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buddhamangler

What are we missing?

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Really would love some advice.  My friend and I have checked all the rules and we seem to be playing everything correctly.  However, it just seems like the game is too hard because we have yet to have success.  What is the general strategy?  Try to collect all question marks or ignore them mostly or collect just some?  Beeline for blue exclamation?  Try to expand the map as much as possible?  It seems like no matter what we do the difficulty ramps up after discovering the initial blue exclamation and just rolls over us from that point.  One unlucky roll round (or even worse a couple) seems to put you in a horrible spot that is very difficult to finish the scenario.  It happens without fail and we are so close to going insane by endgame it happens every time and it just falls apart from there as the win condition changes so drastically.  The closest we ever got, in the two star scenario, was to just beeline for the library and skip pretty much most of the investigations, and that was only possible because we have the story knowledge.

 

In the most recent game we didn't even get to uncover a part of the map that just so happened to have the second blue exclamation, and by the time we made it over there, there were just too many monsters out.  Hell there was an investigation we couldn't even figure out how to open as the app told us we needed a key, but I for ***** after the game was over anyways clicked on everything i could to find that key and it was nowhere.  We had an insane person that wanted every question mark and it was impossible to even get that one as the app wouldn't even give us the option to investigate it.

 

We find it pretty difficult to drain off damage or horror, sometimes we don't have the items for it and sometimes we do.  An example would be the bible, we may for example spend an action to get rid of a horror for it to just come right back on us or even more in the mythos phase.
 

I don't know, I just feel like we are doing something wrong, almost like 2 actions per turn feels so limited.  I still think it is a fun game, but what is the expected chance of success in these?  25%? 15%? 

 

Any advice?

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That's pretty much my feeling too. Failed to escape from Innsmouth 3 times now. Only with 2 investigators, and I gather it's easier with more, but that's harder to manage. I'm thinking of trying again solo, still with 2 investigators but 3-4 actions rather than just 2.  I think that might just give me an edge.

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The main strategy advice I can give you is: don't lose time trying to get things you don't need. If you have a good weapon, you don't need to pick up another one, for example. Try to max out the results considering in a game you have a fixed amount of actions. And try to give characters items they excel at (for example, ranged weapons to people with high Agility values, and so on). In the end, the whole game is just an exercise on how to max profit with the minimum number of actions. Playing at different investigator counts changes things a bit (you have more men to cover the ground, but you also have less time to do everything, and some enemies will be tougher to beat)

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More investigators tend to make uncovering Search tokens, but they tend to ramp up the monster health. I honestly haven't played with fewer than 4 investigators. I know that the first time we played we missed the bit about being able to do the same action more than once. This makes moving across the map easier, and sometimes by being able to attack twice really helps you take out some of the damage sources.

Once you have an idea of the goal try to go for it. Like Julia said if too much time passes, then the goal could shift and if it's something that you've almost completed then the shift could make things harder on you. Healing is good, but only if it's going to help you keep people in the game.

The Mythos events are designed to beat you down harder as things go on to try and make you lose. It's kinda like the movie climax, things always get harder for the hero once the big bad arrives.

If it really gets you then plan your party. Someone to heal, maybe someone with a specific trait like Ashcan Pete to move item around, or Rita who can hightail it through the rooms.

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Me and my gf played Shattered bonds the other evening, 5 star difficulty and an estimated time of 120-180 minutes.

We tried a new tactic of prioritizing talking to NPCs, who often gives you hints of what place to go or what you are looking for. Looking at question marks was a low priority, and we actually only explored perhaps half the map. There were I think 6 unopened doors at the end of the game! We just went towards the rooms that had what for what we needed (a bit of lucky guesswork finding the places we searched for immediately), solved the investigation that revealed what we needed to do to win, and then we won!

We managed the whole scenario in about 90 minutes, though I was insane. None of use were close to injured.

Previous scenarios (like Escape from Innsmouth, Cult of Sentinel Hill, Dearly Departed) with two others (so 4 player games), and both times people were running around a bit willy-nilly, trying to explore everything and so on. You might be able to explore everything if you are in a 4-5 player game, but if you are less than that you really need to focus. Those times we either just lost or just won (most often lost), with it often coming  down to the last round. So having a look at one extra question mark can cost you the game.

