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Subject: WOTR revision - Survey on Facebook rss

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Roberto Di Meglio
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I posted today a survey on our Facebook page regarding the balance in the WOTR basic game.

Is the number of Victory Points the Shadow must conquer to win ok, or should be higher?

You are welcome to provide your feedback on the topic at
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nexus-Games/144553668924707

We are now at work on finalizing the changes on the WOTR revised edition and we are looking for some specific feedback, other questions might come soon!
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Steve Hope
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I couldn't figure out how to reply on Facebook, Roberto, but I do think 11 or 12 would be better. Having said that, most of our games these days end with a ring victory/defeat and the VP level of the Shadow only has a marginal impact on that (forces the ringbearers to move slightly faster vs slower). I think 11 might be better but I like the symmetry of having 12 (same as the corruption target).
 
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Ron Gilbert
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I also wasn't able to figure out how to respond on Facebook, but I'd go with 11 or 12. I lean towards 11, but wouldn't be opposed to 12.
 
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Roberto Di Meglio
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Thanks for your replies here! Anyway to reply on FB, just leave a comment to my post.
(You must be a FB user of course)
 
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Chris Long
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I couldn't disagree more. 10 is just right, and I don't see any reason to change it. You obviously felt it was the appropriate amount back when you first released the game, after what I'm sure was countless hours of play-testing. Why throw all of that away?

New players have a difficult enough time winning with it set at 10 points. How many times do new players lose to a FPMV because they overextended? If the veterans want to make the game more difficult for themselves, they can make house rules to raise it to 11 or 12. But don't make that the default.

The Shadow should have the advantage.
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James Boardgame
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I agree with Chris. My main problem with the expansion is the extent to which it balances the game.
 
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Ron Gilbert
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Just curious...what's wrong with balanced victory conditions? (not a flame here...I'm just trying to understand your point of view)

I can see having unbalanced scenarios in a quick game like CCA where it's ok to play 2 games - then the winner is the one with the most VP's in both games combined. But, in a longer game like WoTR, I'd personally rather have balanced victory conditions. (not saying balanced militarily...just as close as you can get to 50/50 wins given equal opponents with roughly equivalent luck during the game)
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Kevin Wojtaszcyk
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11 or 12 makes the game more balanced than 10 VPs because the SP has a harder time just military blitzing so has to have some corruption focus too.

Not sure why people think the shadow should be stonger or the game unbalanced? An unbalanced game typically is not a game that will last over time as players wanting to play the side which loses most of the time will start losing interest. Whereas a game which is balanced, makes for a game that will be played more and played for more years.

Case in point, I see more people playing WoTR with the expansion (if they own it) than just the base game because the expansion rules helped balance the game play while adding extra components/rules.

 
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James Boardgame
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There's nothing at all wrong with people preferring a more balanced game. I personally enjoy asymmetric games, whatever their length, but can understand why others prefer balance. The game favouring Shadow feels more thematically right for me - which is just a matter of taste.

I like the bits in the expansion and so find it hard to resist the urge to throw them all in, but the fact that it balances the game subtracts something from my experience of the game. I guess it's just a general feeling that the game should be an uphill struggle for the Free People.

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Chris Long
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Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting a balanced game. I want a balanced game.

The difference is that I believe in the developers of the game (and the development/testing process it went through before publication) a lot more than a random handful of players who are complaining. I can't believe Nexus is even entertaining the idea of changing this.
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Stacey Hager
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I say leave it as is - now if you want, you can include an OPTIONAL VARIANT rule that could accommodate the change.

We have found through numerous plays that the game works - this is would be a big change.
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Kevin Wojtaszcyk
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OPTIONAL VARIANT idea is an interesting one. As that has been done in a number of other games. Probably could even list it as a 'balanced game variant'?

Then those who want to play the game as it was originally released could and those interested in a more balanced game could play the balanced variant.

 
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Kris Hall
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I've long been a fan of the game, despite the fact that I can't remember the last time the Free Peoples won a game. In my experience, the Shadow always wins with experienced players. So adjusting the victory points would be fine, either as the norm or as an optional rule.
 
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Nathan Emch
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Leave it as it is.

I actually feel that the game is PERFECTLY balanced just the way it is. I am basing this on countless games played with VERY experienced players over many years' time. My group has only had one, maybe two, "blowout" games where one side soundly defeats the other. The VAST majority of our games are nail-biters that come down to the Middle Earth equivalent of a photo finish, and we have had a near equal number of Shadow and Freep victories.

