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Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin» Forums » General

Subject: Thunderstone Advance, Design Stories rss

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Mark Wootton
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Monstor-osity - Part One

Over the next few days I am going to post a few things about what we have tried to do to bring the world of Tala to life with our new monsters. Not just that but also what we have tried to do mechanically with the game as it pertains to monsters.

Thunderstone: Advance is all about flexibility. We really want to give players the opportunity to do their own thing with it. So in some senses we have created a toolbox of things that you can play and tinker with. This is never more evident than with our approach to monsters. A whole range of subtle and not so subtle things have been added.

Lets’s start with something that has already been spoiled.

Monster levels.

In one sense these have no real impact on the game or the game play, unless you want them to! But they are designed to help you customise your Dungeon. It has two benefits we believe.

Firstly you can, in simple terms, make the game harder or easier. Playing with three level 3 monster groups is going to involve long periods in the village and tough visits to the Dungeon. Playing with one of each level 1 through 3 is going to broadly give you the normal Thunderstone experience, you can mix and match from there. And whilst not every group is exactly equal in power, each group of a level falls within the same broad range. Essentially, what kind of game do you prefer?

We have also, to an extent, softened the curve on VP value of monsters. So you will tend to see less 1 VP monsters in TS:A, and those with 2 VPs will often have some other benefit (tend – this is not totally hard and fast). The levelling of monsters together with this change VP curve gives you some additional options to play with when looking at the Dungeon.

It means that monsters of the same level group are worth a range of points that generally has less of a spread between highest and lowest than in the original Thunderstone – so a Dungeon of all level 2 monsters, for example, will mean most of them fall within a reasonably tight victory point spread.

It also means that you can play a pre-programmed (but still randomised) easy-to-hard dungeon set up. We described it in the rules as the 444 set-up, where you populate the top four cards/hall with level 1 monsters and the last 8 with level 2 and 3 monsters and the Bearer. The rest are shuffled into the middle of the deck.

In essence if there is an aspect of the game that you want to focus on more than another monster levels let you customise to that preference.

Watch tomorrow for some of the new ideas we have used for the actual monsters themes!

Mark
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Andrew Brooks
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Thanks for all the sneak peaks for Thunderstone Advance, these sound like excellent changes! In particular:

Har1equin wrote:

We have also, to an extent, softened the curve on VP value of monsters. So you will tend to see less 1 VP monsters in TS:A, and those with 2 VPs will often have some other benefit (tend – this is not totally hard and fast). The levelling of monsters together with this change VP curve gives you some additional options to play with when looking at the Dungeon.


and

Har1equin wrote:

It also means that you can play a pre-programmed (but still randomised) easy-to-hard dungeon set up. We described it in the rules as the 444 set-up, where you populate the top four cards/hall with level 1 monsters and the last 8 with level 2 and 3 monsters and the Bearer. The rest are shuffled into the middle of the deck.


Two of my favorite monsters to play with are The Horde and The Swarm because of how they get harder as the game progressed. I really like having an optional set-up for stacking the deck, it's something that I've always wanted to do but wasn't sure the best way to accomplish. Monster levels sound like an excellent addition to customizing the game, one of my favorite aspects of Thunderstone.
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Nathan M
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Loving the communication from you guys at AEG.

I've only recently introduced my group to TS, but they ate it up like I knew they would ( being a crew of old-school AD&Ders that doesn't manage to get together very often anymore ).

I've actually been going through a process of ranking the monster groups across all the sets for my own use, to create random dungeon setups based on the experience of the players involved, so I love the idea of having the monster groups assigned levels 1-3.
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Clayton Helme
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This is great! Thanks for all the great previews!!

First Mage Knight the Boardgame did all these great previews and now Thunderstone Advance! It's a great time to be a gamer!!
 
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Johan Haglert
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dotKeller wrote:
Thanks for all the sneak peaks for Thunderstone Advance, these sound like excellent changes! In particular:

Har1equin wrote:

We have also, to an extent, softened the curve on VP value of monsters. So you will tend to see less 1 VP monsters in TS:A, and those with 2 VPs will often have some other benefit (tend – this is not totally hard and fast). The levelling of monsters together with this change VP curve gives you some additional options to play with when looking at the Dungeon.


and

Har1equin wrote:

It also means that you can play a pre-programmed (but still randomised) easy-to-hard dungeon set up. We described it in the rules as the 444 set-up, where you populate the top four cards/hall with level 1 monsters and the last 8 with level 2 and 3 monsters and the Bearer. The rest are shuffled into the middle of the deck.


Two of my favorite monsters to play with are The Horde and The Swarm because of how they get harder as the game progressed. I really like having an optional set-up for stacking the deck, it's something that I've always wanted to do but wasn't sure the best way to accomplish. Monster levels sound like an excellent addition to customizing the game, one of my favorite aspects of Thunderstone.
Which expansion got the swarm and how do it work?
 
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Dicky P
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Thanks for these articles.

re: the monster levels will there be an appendum for "pre-advance" monsters setting out what level those monsters will considered to be at.

Or will it be left for us users to try and assess?


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Jake Fernandez
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This system was actually already being applied in the Epic Thunderstone variant wherein monsters were grouped based on XP, which was proxied for level.
 
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