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Subject: Missing Flavor? rss

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Nick Dotzenrod
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Just got my kickstarter game, and since opening and starting the training missions, I feel the game misses out on opportunities to add more variety.

First, there are tons of map tiles. Cool! But, in reality, all that matters is the size (small, medium or large). Each has the exact same defense value. To save production costs, I feel all tiles for each size should have just looked identical as they all function the same.

Second, it just seems combat is overly simplified. You essentially roll 1-3 die, and check results.

I think this bothers me more than the first point. So many types of weapons were used in WW2, but in this game, all those weapons are distilled into essentially 3 types, 1 die guns, 2 die guns and 3 die guns. I wish there was just more variety here. Like some guns let you roll more die than others but do less damage. Other guns you roll less die but can kill enemies in one shot. Damage in this game, however, is pretty non-existent, however, so that would have to change too if you wanted to incorporate variable weapon damage. But this is something most games seem to include of this genre of game (cooperate dungeon crawling). Also, there is not weapon range too, which eliminates another dynamic usually included in combat games.

The idea of the game is what really hooked me into backing it, however now, I feel like a lot is missing.

Does anyone else feel this way?

I understand that there is a fine balance between over complicating a game, and making a game too simple, and maybe the designer just wanted to make a game that had a very low entry level, but even still, I think added flavor could have been provided without really making the game more complicated.

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Kristo Vaher
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While I have not played it yet - and I do fear that the game may be too simple - at least I can give decent counterpoints to your arguments.

- I don't think tiles should have looked the same. Visual variety is important in a game of this scope and in fact it's a feature of many games like this for that specific reason. This also makes sure that players will have a more logical overview about the game state rather than having to check specific tiles at all times. Also, randomness of such tiles will add randomness overall to the game and its difficulty.

- In close-quarters combat, 3 kinds of weapons is perfectly fine in my opinion. In fact I much prefer that this game has a combat system like this (from what I've seen so far), I actually think that most dungeon crawler games put too much emphasis on weird weapon rolls as opposed to overall gameplay.

- Weapon range in close-quarters-combat? I disagree. Any WW2 weapon is able to easily dispatch anyone in full range of the map.

That aside, I do hope that the game isn't too simple. I do hope that the complexity comes from the challenge and the puzzles the game provides.

Very many 'great' games have simple mechanisms, but are incredibly complex to 'win' due to the depth on top of those mechanisms. I hope V-Commandos is something like that.
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Phil McDonald
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I think someone buying this as a wargame might be disappointed as it is a light war THEMED game.

But, with certain thematic reservations, like Stukas attacking their own compounds (I would have used Mosquitos as there is documentary evidence of them being used for precision raids due to their speed and low level abilities), I do find the game very thematic.

Originality is rare in new games these days, most are variations on well- worn paths. This game IS original. It's emphasis on stealth overrides the dice mechanism for me. It's a thoughtful game rather than a dice fest, and makes a refreshing change in the world of me-too.

But it won't flip everyone's switches, no game does.

I like the difference in terrain tile graphics, but would like to have seen variation in their usage to capitalise on them.
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Xavier Nostradunwhich
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You can add me in with the other two as well.

Disclosure: I have only had a chance to play this game once, at GenCon with the creator. I just got my shipment yesterday and have barely opened the boxes. I really enjoyed the one game I played, but cannot yet speak to replayability, although I think it is high.

From my point of view, the differences in the tiles let you set up a map that is visually pleasing and contributes to the theme. The duplicates were a bit disappointing to me, but I understand the need to balance production costs with player expectations for retail value.

As Phil said, this is not a war game. However, I will go further and say that in my opinion this is not a combat simulator, which seems to be where you were going with your discussion on weapons. The small number of gun types works fine for the stealth game V-Commandos is supposed to be. It seems to me if someone is shooting so much they notice the lack of variety I suspect they have not quite grokked the central idea of the game.

Kristo is spot-on about the ranges, at the ranges in this game all the weapons in the game are not going to vary much in their ability to hit. That is going to be down to the shooter

Lastly, Phil is certainly correct in that ultimately no game can please everyone.
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David Goda solston
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There are more variables than the number of dice you have to throw, that define weapons in the game. Soon you will see how valuable are the silenced ones, or how wonderfully powerful Panzerfausts are.

The variety comes with the equipment your commandos begin the mission and collect from dead Nazis. Between Disguises, Grenades, Crowbars, TNT charges and other goodies, you won't be dissapointed.

Furthermore, the game is very easy to expand the way you want. You can introduce a "Wound" system to enemies, making some weapons more damaging than others, or some sort of "Distance" system other than Sniper ability and Mortar add.

I was thinking about create some new mechanics inspired in an Alternate WW2, adding some Zombie Nazis and thigs like that. I think it would be awesome, XD.
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Phil McDonald
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Rattus wrote:
There are more variables than the number of dice you have to throw, that define weapons in the game. Soon you will see how valuable are the silenced ones, or how wonderfully powerful Panzerfausts are.

The variety comes with the equipment your commandos begin the mission and collect from dead Nazis. Between Disguises, Grenades, Crowbars, TNT charges and other goodies, you won't be dissapointed.

