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Tomb» Forums » General

Subject: Tomb: One Person's Experience with the Game and Errata ASAP Please..... rss

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J. David Koch
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I had the chance to pick up Tomb at GenCon and let me start this thread by saying first, I do not work for the company and focus primarily on Eurogames in my collection.
That said, I did play a lot of RPGs in college and did have a "Talisman" phase that I went through many years ago.

Frankly, I have not be happy with the RPG board games I have played to date including Return of the Heroes, Runebound, Prophecy, or even Descent (although IMHO I think the last one is the best of the group).
They all took too long or repeated themselves too much or just did not capture that feeling of being completely surprised by what happened next.
For me, they just were not that much fun.

My friend Adam had played Tomb early in the week at the convention and said he really liked it. Since our tastes are very similar in games and since I've still been on the hunt for the ultimate dungeon crawl board game, I went out on a limb and purchased Tomb.

I have to say, I am very impressed with the game. Great fun, sparks wonderful interaction with other players, great art direction, and tons of cards (traps, items, monsters) to really keep each game distinct from playing to the next.

Now before we go farther, I do not work for AEG, nor frankly know anyone that does.
Never purchased a game from them before, but I will be looking for what they do in the future. They should all be very proud of what they created.

But I have a couple of nits:

First: Don't at all believe the 1 hour playing time printed on the box.
After playing 3 games so far, I can tell you no way, no how.
More like 50 minutes to an hour for each "player" is closer to being accurate.
That's OK with me for the most part if everyone knows what they are getting into at the beginning.

Downtime: I would also suggest you never play with more than 4 (and really 3 might be more optimum) in that the downtime can get brutal with 5 or 6 especially if you have any AP going on in your group.
If you try to really move it along, it can help, but there just is so much that can happen in a turn that you can find yourself with a lot of time until your chance to play rolls back around.

Finally, my biggest complaint.
The rulebook and the lack of any sort of errata.
Yes, it does cover a lot of what to do to play the game, but it really does not do a good enough job of giving you specifics.
Way too many questions are left unanswered about playing the game.
It seems like the mentality about making the game easy to play and pick up (which it really is) extends to the rulebook.
So your group ends up making rules to cover the rules that are missing and then deciding to play that way for that game.
But the next group may want to play the exceptions a different way.

All in all, I understand that they were just trying to get the game out to all the rabid fans that have been waiting for it and frankly they did a superb job to have it ready for GenCon.

But, I do hope that AEG follows on quickly with a full fledged beefy errata so that we can deal with the many, many of the questions that are inherent in playing the game.

In closing, (whew I thought he would never finish....) I just want to say again that I think AEG did a great job here and I am more than pleased with Tomb.
Finally someone has stepped up the bar in making what I think will be the premier board game dungeon crawl that will get played again and again.

Expansion please.




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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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McGuit wrote:
The rulebook and the lack of any sort of errata.

Normally, this is seen as a plus.

But I think I understand what you're getting at.
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J. David Koch
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Quote:
Normally, this is seen as a plus.
But I think I understand what you're getting at.


I sometimes think that writing a good rulebook may almost be tougher than turning out the game itself.

You want it to be the correct length in order to properly describe exactly how to play the game without going too long and boring the reader before they get to the end.

You have to use very specific language in order to clear up any questions and confusions before they occur.

The problem becomes much harder when you have games where there are exceptions to the exceptions and games with hundreds of cards and powers that break core rules to the game become even tougher to write.

Have the utmost respect for people that can write a great rulebook.

It really is a rare skill.

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Jerry Hawthorne
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I agree with this review whole heartedly!

In defense of the rulebook, I will say that the artwork is good, and it does allow you to pick up and be playing your very first game in minutes, learning the rules as you go.

The rulebook makes mention of things and sometimes never really follows through in explaining their terminology. As an example, we had a hard time figuring out the difference between the characters at the Inn and the Character Pool, until we found a tiny mention at the end of the rules that dead characters were replaced in the Inn by random draw from the character pool (bag). Until then we thought that there was this dwindling supply of able bodied adventurers and when they were all gone, then tough.
 
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Chris Rogers
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For what its worth.

