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Subject: The base game is generally accepted to be easy, right? rss

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Boo da
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So far, our gaming group has played the game 3 times and we haven't lost. We've played against yig, niggurath, and the one where overworld adventures disappear when you fail them. We have never fought an AO.

In our game today, only a single person in our group of five failed an adventure. We ended the game by beating two adventures that gave 2 eldersigns each and the overworld adventure that gave 3, gaining over half the needed elder signs in 3 turns. There was only 2-3 doom tokens at the end.

Is this a common scenario in the base game?
 
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Bruno Pigeon
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Yes, the game is highly dependent on the randomness factor. Random adventures, random mythos cards, dice roll, random items...

So some games will be easy, and some other will be impossible to win.

But, if you want to be challenged, please do not use the strategy of going for easy cards to build up your inventory, so that more difficult cards become easy too. Take some risks, play recklessly.
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Jason Horner
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Festian wrote:
So far, our gaming group has played the game 3 times and we haven't lost. We've played against yig, niggurath, and the one where overworld adventures disappear when you fail them. We have never fought an AO.

In our game today, only a single person in our group of five failed an adventure. We ended the game by beating two adventures that gave 2 eldersigns each and the overworld adventure that gave 3, gaining over half the needed elder signs in 3 turns. There was only 2-3 doom tokens at the end.

Is this a common scenario in the base game?


Yes. It's generally agreed to be pretty easy. I've not lost a base only game in about 20 plays. The first expansion, Unseen Forces, does make things a bit tougher, but I highly recommend the new Gates of Arkham expansion. It introduces a new game mode that adds a great amount of challenge and strategy to the game. With the Gates expansion, I am 7-7 (50% win rate).
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Dave Daffin
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A common variant is to not allow the purchase of Elder Signs from the shop. That part didn't seem very thematic to me anyway!
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Jason Horner
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Dave in Ledbury wrote:
A common variant is to not allow the purchase of Elder Signs from the shop. That part didn't seem very thematic to me anyway!


I know, right? You would think that if the gift shop had a box of elder signs lying around for sale that they would just cough them up so Azathoth wouldn't destroy the planet or something.
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Wally Jones
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The Elder Sign: Unseen Forces expansion can make the game near impossible.

Try that.
 
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John Ibarzabal

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Investigator, "For God's sake man! Give me that box of Elder Signs, the world will end, dont you get it???"

Store Owner, "No! No money, no elder sign!"

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Alex F
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Yes, it's easy because you can buy essential items with trophies.
The shopping spree stops with Gates of Arkham, where Elder Sign truly shows it teeth, and becomes a tight game of risk/resource management.




Prior to getting the latest expansion, we've played with the following houserules to make the game harder:

Add an extra doom token to the doom track each Midnight(after 1st turn), in addition to what's written on the Mythos card,

2.A clue may be spent to reroll up to 2 dice from your dice pool(up to 3 dice for Joe Diamond).
3. You cannot buy Elder Signs(this rule was also officially introduced in the Unseen Forces expansion)

I would suggest perhaps to limit shopping in general, for the base game. Use the entrance sheet for healing and Lost &Found. Disallow shopping of any kind.
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Matt Dodgson
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Just got the game, have only played solo but have found it to be a good challenge. With only 1 character i found there is a consistent flow of monsters, eventually clogging up the easier adventures.

In one game I got pinned down but an onslaught of monsters, midnight events that cleaned out my trophies, adventures that were too difficult to beat and horrible dice luck. It was awesome!

All in all, it seems a little on the easy side but the I found the randomness keeps you guessing. I enjoy the tension solo but don't know if it will remain as i scale up the number of players....that should provide a sufficient excuse to purchase gates of arkham
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Jason Horner
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The base game tends to be really easy when you use the right strategy and get a feel for it. Use your items liberally and play aggressively, as you will usually get your items back. If not, it's easy to spend a trophy or two to get a Common or Unique item for that extra die. Actively seek out adventures with Elder Sign rewards and gate rewards (which open up Otherworld Adventures that are guaranteed to give at least 1 Elder Sign). Free locked dice and clear away bad Midnight effects quickly unless it won't affect you much (sometimes adding a monster each midnight is not a big deal). You should generally have enough trophies to heal or buy an item whenever you need it.

Gates of Arkham is a whole different animal. Adventures are tougher. Mythos effects are nastier. Healing is a LOT more scarce. You can no longer buy items or clues whenever you want, and the only healing guaranteed to be around is trading 2 trophies for *one* sanity and *one* stamina. Monsters are more plentiful and there's the added fun of not always being able to see what kind of sh*t you are stepping into when you try an adventure, given that most adventure cards start out *face down*. The first time you flip a card and realize that Amanda Sharpe could die from failing ONE adventure at FULL health -- you'll know you're not in Kansas anymore. You will need to manage your resources (trophies, items, clues, the clock) carefully, choose your adventures carefully, and strategize well to succeed. The "Easy" Ancient Ones generally tend to be tame, but with a run of bad luck on mythos cards, even the Easy ancient ones can clobber you. The "Insane" one (a revised Yog Sothoth) lives up to the billing (I've taken him on five times and won once). I once had several adventurers cursed, no items, monsters and gates everywhere, and six or seven doom tokens at the beginning of Day 3. Gates of Arkham makes the base game look like Candy Land. And the most perverse thing is that you will love it. Beating any ancient one in Gates of Arkham is a challenge and worthy of praise. Beating one of the difficult ancient ones will be a memorable experience.
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Alex F
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Note however that Gates of Arkham replaces the Mythos deck and the Adventure deck with alternative sets.

