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World of Warcraft: The Boardgame – Shadow of War» Forums » General

Subject: Initial Impressions - Expansion rss

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Brian Smith
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Finally picked it up and played it into the ground this weekend (4 4-man games).

Initial impressions: I love it. The only glaring omission that I'm shocked they didn't add any more of were quests. Once you've played the game five or six times you start to get a grasp of all the quests. Alliance have a green that spawns a blue wargen in ambermill. Horde green spawns a blue wraith on caer darrow. Better clear out shining strand and north tide's hollow quickly, because blue nagas and wraiths will show up quickly. My point being: with all the cards they added, I'm amazed they didn't add 4 or 5 new quests for each color to get some additional variety in where blue critters appeared.

But short of that, I found the game to be really great. The destiny, the greens, the new events and the new abilities all greatly change the game. (Case in point: on one game, the starting destiny card instructed us to find the first boss in the event deck and put him in play. It was the boss that takes half of your money. So all our characters started with 3 gold instead of 5. Made for an interesting challenge.

The other thing we'd noticed: for the most part, all the characters seemed to be getting stronger and stronger, but the overlords stayed the same. Our first game ended on turn 18 when the alliance (2 level 4's) attacked nefarian without training or resting because the horde was going to jump him and destroy him on turn 19. So my group has decided to use the 6-man bosses in our 4-player games, and extrapolate an 8-man version of the bosses for our 6-player games. This allows the game to progress a bit more, lets us see some red quests and fun epics that don't generally get to make an appearance and in general experience some of the game that we don't normally get to see in our race to level 4.

Classes:
Hunters with rapid fire, efficiency and improved stings are scarily overpowered. For 1 energy you get 4 blue dice from serpent sting. For 1 energy you turn two blues into 8's and add two attrition...

Rogues are similarly overpowered. Improved backstab, ruthlessness and precision allows the rogue to turn 6 of his red dice into 8's. o.O (fun fact: though I didn't get a chance to attack (alliance got to him first), my level 5 rogue would have done *19* attrition vs kazzak because of a new level 5 trinket: basilisk venom.)

Warriors are super-fun to play with challenging shout and intercept. Smart players can drag blues in the path of the other faction and escape via intercept.

Mage polymorph just got a huge bump in power with the inclusion of blue quests. One of our games just saw a mage running around EPL poofing infernals and doomguards and drakes for epics and xp and other rewards.

I couldn't quite get priest to "click" for me. (never have) That said, I did use a bunch of her new abilities.

Pally is largely unchanged, but he's got some fun new talent choices (pursuit of justice being a new favorite).

Warlock also got crazy strong from what I could see across the table, but I didn't get a chance to play with it directly.

Shaman got exactly what they needed: ways to manipulate dice. The old shaman had the biggest potential to roll a bucketload (usually 16-19 dice by level 5), but they suffered from a lack of ways to force 8's other than rerolls. Flurry helps with that, and complements thundering strikes a lot more. *edit* Farsight is an amazingly useful talent, too.

Druids also got a welcome boost, I know the person who played him had his bacon saved a couple times with maul.
 
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N Burghardt
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Good to hear your thoughts on the expansion. I've got my copy, but haven't yet given it a try. Probably will this weekend with my big gaming group.

I also wish they had included more quest cards, just for extra variety. I've wondered if they planned to have an expansion that adds more creature types, thus more quest cards. I think that was the rumor, but haven't heard much about a 2nd expansion in a while.

I was wondering if the destiny cards and blues now worth value add enough variety? In other words, while the quests are still the same, do the destiny cards tend to distract you more than the original event deck did. I recall many games where I was thinking "I've got these quests, but that boss is a little tempting or that war might not be a bad thing to go after...naw, I should just stick to the quests." I'm hoping the destiny cards will help make these decisions more challenging.
 
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Brian Smith
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The destiny cards can be a *huuuuge* change to the game (i.e., that game where we all had to start with 3g instead of 5.) In another game, the first destiny spawned a boss that stole 6g from everyone if it wasn't killed in 5 turns. Thus, everyone did training actions much earlier than that might have otherwise =).


Blue cards....not so much. Bottom line, blues mobs are still blue mobs, and considering 80% of the green deck is pretty crappy, you're not going to be hunting them down. I'd *definitely* reccomend doing the optional rule they mention - only using blue quests that have blue critters on the board. We're also going to try going with four blue quests at a time instead of 3. At least one of the games ended with nobody ever completing a blue quest.


