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Subject: Does Conan stand out enough to warrant the100- 120$ msrp? rss

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Ryan Angell
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I have no problem shelling out money for a game but at this point it has to be a standout that brings something fresh to my collection which already includes descent 2, imperial assault, mansions 2nd etc. It also has to hold its own vs games I don't own yet like the Others, the upcoming outlive or zombicide black plague.

For the same money I could score scythe and the expansion and probably get most of the way to the bigger board or some component upgrades. Scythe would standout even though my collection includes blood rage, Kemet and forbidden stars.

I guess my worry is this game doesn't add much to an extensive collection but it is probably amazing if you own nothing similar. I can see the minis are good but that's not enough for me anymore. I expect good minis in most games now so it really comes down to innovation and gameplay.

Perhaps a better way to put this is . Is the gameplay in Conan a small step from the pack or a large leap ?

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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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Well, there is nothing similar.
Remember Heroquest? 20 years from now you'll probably remember Conan the same way.
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Aditya C
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sniktsnikt wrote:
I have no problem shelling out money for a game but at this point it has to be a standout that brings something fresh to my collection which already includes descent 2, imperial assault, mansions 2nd etc. It also has to hold its own vs games I don't own yet like the Others, the upcoming outlive or zombicide black plague.

For the same money I could score scythe and the expansion and probably get most of the way to the bigger board or some component upgrades. Scythe would standout even though my collection includes blood rage, Kemet and forbidden stars.

I guess my worry is this game doesn't add much to an extensive collection but it is probably amazing if you own nothing similar. I can see the minis are good but that's not enough for me anymore. I expect good minis in most games now so it really comes down to innovation and gameplay.

Perhaps a better way to put this is . Is the gameplay in Conan a small step from the pack or a large leap ?



I love the gameplay of Conan. The energy system for the hero and overlord system are the coolest things I've ever used in a boardgame.
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J P
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Roolz is correct. The game is very unique. It's not like Descent or Imperial Assault at all. It's not a dungeon crawl. It's a scenario based skirmish game, but the gem-based energy mechanic and the Overlord's river mechanic are unlike anything else I've played. It's very fluid and fast paced. I think it's a lot of fun and it's currently my favorite game. There are some flaws in the rule book, but they aren't nearly as bad as some people are making it. It seems as if the people complaining the loudest about the rules are people that haven't even tried yet. You can find answers to any questions in this forum and Monolith is releasing an updated rule book in a few weeks. A little common sense goes a long way as well.
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Martin Gallo
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No way to answer your exact request because I do not know you.

As has been said, this is a skirmish game with a new blend of mechanics. If you like Conan, that is a bonus. This will not currently tell much of a story, but it might let you play out action from the stories.
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Daniel Lin
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Perhaps you should find a friend who has Conan and try it before you buy it.

I also have Imperial Assault and Mansions of Madness 2nd. I like both games. But in my opinion, Conan differs greatly from IA and MOM 2nd edition. i.e. the gameplay is very different.

MOM 2nd edition is an app driven game, and it is fully co-op. You are playing against a scripted computer program. MOM 2nd edition is scenario based, and they are driven by scripted stories. I have played all 6 existing scenarios in the game + tiles/character expansions, and I like them all. However, I can't help but feeling that the scenarios become less interesting in the replay. I think this is because MOM 2nd is not really a tactical miniature game, its draw is the detective narrative and it is scripted. So once you have seen the secrets in the scenario, it is not as thrilling the 2nd time you play it. But MOM 2nd edition is really successful at replicating the theme, and the atmosphere in the Lovecraft stories. Another thing, I also like that MOM 2nd edition is relatively easy to setup; the app tells you what tiles to put down and it is usually easy to find the tile. I will keep MOM 2nd edition in my collection because sometimes I feel like playing a Lovecraftian themed, detective game. And I am also hoping that FFG will release more scenarios at relative low retail price.

