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The Big Book of Madness» Forums » General

Subject: Is the game too easy or did we screw up the rules? rss

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Erwin Anciano
Philippines
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We just played a game of this, it was fun, I love the mechanics and the minimal book-keeping, one of the smoothest co-ops I've played. But I found it way too easy.

We had a 4 player game, we cleared all the monsters without difficulty, each curse got cleared before it even activated and we didn't suffer a single curse, and madness cards went back to the deck almost instantly. Often we'd kill a monster on just Turn 2. We seriously were never in danger.

And we were playing on the Hard Difficulty (3) and most of us didn't even have optimal builds or thinned out decks. It just seemed far too easy. Even though we got the monsters that discarded 3 spells, and added Madness cards to our support and even into our hands, and into our discard piles, we didn't have any problems managing our madness.

Did we get any rules wrong?

These are the things we did that I think are important to clarify:

* As per usual Deck Builder styles, when you buy a card from the stock it goes to discard, not to hand or deck.
* When our deck runs out, add a Madness Card to discard and shuffle
* When we destroy a card, we toss it out of the game
* We destroyed Madness cards in our hand using Combustion
* We did not discard during Recuperation if we had cards left in hand and just drew back up to 6 (or discard down to 6, but not allowed to discard Madness Cards)
* Once we clear all curses, we resolve the Monster effect and turn the page, and resolve the Monster Come Into Play effect at the end of the round after Recuperation, then move the Book Marker back to 1.


I think those are the important ones. Did we do anything wrong?

Any common rule mistakes we might be doing that may be making the game far too easy?

Also, I can't find any way to scale the difficulty to the number of players other than using Easy (1), Medium (2) or Hard (3) difficulty.

Is the game just too easy with 4-5 players? We were expecting some kind of swing in difficulty as we hit the 4th and 5th monsters, but it was even easier by then because our decks and builds had been more or less realized by then.
 
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Michal Starek
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Often forgotten rule:

Each separate action (buying card, breaking spell, casting spell...) is paid by some whole number of cards, which are discarded in its entirety. That mostly means you lose some Elements by overpaying.

Example of implication: You CAN'T use Fire 2, Earth 2, Air 2, Water 2 to break two Multi-Element Curses.

Also, I hope you didn't forget to add the multi-element curses before the single-element curses and advance the book marker every turn. :)
 
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Heather Dash
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The first time I played I made a huge error that made the game very easy --I advanced the book tracker after everyone was done their turn but you are supposed to advance it after Each person is done their turn.javascript:// I can't tell from your description if you made the same mistake as me.
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Ryan C
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You may have missed something if you beat hard difficulty on your first play. Not saying it's not possbile, but the game is pretty brutal even on easy the first time you play.

Then again I have never played with more than 3, maybe it is easier with 4 or 5?

Did you discard Element cards to use spells?
Did you exhaust spells after using them?
Did you advance the book marker after each players turn?
Adding multi-coloured curses each time you reveal the next monster?
Removing madness cards from the game when destroyed?



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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Heather78 wrote:
The first time I played I made a huge error that made the game very easy --I advanced the book tracker after everyone was done their turn but you are supposed to advance it after Each person is done their turn.javascript:// I can't tell from your description if you made the same mistake as me.


I am guessing this is what happened. There is just no way that on the first draw of the game, the first player will be able to defeat the first curse. So once the first player has had their turn, the book advances onto the first curse and it kicks into effect. With the starting hands there is just no way that first curse is going to get defeated in time.

So to be clear, after each player has their turn, the book advances, so in a 4-player game, the first player is on space 1, then the book advances to space 2 (where the first curse is) and the 2nd player goes, then the book advances to space 3 (where there are two curses!) and the 3rd player goes, then the book advances to the 4th space (which will be empty on the first turn) and the 4th player goes, then the book advances to space 5 and the first player is up again.
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Paul Glickman
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
Heather78 wrote:
The first time I played I made a huge error that made the game very easy --I advanced the book tracker after everyone was done their turn but you are supposed to advance it after Each person is done their turn.javascript:// I can't tell from your description if you made the same mistake as me.


I am guessing this is what happened. There is just no way that on the first draw of the game, the first player will be able to defeat the first curse. So once the first player has had their turn, the book advances onto the first curse and it kicks into effect. With the starting hands there is just no way that first curse is going to get defeated in time.

So to be clear, after each player has their turn, the book advances, so in a 4-player game, the first player is on space 1, then the book advances to space 2 (where the first curse is) and the 2nd player goes, then the book advances to space 3 (where there are two curses!) and the 3rd player goes, then the book advances to the 4th space (which will be empty on the first turn) and the 4th player goes, then the book advances to space 5 and the first player is up again.


