Tazio Bettin
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Hi
yesterday my friends and I had our first session of Grimslingers, and as the manual suggests (and as I thought appropriate) we did one versus duel, two against two. It was Luella and Red on one side, LaFleur and Barceline with Witchcraft on the other side (the irony wasn't lost to me considering the character backgrounds).
Right off the bat, the lack of any explanatory pamphlet or rulebook for Red's abilities gave us some problems. That needs fixing but as of today I couldn't find a pdf of it or of Witchcraft anywhere. Is it available?
Basically, the match was tremendously unbalanced. Red could have defeated LaFleur and Barceline easily alone with a combo of Forage Fiend and Trash Panda, unless we read it wrong.
Basically any time Red discards an item for any reason including its use, it goes under Trash Panda. Scraper (within Forage Fiend) also lets him discard items under Trash Panda for free (it's really powerful, I wouldn't have included this last one: you already have purge and it rightfully costs an action). Trash Panda can be flipped as a standoff action, and cause Red to craft and immediately use one of his bombs provided he's discarded enough cards. That means that he can craft at every turn provided he has prowess, which means a free attack to ALL enemies during standoff in addition to any attack he does during the aftermath phase. Luella could have just sat back and enjoyed the show. Red has enough prowess to easily kill the opposing team alone. There was no way of countering or mitigating that damage.
Whilst Barceline with Witchcraft was able to deal some punishment with her elemental ward and spells, LaFleur was completely powerless and could do little. The player was positively annoyed.

As per inconsistencies in the rulebook, this is something that caused a problem during this versus:

We used the Northern Territories rulebook (of course).
Following the rules, we took the six elemental spells, four skill cards from each set, and drafted one signature spell, leaving us with 11 cards each. As the maximum hand in a versus is 8, we chose 8 cards to keep in hand and placed the rest in our stash.

At this point the phrasing of the rulebook is opaque. It only says in page 16 that the hand limit is 8 and the other cards must be kept in the stash, but it doesn't clearly state whether you should choose which cards to keep and which to stash or if you're supposed to shuffle them and draw 8 randomly. It's a big difference and a game manual should be cristal clear in such a detail. I hope we got it right by choosing the cards to keep and the ones to stash. It made more sense but I'd rather have precise phrasing just to be sure.

On page 16 it is also briefly mentioned that "players may access their stash in the standoff phase as a standoff action". However this option is not included in page 18 among all the actions one can take during standoff are listed with bullet points.
The stash organization is mentioned again in page 31 in the creature duel rules, and is included in the list provided by the player mats.
As it is, if you only follow the list on page 18, like we did, the only conclusion is that in a versus you cannot access your stash and only in coop you can. Which didn't make much sense, but we didn't find that brief mention of page 16 and so had to assume that the versus is meant to be a quick fight with no stash access (the standoff action of hand/stash organizing is the only way of accessing your stash in the game, as I understood it). Turn out that was wrong, and that crippled LaFleur's tactics against the unbeatable onslaught of Red.
The manual failed to listing the option of accessing the stash in that turn diagram on page 18.

As per the action that allows you to organize your hand and stash, the instruction on page 31 is again not very precise in its phrasing. It says "you may put cards into your stash from your hand, and take cards from your stash and put them into your hand, as long as it does not exceed your hand limit".
So I can just choose and put any number of cards I want in my stash and replace them with any cards of my choice that are in my stash as long as the hand limit is respected? Or should I discard cards from my hand into my stash and draw cards from my stash into my hand? I am assuming it's the former, but a more precise phrasing would have made it absolutely unmistakable.
The rules tend to be very clear in certain aspects, and a bit less clear in others. Personally, I find that the method of restoring discarded and deactivated cards and of accessing one's stash, which are the first things I want to get perfectly clear in a game, are a bit sparsely listed. That's because reactivating is a standoff action and therefore listed under how to duel, whereas recovering spells from the discard pile is the reload anima ability and therefore listed under anima abilities. The manual does reference, but a bullet point list like the one on page 18 and 31 benefit from being as complete as possible for easy referencing during play (the last thing you want to do is have to jump from page to page of the manual during a game).
This is an issue you only face as a beginner in the game, mind you, where you need handy rules as reference. Once you get used to it, I'm sure it gets much easier and the player mats help a lot once you've established that yes, you have the "organize your hand" option in duels as well.
Having the list of anima abilities listed in the player mat might have helped because even though they're listed on your anima card, two are on one side and the third is on the other side. Neither mention "flip this card to surge" which could've been useful considering the amount of text information you have to constantly be aware of during the game. Again, this is something you get used to while you play.

