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Subject: This is the game that never ends...it goes on and on my friends.... rss

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I've played Quarriors a few times now and wanted to throw out there what I saw from this game.

The Rules
I'll run through it quickly, skip to the next section if you already know them.

Quarriors is a dice game, and the easiest way I found to describe it is to compare it to Dominion. You start with a basic deck (bag of dice), you draw a hand every turn (6 dice), roll them, use the Quiddity (money) you roll to do a combo of summoning monsters you roll on the dice and buy new dice which go to your discard pile, then when you run out of dice in your bag, put your discards in, rinse, repeat.

The monsters you summon attack every other players' monsters automatically and if your summoned monsters live until your next turn, you score them, then get to trash a die (so your better dice come up more frequently). The first player to X points (depends on the number of players) or if 4 piles of monster dice run out triggers the end game and the most points wins.

Components
There's dice. There's more dice. There's a LOT of dice. They're small and when using someone's set which was used a few times, I noticed that a couple of numbers were starting to rub off a little bit already. I'm not sure if it was a misprint or poorly made in general.

There's a lot of info on each die. Spells have just a nice picture (with maybe 1 tiny number), Quiddity has just 1 small number in the corner. For monsters, the middle has a pretty detailed picture, then the corners of have numbers for level, attack, defense, and if a monster has a special power (*'s).

Combine that with some dice having very similar colors, and people with sight issues will probably have some trouble with this game. And forget seeing details across the table of what someone else rolled, good eyesight or not.

The game also comes with a dice bag for each player. The bags feel a bit cheap, but do the trick. I've noticed most adult men's hands are a bit too large for the bags and involves a bit of work to get dice out of the corners of the bag. It doesn't take a ton away from the game, but just a bit.

Finally, there's the cards. Each die you purchase can have a number of different powers each game, which are written on the cards. The art is nice and they convey the powers each die has pretty cleanly.

The different cards which go with each color of dice all have the same picture. So there's a bit of an awkward learning curve at the start of each game, since you can't associate a picture or a color with a power or price, as power and price change from game to game. Then after learning and remembering them, you need to then forget everything you learned for the next game, as there are most likely other powers associated with some of the same dice you used previously.

I'm not sure if there was really a better method than implemented here, but comparing it to other deck-building games, it feels tougher to learn.

Strategy
Initially, the same ole Dominion strategies feel like they work here. If you can buy bigger dice and trash your starting dice quickly, you'll have a better chance of doing well. In theory.

The luck
Many people have said there's 2 levels of luck to the game which hurts it. I feel like there's more:

1) You need to pull out dice to summon monsters early. If you don't, other players will get better monsters and your starting monsters will have a much lower chance of surviving. Combine that with the trashing mechanic being tied in to you scoring monsters, and if you don't get going quickly, you're not only going to be behind on points, you're going to be rolling worse dice, and not really have a way to catch up.

2) You need those dice to actually be monsters. You grab 3 Pawns in your first hand, and roll them all as 1-2 Quiddity each? Not only are you screwed for turn 1, but then turn 2, you are only having a chance to summon 1 monster, and are behind from the start. Get a bunch of good monsters, but don't roll them as monsters often enough? All those big monsters don't give you any points. There's some small reroll mechanics built into the game, but they're based on the luck of rolling dice well enough to get a reroll as well.

3) You need to not just summon monsters, but summon them on turns when your opponents are not lucky enough to summon monsters to take your guys out. Summon a level 1 Dragon, a level 2 Dragon, and a Pawn and feel like you're on top of the world? Well, too bad, the next person summoned a dragon as well, which kills all level 1 monsters automatically and has enough attack power left to kill off your remaining one. Which brings me to my next point:

Is this game ever going to end?
That depends, how many players do you have? With 2-3 players, I've seen the game end with a close game and actually hit the target score. With 4 players, I've seen 1 of 2 games every single time:

1) 1 player gets lucky, grabs a couple of big monsters early, decimates the rest of the players' monsters, scores basically every turn, wins quickly.

