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Subject: Frustratingly Hard - House Rules? rss

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Jon Benton
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I love that this game exists, as I am a Dresden Files junkie. I like the theme and I'm totally fine with a game being challenging. But this game skips challenging and rushes straight for impossible depending on the cards drawn.

I've only played it solo and 2 player. Solo seems easier, but 2 player is a nightmare.

We start with all Fate available and since we are still getting the hang of it, we just put all our cards out on the table and completely ignore the "don't talk about your cards" stuff. It should make the game easier. Last night we laid out all our cards and did the math and it was not mathematically possibly to win before going to the showdown. At that point, I wonder what the point is?

So, what are some ways we can house rule without making it pointlessly easy?
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Eric Vogel
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First I would encourage you to give yourself a chance to get better at the game as it is. Try reading Shannon Appelcline's series of strategy articles for DFCO. The first one was just posted on the Evil Hat website (I don't think BGG will let me post the link here).

If you really want to make it easier, you could try letting the first player draw 1 extra card at the start of the game.
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Jon Benton
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Thanks, reading now!

Also, A Kincaid deck would probably improve our chances of winning...
 
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Brent Brown
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erichv wrote:
First I would encourage you to give yourself a chance to get better at the game as it is.


I learned that lesson from The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. At first I was like "this is just ridiculously hard!" But I stuck with it and it made the game amazingly satisfying when I finally learned how to beat it.
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Dreadknot Knotdread
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Trust me... Just keep playing and make sure you're playing with the right rules.

I play solo with three characters (occasionally 4). Sometimes it takes me three or four times to beat a book but eventually I do. I've even beat a Side Jobs deck that I randomly threw together.

Most light euro games make my head spin and abstract games put me to sleep.

If I can beat this game and enjoy it then anyone can, believe me.
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Baby Elephant
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While I respect the "take the game as it is and play better" idea, it's a co-op and it has dice and a random card draw, so I don't mind house-ruling it into oblivion. I'm not playing this to tax my brain, I play Arkwright for that. I play this to take the edge off of my Dresden withdrawal. More importantly, the only person who'll play this with me is neither a gamer nor a Dresden Files fan. When we were playing according to Hoyle, he was not enjoying himself.

That said, however, it truly wouldn't be fun if it were too easy. So, I limit my house rules to two player games (I only play solo or two player). The house rules I use in a two player game are:

1. Each player deals themselves 12 cards instead of 9.
2. All cards can be face up and planning together is allowed.
3. You can roll the fate dice before deciding whether to use/discard for fate any card that depends on the dice.

Even with those, we only win about 75% of games.
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Andy Szymas
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One very simple variant you might try: putting out the book cards before even choosing your characters. "Oh, all the bad guys are near the front. Maybe we should pick some more fighty characters this round and ignore clues."
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Eric Vogel
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JoystickWizard wrote:
Thanks, reading now!

Also, A Kincaid deck would probably improve our chances of winning...


Yeah, but you couldn't afford him
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Jared Paton
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Or even looking at the stats of the books, and picking characters that complement what you're about to face. If it's enemy-heavy, pick characters that focus on combat.
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Eric Vogel
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erichv wrote:
JoystickWizard wrote:
Thanks, reading now!

Also, A Kincaid deck would probably improve our chances of winning...


Yeah, but you couldn't afford him


Seriously tho, one is coming at some point.
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Baby Elephant
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erichv wrote:
JoystickWizard wrote:
Thanks, reading now!

Also, A Kincaid deck would probably improve our chances of winning...


Seriously tho, one is coming at some point.


*throws money* I cannot wait.
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Take Walker
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I can't think of a set of rules that would make the game easier. I mean, maybe something like after the cards are laid out, remove one Case and one Foe from the game. One from each line only, maybe closest range.

Ignoring the "don't talk about cards" rule is a good idea, and I recommend it for general play.

The only other thing I can think of is making it so spending Fate for a Showdown roll ensures you get the number of hits/clues, with the die roll to see if you get more, never less.

This game is just freaking impossible, though.
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Jamel Rha
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Elencha wrote:
erichv wrote:
JoystickWizard wrote:
Thanks, reading now!

