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Subject: Stuck on BP level 4 rss

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Stephanie Shea
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I have had Spirit Island for about a month and have 28 plays in, all solo. I love the game! I have played all spirits single except ocean. I have played a handful of games with two spirits. I like both single and double. I have played several games with only the base rules and had a fair amount of wins once I started to get the hang of the game and strategy.

My question is with much effort and some losses, I have beaten BP up to level 3 but can’t seem to beat BP at level 4. I haven’t even tried other adversaries and have tried no scenarios, nor have I added Branch and Claw though I have it on the table, waiting. Has anyone gotten stuck at BP level 4?
 
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Persephone Philips
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I'm having the exact same issue, so unfortunately I can't help, but I can confirm thag you're not alone. Don't give up. We'll defeat them eventually!
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Brendan Slade
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I have defeated Prussia on Level 4 and 5 but it is pretty hard. I have not even tried 6 yet as it just looks insane.

With Prussia I found it was important to keep reminding yourself of the victory conditions. You need to get rid of the cities! You won't have time to get through the whole fear deck so you want to get to Level 3 and make sure there are no cities left.

It may be more important to let some blight happen if it means preventing cities being built somewhere else.

It may also be a good idea to go with Spirits that are quick out of the gate and don't take as long to gain power as you may just not have enough turns for that to happen.
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Tibor Tyralla
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I have about the same amount of games played as you (29 now, roughly half of them solo).

which spirits have you tried it with?

I have defeated Prussia lvl6 only once thus far, with Thunderspeaker solo and yesterday I defeated Prussia lvl 4 with Shadow solo on the second go - first one I got owned quite clearly, while the second game was a surprisingly easy, owning to some really favourable draws (my first 2 drawn powers had both moon and fire and also nothing outside Jungle and Mountains got explored before turn 4)

In short, don't worry, you'll get there. If you're interested, look through some strategy guides in the forums, they are really helpful.
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Dylan Thurston
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I'd add to the advice above that you should enjoy playing at whatever level you're comfortable at, and you may not necessarily want to go up to the highest levels. The designer Eric Reuss has said that B-P level 6 is too hard for him personally, and that he relies on other testers for data on such high levels.
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Ted Vessenes
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I also don't really enjoy playing at level 6 versions of adversaries. I feel like I have to warp spirit selection a little too much to have a chance of defeating them. At level 5 I feel like I can play pretty much anything and have a reasonable chance of winning.
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Povilas Šimonis
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Wildfire and Sharp fangs can manage solo BP lvl 6 with win rate of ~50%. 5th level is possible with even more spirits. On Such High difficulty sequence of exploration and events (if with B&C) becomes very important.

I like to play several games with one spirit on same adversary so you can better understand how they interact. Then it is easier to play on higher level.
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Stephanie Shea
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Pseudomonass wrote:
I like to play several games with one spirit on same adversary so you can better understand how they interact. Then it is easier to play on higher level.
Yup I did that with the base rules but not so much with BP so I think I'll go back to BP level 2 then 3 with different spirits for a few games.
 
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Stephanie Shea
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treebaumstrom wrote:
I have about the same amount of games played as you (29 now, roughly half of them solo).

which spirits have you tried it with?

I have defeated Prussia lvl6 only once thus far, with Thunderspeaker solo and yesterday I defeated Prussia lvl 4 with Shadow solo on the second go - first one I got owned quite clearly, while the second game was a surprisingly easy, owning to some really favourable draws (my first 2 drawn powers had both moon and fire and also nothing outside Jungle and Mountains got explored before turn 4)

In short, don't worry, you'll get there. If you're interested, look through some strategy guides in the forums, they are really helpful.
I've played with Thunderspeaker alone, Thunderspeaker w River and Earth w River. I am trying to resist the strategy guides to challenge myself and have fun figuring out strategy
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Stephanie Shea
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dthurston wrote:
I'd add to the advice above that you should enjoy playing at whatever level you're comfortable at, and you may not necessarily want to go up to the highest levels. The designer Eric Reuss has said that B-P level 6 is too hard for him personally, and that he relies on other testers for data on such high levels.
Yeah I can't imaging level 6!
 
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Stephanie Shea
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Mapletaffy wrote:
I'm having the exact same issue, so unfortunately I can't help, but I can confirm that you're not alone. Don't give up. We'll defeat them eventually!
Yes we will!
 
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Tibor Tyralla
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stephcshea wrote:
I've played with Thunderspeaker alone, Thunderspeaker w River and Earth w River. I am trying to resist the strategy guides to challenge myself and have fun figuring out strategy
that's certainly the way to go. I'm sure you figure it out eventually. Those spirits / combos you named should not have too much trouble against Prussia lvl 4.

but should you feel stuck for too long, those guides can offer a way out.

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Robb S

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I recently played two PBF games with Level 6 B-P in which we were successful. We played using the "Second Wave" scenario, where in the second game you basically face the same Adversary again using the leftover board position from your first game. So we ended up facing Lvl 6 B-P twice -- the first time was Keeper, Sharp Fangs and Spread of Rampant Green; the second was River, Ocean, and Shadows Flicker Like Flame. If you want to take a look at what we did, they're here:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2129082/pbf-11

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2137155/pbf-14

Neither of these was a Fear victory; both times we did it at Terror Level II, by getting rid of all of the Towns/Cities.