Leave it as it is.
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Stacey Hager
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Ksuvi Khor wrote:
Leave it as it is.

I actually feel that the game is PERFECTLY balanced just the way it is. I am basing this on countless games played with VERY experienced players over many years' time. My group has only had one, maybe two, "blowout" games where one side soundly defeats the other. The VAST majority of our games are nail-biters that come down to the Middle Earth equivalent of a photo finish, and we have had a near equal number of Shadow and Freep victories.

Leave it as it is.


True dat, Nate. For those who think the Freep's have it rough, well, read the books sometime and tell me they don't. The theme of the game would be compromised if it was made too easy for them. And I truly believe two extra shadow VP's to contend with would have tipped the scales to the freeps many times over in our games.

But as for an included OPTIONAL rule, again, be my guest.
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Kyle Meighan
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Kris M. wrote:
I've long been a fan of the game, despite the fact that I can't remember the last time the Free Peoples won a game. In my experience, the Shadow always wins with experienced players. So adjusting the victory points would be fine, either as the norm or as an optional rule.

That's funny, my experience is exactly the opposite. I found in the base game with inexperienced players the Shadow tended to have an edge, but with experience the Free People were winning almost exclusively very often. (*edit: "almost exclusively" was a little too extreme *)

(*edit: my vote is that the 10 points is perfect as is. *)
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Matthew Emch
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While we are at it, let's give Italy a -2 goal handicap in the World Cup.

NO. Don't know where this idea came from, but please quash it.

Shadow VPs are perfect as is.
Victory Conditions are perfect.

What is the exact philosophy behind the considered change Roberto?? Because I'm just not seeing where this change would make good sense.
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Roberto Di Meglio
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Well, we're working on fine-tuning some aspects of the game (no epocal shifts, but we're planning a few nice improvements, I believe) and the SA/FP balance has always been a highly debated topic.

In tournament play, biddings on VP and Corruption are typical 'dials' which are used to tune the balance, we just wanted to understand if there is a general consensus that the Shadow Armies have it too easy or not.

PS I think that in recent times we'd rather need a +2 bonus in the World Cup... cry
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Mike M
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Rather than the VP, I think what needs to be addressed is the ease of taking Dale, Erebor, and the Woodland Realm. Rather than raising the VP and making this strategy even more essential for the Shadow, I'd make that area just slightly harder to take.

What about adding a dwarf regular to Erebor?
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Christian Marcussen
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shager wrote:

I say leave it as is - now if you want, you can include an OPTIONAL VARIANT rule that could accommodate the change.

We have found through numerous plays that the game works - this is would be a big change.

My thoughts exactly.
 
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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Sheep wrote:
Rather than the VP, I think what needs to be addressed is the ease of taking Dale, Erebor, and the Woodland Realm. Rather than raising the VP and making this strategy even more essential for the Shadow, I'd make that area just slightly harder to take.

What about adding a dwarf regular to Erebor?

Or an Elite perhaps...

sauron
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CJ
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I would have to chime in with an encouragement to not add any VP's for the shadow. In my game experience (maybe 35-40 games), the FP win 3 out of 4 games. I have found that the game often goes down to the last round or two with the ring being tossed into the cracks of doom. And also, I would say it has happened several times when the shadow achieved 10 VP in the same round that the ring was undone. At least in my small gaming group, the game seems pretty balanced.

I would agree with the thought of adding a regular here and there as opposed to adding VP's.
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The Grouch
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(smacks head, groans)

Roberto, please tell me this will be a rules revision only, and that the PDF will be available for those of us with the original edition. I love this excellent game, but I'd prefer not to have to buy another copy.

And if isn't just a rules revision, but components as well, please, please tell me there will be an upgrade kit.

Otherwise, I have to say between this and the revised edition of Curse of the Dark Pharaoh, I'm getting concerned that FFG is going all Games Workshop on its loyal fan base.
 
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Roberto Di Meglio
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There will be no need to buy the game again.

There will be a few small rules changes/clarifications (you just need the new PDF, or simply to be aware of them, to include in your games) and a few cards will have new/revised wordings.

We'll make an "upgrade" kit available for the cards, because apart from the revised wordings, they will also be larger (like the CE).

The upgrade kit will include cards, card sleeves, and a tin box to keep all of it.

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Kyle Meighan
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So then my beautiful hardbound collector's edition rulebook will no longer contain the complete and accurate rules?

And I will have to buy new cards as well?
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