So I havent posted in a while, but I was playing Journey Down the Anduin and got creamed with 2 players. I found that a little odd since solo my win percent is in the high 60 percentile, and with only core cards no less. Simply I was teaching someone the game and made 2 decks, had Eowyn, Theodred and Dunhere. The other heroes were Legolas, Denethor and Breavor. I did limit the decks to 50 cards and since I had the leadership sphere I took 3 of the 4 Gandalfs b/c of sneak attack. The intention was to play through all core scenarios and pull out the Mirkwood series to let him build his own deck for the 6 Mirkwood quests next time.
After talking it over with my friend and he brought up a good idea: you should get the first attack on optional engagements. If you think about it, why when you are fighting for your survival would you do the "gentelmenly" thing and let your opponent go first. If you take on a guy you should either get a bonus to defense because if he does attack first it would be because you taunt him, or better you attack them first.
So I just wanted to put it out there for opinions: what do you think? Would it break the game? Make it too easy?
"I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee." - Faramir, The Two Towers
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i've tried playing it that way and i think it makes it a bit too easy. Flavour-wise, though, it does seem to fit better.
in the end I twiddled it so you can only attack first if the combined cost of all your unexhausted heroes and allies, minus the number of wounds, is more than the combined threat of all the enemies.
flavour-wise it still works. because if your group massively overpowers the enemies, then you can attack first. but if they massively overpower you then they still get to have first shot, which kind of makes sense. and the reason i included the number of wounds too, is because then it will become increasingly hard for your party to attack first as they get more and more injured, which seems to fit well.
bear in the mind that i only play these rules solo, though. so i dont know how they feel with multiple players
I just played that quest tonight (2-handed) and yes, I often optionally engage. Get those bad guys ouuta the way!. It does make it somewhat easier, especially if you have a lot of allies out during quest card 2B - you choose to engage, take 'em out, and then by te time quest card 3 rolls around you're not left with a slew of enemies - only a few.
It is somewhat easier, but I figure it's the reward for getting past that pesky Hill Troll (or 2!!!).
As far as too easy? I dunno - Win by any means possible baby! If I want a harder challenge I move onto the next quest.
"Not all heroes dwell in the light. Some limp in shadow." - Paul S. Kemp
I think the fact that enemies always attack first is one of those mechanics that doesn't make the most sense if we are thinking in terms of realism. There are going to be some cases where the heroes would get to attack first. But I think FFG had theme and gameplay in mind when they designed it that way. Theme, because they wanted to get across that sense of danger and constant pressure by the enemy given in the books. Gameplay, because obviously it ups the difficulty of the game. I hope eventually that we see some kind of option that allows us to attack first, but it will likely be limited to a certain character or attachment, and have a heavy cost to use that power.
LOTR LCG Blog: http://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/
I rather like the mechanic of enemies attacking first. It makes every enemy in the game relevant. Otherwise you would just get powerful and plow through most of them without experiencing the plethora of their effects. It also allows for the existence of thematic cards like quick strike.
As far as realism, the point in a game (especially a card game) is to distill flavor into abstract mechanics. The order of events are not supposed to represent the order things happen in real life. Realism is what you'd expect out of a simulation or an RPG, and is usually less fun because it involves more math and less playtime.
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