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Subject: My review after first plays. rss

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Steve W
United States
Playa Vista
California
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So we played 3 game Quarriors last night and I feel the game has tons of potential, but sadly I think it missed in a few areas. I had never heard of the game till last night, and didn't read any of the other reviews on here before writing this, so I my be repeating what others have said.

We played with 4 players, drawing random card each time, but in game 2 we use card that we had not used in game 1. Game 3 we choose again from the whole pool of cards.

The game plays a lot like Dominion, but with dice. You draw you “hand” of dice from a bag, roll, spend money, buy new dice, and add them to your pool. You eventually summon monster dice that may kill other players monsters and if they live till your next turn you score points (glory), which is how you win. There are a ton of dice, each going to a different type of creature or spell, and each type of creature or spell has different versions that play differently with the dice. So like Dominion each game will play a little differently depending on what dice/card are on the table.

The dice building part was fun, the large number of different dice you can choose to buy was interesting and building your bag of dice was challenging. And even the random factor wasn't all that bad to a point. It is a dice game so there is going to be much bigger random factor then in say a normal deck building game. They also let you cut a dice form your bag every time you score a monster so that helps you customize your bag even more.

So where did it miss? Well we realized pretty quickly that there is no reason not to buy the biggest meanest creature every chance you get, and with the base dice pool you get, its not hard at all to get the 7 or 8 quiddity (money) to buy those dice on roll 1 or 2. Once those dice are in your pool a few lucky rolls and you win. Game 3 I had only bought 3 dice and won before my 6th roll. Which was little over twice threw my dice bag.

All 3 games never reach the “end” game. Where people have created a nice dice bag of spells and creatures that may or may not live till the next turn. We all wanted to have this bags of cool creature and fun spell effect that work well with each other, and fighting it out to scrape by the last few points to win but it never got to that.

All three games were dominate by dragons and wizards. A top level Dragon or wizard was not only unkillable for the most part (I killed one wizard combo with a dragon combo) but even if there was a chance to kill it, you were at the whim of not only the random draw, what you had left in your dice bag, and then the roll. Add in that the dice markings on the dragon/wizard make it pretty easy (more the 50%) chance of rolling up the summon side on them.

The high cost to buy the powerful creature dice was not enough of a balance for them. You can only buy 1 dice a turn (most of the time) so spending 8 on a dragon will always be better then buying a 4 or 3 cost creature. And once you've bought the dice there is zero down side to them. We never had an instance where someone rolled a creature and wasn't able to summon them. Only if they rolled 3 creatures was there a chance they could not summon one but they could always summon the 2 most powerful ones every time. So why would I want a 2/2 goblin when I can have 4/4 to 7/8 dragon.

There is a few ways they could have made the game better.
1. make the levels of the 7-9 cost creatures much higher. Dragon and Wizard and all the 6-9 cost creatures should be higher levels across the board. 3-5 or higher Which makes them much riskier to buy early because you could very well not have the money to summon them when you roll them. Being able to play a 4/4 dragon that kills all level 1 creatures for 1 cost (the same as a 2/2 goblin) feels over powered.

2. made some of the lower cost creatures able to deal with the larger creatures on lucky rolls. Auto kill a level 3 creature or something. Make them more efficient for there cost. Same with spells, buying a death spell is cool, but the one we had still couldn't kill a top level dragon or wizard.

3. make the winning number higher. Next time we play we are going to try this, by making the game go longer we hope will cut the luck chance down a little, but the unbalance of buying the big creatures is still there. Another option is to have the game end only when 4 creature pile are empty (like dominion) and the winner being the player with the highest Glory. Both these would likely lower the luck factor and by making the game go longer, make building your dice pool a bigger part of the game.

We will likely play it again, but likely with the changes in #3. It fun and a quick game and worth a try, just sad that I feel that it just missed.

My 2 cents.
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Chris Miller
United States
Rock Hill
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Good review, and you've hit on some of the most common areas of concern/complaint about the game. After a few more plays I do think the big issue is the one purchase per turn limit. I think that in some cases it may make more sense to buy two lower cost dice instead of the single "bigger" dice, if that were an option.

Next time we play I want to get a few games in with that rules change, I'm really curious how it plays out.
 
