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Subject: Level 2 Hunts - When and Why? rss

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Zachary Crispin
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So, a lot of discussion I've seen on level 2 hunts seems to be fairly negative. You have to hunt longer, go through overwhelming darkness, and fight a much more dangerous monster for a listed bonus of just a couple resources.

I've yet to try it, but I had a couple ideas on this to throw out and see if anyone with actual experience could chime in.

First, the hunt. I noticed on shorter hunts that many seem to end early. In fact, many of the Monster hunt event cards seem to have optionsome that result in either starting the Showdown early or being ambushed. Ambush seems bad, but on the other hand it's often in exchange for SEVERAL dangerous hunt events. Do level 2 hunts often actually go the full distance? Are these as debilitating as people fear?

My second thought was on the actual resource gain of the harder monster. I've had several hunts be more lucrative than others - due primarily to criticalsee on the HL deck. Has anyone noted on a harder hunt that the extra wounds to go through supplement the base rewards for the encounter with any significant increase in bonus resources? I could see higher base resources having been somewhat 'double dipping' on an already increased increased rewards due to more crits in playtesting - but that's totally speculation, and it would be interesting to hear others thoughts and experiences on the matter.

Any other thoughts on harder hunts? Has anyone found a good year where it's less than suicidal to start on them?
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Brett Burleigh II
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If you want to read about 4 survivors being ambushed and summarily consumed by an Advanced Lion: Go here!

I think LY03 was extremely premature. We also had terrible luck with rolls and a lot of Trap draws.
You're going to want some strong weapons, but mostly you'll need armor with the L2 bonus strength and speed. Once he draws a mood card, you're going to be getting chewed up. Armor is going to really make the difference. That and dash would be really helpful. (My Settlement's Surge ability did nothing for me in this bloodbath shake)


Good luck.
But keep in mind it is all about preparation - as any Scout knows! laugh
 
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Philip Mongan
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I will say on my 3rd settlement (currently rocking #5) I started hunting level 2 lions around LY07 and was cutting through them no problem. However, I had geared my folks with stuff that made short work of him (including harp), but regretted it when the super dense locations of the Kings Man demolished most of my weapons. However, I believe the extra resources, any you can get, are worth it if you are geared properly. It is about risk/reward. With that being said the best hunt (in regards to resources) I ever had was a Level 1 White Lion when I hit the Lion Cub and another hunt event that gave Claws. Good rolls on that on top of lots of crits during the showdown and I had a load of resources. I think I ended up with almost 20 that one round.
 
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Kyle Currie
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In my campaign, I've gotten my weapon gear to the point where I can chew through Lvl 1 Monsters without much difficulty. Even the Butcher didn't get a single serious wound in (Dash also helped a lot there).

I feel like, weapon-wise, I could go after a Lvl 2. But, I definitely need more better armor before I take that chance, because yeah, the Lvl 2 Monsters are way more dangerous.

I'm coming up on my first showdown with the Phoenix, and a few years after that is the first King's Man showdown. I feel like, considering a Lvl 1 Phoenix is pushed out to Lantern Year 7, Lvl 2 Lions and Antelopes shouldn't be attempted until at least Lantern Year 8. Additionally, the Phoenix seems to have affects that rapidly kick up your Survivors Hunt XP and Weapon Proficiency. I feel like a couple Lvl 1 Phoenix fights could quickly leave with you with a group of experienced fighters that would be able to more easily take on Lvl 2 Lions and Antelopes.

Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to test my theory.
 
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Nathaniel Dean
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In my own (granted limited - 4 settlements, including two early wipes) experience there's no point heading out for lv. 2 until after the Butcher at the earliest. Establishing second-tier settlement locations (Weapon Crafter, Stone Circle, and Skinnery, probably in that order)is a big early resource sink, and you probably should be innovating every year if possible. Hunting level ones for the first 4-6 LY should give you enough resources to keep the innovations and locations coming while still giving you enough resources to spend on getting a good primary weapon (and at least 1-2 Bone Darts and/or a bow as a secondary weapon) for your hunting parties, as well as hopefully one full set of Rawhide armor that you can use to deck out your main while you use the resources from whatever else you're hunting - antelope or lion - to build up a second set of prey-specific armor.

