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Subject: Scenario #38 - Impossibly hard? rss

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Furry Fox
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Usually, we beat scenarios on the first attempt. When we lose, it is because we focused too much on loot/experience/etc. We switch to hard sometimes, when it starts to feel too easy.

For scenario #38, we have just failed in our third attempt.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
On our first attempt, we made it to the last room but ultimately lost on the last draw from the modifier deck. The last enemy would have been killed in the last round but the orchid died first. So in theory, it should be doable somehow...

The 2nd and 3rd attempt were not even close. In both cases, the orchid died early, once in the third room and once when it entered the fourth.

We are playing an item-focused class and a summons-focused class
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Quartermaster and Summoner


We always fail to do the necessary damage to follow the orchid in time.

We haven't tried just following it till the last room, just focusing on healing, and then killing them when they come, but I highly doubt that this would work.

The only way I to stop the orchids advance is by blocking the patch with enemies. With the low initiatives they have, this is almost impossible though. Somehow a path always opens up the the orchid get through.

We're loath to lower the level by one but it seems so utterly impossible that we may have to do it soon, if we ever want to beat it. (Since we focus fully on winning, we also don't get any loot and barely any XP.)

Has anyone beat this, yet?
 
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Tim Ebert

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I was able to beat the level with the Cragheart and the tinkerer. I used the Craghearts ability to create obstacles to slow down the Orchid just enough to allow the party to clear out the enemies. It is tough.
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Furry Fox
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Yeah, that would certainly make it a lot easier. I wonder what basic strategy should be used, though. There has to be another way than using the cragheart.
 
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Furry Fox
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We just failed a 5th time. I'm very sure now that this scenario is not balanced properly for 2 players, at least not for our classes (on level 3). We got closer to the end again, this time, but almost half the monsters were still alive. I feel like we must have been extremely lucky the first time, where we would have won if my initiative was a bit lower on the last turn. I can probably imagine beating it with other classes that do a lot more damage than ours, but for us, this feels like playing on very hard. We will try one last time, this time on EASY.
 
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Furry Fox
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Ok, we played it again and beat it. (Still on NORMAL, my wife said it would be embarrassing to play on easy ). It wasn't that much more difficult than other scenarios - only because we got lucky, though.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
This time one of us was one level higher and got a really good card that made quite a difference. We focused completely on making sure that the Orchid couldn't advance. I don't think victory would have been possible without some serious luck, though. For example when the Orchid was immobilized by an archer in a critical situation. Also, if the order of activation was slightly different, the orchid would have gotten through at least twice, when archers tried to lose disadvantage. (This was actually the main reason we lost so many time, I think: the archers always activated in a very inconvenient order/initiative.)

The basic strategy is to not let the Orchid get out of room 2 before everything is dead and that is very luck-dependent. We did it by whittling down both guards (room 1) and both archers (room 2) and killing them simultaneously. With some summons it can be slightly easier to block paths. Secondly, killing the Golem quickly is fairly important to no receive too much damage there.

By far the most luck-dependent scenario we have played but very happy we finally defeated it.
 
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Yoff Lag
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Its obviously easier with more characters because you can better narrow the Orchid passage.
I did it on second try with the Cragheart, the Mindthief and a spell caster (don't remember if it was the Spellweaver or his cousin)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the Elementalist


The Cragheart ability to create obstacles saved me many times. I pretend though that some of his cards (lately) can't be easily played and I regreted some choices. I retired him and now play the Brute and I barely can't see how this one can compete.

So far, scenarios I'm having a hard time :

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Scenario 26 : very frustrating.
Scenario 60 : I cheated to win because it's awfully reliant on type of characters you have
Scenario 52 was boring because it's just a bet
 
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Keld Hjortskov
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Got to the last room before getting exhausted the second time.
This is the hardest scenario so far to play. A quick comparison with scenario #1 shows the same party of 3 on level 1 would have to do 72 damage in scenario #1 versus 128 damage in scenario #38. Add the Orchid protection duty to that and you have a very hard scenario!
 
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J
United States
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Completed this with Spellweaver + Triangle class last night. It was much easier once triangle reached level 7, even with higher level monsters.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Triangle has a level 7 ability to insta-kill a cluster of 3 normal enemies from range, and the card doesn't even get lost.

On turn 1, spellweaver used an ability to create all 6 elements, then triangle used the first action to insta-kill both guards in the first room, and the second action to run into the other room and then retreat back inside the first room. Used a stamina potion to get those 2 cards back, and then used 2 items to generate the desired elements to do the AOE insta-kill again next turn.

The archers and golem then did their on-room-revealed activation, moved closer and bunched up, and next turn got killed.

The spellweaver also has a single target insta-kill spell.
 
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Ryan H
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This scenario is very hard, but I found it really fun. You have to move fast and always try to stay ahead of the Orchid, even though that means you're going to be taking a lot of stupid hits.

We had a big advantage by having the two-figure class in the group.