2) Players have about average luck, everyone gets a few points early, then everyone has strong enough monsters that no one really has monsters which are strong enough to live from one turn to the next. The game just sits there at a stall while the player who has the most points tries to buy out 4 piles while the rest of the players desperately try to have a monster live from one turn to the next. It rarely, if ever happens. Thankfully, the 4th pile FINALLY runs out and the person who has been in the lead for the past 30 mins wins.

2a) The same as 2, only one person had really bad luck early, so he's sitting there at 0-2 points while the rest are grouped around 5-7 points. No real change from 2, just everyone else has someone to laugh at for the rest of the game.

The problem is, every attack hits everyone for full strength. So in a 4-player game, in order to have my monsters live to the next turn, their defense has to basically be 3x the average attack of the other player (not counting other spells and abilities which can take out monsters)....or be really lucky. That's a whole lot to ask of anyone to pull off, and that's just to score ANY points.

So....are you saying the game sucks and I shouldn't get it?
No, despite all that, I'm not. With 2-3 players, it's a fun filler game. You don't have to have a ton of luck or blow everyone away just to score. The game ends in a reasonable length of time. It takes about the same length of time as an average game of Dominion and is a nice change of pace when you just finished a big game and want something lighter to kill some time.

OK, so it's not bad....so I should get it?
Well, take a look at the price tag: http://www.boardgameprices.com/game.aspx?id=506932. You get a TON of stuff for the price, but it's still a decent chunk of change for a quick filler game. I can see house-ruling the game into being more fun and strategic (I've seen suggestions about trashing dice you score, having the attack you make dwindle as it goes around the table, adding extra buys per turn, having yahtzee-like rerolls, etc.), but until it either drops down to the price level of similar filler games or expansions its' way into being more than it currently is, it's probably a pass for me.

edited for english no good.
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Daniel Halasz
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Thx for the review. I have the game and I feel similar, however we have played it only with 2 players yet.
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Marius Roth
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Very good review. I also have slight problems with the size of the dice bags. It i pretty difficult to squeeze my whole hand into the bag and remove it with 6 dice.

egarding the issue of the numbers and symbols on the dice to rub of, thi seems to only be a problem in the first edition of the game. The second edition (and the german edition at least) come with engraved dice.
 
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Vayda
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Nice review.

I have this game and mostly play 3 or 4 player. We never had a stall. We always have the one player who gets the tough monster first steamroller scenario.
That's why we do the score the monster and cull it variant now.
 
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Stephen Rochelle
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sybrwookie wrote:
The problem is, every attack hits everyone for full strength. So in a 4-player game, in order to have my monsters live to the next turn, their defense has to basically be 3x the average attack of the other player
yes and no. Every attack hits every player, but damage is not carried over player to player, so the 3x thing is not correct. There's more attrition in a 4p game, but not that much more.
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Jason Jullie
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lomn wrote:
sybrwookie wrote:
The problem is, every attack hits everyone for full strength. So in a 4-player game, in order to have my monsters live to the next turn, their defense has to basically be 3x the average attack of the other player
yes and no. Every attack hits every player, but damage is not carried over player to player, so the 3x thing is not correct. There's more attrition in a 4p game, but not that much more.


Yeah, based on your wording here, it sounds like you might have been playing the game incorrectly and causing it to stall out pretty easily. In my experience with the game, it ends very quickly once players start to get the high glory creatures. I've never seen it stall out as you've described.
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Peter Batterton
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sybrwookie wrote:
I've played Quarriors a few times now and wanted to throw out there what I saw from this game.

I feel the need to share my thoughts as your limited number of plays have given you a limited view of the game. Not to say you are incorrect, but your limited experience can be misinterpreted as a full view of the game and that would be unfortunate as there more to the game than your review leads there to be.

Components
There's dice. There's more dice. There's a LOT of dice. They're small and when using someone's set which was used a few times, I noticed that a couple of numbers were starting to rub off a little bit already. I'm not sure if it was a misprint or poorly made in general.

The Dice are not painted. So you are probably seeing a poor cast. Wizkids will send you new dice at your request.

