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Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Gameplay feels very swingy/random... rss

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Ian Toltz
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Finally got to play Boss Monster yesterday. Got in three four-player games... Overall, I'm a bit concerned by how swingy the game feels, for the following reasons...

1. You're very much at the mercy of the draw deck. You get a little bit of control with the starting hand, but after that you'll likely end up drawing and playing one room every round.

2. Not only do you not have much control over what you will be able to do, but what you draw is hugely important. Drawing a room that lets you get spells or additional room draws is huge. Drawing an advanced room that doesn't match any of your rooms is dead.

3. There are frequently ties for multiple rounds, causing a huge back log of hero types. When the tie is finally broken, one person ends up getting a massive influx of heroes. Then they either die or pretty much win right there.

In the three games I played...

The first game was won by someone playing the gold dragon. When he leveled up, he got something like 8 heroes that had been backing up because of a tie, while no one else had more than 1 soul.

The second game was won for similar reasons; guy broke a multi-class tie, thought he was going to die, until I pointed out that he could use the Crushinator to boost all his rooms and kill everything instead of dying. So he won right there.

The third game, I won, because I happened to draw high damage rooms where the positioning didn't matter (one of the opponents was Hellcow, who can rearrange someone's dungeon), and rooms that allowed me to draw extra spells. This was the first game that wasn't decided by a tie being broken.
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Aaron Bohm
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Buying Boss Monster, we kind of already new what niche this was going to fall into: that of quick, light filler game with an interesting theme. Nothing they said in their campaign would have lead me to believe this was going to be some sort of epic strategy euro game of meat and length.

Suggestions. One would be to make sure everything is shuffled well. Getting cleric after cleric with no cleric rooms will mean build up.

Second, it's possible the players are playing to tie others. Make sure, for one, all buildings are built placed faced down and then revealed simultaneously. But ultimately, it's only a tie because otherwise, one or the other would have gotten it anyway and the tie simply delayed the inevitable.

Third, not so much with the room cards but with the spell cards. Don't discard these unless you have a room that gives you spells. If you have rooms that give you stuff, make sure you are maximizing them.

Lastly, this is at most a 15 min game. Play, fight, win! And don't expect it to be something it's not.
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Will Moller
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You can always house-rule something like: draw 2 cards, keep 1. Or just draw 2 cards but always discard down to 5 in hand at the end of the round or whatever. I'm sure there's several little ways to give you a more controlled feel that won't change the game much if you absolutely have to have it to enjoy the game.
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Ethan
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I had this same feeling in four player games. I came up with a variant discussed here :
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/905591/rules-variant-mac...

I've felt that it really helps balance things out and give more options, especially if one person seems to be running away with things. I doubt it would help with someone who has a one turn swing and win like you mentioned happening though.
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Panda Bear
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I'm with you, randomness / luck seemed to rule the day the half dozen playthroughs I had last night. I wasn't expecting complex or euro, but maybe just a dash less "mercy to the draw". Also XP tie breakers is a pretty bad mechanic, as a consensus of my table, we'll likely think up something more balanced / less random.

We had fun and the game looks great, just keeps me wondering how to improve it. I'll have to attempt those variants, thanks for their mentions
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Sarah Reed
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Yeah, this is not a highly strategic game, but a fun, light filler game. I do wish spells were easier to get as that makes the game more fun. I think we'll end up with some house rule variants, especially with drawing cards at the beginning. I like the idea of drawing more cards and then discarding down.
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Scooter the Great
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SilvaShado wrote:
Yeah, this is not a highly strategic game...


I agree with all of you that, at no point was I expecting a super heavy game, but actually think this game hits perfectly with the right amount of decision making. As was already stated, the game is meant for fast, quick play... if you did not get the right cards on the starting deal, the game will be over soon enough.

Now, first off, I have only played 2 and 3 player games. So I can see how the tie for treasure would be exaggerated with 4 players. And I can imagine how frustrating it would be to see a wash of heroes rush into another players dungeon.

But the duality of luring heroes that you can beat, while beefing up your dungeon to nab higher level heroes elevates this from just about all other 'under 30 minute card games' in my collection. I would much rather pull this out than Fluxx or Guillotine, orders of magnitude more interesting.

To the OP: I would highly suggest playing the game as a two player. You will be wishing for a tie long enough to get some rooms out on the table.
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Sarah Reed
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My problem so far is that this game is not short. Every time we've sat down to play, with 2 or 3 players, it ends up taking over an hour to play. I'm not sure if its just the people I play with over-think and take too long in making decisions, but I'd be much better with the swingy nature of the game if it actually was a short game.
 
