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Subject: Thunderstone 3.0 Preview rss

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Chris Heuer
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My wife and I were able to try out an early prototype of Thunderstone 3.0 at the AEG Big Game Night 2016 at Gen Con. It was still an early version but here are some of the things that are changed from Thunderstone Advance:

-3.0 seems to be a design based on the epic variant
--All level 1 heroes are mixed in a hero deck
--Level 2 and 3 heroes are kept in decks on the side (each hero had 2 copies of level 2 worth 1vp and 1 copy of level 3 worth 3vp)
--All village cards are mixed in a village deck
--All spell cards are mixed in a spell deck
--Each deck had it's own row in the village with six or so cards to pick from at any given time

-No weight on weapons or strength on heroes

-Monster deck was stacked with level 1 first, then level 2, then level 3 with a guardian mixed in randomly

-Killing monsters only give XP which is also victory points now

-Game ends when guardian is killed or monster deck is empty

-Dungeon is a 2x3 layout of room cards
--Each room has some abilities that affect combat/rewards
--Each room has a light value (0 to 2 is what we saw)
--Each room is dealt a monster (when killed the monster is replaced)

-When a player enters the dungeon they choose to kill rats or go into the rooms
--Rats have 3 health and give 1 special xp that can only be used to level up basic heroes or level 1 heroes (catch up mechanic)
--Players start entering one of two rooms on left side of 2x3 layout
--Players pay light to move from room to room (they always get 1 light for free and may have more from items)
--A pawn marks which room the player is in and they will remain there until moving to another room on their next turn or going back to the village
--Moving around rooms is important to get a decent monster in a room with favorable abilities

-Combat involved a die roll on the monster's side
--Die had faces to increase the health of the monster, modify XP, and modify wounds
--Each level of monster has their own die and get more difficult from level 1 to 3
--It was very common to pickup a wound each combat

While playing it seemed like the idea was to spend turns getting your deck setup in the village and then stay in the dungeon as long as possible. Eventually too many wounds would be in the deck and the player would have to spend some turns in the village leveling up and resting to head back to the dungeon.

It sounds like Thunderstone 3.0 will be on Kickstarter in the fall. It will be interesting to see which things we saw will stick around.
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Team Ski
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Cool! It sounds different enough that it isn't going to replace TA but be another game altogether (with similar mechanics of course). Thanks for the intel!

-Ski
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Jim Patterson
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Sounds different, may be better, but why AEG keeps reworking this game in such nontrivial ways is unclear to me, unless the goal is to fracture the audience.
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Team Ski
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jpat wrote:
Sounds different, may be better, but why AEG keeps reworking this game in such nontrivial ways is unclear to me, unless the goal is to fracture the audience.


It is a stroke of genius! Instead of releasing another edition of the game and possibly alienating long term TS fans, it looks like they will be able to satiate new players while keeping its core fans happy by adding a twist. Absolutely brilliant, IMHO.

-Ski
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Donny Behne
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Oh good! That explanation relieves a lot of fears. I had no idea what was going on, if they were just changing the art and releasing it all over again like they did with Advance and I'd have to buy it again if I wanted the new stuff. But it turns out they're making it an entirely new game that I have zero interest in. I feel much better!

(not sarcasm at all)
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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Not sure if I like the die thing. I liked it better with the treasure expansion. It's basically the same, I know. Just like it a bit less.



Everything else though? Sounds pretty good to me. Fixes up a lot of the problem the current game had.
As long as they stop reprinting stand alone games I might give this one another shot.

What about familiars and curses? Any word on those?

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Chris Lawson
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jpat wrote:
Sounds different, may be better, but why AEG keeps reworking this game in such nontrivial ways is unclear to me, unless the goal is to fracture the audience.

Indeed.

For me personally, it needs to overcome the following problems I had with TSA.

