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Subject: Stuck on game 3 rss

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Brandon Young
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So I know the first 2 games are essentially the tutorial, and the difficulty ramps up for game 3. But we are just not able to even come close to beating game 3. We've played deck builders before, and I think we understand the rules and concepts well enough. The closest we ever got was having the last 2 villains on the table, but they we barely damaged.

What seems to be happening is that the dark arts and villain cards are comboing off of each other to deal 5+ damage on ones turn and we barely have time to heal before more damage is taken. And then we also have a heck of a time getting our own decks built up. We frequently pull 4 or 5 Alohamora's and can't do damage. We buy cards to augment each deck specifically but the strategies never seem to play out like we want.

We also get stunned frequently, at least 3 times each in each game, primarily because of the aforementioned huge damage drops. I know other people have said the difficulty ramps up eventually, but we can't even get past game 3.

Any suggestions for us? What are we missing? Does it sound like there is a rule we don't understand? Is it just a run of bad luck?
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GodRob
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While you may take a bunch of damage on one turn it shouldn't be happening that often. I'm not sure if you're playing anything wrong because you didn't give any details. How many people are playing and which characters are you using?

Game 3 has 8 villains of which only two are in play at any given time.

1. Draco isn't too bad as he only deals damage sporadically.
2. Crabbe & Goyle aren't too bad either but can be a pain if Tom is making you discard cards.
3. Quirell inflicts 1 damage every turn but that isn't too bad.
4. Lucius isn't very painful at all. You can usually overcome any damage he heals.
5. The Basilisk can be a pain if you need to draw cards but early in the game it isn't much of a problem.
6. Tom may cause some trouble as you'll have an Ally in hand every other turn at start. Plus he has that look like he knows you're going to lose. Get rid of him!
7. Wormtail is either very easy at the start or extremely painful once your decks are built up.
8. The Dementor causes two damage per turn and you want to get rid of him as soon as possible.

You'll want to manage your villains. The ones I've ranked 1-4 are what I consider easy villains. When one of these shows up keep him around for a while and concentrate on dealing with the other. If you get two easy villains then you can concentrate on building your decks and healing.

Staying on the first location as long as possible is also key to winning, preferably staying there the entire game.

Getting stunned is a hindrance but shouldn't be game ending. Make sure you are playing that properly.

Or it could just be bad luck. Try again and see what happens!
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Mike Krajewski
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The control markers are essentially the timer for the game. Everything you can do to prevent or remove them gives you more time. Stunning is going to happen. It's built-in to add to that timer. Healing yourself just slows it down a bit.

Some combos are just worse than others. Have you tried it again? Concentrate your attacks on the worst of the villains. If there are 2 "easy" villains out, you can consider leaving them out there and splitting up the attacks between them and concentrate on building your decks longer, and then take them out so their rewards can give you the most benefit.
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David Jones
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The only thing I would add to what has already been said is that you may need to try going more on the offensive. This was the big thing holding me back from getting past year four. If you've not yet read my strategy guide, I do a little bit of math showing that, in most cases, one attack is more valuable than two healing. If you're spending time worried about getting stunned or overly focused on deck building instead of taking care of enemies, you are likely holding yourself back.
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Zach z
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I have had similar problems with game 3 - It seems OK with 2 players but I am doing a 4 player play with my family. We easily beat year one and two but were not even close to beating year 3.

Part of it is I think we had some really bad dark arts draws to begin with combined with a combination of hard villains to start. In the first two rounds (8 turns) before any new cards we bought had come out we had pretty much already lost the first location due to almost all of the add token dark arts events. And then with the 2 dark arts cards per turn we never really recovered. By the time we got to midgame we were taking so much damage that we were being stunned frequently and between losing cards from the stuns and the Basilisk which decided to then show up we never had enough cards to do anything.

We lost the last location with 3 villain left (2 visible and 1 still in the pile) and it seemed to us that it would have been impossible for us to win this game. Hopefully when we try again we get a better draw.

So yes - I agree that Year 3 is VERY hard with 4 players. I think alot of people who are not having any issues are playing with 2 or 3 players.
 
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Moo Cow
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zacz wrote:
So yes - I agree that Year 3 is VERY hard with 4 players. I think alot of people who are not having any issues are playing with 2 or 3 players.


This theme keeps coming up on here and I think it's one of the issues I'd like to see the developers chime in on. I'm playing with just my daughter at this point. In 15 games or so, we've lost a single time where we honestly just got screwed over by the cards big time; we were also something like 1 card from winning. Other than that single time, it has been a Location 1 victory with almost nothing left on the location.