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David Gregg
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What's taking so long to play?

The phases themselves are very fast. The only phase that really depends on the players timing-wise is the build phase and even then it's not like you have a ton of options. We play this in ~20 minutes...
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Ian Toltz
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I don't see how it could be taking that long, either.

Are you putting out enough heroes? You always post out X new heroes every turn, where X is the number of players that that started the game. These new heroes are in addition to any old heroes that have stuck around because of ties.

Actually, the playing time is fairly constant because of this. In a 3 player game, you'll always have had 15 heroes come out by turn 5.
 
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Sarah Reed
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Yep, we put out heroes correctly. I'm pretty sure it's because my group over thinks on what cards to play when. Maybe it'll get faster as we play more, but we've played 3 or 4 times now and the length of the game is the same...
 
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Carlos "Koey"
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SilvaShado wrote:
Yep, we put out heroes correctly. I'm pretty sure it's because my group over thinks on what cards to play when. Maybe it'll get faster as we play more, but we've played 3 or 4 times now and the length of the game is the same...

For those 3 player game do you all start with different boss treasure types or were they all the same??
Cause the more tied you are on treasure the longer a game could take.


Yauchy wrote:
I think it depends on the group. With my group we tend to talk a lot and co-ordinate a bunch, so they can go over an hour and I've also held a 6 player game, which took a bit longer.

In general though, once you've had a few drafts and know the cards well, it goes really fast.


6 player isn't advised due to the fact it is much harder to break ties so it will definitely take longer.


Yet to receive my copy so its all theory crafting here.
 
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Scooter the Great
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Yauchy wrote:
It's also good of me to note I have yet to play the competitive mode, we solely play co-op at the moment.


What is this madness you speak of?!?! Would you mind posting the variation? In a different thread for sure, as it is way off OP topic. I would love to see how you deal with this, especially with 6 players.
 
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Matt West
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We've had two games won by cleverly-timed "double treasure icons in your dungeon" effects. It seems like once you have a dungeon that deals 8 or more damage reliably, drawing the room and/or spell with this effect is an automatic game winner. Kind of a rough way to lose, and hard to predictably counter.
 
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Aaron Bohm
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WestMatt wrote:
We've had two games won by cleverly-timed "double treasure icons in your dungeon" effects. It seems like once you have a dungeon that deals 8 or more damage reliably, drawing the room and/or spell with this effect is an automatic game winner. Kind of a rough way to lose...


I think the game is in its infancy enough to where there isn't enough metagame so I'll give you a tip: that is until your group learns to save one of those "shut down an opponents room" cards. This is a good way to eliminate an opponent who otherwise thinks they have the game in the bag due to attracting the necessary number of monsters.

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Sarah Reed
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Koey wrote:
SilvaShado wrote:
Yep, we put out heroes correctly. I'm pretty sure it's because my group over thinks on what cards to play when. Maybe it'll get faster as we play more, but we've played 3 or 4 times now and the length of the game is the same...

For those 3 player game do you all start with different boss treasure types or were they all the same??
Cause the more tied you are on treasure the longer a game could take.

You know, I think a few of the games we were tied... I definitely want to pick my boss next time. I'm done with the random crap.

My husband also reminded me, as I tend to forget, that with his vision issues, he takes longer to read all the cards. I don't usually notice for this game because I'm busy looking over my cards to figure out what I'm going to do next.

I would love to try this game as a co-op. Has anyone posted the rules for it?
 
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Mitchell Waldbauer
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Re: Strategy:

There is a distinct subset of games where most of the strategy comes from optimizing the random elements in the game. There are a LOT of people who don't appreciate this kind of "you are dealt some stuff, do what you can with it" game.

Personally, I find this kind of game much more challenging to win consistently.

Re: Time to play:

I teach a lot of newer-to-games types. Games with lots of cards with unique text take a lot longer to play. Experienced TCG/LCG players will have to read a card 3-4 times during the course of play. Inexperienced people will have to read 10-12 times. And each time you have to read it, you may then have to ask yourself "ok, how is that strategically helpeful."

Most of our 3-4 player games with newer players take about an hour, largely due to this.

With experienced card game players, it's taken us 45 minutes for a 4-player game.

I think with 4 experienced card game players who have played 4-5 times it'll take 20-30. Sadly (and happily since I love having a mix of people) I haven't had the same group of people each time.



 
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Christopher Mayfield
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we were thinking of doing a draft for your starting hand. and having more cards in your hand It is really easy to get down to only 3 in your hand with no spells.
 
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