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Subject: Ranking the Hunters rss

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Karl Gallagher
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I've developed some opinions about which hunters make the best Heros. The most important thing to me is having a fighting skill. You always need them--any location has monsters for each skill. If you have to hire them, it costs more to build up a good set and you're always at risk of getting kicked down to zero. There's the temptation to pass up a fighting skill if you have the prophecy card for it, but I'd still take it. You're going to spend a lot more time battling with Dark Agents than kicking over the Shadow.

Second most important is the ability of the hunter. Yes, they've all got something, but some are better than others. This is probably the most debatable issue. I tend to not feel much benefit from abilities affecting items or only useful on other players. So given that, how do I rank them? (note that hunters are listed alphabetically in each category)

Starting at the bottom are hunters with no fighting skill and so-so abilities:
ArchMage
Druid
Enchantress
Jester
Spy
Thief

Next I'd put the ones that have a good ability but still no fighting skill.
Elder Advisor
Priest
Princess
Summoner
Virgin Maiden
Witch

For hunters with fighting skills, the biggest problem would be their Hates. Hating just one or two other hunters isn't a problem. Hating a whole location--or gender--will be a handicap when building a party.
Amazon
Barbarian
Demagog
Necromancer
Royal Bodyguard

That brings us to the Joe Fighter types--useful in combat, but not wonderful otherwise.
Dwarven Blacksmith
Marauder
Monk
Shapeshifter
Witch Hunter

When it comes to the top tier, there's a whole bunch who can not just fight but do something else useful.
Assassin
Bard
Elvish Archer
Gladiator
Gypsy
Knight
Oracle
Prophet
Ranger
Shaman
Warlock

I'd say the very best are these three. Those are abilities that can be a huge advantage in winning.
Bounty Hunter
Sorceress
Paladin

So, how would you rank them?
 
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Dane Peacock
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#1 Elder Advisor:

In a few quick turns, the player with the Elder Advisor will know the complete prophesy. The only cost is in fatiguing the Elder Advisor each turn. I hate this guy and any of the items that allow direct information about the prophesy, in particular, the potion that allows you to look at all of another player's prophesy cards.

Hunting Party sports a tremendously fun development progression in managing shares, forming a hunting party, and deducing the correct combination of skills needed to solve the prophesy and take on the bad guy. That is exactly why I enjoy this game so much. But the Elder Advisor and the items mentioned above void that whole interplay. Aaarghh!

I would in no way go so far as say that these cards ruin the game, because there is so much direct and indirect player interaction, and other players are not helpless in effecting the players that are close to the prophesy, before or after they solve it. But it dampens the fun a bit by bypassing the engaging building of knowledge process.
 
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Patrick Christenson
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Its interesting the different opinions and approaches people have when playing Hunting Party. Some want a longer game, and some want a shorter one. Using the Elder Advisor to learn the prophecy faster than other players definately gives an advantage, and usually speeds up the game. On the other hand, the Sorceress can deny learning the prophecy and thus make for a longer game. In the end, its variable. One game may be long and the next may be short. The key is to change your strategy based upon the game situation. This can be difficult for new players to handle and the game has been called chaotic because of it. However, when you overcome the learning curve, the game allows for any style of play.
 
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Patrick Christenson
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Its funny, but I've never actually sat down and done this. After I started, I found it to be very hard. I like how you broke down the different aspects of the Hunters. However, I disagree that having a fighting skill makes someone better by default. It also depends on whether you are speaking of worth with respect to being a Hero or a hired Hunter. I'll rank them based upon a mixture of both. I suspect after I debate this with my brother, some of the Hunters will shift around.

Best to worst:

Summoner
Shapeshifter
Ranger
ArchMage
Witch Hunter
Spy
Paladin
Demagog
Monk
Priest
Amazon
Barbarian
Thief
Royal Bodyguard
Knight
Necromancer
Marauder
Prophet
Bounty Hunter
Assassin
Dwarven Blacksmith
Druid
Gypsy
Bard
Oracle
Elvish Archer
Jester
Gladiator
Warlock
Sorceress
Shaman
Enchantress
Witch
Princess
Virgin Maiden
Elder Advisor
 
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Karl Gallagher
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Seaborn wrote:
It also depends on whether you are speaking of worth with respect to being a Hero or a hired Hunter. I'll rank them based upon a mixture of both.


