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Subject: Treasures & Traps Strategies rss

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Joe Stadolnik
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Treasures & Traps Strategies

Treasures & Traps is a really fun game. The simple rule set makes the game easy to pick up, yet the variety and balance of cards makes for a lot of strategy.

Below is a collection of strategies. Some are obvious, even stated on cards or in the rules, but many are not...

Note: Most of these guidelines were hashed out with 2 player, non-team games in mind, however many of these techniques are still applicable to other game variants.

Defense

1. Use the Castle, Helmet, Shield, Elven Defender, Chest, Rune, Robes, and surprise cards to protect your items from creatures and places. Note that the benefits of the Helmet, Shield, and Elven Defender are cumulative.
2. For a good defense try to have more than one of the same kind of treasure in play. This is good insurance should you lose one, and also allows you to win more readily with the Royal Edict and Morph spell cards.
3. The best defense is often a good offense. Having a high exit roll bonus will readily allow you take back items stolen by wild land's creature and place cards.
4. Protect your companions, Vault, Trove, and Treasury with the Secret Hideout, Fort, Dungeon, and Rune cards.
5. Try to keep at least one surprise card in hand to thwart an attack against you.
6. A Secret Hideout, Fort, Dungeon, or Rune can be played on wild land's creature or place to make it more difficult to defeat.
7. More than one card (Secret Hideout, Fort, Dungeon, or Rune) can be used to protect a creature, companion, Castle, or chest.
8. It's generally not useful to protect items with the Secret Hideout, Fort, or Dungeon unless an opponent has a large exit roll bonus in play (+2 or higher). Wild lands creatures and places can easily bypass these protections.
9. Ways of dealing with Stink Eye card: (NEW)
- With an exit roll (possibly from a teammate).
- Defeat it with a Crazy Mage, Mad Wizard, or Boom card.
- Use the Poof card to put it in your hand.
- Take it to the wildlands with the Wizard's Tower or Crypt cards.
- When defeated, Stink Eye can be discarded rather than retargeted. The card states: "The player who defeats the Stink Eye CAN move it to any realm as free action." It doesn't say MUST.
10. A Castle can be protected with one or more of the following cards: Fort, Dungeon, Secret Hideout, or Rune.
11. Don't forget about the surprise cards in your hand.
12. Don't forget that you can move a chest to a different item by using an action.
13. A chest can be put into another chest for extra protection.
14. You can play Imp Attack, Raiders, or Poof to return cards in your realm back to your hand. This can be used as a way to protect treasures which have become vulnerable (e.g. the protective chest was removed). Though you will suffer an entry roll again. A potion can be used to bring it back into play safely at the right time.
15. Protect your best gold treasure item with the Rune.
16. Put bronze treasure into chests since they don't yield additional benefits when in play.
17. The Rune card is better than a chest because it both protects and allows the item's abilities to be used.
18. To defend against another player throwing the Royal Edict card, have 3 are more treasures of the same kind in your realm. Some surprise cards also work.
19. For two player games, a short term defense for an item can be to enter it on your first action and then throw a trap or door on an opponent with your second action.

