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Subject: Red Player One Reviews Welcome to the Dungeon rss

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Curt Frantz
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The Game

Welcome to the Dungeon is a quick press your luck game for 2 to 4 players. You’re not only pressing your luck against the deck, you’re also doing so against your opponents. Can you stock the dungeon full of brutal monsters and force someone else to enter without the proper supplies? Or can you place beatable monsters in the dungeon and gain the glory for yourself? Let’s take a look at the components and the gameplay and then I’ll provide some thoughts on the game.



The Components

This game comes in a small box, and there aren’t many components. There are four sets of character tiles, 1 of which will be used in each round of the game. These include the warrior, the rogue, the barbarian, and the mage. They each have very different abilities and effects distributed among their tiles.



There is a monster deck. This consists of 13 monster cards of varied strength. The players will be drawing from this deck on each turn, as indicated below.



There are also 4 player aids. If defeated by the dungeon, the player flips their player aid over to the red side. If defeated twice, the player is out of the game. There are also 8 success cards, 1 of which is granted to a player when they defeat the dungeon. If this is done twice by any player, they immediately win the game.



That’s it - not many components in this game. Now, I’ll show you how to use them to conquer the dungeon!

The Gameplay

First, the player who entered the dungeon during the previous round chooses which character and associated tiles to play with. Those tiles are placed in the center of the table near the dungeon, in reach of all players.



On their turn, the player either passes or draws a card from the monster deck. If they draw, they must do one of two things with the card:

1. Place it face down in the dungeon: this means that whichever player enters the dungeon later in the round must defeat this monster or,



2. Place it face down in their play area and de-equip the character: the player can choose not to put the monster into the dungeon, but they must remove one piece of equipment as a result. Whichever player enters the dungeon later in the round must now fight with one less piece of equipment.



If the player instead chooses to pass, they are out of the round. They can’t score a point for defeating the dungeon, but they also won’t risk being defeated by the dungeon. Remember, two defeats and you’re out of the game.

Play moves clockwise around the table until all players except one have passed. The players will pass because they don’t think the dungeon can be beaten with the current equipment, or that it certainly won’t be beatable if they draw another card (causing another monster to be added, or a piece of equipment removed). The last player in the round must face the dungeon with whatever equipment tiles remain.

In this example, the torch, dragon spear, knight shield, and vorpal sword have been removed from the warrior and these four monsters were not added to the dungeon. The player is still able to use the holy grail and the plate armor, however. The warrior has 8 HP, due to a base value of 3 and an addition of 5 from the plate armor.



The dungeon deck must be fought from the top down. It’s important to keep track of which monsters you put in the dungeon, so you’ll have some knowledge of what you’ll be facing and when you’ll be facing it. In this case, there are four cards in the dungeon. The first is flipped and it is a 5 strength monster. The takes the warrior’s HP from 8 to 3. The next monster has a strength value of 6, which would defeat the player, except that the holy grail defeats all monsters with even-numbered strength. So this monster is defeated and the player remains at 5 HP. The next monster is a 1, which takes the player down to 2 HP. The final monster in the dungeon has strength of 4 and is also defeated by the holy grail. The player survived the dungeon with at least 1 HP, so they gain a success card and is half way to victory.



The game is played until one of two conditions is met:

1. One player has two success cards or,

2. All players except one have been defeated by the dungeon twice.

Final Thoughts

I like this game. There is only one major mechanic here, but it’s done elegantly. You only have one decision to make on your turn, but the implications of that decision are important. You can stack the dungeon full of beatable monsters and retain just the right amount of equipment to defeat them, or make the dungeon very difficult for other players by placing strong monsters in the dungeon and/or removing vital equipment. However, if you don’t pass at just the right time, you might get stuck in a dungeon you want no part of.

It’s nice that there are four different characters that are themed very differently. You’ll probably only see each character one or two times during the game, unless one is very popular with your group.

My only criticism of this game is that sometimes you may not have a ‘correct’ move. The round might be to the point where you think the dungeon is beatable, but if you add another monster or remove equipment, it most definitely won’t be. This will force you to pass, giving a success to another player. So, sometimes your hands are tied.

