Shayne Hull
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So I scored Shadows of Brimstone for Christmas thanks to my awesome wife! She even helped me glue the models (this takes a lot of time) and just played through 'A Fistful of Darkstone' with me (she's not a gamer and does not "get" the board games I love). All in all, she's really gone all out.

Anwyay, we have a few questions with our first play through.

1. In 'A Fistful of Darkstone' when we find the second clue we draw a High Threat card, right? At least that's what the rules clearly say on page 9. This was crazy! We stood no chance. The HellBats have initiative of 6 so go first and there were 6 of them! They KOed both of us (I was the Preacher and my wife the Rancher) before we could even respond. Since we were both KOed we couldn't use the Revive, so game over. A High Threat seems impossible for 2 characters to deal with. From reading the rules (again, page 9) I understand that a posse of 6 characters would also draw a High Threat card but stand a much better chance. Did we get this right?

2. The Hold Back the Darkness test must be made at the start of each turn, correct? Therefore, even if we're in the middle of a fight, we still need to make this test? When we faced the High Threat at the end, we made the Hold Back the Drakness test and rolled a natural double. This meant more enemies should have spawned in an ambush attack. We didn't spawn them because there were already 6 HellBats, 9 Hungry Dead and 3 Corps Piles on the board. It felt like cheating, but gave us no advantage as the HellBats killed us right away anyway.

3. When can you use an item from your side bag? I get that Dynamite can only be used in a fight, but when can you use Bandages? Does using Bandages count as your activation or can you use it in the middle of a fight and still attack?

4. How do people organise/store the map tiles? I found a lot of time was lost in searching for the corresponding map tile.

Thanks in adavance for your answers. This game seems awesome and I have mates coming over later in the week to paly it.
 
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Nick Smith
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Noord Brabant
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1. Maybe the Fistful of Darkstone changed the basic rule just for introductory purposes - I don't recall if that's the case or not - but in any normal game a posse of more than 2 must draw an Epic threat card at the end of the game, not a High threat. High threat is actually more or less easy mode. The revive token, though, should take effect immediately. You don't wait for the end of the turn, so whoever died first should've gotten a second chance at the monsters (not that it would make a huge difference against a horde that big).

2. This is correct, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. It isn't always, though.

Ultimately this just comes down to a few basic facts about the game: 1 - the two of you picked the lowest initiative characters in the game, so you're going to get hammered by monsters more often; 2 - sometimes the dice/cards just aren't on your side (getting that many monsters for your final fight with only a high treat card is definitely on the extreme end of possibilities - and for the 3 hellbat hits alone to kill you, you had to be either half dead already, or to be rolling poorly, too), and it becomes time to consider running away and living to fight another day; 3 - it's important to have a good mix of tokens and items to help win the day (obviously, your ability to decide what you have in the first game is limited, but that aspect does get better over time) and to pick the proper time to use them, as well as to grit things: for instance, the rules allow you to roll all your defence dice together at once, so if you roll poorly you can reroll them all, or as many as you want, with a single grit.


3. When you're using a token on yourself, you can do it pretty much anytime. Except, of course, after you've already rolled dice and before you've applied the effects of those dice (so you can't roll defense, realize you just died and then heal yourself with bandages to prevent it). If you want to give a token to another player, you have to be adjacent (if there are monsters on your tile) or just to share the same tile (if there are no monsters there). I believe the same is true if you want to use the token on the other player yourself, though I'd have to check that.

4. That one's just the cost of doing business. Short of keeping them in some kind of pre-labeled file folder, there's not really any way to keep them organized. I just keep all the corridors in a separate bag and keep the mine entrance on top for easy access. Looking through them for the right one does get easier as you get more familiar with the tiles.
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Harrison Nay
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It's a high level threat card with 2 heroes. Epic for 3+.
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Jonathan Allen
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grendelsbayne wrote:
1. Maybe the Fistful of Darkstone changed the basic rule just for introductory purposes


The first time you play, the enemy is a High. In subsequent adventures, Fistful of Darkstone uses the normal rules.
 
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Jonathan Allen
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Even if there are only 2 players, I recommend have 3-4 characters. That makes it less likely that bad luck alone will cause you to lose.

My game log:

1. Total party wipe-out
2. Made it half-way, then ran out of the mine with my loop.
3. Defeated the elite even though he had 9 other monsters defending him. Only one character survived.
4. Found the body of the person we were looking for early. So technically we "won" even though we never found the boss. Only fought one monster, but had to run away because the mine itself was killing us.
5. Insane "defend the town battle". Most of the townspeople were killed, but we all survived.
6. Easy win, found the boss in the second room so no one was hurt.

So yea, this is often a brutal game but sometimes everything goes your way and you get the easy win.
 
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Nick Smith
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Noord Brabant
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Grauenwolf wrote:
Even if there are only 2 players, I recommend have 3-4 characters. That makes it less likely that bad luck alone will cause you to lose.



That's also something to consider. My wife and I started out with 2 characters, but we only play 4 characters now for several reasons:

A 2 character game never gets to use the epic threat monsters (which are cool).
4 character games don't have to bother with the revive tokens (one less ruleset to remember).
Half the fun of the game is in leveling up the characters, but it takes so long to get to the top that it could get monotonous playing the same class all the time. Playing two classes at once is just fun and lets you explore the possibilities of the game more.
If you get bad luck on one character, you can potentially make up for it with the other one.

That said, I still play 2 character games whenever I want to solo the game, and they work perfectly well and are still very fun. It's certainly not mandatory. Also, if you say your wife doesn't get games in general, then asking her to manage 2 characters at once in a game like this could be a bit much.
 
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Shayne Hull
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Thanks for the replies.

I was just rereading the rules to make sure we did everything right and realised we did a few (silly) things wrong that probably tipped the game not in our favour.

Firstly, we allowed the enemies to roll for damage rather than just assigning their damage stat. So instead of 1 damage for each successful hit, the HellBats were doing D6 damage per hit to us.

Secondly, we were rolling for defence against the enemies' total damage results instead of against their to hit rolls. We rolled a number of dice equal to the enemies' total damage from the (incorrect) D6 damage rolls, then canceled out damage equal to the number of successful defence rolls.

Add to this that we did use the Revive token incorrectly, i.e. we could have used it straight away, then we might have stood a chance.

This all makes way more sense.


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Jonathan Allen
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Hullstar wrote:

Firstly, we allowed the enemies to roll for damage rather than just assigning their damage stat. So instead of 1 damage for each successful hit, the HellBats were doing D6 damage per hit to us.


Ouch. Yea, that it would make it quite a bit more difficult.
 
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