IA's gameplay heavily relies on dice throwing, character abilities, power ups etc... IA has campaign and skirmish mode. But personally I've only played campaign mode, because IA just feels like a story-driven game. For me, part of the fun in IA is building your character from an average hero into a beast at the end. The campaigns are somewhat replayable. Overall, I like IA and I am keeping it in my collection. But for me, I don't play IA very often because it is too much commitment. Setting up the game takes 25-30 minutes and that is not fun. I hate digging through the piles of tiles and piecing them together, it is very tedious. Also, it is not easy to find someone who will commit to playing a long campaign. But IA's strengths outweigh its weaknesses, and I do like the Star War theme and the semi-rpg feel of the game. So I will keep IA in my collection.

Conan' gameplay is also throwing dice, but it runs on resource management. You spend gems to perform actions. The more gem you spend, the more power it gives to an action. But if you overspend then you will be left stranded in the next round. Not spending enough gem, then your action may not succeed. This creates the strategic gameplay but it is also very fast and fun. In my opinion, Conan successfully reproduced the feel and the vibe of Robert E. Howard stories. A game of Conan usually takes about 30-45 minutes. Conan doesn't use campaign system, the characters don't level up. Instead, Conan offers scenarios (8 scenarios in retail box). Personally, I think those scenarios are highly replayable, because unlike MOM 2nd edition, Conan pits human player against each other, and even when there is hidden element, it is randomized and it is incorporated into the player's strategy. Having said this, some people may not think so. In terms of setting up, Conan is easy to setup. You open a box, usually within 10 minutes you can start playing it. If you are buying the retail box only, then after 20-30 games you may find the 8 scenarios not enough. But hopefully fans in the community will produce more scenarios, because Conan is kind of a sandbox game where you can make your own scenarios. All I can say is, my KS pledge for Conan arrived a week ago, since then, I have played Conan more times than IA and MOM 2nd edition combined.

Overall, based on the information you've provided here, I think Conan differs greatly from the games in your collection. I think all 3 games are very good, and they are unique enough in theme and gameplay, so they each have a place in my collection. But I can't say if you should or should not buy the game. All I can do is share my thoughts on it. I think the safest way is to find a friend who has Conan, and try it for yourself.
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Bat Man
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Did you finish all those campaigns? Descent, IA?

The Conan box has not a lot of game in it. $100, 8 scenarios, each taking about 1 hour to play. No campaign, no skirmish.

I would suggest you to wait a little bit more, and continue playing your current games. Do you still like Imperial Assault? Then buy an expansion, you will get more gaming hours for half the price, with a more mature rule system.

There is no more reason to rush, the exclusives are gone. I wishfully think they will bring more quality content for this big box. But only time will tell if Monolith still has the strength to develop their system.
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glen bruton
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There isn't anything like Conan out there according to myself and my far more experienced gaming group so it definitely fills a gap. Scythe is great too but there are somewhat similar games out there (worker placement, area control and some combat). If your primary aim is unique experiences I'd say this fits the bill.

Pros. Fast, fun, energy management, theme, art, minis,dice rolling
Cons. Setup is slow. First game only will be tricky due to poor rulebook. dice rolling
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Ryan Angell
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surg3on wrote:
There isn't anything like Conan out there according to myself and my far more experienced gaming group so it definitely fills a gap. Scythe is great too but there are somewhat similar games out there (worker placement, area control and some combat). If your primary aim is unique experiences I'd say this fits the bill.

Pros. Fast, fun, energy management, theme, art, minis,dice rolling
Cons. Setup is slow. First game only will be tricky due to poor rulebook. dice rolling


How would you say it compares to miniature games with scenarios? For example the scenarios included with x wings capital ships or perhaps GWs latest hybrid board/miniatures games like assassinorum execution force, gore chosen etc.?
 
