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Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island» Forums » General

Subject: How does RC compare to Eldritch Horror? rss

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James C
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My group loves EH. The big plus is that it plays 8. The big minus is that the theme is a little darker than we'd like.

From what I've seem of it, RC appears very similar to EH. I find the theme more attractive, but the 4-player limit is a drawback.

Other than those two obvious differences, how does the game compare? Given that we already have EH, is it more of the same? If not....

Is the theme more immersive? Less immersive?
Is the game play more fiddly? Less fiddly?
More luck driven? Less luck driven?
Etc.

In other words, what are the appreciable differences, if any, between the two games?

Thanks!
 
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Christian K
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If tou are used to playing EH with 8, you will probably find RC extremely short
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S. R.
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It's a fearful thing, to fall into the Hands of the Living God!
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I was about to write a lenghty analysis of the differences, but realized that this would fill pages. And ain't nobody got time for that!
The games are both coops, but apart from that, and dice rolling (in very, VERY different quantities) and cards (for different purposes) they are nothing alike.

In EH you will always roll dice to succeed at a task, and try to mitigate your luck by using skills/items/abilities the best way possible.
In RC you DO NOT WANT to roll dice, but you will have to, because you have to take risks. And you can only do very little to influence the die roll.

In EH you will always draw cards, because that is how the story develops, how the game becomes fun and interesting. The Encounters are what the game is about, basically.
In RC you DO NOT WANT to draw cards (most cards, that is). If you can prevent it, you will do so. Because nearly all cards you will draw during tasks are bad. The only cards you can never prevent from being drawn are the Event cards (similar to the Mythos cards) - when the game strikes back.

EH is a game of strategically placing your characters in the right locations, hoping for favourable Encounters and good die rolls.
RC is a worker placement game where you try to prevent encounters, because they will almost always be bad.

EH is trying to keep the house from catching fire while donning your firefighter uniform and getting the best gear you can get to do so, all the while having a plan.
In RC the house is already burning, you have to rescue grandma, but simultaneously you are trapped in the cellar behind smoldering beams, your gas heating is threatening to explode, your valuable painting collection will be going up in flames, you have hurt your leg, and you hope to make it out before the roof collapses, because the firefighters are all drunk and on sick leave.

In EH you get the fealing that you achieve something whenever you battle a problem and solve it. In RC, it all goes to hell in a handbasket, and you just hope, really hope, that you have enough luck and your plan is sound enough so you can make it out by the skin of your teeth.

Well, I am, of course, exaggerating. But while setbacks in EH are harsh, and will cost you the game, in RC they are constant reality.

Oh, and you won't be able to get cool gear. You will need only the bare necessities, because if you go to get that fancy thing you think might be useful, you will probably have wasted precious time, and Timmy has not only fallen down the well, but has already starved to death...
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James C
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That's helpful. Thank you
 
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S. R.
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Dont get me wrong, I love both of these games. And both are fantastic. But both tell very different stories.

Also, scenarios and AOs are nothing alike. A scenario in RC is a set objective, so to speak. You will have to achieve it, on top of all the other fires that will start once you arrive at the island (i.e. play the game). But that is it. There are usually no tailored encounters, no story-driven tasks apart from this objective.

And the character stories are way different. In EH, they fight back the evil that emerges. In RC they simply try to survive, which is hard enough. Which means - in EH they will gear up and be cool. In RC they will be happy to simply have enough food, so noone goes hungry, becomes weaker (i.e. his health drops) and lowers morale. RC has no heroes fighting the good fight, it has survivors who were lucky.

Granted, not all scenarios are hard (some are not that hard to master, if you know how to tackle them). What I wanted to emphasize, here, was not how complicated the game is, but the feel of the game. There is no villain in RC - there is just cruel nature, and the malevolent island you are trying to survive on.

However, I can assure you, both games are equally cursed, and both are alive, and out to get you!
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S. R.
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I just realized I haven't tackled your initial questions, so here goes...

Professor X wrote:

Is the theme more immersive? Less immersive?
Is the game play more fiddly? Less fiddly?
More luck driven? Less luck driven?
Etc.


The immersiveness of the game has been subject of ongoing discussions since it was published. My stance is that it has, if you will, retrograde immersiveness. There are no real "encounters", here, but there are things that happen to the characters. They will not, by themselves, create or present a narrative, but (if the players let it happen) there will be a story forming in the players' minds, as to "what happened", not "what happens". See, if the cook goes searching for food and draws a card stating "you stumble upon a nest of vipers - put a wound token on your leg", that is in itself pretty clear. Later in the game, the wound gets infected and the character loses health. That in itself is also pretty clear. But in your mind the connection will be "A few days ago, while the Cook went to collect berries and roots, he got bitten by a poisonous snake. The bite looked okay at first, but got worse over time. It healed, but left the cook weaker than he was before."
This you would find on an encounter in EH. In RC, you make these snippets of narrative yourself. Especially since "retconning" is allowed - "luckily you ALWAYS HAVE HAD this sabre with you (while in game mechanical terms you, the player, just decided to use the item in this situation, thereby blocking access to the sabre for everyone else this turn)"...

