Boian Spasov
Bulgaria
Sofia
flag msg tools
We are the knights who say...
badge
Ni!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What motivated me to buy Quarriors?

- A deckbuilding game, using dice instead of cards. A new twist of one of my favorite boardgame genres. And one that nobody has tried before!
- From the designer of Thunderstone! With its strong theme and longer playing time, Thunderstone remains my favorite deckbuilder, despite its few drawbacks.
- 130 shiny custom dice. Stored in a metal tin looking like a giant custom die! Yes, please! Even if the game is nothing special, I admit that I wanted it for the components alone. Yeah, I am sometimes that shallow. Looking across my small collection, I can say with no doubt that Quarriors has the coolest box, and probably the most interesting components of all my games. The dice do have small production flaws and some numbers on them could’ve been more legible, but they look awesome!

I resisted the temptation a few months, but ultimately I bought the game. Looking back, it seems that it was inevitable. Greedily opened the box, drooled over the dice a bit and then started playing (since I have read the manual well before I received my game).

What are the rules? During setup you must randomize some cards to determine which creatures and spells will be available for the current game, along with the basic three cards that are always used.

Every creature and spell type is represented by a particular type of dice, however different creatures and spells within one type may vary wildly. For example, one “Life” spell allows you to reuse destroyed creatures, another improves the defense of one particular creature, yet another gives defense to all your creatures for one turn, and the final variant reduces the attack of one opponent’s creature to 0. And all those four are “Life” spells that may differ from game to game but only one of them may be used in any one game. Still all spells and creatures within particular type are somewhat alike, for example the base stats of the creatures are the same and the effects of all “Life” spells boil down to protecting your creatures. Sounds a bit confusing? Maybe at start, but it allows for a huge variety of creatures and spells (53 types total) with less than 20 dice types. The idea is to reuse the dice as much as possible by applying different effects to them depending on the creature/spell card that was drawn during the setup phase. From a purely design point of view I was very impressed with the idea – this allows the authors to expand the game as easy as by printing a single promo card depicting a new variant of an existing creature or spell type. Brilliant!

How does the gameplay flow? Basically you put all your dice in a cloth bag, you draw a bunch of them and roll them (the tin top is perfect for this if you wish to avoid chasing them on the floor). Many dice give you a resource called Quiddity (yes, this is a real word) that you can use to summon creatures (rolled on your other dice) and buy new dice for your collection. You can also ready spells at no cost, if you managed to roll them and use them whenever you wish at a later time.

Drawing a creature or spell die doesn’t mean directly that the creature or spell will be available this turn – usually it is present only on about half of the die faces and the other give Quiddity or various special effects – rerolling, drawing additional dice, etc.

Summoned creatures automatically attack the creatures of all other players. The victory condition is to accumulate a certain amount of Glory (read: Victory Points) that is gained when one of your creatures survives a whole round. Afterwards the creature is returned to your collection and you have the option to “cull” – remove one of your dice that you don’t need (usually a starting die). You may cull as many dice as the number of your creatures that scored this turn and you almost always want to do so in order to thin up your collection and improve your chances of drawing the more powerful dice.

How were my first few games with 2 and 4 players? To tell you the truth, they were kinda “meh”… The game was somewhat fun, but at the same time it felt very random, even for a dice game, almost as if there was no real strategy in it. We usually bought the strongest creature there is, or the second strongest if we didn’t like the strongest one. Spells usage was marginal and most games at least 2 of the 3 spell piles remained untouched. Just as we thought that we discovered a kickass combo the dice for it had the audacity to land on their resource sides or not be drawn together at all. During late game we practically stopped buying big guns (due to unavailability and almost all resource dice being culled and more Quiddity required for summoning at the same time) and only hoped that our strong creatures will get summoned but this, too, looked like random chance with no decisions at all. You get the picture – playing the game was somewhat entertaining, but not as good as my expectations for it were. I have read several negative reviews here on BGG and I can certainly relate to them.

