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Subject: First Post: Looking to get my first Dungeon-Crawler Board Game rss

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Kyle Dresser
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I have a lot of friends who and family who I love to play board and card games with regularly. I really like fantasy themes (I have a good collection of LOTR games) and grew up playing Video Game RPG's and would like to look into getting an RPG-Board Game. I already have and play the LOTR Living Card Game and play Tolkien-Universe HeroCLix. Both of which I like but seem clunky and hard to get my friends into.

I've been watching reviews for games like:

Wrath of Ashardalon and the other D&D Board Games
Descent: Journeys in the Dark - 2nd Edition
Mice and Mystics
Mage Knight Board Game

I'm hoping to get a recommendation and some more info about these games. I'm not interested in playing a true RPG and have never yet played anything like these games save for Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and Lord of the Rings HeroClix. I'd love to play something cooperative like LOTR Card Game but with miniatures and fun tiles to put down.

What would be your recommendation?

Major pluses for me would include:

-A Fantasy theme
-More stream-lined play
-Potentially Accessible to 12-yr old siblings
-Lighter themes
-Fairly deep game-play (I consider The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game to be fairly deep)
-Multiple Scenarios/Quests/Replay-ability
-Randomly generated terrain and monsters (I've never played with that mechanic before! I'm curious to see how it works)

Thanks!

edit: If you recommend getting one of the D&D board games, which do you prefer or suggest? I'm considering Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game because the Dragon looks cool.
 
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Zach "Green Knight" Gable
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kdresser wrote:
What would be your recommendation?

Major pluses for me would include:

-A Fantasy theme
-More stream-lined play
-Potentially Accessible to 12-yr old siblings
-Lighter themes
-Fairly deep game-play (I consider The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game to be fairly deep)
-Multiple Scenarios/Quests/Replay-ability
-Randomly generated terrain and monsters (I've never played with that mechanic before! I'm curious to see how it works)


You just basically described Descent 2nd edition (they don't have the random terrain though), I have this game and multiple expansion, myself and my family love it. I would highly recommend.
I did get in on the Dungeon Saga Kickstarter as well and it seems to be a bit of a lighter game than Descent was and also includes random terrian, not sure if there is any way to get a late backer pledge, but that sounds right up your alley (it won't release to backers until 08/2015 and would probably hit stores within a month or two of that date).

Have fun

Zach
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Brian M
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Well, Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients is a big hit on your game play requirements, but a miss on theme. It is coming out sometime in the next month or so. However, it has a horror/old west theme rather than fantasy, and probably not a "light" theme.

Mice and Mystics has a lighter fantasy theme, but shallow game play and low replay value.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) has good game play and a decent variety of scenarios. It does not have randomly generated terrain or monsters, and does not have co-op play. Probably your overall best in-print option though.

The D&D board games are very light and, to my mind, repetitive. The minis are very cool though! No major differences; pick the one you like the look of best.

Mage Knight Board Game is much, much heavier than anything else on the list. An awesome game, but easily a good 3 hour playtime (for a 2 player game) and a LOT of rules to learn. And it isn't really a "dungeon crawl".

Super Dungeon Explore has a good mix; cool abilities, neat monsters, good gameplay. But it can be a bit grindy and runs long; the new upcoming rules look like they will speed things up quite a bit. (Also no random monsters or co-op play until the next set).

Some upcoming dungeon crawls that might be worth checking out:
Arcadia Quest
Krosmaster: Quest

Good luck finding something!
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Steve R Bullock
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You might want to look into Claustrophobia.

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Kyle Dresser
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One of the major wants for my first crawler-type game is stream-lined play. I've heard descent is long and a bit boggy. Have you found this to be true? Also, what do you mean there's no co-op? Isn't it GM vs Co-op heroes?
 
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Matthew Lock
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You have got to get Legends of Andor! It is not a dungeon delving only game, but there is a dungeon scenario. I found that it is the most immersive, thematic, approachable and beautiful fantasy games that I have played.

I have played the following games and I will tell you how Andor is better than each one of them.

Talisman - Andor is more solid and rewarding to play, also faster. Completely different really.
D&D Castle Ravenloft - Andor is far more mechanically sound, better feel.
Mage Knight - Andor is much more approachable for less serious gamers and much shorter to play.

I can tell you that it is better than all of these.

Edit: Plus it's co-op
 
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Descent is the king. There are other decent dungeon crawlers, but they all are second banana to the king.

Legens of Andor is worth looking at, but it is more Euro/puzzle than dungeon crawler. I'd watch Rhado's runthrough to make sure it is right for you.
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Samuel J.
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Machina Arcana (Steampunk meets Lovecraft mythos crawler) might be worth a look at, although you may have to wait a little while before it hits the shelves (I'm still waiting on my KS copy to arrive but the early reviews seem quite positive).

