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Subject: Some early thoughts after first two scenarios... rss

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Matt Hodsdon
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I played the mastermind on the first 2 simple scenarios with 3 friends. It's weird to grasp, because it looks like a story-driven game with the different scenarios, but the gameplay would be ruined if you told the story beforehand. The protagonists are basically just checking off lists, sort of abstract actually. Couldn't you just make a random plot/incident/role/character selector and do away with creating scripts entirely?

I also wonder how the game plays with high level players. It seems like it would end up sort of deterministic if everyone played optimally, or maybe come down to a guess like "should I forbid movement on character A or B?" So far it's been too hard to prevent the protagonists from discovering a new loss condition on each loop, leading to a final loop where everyone basically knows what's going on, and it's just a matter of outguessing the opponent.
 
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Christian K
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You would think that you could just create a random script, but usually the script very much has a point. It has a number of possible ways to win for the mastermind and the incidents are not picked at random. Also the number of loops needs to be balanced.

It is my experienced that the game plays well at high level (or at least with smart players who have played it multiple times if you call that high level). I don't think you will end up in a place where the moves feel obvious.

Generally the mastermind will try to fulfill multiple loss conditions for loop end such that the protagonists do not know which one was the one that caused it
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Benji
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NoSoup4you wrote:
I played the mastermind on the first 2 simple scenarios with 3 friends. It's weird to grasp, because it looks like a story-driven game with the different scenarios, but the gameplay would be ruined if you told the story beforehand.


In my experience, the protagonists come up with their own ideas about the situation they are in once they discover the first few facts about certain characters. Some of them are founded, some only seem so... devil

NoSoup4you wrote:
The protagonists are basically just checking off lists, sort of abstract actually. Couldn't you just make a random plot/incident/role/character selector and do away with creating scripts entirely?


Definitely not. The more of the advanced scenarios you play, the more you appreciate how fine-tuned the scenarios really are. Each scenario has its own character.

I would see the "checking off lists"-part as differentiating noise from actual information. It is your job as a mastertmind to make the "cheking off" part as hard as possible for the protagonists, so that they need to find creative ways to check things off. And yes, these do exists and as a MM, you unfortunately have to expect them from more "advanced" protagonists.


NoSoup4you wrote:
I also wonder how the game plays with high level players.

See above. It gets even better!

NoSoup4you wrote:
It seems like it would end up sort of deterministic if everyone played optimally, or maybe come down to a guess like "should I forbid movement on character A or B?"

Far from it. Yes, there may be a lot of double-thinking, but there are also many other possibilities to be creative. Again, see above.

NoSoup4you wrote:
So far it's been too hard to prevent the protagonists from discovering a new loss condition on each loop, leading to a final loop where everyone basically knows what's going on, and it's just a matter of outguessing the opponent.


Yes, the first scenarios are rather easy for the protagonists. Teaching them how to gather and use the information is their point. Continue to the advanced scenarios and this will change rather dramatically.
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Adam Lucas
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Quote:
Yes, the first scenarios are rather easy for the protagonists.


Okay, I'm curious because nobody in my area has won the second scenerio. How do the protagonists go about winning it?

Near as I can figure out they have to:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Keep the Conspiracy Theorist away from the Hospital Incident Culprit.
Keep 2 intrigue off the school.
Keep 2 intrigue off the hospital.
Keep the doctor out of the hospital if there's only one intrigue on it for the incident.
 
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Yorick Heijink
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I feel like the best scenarios allow the players discover all plots by the last loop. The last loop is a battle of wits between them and the master mind. Optimal play is difficult because the protagonists aren't allowed to communicatie during a loop.
 
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Ian Mundt
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Svengaard wrote:

Okay, I'm curious because nobody in my area has won the second scenerio. How do the protagonists go about winning it?

Near as I can figure out they have to:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Keep the Conspiracy Theorist away from the Hospital Incident Culprit.
Keep 2 intrigue off the school.
Keep 2 intrigue off the hospital.
Keep the doctor out of the hospital if there's only one intrigue on it for the incident.


The Protagonists aren't meant to win the second scenario. This one exists for a specific purpose.

