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Dark Souls: The Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Initial thoughts after first full session rss

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Tyler Santinelli
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Gameplay and first impressions
So, I received my core game after pledging on the kickstarter, yesterday I finished my first attempt, and I figured I'd add my two cents to the discussion, and answer any questions I can.

We played a two-player game, we chose the Titanite Demon and Ornstein and Smough as our bosses. I played the Knight, while my friend chose the Herald (he had dreams of recreating his favorite dex/faith build from the game).

Now, we'd both read the book and I'd watched all the way through Yogscast's two sessions on Youtube, so I felt like I had a pretty good handle on things. The 1-2-2-2 encounter level that the Titanite Demon throws at you was really brutal on us, and we wasted a *lot* of bonfire sparks on those early 2nd level rooms. Despite my starting sword rolling a blue die for attack it wasn't up to dealing with those Silver Knights, while the Herald's spear's reach was great until the knights charged us down.

Early Hollow Warriors and Crossbowmen were really satisfying to fight, and we quickly found the best way to enter a room, who should have aggro, and especially the concept of killing enemies quickly to reduce the offensive output of our opponents. If you're having trouble against the Sentinel/Bowmen + Large Hollow room, for example, arrange yourself so that the enemies initial attacks won't hit you, and you can focus down one enemy at a time. The game gets huge points from me for the enemy behavior patterns, how easy it was to learn the language (remember! The 'closest enemy' symbol is the lock-on symbol from the games!) and how well it prepared us for the boss fights.

After some nail-biting early attempts to grind, and our desperate digging through the treasure deck for something more effective than our starting gear is something I think a lot of players might be frustrated with. Too much of the treasure deck was filled with trash, but the second you start moving away from the black dice to the blue and orange you feel a huge power spike.

Eventually I found myself with upgraded armor, and a Claymore I'd upgraded to deal magic damage, while the Herald had a Winged Spear upgraded to inflict bleed, and had started collecting healing spells.

Our first attempt on the Titanite Demon was pretty straightforward; the model looked amazing, and the size of the catchpole weapon was really intimidating, and boss magic attacks were devastating throughout our entire session. We both had reach weapons, and played things safe, and died from taking *one* damage too many after the Herald used his heavy attack. The feeling of persevering through this world that tried to kill us at every turn was perfect, and we found more than once that an encounter we thought would be a write-off actually killed us, and we were on our last spark before killing the Titanite Demon. Another point I think people might find frustrating is that the boss's treasure was *really* weak, we got a titanite shard and a weapon neither of us could use, AND no souls since we had no sparks left. I was really dreading the level 3 encounters our next level promised, and they really delivered.

Digging through the treasure deck (which now had leveled-up equipment, thank goodness) paid off, and we both were well armored, orange dice for defense is a must-have for later fights, though magic damage continued to hit hard. By the time we fought Ornstein and Smough we were in our rhythm, we'd leveled up, we had solid equipment, and a solid strategy. I'd tank and take aggro as much as I could, having tons of defense dice and armor that let me take aggro after another player's activation, and the Herald would stay back, heal us both, and occasionally throw out a Soul Arrow when he had a good line on a vulnerable arc.

After narrowly defeating the bosses on our second attempt we were thrilled, and were only let down knowing that we had no other boss to fight, which meant no change to use the boss items. It was a great time, and it felt as brutal as we expected, more so at times.

Some points I'd like to see improved on with expansions
First and foremost I want to see greater player character variety. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming player character expansion, both of us really wanted to try the Pyromancer and Deprived classes, just to see.

I'd like to see more enemy variation. The enemy mobs seemed to be 'guy,' 'big guy,' and 'ranged guy,' though their behavior and placement within rooms added a lot to the feeling of freshness I'm looking forward to other types of mobs. I'm really excited to add invaders to the game, the unique gear and threat they introduce is going to be great to see.

Mega Bosses are desperately needed to give the game a good final feeling. Neither the Dancer nor Ornstein and Smough are worthy of the final climactic fight of a game. It's nothing against the game, or the bosses themselves, but we left the fight ready to take on Gwyn, or the Lord of Cinder, or some horrifying dragon monstrosity, instead we were done. Granted, we played for maybe six hours in total over two days, and it would be a real undertaking to run a campaign like that, but the challenge is welcome.

Tl,dr
This game is good, challenging, but in need of some love from upcoming expansions.
I can't wait to play it again, and see how we do with three or four players!
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Gentle Gamer
United States
Texas
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Haven't had a chance to play or even read the rules yet, but that sounds awesome!
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Misfiring Chong
Malaysia
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Titanite Demon is frequently seen as "hard mode" because of the 3 Tier 2 encounter rooms. For the first few games, it is recommended to start with Gargoyle because it has 3 Tier 1 encounter rooms.
 
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Tyler Santinelli
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Misfiring wrote:
Titanite Demon is frequently seen as "hard mode" because of the 3 Tier 2 encounter rooms. For the first few games, it is recommended to start with Gargoyle because it has 3 Tier 1 encounter rooms.

I'll have to try the Gargoyle next time! I expect the four-player game to be MUCH harder (area attacks so much more likely to hit multiple players), and our next session might have the full party.
 
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