Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

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Theo
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Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by Theo »

version 0.5 - allow hazards in player decks, larger sideboards, creatures played as automatic attacks
version 0.4 - initial share

I still consider this in early testing stages. If you try it out, I'd be curious to hear about your experiences!

I promised a friend that if I got a copy of every region card I would try to create a game variant that uses them (in a way that a map alone would not suffice). This is the delayed result of that promise, mixed with a desire for a general cooperative variant.

Organization:
* Overview
* Darkness mechanics (Audacity for minion teams)
* Cooperative resource rules
* Hazard mechanics
* Proposed hazard prioritization (AI)
* Hazard deck suggestions

---

OVERVIEW:

Contained herein are additional rules for playing MECCG as a cooperative game. The reader is assumed to be familiar with the basic play of MECCG.

By “general”, I mean that this variant is intended to be compatible with existing standard decks (2-deck games) by simply removing their hazard portions. It is possible that some deck combinations may need minor adjustments due to specific card restrictions (below). Also, the design is intended to incentivize diversity, adaptability, movement, and defeating attacks for hopefully more dynamic games, so this variant is not meant to precisely emulate how well the decks would do in standard games, although it may approximate.

This variant requires non-negligible extra overhead from additional procedures and complexity. I would estimate that players familiar with this variant should expect 20% more time needed than they would if playing a standard game, and perhaps 50% or more for players still becoming familiar with the variant.

The Darkness theme and hazard deck suggestions are designed for non-minion players; minion players should change all instances of “Darkness” to “Audacity”, representing the cursed rebels (Free Peoples) interfering with Sauron’s (or the Balrog’s) domination. Teams of mixed player types are not anticipated for this version.

This variant is not designed to work with Dream Cards. Play however you want.
Last edited by Theo on Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

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DARKNESS MECHANICS

Darkness (Audacity) is a new mechanic to incentivize coordination within the team. It represents a bolstering of Sauron’s forces and a wavering of the morale of Free Peoples and friends.

At the start of a game, shuffle all region cards into a Darkness deck (or otherwise create a way to randomly select regions without replacement). At the beginning of the team’s movement/hazard phase, play two cards per player on the team from the deck. It helps to have a map on which to place each card (or a dark bead) on its corresponding location, as well as an easy way to track the total number that are affecting play. These represent regions that have fallen into Darkness. For all Darkness purposes, Under-deeps sites count as belonging to all regions of their surface sites. Darkness persists between turns. There are two ways to remove Darkness from a region:
* A company plays a resource that taps a site in that region (actually tapping an untapped site).
* A company defeats an attack that could be keyed to that region or keyed to the site in that region that they are at or moving to.
In either qualifying case, the Darkness is removed and the drawn region card is immediately discarded, but existing effects on characters and companies persist until the end of the turn, as stated below. Any discarded cards are shuffle back into the Darkness deck immediately following drawing new cards at the start of the next movement/hazard phase (typically delaying the possibility re-drawing that region for one turn).

Darkness conveys six negative effects:
* Sites in the region have +1 hazard card draw (cumulative for Under-deeps with multiple regions).
* Companies at sites in or moving through the region receive (cumulative) +1 hazard limit until end of turn (applied after other modifiers).
* Characters at sites in or moving through the region receive (cumulative) -1 prowess until end of turn (applied after other modifiers).
* All faction checks at sites in the region must exceed the specified number by more than two, although this exceedance can be reduced by one (even after the roll) by tapping another character at the site (any player; up to two characters).
* To play an ally at a site in the region, the character attempting to play must make an influence check and exceed the ally’s mind by more than two; the exceedance can be reduced by one (even after the roll) by tapping another character at the site (any player; up to two characters). On a failed check, the attempting character is tapped and the ally cannot be played at that site that turn (the ally is not discarded, and the site is not tapped).
* All corruption checks (including at the Council) insert an additional chance for the character to be discarded when at least the following numbers of region cards are affecting play (cumulative): 13, 20, 23. For characters that can normally be discarded by corruption, this means that the check roll must exceed their corruption by the number of insertions to avoid being discarded. For characters that normally are tapped or eliminated, the insertions are between the two, pushing the tapping rolls higher. However, the number of insertions can be reduced by one (even after the roll) by tapping another character at the site (any player; up to the total number of insertions).