Given the extra event damage from more hunt events and Overwhelming Darkness, increased damage potential, and generally longer fights from the lv. 2 hunts and monsters, you need to be able to go into those fights and still have some armor and a few points of survival to have a shot of coming home at all, let alone in good shape. I've discovered to my sorrow that unless you have at least two people fully armored to try to take the hits, and everyone armed well enough to have a real shot of dealing wounds you're putting a lot of faith in RNGesus to see you through.

Longer-term, I think that it's absolutely necessary to hunt higher level monsters. In order to have a prayer for the higher-level nemesis encounters starting in the teen LYs, and as prep for the Watcher, you're going to need a lot of resources for any crafting from the blacksmith you'll need to be ready for the endgame. Since hunting for scrap, refining iron, and making leather all cost endeavors on top of what you'll need to be using for innovating and trying for Intimacy like rabbits, you'll have to have lots of resources and lots of survivors returning to keep things moving. Adam once mentioned in the KS comments that during playtest there were some campaigns where people made it to the watcher, and even did so with big settlement populations. However, because they were too cautious and stuck to mostly level 1s for a very long time they never earned enough resources to actually make the gear they needed to be ready for the final fight, and got dusted.

The other thing is that some of the better pieces of gear from the creature-specific settlement locations require resources that might only occur once in a monster's rewards deck. Going after the level 2s and 3s gives you a significantly better chance of picking them up (hopefully early and often).

My 0.02, anyway.
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Zachary Crispin
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The other aspect I was considering is that Life is Cheap - resources are not. By that I mean that every year, you get plenty of chances to make new survivors. I've not seen any Endeavours that can convert directly to monster resources...

And while 2 extra resources doesn't sound link a lot, you only get so many lantern years and over time that may add up on its own... and later items cost a lot of resources.
 
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Daniel Magnan
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KrispyXIV wrote:
The other aspect I was considering is that Life is Cheap - resources are not. By that I mean that every year, you get plenty of chances to make new survivors. I've not seen any Endeavours that can convert directly to monster resources...

And while 2 extra resources doesn't sound link a lot, you only get so many lantern years and over time that may add up on its own... and later items cost a lot of resources.


But then if you tpk, no resources at all. You need four extra hunts of +2 to make up for one tpk.

I think this is an important discussion. I feel the risk/reward of the extra 2 resources isn't worth it unless the hunt and fight is winnable almost all the time. The question is, when is that point. It seems for a lvl 2 lion anyway, reach and range weapons to mitigate Cunning, and lots of armor are the key.
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Emil Vincent Alonzo
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Yeh what everyone else said already =P. Its basically a risk/reward.. if you can reliably kill a lv2, why not go for it over the lv1.

Also one thing asked about in the main post but not touched upon (I don't think) is that there are definitely resources you can only get from the Lv3 monsters. The one I can think of off the top of my head is that if you want to get Elder Cat Teeth you can only get them from the Lv3 lion (outside of course any other random way from an events or something like that). They aren't part of the White Lion's resource deck so you can't get them from just hunting regular Lv1 Lions at least.

 
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Philip Mongan
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ddmagnan wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
The other aspect I was considering is that Life is Cheap - resources are not. By that I mean that every year, you get plenty of chances to make new survivors. I've not seen any Endeavours that can convert directly to monster resources...

And while 2 extra resources doesn't sound link a lot, you only get so many lantern years and over time that may add up on its own... and later items cost a lot of resources.


But then if you tpk, no resources at all. You need four extra hunts of +2 to make up for one tpk.

I think this is an important discussion. I feel the risk/reward of the extra 2 resources isn't worth it unless the hunt and fight is winnable almost all the time. The question is, when is that point. It seems for a lvl 2 lion anyway, reach and range weapons to mitigate Cunning, and lots of armor are the key.


