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Bringer of Dreams/Nightmares: How to play this spirit

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Foote
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Bringer of Dreams/Nightmares: How to play this spirit

So like Wildfire before it, I'm having a major disconnect with playing Nightmare in a way that doesn't just make him sorta useless for most of the game. His inability to actually clear invaders seems extremely hard to overcome with even low difficulty levels of adversaries. with larger fear decks and an inability to move cities through would be damage, you are just sweeping invaders under the rug until they become a major issue in another area and have limited ways to deal with that. 

Let's take a look at how I'm seeing this play out and see if the forums can't help guide me  

FIRST TURNS:

Starting off with 2 card plays a turn, out first turns must be limited to that while also getting max value Night Terror every turn. With this in mind, the only viable option available is to play Dreams of Dahan/Predatory Nightmares on turn 1, followed by Dread Apparitions/Mightnight Dream on turn two. This gives you elements 2 fear through your innate a turn and helping with Apparitiond defense ability. 

Your first growth phase will almost always be gaining the 2 energy and allowing a wide range for your presence placement. Since 3 card plays are far off, taking the top track here to at least gain Spirits Yet Dream value seems optimal given how your card plays are set. 

So your first turn your gathering dahan to the biggest problem area with Dreams of Dahan so you can defend a ravage next turn with Apparitions/Terrors. Pred Nightmares is likely used just to push Dahan where you need them, since as it's a slow power the invaders will have already taken their build phase. 

With your second turn you set up your defense combo in one land with those Dahan while adding presence from the top track again to get 3 energy and a minor power. Unless you are assaulting a city with your defense combo (this is likely not the case depending on the ravage area and board setup), then Call on Midnights Dreams is probably saced right here for a major power if you can get a good energy gain from it. We likely pay for the power as well  

Within these first two turns we have honestly done nothing to prevent builds or explores and are only able to defend a single area from ravage and really, the entire hope for the rest of the game lays within a clutch major power draw right there, and there are only so many good ones for this spirit. 

Third turn we have to reclaim and gain another power card card and are back to the Dahan/Pred rotation. But most likely after the previous builds we could deal with there will be a need for Apparitions again. But we didn't place presence so our options are likely limited where we even can defend and you can't use Dahan/Apparitions together in a turn because you lack the Red element for Night Terror value (and Dahan Dreams can't gather and give fear, it's one or the other). Pred just pushes a town somewhere else to deal with later if you can. 

 

Fear generation is cool, and every once in a while those cards can be clutch, but they can be duds as well. Does Nightmare bring sufficient enough tools to be as effective at actually winning games as other spirits? Or does he need to rely just on the luck of the draw for that first major power and hope the other spirits in the game can make up for his early and mid game slack?

Topping out at 5 energy gains 6 presence into the board, we are not looking at a using a ton of Major Powers. Early/mid game your maxing out at 4-5 energy a turn if you take that growth option so your focusing on 2 card combos (weak ones at that early) while fishing for extra cards with Red element as your biggest consideration. 

What am I missing here?

Arcanist Lupus
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Quote:
So your first turn your gathering dahan to the biggest problem area with Dreams of Dahan so you can defend a ravage next turn with Apparitions/Terrors. Pred Nightmares is likely used just to push Dahan where you need them, since as it's a slow power the invaders will have already taken their build phase.

I think that you're majorly undervaluing Predatory Nightmares here.  Sure, the explorers who were out at the beginning of the turn will have built, but there will be a new set out to explore new lands.  Use Predatory Nightmares on them, and drive them from those lands before the next turn.


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Foote
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You drive off a single town or explorer into 1 of two options at that point where another stage 1 won't be happening (unless your playing against Prussia than anywhere you push your screwed in the long run). and if you don't push a town and just an explorer your losing precious fear generation. 

after a few games with lvl 3 adversaries im just really not seeing at all how turning all damage into fear/push is beneficial. You're super weak early game and by mid-late you've pushes yourself into major trouble. And it's not like you have a lot of innate options to push/damage. You have 1 innate card that pushes/damages invades, and it's slow and needs to be next to a sacred site. 1 pushes Dahan or gets fear, one defends if you generate more fear in addition to it, and the other one is a major power fish that can be used an an extra innate power in a pinch. 

So you really have to rely on amazing minor/major power draw to help you out there, and doing so interups your innate power fear engine. And if you're not generating maximum fear per turn than the spirit is fairly useless as that's it's whole schtik. It feels like a one trick poney who's trick isn't all that good. 

 

Really for me it's turn 3 and 4 that are major problems with this Spirit. You're at least letting 2 blight from ravages turn 3 while the rest of the board continues to clutter up and you can only push 1-2 units in 1-2 areas for so long until turn 4 catches up to you and now the game has inevitability on you. 

dpt
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I haven't looked in detail at your thoughts, but let me just mention that beginning players undervalue Fear generation, since the effects are much less obvious and also seem more random. Generating lots of Fear cards is super-useful, although you don't usually know exactly how. It is scary heading into the Invader phase with two Fear cards and several areas that are problems, but often the cards will help you out, especially if you help them by, eg, positioning the Dahan in problem areas. (Of course this has its own risk.)

