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It Came From the Tabletop! Board Game Podcast - Root and the Legendary Series

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16 Apr 2019 00:00 #295596 by Josh Look
 
Thanks to ...

All the woodland creatures come out to hear Josh and Al talk about Root, the enormously popular game of cute animals and brutal warfare.   Afterwards they play Legendary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and run through their favorites from the Legendary deck-building series.

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16 Apr 2019 19:06 #295597 by DukeofChutney
The pod was cast and it caught me. I get the thing were you want to hate on something because it is popular. I tend to be like this with a lot things including games. Usually my hipster credentials break under-pressure from something actually being good though. Root does look neat/ I've played quite a bit of the COIN series, which is an inspiration according to some, and am bit done with them. Perhaps that wont matter when playing root.

Only legendary games I've played are Firefly and Predator. I was sure Firefly didn't use paste ups but some okish original art.
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16 Apr 2019 20:22 - 16 Apr 2019 20:25 #295598 by Sagrilarus
I know I gush with every episode, but seriously, you guys are raising issues that no other podcast does. Al asked, "with the extreme asymmetry, will the game get better the more you play it, or worse?" That is a damned good question.

There's a comfort in listening to someone who doesn't have all the answers, who's still exploring. You're not mansplaining to me, you're letting me sit in on your conversation. The only problem is that when I interrupt you ignore me!

Only halfway through. Does it get better?
Last edit: 16 Apr 2019 20:25 by Sagrilarus.
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17 Apr 2019 10:21 #295615 by engineer Al

DukeofChutney wrote: Only legendary games I've played are Firefly and Predator. I was sure Firefly didn't use paste ups but some okish original art.

Yes, Firefly used original art, but calling it "okish" is giving more credit than it deserves.

Sagrilarus wrote: Only halfway through. Does it get better?

Yes, of course it does. The second half features us making fun of Shellie for taking long turns in Legendary as well as a direct "thank you" to YOU for helping to spread the word about the podcast. Listen closely. . .
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17 Apr 2019 11:22 #295622 by Space Ghost
Regarding asymmetry, we are in a weird spot right now where the goal seems to be creating asymmetrical factions and then assuming that the existence of asymmetry creates a better game.

Some thoughts:

-- asymmetry itself creates an INITIAL sense of depth because you can experience something new by just changing which faction you are playing

-- I feel like asymmetry creates more singular paths for each faction. While it might take sometime to plumb the depths of each faction, there aren't as many available options once you learn how they play.

Given the current rate of game production and the lack of desire to keep replaying the same game over and over, this may be ok.

However, I think a more interesting design actually uses symmetrical factions with several viable paths to victory. Then, different paths are context dependent and become more/less desired depending on the state of either the game, available actions, or even initial seeding of space dependent resources (e.g., access to different materials for production, etc.). I feel like this requires a greater degree of versatility among players and also opens the game up for more exploration of hybrid strategies both on offense and defense.
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17 Apr 2019 12:13 #295631 by Jackwraith
Those are some great points, SG, and this:

Space Ghost wrote: However, I think a more interesting design actually uses symmetrical factions with several viable paths to victory. Then, different paths are context dependent and become more/less desired depending on the state of either the game, available actions, or even initial seeding of space dependent resources (e.g., access to different materials for production, etc.). I feel like this requires a greater degree of versatility among players and also opens the game up for more exploration of hybrid strategies both on offense and defense.


is why I still think that Chaos in the Old World is the best game that FFG ever produced, based on mechanics, theme, and production.

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17 Apr 2019 12:34 #295638 by Gary Sax
^I think some people would say Chaos is the most straightjacketed of them all in almost all the respects Space Ghost talked about.

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17 Apr 2019 12:35 #295640 by Jackwraith

Gary Sax wrote: ^I think some people would say Chaos is the most straightjacketed of them all in almost all the respects Space Ghost talked about.


Then they probably don't know how to play outside the confines of what an initial glance reveals.

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17 Apr 2019 12:38 #295642 by charlest

Jackwraith wrote:

Gary Sax wrote: ^I think some people would say Chaos is the most straightjacketed of them all in almost all the respects Space Ghost talked about.


Then they probably don't know how to play outside the confines of what an initial glance reveals.


