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Lonny x
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Hi all,

This is my first ever review but I'm going to treat it as a first impression. I have about 7-8 solo plays under my belt and I just finished my first game error free. I'm not going into the rules much so if you want a blow by blow on how this game plays there's other reviews and Ricky's playthrough that covers that.

-=Art/Overall Game Aesthetics=-
The game is absolutely beautiful. However, the token's and chits really take away from how gorgeous this game is. The tokens are plain and clunky. Replacing the wooden components with chits would be ideal. I'm sure given the opportunity the artist could have made simple designs that would have complimented the art. Also, the chits in the game are just to big and it renders the included bag useless. All and all these are minor to me but it is unfortunate because a lot of effort was put in make this game beautiful.

-=Rules=-
I was very surprised on how fast I was able to digest the rules and start playing the game. I have a strong background in MtG and other card games so the terms and overall mechanics were easy for me to grasp. However, once I started to play I was bogged down by the nuances of rules and the terminology. Map for instance is still confusing. Here is the rule:
Quote:
(Map): - A Map ability stays in force while the card is in play.
If it refers to an interaction that can be made with this card
(such as a battle or a Test), then the ability only affects these
interactions with itself. Otherwise it’s a mandatory effect that
affects all elements in play.
It would be much simpler if the player did not have to determine if the effect is with the card itself or with every card. Spelling it in terms or local and global would have cleared this nuance for me.

-=Gameplay=-
I absolutely love this freaking game. I'm glad I was able to play the game before the KS 1066 Tears to Many Mothers ended. No offense Tristan but if GoK wasn't good I would have passed on 1066 until I read reviews after it hit retail. That isn't the case though, 1066 and GoK expansion will be an instant back for me.

I'm going to be all over the place here... The game has Arkham Horror elements to it, which I love, mixed with Mage Knight like character progression. In combat your successes are 5's and 6's but you have ways of mitigating bad luck through fate counters or discarding rumors. I really enjoy these mechanics as the dice gods aren't always in my favor. It also adds a lot of strategy to the game because fate counters aren't easy to come by and discarding rumors can jeopardize your progression in the game or cool loot. I also enjoy the press your luck elements where you can skip getting gold for your loot reward and draw a loot token chit. Who knows what the loot token will give you...it could be gold!

I love the adventure elements to the game as well. It won't take you long to figure out your char is weak. You know you need to collect keywords but you also have to go to said location to discover a rumor that will let you put an ally, item, spell, title in play. You are limited to how many actions per turn so even if the rumor looks amazing it might not be a no brainer to travel across the map to get it. Throughout the course of the game it gets more challenging but it doesn't feel like the game is just beating on you like Arkham Horror which can be frustrating. Instead the challenge brings more things to manage or consider which adds to strategic elements to the game.

My last game I was defeated by the ancient who had one HP left. After I lost I said "well, that is bullsh*t.......but I want to play again because I made a mistake here and here." I absolutely love that. I love being able to see my mistakes and ways that I can play more efficiently. The game is a blast and has a ton of variety where no two adventure will be alike. Between the different types of ancients, classes, heroes, and skills I can tell I'm going to continue to enjoy this game for a long time. I hope the game balances well with more players and things just don't get too easy. I'll find out soon enough when I get my wife to play with me. I'm not going to rate the game but I can say with high configence that this game is a homerun for me.
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Justin Boehm
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Nice write up, glad to hear others enjoy it so much.

Did you really have that much issue with the bag and chits? I can easily shuffle around all the chits in the bag with minimal to no effort. I can't see how it renders the bag "useless", or maybe you just have really big hands? Mine aren't small by any means and I see this post pretty often so it's a tad perplexing.

