Chris J Davis
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After playing three quests (Intro, Masquerade Ball, Fat Goblin, all with two heroes) the one impression we've got is that the encounters are over a little *too* quickly. Obviously FFG were trying to condense the dungeon-crawler down to its core experience, but we're feeling that maybe they went just a *bit* too far. It feels as if the encounters are often over before you've really had a chance to do anything of any real tactical significance.

Has anyone else felt anything similar? We feel it may be due to the fact that the figures - especially the monsters - can move so fast around such small dungeons, what with movement being one of the most important aspects of the game now (the OL card "Dash" is probably the most useful and powerful in his deck, IMO).

Any thoughts?
 
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Daniel Hammond
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They slow down quite a bit with 4-5 players I have found with my limited experience.
 
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Then Goldilocks went to the 1st edition table.
"Ohh, This game is too long."
So Goldilocks went to the 2nd edition table.
"Ohh, This game is too short."
Then Goldilocks went to the 3rd edition table.
"Ohh, this game is JUST right."
"That's because you haven't read all of the problems about it on BGG" said the bear.
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Josiah Leis
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I was a little worried about this effect. I feel that way sometimes when I play Dominion, like all the setup wasn't worth how short the game was. Have you tried any of the "bigger" quests yet, like the interludes or the finale? I hope this isn't the case since setup time has also been cut down on, but everyone saying ~45-60 minutes for an encounter almost seems too quick. And if it gets even shorter when players are experienced....

 
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This is not our experience at all. There is just as much tactical thinking, without all the nonsense of shopping in town, etc. We play with 5 players.
 
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Then Goldilocks went to the 1st edition table.
"Ohh, This game is too long."
So Goldilocks went to the 2nd edition table.
"Ohh, This game is too short."
Then Goldilocks went to the 3rd edition table.
"Ohh, this game is JUST right."
"That's because you haven't read all of the problems about it on BGG" said the bear.

A Mr Skeletor post that made me laugh out loud. I need to check if Hell froze over now.
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Shawn Hubbard
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Keep in mind, this is also just one campaign. If you think encounters are too short, you can always make new quests with larger encounters. Lots of room for growth here.
 
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Chris J Davis
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dlhammond wrote:
They slow down quite a bit with 4-5 players I have found with my limited experience.


I think this is solving the wrong problem, though. It's not that the quests aren't long enough temporally - it's that they're not dense enough tactically. If we just wanted the quests to last longer we could just make our moves in slow-motion. What we want is the feeling that things actually *happened* during the quest, and so far the only one we felt this with was A Fat Goblin, Encounter 2 (and there were even some parts of that that could have felt longer).

The best example so far is probably Masquerade Ball, Encounter 1; I (as the OL) had discovered a kidnapped the noble guests by turn 3, and there was very little the heroes could have done about it, mostly because the goblins move so fast (especially with Dash) that they are in the room with the guests and are out the door before the heroes can really interact with them.

We're going to play the campaign right to the end using the RAW though and see if the problem improves (it may just be due to inexperienced hero players), but it does seem a bit too fast for now.
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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bleached_lizard wrote:

I think this is solving the wrong problem, though. It's not that the quests aren't long enough temporally - it's that they're not dense enough tactically. If we just wanted the quests to last longer we could just make our moves in slow-motion. What we want is the feeling that things actually *happened* during the quest, and so far the only one we felt this with was A Fat Goblin, Encounter 2 (and there were even some parts of that that could have felt longer).

The best example so far is probably Masquerade Ball, Encounter 1; I (as the OL) had discovered a kidnapped the noble guests by turn 3, and there was very little the heroes could have done about it, mostly because the goblins move so fast (especially with Dash) that they are in the room with the guests and are out the door before the heroes can really interact with them.

We're going to play the campaign right to the end using the RAW though and see if the problem improves (it may just be due to inexperienced hero players), but it does seem a bit too fast for now.


