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Subject: Lantern the Rat or Kill a Mob? (Discussion) rss

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Denis Davydov
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It's all about the beginning of the game.

Generally, all's clear. Transfer adventurers into normal Champions. Get rid of daggers when you have only 1-2 adventurers left (except for some special cases). And... lantern that rat!!!

Yet the rat point is not that easy. Looks like it has a long weird tail.

Let's imagine that:
a. You've got a lantern. You have adventurers at hand.
b. You have enough firepower to kill that rat OR you may kill a level I monster that gives you 3 XP and some token.
What should you choose?

Some basic thoughts to start with:

1. Rat does immediate level up (you save time + 2 XP). Killing a Mob for 3 XP does not. Yet you have +1 XP after level up of an adventurer + some token.

2. By going for a Mob you leave yourself with no market this turn.

3. You may use those 3 XP to level up a normal Champion later - not an adventurer.

Generally, what should a Mob have to make you forget about a lantern in your hand and go for the bloody kill at the beginning of the game?

My example is with 3 XP + some token.
What about 3 XP + 'your first' Wound (shards go-go!) + some token?
4 XP?
Treasure card instead of a token?
Does the token itself matter?

Hope you'll get fun from this discussion, guys! =))
 
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/|\ Roland /|\
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Only because we are talking about the beginning of the game does the answer come easy to me.

The only factor left out of your arithmetic above is the culling of the Adventurer, which to me, almost always makes that the preferable choice. Rat it is.
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Denis Davydov
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Roland,

Yep, but culling the adventurer is the main point. Why else should you go for the rat, except for some exceptional situations! =)

You may cull that adventurer by the rat (you killed the rat) OR later by the level up in the village (you killed the Mob).

In both cases you get rid of an adventurer, turning him into a Champion.

And THAT makes the point. Only that and nothing else. =)
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/|\ Roland /|\
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Right, but I guess what I was trying to say is: the earlier the cull the better since each subsequent hand draw is statistically guaranteed to be better than before the cull.
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Zsolt Bangha
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DeriusDen wrote:
Generally, what should a Mob have to make you forget about a lantern in your hand and go for the bloody kill at the beginning of the game?


It depends on the circumstances:
- Do I have sufficient gold value or not? If I wouldn't to be able to buy anything useful (i.e. I drew 5 adventurers and 1 lantern), hitting a Mob would be instantly more tempting.
- Does the room have any spoil abilities? If I would be able to buy a weapon/spell/item there, then why would I go to the village?
- Do I have level 1 heroes already? I see no point to hit a Mob in the very first round, because it's cheaper to use the Rat to level up your noob adventurers.

In general I would say it's a good strategy to go for a Mob as soon as possible. Having XP tokens in your pocket widens your possibilities. In the next round you might not be able to go to the dungeon at all, but if you have XP you might be able to level up somebody. You might also want to keep some of your adventurers just to use them as expendable human shields or whatnot. Because sometimes it's easier to buy a level 1 hero than to bother with the Rat.
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Denis Davydov
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Zsolt, this corresponds with what I think.

As I can see now, in many cases going for the Mob is more efficient, and the choice mostly depends on goods that may be purchased from the market at the moment, what you'll get from the Mob, etc. (On top of all this, it's better to get 1 wound for shards).

I've seen a player getting rid of the last adventurer in the middle of the game only, but somehow that does not prevent him from leading in all possible ways because of treasures, level 2 champions, etc. He had some adventurers in the deck, but as other his cards were mighty enough, he rolled much faster than other playrs who visit the rat 5-6 times. Besides this, he takes the easier Mobs, leaving the harder ones to other players, and sometimes that stops their progress as well.

That's really strange, as previous editions of Thunderstone (at least the first one, as I missed the second one) does not support this kind of tactics. Getting rid of militia usually was on top of all tasks.
 
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Jeff Goldsmith
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I'd want a treasure before going for the monster. Even so, it's a pretty high-variance move. If the treasure is very useful, you'll start out ahead. If it's just VPs, your deck will be weaker than the other players', and you'll be quite a bit behind. A treasure cache is pretty good; the 2-3 extra EPs are known to be useful without clogging up your deck.

The second turn matters. If you have a thunderstone shard coming, the damage will allow you to draw an extra card; whether that's a good idea or not is debatable, because if you do that, the hero you level up won't go into your second deck, but the third. In that case, the only card improvement to your second deck is the treasure. In contrast, the rat slayers get 3-4 improvements to their second deck.

Unless I can't buy anything useful at the town or I can buy in the dungeon, I think it's normally better to kill the rat. The two turns with a crappy second deck will often put you well behind the other players.
 
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Denis Davydov
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Jeff,

That corresponds with what I think. The treasure is worthy. The wound is very good, but it this case everything depends on circumstances. If none of these factors come in place, it's better to go for the Rat in the first turns.
 
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