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Subject: Tackling Level 6 Adversaries/Difficulty 10 rss

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Jack Liu
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I think it's safe to say that in order to win at the highest difficulty, you will need a strong combination of spirits that have good synergy as well as a bit of luck (events, fear, card draw etc). I'd like to discuss what people think are good spirit combinations to battle the highest levels of difficulty in this game

I think most people will be doing these challenges with spirit pairs but I would welcome any combinations that are great at 3/4 spirit counts too. Insight into a specific combinations to combat a particular adversary would be awesome

My current list of strong combos that have a chance at this difficulty level are:
Ocean/River
Thunderspeaker/River
SRG/Keeper
SRG/Wildfire

I haven't played enough 3p to say which 3 spirits might work well together against a level 10. I'd imagine Ocean is in most of them though because of how much better it gets as there are more spirits/boards

What are some other people's experiences or suggested combinations?
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Steve Schlepphorst
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Great topic.

I’ve had my first plays (and wins) against max Sweden and Prussia in the last week, and found River/Thunderspeaker and SRG/Wildfire (respectively) amazing. It’s affirming to see them listed, and I’ll second those. Ocean/River hasn’t been quite as strong for me at 2P and higher levels, with Ocean’s limitations.

Edit: as an aside, is there a convention for unambiguously and easily referring to “levels” without confusing adversary 1-6 level and difficulty level? “Level 6 England” is annoyingly unclear.
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
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You godlike players just make me tired. Level 6, that's funny. I'm still trying to beat level 2 France!

But go on, I'm eager to hear the ideas of the masters!
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Dobby
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skutsch wrote:
You godlike players just make me tired. Level 6, that's funny. I'm still trying to beat level 2 France!

But go on, I'm eager to hear the ideas of the masters!


Ha, I'm not even to Level 2 yet! I look forward to hearing these though!

Does anyone try these higher levels solo? Or is that just insane?
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Steve Schlepphorst
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I’m new to the game and just reaching the top levels, but have only played 2-handed solo, which seems like the easiest arrangement (much easier to synergize alone). I read one guy saying he wins about 50% true solo against lvl 10 with Wildfire.
 
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Steve
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skutsch wrote:
You godlike players just make me tired. Level 6, that's funny. I'm still trying to beat level 2 France!

But go on, I'm eager to hear the ideas of the masters!


I will say, we're taking on all of the other adversaries at 6~ now and trying to win more often. France we've only taken up to either 3 or 4 and found it to be as hard as some at 6. France really requires your A-game.
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Jamey P
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I agree that SRG/Keeper is incredibly consistent, as it is quite likely to get to the stage of the game where Keeper's high energy income takes over, and both BRG's 'no build' and Keeper's steady stream of Wilds tokens work wonders against foes whose specials only kick in on a build (France) or once they have buildings (Sweden).

Bringer+Ocean (fear + drowning makes this the rare pairing where BD&N actively wants damaging powers) are strong, especially vs. England, though that (even more than usual for BD&N) turns into a fear-vs-blight race, since inland build-up is just going to happen. Bringer doesn't suffer as much vs. England as most spirits, though, as it wasn't going to deal with explorers before they build *anyway* (making England's 'always build' a wash), and you can usually stop the lvl 6 double build from going off with your fear generation.

Bringer + Serpent actually works quite nicely as well: you just accept that things will build, and lean on Aegis a *lot* to defend 2-3 spaces ravaging, while positioning Dahan to keep the board clean enough to not get overrun. (Turn 1: Give BD&N an extra minor power to play, so it can afford to prioritize energy; turn 2: Absorb + Aegis, and once you hit 'reclaim 1' on the top track, grab Aegis every turn you need it.) Serpent has a lot of ability to hand out just enough extra symbols/plays through its base cards to enable BD&N to hit thresholds on its Majors quite early, if you line up the turns right. (Have tried successfully vs. all lvl 6 adversaries, currently 4-1.)

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Steve Schlepphorst
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Just tried Bringer + Serpent against England 6. Very intense. They never got the double-build, as you said, and I obviously misplayed several things before losing by 2 blight the turn before I would have emptied the fear deck (and had I previewed the 3 fear cards, I could have won). I lost on the first double ravage after a string of turns where I was just barely holding out with 2-3 skip-all-actions effects each turn. At the time I lost, there were 22 cities and 32 towns on board, with 4 different territories sitting at 6 buildings. I ran out of every invader type. Hot dang.

Q: Do you try to power-draw plant elements to play early presence with Serpent? I find Serpent's innate powers extremely unhelpful, particularly against +HP England, and the green element restrictions are particularly limiting.
 
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Jamey P
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It's true that Serpent's innate damage doesn't kick in until late-game vs. England, though the 2 fear + push still does a lot of work (and the free 'kill a town' is invaluable against everyone else, and is worth playing for in most cases).

With Bringer + Serpent, I tend not to worry about plant elements for Serpent's 1st innate power very much (apart from the occasional extra energy using 'any' for plant), since it's too difficult to trigger the extra presence until the point where the game is basically over (which is different from other pairings, where the game-plan involves winning by surviving to Serpent's late-late game, and/or the partner benefits enough from presence ramping that it's worth jumping through hoops with Elemental Boon/etc.). I mean, I'd consider the handful of plant/earth/water minor powers for enabling it via Bringer's innate +element, but otherwise hitting 7 symbols on 2 cards isn't happening soon enough. I'd generally prioritize moon/fire/earth for the 2nd innate, if anything, though in practice Serpent doesn't have tons of spare card plays, since its growth options enable playing its key base cards with high frequency (as it can reclaim while still advancing its tracks).

