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Dragoon Board Game Review

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Dark Venture - First Impressions

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12 Dec 2019 06:00 #305052 by Josh Look
I played this thing last night and my mind is...

Venture is exactly the kind of game that select members of this site go crazy for and a cult following develops.

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12 Dec 2019 08:31 #305043 by Josh Look
I’m going to go ahead and create a thread for this one because this is exactly the kind of game that select members of this site go crazy for and a cult following develops.

I played this thing last night and my mind is still reeling from just how strange, unique, cumbersome, charming, and awesome it was.

It dubs itself as an “adventure card game,” but that’s only because the main components are cards. Don’t think Pathfinder ACG, this comes across as something more akin that upper echelon of adventure games like Dungeon Degenerate or Shadows of Malice. If you liked either of those, Dark Venture is very much your thing.

The setting is far future fantasy devastated by magical catastrophe that killed most people but changed those who lived. And then it happened again. This is one of those games where the artist is also the designer and what you get is a complete *vision.* The artwork draws to mind Gamma World, Bakshi’s
Wizards, 1st edition D&D and He-Man if Eternia went to hell in a hand basket.

I wouldn’t to spoil anything but this is a game that tells weird fantasy stories. It has a strong Dying Earth vibe to it. I had the ability to rip open space time. I discovered an alternate timeline. This kind of “big idea” stuff is EVERYWHERE. Whenever a location is played, you reference a book that describes what you see from the distance, giving you just enough mystery to want to see what it is or maybe run the other way. Entering the location triggers another passage that describes what happens. Not sure if the retail version will have it, but the KS edition has 2 sets of books to help keep that stuff fresh. As it stands, I played 12 rounds and hardly saw any substantial amount of what could happen.

Gameplay is rather unique and it took awhile getting used to it at first. Rules are unfortunately buried in the rulebook and this is not a game for those who want their hand held through how to play. You just have to stop worrying and go for it. It ended up being much more straight forward than Shadows of Malice or Dungeon Degenerates once I got a hang of it. The locations and characters that appear are largely out there by players. I really enjoyed feeling like I was helping to layout the ground work for where this strange story could go while still being immersed in it.

I feel like I‘m doing a terrible job explaining it, but it isn’t an easy one to explain. Regardless, I highly recommend this one.
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12 Dec 2019 08:41 #305044 by Legomancer
Did you play it solo or with others? I brought it out last night but got overwhelmed by setup and the thought of explaining it, so we bagged it for now, but I really want to get it played. I didn't like that the cards weren't labeled (Character, Location, Item) though I thought I figured them out.

It looks great and wild, and I'm looking forward to when I have time and mental energy to really take it in.

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12 Dec 2019 08:47 #305045 by Josh Look
Solo. I don’t think I could have taught it to folks without playing it myself first. The setup didn’t make a good first impression and I had the rulebook glued to my hand for first half hour, but it was actually quite smooth once I had a few turns in. I could teach it no problem now.

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12 Dec 2019 10:08 #305049 by Shellhead
I'm definitely interested, and the price seems surprisingly low. But it appears to be at an awkward stage where the Kickstarter is over but they aren't selling the excess from their small print run yet.

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12 Dec 2019 11:36 #305051 by jay718
My copy arrived Sunday. Going to try to solo an hour or two tonight

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12 Dec 2019 11:48 - 12 Dec 2019 11:50 #305054 by Josh Look
There’s a video out there on setup. I recommend watching it. The differences between equipped and held items and the two blue and one purple edge on the player board isn’t the clearest in the rulebook. Wish I’d seen the video before sitting down at it last night.

Also, be prepared to dig through decks a lot. You’ll get used to it and it won’t be so time consuming or as much of a hassle once you’re into it. Trust me, you’ll read a couple of those passages and get some cool items and you’ll be that much more compelled to push on. It makes it worth the work throughout.
Last edit: 12 Dec 2019 11:50 by Josh Look.

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12 Dec 2019 11:55 - 12 Dec 2019 11:58 #305055 by Ah_Pook

Shellhead wrote: I'm definitely interested, and the price seems surprisingly low. But it appears to be at an awkward stage where the Kickstarter is over but they aren't selling the excess from their small print run yet.


This is where I'm at as well. Looks cool.


Edit:
boardgamegeek.com/thread/2328413/anyone-want-sell-their-copy

Looks like they put their excess copies up for sale yesterday and they sold out. So.
Last edit: 12 Dec 2019 11:58 by Ah_Pook.

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12 Dec 2019 12:03 #305056 by Shellhead
That's disappointing. Based on the price, I'm guessing that this will be a game that never gets a second print run, because they probably just broke even on the first one.

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12 Dec 2019 14:11 #305060 by Space Ghost
I got my shipping notice on the 4th, but checked and FedEx claims they still haven't received the package....hopefully will be here soonish

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12 Dec 2019 14:13 - 12 Dec 2019 14:21 #305061 by Saul Goodman
Yeah - this sounds exactly like the kind of game I'd like. Sold. Or not.
Last edit: 12 Dec 2019 14:21 by Saul Goodman. Reason: damn thing is sold out
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12 Dec 2019 14:37 #305062 by Ah_Pook

Shellhead wrote: That's disappointing. Based on the price, I'm guessing that this will be a game that never gets a second print run, because they probably just broke even on the first one.


Sounds like there might be some more copies for sale after the Kickstarter fulfillment officially ends, so might be worth keeping an eye out. Probably won't be many of so, based on how fast they sold out yesterday.
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12 Dec 2019 22:58 #305074 by BillyBobThwarton
Thanks for the heads up on the setup video. My copy arrived this week. I just got around to downloading the soundtrack (the was an email about that on Sept 24) and have the rulebook on my desk to dig in.

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20 Dec 2019 13:04 #305358 by Shellhead
There was a copy for sale on BGG a couple of days ago, so I bought it. Except that there isn't going to be an actual sale unless the seller contacts me by 12/25/19, and I haven't heard back yet. Maybe a bunch of people offered to buy it and he is going to let each of those offers lapse so he can jack up the price and repost it. I dunno.

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23 Dec 2019 16:42 #305457 by Shellhead
I paid $60 (twice the Kickstarter price) plus $10 shipping to buy from a re-seller at BGG. If all goes well, I might get my copy by the end of December.
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