And then you have the dice. Sometimes they are kind to you, sometimes they are not. A streak of bad rolls and you might not have any possibility of winning left.

I think the mythos events are probably the most dangerous opponent (which I think is a bit of a miss in game design). Monsters are usually pretty easy to handle, and the horror they cause is seldom hard to deal with. But then you get mythos events that just blast you with 3 sanity in a round, nothing you can do about it.

Because the mythos events are the killer, and they become worse with time, all you need to do to win is to be fast. :P

Read carefully, try to prioritize, and sticking together makes it easier to deal with monsters.

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I hear you. We've played 5 times so far and we didn't win even once. Experience certainly helps, but I feel like the game can still screw you over, if it wants to. :rolleyes:

Shattered Bonds was pretty close, but we got unlucky right at the end and lost. Could've gone either way. (Even though it would not have been the perfect ending.)

@ totgeboren: How many people died during your game?

 

We lost Cycle of Eternity because we got stuck with the task at the end and ran out of time.

Tried Escape from Innsmouth 2 times, the first game, we didn't manage to do everything we were supposed to but we could have still won,

but we lost 1 turn too early, running out of time. The second time, we did use our knowledge, but we got unlucky with a few randomly placed map elements and lost faster than before, because we suddenly had even less time to win.

Sentinel Hill... well, I guess we did not have a good team to handle so many monsters at once, almost got overrun and afterwards we ran out of time once more.

 

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During our Shattered Bonds game, none of us died (only two players).

We actually only faced 3 monsters in total. One at the start who we killed in one round (never even needed to test sanity against it!), the second was a crawling one who turned up as far away from everyone as was possible i think, it never even got into the same room as the players. And the third monster was the final boss, who we just managed to take down before I turned totally insane (was mute at the end though!).

Also tried Escape from Innsmouth 2 times, first we never even found the agent before being dead and/or insane. Second time we misunderstood the scenario, and were in a position where we could either escape just in time, or try and get the agent, but then we would be one turn late. So we said "screw him!" and threw ourself on the boat! Imagine our dismay when the skipper would rather see himself and his ship brunt to a crisp rather than leaving the agent behind. So we all died in the flames. :P

Sentinel Hill... we killed the monster, I think almost everyone was insane, and the wizard escaped, so a rather pyrrhic victory.

But I have to point out that I have modified some of the Insane conditions slightly, which might make the game slightly easier on some occasions. When we play there are no conditions that just suddenly cause the game to end for everyone. Like, pyromania. I changed it to be like kleptomania except that you need 6 rooms on fire instead, not just that 6 rooms on fire causes everyone else to lose just because your investigator is really stoked about the flames. :huh:

Those kinds of endings cause people to get that 'eh-this-game-is-dumb-lets-play-something-else-look', which I really don't want to see on peoples faces.

Edited by totgeboren

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9 hours ago, totgeboren said:

During our Shattered Bonds game, none of us died (only two players).

We actually only faced 3 monsters in total. One at the start who we killed in one round (never even needed to test sanity against it!), the second was a crawling one who turned up as far away from everyone as was possible i think, it never even got into the same room as the players. And the third monster was the final boss, who we just managed to take down before I turned totally insane (was mute at the end though!).

Also tried Escape from Innsmouth 2 times, first we never even found the agent before being dead and/or insane. Second time we misunderstood the scenario, and were in a position where we could either escape just in time, or try and get the agent, but then we would be one turn late. So we said "screw him!" and threw ourself on the boat! Imagine our dismay when the skipper would rather see himself and his ship brunt to a crisp rather than leaving the agent behind. So we all died in the flames. :P

Sentinel Hill... we killed the monster, I think almost everyone was insane, and the wizard escaped, so a rather pyrrhic victory.

But I have to point out that I have modified some of the Insane conditions slightly, which might make the game slightly easier on some occasions. When we play there are no conditions that just suddenly cause the game to end for everyone. Like, pyromania. I changed it to be like kleptomania except that you need 6 rooms on fire instead, not just that 6 rooms on fire causes everyone else to lose just because your investigator is really stoked about the flames. :huh:

Those kinds of endings cause people to get that 'eh-this-game-is-dumb-lets-play-something-else-look', which I really don't want to see on peoples faces.

