Mitchell Waldbauer
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Dallas
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1. Is there something to distinguish which starter sets have which 7 Tiles? So that I could intentionally buy 2 with completely different sets of tiles? For 3+ Players do you have to have a 2nd starter?

2. What comes in the Booster pack?

3. How many different cards are there?

4. Are you guys, sometime before release, going to give more information on game mechanics, how it compares to the computer game, etc?

"Thank you for your questions! We have been swamped with production and distribution concerns, so we have sadly let the informing the public part of the job slide a little. Here are the answers to your specific questions:

1) No. You will have no idea what tiles are in a set you are buying until it is opened. However, you can use duplicate tiles to build a larger map without any negative effects. We have tested this and while the terrain types are not as varied as they would be when combining 2 completely different tile sets, the game play does not suffer.

1a) No. All the items you need except cards are there in a single starter set to play more than 2 players. In fact, you can even play a 3 player game with 4 tiles from a single tile set (4-tile games are the equivalent of a small map in the computer game, and the upper deck limit for this size game is 40. 40 x 3=120 and that's how many cards are in a starter set. All you need to add new players when playing on larger maps are more cards, which can be acquired in booster packs alone.

2) There are 2 booster types. Hero Packs, and Extra Packs. You cannot tell the difference between them when you buy them, until they are opened, but each display will be packed so that there are 3 Hero Packs from each alignment, and 1 Extra Pack from each alignment. Starter Sets will come with 2 Hero packs and 1 Extra Pack from 2 opposing alignments.


In general a Hero Pack comes with a Hero, 6 level 1 units, 2 level 2 units, 1 level 3 unit, 1 level 4 unit, the location required to build the included level 4 unit, and a Town Card from which all of these units could come. The other 7 cards in the pack depend on the included Hero. 5 of them will be skills that the Hero typically will use. The other 2 will either be a location and an artifact (for warrior type heroes), or a low level spell and a higher level spell that the included hero might want to cast.
Extra Packs vary by the alignment featured, but most will come with a lot of spells, artifacts, or locations, and wandering creatures from the same alignment. There are no Heroes or Towns in an Extra Pack.


3) Honestly we haven’t counted. A rough estimate though would be around 700 different cards.

4) Yes, we will, but more importantly, we hope to be reviewed by some gaming publications that will do that more objectively as well. I can tell you this, our focus group (ages 8-36) who have played the computer game and the card game, overwhelmingly believe that the card game accomplishes the purpose of the computer game better than the computer game...what’s more, it takes less time to play an equivalent scenario of the card game than it does the computer game. But, you will see for yourself very soon!

Are you or your friends going to Origins at the end of this month? It is in Columbus Ohio (www.originsgames.com), and though we won’t be selling product there, we will be hosting some new player events there, so anyone who want to play should be able to get a game in.

Jonathan Bjork
Director of Games Development
DG Associates
www.dgagames.com
256-882-2008
 
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Mitchell Waldbauer
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And a reply with speculation/analyzed information on the game based on the website, and the e-mail I got back. (I've seen the letter on that other game site, but there's nothing there I didn't already guess, or wasn't adressed in the e-mail he sent me back). Now, why I did all this, when I could just wait two weeks for reports from Origins.. I'm not sure... I started it, then realized in 2 weeks it won't matter.., and couldn't stop. :-)

From 1 and 2.

Ok, so 40 cards is the maximum. So, I'd guess having more cards in the deck is better, perhaps when you run out there's no more gold (see my san Juan comment for economy somewhere below).

We know boosters have 20 cards. And that a starter has 2 hero packs and 1 extra from each alignment.

So you'll have 120 cards... 40 for 3 decks... but one deck would be of mixed alignments... So either this is allowed, or you'd have to use one hero booster per player and limit them to one hero each (which may already be the case anyways).

Rereading it suggests 120 cards for... 3 players "small" game. So evidently the # of players vs tiles = an upper deck limit. Which makes sense, maybe that way we always make sure we dont' run out of gas... but that still runs into the mixed alignment problem. So the cards (and hence boosters (yes, you ccg cynics can start worrying now)) are the trick. If you want more players, you have to have enough cards for them.

A special location is required for L4 units... I remember something about this from information on Heroes IV, but as I said, I didn't play it. How locations work... are they placed on the map at the start? Seems unlikely there's any chance of the game being "shrouded" then.

There are also wandering monsters. Not sure that's good or bad. I *liked* them in the computer game, but they seem like a potential.. thing to cut for the sake of shortening the game. We'll see.

There are a set number of alignments and each display box has all of them. If we take the packs in a box and divide by 4 we have how many there are. From the art information, we can see at least 5 alignments, I don't know how many were in the computer game, perhaps they are the same? 32 or 40 pack displays seem reasonably possible. And 8-10 alignments fits well with the idea of around 80 cards per alignment given the answer to #3.


