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Possible buyer: Enough strategy or just dice luck?


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#1 mr.thomasschmidt

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 05:46 AM

Hi.

I might buy this game but I'm a little set back because of the dice mechanism. Is there enought possiblillity for strategy in this game? Or is it mostly about luck?



#2 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 05:56 AM

 It's equal parts strategy and luck.  Choosing the correct mission is a big part of your success (or failure), as in choosing when to use an item.  But you can get entirely screwed over by a bad roll (or you could take your chances and breeze by with some lucky rolls too).  



#3 Abulon

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 10:28 AM

I would say 80% luck and 20% strategy. But it is still fun and fast!

check this video, it shows a solo game

 



#4 Serazu

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:39 PM

After going two games solo (lost both, though the second was a close one), I 'd say that, sadly, ES is a game of chance with very little room for strategy. My advice? In case you haven't already got it, save your money and go buy Arkham Horror. Elder Sign just pales by comparison.



#5 Phiveball

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 06:03 AM

I had the same concern as you initially. I would agree with the 80% luck 20% strategy comment. You can influence the dice with your investigator's special ability and items cards you receive. Proper usage of the item cards, spell cards, and focus technique (like yahtzee but only allowing you to save one die at a time) can swing the game in your favor.  I have played about 6 games and won every single one of them. I was close to loosing one, though, but had pretty good luck on the rolls.  It's still fun, and the game pieces themselves are beautiful.  I would recommend it. It beats Arkham Horror in terms of time of set up and length of game, and still gives you the same flavor.



#6 Serazu

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 07:14 AM

Same flavor? Come on! In Arkham Horror it's like walking the alleys of Arkham yourself. ES can not dare to imagine delivering the same amount of immersion.



#7 Phiveball

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:09 AM

I would agree with you on that. There is no denying that AH is a much grander, immersive game. But I stand behind my “flavor” comment. Elder sign is worth the money and is more of a compliment to Arkham Horror, not necessarily an alternative. They are two different games after all. The flavor is added by the decisions you have to make, the items you use, and the art and text to look at and read. I guess the way I look at it is you can enjoy both for different reasons and having one doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider the other. Elder Sign is just easier and quicker to jump into, which is appealing to me, and probably others as well. I would suggest anyone looking to buy one or the other to check the youtube gameplay videos to see which suits you better.



#8 Avi_dreader

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 03:55 PM

 Ehhh...  I'd say it's considerably more than 20% strategy...  It's mostly a dice probability calculation game...  If you can do that, it's not that complicated though...  It's a mere shadow of Arkham, don't buy it unless you just want something light.  I enjoy it though :') just don't think it's going to be anything mindblowingly amazing.  It's fun. Not very complex though.



#9 Serazu

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:46 AM

@ Phiveball:

I agree. Perhaps I didn't make my statement clear; ES is an interesting and aesthetically beautiful game. And it sure beats AH in terms of simplicity. And the commitment involved is much less than in AH (though the latter is equal times a pro and a con). If, for instance, you intend to spend a Saturday night at home playing AH, watching a DVD and reading part of a good book before you sleep (all simple joys in life), chances are that AH will take all of your time. If you replaced AH with ES in such an occasion, yeah, I see why anyone would prefer to play ES. The thing is that this is the only aspect where ES beats AH, but with the huge amount of chance involved in the former, being its damnation when compared with its legendary forefather.

Let me give you an example: The day before yesterday I sat and played ES. I picked Jenny Barnes. When I put the adventure cards on the table, the "We Need to Find Help" appeared; there goes the red die and 50% of Jenny's ability was gone. I tried to resolve the adventure and failed. A monster with three squares appeared. With no other place to go, it went on that card. From then on, It got tremendously difficult to finish that adventure and the red die was practically lost for good. Then, after a round or two, the Public Lavatory appeared. This card can never be resolved, unless the player get lucky and the monsters appearing have very few squares on them. They didn't. Not only that, but among the monsters that appeared, the Warlock was one of them; there goes the yellow die too and Jenny's ability went to hell. So, out of the six adventure cards, two were inaccessible for good and only had among four to pick (save the outer world ones) and without the extra dice to resolve them. I stood my ground valiantly, got eleven Elder Signs, but Cthulhu awoke...

Ok, I was just very-very unlucky. And the fact that, even with such a hellish start, I almost beat the game, shows that this isn't an exercise in frustration (though every game involving Mythos should be difficult). But it goes to show that luck plays a major part of this game. AH has its fair amount of luck, as well. It's played with dice, after all. Still, there are quite a few rumor cards about and you know that, sooner or later, you 'll face one during a playthrough. It's an integral part of the game, not just pure chance. You might face two if you are unlucky. But, usually, you can handle things. And there are lots of choices to be made. Such is not the case here.

To put it short, should one buy ES? If he loves Lovecraft, he should consider it. But it's hardly unmissable. If someone's wallet allows only one to be picked however, the choice is natural: AH. Double the price but a hundredfold the fun.



#10 mr.thomasschmidt

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 07:59 AM

Thanks for the answers :)






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