Players may customize their game difficulty as suggested below by drawing additional Darkness regions at the start of the game. For difficulties with permanent Darkness, it helps to use tiddlywink squidgers or another marker on the map. For teams striving to Dissipate Darkness:
* “Hobbiton” difficulty: 0 starting regions.
* “Wilderland” difficulty: 5 starting regions.
* “Moria” difficulty: 10 starting regions, and additionally Redhorn Gate is always affected (only contributing to corruption checks if its card is in play).
* “Mordor” difficulty: 15 starting regions, and additionally the six regions containing sites that are normally Dark-holds are always affected (each only contributing to corruption checks if its card is in play). The six such regions are Angmar, Southern Mirkwood, Udun, Gorgoroth, Imlad Morgul, and Nurn.

[[[
For (minion) teams striving to Dissipate Audacity:
* “Old Times” difficulty: 0 starting regions.
* “Ill Winds” difficulty: 5 starting regions.
* “Garn Eagles” difficulty: 10 starting regions, and additionally Anduin Vales is always affected (only contributing to corruption checks if its card is in play).
* “Great Siege” difficulty: 15 starting regions, and additionally the six regions containing sites that normally have a 4-strike automatic attack by Dunedain, Elves, or Dwarves are always affected (each only contributing to corruption checks if its card is in play). The six such regions are Anorien, Rhudaur, Wold and Foothills, Anfalas, Numeriador, and Iron Hills.
]]]
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Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

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COOPERATIVE RESOURCE RULES

Each player has their own play deck and their own site deck. The resource/character portion requirements match those of standard decks except that player sideboard size is halved. Players are anticipated to have knowledge of the hazard portions up front. If the hazard portions were not available to participating players, an additional 5 cards are permitted in the sideboard. There is no hazard portion requirement, and players will often have zero hazard cards in their decks beyond those counting as resources for deck construction because they can be played as such (e.g., Twilight). Hazards beyond those counting as resources for deck construction can be included after meeting the resource requirements. One example of a useful hazard is an At Home dragon to set up King Under the Mountain. Such hazards can be played at the end of a turn. No players may gain marshalling points from a hazard played by any player.

There are a few card changes to offset a team’s superior numbers while avoiding hazard deck absurdities:
Balance Between Powers: BANNED
Twilight: when declared, roll 2d6. The Twilight is discarded with no effect (as if another Twilight had been played on it) unless the roll exceeds a number determined by the number of players:
Players -> roll to exceed
1 -> 4
2 -> 7
3 -> 8
4 or more -> 9


For the character draft, the players can reveal their pools and collaboratively choose their starting companies.

Player hand size is halved (after other modifiers), rounded down, plus one. Conversion table:
Normal hand size -> new hand size
8 -> 5
9 -> 5
10 -> 6
11 -> 6
12 -> 7
13 -> 7

Limits on Cooperation:
Players share phases other than movement/hazard and site. Players organize, etc, at the same time, but choose one company at a time to resolve during the movement/hazard and site phases. Players may not combine companies, although there are some ways to affect other players’ companies at the same site.

Players should NOT discuss company movement or site phase plans with each other EXCEPT for companies that are currently located at the same site. This is where things can get interesting. Companies at different sites can discuss general vagaries as through a single simple Raven message: “Help us retreat!” “Attempting backup plan.” “Scary environment.”

Effects:
Resource effects may target and effect other players’ resources and companies so long as they are unable to require physical manipulation of other players’ cards (such as tapping, discarding, returning to hand, etc.).

All effects that reveal or draw a specified number of generic cards from a deck/pile/hand only reveal or draw half as many, rounded up. Resource effects that manipulate a single opponent’s deck or discard pile must choose one the four hazard decks (or discard piles) they will affect when the effect is first implemented. (Discarding cards does not count as manipulating the discard pile for this rule.)

