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Tinderblox Review

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Oath

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FFG Announces New Expansions & Games

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23 Oct 2020 20:41 #315497 by mtagge
So I looked at the preview page. First off the non-stop gif of sticking two cards in a sleeve and flipping the card are. . . insanity inducing when I was trying to read the text.

The Bad:
It looks like more than half of the cost is coming from having the terrain be 3d. Barricades that you put together by connecting two pieces into a thick X. A 3D well. Chests that are 2x3x3cms. Platforms so that the monsters are standing on a raised altar. Stand up gates. Make no mistake, this is a kickstarter with all they are trying. Problem is I don't want the hassle of constructing and deconstructing terrain to put the thing away.

Inventory management, upgrades, and significant time spent in app in between crawls. I cannot imagine wanting to play a second game on a Saturday afternoon and having to break while one person at a time optimizes their weapons for twenty minutes (hmm, next mission has lots of Uthuk so let me put on the +1 damage to Uthuk pommel). And using shared resources to craft that pommel, ugh! In Imperial Assault the app would tell us what weapons were available in the shop and our budget (single currency credits instead of the three they show in the preview) and we would pass around the cards.

The Good:
I think FFG does the missions themselves well. I also love that I can play with my (9&11 y.o.) sons and they can contribute fully. I love when they point out something that will help us complete the mission instead of just smash the bad guys better (which I don't need help with).

I find the new mechanics they previewed interesting. Two sided cards and a ready action to flip either your character card or equipment sounds like an interesting mechanic. One thing I love about Descent and IA is that killing enemies isn't the goal. Sometimes you need to kill a boss, but more likely than not you are opening a cell and protecting prisoners as they escape to the shuttle. Sometimes you are retreating. Sometimes you are gathering clues to solve a riddle. I'm not a big fan of dungeon crawls whose goal is smash everything until you find a boss then smash him. FFG does that well.

TLDR; I wish they removed the 3d terrain and left the "beginner's box" with flat counters. I wish inventory management was done outside the app because of the downtime when someone has AP choosing gear loadouts. I love the app driven crawls. I love co-op. I love how FFG has missions that aren't about the combat.

Bonus question: What games out there do this better for a lower price point? Objective missions, co-op, character development.
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23 Oct 2020 20:48 #315498 by hotseatgames
I do like the notion of height advantage, which I assume is in play here.

I may do a dexterity fantasy dungeon crawl in the future. We will see. Phantom Division does have some dungeon crawl aspects... searching, character progression, loot. No campaign, fuck that.

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23 Oct 2020 22:30 #315502 by Gary Sax
This is the same site with people deeply nostalgic about the 3d terrain from Heroquest. So there's an audience if that isn't just pure nostalgia for nostalgia's sake.

I have the money to do something like this, but dungeon crawl is about as far a genre as I would want to put that money into at this point.
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24 Oct 2020 02:29 #315504 by n815e
HeroQuest terrain contained a lot of cardboard.
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24 Oct 2020 04:45 #315505 by Ah_Pook

mtagge wrote: .

The Bad:
. Problem is I don't want the hassle of constructing and deconstructing terrain to put the thing away.

Bonus question: What games out there do this better for a lower price point? Objective missions, co-op, character development.


I'm pretty sure they said somewhere that the box was so big mainly so it would hold all the 3d terrain deep you don't have to disassemble anything.

Also, I'm not anything like deep into the modern dungeon crawler scene but theres Gloomhaven at least. Though I believe there are a lot of "kill all the dudes" missions in Gloomhaven.
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24 Oct 2020 07:11 #315506 by san il defanso
Personally my issue is that I don't actually want more tactical depth in a dungeon crawl. I want something experiential more than a challenge, frankly. That's probably why the only big crawl from the last few years that has resonated with me is Silver Tower. It's so much more interested in being a narrative experience than a tactical one.

It could be that RPGs just do that realm better. I don't know though, because I like some dungeon board games. I just want something that's actually easier to set up than my weekly D&D group, not something more expensive and with more tactical grit.

I realize a lot of my gripes come down to gamer publishers not catering to me specifically, but I can't be there only one who feels this way?
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24 Oct 2020 09:26 #315507 by Erik Twice
I'm the opposite. I want tactical challenge in a dungeon crawler. The problem is that so far I haven't played any game in the genre that has it. I want a Dungeon Crawler that is as interesting and deep as Brass, not yet another game in which getting close to the enemy is all there is.

In other words, I want Wizardry not yet another Dragon Quest clone.

That said, I do agree very much with what you say San Il Defanso. One of the problems I had with Gloomhaven is that it takes as much effort to play than getting a D&D module and playing that instead.
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24 Oct 2020 10:10 #315508 by san il defanso
Shoot I'd even take a big crunchy dungeon crawl if it was easier to set up than a TTRPG and was confined to one session. That was sounds cool! It's not filling a niche that 5e or Pathfinder already fills. If it was $60 or $70 I'd be good with that.

I mostly want a board game, not an ersatz RPG or minis game.

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24 Oct 2020 10:15 - 24 Oct 2020 14:09 #315509 by jason10mm
I think the problem with "tactical dungeon crawl" games is that they quickly turn into full blown tabletop miniature games with a myriad of rules, unit specific options, and the need for at least one very experienced player to keep everyone on track. That's too much to ask from a lot of board games I think, so they end up being simplified to the point where combat can be formulaic (but hopefully still satisfying).

