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The Hobbit: The Defeat of Smaug» Forums » Rules

Subject: Optional Rules rss

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Paul Bradshaw
England
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As I have posted before I am an avid Tolkien fan and certainly purchased this game on that initial basis alone. What did I get? Well, a light and unchallenging 'race' game that is good to get out when you have company around that would not consider themselves gamers. Many have posted how they enjoy playing this one with their kids and I also hope that I am in a position to do so when my boys are a little older. However, I have only played this with adult company generally after fine food and wine as a pleasant evenings distraction. In such company the simple race / experience / gathering / point tallying mechanic works well. Nevertheless, I have come up with a couple of simple rule additions that could make this game a bit more of a competative experience:

Bilbo was meant to play the role of a thief in the eyes of the Dwarf party and rules 1 and 2 are meant to reinforce this into the gameplay.

1.STEAL OPTION: If on any movement roll a character lands on a Steal Icon remove the optional capacity and force them to attempt the heist. They then have to take the relevant consequences.

2. STEALING FROM OTHER PLAYERS: If you land on the same space as another player you may attempt to steal from them. Add their current jewel / adventure totals together and roll a die 20. If you roll equal to or above this score then you are succesful and may remove one of their jewels and add it to your own collection. There is scope, if all parties are prepared to play in such a way, to extend it to Helpful Items and Weapons as well. The 4 Gandalf's Gifts rule would still come in to play.

This is an experiential adventure game and interaction with the games mechanics should be key to progress. You do need a Gandalf's Gift card with the Smaug symbol and 8 adventure points and jewels (cumulative) before you can directly attack Smaug's Lair; Optional rule 3 is designed to reflect that.

3. DEFEATING SMAUG: Before a player can enter the Desolation Of Smaug they should have a Gandalf Gift card with the requisite Smaug symbol on it, but also have a minimum of 5 adventure points and 5 jewels.

The game is based on the book The Hobbit and whilst the board and cards touch on many aspects of this the game itself generally does so in a very limited and abstract manner. It can be quite odd drawing a card that makes you deal with Smaug before you have even left the Edge Of The Wild! Rule 4 is simply an offering for those that would like to experince the game a little bit more in the manner of the book.

4. ADVENTURE CARDS / STORYBOARD: To make the experiential aspect of the game seem more in tune with the book itself then specific experience cards can be allocated to relevant regions on the board. As per the story itself there will be in imbalance of cards allocated to certain areas simply due to the fact that more things occurred in places like the Misty Mountains / Mirkwood than did in say the Carrock for example. Each pile therefore constitutes its own specific set of circumstances and needs to be reshuffled as required. The allocation could be as follows (individual cards per are in no specific order):

EDGE OF THE WILD 9 cards
Elven Hospitality
Thunderstorm
Stone Giants
Empty Cave
Company of Dwarves
Troll Talk
Treasure Chest
Talking Purse
Scared Ponies

MISTY MOUNTAINS 10 cards
Dark Tunnels
Goblins' Glee
The Great Goblins' Throne
Underground Lake
Gollum Riddle Challenge x 3
Blocked by Gollum
Blocked Gate
Mountain Chase

THE CARROCK 6 cards
Stocking Up
Chilled to the Bone
Howling Wargs
Rocky Ledge
Forest Fire
Rockslide

MIRKWOOD 8 cards
Take a Drink
Hatching a Plan
Spider Web
Chased by Spiders
River Crossing
Lured Away
Escape by River
Elven Dungeon

LONG LAKE 7 cards
Victory Song
Swarm of Bats
Business at the Lake
In Need of Convincing
Battle of the Five Armies
Stay Close Together
Bogged Down

DESOLATION OF SMAUG 7 cards
Sneaking Past Smaug
Arkenstone
Getting Your Share
Locked Door
Stretching Your Luck
Taking the Lead
Hunger, Hunger

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Yegor Sadoshenko
Ukraine
Dniepropetrovsk
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Paul,

I really like your idea with #4. I will definitely try it out one day.
As we play in a more friendly way , we don't steal from each other, so #2 is not for us. As for #3, when we get to Smaug, we usually have more than 5 jewels and points, so that won't work for us. But, #4 is really nice. Thanks for the idea!

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Paul Bradshaw
England
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YeGor wrote:
Paul,

I really like your idea with #4. I will definitely try it out one day.
As we play in a more friendly way , we don't steal from each other, so #2 is not for us. As for #3, when we get to Smaug, we usually have more than 5 jewels and points, so that won't work for us. But, #4 is really nice. Thanks for the idea!



