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Subject: Castaways: How do you win this thing? rss

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Christine Biancheria
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I have now played three times, one learning game and two with at least a reasonable rules grasp. The most wood we ever managed to get for the signal fire was three. We are getting CRUSHED with our faces BURIED IN THE MUD.

Can anyone out there comment on the difficulty of the game?

 
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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Difficulty is fairly easy, but it depends a little on the number of players. However, I thought 4-player was very difficult, after the first game we lost, but the second game was won and in our last game none of us even crossed a morale line! (Though that was rather fortunate.)

Overall my win rate for this scenario is about 90%, with my losses coming from games in which I didn't play rules correctly (like forgetting about starting items and forgetting to lay out 5 extra random Item cards, or for losing wounds for going beyond the left most morale position in a 4-player game, careening into an instant loss).

You should be winning - what is your player count and what are you doing actions-wise?
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S. R.
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This scenario, more than the others, relies heavily on the luck of the draw, and the luck of the dice. But what's very important, really, is prioritizing. Don't do anything you don't need to do. Why do you need palisades? And when do you need them, if at all?

I started with pushing the Determination track all the way up, and exploration like crazy. I think, in the fourth round all spaces were explored, giving me hell of a lot of helpful exploration markers. I built shelter early in the game (second round, after I moved the camp once), but built no palisades at all, and roof only the round before weather came in. Wapons came later, when all of my people started collecting wood like crazy, and we hunted for food. Additionally, we only built roof from pelts, not from wood.
Items we built were only map and shortcut, the pots and the cure (we got both handed by cards), fire and maybe one or two more...

Now, that is no guide to how it can be won. That depends, as I said, on the cards and the dice. But I won with four characters (solo) on my first try. Barely, though - I would have been killed the next round (11).
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Pawel Silingiewicz
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Yes - it's hard. How many players are playing?

We are playing with 2 players and for now we are using both Friday and Dog. Most of Your actions depends of which card is on the board, but we always try to explore fast and explore a lot ( mostly to get discovery tokens ).

Early increase of Your morale is also recomended - determination points are very helpful during the game ( fe. we are playing with Carpenter and Explorer: carpenter is using his points to build with 1 wood less and explorer is checking next island titles to choose the one with most discovery tokens. Explorer can also take discovery token for 3 point which is preety cool).

And most important thing - we are using 2 pawns per action as frequent as we can. To be honest - one pawn actions in our game is rare.I guess we are affraid of new adventures cards, they can really mess things up.

Maybe there is some better strategy for that scenario - I don't know. We are still learning about the game during playing and I see that with every new game we have new ideas to survive "better" ;-) I guess next step is to loose the dog and try to play only with Friday...
 
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Massimiliano Amato
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I have played 2 and 4 players game and those are very different experience on the strategy level

In 2 player's game you are half covered on food and you can easily fix it with some discovery token or if you are lucky and one of the player is a cook by building his item!

So you have all of your item free to explore/build and i found myself not taking too many risks.

Playing 2 players with Friday and the Dog is a GREAT help and makes the game a lot easier. Just the dog grants you a successful exploration each round and that is a lot out of 4 pawns!

When i played this game in 4 the food issue is a lot more complex to be solved, especially at the beginning, when you cannot hunt and you "waste" a lot of action for the food

Because of this you are somehow forced to take risks on exploration and building

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Shane Is Board
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It's all about priorities and risk management. If you play it safe for the entire game you will almost definitely lose.

Much like actual survival you must first worry about shelter and food. Once you have that dilemma taken care of then you can focus on everything else. Exploring early is necessary to have more places to gather and also to unlock inventions. Don't be afraid to take some wounds just don't let it get out of control.

These are all pretty basic ideas but they should help.
 
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Andreas -
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today we won in the last round.

I played the carpenter and managed with my skills to build a hideout in round 2. My wife played the cook, gathered resources and used her skills to produce food, gathered resources a.s.o. .
We managed to build 2 masts during the game which gave us 6 wood for the wood pile. Remember that you have additional inventions on the scenerie card.

Carpenter and Cook seems to be a very powerful combo. One can research new inventions and can build for less resources.
The other can produce food , heal and ignore 1 rain effect.

I think that the explore action is very important ( even with 1 action) during the first rounds to find asap the required resources for the developments and to find a good place for the hideout.
 
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Christine Biancheria
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We were playing with 3. No major rules mistakes that we can tell. We just played again with the dog and some of the suggestions given here, and we did win. But of course, now, I don't feel that same sense of victory because we used the dog. But hope has returned!
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Tristan Hall
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Ceridan wrote:
We managed to build 2 masts during the game which gave us 6 wood for the wood pile.


