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Subject: A King of Tokyo Killer? rss

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Luke Muench
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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Recently, I've been feeling as if Bang: The Dice Game has by large replaced King of Tokyo for me. KoT hardly hits the table, and the one time I've played it over the last 4 months or so, it was because a local gaming shop made a life-sized version for kids to play on.

B:TDG, on the other hand, hits the table every gathering we have that has at least 5 or 6 people present, takes a quarter of the time to play, and (for me personally) feels a bit more engaging and balanced:

.Roleplaying in B:TDG game is a bit more interactive, as both your role and hidden job you get play into that, whereas KoT feels a bit more flat in regards to the roleplay (again, my opinion). The Yahtzee rolling feels a bit more decision-driven and engaging, as there's always a chance you'll roll something bad if you press your luck, and you aren't just mindlessly attacking, as your attacks could give away your role in the game, or you're just not sure who to attack.

.The Old Saloon expansion makes it so each role has a few different powers you might get in addition to your hidden job, but there's strategy as to whether you use it or not, revealing your hidden job and thus potentially making you a target. The KoT Power Up cards, while they make the monsters unique, feel fairly tacked on and have no negative being used, making them feel like they are choices being made for you a majority of the time than adding more choices. Yes, you do need to choose to get three hearts to draw one, which can be a huge sacrifice, their effects are very straightforward and require little to no thought regarding their use.

.The character roles of B:TDG definitely effect the game more in terms of how they are played, the variety from game to game, and can allow for different strategies to be considered each game according to what character you get in tandem with your hidden job. KoT requires you to get the expansion to have that variety in the first place outside of aesthetics, and regardless of your character you more or less have your standard two ways to win which you can charge for at the same time without much thought.

.I struggle to see how the acquisition of the purchasable cards in KoT is in any way balanced, as it often feels like, once you get a certain card that slows opponents from hurting you (like the armor), you can coast outside of Tokyo until you get 20 points via die rolls. Other cards in the past have felt unbalanced as well, although none come to mind when writing this.

.As I mentioned above, there are no negatives to rolling dice in KoT, meaning someone can sit outside of Tokyo, roll everything they have repeatedly until they get as many 3's as possible every turn, and win without any real trouble. The person in Tokyo can attack, but they have to struggle to stay in Tokyo long enough to do so, and they often can't afflict enough damage to matter, as the person outside of Tokyo can always heal.

.B:TDG doesn't just have intersting choices to make with dice in the obvious ways, ie I could roll another dynamite or arrow. You also have to account fro the potential of rolling a 1 or 2 die when you don't necessarily want to shoot either person in that numerical range. This can lead to some very interesting and telling choices that can change people's perspectives of you and allow for the game to force you to further question what to do with your dice and how to use them.

.Once you're out of a game of KoT, you have to wait ever so impatiently until the game is over, which can take a LONG time if you've got those last two monsters turtling until they can get those last few points and win. While the base game of B:TDG has the same issue, the expansion at least adds the ghost role, which allows the person to suffer the most from this to continue playing until the end. And even then, the games are so much shorter it doesn't matter nearly as much.

.KoT feels like a filler game, yet takes up as much time as a standard game, making it often outlast its welcome in my experience, and often with anti-climactic endings.

.Lastly, KoT's best way to win, points, feels very... against the theme. I don't think of points when it comes to a Kaiju movie, I think of monsters beating the living $#!? out of each other. In this way, B:TDG feels like it has much better themeing, as it always feels like a battle to the death and is exciting in that sense. There's more desperation and excitement over every roll, and more memorable moments.

That's not to say that B:TDG is perfect; some of the early game plays are weak because no one knows who to shoot, some players can be knocked out way too quickly, and I wouldn't necessarily call it a balanced game. But despite all that, I can remember a lot of games that I've played in B:TDG, huge moments that I can bring up to this day and others will remember it fondly. That time I rolled 5 arrows on my first roll, killing the Sheriff in a blaze of glory. The time everyone was trying to kill me because my character had an annoying voice, yet I was the one to kill the Sheriff. That rare game where two Renegades were the last ones standing. B:TDG is just brightly memorable in that regard, and brings a level of engagement that KoT simply has never achieved for me.

I know this has become something of a ramble, and I apologize, but what do ya'll think; does KoT do enough different and well enough to warrant it's place on people's shelves, or does B:TDG bring more to the table? Or do you like both equally in their own ways?
 
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KoT works great as a 3-4 player game, Bang! is just rubbish with those player counts. So the answer is "no". 5-player KoT is also fun but slighty too long. With six players I would rather play Bang!
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Ludvig Stigsson
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TFJ383 wrote:
Recently, I've been feeling as if Bang: The Dice Game has by large replaced King of Tokyo for me. KoT hardly hits the table, and the one time I've played it over the last 4 months or so, it was because a local gaming shop made a life-sized version for kids to play on.


Whoha, Life-sized King of Tokyo. Epic.
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Alluvian
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Definitely NOT a KOT killer, they are totally different games, with pretty little in common.
 
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