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Thunderstone Advance: Root of Corruption» Forums » Variants

Subject: The Siege for two players rss

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Thomas Schandl
Austria
Wien
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Myself and others were initially disappointed that the cooperative Siege variant is supposedly for 3-5 players only, as it would be nice to have an official way to play a two player co-op version of Thunderstone.

I wanted to take a look at this variant and think about house rules that make it work for two players.
After one initial game with my girlfriend it seems that a two player Siege works with the rules as they are. Maybe some house rules would improve it further, but I quite liked this variant (we managed to get a close victory).

We played with 4 files of monsters, as per the setup of the three player game. I see three main issues that might have lead AEG to state this requires a minimum of three players:
* Two players have more time to develop their decks, as each person has more turns before the monsters assault the wall. This should result in an easier beginning for two players. (I had the impression that the starting phase of the Siege is the hardest part anyway, so this being easier for two players is okay with me.)
* Two players have less competition over key cards, so they might build stronger and/or more synergetic decks.
* Towards the end of the game the players have accumulated a lot of monsters. This should make for more diluted decks as opposed to a three player game, where the monsters are split amongst more people, resulting in a more difficult mid-game and finale for two players.

There might be other issues that skew a two player game, what do you think?

In any case there are a lot of options for tweaking the difficulty of the Siege - this comes to mind:
* Use more monsters of a certain level
* Increase/decrease the number of wall tokens
* Make the monsters advance slower by not turning over a monster every X turns (or turn over two monsters to make it harder)
* Allow players to store two monster cards in the defeated besiegers pile when taking a rest action (instead of destroying one card and storing one monster).
* Use Avatars
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Francis K. Lalumiere
Canada
Brossard
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Very interesting post.
Thanks!
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Eric Apfel
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I have one friend who I regularly game with. (Unfortunately our other friends have no interest in board games.) Thunderstone is one of our favorites, but we don't play it as often since we usually play co-op games. When I heard this was a co-op expansion, I quickly picked it up from my FLGS, and we hurriedly opened the box to set it up. That's when I read the 3-5 player requirement.

So, I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with a 2-player variation. We briefly considered playing 2 decks each to emulate "4" players, but I thought there had to be a better way. I came up with basically the same concerns you did with using only two players utilizing the 3-player rules. But we've never actually tested it that way, and if you say it still worked out great, we may just give that a go.
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Thomas Schandl
Austria
Wien
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Last weekend I again played the siege twice with two players.
One time we lost pretty clearly, the other time we won in a landslide. The mix of village/hero and monster cards seems to be the most important factor when it comes to difficulty.
In regular Thunderstone you have all time that you need to develop a deck and defeat monsters, so a weak setup won't hurt that much. But in the siege the clock is ticking fast. I suggest to use a semi-random setup, trying to balance the cards a bit, because some cards in this variant are almost useless (e.g. Ranger's Wilderness Map, Moonclaw), while others are too beneficial (Woodguard).

We also used Avatars and the house rule, that a resting player can put two monster cards from the hand into the defeated besiegers pile (but then no card can be destroyed), so that made it easier.
Additionally I changed the (in this variant) useless level 2 Avatar abilities of the thief to "Dungeon: Pay 2 XP. Each other player draws 1 card" and of the ranger to "Village: Pay 2 XP to put one monster card from your hand into the defeated besiegers pile".
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Denny Dukes
United States
Unspecified
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Thank you for posting your thoughts and observations. I only have two players to play TS, so Siege bummed me out to hear there's a minimum of three players. Your efforts and post mortems make me see the possibilities of playing it with two after all.
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Clwe
United Kingdom
Essex
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I'm aware that this is resurrecting a year-old thread, but I thought I'd chime in with the modifications that I use for a two-player siege game:


• Use only 30 monster cards. My preferred setup is to take a level 1, level 2 and level 3 monster group and shuffle them in two parts - one part (on top) consisting of five level 1 and five level 2 monsters, the other part being the remaining twenty (Add a guardian somewhere in the bottom part for extra kicks).

• Only three files of monsters (instead of four or five). This makes the scenario more manageable with just two players, but also scales the difficulty appropriately, as monsters will be moving more frequently (one less file = one fewer player turn between each monster move).

• The wall token losses are adjusted as follows: If a single monster escapes, one token is lost on that wall. If two monsters escape, all three walls lose one token, and...if three monsters escape, all three walls lose TWO tokens.


The above seems to work quite well in my experience. It is definitely easier building good decks with just two players, but the higher stakes on the wall token losses (and less time in general, due to a reduced file count) keep things tense and provide a reasonable challenge.
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Tony Fanchi
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Thanks for the suggestions. My experience playing 2-player with 4 files was that it was pretty easy to win. I'll give your setup a try.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Anderson
Indiana
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I would be very interested in hearing more experiences with house rules, especially related to 2-player Siege. My wife and I like to play co-op and would love to get this expansion and try it out in that form.
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Thomas Schandl
Austria
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You can try it before getting the expansion, the rules can be downloaded here and you can just play the Siege with the cards you already have.
The paper board from this expansion is not necessary (and not even useful in my opinion, it takes up way too much table space)
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Anderson
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That is a good suggestion. We will try it. I would still like to hear experiences of others as well. I am wondering if only using 3 files of monsters for 2 players would make the experience too hard or if using 4 ranks would be too easy? I like the idea of being able to put a monster in a defeated pile from a player's hand while resting. I wonder if that tactic would improve my experience in playing the regular, non-Siege solo rules? Or do people prefer using Siege when playing solo?
 
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Susan F.
Canada
Lethbridge
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Clwe wrote:
I'm aware that this is resurrecting a year-old thread, but I thought I'd chime in with the modifications that I use for a two-player siege game:


• Use only 30 monster cards. My preferred setup is to take a level 1, level 2 and level 3 monster group and shuffle them in two parts - one part (on top) consisting of five level 1 and five level 2 monsters, the other part being the remaining twenty (Add a guardian somewhere in the bottom part for extra kicks).

• Only three files of monsters (instead of four or five). This makes the scenario more manageable with just two players, but also scales the difficulty appropriately, as monsters will be moving more frequently (one less file = one fewer player turn between each monster move).

• The wall token losses are adjusted as follows: If a single monster escapes, one token is lost on that wall. If two monsters escape, all three walls lose one token, and...if three monsters escape, all three walls lose TWO tokens.


The above seems to work quite well in my experience. It is definitely easier building good decks with just two players, but the higher stakes on the wall token losses (and less time in general, due to a reduced file count) keep things tense and provide a reasonable challenge.


We've tried this set-up twice. Our first game was lost by the Thunderstone Bearer breaking through the wall in the last round. Our second game was a strong win (about 100 points for us; 30-ish for the bad guys). Of course, we had the Woodguard (glowing tree) in the second game so that helped a lot. In our first game, we could hardly fight any level 3 monsters because our hands were so clogged with level 1/2 monsters.
 
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