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Subject: Are we doing something wrong or is being decked the dominant threat? rss

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Mark Green
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With Scoundrel, Mindthief, Spellweaver, Tinkerer: out of five games so far we have won three (scenarios 1, 2, 3 failed, 4 failed, 4), but the third win was only just. And on every occasion where we have lost, it was very rarely due to anything to do with monsters, and everything to do with PCs decking themselves due to their cards being eroded by resting. On the "only just" win, all the party members apart from the Scoundrel were decked

Even just counting the total monster HP that needed to be worn down by the end of the adventure, it was apparent that only with lucky draws from the modifier decks would it even be possible before running out of cards become inevitable. Moreover, players were forced into what seemed to be bad tactical choices. For example, they had to run ahead into rooms with monsters that could kill them on lucky draws, because if they didn't, they would certainly be decked by the end.

Are we doing something fundamentally wrong or is this as important a mechanic as it appears?


 
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Since you can lose cards to negate damage, "being decked" is literally the only threat.

If your Scoundrel was the only one left with cards... yeah, you're probably doing something wrong. It's nearly impossible for the Tinkerer to run dry unless you're just wasting loss cards, or taking way more damage than you should be (since it's not a frontline class). Conversely the Scoundrel has few cards, is squishy, often the focus, and her loss cards are situational enough you may want to use them early or you never will.
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Tobias
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Well, running out of cards *is* the only way to become exhausted since you can always lose a card to negate damage. But it sounds as if you just run out of cards without giving them away to negate damage, right?

Hand management is definitely a big part of the game. Especially our spellweaver had to be very careful about this. But to me it never felt like the central element (playing the mindthief). Usually it just became a question of when I should start playing my lost cards. What kind of items did you choose? Scenario 4 is definitely one of the harder ones. But I also found it very satisfying.

I feel that usually you have to think very carefully about your tactics.

Edit: ninja'd
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Philipp Schuster
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Don't use lost cards too early, and try to rest only when you have played (almost) all of your cards. There even is a thread crunching the numbers:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25314287#25314287
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Matthew Schoell
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That sounds like maybe you are using cards you lose to readily? As a general guidance I aim to have at least 2/3 of my cards in play when entering a final room. I often try to limit how many cards in my deck are loss on use too. That can work particularly well if one or two characters are a bit more loose with cards and bring the offense.

It might also be the case that you’re simply at the start. Fewest perks, least gear, haven’t found your favorite cards, etc.

Last suggestion, make sure you didn’t level the monsters inappropriately. Even if you are all level 2, monsters are still level 1 at normal difficulty.
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Corey Mayo
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The 3rd and 4th scenarios, no matter which way you branch the storyline, are tough. If you are playing on normal difficulty, 60% ain't bad.

I dropped the difficulty down one level and played on easy for a while. Once your characters level up, the game balance seems to even out on normal difficulty. After that, it becomes more about teamwork and intelligent decisions than grinding.

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Dan Likos
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Generally, don't short or long rest until you have to do so. Each time you do you lose a card to the lost pile.

Even if you clear a room and still have 5 cards in hand, it might not be worth resting at that point.
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Phil Schmidt
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If it helps, you can think of your cards as a clock. When your hand runs dry, your are out of moves and you are done. Many of the cards have very powerful uses that result in the card being lost. So effectively, you are accelerating the clock for power. If you do this too much, card count will be the main barrier to your success. If you do this not enough, it will probably be the monsters. If you were to play more conservative by prioritizing card count, the monsters will seem a lot more challenging. As it stands, you are spending cards at the rate your are because of a perceived threat from the monsters, so it’s not quite accurate to say you don’t find the challenge from the monsters.

Probably you don’t play dark souls, but it’s like saying enemies aren’t a problem and you only die because your stamina bar was empty.
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Mark Green
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skies wrote:

Probably you don’t play dark souls, but it’s like saying enemies aren’t a problem and you only die because your stamina bar was empty.


