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K2 Review - Digital Eyes

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Sprawlopolis Review

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20 Sep 2021 08:30 #326628 by southernman

Ah_Pook wrote:

Ah_Pook wrote: Tried out Massive Darkness today, and it was pretty fun and fine! It's very much like Zombicide with leveling up and loot and whatnot. I very much appreciate the one shot nature of it, and you put lots of minis in the board and roll lots of dice at them and get lots of loot. There definitely is some difficulty scaling issue, where things are hard at the beginning but the enemies don't seem to scale correctly with the heroes so by the end you're just massacring everything in front of you. That's not bad per se, but it feels kinda anticlimactic to get to the end of a dungeon and have a giant crazy spider show up and you just smash it no sweat in one or two attacks. Presumably you could amp up the difficulty in various ways if you wanted to, but I think it's still mostly fine? Just gotta know what you're getting into I guess (ie roll tons of dice, ascend to godhood, destroy). I'll tell you I would have been sad if I had spent $KICKSTARTER$ on it. It's a dead simple game with very limited tactical decisions and piles of loot to pick up and use to become wildly OP. So yea I dunno, not a glowing recommendation but it's pretty fun.


I was curious so I went and looked, and an all in pledge on MD1 was $400+shipping (probably another $70+)... Yea the appeal of these big Kickstarters is mystifying to me.

People think this (including me often) but if you get tens of hours play out of it (as an example we are doing Tainted Grail at the moment and have probably 18 hours into it - we've been doing probably extra exploring - and haven't yet finished chapter 3 of 15) then can't you compare that to taking your kids (or mates) to the cinema ten times as an entertainment option ... and one of the main differences is that you can sell the expensive boardgame afterwards, even if you only get half back for it that is half more than you get back after ten cinema trips.

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20 Sep 2021 10:05 - 20 Sep 2021 10:07 #326633 by Sagrilarus

southernman wrote: People think this (including me often) but if you get tens of hours play out of it (as an example we are doing Tainted Grail at the moment and have probably 18 hours into it - we've been doing probably extra exploring - and haven't yet finished chapter 3 of 15) then can't you compare that to taking your kids (or mates) to the cinema ten times as an entertainment option ... and one of the main differences is that you can sell the expensive boardgame afterwards, even if you only get half back for it that is half more than you get back after ten cinema trips.


But you can use that line of thinking to justify anything, really. We don't drive Ferraris to work for a reason. The fact that you had to compare to ten movies is a sign that this argument is becoming more absurd as prices rise.

And frankly you can just as easily conclude that, jeeze, cinemas are a crap purchase. You can watch the same doggone film on your tv in six months for $3.95, watch a hundred movies of equal or better quality for $12.95 in a month. Why the hell does anyone go to movie theaters anymore?

Fundamentally it all comes down to what you choose to spend your money on. Because let's face, ain't none of us gonna play all the games that come out this year. Ever. So you want to pick your winners based on value and your personal tastes and spend your money there. (This assumes your bills are paid.) And if the upgrade package isn't something that's going to knock your socks off you need to decide why you're paying for it. Why are you paying more for something than you have to to get the same amount of enjoyment?

If this is the one game you buy this year for $500 shipped and taxed and that's all you buy, that's not unreasonable expenditure on a hobby, if it makes you happy for the year. You could buy 10 or even 15 games for the same money if you buy used, but that may just mean more shit on your shelves, perhaps not more enjoyment. Judgement call.

The bigger conclusion I've come to is that I have picked up a few games including all their Kickstarter exclusives for about half of their original price in the aftermarket. I just had to wait a year.

The good thing about Kickstarter is that you don't have to wait a year.
Last edit: 20 Sep 2021 10:07 by Sagrilarus.
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20 Sep 2021 10:16 #326634 by Ah_Pook

Sagrilarus wrote:

southernman wrote: People think this (including me often) but if you get tens of hours play out of it (as an example we are doing Tainted Grail at the moment and have probably 18 hours into it - we've been doing probably extra exploring - and haven't yet finished chapter 3 of 15) then can't you compare that to taking your kids (or mates) to the cinema ten times as an entertainment option ... and one of the main differences is that you can sell the expensive boardgame afterwards, even if you only get half back for it that is half more than you get back after ten cinema trips.


But you can use that line of thinking to justify anything, really. We don't drive Ferraris to work for a reason. The fact that you had to compare to ten movies is a sign that this argument is becoming more absurd as prices rise.

And frankly you can just as easily conclude that, jeeze, cinemas are a crap purchase. You can watch the same doggone film on your tv in six months for $3.95, watch a hundred movies of equal or better quality for $12.95 in a month. Why the hell does anyone go to movie theaters anymore?

Fundamentally it all comes down to what you choose to spend your money on. Because let's face, ain't none of us gonna play all the games that come out this year. Ever. So you want to pick your winners based on value and your personal tastes and spend your money there. (This assumes your bills are paid.) And if the upgrade package isn't something that's going to knock your socks off you need to decide why you're paying for it. Why are you paying more for something than you have to to get the same amount of enjoyment?