Spoiler (click to reveal)

The beast tyrant. I (playing the tyrant) simply waited in the first room and used my bear for all actions, until the group entered the third room. At that point I swapped myself with the Orchid so he had to start over from the first room. It was pretty much the perfect ability for this scenario.
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Jakob Kaine
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You think this one is hard for two players? Wait 'till you get to scenario #66 and good f'ing luck. We specifically brought 4 characters for it because it was just simply too difficult to two-man.

Don't misinterpret me, though. Scenario #66 is quite possibly the very best scenario in the entire game, in my humble opinion. It's just out of this world difficult for two players.
 
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Drew Penn
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RyanH wrote:
This scenario is very hard, but I found it really fun. You have to move fast and always try to stay ahead of the Orchid, even though that means you're going to be taking a lot of stupid hits.


We didn't find it fun at all. It doesn't seem like it's remotely balanced for 2-characters. The first and second rooms have the exact same number of enemies for 2, 3, and 4 characters. The second room is the most important room in the scenario because you have to make sure you keep ahead of the Orchid going into the third room or he'll always run away and die, so having the same number of enemies to deal with (even considering regular vs elite) as 2 people and 4 people is absurd.

More players are also inherently favored because it's much easier to block his progress. Finally, with only 2 characters, it's just so much more likely to have a sudden unlucky loss. For example, it's pretty much impossible with only 2 people to have both people stay ahead of him, and if your lead person who's supposed to stay ahead gets immobilized (both the Stone Golem - less relevant - and the Archers - much more relevant - can immobilize), he runs ahead and you lose.

It's cute that you can use special counters to the scenario (classes with multiple figures, the Cragheart, etc.) but you really shouldn't be forced into a situation like this for a normal scenario which is part of the main quest line.

And come on, escort quests are fun? Said no one, ever. We just had an escort quest not much earlier in the quest line, why add another? It doesn't even fit with the introduction dialogue: "blah blah blah, blood must be spilt, I'm gonna go kill people whether you come or not." "But what I really mean by 'I'm gonna go kill people' is that I'm just going to run ahead blindly into multiple enemies with no intention of killing anyone. Sure, all these Inox have been doing terrible things to me and my friends/family, but I'm actually just going to run past them while they attack me to death without even trying to fight back." Because yeah, that definitely makes sense.
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Luke
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2 character parties are the most susceptible to difficulty swings.

I really think Gloomhaven is balanced for 4 characters. 3 is great in many situations, but can still end up with scenarios they just aren't built for.

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Jo Bartok
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Zwingenberg
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mournful wrote:
2 character parties are the most susceptible to difficulty swings.

I really think Gloomhaven is balanced for 4 characters. 3 is great in many situations, but can still end up with scenarios they just aren't built for.



With 2 you will also miss out on a lot of class triggers on Events.
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Felix Scholz
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Gütersloh
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Okay so yesterday our 2-player group gave this scenario a try and we had a rather bad time with it. First try we just couldn't keep up with the NPC and he rushed into the 3rd room by himself and died that same round (he might have survived that if we had calculated his HP correctly but it would have changed anything in the long run).
Second try we made to the last room or rather the NPC did with 1HP and Poison. So that ended in failure soon after.

Now in that second run we had some bad draws in key situation (misses on that big attack on a stone golem with the piercing bow active). So I guess it is possible but sometime during the second try I thought we might do the NPCs movement wrong so I hope you guys can clarify:

The way we did it was that at initiative 99 he would always walk up to 3 hexes in a way that puts him closest to the last room. Now later I was thinking that it might be intended that he moves the way a monster would just with his focus beeing constantly on a hex in the last room.

The difference this would make becomes apparent in the very first turn. In the first room there are two guards standing in front of the door. If Neither of them dies that first round and they don't move, according to monster movement rules there would be no way for the NPC (even with infinite movement) to reach his focus hex. So he would not move at all.

This would slow him down considerably since the same situation exists in the second room with the archers. What makes this difficulty however is that you can really tell whether is way is blocked or not since his path would go through rooms with enemies that are not revealed yet.

So which way would be the correct one?

I also agree that the way the NPC behaves is so incredibly stupid and does not fit the intro text that I would have hoped that he would maybe act like a monster with a move 3 attack 2 card each round ( I mean way did he grab a sword anyway?). If he still uses his move 3 toward the next room once there are no more targets he would still make it hard to take rests but I think it would fit the situation better.
 
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Olivier Prevot
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Ah so we are not the only ones with difficulty issues on this scenario!
We also play with 2 players only. Mostly for time reasons.
Also we were very surprised by the fact the Orchid does not attack which is contradictory to the atmosphere text and seems plain stupid. Also the need to kill everyone is strange it should just be to kill the last shaman or everyone in the last room.
The first one we disliked, not because we lost but because we did not understand it. surprise
We will try it again.
This is a great game !
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Kerstin
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Also failed on my first try on this one, because I really underestimated the speed of our companion there.

