Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Thunderstone» Forums » General

Subject: Some More Thoughts on Clogging, Variants, Balance, and Teaching the Game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Edwin Karat
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Now that I've played this game a good bit, I feel like the clogging issue isn't as bad as it first seemed. Experienced players will know how to deal with a logjam of tough monsters and react appropriately when that happens -- it's an opportunity to pause to tune your deck. Three weak monsters are generally not that big of a deal, since there are a lot of things have to go just right to benefit your opponents more than you. Usually, someone has a better deck at that point and doesn't want to give the others time to catch up, so they give their opponents *less* of an advantage by advancing the game.

The only clogging problem that actually feels like a problem is with two weak monsters guarding the thunderstone, since that is the end of the game. Furthermore, this is only a problem with 2 players, since the player to the right of the weakest player can let the weakest player claim it.

So, a game designer friend of mine and I talked through these issues and played through a couple of variants. First off, our conclusion was that this game can support variants rather easily. Though the official game rules have a random monster order, it was playtested with a number of different moster sorting rules. While a random monster order isn't necessarily bad for experienced players, I feel like an ordered monster variant is better for teaching the game initially -- until the players understand the strategy enough to deal with logjams of tough monsters. This makes for a much smoother, but potentially less interesting game.

We also tried out a variant with random monster order but added a fourth rank. That way, the endgame really can't stall. It also adds more value to archers (though if you consider light to be a conditional +2 attack, the fearn archer isn't so bad, though I personally shied away from it myself).

So, in short, I recomend:
1) Teaching this game to new players while using an ordered monster variant. Take your pick, as there are a couple posted, though each one either takes up a lot of prep time OR is a bit fiddly during playtime OR needs you to use a proxy deck.

2) Trying the game with 4 ranks of randomly ordered monsters.

3) Don't be afraid to come up with your own house rules or variants.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Williams
United States
Chapel Hill
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmb
karat wrote:
Now that I've played this game a good bit, I feel like the clogging issue isn't as bad as it first seemed. Experienced players will know how to deal with a logjam of tough monsters and react appropriately when that happens -- it's an opportunity to pause to tune your deck.


Isn't that exactly the problem with a "logjam"? I don't know why you have to be experienced to know that if you can't kill the monsters, you might want to make your deck stronger.

Quote:
Three weak monsters are generally not that big of a deal, since there are a lot of things have to go just right to benefit your opponents more than you. Usually, someone has a better deck at that point and doesn't want to give the others time to catch up, so they give their opponents *less* of an advantage by advancing the game.


After a logjam is cleared, many players will have a sufficient deck that reliably defeats good VP monsters. It doesn't matter if you have a *better* deck when others have a deck that is *good enough*, and you give them all a shot before you. All that really would matter is if you already have enough VP and merely need to cycle the dungeon deck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Hadden
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
Toot, toot!
badge
If all else fails...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Our group really enjoyed our first game until the thunderstone showed up and then the game stalled, badly - felt like the last two minutes of a basketball game.

We also thought about adding a fourth rank.

We'd like to hear anyone's thoughts about whether this perceived problem is real - are we missing something?

If you also think this is a problem, what other solutions are out there?

Thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Smith
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bootstrap wrote:
Our group really enjoyed our first game until the thunderstone showed up and then the game stalled, badly - felt like the last two minutes of a basketball game.

We also thought about adding a fourth rank.

We'd like to hear anyone's thoughts about whether this perceived problem is real - are we missing something?

If you also think this is a problem, what other solutions are out there?

Thanks!


One solution is to lower the VPs on the Thunderstone, make it 0 or 1 VP.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edwin Karat
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Bootstrap wrote:
Our group really enjoyed our first game until the thunderstone showed up and then the game stalled, badly - felt like the last two minutes of a basketball game.

We also thought about adding a fourth rank.

We'd like to hear anyone's thoughts about whether this perceived problem is real - are we missing something?

If you also think this is a problem, what other solutions are out there?

Thanks!


If there are enough players, giving the person to your left 5 points while taking 2 points yourself is fine if the person on your left is doing the worst. You're still 2 points up on the others, who are your real competition.
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.