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Dungeons & Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil Board Game» Forums » Rules

Subject: A few questions after 2 games... rss

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Sebastien Meilleur
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Sainte-Julie
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Ok, this game is becoming frustrating. If they want us to die in 4 turns I think they have succeeded. Which leads me to these questions because I MUST have understood something wrong.

Please note that I play this game solo so I play all five heroes.

1. Encounter cards. Is it me or these things are the reason the game is tough? Give me monsters, not encounters! If I understand correctly every time I play a hero and do not reveal a new tile OR if I revealed a tile with a black arrow I pick up an encounter card? That's pretty mad because it destroyed my game in 4 tiles so I just want to make sure I get this right.

2. Rage of imix. It says place a token and everybody takes 2 damage. Does the token stay there? When is the dame dealt after when it stays there? When a hero walks in? At the end of his turn? At the beginning?

In the game I just abandoned I revealed only 4 tiles and already 4 out of 5 heroes were at 3 or less HPs (only met 1 monster which didn't cause any damages). I must be misunderstanding something about the way encounters work.

Thanks for your clarifications!
 
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Jan Bárta
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Hello Sebastien,
I think that there might be one big issue that many people miss. Prior to the beginning of play, you have to separate the decks into two piles. The ones with grey / silver set symbol in the lower right part are the starting deck (normal difficulty), whereas the cards with gold coloured set symbol should not be in the Encounter / Monster / Treasure deck. They are also distinguished by their number (150-200 I think) and some background image of the set symbol.
You then add these cards during the campaign, progressively increasing the difficulty of the campaign. It is written somewhere in the rulebook, but it really should have been stated in bold large letters at many places, not just the one. :-D

Otherwise, yes - you draw an Encounter card whenever your Hero did not explore or explored a tile with black triangle.
Rage of Imix token stays on the tile until the end of the adventure. That is, you place it and then, each Hero on a tile with a Rage of Imix token (wherever it is, up to 4 tiles in Dungeon - ouch) loses 2 life. So, this damage is dealt if and only if there was a Rage of Imix Encounter card drawn and played. That is, usually in the first part of the Villain Phase.
The third issue might be related to the Advanced cards (see above). And believe me, you are not the only one who (probably) missed that.

I hope this helps
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Redford
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First thing to note. Towards the beginning of the rulebook, it mentions you're only supposed to use a certain set of cards for the treasure, monster, and encounter decks (something like cards 1-144, the cards whose numbers in gold should not be used). As you go through different quests, it will instruct you which cards to add and remove as you go forward. I don't know if you did this already, but this is often a cause of the game being too hard at the beginning.

1 - You have it correct with how encounters work. But if you did not remove the cards above, be sure to do so as the toughest encounters won't be in the deck for you to experience yet. Remember also that you can spend 5 XP to discard an encounter with no effect.

2 - With the Rage of Imix, you place a token on the tile of the current hero. Only the characters on that tile (or perhaps adjacent tiles as well, I can't remember) will take damage. From that point on you leave the token there but it will not give damage again until another Rage of Imix encounter card is drawn. You'll place a new token down, than any characters within range of either token will take damage. And of course, you'll leave both tokens there in case you draw a third Rage of Imix encounter (there are several copies in the deck).

Hope this helps!
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Aron R
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Its often less dangerous to explore an edge each turn. yes, you'll trigger a new monster every turn, but you have less of a chance of getting a new encounter, which as you've seen can be brutal. Many of the monsters (especially in the beginning) aren't that tough.
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Tony C
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Rage of Imix should stay on that tile. You apply damage when its placed, AND next time you draw a Rage of Imix card. IIRC, the card says something like "Place a Rage of Imix token on current tile, all characters on a tile with Rage token take 2 damage." So they're like booby traps that activate upon initial placement, and will later activate again. (So stay off those tiles!)

Yes - if you don't place a tile (explore), OR you place one with a black arrow, that character draws an Encounter card (unless there's a card or skill that prevents it). Purely anecdotal but I feel the encounters are harder too than in Ravenloft, say.

That said to have 4, of 5 characters down that low that quick is maybe possible but some amazingly bad luck.
 
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Sebastien Meilleur
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Sainte-Julie
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Thanks for all your replies. It confirmed my worst fears I guess

Yes I did separate the deck according to the rules (1-145). I guess I just had very bad luck.

I'll give the game a few more chances. Reviews are great so I guess my luck will change.
 
