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Wander: The Cult of Barnacle Bay» Forums » General

Subject: Any comparison to Mice and mystics? rss

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Peter Hulting
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Stockholm
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There's plenty of factors that make me and others to compare this game with Mice and Mystics. Family friendly, antropomorfism, initiative track, stream lined rules, level ups, plenty of die rolls and so on.

My impression is that the main difference is with M&M having a cohesive story line that is quite immersive but linear where each character is developed and integrated. While Wander is more of a back ground story where you can pick and choose characters and quests. Therefore not as immersive (?).

Another difference seems to be the level up abilities being more frequent in Wander, but not permanent as in M&M.

What I find lacking in the basic M&M is more tactical decisions. It's a lot of move and attack. And also the randomness of the cheese wheel is irritating. Here's where I hope Wander has more to offer, but without the rule book I can't be sure. Anyone with more insight?

And finally why should I back this instead of getting all the expansions to Mice and mystics instead?
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Tristan Whitley
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From what I have seen of this, it does have a lot of similarities to M&M, however there are a number of differences:

- In M&M, you spend your XP (cheese) to do special moves which I always found frustrating. If you use your abilities, you can't easily level up to get access to more abilities. At least with Wander, you have the ability to gain things in every play session (although it does reset per scenario)

- I agree that in M&M you were following a cohesive storyline which was great, but Wander gives you a branching set of missions. It allows for differences in replay.

- Agreed with the annoying in M&M was the cheese wheel. I've lost count of the number of times that I nearly cleared a room, and then suddenly more enemies arrived. It always made the game feel like it slowed down. In Wander, you do have the additional spawns when you level up, however these are controlled - you can try and plan when you do it (perhaps another team mate takes a kill so that it doesn't trigger). Rolling cheese on dice was very inconsistent.

- In terms of decisions, I think there are a few things in Wander that give you a bit more flexibility. You can adjust the initiative order which not only changes the boost that you get, but can allow you to make enemies have an action before you which might be advantageous. In addition, you can choose different abilities per session, so the same character can play a bit differently depending on how you level them (e.g. Tank could be heavy on defense, or instead heavy on attack. In M&M your characters stuck a lot closer to their archtype.

I can't really answer which you should buy as games are always very personal, however I think that Wander is more my style of game. It has a lot of elements of Arcadia Quest in it, and that is one of my favorite games. The team of Wanderers is highly varied and the game is 1 - 5 player, however in M&M you were almost always playing 4 mice. I'm okay with there being less of a narrative as long as the intros to the quest do a good job at setting the scene and are varied.
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Peter Hulting
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Yes, the use of cheese for both using abilities and getting new ones is awkward, but at the same time you have a lot of cheese a lot of the time to spend.

Yes, playing all 4 mice and switching some out between quests did make you lose the feeling of being your favorite mouse. Lost a bit of immersion too.

I'm looking forward the read more about the branching story line. It could be a big plus, even if I don't care much about replayability, if it cold surprise you a little bit. Having different outcomes depending on success. M&M has a sweet story but it is quite predictable.

Also, not advancing your hero between quests sounds a bit disappointing. Only gear making the difference could get stale. Even if you get to level up and advance within quests.

Inot the end I guess I'm more of a fan of aeventure games than action games and hope the rule book will include more of he adventure aspect. Only time will tell.
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Logan Johnston
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Belloque wrote:
Yes, the use of cheese for both using abilities and getting new ones is awkward, but at the same time you have a lot of cheese a lot of the time to spend.

Yes, playing all 4 mice and switching some out between quests did make you lose the feeling of being your favorite mouse. Lost a bit of immersion too.

I'm looking forward the read more about the branching story line. It could be a big plus, even if I don't care much about replayability, if it cold surprise you a little bit. Having different outcomes depending on success. M&M has a sweet story but it is quite predictable.

Also, not advancing your hero between quests sounds a bit disappointing. Only gear making the difference could get stale. Even if you get to level up and advance within quests.

Inot the end I guess I'm more of a fan of aeventure games than action games and hope the rule book will include more of he adventure aspect. Only time will tell.


So the story between the pages of M&M was rather plentiful, but sometimes, it bogged down the pace of the game for some people. While that's a unique element to trying and telling a story, but it felt you were playing someone else's story, not your own.

