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Dungeon Twister 2: Prison» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Setup Strategy from an Experienced Player rss

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Geoff H
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No, that experienced player is not me. I'm afraid I lose much more often than I win.

Last week I played my friend Mario (mayo66), who is an experienced German DT player. After being totally crushed (losing 5-0 in less than two action card cycles), he sent me this article. It was clear that I had lost the game during the setup and revealing of the rooms. He managed to get my Fireball wand and kill my Banshee within his first 3 or 4 moves. My Colossus soon followed and then it was an easy escape for him to win the game. After reading this article, it became clear what I was doing wrong.

Mario gave me permission to post this article that he wrote. It seems wise advice to me and I hope that it helps me to be a better player. I'm just beginning to understand the importance of the early game and setup. Dungeon Twister is a very unforgiving game. Once you are back on your heels, it is hard to recover. It is crucial to maximize your position early.

The Combat begins with Set-Up by Mayo66

Often Dungeon Twister is lauded because of it’s absence of luck, followed by the qualifier -- as soon as all rooms have been revealed and all characters and objects have been placed. As incontrovertible as this evidence might seem, it implies that the speaker, particularly when he’s a beginner, is concluding that setup is due to mere chance. He is assuming that because no one knows where which rooms will show up, placing counters into the dungeon is of lower importance than the play that comes after. This assumption is entirely wrong!

An essential challenge for beginners at Dungeon Twister is the fact that it has no static recurrent starting formation (for example, like chess). This means that while setting up the players have already made decisions which will have a extreme impact on their victory or defeat. Often matches between rookies and skilled veterans are decided after only one action-card-cycle, not because the expert has played so much better or has seen hidden possibilities, but rather because he was smarter while placing his resources (characters and objects) in the dungeon.

If you decide to adventure into the dungeon, don’t take these initial decisions lightly! Your victory or defeat depends on your set-up!

If you’re playing with more than one expansion the most obvious decison you’ll have to make is which characters will build your team, and which rooms and objects you will choose? Some characters support each other, some can utilized their abilities in certain rooms, others use specific objects. That’s a chapter of it’s own. (To be honest, it’s more than one chapter.) But even if you’re only playing with one box, your initial decisions are no less important.

First of all, you have to decide which of your characters you’ll place on the starting zone. Normally characters at your starting zone will not encounter enemies early in the game, which means that they are protected against combats in which they could be wounded. A Cleric at the starting line is a wise choice. Once your Cleric is wounded all of your wounded characters are out of game. They become totally useless! Except for your opponent, who views them as victory points! He can clean up them off the floor at his leisure. That’s why you should guard your cleric vigorously. He’s your most important character. Place him on your starting zone!

Characters placed at your starting zone are far away from events which means that you’ll need a small eternity to move slow characters (mostly these are the good combat characters) into the action. A Colossus starting into the dungeon from the starting line is a Colossus which will do little in this match. Place him in the dungeon.

The question where you’ll place your other six characters depends on how aggressive you’d like to play. This determines who you will place where.

Irrespective of the choice of your starting four, you need to know where you will place your other four characters. You must place them into the rooms which you will reveal. You decide at the beginning which rooms are yours to reveal! And then - do it!

Reveal - after the match has started, of course - the first room, place your revealed character at the side, reveal the second room (in your second row) and place (one of) your revealed characters again at the side. Thus you can now reveal the third room with your third (and last) action point. Impressive, eh? It does only function when you’re not playing first and is only recommended when it is not the Banshee who stands in third row. (A Colossus is a wiser choice.)

If you’re the first player, you have to make sure that you do not reveal a room in the first row which contains an opponents counter with your second action. It could be an opponent’s character and with three actions he could do very bad things faster than you could say "ooops!" You should always have actions left to react when you 'll find an opponent's character in your first row.

Discard the illusion that "your" objects (which means objects that you are placing) are "your" objects! They are not. You can’t prevent your opponent from getting them, especially sine he is the one who places them. This means that you’ll have to consider which objects are more important and which you’ll grant your opponent. The former you’ll place in the rooms you will control and - perhaps even more important - where you can fetch them with your fastest characters.

You will recognize this dilemma quickly. Every object is useful, even if you don’t notice it until your opponent uses it against you! Nevertheless there is one object which is far more important than all the others and must be secured at all costs. The fireball wand! Make sure that you get it. If the opponent’s wizard fires twice at your own group and eliminates two of your characters without playing a combat card, something has gotten terribly wrong. Congratulate your opponent to his victory and think thoroughly about what you have to change before you’ll accept another challenge.

This advice is not unbeatable, but a solid tactic for beginners. With experience comes experimentation. Dungeon Twister is a living system thanks a variety of variants and surprises. So someone should always be excited when confronting new opponents, because it means that you will learn, even when being defeated. Try not to get frustrated! Dungeon Twister is a game in which experienced players will almost always defeat beginners. It’s progress just to make the experience player’s victory more difficult.

But if the following happens, it means that something’s gone wrong at the beginning with set-up:
* Your opponent got both wands.
* Your opponent reveals a room and wounds one of your characters at once.
* One of your characters is stuck in a dead end and doesn’t participate in the game.

