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Vast: The Crystal Caverns» Forums » General

Subject: Roles in Order of Difficulty to Play rss

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Alvin Tsao
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Kickstarter Backer hoping to get in his first game of Vast with some friends in the next few weeks. I have a pretty mixed group, and was wondering if anyone had recommendations for matching roles with gaming experience. I realize the game comes with the ability to modify difficulty, but was wondering if there were suggestions for newer players in terms of mechanical complexity. Thanks!
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Patrick Leder
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Knight - Your favorite role player. The easiest or second easiest role.

Goblin - The guy that likes munchkin or the schemer of the group. For your first game I suggest holding off reading secrets and monsters until the end of your turn. Most secrets are there to be used later and learning them can slow play.

Dragon - The person willing to drive the pace of the game. Victory is inevitable if no one can slow down the Dragon.

Cave - Your dungeon master.
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aaron belmer
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Webster Groves
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GreenM wrote:

Knight - Your favorite role player. The easiest or second easiest role.

Goblin - The guy that likes munchkin or the schemer of the group. For your first game I suggest holding off reading secrets and monsters until the end of your turn. Most secrets are there to be used later and learning them can slow play.

Dragon - The person willing to drive the pace of the game. Victory is inevitable if no one can slow down the Dragon.

Cave - Your dungeon master.


After having played a few games of this, I'd say difficulty level:


I'd say Goblins are hardest to play (well) by far. You MUST mess with the knight, you are scissors to knight's paper.

The Knight may be arguably the most important to keep balance so I'd put him second. He's not difficult, but important for someone to play well.

The thief is actually (relatively) boring to play. Don't get me wrong, I think it's AMAZING that up to 5 players can play this, but I'm starting to think this plays best with 4 without the thief.

Dragon is my vote for most fun to play. So far this is my favorite role.

Cave I wouldn't necessarily say is the easiest. It is fun to play, and there are a few strategy things to keep track of, but I'd say Dragon and Cave are fun and relatively easiest.
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Patrick Leder
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Where the Thief shines and why I don't recommend him for new players is once everyone knows how to play well and he has to start deciding between going for loot or interfering in the game.
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aaron belmer
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GreenM wrote:
Where the Thief shines and why I don't recommend him for new players is once everyone knows how to play well and he has to start deciding between going for loot or interfering in the game.


I 100% agree with this from a game play balancing perspective. In our experience, the thief's turn takes like 2 seconds, whereas everyone else's turns are a bit more involved and take say 30-45 seconds.

Feedback from the thief is that he didn't feel very involved and there was a bit of downtime.

It's subtle, and again this is not a complaint, just an observation. You could have easily made this a 4 player game and stopped, but just the fact you added a fifth player is mindblowing.
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David Vestal
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atsao wrote:
Kickstarter Backer hoping to get in his first game of Vast with some friends in the next few weeks. I have a pretty mixed group, and was wondering if anyone had recommendations for matching roles with gaming experience. I realize the game comes with the ability to modify difficulty, but was wondering if there were suggestions for newer players in terms of mechanical complexity. Thanks!


I've only played the game twice, but here are my impressions of the roles (I don't think there's a strict 'easy/hard' scale). Overall a game like this has a "self balancing" component where players all need to coordinate to block whoever is winning and bolster whoever is losing at any time, in order to prevent the game from ending before they can fulfill their own victory conditions.

Knight - She begins the game arguably the weakest, so takes some time to level up and escape the "danger zone" where she is getting beaten up by Goblins. Relatively straightforward mechanically, but requires some patience and foresight to not panic or lose composure if attacked early. The knight needs to become a threat to the dragon, and is the primary role to explore and expand the game board.

Goblins - They don't really level up, so they start more-or-less at "full strength". This requires a lot of aggression early, before they are passed by other roles. New players to any game are often on the more passive side - goblins need to attack early, and then sort of "lunge" for the last couple HP of the knight in the mid/late game. I felt like their internal mechanics were a little complex, but their role/interaction was relatively straightforward, as they seem to have the fewest methods and least responsibility to be a balancing force at the table. In other words, their objective of killing the knight is relatively clear, so there is less pressure on them to balance competing objectives.

Dragon - I'd argue this is one of the more straightforward roles. The cards you draw and the distinct "level up" tracks act as a guiding/limiting factor that, in my impression so far, make it a little easier to play. You basically draw cards, see if you can reveal tiles, capture treasure, or eat goblins, do so, and end your turn (which isn't to say there isn't more complex, subtle strategy at higher level play). On the other hand, a slight counterbalance, is that your objective itself is more complex than the Knight or the Goblins, and requires multiple steps. The dragon also begins the game relatively weak, and levels up, but it doesn't feel as difficult in the early stages, because the Knight begins the game weak and needs bombs or other equipment to attack you at all before you surface, and the Goblins, who begin the game relatively strong, can't attack you.

Cave - I'd probably say this is the role that is least new-player friendly, but also, the most fun to play win-or-lose. You have your own win condition, but this could be approached as someone who likes to be the GM in games, with the win-condition a secondary concern. Your interactions with other players are relatively indirect and your objective is long and contains multiple steps. You also, arguably, have the most responsibility for balancing the game between the other players, and doing so requires a decent level of understanding of how the other roles mechanically function.

Thief - I compared the Thief to the fruit in PacMan. You sort of spawn periodically, and if within reach, players will eat you for bonus points. You begin the game at relatively high strength, and do have the opportunity to get stronger as the game progresses. I felt like the role was relatively straightforward among new players, but at higher level play you do have more responsibility to balance the game. At first-level strategy you just look to avoid the other players and make opportunistic treasure runs. Your goal is relatively straightforward, and I don't think you have too many complex mechanics to keep track of.

Hope that helps - I know it was a bit wordy.
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