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Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters» Forums » General

Subject: this game needs a clock rss

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Steve Shockley
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Like several other folks, I've come to the conclusion that the problem with this game isn't the randomness or the lightness of the tactical decision making, but rather the lack of tension and urgency.

You have to get the gems to win, but since there is no time limit you have as long as you need to do so. This allows you to clean up the board at leisure, thus ensuring that six haunts never appear.

I feel like this game could be saved with some kind of timer, whether a turn limit or perhaps a "finish before x number of reshuffles" requirement (although that would probably be too random, as reshuffles can easily come up on your first or second card draw.)

Just wondering if anyone feels the same and perhaps has some cool ideas for a timing mechanism (I was even thinking about something similar to the threat track from Runebound, which has an element of randomness tempered by an increasing probability to trigger game end as time drags on.)

Thanks for reading!

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Kevin B. Smith
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I have only played the Ghostbusters: Protect the Barrier Game edition, but my understanding is that it is basically the same game. And I only played once, but I have also watched a runthrough or two.

With a new ghost being placed on almost every player's turn, they pile up. You can't possibly remove one ghost per player turn...I would think an average of one every 5 turns might be a more realistic expectation. With ghost accumulating, so will haunts. That's your clock.
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Steve Shockley
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The problem is, you can completely ignore getting gems and focus on keeping haunts under control. The lack of a time limit means you can take as long as you like fighting ghosts and haunts, thereby keeping defeat at bay.

Put another way -- yes, the accumulation of ghosts is a clock, but it's a clock you can turn backwards as often as you like with no penalty.

Edit - should have added that while you do have to eventually get all the gems to win, there is no sense of urgency to do so. So you can grab a couple, fight ghosts for as long as you need to, grab a couple more, fight ghosts, etc. I felt no tension in my games at all.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Magnus Maximus wrote:
The problem is, you can completely ignore getting gems and focus on keeping haunts under control. The lack of a time limit means you can take as long as you like fighting ghosts and haunts, thereby keeping defeat at bay.
But that assumes you can get ahead of the ghosts. You would have to eliminate at least roughly one ghost per player turn, since roughly one ghost per turn gets added. Even if you're always in position to fight a ghost, you will often fail. So from what I have seen, you couldn't get ahead.

Am I missing something?
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Silver Bowen
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peakhope wrote:
Magnus Maximus wrote:
The problem is, you can completely ignore getting gems and focus on keeping haunts under control. The lack of a time limit means you can take as long as you like fighting ghosts and haunts, thereby keeping defeat at bay.
But that assumes you can get ahead of the ghosts. You would have to eliminate at least roughly one ghost per player turn, since roughly one ghost per turn gets added. Even if you're always in position to fight a ghost, you will often fail. So from what I have seen, you couldn't get ahead.

Am I missing something?

Huh. I've actually found this game to be fairly difficult to win, for exactly the reason peakhope listed. An average of 1 ghost a turn plus an average of one kill every two turns means the ghosts pile up. If you manage to move in pairs, you can get an average of one ghost a turn defeated for a couple turns, but moving either figure breaks that math back down (like to another room), and the random door locking makes it difficult to keep a team together and/or get to somewhere usable. While getting ahead is only mathematically improbably, staying ahead long enough for the game to lack tension is very unlikely.
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Steve Shockley
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I can obviously only state my own experience with the game, which is around 6 or 7 plays with two hunters.

You guys are generally correct about the one ghost per turn thing, with the exception of drawing the reshuffle card and rolling a 6 for movement -- in both cases, no ghost is added.

What I found was that it was better to wait until you had a haunt or two in the house. You need two hunters of course, but once you unhaunt the room, the room is completely cleared.

By the way, I'm talking about the basic game.

I am going to give the game more plays. Maybe my experiences were just atypical. I definitely want to like this game, because it's very cool in so many ways.

For another take on the issue I am talking about, check out the "house rules for grown ups" thread in the variants section. The poster there had a similar perception, and probably articulates it better than I do.

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Kevin B. Smith
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Huh. I'm interested to hear more.

