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Duel of Ages: Masters Addendum» Forums » General

Subject: New to game - recommended to add Masters set to set #1? rss

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Bill Jones
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Hi,

I just picked up Worldspanner Set #1 yesterday. Last night I opened the game, skimmed the instructions, separated all the pieces, and did a trial set up solo. I also spent some time reading the official DOA website, and downloading the PDF files for the Tutorial, FAQ, and Master's Addendum rulebook. It's a lot of info and stuff to digest in a single night, so I settled for reading about 1/3 of the Set #1 rulebook in depth. Today, I finished the rules in detail, altogether spending several hours reading it thoroughly. The plan is for me to learn the game adequately enough to teach it to our gaming group next week. I think with one solo play I could be fairly sure of about 80%-90% of the rules and gameplay.

The rulebook is very well done, but very dense, and I would say of the games our group has already played, this one could be the most complex. Prior games we have played include Agricola, Pandemic, Battlestar Galactica, Cosmic Encounter, RoboRally, and Mystery of the Abbey. Of those, Battlestar is probably the most complex as far as amount of rules. But Duel of Ages seems to have BSG beat by far! cool

So anyway, after looking at the improved rulebook of the Masters Addendum, and seeing how it includes some overlooked items such as health tokens and additional reference charts, I wonder if the game might be actually easier to learn and play with the addition of this expansion? I know it's NOT a must to add the Masters Addendum prior to our first play, but does anyone recommend it?

Thanks,

Bill

ps - note that I am cross-posting this to the Set #1 forum as well.
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Giles Pritchard
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I would recommend it Bill. It adds all the rules for all the expansions, and lays them out very clearly. The health tokens aren't particularly useful because I don't think there are enough of them. You are better using glass beads (that's what I use). The blank character and equipment cards might be useful if you like being creatuve with your games. But the rules book is wonderful and detailed - as is the poster.

It might also give you an idea of what other expansions you might want to get.

However, I still think the best expansion is Set 2, followed by the Masters Addendum, followed by Set 3. What you get though will depend on how much you enjoy and have fun with the game!

Cheers,

Giles.
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Gunther Schmidl
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wjones14 wrote:
this one could be the most complex [...] Duel of Ages seems to have BSG beat by far!


Set 1? Seriously? We played it on Friday, and it took us roughly 5 minutes to explain to the new player.
 
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David desJardins
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You don't have to buy or play with the Masters expansion, to play with the Masters rulebook. I wouldn't start by adding those characters or components. But I would certainly use that rulebook (which is available for free download).
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Tim Fiscus
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I'm going to say no, and here's why:

1) The most important part of the Master's Addendum, when it comes to teaching new players, is the beyond-awesome rulebook. Since this is available online in its entirety (at the DoA website), you are good to go there.

2) The MA also adds some great characters, but most are "advanced" or "oddball", and probably not suited for a first game. Some are DEFINITELY not suited for a first game.

The only thing that I do remember is that the MA released some updated and balanced character cards for rules changes and balances that went into effect after time. These are only really a big deal when you are playing with the full set (all char exps).

I would say that, for the first few plays, Sets #1 and #2 are the "must haves". Set #2 is so important (Team Bases, etc) and cool that I can hardly imagine anyone serious about learning the game playing without it for more than a game or so.

So, in short, I don't recommend it for a first play. Neither does the designer, and neither do the developers.

I do heartily and with a yo-ho-ho recommend it as soon as you have your feet wet!

R. R. Roy, the Man in the Bright White Suit
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Justin Robben
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I am happy and proud to own them all, but would say that MA is not the first expansion you need to get...

It fully shines once you have all of the others.

It is excellent in waht it does; clarifies, organizes and enhances the overall DoA universe.

Get Royal Tourney first!
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Matthew M
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gschmidl wrote:
wjones14 wrote:
this one could be the most complex [...] Duel of Ages seems to have BSG beat by far!


Set 1? Seriously? We played it on Friday, and it took us roughly 5 minutes to explain to the new player.


You must speak very quickly.

-MMM
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Bill Jones
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Octavian wrote:
gschmidl wrote:
wjones14 wrote:
this one could be the most complex [...] Duel of Ages seems to have BSG beat by far!


Set 1? Seriously? We played it on Friday, and it took us roughly 5 minutes to explain to the new player.


You must speak very quickly.

-MMM


Heh yeah, after playing it for the first time last night with our group of 8, I stand by my earlier statement that it's a complex game. At least compared to the list of games we have played so far (Battlestar, Agricola, Pandemic, etc.). The rules are written clearly, but there are just a lot of them to remember, and then there are so many exceptions to the rules depending on the character and equipment modifiers. We also found that determining Line of Sight (LOS) looks a lot easier in the rulebook than it actually is on the platters - the problem is the game markers are so lightweight, that it's hard not to disturb the game setup when using straightedges or whatever. So after a couple of times, we simply looked at the LOS situations by eye and voted (and rarely was the vote unanimous).

So, I was the one who studied the rules over the weekend and therefore explained the game to the group, and my overview only took maybe 10 minutes before we actually started playing. But for the next hour at least, we were still constantly going to the rules.

After a two hour game we are pretty clear on most things now, but there are enough rules (and exceptions to the rules) that I think if we don't play the game at least once per month, we're going to be looking in the rulebook most games.
 
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Bill Jones
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HuckmanT wrote:
I'm going to say no, and here's why:

1) The most important part of the Master's Addendum, when it comes to teaching new players, is the beyond-awesome rulebook. Since this is available online in its entirety (at the DoA website), you are good to go there.

2) The MA also adds some great characters, but most are "advanced" or "oddball", and probably not suited for a first game. Some are DEFINITELY not suited for a first game.

The only thing that I do remember is that the MA released some updated and balanced character cards for rules changes and balances that went into effect after time. These are only really a big deal when you are playing with the full set (all char exps).

I would say that, for the first few plays, Sets #1 and #2 are the "must haves". Set #2 is so important (Team Bases, etc) and cool that I can hardly imagine anyone serious about learning the game playing without it for more than a game or so.

So, in short, I don't recommend it for a first play. Neither does the designer, and neither do the developers.

I do heartily and with a yo-ho-ho recommend it as soon as you have your feet wet!

R. R. Roy, the Man in the Bright White Suit


This is good advice. Thanks Tim! Set #2 will be the next purchase, should the group vote to continue playing DOA. I sure hope they do, because I really enjoyed our first play. You can see my review over in the Set #1 forum, but in general I think the others liked it but didn't love it. On the other hand, I have to say that it was definitely the liveliest game we have ever played, with a lot of yelling, cheering, arguing, and back and forth smack talk.

The Masters Addendum rulebook certainly clarifies several rules, but what I found a bit confusing for someone who only owns Set #1, is that the rulebook blends rules for all editions in the one book. And it doesn't always specify explicitly if a rule is only applicable to one of the expansions or the base game. So, for new players with only Set #1 in hand, I think I almost find the original rulebook easier to use than the MA rulebook. Weird.
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