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Subject: Dungeon Crawler to replace LotR: TCG? rss

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Greg
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I have spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours in the past playing and building decks and researching The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. It's an amazing game with mechanics that are still fresh and innovative up to this day.

At some point, however, I sold my entire set for around $350. Why?

While I loved building decks to do neat and creative combo's, I found that the game did not allow you to do this in a way that was very successful in practice. The adventures required you to design decks to specifically defeat them. They often required drawing specific cards in your opening hand to win. It just got to the point where the game was so big and there were so many missions that I grew tired of the process of playing it.

Flash forward a couple years and I came across Dungeon Crawler.

I can't say that I was expecting a whole lot from the game after watching a few videos and looking over the card art and rules. After a beginner difficulty playthrough, I was "meh". After normal playthrough, I was "hmm". Then after spending about an hour of building a Crawler deck and then another creating a thematic Dungeon deck, with specific Quests to go with it, I began to see the brilliance of the game.

Imagine LotR: TCG if you could create your own adventure to take on. You could pick the enemies, the locations, the events, the traps, and win conditions. And then imagine you create a deck to defeat it, with the heroes of your choice that combo well with the cards in the deck. This is Dungeon Crawler.

thumbsup Satisfies my itch to create custom decks, something only MTG and LotR did before that.

thumbsup Has a very cool system of building the dungeon during a turn that balances each situation thrown at you.

thumbsup The keywords, while there are a lot, are extremely clever and thematic. Brilliantly designed.

thumbsupthumbsdown Learning curve. Since there are a ton of Keywords and some of the turn order can be a bit confusing, it takes quite a lot of work on your part to learn.

thumbsupthumbsdown The art. At first it can be pretty off-putting. But after a while it sort of grows on you. Overall, it satisfactorily presents a dire, dark, and dirty Dungeon for you to Crawl through.

thumbsdown The tokens that come with the game are very poor quality and hard to read.
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Dave
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Agreed! I very much enjoy Dungeon Crawler for the reasons you give. It scratches the itch I wanted LoTR: LCG to scratch, but in a manageable package.
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Jonathan
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I agree, it's a great game. It has replaced LoTR and Star Wars as my go to LCG. And I have yet to play with my cards outside the starter pack. I have happy to see the KS campaign be such a success.

Regarding the tokens, the Mines expansion comes with a small sheet of tokens which are much nicer. The art is bigger and brighter. There are still not enough with that though.
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Greg
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Yes that's the other thing great about DC. While I do think you need more than the Unbound Starter to give some variety in building the decks, adding Dungeon Crawler: Mines of Khurgan is plenty to get going. So, the game is much more manageable in terms of size. Also since the general goal is the same each time, with the quests adding a little variety, you don't need to manage "Travel power" verses "Attack power" like you do in LotR and card draw is not as much of an issue since you always draw back up to your maximum hand size. This game detracted me from learning to play Myth this weekend if that says anything. Also I ended up getting in on the Thorn Kickstarter late thanks to an accepted email to the designer. It's my first time to back anything and for like $15, it didn't seem like much of a risk. I also added on the 16 promo's for like $2.
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Chad Taylor
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I have tried a few times to get into this game. Each time, a rule roadblock stopped progress for way too long a period, only to be followed shortly by another.

The rules, even with the updated, download-only book, are obtuse and muddled for what should be a fairly straightforward system. The keywords are a good idea, but poorly implemented and not as centrally located as they should be. The little, specific hiccups are just too frequent.

I'm sure if I dedicated a lot of time to it, everything would flow better, and I could play a nice game quickly. I have gotten past the point of wanting to dedicate any more time to it, however.

I know this game gets a lot of 1PG love, but I'm perplexed at how so many people got through the muddiness of it to get to the other side.
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Jonathan
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Bullwinkle wrote:
I know this game gets a lot of 1PG love, but I'm perplexed at how so many people got through the muddiness of it to get to the other side.

I felt the same way in my first attempt to learn the game. The online tutorial did a great job getting me past the rule book. Then downloading Gary's player aids I was good to go. By game three I had the most common keywords memorized and only needed a short reference on the others. I'll agree that the number of keywords will be off putting to many. But once you get past that it's a great game.
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Greg
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Bullwinkle wrote:
I have tried a few times to get into this game. Each time, a rule roadblock stopped progress for way too long a period, only to be followed shortly by another.

