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Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure» Forums » Variants

Subject: The Monsters Come Out to Play rss

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Jared Voshall
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I have found Clank! to be a thoroughly enjoyable game - and not just because I'm regularly able to crank out 100+ points. But, there are a few things that could use being... tweaked a bit.

For this thread, I'm going to be talking about the unreliability of the Attack cards. Sure, you're guaranteed a gold for every two Attack you have, and they let you prevent wounds when moving through Monster locations - but that's a really inefficient way of generating VP, and there simply aren't enough monsters in the deck to make an Attack-centered strategy worthwhile. And, it's generally easy enough to minimize the damage you take from the board monsters by either smart routing or grabbing a decent amount of healing.

So, to that end, next game I will try out The Monsters Come Out to Play house rule: Instead of shuffling the Monster cards into the general purchasable deck, set them aside as a separate deck. You will change the game in two ways:

1) When you Move through a space containing a Monster icon, draw one Monster per Icon. You may spend Attack to defeat the monster as normal. If you cannot, you gain 1 wound and the Monster is shuffled back into the Monster deck.

2) Once per turn, if you have no Movement, you may gain 1 Clank to draw the top card of the Monster deck to fight. This works like option 1, except you do not take Damage if you are unable to defeat the Monster.

This should make an Attack-heavy strategy much more feasible, and give players another path to victory. Assuming it works as intended, of course.
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Chris Ruf
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I don't think an attack strategy is supposed to be a viable independent strategy. I think it's suppose to just be supplementary. You are theives, not knights. Monsters are supposed to be a hindrance, not a goal.

Then again, have fun how you want! But from a thematic and design perspective, it makes sense to not too heavily incentivize killing monsters.
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Jared Voshall
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That may be. You definitely don't want to have something where the players just grab the cheapest artifact possible, then sit at the entrance and grind up VP while everyone else plays the game - but that's exactly what I wanted this variant to address. It makes delving deep into the dungeon significantly more dangerous, so you have to weigh the likelihood of drawing a nasty Arrival effect and taking damage against taking the most direct - or, in some cases, only - route to the highest VP treasures. Also, since you can only draw out a monster once per turn, you still need to be able to move around the dungeon to get the most out of the strategy - and if you really want to push the limit on it, you do run the risk of taking more damage from the dragon.

And, from what I've seen, the Monster's really aren't much of a hindrance in the game. The purchasable ones may have a nasty effect that needs to be dealt with, but with few exceptions they don't really affect the game much. Likewise, it's pretty easy to just grab a couple of Attack cards to soften the blow from the Monster corridors, and you'll generally only take 2-3 damage traveling around the board. It's just enough to tinge some of the strategies, but not enough to be something players need to focus on.

So, I have this variant. I'll give it a try, and see how it goes. It may be that it does hinder my enjoyment of the game, but if it works as intended, it gives another, interesting path to victory - and it's almost always good to have more of those in a game.
 
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Alex Limoges
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While I have not found monsters to be an issue (I agree it's a thieves game, not a fighting game), if you do what you intend to do, how will you deal with the fact that "dragon attacks" cards are mostly tied to the monster cards? I am not sure how, I need to think about it, but this would certainly alter the frequence of attacks.

Killing monsters is not a bad idea at all, even more interesting if, for some reason, the board fills with them. Players whith no or very few attack cards can't deal with them and see their other options largely limited by the fact that monsters occupy the row.
 
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Jared Voshall
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That's taken care of by the fact that monsters are drawn whenever a player moves over a location with a Monster icon, then either Discarded (if enough Attack is spent to defeat the monster) or shuffled back into the Monster deck after dealing a point of damage (if not). For spaces with multiple Monster icons, one monster is drawn for each, resolving any Arrive and Dragon effects in the order the cards were drawn, then resolving the Combat effects in the order they choose. This will have a few impacts on the game - if the players are careful and avoid the Monster spaces, they will have an overall easier time dealing with the dragon, but they'll need to take a more circuitous route to get to the treasures. On the other hand, they'll need more Attack if they want to safely rush toward the treasures, but that's also much more likely to draw the dragon's attentions.

It also makes buying cards to upgrade your deck safer (though still not completely so) - but I feel that that will be balanced out by having at least one player going the combat route and focusing on taking out monsters.

Overall, I'll need to give it a play and see how it changes the game. It may be a bad change that makes it less fun (after all, it'll be a lot tougher to move through the Monster spaces safely), or it may be a great change that adds another strategic layer to the game. I won't really know until I try.
 
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D B
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It would be great to see some more impactfull monsters in future expansions. Monsters with passive effects. Example: 5 sword monster with the effect: Active player gets +1 clank for each card he buys this turn.
Or a monster that triggers a dragon attack each turn. This will force players to get some swords in their decks.
Or a monster with the effect: players only draw 4 cards during their draw phase.
 
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