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Subject: Massive Darkness or Sword & Sorcery rss

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Terence Lee
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I know there have been a couple of threads regarding this, but I thought I'd bring this up again since they're now both in full production.

Who's backed both or backed one over the other and why? I've backed both of these games, and so far they both look awesome, but I don't know if I can justify having both games. One big reason why Massive Darkness might be better for me is that I have a lot of the Black Plague stuff so I'd get all of the crossover figures.

What's everyone else's opinion? Right now I'm leaning towards unloading my pledge of Sword & Sorcery even though it looks like a good game and maybe also more in depth than Massive Darkness.
 
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Dreux Barbier
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I also have backed both.
For me they will come out in different situations. My have friends will play games with 1-off scenarios, like Black Plague and Massive Darkness. But when I say campaign, everyone runs screaming. They also seem to believe that the game systems in Sword & Sorcery is too complex (going by their opinion of GD). I don't think it's any more complex than Zombicide!
I enjoyed GD so much, even playing solitaire, that I believe I will enjoy myself immensely with S&S.

If you do decide to unload your S&S let me know what backer level you have and what you'd be asking for it. I know someone who just got into the hobby and was showing a lot of interest in it.
 
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Paul Glickman
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Very very different games/genres. Sword and Sorcery is an incredibly deep, heavy, tactical game with a lot of story and setup time.

Massive Darkness is a fast randomized dungeon crawl with a very modest story. I view it as a more RPG bent version of Black Plague.

If you want more Zombicide style fast paced fun combat, go for MD. If you want a deep thinking game with a (probably very cheesy) story, go for S&S.

I personality am not a MD backer, though Zonbicide is pretty fun it's too expensive for the type of content to me. but! To many, it'll be a great time.

I think content wise, even including ZBP crossover, Sword and Sorcery is MILES ahead though. Enemy types are significantly different, different quests can be very interesting, there are MANY characters with two "classes" that can play quite differently, interesting bosses, tons of loot and skills that stick, and four campaigns.

If content and replay ability is your goal, I can't imagine MD is even half as good. If speed, ease of play, and beer and pretzel fun is what you want, I can't imaging S&S can even compete.
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Paul G wrote:
Very very different games/genres. Sword and Sorcery is an incredibly deep, heavy, tactical game with a lot of story and setup time.

Massive Darkness is a fast randomized dungeon crawl with a very modest story. I view it as a more RPG bent version of Black Plague.

If you want more Zombicide style fast paced fun combat, go for MD. If you want a deep thinking game with a (probably very cheesy) story, go for S&S.

I personality am not a MD backer, though Zonbicide is pretty fun it's too expensive for the type of content to me. but! To many, it'll be a great time.

I think content wise, even including ZBP crossover, Sword and Sorcery is MILES ahead though. Enemy types are significantly different, different quests can be very interesting, there are MANY characters with two "classes" that can play quite differently, interesting bosses, tons of loot and skills that stick, and four campaigns.

If content and replay ability is your goal, I can't imagine MD is even half as good. If speed, ease of play, and beer and pretzel fun is what you want, I can't imaging S&S can even compete.


Eh...a lot of things you are attributing to S&S could also be said about MD. It's okay if you prefer one over the other, but no need to sell MD short.

In particular:

They are not 'very, very different games/genres'. They are both fantasy based, co-op dungeon crawls with an AI system. MD has "enemy types are significantly different, different quests can be very interesting, there are MANY (actually in MD it's ALL) characters with two "classes" that can play quite differently, interesting bosses, tons of loot and skills that stick"...but one campaign. You got me on that one.

MD also has two modes of play:

As a one shot, where you characters will level up quickly throughout the game.

Or as a campaign, where you characters will slowly level up over a bunch of linked scenarios.

Jorune
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Paul Glickman
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The MD ai is simplified to the point of non existence. Tons of SLIGHTLY different monsters that require near identical approaches. The classes are super simple and offer a bit of passive customization, but fundamentally act similarly.

I've kept super up the date on MD, and it definitely looks like a compelling game, just one that doesn't fit my playgroup. But it's really not the same genre as S&S, they have some similar words but so do Dominion and Agricola. The decision making, depth, story, and general action types are dramatically different.

For example, by that logic Mage Knight: the Board Game and Dragon Age Origins fit in the same genre. While technically somewhat true, not very relevant to deciding which of them you should get.
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Paul G wrote:
The MD ai is simplified to the point of non existence. Tons of SLIGHTLY different monsters that require near identical approaches. The classes are super simple and offer a bit of passive customization, but fundamentally act similarly.

