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Subject: How much strategy is required in this game? rss

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Matthew Peckham
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Hi,

I've been looking at getting this game for a while now, and it's been a toss-up between this and Robinson Crusoe. What I think is going to sway my final decision is how much strategy this game involves, and how much is left down to chance and sheer rotten bad luck.

From reading many threads and watching many reviews of each game, it seems like a bad card or two (or bad dice roll or two) is what ends Eldritch Horror. How accurate is this?

With Robinson Crusoe, there is plenty of time to strategise each round and plan your future moves, but it seems like one bad spell of weather ruins you.

I'm after a game that strategically plays more like Pandemic, where, although luck plays a large factor, you do have "breathing room" and have a little time to tactically adapt (what feels like) well enough to bad draws.

Is Eldritch Horror like this? Will I be able to control my own destiny within the game? Or am I being led along being told a story, only stopping to roll some dice occasionally, with no chance to actually plan how I want to play?

I love the theme of Eldritch Horror, but I want to ensure I get enough "game" for my money too.
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Artem Safarov
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First off I would say that Crusoe and Eldritch Horror are both fantastic games and you're really picking between winners.

Both are prone to luck (both luck of the draw and good old dice), although the dice impact in Crusoe is less than in EH (still considerable though). In Crusoe you have a higher degree of control over your destiny through planning. Eldritch Horror is more prone to bad dice roll sinking you, especially if you are playing with 1 or 2 investigators only. If that kind of thing frustrates you - avoid it. You are not quite "taken along for the ride" but you kind of direct the flow and then see what comes out of it.

EH does have the upper hand in the scope and experience that it offers though - it is more exciting and epic. Crusoe is more of a somber gritty tale.

Hope this helps!
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William Cody
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I would say neither game is THAT strategic. I like Eldritch Horror way better and this caused me to trade my copy of RC. The main reason is that the drawing of cards from the event deck in RC can seriously screw you over early to the point where you can't do anything. There is a cannibal scenario where you kill the cannibals and we lost at the beginning of turn 3 mainly due to the event deck. (If you draw event cards with the book on it it deals damage to you and we drew a card that had 2 books on it which took us down to 1/3 of our health left and the next turn we did some exploring which damaged us and then we drew another book card and we died).

This really pissed me off because we had absolutely no chance of winning from the beginning. EH at least lets you stick around for a little bit and have some fun before it kills you.

Edit: just wanted to say that RC has some great mechanics too like putting more cards into the event deck depending on what actions you have. This gives it a great thematic consequence. It just wasn't enough to woo me into keeping it. Both games are incredibly thematic.
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Chris Mathis
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Based on my experience with both games RC is much less strategic then EH. Although you may be at the mercy of the dice in both. You can lose RC even if you roll perfectly the whole game. Its more luck of the draw then luck of the dice. I would definitely recommend EH over RC. I posted a thread in the RC forums about the randomness of that game.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1144795/initial-impressions-...

If you are masochist then RC is better.
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J M
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Wccody wrote:

This really pissed me off because we had absolutely no chance of winning from the beginning. EH at least lets you stick around for a little bit and have some fun before it kills you.


Cursed on the first turn, detained on the second, rumor on the second mythos phase, lost in time and space on turn three, epic monster with a delicious synergy with the rumor also spawns. Lost in time and space again on turn four, turn five, six and seven hopelessly struggle vs rolling 6s, lose on turn eight and pack the game away.

My last game of Eldritch Horror.

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William Cody
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AceAceBaby wrote:
Wccody wrote:

This really pissed me off because we had absolutely no chance of winning from the beginning. EH at least lets you stick around for a little bit and have some fun before it kills you.


Cursed on the first turn, detained on the second, rumor on the second mythos phase, lost in time and space on turn three, epic monster with a delicious synergy with the rumor also spawns. Lost in time and space again on turn four, turn five, six and seven hopelessly struggle vs rolling 6s, lose on turn eight and pack the game away.

My last game of Eldritch Horror.



You lost because of dice rolls though, that still gives you some sort of hope. If you roll perfectly you can pretty much win any game of eldritch horror as long as you pick a decent strategy. The game I am referring to I rolled perfectly except for 1 health from a health die and yet I lost on turn 3.
 
