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Dark Souls: The Board Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Video game vs. Board game rss

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Rune Larsen
Denmark
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First of all I am not a fan of the video game. I still clearly remember starting up the very first Demon Souls game on my PS3, admiring the fantastic graphics and intense atmosphere of the game. However after only approx. 15-20 hours of gameplay, the repeated deaths made me extremely frustrated and I had to admit that this was not a game for me, even I really wanted it to be… But I continued to admire the universe and being jealous of those who were able to get past that frustration and just accept is as an integrated part of the games mechanics.

For this reason I was also quite nervous about picking up the board game. The artwork, atmosphere and miniatures seemed to recollect exactly what I had really liked, but would the gameplay let me down again, based on my short temper and lack of patience?

And now after approx. same play time as I had for the video game (15-20 hours), and plying both solo, 2, 3 and 4 player groups, I am extremely relieved and happy to say that I am truly loving this game!

Even I still die a lot and there is a lot of repeating, the main difference in the board game, is that you can basically take your time to think through your every move in your own time before you actually do it. So when you fail, you know it was not because of fiddly controls, poor reaction time and timing of the button bashing. But, most often, instead because you took a chance and allowed yourself to become exposed. Basically the difference is that it is turnbased instead of realtime.

I find there are 3 main factors of this game, listed below in how much I think it influences your success in the game (number 1 most, and 3 least).

1.
Tactis - In how you position yourself and your enemies, who goes first, when to switch to which items in your backpack, and none the least when to Estus. It is really only after at least 5 games or so that you really realize how important this is to your success.

2.
Luck – Throwing the dice, and drawing of treasure cards. The first 1-5 games, until you get a hang of the tactics, this is actually felt like the most influential factor. Especially if you are unlucky in both.

3.
Repetition – Harvesting souls, killing the same enemies again and again. Granted this is also the least favorite part of the game for me. Once you get a hang of the tactics for each type of enemy, you quickly end up performing almost identical run-throughs of each room for every spark you burn, just to earn souls enough to get the equipment you think will make you prevail over the waiting Boss. But honestly considering above two other, and in my opinion and experience more influential, factors I can live with this.

So all in all I really enjoy it, and can’t wait to get my hands on the future expansions for both new player characters, summons, enemies and mega bosses, which will require learning whole new tactics and dying a hell of a lot once more.
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Michael Pflug
Germany
Schwäbisch Gmünd
Baden Würtemberg
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I want to give this review 100000 thumbs up.

So many people dislike it, because they make bad tactical decisions (which happens to most of us in the first few games), and then think this game is all about luck and grinding.

You really understand the game, and took the time that's needed for a review.
Well done!
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Markus
Germany
Bückeburg
Niedersachsen
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I think the main problem is that the video game isnt based on luck but
on skills. The board game is based on luck, rolling the dices. Wonder
how the board game would be if you mix it with Gloomhaven's combat
cards.
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Trent Y.
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Goldron wrote:
I think the main problem is that the video game isnt based on luck but
on skills. The board game is based on luck, rolling the dices. Wonder
how the board game would be if you mix it with Gloomhaven's combat
cards.

If you are talking about just dice rolls:
There is luck and there is randomness. This game has luck but I don't find it very random. Even the black dice have a consistency to them. Consider that there are many games which each dice is fundamentally a 50% chance. Those games I find random. In DS, if I have 3 black dice, I can presume that I'm getting 3 successes. Odds are very much in your favor.

Skill in this game is understanding the AI. This is why after playing an encounter once or twice, you can often redo that room without any true threat.

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Daniel Galarza
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I feel the OP. I hated Dark Souls with the heat of a thousand suns until Wikis and video tutorials helped me appreciate the game. At first I had to hack my stats to make it enjoyable. Two years later (and the advent of the easier DS2) gave me the skill to go back and finish it without hacking once and for all. Then Bloodborne came out and blew them both out of the water. As much as I enjoy it, I feel sometimes games just need to suspend disbelief and teach you how to play it (ditto for XCOM.)

If Youtube tutorials and wikis help you out I encourage you to do the same. Or even better, skip them all for Bloodborne.
 
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Marcel van der pol
Netherlands
Leiden
Zuid-Holland
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Sarimrune wrote:
Goldron wrote:
I think the main problem is that the video game isnt based on luck but
on skills. The board game is based on luck, rolling the dices. Wonder
how the board game would be if you mix it with Gloomhaven's combat
cards.