Anyone remember that PS3(?) game that used the camera to watch the play area and read codes off the cards to identify them? Ah, bing tells me it was Eye of Judgement ( www.playstation.com/en-us/games/the-eye-of-judgment-ps3/ )

Anyhoo, that is what I need . Some way to tell the app the state of the game without having to do it manually. With phone camera augmented reality you could probably just look 'through' the phone to see where to place enemies and terrain and let the camera scan cards and whatnot so it can update the app. Having to manage a digital and physical inventory and keep them in sync sounds like a massive chore.
Last edit: 24 Oct 2020 14:09 by jason10mm. Reason: Annoying typos
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24 Oct 2020 10:27 #315511 by san il defanso
Yeah maybe the solution is to lean into the different medium, rather than trying to imitate RPGs or minis. Board games are good at different things, like contained production and rulesets.
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24 Oct 2020 11:09 #315512 by Jackwraith

san il defanso wrote: Yeah maybe the solution is to lean into the different medium, rather than trying to imitate RPGs or minis. Board games are good at different things, like contained production and rulesets.


Fair point, except that "contained production and rulesets" tends to indicate the kind of thing that people are currently dismissing: a tactical experience. I enjoyed our many plays of Descent 1st Ed, but there's no doubt that the game was far more of a tactical interplay between Overlord and heroes than anything resembling an RPG. We spent more time crunching numbers about how to get one-shot kills than we did "adventuring". Descent 2nd Ed was set up to emphasize a story and a campaign, but that seems to be the point where people started complaining about "having to play a campaign", with some recognizing (as people are in this thread) that it's easier (and cheaper!) to just set up and run an RPG than a series of Descent sessions. I'd argue that point a bit, since my RPGs were always pretty involved and it was important to me that everyone had backstory with different storylines to pursue so that they actually lived in the worlds I created and weren't simply summer stock Fighter, Magic-user, and Cleric.

My best experience with this style of game in recent years is The Others, not only because its background is so heavy with story elements that you could probably assemble a campaign of sorts if you worked at it, but also because it's quite simple to set up a one-off game, play it in two hours with solid mechanics and interesting choices for FAITH and Sin players, and be done. I know that the background/artwork/setting for the game isn't to the taste of everyone (Vasel objected to it, although he liked the game) but that may be indicative of the larger point, which is that there's no one dungeon crawler for everyone. I haven't played Gloomhaven, though, so what do I know?

On topic: I'd have to say that I'm not especially deterred by the price point (although, with economic conditions as they are, I certainly won't be getting it) but I don't have much interest in guiding things with an app. As others have noted, I'm playing a board game because I want to interact with the people I'm playing with, not a screen. I've also never had a really good experience with story-based board games driven by an electronic medium, going all the way back to Video Clue. Too often the interaction is either too dominant or too simplistic and it'd be a lot more satisfying to play the old, cardboard version where you feel like everything is being settled at the table. My only positive experience with app-based games was Alchemists, which was a mechanical exercise, rather than one ostensibly trying to tell a story.
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24 Oct 2020 11:29 #315513 by Ah_Pook

jason10mm wrote: Anyhoo, that is what I need . So way to tell the app the state of the ge without having to do it manually. With phone camera augmented reality you could probably just look 'through' the phone to see where to place enemies and terrain and let the camera scan cards and whatnot so it can update the app. Having to manage a digital and physical inventory and keep them in sync sounds like a massive chore.


They have this, it's called just playing a video game.
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24 Oct 2020 14:06 #315516 by DarthJoJo

Ah_Pook wrote:

jason10mm wrote: Anyhoo, that is what I need . So way to tell the app the state of the ge without having to do it manually. With phone camera augmented reality you could probably just look 'through' the phone to see where to place enemies and terrain and let the camera scan cards and whatnot so it can update the app. Having to manage a digital and physical inventory and keep them in sync sounds like a massive chore.


They have this, it's called just playing a video game.

Or Golem Arcana.
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24 Oct 2020 14:06 #315517 by charlest

san il defanso wrote: Personally my issue is that I don't actually want more tactical depth in a dungeon crawl. I want something experiential more than a challenge, frankly. That's probably why the only big crawl from the last few years that has resonated with me is Silver Tower. It's so much more interested in being a narrative experience than a tactical one.

It could be that RPGs just do that realm better. I don't know though, because I like some dungeon board games. I just want something that's actually easier to set up than my weekly D&D group, not something more expensive and with more tactical grit.

I realize a lot of my gripes come down to gamer publishers not catering to me specifically, but I can't be there only one who feels this way?


Cryptic Explorers may resonate with you. Although, it's still pretty tactical.
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24 Oct 2020 14:17 #315518 by jason10mm

Ah_Pook wrote: They have this, it's called just playing a video game.


Do you are saying if I make a Kickstarter for Skylanders 2 but I leave the toy/minis UNPAINTED........ Profit???? :P

Cause that's kind where I view very app dependent board games. We are about 1 or 2 price drops away from those Surface pixelsense things being cheap enough to make a miniatures game for it.

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