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Subject: Finished first play through of print and play, sense of meh rss

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Michael Dursch
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This weekend, my friend and I sat down to the print and play of this game. The board was unique in shape but straight forward in a linear fashion. We sat down with our characters, playing 4 characters in all. Each character was interesting in that their abilities helped lend different roles to each that we utilized to our advantage.

We advanced through the game, having a difficult time at first with low dice count and type (1d4/1d6's struggle against something that need two 5's to defeat like the cacodemon). Advancement of skills was difficult because we used our courage to bolster our dice to take out some of the worst invasion rolls we could start with. Our first couple invasions started off with 2nd and 3rd circle demons which was just bad luck I presume. We stomached through it, slowly gathering an advancement here and there. It felt hard to upgrade characters as we were only advancing one person at a time while using the community courage to help any personal courage earned.

We finally made our way through the pack and defeated the demon lord, Baphomet. The Hell Time mechanic wasn't bad but it was hard to usually enter his area without an invasion which meant that every time we entered hell time we were going in with his full entourage which meant more time eating damage from Baphomet and would force a retreat earlier than we'd like as we had an issue hitting him.

After our first play through, we joked with his wife when she came home. "Looks like we saved you a bunch of money!" Our feeling about the game is that it was interesting and would be fine for perhaps a $40-$50 game without feeling buyer's remorse; however, you're buying this game for the figurines at this point. The game that goes with the figurines just doesn't feel as if it has staying power to want to go through it again. It has too much roll to resolve and that's pretty much the main mechanism of the game.

After the success of Cthulhu Wars hitting our tables, we're sad to have to pass on this game. It's a shame, we really like the figurines too.
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Thanks, I'm going to try a print and play this weekend as well. I've heard stories like yours but also some people who really enjoyed it. Curious to see where my group will fall.
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Michael Dursch
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It’s worth giving it a play through. It’s not bad game. It’s just a cost vs fun ratio. If I painted figurines, that would easily push me over the limit because I love them from the looks of the Kickstarter page. Cthulhu Wars has already prepped me for knowing how outstanding these turn out.
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Barry Duran
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Maybe a lack of enthusiasm from the play testing is the root cause of this KS struggling. Would like to hear more from those interested in sharing their experiences ( I'm unable to dive into this at the moment, doing a bling pledge based on the theme/art ).
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Pietro Pomella
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We had a great time with the PnP but we only played one game and we had no experience with "tower-defence" kind of games so it felt really novel to us, surely that had an impact. Doesn't seem like the deepest game out there, but my friends and I really dig the theme and the mechanics did create a very atmospheric experience. Overall I'm keeping my pledge
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Eric
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Any other impressions?
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Montgomery Mullen
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Doing a few run-throughs here. One play is not enough for me, I'll post some thoughts when we've done a couple more games. Overall, though, I have to say I like it.
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Peter Bowie
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It felt like a more strategic, better take on Zombicide to me (with a cooler theme to boot). Depending on your perspective, that's either high praise, or damning criticism, and for me, it's the latter - one of my least favourite games.

So baring in mind it's not my sort of game...

The gift system has a lot of variability, and the human characters felt thematic. It has a good narrative arc of making the heroes get progressively stronger over the course of the game.

It's easy to learn, but does have strategic decisions - like deciding what gifts to get for which characters, whether to head back to the start to recruit more guys, or calculating dice odds.

I also liked the Leader system, a pretty effective way of countering quarterback syndrome.

However, I found the monsters pretty themeless. They're cool minis, but I don't feel that coolness is reflected in the gameplay.

I found it too long and repetitive. Beat monsters, place troops, grind until you can beat the boss. It's pretty simplistic.

And luck plays a hefty role. They spawn the demons, and determine if you hit them. You can mitigate your chances to some degree by getting gifts to roll better dice, or having companions assist with the roll, but it's still possible to just get bad luck.

