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Agents of SMERSH» Forums » General

Subject: Game feels really easy... Want to make sure I'm not missing something rss

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Ian Toltz
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The last couple of times I've played this game, it's been an utter cakewalk. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something... So here are some things that I think I'm playing correctly, but might be playing wrong.

1. When the outcome of an encounter says "2 INTEL" or something like that, we take intel from the supply and add them directly to the intel pool.

2. Whenever you land on a space with intel, you can either add it to the pool or discard it and add a green location token to the board.

3. Whenever you pass an encounter with a henchmen, you level that henchmen up and move the location track up 1 space; this includes when you fight a henchman due to one of those dice-rolling cards or when an encounter instructs you to fight a henchman.

4. You'll never have more than 4 successful encounters with henchman in a 3+ player game (location marker starts at 1, and after 4 successful encounters you reach 5 and confront Dr. Lobo)

5. There's no limit to the amount of intel in the intel pool

6. When checking for intel overflow, you only count the yellow tokens; if you overflow you remove all yellow tokens and all but one green token.

7. Dr. Lobo's track only advances when you flip a villain card after a failed encounter. Assuming an average of 1 advancement per card, this means you'd need to fail 8 encounters over the course of the game to move to spot 9 and lose.

So... Does that all seem correct? Any other common mistakes that might account for how easy it is?
 
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Magister Ludi
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We start the location track at zero. Also It generally takes far less then 8 failed encounters to loose.
 
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Jeff Jarvis
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Mostly right, but a few things off.

Asmor wrote:
1. When the outcome of an encounter says "2 INTEL" or something like that, we take intel from the supply and add them directly to the intel pool.

Right.

Quote:
2. Whenever you land on a space with intel, you can either add it to the pool or discard it and add a green location token to the board.

Right.

Quote:
3. You'll never have more than 4 successful encounters with henchman in a 3+ player game (location marker starts at 1, and after 4 successful encounters you reach 5 and confront Dr. Lobo)

This is wrong. Only encounters from the locations move his track. Random encounters from the book will make the henchmen stronger if you beat them, but does NOT advance the location track.

Quote:
4. You'll never have more than 4 successful encounters with henchman in a 3+ player game (location marker starts at 1, and after 4 successful encounters you reach 5 and confront D

Nope, you can have up to 12 encounters since only locations advance the Lobo track. As said, we typically start the counter at 0 and the first successful ones puts it at 1 though.

Quote:
5. There's no limit to the amount of intel in the intel pool.

Right.

Quote:
6. When checking for intel overflow, you only count the yellow tokens; if you overflow you remove all yellow tokens and all but one green token.

Right

Quote:
7. Dr. Lobo's track only advances when you flip a villain card after a failed encounter. Assuming an average of 1 advancement per card, this means you'd need to fail 8 encounters over the course of the game to move to spot 9 and lose

So... Does that all seem correct? Any other common mistakes that might account for how easy it is?


Since half the cards are 1 and half are 2, it'll be closer to 5 failed encounters.
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Dave K
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We also start the location track at 0 rather than 1. Also agree that it generally takes fewer than 8 failures to lose because the number of things that advance the track by 2 is pretty high.

I've only played a few times but it hasn't consistently been easy. The last game I played it was a total blowout in our favor (I think Dr Lobo was at like level 2 and we had over a dozen pieces of intel) but the previous game we had a lot of trouble getting our special skills to be relevant and thus had a ton of rolls to make.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Location track at 0 (I'm pretty sure I read that in one of the updated rulebooks).

Also, don't forget if you fail any encounter, you draw a Villain card to increase Dr. Lobo.

And lastly, when you roll for encounters, you need to have equal or more Successes than Failures.

-shnar
 
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Michael Z
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shnar wrote:

And lastly, when you roll for encounters, you need to have equal or more Successes than Failures.
-shnar


No.

Unless stated otherwise all you need is one success roll to succeed. All other rolls are applied whether successful or not. The illuminati eye might as well be a blank side of the die for "nothing happens".

Some events say you need two successes - such as test Hand to Hand +1 [2] - this will require two success rolls (guns). So you better be rolling at least two dice.
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Matt Smith
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And just to clarify a bit more on when to advance the Location Track:

You only advance the Location Track when you succeed at an encounter with a Henchman via a green Location Token.

All other Henchman encounters (via Call to Arms or book/card encounters) only level up the Henchman (if you're successful).

And you definitely start the Location Track at "0". There really should have been a 0 space on the Location Track. This has been fixed in the Swagman's Hope expansion.

Agents of SMERSH can be really easy one game, and brutally hard the next. In our last game, we failed four encounters, and drew a "2" Villain Advancement every time. Before we could blink, Lobo was at 8. It was only by flipping the poker chip (a Kickstarter exclusive) that we bought ourselves some time, and clawed our way back into the game. We eventually won, but it took lots of luck, some help from The Small Man, extensive use of a Shoe Phone and a Watch, and a stand-in agent (my agent died during the game). It was epic!
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Ian Toltz
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Ok, thanks everyone. Sounds like the only rules I got wrong were the thing about encountering henchmen to move the track up (albeit that's a major one for pacing and length of game), and starting the location track at 0.
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Dan Booth
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Quote:
In our last game, we failed four encounters, and drew a "2" Villain Advancement every time. Before we could blink, Lobo was at 8. It was only by flipping the poker chip (a Kickstarter exclusive) that we bought ourselves some time, and clawed our way back into the game. We eventually won, but it took lots of luck, some help from The Small Man, extensive use of a Shoe Phone and a Watch, and a stand-in agent (my agent died during the game). It was epic!


Thanks for posting that, Matt - that's exactly the sort of experience the game is about
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Noreen
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Also, don't forget that you have to take injuries when rolled, even if you pass the encounter... I know it wasn't one of the issues you mentioned, but it's something we were screwing up at first.
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Jon Reed
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We just played this for the first time (2 players). We decided to play without the Book of Encounters to keep rules simple for our first play. We only failed 2 encounters and beat the game very easily. I immediately came to these forums to make sure we were playing correctly and after reading this thread, it appears that we were. Does playing with the Book of Encounters increase the difficulty much?
 
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Montgomery Van
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jonsher wrote:
We just played this for the first time (2 players). We decided to play without the Book of Encounters to keep rules simple for our first play. We only failed 2 encounters and beat the game very easily. I immediately came to these forums to make sure we were playing correctly and after reading this thread, it appears that we were. Does playing with the Book of Encounters increase the difficulty much?


I am not sure if the Book increases difficulty, per se. Rather, it expands the scope of the encounters, which *might* make it more difficult.

As mentioned by a previous poster, this game is luck based. One game might be a cake walk; one game might be entirely too brutal.

Regardless, if at all possible, I do suggest using the Book. There is some fantastic stuff in there.
 
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Derrek Kyzar
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Correct about one game destroying you and next game being easy. All based on die rolls and lucky encounters.

On the book...

Being able to 'choose' an encounter that you think might tie into your best stat or advanced skill I think makes the game easier. That being said, I can't imagine not playing with the book.

Additionally, if you are choosing your advanced skill rather than random makes the game a little easier since you could choose a skill that would supplement your weakest stat. So if you had 0 in persuasion, but choose Seduction, you could pass many tests if you choose wisely on the encounter group.
 
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