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Subject: Play through of first story, thoughts rss

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Dave Heberer
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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What happened

I was at a local event where the latest games from GenCon are on offer for play. I saw the game sitting in the pile and knowing nothing about it started looking through the rules. People immediately saw the cover and wanted in. Got a full table and then started reading through the rules.

Setup wasn't too bad, the copy I had needed to have a lot of the plot cards replaced since they were missing the time of day symbol you can do the thing. Once we sorted that out we set it up and then I started going over the rules that I just had read. The game was fairly straight forward in the normal play, and given the time component I wanted to make sure everyone understood what we needed to do. The rules don't say so but pretty much you must uncover every plot card or you don't win. Why this isn't a preliminary not timed step I don't know, but first thing we did was flip over cards in each sector until we found at least one plot card. We literally did as bad as we could. In every sector we flipped over all the cards before choosing the plot card. In the sector that had two we did it last and flipped over all the cards before leaving two. We always chose wrong, it was remarkable. We decided to play it out since we were just learning.

Planning went smoothly, we talked through what we needed and where we could meet to make sure that we did all the plot cards not too early and in order. we tried to focus on taking out the side quest cards that had the most dread on them but since I hadn't read the rules about the endgame to carefully we just assumed that more dread was bad.

Timer went off and then we executed. There were a couple of mistakes made but for the most part we worked as smartly as I think we could have. Cleared the last plot point at like 2 am and then we went to the endgame. This is where the game fell apart. Up until this point we had been having a fine time.

The endgame and boss battles are completely inadequately described in the rules. There is no mention in the rules about distribution of cards, yet the example assumes it is done. The rules say only dice earned by doing the challenges are used in the boss battle, but the boss card had a occult symbol = ? thing printed on it that wasn't referenced in any way. We assumed that ? meant a die. The boss battle has no example, so the very brief description didn't really make us feel confident that we had everything straight. We brought like 20 dice between us into the boss battle that needed a total of 5 successes. This seemed like crazy overkill. We defeated the big bad and then packed it away with very mixed feelings.

Thoughts

We had a great time up until the endgame. It was great to have the timer going and execution of our planned actions went smoothly. The endgame of a co-op game needs to have rock solid rules about what you are doing otherwise you come away feeling like you maybe cheated. The rules for the end game need to be redone and it would be nice to have an example walkthrough of the final boss and clarification of the procedure to do with the final boss.

I don't think I can convince those guys to try that game again, I might have to get fresh suckers. Seemed like a fun game, I played a fantasy themed game that had the story telling pieces similar to this game but I can't find it in my logged plays.

If you want a co-op similar to space alert, this is your thing. I don't know if it's as replayable.
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Drew Bowling
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I tried it at Gen Con and after giving it another play or so I might write my own review.

My thoughts (connected to your review)

1. It's not Space Alert. I love Space Alert, and I enjoyed this, but they aren't the same game. Space Alert is about trying to (read: failing to) operate like a well-oiled machine to solve a particular puzzle. The path to take in London Dread is less clear-cut, but the consequences for one little misplay are far less severe.

2. The first edition rules are not good. In fact, they are bad. And incomplete. As in there is a paragraph missing from the Endgame section. It looks like they are working on incorporating some of the missing parts into updated versions of the rulebook (check the files section here on BGG).

3. I want to give it another try and I suspect I will like it alot as I play it, but the theme might be a little off for me. I'll have to see.

But anyways, DON'T let the Endgame confusion ruin this game for you! The answers to any questions you may have are here on BGG and will hopefully be available to future purchasers of London Dread. It would be a shame if a bad rulebook (and the rulebook in the box right now is indeed quite bad) killed off what could very well be a great game.
 
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Michael Denman
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I've only read the PDF of the Rules here and I haven't seen the actual printed rules, but I was able to put everything together from them. I'll grant you that there are parts where things could have been a bit clearer and there's an outright contradiction in at least one place, but I think I have it sorted.

20 dice?! You must have been playing very wrong there. You have 4 dice (one for each player). You went through three Endgame challenges which I ASSUME rewarded one dice each (but I can't really know since I haven't seen the cards). Maybe you had an item or two worth an automatic success (and thus a few more dice). I think you mostly went wrong when you assumed that the Spellcraft=? ability had something to do with you getting more dice.

And how many faces of those dice have a fist on them? You say you needed five successes to beat the Antagonist. I'm thinking that you probably shouldn't have ended up with enough dice to even have a 50% chance of success, but I can't be sure without knowing what the dice breakdown is.