For my group, part of the fun is try to bluff the insane condition, specially the ones that end everything ( it's not a surprise information, everyone knows what every insane card do).  This cause a sense of paranoia and tension that's really ads much more to the game and provokes many fun moments , like running like crazy  to catch  a insane  investigator, and try to steal his light source because you think he has pyromania and in the end he has nothing so dangerous. Or you can simple stop talking to trick everyone,  with that blade in yours hands,  just waiting the right moment buahahaha :P

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Yeah I do understand your perspective, but one of our first games ended with us almost being done, but then one investigator became insane. Got pyromania, and six rooms were on fire. So that was that. Everyone else was like "What? What happened? Why did the rest of us lose? We are literally at the finish line! Why can't we just leave the pyromaniac to be consumed by the flames?"

Second game, just halfway in, one player had some bad luck with the mythos and the dice, and so went insane long before the rest of the party. Next round ended up in the same square as another investigator and had the sacrifice card (Goat of a thousand). So poof, game ends for everyone, and things were just starting to become exciting. Again, I had to explain to people why the game ended, because it wasn't clear from the context. 

To put it like this, we still enjoy the original Swedish "Drakborgen/Dungeonquest", where the players only have about a 15% chance of merely surviving (not winning) the game! That a game is really difficult isn't an issue.

But my group, me included didn't find it all that fun when you (as an individual) lose without your input having any impact on the outcome. It just takes to long to start up and play for the game to end with a huge anti-climax. It could also be that the players view themselves as individual players cooperating, rather than an out-and-out team, and so for example the demise of another players should just make things more difficult, not all out end the game.

 So to keep my players interested I had to rephrase some stuff. I guess it's different for different people and groups, and everyone can play as they themselves choose. :)

Edited by totgeboren

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You're not the only one. I've read of many who simply treats Insanities as a sort of "first warning", they keep on playing as a team, and are eliminated upon going insane for the second time. I think Insanities are great thematically, but suddenly transforms a coop game in a non-coop game which can be quite a turn-off for some, so, I totally understand houseruling them

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Yes, the traitor mechanic it's not for every group/player. But can easily manage as you do, just throw away the problematic cards or come with some house rules. On difficulty,  yes the  game can be a pain in ***, but as Julia said, you need maximize yours actions and choose  the right investigators for the job. 

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On 17.5.2017 at 4:59 PM, gogovsky said:

Pro tip in escape of  ins, take rita young :) Her ability is invaluable ;)  

Not to rain on your parade, but she really didn't help us that much the two times we tried. I honestly wouldn't say you have to have her on the team for this scenario. It's more about managing time and progress at the same time.

---

EDIT: @ LordPyrex: That's why i was trying to keep any answers regarding scenario content as vague as possible.

---

I feel like we just haven't figured out how to do it yet. We'll probably give it another go with a full team in the near future. Considering the difficulty, it should be a challenge and I tend to enjoy going at them. ;)

Edited by Lorinor

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SPOILER ALERT

 

Sure Dude w/e, but she is the only investigator which can, move do something and still be out of range of monsters etc(talk to craven and hide in library), she can go fast with keys or lamp. ;) I won 8/10 escapes, 7 with rita ;) That's why I recommend her, but everyone do as you want.

Edited by gogovsky
Spoilers

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You may well be missing something, yes. We did the first time, and once you know the game you shouldn't be losing that much.