I've played two 6 Player games of Tomb.

Excluding teaching time, each came in around the 2.5 hour mark.
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J. David Koch
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rogdog13 wrote:
For what its worth.

I've played two 6 Player games of Tomb.

Excluding teaching time, each came in around the 2.5 hour mark.


Wow, you guys are much faster than us.
Still a long way from a 1 hour game though.




 
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Chris
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nobeerblues wrote:
I agree with this review whole heartedly!

In defense of the rulebook, I will say that the artwork is good, and it does allow you to pick up and be playing your very first game in minutes, learning the rules as you go.

The rulebook makes mention of things and sometimes never really follows through in explaining their terminology. As an example, we had a hard time figuring out the difference between the characters at the Inn and the Character Pool, until we found a tiny mention at the end of the rules that dead characters were replaced in the Inn by random draw from the character pool (bag). Until then we thought that there was this dwindling supply of able bodied adventurers and when they were all gone, then tough.


We played a 2 player game where the poisoner was in the inn and I picked him. Bam up to 3 adventures are removed from the inn talk about small parties as none of the cards that replenish the inn came up. We went and asked the guys at the GenCon booth if that was supposed to happen and they said that it was. He is nasty in a 2 player game.
 
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Adam Daulton
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There is also a monster, I can't remember the name of it, that when killed removes 5 characters from the Inn. That also makes for some small parties, which I didn't mind in the game we were playing, because I was the only one with 5 characters in my party. Everyone else had 3 or less. However, it did really hurt them.
 
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Sam I am
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My only complain so far is the lack of color contrast on the blue and green dice. Have good lighting folks!
 
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Stephen Cappello
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lordunborn wrote:


We played a 2 player game where the poisoner was in the inn and I picked him. Bam up to 3 adventures are removed from the inn talk about small parties as none of the cards that replenish the inn came up. We went and asked the guys at the GenCon booth if that was supposed to happen and they said that it was. He is nasty in a 2 player game.


Also remember, every time a character dies, a new one is taken out of the pool and put into the inn.
 
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Jerry Hawthorne
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Sippi wrote:
lordunborn wrote:


We played a 2 player game where the poisoner was in the inn and I picked him. Bam up to 3 adventures are removed from the inn talk about small parties as none of the cards that replenish the inn came up. We went and asked the guys at the GenCon booth if that was supposed to happen and they said that it was. He is nasty in a 2 player game.


Also remember, every time a character dies, a new one is taken out of the pool and put into the inn.
Yes this little detail is barely mentioned toward the back of the rules under the heading "Death" I think. Just an example of ways the rulebook could have been made clearer.
 
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Adam Daulton
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nobeerblues wrote:
Sippi wrote:
lordunborn wrote:


We played a 2 player game where the poisoner was in the inn and I picked him. Bam up to 3 adventures are removed from the inn talk about small parties as none of the cards that replenish the inn came up. We went and asked the guys at the GenCon booth if that was supposed to happen and they said that it was. He is nasty in a 2 player game.


Also remember, every time a character dies, a new one is taken out of the pool and put into the inn.
Yes this little detail is barely mentioned toward the back of the rules under the heading "Death" I think. Just an example of ways the rulebook could have been made clearer.


Also, I think there is a difference between dying and discarding. Dying would replace the character, discarding would not.
 
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Stephen Cappello
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That is correct. I was merely pointing out that all hope is not lost if one of the "discard character from inn" effects takes place :D
 
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Frank Holub
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rcbevco wrote:
My only complain so far is the lack of color contrast on the blue and green dice. Have good lighting folks!


This statement could not be more true, We played monday night after we got back from GenCon in my room and I constantly struggled to figure which dice were blue and which were green.
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John Zinser
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Hi Guys,

As you could expect the AEG staff is getting caught up after an exciting Gencon. Our developer Brent Keith is working on an first draft FAQ which should go up early next week.

I have to say I am relieved that the early reviews are in and good. I think this product was especially tough on our editing and development department since after 15 years I picked this game to complete start to finish. I am usually only involved at the concept stage of games, and since I spell horribly, and type worse I know that even though a number of errors got through they caught many, many more before it went to press.

