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Subject: Meaningful decisions? rss

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Christopher
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I'm eternally on the lookout for a truly great dungeon crawl game, but they all seem to have a fatal flaw. The D&D adventure system games have no meaningful decisions, Descent 1e takes eons to play, Descent 2e has no exploration or loot (ditto for Imperial Assault), Heroquest is way too shallow, etc. Shadows of Brimstone looks interesting but, being a Flying Frog game, it appears to have few meaningful decisions. Is that a fair assessment? Is this another Flying Frog game that's heavy on theme and dice rolling but light on strategic play?
 
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Alex Jacobs
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As published so far, you're correct. It's an excellent tactical game but not a particularly involved strategic or narrative game. There's no reason that needs to be the case. LNoE, for example, had few meaningful decisions in the official adventures but many in the fan-created adventures. Likewise, we're just starting to see fan-created missions for SoB. Heck, check in the Play by Forum section for the living campaign in which everyone's decisions affect everyone else.
 
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Christopher
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suburbaknght wrote:
As published so far, you're correct. It's an excellent tactical game but not a particularly involved strategic or narrative game. There's no reason that needs to be the case. LNoE, for example, had few meaningful decisions in the official adventures but many in the fan-created adventures. Likewise, we're just starting to see fan-created missions for SoB. Heck, check in the Play by Forum section for the living campaign in which everyone's decisions affect everyone else.


What do you mean by it being an excellent tactical game? I love tactical game play and often prefer that kind of thinking to more broad strategic planning, for example I love the card play in Gears of War. Does this game have a similar level of meaningful decisions?
 
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craig mount
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In principle you're correct. The game has a very tight, heavy, and fun theme...but the narrative isn't there. However, depending on your gaming group I'll bet you'll be surprised how fast the narrative develops naturally.

We have rotated through the characters as a group, playing mini campaigns, and although none of us naturally have any interest in Cowboys or western theme lore- this game rocks.

One quick example...one of our group was playing as the saloon girl. They really jumped in to the special ability to heal wounds due to proximity to the other players (and many crude jokes followed). However, she mutated- and the mutation was the one that poisions and injures any player near her at the end of the turns (we played it as she contracted an STD from all the "healing").

This really hurt our five person party. We didn't have a priest player to heal. Normally we all took sanity damage and brought whisky instead of bandages...our sole purpose became to gain enough loot to heal our mutant salon girl so we could have our healer back. It was a blast.

It was fun... Lots of fun. That's the measure of a good game.

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Stephen Thomas
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You'll have decisions, and yes your character will die. Your next character will probably mutate and then die aswell, (dependent on party). Then youll start a new posse and some might survive, but i bet you die.. Then
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edit: you want and need this game. end of story
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Justin Colm
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Ohbee wrote:
You'll have decisions, and yes your character will die. Your next character will probably mutate and then die aswell, (dependent on party). Then youll start a new posse and some might survive, but i bet you die.. Then
:
:
:
:
edit: you want and need this game. end of story


Meh. We've found there's little chance of dying once the characters get to level 2 and beyond (and on the freak chance they did it would be easy to get the gold to resurrect them). I'm afraid the leveling up system is another victim of rushing the game out for Gencon last year (along with the low mini quality and the lack of scenarios / variety of scenarios). It doesn't really balance at all. It's probably best to switch to brutal enemies at about Level 3 in order to keep the challenge.

Honestly, I like the game but I'm not seeing tactics or strategy. For a miniatures game with strategy I would recommend Zombicide.
 
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Vivienne Raper
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SpoDaddy wrote:
I'm eternally on the lookout for a truly great dungeon crawl game, but they all seem to have a fatal flaw. The D&D adventure system games have no meaningful decisions, Descent 1e takes eons to play, Descent 2e has no exploration or loot (ditto for Imperial Assault), Heroquest is way too shallow, etc. Shadows of Brimstone looks interesting but, being a Flying Frog game, it appears to have few meaningful decisions. Is that a fair assessment? Is this another Flying Frog game that's heavy on theme and dice rolling but light on strategic play?


We love Shadows, but it isn't a decision-heavy tactical combat game like Descent 1st ed. It's a fun silly coop with strong theme.

