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Subject: Difficult to Catch Up? rss

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Roger Rigby
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Admittedly, we were all tired when we sat down to play and were reading the rules as we went. The box had just shown up and it was sitting there, on the end of the table while we ate dinner, so it had to be played. meeple You know how it is.

A majority of our group likes eurogames so we were probably reading a level of complexity into the rules that probably should not have been there, but we struggled.

We chucked it up as a "learning game" and just dove in and started drafting weapons, armor, trinkets, etc., without really knowing how important each was going to be.

One of us guessed correctly and had a decent combination, the rest of us got pummeled. When you die during a round, you stop fighting, and loose a skill point. This places your obviously weak character even further behind the leader. The next round you begin again, perhaps doing better with your round two drafting, however whenever you defeat a creature, inevitably the front runner already has more trophies than you, making it nearly impossible to catch up.

We will try again. This time We will read the rules ahead of time and probably look at the monsters to see what kind of damage they deal and how best to kill them, however anti-thematic that may be.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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I think that the loss of skill when defeated is probably too harsh because it punishes someone who is already doing poorly.

But it seems that the big mistake new players often make is to ignore armor. It pretty important that you are able to survive against most types of damage, since you never know what you will end up fighting if others pass their monster to you.

Ideally, you'll be strong enough to take on your assigned monster, as well as everyone else's monster, in case they decide to pass it to you. Don't worry much about the center monster unless you are the start player, because you probably won't get it.
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Darrell Goodridge
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Keep in mind the gold is split from defeating a monster just in case someone does die so they have a chance at gearing up the next round. Granted, your point about being behind in legend points is valid.

I am still amazed at how they expect you to survive with like 3 life points though.
 
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Jason Preder
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Cardboardjunkie wrote:
I am still amazed at how they expect you to survive with like 3 life points though.


This!

If you are dealt a significantly powerful monster on your first turn, and don't get a good draft...you could be out on your first turn. This happened to my son. He wanted to quit immediately
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David Hoffman
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MilkFromACow wrote:
Cardboardjunkie wrote:
I am still amazed at how they expect you to survive with like 3 life points though.


This!

If you are dealt a significantly powerful monster on your first turn, and don't get a good draft...you could be out on your first turn. This happened to my son. He wanted to quit immediately


For whatever it's worth, so long as you're not Player 1, there's a chance you can paw that powerful monster off on someone else.

We played tonight and some of us definitely did poorly in the first draft, but we also didn't pass monsters along nearly enough.

If I can convince my group to play again, I'm going to suggest either pre-drafting weapons or a modified shuffle so everyone at least has a chance of starting the game with a weapon; as it worked out, some folks blew their starting gold too early and didn't have weapons, or simply didn't get them drafted to them.

Failing that, I'd suggest perhaps the base skill counters can also act as "base weapons" until a player "replaces" them with actual gear.

This game is rough for folks who don't start out well and can represent a lot of downtime if they're eliminated early.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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You can attack for 1 melee damage if you don't have a weapon. Provided you pick up some good armor, this can get you through many round 1 monsters.
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Darrell Goodridge
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MasterDinadan wrote:
You can attack for 1 melee damage if you don't have a weapon. Provided you pick up some good armor, this can get you through many round 1 monsters.


Hmm. Good to know. I must have completely missed that in the rules.
 
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Jason Preder
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ohbalto wrote:
MilkFromACow wrote:
Cardboardjunkie wrote:
I am still amazed at how they expect you to survive with like 3 life points though.


This!

If you are dealt a significantly powerful monster on your first turn, and don't get a good draft...you could be out on your first turn. This happened to my son. He wanted to quit immediately


For whatever it's worth, so long as you're not Player 1, there's a chance you can paw that powerful monster off on someone else.

We played tonight and some of us definitely did poorly in the first draft, but we also didn't pass monsters along nearly enough.

If I can convince my group to play again, I'm going to suggest either pre-drafting weapons or a modified shuffle so everyone at least has a chance of starting the game with a weapon; as it worked out, some folks blew their starting gold too early and didn't have weapons, or simply didn't get them drafted to them.

Failing that, I'd suggest perhaps the base skill counters can also act as "base weapons" until a player "replaces" them with actual gear.