None of this probably matters as far as getting the same group to play the game again. I have the same problem at times. If the initial playthough goes poorly, it's hard to get some people to give a game a second chance regardless of WHY the first play bombed.
 
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Dave Heberer
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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You will have to let me know what your group determines the final boss card symbols mean.
 
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Michael Denman
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i7dealer wrote:
You will have to let me know what your group determines the final boss card symbols mean.


It means that in those last Endgame challenges that Spellcraft is wild.
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Joshua Lobkowicz
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You could be playing.
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Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?
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i7dealer wrote:
What happened

I was at a local event where the latest games from GenCon are on offer for play. I saw the game sitting in the pile and knowing nothing about it started looking through the rules. People immediately saw the cover and wanted in. Got a full table and then started reading through the rules.

Setup wasn't too bad, the copy I had needed to have a lot of the plot cards replaced since they were missing the time of day symbol you can do the thing. Once we sorted that out we set it up and then I started going over the rules that I just had read. The game was fairly straight forward in the normal play, and given the time component I wanted to make sure everyone understood what we needed to do. The rules don't say so but pretty much you must uncover every plot card or you don't win. Why this isn't a preliminary not timed step I don't know, but first thing we did was flip over cards in each sector until we found at least one plot card. We literally did as bad as we could. In every sector we flipped over all the cards before choosing the plot card. In the sector that had two we did it last and flipped over all the cards before leaving two. We always chose wrong, it was remarkable. We decided to play it out since we were just learning.

Planning went smoothly, we talked through what we needed and where we could meet to make sure that we did all the plot cards not too early and in order. we tried to focus on taking out the side quest cards that had the most dread on them but since I hadn't read the rules about the endgame to carefully we just assumed that more dread was bad.

Timer went off and then we executed. There were a couple of mistakes made but for the most part we worked as smartly as I think we could have. Cleared the last plot point at like 2 am and then we went to the endgame. This is where the game fell apart. Up until this point we had been having a fine time.

The endgame and boss battles are completely inadequately described in the rules. There is no mention in the rules about distribution of cards, yet the example assumes it is done. The rules say only dice earned by doing the challenges are used in the boss battle, but the boss card had a occult symbol = ? thing printed on it that wasn't referenced in any way. We assumed that ? meant a die. The boss battle has no example, so the very brief description didn't really make us feel confident that we had everything straight. We brought like 20 dice between us into the boss battle that needed a total of 5 successes. This seemed like crazy overkill. We defeated the big bad and then packed it away with very mixed feelings.

Thoughts

We had a great time up until the endgame. It was great to have the timer going and execution of our planned actions went smoothly. The endgame of a co-op game needs to have rock solid rules about what you are doing otherwise you come away feeling like you maybe cheated. The rules for the end game need to be redone and it would be nice to have an example walkthrough of the final boss and clarification of the procedure to do with the final boss.

I don't think I can convince those guys to try that game again, I might have to get fresh suckers. Seemed like a fun game, I played a fantasy themed game that had the story telling pieces similar to this game but I can't find it in my logged plays.

If you want a co-op similar to space alert, this is your thing. I don't know if it's as replayable.


Hi Dave,

Thanks for learning, playing, and teaching the game!

I am sorry that there was an omission in the rules for the Endgame - we have updated the files on BGG to make this clearer. As for the symbol on the Antagonist Card, each endgame scenario has special rules as outlined in the Story Guide. Looking back, I see this could be clearer too and we will endeavor to make it so in future editions.

For reference here, that ability means "Spellcraft Icons may be used as Wild during Endgame Challenges"

Thanks again for playing and for taking the time to share your experience with the community!

-Josh
Grey Fox Games
 
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Dave Heberer
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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Ok, I looked at the updated rules and that makes more sense.

One last thing that I should have put in the original session report, we never got any virtue tokens. I saw a bunch of references to virtue tokens in the rules and assumed that cards would grant them but didn't see anything that did. Did I miss something else in the rules?
 
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Jeff Risdon
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Each player starts the game with one virtue token. Certain plot cards or items may grant additional virtue tokens during the game.
 
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Michael Denman
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Trump wrote:
And how many faces of those dice have a fist on them?


Can anybody answer this one for me? I'm curious to know. Thanks!
 
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Dave Heberer
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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2 sides of 6 have fists
 
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