I am glad to hear the feel of the game I saw in my head and play at the office is translating to your home games. We will stay on top of the questions on our site and keep checking here at BGG for any issues or ideas you have.

After 15 years in the industry Tomb really is my first time at the design dance so don’t be too hard on me ☺.

Thanks
John Zinser
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Chris Hartwig
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AEGGuru wrote:
Our developer Brent Keith is working on an first draft FAQ which should go up early next week.

I was lucky enough to have my in-laws bring me back a copy of the game from GenCon as a birthday present and have since played now about a half-dozen games with 2, 3, 4, and 6 players involved (4 players was the smoothest, most balanced). Overall, I think this is a great game. The thematic elements are good, player interactivity is high, and most of the games I've played have been relatively close score-wise. There are some excellent mechanics that keep the game interesting even when it's not your turn. The role of Challenge Master constantly changing hands is a nice touch, as are the numerous cards and abilities that allow the CM to personally benefit from his role.

I agree with earlier posts that a good errata is definitely necessary, though. In particular, my group has run into trouble with the following questions:
- When making a contested dice roll, who wins ties? Does the raiding player always win, or does the CM win if he is the person who initiated the roll?
- When raiding a crypt, does the party actually enter the crypt as a space or do they remain at the door? Many cards have the text "before entering a crpyt" so we've interpreted that to mean the party actually moves inside, but that led to more questions when someone else tried to pickpocket the party (which requires that the pickpocket be able to reach the party in a single turn of movement) or cast the spell card "Hold Portal" against the door to lock the party inside.
- When a monster has the power to attach Inn cards, are those cards completely useless if they aren't Battle cards or Reacts with an appropriate trigger? Are references to "Monster" and "Character" reversed when the card is being used by a monster instead of a character?
- If a card has a React ability that causes more cards to be drawn, and those cards have the same React trigger as the original card, can they be used immediately or is the trigger moment considered to have passed?

Hopefully the new errata can resolve some of these questions. By and large the game is very enjoyable, but the playtime is definitely the largest concern (especially for the nongamers in the group). The large number of character abilities, card abilities, and monster abilities constantly interacting has caused the game to slow to a standstill more than once while we agreed on a house rule.
 
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John Sheldon
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Having just completed a 5 player game of tomb I second all the comments made here. The biggest issue was the downtime. Firstly it took a long time to actually pick a party, the mechanic of picking five characters, selecting one and then passing the entire created pool round slows this process down considerably, next time we play ( there will definitely be a next time)we'll try a few tweaks for this process. Downtime in the game with five is also an issue, theoretically you should get a regular shot at being crypt master, in practice because of the left/right mechanic on the crypts this can result in play staying between two or three players for long periods( two of us were out of action for around 35 minutes because of this). Combinations of "complicated" monsters e.g those that pick up items from the inn deck before combat commences also slows things up in our case exascerbating the previous point made.
Having said all that this is a decent game, pound for pound the best stab at a dungeoneering board game to date, there is definite replay value to be had; but too unwieldy with more than four players and unlikely too be finished in anywhere near an hour
 
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Chad Jensen
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Quote:
I sometimes think that writing a good rulebook may almost be tougher than turning out the game itself.

It is. Writing the rules to a game is easily the most difficult part of the design process.
 
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Sippi wrote:
lordunborn wrote:


We played a 2 player game where the poisoner was in the inn and I picked him. Bam up to 3 adventures are removed from the inn talk about small parties as none of the cards that replenish the inn came up. We went and asked the guys at the GenCon booth if that was supposed to happen and they said that it was. He is nasty in a 2 player game.


Also remember, every time a character dies, a new one is taken out of the pool and put into the inn.


My girlfriend and I were pondering this, since I did not find it in the rulebook. But it is true, and it is only mentioned on the very last page in the battle example. It states:

"This time, Brine Spawn rolls three successes. With two wounds already on Eryne, nothing can save her. She is discarded and a new character is added to the Inn from the Character Pool."

This is never mentioned at any point earlier in the manual, good find!
 
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Chad Jensen
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Quote:
This is never mentioned at any point earlier in the manual

Bottom of page 9 (I think...) under the heading "Death".
 
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