It’s hard to predict how long this game will last. It could be over after two rounds, or it could take eight or nine. I would estimate 10-30 minutes to play Welcome to the Dungeon.

How easy is the game to learn?

Very easy! The only potential hurdle is that sometimes new players don't understand the concept of, "You may not want to draw a card here or it might come back to bite you."

Will it be easy to find players?

Yep! As I mentioned, it only takes 30 minutes, at most. With such a short time commitment, this could hit the table frequently.

Is the reward worth the time spent?

You only do one thing in this game, but it's done well. It can drag a bit if each player has one point and one failure. Sometimes I want this game to be more of a filler and it takes a little longer. I'm nit-picking though.

How much fun is defeat?*


Honestly, this game feels about the same whether I win or lose. I would recommend finding your way to the dungeon at least once during the game, otherwise the suspense of flipping over and defeating (hopefully!) the monsters won't be there. That's the fun part!

Overall score

*I think one of the best ways to evaluate a game is to consider how much fun it is to lose. The goal is to have fun whether I've won or lost!


If you enjoyed reading this review, feel free to check out my other game reviews HERE
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v b
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Don't mean to go off topic(GREAT review btw), but do you know if you're supposed to shuffle the deck before a hero enters it or do you keep it in the same order set by the players?
 
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Abel Kim
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Skrell wrote:
Don't mean to go off topic(GREAT review btw), but do you know if you're supposed to shuffle the deck before a hero enters it or do you keep it in the same order set by the players?


I don't think it should matter too much if you shuffle it or not. I am thinking that you don't shuffle it though.
 
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Dbriner31 wrote:
Skrell wrote:
Don't mean to go off topic(GREAT review btw), but do you know if you're supposed to shuffle the deck before a hero enters it or do you keep it in the same order set by the players?


I don't think it should matter too much if you shuffle it or not. I am thinking that you don't shuffle it though.

See I think it does because if you didn't then when you went "into the dungeon" you'd at least know approximately when and where to expect the cards you placed into the dungeon to come up and may use that information to give yourself a SLIGHTLY greater chance of making it.
 
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Major Havok
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It can absolutely matter knowing where critters are in the dungeon, in what order, etc.
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Well I'm glad to see at least the answer to my question isn't obvious :-P
I've been playing it that you do NOT shuffle the deck....but i'd like to know what the "official" rule is.
 
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Major Havok
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Skrell wrote:
Well I'm glad to see at least the answer to my question isn't obvious :-P
I've been playing it that you do NOT shuffle the deck....but i'd like to know what the "official" rule is.


The rule book states on page 7...

Quote:
Next, one by one, reveal the cards from the Dungeon pile.


What is your question?
 
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matthewabair wrote:

What is your question?


Even though it sounded kinda dickish thanks for the clarification.
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Major Havok
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Skrell wrote:
matthewabair wrote:

What is your question?


Even though it sounded kinda dickish thanks for the clarification.


Your not welcome.
 
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matthewabair wrote:
Skrell wrote:
matthewabair wrote:

What is your question?


Even though it sounded kinda dickish thanks for the clarification.


Your not welcome.

*You're*
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George Louie
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Skrell wrote:
Dbriner31 wrote:
Skrell wrote:
Don't mean to go off topic(GREAT review btw), but do you know if you're supposed to shuffle the deck before a hero enters it or do you keep it in the same order set by the players?


I don't think it should matter too much if you shuffle it or not. I am thinking that you don't shuffle it though.

See I think it does because if you didn't then when you went "into the dungeon" you'd at least know approximately when and where to expect the cards you placed into the dungeon to come up and may use that information to give yourself a SLIGHTLY greater chance of making it.


matthewabair wrote:
It can absolutely matter knowing where critters are in the dungeon, in what order, etc.


Please explain how knowing the order of the monster's in the dungeon just prior to entering the dungeon matters. How is an advantage knowing when the monsters you've placed in dungeon will come up?

I've only played the game once, but I don't see how order or knowledge of order can be relevant. After you decide (or its decided) to enter the dungeon, its a zero sum game, you don't lose or gain any equipment and you have a set amount of hit points to absorb damage. The monsters are either beatable by the equipment you bring in, or the damage to you.