The First Script is built around teaching new players the basics of the game. Getting the hitting the ground running, and how the pieces fit together to weave a noose around their necks (and that not every character is an ally to their cause).

The second script, on the other hand, is a training tool _for the Mastermind_. It is intended to teach the Mastermind how to create distractions and make the players think that several different things could be happening without allowing them to know exactly which one it is. It's training in the double-thinking that Masterminds must engage in, and training for the Protagonists that information is not always going to come to them easily, nor without cost.
 
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Roberta Yang
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Svengaard wrote:
Quote:
Yes, the first scenarios are rather easy for the protagonists.


Okay, I'm curious because nobody in my area has won the second scenerio. How do the protagonists go about winning it?

Near as I can figure out they have to:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Keep the Conspiracy Theorist away from the Hospital Incident Culprit.
Keep 2 intrigue off the school.
Keep 2 intrigue off the hospital.
Keep the doctor out of the hospital if there's only one intrigue on it for the incident.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
You don't need to both keep intrigue off the Hospital and keep the Hospital Incident's culprit's paranoia low -- either alone will suffice. It doesn't matter how much Intrigue the Hospital has if the Boy Student isn't paranoid enough to trigger it. With only one Forbid Intrigue per day you can't keep both the Hospital and the School clear of intrigue, so you need to Forbid Intrigue the School and keep the Boy Student's paranoia down.

So really you just need to keep 2 intrigue off the School and keep 2 paranoia off the Boy Student -- if you can do that, the other bullet points you listed don't matter.
 
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Brandon H
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salty53 wrote:
Svengaard wrote:
Quote:
Yes, the first scenarios are rather easy for the protagonists.


Okay, I'm curious because nobody in my area has won the second scenerio. How do the protagonists go about winning it?

Near as I can figure out they have to:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Keep the Conspiracy Theorist away from the Hospital Incident Culprit.
Keep 2 intrigue off the school.
Keep 2 intrigue off the hospital.
Keep the doctor out of the hospital if there's only one intrigue on it for the incident.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
You don't need to both keep intrigue off the Hospital and keep the Hospital Incident's culprit's paranoia low -- either alone will suffice. It doesn't matter how much Intrigue the Hospital has if the Boy Student isn't paranoid enough to trigger it. With only one Forbid Intrigue per day you can't keep both the Hospital and the School clear of intrigue, so you need to Forbid Intrigue the School and keep the Boy Student's paranoia down.

So really you just need to keep 2 intrigue off the School and keep 2 paranoia off the Boy Student -- if you can do that, the other bullet points you listed don't matter.

That doesn't promise a Protagonist win, though.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
With a +1 Int on the School every turn and a +2 int on the Doctor one turn (unstoppable because of the school), it becomes a battle between the Doctor and the Shrine Maiden to stay by the Patient before the Faraway Murder, and keeping the BS in/out of the School -- if he's in there at the end of any turn, MM wins, with the card plus Cultist and the Unsettling Rumor power
 
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Roberta Yang
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CSerpent wrote:
That doesn't promise a Protagonist win, though.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
With a +1 Int on the School every turn and a +2 int on the Doctor one turn (unstoppable because of the school), it becomes a battle between the Doctor and the Shrine Maiden to stay by the Patient before the Faraway Murder, and keeping the BS in/out of the School -- if he's in there at the end of any turn, MM wins, with the card plus Cultist and the Unsettling Rumor power

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Yes, the Patient needs to be kept low on Paranoia too.

The Cultist-in-School threat isn't as hard to deal with as it might seem. On Day 1, you can move the Boy Student out of the School, and on subsequent days, the Cultist is only a threat if the Mastermind plays cards on both the Cultist and the School. In other words, it's a very telegraphed threat that the Mastermind needs a lot of investment to use.

That's the key to winning the script as the Protagonists: the Mastermind has a lot of threats, but doesn't have time to actually pursue all of them. In my experience the Mastermind doesn't really have time to pursue all three of the Faraway Murder, Hospital Incident, and Cultist win conditions simultaneously -- and if the Mastermind focuses on the Hospital Incident approach and it doesn't work, it's too late to effectively pivot to the Faraway Murder.
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