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What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Friday October 26th, 2018 1:30pm
by wallydubbs
My crew and I haven't gotten to Frozen Horror yet, but out of most reviews I've read, this is the hardest.

It comes with a Female Barbarian, and yet we're only allowed one barbarian per quest. Reviewing the quest maps it seems like the biggest issue is space, even with Mercenaries sometimes the monsters are packed so closely together you can't get all the heroes in at once. Even in some places you open a door and caught between 2 Polar Warbears, which is practically instant death. Mercenaries are cannon fodder, you can always buy more. Do 2 barbarians really make it that much easier?

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Friday October 26th, 2018 1:39pm
by Count Mohawk
If you're talking about the Frozen Horror specifically... well, that Quest Pack is not well-balanced at all, so a 5th Hero would definitely help the Heroes survive longer in the harsh wintery conditions.

However, most of the other Quest Packs are designed around having exactly 4 Heroes. By adding a 5th one, you not only increase the Heroes' ability to clear rooms of monsters more quickly, but also give them an extra pool of Body Points to deplete, which makes it that much harder for any one of them to die. Mercenaries do a similar thing, but since they're a lot less durable they have a much smaller impact on the game's balance.

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Friday October 26th, 2018 2:50pm
by The Admiral
Yes, we added the Female Barbarian (Barbarella) to our group.

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Friday October 26th, 2018 3:02pm
by Anderas
I did the balancing for the Base game, downloadable in my signature. There, in the original (not in my sig), 4 heroes are too many, with one or two exceptions.

That changes radically in the late quests of frozen horror or Mage of the Mirror.

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Friday October 26th, 2018 3:57pm
by knightkrawler
I play with bigger squares (40mm) which allows original 2x3 furniture to take only 1x2 squares.
This opens up a lot of space, even in the original quests, for more heroes and monsters both.

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Sunday October 28th, 2018 9:54pm
by mitchiemasha
People can get on tables in our game. It only counts as 2 squares though, opening up a larger area to attack and a larger area to be attacked. Opponent is -1CD6, it's good to attack from a table but not to be attacked when on it.

I'd only consider 5 Heroes if adding all my EW mods. Monster traits. Weapons Damage. EW Tokens (or Cards). Double 1's = Hazard! ... FhLaG9hS1U

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Monday March 11th, 2019 3:27pm
by wallydubbs
Yes, I meant specifically for Frozen Horror. I was thinking, contrary to what the quest booklet says, having the Female Barbarian go through a modified (and doable) version of the 3 solo quests and then joins up with the 4 established heroes.
It's debatable on how to do this, Anderas and I both have separate suggestions on this:

But I've playtested 5 out of the 6/7 group quests and found that it doesn't throw the balance off by much. It was still challenging. It's a space issue, the mercenaries take up most of the offensive anyway, which there is practically no limit to. In fact, the distribution of wealth makes it more difficult to afford mercenaries in the later quests.

Drastic as it was, destroying the Scepter of Glacial Majesty killed 3 Mercenaries.
Even more depressing, the Female Barbarian slipped on the ice and fell into the bottomless chasm... it was bound to happen to somebody...

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Thursday October 28th, 2021 8:43am
by twickett
Back when I had the game we tried 5 players buy doubling up on the Dwarf mini. I just generally added one more monster or made the big-bad's a little tougher and it worked okay. Granted we only ever had the base game. So it's not really that hard to make it work you just have to be a flexible Zargon.

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Thursday October 28th, 2021 10:13am
by Kurgan
Too many heroes can make a game go too long and may make it unwieldy to manage, but one or two may even improve the experience for tougher quests.

Just about anything can be used for the extra hero... not just the female Barbarian/Elf, but also any of the Mercenary figures, even the Chaos Warlock, anything you're not using in the quest already to avoid confusion.

Let us recall that some quest packs are designed specifically with Mercenaries in mind... (WOM, BQP 4-10). In those cases, I don't think it's cheating at all to add extra heroes.

Consider the body points total of the new Hero. Mercenaries could (in theory) add another 12 BP to the Hero's team. So as long as you don't go over that total (basic heroes: 25 BP + 12 Merc BP = 37!), you are still within the parameters of what the original designers intended. Sure you can say Mercs are typically weaker than Heroes and maybe some Heroes use them as cannon fodder, but it's a good rule of thumb.

Whether using the EU rules or NA rules as a base, I think there's definitely room for an extra hero. Whether it will take longer to play this way all depends upon the group. I find that playing virtually, it takes longer, and having one person control more than one hero usually takes longer, because they have more to manage on their turn, vs. a human player being ready to go with their character when it comes time for their turn.

Under NA rules at least, every room is searchable for Treasure by each Hero, so the new Hero will get his turn at the Treasure deck, though unless you're using extra cards, you may "clear out" the "good cards" a little faster this way.

Now consider the extreme difficulty of the EQP and BQP quests, many have recommended playing those with extra mercs anyway (even the solo quests which specifically forbid them being used). Even solo quests in the Dave Morris novels give you access to an extra hero to help out. So I think it's not too outside the realm of fair play to allow it, especially if you have one more person at your game table who would otherwise be excluded.

I've used a similar mechanic to the Morris novels in those extra hard solo quests, breaking the spirit, but not the letter of the law (you free a prisoner and give him a weapon to fight by your side instead of paying gold to buy the services of a soldier to assist you in battle, but the end result is the same).

ROTWL and KK are harder than the base quests, featuring more monsters and traps plus some rather nasty (at times) quest notes. If you're playing the GS (and not playing The Trial or one of the last few quests) I would go with the other modifications for difficulty, a few more monsters here or there to give them something to do.

As far as not having two of the same hero, I can understand why they did that. The Barbarian has a specific role in many quests to be the "meat shield" and the Dwarf isn't far behind. If you add another, that's a lot of extra BP. But I have actually played quests with two Wizards, and you could say that's two sets of spells (if you don't actually split them up or make recourse to the extra spells from WOM pack) which may make it a little too easy.

But again, when we're talking about the quest packs that go into "unfair" territory as far as difficulty, I think a little bit of fudging on the side of the Heroes isn't too out of line.

So my general take is probably you ought to use some other type of Hero... a Ranger, Paladin, Cleric, Mystic, Bard, Warlock, Druid, Knight, etc. Even picking a weaker hero allows them to play and work together with the other heroes without feeling like you're breaking the game and making it a total cake-walk (if using the GS quests).

I successfully played the Trial (one of the hardest quests in the GS) with five heroes (the four basics plus a Paladin who had two powerful attack type spells and starts with 3 defend dice), and I did add a handful of extra monsters. It took a lot longer, but it was pretty fun, so it's do-able.

So for the easier quests, maybe add a couple of extra monsters here or there (like take a lone monster room and add one more) or you could just upgrade some of the monsters already there. So a goblin becomes an Orc, an Orc a Fimir, a zombie becomes a Mummy, etc. Nothing too crazy. Maybe the boss bad guy gets 1 extra Body Point or one extra minion to help him. If there's a gold reward at the end to be divided among the heroes, maybe increase it a little to account for the fact you're dividing it more than four ways.

Re: What's the harm in adding a 5th hero?

PostPosted: Thursday November 18th, 2021 5:38pm
by Anderas
Kurgan, that's one of the best postings I've ever read on the topic.