(i) Game takes too long. I suspect part of the problem is that you need to either go to the Dungeon or the Village. I feel you need to be able to attack monsters and purchase new items from the village in the same turn.
(ii) Weapons don't seem to be as attractive as Heroes (or at least, it seems all to often it is much better to purchase a Hero instead of purchasing a Weapon). You can always use a Hero to attack, that's not always true with a Weapon. Actually, it's not just Weapons, it's Spells, Villagers, Items, any non-standalone attack card.
(iii) In games like Dominion, there seems to be many styles of play (depending which Kingdom cards are available). You can try and slim your deck, you can go for Big Money, you can try the Village Idiot approach. There are so many ways to try and build your engine. That aspect doesn't seem to be so fleshed out with TS.

Again, this is just my view of the game (or at least the group think of the players who might play TSA with me). In fact, the biggest problem is the old "Why play TSA when you can play Dominion" because Dominion is generally quicker, offers more variety and has a wider design space behind it.

So far, I'm not convinced TSv3.0 is going to solve any of my perceived shortcomings. Will have to wait and see.
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Chris Heuer
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GrandMasterFox wrote:
What about familiars and curses? Any word on those?


We didn't see any familiars. The wounds were either -1 attack or -1 gold.
 
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Chris Heuer
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xris wrote:
Game takes too long.


We played our game for around 2 hours and quit before the end. We did encounter an issue that often occurs in TSA where the monsters in the dungeon are too difficult (especially with a random die roll involved) so we were stuck for a while.
 
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Chris Lawson
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dachsy wrote:
xris wrote:
Game takes too long.


We played our game for around 2 hours and quit before the end.

No doubt it would get quicker once the game becomes familiar but that's the problem. Even 1 hour would be considered far to long in my gaming groups.

When we play Dominion, we take an average of about 35 minutes per hand and that's with a couple of non-fast players Sometimes a hand can seem to take forever (more so with the latest expansions) but we still get something like 12-14 hands in 7 hours of play.
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Orlando Neto
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dachsy wrote:
My wife and I were able to try out an early prototype of Thunderstone 3.0 at the AEG Big Game Night 2016 at Gen Con. It was still an early version but here are some of the things that are changed from Thunderstone Advance:

-3.0 seems to be a design based on the epic variant
--All level 1 heroes are mixed in a hero deck
--Level 2 and 3 heroes are kept in decks on the side (each hero had 2 copies of level 2 worth 1vp and 1 copy of level 3 worth 3vp)
--All village cards are mixed in a village deck
--All spell cards are mixed in a spell deck
--Each deck had it's own row in the village with six or so cards to pick from at any given time

-No weight on weapons or strength on heroes

-Monster deck was stacked with level 1 first, then level 2, then level 3 with a guardian mixed in randomly

-Killing monsters only give XP which is also victory points now

-Game ends when guardian is killed or monster deck is empty

-Dungeon is a 2x3 layout of room cards
--Each room has some abilities that affect combat/rewards
--Each room has a light value (0 to 2 is what we saw)
--Each room is dealt a monster (when killed the monster is replaced)

-When a player enters the dungeon they choose to kill rats or go into the rooms
--Rats have 3 health and give 1 special xp that can only be used to level up basic heroes or level 1 heroes (catch up mechanic)
--Players start entering one of two rooms on left side of 2x3 layout
--Players pay light to move from room to room (they always get 1 light for free and may have more from items)
--A pawn marks which room the player is in and they will remain there until moving to another room on their next turn or going back to the village
--Moving around rooms is important to get a decent monster in a room with favorable abilities

-Combat involved a die roll on the monster's side
--Die had faces to increase the health of the monster, modify XP, and modify wounds
--Each level of monster has their own die and get more difficult from level 1 to 3
--It was very common to pickup a wound each combat

While playing it seemed like the idea was to spend turns getting your deck setup in the village and then stay in the dungeon as long as possible. Eventually too many wounds would be in the deck and the player would have to spend some turns in the village leveling up and resting to head back to the dungeon.

It sounds like Thunderstone 3.0 will be on Kickstarter in the fall. It will be interesting to see which things we saw will stick around.


so it's not compatible with TSA. sounds a big fail to me. I'll keep my TSA and look for other games. thanks for the preview.
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Samuel Hinz
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xris wrote:
dachsy wrote:
xris wrote:
Game takes too long.


