Play Preferences - Hazard Players, Avatar Elimination, Sites, and MP Limit

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CCG Collector
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Play Preferences - Hazard Players, Avatar Elimination, Sites, and MP Limit

Post by CCG Collector » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:40 am

I haven't played Arda as much as I'd like, so in putting together my own compiled ruleset for it, there are a few points which I'm unsure of and don't have the playtesting experience to determine. Perhaps someone here with plenty of games under their belt can offer some suggestions?

First, how do you handle the non-turn players? Is only the one after the current player the hazard player, or do they all get a go at the turn player? I think the main rules document indicates that each time the hazard player changes, the hazard limit is reduced by one. (In other words, with a hazard limit of 5, if the first hazard player plays 2 hazards, the hazard limit is reduced to 3 from those cards, then again to 2 as it passes to the next hazard player. If he doesn't play anything and passes to a third player, now the remaining hazard limit is only 1.) Do you play this way? And do you bother with simultaneous turns? At a glance, the rules concerning that seem fairly complex, but of course the alternative is long waits between turns. Also, when reconciling hands, both at the end of each hazard phase and at the end of the turn, who is allowed to do it?

Next, what do you do if a wizard is killed or corrupted? I think I remember seeing a rule that play goes on, but the player whose wizard was killed suffers a -5 MP penalty at the end. Another option is to allow a player (once per game) to have their Wizard sit out a turn and return to play afterward, sans allies. One rule that makes thematic sense to me is allowing a corrupted wizard to be replaced by their fallen counterpart. For those that play this way, what penalties are imposed? Does a player with a fallen wizard only suffer a flat MP penalty, or do they also have to deal with the "all MP sources give only 1 MP" rules? What happens if the fallen wizard is killed or corrupted? CAN they be corrupted?

What restrictions do you have on visiting sites? I've seen a couple variations on this, with the default being that each player brings their own site decks and tracks their sites individually. Things get more complex when operating with a shared site deck; a method my friend suggested (and I liked quite a bit) was that sites with an automatic-attack can be entered and tapped only once during the entire game (it's been looted and there's nothing more to find), while sites without an automatic-attack can be entered up to two times (by different players) before the townsfolk are sick of wandering adventurers. (This would allow one person to play Men of Lake-town and one person to play Men of Northern Rhovanion, for example.) Havens, of course, can be visited and tapped by anyone at any time.

Lastly, do you allow players to call the Free Council after 20 MP, 25 MP, or something else? Do you use any bonuses or penalties when calculating final MP? And finally, though I've asked this in my "Arda Ten Years Later" topic, are there any other house rules you play with that would be worth sharing?
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Goblin King
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Re: Play Preferences - Hazard Players, Avatar Elimination, Sites, and MP Limit

Post by Goblin King » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:31 am

First, you captured hazard play correctly. The first opponent gets the opportunity to play the full hazard count against the acting player. If it can't be done, it passes to the next person -1. Only the first hazard player draws cards related to the new site picked by the acting player. Everyone who drew cards or played cards during the movement hazard phase must reconcile their hand after movement.
I've played both with and without simultaneous turns. It is a lot to keep track of. In a 5 or more player game it is fine.
Second, my preferred way of handling a wizard death or corruption is to eliminate that player from the game. Do you really want to risk that roll of a 3, or should you just tap to people in support next turn and forget about that minor item you wanted? Make people play to protect their wizard.
Third, each player keeps track of the sites they have visited and used that game. If someone tries to go to a site a second time, other players are good about reminding them they were already there and what happened the last time they visited.
Fourth, you must have at least 25 to call council. We have played shorter games to 20 before. You points in any category double only if you are the only player among all of your opponents with those points. In other words in a five player game, if you are the only person to have an allies in play, then double the points. Doubling is pretty unusual.

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