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Forbidden Desert» Forums » General

Subject: The insane difficulty and other things I've noticed rss

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Daniel Dukai
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Hi. I wanted to post about this for some time now, so here it goes:

1) The difficulty - When you play your first game even on Novice, you will probably lose. This is most likely due to a lack of experience, bad decisions, bad luck etc. Once you have a grip on the game mechanics, Novice can sometimes be a cakewalk. You can still lose to a bad luck streak, though. So, I think that Novice is too easy, but once you set the game to Normal, I feel that the difficulty just ramps up substantially. Elite and Legendary must be impossible. At least in Forbidden Island I could win on Elite.

2) Digging up the pieces. I have observed this only recently, but I think it's kind of funny when a piece of the airship appears on a previously excavated tile, like "oh, look! It was there all along, we just didn't see it!" I know that the tiles are constantly shifting around, so it was necessary, but it's kind of stupid at the same time.

This game is ridiculously difficult at times. It's merciless. Every Victory is well earned.

Thoughts are welcome.
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Michael Korson
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danieldukai wrote:

2) Digging up the pieces. I have observed this only recently, but I think it's kind of funny when a piece of the airship appears on a previously excavated tile, like "oh, look! It was there all along, we just didn't see it!" I know that the tiles are constantly shifting around, so it was necessary, but it's kind of stupid at the same time.


I've always interpreted this occurrence thematically to be that you know exactly where to find the airship piece on the already excavated tile - kind of like decoding a treasure map. For example, when you excavated it you discovered the Ancient Green Houses in the buried city, but only later figured out that the solar crystal you needed was in the gardener's tool shed that you didn't bother to look through.
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Jim Bolland
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How many players are in your games? As with many cooperative games, Forbidden Desert is more difficult with more players.

It took us a while to win with 5 players! Among the things we learned:

- You have to be very careful to make sure no one is stranded. The group needs to actively manage this. (In a 5-player game, 4 other player turns is a very long time between actions).

- The Meteorologist is weak, and weaker as there are more players. Too often, the Meteorologist's special action achieves very little. There is no time for that. (Like you said, the game is merciless.) [The Meteorologist is most likely to be stranded - see above. ]

I look at the two spots pointing to the location of a ship piece as a two-part key. The piece is not only buried, but hidden. You need the right information to find and open a secret compartment.
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Daniel Dukai
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I only play the game with my wife. So it's always two players.

Unless we're the Navigator + Climber combo, we spread out to excavate as many tiles as fast as possible.

I kinda like the Meteorologist as I can dodge at least a few Sun Beats Down cards with it.

I'm not sure what we could do better. We don't die of thirst any longer. The only reason we could lose now is because of the storm ramping up. Too many sand tiles piling up.

Our early game strategy consists of excavating tiles as fast as possible. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. We usually clean sand tiles when there are no other actions that are worth doing.
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maklen9 wrote:
danieldukai wrote:

2) Digging up the pieces. I have observed this only recently, but I think it's kind of funny when a piece of the airship appears on a previously excavated tile, like "oh, look! It was there all along, we just didn't see it!" I know that the tiles are constantly shifting around, so it was necessary, but it's kind of stupid at the same time.


I've always interpreted this occurrence thematically to be that you know exactly where to find the airship piece on the already excavated tile - kind of like decoding a treasure map. For example, when you excavated it you discovered the Ancient Green Houses in the buried city, but only later figured out that the solar crystal you needed was in the gardener's tool shed that you didn't bother to look through.


Agree. I've always imagined that pieces are deep buried, and when you excavate a tile you are just doing a quick excavation to find what's under the sand but not digging for a treasure.
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Henry Seymour
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danieldukai wrote:
I only play the game with my wife. So it's always two players.

Unless we're the Navigator + Climber combo, we spread out to excavate as many tiles as fast as possible.

I kinda like the Meteorologist as I can dodge at least a few Sun Beats Down cards with it.

I'm not sure what we could do better. We don't die of thirst any longer. The only reason we could lose now is because of the storm ramping up. Too many sand tiles piling up.

Our early game strategy consists of excavating tiles as fast as possible. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. We usually clean sand tiles when there are no other actions that are worth doing.


If I were you I would focus a lot more on clearing sand. I think I have about a 60% win rate on Legendary. I would advise you to never let a tile get more than 3 sand on it, because above that it will take more than 1 turn to remove what is restricting movement.
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Clinton Rice
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Forbidden Desert is challenging but it's a good challenging. You just have to learn to priotitize. I'm much less frustrated by this than I am the Dresden Files co-op where my win rate is about 10℅ on the easiest difficulty.
 
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Dave S
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After my first few games of Forbidden Desert I took to Twitter to express my surprise at how badly I did in them. At that point in time I had about an 80% win rate on Forbidden Island, was running about a 60% win rate on Pandemic with six epidemic cards (and used the Virulent Strain from On the Brink in a few of those games) and had just won with seven epidemic cards on my first try. So I was surprised to have gotten crushed by Forbidden Desert on novice. Matt Leacock himself commented on my Tweet to saw that Desert is the hardest of the three. So I felt a little better (but I'm positive that Pandemic heard Leacock say that Desert is harder and wanted to prove him wrong, because I lost my next eight games of Pandemic - but I won my next game of Desert... barely - it came down to "win right this second, or lose again").
 
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Daniel Dukai
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I forgot to add one important bit:

The launch pad. It seems that something has gone wrong in production. When you look at all the face down tiles, you can see that the launch pad has a darker shade of red on it, so you can immediately distinguish it from the rest of the tiles without excavating it. Was this an oversight?
 
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