It's more the "feeling" difference between dying in combat with a monster there, or beating the monsters fine and then collapsing a few turns later in an empty room with no explanation. It's a problem with quite a few games with time limits.
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Mike Oehler
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As has been mentioned, the ability to lose cards to prevent damage without some corresponding reverse ability makes being decked the only threat. Damage is just something that might eventually force people to lose cards to negate hits, spend actions healing, or devote turns to ccing or kiting monsters instead of doing maximum damage.

I tend to agree with the people saying something weird is going on if Scoundrel (9 cards) is the one not getting exhausted. Tinkerer has 12 cards, Spellweaver only has 8 but can recover lost cards, MT has 10... All of these characters have more card endurance than the Scoundrel. Between that and monsters being little threat, it kind of suggests that your other characters are burning cards for the lost effects aggressively. That gives people much more power (making the monsters easier), but makes running out more likely. You can definitely burn a card or two early and get to end if you can get a powerful effect out of it, but you have to be careful and efficient with your other actions. But if you spend too much - or everyone is spending aggressively early instead of having some of the characters save power to dominate at the end when the other characters are running out - then you'll probably struggle at the end.

The trick is balancing getting a favorable board/health position, versus preserving cards, versus harvesting as much XP and loot from the mission as possible.
 
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Gaz Bowen
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I was playing the tinker in that game.

The problem seemed to be, as perceived by a couple of members of the group, that the scoundrel didn't seem to do a heck of a lot (Until the final fight at least). He just did some rubbish att3 attacks vs. single targets. Meanwhile the tinker was lobbing AOE3 Att4 abilities, or giving the wizard his ice storm card back so that he could AOE7 muddle storm, do it for 2nd time vs. 6 enemies in central hall, then do it a third time on the final boss room. Was also quite chuffed with the 11 damage combo pulled off on an Earth Daemon with grappling hook, explosive trap and the native pit trap.

Where I did mess up was coordinating being next to the wizard to let him recover all of his discards. My bad...

Looking at the scoundrel deck selected vs. what was left out, there's a bunch of non-loss cards that do very little. This is great for sustain vs. decking, but not so great for killing stuff.
No loss card that gives +2 att for 4(?) attacks per game, or the loss card that gives something like Att 11 when single monster base to base with 3 team mates.

To use accounting parlance, you were not "sweating your assets". IMO (Veterans, please correct me if I'm wrong) we want to all be as close to being decked as each other by the end of the game. That way we have likely all contributed equally to the outcome.

As it was, wizard seemed to do 80% of the work (With tinker as his personal buffing bitch).

The little rat man seemed lacking as well. To be fair, missile characters are innately easier to play than melee heroes, especially if a lot of damage relies on team mates being b2b with enemies. And with the ratman being so squishy, is hard to get him to work without gibbing, even with the 2hp vampire ability.

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David Hebart-Coleman
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Gazzor wrote:
I was playing the tinker in that game.

The problem seemed to be, as perceived by a couple of members of the group, that the scoundrel didn't seem to do a heck of a lot (Until the final fight at least). He just did some rubbish att3 attacks vs. single targets. Meanwhile the tinker was lobbing AOE3 Att4 abilities, or giving the wizard his ice storm card back so that he could AOE7 muddle storm, do it for 2nd time vs. 6 enemies in central hall, then do it a third time on the final boss room. Was also quite chuffed with the 11 damage combo pulled off on an Earth Daemon with grappling hook, explosive trap and the native pit trap.

Where I did mess up was coordinating being next to the wizard to let him recover all of his discards. My bad...

Looking at the scoundrel deck selected vs. what was left out, there's a bunch of non-loss cards that do very little. This is great for sustain vs. decking, but not so great for killing stuff.
No loss card that gives +2 att for 4(?) attacks per game, or the loss card that gives something like Att 11 when single monster base to base with 3 team mates.

To use accounting parlance, you were not "sweating your assets". IMO (Veterans, please correct me if I'm wrong) we want to all be as close to being decked as each other by the end of the game. That way we have likely all contributed equally to the outcome.

As it was, wizard seemed to do 80% of the work (With tinker as his personal buffing bitch).

The little rat man seemed lacking as well. To be fair, missile characters are innately easier to play than melee heroes, especially if a lot of damage relies on team mates being b2b with enemies. And with the ratman being so squishy, is hard to get him to work without gibbing, even with the 2hp vampire ability.