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Nicholas Aldrich
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I have played all the core game missions and extra kickstarter missions this past week. The game is an absolute blast. It is like no other similar game... star wars minis, descent, zombicide, tmnt, etc... nothing has the game mechanics conan has. (Note, I am not a previous fan of the conan universe)

The mechanics add a depth to the game that no similar game has, alongside a simplistic and fast combat system. Resource management for actions and future actions is vital. This along side timed missions make sure you don't just slash and burn your way through enemies, as you have to accomplish storyline missions.

I am very had I went all in and highly suggest buying this game. Folks said kingsom death was amazing and one of the best rated games on bgg... I sold my kingdom death stuff and don't regret it. I would NEVER sell my conan and would regret it it I did.

Amazing minis, amazing art, intuitive gameplay, fast paced games, realism (throw your weapon... it's gone unless you go pick it back up), this game is full of win!

As for x wing or the gw games, the storyline aspect of the scenarios is far deeper. I have all the gw board games, most of ffg's, there is nothing like conan. You'd have to play it to see. The others are skirmish games with scenarios and storyline added... this is a deep story with scenarios and the game molded into it.
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Ryan Angell
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm still not sure if I'm going to buy yet but I think I have a good sense of what the standout mechanic is - the gem system. The fact that this seems to be innovative to people who play a lot of games is a good sign. The rule book shortcomings are a bit disappointing and while it's not a deal breaker it is annoying to have to go outside the manual for clarifications especially in a 100 plus dollar game.

I guess my last question is "how is the overlord play?" Is it equally fun to play the overlord and the PCs? Does the overlord have enough tools to provide interesting challenges to the players ?
 
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John Paul Messerly
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sniktsnikt wrote:
surg3on wrote:
There isn't anything like Conan out there according to myself and my far more experienced gaming group so it definitely fills a gap. Scythe is great too but there are somewhat similar games out there (worker placement, area control and some combat). If your primary aim is unique experiences I'd say this fits the bill.

Pros. Fast, fun, energy management, theme, art, minis,dice rolling
Cons. Setup is slow. First game only will be tricky due to poor rulebook. dice rolling


How would you say it compares to miniature games with scenarios? For example the scenarios included with x wings capital ships or perhaps GWs latest hybrid board/miniatures games like assassinorum execution force, gore chosen etc.?


Assassinorum Execution Force and Silver Tower are co-op vs AI so you don't have the same sense of a dark intelligence you are struggling against or the balancing factor of an Overlord working to make sure the game is interesting and challenging. Gorechosen is purely a gladiator match. The only game that is really similar to the is Thornwatch. It uses the same river system for activation and has the players mainly doing resource manegment (using cards instead of gems). Thornwatch also has an overlord character that activates in a similar way and spends resources (ebb) to buff its villain characters.

 
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Alain MOYA
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sniktsnikt wrote:
I guess my last question is "how is the overlord play?" Is it equally fun to play the overlord and the PCs? Does the overlord have enough tools to provide interesting challenges to the players ?


IMHO, the Overlord is trickier to play, but is ultimately more rewarding. You have an awful lot of decisions to make and you're on your own. Can't blame a friend for a mistake you make, like Heroes tend to do. But in the end, if you win, all the credit is yours and it's really great devil
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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sniktsnikt wrote:
Thanks for all the replies. I'm still not sure if I'm going to buy yet but I think I have a good sense of what the standout mechanic is - the gem system. The fact that this seems to be innovative to people who play a lot of games is a good sign. The rule book shortcomings are a bit disappointing and while it's not a deal breaker it is annoying to have to go outside the manual for clarifications especially in a 100 plus dollar game.

I guess my last question is "how is the overlord play?" Is it equally fun to play the overlord and the PCs? Does the overlord have enough tools to provide interesting challenges to the players ?

