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Too Many Bones: Undertow» Forums » General

Subject: Difficulty Level of TMB with growing game experience rss

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Ron Schachtner
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So, the gearlocs themselves have so many different builds and interact with each build differently that at least I havent gotten to a point where I think this is true. I have seen every solo adventure card at least 4 times and played with all 7 gearlocs in parties of 2 and 1.

Let us take Ghille for an example. He is a crowd favorite gearloc for solo adventuring. He is ranged with 3 pets. So you can play him straight Ranger, using just bows and arrows and pump stats. You can play him mainly using traps to get the melee mobs, you know are going to close in. You can go all out Marksmam, or all out Zoolinguist. OR decide on some break there off, like Tiger Trap Master. Or a Falcon Marksman.

So many ways to build each gearloc with the real interesting part being they all seem very viable solo, let alone building interactions with other gearlocs. For example, you can focus on Ranger/MArksman when playing with Tantrum because Ideally he would be blocking Baddies for you. Probably more so with Picket, but you get the idea.

So Each Gearloc has 4 ways to build, if you do purist builds, then you'd have to play the same solo game 4 times. 7 Gearlocs mean 28 games without playing the same build twice, then start mix matching that.

Now while I believe that most of the Gearlocs every build is viable, that certainly is not 100% the case playing with just 1 Gearloc. A few of them require putting points into other specialties than just one. Tink's Accessorizer immediately comes to mind.

And the game is sufficiently difficult enough to almost never feel like a Tyrant fight is easily a push-over.
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Paul Glickman
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SoloGamer75 wrote:
Greetings!

A question to those who play the Game already for a longer time now.

I think, after many games you know the characters very well, so i ask myself if, one day, you reach a point where you almost never can loose anymore?

Besides the element of luck, of course, but taken normal dice rolls throughout a game for granted... do you have the feeling that the game always stays hard and a challenge, even after you beat every Tyrant?

Thanks!


We still lose on occasion, but when we do it's usually due to strange Encounters showing up (20 pt dragon day 4, for example) and then snowball effects.

Tyrant fights are almost never a real challenge. Other than Gendricks and Drellen, they just can't survive the sheer burst the Gearlocs can put out.

Generally, taking Health, Disables, and attack penalties makes the game pretty darn easy. If you don't have a Nugget/Ghillie/(and to a lesser extent) Tantrum around, you may actually be forced to interact with enemies who kill you in two hits, but generally debuffing the big bads makes life a lot easier.
 
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Russell Gardner

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I've played the game quite a bit and it is still always interesting and difficult. Id say were about 50-50 win/loss. I do think 2 player is the more difficult count. More baddies with less benefits of more gearlocs. I'm very excited for the new encounters and the campaign mode.
 
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James
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I think it's possible to get to a point where you consistently win on "greenhorn" difficulty, at least when you are playing with a Gearloc combo and build that is suited for a given Tyrant. I am far more skeptical that is true on the hardest difficulty mode.

I mostly prefer to play on greenhorn not due to the difficulty but because it gives me more freedom to play around with different builds and try sillier strategies, but if you're looking for outright challenge, Too Many Bones provides plenty of that.
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Paul G wrote:
SoloGamer75 wrote:
Greetings!

A question to those who play the Game already for a longer time now.

I think, after many games you know the characters very well, so i ask myself if, one day, you reach a point where you almost never can loose anymore?

Besides the element of luck, of course, but taken normal dice rolls throughout a game for granted... do you have the feeling that the game always stays hard and a challenge, even after you beat every Tyrant?

Thanks!


We still lose on occasion, but when we do it's usually due to strange Encounters showing up (20 pt dragon day 4, for example) and then snowball effects.

Tyrant fights are almost never a real challenge. Other than Gendricks and Drellen, they just can't survive the sheer burst the Gearlocs can put out.