The first level of Spirits May Yet Dream is one of the most valuable powers in the game. Remember you can turn over any Fear card you like, whether it's already earned, about to be earned, or if you want to plan ahead for a future turn. It's fortunately pretty trivial to trigger every turn.

jwgross709
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Is this for solo or with other spirits. I've not played solo with Bringer of Dreams but my initial strategy would be to push the invaders to where the least amount of damage can be done and generate max fear.

If you mean for multiplayer I like to pair him with a damage dealer. One of my favorite pairings is Bringer of Dreams and Thunderspeaker because both tend to focus on the Dahan. That way both spirits move them around to help with their card effects.

grysqrl
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A few thoughts:

  • Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares, moreso than many others, tends to rely pretty heavily on the other spirits in the game. Identifying threats and opportunities island-wide, rather than just on each spirit's starting board, becomes much more important. You need to cover for each other in the ways that you are powerful, just as Ocean tends to cover the coasts on all of the boards while the other players focus on the center.
  • Getting bonus fear from Night Terrors in the early game is fine, but if you focus on squeezing every point out of it, you're probably going to be neglecting some important invader threats. I tend to spend my early game getting built up. I'll help deal with big threats (or little ones if they're convenient), but I'm mostly getting presence and invaders positioned and searching for useful power cards. If I've done well at this, in the later stages of the game, I'll have a few lands with stacks of invaders, a pile of energy, and a few major powers that do massive damage in a land. "Destroying" the same city (and a heap of towns) 3-4 times in the same turn generates a ton of fear. The 1-3 from Night Terrors is nice a little bonus when it works out, but it pales in comparison to what you can do if you get set up well.
  • Ditto what dpt said about Spirits May Yet Dream. The first effect is super powerful and I can almost always find another spirit who can take advantage of the second effect.
Foote
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So never play Nightmare in a two player game with more defensive spirits. Is that what you're saying? I understand the concept of other spirits picking up slack where their team mates faulter, but Nightmare just seems to ingnore the board as it grows to the point where you are not stoping blight cascades because you have no ways to do so and just inevitably losing. Not many spirits can tackle multiple players worth of boards single handedly while you generate an extra fear card or two per game  

How am I avoiding invader threats by maxing my innate power fear? What card outside of my 2health worth of push actually deals with invaders? Or are you saying that you just need to dig into minor powers from the very first turn looking for actual useful cards for controlling invader tempo with growth while you use your innate card to free fish major powers constantly? Even doing this, my biggest contention is that turn 3-4 is overwhelmingly awful for Nightmare (especially against Prussia and their tempo). And not for nothing, but a lot of the big major powers Nightmare can't use because his energy gain is really mediocre even when you get to a late game without being cascades to death  

Spirits May Yet Dreams. The first effect is fine. But if your other spirits don't pull their fear weight, Nightmare actually doesn't generate a whopping amount of fear early. You're looking at a fear card likely on turn 2 and probably on turn 4. It's a nice little thing when it works, but when the fear card isn't all that great for the situation it's pretty bad. The 2nd effect is useful sure, but you're not gonna be seeing that until turn 5 at the earliest and again, by 3-4 the invaders gain inevitability on you hardcore since you can't clear them from the board. 

dpt
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Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares, more than anyone else, relies on control by moving the invaders around and using their actions to your advantage. (There's a reason it's rated as high complexity...) In particular, in a game with few spirits (or only defensive spirits), you need to make sure that Defense is used to your advantage, and that every point of Defense (usually from Dread Apparitions) ends up killing Invaders during the Ravage.

I was talking about the first effect of Spirits May Yet Dream. (You correctly point out the second is a late-game thing.) The Terror Level 1 effects without this are kind of random, occassionally useful. If you can plan for a turn ahead and know, for instance, that you're going to get Defend 1 per Dahan, you can do great things.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is how great Spirits May Yet Dream is with Major Powers. You get one for free from Call on Midnight's Dreams, as a push that way, but you should gain many more. The 'Any' spaces towards the end of its presence tracks are really useful this way.

I might also suggest taking a break from this spirit and coming back to it.

EDIT: Also, I disagree with grysqrl that it relies on other spirits. I've done just fine in single-spirit games with Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares. In that situation, you need to be sure to husband your Dahan very carefully.

