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Subject: Best variants for solo play? rss

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Aldath LeCarde
Mexico
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Hey there guys. I'm playing Storytelling mode with my group using the standard rules, in an attempt to inject a little more narrative into the game and keep them hooked, as they're D&D players (I made a topic about ongoing narrative not long ago). So far it's worked, we're on year 4, barely recovering from a Butcher fight, and the future looks bleak

However we play once every one or two weeks and the KDM itch is strong, so I mostly play solo during the afternoons or at night when there's nothing to do. I've attempted to win the main campaign 4 times but I can't make it past year 6 at most, and I don't find enjoyment of spending up to an hour in combats I know I won't be able to win (the two last years had incredibly one sided Bucther encounters that dragged on long without any chance for my survivors to strike back, even with bandages, and all of them had leather armor).

I found that the lethality of the game is better for me when we're sharing the table, considering I also have to keep track of 4 survivors + settlement people and there comes the point where even with the help of apps it becomes mentally exhausting. I have read about Hero variants, Seven Swordsmen and Twilight Knight in Training and I was wondering whcih fits solo play the best.

I'll take the chance to get to know the encounters and add expansions that I might not be able to use with my friends (we're using Core 1.3 timeline when playing together, as it's shorter and we want to experience Lantern/Sun/Stars, alone I play 1.5 timeline).

If you've played the variants or have created one I could heck, I'd be grateful if you share your experiences I'm still deciding what I wanna do when playing solo, and for now a fifth round of standard gameplay isn't appealing much.
 
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Alex
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This will probably be utterly unhelpful, but this is what I do. I've sunk many an hour into this solo.

Laminate the sheets to use with a dry erase marker. This really makes it easier. You can get fairly fine tipped markers with an eraser on the back too that work well. Never had any problems with info wiping off.

If you don't see any likely chance of winning a showdown, concede and let those characters die.

Have a good setup. I'll admit I'm lucky here, I have two tabled arranged in an L that I can get the game quickly setup on. Showdowns on one, Settlement and Hunts on the other. Also I made a hunt board/stand which also holds my innovation cards. All this just reduces time.

3d printed gear grids. This allows for quick setup and take down, as you can just stack the trays with the gear right in them, then stack em in the box.

Container for minies. The only things I can't fit back in the box, besides the custom hunt board.

I really haven't used any variants, so unfortunately I can't help you there!
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al Cann
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Arudato wrote:
Hey there guys. I'm playing Storytelling mode with my group using the standard rules, in an attempt to inject a little more narrative into the game and keep them hooked, as they're D&D players (I made a topic about ongoing narrative not long ago). So far it's worked, we're on year 4, barely recovering from a Butcher fight, and the future looks bleak

However we play once every one or two weeks and the KDM itch is strong, so I mostly play solo during the afternoons or at night when there's nothing to do. I've attempted to win the main campaign 4 times but I can't make it past year 6 at most, and I don't find enjoyment of spending up to an hour in combats I know I won't be able to win (the two last years had incredibly one sided Bucther encounters that dragged on long without any chance for my survivors to strike back, even with bandages, and all of them had leather armor).

I found that the lethality of the game is better for me when we're sharing the table, considering I also have to keep track of 4 survivors + settlement people and there comes the point where even with the help of apps it becomes mentally exhausting. I have read about Hero variants, Seven Swordsmen and Twilight Knight in Training and I was wondering whcih fits solo play the best.

I'll take the chance to get to know the encounters and add expansions that I might not be able to use with my friends (we're using Core 1.3 timeline when playing together, as it's shorter and we want to experience Lantern/Sun/Stars, alone I play 1.5 timeline).

If you've played the variants or have created one I could heck, I'd be grateful if you share your experiences I'm still deciding what I wanna do when playing solo, and for now a fifth round of standard gameplay isn't appealing much.


I've attempted 6 solo campaigns ... two resulted in total settlement kills, two I stopped due to rules mistakes I had been making as I was learning the game, one I abandoned because I didn't have a chance, and one got me to the Watcher before getting wiped out.