I've kept super up the date on MD, and it definitely looks like a compelling game, just one that doesn't fit my playgroup. But it's really not the same genre as S&S, they have some similar words but so do Dominion and Agricola. The decision making, depth, story, and general action types are dramatically different.

For example, by that logic Mage Knight: the Board Game and Dragon Age Origins fit in the same genre. While technically somewhat true, not very relevant to deciding which of them you should get.


Sorry Paul, it's just not an opinion but a fact that these two games are In the same genre, the Dungeon Crawl, no matter how you wish to spin it. Just because one is lighter doesn't make it very, very different.

The difference between them though is not even comparable to the difference between Dominion and Agricola. That's just silly.

jorune
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Allan Rodda
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Paul G wrote:
...But it's really not the same genre as S&S, they have some similar words but so do Dominion and Agricola. The decision making, depth, story, and general action types are dramatically different.

For example, by that logic Mage Knight: the Board Game and Dragon Age Origins fit in the same genre. While technically somewhat true, not very relevant to deciding which of them you should get.


I can't even tell if you're being serious or not.

Agricola and Dominion aren't even in the same ballpark, let alone share 'similar words'. Neither their mechanics nor theme are anything like one another, same can be said of Mage Knight and Dragon Age. About the only similarity they share is the fantasy setting.

The same is not true of Massive Darkness and Sword & Sorcery. They are both co-op dungeon crawlers which use an area-based movement system and pit you against flow-chart driven AI opponents on quests which use fixed map layouts. There is some variance in the mechanics but for the most part, they are pretty similar.

If you were arguing that Massive Darkness and Descent 2nd edition weren't really the same genre there would at least be some merit to your argument. But aside from Advanced Heroquest and Warhammer Quest, you'd be hard pressed to find two dungeon crawls as similar as Massive Darkness and Sword & Sorcery appear to be.
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Steven R
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S&S and even Gloomhaven would have been great choices 25 years ago, but I think complex, lengthy dungeon crawls belong online not on a table. Fast hack and slash that can be played in a few hours for fun with nice miniatures is what is appealing for me now...as long as they have flavor and strategic/tactical choices that are relevant.
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Terence Lee
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I think Massive Darkness might be better for my group. I think the quick and dirty game will fit my group better.
 
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Paul Glickman
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tlee33 wrote:
I think Massive Darkness might be better for my group. I think the quick and dirty game will fit my group better.


Do you guys like Zombicide?
 
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Terence Lee
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Paul G wrote:
tlee33 wrote:
I think Massive Darkness might be better for my group. I think the quick and dirty game will fit my group better.


Do you guys like Zombicide?


Yes, we do. So I think the simplicity of MD will fit in well. Although I just looked at the S&S gameplay, and it doesn't really look much more difficult either.
 
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Paul Glickman
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Oof. While I LOOOVE Galaxy Defenders/Sword and Sorcery, there's a LOT more going on in them than in MD. While I like weight, I do find in some cases the Gremlin Project games are very noisy, there's a lot more upkeep and such than in MD. If Zombicide+ is what you want, MD is definitely the answer. Read both rulebooks if you want to see the level of complexity difference.
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Jim Johnson
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I backed both, and like both for different reasons. Yes - they are both dungeon crawlers. Yes they are cooperative and use AI-driven enemies. However, they are not the same game.

I think a better comparison would be Empire Builder and Ticket to Ride. Both railroad games. In both you are completing lines to make the most money (score the most points in TTR). However, they go about reaching those ends in different ways.

I haven't seen the rulebook for MD yet; but, the gameplay seems very similar to ZBP, with the addition of a campaign setting. An apparently lighter game with pretty decent replay value, especially with the add-ons.

I have perused the S&S rulebook; and, it looks to be a meatier game, with more detail; however, I'm not sure how driven I will be to go back and play it again, once I've gone through the scenarios. I had the same feeling when I played Descent - one and done.

That being said, I know S&S will be a lot of fun to play through that first time. But, I feel that I will be going through MD more than once. Also, I really am enjoying ZBP; so, I'm sure MD will see a lot of playtime as well.

So, bottom line is - what's wrong with having both? If money is an issue, the decision really comes down to which one you think will give you the most bang for your buck.
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Jeff Kuhn
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I agree somewhat with the above, but don't overlook the fact that S&S is perfectly set up for fan-made modules. Also, the Gremlins will be smart if they release a bunch of small, relatively inexpensive modules (some tiles, some cards, maybe a coupe of minis, and a storybook), which will give this game almost infinite expandability. Maybe some generic tile packs for this purpose would be cool.

