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Subject: Spot a red 7 to make it 4am. rss

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James Mayfield
Australia
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What can I say, I have a love hate relationship with this game.

I love it. My wife hates it. My Firday (no it's not a spelling mistake) night gaming pals love it. My Firday mates' partners all hate it.

I've played 3 times now. The first time, we started at 7pm, and finished at 2am. 7 hours. Not too bad, we thought, seeing as we were checking the rule book every five seconds. And especially seeing as the first 3 hours were spent punching out the hundreds of little tokens and counters there are. (Seriously, do you really need to action tokens to remember that you have only got 2 actions for the turn? If you aren't smart enough to remember that, I'm not sure you'll have the mental capacity to play a game that involves rolling up to 21 dice, spotting them, moving tokens, etc etc)

The next game was another 4 player game, but this time we took on the overlord, and it was a tight run thing. Finished on turn 28, in only 7 hours.

Then there was last nights game.

We were playing a 6 player game. Started at 8pm, and thought we would power through it. We'd all played before. It was 1am before it was the end of turn 30, and then it was another TWO AND A HALF HOURS just for the final PvP battle.

This is DEFINATELY not a short game.

That having been said, with a bit of practice, I reckon we'd get the efficiency down a bit better.

OK, so what do I like about it?

It's so varied. There are 9 different character classes, and with 2 factions to play, and all the different card decks, you could have HUNDREDS of different games without any of them being the same.

You can play with 2 players and up, and still have fun. I play a lot of the old citadel games, like Heroquest, Warhammer Quest, Space Crusade, etc, and these all really need a good number of people to play. We usually get at least 4 at our Firday night sessions, but if we were down to only 3 for some reason (like last flu season) then we're a bit limited. With WoW, our first session was a 3 player session, and it went off!

It encourages team play. A lot of the "team" games I've played before still don't really encourage team play. In space crusade I've seen people shoot a plasma gun straight through 3 of the other players marines so he could shoot one android to get the points. With WoW, to have any chance of winning, there are times when you HAVE to team up. Even a level 5 character isn't going to be able to take down the overlord on his own, and when there's a bounty on the head of one of your team mates, you want to protect them just to stop the other faction getting the 3 XP per player.

All the componants. The quality of the bits in this game is fantastic. Every piece of artwork is brilliant, and there are so many of them. Nothing to fault there. Even the miniatures. I know people have knocked them for not being as good as the citadel ones in, say, Warhammer Quest, but the ones in WoW are better for _actually_ _playing_ _with_. They're a bit bendy, so they don't break all the time, and they are still of a very high quality.

Now, the bad things.

This game does take too long to play. It's great fun, but you need a full day just to play. This is going to turn younger gamers off straight away.

All the tokens. Do you really need a "bag" token, and a spell book? And how many tokens do you really need for health and power? We've never come close to using them all.

But then, in the final PvP battle, there are nowhere near enough damage and shield tokens. I could really do with another card or 2 of these. Wonder if they will do them as a spare part?

The other bad thing is the size of the game. I have a folding 8'x4' trestle table that I use as my mobile gaming platform. And it's too small for a 6 player game. It's bursting at the seams with a 4 player game, and that's before thinking about room for snacks and drinks. (And you NEED snacks and drinks.)

The complexity. This is a good thing for the variety it adds, but it can make it a bit too complex. In one turn, I started off with....

Spend some power.
Add dice to my pool.
Roll the dice.
Spot some dice, to roll a few more dice.
Spend some power.
Change the values of some dice to some other ones.
Then spot those dice to gain reroll + 3.
Reroll about half my dice.
Spot some more dice to turn them into other numbers.
Spend a power to turn a 6 into an 8.
Put some tokens in the boxes.
Finally figure out wether or not I've killed anything.

Still, I'm eagrely awaiting the supplements.

-Jimmy
 
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Mike zebrowski
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jamesmayfieldau wrote:
(Seriously, do you really need to action tokens to remember that you have only got 2 actions for the turn? If you aren't smart enough to remember that, I'm not sure you'll have the mental capacity to play a game that involves rolling up to 21 dice, spotting them, moving tokens, etc etc)


Actually, they are very useful. Remember that each side can determine the order of their actions as they go along. If you take a short action, such as Rest and then your team mates take some longer actions, you might not remember that you've already taken one action later in the turn. The tokens prevent arguments.

