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Guards of Atlantis: Tabletop MOBA» Forums » Sessions

Subject: My first game rss

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Kyp Ganner
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So, back from Essen and I finally got the time to try this so awaited game.

My first thought, and maybe kind of a disappointment, is that it's longer than I thought. The first game took two hours. Well, as it was the first time, every player took time to read the cards and reread them because there's so much to think of while playing. For the same reason, the leveling took a bit of time too. Maybe it'll become faster later.
Also, there was a player who asked his teammates about every action he should take. For another game, I'll insist that though communication is necessary, each player should play their own character and keep at it.

This first game gathered six players. Out of the six, two were clearly disappointed while the other four (including myself) felt a great potential and wanted to play more.

As we didn't really know the characters, we decided to attribute them randomly. We knew it could cause unbalance, but in the end, it seems to me both team was quite balanced. We had: the Barbarian, the Spellsword and the Sniper against the Aspiring Witch, the Envoy of the Queen and the Alchemist. Myself playing the Barbarian. Your thoughts on the balance are welcome.

It began pretty well with both team rushing against the minions. Then on turn 2 or 3 (probably 3), I killed the last ennemy minion just under the nose of the Aspiring Witch. Immediately, her player (which I'll call the Aspiring Witch for obvious reasons)decided she didn't like how a single initiative point could make such a difference.
I think she just believed she'll get our last minion first and was very displeased that she didn't predict someone could prevent it. It actually didn't have such a negative impact on them. On the contrary, they got to slaughter our newly placed minions without us being able to advance enough and they took a bit of advance in the leveling.

But the deed was done and the Aspiring Witch stayed in a bad mood. The dragging game didn't help.

The enemy killed our Sniper and continued to take some advance, but a stupid mistake of the Alchemist let our Sniper get her vengeance not long after while both Barbarian and Spellsword focused on Wasp and finally defeated her leaving only the Aspiring Witch surrounded by three of her minions against all of our team and our last remaining minion.

I think the Aspiring Witch was tired. We had tested all kinds of Essen games before during the day and it probably had its toll. Anyway, surrounded by three ennemies including the Barbarian in close range, she decided to kill the remaining minion. Next card was my attack (and it was already revealed). Let's just say she didn't enjoy her newly earned coins very long.

From here on, we obtained a huge boost in coin and the ennemy team stopped playing correctly. They attacked one by one, focused too much on the minions and basically fed us more coins while we slowly moved the line towards their base. The bad mood of the Aspiring Witch got to the Alchemist. He felt useless, saying the teams weren't balanced and globally waiting for their iminent defeat.

Sadly, what with players still taking their time, it didn't come as fast as he hoped for. We stopped the game maybe two turns before our obvious victory.
For their sake, they really tried to continue playing until the end. But it became painful even for the winning team as it was obvious they didn't take any pleasure in playing anymore. I think for next games, I'll also insist that a team has the right to surrender. This will avoid any unnecessary pain when it becomes obvious the match is won.

In the end, all of our team and Wasp liked the game and told me they'd gladly play again. Maybe they didn't enjoy it as much as they should have because two players clearly and vocally didn't.
As for the Alchemist and the Aspiring Witch, they think the teams were unbalanced (I agree that in the end the level difference made it unbalanced, but looking at the characters afterwards, it seems to me the teams were pretty balanced at the start. Again, I gladly welcome any comment on that), that they couldn't do enough damage with their characters (but attacking one by one, that seems obvious to me) and that the Aspiring Witch is especially useless (the character, not the player. I actually really want to play this character now. )

Oh well, I have other friends to play with. Let's just hope they won't get too much bad advertising before I can persuade them to try. ^^

We also forgot a point of rule (my bad really). We always took back the hold card into our hand after playing it. That's what I remembered from reading the rules a long time ago. Either it changed or my memory failed me. I see how it could change the game, but I don't think (and I hope) it didn't have much impact on the game.

Sorry for the long read. Any comment appreciated. ^^
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Arty N.
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Did you use the Towers?
I strongly recommend using the tower variant for your first games (Play until 2 towers the first couple of times and increase to 3 when you feel comfortable with the game).
It will ensure that it doesn't drag on for too long.

As for surrendering. I've demoed a game on Sunday where we've played 1v1 Wasp vs the Witch.
I was level 2 (due to stupid death on my part), the enemy was level 7. I won that game ;)

Comebacks are very possible and not that hard to achieve. Two heroes will almost always take out one hero if they focus him and he is not careful since in the end it's about the number of cards in hand and how you play them, not the levels and stats.

