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Subject: Brian Hits Them Where It Hurts rss

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Eric Franklin
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On Wednesday, I wanted to show Claustrophobia to Brian. I figured the best way to show him the game was to actually play it. Of course, the side benefit of this was that I also had a chance to play again.



He let me choose the scenario. As Brian is a player of advanced skill, I chose a scenario from later in the book - one that I would be able to use to (hopefully) highlight some of the strengths of the game.

I chose the 3rd Scenario, Hit Them Where It Hurts. This is a fairly straightforward "explore the sewers to find and kill the big bad" scenario.

In keeping with the scenario rules, I set aside the Pentacle Room, and placed the human party (One Redeemer, two Condemned Brutes, one Condemned Blade for Hire) on the Entrance Tile. One of the Brutes had a Shield of Steel, the other had the Blessed Hammer. The Redeemer had the Smite the Evil Ones and the Aura of Healing Gifts. I goofed, and he didn't start with any Advantage Cards. Good thing, too.

Here is Brian glancing at the rules:



After a couple of turns, Brian had hit his stride and was starting to explore the underground (please forgive the goofy look on my face):



A few Special Tiles had come up, and he was getting a good feel for how the game works.

Now, the rules of this Scenario state that each time he explores the exit with the d10 next to it, the d10 advances in number and is moved to an exit on the next room.

When it hits 8, the next room will be the room containing my Big Bad:



If he leaves any unexplored exits on empty rooms behind him, then I can summon Troglodytes into that room:



Per the terms of this particular scenario, as soon as he revealed a room, I could also spend Threat Points to summon Troglodytes, an ability I didn't use often enough this game.

Because of the first few rooms, I wasn't gaining many "spawnable" exits, so I actually spent my Destiny Dice to draw cards, hoping to get something helpful.



After a very short time, Brian moved one of his Brutes (the one with the shield) back to the starting tile to stand guard, preventing my spawning behind him:



It was my bad luck (and absent-mindedness) that I had so much trouble adding troglodytes to the game - if I placed when he revealed, he would have little or no trouble killing my fresh Troglodytes. Since his Blade for Hire tended to take point, I couldn't stop his inexorable advance on the lair of the Master of Souls.

I managed to inflict some wounds on him, but he kept rolling at least one four during initiative, which allowed his Redeemer to heal one wound per turn. At this point, you can see that he's taken some wounds (the red marks on his character displays). He'd also decided to allow me to spawn behind him.



At this point, I played a "LOST" card when he explored the room ahead of him. This card allows me to draw the top three rooms off of the deck, and choose the order in which they go back onto the deck. Again: No exits, and no turns. Just some straight tiles. And the die is showing a six.

This is Bad For Me, as it means that I will have no exists available through with to spawn while he can advance on my Big Bad with impunity.

See, the sole purpose of my Troglodytes in this scenario is to chew him up so that my Big Bad has a relatively easy time finishing them off. But the dice were against me. And, apparently, so were the rooms.

The very next turn, I used the "Lost" tile again, hoping that the third tile in the stack would help me in some way - it both did and did not. It was the Troglodyte Lair.



This is a room in which I can always spawn Troglodytes. And it's right next to the Pentagram Chamber.

I still have to respect the Tunnel Size Rule in this space, so I can only spawn 3 Trogs per Turn there - but it's better than none. It also means he can't just park his Redeemer in this room in order to heal his hitters up as they retreat from combat with the (relatively weak) Master of Souls.

Also worth mentioning: My Troglodytes can't enter the Pentagram Chamber in this scenario.

I failed to soften him up significantly. His Hammer-Bearing Brute stepped easily into the room, and took a swing at my Demon. Out of four dice, he managed three hits - because it was the Hammer, that's six wounds (out of ten necessary to kill the Demon).

The rest of the turn didn't go much better. I managed to inflict a Critical Hit on the Redeemer that took away his healing ability - but by then, it was too late. He parked the Shield-Bearing Brute in the Troglodyte Lair, and the remaining three characters just whaled on my poor Master of Souls, ending it only a turn or two later:



Were I playing it again, here's what I'd have done differently:

1) REMEMBER TO SPAWN TROGLODYTES WHEN HE REVEALS ROOMS! My forgetting to do this combined with his placement of the Brute kept me from being able to effectively weaken him enroute to my big bad.

2) I managed to target the Hammer-bearing Brute reasonably effectively. But I need to remember to get rid of the Redeemer's powers. Especially his healing power.

3) Even if Brian's dice hate him, he only needs three successes out of the seven dice he's rolling to kill all the Troglodytes I just spawned in that room.

4) REMEMBER THE TRAP. One of the re-usable spaces on the Board of Destiny that the Demon player gets is a Trap. Inflict a Wound on a human of choice. If the Troglodytes aren't weakening him effectively, perhaps I should just go for direct damage.

