John Gjertsen
United States
Trent Woods
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Okay, I've played this fantastic co-op many times over the past week, and I thought I'd offer my thoughts on the scenarios that come with the game, including some strategy. With the exception of Cannibal Island, I didn't find any of the scenarios "impossible" or even "near impossible" to win (mostly playing 2 player games +Friday)

First off, in terms of general strategy which apply to nearly all the scenarios:

1. Send two workers to organize the camp on the first round, so that the first player is getting +2 determination income. Aim to keep it there the whole game; when the morale sags later hopefully there is enough motivation for one or two motivational speeches.

2. Send another two workers exploring a single new tile. No need to spread yourself too thin early; there is a good chance you get wounded and/or get awful adventures.

3. Aim to build the shelter on the second round (as soon as is possible). Depending on the scenario and number of players you may want to build it with skins instead of wood, and it might be a good application of Economical Construction. You'll have to build it eventually, and might as well take less wounds. I'm not a fan of moving into the natural shelters offered on the island; you might save a little wood by not having to build your own, but the production loss of only getting food -or- wood doesn't make it worth it, at least in a 2-player game.

4. Depending on when the weather die starts getting rolled, your next order of business is usually to build the roof up to level 1, or preferably 2. Hopefully by the time you need it to be 2 you will have found the final destination for your camp.

Usually the scenario objectives can be delayed while you get these basic elements of your game in order: organized camp for efficient determination income, shelter, roof.

Now, for the scenario specifics:

CASTAWAYS
Not a bad introduction to the game, but the scenario is a little one-dimensional. You need to collect a lot of wood, but there's plenty of time to do it. After getting your camp in order (see above), the main inventions you need to build as soon as possible are the hatchet and the shortcut. So you'll need to explore to find mountains (for hatchet) and stream (for map). Reconnaissance is an inexpensive option for the Explorer to find these land types quickly. Hooch is a nice way the Cook can preserve wood once the snow starts falling, although the Furnace (if you're able to build it) is also a good choice. The Carpenter's economical construction is also great at preserving wood. Try not to build a lot of inventions that require wood because the goal of the scenario is to build a bonfire. Don't lose sight of that, and this should be hard to lose after you understand the mechanics of the game.

CURSED ISLAND
Pretty similar in many ways to Castaways, this scenario also comes down to collecting and efficiently using wood. Building 5 crosses takes 10 wood without economical construction, and there's a lot of late snow to threaten your accumulation of it. The fog is annoying but not all that big a deal; you'll need to find the hills (again: reconnaissance?) and build the rope so that you can ring the bell every time you have two or three fogs on the board. You don't need to necessarily explore more than the 5 island tiles you need to build crosses on, especially because the totems in this scenario (after the first) are just evil anyway.

JENNY NEEDS HELP!
But the thing is, after you help her, all she wants to do is lay around the camp all day. If anyone goes without food, it's Jenny. She only really loses 1 health for not eating since she rests all day... but first thing you have to rescue her from the rock. Don't wait for the 3rd totem to build the rope. I like this scenario a lot, although I've only played it once (in a four person game). It adds a couple dimensions the first two scenarios didn't have: there is a storm beating down your palisade about half the time, so keeping that up is essential. You'll also have to keep it up because of the beast die. And speaking of the beast die, this is first scenario you'll pretty much have to hunt in: the lifeboat requires 4 skins, and you won't find all of them on the balloon wreck. Focus on getting the weapons level and palisade up and the rest of it should come together. Maybe my second favorite scenario.

VOLCANO ISLAND
This is fun and fast paced, and unfortunately for the Explorer, there is no use building a shortcut—you're not going stay in one place very long. We won the one time we played this, but it was a "skin of our teeth" kind of victory. But I think that's the way the scenario is designed. Exploring actions are made more difficult, but that's pretty much what 90% of this scenario is all about. Explore, explore, explore. And lots of drawing from the mystery deck, resolving whatever comes up. Probably the outcome is more influenced by chance than the other scenarios. But the theme is good; I really felt like I was trying to outrun molten lava.

