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Subject: Help save Thunderstone! rss

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Timothy Cole
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So tonight my wife and I tried giving Thunderstone another chance. We are both BIG fans of Dominion and since we are fantasy fans as well we thought Thunderstone would be a good fit. Our first game lasted what seemed like forever and tonights games, although much faster, was still very slow. Partly due to poor dungeon shuffling by myself leading to several 9+ monsters in the first few rounds.

I also like Asscension, but down own it yet.

Can anyone please give some advice on either an expansion to get or a variant that will speed up the game a bit? It just seems that for Dominion we can get a game in in under 30 minutes but Thunderstone is at least double that. Any recommendations? Maybe less monsters in the Dungeon deck? An expansion? Any ideas to help save this game from being shelved or worse, traded?

Thanks!

 
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Shane Larsen
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My advice (at this point) is that you sell/trade it for something that's good.
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Scott Minkoff
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Yes, I do find Thunderstone takes longer than Dominion, but it's a completely different game. There is deckbuilding, but it is within something that feels like more of a game to me.

Dominion is a lot of fun, but the deckbuilding is the game. The deckbuilding in Thunderstone is what lets you win the game, it's a core mechanism, but the game is more than that.

I find the Thunderstone theme more realized than Dominion's, and transports me more into the world that it attempts to portray. I guess what I am trying to explain is that that to me, it does take longer but I enjoy that time, so I don't mind the additional length.
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John
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You could try the Epic Thunderstone variant. There is a smoother progression since you sort the dungeon deck starting with weak monsters and ending with the powerful ones.


Epic Thunderstone


It won't do much for the length of the game, you'll just have to come to terms with the fact that Thunderstone is a longer game than Dominion.
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Freelance Police
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I hear one of the later standalones is much better.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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My one game of Thunderstone was with random village and monster cards, and it was horrible. After more than an hour and a half, we just quit.

If I play again (and I do want to try), it will be with one of the pre-configured sets of cards. Thanks to your advice, I'll also try to enforce really thorough shuffling.

The BGG page for the game says "60 minutes", so I guess it is supposed to take about twice as long as Dominion (which says "30 minutes").
 
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Tripp Ritter
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Try using the intelligent randomizer.

http://asmor.com/scripts/tsrand/

It eliminates the need to use the randomizer cards and it usually creates very good games.
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Tim Maloney
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You have several games in your collection that run longer than an hour and you have rated them highly, so it seems that you don't have an issue with longer games. So why do you have an issue with Thunderstone running an hour? Most people don't even consider an hour-long game a "long" game.
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Quint Wheeler
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I know a lot of people like the "Epic" variant made by Richard Launius and Tom Vasel. I've tried it and it does shorten the game a bit because the monsters are sorted by level. Here are the links to the thread discussing it, and to Tom's video review explaining it:


Anybody know about the variant created by Richard Launius talked about on The Dice Tower?

/video/8154/thunderstone/dice-tower-reviews-thunderstone-epi...

Edit: I just saw somebody already suggested it - I guess I didn't read close enough. :)

I've also tried the co-op variant from the Dragonspire rules and found that it moves a little quicker as well. Every turn that you don't go to the dungeon the monsters get angry and leave for the village. They then count against you at the end of the game.
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todd sanders
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thirding the epic variant. it really helps the curve of leveling up
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Michael Trejo
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Once you've played the online version on Yucata.de it's very hard to go back. No setup or shuffling of decks. With a live opponent the games go very quickly.
 
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The Redheaded Pharmacist
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I second playing it online at Yucata. You can really get a feel for the game and you save the set-up time. I learned a lot about the game playing it on Yucata.
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Shaun
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Try approaching Thunderstone as a "dungeon crawl that uses cards", instead of "Dominion in a dungeon".

If you compare it to Dominion, you'll think, "Boy, this is the longest deck building game ever!" If you compare it to a 90-120 minute dungeon crawl, you might think, "Hey, that was kind of neat, and it didn't take forever."

During my first play of Thunderstone, I realized that it was a different beast than Dominion. It plays slower, but feels more like an adventure. It still might not be your cup of tea, but expectations can greatly color your experience.

I've played Rune Age as well, and if you play it thinking that it will be like Dominion, you might despise it. If you approach it as a game unto itself, you might enjoy it.
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Ian Toltz
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Tripp wrote:
Try using the intelligent randomizer.

http://asmor.com/scripts/tsrand/

It eliminates the need to use the randomizer cards and it usually creates very good games.


Speaking as the guy who made and maintains that...

I [N+1] Epic. Sadly, I haven't actually used my script myself in months, since I only play it Epic now.
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Timothy Cole
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Well rest assured that I used the script on tonight's game after reading on here that Thunderstone doesnt lend well to truely random picks. It did add to the ambiance / experience. My wife and I were talking and the what I think is that one, the game can be slow to get started and once it gets going it wasnt too bad. Two, it seems I get the feeling of a deeper dungeon delve when I am more expecting a lighter dungeon romp since its card based. It feels a little to "heavy" for what it is. I'll have to try the Epic variant and give it a go.

