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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Combining Sets: Rules and Rationale rss

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Rob Wrigley
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My understanding of the guidelines for combining the bases sets and expansions is as follows:

Shuffle together: all Mine Encounter and Artifact cards; Darkness cards, Growing Dread cards, and Gear cards

Use only one set each of: Scavenge cards, Loot cards, and Encounter cards.

Use only one set of Mine Map cards/tiles


Is that correct? And if so, what is the rationale?

Map cards and tiles, of course, are closly tied to the time tracker. Adding more cards and tiles will extended the game and upset what vague, tenuous 'balance' SOB exhibits.


Scavenge cards, Loot cards, and Exploration tokens I understand less well. Both sets are identical. Combining them will not change the odds. Is it one of those median vs mean vs mode probability distribution things that my shaky grasp of statistics prevents me from grasping?


 
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J. Simcoe
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Officially (according to the designer) everything is meant to be combined, including map cards/tiles, except for the Scavenge cards, Loot cards and Encounter tiles.

Combining these would change the odds as, depending on how well they are shuffled, you may get a bad/good run which could make the game a lot easier or harder. ie with the Scavenge cards you may get a load of Ambushes and never find anything, or with the Loot cards you would increase the chance of multiple Artifacts being found in one encounter, or with the Encounters you may get lots of Clues straight away and have a really short game, conversely you may struggle to find clues and have a game that drags on.

Personally I think combining the Scavenge deck would not upset things too much (maybe take out a couple of find nothings), but I would keep the Loot deck and Encounters tiles separate.

A lot of people do house rule the Mine Map cards though, as if you start to add multiple map sets you can get situations where you could draw corridor after corridor, which can make the game drag (and be a little boring). So people tend to include only one set of corridors or redraw if drawing too many. My own house rule is too include all cards, but I redraw if I get more than two corridors in a row.

I have always thought of this as a sandbox type game and you can do or house rule pretty much anything without breaking the game too much. There are so many random elements that its never going to be completely balanced anyway, so at the end of the day if you want to combine (or not combine anything) then go for it.
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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robwrigley wrote:
Use only one set each of: Scavenge cards, Loot cards, and Encounter cards.

Correct on Scavenge and Loot cards, but Encounter cards you shuffle together. What you're confusing here is Encounter tokens (the ones you draw and place on a new tile when you add it to the map); for those you only use a single set.

Quote:
Use only one set of Mine Map cards/tiles

You can combine all your map cards and tiles.

Quote:
Scavenge cards, Loot cards, and Exploration tokens I understand less well. Both sets are identical. Combining them will not change the odds. Is it one of those median vs mean vs mode probability distribution things that my shaky grasp of statistics prevents me from grasping?

Possibly. While it wouldn't change the distribution over time, it would allow for much more swingy outcomes.

For example, if you roll two 6s on a Scavenge roll, you could now get two Darkness card results when there's normally only one in the deck. That would be very bad!

Or you could kill a simple group of void spiders and draw four loot cards (one per player) and get multiple Artifacts. That would be super good!

Those kinds of outcomes aren't possible with a single deck, which keeps things a little more normalized. With the amount of randomness inherent in the game, adding even more won't produce an especially desirable play experience.
 
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Yury M
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You should definetely combine Mine cards and tiles for unique rooms.

There are different opinions if the passages (that are the same in both sets) should be combined or only one copy of them should be keeped.

I personally keep only one copy of passages cards, to avoid increase the duration of the missions.
 
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William Lewis
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robwrigley wrote:
Shuffle together: all Mine Encounter and Artifact cards; Darkness cards, Growing Dread cards, and Gear cards

Use only one set each of: Scavenge cards, Loot cards, and Encounter cards.

Use only one set of Mine Map cards/tiles


Is that correct?


Yes, that is the suggested method.

The rationale is to prevent duplication of single instance items and provide an artificial cap on card amounts and combinations.

It's not such a big deal for Encounter tokens. With Scavenge, there's the potential for one character to draw multiple Hideous Discovery cards. With Loot, a large party of six heroes would not get rewards for facing more than two Threats; nor a party of four more than three Threats.

The above being said, it really doesn't have a huge impact on the game. My group and others have switched to just rolling a d12 and consulting a chart, to reduce the number of decks on the table.


