Tips & Strategies (25)

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Tips & Strategies (25)

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2
Rated 10 Games
210 of 217 gamers found this helpful
“Blue/Green Combo: Sacrifice and Revive”

This combination requires that the Blue and Green monks have particular abilities. Blue must have the double-village-tile-or-double-fight ability (Second Wind). Green must have the never-roll-the-curse-die ability (Strength of a Mountain). If you play strictly by the rules, this combination must be drawn randomly, but given the difficulty of Ghost Stories, you may want to allow players to pick their abilities.

In the first few rounds, all players may do whatever seems best in the situation. For example, picking up the Buddhas and activating the Circle of Prayer tile are good ideas. Once a couple of the tougher ghosts come out, switch to the Blue/Green strategy below.

Blue uses the Sorcerer’s Hut twice per turn to exorcise two ghosts, at a cost of two HP. After the first couple of turns of doing this, Blue will die. Then Green uses the Cemetery to resurrect Blue, and Green’s ability negates the usual cost of rolling the curse die. Blue returns to Sorcerer’s Hut, and the cycle repeats until the boss (the incarnation of Wu-Feng) appears.

Yellow will have the job of fighting the lesser ghosts. The Bottomless Pockets ability (receive a Tao token every turn) is probably the better one for this strategy. If the Cemetery and the Sorcerer’s Hut are not adjacent, Red should take the ability to move another monk (i.e., Blue) or use the Pavilion of Heavenly Winds village tile. Otherwise, Red can help Yellow to exorcise weaker ghosts.

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8
Gamer - Level 8
USA
Gold Supporter
66 of 70 gamers found this helpful
“Blackout the Board”

Sometimes we play Ghost Stories like blackout Bingo – instead of ending the game when three village tiles are haunted, we end it with the entire village is haunted. It changes the dynamic a little bit, but the game still works. It just makes it a lot harder to un-haunt when the temple is haunted and you’ve used up all your Yin/Yang tokens!

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8
Gamer - Level 8
Novice Reviewer
Bronze Supporter
34 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Keep a Buddha on your board”

When playing solo, all the ghosts of your board’s color as well as all the black ghosts have to go on your board (unless your board is full). The black ghosts can be some of the worst! I try to keep a Buddha on my board as much as possible in case a bad black ghost comes out that I don’t want to deal with.

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6
Tactician
Professional Advisor
Tinkerer
Senior
57 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“Avoid Relying on Dice”

It’s easy in this game to make the mistake of fighting too often, hoping for a specific die roll you need.

Even including wilds, any given die has only a 1/3 chance of giving you the color you’re looking for. With the typical 3 dice, that means a 70% chance that you’ll get at least one useful result, but only a 26% chance of getting two, and less than a 4% chance of getting all three.

Sometimes you need to kill a ghost right away, but whenever practical, try to get enough tao tokens to guarantee a victory first. You don’t lose the extra tokens if you happen to roll well, but they’ll save you from wasting your turn if you don’t. Even a 30% failure rate adds up fast if you keep doing it over the course of the game. If you’re 2 tokens short before the dice, it’s rarely even worth the attempt; visit the herbalist or tea shop instead.

Other Useful Probabilities:
With 4 dice (green’s power), odds improve to 80% for 1+ dots, 41% for 2+ dots.
With 3 dice and a reroll (green’s other power), it’s 91% for 1+, 58% for 2+.
With 2 dice (if one is trapped), 56% for 1+, 11% for both.

If you’re fighting 2 ghosts and need 1 each of 2 different colors, odds are 19% with 2 dice, 41% with 3 dice, 58% with 4 dice, 69% with 3 dice and a reroll.

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8
USA
Viscount / Viscountess
Novice Reviewer
28 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Leveraging the Buddhist Temple for success”

I find that leveraging the Buddhist Temple early and often is essential for managing the ghost population, and I did not start to have success against the game until I started doing so regularly.