I agree that this is almost definitely the mistake being made, but in one of my two games we defeated the first curse before it came into effect - Telepathy is a beautiful thing.
 
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Erwin Anciano
Philippines
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Hey guys! Thanks for the response. I went to the other thread and found out what we were doing wrong. Super Abobo it was this one:

* Did you advance the book marker after each players turn?

We basically were playing in God Mode as The Flash because each of us got a turn for each Book Marker movement.

So yeah we did exactly what Heather Dash did. That will be rectified on our next play, and I'm sure we'll feel the tension!
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Kristo Vaher
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Mochana wrote:
Hey guys! Thanks for the response. I went to the other thread and found out what we were doing wrong. Super Abobo it was this one:

* Did you advance the book marker after each players turn?

We basically were playing in God Mode as The Flash because each of us got a turn for each Book Marker movement.

So yeah we did exactly what Heather Dash did. That will be rectified on our next play, and I'm sure we'll feel the tension!


You'll feel the tension. You'll go down likely before fifth round.

As for your mistake, it is a good idea to follow player reference, which clarifies what 'your turn' is about - which includes moving the book.

Also don't forget that space 3 is one space, not two. It sounds weird, but it can be a little confusing.
 
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Julian Wasson
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Mochana wrote:
* Once we clear all curses, we resolve the Monster effect and turn the page, and resolve the Monster Come Into Play effect at the end of the round after Recuperation, then move the Book Marker back to 1.


This is also a little off. If you finish the curses early, you get to play out the last couple turns of the round. You don't get your bonus or flip the next monster until you finish the round. The Invocation space is there to indicate that you check pass/fail on the monster, before you move to space 1 and get a new monster.

Note this means there will always be exactly 30 turns in the game, those turns just get divided by the number of players in the game.

Also, if after playing with the correct rules you still find it easy, there are other options for increasing the difficulty. Check out Terror and Nightmare modes, as well as the recommended 2-player variants in the FAQ/Errata.
 
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Mat Fox
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I will say that the game appears to be quite easy. We lost twice on medium, then beat it handily (4 players), then later beat it first try on hard. However, this may be a player count thing as when we beat it on hard it was just me and my wife.

Me and my wife were worried that you could essentially "math" the game out and this seems to be the case with two players. To be clear, we are not gamers that are particularly good or know how to reverse engineer systems but, in this case, the Big Book of Madness has ended up (unfortunately ) being one of the easiest co ops we have ever played.

One of the major reasons for the ease is that often times curses or even monster effects popping off are not particularly punishing in a two player game. For instance, you can seed Madness into Support and then a certain monster destroys all cards in support, so essentially you can make the monster work as an advantage. Also, having to only take two Madness from a curse is not that bad and can easily be cured within a couple of turns (remember, constantly curing Madness seems really essentially in successfully winning). As a consequence, you can let a series of Curses pop off while upgrading and purchasing spells without much of a worry.

We are going to revisit the game on hard with 4 and see how it plays, but I can say that with two players, even on the hardest setting, the game is just too easy. I am actually going to repost a revised version of this comment as a new thread to see if others have experienced this as well
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Graham Gass
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Did you guys follow the 2 player variant recommended in the rules? I'm not sure if it's in all printings. Basically, for 2 players, they recommend not taking a level 2 element as a reward for beating curses. I assume people were finding 2 players too easy.
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Michal Starek
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Flame112 wrote:
Did you guys follow the 2 player variant recommended in the rules? I'm not sure if it's in all printings. Basically, for 2 players, they recommend not taking a level 2 element as a reward for beating curses. I assume people were finding 2 players too easy.


That's not the only variant. You can try any and all of the following. Author recommends it especially in 2pl, knowing the game is easiest then:

- Start game with one Madness card already in your pile, taken from Madness stack before the initial shuffle and drawing 6 cards (so, the Madness stack only has 4*pl + 10 cards, while the players' decks have 13 cards).

- Your mentioned not taking lvl 2 Element card as a reward.

- Curing Madness costs 3 equal Elements instead of 2.

- Start game without a lvl2 card in your personal pile... replace the card by another lvl1 of the same Element, to keep it at 12 cards total.
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Jonas Vanschooren
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Cause of the error on the character cards back we started playing with the rule you don't get reward for beating a curse and we kept playing like this ever since.
We find the difficulty with 2 just fine this way.
 
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Mat Fox
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myyysha wrote:
Flame112 wrote:
Did you guys follow the 2 player variant recommended in the rules? I'm not sure if it's in all printings. Basically, for 2 players, they recommend not taking a level 2 element as a reward for beating curses. I assume people were finding 2 players too easy.


