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Vast: The Crystal Caverns» Forums » General

Subject: Vast - Love the artwork just not the gameplay (for 2 players) rss

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Jim Boyer
United States
North Carolina
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We recently bought Vast and although we love the artwork the gameplay is not for us. My daughter (10) son (12) and I (bit older) tend to play most of the games in the house and enjoy a wide variety of them.

What we do love - the artwork and the tile reveal mechanic.

What we do not love. Over 5 games (2 player mainly as my son got bored) with the Knight Goblin combo we felt that:

1. There was little player interaction and it seemed almost like a joint solo game with 2 people sharing the same board but not the same experience. I found this to be most unexpected.

2. Seemed like work, and not just to learn a game but tedious.

3. Small pool of treasures (7) and quests (10) for the Knight made even the 5 games seem repetitive.

4. The turns vary a lot in length and lead to uneven pacing and lots of downtime for the other player.

Lest you think its a learning issue we do play Too Many Bones and Undertow all the time in our household and are no stranger to complex games. With TMB at least scaling from 1-4 works very well and does not seem like a hack (like using variant cards in Vast to make up for a less than 5 team) and the pacing is very even. <I am now wondering if I would feel differently about Vast if I played it before TMB.>

I appreciate all the work in creating Vast and perhaps I am missing something in the 2 player experience that is obvious. But I wanted to put this out for anyone looking at Vast exclusively for 2 player interaction.


So - I hate to let a good group game go to waste so anyone who wants this game and will pay just for shipping (in the US) I will send it to you. Just PM me.


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Nicholas Bamber
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I'm trying to avoid 2 player games of Vast. 3 works well though.
 
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Enon Sci
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For what it is worth, I own about 300+ games and have played almost all of them (with one notable exception - I'm looking at you Space Alert). Vast is the ONLY game I bought and then stuck on the shelf in dismay after reading the rules, feeling entirely certain it wouldn't be more than a letdown with only 2.**

The game seems to really demand a full table, solid understanding of the asymmetries, AND a strong desire to find the fun in a gaming session solely from dominating another player at the table (v.s. exploring a euro puzzle or the like, building an empire, etc).

Despite this, I bought the expansion content and still very much want to play it. I just wish it worked better with 2 or 3.


** - actually, this was a similar issue with Space Alert, but I at least tried to bring Space Alert to the table. Played a few sessions with different people, but never succeeded in getting ANY single group to the full ruleset.
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Mikkel Øberg
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I, for one, really like Vast with two. Granted, it's better with four, but I like the 1-vs-1 aspect.

It's even better with the expansion, where the Nightmare Unicorn (or is it Shadow? Can't remember) makes for an excellent chaotic element.
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Kyle
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jb_bbg wrote:
Over 5 games (2 player mainly as my son got bored) with the Knight Goblin combo...

Before giving up on the game entirely, try out a few of the other pairings.

Due to the highly-asymmetrical nature of the game, every two-player combination plays completely different even when using one familiar role. Even if Knight vs. Goblins maybe isn't working for you, one of the others very well could - Knight vs Dragon, Dragon vs. Cave, Goblins vs. Thief, etc.. It sounds like you've barely scratched the surface of what's possible in the game.
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Jim Boyer
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Kyle - we do plan to try 1 or 2 more combos one last time. However with time short and devoting 5 hours already there is a time vs benefit analysis to do when it comes to looking for a combo style we might like a bit.

But yes to be fair this is only a few sessions but so far other games have clicked much quicker for us.

However if I had a group of 4 this would potentially be a very frequent game to the table.

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Bartosz Szafarz
Poland
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jb_bbg wrote:

But yes to be fair this is only a few sessions but so far other games have clicked much quicker for us.


Sometimes you forego a quick reward for a much bigger later down the line.

That's not a Vast-specific thought, just a general one.

Same with music - sometimes I find an album that I can't get at all after the first few plays, but later, when I start to dig into the deeper layers of it, I get a much more intense experience than those other albums I immediately liked.

It's not a universal rule but it can happen.
 
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Anjovi Kulam
Canada
Prince George
British Columbia
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Anarchosyn wrote:


Despite this, I bought the expansion content and still very much want to play it. I just wish it worked better with 2 or 3.



If you ever get the chance to play it with at least 3, I'd suggest the following combo:

Knight vs Thief vs Ghoul: These 3 are singular characters that have relatively simple rules and don't involve some of the exception rules that are brought up via pushing or collapsing stuff (Dragon and goblin)

In a sense, it works like a decent introduction to the game system and illustrates one of the more interesting interactions that can be had. Particularly, how the knight's design with perception and strength interact with both the thief and the ghoul...

Otherwise, the thief or ghoul (the regular ghoul; not the vile ghoul) seem like they'd be a good alternative to the goblin faction as they still behave like a nice enough 3rd player to balance out the knight chasing the dragon..Definately easier than throwing a new player into the goblin role as the card play can be really discouraging, particularly when the player doesn't have a knowledge of the deck and what to sexpect.

Also, play with the game on the easiest difficulty for each faction to ensure a quicker play time. Nothing worse than a learning game taking 2+ hrs.

This game is more a toybox than a defined contest of wits (or whatever better descriptor fits here) and seems to be more fun with the more moving/interacting pieces you involve. That said, 1 and 2 player games are going to suffer big time!

 
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