And this would’ve been the end of the story, and I would’ve never taken the time to write this review. But then I encountered the variant thread that saved the game, written by none other than one of the designers:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/711697/dr-houserule-or-h...

In it Mike Elliott suggests two rules that saved the game for me and made it as fun as it should’ve been from the start.

1. You can buy up to two cards every turn instead of one.

Bam! The purchase step suddenly wasn’t so trivial. Do I want two goblins that may allow me to draw extra dice when destroyed or one larger creature that scores more victory points? Do I buy two useful Death spells, or a single Dragon? And is it worth it to try to buyout all small creatures, even the assistants that everyone is culling, along with combo cards that work well with many creatures on my side? This single rule change made the game way more entertaining and strategic (while still very random) and I was certain that I’m not going back to the rules as written. Then I decided to try the second suggested rule, the one I was way more skeptical about:

2. When you score the creature you must cull this creature instead of another die. You have the option of not scoring (and not culling anything).

As I said, this suggestion sounded fishy to me at first. This is a deck building game, why I would get rid of my creatures every time when I score them? Wouldn’t this make the game as if I am always playing with the starting dice? Wouldn’t it be boring this way?

No and no. This is the rule that truly made the game for me. It took care of several problems at once – made the spells much more useful (since they are not culled when used), diminished the impact of getting a very strong creature early, resolved the lowered buying power during later rounds (due to making culling basic resource dice almost never available). Dare I say it even diminished the randomness – if you don’t roll your strong creature one round (playing by the rules as written), you practically miss to score 4 points or so. With this house rule, scoring is only delayed and sometimes you may even decide not to score because it is the strategic thing to do, because scoring will mean losing this strong creature. Fun, fun, fun!

Those two little rules are the reason that I decided to write this review. I am certain that many people here have not seen them in the Variants forum. If you tried the game and didn’t like it at first, or were kinda “meh”, like me – try it this way and you may be surprised! Mike Elliott, the designer, said that the game was tested for over an year with those two rules and hardcore players like it much more this way. Well, count me as hardcore as they come, because I know that I am playing with those two modifications and never looking back.

And if you dislike houseruling your games, don’t lose hope – the new expansion Quarmageddon feature “advance rules for epic gameplay”. Without having any inside info, I am willing to bet that those two little variants will be part of the advance rules and will see print very soon.

The bottom line:
Quarriors (with the rules as written): 6/10
Quarriors (with the variant rules): 8/10 (I am leaning towards 8.5, but I think that this is just initial excitement because the game finally works for me)

Thanks for reading this longish review and happy gaming! And again, no matter whether you are fan of the game as written or you find it lacking, I recommend giving those rules a test run. They are awesome!
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kiren Maelwulf
Canada
Richmond
BC
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review including some of the variants.

blizzardb wrote:

1. You can buy up to two cards every turn instead of one.


This is such a simple change and it makes such a huge difference. I find big creatures get purchsed now with no more frequency than a couple of less expensive dice.

Quote:
2. When you score the creature you must cull this creature instead of another die. You have the option of not scoring (and not culling anything).

While I have seen some people praise this variant I would highly recommend players trying without it first. Personnally I find this rule actually hurts the game, granted I never tried it until post-expansion but some of the negative seem as though they would persist without Rise of the Demons. Some of the reasons are as follows:

Quote:
made the spells much more useful (since they are not culled when used)

-I found the opposite. Because the creatures have to be culled to score you are drastically limited on how many spells you can buy/play since they can quickly clog your pool with a spell:creature ratio.

-Not being able to cull basic quiddity, assistants, and corrupted quiddity really impacts the aspect of optimizing your pool.

-It throws off the balance of certain creatures like the ghost, which already powerful suddenly becomes godly, adversly some creatures become far less worth the purchase.

I think the culling rules were changed because that system is less streamlined. An alternative would be to simply leave culling as is but you must choose to score a creature or cull 1 dice, which would allow for optimizing your pool but still help prevent early run away games. We will have to see what the future advanced rules bring though!
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamie Pollock
Scotland
Edinburgh
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The "two buys" is a good variant, but if you're not using the other variant, then I've found it only seems to get use in the first few turns. Once you're raising creatures and have culled some dice, the chance of getting a lot of quiddity to make use of two buys goes down considerably.

