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Subject: Tips / common mistakes for/by new players? rss

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Jim Jones
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So it seems like a lot of the "balance" issues raised in various threads are the result of a lack of experience on the heroes/players behalf which makes basic strategies like turtling/dogpiling overpowered. If experience is the key to avoiding those issues then surely a short list of tips/tricks and tactics for new players would take care of the issue? With that in mind what tips/tricks/tactics/overlooked rules would you suggest for new players?
 
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Jesper Hansen
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only tried it once so I dont have all the "mistakes" covered yet.

One of the major things that made my hero player (I was the sin player) think abit more about he moved was when I reminded him that monsters cannot move out of a zone with a hero in it.

So if a ranged hero shoots at a monster, the monster can move 2 spaces toward the hero who shot at them, but if the monster lands in another zone with another hero, it cannot reach the hero that shot at them - and thats the only hero the monster is allowed to defend/attack against.
 
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Matthew M
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Quote:
So if a ranged hero shoots at a monster, the monster can move 2 spaces toward the hero who shot at them, but if the monster lands in another zone with another hero, it cannot reach the hero that shot at them - and thats the only hero the monster is allowed to defend/attack against.


My understanding is that in this scenario the monster wouldn't even move at all. If the monster responding to a Ranged attack cannot reach the active player (either due to distance or due to other heroes in between) then that monster doesn't move.
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Emivaldo Sousa
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Although there are some stuff that can be made to avoid turtling and some other sound advice, I would like to consider this:

1. Turtling is very effective regardless.
2. Heroes need some luck not just good tactics;
3. Some combinations of creatures/scenario/cards makes the game near impossible to win for the heroes.

I think the game is fun but the odds are most of the time on the side of the Sin's player.

That said, some scenarios and abilities combinations offer a good but beatable challenge and most battles at least go to the last stretch.

The main advice I would give to heroes is: move fast towards objectives and while doing that try to:
1. Hinder the advance of the apocalypse track;
2. Hinder token and monsters piling up;
3. Occupy ritual spaces to deny cards to the sin's player;

Roughly in that order.

In any case, play the game a lot without worrying too much about the outcome, because knowing the Sin's player cards and the missions by heart helps immensely. Also, you will be able to make adjustments with more information.

For example: some corruptions stories do not use one of the NPC tokens. We found no reason for that and added all of them to the maps. Even with that, heroes still have to win one game around here (they got close some times).

Example 2:It is also important to know that sloth monsters are surprisingly agile, because his cards ca make monsters move around. Little details like that can make the difference.

 
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Emivaldo Sousa
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And just to clarify: I think there are definitely balance issues with the game. I just think it is fun nonetheless.

When I play as Sin, I just tell the players I am just the AI of the game. Most of the time it is pretty clear that the Sin's player have the advantage. Some Apocalypse cards should have "GAME OVER" written on them .

But it is beatable. Eventually
 
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Flavio Santos
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Octavian wrote:
Quote:
So if a ranged hero shoots at a monster, the monster can move 2 spaces toward the hero who shot at them, but if the monster lands in another zone with another hero, it cannot reach the hero that shot at them - and thats the only hero the monster is allowed to defend/attack against.


My understanding is that in this scenario the monster wouldn't even move at all. If the monster responding to a Ranged attack cannot reach the active player (either due to distance or due to other heroes in between) then that monster doesn't move.


It's not a matter of "understanding". The rulebook is quite clear. The monster would not move at all. Not a single space.
 
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Kevin Clasing
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I find the biggest strategy mistake among newer players is the fear of dying. The way the game works, on a regular basis it is important for the sake of one of the objectives that a hero go in some place and die, um, heroically, to further the mission.

Don't play it like an RPG.
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Christoph Weber
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zinho73 wrote:
Although there are some stuff that can be made to avoid turtling and some other sound advice, I would like to consider this:

1. Turtling is very effective regardless.
2. Heroes need some luck not just good tactics;
3. Some combinations of creatures/scenario/cards makes the game near impossible to win for the heroes.

