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Subject: Quarriors - The Little Metal Dog Show review rss

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Michael Fox
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Deck building! Everyone’s doing it! Deck building in a fantasy-ish environment! Deck building in space! Deck building with maids! If we’re not careful, we’re going to be hitting burnout with the format sooner rather than later, but for now lets add some more to the teetering pile! We don’t care, we just LOVE BUILDING DECKS!

Descent into madness aside, it’s nice when someone takes a different approach to a format and Wizkids have decided to produce a deck builder with a difference – in their new release Quarriors there are NO CARDS. Actually, this is a bit of a lie as there are cards (and plenty of them in fact) but they’re not used by the players – instead they form a de facto board, showing you what’s available to pick up, how much it will cost you, any special powers that may be available and – most importantly – how many points they’re worth. Unlike other games in this style, you’re not building up stacks of cards – in Quarriors you’re collecting dice, but aside from that difference the gameplay will feel pretty familiar to anyone who’s had even the briefest flirtation with this type of game before.


Basic dice at the top (Quiddity, Assistant and Portal), a couple of Creatures and a Spell dice.

The objective is to gain glory points, done by spending Quiddity (the in-game currency) to collect Creatures from the piles in the middle of the table. Keep them alive long enough and they earn you points, earn a set amount before anyone else (dependent on how many are playing) and you’ll win – very simple! The game set-up is a breeze, with a selection of cards placed in the middle of the table to show what’s available in that round – three Basics, three Spells and seven Creatures. Five custom dice representing each of these are stacked upon the cards, each representing a Quarry. Each player begins with eight Quiddity dice and four Assistant dice, throw them in their bag and shake them up – the other Basic die, Portals (which allow you to draw extra dice from your bag) must be bought from the stacks in the middle. The first player pulls out six dice and you’re ready to start.

You roll your dice and see what happens – any Quiddity that comes up can be spent on a single Quarry dice from the selection in the middle. The general rule to follow is that the stronger the dice, the more you’ll need to spend on it – for example, should you wish to acquire a new Assistant, it’ll only cost you 1, while something heftier like a Dragon may cost you 8 or 9. Symbols representing Creatures (including Assistants, the weakest of all) are moved to your ‘Ready Area’, primed to attack anything else held by your opposition. Spells that are rolled can be attached to your monsters or used in more reactive ways, depending on what their respective cards say.


Of course the dice stay the same, but only one version of the monster will appear per game. Different levels have different powers and abilities.

Let’s deal with Creatures first. Each Creature type actually has three different levels of strength, either standard, Strong or Mighty. The dice stay exactly the same, of course – the difference is in their “burst” powers, signified by a small star mark printed on some faces of the dice. Should you roll a burst symbol, you consult the card for that dice and check out the additional power or ability you have at your disposal – Quarriors is a game where knowing what’s potentially on offer will give you a massive advantage. Bursts are relatively rare, however – most of the time you’ll be focusing on the numbers dotted around the corners.


Daenerys Targaryen has NOTHING on me.

Top left is the Creature’s level – some more powerful Quarry are unaffected by lower level beasties. Top right is the Attack level, and bottom right is the defense. Just for good measure, there’s a burst symbol there too, that star in the bottom left. The numbers on the right are – shockingly enough – used for combat which works very simply. The active player, having rolled their dice and moved any Creatures to their Ready Area, totals up ALL Attack values. Going around the table clockwise, defending players choose their own Creatures one at a time to knock the Attack total down bit by bit until finally one has a higher Defence than what’s left over. If one player’s Creatures are all defeated you move on to the next, hopefully destroying as much as possible to keep own dice safe, scoring you points when the turn order rolls round to you once more. As a side note, scored and defeated dice aren’t cast aside, never to be used again – you just put them in a used pile, refill your bag when it’s empty and start all over again.