It seems with Wander, the missions you pick, from trying to stop an otter grunt from flooding the city by racing down two, parallel alleys, (while being flooded with enemies in your own) or escorting the mayor of Barnacle Bay out of the city, the game will feel very different based on the scenarios you pick to play in. That will make you feel like you're choosing how to craft your own story to get to the end. So with each choice, you get a different story. (Also replay value as mentioned!)

While not advancing your heroes between rounds may seem like a bummer, it allows you to reset each game to pick how you want to play. So if in one scenario, you disliked playing Roland as a defensive tank, you could then choose to have him be a mean cleavin' machine in the next mission. Keeping gear helps you feel like your continuing your adventure, but the EXP and leveling up is just too core to the game to have be kept the same. Characters would get very out of hand too.

There'll be 24 different scenarios that would require playing the game three different times to see them all. I don't see a lot of storytelling board games, so if you did like M&M and can compare it to this, I see no reason to not give it a chance. I hope this helped.
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Peter Hulting
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SteamPunkGnome wrote:

So the story between the pages of M&M was rather plentiful, but sometimes, it bogged down the pace of the game for some people. While that's a unique element to trying and telling a story, but it felt you were playing someone else's story, not your own.

It seems with Wander, the missions you pick, from trying to stop an otter grunt from flooding the city by racing down two, parallel alleys, (while being flooded with enemies in your own) or escorting the mayor of Barnacle Bay out of the city, the game will feel very different based on the scenarios you pick to play in. That will make you feel like you're choosing how to craft your own story to get to the end. So with each choice, you get a different story. (Also replay value as mentioned!)

While not advancing your heroes between rounds may seem like a bummer, it allows you to reset each game to pick how you want to play. So if in one scenario, you disliked playing Roland as a defensive tank, you could then choose to have him be a mean cleavin' machine in the next mission. Keeping gear helps you feel like your continuing your adventure, but the EXP and leveling up is just too core to the game to have be kept the same. Characters would get very out of hand too.

There'll be 24 different scenarios that would require playing the game three different times to see them all. I don't see a lot of storytelling board games, so if you did like M&M and can compare it to this, I see no reason to not give it a chance. I hope this helped.


I agree that the story and characters did feel disconnected from the player in M&M. That's the reason I haven't gone all in and bought the expansions. All the components are just great and I really hope Wander can reach that unique feeling as well and not end up like another CMON game. There are a lot of comparisons with Zombicide which mak3s me worried.

Did you have the chance to play Wander? Cause the scenarios you mention do sound fun. And I believe that a great story introduction and game play that gives you the opportunity to play out the story might even be better than what a pre-written story does.
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Logan Johnston
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The only comparison to make to Zombicide is really the EXP tracker. Though gaining levels and abilities isn't entirely new to Zombicide either. More enemies do spawn at other levels, though in Wander, it is controllable if you don't want that wrath inflicted upon you. The Wanderers as they level up, change their play dramatically, and can usually fill two different roles particularly well. So one second Tank could be soaking up hits, one level later, he's dishing them all out.

I have gotten the chance to play Wander! I've probably played the demo they've shown off three different times, and the scenario played out different each time. I can't speak on the progression part, but if all scenarios function like that, it should force decision making and different playstyles each game. The other scenarios are just based on things they talked about, I haven't gotten to try then personally, but they have some really cool plans for so much more.
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Shu
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I am a huge fan of Mice and Mystics and have the base game and both expansions. The cheese wheel is frustrating but also a genius abstract method of gauging time in each of the many missions. Same with cheese itself-- do I save it to gain an ability or do I have to spend it now to survive this encounter? I love the story first of all, but also the decision making required. Do I plan for the long haul, or just the short term?

I am also a backer of Wander, and I think certainly if you like M&M, you will like Wander. Similar combat method, with the exception of the crit roll, which I love. Also random events in the dark spaces (a bit like a surge in M&M), you're never sure when it will happen. THe characters are great too. But my kids and I felt very connected to the mice heroes in M&M, heck my daughter likes when I call her Maginos! I hope the story telling aspect of Wander is also good because that is what makes it immersive for me. When you actually think about your character in the middle of the day and how to keep him/her alive when you're at work, that is when I know a game is good!
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Peter Hulting
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I'm really glad you drew my attention to Mice and mystics again. Now we've played quest 9 through 11 and it was a blast. We did fail the final quest, damn that cheese wheel, but will try again soon. With a little house ruling to avoid a couple of die rolls and more predictable cheese wheel it works quite well. Maybe I can find room for both this with expansions and Wander in my collection after all.
 
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