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HenningK
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thedacker wrote:
My advice (at this point) is that you sell/trade it for something that's good.


This.
Seriously, I never found Thunderstone to be especially long, not much longer than Dominion. However, I seriously dislike the game because it is so random, badly balanced and just feels like it wasn't properly tested to me. I gave it several more tries, but everytime I play it I find myself asking why I don't play Dominion or Ascension or something totally different, but that's just me.
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Timothy Cole
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Trantor42 wrote:
thedacker wrote:
My advice (at this point) is that you sell/trade it for something that's good.


This.
Seriously, I never found Thunderstone to be especially long, not much longer than Dominion. However, I seriously dislike the game because it is so random, badly balanced and just feels like it wasn't properly tested to me. I gave it several more tries, but everytime I play it I find myself asking why I don't play Dominion or Ascension or something totally different, but that's just me.


See this is how I'm starting to feel and I'm trying my best to give Thunderstone a chance. Unfortunately the more chances I give it the more I start asking why it has such a following? I mean I can understand Dominion because to me it has been the most unique / novel concept in card games since Magic: The Gathering ( although it is starting to become MTG with so many expansions that you just have to have :-) ). I do feel that there isn't a good balance and this probably hurts the game more than anything. Like last night, for example, we had both the Fireball and flaming sword in the village. Why would I want to pay 9 for the fireball that gives +3 Magic attack when I can get the same bonus from the Flammingsword for only 5 gold?
I was really hoping that maybe the games flaws were perhaps addressed in an expansion as some really good games do. I really appreciate designers who recognize a flaw or an opportunity to add depth with an expansion instead of just putting another expansion out to get more money out of me. Again, at least the dominion expansions , while causing me to shell out more cash, each take an aspect of the game and put a different spin on it and really add depth and variety while still maintaining the balance.

 
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Daniel Geuss
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Fxguy1 wrote:
Trantor42 wrote:
thedacker wrote:
My advice (at this point) is that you sell/trade it for something that's good.


This.
Seriously, I never found Thunderstone to be especially long, not much longer than Dominion. However, I seriously dislike the game because it is so random, badly balanced and just feels like it wasn't properly tested to me. I gave it several more tries, but everytime I play it I find myself asking why I don't play Dominion or Ascension or something totally different, but that's just me.


See this is how I'm starting to feel and I'm trying my best to give Thunderstone a chance. Unfortunately the more chances I give it the more I start asking why it has such a following? I mean I can understand Dominion because to me it has been the most unique / novel concept in card games since Magic: The Gathering ( although it is starting to become MTG with so many expansions that you just have to have :-) ). I do feel that there isn't a good balance and this probably hurts the game more than anything. Like last night, for example, we had both the Fireball and flaming sword in the village. Why would I want to pay 9 for the fireball that gives +3 Magic attack when I can get the same bonus from the Flammingsword for only 5 gold?


Strength restrictions and the need to actually have someone equip it. Are you sure you were playing correctly?

Fxguy1 wrote:

I was really hoping that maybe the games flaws were perhaps addressed in an expansion as some really good games do. I really appreciate designers who recognize a flaw or an opportunity to add depth with an expansion instead of just putting another expansion out to get more money out of me. Again, at least the dominion expansions , while causing me to shell out more cash, each take an aspect of the game and put a different spin on it and really add depth and variety while still maintaining the balance.



Its all about your preferences. TS is probably the most requested game in my group. I've noticed that its usually people that cut their teeth on Dominion that seem to not get along with TS. There might be a level of expectations that just aren't there otherwise. My group had the reverse effect and didn't get along with Dominion after months of playing TS.
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Andrew Meadow
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I've found that I enjoy Thunderstone MUCH more now that I've let this tutorial be my guide! Once you figure out some optimal ways to play, the game moves A LOT faster.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/628373/bluetorchs-complete-g...
 
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Drake Coker
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Quote:
Why would I want to pay 9 for the fireball that gives +3 Magic attack when I can get the same bonus from the Flammingsword for only 5 gold?


Fireball is quite a bit better. You need a person to wield the Flaming Sword who also needs to be strong enough. Fireballs just show up out of thin air

I do think Dominion is a better gamer's game in that it is tighter and more finally balanced. It is about crafting the best deck and while luck is a factor, skill is more important.

Thunderstone has a larger luck component in that victory points become randomly available. Skill still counts, but not quite as much. There is obviously more theme in Thunderstone and it is fun in its own right.

Some people I know find Dominion too dry and I can't get them to play it while they'll happily play Thunderstone.

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Eric Selander
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You may have already abandoned Thunderstone, but here's a variant we use: Light Dice. Use D3's to represent darkness and light. We roll a black D3 for each light penalty (dungeon level) and a white D3 for each light source. You can't score more white dice than you have black dice, so count the best white dice up to the number of black dice rolled. Subtract the black total from the white total, and that gives you your attack modifier, positive or negative. No need to do multiplication.
This adds some fun randomness to the fights and reduces AP, speeding the game up a little.
 
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