Kenton White
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This is one of the few games my daughter was really looking forward to playing. It is a heavy take-that game, which is her favourite genre. The art style is also very unique and fantastic -- this obviously caught her eye. Several things also grabbed my attention: you can play location "Cove" cards on your turn, creating the board as you go; and your life is your deck of cards -- run out of cards an you are dead.

The game play is also a bit more complicated than a standard take-that game. Each turn you may move your player pawn and/or play "Option" cards from your hand. You must draw 2 cards each turn and you can only have 4 cards in your hand, so you always need to play cards your turn so you have room in your hand. Option cards, for the most part, will take cards from a player's deck, dealing them damage. Your location matters, since some cards effect every player on a specific location (including you!) or you need to be in a specific location to play it. If you are running low on cards in your deck, you can move to the central space (Kiddie Korner) and draw an "Acts of Desperation" card to put Option cards back into your deck. But one Acts of Desperation card is the Boogeyman -- draw this card and you are out of the game.

A lot of love went into the production of this game. The components are amazing! From the sturdy box to the beautiful (resin?) miniatures to the solid insert -- the small team behind this game really knocked the production out of the park. The art style is unique and fantastic. The graphic design is awesome. Everything about the components screams care and attention.

(The components are really great quality.)

I wish as much love went into the game itself. I'm not adverse to take-that and player elimination mechanics (Exploding Kittens is still one of our family's favourites). Or that I find the theme of killing helpless orphans distasteful (although my two boys refuse to play the game because they find the theme off putting). It's none of that. The game is just bad.

Those are pretty harsh words, so I will spend more space than usual to back them up. First, the game is very easy to deadlock. Not tie -- actually reach a game state where a player cannot make a legal move. Remember that some Option cards can only be played when in certain locations? It is very easy for a player to get a hand of 4 cards that they can't play from any of the revealed locations. A deadlocked game state. THIS SHOULD HOT HAPPEN. EVER. Do the rules cover this possible state? Not a peep.

And speaking of rules, it's not just edge cases that are not covered. Whole mechanics are missing from the rules. There is no discussion about legal placements of Cove cards. Not a single section. There is mention you can place them and there is a cryptic picture marking some legal placements. But there is no discussion of what is a legal placement. Important details are missing. Can Cove cards branch? Can they loop back?

All of this is left up to the player with the dreaded (although amusingly written) rules catch all: "Even more questions? Look, it’s a game about sending Orphans to face their possible deaths, people; make that s*** up as you go! It’s what we did." Much of the rules are like this, with more excuses than a crooked headmaster. It's almost as if the designers knew the game didn't quite hold together. My favourite excuse: "This is what happens when you try to shoehorn a solo campaign into a 3-player game".

Endangered Orphans is a triump of surface over substance. You need to play this game like you need a play date with the Boogeyman.

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Jesse Labbe

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Well obviously I am not a fan of the boogieman running loose in your house...so is there anything I can do to maybe help you shed some light on this game (that I actually did put a lot of love into) and make the rules easier to understand. Because we all know shedding light is what keeps the boogieman away!
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Jesse Labbe

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Ok Good news and better new
THE GOOD NEWS is that your post indeed reach some fellow orphan backers (which I can only imagine was your purpose to tell everyone to avoid this horrible game).
Several have written me personally asking if I saw this post. This is what brought me here in the first place.

THE BETTER NEWS is that those who wrote said that they had no problem with the rule book (other then one or two specific questions about how a particular card works) with some of the issues it has given you.

And because there already seems to be such a lack courtesy and instant anger on BGG from so many gamers towards so many games, I will try my best not to add to this but hopefully help clean some up

There is a simple illustration that shows the placement of cards. Where they can go...where they can not go. For most people, this was clear enough. However to try to better explain it...dont box a cove card in.

It seems the biggest issue you had was "when to play a card?"
Something tells me this was your number one hang up with Orphans. I agree, IF the game could end in a deadlock, it would SUCK! However this should definitely never be the case. This is why it is not mentioned in the rule book.
It seems you feel like you are stuck when you have a card you feel you cant play.
If you have three cards in your hand, you MUST PLAY one. You find the card in your hand that will do either the most damage to another player OR the least damage to you and play it. This makes room for the next 2 cards you MUST draw in the Play Phase.
So if there are NO players in the TOWN space and you must play a card, to make room in your hand...you can play one that says "All players in a TOWN space loses a card."
It simply doesn't effect anyone but it is still able to be played.
Usually the only time you discard (play face down) something is when forced to do so by another player. You cant choose to discard just to make room.

Im sure you were probably frustrated as hell when you tried to play. You wait and wait...finally get your game and then think, "wow, this sucks!"
Ive been there. I just dont think this is one of them.

We never want you to feel frustrated and we honestly try our best to have good communication with our backers.

As you pointed out, we poke fun at ourselves in the rules and everywhere else, but our intent is not to give the impression that we don't care or that we are out to screw you out of your hard earned money.


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Kenton White
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Hi Jesse and thanks for popping by.

