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Shadowrift» Forums » General

Subject: Have your plays been too easy so far? (And other questions related to this) rss

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Jesse B
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I played two games of this with my friend last night after talking up how hard it was supposed to be. We tore through the recommended initial set-up pretty easily, getting to the point where we were killing most monsters in the starting area or in area 1 and then having a couple of turns before another one even showed up. The same thing happened the second game using the Glaciens and a randomized set-up.

It just seems like the monster power does not build up quickly enough to spit stuff out in a way that makes it hard to handle. In the second game, we started with the 12 health Glacien giant and killed it in Stage 3, killed the 6 health monster that had made it to stage 1 on the next turn, and then were able to handle everything else as it came.

So that leads to my questions:
1. Has anyone else had the same experience?

2. What are some rules you guys have found it easy to forget that would make a huge difference? We feel like we must be missing something. We had accidentally forgotten the Hunt during most of the first game, but it didn't make the second game when we remembered it any more difficult.

3. Are some of the factions far more difficult than the Dragons and the Glaciens?

4. Does Archfiends make it more difficult? (Haven't opened that up yet as I wanted to get a feel for the base game, first.)

5. How much have you found monster draw to make or break your games? We were tending to get bigger stuff first, which took longer to come out and gave us a lot of time to build our decks (including that 12 health Glacien that doesn't even hunt when it has no valid target). I was surprised there was not more 0-3 power monsters to help them make strong pushes at any given moment, but I could see that if a lot of the smaller 4-6 threat guys were on the top of the deck it could be a different story.
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Matt Simpson
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Taking a wound every time you attack?

You could try building the enemy deck a little bit since you are correct that a strong enemy would take a long time to come out at the start. I haven't played a full game yet so I can't comment on the difficulty
 
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Jesse B
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coldkorn wrote:
Taking a wound every time you attack?

You could try building the enemy deck a little bit since you are correct that a strong enemy would take a long time to come out at the start. I haven't played a full game yet so I can't comment on the difficulty


There are so many ways to avoid the wounds that we haven't found that to be much of an issue. And if you're able to build ranged then you don't take one when you attack any way. Granted, I can see certain starting set ups being different in this regard, but so far wounds have not been even close to the thing that was potentially going to sink the game for us.
 
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David Harrison
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1. This is a fairly common experience with experienced players, although a lot can change based on how the monster deck is stacked. For example, I had a game against the Fire Dragons where the first 3 cards were 2 Rain of Fires and a Shadowrift, substantially increasing the difficulty.

If you want to try hard mode, maybe setup the game normally except take out the top Shadowrift and the 0-cost power cards and place them at the top of the deck. devil

2. IDK I didn't have problems with the rules, but some mistakes people might make are trying to pool resources (other than coins) or not taking wounds after every battle. Also, make sure you pay attention to all ongoing negative effects (infiltrators, monsters, etc.). Really though, just read the rulebook and follow the rules; it's not that difficult.

3. Yes, the Cultists are the hardest faction (from the base game) IMO with 2 players. Which faction(s) are the hardest depends largely on player count and what cards are available though. For example, not having wound prevention/removal or ranged attacks against the Fire Dragons will give you a hard time.

4. Yes, that's the whole point of the expansion, although I should warn it also increases game length b/c you can no longer win by building walls.

5. As I said in #1, monster draw has a large effect on the difficulty. If you want to artificially "stack" the deck to make your game harder try putting some of the 0-cost power cards on top followed by some of the faction's most difficult (not necessarily expensive) monsters.
 
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Jesse B
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coblackmagus wrote:

2. IDK I didn't have problems with the rules, but some mistakes people might make are trying to pool resources (other than coins) or not taking wounds after every battle. Also, make sure you pay attention to all ongoing negative effects (infiltrators, monsters, etc.). Really though, just read the rulebook and follow the rules; it's not that difficult.


Right, it was all pretty straightforward, but I didn't want to assume I played everything correctly and still blitzed through it.

Glad to hear about the expansion. We weren't winning with walls, we were just killing stuff as it came out until we found the rifts, which got tedious, so the game length hopefully wouldn't be that much of an issue.

Thanks for the responses.
 
