A couple of changes we made to the Free Peoples card play that made the game much more interesting for the FP Player. If you're interested to try, here are the rules:
1) The FP player can hold up to 8 cards at a time, instead of 6.
2) Modified Setup: a) Go through the FP character deck and set aside the 3 'Ent' Cards. Shuffle them into the deck only when Gandalf the White enters play.
b) Go through the FP Strategy deck and remove a 'Power to Great' and 'The Power of Bombadil.' The FP starts with these cards in play. The rules for discarding these 2 cards remain unchanged.
In play, we found that the increased hand limit meant the FP had more flexibility in card play, and shuffling in the Ent cards when Gandalf the White enters play meant that the FP could actually use the Ents to effectively, instead of them being the 'faction that sits around because you had to discard the Ent Cards in turn 1'.
Starting with the 2 'Power' cards in play just felt theme-ier, more in keeping with the books. (And made the Lorien rush slightly more costly for the shadow).
I loathe "more in keeping with the books". IMO, the whole point of the game is to see other paths that "could happen", and not all the time do the same, as in the books. Although, putting some cards in play at the beginning of the game, for a one-shot thema game, could be fun. You could also start shadow with Angmar army card, for instance. But all the time...not so much About the Ents cards, it actually lower the chances to draw these cardzs during the course of the game; some people (not me !) actually find the Ents quite sucky (foreigners can't make up new words ?), so if you lower the odds to draw their cards...If you're lucky enough to get them first turn, stick to them ! you could even try to rush them into Saruman's face if you had a chance
I don't think the game should play out exactly as the books did, but I do think that the power balance that exists in the books should be reflected at game start. and the protection that the elven rings granted the strongholds of Rivendell, Grey Havens, & Lorien just isn't accounted for. The simplest change seemed to be to start the game with the "A power to Poofy" in play. Same for Tom Bumble-dillo.
Shuffling the Ent cards in after GtW is maybe going to far - perhaps the need to conserve the Ent Cards is covered by the increased hand for the FP. I really detest the super restrictive activation rules of the Ents, and the constraints they have on FP hand management. Drawing Ent Cards early sucks - If you throw them out, you're hooped, if you keep them but can't card cycle fast enough you're hooped.
The idea of Shadow starting with cards is good. Maybe the Orthanc Stone?
Last Edit: Jan 23, 2008 23:35:41 GMT 1 by sam gamgee