Same with Journey: Wrath of Demons which I didn't back on KS as I stumbled across it too late. It's based on the classic Chinese story Journey To The West. I've been a huge fan of Monkey Magic (tv show) since I was a kid and am over the moon that there's finally a crawler for this legendary piece of Chinese mythology - it's great to see crawlers moving into other themes instead of the stock standard medieval fantasy type stuff. Monkey is a lovable rascal who got evicted from heaven so the game itself will hopefully have a sense of humour about it

Anyways, good luck with your choice - just two more options for you

 
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Brad Keusch
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If you DO get descent (which it looks like might not even be the case), I would recommend 1st edition over 2nd. It's a better game, although 2nd will have more content if you're looking to pick up all the expansions
 
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Brian M
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kdresser wrote:
One of the major wants for my first crawler-type game is stream-lined play. I've heard descent is long and a bit boggy. Have you found this to be true?

Depends on which Descent you mean. 1st edition was very long; most scenarios ran 3-4 hours. 2e scenarios are normally 2 hours or less. There were a lot of bugs on release, but most have been sorted out in errata by now.

Quote:
Also, what do you mean there's no co-op? Isn't it GM vs Co-op heroes?

Various people will define this differently. As far as I'm concerned:

All the players are on the same team and win or lose together = co-op.

1 vs. rest of group = Team or 1 vs. all.

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

Claustrophobia = cool dice based system, but only 2 player and really short on variety. And more just skirmish game than real dungeon crawl.

Legends of Andor = people tend to love or hate this. It looks nice and is easy to learn, but the variety is very limited, and there's a main mechanic that absolutely kills it for me: every scenario is a race against time. Every time you kill a monster, time advances one day for no coherent reason. This means while 80% of the mechanics are about combat, and there are no ways to sneak past or distract the monsters, you can't fight more than a few monsters. In late game, this will often mean you've got one player off working on the quest and the other players literally just skipping their turns and ignoring the monsters besieging the castle right next to them.
 
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Moe45673
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Throwing in a vote for Gears of War: The Board Game. Does everything you ask except the theme. Deep and very streamlined gameplay, multiple scenarios, accessible rules, and some of the best AI i've seen. Pure co-op and a ton of fun, one of the best games i own.

FYI, I'm not a fan of the theme and thought the videogame was meh

*edit*

I should add the game comes with a ton of high quality minis
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Samuel J.
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Moe45673 wrote:
Throwing in a vote for Gears of War: The Board Game. Does everything you ask except the theme. Deep and very streamlined gameplay, multiple scenarios, accessible rules, and some of the best AI i've seen. Pure co-op and a ton of fun, one of the best games i own.

FYI, I'm not a fan of the theme and thought the videogame was meh


I totally forgot about Gears, the AI certainly pretty damned good and just like you I've played it on xbox n also thought it was meh. Good call!
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Romaric Delbart
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Dungeon Crawler

-A Fantasy theme thumbsup
-More stream-lined play thumbsupthumbsdown (depends on what you think)
-Potentially Accessible to 12-yr old siblings thumbsup
-Lighter themes thumbsup
-Fairly deep game-play (I consider The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game to be fairly deep) thumbsup
-Multiple Scenarios/Quests/Replay-ability thumbsup
-Randomly generated terrain and monsters (I've never played with that mechanic before! I'm curious to see how it works) thumbsupthumbsdown (no terrain in this game, but lot of monsters !)

This game has (slightly) different rules for solitaire play, co-op or competitive. It's not an easy game to handle, but there are some videos or PDF on the official website (http://www.dungeoncrawler.com/). Plus lot of new contents (campaigns). There are some minis too, but they are expansive and not really useful (except for your eyes).

With the base game, you can only play solitaire rules. But with some expansions (there are 5 mini-expansions, one big, and another big one due for early 2015) or another base game, you can play co-op without any problem. It's not an expansive game, so, you can easily afford one or two expansions.
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Bobb Beauchamp
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My first comment would be that Descent 2.0 is probably your leading candidate. Out of the box, it fills all but the last plus (non-random dungeon generation). However, there's a POD supplement that includes rules for random, GM/Overlordless dungeon delving, so that issue can be addressed.

Whether you consider the play to be streamlined or not I guess is subjective. I consider it to be fairly simple...heroes alternate turns with the Overlord, and figures get 2 actions when they activate. It can get complicated with all the powers and abilities the heroes can buy, but that (IMO) just lends toward you goal of deep game play.

