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Subject: Royal's Reviews #1 - Quarriors - Faults of an Otherwise Fun Game rss

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Jeremy Likens
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This is my first review so bear with me here. I intend to use a "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" format to discuss my opinions about the game.

Background: I have played two 3 player and one 4 player game of Quarriors


Overview

Quarriors is a 2-4 player Deck Building Game where the twist is that you use dice instead of cards. The game lasts around 30 minutes or so.

Each turn you'll draw 6 dice from your draw bag and then roll them. Out of these, you can set spells aside to use later and then use any quiddity you rolled to summon any creatures you rolled and/or to buy one new die. After you summon creatures, they attack each player in turn with a fresh attack until you have attacked all players. Then you discard your used dice (aside from summoned creatures or set aside spells). If your creatures survive all of the other players' turns, you score points for them and get to cull (return to the supply) some of your dice from your discard.

I'm not going to go deep into the gameplay and the components as those have already been covered to quite an extent, but rather skip straight to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.


The Good

There is a major fun factor in Quarriors. Rolling dice = fun!

This game plays fast.

This can also be quite an addictive game that will have you wanting to play again and again.

Lots of replayability due to number of different cards. There are 10 classes of creatures, with 3 versions of each. You only play with 7 out of 30 each time. There are 5 different classes of spells, with 4 versions of each. You only play with 3 out of 20 each time. This allows many many different combinations of cards for unique games.


The Bad

The dice rolling is a double-edged sword. You can have the best dice in the world... and it might not matter at all. You could have crappy dice and pull off getting 4 points all the way around. Something to be aware of.

There is all but no way to bash a leader in this game. The one exception is the Death Spell dice. That's it, and only if they're even in the game. Otherwise, everything hits everybody. So if someone pulls away, tough.

Only being able to buy 1 die a turn makes the idea of building a money engine more or less a waste and you quickly have the ability to buy the most expensive creatures (6-8 cost), so not much complexity there. This also makes the spells be underused due to trying to compete with high value creatures.
Also, we often bought all of the 6-8 cost creatures first and then had to later start buying the cheap costing creatures to keep improving... which doesn't really make any sense thematically... You should keep improving, not have to busy yourself by taking the leftovers.

The 2-3 cost Creatures feel like a waste as you often have plenty enough money that you can buy more valuable creatures for at least 4-5 cost.

Culling doesn't do this in a major way, but it does help a rich get richer situation. Culling almost only occurs when scoring creatures (the exception being one of the 30 creature cards). So, if you're doing well, you get to improve your deck. Problematic...

And you can't just put out swarms of creatures to try to cull a lot for various reasons:
1 - You can only buy one creature per turn, so any money leftover is wasted
2 - The more expensive creatures are much better than the little ones. They're better in making quiddity, killing little ones, surviving, and scoring points. And when you have the money, and you'd waste it otherwise, why buy anything else??
3 - A swarm of those would be exactly what you want to cull... shake

Maybe there isn't enough ability to cull either. Maybe that's part of what takes away from the feeling of being able to build your deck.

The game can run into a problem where you can build a great deck and it completely doesn't matter. This can be fun in a random sense but also can be quite frustrating.


The Ugly

The scoreboard is a mess. It should continue going left to right as it goes down and is a small but annoying hindrance.

Also, the scoring markers are similar in color: dark green, dark blue, and black. The fourth color is red. Another minor hindrance, but it would have been an easy fix and should have been corrected in playtesting. Having received input, this appears to be an issues that varies between different copies of the game.

At least two creature types need some faqs - Ooozes due to timing issues and Ghosts due to a possible misprint/mistake

Minor complaint - two of the blue colored sets of dice (one set a creature and one a spell) are very similar in color and the creature's blue dice should have been darker to match the color on the cards, which would have solved the similar color problem.


The Beautiful

This game has many beautiful dice in it which make it fun to look at (and play with!).

There is some nice artwork on the cards.


Other Notes

Quiddity was a horrible choice for the name of the currency imo. I found myself saying mana numerous times during the game and I haven't played Magic in years and years. Quiddity is just a messy word to try saying all throughout the game.

The 1/6 chance reroll on the starting Assistant (which allows you to reroll two dice - itself and one other) can be insane... especially when combined with Portals (which allow you to roll additional dice from your draw bag). A giant chain of rerolls where a player can attain tons of quiddity and creatures can result. This can be fun, but also could be frustrating if someone pulled off a huge amount of points via one big lucky turn with this combo.. Just to clarify, Portals cannot be rerolled again after being used to pull extra dice from the bag, but could be rerolled if they had a different side up in order to attain that result.

Be careful when playing to look at the card for the glory points as they are not on the dice. I think it will be easy for new players to look at their levels instead, which are printed on the dice.

