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David Jones
United States
Wilsonville
Oregon
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I'm not going to spoiler tag my whole post. You've been warned.

I'm curious to see if other players are having the same experience I am with game difficulty so far.

I played quite a few solo games at year three and found it dreadfully easy. In fact, I don't even lose control of the first location. Year four seems to be a steep steep jump in difficulty. I have not won a game playing solo. I played two games with a group tonight. We lost the first game pretty badly. We barely won the second game, but even then I set the villain deck up so that they flip in year order, so it feels a bit like cheating. Part of our strategy was leaving Tom Riddle in play as he seems to be the least damaging of the villains. The major problem seems to be we hit a lot of discard effects. If this happens in the early game, you don't have time to build your engine and picking up the six cost cards is nearly impossible. Additionally, the year four cards all have higher costs associated with them, which means the average acquisition cost of cards goes up, but your ability to generate influence in the early game does not scale up with it. I'm not able to figure how why I can keep the first location under control in year three but lose it so quickly in year four. (Barty does seem to get in the way a lot and it takes a long time to take him out.)

My best guess here is that is that three of the eight new Dark Arts card result in drawing an additional dark arts card and two of the other cards drop control tokens. Not only does this mean control is being added faster, but you have more Dark Arts cards drawn per turn. More stuns also means more control markers get dropped. I'm thinking I've got to make some kind of fundamental change in strategy, but I'm not quite sure what it is.

I've not played year five, but I have read the rulebook for it. If we can't handle two villains in year four without cheating, I don't see how we are going to handle three villains in year five on top of the other "surprise" that happens at the end.

So as stated at the top, I'm curious to know if everyone else is seeing the same jump in difficulty or if I'm just doing something wrong. I'm glad to see that the game gets challenging after year three, but it also feels like its swinging too hard in that direction. Does something about year five help ease the pressure at all? I can't decide if I should just move forward or if I should get a handle on year four before adding year five.
 
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Seth Goodnight
United States
Newmarket
NH
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My GF and I breezed through game 4, but I think we got fairly lucky. Game 5 took us three tries to beat (plus one more solo attempt by me). We haven't started game 6 yet, so who knows?

One question: How many heroes have you been using? 4 seems to be a little easier because the "every hero does X" effects (like the dice) are much more powerful.
 
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David Jones
United States
Wilsonville
Oregon
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I was playing at four but we dialed back to three. The problem was a strategy issue. In year 1-3, you can almost breeze by at a leisurely rate. In year four we were still trying to build decks rather than play the game. You have to start putting attack cards into your deck almost right away starting in year four and come out swinging. The strategy is the same in years five and six. The bad guys can now hit early and hit hard. If you don't do likewise, you'll never catch up. I think I did get lucky in year six because Hermoine was able to acquire.. that new very powerful card.. very early. Not sure if the game would have been as breezy without that.
 
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United States
Chelsea
Alabama
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As crazy as it sounds, my wife and I literally beat book 4 today with full health, no tokens on location 1, and all villains defeated.

We were fortunate enough to get a couple cards that removed tokens from locations very early. From there, we played it conservative by building up our decks and healing as often as possible instead of eliminating villains.

We ran into a couple scares where we thought we were going to have to move to the second location, which forces you to draw two dark arts cards, but we were able to remove a token from the location each time.

By the end of the game, my deck was stacked with allies and polyjuice. I had one turn where I was able to play dumbledore and two polyjuice items, which is effectively 3 dumbledores.

My wife was loaded with spells where she had a draw engine going on. I remember one of the last turns, I took 6 points of damage by dark arts cards and villains as some dark arts made me draw more dark arts. Not only did I heal that much in one turn, but I was also able to do 5 damage back.

All of our games have been fairly easy so far, but this took it to a new level. I would complain, but it was actually great to beat up on the game so bad.
 
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