Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Dungeon Petz: Dark Alleys» Forums » Variants

Subject: Expansion variant rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Played with the expansion a few times now, it's not perfect, it's not bad.
I would buy it just for the extra 9 petz ( 10 with the promo).
Using the entire expansion made the game far too easy, you could just do too much.
( I ended up each time with all 4 petz, 4 cages, 4 cage add-ons and could of had 6 of each if the game allowed = not fun).

Fix:

Leave the awesome illustrated dark alleys board in the box
(Shame)
Use 4 of the industrial zone tiles:
The fecal slug- cleans two poop
The psychiatrist- cures worms
The lollipop factory- awesome lollipops
The processed food cannery- yummy food that doesn't go off ( full of E numbers)

Leave out the two coin gain tile and long lost relative / re-use imp tile- these are "broken" game elements.

Place the 4 industrial zone tiles next to the board, all face up to be used immediately.
To use- a player places a group on the tile (as usual with main board), and also pays the cost showing on the tile.

The bodyguard is fun addition- have him on the main board from the start- he costs one group and 5 coins.

Of coarse use the extra petz , cage Add ons, cages and artifacts.

Optionally use extended game length.

It works very well this way and keeps the tightness of the original game!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pawel Bulacz
Poland
Kraków
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Did you play according to rules?
You know that Dark Alleys never get replenished?
So it's just 1 bonus for the whole game.
And did you play with long version or shorter?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Belgium
flag msg tools
pabula wrote:
Did you play according to rules?
You know that Dark Alleys never get replenished?
So it's just 1 bonus for the whole game.
And did you play with long version or shorter?


Yea i am wondering this too, it should not be possible for everyone to have everything full, even with the dar alleys board out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kadian O'Reilly
Ireland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mark you have me wondering too....
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, absolutely.
We know dark alleys does not get replenished at all, that is not really the problem.
The problem lies in the stuff on that board that can be done each round-
A)Fortune teller- an extra card of each colour is just too much - you can drop on this each round if you play canny- makes looking after your petz a lot easier with a bigger selection pool, the ability to look under tiles ahead?- simply not needed- very hard to plan that far ahead. Not needed.

B)the slug shop- IMHO pointless, adding clumsy complexity that is simply not needed, just clutters up the game and the game does not benefit from it in the slightest. The taking back of an already used imp in a group is overpowered and potentially breaks the game.


C)permission tiles- pointless if using the varient fix suggested.



-------------------------------------------------------

The two facility tiles that IMHO are completely broken are :

The send one imp to get two gold ( instead of the usual one left at home earning one gold)
Let's you accumulate too much gold easily.

The head hunter where you pay one gold to get one of your long lost relatives (left most) home, or from the hospital or black market platform.
The starkingly obvious choice here is each turn claiming one of your relatives- and remember , everyone with permission can use this every single round.
This is the single worse element in the entire expansion and what really breaks it.
If "by chance" it comes out late on- maybe not so much a game changer.
-----------------------------------------------------

With the easy ability to get two gold for one imp, one gold to recruit a relative- larger and larger "groups" soon accumulate, so attaining getting more stuff is a doddle.
We all ended up with full pet shop boards.
-----------------------------------------------------

I love dungeon petz a ton, I rate it a 9/10, it's top top drawer.
Playing with the full expansion took the game experience to a 6.5 or 7 for me.

The fix mentioned in start of post added all the cool new stuff that's great and kept the game nice and tight and left out the new stuff that IMHO ruined a great game.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion.
3 other gamers were all unaminous in the removing of the needless/game breaking stuff, we debated it in depth.

Just sharing our experiance.
I am a complete dungeon petz, Vlaada chvatil fan boy.

Edit: not played extended version yet, but sure will- I like that idea.




4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Guillaume Cusson
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very interesting. I didn't play the expansion yet but your pointing out stuff that I was wondering about since the rules went out. I thought at the time that the amount of possibility and simple check & balance pheonomena would power down the powerful actions possible on the board and would allow second or third player on the ranking to catch up with the first player. What about the new artifact? What's your opinion on those? The treasure chest looked overpowerful enough...

Your variant is interesting and I think I will use it but I'll keep the expansion full rules in mind when I'm playing with people who want an easier game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vlaada Chvatil
Czech Republic
Brno
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Well, sorry to intervene, but this looks very weird to me. To the extent I am not even sure you play the basic game well (still glad you enjoy it, though )

1) Creating groups of imps is an auction. Having extra gold or imps is giving you advantage over the others, but if everyone has access to more gold and imps, then the game is not "easier", just the bids (sizes of groups) are higher.

