Thursday, February 6, 2014

Robinson Crusoe - Adventure on Predator Island ( Sweet Taste of Success ! )

Fi-  Fi-  Fi-  Finally got my first victory in Robinson Crusoe !
It was on the easiest scenario in the game though - Scenario 2, The Cursed Island
The scenario goal was to build 5 crosses on the island before the 10 rounds were over. I managed to do it in 8 rounds. There are other effects that happen around the island but I won't go into the details.
Since the goal was focused on building, I decided to use the Carpenter to ensure a much needed success.

Day 1
Started out exploring as I normally do - I explore for 2 reasons, finding natural shelter early and getting discovery tokens
I explored 2 areas and indeed found both of what I was looking for, in fact, I found natural shelter and 4 discovery tokens. A very promising start indeed.
Of the 4 discovery tokens found, 1 ended up being crucial to my overall success - that was the sacrificial knife that gave me a wound but increased my weapon temporarily. I could already smell the beasts I was going to slay.

Day 2
I decided to get proceedings underway and built my first cross. With the handy determination tokens it was a very simple task. The event had brought about early fog but that was still far from my island tiles, so worry not brave one! The event also brought apparent lack of hope, but no one told me that! I was feeling great!
I explored another tile and found the first totem icon and the gifts it bestowed on me! The first totem icon allowed me to use the explore ability to draw 3 treasures and 1 trap. If I thought the sacrificial knife was important, this was the one that saved the game for me. More on that later.

End Game Island Tiles and the Crosses

Day 3
More fog came along with the sudden appearance of a predator. That would truly be the theme of this game.
I didn't build the cross this time and decided to explore a bit more - through dangerous terrain - ( appearance of 2nd totem icon ) and get my pot build to utilize the discovery tokens I had received earlier. So far so good. I tried to build the furnace in anticipation of the winter clouds coming from day 6 onwards, but that was a major fail.

Day 4
Due to a sudden cloud burst, I had to relocate camp! Away from the comforts of my natural shelter.
I decided to channel my strength for 2 builds, a shelter and a cross. Both of which brought great success but also the visit of a predator. With the predator my food supply for the day was depleted so I went out to gather up some spares just in case.
It was successful and I even found a gold coin, albeit a cursed one. !!!

Day 5
Day 5 bought heavy rains which led me to go for a hunt seeing my sacrificial knife needed a workout. I killed a very nice bear and felt extremely pleased with myself. I decided to explore to open up tiles for my crosses and to also collect my bounty of treasure. And that's when I knew I had the game in the bag. Lo and behold, a very nice blanket for the impending winter, an antique rapier to go along with my sacrificial knife and nice boxes for all my bear meat. Score!
I gathered more wood for my crosses and found an unbelievable effort in me to get twice the number of wood I was hoping to get. Heaven is indeed smiling down upon me. :)
I had rain during the night which cost me a wood and food but I was feeling relatively at ease with my current situation. Smiles all around.

All the Events and Adventures that came up in the game

Day 6
With winter came an eerie mist. Fog surrounded some island tiles but thankfully only those with finished crosses. Building crosses in a fog would have irritated me much. 
Well, rain, clouds, or mist, nothing was going to stop this carpenter. One more cross down. Two left to go.
Winter is coming... With more food required, another hunt was underway. Who could stop a carpenter with a rapier and a knife? Nobody I tell you, nobody. Met a chamois, said hi, and left with a thank you very much. Om nom nom. The night was fine and all was calm.

Day 7
What's this? Another predator in the vicinity? I doubt this island is cursed. It seems people are probably suffering from being hunted by predators or being engulfed by the quick changes in weather plus fog. Nothing scary has happened since I arrived. Whole bunch of old granny wise tales I say. 
Well one more cross down. The last one left. I attempted a second one immediately after but alas, no success there. If only the dog could help in building. How hard is it to build a cross anyway?
Nevermind, I am in better shape than ever before, and all I have is time and a whole lot of everything else. Glorious food, sturdy wood, much determination, and not too many scratches on my lean mean body. Back to my lovely blanket for possible the last night on this beautiful but rather lonely island. 

Day 8
Morning came and I see ravenous predators and more fog. Haha. Do as you may. I am done. Wham bam thank you ma'am. 5 beautiful crosses to match the beautiful island landscape. A pat on my back for a job well done. 

All that was invented this time was the Pot

I tend to agree with most of the comments online, scenario 2 is definitely on the easy side. Especially if your character is the carpenter. You just need to spam the heck out of him and you will reach the 5 crosses in no time. I think I could have done it faster if I knew I would finish with so much life. Then I could have forgo some turns of food gathering or hunting. With a furnace successfully built that could have made it even quicker. 

I will say that I was very fortunate in my treasure draws. The blanket was the best gift of them all; then the winter times were easily ignored. The boxes was the next form of good luck. That really let me drop my focus on food once I made a successful hunt. The rapier was also a nice pick up but not all that necessary. I had pistols as my starting item too and that helped to ease hunting and some of the event cards. So I must say that I was thoroughly well equipped on all fronts. Especially since most of my events were predator cards. Those weapons really rocked the joint. It would have taken a lot of effort on my part to try to lose that game. Haha. 

I also had the benefit of not having more than 2 of the totem icons come out. More would have made the game harder but I can't judge by how much. Just something I am taking note of. 

Had I not been the carpenter would I still have won? I think so. I did use his minus one wood ability for all my crosses except one. But I think I would have managed quite well with what I was given. Maybe it might have taken all 10 rounds but I think I would have gotten the job done. 
I will try this again with someone else just to see if I am right on this one. The conditions would be different obviously, but the experience should help much. 

All in all I think it was a very fulfilling play of Robinson Crusoe. It's nice to win once in awhile. :)
I also liked how this was possibly my most thematic play of the game so far. 
An apparently cursed island which was nothing more than an island inhabited by nasty predators. I can imagine one thinking it's cursed as people who go in don't come out. But that the main reason is because they were slained by predators or were unable to deal with the drastic changes in weather.
Even my adventure cards matched! A cursed gold coin and more predators in the deck along with dangerous terrain. I think when the story focuses on just one or two elements ( in this case weather and predators ) the story is developed further and more true to life than having a whole bunch of stuff thrown at you. 

At this point of time, Robinson Crusoe is firing on all cylinders for me. 
I very much look forward to many more plays of this. Solo or otherwise I expect to have much fun with the game in the coming months. 


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