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Subject: For those who didn't like the game, why not? rss

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I'm pretty excited for this game. I can't stop hearing about how great this game is on these forums. However, looking at the ratings, I realize that even though people generally like this game, people who don't like the game do exist. I want to make sure I see the positives and the negatievs of this game. So, for those who didn't like it, what are some reasons that dragged it down in your minds? For those who do like the game, what are some mechanics that you didn't like, or things that you think could be improved?
 
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Ben Hodgson
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My guess is that it is probably one of three things:

Warhammer is stigmatised by many people (regardless of the actual game!).
The theme is not everyone's cup of tea.
It's annoying that the game is limited to three or four players.
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Every game has it's flaws. If I was to pick one with this game is that it can be very chaotic. This shouldn't surprise you as the word is part of the games name. No matter how well a person plays, you may not have a chance in winning based on the player induced chaos and potential kingmaking. The game is tight and usually at least 2 or 3/4 players can potentially 'win' on the winning round or the round after... this tightness almost makes me feel like there is no large margin for strategic learning and even if there is, it won't have a huge factor on the outcome based on the player induced chaos. If you can look past that, you'll have a grand time.

The only other thing I would nitpick about is that some of the regions on the map are too small to hold corruption, old world tokens, and player units.

I should really say that despite this I enjoy the game a lot.
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There are no farmers. There are peasants... but you kill them.
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Erik Hultgren
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Thanks for all the quick responses

Redking wrote:
My guess is that it is probably one of three things:

Warhammer is stigmatised by many people (regardless of the actual game!).
The theme is not everyone's cup of tea.
It's annoying that the game is limited to three or four players.


These have actually been some of my biggest concerns. Would you (or others) say that it is possible to add a variant to make it playble (and enjoyable) as a two player game? And how much would you say being a fan of Warhammer influences your enjoyment of the game?
 
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brian
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We have been trying to figure out a 2-player variant that is solid. There have been a couple stabs at it.

I know nothing of Warhammer and enjoy this game. The Chaos gods represent specific forms of "evil" so it is easy to identify even if you don't know the background.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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There is no such thing as a game that everybody likes. There are people who won't play games with dice, and people who won't play games without dice. Don't worry too much about a small percentage of dissenters, unless they are people who you know share your tastes.

Hartattack916 wrote:
Would you (or others) say that it is possible to add a variant to make it playble (and enjoyable) as a two player game? And how much would you say being a fan of Warhammer influences your enjoyment of the game?


This isn't a two-player game, and never will be. You could do it, but there are too many great games that are designed for two for you to waste time playing Chaos that way.

I know next to nothing about Warhammer, so I don't care about how the theme was handled in this one. I bought it because the game itself interested me, and it has absolutely lived up to its billing in that regard. Truly an excellent game.

[edit] I could have saved time typing if I'd known you were going to say the same things, Brian!
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Marc-Andre Blanchet
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I have been steadily paying with the same people.

Then, I tried to play with 3 new players. I took Tzeench, as I feel his threat advancement condition can be the most hard to grasp, and I was nice to the other players.

That game was dull. Other players did as I did, and took offense when we eventually tried to block each other. It's a game that requires players to claw at each other with ungodly ferocity. The 4 first turns where 3 or 2 regions couldn't be attacked also really hurt Khorne, and the game didn't have a "standard" feel.

But that is beside the point. The point is that it's a visceral level of interaction that some might not like.

Also, it requires exactly 4 players.

With 4 ferocious players, the game is a blast!
 
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Erik Hultgren
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3-player game is a bit special and I think you have to take some consideration with wich god is left out.

Taking out Nurgle will make life for Khorne pretty hard. Slaanesh and Tzeentch has both means to negate battles and lots of cheap cards to stall in the summon phase, wich makes it quite likely that Khorne wont get many advancement ticks early on.

Taking out Khorne makes it so that the game will be very non-competitive early on as everyone will most likely do their own thing primarily. That wont last thou as without the attrition of Khorne so will all cultists be placed and then warriors will show up just because they can.

Taking out Slaaensh or Tzeentch makes the map less crowded, but Khorne will still have Nurgle in the middle. The main problem here is that the one left in of either Slaaensh or Tzeentch may have an easy time if they can keep the outskirts to themselves while Khorne and Nurgle fights.
 
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From what I read, the luck is high.
 
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Russ Meyer
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I like the game, I've played it a couple of times. My big beef with it would be the narrowness of gameplay with the characters. Each character really does have a pretty specific way to win the game, and any deviation from this will simply cause you to lose. If you're playing Nurgle and you go for a dial victory, instead of victory points, you'll lose. If you're Khorne and you go for victory points instead of dial victory, you'll lose.