Also, don't forget that the further back on the hunt board a quarry is the more opportunity you have for fortunate monster specific hunt events to occur. Granted you can get those with a Level 1 with good luck, but there is just a little higher chance the greater the level. To counter that point, there is also a chance of more nastiness that further makes the fight difficult. However, I do find myself getting bored with level 1 quarry (except Phoenix), so it is also about keeping it fresh. Without that constant fear of death something just seems to be missing.
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Daniel Magnan
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roboraygun wrote:
Yeh what everyone else said already =P. Its basically a risk/reward.. if you can reliably kill a lv2, why not go for it over the lv1.

Also one thing asked about in the main post but not touched upon (I don't think) is that there are definitely resources you can only get from the Lv3 monsters. The one I can think of off the top of my head is that if you want to get Elder Cat Teeth you can only get them from the Lv3 lion (outside of course any other random way from an events or something like that). They aren't part of the White Lion's resource deck so you can't get them from just hunting regular Lv1 Lions at least.



I agree you need to fight the lvl3 monsters to get the unique drops to make the best gear and prepare for the end. I guess if nothing else the lvl 2s help you refine your tactics for the lvl 3s.
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Hellena Handbasket
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I've thought about this issue, and there are a couple reasons I can see to go hunting Lvl 2 monsters:

1.) More hunt events. Yes. These things are brutal. They will likely leave you half dead by the time you even get to that lvl 2 monster. That said, the best gear in the game and some of the best character upgrades in the game are all gotten through hunt events. It can be worth the extra risk to get those extra hunt event rolls, especially if you have a bonus to investigate rolls.

2.) More wounds to chew through. Most huntable monsters have one or two hit locations that can upgrade survivors on criticals. While these are generally outweighed by severe injuries, if you can properly control a monster then you can use them to upgrade your characters. A level 2 can be worth going after if you're not quite strong enough to go after the level threes, or have already gathered the level 3 reward items but can't seem to manage to farm them (if it's even possible to really do so).

3.) Gathering hunt events. The mineral and herb gathering hunt events both have potential additional awards if you access them after Overwhelming Darkness. These additional rewards can be pretty amazing (free lantern armor gear or permanent affinities? yes please), but getting through them and their survival costs while also managing to not completely die to a level 3 monster can be hard. Enter the level 2 monsters.


All this said, though, there's a much better target for players looking to do all of the above than a level 2 monster. The Beast of Sorrow, if you can manage to add it to your quarry list, is about as difficult to manage as a level 2 lion (perhaps a tad harder), but rewards level 3 lion rewards, a fighting style of your choice, and a free iron resource. It also gives you access to the nasty, but rather rewarding, legendary Lion AI cards. It gives you all this while also having the placement on the hunt track of a level 3 lion, giving you even more rolls on the hunt track than a level 2 monster would. The only potentially comparable "farmable" monster, in my opinion, is a level 2 phoenix, and only because, once you've built two legendary lion daggers, the base phoenix resources are rather tempting as an alternative to the base lion resources.


Spoiler in case folks don't want to read about a settlement event:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
In my opinion, you should farm level 1 monsters until you get around 40-50 hunt years on your survivors, preferably managing to grab the fist and shield masteries on survivors while fighting the relatively low threat monsters, then alternate level two and level one monster hunts to kill off survivors while fishing for the elder council event for the beast of sorrow and lucky results on the gathering events. Once you do that, gun for the beast of sorrow ad nauseum until you feel ready to start tackling the level three antelope/phoenix or maybe, if you're lucky, the legendary monsters.

That's if you're looking to optimize play, and assuming the Beast of Sorrow being added to the quarry list does, in fact, make it spammable.


Edit: added spoilers because I realized I was being a jerk and potentially ruing peoples' experiences with one of the settlement events.
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Emil Vincent Alonzo
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Zamnath wrote:

In my opinion, you should farm level 1 monsters until you get around 40-50 hunt years on your survivors...


