Sharzei Josephine
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Has anyone played Waste Knights? Trying to assess this game versus Waste Knights as a gift for my husband who likes postapocalyptic type games.

Curious about how well this game plays for two players, since often it's just the two of us. So far, we have Posthuman, and that's fine, though a bit short. And we just kickstarted for Fallen Land.

I'd be grateful for any feedback.
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Neil Edmonds
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Do you have any experience with Defenders of the Realm? It's the same engine powering Defenders of the Last Stand.

For the 30,000 Foot overview, I'd describe Defenders of the Last Stand as Pandemic with dice rolling. Each turn minions (similar to Pandemic's disease cubes) are added to the game board and are eliminated by characters entering the minions space and rolling dice to combat them (removing the minions.) The allocation of minions and the movement of generals isn't as predictable as Pandemic because there's no concentration of infections when the draw deck is rebuilt. So if you find the predictability/planning aspects of Pandemic as the most enjoyable aspect of the game, then Defenders of the Last Stand will disappoint you. If you enjoy Defenders of the Last Stands theme and can tolerate sensible strategies being derailed by poor dice rolls, then the game is excellent for the stories it can tell. You will feel a sense of accomplishment when you win because you likely had to take some risks to get there.

At the 10,000 Foot overview, I'd say that Last Stand differs from Defenders of the Realm because the heroes have character attributes that are used when resolving Adventures (similar to DOTR's Quests) and they can acquire equipment for fighting minions and Generals. Adventuring and equipment are an important aspect of the Last Stand's gameplay - and provide most of the story telling hooks - while the Quests in Defenders of the Realm are optional and often work as a temptation/distraction from the core goal of controlling minion & tainted land outbreaks while acquiring cards to fight the generals. Characters in Defenders of the Last Stand, on average, have 2 more actions than heroes in Defenders of the Realm which is what makes adventuring feasible.

I hope that helps. I haven't played Waste Knights, but you might find some gameplay summaries or reviews in that game's forum posts.
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Sharzei Josephine
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Thanks for the reply. I've actually got Defenders of the Realm sitting in a gift stack for my husband.

Your mechanics description sounds good. Re the postapocalypic theme, I think he'll love any game, especially if the theme/story content is well done and immersive. How would you rate those for this game?

 
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Neil Edmonds
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I like the Adventure Cards and Mutations (often beneficial abilities heroes can acquire through radiation exposure) because it gives the game more of a Gamma World flavor. Some dedicated Defenders of the Realm players have said they don't like these new features because they're required (or strongly encouraged) and provide another way to lose the game while distracting players from the core mechanic of controlling minions and eliminating fast moving generals.

A lot of co-op games have timers built into them to discourage turtling - Flying Frog (Last Night on Earth, A Touch of Evil, Fortune & Glory, Shadows of Brimstone) uses a Darkness track, AD&D Adventure Systems (Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, Legend of Drizzt, etc) uses Encounter Cards, and Defenders titles uses a combination of general movement and minion placement to encourage players to pick up the pace. Defenders lack of player agency in the advancement of the game's pacing is very noticeable and that bothers some players.
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Sharzei Josephine
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Good to know about pacing in Last Stand. I reckon I need to find the time to watch some playthroughs on youtube at this point, though it sounds like a solid game. Reckon he'd like it. Lol, maybe I'll get that one and throw in the Waste Knights game as well, since it's got an Ameritrash flavour.

You mentioned other games - I'm still gluing Shadows over Brimstone minis together for us , and have heard that Flying Frog will be launching a new kickstarter soon called Forbidden Fortress. Gotta admit, I hope there's less mini building in that one! I'm quite determined not to miss out on that kickstarter, it seems like whenever we're not watching Kickstarter, interesting stuff happens that we miss!
 
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Matt Smith
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Regarding your question about how the game plays with two players, I think it plays great with low player counts. The benefits are your turns happens more frequently, and less will have changed on the board between your turns, meaning the game state is more "manageable". However, it will be harder for only two Rangers to control raiders over the whole board, so you'll need to get creative with your use of cards to move around.

Autoduelist is right, the artifact and adventure cards provide the biggest thematic hooks. However, the Ranger special abilities also make is easier to get into the post-apocalyptic setting, as do the awesome raider minis.

Another upcoming game with a great post-apocalyptic setting is Wasteland Express Delivery Service. However, it requires a minimum of 3 players, so it may not fit your group size.
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Neil Edmonds
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Thanks Matt.

Matt's observation about player counts is spot on; fortunately Defenders of the Realm and Defenders of the Last Stand are both easy games to control multiple heroes per player. Controlling minion outbreaks and land taints is harder with a smaller number of heroes because you're spending more actions travelling to far-flung locations to control minions. If it's too difficult to accomplish with two heroes, just give each player an extra hero and it's like you have more players. I play Defenders with two other people and we typically assign a fourth hero to one of the players and it's worked great.

One strong plus in Defenders favor is that the game is simple to pick up. Between my friends and myself, games can go for months without being played because we have so many titles between us. It's got a much easier rule-set for pick-up and play than other games I've owned. I've had great success playing Defenders of the Realm with younger children as well, so it's been well-received with my friends who have kids that want to play with the adults.

If you don't find what you need in the review sections for Defenders of the Last Stand, I highly encourage you to check out reviews for Defenders of the Realm. You'll get 90% of the feel for Defenders of the Last Stand and definitely walk away with a sense of whether Last Stand will interest you or not.
 
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Phillip Frye
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Those happen to be some of my favorite post-apocalyptic board games! I just recently picked up DotLS, and my girlfriend and I really enjoy it!

I love the theme of Post Human, but the combat can get lengthy. I've never actually played as a mutant.
Waste Knights has the heaviest component list and setup, but also gives you more action possibilities. I would say it's the most complex of the three. It's also worth noting that Waste Knights is the only one that includes direct PVP from the start. I love the combat system in Waste Knights because it involves more strategy than luck.
Defenders of The Last Stand kind of falls between the two in terms of length and complexity. Since the rules were considerably less dense than Waste Knights', we had an easier time getting started on our first round.

Which one did you end up choosing? I also recommend 51st State, Arctic Scavengers, SaltLands, and Hit Z Road for a post-apocalyptic fix.
 
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