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Subject: learning 2-player without dummy player rss

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Ridley Bojangles
United States
Cape Elizabeth
Maine
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I kickstarted the Anniversary Edition, and I'm used to complicated games. We play Dungeon Petz regularly. But something about Dungeon Lords is just giving me trouble. I haven't even played one game yet. I'm really bummed.


I usually play games with one other person. Every time I read the rules or watch a tutorial, the dummy player + weight of the rules just proves a blocker to me. I can't keep it all in my head for very long and I'm afraid of the process of explaining it to my game partner. Also all the icons all over the progress boards kind of make my head swim. (I'm ashamed to admit this as a card carrying heavy euro player)

Can anyone vouch for a variant that just ditches the dummy player and/or simplifies some of the bookkeeping? Or any other advice? I think the game is super cool and I really want to like and play it.
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Mark O'Reilly
United Kingdom
Chester
Cheshire
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Ridley,
You really do have to play with the dummy players at 2 or 3 players.
It's really not that difficult to learn, only marginally more complex than dungeon petz.
Most players struggle with resolving combat at first and the antidote to this is ensuring you set up and play the learning dungeons, and make sure anyone playing does also.

I suggest you set the game up completely and try to simulate some game play on your own, while looking back at the rules as needed.
Persist with it, it's a great game
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Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Well me known for eating cookie when me don't they shout
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This game is complicated and a bear to learn. There's no way around that, and that's the source of your troubles. The dummy player itself is pretty straightforward and easy to do, so I wouldn't be spending too much time trying to get rid of it. Once you understand the game, the dummy players are pretty easy to run (though running well takes a bit of seasoning).

We usually teach new players by working through the combat training boards. They're very helpful for understanding game mechanics, and figuring out which items are useful in the dungeon. That gives you a goal on how to learn.

Then you look at the worker placement part of the game. Learning how to fit the pieces together on the turn and work the orders. That gives you enough to get through a play.

The other thing is if you're struggling with all the rules, you should ignore worrying about scoring in the first game. We focus our new players on these two goals:
1. How do I kill all my adventurers?
2. How do I pay all my taxes?

Doing those things will get you a decent score the first time out. After that you can start maximizing your efficiency and improving your final tally.

One final note: it is better in your first game to err on the side of being too good (and getting weaker adventurers) than being really evil and fighting a nasty party.
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Kyle Meighan
United States
Manahawkin
New Jersey
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I play Dungeon Lords with my 9 year old son often. What we used to do however, to make it a little less confusing, was completely randomize both dummy players, rather than have each player make 1 selection. Note the game is way better 2p as written, but if you are learning the game this makes the dummy player aspect just a matter of shuffling cards and placing minions in the II spots (or III if already taken) corresponding to the cards.

After 1 or 2 plays, play as written. Or better yet, play 4 player where the game really shines.

-One Wolf
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robbin van biljouw
Netherlands
den oever
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Also...., just play the base game, so no festival season, set up cards,minions bearing gifts, etc. . And like the others said: "everyone must do the training dungeons". Don't focus on winning the game, or play well, you probably won't.... it's tough to be a LORD. Dummy players are easy to learn, but harder to master.
Learn to fight and how turn order works for your minions on the board.

it's an awesome game! Even with 2p!
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mike m
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This is interesting to me, bec i find Dungeon Petz harder to keep in my head! Dungeon Lords I find so intuitive bec all the mechanics fit so nicely with the theme. (It is definitely my favorite game.)

BUT, taken as a whole, there are a lot of rules in Dungeon Lords. Without that understanding of the theme, it'd be like memorizing a list of 10 random numbers without the aid of memory mnemonic. I've only failed to teach this to one person, and she had no exposure to fantasy tropes - never read any books, never saw Lord of the Rings. All those icons meant nothing, the interactions meant nothing, so it was like a straight memorization exercise, and not fun for her.

Good advice above - training boards are really brilliant, and I always use them. They slowly introduce components of the game, at the same time introduce the thinking that is required. Also great idea to just do the dummy hands randomly. Plays perfectly normal that way.

ALSO, I will be starting a newbs only PBF game of Dungeon Lords. I actually logged on just now to set that up. I would be happy to take you (and your playing partner) if interested. Look for it in the Play By Forum forum, or send me a gm.
 
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Sarah
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When we learned the expansion we were only two players and did not want to care about the two player rules. So each of us played two dungeons and the minimum score of them was his final score.
This increased the playing time a bit (nearly doubled it, I guess), but there were less rules to remember.
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