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Middle-Earth Quest» Forums » Variants

Subject: Middle-Earth Quest diceless Solitaire variant rss

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GodRob
United States
Unionville
Virginia
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While this is one of the few games that I have played with a group, we don't have time to get together much. Playing solo helps me get my Middle-Earth Quest fix and it's just as fun.

Also, while I like solitaire games I don't like rewriting the entire rulebook to allow solo-play. A few alterations and adjustments are all that should be required.


Adjustments:

You won't be Choosing Sides in this version. You'll play both Sauron and the Heroes. This applies whether you are using 1, 2, or 3 heroes. I prefer playing a game with three heroes followed by a game with the remaining two heroes.


Combat required some adjustments as well.

For the Heroes, choose cards as normal. Their cards are more complementary and require intelligent play.

For Monsters, I found that drawing random works fine.

For Minions, deal cards as normal based on their Fortitude. After choosing the Heroes card, I'll browse the minions hand and select all of the cards that would be good to play, then draw one of the selected cards randomly.

After a Hero declares exhaustion, feel free to select the monster or minion card normally.


Alterations:

Missions required the most obvious change. They won't be hidden! I didn't find this much of a problem and I'll discuss my reasoning behind this at the end.


Everything Else plays as normal. Decide as Sauron when to play Shadow Cards. Decide as the Heroes which plots to remove. Make the best choice for each circumstance. It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, experiencing the game is the true goal here.






Personal Observations:

Missions: There are only five missions for each side. In normal, head-to-head play, I will assume that my opponent(s) could have any of the five missions and try to position myself to be able to prevent any and all of them by the end of the third stage. At the same time, I will have to bluff and at least attempt all five of my missions so I don't give anything away. Therefore, through most of the game it doesn't matter which missions either of us have!

Another problem with the missions is just how unbalanced the Hero missions really are once Sauron knows which one to prevent. I feel that dominance is more important but if you want to introduce mission variants feel free. Hopefully, this will provide a good way to test those variants!

Combat: I tried a few different methods for playing cards during combat. It was painfully obvious that the Hero needs total control of which cards he plays and when to declare exhaustion. Once I made this decision it became obvious that I could NOT have any choice when determining which card a monster or minion will play! However, completely random cards quickly lead to quickly dead minions. Eventually, I settled on the method described above.
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Frank Baumer
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I played four games solo so far (with 1 hero), and in the last I played with this:

Mission cards:
Both sides get two cards, but the player does not know, what cards they are. At the end of the game, they will be revealed and maybe you're lucky.
This emphasizes the need to try to prevent all of the five missions of the opponent. While this enhances the luck factor a bit, it gives also a creepy feeling of "is anything of the things I do useful at all?" - well for me it works better as 1 revealed card where I know from the beginning what to prevent.

Combat:
I draw the cards for the monster, and play one card revealed. Then I play the hero card for "round" one. in round two the hero starts with a card revealed, then the monster plays his card. Round three: Monster first, Round four: Hero first. etc. The cards that force an opponent to draw first next turn vice versa this.
Even though after 2-3 rounds hero and monster know quite well what card the opponent will play (since I'm the player for both) it's less random and gives the monsters a better chance to survive. Since the monster always plays first, it seems balanced so far.

any comments are appreciated.

btw. how long does a solo game takes for you? I'm always around 5h, because it's quite easy to forget something, or make a mistake (without anybody screaming at you ), which forces me to be very careful while thinking for two players instead of one. maybe a 2-hero-solo game was even faster, than a 1-hero-solo game?

I really love this game - it's like AH for LotR.
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GodRob
United States
Unionville
Virginia
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Frank, I like your hidden/blind double mission variant! I will use that in my next game.

Still not sure about the monster combat. Not because I don't like your system (quite the opposite), but that I feel monster combat is more of a speed bump than an actual threat. I will try your method for Minion combat though.

I'm not sure how long a game takes for me. I play some with 3-heroes and some with 2-heroes. Still haven't played with only 1 hero though. I usually play a few hours one day then finish the game up the next day.

Robert
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Gesine Stanienda
Ireland
Galway
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I can't wait, my copy is in the post. I will play solo most of the tme. So, I'm really enjoying reading these! I can't wait to play using these rules.
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