Tips & Strategies (26)

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Tips & Strategies (26)

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5
Critic - Level 4
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
24 of 24 gamers found this helpful
“Scale per Number of Players”

One of my chief frustrations with this game is that the identical setup yields very different results for different player numbers. That can be a good thing in some games, but this game is marketed for 2-5, when the setup is only ideal at 3, and manageable at 4. 2p and 5p games go on forever, but for opposite reasons: too many monsters at 2p, and not enough available cards at 5p.

My recommendation is to scale the setup depending on the number of players:
– X monster types in the dungeon
– X + 1 Hero types in the village
– (X + 1) * 2 Village cards
– Shuffle the Thunderstone into the bottom 3X cards (bottom 30%)

So with 2p, you have 2 monster types, 3 Heroes and 6 Village cards. With 5p, you have 5 monster types, 6 Heroes and 12 Village cards. 3p setup is identical to the rulebook.

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4
Novice Reviewer
Gamer - Level 4
Advanced Grader
21 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Getting Enough Rest”

A common mistake I see a lot of new players make is not using the Rest option more often. When you rest, you destroy a card in your current hand.

One is often better off resting to remove a less useful card than buying yet another card. This proves especially true in the early game when one less militia means that much better chance of getting that real hero out there.

Even in the long term, removing that 1st level hero you can’t level up is going to help you get to the better heroes. Don’t just buy more stuff because you have the gold!

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6
Platinum Supporter
Thunderstone Fan
I play blue
28 of 29 gamers found this helpful
“Get the Expansion for Better Card Separators”

If you play this a lot, you’re going to want the expansion (which includes much better card separators), because the card separators that come with this game are not the best.

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3
Thunderstone Fan
Advocate
19 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“"Destroy X for Y" vs. Resting”

Early on in the game, buy a few cards that can destroy other cards to trim down your deck. A great example is the Trainer card which allows you to destroy a Militia to gain 2XP. Not only does this remove the mostly useless Militia from your deck, which increases your chance of getting better cards in each hand, you get a valuable resource in return which you can use to further improve your deck. Another example is the Pawnbroker which allows you to destroy anything with a gold value (including Militia which have gold value of 0) to receive that value plus 3.

In short, using a “Destroy X to receive Y” card is always preferable to simply Resting to remove a card from your deck.

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6
USA
I'm Completely Obsessed
Tomahawk
Knight
10 of 10 gamers found this helpful
“Strategies to beat AI on Facebook”

The AI on the FB version of this game is fairly tough, but here are some general strategies to use to help you win:

1) Leave low-level monsters alone, especially the blood-skull orcs who are worth 0 vp. The AI will not attack them either, which will clog the monster deck. Focus on getting some light producing cards and some Amazons to take out the rank 2 and 3 monsters.

2) Buy Feasts early and often when you have exactly 5 gold and even sometimes when you have 6 or 7. Besides helping in battle, the extra gold will help in acquiring characters and fireballs later on.

3) Once a tough monster comes out that is worth a lot of VP, start working towards trying to defeat it. The AI is not smart enough to key on specific strategies to defeat it but will instead waste turns killing low-pt monsters or even worse buying the same thing over and over in the village. This is the biggest weak point of the AI that I have found.

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4
Participated in a Tournament at Gen Con
AEG fan
10 of 10 gamers found this helpful
“Classic Thunderstone Module - the Borrowsdale Plague”

The village of Barrowsdale was always insignificant. No one of great power, or hero of great reputation ever hailed from there, nor any great villain to rampage the country side. The village was quiet and peaceful with nothing noteworthy to speak of. Until the plague.

Darkness descended on the village suddenly when a group of children playing in the forest stumbled upon the body of a dying elf. He lay against a tree, his body riddled with severe wounds and pestilent lesions. His eyes were empty and grey. The children ran home with all their speed warning of the monstrous elf they found in the trees, by then it was too late.

The coughing started and soon after followed the fever.

With the majority of the village laid down from the contagion, the village Sage sent messengers to every corner, far and wide, seeking help. Healers of all manner soon descended on the village to assist. It was then that she struck.