Also, about "map", it just signifies that whatever it says next to it, it can only happen while that card is on the table, face up. I don't see how local or global would have fixed that, and local/global wouldn't be able to replace "map" for assets so we'd essentially be adding 2 more words to the game that seem unnecessary. What are your thoughts there?
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Tristan Hall
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I absolutely love this freaking review, Lonny. laugh
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Luke
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Gambit001 wrote:


Did you really have that much issue with the bag and chits? I can easily shuffle around all the chits in the bag with minimal to no effort. I can't see how it renders the bag "useless", or maybe you just have really big hands? Mine aren't small by any means and I see this post pretty often so it's a tad perplexing.


It might be a difference in what we consider "adequately shuffled" to be.

I don't have large hands, and while I can shuffle the tokens, there's only so much room for them to move. Even digging up from the bottom, it's mostly just switching two clumps of tokens.

The bag is too small and the tokens too big.

I have removed roughly half the tokens to solve the issue.
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Mitchell Pearson
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I was slightly disappointed that the loot tokens took up so much space as well, but I took Tristan's advice to just never put a used loot token back in and I just mix them really good before putting them in the bag and then I just grab the first token I come across so no big deal. In reality that's all we do with card decks, shuffle and then take the first one off the top.

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Justin Boehm
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mournful wrote:
Gambit001 wrote:


Did you really have that much issue with the bag and chits? I can easily shuffle around all the chits in the bag with minimal to no effort. I can't see how it renders the bag "useless", or maybe you just have really big hands? Mine aren't small by any means and I see this post pretty often so it's a tad perplexing.


It might be a difference in what we consider "adequately shuffled" to be.

I don't have large hands, and while I can shuffle the tokens, there's only so much room for them to move. Even digging up from the bottom, it's mostly just switching two clumps of tokens.

The bag is too small and the tokens too big.

I have removed roughly half the tokens to solve the issue.


Fair enough. I think my confusion came from when I shuffled the bag up and drew one token after another, I didn't get a duplicate of any kind for a dozen pulls... could just be luck, but that's where I was coming from
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Derek Long
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Yes, agree with all of this. I have played 6 times now. The first couple of games were hopeless, but then I started to understand the tempo you need to achieve and which encounters you can afford to leave and which to take. I had not understood that there can be significant advantages to leaving things undisturbed, because it means you can travel back through those areas without worrying about what might show up. Then I had a game where I actually managed to complete the saga, but not with time to confront the Ancient. Then one where I got to face the Ancient, only to realise how important it is to clear plots. Finally, I won one (the 5th) and the 6th game I am not quite done, but have a good feeling (one more day and I am about to face the Ancient).

I'm keen to see expansions, of course! I would quite like to see the gloom clock separated from the events/encounters it introduces. I don't think that there is any particular reason why the specific encounters must always be at the same locations - I can see the need to have the weather events to bring in obstacles and the relative timing of these events makes for an interesting change in the specific tempo of different games (how long are you losing an AP per day? How long do you gain an AP for movement? When does the dreaded "Veil of Fog" come down?). But the enemies, quests and places all seem to be things you could encounter anywhere. So, why not have a night gloom deck (25 locations) and a separate "night-mares" deck, containing the weather events and (some assortment of?) encounters. These could be linked to the Ancient, themed in some way, or simply a collection of things.
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Lonny x
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Gambit001 wrote:
Nice write up, glad to hear others enjoy it so much.

Did you really have that much issue with the bag and chits? I can easily shuffle around all the chits in the bag with minimal to no effort. I can't see how it renders the bag "useless", or maybe you just have really big hands? Mine aren't small by any means and I see this post pretty often so it's a tad perplexing.

Also, about "map", it just signifies that whatever it says next to it, it can only happen while that card is on the table, face up. I don't see how local or global would have fixed that, and local/global wouldn't be able to replace "map" for assets so we'd essentially be adding 2 more words to the game that seem unnecessary. What are your thoughts there?


Map requires the player to make the distinction on if effect only applies to the card or if applies to all cards/the entire map. However, you hit the nail on the head. I'd rather have two words than to make that distinction. It's not always clear.

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Val Doonican
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mournful wrote:
I have removed roughly half the tokens to solve the issue.