Rules I missed, which made a huge difference included:

  • The Push Action - it doesn't state this in the learn to play, but in the main Reference - you can take a push action and move another investigator, or a monster, away from you. If an investigator is close to death, moving them away is a godsend.
  • Range - range does not count through doors! So, when monsters check range and move towards everyone in range, they can not do so through doors and walls! This saved our lives so many times!
  • Move action - you can move 2 spaces per action not one
  • Actions - you can do the same action twice
  • Revealing Sight Tokens - you can reveal the sight tokens on the edges of the map just by being in the same area, you don't have to use an action
  • Taking damage and insanity - note that the app will say to take "facedown" damage or horror, when this happens you do not need to read the card effects.
  • Fire damages monsters as well as investigators. But you can put out fire with an action if you need to using an agility test and putting out one fire tile per elder sign rolled
  • Using barricades - these stop monsters from getting through to you (depending on their rolls), and are invaluable yet often overlooked
  • Trade action - Trade lets you swap ANY number of items, drop any number or items, or pick up any number. 
  • Finally, don't forget to negate all damage! Every Elder Sign rolled on the negate stage removes the damage - and remember to add in the modifiers from your cards.

Mansions is not as hard as everyone says it is. I have only lost a few times, and those have been down to bad luck. Generally you can win if you remember all the available options you have an plan it out. There is almost always a solution to the problem!

 

 

Edited by palleon
Mistyped a line. Pointed out as misleading by Totgeboren.

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2 hours ago, palleon said:
  • Taking damage and insanity - unless stated these are drawn face down and are only resolved when instructed to flip on

I think this is slightly misleading, since yes, they are drawn face down, but they are always flipped up one after another unless the app instructs you to take "face down" damage or horror.

Like, "The investigator takes 2 damage" would mean you first take 1 damage face down, then flip the card, resolve it, then take one more card face down, then flip, then resolve.

If "The investigator takes 2 face down damage", then you  first take 1 damage face down, keep it face down, then take one more damage, and keep it face down.

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31 minutes ago, totgeboren said:

I think this is slightly misleading, since yes, they are drawn face down, but they are always flipped up one after another unless the app instructs you to take "face down" damage or horror.

Like, "The investigator takes 2 damage" would mean you first take 1 damage face down, then flip the card, resolve it, then take one more card face down, then flip, then resolve.

If "The investigator takes 2 face down damage", then you  first take 1 damage face down, keep it face down, then take one more damage, and keep it face down.

Yes, sorry, edited. My apologies for misleading anyone or causing any issues. Not my intent. 

I hope the rest of the tips are useful, but I can remove the post if not.

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The importance of the "Push" action is often underestimated: sometimes you have two things to do in the same space (like Search + Puzzle) but you can't do both because you're an odd number of spaces away. So, you move 1, and you lose the other movement point. These lost points sum up and at the end of the game they can cost you the victory. Having an investigator pushing you allows instantly for maxing out the action benefits in a given round.

In any case the fact that Push is covered only in the Rules Reference is yet another example of how bad these two rulebooks are

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2 hours ago, Julia said:

As for Barricades: I'm 31-0 with this game, and I never used a Barricade in my life, so, I'm confident you can easily ignore them

Yeah, the only time we ever used a barricade was the same time that the game told us that a monster burst through that door ignoring the barricade. Needless to say, we just tend to leave them be since we've gained mistrust of them!

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6 hours ago, LordPyrex said:

Yeah, the only time we ever used a barricade was the same time that the game told us that a monster burst through that door ignoring the barricade. Needless to say, we just tend to leave them be since we've gained mistrust of them!

I don't think we've ever had a barricade last more than a turn.  Every single time we use one, no matter who rolls for the monsters, they seem to easily get the two successes needed to break through.  We've pretty much stopped using them too.

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14 hours ago, Julia said:

The importance of the "Push" action is often underestimated: sometimes you have two things to do in the same space (like Search + Puzzle) but you can't do both because you're an odd number of spaces away. So, you move 1, and you lose the other movement point. These lost points sum up and at the end of the game they can cost you the victory. Having an investigator pushing you allows instantly for maxing out the action benefits in a given round.

In any case the fact that Push is covered only in the Rules Reference is yet another example of how bad these two rulebooks are

I thought I read that you can move a space, perform an action, then move the other space.  Possibly in a FAQ...

Could be wrong, though... :)

 

Edit: Bingo!  Found this in the FAQ:

Q. “Can an investigator interrupt a move action to take another action?”

A. Yes. For example, an investigator can move one space, perform a another action, such as a Search action or Explore action, then move a second space.

 

Edited by DMG

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