The "damage" done by most characters (except for Wuk and the Alchemist with one of his attacks) is the same - it's "one card per attack".

The efficiency of the Witch (as any other character) depends on the right build VS the right team. She can be a very efficient hero killer (with the range build and someone to finish-off the weakened enemy) or a pusher (with necromancy/burning skull).

She is not supposed to kill any character with a full HP (full hand). All ranged attacks have lowered attack values compared to melee since they make it easier to find target and harder to dodge. And any unrestricted ranged attacks (which is the case with the witch) have even lower attack values.

Returning the hold card back into your hand could actually make life more difficult for the witch. As that way a tanky hero could simply hold multiple times in a row, making it impossible for her to kill him. I don't know if that happened in your game.

Not every character fits every player's playstyle. Perhaps your friend will enjoy it more playing a more tanky melee character like Wasp or Arien.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I`m eager to hear how it goes for you after more plays.
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Achim Zien
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Thank you for sharing.

To me, the game sounded really interesting in the first half and it seems that the second half mostly suffered from the bad mood of some players.

For head-to-head games, I think "GG"ing (surrendering) should always be an option. Forcing to play the game longer will not help. If the player has already closed their mind for the game, you will be better off with conceding and having a fresh start than playing through the misery of the last few hours of Monopoly. Sorry, got distracted there. A player that has bad feelings about a game will (usually) not play well enough to turn the tide again. (Though I know some players who get angry and just steamroll everything.) You should not force someone through game misery.

A player that is losing and is into the game will never make use of that GG rule anyways, just to see how things pan out. So, there's no harm in having the rule.

Towers seem like a great idea for first games.

I would be interested to know how the playing time evolves with time. I was hoping for eventually having 30min games with min players and about 75min games with max players.

If you play correctly, the simultaneous action selection should not scale with player count while the action resolution should scale a bit more than linearly (due to the number of available targets) with player count. The asymmetric lanes on the 6+ player board might help reduce play time. The number of heroes in each team could go either way, making the game more balanced or one-sided. Not sure about that one.
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Arty N.
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PiHalbe wrote:
I was hoping for eventually having 30min games with min players and about 75min games with max players.


Unless you are using towers, playing time can vary rather significantly (same as in computer MOBAs).

I would say that during testing we usually had 10-15 minute rounds.
With ~2 rounds required to make a push (depending on the board/position of minions and number of players).
That means that playing until 3 towers (this is my format of choice) you will need 3-5 pushes to end the game. Which results in 60-120 minute games.

You can play shorter games by playing until 2 towers (So 2 pushes max --> 30-60 minutes).

These numbers will vary depending on how quickly you are playing and how much table talk there is, of course.
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David desJardins
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nichik wrote:
I would say that during testing we usually had 10-15 minute rounds.
With ~2 rounds required to make a push (depending on the board/position of minions and number of players).
That means that playing until 3 towers (this is my format of choice) you will need 3-5 pushes to end the game. Which results in 60-120 minute games.


15 * 2 * 5 is 150 minutes, right?
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Arty N.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
15 * 2 * 5 is 150 minutes, right?


Yes, but 5 pushes are a rare thing. And I`m talking about the average expected length. It might as well take up more than 15 minutes per round. Or more than 2 to push. Or less than that.

In the end, it's up to you to set up that target tower number to fit your playing group best.

Most of my games were ~90 minutes without using the towers rule.
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Tyler Ryan
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Guards of Atlantis is a game that punishes mistakes and players who don't learn from their mistakes could quickly see the game as unbalanced or unfair. Each hero plays differently and require different tactics to be successful with. Personally, the witch isn't my favorite, but have seen her used with devastating effectiveness. Guards of Atlantis requires a level of planning and flexibility in playing. Heroes need to watch what other heroes play, and make changes to their strategy depending on what the enemies play. If you ignore the enemies cards when you resolve your card there is a very strong chance you're going to have a bad time. Especially if you are in range of the Barbarian's Bullrush.

Oh, and I agree with Arty, having unlimited Holds does severely unbalance the game towards the higher defense heroes like the Barbarian or Spellsword. I'd recommend trying the game out with different heroes, the correct rules, and split the two skeptical players up on different teams.

Also, much like online MOBAs, Guards of Atlantis does require knowledge of your enemies abilities or you could place yourself in bad positions. Fortunately once you have been through a few rounds you can stay learning their cards since they typically will only have one new card per round. Cautiousness is often the best policy when playing against a hero you are unfamiliar with.
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