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Subject: How do you feel about the 'Advance the active Mystery' mechanic? rss

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Zen Shrugs
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After a couple of somewhat unsatisfying instances, I'm just wondering what people think about the 'Advance the active Mystery' mechanic (introduced in the expansions). Like it? Dislike it? No strong feelings? Ways it could be improved?

For what it's worth, here are my general feelings (whinge whinge complain complain ):

-A bit fiddly ("which kind of token should we put on this card again? If there's a choice, should we pick the easier one or the harder one? What if we have to discard a Spell--can we ignore that part?" etc.)

-Feel too powerful vs 'special encounter deck' Mysteries... and more importantly, skips some of the fun, because you don't get to draw a special encounter card and enjoy the flavour text. This is probably my biggest problem with the mechanic.

-Seem to be more powerful in low-investigator-count games, though this is just a gut feeling.

-Possibly too powerful vs Hastur because he's a 2-Mystery AO (but not Syzygy because you always do the Final Mystery on the flipside, which can't be advanced).

I've been toying with a variant / house rule, at least for special-encounter Mysteries: Place 2 Focus tokens (or some other number) on the Mystery card. Investigators can use these tokens when taking skill tests for the special encounter. (This would make advancement much weaker--maybe too weak--but at least you'd get to enjoy the flavour text.)

Oh, and 'solve the active Mystery' annoys me no end. I've removed one card from the game that grants this. Just makes things too easy IMO. (Speaking of which, does 'solve' mean 'instantaneously solve' or 'wait until the end of the Mythos Phase before counting it as solved'?)
 
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Ted Mantuano
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I want to say it means "fulfill all conditions to solve the active mystery (Add tokens, do damage, etc)" which would then act as a normally solved mystery (resolved at the end of the Mythos phase).
 
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Nelvin C.
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zenshrugs wrote:
-A bit fiddly ("which kind of token should we put on this card again? If there's a choice, should we pick the easier one or the harder one? What if we have to discard a Spell--can we ignore that part?" etc.)


The initial problem is when you have a choice, but this has been answered and has an official ruling.
The rulebook explains what you can do easily.
Never had a problem with the 'discard a spell'-like conditions, the Advance The Mystery can be understood rather straightforwardly.

zenshrugs wrote:
-Feel too powerful vs 'special encounter deck' Mysteries... and more importantly, skips some of the fun, because you don't get to draw a special encounter card and enjoy the flavour text. This is probably my biggest problem with the mechanic.


For me, the conditions/encounters that allow you to advance the mystery is almost like a flavor text on its own. But I guess maybe you'd prefer solely the ones from the special encounter.

zenshrugs wrote:
-Seem to be more powerful in low-investigator-count games, though this is just a gut feeling.


This is true But to be honest, things are simpler usually in a 4P game, with the right characters.

zenshrugs wrote:
Oh, and 'solve the active Mystery' annoys me no end. I've removed one card from the game that grants this. Just makes things too easy IMO. (Speaking of which, does 'solve' mean 'instantaneously solve' or 'wait until the end of the Mythos Phase before counting it as solved'?)


This I have to agree, but like you said,, there's only 1 card and the conditions to get it is NOT that easy, so it isn't too bad... but when it comes up in a game against Hastur, you basically cleared 50% of the game with that one. XD

I actually like the mechanic, thematically it seems rather related as well. But many of the advancements are related to some Conditions and Expedition Encounters. Perhaps if they are encountered more in the Research and/or Special Encounters, maybe that's more... 'flavorful'
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aurelian
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I like the mechanic and think it adds an extra dimension to game play. It does make some mysteries a bit easier to solve than others, but that is no more random than other parts of the game. Sometimes it's an interesting choice (eg. with some unique assets) whether to use an 'advance' effect now or keep it for a later mystery.

For me a big positive is that it gives more incentive to try expedition encounters. Back in the base game and first expansion, there wasn't much reason to bother with expeditions unless a mystery or rumor required it - the random artifact or retreat doom rewards rarely justified the effort compared to other options. But now it can sometimes be worth taking the chance to win an 'advance', and overall this seems to make expeditions a more viable option (and brings more artifacts into my games as a by-product!).

However, I would accept the rules might seem a bit fiddly at first for new or occasional players.
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Cameron McKenzie
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I don't think you get a choice. Just use the first bullet which applies.

If the Mystery involves spending Clues but also involves putting tokens on the Mystery, then you put tokens on the Mystery because it's the first bullet point.

I don't think that is officially stated anywhere, but doing it that way makes the most sense and usually gives you the best result anyway.
 
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Krzysiek Domański
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MasterDinadan wrote:
I don't think you get a choice. (...)
Official answer.
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George Aristides
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sthill46 wrote:
I like the mechanic and think it adds an extra dimension to game play. It does make some mysteries a bit easier to solve than others, but that is no more random than other parts of the game. Sometimes it's an interesting choice (eg. with some unique assets) whether to use an 'advance' effect now or keep it for a later mystery.


I agree with this!
Only downside it's that it's sometimes anticlimactic to win the game by flipping a task asset, but it's a nice mechanic and fits well with the overall game design/balance.
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Zen Shrugs
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Thanks for the thoughts folks

I suspect that some of my ambivalence about 'advance the active Mystery' comes from playing a lot of two-investigator games. The mechanic can have a big effect in those games--often solving 50% of a given Mystery each time. I don't mind it so much in games with a higher investigator count, where it feels more like a helpful nudge over the finish line.

There's also the fact that I've added the last few expansions (UtP, SoC, Dr, CiR) without having time to play more than a handful of games with them included. Because of this, I'm not yet aware of all the places you might find 'advance the active Mystery'. (I hadn't realised they were now common in expeditions, for instance.) So it's always a bit of a surprise when it turns up. To me this feels a little unsatisfying compared to achieving whatever goal the Mystery requires, because it feels like I didn't put in any conscious effort.

I suppose that if I play more games, I'll be more able to actively chase after 'advance' results and thus find them more rewarding.

Quote:
zenshrugs wrote:
Oh, and 'solve the active Mystery' annoys me no end. I've removed one card from the game that grants this. Just makes things too easy IMO. (Speaking of which, does 'solve' mean 'instantaneously solve' or 'wait until the end of the Mythos Phase before counting it as solved'?)


This I have to agree, but like you said,, there's only 1 card and the conditions to get it is NOT that easy, so it isn't too bad... but when it comes up in a game against Hastur, you basically cleared 50% of the game with that one. XD


I did find one other card with 'solve the active Mystery' on it--but it's a Task Unique Asset (from MoM as I recall), so at least it requires a bit of work to achieve. That one card from Signs of Carcosa, on the other hand... gulp
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Josh Hay
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I'm fine with them. There's some ridiculous BS hard cards in the game, so one or two more powerful effects on the Investigator's side isn't hurting anything.
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