Rann-kor, the Guardian of Virulence, with the aid of the Stone of Blight, revealed herself to be the source of Barrowsdale’s misfortune. With her came her horde.

The surrounding forest had been overrun with Cultist, Rann-kor’s loyal zealots; humans so despised and repulsive that civilized culture no longer recognized them. Rann-kor’s Abyssals had taken over the nearby citadel that had once protected the village in ages past. An army of the Undead also did her bidding; spreading the plague throughout the land.

You have been sent by your temple to assist in the defense of Barrowsdale. You’ll have to fight through Rann-kor’s horde to destroy her and the Stone of Blight. Only then can the healing begin in Barrowsdale.

The Barrowsdale Plague is an advanced setup for Thunderstone Classic. You will have a selection of 4 Cleric-type Heroes, and an assortment of village cards to support them. The village is plagued, however, so be careful of spending too much time there. You’ll need to overcome the Guardian of Virulence and her horde to claim and destroy the Thundersone, saving the village.

Heroes

Chalice (Thunderstone)
Divine (Wrath of the Elements)
Terakian (Dragonspire)
Woodfolk (Thornwood Siege)

Village

Amulet of Power (Wrath of the Elements)
Belzur’s Blessing (Heart of Doom)
Burnt Offering (Dragonspire)
Cursed Mace (Wrath of the Elements)
Feast (Thunderstone)
Sage (Wrath of the Elements)
Soul Jar (Do*ate Legion)
Spirit Hunter (Do*ate Legion)

Monsters

Abyssal (Thunderstone)
Cultist – Humanoid (Do*ate Legion)
Undead – Plague (Dragonspire)

Dungeon Features

Guardian of Virulence (Thornwood Siege)
Stone of Blight (Thornwood Siege)
Setting – Barrowsdale (Dragonspire)
Disease – Special (Do*ate Legion)
Disease

Setup: Shuffle all of the Monsters together. Set aside the Stone of Blight. Take the top five cards from the Dungeon Deck, shuffle in the Guardian of Virulence, and place these six cards the bottom of the Dungeon Deck. Place Setting – Barrowsdale near the Dungeon.

Shuffle 3 Disease (normal) cards into each Village stack. This does not include Basic Cards or Heroes. If a disease is showing on the top of a stack during setup, reshuffle until no Diseases are showing.

Special Rule – Disease-Special: Monsters in the Dungeon, and any effect during the game (such as the Cursed Mace), give Disease – Special.

Special Rule – Plagued Village: During setup, shuffle 3 Disease (normal) cards into each village pile. This does not include basic cards or heroes.
Any time a Disease is revealed after purchasing a card from the village, you add the revealed disease to your discard pile.

Special Rule – Guardian: When the Guardian is revealed, place the Thunderstone underneath it. The Guardian gains a health bonus equal to the Thunderstone’s Victory Point value.

Note: This is not an official module, but a fan-made module. For more Classic Thunderstone Modules, visit analoggamer.blogspot.com

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5
Petroglyph
Freshman
I Love Playin' Games
8 of 8 gamers found this helpful
“Militia ... what are they good for? Absolutely nothing.”

Militia are the flotsam and jetsam of your starting hand. They contribute nothing to any forays to make to the Village to stock up on equipment and items, even given their Richard Gere looks, and are laughable in the dungeon, unable to pick up anything bigger than a dagger unless you’ve powered them up with a well-wrapped lunch first.

First and foremost, Thunderstone is a deck building game; she that drafts the most efficient deck will win. Part of deck building is actively whittling out less desirable cards to increase the efficiency of your draws and the usability of each hand. Never be afraid to spend your first 4-5 turns Resting to cull Militia from your deck. In fact, unless there are specific cards in the game that give some value to Militia, Resting them is a strong strategy, and should be your first 4-5 turns. Keep one or two in hand for those pesky ‘Destroy one Hero’ battle effects, and maybe another couple if some of the Heroes on offer offered abilities that triggered off Militia, but apart from that look to clear as many from your deck as you can, as fast as you can.