CANNIBAL ISLAND
Okay, you remember what I said about getting your morale up and building your shelter and getting the roof on and all that? That doesn't apply here. Frankly, I don't know what *does* apply here. Every other round the cannibals are going to attack and pretty much destroy you right away before you have a chance to build any weapons. You get a couple of these book icons early and it's game over. I might try this scenario again, but it felt a little masochistic. There's no weather dice here; it's pretty focused around one thing: hunting other people. By far the hardest, and also the most "different"-feeling of all the scenarios.

ROBINSON FAMILY
I like to think that Ignacy designed the whole game around this scenario, and that the other scenarios were an afterthought. This one is so much fun. Very difficult, but not impossible, and easily the most repeatable. The fact that your objective is to build NINE things which change every time you play the scenario means that every time you play it will be different. Will you build up weapons and do a lot of hunting? Or focus on gathering? Depends on what items you draw. Try to build the ones first that give you extra workers (raft, shield, lantern), but you're going to have to do a lot of exploring just to find the terrains to build all the prerequisite items to the ones you need to build. And feeding all those kids... hopefully you have a pit in place and a shortcut to food nearby. Otherwise, man up and go fight that beast growling in the woods. Once you play this scenario, you'll have a hard time wanting to play a different one. It's that good.

Would love to hear feedback from others.

40 
 Thumb up
9.50
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Bolton
England
Devizes
Wiltshire
flag msg tools
nothing to see here, move along
badge
.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been stuck on Cannibal island and haven't progressed to the final scenario. Sounds like I've been missing out. Next game will now be Family Robinson.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Myers
United States
Boise
Idaho
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Agree great breakdown!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Italian Seismologist
United Kingdom
norwich
Norfolk
flag msg tools
badge
[The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was not convincing people he didn't exist, but convincing them that he was God.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is an excellent breakdown of the core scenarios. It goes into a fair amount of tactics though so would you mind editing the header to say [SPOILER] at the end?


also have you considered the same breakdown for some of the additional scenarios that have been released?

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Gjertsen
United States
Trent Woods
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't really consider anything I wrote to be a spoiler; I did post under the Strategy section which I expect other users would look at if they're looking for strategy help. I would be happy to comment on the other scenarios once I've had a chance to play them.

Both King Kong and the Naturalist looked pretty convoluted with quite a bit of deviations from the base rules. I may have just been tired when I was reading them. Are there others?

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marion
msg tools
Just do it !
badge
Enjoy Life.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Experiment on Dinosaur Island v. 1.3
Zombie Island (fan-made expansion pack)
Leviathan's Defeat (fan-made expansion pack)
Fallout Scenario
HMS Raika-Bayou for playtesting
Encounter at R'Lyeh for playtesting



10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Larry Schneider
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
I would add that if you're playing solo, you can ignore everything you wrote about morale since it's a non-issue. Also, IMHO, Robinson Family is not scaled well for purely solo play (i.e., one character) and that if you want to pay it that way, you should consider ignoring the totem rules and reducing the number of book icon cards go into the event deck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Campo
United Kingdom
Manchester
lancashire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
this is the morale boost i needed thanks
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jorrig von Knorrig
Switzerland
Zurich
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I play Jenny with a lot of exploration only. You can get the additional two fur by the two goat tokens. You'll also find wood there. So I usually go for the map as early as possible, move camp accordingly and explore every turn at least once.
Robinson Family is indeed a lot of fun.
I believe that usually the carpenter/explorer combination is the strongest one. I'd take the cook third and the soldier last. Any other combination is possible, of course, but makes the game more difficult.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Elliot Quinton
United States
Issaquah
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
schnel wrote:
I would add that if you're playing solo, you can ignore everything you wrote about morale since it's a non-issue. Also, IMHO, Robinson Family is not scaled well for purely solo play (i.e., one character) and that if you want to pay it that way, you should consider ignoring the totem rules and reducing the number of book icon cards go into the event deck.


