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The King in the Shadows - A Deep Dive Into Tyrants of the Underdark

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25 Nov 2019 00:01 #304518 by Jackwraith
Gamers have varying tastes and it's often difficult to categorize...

A smooth fusion of deckbuilding and area control, Tyrants of the Underdark meshes differing game tastes just as easily.

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25 Nov 2019 07:52 #304519 by WadeMonnig
Thank you for this! I'm kind of lax on my dnd terms but the game sounds fascinating. It's on my radar, for sure,
But I'm close to max capacity on area majority games that i don't get to the table enough.
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25 Nov 2019 08:44 #304521 by Michael Barnes
I had pretty mixed feelings when I reviewed this years ago, but I really want to revisit it...I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced second hand copy but this game seems to have retained its value...and it is still in print, so it must continue to sell.

I think when I played it, which was when we were doing Review Corner, I was very burned out on both DoaM and deck building so this was not something I was currently responding well to. I recall liking that both “sides” of the game were pretty well developed though, and of course with D&D rising to my primary hobby concern over the last year it’s put it back into my sight.
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25 Nov 2019 08:51 #304522 by Vysetron
Tyrants is such an excellent game. One of the best deckbuilders out there, full stop.

I'd never done the math on what the decks actually generate before. Our go-to whenever we have a new player or just want to jump in is Drow and (insert whatever we feel like here), but this has got me thinking that maybe our default should be Dragons instead. Matron Mother is one of my favorite cards in the entire game but that resource generation really can't be ignored.

The only deck I shy away from is Demons. I love conflict in my games, but the outcasts are just so annoying. Forcing everyone to play a less exciting game and have fewer power turns is sad times. I much prefer the other aggressive decks so that players can really swing at each other.
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25 Nov 2019 09:17 #304529 by hotseatgames
When this came out, I was developing an area control game that was originally inspired by Drow society. I was eager to try it, and got in a demo at Origins.

I found it to be mind-numbingly boring, and never looked back. Perhaps I would feel differently about it today.

I never did get that area control game published, but perhaps some day.
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25 Nov 2019 09:26 #304531 by Jackwraith

Michael Barnes wrote: I had pretty mixed feelings when I reviewed this years ago, but I really want to revisit it...I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced second hand copy but this game seems to have retained its value...and it is still in print, so it must continue to sell.


For all that I was talking about "underappreciated" (and due caveat to the unscientific nature of BGG's rankings), it is sitting at #211 overall and #121 in the Strategy category, so it's certainly appreciated. I'm just the huge fan who thinks it could go higher. I really think it's one of GF9's best ever designs, which is saying a lot and, yes, if you're a D&D fan, the theme is in your face at all times. I haven't played in many years, so I don't know how relevant the demon princes and others underworld denizens still are, but I was getting waves of nostalgia when I first sorted through the cards a couple years ago.

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25 Nov 2019 09:30 #304532 by Jackwraith

Vysetron wrote: I'd never done the math on what the decks actually generate before. Our go-to whenever we have a new player or just want to jump in is Drow and (insert whatever we feel like here), but this has got me thinking that maybe our default should be Dragons instead.


Helpful list here: www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1638789/num...ility-each-half-deck
Another user covered the main game and I added the expansion decks just a few weeks ago when I was thinking about writing this. I think the Drow is the default thematically, as well, but I wouldn't shy away from trying something else. I think the system is accommodating enough to make it work and may make you appreciate the game from another angle...

... which is kind of the argument for Demons. I understand the reticence, since Outcasts are really annoying. But it's also an outlet for more aggressive players to really mess with their opponents, if you're into that kind of thing, and the card limitation means trying to do the same things with fewer resources, which is a challenge that some people might like.

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25 Nov 2019 09:42 #304534 by Michael Barnes
It was released along with the “Rage of Demons” storyline and the Out of the Dark book is at the time, the Drow/demons/Underdaek stuff was very current and cross-promoted.

*Sigh* guess I’ll spend the rest of the day trying to talk myself into buying it.

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25 Nov 2019 12:02 - 25 Nov 2019 17:25 #304537 by Josh Look
This is a top tier deckbuilder, alongside Aeon’s End and Quest For El Dorado. It’s even great at 2, which is not something you see often with area control. The biggest crime it committed is that it made me think I wanted to revisit the Drizzt books, which, as expected, was a mistake.
Last edit: 25 Nov 2019 17:25 by Josh Look.
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