And as for other trends in the game, there's a ton more bosses out there, as well as a lot more auction house events.
 
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Andy Hunsucker
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Thanks for the impressions. My copy comes in tomorrow, and I'll probably be playing all week.
 
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Brian Smith
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regarding the rogue: I've come to the conclusion that a stealth build is just impossible. There's just way too many abilities that shut off after round 1, and the stealth abilities in general just aren't powerful enough to justify taking.

So out of the box, I felt like the basic rogue played like warrior in leather (straight up melee damage, but with less hp and mitigation...). Nice to see the combat rogue feel like a distinct and unique class in the expansion.

Also - this seems cheap, but I am a rules lawyer at heart...rogues get two new poisons (crippling (which rules) and instant which isn't bad either), but unlike auras, weapon enhancements, pets and all the rest, they don't have a similar 1-buff-at-a-time limit. So technically you can put all 3 poisons on your weapons simultaneously. This also works out to a significant buff to the class because any ability that you can add that doesn't take up precious real estate on your card is always worth buying (shields and helms, particularly).
 
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N Burghardt
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Do you think it would "break" the blue quests to create a house rule adding another 2xp for each? So 0xp would become 2xp, 1xp would become 3xp, etc? Maybe that would give them a little more value and make them slightly tempting under the right circumstances. Just a thought.
 
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Tim K
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Does this expansion do anything to fix the issues of the core game? I remember reading reviews where the length of the game and the end game were blasted. These reviews have held me back from buying it. If the expansion does address some of these issues I'd be more opening to purchasing it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Tim.
 
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N Burghardt
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The only real "problem" of the game length had to do with the Player vs. Player combat. This is easily fixed using the variant included in the original rules called "deadly combat" or something like that. Basically, the issue resided around the PvP mechanic of only scoring hits where they exceed your opponent's total hits, thus much damage is negated. In a highly defensive face off, the a PvP endgame can go numerous rounds and each round takes a long time to complete since all players need to perform combat. The deadly variant simply scores all hits after armor has been considered, thus much more damage is scored each round. As the game creators state, it will help shorten the game, but does take some strategy from the PvP combat. Most seem to prefer deadly PvP and enjoy the quicker resolution, thus the problem is solved and like I said it is a variant included in the rulebook, no house rules needed.

The only other complaints I've heard have to do with people's preferences. If you like the following: games using dice, fantasy theme, epic style (4+ hours), character development, race between teams; I'd highly recommend it.
 
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Brian Smith
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Honestly, my buddies and I haven't experienced the same issues with the game that I've seen posted from time to time (pvp, endgame). After we realized that we didn't have to be level 5 and covered in epics to splatter these overlords, the game sped up considerably. In fact, I probably haven't seen a turn-30-pvp-slugfest in 10 or 12 games now. Furthermore, the problem with pvp that *I* had wasn't that it took too long, it was that some classes are just way, way, way too strong in pvp (specifically anyone who can place double tokens - level 4 hunters, level 5 warlocks, level 5 warriors, level 5 mages), and so the big endgame fights are almost decided before they start if one faction has more pvp classes on their side.

When I play 2 players with someone who knows the game well, we can bang out a full game in 2.5 - 3 hours. More people makes for more discussions and more hemming and hawing about character decisions and the game can expand itself to 5 hours or more.

But really, I don't have many complaints with the game. It needs more quests, and there's too many stupid tokens, but this doesn't affect anything. It just means you keep a baggy full of random stuff that never tends to see the light of day.

(15 stun markers? 15 curses? Backpacks and spellbooks? I mean *really*, does anyone out there actually use their two turn tokens to remember if they've done an action this turn or not?)
 
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Mike zebrowski
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guyincorporated wrote:
I mean *really*, does anyone out there actually use their two turn tokens to remember if they've done an action this turn or not?)


I do. I usually spend so much time coordinating my teamates' actions that I sometimes forget to do my own. This usually happens when I plan on doing something simple like training or resting.

Mike Z
 
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Crazy Fella
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There's also the variant entitled "Defeat the Overlord" in which you reset the turn chart and keep going until the overlord is defeated. It doesn't quite work with Nefarion but it's another good variant if you're worried about the end-game.

