Hehe, I'll bet that title may even infuriate a few out there . So I read some reports here in the forum that this scenario was near impossible, several people agreed it was brutal beyond some of the others. (although this was before 1 somewhat important rule was clarified that made it tougher on them)
We found Cursed Island to be a really grind, until we discovered a little secret, and then totally demolished it finally on the 5th try. Now, anyone who has played good ole RC knows, that it takes more than a good plan and good tactical choices to succeed here, it usually takes a little luck, too.
So I like a good challenge, and after reading the scenario itself I was joyed to discover that this game was going to play out a little differently than the others, as usual, love that aspect. So talked it up to the wife, laying the thick theme out before us, prior to warning her of the coming brutality and very low chances of winning, her reaction; "Set it Up". Woot, a true sport she is. (She also loves Gric and Year of the Dragon as I do)
Okay so you must be wondering, just how did we beat the unbeatable the first time out? Well, we did have about 8 games under our belts, but then I suspect most others would too, since it is the 4th scenario. I think playing with TWO players was definitely a factor, as although we have less workers than 3 or especially 4 players, we also had less tiles we needed to explore to find what was required. So what was it then, well I'll have to admit, it wasn't really the secret we learned prior, it was truly LUCK! (we had a little bad luck, but mostly it was very good. Maybe we cheated on one rule, I don't think so see report) Note too, I have a knack for shuffling the event deck and having an EVENT come up almost all the time, even when there are 70%+ other bad cards in there, I turn my head and shuffle, and when I place it down its usually an event which is always a blessing for sure! (if it turns out otherwise, and we think it could be nasty, we may just purposely do something with 1 worker in order to roll the dice and possibly have to shuffle the cards)
Our game more or less played out as follows, with Cook and Explorer: Note I apologize if a detail or two looks off/wrong, my memory is terrible.
Round 1 - Explore our first of 6 tiles required to win above Volcano in spot 5, find our first temple out of 3 required to win (need to explore 3 to win not just find them). Boost the morale, gain some determination. No camp, took damage, I think we gathered one food so escaped that damage.
Round 2 - Explore 2nd tile of 6 in upper 6 spot (I don't see anything in rules saying we needed to do other 5 spot next, did we miss it? I don't think so but it sure would make a difference, I only see it saying the tiles get destroyed in that order), boosted morale, found another temple, found some good stuff on tile too, built the map to get a green worker since exploring costs extra the WHOLE game in this scenario, gathered wood to build camp next turn since we lost 1 due to event
Round 3 - Weather and Lava coming soon, we skipped exploration this turn to explore the first temple, found some good stuff and 1 lame monster (whew) which required us to shuffle it into the event deck for a later encounter (which would never happen). Built the camp with the help of the hammer and nails we found from the shipwreck. Later, we would find more hired help (permanent brown worker) so building was not really a challenge for us in this game. Built the shortcut for future use (was this turn or next)
At this point I said to my wife that I think we have a chance, and that health looks like it won't be a factor, boy that quickly changed! HAH! The next turn we both took about 4 damage each from events, food shortage etc and now we were quickly down to only half our health each!
Round 4 - First part of Island destroyed by Lava, tension ramp up, use Bible to heal and boost morale back up to 2 (fell last round), explore 3rd tile (these all down ABOVE the Volcano) and find ANOTHER temple, yes you read that right, the last one we required. Gathered wood, explore 2nd temple, mostly good stuff but one setback, the Volcano spit dust on the Island and now it was half covered in dust. Weather was shaping up to be bad, and we had NO roof which could really start to take a toll, since it costs you a food AND wood to keep warm, and there were NONE to spare for sure. Well, we got lucky, just one big rain cloud rolled in, and the cook 'cooked' up something extra special to negate the bad effects of the rain, WHEW. (determination can be REALLY priceless at times...)
Round 5 - Build the roof, duh! (hey we had no wood, this scenario is brutal after all!) Explore 4th and 5th tile needed, only one more would be required after these. This took up most of our effort, I think we needed to gather a food as well. Well with the roof we were feeling a little more secure about the coming humidity (in fact my wife was foolishly not too worried in the first place, WTF) BUT if TWO big clouds came in, it was going to cost us one way or another, and these costs are ALMOST always NOT something you can afford. Only one cloud, whew.
Round 6 - This whole round was almost ONLY exploring the 3rd Temple! It took something crazy like 5 workers to do it AND I still had to roll to see if we would be successful! There was the dust, then a -worker on explore spot, then -worker for normal scenario penalty AND it was 2 spaces away from camp! I did have a back up plan, which of course was extra determination to succeed, but boy that was a big risk to take since the Temple would be destroyed next turn. But we took it, and passed AND got a wicked surprise in the process! While exploring I had gotten lost, oh no, a night outside the camp. But wait, in my misguided travels I ALSO found 2 wood, Holy Mackinaw!! Boy that wood was going to come in handy, we still needed to build a boat to get off this disappearing shitpile before the Volcano drowns us in LAVA! Found a couple another trinket or two, not much else, whew.
There were a couple other things we kind of wanted to do, but nothing we really needed to do this turn or could do, so I thought about hunting for food and such, wife said that was crazy talk, and without the Spear which we never ended up building, she was right, but for some reason I was realllly tempted to do it (I think we had a temporary weapon to help but a weak one). Well it was likely the undoing, it was a bluddy Gorilla we found out later, one of the worst things you will find on the Island! Whew, that would have been dumb indeed and with weapon level on 2, he would have clobbered us and ended our adventure right there. As it was, we ended this day down to only 3 health each, so much for health not being a factor... Weather was yet another blessing just one cloud, and this time the Cook was out of magic tricks, it would have been ba-bye to a much needed wood and food had weather got nasty, setting us back possibly more than we could recover from, the Gods were smiling on us.