Now that Brian knows how to play, we'll be able to use the bidding rule in future plays. It'll keep it fresh and increase the difficulty at the same time.

There are more Claustrophobia photos on my blog and in my Flickr photostream, for those who are curious.
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Excellent session report....

Brian
 
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george palant
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Thanks for the session report, Claustrophobia is now on my list
 
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Kenny Coleman
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Hey! What's up Eric? Kenny here. After seeing you guys play this on Wednesday I had to check out the BGG to take a closer look as I only stopped to take a glance at the shop. This game looks like a lot of fun, hopefully one of these days I'll have the chance to get my hands on it. Good report.
 
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Eric Franklin
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Kennymiester wrote:
Hey! What's up Eric? Kenny here. After seeing you guys play this on Wednesday I had to check out the BGG to take a closer look as I only stopped to take a glance at the shop. This game looks like a lot of fun, hopefully one of these days I'll have the chance to get my hands on it. Good report.


Kenny, we're there every Wednesday. There is a meetup group for the gathering.

Normally, I'm a bit more outgoing, but I was very focused on getting the session report together.

Hope to see you there again sometime!

Eric
 
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Kenny Coleman
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No worries. I'm there every time I can make it. Being up in Mukilteo, it's not the easiest to get to with Seattle traffic sometimes.
 
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Eric Franklin
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Kennymiester wrote:
No worries. I'm there every time I can make it. Being up in Mukilteo, it's not the easiest to get to with Seattle traffic sometimes.


I work in Tukwila, so I'm well familiar with Seattle Traffic. It's one reason I usually arrive late.
 
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Maciej Teległow
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There are many hints about importance of light in the game which is carried only by "a priest" but i could not find anything about it in the rules. Can You write few words about it, pls.
 
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Jason Cookingham
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How many scenarios are released with the game?

It looks cool, but it doesn't look like there is too much with it.

Is there any word about expansions?
 
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Eric Franklin
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cookinjr wrote:
How many scenarios are released with the game?


I don't have it in front of me - If I remember correctly, there are six scenarios.

Quote:
It looks cool, but it doesn't look like there is too much with it.


??? A rulebook, five Westerner figures. One large Demon figure, a bunch of Troglodytes, damage markers, the Destiny Board for the Demon Player, a large stack of room tiles, a pack of cards (Demon Event Cards, Equipment, Advantage, and Power cards for the Human player), dice (1 d10 and ... I think 12 d6's). A small bag of damage markers. One stand for each human character. Assorted tokens and markers.

Quote:
Is there any word about expansions?


The game itself isn't even out, yet. I think it'd be fairly easily expanded (scenarios, new Westerners, new Demon types, new rooms), but that probably depends on sales of the base game. The rulebook says to keep an eye on their website for new scenarios.

Eric
 
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Eric Franklin
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MacTele wrote:
There are many hints about importance of light in the game which is carried only by "a priest" but i could not find anything about it in the rules. Can You write few words about it, pls.


The "light" in question is mostly flavor text - the Redeemer has a variety of powers which he can use that other Westerners don't have access to. He also has the ability to Bless other characters (once per game), increasing their stats for the turn.

Eric
 
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Joachim Pehl
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Only 6 scenarios thats a bummer

Have you played one of the scenarios more than once ? Are they still fun a second time ?
 
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tech7 wrote:
Only 6 scenarios thats a bummer

Have you played one of the scenarios more than once ? Are they still fun a second time ?


Yes and yes.

First of all, it's fun to switch sides and play the game again.

The game has a bidding system for experienced players. Basically, you are bidding for the right to play the Human. Bidding starts at 21 points and goes DOWN.

Each component of the Human force has a point value. The winner of the bidding war uses his bid as points to assemble a team. IIRC (the rules are not in front of me), each Condemned Warrior is 3 points, each piece of Gear was 2 points, and so on.

You can also use these costs to keep score - "Bid was 21, Humans had 13 points in play when they won, so the Demon Player scores 8 points." Then switch and play again. This gives you a score that you can use to compare with your opponent. If I ever run a tournament for this game, we'll use a modified version of this system.

We've found that you can also include stipulations in these bids, if your opponent agrees. There aren't any OFFICIAL rules for these, but it shouldn't be too hard to come to some sort of agreement with your opponent (if he is a friend). For example, Gahan and I bid down the introductory scenario, and found that "16 Points, no Condemned Brute characters" was harder than "16 points," because it limited where those points could be spent and severely impacted the Human's options and strategic choices.

