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Brian Stormont
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Uxbridge
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Re:User Review
Hi John,

Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your playings of the game. Based on your description of play, it looks like a few of the powers were misplayed which may have lead to some of the problems. Here are some clarifications:

1) The "neutralized" warriors check is only done to determine if a game is won. If *all* of your opponents are neutralized (i.e. they all have not been able to move or strike for three turns in a row), then you win. This is not meant to imply that at any point in the game any warrior immediately dies if it hasn't been able to move or strike for three turns in a row. The "neutralized" check is only meant to be done to see if the game is completely won. If it is not won, the warriors that are currently neutralized remain in play.

2) The Intagibility power specifically gives you the ability to return to tangible form, so your Intangible warrior would have still been able to have means to attack. You are not required to remain intangible for the remainder of the game.

3) While it is possible, as you mention, to combine Intangibility with a few other powers to give a warrior that might be invulnerable to all types of damage - as you point out, such a warrior would not be able to cause any damage either, so in the long term this wouldn't be the best strategy to choose if you want to win a game. Similarly, in any combat-style game (such as Hero-Clix) you could choose to just run around in circles avoiding an enemy for the whole game. You'll never die, but the game won't be very interesting either - some sort of conflict needs to occur.

4) Regarding the issue you said that almost came to blows - this, I'm sad to say, appears to be the result of the wording on a card being slightly altered by SJ Games in the final edition and I didn't catch it. Combining Minotaur and Teleportation should not give any damage bonus. The Minotaur damage should be based on the number of spaces the warrior *physically* passed through in a straight line. The Teleportation card states that you are not passing through the squares. The phrase "actually passed through" was the original wording on the Minotour card. Unfortunately, it appears an editor changed the wording in the final edition of the game so the Minotaur card is now ambiguous. The phrase now used is "the number of squares that you moved in a straight line". It really should be, the "the number of squares you passed through in a straight line". I'll make sure this information is added to any FAQ for the game.

Again, it's unfortunate that you did not enjoy the game due to these situations. Hopefully this helps clarify some of the issues you encountered. The game is intended to be a light "beer-n-pretzels" game (at least, that's how I view it). It will definitely be unbalanced and chaotic, and as such, it will not meet everyone's tastes in a game. But, the chaotic element was intended as part of the fun. Some games you may find yourself struggling to overcome an aparantly unbeatable opponent, and those times when you can pull it off are hopefully that much more satisfying.

If you have any other feedback or questions on the game, feel free to contact me. It's always great to hear what people think of the game, whether it be positive or negative.

Cheers,
Brian
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Jeff Wood
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Re:User Review
MostTornBrain (#19600),

Actually, I have used the Teleportation and Minotaur combination as doing damage for the squares moved in a straight line. I didn't find this needed fixing. Yes, it does major damage in the right circumstance, but then, so do most of the cards (Oh pitiful Scientists of mine, *entire* team blown away by one Grenade because I foolishly stood them together) in one manner or another. Ex. A Goth with both strength multipliers does 12 damage per strike...fearsome. Now add Jet Skates.

For the game with the invisible cat, I am suprised they ended it that early. Two warriors can box in an invisible opponent, not only by moving into potential squares to try and bump, but by striking other squares to limit the possibilities. Also, since a flag counts as a gadget, the invisible cat would be limited to the two-space limit. Result: dead kitty and game over.

Yes, the game has power-combos, but this applies to every team. I really haven't seen that much to change except clarification of dropped objects in other objects. Example: the Intangiable warrior walks into the pyrimid and drops the team flag.


 
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Brian Stormont
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Re:User Review
Hi John,

I like your suggested work-around regarding the Intangible and Invisible powers leading to a stalemate. I'm thinking of a slight variation on your idea for those who don't like potential stalemates. While intangible, you cannot carry gadgets. As for invisibility, add a rule that the flag always remains visible, so if you are carrying it, people will know where you are. Or, perhaps all gadgets remain visible.

I'll discuss with Mark & Steve to see if they agree about adding this to the offical FAQ as a variant. (The FAQ doesn't exist yet. I'm currently compiling a list of common issues/questions that I've seen posted in various forums.)

Regarding the lack of art work, I have to agree. I, too, was disappointed when I learned there wasn't going to be more art. I love Phil Foglio's work, and am extremely happy he was asked to do the art for this game. I just wish there was more of it.

Nice ideas on how to combat an Intagible warrior. I once played a game where I had what I thought was an unbeatable combo - Intangible and Robot Body. This warrior was immune to every damage type. Unbeknowst to be, another player had Trade, which doesn't cause any damage and so could be used against me.

Thanks again for all your feedback. It is greatly appreciated.
 
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Re:User Review
I played a game of Strange Synergy last night and ended up having the same problem. It was a lot of fun, but I agree with your frustration at the broken combos and how much the luck of the draw in the beginning either made or broke your game. I had a character with intangibility and stupid--in other words, immune to all types of damage. (There were no mind control or confusing attacks in the game, so there was no counter available).

After some consulting the rules and the cards, we decided that there was nothing in the rules saying I couldn't pick up the flags while being intangible. It cost a strike, but didn't do any damage, so it wasn't prohibited by the intangibility card. I leisurely picked up the two flags I needed and walked back to my base for the munchkinly win.

I'm considering next time I play as a house rule to draw face-up all (or most) of the powers that would have been distributed out to the players and then by some method auctioning them off. I'm not sure how that would work quickly and enjoyably, but I'm sure it could be done. That way players could get powers they liked, have some guarantee not to be completely screwed over, all while having an ability to collectively stop broken combos from happening by everyone bidding against a player trying to create one.
 
