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Myth: Dark Frontier» Forums » Sessions

Subject: My first play-through of Myth: Dark Frontier rss

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Josh Jennings
United States
San Diego
CA
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I was able to get the gang together and crack open the game yesterday and I want to share my first impressions in a stream-of-consciousness manner. A little background on myself: I have backed all of the Myth Kickstarters from the beginning and have a good amount of experience with the original Myth game. Many of my observations here will be in comparison to that game for those who are familiar with it.

First off, the components are quite high quality. There were some minor problems with my particular copy:

- One of the smaller size pupil item cards for the base game of Myth was bent around the insert. I was able to bend it back by hand and it looks no worse for ware.

- Some of the minis were quite bent. I haven't tried hot water with them yet and simply used my minis from Myth, but I have no doubts that hot water will perk them right up.

- The punch sheets have a plastic backing to the tokens and punching them out sometimes peeled that plastic backing off of the sheet. An X-Acto knife and some patience are highly recommended.

I also noticed some printing issues as we played through the game:

- The Pupil card has the incorrect icon in the bottom corner (the apprentice's icon). This is a minor oversight.

- The Soldier's Fury tokens say "Rage" on the back, not "Fury." This confused me for a few moments until I could verify what they actually were.

- There are many cases where the various elements of the fate dice and attributes of the characters are called out with their keywords and not icons. Without memorizing these keywords it would become a hassle to look back and forth between the reference in the rule book and the cards. This is also an issue that I have with Myth.

Now, when it comes to the game, we filled the table with four players and tried to pick a balanced group of heroes. We decided to use the Orcs as the enemies and not to use any of the expansion components except for the extra encounter cards. The one decision that I regret (for our first game) was that one player wanted to play as the Trickster instead of one of the five base characters. In my experience with Myth, expansion characters such as the Trickster were harder to play than the base game characters and this seemed to be the case with Myth: Dark Frontier as well. The Trickster has many different traps to choose from and they all play differently depending upon which type of terrain they are placed. It seems like the Trickster can be a powerful character, but requires planning and therefore a better grasp of the game. I would not recommend this character for beginners.

I read the rulebook for the first time during the Kickstarter campaign but had forgotten much of it. I made it a point to re-read the rulebook before we played so that it would be fresh in my mind. Still, as we played through the game, we had to consult the rulebook many times to clarify confusing mechanics. I was hoping that this game would be easier to understand than Myth, but the rules proves to be quite fiddly. By the end of the game we felt like we had a decent grasp of the rules, but we had already made several mistakes that we ended up having to correct throughout the game.

As for the gameplay itself, I was left disappointed. It took us quite a while to gather resources to start completing objectives and we were somewhat put off by the sheer number of them. 12 objective tokens in a 4 player game is quite a grind. We eventually got down to 4 left after about 3.5 hours when the siege was triggered (this included much time lost to re-reading rules). Another complaint is that after the siege was triggered the game changed completely. It sounds cool in concept -- we failed to complete the objectives so now we just need to withstand the onslaught of the boss. In execution, it effectively nullified all of the progress that we made over the previous 3.5 hours and reduced the game to a simple exercise of "sit in Ferrenroc and attack the boss."

I played as the Soldier and I was excited to get a feel for the character and strategize during the game, but by the end it seemed like I was simply playing the same three cards every round. This is especially true since card stack is shuffled (for morning, day, and night phases) making it very difficult to plan synergies between players. You can't be sure that actions will come out in the order that you want as a group and that can be devastating to your plans. So the tendency is to play it safe and to play cards that you know you can at least get some benefit from. I'm fine with that concept, but it seemed like we were all pigeonholed a bit by it.

In the end, I want to like this game and I will give it another chance, but it seems way too long for what it is. I think that I would enjoy it much more if the whole game fit in to a 1.5 hour timeframe, but I think that is unlikely for most playthroughs (even the box says 90-180 minutes).
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Geoff ...
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Wow. Dark Frontier was really expensive, especially the addons. Was hoping some stellar gameplay would make up for the high price + MCG risk, what with the Sadler’s reputation and all. Sounds like I may have wasted another $160 or so.

And this after blowing $200+ on MCG’s previous effort, Banner Saga, a total disaster IMHO. I should have learned my lesson. Just give me my JM content so that I can move Myth to a more welcoming home while I “resort” to playing KDM, Gloomhaven and (most recently) Mythic Battles Pantheon.

Will post my impressions if they are good. I’m still _remotely_ excited.

Thanks for taking the time to write this up. It’s especially valuable when there’s nothing else out there.
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Brian Jordano

San Diego
California
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This is exactly the review I would expect after a single playthrough. I felt the same exact way. I'm feeling better about the game now. Give it some more time and try playing it solo with two characters that complement each other. Try and do quests that allow you to gain assets from an encounter deck. Many assets can turn the tide in you favor. As for the Siege, check out what has been discussed in another thread and see if that doesn't streamline things a bit for you.
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Kevin Erskine
United States
Alexandria
Kentucky
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3 plays in, I'm loving the game. I'm playing solo though so I can plan a bit better. I love the random turn order mechanism. I love the way fate dice are used.

I lost my first game badly and that made me smile. I already had plans for the next one of how I could do things better. Had I won the first one, I would have been very disappointed.

As I said, I play solo (3 characters) so for me the play time was under 2 hours. I'd imagine your play time will go down significantly as well.

The siege part is different. It reminds me of Arkham Horror. Let the big bad get out and you don't close gates or gather anything, you just hope you have enough stuff to finish the job. I think the real goal of the game is to not let that happen.

The best thing about the game is that it gave me that "One more turn" feeling which I love in a game.

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Joel Carr
United States
Ruckersville
Virginia
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Thanks for the thoughts and impressions!

I have read and reread the rules... looked through cards and am itching to get it to the table(solo) I always find first plays to be troublesome(especially time and rule wise) egads! our first 7 wonders game was an epic 2 hour session. now the base game sessions are 20 minutes...

from the rules my favorite part is the enemy action deck, you get three of the five actions each round, and you always will know(after the first round) 2 of the three actions that will happen during each 'day'. of course in reality this could be pointless, but in my brain it seems really neat.


I will likely be with Kevin with solo 3 p. At least for my first few games before I introduce to my kiddos/wife...
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Dan Renwick
Australia
Avalon
New South Wales
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Keep at it. The first few times I played some of my favourite games I either hated them or thought they were boring. After a few more plays I started to become obsessed with them.

You might never like M:DF but it’s hard to make a judgment when you’re still learning how to play and haven’t yet grasped its intricacies.
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