It doesn't really feel like you're capturing wild creatures and then summoning your creatures. It feels like you're collecting dice and rolling them. This works plenty well enough for me, but it might turn some off.


Royal's Turf (Final Thoughts)

I enjoyed this game quite a bit the first game, with 3 players. Still a fair bit the second time with 3 players. The third time, with 4 players, not nearly so much. This was for a few reasons. One reason was that I was starting to see more problems with the game as the shine began to wear off and the flaws became more apparent. The other reason was due to the time. With 4 players the game just takes too long. Yes, the points to win are reduced to 12 from 15, but it's not enough. That one extra player adds enough downtime and also increases how much everyone's creatures die. Thus Game length is dealt a double blow. 4 player also creates a higher chance one player will have a breakaway lead, statistically. Oh, and if you're playing with the Death Spell dice, bashing the leader happens and can help lessen the runaway leader problem... but also considerably lengthen the game too. I would recommend playing with less that 4 players.

Ultimately, while I enjoyed this game immensely the first time I played, after three plays I have removed it from my list of games I want to buy. There are just too many problems with the game. It can't be denied that there is something incredibly fun and addictive to all the dice rolling in this game and some people will be able to overlook the problems that I mentioned and enjoy this game. Others like myself will wait around for someone to make a better Dice Building Game as I expect Quarriors to be successful enough to inspire more games.


My final rating - 4: Not so good, doesn't work for me, but I could be talked into playing it.
Also posted to my blog - Royal's Turf @ http://royalsturf.blogspot.com/


Edit: A couple clarifications added.
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Team Ski
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Looks like some house rules are in order. Thanks for the review!

-Ski
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Sebastian Grawan
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Teamski wrote:
Looks like some house rules are in order. Thanks for the review!

-Ski
A house rule for capturing creatures from the wilds could be that if the creature is cost 4 or less you may buy two instead of one.

Or it would be good to reduce the number of high creatures a player can have readied in his readyzone... a maximum of 10 glory (or cost?) accumulated for all redied creatures for a two player game for example. But that's only a guessed number.
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Patrick Reynolds
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You know, the problem with the naming conventions in this game remind me of another game from a few years back. It was a sort of battle chess game that used anime-inspired characters called Navia Drapt, and it was pretty fun. I liked it enough when I played it at GenCon that I signed on for a tournament. But, the game used the most ridiculous terminology for everything. It was seriously off-putting, and it killed the game for me. I just couldn't get past the stupid terms, and my copy of the game has sat unplayed in a drawer for years.

Quarriors looks fun, and I've heard from friends who have played that it is a lot of fun. I'm hoping that the goofy terminology can be easily ignored in this one. I know that I'm one of those people who will be using the words "mana" and "monsters" when playing this one instead of "quiddity" and "quarry" etc.
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Team Ski
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rashktah wrote:
Teamski wrote:
Looks like some house rules are in order. Thanks for the review!

-Ski
A house rule for capturing creatures from the wilds could be that if the creature is cost 4 or less you may buy two instead of one.

Or it would be good to reduce the number of high creatures a player can have readied in his readyzone... a maximum of 10 glory (or cost?) accumulated for all redied creatures for a two player game for example. But that's only a guessed number.


I have my copy on order, but maybe allowing unlimited purchases per order to promote the use of lesser monsters.

-Ski
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Sebastian Grawan
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Quote:
I have my copy on order, but maybe allowing unlimited purchases per order to promote the use of lesser monsters.
My order should arrive tomorrow and then my wife and I will test out some of the houserules for sure.
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Eric Johnson
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The only problem with that is multiple buys per turn would empty the wilds too quickly. Once 4 Quarry are empty (all dice bought) it's game over. You could add some additional quarry to the wilds to compensate but with only 5 dice per card, i still think you'd come up short. Dominion supports the multiple buys well, but you have 10 Kindom card stacks with 10 cards each and the the 6 VP and Treasure stacks. That's a lot more stuff to buy.
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Sebastian Grawan
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The only problem with that is multiple buys per turn would empty the wilds too quickly
This is why I believe a maximum of two buys should do the trick.
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mateenyweeny
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You have to pay Quiddity to summon your creatures, after the first few turns you shouldn't have too many turns where you have 6+ dice showing Quiddity.
I don't think that a houserule to allow the purchase of multiple dice from the Wilds is necessary.
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Anthony DuLac
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Royalflush wrote:



Other Notes

Quiddity was a horrible choice for the name of the currency imo. I found myself saying mana numerous times during the game and I haven't played Magic in years and years. Quiddity is just a messy word to try saying all throughout the game.


Totally don't agree. It fits the game well and is a unique term. Glad they used it.

