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When we played this at launch, it went over decently but not great.
-Setup and takedown was a chore.
-People did not grok the coop but it's not nature of the game.
-Difficulty level felt very random.

I still bought Dark City because I am a sucker. I finally got around to sleeving and sorting everything and really want to give this game another try. To give it the best chance for success, would love thoughts from the Legendary Pros, or at least people who are Pros at introducing the game. Few issues that come to mind:
-Don't need to play a "beginner" scenario. We are all experienced deckbuilder players so I think random is fine.
-Thinking of playing with 4. That seems OK per BGG info.
-Is it coop or not? I have seen people argue both sides: that you must play the game as a pure coop/pure competitive or it's just not worth it. And I'm not talking about purely personal preferences -- I mean people arguing that the mechanics and balance lends itself strongly to a single style of play. What do you think? I would present it as such:
1. If we defeat the Boss, we all win, but there is a best winner. For everyone this is the best outcome. People should compete on points but not at the cost of winning the game. And people behind in points should not sabotage the game because winning is still winning.
2. If decks run out, only the best winner wins. This is not even the best outcome for the best winner.

Any other tips/learned wisdom? Thanks!
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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I haven't seen anyone argue that mechanically it must be played pure co-op. That seems to be a preference thing among some people (like me), who just prefer co-ops over semi-cooperatives. I think mechanically it does want to be a "winner among winners" co-op, as you stated in your points 1 and 2.

If people really get into the theme, then the semi-cooperative nature makes sense. We are good people, so if an evil mastermind wins, that's the worst possible outcome. But assuming we beat the baddies, it would be nice to have a few more brownie points with the boss, so maybe I'll get a raise or a nicer office. So if I have a choice between getting more points and fewer points, and getting more points won't put the team at a severe disadvantage, I'll take the points.

If my selfishness causes evil to win, then I should feel bad.

But since I haven't actually played that way yet, it's just speculation on my part.
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Jacovis
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The game is competitive at core, it's just that you have multiple people trying to do the same thing better than the others. That isn't much different than other competitive board games. The coop is only as much as your group wants it to be. I play with some people who want to discuss strategy beat the game as a team, and that's fine, but most of the time people I play with are playing to win. The crux of that is, do I screw over John even though it may cost us the game, but at least I'll win if it doesn't?

Think of it as competitive, but you all share a common goal that sometimes sees you working together.

All that said, I enjoy this as either competitive and cooperative alike, and that says a lot about how fun the game is to me.

Find out which way your group wants to play it and just have fun.

Cheers!
 
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Jay Reigns
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I think of the semi-co-op nature kind of like Gimli and Legolas in Lord of the Rings. They're fighting towards a common goal, but whoever beats up the most baddies gets bragging rights and Oliphants still only count as one!
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peakhope wrote:
I haven't seen anyone argue that mechanically it must be played pure co-op. That seems to be a preference thing among some people (like me), who just prefer co-ops over semi-cooperatives. I think mechanically it does want to be a "winner among winners" co-op, as you stated in your points 1 and 2.


I blame Vasel! (I think. But he may have just been saying what you are re preference.)
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Darth Ed
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"Pro" Tip: For random setup, use this randomizer:
http://legendary.monkeyunion.net/
It's the best randomizer of those that support both Dark City and the core set.

My friends and I play it fairly competitively, but we don't usually go out of our way to screw each other with wounds or forced discards. If it looks like we're about to lose, then we cooperate more until it looks like we have the game in hand or we actually lose.
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Shane Julius
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I've played a good number of times both with the new expansion and without, so I'll give some snippets of knowledge that I have.

I would consider the basic game Scheme's the 'beginner' ones for the most part. The game certainly does ramp up once you go into the new stuff.

Four is a good number I think, but if you pull a new Scheme go with caution. Two players with them can be hard depending on the set up, and it only gets worse as you scale. I've played 4 in some of the new ones and it gets downright brutal in them if your hands are not gold.

I'd go with both on the co-op or not. We always play for an M.V.P.

The playgroup I'm in, we fall more to the competetive side than co-op, but with the new expansion I have been known to let points fall to the way side. I'd rather see us win than lose in the end.

 
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Justin F
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Personally I've never viewed the game as a purely cooperative deckbulding game, but rather as simply another competitive deckbulding game with a different win/end game mechanic (that being defeating the master mind). There's no reason to think that you can't cooperate a bit with the others players while still trying to beat them overall, which lends itself to some novel decision making in this game as compared to other purely competitive deck bulding games.
 
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Almost forgot -- do you guys play with Showdown?
 
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Darth Ed
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AstroLad wrote:
Almost forgot -- do you guys play with Showdown?

There's already a thread for that.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1012220/final-showdown-goodb...
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Brian Morris
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AstroLad wrote:
Almost forgot -- do you guys play with Showdown?


Yes we do.

In terms of the game itself I mainly play with a wargame buddy of mine and his two sons. Because we're playing with his young sons the co-op nature of the game is great. The game takes on a more relaxed social atmosphere I think and yet at the end we still declare an overall winner. I think that combined with the replayability of the game are what I enjoy about it.

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