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I just played a game with Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares and Vital Strength of the Earth (vs Brandenburg level 3). I won during the slow phase on turn 9 via fear. The blight card flipped the turn before. A few notes from that game:

  • The first level of Spirits May Yet Dream was critical. Especially in the early game where, as dpt mentioned, the fear cards are a little more random and situational. I knew what each of the first 3-4 fear cards were before they came up. In some cases, like where it was going to remove an explorer from lands with Dahan, it informed choices about which lands to deal with because the fear card would take care of ones that I might normally focus on. In one case (defend 2 in all lands), it actually caused me to slow my fear production so I wouldn't earn the fear card until the following turn, when it would be incredibly helpful.
  • Knowing the upcoming fear cards helped me to create a pocket with no invaders in both of the far corners of the island - I avoided a bunch of explores (thus builds and ravages) that way.
  • The second level of Spirits May Yet Dream was incredibly helpful. Earth has a hard time triggering its innate power reliably - using this to get an extra plant or mountain element meant that I got to use its innate power pretty much every turn after the early game.
  • I went for major powers pretty early with Bringer, and it really paid off. An early Infinite Vitality, while lacking helpful elements, was inexpensive and let me ignore a couple of lands that would have blighted hard. Late in the game, Manifest Incarnation was critical, dealing tons of fear and giving Bringer a way to remove cities from the large pockets of invaders that I corralled. This paired really nicely with A Year of Perfect Stillness, which prevented the extra Ravage that the card normally causes. Toward the end of the game, Spirits May Yet Dream helped me to hit the elemental threshold on this power, so I didn't need Earth's help.
  • For minor powers (most of which I didn't keep for long), I focused on push/gather and defense, to stack invaders up and then supplement Earth's natural defense. Neither spirit used much offense (Rituals of Destruction twice and Poisoned Land once).

I'm certainly not saying that Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares is helpless without other spirits; I've soloed it several times as well. Moreso that in multi-spirit games, I find that you need to be a little more coordinated in your actions than, e.g. Lightning's Swift Strike or A Spread of Rampant Green, whose fortes and foibles are less extreme.

Foote
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My last game was the same game grysqrl! Earth and Nightmare vs Prussia lvl3.

Maybe I wasn't coordinating with the fear cards as much as I should have, but most of our early ones were not much help (plus we had a few really harsh events that were really bad for us. It ended up being a very solid loss, especially with the blighted land effect mid game.

  • Knowing the upcoming fear cards helped me to create a pocket with no invaders in both of the far corners of the island - I avoided a bunch of explores (thus builds and ravages) that way.

For the record, you can't do this on some boards. For instance, board D doesn't really have a pocket corner, especially if it is on the north end, as the coastal wetlands span the entire side. I think D is one of the most unforgiving map boards, and maybe I should stay away from it in two player games.

Manifest Incarnation was critical, dealing tons of fear and giving Bringer a way to remove cities from the large pockets of invaders that I corralled

There are very few major powers that "remove" cities. I wonder how your game would have gone without such a power? Also note that Nightmare can't push cities through his fear damage, and only pushes explorers/invaders. That's one of the reasons why his lack of early reliable push in innate cards is hard for me to deal with as there is far too few ways to prevents builds in round 2-3, especially considering the extra starting towns from Prussia's setup.

In particular, in a game with few spirits (or only defensive spirits), you need to make sure that Defense is used to your advantage, and that every point of Defense (usually from Dread Apparitions) ends up killing Invaders during the Ravage.

After your initial defense in round 2, it takes quite a few rounds without proper minor power help to re-corall those dahan again to the proper you want them, likely at least 2 full turns, which at that point you're facing down some cascades.

 

The first 2 rounds of playing Nightmare are pretty set in stone as far as I can see to the point where your card/growth options are scripted. It's turns 3 and 4 that I am really having some major trouble with figuring out what to do. Turn 3 growth needs to be a reclaim, and right now you have have likely 2 sacred sites and another single presence somewhere. You may not have the energy to play whatever major power you picked up, and is spending turn 3 gathering and then pushing dahan really the best option when your looking at more ravages/blight, or do you just eat those and the possible cascade to set up a single lands defense on turn 4? The inability to cause valuable effect in multiple lands here seems really hard to get over. Sleepy Snake has a massive AoE defense to make up for its lack of early game. Nightmare gets a single 2 damage push that may or may not prevent blight damage and wont prevent a build because it's slow and not fast.

Trying to get 3 card plays a turn would help early for sure as you could then build up some helpful minor powers, but it's so far down the bottom track and you are then missing out on both energy and the elements needed to reliably proc your innate powers. I have to think that removing presence up until the free moon is the best play and then moving to the card play track, but again you're super limited in what you actually can do.

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how not removing invaders from the board and just pushing them into cascadable areas is really a viable strategy unless you are finding ways to generate a whole lot more fear than what I'm coming up with. In higher difficulty games your fear deck is pretty bulky to shift through, and without ways to remove cities, you need to deck out Fear before you blight out, and that requires what seems to me extremely specific major power draws that you may or may not get.

grysqrl
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Foote wrote:

Manifest Incarnation was critical, dealing tons of fear and giving Bringer a way to remove cities from the large pockets of invaders that I corralled

 

There are very few major powers that "remove" cities. I wonder how your game would have gone without such a power? Also note that Nightmare can't push cities through his fear damage, and only pushes explorers/invaders. That's one of the reasons why his lack of early reliable push in innate cards is hard for me to deal with as there is far too few ways to prevents builds in round 2-3, especially considering the extra starting towns from Prussia's setup.