I played the Spellweaver for something like 30 scenarios (yeah, my life goal just never really worked out), and I was certainly the most powerful player on the team. We know that each character type has their little quirks and all will not contribute equally to every scenario. The Spellweaver is very good at softering the enemy up, but everyone is needed to mop up the enemy afterwards. In other scenarios, other characters have shone more brightly that the Spellweaver but not often after a while - that is the nature of the game and the scenario approach. To even things out a little,one rule that I instituted is that everyone had to pick their cards and equipment before seeing the scenario set-up. And as i was the one who often doers the set-up, I had to pick my cards before set-up as well. This meant that I didn't always have the right set - but i felt it added to the game. Out of 45 scenarios - we have only lost 4-5 - generally to card exhaustion but often at different rates. We are almost too powerful, whether cards in hand or the way that we can work together, to die via wounds.
 
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Philipp Schuster
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Quote:
The little rat man seemed lacking as well. To be fair, missile characters are innately easier to play than melee heroes, especially if a lot of damage relies on team mates being b2b with enemies. And with the ratman being so squishy, is hard to get him to work without gibbing, even with the 2hp vampire ability.


I love the little rat woman. She is certainly a bit difficult to get used to, but as soon as you get the hang of the playstyle, she's an EXP-generating melee-damage badass who does not need any support (her move 2 heal 2 bottom ability once per rest being enough).

In my opinion buying the poison dagger is a mistake. Buy the cloak of invisibilty instead. Then go all out on melee damage. The +2 damage augment is the only augment you need, keep it in play when you get back an even number of cards into your hand upon resting, take it back if the number would be uneven.

Keep in mind that you can play any top ability as a standard attack 2 (which is an attack 4 for you) and take advantage of your initiative options. MT can go very early or very late, nothing better than going invisible on an initiative of 11 (or something) and playing an intiative 76 the next round ... or move into close combat late this turn, doing damage, play fast initiative the next turn, do damage again (remember, a minimum of 4, because this is what the standard attack 2 is for you) and move out of range again.

Apart from that, you can always stun an enemy to generate ice, stun an enemy again the next turn (consuming ice) and make a few EXP from this as an added bonus.
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Mike Oehler
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Gazzor wrote:
I was playing the tinker in that game.

The problem seemed to be, as perceived by a couple of members of the group, that the scoundrel didn't seem to do a heck of a lot (Until the final fight at least). He just did some rubbish att3 attacks vs. single targets. Meanwhile the tinker was lobbing AOE3 Att4 abilities, or giving the wizard his ice storm card back so that he could AOE7 muddle storm, do it for 2nd time vs. 6 enemies in central hall, then do it a third time on the final boss room. Was also quite chuffed with the 11 damage combo pulled off on an Earth Daemon with grappling hook, explosive trap and the native pit trap.

Where I did mess up was coordinating being next to the wizard to let him recover all of his discards. My bad...

Looking at the scoundrel deck selected vs. what was left out, there's a bunch of non-loss cards that do very little. This is great for sustain vs. decking, but not so great for killing stuff.
No loss card that gives +2 att for 4(?) attacks per game, or the loss card that gives something like Att 11 when single monster base to base with 3 team mates.



Most of the Scoundrel's attack 3s are no loss attack 5s if her allies help set her up (or she packs a summon item). That's a pretty significant chunk of low level enemies. Four player missions tend to have tons of guys, so AoE classes like SW are obviously really strong versus single target most of the time though.

You should have a lot of sustainable CC between tinkerer and mind thief, so you shouldn't need to focus on one shotting foes with loss cards all the time. I mean, it's kind of obvious that loss cards are good. I'm playing MT right now. I have some attack 1 bottom actions with a status, and my biggest move is 5. Fearsome Blade has a move 4, attack 2 loss. So it's basically like two good bottom actions put together at once. Some of the AoE losses are even more efficient. But that burst of power comes at a cost - each card you lose like that is basically one less entire hand you get to play. Sometimes that's fine, especially in short scenarios. But if you're struggling with running out of cards, you might be overdoing those loss actions.
 