Spells can be used in many ways, for example augmenting Attacks and Defence or to gain extra points. Really though, the main meat of the Quarriors is to get powerful Creatures, hit some decent dice rolls and take out as many enemies as possible. However, even the mightiest of beasts can be taken down with a good roll by an opponent, and that is what will really divide gamers – Quarriors is a game that, even with the greatest strategic planning, ultimately relies on chance. The amount of times I’ve played it, managed to control more dragons than your average ancient King of Westeros and STILL get whupped is ridiculous – and yet, I find myself returning to the game again and again.


130 custom dice! Plus it comes in an awesome giant tin dice box!

Why? Because Wizkids have thrown everything into making Quarriors incredibly fun. It’s quick to play and easy to get to grips with – give it a couple of rounds and even younger players will understand the basics (though this is to be expected as the game is aimed at a younger gaming audience). Admittedly I have a couple of gripes with it – the backstory is pretty awful (especially the forced attempts to shoehorn Q words into the game – that gets grating fast) and the artwork isn’t particularly fantastic, but then you think about all the good stuff… the joy of snatching a win with an insanely good roll of the dice, the solid gameplay, the fact that there’s 130 dice in that box and they all look like the tastiest candy… Quarriors is pretty much the distillation of why I play games – to have fun, to enjoy the agony of defeat and the thrill of (occasional) victory. Choose to put your serious Euro-loving half to the side and give in to the lure of shiny dice – you honestly will not regret it.

Quarriors was designed by Mike "Two T's" Elliott (Thunderstone) and Eric M. Lang (Call of Cthulhu LCG). Released by Wizkids in Summer 2011, you’ll be able to pick it up in the UK soon enough. Priced at around £40, it’s certainly a little expensive, but when you consider the amount of dice you get in there you’ll see where the money goes. While I think it’s definitely a good one to try out with younger players to try and get them into slightly heavier gaming, it’s also a great title to play with more experienced gamers. Roll lucky!
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Andy Andersen
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Good review. Thanks.
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Randy Auschrat
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Thanks for the review! Can't wait to get mine.
 
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David Tolin
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Thus far, I think I haven't read or heard a review that failed to complain about the 'Q' words. Does it genuinely bother that many people, or is everyone just incredibly eager to jump on bandwagons? I suspect it's the latter.
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DavidT wrote:
Thus far, I think I haven't read or heard a review that failed to complain about the 'Q' words. Does it genuinely bother that many people, or is everyone just incredibly eager to jump on bandwagons? I suspect it's the latter.


I find it charming. It was great when Friedemann Friese did it, it's good now. Alliteration is awesome (as is assonance).
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Mike Elliott
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DavidT wrote:
Thus far, I think I haven't read or heard a review that failed to complain about the 'Q' words. Does it genuinely bother that many people, or is everyone just incredibly eager to jump on bandwagons? I suspect it's the latter.


I am thinking of lobbying Justin and Bryan to do a "STQU" (front big letters)/ Quarriors (back) marketing t-shirt when I meet with them at Gencon. They are unlikely to go for it, but I think it would be really amusing.

Mike
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Sebastian Grawan
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Grest review! Can't wait for my copy of the game.
 
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Jeremy Mueller
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DavidT wrote:
Thus far, I think I haven't read or heard a review that failed to complain about the 'Q' words. Does it genuinely bother that many people, or is everyone just incredibly eager to jump on bandwagons? I suspect it's the latter.


The DeckBuildingGames.com review didn't mention it. I think it's fine, and good branding.
 
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Michael Fox
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Re: the whole Q thing.

It's less of a complaint, more of a thing that's pushed by the wayside. Everyone I've played this with quickly end up calling stuff by a different name - Quiddity becomes energy, coins or drops. Quarry are either just plain old dice or (more specifically) Monsters or Spells. I reckon that younger players will happily stick with the Q-based naming conventions, but us old buggers are stuck in our ways
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Sebastian Grawan
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Quote:
Quiddity becomes energy, coins or drops.
'Mana' comes to mind...
 
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Michael Fox
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Oh, we've had a couple of MtG players come out with that, believe me!