The trend I see from people having a hard time is that they're playing with more people.

I'm wondering how the game was balanced or if it even was (not a slight at the developers in any way, but sheer curiosity). The only co-op deck builder I have to compare this to is Legendary, which does change the setup based on players. Clearly there was need to adjust how the game was laid out based on how many people were attempting to play it. This game doesn't have that, and I'm starting to think that it needs it.

We played once with 4 players and it was Game 2 - which we did lose. Then I've played a few games with 3 players and won all of those.

Unfortunately, my son is early in the series and my wife isn't much of a gamer. So I don't really have a way to test out different player numbers on the final game myself; it's just me and my daughter at this point.

We are going to try one of the variants for next game that's supposed to make the game harder, just to see how it goes.
 
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David Jones
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Moo Cow wrote:
I'm wondering how the game was balanced or if it even was (not a slight at the developers in any way, but sheer curiosity). The only co-op deck builder I have to compare this to is Legendary, which does change the setup based on players. Clearly there was need to adjust how the game was laid out based on how many people were attempting to play it. This game doesn't have that, and I'm starting to think that it needs it.


Big Book of Madness has a similar problem in that the difficulty goes up with the player count. Because the game has a fixed number of turns, you ultimately end up with fewer turns per player. Anything you do to improve your deck will cycle through less often. I'm not sure that deck builders need to be singled out here either. Pandemic has a similar problem in that the difficulty goes up at higher player counts. Its harder to trade cards to get a cure and each player has fewer actions to respond to whatever crisis is occurring on the board.

With regards to Hogwarts, I can't address this properly without possibly revealing some spoilers, so this might sound a little obtuse. There is a new mechanic in year six that significantly changes the game play, specifically with respect to how you set up the game up. I have found that the choices made with respect to this mechanic have a much greater impact on the game than the player count does. I don't play the game on earlier years anymore as I feel the real meat and potatoes of the game are in year seven, so I can't really address the problems of three vs four players in years 3-5. Player count still has an influence in years six and seven, but the setup choices and deck building decisions will overcome it. A four player game with good decisions will win most games and, similarly, a two player game with bad decisions will lose more often.
 
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Dale Stephenson
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Moo Cow wrote:

I'm wondering how the game was balanced or if it even was (not a slight at the developers in any way, but sheer curiosity). The only co-op deck builder I have to compare this to is Legendary, which does change the setup based on players. Clearly there was need to adjust how the game was laid out based on how many people were attempting to play it. This game doesn't have that, and I'm starting to think that it needs it.


Legendary does change the setup based on players, but for most combinations it is a *much* harder game with 5 players than two. The larger villain deck as player count increases doesn't compensate for how much slower each deck improves as the player count increases.

In this game the game clock doesn't change with more players, but the compensating item would be benefit-all-players player cards, which increase dramatically in power as the player count increases. (Legendary has a few heroes like that, but not many.) I agree this doesn't keep the difficulty level constant through the first three years, but I don't know that will still hold for future games.
 
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J Emmett
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davypi wrote:
With regards to Hogwarts, I can't address this properly without possibly revealing some spoilers, so this might sound a little obtuse. There is a new mechanic in year six that significantly changes the game play, specifically with respect to how you set up the game up. I have found that the choices made with respect to this mechanic have a much greater impact on the game than the player count does. I don't play the game on earlier years anymore as I feel the real meat and potatoes of the game are in year seven, so I can't really address the problems of three vs four players in years 3-5. Player count still has an influence in years six and seven, but the setup choices and deck building decisions will overcome it. A four player game with good decisions will win most games and, similarly, a two player game with bad decisions will lose more often.

My wife and I are 2-2 on Game 7, and those two wins came after reading your strategy post, so it's not unduly hard with two players. Last weekend we had the chance to play with four, so we played Game 3 to introduce the new players, won that, then played Game 5, and lost just four attacks short.

The difference we felt was less the number of times you get to play your cards, and more the number of Dark Arts events each player has to survive before their next turn. In that Game 5, my hand went from five cards at the end of my turn, to two cards at the start of my next turn thanks to seven or eight DA events in between. With those two cards I could only get two attacks, and couldn't draw any more cards (the next card would have been Dobby!). "Game over, man! Game over!" as Ron had shouted in the Forest of Dean (I think, I wasn't really paying attention to the movie).

So I'm looking forward to playing Game 7 with four players, and seeing what difference the you-know-whats make. I probably could have got that Dobby.
 