Also, A Kincaid deck would probably improve our chances of winning...


Seriously tho, one is coming at some point.


*throws money* I cannot wait.


My money is thrown harder!!
 
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Dreadknot Knotdread
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Elencha wrote:
While I respect the "take the game as it is and play better" idea, it's a co-op and it has dice and a random card draw, so I don't mind house-ruling it into oblivion. I'm not playing this to tax my brain, I play Arkwright for that. I play this to take the edge off of my Dresden withdrawal. More importantly, the only person who'll play this with me is neither a gamer nor a Dresden Files fan. When we were playing according to Hoyle, he was not enjoying himself.

That said, however, it truly wouldn't be fun if it were too easy. So, I limit my house rules to two player games (I only play solo or two player). The house rules I use in a two player game are:

1. Each player deals themselves 12 cards instead of 9.
2. All cards can be face up and planning together is allowed.
3. You can roll the fate dice before deciding whether to use/discard for fate any card that depends on the dice.

Even with those, we only win about 75% of games.


If you're not looking to solve a puzzle and the other person doesn't know Dresden from Duncan then I suggest you play a different game.
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Jamel Rha
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TakeWalker wrote:


This game is just freaking impossible, though.


It has a higher variance than some other games probably. But it is not impossible.

Play your cards in such a way to trigger all their abilities for example. And sometimes dice or luck of the draws are just against you. At leasts a game is not long so you can do another one rather quickly.

A lot of coop games are meant to be lost often. To be honest I don't like coop/solo games I can win easily, but your mile may vary of course.

Good luck
 
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Juan Valdez
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Jamelrha wrote:
Elencha wrote:
erichv wrote:
JoystickWizard wrote:
Thanks, reading now!

Also, A Kincaid deck would probably improve our chances of winning...


Seriously tho, one is coming at some point.


*throws money* I cannot wait.


My money is thrown harder!!


Throwing more money!
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Scott Mohnkern
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JoystickWizard wrote:
I love that this game exists, as I am a Dresden Files junkie. I like the theme and I'm totally fine with a game being challenging. But this game skips challenging and rushes straight for impossible depending on the cards drawn.

I've only played it solo and 2 player. Solo seems easier, but 2 player is a nightmare.

We start with all Fate available and since we are still getting the hang of it, we just put all our cards out on the table and completely ignore the "don't talk about your cards" stuff. It should make the game easier. Last night we laid out all our cards and did the math and it was not mathematically possibly to win before going to the showdown. At that point, I wonder what the point is?

So, what are some ways we can house rule without making it pointlessly easy?


For new players, we start with "open hand" where everyone shows what they have. It can still be a challenge, but isn't impossible. After you've played for awhile, then you can start restricting what you talk about.


 
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Take Walker
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Jamelrha wrote:
TakeWalker wrote:


This game is just freaking impossible, though.


It has a higher variance than some other games probably. But it is not impossible.

Play your cards in such a way to trigger all their abilities for example. And sometimes dice or luck of the draws are just against you. At leasts a game is not long so you can do another one rather quickly.

A lot of coop games are meant to be lost often. To be honest I don't like coop/solo games I can win easily, but your mile may vary of course.

Good luck

I think this definitely isn't the game for me, then. I mean, I like winning at least sometimes. Not getting to an end state and going, well'p, no way we can win, all that effort over the past half hour was for absolutely nothing! That strategy article I've seen talking about calls the game "delightfully difficult", and I just fail to see what's delightful about it.

I'd be less mad if it weren't made off an IP I really love. Time to sell my copy. I leave this comment as a warning to new players: make sure you're a good fit for this game ahead of time.
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Baby Elephant
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dreadknot69 wrote:


If you're not looking to solve a puzzle and the other person doesn't know Dresden from Duncan then I suggest you play a different game.


A different game won't ease the withdrawal. I do enjoy the game and I enjoy the puzzle. As a matter of fact, I backed this kickstarter long before I ever knew about hobby gaming and playing it from that perspective was prohibitively difficult. It was frustrating and disheartening because it seemed impossible to win.