Movement/Hazard phases:
Players should decide the order of resolving Movement/Hazard phases when they transition to the Movement/Hazard phase.
The player of the resolving company draws only up to half as many cards for moving (after all other modifiers). A player’s first fractional draw of a turn is rounded up, but their additional fractional draws are rounded down. Only the player of the resolving company reconciles their hand at the end of that company’s movement/hazard phase.

Site phases:
Site phases occur in the same order as movement/hazard phases. If companies joined, the new company follows the order of the last movement/hazard phase among its constituents.
For “Fair Play”, intentions for resource play (following all automatic, on-guard, and agent attacks) should be declared before entering a site in order to allow on-guard cards to be effective (e.g., Lure of Expedience, Foolish Words). For example, “The company at Moria will enter and Glorfindel is intending to stay untapped to play a Book of Mazarbul.” Player should attempt to preserve intentions if possible (e.g., not assigning a strike to a character intended to play a resource). Intentions can be stated to condition on character tapped/wounded states and strike roll chances, but not explicitly on on-guard effects. Unintended resources can be played that directly affect on-guard effects on play (e.g., Marvel’s Told on any corruption card on a character that gains Lure of Expedience).

A player controlling a character or resource being influenced away by another player can choose to ignore their unused general influence. If the influence check exceeds its target by more than 3, the influencer can directly gain control of the character or resource (without needing a copy in their hand), returning it to the owner’s corresponding zone if it would leave active play for any reason.

End of turn phase:
Players may choose to draw 1 additional card when reconciling their hand during the end of turn phase. This does not count as increasing their hand size.

End of Game:
The players immediately lose if more than half of the cards in the Darkness deck (so more than 26 region cards) are in play at the end of a turn, or all players have exhausted their deck twice (2-deck game).

Conditions for winning with The One Ring no longer cause the game to immediately end. Instead, a destroyed or recovered The One Ring is placed in the out-of-play pile. If claimed (FW or Balrog), The One Ring cannot be stored, stolen, or transferred and its corruption points are halved. Regardless, a “winning” The One Ring is worth 20 MP (instead of 6) and allows the players to call The Free Council (or equivalent) without needing to meet the deck exhaustion requirements, and reduces the effective number of players for playing regions from the Darkness deck each turn by 1.

To call otherwise, more than half the players need to have exhausted their resource deck at least once (2-deck game) and the players need to collectively have 25x#P MP, or more than half (but not all) of the players need to have exhausted their deck twice.

Players’ effective kill MP are reduced by a factor of 3, rounded down, including for calling. Unique kills are worth double toward these multiples of 3. Example: Smaug + 3 Cave Drake credits is (5*2+3)//3 = 4 MP. Non-unique kills need to be tracked separately because the cards are not placed in a player’s MP pile (see below).

After calling, for each MP category that could normally be doubled, a player with zero MP in that category gets (cumulative) -3 MP instead.

Players can assess the degree to which they won based on the difference between their MP per player to number of Darkness region cards in play at the end of the game.
Last edited by Theo on Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by Theo »

HAZARD MECHANICS

Of course players could use the rulebook Solitaire Rules, but in those rules all hazard cards per company are revealed up front; players never need to make tactical decisions balancing unknown information. Here I’ve tried to design an alternative offering more surprise elements at the expense of some simplicity. The intention is for the hazard side mechanics to be at least as powerful and definitely more versatile than in a standard game, offering enough of a threat to make cooperation meaningful without requiring any single strategy or burying players under impossible odds.

Note: to avoid conflicting with “reveal” effects in game, I use language of “unobserved” (or “observe”) to designate when card information should originally be unknown to players (or when it becomes known). I recommend unobserved cards be manipulated face down, and once they are observed to be turned face up.

Hazard play is broken up into four hazard decks (and corresponding discard piles):
1) Pre-creature deck
2) Creature deck
3) Post-creature deck (with Nobody’s Friend agent pool)
4) On-guard deck (no hand or discard pile)
None of these decks trigger passive conditions based on a deck being exhausted.

