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Duel of Ages II: Master Set» Forums » General

Subject: I really want to love this game, but... rss

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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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TLDR: You invest a lot of turns into challenge objectives, only to have mediocre odds play the major role in your success.

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

Having played 5 games in the last week, you know I want to love this game. I really do. The dozens and dozens of characters, all those different items, so many combinations of boards and ways to play ... all up my alley!

So far the combat seems ... fine. The opfire phase especially creates some interesting decisions. The terrain bonuses/penalties really force a player to consider the different ways to get to some objective.

Adventuring, however, feels just very random to me. You spend all this time escorting a character into a labyrinth to take on a guardian they could stand absolutely no chance of defeating (see: pay 2 card). Ok, that's the price you pay for being the first to enter the Labyrinth. But once you know you CAN challenge the guardian, often the odds are never that great of defeating it.

In my most recent game, there was a 7stat guardian I encountered with a 9stat character. I couldn't get any higher than this, and besides, I am +2 which gives me odds. The character reinforced on round 2. Challenged the guardian on round 4, failed, dismissed. Challenge on round 6, failed dismissed. Challenge on round 8, fopp, banished. It felt like I was playing with one less character than my opponent. I didn't feel like I had made a bad decision in going into that Labyrinth. I sent my strongest character into that challenge, and the odds were only 64% of defeating it.

Now, I am not trying to single out an instance and say this is indicative of the whole game, but the odds are almost never great, and there is often nothing you can do about it. It wasn't much better for my opponent, who only managed to defeat one guardian the entire 12 rounds. Yeah, this made the scores close, but neither of us was having that much fun failing all over the place.

Colonial Deck:

9
8 x 2
7 x 9
6 x 11
5 x 8
4 x 3
3 x 2
2
2c
1c
Aby0

A good adventuring character of a matching age is going to have maybe slightly better than 50% odds on any given challenge ... that just doesn't seem right to me. For something so critical to success (cards, achievement, other bonuses), it is left to a coin flip? Have I played too many Euro games?

There is yet another side effect of losing the challenge as well, unless I have the rules wrong. Your opponent can take advantage of the revealed guardian. He gets to enter the labyrinth with knowledge of what it takes to succeed.

Do I just need to be playing even longer games? We're already at about the max I can schedule for a single game (although I'm sure the more we play, the faster we'll become, and thus more rounds). It seems like the luck will balance out in the long run, but that's a lot of time for a single game.

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

I'm not about to give up on the game, and at some point I'm going to set up a multi-day large game with my best Ameritrashy friends, but I would love to hear what it is I might be missing ?
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Paul Chauvel
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My friend had a similar reaction, but he is addicted to the game and admits his issue is more of a personality thing. One game he rocked a labyrinth with two passes and two amazes. Two turns later, he failed a +3 and went into a tailspin about his bad luck. We reminded him of a few turns ago, and he laughed.

Your three-in-a-row fail at +2 had a 64% chance at success each time, so that was definitely an example of bad luck. But that's why I love the challenge deck in version 2. You burned three bad cards, opening up sunshine for later.
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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Winter_Elf wrote:
Your three-in-a-row fail at +2 had a 64% chance at success each time, so that was definitely an example of bad luck. But that's why I love the challenge deck in version 2. You burned three bad cards, opening up sunshine for later.


Indeed, but in our 12 round games, it seems we only get through 1/3 to 1/2 of the cards. So that sunshine sometimes never comes. Hence my comment about possibly needing to play longer games.
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Paul Chauvel
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Definitely. We used to play the three-platter, eight character game mostly, but the 4/12 is our new standard, for either 16 Or 20 turns.

The last game we tried something that worked really well for 12-character. We played until the second team's challenge deck ran out. It was perfect, as the game went 19 rounds.
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Matt Becker
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Winter_Elf wrote:
We used to play the three-platter, eight character game mostly, but the 4/12 is our new standard, for either 16 Or 20 turns.

How many players?
 
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Paul Chauvel
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5 Or 6, sometimes 4.
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Bern Harkins
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Vanish wrote:
Winter_Elf wrote:
Your three-in-a-row fail at +2 had a 64% chance at success each time, so that was definitely an example of bad luck. But that's why I love the challenge deck in version 2. You burned three bad cards, opening up sunshine for later.


Indeed, but in our 12 round games, it seems we only get through 1/3 to 1/2 of the cards. So that sunshine sometimes never comes. Hence my comment about possibly needing to play longer games.


How odd. In our 8 character team, three platter, twelve round games, we're going through 90% of the decks at least, and sometimes shuffling. I wonder how we are getting such divergent results?

It is certainly frustrating to FOPP an Attacker Better by Five challenge, but the threat of misfortune is what keeps things exciting and... well... not a Euro.