I like a puzzle, but I dislike co-ops that are exceedingly difficult to win especially when the loss is based on a dice roll or other random factors. I accept "play better" as an answer, but no amount of "roll better" or "draw better" will ever actually change the die face or the cards I draw.
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Jon Benton
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Update. Still haven't won a game.

All games have been solo since our first co-op attempts. The GF hasn't read all the books and cares less about trying to like this game.

I am probably shooting myself in the foot, but I have only tried Small Favors with Dresden, Murphy and Susan. My brain won't let me try another book until I beat this one, and none of the other characters were in that one, so I also would like to "RP" it with the appropriate characters. That may be the reason I haven't won a game? But I would like to think that would be possible.

I've read the strategy stuff, posts on here and reddit, and I truly don't think I could "play better". I chain things to maximize FP. I have tried ignoring obstacles and advantages to have more FP. I maximize when I play cards like Murphy's ability to gain FP for every card with a token on it (after using the abilities that let me place tokens on every foe or case in a row, or discarding to place on shortest and longest range cases)

When I know I am not going to win outright, I discard cards for fate to use in the showdown, and in my last game, I only needed to solve one more case or kill one more foe to win. They both had a good stack of tokens. The showdown mechanic is really just an aggravation for me at this point. Has anyone won a showdown?

I really just feel like I don't have enough of a combination of Hits, Fate or Clues to mathematically win. I draw 6 cards for each character. There are two advantages and two obstacles on the board, but I usually have an over abundance of those types of cards in my hands. Dresden has 2 take advantage and 1 overcome obstacle. Murphy has 2 overcome obstacle and 1 take advantage. Susan has 2 take advantage and 1 overcome obstacle.

I drew 18 cards. HALF of them are either purple or yellow. 4 of those can actually be used, but all maybe shouldn't be depending on how much fate I have. I discard the rest for fate and get to trigger abilities, which is great. The point is I have 9 cards that are either hits or clues. I won't be able to use them all as some will have to be discarded for fate as they are the more expensive ones.

The game may not be impossible all the time, but I believe that sometimes it certainly can be depending on the placement of the book cards or the draw of the character cards.

/superfrustrated

Maybe I should do a cooperative playthrough on here. I'll take a pic of the game state and let yall vote on what I should do next and see if the collective can do what I have been unable to solo.
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Jon Benton
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dreadknot69 wrote:
Trust me... Just keep playing and make sure you're playing with the right rules.

I play solo with three characters (occasionally 4). Sometimes it takes me three or four times to beat a book but eventually I do. I've even beat a Side Jobs deck that I randomly threw together.

Most light euro games make my head spin and abstract games put me to sleep.

If I can beat this game and enjoy it then anyone can, believe me.


How do you play with 4 characters? How many cards do you draw for each character? If you still draw 6, wouldn't that be way overpowered?
 
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Juan Valdez
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JoystickWizard wrote:
Maybe I should do a cooperative playthrough on here. I'll take a pic of the game state and let yall vote on what I should do next and see if the collective can do what I have been unable to solo.


+1
 
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Dreadknot Knotdread
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JoystickWizard wrote:
dreadknot69 wrote:
Trust me... Just keep playing and make sure you're playing with the right rules.

I play solo with three characters (occasionally 4). Sometimes it takes me three or four times to beat a book but eventually I do. I've even beat a Side Jobs deck that I randomly threw together.

Most light euro games make my head spin and abstract games put me to sleep.

If I can beat this game and enjoy it then anyone can, believe me.


How do you play with 4 characters? How many cards do you draw for each character? If you still draw 6, wouldn't that be way overpowered?


Haven't played 4 in a while as it takes up a bit too much space when playing solo but I always go by whatever the manual says for that player count. I'm on my phone right now so I don't have it handy.

Also, I'd like to see a playthrough of yours as well. Give it a try, might help you in the end. Post here with a link when you've started it.
 
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Eric Vogel
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If you are having a hard time with the strategy, try reading Shannon Appelcline's series of strategy articles.

http://www.evilhat.com/home/dfcostrategyguidecontents/
 
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