Generally, taking Health, Disables, and attack penalties makes the game pretty darn easy. If you don't have a Nugget/Ghillie/(and to a lesser extent) Tantrum around, you may actually be forced to interact with enemies who kill you in two hits, but generally debuffing the big bads makes life a lot easier.


So how do you feel about the game now Paul? If it is quite easy for you, except when you get strange encounter. It's this game still fresh for you with the games content as it now is?

Greets ed
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Paul G wrote:
Tyrant fights are almost never a real challenge. Other than Gendricks and Drellen, they just can't survive the sheer burst the Gearlocs can put out.

That's .. very disappointing to hear.


I hope we get some more very hard bosses in Undertow, then!
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Paul Glickman
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Kessel10 wrote:

So how do you feel about the game now Paul? If it is quite easy for you, except when you get strange encounter. It's this game still fresh for you with the games content as it now is?

Greets ed


This is a slightly complicated question. I find about 1/3 or 1/4 games of Too Many Bones to be an unpleasant mess, to the point where the game isn't fun and didn't feel worth the 2 hours to play, let alone the $200 to purchase. The other games are mostly all great and super fun.

I haven't felt like it's gotten annoying yet, and we fight Drellen/Mulmesh about half the time because of teaching new people (they're a great length). Different monsters showing up in different orders is enough to keep the game feeling fairly unique. Think Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Game, if you've played it - there's some variety, but it's not really about content, it's about how the content shows up.

I also feel like the vast majority of the game's interesting-ness comes from the Gearlocs. Even though it feels like there are some overpowered and some underpowered abilities, and that often the same upgrade path is taken, they still feel super fun. I love playing Ghillie and Tantrum most, but Boomer and Nugget are also always enjoyable. Picket and Patches are somewhat straight forward "I have big numbers and uninteresting and/or poorly designed skills" characters, and I haven't figured out how to make Tink work at all as anything other than "bad Tantrum" (disable bot with axe tossing and battery power limitations).
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Paul Glickman
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Teowulff wrote:
Paul G wrote:
Tyrant fights are almost never a real challenge. Other than Gendricks and Drellen, they just can't survive the sheer burst the Gearlocs can put out.

That's .. very disappointing to hear.


I hope we get some more very hard bosses in Undertow, then!


The issue is one I plan to resolve in my set of house rules. Largely it's because Gearloc burst damage gets so high naturally, having only 1 enemy that needs to die is really bad. Some of their designs are awkward (Goblin King and Marrow go down EASY), and some make sense like Drellen and Mulmesh - you have to fight through waves of baddies before they come out/are targettable.

Just increasing Tyrant health by 3 per gearloc past the first is the gist of the house rule. Gendricks may not follow into that, I need to play against him another time or two to get a feel. He's impossibly tanky and just generally unfun to fight against, in my limited experience.
 
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James
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Paul G wrote:
Gendricks may not follow into that, I need to play against him another time or two to get a feel. He's impossibly tanky and just generally unfun to fight against, in my limited experience.



If only the Gearlocs didn't have such "poorly designed" abilities, you might be able to find some that are super effective at working around Gendricks' Hardy ability...




(I don't actually believe this, just to be clear - Gendricks is a really fun tyrant to build for, because Hardy adds an interesting challenge, combined with his limit ability.)
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eviljelloman wrote:
If only the Gearlocs didn't have such "poorly designed" abilities, you might be able to find some that are super effective at working around Gendricks' Hardy ability...

Be careful, the last time I defended TMB as not being poorly designed, I was told 'Bad design is bad design' and that I have a 'higher tolerance for badness in your games'. Needless to say I vehemently disagree on both counts.
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Paul Glickman
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How do you build for Gendricks? Get a single bleed, or a few Poison attacks amongst the party. Once that's done, make sure you have 1's or more in your stat dice, and just hope he dies before you do.

Also skills like Throwing Axes and the similar item are great, but lots of characters don't have a way to deal him cleave damage. Get a Bleed or Poisons, hope you have some consistent AoE, and then race him. If you can debuff his attack enough you automatically win, also.

