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Subject: Did I play the game wrong? rss

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Fabian K
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Hey guys,

I recently played my first round of Blood Rage.
As the game fits perfectly to my gaming desires (thematic, minis and strategic) I was very excited beforehand.

Three of my gaming buddies were willing to participate.
We are two hardcore gamers (me and on of my buddies) and the other two are casual gamers (one of them is more into co-op games but he was ready to give it a try).

I explained the game and after 45 minutes we began to play.
I liked the game right from the beginning as I got everything that I expected and more.

After the first round our co-op-player was in the lead, I was in second place. We both made around 20 Points.
The third player got only four points and the fourth player scored zero points.

Now there was some frustration around the table.
The player in last place was my hardcore gaming friend. He complained about not being able to win anymore.
To be fair, his stituation wasn't good. He scored no points in the first round got only one or two upgrades for his clan in total and he had no more figures on the field.

I don't know what he did wrong and was very surprised that he wasn't able to play the game (imho).
Being a good sportsman (and a good friend) he finished the game with us.

In the end I won with a huge advantage. I got 105 points in total. Second place was our co-op-gamer with 65 points. The other two where somewhere around 20-30 points in total.
Sadly the ending of the game wasn't very satisfying because of two people complaining that there was no way to win the game after they were in an bad place at the end of the first round.

Although all of them told me that I did a great job explaining the game I still think we made a mistake while playing.

I reread the rules two times and couldn't find anything that I didin't notice. In my opinion the rules are very streamlined and easy to grab.

Strange developements I realized during the game:

1. There wasn't much fighting. When someone announced a pillaging most of the players didnt participate because the initializing players advantage was too big and there was no reason in loosing warriors.
Therefore we got very few victory points for battles. Only one player got Lokis upgrades for his clan.

2. I played Friggs assistance as first card in the game so I got an additional warrior each time I invaded. Because of that card I had the most warriors on the table through the whole game. Is the card too powerful? Did someone experience the same problem?

3. Is there a chance for a comeback when you got smashed in the first round?

I later realized that the game would have played differently when the other players would have ganged (sorry for bad grammar) up on me. But after the middle of the second round I was already strong enough to fight every attempt of.


End of post

Hopefully some of you can give me some tipps.
I'm really looking forward to playing this game a second time but I need some advice to get my friends interested again...

PS: You can keep any misspellings that you find
Joke aside: I'm sorry for mistakes in spelling or grammar (no native speaker).

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col_w
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Sometimes it's worth joining in a pillage even if you lose, because of either Loki cards or forcing the winner to get rid of a card (so you are more able to win the next pillage).

Pretty much every card and combo has a thread calling it overpowered - and there are ways to mitigate all of them. When everything is overpowered, nothing is.

Most points are achieved during the 3rd age. The previous ages are all about setting up your board presence for the third age.

Games can have a wide margin of victory. This is not necessarily a bad thing - if it was always close, it would indicate that whatever strategies you chose didn't really matter much.
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Joey Nazzari
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There are ways to counter all the stuff you mentioned. Once you learn all the cards and strategies there are all sorts of ways to win. I have won many times with a slow first round.
 
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Joel Schuster
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Age 3 matters much more than age 1 and 2 scores. You can sure come back from a relatively low score.

I never saw someone finish on only 20-30VP even though we did have some abysmal results.

Did you not do any quests? Did you score the tracks at the end of the game? There are plenty of cards that yield points one way or another. You can even score by just putting figures in the Ragnarök region.

I mean, 20VP is killing some sort of unit at the right time. You do not even have to draft much of a combo or get a critical timing done or win a great battle for that. What did your players do exactly in the whole game?
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dan kap
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This sounds like a typical first game to me. The huge points difference is normal until everyone gets acuainted with the cards and combos. On the whole pillage thing: BR is as much a game about those "overpowered" combos as it is about board presence. You should tell your other players that while certain strategies require intentional losing of figures it is equally important to have a certain amount on the board, since the figures stay on the board the following ages and without them you'll have no way of countering other strategies. The first to ages are most of the time setup for the third one where you can gain a ridiculous amount of glory. It might also help if you give the other players some combos and strategies beforehand to familarize them with the cards and how they synergize.
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Fabian K
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Thank you all for the quick responses.

I was hoping that the biggest problem was that it takes some players longer to get familiar with the game.
Seems like you see it that way and I'm glad

Umbratus wrote:

I never saw someone finish on only 20-30VP even though we did have some abysmal results.

Did you not do any quests? Did you score the tracks at the end of the game? There are plenty of cards that yield points one way or another. You can even score by just putting figures in the Ragnarök region.

I mean, 20VP is killing some sort of unit at the right time. You do not even have to draft much of a combo or get a critical timing done or win a great battle for that. What did your players do exactly in the whole game?


