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Golem Arcana» Forums » General

Subject: Subject: Initial Impression: Clunky rss

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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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I just got my Kickstarter base game today, so I cracked it open to take it for a spin. My initial impression can be summed up in one word: Clunky. Reaching around and tapping the tiny icons with the stylus felt picky, followed by tediously paging through everything repeatedly with the stylus button.

For actions like moving and ranged attacks, I had to be looking at the screen on my iPad all the time, as that's where all the crucial information was. The board really felt like an afterthought, with all the information and the battle itself taking place on the iPad, and the minis were just a model that I had to keep updating by hand. The stylus didn't feel like a useful tool, but rather a clumsy interface, requiring me to look at the tablet to see what I could do, then fiddle with physical figures to select them, before going back to the tablet to see the action.

I felt like I would much rather have just been tapping on the figures on the tablet instead of having to go back-and-forth, but forsaking the stylus from the design would lay bare the truth that this is a tablet game at heart. With all the detailed hit points, per-ability cooldowns, and other changing state, this definitely feels like a digital game and not a board game. It may well be a good game, rules-wise, but as far as the medium, though, the board doesn't feel integrated, but rather grafted on, not unlike the weapons on the skeletal hulks that came in the box, albeit much less integral to the game's core functionality.
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Karl Markovich
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It COULD be a digital game only. It COULD also be a minis game only. Instead it bridges both, and does so rather effectively IMO.

I'm not sure why you had to "tediously page through" options, as I haven't found that to be the case at all. I tend to use the cards to tap on, more so than the minis themselves. Want to make an attack? Simply tap on the particular attack you'd like to make. Want to move the fig? Simply tap the "walk" or "fly" area on the card. There's no paging needed. In fact, the only paging I've done is when I tap to pull up my Ancient One abilities.

As for looking at the screen all the time, I've found that this is something that you do when new but you do less and less as you get more comfortable with the game. You'll learn how far a figure can move or if that opposing fig is in range. The more you play, the less you rely on the app piece.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think you'll ever spend a game where you won't look at the app. You still want to see your chance to hit, for example...but I don't think looking at the app is any different than looking at a table in a book to see what your chance is.

I hope you give it a couple more go-rounds, if for no other reason than to get more comfortable with the game.
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Bryan S
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I'm not going to disagree with your opinion, but my experience appears to be the same as hair10's. After playing a couple of games, I used the cards and the board more, which made the game play a bit faster. I also think that with more familiarity with each golem, you won't even need to use the cards as much since you'll know their abilities more.
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Jo D
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Yup like with any new game you're gonna get faster and less "clunky" with experience. You'll overcome that screen fixation too. If they ever implement animations for attack I'll have to overcome it again as well.

I had exactly the same feel the very first time I played but then I thought about how I would have to do exactly the same thing in my other games,board and war.

In the end I came to the conclusion that for me, reaching out and tapping a figure or card or board with the tdi was the same( in terms of bother) as feverishly paging through a rulebook or looking through the cards of my opponent's minis....but faster,effective and natural. Also the improptu Wizard/lightsaber duels that occur are priceless.

That clunky learning curve and spot of bother was fine cause I can see the potential. SAVE game, solo play..again priceless.

Obviously teaching the newbies is simpler with this "clunky" system too.
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ronnie proctor
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I see it more as a miniatures game instead of a boardgame myself.

I have played 40k for a while now and my main probelms are:

1 - Rules contradictions
2 - Carrying a library with me just to play
3 - LOS rules , ect.

This clears all of that up for me and let's me think about the game itself.

As far a clunky goes again 40k felt the exact same way for me when I started , now moving ect is second nature.

I do hope you give it a chance and that it improves for you
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Alex W

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Playing larger games makes the importance of the board and physical figures much more apparent for planning ahead for tactics and spacial arrangement. Being able to see very clearly where everything is positioned on the board makes a huge difference.

As a miniatures gamer I can say that I never looked at the tablet until it was time to actually input a command although sometimes I would click on a ranged attack to see if I could make it or not. That is SOOOO much easier than pulling out my range/line of fire tool to see if I can do it or not.
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Nick Wihtol
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affeinvasion wrote:
Playing larger games makes the importance of the board and physical figures much more apparent for planning ahead for tactics and spacial arrangement. Being able to see very clearly where everything is positioned on the board makes a huge difference.

As a miniatures gamer I can say that I never looked at the tablet until it was time to actually input a command although sometimes I would click on a ranged attack to see if I could make it or not. That is SOOOO much easier than pulling out my range/line of fire tool to see if I can do it or not.



This has been my experience. At Gencon w/the army print outs I didn't even have to check pilot/ancient one abilities anymore.

As others have mentioned the reliance on the screen goes down more and more as you play.
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Joshua R
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One behavior I changed basically immediately is that I use the cards instead of the miniature bases for pretty much everything. The only time I'm trying to get the stylus to read the base is when I'm specifying an enemy target (because their cards are on the other side of the table), and you can hit any part of the base to do that, so it's pretty easy. Trying to use the stylus for all the golems' individual abilities and everything I'm willing to admit is way too fiddly and an exercise in frustration.

And I'm also waiting for that transition when I've internalized enough of the rules that I can "read the map" instead of reading the tablet screen, but until then, at least I'm not reading a rulebook! That's the big win here, IMO.

SO... I hope you continue to give the game a chance, Santiago. The strategies in play are real and the theme is worthwhile if you're into that sort of thing. And if not, well that's okay, too - not every game is for everyone. Good luck!
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Trent Y.
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Hopefully you keep trying it. I actually know what you're talking about. However part of it, at least for me, was the fact that it's so new. Of course you're looking at the app.

After a few games, however, I was focused on the battle. The app never stops being useful, but I was using the cards for my figs and tapping the enemies to target them.

At the beginning, you are learning a lot (and I think that their tutorial isn't the best). But after a while, I find I was focusing on the board more and more.
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Christian Letourneau
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Sarimrune wrote:
Hopefully you keep trying it. I actually know what you're talking about. However part of it, at least for me, was the fact that it's so new. Of course you're looking at the app.

After a few games, however, I was focused on the battle. The app never stops being useful, but I was using the cards for my figs and tapping the enemies to target them.

At the beginning, you are learning a lot (and I think that their tutorial isn't the best). But after a while, I find I was focusing on the board more and more.


Completely agree. And that includes the comment on the tutorials. They are awful. They should have gone with a complete walkthrough approach instead of the half-baked one. The way it is now, there is no way that new players not used to playing minis games will easily get into this. Kind of a shame because once you "get" the game, it is a really good game with deep strategies...
 
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