If this is the one game you buy this year for $500 shipped and taxed and that's all you buy, that's not unreasonable expenditure on a hobby, if it makes you happy for the year. You could buy 10 or even 15 games for the same money if you buy used, but that may just mean more shit on your shelves, perhaps not more enjoyment. Judgement call.

The bigger conclusion I've come to is that I have picked up a few games including all their Kickstarter exclusives for about half of their original price in the aftermarket. I just had to wait a year.

The good thing about Kickstarter is that you don't have to wait a year.


You have to wait a year or two after the Kickstarter campaign :laugh: getting Kickstarter games after they come out is a very different proposition. At that point you're just buying a game that exists yknow. I personally balk at the idea of throwing $400 in a pit and hoping something cool comes out the other end in a couple years.

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20 Sep 2021 10:24 #326635 by hotseatgames
As I picked up the deluxe edition of Mind MGMT at Gen Con this weekend, I was thinking about Kickstarter, and how for the most part it is a bad deal.

If you kickstarted the deluxe Mind MGMT, it was $66 plus about $12 shipping, for a total of $78.

I walked up to the booth and paid $80, met the artist and he made a one of a kind sketch in the box lid. Who got the better deal?

This is, of course, ignoring the fact that I dropped a CHUNK of money to simply be at Gen Con, and it's a fucking pandemic.

Had I Kickstarted this particular game, I still would be happy, because it is an AMAZING production. Just gorgeous.
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20 Sep 2021 10:36 #326636 by Gary Sax

Sagrilarus wrote: Fundamentally it all comes down to what you choose to spend your money on. Because let's face, ain't none of us gonna play all the games that come out this year. Ever. So you want to pick your winners based on value and your personal tastes and spend your money there. (This assumes your bills are paid.) And if the upgrade package isn't something that's going to knock your socks off you need to decide why you're paying for it. Why are you paying more for something than you have to to get the same amount of enjoyment?

If this is the one game you buy this year for $500 shipped and taxed and that's all you buy, that's not unreasonable expenditure on a hobby, if it makes you happy for the year. You could buy 10 or even 15 games for the same money if you buy used, but that may just mean more shit on your shelves, perhaps not more enjoyment. Judgement call.


If there's one member of the site making the most out of kickstarters, it's southernman. iirc his group plays all these big kickstarters to completion so it really is this value for money call, not the fomo buy unplayed games on the shelf situation many are in with kickstarter.

I say godspeed if you gave a group like that.
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20 Sep 2021 15:59 #326648 by southernman

Sagrilarus wrote:

southernman wrote: People think this (including me often) but if you get tens of hours play out of it (as an example we are doing Tainted Grail at the moment and have probably 18 hours into it - we've been doing probably extra exploring - and haven't yet finished chapter 3 of 15) then can't you compare that to taking your kids (or mates) to the cinema ten times as an entertainment option ... and one of the main differences is that you can sell the expensive boardgame afterwards, even if you only get half back for it that is half more than you get back after ten cinema trips.


But you can use that line of thinking to justify anything, really. We don't drive Ferraris to work for a reason. The fact that you had to compare to ten movies is a sign that this argument is becoming more absurd as prices rise.

And frankly you can just as easily conclude that, jeeze, cinemas are a crap purchase. You can watch the same doggone film on your tv in six months for $3.95, watch a hundred movies of equal or better quality for $12.95 in a month. Why the hell does anyone go to movie theaters anymore?

Fundamentally it all comes down to what you choose to spend your money on. Because let's face, ain't none of us gonna play all the games that come out this year. Ever. So you want to pick your winners based on value and your personal tastes and spend your money there. (This assumes your bills are paid.) And if the upgrade package isn't something that's going to knock your socks off you need to decide why you're paying for it. Why are you paying more for something than you have to to get the same amount of enjoyment?

If this is the one game you buy this year for $500 shipped and taxed and that's all you buy, that's not unreasonable expenditure on a hobby, if it makes you happy for the year. You could buy 10 or even 15 games for the same money if you buy used, but that may just mean more shit on your shelves, perhaps not more enjoyment. Judgement call.

The bigger conclusion I've come to is that I have picked up a few games including all their Kickstarter exclusives for about half of their original price in the aftermarket. I just had to wait a year.

The good thing about Kickstarter is that you don't have to wait a year.


Well you didn't really say much there - your main arguments were 'well you can say that about anything to justify expenditures' and 'who goes to cinemas anyway' ... well, first one, Yes, that was my whole point, people spend their money on what makes them happy and who is it to judge if someone's $400 spend is better than someone else's $400 spend, and (pre-covid) going to the cinema was a very popular around the world, maybe with people a bit younger than you and me, but they obviously have fun doing that although I could have just as easily have said go to half a dozen rock concerts or the same number of NBA or NFL or MLB games.

