Dave B.
United States
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I picked up the Starter Set yesterday, and my wife and I just finished attempting to play it. The top half of the dungeon deck ended up being almost nothing but level 3 and 2 monsters. We could hardly kill a damned thing, and without experience, nobody was levelling heroes. It got to the point where we were deliberately failing fights to push monsters to the bottom of the deck (probably did this more than actually defeating them), and I was buying kegs of Curative Draughts just for the 3 gold, in hopes of buying my way down to stronger heroes, and trashing Regulars.

We gave up after about 2 hours. We had killed maybe 6 monsters between us, and were only about halfway to the Thuderstone Bearer (who was stacked on top of a good percentage of the level 1 monsters).

Are you really supposed to shuffle all the monsters into one great big wad like that, and have the game devolve into shopping for heroes on a bad shuffle? Did we miss something important? If that's really how it works, I'm thinking of house-ruling that the dungeon deck is built from independently shuffled piles of monsters, stacked in increasing order of level.
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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I recommend you use the 4-4-4 setup (this is detailed in the Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin rulebook). In this case randomly select 4 each of the level 1, 2, and 3 monsters. Shuffle the Thunderstone bearer with the 4 level 2's and level 3's, and these shall be the bottom 9 cards of the deck. Shuffle the rest of the level 1,2,3 monsters together, and put these on top of the bottom stack. Finally, put the 4 level 1 monsters on top of the deck. This provides are more "natural" skew of monsters, as there will be no level 1 monsters at the bottom 9 of the deck.

To make the game easier, I suggest you also use the wilderness setup. In this setup you have 4 dungeon levels instead of 3. However, it is easier since the light penalty is -1 instead of -2 (as you are in the wilderness and not underground), which means the max penalty is -4 (if you fight the monster in the last level without any light source). The very nice map available from the Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin is double sided, with both the wilderness and dungeon maps on it.

This should make your future games less prone to "monster clog" in the future.
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Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The one time we played with just the Starter Set cards we found the monsters to be fairly tough for what was available. They might not have been the best ones to use in the starter. Generally, a two player game should take about an hour to 90 minutes. I seem to recall out game with the Starter Set taking toward the high end of that time and maybe even closer to two hours. We are experience players and that helps cut the time down a bit as well.
 
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Dave B.
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Bobby4th wrote:
The one time we played with just the Starter Set cards we found the monsters to be fairly tough for what was available. They might not have been the best ones to use in the starter. Generally, a two player game should take about an hour to 90 minutes. I seem to recall out game with the Starter Set taking toward the high end of that time and maybe even closer to two hours. We are experience players and that helps cut the time down a bit as well.


I'm kind of getting the same vibe as far as balance. I compared a few of the hero and village cards to what's in the original Thunderstone, and most of what's available in the TA Starter seem substantially weaker (other than the slightly improved basic deck). Don't know if the same can be said for what's in Towers of Ruin.

In any case, the solo rules are a real meat grinder with just Starter. I tried it with a rigged deck (10 level 1 + 5 level 2 in the top 15, 5 level 2 + 10 level 3 in the bottom 15), and still only took down about 9 monsters (a couple were level 3, at least).

Not really sure what the proper approach would be. Should I ignore monsters early while buying piles of weapons, items, and level 1 heroes? I wouldn't have any experience to get any level 2 heroes in play, though I might end up being able to buy a couple of level 1s at least.
 
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Orlando Neto
Brazil
Rio das Ostras
Rio de Janeiro
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One you go Epic you never coming back!
Faster, better, anyways, it's epic
Play epic thunderstone, never opened my randomizer cards.
 
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Chris Rudram
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davidbrit2 wrote:
I picked up the Starter Set yesterday, and my wife and I just finished attempting to play it. The top half of the dungeon deck ended up being almost nothing but level 3 and 2 monsters. We could hardly kill a damned thing, and without experience, nobody was levelling heroes. It got to the point where we were deliberately failing fights to push monsters to the bottom of the deck (probably did this more than actually defeating them), and I was buying kegs of Curative Draughts just for the 3 gold, in hopes of buying my way down to stronger heroes, and trashing Regulars.


The starter set seems to be much tougher than the starter scenario in Towers of Ruin. That seems to be a big mistake from AEG, if you ask me.

You do need to concentrate on the village once the level 1 monsters are gone. Thin the deck (Oppurtunist is good for that if it appears) along with useful weapons and abilities. Then you might get into the level 2 and 3's with more success. I think being too keen to go into the dungeon is a mistake early on, but the Starter Set doesn't really help, as the level 3's are quite tough fights.

 
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