There's a lot of info on each die. Spells have just a nice picture (with maybe 1 tiny number), Quiddity has just 1 small number in the corner. For monsters, the middle has a pretty detailed picture, then the corners of have numbers for level, attack, defense, and if a monster has a special power (*'s).

Quiddity dice have only the Quiddity in the center of each die. Its the number inside the "drop".


The game also comes with a dice bag for each player. The bags feel a bit cheap, but do the trick. I've noticed most adult men's hands are a bit too large for the bags and involves a bit of work to get dice out of the corners of the bag. It doesn't take a ton away from the game, but just a bit.

You are correct, but there is no reason to try and get your entire hand inside the bag. Either shake out 6 dice or simply use your fingers to remove the dice.

The different cards which go with each color of dice all have the same picture. So there's a bit of an awkward learning curve at the start of each game, since you can't associate a picture or a color with a power or price, as power and price change from game to game. Then after learning and remembering them, you need to then forget everything you learned for the next game, as there are most likely other powers associated with some of the same dice you used previously.

Another way to state this is that each creature has 3 different cards associated with it, so every game will be different. So at the set up of the game, all the players should read the cards so they know what creature does.

I'm not sure if there was really a better method than implemented here, but comparing it to other deck-building games, it feels tougher to learn.

Strategy
Initially, the same ole Dominion strategies feel like they work here. If you can buy bigger dice and trash your starting dice quickly, you'll have a better chance of doing well. In theory.

The luck
Many people have said there's 2 levels of luck to the game which hurts it. I feel like there's more:

1) You need to pull out dice to summon monsters early. If you don't, other players will get better monsters and your starting monsters will have a much lower chance of surviving. Combine that with the trashing mechanic being tied in to you scoring monsters, and if you don't get going quickly, you're not only going to be behind on points, you're going to be rolling worse dice, and not really have a way to catch up.

My experience is different. There is a luck involved, but that goes both ways- A good roll gets you a high powered creature and that can happen with the initial at the start. In addition, culling or "trashing" dice has a limit as well. If you cull all your "cheap" dice, you won't have the Quiddity to summon a creature when you do roll it.

2) You need those dice to actually be monsters. You grab 3 Pawns in your first hand, and roll them all as 1-2 Quiddity each? Not only are you screwed for turn 1, but then turn 2, you are only having a chance to summon 1 monster, and are behind from the start. Get a bunch of good monsters, but don't roll them as monsters often enough? All those big monsters don't give you any points. There's some small reroll mechanics built into the game, but they're based on the luck of rolling dice well enough to get a reroll as well.

Again, my experience differs- A standard spell is Vortex. A 4pt die that has either 1 or 2 die draw. That is to say when you roll this die you may be able to pull either 1 or 2 additional dice from your bag. An easy initial purchase. And the "pawn" and a reroll side as well (reroll this pawn and any other die).

3) You need to not just summon monsters, but summon them on turns when your opponents are not lucky enough to summon monsters to take your guys out. Summon a level 1 Dragon, a level 2 Dragon, and a Pawn and feel like you're on top of the world? Well, too bad, the next person summoned a dragon as well, which kills all level 1 monsters automatically and has enough attack power left to kill off your remaining one. Which brings me to my next point:

True. Which is why there are Life spells, Death Spells and several creatures that enhance your defenses. But you need to purchase these dice to use them. And spells are "free" to cast- no Quiddty cost to summon.

Is this game ever going to end?

1) 1 player gets lucky, grabs a couple of big monsters early, decimates the rest of the players' monsters, scores basically every turn, wins quickly.

2) Players have about average luck, everyone gets a few points early, then everyone has strong enough monsters that no one really has monsters which are strong enough to live from one turn to the next. The game just sits there at a stall while the player who has the most points tries to buy out 4 piles while the rest of the players desperately try to have a monster live from one turn to the next. It rarely, if ever happens. Thankfully, the 4th pile FINALLY runs out and the person who has been in the lead for the past 30 mins wins.