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The other bad thing is the size of the game. I have a folding 8'x4' trestle table that I use as my mobile gaming platform. And it's too small for a 6 player game. It's bursting at the seams with a 4 player game, and that's before thinking about room for snacks and drinks. (And you NEED snacks and drinks.)


That's strange. I play the game on a 4'x4' table at the local game store and it fits just fine.
 
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Jason Jullie
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Wow, it never cesses to amaze me how different people play a game. I thought that this game would take my gaming group 6+ hours to finish up, but we played out first four player game in under 4 hours. And that's with an hour or so of instruction. By our second game, we were finishing up in just around 2.5 hours. Granted these are only 4 player games, but I can't see a 6 player game taking much longer in our group.

Of course, it appears that our group just play very quickly. I've heard of people taking 8 hours to play Descent, whereas we get a game done in around 3. I think that it just comes down to the nature of the gaming group. If you spend just as much time socializing as you do gaming, then these games will definately eat up the better part of the day. Our groups tends to "stay on target", as it were. We are generally ready to go when our faction turn comes up and there is a very quick back and forth between the two factions.

No matter, as long as you're having fun, that's all that matters.
 
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Brian
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I think a love/hate relationship is definitely the best way to describe it. I love the game, I hate that it takes so long. And, even though it takes a little longer with 6, I also think it's a much better game with 6 characters than with 4, as it causes the faction to discuss the strategies of who will solo and increases the chances/risk of PvP.

The funny thing is that last time we played, both sides were discussing strategy and planning actions and future powers/talents during the downtime... only to have an event come up and cause people to have to rethink their strategies.

Agreed about the huge amounts of tokens. I think dice (or the abacus) for health/energy would be much more efficient than vast amount of tokens...

MrSkeletor said it best on another thread: I'm waiting for that one element that turns this game from a good or very good game into a great game (one that I don't mind spending 4 hours playing). I'm not sure what that missing element is... but I'm hoping that FFG figures it out and puts in one of the expansions.
 
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James Mayfield
Australia
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Mike Zebrowski wrote:
Actually, they are very useful. Remember that each side can determine the order of their actions as they go along. If you take a short action, such as Rest and then your team mates take some longer actions, you might not remember that you've already taken one action later in the turn. The tokens prevent arguments.

I agree with you in principle, but I still maintain that if you have the mental capacity to play the game (it's pretty complex, all in all), then you ought to be able to remember how many actions you have taken. In our group we NEVER remember to turn the counters after the first 3 rounds, and we never have any arguements. And the bag and spell book counters are really just extras for the sake of it.

Mike Zebrowski wrote:
That's strange. I play the game on a 4'x4' table at the local game store and it fits just fine.

Sorry, my mistake, my table is 3'4''x6'8'', but the point still stands. How on earth are you supposed to fit everything??? The board itself is about 2'x'3, plus 6 A4 sheets of cardboard, plus the cards that you put in the skills section, plus somewhere for all the tokens, and cards etc, plus the monsters.

You either need to be REALLY tidy and organised, (I'm resisting the urge to call it being anal), or you need more space.
 
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James Mayfield
Australia
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A few people have sent me emails outside this forum suggesting ways to speed the game up, so here is the suggestions, and my responses:

1: Do all your buying/selling/character management etc while the next player/faction is having their action/turn.

Well, this is a nice theory. But it doesn't work in practice. One I finish my combat, and ding, then I need to do my level up action (gaining health, energy, and a talent) before I draw the next quest card.

I need to draw the next quest card and place it etc before any of the other characters (in my faction or not) have their turn.

At the end of my faction turn it is REALLY important that I complete my character management phase before the next faction starts. What if they (A) decide to stomp on me, or (B) draw a merchant type event card, where I can sell stuff I don't have equiped?

It's unfortunate, but to play _properly_ you really need to play one phase at a time.

2: Dude, use deadly PvP.

We do!!! (Well, sometimes.) But I must admit, I don't like it as much. It is faster, but it still takes us at least 2 hours with 6 characters. A large part of this is the way we play our characters. In PvP (deadly or otherwise) green dice are king. A shield token allows you to stop 2 damage in PvP. (One attrition, and one damage/defence.) So, if you can get some good shields happening, then they are worth every penny.

We also tend to go for skills/talents/items that cost no power to use, provide power each turn, or something similar.

