My family and I (wife and 2 children, girl 11 and son 10) are having an absolute blast with this game thus far!
So, that said...I am curious as to others' feelings about the end game VP award numbers...especially for the "Heroes Slay the Dragon" condition.
In the two of our games that ended that way, it was painfully obvious who was going to win...a few turns before the end actually happened.
I am secretly thinking of tweaking the VPs awarded for Most Hits on Dragon to 5,6, or 7...
And second most to 2,3, or 4 accordingly.
That 10 point bonus is just near impossible to overcome for the other players.
Now, I realize that the player doing the most damage to the fiend should get a big bonus and deserves the best chance to win...but a little more drama would also be nice!
I also realize many more plays are needed to make these types of difinitive judgments and indictments.
I just want my family to have the best time possible! They are already loving it as is...I was just hoping for a bit more tension and surprise in one's victory!
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Stop! That tickles!
It seems maybe you need to change your overall strategy. We played 2 games so far. In the 4-player game, 1 player escaped the dungeon and won. In the 5-player game, one player was killed (me! ). We have yet to kill the dragon!
The dragon is actually not very difficult to kill (at least in the game we played, which was 3 player) if everyone is working towards that goal. As the mage, I started out with the Fireball thinking I'd work on most hits. But, I was soon being trumped by the local Paladin. And, so I changed my strategy once he got to 8 hits on the dragon (which was more than I could put on the dragon before it died)...I then started stirring up some terrible luck on the Paladin's attempts to kill the dragon...which worked GREAT! Of course, he started hating me. And when I picked up some boots of speed *and* a potion of speed, I figured I'd make a mad dash for the exit!
ALMOST worked!! Except the flappin Barbarian blocked my way and prevented me from moving! Ugh.
Ok, this is turning into a play session...
My point is this: This game relies HEAVILY on everyone knowing and understanding the end game point system. Our Paladin actually thought having the negative points in there was a bad design, but the other two players disagreed, and felt it added tension to the decisions and gameplay.
Regardless, I do believe difference between highest points (ie. winner) and lowest points can be extremely high. In fact, our game had our winner end with 28 points.
Our Paladin had 21 points and I had a measly 7. Yes, I must have looked foolish running for the exit and Barbarian triumphantly stood proud over his kill.
Needless to say, this game isn't about how close you came in second. It's about winning or losing and that's all there is. If you look at it any other way, you will be disappointed.
With that said, if someone feels there is a better way to implement the point system, I'm all ears (not that I think it needs to be change, though...I've only played once!).
I do have a million questions about rules though, so off I go to check the posts and perhaps make one of my own if I don't find the answers.