I very nearly took Tsunami instead, which would have done more fear and pushing, but not removed anything. Either one was viable with Earth's defense to handle the cities.

Foote wrote:

After your initial defense in round 2, it takes quite a few rounds without proper minor power help to re-corall those dahan again to the proper you want them, likely at least 2 full turns, which at that point you're facing down some cascades.

I focused more on defense and pushing invaders around than actually killing the invaders, so getting the Dahan to specific places wasn't really an issue most of the time (and Earth had several power cards that could Dahan). I think I only had one blight cascade. Leaving towns and cities alive was actually part of my strategy, in case I took a major power that would let me destroy a lot of things. If the dahan kill everything off, you get the fear once. If you "kill" them over and over, you get a steady stream of it.

Foote wrote:

The first 2 rounds of playing Nightmare are pretty set in stone as far as I can see to the point where your card/growth options are scripted. It's turns 3 and 4 that I am really having some major trouble with figuring out what to do. Turn 3 growth needs to be a reclaim, and right now you have have likely 2 sacred sites and another single presence somewhere.

Which growth option are you using the first two turns? I used the add presence / gain a power card both of the first two turns, which meant that I had two more cards to play the third turn and didn't have to reclaim. I may have gained another power card and just played one on the fourth turn as well - I don't totally remember. I had a good supply of energy by the time I got my first major power, though. I was placing all of my presence from the energy track for most of the game. I don't think I ever got to three card plays.

Foote
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I used gain power/presence first then energy/presence. I dont think I could get away with power/presence for two turns if I needed my presence across the board from the starting sands. It's pretty map dependent I think. I remember my game last night I started on map D, and there are a good number of dahan across the board in the coastal mountains. You could gather a few to the inland mountain/sand/coastal wetland, but then it would be difficult to start shifting them back across the map when you need to from that far side. Plus the Energy/Presence lets you get presence where you need to defend since your innate is range0 and thats where you are generating most of the defense from (unless you don't pull a free major power from your starting cards and do the 2 fear instead).

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I just did a solo Bringer game (vs. Brandenburg Lvl 3) and took notes as I went, both as to what was happening on the board and why I made some of the decisions I did. Would folks like me to post the writeup, as a concrete example to discuss around?

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I, for one, would love that!


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Yes.


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-Robert E. Howard, "The Tower of the Elephant"

Foote
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Heck yes! I'd love that discuss this kinda stuff!

like, I know I'm doing something wrong or not seeing the right angle or lens from wich to view Nightmare. And I want to. Very badly. 

Eric R
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OK, here it is! Apologies for any mistakes; my notes were a little scrawly.

My approach to Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares in this game was a pretty straight-up "Energy-first" one, where I didn't plan to place Presence from the Card Plays track until after hitting the last space or two of the Energy track. (Rather than, eg, going partway up then shifting, or driving for 3 plays right off the bat.) I got some good breaks and some bad; overall it felt like they came out a touch on the side of good, but even if a couple of them had gone the other way it probably would have meant 2-3 more Blight on the board going into late game, which wouldn't have changed the outcome - I'd just have needed to be a little more restrained on the final turn (and would have been lower on Presence due to Downward Spiral).

Warning: experimental notation ahead! This is kinda like chess notation, meant more for enacting a replay with the pieces in front of you than for reading-only... but I've expanded out some of it to be more casually readable. (Eg, using words for Explorer/Town/City/Dahan/Presence/Blight instead of just their first letter.) Entries are generally of the form

[Source] Thing That Happens/where: What it does.

KEY: + is Add, - is Remove, x is Destroy, > is Gather, < is Push. * = Fear card earned. Lands are specified by boardname and land#, but since this is a single-board game it's always c1 - c8. Comments are in blue italics.

Expansions: None
Adversary: Brandenburg-Prussia Lvl 3
Scenario: None
Boards: C
Spirits: Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares [BDN] on C

=== SETUP
[Invaders] Brandenburg L3: +Town in c3. Invader Deck is 11-3-2222-3333. Fear deck is 3-4-3.
[BDN] +2Presence/c6.
[Invaders] Explore/Jungle. +Explorer in c1, c4.