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Daniel Reid
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Chiming in to uselessly echo what the previous comments say. Also, to commiserate.

The first couple plays (solo first, then with a vict...friend), I managed to overlook the text mentioning the deck separation rule. We somehow did survive, but only just. I mean, we ran away like scaredy cats. Do you have cats? Ever see what happens when you drop a pot or something in the kitchen? We ran like that. Ears back, tails fluffed...because we had maybe 3 hp between us, no abilities left and no confidence that we could take anymore fights. We somehow survived the traps that remained, and made it out.

After that session it was clear that we were missing something because it seemed just a bit too hard. If we had drawn a little less fortunately from that full deck, we would have been nothing more than gross puddles left for other adventurers to step in, like yourself....no offense.
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Aron R
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One other thing...did you remember to use healing surges? its been a while since I've played it, but I recall that it was difficult to find in the rules how many healing surges you were supposed to have available. if I hadn't previously played some of the other adventure path games, I might nothave been aware of them at all. And they make a big difference in survivability of each mission.
 
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Luke
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Silverthornn wrote:
Reviews are great so I guess my luck will change.


I really hope so! That sounds like a rough game.

FWIW, down the road, there are a bunch of easy ways to mod the encounter deck if you find it's lessening your enjoyment. Because in answer to your question, yes the encounters are why it's hard. Or rather, where the time pressure comes from.

I've been playing these games for years, love them all, and eventually just started taking out all the "Arbitrary Damage!" cards.

It does make the game easier obviously, but not in a way that I think makes the game worse. I too prefer losing to monsters than to a red card that reads +8:3/miss 1

So I tend to add in more monsters using the tokens from Castle Ravenloft.



All that said, with all the random elements, sometimes there's a game where you're pretty much done before you get very far at all.

I find those to be rare though.
 
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Chris Lawson
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Yateley
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I would also suggest that you have a look at some YouTube play-through videos as that can be a good way to ensure you are playing correctly.

I highly recommend Black Belt Gaming. Robert does a very good job considering it's a blind play-through. I recommend any of the videos on his YouTube channel.

ToEE Adv 1, part 1
ToEE Adv 1, part 2
ToEE Adv 1, part 3
ToEE Adv 1, part 4
ToEE Adv 1, part 5
ToEE Adv 1, part 6

ToEE Adv 2, part 1
etc.
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Luke
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To expand on that a little,

I have found that games tend to be more interesting and more like traditional tabletop D&D when I remove certain cards.

Red cards: cards that just do a random attack. These feel too clunky to me, and it's an extremely unsatisfying way to lose a hero.

Rolling Boulder: Just because it's irritating to move around.

In Wrath of Ashardalon I take out whatever those cage cards are. Because they slow the game down.

The basic guidelines I use: Is this an interesting challenge or a dull one? Does this slow the game down? Does this have weird mechanics that I don't want to deal with?

Anyway, the game is part of a system, and that system is intended to be manipulated. Salt to taste.
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Bucho Bucho
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Silverthornn wrote:

1. Encounter cards. Is it me or these things are the reason the game is tough? Give me monsters, not encounters! If I understand correctly every time I play a hero and do not reveal a new tile OR if I revealed a tile with a black arrow I pick up an encounter card? That's pretty mad because it destroyed my game in 4 tiles so I just want to make sure I get this right.

You've got it right.

Silverthornn wrote:

2. Rage of imix. It says place a token and everybody takes 2 damage. Does the token stay there? When is the dame dealt after when it stays there? When a hero walks in? At the end of his turn? At the beginning?

The token stays, damage is only dealt when a rage of imix is drawn.

Silverthornn wrote:

In the game I just abandoned I revealed only 4 tiles and already 4 out of 5 heroes were at 3 or less HPs (only met 1 monster which didn't cause any damages). I must be misunderstanding something about the way encounters work.

Thanks for your clarifications!

I'd assume you're doing the rules right. The problem new players tend to have is they think this is a dungeon crawl. It's not, it's a dungeon sprint!
 
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Dastardly Knave
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Other people might not find this is the case but I find the game easier with less heroes. When you are playing with 4 heroes, hero one takes a turn. there are then 3 times that encounter cards can be played, and 3 times that monsters could be placed (and attack) before the next turn. This should be balanced by the attacks being spread among each character but if an encounter attacks each hero on a tile then four encounters between one hero phase and the next is hard!

Try with two characters and see if you do any better.
 
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GrandPop McPopenstrudel
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Silverthornn wrote:
I'll give the game a few more chances. Reviews are great so I guess my luck will change.