There's not much open-endedness. It's a fun game, but just know that the roles are defined.

The mini's are fragile too. I think atleast half of the cultists staffs are broken on the copy I played.
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Joe Stude
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Some points:

Same gripe about the cultists. I can't believe these things.

I've really enjoyed the game up until now but my third game tonight was brutal and I felt pretty helpless to stop any of it from happening. Basically, I was teaching three new players (with two previous games under my belt). I was Nurgle, my brother Khorne, Mary Slaanesh, and Adam was Tzeentch. I warned them pregame that you really have to be careful to keep Khorne in-check because otherwise he can run away with a dial victory. Despite this, and granted these were new players, Khorne ran away with a dial victory. After previously reading that Slaanesh is supposed to provide a natural counter for Khorne, I could see how this might have happened because Mary hardly interfered with anyone else the entire game, pursuing her own agenda. At least once during the game Adam (as Tzeentch) kept fucking with me in The Empire when doing so continually deprived me of a second tick counter, which was really the only chance we had at keeping Khorne from jumping up twice every turn. Meanwhile, Mr. Khorne kept basically creating a land bridge across the bottom of the map, earning several kills a turn all the while before losing everywhere, and as Nurgle I felt completely helpless to stop it. I even took the cultist upgrade in an effort to provide myself more mobility so I could keep the hell away from him, but by that time it was too late. Hot dice, of course, didn't help things either.

I guess to summarize I get the feeling that this game requires solid, almost exacting play from all players, especially when it comes to keeping Khorne from running away with things. Of the three games I've played, all three have been won by Khorne, though at least the first two were closer. It sort of reminds me of RTS games where one faction is quite obviously easier to play and harder to fight against than others.

I'll be reading more threads here and probably trying to get it back on the table again soon, but after tonight my confidence in this being a well-balanced game is pretty shaken.

Playstyle and newness aside, my concern

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Jowjow wrote:
I guess to summarize I get the feeling that this game requires solid, almost exacting play from all players, especially when it comes to keeping Khorne from running away with things.


The thing to keep in mind is that 2 or 3 games aren't statistically significant. It's like flipping a coin, getting heads three times running, and wondering whether tails can win.

Khorne finished so far out of the running in our first two games, which were won by Slaanesh and Nurgle, that we were actually wondering whether he had any chance at all.
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
We have been trying to figure out a 2-player variant that is solid. There have been a couple stabs at it.

I know nothing of Warhammer and enjoy this game. The Chaos gods represent specific forms of "evil" so it is easy to identify even if you don't know the background.


I've been wondering about a 2-player variant as well. I think each player would need to play 4 gods to keep the board filled, but you would also want to prevent players from using one of their gods as a 'suicide-faction' while going for the win with the other. I was thinking you could play normally until one god hits victory with either vps or dial ticks, but then to determine a winner you would add up your score for both gods. In other words if a god hits 50 vps first then both players would add up their vps from both gods to determine a winner. If a god hit dial advancement first, then both gods would add up how many 'ticks' they were away from victory, lower number would win. So crossing the threshold first would allow you determine the victory condition, but would not guarantee you the win.

Edit: I have not tried this yet, but would like to at some point.
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Joe Stude
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Sphere wrote:
The thing to keep in mind is that 2 or 3 games aren't statistically significant. It's like flipping a coin, getting heads three times running, and wondering whether tails can win.

Khorne finished so far out of the running in our first two games, which were won by Slaanesh and Nurgle, that we were actually wondering whether he had any chance at all.


No, three games isn't incredibly significant but I've yet to see a game where Khorne was so down and out that they didn't have a chance. I've seen reference to the luck of the dice - did your Khorne players roll mediocre or bad dice? The Khorne player from last night was pretty hot with the dice, which certainly didn't help.
 
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Ben Hodgson
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As per the greater demon thread, I would like to check the harder routes to victory for the factions out rather than discount them completely...
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See, that's the thing about the "harder" routes. As far as I can tell (being a relative newbie) they can't be discounted completely because you can seriously hamper your chances at winning. Sure as Nurgle you can deprioritize your dial and really push for VP, but neglecting the dial entirely means players like Khorne are likely to end up with 2 or 3 upgrades over the course of the game while you might only have one of your own.
 
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Jowjow wrote:
I've seen reference to the luck of the dice - did your Khorne players roll mediocre or bad dice?