=== TURN 1
[BDN] Growth #3. Gain Minor: Enticing Splendor.
{Poor Power draw - none of them have Moon. I choose Enticing Splendor for board control and because it at least has Air.} +Presence (top) in c1.
[BDN] +2 Energy = 2. Play Predatory Nightmares, Dreams of the Dahan.
{0 Energy left.}
[BDN] Night Terrors (innate)/c1: 2 Fear.
[BDN] Dreams of the Dahan/c4: >2Dahan from c3.
{My plan at this point is to handle the c1 Jungle by Pushing a Town Slow with Predatory Nightmares, and jump into the c4 Jungle next turn to Defend and enable a Dahan counterattack. I Gathered from c3 because a Mountain Explore+Build could make things precarious there, and because defending c5 is a high priority - it's already Blighted - so leaving Dahan there is good. Of course, c3 only has two lands to cascade to, so it's not a great place to let Blight.}
[BDN] Spirits May Yet Dream (innate)/BDN. Reveal top (unearned) Fear card: "Dahan on their Guard".
{Defend 1 per Dahan. This changes my plan, since c4 can now handle itself.}
[Invaders] Build/Jungle. +Town in c1, c4.
[Invaders] Explore/Mountain. +Explorer in c3, c7.
[BDN] Predatory Nightmares/c7: 2 Fear*. <Town to c5.

=== TURN 2
[BDN] Growth #3.
{Since I don't need to jump to c4.} Gain Minor: Veil the Night's Hunt. {Slightly better choices this turn. Veil the Night's Hunt is useful mostly for its perfect elements, though Fast Explorer Pushes aren't terrible... and in this case, it lets me not use Dread Apparitions on c1, so I can save it for the following turn. I hesitate briefly because I know I'll really want my Dread Apparitions defense combo the turn after that (when the Stage III card will be in Ravage), but I realize I'll be reclaiming right before then anyhow.} +Presence (top) in c5. {Central location. Also one I want to be able to defend because it has Blight, and it's much easier to fuel Dread Apparitions at Range 0.}
[BDN] +3 Energy = 3. Play Veil the Night's Hunt, Enticing Splendor.
{2 Energy left.}
[BDN] Night Terrors (innate)/c1: 1 Fear.
[BDN] Veil the Night's Hunt/c1: <Explorer to c2.
[BDN] Enticing Splendor/c6: >Explorer from c7.
{I don't have the elements for Spirits May Yet Dream this turn.}
[Fear] Dahan on Their Guard (T1)
{Defend 1 per Dahan}
[Invaders] Ravage/Jungle. c1: xTown (1 Fear); c4: xTown,Explorer (1 Fear)
[Invaders] Build/Mountain. +City in c3.
{I've cleared c7.}
[Invaders] Explore/Jungle+Wetland. +Explorer in c1, c4, c5.
{Not c8, which I've managed to isolate. There was a 50-50 shot it'd be relevant.}

=== TURN 3
[BDN] Growth #4. +2 Energy = 4; +Presence (top) in c3
{defensive}
[BDN] +3 Energy = 7. Play Dread Apparitions and Call on Midnight's Dreams.
{5 left}
[BDN] Spirits May Yet Dream (innate)/BDN. Reveal top (unearned) Fear card: "Belief Takes Root".
{Hmm, I'm going to overkill on Defense in c3. This gives me the freedom to use Call on Midnight's Dreams for gaining a Major Power instead of Fear... but right now I think I'd rather have the Fear. I'll be gaining a Power Card when I reclaim after this turn anyhow.} {I hit 3 Moon, but the bonus element was irrelevant.}
[BDN] Dread Apparitions/c3: 1 Fear*; Defend 1.
[BDN] Night Terrors (innate)/c3: 3 Fear; Defend 3.
{Net Defend 4}
[BDN] Call on Midnight's Dreams/c3: 2 Fear*;
{Terror Level 2} Defend 2. {Net Defend 6}
[Fear] Belief Takes Root (T2)
{+1 Energy per SS with Invaders. Defend 2 in lands with Presence}: +1 Energy = 6.
[Fear] Dahan Raid. c1: xExplorer
[Invaders] Ravage/Mountain.
{c3 does 6 Damage, has Defend 6.}
[Invaders] Build/Jungle+Wetland. +Town in c4; +City in c5.
[Invaders] Escalation. c2: +Town.
{c2 has a City, 4 adjacencies, and no Blight. I'm eyeing it as a place to let the Invaders congregate so I can scare the ever-living pants off of them, particularly since I've successfully defended the could-have-been-problematic c3.}
[Invaders] Explore/Wetland. +Explorer in c5.
{This is good and bad. Good because c8 is still isolated, bad because it means I'm facing a Ravage-Build-Ravage in the c5 pit.}

