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Soakman

Tip requests for The Secret Name (spoilers)

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This is by far the gosh dang most devilish scenario in the game in my opinion. Nasty nasty enemies that end up with 4-6 health each, a base evasion of at least 3 on each enemy, terrible haunted effects, and a truly massive number of clues that need discovered. We managed to get all the way to the last act, and fought a long and hard battle until the final agenda triggered. Marie escaped untraumatized, which, in my book, is a major success for the scenario.

I think with 3 players you need a total of 33 clues-ish (varies a bit depending on how often you were able to kill/evade Nahab). My Marie deck ended up pulling about 24 or so clues by herself, but Preston and Zoey tireless kept enemies at bay all game, with a clue and a skeleton key contributed by Preston here and there.

Is there an ideal set-up to actually WIN this scenario, it seems SO unlikely. We were playing on easy by the way. I'm thinking that the 5 evade on Rita could maybe be clutch and the piece of the puzzle that is missing? 

Edited by Soakman

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well,  I have not done other than 2 player,  so take this with a grain of salt,  but here are some thoughts:

I agree that this scenario is particularly hazardous to investigators.   That being said, I have "won" this scenario several times on Normal mode.  As an aside,   I have, up to this point, played every other campaign on Hard mode.    But the Circle Undone I play on normal...   the campaign is crushingly difficult, and the pain train doesnt stop with the Secret Name...

One thing that is extremely helpful is AoE damage, with the exception of Rogue .45 Thompson (3) -which is pretty hard to get to work.   I've had a lot of success with Mk1 Grenades.   Another helpful card is Dynamite Blast,   but ideally you want to play this card out-of-guardian because your Guardian is going to have their hands full.    Dynamite Blast from Rex Murphy followed by Guardian-of-Choice grenade storm was very effective in clearing out Nahab, Brown Jenkin, and rats,  who tend to all swarm you at the same time.  

Being able to deal with monsters quickly is key,  a Shotgun or other Big Guardian Weapon (tm)  is something that will also help.   It might be very beneficial to take a bit of a detour and do some side missions like Curse of the Rougaru before attempting The Secret Name,  so you can earn a few extra  XP for your investigators.  

I have little specific advice for Seekers,  except that they should be prepared to help their Guardian out from time to time.   A dynamite blast, or I've Got a Plan at the right moment can really take the heat off the guardian and give them a bit of time to restock and reload.   I would also try to make sure to get all the clues from all 3 of the initial rooms before heading to Walter Gilman's room.   This allows you to snag a few extra clues.  

I have not tried a heavy evasion build, I have only brute forced my way through the scenario with a lot of guns.  I agree it could work well in some instances,  but the evasion checks in the scenario are not easy to do, especially as you must do them repeatedly.   For the final confrontation though,  having a strong evasion character does seem like it could really help you out.

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Funny, but we decided to marathon our second time through Circle Undone as a Labor Day weekend event! That one is a truly tricky scenario. We had Rex, who was necessary for clue gathering and Sefina who gets so many cards out the gate and had Leo De Luca in her opening hand. And Rex got Dr Milan right away, who with Higher Ed is a force.(He did get Rex’s Curse about halfway through, though). So we had a perfect storm of extra actions, double clue hoovering,  good evasion assets and events with Painted world to defy some of the encounter deck with extra Ward of Protection and Deny Existence Uses. 

Edited by Mimi61

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Hard scenario, I have yet to figure out the most effective method but I can tell you that one is a nightmare to do with evasion heavy characters without an Ornate bow, it's mandatory! 

A 3 or 4 damage weapon and / or Beat cop(2) really greases up this map, along with all the AoE options you can find. a Marie walking into this map should definitely be toting a Storm of spirits(3), if you have a gun build then grab Stick to the plan and stick Marksmanship on it. Vicious blow(2) also helps greatly, especially in the early parts of the scenario.

 

Suspected top tech to bring this map: Flamethrower. BURN! BUUUURN!

Terrible tech to bring: BAR. You'll be out of ammo right away. 

 

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This scenario really punishes an over-specialised group - on 2-player, both investigators should have some ability to handle combat and on 4-player you want 2 good combatants or 1 combatant and at least 2 people with a bit of combat ability.

