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Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu» Forums » Rules

Subject: First turn question rss

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Alex Limoges
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It might just be like that, but we had what I consider disappointingly efficient first turns yesterday.

4 players. First game, we had the character that only needs 4 cards to close a gate. Between the 4 players, we easily had 4 Arkham cards, so since we all start on the same Arkham location, we could just exchange them on the first turn and give them to the player. We had one color settled on turn 1...

Played another game, without that character. As it went, we still had 5 Arkham cards on the first turn.

I understand that it's just luck to have them or not, but it feels cheap and whenever it happens (it happened twice in a row), it makes the game way too easy. You basically play with one less portal to close.

Did we miss something here?
 
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Peter Mulholland
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As long as you remember you can only exchange the cards that match the city you're in then you're playing correctly. Seems like you're just having good (bad?) luck with your deals, and theres not much you can do about that really - shuffle more? The only other thing is maybe kick up the difficulty by removing 1 or 2 of each colour clue card.
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Alex Limoges
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With 4 players, every player gets 2 cards. There are 4 colors (and a few relics). The chances to load up on Arkham cards straight away is definitely there, even though you should get an average of about 2 (a little less) per game... Each time the group has 4 or 5, it announces a pretty cheap victory...
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Well if you use all the cards you are playing Intro difficulty so it should be easy... For Standard you should remove one card of each color, 2 for Hard.

Also, closing a gate doesn't do much except make the occasional shoggoth easier to deal with. In fact, contrary to regular Pandemic, it actively reduces your mobility. So i don't really see being able to close a gate early to be a problem.
 
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Alex Limoges
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Well, closing gates is what you do to win, so if one gets closed on, say, turn 2, you are already 25% done.

We play on Hard, but since you take two cards of each color away, it does not change the chance to get Arkham cards on turn 1...
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Bishop of East Anglia
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Solipsiste wrote:
Well, closing gates is what you do to win, so if one gets closed on, say, turn 2, you are already 25% done.

We play on Hard, but since you take two cards of each color away, it does not change the chance to get Arkham cards on turn 1...


If you want to play super-(Witch of Salem)-hard: no showing cards, and (unless on the same location after turn 1), no disclosing what you have ( and disclosure at location is by discreetly showing, not saying).
 
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Alex Limoges
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I always found that it was complex not to share the info in Pandemic. You did not show cards, yet, you would say: "I would greatly benefit a black card".

Here with Pandemic:RoC, I was thinking that we should either not put any relic in the deck during setup, or not draw any when you kill a shoggoth. Relics come often.

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I've had a couple of games where I've started with 5 Arkham cards, rushed for the gate, and still ended up losing the game horribly blush Those were on Introductory or Normal level. I can see that getting a lot of starting Arkham cards on Hard difficulty is a bigger issue, as there are comparatively fewer Location cards in the deck.

I'm not a fan of removing Relics from the deck to increase difficulty. For one thing, sometimes it actually makes the game easier as you draw the location cards you want instead of Relics you don't. It reduces the logistical issue of having Relic cards that you don't yet need clogging up your hand, but you don't want to throw away either. Also, pulling off clever Relic plays is a lot of the fun of the game. Most importantly, it reduces the number of times you'll be rolling the sanity die, which messes up the balance and risk-vs-reward nature of the game.

I would be tempted to try randomising the Investigator start locations using the Summoning deck, or perhaps have each Investigator start at a different bus station, one per city.
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Solipsiste wrote:
Well, closing gates is what you do to win, so if one gets closed on, say, turn 2, you are already 25% done.

We play on Hard, but since you take two cards of each color away, it does not change the chance to get Arkham cards on turn 1...


Sure but unlike regular Pandemic, rushing gates gives you nada. It does not make the game easier. Apart from not having to discard clues there is no reason to close gates early.
 
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It is a race against time though. All investigators starting on the same bus station with a bunch of Arkham cards between them represents a big saving in the number of turns you need to take to win, doesn't it? Even a single Arkham card significantly increases your chances of getting that first Shoggoth off the board before it gets through the gate.
 
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rcket scientst
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This is similar to playing a two person game and getting "lucky" with the cards you start with. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Definitely play "Difficult" mode. And while you think you then have a colour you can always toss, you might need it to close a gate if a specific old one shows up.

While I have not found the game impossible, I have found things can escalate out of control quick, regardless of how well you play. Keeps things interesting.

It is acceptable to win occasionally, even in a Lovecraftian world. That does not mean the game is broke.
 
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T C
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Solipsiste wrote:
It might just be like that, but we had what I consider disappointingly efficient first turns yesterday.

4 players. First game, we had the character that only needs 4 cards to close a gate. Between the 4 players, we easily had 4 Arkham cards, so since we all start on the same Arkham location, we could just exchange them on the first turn and give them to the player. We had one color settled on turn 1...

Played another game, without that character. As it went, we still had 5 Arkham cards on the first turn.

I understand that it's just luck to have them or not, but it feels cheap and whenever it happens (it happened twice in a row), it makes the game way too easy. You basically play with one less portal to close.

Did we miss something here?


If this upsets you, then there's an easy fix. Simply add this rule: if the starting cards give you a full Arkham set, put these starting cards aside, and draw a new set of starting cards. Repeat until you do not have a full Arkham set. Then, shuffle the unused starting cards back into the player deck.
 
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I was curious what the odds are of drawing a complete set of Arkham cards in the players' initial hands.

These results assume of course that I wrote my script correctly. I simulated 10 million initial hands for each data point.

Two players
- intro difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 6.81%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 1.04%
- standard difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 6.44%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 0.93%
- expert difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 5.96%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 0.78%

Three players
- intro difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 9.92%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 1.87%
- standard difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 9.35%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 1.65%
- expert difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 8.67%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 1.42%

Four players
- intro difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 5.91%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 0.85%
- standard difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 5.48%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 0.75%
- expert difficulty: at least 4 Arkham cards: 4.99%, at least 5 Arkham cards: 0.62%

So assuming the OP shuffled properly, it seems they were just fantastically lucky.
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