I think the game is fun but the odds are most of the time on the side of the Sin's player.

In any case, play the game a lot without worrying too much about the outcome, because knowing the Sin's player cards and the missions by heart helps immensely.



Shouldn't the fact that the FAITH players get to chose their heroes after the sins player chooses the sin and story make it easier for them to select heroes based on the sin/scenario combination, thus giving them an edge (or at least furthering their chances), if they have some experience?
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Kevin Clasing
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I think you make a great point, Christoph, but I don't think the level of experience with the game is sufficient yet for people to know, "Oh, it's a terror scenario with Wrath, my best choice is X."

Presumably, if people keep playing the game, we will get to that level eventually.
 
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Christoph Weber
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kclasing wrote:
I think you make a great point, Christoph, but I don't think the level of experience with the game is sufficient yet for people to know, "Oh, it's a terror scenario with Wrath, my best choice is X."

Presumably, if people keep playing the game, we will get to that level eventually.


You are right, Kevin. With all the KS stuff and maybe even some expansions, it will take a really long time to come to grips with everything. Which is a great thing if you like the game, I suppose.
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Emivaldo Sousa
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webs1 wrote:
zinho73 wrote:
Although there are some stuff that can be made to avoid turtling and some other sound advice, I would like to consider this:

1. Turtling is very effective regardless.
2. Heroes need some luck not just good tactics;
3. Some combinations of creatures/scenario/cards makes the game near impossible to win for the heroes.

I think the game is fun but the odds are most of the time on the side of the Sin's player.

In any case, play the game a lot without worrying too much about the outcome, because knowing the Sin's player cards and the missions by heart helps immensely.



Shouldn't the fact that the FAITH players get to chose their heroes after the sins player chooses the sin and story make it easier for them to select heroes based on the sin/scenario combination, thus giving them an edge (or at least furthering their chances), if they have some experience?

That´s what I have implied by saying that knowing the game helps. It does in several ways, including in the choice of heroes.

That said, to fight, for example, Sloth, in a corruption scenario, with the corrupted firemen and the card that treat corruption tokens as fire comes early is very deadly. Upgraded abominations in the early game are also very complicated to deal with, often requiring more luck than skill.


 
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Sebastian Elliker
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zinho73 wrote:
And just to clarify: I think there are definitely blance issues with the game. I just think it is fun nonetheless.

When I play as Sin, I just tell the players I am just the AI of the game. Most of the time it is pretty clear that the Sin's player have the advantage. Some Apocalypse cards should have "GAME OVER" written on them :).

But it is beatable. Eventually :D
I think it is a bit early to say that the game is unbalanced, especially in a thread dedicated to mistakes by NEW players. Now, the game might be favoring one side or the other depending on the players' knowledge (i.e. it might seem to new players that the game is unbalanced or it might not, but will be for very experienced ones), but if one is talking about balance, one generally assumes that both sides have equal skill and knowledge and if need be one needs so specify how good the players are at the game. For instance, you mentioned a certain combination with Sloth and Acolytes that is really hard to beat in a certain scenario, but either it is pure luck that a beginner Sin player will get that or he actually knows the game quite a bit. Thus, we also should consider that the hero players know the game quite a bit. Even further, as far as I can see, the combination might not be that good in other scenarios. Thus, as the Sin as well as the Acolytes are chosen before the story, it seems a gamble to go for this strategy in the hope to get this very nice combination (i.e. it really is a kind of throwing all eggs in one basket). And it should be easy for the hero players to choose their heroes accordingly, because the heroes can really tailor their setup according to the choices of sin, acolytes, and story. Heck, they are even able to fully plan ahead as to how to solve the missions. Thus, with the way the setup is handled, it seems very hard to come across something that the heroes are not able to find a decent setup that will level the playing field. Now, I am not saying the game is balanced for sure as it is too early to tell, but there are indications that the game has some very clever things implemented that might help to avoid being unbalanced.
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Kasey HR
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Im going to be posting more thoroughly about this soon in my upcoming second part to The Evolving Review but I think the biggest mistake that can be made by a new player is actually on the Sins side.