We played our game for around 2 hours and quit before the end.

No doubt it would get quicker once the game becomes familiar but that's the problem. Even 1 hour would be considered far to long in my gaming groups.

When we play Dominion, we take an average of about 35 minutes per hand and that's with a couple of non-fast players Sometimes a hand can seem to take forever (more so with the latest expansions) but we still get something like 12-14 hands in 7 hours of play.


This is a problem with your players not the game.
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Scott Dornian
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Yeah, it doesn't sound compatible eh?
 
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Thomas King
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topera wrote:

so it's not compatible with TSA. sounds a big fail to me. I'll keep my TSA and look for other games. thanks for the preview.

But, if your complaint is that it's not compatible with TSA, then why look for other games? This one will basically be a different game anyway, why not play both?

Personally, it sounds more interesting. I like that the dungeon serves a greater purpose, and they've made the must-have variants baseline. It sounds like you no longer stuff your deck with pointless monsters, as well? Hopefully it plays a bit smoother, which should address the game length, and pacing issues.
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Chris Heuer
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Montag451 wrote:
It sounds like you no longer stuff your deck with pointless monsters, as well?


Correct. When a monster was killed we got XP and the monster became a rat. The rat idea is something that was still very early in development. They were between having it permanently available or only one rat for each monster killed.
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David Scheele
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Thanks for the preview

This actually sounds like it would be worth a buy. If I want my oldschool TA experience, I'll play TA and for something different, I'll go for TA2.

Looking forward to it!
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Jason Walker
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This is pretty disappointing to me. I'm not interested in buying into yet another deck builder but I would really like to pick up some of the TA sets I missed the first time around.
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Norman L.
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so..its
epic variant + fudge die variant + adventure/location variant.

killing rats doesn't sound that fun to me. It makes the whole 'dungeon' sound a bit too literal, when I actually liked how abstract the wilderness/dungeon are in TA. Anyways, thanks for the information.
 
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Daniel Fredriksson
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For me this sounds like a VERY interesting new way for thunderstone!
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Interesting!
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Lord Luc
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jwalker1140 wrote:
This is pretty disappointing to me. I'm not interested in buying into yet another deck builder but I would really like to pick up some of the TA sets I missed the first time around.


The same feeling
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Robert Bowers
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For their kickstarter, I kind of hope they have the level 4 heroes for the rest of TA available as an add-on. I probably won't get the new version (I have all of TA except for Numenera), but I think that'd be a good way for them to raise some extra funds for those who plan to stick with TA. I'd throw in $5-10 for those missing level 4s!
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Ola Mikael Hansson
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RainYupa wrote:
For their kickstarter, I kind of hope they have the level 4 heroes for the rest of TA available as an add-on. I probably won't get the new version (I have all of TA except for Numenera), but I think that'd be a good way for them to raise some extra funds for those who plan to stick with TA. I'd throw in $5-10 for those missing level 4s!

That's a nice idea. I have all the boxes of first edition and TA (except various promos), and getting level 4s would be nice.

Unlike some people here, I'm intrigued to see them taking a bit of a different direction with the new one. Depending on what info is available by the time they run their kickstarter, I could see myself backing it, precisely because it's offering something a bit different, despite having so much of the previous stuff.
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RainYupa wrote:
For their kickstarter, I kind of hope they have the level 4 heroes for the rest of TA available as an add-on. I probably won't get the new version (I have all of TA except for Numenera), but I think that'd be a good way for them to raise some extra funds for those who plan to stick with TA. I'd throw in $5-10 for those missing level 4s!


Yes, yes, YES!
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Krzysztof Olszewski
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Hi, when you look from the position of the all people who can not get any copy of Thunderstone Advance at a reasonable price it would be better if this kick starter is more then just additional content for all people who already owe the game.

Please look a bit broader, especially that there are no reprints that we can buy.
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