EDIT - Just picked up the copy I won in Drakkenstrike's little contest when I went on base tonight. Imagine my delight! Anyway, one other quick remark in reaction to this review - the scoring cubes are definitely not similar in color or shade. I found it very easy to delineate between them which makes me wonder if the reviewer may have some form of color blindness? Not saying that cheekily, by any means, but they're just so clearly different in color that I'm surprised this was even mentioned as needing to be fixed. From what I'm looking at (even as I type this, they're sitting right on the table near me) they're quite different.
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Tim Norris
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I had a totally different reaction to the game when I demo'd it at GenCon.

We played a four player game and it took around 20-25 mins for us to learn and play the game for the first time. It's easy to pick up and very fun to play. We only played to 10 and the final score was 10-9-7-4. The person who was in last place just didn't have luck on his side. Otherwise it was up for grabs for the other 3. So runaway leader? Nope, it was still down to the wire at the end of the game.

I didn't have any issues with color either.

You can also get a die that allows you to make an additional purchase, and can streamline your dice by discarding them after you get some surviving creatures through and score points (or was it by defeating creatures?).

You can see the similarities to Thunderstone, but it's still different enough to warrant a purchase (which I did). The other great thing is my wife loved it, so there won't be any begging going on trying to find a partner.

Maybe after 30 or so plays, I could potentially see me downgrading this game a bit, however, I highly doubt it. This will be one of the best of 2011.
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Reverend Redd
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Royalflush wrote:

Quiddity was a horrible choice for the name of the currency imo. I found myself saying mana numerous times during the game and I haven't played Magic in years and years. Quiddity is just a messy word to try saying all throughout the game.


I shorten it to "Quid." Just saying "Quid" is not only easier, it's also British slang for money.
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Team Ski
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galathonredd wrote:
Royalflush wrote:

Quiddity was a horrible choice for the name of the currency imo. I found myself saying mana numerous times during the game and I haven't played Magic in years and years. Quiddity is just a messy word to try saying all throughout the game.


I shorten it to "Quid." Just saying "Quid" is not only easier, it's also British slang for money.


I love it! It certainly brings back some memories of my 7 years in the UK. It is Quid from now on.

-Ski
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I love the game and would give it around a 9.
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Paul Hackman
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I agree with pretty much all the points about mechanics. It's fun and there is variety and yet there's something missing that would allow for just a little more strategy.

I also found the dark colors difficult to work with, but I am colorblind.

I don't have any problem with the word quiddity. Then again, the word mana means nothing to me. The people I was playing with just started calling it "dollars."

Both games I demoed were 4 players and neither seemed particularly long. In fact the first game was over in just 6-7 turns.

My main complaint is just that the limits on culling and buying along with the fact that you always attack everyone means there aren't many interesting choices to make or variety in the types of "decks" you can build.

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Rick Teverbaugh
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But I love the fact that there is no tag-teaming or kingmaking.
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Tom
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Between my group we bought four copies and:
There is a major difference between copies as to the color of the scoring markers. My friends copy blue and black scoring markers are almost the same color and almost everyone we played with (11 times) made the comment "I can't tell the difference between the two makers" without us pointing this issue out. Also, my friends copy had several dice that were misprinted, completely white on one side (instead of a quid marking), or the numbers couldn't be read because they were smeared.

The good news is wizkids replaced them right away at the con and assured me if I found any more they would send replacements. They were very good so there should be no problems. This earns two thumbs up from me.

So no the reviewer is not color blind and yes there seems to have been some printing inconsistency with some people's sets.
My set by the way was fine.

Lastly, I talked to the Wizkids guys that came into the boardgame room late Friday night and asked us a bunch of questions about what we thought. They acknowledged they play the game sometimes with a few house rules and they are toying with releasing "optional rules" but nothing official. The main alt rule they talked about was a person could buy two items but only one from each category: one spell; one creature.

I suggested if someone rolled only quid that two options should be allowed: one monster purchase and one purchase to discard a die from discard pool (say for two or three quid). While this game didn't have any problems in two player mode, in four player mode everyone we played with said they had runaway leader problems if two or there players had a few early rounds of bad roles (no monsters) or if their monsters never survived. I played several four player games against very smart people where one of us won and everyone else scored two or three points because their monsters never serviced and one player had a super thin "dice pool" that was always rolling massive destruction. In one game I had two dragons by the end of turn two and it was all she wrote after that.

I like the game but it needs some tweaks.
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Chuck Smith
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pomomojo wrote:
I don't have any problem with the word quiddity. Then again, the word mana means nothing to me. The people I was playing with just started calling it "dollars."


