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Subject: RPGish: Battlestations, Betrayal, Fury and more? rss

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Greetings. I'm playing in a small 3 player group and after playing several board games I would like to play something RPGish. Fantasy theme is preferred but not required. I actually have made a compilation of games I'd like. But my main problem is that it seems to me that the other players may not be much into roleplaying. One is willing to try but I'm not sure would like the topic for long, and with the other I may even have to convince to play.

I have questions about the following games.

1. Battlestations looks like a game I'd like to play. I understand the manual is big, but it also contains a story/novel. Can someone tell me how many pages are actual rules, and how much of those rules is a bare minimum for a first game? Also, can you describe if newbies could like it or is it only for hardcore gamers.

2. Betrayal at House on the Hill seems to have an interesting mechanic, but I'm a bit puzzled as some people seem to love it and some don't like it at all (Standard Deviation of 1.66 should say something about that.) I'm looking for more feedback on this one.

3. Fury of Dracula. Seems interesting but because reviews always compare it to the older version, I can't form a very good picture on my mind. Would this appeal to newbie players?

Well that's about it. Thanks in advance for all replies.
 
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Allen Doum
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Of the three, Battlestations is the most "RPGish". that is the intent, and it appears to be successful.

Betrayal is less so. Caracters are predefined, and can improve (or degrade) during a scenario, but there is no campaign.

The "High Concept" description of Fury of Dracula would be "Scotland Yard with combat."
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Tim M-L
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How do you feel about a miniatures game with a campaign? Necromunda might be a decent choice. The campaign system lets you develop your gang and its individual members over a series of matches. It is not as expensive as other miniatures games because you do not need a ton of figures, also the rules are now free for download. One drawback is that the official figures are out of print, but there are many figures you can buy as substitutes.
 
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George Munzing
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Battlestations is probably going to be overwhelming for those that haven't RPG'd at all. Lots of RPG element though if they can get onto it.

BaHotH is very light and I personally don't see the RPG feel. The group (minus a traitor) works as a team so there is verbal interaction. However the characters do not progress from game to game and so one doesn't really become that attached to them. The RPG experience (in my opinion) is more about "being" your character. BaHotH plays much more like a board game with characters that change occasionally.

Don't know about FoD.

Perhaps........ the old school "D&D" games may be a good segway into RPG stuff for them. Things like Heroquest or Dragon Quest come to mind. These are relatively easy to find (on BGG anyway) and are very simple and would be well suited for two players (plus you as a DM) with a fantasy theme.

After that you could consider things like Battlestations or When Darkness Comes to delve a little deeper into the RPG world.

My $0.02

Good luck!
 
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I read the reviews on Scotland Yard and now I can better understand the concept behing the Fury of Dracula. Thank you.

I never saw Necromunda before, seems interesting. I never played a miniatures game before... they seem to be the closest to actual RPGs. I found some good links to Necromunda sites on Wikipedia. For some reason it reminds me of Final Fantasy Tacticas minus the grid positioning (and different theme). However, I'll admit the rules are a bit heavy for me to start out playing miniatures, especially considering the other players. Would you suggest other, more lite, miniatures games that also have campaign?
 
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Dungeon Quest looks like something I may want to get. I'll look more into it.
 
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Wolfgang Kunz
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As a Wargamer I would say that the manual is not "Big". It includes lots of scenarios and therefore has more pages than a typical 4-pages-of-rules-game.

If you are willing to work through the system, which is not over complicated and maybe use predefined characters it is easy to get into the system. Also a lot of things are not possible at the beginning of the game (f. e. huge spaceships that you own and have to operate).

Because of the various scenarios it is easy to pick a small one and be done in an afternoon. You might also consider to play a spacefight or a boarding - action just to get a feel for the system. I really like the open possibilities after the game is set up.

As I said, it depends on your will to dig into the system (which is IMHO not over - coplicated). If you like games where you get the rules in max. 15 min then stay away. If you are willing to invest an afternoon or two, making notes for yourself or drawing flow - charts, this game is truly a winner.

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Steven Packard
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Along the lines of Necromunda as an RPG-ish miniatures game, you might also want to look into Mordheim: City of the Damned and/or Lord of the Rings: Tabletop Battle Game and/or Mines of Moria.

You said you liked the fantasy genre, and all 3 of these fall into that category.

They're all by Games Workshop like Necromunda, and like that game your characters evolve from battle to battle and the results of a former fight can effect your next one.

Mordheim MIGHT be a bit rules-heavy for you to start off with, but the basic gameplay rules aren't that long.

LOTR:TBG is geared for someone new to miniature gaming (and as a result has many experienced miniature gamers put off, thinking it's too light). I'd suggest playing with warband rules which keeps your figures low in numbers, and really accents the RPG feel to it.

Mines of Moria is LOTR themed of course, and is REALLY geared for the beginner. It explains the rules a little at a time and then has you play a scenario based on the new rules, with each new scenario adding more and more rules, allowing you to grow and be comfortable with it. By the time you've gone through those scenarios, you're ready to jump right in to the LOTR:TBG game.

(NOTE: you don't HAVE to do Mines of Moria first; I'm just mentioning both so that you can look into them, and choose which one you think you'd enjoy more -- or neither.)
 
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J. Green
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Just got Fury of Dracula, and it's excellent with three players. One plays Drac, the other two split the four hunters between them. It's an amazing game, one of the best ever made I think. The current version improves on an already stellar game. If you like RPG, you can get into the characters, and it's very much a story. I had a blast as Drac even though I lost. You could easily novelize any given game. There's a lot for hunters to do, and the game makes it easy for them to get onto Drac's trail so it doesn't have to take forever to sniff him out. There's plenty of fun for Dracula besides running, since you get to leave nasty encounters in every city you visit for the hunters. Timing your attacks is crucial since you're much weaker at night. Seeding vampires along your trail and hoping they last long enough to give you victory points is a blast! I can't recommend it highly enough. If you like board games and you're also into RPGs, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this game. It may not be an 'RPG-lite,' but it can begin to feel that way. It's not character development so much as event and item management, so in that sense I would call this a rock-solid Adventure game. Wow, what an adventure. Go get it!
 
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