Round 7 - We needed to successfully explore one more Island space AND build the boat to win, a tall order with all the dust (island was full at this point) about and such and the space we needed to explore once again SO far away, but with all the extra help we had it was doable and we did not have to push our luck, luckily, it did take ALL of our effort to do this though, no extra time for smelling flowers and such. Only the event could foil us, and with my sublime shuffling technique, there was only an event on top once again. No weather to deal with or need to eat this time either since winning is instantaneous, just grab the treasure and jump in the boat and GO!
Well, it turned out the Volcano wanted to take one more shot at us, and it spit dust out all over the Island AND us, wounding us, but not our spirits, as we knew that was its last gasp. We claimed victory just as we planned, and high-fived as we quickly paddled away from the Volcano, and then simultaneously gave it the "finger" right after!
So in the end with 32 VP, we had pretty mild weather, building was fairly easy all game (extra help, some we did not even use), we had help exploring too, found some great treasures, found some useful stuff on the Island, did not have to fight anything significant, nothing too significant happened when we did push our luck (maybe it was that rabbit I ate...), Explorer really lead the way in Island navigation and had incredible Temple Radar to boot (he did NOT even use his special abilities!). Not all was well though, exploring was difficult especially later on even with TWO extra green helpers, someone got sick one round, we lost wood at a really bad time once, Volcano spit out extra dust, and a few other minor mishaps occurred.
I apologize that I did not have more time to write this more focused on theme and the tension, and that I have missed so many details. It was a great scenario, and we were truly lucky to pass it on the first go. If we beat it the 2nd time around, then we'll talk about how much skill might have been involved...
Robinson is a great game of adventure that is very thick on theme and tells a great story (which I really did not do justice here), and one I have been waiting a very long time to play, as I can lose myself in the theme AND still have my decisions feel important. Most times your decisions will be just as or more important than the little luck you'll need to win, this was an exception for sure as we had 85% of the things go our way, and it does look like you'll need close to that to survive and pull it out! Good luck all!
Ignacy if you read this, thank you for a great game and all the FUN adventures therein.
P.S. The secret is nothing special really, and kind of obvious, but until it is fully realized you will have a tougher time. I am one who NEVER reads strategy articles, it ruins one of the things I love about gaming, discovering the nuances on my own, so I won't be disclosing what it is in the spirit of keeping the discovery alive for those who have not played.
- Last edited Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:19 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:30 am
Thanks for the report!!
nothing to see here, move along
I managed to win this on the first go too. The only scenario where this happened.
However I did have a lot of luck.
Lots of good treasure was found, only animals weaker than my weapon strength attacked me and no traps were very bad.
In the last (8th) round I was dependant on a building dice roll for a success with no injury and also on getting only a single rain cloud during the weather phase. Anything else meant certain death.
It all went well, for a change.
Cannibal island next . This probably won't be a cakewalk.
- Last edited Mon Sep 2, 2013 5:49 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:10 am
It was a great scenario, and we were truly lucky to pass it on the first go. If we beat it the 2nd time around, then we'll talk about how much skill might have been involved...
Hehe finally got a 2nd play of Volcano Island in. We got off to a GREAT start actually, events we fairly kind overall, we were doing what we had to do, and we built some great items like the MAP (helps with exploring, very important for this one) and one other that helps with Construction.
Then "Mother Nature" took over, so to speak, and due to us not finding that great of a tile (food and wood) to park our camp on once we started moving, and us neglecting to prioritize properly, we found ourselves with a VERY tough choice near the end of Round 5. Do we go hunting to look for food and risk more damage (it started adding up by this point) or do we take our chances exploring the Small Temple we found, which was one of the winning conditions, hope we maybe find some treasure and/or food? Time was VERY quickly running out, and we needed to FIND AND explore to other Totems. Well I believe we chose poorly (hindsight...), and we starved that night and really never fully recovered from it.
After this we did find a nice place to camp out, but boy we had some (mis)adventures along the way, including a "Howling in the Woods" that had us needing to change our undergarments! These misadventures combined with some nasty weather, a wood shortage and our prior bad planning had Morale at an all-time low, and me close to giving up the Ghost.
Going into the 7th Round, we still had a little (and at this point, it was only a little) hope, as my companion still had maybe 20% of his health left. However, there was an event card on top that was not the regular one, and sometimes you can have a chain of really bad events happen, let's hope this is not that.
Well it was not a good start for sure, my ankle swelled up in quite a bad way from tripping the day before, so I was going to be of limited use this round, likely going to get some much needed rest to mend. Oh, no, it's another repercussion from an earlier day and again NOT the regular event of the day! It turns out the animal that was watching us earlier is now damn hunger and attacking us! Good thing it was not me, whew, but wait, we have no weapons! Oh shit. My buddy did his best to fight it off, and eventually won, but it left him bruised, bluddy and just plain broken. With Morale completely in the Toilet, the whole ordeal proved to be just too much, and buddy gave up the Ghost, ending our quest just that fast.
So, going back to my quote above; Skill is definitely a large factor, but in our win first time out I think the Gods favoured us that day