===TURN 4
[BDN] Growth #1. Reclaim All. Gain Major: Poisoned Land.
{My other choices were Powerstorm, Accelerated Rot, and Indomitable Claim. Indomitable Claim would my top choice for solo Bringer in most circumstances - but my Blight situation is really good, so I decide to try something riskier that I'm less certain will work.} Forget: Enticing Splendor. {It was a toss-up between this - better control - and Veil the Night's Hunt - better elements. If Enticing Splendor had let me stretch to hit Poisoned Land's threshold, I'd have kept it, but even the +Any wouldn't let me hit it with just 2 plays. Also, keeping Veil the Night's Hunt once again kept me from having to use Call on Midnight's Dreams for my defense combo.}
[BDN] +3 Energy = 9. Play Dread Apparitions and Veil the Night's Hunt.
{6 Energy left.}
[BDN] Spirits May Yet Dream (innate)/BDN. Reveal top (unearned) Fear card: Overseas Trade Seems Safer.
{Irrelevant, even at Terror 2. An earlier Fear card cleared the one Jungle where it would have helped.} {Bonus element is again irrelevant this turn.}
[BDN] Dread Apparitions/c5: 1 Fear; Defend 1.
[BDN] Night Terrors (innate)/c5: 3 Fear; Defend 3.
{Net Defend 4}
[BDN] Veil the Night's Hunt/c5: <Explorer to c1.
{The other point of damage to something doesn't persist because it's Bringer.}
[Fear] Overseas Trade Seems Safer (T2).
[Invaders] Ravage/Jungle+Wetland. c1: xExplorer. c4: +Blight, xDahan,Town (1 Fear). c5: xCity (2 Fear*).
{5 Damage, Defend 4. Dahan counterattack for 4.}
[Invaders] Build/Wetland. c5: +City.
[Invaders] Escalation. c6: +Town.
{Here because it's at my Presence so more readily defendable, because it has more unblighted adjacent lands than c7, and because I'm already planning on letting c2 blight uncontested if Sands comes up.}
[Invaders] Explore/Jungle. +Explorer in c1, c4.
{Unlucky break; puts pressure on c4. I'd have preferred Mountain or Sands.}

===TURN 5
{Going into this turn, I really want to play Poisoned Land on c2: It'll do 8 Fear, which is two full Fear Cards. And it's Slow, so if I want the benefit of those Fear cards next turn, I need to use it this turn. But I just can't make it work while also defending the pit in c5. So instead:}
[BDN] Growth #2. +Presence (top) in c3.
{Getting Range 1 from a Sacred Site in every land except c8.} Reclaim One: Dread Apparitions.
[BDN] +4 Energy = 10. Play Dread Apparitions and Call on Midnight's Dreams.
{8 Energy left.}
[BDN] Spirits May Yet Dream (innate)/BDN. Reveal earned Fear card: "Seek Safety".
{If I'd known this was coming up when choosing Powers, I *could* have played Poisoned Land this turn, because I'd have been able to move a Town from c5 to c2. This would also have made Poisoned Land more effective, doing 10 Fear instead of 8.} Gain Element: Moon. {Speculative, in case I draw into Terrifying Nightmares later this turn. I remember it's awesome for Bringer and has a Moon-based threshold.}
[BDN] Dread Apparitions/c5: 1 Fear; Defend 1.
[BDN] Night Terrors (innate)/c5: 3 Fear*; Defend 3.
{Net Defend 4.}
[BDN] Call on Midnight's Dreams/c5: Gain Major: The Land Thrashes in Furious Pain.
{My other choices were The Jungle Hungers, Infinite Vitality, and Terrifying Nightmares. Terrifying Nightmares is great for midgame Bringer, basically "6 Fear and make a land safe" most turns - the obvious choice; again, I decided to try something different. Infinite Vitality combos nicely with Poisoned Land, but so does The Land Thrashes in Furious Pain...} Forget: Veil the Night's Hunt. {I opt NOT make use of the "If you Forget this Power..." clause on Call on Midnight's Dreams. This is unusual for me, but I'm not hurting for Energy, and doing so lets me set up a better Turn 6 and 7.}
[Fear] Seek Safety (T2). c2: >Town from c5.
[Fear] Isolation (T2). c1: -Explorer.
[Invaders] Ravage/Wetland. c5: xCity (2 Fear)
[Invaders] Build/Jungle. +Town in c4.
[Invaders] Explore/Coastal. +Explorer in c1, c2, c3.