I was just considering them as Heroes. Mostly because the Hero you're stuck with for the whole game and you have no idea what you're in for. With Hunters you've probably got a specific task in mind when you're bidding.

One thing I was hoping to shake out of this was an estimate of the number of "good" Heroes. By my list there's 14 out 36, so a "draw three, pick one" gives all players good odds at getting a Hero they'll be happy with. But we seem to be a long way from a consensus here . . .
 
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Patrick Christenson
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This is Ben (the other designer), and as a general rule I try to avoid debating about my own game. But, this subject is just way too tempting. What we were attempting to do is have each of the hunters affect a different element of the game. So in theory this debate doesn't say as much about the game as it does about a players playing style, but enough of my nonsense.

Best to worst:

Summoner
Barbarian (honestly I play barbarian too much in any game I play)
Paladin
Ranger
Royal Bodyguard
Witch (this one really confuses me on why you were placing her low)
Monk
Gypsy
Witch Hunter
Thief
Dwarven Blacksmith
Amazon
Bounty Hunter
Arch Mage
Spy
Warlock
Sorceress
Elvish Archer
Druid
Oracle
Gladiator
Knight
Marauder (I use to like him a lot more than I do now)
Shaman
Bard (too slow for my taste, but great if you have a handicap)
Virgin Maiden (I love temple members)
Prophet (I am too impatient to skip my turn)
Princess
Priest
Jester
Necromancer (just because he hates the temple, which I love)
Assassin
Demagog (He just has too much hate for me)
Elder Advisor (I just don't like playing suicide black)
Enchantress (In a game of experts, the other players can play around her)


Man, that was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and it will probably change tomorrow.
 
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Dane Peacock
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selenite wrote:
I was just considering them as Heroes. Mostly because the Hero you're stuck with for the whole game and you have no idea what you're in for. With Hunters you've probably got a specific task in mind when you're bidding.


Gotcha. Then ignore my other comment because the Elder Advisor's champion ability does not directly effect the prophesy.

That makes it really tough to decide. What a fantastic multi-faceted game with so many different elements coming to together. Any hero, or combinations of hunters, can all be valuable at different times.

I guess that I would have to go with the Bard. He removes one share per turn from a hunter in your party, at no cost. That is huge. That means you always have shares to bid with, and you get a bigger share of the pot, which translate directly to victory points.
 
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Karl Gallagher
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Seaborn wrote:
This is Ben

Witch (this one really confuses me on why you were placing her low)
Demagog (He just has too much hate for me)
Elder Advisor (I just don't like playing suicide black)


I rated the Witch low for not having a fighting skill. Fighting skills are always needed, guiding only to pick where you fight, and seeking only to find the Shadow.

I'm puzzled why you'd have the Amazon higher than the Demagog since she hates about three times as many characters as he does. When I was playing Elder Advisor in my first game I was telling the Amazon every time I saw a female hunter on a stack because she was having such a rough time hiring.

And I'm afraid I don't understand your comment on the Demagog. What's suicide black?
 
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Patrick Christenson
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I grant that a fighting skill is the best of the skill types. However, the Witch's champion ability lets you get a hunter for free. In a sense it says get two free skills and a normal ability.

I should have been more clear when speaking of the Demagog. I meant to say he attacks other players too much for my taste. As in his normal and champion ability not the fact that he hate Arena members.

Suicide black comes from MTG where a player is willing to sacrifice every thing to win the game unbelievably fast. The Elder's normal ability allows for learning the prophecy really fast, and his champion ability allows you to find and hire the needed hunter faster than normal. I just don't like playing fast because the fun for me is in the journy not in crossing the finish line.