This game is perfect for D&D style modules.
 
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Ricky W
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tlee33 wrote:
... Although I just looked at the S&S gameplay, and it doesn't really look much more difficult either.

Yes and No!

The rules of S&S are overall very plausible and thus can be learned quite quick from another person who already knows the rules.
But bookkeeping a S&S game will be a lot more work than in MD.


An extreme example: AI

AI for all monsters in MD:
Quote:
If melee monster, move 1 area towards closest visible hero till engaged.
If ranged monster move 1 area towards own weapon max range to closest visible hero.
If no hero visible move 1 area towards dungeon exit.

AI for only the orc shamans (normal/green, veteran/blue, elite/red) in S&S:
Quote:


Short explanation
{0}{1}: if in close combat or at least one hero is 1 area away use this behaviour, if not then
{2}{3}: if at least one hero is 2 or 3 areas away use this behaviour, if not then
{+}: if the heroes are more areas away use this behaviour

Target selection
If more than one hero is in range of an AI-logic row above, this monster will attack:
- the hero with fighting style "faith" (icon top left, the "F" rune between fangs), if not available or equal then
- the most wounded hero (default behaviour), if not available or equal then
- the hero with least health (default behaviour), if equal then
- the closest hero (default behaviour), if equal then
- hero chosen by player

After reading this is your reaction:
- "wow, it will be very interesting fighting these orc shamans" then S&S is the game for you.
- "ugh, and there are people on this earth who understand this?" then choose MD.

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carraway0877 wrote:
tlee33 wrote:
... Although I just looked at the S&S gameplay, and it doesn't really look much more difficult either.

Yes and No!

The rules of S&S are overall very plausible and thus can be learned quite quick from another person who already knows the rules.
But bookkeeping a S&S game will be a lot more work than in MD.


An extreme example: AI

AI for all monsters in MD:
Quote:
If melee monster, move 1 area towards closest visible hero till engaged.
If ranged monster move 1 area towards own weapon max range to closest visible hero.
If no hero visible move 1 area towards dungeon exit.

AI for only the orc shamans (normal/green, veteran/blue, elite/red) in S&S:
Quote:


Short explanation
{0}{1}: if in close combat or at least one hero is 1 area away use this behaviour, if not then
{2}{3}: if at least one hero is 2 or 3 areas away use this behaviour, if not then
{+}: if the heroes are more areas away use this behaviour

Target selection
If more than one hero is in range of an AI-logic row above, this monster will attack:
- the hero with fighting style "faith" (icon top left, the "F" rune between fangs), if not available or equal then
- the most wounded hero (default behaviour), if not available or equal then
- the hero with least health (default behaviour), if equal then
- the closest hero (default behaviour), if equal then
- hero chosen by player

After reading this is your reaction:
- "wow, it will be very interesting fighting these orc shamans" then S&S is the game for you.
- "ugh, and there are people on this earth who understand this?" then choose MD.



Well, my honest reaction is, "That looks like a real cool AI system, a smart AI. BUt, I would have to keep relearning the game because not enough time to devote to it."

Grrrrr... envy to those with the time for S&S.
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Chuck Hurd
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Jorune wrote:
Well, my honest reaction is, "That looks like a real cool AI system, a smart AI. BUt, I would have to keep relearning the game because not enough time to devote to it."

Grrrrr... envy to those with the time for S&S.

+1 to that @Jorune. I would love this...my group? Not so much...
 
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Jim Johnson
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That was my take as well. I like the depth and richness of S&S; but, I will more than likely be playing solo because my group probably won't invest the time to learn it.

MD, however, they will be all over. Fairly simple with lots of monster bashing!
 
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Terence Lee
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Thanks for that post. That definitely will not fly with my group. We don't get to spend that much time together so I don't want to be spending time relearning it every time we get togetherb and spending half of our time determining what we're doing.

Anyone interested in my S&S Kickstarter pledge?
 
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Ricky W
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tlee33 wrote:
Thanks for that post. That definitely will not fly with my group. We don't get to spend that much time together so I don't want to be spending time relearning it every time we get togetherb and spending half of our time determining what we're doing.

Then you made the right decision.

MD also has its complicated constellations like a mob targeting several heroes or shadow mode in general, but overall bookkeeping MD will be a lot easier than S&S.

I prefer S&S since my group and myself are all (ex-) roleplayers and/or (ex-)rpg video gamers. We are used to bookkeeping, evaluating odds and solving puzzles.

Have fun!

 
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