With the combination of the two, we have had a game where one faction was actually on MORE health than they started with after an hour of play, and both sides had used less than of 5 power. (Total, not per character!)

3: Just go and kill the overlord.

This one is by far the most useful advice I've been given, and I think it will form a major part of my strategy in the next game. Especially if my faction is losing.

4: Quit messing around and play faster.

Ok, so I suppose this one, actually, is the one that will make the game faster. I reckon we do stuff around a fair bit. But, then again, it's a social thing for us. We don't socialise as a way of playing games, we play games as a way of socialising. If we took out all the general chat, sledging each other, screaming "cocked" at the top of our lungs every time a die lands on any slightly uneven surface, it just wouldn't be as fun.
 
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Mike zebrowski
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jamesmayfieldau wrote:
I agree with you in principle, but I still maintain that if you have the mental capacity to play the game (it's pretty complex, all in all), then you ought to be able to remember how many actions you have taken.


I highly disagree. I've seen way too many games where people get distracted by stuff outside the game and lose track of what they have done so far in the turn.

Mike Z
 
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Jay T Leone
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Spot a red 7 to make it 4am.. Hillarious. At least it doesn't take until 4am to set up like Axis and Allies.
 
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Joe Van Meter

Texas
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my world of warcraft table
great review! my friends and I take probably the same ~4 to 6hrs to play - I think the number of actual people that are playing the more time you spend...anyways my girlfriend and I have a world of warcraft table now - so we can just leave the game and come back to it later...
 
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Gary Bradley
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Some definate TARDIS effects going on in this thread. My table is 7'2 by 4'0 and it is nowhere near big enough to run a 6 player WoW. Nowhere near it. Keeping the Dr Who theme, I agree that a 6 player game can come in at 6 to 7 hours, it's just that it will SEEM like 12.

Love-hate relationship huh? I guess so. I hate this game and love that I never have to go through the tedium of playing it, ever again.
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Simon Lundström
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Same here. I love the game, but it takes too long. Finishing WoW board in 2,5 hours… how the hell? I've even tried playing with only one team (trying to get Neffie before he reaches the Bulwark), and it still took 4 hours+

I tried to soloplaying with myself, seeing if I could get Neffie down and it still took 5+ hours.

I can see game time going down on this one, but I'd prefer even shorter.

And I believe the fault with this game, as some have felt, is the fact that despite the very "personal" feel with the characer development, you are like walking on a world map - they should have zoomed the map in further, so you could stroll around in fields, in the towns, like in Talisman. All you do is reach for the next land to kill a monster. How about varying that a bit, like delivery quests, escort quests, something that makes you feel your character entering a small house, not just watching him/her like a spot on a map?
 
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Yes, having more varied quests (i.e. find a particular object--possible locations indicated by other tokens) would be great. Killing monsters gets tiring after a while.

Another thing I have a problem with is the role luck plays in the game. Granted, you can manipulate the dice and such. But some quests are obviously MUCH better than others. One grants you 6 XP for just killing a Naga. WHAT!?!?!?! (This showed up in a game session, the Horde levelled up much faster). -_-

Also, I believe certain characters are innately more powerful than others--the paladin, for instance, was dishing out massive red dice damage in one particular game.

There should have been more towns on the map to encourage more merchant interaction, and more flight paths would be nice, since slow movement is such a bugger. If you're lucky with quest generation you can hop from quest monsters to quest monsters while the other faction has to deal with a) your independent creatures spawned from your quests, and b) the movement, just to do TWO quests in one particular region.

Another thing: There aren't many differences between the Alliance version of a warrior/priest/mage/warlock and a Horde version. The only difference is the visual look and the racial ability. HP, Energy, abilities are all the same. Why? Do the expansions change these? :S

I like the game otherwise, I think it has great potential, so our group decided to purchase one of the expansions and possibly get the Burning Crusade one too, but we'll have to see if any of these other annoying problems get fixed first.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Mythdracon wrote:

Another thing: There aren't many differences between the Alliance version of a warrior/priest/mage/warlock and a Horde version. The only difference is the visual look and the racial ability. HP, Energy, abilities are all the same. Why? Do the expansions change these? :S


That's how it works in the online game. Your class pretty much defines everything you can do, and there is VERY little difference between two different races with the same class.
 
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