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Darrell Goodridge
United States
Windsor Locks
Connecticut
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My friend and I played our first game under normal rules, then the next 4 with "buy up to two" variant. The option to buy the biggest creature was still tempting, but also getting a middling creature + a spell or portal was tempting too. We saw a lot more use out of spells, that's for sure. If an expansion officially adds a "buy die" then we'll go back to standard rules, but for now, I think it's more fun.
 
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Jamie Pollock
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Yeah, good review.

Our first 3 games didn't involve dragons or questing wizards, so I can't comment directly on these. However from reading them and now understanding how the game works, it is easy to imagine how they might influence proceedings. We did have an ooze out - the one with the attack/defence value based on basic quiddity - but that didn't seem to dominate in any adverse way.

Dragons are obviously meant to be strong creatures but for me it's their special abilities which takes them into the potentially overpowered category:

1. Being able to insta-kill all level 1 creatures is massive, and with their already high attack value it does seems a bit unnecessary.

2. Being able to protect against attacks from all level 1 AND level 2 creatures is insane. I keep rechecking this card to see if this is really the case as it pretty much encompasses all of the creatures available. Do they really need this on top of the high stats and high glory values?

3. Getting +'s to defence only adds to the already near impossible task of killing a dragon, and on top of this to give one version a further +2 to glory to make it a 6 point score, again, seems like overkill.

One might have thought setting dragons at level 4 or 5 might have made more sense to game flow. In other words it wouldn't be insignificant to afford to get them out every time.

We also had the growth spell in play which enables an extra buy, and so didn't really notice the often stated problem of not being able to multibuy cheaper options. Without this spell in play I could imagine there being a lot of occasions where you wouldn't use the full quiddity available. I kind of get the feeling an extra buy option should have been part of a standard dice set that's available in all games.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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timebeing wrote:

So where did it miss? Well we realized pretty quickly that there is no reason not to buy the biggest meanest creature every chance you get


The game is more interesting when you have a choice of things to buy, and there are time when a 5-cost buy is better than the only available 6's, a 7-cost is better than the 8. But as you don't get anything for buying significantly under your roll, there's no point in looking at the 2s and 3s on a turn when you've rolled 6. Which can lead to a sterile game.

It wasn't my first choice of variant*, but I'm wondering if having one card for every type of dice available in the wilds is better than the current 7 out of 10 creatures - if only because it allows players to make more meaningful choices about what to buy. Even then, though, there will be a lot of the cheaper dice available that get passed over repeatedly.

* After playing the game a number of times last week and feeling dissatisfied, I drew up a three-page document at the weekend, listing many of the proposed variants (and a few ideas of my own). The idea was to start analysing how the game might be improved upon. I played four or five games yesterday, and all bar one was a pretty satisfying experience *without* any changes to the standard rules. Too early to draw conclusions with only about a dozen games under my belt.
 
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Kiren Maelwulf
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Richmond
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Jambo wrote:


We also had the growth spell in play which enables an extra buy, and so didn't really notice the often stated problem of not being able to multibuy cheaper options. Without this spell in play I could imagine there being a lot of occasions where you wouldn't use the full quiddity available. I kind of get the feeling an extra buy option should have been part of a standard dice set that's available in all games.


Some of the best games I have played of Quarriors! has the growth spell in play. You actually end up utalizing spell dice and many lower casting cost dice you might not otherwise have bought. Definitely makes the game more interesting in terms of choices.
 
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Steve W
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Our first game we had the extra buy growth dice, and all of us being Dominion players we all bought that one first, thinking "get it early, get lot of extra buys". It had almost zero effect in the game, it think one player got 2 buys with it.

One other varient I was thinking is cutting the starting dice to 10 (cut 2 basic) and the number of dice drawn to 5. it cuts the "money" down a bit making the 7+ harder to get.
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Kiren Maelwulf
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timebeing wrote:
Our first game we had the extra buy growth dice, and all of us being Dominion players we all bought that one first, thinking "get it early, get lot of extra buys". It had almost zero effect in the game, it think one player got 2 buys with it.

One other varient I was thinking is cutting the starting dice to 10 (cut 2 basic) and the number of dice drawn to 5. it cuts the "money" down a bit making the 7+ harder to get.


Yeah extra buys in this game are not an automatic thing to get, it really depends what the cards out are. It can make for some more varied and interesting choices though. It is a shame there are not more cards that offer additional purchases in the game currently, hopefully something we will see in a future expansion.
 
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