Ha, you Americans having to call money in all games "dollars." I remember once playing a German game in the states where all the money was clearly marked as euros and everyone kept calling them dollars. It also freaks me out when I play Dominion there... they're treasures, not dollars! :-D

Ok, there is one game where this doesn't happen and that's Knizia's Money, because there are several different currencies in the game. hehe :)

I guess I should reveal that I'm actually American, but have lived in Germany now for 5 years...
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Brad Minnigh
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One thing that should be mentioned is that in the original post it would seem to me like the implication of the use of the dice that allow you to reroll that and one other die could allow you to reuse the portal dice (draw 1-2 dice from your bag and roll). You cannot reuse the portal dice I believe. Once you use them, they go to your used pile. They are still really good dice (both of them), but you can't keep rerolling portal dice and keep cashing in on drawing loads of dice.

I like the use of the word quiddity. It's unique and fun and I have no issues with it.

The scoring board thing I totally agree. It is so annoying to me when the scoring snakes around instead of left to right. I think I may have screwed up a couple of times while accidentally moving on the wrong side.

It can get annoying to get screwed over by grabbing a load of dice but it's a short enough game that it doesn't break it for me.

I would also agree that the lower level creatures are much much worse than the higher creatures. Once you or your opponent get out some of those large creatures there's nothing you can do about them unless you get large creatures of your own. Some of the larger creatures have 8 health and you would need 8 brown starter health guys, or 4 goblins, or any number of other multiple creatures just to take down one of theirs. It can be annoying that way.

I'm sure this will have some impact on people who are still deciding whether or not to play this game: I have played this game now 10 times I think, and have only won it once, but I still can't wait to play it again. My wife has played it with me all 10 of those times and she has won almost every time. She also loves the game. Women can have fun with this game. That is a huge selling point to me and I'm sure it is for others. It's a quick game and you can master it very quickly and it seems women also like it (I saw tons of women demoing it at Gencon).
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Sebastian Grawan
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Quote:
The scoring board thing I totally agree. It is so annoying to me when the scoring snakes around instead of left to right. I think I may have screwed up a couple of times while accidentally moving on the wrong side.
We just use coloured D20s... much better than the scoreboard.
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Brad Minnigh
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rashktah wrote:
Quote:
The scoring board thing I totally agree. It is so annoying to me when the scoring snakes around instead of left to right. I think I may have screwed up a couple of times while accidentally moving on the wrong side.
We just use coloured D20s... much better than the scoreboard.


Yeah, it's thankfully easy to work around. And it's not that big of a deal, definitely still worth buying the game. I just wish it was done differently.
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Royalflush wrote:
Other Notes

The 1/6 chance reroll on the starting Assistant (which allows you to reroll two dice - itself and one other) can be insane... especially when combined with Portals (which allow you to roll additional dice from your draw bag). A giant chain of rerolls where a player can attain tons of quiddity and creatures can result. This can be fun, but also could be frustrating if someone pulled off a huge amount of points via one big lucky turn with this combo..http://royalsturf.blogspot.com/


This response is right.
gamjuven wrote:
One thing that should be mentioned is that in the original post it would seem to me like the implication of the use of the dice that allow you to reroll that and one other die could allow you to reuse the portal dice (draw 1-2 dice from your bag and roll). You cannot reuse the portal dice I believe. Once you use them, they go to your used pile. They are still really good dice (both of them), but you can't keep rerolling portal dice and keep cashing in on drawing loads of dice.


You have to spend your Portal die (moving it to the used pile) to draw and roll from its ability. Once you've done that, you can no longer reroll it since it's in your used pile. However, you can keep rerolling the assistant die (plus one other die--as long as you have not spent it yet) as long as you keep getting that one specific face of the assistant die.

For example, let's say I roll an (A)ssistant, a (P)ortal, and 4 (B)asic (Q)uiddity and get the A's ability reroll this and another, the P's draw 2 and roll, and 1 x4 with my BQs. If I spend (move them to my used pile) my BQs ( 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 ) right now I get 4 quiddity to use up by the end of my turn.

If I reroll, the A and one of the BQs and get the A's creature and a 2 on my BQ, I've only got 5 (1 + 1 + 1 + 2), I do not retain the 1 that was on the BQ before I rerolled it, because I never spent it.

There's a specific example of a situation that covers this in the rules on page 10.

Everything else stated is accurate, though, but I felt I had to hop in and clarify this so people don't get mislead.
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Jeremy Likens
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Quarriors! » Forums » Reviews
Re: Royal's Reviews #1 - Quarriors - Faults of an Otherwise Fun Game
Thanks to everyone for their responses.

And no, I'm not color-blind. Yes, I was able to tell the colors apart well enough, but they were still quite similar (as everyone I played with agreed). From another comment it looks like this varies between different copies.

Oh, and a note for reference. My Ugly and Beautiful categories are things that would not necessarily make me choose to get or not get the game.

And thanks for the clarification on the portals. We did play it right but I can see how what I said can make it look otherwise.
 
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