Offense

1. The Castle doesn't protect against the Crypt and Wizard's Tower place cards.
2. The Dragon and Vampire cards can take both a chest or Rune and the item it protects in one swoop.
3. Low entry roll wild land's creatures and places can be used to quickly strip items of any protective chest or Rune.
4. Once you have an exit roll bonus of at least +2, targeting opponents items with exit rolls becomes quite effective.
5. For non-team games it's generally a good idea to play traps and doors as soon as you get them. For team play it's often often wiser to hold onto them for coordinated action against opponents.
6. Try not to allow other players to get too high of entry or exit roll bonuses. Eliminate the roll altering cards (gold & silver treasure, companion, Trove, Treasury, Vault, and potion cards).
7. When the War card is played the player with the highest exit roll bonus has the advantage to freely knock out opponents treasures or to raid the wild lands.
8. Enough consecutive exit rolls on a card will always exit it.
9. Imp Attack, Poof, and Raider cards are particularly useful against gold treasures. Their owner has a high chance of failing the entry roll when bringing them back into play.
10. A potion can be useful to succeeding in an exit rolls against treasures.
11. The Bow treasure item is statistically near equivalent to the Sword and Spear cards (it provides about a +1 exit roll bonus).
12. A Door or Jail can be protected with a Secret Hideout, Fort, Dungeon, or Rune to make it more difficult to exit. A Jail protected by a Dungeon is particularly insidious.
13. The Burglar, Thief, and Bandits cards can steal items from the wild lands as well as from other players realms.
14. Stink Eye can be made harder to get rid of by protecting it with a Secret Hideout, Fort, Dungeon, or Rune.
15. Pixie and Fairy Dust are particularly effective verses Dragons and Vampires, as they allow you to gain both items they protect immediately, as well as the creature.
16. A nice one-two punch is to use the dragon or Vampire to steal two items on your first action and then to use Pixie or Fairy Dust to defeat the creature on your second action. If successful, this nets you both the creature back and the items.
17. A sneaky way to destroy any card in play is to defeat it with Crazy Mage or Mad Wizard retrieved from the discard pile by a Healing Spell, Graveyard, or Ruins card. This is a nice play against the Dragon. Acid Slime and Boom can also work but they have higher entry roll numbers.
18. The Smuggler's mask can be used to swap any two items in play including potions, Crystal Balls, and Chests. A sneaky move is to win by swapping one of your chests for an opponent's treasure item.
19. When playing a team game, the Poof card can be used to defeat a door or jail in an ally's realm.
20. A wild land's creature or place can be used to quickly get rid of a Crystal Ball.
21. When the Stink Eye is in play, the player with the highest exit roll has advantage as they can more readily get of the card.
22. If you lack a thief type card, another way of stealing a card from another player is to first play a Imp Attack, Raiders, or Poof on the desired card, and then play a Piff on the player to retrieve it. You'll still have to enter the card, but at least you'll have it.
23. The Imp Attack, Raiders, and Poof cards have four benefits:
a) they get a card out of play,
b) the targeted player must discard a card in their hand,
c) the victim may waste an action trying to bring the card back into play, and
d) they may fail the entry roll causing the card to be discarded.

24. What treasures to target in another player's realm? If a player has:
- 1 treasure: Target it.
- 2 treasures of same kind: Target any.
- 2 treasures of different kind: Target gold or silver. Prevents opponent from winning by playing 3rd treasure type.
- 3 treasures of same kind: Target any. Prevents opponent from winning by playing the Royal Edict card.
- 3 or more treasures with one of a kind: Target the odd treasure leaving all of the same kind. Prevents opponent from winning by playing 3rd treasure type or Morph card.
- 4 or more treasures with at least 2 of each kind: You're in trouble. Target gold or silver. If possible, use the Dragon or Vampire to get rid of all of one type.
- 4 or more treasures of same type: Target any. If the treasures are all bronze, it's probably not worth the effort as they provide no special bonuses to their owner.

25. The wild lands place cards (Mage's Tower & Crypt cards) can be used to take any card in a realm including companions or other places (Castle, Secret Hideout, Dungeon, & Fort). In team play, these cards can also be used to remove a door or jail thrown on other team members.
26. As a last ditch effort to stop an opponent from winning, exit rolls can be made on their best treasure item. The odds of succeeding are generally low, but cards such as Sword, Spear, Belt, and Warrior can improve your chances.
27. There are some good of ways of dealing with an opponent's companion:
a) make exit rolls against it (and possibly retrieve it later with a Graveyard, Healing, or Ruins card),
b) send it to the wild lands with a Mage's Tower or Crypts card (and possibly gain the companion by defeating the place),
c) use the Pixie Dust card to steal it (puts it in your hand).