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v b
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To be clear...has this whole conversation been about 2nd ed?
I'm very excited to get my copy and it would be very disappointing if the game was too easy :(
Also Archfiends is for the original version I think...can it still be used in the 2nd?
 
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Jesse B
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Skrell wrote:
To be clear...has this whole conversation been about 2nd ed?
I'm very excited to get my copy and it would be very disappointing if the game was too easy
Also Archfiends is for the original version I think...can it still be used in the 2nd?


It was about 2nd ed. The KS campaign said Archfiends was made with the intended changes to 2nd ed. in mind so it is compatible.
 
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Jeremy Anderson
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jbethany wrote:
Skrell wrote:
To be clear...has this whole conversation been about 2nd ed?
I'm very excited to get my copy and it would be very disappointing if the game was too easy
Also Archfiends is for the original version I think...can it still be used in the 2nd?


It was about 2nd ed. The KS campaign said Archfiends was made with the intended changes to 2nd ed. in mind so it is compatible.


Archfiends was intended as a bridge between editions - the one kind of expansion material I could think up that didn't have to shuffle in and therefore wouldn't get messed up by the fact that we were changing card sizes. There are a few wordings in Archfiends that match 1st Ed (most notably that I use the word Remove a lot, where in 2nd Ed I only use it if a card can go multiple places) but nothing that falls apart under 2nd Edition rules.
 
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trevor

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I will say the suggested setups in the rulebook are the way they are because it gives you all the tools necessary to beat the scenario. Try a random setup, it's much tougher.
 
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Jesse B
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bigGameGeek wrote:
I will say the suggested setups in the rulebook are the way they are because it gives you all the tools necessary to beat the scenario. Try a random setup, it's much tougher.


The second game we tried was with the random set up. Didn't make it any tougher.
 
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Victor L
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1. I have now played it six times with two heroes, and won all but one time. Which was surprising to me because I had heard that it was supposed to be pretty tough to beat. That said, I played it solo and took my time thinking through the options a lot, and didn't have to contend with another player wanting to take an incompatible approach. The time I lost, it was because I got an infiltrator every round for the first few rounds and a power came out early. And it was my second game so I likely didn't play it very well. (It was with the Drow and my first game was with the Dragons.) So anyway, I would say that my experience seems similar to yours. That said, it did come pretty close in a few games. I was sure I was going to lose one game, because I think I had 9 Corpses in my Town Deck, and I just couldn't get rid of them fast enough. But fortunately, the second Shadowrift came up early and I managed to Seal it. If that game had gone a couple more rounds, I probably would have lost it.

2. I think Hunt is the biggest such "problem" because there's no reminder of it on the cards. But it is such an integral part of the game, that it isn't a problem once you've remembered it.

One mistake I made was thinking that you only get one Wound per monster you melee attack per round. But it's one Would per battle with at least one melee attack. Jeremy posted a useful description of how battles work in the FAQ thread. I wish something like that had been in the rulebook. It would have resulted in far fewer questions for/from me.

One thing that I do often forget to do is reveal the next monster after adding one. Doesn't seem like that should be too hard, and yet I did it many times. It's probably less of an issue if you're not playing solo though.

3. I don't have much experience, but reading the cards, the Demons sound to me to likely be most difficult, especially if you get a bad combination of monsters. One of them--the boss--is immune to damage while a Cultist is in play, and another one prevents the heroes from removing Cultists. I had them show up consecutively, and it looked grim. But because the boss requires so much power to come out, I was able to Explore her away before she came out. If I hadn't, I think it would have been a loss.

4. I don't have Archfiends, so I don't know. But it was supposed to.

5. I also found that getting big monsters early was helpful because it delayed their coming out, and also because you get a lot of Heroism early on.

I also wonder if I'm doing something wrong because I usually exhaust the Heroism quite early on. This surprised me because there are a few ways to boost how much Heroism you get (Prophecy and the Bard, I think), and the Bard, for example, is quite expensive to get. But I would never hire her for her aid: by the time I could afford her, I had usually had so little Heroism left to get, it wouldn't have been worth it.