===TURN 6
[BDN] Growth #3. Gain Major: Talons of Lightning.
{Other options: Blazing Renewal, Dissolve the Bonds of Kinship, Cleansing Floods. I'm planning on winning this turn during Slow Powers, but if I've misestimated and don't, Talons of Lightning can target c3 for 10 Fear before the Turn 7 Invader Phase.} Forget: Dreams of the Dahan. +Presence (top) somewhere I failed to note - c1?
[BDN] +4 Energy = 12. Play Poisoned Land and The Land Thrashes in Furious Pain
{5 Energy left}
[BDN] Night Terrors (innate)/c3. 2 Fear*.
{Terror Level 3!}
[BDN] Set "Any" Element to: Moon.
[BDN] Spirits May Yet Dream (innate)/BDN. Gain Element: Earth.
[Fear] Trade Suffers (T3). Don't use.
{I want c2 and c3 full of Towns and Cities - and the Coastal Build makes it semi-irrelevant even if not.}
[Invaders] Ravage/Jungle. c1: xExplorer. c4: xDahan, +Blight, cascade +Blight to c2.
{Yes, let's cascade Blight into the land I'm about to use Poisoned Land on - the Invader's Cities shall dream nightly of the land's death presaging their own!...}
[Invaders] Build/Coastal. +Town in c3, +City in c2.
[Invaders] Escalation. +Town in c5.
[Invaders] Explore/Sands. +Explorer in c2, c6.
[BDN] Poisoned Land/c2: +Blight, cascade +Blight to c3. 11 Fear**.
{1 base + 2 "City kills"} <Explorer to c5.
[BDN] The Land Thrashes in Furious Pain/c2: 12 Fear*††. <Town to c5.
{2 Blight present + 4 adjacent = 8 Damage = Would Destroy 2 Cities + 1 Town} THRESHOLD HIT (3 Moon 3 Earth): Repeat on c3. 7 Fear††. {6 Damage = would Destroy City + Town} <Town to c4.
{That's 32 Fear in one turn. Not bad!}

=== GAME ENDS: Terror Victory {...with 18 overkill Fear past victory, and another 12-14 coming the following Fast phase, for a total of 30-32 extra Fear prior to the Turn 7 Ravage. At 4 Fear/card, I'd be resolving 10 or 11 of them the next Invader Phase.}

Eric R
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Foote wrote:

Heck yes! I'd love that discuss this kinda stuff!like, I know I'm doing something wrong or not seeing the right angle or lens from wich to view Nightmare. And I want to. Very badly. 

You've definitely got some of its dynamics down already! - eg, Dreams of the Dahan + Predatory Nightmares is a default opening, though it can sometimes change depending on circumstance (Power Card draw, usually). And you're entirely right that it can't rely solely on its starting Power Cards for defense; it absolutely needs to build an early-game defensive game-plan around its Power Card draws. (But aside from target-a-Spirit buffs, nearly anything it gets can be used defensively in some way.)

I suspect that two things about Bringer which may you may be finding elusive are:

  • Other posts suggest that you're more comfortable with "hard defense" (Lightning) than "soft defense" (River), and Bringer is literally incapable of hard defense.
  • You mentioned above something about wanting to hit the higher levels of Night Terrors as frequently as possible. Night Terrors is super-useful for getting to Terror Level 2 in a reasonable timeframe and helping boost the Defend from Dread Apparitions... but it's pocket-change compared to what Bringer can bust out once it's powered up.

Or to look at it another way: in a 1-2p game with Bringer, the Invaders are on a clock from Turn 1, and the clock is Fear. This is less true in larger games due to the bigger Fear pool, but Bringer also has many other Spirits to synergize with and help defend when Bringer can't quite protect a critical land.

ETA: I just noticed the following above:

by 3-4 the invaders gain inevitability on you hardcore since you can't clear them from the board. 

At some point in any game with Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares, the players need to decide if they're going for a Terror Victory or not(*). The more firmly the answer is "yes", the less clearing Invaders is relevant - you're going to get rid of *all* of them by finishing the Fear Deck, so time spent clearing them is only useful insofar as it prevents an outright loss and/or generates Fear.

(*) = When soloing Bringer, it's not much of a decision.

grysqrl
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.r Keeper Bringer ?

Also, at a glance, I really like the experimental notation (as well as reading your analysis of how the spirits play). I'm going to have to play through it sometime.

Eric R
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.r Keeper Bringer ?

Oops! Fixed, I think everywhere? Thanks for the catch!

Also, at a glance, I really like the experimental notation (as well as reading your analysis of how the spirits play). I'm going to have to play through it sometime.

Thanks! It's a work in progress; this is the first iteration I've actually found mostly-useful. I'd love to hear how it works on a reply, and where rough points are!

I'm still working out how much to explicity-specify redundant things - eg, for all of the Invader Actions, in theory just saying "Build/Jungle" or whatnot should be sufficient... but it makes it *much* harder to follow even tiny threads of what's going on on a quick glance-over if you're not doing a full replay. (Though I'm not positive how feasible that is in the first place, so maybe it's not a loss?) Giving deltas (Build/Jungle: c4:+T) makes a readthrough a bit easier, but if either the transcript or the person replaying it makes an error, it may go uncaught for some time before hitting something that no longer makes sense. Giving deltas and new totals (Build/Jungle: c4:+T=1C,2T) provides redundancy, but can get long - eg, (Build/Jungle c2:+T=C,2T,2E,3D,2B) - even if you omit listing Presence.

dpt
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Yay chess notation! I just started playing through. The first thing I noticed is that the very first thing I do every turn with BDN is reveal that Fear card; so I would have done that before gathering those Dahan.

