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Subject: Scenario 81 - too difficult for two characters played solo (spoilers) rss

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Miranda Folland
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Has anyone succeeded in this scenario? Was it playing with 2 characters solo? I don't think it's possible.

Overall, I've played over 25 scenarios now, both solo with 2 characters and with a group of 3 other people. I've been exceptionally pleased with the difficulty of each scenario played at normal level, usually resulting in "edge of your seat" type anxiety at the end as to whether we were going to make it or not, and typically, we succeeded.

Scenario 81 however is way too hard at easy difficulty. I've played it now twice solo with two characters. Each time, both characters succumbed easily to the huge amount of damage taken as the monsters worked synergistically. There were too many monster bonuses working against me.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Not only do they always have access to their preferred elements, they use advantage and disadvantage to cancel out any null, bless and curse effects. It also makes it near impossible to use other elements. As well, the traps don't do any damage so I can't take advantage of those to kill the monsters and the two special items to help damage the boss only do 4 points of damage, which gets easily healed by him with his special effect.


My two characters are at levels 2 and 3 so I played the scenario at level 2, with monsters at level 3 because I'm playing it solo. At easy difficulty, the monsters are at level 2. I can't even take it lower than that because easy is as low as I can go. I've tried this scenario twice, once with a brute and scoundrel, and the other time with a cthulhu class and a scoundrel failing miserably both times.

Most of the level 2 monsters have as many hit points as my characters have and there are more than double the number of them as me. They are equally as powerful in terms of doing damage, healing and special effects. I see little point in trying again as I am an experienced player and normally succeed by trying different strategies. I strongly feel that this scenario is incorrectly balanced for two characters especially playing solo.

Edited for grammar
 
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Marcel Cwertetschka
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The temple of the eclipse is one of the harder scenarios. Maybe revisit the scenario with characters that can use the light and dark elements so you can steal them before the enemies can use them. You have to spend your biggest attacks on the boss and get as fast as possible through the dungeon.

Also some scenarios are a bit harder with 2 characters than with more charcters, maybe introduce a guest charactere.
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Mike Adams
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I agree, a really difficult scenario solo with 2 characters (I am currently playing with the Tinkerer and Brute, and failed that scenario 3 times before giving up). The good news is one time I did make it to the Boss, and managed to take away about 1/2 of his health before my characters were exhausted. I think once we have some characters that can consume light/dark (as mentioned above), it'll be possible to complete this successfully.
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Joao Bento
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If this is the scenario I think it is, my group had big troubles with it, as well, to the point we almost failed it.

The trick for it, we've found, is to ignore the second room - Artilleries don't move, and the Golems don't move all that much, so we insta-killed one of them to make way and just made our way to focus fire down the boss.
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Miranda Folland
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I played it once more with my brute and scoundrel. This time I cheated by playing it at super easy difficulty, with monsters at level 1. I was quite successful this time. Not only was I a lot luckier with my draws, I also used a better strategy.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I raced as quickly as possible to the final room not wasting my time with any goal treasure chests. The slower monsters got stuck behind the traps. Then with both of my characters at last in the final room, we were able to take down the boss. Killing the sun demons was important however as they healed all their allies in the final room.
It was just as tough anyway even at super easy difficulty level so I still feel that this scenario is not balanced properly. Thanks for all your help everyone.
 
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Marcel Cwertetschka
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Buckets wrote:
It was just as tough anyway even at super easy difficulty level so I still feel that this scenario is not balanced properly. Thanks for all your help everyone.

sorry as the designer of the scenario i have to disagree on that it isn't balanced properly. I poured hours of work into playtesting it, and monster-value wise it is even on the lower end of the usual scale as the elements and the boss ablities give them quite an edge. But with a brute and scoundrel you should have nearly few issues to manage it. You can push nightdemons, golems and artillery into traps. You can inflict various of status effects. You have alot of jump movements or jump boots to avoid monsters/terrain. The scoundrel can stay invisible most of the time and can go as fast as the nightdemons and almost always faster than the boss. some random item designs might even make this scenario a cakewalk as they can rob the monsters of their edge. Also with proper setup, the scoundrel should be able to almost kill the boss alone without getting any damage. Maybe you are still a bit low on prosperity or level or perks? This scenario has defenitely a bit thougher difficulty; but I managed it with various hero combinations even on very hard during the playtesting(even if the heroes weren't able to consume light and dark).
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Miranda Folland
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Morthai wrote:
I poured hours of work into playtesting it, and monster-value wise it is even on the lower end of the usual scale as the elements and the boss ablities give them quite an edge.
I don't know what that means. It sounds like you are agreeing with me that the monsters have quite an edge over my characters.