You can build more than one mast??
 
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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ninjadorg wrote:
Ceridan wrote:
We managed to build 2 masts during the game which gave us 6 wood for the wood pile.


You can build more than one mast??


Nope!
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Charles Simon
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Build the Hatchet as quickly as you can: Do not forget about the special items that can be built listen on the scenario card. Our first two runs through, we forgot about those and had a hard time getting wood. Our third time, however, we built the hatchet quickly and wood wasn't a problem and we could focus our actions on surviving.

Two player game with just Friday helping us in all of them, by the way.
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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I always forget about the hatchet until its nearly too late - good to have early indeed, as is true for the snare and the shortcut...
 
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Thanee
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ninjadorg wrote:
Ceridan wrote:
We managed to build 2 masts during the game which gave us 6 wood for the wood pile.


You can build more than one mast??


http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/874132/inventions-on-scenari...

Bye
Thanee
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Trevin Beattie
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I lost my first three games playing the explorer solo. The third game I switched to the carpenter, and won. Not sure whether it was because I had more experience by then, had a better character, or just got lucky with the event cards.
 
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Yani
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First run with carpenter last night and won in the last round. Will replay as another role.
 
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Birger Hogrefe
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thinwhiteduke wrote:
Build the Hatchet as quickly as you can: Do not forget about the special items that can be built listen on the scenario card. Our first two runs through, we forgot about those and had a hard time getting wood. Our third time, however, we built the hatchet quickly and wood wasn't a problem and we could focus our actions on surviving.

Two player game with just Friday helping us in all of them, by the way.


!!!! That's it!

We lost 2 times in a 2p game. Then, i lost 2 times playing solo. And then, i built the hatchet in the second round. Quick explore a lot. Killed 1 beast and 2 goats (those who give you 1 food / 1 fur) if you have at least 1 weapon. Get a shelter, and when the 3 dice are incoming, i went from 1 to 4 roof. Don't forget to throw away some threats in late game. I lost Friday in the 6th round and won in the 11th round.

I had a good time with my cook. He collected those determination tokens like crazy, healed almost 2 wounds every round while eating in the night. In addition, he made disappear 1 cloud whenever necessary.

That was an easy win. I'll try this again, and if it works, i'll switch to another character....

YAY! Finally....
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Mel
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I won my first Castaways game of Robinson Crusoe tonight. I had the Explorer, starting items of "Empty Bottle" for raising weapon level, and "Flask of Rum" for health. I also had Friday and the dog. My strategy was to explore every possible tile I could in the 1st 3 turns, and move my camp to the edge where there was still food and wood. I figured if I put my camp out on the edge of where I had explored, then further exploration would be easier.

I had moved the camp twice, and afterword built the shelter. Then while slowly piecing chunks of wood on the woodpile a little at a time, I began building the roof (as at one point an event card made me fight an animal). The broken empty bottle helped me kill a big ape for two hides (although I took some health damage). I got that roof up before the snow came.

I found out what the cures were for too. As it turns out, some of the adventures can have things happen to you. I got infected on my shoulder and a viper bit me later on the head. When you draw those shuffled in cards later and don't have the cure... bad things happen. I failed to get the pot built once (but got it later and used a token with the pot to heal up more), and lucky for me I never re-drew those cards. Having the pot would of allowed me to build the cure for free (I believe).

The Engineer was able to toss out 3 determination tokens quite a bit and pull two of the round mystery tokens (keeping one). I got enough good stuff from doing that, in which I was able get wood, build things, or heal up.

I had my wood pile by round 9 (due to all the tiles explored), but then I realized I had totally forgotten to build the fire. By then my health was nasty. I rested up and while doing that, I had Friday go out and take a roll of die on the fire. Friday got lucky. After that it was a matter of keeping the health up, building up the roof one more level, and surviving through round 10.

I did not know if I had to play through round 10 all the way or not since I had the woodpile and the fire by then already, but I did play through it, just in case.

I made it. Wow! What an adventure. Never thought a board game could be so fun to play.

I'll have to write it up on BGG in the morning.
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Aaron Stark
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thinwhiteduke wrote:
Build the Hatchet as quickly as you can

This. If you build the hatchet and the shortcut (if you have the explorer) you can produce three wood a turn. And if you're playing with 2 survivors, and the other is the carpenter, you can use his economical construction ability to conserve your wood(which means you need to keep him supplied with determination tokens)
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Von Sock
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Fribian wrote:
I did not know if I had to play through round 10 all the way or not since I had the woodpile and the fire by then already, but I did play through it, just in case.