Immersiveness comes from the theme - if you let yourself be immersed in the harsh reality of the island. It does not come immediately from the story. However, if you look back on a session you played, you will be able to fit all the little pieces into a very interesting narrative. And, if you are as narratively inclined as I am, you always will do just that...

Fiddlyness?
Well, it is equally fiddly, I'd say, but it has more "bookkeeping" things than EH does.

Luck-driven?
Both games are based upon lots of luck. Luck of the roll, luck of the draw. The difference is - in EH you will mitigate your luck, while in RC you will try to MINIMIZE the impact of luck.
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secoAce -
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I find RC and EH nothing alike.

RC is deeply rich and thematic, so much more than EH.
I tried very hard to like EH but it really just feels like you're playing through mechanics that the game drags after a while. There are splatterings of story in the background and in the cards but you're pretty much following the same basic strategy in evert game. RC games are based on scenarios with their own unique story, objectives and win conditions and the theme carries out on every element of gameplay through to the end. I find to be so much more immersive than EH.

In terms of the atmosphere of the theme, if you find EH dark, you might find RC a little depressing though.

RC is a more complex game than EH though and as such so much more "fiddly". There are a lot of things to keep track of. It has a steeper learning curve with a LOT of little detailed rules that are easy to forget or get wrong. If you do decide to get RC, I'd suggest learning and playing the game yourself to really learn the game so you can walkthrough introducing the game to your gaming group.

Both games have elements of luck such as random dice roles and card draws. As others have said, RC is more about minimizing the card draws (and the bad luck that comes from them) but that is also triggered by the random dice rolls. The thing is that RC random elements triggers things which you can work around (if probably prepared for) whereas the dice rolls in EH are determining outcomes that you can't control.

The other thing as you have noted is that RC comes with only 4 playable characters. There are a couple of other characters you can get for 6 players but I don't know how the game will play with that many characters.
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Juan Crespo
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secoAce wrote:
The other thing as you have noted is that RC comes with only 4 playable characters. There are a couple of other characters you can get for 6 players but I don't know how the game will play with that many characters.
Even though there are additional characters available through the expansion and promos, the maximum number of players in RC is capped at 4.
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Miguel
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I like both games.

From a storytelling perspective, I find that RC has much better success. In EH, the story emerges around the things that happen over the course of the game (which rumors came up, tough battles, unlikely rolls, etc). That's fine, but I have always felt somewhat disappointed with the actual narrative. The encounters are written like snippets of a story, but they don't / can't go anywhere so it's very tempting to just skip to the tests. Most damning, though, are the clues. Given that they change depending on the chosen elder God, this would be the best opportunity for a coherent narrative but they are too few and far between to really work that way. In the end, you have a number of world hopping adventurers trying to shut gates and satisfy missions. It's fun, but not narratively rich.

Mechanically, I find the double sided condition cards to be the most interesting and thematic part of the game. I really like how those work.

Robinson crusoe's story works better because the scenario dictates your goals and your actions have somewhat thematically appropriate repercussions. There are definitely strong similarities between the scenarios but the differences are still easily felt and have real gameplay consequences.

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Johannes Blank
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I also enjoy both games a lot. EH feels more random, but also has higher variability/variation, due to the gigantic amount of cards. The different scenarios included in RC change the game at least as much as different ancient ones in EH, and are thematically rich. Personally, I find RC a lot harder than EH (difficulty-wise); the rules are about as hard to learn, I think. I think you will enjoy RC.

I've played EH with 6, and found that to be way too many. How do people manage to play it with 8 people? How large is your table? I'm astonished.
 
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George Aristides
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I also love both Robinson Crusoe and Eldritch Horror.

Some pros and cons of RC

Pros:
- I have found it easier to teach to new players. As long as there is one player that knows the rules well (and can deal with most of the "upkeep" of going through the round), the new players have a bit less to worry about.

- Thematically it's a bit friendlier to players that aren't into the Cthulhu theme (e.g. my girlfriend loves the RC theme but doesn't like fighting monsters and getting involved in the occult in EH)

Cons:
- Replayability/variety is relatively lower than in Eldritch Horror.
(especially if you factor in the expansions)
- In RC, there usually is a narrow strategy needed to beat each scenario (i.e. in the first scenario, get the hatchet, get lots of wood, build up the roof before winter, don't bother with weapons). You might need to deviate from this a bit in response to events etc., but deviating too much will get you in trouble. In EH, the strategy is more subtle and your priorities will change depending on the combination of investigator abilities, items in the reserve, etc.

So overall, I prefer RC for playing with a group of relatively new players, but EH for playing solo or with an experienced group
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David Lopez
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Professor X wrote:
My group loves EH. The big plus is that it plays 8. The big minus is that the theme is a little darker than we'd like.


While the EH horror theme is technically darker (we're all going to die!) the B-movie treatment makes it feel less emotionally affecting.
In RC when your character get a leg injury, the rains wash away your shelter, winter is on it's way and the prospect of rescue looks ever remoter, then the game can feel quite bleak and depressing.
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