Two last things. The rulebook does not mention how much you are supposed to be able to communicate with your teammate in a 2 vs 2 duel. It would be nice to have such information clearly listed because it makes a big difference, otherwise if you and your teammate both play a Water spell against the same target, you both won't deal any damage and you'll have wasted a turn (happened in the first turn of the duel when we thought that no communication is allowed unless specified by the rulebook).
Maybe you could say "communication is restricted to showing your target card and selected action card for the second step of the draw phase". This way you avoid your enemy to know your team's tactic, you provide a clear instruction and you avoid further uncertainties.
Last but not least, on page 18 Draw Phase Step Two i am told that combine type cards let me play more than one action card. The purpose of playing action cards face down until everyone says "draw!" is to keep your tactic secret until the very end, but if I play a combine card, people will know it anyways, because I'm playing two cards. Unless I'm supposed to play one card and then pick and attach a combine card to it from my hand once the first action card is revealed. The rulebook might be more specific about that. We assumed it was the former of the two. Yes, you're gonna play a combine and everyone will know. Did we do it right?
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Stephen Gibson
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Just want to let you know I've read this and will reply soon. Just busy at the moment!

There are definitely mistakes in the rulebook that are confusing. I'm very frustrated with it, the best I can do at the moment is make video tutorials and answer questions here on BGG.
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Jay Rey
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Hi Stephen,

I hope it's not going to sound like bashing to you but this is 4th edition of the rule book and believe me you are not the only one who is frustrated cause of this situation. Is it possible to make it finally complete somehow? PDFs similar to player aids which you can download for other games? Something like these for example https://www.orderofgamers.com/games/?

One for duels and one for solo/coop play would be great. Something which would, step by step and without needless sentences, help to start to play this game. It has got a lot of potential but it needs to be explained once and for all to other players I'm afraid.




 
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Tazio Bettin
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Thank you my friend! Please take your time, next session won't be before next week so...
 
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Stephen Gibson
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kompan wrote:

Hi Stephen,

I hope it's not going to sound like bashing to you but this is 4th edition of the rule book and believe me you are not the only one who is frustrated cause of this situation. Is it possible to make it finally complete somehow? PDFs similar to player aids which you can download for other games? Something like these for example https://www.orderofgamers.com/games/?

One for duels and one for solo/coop play would be great. Something which would, step by step and without needless sentences, help to start to play this game. It has got a lot of potential but it needs to be explained once and for all to other players I'm afraid.



It's not bashing me, because I am not the editor or publisher, quality control and all that is their deal.

The third edition rulebook was pretty well refined, the 4th edition though added a lot of new stuff and didn't get as long of an editing/playtesting pass as the third edition rulebook.

I don't work for GBG, and so I simply don't have the time to create new rulebooks or content for the game. I receive no monetary gain from Grimslingers in any way, so as a dude who's got a fam to take care of, it's hard to justify the time required when it takes me away from things that do make me money.

I'm also not a professional editor in any way, so I should most definitely not be the one to create an errorless rulebook. Really, any written content from me needs some legit editor work done to it.

Like I said, best I can do is answer questions here and there, and make a simple set of video tutorials (and it's hard even finding the time for that).

I would email GBG about your idea and the frustrations you have with the rulebook. The more players that complain directly to them, the more they will do something about it.

greenbriergames@gmail.com
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Jess Yi
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ssgibson wrote:

I receive no monetary gain from Grimslingers in any way, so as a dude who's got a fam to take care of, it's hard to justify the time required when it takes me away from things that do make me money.


I'm a noob when it comes to game publishing and distribution, but this sounds like it sucks for you as a the designer/writer/illustrator. I mean, other than getting your game produced and distributed.

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Stephen Gibson
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nesjess wrote:
ssgibson wrote:

I receive no monetary gain from Grimslingers in any way, so as a dude who's got a fam to take care of, it's hard to justify the time required when it takes me away from things that do make me money.


I'm a noob when it comes to game publishing and distribution, but this sounds like it sucks for you as a the designer/writer/illustrator. I mean, other than getting your game produced and distributed.



Normally I would get a royalty, but I made a deal with GBG that I'd take no royalty, but would get full rights back to the game at the start of 2020.

Owning the world I created was more important to me than money at the moment
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Jess Yi
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ssgibson wrote:


Normally I would get a royalty, but I made a deal with GBG that I'd take no royalty, but would get full rights back to the game at the start of 2020.

Owning the world I created was more important to me than money at the moment


Smart man. Thanks again for creating this world for us to experience.

Looking forward to backing Grimslingers: Return of the Maker in 2020.
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