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Darkest Night: On Shifting Winds» Forums » Sessions

Subject: AAR #1 Part 3 - Finale and Comments on Beta Test Kit rss

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TURN 13

KN (M): E: Vile Messenger – no effect; Retrieve Holy Relic #2; Fight Shades = Success

SC (F): HR -1S (4); E: Revenant Eluded; Move > Monastery (+1S = 5)

WD (F): E: L Horde Fought w/ Gale = Success; Retrieve Holy Relic #3

RN (F): E: Dead Servant / Scout Fought = Success; Move > Monastery

NM (R): D: +1 (16)
M: Forest
B: Omen + Dark Fog (no Blights present, so 2 spawned)

Comments: It's a good thing that we're on our way out of this mess. There's some nasty stuff spawning around the board now. While I could have moved the Wind Dancer to the Monastery with Pathfinding, it didn't seem necessary, as the Knight needed another turn to arrive anyway.

TURN 14 (Last Turn)

WD (F): NM+HR -2S (0), attacked = Fail, no G loss due to Gale result; Move > Monastery

KN (M): E: Flying Demon Fought = Fail, -1S (5); Move > Monastery; HOLY RITUAL = WIN!


POST-GAME NOTES

I know from my notes that we missed a couple of rules at various points, but I don't think that any of them hurt the results (one, in fact, was to our detriment). At the same time, I know we missed a couple of Events and / or Blight defense rolls, so I think things balanced out.

New Characters

With regards to the new characters, we made the following observations. Our questions / comments about individual powers is included in a later section.

Scout: This could be the ultimate support character. For not being able to Fight with greater than 1d, this character seemed like the linchpin of the whole group. Without the Scout we (a) would have taken twice as long to get good search results, (b) would have been chased around the board constantly by the NM, and (c) would not have received several free actions due to Trailblazer. From looking at the other cards, it seems that Treasure Maps + Awareness (+1d when searching) + Ruins is a recipe for rapid success—maybe too rapid. I will say this: with the Scout, a Holy Ritual win is much more feasible, and using the Scout at the Castle would be a guaranteed way to power up almost any character in a hurry. After discussing this character further, we were concerned about how some of these powers would interact with other characters. For instance, the Monk has a couple of cards that increase the chances for a successful search, as does the Scholar, Ranger, and Rogue. If you combine any one of these characters with the Scout, you may end up with a situation where people have to roll no greater than a -1 to get a success. Also, there are a couple of characters who depend on S for their usefulness or existence. The Rogue and the Prince, for different reasons, need S to remain functional. Paired with the Scout using Blind Spots, a Rogue will always have access to his S-dependent powers and never need worry about overusing them. The Prince has an easier time remaining hidden and using his support powers to help the other players. Putting the Scout with the Paragon would create a combo where Blights could be much more easily tackled, as both have powers that weaken or negate Blights in a location. Therefore, we had some qualms about the Scout, not as a stand-alone character, but based on how several of his powers would act as a multiplier in combination with other characters' powers.

Ranger: The Ranger is much more nuanced. You can't just play a “tank” like the Knight, but you have too much Fight ability to lay back and be a support character. The fact that 4 / 10 cards are tied to locations makes this character a gamble, as you may spend absolutely no time in any location that provides a benefit. However, if you have the above example with the Scout and the Ranger has Forgotten Ways...hello Keys!

Wind Dancer: This character is even more of a gamble than the Ranger. Since you have to roll for almost any power you use, you have no guarantee of any result that you need. For some players, this will be a major turn-off. If you are already rolling to determine success / failure, why add even more randomness into the process and remove almost any possibility of strategy? Granted, some results can be really good, but I wonder if the almost complete randomness of the character's results will limit overall usefulness.

New Artifacts

All of the new Artifacts seem interesting and none of them seem overpowered on the surface, except for one of the ones we found—Seeing Glass. Exhausting the Artifact to search through any deck for a specific card seems powerful enough. However, have the power to see the top card of EVERY deck and not having to exhaust the card to do so seems a bit much. Added to the previous power of sifting through a deck feels like too much of a good thing. In our group's opinion, both powers should require exhaustion, that way you cannot keep running tabs on every deck in the game. Getting a glimpse here and there seems reasonable.

New Events

None of the new Events struck our group as out-of-place. Host of Haunts seems a bit ridiculous on the surface (6 and 6 for rolls!?), but the penalties are not terrible. Watchers is neat, as it goes after S rather than G points. Mind Blast may be a bit harsh on characters that don't start with much G anyway. This leaves them in a position of almost dead vs. almost defenseless. Could this card's effect be modulated by the character's starting G perhaps, thereby scaling the effect?

New Map Cards

One of the benefits of NOT playing a session immediately was the availability of the search results file provided via Excel file by another play tester. Two things struck me when looking at this chart:

1) While the vast majority of search results yielded Keys (makes sense—you need a minimum of 3 of them to win), the items that were added to the game “late” suffered from disproportionate scarceness. Now, this only makes sense, as you are simply adding cards to the existing deck. However, I wonder if some supplemental Map cards should be added to the expansion to balance the scarceness vs. the power of the item. For instance, in my opinion, Inspiration SHOULD be the hardest result to get, as it provides the greatest global benefit to the players on average, and it is the hardest to find. At the same time, Waystone and Stardust have the same probability, which seems odd given the relative power of each item. Similar comparisons can be made with other items.

2) In a similar way, I wondered about the probability of finding items at a given location.

A similar situation exists for the Blights on the Map cards. Their distribution probabilities are influenced by the composition of the deck and adding cards will increase / dilute their appearance as well.

Now I understand that the logical way to address this would be either (a) add more Map cards to change the scarceness / location probabilities, or (b) redesign the entire Map deck to account for changes introduced by the Expansions. Since replacing entire card decks would be more expensive, I wonder what it would take to create more Map cards as a method of resetting some of these probabilities.

Questions

“Roll 1d then pick 1.” – There are several versions of this type of text going back to power cards for the Scholar and the Acolyte (I think), along with some Event cards. I know this has come up in previous discussions, so maybe our group is just dense. What does this really mean? If you are rolling only 1 die, there isn't anything to pick—what you roll is what you get. In some cases, I get the point, as you may have another die somewhere (via the Wind Dancer or Seer) that you can apply to the result INSTEAD of the die you just rolled. You may also have other power cards that can adjust the situation. Even so, our group still finds this wording confusing and we seem to have to rethink these cards every time they surface.
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Laya Gyasz
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AfrikaKorps14 wrote:
“Roll 1d then pick 1.” – There are several versions of this type of text going back to power cards for the Scholar and the Acolyte (I think), along with some Event cards. I know this has come up in previous discussions, so maybe our group is just dense. What does this really mean? If you are rolling only 1 die, there isn't anything to pick—what you roll is what you get. In some cases, I get the point, as you may have another die somewhere (via the Wind Dancer or Seer) that you can apply to the result INSTEAD of the die you just rolled. You may also have other power cards that can adjust the situation. Even so, our group still finds this wording confusing and we seem to have to rethink these cards every time they surface.


Yeah, I found this text confusing at first as well. It makes slightly more sense in light powers such as the Seer's "Prophecy of Fortune" which says "Exhaust at the start of any hero’s turn. That hero gains +1d on all rolls this turn." which would let you roll 2d for these cards. So perhaps the designer thought this would create a weird corner case with the "Roll 1d and compare" cards and threw in the "pick 1" to resolve it.
 
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I thought that I had an email from the playtest group about this, but I can't seem to find it.

Your assessment, I think, aligns with our conclusion. This statement was written with an eye toward other cards which can provide an extra die.
 
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