I was shocked too Kunzite. The heroes had just bought the Blowpipe and Venom Dagger the shop phase before the quest while I was in the other room gathering the quest pieces for encounter 1, so I didn't hear what their plans were with that combo. Also, I should have positioned my monsters to block the door when it was opened so I could prevent them from getting an attack on her, but I had NO idea how nasty the combo was going to be.
From here on out A) I'm prepared, B) No longer will the hero players get a chance to speak amongst themselves when deciding what items to buy. I missed a lot of their planning and body language when I was in the other room.
Had I spent time to consider what they prepared for they wouldn't have gotten away with it.
The fatigue move sucks, so I'm looking forward to NRftW a lot.
I find it critical to ALWAYS know what they buy and what it can do. My weakness is a forgetful mind. I forget things as soon as they no longer are relevant, particularly if I have never seen it in action (I learn by doing and experience. I have a hard time seeing it in my head). That is the major advantage my heroes have on me.
As for letting my heroes talk among themselves, I almost always let them. I stick in some headphones and go to work on weeding out my OL deck, choosing my open group and, if the heroes are arranged already on their starting tile, I place my monsters down. That is my advantage. The OL role is a responsive roll. We are made to respond to what the heroes do. If we are able, we then we force them to respond to us. Once we can get them responding to us is when we control timing. Control timing can then win the game. Lose that, the the game can become too close for comfort or loosed quickly.
Maybe this responding nature I have makes hearing the heroes all of the time less important to me. Also remembering everything they say is near impossible, so it's a loss cause before the game starts anyhow. Now, while the game is going, all bets are off. I can see what they are wanting to do far easier. And I like joining in with their conversation, as if what i say has any validity to their next move.
All talk aside, go kick butt, Cursain. Show those heroes that they can only fool you once! >O!