Also @Mike - please don't think I'm being rude about the game, it's honestly one of my favourites of the year so far.
 
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Bruce Bridges
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Lordnameci wrote:
DavidT wrote:
Thus far, I think I haven't read or heard a review that failed to complain about the 'Q' words. Does it genuinely bother that many people, or is everyone just incredibly eager to jump on bandwagons? I suspect it's the latter.


I am thinking of lobbying Justin and Bryan to do a "STQU" (front big letters)/ Quarriors (back) marketing t-shirt when I meet with them at Gencon. They are unlikely to go for it, but I think it would be really amusing.

Mike

That would be classic! I hope they end doing it.
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Mike Elliott
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idlemichael wrote:
Oh, we've had a couple of MtG players come out with that, believe me!

Also @Mike - please don't think I'm being rude about the game, it's honestly one of my favourites of the year so far.


As a player, don't ever apologize for your opinions, and even I made a joke about the name in the designer diary. (See Qualiens) If you look in that same diary you will notice in the prototype picture that the resource was called "energy" and one of the early creatures that became one of the oozes was originally called Manamancer. I worked on Magic for many years.

Criticism on games is not going to offend me. Now if you spell my name wrong on the other hand....

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Michael Fox
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Whoooooops. Consider that changed
 
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Clyde W
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hanibalicious wrote:
DavidT wrote:
Thus far, I think I haven't read or heard a review that failed to complain about the 'Q' words. Does it genuinely bother that many people, or is everyone just incredibly eager to jump on bandwagons? I suspect it's the latter.


I find it charming. It was great when Friedemann Friese did it, it's good now. Alliteration is awesome (as is assonance).
Well, to be fair, Friedmann Friese doesn't invent his own stupid sounding words like "Quiddity." I doubt I'll ever play this game but, yes, the Q thing the designers threw in is pointless and silly (though okay maybe it adds to the "theme" somehow?).
 
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Michael Fox
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Well, just remember this - Quarriors is a game aimed at kids. As I said earlier, us old gits are set in our ways and will generally just look at the game itself, not paying a huge amount of attention to the Qurious words (see what I did there? Mike will be pleased )

The theme will appeal to some but will leave others cold. But the game? Oh, the glorious glorious game. Get it and play it immediately.

 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I completely disagree that this is a game aimed at kids. Unless you mean everyone playing games under 60 years old. Then I concur.
 
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clydeiii wrote:
Well, to be fair, Friedmann Friese doesn't invent his own stupid sounding words like "Quiddity." I doubt I'll ever play this game but, yes, the Q thing the designers threw in is pointless and silly (though okay maybe it adds to the "theme" somehow?).


quid·di·ty
noun \ˈkwi-də-tē\
plural quid·di·ties
Definition of QUIDDITY
1
: whatever makes something the type that it is : essence
2
a : a trifling point : quibble

Totally a real word, and totally awesome.
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Clyde W
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I stand quorrected!

Actually now that I think about it, I do believe I've sung the word on stage in a production of Yeomen of the Guard. Holy crap, I did: http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/yeomen/web_opera/yeomen_06.ht...

Still, while quiddity maybe a real word that is unfamiliar to us all, "quarriors" is certainly not a real word.
 
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Michael Fox
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rickert wrote:
I completely disagree that this is a game aimed at kids. Unless you mean everyone playing games under 60 years old. Then I concur.


OK Rick - how about it's aimed at getting kids into slightly heavier games, but is also gloriously accessible to all
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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idlemichael wrote:
rickert wrote:
I completely disagree that this is a game aimed at kids. Unless you mean everyone playing games under 60 years old. Then I concur.


OK Rick - how about it's aimed at getting kids into slightly heavier games, but is also gloriously accessible to all


I can't even agree with that. I would say it is aimed at gamers who are more in favor of having a good time than playing a complex and challenging game.
 
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Michael Fox
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Oh, Rick, you fussy bugger! Let's just say both
 
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