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Subject: Will this game play very similar to Galaxy Defenders? rss

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Vasilis
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robininni wrote:
I owned GD and sold it after playing it a couple times as I just did not like the mechanics. I know S&S allows solo play as well and has an "AI" system to control the enemy, but is it a completely different system of mechanics from GD or the same or very similar?


It's an evolution of the same system. If you didn't like GD, I don't think that S&S is going to change your mind.
 
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It is based off of the GD gameplay, but there are significant changes to make it different.

First of all, the board is more a series of corridors and rooms, and not wide open spaces. Characters do not occupy an individual space anymore, the board is divided into sections, and any number of characters can be in a section. In fact, a team (good guys or bad guys) have an advantage when there are more of them in a section.

This is more story oriented, with events occurring during the game based on choices you make and who/what you find.

When something is defending against an attack (either a hero or monster), there is a limit to how many defense dice they can roll. No longer does a weak monster/hero have the opportunity to defend against every single hit from a strong attack. Also, weapons and armor often have a set number of automatic hits and blocks, relying less on dice for everything.

Leveling up is not determined by a random dice roll anymore, enemies will give up soul points (i.e. experience points) when defeated that you spend to level up your heroes. There are more levels to achieve in S&S and each level provides more improvements then they did in GD. Some equipment's statistics and special abilities are based on your level, and will get more powerful as your heroes improve.

There is more equipment in this game, which the heroes are more dependent on. They do not start with pre-printed weapons and armor on their hero sheets like in GD.

Obviously, the theme is way different as well, and more additions to the game were added to fit this theme, such as a town to visit to purchase equipment between missions, a forge to improve your weapons/armor, and even a place to gamble.

The rulebook is available somewhere if you have more specific information you want to find, but this is the basics on what has changed.
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Bowmangr wrote:
robininni wrote:
I owned GD and sold it after playing it a couple times as I just did not like the mechanics. I know S&S allows solo play as well and has an "AI" system to control the enemy, but is it a completely different system of mechanics from GD or the same or very similar?


It's an evolution of the same system. If you didn't like GD, I don't think that S&S is going to change your mind.


I disagree. I think they made a lot of improvements to what people didn't like about the GD system, so I don't think it is an automatic dislike of S&S if you didn't like GD.
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Christopher Senn
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Yeah the games seem very different overall.

Its like saying hey I like GD therefore you should automatically like S&S. Even though its set in a fantasy world, and the combat is different, and the campaign is different, etc etc.
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Skaak
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DoomTurtle has a good run-down; if you want a more verbose one:

Sword & Sorcery from the perspective of a defender of the galaxy

What in particular did you not like about Galaxy Defenders? We might be able to advise you better if we knew what about the game didn't work for you.
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robininni wrote:
Skaak wrote:
DoomTurtle has a good run-down; if you want a more verbose one:

Sword & Sorcery from the perspective of a defender of the galaxy

What in particular did you not like about Galaxy Defenders? We might be able to advise you better if we knew what about the game didn't work for you.


Well, it's been a while since i played it, but as I recall it was basically the entire AI combat system. I just didn't like how it worked. Sorry if that's not detailed and very helpful.


The AI combat system is probably its biggest strength imo. I actually think it may be arguably the best AI I've seen in a board game so far. If that's the case I would probably steer clear of S&S. S&S will use the same type of AI system at its core.
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robininni wrote:
Skaak wrote:
DoomTurtle has a good run-down; if you want a more verbose one:

Sword & Sorcery from the perspective of a defender of the galaxy

What in particular did you not like about Galaxy Defenders? We might be able to advise you better if we knew what about the game didn't work for you.


Well, it's been a while since i played it, but as I recall it was basically the entire AI combat system. I just didn't like how it worked. Sorry if that's not detailed and very helpful.


Which is exactly what I got from your original message and advised you to stay away from S&S too.

Note that I think that the AI system is one of the best but if you didn't like it the first time there is absolutely no reason to spend money to do it all over again. It's not like there aren't any other dungeon crawlers out there anyway.
 