The rules, even with the updated, download-only book, are obtuse and muddled for what should be a fairly straightforward system. The keywords are a good idea, but poorly implemented and not as centrally located as they should be. The little, specific hiccups are just too frequent.

I'm sure if I dedicated a lot of time to it, everything would flow better, and I could play a nice game quickly. I have gotten past the point of wanting to dedicate any more time to it, however.

I can't disagree with any of that. This is a game that is going to take some time to learn. If you aren't willing to do it, putting in the effort to become comfortable with the keywords and ask/look around about rules on the BGG forum and on the DC website, then you will not enjoy the experience. Myth seems to be similar in that regard. But if you are willing to stick it out, this game, especially when the crafting of decks in thrown in, becomes an amazingly fun time.

Quote:
I know this game gets a lot of 1PG love, but I'm perplexed at how so many people got through the muddiness of it to get to the other side.

I'm surprised I stuck it out too, but I am very glad that I did or I would have missed a very cool game to enjoy that fills the void for LotR: TCG.
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Maya
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I'm in the same boat regarding LOTR, Greg. As good as the game is, my collection of LOTR cards has become so unweildy it's an obstacle to playing the game. I do love building a deck with powerful synergies, but it's too much of a hassle combing through all my cards to find the right synergies for the right scenario, and more often than not i just let it go and play something else.

My current plan is to finish the Ringmaker Cycle and stop there. I'm not sure where i want to go after that for my adventure gaming fix, but DC is one of the things I'm looking at.
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Richard A. Edwards
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Phate999 wrote:
This is a game that is going to take some time to learn. If you aren't willing to do it, putting in the effort to become comfortable with the keywords and ask/look around about rules on the BGG forum and on the DC website, then you will not enjoy the experience. Myth seems to be similar in that regard.

Which is why I got rid of both Dungeon Crawler and Myth.

There are simply too many good games out there to settle for games that require a struggle and research to even just play.
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Greg
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I agree in part. It's one thing if it is a game design flaw. For instance in Darkness Night I cannot stand drawing and resolving ~4 events a turn and I see that as a major design error. In DC there is no design flaw that I see, it's just that the terminology takes a bit of playing to get comfortable and memorize it. The gameplay and design is actually quite clever and intricate.

For Myth you largely have the same thing except for it is not in the keywords it is in what you do to play. It is designed to be open ended and allows a lot of user freedom to craft the tiles. While it does have a tight and well thought out system, there is just enough leeway that it causes some to give up because they want more Structure.

Both games reward those who stick to it and learn the ropes with very unique and often spectacular board game experiences.

So while I can see why some would not desire to put in the effort (too many other games to try that aren't as hard to learn), I am glad I stuck it out on these.
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Bryan Bear
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I have played DC and enjoyed it, but didn't feel like there was enough there to sustain me for long periods of time. Still enjoying LoTR LCG quite a bit.

Will buying one of the expansions for DC really increase my replayability?
 
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Greg
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crazybear wrote:
I have played DC and enjoyed it, but didn't feel like there was enough there to sustain me for long periods of time. Still enjoying LoTR LCG quite a bit.

Will buying one of the expansions for DC really increase my replayability?

I have Dungeon Crawler: Mines of Khurgan and one Delve pack, Stonehold.

In the Unbound Starter, there is only enough cards (65/65) to do a couple game modes and there is very little, if any, deck building since you do not have extra cards to add in and take out. With around 130 more cards with those two expansions, you have a lot of room to customize.

So I would emphatically say yes to that.

I am still trying to figure out how to kill this thing:

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Bryan Bear
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Phate999 wrote:
crazybear wrote:
I have played DC and enjoyed it, but didn't feel like there was enough there to sustain me for long periods of time. Still enjoying LoTR LCG quite a bit.

Will buying one of the expansions for DC really increase my replayability?

I have Dungeon Crawler: Mines of Khurgan and one Delve pack, Stonehold.

In the Unbound Starter, there is only enough cards (65/65) to do a couple game modes and there is very little, if any, deck building since you do not have extra cards to add in and take out. With around 130 more cards with those two expansions, you have a lot of room to customize.

So I would emphatically say yes to that.

I am still trying to figure out how to kill this thing:



Hmm, I may have to pick up one or two of the expansions then.
 
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Greg
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Cool!

I'm now starting to think of variants to create. I'm thinking short dungeon crawls where the only quest is to make it through the entire dungeon alive, with all enemies defeated.

Maybe something like:

40 Crawler/40 Dungeon
5-6 Encounter Limit
3-4 Heroes
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