Hazard Hands and Draws:
Decks (1)-(3) have distinct hands. These hands combined represent the overall hazard hand. If any mechanic would normally cause the hazard player to draw some number of cards, instead progress a draw tracker according to the below pattern by an equal amount, drawing a card for each number reached from the deck (and into the hand) corresponding to the number. Cards should be added to hands unobserved and only be observed as instructed by their corresponding individual deck rules, below. Whenever the hazard portion would need to choose a card to discard, discard the oldest card from the next-to-draw-into of the largest-sized hazard hands. Whenever a card is returned to a hand from play, it remains observed and is considered the newest addition to the hand.
The hazard drawing pattern (with “x” meaning no actual draw for a normal draw): 1x2x3x2x1x3x2x1x2x3x
This cycles every 20 normal draws (or 10 actual draws). Every 3 cycles should be treated as exhausting a deck for triggering passive conditions.

Phase-based Hazard Procedures:
At the start of the game, progress the draw tracker by increments of 2 until reaching an overall hazard hand of 5. This will make starting hands of 2,2,1 cards each for decks (1)-(3).
At the start of each company’s movement/hazard phase, note the starting hand size, then progress the draw tracker for cards drawn for moving companies as usual (with Darkness modifications).
At the end of each company’s movement/hazard phase, discard down to the starting hand size if greater than the starting hand size; otherwise progress the draw tracker equal to the loss in hand size.
At the end of each turn, discard down to an overall hazard hand of 3 (if more than 3). Shuffle one random (unobserved) hazard from the discard pile into the deck of the next-to-draw deck that has more than one card in its discard pile. Repeat these deck additions for successive next-to-draw decks for a total number of times equal to the number of players divided by three (rounded up). Then, progress the draw tracker by increments of 2 until reaching an overall hazard hand of 5. Shuffle the on-guard deck.

Pre-creature Hand Rules:
At any point during any company’s movement/hazard phase, if playing any observed Pre-creature cards could be foreseen to negatively impact the resolving company (including assuming the company would enter the site to which they are moving if they could) then play the oldest such card (if within hazard limit). Otherwise, if the hazard-limit has not been reached, observe the next unobserved Pre-creature card. If there is available hazard limit at the end of a resolving company’s movement/hazard phase, play the oldest valid observed card that could be foreseen to negatively impact ANY company (such as, e.g., boosting the automatic attack of a company that already moved or is not moving), then the oldest valid observed card.

Creature Hand Rules:
When no Pre-creature cards can be played, play and resolve the oldest valid observed card from the Creature hand. If no Creature cards can be played and within the hazard limit, observe the next unobserved Creature card. Creatures keyable to multiple regions (and the site) are considered keyed to all valid regions (and site) for the purpose of inclusive hazard conditions (including Darkness) and exclusive resource conditions, and (when possible) keyed to an alternative valid region (or site) for the purpose of exclusive hazard conditions and inclusive resource conditions, for each condition. For example, a Stirring Bones played on a company using starter movement from Rivendell to Goblin-gate cannot have a strike canceled by Elven Cloak (because it could be keyed to Shadow-hold), but if a player uses the alternative effect of Quiet Lands to change Goblin-gate to a Ruins & Lairs in response to the Stirring Bones, Elven Cloak could be used on a strike.
When a player defeats a non-unique creature (or the attacks from a non-unique permanent event giving kill MP), make a note of the MP value but do not place the card in the player’s MP pile or as a trophy. Instead, place the card in a “reserve” pile, to be placed back into its discard pile after the Creature deck is exhausted and its discard pile is shuffled into a new deck. As a reminder, players’ effective kill MP are reduced by a factor of 3, rounded down, although unique kills are worth double toward these multiples of 3.
If a company enters a site at which a creature may be played as an additional automatic attack, play the oldest valid observed card from the Creature hand, observing additional cards if needed.

Post-creature:
When no Pre-creature or Creature cards can be played, play and resolve the oldest valid observed card from the Post-creature hand. If no Post-creature cards can be played and within the hazard limit, observe the next unobserved Post-creature card.