PvP hasn't been an issue in the games I've played. In 9-10 games There has been one PvP encounter and significance was crucial. If alliance won they won a bounty reward and if the Horde won they won a Faction War. Actually it was against Nefarion and next turn he would make it to the Bulwark, so the winner of that PvP got the XP he needed to level and be the strongest faction, essentially winning the game.

Hoping to aquire the expansion soon. Yeah the game can be lengthy but I've always had the pleasure of playing it with people who made that not a problem.
 
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David Winter
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Someone gave me 88gg for a rules translation and all I got was this lousy overtext
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nburghardt wrote:

The only other complaints I've heard have to do with people's preferences. If you like the following: games using dice, fantasy theme, epic style (4+ hours), character development, race between teams; I'd highly recommend it.


I love long fantasy character building games but i find WOW to be a chore, i'd certainly never play with 6 players again.
the biggest problem to me is i can't see the game having any life.
There are far too few quests, i've played twice and the second game felt like a repeat of the first with the same quests, monsters and rewards in the same locations. Massive areas of the map become redundant, the tight time limit makes it a disadvantage going for any quest that is more than 2 spaces away from a gate, this reduces the number of available quests from the already too few quantity supplied.

The overhyped character development boils down to analysing the available powers for your class, figuring out which set is best, then
taking those powers every time that character hits the table.
sure its a neat system, but only the first time you play each class.

I've invested considerable time into games like runebound, talisman, warhammer quest, i love long games like civilization, duel of ages and britannia, but for me WOW offers very little return for the time invested into it.
 
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N Burghardt
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dedindahed,

I must be doing something wrong...

While the game has a similar feel to me with repeat plays (like any game does), it NEVER feels identical. Each time I play, I find that I can't build the same character with so many variables occurring (e.g. money, teammates' classes, items, the big boss, active quests, etc.)

Since we use a random process for picking characters, maybe that's what keeps the game fresh to us.

I've always found this game very strategic and not "obvious" as everyone else seems too. Maybe I'm putting too much thought into it, or not enough.
 
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Russ Fade
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Hey guys,

I picked up the base game for this today in a trade with a local friend. Having never played the game, would you recommend I go ahead and get the expansion first before trying it for the first time? I haven't read much about this game but I always got the impression that there are a lot of "complaints" about the game. If the expansion fixes a lot of that, I'm thinking maybe go ahead and get it? I can always trade/sell the whole bundle later if the game just isn't for me. I think I will likely keep it at the least, if not play it.

Only reason I traded for this one is for my wife. I can never get her to join in any Runebound or other fantasy-ish type games. However, she used to play WoW online and I'm thinking maybe, just maybe . . . . we shall see. Plus I got a good deal on the trade, at least in terms of MSRP(a $50 game for an $80 game!). Then there's the fact I only paid $32 for said $50 game . . . and it was Pirate's Cove. Strangely I had never played it.

Anyways, sorry for rambling. Should I go ahead and buy the expansion or not? I'm only in for 32 bucks so far so . . . I guess the real issue is does this "fix" enough stuff in the game to make the first experience better or does it just add more "stuff & fluff"?
 
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Thomas Hempel
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guyincorporated wrote:

Mage polymorph just got a huge bump in power with the inclusion of blue quests. One of our games just saw a mage running around EPL poofing infernals and doomguards and drakes for epics and xp and other rewards.


According to this post on the FFG forum that shouldn't be a problem. Polymorph simply removes the blue from the game, but doesn't defeat the monster. So no gain for the mage.
 
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romano veronese
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guyincorporated wrote:


Druids also got a welcome boost, I know the person who played him had his bacon saved a couple times with maul.


I just try some texts: a solo character Druid with and without the new talents and powers.

Druid has not RR if he not choose Bear or Cat Talent (and not find a armor with it).
I not see any new card that improve that.
And he can manipulate just green dice... so he is very vulnerable in combat against monster with the 1 penalty. New talent not give help...
They gave him the same talent of Warrior (to change BAttle stance/defensive stance: Bear form Cat form), but if i choose the new powers that work with one form with the other they not work ! So i think it is just suicide switch that for gain one energy(useful only if i am sure that i win the combat and need it for the next Quest).
I miss something...
 
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