It takes time, particularly solo with only one set of eyes on the game, to figure it out.

Get back on that horse!
 
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Adam Alderman
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Hero essentially seems like God Mode where if your survivors die, they instead lose gear (or something? Can't remember exactly...) and just return to the Settlement. This seems like the best way to tackle the game solo and not get burned out by losing your entire group on fights you can't win. It would be a grind, but at some point the law of averages would let you push through and continue. After I finish my current campaign, I'm going to give this mode a try just so I can get through the People of the Lantern basic and can start incorporating expansions.

Hope something in there helps a little.
Just keep grinding!
 
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Cymbaline
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Arudato wrote:
I've attempted to win the main campaign 4 times but I can't make it past year 6 at most, and I don't find enjoyment of spending up to an hour in combats I know I won't be able to win (the two last years had incredibly one sided Bucther encounters that dragged on long without any chance for my survivors to strike back, even with bandages, and all of them had leather armor).

I'm afraid I don't have much to contribute with regards to your main question, but I'm sure you could get some good feedback and tips with regards to making it deeper into the core campaign if you want. I'd be curious to know what's massacring you so early on.
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Ron Gilbert
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AirwolfWilly wrote:
Hero essentially seems like God Mode where if your survivors die, they instead lose gear (or something? Can't remember exactly...) and just return to the Settlement. This seems like the best way to tackle the game solo and not get burned out by losing your entire group on fights you can't win. It would be a grind, but at some point the law of averages would let you push through and continue. After I finish my current campaign, I'm going to give this mode a try just so I can get through the People of the Lantern basic and can start incorporating expansions.

Hope something in there helps a little.
Just keep grinding!


Is Hero an official mode? (at work now and can't check the rules)
 
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Alessio Massuoli
Italy
Terni
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yes - core manual, p226.
 
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Aldath LeCarde
Mexico
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Usually my settlement cannot take on the butcher, more often than not it's a combination of bad luck on settlement phase and drawn out fights.

First two settlements I was still getting used to the game and were the "trial" ones. I took the last two more seriously.

Third settlement I decided to introduce Gorm, but Gorm Climate screwed me over and my Gorm and Lion hunts were met by bad results which quickly decimated my population (I got 1 on the First Settlement Event card). My last three survivors went on to battle against the Butcher, all died.

Settlement four started way better, I got a 1 again on the first event but everyone survived and I didn't spend my Founding Stones. I decided not to introduce Gorm, but my battle against the Screaming Anthelope dragged on. By then I had a population of eight (not very good luck on Intimacy), my four survivors each developed three mental disabilities, one of them got a mutilated arm, and two of them had to skip next hunt.

I hunted the lion with four fresh survivors next year, everything went good, except that thanks to Hunt Events, in conjunction with Murder, three of them had to skip Hunt Phase. That left me with four weakened survivors with a bunch of disabilities and penalties to face the Butcher. When they would be killed, I only had two men and one woman left in the settlement. The Butcher fight was getting very long and I couldn't really touch him, the dice were being naughty with me (I used the ones included in the game) and I was triggering traps all the time, the attacks from the White Lion Bow (whatever the name is) were failing, all my survivors were frenzied, and two of them got killed. I spent more than an hour in that battle and noticed there was no point of playing that settlement anymore. Tried to keep playing past Year 5 but the outcome was pretty obvious when I triggered the olympic games of doom event (Thriathlon or whatevs) and the girl failed all the events. I had no more Love Juice to trigger intimacy with her anyways.

The Butcher encounter with my friends ended in utter defeat but out population is 6 still, they have been spending lots of materials on gear so neglecting Innovations will hurt but failing at their side is much more relaxing XD
 
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Paul Nojima
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That's a pretty bad track record with the Butcher... I've fought him 4 times (all level 1, though) and never lost. My experience is minimal with KDM as I've never even reached the Hand. =P I've fought the King's Man several times and lost only once... most recently. In my solo campaign (which is only at LY12 right now), I faced the King's Man to save my resources... slaughtered him. When he came back good and proper (level 1, as is the rules), he slaughtered ME. First TPK I've ever had...