Just stick them in an opaque bowl? Works for me.

Quote for back of the box.... "The bag is useless, the game is freaking awesome".
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René Schultze
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Ok, first things first The bag is too small!

I have played the game the first time with three friends. As I was the only one that has read the rules the game was starting at a slow pace. But after a time the speed of playing was increasing. Overall I liked the game very much, two of my friends, too, and the third one was not really excited. Here are my complaints:

1. I would like to have an expansion to change the map cards into tiles. If you put two cards on a map card it's very cramped. One player hasn't left a card in Gloom 'cause he haven't seen the symbol.
2. The wording for (Map) could be better. Local or Global would be good as suggested here.
3. AP... This is an important currency. And in a coop game very important. If you loose AP than you are very soon out of the game. And this is the reason why the fourth player was frustrated. We have reached the second saga chapter and therefore we had five APs. And then the player had bad luck with an enemy and he received some wounds and had no more APs. But all the other players had still four APs. And thus he was sitting as we were playing along. And this is one of the things I really, really don't like when it happens in a coop game: that a players is out of the game or so hindered that the play become boring for him. We will make a house rule and watch what it will change. As a Deed a player can transfer one of his AP to a player with 0 AP but with at least 1 HP and who hasn't made camp yet.

But all in all I liked the game much and will looking forward to play it again.
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CycyX
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Magny en Vexin
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I had the same remark from a friend when playing a 2 players coop game: I had 8 AP, while he was still struggling on chapter 2 and getting beaten up pretty bad by ennemies, thus having 2 AP most of the time...
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Tristan Hall
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It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.

Also, don't worry guys, I've learnt my lesson - no more giving away free bags with my games, just do an FFG and let players sort themselves out instead!
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Luke
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ninjadorg wrote:
It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.

Also, don't worry guys, I've learnt my lesson - no more giving away free bags with my games, just do an FFG and let players sort themselves out instead!


I dunno, kinda seems like that bag was part of the $60.

jk #GoK4life.
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Tristan Hall
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mournful wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.

Also, don't worry guys, I've learnt my lesson - no more giving away free bags with my games, just do an FFG and let players sort themselves out instead!


I dunno, kinda seems like that bag was part of the $60.

jk #GoK4life.


Not anymore - I'm a buy Mrs ND a nice handbag instead! laugh
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Joke Meister
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ninjadorg wrote:
mournful wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.

Also, don't worry guys, I've learnt my lesson - no more giving away free bags with my games, just do an FFG and let players sort themselves out instead!


I dunno, kinda seems like that bag was part of the $60.

jk #GoK4life.


Not anymore - I'm a buy Mrs ND a nice handbag instead! laugh


Presumably so she can hit you with said handbag for not including a bigger bag...
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Lonny x
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Jokemeister wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
mournful wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.

Also, don't worry guys, I've learnt my lesson - no more giving away free bags with my games, just do an FFG and let players sort themselves out instead!


I dunno, kinda seems like that bag was part of the $60.

jk #GoK4life.


Not anymore - I'm a buy Mrs ND a nice handbag instead! laugh


Presumably so she can hit you with said handbag for not including a bigger bag...


haha thumbsup

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René Schultze
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ninjadorg wrote:
It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.


I don't think so. We were cooperating with quest and place. But it's nearly impossible to help someone with an engagement. You have to be on a map card without an encounter. Then some other character has to move on this map card and has to draw an encounter Enemy. This is the only plausible course to help some other character in an engagement. Or have I understood something wrong?
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Tristan Hall
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Geschrei wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.


I don't think so. We were cooperating with quest and place. But it's nearly impossible to help someone with an engagement. You have to be on a map card without an encounter. Then some other character has to move on this map card and has to draw an encounter Enemy. This is the only plausible course to help some other character in an engagement. Or have I understood something wrong?


I don't mean just teaming up against encounters René (although that helps), I mean in the trading and sharing of gold, assets and rumours to help your friends who are falling behind.
 
