Also, the development of the spheres and the keywords have been really uneven. Rohan has pretty much been forgotten for example and it is nearly impossible to have a spirit only deck. If they have POD quests, why can't they also make POD cards for the spheres? I would gladly buy them. I am more than willing to throw my money at Fantasy Flights if they do this, because frankly, I have more cash than time.
this would be a problem for player cards as they are non compatible…unless you sleeve then it would be easy to tell what was coming in your deck next. this isnt a problem for pod quests where they dont interact physically with your own cards
Author of the forum Tolkienology Series
As someone who bought the game for solo play and gets to play two player once in a blue moon, what I have to help with the difficulty without houseruling, is to use the optional in the rulebook which says not to draw shadow cards. For those of us who play solo and don't like the harsh difficulty this actually helps balance it just a little bit.
Looking for Call of Cthulhu and Arkham Horror players in Cambridgeshire, UK.
One thing is for certain: You Can't Please Everyone. This game will be deemed as too difficult by some and even too easy by a few.
For me, sure it's tough (I only play solo) but it's very simple to put into effect house rules that simplify things to a degree. One that I've used in the past is the option of taking an extra mulligan (or two…), or choosing one card from the deck for my opening hand. These sort of variants are certainly less game-changing than playing with no shadow effects or an extra hero. Also, when I win the scenario I'll go back and beat it without the extra mulligan or one free card or whatever, now that I've got a handle on it. (However, lately I've been trying to just playing things straight). The only quest that I haven't had success with this is (suprise) Escape from Dol Guldur--to "beat" it solo I used 4 heroes, chose the captive, AND chose a card to have in my starting hand (even then it wasn't easy!).
I currently play 2-player as much as possible because I feel it is the sweet spot for this game, but I frequently play solo simply due the busy lives of myself and my friends. When I play solo I almost always play "double-fisted" (I control two decks) because the true solo game can be extremely luck based. I should say, however, that I've been experimenting with ways to make the true solo game more fun. I've tried playing without shadow cards but I find that they are increasingly a critical part of the story of each scenario and removing them makes the scenario too different from regular play. The other tricks I've tried are to start with more resources than normal (+1 or +2 or +3 depending on the scenario) and/or starting with more than 6 cards in my initial draw. These changes give the solo player a little boost from the start but don't effectively change the nature of the game. The problem is that victory is still very much dependant on luck of the draw from the encounter deck. Another modification I've tried is one that I saw on BGG. Start with 4 heroes instead of 3 and use the average threat of the 4 heroes. This is a huge power increase which makes the game significantly easier in solo play and I recommend it for those of you who find normal solo play just too difficult to be worthwhile.
In general, if the game is too hard for you to enjoy, there's lots of little tricks you can to make it easier. I know this doesn't help those who plan to play at conventions or organized play, but when you're at home there's nothing stopping you from tweaking the rules to get the kind of game experience you want.
I would much prefer if FFG keeps the game difficult. It's a lot easier to use houserules to make the game easier than it is to make it harder. FFG needs to do a better job at providing alternative rules for easier play, especially for beginners trying to get into the game this late in the game's development.
I hope that FFG does not make anything easier. The theme and difficulty of the game right now are awesome right now, in my opinion, and if they made anything easier I would not buy it. That is the whole point of these types of games. If it is too easy, then a lot of people are not going to like it and are not going to invest in it. If it is hard, but still beatable, then that's what makes people like the game.
If some of the scenarios are too hard, then nothing is forcing you to play them. Go on to a different one. But all the scenarios have been beaten, and they are all possible, otherwise they would not have been released. I haven't beaten all the scenarios yet, and I definitely haven't beaten the Heirs of Numenor quests. But a whole cycle is coming, based on Heirs of Numenor type quests, and every single adventure pack will have more cards that make the previous ones easier. Don't give up on the game, thinking it's too hard, because they wouldn't make a game that isn't possible. If you need help on certain quests, use the forums. There are a whole bunch of people on here that will help if they can.
Playing an intense scenario, on the last stage, when you finally notice you've been playing with two Bofurs the whole time.
Oops! In my last post I suggested a way to make the solo game easier by using 4 heroes and the average threat of each. Wrong! (this is what happens when I start posting while completely exhausted and a busy toddler climbing over me).
What I meant to say is use 4 heroes and the starting threat is 3 times their average threat. ex. [ (7+10+8+12) / 4 ] x 3 = 27.75 = 28 starting threat. This gives the solo player a significant power boost and the game is much easier but it still doesn't resolve the inherently luck based nature of the solo game.
Some cards are better than others, that's always the nature of nearly any game (not just those with deck construction). However, some people have different play styles and cards that you write off, might be key components in the strategy employed by another player.
Who said Eagles were rubbish? Because they are…. against some quests. The Hills of Emyn Muil is a very simple quest that I can destroy in a few turns with a good Spirit deck, but can't get anywhere against with my Eagles. And yet, I can beat all of the Heirs of Numenor quests with the same Eagle deck.
There are some very good decks posted on the strategy forum here or on CardGameDB.com, try out one of those and see how you do. Also, if you're not confident with a deck, try it out against Passage from Mirkwood in the core set. It's a good tutorial quest as it isn't overwhelmingly hard, but does present the basic challenge array (needing to get Progress Tokens, dealing with enemies, having Treachery cards and Shadow cards that can be unpleasant surprises). If your deck doesn't get bogged down there, then try it out on a level four quest. If you lose, then consider why you lost and if there's a way to tinker your deck to compensate for why that happened.