As to the Mine Map cards...
One method is to use one core set and maybe one additional Otherworld.
The advantage of this is it reduces the amount of time it takes to find the correct tile. It also makes it so you don't get an unlucky run of empty corridors.
The disadvantage to this is you have to combine and unsort the Map deck every game. It also means you're limited to only two Otherworlds.

The other method is to just combine them all and see what happens on the table. If you do this, it is highly beneficial to mark your map cards. Some people use stickers or something on the card sleeve. Personally, I have just colored in the mine cart icon on the upper left of the card with a color associated to the Otherworld. (Jargono = Green, Targa = Blue, Cinder = Red, etc.) Then I have each Otherworld in separate gallon bags, with the name of the Otherworld written on the front in that same color.
The advantage to this is you get to play with the entire run and don't have to build or deconstruct the Map deck.
The disadvantage is that you have to mark your cards and have a method of organization.
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Rob Wrigley
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It occurs to me that if you use multiple sets of rooms but only one set of corridors you will upset the balance greatly in favor of rooms.

It also occurs to me that:

(a) No one says , 'Woot! Another corridor'

and (b) Every time I use the word 'balance', the Hill brothers run to a dictionary to suss out what obscure use of the word 'balance' I intend, and how it would apply to SOB.
 
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Ben Turner
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Yeah, we leave all the corridor cards in. Because the game is way too easy for us right now, so anything that causes the timer to tick along can only be a good thing...
 
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Adam Harrison
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There is no one true way to deal with the map deck.

A single otherworld deck or single core set mine deck is 12 rooms and 6 passages. Of those rooms, 4 are generic rooms.

So, some people like to build their own decks per session by combining the 6 passage cards with 12 room cards randomly drawn from the entire deck of room cards.

Others go farther than that and take the 6 passages and 4 generic rooms and draw only 8 random room cards.

Really, tho, just do what works for your group!
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Rob Wrigley
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bjorn2bwild wrote:
There is no one true way to deal with the map deck.

A single otherworld deck or single core set mine deck is 12 rooms and 6 passages. Of those rooms, 4 are generic rooms.

So, some people like to build their own decks per session by combining the 6 passage cards with 12 room cards randomly drawn from the entire deck of room cards.

Others go farther than that and take the 6 passages and 4 generic rooms and draw only 8 random room cards.

Really, tho, just do what works for your group!


That was the solution that occurred to me. Probably because Ive played a lot of Eldricht Horror. I was curious if any one else had hit upon that solution.
 
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Adam Canning
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robwrigley wrote:
Scavenge cards, Loot cards, and Exploration tokens I understand less well. Both sets are identical. Combining them will not change the odds. Is it one of those median vs mean vs mode probability distribution things that my shaky grasp of statistics prevents me from grasping?


Short answer: Yes.

It's a cumulative distribution thing yes. Loot cards are resuffled only between each Draw and Exploration Tokens are not reshuffled so each one found won't be repeated (A run of non-clues increases the ods of a clue on the next tile and vice verse finding clues decreases the chance of finding another, which is part of the timer mechanism for many of the Missions)

Simplest is to point out that 4 heroes(Baring Bandit Swindler schenanigans) will get at most 2 Gear and 1 Artifact out of a Fight in the mines. If you use a double sized Loot deck they could get 4 Gear and 2 Artifacts. Likewise if you manage to scavange two or more cards on a single search you don't shuffle between them.

robwrigley wrote:

That was the solution that occurred to me. Probably because Ive played a lot of Eldricht Horror. I was curious if any one else had hit upon that solution.


Last game because Tredarra was new on the table we just used the Mine Map Cards from it so all the rooms would be new to us. And to simplify finding the tiles.
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Joe Browes
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One further question as I go through this process. Both core sets feature tentacles as one of the monsters. Are people generally using the tentacle threat cards form both sets in their threat decks? I was thinking that that would make a tentacle encounter twice as likely, is that the intention?
 
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Eric Harman
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Interociter wrote:
One further question as I go through this process. Both core sets feature tentacles as one of the monsters. Are people generally using the tentacle threat cards form both sets in their threat decks? I was thinking that that would make a tentacle encounter twice as likely, is that the intention?


I do, and yes with just the core(s) it makes tentacles very likely (theres also darkness cards that spawn them).
The more expansion monsters you add in the less pronounced it is though.
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Rob Wrigley
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Tentacles are to SOB what cuss words are to Deadwood. If you don't cotton to tentacles, don't play SOB. Also, avoid Japanese porn.
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