If you are where the POLAR VORTEX has parked it’s butt, stay warm and only go out if you have too. I stepped outside for less than five minutes and I regret the thought process that lead to stepping outside. Last night while waiting for the POLAR VORTEX (you really have to say it in an evil voice) to arrive, Barb and I played Mice and Mystics again. We decided to play without the kids to be able to discuss any problems we encountered.
Prior to playing, we read over the rules again, familiarized ourselves with the pieces, and sat down to play the first Chapter. Here is the good news: we got to the last board before losing. Yep, lost again. A lot farther into the Chapter, but still lost and more importantly, still frustrated. We were positive that we were doing something wrong.
Here are the problems we encountered, those familiar with the game will understand, I will try to explain as best I can.
- Tilda is a healer, according to the wording on her card she cannot heal herself. WTF? A healer that cannot herself is a liability and a liability she became. Tilda got captured (knocked out) out once and spent the rest of the game, once she got wounded again, hiding and contributing nothing during fights. Capturing advances the page counter one page or in other terms you lose one turn.
- If you defeat the last minion with the last acting character in a turn you trigger the following rule: If at the end of the turn there are minions on the board, add a slice of cheese to the cheese wheel. Any time the cheese wheel fills up, advance the page (number of turns in a Chapter) one page, and trigger a surge which is the sudden appearance of a larger minion.
- The rules for surges do not state, one and done, or a new minion each time the cheese wheel fills. Thus at one point, due to a lot of bad rolls we went through two surges.
- If there is a minion on a tile you cannot exit the tile. So no running for the exit.
- There are items to heal mice, BUT they are in the Search card stack which is over 60 cards big and each mouse can only search one time per tile. Odds are slim.
Determined to make Mice and Mystics work I did some more looking for answers. Mice and Mystics has a FAQ, but our issues were not addressed. Time to hit the forums. Here is what I found:
- Tilda can heal herself or at least most people allow her to heal herself. Since that is not in the FAQ it is not official. That she can heal herself makes a lot of sense though.
- That rule is meant to be. That finishing off the last minion with the last acting character is a punishment makes no sense. I read that other players were doing what we were doing, which was avoiding using the last acting character to defeat the last minion. The best solution found, ignore that rule. We happen to agree.
- There is no official word on whether a new minion is dropped each time a surge (wheel of cheese fills) or if the minion only drops the first time. The best solution I found was that the first surge triggers a minion drop. Subsequent surges on the same tile only advance the page.
- Nothing on this. Given that we only wanted to do that one time not a big deal, but a string of bad luck and I can see it cropping up again.
- Again nothing on this. Personally I think the search stack is way to big for the limited amount of searches that you can perform in a single game.
There is so much to like and love about Mice and Mystics. We are going to try a third game using the answers that we found and hope those fix the problems we were having. Otherwise we will either shelve the game, sad thought but it does happen.