2) Having four extra cards from fortuneteller is nice, but only one player can have this advantage each round. It helps you to mitigate the luck, especially for sales and competitions (some players welcome this in Dungeon petz).

So the fortuneteller may make the game a bit easier, but just very slightly (not really needed on round 1, so each player uses it averagely once in standard 4 player game). And it is a counterweight to the accessories, that allow the player to make the game more difficult (for higher gain of points), if they wish.

I am a designer, so I am biased, but during playtesting, this worked very well both with experiecned players (who used accessories and fortuneteller to gain great amount of points from sales) and for other players, who just enjoyed the extra options of care of their petz. The game was still very tough (especially with experienced players), because there is still limited amount of resources. See point 1 - if the players are stronger, the prices rise. You say the fortuneteller is very powerful - if all the players think so, too, the one who gets there has probably spend more coins and imps to get there, giving the others a chance outbit him at the other spaces...

Quote:
I ended up each time with all 4 petz, 4 cages, 4 cage add-ons and could of had 6 of each if the game allowed = not fun.


With how many players you are playing? During the 5 rounds of a 4 player game, only 11 cages and 6 addons (including the ones on black market) can enter the game. If you have 4 addons at the end, then only total of 2 are left for all the other players. Your/their choice they let you to grab them all, but usually not worth it anyway.

As for the petz, you sure can have 4, but there are only 4 buyers. If you want to sell all 4, you have to start at round 3. At the round 3, the total amount of pets that can be in a four player game is 10 (including black market). If you have 4 at that time, the other three players have total of 6 max (2 averagely). Also, at that moment, there is a max of 7 extra cages (including the basic ones and the one from the market), so having 3 is almost half of them. What the other players are doing?

Of course, if everyone is taking petz and sell none, then everyone can have 4 at the end of round 5 (although one player is missing one cage), but that's a bit weird game .

Quote:
The bodyguard is fun addition- have him on the main board from the start- he costs one group and 5 coins.


This solely persuades me you are playing something wrong. In a 5 round game, you will use the imp 5 times at max. You want a group and 5 gold for it. What about not hiring him and using 1 gold instead of bodyguard every round, with practically the same effect while not losing a group action and not paying ahead?

---

Please note, I am not here to persuade you the expansion is good, just examining how you came to these particular conclusions that go against everything that I know about the game and that I witnessed during playtesting. It almost looks like you let more players to use a same action space each round or something like that.
22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vlaada, thank you very much for detailed reply.
I love your games very much
We do play correctly, have many many games of petz played.
We played 3 player games recently with the expansion.
You make very good point about the bodyguard.
Maybe we play in such a way it allows others to Max out on stuff, I don't know?
For me personally the headhunter made the game easier greatly.
If I have an abundance of imps & gold- I can spread these more effectively on all burrows positions- so many more groups going out than in normal game without expansion.
With all the extra expansion stuff attracting players- there is more places to use the groups on both the original and expansion board.

I love tons about this expansion, I'm sure many will love it just as it is.
I am sorry, I do not mean to criticise your very talented work.
I am just a mediocre gamer , you are a designer genius
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vít Vodička
Czech Republic
Praha
flag msg tools
publisher
mbmbmb
biffta wrote:
With the easy ability to get two gold for one imp, one gold to recruit a relative- larger and larger "groups" soon accumulate, so attaining getting more stuff is a doddle.


Are you sure you played the facilities correctly?

You can use only one facility each round (or two if you send your imps to the industrial zone this round). And only those facilities you have a permission to.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have deliberated on my reply here, given it some thought.
I have the utmost respect for the designer of this expansion, for me personally Vlaada is one of the top 3 game designers today.
I own many of his games - space alert, tash kalar, through the ages, dungeon lords, dungeon petz, Mage knight. Yes I am a fan - big time.

I phrased my wording too abruptly, I should of said varient and not fix
I should of said makes things too easy instead of broken
For this I apologise to Vlaada and anyone involved around him in making such great games available in the first place.

I love dungeon petz, for me it is a masterpiece of a game.
Vlaada says on introduction to the game on the cover of the rule book that he wanted to make a game where entities behave on their own - he succeeded on a fantastic scale.

I talked this over with my wife, we all witnessed my claims in the original post, we were all sat at the table.
I have re-read what I put , one thing that I did overlook is that I had actually 3 cages, forgetting to mention I didn't replace the one pre-printed on the player pet shop board - I never Normally find a need to replace that one with placing one on top , so this point was incorrect.