Turn 3, I would totally have gone for the extra Major, especially given your energy situation. You would be very likely to earn two Fear cards the following turn, and two Fear Cards are much better at Level 2 than at Level 1.

Turn 4: Did you give yourself an extra energy? Didn't you destroy that explorer in the ravage in C5, or was there a reason you wanted to keep it? I'm going to continue assuming you destroyed it and forgot to notate that.

Turn 5: You have range 1 from every land, including c8, no?

Turn 6: I would not have been so aggressive with the Blight playing with Branch & Claw... You didn't specify the Blight card, but it's irrelevant.

What are the daggers? (Several times in Turn 6.)

 

Nicely done! That was a big hammer. You could have gone ahead and played The Land Thrashes in Furious Pain on Turn 5, and then used the 'Reclaim 1' option on Turn 6 to get it back--you really had plenty of energy, and didn't need that extra power.

Eric R
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@Dylan - 

Yup, many places where I could have gone different directions, and many places where there were judgment calls, possibly bad ones. :-)

Turn 4: I had an extra energy from the Belief Takes Root Fear Card on Turn 3. I Pushed the Explorer out of c5 prior to Ravage with Veil the Night's Hunt (that turn), because I only had Defend 4 in c5 and the Explorer would have upped the total Damage to 6. (I pushed it to c1, where it provoked the Dahan during Ravage and died.)

Turn 5: Right - my initial sacred site! I forgot about that while typing things up.

Turn 6: With Branch & Claw, I'd have been more wary of taking Poisoned Land, though if I *had* taken it I'd have used it similarly - the Ravage in c4 lets me see the the flip side of the Blight Card before I choose where to put the cascade Blight, whereupon I see I have a deep Blight pool and use it as above. (If it's a middlin' Blight pool, I don't cascade to c2. If it's a small Blight pool, I skip using Poisoned Land altogether; it was still useful for hitting the threshold of Land Thrashes.)

The Daggers are "I would have earned a Fear Card, but there weren't any left".   Playing Land Thrashes on Turn 5 way well have been a better call? I think given Blight state at the time it'd only have gotten me 5 Fear, though, which for 4 Energy is merely OK. But those 5 Fear at that time would have earned a Fear card and hit Terror Level 3, both of which would have helped keep the board under control. Then again, I wasn't much concerned with board control by that point, and if I'd been playing with the expansion / Events, the path I took would have been a bit safer from Choice Events (more Energy buffer).
dpt
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Eric R wrote:
... Playing Land Thrashes on Turn 5 way well have been a better call? I think given Blight state at the time it'd only have gotten me 5 Fear, though, which for 4 Energy is merely OK. ...
It's effectively 1 Energy, since you would have gotten 3 from the other part of Call on Midnight's Dream (if I remember the board state correctly). Seems like a good tradeoff to me.

I'm really interested to hear other comments on that playthrough.

cnranger
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Thanks for the playthrough notes, it has helped me understand the one spirit I was having the most trouble with. 

 

What helped

  •    Seeing you taking new powers on the first two turns
  •    Focusing on the energy track for more energy and elements accepting that you were probably never going to play 3 cards
  •    It helped me understand how the innate fear could be used to increase the defence when using the fear = defence card

 

It all let to an enjoyable game where Bringer with Spread of Rampant Green ended scaring the invaders off the island in Terror level 3.

Eric R
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Glad it helped!

Getting new Power Cards is a useful technique for any Spirit to put off having to Reclaim. How good that is depends on the Spirit; Reclaiming really disrupts some Spirits' momentum, while it's easier for others to work around.

Focusing on the energy track for more energy and elements accepting that you were probably never going to play 3 cards

<nod> I think of Spirits as existing on a spectrum from "strongly prefers high-Play strategies" to "strongly prefers high-Energy strategies". (The spectrum actually goes to "exclusively prefers..." on each end, but I try to make sure every Spirit is playable both ways and/or hybrid, even if it leans more strongly / readily towards one path.) Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares leans strongly towards an Energy + Major Powers approach, though a Plays-first strategy is also viable.

jffdougan
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Eric R wrote:

<nod> I think of Spirits as existing on a spectrum from "strongly prefers high-Play strategies" to "strongly prefers high-Energy strategies". (The spectrum actually goes to "exclusively prefers..." on each end, but I try to make sure every Spirit is playable both ways and/or hybrid, even if it leans more strongly / readily towards one path.) Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares leans strongly towards an Energy + Major Powers approach, though a Plays-first strategy is also viable.

Maybe in a separate thread, I'd be interested in seeing where you put all of the extant spirits.

phantaskippy
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I find the balance to be extremely compelling, because I tried to taks each spirit and figure out their best path, and all of them have at least 2 that work.

dpt
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I just posted a pointer to this play-through in response to a request at BGG, but it's really pretty buried. Would it make sense to start a thread for play-throughs, and at it to the "helpful guides" post?