I very much agree with you, We've had a very hard time with Family Robinson on solo and duo. The book and totems are brutal. Playing with fewer books is highly recommended, but that still seems to not be enough to be victorious most of the time.

Any tips on a balanced way to make scenario 6 play more fair solo?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aleksander Idziak
Poland
Warsaw
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
For now I've played first three scenarios (solo or 2-person) and canibal island (only solo for now).
Generally agree about first scenario: keep morale high, build hatchet and shelter asap, build only the inventions that are crucial, don't forget about collecting wood. Reconnaissance is great.
The second one (cursed island) was the easiest from all my plays till now. Again Reconnaissance and keeping morale high was the key.
I played third one (Jenny) lately with my wife and we manage to beat it barely at the second aproach (we ran out of time during first try). At the second try we didn't put enough attention to our morale and it almost cost us a game. We went for early exploration and kept exploring till we find 4th totem so we have some extra skins and saved action needed to build a rope. Again it's important not to stretch here to much, build only those items that you really need, don't go hunting unprepared and keep in mind that you need a lot of wood at the end.
...and then I tried solo canibal island. Man, that was brutal. Two quick games when I fall dead at 4th and 6th round if I remember corectly. I think I'm starting to have some kind of staretegy plan for this one but it needs to prove yourself first.
What do you think about 9th scenario - Tracing Doctor Livingstone? (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/162959/robinson...)
At first look, it's entirely new level of scenario quality. I didn't play it yet but can't way to see how it goes. Is it as great as it seems?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
toast
Germany
flag msg tools
mb
quetzal513 wrote:
Any tips on a balanced way to make scenario 6 play more fair solo?

I've only played it with the carpenter solo, and even though I would argue he's the strongest here, I still find it pretty tough to win. Especially when events come up later that stop your food production you're just screwed. But thanks to the carpenter's special abilities, you can easily fetch for inventions which aren't initially available, and in my opinion a few of them are really crucial or at least very helpful in order to win the scenario. Those are the lantern, cellar, pit, diary/drums, and furnace.

Here's what I do: first turn explore twice and build the shovel. You'll need the shovel at some point for inventions or events anyway, and there will never be a better time to do it. Build shelter on turn two which is possible even without production due to economical construction. Meanwhile explore for mountains and hills as fast as possible to be able to build the lantern. With a diary or drums you'll be able to spend 3 determination every single turn for a second builder pawn. Alternatively you can heal yourself during morale phase and still have an income of determination tokens.

Since you probably need to build weapons to win the scenario anyway and you have the dog with you, it's a good idea to build a cellar and go hunting once or twice, even early in the game, with the benefit of getting additional fur for some inventions. The pit is really helpful, too. Due to economical construction it doesn't really matter whether you get wood or not. Build the inventions that require more than 1 wood immediately when you can afford them, before snow takes the wood away again. Even if a lot of books come up you can at least still feed yourself when you get the rope and trap early. Obviously, prioritize the useful stuff and build the inventions later that don't give you any benefit.
1 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
gjertsen wrote:
I'm not a fan of moving into the natural shelters offered on the island; you might save a little wood by not having to build your own, but the production loss of only getting food -or- wood doesn't make it worth it, at least in a 2-player game.

Sorry for being off-topic, but I've been trying to find out why you would ever build a player-built shelter, at least in scenarios where you aren't required to move around your camp.

Even so, I assumed the only benefit of building a "real" shelter is to save some roof etc (level 2 goes "only" down to level 1 instead of zero, for example).

Now you say there's a "production loss" involved in natural shelters that explains why you would build a player-built shelter.

What is this? Where in the rules do I find it? When does it happen?

Thank you
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Cantor
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The production loss refers to the fact that the natural shelter tiles only have one production icon, so you're not getting food and wood each turn from the production phase, only one. You might be able to cover for that in a multi-player game by gathering, but with less actions it's not really practical to spend them on that. Gathering is pretty rare in most solo scenarios.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Gjertsen
United States
Trent Woods
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The "production loss" is only in an opportunity cost sense; the natural shelters are only found on tiles with a single resource.
1 
 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.