Recommend
25 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Horus Heresy (2010)» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Introducing a new player rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eric Engstrom
United States
Mount Prospect
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Grey Dolphin Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After having played the game a couple times with a couple different people, I’ve noticed what tends to catch on immediately and what takes a little longer. Also, based on the praise/complaints after, I’ve come up with a list of things that are important to know about this game, if you’re a new player.

The following are GENERAL recommendations for either learning the game or introducing the game to new players.

Learning Curve:
If you decide to go into this game, know that there is a learning curve. Some games you can start playing right away, others you must know all the rules first. This falls somewhere in between, as you can explain most of the basic rules, and the rest is filled in as players draw and read their order cards

When teaching a new player, be sure to emphasize that units and heroes in activated areas cannot participate in orders (that is, moving or attacking) while the marker is there (I realize that Lightning Raid is an exception…if it comes up, explain it). Making it clear that this is rule with very rare exceptions will help a new player absorb the flow far better (this comes from personal experience).

Do not be surprised if your first couple of games see very little use of the strategic map. There are a lot of orders in the deck, with a great variety of ways to execute them.

For the combat system, I highly recommend running through a couple of mock rounds.



Choosing Sides
If you are the person who has read through all the rules and are teaching the game to a fresh person, it’s usually better to have them play the traitor side. In general, the traitor is a lot more goal oriented throughout the game. Since he begins with fewer units, his early goals are to drop in more troops. His middle goals are to maneuver around the fortifications and try to get into position for a victory condition. His End goals are to strike hard to win. The imperial player will often find himself reacting to the moves made by the traitor, and such a passive role to a player who is just learning the orders and initiative system may feel rather unthrilled.

Of course, this game is dripping with theme, and if your new player is fanatically loyal to the emperor and demands to play him, by all means let it. For me, the theme of this game keeps me going when the action lags every now and then.


Gameplay
Remind, remind, remind your opponent of his special abilities, your special abilities, anything you can think of during play. Let him have the rulebook close to him so he can look at the reference on the back. Opening corruption often causes many coexistence battles, but this is not how battles are usually fought, so make sure to remind him that you cannot generally move units into enemy/contested areas.

There is a tendency in many new players to be afraid of drawing orders. The reserve provides a stock pile of basic move and attack orders, so why bother? There are a vast number of orders with great abilities and flavor in that deck, so encourage him to be bold when Order Phases come around.



This is a great game. I love this game. But I must have read the rules 3 times through and also played a partial mock game against myself before teaching it to anyone, and I can understand the initial frustration with a system that, at first, seems very complex. Taking the time to well explain the rules and set up your opponent in a way that will help him understand them faster will be the best way to get maximum enjoyment from this product. Of course, once you’re both pros and he’s kicking your arse, you’ll wish you hadn’t explained it so well. Just kidding.
29 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Outlaw
United Kingdom
Devizes
Wiltshire
flag msg tools
badge
The Wing Warrior - learn more at www.facebook.com/thelegendriders
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for this. This is really helpful.

Besides the price point (which is a little steep for my liking but something I would definitely overlook if there was enough incentive to do so), there are a few things stopping me from getting this game at the moment, and your review helps quite a lot.

I love the Warhammer universe and am obviously enticed to the theme, but the people I will be playing against generally don't know much beyond what a space marine is (and they figured that much out by logic). If you strip the theme away from the game, is there still a decent game here to enjoy (i.e., if you are somone with no interest in the theme, are you going to invest the time and effort in the game to enjoy it)?

Also, does the game provide "too much" to do? This is slightly tricky to explain, but will a player just starting out be utterly baffled about the different victory conditions? Most of the people I play against like to have a certain predefined win condition that they can head towards and therefore know what decisions to make in order to reach that goal. If halfway through the game there are suddenly two or three new or different ways to win, will new players freeze up as they will not know which one to go for? Or, is it pretty obvious which win condition you should be aiming for?

I suppose another way of putting the problem is, to coin something my wife once said: "I know what options I have in my turn, but how am I supposed to know which is the best one?"

Finally - are there great swathes of special abilities to keep track of? For example, is the appearance of a hero character in a fight a subtle change to the way the fight plays out (a few extra cards), or is it a huge change with lots of different special powers that can be triggered by specific events and require constant checking to see if the situation has occurred for a specific power to activate?

Anyway, thanks again for the review.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Engstrom
United States
Mount Prospect
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Grey Dolphin Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jvdv wrote:
How would you compare the learning curve of this game to StarCraft: The Board Game? Especially the combat cards / combat deck and the differences and interactions of unit types and strengths can be quite overwhelming the first play.

I hope Horus Heresy (2010) is a bit easier to pick up, more along the lines of Middle-Earth Quest.


Hmm, interesting question.

I would say that Starcraft and Horus Heresy are similar in complexity levels. Combat is about the same difficulty. Horus Heresy has a far more complex system of issuing orders to the board, but Starcraft has all of the resource management (the only 'resource' in Horus Heresy are your number of units).

The combat is Horus Heresy is simple, much like in Middle Earth Quest, although they are different. Really, a mock combat is all one needs to understand how it works. You usually end up making do with the cards you draw, so forward strategizing plays a small part in combat I feel. Glance through the cards though: you'll notice the imperium has more cards with powers that trigger while defending, while chaos has many attack powers.

All of the complexity in Horus Heresy lies in the order decks. I really feel that in order to be fully aware of your strategic choices, you need to read through your order deck. You don't need to memorize all the cards (oh my no), but just look at the trends of the cards. Horus has more attack driven orders, while the defender has more build unit orders and movement orders.

Truthfully, Middle-Earth Quest is easier because the heroes in that game have one major goal, although they pick up minor goals along the way. Here, each side has 2 major victory conditions, but many ways to go about it.


Don't get me wrong: the base rules for the Horus Heresy are actually pretty simple once you understand the activation markers. The complexity comes from the variety of choices given to you by the card driven game play.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Petr Mojzis
Czech Republic
Praha 4
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
When comparing to Starcraft, is the game on the same level of "bad move" decisions significance? In Starcraft I believe it is really easy to lose the game if you mess up planning in just one crucial turn. This brings a lots of frustration to my group. Is it the same with Horus Heresy?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Forrey
United States
Dallastown
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have to agree that Middle Earth Quest is much easier to learn and teach to new players. It's more like teaching someone how to play War fo the Ring IMO.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joachim Pehl
Germany
Daubach
Rheinland-Pfalz
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jezura wrote:
When comparing to Starcraft, is the game on the same level of "bad move" decisions significance? In Starcraft I believe it is really easy to lose the game if you mess up planning in just one crucial turn. This brings a lots of frustration to my group. Is it the same with Horus Heresy?


I don't think so. First, the luck factor here is significantly higher than in Starcraft. So a bad move in the beginning may even out, quite fast. Of course, in the late game an error can make you lose the game, as it should be imo. but this errors are more of the type, I should have fortified this region, I should have attacked him there while I had the chance and so on. Not the Starcraft ones where you misplaced some order on accident.
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.