2a) The same as 2, only one person had really bad luck early, so he's sitting there at 0-2 points while the rest are grouped around 5-7 points. No real change from 2, just everyone else has someone to laugh at for the rest of the game.

The problem is, every attack hits everyone for full strength. So in a 4-player game, in order to have my monsters live to the next turn, their defense has to basically be 3x the average attack of the other player (not counting other spells and abilities which can take out monsters)....or be really lucky. That's a whole lot to ask of anyone to pull off, and that's just to score ANY points.

To review- When you summon a creature, it attacks each player, in clockwise order. Each attacked player must apply the attack value to his creatures in the order he decides. You can apply it anyway you see fit so long as the total number is applied. If there are enough points to kill a creature, that creature is removed and placed into the used pile and the remaining points are applied to the surviving creatures. If the remaining attack value is less then the health of the remaining creature(s), than the attack ends and moved to the next player. So one simple strategy is to has a assistant (pawn) in your ready pile to absorb part of an incoming attack to give your other creatures a greater chance to survive.

I will say that there are some initial set-ups that can create a bit of a drag on play (think of Thunderstone with a bad initial dungeon draw). Specifically only cheap and expensive creatures to purchase. As you play more, you may develop a sense for you like an "tune" the game to suit your style.
As you keep playing and I think you will discover that there is quite a bit of depth to the game.

I agree that there is a high luck (unluck) factor. Take the game for what is is- a light (filler) game with a building mechanic and light strategy. I have found the more I have played it, more more I have discovered and the more I have enjoyed it.

edited for english no good.
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Dignan wrote:
lomn wrote:
sybrwookie wrote:
The problem is, every attack hits everyone for full strength. So in a 4-player game, in order to have my monsters live to the next turn, their defense has to basically be 3x the average attack of the other player
yes and no. Every attack hits every player, but damage is not carried over player to player, so the 3x thing is not correct. There's more attrition in a 4p game, but not that much more.


Yeah, based on your wording here, it sounds like you might have been playing the game incorrectly and causing it to stall out pretty easily. In my experience with the game, it ends very quickly once players start to get the high glory creatures. I've never seen it stall out as you've described.


OK, lets see if I have this correct:

1) Player 1 summons 2 monsters, total attack power of 6.
2) Player 2 has 1 monster of defense value 2, it dies.
3) Player 3 then is attacked with 6 or 4?

From what I was taught and backed up by 3 other people who read the rulebook (one of which at the table, the other night), Player 3 (and subsequently, player 4) is attacked with 6.

If damage is lost as it goes around the table, that would certainly change things. I'd just be surprised to hear that so many different people I've played with (especially a couple who are pretty big sticklers for rules) got such an important rule so wrong.
 
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Andrew Paterson
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sybrwookie wrote:

OK, lets see if I have this correct:

1) Player 1 summons 2 monsters, total attack power of 6.
2) Player 2 has 1 monster of defense value 2, it dies.
3) Player 3 then is attacked with 6 or 4?

From what I was taught and backed up by 3 other people who read the rulebook (one of which at the table, the other night), Player 3 (and subsequently, player 4) is attacked with 6.

If damage is lost as it goes around the table, that would certainly change things. I'd just be surprised to hear that so many different people I've played with (especially a couple who are pretty big sticklers for rules) got such an important rule so wrong.


This part seems correct. - and to answer 3) - player 3 is attacked with 6.
What others were saying is that if player 3 had a creature with 7 defence, it could live through the 6 attack - but it will have it's full 7 defence for when player 2 attacks.

It sounds like you were having the defence being lowered for each set of attacks.

I hope this helps!

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Droo wrote:
This part seems correct. - and to answer 3) - player 3 is attacked with 6.
What others were saying is that if player 3 had a creature with 7 defence, it could live through the 6 attack - but it will have it's full 7 defence for when player 2 attacks.

It sounds like you were having the defence being lowered for each set of attacks.

I hope this helps!


OK, then yes, I have been playing correctly. It just seems that unless the general defense of the high level monsters outweighs the general offense of high level monsters, then 1 high level monster + 1 mid/low level monster is going to be enough to take out pretty much any of the same monsters.