If one of these three situations sounds familiar to you, you’re not losing matches from poor play, but because you’ve made the crucial errors before the start during the set-up. Change and your results will improve!
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Eric Franklin
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I agree with most of this.

The only part I disagree with is using your last AP to reveal a room. Chris beat into me over and over and over that this is a foolish thing to do, as you need to have at least 1 AP to react to what you find in rooms.

Eric
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Robin Reeve
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I do apply those basic rules... and still lose much more often than I win.

I noticed that there is a "bluff" dimension during setup.
Placing a token in one of the rooms next to the opponent's starting line leaves him with a doubt : is this a nasty bully character or a simple object ?

I also tend to commit the error of placing all my characters first and then my objects (or most of my characters first) : it can be annoying to have to finish a setup by placing precious objects in places you would not have liked to.

Placing the wand in one of the rooms next to the starting line is a nice idea, but your opponent tends to place a token next to it, so you don't have a character who can immediately pick it up...

So there is a bluff match, where one never knows exactly if his opponent did the 'obvious' thing or, on the contrary, used subtility (which can backfire against him too).

All in all, even if I do lose a lot, DT is a lot of fun.
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Francis F.
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Gamethyme wrote:
I agree with most of this.

The only part I disagree with is using your last AP to reveal a room. Chris beat into me over and over and over that this is a foolish thing to do, as you need to have at least 1 AP to react to what you find in rooms.

Eric


yes, but when you begin a game, and if you use your last AP to reveal a room, you must do it if you have a character in this room and if your opponent can reveal this room.
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Francis F.
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Robin wrote:

Placing the wand in one of the rooms next to the starting line is a nice idea, but your opponent tends to place a token next to it, so you don't have a character who can immediately pick it up...


You must place a token-character on the room next to the starting line(example : right) and your token-wand on the other room next to the starting line. I place my wizard in front of the room which contains the wand. And I wait my 5 Action Card to reveal and take the wand with my wizard.
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Geoff H
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PhilGoude wrote:
Gamethyme wrote:
I agree with most of this.

The only part I disagree with is using your last AP to reveal a room. Chris beat into me over and over and over that this is a foolish thing to do, as you need to have at least 1 AP to react to what you find in rooms.

Eric


yes, but when you begin a game, and if you use your last AP to reveal a room, you must do it if you have a character in this room and if your opponent can reveal this room.


I agree. I just lost a game to Francis this way. He put my troll in a square where he couldn't get out and his troll got my Fireball wand and killed my thief. At that point, it was only a matter of time...

Geoff
 
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Bruce Tanchel
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A good article. I always enjoy the set up because it is a game within a game. From here you can already begin to disrupt the opponents plans by making him place tokens where he might not want to.(hopefully fulfulling your game plan while doing it). But.............. he is doing the same to you so be careful.

Always be flexible and try out different strategies. If you always use the same set up, it can be countered.
 
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Dennis Gadgaard
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gheintze wrote:
PhilGoude wrote:
Gamethyme wrote:
I agree with most of this.

The only part I disagree with is using your last AP to reveal a room. Chris beat into me over and over and over that this is a foolish thing to do, as you need to have at least 1 AP to react to what you find in rooms.

Eric


yes, but when you begin a game, and if you use your last AP to reveal a room, you must do it if you have a character in this room and if your opponent can reveal this room.


I agree. I just lost a game to Francis this way. He put my troll in a square where he couldn't get out and his troll got my Fireball wand and killed my thief. At that point, it was only a matter of time...

Geoff


I assume that his troll gave the fireball wand to his wizard before killing your thief?
 
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Geoff H
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I think the Troll killed the thief before passing the wand off to the wizard.

Geoff
 
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Marc Mistiaen
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This is good advice but quite frankly most of this is rather basic stuff. There are several articles of this sort going more in depth about setup strategy on the forum of the International Dungeon Twister League. They're in French but I might do some translation work if there is interest.

By the way, do you guys play somewhere online? It sounds like it.
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Mike Forrey
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Corwin1980 wrote:
This is good advice but quite frankly most of this is rather basic stuff. There are several articles of this sort going more in depth about setup strategy on the forum of the International Dungeon Twister League. They're in French but I might do some translation work if there is interest.

By the way, do you guys play somewhere online? It sounds like it.


Yet i still give most of this advice to newer players and it helps improve their play. There aren't many good english strategy articles for DT. Any basic advice that can help people is worth the time to read and this is just as good as anything else i have seen.
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Francis F.
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Hi...

I think I depress you more and moredevil.... Sherinford wrote a strategic guide on Trictrac.net (direct link) (the french games site like BGG) !

This article is enormous, fabulous, marvelous..... but it is in french... so, Sherinford promise me to translate it in english, but he haven't time to make it...If one of you have time to translate it, more and more thanks

Phil Goude
I'm not a Doctor, I'm chairman of IDTL

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Dennis Gadgaard
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That guide looks amazing and I would love to read it.
Someone please translate this
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