Few things from me.

As well as knowing when and which encounters to cancel, I don't think people pay enough heed to monster placement during the Villain phase. There is usually a few ways to satisfy the monster's action and some are a lot better than others in terms of exactly which square the thing ends up on. Consistently getting monsters in the right place is the difference between winning and losing.

Not saying you're not paying attention with this but it's something I've learned the hard way.

Quite often I fear the early game the most, since if you're slow to kill off monsters or get a string of weak ones you are obviously open to getting wrecked by a chain of bad luck encounters. Mid and late game I'm usually confident I'm going to win bar some unfortunate chain of events (doppelgangers are quite effective at starting the ball rolling on ruining my end game tactics with their special attribute).

These games can be quite difficult but that's a lot of the appeal IMO, even when you lose. Ultimately if you're playing the campaign you should be able to 'grind' the early adventures even if you're losing over and over since you keep gold and items (unless the game steals them back from you, of course )

For bosses, try to keep the umberhulk claws if they turn up. 3 dmg (+1 with ranger favoured enemy) and they'll be gone in no time. Which is what you want since those encounters will still be happening every player turn!

 
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Arto Hietanen
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blakeow wrote:
When you are playing with 4 heroes, hero one takes a turn. there are then 3 times that encounter cards can be played, and 3 times that monsters could be placed (and attack) before the next turn. This should be balanced by the attacks being spread among each character but if an encounter attacks each hero on a tile then four encounters between one hero phase and the next is hard!

One thing that is maybe counter intuitive for a new player is that you should not keep multiple heroes on a same tile. Of course it cannot be avoided at dungeon entrance, but otherwise it is wise to stay close to each other but still not be on the same tile. This helps to diminish the hurt caused by AoE encounters or monster attacks.
 
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GrandPop McPopenstrudel
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I just played Price of Fire (adventure 6 if I recall correctly).

I won the game, despite the fact that within the first four tiles I'd drawn two that were triple monster tiles, most being 3 XP monsters. I welcomed this onslaught with open arms (these tiles have no encounter - bonus)! and had anywhere between 10 and 15 XP sitting in the bank until I triggered the boss encounter. I explored tile edges at pace with up to two surviving monsters from the previous turns still on the board in order to reduce encounters (chance of a white triangle).

I have no problem burning daily powers that attack multiple monsters in the early game to get into a comfortable position like that.

So far I've lost twice in the campaign. I'm of the opinion that adventure 2 is the most difficult. You're not really powered up yet and the air elemental, despite being easy to hit, can drag on long enough for some nasty encounters to build up.

Anyway,just some recent experience there to give you an idea what can happen.





 
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Clay Meyer
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Brandon
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I, too, commiserate with the OP. Have played twice so far with my son. The first play, we overlooked the card ranks and played with the full deck. Mistake. We caught the full brunt of Elemental evil right in our groins. The next play, we got the rules right, but had a cursed die, apparently. On my last attack roll, I needed a 5 or better to hit. I rolled a 4. Then I drew a Rage of Imix Encounter card and ended it all.

Depressing. But... Since this was just Adventure 1 and we only got 4 tiles in, there's lots of game left that we haven't seen. So it's​ still new enough to draw us back in.

I'm definitely going to try the tactic mentioned earlier of exploring whenever possible, since the odds of drawing an Encounter card are lower. I think that would help.
 
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Alan Stewart
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willsdaddy21 wrote:
I'm definitely going to try the tactic mentioned earlier of exploring whenever possible, since the odds of drawing an Encounter card are lower. I think that would help.
Yeah, that's the basic thing that you've got to realize about this game. It is NOT a dungeon crawler. You don't carefully move through the dungeon, cleaning everything out as you go. It's a mad dash to burn through the tiles until you get the goal tile and then hopefully you can finish off the boss quickly, before it finishes you off.
 
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Clay Meyer
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EverywhereGames wrote:
Yeah, that's the basic thing that you've got to realize about this game. It is NOT a dungeon crawler. You don't carefully move through the dungeon, cleaning everything out as you go. It's a mad dash to burn through the tiles until you get the goal tile and then hopefully you can finish off the boss quickly, before it finishes you off.


On one hand, I would love it if they put that statement in the rulebook. I think it would've helped us with our expectations and assumptions going in. On the other hand, I think it's good to be able to figure that out on your own, and settle in to how the game wants you to play it, not vice-versa.

 
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