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Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Won 4 in a row, what am I doing wrong? rss

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Brenda Mattis
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I don't mean to brag, I am just wondering what I might be doing wrong.

My strategy is to
1) top off morale
2) beeline for the scenario goal
3) explore a lot and move camp to the best position
4) ignore most other aspects, just take the wounds, consequences, whatever, unless it is fatal
5) always take the short term option (unless non-sensical)
6) spent resources whenever an oppurtunity arises
7) avoid doubling up

This usually allows me to win the game at around 50% of the allowed turns or a little after. I worked through the scenarios like this one by one, the next is the cannibal one. The first one Solo, the rest with my 5-year-old, who prefers hunting to everything else (which I consider a serious handicap).

I always seem to have just about enough resources, including food, through exploring, items, whatnot, and yes, health does deplete rapidly, but I simply win before I die.

I have been digging through the rules to find my mistake, because everyone has been going on about how difficult this game is, but except for some minor things like "play whenever you like" not meaning always, in the literal sense (which is okay, I guess, because I play the German version), I am pretty sure I am doing it right (also saw some commented videos on Youtube, so it is not some very basic mistake either).

Have I been stupidly lucky? Or is this simply the best strategy? Or is the added flexibility of being able to use skills whenever just so powerful?

Any thoughts?
 
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David Turczi
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- are you losing 2 health per unfed people?
- are you losing half your buildings when you move camp?
- are you spending determination token when activating abilities?
- are you rolling weather dice?
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jeff
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xsansara wrote:
Or is the added flexibility of being able to use skills whenever just so powerful?

Any thoughts?


Are you marking skills used and not using it again until they are refreshed?

 
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Byron S
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Are you dropping your morale when passing the arrows on your health bar?
(and not increasing it when/if you heal back up past them?)
Are you shuffling the adventure cards into the event deck when they have another later effect?
How are you dealing with failures on the dice, since you're not using double pawns much?
 
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Murr Rockstroh
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A few more questions that came to mind that I haven't seen asked.

EAre you losing health because you have not built your shelter?
EAre you losing health when there are unfulfilled demands?
EAre you properly cycling the event cards in the threat area and suffering the consequences of allowing them to drop off?
EAre you using the correct amount of pawns when exploring / gathering further than adjacent to the camp tile?
EAre you gathering on the tile where your camp is?
EAre you creating the inventions correctly? As in, are you making items you're not allowed to because you haven't discovered the proper terrain or don't have the prerequisite item(s) or materials?
EOr are you creating the items at all, or just starting with them not realizing you have to create them? (Just making sure)
EAre you paying attention to the "?" or "Book" icons at the top of the event cards and dealing with them properly?
EAre you dealing with the totem icons on the tiles according to the scenario rules? Same question with Book icons on event cards.

The hardest thing I have believing is managing to gather 15 wood before the end of 6 or 7 turns in the Castaways Scenario (assuming you finished it in 6 rounds or so).

We use this to keep us from forgetting to do something.

Perhaps play a scenario and give us a semi detailed play by play description of what you're doing. Also watch Ricky Royal's Box of Delights play through of the Castaways and see if you pick up on something you're missing in that.

You'll find the list of videos here
https://boardgamegeek.com/video/22180/robinson-crusoe-advent...

Also I recommend printing this cheat sheet out and making sure you're doing everything correctly in every phase.
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/113122/robinson-crusoe-ch...
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- Also, are you adding extra pawns more than needed, like Friday and the Dog in all of your games? as in a two or three players game?
- Are you using the additional pawns you find in the island once then discard it - as instructed?
- Exhausted resource, is it done properly?
- Review the exact harm for each weather dice, (a lot of burning and discarding of your foods and woods)
- you can't use back again the wood in the pile in the first scenario once you put it
- when building a roof, shelter or palisade, you should pay attention to the number of discarded resources needed per player.
Regards
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S. R.
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The using of skills at "any time" is not a huge difference. It is true that not using that rule (and rather interpreting thematically, as was the consensus, at one point, here on BGG) makes it a little harder at times. But the game usually is already not that easy.

That said, I have to also say (and might spoiler a bit) that you, generally speaking, are doing it right. Only the "no double-down, if I can help it" is really strange, because that would lead to lots of die rolls with lots of chances to take wounds.

Generally speaking, if you grok scenario 1, it is not that hard to win. Scenario 2 is even easier, but you mentioned one thing you do which is actually bad in this scenario, so I don't know how that went. Scenario 3 I cannot say anything about, and scenario 4 I am not sure as of this moment.

Now, what I can say with any certainty is - if you win scenario 5 easily, you MUST be doing something wrong. Scenario 5 is the hardest of the base game, and even if you KNOW what you are doing, you will only win about 25% of the time, if not less...

I strongly suspect that there is something going wrong in your playing the game, though. However, from afar it is really hard to help you, as it could be a lot of details...