The potential difficulty depends on player count somewhat - on 4-player you can quickly end up really messed up if you get a string of bad draws and effects swarming you with rats.

I got a lot of work done with a .45 Thompson Guardian build; second time doing so I bought Mk. 1 Grenades for this scenario and they ended up almost pointless as we had a steady stream of enemies rather than big hordes.

I've only ever managed a "perfect run" on this scenario (securing every victory point) but they always felt very hard-won and down to the wire.

I have to say, one of the things I appreciate about TCU is the designers seem to have finally started making conscious efforts to balance for player count - the game is generally easier with more players, but in TCU you have effects like this and the possibility of big doom spikes from certain enemies, and the various effects that stay in play next to the act and then trigger a big effect once three are in play, all of which are much more punishing with more players.

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Yes we had 2 specialists and an all-arounder with Preston but his Dig Deep got crypt chilled and he was having big issues with Will encounters. 

I really like how much this scenario demands of you but my Marie deck is not equipped for combat at all. It’s a fun deck but definitely not as versatile as mystics should be. 

Interesting thoughts. Maybe the next time through we’ll try less specialization.

Marie only got out without trauma by Elder Signing a doom and intentionally triggering haunted on the sacrificial chamber. Was down to the wire as far as getting out with no trauma but it’s the furthest we’ve gotten so felt hard-won. She got a delve too deep on the last turn too so there’s that haha.

Edited by Soakman

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12 hours ago, awp832 said:

the pain train doesnt stop with the Secret Name...

Ha, ha, *cough* ha ...

We've just played Union and Disillusion, positively limping our way through the last three scenarios after a promising start to the campaign with Rex and Agnes. The Secret Name was where the worm turned. My play partner has absolutely demanded that we play this cycle again as soon as we finish. Looks like we'll tackle it as Diana and William.

Edited by Carthoris

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The first time we played it with 4. Norman, Rita, Preston and Diana. We did get every experience point that time, but were lucky. Norman Seeker/Mystic had the capacity to fight and seek.  He really was a standout  investigator for that entire campaign. And his ability was incredibly helpful. Rita was deadly with her Ornate Bow and ran circles around enemies.  Diana was built to fight and had all those cards that cancel stuff to bulk her willpower and Preston was way more effective than I thought he would be at getting out of sticky situations. I felt like we were a pretty balanced group. 

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We played this one several times and only once managed to get a successful Resolution.  Thankfully there isn't much of a difference to the overall campaign for "losing" since you can still earn the Memento and bonus XP as long as you defeat Nahab and/or Brown Jenkins at least once during the scenario.

We found the trick was to defeat Nahab right before advancing to Act3, which clears the doom from her and causes her to respawn with only 2 Doom.  Otherwise, you get to Act3 and Nahab ends up with 5+ Doom and it's an uphill battle from there.

You also definitely need someone who can lock Nahab down by either Evading her every turn or defeating her to keep her exhausted.

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6 hours ago, Faranim said:

We played this one several times and only once managed to get a successful Resolution.  Thankfully there isn't much of a difference to the overall campaign for "losing" since you can still earn the Memento and bonus XP as long as you defeat Nahab and/or Brown Jenkins at least once during the scenario.

We found the trick was to defeat Nahab right before advancing to Act3, which clears the doom from her and causes her to respawn with only 2 Doom.  Otherwise, you get to Act3 and Nahab ends up with 5+ Doom and it's an uphill battle from there.

You also definitely need someone who can lock Nahab down by either Evading her every turn or defeating her to keep her exhausted.

Exactly. We have learned that in some cases evading is better, because it frees up actions to do other things besides just fight. It also can also keep enemies in play, if you can avoid them, so that they don’t get shuffled back into the encounter deck to come out and cause issues all over again. We love handcuffs for this very reason! For Guardians I have become really enamored of Ever Vigilant and Well prepared. They are awesome together. Getting 3 assets out in one action for 3 less resources is amazing. And then being able to use icons you need from them to boost skill checks every round is also amazing. Your assets can pull double duty for the whole game. 

But no matter how vigilant or well prepared we are,  we do a lot of groaning and head banging, because to paraphrase the immortal words of Harry Potter  “When have our plans ever worked? We plan and plan and when we get there and all heck* breaks loose!”

Edited by Mimi61

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