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Recommended setup without using events?

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AdamH
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Recommended setup without using events?

This weekend I was playing Spirit Island with some folks and one of them asked if we could plan with Branch and Claw things without using events. She said she didn't want to have a bunch of new mechanics thrown at her in one game and would rather ease into things. Events are my least favorite mechanic so far so I was happy to oblige, but I think just removing events might affect the balance of things, so I also removed the starting beast/disease tokens from each board.

But I have no idea if that's the right way to approach things. I realize I can't play against France without using events (or can that be done?), but I want to make sure I'm not making the game too easy/hard or something like that by just taking events out. Is there a suggested way to do this?

My main goals would be to not have to sort out my major/minor power decks, or the fear card deck. I'd like to be able to play with all of the blighted island cards, and I'd like to be able to play with as many spirits and adversaries as possible. As much of this as possible without using events. Can have my cake and eat it too?

dpt
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Are you OK playing without tokens? The draft PnP rulebook posted with the Jagged Earth Kickstarter has specific rules:

Quote:
Playing Without Events
Events serve several purposes: they make the island more thematically alive, provide an uncertainty that helps keep advanced players from being 100% confident of a win many turns in advance, and make it perilous to let the Blight card flip too early. However, some players strongly prefer the simplicity and near-perfect predictability of the base game. To play without Events, but keep Beasts tokens relevant:
Setup:
• Leave the Event deck in the box.
• Add tokens to each board per the usual rules. (Balanced boards: 1 Beasts on each board in the lowest-numbered land without setup icons. 1 Disease on each board in land #2. Thematic boards: as printed.)
• Add 1 extra Fear card to Stage II of the Fear deck.
• Don’t use a Blight Card where the Blighted Island side has 2 Blight/player or only immediate effects. [For you, that means playing with one of the 2 Blight cards from the base game.]
Gameplay:
• Once during Invader Stage II and once during Invader Stage III, the Spirits may command all Beasts on the island during the Spirit Phase. (Consensus is required.)
• When you do this, each Beasts token in a land with Invaders does 1 Damage or 1 Fear, players’ choice. Each Beasts token in a land without Invaders may be Pushed to an adjacent land.
AdamH
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Ah, this is pretty close to what I'm looking for. It looks like there were only Beast tokens when this was written, so there would be a Beast token on land 2 instead of Disease to start off with?

That last one where they command beasts -- does that happen just at any time or are there limitations on when that can be done?

Quote:

However, some players strongly prefer the simplicity and near-perfect predictability of the base game.

It's not about simplicity for me, and I guess it's sort of about predictability? It just mainly feels bad to have your plan for the entire turn be ruined by an event card that you can't realistically play around. Let's say I'm set up to perfectly defend 2 or 3 lands and then bam, I get an event that makes the invaders ravage for more. Surprise, you just wasted all of these resources and now you're way way way behind! That's not fun at all for me -- if you can randomly have catastrophic awful things happen to you, that's really only OK for me on a game that takes 15 minutes to play, not 2+ hours. If the event was known during growth maybe it would be better but I'm assuming that's as much of a power boost as knowing fear cards early, which is a huge deal, so I feel like removing events all together is probably the best approach.

In any case, I like this idea and I'll probably be playing the rest of my games like this. I wonder if you can get away with just doing the slave rebellion event at the appropriate times when playing France while leaving the rest of the event deck out of it?

Medic-Tank
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AdamH wrote:

Ah, this is pretty close to what I'm looking for. It looks like there were only Beast tokens when this was written, so there would be a Beast token on land 2 instead of Disease to start off with?

The adjustments for this mode are on beast tokens because much of their benefit come from the event deck making the powers that create and use them underpowered. In the case of Disease, Wilds and Strife they are used as usual preventing an invader step on a land (Disease and Wilds) or an invader step on a specific invader Strife. So start of game you put disease in lands 2 they will prevent the first build there. This alteration has been a life saver for me as it allows me to play straight with branch and claw with new players and thus save on setup time cause i dont have to separate my cards. Played a three player game with somewhat casual players (usually play zombicide) with this and they did not struggle with the extra from the tokens.

dpt
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If you want to cut out the tokens as well (including Disease, Strife, and Wilds), there are rules for that too in the PDF I linked to.

TakeWalker
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My only concern is using the non-B&C blight cards, because they both really suck! There's nothing like having to lose your stuff every round when you were doing poorly enough to flip the card in the first place. The worst part of Events is when you get hit with a couple really nasty ones in a row during the first few rounds and can't recover, and those blight cards just double down on the awfulness. I'll take the not-2-per-player rule into consideration, at least.

dpt
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TakeWalker wrote:
My only concern is using the non-B&C blight cards, because they both really suck!
It's supposed to be bad to flip the Blight card.
jffdougan
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yes, but some Blight cards are more un-fun to flip than others. I personally find the two from the base game to be especially punishing, and would almost invariably see one of the B&C cards flip instead of a vanilla game. Tipping Point is perhaps the exception.

AdamH
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I've always felt like flipping the blight card was bad but not the end of the world. But with events, I felt like flipping the blight card meant I couldn't possibly win the game from there. I've been tempted recently to just stop playing in these cases but cutting out events is a better solution for me.

TakeWalker
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You can definitely win with Events and a flipped blight card, but taking one big hit is far better than slow, gradual attrition.

Ameena
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I think I've had Events save the day more often than they ruin it (unless the Blight card has been flipped, in which case yeah, problems can occur...) - Canny Defence is a wonderful thing to have pop up, especially when you haven't quite managed to get enough Defence in a land to protect everything there on the turn it's gonna Ravage. Incidentally, someone above said that Events can randomly cause a Ravage - I don't believe this is true. They can buff the damage dealt by Invaders during the Ravage part of the Invader Phase, but they don't cause spontaneous Ravages themselves. Generally I'd say I find Events more often helpful than not, assuming an unflipped Blight card, but even then you're not guaranteed to get Events that are affecte by such - plenty of them are determined by the Invader Phase or Terror Level, and plenty are "choice" events (like the Drought, War, or Strange Madness ones).

Events are pretty much the only way Beasts do anything, however, unless you're playing with Sharp Fangs - most other spirits don't really use the Beast-based powers too much, since there tends to be other things that are more useful to them.


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gpope
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TakeWalker wrote:

You can definitely win with Events and a flipped blight card, but taking one big hit is far better than slow, gradual attrition.

If you're unlucky, events mean you take one big hit AND slow, gradual attrition on top of that.

Eric R
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AdamH wrote:

Ah, this is pretty close to what I'm looking for. It looks like there were only Beast tokens when this was written, so there would be a Beast token on land 2 instead of Disease to start off with?

I think it's just that the icons for Beasts and Disease didn't survive the copy-paste. Board setup is identical to normal Branch & Claw play: a Disease in land #2, and a Beasts in the lowest-numbered land without setup symbols.

dpt
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Eric R wrote:
AdamH wrote:

Ah, this is pretty close to what I'm looking for. It looks like there were only Beast tokens when this was written, so there would be a Beast token on land 2 instead of Disease to start off with?

I think it's just that the icons for Beasts and Disease didn't survive the copy-paste. Board setup is identical to normal Branch & Claw play: a Disease in land #2, and a Beasts in the lowest-numbered land without setup symbols.

Oops, I missed this. I fixed my copy-paste mistake.