On a quick side tangent... are people past 50 years of hunting in their games??

I'm kind of stuck because ive been playing with a group of friends, trying to enjoy the story and content together, but finding it hard to get time to play all at once. Because of that, im tortuously stuck in the early years... I know I'm not the norm, but are people really all into that many hunts?? Also, doesn't the "final boss" & story event trigger before then except in the case of ... well a certain avian monster's fight messing things up (lol how's that for non spoilers without the use of the spoiler tag =P).

Just curious how far people have gotten in their games =).
 
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Maybe they mean 40-50 years of hunt experience divided among the survivors? So the same 4 survivors going on 10 hunts together would be 40 years worth.
 
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Hellena Handbasket
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roboraygun wrote:
Zamnath wrote:

In my opinion, you should farm level 1 monsters until you get around 40-50 hunt years on your survivors...


On a quick side tangent... are people past 50 years of hunting in their games??

I'm kind of stuck because ive been playing with a group of friends, trying to enjoy the story and content together, but finding it hard to get time to play all at once. Because of that, im tortuously stuck in the early years... I know I'm not the norm, but are people really all into that many hunts?? Also, doesn't the "final boss" & story event trigger before then except in the case of ... well a certain avian monster's fight messing things up (lol how's that for non spoilers without the use of the spoiler tag =P).

Just curious how far people have gotten in their games =).


I'm in Lantern Year 30 something and about to fight the Watcher, actually. Been playing solo the last couple of weekends, so I was able to blast through a campaign.
Spoiler (click to reveal)

It's actually not that hard to hit 50 years worth of hunt experience on your survivors--just fight the phoenix and let it pull its age shenanigans on a group of characters. The trick is going to be hitting the right age range to get the beast of sorrow and then maintaining that age range until you pull the event required for him.
 
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Michael Moll
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Same thing occurred to me as what I'm seeing in the posts. LY2 comes around and I go hunt the Lvl 2 White Lion in my (then solo) game and my entire founding hunt party gets snuffed horribly after only dealing 7 wounds, which 2 were healed......
On a similar note; a Lvl 1 Screaming Antelope managed to snuff the entire party in the game I'm running with my friend on LY 2. I wasn't expecting that. I heard over FB that the Screaming Antelope was "easier" than the White Lion. That's obviously BS.
 
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Philip Mongan
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Okkvltist wrote:
Same thing occurred to me as what I'm seeing in the posts. LY2 comes around and I go hunt the Lvl 2 White Lion in my (then solo) game and my entire founding hunt party gets snuffed horribly after only dealing 7 wounds, which 2 were healed......
On a similar note; a Lvl 1 Screaming Antelope managed to snuff the entire party in the game I'm running with my friend on LY 2. I wasn't expecting that. I heard over FB that the Screaming Antelope was "easier" than the White Lion. That's obviously BS.


Honestly it all depends on the AI cards in the deck. I have had insanely easy SA and WL both, and insanely hard SA and WL all depending on my gear loadout and which AI cards were drawn. I personally find the WL easier, but I also haven't found the SA too difficult unless you have poor wound rolls, hit traps, or hit some of those nasty AI cards.
 
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Daniel Magnan
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Esoba wrote:
Okkvltist wrote:
Same thing occurred to me as what I'm seeing in the posts. LY2 comes around and I go hunt the Lvl 2 White Lion in my (then solo) game and my entire founding hunt party gets snuffed horribly after only dealing 7 wounds, which 2 were healed......
On a similar note; a Lvl 1 Screaming Antelope managed to snuff the entire party in the game I'm running with my friend on LY 2. I wasn't expecting that. I heard over FB that the Screaming Antelope was "easier" than the White Lion. That's obviously BS.


Honestly it all depends on the AI cards in the deck. I have had insanely easy SA and WL both, and insanely hard SA and WL all depending on my gear loadout and which AI cards were drawn. I personally find the WL easier, but I also haven't found the SA too difficult unless you have poor wound rolls, hit traps, or hit some of those nasty AI cards.


