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Escape: The Curse of the Temple – Expansion 3: Traps» Forums » Reviews

Subject: My first thoughts on Traps rss

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Steve Hatherley
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A week or so ago Traps and the latest Queenies turned up in the post. Here are my thoughts after a few games.

Traps consists of two types of tiles - "Trap Chambers" and "Time Chambers". Both are nasty, and give you more headaches to deal with.

There are six different trap chambers. When revealed, the discovering adventurer is placed on the tile and then has to get back. This might involve just rolling three keys or torches, or might be trickier. One chamber moves to another location (and potentially may strand an adventurer).

The eight different timed chambers come in two flavours, and both use a sand timer. One chamber stops you from doing something (such as activating gems, or moving) for a short period of time. The other requires tasks to be carried out before the sand runs out (about a minute - it has a different sand timer) - or you lose dice!

My first reactions were negative. I didn't really like the colour scheme (to my eyes they don't really fit in with the rest of the temple), some of the tiles don't work in a solo game (in particular the moving platform [you may get completely stuck] and the torch trap [which is almost impossible]), and they didn't have the "wow" factor that Quests did.

But I thought I'd try them out. To get a handle of the new tiles, I played several "vanilla" games, with just curses and treasures just to get the flavour of the traps. (Okay, so I also added the new Queenies because I couldn't resist trying them out.)

And it turns out that they're absolutely fine in play. They are annoying when they turn up (of course!), but they're not impossible to deal with. They are slightly fiddly - in particular the timed chambers that prevent you from doing something mean that someone needs to keep an eye on the timer, which I find distracting.

So having tried it with "regular" Escape, I thought I'd try them the way I normally play.

I've been playing Escape ever since backing the original Kickstarter. I've got all the expansions and (I think) all of the Queenies. I normally play it using the Official Scoring and Campaign Rules (https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/90240/official-scoring-an...). My normal mode when I'm playing is to play with Illusions and curses and two Quest tiles - a total point value of 750. I find that my success rate is often down to the particular quest chamber chosen (some are MUCH harder than others), and which character I am playing (some are more helpful than others).

I also usually play either solo or with my daughter. If I'm introducing new players, I take the game right back to basics - the learning curve is a bit too steep otherwise.

A significant challenge now is that with all the extra tlles (I have a bad habit of adding in all the Queenies) the gems are that much harder to find. To overcome that, I've added more of the single gem chambers in, to balance the game a bit more.

Anyway, so how did they play?

When playing solo, I normally play with: Curses (300 points), Illusions (100 points), Two quests (350 points), Treasures, characters and all the extra Queenies I can find (0 points) for a total of 750 points. So I added one Timed Chamber (175 points) and a Trap (100 points) for a total of 1025.

For my first solo game I selected my quests and traps at random, but I chose the Discoverer as my character (when exploring if you don't like your first tile you can put it on the bottom of the pile and draw another). I ended up with the Treasure and Altar quests, and the Moving Platform trap (which I chose to encounter as I could see where it would move me to). When I drew the timed chamber I elected to skip it. Despite losing a die to a stupid mistake, I ended up winning quite easily with a couple of minutes to spare. (I think this character is one of the strongest.)

For my second solo game I set aside all the tiles I had used and selected new random quests and traps. This time I chose the Muscleman. This was a much harder game - mainly because I drew the Ghost chamber (which I like) and the Obelisk (which is probably the hardest quest chamber). I drew the Invocation chamber which, when playing solo, is a very minor inconvenience (it simply summons all adventurers when it is triggered). I had chosen wisely with the Muscleman as I drew the Torch chamber, which requires rolling seven torches - normally very tricky when playing solo. Had I lost I would have lost a die (the rules state that two adventurers should lose one die each - I don't think you're supposed to use this chamber when playing solo), but I noticed after the game was complete that the fountain chamber was only two tiles away. Anyway, I just succeeded - I rolled my last key as the final gongs were sounding!



End of the second game - the Illusion tile on the left should have been removed, but I didn't go that way after the first gong so it didn't matter.

So overall the new tiles were a success. I like how I've incorporated them into the games - two Quests and two traps (one of each sort) seems about right for me.

I liked how Quests really changed Escape - and I was disappointed that Traps didn't do the same. They're another problem, but they don't fundamentally change the gameplay the way that Quests (and the Official Scoring rules) did. So while I'm enjoying using them, it not my favourite expansion - that's still Quests, followed by Illusions and then Traps.