I may try amping up the difficulty by giving the monsters one extra power point each round (i.e., 1 + number of players + number of icons in Monster Power Area). The problem is that even one extra power point per turn can have a huge impact. A more modest change might be just to start with a few power points. Either of these changes would have the effect that the monsters would build up more quickly, especially at the beginning, when it's generally slow. I also thought about reducing the amount of Heroism given out, or making the monsters a bit stronger (e.g., giving them one more hitpoint each), but those would make the game build more slowly, which I think would be less fun.
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Jeremy Anderson
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intheory wrote:
1. I have now played it six times with two heroes, and won all but one time. Which was surprising to me because I had heard that it was supposed to be pretty tough to beat. That said, I played it solo and took my time thinking through the options a lot, and didn't have to contend with another player wanting to take an incompatible approach. The time I lost, it was because I got an infiltrator every round for the first few rounds and a power came out early. And it was my second game so I likely didn't play it very well. (It was with the Drow and my first game was with the Dragons.) So anyway, I would say that my experience seems similar to yours. That said, it did come pretty close in a few games. I was sure I was going to lose one game, because I think I had 9 Corpses in my Town Deck, and I just couldn't get rid of them fast enough. But fortunately, the second Shadowrift came up early and I managed to Seal it. If that game had gone a couple more rounds, I probably would have lost it.

2. I think Hunt is the biggest such "problem" because there's no reminder of it on the cards. But it is such an integral part of the game, that it isn't a problem once you've remembered it.

One mistake I made was thinking that you only get one Wound per monster you melee attack per round. But it's one Would per battle with at least one melee attack. Jeremy posted a useful description of how battles work in the FAQ thread. I wish something like that had been in the rulebook. It would have resulted in far fewer questions for/from me.

One thing that I do often forget to do is reveal the next monster after adding one. Doesn't seem like that should be too hard, and yet I did it many times. It's probably less of an issue if you're not playing solo though.

3. I don't have much experience, but reading the cards, the Demons sound to me to likely be most difficult, especially if you get a bad combination of monsters. One of them--the boss--is immune to damage while a Cultist is in play, and another one prevents the heroes from removing Cultists. I had them show up consecutively, and it looked grim. But because the boss requires so much power to come out, I was able to Explore her away before she came out. If I hadn't, I think it would have been a loss.

4. I don't have Archfiends, so I don't know. But it was supposed to.

5. I also found that getting big monsters early was helpful because it delayed their coming out, and also because you get a lot of Heroism early on.

I also wonder if I'm doing something wrong because I usually exhaust the Heroism quite early on. This surprised me because there are a few ways to boost how much Heroism you get (Prophecy and the Bard, I think), and the Bard, for example, is quite expensive to get. But I would never hire her for her aid: by the time I could afford her, I had usually had so little Heroism left to get, it wouldn't have been worth it.

I may try amping up the difficulty by giving the monsters one extra power point each round (i.e., 1 + number of players + number of icons in Monster Power Area). The problem is that even one extra power point per turn can have a huge impact. A more modest change might be just to start with a few power points. Either of these changes would have the effect that the monsters would build up more quickly, especially at the beginning, when it's generally slow. I also thought about reducing the amount of Heroism given out, or making the monsters a bit stronger (e.g., giving them one more hitpoint each), but those would make the game build more slowly, which I think would be less fun.


Cards like the Bard, Prophecy, boosted Revitalize, and Rousing Speech are all designed to help even the playing field for high-player games, which are normally much harder simply because there's less time to deckbuild - You're looking at another monster (sometimes two) pretty much every turn.
 
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Joe Price
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The game plays differently with more players. Heroism seems to come slower because the monsters hand out the same amount regardless of player count - in a two player game a couple of threes and a couple of twos maxes out the heroism, while in a four player game, that's only half. Of course they come out faster, but that also means they beat on you faster even if you kill them faster - but that means more wounds quicker. (*shrug*)

So far, none of them have been "easy" for us (2, 3 and 4 player games). We've lost about 1/3 of the games, but more towards the early plays so some of it is learning curve (we didn't buy a single wall in the first game and got ground into ashes by the dragons). It'll probably get easier to play as we learn, but it's all been fun so far! And a lot of it depends on which hero cards are available - I'm sure some combinations will be downright painful.

ninja by the designer!
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Scott Sexton
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Something just sounds WAAAY off in the posts in this thread so far. I played my first two games last night (both 2 handed solitaire) and I was trounced both times (playing the intro game). I'm not sure what the problem is but in the first two games low difficulty was not a problem. Can someone explain what strategy they are using, because I'm having a hard time believing the intro scenario can be won more then 30% of the time even if you know what you are doing. Heck I even "cheated" by using the extra corpse card. To be fair, I've had a CHANCE to win each game (if only the second Shadowrift would have come out sooner); but even then it is a Hail Mary shot at best.

