Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Dungeon Lords» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Impressions rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Merric Blackman
Australia
Waubra
Victoria
flag msg tools
designer
Ramping up my reviewing.
badge
Happily playing games for many, many years.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wasn't intending to get Dungeon Lords, but there it was sitting in Good Games Ballarat, taunting me with its presence. Then there was Paul, who really wanted some Magic cards from me. In the end, we worked out a deal where I gave him some Magic cards (including a Mox Diamond) and he bought me Dungeon Lords. It is easily the oddest trade I've ever participated in, but as I value boardgames over Magic, one I was quite happy to make.

Then I needed players. Luckily, they were at hand: Jackson, Tim and Liam were all quite happy to be apprentice Dungeon Lords with me. They were also very patient Dungeon Lords as I struggled with the rulebook and explained the rules to them as we went.

Dungeon Lords is described on the box as a complex game, but I've played enough games of its ilk recently that all of the mechanics made sense and it flowed well for all of us. That's pretty impressive, as my co-players are nowhere near as experienced as I am with this sort of game. The typical humour of a Vlaada Chvatil game was present in the rulebook and gave me many wonderful moments as I frantically tried to find how the next bit worked - normally, it was how I thought it would, but confirming that could be tricky.

As a result of all that mucking about in the rulebook, I feel I spent a lot less time than my fellow players actually thinking about what I needed to be doing in the game. I was consistently the most evil of the players, which meant that the most effective adventurers were coming to my dungeon. Hmm.

The game that Dungeon Lords has the most resonances with, at least for me, is Agricola. In one game you build a farm, in the other a dungeon. That I connect the two so readily may reveal aspects about my personality that we're better off not knowing.

This initial game felt somewhat like multiplayer solitaire, but that is not actually the case: our actions were affecting each other a lot. (There are correspondences with Ad Astra, which I've also been playing recently). However, unlike Agricola, at the time you chose your action you were working off imperfect knowledge. The order people chose to go and get food meant something - but you couldn't be sure until later if the other players were food gathering or when they were doing it. So, there was a fair amount of chaos.

I'm sure that with further plays, I'd start paying a lot more attention to what the other players are doing and predicting what they needed to do. Not for this game, though!

Oh, and based on the rules for two or three players? Play this one with four players. It will work a lot better that way.

Jackson proved to be consistently the nicest dungeon lord, so he got the weakest heroes. Tim and Liam were somewhere in the middle. I was happily building tunnels, rooms and mining gold. The others were doing a lot better at getting traps and monsters to protect their dungeon.

When the adventurers came the first time, Tim and Jackson discovered the hard way why you didn't put a production room at the entrance to your dungeon. This was very much a learning game, and we were making a lot of mistakes in our play. It's not hard to learn the rules of the game - putting everything together to play effectively? A lot harder.

The second half of the game found us struggling with limited resources. I was the only one who really had a lot of gold (thanks to a production room that allowed my Imps to mine the stuff), and so everyone else ;pst 3 points when the taxman came. Food was my problem, and I wasn't able to gain some monsters to protect me because I couldn't both buy them and then pay them!

Liam bought a Golem and a Dragon, and somehow kept them around. Eek! Jackson and Tim also seemed to be doing a lot better at getting things to help them protect their dungeons. Me? I was still attracting the best adventurers to go through my ill-defended dungeon.

I did gain a couple of point-scoring rooms: a Chapel and a Hall of Fame. Surely I'd gain some awards exclusively?

When the final group of adventurers came, they did absolutely horrible things to my dungeon. A level 3 cleric, a level 3 thief and a level 3 wizard all made my life hell: I just couldn't deal with them. At least I'd never become evil enough to attract the Paladin. They wrecked my dungeon whilst the others all managed to eliminate their adventurers. Oh dear.

My ruined dungeon

Final scoring was interesting - and frustrating. I did pick up quite a few joint awards and have a fair scoring result, but unfortunately my Hall of Fame never triggered for the most of anything. I kept on being tied! Meanwhile, Liam managed to gain a handy lead to take the game!

Final scores

Liam 17, Merric & Tim 10, Jackson 3.

I had been apprehensive about getting this game due to the lukewarm reviews it had been getting, but my initial game had been an enjoyable experience - even if I didn't really know what I was doing! We'd all gained positive scores (and had thus gained our Dungeon Lord licenses), with Liam being the newly declared Underlord.

Liam's dungeon

I expect Dungeon Lords will hit the table several times in the coming weeks; it certainly deserves that much as we explore its intricacies.

Finally, a word on a couple of rules we got wrong for our first game (no doubt due to the fact I was reading the rules for the first time as we played!)

* Second Year: you get to draw an additional trap and then discard one when you buy traps.
* I wasn't always revealing the new adventurers and events at the right time. It's important to go through every step in turn (aided by the symbols on the progress board), and not let yourself be stampeded by your other Dungeon Lord apprentices into rushing ahead.
27 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MerricB wrote:
I In the end, we worked out a deal where I gave him some Magic cards (including a Mox Diamond) and he bought me Dungeon Lords. It is easily the oddest trade I've ever participated in, but as I value boardgames over Magic, one I was quite happy to make.


I was thinking you were crazy, until I realized that Mox Diamond is the stronghold one, not one of the ones from the original set.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Merric Blackman
Australia
Waubra
Victoria
flag msg tools
designer
Ramping up my reviewing.
badge
Happily playing games for many, many years.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yep. My Mox Emerald is staying with me, thank you.

Cheers!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great Review.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.