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Subject: My son's first post -- thoughts and strategies on this great game rss

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Michael Leibig
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My son’s favorite game is Catacombs. He was so excited after playing the first time, he went to BGG and looked up strategy articles. After a few more plays, he decided that he wanted to do his own write up about the game. He wrote everything but the last section about the items himself. This is his first post to the geek and he is very excited. He would love to get comments and feedback.

In this article, my dad and I are going to write about what we think a good strategy for the game Catacombs is. The first thing we are going to discuss is the best way to kill monsters. We will also be consider ways to use monsters with the Overseer, the best items for each guy and the best times to use rage, spells and special items.

The Monsters

The Crypt Spider is one of the toughest monsters in the game because of its double stun shot. Because of this, the overlord may get cocky and send him alone. Take advantage of that and send two guys into cover and when the spider comes … boom! You kill him.

Next up is the Ghoul. The Ghoul is not particularly tough because he only gets one or two shots in before he dies. I think the best way to kill the Ghoul is to use either a spell or an arrow and then kill it with a melee shot.

Moving on, we have the Troll. The only thing you have to remember about the Troll is that you have to kill him in one turn. If you forget, the Troll will just regenerate and you will take a damage for trying.

The Giant Scorpion is a powerful monster who does two damage in one shot. It is as dangerous as a troll. Try to kill it in one turn. Instead of regenerating, he will do two damage.

The Cerberus is also a very dangerous monster because of its three attacks -- two range, one melee. Two hit points, not nice. You might take a lot of damage by the time your able to kill it with two hits. The best way to kill a Centaur is to do what you do with a Cerberus.


The Minotaur is one of my dad’s least favorite guys to fight because he forgets that it has retaliation. The best way to kill the Minotaur is to use the wizard and elf to cast a spell and shoot an arrow, so the Minotaur will not get to use retaliation.


The Fire Demon is immune to all range attacks. There are two ways the overseer might use one of the Fire Demons: he could keep the Fire Demon in the back to use fireball support or the Fire Demon might go up and attack. Kill it with two of your heroes if he goes all offensive. If he decides to stay back, try to kill him at the near end of the room with all your heroes.

Overseer Strategies

I find the best way to use the Crypt Spider is to go up with a screen in front of the Crypt Spider but leave a small hole so it can still shoot stun shots. The best screens are the bigger monsters like Ogres and Giant Scorpions.

The Ghoul is best with the weaker monsters protecting him from range attacks. Once the Ghoul gets close enough to the heroes, try to ricochet off one hero to the next.

Go all out with the Giant Scorpions. If you are able to get your Scorpion up close, deal all the damage you can as fast as you can and no holding back.

With the Ogre, get in a corner with one of the heroes and hit, hit, hit, hit until the other heroes decide that they want your ogre dead. Remember to keep the hero stuck in the corner.

With the Cerberus, just get in the middle of the heroes and ricochet shoot and plain out melee shot. Spread the damage as much as you can.

With the Minotaur, do not be afraid to challenge the Barbarian and the Thief to a dance off in the corner. Because of the Minotaur’s power to retaliate against a melee attack, you get to attack back, and every once in a while you get a ricochet if you dance off both the Thief and the Barbarian.

Centaurs are big and strong. If the heroes have no cover, stay behind a pillar and attack with range attacks. If the heroes do have cover, try all out offense.

Use the Fire Demon to go to a spot where only arrows can hit, so that arrows will hit but with no effect. The heroes will then have to take care of him last, and it will be the hard way.

Bosses

The Dragon is one of the most powerful monsters, but that does not make him the hardest to defeat. The four minions are fire spirits. If the heroes have a lot of health, you can keep the fire spirits by the Dragons so the dragon will be safe. If the heroes don’t have a lot of health. use the fire spirits for offense. The best combination with the Dragon are these: if the heroes are close to the dragon, use its triple melee shot two for damage one for escape route. The other is to use the Fire Demon strategy above (but find a good hiding place).

The Lich is the most powerful boss because of sheer numbers plus his attack and special ability. The lich is best not in the fight.

The Sorcerer is probably the best boss to use against beginner heroes. The Sorcerer is not powerful alone though he has one of the best defenses.

The Gorgon is best going all offense with her minions. I find that once she is alone, you must be careful! I lost because of that once.

Items

The most useful of all the items is the cloak of invisibility for the thief. The ability to disappear for a turn and reappear anywhere on the board is incredibly useful. It can be used in defense to get the thief out of tricky situation, or it can be used of offense to get yourself in the perfect position to nail that pesky monster that has found a seemingly impregnable position.

The elf has a couple of nice items, but none as game changing as the theif’s invisibility cloak. I like the enchanted bow, which lets a player use their melee attack and a range attack in the same turn. Still, the elf only gets two shots per room, but it makes the bow easier to use well.

For the Barbarian, I like his helm of rage. It gives him an extra chance to use his rage ability. This is definitely his best item, as his enraged attack is very powerful.

Finally, the wizard has a nice little chain lightening spell, but I find that I have more spells than I know what to do with, so getting something extra for the wizard isn’t a top priority when I meet the merchant.


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Chester
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How old is the author?
 
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Michael Leibig
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I am Joey and I am ten.
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Chester
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Oldman20 wrote:
I am Joey and I am ten.:D

Great job on your article.

My son (now 11) really likes Catacombs, too. We play it as a 2p game, but its a lot of fun with a bigger group, too. We have a couple expansions, but haven't tried them out yet.