My guess is that people aren't noticing the special abilities that each of the dragon cards has OR they are getting real lucky in their card draws. The special abilities of each of the dragons is BRUTAL. Even with dedicated healer characters I've been choking on burns/wounds so far. I'm wondering if maybe I should just sink all my buying power into strike cards.

What SPECIFICALLY are people doing that makes this this game so "easy"?
 
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Joe Price
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* In general, we've been winning on walls - being able to stop a monster's action or block a kill/hunt seems to be huge. Even if it's random. (Stack those guards and walls!)
* We've also been leery of bloating decks - the cool abilities are epic anyway and so have a limited number you can play for any given hand.
* Our best games have typically seen division of responsibilities - notably, one person tries to keep a *very* slim deck (or uses a lot of "draw a card" abilities if present, like Prophecy) in order to help buy coins.
* For damaging, the basic Smite card is one of the best as it stacks with attacks (it's non-epic), unless something like Lightning Daggers is out - for one Prowess equivalent more, you get a card draw and get to time when it is used.
* Always manage your wounds - this goes back to the deck bloat mentioned earlier.
* Finally, the 15th corpse is not your friend - running out of corpses is not a lose condition, having no villagers in town is; more corpses means (a little) higher percentage of non-villagers in your deck (we ran one game for a half dozen turns with all 14 corpses in the town deck because we were able to keep the wall/villager total high enough).

These may or may not work for you - we are hardly winning all the time. These things seem to be common threads in our winning games and missing in our losing games. BUT...

Everything else is about adapting to what is present and I really don't have much to say there. Which monsters and powers are out and coming up? What hero cards are available? Which villagers and travelers? What did you draw? What do you focus on first? Eh. My answer is just "it depends on everything else". More games needed!
 
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Jeremy Anderson
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scottatlaw wrote:
Something just sounds WAAAY off in the posts in this thread so far. I played my first two games last night (both 2 handed solitaire) and I was trounced both times (playing the intro game). I'm not sure what the problem is but in the first two games low difficulty was not a problem. Can someone explain what strategy they are using, because I'm having a hard time believing the intro scenario can be won more then 30% of the time even if you know what you are doing. Heck I even "cheated" by using the extra corpse card. To be fair, I've had a CHANCE to win each game (if only the second Shadowrift would have come out sooner); but even then it is a Hail Mary shot at best.

My guess is that people aren't noticing the special abilities that each of the dragon cards has OR they are getting real lucky in their card draws. The special abilities of each of the dragons is BRUTAL. Even with dedicated healer characters I've been choking on burns/wounds so far. I'm wondering if maybe I should just sink all my buying power into strike cards.

What SPECIFICALLY are people doing that makes this this game so "easy"?


Having flashbacks to the release of 1st Edition. I don't think it's what's happening now, but back then people were posting that the game was "so easy" and it eventually came out that they didn't understand how Hunting worked. If a monster's target wasn't around, they thought it just did nothing.
Which...Yeah, that IS really easy. Monsters almost never do anything to hurt you in that version (especially because in 1st Ed monsters attacked by specific Villager name, not category).

But it's honestly hard to tell. I had a regular group in Chicago that would play this weekly, and by the time I moved we'd gotten to where we won about 80% of the time. So it definitely has possibilities to outplay the game, and I can imagine people's initial instincts on when to buy what or how to arrange their teams being exactly right for an individual session and just steamrolling the game their first playthrough or two.
 
