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Adam Butler
United States
White Sands Missile Range
New Mexico
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I think it's safe to say we were all disappointed about the setback in the production of the game by three months- granted, many of us expected it, but that didn't make it any less disappointing to hear the news. I've had the game for about a week now, and it's taken a while to get it to the table, but it was definitely worth the wait- so much so that immediately after the first game, my sister and I decided to set up the next round and immediately continue with the campaign! But I'll get to that in a moment...

For the first game, we decided to start with Book 1, Battle 1- why not from the beginning? As the villain player, I found that battle to be kind of bland- don't get me wrong, it was a very close game, but with no leader, it felt kind of... Underwhelming? Granted, it's designed to get players used to the rules, and with only two unit types on the board, it was a lot easier to get the cards I needed to activate units when I wanted to activate them- in the end, it was a close, but very short match, with the game ending in round 2 when my eighth unit died- it was a good introductory game, and it did swing a bit, but the fact that it was just nameless thugs (well, nameless thugs with a pair replaced by Bebop and Rocksteady) made it kind of lackluster, not to mention the cards for thugs are rather plain (which works well considering they're supposed to be nameless mooks- but also makes playing a scenario with them an no one else rather boring), but it did serve as a good way to get a handle on the rules for both of us.

The next match seemed to make things a lot more interesting for me as the villain player- for one, I now had a Leader which could fight on equal footing with the heroes with Old Hob. What's more, Hob's cards seemed to have more interesting interactions- for example, one of them allowed him to take away an enemy's focus, one allows him to block and heal but doesn't actually allow him to take any actions, and then there's the fact that Hob himself bolsters all minions- this made some very interesting strategic choices- since the map is all about the heroes trying to KO Hob before he can get one of them, it creates a dilemma of keeping Hobs close to empower the thugs, or keeping him at a distance to protect him while the thugs try and weaken the turtles before they reach Hobs.

Both matches were quick, but at the same time, had a great feel to them- granted, the first one was kind of lackluster since I was essentially just running away the entire time- thematic, but disappointing- but the second match felt like a proper back and forth brawl with blows flying back and forth. All in all, a great game, and we're probably going to finish the campaign tomorrow- my sister and I have finished an entire campaign of Descent before, but that took months. Comparatively, TMNT lacks the narrative strength of Descent, but it's just as strong if not stronger in its combat and player interactions.
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Brant Benoit
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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All of this glowing praise makes me soooooo regret not backing.
 
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Turtle Freak
United States
Indiana
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I played the same two missions with my brother over the weekend so we could get familiar with the game before I introduce it to a larger group. I'm not sure I agree that TMNT lacks the narrative strength of Descent; it's just a slightly different kind of narrative strength. Here's how my game played out in scenario 1-2 to demonstrate what I mean:

The turtles moved slowly down the road trying to take out all the thugs in the way while Hob chilled inside the hideout. The thugs focused on Raph whenever possible because he consistently had the lowest defense. By the time the turtles made their way to the hideout entrance, Raph was ready for a break, so he took a rest next to a trash can for the extra defense. Hob saw his opportunity for revenge (he and Raph have a history in the comics for those who don't know) and rushed out the door to cut off Raph from the rest of the group. The two got some good hits in for a round or two before Raph retreated up to the roof top. Hob pursued, leaving everyone else behind on the street. Just as Hob was about to KO Raph, Don grabs the lid of the trash can Raph was using for cover and launches it into the back of Hob's head knocking him unconscious. Hob says to Raph, "Just let me... catch my breath..." This recovered 3 of his health which was immediately followed by an incredibly lucky "get up" attempt that recovered the remainder of his health. In a fit of rage, Hob knocked out Raph, but Don came to the rescue again and launched Hob into the street below with his bo after quickly climbing to the roof. Raph got an unlucky "get up" roll and failed to regain consciousness, so the turtles had to give up their pursuit of Old Hob.

The reason I explained all that in so much detail is that my brother and I couldn't stop laughing over how funny the whole situation was. We could both vividly picture the whole thing happening as if it was an actual scene from the comic book, and I've never seen a game accomplish something like that so well. It's great!
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Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
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The one thing this game is, is fun. It's a damn fun game, plus the strategizing between the players at the start of a round feels so much like watching a Turtles show (or reading a Turtle's comic if you're old school) that it's so great even as the Shredder player who's just sitting back watching things roll out. When a game captures the spirit of the source, it's like magic.