Basically if someone buys a $400 KS game and keeps it for years and plays it for well over 50 hours and sells it for say $200 on a bad day are they idiots or have they had a lot of fun in their leisure time for a very reasonable price ?

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20 Sep 2021 16:09 #326649 by southernman

Gary Sax wrote: If there's one member of the site making the most out of kickstarters, it's southernman. iirc his group plays all these big kickstarters to completion so it really is this value for money call, not the fomo buy unplayed games on the shelf situation many are in with kickstarter.

I say godspeed if you gave a group like that.


Yeah, I like to play the games I buy - that's why I have to buy them :lol: ... although, thanks to COVID and a lot of boredom during our extended lockdowns here, I do have a few too many games lined up on shelves waiting to be played, I have the next few years mapped out for me :pinch:
But we do all enjoy getting into these big games, and I mix it up a bit with slightly shorter ones - Nemesis a couple of weeks back, Legendary Encounters: Aliens as a filler, Mansions of Madness 2e this week for a change.

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20 Sep 2021 16:27 #326650 by Sagrilarus

southernman wrote: Well you didn't really say much there


Yeah, I suppose. I just see a lot of people buying 17 Ferraris a year right now, ones that haven't even been designed yet. I'm questioning how much use they actually get out of them. Saying "you can't go to the movies ten times for the same money" is a pretty malleable argument. Ten years ago people used to say "you can't go to the movies for the same money". How many movies you figure in 2030?

All with grain of salt, I'm a stingy old man.
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21 Sep 2021 08:14 - 21 Sep 2021 08:40 #326659 by Ah_Pook
Couple more games of Massive Darkness, and I think the enemies need a full redesign for the game to stay challenging til the end. Level 5 characters kill the biggest enemies in the game in a single attack, there's no threat at all. Again, it doesn't make it not fun or not playable, but you hit a tipping point and the game is over except you still have to run through and kill the stuff even though it's meaningless. Going to have to look into some variants on this one.

Edit: the threat disappears well before you hit max level tbh, it's just the most ridiculous once you're fully maxed out.
Last edit: 21 Sep 2021 08:40 by Ah_Pook.
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21 Sep 2021 08:23 #326660 by hotseatgames
I had Massive Darkness, and sold it off, mainly for the reason you mention, but also I found that in a multiplayer setting, the front line got to do everything, and if you were a magic user, you sat on your hands and were never threatened at all.
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21 Sep 2021 08:44 #326661 by Jackwraith
I always find it interesting to see just who's old enough to use the term "magic-user" (unless Massive Darkness itself uses that term for some odd reason.) It was the most banal and colorless aspect of Gygax's early work. You weren't a mage or a wizard or a sorceror or anything even mildly descriptive. You were a "magic-user". "Fighter" wasn't that much better, of course. I guess he couldn't call them "sword-users", since there were other weapons in the game.
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21 Sep 2021 09:08 #326662 by Ah_Pook

hotseatgames wrote: I had Massive Darkness, and sold it off, mainly for the reason you mention, but also I found that in a multiplayer setting, the front line got to do everything, and if you were a magic user, you sat on your hands and were never threatened at all.


Ranged/magic attacks are incredibly powerful, but if every mob and enemy dies to a single attack then yea you're either rushing in there and killing stuff or you're never going to see an enemy.

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21 Sep 2021 09:13 #326664 by Sagrilarus

Jackwraith wrote: I always find it interesting to see just who's old enough to use the term "magic-user" (unless Massive Darkness itself uses that term for some odd reason.) It was the most banal and colorless aspect of Gygax's early work. You weren't a mage or a wizard or a sorceror or anything even mildly descriptive. You were a "magic-user". "Fighter" wasn't that much better, of course. I guess he couldn't call them "sword-users", since there were other weapons in the game.


That's because you got a different title at each level. You did indeed become a wizard eventually, but you had to be a Seer, a Conjuror, a Thaumaturgist (my personal favorite), a Warlock, etc., on the way there.

I would have called the class Mages. Magician would work, but it's too top-hatty/shiny shoes.
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21 Sep 2021 09:27 #326665 by hotseatgames

Jackwraith wrote: I always find it interesting to see just who's old enough to use the term "magic-user" (unless Massive Darkness itself uses that term for some odd reason.) It was the most banal and colorless aspect of Gygax's early work. You weren't a mage or a wizard or a sorceror or anything even mildly descriptive. You were a "magic-user". "Fighter" wasn't that much better, of course. I guess he couldn't call them "sword-users", since there were other weapons in the game.

Ha! I am, indeed, old enough, at 49. In this case, I simply couldn't remember how Massive Darkness used the term, and I'm pretty sure there are multiple magic classes. So I went generic. As I recall, back in my early D&D days, I generally avoided playing a magic user. I liked the up close and personal.

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21 Sep 2021 10:01 #326670 by dysjunct

Jackwraith wrote: "Fighter" wasn't that much better, of course. I guess he couldn't call them "sword-users", since there were other weapons in the game.


In OD&D, it was "Fighting-Man" which is even more tin-eared.
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