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SolennelBern

Playing the Keeper - How to

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My group plays with the Keeper unleashed: he gets the skill point variant and there is no holding back. Out of 50 or more games, I as Keeper am undefeated still, and alas we continue to play. I believe there is three reasons why:

1) When I get my uncommon chance to play Investigator, I am veteran to the game and I immediately tell players what I don't feel the Keeper should say to other experienced players on how to win (i.e. like Season of the Witch is definitely a map for grinning devilishly while seasoned players scratch their heads and lose their marbles). I state that the longer you wait, the stronger the Keeper gets. Always go for the clues as fast as possible, as sometimes that is your only means of winning is by finding Clue 1; as well, always leave enough time to escape. If doom seems assured before the Objective even flips, take your odds to running back to the start and hope there's an escape win; and even if the objective flips as no escape and the mission proves too improbable, stay alive until the Event deck runs out and see if that makes a tie or a win for investigators (because let's face it: a tie makes the Keeper equally sad cool.gif). If that doesn't either then you know next time it is more likely you will have to fight tooth and nail to win, and knowledge is power.

I win as an investigator about half the time. Playing as the Keeper too once or twice also broadens your horizons on Investigator stratagem immensely. The other means of good Investigator tactics against a near-impossible Keeper is try and try again because of all the knowledge you gain each time you lose on a map. Lately I have noticed a huge difference in Investigator line-up: some maps are way easier with fewer investigators while some others are way easier with a whole mob. Keeping the Keeper on his toes by going non-stop after clues is probably my best advice; every round less he has of threat, the better for you. I could also continue on tactics for paragraphs and paragraphs but I feel the rest needs to be experienced by readers like you.

2) I dangle the proverbial carrot too: I have more than 50 wins. That daunting statistic makes all my friends want the privilege of knocking me off that high and mighty Keeper pedestal, and I get more worried about their tactics each and every session. My new thing to take in account is Dexter Drake and one of his two Once Per Game abilities that allows him to "teleport" for his turn sorpresa.gif. Because I show people when I play as an Investigator how it's possible to win, this "reward" becomes more and more fetching each time we play. A couple sessions ago my friend stumbled upon a weakness the Keeper has on a particular map and albeit I am willing to play it again, I am genuinely worried because it's a gaping weak-spot. When we do play it again, I definitely want one or two more friends present so my fall will be felt by many.

3) Playing against the Keeper hardcore is a fun way to experience sheer terror. Very few games give me an overwhelming sense of horror as I slowly approach a natural defeat, but the win against it is that much sweeter. I can't recommend Mansions, imo, without the huge challenge factor. I believe really what makes the game is having your investigator's hopes dashed as he and his friends are shredded to ribbons. This is the way of playing Mansions: more investment as a gamer to watch poor souls undergo merciless wrath from a greater power.

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Ok, after 5 games in the past 3 weeks, all as Investigators (which I love), I must say that this game is pretty well balanced in all aspects.  Sure there's some holes here and there and some scenarios are completely imbalanced but it remains a greatly enjoyable game and even more so when the Keeper (in those games, my brother) is playing to give the Investigators a hell of a hard time.

One thing that the "Arguing friend" doesn't seem to understand is that if the Keeper would let lose everything he can in every rounds he would still be limited by his Threat bank, the many options provided by his Action cards, the limit and windows oppotunities to play Mythos and Trauma cards, his random hands of Mythos and Trauma cards and the rules.

So, in all those 5 games (Scenarios #1 to #4 from the base game and Scenario #1 from Forbidden Alchemy), I felt the terror all around me but never did I felt like this was a dead end.  Till the end of each games we could never tell which side had the edge and never we felt it was a no win situation for either of us.  Most games were decided at the very end, in the last turns.

This is pretty awesome if you ask me (well, us) and the more my bro plays the Keeper, the more he sees the tools he have and how/when to best use them.

The Keeper is not a babysitter, he's a weird dude that like seeing petty humans suffer demonio.gif

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I have 2 friends with who i play lots of board games, and the other day we were playing Doom, with a friend being the "Keeper", and he played his role in such a way that in the early and middle stage of the game he held back, we gained a lot of ground, then towards the end he upped his evil level, and we lost.

I had a big discussion with him that a "Keeper" should be the enemy of the players, he should do his stuff to make them fail, to kick their b-hind, to make us fight for the win, he did not agree.

Not long ago we played Descent for the first time, i was the Keeper, and i went hardcore and tried to beat them, the former keeper dude went crazy because of all the traps i tossed at him, but after playing around 6 levels, the score is 3 wins for me, 3 wins for them.

They had to beat me, because i did not go easy on them, and they did 50% of the time.. which made the win really great for them, there was even a high 5 :P

Tomorrow is our first game of MoM, i will be keeper, and i will not be going easy on them (unless i find out my win ratio is like 100%).

 

Kr.


m0j0
 

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