So most likely, unless you have a very high defense, you are going to lose a monster per player turn. If there's 3 player turns between your turns, then you're going to need to summon at least 2, most likely 3 monsters to have anything live, and they all need to be high enough level to not get wiped out all in one shot by a Dragon.

Again, unless one player is blowing everyone else out of the water, I don't see how it's not going to end up at a stalemate.
 
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I am guessing for hard core gamers this would be considered a "quick filler game." My family and friends are definitely more light gamers, and we have been having a lot of fun with it just as "the game" for the evening, especially when it takes 90 minutes. And even when it has "stalled" for us, we still have had a great time groaning at each others rolls when they're terrible, comparing cards from previous plays and how they affect play interaction, and talking each other through strategy. I don't get the filler status for a game that on average takes an hour.

The last time through, one player had the table going with gut laughs at his takedown of other player's behaviors and monster choices while he was going through a particularly rough bout of quiddity-only rolls. But I can see if you have a group of players that are going to mope over their dice or not really be engaged in the process, or view this as something just to get through until the next "heavy" game, that it might not be worth it.
 
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Time isn't what makes something a filler, it's the thought and strategy involved. Many times, the 2 line up, but just as often, it is a sign of a game that doesn't quite know how and when to end.

Also, short games can have plenty of strategy and thought, just look at 7 Wonders.
 
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sybrwookie wrote:

Again, unless one player is blowing everyone else out of the water, I don't see how it's not going to end up at a stalemate.


In practice, you can get a few turns where you have mutually assured destruction, but sheer random probability (both in what dice are drawn and which faces roll up), player selection of resources (spells/monsters), and the fact that most monsters are higher defense than their attack values will ensure you get in a steady flow of glory over time.

The high-cost quake dragons (and the demon lords from the expansion) are designed to help facilitate an endgame - even when they're not in play, other high-cost monsters are either exceedingly tough to kill (Defender of the Pale, Questing Wizards) or can have effects that reward you for attacking others (the Witch and the Deathdealer come to mind). As mentioned above, life spells can also have a dramatic effect in keeping creatures alive, and many of the victory spells can accelerate a glory-scoring engine.
 
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sybrwookie wrote:
Again, unless one player is blowing everyone else out of the water, I don't see how it's not going to end up at a stalemate.


FWIW, in our over-a-dozen games, almost all with 4 players, it has only ended up in a stalemate about twice.

I think most of it has to do with the monster mix you get in the dealt cards. If all of the monsters are capable of killing each other, it can drag. Then again, when you get the Strong Defender of the Pale or whatever else that is basically unkillable, it can get dull too.

Which is not trying to change your opinion; the game is definitely not for everyone.
 
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That certainly may be the case. Maybe there's an issue of balance of sets which can lead to too much offense or too much defense, thus leading to a kill-fest or nothing really being able to die.

But if that's the case, doesn't that say something about the game? Shouldn't there be some kind of failsafe in place to make sure the set which is picked will lead to a more fun, if not necessarily more even game?
 
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sybrwookie wrote:
That certainly may be the case. Maybe there's an issue of balance of sets which can lead to too much offense or too much defense, thus leading to a kill-fest or nothing really being able to die.

But if that's the case, doesn't that say something about the game? Shouldn't there be some kind of failsafe in place to make sure the set which is picked will lead to a more fun, if not necessarily more even game?


No, for precisely the same reason that while there are "recommended" sets of cards in Dominion, you're never required to make sure certain types of cards are included. I've found that in Quarriors (much like in Dominion), in my group certain cards may be deliberately skipped over or certain cards deliberately included based on other cards already randomly included in the set just to ensure there's enough variety and some answers to some obvious problems. You're not required to do so, of course. If you find your set of cards strongly favors offensive use, then make sure to include a defensive spell or creature (or both!). Similarly, if you find your setup is extremely defensive, try to include a death spell or two to give you the ability to overcome the occasional insane-defense creature.
 
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