There are already a few threads in the rules section that are asking very similar questions to the ones I've raised. Perhaps you could help out here: Play Phase Question and here:Option Cards Dealt at setup?. Getting an official answer would be great!
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Jesse Labbe

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I will definitely try!

It doesn't get any more official then me.
Just dont hurt my feelings so much man! Im delicate!!!
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Kenton White
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JesseLabbe wrote:
Im delicate!!!

And this from a man who feeds helpless orphans to the Boogeyman !

Difference of opinion aside (and it's just one guys opinion), utmost respect for putting yourself out there.
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Jesse Labbe

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kentonwhite wrote:
This is one of the few games my daughter was really looking forward to playing. It is a heavy take-that game, which is her favourite genre. The art style is also very unique and fantastic -- this obviously caught her eye. Several things also grabbed my attention: you can play location "Cove" cards on your turn, creating the board as you go; and your life is your deck of cards -- run out of cards an you are dead.

The game play is also a bit more complicated than a standard take-that game. Each turn you may move your player pawn and/or play "Option" cards from your hand. You must draw 2 cards each turn and you can only have 4 cards in your hand, so you always need to play cards your turn so you have room in your hand. Option cards, for the most part, will take cards from a player's deck, dealing them damage. Your location matters, since some cards effect every player on a specific location (including you!) or you need to be in a specific location to play it. If you are running low on cards in your deck, you can move to the central space (Kiddie Korner) and draw an "Acts of Desperation" card to put Option cards back into your deck. But one Acts of Desperation card is the Boogeyman -- draw this card and you are out of the game.

A lot of love went into the production of this game. The components are amazing! From the sturdy box to the beautiful (resin?) miniatures to the solid insert -- the small team behind this game really knocked the production out of the park. The art style is unique and fantastic. The graphic design is awesome. Everything about the components screams care and attention.

(The components are really great quality.)

I wish as much love went into the game itself. I'm not adverse to take-that and player elimination mechanics (Exploding Kittens is still one of our family's favourites). Or that I find the theme of killing helpless orphans distasteful (although my two boys refuse to play the game because they find the theme off putting). It's none of that. The game is just bad.

Those are pretty harsh words, so I will spend more space than usual to back them up. First, the game is very easy to deadlock. Not tie -- actually reach a game state where a player cannot make a legal move. Remember that some Option cards can only be played when in certain locations? It is very easy for a player to get a hand of 4 cards that they can't play from any of the revealed locations. A deadlocked game state. THIS SHOULD HOT HAPPEN. EVER. Do the rules cover this possible state? Not a peep.

And speaking of rules, it's not just edge cases that are not covered. Whole mechanics are missing from the rules. There is no discussion about legal placements of Cove cards. Not a single section. There is mention you can place them and there is a cryptic picture marking some legal placements. But there is no discussion of what is a legal placement. Important details are missing. Can Cove cards branch? Can they loop back?

All of this is left up to the player with the dreaded (although amusingly written) rules catch all: "Even more questions? Look, it’s a game about sending Orphans to face their possible deaths, people; make that s*** up as you go! It’s what we did." Much of the rules are like this, with more excuses than a crooked headmaster. It's almost as if the designers knew the game didn't quite hold together. My favourite excuse: "This is what happens when you try to shoehorn a solo campaign into a 3-player game".

Endangered Orphans is a triump of surface over substance. You need to play this game like you need a play date with the Boogeyman.

Subscribe for more multi-generational reviews at BoardGame Generations


This should clear up everything you didnt understand or overlooked in the rule book...

https://vimeo.com/227993300
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Kenton White
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Thanks Jesse. Looking forward to watching tonight.
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Jesse Labbe

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kentonwhite wrote:
Thanks Jesse. Looking forward to watching tonight.


Awesome!!!
Thanks Kenton. Please let me know (for some reason I have a feeling you wont hesitate) how your game turns out.
So far we've had 5 people that had questions or were confused by the rules. 4 of them were nice...then there was you haha.
So I tried to cover ALL of the questions I got to hopefully help everyone enjoy there game more!
Really hoping this video helps!
Of coarse, if we still missed something please let me know and Ill answer it right away
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Tony
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I agree with the OP. Components and insert are great, but the rulebook is pretty bad. We shouldn't have to guess (you should have written clearer rules). We couldn't even finish our first game it was so bad. Had to come to BGG and hope to find clarification.

Here are a few other questions...

Question 1:

At the end of the rulebook it refers to a FAQ. But, there is no FAQ included with the game and I couldn't find one doing a google search. If you have one, can you post the link? I see the link you posted in the above reply to this thread, but it is not a FAQ.

You have enough questions and mistakes (seems Condyle Cove doesn't say at the start of your turn like it should) that you really should have a FAQ.

Question 2:
The example on page 3 (and the one you mention above) seems to contradict the rule that immediately follows.

The example says if you have 3 cards in your hand you must play a card since you have to draw two cards.

But, that does not seem to be true if there are cove cards (i.e., you could draw one option card and one cove card without playing any of your original three cards). It even seems you could have 4 cards and not play any if there are two cove cards left to draw.

Can you please clarify?