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aurelian
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I enjoy RC but would say EH is definitely the deeper, more strategic and satisfying of the two. So I would say go for EH provided you are okay with the mythos adventure theme. Both have a fair amount of luck (though not as much as some people think after just a couple of plays), also there's more strategy and less luck if you play a 4-investigator game than say with only 1 or 2 investigators. The other thing I found, after many plays of RC it became a little repetitive with the card supply and scenarios, whereas (again after many plays) EH has far more staying power over time to create novel and dramatic situations.

Good luck whichever you choose, they're both excellent games.
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Jim Ant
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You didn't say whether you're playing solo or with others. I've played EH both ways but never tried RC.

I can say that with other players at the table (I've played 4 and 5), luck will play a bigger role (roll?) in the game because most gamers just don't have the patience (I play at my LGS) to engage in lengthy planning sessions, thereby leaving many things to the dice.

I've also tried the game solo where I have a big table at home and can set up a game with 4 investigators. I'm not a fan of solo gaming but I'll say that EH may change my mind on this. There is a tremendous sense of adventure-in-the-making when you choose your investigators randomly (actually I take 3 at random and then pick a 4th to support). Each turn has its own unique twists of plot & fortune. No matter how well or poorly the dice behave, I always feel that there is still something I can do that will turn things my way. The "strategic" element of this game really shines when you can take your time and play slowly and deliberatively. It is exhausting though, so I don't necessarily recommend solo play unless you have time and space to stretch a game out over several sessions.
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Chengkai Yang
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AceAceBaby wrote:
Wccody wrote:

This really pissed me off because we had absolutely no chance of winning from the beginning. EH at least lets you stick around for a little bit and have some fun before it kills you.


Cursed on the first turn, detained on the second, rumor on the second mythos phase, lost in time and space on turn three, epic monster with a delicious synergy with the rumor also spawns. Lost in time and space again on turn four, turn five, six and seven hopelessly struggle vs rolling 6s, lose on turn eight and pack the game away.

My last game of Eldritch Horror.



Character creation for CoC was reduced to like 6 minutes - bad things not happening in a Lovecraftian universe means that your in the twilight zone. As for EH, character suicide is a strategy that you often have to consider, especially with an early curse and epic monster on the table to do the deed. I've often planned my characters demise with relation to the doom track and the acquisition of a dark pact, or hes just way too beat up to be time effective to heal. I know some people are overly attached to their characters but bad things happen in luck based games. I've totally failed to get successes while rolling 8 dice and 3 rerolls, but it also makes the times when you succeed on that skill test where you only have 1 die.
 
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Joe K
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velvetvoulge wrote:
Hi,

I've been looking at getting this game for a while now, and it's been a toss-up between this and Robinson Crusoe. What I think is going to sway my final decision is how much strategy this game involves, and how much is left down to chance and sheer rotten bad luck.

From reading many threads and watching many reviews of each game, it seems like a bad card or two (or bad dice roll or two) is what ends Eldritch Horror. How accurate is this?

With Robinson Crusoe, there is plenty of time to strategise each round and plan your future moves, but it seems like one bad spell of weather ruins you.

I'm after a game that strategically plays more like Pandemic, where, although luck plays a large factor, you do have "breathing room" and have a little time to tactically adapt (what feels like) well enough to bad draws.

Is Eldritch Horror like this? Will I be able to control my own destiny within the game? Or am I being led along being told a story, only stopping to roll some dice occasionally, with no chance to actually plan how I want to play?

I love the theme of Eldritch Horror, but I want to ensure I get enough "game" for my money too.


Both Games are great games, but neither are real strategy games!

Robinson Crusoe leads you on loose hand. Thus it may deceive you, as the game may be already over when you still have the feeling everything is running smoothly. That is when you play too casually and do not take risks, or when the events simply are against you. You have to get the right feeling when to take a risk and when not, by forcing a success by spending both of a character´s tokens. Especially the "Build" action. But RC really plays smooth and has a somewhat peaceful feeling (though it´s nothing near peaceful!) ...

The afore mentioned 5th "Cannibal Island" Scenario, along with the 6th "Robinson Family" belong to my favorites. Both force to keep track and catch up with the velocity of progress.



Eldritch Horror however, tells the better story and keeps the player closer to the game - but it may take a longer time to accomplish a scenario which may turn off impatient natures.

