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

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18 Apr 2019 09:11 #295700 by RobertB
@DarthJoJo - My husband-and-wife coworkers love Legendary. My brother and nephew like it a lot too. But I just don't see it as the be-all and end-all of deckbuilders.
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18 Apr 2019 09:30 #295701 by Josh Look

RobertB wrote: @DarthJoJo - My husband-and-wife coworkers love Legendary. My brother and nephew like it a lot too. But I just don't see it as the be-all and end-all of deckbuilders.


And it absolutely isn’t. I greatly prefer the newer deckbuilders that have incorporated less “pure” elements, ie, Quest for El Dorado and Tyrants of the Underdark. Legendary isn’t even at the top of the “pure” deckbuilder heap (I’d have to give that to Aeon’s End), but it still is fun. The setup isn’t a drag for us because it has that child-like thrill of digging through the toy box and pulling out your favorite superhero action figures for a big battle royals. The big shuffled up deck vs separate piles of cards doesn’t bother me that much, as tons of deckbuilders start playing themselves no matter how they handle the cards you buy. The interactions between cards and how they represent their characters are the stars of the show in Legendary, and some people are into that and some aren’t. ALL deckbuilders a bitch to tear down.
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18 Apr 2019 09:35 - 18 Apr 2019 09:40 #295702 by Sagrilarus

DarthJoJo wrote: . . . 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 . . . After a certain point, it feels like my deck pretty well just plays itself . . .


Forgive me but, isn't this more or less Deck Building's M.O.? You make your decisions during the purchase and let the thing play itself on future turns. You're never making a single decision without full prior-knowledge of the luck element's result. It's a chin-scratcher's play.

That's not a dig at the concept, more of an observation. In my opinion deck-building should be used as a member of the supporting cast in a game, something that needs to be tempered with some other random element, and frankly my choice would be dice rolling after the decision. Without putting some chatter into the game it's a very procedural affair. But that's a personal preference.

From that point of view, I see Dominion as kind of the top dog of the genre still, because the nature of the game fits the play. You're building a business where the goal is to accumulate wealth. Hire your employees, let them do their jobs. Kind of an HR Department game.

Thematic elements like superheroes or dungeon explorers don't mesh very well with so conservative a functionality.

I played Marvel Legendary twice, and both times thought to myself that the theme and the play were complete mismatches. When you're in Reviewer mode playing a game, something is wrong. Didn't help that their choice of art of Maria Hill, a personal favorite character (I dig competent women) was just plain awful.
Last edit: 18 Apr 2019 09:40 by Sagrilarus.
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18 Apr 2019 11:09 #295704 by ubarose
@Sag,

This is why I prefer the Buffy version. You often have to choose between doing something that is good for the co-op aspect of the game, or doing something that is good for you personally. Also, many of the cards have multiple options on them that have a trade off - you can do something that gives you a bonus, but to get that bonus you have to something that is risky.

Last game I played I leaned a bit to much towards preventing the Big Bad from defeating us as a group, and ended up losing by one point.

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18 Apr 2019 11:28 #295706 by Jackwraith
I've only played the Alien and Predator versions of Legendary and, in that respect, it's a step down from Marvel because the characters are less iconic (especially in the case of the Predator IP.) Honestly, I never really thought of them as deckbuilders and I have a hard time thinking of them as anything more than solo games. I think I need more time with them with other people to really get a better handle on player cooperation/interaction (and to actually win a game against Alien, since any encounter with a Face Hugger that you can't immediately kill pretty much ends the game for you.) I agree with Josh that I think games like Tyrants of the Underdark (and Rune Age!) do the concept better, both for their incorporation of other mechanics and their direct interaction with other players (which, of course, is not really the point of the Legendary series.)

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18 Apr 2019 11:33 #295707 by DarthJoJo

Sagrilarus wrote:

DarthJoJo wrote: . . . 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 . . . After a certain point, it feels like my deck pretty well just plays itself . . .


Forgive me but, isn't this more or less Deck Building's M.O.? You make your decisions during the purchase and let the thing play itself on future turns. You're never making a single decision without full prior-knowledge of the luck element's result. It's a chin-scratcher's play.


I see what you’re saying, but I think that’s most true in the weakest deck builders. Their algorithm is simple: emphasize recruit pumps early, fight pumps late, play every card in your hand, clear the weakest cards.

The best pure deck builders (I agree with you on Dominion and might put Puzzle Strike just below it because it goes a little crazy in plus actions for specific actions) punish you for just buying whatever because of action and buy restrictions. Maybe the deck does play itself eventually, but you have to be a lot more careful in building it first.

Of course, that only really works with bank-style builders where you can have a turn-zero strategy. Legendary can already be punishing with too many high-cost heroes in the HQ too early. Restrictions on card play would just make it worse.

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18 Apr 2019 11:42 #295708 by lj1983
Legendary (esp Marvel) is far from the best deckbuilder. and the dumb semi-coop parts of it still hinder the game. there are other decisions to make.....when the game is hard. some of the later masterminds and schemes can combine to make some difficult situations, where you are deciding with the other players where to attack, vs buying a card, vs helping others out. and just buying the most bestest card isn't always the best idea.

but with the wide variety of characters/bad guys, there are definitely times when your deck will play itself, and which card to buy can be a simple decision.
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18 Apr 2019 14:59 #295727 by hotseatgames
I'm in the beginning phase of Root education as well, and I really do look forward to playing a game with a full complement of experienced players.