So overall, if you want an accessible co-op game with a grim horror theme and plenty of dice chucking, PA is probably the game for you! If you want something more involved, or prefer competitive games, then best picking up Cthulhu Wars, Gods War, or PG's upcoming Hyperspace (all of which I either rank atop my favourite games lists, or am excited for).
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Shelby Babb
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Fyxsius wrote:
Our feeling about the game is that it was interesting and would be fine for perhaps a $40-$50 game without feeling buyer's remorse; however, you're buying this game for the figurines at this point. The game that goes with the figurines just doesn't feel as if it has staying power to want to go through it again. It has too much roll to resolve and that's pretty much the main mechanism of the game.


"It's a dungeon crawler that forgot to bring the dungeon!"

But yeah, my sentiments are basically yours. The miniatures are -lovely-, and I'm sure they'll be high quality, but the gameplay just isn't there to justify them. Like taking a Formula One race car to go get some milk; if you can afford it, do it, but most people wouldn't bother.

Honestly... once I get past the (gorgeous) minis, the game play makes me think of an inverted The Others or something ("humans have helpers to fight lone demons across a map" sort of thing), only with less strategic options and replayability.

And the sad thing is, I -want- to want this game. I want to back PG's projects and help them out because I appreciate what they do with their games (free pnp, no KSE here, they value quality components, they listen to their community, etc.). Heck, even when I don't back a project, I can't say it's a bad project. They just can't seem to grab me, and there's so much quality competition out right now.
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Earth Slug
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I learned most games need several runs before going to my enjoy list.

I almost regretted buying some in the past.
Legendary encounters:alien for example.
Only on run 5 when I learned to pull some sick card combos, I started to undertand why ppl rate it so high as a solo game.

Before that it felt like random draw cards and lose.

I have not tried the pnp of this monster. I still might, but I confidently pledged the hellhound.
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Michael Dursch
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My friend and I do a good job about analyzing a game and breaking it down for what it will be. I think that we just couldn’t back it when we have better games with regards to mechanisms. Eldritch horror is our go to dice chucking game. We have more decisions to make (nonlinear locations, rumors, mysteries), more upgrades to make via items and spells, and a more involved theme to boot. You have a ton of monsters with unique abilities, ancient ones with varying powers that change the way the game is played, and despite not having minis it plays fine.

Luckily it sounds like a space game from the Peterson’s is coming out hopefully first quarter of this year. I’m excited by what I’ve heard of that, so I’ll save my money for that instead :3
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Serg Pot
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We have played PA yeasterday.

And it was fun, realy. I was afraid about how it can be... but all in all it was cool. It was SUPER random with all thous dices and tons of bad rolls... but still fun.

Troopers, tech tree, courage, conditions and tough bosses - all is great. Captain's words "STFU I am leader" are gorgeous.
Aaaand we lose... we did't notice pestilences on Cindry and then so many bad rolls on cacodemons (which are super tough) soooo... all that kills us and world burned.

What was unexpected that how tough deamons are. I was Tarang and during the game I was able to do nothing but take damage again and again (with my pure voluntiers). His 1d6 not enought to do anything, and tech tree+gifts didnt help me (I have 3 gifts to the end...)

So all in all: it was fun, tough, and extremile random. Very good coop I think)
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Bernie L

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Thanks for sharing your experiences, everyone; I'll likely rely on them if I don't get a chance to try out the PNP before the campaign ends (which will likely be the case).
 
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Peter Bowie
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Fyxsius wrote:
Luckily it sounds like a space game from the Petersen’s is coming out hopefully first quarter of this year. I’m excited by what I’ve heard of that, so I’ll save my money for that instead :3


Yup, Hyperspace. Though not first quarter, the KS is due November-ish, I believe.
 
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Earth Slug
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Okay printed this beast and gave it a try.
Due to time shortage, I only played a team phase, hero phase and fiend phase.

The worst part was: I had to break up the game because it was late!