One thing I did wrong - I mistook the arrows on the character sheets as spaces of the health track. They are not...
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Brenda Mattis
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Wow! Thanks for all the answers and error suggestions. I am really impressed
I did some more research yesterday and came up with two major things I did wrong:

1. I occasionally build roof and palisade on a camp (not a shelter)
2. For some reason I don't recall now, I thought that when you explore, the resources (wood and food) on the card are rewarded to you, rather than just the tokens. This is why I never had serious resource troubles.

Stupid me! I feel like I have to play the game all over again.

But, all you have donated your time to answer me: I also did a lot of things wrong that you suggested as commented below. If you have suggested a mistake, I did not make above, I will not comment, only on those that I did make.

* I did not mark skill use and e.g. would build two weapons with the Soldier spending 6 determination. But that was very rarely and I vow to do better.

* On handling non-victories: I take the determination token and do not complete the action, resources go back into the stack. If the result is important, I try to re-roll. I just recently read that Friday cannot make an Adventure, but takes a wound instead. I can't exactly recall how often that happened, but it did.

* I was gathering on camp, in particular in the first scenario, to get the double wood. Good to know.

* I did finish the wood stack on turn 10 (or whatever the earliest oppurtunity is). I could have finished it earlier, but why bother, when I can instead build another roof.

On general strategy: I first wanted to write, I make a critical path analysis on the scenario goal to estimate the length of the game and then do a game theoretical analysis of optimal choices regarding the current ressource situation and estimated remaining game time in a greedy approach, due to the inherent randomness of the game, ... BUT that is just the same thing as saying: I try to play as smart as I can.

The strategy list I gave is more like a list of highlights of what I came up with using that approach, especially in contrast of some of the recommendation I had seen so far. If I can double up, e.g. with an extra pawn, I do. And I do seek out extra pawns, if I estimate to use them at least twice in the future and no greater oppurtunity presents itself. In particular, when you have to use an extra pawn anyway (e.g. exploring on volcano or far away), I am extra eager to double up, because the risk of wasting two pawns tends to be higher than the gains one single pawns could have. E.g. my last cross against the curse was build with 5 pawns rather than 4, even though it went against my general rule of morale first. Duh!

So yes, I do build shelter, if it is smart to do so (estimated loss of health until end of game vs. cost), but that seems to be later than what I have seen in demos. And I never pick up the food at the start, rather I start 2 morale, 3 single exploration in a two player game, hoping to find a food through exploring (even without the extra resources from the tiles that seems to me the smartest opening move, you might get a food token anyway and you will get a lot of extra determination and increased option range for your next camp site).

So again, thank you for taking the time to read this. I am looking forward to get my *** kicked by cannibals any time soon. I will be back to report.
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David Pereira
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Ignorance its a bliss, without asking one could say he was playing really well.

This thread will help later on to teach the game to 2 new players - wifes, just one is mine ...
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Brenda Mattis
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In my defense, I did beat the cannibals on my second try, following all rules to the letter. Yeah me!

But it was a close call. The game started with a bubble of 3 books in a row. This hurt both my morale and my hearts. Then Friday died to an unlucky exploration roll (no blanks). According to rules as written, he used his last breath to bring me back a barrel (treasure) with two food and a wood. This really turned things around. Defeated village 2 on turn 7, village 3 on turn 8 and the town on 9 with a heavily boosted soldier.

Now I finally get what people have been going on about. Things were really close a couple of times. Saturday is board game day at the local shop. I can't wait to find a couple of people to play 4 player game.
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A J
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xsansara wrote:
2. For some reason I don't recall now, I thought that when you explore, the resources (wood and food) on the card are rewarded to you, rather than just the tokens. This is why I never had serious resource troubles.


Yeah, this would really do it for you! Easy mistake to make, though. I mean, who wouldn't bring a bundle of wood back to camp after having JUST EXPLORED THERE anyways?

But this isn't real life...whistle
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Dave C
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Did you only add wood to the wood stack one column at a time?
 
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Mark Holmes
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Potatopotato wrote:
Are you using the additional pawns you find in the island once then discard it - as instructed?


Where in the rulebook does it say this?

Mark
 
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Byron S
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mr_mrholmes wrote:
Potatopotato wrote:
Are you using the additional pawns you find in the island once then discard it - as instructed?


Where in the rulebook does it say this?

Mark
All of the effects of Discovery tokens are listed on the back page of the rulebook. Extra pawns from built Items are usable once per round.

The brown pawn Discovery token description states: 1 additional brown pawn for the Building Action. You can use it only for one Action and discard it afterwards.
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S. R.
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If the pawn has not been provided by an item card, or where the card/scenario effect text states otherwise, is one use only!
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Brenda Mattis
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Yepp, extra pawns from candles and whatnot are one time only.

I did the Robinson scenario today (following all the rules!) and it was really smooth sailing. Finished turn 9, although I could have pushed for 8. Never lost morale to wounds. But I guess, I was lucky. I drew a cellar (or whatever the invention that allows you to store food indef. is called in English) and build it asap.

