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Subject: Negative Scores...? (And an inevitable question) rss

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Drew Bowling
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So I have played Dungeon Lords 5 times now, and I must say I really, really like it. A lot. But one thing, I've been on these forums a lot and I keep hearing about people getting negative scores. Not only have I never gotten a negative score, I've never seen anyone, even new players, get a negative score, nor get anywhere close to having a negative score. Now, of course, 3 of my games were 2-player, where it seems quite easy to score higher. I've also played one 4 player and one 3 player, and no one got close to negative. In that 3-player, one person got 8 conquered dungeon tiles and still scored second place positive! I don't think I'm missing a rule, but I am certainly confused how events could lead to a negative score.

And the inevitable question: If I love Dungeon Lords (and Space Alert, and Mage Knight, and even Tash-Kalar a little bit too), should I get Dungeon Petz?
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Mark O'Reilly
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Drew, I own both dungeon lords and Petz , I personally prefer lords - but only by the slightest of margins, both are amazingly good games and play very differently.
I can almost guarantee you will enjoy Petz
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Shane Hockin
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Negative scores, in our games, usually come from taxes not being paid. If your opponents are shrewd, they may cut you off from getting gold. But without seeing you play, I don't think there is any way to identify with any certainty why you've never seen it happen.
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Grant Johnson
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I agree, tax mistakes is the usual place where we developed them. Getting rocked by a first year paladin is the other way I typically see it go down, but that also usually involves trouble mining gold and a failure to play taxes in year 2. If the gold is covered a negative score won't happen often, but I'm surprised you've never seen anything close. Makes me wonder if a rule got missed.

I saw some folks at BGG Con a few years back doing a first time game with 3 players and fairly good scores all around, but after asking realized they played without a dummy and were unable to be shut out of orders. Makes getting gold at the right time a cinch and ensures there are no wasted actions, but in my mind severely upsets the game balance.

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Brian Roundhill
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The first time I went heavy evil I did not realize you could not go above the top of the evil chart. Monster pay day saw most of my monsters go unpaid and abandon my dungeon to the adventurers. I think I went negative then.
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J
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I see it mostly from super super inexperienced players who throw caution to the wind and don't plan forward. If you get conquered a lot the negatives can add up since with a conquered dungeon you cannot do much.

Did you know that it the adventurers are suppose to conquer a dungeon tile of yours and there isn't one unconquered they release a captured adventurer instead? I didn't until it became relevant in one of our games... Yeah he wasn't doing very well.
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Alison Mandible
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I've only played Dungeon Lords once, so can't really comment.

Dungeon Petz is awesome and very Vlaada-ish, so if you like his other games, definitely go for it. (Its variation on worker placement is very different from DL's, so the two aren't redundant, but if you were totally sick of worker placement it might not be the game for you.)

Also, I was sort of neutral-to-positive on Tash-Kalar too, until I played dozens of matches on boardgamearena. It's definitely a game that has a lot of depth once you know it well. Highly recommended!
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Linda Baldwin
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Agreed that it's usually taxes that do you in. I have seen negative scores; might even have gotten one first or second time out.

Not that familiar with Tash-Kalar, but another +1 to Petz. Scratches a slightly different itch, but it's fun, and just a bit less puzzly. And who can resist those imps?
 
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Eric Alexopoulos
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Miller4h9 wrote:
So I have played Dungeon Lords 5 times now, and I must say I really, really like it. A lot. But one thing, I've been on these forums a lot and I keep hearing about people getting negative scores. Not only have I never gotten a negative score, I've never seen anyone, even new players, get a negative score, nor get anywhere close to having a negative score. Now, of course, 3 of my games were 2-player, where it seems quite easy to score higher. I've also played one 4 player and one 3 player, and no one got close to negative. In that 3-player, one person got 8 conquered dungeon tiles and still scored second place positive! I don't think I'm missing a rule, but I am certainly confused how events could lead to a negative score.