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Jeremy Anderson
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rpvt wrote:
* In general, we've been winning on walls - being able to stop a monster's action or block a kill/hunt seems to be huge. Even if it's random. (Stack those guards and walls!)
* We've also been leery of bloating decks - the cool abilities are epic anyway and so have a limited number you can play for any given hand.
* Our best games have typically seen division of responsibilities - notably, one person tries to keep a *very* slim deck (or uses a lot of "draw a card" abilities if present, like Prophecy) in order to help buy coins.
* For damaging, the basic Smite card is one of the best as it stacks with attacks (it's non-epic), unless something like Lightning Daggers is out - for one Prowess equivalent more, you get a card draw and get to time when it is used.
* Always manage your wounds - this goes back to the deck bloat mentioned earlier.
* Finally, the 15th corpse is not your friend - running out of corpses is not a lose condition, having no villagers in town is; more corpses means (a little) higher percentage of non-villagers in your deck (we ran one game for a half dozen turns with all 14 corpses in the town deck because we were able to keep the wall/villager total high enough).

These may or may not work for you - we are hardly winning all the time. These things seem to be common threads in our winning games and missing in our losing games. BUT...

Everything else is about adapting to what is present and I really don't have much to say there. Which monsters and powers are out and coming up? What hero cards are available? Which villagers and travelers? What did you draw? What do you focus on first? Eh. My answer is just "it depends on everything else". More games needed!


Uh.
Running out of Corpses IS a lose condition.
You sounded so certain I had to go check the rulebook to make sure we'd written it, but it's right there on page 2.
So yeah. Be careful of that. Corpse removal is important even if you're buying more people.
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Joe Price
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karishi wrote:
rpvt wrote:
* Finally, the 15th corpse is not your friend - running out of corpses is not a lose condition, having no villagers in town is; more corpses means (a little) higher percentage of non-villagers in your deck (we ran one game for a half dozen turns with all 14 corpses in the town deck because we were able to keep the wall/villager total high enough).

These may or may not work for you - we are hardly winning all the time. These things seem to be common threads in our winning games and missing in our losing games. BUT...

Everything else is about adapting to what is present and I really don't have much to say there. Which monsters and powers are out and coming up? What hero cards are available? Which villagers and travelers? What did you draw? What do you focus on first? Eh. My answer is just "it depends on everything else". More games needed!


Uh.
Running out of Corpses IS a lose condition.
You sounded so certain I had to go check the rulebook to make sure we'd written it, be it's right there on page 2.
So yeah. Be careful of that. Corpse removal is important even if you're buying more people.


(*rofl*) Thank you! I even went and re-read that section before typing to make sure, and STILL didn't catch that! shake

So we're turning into necrophiliacs then! Love the 15th corpse! zombie
 
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James Douglas
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scottatlaw wrote:


What SPECIFICALLY are people doing that makes this this game so "easy"?


I am still waiting for my 2nd edition, but the advice I always gave new players when teaching the 1st edition was to focus on getting attack cards early and ignore the other hero cards, walls and travelers at the start. (My loose definition of attack cards are any card that causes or enhances damage to monsters) There are certainly exceptions to this strategy, but it was my usual early strategy, even if it was just buying another basic attack. If you were not prepared with attacks when the monsters start coming out, they seemed to easily overrun the town. Not sure how well this will work with 2nd edition, but it may be helpful to you.

Also I have never won by building walls. I always found and sealed the Shadowrifts.
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David Harrison
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scottatlaw wrote:
Something just sounds WAAAY off in the posts in this thread so far. I played my first two games last night (both 2 handed solitaire) and I was trounced both times (playing the intro game). I'm not sure what the problem is but in the first two games low difficulty was not a problem. Can someone explain what strategy they are using, because I'm having a hard time believing the intro scenario can be won more then 30% of the time even if you know what you are doing. Heck I even "cheated" by using the extra corpse card. To be fair, I've had a CHANCE to win each game (if only the second Shadowrift would have come out sooner); but even then it is a Hail Mary shot at best.

My guess is that people aren't noticing the special abilities that each of the dragon cards has OR they are getting real lucky in their card draws. The special abilities of each of the dragons is BRUTAL. Even with dedicated healer characters I've been choking on burns/wounds so far. I'm wondering if maybe I should just sink all my buying power into strike cards.

What SPECIFICALLY are people doing that makes this this game so "easy"?


