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Exalted: Legacy of the Unconquered Sun» Forums » General

Subject: Initial Impressions of Exalted:LotUC rss

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James
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After an impulse buy by one of our group, we tried this game out last night and were very disappointed. Here are some initial impressions. Caveat: This is based on one play, after one review of the rules. It's likely that we did not everything perfectly, and since this is based on one play these are impressions, not a review.

The rulebook is wordy. Terribly, terribly wordy. All of the text is in lengthy paragraphs and the layout ensures that you're paging all around the rulebook to find the information you want. Not a great first impression.

The board and components are decent quality. I find the cards and counters to be a bit thin, but the board, character cards and epic quest cards are on nice thick stock. I have to give special mention to the dice. They are functional, but red, glossy paint over tan plastic makes them fairly difficult to read while they are on the table. They're also somewhat bulky when compared to most other 10-sided dice I've used. White Wolf would have been better served with a standard engraved d10. Overall the components are a notch down from a Fantasy Flight Game, even though the game retails for the same approximate price as a big box FFG title. This alone is not a problem, just an observation.

In game it seems that you spend all your time chasing after quests, many of which you have a poor chance of completing successfully. The movement system requires that you spend time traveling to places, and this translates into missing turns if you have to travel to somewhere distant. The number of turns missed depends entirely on the actions of the other players, as if they are able to travel short distances (using less time) it's possible for them to have many turns in a row before you get another turn. Since quest and rival positioning is based on a card draw, you can (and one of us was) be screwed by bad draws for positioning of quests and rivals. Since the game has a four year limit (15-month years), if you spend three or six months travelling somewhere you can really put yourself behind. We found we were trying anything nearby instead of traveling across the world and losing all that time, until the point that there was only a single quest on the board not already 'claimed' by a player.

If someone gets lucky and beats the first section of more than one quest (which seems to 'reserve' that quest for them, though I am not entirely clear on this point), players can spend stupid amounts of time just traveling to quests to attempt, possibly putting them further behind due to the travel time. Questing comes down to rolling a few dice and if you fail, you had your shot at defeating that quest/rival and a new quest/rival spawns somewhere else. This is more of a problem that it may first appear to be due to the fact that it seems that some renown tokens are only available from quests that consist of two or three parts, and are only awarded on the second or third section of the quest. Since most multipart quests involve a few different stat checks to defeat, you're generally rolling against something you're not good at at some point, which increases the chances of losing (even with buying additional dice with essence) and having a new quest spawn somewhere else. If you manage to beat a section of a quest, it respawns somewhere else on the board and it could be anywhere, taking no time or a lot of time to travel to and attempt.

There does not seem to be a way of improving your character as you go, just random equipment and charms from the decks which may or may not be useful. I'd like to see a way of improving my skills, so that with time I had a reasonable chance of completing a quest that required three successes on a stat that I only started with two dice in.

Our initial impression is that this is not a good game, but I'm going to go through the rules in detail and see if we're missing anything. Hopefully we're missing something and our experience playing it improves, but at this point I'm dubious. I strongly recommend people resist an impulse buy on this game until there is more information. I realize that this article has a negative tilt to it, but these are my honest impressions of the game.
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Martin DeOlden
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Chino
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Our initial play through went very well.
It started out similar to yours but you do not have to go it alone. Once we realized we were all doing quite badly we decided to switch gears and work together which the rules allow you to do. We all started moving together to defeat the various quests needed to get the right entry pieces to the Epic quests. It took a while as we kept failing at the third part of most quests but finally were able to get the last remaining epic quest completed at the end of the month of the 3rd year. This game can be played against each other or you can team up and play against the game which is what we did and we barely made it at that. I will play this again.
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Kevin B. Smith
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From everything I have read, and based on one solo play, this game seems to be best as a pure co-op. That reduces the problems of having to cross the board repeatedly, and of the card draw randomness. There are a number of cards that only apply to pvp battles, but you can just trade them in for motes of essence, so that's ok. I would think it would be quite a bit shorter cooperative than competitive, because you wouldn't be battling or stealing from each other.

As a bonus, you wouldn't be afraid to travel across the board when necessary, which would speed up the game because long trips take up lots of in-game time but almost no human time.

I do agree that it would be nice to be able to improve your character's skills. Or at least to have more Charms and Rewards that help with statistics.
 
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