The second option is interesting and improves the use of the two buys variant, but I fear the expansion kind of renders it null and void as it then becomes nigh impossible to cull corrupted quiddity. I'm really intrigued to see what the advanced rules suggest because obviously they'll have to take into account the effects of the expansions.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gunther Schmidl
Austria
Linz
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
The variant we use is "cull 1 die when you have no scoring creatures". It works quite well.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kiren Maelwulf
Canada
Richmond
BC
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Jambo wrote:
The "two buys" is a good variant, but if you're not using the other variant, then I've found it only seems to get use in the first few turns. Once you're raising creatures and have culled some dice, the chance of getting a lot of quiddity to make use of two buys goes down considerably.

Yeah, I can see what you are saying but it does add more choices early on and depending what is available to buy (ie. growth spells, etc) and what you have culled, you can maintain purchase power even later in the game. It is the only variant I have seen that seems to have no downsides, it is overwhelmingly positive to the gameplay even if it could be argued that more could be done.

Quote:
The second option is interesting and improves the use of the two buys variant, but I fear the expansion kind of renders it null and void as it then becomes nigh impossible to cull corrupted quiddity. I'm really intrigued to see what the advanced rules suggest because obviously they'll have to take into account the effects of the expansions.

I agree, it will be really interesting to see what official variants come out, although that won't be until June! But until then, as you said I don't like not being able to optimize my pool and especially not being able to get rid of corrupted quiddity. I think culling could use some tweaking but as per my suggestion, I believe the ability to cull any dice not just the creature needs to remain.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
United States
Flagstaff
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very necessary review!

The first change basically transforms the game. It takes it off autopilot.

I don't like the second one as much. My personal quarriors rules, which I like very much, are these:

1) two buys
2) no more than one buy of the same die per turn (in 4 player this makes sure no one loses out on a key die due to turn order)
3) Game does NOT end due to running out of dice on creatures.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Lim
Singapore
Cambridge
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmb
These changes seem interesting and necessary. Unfortunately, the game was so meh for me that I sold it off before the hype could wear off
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Fernandez
Philippines
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
won't this lengthen the playing time?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Aube
Canada
Ste-Julie
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Kirenx wrote:
-Not being able to cull basic quiddity, assistants, and corrupted quiddity really impacts the aspect of optimizing your pool.

Good point. The solution could be to cull the creature you just scored and have the option to cull any other from your discard.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank M.
United States
upstate New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, that does sound like it changes things: but I think only from MEH to meh...

Thanks for the excellent review. I almost bought this on sale (again, after having gotten rid of my 1st copy.) Now I'm glad I didn't, but I'm happy others will find more enjoyment in it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boian Spasov
Bulgaria
Sofia
flag msg tools
We are the knights who say...
badge
Ni!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks all for the comments, I am glad you liked the review.

Kirenx wrote:

-Not being able to cull basic quiddity, assistants, and corrupted quiddity really impacts the aspect of optimizing your pool.

-It throws off the balance of certain creatures like the ghost, which already powerful suddenly becomes godly, adversly some creatures become far less worth the purchase.

I think the culling rules were changed because that system is less streamlined. An alternative would be to simply leave culling as is but you must choose to score a creature or cull 1 dice, which would allow for optimizing your pool but still help prevent early run away games. We will have to see what the future advanced rules bring though!