Ben
 
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Ben Albert
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In our group we definitely agree that a Hero with a fighting skill gets a huge bonus over Heros without fighting skills. In addition to that, I would say that the ranking of Heroes depends greatly on how many people are playing. We typically play with 5 people with everyone affecting each other. In this scenario the Sorceress is very bad. With 4 other people going to the market (usually all in their first turn) the Spy's potion almost always comes up early and the Sorceress' ability is pretty worthless. So I would rank her very low, almost no one in our group ever picks her. However, in a 2 or 3 player game she fairs much better. As for the best Heroes, I would say that hands down the Ranger is the best. For one, he is the only Hero that you can equip. That is HUGE. Anytime a character breaks a rule that includes such a fundamental mechanic, as in equiping, you can't ignore that. On top of that, it costs nothing to equip the Ranger because you get a gold back! Also, the Ranger is the only Hero that can realisticly kill the Shadow by himself. Not that this is likely to ever happen though. The only other Hero that can do this is the Shapeshifter who could shapeshift into someone else's Hunter that happened to have all the required skills (including 2 of the correct fighting skill). This is even more unrealistic so I don't even consider it a possibiity. But for instance, if the prophesy was Range, Tracks, and X; then you give the Ranger the Amazon's Bow for a second range, then use his ability to go to X location and your done. If it is not Range and Tracks then you need more items to do it.

After the Ranger, I would say some of my favorites are the Summoner, Shapeshifter, Paladin, Royal Bodyguard, Warlock and Bounty Hunter. I also like the Barbarian just because he can really clean up in the Catacombs if you can get there.
 
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Bruce Glassco
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It seems to me that, aside from his combat ability, the Monk is fairly useless as a hero, since neither of his abilities can even be used. He's a fighter and nothing else, and thus intrinsicly worse than all other fighters who can actually be used.
 
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Patrick Christenson
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Why would you say his Champion ability can't be used? Maybe you are confused. It allows you to disband other hunters at a cost of silver instead of gold. This can be a very powerful defensive ability. Very nasty if played well.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Seaborn wrote:
Why would you say his Champion ability can't be used? Maybe you are confused. It allows you to disband other hunters at a cost of silver instead of gold. This can be a very powerful defensive ability. Very nasty if played well.


You might want to FAQ that. I've been playing it wrong the whole time and never even considered this!
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Have you ever played a 2 player game against the gladiator?

The game ended before I had recruited a 2nd hunter. I couldve gotten one only by overpaying, because my opponent bid first every time.

Always bidding first is completely INSANE. Every time your opponents recruit, its almost like you recruited, but it wastes their turn. You can get guys cheaper than average, while your opponents must pay more than average.

Then you go adventuring and get a lot more gold than you should, both from the +4 boost AND because you have less shares thatn you normally would.

Then, you spend the money shopping for items and start reducing your shares so you can keep getting guys, while your opponents are still trying to recruit because you keep bidding first and making them either overpay, or taking all the people.


Knight is pretty insane due to making a lot of hunters cost less, and having fighting and guiding.

I think Ranger is really good because you can equip stuff to him, where you cant lose it to death, and then it gives you money that you use to go shopping some more (early on, when othes have to spend their turn recruiting).

Assassin is really good because you can kill anyone of your opponents that gets too good/cheap.


Also: Hating a location is pretty bad for your hero. Opponents can recruit there to screw you. The amazon is terrible, the male hate is just brutal. She is great at fighting, but youre going to need to put a party together, and the biggest thing there is keeping your shares down, which she does NOT do. She is the opposite of knight, who is almost as good at fighting...
 
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Bruce Glassco
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Ah, I read the Monk that you only pay silver to disband him. That makes more sense, then.
 
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Patrick Christenson
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I've added the Monk ambiguity to the FAQ.

The Gladiator gets really nasty when you have the Court Jester in your party. Always bidding first secret!?! Thats insane
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Nothing beats Witch and Gypsy.

NOTHING.

Other than Assassin ninja
 
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Alex Rockwell
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BagpipeDan wrote:
Nothing beats Witch and Gypsy.

NOTHING.

Other than Assassin ninja


Witch and Bard beats that.


Nothing beats hero Druid + druid's potion + some money.
Search for any potion, keep the druid's potion. Do a powerful potion effect every turn. Stack a monster on a deck, extra turn, kill a hunter, take a share off a hunter, add a share to a hunter, etc, etc, whatever you need! (Stacking a beatable monster on a deck is a good way to get money to fuel other uses of this)
 
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