Joe Casadonte
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I was really stoked when this game came out, it was a lot of fun to play. Rules issues popped up and were discussed and mostly resolved in these forums, with a few left for the FAQ. So then the FAQ comes out and it barely answers anything of interest and we wait, drumming up a few more unanswerable questions in the meantime. Frustration levels start to become noticeable.

Then the second FAQ comes out and it answers a whole bunch of questions (yay) but not all of them (boo) and itself raises more questions, which people are now arguing over.

So, never having played an LCG or even a CCG or CMG, is this typical? Its a new system, there will be some bumps -- that I get. But this is really starting to sour me on the game; I have no idea if I'm playing right, some of what I haven't been playing right that I now know I'm playing wrong just seem like stupid rulings to me -- the whole thing leaves me very frustrated. And I don't even have the first friggin' expansion yet!

If this is typical (and I don't really understand why it should be) and it will all get better soon, then maybe I can stick it out. If it's just going to keep going on like this for months and months, I may just toss the whole kit out now and cut my losses.
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Richard Morris
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As a spectator thus far, the overwhelming sense that I get is of complete chaos. Certainly either the subtleties of the interactions of various cards have not been worked out (compare this to the job they did with Dominion, and all its expansions), or they did do all the playtesting properly, but their rule writing leaves a lot to be desired.

How do they expect to run tournaments, when the likelihood is that lots of players are playing it wrong?
 
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Bart Rachemoss
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IMO this is par for the course and if anything, this game is much simpler and less confusing than many of its predecessors.

One of the reasons card based games like this are so appealing is that there are many many combinations available. It is often impossible for the game designers and play testers to explore all the combinations.

For example, take a look at the previous LotR card game that was put out by Decipher. They had a long list of cards that were banned from play because they broke the game. Some of them broke the game by allowing a player to create an "infinite" loop which would eventually lead to a sure win.

The current controversy is over a FAQ that was released two days ago. I could be wrong but I think there is now general agreement over what the FAQ says but some people think that what it says is a mistake. The issue being discussed would never crop up in solo play and seems to be a bit of a corner-case with multiple players. The game works well with either interpretation of the FAQ (otherwise there would be much less controversy).

For me, the key thing is that these issues do not detract from my game play. I still get to experience the joy of victory and the agony of defeat (mostly the latter).

Edit: typo.
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Dave Kudzma
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Joe Casadonte wrote:
I was really stoked when this game came out, it was a lot of fun to play. Rules issues popped up and were discussed and mostly resolved in these forums, with a few left for the FAQ. So then the FAQ comes out and it barely answers anything of interest and we wait, drumming up a few more unanswerable questions in the meantime. Frustration levels start to become noticeable.

Then the second FAQ comes out and it answers a whole bunch of questions (yay) but not all of them (boo) and itself raises more questions, which people are now arguing over.

So, never having played an LCG or even a CCG or CMG, is this typical? Its a new system, there will be some bumps -- that I get. But this is really starting to sour me on the game; I have no idea if I'm playing right, some of what I haven't been playing right that I now know I'm playing wrong just seem like stupid rulings to me -- the whole thing leaves me very frustrated. And I don't even have the first friggin' expansion yet!

If this is typical (and I don't really understand why it should be) and it will all get better soon, then maybe I can stick it out. If it's just going to keep going on like this for months and months, I may just toss the whole kit out now and cut my losses.


It's typical after the initial release of a card game. The issue, IMHO, is that you can simply not have enough play testers to account for the different interpretations that people will make or the connections between effects and interactions that people will find.

Magic is the whipping boy around here but it's still a good example:

During the first Pro Tour event in Italy after the Urza Block of the game came out the result was this: 2 cards banned. Even though the game had been around for 5 years at that point and the cards created by a team of tenured designers and former world champions, and further tested by "experts" there were still oversights.

Also take into account that until the 6th edition of Magic that there were still rules ambiguities that forced a major reboot of the rules in the form of "the stack" (don't ask).

I say rather than be frustrated with something you want to love I would just put it aside and wait for a few expansions to be released and probably another FAQ revision. Come back to it then with fresh eyes and perhaps the thrill will not be lost.

