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The Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport» Forums » General

Subject: Wildly Difficult rss

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Tino Martino
United States
New Jersey
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I've played a few times now. Once with five players to learn the game and we made several mistakes but grasp the game now.

Since I've watched some Developer walkthroughs and have played a few solo games controlling two heroes.

Even in the introductory scenario I struggle to get through encounter one. And when I do, I have next to no hit points going into encounter two.

Is this normal?

I grasp the concept of defending player and active monster groups. And how monster threat works when determining monsters.

I know how to taunt around but on turn one I was slammed for 5 hp out of my starting 8 due to a poor opening hand and a bad monster roll.

Help?
 
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Sam Waller
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Glad you are continuing to tackle the bull by the horns! We did intentionally make the game quite difficult, however it should not be insurmountable. We are working on a play through video of a 3-player session (vs. Torglesnarf) we recorded in-house and should have that up soon.

Regarding your Q. I assume you are playing the game correctly (everybody is contributing Heroes during each turn, the proper number of monsters are spawning, etc.) but to cover the bases I want to make sure that:
1: You are spawning monsters based on their Threat Value (lower left hand number)and not just spawning X monsters.
2: You are playing cards (including your hero character) off turn to support your buddies.
4: You are letting the location tank some of the damage for the team
5: When you recruit a card, you are adding it directly to your hand.


Typically, those reasons are the primary miss-plays I see from groups. Other stuff like failing to concentrate damage on individual targets, or failing to recruit cards that actually do damage are also common. If none of these are likely culprits, let me know!
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trevor

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Just got the game and had alot of fun, we got slaughtered but made it through round 1.

I think it's great, but i love my co-ops super difficult.
 
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v b
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?? I didn't even realize this game was out yet! I've been waiting for it! I'm shocked there isn't more hype for it!
@OP: Where can I find the walkthroughs you referenced?
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Sam Waller
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We have a walkthrough of the pre-release version of the game available on Update #5 of the Kickstarter campaign. it's outdated compared to the published version of the game though. We are working on a better playthrough video we recorded last weekend. Just haven't finished polishing the video yet.

The game isn't officially released yet either. Just many of our backers have now gotten their hands on it. It should be out in game stores later this month though!
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Tino Martino
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Thanks for the follow up. I can say with confidence we are following the rules correctly. Just possibly need to build a little smarter and coordinate a little better. As well let the location tank a bit!

I'll keep at it. But sheesh is this daunting.

@Trevor - the walkthrough was from the Kickstarter update that was mentioned here. I know the games changed a little since then but it gives you a good idea of game flow.
 
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trevor leitner
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So far my wife and are 0/4. We tried two games playing 1 hero each and managed to make it through encounter 1 with almost no hp left.

Tries 3/4 we each controlled two heroes. Definitely easier but Drog is still mopping the floor with us with his 2 armor and 1 slash.
 
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Emerald Arcana
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Re: Wildly Difficultl
Three games so far: one 2P, one 5P, and one solo 5P.

Lost all three times, despite the fact that we unintentionally cheated the second game. After losing twice in the "easy" scenario, I tried just now a solo 5P to see if there was some essential strategy I was missing.

I lost that too, following the rules strictly, having done only 13 damage to the boss.

This game is brutal: to the point of not-fun-brutal. If the first encounter is ranked "easy" then I would expect people to be able to win it on easy.

Here are a few observations I've witnessed:

1) Yes, you have to kill Drog and all of his minions. You can't focus burst Drog down first and win.

2) Card replenishment is a huge problem, especially in the Red Dragon Inn location. Most of the time, I was unable to play multiple heroes but also unable to gather enough hard-hitting items to penetrate armor. Since only the defending player replenishes hand, players can't often play a card each turn because they only get up to 5 and card draw isn't on many of the high damage cards.

3) Shield is essential. In fact, it's by far the most powerful stat in the game and feels necessary to win the encounter, as shielding Drog's damage enables you to avoid slash damage.

4) Splash/cleave are also immensely important.

The party simply doesn't have enough hit points in my games to defeat all of the monsters but also fend off the boss.

I was able to in my solo game taunt all of the monsters off of the location on around 1, allowing me to keep Drog on the location for four rounds, cycling through all but 1 hero. In those four rounds, I was able to defeat many of the monsters, mostly from splash by Zot and the Fire Mage. P5 (Fiona, who had 4 HP), taunted Drog off the location and received 4 shields to avoid death, but then the rest of the party had no shielding available because of lack of cards.

