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JosephCurwen

Is it possible to lose the table top version?

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I have only played it 4 times and won once so I simply cannot understand how people "win all the time." I may not be very good but I suspect there is a simple strategy that escapes me given this talk about mostly winning and needing to make it harder. When you have both yellow and red dice locked and need a minimum of 5 dice to complete the adventure to unlock even one of them, well...there is a whole lot of failin' going on.

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When you have both yellow and red dice locked and need a minimum of 5 dice to complete the adventure to unlock even one of them, well...there is a whole lot of failin' going on.

 

I rarely even consider taking on an Adventure that requires 5 dice if I only have 6 dice. If such an Adventure needs to be cleared, like in the case of freeing up the Y/R dice, gets Spells and Clues from other sources first, then hit the key Adventure. Knowing which Adventures to go after is a big part of the game. Compare the minimum dice required vs the dice you have, if they are even, forget about it. If 5 req vs 6 have, avoid unless absolutely have to go there. Hit easier Adventures to stock up on Items, Spells and Clues, maybe even get an Adventure replacer from UF (if you have the expansion) before going after a 5 vs 6 Adventure. It's far better to overkill an Adventure, going in with 8-9 dice (again with UF) when needing 4-5 dice, Items come and go, as do their dice with them, but failures will always set you back.

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It's far better to overkill an Adventure, going in with 8-9 dice (again with UF) when needing 4-5 dice, Items come and go, as do their dice with them, but failures will always set you back.

 

Yup, that's the key point. If you play with the idea "I'll save this item for later", then you start losing adventures and bad stuff happens. If you use your items and spells and clues properly, you start gaining more stuff, and trophies that can be spent on Elder Sgns (core game) or Blessings (UF).

 

There are certainly cases where the game goes out of control, with bad adventures with monsters piling over and locking dice; but these situations become rarer and rarer as you refine your strategy

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I have only played it 4 times and won once so I simply cannot understand how people "win all the time." I may not be very good but I suspect there is a simple strategy that escapes me given this talk about mostly winning and needing to make it harder. When you have both yellow and red dice locked and need a minimum of 5 dice to complete the adventure to unlock even one of them, well...there is a whole lot of failin' going on.

I've been playing a little over two months, and I can say that when you first start out, it will be more difficult. Once you learn certain tricks (such as spending the day shopping when the Mythos Card is against you), you'll improve. 

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"Shopping" can be viewed as a solid tactical plan as TheMacJew points out. It may not be in the party's best interest that everyone traipses off to the mall, but it can be a very good way to avoid even worse things from happening.

Cheers,

Joe

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Sorry if this has been mentioned already, but I was told by my FLGS guy that the first expansion does a lot to make the game harder, if more challenge is your aim.

It makes it both easier and more difficult. One of the items in the expansion are Blessed and Cursed Dice. The Cursed die has the possibility of stealing a win from you. 

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My win rate is about 80% with the board game. I haven't lost with just the base game in about a dozen tries, with the caveat that I always choose investigators instead of picking randomly. I did have a very close call with Nyarlathotep where I got way behind on the doom track but I came back and won at the last second, getting the last doom token and last Elder Sign at the same time. With the addition of Unseen Forces, I've lost to Shudde M'ell twice, Glaaki once and Abhoth once.

If you have trouble choose Jenny Barnes and Amanda Sharpe because they are some of the best investigators. Like others have said, use your items freely (you'll get more) unless the adventure is super easy. Use your items and spells, don't forget to assist and focus. Spells can hold dice to make tough adventures easier. Clearout adventures that lock dice first, then those with nasty midnight effects. Don't be afraid to do easy adventures to build up items. Send investigators in just to clear out a monster if you have to. On an adventure, I tend to use my red and yellow dice and clues right away, and I usually try to do the toughest task first, if I can.

Elder Sign: Omens is indeed tougher. I win about 60-80% of the time with the base game AOs,depending on who it is. With Cthulhu, I win a bit less often (unless I play with only Jenny, which is much easier). Nyarlathotep I win about 30% of the time - I have a nasty tendency to draw the God of the Bloody Tongue as the Mask monster in the final battle which is almost impossible to beat. And for Ithaqua, when they say his difficulty is Insane, they aren't kidding. I have won the final battle and saved the Professor twice out of several dozen plays (<10% win rate).

On Omens, don't forget that securing dice on spells lets you dodge terror effects.

Edited by jlhorner1974

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The game has some difficulty issues. Just modify the rules a little to place more Doom Tokens. A simple variant is to place 2 doom whenever you hit a monster. So the monster comes out and that space AND the next space is taken with a Doom Token. This greatly affects difficulty and risk taking.

 

Other ways to spice it up is perma-death, rather then rerolling a new player if they die or go insane. Or simply removing a single green die from the game can make a huge difference.

 

As for the length, I think the game is a little long. I own a ton of dice games from and think that for a dice chucker it is in fact to long. I would prefer it had been designed as a shorter 20-30min game.

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You will not need any houserules once you get Gates of Arkham. Now, the game is hard. A lot of thought seems to have gone into  designing this expansion. 

 

That's what Elder Sign should have been like from the beginning.

 

I used houserules before, because I loved the game anyhow, but man, I hope we'll get additional expansions like GoA; they could just make   Kingsport/Dunwich/Innsmouth packs based on the same concept. That would be awesome.

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It is possible to lose if you play wrong. My first play was against Yig and I started with six bad adventures, l draw new, mythos card, got two doom tokens, because master mythos card, added one doom token because midnight and few monsters before I did anything with my characters. Few failed adventures and another mythos card which weren't shuffled ok so another master mythos and midnight resolution and I had six doom tokens. Again few turns and third mythos card was Stars Are Right you lost game. WTF? Shuffled cards and tried again, but still didn't read rules through and added doom token every midnight. Another mistake was using clues. Thought those are just for shopping, later realized those are for re-rolling too, but used one clue per one dice to re-roll.

 

Things to change or to consider to make things harder or easier.
Harder:
1 clue per 1 dice to re-roll

Multiple curses, so getting rid of curse takes more solved adventures

Do not optimize monster placing and add that monster to those adventure requirements. 

Add doom token every midnight

Do not add extra characters. If someone dies then she/he dies no replacements
To remove Curse, blessing is needed.

Curse isn't removed for the endgame
Monsters stay and must be slayed in endgame before AO can be attacked
Blessing is removed if Mythos cards requires item, clue, spell or trophies to be removed and character has none

 

Easier:

Blessing stays until Curse removes it, not failed adventure
Spell locked dice are extra, not removed from dice pool

Monsters don't follow task rules, can be killed on same roll as an actual adventure task

- Monster has investigation and peril, adventure has 2 terror, your roll has all these, monster is killed and one task is done
Monster locked dice is freed instantly, you can add it your dice pool in the middle of adventure 

Separate monster is different entity you can attack just that monster, not doing adventure, thus avoiding adventures failure punishment.

Roll first and then choose adventure which suits best for your first roll.

 

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