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Vanguard of War» Forums » General

Subject: Questions about the gameplay before I back rss

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Ryan Valdez
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Hello all! I was really curious about a few things, and figured I'd get some insight and enlightenment from the community.

Recently, I ran across Defense Grid: The Board Game, another Kickstarter co-op, tower defense-style board game with the campaign currently ongoing. While it isn't nearly as popular as VoW, the game's creators seem to have done (and are still doing) lots of playtesting, plus the game has gotten some very positive feedback. Overall, Defense Grid seems to really capture the co-op AND tower defense feel. Emphasis on "seems" so I have no experience playing it.

That being said, I'm wondering about a few aspects with VoW, specifically the following:
- How much luck is there in the game, and does it play a big or small role in any particular game's outcome (how much can luck be overcome by skill)?
- As a co-op game, are the typical obstacles like quarterbacking, downtime between turns and player involvement (as in, do some players get left out at some point?) mitigated?
- How fiddly is the game, ie, how much information upkeep with monsters, resources, items, effects, etc. is there?
- Can this game be played without the "tiers", as in, can I set this up with any group of friends, some old some new to the game, and play in a single sitting without having to go thru the "campaign" of sorts?

I haven't played LOAD, and maybe I haven't grasped all the nit-gritty details in the rulebook, so I did want to watch the 1+ hr playthrough video recently posted. I just have to find time to actually watch the whole thing lol but any insights from here would be awesome too, even if it's just speculation. Depending on finances, I may be only able to back one game (URGHHH). Thanks in advance.
 
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Kurt Bieberbach
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I tried it last night on TableTop Simulator (TTS) and decided to pull my pledge. It's not for our group, we already have games that we like better that scratch the same itch. NOTE: we stopped playing shortly after starting the second tier so keep that in mind while reading my opinions. It is possible the game gets substantially better as difficulty increases but none of us were willing to continue to find out.

I strongly encourage everyone to try the PnP (either physical or virtual) before backing. There are some other folks that have and they enjoy it, so it definitely depends on the individual/group.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Lots of dice-chucking here but successess are pretty easy to come by so you probably won't feel screwed by bad rolls very often, though it does happen. It's about the same as similar games in this respect.

2. There is no hidden information on the player's side and no other mechanisms in place to prevent an alpha player from directing the entire game if your group allows it. There's not a lot of downtime since turns are so quick but there is nothing for you to do, like aiding, on other player's turns so there is little reason to pay much attention. This may be the game's biggest flaw in my opinion. It really didn't keep me engaged.

3. The game is not really fiddly. Most of the baddies have one health so you don't have to track that except for the big boss. The exploration tokens were a bit of a pain but that was probably TTS more than anything.

4. You can play without the tiers with a little house-ruling and the game might be more fun if you skipped tier 1 after the first play. In fact, if you just buffed yourselves a little and skipped right to tier 3, that might be the best way to play. If you're only worried about time, I suspect you could play all the tiers in less than two hours after you get the game down.

My final verdict is that it isn't a bad game, it just doesn't compete well with similar games for me.

I also tried the other game you mentioned solo and didn't care for it either so maybe I'm just down on the whole boardgame tower defense genre. I do like B-Sieged and Orcs Must Die though.

I wish the company well and I want to thank them for making the PnP available. It might have cost them a sale but it shows they believe in their game.
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Ryan Valdez
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Thanks for the honest opinion. On question 2, does that mean that pretty much everyone is free-for-all'ing, just doing things on their own rather than planning and working with each other?
 
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Kurt Bieberbach
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Nayr090 wrote:
Thanks for the honest opinion. On question 2, does that mean that pretty much everyone is free-for-all'ing, just doing things on their own rather than planning and working with each other?


No, sorry I gave that impression. We all talked about what we were going to do at the beginning of the defense phase and then went on to do it more or less solo.

TBH, there was never much planning. It was always pretty easy to prioritize the threats and the heroes best able to deal with them. Occasionally, one of us would be unsuccessful (bad roll) and we'd have to deal with it.

I am sure that part of the game gets more interesting with the white and black event cards which is why I suggest skipping at least tier 1. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that tier 1 should be renamed to tutorial and every game just have two tiers. Of course, being convinced of anything after one (half) play is no doubt presumptuous.
 
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Lion Noir
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My take on this:

1. There is luck but it's part of the decision making. You have to manage the probabilies and then choose to push your luck or not.

2. Downtime is short. Maybe even non existing since the game gets everybody involve in finding the best strategy together. If your lane is quiet you may have to choose between exploring or runing to help a friend who's lane is crowded. Also you may have to run and revive your friend to keep the teem firepower high but sacrifice some hit on the church. Many decision that the group have to take together.

3. This is a strong point for me, the game is crisp, clear, fast, and based on group choices instead of huge rulebook full of ''what if'' rules. But some ppl on KS are asking for more rules wich I am against.

4.Yes, you can totally play tier 2 or even tier 3 right away if you like a chalenge, but you might get your ass kicked.

Hope you join us.



 
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Ryan Valdez
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Reviving to see if anyone else would chime in with opinions, especially since they offer a late pledge. Still tempting, since I really love co-op games and I finally got to watch both reviews, but I guess I'm still iffy. (kinda wished I named it with "Opinions wanted" :X)
 
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