One thing I take a little offence to is the suggestion I am playing the game wrong in some way?, a game I have owned for a couple of years and played over 30 times easily, I regularly play far more complex games and ofcoarse I know that a platform can only be used by one group and then it is blocked for others, that the dark alleys board does not get replenished, that industrial zone tiles are only available to those with permission tile- and you can only use a facility tile directly underneath your permission tile or any to the left of it and only one in the shopping phase , but one facility you have access to once again in phase 5, should you have the resources imp/food/gold ( whichever the tile requires).
I know in 2 or 3 player games that a neutral imp starts on each platform with a hole in its corner and follows the arrows each round, thus moving around blocking different platforms. I know all this- not because I am very clever or anything like that, just because I have taken the time to learn the rules correctly and played the game so many times.

I also know, that for myself, my wife and brother in law, playing with the full expansion made the game far too easy for us.
As my brother in law Paul said " it took the edge off the game"
I agree entirely, it was still fun, it was still a great game - but for me certainly, it paled in comparison to the harsh, resource scarce experiance of the base game alone without expansion.

I have worked out that in a
3 player game playing with expansion.

Pets,cages,cage add ons quantities generated in a normal 6 round game are:

Pets - 16 will be available for purchase ( min 1 imp + 1 gold)

Cages - 11 available ( for procurement by min two imps)

Cage add ons - 6 available ( min 1 imp needed)

With the extra imp at start using expansion, extra gold and through the head hunter facility the opportunity to bring two relative imps home the first time you turn over that tile (once shopping, once in stage 5) and using it again each time in stage 5, you can easily have all Eleven imps out by round 3 or 4. ( in my case I was fortunate to have 12 with bodyguard also).
This of coarse could change if head hunter does not come out until late game.
There is also the issue of re- using an imp already used as long as he is in a group and you are leaving one imp on platform.

All this flood of extra imps allow you to have larger numbers of groups, but also more importantly players tend to spread out their imp groups more to utilize all 6 burrow positions - thus allowing up to 6 shopping actions , mainly because they have more imps at their disposal, but also that there is far more cool stuff to do also, so using a very large group to attain a particular item is not so prevelant with the expansion as there is enough honey for everyone.

I had suggested in my varient option to pay 5 gold for bodyguard, I totally get Vlaada's point, the bodyguard is just that - he cannot go out shopping by himself, so in a way acts a bit like gold in a group number - but unlike gold - he comes back to use again.
I would say a fair cost could be 3 gold for the little guy.

I love the extra petz, I love the cage add ons, the cages and artifacts.
I just find using the whole expansion in its entirety makes the game too easy for my particular liking.

A lot of people will welcome an expansion that makes a reasonably complex ( in a good way) game - a little easier to play.
Hell, I'm sure an expansion for Agricola that made it just a little easier to feed everyone would go down a storm.
You can definitely get more pets, more cages etc etc , so you have an easier time of it over all.

Once again I apologise for using the word "fix" and "broken" , neither are true.
Vlaada Chvatil is a gaming god and I am humbled he has even taken time to address this post, I will even thumb his entry out of utmost respect for one of the best designers around today.
I just hope anyone that reads this thread can also respect that I will simply not crawl under a stone and hide even though with such gaming Royalty present it may be the easier thing to do.
You gotta stand up for what you believe in, you gotta have your principles
And above all speak the truth.

I hope I have not offended anyone, I fully recommend the dark alleys expansion , there is more than enough in it for everyone and I hope it sells a ton
Mark.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Noble Knave
United States
Santa Barbara
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Having played the base game quite a bit, and having not played the expansion at all yet, it sounds like it's a matter of building outwards and not upwards in terms of group size with the extra resources.

I think (to a certain extent), that it works as well as your group lets it happen. It's a matter of valuation.

In the base game, imagine that no one ever made a group bigger than 2 Imps, and spread their resources as evenly as possible for the shopping phase. Everyone would get things cheaply, but some people would get slightly better stuff due to turn order or slightly better selection.

Now, let's say one person decides to cut the line by sending out bigger groups. He sends out several groups of 3, and even though he gets fewer things with his placements, he takes all of the choice goodies and leaves the other people poorer for it.

How do the other player's respond? Typically, they have to consolidate their groups somewhat to compete. Prices just rose for everyone. Figuring out (or guessing) the best consolidation and group size/number is a big part of the game.

What would happen if no one ever started shrinking their group sizes to gain the competitive edge? Everything would be bought cheaply, and it would feel like a lot of the game was missing.