I usually don't like learning games from a manual, and this 51 page or so was no exception. Not all was clear to me but I don't blame the manual, my lack of comprehensive reading might also be responsible.
However after a good hour of so, I was able to understand what the basic moves did, difference between twam phase and hero phase and how to fight and using the troopers.

First impression, I like it a lot but I have to admit I am an unexperienced player. Didn't play many hardcore games till now so I cannot compare with too many other games.

I can say, I like it a lot and in saturday I hope to complete the game, preferably wit a win and I'll hope to post my new findings.

As last note, I pledged 1$, upped to fiend, was shared 1st backer of hellhound the second it came up and after playing that short PnP, it only confirmed for me to pledge hellhound. The minis will make this game a beast!!
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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C3Gaming wrote:
Fyxsius wrote:
Luckily it sounds like a space game from the Petersen’s is coming out hopefully first quarter of this year. I’m excited by what I’ve heard of that, so I’ll save my money for that instead :3


Yup, Hyperspace. Though not first quarter, the KS is due November-ish, I believe.


Good thing about this is The Gods War should be in everyone hands along with Evil High Priest so people won't be complaining about that thankfully.
 
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Michael Dursch
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Grumsh wrote:
C3Gaming wrote:
Fyxsius wrote:
Luckily it sounds like a space game from the Petersen’s is coming out hopefully first quarter of this year. I’m excited by what I’ve heard of that, so I’ll save my money for that instead :3


Yup, Hyperspace. Though not first quarter, the KS is due November-ish, I believe.


Good thing about this is The Gods War should be in everyone hands along with Evil High Priest so people won't be complaining about that thankfully.


Absolutely, I know we are awaiting Evil Gigh priest to hit the table!
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Gilberto Guillen
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The first map INVASION is mainly like to learn, easy piesy, try other maps and setup

Difficulty addition (like Sandy stated and shared)on TTS you can find the first 4 maps at the moment

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=130419...
 
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Michael Dursch
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The issue is the core actions you can take still remain limited. Typically move, fight, ambush, rest and recruit. What’s likely to change in future maps is positioning and spawn rules.
 
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Shelby Babb
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Fyxsius wrote:
The issue is the core actions you can take still remain limited. Typically move, fight, ambush, rest and recruit. What’s likely to change in future maps is positioning and spawn rules.


There's a bit more than that, but if you don't care for the first map I doubt the rest will win you over.

Ultimately, I've decided this is the result of deconstructing a dungeon crawler down to a more minimalistic game play, and then filling it out with "bling". And I see that is a design goal and not a design failure. You have heroes who level up, purchase equipment cards (i.e. allied troops), and then fight trash mobs on their way to beat a random big boss. The exploration of the dungeon is replaced with a more linear map than a dungeon crawler would normally have, but that's part of the streamlining I suppose.

It is to dungeon crawlers, what Run Fight or Die is to Zombicide.

I'm currently "all-in", but I've waffled a bunch on this campaign.
 
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Logan Hallfin
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I just finished my first TTS game and I didn't really feel meh, I felt my wallet screaming in utter terror just at the thought of 120-350 bucks and a huge wait.

That said here's my initial random thoughts after playing:

This game would be great for a hardcore (by hardcore I mean a team who actually works together and prioritizes correctly) co-op gaming group that loves Ameritrash and minis. Could be good solo if you love playing Multi-handed, I would say 3-4 characters.

No campaign play, but several different maps and heroes to vary play... heroes level up (also kinda random based on what gifts the deck has shown you) and get stronger (more dice) attacks, but over time more and stronger demons spawn.

Nothing stops the fact that I will roll snake eyes about 4 times an hour. ::sadface:: (imagine me playing KDM, it's hilarious)

Kind of an efficiency grinder. You gotta work together and not waste any time or you'll get rolled due to the spawn increases. Could become stale or too easy if you manage to solve the game by outpacing the timers.