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B C Z
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I find this game is self balancing with the player counts due to a few of the mechanics. Provided people are focusing their decks on one or two aspects of play and not just getting the most powerful expensive card they can (to heck with everyone else) every turn, higher player counts are manageable.

Effects can affect SELF, ANY, TWO or ALL of the heroes.
TWO is effectively ALL in a two player game, but the extra bonuses from the ALL effects cannot be ignored in four player games. For this reason, higher player counts may want to favor ALL effects over SELF/ANY/TWO effects.

Decks are smaller in a 4 player game, so they can be more focused on what they are good at. Fellow Heroes can clear the cards in Hogwarts that might be clogging the path for the more focused decks. Learning each character's potential decks helps towards this.
 
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Zach z
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I agree BT that the cards that effect all players do help balance the game - but there are also not many of these in game 3. Most of them come in to play in game four and later.

Also you say decks in 4 player are more focused - I agree that they are smaller but this does not mean that you have the cards you need. It is likely they don't come up or you cannot afford them (as you don't have the extra time to buy money making cards).

Once again I think this improves in later games but in game 3 four player is a definite disadvantage.
 
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Javier Pineda
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I have played year seven with four players and it's IMPOSSIBLE to win. By the 8th turn all the players have nothing but Alohomora and bad guys have taken the first location, after that is just painful like crucio.
 
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Swampy Crocker
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Habeeh wrote:
I have played year seven with four players and it's IMPOSSIBLE to win. By the 8th turn all the players have nothing but Alohomora and bad guys have taken the first location, after that is just painful like crucio.


We made a house rule in game 5 (that I had seen elsewhere) that no negative effects trigger until after every player has had at least one go through to buy cards. Your starting deck is so weak when you get to the higher level villains.
 
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Javier Pineda
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SwampMonster wrote:
Habeeh wrote:
I have played year seven with four players and it's IMPOSSIBLE to win. By the 8th turn all the players have nothing but Alohomora and bad guys have taken the first location, after that is just painful like crucio.


We made a house rule in game 5 (that I had seen elsewhere) that no negative effects trigger until after every player has had at least one go through to buy cards. Your starting deck is so weak when you get to the higher level villains.


I have found that a better house rule is that every turn a player is not "playing". This player can't receive either damage or benefits from the cards played during that turn. That way, it's like playing with 3 players while playing with 4. Am I being clear? i.e. During Harry's turn all cards played affect all others players except Ron.
 
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Swampy Crocker
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Habeeh wrote:
SwampMonster wrote:
Habeeh wrote:
I have played year seven with four players and it's IMPOSSIBLE to win. By the 8th turn all the players have nothing but Alohomora and bad guys have taken the first location, after that is just painful like crucio.


We made a house rule in game 5 (that I had seen elsewhere) that no negative effects trigger until after every player has had at least one go through to buy cards. Your starting deck is so weak when you get to the higher level villains.


I have found that a better house rule is that every turn a player is not "playing". This player can't receive either damage or benefits from the cards played during that turn. That way, it's like playing with 3 players while playing with 4. Am I being clear? i.e. During Harry's turn all cards played affect all others players except Ron.


Basically the player sitting across from you (in a 4 player game) is immune to all affects, positive or negative, during your turn?
I'm not sure if I like it or hate it. I play Neville and enjoy being able to heal the group as a whole on my turn. I tend to get cards that can heal all players, try to get at least 2 hearts healed per player, then trigger Herbology to allow card draws. I really enjoy the team aspect of this game, since most of my games are PvP.
 
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Javier Pineda
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SwampMonster wrote:
Habeeh wrote:
SwampMonster wrote:
Habeeh wrote:
I have played year seven with four players and it's IMPOSSIBLE to win. By the 8th turn all the players have nothing but Alohomora and bad guys have taken the first location, after that is just painful like crucio.


We made a house rule in game 5 (that I had seen elsewhere) that no negative effects trigger until after every player has had at least one go through to buy cards. Your starting deck is so weak when you get to the higher level villains.


I have found that a better house rule is that every turn a player is not "playing". This player can't receive either damage or benefits from the cards played during that turn. That way, it's like playing with 3 players while playing with 4. Am I being clear? i.e. During Harry's turn all cards played affect all others players except Ron.


Basically the player sitting across from you (in a 4 player game) is immune to all affects, positive or negative, during your turn?
I'm not sure if I like it or hate it. I play Neville and enjoy being able to heal the group as a whole on my turn. I tend to get cards that can heal all players, try to get at least 2 hearts healed per player, then trigger Herbology to allow card draws. I really enjoy the team aspect of this game, since most of my games are PvP.


