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Subject: Help me understand this (please) rss

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Benjamin
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Hi,

I'm a collector by nature and missed the first kickstarter completely, so I had to back the Satan Lantern. Obviously this is absurdly expensive (I already backed Cthulhu Wars all in and it doesn't see play enough to justify the price, KDM will be twice that and 4 years to get all components).

I can't find a rulebook anywhere to read up on it, I don't know anyone who has the game to test it. The reviews (I've read over a dozen) weren't helpful.

Here's my questions:

1) How long does a playthrough take? As I understand it's currently 25 years and each year is about 1 hour.
2) Is there a role-playing component or is it purely a board game of resource management and tactical battles with any role-playing not being part of the rules / being optional.
3) How heavy is the randomness as the reviews are conflicting about this. In general me and my friends hate random with passion (though it matters less in coop unless it cripples one player completely). As I understand each round you draw a random card that kills you with a 20% chance and then you have to start a new character. In battle an attack may end up being 10 dice rolls that achieve nothing or counter-attack kill you. Could someone provide clarity?
4) Is there a video playthrough that is recommended to understand the flow and mechanics?
5) How much work is it to assemble all the miniatures?
6) Are the pin-up characters mini expansions? What are they used for?
7) Are there any games that if I enjoy them, I'll enjoy this or if I hate them I hate this?

Thanks,
Ben
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Tim Roza
Netherlands
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There are a lot of videos of playthroughs online. They should answer most of your questions.
The video review by Boardgamebrawl is the one I prefer in terms of videoreview, but I have no preference when it comes to the playthroughs.
 
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Richard Angliss
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You've pledged $1600 on a game you know nothing about?
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Benjamin
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Yes, although I did read as much as I could find on bgg in the last 2 days.
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Shelby Babb
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Inconmon wrote:
Hi,
1) How long does a playthrough take? As I understand it's currently 25 years and each year is about 1 hour.


If you live... a full campaign takes about 30 hours.

Expect to not live.

Inconmon wrote:
Hi,
2) Is there a role-playing component or is it purely a board game of resource management and tactical battles with any role-playing not being part of the rules / being optional.


You role-play a god pushing mortals and a settlement through a random realm of nightmare.

So, not really.

Inconmon wrote:
Hi,
3) How heavy is the randomness as the reviews are conflicting about this. In general me and my friends hate random with passion (though it matters less in coop unless it cripples one player completely). As I understand each round you draw a random card that kills you with a 20% chance and then you have to start a new character. In battle an attack may end up being 10 dice rolls that achieve nothing or counter-attack kill you. Could someone provide clarity?


You'll hate this as random death is very much a thing, and your survivors you name and develop are -meant- to be replaceable.

Seriously, I'm thinking this is not the game for you.

Inconmon wrote:
Hi,
4) Is there a video playthrough that is recommended to understand the flow and mechanics?


Yes, there are several actually. A google search or youtube search can provide many different people playing different games. Some people will warn of spoilers though.

Inconmon wrote:
Hi,
5) How much work is it to assemble all the miniatures?


So much that you'll need to go to another website to figure out how to put it all together. Seriously.

Inconmon wrote:
Hi,
6) Are the pin-up characters mini expansions? What are they used for?


At most they might have a (silly) card or two to add to the game, but they're really just part of the "hobby/art" experience and not game related.

Inconmon wrote:
Hi,
7) Are there any games that if I enjoy them, I'll enjoy this or if I hate them I hate this?


Shadows of Brimstone is the closest comparison people generally mention, what with its unassembled minis, campaign-style game option, and lots of bits and bobs. But it's closer to a traditional RPG in that your characters are expected to survive and grow and eventually get too big for the game. It's a good litmus test of how you'll likely see KDM, even with the different theme I'd say.

That said, you might be better off skipping this and going for something like Darklight Memento Mori. It has a lot of the things I suspect you may want (no assembly minis that look good and original, focus on characters with some campaign elements, dark horror fantasy vibe). Main cons with it are that I think you'll likely get a copy of the core KDM before you'll get anything from DMM.
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Shelby Babb
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Inconmon wrote:
Yes, although I did read as much as I could find on bgg in the last 2 days.


Drop your pledge.

Even if you eBay your used game after Poots sells the rest of his stock, you'll still be out 800+ as you wait for the rest to come out so you can flip them too. You'll turn a profit, yes, but you'll spend 2+ years before you break even and then have to deal with selling things here and there. I mean, you -will- make a return on your investment I'm pretty sure (the shirt alone will probably go for $20), but I'm not sure slowly waiting to list stuff you decided after the fact that you didn't want is the most fun you could have with that money.
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Brian H
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1) In the 1.5 update, they are extending this to 30 lantern years. Each lantern year does take somewhere between 1-3 hours I'd estimate (it can get longer as you go on). For my group, it was averaging 2 hours. However, keep in mind that you will almost certainly lose multiple settlements and start over.

