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Subject: Three games against the English, and two opposite extremes of victory rss

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Brian M
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Really loving this game. Its now fighting with Aeon's End for "best game we've gotten from Kickstarter".

We've been trying all of the different scenarios and adversaries, and just played three games against England.

We started with England at level 1 (difficulty 3). England builds faster and more easily.

Lisa had Shadows Flicker Like Flames and I had Vital Strength of the Earth. Neither of these spirits have very good attacks to start, so we really struggled to contain the fast-growing English. We wound up going heavy defensively, trying to stop areas from blighting and give them a lot of fear.

You lose if you run out the invader deck. We wound up on the very last turn of the game, but managed to get to the final terror level and get a terror win, with the island nearly completely overrun! A very close game!

We actually scored 31 points despite how long the game ran; we did a good job of preventing blight and several times added more Dahan.



So, later I wanted a rematch with the English with some spirits that were less defensive and might be able to stem their growth faster.

This time Lisa had Thunderspeaker and I had Heart of the Wildfire.

The initial explore put on explorer in my starting area. This meant I could expand and place presence to kill one explorer, and use my basic power to eliminate the other. No building in my board! Lisa had similar luck on her board.

A combo of good power draws and helpful events, and we completely wiped out the invaders in the fast powers phase of turn 3!!!!

This scored 46 points, was certainly our fastest win ever, and will be a hard score to beat for a while!

Kind of felt like we'd cheated, though I don't think we did.

Wondering if that was just a fluke, we promptly replayed, this time upping the English to level 2 (difficulty 4), which gives them an extra city and town on each board. Nasty! This was a much tougher fight. We wound up blighting the island, which knocked 3 presence for each of us off the board. I felt like we wouldn't recover from that, but we did manage to, and were able to destroy their towns and cities like crazy, driving the terror level up and getting a win in terror level 3.

This game scored 39 points.

While we've been winning the games, they've always been very exciting and tense, which tends to be about perfect for a co-op in my opinion!

I'm curious - what are other people's extreme wins? I'd previously wondered if a win at terror level 1 was even possible - apparently it is!
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Craig McRoberts
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Have I missed something? I'm not sure how you're calculating points in this game.
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Dylan Thurston
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imprimis5 wrote:
Have I missed something? I'm not sure how you're calculating points in this game.
See the bottom of p. 23 of the rulebook.
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Craig McRoberts
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dthurston wrote:
imprimis5 wrote:
Have I missed something? I'm not sure how you're calculating points in this game.
See the bottom of p. 23 of the rulebook.


Neat. I'll be honest and say that I've never actually read the rulebook myself, having an office full of people who know the game very well to teach me. lol
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Mark Laufgraben
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Thanks for the session report! I love hearing about peoples' games in this one.
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Joel Carr
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Thanks for the session +pic... still absorbing rules for a two fist solo play this weekend
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Steve
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How did you win in that picture if I see a bunch of cities? Or was that mid game
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Dylan Thurston
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Nyarthlotep wrote:
How did you win in that picture if I see a bunch of cities? Or was that mid game
I believe that was the game they won on a terror win (earning all Fear cards for immediate victory), on the last turn of the game.
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Steve
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Thanks! I forgot about that win condition

Just played for the first time tonight and lost brutally
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Galen Brownsmith
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Is D5 as bad as it got, or did you ever get 5 buildings in a single land? (With reference to England's special loss condition)
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Brian M
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dthurston wrote:
imprimis5 wrote:
Have I missed something? I'm not sure how you're calculating points in this game.
See the bottom of p. 23 of the rulebook.


We missed scoring out first several games. We'd always finish, start picking up, then after we'd picked up most of the stuff say "wait, what was our score?"

Quote:
How did you win in that picture if I see a bunch of cities? Or was that mid game

Dylan is correct; we won that one by running out all the fear cards. The board pictured is the end state of the game - ouch were we swarmed!
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R. Eric Reuss
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StormKnight wrote:
We missed scoring out first several games. We'd always finish, start picking up, then after we'd picked up most of the stuff say "wait, what was our score?"

Scoring certainly isn't required - during playtesting, some folks asked for a scoring system, and it didn't take too much work to put one together. So it's there for groups that like it, and can be ignored by groups that don't. :-) Whatever makes it fun for y'all!
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Brian M
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marphod wrote:
Is D5 as bad as it got, or did you ever get 5 buildings in a single land? (With reference to England's special loss condition)


The English loss condition is 7 buildings in a single land; they never got quite THAT out of control.
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Chaosmancer mc
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StormKnight wrote:
I'm curious - what are other people's extreme wins? I'd previously wondered if a win at terror level 1 was even possible - apparently it is!


It is possible, and I've seen it twice.

Once was a solo game I played with Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds, I don't think I was using an adversary

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B19sTtNL9KniMVVTU29mNVhVZ3...

and the other was a 4-person game. Guy playing Lightning was brand new to the game, Bringer and Ocean players had been playing with me a few times, and I was working with Heart of the Wildfire. Zooming in it looks like we were playing Brandenburg-Prussia.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B19sTtNL9Knid2pmTExULVdQZk...