Exactly, the guy in front of you is not active on your turn. I have played Neville like you mentioned, buying cards that heal but whenever is my turn I only have like three cards to do something. And let's not forget about Greyback and Sectumsempra.

Have you ever won year seven with four players?
 
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Dale Stephenson
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I've won year seven with four players, on the first location. (Actually, I've *only* won year seven while still on the first location.) I haven't yet won with four players and randomly chosen proficiencies.
 
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Javier Pineda
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dalestephenson wrote:
I've won year seven with four players, on the first location. (Actually, I've *only* won year seven while still on the first location.) I haven't yet won with four players and randomly chosen proficiencies.


What proficiencies did you assign to each player?
 
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Dale Stephenson
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Habeeh wrote:
dalestephenson wrote:
I've won year seven with four players, on the first location. (Actually, I've *only* won year seven while still on the first location.) I haven't yet won with four players and randomly chosen proficiencies.


What proficiencies did you assign to each player?


If memory serves, it was
Neville/Herbology
Harry/Arithmancy
Ron/Charms
Hermoine/Transfiguration

For 4-player, you want Herbology on Neville, Harry and Ron to have Arithmancy and Charms -- those are both powerful abilities that don't feed into Hermoine's spell focus, but either can help Ron's ability and Harry's ability doesn't care who is removing locations. Hermoine can work well with any of the other proficiencies. The first time we thought we beat Y7 with four players (we got a rule wrong), Ron had Arithmancy, Harry had Charms, and Hermoine had Divination -- while I don't count the win, I think the power of the proficiencies is comparable. (And the irony of giving Ron Arithmancy and Hermoine Divination is fun.)
 
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Javier Pineda
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dalestephenson wrote:
Habeeh wrote:
dalestephenson wrote:
I've won year seven with four players, on the first location. (Actually, I've *only* won year seven while still on the first location.) I haven't yet won with four players and randomly chosen proficiencies.


What proficiencies did you assign to each player?


If memory serves, it was
Neville/Herbology
Harry/Arithmancy
Ron/Charms
Hermoine/Transfiguration

For 4-player, you want Herbology on Neville, Harry and Ron to have Arithmancy and Charms -- those are both powerful abilities that don't feed into Hermoine's spell focus, but either can help Ron's ability and Harry's ability doesn't care who is removing locations. Hermoine can work well with any of the other proficiencies. The first time we thought we beat Y7 with four players (we got a rule wrong), Ron had Arithmancy, Harry had Charms, and Hermoine had Divination -- while I don't count the win, I think the power of the proficiencies is comparable. (And the irony of giving Ron Arithmancy and Hermoine Divination is fun.)


If Hermione's ability is to use at least 4 spells and Alohomora is the most common. Also, her cards are about collecting money. Shouldn't it be a good idea to have Flying Lessons assigned to her?
I've played:
Neville/Herbology
Harry/Charms
Ron/Arithmancy (Every Flavors Beans is great when combined with allies and dices are usually allies cards)
Hermione/FlyingLessons
 
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Dale Stephenson
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Habeeh wrote:
dalestephenson wrote:
Habeeh wrote:
dalestephenson wrote:
I've won year seven with four players, on the first location. (Actually, I've *only* won year seven while still on the first location.) I haven't yet won with four players and randomly chosen proficiencies.


What proficiencies did you assign to each player?


If memory serves, it was
Neville/Herbology
Harry/Arithmancy
Ron/Charms
Hermoine/Transfiguration

For 4-player, you want Herbology on Neville, Harry and Ron to have Arithmancy and Charms -- those are both powerful abilities that don't feed into Hermoine's spell focus, but either can help Ron's ability and Harry's ability doesn't care who is removing locations. Hermoine can work well with any of the other proficiencies. The first time we thought we beat Y7 with four players (we got a rule wrong), Ron had Arithmancy, Harry had Charms, and Hermoine had Divination -- while I don't count the win, I think the power of the proficiencies is comparable. (And the irony of giving Ron Arithmancy and Hermoine Divination is fun.)


If Hermione's ability is to use at least 4 spells and Alohomora is the most common. Also, her cards are about collecting money. Shouldn't it be a good idea to have Flying Lessons assigned to her?
I've played:
Neville/Herbology
Harry/Charms
Ron/Arithmancy (Every Flavors Beans is great when combined with allies and dices are usually allies cards)
Hermione/FlyingLessons


If you're going to use Flying Lessons, it certainly should be on Hermoine. She's the one hero who can get to 5 reliably. If there's a location removal card in the opening market, you shouldn't need it, though. Hermoine's money-generation is needed at the start to help improve everybody's deck as quickly as possible, and Flying Lessons works at cross-purposes with that.