2) There is some role playing elements involved. Each survivor in the settlement has their own stats for starters so they feel unique, and on the course of the adventure you will need to make decisions with those characters and suffer the consequences. However, keep in mind that your job as a player is to keep the settlement going. Your characters will die, and usually at the worst times. You aren't role playing a character per-say.

3) There is some random-ness involved, but I wouldn't say randomness dominates the game. Oh, and I'm not sure I know what card you're referring to with the 20% chance to kill you? I'm trying to think, and I have no idea what that is in reference to. Almost nothing is that level of bullshit. You don't draw cards at all each round (it's not a deck-based game). Maybe someone else has an idea what that is referring to?

Most of the random-ness in the game has methods of pushing the odds in your favor or at least trying to influence it. I'll give some examples (some of the specifics are a bit off, but it gives you an idea). First, the speed of the weapon determines how many potential hits you have on a monster. With each hit, you draw a monster wound card which has the rules for how the monster reacts if you hit it or miss it. However, hidden in each wound card deck are trap cards, which instantly stop your attack and do all sorts of nasty things to you to rain on your parade. Now, this means that while you totally can go for an uber-fast double dagger build or whatever, it does mean you increase the potential for hitting a trap card which may not be very nice to have happen to you. If you build up your character with this expectation, it's fine.

Next example, there is a dice roll you need to do when you want to give birth to a new survivor. To do this, a male and female survivor roll on a table. If you roll terribly (don't have the rulebook handy -- it's probably like a natural 1), your character instantly dies while attempting child birth. However, you can innovate something which lets you roll two die and you pick the one you want.

For the attacks thing that you mentioned, you're right that you can end up in situations where you have a bunch of successful hits on a monster, but they don't wound them (think of a bow and arrow hitting something but not actually fired with enough strength to penetrate the target). With each hit, the monster can react, sometimes in shitty ways and they could kill you. But when things like that happen, you do need to wonder what you could have done differently. You will lose characters, you will lose the game (especially as a new player), and that's simply how it has all been designed. Each new character you bring out, or each new settlement you start will do much better than the last one because you will have learned from your mistakes.

In terms of bullshit, there is a bit, I won't lie. You can lose survivors while on the hunt, which doesn't feel great (it's the part of the game where you're going through random events before you get to the big fight, aka showdown). For example, there's one card where if every single person in the party happens to be insane (have 3+ insanity) that the entire party dies right then and there. Now, that's one card, and even then, with what I just told you, what would you do when you knew you were fighting this monster and had a chance of it happening? I'd imagine you wouldn't want every single survivor leaving on the hunt to be insane! Thus, mitigating the possibility of bullshit. If you have ever played Dark Souls, you know this feeling quite well.

Don't forget that on the flip side of this is moments where you can get insanely lucky! For example, you absolutely can kill the lion on the very first hit with the very first survivor with the shittiest weapon you have. To do that requires getting a successful hit roll, followed by drawing the specific wound card which has the critical wound effect of "the lion instantly dies" (I think it's the head) followed by actually making a critical hit roll. KD:M certainly has its peaks and valleys.

To end this point, nothing in the game is 100% predictable because that would be boring, but it almost never feels unfair due to the methods of mitigation and player choice you have at your disposal. My friend hates random-ness in games, but he loves KD:M. Sure, he curses at the game when things go south and he rolls double natural 1's when he needed a roll the most, but we've been playing for coming up on 100 hours now and we are all loving it.

4) Unfortunately, I don't really know of a good video. I'm sure there's some good ones on YouTube by now, but I can't speak for any of them. I will say this, Poots has done an amazing job at easing players into the game. The first part of the rule book is the tutorial section, with slimmed down, focused rules so you get a feel for the core gameplay loop in combat, before heading to the settlement. Me and my friends were able to jump straight into the game with honestly spending no more than 15 minutes browsing the rule book. It's actually pretty straightforward, and most of the time you just look things up to understand what the edge cases are for certain actions.

5) Depends on the miniatures and what you want to do to them! You can glue them, and most of the basic mini's are fine. However, if you really want to go all-out, there are people who actually magnetize the mini's so you can easily swap out armor pieces on the mini's with what you're actually wearing (or to easily show dismembered limbs). Check out the build guides on Vibrant Lantern and you'll get a much better idea from that.

6) Pin-ups are visual only and not used in gameplay in any way. It's purely for those who like the art style of the models and want more models from the Kingdom Death universe. Looking online briefly, sometimes they came with like a single, optional settlement event and gear, but... unless you're really excited to equip the "Belt of Gender Swap", I wouldn't think of the pin-ups as anything other than collectible models.