-The rules-gate is totally overblown. Except if you have zero common sense, or play with overly nit-picking players.
-It's equally fun to play the OL. Maybe more. That's one of the things that makes this game different from others.
And the end of the day, your money, your call.
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Emivaldo Sousa
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After a few plays I can only say that I like the setting, the minis, the boards and the action point system, but I sold my copy.

The scenarios are simply not repeatable to me and only eight can be tackled in a weekend. I am not too predisposed to hunt scenarios later one, filtering what is good and what is not. Also: how long?

Also, some of the scenarios that do exist are very poorly balanced, and even some of the ones that are somewhat balanced can be finished in 10 minutes in an anticlimactic way if one side (normally the heroes) gets lucky.

I also think that some scenarios feel incomplete, with unused skills and lost opportunities. And some abilities like evasion are just too powerful and the overlord does not have really a way to counter it (this is not necessarily a matter of balance, but a matter of lack of tactical options).

It can be quite enjoyable to play, but as a rollercoaster, there is just so many times you can ride it before you wish for something else.
 
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Matt Drake
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I think the scenarios are all kinds of replayable. It's not like there are surprises revealed or a story unfolding. It's a tactical game more than anything else, and there's no reason you can't replay scenarios to see if you can do better. When you say, 'oh, man, I should have protected Belit better and targeted that demon,' or 'I should have activated Khal earlier to cover for Skuthus,' you've got a good reason to try the scenario again and see if you can modify your strategy for a different outcome.

There need to be more scenarios, for sure, but for me that's because I have so many dang minis and I want to use them all.
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Jim Ant
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zinho73 wrote:
After a few plays I can only say that I like the setting, the minis, the boards and the action point system, but I sold my copy.

The scenarios are simply not repeatable to me and only eight can be tackled in a weekend. I am not too predisposed to hunt scenarios later one, filtering what is good and what is not. Also: how long?

Also, some of the scenarios that do exist are very poorly balanced, and even some of the ones that are somewhat balanced can be finished in 10 minutes in an anticlimactic way if one side (normally the heroes) gets lucky.

I also think that some scenarios feel incomplete, with unused skills and lost opportunities. And some abilities like evasion are just too powerful and the overlord does not have really a way to counter it (this is not necessarily a matter of balance, but a matter of lack of tactical options).

It can be quite enjoyable to play, but as a rollercoaster, there is just so many times you can ride it before you wish for something else.


I'm going to chime in on this. I've played numerous campaigns of Descent (1st and 2d ed.), also Kingdom Death, Zombiecide, many others I can't recall right now.

This Conan game is just too "quick" for me. Our group has played it at least half a dozen times now and we *always* play at least one other game afterward because Conan finishes so fast.

Yes it's true about the gem system, etc., but I find it hard to believe that the scenarios were thoroughly playtested, they don't seem well balanced at all.

Either way, our games are over in a flash. I'm usually looking for something with a little more "teeth" in an RPG and Conan doesn't have that.

If I want quick, I'll play Isle of Skye.
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Daniel Lin
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sniktsnikt wrote:
Thanks for all the replies. I'm still not sure if I'm going to buy yet but I think I have a good sense of what the standout mechanic is - the gem system. The fact that this seems to be innovative to people who play a lot of games is a good sign. The rule book shortcomings are a bit disappointing and while it's not a deal breaker it is annoying to have to go outside the manual for clarifications especially in a 100 plus dollar game.

I guess my last question is "how is the overlord play?" Is it equally fun to play the overlord and the PCs? Does the overlord have enough tools to provide interesting challenges to the players ?


It is equally as fun to play as the overlord, because it also uses the gem system, you get the "evil" heroes, and you get the same thrills and tension in a gaming session as if you were playing the good heroes.

I think being an overlord in Conan is more challenging but also more rewarding. In some other semi-coop games, playing as the overlord feels like you are just putting pieces on the board, that your role exists to keep the game going. But in Conan, playing as the overlord gives you the sense that you really are some evil tyrant plotting, and directing your minions and captains to inflict serious harms on a band of heroes, not just a dungeon master that keeps the game going.
 
