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Beowulf: The Legend» Forums » General

Subject: Beowulf: Giving it another try rss

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Alex Rockwell
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Ok, so the Beowulf related comic on the front page of BGG inspired meto finally give the game another try.

It was better than last time, due to two main factors:

1) We had a rule wrong before, where the first player/tiebreak token went to the guy who got the 1, not the largest number. Thus we were helping the person who won and got lucky, instead of whoever got screwed. Obviously this made the results even more swingy.

2) This game featured more even luck than the last game, which featured certain players getting much luckier than others. This game was more even (though not all at once...as I failed 4 of my first 5 risks (at which point I had 2 wounds) and then made about 6 of 7 after that...ending with 2 wounds still!)
The previous game featured multiple instances of players playing out a card from their hand 2-3 times while each of three opponents made a bunch of consecutive risks, followed by the card-from-hand-player failing their first.



I think its a game where the luck can be very unbalanced, and if it is, it tends to really turn people off. If in my first game, I had not had a wierd experience with risks, I probably wouldve liked it better.


So I think the game is decent, but not amazing.
The way the risks work, you have about a 70-75% chance of succeeding early in the game. This tends to be lower later, since people horde the needed cards for the critical stuff at the end, and they dont go back into the deck for the shuffle, so your chances are lower.

I think this high %age chance it what turned me off. You usually make it. But then when you dont, you just got really screwed and it sucks. And your opponents usually make it. So when you play from hand and they make their risks, it sucks and you 'wasted' resources.


There are these two warring perceptions. Since the chance of success is high, it is relatively expected. Its not really exciting to succeed, its more that it sucks to fail. But when spending cards and watching opponents risk, you feel like you deserve for some of them to get screwed. I mean, you paid a card, you needto get something for it! When they succeed, because that is likely, its really annoying.


Once you get over thinking like that, it can get better.



I think if the chance of success were closer to 50%, throughout the game, it would be better. You would get more return out of spending your cards, and wouldnt feel entitled to success when makign a risk. (At least I wouldnt).


Anyway, the game is about risk management, so when should you risk? Obviously, if you have no cards of the right types, and the result of failure is very bad, you risk. But when you do have cards of the type, should you risk?

If the result of failing a risk would be getting a wound, or some other very bad thing (plus a scratch), you should play cards from hand until you run out. Probably someone else will run out and fail a risk first, and youll be ok, provided you arent short on cards.

If the result of failing is just that you get a less good item than someone else, but you still get something good, you should conserve hand cards, and take risks. So hand cards should generally be saved for avoiding terrible outcomes, not burned to get slightly better outcomes when youre already getting something good. These are the times when risking is good. (Unless you have 2 scratches).


Your hand exists so that you can avoid risking when the result of failure is terrible. This should be very obvious. Why wasnt it obvious in my first game? Because certain people just always got lucky and never paid the consequences. So it just felt random.


In short, I think if the chances of making a risk were more like 50%, then you couldnt just get lucky over and over again, and it would be great. A card in hand would be more meaningful, representing a 50% chance of avoiding bad stuff, not just 25-30% As it is, the game is decent, and worth trying.
Just hope no one succeeds at almost every risk the whole game.
 
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Ted Kostek
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I'm glad to hear you tried it again, and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it (mostly).

I have enjoyed every game I've played, even when the risks have gotten out of hand. The push-your-luck thing actually often becomes a lot of fun in its own right. In one game, all the players got so worked up over the risks in the dragon battle, the folks at the other table thought the game was over.

The push-your-luck element is at the center of the game. I have written elsewhere that folks who like gambling will like this game, and folks who don't won't. The randomness and resutling social aspect gives the game something of a lighter feel.

I like your analysis of when to risk and when not to.

Like most Knizia games, the more I play this, the more layers I begin to appreciate. Many of the auctions are actually quite subtle. Some items are clearly separate, but there's usually a few that are tricky to evaluate. That makes the evaluations tricky. I have also found the game has a variety of strategies/paths.

In short, I like the game quite a bit.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Played it again last weekend and every player thought it was good, and wanted to play it again next week. I actually really enjoyed it.

I do think the rule fix makes a major difference.
The game works well as long as no one gets extremely lucky or unlucky. I could say the same thing about a lot of games, so I cant really hold this against it.

I think its a 7.5 to 8 range for me, meaning something I can see myself playing every once in a while for a long time. A good,above-average game.


I now think its underrated. I dont think it deserves sub-7 on BGG.
 
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Matthew M
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Your Kult member status may now be reinstated. Welcome back

-MMM
 
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Ted Kostek
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What is "the rule fix"? I haven't noticed anything about a rule change posting. Has there been an official rule change? Did you find you were playing something wrong? Have you added a house rule about risking?
 
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Matthew M
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kostek wrote:
What is "the rule fix"? I haven't noticed anything about a rule change posting. Has there been an official rule change? Did you find you were playing something wrong? Have you added a house rule about risking?


I think he may be referring to his note numbered 1) concerning who the start player is.

-MMM
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Yes...we were playing a rule wrong the first game, which was exaggerating the unluckyness of being first out.
 
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