The answer to #3 disappoints me. Not the # of cards. Yes that does me 6 different starters to collect them all. But that they don't know precisely. In order to print cards on a large scale, I'm familiar with people using contracted card printing companies. Who you deliver a numbered spreadsheet to. Guess this isn't the case here. So, my disappointment stems from potentially poor card print quality. Which if the decks are shuffled, is always an issue for me, as cards wear down if they are low quality (and high).

you see #4. Goto origins. Tell us all the real details. Don't let me keep speculating ;-)

This is the link for sample art that has scans of several actual cards. However, I didn't play Heroes IV(<3 Heroes II and III), so I'm not sure how the information here helps me know more about the game.

http://www.dgagames.com/HMM/HMM_sampleart.html

Guesses: The two heroes have the same numerical stats. One is a fighter and one is not. This seems weird to me. Perhaps the cards aren't final versions of cards? Or maybe there're skills that make up for the difference?

THere's a "Swarm" And "Protect" label on each of them. I suspect that means that there are at least two (possibly three if you count straight up) different states for each hero, possibly giving them different values.

Or maybe they are used as markers to show what given troops that are with a hero are doing?

The town also has labels "Breeched" and "Sacked" which suggests that those words aren't used to describe what thr troops in the town are doing, but the town itself. I'd suspect the heroes then have different states, to match up with towns.

There're 4 levels of units, and under each is a special ability. I'm pretty sure these special abilities reflect one of two things: Either abilities that are always turned on in a town, maybe only while *in* the town, or they are abilities that as you "build" a town they are added benefits. I think the second is more likely.

The existance of Magic Resistance being a numeric stat suggests some method of that working... I think the games had a 10% chance based on a number... but I don't recall any mention of dice.

Drawing cards seems to be important, as Might towns get them easier. My guess is perhaps a San Juan like system, where cards have costs (the cost itself is confirmed by the troops having a cost in the upper right, and the heroes the same) and discarding more cards will pay for them? Or maybe there's just gold lying around to pick up/mine ;-) I hope for the san juan solution, but that's cause I think it's a cool way to do things :-)

There are two *different* level one troops available in this twon, probably so in others as well.

Each troop has a different phase #. And from the looks of Angels and Moanders Tactics ability we can conclude that the lower the phase # the sooner someone attacks. The arrow/snake looking # probably reprents how far a character moves. Since each tile is 9 hexes wide, the entire *large* map is 27 hexes wide, which makes it seems reasonable that this movement # reflects a # of hexes on the overworld map. I doubt that there's a seperate combat set of hexes, as it doesn't look like they'd be needed (and they claimed the game was faster, this is a way to do it :-))

However, looking at Angels and Griffins, there are combat rounds... and flight and ignnoring obstacles matter. So either, combat is engaged on the main map, and then fought there, allowing troops to end up all over the place (perhaps to return after combat? and the Hero does too?) or there's a seperate map. Also Angels resurrection shows us that there are still the "stacks" of troops, we know and love.

Scouting... Uh, unlikely that the overhead map is "shrouded" like in the games. So I'm not sure what this ability does. It negates stealth, which I guess is interesting. Not sure how stealth would work either... perhaps these are combat related abilities now? (unlike the game?) Oh, and the card flips, to show it's second level. Looks like there're 4 levels of skill to have maybe?

Defense: I have no idea how Secondary Skills work :-D

Lightning: A spell which works exactly as I'd expect.

More observations on the map:

There are town locations, there are mines. There are... signposts? Not sure what the signposts do.
 
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Dennis Basden
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Hoffman Estates
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MitchellW wrote:
2) There are 2 booster types. Hero Packs, and Extra Packs. You cannot tell the difference between them when you buy them, until they are opened, but each display will be packed so that there are 3 Hero Packs from each alignment, and 1 Extra Pack from each alignment. Starter Sets will come with 2 Hero packs and 1 Extra Pack from 2 opposing alignments.


In general a Hero Pack comes with a Hero, 6 level 1 units, 2 level 2 units, 1 level 3 unit, 1 level 4 unit, the location required to build the included level 4 unit, and a Town Card from which all of these units could come. The other 7 cards in the pack depend on the included Hero. 5 of them will be skills that the Hero typically will use. The other 2 will either be a location and an artifact (for warrior type heroes), or a low level spell and a higher level spell that the included hero might want to cast.
Extra Packs vary by the alignment featured, but most will come with a lot of spells, artifacts, or locations, and wandering creatures from the same alignment. There are no Heroes or Towns in an Extra Pack.



I have played and collected many card and minis games, this is the best hybrid concept of collectible without "chase" I have ever heard of. If I am able to buy a booster box and know that I will have 80 of each faction, that is just awesome. A very balanced choice that still allows money making but makes decisions simple for the serious player. With 700 cards I am sure you will still have a lot of desirable cards spread across starters and boosters, but it seems like I won't have a lot of junk that is useless since I don't have a matching card needed to play. I hope this seeding is still the plan.
 
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