Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Scouting rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Fromper Fromper
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
So apparently, my putting scouting at the top of the list of important party roles in the character role thread has caused some discussion. This thread is to discuss details regarding the scout role in the game.

So what exactly is scouting?

Scouting in PACG is anything that allows players to look at the cards in a location deck without encountering them.

Why is scouting important?

To find the villain, of course! Well, ok, sometimes you want to know in advance what type of monsters are where, so you can send the appropriate hero to deal with them. If Merisiel doesn't have a magic weapon, she's better off evading the shadow that can only be defeated with magic, and calling in Seoni to blast it for her. Or if you spot a boon while scouting that would be perfect in someone's character deck, then you know what character to send to that location with the proper skills to acquire it.

But the most important way that scouting aids in overall party success is by finding the villain, so the party can plan your attack. Once you know where the villain is, your group can plan what locations to focus on first. Close a couple of the easier locations, then position people at other open locations with the proper skills to temporarily close them. Then, one or two heroes confront the villain directly, those other open locations are closed to prevent escape, and victory is assured!

That's a whole lot quicker and easier than just exploring randomly, hoping to run into the villain when you have the firepower to beat him and the right people with the right cards in place elsewhere to cut off his escape. The more information you have, the more effectively you can plan your attack.

So how do we scout?

There are three main types of scouting, though there is some overlap. In order from least to most effective, they are:

1. Evasion

Explore a location, then evade what you find there. This can be done using Merisiel's character power, items like Caltrops and Holy Water, spells like Sleep, Invisibility, and Sanctuary, or other methods that I'm probably forgetting right now. In most cases, the card you evaded get shuffled back into the deck after evading, though Sanctuary is a notable exception, and the best of the bunch in this group because of it. The end result is that you find out what one of the cards in the location is. See above for why that's a good thing.

So why do I call this the least effective form of scouting? The cost is pretty high. You use an exploration without eliminating the explored card from the location deck, which is a bad thing. In many cases, you also have to spend a card from hand. And if you have a lot of those cards in your deck, then that's cards you're not spending on other things. I'd rather have Detect Magic or Detect Evil over Invisibility or Sanctuary, which brings us to our next scouting method.

2. Peek at the top card

Spells like Detect Magic and Detect Evil, Harsk's character power, Seelah's character power (sort of), the ally Shalelu, and probably other cards allow you to look at the top card of a location before exploring and encountering it. Once again, you find out what one card in the location deck is.

This has two advantages over the "explore and evade" method. One, the card stays on the top of the deck when you're done looking at it, unless you're Seelah looking at a boon. Since you know exactly where it is, you can plan exactly what to do about it. Second, you don't have to explore to see the card, so you can save that exploration, possibly moving and exploring a different location instead. Again, more information lets you plan your attack.

And that brings us to the best form of scouting:

3. Multi-card peek, usually with rearrange

Cards like Augury and Spyglass let you look at more than one card from the top of the location deck, and at least partially stack the deck. There's also the Mayor ally card that you can banish to look through an entire location deck, but then you need to shuffle it afterward. Finding out multiple cards at once in a location deck is great information. And needless to say, the ones that let you control where to put back the cards after looking are a great way to set things up to help yourself and your team. There's no downside in terms of needing to explore before doing this, though as with all of these scouting techniques besides the character powers, there is a card cost. But given the advantage of being able to literally stack the deck in your favor, it's usually a small price to pay.

So that's my overview of scouting. I'm sure I left out cards and powers that relate to this. This isn't meant to be totally comprehensive, just an overview. And some scouting methods overlap in their technique, like the Sanctuary spell that fits into both #1 and #2, because it requires starting with "explore and evade", but lets you leave the evaded monster on top of the location deck, so you know exactly where it is.

Hopefully, this is useful information to help you plan your attacks in the future. Good luck, and have fun storming the castle!


11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane Is Board
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is exactly why I consider Augury to be one of the best cards in the base set.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fromper Fromper
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Shane Sather wrote:
This is exactly why I consider Augury to be one of the best cards in the base set.

Definitely. Augury and Spyglass are both awesome, though the fact that the Spyglass can't be recharged kinda sucks. But I once had Merisiel get the Spyglass and Wand of Minor Healing in her starting hand, so she discarded the Spyglass to use it, then recharged the wand to recharge the Spyglass while it was the only thing in her discard pile.

But this is why I consider Detect Magic the best of the basic spells. I always start with 1 or 2 in any spellcaster's deck.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Bender
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't really looked at Harsk, so I just don't know how his special works, but I really can't see how one can make these other methods work more than 2-3 times a scenario.

I've played a lot with Lem, and he has Augury, but even with his "always find what you need" special I can't seem to get it into play more than 2-3 times (probably because I pull Cure out so often) per scenario. That's great, but doesn't seem sufficient to really change the arc of the game. Other casters would probably find it coming up even less often even if they hit their recharge. Seelah doesn't scout, really, but has a mechanism that allows her to confront baddies at an increased rate. It's good for maximizing her turns, but it's really most valuable for large parties.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Poole
msg tools
Avatar
I agree it's hard to use scouting cards more than a few times a game, but those few times a game can save you entire turns. I think it's less a strategy to build around and more the frosting on an otherwise boring murdercake. If you see Detect Magic/Evil, Augury, or Shalelu, grab it. Otherwise, tough luck.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Mercer
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Last game we found the villain on the first turn with a spyglass, left him there to close all the other locations and came back to him when good and ready.
Easiest game I've had in a while.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Smart

Kentucky
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Honestly, I've run to the last scenario of BO, and I've used Harsk's ability plus Amiri's Spyglass to win 5 of the scenarios by finding the villain. It's a great combination which does make me wonder why in the world you'd ever use Harsk's power upgrade to be able to look at the bottom card of the deck instead of the top card.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane Is Board
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Harsk's ability works best in bigger groups, and his playstyle is VERY different from everyone else; be likes to constantly change location and be alone (much like a ranger, surprise!).

Basically, he wants to hit a location, encounter, peek at a card and scamperoff. He can help the entire team coordinate with the knowledge he accrues. Try playing him like that if you haven't yet and not only will you probably enjoy him more than ever, you'll probably see his usefullness.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fromper Fromper
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My first 4 character group got through the end of Burnt Offerings. We started with two Detect Magics between us, upgraded one of them to an Augury, and picked up a Spyglass and Shalelu along the way. Even without any of the characters with scouting powers, we had 4 or 5 scouting cards most of the way, and even though we only played each of those cards 1-2 times per game, it was enough to make a huge difference a lot of the time.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Campo
United Kingdom
Manchester
lancashire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
id expect/hope some Monsters or barriers might counter scouting cards in the future such as if revealed you must be encountered, or deal damage then banish if reveal by any other action other then the normal explore

if not i'll be making some,
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tor Sverre Lund
Norway
Trondheim
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Milarky wrote:
id expect/hope some Monsters or barriers might counter scouting cards in the future such as if revealed you must be encountered, or deal damage then banish if reveal by any other action other then the normal explore

if not i'll be making some,

Indeed! Something like "do a Stealth 6 check to avoid detection" and if you fail you encounter it straight away, maybe even with some added penalties.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.