That was and is my greatest concern...
I really can't figure out what the problem with their style of play was.
Maybe the problem was the frustration after the first round and that both players with low points were certain that they couldn't win anymore.
One of them had still zero points after the second age.

I didn't pay that much attention in the first age. We were all a bit overwhelmed with the load of possibilities and concentrated mostly on our own play.
In the second age they started rebuilding by invading. The problem was, that the other player and me already had warriors on the board an we started pillaging immediately. The second age was over very quick so the two players behind had not enough time to make points through victories or quests.

I hope that they give the game a second chance and that the dynamic changes when they all get a grip on the mechanisms.
 
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Peter Brooks
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ysirian wrote:
Hey guys,

I recently played my first round of Blood Rage.
As the game fits perfectly to my gaming desires (thematic, minis and strategic) I was very excited beforehand.

Three of my gaming buddies were willing to participate.
We are two hardcore gamers (me and on of my buddies) and the other two are casual gamers (one of them is more into co-op games but he was ready to give it a try).

I explained the game and after 45 minutes we began to play.
I liked the game right from the beginning as I got everything that I expected and more.

After the first round our co-op-player was in the lead, I was in second place. We both made around 20 Points.
The third player got only four points and the fourth player scored zero points.

Now there was some frustration around the table.
The player in last place was my hardcore gaming friend. He complained about not being able to win anymore.
To be fair, his stituation wasn't good. He scored no points in the first round got only one or two upgrades for his clan in total and he had no more figures on the field.

I don't know what he did wrong and was very surprised that he wasn't able to play the game (imho).
Being a good sportsman (and a good friend) he finished the game with us.

In the end I won with a huge advantage. I got 105 points in total. Second place was our co-op-gamer with 65 points. The other two where somewhere around 20-30 points in total.
Sadly the ending of the game wasn't very satisfying because of two people complaining that there was no way to win the game after they were in an bad place at the end of the first round.

Although all of them told me that I did a great job explaining the game I still think we made a mistake while playing.

I reread the rules two times and couldn't find anything that I didin't notice. In my opinion the rules are very streamlined and easy to grab.

Strange developements I realized during the game:

1. There wasn't much fighting. When someone announced a pillaging most of the players didnt participate because the initializing players advantage was too big and there was no reason in loosing warriors.
Therefore we got very few victory points for battles. Only one player got Lokis upgrades for his clan.

2. I played Friggs assistance as first card in the game so I got an additional warrior each time I invaded. Because of that card I had the most warriors on the table through the whole game. Is the card too powerful? Did someone experience the same problem?

3. Is there a chance for a comeback when you got smashed in the first round?

I later realized that the game would have played differently when the other players would have ganged (sorry for bad grammar) up on me. But after the middle of the second round I was already strong enough to fight every attempt of.


End of post

Hopefully some of you can give me some tipps.
I'm really looking forward to playing this game a second time but I need some advice to get my friends interested again...

PS: You can keep any misspellings that you find
Joke aside: I'm sorry for mistakes in spelling or grammar (no native speaker).



Did you adhere to the miniature limit every time you invaded? I almost brought more warriors out on multiple occasions in my first game because I was so excited about the options I foresaw.
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Fabian K
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Yes, I always checked the limit.
I know because one time in the first round I participated in a pillaging to let one of my warriors die so I could invade with two warriors in another Region without exceeding my limit.
 
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Richard Derr
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1. Games can vary from game to game. I've played games where every pillage is challenged. I've also played games where nobody wants to challenge. The strategy is highly dependent on what cards people have drafted.

2. First, check to make sure you actually adhered to the warrior limit. It's a helpful card, but you're also limited to the number of warriors you can have on the board.

3. Yes. In fact, I'd say this game has the classic family feud problem. The first 2 rounds of this game pretty much don't matter as far as scoring. You score almost all of your points in age 3. In fact, I almost totally ignore age 1 and age 2 scoring. Instead, I only use age 1 and age 2 to set myself up for massive scoring in age 3.

This game gets significantly better once the people you play with have learned all the cards that are available. Until that point, you're just sort of guessing at what will work. Once you know all the cards, it makes it easier to know when you should challenge a pillage, which cards to combo, and which players need to be stopped even if they don't currently have the lead. I'd suggest printing out a cheat sheet that has every card and its effect listed as well as how many of each card there is.
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Emils E
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Honetly, I have never seen such low scores across the board.
But from the general description of your game it is hard to say if you played something wrong. Maybe it was just lack of any long term planning such as spreading out too thin, ignoring quests, not looking for ways to best upgrade your clan or similar.

I can agree that if you get a bad start it can be harder to come back, but there are still things that can be done, especially by playing cards in the battle.
 
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Jim Marshall
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Remember it's a plastic figure limit, not a warrior limit - leaders, monsters, ships, mystics (from the expansion) all count against the limit.