Strange, my experience is completely different, possibly this depends on the play group. The second rule change is the one that really transformed the game for the better, for me. In my group we see increased spell usage and more entertaining and strategic games after introducing it. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

I would like to comment particularly on the ghost - I was convinced that it is very imbalanced with this rule change, just as you are, but we decided to test anyway. We played four 2-player games with the Ghost Spirit (the one that culls basic quiddity) in which one player bought exclusively Ghostly Spirits when available and the other didn't buy them at all or bought them much later in the game. To my surprise the Ghost Spirit player (me) lost 3 of the four games and won the fourth by a very close margin (21:18, as I recall, but the lost games were also somewhat close). I was particularly surprised how few basic quiddity the spirits managed to cull - one game it was only one die, usually the spirits just scored without being destroyed. Again, this may be incidental, or may be dependant on the fact that we played with 2 players (I imagine the Spirit will be destroyed much more often with 4), but in my experience the creature worked surprisingly ok and I am not even close to banning it from my games. Even if it is strong for its cost, the auto-culling rule ensures that if you get more spirits early, they will return to the market and be available for other players as soon as they score.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
thiago maia
Brazil
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
i play with this variant:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/7979010#7979010


This variant gave a balance in the number of quiddity that you have to spend with wild dice or powerfull creatures. this is not so random because this rule put a balance with how many you spend and how many you score. if you pay more you score more and if you pay little you score little glory.

In the original rules, if you play a good side of the dice of the dragon you pay 3 and you can score 4 glory. but you can pay only one 1 in your turn to and get the same 4 glory. this is not balanced with other dices that the player pay 2 or 3 quiddity to try score glory and the creature is until more weak and have low score value that the dragon.

This variant try to do the players don't only buy the dragon, but use the quiddity with more think. example: the assist dice can be good choise if you play in a good moment giving, a little, but good score for 1 quiddty that you pay. this variant don't remorve the shinny of the powerfull cards and his dices beacause that dices have a better atk/def giving they better to score.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another suggestion that was made at the end of the original variant thread was to allow you to either cull and score the creature *or* discard the creature and call any other die. Gives you a way to get rid of basic quiddity (and corrupted quiddity). Haven't tried this yet, but I will vouch for the variants as presented in the review improving the game immensely. I was skeptical of the second part at first, but after a couple games I can't imagine going back.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Kentorp
Denmark
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
blizzardb wrote:
Thanks all for the comments, I am glad you liked the review.

Kirenx wrote:

-Not being able to cull basic quiddity, assistants, and corrupted quiddity really impacts the aspect of optimizing your pool.

-It throws off the balance of certain creatures like the ghost, which already powerful suddenly becomes godly, adversly some creatures become far less worth the purchase.

I think the culling rules were changed because that system is less streamlined. An alternative would be to simply leave culling as is but you must choose to score a creature or cull 1 dice, which would allow for optimizing your pool but still help prevent early run away games. We will have to see what the future advanced rules bring though!


Strange, my experience is completely different, possibly this depends on the play group. The second rule change is the one that really transformed the game for the better, for me. In my group we see increased spell usage and more entertaining and strategic games after introducing it. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

I fully agree.
In my experience; since spells get "taken out of the pool" when you ready them, they don't screw your draws nearly as much as you might think.
Besides, the fact that you need a lot of dice to balance out all the basic quiddity you can't get rid off makes buying several smaller creatures, instead of allways just grapping the strongest one, even more attractive.
IMO, playing with both rules really makes the game much, much better (and I really liked it before).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rafael Castrequini
Brazil
Valinhos
SP
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry for raising this thread from the dead...I've just bought my copy (..and found it meh...)

So, could somebory clarify this:
blizzardb wrote:


2. When you score the creature you must cull this creature instead of another die. You have the option of not scoring (and not culling anything).


Say, my Quake draggon survives until my next turn, so I could score it. If I choose not to score it, what happens?
a) It stays on Ready area
b) It goes to used pile and I could cull anyone dice since I didn't score it (score means earn glory points here)
c) It goes to used pile and nothing happens further.

Thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boian Spasov
Bulgaria
Sofia
flag msg tools
We are the knights who say...
badge
Ni!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It is c) - it goes to the used pile and nothing further happens, but you keep the dragon and have a chance to kill creatures with it the following turns.

I suggest downloading the rulebook of the expansion, where both those rules are detailed in an official source. Hope the game clicks for you with them!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.