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Subject: First Impressions from FallCon 4 Player rss

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Jeff C
Canada
Calgary
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First off I want to thank Keith (designer) and Farzin for getting us started and being nearby for the few clarifications we needed. I played this yesterday at FallCon (Calgary's boardgame convention) with a friend Gabe and two others we met there Y&J. It was Y&J's second time playing and our first time. Between setup and a brief explanation we were going on our first quest within ten minutes.

In short I had a lot of fun and we made it through quests 1 and 2 without anyone dying but had a lot harder time with quest 3 and the boss. We completed quest 1 and got the extra reward but weren't able to get the extra reward for quest 2. During quest 3 J was KO'd once but we recovered and went on to beat the boss. It got desperate a couple of times and some hoarded items became very useful! I'm leaving all the details about the quests off just to avoid any spoilers I guess, but it was a good level of challenge considering we got an "easier" boss. Y&J said their attempt on the previous day ended in defeat and I'd like to think it was becuase my friend and I weren't there with our awesome co-op skills to get them through.

If I recall correctly we had a pretty balanced party to start and the class progression we used was:
Y - Fighter -> Knight -> Dark Knight
J - Mage -> Copycat -> Gambler
Gabe - Priest -> Time Sage -> Oracle
Me - Thief -> Archer -> Bard

Our Quest 2 party composition was really powerful against the monsters that popped up, but for Quest 3 and the boss the Bard ended up being not nearly as useful as the Archer was in round 2. Granted the Songs I pulled from the song deck weren't super helpful though I looked through the song deck after and there were some that would have been a lot more beneficial. Having both the bard and the gambler at the same time wasn't the best due to the extra randomness with those two classes but in the end we prevailed. Also a couple of times the Gambler came through for us and helped a lot.

Overall I had a lot of fun, I'm looking forward to seeing more monsters, items, more of the classes and upgrades and seeing how the party composition affects how the rounds play.

I liked the dice action selection mechanism and it's amazing how often you agonize over using the most powerful attacks (generally 5s and 6s on the dice) vs using a low dice in the blank slot to avoid getting ganged up on by the monsters. I thought the game was challenging and there were quite a few times we had to use someones heroic ability to avoid someone gettting KO'd. The monster activation mechanism was clever (though at first it wasn't super intuitive) and managing when they get to activate became super important. The rulebook wasn't on hand (we had Keith and Farzin for that part) but hopefully they get a broad range of review and criticism on it as I think there could be things that might get tricky if the rulebook isn't particularly clear. Subjectively the art style isn't my favourite but I looked past it pretty quick and do like the graphic design and icons and think the cards were quite clear. I expect my wife will enjoy the art (and I'm hoping she'll enjoy this game and it will be one of the few she'll play) and once my daughters are older I think they will love the fact that all the classes have both male and female art. The components were all good and I believe the one we played was a proof copy though Keith might be able to clarify that.

I didn't get the acrylic tokens during KS but now I'm wanting that bling (the cardboard chits were perfectly fine). I think the only criticism of the chits were the heroic token wasn't quite as distinct between the ready and used sides but after the first quest and I was more familiar with them it was clear which side they were on.

I'm looking forward to getting the game in my hands and I wouldn't be surprised if Gabe ends up getting me to order a second copy for him!

Also the mat we played on (you can see it in some of the pictures) was very nice so it would be cool if that was available in the future. It doesn't fit in the box though and probably is a decent price so I understand why it wasn't part of the KS.

That's a long enough ramble but if you have any questions I'll try and answer them!
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Yan Bertrand
France
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Thanks for sharing, Jeff!
Do you think what you got to play with was a prototype or the final version?
 
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Jeff C
Canada
Calgary
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Certainly closer to final version than prototype! It was one of the ones that Keith had printed for GenCon I think. I totally forgot to take pictures until we started cleaning up (for the next players) and I was cursing myself, but everything looked and felt like final production quality.

Two items that make me think it was a proof copy were:
1) the boss we faced had part of his monster type cut off because I think the whole card may have been printed slightly off centre
2) one of the abilities for the Copycat has changed slightly as well to make it easier to plan for and to make the description easier to understand (compared to the description on the printed card). J had actually asked for clarification on that one and Farzin and Keith explained what the new ability was and how to use it.
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