On-guard: place one on-guard card at each site (not counting against the hazard limit), to be observed after a company declares its intentions for its site phase and revealed if possible. When an on-guard card would normally be discarded or returned to hand, return it to the bottom of the on-guard deck (shuffled at end of turn).

Nobody’s Friend Pool Rules (special Nobody’s Friend effect):
When Nobody’s Friend is played, a random agent from the Pool is played (unobserved) with it (not counting against the hazard limit). Agents will attack when they are allowed (below) following creature strike assignment priority, except when BOTH of these are true:
1) agent cannot avoid facing defenders that have at least as large of a prowess (accounting for known modifications);
2) there are no untapped defenders, or agent cannot guarantee assigning a strike to all untapped defenders.
When a company enters a free-hold or border-hold with agents in play:
1) if there is an agent played with that site, it may attack;
2) additionally, all observed agents with that home site that aren’t played with a site may attack. When each attacks, if no agent is currently played with that site, the attacking agent is played with that site. Attacking agents not played with that site are returned to their Pool at end of turn;
3) while there is not an agent played with that site, observe the next oldest agent with Nobody’s Friend, discarding Nobody’s Friend. If any company is at one of that agent’s home sites, the agent is not immediately played with a site; however, if the resolving company is at any of that agent’s home sites the agent may attack as per step (2). Otherwise, once an agent is observed with no company at one of their homesites, the agent is played with the resolving company’s site and may attack.
For each company’s movement/hazard phase, after all other hazards have been handled, unused hazard limits are used to perform heal (to untapped) or turn face-down agent actions, prioritizing the agent played with the resolving company’s new site, then the oldest observed agents that have that site as a home site, then the other oldest observed agents, maintaining the one agent action per turn limit. At the beginning of a team’s site phase (companies are all at some site), for each observed agent that is with a site, remove the site if there are no companies at its site. Then, for each observed agent that is not with a site, shuffle it back into its Pool if there are no companies at any of its home sites.

---

DIAGRAMS

Recommended layout of hazard portion:

Code: Select all

        ___(reserve)
 _____ |___|_  _____  ___
|disc1||disc2||disc3||   |
|_____||_____||_____||age|nt
 _____  _____  _____ |___|
|deck1||deck2||deck3| ___
|_____||_____||_____||   |
,=====,,=====,,=====,|O-G|
|hand1||hand2||hand3||___|
‘=====’’=====’’=====’
Diagram of hazard card draw order:

Code: Select all

,-> 1 --> x --> 2 --> x --> 3
|   1 <-- x <-- 2 <-- x <--’
|    `--------> x ---------.
|   1 <-- x <-- 2 <-- x <-- 3
|    `--> x --> 2 --> x --> 3
`-------------- x <--------‘
(3 cycles = deck exhaust)
Last edited by Theo on Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by Theo »

HAZARD PRIORITIZATION

One option is to find someone that wants to play as the hazard player against all of the resource players. This player should be in the top half of experience of players in the group. But then, it isn’t really a cooperative game. So below are two suggested methods of determining hazard play, one simpler to implement, the other hopefully more subtle to exploit.

In general, if a hazard needs to choose between targets not differentiated below, choose randomly.


Basic Hazard Targets (AI):
Corruption cards and checks:
   1) to the (valid) character with the highest chance of failure possible (without support)

Strike Sequences assigned by the hazard player:
   1) untapped characters that could fail if staying untapped
       a) highest prowess that would need at least an 11 to tie
       b) highest roll needed to tie if less than 11
       c) lowest body
   2) unwounded entities that could fail
       * same priority as (1)
   3) wounded entities that could fail
       * same priority as (1)

Extra strikes:
   1) largest change in probability of strike succeeding (character roll to tie will change from 7 to 8, then 6 to 7 as well as 8 to 9, then 5 to 6 as well as 9 to 10, etc; Pierced By Many Wounds will first change 5 to 9 as well as 6 to 10, then 4 to 8 as well as 7 to 11, etc.)