Gotta get cannon fodder, tower defense, engine builder (courage farm) troops in place, level up (by killing demons), not let too many demons off the board (lose condition), and not get killed in the process.

To me this game is 70% about the minis. I've painted minis before but I'm not an expert... or even good (I score myself at a 3/10) but if I was or had a group that had a pro I'd be all in on this KS in a heartbeat.

So I guess my requirements would be a group of at least 3 (including me) to split the $450 all in... and/or a master mini painter.

I don't have either of those, so I have to pass. Core game is still tempting, but I think for myself I can spend 120 bucks better than that.

Anyway, that's what went through my head tonight, take into consideration I've only spent a couple days thinking about PA. About 2 hours learning the game by watching vids and reading the proto-rules and then about 2 hours playing it.
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Logan Hallfin
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I've played a couple more times and just had a couple quick thoughts I wanted to type out:

1) I've seen a few people reference tower defense, and I do too sort of referencing their reference... and I get that but that's what I would call it if it were a video game... as a board game I would say PA is very much an engine builder. Troops have a huuuuuge dual purpose in the game of acting as cannon fodder for your damage and being set as ambushes to create an engine to help you generate a lot of courage, so you can upgrade your attack dice so you can kill the big bad. That's PA in a nutshell. Troops = Courage = Gifts = OP heroes = Kill Bigbad before Timers (lord movement, 4th circle spawn, despair increases).

2) I personally don't think the system works super great (as in, its fine, but not OMG! amazing) with 2 players. Granted I've only played 4 times, but I've been thinking a lot about the strategy of my play and yes 2 players advance the despair 1/2 as fast as 4... but they're recruiting 1/2 as fast and thus setting up their courage farms 1/2 as fast. Compounding this is how the characters have obvious strengths and weaknesses, some are very much for support and some are very much straight death machines. Besides troopers and racing against the timers I would say the biggest part of the game is getting the right gifts, which requires having lots of courage and having lots of gift slots... more players have more courage and more luck and more gift slots making them that much more powerful if built correctly.

3) Cancelling out pretty much everything I just said in #2... if you play 4-5 characters... I think the game is great, maybe even Great. I'm gonna make the weirdest comparison ever here: Pandemic + KDM (or anything where your character has a lot of equipment). You need to be super efficient (like Pandemic) and you need to build your characters and their ambushes/patrols effectively (like equipment/gear in KDM) and that leads... at least for me... to a lot of thinking about the game even when I'm not playing. "How can I be more efficient, what could I try differently next time" kinda stuff... which I really like.

4) At this point I think the only reason I'm not backing is really just the fact I don't have the money and I don't have the means (or more money) to paint the minis in the quality they deserve. Also I do really like games lately with more story or even a story/choice driven branching campaign, so my money is kinda ear marked for that.

That said I really like PA and like it even more the more I play it. PA is kinda deceptive, it seems really complex, but its actually not but its definitely got some unique (almost puzzley) tricks to learn, and with the different maps, difficulty variants and characters; mastering all the tricks could add up to a lot of hours of fun play time.
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Montgomery Mullen
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The Pandemic comparison is what I was struggling to articulate. Thank you.
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Logan Hallfin
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4rch1t3ct wrote:
The Pandemic comparison is what I was struggling to articulate. Thank you.


Happy to know at least one person thought the same thing.

There's a lot of other games that require you to be super efficient, but maybe not as many that will crush you as fast as Pandemic and PA.
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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Raising this thread from the dead, has anyone who tried this early also played Orcs Must Die!?

I backed OMD! and had many of the same feelings being expressed here. Basically it was good but not great and the rules felt functional but not intriguing. There was a sense after playing of “that was fine, I’d play again,” but it wasn’t strong enough for anyone to actually play again.

I was tempted by this because I do like Sandy and I am a fan of Cthulhu Wars, but I passed based on my experience with OMD!

Can anyone compare the two directly?
 
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