Glad to be of service sir.

The thing I like about this game, compared to the multitude of others that I have, is that any company can get in to it without having played it / read the rules before (even dyed in the wool non-gamers!). This of course is down to it's complete simplicity in gameplay (a factor which I'm quite sure turned many seasoned gamers off of it!). In essence this game is a very 'gentle' experience and these additional rules were an attempt to add a little bit of a more competative edge between players. The final one, whilst not perfect, is simply designed to give genuine fans of the book a bit more of a relevant contextual gaming experience.

As for rule three that could be seen as a sliding bar that could be altered to fit how your games generally pan out... ie you could raise the level to say 7 of each if you find that everyone reaches 5 easily by that point.
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Yegor Sadoshenko
Ukraine
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Played the game with the adventure cards sorted as suggested by Paul. Liked it. Does feel more like in a book this way (though sorting them was a bit of a pain in the back).

I think Paul, you missed 1 card - On the Wrong Bank. I suggest to put it into the Mirkwood mix.
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Alfred Das
Netherlands
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I'm with Yegor on this one. I really like rule #4, it is very thematic. Rule #3 is ok, rule #1 perhaps yes but rule #2 I don't like, it doesn't feel like Bilbo to me.

Thanks for sharing these houserules.
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Paul Bradshaw
England
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Now that is interesting as I do not ever recall owning such a card in the deck, maybe mine was one short on purchase. Would concur with the choice of Mirkwood as location for that.
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William Garramone
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Hirsty9Owls wrote:
As I have posted before I am an avid Tolkien fan and certainly purchased this game on that initial basis alone. What did I get? Well, a light and unchallenging 'race' game that is good to get out when you have company around that would not consider themselves gamers. Many have posted how they enjoy playing this one with their kids and I also hope that I am in a position to do so when my boys are a little older. However, I have only played this with adult company generally after fine food and wine as a pleasant evenings distraction. In such company the simple race / experience / gathering / point tallying mechanic works well. Nevertheless, I have come up with a couple of simple rule additions that could make this game a bit more of a competative experience:

Bilbo was meant to play the role of a thief in the eyes of the Dwarf party and rules 1 and 2 are meant to reinforce this into the gameplay.

1.STEAL OPTION: If on any movement roll a character lands on a Steal Icon remove the optional capacity and force them to attempt the heist. They then have to take the relevant consequences.

2. STEALING FROM OTHER PLAYERS: If you land on the same space as another player you may attempt to steal from them. Add their current jewel / adventure totals together and roll a die 20. If you roll equal to or above this score then you are succesful and may remove one of their jewels and add it to your own collection. There is scope, if all parties are prepared to play in such a way, to extend it to Helpful Items and Weapons as well. The 4 Gandalf's Gifts rule would still come in to play.

This is an experiential adventure game and interaction with the games mechanics should be key to progress. You do need a Gandalf's Gift card with the Smaug symbol and 8 adventure points and jewels (cumulative) before you can directly attack Smaug's Lair; Optional rule 3 is designed to reflect that.

3. DEFEATING SMAUG: Before a player can enter the Desolation Of Smaug they should have a Gandalf Gift card with the requisite Smaug symbol on it, but also have a minimum of 5 adventure points and 5 jewels.

The game is based on the book The Hobbit and whilst the board and cards touch on many aspects of this the game itself generally does so in a very limited and abstract manner. It can be quite odd drawing a card that makes you deal with Smaug before you have even left the Edge Of The Wild! Rule 4 is simply an offering for those that would like to experince the game a little bit more in the manner of the book.

4. ADVENTURE CARDS / STORYBOARD: To make the experiential aspect of the game seem more in tune with the book itself then specific experience cards can be allocated to relevant regions on the board. As per the story itself there will be in imbalance of cards allocated to certain areas simply due to the fact that more things occurred in places like the Misty Mountains / Mirkwood than did in say the Carrock for example. Each pile therefore constitutes its own specific set of circumstances and needs to be reshuffled as required. The allocation could be as follows (individual cards per are in no specific order):

EDGE OF THE WILD 9 cards
Elven Hospitality
Thunderstorm
Stone Giants
Empty Cave
Company of Dwarves
Troll Talk
Treasure Chest
Talking Purse
Scared Ponies

MISTY MOUNTAINS 10 cards
Dark Tunnels
Goblins' Glee
The Great Goblins' Throne
Underground Lake
Gollum Riddle Challenge x 3
Blocked by Gollum
Blocked Gate
Mountain Chase