Even if it takes only 2 turns to position the hunters in the room with a haunting (best case), and then the first attempt is successful (best case), that's 3 turns to remove the equivalent of 3 ghosts. More typically it would take 3 or more turns to position the hunters, and about 2 turns to remove it. That would be 5 turns to clear the equivalent of 3 ghosts.

It sounds like a losing proposition, but I haven't actually tried it myself, so maybe it would work somehow.
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Eric Park
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Check out the Ghost Event Die & Ghost Spawner in the variants rules thread for a harder game.

As for a clock you could count each round of moves (once all players have had a turn each) and place a round limit.

Another method of a time limit is the "Head Haunting". See variants thread for full rule. This sees a Haunting start in and move along the hallway to eventually exit the house when players would lose.

The Head Haunting advances one space when the player defeats a Ghost/s or Haunting.

This should avoid the idea that players simple mop up ghosts then collect the Jewels easily.
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John Gjertsen
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I have a feeling that those who think the game is easy are probably overlooking some crucial rule, as I've seen some plays on YouTube do. You roll the white die every turn, with no exception, whether you intend to move or not, whether you are outside the house or not. 5/6 of the turns you are drawing a ghost card. There is an implicit time element as it's impossible to stay ahead of the ghosts. It is a cascade that usually goes really bad crazy fast and makes the ending fairly intense.
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Dan Renwick
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On GameNight Brian said that after a certain number of games, adults will work out a strategy for the basic game and it'll become less challenging. He created the advanced rules to keep adults challenged and interested.

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Steve Shockley
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gjertsen wrote:
I have a feeling that those who think the game is easy are probably overlooking some crucial rule, as I've seen some plays on YouTube do. You roll the white die every turn, with no exception, whether you intend to move or not, whether you are outside the house or not. 5/6 of the turns you are drawing a ghost card. There is an implicit time element as it's impossible to stay ahead of the ghosts. It is a cascade that usually goes really bad crazy fast and makes the ending fairly intense.

I just read in another thread that when you play with 2 players, you are supposed to use four hunters. I was only using two. So maybe that was my problem? I'll be getting this out again to play the correct way so we'll find out I guess.
 
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Bruce Kaplan
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Too easy you say? Get the expansion. It is tougher to beat the ghosts/haunts & you have to get the treasures out in numerical order.
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mortego
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I haven't played the advanced game yet but it looks like it can be tougher to beat due to closed blue or green doors and 2 added "draw-more-cards & shuffle" cards, two or three depending on which one you draw.

The blocked doors stay in play until another one is drawn (and it may be the same color!) or if shuffle card is drawn. In my opinion this can wreak havoc on the players.
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Zac

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We play this a lot with our kids and with other adults and find that we loose about 40% of the plays. After seeing other people play I think one of our interpretations of the rules may make the game harder and thus more enjoyable as an adult. We always play that the red symbol on the ghost fighting dice does not get rid of green ghosts, this makes haunts pop up more often. Also I’ve always wondered about the turn sequence, the version I have says you move, then collect, then fight. However, it also says if a ghost is in a room with a jewel than you must fight it first. We have always thought this meant that you have to forfeit your collect phase for that turn. Both of these certainly make the game tough.
 
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Emilien M
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Owlstrike wrote:
We always play that the red symbol on the ghost fighting dice does not get rid of green ghosts.

However, it also says if a ghost is in a room with a jewel than you must fight it first. We have always thought this meant that you have to forfeit your collect phase for that turn. Both of these certainly make the game tough.

The rules in english are clear on these points (even if weirdly written). I initially read the french ones and was confused on some points. Your first part is correct, the second is not:

6. Fighting Ghosts
If you end your move in a room with a Ghost Figure, you must fight it. To fight a Ghost Figure, you roll 1 BATTLE DIE (the die with symbols only). If you get the Ghost Icon, you may remove 1 Ghost Figure from the room.
NOTE: If you roll a Haunting or a Blank, take no actions and there is no penalty.

4. Picking up Treasure Jewels
If you end your move in a room with a Treasure Jewel, you may pick it up and place it in the back-pack of your Treasure Hunter Mover. If there is a ghost in the room, you must also fight it.
 
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