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Emivaldo Sousa
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VixenTorGames wrote:
I think the scenarios are all kinds of replayable. It's not like there are surprises revealed or a story unfolding. It's a tactical game more than anything else, and there's no reason you can't replay scenarios to see if you can do better. When you say, 'oh, man, I should have protected Belit better and targeted that demon,' or 'I should have activated Khal earlier to cover for Skuthus,' you've got a good reason to try the scenario again and see if you can modify your strategy for a different outcome.

There need to be more scenarios, for sure, but for me that's because I have so many dang minis and I want to use them all.

I can see that for some groups. I found that most scenarios are just too short with very little tactical variation. And I might be wrong, but the impression is enough to keep me away from repeated plays.
 
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Quote:
but I find it hard to believe that the scenarios were thoroughly playtested, they don't seem well balanced at all.


About Balance
The game designer Fred Henry quoted chess as an example of a game where the whites have a slightly higher chance of winning than the blacks. As it is "impossible" to perfectly balance, he decided that it was a secondary objective in the design of Conan. Was it the right call?
 
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I'd say that Scythe is larger step from the other "one vs. many" and coop Ameritrash games you own, but I'm not familiar enough with your Eurogames collection (or Euros in general!) to say if Scythe is that different from the Euros you already own. Since Conan's available retail, you have plenty of time to wait for reviews (unless you're getting the Mythic Battles Conan crossover...!).

 
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batman14 wrote:
Quote:
but I find it hard to believe that the scenarios were thoroughly playtested, they don't seem well balanced at all.


About Balance
The game designer Fred Henry quoted chess as an example of a game where the whites have a slightly higher chance of winning than the blacks. As it is "impossible" to perfectly balance, he decided that it was a secondary objective in the design of Conan. Was it the right call?


Perfect balance is impossible and often it is not even desirable, as some of those games needs cinematic stuff happening and some victories against all odds are a nice thing to have.

That said, there are scenarios that can be over in 10, 15 minutes if the heroes are lucky enough and scenarios in which the overlord or hero win/lose ratio are close to 100%. None of this is desirable as it is anticlimactic and, simply put, not fun.
 
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While I would agree that some of the scenarios suffer from balance issues, they definitely are replayable for our group (some we played 4 times and I am sure we will again). We even found that first time is just to get a feel for the specific rules, options and flow of the given scenario.

(Anyway, many more scenarios (official and fan-made) will be available, so lack of scenarios is not really a good argument.)

Which brings me to another point. While there is a lot of colour and story, the game really shines in the scenarios: they do not feel like you would just paint a setting over (having slightly different enemies and movement options for example), they actually play as different games with the same rule set. That is a huge strength in my book.
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Steve R Bullock
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JimZam wrote:


I'm going to chime in on this. I've played numerous campaigns of Descent (1st and 2d ed.), also Kingdom Death, Zombiecide, many others I can't recall right now.

This Conan game is just too "quick" for me. Our group has played it at least half a dozen times now and we *always* play at least one other game afterward because Conan finishes so fast.

Yes it's true about the gem system, etc., but I find it hard to believe that the scenarios were thoroughly playtested, they don't seem well balanced at all.

Either way, our games are over in a flash. I'm usually looking for something with a little more "teeth" in an RPG and Conan doesn't have that.

If I want quick, I'll play Isle of Skye.

As a person who hates long drawn out games, I consider a game like this playing in about an hour a "plus", not a negative.
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Emivaldo Sousa
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Bifi666 wrote:

(Anyway, many more scenarios (official and fan-made) will be available, so lack of scenarios is not really a good argument.)


I think it is a fantastic argument because we do not know when they are going to be available, how many nor if they are any good.

Waiting to see is actually a very smart move, but some of us (including me in many cases, although not on this one) lack the fortitude to do so
 
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