Transfiguration is nice for Hermoine because she can turn an item into a spell, potentially a powerful spell. Her starting items are useful, but with Transfiguration she can pick up a cheap item out of the market without worrying about it diluting her deck.

History of Magic is nice because it rewards for what Hermoine wants to do anyway, buy spells.

Divination isn't an obvious fit for Hermoine, but since she shouldn't have Charms or Arithmancy, it can let her turn her two starting items (and any powerful items she might buy) into deck cycling, which is always a great thing. Divination and Transfiguration would arguably benefit each of the other heroes more than it would Hermoine, it's just that Herbology, Charms, and Arithmancy are the most useful for year seven, and all three of those are better on other heroes.

There's two possible ways to do random proficiencies, which simultaneously increase the variety and the difficulty.

1) Randomly give each hero a proficiency.
2) Randomly select a number of proficiencies equal to the hero count, then assign them out.

I've not won yet 4-player with method one, I'll have to try method two.
 
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bobby Bothmann

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so we have been unable to get past 3 villans on game three with 4 players or 3 players. i find it difficult to believe that we have to start with year one abilities each game like the summer and the things learned the year before never happened. petrificus totalus never comes up so we never get that benefit. there seem to be some flaws in the design of this game. i would expect that at least for game 4 that there would be a new set of hero cards with stronger spells and items.
we are fine with losing some but not always.
 
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Susan Barth
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*** 1. I love love love this game!

2. The most dangerous villian is the dementor early in or a Peter Pettigrew late in the game. The villians that we usually leave are Crabbe and Goyle, the death eater or Draco. Some of the worst combinations are Barty Crouch with either Peter Pettigrew or Lucius Malfoy.

3. All villians should be one charge away from defeat before you defeat one and bring Voldemort onto the scene.

4. It is not specified, so we assume that if we fill up the spaces of a location it does not go away until the next skull is placed and when we can remove a skull than the old location can come back, because we are driving back the dark forces. (Please give clarification if this is not the way we are supposed to play).

5. We have found the combination we like best for proficiency is:
Neville/ Herbology (obviously)
Harry/ Transfiguration (because of the cloak of invisibility is helpful in the hand but can be traded for more valuable items for play)
Ron/ Charms (It helps to cycle through his deck for the really powerful spells)
Hermoine/ Arithmancy (it just does and someone ought to have it for year 7)

Hope this helps.
 
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Alan Acevedo
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bothmann wrote:
so we have been unable to get past 3 villans on game three with 4 players or 3 players. i find it difficult to believe that we have to start with year one abilities each game like the summer and the things learned the year before never happened. petrificus totalus never comes up so we never get that benefit. there seem to be some flaws in the design of this game. i would expect that at least for game 4 that there would be a new set of hero cards with stronger spells and items.
we are fine with losing some but not always.


We encountered the same difficulty, and it stems from one thing: mitigating villain control tokens.

If there are no cards that allow for vc token removal in the top 12 or so cards of the Hogwarts deck, the game goes to the villains. Every time. I've had to ensure that there is at least 1 in the first dozen. The game then becomes more equitable - not a guaranteed victory, but at least there's a chance at winning.

Same can be said for the remaining years. It's all about being able to get cards to remove vc token cards.

Year 7 is a bit different, in that it's not just about the vc tokens, as one needs to be able to roll the dice to eliminate horcruxes. However, there seem to be quite a few cards that permit die rolls, and I've not yet encountered the same issue with an unbalance there.

Edit: I should add that we always play with 4 heroes, unsure if the above applies if only playing with 2 or 3 heroes.
 
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David Jones
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Quote:
4. It is not specified, so we assume that if we fill up the spaces of a location it does not go away until the next skull is placed and when we can remove a skull than the old location can come back, because we are driving back the dark forces. (Please give clarification if this is not the way we are supposed to play).


You need to re-read page ten of your manual. The location is discarded during step 4 if it is full. So you check this condition at the end of every players turn. Nothing in the rulebook indicates location are lost any other way. Similarly, there is nothing in the manual that indicates discarded locations can come back. This has been confirmed elsewhere on the forums, but I don't have the exact post handy. (I probably ought to add a section about this to the FAQ given the number of questions that have come up related to how locations are lost.)

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