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Rangers of Shadow Deep - Solo and Cooperative Wargame (by the Creator of Frostgrave)

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We've noticed a lot of variability in the difficulty of missions. Some were very easy and some gave us a good fight. We've only ever failed one scenario but without lucky rolls some others could have been bad. We've always played with 3 rangers and have upped the difficulty to help make it more interesting.

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12 hours ago, lowlylowlycook said:

too easy ... four players


In my experience it is primarily balanced around solo play. More ranges make it a lot easier since ranger are a lot better than regular dudes, and with 4 ranger all heroes act before the monsters, which usually means the closest monsters get dispatched before they can do damage. 

Furhter, missions leading up to the last mission often have monsters with disease which are not really dangerous themselves  but make the last mission much more dangerous. These monster often don't take much of a punishment and so can't touch the heroes due to the above point.

Thirdly, due to the nature of the rolls, flat distribution on the d20, the whole thing is rather swingy and often a lowly creature can take out a companion in close combat if it gets there.


I mostly play two player games and we restricted each ranger to pull up one companion in initiative, won't do much for 4 ranger though.


A possible (and simple) fix is this: if monsters appear, roll a d6, if it is less than the number of rangers double the number of monsters. This should make it easier for them to get into range. Note that I have not tried this so maybe needs tweaking.

Edited by MoebiusStrip
I accidentaly a word
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I hadn't really thought about the four rangers gaming the turn sequence.  Good point.  The zombies at least had a better chance of seeing some survivable rolls from the heroes.  I agree that the randomness of the the combat and the lack of any way to take casualties from earlier in the mission into account makes things hard if not impossible to balance.


I wonder if requiring, say, a Survival 8 test to set fire to the trees might make things a bit more interesting.  Here is a pic from mid game.  And yeah, a 4 isn't going to cut it :lol:






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Joe put up some playtest rules on the Facebook group that have ideas for rule changes for multiple rangers. We've started using them and they helped a lot for making the missions more challenging. Except the one that we got slaughtered in a few turns. We barely survived a second play of it without the boost. Lots of people didn't like the skill penalty so we've been playing that as no skill is just an unmodified roll. Not getting group activations is kind of disappointing but we still pile on to the monsters so a typical combat is 1 model attacks alone, 2nd model attacks with +2 gang up bonus, 3rd model attacks with +4 gang up bonus. Monster usually dies.


Here's the latest playtest rules.


Rangers of Shadow Deep Playtest Rules

Some players have reported that the game is a bit too easy when playing with 3 or 4 players. The following rules are an effort to bring greater balance to the scenarios regardless of the number players.

During the Activation phase, a ranger may now activate a specific number of companions, regardless of the proximity of that companion to the Ranger. The number of companions that may be activated is based on the number of players. See the table below.

Companion Activation Table
Number of Players Maximum Companions Activated
1                                                          2
2                                                          1
3                                                          0
4                                                          0
This means that in games with 3 or 4 players, no companions may be activated in the Ranger phase. In addition, it means that Group Activations in 3 and 4 player games are now impossible.

If a figure is ever called upon to make a Skill Roll for a skill they don’t possess (or have at +0) they may roll as normal but suffer -2 to the roll.
Increased Difficulty with 3 or 4 Players

If setting up a scenario with 3 or 4 players, and that scenario features an Event Deck, find the event that includes the most additional creatures appearing on the table. Places those creatures on the table as though the card had been played. Assemble and shuffle the Event Deck as normal (essentially meaning this event may occur twice in a scenario).

If the scenario features Room cards, when setting up a room, roll one die for each creature in the room. On a 11+ place another creature of that type right next to the first.

If the scenario doesn’t use an Event Deck or Room Cards, roll one die for each creature during set-up. On a 11+ place another creature of that type right next to the first.

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Funny, quite similar changes. The per monster doubling test is a good idea I think, but I would still up the change for more rangers a bit.


The skill change is a bit strange but I guess with more rangers this would get a lot easier.


What gets me is stuff like pick lock 10 or strength 15 to open doors. That is such a huge difference that a companion with strength+3 still would use pick lock. That kind of always bothered me a bit. But the -2 don't really fix that.

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