Technical Hazard Targets (AI):
Corruption cards and checks should be assigned according to the following prioritization:
1) to the (valid) characters with the highest chance of failure possible (without support)
2) to scouts, sages, and rangers if only one entity of that class exists in the party (prioritize those with multiple such skills)
3) to characters worth the highest MP swing (counting controlled non-follower cards, but NOT counting MP penalties on character elimination)
4) to untapped characters

Strike sequences assigned by the hazard player should follow the prioritization:
0) (Thwart Factions) to the smallest set of untapped characters not yet assigned strikes satisfying all of the following conditions (recheck after each strike assignment):
   * moving or at a site at which a faction could be played;
   * all characters in the set can be assigned strikes;
   * there would be a decrease of 2 or more in the direct influence(including specialized DI and standard modifications of factions played at the site by name) of the highest untapped character not assigned a strike;
   * the lowest roll needed to stay untapped in that set of characters is at least 6.
1) if the attack is detainment: untapped characters
   a) highest prowess that would need at least an 11 to tie
   b) needing the highest roll to tie if less than 11
2) (Cull the Weak) to entities that could lose MP and that would need at least an 8 to tie, prioritized as:
   a) same priority as (1)
   b) characters with greatest MP swing if eliminated or discarded (counting controlled non-follower non-passable-item cards as well as MP penalties for elimination)
       i) lowest result of body check roll needed to eliminate or discard minus MP swing
       ii) most number of scout, ranger, sage skills
   c) allies (MP swing calculation for allies with cancel abilities includes all MP that can be protected with cancels)
       * same subpriorities as (2b)
3) (Thwart Play) to untapped characters that would need at least an 8 to tie if they choose to not tap:
   a) same priority as (2) (other than (2c))
4) to entities that would need at least a 5 to tie against a non-detainment attack:
   * same priority as (2)
5) IF at least one assigned entity needs at least an 8 to tie or attack is detainment, assign to characters that would need at least a 5 to tie if they choose to not tap:
   * same priority as (2) (other than (2c))
6) to remaining entities:
   * same priority as (2)

Excess strikes should be reserved to prioritize:
   1) if the attack is detainment: untapped entities
   2) where they can make the biggest shift in probability of successful strike (i.e. a strike that currently needs the character to roll a 7 to tie is the highest, then shortest distance away from that case on either side). Keep in mind equivalences that come from having multiple extra strikes, such as shifting one character from needing 5 to tie to 7 to tie being the same as one from 5 to 6 and another from 8 to 9.
   3) once a non-detainment attack cannot be defeated (one of the resolved strikes was not defeated): untapped entities
Last edited by Theo on Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by Theo »

SAMPLE HAZARD DECKS

Here is a suggested combination of hazard decks for playing with 1-3 non-minion players. For ease of construction I have constrained it to a non-rare playset from the first three MECCG sets. Note that Lure of Expedience can be played on a character from two of the hazard decks, so the playing deck should be tracked to know which discard in which to place on removal.

I have intended this to offer fairly diverse coverage based on the typical semi-casual strategy distribution that I’ve seen. You are generally encouraged to adapt this combination of decks with available rare cards, or to bias toward cards that thwart particular strategies common in your playgroup (e.g., more vs. rings), but keep in mind that the larger the decks get the less frequent each particular card will be seen (and doubly so with combos). For attempting 4-6 players, I would start by doubling the number of each card below, although I haven’t tested this myself.

Pre-creature (24):
(envisioned to primarily consist of attack enhancement, and some company interference)
2x Rank Upon Rank
2x The Moon is Dead
3x Minions Stir
1x Pierced by Many Wounds
1x Searching Eye
3x Doors of Night
1x Twilight
1x Night
1x Troll-purse
1x Lost in the Wilderness
1x Itangast Ahunt
1x Bairanax Ahunt
1x Mordor in Arms
1x Eyes of the Shadow
1x Reluctant Final Parting
1x Weariness of the Heart
1x The Ring’s Betrayal
1x Doubled Vigilance