(Don't get me wrong, I LIKE Euros. DOA, however, takes a much more realistic slant on chance and probability... and reality can be frustrating. Makes achieving much sweeter IMHO, though.)
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John
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We had one of those "momentum shift" sessions last night. My team had Spartacus, Enrak, and Avindel running around trying to beat up the other team in the first few rounds. They are melee beasts and were able to corner opponents pretty effectively. But in their first seven attacks, despite having +0 or better on the armor checks they drew a combined -11 damage and a "no damage" result. So 7 hits for a combined 1 point of damage. Just brutal, and a bit demoralizing. But I had to tell myself that a) hey, they did HIT on all seven attacks so there's that, and b) our luck might turn. And eventually our luck did turn.
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Aaron Bohm
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+2 isn't really the greatest when making a challenge. +5 or better is really where you want to be if possible.

You can't make it higher, you say? Why?

Remember that if you have the correct "symbol" or are at the correct "age" you get bonuses. These are EASY to get, among all your characters.

Second, if you do encounter a difficult guardian, one of the options you have while facing them is to banish them - thereby making sure you don't have to face them again. The next guardian is likely to be much easier to defeat.

A number of items increase stats, draw from the Special Deck more.

Other things like leveling up, advancing an adventure to the +1 Adv. slot, Aura, etc. can all help.

From a probability standpoint, the challenge deck represents a die roll: if you find the deck too swingy there are rules in the back for the equivalent die rolls needed.
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Mr G
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Feelitmon wrote:
We had one of those "momentum shift" sessions last night. My team had Spartacus, Enrak, and Avindel running around trying to beat up the other team in the first few rounds. They are melee beasts and were able to corner opponents pretty effectively. But in their first seven attacks, despite having +0 or better on the armor checks they drew a combined -11 damage and a "no damage" result. So 7 hits for a combined 1 point of damage. Just brutal, and a bit demoralizing. But I had to tell myself that a) hey, they did HIT on all seven attacks so there's that, and b) our luck might turn. And eventually our luck did turn.


Lol. I had similar last night. My First five labyrinths were all failed, even though appropriate age characters were there with attacker better every time.

My opponent AMAZED his first challenge at something like defender better by four. Got two cards, honour bonus was FOUR CARDS TO HIS VAULT!

Yikes!

 
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Brett Murrell
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Mr. G., I noticed that you posted a session report on the game above, and that team White won despite the opponents having the luck streak you described above. This is an excellent example of how an early rash of luck often means very little in Duel of Ages, for a number of reasons. I will be covering some of these reasons in the strategy guide thread here on BGG.
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Mr G
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SpitfireIXA wrote:
I will be covering some of these reasons in the strategy guide thread here on BGG.


You are SUCH a tease!
 
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Johan Haglert
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Winter_Elf wrote:
My friend had a similar reaction, but he is addicted to the game and admits his issue is more of a personality thing. One game he rocked a labyrinth with two passes and two amazes. Two turns later, he failed a +3 and went into a tailspin about his bad luck. We reminded him of a few turns ago, and he laughed.

Your three-in-a-row fail at +2 had a 64% chance at success each time, so that was definitely an example of bad luck. But that's why I love the challenge deck in version 2. You burned three bad cards, opening up sunshine for later.
We played this saturday and the guy playing the other team had picked that forest guy, I don't know how good he's at adventuring but the glade had two dome keys attacked to it and one labyrinth and regardless of how good he was he could cross that platter in like 1-2 rounds because of all the forest so he got to do a lot of adventuring and possibly keep us out from that labyrinth and near forest too.
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Johan Haglert
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I'll upload a better picture later but..


Check about 1/3 in at the top. That tree guy over the white base.

See when he get out on green or yellow dome in the middle bottom bordering the Glade platter?

See all that forest? His movement cost is 0 in forest and he gain +6 stealth (though he's 0 stealth outside forest so ..), see the ancient and colonial labyrinths?

Even though he only have 3 movement he can get from a green dome to the first adventure space in each of those labyrinths in one move .. From yellow he would reach the entrance and from red it would take him two moves to get anywhere worth going inside both those labyrinths.
From black he can often get to the entrance in one move too.

He also had Seven eyes for half the game so he also knew whatever it was worth going or not.
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Johan Haglert
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Winter_Elf wrote:
Definitely. We used to play the three-platter, eight character game mostly, but the 4/12 is our new standard, for either 16 Or 20 turns.

The last game we tried something that worked really well for 12-character. We played until the second team's challenge deck ran out. It was perfect, as the game went 19 rounds.
Winter_Elf wrote:
5 Or 6, sometimes 4.
Lucky bastard.

4 platters and 12 characters on 4 or 6 people is what dreams are made of.
(Or well, the more entirely realistic though heavily ignored by other dreams ;D)

Dreams being 6 platters and 21 characters and 6 (I guess not 20/8?) people to get all the stuff (while playing normal.)

Need to try flags or a little bigger rush.

I need to set up a 6 platter game just to look at the massiveness
(Then again when we played TI:III we used four tables so .. )
 
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