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Thunderstone: Dragonspire» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Hermit Crab of my game shelf rss

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Drinky Drinky
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Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
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Thunderstone Dragonspire IS the hermit crab of my game shelf. It started small and in a larger home in the original Thunderstone It slowly branched out into smaller but bertter organized homes moving to Wrath of the Elements. It grew more organized shedding some unecessary extras and filler in Doomgate Legion. Until finally Thunderstone resides in its bigger and better fitting home. Too big to grow any further. The hermit crab like Thunderstone Dragonspirewill probably stay as it is, crushing any other game it finds itself sitting on top of.


Which to buy? Dragonspire or Original Thunderstone?:

So here is the scoop, you are new to Thunderstone and want to give it a shot, so which expansion do you buy first? For those of you who already do own the first 3 sets, you will probably end up adding

Overall: For features in a variety pack sort of way, Dragonspire is the way to go. It has a little taste of everything, the only knocks against Dragonspire is where the original thunderstone shines. The Thunderstone itself and the cards in the original thunderstone set. The old Thunderstone just feels like the original best of all the Thunderstones so far, and Dragonspire’s 2 thunderstones just seem to cheapen the deal. Not to mention the are more useful after all the sets so far have been mixed. The original cards especially spells and items just seem better, and this is probably the case as there have been forum posts about trying to ply solo with Dragonspire’s cards tends to be more difficult, especially for beginners. Also I like the starting hand cards from the Original Thunderstone just slightly better.

Dividers: Dragonspire. If you want dividers with the original Thunderstone, not only do you have to buy the original Thunderstone, you will have to buy Thunderstone : Wrath of the Elements to get your dividers. Not that doing such would be a bad thing, especially if you like Thunderstone, you will probably end up getting all 4. But this one is between Dragonspire and Original Thunderstone.

XP Tokens: Dragonspire hands down. No more instances of other players accidentally shuffling XP cards into their hands. Also there is just something about the stones that make them feel more effective when casting Spirit Blast (for when you actually buy Doomgate Legion).

Fun factor: Push. No real big difference in fun factor here, I do think certain cards are better than others. For instance with mercenaries, Dragonspire is much more fun as you are not locked into once choice or the other with them. Though the items cards in the original Thunderstone I believe to be much better, the short sword is one of the more powerful cards with its low cost, higher in hand gold value, light weight and moderately attack power. Fireball is free attack power and light rolled into one card, and lightstone Gems are the perfect helper in the village or the dungeon. I do find the original Thunderstone slightly easier to play than it’s Dragonspire counterpart.



All sets combine, I’ll form the ….hey aren’t we missing one?


Thunderstone unsleeved has fit nicely into its back to original size box. The box is essentially divided into 2 large rows the length of the box with 2 smaller areas in the top middle and bottom middle for some extra cards. The center area holds the XP tokens.

What I ended up doing for my cards is I made 2 starter sets that sit in the 2 middle top and middle bottom areas, that way when I bring Thunderstone to a game gathering I can have 2 smaller games of groups and keep everyone happy. (I have found the game does nto play as well with greater than 4 players as village resources become scarce) especially without cultists and dragons destroying everything. In those 2 areas I have thunderstones and, disease special in the top middle, which is the starting set I use if I am only playing with one group.

In the right large row I have Monsters at the top. They are sorted as best I can with those pesky humanoids scattered all over the place, and the heroes filling out the rest of the row. For the Harruli I used one of the blank dividers provided in the WotE set.


What the pictures don’t show, the isle of misfit cards:

Right now I have in my old WotE holding various old dividers (from original thunderstone), the old XP cards, and various old randomizers that have been replaced by Dragonspire, and the old pre-hero labeled militia. Along with all of the foam inserts, it is a tomb for where the unused cards go to die.

I would post a picture to the forums, but the sight is just too horrible and tear jerking. Poor little cards in abandon right next to the Charlie in the box


What I want to see next from Thunderstone:


Quests: Yes I want to see quests, purchaseable cards from the village that make me take out a guardian, or fight through 3 preset monsters and maybe a trap to get some uber treasure, bonus points, or the ability to buy certain cards that other players cannot. There I said it. There is just something about being able to complete available quests for dungeon rather than just the plain old dungeon crawl.

Contingent weapons: I would like to see magical items that have bonus points that can be achieved if you defeat a monster or have a hero die in combat wielding it. Once achieved the card would be set aside until the end of the game for a set number of points when that happens.

Guild houses: Areas set aside where if you have a certain set of cards you get a certain bonus when entering the dungeon. For example: Collect 3 swords, if you do every hero counts as equipped or +1 attack. Also the sets can only be added to once a round, and if there is a disease in hand you cannot add to your set that hand. Multiple sets can be made. Using combos of 3 monsters, heroes, milita, ect, for various bonuses.

Monster Manual / All in 1 manual: I want to see a rulebook with everything in it. Literally I mean everything. Card counts (phalanx and Veteran I’m looking at you) Monster powers, breaches, and everything.

Reorganized organizers: I’m curious as to why undead are sorted by their first name with the type of undead they are afterwards the name, where as humanoids are named as such: Cultist * Humanoid ; Bandit * Humanoid. . For the sake of sorting, I would like to see the dividers redone to have the multiple humanoid classes reorganized with their specific type following on the divider. Though Dragon * Humanoid (to be released) will present the first overlapping challenge.