Were you paying rage for the figures you invaded with? (To make the most of the 'bring a friend' card, you'll need to raise both your rage stat and whichever of axes / horns raises your plastic figure limit)

The scores seem very low. Were you making the most of quests, remembering to award a clan stat rise when a quest is successfully completed? Quests can provide a lot of points and clan stats increases.

Did you award game-end points for how far along the stats tracks your axes / horns / rage markers had travelled?
 
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Fabian K
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Yes, I played with the figure-limit. Not only warriors but also the monsters and the leader, etc


Yes, we paid rage for the invasion. Except for the leader, as it is stated on the clan cards and we payed no rage for invading after an upgrade. (E.g. after playing a monster upgrade we only paid the rage for the upgrade and did an invasion for free)

In the first age three of four players finished one quest each.
In the second age only one player finished a quest. The second age seemed to be over very quickly because everyone pillaged very early. And as it is stated in the rules the age ended after all regions were pillaged once in this age.

In the third round all players finished one quest.

Only I managed to get the stats to a limit where you get points ( 20 for horns, and 10 for each axes and rage)
 
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Nico
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Did you turn the pillage marker only after the player who initiated the pillage won or just after the pillage independt of the winner?
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Fabian K
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We turned the pillage marker after the pillage was announced. Disregarding who initiated the pillaging and who won even if it was a draw.
 
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ysirian wrote:
We turned the pillage marker after the pillage was announced. Disregarding who initiated the pillaging and who won even if it was a draw.


That's wrong. You turn it only if the province is indeeed pillaged, meaning if the initiator of the pillage wins the battle if there is a battle or is alone in the province after the call to arms.
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Josh Murphree
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My first thought was that the figure limit wasn't followed, but I see that you did. I'm not sure why your friends scores would be so low at the end of the game, especially with 3rd age quests and the legendary upgrade points you add on. You can't count yourself out in the first round no matter what the score. There is still lots of time in the game to make up points. I think the only thing to do now is play it again!! Blood Rage is good enough to deserve another shot. There are a few tips (outlined in a black boarder I believe) in the instruction book about the types of cards and what kind of gift each god gives.. read those to your friends and maybe it will help a little. While you can't ignore any one type of card (like quests... they're powerful point cards) it does help a little to work with the strategy you've drafted. If you have 5 different gods cards in your hand then you are kind of all over the place. Try to stick with one or two, and play to their strengths.

May the gods gifts in your second round be abundant. Tonight we feast in Valhalla!!!!!

Good luck! And let us know how it goes!
 
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Fabian K
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Really? Great! So I actually made a mistake. (never been so happy about one )
I think there were only two or three occasions where this would have applied but the second age would have been longer!
Thanks for pointing that out.
 
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Craig B
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You probably got all of these things right, but some things I stuffed up on our first play:

All figure upgrades let you invade with that figure as well (if able) [i.e. not in valhalla, not exceeding figure limit etc.]. So even upgrading warriors in 3rd Age to 2 warriors = 6 strength, gives you 1 warrior to invade with even though the card might not at first sound like it does that. Same with ship upgrades give ship invasion etc. etc. etc. so even if you're somehow after Age 1 have 0 or very few figures on the board, the other players will be spending all their rage upgrading or something inefficiently (due to reaching figure limit) whereas you can use Age 2 upgrades and invade to catch back up if somehow you got slaughtered in Age 1.

This comes down to draft experience though, so you need to know what cards you might see on each draft and which are the most valuable and which can counter what. Specifically rage efficient monsters, monsters that kill all the figures / warriors / whatever, that odin's tide or whatever it's called that kills all but 1 figure are all good comeback cards that are hilarious if someone gets in the lead and thinks they can beat everyone up. (Whereas the leaders tend to draft clan upgrades / battle cards as priority if they already have dudes on the board from Age 1).

So yeah if you play again, don't expect to be unchallenged. Unchallenged pillaging often leads to a runaway victor. Note if you're in the province or adjacent fjord being pillaged you MUST participate. So 95% of pillages should be a battle.



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Todd Parker
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If there werent many battles, its likely that there wasnt much interaction, and people werent actively trying to stop each other from performing their strategies. It sounds like the majority of play was invading and uncontested pillaging. The fact that age 2 ended quickly hints to this as well. It looks like you guys didnt really explore or experience much of the game, and just jumped on what appeared to be the most obvious strategy (pillage areas)
There are many reasons to not immediately pillage an area just because you can obviously win.
Now that everyone in the group has seen the majority of the cards, it should be apparent that there is more to the game than invading and pillaging. There are tons of points to be grabbed in other ways. So I would write this off as a learning game and play again.
As people have mentioned, over the next few games, many things will start to appear overpowered and in need of removing or house-ruling. Just play by the rules, after a few more games you will realize that everything is well balanced.