Specifically, the Sin player is only allowed to play 1 card per turn. I myself, as the Sins player, have often begun to play cards from my hand whenever their conditions are met, only to have to catch myself mid-reaction and return the card to my hand. Given that these cards give the Sins player most of their power, getting more than one out per turn would severely mess with the balance of the game.

I have a hunch that this may be a commonly misplayed rule that makes it nigh impossible for the Heroes to win. Let me just add that in my two games thus far, the Heroes brutally won the first game, and in the second was neck-and-neck the whole way to the end. So Im not sure I have experienced the balance issues in question yet. The Heroes definitely have to be cautious and maximize their turns, but then again, so does the Sins player
Moreover, Heroes have to keep to the objective, otherwise they give the Sins player too much time to amass power (as the Sin gets stronger with every passing round).
 
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Emivaldo Sousa
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LovingAngel wrote:
zinho73 wrote:
And just to clarify: I think there are definitely blance issues with the game. I just think it is fun nonetheless.

When I play as Sin, I just tell the players I am just the AI of the game. Most of the time it is pretty clear that the Sin's player have the advantage. Some Apocalypse cards should have "GAME OVER" written on them .

But it is beatable. Eventually
I think it is a bit early to say that the game is unbalanced, especially in a thread dedicated to mistakes by NEW players. Now, the game might be favoring one side or the other depending on the players' knowledge (i.e. it might seem to new players that the game is unbalanced or it might not, but will be for very experienced ones), but if one is talking about balance, one generally assumes that both sides have equal skill and knowledge and if need be one needs so specify how good the players are at the game. For instance, you mentioned a certain combination with Sloth and Acolytes that is really hard to beat in a certain scenario, but either it is pure luck that a beginner Sin player will get that or he actually knows the game quite a bit. Thus, we also should consider that the hero players know the game quite a bit. Even further, as far as I can see, the combination might not be that good in other scenarios. Thus, as the Sin as well as the Acolytes are chosen before the story, it seems a gamble to go for this strategy in the hope to get this very nice combination (i.e. it really is a kind of throwing all eggs in one basket). And it should be easy for the hero players to choose their heroes accordingly, because the heroes can really tailor their setup according to the choices of sin, acolytes, and story. Heck, they are even able to fully plan ahead as to how to solve the missions. Thus, with the way the setup is handled, it seems very hard to come across something that the heroes are not able to find a decent setup that will level the playing field. Now, I am not saying the game is balanced for sure as it is too early to tell, but there are indications that the game has some very clever things implemented that might help to avoid being unbalanced.


I understand what you are saying and, of course, more will be revealed about the game on the future and so on. Tactics will emerge, some combinations will be "solved", that kind of stuff.

That said, a game with combo powers and dice explosion mechanisms isn't even trying to be balanced - it is trying to be balanced enough to be fun, and I think it achieved that as I think most games will at least go to the last objective.

But some games will go south very quickly just by sheer luck, and it is easy to see that the options for that to happen are stacked in favor of the sin's player (his dice are more aggressive and the possibility of card combos are more frequent). Yes, the explosion means that luck can also favor the heroes and undoubtedly it will, but in all the games I've played, if the sin's player was rolling average, the heroes needed above average luck to succeed. A lucky turn for the sin's player is really game winning.

In any case, as I said in my review, smart play do have its place and can be rewarding, and you actually need it to stack the odds in your favor. It is a good game, but very luck dependent. Very. And I also think the sin's player has to work less to have the odds on his side.