And the inevitable question: If I love Dungeon Lords (and Space Alert, and Mage Knight, and even Tash-Kalar a little bit too), should I get Dungeon Petz?


Just played a 2 player game the other day. My opponent ended up with a -5 score. He struggled a bit, but what did him in was the 5 blood markers worth of unpaid taxes. Ouch!cry

Haven't played Dungeon Petz so can't say much about it except that I've heard it is a good game.
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Nicola Bocchetta
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He's a newbie. In my last play, with the Festival Season expansion, a friend ended up with a whopping -24 score!
(yes, he miscalculated heavily the tax round...)
 
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Jeff Fike
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I got -21 points for taxes, but also got +21 from imprisoned paladins and heroes so I did finish in the positive...but I can totally see how a negative can happen.

As for Dungeon Petz/Dungeon Lords...I have a different twist on it. I play Dungeon Lords with my 9 and 11 year old children. They love it, however they want to murder Vlaada when the game is cruel to them.

DL is a game where you can go step by step, with minimal planning and do well. (In fact, our 9 year old has won more games than the rest of us)

Dungeon Petz, however, is an epic fail with the kids. They understand getting the food, the artifacts, hiring the petz, getting the cages etc. But the shows and the buyers want petz of a certain "pedigree" and it means manipulating the cards so you play the right cards at the right time to maximize your scoring. My boys will someday be great at this game, however, the type of planning Dungeon petz requires is too much for them. I usually obliterate them when I play as a result.

So they are both puzzly games. But Petz puzzles are more advanced than Lords. Battle is something my kids can identify with and directly understand. Cleaning poo and remembering that mutations are bad in most cases, except for this one buyer and I need to save my food cards for the upcoming eating contest...it is an abstract puzzle. Abstract is something they aren't ready for yet.

They can play it, however. They just can't compete with it. Whereas, Dungeon Lords...you need to bring your game on as they know the paladin is worth points and they know how to bring him down and aren't afraid to go after the dwarf!

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Hung Nguyen
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TL DR - If you like Vlaada games, Dungeon Petz is a great game, but expect it to be more brain-burner-y than Dungeon Lords

I've played DL 18 times (all 4 player) and played DP 9 times.

I think that Dungeon Lords is much more accessible, whereas as a previous poster mentioned, Dungeon Petz is (IMHO) significantly harder.

Two reasons why Dungeon Petz is harder:

Valuation - Understanding how many groups to create during the auction phase and what you can actually get based on other player actions is much more difficult. With the exception of food, all spaces have at most 2 spots, so only 2 out of 4 players will get something, and many spots like upgrades, artifacts, immigration line, etc, only have a single spot to place your imp group. In DL, it is a bit simpler because every player will have 2 actions they can't taken, but in DP, everyone is able to select any space any read. This leads to a more cut-throat game.

Planning - You have to manage not only resources of gold/food, but also manage your hand across multiple rounds to optimize what you can provide your Petz as they grow. Whereas you have to plan for 2 battles in DL, you effectively have to solve a puzzle 5 times and with 2 or even 3 pets, this can be a challenge.
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Nicola Bocchetta
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I don't agree much with the above post.
It is basically true what's being said, but it is true as well that:
- in DL you commit your orders at the start of the season, while in DP you choose where to send a group each time it's your turn, so you have more flexibility;
- in DL two actions you've chosen become unavailable in the next round, so, e.g., if your Mine Gold order is unavailable, you have no way of getting money to pay for your taxes, if that's the round; instead if you don't get something in DP, you have good chances of getting it the following round.

I feel that any mistake in DL is often detrimental to your end game score, while in DP you can recover easily from errors.
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Dave Brown
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Are you playing the regular game with the random events or the easy game?
 
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Drew Bowling
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ad_hoc wrote:
Are you playing the regular game with the random events or the easy game?


You know... I don't think I have. That might be a part of it.
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