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Subject: How light and luck based is this game? rss

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Justin Gortner
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Egg Harbor Township
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Hi!

So this game recently crossed my radar and I am sure no one would argue the game looks gorgeous. After watching some of the game play videos, I am intrigued. But a little (just a tad!) worried about ...

Luck factor - Rolling to get gold from towns; a couple of 1s in a row and your screwed
Luck factor - Village placement is determined by rolls every round; placed too far and your screwed

I would also like to know how many cards have a direct "take that" effect where you have to choose and target an individual player.

Anyhow, thanks in advance for your help!
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Jake Given
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Hey Justin. Those are both great questions that have come up a few times. First, there is definitely an element of chance throughout the game, which was very deliberate. We've worked really hard to maintain a healthy balance though. One recent change we made HUGELY reduces the "penalty" factor in rolling ones during tribute.

Additionally, there are built in mechanics that give you the option to bolster your hand for later turns when the humans are too scared to settle near you!

Regarding the cards, they mostly are used to enhance the abilities of your dragon, and only a few actually target an opponent directly.

We plan to include some more game play videos soon, but I hope that helps for now.
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Justin Gortner
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Oh cool.

What is the new penalty for rolling ones?

So what benefit do you get when no one settles near you?

And what percentage of cards are direct conflict?
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Jon Ritter
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Hey Justin!

I'm working on Dragoon with Jake.

The penalty for rolling ones is the people uprise and you must lose one claimed village or city, your choice.

If no one settles near you, there are a few choices. You can use your actions to amass more cards for a devastating following turn, or you can venture into unsettled lands in anticipation of incoming humans. I personally venture. We have a friend who spends 3-4 turns in his cave amassing cards, and then comes out of his cave wrecking havoc on everyone. It is a really solid strategy.

As far as cards that assist combat, there is a card called Critical Strike, which there are 3x. It adds 2 to your combat roll. There are other cards that can be combo with it though. What do you mean by "direct combat"?

Rules and card text will be posted next week on our Kickstarter page.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonritter/dragoon-the-a...
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Zach Given
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jgortner wrote:
Oh cool.

What is the new penalty for rolling ones?

So what benefit do you get when no one settles near you?

And what percentage of cards are direct conflict?


Hi Justin, I'm one of the developers of Dragoon and wanted to answer your question a little further. Jon is spot on, if there are no villages or cities near you, you have several choices. You can choose from two different mechanics to spend your turn drawing additional cards and filtering cards to enhance your specific plan (discarding cards that don't serve your plan for cards that will). You can position yourself for the next turn to steal from an opponent dragon's cave or wreak havoc on everything they spent THIS turn trying build on. Positioning is a huge factor in Dragoon.

If you look at Dragoon for just one round, you might readily conclude that random luck determines everything, greatly reducing the interest of even the light strategist. However, the win condition of 50 gold takes well over a dozen (and often more!) rounds to reach. Over this 30-60 minute window, the influence of the random tile placements becomes significantly overshadowed by the influence of the players' decision making, including how and when they play different cards in different combinations.

If luck truly dominated this game, the same 4 players would have an even distribution of win percentages. However (and I say this with the highest esteem for Jon), but I whoop him almost every time. The skilled, strategic player will be rewarded in Dragoon for efficient, economical decision making. With that said, I do occasionally lose to a new player, which is part of the game's appeal. Winning is awesome! But losing in Dragoon is not a soul crushing endeavor. The most common reaction to losing is 'okay, one more game'.

For your second question, the percent of cards of direct conflict, I'm going to define 'direct conflict' for any time one dragon will have a direct influence over another Dragon, their gold, or their property (which may broaden the scope beyond what you were thinking). Saving you the details of the names of the cards and their quantities, the total percentage of direct conflict cards is 48.15%. However, if you mean exclusively direct conflict between two dragons fighting in combat, the number is 5.56%. To provide some perspective, the percentage of direct defensive cards is 29.6%. Using the less exclusive definition, that's nearly 2:1 on direct offense vs direct defense cards. This roughly equates to you having the probability to respond to nearly every other offensive card your opponent plays against you. As a magic the gathering player, I WISH i could have an answer to every other spell played against me! However, this is strictly probability, but gives you a ballpark.