I also think it is very important to clarify that to new players to avoid frustration. I played one game that one lonely abomination defended a district against several attacks (sometimes backed by another monster), completely disrupting any viable way for the heroes to win the game, as they had to spend too much time and resources on that place. The heroes were playing better, they were making sound decisions, but the impossible machine was working against them.

I do not have the Apocalypse expansion, though, and I've heard there are pretty strong equipment on that box. And I also do not have all heroes.


 
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Sammy
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kclasing wrote:
I find the biggest strategy mistake among newer players is the fear of dying. The way the game works, on a regular basis it is important for the sake of one of the objectives that a hero go in some place and die, um, heroically, to further the mission.

Don't play it like an RPG.


You don't want to be sacrificing too much though. If you get to the final stage of a game with only 1 person (or no people) in reserve...you're likely screwed.

 
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Sebastian Elliker
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zinho73 wrote:
That said, a game with combo powers and dice explosion mechanisms isn't even trying to be balanced - it is trying to be balanced enough to be fun, and I think it achieved that as I think most games will at least go to the last objective.
Well, this is where i think you are incorrect. Varying combinations of player powers and exploding dice mechanics do not imply that a game is unbalanced or that a game does not even try to be properly balanced. These variables may be accounted for in game design and may be playtested.

I think most if not all players are aware that if they buy a game that involves dice rolling and card draw, there will be randomness involved. As soon as there is randomness, there is the possibility that there will be times where you loose juse because of bad luck. Thus, I thought your point was well meant, but not really necessary and might even scare people off for no good reason.

Be that as it may be, back to the topic:
- Heroes: Use voluntary corruption, but do so with care. If the hero has like 5 corruption, fight may go south quite rapidly just because the Sin player rolled some corruption you cannot avoid.
- Forced corruption through dice: This cannot be defended against by defend dice as the resolution of the dice is only after these dice have already been used.
 
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Frank Franco
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Look, the biggest "Common mistake" is that people assume that this plays like every other 1 v many game.

It doesn't.

There are several factors which very much makes it it's own beast, the main 2 being the hero death mechanic and the Sin player action mechanic.

These fundamentally change the way the game plays out and the approach both sides need to take to the game. But the game looks like all the other 1 v many games out there, so it's natural to approach it as such. This is what is causing a lot of the head scratching and cries of 'inbalance' (from both sides.).

You basically have to unlearn a lot of what heroquest, descent, etc taught you. The path to victory is very different here.

So the tip from me is that you need to play a few times and learn the flow of the game until you understand how it differs from the rest of the crowd. It is then that you will start getting good.
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Emivaldo Sousa
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LovingAngel wrote:
zinho73 wrote:
That said, a game with combo powers and dice explosion mechanisms isn't even trying to be balanced - it is trying to be balanced enough to be fun, and I think it achieved that as I think most games will at least go to the last objective.
Well, this is where i think you are incorrect. Varying combinations of player powers and exploding dice mechanics do not imply that a game is unbalanced or that a game does not even try to be properly balanced. These variables may be accounted for in game design and may be playtested.


Let me be more clear: the game cannot be perfectly balanced with this structure: luck is too big a factor. But it can be balanced enough that, most of the time, you have a close match. I believe that is really not the objective of this game to be perfectly balanced, just balanced enough (which is way more harder than to be balanced and requires much more testing). Most fun games are not super balanced and specially overlord games benefit to have the odds stacked a little bit against the heroes. Sometimes, not being perfectly balanced is not a detriment to the game.

Also, when I say unbalanced I am not saying that it's just about random luck strikes> I am saying that the path for the sin's player to have the odds in his favor is quicker and easier to achieve.


LovingAngel wrote:

I think most if not all players are aware that if they buy a game that involves dice rolling and card draw, there will be randomness involved. As soon as there is randomness, there is the possibility that there will be times where you loose juse because of bad luck. Thus, I thought your point was well meant, but not really necessary and might even scare people off for no good reason.