I was wondering the same thing and ended up playing through on my first win. I remember reading Ignacy stating that you need to finish the round, so you must survive the weather and night phases. This may be specific to the Castaways scenario.

I love this game.
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S. R.
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vonsockthroat wrote:

I remember reading Ignacy stating that you need to finish the round, so you must survive the weather and night phases.


He did? Where?
Damnit, its getting worse, the more time I spend with this game...
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Robert Masson
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No, you don't need to finish the round. When did this rule get changed?
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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botanybob wrote:
No, you don't need to finish the round. When did this rule get changed?


It was about a scenario that someone thought he had won, but hadn't finished the round, and Ignacy said that they had NOT won the game - implying they should've finished the round.

However, I follow the rules as written, and those state that as soon as you build the pile and light it, you're done, so in Scenario 1 you don't ever do the action phase of the last round, as you need to have lit the wood pile before that - otherwise you lose.

I have extrapolated this rule to the other scenarios as well, so whatever you need to do, if you have done it, you win, if that's permissible of course (for example, there does need to be a ship passing in Scenario 1).
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M M
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Christine Biancheria wrote:
I have now played three times, one learning game and two with at least a reasonable rules grasp. The most wood we ever managed to get for the signal fire was three. We are getting CRUSHED with our faces BURIED IN THE MUD.

Can anyone out there comment on the difficulty of the game?

We won the first time we played as a 4p game. Keys were:
Built hatchet and snare early for extra wood and food;
Took shelter in the mountains the first turn and never left;
Only doubled up on actions when we absolutely needed to or didn't have anything pressing to do;
Hunted all the animals who showed up in the hunt deck, giving us a supply of furs to use to build the roof and food which we didn't have to gather;
Created two items which gave us extra pawns, one for gathering and one for gathering or exploring;
Only in one turn did the clouds exceed our roof level.
 
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S. R.
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Mjeh, therein lies the problem.
What is correct for you is (unfortunately) not necessarily correct for me, for I have to rely on the letter of the rule. House rules I cannot use...
 
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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Dumon wrote:
Mjeh, therein lies the problem.
What is correct for you is (unfortunately) not necessarily correct for me, for I have to rely on the letter of the rule. House rules I cannot use...


Ah, house rules - no one spoke of house rules

Let's look at the scenarios individually:

1. Castaways

Goal - Light the wood pile (Fire and Pile of Wood), while there is a ship to spot and consequently save you.

Theme - The ship saves you - you needn't survive the night phase... duh! You're safely aboard the ship!

2. Cursed Island

Goal - Build fives crosses, on different Island tiles.

Theme - You are stranded on an island and are fighting for your life, yet the exorcism is still the priority. Clearly what happens to you is not important - it is only important to accomplish the exorcism. In other words, once you have completed the exorcism, you have won the game. Again, what happens after is UNIMPORTANT! (btw, thematically this scenario should even allow death of characters, as there is only one thing that is important - your mission!)

3. Jenny Needs Help!

Goal - Rescue Jenny and build a lifeboat

Additional Rule - If you meet those two conditions you immediately win! (which would mean none of the other scenarios are immediately won)

Theme - Yeah, the same as Scenario 1 - you get onto your lifeboat and leave, so you needn't survive the night phase.

4. Volcano Island

Goal - Explore a number of island tiles, explore on some of them, and build a boat

Theme - Once again, the same as Scenario 1 and 3! You get into your boat and leave the island! No need to do the night phase.

5. Cannibal Island

Goal - Destroy the City of Cannibals.

Theme - Not until you have defeated the Cannibals, can you start working on getting off the island. Destroying the island is a great first step, but you'll need to survive for much longer to be able to get off. The goal, however, is only to destroy the city. Surviving the night phase of that round would be important though, as it would show you're capable of surviving after the cannibals left.

6. Robinson Family

Goal - Build Shelter, 1 level of Roof, Palisade and Weapon, as well as all 9 random items drawn.

Theme - You will stay on this island forever, so you need to get setup quickly to be able to survive the island. What happens after you have completed your goal is important, so yes, you should play until the end of the round.

-------------------------------------------

Rules wise, the addition in Scenario 3 implies that you have to play out the end of the round in which you achieve the goal, unless it is specifically stated. However, scenarios 1, 3 and 4 are logically linked, and should all have this additional rule (i.e. that the scenario finishes immediately). Scenario 2 is slightly different, but logically implies that you win immediately!

Scenarios 5 and 6 should probably be played out until the end of the round, looking at the thematic aspect.
 
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