7) That's a tough one... KD:M is honestly in a league of its own. I suppose, the one thing I would say is that if you're someone who hates the idea of fighting only big, bad bosses, without any true exploration of dungeons or grunt units to kill, then you maybe won't like KD:M. In addition, you need to be okay with losing characters to play KD:M. If you try to play the game as a single-character action RPG, you will hate the game when your character dies because of some shitty reason. Become attached to the settlement, not the survivors! Honestly, I cannot emphasize this point enough. Going back to my friend who also hates random-ness in games, the first time he lost a character he was furious because he got attached to the character. It was "his" character. Then the monster just wrecked him in the course of like 2 rounds or some shit because he chopped off the lion's testicles (yes, that really can happen in the game -- it turns out lions don't like it when you do that). Once he realized how there were many choices he could have done differently, instead of focusing on the very final dice roll which killed him, because that was really the final event in a series of decisions, the game clicked with him.

If you enjoy persistent character campaigns with a bit more tactical focused fights, KD:M is for you! Honestly, the one game which is somewhat KD:M like is Dark Souls, which isn't out yet. The boss fights in DS and KD:M look somewhat similar.

Please let me know if you have any more questions!
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Michael Pflug
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ncW3pZFA_nM

you're welcome!
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Sven Wasberg
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Don´t forget to also watch the video of the second lantern year.
This series of videos is very good and it gave me a good idea on how it plays / what I should expect.
From what I have seen, I would wish for some decisions that require a bit more thinking and planing from my side, but the gameplay looks very organic, fluid and most important fun.
 
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Jay W
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1) 1-2 hours for a Lantern Year, 25 LY in the base game currently - rising to 30 in the new KS version 1.5

2) RPG component is simple - stat gains, persistent injuries and skills gained by perma death vulnerable named characters

3) The whole game has lots of randomness. People can easily die because of a single bad roll.

4) There are video playthroughs in the BGG video section

5) Depends on your level of skill with miniature assembly I guess. I've found it quite enjoyable, they are definitely fiddly and have lots of little bits, but it's not the worst / most difficult minis on the market. The Phoenix needs a guide to get the hands in the right place, and the antelope needs some work to secure in place to stand up.

6) Pin ups are not gameplay expansions, just miniatures from the same world, sometimes not even - just thematically appropriate models Poots has decided to to create.

7) Warhammer Quest, Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, tactical RPGs, the original X-Com PC game, Shadows of Brimstone, 4E D&D tap the same buttons for me. If you hate Ameritrash games, games with lots of randomness, cooperative / solo games or games with dark and gruesome themes, then you probably won't like KDM .
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sam newman

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1) How long does a playthrough take? As I understand it's currently 25 years and each year is about 1 hour.
typically a 2 player playthrough start to finish takes just over 30 hours for 25 years, game now has 30 years so expect another 6 hours ontop. This isnt including restarts.


2) Is there a role-playing component or is it purely a board game of resource management and tactical battles with any role-playing not being part of the rules / being optional.
There is a heavy rpg element, you name survivors, they can gain stat increases as well as disorders, fighting arts and abilities, they level up as well as suffer injuries such as losing a leg etc.

3) How heavy is the randomness as the reviews are conflicting about this. In general me and my friends hate random with passion (though it matters less in coop unless it cripples one player completely). As I understand each round you draw a random card that kills you with a 20% chance and then you have to start a new character. In battle an attack may end up being 10 dice rolls that achieve nothing or counter-attack kill you. Could someone provide clarity?
There is a deep strategy to KDM but it is mostly in preperation, combat itself has a lot of random elements but you can mitigate that with strategy.
Typically you roll a 1 or 2 d10 to hit your opponent if you hit then you draw 1 Hit location for every hit landed. then you roll to wound selecting which hit location to wound first. Hitlocations will sometimes have negative effects for wounding or not wounding, there is an item that allows you to cycle the hit location deck to avoid serious penalties. there is also an item that you can use to cycle the AI deck as well. 1 of the hit locations is a trap, it doesnt kill you instantly but it can seriously hurt a survivor. But with the item i mentioned you can make sure u never see it.


4) Is there a video playthrough that is recommended to understand the flow and mechanics?
No idea, the rulebook is actually quite good.

5) How much work is it to assemble all the miniatures?
takes a while, you only need 4 starting survivors and the lion to start playing first 4 lantern years.

6) Are the pin-up characters mini expansions? What are they used for?
pinups are promo items for painters / modelers, you can use them as a survvior but otherwise they have no gameplay element.

7) Are there any games that if I enjoy them, I'll enjoy this or if I hate them I hate this?
Dont think so, KDM is quite unique.

Thanks,
Ben
 
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esin .
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Inconmon wrote:


I can't find a rulebook anywhere to read up on it,


https://lmgtfy.com/?q=kingdom+death+rulebook+pdf
 
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Nick Wirtz
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re: randomness, this is something where individual instances of randomness can really mess with your session or kill off someone you like. however, the more you play, it's definitely skill-based, and we've continually had better campaigns the more we've played.

The biggest area of randomness that I don't really like is that certain keywords (mostly heavy) become a liability where they interact disproportionately negatively, and not in a way I appreciate: they aren't so good as to be a glass cannon gamble, and are often in the paradoxical place of armor, where you're trying to build up durability by taking something have a small chance to instakill you.
 
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