Don't have my copy yet, but from all the comments I've read, I think you're seeing a preference issue with your group, not something wrong with the game. The quests included in the main box, for the most part, seem to be focused on shorter parts that string together to form an epic narrative. Without taking months and months to finish. Very much a compromise position for the intended audience. But the system, like 1e, seems robust enough to work with longer and more complex encounters. And unlike 1E, with the campaign system built into the core rules rather than tacked on, home-made quests and campaigns will be even easier to design and run.
 
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Robert Grainger
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Yeah, I played Castle Daerion a couple of days ago, and the heroes did really well in the first encounter (they saved 3 of the 4 villagers). However, that didn't translate into advantage in the second. The mission started, and they got lousy rolls, so they didn't take out the Goblins on the stairs. I piled the monsters onto the Knight I had to kill, and he died in two turns. The heroes were still stuck on the stairs.

It's not that they played badly - they just had a bit of bad luck, and they didn't get to do anything at all. Even if they'd broken through, it's hard to see how the knight would have survived for another two turns. The quest just seems broken, at least for two heroes. By broken, I don't mean "a difficult challenge for one side or the other". I mean "over so quick that one side doesn't even get to do anything".

Some of the other quests seemed a bit like this too, just not to the same extent. For example, in the Fat Goblin, I lucked out and found the right villager on my second turn; having such a luck-based objective, I think, is part of the problem. It was all over at that point - all I had to do was run Splig down the hall (a Dash card also came up, which helped); in a total of four turns, the mission was over. The heroes had only just broke through my monsters on the first and second tiles!

The only way to make it more balanced would be if I played totally stupidly. With more experience, and later missions, it may get less frustrating, but at the moment each adventure has been a bit of a damp squib, except for Castle Daerion part 1, where the heroes actually had a fighting chance.
 
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kingbobb wrote:


Don't have my copy yet, but from all the comments I've read, I think you're seeing a preference issue with your group, not something wrong with the game. The quests included in the main box, for the most part, seem to be focused on shorter parts that string together to form an epic narrative. Without taking months and months to finish. Very much a compromise position for the intended audience. But the system, like 1e, seems robust enough to work with longer and more complex encounters. And unlike 1E, with the campaign system built into the core rules rather than tacked on, home-made quests and campaigns will be even easier to design and run.


Again, not really listening. It is *not* that the quests are too short. It's that the quests often don't allow enough time for the heroes and OL to interact tactically in any much of a meaningful way. If the quests remained the same length they are now but allowed more meaningful interaction between the heroes and OL, that would be fine. If for 75% of the time during a quest (which is, like, 3 turns out of 4) the actual actions of the players are mostly devoid of tactics, how is that not a problem with the game?
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bleached_lizard wrote:

Again, not really listening. It is *not* that the quests are too short. It's that the quests often don't allow enough time for the heroes and OL to interact tactically in any much of a meaningful way. If the quests remained the same length they are now but allowed more meaningful interaction between the heroes and OL, that would be fine. If for 75% of the time during a quest (which is, like, 3 turns out of 4) the actual actions of the players are mostly devoid of tactics, how is that not a problem with the game?


It's not a problem with the mechanics of the game, but maybe a problem with the included campaign. I think that's the point that's being made.

Grainger wrote:

Some of the other quests seemed a bit like this too, just not to the same extent. For example, in the Fat Goblin, I lucked out and found the right villager on my second turn; having such a luck-based objective, I think, is part of the problem. It was all over at that point - all I had to do was run Splig down the hall (a Dash card also came up, which helped); in a total of four turns, the mission was over. The heroes had only just broke through my monsters on the first and second tiles!


This seems like a tactics issue. 2 heroes can block the hall forcing Splig to fight. Even if he gets a knockback, having to fight slows him down. Fat Goblin is definitely one of the quests that favors the heroes in my opinion.