I appreciate the amount of work you've put into this. I have really enjoyed the other couple of scenarios of yours that I've played. I still think with all my experience with so many scenarios, I don't know how I could have done better, except to have better luck. There's no reason (except a lot of bad luck) that would account for the extreme difficulty I've had with this scenario compared to the other 25 I've played, except for me to continue to say it is not balanced well enough. I actually think it's a very cool scenario. The concepts of how the monsters work and the layout make it very interesting indeed. I just think it's too hard. When I significantly lowered the difficulty level, it was very fun for sure.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
For two characters, I just suggest taking out a couple of monsters on the path to the end, and in the last room, the special boss effects should either summon something or use heal/invisible, but not both. I mean you've already got the sun demon healing everything. The boss shouldn't be doing it too. The treasure chest items also are a distraction that do not have significant enough benefit to be worth picking up. They should do a lot more damage. It's hard enough getting into position to both pick them up and use them. They should be worth the effort.


Thanks for your feedback.
 
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David desJardins
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Buckets wrote:
There's no reason (except a lot of bad luck) that would account for the extreme difficulty I've had with this scenario compared to the other 25 I've played, except for me to continue to say it is not balanced well enough.


Surely an alternative reason is that you played poorly. I don't know how you can distinguish, yourself, but what would make you rule one or the other out?
 
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Miranda Folland
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Buckets wrote:
There's no reason (except a lot of bad luck) that would account for the extreme difficulty I've had with this scenario compared to the other 25 I've played, except for me to continue to say it is not balanced well enough.


Surely an alternative reason is that you played poorly. I don't know how you can distinguish, yourself, but what would make you rule one or the other out?


Yes, I could have played poorly but that would mean that I repeatedly played this scenario poorly and all the 24 others I played well enough. That's how I distinguish between the two alternatives. The common denominator is me, so there must be something different about this scenario (being that the difficulty setting is too high for the specific situation I described - two characters, solo). I'm really not that bad of a player. whistle That's why I started out this thread asking if anyone has succeeded in a similar situation.
 
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David desJardins
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Buckets wrote:
Yes, I could have played poorly but that would mean that I repeatedly played this scenario poorly and all the 24 others I played well enough.


Sure. That doesn't seem surprising. If you were given 25 riddles, and you got 24 of them right, that doesn't demonstrate that the last one is unbalanced. Maybe that's just the one answer that didn't occur to you. Someone else might find that one easy but get stuck on a different one.

There's two different meanings of "difficult" here. Does difficult mean that even with perfect play the probability of success is low? Or does it mean that some people might overlook the best strategy, even though they found a good strategy in other scenarios? It sounds like it might be hard for some people to come up with a good strategy here, but that's not the same as saying it's difficult to win if you figure out what to do.
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Miranda Folland
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Let's just wait and see if I'm the only one. If so, I concede to your analysis, David. Always learning...
 
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Tom H
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From the threads I have noticed here this scenario 81 is very hard. My group of 4 players took two tries at it and "won" the second. I put that in quotes because we seriously misplayed the boss's abilities.
 
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Aaron Senser
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Our group, a Tinkerer and the Two-Mini Class, beat this on our first try. I do think we won on our last possible turn, but that was mainly because the Two-Mini Class has issues trying to "rush" through a scenario. Got caught in a choke point entering the 2nd room and had trouble getting out.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
That damn bear just wouldn't leave the golems alone! We ended up having to kill all the enemies in the room, and couldn't just jump the traps either, as we needed to get the bear through to do enough damage to the boss.


Overall, it was beatable, but probably not our favorite one, mainly due to the annoyance of the Two-Mini Class. Actually, most scenarios I've played with the Two-Mini Class have been a pain. I should stop using it.
 