For general advice (granted, it's for 1st ed. but still very pertinent) see my thread https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1116138/shadowrift-101 . For an example of advice for the initial scenario, it depends on your player count. For 2 players, I steamrolled the Fire Dragons by stacking 1 deck with Armor of Mists and getting a holy aura/multiple heals in the other (basically the magic user). I started off with 2 armor of mists before the 1st reshuffle (and 1 holy aura in the other deck), and then picked up a wild charge in the armor of mists deck, a heal in the other, and then kept trying to accrue armor of mists when I got the chance, also trying to keep my wounds low. Once you get a good start the difficulty trails off in general, due to the nature of the game.
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Bernardo Gonzalez
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Well, I'm also a little bit confused. I played twice solo and one time with my wife, and We've been pounced, chewed and spitted to the floor, while being laughed by some uncourteous dragons.

Between burns turning into wounds, wounds every time I hit something. Half of the cards (In the introductory scenario), not really working well with solo. It's astonishing to me that people are flying through the game. I need to double check the rules.

This is a summary of my experience:

- You start only with 2 strikes, If I remember well the smallest of the monsters have 5 hp (I think), but get in with 3 counters. If you get it the first turn, with luck you'll be able to kill it after you reshuffle twice and go through your deck 3 times (with only 2 strikes you'll get the 5 then). Or if you can buy more, maybe after the second reshuffle. In a normal run that means that you'll have 6 plays (you need 2 to go through your deck once). In solo you play double, so you still go through 3 monster phases before you can kill a 5. However this means 5 wounds (see next point). This is if you get that monster first, if it is a 7 or 9 you'll need double that. This also means that the monster has moved twice in their track, which either gave me more burns or killed townspeople.

- Every time you hit something in melee you take a wound. Some of the monsters give burns, which in essence is a wound generator. If you hit at range, you waste two prowess, and if you happen to have two strikes it you'll still get a wound (because you'll need to pay 2 prowess per strike and you only have 5 cards). The wound and burn cards are very detrimental to the players deck. And it is quite expensive to get rid of the cards (more than anything is the cost of opportunity, as you only draw 5 cards per turn). So, following on the previous point, You'll get easily 2-3 wounds for every 5 hp monster, if not more. And if you want to get rid of them, you'll waste all your prowess either shooting range (which many times does not really help), removing wounds or buying gold to remove burns. Yes you can buy a heal, but you can only heal stuff in your discard pile, so if you draw your heal and your burn at the same time you are out of luck. Think of it, if you get an average of 2-3 wound per shuffling, and you get only 7 prowess, you'll end using most of your prowess getting rid of the extra cards. It is more efficient to shoot at range, but the cost-of-opportunity of buying other cards shoots that strategy out the door.

- If you play solo you play adding as if you were 3 players, for the monster counters. So every turn you add 3 plus any other thing you might have in the monster power. This means that in average you'll get a monster every 2-3 turns, but you will only be able to kill (with luck) one monster every 3-4 turns. Therefore by the 4th monster round you are deep, deep into trouble. If you play with 2 people you get 2 counters per turn, a little reprieve. But considering that many of the bad travelers will also give you counters, the only difference is that instead of having a monster every two turns you'll have it every 3 turns in average. So you are still deep (not double deep) but deep into trouble.

- Travelers are a pain-in-the-behind . Either I don't have money to buy them, or evil ones either provide more monster tokens (which exasperates the previous point), and clog the small reprise that they may give you. The town get's reshuffled every other turn a the beginning, this slows down to every 3 rounds once you start adding bad guys. Corpses replace town people, but you need to buy travelers to keep the ratio on your favor, because you can loose if they are too much corpses or bad travelers, this is more a problem than a solution. (I love this mechanic btw).

- Half of the cards say, if you are not the first player hitting, or stuff like that. This do not work with solo. There is little extra hits, without getting extra wounds. So the initial scenario is not good for solo. Hopefully there is an FAQ or Errata that helps solo play to fix this. But even not in solo, having conditional stuff makes the cards 1/2 as effective.

In summary when playing solo, after 6 turns, my hand is either full of wounds, burns or unusable cards, like explores. The village if full of people that don't appreciate the efforts I'm putting to help them, or are trying to mess up with me chi . Monsters are having a ball game killing and pillaging through my town. Just a Riot!!!!

As of now I love the game. I'm not shy on playing hard games, and I'll keep on it. But one thing I can tell you IT IS NOT AN EASY GAME.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong. There was a point that I asked my wife to critique my play, because I felt I was playing Ghost Stories/Robinson Crusoe meets Smaug.