By the time we cycled back to P4, Drog would have done 2 dmg to kill Gerki and also simultaneously have killed Diedre P3 and Fiona P5.

As the turns went on I simply didn't have enough card cycle to gather resources and do damage, and relying on the luck of the draw of the reinforcements pile was not enough.

If you extrapolate to the scenario, Drog has 65 health. Each player starts with 8 health and it's likely that at least one hero has 5 health by the time they reach Encounter 2. The Brutes deck has some challenging monsters in it, many with 13-15 health and some with 1 armor. Since most players will have 2-3 active monsters, the party effectively has to deal 20-30 damage each round or suffer damage. Anyone who's played this game knows that 15 is a fair amount of damage a turn (one hero might do 4-5, an item 5, a named hero 4, but you can't blow everything on one turn because you have four more turns to plan for.)

You basically get a max of 4 rounds of Drog attacking the location before a player has to pull him. That means you're taking an additional 1-2 damage each player before Drog arrives. Once he arrives, you need to continue to defeat additional monsters.

If the part can deal about 10-20 damage a turn, you'd need to have Drog on the board for about 6 turns. That's approximately 5 Splash damage each player, in addition to the damage from monsters in the first round, in addition to Drog's actual melee attack - 2 per round. That's 7 damage per hero, assuming no DR.

It's very difficult to get that much reliable DR, round after round, for 4-5 rounds.

For those who are clearing the scenario easily is really like to hear how because right now, without immense luck with reinforcements, I can't see how a player group can reliably beat the "easy" scenario. Tips are really welcome. I'd like to see someone explain how you "skill" your way through it.
 
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trevor leitner
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The above has been roughly my experience as well. Considering Drog has two armor you can conservatively estimate that it will probably take at least an extra 30% damage to kill him. So a 50 hp Drog probably takes a minimum 65 damage while he just smacks you.

I looked several times to look through the rules to see if something like shield 1 would reduce the splash, if you retired a card every round, etc. So far nothing looks like it is the case. I'm almost to the point of wondering if some internal testing made changes that didn't get placed in the rulebook.
 
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Emerald Arcana
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Just played a 4P solo to see if the 5P was incorrectly scaled. Though I got much closer to success (boss down 50%, a few monsters left on the board), I still died. I even tried to min-max by ordering the hero turns optimally to do max damage, but to no avail.

At this stage I don't believe I'm doing anything wrong according to the rules. Something must be incorrectly tuned - I'd like to think I'm not that dumb to be unable to get even close to clearing the Introductory "tutorial" scenario after 4 tries.

Encounter 1 is not that hard - I can clear that with most heroes having 5+ HP, and some even not taking any damage at all. Encounter 2 though is where I get stomped. I let the location tank maximum damage (Drog hangs out on it for 4 turns, dealing 8 damage) but the brutes have so many hit points that, even with reinforcement cards in hand, it takes a while to wear them out. I mean there's 3 or 4 monsters with combined health totals of 35-45 HP. Fiona or a Barbarian (who are powerhouses with Cleave) can possibly do 6-11 damage to two targets with a mace or sword, but even that won't kill most of the monsters in the Brutes deck, and even if you do, you still have 5 other groups to deal with, not to mention the boss himself.

I think that, if you get the right reinforcements in the right order, the introductory scenario MIGHT be possible, but if there aren't enough Shield items for your heroes or cleave/splashes, you simply won't have enough ways to reduce incoming damage compared to your outgoing damage.
 
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Mr Smith
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Finally won against the "intro" "easy" scenario. Two player game. I used Fiona going first and Zot going second. Fiona was the all star with a mace and later a dagger to go with it. I tried to recruit what would do the most DMG on the following players turn. Taunt, cleave and splash are the keys I think. Let the location take as much damage as it can and taunt monsters away from people before they get to deal damage.
 
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Ema Šturalová
Czech Republic
Šlapanice
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We have finnaly won in our 3rd game. After 2 losses we figured we didn't read the rules properly, so before our 3rd game, we finally sat down, did that and beat the intro scenario fairly easily. The 2 losses were in a 3P games, the victory only 2P as my sister didn't want to lose again

Our mistakes:
1) Didn't realize you could pass shields to other players
2) Didn't know that by blocking all of monster's damage, you block Slash
3) On 2nd encounter, we didn't shuffle the 2nd subdeck into the 1st one, we just used the 2nd one only (and a brutal massacre followed)

Other than correcting these mistakes we did nothing out of the ordinary, just made sure the location survived, at the same time let monsters on it for as long as possible (to avoid unnecessary damage). Gave shields and used taunt on items/heroes to again avoid damage. We cleared all of the monsters before taunting the boss, mitigated almost all of his damage with shields so he was just a really big pile of hp.

