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How and when do you split the party?


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I'm sure the answer is "it depends", but in general, does anyone have tips on how many characters to group together at a single location, and then a good time to split the party?

 

Let's suppose that you're playing with 4 characters, so the game gives you 6 locations to explore. For a while, I was splitting my characters all the time, which meant that if I encountered the boss before I closed at least 2 locations, he would have too many locations to run to, since I couldn't close them all, and I would completely lose the advantage of encountering the boss earlier.

 

On the other hand, grouping all characters in one location just to burn down to the henchman quickly seems like it can make the problem worse if you're unlucky enough to find the location with the boss instead of the henchman.

 

I can see that it makes sense to group specific characters together, especially ones that help each other out, but I still have trouble deciding the optimal number to keep together, and then it's hard for me to split them apart when necessary.

 

So, group 2 at a time (1 character that can't assist + 1 that can)? Do you always split once you have enough locations closed that you can cover every one that is still open?

 

Thanks for the help!

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These days, I'll solo any character that doesn't have any Powers or Cards that provide useful support to other characters at their location.  More often than not, everyone is on their own to help close locations if the villain turns up.  Larger parties should have more than enough "panic blessings" to throw at a check in the event a solo character comes across a hopeless situation.

 

When I played this card game tabletop, it did play fairly conservatively.  Playing a scenario had a long set-up, and it is a certifiable pain-in-the-butt to shuffle and assemble two dozen tiny decks.  But without the threat of shuffling, it is fun to play the Pathfinder app fairly aggressively.  I you still have a dozen cards in your character's deck at the end of the scenario, you probably could have taken a lot more risks in the game.

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With parties of four or more, I tend to "double-up" at two locations to close them as soon as possible.  Once there are two locations closed, you are able to cover the remaining locations to close off the villain's escape.  As you said, it totally depends on many factors, but that strategy tends to work for me.  For what it's worth, I only play on Legendary (adjacent movement makes things much different.)

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I always play with a party of 6 and most of my characters are ones that can solo pretty well. Betweem Amiri, Seoni, and Ezren, i dont really have any mobility issues on Legendary either since both of my casters carry Teleport and Haste.

 

Yes, the movement abilities and spells are so much more valuable in legendary mode.

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Spreading out is my default choice.  As long as each character is reasonably strong solo and has a decent chance of closing the location (perhaps with a blessing from another character), then covering as many locations as possible is a big help when you run into the villain.  It also minimizes any of the "every character at the location" penalties.

 

One big exception is characters that have strong synergy.  For example I really like Valeros and Lem together, and I'm willing to leave one less location covered in exchange for the bonuses they provide to one another.  However, if I feel like I'm way behind on turns then once two locations are closed I'll split them up anyway.

 

Another exception is when I think I can burn through the first two locations very fast (i.e. Academy, an ally-heavy location, a boon-heavy location with Seelah, etc).  In those cases I tend to group up on the first two locations and spread out after they get closed.  I'm not certain this is the best strategy, but it seems to work well enough.

 

Sometimes my desire to avoid a specific location (either because it will be hard to close or has a nasty side effect) leads me to double up in mid game.  For example with a 4 person party I might start on 4 locations, then once 2 are closed I start doubling up - ignoring that 6th location until the very end.  This always feels risky and very dependent on how much of the decks you need to go through before finding the henchmen/villain.

 

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I think there are two main reasons to split the party: to corner the villain (keeping him/her from running everywhere) and to better use some characters (like Harsk and Merisiel). So, if I manage to locate the villain (with an Augury spell, for example), I usually stop spreading everyone and start using together the characters that benefit from company (like Valeros and Lem).

 

But some locations can change that. I usually leave the Warrens empty, until I close everywhere else (even a Goblin Raid opened elsewhere can be troublesome if there is someone in the Warrens). And I usually place a character at the Shadow Clock, even if there is a chance I won't have an ally in hands when it's time to close it...

 

Cheers!

 

Mauricio

Edited by MauGibrin
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  • 2 months later...

I always spread out as much as possible, more so with later scenarios and legendary, one glaring exception is with the harpy monks in 4-3 I generally think starting everyone at the same location first then spreading out slowly is the most reliable way to conserve movement against those jerks.

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TBH, other than Valeros and Lem (Who are the buddy-cop version of peanut butter and jelly), I never have my characters in the same place, unless there's a very specific reason for them to be together (Usually healing, but sometimes if I know what the top card is, and it needs a specific skill set to beat). With the villain mechanics being what they are (Temp closing), there's an incentive to be apart. And later in the game you start getting 'damage everyone at this location' effects that further punish bunching up.

 

About the only things I can think of that reward bunching up are a few specific powers (Valeros and Lem being the big ones), and the ability to fight multi-check monsters with multiple people. But... TBH, those are few and far between.

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I usually start all spread out to deal with the more focussed closing checks first and then pull the party into smaller teams for the rest.

 

Of course there are some exceptions from that:

Teaming up to close locations with bad side effects as fast as possible.

Merisiel just works best alone.

Using Harsk to control which boons Seelas Crusade plows under.

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