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Tobias
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As others have noted your power in the beginning of a scenario should be in having many cards to choose from and being able to pull of combos. Also in still having items to use. The loss cards should primarily be used later in the game. Spellweaver is an exception.

Also you could try playing as the correct gender.
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Jay Johnson
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therobbot wrote:
Also you could try playing as the correct gender.

gender is a social construct. perhaps their characters identify as something other than their biological sex. devil
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aleis marcon
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As stated above the Mind thief should be wrecking people in the early game with the +2 damage augment in play.

Few Tactical things that are hard to get used to. A single person can't be in the front, you need to have multiple people drawing attacks from monsters, or else that one guy dies. Some times in one turn. Yes this means the Tinker and Spell weaver need to occasionally step forward to take a hit or two. It will also help their heal actions be used to full effect as somtimes when you want to use those cards the hurt people are not close, but you could heal yourself. Then take another turn at the front line.

Another thing most of those characters have summons but on average stay away from them. They are not all that powerful in this game. Yes they can be good if used exactly right but by and large they are not worth the card loss. Especially in a 4 player game as you just run out of room to move.

Also you can't always stop and heal up or rest before opening the next door. If your group is spending more than one turn prepairing for the next room it is to much time. Sometimes even spending 1 turn just healing in front or a door is to long. It's a hard habit to break coming from other games where you always healed before the next room.
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Emile Mulder
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Gazzor wrote:


To use accounting parlance, you were not "sweating your assets". IMO (Veterans, please correct me if I'm wrong) we want to all be as close to being decked as each other by the end of the game. That way we have likely all contributed equally to the outcome.

As it was, wizard seemed to do 80% of the work (With tinker as his personal buffing bitch).

The little rat man seemed lacking as well. To be fair, missile characters are innately easier to play than melee heroes, especially if a lot of damage relies on team mates being b2b with enemies. And with the ratman being so squishy, is hard to get him to work without gibbing, even with the 2hp vampire ability.



It may be optimal for some classes to finish the scenario with as few cards as possible (for example, that's how the tinker gets the most xp). However, it's better to have at least one person finish the scenario, so if people are decking out before then, it's likely everyone's fault to some extent.

As others mentioned, using loss cards early is a waste of assets, since you're essentially throwing away multiple turns. The tinker, for example can do some awesome moves, but needs to play support at the beginning of the match, with those awesome loss moves helping finish out the last battle (I've often had the tinker be the last one standing since he has such a card advantage). The spellweaver should use her summon early, but might want to wait on other loss cards until one rest.

Mind thief and scoundrel can combo well together but need to be very cautious about initiative to do it well. Mind thief can go early or late, which means sometimes the mindthief can intentionally go late in a turn to hit a guy, then hit it again before it can attack - giving the mindthief a chance to kill it. Scoundrel can time initiative to help finish off what mindthief started, or use those utility cards to push/pull enemies around to get those adjacency bonuses. In either case, scoundrel does best with a mix of strong attacks/moves and utility cards. Scoundrel is also ideally suited to opening doors, using all that movement to run ahead of the group and move back/stealth to avoid having one character need to suffer a round or two of focus fire. Scoundrel should have more loot than everyone else - this is designed into the game - don't blame the player if there are moments where they seem less useful.

From the way you describe things, I can imagine that mind thief and tinker were each playing opposite roles to what they are suited for. Tinker should be primary support in a 4 player group, while mind thief is suited in that group to be a single target damage dealer. If the tinker was trying to play nuker, it's possible the mind thief filled in as support, which it's capable of doing, which led to both being played suboptimally.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Using Loss cards early just requires more thought. There are plenty of situations where I've used a Loss card early. The most threatening room is often the first room since you're just dumped into it, and using that Loss card can save you extra turns and damage down the road. Our Tinkerer often through our Loss cards right away, and we usually all left the last room standing.
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Emile Mulder
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Perhaps it's more accurate to say that using loss cards early is expensive. Sometimes it's still worth it, but often it's not. I believe most of us agree that while one or two early loss cards might be justified, they might also drastically shorten the amount of turns left in a game, and more than 1-2 before the first rest is generally a mistake.
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Mathue Faulkner
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bobrossw wrote:
Perhaps it's more accurate to say that using loss cards early is expensive. Sometimes it's still worth it, but often it's not. I believe most of us agree that while one or two early loss cards might be justified, they might also drastically shorten the amount of turns left in a game, and more than 1-2 before the first rest is generally a mistake.

