I've played 2 games of this thus far and I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, even though I haven't quite seen all the characters or items.
So there is still a lot of exciting stuff I want to do in this game, but I would like to know what kind of early-late game strategies you guys have developed to help you gain a head start and use your resources wisely.
Here are a couple of things I think are good ideas from what I've experienced.
1. No matter what hero you have, buy a cheap ally for 1-3g first thing. If you don't have any healing abilities, it helps to get a nice ally that provides healing or dmg prevention. If you're a magic user you probably want 2 allies.
2. The first item you should get is probably dmg prevention (such as padded leather armor) especially if you can't kill enemies in one round.
3. At first place most of your stat levels into your primary attacking stat, then depending on how often you need a second stat (either for defense, attacking, or tests) place a few in that stat or split between your two remaining stats
4. Never use an ability or item that costs exhaustion unless you really need to
Those are a few I thought of off the top of my head, please fill me in on more detailed tips or tactics that might help me and my friends out.
I'm also curious about Silohuette's ability; Can I use that ability more than once per combat? So round 1, I could attack in ranged/melee and again in Round 2 or until I had no more stamina?
Also, If anyone has any variants or ideas to help speed the game up, that would be greatly appreciated!
I have nothing wrong with your first two assertions, damage prevention and meat shields are often the key to an early jump to yellow.
On the topic of the third contention, that's really a case-by-case basis. Mad Carthos (or Mok I think is the other one) should probably boost mind even at first, as their zeroes in that trait can be crippling even with an ally to absorb the ranged attack (pre-combat tests, for example.) There are certainly other examples where the ability to endure or avoid damage can be more beneficial that the ability to inflict it. That's really a judgement call based upon how the game is shaping and your equip. A strong melee like Modrog carrying a lightning mace can often forego a round of two of melee early game even at base stats.
On the subject of the fourth point, I'd disagree. The exhaustion abilities are often necessary to use to jump to yellow as quickly as possible, as they often simulate an additional weapon or ability (certainly Red Scorpion comes to mind, Runewitch, Varikas, One fist, I think you'll see my point.) Exhaustion is easy to replenish, and the adventure tokens aren't all that far away from each other if you plan your route. That said, I would be careful with Carthos' ability, the wound is a lot harder to recover, and, as a mage, he's vulnerable to begin with.
On the subject of allies, I cannot endorse Burning Priest, Rune Seeker or Acolyte of Flame enough, they're insanely useful early game, and I usually go for them first if they crop up in the early seed. Damage prevention, roll boosting, and healing are three vital tools for prolonging your periods between town stops, and having any of those allies I've found makes it easier to save up for more powerful weapons by freeing up gold from healing. The armor and weapons are all pretty straightforward, as is the armor.
Stay around Tamalir if possible, two of the green events seed free market items there, an early game RunePlate or Touch of Death (as extreme examples) can really swing things. Obv. don't sacrifice experience for the odds of those cards coming up, but if you can stick around.
Avoid the blasted Assassin if you can. I've lost track of the numbers of guys I've had shot down by that #$#$&...
Never be afraid to run, kind of an obvious statement, though.
Other people's mileage will vary, and I probably overlooked a lot of things.
Silhoutte's (can't spell that word) ability can be used each round, at leasst that's the way we always play it, until you can't afford it.