Some Villages will even offer you better options to ridding your Militia menace … Trainers will trade them for valuable XP, and Pawnbrokers for 3 gold apiece. And keep an eye out for early monsters that destroy Heroes as a battle effect; a suicidal charge into the Dungeon with a hand full of unarmed Militia can be a very efficient way to adjust your deck.

Militia do nothing for your deck except to clutter it up, and slow it down. Actively drafting them out of your deck will result in significantly better purchasing power in the Village, allowing you to get deeper into the Dungeon sooner.

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5
Petroglyph
Freshman
I Love Playin' Games
8 of 8 gamers found this helpful
“Choose your battles wisely.”

Players new to Thunderstone rush to the Dungeon, keen to attack anything their lowly hand of dagger-armed Militia can handle. More experienced players hang back, looking to build the efficiency of their decks in the early game, to guarantee strong play in the endgame.

Thunderstone is a deck building game; he that drafts the most efficient deck will win. And a deck full of cheap, low-value trophies is slow and cluttered, leaving you struggling to scrape together 4-5 Gold or 5 Attack each turn by the endgame, while your opponent is drawing two higher level heroes, two solid weapons, and a spell or two in every hand.

Don’t be tempted by cheap, early success in the Dungeon. Actively adjust your deck in the early game until it is ready to take on the more powerful monsters, then head down into the Dungeon. One or two weaker monsters with high gold values or high XP returns could be worth your attention — and remember, these can always be Rested away if they slow your deck in the endgame — but always keep in mind that more powerful monsters mean less clutter and a more efficient deck. And many come with Attack-based trophy abilities that further strengthen your attacking potential.

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4
Eminent Domain Fan
Went to GenCon 2011
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
16 of 17 gamers found this helpful
“Burn baby Burn!”

I find it very helpful to get rid of Militia as quickly as possible. Two exceptions: 1)If you plan to buy Squires and upgrade them to Knights and Lords (which give the militia additional attack strength); and 2)If you think it is going to be tough to get the money needed to buy wizards when they are in the game and you want to use your XPs to upgrade Militia to Wizards (at 3xp a pop, this isn’t easy to do often in the early game).

Great ways to get rid of Militia are Trainer and Innkeep cards. Also, attacking monsters that Kill one hero (such as Spectre). By doing this, you get XPs (assuming you win the attack) and the bonus of getting rid of a militia card. The “rest” option is nice, but that’s just one militia a turn with no opportunity to buy or attack.

But my favorite move is to attack monsters like Revenant (a very tough critter -especially in the early game). Today I attacked a Revenant in the early game with 4 militia. They were worthless of course. But the Revenant’s power is to reduce the strenth of attacking heroes by 2 and destroy any heros reduced to 2 strength or below. So in one attack I got rid of 4 militia and quickly honed my deck. Try it!

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2
Gamer - Level 2
14 of 15 gamers found this helpful
“Epic Thunderstone-like Setup”

Overview: The point of this setup is to help assure that no village setup will ever be “dead” and to give plenty of options in each game for building your deck, without needing any spreadsheets or computer access.

Prep: Replace the hero and village randomizer decks with a single copy of each level 1 hero and village card.

Setup Heroes: Shuffle your hero randomizers and deal out 4 normally, however, if none of the heroes give light, continue to flip heroes until one is found that does, replacing the 4th hero. My group also prefers no more then 1 of each type of hero (so never 2 clerics for instance), so in our case we’ll also keep flipping until we have 4 unique hero types.

Setup Village: Similar to the hero setup, you’re going to be continuing to flip cards until you reach certain goals here as well. You’re aiming for 4 weapons, 2 villages, 2 light items, 2 spells and 2 food. Sometimes you’ll have cards that fit both categories, which is fine, but keep flipping until you have 12 cards that fit these 5 goals.

Conclusion: You’ll have access to a larger variety of cards then normal and there will be less copies of each card available then normal, but you should never end up with a “dead” village. The guaranteed variety in the dungeon has never let us down and usually provides multiple decent strategies.

