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Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner» Forums » General

Subject: Why the low(ish) rating? rss

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Adam Osborn
United States
Springfield
Illinois
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I've played this game twice, and I'm thinking about buying it, but I must know...what don't people like about this game? I've always have a blast, but I've noticed some players looking a little flat after a game, and the rating on BGG is a bit unimpressive. I'm interested to hear all of your thoughts.
 
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Jesse Miller
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Gettysburg
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Not everyone likes the same kind of games. This one is just a bit more specialized than other, more popular games.

Those who like it, really like it (usually).
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stephen
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Burton on trent
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Rubbish components dont help, its a bit fiddly, and if you dont play it a certain way its lacking interaction
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Tim Fiscus
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As an unapologetic DoA Fanboy (see Microbadge, Uberbadge, etc), I think that the reasons are:

1) Components - they really aren't that great, and the platters are bordering on bad. I think the artwork is fine and interesting, and the character cards and counter artwork are terrific, but the cardboard stock is just not good. This, by itself, turns off some gamers due to expectations created by more modern games.

2) It has a wargame pedigree (designed by an ASL fanatic) and a wargame ruleset, but a very fantasy-ish theme (see: Heroscape). It has aspects that appeal to the CCGer, the RPGer, the grognard, and the Euro Micromanager. Some folks don't like that kind of hybridiness in their games.

3) It takes a long time,and a lot of plays to peel back the layers of the game and start to really get good at it and see all the math under the surface. Most people just don't stick around that long.

4) It really helps to have a knowledgable tutor for your first few games, and there aren't many of them. Unlike ASL, say.

5) It requires at least sets 1,2,3, and 8 to really hit the sweet spot, in my opinion, and it's not at a cheap price point.

Is it worth it after all of that? I say - absolutely, hands down, my favorite game of all time.

So there's that.
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Adam Osborn
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Thank you for the answers. Another question for everyone...in your opinion, what are some of the mechanical (or otherwise) flaws in the game design?
 
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Jim Brooks
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Some are born to move the world To live their fantasies But most of us just dream about The things we'd like to be Sadder still to watch it die Than never to have known it For you, the blind who once could see The bell tolls for thee...
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This is my favorite game as well.

I think it suffers from the cliche that "you never get a second chance to make a good first impression".

The first edition rulebook doesn't really give you a good idea on the best way to set-up the game. It suggests to use between 4-10 characters per side. Needless to say, there's a big difference between a 4-character per side game and a 10-character per side game when only playing with four platters. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people just try out four characters per side to "get a feel" of the game (that's what I did). It's gets a little boring when the characters are so spread-out. Thus, they really didn't get a true feel of the game.

The rulebook also states to set a time limit between 2-5 hours. Who the heck is going to set a five-hour time limit on their first game? I'd bet a lot of folks set a 1 or 2 hour limit to "get a feel" of the game. The trouble is, the game can take a couple hours to "heat-up"....especially without using the vaults from Set 2. For me, the game becomes much more interesting when each character has some equipment cards. The rulebook does say that three hours is "standard", but even that may not be adequate with 10 characters per side.

My first experience with DOA wasn't the best because we used too few characters and only a 2-hour limit. Thankfully, I quickly realized that the game would be much more interesting once there were more characters per platter and those characters were running around with all sorts of equipment. I have the game another chance and it's been my favorite game ever since. Given the amount of new games that come out each month, how many people would give-up on DOA after a bad first impression?
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Dennis Gadgaard
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I just want to throw in my personal experience with beginning to play this game as it's an example of Jim Brook's points.
I bought set 1 on a whim when it was a brand new release in my FLGS, the box art and description luring me in :-) The store only had set 1 so I even had them order sets 2 through 7 for me even though I hadn't played the game yet. I know, my inner completionist turned an innocent impulse-buy into a very expensive impulse-buy.

So I sat down and tried a game or two, 4 characters per side, 4 platters and a short time frame as Jim mentions sounds about right... I really liked the cards, but it just wasn't so much fun. No interaction worth mentioning and horribly bent platters.
And so my really expensive impulse-buy went on the shelf for about a year and a half.

I eventually found the doa forums and saw Tom Vasel's top 100 lists and thought, ok maybe I missed something here. Learned about the fact that with so much elasticity in the setup parameters (platters, characters and play time) it just didn't not matter what the balance between these were, and of course the set 8 compiled rulebook addresses this.
So I gave it another chance and even hunted down set 8 and the scrye and prestige packs and what do you know.. the eyesore on my shelf transformed into my absolute favorite game.

Granted the original rules lacked focus into setting up not just a game, but an interesting game and I've long since bought a sheet of plexiglass to cover the bent platters.. My latest addition is small wooden trays for the character counters, sets for team black and white to make it easier to see the teams relative position, and I feel like I'm seriously pimping the game without going so far as to fimo every single character :-)

To sum up a long winded rant... I simply love this game and think it could have done much better with originally having the suggested setup parameters that it does now and with better quality cardboard, imagine platters with double thickness and no warp.
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