That's not the only variant. You can try any and all of the following. Author recommends it especially in 2pl, knowing the game is easiest then:

- Start game with one Madness card already in your pile, taken from Madness stack before the initial shuffle and drawing 6 cards (so, the Madness stack only has 4*pl + 10 cards, while the players' decks have 13 cards).

- Your mentioned not taking lvl 2 Element card as a reward.

- Curing Madness costs 3 equal Elements instead of 2.

- Start game without a lvl2 card in your personal pile... replace the card by another lvl1 of the same Element, to keep it at 12 cards total.


Ahhh, well my version only states there are three modes you can play but no mention of a 2 player variant. I have also seen rumblings of an errata?? Does anyone know were I can see an official version of these??? Tonight, we will try it on hard with (a) no reward for curing a curse, (b) start with a madness, and (c) drop the lv. 2 card from the initial hand. I think adding another element to curing might make nerf us too hard. I will report back ASAP!
 
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Peter S.
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Flame112 wrote:
Did you guys follow the 2 player variant recommended in the rules? I'm not sure if it's in all printings. Basically, for 2 players, they recommend not taking a level 2 element as a reward for beating curses. I assume people were finding 2 players too easy.


I was actually going to say, that's been my experience with the game, and I'd recommend using the variant rule. More players/decks dilute the stronger element cards you receive, while fewer concentrate them. My first plays were easy with 2, even upping the difficulty some; my first play with a full table (taking place after the two player games) was a fail on the easiest mode.
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Julian Wasson
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baguafox wrote:
myyysha wrote:
Flame112 wrote:
Did you guys follow the 2 player variant recommended in the rules? I'm not sure if it's in all printings. Basically, for 2 players, they recommend not taking a level 2 element as a reward for beating curses. I assume people were finding 2 players too easy.


That's not the only variant. You can try any and all of the following. Author recommends it especially in 2pl, knowing the game is easiest then:

- Start game with one Madness card already in your pile, taken from Madness stack before the initial shuffle and drawing 6 cards (so, the Madness stack only has 4*pl + 10 cards, while the players' decks have 13 cards).

- Your mentioned not taking lvl 2 Element card as a reward.

- Curing Madness costs 3 equal Elements instead of 2.

- Start game without a lvl2 card in your personal pile... replace the card by another lvl1 of the same Element, to keep it at 12 cards total.


Ahhh, well my version only states there are three modes you can play but no mention of a 2 player variant. I have also seen rumblings of an errata?? Does anyone know were I can see an official version of these??? Tonight, we will try it on hard with (a) no reward for curing a curse, (b) start with a madness, and (c) drop the lv. 2 card from the initial hand. I think adding another element to curing might make nerf us too hard. I will report back ASAP!


The FAQ/Errata can be found right here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/131375/cheat-sheet-stu...
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Mat Fox
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Cosmonaut Zero wrote:
baguafox wrote:
myyysha wrote:
Flame112 wrote:
Did you guys follow the 2 player variant recommended in the rules? I'm not sure if it's in all printings. Basically, for 2 players, they recommend not taking a level 2 element as a reward for beating curses. I assume people were finding 2 players too easy.


That's not the only variant. You can try any and all of the following. Author recommends it especially in 2pl, knowing the game is easiest then:

- Start game with one Madness card already in your pile, taken from Madness stack before the initial shuffle and drawing 6 cards (so, the Madness stack only has 4*pl + 10 cards, while the players' decks have 13 cards).

- Your mentioned not taking lvl 2 Element card as a reward.

- Curing Madness costs 3 equal Elements instead of 2.

- Start game without a lvl2 card in your personal pile... replace the card by another lvl1 of the same Element, to keep it at 12 cards total.


Ahhh, well my version only states there are three modes you can play but no mention of a 2 player variant. I have also seen rumblings of an errata?? Does anyone know were I can see an official version of these??? Tonight, we will try it on hard with (a) no reward for curing a curse, (b) start with a madness, and (c) drop the lv. 2 card from the initial hand. I think adding another element to curing might make nerf us too hard. I will report back ASAP!


The FAQ/Errata can be found right here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/131375/cheat-sheet-stu...


Thank you so much, this is really perfect! I am super glad to see that they have a better, more difficult 2 player variant.
 
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Michal Starek
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baguafox wrote:
(c) drop the lv. 2 card from the initial hand


Sorry for my unclarity, it's not dropping the card entirely. You just take lvl1 into your starting deck instead of the lvl2. In the same Element.

Looking forward to your game report! :)
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Tomas Hejna
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It would be fine to have some kind of recommended difficulty scaling per number of players. Something simple and easy to remember, something with variable value reflected in number of players and something that will fit in by theme.
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