Queenies

Oh, some thoughts on the new Queenies:

Queenie 9: Exchange chamber and Teleporter Chamber. These chambers may be useful depending on when they appear. If you enter the Exchange chamber you can swap a curse for a treasure (no roll needed), which is nice - and is one of the only ways of getting rid of some curses. If you enter the Teleporter chamber you can pick up the teleporter token and later place that somewhere else. You can then teleport between the token and the teleporter chamber (no roll required).

Like a lot of the other Queenies (such as the Fountain), these will sometimes be useful, and sometimes just be an empty chamber. I've yet to use the Exchange Chamber, but the Teleporter chamber I've used.

Queenie 10: Totem chamber. This is definitely my favourite new chamber. It's a gem chamber (hurrah) and to get the gem you have to stack your dice either 5 high (for one gem) or 10 high (for two gems). The dice have to show either golden or black masks, so rolling isn't too hard.

Queenie 11: Cursed Gems. Each adventurer starts with a cursed gem and has to get rid of it. But they can only be gotten rid of on chambers where you can only activate one gem. Each time you draw one of these chambers, you put a token on it. Players can go into the chamber and roll two keys to look at the token - if it matches their cursed gem, they can discard their gem. I haven't tried these yet as I'm not sure how well they mix with Illusions and the Official Scoring rules.

Edited to add the photo
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Laszlo Molnar
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I like that the expansion provides just what it promised in the title. But I really don't like the rules don't address solo play issues, what's more it seems the expansion wasn't even designed with solo play in mind.
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Freddy Rodríguez
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Interesting. I'd like to buy the Traps expansion.
About Queenie #11 (Cursed Gems), what components are included? Can you share us an image?
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Steve Hatherley
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lacxox wrote:
I like that the expansion provides just what it promised in the title. But I really don't like the rules don't address solo play issues, what's more it seems the expansion wasn't even designed with solo play in mind.


I think I'm more frustrated by the lack of a solo option.

I can, and will, make my own rules up (there are only two tiles it affects), but it would be nice to know what the designer's intent was.

My solo rules for the Moving Platform and Torch Chamber:

Moving platform: count four empty exits clockwise from where you discovered the chamber and move the platform there.

Torch chamber: Roll five torches or lose one die.

(And that's without thinking about them too much - I'm sure there are more interesting options.)
 
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Steve Hatherley
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FreddyTico wrote:
Interesting. I'd like to buy the Traps expansion.
About Queenie #11 (Cursed Gems), what components are included? Can you share us an image?


Here's what Queenie #11 looks like:



For each curse gem there are two discs - one for the player and one that goes on the tile (face down with the two keys shown).
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ian o
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See the fact that it doesn't fundamentally change the game has me excited. I find its hard to get to play with quests because other people i play with thinks it detracts from the core of the game too much. This is why I like tiles which are just slightly different, like the illusions and the pit, etc.
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Freddy Rodríguez
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tophat9 wrote:
FreddyTico wrote:
Interesting. I'd like to buy the Traps expansion.
About Queenie #11 (Cursed Gems), what components are included? Can you share us an image?


Here's what Queenie #11 looks like:



For each curse gem there are two discs - one for the player and one that goes on the tile (face down with the two keys shown).



I'd like to get this Queenie as well.

Thank you very much for sharing!
 
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Ben Collins
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tophat9 wrote:
Queenie 10: Totem chamber. This is definitely my favourite new chamber. It's a gem chamber (hurrah) and to get the gem you have to stack your dice either 5 high (for one gem) or 10 high (for two gems). The dice have to show either golden or black masks, so rolling isn't too hard.


This sounds like the best thing ever.
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Mike S.
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I wonder what happens if the stack of dice falls over, before it is completed. The rules doesn't say anything about it. But I've set the rules in my games that you have to re-roll those dice. It makes it a little bit more tricky but just slighty, because the required dice faces are quite easy to roll.
 
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Steve Hatherley
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Player77 wrote:
I wonder what happens if the stack of dice falls over, before it is completed. The rules doesn't say anything about it. But I've set the rules in my games that you have to re-roll those dice. It makes it a little bit more tricky but just slighty, because the required dice faces are quite easy to roll.


Yes, I think I'd do the same.
 
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