You will always notice when things spin out of control. That may be intimidating at first, sure, but if you keep focused on the game you will realize what and why. Typically every game there is something going out of control, but almost always there are also very benevolent things happening which makes up for the bad incidents.

Having one mystery solved (the main tasks, typically 3 of them) lets you experience an intense feeling of relief. Well, there is always this chaotic moment which really lets you breathe the Cthulhu Mythos, but it is neither totally dominating (on a side note I would rather say, Arkham Horror is). You need a sound strategy, you must think "democratic", and being selfish means all the team loses.


In the end I think EH is a bit more about strategy than RC, if that really will be your decicive factor and you did not make up your mind. Ah, and don´t forget the rules. EH rules are much more concisive than RC.
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Joe K
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AceAceBaby wrote:
Wccody wrote:

This really pissed me off because we had absolutely no chance of winning from the beginning. EH at least lets you stick around for a little bit and have some fun before it kills you.


Cursed on the first turn, detained on the second, rumor on the second mythos phase, lost in time and space on turn three, epic monster with a delicious synergy with the rumor also spawns. Lost in time and space again on turn four, turn five, six and seven hopelessly struggle vs rolling 6s, lose on turn eight and pack the game away.

My last game of Eldritch Horror.



If this was not only your last, but your first game of EH, then I´m sorry for you. Every game to be played the first time with expansions instead of base game only will most probably result in that sort of bad experience.


If this was not your very first game of EH and you´ve been aware about the chaotic "cthulhian" elements of the base game, you will most certainly have to agree that it simply was bad luck - but you enjoyed it in a hilariously way since you played EH for the mood, and not for winning.
 
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velvetvoulge wrote:
Hi,

I've been looking at getting this game for a while now, and it's been a toss-up between this and Robinson Crusoe. What I think is going to sway my final decision is how much strategy this game involves, and how much is left down to chance and sheer rotten bad luck.

From reading many threads and watching many reviews of each game, it seems like a bad card or two (or bad dice roll or two) is what ends Eldritch Horror. How accurate is this?

With Robinson Crusoe, there is plenty of time to strategise each round and plan your future moves, but it seems like one bad spell of weather ruins you.

I'm after a game that strategically plays more like Pandemic, where, although luck plays a large factor, you do have "breathing room" and have a little time to tactically adapt (what feels like) well enough to bad draws.

Is Eldritch Horror like this? Will I be able to control my own destiny within the game? Or am I being led along being told a story, only stopping to roll some dice occasionally, with no chance to actually plan how I want to play?

I love the theme of Eldritch Horror, but I want to ensure I get enough "game" for my money too.

Robinson Crusoe is way harsher in my experience; the players are constantly under pressure throughout the whole game in every turn, every second. Each scenario has a specific number of turns ticking down, while Eldritch Horror is "open-ended".

While you have encounters in Eldritch Horror every turn with every investigator, you will absolutely try to avoid them in Robinson Crusoe, as most of them are really, really bad with catastrophic outcomes.

Eldritch Horror on the other hand does give you a bit more control, as certain encounters will likely trigger certain skill checks, and these skills can be improved, which will effectively increase your chances of succeeding them. If you do get a bad condition (which works like a ticking time bomb with unknown countdown, like in Robinson Crusoe), there's still a fair chance for getting rid of it. Both games sometimes offer the opportunity for taking a decision at certain encounters.

I love both games, they are both 10/10 in my collection, but it seems that Eldritch Horror will be the better choice for you, as it actually gives you the "breathing room" and stress peaks like Pandemic does. It's also way easier to learn.

Just be aware that there is still a lot of luck involved, but if you play your character's strengths and abilities well, you will increase your chances for succeeding and survival immensely, so "controlling your own destiny" absolutely works here.

Again, they are both great games, so I would say take a look at Eldritch Horror first, and the next time you are looking for another game, pick up Robinson Crusoe. This order also makes sense weight-wise (Pandemic: light, Eldritch Horror: medium, Robinson Crusoe: (mid-)heavy).


Absolutely great games, have fun and good luck !


PS: Check out the videos (trailer + game overview) done by Fantasy Flight Games did for Eldritch Horror, just search for "Eldritch Horror Trailer" at YouTube.



EDIT Someone asked the same question a few weeks ago. He had a different focus for his games, but still, the discussion might be of interest to you. You can check it out ►here, which will directly link you to my comparison - but be sure to read the entire discussion, it's quite informative.
 
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