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8
Intermediate Reviewer
Paladin
Tinkerer
Novice Advisor
11 of 12 gamers found this helpful
“Setup randomizer!”

OK, final beta is ready…

I made my own card randomizer (and took great effort to make it do the randomization exactly as it would have been done with the cards to keep all probability). It can be found here:

http://padragan.no-ip.info/thunderstone/

Please feel free to try it out, I THINK it’s possible to make it crash with some combination of the dungeon features, but I don’t have the time to debug that now (and it will time out if you make impossible demands on the light, magic etc. but I really don’t have the energy to fix that, to many things to check for). I’d be happy to hear any input including crash reports…

EDIT 22 nov, 2011: Randomizer is now updated to include Heart of Doom expansion

/ Padragan (anders@kompisarna.nu)

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5
USA
Knight
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
14 of 16 gamers found this helpful
“iPhone app”

There is a iPhone app (which is occasionally free), which allows you to list which sets you have and will randomly generate he setup for you. It will also make sure that if you get a creature stack that has a lot of monsters that can only be hurt by one specific type of character or damage, tha there will be at least one way to kill those monsters.

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2
Noble
14 of 16 gamers found this helpful
“Time Your Failed Dungeon Excursions For Greater Effect”

If you’re playing in the solitaire game, and can’t defeat the monster in rank one, go against something worth less deeper in the dungeon, so as not to add to the victory pile.

Conversely, when playing multiplayer, consider whether it’s worth it to bury that high-value monster to keep your opponent from scoring it on their next turn.

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3
Thunderstone Fan
Advocate
18 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Sleeve your cards”

Sleeving cards may seem a bit extreme, but it is a must for Thunderstone if you play with any regularity. Without sleeves, the endless shuffling of the cards will destroy the game in no time. Prior to sleeving, my set was already showing a ton of wear after only 4-5 games, especially the basic Dagger/Ration/Militia/Torch cards.

Standard US card sleeves (63.5mm x 88mm) work great.

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2
Gamer - Level 2
13 of 15 gamers found this helpful
“play online”

You can play this game online in realtime at yacata.de. A game will take a week or more to play since everyone isn’t online at the same time.

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4
Viscount / Viscountess
Advocate
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
19 of 23 gamers found this helpful
“Link to Epic Thunderstone”

Squeatus mentions Epic Thunderstone. Tom Vasel demonstrates how to set that up here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEKAm4VLwbI.

It adds loads to the theme, giving you opportunities to get all kinds of heroes and fight all kinds of monsters. It does make it harder to build synergies into your deck, reducing the game-iness.

It’s a lot of fun, particularly if you’re digging the fantasy theme.

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5
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Professional Grader
I Love Playin' Games
12 of 15 gamers found this helpful
“Epic Thunderstone.”

If you want to change things up a bit make sure to check out the variant Epic Thunderstone. The more expansions you have the better. You can find a thread about it on BBG.com. The basic gist is you take all cards and shuffle them together making twelve giant stacks. Keeping weapons, heroes, and light in their respective decks. Makes set up and clean up go a lot faster. If you want to play the original way again that will be a little work though.

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2
Thunderstone Fan
11 of 15 gamers found this helpful
“Solo Rules”

Here is a link to the Gamegeek website that has the full solo rules. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/49890/official-thunderstone-solo-play-rules

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8
Intermediate Reviewer
Paladin
Tinkerer
Novice Advisor
15 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Money makes the world go around!”

In early game you should have a good reason to buy stuff that does not add gold. Priority one is to get your finaces going to be able to grab the really good cards, so think not in terms of weapons or stuff, but in gold! The short sword is great because it’s a good weapon as well as a bunch of gold. You can always destroy cards later (by resting or as the effect of other cards) to get rid of your initial money cards.

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2
I Am What I Am
14 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Don't forget the Short Sword”

Personally I will buy the Short Sword as weapon of choice. Not only will it give you +4 in combat. It is also worth a chunk of gold when you visit the village.

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