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Subject: Dr. Lucky survives for a long, long time rss

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Dave Wilson
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We now had seven of us for a full game. We've played a few seven-player games in the past, but Bang! was the typical game choice, and we had just played that. This time Jim picked the game. We hadn't played it in a long, long time, so why not? So we all sat down to play Kill Doctor Lucky. The last time it came out at game night was back in October of 2003, so perhaps it was about time we brought it back out.

By random draw we chose Jim to start, and the Doctor started in the foyer. Jim used that, plus some nice card play, to lead the Doctor around the house, searching throughout six different rooms and building a nice hand of cards. He didn't attack, though. Jeff next was able to perform a couple of searches while leading Doctor Lucky upstairs, and he finally attacked in the billiard room, with a billiard cue. It was a strong attack (5 points), but Helen and Carrie passed quickly, leaving Dave (1), Danielle (1), and Jon(3) to pick up the slack and cause the failure. Danielle and Dave were the next to play, and they were able to lead Doctor Lucky around a bit. Danielle didn't attack, but Dave did, in teh Lancaster Room, with a shoehorn. It must have been a really big, sharp, heavy shoehorn, because it proved to be a 7 point attack. Danielle defended (3), as did Jon (2), Jeff (1) and Helen (1) to defeat the attack. Jim, with his massive hand of cards, passed again.

Jon was next, and he finished his searches with an attack with the Big Red Hammer, in the Winter Garden. Jim quickly passed yet again, but Jeff (1), Carrie (1) and Dave (2) fended off the four point attack. Dave was the next attacker again, using the Monkey Hand in the White Room. It was only a 2 point attack, but people started passing: Danielle, Jon, Jim, Jeff, and Helen all passed. That left Carrie. Did she have 2 failure points? Yes! So the game continued.

Jeff was next to attack, and he had no weapons, so he just used his bare hands. Everyone passed on defending the 1 point attack until it got to Jim, the last line of defense. He was forced to finally play, to keep the game going.

Through all this neither Helen nor Carrie were getting many turns. The "player who starts a turn in the same room with Doctor Lucky gets to take their turn" rule meant that they were getting skipped often. Finally Carrie had her turn, and she made good use of it, getting the Doctor in the Trophy Room and attacking with the Duck Decoy. It was a 4 point attack, and Dave, Danielle and Jon all passed, leaving it to Jim (2), Jeff (1), and Helen (1) to foil it. Dave was the next attacker, leading Doctor Lucky to his favorite killing ground, the White Room, where he attacked with a 3 point Killing Joke. The first three passed again, but Jeff (1), Helen (1) and Carrie (2) saved the doctor for the moment. Jim next attacked, going after the Doctor with a chainsaw in the library. It was becoming commonplace now for the first three to pass, but Dave (2), Danielle (1) and Jon (1) foiled that attack.

Like Carrie before, Helen finally got her turn to have some fun. She led the doctor on a merry chase, collecting a bunch of cards, and eventually heading upstairs. She finally made her attack, serving the Doctor some Bad Cream in the Sitting Room. The defenses came out early this time, and Dave (1), Jon (2), and Jim (2) foiled the 5 point attack. Jeff came next, and saw that he'd only get one search before the Doctor joined Dave in the Green Room, so Jeff moved him away, skipping Dave and instead heading back to Helen. She wasted no time in attacking again, using the Duck Decoy in the Tennessee Room. It was a 3 point attack, and it was foiled quickly, as the first defender, Carrie, played a 3 point failure card to end it. The Doctor finally made it to Dave, who proceeded to attack again with the shoehorn, this time in the White Room. The 2 point attack was foiled by Helen's 2 point defense.

By this time we're well into our second pass through the draw deck, and failure cards are running out. Jon tries a desperation attack, using his bare hands in the Lancaster Room, which Jim stops. He then attacked with the chainsaw in the library, like he did earlier in the game. It was another 4 point attack, and Jeff quickly played 3 failure points to help defend, but everyone else passed, leaving it to Jon, and he was out of failure cards. So the attack succeeded, Doctor Lucky was dead, and Jim was the winner.

You know, this is a pretty fun way to fill a half hour or so. But once it hit the two hour mark, I think people were more than ready for it to end. Was it about time we brought it back out? Perhaps. But we also learned why we waited that long.
 
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Get up, get up, get up, get down, fall over.
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Yep, this is not a good game for 7. It plays too fast with 3, about right with 4 or 5, too long with 6 and way too long with 7.

I suggest 'Save Dr Lucky' with the higher number or players, the games are complementary in that respect.

Edit: Oh and I would always use the spite variant - it certainly speeds things up with higher numbers.
 
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Dave Wilson
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I hear what you're saying (um, see what you're typing shake ) but we have plenty of games for 3-5 players, so this one never comes up when looking for a game at that time. It's only when we have the larger numbers, and we're looking for an option that'll keep us all together (and yes, I know -- we're just not the "split up" sort of group, I guess) that we recognize it as an option. But I can see how it'd move more quickly if there were fewer people peeking in on you and the Doctor when you're ready to go for the kill.
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Get up, get up, get up, get down, fall over.
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I guess this thread will serve as a stark warning to other game groups then. arrrh

In the meantime, can I suggest Saboteur or Diamant if you are looking for something light that goes to 7 or 8.

Or if you are looking for something with more replayability RoboRally, though with 7 you would need to keep the course fairly short.

In fact, I would suggest just about anything before playing KDL with 7.
 
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James Fung
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daw65 wrote:
You know, this is a pretty fun way to fill a half hour or so. But once it hit the two hour mark, I think people were more than ready for it to end. Was it about time we brought it back out? Perhaps. But we also learned why we waited that long.

Yep, one time we played with 9 people, many of whom like to chain drawing turns and then not attack Dr. Lucky. It felt like we could have watched Gone With The Wind by the time the game finished.

I strongly suggest using the spite tokens variant: if your attack fails, you get a token which gives you +1 to a subsequent attack or act as a Failure-1 card. Attacks happen more often, are stronger, and a player with a spite token can't excuse themselves from stopping an attack by claiming they have no failure cards. To speed the game up further, don't allow spite tokens to be used as Failure-1 and watch the failure cards melt away.
 
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