The duplicate attaches to the location (becoming a condition) that it is a copy of giving it +1 Threat and +1 Distance (i.e. need more progress tokens).

My temptation would be to try these (I like #3 best) and then ban northern tracker to see how the game changes. 

 

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