This game is rough for folks who don't start out well and can represent a lot of downtime if they're eliminated early.


This is true, but it's somewhat probable that there is no one to pass the monster off too. We played with 3 people, which would likely be the average number of players for this. Unfortunately, even that wouldn't have helped us, because my son was the first player and got smashed immediately. Sitting out the entire first round seems almost game breaking.

Maybe you could house rule buying life during the draft. Sacrificing a skill for a life point? IDK, but starting with 3 life seems problematic. Maybe you could display the entire draft of cards and just let people pick them in draft order. At least then you'd have some chance of knowing if you needed an armor because there is no chance of getting a weapon, etc.

 
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matt way
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With all due respect, there are 6 weapons and 3 armors in the first draft for a 3 player game, none of which cost more than 2 gold. If you can't manage to buy a weapon or armor, you probably need to reteach the game and start over.
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Cameron McKenzie
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That's true... You are guaranteed to see at least three weapons in the first three hands you pick from. It's your own fault if you don't get one.
 
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Jason Preder
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Poliorcetes wrote:
With all due respect, there are 6 weapons and 3 armors in the first draft for a 3 player game, none of which cost more than 2 gold. If you can't manage to buy a weapon or armor, you probably need to reteach the game and start over.


I've still only played once, but this seems a little inconsiderate of somewhat likely situations...

1. Maybe I'm capable of selecting an armor or weapon, but what if I'm deprived of one in the draft because someone else is taking your ideal weapon and burning the others on a skill.

2. Expands on 1. If I do get a weapon/armor, it may not be ideal for my character, causing me to overspend gold to have any armor/weapon at all.

3. Even if you get a weapon, in many cases it seemed like it wasn't enough to 1 shot a monster, so if you didn't also acquire an armor, you could be knocked out of the game on the first attack due to the high attack values on some of the monsters. 3 life is sorely inadequate if you have no armor and even slightly debilitating if you don't have the ideal armor or a healing potion.

4. Getting a crappy draw for your first monster is one of the biggest flaws I noticed. If you manage to get dealt the high end monster to start, and have no option to pass it off, there is no way to take a mulligan or a luck based chance to survive. If I remember correctly, some of the first level monsters were doing chaos damage (mostly unpreventable in the first draft) and then up to 3-4 various types of damage on top of that. Game over for you. Seems a bit rediculous that a less than ideal draft can cause a round 1 iPhone game while the rest play it out.

Clearly, all these items are based on luck of the draw. Many/all games have some shape or form to this, so I realize it is a reality, but am I doing something dramatically wrong that you think I'd need to "reteach" the game? I don't think so. I think it has some interesting ideas that end up being a bit clunky or unbalanced based on the draft with no way to offset the imbalance if it occurs. This is why I suggested that if there was a way to trash a card for a life (maybe once per draft), this could offset getting a shit hand or an overpowered monster.

I really want to like this game, and I'll give it one more shot, but I think the fundamental draft mechanic, while interesting, is just too clunky to make a fun sense of balance when playing with others.
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Jason Preder
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MasterDinadan wrote:
That's true... You are guaranteed to see at least three weapons in the first three hands you pick from. It's your own fault if you don't get one.


I played with 3 players, and I'm not sure this is a true statement. I'd have to check the cards for the draft, but does this remain true even if others are burning weapons for skills before you get them?
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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MilkFromACow wrote:
MasterDinadan wrote:
That's true... You are guaranteed to see at least three weapons in the first three hands you pick from. It's your own fault if you don't get one.


I played with 3 players, and I'm not sure this is a true statement. I'd have to check the cards for the draft, but does this remain true even if others are burning weapons for skills before you get them?


Yes... You will see six cards in your first hand, five in your second, and four in your third, and they will all be different cards. There can only be three cards that are picked before ever reaching you. Even if all three of those were weapons, there are still three others.
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Brent Lloyd
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MilkFromACow wrote:
Getting a crappy draw for your first monster is one of the biggest flaws I noticed.


I agree, the game has wild swings of luck in it.

MilkFromACow wrote:
I think it has some interesting ideas that end up being a bit clunky or unbalanced based on the draft with no way to offset the imbalance if it occurs.


I agree.