BAG
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Jesse B
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I appreciate everyone's insight. There have been a few things that we realized we missed that have been brought up in here so far. None of them are so major that we feel like they would have drastically changed our ability to deal with the monsters as they came out, but we do feel like we need another play being careful to ensure we are playing correctly.
 
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Victor L
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scottatlaw wrote:
Something just sounds WAAAY off in the posts in this thread so far. I played my first two games last night (both 2 handed solitaire) and I was trounced both times (playing the intro game). I'm not sure what the problem is but in the first two games low difficulty was not a problem. Can someone explain what strategy they are using, because I'm having a hard time believing the intro scenario can be won more then 30% of the time even if you know what you are doing. Heck I even "cheated" by using the extra corpse card. To be fair, I've had a CHANCE to win each game (if only the second Shadowrift would have come out sooner); but even then it is a Hail Mary shot at best.

My guess is that people aren't noticing the special abilities that each of the dragon cards has OR they are getting real lucky in their card draws. The special abilities of each of the dragons is BRUTAL. Even with dedicated healer characters I've been choking on burns/wounds so far. I'm wondering if maybe I should just sink all my buying power into strike cards.

What SPECIFICALLY are people doing that makes this this game so "easy"?


I'm not sure I would say the game is "so easy"--in most of my games, there were moments that it looked pretty grim. I would likely have lost one of the games (in addition to the one I did lose) if the second Shadowrift hadn't been the first card of the second half of the stack. Also, I was playing solo (controlling two heroes though, not using the solo rules), and I did a lot of thinking each turn about how best to combo the heroes' respective actions, trying out various alternatives (but not cheating by seeing what cards I would draw or anything like that) to see what worked best. In a game with another player, I likely wouldn't have taken as much time to think about it. I should at least put myself on a timer next time. :-)

As mentioned by others, one significant issue is the order in which monsters come out. An early power, before you have a Seal, can be killer, because it increases the rate of power point accumulation, and I think lots of small monsters are harder to deal with than a large one, though this may seem counterintuitive. Basically, if you have an early large monster, you have a bit of time to build up your deck before it comes out. Also, I always played with two heroes--and found it difficult enough for me to manage of everything with that--and people, including the designer, have said it is easier with two.

Some tips (based on only a few plays, so take these with a grain of salt):

1. Specialize. In particular, I always had only one hero get spells, so that it was likely they would be able to boost them appropriately. There's nothing quite so frustrating as having a Seal in hand with no magic to boost it when a Shadowrift is in play. Also, concentrate on getting stuff that will help you early on. I rarely bought a Seal until I had a power (either monster power or a Shadowrift) in play. Instead, I concentrated on making sure that monsters never got all the way through.

2. Concentrate your fire: Kill off a monster rather than spreading the damage. Also, think about whether a monster's actions will really be a problem. For example, one of the early cards in one of my Necromancer games was one that turned Corpses into Zombies (Reanimator?). Since it came out early, there were no Corpses in my town, so I didn't have to worry about it.

3. Skills and Loot can be a huge win. They give you more abilities without bulking up your deck. And they often give great advantages. Bamboozle seems a bit overpowered to me.

4. I rarely paid the Coin to change the monster when Exploring. And when I did, it was almost always to get rid of a small monster rather than a big one. (But once, I used it to get rid of the Demon Boss, who came right after the Master Celebrant--that would have been a tough duo to combat together. Master Celebrant is one of the monsters I had the most trouble with.)

My guess is that some people playing the game may want to move quickly to a win, and Sealing Shadowrifts is the best way to do that, so they try to cycle through the deck to find them. I think that probably makes the game more fun, but it's probably a bad strategy for winning. Once you have all five Heroism (and enough Might to pay for all your Skills), it's usually not too hard to keep the monsters down until the Shadowrift finally shows up. The key is surviving to that point.

 
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Game Salute
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I think people will start seeing more nuances after repeated plays. Don't believe any pronouncement of "too easy!" or "too hard!" when the game's only been out a week.
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v b
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Game Salute wrote:
I think people will start seeing more nuances after repeated plays. Don't believe any pronouncement of "too easy!" or "too hard!" when the game's only been out a week. ;)

+1
 
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