You can replay the main-box quest with different heroes, and it will take you a couple/few quest plays to hit all of the available quests, so there's a fair amount of replayability packed into the core box. And of course expansions that add side quests, and even replace the main quest.

The D&D games I've read suffer some some too-much-abstractness, and rely on 4th Edition concepts from the RPG game, so if those turn you off, probably a good idea to steer clear.

Mage Knight Board game I've heard has a pretty steep learning curve. It also plays long, but for those looking for a modern Magic Realm experience, it fits that bill.

Something not suggested so far is the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. It's not quite a board game, although you might be hard pressed to call it anything else once you see it set up.
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Brian M
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Quote:
Something not suggested so far is the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

I didn't suggest that because the OP specifically wanted a game with miniatures and tiles, and NOT just a card game. This would rule out Dungeon Crawler as well, and Dungeoneer.

But if the OP DID want a card game, yeah, the Pathfinder Adventure Card game is an excellent suggestion.
 
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Moe45673
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I'll add that I love Mage Knight and, while it has a theme similar to HOMM3 and manages to capture it well, it does it in the Euro style and not the thematic style. I love the game because of the puzzle it presents, not the theme. Also, not streamlined, has a fairly lengthy setup, and expect about 90m a player.

If you're not averse to solitaire gaming, Mage Knight is amazing
 
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Hector Rivera
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Your post is exactly what I am looking for in a dungeon crawler. Sadly I don't think there is one out there that meets all of the criteria hands down. I am probably going to get some bad looks for suggesting it, but Myth tries to fit into this category. There are some aspects of the game that are currently not up to par and I am sure you can look at the multiple discussions going on in their forum.

I can tell you that Descent is somewhat more rounded in the rules but rather linear in gameplay.

Pathfinder the Card Game is interesting story wise but lacking in the feel a player being a unique contributor to the group's success. Could be my play through experiences where being dominated by the alpha player.

Mice and Mystic is rather fun and childish with interesting miniatures. Replay value is low due to its linear storyline. There are some side quest here and there.

I want to try Mage Knight, sadly hard to get a group for it. Mainly due to its long duration and extensive rules. Also, would love to try the DD game you mentioned. Looks good and that Dragon does look sweet.

Would like to hear what game you end up picking as it is likely one I would probably enjoy as well.
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Brian M
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Quote:
I am probably going to get some bad looks for suggesting it, but Myth tries to fit into this category.

With a big emphasis on tries.

Except for the parts they didn't even bother with.
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Tony Go
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The Descent co-op kit is now available Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Forgotten Souls.

It creates a fully co-operative game experience with Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) so you don't need an overlord anymore.

 
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Brian M
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Horror Leader wrote:
The Descent co-op kit is now available Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Forgotten Souls.

It creates a fully co-operative game experience with Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) so you don't need an overlord anymore.

Keep in mind that this doesn't turn Descent into a co-op game; it is just a single scenario for co-op play, which takes much longer than a normal Descent game. I thought it was fun for one play, but I'm not sure I'd bother it with more than that.
 
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Romaric Delbart
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StormKnight wrote:
I didn't suggest that because the OP specifically wanted a game with miniatures and tiles, and NOT just a card game. This would rule out Dungeon Crawler as well, and Dungeoneer.


You're so right. My mistake...blush
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Mike Zhu
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Machina Arcana is available on your webstore. I just ordered the limited edition version last week and got it yesterday. It looks interesting, but may be a little too complicated for your first dungeon crawler. I highly recommend Descent though. Awesome mini's, good art work, and good game system.
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Giovanni
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You may find this write up interesting, compares the DD system to Descent. There are two variants for Descent that seem to be pretty fun for solo/coop, although I can't speak to either of the games personally.

http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/33600/dd-adventure-system-...
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Ray
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I have the Ravenloft one and while it has great components and minis....it is very basic in what it does. That is a shame because I think the game really tried to do everything right and do it without an overlord, but it just feels a bit light. I want to play this with my kids as a next step from Mice & Mystics.

I 2nd the comment on Mice & Mystics. This, to me, is for younger players mixed with older players or people who REALLY like a story based game. It's a great game, don't get me wrong, but for only older players...I'd research it a bit before getting it. The game is more simple that the AD&D games.

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Kyle Dresser
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Thanks for all the help! I think I'm going to get Mice and Mystics, Wrath of Ashardalon, and Descent 2nd ed, starting with the lighter two. They all look like fun and I want to get Descent at some point, but I think I'll start with Mice & Mystics because it looks fun and a good way to get myself and my friends and family interested in this type of game. Looks like it would be a hit with my younger siblings especially. I'm really excited about the art and story. Looks like it was really well-done.
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