Are you wedded to a fantasy theme (sounds like you're not)? If not, we were recommended Gears of War, Level 7 Omega Protocol, and - if you're really committed and mainly play with two - Earth Reborn. Space Hulk has also recently been reprinted so the secondary market prices aren't as high, although I don't know how strategically deep that is. I don't know how many of those have loot drops, but you could investigate.

If you're looking for a decision-rich fantasy adventure, you can't go wrong with Mage Knight. It's not in a dungeon per se, but you explore and uncover new tiles, you level up, you find rare treasures (which go into your card deck). You make more meaningful decisions than you could shake a heavy euro at. It takes eons to play, but - unlike Descent 1st ed - you won't notice. We have happily played Mage Knight for twelve hours nonstop.

You might also consider Myth, if you're prepared to plough through the rulebook problems. Or Duel of Ages II, if you can find a copy. Both have loot drops and controllable game length. Myth doesn't have exploration - you choose what to encounter.
 
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Yury M
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High Flying Bird wrote:


Honestly, I like the game but I'm not seeing tactics or strategy. For a miniatures game with strategy I would recommend Zombicide.


You should be joking, Zombicide has zero strategy (at least in standard missions). But miniatures are good, agree with you
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Purple Paladin

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Earth Reborn: The best minis game you probably never played; or even heard of.

Sooo many decisions it's not even funny.

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Robert Clark
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Ohbee wrote:
You'll have decisions, and yes your character will die. Your next character will probably mutate and then die aswell, (dependent on party). Then youll start a new posse and some might survive, but i bet you die.. Then
:
:
:
:
edit: you want and need this game. end of story

We haven't had anyone die up to level 6 and haven't had anyone KOed since level 2 or ever failed a mission for any reason other than darkness escaping.
 
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LargeGoblin
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I'm not even sure what tactics people are using besides blocking the tile entrance and just shooting/stabbing all the enemies as they rush into the choke-point.
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Brian C
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SpoDaddy wrote:
I'm eternally on the lookout for a truly great dungeon crawl game, but they all seem to have a fatal flaw. The D&D adventure system games have no meaningful decisions, Descent 1e takes eons to play, Descent 2e has no exploration or loot (ditto for Imperial Assault), Heroquest is way too shallow, etc. Shadows of Brimstone looks interesting but, being a Flying Frog game, it appears to have few meaningful decisions. Is that a fair assessment? Is this another Flying Frog game that's heavy on theme and dice rolling but light on strategic play?


I'm always looking for a sick dungeon crawl too, but I think you more or less sniffed this one out Christopher. If you're talking strictly about decision making, SoB doesn't offer much of that.

Instead it's really all about 1) exploration, and 2) character development. But in my opinion they did both of these systems really, really well. I mean like almost absurdly well.

1) Exploration comes in the form you probably hoped it would: the map is generated in a most random fashion, so that each "dungeon" is really just this Ground Zero for all things Western Cthulu to randomly happen. It keeps you on your toes, and it keeps you wanting more. I'm sure there would be ways to improve how they did this side of the game, but these improvements would be very minor I think; it's pretty much near perfect in my eyes.

2) Character development, however, might not come in the form you'd think. Certainly the cornerstone of Experience gain is there, and leveling up replete with skill "trees." And my god the loot system is nuts. Pure nuts. They draw out the looting process in such a way that really shows some sort of genius on their part IMO. I love, love the way they did loot in this game. But once you get passed the normalities of the genre, things get a bit.. morbid. Your Hero can easily get injured, even maimed for life. Furthermore he can mutate into some half-monstrosity. The story that develops in this way is pretty awesome.

So I guess I would ask you: how much do you and those you play with enjoy exploration and looting, and watching your characters progress from peon to jackhammer?