Timing (when to do what)

1. Wait until you get some item entry bonus cards (Dwarf, Princess, Brooch, Trove, Treasury, and/or Vault) or potions before playing high entry number treasures.
2. The larger the discard pile, the more powerful Ruins, Mines, Graveyard, and Healing Spell cards become.
3. If you can, perform your riskiest action first. The second action can be used for recovery or a re-attempt if the first action should fail.
4. It's often better to save the Burglar, Thief, and Bandits cards until more valuable treasures come into play.
5. The Orchard card allows one to enter a random item with no entry roll or additional action. Since the deck contains 21 treasures and 18 other items, there's a 54% chance of getting a treasure and an 18% chance of getting a specific treasure type (e.g. gold). If you have a protective card (chest or rune), it can be better to play the Orchard on ones first action and protect a resulting treasure on ones second action of a turn. If one has a trap, door, or jail card (and are playing a 2 player game), it can make sense to throw the trap/door/jail card first and then use the Orchard on your second action. Should the Orchard produce a treasure, your opponent will delayed in taking action upon the item.
6. If you do a replacement, make sure that it's the first action you do, as this allows you to play the newly drawn card in your second action.
7. Try to play the market card during your first action. This allows you to play any card gained on your second action, before having to discard excess cards at the end of your turn.
8. Preferably attack a creature on your first action. This allows you to the creature a second time in your turn with a +1 should you fail the first.
9. When possible, make entry rolls for your gold and silver items on your first action, and protect them on your second action (either with a Castle, Chest, or Rune, or by playing another treasure of the same type).
10. If you think you are on the brink of losing the game play Sea Voyage to get new cards. The fresh hand may change your luck.
11. If you need just one more treasure card to win the game, but that type is not in your hand, play the Sea Voyage card.
12. Playing the Sea Voyage card on your first action allows you to enter one of the newly drawn cards on your second action.
13. Mystic Moment is a good card to play early in the game. It has a nice way redistributing wealth.
14. Two especially good times to play the Taxation card are when: a) an opponent has two treasures of different kind in their realm, and b) when you have no items in your hand and realm, but other players do.

Miscellaneous

1. Entry vs. exit rolls: If you have a high entry roll bonus, it's generally better to do more entry rolls to get treasures into play. Conversely, it you have a high exit roll bonus, it may be better to do more exit rolls on creatures and places to get treasures.
2. Stink Eye can be defeated by anyone in the game. That person then decides who gets it next.
3. Generally, the more cards you have in your realm the better.
4. If your exit roll bonus is high, it may be easier to acquire gold treasures by defeating wild land's creatures or places than to make entry rolls for them.
5. Once you get one treasure into play. Try to get the two other treasure type cards you need into play in one turn. This makes it harder opponents to stop your plans. Conversely, try to knock out that first treasure an opponent plays before they can protect it.
6. Having more than two wild land's creatures or places in your hand usually just eats up space. Play or replace all but one or two.
7. Of the companion cards, the Princess is the most valuable as she bolsters all entry rolls. Be sure to protect her.
8. The Trove card it especially useful for bringing items into play. It's very weak though so protect it.
9. Note that some cards of the same treasure type (gold, silver, bronze) have different entry roll numbers.
10. Try to keep at least one wild land's creature or place in your hand.
11. If you don't want to replace of any of your cards in hand and can't play any of them, you can do exit rolls against creatures and places in the wild land or you can do exit rolls opponents items (even if you're guaranteed to fail them).
12. When discarding a wild land's creatures or place and you have more than one, generally always discard the one with the higher entry roll.
13. The royal edict, Morph spell, thief/bandits/burglar, and smuggler's mask can result in sudden upsets later in the game. Holding onto these cards can be advantageous. Keeping them out of the discard pile also prevents other players from retrieving them and using them against you.
14. Good creature cards to retrieve with the Healing Spell, Ruins, or Graveyard cards are Mad Wizard, Crazy Mage, Dragon, Vampire, and Burglar, as they are strong and have low entry rolls (though no creature entry roll is required with the Healing Spell).
15. Don't forget, if you have a robe or potions in play, you can decide to use them after a failed roll is made to make the roll succeed.
16. The Morph spell can be used both to win the game and to thwart another player from winning.
17. The Cosmic Wind and Piff cards are more useful when the Crystal Ball is in play.
18. The more card draws you make during a game, the higher your chances of winning.
19. Making a lot of risky rolls on cards with high entry and exit numbers can result in many lost actions. Think risk pyramid. Do a lot of low risk roll (entry/exit number of 1 or 2), a moderate amount of medium risk rolls (entry/exit number of 3 or 4), and a low number of high risk rolls (entry/exit of 5 or 6). Bolster the high risk rolls with potions, companions, and other bonus cards to improve success. Then again a string of successful high risk rolls can quickly lead to victory.
20. The Smuggler's Mask can be used to swap a chest with a Rune, allowing you to then use the abilities of the protected card.
21. If the Taxation card is played, you can give up the chest or Rune protecting another item if need be.
22. A morphed treasure can be restored to it's original state by playing Imp Attack, Poof, or a Raiders card on it. This will take the card out-of-play which will undo the morph. When reentered the treasure will be back to normal.
23. The rune can be moved to another card by first playing an imp attack or raiders card on it, and the making a second entry roll to bring it back into play.
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Kassey
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This is a fantastic guide. I wanted to add a few comments to it...