I've had extensive experience with the game and would be glad to answer any of your questions to the best of my ability in the mean time.
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Robert Taylor-Smith
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I remember when Magic the Gathering first came out and players started sending mail (snail, pre-web) to Wizards of the Coast asking about Time Walk: 'Opponent loses next turn'.
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Help me to help you! Help me to help you!
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AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
As a spectator thus far, the overwhelming sense that I get is of complete chaos. Certainly either the subtleties of the interactions of various cards have not been worked out (compare this to the job they did with Dominion, and all its expansions), or they did do all the playtesting properly, but their rule writing leaves a lot to be desired.

How do they expect to run tournaments, when the likelihood is that lots of players are playing it wrong?

I can see how you might observe it to be that way, but for my group, it really is a minor issue when actually playing the game. You just have to read the rules, comprehend it as best you can, and play the game as best you can.

In a lot of board games, rule sets are so tight and steadfast that you can reasonably expect to play the game exactly in the bounds the designers intended you to. You could stray out with house rules if you want, but you can know that it is always possible to play in those intended bounds.

I don't feel (for me at least) this game is quite to that state though. There are enough complexities and combinations that not everything has been covered by the rules. Since the rules and FAQs are the only way you can get into the designer's vision of the game, I don't think you can reasonably expect to stay in the bounds of that vision 100% of the time. I think it will get better over time, but 99% really is pretty good for something this complex (like many other CCGs when getting started) while using common sense for the other 1%.

Also, I don't think they expect to run tournaments for quite some time. I'm of the opinion it won't happen until they are confident everything is covered.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Our group had a standard "we read the rules wrong" at the start, and no further hurdles.
 
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I don't think it's that confusing really. No more so than any other TCG, CCG, LCG, LMNOPCG anyway. There are a handful of glaring ambiguities with a few cards once you've read the rules and tried a game or two (like crows vs Thalin or the warg tamer's extra shadow card); but beyond that, most things are just edge cases that you don't really need to look up until you run into that situation. Usually whatever makes the most sense is the correct answer.
 
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Aswin Agastya
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I'm having more trouble with the turn sequence (keep forgetting to travel... or counting willpower before dealing new encounter cards) than the card text.

What doubts I had I solved them with common sense. And I was right every single time (according to the latest FAQ). With the exception of Quick Strike/ranged attack (but I was not wrong on this, but more to the fact that I can to this). I feel people overthink some stuff. The same thing happens to Castle Ravenloft/Wrath of Ashardalon.
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Luke Stirling
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I'm of the opinion that this is extremely bad for a game released in 2011. Sure Magic had all sorts of problems in the beginning (though I missed the worst of it coming it at Revised when the biggest problems had been worked out). But that was 1995. I've played a lot of card games since, and to be frank, as a core game, the rules and card wording are just terrible.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's a great game, but just like with Newt in Aliens, "Hard to believe there's a little girl [real game] under all this". The manual is poorly written and the card interactions poorly considered for their ambiguity. The 1.1 FAQ answers many of the problems, but not all (and has certainly added to my confusion as well). My feeling is that they spent far too little time and effort at the playtesting stage where these issues should have been noted and resolved before the game went to press. And now they have moved on, and are not in a position to go back with sufficient resources and fix it properly (i.e. Do a fully revised core rulebook, revised text for many of the cards that now work differently or were just shown to cause major problems, make new printings incorporate the new card and rulebook text, etc.).

It's a shame. As much fun as I get from the game, I am sure I would be playing it quite a bit more if it weren't for the niggling rules issues that pop up for me all to frequently.

EDIT: I should say that this was my first experience with an FFG card game. So I have no idea if this is par for the course for them, or whether this is an anomaly.
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Alan Kwan
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paralipsis wrote:
My feeling is that they spent far too little time and effort at the playtesting stage where these issues should have been noted and resolved before the game went to press.

Seconded. Many of the rules issues here are not even on complex and rare/obscure card interactions, but about something so basic such as Legolas's (a Hero, often in the game) ability against an active Location (one of the only three card types in the encounter deck), or single-card text interpretations such as "after it attacks". This is unacceptable.

The game is also crippled (as a deck-building game) by poor card balance, for having too many "garbage" cards in the set. Evidently it hasn't been playtested adequately, otherwise they should have made those cards better when every playtester is saying that the card is garbage.
 
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