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London Dread» Forums » Reviews

Subject: First impressions, delivering the Letter rss

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Magnus Carlsson
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Vikingstad
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We tried out London Dread yesterday with my playgroup (three players). It turned out that we needed 3 attempts to actually pull off a success on the first mission.

We had a really good time so already there I think it's a success! I really like the production, it has a nice thematic feel and I think it really hits the spot.

In our group we have played a lot of games and have experience with games like Space Alert, so the timed planning phase was easily handled. But... there is one thing that I need to comment, first time we played we had to turn all cards to find the last plot. That left us with no real choices of exploring. At the same time we didn't realize the implication of Dread so we ended up with 35 dread... that forced us to roll 8 success on the final showdown. We managed to get all of the possible action dice (12) but had no items for re-roll so we failed, rolling only 3 success.

The two other players in my playgroup tested the game at Essen and they also ended up revealing all the cards to find the last plot. To me that detracts a little from the interesting decisions during the planning.

So we retried and focused a little more on dread. Second run was much better in the setup, I think we had something like 8 hidden cards that was interesting as options when you found that you had extra time.

Second run was much closer but, something like 20 dread but instead I drew the Panic card twice during final battles and both times got Unhinged... so that's one less player to roll dice... With no items to re-roll we ended up in getting 3 successes.

I can see why the panic card is present, but the implications is a little harsh. For the other cards there is a chance that you get some bonus. For the panic you get severely punished and you might end up Unhinged or injured. And for the showdown you re-shuffle the cards for each one.

Conclusion:
We had fun and we all left the game with the intention to play again, next step would be a multiple chapter scenario.

There are some rules issues but the designers are present here in the forums and answer questions so I think that's enough. Maybe publishing an official FAQ to clarify the most common questions.

Some feedback to the designer:

- I personally think that the hidden cards in the planning phase adds a lot of interesting choice so if there is some way to increase the chance of always having something like 8-10 it would be good.

- The Panic personality card feels extremely random in the showdown. In the story phase you know that you might experience it once so there it's ok. Maybe consider only reshuffle once, when you start the showdown.

- The timer tokens could be improved with a little small number on the arrow side indicating which number that is on the other side. Now you often end up in trying to find a specific number and you flip over each arrow to see which one.

- In one attempt we had three of the plot cards at the same number in different regions, that exhausted that number for everyone including the one extra. Is there a design decision to only have one extra? I can see that you have unlimited numbers of extras, each costing one dread.
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Asger Johansen
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Hi Magnus,

Thank you very much for your thoughts. I am happy you had fun, and I've noted your feedback! We are working on the expansion, so it's much appreciated ;-)

Only one thing I noted: the maximum number of Action Dice possible for the Final Showdown is 16 (not 12). Did you check the updated rulebook here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/134509/grey-fox-games-fir...

Thanks again and the best of luck to you and your companions surviving on the mean streets of London!

Asger & Snorre
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Matt Albritton
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If you were playing with three players, isn't the maximum number of dice 15?

Each player starts with two and could get three more?
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Asger Johansen
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Matt is right!

Thanks for knowing the rules ;-)

Asger
 
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Nicholas Von Rijn
Sweden
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An expansion! I welcome that very much.

My feedback to the designer would be that the final showdown is sort of an anticlimax. Even if you have 16 dice it all comes down to a single random dieroll, and if you have a six or more to beat almost impossible. Do think about remaking the final showdown. Maybe it should be possible to acquire automatic successes (the tokens are already in the game)if you for example overscore the endgame challenges, have X amount of investigation cards left before the final showdown or for each challenge ALL players succeed in?

Just a thought. Love the game.
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Asger Johansen
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Hi Nicholas,

Thank you for the feedback. Food for thought. Much appreciated!


One thing to note is that all items are readied before the Final Showdown (the final roll). This means that bringing the right items will greatly allow you to mitigate the luck factor. E.g. 3 of the items give you an automatic success, 4 items allow rerolls. In addition, a few items allow you to copy other items, retrieve them from the discard and so on. When you learn to bring a couple of those, the Final Showndown becomes a lot easier to control.

Happy gaming!

Asger
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Magnus Carlsson
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Lublang wrote:

Only one thing I noted: the maximum number of Action Dice possible for the Final Showdown is 16 (not 12). Did you check the updated rulebook here:


Ahh, good to know. We played with 1 action die so that will improve our chances for the future. Thanks for reminding about the updated rule book!

Hopefully we will make an new attempt with four players this weekend.


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Magnus Carlsson
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Lublang wrote:

One thing to note is that all items are readied before the Final Showdown (the final roll). This means that bringing the right items will greatly allow you to mitigate the luck factor. E.g. 3 of the items give you an automatic success, 4 items allow rerolls. In addition, a few items allow you to copy other items, retrieve them from the discard and so on. When you learn to bring a couple of those, the Final Showndown becomes a lot easier to control.


As you say, items are vital to handle the final show down. There is though another fact that I find could be improved when playing the game for the first time.

As stated in the original post we ended up with a lot of Dread. Without playing its hard to find the implication of this. For us it became quite obvious that its hard to roll like 8 hits on 12 dice (even with 15 it's quite hard).

Some indication for the dread level would be much appreciated. To me it would even be ok to have a "dead" level of Dread. So when you set up the scenario you actually mark something like 30 Dread and say that if you reach this the game is over. Without something like that you can play the entire game with a "good" feeling but you don't have a clue on your chances.

One could argue that if you read the rule book you can find out the maximum number of dice and simply calculate the possible odds. But I think that there might be (or should be) some scenario specific implications on this. So if the scenario contained an indication it would be much easier to have something to work with.
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Asger Johansen
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Hi Magnus,

Good point.

Thanks!

Asger
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