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

Subject: No dragon pressure? rss

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Chad Ingham
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Just played my first game of Clank! It was a two-player game.

I didn't feel a lot of pressure from the dragon and was wondering if that was normal. I went in expecting it be somewhat of a smash-and-grab, with the threat of dragon death looming quickly, and management of that threat a strategy path (being stealthy).

It felt more like we could lolly gag around the dungeon stealing every piece of loot in the entire place.

We ended the game only about a quarter health gone and we were fairly casual in exploration (I went mid-value artifact and my opponent went all the way to the 30 pointer).

Now this only one game experience but I'm curious to know ahead of time whether I should expect this game to be more of a
1) "get in and get out as quickly as possible" game
2) "casually collect a bunch of stuff until you get low on health" then run out game

I'm thinking some of the reasons we didn't feel dragon pressure were:

1) Two-player. More players means more turns where dragon rage increases and dragon attacks occur, while you sit there helplessly. (Meaning your turns have to be more meaningful.)

2) Ignoring the dungeon row. There were many turns that we didn't buy from the dungeon row - we couldn't or bought from the base row.

I know it's only one game experience so I'll play a few more times before making any tweaks.
If it doesn't feel more like a smash-and-grab, I'm already contemplating taking out 10 non-dragon cards for each missing player under the four count (so take out 20 cards with only 2 players).

Curious on people's thoughts and experiences regarding the dragon attack pressure of the game.
 
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Alex Limoges
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I had a similar experience with my first game (see my thread "end game question"). Lack of pressure meant we almost cleaned the dungeon. One of the player had so few cubes in the bag, that when the first player left the dungeon, he stayed at the entrance for 4 more turns to buy Secret tomes and other victory points, because he was not threatened by the dragon at all.

From what I gather, playing the easy side of the board is part of the issue. The other side has more monsters and requires you to go deeper.

My only advice would be to take away the clank reducing cards, then shuffle them in the deck after putting aside the first, say, 12 cards, to make sure they are not available too early.
 
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Greg Peterson
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We played it that for EACH dragon symbol that gets flipped the dragon attacks...So if you want a variant to ramp things up try that. We had 3 out of 4 die on the big board. devil

 
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Chris Ruf
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Due to the randomness of the dungeon deck, this can just happen sometimes. Some games will be fairly attack free. Some games will have many dragon attacks. I played a 3p game last night where nearly every turn had an attack. So much so that the end game triggered on the first person dying and not on the first player escaping.

Long term it will tend to balance out. And a lack of attacks early just means that later attacks will tend to draw more cubes as artifacts are taken and eggs are found.
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Kristo Vaher
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Danger of dragon in the game is DIRECTLY tied to buying cards from dungeon deck. If you don't buy cards from anywhere except reserve, then the dragon does NOT attack until the endgame. There is NO OTHER WAY for dragon to attack.

This is a design flaw in the game, but it does NOT break the game. You can clean the dungeon in this way yes, but it's only good strategy because your opposition is just as bad.

Reality is that the player who buys better cards will win compared to player that does not. And this should encourage other players to buy from dungeon deck as well.

Long story short: if your game does not have enough dragon presence, then all players are playing sub-optimally. More experienced player would surely win against group like that.
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Chris Ruf
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It's also strategically important to intentionally try to trigger dragon attacks when you have less clank. You can put a lot of pressure on the other players by intentionally clearing the market of 2-3 cards and getting a dragon attack. If you have little clank and are behind on points you should WANT the dragon to attack as often as possible.
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Kristo Vaher
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Legend5555 wrote:
It's also strategically important to intentionally try to trigger dragon attacks when you have less clank. You can put a lot of pressure on the other players by intentionally clearing the market of 2-3 cards and getting a dragon attack. If you have little clank and are behind on points you should WANT the dragon to attack as often as possible.


Exactly!

This game balances itself once players learn more about it. I agree that it is slightly 'surprising' that it's possible to play the game without dragon having almost any impact until the end of the game. BUT that's actually irrelevant - you can play Kemet without anyone attacking anyone either.

What I suggest the OP does is to explain the rules to the group in a way that also explains benefits of very generic strategies. This avoids this type of pitfall in games. Rules explanation alone can lead players to play sub-optimally.
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Donald I
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I played 6 games this weekend. First two were low in danger. Next two seemed a bit more tense. Last two had more threat. We only had one KO in the 6 games. I think that might have been because we were using cards like tattle more and playing more to spite the other player. There are quite a few cards that allow clank to be removed from the clank area. If toughness is what is required it might be possible just to load the bag at the beginning of the game with more player cubes.
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Eric Bridge
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We played a 4 player game over the weekend, on the "easy" side of the board, and ALL FOUR players got knocked out, 2 of them still below the line. There was a TON of dragon attacks in that game. It'e entirely based on how many cards people buy from the tableau, and how often those dragon cards come out.

I really don't mind it, because from one game to the next you never know what kind of "mood" the dragon is in on that particular day
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Joel Wright
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An easy way to house rule the problem of not buying from the market is:

"if there is no purchase of cards from the dungeon row, on the players turn, then one card most be discarded by the current player, the space is filled again."

This could help the row becoming stagnant.
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Dana R.
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Claremont
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Everything seems to work fine in games I played. We saw saw the importance and strategy of working the buy row to catch a person too deep in the dungeon or perhaps to kill off another player too close to dying. I think left as is works for some interesting decision making and very strategic play.
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Brian Torrens
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If you want to increase the dragon pressure there is a really easy way to do it. Put less black cubes in the bag. In the standard game there are 24 black cubes. So start playing with fewer and fewer black cubes until you find your sweet spot.

I have played two four player games so far and no one has succumbed to the dragon. It was really close though.
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Martin J.

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Playing without black cubes doesn't change the pressure from Dragon.
The dragon must first appear.
But if you don't buy any Dungeon cards, then the dragon will never appear and attack.

An additional rule should be added

If none of the players in a round has purchased the dungeon cards or only 2 dungeon cards etc., these dungeon cards will be discarded for new 6 cards
 
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Chris Ruf
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If you want the game to be nothing but luck, by all means purchase nothing but the yellow cards.
 
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Eric Bridge
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I just don't see the problem. The frequency of dragon attacks affects all players equally. The only "problem" is you will have longer games than others because not taking damage makes you braver - makes you delve deeper. Those games will have higher scores than others too. But we've also seen games where the dragon attacked FAST, and those games play very differently from those where he takes his time coming after us.

Personally, I like the unpredictability.
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