The key I've noticed is that A) you have to get very, very lucky and B) it has to be early in the game, first 3 turns before you hit Stage 2. After that it tends to get out of hand and you need to work for Terror level 2 at least, if not 3.


If I had to make a guess, Terror Level 3 is the most common victory in the game.
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Dylan Thurston
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Chaosmancer wrote:
... Guy playing Lightning was brand new to the game, ...
Throwing them in at the deep end, I see!
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Evan Dunn
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dthurston wrote:
Chaosmancer wrote:
... Guy playing Lightning was brand new to the game, ...
Throwing them in at the deep end, I see!


Well, Ocean was in the game, so it's quite logical to do just that.
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R. Eric Reuss
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I think Terror 1 wins are most common when the players could easily handle a higher difficulty level and just blitz the game for a quick, dominant victory. :-)

However, they *can* happen under other circumstances as well - River + Vital Strength, for instance, can do quite well with a high-control strategy, keeping new Towns/Cities from being built often, and not earning much Fear as a result.

I think I've only won at Terror 1 but after Turn 3-4 once. But I've had games where around Turn 5 we'd have won if we were at Terror 2, but hadn't gotten there yet. (And in one case, by the time we reached Terror 2, the Invaders had surged back into the game.) Of course, this was with earlier versions of both Spirits and Adversaries, so the specifics which led to those situations might no longer exist in the game-ecosystem.
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Chaosmancer mc
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dthurston wrote:
Chaosmancer wrote:
... Guy playing Lightning was brand new to the game, ...
Throwing them in at the deep end, I see!


That was actually the night that really cemented for me that Lightning is a lot harder for new players than I want to think it is.

I think it comes from other games coloring my view, but generally the character with the "smash everything" strategy or who is highly offensively minded is much easier for new players to grasp and play effectively than someone who is more defensive and slow and therefor needs more thought put into the proccess.

Spirit island seems like it is a little bit of the opposite. Lightning seems to be consistently harder to play that Vital Strength
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Dylan Thurston
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Chaosmancer wrote:
dthurston wrote:
Chaosmancer wrote:
... Guy playing Lightning was brand new to the game, ...
Throwing them in at the deep end, I see!
That was actually the night that really cemented for me that Lightning is a lot harder for new players than I want to think it is.
My comment was more directed at having a new player in a game with tokens, events, and Heart of the Wildfire.

I hadn't thought of Lightning as more difficult, I should pay attention to that. Of the introductory spirits, I think of River Surges in Sunlight and Shadows Flicker Like Flame as the more difficult ones.
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Galen Brownsmith
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dthurston wrote:
Of the introductory spirits, I think of River Surges in Sunlight and Shadows Flicker Like Flame as the more difficult ones.


I think Shadows is canonically the hardest of the intro spirits (iirc, its 'low' difficult bar is longer than the others ). That said, it really can depend on play style; I find River Surges and Vital Strength of the Earth to be intuitive and Lightning to be tricky. On the other hand, I know some people I play with feel the opposite is true.
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Scott Yost
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I see people struggle with Earth. Few plays and difficult to set up Rituals of Destruction. Shadows seems easier compared to the PnP - you get good power and plays, you get jungle hungers, you eat everybody on the map. River to me seems quite straightforward - you know where to put presence, you can clean blight, you have a good track, you get Tsunami. But I guess you do have to understand when a push is useful.
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Jonathan Zev
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All four intro spirits have their own unique difficulties. But those difficulties each teach players about different aspects of the game, so I see that as a benefit as much as a hindrance.
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Chaosmancer mc
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I think I finally "cracked" River Surges, I needed to get away from playing flash floods early and often. That allowed me to have the energy flow I needed for the rest of the game, instead of constantly running low by the mid-game.

Maybe my next big project after I'm done "climbing the ladder" will be to play a bunch with Shadows Flicker. I've always been successful with it, but I also always feel like I'm missing some important key to going from "meh" to "oh, that is cool"
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Galen Brownsmith
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Chaosmancer wrote:
I think I finally "cracked" River Surges, I needed to get away from playing flash floods early and often. That allowed me to have the energy flow I needed for the rest of the game, instead of constantly running low by the mid-game.

It is a good lesson to learn. For me, getting river required me to change my opening -- Rather than Growth: turns 1&2 place 2 presence, turn 3: reclaim (which seems the standard), I do turn 1: Place 1 presence(2 card plays), draw a minor power, turn 2: place 2 presence, turn 3: place 1 presence, draw (probably) minor, and wait to reclaim until turn 4. (sometimes reversing turns 2&3, but that means it is definitely a minor draw). It means I'm not playing 3 cards a round until turn 5, rather than turn 4, but i feel it has better infrastructure and direction, and is less likely to fall into the must-reclaim-every-turn trap that can happen with the explosive growth option. (it also makes it possible to out-pace lightning in getting presence on the board, which i find amusing.)
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