I’m a big fan of the Tiny Epic games. I’ve played quite a few of them and even backed a few on Kickstarter. But of all of them, Tiny Epic Dungeons has to be the hardest one I’ve ever played. It’s one thing to lose in the final moments of a game like Tiny Epic Zombies. It’s another to never even see the second half of the game! I have managed to beat Tiny Epic Dungeons; so it can be done. But, of the fifty or so games I’ve played, I’ve won twice. And one of them I’m sure I messed up the rules. It’s a hard game. And a ton of fun. I have managed to learn a few tips I will share with everyone and hopefully they will be of some help when this game lands on your table.
Know Your Characters
This one is fairly obvious. Know your character and what they can do. I’ve been hard-wired through many years of D&D that mages are immensely powerful. They are in this game as well, but as time goes on, the power of the mage starts to wane. Mages are great for killing goblins from a distance. Most spell slingers will do 1 or 2 points of unblockable damage. That’s great for goblins with 1 hit point. But when dealing with minions with 7 or 8 points, it’s less useful. And the boss could have up to 40 hp and those 1 or 2 potshots are not as good.
The gear sets are important to find. The phoenix set and scarab set in the expansion are meant to make mages powerful enough to get off goblin slaying duty. The bear set is absolutely wonderful for characters like the barbarian because they are all about doing as much physical damage as possible. A barbarian with all the bear gear could easily kill minions in 1 hit. The game is unwinnable if you don’t find gear.
Spells are useful but not as useful as you might think. There are a couple problems with spells. One of them is the cost. They take a lot of mana to cast. And during the game, mana will be spent quite a lot for many different important activities. A good number of spell cards are about doing area damage. That’s fine for dealing with large numbers of goblins, but that’s about it. The few cards that grant extra physical damage or ranged damage are better off in the hands of the rogue and fighter. Spells like fireball will do 4 damage, but is the cost of 6 mana when a properly equipped fighter can do twice that for free?
Game The Deck
What I mean by game the deck is get good at counting cards. The room deck gets set up in a certain way depending on the number of players. A two-player game will have 9 cards on top of the deck before you ever have a chance of seeing a minion room. The game starts with 4 of those cards on the board already. So, in a two-player game, at least 5 cards need to hit the table before you’ll see a minion. And those minions are important to find. Not only do they give you extra time and loot, but they are essential to unlocking the boss. The worst thing is to stumble into a minion fight before you’re ready. They hit hard and can take quite a pounding themselves.
This is the heart of the game. After every turn, the torch moves down and once it reaches the international symbol for game over (the skull), all that work was for nothing. Depending on where on the track it is, enemies could spawn or do their abilities. There are room cards that give back extra time, but not nearly enough to be more than a temporary fix. The only efficient way to get more time is to kill minions. Being able to time a minion fight for when it’s really needed and have enough power to kill them quickly is going to save you a lot of frustration. Also, when unlocking the boss starts the second half of the game and gives the players a fresh clock. Unlocking that boss room at the last moment will give everyone a final chance to gear up before the hardest fight in the game.
It’s obvious nobody wants their character to die. In this game, they don’t die, but instead they fall unconscious until their next turn. Then they have to waste a turn resting to get health back. So falling in combat might be the worst thing ever because it wastes time. Other players can heal a downed comrade with healing spells but once again it wastes actions better spent doing other tasks. So keep your health above 3 whenever possible.
Goblins are not that dangerous on their own. But once two or three goblins are on the board, they become much more threatening. Having someone like the mage deal with goblins is a good idea while the fighters with all the hp explore and potentially take the damage is not a bad strategy. If you have the expansion, the monk is meant to be a goblin slayer. That can be very useful. If there are four goblins on the board and you have to place a fifth, the game is over so don’t ignore the goblins.
Not all bosses are equal. The ones that require more of the ritual symbols can be annoying. Some bosses hit harder and keeping people alive gets a lot harder. Bosses are selected randomly so you can’t plan ahead. But the most important thing is to find the boss room close to minion rooms so it’s easier to lure the boss onto the altar spots.
This game is a lot of fun. I hope some of these tips are helpful. Not going to lie, this is a tough game. There’s nothing left but to roll up your sleeves and delve the deepest recesses of the dungeon but beware for here there be dragons.
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