My personal suggestion for which monk can best utilize the Buddhist Temple is the blue monk with the Second Wind power. This allows the blue monk to collect both tokens simultaneously and then potentially deploy them simultaneously, if on a corner, on a future turn. If the temple is located on a corner, then this is the best possible situation, as the blue monk can enter a cycle of exorcising both ghosts, placing statues, and then picking up any used statues on a later turn.

You can use the Pavilion of the Heavenly Winds to move troublesome ghosts, such as ghosts from full player boards, onto a placed Buddha statue to instantly exorcise them, without the benefit they provide or punishment they impose when exorcised normally.

As to when a placed Buddha statue should be utilized depends on your individual game state. I have the following suggestions:

• If you find your player boards are becoming full or if you have one or more player boards already full, do not hesitate to use a Buddha statue to exorcise low-level ghosts with the ability to add another ghost when placed, such as Sharp-Nailed Mistresses or Coffin Breakers. Although very easy to kill, an unlucky draw can lead to a chain of these ghosts being deployed, causing player boards to quickly become filled.

• If you are having a problem with Haunters, then place or move Haunters closest to haunting a tile onto the statues. The same goes for ghosts that haunt the first village tile in front of them when initially placed, even if they are not Haunters themselves, such as Shapeless Evil.

• If your player boards are well managed and not in danger of becoming full, and you do not have problems with Haunters, only then would I suggest placing ghosts with the ability to deactivate powers and Tormentors onto the Buddha statues. Blocked powers are always a serious problem, as you will find how critical those powers are when you are unable to use them. Tormentors can quickly become a problem even on well-managed boards, though I would generally suggest exorcising them normally, if at all possible, since they all provide a Qi or Yin-Yang token when exorcised. Note that Tormentors on the green board can be ignored if the green monk has the Strength of the Mountain power.

One final note that I alluded to earlier is that I have found that some people play the Buddha statues incorrectly. Per the instructions, Buddha statues can only be placed on the turn after they are acquired, which prevents the game from being too easy.

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8
Gamer - Level 8
Novice Reviewer
Bronze Supporter
26 of 28 gamers found this helpful
“Give it time”

If you’ve played this game at all, read any reviews, watched videos, etc. then you know, ghost stories is hard. It’s hard to learn, hard to win, hard to remember the rules, and on and on…..in the beginnning.

When I first started playing, I got discouraged. This game seemed so complicated and impossible to learn. Then after I started to figure it out (finally!), we’d just lose over and over. I still liked it, but it was frustrating sometimes. I thought it seemed ridiculous anyone would ever play it on any level other than initiation, because that was already unbeatable!! But the more you play, the more you learn, and you do start to win. Not every time, but sometimes.

So, just give it time. Don’t play it once or twice or even 10 times and just give up. You’ve got to really give it a chance before making a decision. If that sounds like too much effort, maybe this game isn’t for you- it’s definitely not for everyone. But if you can give it time, you may find that your opinion will change, and it may become one of your favorites!

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9
Z-Man Games fan
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Indie Board & Cards fan
109 of 120 gamers found this helpful
“Take Out Tormenters When They Appear”

I’ve found that Tormenters can cause a lot of trouble when they are on the board, as you have to roll the cursed die at the start of every turn, which can severely alter what your strategy is when you play the monk part of the turn. So, if you can, try to take care of Tormenters quickly after they appear on the board. Haunters are bad as well, but I find the Tormenters to be much worse

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7
Canada
Z-Man Games fan
I play red
Indie Board & Cards fan
26 of 29 gamers found this helpful
“Random Character Select”

Me and my friends love fighting games. One of the things we’ve enjoyed for years is when a game has a random select for which fighter you are going to use. With this in mind, here’s the method we use for randomly selecting a character in Ghost Stories:

1 – shuffle the character tiles and place them on the table
2 – flip the 2nd and 4th tile places to the other side
3 – roll one of the included dice until you roll a colour that has not been chosen
4 – flip a coin, head’s up you take the character tile of the matching colour face up, head’s you take the same tile but flip it over

This allows you to try out each of the special powers and really understand how they work. Doing this also makes you a better team player, as you have a better idea what your partner can and can not do when choosing what to do on your turn.

