True solo - too many encounter sets / cards?
By - Superb-Draft
You obviously draw less cards in general true solo, but I'd say you just got VERY unlucky (or lucky depending how you look at it) if you didn't see any of them. Just how it goes.
I don't THINK I've ever had a blind playtheough where that has happened, and after the blind run, who cares anyway, it just makes for a different experience at that point.
Don't houserule for this, it's not a problem you probably hit some pretty huge odds to experience this. Next time you play will be totally different. Plus museum is extra unique for its enemy light structure too.
Scenarios where you constantly reshuffle the discard into the encounter deck are a pet hate of mine. It can lead to boring/absurd draws like three ancient evils in five turns forcing an agenda advance, followed by two more after an unlucky reshuffle.
I've had a fair few scenarios in true solo where my draws felt generic, but it's the exception rather than the norm and I wouldn't bother ruling something to avoid it. Just chalk it up to the luck of the draw and move on. Odds are you'll replay the campaign at some point anyway.
Do you know why they do this? Given that it all gets reshuffled anyway once it is exhausted I'm not sure what it is supposed to achieve really.
It's to intentionally create less predictability. Like it or not, constant encounter deck reshuffles definitely increases the randomness of the deck.
It means it's harder to be like "Oh, we already drew all 3 Ancient Evils, so we are guaranteed to have 3 turns left..." etc.
I don't think that kind of predictability is so bad, since the flipside is "you just drew 3 ancient evils in a row, advanced the agenda and lost three turns? Sucks to be you. now draw them again in the next three turns and lose the scenario".
I understand the need to shuffle the discard into the deck when you're adding new card, since this could shuffle them into an almost empty deck otherwise, which means you'd be guaranteed to all draw them in a turn or two.
That's actually one thing that can happen in Marvel Champions when you draw one of the [worst treacheries](https://marvelcdb.com/card/01190) while the encounter deck is almost empty. All your nemesis cards get shuffled into whatever's left of the encounter deck, and if there's only two cards left, you may be in for a rough time (happened to me once or twice).
Right, that's why I said "like it or not".
Personally I think they should avoid frequent reshuffles during scenarios with Ancient Evils and a tight doom clock. But OP was just asking why the deck reshuffles so often, and I answered.
Ok I see, it's to deflect a Spike strategy. I wouldn't have thought a coop game was that serious but I understand.
It's probably worth making sure you are in fact getting your encounter deck well-shuffled too - since you are adding cards by set, it's pretty easy to not fully randomize the deck and end up with clumps of cards.
I remember reading somewhere that decks need to be riffle shuffled around 7-9 times before being considered random. I'm pretty sure that most people don't shuffle their decks even close to that amount.
If I recall correctly 7 "imperfect" riffle shuffles is for a standard deck of 52 cards, and where randomness is defined as (paraphrasing) "the lowest odds of accurately predicting the next card drawn from the deck".
Playing the encounter as designed is important. Sometimes you will not see many from a particular set (the more locations the less cards there will be in the deck) due to random chance.
Can you expand on why it is important? What would I break by changing it? Since the designers can't know how many cards you will be pulling (as it depends on player number) I'm not sure why it would matter. I appreciate any insight
> Can you expand on why it is important? What would I break by changing it? Since the designers can't know how many cards you will be pulling (as it depends on player number) I'm not sure why it would matter. I appreciate any insight
Don't take this the wrong way, but I find it funny how often you see posts come up from new players who think they can design the game better than the actual designers themselves.
It's your game and you can do what you like, but this experience isn't representative of the game at all, and you'd be removing entire parts of the scenario just because you had one massive outlier of a game. How would you even decide which encounter sets to remove anyway?
I don't take it the wrong way and I appreciate your point. You have to admit though that while many other aspects are carefully balanced around player number eg clue counts, the enounter deck is going to vary a lot. With four players you would be seeing 4-8 cards per turn as opposed to 1-2 at true solo. Maybe they felt that this just wasn't a big deal (which would appear to be the general view in this thread).
As for what to remove, it could even just be duplicates rather than entire sets. I just figured I can't be the first person with this feeling so I thought I'd ask.
My gut instinct is that removing 1 of each duplicated encounter card from the deck wouldn't change much and might create the variety you're hoping for.
I will say that Miskatonic Museum is kind of iffy in 2p as well, occasionally you just get lucky and the Hunting Horror stays out of play for most of the game. Other times you draw the Horror turn 1 and it just keeps coming back over and over. Most other scenarios don't have this problem, so ultimately I think even for solo such house rules are unneeded.
Museum in general has a somewhat swingy encounter deck, that gets amplified in solo. Conversely Essex County Express has a very swingy encounter deck in 4 player but is quite fair in solo! Some scenarios just play differently at different player counts.
>I will say that Miskatonic Museum is kind of iffy in 2p as well, occasionally you just get lucky and the Hunting Horror stays out of play for most of the game. Other times you draw the Horror turn 1 and it just keeps coming back over and over.