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Skaak
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robininni wrote:
Well, it's been a while since i played it, but as I recall it was basically the entire AI combat system. I just didn't like how it worked. Sorry if that's not detailed and very helpful.


If you didn't like the AI, then S&S will almost definitely be a bad fit for you, because that is one of the systems that is most closely shared with GD.

That said, "enemy AI" is a pretty broad topic, so let's break it down a bit further!

The bare mechanics of it are identical. In both games, you draw a card to see which enemies to activate, then activate them one at a time and trigger an AI rule based on hero/agent proximity. The reason people--particularly newcomers--usually dislike this is that they find the AI targeting too vague when there are ties (there are rules governing this, but they're difficult to catch initially), and that results in feeling like there's an onus on the player to actively work against themselves, which is not fun. This is somewhat mitigated in S&S because enemies have distinct targets that are specified on their enemy cards (for instance, the gremlin enemies will always target the hero with the most gold, given a tie, before falling back on the standard "most wounded hero, etc." logic).

Another barrier for many new players is that they find the wording on the enemy cards too vague. Agent S has always been very good about clarifying how enemies are intended to work here in the BGG forums, but that doesn't do you a lot of good while in the middle of a play session, and finding old answers can be difficult unless you get lucky with your search terms. S&S tries to deal with this by separating the enemy logic into two parts: a single large "tarot" size card that contains the details about the enemy logic, and small individual enemy cards that reference the larger card. Hopefully the extra space on the large cards will allow Gremlin Project to word things more specifically and cut down on new player confusion, but we'll know this better once the game is released.

All that said, both games involve a learning curve. A lot of the people here in the forums praising GD's alien AI are probably barely glancing at the alien cards at this point (I'm certainly in this camp). Once you internalize the rules, activating enemies becomes second nature pretty quickly. However, I do remember when I first started playing, and I had to spend a lot of time pouring over the alien AI every turn (and made a lot of mistakes); I recall being frustrated because it seemed like I was spending more time playing the aliens (who were handily decimating me) than the agents (who felt like they were barely scratching the aliens' energy armor every turn).

S&S has some minor tweaks to its rules to help mitigate this frustration (in particular, it's a lot easier to land hits on the early enemies and more importantly a lot easier to predict how many hits will land due to the changes they made to defending). But the learning curve is definitely still going to be there, and you will likely face a lot of the same frustrations. Whether the rest of the game makes it worth it to you to scale that curve or not is something you'll have to decide for yourself.
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Skaak
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robininni wrote:
S&S might be a better fit for me and learning that AI by heart would definitely have had a positive impact on my satisfaction with my gaming sessions. They were looooooooonnnnnnggggg.....


Setup and play length is undoubtedly one of my major pain points with GD, and I suspect it will be slightly worse with S&S (truly modular maps rather than big maps with a few overlays, and there's a fair number more tokens and card decks). But S&S is also a slightly more forgiving game (at least the bit that I played back when they ran the Kickstarter), so hopefully the early learning curve will be marred with fewer epic losses after 2+ hours of play.

We'll see, though. This is Gremlin Project, after all, and they don't pull a lot of punches.
 
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Skaak wrote:
We'll see, though. This is Gremlin Project, after all, and they don't pull a lot of punches.


I sure hope they don't. One of the reasons I enjoyed the game so much was its challenging difficulty.

We've been playing Descent: Road to Legend waiting for S&S and it's so RIDICULOUSLY easy to stomp everything in our path. This makes it really boring and not-fun. I hope that S&S can provide a real challenge as GD did.
 
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Kurt Bieberbach
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Bowmangr wrote:
We've been playing Descent: Road to Legend waiting for S&S and it's so RIDICULOUSLY easy to stomp everything in our path. This makes it really boring and not-fun.


Since it is a co-op game couldn't you just adjust the difficulty to suit? If you wanted to make Descent harder, you could spawn the monsters as if you had an extra character or if you're already playing at four characters, just give all the baddies a permanent +1 surge, or +1 hit/defense, or lower your hitpoints by 10%, or...

If you don't like the gameplay, that's harder to fix but if all you don't like is the difficulty, it seems to me that would be trivial to adjust.
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