I don't remember the dice as being unusual in either of our first two games, both of which saw Khorne far out of the running (less than 40 points, and not close on the track either time). In our third game, I won with Khorne, and rolled well, but the difference was more a matter of approach than dice.

After that third game, we started wondering about Tzeentch (who hadn't won yet), but then saw Tzeentch do very well the next couple of times to put that fear to rest.

My experience is that the most significant factor in winning is how well you play to the situation and your own god's strengths. If the other players team up to deny you, they can do so, but that is metagame, not game.

Any god can win, and even if a group's style of play tends to favor a particular god, I think that should would be self balancing as the group learns to take it into account. I don't think an unbalanced style would travel well, though. Different group, different balance.
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I agree. The game this feels most like to me is a miniature version of Britannia (obviously with a lot of different mechanisms) in the sense that balance revolves around everyone having a decent idea what the other players are trying to do (which isn't the same thing as what you're trying to do) and a sense of how to stop them in a way that doesn't compromise your strategy.

And the interesting thing is that that puzzle can be solved in different ways by different groups, I think. So when cross-fertilization of gaming groups occurs (or new players are learning the game) you might get some VERY different play styles, which could lead to frustration or imbalance. I know playing Britannia with people outside my gaming circle 15-20 years ago was a revelation.
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I'm still on the fence about buying this game. Sticking points:

1. Kingmaking: is this just another "let's you and him fight" game that's generally won by who got picked on the least?
2. Variability/optimization: two ways to win is great, but will playing X one game be all that different from X the next time? Will basic heuristics quickly emerge?
3. 2p option: not much to do about this, but it would be nice.

I was initially ignoring this title b/c of the Warhammer theme, but it sounds like you can take it or leave it, which is cool.
 
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Jon W
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Sphere wrote:
My experience is that the most significant factor in winning is how well you play to the situation and your own god's strengths. If the other players team up to deny you, they can do so, but that is metagame, not game.

Well, sort of. If you play X well ("to its strengths") and jump out to an early lead, it's not metagaming for the other players to bring you down. So is this a "lurk behind the leader and sprint at the end" game? Or can you get into a dominant position and fend off the challengers?

If everyone just says "you know what? X isn't going to win, period, because [we don't like you/X wins too much/it's Tuesday]" then that's a somewhat different thing. This is all well-covered ground; I'm just still uncertain how this game handles it, and skeptical so far that it's bringing anything new to the table on these grounds. But I haven't played yet, just read the rules and the comments here.
 
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Jim Cote
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I own it and have played once so far. What I don't like about it:

- Figures aren't as solid and distinguishable as they could be.
- Rules are typical FFG rules (ie they never learn from their mistakes).
- Map/board doesn't leave a lot of room for stuff in some regions (it's fictional! make them bigger for crying out loud!).
- Map/board clashes with/hides tokens (corruption, peasants, etc).
- Text on cards could be larger.
- It should be more obvious what positions the dials are on (eg 3 out of 8).
- Don't really like the "ruiners vs ruination points" from a design point of view.
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waddball wrote:
So is this a "lurk behind the leader and sprint at the end" game?


In my experience, if you lurk, you lose. There aren't that many turns, and your best shot at winning comes from doing your absolute best from start to finish.

waddball wrote:
Or can you get into a dominant position and fend off the challengers?


Absolutely - I've seen that happen in some of our games. But we've also had games where it has gone down to the wire with 2 or more contenders.

Until you've played, you don't realize how nuanced the determination of "leader" is. For example, say you're way ahead of Nurgle on the points track half way through. The thing is, Nurgle's points snowball at the end. How much lead is enough? And will points even win, or can somebody get enough dial cranks to make them meaningless?

I see no fixed answers; too many variables play into analyzing the situation. You don't know what Old World cards will come up, and how they will change the environment. You don't know what cards you or your opponents will draw, and how those will shape future decisions.

waddball wrote:
But I haven't played yet, just read the rules and the comments here.


That's the key; you need to play. The game appears to be pretty popular, so hopefully you know somebody who has a copy.

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Jon W
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Sphere wrote:
Until you've played, you don't realize how nuanced the determination of "leader" is.

That's great information there, and something that hasn't come through in all the chatter so far. What you describe is a huge feature for me.

Quote:
That's the key; you need to play. The game appears to be pretty popular, so hopefully you know somebody who has a copy.

Unlikely; I'm the alpha gamer/buyer, so I tend to do a lot of up front research.

Thanks so much for your comments (here and in the other thread)! (Also, now I know who to blame if things, er, don't work out. angry )
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