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Arto Saari
Finland
Helsinki
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Hi,

While we enjoyed the mechanics, all of them, it took us 3 hrs play time to reach end of first age. And then we call it quits.

We checked the rules multiple times: is there no other mechanic than Conan player taking Conan action that progresses the game - no, there does not seem to be one.

The immediate suggestions to cut the length that should not kill the balance were:

- When resolving a Story card, as a reward, you take one token from the adventure track and the other from the pool which reduces adventure also during non-Conan player turn like in the original version

and/or

- Wildcard allows Conan+Court instead of Court-only resulting in much more Conan actions.

The above makes Conan experience track potentially scoring lower due but that could be compensated.

Any comments?
 
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Brett Petersen
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A few things:

A minimum the Conan controlling player will remove one adventure token each round typically 4 tokens with four adventures per three rounds. 48 rounds in a game would be the long version.

But the non-Conan player can remove a token on the court Conan action too which can be done as you have stated with only one faces of the dice. Which with 7 dices you run a pretty high chance of getting at least one of the dice you need. This will cut about 8+ rounds out of the game.

Since you only need 12 adventure cards per a game if you want to shorten the game take out the five, and if you want some of the fours, out of the deck. If you have mostly three token adventures then you are looking at 36 rounds minus however many non-Conan player courts and it cuts the number of round by almost half.

With the expansion a few things:

Remember that experience is gained any time a story is tried (whether or not it is completed) and killing spies. The experience marker sudden death rule also applies to end the game.

It is really important in the expansion to be pro-active about drawing new story cards each turn to try and get on to play and to steal Conan away.

Finally, if you have the Kickstater ed. the chronicle cards can help encourage players to play more story cards.

The problem I find is that less bidding for Conan lengthens out the game. If you complete a lot of stories there is the chance of double Conan players in a round. I have had some adventures resolve in one turn around the table.

These are a few things to think about. If it makes you feel better my groups first game lasted 7 hours. We spent half of that in the rule book. Once everyone knows the rules etc. 2-3 hours should be the whole game.



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Mattias Elfström
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In my experience this is a 5-8 hour game even without the expansion.
 
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Stefano Tine'
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thatach wrote:
If you complete a lot of stories there is the chance of double Conan players in a round. I have had some adventures resolve in one turn around the table.


Not sure how changing the Conan player speeds up anything. Maybe we got that rule wrong, but we play that if you take control of Conan you do not get to move him for free, since you did not start the turn as the Conan player. It could be an interesting house rule, though, thanks for the hint.

Our 4 player games last 4-5 hours.
 
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Brett Petersen
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Here is an example in a four player game. Player 1 is Conan player moves Conan at start of turn removing one adventure token. Player 2 completes a story card everyone bids for Conan according to normal rules. Player 3 wins Conan. Player 2 for the rest of their turn plays a court Conan fate die removing a token. At the start of Player 3's turn they move Conan as the Conan Player remove a token. Player 4 also chooses to plays a court Conan fate die and removes token. The adventure is complete. It is possible in one round to remove 4 tokens.

You are correct that if the player who completed the story wins Conan the rules are unclear. It would seem that they do not get to move them because the Conan part of their turn was used to play a story card. But any other player would not have this problem.

Is it difficult yes, the key is for the players who did not complete the story to win Conan so that Conan moves twice or more in a round.

Some people have complained the the expansion makes you bid for Conan too much but it really depends on the group and how proactive they are about drawing new story cards and trying to complete them.
 
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Arto Saari
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What if you would not bid for Conan at all? Instead, the one playing the story successfully automatically becomes Conan. You don't need to motivate no further to play story cards.

The bidding is a weak mechanism anyways. In 4 player games, you can only win Conan with 10-12 total bid which means that bid tokens 3 and 4 generally never make it. Instead, you play 6,5,0 or 5,6,0 or 6,0,6.

And by winning Conan you could take immediately Conan action as the new owner.

That would speed up the game quite a bit.
 
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Arto Saari
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Yes, if I was to play Conan again I would apply this set of changes:
- Story success automatically gives you control of Conan (no bidding)
- When you win Conan, you can automatically take free Conan action as a new owner
- Wildcard dice work as Conan+Court instead of just Court

That would result in heavy focus on stories, guaranteed progress of the game on successful story and supply of Conan actions via two dice results.
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Brett Petersen
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stanmons wrote:
Instead, you play 6,5,0 or 5,6,0 or 6,0,6.


You do realize that you can only use the "0" token once in the entire game. Most bids should be the three with cards. you can only use the six and five twice in the entire game. See page 18 of rules book.

That might be why the value of bidding seems pointless in your games

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Arto Saari
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No actually that I had forgotten. Yep bidding is OK after that. However, story winning may still be a great substitute?
 
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Stefano Tine'
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thatach wrote:
Here is an example in a four player game. Player 1 is Conan player moves Conan at start of turn removing one adventure token. Player 2 completes a story card everyone bids for Conan according to normal rules. Player 3 wins Conan. Player 2 for the rest of their turn plays a court Conan fate die removing a token. At the start of Player 3's turn they move Conan as the Conan Player remove a token. Player 4 also chooses to plays a court Conan fate die and removes token. The adventure is complete. It is possible in one round to remove 4 tokens.


But that's also possible if the Conan player moves Conan and the three following players take a Conan/Court die, four a total of four quest tokens removed.

In other words, changing Conan controller around is not increasing the number of maximum potential token removed, unless you consider the odds of having Conan change hands a couple times in a round greater than having 3 Conan/Court dice still on the table at any given time.
 
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Stefano Tine'
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Bidding for Conan has been crucial in our games, instead.

Our games tend to be won more often than not by the player who manages to get (or keep!) control of Conan at the right moment to crown him in his capital. Keeping in hand high value strategy cards and have that 5 or 6 bid token ready to win the auction when it really matters has been the key.
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Brett Petersen
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barbanera wrote:
thatach wrote:
Here is an example in a four player game. Player 1 is Conan player moves Conan at start of turn removing one adventure token. Player 2 completes a story card everyone bids for Conan according to normal rules. Player 3 wins Conan. Player 2 for the rest of their turn plays a court Conan fate die removing a token. At the start of Player 3's turn they move Conan as the Conan Player remove a token. Player 4 also chooses to plays a court Conan fate die and removes token. The adventure is complete. It is possible in one round to remove 4 tokens.


But that's also possible if the Conan player moves Conan and the three following players take a Conan/Court die, four a total of four quest tokens removed.

In other words, changing Conan controller around is not increasing the number of maximum potential token removed, unless you consider the odds of having Conan change hands a couple times in a round greater than having 3 Conan/Court dice still on the table at any given time.



I totally agree with you. My point was that moving through four adventures and ending a phase can and should happen pretty quick.
 
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Arto Saari
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If I get to play Conan again, here's the set of variant rules I will apply.

If you can point out how they break the game, I'm happy to listen. Sure they change it a whole lot but the mechanics changed I've evaluate they don't conflict with other mechanics or change the dynamics of the game.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rqd7y01selnmcp5/Age%20of%20Conan%2...
 
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