Yes, ai build and hl draws make a huge difference in the difficulty of a fight. I've had one hunt be a cake walk and the next on the same creature be a challenge.

I don't think the antelope is easier than the lion, about the same on average. I think the gear load-out needed is different and will make one harder than the other.
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Damien M
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Okkvltist wrote:
Same thing occurred to me as what I'm seeing in the posts. LY2 comes around and I go hunt the Lvl 2 White Lion in my (then solo) game and my entire founding hunt party gets snuffed horribly after only dealing 7 wounds, which 2 were healed......
On a similar note; a Lvl 1 Screaming Antelope managed to snuff the entire party in the game I'm running with my friend on LY 2. I wasn't expecting that. I heard over FB that the Screaming Antelope was "easier" than the White Lion. That's obviously BS.


Yes, because 1 edge case obviously makes everyone else a liar.

I've personally found the antelope easier than the lion.
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Zachary Crispin
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I've found that while the lion and the antelope are of similar difficulty, the antelope is significantly less predictable which has in general resulted in higher losses.
 
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Kyle Currie
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Entice wrote:
Okkvltist wrote:
Same thing occurred to me as what I'm seeing in the posts. LY2 comes around and I go hunt the Lvl 2 White Lion in my (then solo) game and my entire founding hunt party gets snuffed horribly after only dealing 7 wounds, which 2 were healed......
On a similar note; a Lvl 1 Screaming Antelope managed to snuff the entire party in the game I'm running with my friend on LY 2. I wasn't expecting that. I heard over FB that the Screaming Antelope was "easier" than the White Lion. That's obviously BS.


Yes, because 1 edge case obviously makes everyone else a liar.

I've personally found the antelope easier than the lion.


I've certainly never had trouble with the Antelope either.
 
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Michael Moll
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It kept disarming and eating our gear. And that rampage move kept screwing us up as well.
 
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Mike M
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ddmagnan wrote:
I think this is an important discussion. I feel the risk/reward of the extra 2 resources isn't worth it unless the hunt and fight is winnable almost all the time. The question is, when is that point. It seems for a lvl 2 lion anyway, reach and range weapons to mitigate Cunning, and lots of armor are the key.

Reach and range don't help with cunning. Cunning happens at the end of his turn. So he draws a card, walks over, hits you, and then he drags you off to a corner to feed and leaves everyone far behind.
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Aaron Ware
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roboraygun wrote:
On a quick side tangent... are people past 50 years of hunting in their games??

I'm kind of stuck because ive been playing with a group of friends, trying to enjoy the story and content together, but finding it hard to get time to play all at once. Because of that, im tortuously stuck in the early years... I know I'm not the norm, but are people really all into that many hunts?? Also, doesn't the "final boss" & story event trigger before then except in the case of ... well a certain avian monster's fight messing things up (lol how's that for non spoilers without the use of the spoiler tag =P).

Just curious how far people have gotten in their games =).


Saviors can quickly ramp up the hunt experience for a settlement if you're lucky enough to produce them.
 
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Initially I dismissed level two hunts as the +2 monster resources just wasn’t worth it. Fight level 1 or 3.

But most of my resources come from outside the Aftermath. The Antelope has an abundance of critical HL’s that give resources. The longer the fight goes on the more resources you get. You also need to make sure the monster is around long enough for you to gain your weapon proficiency hits and gather the terrain resources.

As mentioned Herb Gathering and Mineral Gathering benefit from being placed passed the O.D. so you have to travel, and the Hunt Events do bring some unique and spectacular rewards so you need to slog through those.

Monster fights are unpredictable. You can have a monster downed in a single turn or it can drag on for 20 or 30 depending on the card draw and your gear setup. That’s what makes this game neat.

But on your first few playthroughs just fight level one stuff to find out how the game, gear and monsters work. Once you have that knowledge you can plan in advance what resources and gear you will need at which Lantern Year.

Conclusion: Don’t do it for the +2 Aftermath Rewards do it for other reasons, and there are many.

Phoenix
 
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