THE CARROCK 6 cards
Stocking Up
Chilled to the Bone
Howling Wargs
Rocky Ledge
Forest Fire
Rockslide

MIRKWOOD 8 cards
Take a Drink
Hatching a Plan
Spider Web
Chased by Spiders
River Crossing
Lured Away
Escape by River
Elven Dungeon

LONG LAKE 7 cards
Victory Song
Swarm of Bats
Business at the Lake
In Need of Convincing
Battle of the Five Armies
Stay Close Together
Bogged Down

DESOLATION OF SMAUG 7 cards
Sneaking Past Smaug
Arkenstone
Getting Your Share
Locked Door
Stretching Your Luck
Taking the Lead
Hunger, Hunger

Funny, I should have posted this idea as it was the first thing I did on my own not long after I played my first game.
 
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Fotrich Trucks
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I just wanted to allocate the adventure cards of my German edition and I feel, there are some different cards. I came up with the following:

EDGE OF THE WILD 9 cards / GRENZE ZUR WILDNIS 10 Karten
Elven Hospitality / Rast bei den Elben
Thunderstorm / Wirbelsturm
Stone Giants / Steinriesen
Empty Cave / Eine leere Höhle?
Company of Dwarves / Zwerge zu Gast
Troll Talk / Bei den Trollen
Treasure Chest / Schatztruhe
Talking Purse / Die sprechende Trollbörse
Scared Ponies / Scheuende Ponys
no card / Aufbruchstimmung


MISTY MOUNTAINS 10 cards / NEBELBERGE 9 Karten
Dark Tunnels / Dunkle Tunnel
Goblins' Glee / Angriff der Orks
The Great Goblins' Throne / Vor dem Großen Ork
Underground Lake / Unterirdischer See
Gollum Riddle Challenge x 3 / Wetträtseln mit Gollum 3x
Blocked by Gollum / Gollum
Blocked Gate / no card
Mountain Chase / Jagd unter der Erde

THE CARROCK 6 cards / DER CARROCK 6 Karten
Stocking Up / Ausrüstung
Chilled to the Bone / Eiseskälte
Howling Wargs / Die wilden Warge
Rocky Ledge / Auf dem Adlerhorst
Forest Fire / Waldbrand
Rockslide / Steinschlag

MIRKWOOD 9 cards / NACHTWALD 9 Karten
Take a Drink / Ein Schluck zu trinken
Hatching a Plan / Schmiede einen Plan
Spider Web / Spinnennetz
Chased by Spiders / Von Spinnen gejagt
River Crossing / Flussüberquerung
Lured Away / Vom Weg abgekommen
Escape by River / Flucht über’s Wasser
Elven Dungeon / Im Palast der Waldelben
On the Wrong Bank / Am falschen Ufer

LONG LAKE 7 cards / LANGER SEE 7 Karten
Victory Song / Ein schauriger Gesang
Swarm of Bats / Ein Schwarm Fledermäuse
Business at the Lake / Am langen See
In Need of Convincing / Überzeugungskraft tut Not
Battle of the Five Armies / Die Schlacht der 5 Heere
Stay Close Together / Gemeinschaft
Bogged Down / Sumpfiges Gelände

DESOLATION OF SMAUG 7 cards / VERWÜSTUNGEN DES DRACHEN 7 Karten
Sneaking Past Smaug / In der Drachenhöhle
Arkenstone / Arkenjuwel
Getting Your Share / Brüderlich teilen
Locked Door / Geheimtür
Stretching Your Luck / Glück muss man haben
Taking the Lead / Übernimm die Führung
Hunger, Hunger / Hunger

I don't know whether I made a wrong correlation, so if anyone has the english edition he could compare with the german edition cards:

Aufbruchstimmung (Atmosphere of departure): Your fellows /companions, the dwarves, begin to sing a song und awake longing for adventure in you. Can you repeat the following verse ... "Over the Mixty Mountains we have to go, before daybreak, ... to look for our long forgotten gold."

Blocked Gate: No corresponding card in the german edition?

Ein schauriger Gesang: You are captured by Goblins. You have to suffer their singing desperate. Can you repeat the following verse ... "Clap! Snap! Down in the dark! Grip! Grap! Cut off the ears!"
Instant success if you have "Gifted Conversation"
Success: 2 Adventurer Pt
Fail: Discard a weapon

Victory Song: No corresponding card in the german edition?



 
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