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Catacombs: Crypt of Shaurath» Forums » General

Subject: Has anyone tried this campaign? rss

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Andrew Gross
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The rules say this is challenging, but man... five level two rooms and the Catacomb Lord's Lair and no healer. How is that even possible?
 
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Christian Busch

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I think you need to stack the hero side. Try Raven Empress, Fire Mage, Forest Sprite and Vampire Hero. All of them start with abilities or natural attacks that can position well and strike multiple foes. The Sprite should heal all every room and the Vamp hero should use his vamp sword often.

The Crypt room hopefully yields something useful and then you pour all your money into the Altar to make sure you get something that will get you through the end.

I haven't tried it yet but that is the approach I would take. If that is too hard, you can always stack the heroes even further by ignoring the hero selection limitation and grabbing Raven, Larra, Estie, and Elani (with Shadowlythe Fist). Even those level 2 rooms can be cleared down to minimal threats with that party. Still not easy but could be quite fun.
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(I haven't tried the campaign yet, but Christian's post sounds like a strong plan.)
 
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Andrew Gross
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space monkey mafia wrote:
I think you need to stack the hero side. Try Raven Empress, Fire Mage, Forest Sprite and Vampire Hero. All of them start with abilities or natural attacks that can position well and strike multiple foes. The Sprite should heal all every room and the Vamp hero should use his vamp sword often.


But this party isn't even capable of winning very often in the base game, which has only a single level 2 room and a healer.

I haven't found the sprite to be particularly useful. She needs to use her turn to cast Heal All, which means she's giving up doing damage, which leaves a monster alive for an extra turn. And at least in the first couple of rooms, not all four heroes are going to be injured, since the Overseer is going to be trying to focus fire on one or two Heroes, so the Heal All is really "Heal one or two heroes". I think on average the Heroes are better off with someone who just deals more damage, but even if I'm wrong and the Sprite's healing ability is more useful than extra damage, I don't think it can be that much of an advantage-- maybe a sleight one, but not a particularly big deal.

The Vampire sword can only be used once per room, and the Overseer is probably going to focus fire on other heroes, leaving the Vampire uninjured for as long as it makes sense, in order to keep him from getting any use of his Vampire sword. So in reality, I think he's probably going to heal 3 or 4 points of health over the course of the game. That's a single turn from a single monster in all of the level 2 rooms.

Quote:

I haven't tried it yet but that is the approach I would take. If that is too hard, you can always stack the heroes even further by ignoring the hero selection limitation and grabbing Raven, Larra, Estie, and Elani (with Shadowlythe Fist). Even those level 2 rooms can be cleared down to minimal threats with that party. Still not easy but could be quite fun.


I hadn't even noticed the restriction on which heroes to choose from, I'd certainly disregard it.

I'll be really interested to read about someone trying it. I'm not going to even think about attempting it until the Heroes are winning a reasonable percentage of the time in the base game; so far, they haven't won once.
 
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Christian Busch

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That is surprising that you feel that those 4 heroes can hardly get through the regular game. They are all stronger than anything in the base game. The Sprite is actually quite amazing: once per room she heals everyone (that is 300-1200 gold savings per room), she does an Elven Arrow shot every turn. She is positional and ranged so no monster can hide from her and can heal someone up more if they are getting picked on.

The Fire Mage has almost the same attack as the Sprite but replaces an arrow with a fireball which means you are more likely to hit multiple monsters or use it to position. She only has it 3 times a room but by the 4th round, it shouldn't matter. Save the critical fireball for the level 2 room or the Catacomb Lord and summon that Antient in the Catacomb Lord room for the win.

Raven Empress is crowd control master with 2 melee chain shots. Summon the Antient with the Flame one the Fire Mage cast in the Catacomb Lord room and it will be hard for any Catacomb Lord to last long.

Regulus? He is ultra positional as well. No monster will be able to hide from him. The Vampire sword heals but also gives him the ultimate flexibility of either critical hitting something (by targeting the monster twice) or crowd control like the Empress.

In the regular set up, the Overseer can focus fire with abandon. The issue is that until you hit a level 2 room, this hero team, attacking aggressively like my battle school videos recommend, will leave only a few monsters alive in each room. Sprite needs to wait until the room is down to one monster, then heal all before the board is cleared. The Overseer will have a tough time hurting this group unless they stack the deck and use nothing but monster metre rooms and poison monsters. Even then, this groups excels at taking out a lot of weak enemies, which is what poison monsters typically are.
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Sometimes it feels like people who claim this game is horribly difficult aren't playing the same game. Suggesting that the party Christian recommends wouldn't be tremendously powerful in the base game is one of those moments.

Granted, the Soloth campaign is still much tougher so they might run into problems there... but in the base game, that party should waltz through to the Catacomb Lord.
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Andrew Gross
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newuser wrote:
Sometimes it feels like people who claim this game is horribly difficult aren't playing the same game. Suggesting that the party Christian recommends wouldn't be tremendously powerful in the base game is one of those moments.

Granted, the Soloth campaign is still much tougher so they might run into problems there... but in the base game, that party should waltz through to the Catacomb Lord.


The party would easily win if it was playing against 1st or 2nd edition monsters. In third edition, the monsters received more of a power up than the heroes did.

I've played a composition very close to the one Christian suggested 4 times in the last week, twice as the Catacomb Lord and twice on the Heroes side (the main difference being we value Lara very highly and she was always in the party). The only game that was even a contest was one of the games where I gave the Heroes an extra 2 gold each (8 total) at the beginning, and instead of using the Merchant they used the Inn, and got pretty lucky by randomly drawing the Phoenix feather and searching the deck twice to grab two of the items that give 4 chain shots, winding up with over 40 gold's worth of items plus some healing done (with the Merchant, you average around 19-20 gold's worth of items and no healing done). Oh, in addition to giving them the extra gold, I also intentionally never selected any monsters that did poison damage, which is a pretty severe handicap. In that game, they made it to the Catacomb Lord's room, but still died horribly.

I think I can wipe that party 90% of the time if they arrive at the level 2 room with, say, only 6 points of damage, distributed however the Heroes like, and an average selection of items from the Merchant. Obviously if there's a big gap in dexterity skills that could change, but if there's a big discrepancy in skill we're not really talking about game balance anymore.

It is of course possible that I am wrong, but I've played all 3 editions, not just locally, but at conventions like Origins and Gencon and BGGCon. I don't think that means I'm a great player, but I do think it implies that I'm not a victim of "group think", that I'm not overlooking some great strategy, and that I'm not grossly mis-estimating what the distribution of dexterity skills is like.
 
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Congrats.

It still sounds like you must be playing a different game than I am, because your descriptions simply don't resonate with what I've seen.

I stand by my comment that the party described should easily reach the Catacomb Lord in any normal game. (Note that I'm not saying they'll necessarily win - the last two rooms are always where the challenge arrives - but that getting to that point should be a cake walk.)


Edit: Just one other note, I'm still shocked that you don't find the Sprite useful with her high mobility, ranged shot, and free healing for all heroes every room. But hey, what do I know.
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