First round: 2 morale, 3 single explores, moved camp, got a hatchet (??? gives +1 wood on camp)
Second round: build: shelter, shovel and explored some more
Third round: build: roof, cellar, map
Fourth round: build some more and back to exploration
Around then I had two +1 food (cook's special and the cage thingie), one +1 wood and a short cut.

The rest was easy.
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Murr Rockstroh
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xsansara wrote:
Yepp, extra pawns from candles and whatnot are one time only.

I did the Robinson scenario today (following all the rules!) and it was really smooth sailing. Finished turn 9, although I could have pushed for 8. Never lost morale to wounds. But I guess, I was lucky. I drew a cellar (or whatever the invention that allows you to store food indef. is called in English) and build it asap.

First round: 2 morale, 3 single explores, moved camp, got a hatchet (??? gives +1 wood on camp)
Second round: build: shelter, shovel and explored some more
Third round: build: roof, cellar, map
Fourth round: build some more and back to exploration
Around then I had two +1 food (cook's special and the cage thingie), one +1 wood and a short cut.

The rest was easy.


I thought of something else. Are you removing the Discovery tokens from the game after you use them? They're not shuffled back into the stack to be drawn a second time, and once you're out of them, they're done, you don't reshuffle them into a new stack.

And I'm having a hard time believing you're doing everything right, and you could have finished the Robinson scenario by turn 8 if you pushed it. We've played that scenario about 6 or 7 times and have never won it. Twice now due to having to discard inventions because of an Event card, so those two times were strange ways to lose.

Inventing/Building 9 things (not to mention you probably have to invent quite a few of the starting items) in 8 or 9 turns, exploring so you have all the necessary terrain types, building a shelter, roof and palisade to protect you from the weather and animal attacks at night, and everything else you have to deal with, like threats and adventure cards shuffled into the deck because you rarely double up on anything, just doesn't seem possible with 32 actions (maximum possible actions in a 4 player game with 2 pawns per player).

Were you ignoring the Book Icons that said if you draw those during the Event phase you only produce half the resources (rounded down) during he Production phase - meaning if you produced 1 resource, you got none? Because half the cards you would draw have that icon on them, assuming you set the Event deck up according to normal difficulty.

Were you lucky enough that every terrain tile draw you made, was the first one without a Totem icon on it, so that you never had to reclaim a terrain type due to it not being available until you drew a second one?

Were you inventing the garden more than once in the scenario? Or the fence?
 
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Brenda Mattis
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Hi Murr,

I did remove the tokens and played a two-player game with carpenter and explorer. Starting 5th round, I consistently tried to build 2 items per round, hence I was finished so early. Since I only need 2 food and produce 4, I never have food problems, even with book + I had the cellar to store any excess. I was actually unlucky with the totems, the first 3 regions were all blocked, but I never cleaned them up, instead I explored more to find the non-totemed version. I was lucky with the events, well not exactly lucky. I checked the event cards for which sort would have me discard inventions and it was only build events, so I would try to double them up. With extra pawns, if available (I had one invention, which allowed me one free brown extra pawn per round). Some events were really bad, but I think I only repaired the one, which would require me to revert back already build items. I only build shelter and one level of roof directly, everything else came through building inventions.

In round 8, I had the first oppurtunity to finish, if I would have singled the last 4 inventions. As mentioned before that seemed like a crazy risk to take. Instead I doubled them and finished in 9. That also meant, no bad weather and no extra effort having to avoid it.

The only deviation from the rules, I am aware of, was that I deliberately choose carpenter and explorer, rather than drawing randoms. Their special inventions and abilities were just perfect for this particular scenario.

As to luck, I considered myself lucky with the draw of the nine inventions. One extra brown pawn, the cellar, not too many different requirements on the other ones, so I got away with building only a couple of basic inventions, did not need as many territories.

And I drew some very nice exploration events, netting me a couple of treasures, a rope, for which I did not have the territory, but needed for other inventions, but also the gremlins and other rather nasty stuff, like a head wound.

And my random starting items gave me two extra brown pawns and 2 times 2 determination tokens. Which is basically what I would have choosen, or actually, I would have chosen extra food, but it still was a very good draw.

And I think the initial exploration was lucky, as I had a food/wood tile in the middle I could immediately move onto.

A couple of bad things happened, as well, but I decided to ignore them.

As a sidenote: I used to play a lot of Starcraft, when I was younger and at first I was amazed how much faster the other players could build up their base and rush me. I thought they cheated. Then I found a build order on the Internet and practised it. After a while, I found that the underlying principle was the following: Counterintuitively, it is better and less risky to try to win the game early by extending all ressources, as soon as they become available, and to take all risks up front, than to hoard your ressources to prepare for eventualities. This is, of course, stupid in real life, but I have yet to see a game that does not reward it.

I guess the difference is that real life is not about winning. Is it? Unless you are stranded on an island, I mean...
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Murr Rockstroh
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Thanks for the reply, we'll try this counter-intuitive approach next time we try this scenario
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Brenda Mattis
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Hmmpf, I started playing the Darwin add-on and that approach is really not working there. So this advice is more context-sensitive than I thought.
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