Be that as it may be, back to the topic:
- Heroes: Use voluntary corruption, but do so with care. If the hero has like 5 corruption, fight may go south quite rapidly just because the Sin player rolled some corruption you cannot avoid.
- Forced corruption through dice: This cannot be defended against by defend dice as the resolution of the dice is only after these dice have already been used.

Well, I don't think people will be scared, people will just have another viewpoint to evaluate the game. I think the game is fun, but I also think that heroes are in for a challenge (and it is not necessarily a bad thing).
 
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Paul Glickman
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Randomness and balance are not mutually exclusive... Not even close! I'll give you the simplest example I can imagine:

We both roll a die of our choice (between d4 and d20), higher one wins. Reroll both on ties.

Perfectly balanced game, two equally skilled opponents will have an equal chance of winning. More skilled players are more likely to win. Et cetera.
 
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Emivaldo Sousa
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Paul G wrote:
Randomness and balance are not mutually exclusive... Not even close! I'll give you the simplest example I can imagine:

We both roll a die of our choice (between d4 and d20), higher one wins. Reroll both on ties.

Perfectly balanced game, two equally skilled opponents will have an equal chance of winning. More skilled players are more likely to win. Et cetera.

That´s not what I meant to say. You are talking about even odds, I am saying that the odds favor the overlord and that it is easier for the overlord to stack the odds even more in its favor, but not to the point of completely eliminating the fun aspect, at least not to me. But to the point that we warn new players to avoid frustration.

Tonight we played a game and even after a very good first turn it became clear that it would be nearly impossible for the heroes to win and in fact they lost on the second turn. The heroes had the D6 and the overlord the D20.

But- if the heroes rolled a six, they could roll again, and again and add the results. Not balanced, not the same odds, but interesting, adding a layer above simply rolling dice with equal odds. Balance is overrated

Balance to me is equal chance to win, In most games with exploding dice and special abilities, this equal chance is a moving target, often helped to achieve with collusion or negotiation (among other design tools). No such a thing is present here, so when one side advances on the odds game, it is harder to make the other side catch up (also, the game is fast). And the overlord has a faster track to win the odds game, and consequentially the game.

But, hey, maybe I am completely wrong. And I sure hope so I am.

And sorry for the sidetracking.

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Luka Kovač Plavi
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As far as balance goes, they said somewhere that the win ration is 51 to 49. Considering how many players are saying one side or the other is unbalanced, odds seem to be about right.
 
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F M
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Hello
We have a big problem here.
We played a lot, re-read the rules a lot too and cannot find any way the Heroes can beat the Sins. We've tried corruption and terror scenarios, not even beginning the redemption ones. We couldn't past even reach round 4 : everybody was dead before.

Most of the scenarios mechanics allow the Sin player to mark spaces / monsters at his own will : thus far away spaces / monsters get marked - good luck in reaching them without dying on the road.

Turtling hasn't to be a strategy : it occurs normally with reactions from ranged fight, acolytes abilities and so normal sin reaction. We've seen common 4 monsters groups at round 2 against one or two heroes - group of heroes on turn 1 of first hero is impossible by game design.

The main problem we see is that the game is very forgiving for the sins - forgetting to play a card isn't quite a problem, as opposite to what I've read : "My, my hand is empty and the heroes killed five monsters ? Well, I'll summon back 4 - including the avatar, have an acolyte ready to pop through its ability and the heroes don't have anyone in reserve anymore." Real occurence, round 3. This kind of reset doesn't occur to the Heroes.

We have reached the point when we stop playing games at round 2 because one hero is already dead (having accomplished nothing), one is on its way to death (stuck with 2 ab, 1 ac and 1 hell club member), another one with 3 wounds, stuck in the starting space and the goals are unreacheable through tactics. Call of Cthulhu RPG games are less hopeless than this game ^^^

So we are thinking of house rules. Counting wounds on the avatar, adding all dice from same space heroes, maybe making corruption and fire checks only on entering spaces - not exiting them, maybe a "spreading mechanic" for adding new tokens (a fire / corruption cannot burst from nowhere, it had to be adjacent from an existing one or "dropped" by a monster, a pentagram must be added where a certain monster type (controller ?) or altars is, maybe reseting the corruption track in exchange of a wound for a hero who has reach full corruption, or giving all bonuses to all dice rolls once you have corruption.