-shnar
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Turtle Freak
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Indiana
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shnar wrote:
The one thing this game is, is fun. It's a damn fun game, plus the strategizing between the players at the start of a round feels so much like watching a Turtles show (or reading a Turtle's comic if you're old school) that it's so great even as the Shredder player who's just sitting back watching things roll out. When a game captures the spirit of the source, it's like magic.

-shnar


Oh, absolutely! I'll be playing the villain most of the time, and I have no interest in winning any of the scenarios. I'll try, of course, so it's challenging for the group, but my primary focus will be just creating interesting and familiar situations as I quote lines from the movies/cartoons/comics. :ninja:
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Josh Burchett
United States
Maryville
Tennessee
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Liked the review and session report. I was hoping it would be a good exciting game to play.

I would guess that as expansions come out, the narrative structure will become better.
 
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Ice Man
United States
Oak Park
IL
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What did you think of Old Hob's "healing" action?
The one that provides a four-die recovery and 3 points of defense.

We found it very frustrating, as it always came up right after a big hit. And then stymied the next two players from hurting him more.
"Wow, great, that really knocked the wind out of hiii.... oh, never mind, he's fine. Wait, hey, I can't seem to get near him suddenly."

It felt more like "let's play this scenario for 20 more minutes" than a solid, balanced action.
 
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Scott Miller
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MarioFanaticXV wrote:
TMNT lacks the narrative strength of Descent

I haven't played Descent, and I don't claim to know what IDW intended with the game, but for me it comes across as a companion to the comics. Think back to old-school video games, way back when cut scenes were very short (if they were included at all) -- the ones based on movies were a selection of highlights and overarching concepts, they were for people who wanted more of the movie. This game is like that to me: IDW consolidated the storyline of the comics into campaigns of a skirmish game for those who wanted TMNT to extend beyond the page.

So I think its perceived lack of narrative depth was intentional. I don't think it was intended to stand on its own narratively because the narrative has already been explored for the past 5 years.
 
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Adam Butler
United States
White Sands Missile Range
New Mexico
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Wampameat wrote:
What did you think of Old Hob's "healing" action?
The one that provides a four-die recovery and 3 points of defense.

We found it very frustrating, as it always came up right after a big hit. And then stymied the next two players from hurting him more.
"Wow, great, that really knocked the wind out of hiii.... oh, never mind, he's fine. Wait, hey, I can't seem to get near him suddenly."

It felt more like "let's play this scenario for 20 more minutes" than a solid, balanced action.


I didn't actually get to play it, but here are my thoughts on the card's balance:

I think it's fine; sure, it gives him a heavy defensive boost, and it heals him. But if he plays it, that's ALL he can do that turn- he can't even move out of the way as the card grants no action icons. You roll four dice if I'm not mistaken? With three singles and a double hit on each die, that's only an average of 3.3~ healing each time it's used. Sure, the heroes are going to get less damage in on the next immediate turn, but one good hit is all it takes to counteract that healing, especially since the 3 defense only gives an average of 1 actual block symbol per attack. This means that with his base defense of 3, Hobs is going to typically have 2 blocks per roll for that turn- which is that hard to overcome with the turtles' special abilities.

Now granted, it's possible he'll heal 8 HP, which makes it very much worth it- but the chances of that are 1/1296, wheras it's also possible he'll get no healing at all, the chance of which are 1/81. If he got a particularly high roll when you played agains thim, it's

Also, there's only one copy of the card- so if it "kept coming up", that means that the villain deck probably wasn't being shuffled well after Regroup was played- another card which forces the villain player to effectively give up an activation to use it.


In response to the remarks about the narrative, Descent had a decent story- nothing amazing, but it did a good job of feeling like it made everything flow. The comparison between the TMNT board game and 80s/90s arcade games is pretty apt- it doesn't ruin the game for me, I just was hoping for a little more. It doesn't have to be amazing, just a little something more than ending on "Heroes/Villains win, the end.".

EDIT: And it seems I missed the "WHEN DRAWN" part of Regroup. But I'd still argue that if the same card keeps getting drawn, the deck isn't being shuffled sufficiently.
 
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