My advice is try the Butcher... instead of proceeding, try him again. Reset, go through your tactics, and try again. I've never used bandages with the Butcher.

Try to remember that when you Frenzy, it stacks when facing the Butcher. Without that, I'd have lost for sure.

As for solo play... I'm afraid because of the amount of bookkeeping and things you need to keep track of, you need to slow down. If you're doing better with friends, it may be in PART due to multiple heads strategizing, but there seems to be a HUGE disconnect between how well you do solo vs team. Slow down, remember bonuses, perfect hits, crits with luck/deadly, use your circlet/headband, etc. Luck definitely plays a factor, but strategy really does help mitigate. If you know what's coming from the Monster, plan ahead... use your turn to prepare for the upcoming attack and set yourself up for your NEXT turn, rather than just trying to get in as much damage as you can.

Dash/Surge! Use 'em. You can interrupt during ANY flow... If the monster is about to react to an attacker with a Basic Action, another person can surge and get in an extra attack before that even happens... in some cases even KILLING the thing before it can kill the previous attacker!

If you're playing 1.5... Remember your lifetime re-roll if you're SOTF, otherwise, MULTIPLY LIKE JACK RABBITS! I went SOTF with my group, but the opposite on solo, just to see what it's like (and I want a Savior)... I'm sitting on over 20 population, heh.
 
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Cymbaline
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Sounds like some definite bad luck. For what it's worth, a few things you may or may not be doing:

- Target Symposium, Paint, and Inner Lantern in that order, and avoid Hovel
- Grab Face Painting when you have your core innovations in place so that you can get better rolls on the intimacy table
- Take Graves
- Embrace the Darkness will help you survive
- Protect the Young is always a good way to keep your population high
- Sometimes it's worth sending four crippled scrubs to fight the Butcher or King's Man with the intent of letting them die, rather than chancing four good survivors on those fights
- Prioritize good weapons, and after that prioritize full sets of armor
- Avoid the White Lion armor; get rawhide instead
- Avoid dual-wielding katars or daggers
- Have a support character who has a sickle, pick axe, whip, bandages, cat eye circlet, shield, and bow (or some similar combination); they'll provide tons of utility in the hunt phase and showdown, and all you have to do is try and make sure they don't get hit
- Monster grease, leather shield, zanbatto (particularly if you have the wisdom potion from the Gorm - which, if you're playing with it, you should), counterweight axe are some best-in-class pieces of gear
- Perhaps most importantly, if something seems absurdly hard, make sure you've got the rules right

You may know any or all of the above; hard to be sure from here. I will agree, though, that it's more fun to have your survivor's head smashed when you have a friend next to you at the table to laugh and cry with about it.
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sam newman

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It is your game and if things are fgoing horribly then you could retry a showdown that is going awry. Afterall it is your game and you can play it how you want.
 
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Fen Batten
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Cymbaline wrote:
- Target Symposium, Paint, and Inner Lantern in that order, and avoid Hovel

Drums is absolutely stronger than Paint and Inner Lantern for a young settlement (Music is straight up the strongest tree in the game, but Symposium is too important to skip out on). I agree with most of the rest you have written there.
 
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fenpaints wrote:
Drums is absolutely stronger than Paint and Inner Lantern for a young settlement (Music is straight up the strongest tree in the game, but Symposium is too important to skip out on). I agree with most of the rest you have written there.

I would argue that Drums is maybe more of an advanced tactics kind of innovation, and in this case if LY6 is the blocker, it might be better to go with the more obviously / easily useful Paint or Inner Lantern. But, you know, either way.
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Luke
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I tried Hero mode, and I found that it just took all the bite out of the game.

What I have found to be the simplest for solo play is to do as follows.
I remove Murder, Skulleater and Plague. If I get a random event that feels like I've been kicked in the junk, I allow myself to either reroll or just ignore it and move on.

I don't play KD:M to prove anything, so if the game pulls some crap that makes me want to stop playing, I just ignore it and move on.
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