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3
My First Game Tip
32 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Set prayer to black”

i recommend to set once the circle of prayer to black..and then forget it. The black phantoms are the hardest ones to kill…and those that need to be killed with more urgency

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8
Gamer - Level 8
Novice Reviewer
Bronze Supporter
19 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“No Haunters Variant”

Ghost Stories is hard, and (at least for my husband and I) a bit complicated to learn at first. So, after our first few tries we decided to play without using the Haunters. This made the games last longer (although we still lose 97% of the time! Haha) so we had more time to learn the game and figure out strategies for all the other ghosts and curses, etc. Once you add the Haunters back in, your priorities and strategies change of course, but hopefully you have a better grasp of how the game works at least. This is also a fun way to play if you want it a bit more “relaxing”…..if ghost stories could ever be called relaxing! 🙂

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8
Gamer - Level 8
USA
Gold Supporter
41 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“Neutral Boards Don't Draw Ghosts!”

This may be obvious to some (it’s one easily-missed sentence at the bottom of page 9 in the rule book) but when you’re playing with less than 4 people – the extra “neutral” boards only have to perform the first 2 steps of their Yin phase. This means any ghosts placed there by other players get to do their action or move their haunt, but you don’t have to draw another ghost.

This is also outlined on the FAQ page for Repos Productions, so I must not be the only person who was confused by this.

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6
Tactician
Professional Advisor
Tinkerer
Senior
39 of 45 gamers found this helpful
“Tactical Suicide”

If you lose your last Qi because your board is full during your yin phase, you also lose the opportunity to act during your yang phase, effectively costing you a turn.

If you spend your last Qi to use the Sorcerer’s Hut, then it’s possible for an ally to revive you before your next turn, so that you lose no time at all. The Graveyard gives you back 2 Qi for the cost of a single player action plus a curse roll, which is actually a pretty good deal (especially if you can arrange for the green monk to revive you, since he will be either resistant or immune to the curse).

Don’t be afraid to spend your last Qi…just make sure someone is standing by to revive you, first!

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6
Tactician
Professional Advisor
Tinkerer
Senior
32 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Sorcerer/Buddha Targets”

The Sorcerer’s Hut and the Buddha spirit traps can automatically destroy a ghost regardless of its strength. You might think this means you should use them on the strongest ghosts, but you often shouldn’t, because the strength-4 ghosts also give sizable rewards if you fight them normally.

The strength-3 ghosts with no rewards and the strength-2 ghosts that curse you when they depart are both excellent targets (though the latter can also be handled effectively by the green monk, who is either resistant or immune to curses). You should sometimes kill these with the sorcerer even if you have the tao tokens to exorcise them normally; it can be more efficient.

Tormentors (curse you every turn) and Black Widows (lock tao tokens) are situational targets. Exorcise them normally if it’s convenient (for the yin-yang reward)…but if it’s not, don’t hesitate to use the nukes. You don’t want them hanging around. (Though if green has the ability that lets him ignore the curse die, you can also move tormentors to his board to neutralize them.)

The buddha spirit traps can also stop ghosts from using their arrival abilities, so you should trap the Shapeless Evil (haunts a tile immediately) and any ghost that triggers another ghost draw, whenever possible. It may feel like a waste to use them on a strength-1 ghost, but preventing the second ghost draw effectively buys you another turn, which you can use to reset the trap.

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6
Tactician
Professional Advisor
Tinkerer
Senior
41 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Choosing Tao Colors”

Sometimes the game lets you take a tao token of any color. I find the following guidelines are helpful in deciding what color to choose:

1. If you’re planning to fight a specific ghost and you don’t yet have enough tao to guarantee a victory, choose that color. A bird in the hand and all that.

2. Otherwise, try to build up a lot of tao tokens in a single color that other players don’t have. This generally means you won’t need to move around as much in order to spend them, and increases the odds that someone can handle a strong ghost when it shows up. However, you shouldn’t usually have more than 3 tokens of a single color.