The game seems to hinge on getting a new weapon and (hopefully) armour each round. In lieu of a new weapon, hopefully an artifact or spell to boost the weapon you already have. The downside to the weapon boost is they usually are one shot items.

Peace
 
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Udo Borries
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So i just did my maths on this:

In a 3-player game, in level 1 you have 6 weapons and 3 pieces of armor, with only three cards out of reach for you and additional 7 eventually not making it back to you. This should be enough to get at least one weapon, even if not the ideal for you, and good chances on a second weapon or a piece of armor.

In a 4-player game, it's 9 weapons and 4 pieces of armor, six cards out of reach and additional 12 not making it back to you.

In a 5-player game, it's still 9 weapons , 5 pieces of armor, and 10 cards out of reach, with no card ever comin back. Now, there could be a possibility to not getting any weapon, if your fellow players decide to take each and every weapon for themselves. but with so many other nice things to get, i doubt that this will happen.

And if you don't get armor, there are other things to dfend against damage or even heal (and according to the rules, you can use healing items after you were reduced to zero life - and you can never fall below zero, even if you're at one life and get 5 damage)

Oh, and on the catching up - i played three games up to now, and in two of them, the player with the best start lost in the end.
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Lee Fisher
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Unisus wrote:
So i just did my maths on this:

In a 3-player game, in level 1 you have 6 weapons and 3 pieces of armor, with only three cards out of reach for you and additional 7 eventually not making it back to you. This should be enough to get at least one weapon, even if not the ideal for you, and good chances on a second weapon or a piece of armor.

In a 4-player game, it's 9 weapons and 4 pieces of armor, six cards out of reach and additional 12 not making it back to you.

In a 5-player game, it's still 9 weapons , 5 pieces of armor, and 10 cards out of reach, with no card ever comin back. Now, there could be a possibility to not getting any weapon, if your fellow players decide to take each and every weapon for themselves. but with so many other nice things to get, i doubt that this will happen.

And if you don't get armor, there are other things to dfend against damage or even heal (and according to the rules, you can use healing items after you were reduced to zero life - and you can never fall below zero, even if you're at one life and get 5 damage)

Oh, and on the catching up - i played three games up to now, and in two of them, the player with the best start lost in the end.


Thanks for this. Is weapons/armor ratio the same for all 3 rounds?
 
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matt way
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Don't forget the 2 Polymorph spells that act as "mulligans". There is a rechargable damage spell and a 1 shot damage spell that also converts damage types. On top of the 3 armor you have 2 items that resurrect you (activate to gain 1 health) and a 1 shot heavy armor spell.
Given that you can see your first opponent and tailor your attack/defense plan, its hard to see the problem. To not kill your first monster would require you to essentially buy only the utility cards and still somehow pass up multiple weapon cards (6 weapons and 2 spells in a 3 player game).

Poliorcetes
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Udo Borries
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lfisher wrote:
Thanks for this. Is weapons/armor ratio the same for all 3 rounds?


In level 2 you have also 6 weapons in 3P, 9 in 4P and 5P, in level 3 it's 7 (3P) and 10 (4P + 5P).

Pieces of armor are 3 (3P)/ 4 (4P)/ 5 (5P) in level 2 and 4 (3P)/ 5 (4P)/ 6 (5P) in level 3.

So the chances are quite similar, but in the higher levels you may not be able to take just the next weapon, as especially in the 3rd level the weapons cost a lot if you don't have the right skills.
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Paul Roberts
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I really want to like this game, and think its close. However, it does need some work IMHO. Its just not balanced out well. I played multiple demo's at Gen-Con (always with 5) but also watched a 4 player and it always ended up with one player (or more) being left behind after getting knocked out in rounds 1 or two or both. The skill loss is definitely too punitive. Initially I thought it might have just been a 5 player issue, but saw it happen in the 4 player game I watched and also in the "Drive Through Review" it was shown to happen. I was soooo close to purchasing it still, but decided to give it a pass as the game gets some work. If it does not get some work, I will not give it another look.

It just looks to be an unfinished game (balancing wise). Its stunning and a fun twist on drafting, but not fun when you or your fellow players are getting pummeled and then having to sit around while you play the game. Please note, in none of the demo's I did was I the one that got left in the cold, so its not like my opinion is biased by a personal negative experience.
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