May be not everything, may be some are way too "for Heroes". It's just tinkering and thinking, but at this time, the game is no fun for the heroes player(s) and after all, that's OUR game since we bought it So we will mend it our way.

Any consideration about this welcome.
 
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Mark Blasco

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Farandar wrote:
Hello
We have a big problem here.
We played a lot, re-read the rules a lot too and cannot find any way the Heroes can beat the Sins. We've tried corruption and terror scenarios, not even beginning the redemption ones. We couldn't past even reach round 4 : everybody was dead before.

Most of the scenarios mechanics allow the Sin player to mark spaces / monsters at his own will : thus far away spaces / monsters get marked - good luck in reaching them without dying on the road.

Turtling hasn't to be a strategy : it occurs normally with reactions from ranged fight, acolytes abilities and so normal sin reaction. We've seen common 4 monsters groups at round 2 against one or two heroes - group of heroes on turn 1 of first hero is impossible by game design.

The main problem we see is that the game is very forgiving for the sins - forgetting to play a card isn't quite a problem, as opposite to what I've read : "My, my hand is empty and the heroes killed five monsters ? Well, I'll summon back 4 - including the avatar, have an acolyte ready to pop through its ability and the heroes don't have anyone in reserve anymore." Real occurence, round 3. This kind of reset doesn't occur to the Heroes.

We have reached the point when we stop playing games at round 2 because one hero is already dead (having accomplished nothing), one is on its way to death (stuck with 2 ab, 1 ac and 1 hell club member), another one with 3 wounds, stuck in the starting space and the goals are unreacheable through tactics. Call of Cthulhu RPG games are less hopeless than this game ^^^

So we are thinking of house rules. Counting wounds on the avatar, adding all dice from same space heroes, maybe making corruption and fire checks only on entering spaces - not exiting them, maybe a "spreading mechanic" for adding new tokens (a fire / corruption cannot burst from nowhere, it had to be adjacent from an existing one or "dropped" by a monster, a pentagram must be added where a certain monster type (controller ?) or altars is, maybe reseting the corruption track in exchange of a wound for a hero who has reach full corruption, or giving all bonuses to all dice rolls once you have corruption.

May be not everything, may be some are way too "for Heroes". It's just tinkering and thinking, but at this time, the game is no fun for the heroes player(s) and after all, that's OUR game since we bought it So we will mend it our way.

Any consideration about this welcome.


Well, as a point of reference, I've played this 5 times (sin won 2 times, hero 3), and we've never had to go to round 4, each game has been over by round 2 or 3.

The design of the game really means that the longer it takes, the harder it is for the heroes.

Some ideas for helping out (assuming you have the kickstarter version and/or extra stuff from just the base game):

-Let the heroes look over the sin cards for the sin that will be playing before picking their heroes, so they know what might be coming up.

-Let the heroes pick 24 equipment cards to make up the equipment deck, rather than just having everything mixed together.

-I can't speak about your group, or what may be going wrong, but you can also try to have the least experienced player play the sins side, so that they don't have a strategy advantage over the other players.

I really enjoy the game, and have found it to be very difficult for the hero players, but it hasn't seemed nearly as impossible as some people make it out to be.

The thing we've found that really helps is to try to get as many upgrades as possible early on. Since the number of upgrades transfers when heroes die, getting them early makes your late game heroes much more powerful. Picking heroes that allow you to get extra upgrades, or use extra city actions, can be a huge game changer. (getting an extra city action, and using that in a space with 2 upgrades, means you can potentially get 4 upgrade cards in one turn, and then pass those along to the replacement hero).
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