Furthermore, the game is very easy to expand the way you want. You can introduce a "Wound" system to enemies, making some weapons more damaging than others, or some sort of "Distance" system other than Sniper ability and Mortar add.

I was thinking about create some new mechanics inspired in an Alternate WW2, adding some Zombie Nazis and thigs like that. I think it would be awesome, XD.


Zombies..... Aaaaargh ! Aren't there enough zombie games already? If I never see another one it will be too soon. But each to their own of course.
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Gergo Tothmihaly
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When I sat down to demo this last year in Essen, I was really surprised how the game worked. It just felt strange, quite a lot of inner "what?! this isn't how it works? but I thought..." questions popped up.
And as the demo went on I realised what it was: this isn't a ww2 dungeon crawler. This is a commandos game and the focus on the mission and how you accomplish it. From strange it quickly turned into unusual and then unique.

I personally really enjoy this aspect of the game and I'm glad the enemies with the sledgehammers don't have reach and my commandos don't roll +1 defence die on large tiles. We have quite a lot of those already. Not WW2 themed ones and even though I would probably enjoy one, I appreciate this game being different from those.

On the tiles: when I unboxed my copy and set up the first tutorial mission I feared the same: that all maps will feel an abstract set of small-medium-large rectangles. But - and I couldn't tell why - I don't get this feeling while playing the game at all. "I will hide in that room", "it will be a bit hard to pass through that hallway" - this is how I naturally look at these tiles during play.
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Jerry Tresman
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As for duplicate tiles , this does mean you can play the inside and outside of the tiles at the same time. Doubling up on either side is plausible as lots of inside and outside areas are similar.
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fightcitymayor
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bassman211 wrote:
First, there are tons of map tiles. Cool! But, in reality, all that matters is the size (small, medium or large). Each has the exact same defense value. To save production costs, I feel all tiles for each size should have just looked identical as they all function the same.
I'm with you on this one. The art on the tiles is great, but once you realize none of it means anything, it renders some of the gameplay slightly sterile.

But if you read some of the KS comments you will learn that Thibaud & crew likely left a lot of 'crunchiness' on the cutting room floor in favor of a more streamlined & easily approachable game. It's a compromise, and sometimes it does feel like they landed a little to the safe side, but other times I appreciate the low-fat 'down to business' approach. The BGG crowd might fuss about the results not being "a gamer's game" but that also means a lot more fans can play it & enjoy it & not have to wade through a 50-page book with 100 special rules laid out in typical grognard rule-case form.

Although it's understandable if you wanted a little more sauce on the burger, so to speak.

p.s.
Did I use enough metaphors and euphemisms in this response?
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Nick Dotzenrod
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I can understand the emphasis on the stealth aspect.

To me, I almost think the game as a puzzle more than a war game, which is fine, jut not what I was expecting.

It is original, and that is why it intrigued me so much. I loved the idea of a simple co-op WW2 themed game, I just wish it went a little further in terms of variety and especially how combat works. I still look forward to playing the various missions.

Now I think I may need the expansions as I think those would help me with my "lack of variety" issue.

That all said, production quality is amazing to me.
 
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Xavier Nostradunwhich
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Starman54 wrote:
As for duplicate tiles , this does mean you can play the inside and outside of the tiles at the same time. Doubling up on either side is plausible as lots of inside and outside areas are similar.

That is a great point. Thanks for pointing that out.
 
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Richard A. Edwards
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bassman211 wrote:
I can understand the emphasis on the stealth aspect.

To me, I almost think the game as a puzzle more than a war game

Exactly! It's a sneaky, stealthy puzzle with lots of operations with various objectives to achieve.

It's not about weapons and firefights (there are other tactical wargames for that), it's about figuring out how to stay stealthy while achieving the terrain's objective.

If it becomes a firefight, you hope it's late in the game and you can bull through and escape, not hope to kill all the enemies.

One game I managed to have the officer in a German uniform manage to walk carefully to the objective, slaying the occasional German that didn't notice him in close combat, achieved the objective, then walked out! It was awesome (and incredibly lucky, I had a back up plan for the other commando set up to cover him if it became a firefight).

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Martin Gallo
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If you need more, Hour of Glory: Stronghold Kit is still fun.
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Aitor Vilchez
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I agree that I have the same sensation of "missing things" but not a lot, little things.
For example:
- The MG42 Nest tiles can be Mortars in the other side (with 3 dice symbol and Noise but not visible like Mortar Gunner can see).
- The tiles always have the same difficult +4 (Small), +3 (Medium), +2 (Large), It could be interesting that the difficult depends of the tile. If the tile have things where hide more difficult (like barrels etc...).
- I think about use the blanck tiles to make a miners, some with miners and others without them and use the Mine Camp Tile to put all. The Commands that entry in the tile reveal one, if It is mine: BOOM (one wound for example) else Its ok. Of course you can use any item to disconnect the mine (Scissors but as there arent scissors, the crow bar).
- More missions to 4-6 players. There are 22 Missions for 2 players but only 9 for 4 players.
- I missing the Pacific War, Bridge Mission could be Kwai Bridge etc... Perhaps It will be a future Expansion.
 
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