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MATTHEW THOMPSON
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I failed this one twice in a row playing solo with the crag and tink. Initially, because of rounding, I was sort of playing "up" (lvl 2 and 3). So I went out and did other missions so we'd level up JUST enough to not bump the SL, so I'm bringing more to the table, and not playing "up" because of rounding (and also opted for easy instead of normal this time).
Third time was the charm.
I think luck was also a bit of a factor,
Spoiler (click to reveal)
since almost every shuffle, the monsters would pull their opposite magic effect card within the first few pulls, so yay! that was handy. And sometimes the boss acted after the others, so the element he needed was often consumed before he acted, which was nice.

However, it was make or break at the end since the crag got exhausted and the tink only had 1 more turn in him with the boss at 3 hp. YAY x2 bless card FTW! (so yeah...luck REALLY helped :-p)
Also also, Night Demons hit like a freakin truck. Stun and poison and focusing was the only way I survived (freakin disadvantage! grrrr). and the Crags auto-dmg effects were handy in bypassing the shields of the sun demons.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
and remember the goal is the boss, not the minions/summons, so it's over the round he dies. it hurts, but focusing him (and the night demons...since they REALLY hurt) was the only way I didn't exhaust myself entirely in that last fight.

 
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Jez Dedman
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Morthai wrote:
Buckets wrote:
It was just as tough anyway even at super easy difficulty level so I still feel that this scenario is not balanced properly. Thanks for all your help everyone.

sorry as the designer of the scenario i have to disagree on that it isn't balanced properly. I poured hours of work into playtesting it, and monster-value wise it is even on the lower end of the usual scale as the elements and the boss ablities give them quite an edge. But with a brute and scoundrel you should have nearly few issues to manage it. You can push nightdemons, golems and artillery into traps. You can inflict various of status effects. You have alot of jump movements or jump boots to avoid monsters/terrain. The scoundrel can stay invisible most of the time and can go as fast as the nightdemons and almost always faster than the boss. some random item designs might even make this scenario a cakewalk as they can rob the monsters of their edge. Also with proper setup, the scoundrel should be able to almost kill the boss alone without getting any damage. Maybe you are still a bit low on prosperity or level or perks? This scenario has defenitely a bit thougher difficulty; but I managed it with various hero combinations even on very hard during the playtesting(even if the heroes weren't able to consume light and dark).


Just played Gloomhaven for the 14th time, and this is the first scenario we've failed. Only just admittedly. We "fake" played out one more round after our last character died, and we would have won. We played with 4, including the Spellweaver, and agree it was hard. Although we did play it one level above the normal difficulty, as found some other scenarios we were winning too easily (seems like a mistake to play this one up one level!)
Sounds like we could have done withe the Scoundrel judging by the bold sentence above! A bold bold statement indeed - not sure any character could do the required amount of damage in a 4 player game by themselves without taking any damage whilst more demons are summoned... Edit - guess going by the title of this thread you're talking about killing him specifically with two players.
Well designed though.
 
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Marcel Cwertetschka
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the scoundrel and one other character can pretty much stay perma invisible all the time, that what I mean with no damage.
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Alex B
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My wife and I just tried this one last night with a Brute and Mind Thief, each level 4. This is a tough one! We were VERY close to beating the scenario, but had spent too much time in the first room, and ended up both getting exhausted. We're going to try again tonight and run to the boss as quickly as possible. We're thinking we may be able to get there by turn 3, hopefully with both treasure chests. We'll see!

This is a really cool scenario, Morthai, and that's awesome that you designed it! I like the concept of the Savvas using light and dark, very cool.
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Darren Nakamura
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We ran this one a few weeks ago. Four characters. Very hard. We only won because we got exceptionally lucky in the boss room. (Brute used a lose card to deal 6 damage, got doubled in a deck without blessings, then discarded the treasure for a total of 20 HP damage in one turn.)

Most of us missed our battle goals, and we decided that if we lost (which we were sure would happen), we'd only come back with characters that can make consistent use of light and/or dark elements.
 
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Alex B
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I can definitely see characters who use those elements being a huge help in this scenario. I've had the monsters hurt themselves too though, with the elements. Maybe we were just lucky, but several times the sun demons would muddle themselves, and the night demons cursed themselves once, so those things were helpful.
 