There are plenty of variants published on the Gates of Arkham board that help you get full value out of the old Adventure and Mythos sets, making the game backward compatible with the rules from the expansion.

But if you love the base game, you're bound to love Gates of Arkham. Even people who disliked the base game have proclaimed Gates of Arkham a winner.
It's not merely a simple expansion, but a reinvention of the game, and probably the best expansion product that FFG has released to anything.

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David Mason
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jlhorner1974 wrote:
Dave in Ledbury wrote:
A common variant is to not allow the purchase of Elder Signs from the shop. That part didn't seem very thematic to me anyway!


I know, right? You would think that if the gift shop had a box of elder signs lying around for sale that they would just cough them up so Azathoth wouldn't destroy the planet or something.


You have seen the gift shop clerk, right?

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Jason Horner
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brautigan25 wrote:
jlhorner1974 wrote:
Dave in Ledbury wrote:
A common variant is to not allow the purchase of Elder Signs from the shop. That part didn't seem very thematic to me anyway!


I know, right? You would think that if the gift shop had a box of elder signs lying around for sale that they would just cough them up so Azathoth wouldn't destroy the planet or something.


You have seen the gift shop clerk, right?



Point taken.
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Brian Weire
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I must be doing something wrong because this game consistently kicks my ass. I have tried a number of times solo with the board version and never get anywhere. I have it on my Kindle also and have done a little better until it looks like I might actually win then I get crushed.
 
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Jason Horner
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I'll give you some pointers in a nutshell:

* Try to free locked dice right away -- these are a killer.
* Try to get rid of nasty midnight effects as soon as possible -- anything that adds a doom token each midnight is bad
* Go for the Elder Signs! That is how you win. Otherworld Adventures are guaranteed to have at least one Elder Sign as a reward. Some have more than one.
* Choose adventures that play to the investigator's strengths. Adventure needs lots of Peril results? Michael McGlen is a great choice. Adventure has lots of tasks that are all easy to complete? That's perfect for Amanda. Darrell is good for Investigation-heavy tasks. Gloria is perfect to send to Otherworlds. Rita (appears in Unseen Forces expansion) is great for tasks with Sanity and Stamina losses. Kate is ideal for tasks that spawn monsters on entry or give monsters as "rewards" or penalties. You get the idea.
* If there are not great adventure choices, choose one that gives you a beneficial item or clue, or one with a penalty you can afford to suffer. Jenny loves to do adventures that give out clues, common items, or spells. Dexter also likes to get spells. Wilson Richard benefits from common items.
* When resolving an adventure, I try to do harder tasks first, using clues as necessary. Using your clues when there are lots of dice in the pool maximizes their usefulness.
* Don't hoard items. You will get more. Buying a common item, clue or unique item is cheap.
* If you fail a task, focus or ask for assistance (if there is another investigator there). Try to focus a die that is most useful. If the task needs a high investigation result, a 4 Investigation if you get one. Task needs multiple Terrors? The focus one of those.
* Learn the probabilities and subtleties of each die. Yellow dice are great for investigation results, but cannot give you a Terror. Red dice can give you anything, but with the Wild result, you have a 1/3 chance of getting a Lore or Peril. That means Terror results tend to be the hardest of the symbols to get.
* You can gauge the difficulty of an adventure based on the minimum dice needed to complete it. If the adventure needs six dice minimum, you probably do not want to go into it with only six green dice.
* Michael and Harvey's abilities can be used to dodge Terror effects.
* If there are monsters at an adventure, it helps to try to take them out first, as they do not some back, once defeated.
* If an adventure is clogged with monsters or has a particularly annoying monster, you can send in an investigator just to take out the monster(s). Even if the adventures is failed, the monsters stay dead.
* Remember that you only add doom tokens whenever the mythos card tells you to. Some people make the mistake of adding them each midnight. Many cards in the base game let you avoid the Doom token if you sacrifice something -- it's usually worth it to do that.

On Elder Sign: Omens -- Locking dice on spells lets you dodge Terror effects!
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Brian Weire
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Thank you for the help Jason, I'll have to try again with your list in front of me.
 
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Jason Horner
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My pleasure. Best of luck to you!
 
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Rick Lorenzon
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Many times, if the game seems too easy (or too hard) you'll eventually realize that you mis-read or forgot some aspect of the rules, and once you remedy that, the gameplay might change dramatically!

I've been playing the electronic versions (Elder Sign Omens) lately, on my PC and the phone app, and it has helped me to keep better track of various effects & rules in the board game version.

That being said, because of a certain amount of randomness/luck, you can play the game with the same characters vs same AO twice and have completely different experiences - just had that happen tonight! Played against Yog-sothoth until he was awakened with a full doom track, then battled him until he was down to 4 doom tokens, but we were eventually all devoured. Second time, we beat him with all elder signs, and only 4 doom tokens.
 
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