Mansions of Madness Mini Painter. So by extension, any game in the Lovecraft Mythos
We just played Far Harbor today for the first time (November 2018). One reason we hesitated for so long was the feedback about the confusingness (confusitude?) of the scenario, and how ridiculously over-rad-ed it gets. I think folks may missing a point on correctly interpreting a key element of the scenario, and your post, which I partially quote below contains what I think is the basis for that error.
Far Harbor is, by far, the most confusing scenario whether your English is good or not. I've actually only played through it once, but my understanding is that:
No disagreement there, but it actually becomes a lot more manageable (and fun) if we correctly interpreted faction advance and fog spawn. That said, we had a BEAR of a grammatical and rule-lawyering discussion to get there. I had to go full-on, crop-wielding, jhodpur-wearing, monocle-having grammar nazi to get us there.
1. Enemy activation of both shields and stars spawns fog at the highest available wasteland/settlement encounter areas that does not already have a shield or star. Incorrect. The card specifically (and only) states that when either faction would advance during an activation, fog (a shield token) will be spawned at the highest level settlement or wasteland that does not already have fog on it. It does not say anything about whether or not there is a star (condenser) present.
2. Fog Condensers (stars) automatically remove fog, never will both be on the same space at the same time.
Truuuuuee, but you have to look at it from the perspective of 'order of events' (that you might want to think of as simultaneous but should not) (like when you take damage and rad damage in a fight, and you run out of health... did you take the health damage *before* or *after* the rad moved your deadline?). If there is fog, and you place a condenser, the fog goes away (The survivor presses the big red button. Engines begin to cough sputter to life, eventually humming as the air clears of the hated fog. Grateful townspeople begin singing songs and name now-mutated children after you...) If there is a condenser, and you smash it, that location is no longer protected by a condenser unless you or another player build another one there (SUCK IT, MORTALS!!! Your Ghoul shrieks as he runs cackling into the night, dragging the still-sparking guts of the condenser behind him...)
3. Fog and condensers can be places via quest or encounters. Your point 1 already explains that this is not completely accurate. With very few exceptions, only activations that would advance shields or stars can place fog. Condensers may be placed more-or-less at will by a special quest action any time a player wants to do so.
So fog will try to spawn whenever either faction would advance (via activation), but condensers can be placed fairly easily, and they can be destroyed fairly easily. There will only be a couple of places fog can spawn at any given time - and fogging can be stopped COLD if you put a condenser there before it activates/spawns.
As an example to beat this to death:
During Setup, Acadia is a level 4 settlement, AND starts with fog. If it later did not have fog, that would mean that someone went there and placed a condenser (after having slogged through the rough terrain, and after having taken rad damage for entering the fog that had been there to start). As soon as they successfully placed the condenser, the fog would be ...condensed... and Acadia would then be 'the highest level settlement or wasteland on the board that did not contain fog'(pretend with me for a moment that you have not uncovered another level 4 settlement or that if you have, there's already fog there).
Every time thereafter when a faction would advance , Acadia would the ONLY place Fog can spawn, because it meets the conditions on the faction card. It's just that the moment it spawns, it is immediately condensed/neutralized by the condenser that you have cleverly left to hold that choke point. If the card did say "fog or condenser", then you would almost always have another location where fog could spawn, and pretty soon all your medium and high level settlements would be radioactive. And Foggy. And your Ghoul and your Supermutant would be laughing very annoying laughs at you.
What this means is that if your tiles are placed with any luck at all, you can *shut down* fog spawning entirely by strategically placing one or at most a few condensers. People pressing the Stars agenda want to do this. Even people trying to advance the Shields agenda here may want to do this to a certain degree, unless they're playing the Ghoul. But for the Ghoul to run away with this scenario, he's going to be very busy trying to run around and smash other people's condensers (even then, it's the Supermutant who really stands to *gain* from that, and even then only if he can get his hands on enough rad-away to remain viable). That doesn't leave a lot of time for him to really try to advance either agenda.
I'm pretty sure that's why it's neither super hard, nor super easy to place condensers - sometimes the object will be to reign in run away fog, but even then, you want to lock down all spawn points, unless you're in a situation where it's advantageous for you to make it painful for others to enter settlements at all.
The phrasing on the scenario card *is* ambiguous, but it states that 'fog will be spawned at the highest level location that does not already have fog on it'. It does not state anything about whether or not fog will *persist* at that location for any length of time, just as I couldn't find anything that said I couldn't 'clean out' a settlement by placing a condenser there after fog was already present, (if I was willing to soak the Rad i'd suffer for my audacity).
(I make no claims regarding the wisdom of any scenario strategy/agenda advice I have written. This was the first time we did this one, and I'm finding I need about 3 plays through of a given scenario before I start to get a feel for how to *play* the agenda elements intelligently. This is part of the fun for me, since I'm playing with folks who have the same experience, or lack thereof with the scenario. We have as much fun watching the agenda deck go off like a trick cigar in one of our faces as we do *winning* sometimes, and this game has never failed us in that regard.