Offense #5: The opposite is a good strategy in group play, hold the doors and traps so as to not make enemies, then dump them on someone who looks like they might be about to win.

Offense #19: Doors state you cannot make entry or exit rolls until the door is exited. So, POOF on the door you have would be an illegal move, however, this would be a good strategy for team play...you could free your parter from a door, and give them the card all at once.

Misc #2: This is a GREAT move in team play. If your partner has a high exit bonus she can defeat your stink eye for you on her turn.

Here are some NEW ideas that could be added:

*In desperation where you know someone is about to win, you can use an action to EXIT their top treasure. While the odds are low, it beats nothing.

*Wild land places (like Crypt) can be used to take ANY card, not just the items that creatures love. This is an excellent way to get the princess, other companion, or even the Castle from another player. (Just removing the castle from a realm with the crypt can open up their realm to your creatures who previously couldnt get in!)

*Good to note that you can get a new hand when others play SEA VOYAGE...

General Note: In group and team play many strategies are slightly different. It would be good to see a Strategy tip set of Groups and Teams.

--The Cheesewizarddevil
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Joe Stadolnik
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Quote:
This is a fantastic guide. I wanted to add a few comments to it...


Thank you.

Quote:
Offense #5: The opposite is a good strategy in group play, hold the doors and traps so as to not make enemies, then dump them on someone who looks like they might be about to win.


I can see that. I've changed the entry accordingly.

Quote:
Offense #19: Doors state you cannot make entry or exit rolls until the door is exited. So, POOF on the door you have would be an illegal move, however, this would be a good strategy for team play...you could free your parter from a door, and give them the card all at once.


Doh. I've now fixed that.


Quote:
Here are some NEW ideas that could be added:

*In desperation where you know someone is about to win, you can use an action to EXIT their top treasure. While the odds are low, it beats nothing.

*Wild land places (like Crypt) can be used to take ANY card, not just the items that creatures love. This is an excellent way to get the princess, other companion, or even the Castle from another player. (Just removing the castle from a realm with the crypt can open up their realm to your creatures who previously couldnt get in!)


Thanks, I've added these. I was completely unaware that these wild land places can be used like that. Nice.

I've added a few new ones too I just discovered (notably that Pixie Dust can be used to steal a companion from an opponent).

Quote:
General Note: In group and team play many strategies are slightly different. It would be good to see a Strategy tip set of Groups and Teams.


That would be useful.

(I've actually never played a team game, so my knowledge is weak in that area.)

Thanks for the tips,

-Joe
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This is a great guide. If you both are still out there thanks for putting it together.
 
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