If you are talking about just dice rolls:
There is luck and there is randomness. This game has luck but I don't find it very random. Even the black dice have a consistency to them. Consider that there are many games which each dice is fundamentally a 50% chance. Those games I find random. In DS, if I have 3 black dice, I can presume that I'm getting 3 successes. Odds are very much in your favor.

Skill in this game is understanding the AI. This is why after playing an encounter once or twice, you can often redo that room without any true threat.


There is luck in the game, but just like games such as Poker and Blood Bowl this adds an extra skill: risk management. Who to attack and where; where to position your character should an attack roll exceptionally low and how to take advantage of good attack rolls. That is skill, not luck.


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Comboteur "Crazed 'Beastface' Survivor" Fou
France
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The main problem is that the video game is much more than just combat. Combat is not what I liked the most in the VG. The atmosphere and the exploration is, the fear of what's around the corner, the wow factor of the screen shaking as a you swing and incredibly huge weapon, the amount of skill it takes to master your weapon, the fact that you can keep the same equipment from start to finish as you only need to learn patterns and hone skills.

None of which are in the board game.
 
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Pepsi Twist
England
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Good review, I love the video game and I really enjoy the board game too, I feel like it captures the video game pretty well, even if there's more randomness it isn't a luckfest. It abstracts the game rather than replicating it. Though I wish you didn't need to get new hear, I'd love to be able to do a level 1 run with starting gear! Cool that they're including that sort of stuff in the Resident evil game at least.
 
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Stephen Parkes
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
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Razoupaf wrote:
The main problem is that the video game is much more than just combat. Combat is not what I liked the most in the VG. The atmosphere and the exploration is, the fear of what's around the corner, the wow factor of the screen shaking as a you swing and incredibly huge weapon, the amount of skill it takes to master your weapon, the fact that you can keep the same equipment from start to finish as you only need to learn patterns and hone skills.

None of which are in the board game.
So many people seem to misunderstand the board game. Far too many base comparisons get thrown about - e.g. you die a lot in both - which are just silly when taken in isolation, but I firmly believe that Steamforged is amongst these people.

The board game is terrible, a fact which I have recently come to terms with.
 
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Jack Banner
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I'm glad I came across this thread. I was entertaining giving this game as a gift for a family member who loves the video game and happens to like board games as well, but it sounds like it may not be a safe assumption that he would like this as well.
 
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Liam Brennan
United Kingdom
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McJedi wrote:
I'm glad I came across this thread. I was entertaining giving this game as a gift for a family member who loves the video game and happens to like board games as well, but it sounds like it may not be a safe assumption that he would like this as well.

I love the video game series but find the board game slightly dull unfortunately. The simple fact is the general gist of the video game (pushing onwards, running the risk of dying then returning to the bonfire before steeling yourself for another attempt) doesn't translate well in a board game setting.

This is compounded by the fact that combat in the game is reliant on skill and reaction times, while combat in the board game is down almost entirely to luck. Made a really tactically sound decision but made a bad dice roll? Bad luck, your attack did nothing. Took a hit while wearing your armour? Roll a dice, you're about to take a random amount of damage. You can plan positioning, you can plan enemy reactions and you can gear yourself up, but your success in combat and your ability to defend yourself is reliant entirely on random dice rolls, which I just don't find very satisfying. Even using the strongest weapons (orange dice) you're still doing anywhere between 1 and 4 damage, which many enemies can totally negate. In the game you do a set amount of damage based on your weapon, your stats and the enemy you're attacking, which lets you learn the number of hits an enemy takes to kill and come up with a strategy on the go, which is totally missing from the board game as an enemy can take a totally unpredictable and random number of hits to kill off.
 
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Randall Silver
Belgium
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Wow, I really have to strain to understand people who hate the videogame just because it was harder than most other games out there. I realise this is the age where just about every single game gently takes you by the hand, and gets you to the end whether you're good at the game or not, but this is getting a bit ridiculous.

What, pray tell, is fun about an automatic win? You might as well watch a movie. Dying a couple of times, getting respect for that boss, learning his moves, and then finally beating him because you got more skilled, now THAT gets the adrenaline and victory rush up. That is fun.

Luckily, the haters are in the vast minority, as games like Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Nioh are all incredible successes with a huge fanbase. The time of walk-in-the-park games is getting to an end people. Not a moment too soon either.
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