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Vast: The Crystal Caverns» Forums » General

Subject: How To Win, as the cave rss

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Jo Bartok
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Interaction leads to Immersion.
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In our 4 player game (no thief) it seemed like all characters had quite a good chance to win. The knight was on low health but high grit, the dragon was on low health but high wakeful. The goblin had a ton of secret cards and some of his tribes were scattered some build up. So there was a lot of tension who would win. But not the case. Still 5 pieces to place was one issue. The other was that the cave could not plan to place crystal tokens and they were all around and the collapsing would take a ton of turns. It was not even close. More like:

Every Player can win within 1-2 turns if they do not balance each other out.
The Cave could win maybe in 6-10 turns.

So what can you recommend to do about it?

Right now it feels like the cave is seriously underpowered. All 3 were just collecting treasures and hurting themselves. Even rockslide was easy to get around. Only when the game was close for the others, the cave had a ton of treasures out to draw omens to actually be able to do something.

But I could be off. Right now I consider, independent of who it is, to let the cave play on easy while everyone else plays standard, for next game.

Also adding the thief doesn't sound like the cave would get stronger, but even weaker.

The trick question is: Why should you leave treasures or crystal tokens if its always beneficial to smash / grab / get them. It seemed like there was no easy way to build up the cave and have secure treasure spots. Always would the goblin and dragon come for it in dark tiles.

Then there is no control over the crystals really, and the "be honest on how to play the crystals" thing sounded meh.
Are you placing the tiles that gets into play through the dragon/knight exploring randomly from the stack, or slowly from your hand? Do you take a look at those afterwards or do you remember everything?
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Lawrence
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There was another attempt at this discussion here:Strategy Tips for the Cave

The cave is my favorite role, partially because it's probably the most difficult to play right. The cave doesn't really do any spectacularly showy stuff, so it doesn't appear as dynamic as the knight or dragon. Every tile needs to be carefully considered. Creating isolated pockets helps minimize the effectiveness of things like the dragon's scorch and makes it more difficult for the knight to get to. I love using terrain to do this (most especially the bridge and magma).

You only have to place the Crystal first when it's the cave's turn to put 1 tile down in the Shaping phase. When filling up empty spaces around a revealed tile, it's your call what you place. The Cave rules specifically state:

Quote:
(Tiles placed during other players’ turns do not have to be Crystal tiles.)


Any tiles that need to be placed are done by the Cave. I usually don't have a problem remembering the important tiles - usually Crystals and Treasures. I'll peek every so often at an odd tile every so often during another player's turn.
 
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Lautzy
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Only being forced to play crystal tiles on the cave's turn phase is HUGE! Played for the first time last night and 2 of my first 3 tiles to be placed were crystals. Later on we learned that this gives the dragon a very easy way to surface immediately next to the entrance cry

Loved the game though! And the cave seems like a very interesting role to play. There were so many things that I could have done better in retrospect.
 
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Michael Peterson
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ionas wrote:
Right now it feels like the cave is seriously underpowered. All 3 were just collecting treasures and hurting themselves. Even rockslide was easy to get around. Only when the game was close for the others, the cave had a ton of treasures out to draw omens to actually be able to do something.


The cave definitely starts the game slowly, since the cave board isn't large enough to create safe spaces from the players. Also, as you mention, the other players are focusing on building themselves up. As the cave early, you basically have two options. One is to specifically aid the knight. This seems counterintuitive, but having a stronger knight makes the dragon player have to be a lot more cautious and means that the Goblin player can't afford to spend as many turns taking your treasures. Then, when you place treasures in the dark, do it so that if the dragon takes it, they're risking an attack from the knight, and if the knight takes it, they're risking attack from the goblins. That'll slow everyone down. A stronger early knight also gives the other players a focus ("stop the knight!"), which should help take attention off of the cave.

The other option is to use past plunder to put out enough treasure that some will survive until your next turn no matter what the players do. As you saw in your game, once the economy starts rolling, the cave's game goes much easier. The key is to just make that happen somewhat sooner.

 
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