3. Try to avoid taking two colors that are positioned at opposite sides of the board, as this will make it harder to spend them both.

4. When in doubt, take the color with more remaining tokens in the supply. This reduces the odds that someone will be unable to take a token at the Herbalist Shop due to rolling a color that you’ve run out of, or that you’ll be unable to set the Circle of Prayer to a desired color.

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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
48 of 57 gamers found this helpful
“Yin Yang Deck ~ Variant”

I highly recommend this variant you can get at Artscow (link below). It’s meant to be played with White Moon, but you can take those cards out. This is one of my favorite games, and its always nice to add some new twists. The 54 cards in the expansion include 24 Yin-Yang cards, 12 Animal Totems and 18 Chambers of ****. Check it out!

http://www.artscow.com/share/udwmsebyagm7

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6
Tactician
Professional Advisor
Tinkerer
Senior
33 of 39 gamers found this helpful
“Red Taoist Abilities”

The yellow, green, and blue taoists all have two different and useful abilities. The red taoist really only has one ability (give someone a free move each turn), with the restriction that one side of his board only targets himself and the other cannot target himself. That’s kind of a let down, and the side restricted to self-targeting isn’t nearly as useful as the other.

So I recommend combining these into a single ability:

“At the start of his yang phase, the red taoist may move any player (including himself) one space.”

And adding a new ability for the other side of red’s board:

“At the start of his yang phase, the red taoist may move one ghost to any open position.”

This gives red two genuinely different abilities that fill a similar strategic niche, like the other three taoists have (in this case, the niche of reacting more quickly to threats and preventing players from wasting turns because they aren’t close to anything). Each of the powers has some situations where it is preferable to the other, and based on my experience, they seem to be closer in overall power than red’s official abilities.

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6
Tactician
Professional Advisor
Tinkerer
Senior
61 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“Beware Instant Hauntings”

One of the loss conditions is 3 village tiles haunted. Tiles generally get haunted as the result of a haunter ghost, which you will have the opportunity to see coming at least a round in advance. Therefore, when tiles you don’t urgently need are haunted, you may be tempted to leave them until you actually need one of them or you see a third haunting is imminent.

However, village tiles can occasionally be haunted without warning, as a result of the Shapeless Evil ghost entering play or a bad roll on the curse die. This can result in immediate defeat if you already have two tiles haunted! (I’ve lost more than one game this way…)

Try not to leave more than one tile haunted at a time, to give yourself a buffer.

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8
USA
Viscount / Viscountess
Novice Reviewer
37 of 45 gamers found this helpful
“Solo play variant”

For players looking for a more challenging alternative to the solo game described in the rules, setup the board for 4 players and play the game according to the standard 4-player rules. The neutral power tokens are not used in this variant, as they are not part of the standard 4-player game.

This version makes the solo game more strategic than tactical, and advanced planning is a must for survival. One suggestion for success is to review the entire play area before starting and ending each monk’s turn, which is especially important for Haunters and Tormentors, as this forces the player to be cognizant of the game state before committing to actions or developing forward plans. It is easy to get focused on a particular monk’s upcoming turn and then lose to a bad roll from a Tormentor leading to a third haunted tile.

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9
Grand Master Grader
Movie Lover
Book Lover
I play blue
“For an easier start...”

Ghost Stories is tough to win on the easiest level. When we play, we tried pulling some of the toughest ghost cards from the deck. Rather than pulling the specified number of cards randomly, take some of the super challenging ones. Having easier ghosts during your first few rounds of Ghost Stories helps ease the frustration of learning the icons on the cards.

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9
Grand Master Grader
Movie Lover
Book Lover
I play blue
“Haunters and Tormenters”

Ghosts that haunt are menacing, as they can haunt a village tile in just two moves. And ghosts that torment subject players to additional woes. For beginners, deliberately pull some of the ghosts that have haunting and tormenting abilities.

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