Completely agree about Castle Daerion though...
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Again, not really listening. It is *not* that the quests are too short. It's that the quests often don't allow enough time for the heroes and OL to interact tactically in any much of a meaningful way. If the quests remained the same length they are now but allowed more meaningful interaction between the heroes and OL, that would be fine. If for 75% of the time during a quest (which is, like, 3 turns out of 4) the actual actions of the players are mostly devoid of tactics, how is that not a problem with the game?


For what I read here and there, the campaign looks hysterical: no one can say whether it favors the heroes or the overlord, but the winning side always has it quite quickly and easily. Only the interludes seem to offer a real struggle. Other quests sound more like lightning fast skirmishes, randomly tipped toward one side or the other, and over too soon for any modification of their course.

I can't wait to play and feel this game by myself. It's too hard to live on partial statistics, on assumptions.

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Josh Owens
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I was playing the Overlord in the intro quest and did not draw one dash card the entire encounter.
 
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Bvggy wrote:


For what I read here and there, the campaign looks hysterical: no one can say whether it favors the heroes or the overlord, but the winning side always has it quite quickly and easily. Only the interludes seem to offer a real struggle. Other quests sound more like lightning fast skirmishes, randomly tipped toward one side or the other, and over too soon for any modification of their course.


That's a pretty good way to summarise it.
 
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Robert Grainger
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Bvggy wrote:


For what I read here and there, the campaign looks hysterical: no one can say whether it favors the heroes or the overlord, but the winning side always has it quite quickly and easily. Only the interludes seem to offer a real struggle. Other quests sound more like lightning fast skirmishes, randomly tipped toward one side or the other, and over too soon for any modification of their course.

I can't wait to play and feel this game by myself. It's too hard to live on partial statistics, on assumptions.

--
Buggy


For someone who hasn't played it, that's an amazing summary of my experience so far!
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:

Again, not really listening. It is *not* that the quests are too short. It's that the quests often don't allow enough time for the heroes and OL to interact tactically in any much of a meaningful way. If the quests remained the same length they are now but allowed more meaningful interaction between the heroes and OL, that would be fine. If for 75% of the time during a quest (which is, like, 3 turns out of 4) the actual actions of the players are mostly devoid of tactics, how is that not a problem with the game?


Which is it? Too short or not? If the quest doesn't allow time for strategic interaction, they aren't you saying that the quest is too short? I suppose what you want is a quest that starts the heroes right in the thick of the monsters so they can interact. Although doesn't the smaller encounter maps do just that?

From the collection of posted comments, I've seen plenty of hero-monster interaction starting on turn 1. Some heroes burn through their heroic feats on turn 1 to get a leg up on the OL. Some OLs stack large monsters in the way to slow the heroes down to all the smaller OL monsters a chance to complete objectives. Many games seem like a race between hero and OL player to complete objectives first.

All of which seems pretty tactically challenging to me, from turn 1.

I think part of the issue is that 1.0 was primarily a tactical combat game at heart. It followed the DC model to a T. Kill monsters, take their loot, get more powerful, kill bigger monsters. 2.0 seems to have moved in a more modern direction, similar to the RPG genre. The game is less about killing hordes of monsters than it is about mission based objectives that may require the heroes to kill the monsters, but more often just requires the heroes to beat them.
 
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I think the issue is that some of the missions are over before one side has anything to do. Castle Daerion encounter 2, for instance, when I played it. The heroes were stuck, and lost in two turns, through no fault of their own. It may be that other players find the same quest more balanced, or in favour of the heroes.

The point is that any given play through can be terribly one-sided, through little to no fault of one side. That's fine in and of itself - I play a lot of Command and Colors Ancients, and I'm happy to have a hugely disadvantaged side in that, because it's still fun, and I still have plenty to do. The issue here is that the game is often over so quickly that one side is just getting started, and that's no fun for either side.
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Grainger wrote:
I think the issue is that some of the missions are over before one side has anything to do. Castle Daerion encounter 2, for instance, when I played it. The heroes were stuck, and lost in two turns, through no fault of their own. It may be that other players find the same quest more balanced, or in favour of the heroes.