I like to think that the key to victory in this game is careful planning and communication, which I very much like
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Rico Cordova
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I was a little surprised by the difficulty as well. My wife and I played a 2 player game, but we won our first try...but just barely. I had 1 hp and she had 2 when we won. I looked on the forums to find out if we did anything wrong because the intro scenario was supposed to be "easy"...and it definitely wasn't that!

There were a few things I think we could have done better throughout. But I was sure there was some kind of healing mechanism between locations. We went into the second location with 5 and 6 hp, and we were a little worried about that.

First, we didn't realize you mix in the next subdeck, rather than just replacing it. So we had some pretty bad ass creatures for the second location. Fixing that should help reduce the difficulty.

Second, we didn't use taunt very effectively throughout the entire game. A non-active player should taunt away from the active monster group when possible to prevent damage. For some reason that didn't dawn on me until after the game. Doh!

Third, let the boss just hack at the location for a bit before you engage him. We were able to have a "bye" round where we just prepared before taunting him and beginning the onslaught. The final location only had 2 hp on it when we decided to pull him down. This gave us a chance to get our hands full of decent cards.

I'm still unsure as to the best recruiting tactic. I did notice that I had too many heroes and not enough weapons in my deck by the end. I think balancing this is key. I'm just not sure whether to focus on physical heroes or magical heroes. I just tried to bolster the group of the player-hero. That is, if your player-hero was magical you should focus on getting magical heroes and magical weapons. That's what we did for our first play. I'm going to try and vary it a bit more next time.

Since weapons are useless without a hero to equip them I think you should aim to have slightly more heroes in your deck than weapons. Since you are guaranteed to get your player-hero in your hand every round you might be safe just getting an even distribution of heroes and weapons.

I get the feeling it's going to be useful to get items to cull your deck as you go through the game. I was able to pick up a blade that had a "retire the hero that used this" ability. It was very useful if you can get it early.
 
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Jacob Black
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My only beef with the difficulty are the dice. The white die really shouldn't have a 1 on it. My group has played a lot of Shadowrun Crossfire which plays very similarly to this but it doesn't have much variable damage so you can be reasonably assured if you need to kill monster X you've got the tools to do it. Setting Fiona up for a monster cleave then having her brick by rolling a 1 just feels like a game ending mistake most times.
 
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Rico Cordova
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My wife and I barely won our first game (Chronos and Fiona) and we decided to play the intro scenario again today during our lunch break, but with different characters (Gerki and Zot). We got destroyed in our first play. We didn't even come close to getting to the second location. We drew into 3 cards with ambush, one armored unit and two monster tokens. It was an absolute slaughter.

Since that game lasted about 5 minutes we decided to restart and try again. The second time we cleared all the monsters on the second location and pulled the boss. The boss killed us before we could do any damage to it. With this character combo it felt quite swingy - more luck than I was hoping for. My wife is constantly bugging me to just put in a house rule to make the game easier. I'm not convinced it's needed yet. Another couple of losses like today and I might have to concede.
 
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Jason Pollard
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From what I've been reading it seems the introduction campaign is harder than the rest. This is also my experience trying to play the game. Haven't been able to beat the intro campaign.
 
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Ruben de Kemp
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Sam Waller wrote:
Glad you are continuing to tackle the bull by the horns! We did intentionally make the game quite difficult, however it should not be insurmountable. We are working on a play through video of a 3-player session (vs. Torglesnarf) we recorded in-house and should have that up soon.


It's a baffling decision to make the INTRODUCTORY Scenario wildly difficult tho, especially if this is the means by which most people will be introduced to the game and base their decisions on whether they want to keep playing it. It just seems like many of the Scenarios are just not tuned right to their stated levels.

Based on what I'm seeing here I have a feeling this one just isn't gonna see a lot of gameplay in my house *sigh*. I don't mind difficulty...what I mind is the perception of insurmountability. I guess the BGG rating probably speaks for itself here.
 
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v b
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DorkPassenger wrote:
My only beef with the difficulty are the dice. The white die really shouldn't have a 1 on it. My group has played a lot of Shadowrun Crossfire which plays very similarly to this but it doesn't have much variable damage so you can be reasonably assured if you need to kill monster X you've got the tools to do it. Setting Fiona up for a monster cleave then having her brick by rolling a 1 just feels like a game ending mistake most times.

I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on similarities to Shadowrun Crossfire as I play that alot and have been considering buying this game too.
 
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