But sometimes I wonder, if everyone is doing their jobs... does the score board really move that much? Will everyone just limp toward the finish line at a glacial pace? Will a repeatedly punished Vagabond have a completely miserable experience?

Every faction has specific ways that they can be countered. I am a bit worried that if people always act on those counters, will ANYONE be having fun?
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18 Apr 2019 15:08 #295729 by charlest

hotseatgames wrote: I'm in the beginning phase of Root education as well, and I really do look forward to playing a game with a full complement of experienced players.

But sometimes I wonder, if everyone is doing their jobs... does the score board really move that much? Will everyone just limp toward the finish line at a glacial pace? Will a repeatedly punished Vagabond have a completely miserable experience?

Every faction has specific ways that they can be countered. I am a bit worried that if people always act on those counters, will ANYONE be having fun?


It's kind of Cthulhu Wars-ish. You can beat up on the leader to stall them, but then a new leader emerges.

Our plays include much negotiation and collaboration on slowing the leader's advance. Some of the fun arrives in determining who is close to winning and evaluating the different engines.

The pace of the game is extremely deceptive as many factions can explode for points quite surprisingly. Identifying this at early stage is part of the dance.

The Vagabond specifically, can't be completely stomped. At most, if people focused on beating him down as much as possible, he'd still get a full turn every other turn. Everyone won't be beating him down as much as possible if they're playing well and following the incentive structures provided in the design.
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18 Apr 2019 15:24 #295731 by Vysetron

hotseatgames wrote: I'm in the beginning phase of Root education as well, and I really do look forward to playing a game with a full complement of experienced players.

But sometimes I wonder, if everyone is doing their jobs... does the score board really move that much? Will everyone just limp toward the finish line at a glacial pace? Will a repeatedly punished Vagabond have a completely miserable experience?

Every faction has specific ways that they can be countered. I am a bit worried that if people always act on those counters, will ANYONE be having fun?


Short answers to your questions:

Q) Does the score board move when people know how everything works?
A) Yes. You can't really shut anybody out without ruining your own chances, and as a result I've never seen it get to that point. Different factions score at different rates, but they will score.

Q) Will a repeatedly punished Vagabond have a bad time?
A) Any faction beat into submission will probably lose, but you need to balance your own needs with policing each other. Interestingly the Vagabond profits the most from beating on players because they can actually score points for killing warriors, meaning they can play enforcer for one or two people depending on their power/loadout.

Q) Will acting on counters all the time mean no fun allowed?
A) Game just doesn't work that way. You will completely exhaust yourself trying to do so and hurt yourself more than anyone else. Then people will make fun of you.

Basically what I'm saying is the game still works, just a bit differently. Not even -that- differently TBH.
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18 Apr 2019 15:28 #295732 by Josh Look

hotseatgames wrote: But sometimes I wonder, if everyone is doing their jobs... does the score board really move that much? Will everyone just limp toward the finish line at a glacial pace? Will a repeatedly punished Vagabond have a completely miserable experience?


I can’t speak for the Vagabond, but I don’t think that’s the case. The game is deliberately paced to do what it does, and that’s made possible by the opening board state (at least, that’s how the base game works). Everyone should be doing their jobs, but you can’t really do them until you’ve got a bit of an engine going (unless you’re the cats, then it’s all about securing your engine). The birds and WA have the scoring pattern that they have because they simply they don’t start everywhere on the board and they need to work up to it.

Something that none of us newbie players are mentioning that could also factor into long term replay value are Domination cards. Nevermind playing with a group who are all at top level, I want to play where someone puts one of those out and can actually pull out the win.

And you know, if the long term replay isn’t there, I’ll still have played a whole bunch more than I play most games. I kind of don’t care if that’s the case. I hit that point with Chaos in the Old World, then I hit it with the expansion, and I’m ok with that. It’s one of my most played games in my collection, can’t call that a bad thing.
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18 Apr 2019 15:58 #295738 by charlest
I've seen two domination victories out of 10 games or so. I almost had one last time but I played it one turn too early unfortunately.
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18 Apr 2019 16:05 #295740 by hotseatgames
The next time I play the Cats, Domination will be my plan from the start.

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18 Apr 2019 17:59 #295743 by Jackwraith
I have done a domination win with the Cats, but it was largely because the Eyrie spent too much time hitting back and forth with the Alliance to fulfill their combat decree and then kinda fumbled into turmoil. The Vagabond was working on a quest victory and didn't really see my buildup until I played the card and then no one was really in a good spot to stop me. I think it would be far more difficult with more experienced players.
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19 Apr 2019 14:16 #295779 by Not Sure

Josh Look wrote: I can’t speak for the Vagabond, but I don’t think that’s the case. The game is deliberately paced to do what it does, and that’s made possible by the opening board state (at least, that’s how the base game works). Everyone should be doing their jobs, but you can’t really do them until you’ve got a bit of an engine going (unless you’re the cats, then it’s all about securing your engine). The birds and WA have the scoring pattern that they have because they simply they don’t start everywhere on the board and they need to work up to it.


Even cats start with only the barest of an engine. You need to get sawmills out to power up and score, and recruiters out to protect what you have. And be willing to lose some of it immediately, of course.

Something that none of us newbie players are mentioning that could also factor into long term replay value are Domination cards. Nevermind playing with a group who are all at top level, I want to play where someone puts one of those out and can actually pull out the win.


I pulled one off in a TWBG Vassal game, it was "opposite corners" with Cats. It was "wall of cats" in the two non-starting corners, and basically abandoning the Keep after rezzing guys there. I had good recruit lines going so I could move like a snowball without burning too many March actions.
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