Not great.
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James
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Paul G wrote:
How do you build for Gendricks?


You mentioned a couple already, but there are more - bleed, poison, companions that do damage outside of your turn, cripple, tinkered bolo, traps, intentionally letting engulf baddies live so they hit him with their AOE, using Ghillie's multi-shot arrows to take potshots at him while controlling baddies, getting abilities that let you counter-attack outside of your turn, buffing HP instead of def so you don't need to risk rolling bones to absorb hits, etc etc etc.
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Paul Glickman
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Ah yes, Companions are great. Basically Ghillie trivializes Gendricks through Bleed, companions, attack debuffs, etc. Outside of Ghillie, there's not much - reactionary damage (Like a Wolf, etc) only work if he's not Bleeding or Poisoned. There aren't many ways to interact with him.
 
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Tyler Ryan
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Teowulff wrote:
Paul G wrote:
Tyrant fights are almost never a real challenge. Other than Gendricks and Drellen, they just can't survive the sheer burst the Gearlocs can put out.

That's .. very disappointing to hear.


I hope we get some more very hard bosses in Undertow, then!


Be careful listening to the advice of people who state opinions as though they are facts. I personally find the tyrants sufficiently challenging.

In my opinion they aren't insanely difficult, but they by no means "easy".
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Paul Glickman
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I guess I did oversimplify. Some Tyrants are very interesting, but many are just buckets of hit points that die to bigger booms, Ghillie cannons, and just fistfuls of attack dice.

The interesting ones prevent you from interacting with them trivially
 
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Kai B
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I also think that when you are at the point where you know which combo of Gearlocs with which skills will beat which Tyrabnt "easily", you can do good for trying to beat the Tyrant with other Gearlocs or other Skills.
I think this will be intersting too.

Another layer of difficulty.
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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KRevenger wrote:
I also think that when you are at the point where you know which combo of Gearlocs with which skills will beat which Tyrabnt "easily", you can do good for trying to beat the Tyrant with other Gearlocs or other Skills.
I think this will be intersting too.

Another layer of difficulty.

I think what we'll do is play campaigns with the Tyranny expansion.
First players pick the gearlocks. After that we randomly pick tyrants.

That way you always play a number of tyrants with the same Gearlocks.
 
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Paul Glickman
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We never optimize in terms of gearloc party vs specific tyrant. Taking the wrong skills would be significantly more frustrating than fun, playing against kobolds and golems without disable isn't much fun, for example.

Also I wasn't claiming that the GAME was too easy, just that most of the tyrant fights are anticlimactically easy.
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Paul G wrote:
We never optimize in terms of gearloc party vs specific tyrant.
Taking the wrong skills would be significantly more frustrating than fun, playing against kobolds and golems without disable isn't much fun, for example.

Also I wasn't claiming that the GAME was too easy, just that most of the tyrant fights are anticlimactically easy.

What exactly is that you dislike about the game? I noticed you just rated it a 6/10.

Personally I don't really care so much about price or components (or even subpar rulebooks) but if you say the game gets predictable and after a while you know for each gearlock there is only one "best" solution for each problem (tyrant) and the rest is just up to good or bad dice rolls ..
 
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Adam Carlson
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Greetings. I appreciate Paul educating the audience on his experiences in playing Bones. I feel compelled to also point out that Paul's experience seems to be rather unique. If you take a look at some of the other similar threads, you'll find several with a very different opinion, especially of the Tyrants. I think Paul may be rather 'too smart' for the game, and therefore his experience will be different than your average gamer. Please also consider the opinions of other Bones gamers. I think you'll find their opinion to be quite different than Paul's

I know Paul really loves Bones, otherwise he wouldn't spend so much time on our forums Again, thank you Paul for engaging with the audience and sharing your experiences!
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Paul Glickman
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This is what worries me, honestly - I'm not alone in my views here! Just that there's a bit of a biased sample here. People who are as annoyed as I am with the game tend not to stick around!