If the answer is even just: "enough," then this game will probably still be a huge hit. It's just that, what parts of the dungeon crawl it does well, it does really really well. I've been happy with it anyways. I'm glad I dumped $500 into this game, if that tells you anything, even with its sometimes glaring weaknesses.
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Christopher
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veemonroe wrote:
SpoDaddy wrote:
I'm eternally on the lookout for a truly great dungeon crawl game, but they all seem to have a fatal flaw. The D&D adventure system games have no meaningful decisions, Descent 1e takes eons to play, Descent 2e has no exploration or loot (ditto for Imperial Assault), Heroquest is way too shallow, etc. Shadows of Brimstone looks interesting but, being a Flying Frog game, it appears to have few meaningful decisions. Is that a fair assessment? Is this another Flying Frog game that's heavy on theme and dice rolling but light on strategic play?


We love Shadows, but it isn't a decision-heavy tactical combat game like Descent 1st ed. It's a fun silly coop with strong theme.

Are you wedded to a fantasy theme (sounds like you're not)? If not, we were recommended Gears of War, Level 7 Omega Protocol, and - if you're really committed and mainly play with two - Earth Reborn. Space Hulk has also recently been reprinted so the secondary market prices aren't as high, although I don't know how strategically deep that is. I don't know how many of those have loot drops, but you could investigate.

If you're looking for a decision-rich fantasy adventure, you can't go wrong with Mage Knight. It's not in a dungeon per se, but you explore and uncover new tiles, you level up, you find rare treasures (which go into your card deck). You make more meaningful decisions than you could shake a heavy euro at. It takes eons to play, but - unlike Descent 1st ed - you won't notice. We have happily played Mage Knight for twelve hours nonstop.

You might also consider Myth, if you're prepared to plough through the rulebook problems. Or Duel of Ages II, if you can find a copy. Both have loot drops and controllable game length. Myth doesn't have exploration - you choose what to encounter.


I own and enjoy Gears of War but it's got no character upgrades, exploration, or loot really. I also own Earth Reborn but never get to play it because I haven't found someone that wants to commit to learning it. I also own Space Hulk but it's really a skirmish game, not a dungeon crawl. I own Mage Knight and it's my all time favorite game, but it's not a dungeon crawl. I've learned that I don't really enjoy games that play themselves after the novelty of the theme wears off, which has been every other Flying Frog game I own.
 
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Justin Colm
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yury1975 wrote:
High Flying Bird wrote:


Honestly, I like the game but I'm not seeing tactics or strategy. For a miniatures game with strategy I would recommend Zombicide.


You should be joking, Zombicide has zero strategy (at least in standard missions). But miniatures are good, agree with you


I never said the miniatures are good I think they're pretty bog-standard (which is better than the ones in Brimstone )

Fair enough if you disagree, but I've found that most people who think Zombicide is a mindless hack and slash game tend to have not really played it, or played it wrong and said it was rubbish. I'm not saying that's the case for you but generally speaking if you just plunge into a game of Zombicide without addressing the board and devising a plan you will not win. It requires a strategy. If you just go around opening any door on sight, killing without thought for xp and noise, then you will get chewed up. I'm not saying it's the deepest game in existence, but I haven't seen a co-op miniatures game with more strategy required. Most of them you DO just open every door and fight your way through by rolling dice.
 
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Chris Seidler
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High Flying Bird wrote:
yury1975 wrote:
High Flying Bird wrote:


Honestly, I like the game but I'm not seeing tactics or strategy. For a miniatures game with strategy I would recommend Zombicide.


You should be joking, Zombicide has zero strategy (at least in standard missions). But miniatures are good, agree with you


I never said the miniatures are good I think they're pretty bog-standard (which is better than the ones in Brimstone )

Fair enough if you disagree, but I've found that most people who think Zombicide is a mindless hack and slash game tend to have not really played it, or played it wrong and said it was rubbish. I'm not saying that's the case for you but generally speaking if you just plunge into a game of Zombicide without addressing the board and devising a plan you will not win. It requires a strategy. If you just go around opening any door on sight, killing without thought for xp and noise, then you will get chewed up. I'm not saying it's the deepest game in existence, but I haven't seen a co-op miniatures game with more strategy required. Most of them you DO just open every door and fight your way through by rolling dice.


Sorry, but the strategic level you declare for Zombicide is ridiculous compared to Gears of War and Galaxy Defenders. These are only two games that came directly to my mind, more may follow. Ah, here is another: Dark Darker Darkest.

Don't missunderstand me, I enjoy Zombicide very much, but what you said is simply wrong.
 
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