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Nick Hughes
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And don't forget one player can evade the Enemy to be in that location when the other player attacks to assist. Takes a bit of tactics but is achievable.

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René Schultze
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ninjadorg wrote:
Geschrei wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.


I don't think so. We were cooperating with quest and place. But it's nearly impossible to help someone with an engagement. You have to be on a map card without an encounter. Then some other character has to move on this map card and has to draw an encounter Enemy. This is the only plausible course to help some other character in an engagement. Or have I understood something wrong?


I don't mean just teaming up against encounters René (although that helps), I mean in the trading and sharing of gold, assets and rumours to help your friends who are falling behind.


We played three hours but only got to the sixth night or so. Therefore we haven't trade so much, 'cause it wasn't necessary. But one player was unlucky with his dice and the enemy was lucky. And so he had no APs left in the round and couldn't do anything like heal. And in the next round he started with 1 AP - not so much. And therefore he couldn't do a lots of things - besides Resting
And this was not an experience the player liked and I can understand him. Therefore I have invented the houserule to transfer AP.
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René Schultze
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jokeroz wrote:
And don't forget one player can evade the Enemy to be in that location when the other player attacks to assist. Takes a bit of tactics but is achievable.



This tactic I don't understand. Could you picture it for me with an example? As of now the only help in an engagement is as I have written:

Hero on map card, another Hero travels there and reveal an Enemy. Ok, and in a battle with an Ancient, this is easily possible.
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Tristan Hall
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Geschrei wrote:
jokeroz wrote:
And don't forget one player can evade the Enemy to be in that location when the other player attacks to assist. Takes a bit of tactics but is achievable.



This tactic I don't understand. Could you picture it for me with an example?


Hero 1 is Hidden, and moves onto a location with an Enemy.
Hero 2 moves onto the same location, Hero 1 comes out of hiding, both heroes team up and battle the enemy.
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Tristan Hall
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Geschrei wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
Geschrei wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
It's possible you guys might need to cooperate more if your pals are falling behind.


I don't think so. We were cooperating with quest and place. But it's nearly impossible to help someone with an engagement. You have to be on a map card without an encounter. Then some other character has to move on this map card and has to draw an encounter Enemy. This is the only plausible course to help some other character in an engagement. Or have I understood something wrong?


I don't mean just teaming up against encounters René (although that helps), I mean in the trading and sharing of gold, assets and rumours to help your friends who are falling behind.


We played three hours but only got to the sixth night or so. Therefore we haven't trade so much, 'cause it wasn't necessary. But one player was unlucky with his dice and the enemy was lucky. And so he had no APs left in the round and couldn't do anything like heal. And in the next round he started with 1 AP - not so much. And therefore he couldn't do a lots of things - besides Resting
And this was not an experience the player liked and I can understand him. Therefore I have invented the houserule to transfer AP.


I have house-ruled many games and I encourage you to use whatever rules work for you best.
There's a learning curve to this game, and getting mashed up by a powerful enemy early on can be demoralising, but there are many ways back into the game after a day or two of rest, whether you're playing competitively or cooperatively. And don't forget to Hide.
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René Schultze
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ninjadorg wrote:
Geschrei wrote:
jokeroz wrote:
And don't forget one player can evade the Enemy to be in that location when the other player attacks to assist. Takes a bit of tactics but is achievable.



This tactic I don't understand. Could you picture it for me with an example?


Hero 1 is Hidden, and moves onto a location with an Enemy.
Hero 2 moves onto the same location, Hero 1 comes out of hiding, both heroes team up and battle the enemy.


Ah, okay, Tristan, this a move I have never ever thought about. Great idea, thank you very much
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René Schultze
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ninjadorg wrote:
And don't forget to Hide.


Yes, that is definitly the best advice! I have told my fellow gamers so. Then I have begun the game - and what did I not do? Right. And then I traveled straight into the friendly vampire. And he has beaten me thoroughly
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