The real key, I think, is making sure that Bringer finds powers that will win fast enough. Things that gain effectiveness when played repeatedly in the same spot are ideal (Bloodwrack Plague & Sea Monsters are plans for victory by themselves), or mega-damage/destroy powers that can be played repeatedly for 10+ fear in the mid-late game to close things out.

 
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J
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So far we've only been playing difficulty 9 (as difficulty 10 seems like you'd need a bit of luck with events/fear cards), and with 3 player have beaten Prussia, Sweden and England (France is next to attempt).

We've been using Lightning, River, and Rampant Green. The general idea is Lightning becomes powerful frighteningly fast and does most of the killing while the other two play support and accelerate him.

River plays Energy Boon every turn of the game (unlocks Reclaim One on turn two), allowing Lightning to never take presence from his energy track until late in the game, but instead play increasingly crazy numbers of cards. River otherwise corrals everything to prevent builds and allow more convenient destruction by lightning. River can get to 4 card plays/2 energy income on turn 3 if needed.

Rampant Green gives Lightning another presence on turn one, and mostly slows builds/ravages down until lightning can deal with it.

Turn 1, Lightning plays 3 cards and grants River 2 fast powers (innate + push 3) which stops 2 builds. Lightning reclaims almost every turn and gives (usually) River two fast powers every turn.
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Jack Liu
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Baldrekr wrote:
So far we've only been playing difficulty 9 (as difficulty 10 seems like you'd need a bit of luck with events/fear cards), and with 3 player have beaten Prussia, Sweden and England (France is next to attempt).


Definitely true that you need a bit of luck at 10. But playing strong combos puts you in a good position to create/take advantage of situations that arise (Luck = opportunity + preparation )

Cool setup to super charge Lightning. I do like river + lightning combo a lot. How critical is SRG here? Helps with defense and a bit of power progression but what if you had a spirit like Ocean instead that could provide some energy with Tidal Boon and take out cities early (along with buffing River's pushes)
 
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J
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frotes wrote:
How critical is SRG here? Helps with defense and a bit of power progression but what if you had a spirit like Ocean instead that could provide some energy with Tidal Boon and take out cities early (along with buffing River's pushes)


We tried this last night with Ocean instead of SRG, but this resulted in defeat. Without SRG in that particular mix, Lightning could not spread out fast enough, as it now needs to place more presence instead of taking the reclaim action and playing huge numbers of cards almost every turn. We will probably attempt that combo again to see if we can make it work, as we got very unlucky with events.

The other combo of characters we've succeeded on difficulty 9 with (2 out of 4 adversaries we've attempted so far) is "the greens"; Keeper, SRG, Vital Strength of the Earth. I didn't think this combo would actually work, as I'm really not a fan of Vital Strength, but Keeper is very destructive, and unlike lightning, its damage isn't restricted to buildings. Keeper really benefits from a little help from SRG to spread out early on. Vital Strength's innate "repeat a power costing <= 1" is also great here (e.g. repeating SRG's Add A Presence).

Currently our goal is to have every spirit participate in a level 9 victory against every adversary.
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Jack Liu
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Keeper & SRG is awesome (Listed as good vs lvl 10). I think you can plug anyone else in there and do fine

I think Earth is the weakest low complexity spirit against 5/6 adversaries. Mainly because he is slow to go to 2 plays (I always rush 2 plays with earth) and then it depends on getting a usable major power in the first 2 draws. It's also hard to proc it's level 1 innate without Rituals of Destruction

All the high level adversaries spread out a lot and build up fast. They also hit hard when ravaging and/or have anti blight removal effects. 2 card plays is critical to be able to handle 2 lands.

England's land clumps hit hard and also Defending is a losing battle if you don't have a big hammer (like really big due to England's +1 hp).
France does 5 damage during ravage with it's explorer double town combo (also town lost condition).
Sweden does extra damage and double blights, harder to defend.
BP is probably the most manageable for Earth if you rush for 2 plays as they don't have strict modifiers so it's innate Defend 3 and 2 Dahan in a land cleans up nicely. Just have to race through the fear deck before explore deck runs out
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Jack Liu
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Been having good success with River/Ocean + Any plays Spirit that benefits from Boon of Vigor's energy.

Ocean powers up River's pushes to be a deadly force early on and Drowns Coastal Cities. River's Boon of Vigor powers up the 3rd spirit so it can do a lot of plays and not rely on energy as much. I usually have River follow the massive flood rush opening

Good 3rd spirits are:
Lightning
Thunderspeaker
Shadows worked out well too
 
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Dylan Thurston
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I'm amazed in the current PBF game that it's looking like we won't get a Blighted Land against Level 6 France. (Famous last words...)
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Jack Liu
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Haha there was a chance of that last round if we hit a +damage ravage since we had 3 coasts that were only barely defended

But now that we are basically throwing 2-3 slow powers each spirit on future round every turn, I think we are secure
 
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Jack Liu
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frotes wrote:
Been having good success with River/Ocean + Any plays Spirit that benefits from Boon of Vigor's energy.

Ocean powers up River's pushes to be a deadly force early on and Drowns Coastal Cities. River's Boon of Vigor powers up the 3rd spirit so it can do a lot of plays and not rely on energy as much. I usually have River follow the massive flood rush opening

Good 3rd spirits are:
Lightning
Thunderspeaker
Shadows worked out well too


I think my dream team is River/Ocean/Thunderspeaker because it puts two of my favorite powerful pairs together (River/Ocean & River/Thunderspeaker)

Thunderspeaker is also better at being a Hammer right off the bat than other 3rd spirits in this combo. Tidal Boon has fun interactions with Dahan/TS and it also gives 2 energy that TS really wants. Along with Boon of Vigor, this really helps TS do more 2 presence growth over it's usual +4 energy and 1 presence. TS is able to hit it's reclaim 1 in round 3 and keep crunching out Manifestation of Power and Glory every turn after that.
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