6/10 may be too low, but I'm not sure. It's hard. Without house rules, too often do we leave a game with several players having not enjoyed it enough to be worth the time. Last time we played it was against Duster, two people got knocked out and my Tantrum just solod her easily in 3 hits.

Games this long CANNOT afford to be this flawed and have this much unfun in them.

I do love the game though, and a lot about the designers. It's a masterpiece in so many ways, but "overall fun factor for all players" sadly isn't one of them... yet! House rules are still being typed up. Real life got to me

So yeah. 6/10 because it's a genius work of art with amazing core mechanics, but that's got WAAAY too high a chance of players regretting playing it and that's filled with extraneous rules and such. So close
 
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Kai B
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Yesterday I played the Game the First Time with a friend, he took Patches and I took Picket. We played on the easiest Level. We won 5 Fights and Lost two, went to the Tyrant and got totally crushed in 3 Turns, my freind KO'd on the First. dealing no Damage to the Tyrant. Od course we didnt play optimal. We played like 3 Hours with Rule explanation.

He loved the Game and next week we meet again to play. Even when we had no chance against the Tyrant, he (and me too ) had still a lot of fun playing the Game. That is one Part of the Game I really enjoy. It is so much fun playing the Game, Skilling your Gearloc and Battle, even when in the end we lost.

When you have the right people who enjoy this kind of Games,I think there is a high chance you will have a lot of fun with thuis Game and it will hit the table often.

Of course I am biased because TMB is one of 4 Games I rated a 10

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Timmi T.
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Paul G wrote:
Also I wasn't claiming that the GAME was too easy,just that most of the tyrant fights are anticlimactically easy.


Do you sometimes read your own posts before submitting?
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Rock Bronson

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Even though I rarely with Paul's generalizations, I don't think that statement conflicts with itself. Tyrants are a portion of the gameplay, not all of it.

It's okay for a game not to appeal to everyone, or have parts that could be better. I'm with others on the 1st round insta-kills, I wish that weren't a thing because it's probably the factor that I've seen piss off new players the most.

Overall, TMB has been challenging and rewarding each time I've played. I have had a couple of Tyrant fights where I rocked the house with fistfuls of attack dice, but I attribute that more to being fortunate with the dice than unchallenged by the Tyrant.
 
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Timmi T.
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I was referring to the post he made earlier...

Paul G wrote:

Generally, taking Health, Disables, and attack penalties makes the game pretty darn easy.

But I will happily congratulate to the fact, that he didn't contradicted himself in the very same post.
Just wanted to point out, to be careful with this guy.

Another favorite of mine...
Paul G wrote:
The big issues with the minigames are:

1) Lack of interesting decision making. Lockpicking is a simple optimization problem, as is Dangerous Darts. [...]

One post later...
Paul G wrote:
Dangerous Darts is similar, I would guess.. but we've NEVER chosen to play it because everyone prefers not to learn totally irrelevant rules that have nothing to do with their characters in this RPG.


And also on that subject:
Paul G wrote:
People who love the mini games would not love the game less if it didn't have them - they wouldn't notice, and they're likely to enjoy it more due to more cohesion. [...]

Paul G wrote:

I mentioned this in the original Kickstarter when they started talking about lockpicking, but was largely ignored. Makes me feel a bit bad about wanting to back Undertow, as what other bad ideas might make it into the game due to not sharing a rulebook or taking advice?
Wait you mean they didn't asked you anything?


I was going to delete this reply, because it will add nothing to the OP, but...
Actually, no. This I want to say:
It's a bit of an impudence to spread "facts" like the game would have "tons of errors", is "largely flawed", while there "is a fair amount of bad design and awkwardness."

But don't worry mankind - I am a Game Designer myself and...
Paul G wrote:
"I plan to write up a review/flaw pointer outer soon and add some potential house rules fix that."


Awful really.
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