I wonder if something similar is happening with your group. There's not that many extra options for placement; it seems nobody's going aggressively enough in the bidding with the extra resources to take all of the best options and leaving everyone else with the scraps.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You make a Good point noble Knave, but there is another 4 platform places in reality in only a 3 player game, sometimes 4- 7 extra per round.
Example:
3 extra spaces on dark alleys board ( there are 4, one blocked by neutral imp).
If ( and it will be) one is industrial tile, that's another action space for placement by the player with permission in phase 5.
Once all 3 players have permission tiles out, that's now another 6 placements- per round ( yes they need to hold resource back to use the said facility tile, but they will- given the rewards)
Take into account there is also two rest spaces that neutral imp does not block on dark alleys board you end up with 7 extra actions available in these rounds - until black market depleted .
With easy extra influx of imps ( no one even bothered to use the normally contested platform on main board to bring home lost relatives)
The swarming of burrows is easy to do.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Guillaume Cusson
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
biffta wrote:
With the extra imp at start using expansion, extra gold and through the head hunter facility the opportunity to bring two relative imps home the first time you turn over that tile (once shopping, once in stage 5) and using it again each time in stage 5, you can easily have all Eleven imps out by round 3 or 4. ( in my case I was fortunate to have 12 with bodyguard also).
This of course could change if head hunter does not come out until late game.


As for The dark expansion rules they states :
"When you use this facility pay 1 gold and gain pay 1 gold and gain 1 imp that would 1 imp that would not have otherwise not have otherwise returned home returned home.
•It can be your leftmost imp remaining on the Progress Board.
•It can be one imp from the hospital.
•It can be one imp from the platform."

What would happen if we add the word "available" as in
"•It can be your leftmost imp available remaining on the Progress Board."

In such way that on turn 1. Either choosing immigration or the facility options dosn't change much because you could'nt have more than access to one more imp. On turn two, two imps. Turn three, three imps via the the immigration space and two using the facilities, etc.

This way, it's just impossible to imp rush all your imps out on turn 3.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Noble Knave
United States
Santa Barbara
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So your issue is that the overabundance of new workers relative to new goodies has caused costs and competition to plummet?

I'd like to comment more, but without having played it I'm mostly talking in the conjectural.

To address your original complaint:

Quote:
The two facility tiles that IMHO are completely broken are :

The send one imp to get two gold ( instead of the usual one left at home earning one gold)
Let's you accumulate too much gold easily.

The head hunter where you pay one gold to get one of your long lost relatives (left most) home, or from the hospital or black market platform.
The starkingly obvious choice here is each turn claiming one of your relatives- and remember , everyone with permission can use this every single round.
This is the single worse element in the entire expansion and what really breaks it.
If "by chance" it comes out late on- maybe not so much a game changer.
-----------------------------------------------------

With the easy ability to get two gold for one imp, one gold to recruit a relative- larger and larger "groups" soon accumulate, so attaining getting more stuff is a doddle.
We all ended up with full pet shop boards.


You can't use both of these in a round (unless you specifically went shopping to the Facilities), but sounds like you're aware of that rule.


It sounds like your issue is that these two cause too much inflation of resources. Rather than drastically changing the RAW for the expansion, why not try a simple tweak to make the other factories more attractive relative to these two:

Headhunter costs 2 Gold to use to grab an Imp from the Progress Board.
Office requires 2 Imps to use and they earn you 3 Gold.



Note that the Office effectively gives the same 2 Gold for the first Imp but requires committing a second Imp to earning money in order to get the bonus -- you may not always have a second one free.


Would that help you biggest concerns?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Noble, sure , this would help.
It definitely does not halt the entire change in dynamics to the game though.
My suggestion of having the 4 facility tiles out from the start works much better for me.
If there is a fecal slug that can clean up 2 poop ( fantastic idea), I want to be able to use it early on to keep a handle on such things.
Pointless a fecal slug becoming available late on in the game - in practice no one will use him - like using a thimble to bale out a boat!.
Same applies to lollipops, there cool, they do good things, I want that space available from the start, same for processed food.
A lollipop factory, processed food plant etc coming out late - is well...too late -to be of much use.
Same goes for psychiatrist, a worm needs dealing with prompto!.

The extra one time items on black market - don't need them, didn't need them in the base game - certainly don't now, that's why they weren't there originaly in the base game

I love the extra stuff to " mix it up" keep things random and fresh by more tiles of cages, add ons, customers, exhibitions, many more petz, that's all great.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.