Definitely agree with that sentiment...
 
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Dan Baker
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bobrossw wrote:
Perhaps it's more accurate to say that using loss cards early is expensive. Sometimes it's still worth it, but often it's not. I believe most of us agree that while one or two early loss cards might be justified, they might also drastically shorten the amount of turns left in a game, and more than 1-2 before the first rest is generally a mistake.


My general rule is, until the last room, I don’t want to use lost cards unless I can get full value from them. An example as the Cragheart: I almost always save Forceful Storm’s top action for when Backup Ammo is active, and I don’t even like to use it for only three targets unless we’re about to get pounded if I don’t. I’ve even played it planning to use the lost ability and changed my mind once the monsters revealed a no-move action card that kept them out of their attack range (why bother Disarming if they aren’t going to attack this turn anyway?).

On the other hand, if you can get full value, trying to chip away without using the lost action can take all the time you “saved” by not using it (and get your party beat up by monsters who should have been dead already). I’ve used my level 2 card’s lost action on turn 2 once when the enemies set themselves up for it very nicely and didn’t regret it for a moment:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Four monsters surrounded an empty hex that was also adjacent to me, so I used Avalanche to drop an obstacle there and then immediately blew it up with Explosive Punch; combined with a Power Potion and the Goggles, that’s a four-target Attack 5 with advantage. Wiped half the room.
Totally worth losing a five-turn cycle through my hand, because that turn did as much damage as six or seven normal turns.
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Zachary Homrighaus
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Complex wrote:
Don't use lost cards too early, and try to rest only when you have played (almost) all of your cards. There even is a thread crunching the numbers:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25314287#25314287


I see this advice (emphasis mine), everywhere, but I don't understand it. If you have a hand of 8 cards at the start of a game, it doesn't matter if you rest when you have 8 cards in the discard or only 2... you will end up with 7 cards in your hand after that rest.

The only exception to this is if you or your party have some way to recover Discarded cards (Tinkerer, Stamina Potion, etc.)... in that case, holding off until that ability can trigger is great and can extend your deck... but otherwise, resting after the first turn or when your deck is totally depleted makes no difference... right?

Please note, I'm not talking about lost cards here... clearly spending those early changes the overall stamina of your deck.
 
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Dan Likos
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zjhomrighaus wrote:
Complex wrote:
Don't use lost cards too early, and try to rest only when you have played (almost) all of your cards. There even is a thread crunching the numbers:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25314287#25314287


I see this advice (emphasis mine), everywhere, but I don't understand it. If you have a hand of 8 cards at the start of a game, it doesn't matter if you rest when you have 8 cards in the discard or only 2... you will end up with 7 cards in your hand after that rest.

The only exception to this is if you or your party have some way to recover Discarded cards (Tinkerer, Stamina Potion, etc.)... in that case, holding off until that ability can trigger is great and can extend your deck... but otherwise, resting after the first turn or when your deck is totally depleted makes no difference... right?

Please note, I'm not talking about lost cards here... clearly spending those early changes the overall stamina of your deck.


If I have 8 cards and rest after 1 turn, then I have depleted my hand to 7 cards after 1 turn. If I rest after 4 turns, then I have gotten 3 more turns out of my original hand.
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zjhomrighaus wrote:
I see this advice (emphasis mine), everywhere, but I don't understand it. If you have a hand of 8 cards at the start of a game, it doesn't matter if you rest when you have 8 cards in the discard or only 2... you will end up with 7 cards in your hand after that rest.


Sure, you end up with seven cards after that rest, which means you end up with the same number of turns left as somebody who waited until he had no cards in hand before resting. The difference is the person who waited until he had no cards in hand had three more turns before the rest action than the person who rested after one turn.
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