I don't think this is completely fair. For instance, Khorne cannot realistically win by VP in the base game.
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17 Apr 2019 12:46 #295644 by Jackwraith
It's true that my perception is certainly colored by the expansion, which does allow the factions to play in ways that are essentially contrary to their approach in the base game. But I think the ease of that transition, changing only one element (the cards), is another mark in its favor. There's inherent flexibility in the design because of the importance (and timing) of card play. All it took was swapping out that element to be able to play the others in a distinctly new way. I've also seen all of the factions win via both methods, including historically difficult Nurgle. I simply don't agree that the game is "straightjacketed" at all. It's just older than the latest new things, so people have had time to dissect it, often build false narratives, and make erroneous declarations.

And the other parts I spoke of (theme, production) are part of what push it over the top. Anyone who's ever had an interest in GW's Old World would take a shine to this game just for those elements, in addition to the excellent production values that FFG normally had with their games.
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17 Apr 2019 13:21 - 17 Apr 2019 13:25 #295648 by Jexik
I should maybe give Legendary another shot. I played Aliens first, which didn't do a whole lot for me, and then we tried the marvel one against Apocalypse another day with some random assortment of heroes and just got our butts kicked. I've also been more of a fan of Dominion/Puzzle Strike style deckbuilders where you have more control over what goes in your deck than the Ascension style conveyor belt thing. The one big advantage to Ascension style deckbuilders is set up time, but at the cost of letting you feel like you're constructing something coherent.

I'm also in the discovery phase with Root and enjoying it.

Space Ghost wrote: However, I think a more interesting design actually uses symmetrical factions with several viable paths to victory. Then, different paths are context dependent and become more/less desired depending on the state of either the game, available actions, or even initial seeding of space dependent resources (e.g., access to different materials for production, etc.). I feel like this requires a greater degree of versatility among players and also opens the game up for more exploration of hybrid strategies both on offense and defense.


Sounds like Settlers of Catan but with some kind of battles.
Last edit: 17 Apr 2019 13:25 by Jexik.
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17 Apr 2019 13:29 #295651 by charlest

Jexik wrote:

Space Ghost wrote: However, I think a more interesting design actually uses symmetrical factions with several viable paths to victory. Then, different paths are context dependent and become more/less desired depending on the state of either the game, available actions, or even initial seeding of space dependent resources (e.g., access to different materials for production, etc.). I feel like this requires a greater degree of versatility among players and also opens the game up for more exploration of hybrid strategies both on offense and defense.


Sounds like Settlers of Catan but with some kind of battles.


We call it Blood Rage.
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17 Apr 2019 15:02 #295658 by ubarose
@ Jexik

Yeah, with Legendary you have to pay attention to which heroes you choose during set-up, so you get groups that combo together and can create an effective deck. I find that in the Buffy version the way in which the heroes combo together is more obvious than in some of the other sets. Like, do not choose to include Tara unless you also choose Willow. Without Willow, Tara is pretty weak and boring.
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17 Apr 2019 21:29 #295689 by engineer Al

Space Ghost wrote: -- asymmetry itself creates an INITIAL sense of depth because you can experience something new by just changing which faction you are playing.

This is exactly what I was getting at in the podcast. Once everybody at the table has played every faction a couple of times, is there any "fun" left in the game. Personally, I'm currently still having fun learning the game but we'll see where we are with it in a few months.

Jexik wrote: We tried the marvel one against Apocalypse another day with some random assortment of heroes and just got our butts kicked.

Try going with a team that obviously works, like a bunch of X-Men characters. Then choose a villain that they beat all the time, like Magneto. You will have fun!

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17 Apr 2019 23:37 #295690 by DarthJoJo
I always want to like Legendary (have only played Marvel), but I keep getting annoyed at the lack of decisions outside of hero purchase. You can always play every card in your hand, and the only decision is the order you play them in, which is normally pretty obvious. Making some bonkers combo is fun, I guess, but it happened because I was smart and lucky in buying the cards, not because I played well.

After a certain point, it feels like my deck pretty well just plays itself. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were a quicker, tighter game, but the setup and breakdown are no small things and games can drag in that space between stomping every villain to appear in the city while still building fight to take on the mastermind.
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