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Des T.
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The wife and I just beat the scenario in the 2nd attempt. Scenario Level 3, level 7 brute and Level 5 triforce. It's another one of those "easy when you know how" scenarios.

While using as much mobility as possible is an important part of most "last room" boss fights, we figured out the "trick" to win pretty quickly:

Minor hint:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Good positioning and knowledge of monster behaviour is important.

Larger hint:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Note that the Colorless doesn't "spawn" elementals, it "summons" them. Also think about how focus works in GH.

Detailed how to:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Once the Golems were finished, the Brute used Hook and Chain and balanced maneuver to one-hit one of the artilleries.

In the following turns, the Brute jumped the wall, opened the door and jumped back, tanking 1-2 artillery shots while Triforce finished the artillery off.

When the Colorless was positioned near the bottom corner of the corridor, the Brute jumped in to the corner, where he was only able to be attacked by the Colorless and one elemental, making incoming damage very manageable.

Due to the summoning rules, the Colorless can only spawn two enemies in that position. The Brute in the corner will hold all monster's focus as long as the other chars are at least one hex away from the monsters.

The other characters can either attack safely using range 3 attacks, or clear out a spot next to the colorless and attack from melee range. The exact approach depends on your setup.

RNG can, of course, still screw a group over, but the whole layout in that corner is strangely specific, as is the use of immobilize/poison traps.


I'm pretty sure we ended the scenario pretty much how Morthai expected it to play out, and if so: Awesome job, dude!
 
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Alex B
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Yeah, my wife and I finished it up last night too. We didn't do it exactly as you did, but we did rush the last room and
Spoiler (click to reveal)
make use of positioning to keep The Colorless from summoning as much as possible. We were very lucky on our draws though too, because he only had one chance to summon a sun demon, and on that turn, the Light element had already been used up by the sun demon.


My wife finished The Colorless off with a critical hit! It was pretty epic. Well written and thematic scenario, with a good level of challenge. Nice work, Morthai!
 
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Carsten Neumann
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Scoundrel plus Cragheart (Level 2 or 3) => success
 
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Jan W
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The scenario was a challenge for us but we finished it with all four characters sill active (Level 2: Brute, Mindthief, Scoundrel and Spellweaver; monster level 1).

However, we were not completely sure whether we made the task harder than intended or indeed interpreted the rules correctly. As the same issue might come up again I'd like to know what is right:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The boss summons demons with special 1 or 2 using either the light or darkness element. Obviously, you can prevent that to happen in case your earlier initiative allows you to consume the required element before the boss acts. But what about the second action the boss performs with special 1 or 2 (turning invisible or self-heal and gaining shield)? We thought this happens no matter if summoning is possible or not (due to missing elements). Is that correct or does this second action also require elemental consumption? Or in other words can the boss only turn invisible / self-heal and gain shield after consuming darkness / light and summoning a demon?


It is highly appreciated if anybody can clear up this question we had!
 
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Marcel Cwertetschka
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only the summoning is bound to the elemental consumption, everything else will happen always on that special
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Dan Glading
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Sorry to res such an old thread, but my group of 3 (Cragheart, Spellweaver, Tinkerer) just finished this on Saturday night, on our 2nd attempt. Our first attempt went down in flames when I decided that the crit miss was my favorite card ever and drew it at least 5-6 times (we lost count).

On our 2nd try, we managed to win on our very last turn, even through two untimely crit misses by me, again. ..shake

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Our boss fight was irritatingly stretched out by the Colorless pulling their* Special 1 card roughly 3 draws out of 4, so they* were almost constantly invisible. Our Spellweaver managed to eat the Earth on every turn that one of the demons didn't do it on their own, so we weren't overrun by Night Demons. We got into position so that they* were only ever able to summon one demon at a time, which we used to splash true damage onto the boss while waiting for the rare turn that they* weren't invisible. While I long-rested my last turn before exhaustion, my comrades managed to put in the killing blow before the Colorless would have once again gone invisible.

*gender-neutral singular, because, Savaas.


It was a very fun, if challenging, scenario. Great work!
 
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