I'm tempted to think that MM was their first attempt at creating a scenario that plays on the trope of the unkillable monster that keeps coming back and that their lack of experience shows. The issue that OP mentions is very real in this scenario. There are not enough encounter cards in this Mythos pack to ensure that the Horror is as threatening as it should be and the encounter deck is a bit too diluted overall.
Overall, Dunwich has a fair amount of imperfections that experienced players will remember (encounter deck in MM, OTK in Essex could be improved, VP on the escape are in The House always wins, Investigate conditions on Where Doom Awaits).
I'll give credits to the devs though. They learned from those mistakes and the quality of the cycles has increased immensely since TDL.
Okay, thanks for the insight.
I myself have thus far always played scenarios as written. I'm a stickler for "playing as intended", and will rarely consider straying from that.
That said, I will add that MJ Newman the Lead Designer on Arkham has historically whenever a question like this comes up always said "it's your game, you should play it whatever way you like it the most".
And I actually really like that attitude. Creating variants and modding games is a cool pursuit that can lead to lots of fun, and is how most games come about in the first place, so seeing that encouragement from the designers is nice.
Rebalancing and tweaking scenarios may certainly lead to unforeseen balance issues, it is probably likely. But if you want to go to town redesigning Miskatonic Museum I say go ahead. I know one of the hosts of Mythos Busters at some point played his own homebrew variant of that specific scenario where he rewarded himself a Victory Point for each time he defeated the main enemy, which changed up the dynamics of the encounter in a cool, if probably "unbalanced" way.
In a more general sense, all games are an aggregation of random ideas, haphazard opportunity and economic constraints, hopefully distilled through designer intent into fun and memorable experiences. As soon as we start playing the game we are part of that process, interpreting rules, making calls in the moment, and it's all fun and games!
I do think that the team at Fantasy Flight Games generally knocks it out of the park, and I will always try and respect their vision of what the game is to them. But I think the community taking part of the process of co-creating and modifying the game is what will really sustain it in the end, and to an extent I think this is already the case. All the stuff like Draft Mode for deckbuilding, the Campaign Play Along at the Mythos Busters server, all the custom content that hobbyists are creating, stuff like this is what will keep this game fun for potentially decades, and certainly in the upcoming droughts between the new big campaign boxes. I would be very interested, somewhere down the line, in a community driven Return to the Return to the Dunwich Legacy. And maybe the de-facto way that people in the community will generally opt to play the Miskatonic Museum down the line will look something like Superb-Drafts variants of pulling out some of the encounter cards, to up the threat level in an exciting way!
Bit of a ramble, but I just wanted to gush about the game for a bit :D
The ratio of effects/skill tests/enemies could change. The cards in the scenario specific set are as you say often tailored to an enemy or group of enemies. Other encounter sets like ancient evils just add a randomness to the scenario clock.
Reshuffling isn't done in every scenario, so when it's done it is intentional. It can do things like affect how often you're capable of drawing doom generating encounter cards, meaning that the average turns a scenario can be will go down (sometimes massively).
It will also *generally* help to keep rare encounter cards, ones that make up a proportionally smaller chunk of the deck, rarer. Drawing 5 cards 3 times doesn't produce the same odds as 15 cards once even though the total number of cards are the same. If that encounter deck is 15 cards then for a given card in the former I'll probably see it once, I might see it 0 times, and much less likely I'll see it 2 or more times. But if I don't reshuffle I will see it once for sure unless I draw less than 15 cards total.
In the former, I probably need a plan for it. But I might not, and I might have to abandon my plan for what I'll do if I see it to recover from something else. Or my plan might be foiled by seeing it more than once.
Kind of just the nature of the encounter deck. You can also get wrecked by it. One thing you can do is maybe go 50-50 and shuffle, then put all there rest under that. I play pretty much always true solo so I know what you mean. There's a scenario with a straight jacket that was very thematic to the scenario resolution that was part of the scenario encounter set.
If recommend on moving off of true solo before attempting to remove or rebalance the encounter deck.
This is really just an issue with Miskatonic Museum specifically. It can be a very easy scenario where the main monster almost never pops up. It's no different in 2 or 3 player in my experience.
I would play on as normal, maybe consider changes if you still feel this way after completing the campaign.
This isn't a problem per se. Just set up the scenarios as instructed. Every playthrough will throw different things at you. It's totally fine if you don't see the entire encounter set in your first playthrough. I would also not put off the non-scenario-specific encounter sets as less valuable than the scenario-specific ones. Many scenarios have effects or dynamics that modify how these sets work, which might surprise you.
Greater variability in the encounter deck means that there's more replayability in the scenario. It's a good thing. You don't want to be guaranteed to see every card in the encounter deck because that's too predictable after you've played a scenario a couple of times.