Creature (30):
(intended to be a blend of diverse creatures, biased slightly toward big at the cost of keyability)
3x Ambusher
2x Corsairs of Umbar
1x Dunlending Raiders
3x Chill Douser
1x Stirring Bones
3x Barrow-wight
1x Corpse-candle
1x Rain-drake
3x Cave Drake
1x Cave Worm
2x True Fire-drake
1x Nameless Thing
1x “Bert” (Burat)
1x “Tom” (Tuma)
1x “William” (Wuluag)
1x Orc-guard
1x Olog-hai (Trolls)
1x Half-trolls of Far Harad
1x Old Man Willow
1x Slayer

Post-creature (24):
1x Lure of Expedience
2x Lure of the Senses
3x Lure of Nature
3x River
2x Lost in Free-domains
1x Long Winter
1x The Way is Shut
1x Muster Disperses
1x Call of Home
1x Withered Lands
1x Fell Winter
1x Awaken Denizens
1x Awaken Minions
1x Redoubled Force
1x No Way Forward
3x Nobody’s Friend (associate to a face-down agent played randomly from the Nobody’s Friend Pool; only 1 against the hazard limit. If not wanting to bother with the extra agent rules above, the on-guard coverage vs. Free- and Border-holds should probably be increased.)

Nobody’s Friend Pool (36 mind):
1x Elwen
1x Surion
1x Eun
1x Herion
1x Ivic
1x Dasakun
1x Gisulf
1x Woffung

On-guard (13, 4vFree, 5vBorder, 7vRuins, 7vShadow, 6vDark):
1x Orc-lieutenant (only attack if at least 10 prowess or multiple strikes)
2x Lure of Expedience
3x Foolish Words
1x Times Are Evil
1x Night
1x Doubled Vigilance
1x Incite Denizens
1x Incite Minions
1x Arouse Denizens
1x Arouse Minions
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Kjeld
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:40 pm

Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by Kjeld »

This looks fantastic, thank you for putting in all the work! I plan to at least give the solo variant a few tries over the next few months -- sadly geography and young children currently constrain my ability to join group games. In any case, I'll report back on how that goes.
wachelke
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:45 pm

Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by wachelke »

Thank you for developing this and posting it! The hazard mechanic is very inspiring, and I think it can be easily adapted or give ideas to other solo variants. I think it'll take some time before I get the experience needed to play this smoothly, but it is great that it is registered here, and as I said, parts of it can be simplified and incorporated into other games. I liked also that my region cards will get some use lol, I fortunately have a full set of those.

Even in other variants, the darkness mechanic with all the modifiers could provide a "time limit" to games, increasing difficulty and forcing the player(s) to fulfill a goal of points or played cards before eventually drowning in the shadows as Sauron powers become undefeatable.

I also hope this inspires others to devise cooperative ways to play. The communication and interaction guidelines can also definitely be adapted and provide ideas for other contexts.

Great!
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Theo
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Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by Theo »

It's been great to hear some enthusiasm; thanks!

Minor updates:
* allow hazards in player decks (helpful for cards like King Under the Mountain, Dragon Feuds, etc.)
* 5 more cards in sideboards
* handling automatic attacks for which a creature may be played (e.g., Under-deeps)
It is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world.
One [online community] with hammer and chisel might mar more than they make... Cautious skill!
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CDavis7M
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Location: California

Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by CDavis7M »

This is a really neat idea. Thanks for sharing.

Did you have a particular deck you used for testing?
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Theo
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Location: Denver, CO

Re: Dissipate Darkness/Audacity -- A General Cooperative Variant

Post by Theo »

Tests so far have been pairs from these rough hero resource themes:
Hobbit avoidance (Dragon country)
Item-sparse (Gondor)
Dwarven Ringlore (Wandering)
Warrior Fellowship (Underdeeps)

Next on my list is throwing a dunk deck into the mix. We may have a chance next weekend. But my typical dunk approach is a bit slower and more reliable than others' I've seen so I may need to see what the balance feels like on a speedier variant as well.
It is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world.
One [online community] with hammer and chisel might mar more than they make... Cautious skill!
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