Random not really obligatory comparison to Dominon for no reason at all. Ok long winded term for editorial:


Literally except for the mechanic, I don’t really like comparing the two as a similar game. But one thing scares me in their similarities. Now let me lead the witness a bit and have some fun with this

Dominion has 2 main standalone sets, and so does Thunderstone. They put them out in different order but still similar.

Dominion in its later expansions started putting more fiddly in its games, that really were not needed for the game. Dominion has little tiles in Prosperity, and other tiles and cardboard clutter that really did not add to the game. Thunderstone now puts a dungeon board to help sort the dungeon deck, not really needed. I would hope that both stop this now and stop adding unnecessary pieces to the game that could instead be left out to reduce price.

Fiddly that worked: Dominion brought about VP tokens which added another method to add VP’s to the game and add another layer to the scoring dynamic. The XP tokens I believe add a feel to the game and help reduce the clutter and confusion and with the tie in to Gaia’s curse and Spirit blast, I just feel it was a good decision.

The expansion that didn’t, There was dominion alchemy, where it was an Ok idea that just didn’t seem to work, or the designers’ version of alchemy and potions was rated in proof. When they put Alchemy out, they should have put it out of its misery, and just put golem and vineyards in with another set. As the 5th installment of Dominion I am wary of Thunderstone’s 5th installment coming out so soon especially with a new mechanic same as Dominion did with their potions. I am hoping Thunderstone’s next installment is not the Yoko album that ruins the original 4. This is what scares me.


Closing

Happy PMP adventuring. Watch it your cleric is on the critical path, and hasn't been producing as well as you thought.

And AEG/Thunderstone I would like to be proven wrong. To keep up the old timey music references, on my fear above. As Elvis would say "Don't you do what your big sister done"
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Paul Bauman
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What I want to see out of the next Thunderstone: actually I wish they'd stop here, but anyway...

Consistent card quality.

Please.

I look at a stack of WotE cards which is mostly uniform and piled nicely. The linen finish pretty much the same on all of them.

Then I look at stacks of Dragonspire cards and I can barely call them stacks. The cards warp in every direction, sometimes in multiple directions per card (think sine wave here) and the finish varies from card to card. They literally feel different from one card to the next.

I had to sleeve them to feel like I was playing with normal cards.

So, more QA on card quality next round, please. I don't ask for top of the line just the some consistency and decent thickness of the prior sets.

Thank you.
 
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Charles Ting
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Frohike wrote:
What I want to see out of the next Thunderstone: actually I wish they'd stop here, but anyway...

Consistent card quality.

Please.

I look at a stack of WotE cards which is mostly uniform and piled nicely. The linen finish pretty much the same on all of them.

Then I look at stacks of Dragonspire cards and I can barely call them stacks. The cards warp in every direction, sometimes in multiple directions per card (think sine wave here) and the finish varies from card to card. They literally feel different from one card to the next.

I had to sleeve them to feel like I was playing with normal cards.

So, more QA on card quality next round, please. I don't ask for top of the line just the some consistency and decent thickness of the prior sets.

Thank you.

I too feel the same way. Due to my disappointments of inconsistent card quality from past sets, this time I'll wait to see how Thornwood's components turns out before making a decision whether I'm done with TS or not. I'm already starting to feel like moving on to other games (I see Lord of the Rings LCG on the horizon)
 
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Gerald Dimailig
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Great article Drinky.

I initially got Dragonspire as my first set. That's what got me hooked, so I went back and got everything else. The game has a bright future. I also hope they don't go too crazy with Thornwood Siege.

Great ideas on the "What I want to see" portion.

G
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The Mighty Greedo
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Quote:
smaller but bertter organized homes moving to WotE

Whenever someone on BoardGameGeek uses an acronym that I don't recognize, I immediately stop reading the article and move on to something else.

Reviews are mainly for people who might be interested in buying a game, right? The people who would recognize a vague acronym are usually the same folks who already own the game being reviewed. Thus, acronyms defeat the real purpose of a review.

Just sayin'.
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Drinky Drinky
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Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
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Greedo wrote:
Quote:
smaller but bertter organized homes moving to WotE

Whenever someone on BoardGameGeek uses an acronym that I don't recognize, I immediately stop reading the article and move on to something else.

Reviews are mainly for people who might be interested in buying a game, right? The people who would recognize a vague acronym are usually the same folks who already own the game being reviewed. Thus, acronyms defeat the real purpose of a review.

Just sayin'.


Not a problem. Fixed. I am sorry the WotE was your fnord tag. Also don't stop reading when you hit the term XP =P

If I am writig a review of the game I am actually reviewing I do spell out the name of the game. If I am making refernece to a game or similar game that I am not reviewing but only making a reference to, I'll use the abbreviation.

I on the other hand wanted to know what everyone was talking about with RftG, and for me it only piqued my interest and I read more into it. It is all what is preferred by the individual.

 
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Dr. Dam
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May 2018 be all you dreamed it would be and be all that you dreamed...
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Nice review - thumbed for the Yoko / Fab 4 reference alone.
 
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