As the heroes I only just managed to squeak a win in Castle D part 2, but only because the OL forgot to use his Lieutenant's Overpower ability on Sir Palawhatsits. By the time he did it was too late. I'll reserve final judgement until we've finished the campaign, but so far the 2 hero game is proving very tough against a wily OL. cool
 
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ninjadorg wrote:
Grainger wrote:
I think the issue is that some of the missions are over before one side has anything to do. Castle Daerion encounter 2, for instance, when I played it. The heroes were stuck, and lost in two turns, through no fault of their own. It may be that other players find the same quest more balanced, or in favour of the heroes.


As the heroes I only just managed to squeak a win in Castle D part 2, but only because the OL forgot to use his Lieutenant's Overpower ability on Sir Palawhatsits. By the time he did it was too late. I'll reserve final judgement until we've finished the campaign, but so far the 2 hero game is proving very tough against a wily OL. cool


It's a puzzle - different players are getting wildly different results. In my game, the players advanced (and they had three out of a possible four men at arms with them) but failed to kill any of the Goblins on the stairs. I then used the Goblins to fire at the Knight, and moved the Ettin to block the stairs, hitting the Knight on the way.

On turn 2, they again failed to get through, and I figured I was so ahead, with the knight badly wounded, that I may as well throw everything at the knight, and I had the Lieutenant, the Goblins, my one Zombie, and the Ettin all hitting the Knight. I did average rolls, but easily killed him.

It was almost the definition of damp squib, especially as part 1 was such a hard-fought battle, with the heroes eventually pulling off a clear victory.
 
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Actually, I think the issue is with the game being completely unforgiving, which is a bad or good thing, depending on taste. On reflection, my hero player did mess up (if choosing a reasonable strategy which didn't pan out = "messing up") in Castle Daerion pt 2, in that she didn't use both attacks to pummel the Goblins - instead, she closed range to maximise the chances of one attack hitting. This probably made all the difference between me winning in two turns, and it being more of a contest, as downing some of the Goblins would have led to much less damage on the knight, and nothing to stop her engaging the Ettin and/or Lieutenant. But it does mean that the game could have gone very differently had she just sat back and blasted the Goblins with missile fire.

The game, being so easy to play, doesn't seem like it has a steep learning curve (to learn to play it well), but IMO it does! Some people may hit on the winning strategies right away, and others won't.

For some reason, I expect a game like Caylus or Hive, or even Lords of Waterdeep to have a steep learning curve, and expect to do badly until I've played a lot. I don't expect the same from a simplified "dungeon crawl"! I realise that isn't a fault of the game.
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Grainger wrote:
The game, being so easy to play, doesn't seem like it has a steep learning curve (to learn to play it well), but IMO it does!

You just convinced me to get this game.
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
dlhammond wrote:
They slow down quite a bit with 4-5 players I have found with my limited experience.


I think this is solving the wrong problem, though. It's not that the quests aren't long enough temporally - it's that they're not dense enough tactically. If we just wanted the quests to last longer we could just make our moves in slow-motion. What we want is the feeling that things actually *happened* during the quest, and so far the only one we felt this with was A Fat Goblin, Encounter 2 (and there were even some parts of that that could have felt longer).

The best example so far is probably Masquerade Ball, Encounter 1; I (as the OL) had discovered a kidnapped the noble guests by turn 3, and there was very little the heroes could have done about it, mostly because the goblins move so fast (especially with Dash) that they are in the room with the guests and are out the door before the heroes can really interact with them.

We're going to play the campaign right to the end using the RAW though and see if the problem improves (it may just be due to inexperienced hero players), but it does seem a bit too fast for now.


Haven't played enough descent 2 to comment, but I definitely had this feeling about Mansions of Madness to the extent I have no desire to play it anymore (although compared with the chaos rift that was Betrayal at house on the hill, it's a gem).
 
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