Keep up the good work!

One point to add about the Oversee strategy. I think its good to try and concentrate on one hero if you have a chance to actually kill them. (Its kind of lame if its a multiplayer game and you eliminate someone this way, but then they have one less hero to attack with as a team.) So...instead of spreading the damage around, if you can take someone out...DO IT! Its hard to win with the Overseer side, so sometimes you have to be a jerk to have a chance.
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Captain Ameritrash
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My son is also 10 and he loves Catacombs, too. He just got the Cavern of Soloth expansion for Christmas, and it's great. I think I'm going to let him read your article, he'd really enjoy it.

On second thought, maybe I won't let him read it. He beats me enough already.
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Chris Funk
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Awesome article!

Best advice I can give you is remember no friendly fire. As overseer, I'll put some smaller monsters behind larger ones. Use the smaller one to hit the larger one down the map (Kind of like a Colossus/Wolverine Cannonball Special). If you hit the big guys hard enough, they'll end up right in the middle of the heroes and can wreak some havok.

Same for the heroes. Got your barbarian hiding behind a pillar and can't attakc with him? Use your wizard to nudge him into the open and he's free to attack.

Great to see you love the game, too! Maybe we can play if you and your dad make the trek to Origins or GenCon.
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Chris Funk
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Oh, and an Overseer tactic for when the thief has the cloak? Get your monsters allon the other side of the map before she reappears. It rushes the heroes with a man down and since she can only pop up on the opposite side of the map, it makes it harder for her to get an easy shot off.

Best combo in the game is the thief with the poisoned blade and the cloak. Pop and stab for 2. That makes the rush and crush tactic even more important for the OS.

Just wait until you guys get the expansion. I had my Witch Hunter all decked out with artifacts he created and he gets amazingly powerful late in the game.
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Michael Leibig
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cornjob wrote:

One point to add about the Oversee strategy. I think its good to try and concentrate on one hero if you have a chance to actually kill them. (Its kind of lame if its a multiplayer game and you eliminate someone this way, but then they have one less hero to attack with as a team.) So...instead of spreading the damage around, if you can take someone out...DO IT! Its hard to win with the Overseer side, so sometimes you have to be a jerk to have a chance.


Who would you kill if you could choose any of the heroes?
 
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Michael Leibig
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TrashGameLover wrote:
My son is also 10 and he loves Catacombs, too. He just got the Cavern of Soloth expansion for Christmas, and it's great. I think I'm going to let him read your article, he'd really enjoy it.

On second thought, maybe I won't let him read it. He beats me enough already.


Well then he must be a better flicker than me because I haven't beat my dad yet.
 
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Michael Leibig
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FunkyBlue wrote:
Best combo in the game is the thief with the poisoned blade and the cloak. Pop and stab for 2.


My dad has done that before and it DID NOT end well for the monsters.shake
 
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Chris Funk
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Oldman20 wrote:
FunkyBlue wrote:
Best combo in the game is the thief with the poisoned blade and the cloak. Pop and stab for 2.


My dad has done that before and it DID NOT end well for the monsters.shake


Lol. I've had great luck with it. If anything, it catches the heroes off guard sometimes to the OS advantage.
 
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Chris Funk
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Oldman20 wrote:
TrashGameLover wrote:
My son is also 10 and he loves Catacombs, too. He just got the Cavern of Soloth expansion for Christmas, and it's great. I think I'm going to let him read your article, he'd really enjoy it.

On second thought, maybe I won't let him read it. He beats me enough already.


Well then he must be a better flicker than me because I haven't beat my dad yet.


I'd recommend a vertical flick with your flicking finger at a 90 degree angle to the board rather than the side flick many people use where the finger is 5-10 degree angle. Side flicks are far less accurate and more susceptable to english and random effects of follow-through.
 
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Marc Kelsey
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Hi Joey:

I am glad to hear that you like Catacombs so much! My son Henry is 7 and he loves it too. He keeps saying, "Dad, when are you going to make me another expansion?"

It sounds like you are giving your Dad a pretty good fight! I think this is a great strategy article, I will make sure Henry reads it.
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Oldman20 wrote:
cornjob wrote:

One point to add about the Oversee strategy. I think its good to try and concentrate on one hero if you have a chance to actually kill them. (Its kind of lame if its a multiplayer game and you eliminate someone this way, but then they have one less hero to attack with as a team.) So...instead of spreading the damage around, if you can take someone out...DO IT! Its hard to win with the Overseer side, so sometimes you have to be a jerk to have a chance.


Who would you kill if you could choose any of the heroes?:what:

It depends more on what my opportunity is. I don't start out trying to target one specifically. If I have a chance to pile some damage on one of the heroes in an early room, I'll do it, whoever it is. That person will become the most vulnerable target then.

The Magician may be the easiest to kill in general(less hit points), but it depends on how the other players respond to the attack. Even if I can't manage to finish a hero off, if I can make them play scared (hiding far away from the monsters), they are less likely to cause high damage to my monsters.

Think if it as 4 attacks coming at you. If you can eliminate a hero, its down to 3 attacks. If you can't kill the hero, but at least make them scared they'll die (and play scared) you have 3 attacks plus one weaker attack. It improves the Overseer's chances of winning the game.

The biggest downside is that if you're playing multiplayer, it looks like you're picking on one person (especially if you DO eliminate them). But I think that's the best chance to win for the badguys.
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