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Forbidden Island» Forums » Strategy

Subject: What is the winning strategy? rss

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Eric Bridge
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I'm surprised no one has written a strategy article yet. What do you feel is most important in this game? If someone keeps losing the game I'm sure they'd like to hear what they are doing wrong, and especially why.

1) I assume you have each player go for a different treasure?
2) Do you ignore all non-treasure, non-launchpad tiles?
3) Does the strategy change based on the roles and/or number of players?
4) What is the most common way to lose the game?
5) How many times should you need to shuffle the decks?
6) When is the best time to use a special action card?
7) How do I know what to discard?


Thanks for your help.
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I think strategy really only matters on legendary, all the other difficulty levels my group and I have beaten handily (maybe it's because we manipulate player actions, etc for maximum benefit--something we learned from Eurogames).

1) Yes, we see who has the most cards, and once someone has 2 or 3 of a treasure we assign that person to the treasure. If a person has 2 of different treasures, we use player actions and geographic proximity to see if it's worth handing the cards over.

2) On legendary, we sure up any tiles near to us.

3) Yes. With more players it can be easier or harder, depending. There's certainly more planning required for more players.

4) Having Fool's Landing or a treasure tile drown.

5) Really depends, on Legendary: about 3 times or so?

6) When something is about to drown. On Legendary we are more quick in using the cards rather than saving them, though towards the end we tend to save the cards, a) because we have room and we took some treasure, and b) less tiles = sandbag and helicopter lift are absolutely essential to survive.

7) See if you absolutely have to use it to save a tile (i.e. sandbag Fool's Landing in case it shows up on a Water Rises flood set). If not, save it.

These are just basic thoughts, obviously the ideal/most efficient action depends on the situation.
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Will
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Quote:
2) Do you ignore all non-treasure, non-launchpad tiles?

No, we usually try to save as many as possible unless there is a possible losing situation coming up. We never leave fools' landing flooded for more than a turn unless all 3 waters rise have come up already or we have a sandbag. obviously you should mostly be biased to keeping the important ones. Always keep a path back to FL too.
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4) What is the most common way to lose the game?

On legendary it has almost always been to the water meter going to skull and crossbones. Sometimes if there's a bad map or bad draws on elite it is because fools landing comes up at the end of the flood deck, gets shuffled back in and comes up again during the same flooding. (when the deck is small.)
We also shuffle Fools' Landing back in if it is in the first 6. We've lost a bunch of times to not being able to reach FL on the first turn and drawing waters rise on the first turn. It's just annoying to have to reset everything.
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5) How many times should you need to shuffle the decks?

We've never gone through the treasure deck a full 3rd time. We are usually through the deck the first time, shuffle, and get through about 2/3 of the deck the next time through. (in 2-player) If it takes longer than that we are probably losing.
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6) When is the best time to use a special action card?

Save sandbags for key tiles. We always use all the helicopters the first time through the deck so they get shuffled back in. my favorite helicopter move is with the engineer. he can shore 6 tiles in one turn with it.
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7) How do I know what to discard?

Unless you get really good draws you should plan to get 2 of the treasures the first time through the deck and then the rest the 2nd time through. You should also be getting the treasures that are furthest away from Fools' Landing first. Discard based on these factors. Make sure to capture the first treasures before the deck runs out the first time. (what I mean is: don't hold on to the cards just to keep them out of the deck.) If you don't put the cards back in the deck you end up hitting waters rise cards constantly and won't be able to deal with it fast enough. (trust me we tried this strategy multiple times)

One of the main keys is using the roles to the best of their abilities. You should usually know what tiles are probably going to get flooded next. You should usually be using the engineer for the equivalent of 4-5 actions per turn. The navigator is probably the most skill-testing role in the game. You really have to plan what you're trying to accomplish on each of the next few turns.
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Mike Hulsebus
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I tried to get a strategy thread together but it was too soon before people had their copy. A few things I have found:

1) There are only five of each treasure card. If you throw too many away, it will be another trip through the deck (and new Waters Rise cards) before you can see them again

2) Saving non-essential tiles means that there are more cards in the flood deck, protecting the cards you need to protect

3) Don't hold onto a lift or sandbag card forever. If you can use it before the treasure deck shuffles, that means it will be in the deck for your team to grab again soon.
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Brandon M
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ebridge wrote:

2) Do you ignore all non-treasure, non-launchpad tiles?


No, because letting them sink thins the deck so the important tiles would be more likely to be flooded in the future.
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Marcel
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Mythdracon wrote:

5) Really depends, on Legendary: about 3 times or so?

I can't really comment on strategy yet, but I can say that on legendary you lose on the 6th water rise card, so you can only go through the deck once, and during the second round through the deck you have to finish the game (win or lose) since the 6th water rise will come up then. This means you can not shuffle the deck 3 times.

I wonder if you play this correctly, since I would also expect the crossbones to be a major way of losing in legendary.
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Jeremy Arcus-Goldberg
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To me, the relevant strategy here is that you have to do everything right, and quickly, and have luck on your side.

I think to win on the upper levels, you need to focus especially on getting the cards together to complete a set between players because as you mention you have less times through the deck so you can not count on having time to draw into a complete set.

It definitely requires luck, because I found there are less actions available for saving the island tiles. Thus, you need luck so that Fool's Landing for instance does not always end up on top of the deck.
 
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Kim Fjeld
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Treasure Cards equals time, ie. half a turn per card or 1,5 actions. A team should prioritize to discard cards if they can't be used to retrieve a Treasure. One must not forget that cards discarded in respect to the hand limit rules does not cost the team any actions. In this manner the team can convert unusefull cards into new safe time and actions for the team.

For every Treasure retrieved, 4 Treasure Cards go back into the discard pile. These cards equals 2 complete turns, thus giving the team a totalt of 6 new actions. Retrieving Treasures in time before the next reshuffle should therefore be a priority.

Conclusion: Treasure Card=1,5 actions
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