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Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower» Forums » General

Subject: End game disappointment? rss

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Andrew Massengale
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So my wife and I have really been enjoying this game. This may be the fastest game to reach 10 plays after Dominion. However, there's one thing that bothers me about the game: the end game. Don't get me wrong, this game is fairly easy, we win more than half the time, but sometimes the end game can be pretty... well... not fun. And I think it could have been avoided from a game design perspective. Here's what has happened to us in the end game on multiple occasions:

Every game we play, one of our top priorities is to protect the Wizard's tower no matter what. However, near the end of the game, or through an unlucky boulder, it will almost always get destroyed before the end of the game. So no more wizard cards (the bulk of your cards that can damage monsters in the castle ring come from here). Ok, that's fine, we can deal with it. However, what sometimes happens is monsters get into the castle ring, and then what? From a castle deck perspective, you're basically screwed. The only cards that can help you in the castle ring are the Barbarian and Push Back (and one more I think, but it doesn't do any damage). The Barbarian is the only castle card that can actually damage monsters in the castle ring. Here's what happened last night: our last two monsters got into the castle ring, and we were basically helpless. We had played an almost perfect game, decision wise, up until then, we just had those last two monsters. Then we both drew our up to our maximum hand size, and couldn't do anything on our turn except discard 1 and draw 1. So we had to sit there for 4 turns while the monsters went around to our last 2 standing towers while we discarded and drew 1 card a turn. Basically, it wasn't very fun, for a game that, at least in my opinion, gets it's reputation from being just a fun game.

Here are some things I think could help solve this problem:

- Let players damage monsters in the castle ring for say 2 cards of the same color. Something that wouldn't really be worth it during the mid game, giving up that many cards, but towards the end, it would help prevent these stalemates.
- Let the players choose to discard their entire hand as their only action for their turn, no playing cards, you have to discard every card. This would let players cycle through the castle deck faster, and give them a better chance of finding a useful card.

I guess my main point is that in a game that seems all about players having fun, and constantly being in tight situations, this endgame situation is very un-fun, and seems like it could have been prevented from a game design perspective.

Thoughts?
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Keith Li
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The monsters are not supposed to get past the walls to the towers. So, I don't really see the problem other than... you lost.

In a co-op game, you can play a perfect game and still loose because of bad luck. It is just a part of the game.

 
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Andrew Massengale
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lsy03 wrote:
So, I don't really see the problem other than... you lost.


I'm not sure you read my original post.

I don't have a problem with losing. I have a problem with this specific end game scenario not being fun. Having to sit there for 4+ turns where all you do is discard 1 card, then draw one card; basically nothing? Bleh. If you lose because of a last minute monster coming crashing through your defenses, and you go out in a blaze of glory, that's fun. I'm talking about how neither the castle deck nor the rules have any way for you to really do anything about monsters in the castle ring, which can lead to un-fun scenarios like the one I mentioned in my original post. All I was suggesting was a way for the players to engage in the game more in such a scenario so they're not sitting there doing nothing, because I don't know about you, but sitting there doing nothing is not fun for me.
 
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Keith Li
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I read you post. I don't see it being a problem to sit there for 4+ turns if each turn takes like 10 seconds.

Discard 1, draw card, nothing to do, move monsters. Repeat 4x. It is over in less than 1 minute. Too bad. Good try.
 
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Shannon T
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The way I see it, is that you now have a story moment to reflect on and laugh about eg. "Hey remember the time we were doing so well, and then we just got absolutely overrun by all those monsters and there was nothing we could do about it!" The losses like this will only make your next victory even sweeter.

In my last game of the Wizard's Tower, which I played with my son, the wizard's tower was taken out in the first couple of rounds, in fact only my son had managed to draw a wizard card from that deck. We just soldiered on to see how well we could do. We lost, but with only about 4 monster tokens left in the bag. However, we had a great deal of fun battling on against the odds.
 
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Evan Duly
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I agree with the OP on his point.

It's kind of lame to have this Wizards Tower with great abilities but if it ever gets destroyed, it will never come back.

And also frustrating and not fun that once the monsters are inside the tower there is very little to do. If someone says: "well, you've lost the game if the monsters get inside", then IMO the game should just end if the monster gets inside (as a mechanic).

I agree with the OP and hope to see some constructive suggestions for this.
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Kevin B. Smith
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EvanDevan wrote:
I agree with the OP on his point.

I also agree that getting monsters into the castle is frustrating. But we have sort of come to terms with knowing that if it happens, and there aren't enough towers left to absorb the damage, we'll lose. Quickly.

Quote:
It's kind of lame to have this Wizards Tower with great abilities but if it ever gets destroyed, it will never come back.

Well, we did play a game where it was destroyed, but we had the card that could rebuild a tower, so we rebuilt it. It's rare, though. We're thinking about houseruling it where we have access to wizard cards regardless of what happens to the WT, to avoid playing 45 more minutes knowing that we're doomed.
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Steven K
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I've been playing this game just recently and I agree with OP. I played it with my kids and it appears to me that once the monsters get to the Castle space, not much you can do since very few Castle cards can deal with it. We managed to destroy a couple using a Spell (the one that destroy your Tower along with the monsters), but there's very little else we could've done. But since it's a board game, I think we'll probably come up with a house rule like the one OP suggested. Getting stuck with a hand full of cards and can only discard 1 per turn really put a damper on the game imo.
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Andreas
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Actually you cannot claim that you did well, if monsters enter the castle ring and you do not have any cards to counter that...
We are also trying to burn through the card deck as fast as possible, but keeping the Barbarian or a Push Back in your hand instead of playing it is something that you have to consider...

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