I eventually made it three player by rushing through, wounding the monsters on the way but essentially almost running away from them with a focus on moving on and not taking anyone out. A certain non-starting class was very helpful in that as there was a lot of disarming, stunning etc. happenening.
Eventually, we had all the enemies then following us when we made it to the last room, which created somewhat of a chokepoint for them, so it worked out to defeat them all eventually.
 
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Olivier Prevot
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But you did take out the golems right? They are much too slow for this tactic are they not?
 
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Kerstin
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Actually they were quiet ok for that strategy, they left us alone for the most part while we ran by, we did put a wound on them so they did take damage every round and I think we finished at least one of them last. We did however need to basically go back for them as far as I recall to kill everything.
 
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James
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Failed this twice as high level brute + scoundrel. Played pretty optimally and didn't see much to improve. It's just not very manageable that if we kill any enemies, the Orchid will run into the next room at initiative 99 and all the things in that room get to activate and kill him. So brute necessarily has to run past to tank. Which is fine, but it leaves the scoundrel to kill/tank all the rear enemies that were necessarily left behind because we had to rush past where the Orchid will run to.

Not very fun and considering house ruling the NPC to act on initiative 1 and act like a normal summon with 1 or 2 damage.
 
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Nicholas
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We absolutly loved this scenario, with the crazy orchid guy. Played on lvl6 with lvl7 triangle and lvl9 cragheart.
But I think that having a class with an reusable instant kill ability (there are lots of them) is extremly helpful in this scenario. Our biggest problem was that the Orchid is very fast, with 3 average movement. If you want to make it easier, just let him move 2 instead of 3.
 
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Daniel Schwarz
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We just beat it today, with 2. We were lucky enough to succeed on the first try. Having my friend on the cragheart made a HUGE difference. Creating obstacles is really effective.

Spoiler (click to reveal)

I was playing Sun class, which gives a great mix of tankyness, healing, and damage, and mobility. Keeping up with the Orchid was really hard. The guy had a deathwish. On the last room, he got ahead from us, and almost got himself killed. We barely managed to outheal all the damage and squeeze out a win.

I liked the stress of the whole scenario, it was a really different kind of scenario. Normally the cards are the limiting factor. Now, the Orchid creates an additional time constraint that interacts really well with the game mechanics.
 
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Wes Holland

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Beat this Saturday with 3: Angry-Face, Note, Circles.

Strategy was to jump ahead of some monsters and leave one character back with IdiotOrchid.

(Specific Class strategy)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Circles stayed behind because she was the lowest move and most of her power wasn't through direct damage.

Angry-Face had just gotten a high-self-heal card so went forward as the 'pretend-tank' to take a hit or two while killing everything.

Note went forward and has some serious crowd control that turned out to be very very useful.

Our group as a whole has picked up a bunch of Summons for various reasons. We had eight of them out at once, blocking up corridors to prevent IdiotOrchid from running further ahead than we could keep up. It also happened that the Summons were able to tie up the enemies so we could all run past.

Questionable thing done: As soon as D tile was revealed, we killed the Shaman. IdiotOrchid's rules say he's trying to Move 3 to that Shaman. If that Shaman's dead... he doesn't move? That's what we went with...

(I know some people have used 'Move X' abilities on him to move him backwards, which doesn't fit the scenario rules or how non-player characters work in general, but we didn't.)
 
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Dan Likos
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Wondering if you are moving the Orchid when it shouldn't be moving



I'm pretty sure the Orchid still won't move in this case as it doesn't have a path to tile D.
 
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The Wall
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Is this the Slave Pens?

We cheesed it pretty much in the most obvious way possible!

Spoilers for two-miniatures class.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The level 1 card Disorienting Roar bottom action lets the Beast Tyrant swap the positions of any two figures. The vermling stayed pretty much put then swapped himself with the orchid when it was about halfway along its path. This added lots more turns of the orchid being out of harm's way, allowing us to easily mop up the remaining inox and golems.

Note that we did this at scenario level 4 with 3 characters, so the enemies were still pretty tough but we know what they all do by now.

Also, the Orchid would move forward 2 squares in the example above. The scenario rules specifically state as much. Also monsters don't block line of focus they only block movement!
 
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Ahmid Pravanasan
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RyanH wrote:
This scenario is very hard, but I found it really fun. You have to move fast and always try to stay ahead of the Orchid, even though that means you're going to be taking a lot of stupid hits.


I agree.

My partner and I just did this scenario for the first time tonight, and we fell in love with it immediately. It was extremely challenging and strategic; we had to use our knowledge of the movement rules on every turn (if I stand HERE and you stand THERE, then the idiot will only move two spaces...).

Heck, we even made use of the enemy's immobilize attacks! Having the enemy pin Idiot down was a smart play.

Honestly, though, the thing that helped us get through it was our class selection. I'm playing the MindThief, which means I'm incredibly versatile. I brought my heal target augment, and used that to heal the idiot 4-5 times throughout.

Obviously, I don't think much of the ally (hence our affectionate nickname of "the idiot") and his tactics, but, well, the overall scenario was still a blast.

Having a character along that can throw a heal or two to another ally is a huge, huge bonus in a lot of cases.
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