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Guards! Guards! A Discworld Boardgame» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Beer, Pretzels and Discworld. rss

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Magister Ludi
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I'll start with full disclosure that I am a huge Discworld fan, which inevitably colors my opinion of this game.

To start with the lets look at whats in the box. There is a good amount of stuff in the box, cards, chits, and some wood bits. So you get a good amount, but...

There are a couple of things that bug me every time I open the box. First why is the board the size it is? Why not make the board the full size of the box and give it a little more room for the card piles and such? Secondly why the wood markers for your character stats and marking the gates? Could those have been cardboard to reduce the price, or could some of the other bits also been upgraded (like the dragons and the luggage)?

Next we will look at the rules. If you have already investigated Guards! Guards! you probably already have heard about the problems with the rules. If not let me explain, no that would take to long, let me sum up. Buttercup is marry Humperdink in little less than half an hour... wait whoa. Sorry got a little lost in the reference there.

The rules work to a point. They explain most of the basic game, but have some holes in them. The designers have been nice enough to have posted a FAQ and to diligently answer questions on the forums. If you buy the game, READ THE FAQ before trying to play.

Lastly is game play. The game seems simple, but has a several fiddly rules that are very linked to the flavor. With only a few players there is not a lot of interaction, but with several players it gets chaotic so everyone will have to find there own balance point. The game can feel very dice roll dependent, but I think that allows players to stay in the running even if they have had some trouble early on, they still have a chance.

Overall, I think the game is very beer and pretzels material, there are not a load of decisions, and their is a great gotcha element with enough players. The other side of that is that it can be a little long for a beer and pretzels game also. Flavor-wise the game is great for Discworld fans, but for those not familiar with the books some of the references that make up core game components (like the luggage) are way out in left field.

I like the game, but it needs a certain set of players, and the need to hunt down the FAQ first to keep the game smooth is a definite negative. This one may be difficult for most people to get into, but for Gamers and Discworld fans it is good.

Rating: 5 if you are not a Discworld fan. +2 if you are. So for me a 7.
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Wolfram Troeder
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Bruchkoebel
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Having played both Pterry games of 2011, I prefer Ankh-Morpork over Guards, Guards every time!
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Leonard Boyd
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Thanks for your posts and comments guys!

We appreciate your feedback greatly, (positive or negative) and will definitely be taking all suggestions and points raised onboard as we consider taking Guards Guards to a second edition.

regards
Leonard Boyd.
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Bruce Murphy
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halfshaft2010 wrote:

Thanks for your posts and comments guys!

We appreciate your feedback greatly, (positive or negative) and will definitely be taking all suggestions and points raised onboard as we consider taking Guards Guards to a second edition.


Please keep existing owners in mind for upgrade options when you do this.

B>
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Magister Ludi
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halfshaft2010 wrote:

Thanks for your posts and comments guys!

We appreciate your feedback greatly, (positive or negative) and will definitely be taking all suggestions and points raised onboard as we consider taking Guards Guards to a second edition.

regards
Leonard Boyd.


This simple act helps the ranking of this game for me. The designers are active about seeing what we the players think and see and respond to it well. Thank you Mr. Boyd.
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Leonard Boyd
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You are welcome.

If you have read the story behind this game you will know that we struggled for a long, long time to gain the licence to produce Guards! Guards!, and then had to fight further to bring a company like Z-man onboard to publish it.

We care passionately about what we have created, and about those who have supported us and gone out and bought the game.

We were never arrogant enough to believe that we had designed the best board game in the world, and we quickly came to realise after release that there were some issues with the wording & structure of the rule book which players were having problems with. Through guys like yourselves posting here and on other forums, we now know exactly where those faults lie and what the issues are within the game that need to be looked at.

Will there be a second edition? - we can't say at this point but, to answer Bruce's post; - either way we are working on updating and reformatting the rules and irrespective of future print runs, we will publish a free-to-download version of the new rules for those who have bought the first edition.

This will also include a few tweaks here and there to existing rules and a few new rules, which we hope will change the game for the better and help to both shorten the overall gametime and help players to eliminate some of the random luck aspect (especially of the final Spell Run).

So thanks again guys for buying the game. So far the part I have enjoyed most about of having our first game published has been getting to go to the gaming conventions and game clubs, and expos and meet gamers like you guys, and getting to sit down and play our game with them.

ps. I have yet to win a game of Guards! Guards! at any event ...
Note to self: "next time design a game you're good at"

Thanks again for your comments and views.
Leonard B.
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Jacco Versteeg
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DustinWard wrote:
Rating: 5 if you are not a Discworld fan. +2 if you are. So for me a 7.


I played the game last night, with a few other other Discworld fans. We actually found that the discrepancy between theme and gameplay was a turn off. And I really wanted to love this game, I really did. But between the difficulty of distinguishing spell colours (is that red or pink? Oh you need the black spell? No, that's the blue one), the red lettering (one player couldn't read any of the red text without being colour blind), the uneven starting gates (some gates can be approached through two quarters making it easier to dodge saboteurs), the unclear situations in the rules (having checked a few FAQs I think we ended up doing most things correctly) and the heavy luck element (leading to one player falling hopelessly behind as he continuously rolled 1's), it really didn't impress any of us. It seems like the game was playtested by a group of people who got used to the gameplay and considered that to be the final polish, rather than seeing the faults. It's too random for gamers and too rules heavy for a beer and pretzels game. I'll give it another try after I've studied all the FAQs, but my initial hopes are definitely dashed.
 
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Leonard Boyd
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Hi Jack.

Thanks for playing our game & for taking the time to post your thoughts afterwards.

You may have heard that we have just released an updated version of the game for 2012. We have completely restructured the rule book to include all the points raised by people after the first edition. We have also added a few minor but key changes to the rule set including the ability for players to purchase attribute points to help build their magic, guild and charm levels. This not only helps shorten the endgame but gives the currency (and the wanted characters) in the game a greater value. We have also added rules concerning what happens if the luggage meets a dragon, and other changes to the final wizard's challenges (again to shorten the end game).

In reference to the point concerning the start gates. If a player chooses to use the Black gate and chooses to join the Assassin's guild then the black start gate is considered to be only in the Assassin's quarter (and not in the Alchemist's) Likewise if they choose to be and Alchemist then the black startgate is considered to be only in the Alchemists Quadrant (and not in the Assassin's) The same applies for the Green start gate which also lies between two quadrants. This assures that each player has an even and fair chance.

We will be posting a printable pdf version of the new rules here and on our facebook site shortly. There are no changes to the cards or to the board so you can play the first edition with the second edition rules.

I hope you get the chance to try it again with the new changes. Please let us know how it goes if you do.

Thanks
Leonard Boyd.
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