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niels s
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Re:User Review
Game Geek (#19527),

How about making the flag always available for attack? The flag should always be visible and physicle, can be hit at +1 penalty(5+ for normal strike), is indestructable, and damage dealt is the number of squares it is knocked back(1 square with a normal attack).
This way an invisible warrior can be very susceptible to attack when carrying a flag. Stupid and intangible warriors are still invulnerable, but should have trouble keeping hold of their flags.

I've just bought this game last weekend, and will be trying it next weekend with our gaming group. I'll make sure to take this problem into account.
 
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temp id
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Re:User Review -- BS!
I love this game. I've played it on 4 occasions with different groups of friends. They all liked it & wanted to play another round w/different powers.

All your complaint points are true...
But the best part of the game is

IT IS A STRATEGY GAME
IT IS A (potentially) UNBALANCED STRATEGY GAME
IT USES SECRECY TO (possibly) MESS UP 'BROKEN COMBOS'

While YES, it's certainly dissapointing when you've just made a super team & before you do anything, someone runs out on jet skates & living bombs your team, it's also
COOL!

And the fact that you could have a statue (or peaceful)/two headed/mind control is also great. Or invisible/evil eye/sorcery, and so on.

But the GREAT part of a game like that is when the non-"broken combo" person beats the death combo player. That's when strategy has beat out pure muscle. While it's not the rule, in games or life, it does happen.

Then again, a lot of strategy in this game is when to reveal a secret power. Another good idea is to 'hide a character' or leave them behind. While they MAY be useless, or they may be a good character, you might be able to run in AFTER everyone else has crippled eachother & win.

I understand there are deadly combos in the game -- and there was Superman in the Justice League. Did you ever hear Batman whine about Superman? But, in a more recent issue by Bill Miller, Batman rigged up a super-suit that had kryptonite in it & he beat down Superman.

Your brains have to be the kryptonite that smacks down the teleporting minotaur.

You can do it. I did it. Work that muscle!

PEACE (in the real world)
REkz
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temp id
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Re:negative User Review -- disagree
In argument w/6 out of 10 for this game: I love SS. I'm a huge Wiz War fan b/c of the unpredictability of a game, and I see SS sharing an issue of "control" with Wiz War (although SS is much LESS out of control than Wiz War).

My suggestion to you on the issue of posting complex errata on flags & gadgets, and so on: Gadgets & Flags work fine as is now.
If you MUST post new rules, please post as OPTIONAL rulings & not errata.

One thing that people w/o a lot of strategic brain figure out quickly in your game is, "If I get card X & card Y, I get a real superdude!" But, so what? That's fine.

Even a lame Invisible dude with Judo is fine. It's funny, it's fun. Who cares? Call a stalemate, it's not the end of the world. Live with it, it's just ONE game & it's "just a game" anyway...

But I'd suggest NOT changing gadgets & flags rules much at all. I DO think Robots & perhaps mad scientists should have somewhat different gadget rules, like Robot bodies CAN'T drop gadgets, and Mad Scientists can pick up ALL items with one strike (or something like that).

I think your rules are surprisingly well-balanced considering how much chaos can come on the board. There are relatively few 'first turn kill the whole team' combos in ONE character. There ARE several for whole team interaction, but that's good.
And there are many built-in defenses that would allow a defender to resist.

So that's my 2 cents on the subject.

And please, if you write me back please email rekz@yahoo.com & not just lordbuddha@hotmail.com <-- I NEVER use that address.

Also, I just put up a harsh response to sjgames for the online (lack of) support for Strange Synergy. I think AT LEAST they could put up:
a) some alternative teams for the extra bases (pics & powers)
b) some other game designs (ie 8 teams of 2 players)
c) NEW BOARDS (!!!!)
d) more alternative rules for the game, like "tag" or something

PEACE

REkz
 
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Ian Allen
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I played twice and both times I was crippled by really bad initial card draw. The game seemed broken in that respect and was not any fun for me. The gist of what I am hearing from this review and the comments from it is that ..."yes its broken, but as long as you are playing with people who don't take anything seriously, you can sacrifice a game or two to some terrible combo or boring stalemate" or "yes its broken, but imagine how much fun you will have on the 1 time out of 10 plays against a power combo, where you actual David-and-Goliath them"

Well as far as beer and pretzels games go, I have a ton of them and so I don't think I will be sacrificing valuable game-night time for no reason or on the vain hope that I might beat an unbeatable combo. I am not going to play this one again unless different rules for choosing initial powers are published somewhere ...somebody mentioned an auction for powers ..maybe that would help. If I play a game twice and get card screwed both times, what incentive would I have to play it again? There are other superhero type games out there with balance.

No offense, the powers themselves are cool,and good job on coming up with 100 of them, but this game needs some tweaking. I wish I could offer a better suggestion but I didn't feel the urge to play this enough to become familiar with it and offer anything more helpful.
 
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Mike Daneman
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Having never played SS, but being a huge Wiz War fan, I may have a suggestion for balancing this game.
In Wiz War while there are certainly wild combinations of cards that can make your opponent temporarily hard to beat (or put you in a bad situation), you are drawing new cards every turn and after a few turns can usually come up with some cards that will overcome the problem.
It seems the problem in SS is that once you draw the cards you're stuck with them for the rest of the game, which can the lead to the stalemates being described.
How about adding rules that allow you to exchange one of your power for a random new one (say at the price of missing a turn or two), or adding some ability that let you strip away a power from an opponent (again at some cost). It seems that in this case even someone with a seemingly involnarable power combination may still be beaten.
Again, as I said, I havn't played the game, so I may be way off base, but this struck me as a possible solution to the balance problem.
 
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