A player had zero points after age 2? He didnt do 1 quest? Didnt win 1 battle? Didnt have 1 figure in ragnarok? Didnt play a ship upgrade? .... there are sooooo many ways you can accidentally get a point without even trying. This makes me thing you missed some rule...
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Evan
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I played a three-player game once with two seasoned players and one newbie. The final scores were 148-143-13.

So yes, the game you played was fairly typical. This game takes a few plays to fully understand how the cards interact and to grasp the appropriate strategies.
 
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A J
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Yes, you can definitely come back from a poor Age 1 score. I'd say something like half of the points come from Age 3.
 
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Adam Sauinders
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Those scores did seem a little low, I only have 4 or 5 games under my belt but a large portion of the scoring happens in the 3rd age and from quests. Did your friends skip questing, did they not rush everyone out to battle to get as many warriors into Valhalla as they could? That was a bit of a weird concept the first couple of play throughs
 
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Fabian K
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yogibbear wrote:
So yeah if you play again, don't expect to be unchallenged. Unchallenged pillaging often leads to a runaway victor. Note if you're in the province or adjacent fjord being pillaged you MUST participate. So 95% of pillages should be a battle.


We didn't miss any of the other points you mentioned.
Concerning the qoute above... Most of us played their first ship during the third age. I was the only one who had a ship (the sea monster) at the end of the second age.

toddpark75 wrote:
A player had zero points after age 2? He didnt do 1 quest? Didnt win 1 battle? Didnt have 1 figure in ragnarok? Didnt play a ship upgrade? .... there are sooooo many ways you can accidentally get a point without even trying. This makes me thing you missed some rule...


Zero points after age 2? Yes
Didn't finish one quest? Yes
Didn't win one battle? Yes
Didn't have one figure in Ragnarök? Yes
Didn't play a ship upgrade? Yes (although I don't see the victory points here, did I miss something there? I didn't play a ship upgrade myself so I don't remember the cards)

orgtigger wrote:
Those scores did seem a little low, I only have 4 or 5 games under my belt but a large portion of the scoring happens in the 3rd age and from quests. Did your friends skip questing, did they not rush everyone out to battle to get as many warriors into Valhalla as they could? That was a bit of a weird concept the first couple of play throughs


We were low on quest finishing. Maybe we didn't focus enough on scoring points.
Concerning getting as many warriors as possible to Valhalla... I still don't see the value of that. It's only useful when you have the right upgrades for your clan (or fitting fighting cards). Otherwise I couldn't see any value in killing of my units and not having them on the board for the next age.
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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ayejae wrote:
Yes, you can definitely come back from a poor Age 1 score. I'd say something like half of the points come from Age 3.

Yup. Age 1 usually doesn't say a lot as age 2 brings a lot of stronger, better cards. And age 3 brings even bettter ones after that. There's also cards and monsters that makes defeating bigger armies a lot easier so there's always possibilities to turn the tide.

When you haven't played the game a lot it's hard to find the right strategy to get a lot of glory. But once you start to find these very strong combo's you may have games with an average of 100+ glory per person, like 180 - 152 - 130 - 82.

You get 20 for each full stat. Quests get you 5-10 a piece and a +1 to a stat and there's that card (Odin's Throne?) that doubles your glory for quest rewards. Winning a fight when having enough axes also gives nice amounts of glory. Then there's the glory for destroyed ships thing. Extra pillage rewards for leaders and mystics. Glory for dying (the quest cards and the +1/+2/+3 for each unit released from Valhalla). And so on.
 
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ysirian wrote:

Didn't play a ship upgrade? Yes (although I don't see the victory points here, did I miss something there? I didn't play a ship upgrade myself so I don't remember the cards)


Ship upgrade give you Victory Point when the ship is destroyed. Great combo if you play your ship (freely as you upgrade) adjacent to the province that will be destroyed by Ragnarok (Fjord adjacent are destroyed too, you get point from Upgrade card AND Ragnarok).

ysirian wrote:

Concerning getting as many warriors as possible to Valhalla... I still don't see the value of that. It's only useful when you have the right upgrades for your clan (or fitting fighting cards).

In a four player play, there is pretty always one player that will go through the Loki's way.
But not in the first game because people don't get it from the first point.

Loki's revenge (that steal winner's rage) is also a great tool against an over-powerful opponent. By stealing his rage, you limit the number of action he could do (and you augment yours). If you steal up his last rage point you could even prevent him from playing ! (Zero rage means no action, even with 0 cost).

Quest are also a great way to make "easy" score points as the already pillaged region will be less challenged (and with the draft, it is unlikely that several player hold the same quest).

ysirian wrote:

Maybe we didn't focus enough on scoring points.

Probably. And you probably have focused on the same strategy.

But you will see, the fun is greater every play !

 
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