Eric
 
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Stefan Brunell
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More scenarios will be add on the Claustrophobia website. You can play several time the same scenario since the tiles never show up in the same order.
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Eric Franklin
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mbourgeois wrote:
I'm struggling with myself for this. It really feels right but I'm still not sure. Any chance of another session or so to give a bit more feel for the game?



I'll try to get a game in this weekend, but no promises.

Eric
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Burkhard Hannig
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MacTele wrote:
There are many hints about importance of light in the game which is carried only by "a priest" but i could not find anything about it in the rules.


When I first heard this stuff (without knowing the rules) I thought about such cool game mechanics as a light source only illuminate two spaces and you have to remove everything what is not within the lightsource.

I am not truly "dissapointed" ( I ordered the game ) about the rules now, but I would like to see light rules in future publications web or paper.
 
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Stefan B wrote:
More scenarios will be add on the Claustrophobia website. You can play several time the same scenario since the tiles never show up in the same order.


Honestly, I don' count for that, if I remeber correctly the past of Asmodee.
Dungeon Twister, new Scenarios only in French (only translated by fans).
Okko, nearly no news for the english website, after the start
HellDorado, well lets just say that I'm glad that they are now handled by an american company.


Well you can always hope that it becomes better.
Gamethyme wrote:
tech7 wrote:
Only 6 scenarios thats a bummer

Have you played one of the scenarios more than once ? Are they still fun a second time ?


Yes and yes.

First of all, it's fun to switch sides and play the game again.

The game has a bidding system for experienced players. Basically, you are bidding for the right to play the Human. Bidding starts at 21 points and goes DOWN.

Each component of the Human force has a point value. The winner of the bidding war uses his bid as points to assemble a team. IIRC (the rules are not in front of me), each Condemned Warrior is 3 points, each piece of Gear was 2 points, and so on.

You can also use these costs to keep score - "Bid was 21, Humans had 13 points in play when they won, so the Demon Player scores 8 points." Then switch and play again. This gives you a score that you can use to compare with your opponent. If I ever run a tournament for this game, we'll use a modified version of this system.

We've found that you can also include stipulations in these bids, if your opponent agrees. There aren't any OFFICIAL rules for these, but it shouldn't be too hard to come to some sort of agreement with your opponent (if he is a friend). For example, Gahan and I bid down the introductory scenario, and found that "16 Points, no Condemned Brute characters" was harder than "16 points," because it limited where those points could be spent and severely impacted the Human's options and strategic choices.

Eric


First thanks for your answers.

I did read the rules about the bidding system, but I thought that they sound quite boring, since ,if I understand it correctly, the only questions are which characters you don't use (only 5) and which gifts the redeemer gets. Or am I mistaken there ?


groescha wrote:
MacTele wrote:
There are many hints about importance of light in the game which is carried only by "a priest" but i could not find anything about it in the rules.


When I first heard this stuff (without knowing the rules) I thought about such cool game mechanics as a light source only illuminate two spaces and you have to remove everything what is not within the lightsource.

I am not truly "dissapointed" ( I ordered the game ) about the rules now, but I would like to see light rules in future publications web or paper.


Did you order this game in Germany ? And when yes, where ?
 
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Gamethyme wrote:


1) REMEMBER TO SPAWN TROGLODYTES WHEN HE REVEALS ROOMS! My forgetting to do this combined with his placement of the Brute kept me from being able to effectively weaken him enroute to my big bad.



When I played this recently (as the Humans), the Demon player did spawn in front of me. However, I was easily able to wipe them out. The first person moving in got one attack, and then 2-3 humans followed. It was too easy for me to just kill the ones that were put down in my path. I wasn't sure what the point was of being able to spawn right in front of the steam-rolling Humans. Did we apply the rule wrong?
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Eric Franklin
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Quizoid wrote:
Gamethyme wrote:


1) REMEMBER TO SPAWN TROGLODYTES WHEN HE REVEALS ROOMS! My forgetting to do this combined with his placement of the Brute kept me from being able to effectively weaken him enroute to my big bad.



When I played this recently (as the Humans), the Demon player did spawn in front of me. However, I was easily able to wipe them out. The first person moving in got one attack, and then 2-3 humans followed. It was too easy for me to just kill the ones that were put down in my path. I wasn't sure what the point was of being able to spawn right in front of the steam-rolling Humans. Did we apply the rule wrong?


They won't always kill all the humans. By spawning, you have a CHANCE to put Troglodytes in play that you wouldn't otherwise necessarily have. You won't necessarily have a chance to use them, but you won't necessarily lose them, either.

Eric
 
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It's also worth reminding you:
gamethyme wrote:
Because of the first few rooms, I wasn't gaining many "spawnable" exits, so I actually spent my Destiny Dice to draw cards, hoping to get something helpful.
Since I wasn't getting unexplored exits, I needed a way to get warriors in play.

Eric
 
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