Very happy to discuss anything further with you about Dragoon!
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tony walters
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So after watching the new video I assume the change to reduce the impact of one's was to change to one dice roll for all settlements instead of one roll per settlement.?
 
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Zach Given
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Darkcyde1980 wrote:
So after watching the new video I assume the change to reduce the impact of one's was to change to one dice roll for all settlements instead of one roll per settlement.?


Hi Tony,
The change to rolling for tribute was two fold. The first purpose was to reduce the amount of rolling in Dragoon in general to speed up the game. The second purpose, just like you mentioned, was to reduce the impact of rolling ones. Previously, one had the potential probability to roll all 1's and lose everything. Now, the most one can possibly lose in a round of tribute is one claimed population tile- AND it is one of their choosing, increasing the element of strategy.

Thanks for the question!
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Ben Turner
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zachgiven wrote:
Darkcyde1980 wrote:
So after watching the new video I assume the change to reduce the impact of one's was to change to one dice roll for all settlements instead of one roll per settlement.?


Hi Tony,
The change to rolling for tribute was two fold. The first purpose was to reduce the amount of rolling in Dragoon in general to speed up the game. The second purpose, just like you mentioned, was to reduce the impact of rolling ones. Previously, one had the potential probability to roll all 1's and lose everything. Now, the most one can possibly lose in a round of tribute is one claimed population tile- AND it is one of their choosing, increasing the element of strategy.

Thanks for the question!


I suppose the concern now is that lucky 6 on the single tribute roll gives you a huge point swing, once you have 3+ control markers on the board.
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Zach Given
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Phantomwhale wrote:
zachgiven wrote:
Darkcyde1980 wrote:
So after watching the new video I assume the change to reduce the impact of one's was to change to one dice roll for all settlements instead of one roll per settlement.?


Hi Tony,
The change to rolling for tribute was two fold. The first purpose was to reduce the amount of rolling in Dragoon in general to speed up the game. The second purpose, just like you mentioned, was to reduce the impact of rolling ones. Previously, one had the potential probability to roll all 1's and lose everything. Now, the most one can possibly lose in a round of tribute is one claimed population tile- AND it is one of their choosing, increasing the element of strategy.

Thanks for the question!


I suppose the concern now is that lucky 6 on the single tribute roll gives you a huge point swing, once you have 3+ control markers on the board.


Hi Ben,
That's a great point! When looking at one round of tribute, yes, the pay outs do appear more swingy, paying all or none. However, over several rounds of tribute, the probability of the 6 possible outcomes is essentially the same (which can be watered down to 50/50 with tail end extremes [1-2-3 don't pay but 1 you lose one of your choice; 4-5-6 all pay but 6 pays one extra point per]. We found both in our experience and in player feedback that the amount of time saved in not having to roll for every claim one at a time is far worth the 'all nor nothing swings'. This is because when a dragon is standing on a claim, either their own or someone else's, it's tribute is auto determined (i.e. not rolled for), so you're on average saving one or two rolls (with average claims ranging from 2-5), which largely leave the pay structure probability the same as before, with two significant advantages:

1) saves time
2) makes calculating tribute easier

Dragoon also allows for many combinations of cards and actions (including claiming which inevitably leads to tribute) to 'combo for points'. So the lucky roll of a 6 with a good amount of claims behaves like many other 'combos' in Dragoon. Remember, the player in first place has a target on their back, so that 'lucky' player who just jumped to first (whether it be from a 6 on tribute or another strong card combo they put together), everyone else will be throwing their ammunition at them. It is this element of Dragoon that nicely balances out the influence of the random elements.

If you're particularly unlucky, you'll likely not be in first place, meaning other players have no reason to target you. If you're particularly lucky and/or are using a strategy that works well for you, the other dragons will be coming for you. For those high strategy fans, calculating your income to hide in second place, just behind whoevers in first is a sneaky way to try to keep the target off of you. Or forget it and just romp and stomp non stop despite your opponents' best efforts!
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