Knowledge of Monster Order might help you get further into the dungeon, but it will not change whether or not you ultimately defeat every monster in the dungeon.

 
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Curt Frantz
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glouie wrote:
Skrell wrote:
Dbriner31 wrote:
Skrell wrote:
Don't mean to go off topic(GREAT review btw), but do you know if you're supposed to shuffle the deck before a hero enters it or do you keep it in the same order set by the players?


I don't think it should matter too much if you shuffle it or not. I am thinking that you don't shuffle it though.

See I think it does because if you didn't then when you went "into the dungeon" you'd at least know approximately when and where to expect the cards you placed into the dungeon to come up and may use that information to give yourself a SLIGHTLY greater chance of making it.


matthewabair wrote:
It can absolutely matter knowing where critters are in the dungeon, in what order, etc.


Please explain how knowing the order of the monster's in the dungeon just prior to entering the dungeon matters. How is an advantage knowing when the monsters you've placed in dungeon will come up?

I've only played the game once, but I don't see how order or knowledge of order can be relevant. After you decide (or its decided) to enter the dungeon, its a zero sum game, you don't lose or gain any equipment and you have a set amount of hit points to absorb damage. The monsters are either beatable by the equipment you bring in, or the damage to you.

Knowledge of Monster Order might help you get further into the dungeon, but it will not change whether or not you ultimately defeat every monster in the dungeon.



I suppose if you're deciding whether to use a healing potion or a verbal axe, the order could matter slightly. It could increase or decrease the value of your knowledge about the dungeon. I.e. If the deck is shuffled, and all the monster you Knew were in the dungeon come up first, that makes your decisions harder.

Same with polymorph. If you put the demon into the dungeon and it is shuffled and comes up first, you immediately have to make a decision on whether or not to use polymorph. If the deck is shuffled and the demon us at the bottom, you can wait and see if something worse comes up first, Knowing that you'll at some point see the demon.

In certain cases, it can change the margins slightly.

To answer the question, I don't think you're supposed to shuffle the deck.
 
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Major Havok
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glouie wrote:
Skrell wrote:
Dbriner31 wrote:
Skrell wrote:
Don't mean to go off topic(GREAT review btw), but do you know if you're supposed to shuffle the deck before a hero enters it or do you keep it in the same order set by the players?


I don't think it should matter too much if you shuffle it or not. I am thinking that you don't shuffle it though.

See I think it does because if you didn't then when you went "into the dungeon" you'd at least know approximately when and where to expect the cards you placed into the dungeon to come up and may use that information to give yourself a SLIGHTLY greater chance of making it.


matthewabair wrote:
It can absolutely matter knowing where critters are in the dungeon, in what order, etc.


Please explain how knowing the order of the monster's in the dungeon just prior to entering the dungeon matters. How is an advantage knowing when the monsters you've placed in dungeon will come up?

I've only played the game once, but I don't see how order or knowledge of order can be relevant. After you decide (or its decided) to enter the dungeon, its a zero sum game, you don't lose or gain any equipment and you have a set amount of hit points to absorb damage. The monsters are either beatable by the equipment you bring in, or the damage to you.

Knowledge of Monster Order might help you get further into the dungeon, but it will not change whether or not you ultimately defeat every monster in the dungeon.


The order doesn't much matter for the Warrior. But there are plenty of reasons knowing something about the dungeon order might matter...

1. Rogue - Healing Potion - knowing whether this item makes a difference or not can sometimes depend on order.
2. Rogue - Ring Of Power - where the 2's are in the order certainly matters for weighing if this is possibly helpful.
3. Barbarian - Healing Potion - having an idea what is near the end of the dungeon matters here.
4. Mage - Demonic Pact - this can be make or break sometimes if you know what comes next (or doesn't come next )
5. Even some other items where you have a choice mid-dungeon (Polymorph, Vorpal Axe) the order might come into play.

Love this game. Sometimes you know for a fact the dungeon is impossible and sometimes you know for fact it's a win - most of the time you're taking a gamble, hopefully educated.
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