The Final Season of Hearts' Game!

Yeah. Don’t fail checks and don’t play options that are guaranteed to raise Counterplay.

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This, reaaally needs to be said more than once.

Look, I’ll take the penalties involved if FBG insists the difficulty curve needs to be at a certain level. I can accept that.

But PLEASE in the name of anything you might hold sacred FBG? Just make the counterplays into rare failures.

Because this current format turns the penalties in question into POP UP ADS which must be clicked through (often 2-3 at a time) in order to continue playing. And it’s beyond annoying.


Helpful, thanks. I played another two runs with the team I had and lost both before abandoning it. While I thankfully didn’t have another run of four I did have a combined total of about 8 or so menace cards each run (which seemed excessive tbh) but I think that was because the team configuration didn’t have a good prep generator and I kept having to generally play the first option each time.

Thanks for that link in the menaces guide! I didn’t notice it before. As for my team woes, the killer first options seems to have been the culprit.

Thanks, I didn’t actually fail any of my checks, so that wasn’t an issue at all. The advice to not play options that are guaranteed to raise Counterplay means that effectively I have to study the wiki on each and every card or similar, which wasn’t a requirement before.

It might be helpful if the options had some indication of which raise Counterplay and which don’t. I find now the game has become too wiki intensive. I’ve played previous seasons without needing to study what card option does what and have mostly been just fine. Now it seems many teams are simply not viable and you have to carefully pick and choose what to play. Which is all fine, of course, but for some reason I’m not feeling it on this activity.

Thanks for the advice all! I am looking forward to trying a motley run, and I do like the alternate distinctions. I’ll likely just wait for the advertised future rebalance and see if that smooths things a bit for less wiki-intensive play.


There’s just a huge element of randomness and simple luck involved. The Distinctions are doable if you get lucky and draw a functional team, if you have high enough stats and good items to pass checks somewhat reliably and if you have enough Second Chances to do an Embalming run. I’ve been playing for about a week and haven’t had the King of Motley show up even once.

I fully understand if you and other players choose to wait until the game has been tweaked and rebalanced a bit. Who knows, maybe the Insubstantial quality gets a use, perhaps in limiting or mitigating the effects of Counterplay.

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Funnily enough I didn’t use a single second chance on my combined knights+embalming run, and only lost one round there. I’ve resorted to hedging some of my bets with Motley though.

And I have all the Distinctions to get the Nod EXCEPT Motley. I guess the RNG has different quirks for everybody in the game. :slight_smile:

Really? Then I guess I’ll try that, though it sounds as though it would be chaotic.

Oh, it is. Head’s a bit blurry from poor sleep right now, but I think I’m about one 4-5 wins at the moment with one loss. And that loss came from me relying too hard on Motley to pop up.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a VERY good idea to build up the 6-7 preps you need to prime the progress nuke that is Motley but like…once you’re done with those preps it’s ALSO a good idea to use any cards-especially Persuasive ones, since you probably want to spec into Persuasive to power up Motley-to make any progress you can once you’ve done that and are waiting for Motley to show up. And if you don’t get prep cards early on, well, you do have to make SOME progress as a backup plan to win without Motley lest the RNG win by sheer attrition.

I have to say, based on my experience I cannot at all subscribe to the notion that the full motley lineup is the best way to get his distinction. There’s just too many ways it can (and at least for me, did) go wrong. I lost that run with a 6-4 score, and won my subsequent attempt with a more deliberately curated Motley team 7-0.

In my last 3 (?) attempts to get the Distinction of Motley, I had trouble getting enough cards that gave a Poisonous Preparation.

I agree, but it does seem to be one of the ways to get the most Exploits out of a run as recruiting accomplices also gives it.

Its already been said, but I say to stick to a team of just nine, maybe ten. Try to focus on accomplices that have Persuasive challenges and for the rest try to fill the team with your next best stat or those that give easy prep.

I’ve just finished my own Motley run 7/0 and I agree that a team of 9 is probably the best way to go about it, even better if you can build around one king (can be Motley, doesn’t have to). More and you’ll pollute your deck with useless (to you) cards.
Mind, it is very dependent on accomplices draw.

So… the next task is basically to accumulate 1000 exploits over the course of the next year or so, huh?

Having won my EVERYONE and Motley run, I do think there’s an argument both ways. On the one hand, EVERYONE risks drawing some pretty bad hands, and if you have a reliable combination that fits at 9 you’re obviously going to have more options to clawing back those last few points. On the other hand, it is a statistically high probability (I think, someone better at math at me can probably plot out the probabilities better, I only finished the run with 2 losses because I got careless) sooner or later you will draw Motley from EVERYONE. And once you do, the game is as good as one so long as your Persuasive is above 300.

Side note: While I don’t want to jinx it so far Smiths, Ribs and Skin has proven to be a quick-acting silver bullet for the Embalming challenge. Turns out the secret was to pair at least 2 identical stat checks with a type-buffer and someone who can make reliable progress, go figure.

I just finished a Motley attempt (just now, moments ago), needing to win the last round to go 7/10, and did so without worrying terribly much about it. Aside from Motley, the second-in-command was King of Knuckles; after them were Queen of Cod, Priest of Smiths, Priest of Magpies, Fool of Audacities, and, er, the rest (it was a group of 10). I really ended up relying on the two Kings for progress-- which meant relying on the RNG to kick up their cards at the right times, but their attacks are powerful enough-- providing there were enough preparations, which is what the rest of the team was for-- to make up (usually-- I did lose 3 rounds) for the fact that I wanted only 4 cards out of 20.

I did use some second chances over the course of the run but less than I expected to, since there were Aces involved.

I’m trying a Pages run with Gambit/Cod/Magpie, and boy is Magpie garbage! He doesn’t even generate Preparations and his advanced option gets rid of his Ace. Given how underpowered Pages are, you’d think they’d need every help they can get, but their dedicated Priest is just downright bad.
We’ll see how this run goes, got one win so far.

Ironically the best priest to run with Pages is Smiths, due to his really good preparation generation. Magpies definitely needs a buff though.

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My takeaway thus far when it comes to picking Priests, is that which stat they check is more important than which “class” they buff. At the end of the day, your sole enemy is the RNG and making reliable but suboptimal progress > making more well-rounded but unreliable progress.

…though yeah, Magpie not having Preparations is pretty crippling when that’s the primary appeal of a Priest for me in every team I’ve used.

Edit: AND BOOM. Got my space bat nod!

I would not have thought of that, but yeah, that’s exactly what they are.

Why can’t the options that give Counterplay just directly increase Poison Tolerance or Elusiveness? Why do we need the extra step?

I found counterplays not to be very impactful or interesting.

Indeed, they just pop up every once in a while, you click on it and keep going. If your team is strong, you end up winning anyway, if you have a weak team or experimented a bit, counterplay is like a double penalty…

I was thinking that to make it more interactive, they could maybe offer you choices on how to react to it and avoid penalties (similar to assassins), like Glasswork check to jump in a mirror, shadowy to hide, etc…
Also, I don’t know if triggering on a failure is fun at all…