Question 3:

Your illustration about where cove cards does not cover some very likely possibilities. For example, I get that you cannot place one in the kiddie corner in the cross (though I have no idea why). But, is this because no cove card can touch two other cards, or is it for some other reason (may not be the best wording, but hopefully you get what I mean... if not, welcome to my world after reading the rules )?

For example, can cards make a loop like this (where C = cul-de-sac, E = empty space, and . = cove cards)?
.
. . C .
. E .
. . .


Question 4:


This has been answered, but it is not at all clear that you can play a card if the conditions are not met. I see now that you can, but we shouldn't have to guess.

I'm willing to give it another try once I get clarifications to the above questions. But, I must say it's been a pretty awful experience so far.



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Steven Becker
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Disclaimer: I don't have my game yet (only pre-ordered even - shame on me, yes!) and I actually did read just the rulebook from the campaign page once (not sure if that differs from the actual box rulebook version) and just watched the video @Jesse linked to above

El_Tonio wrote:

Question 1:

At the end of the rulebook it refers to a FAQ. But, there is no FAQ included with the game and I couldn't find one doing a google search. If you have one, can you post the link? I see the link you posted in the above reply to this thread, but it is not a FAQ.

You have enough questions and mistakes (seems Condyle Cove doesn't say at the start of your turn like it should) that you really should have a FAQ.


Ehm, if they don't mean the video... which is unlikely considering it was recorded not necessarily planned... I'm not sure either! I didn't google though to my defense!!!

El_Tonio wrote:

Question 2:
The example on page 3 (and the one you mention above) seems to contradict the rule that immediately follows.

The example says if you have 3 cards in your hand you must play a card since you have to draw two cards.

But, that does not seem to be true if there are cove cards (i.e., you could draw one option card and one cove card without playing any of your original three cards). It even seems you could have 4 cards and not play any if there are two cove cards left to draw.

Can you please clarify?


The "Play Phase" rule is actually very clear, but that "Remember" part (that rather seems to be an example) is a bit unfortunate since it gives the impressions you would have to play at least 1 card if you have 3 cards on your hand. They forgot to make clear that this only is true if there are no more cove cards available...

Though, they exactly covered that in the video above! So, yes, as long as there are enough cove cards to be drawn so you don't have more than 4 cards in your hand after the "Draw Phase", you are good...

El_Tonio wrote:

Question 3:

Your illustration about where cove cards does not cover some very likely possibilities. For example, I get that you cannot place one in the kiddie corner in the cross (though I have no idea why). But, is this because no cove card can touch two other cards, or is it for some other reason (may not be the best wording, but hopefully you get what I mean... if not, welcome to my world after reading the rules )?

For example, can cards make a loop like this (where C = cul-de-sac, E = empty space, and . = cove cards)?
.
. . C .
. E .
. . .



Your example is a valid option, yes! They actually also covered that in the video! My understanding basically is "A cove card may only touch up to 2 adjacent cards (while only specifically for that count - diagonal is considered to be adjacent too)".

EDIT: While I understand how it works, I realize my summary yesterday doesn't really work... So, correct actually is (closer to what @Jesse said in the video too):
"A cove card may not(!) be placed where it could end up surrounded by 8 (adjacent) cards" ("boxed" as @Jesse said).

El_Tonio wrote:

Question 4:

This has been answered, but it is not at all clear that you can play a card if the conditions are not met. I see now that you can, but we shouldn't have to guess.

I'm willing to give it another try once I get clarifications to the above questions. But, I must say it's been a pretty awful experience so far.


Well, you answered this for yourself, so not a question anymore I guess!
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Justin H

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I don't get this review, because you cannot end up in "A deadlocked game state." Perhaps you are playing it wrong.

I haven't played it enough yet to formulate a full review, but my wife an I enjoyed as a pretty light weight "take that" game. Once you play a little bit, the rules are simple enough and it's really quite easy to play.

There's a fair bit of luck involved, but I don't think it's supposed to get that deep.
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Wonderful to hear you are having a different experience than me, Justin! Despite my negative opinion, I really do want to see people enjoying this and other games. Have you considered submitting your thoughts as a review? If you haven't please let me encourage you to do so! Not only will it provide a different view to mine (which I'm sure other people will value), I personally find writing reviews to be overwhelmingly positive
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Justin H

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kentonwhite wrote:
Wonderful to hear you are having a different experience than me, Justin! Despite my negative opinion, I really do want to see people enjoying this and other games. Have you considered submitting your thoughts as a review? If you haven't please let me encourage you to do so! Not only will it provide a different view to mine (which I'm sure other people will value), I personally find writing reviews to be overwhelmingly positive


I'm definitely considering writing one, but would have to play it more to formulate a better opinion. I didn't realize the game developer had addressed the question about the "deadlock" situations.

I agree with you about the rules needing to be more thorough!
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I suggest an updated rulebook pdf to replace the first rulebook.
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toober wrote:
I suggest an updated rulebook pdf to replace the first rulebook.


Or, at least a written and official FAQ containing answers and errata to the several questions that came up. You can't print a video, and it would be nice to have it all in one place.
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