In the first game, as I recall, Spread of Rampant Green and Sharp Fangs did a lot of the early work -- Green kept adding sacred sites and sacrificing Presence to stop Ravages while Sharp Fangs went around killing Explorers and stopping Builds with enough frequency to keep us in the game until Keeper came into his own and started really dealing out the damage (with the help of a nearly-ideal Strangling Firevine draw). We were not looking so hot going at the end of Turn 4, when the Blight card got flipped...



...but the card was Aid From Lesser Spirits. That plus some newly-acquired Majors really turned things around, and we had a devastating (for the Invaders) Turn 5 in which we killed 4 Cities, 7 Towns, and gosh-knows-how-many explorers:



After that, it was pretty much all downhill.

The second game was actually easier, even though Second Wave supposedly increases the difficulty. We never flipped the Blight card. The River-pushes-Towns-into-Ocean combo worked great, with Shadows going all over the island to put out various hotspots with his special rule.
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Stephanie Shea
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treebaumstrom wrote:
stephcshea wrote:
I've played with Thunderspeaker alone, Thunderspeaker w River and Earth w River. I am trying to resist the strategy guides to challenge myself and have fun figuring out strategy
that's certainly the way to go. I'm sure you figure it out eventually. Those spirits / combos you named should not have too much trouble against Prussia lvl 4.

but should you feel stuck for too long, those guides can offer a way out.

Gave in and read a wee bit about River strategy two days ago. Basically concentrated on placing presence to accelerate card plays even if I really wanted to reclaim early on. Great tip!

Just beat BP lev 4 with River just prior to last ravage with no cities and only 1 town remaining prior to ravage, 3 fear cards left, last explore card. Great game with lots of fun and tension. Phew!
 
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Dylan Thurston
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stephcshea wrote:
Gave in and read a wee bit about River strategy two days ago. Basically concentrated on placing presence to accelerate card plays even if I really wanted to reclaim early on. Great tip!
That's a good tip for most Spirits. Vital Strength of the Earth is one of the few that can get away with reclaiming frequently.
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Robb S

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stephcshea wrote:
Gave in and read a wee bit about River strategy two days ago. Basically concentrated on placing presence to accelerate card plays even if I really wanted to reclaim early on. Great tip!

Just beat BP lev 4 with River just prior to last ravage with no cities and only 1 town remaining prior to ravage, 3 fear cards left, last explore card. Great game with lots of fun and tension. Phew!
Congratulations! Don't know whether this helps or not re: figuring out strategy, but it at least seems to me that a lot of spirits have a designed "sweet spot." I sort of like to look at the Spirits' Energy/Card Play tracks, then look at their high-level innates and try to think, "Now how did the designers think I could use those tracks and my starting cards to reach that combo in as few steps as possible?" Then it's a matter of figuring out the order/combination of turns necessary to get you there without being Energy-poor or having to rely too much on card luck.

For River, for example, it's four card plays -- playing just your four starting cards (and you need all four) you can Flash Floods, Wash Away *and* activate your Lvl 3 Massive Flooding in one turn. That combo by itself is usually enough to wipe out 2-3 entire lands, including a city or two, and it surprisingly doesn't take much energy, as I imagine you discovered. Lightning follows a similar route, so figuring out those "sweet spots" is a matter of figuring out how to be able to consistently play four cards and still have Energy to pay for them.

On the other hand, Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares' highest-level innate only requires 3 Moons, and he has a Moon (as well as an Air and an "Any") already on his Energy track, so he could get there by just playing two cards, so his "sweet spot" is uncovering that Moon/Air on the Energy track, and figuring out the best two-card combos to be able to keep up until you get there.



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Stephanie Shea
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robb8888 wrote:
Don't know whether this helps or not re: figuring out strategy, but it at least seems to me that a lot of spirits have a designed "sweet spot."
Yup getting that! Thanks for all the tips
 
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Anon Emus
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This may seem a bit surprising but I’ve found success frequently with solo serpent vs. B-P 6, the timing is such that you desperately need to figure out a way to activate your level 2 left innate (the presence adding one) before the end of the game though. Also your elemental aegis works wonders against the early stage 3 card.
 
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Laitue Verte
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stephcshea wrote:

Gave in and read a wee bit about River strategy two days ago. Basically concentrated on placing presence to accelerate card plays even if I really wanted to reclaim early on. Great tip!

Just beat BP lev 4 with River just prior to last ravage with no cities and only 1 town remaining prior to ravage, 3 fear cards left, last explore card. Great game with lots of fun and tension. Phew!
Congratulations on your win! It feels so good to win after being stuck for a few games on a particular set up.

I've never played one-spirit against high level Prussia, and I don't think I've ever played it multiple spirit without A Spread of Rampant Green. I don't like playing that spirit all that much, there is just too much going on for me when juggling 4-5 card plays, 2 innates and ravage preventions. But, its ability to grow quickly and accelerate another spirit's growth works perfect with Prussia.

My partner and I won once against Prussia level 6, with Green and Bringer of Nightmares and Dreams. Nightmare's ability to get (and generate enough energy to actually play) Major Powers early was also key to facing B-P.

I also try to wait a bit before reading up on spirit strategies, but I really love to do it once I know a spirit reasonably well. Not only it helps me go further in my understanding of a spirit, but it also gives me new ideas to try. Left to myself, I tend to always reproduce the same strategy with a given spirit. Because I always play either with the same person or with new players, for me it'S amazing to have access to so many experienced people sharing their thoughts and strategies.
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