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Subject: thoughts on a variant rss

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trevor

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So I obviously dont have this game yet but based on what I hear boasts dont prove to be that much a part of the game (mostly based on Tom's review).So a variant I was brainstorming is this......

Before anyone selects a hero everybody gets to take one boast and place it on a character, you can place multiple boasts on one character. Then play proceeds as normal with people selecting a hero and others boasting ect.

My rationalle is this. The big problem I see with the base game is if someone boasts then it becomes obvious to let them have that character and select a character that doesn't have a boast. This way many characters already have a boast and you have to choose which is less of a hinderence. Also if one character doesn't start with a boast then everyone will select that character and it will soon get 'nerfed' by boasts.

Anyway, ive said 'boast' enough for now, let me know what people think........
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Travis Worthington
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I think that Tom's review was that if you don't boast (which can happen on the first game), then boasting isn't part of the game. It is rarely the case that all the heroes (combination of weapon and class) are equal - but rather what happens is that players don't know how to value the respective heroes and therefore choose a weaker hero rather than adding a boast to a stronger hero for fear of overboasting, or not wanting to take someone's hero.

The player that didn't boast and choose a weaker hero will very likely lose - and not because of the inherent luck in the gauntlet phase of the game but rather that they were outclassed going into the gauntlet. Boasting correctly is harder than it looks, and trust me there was some significant analysis of the boasts, classes and weapons to ensure that both the range and variances to back up the playtest experiences.

I think that before everyone comes up with variants - try the game as designed and tested. Maybe even try it 2-3 times in a row (which will easily be under an hour) and see if you can consistently win before designing it into a different game. Not that your suggestion is bad, but it would still need the boasting phase to equal out the results or your variant would have a very strong first player advantage.

Boasting, like bidding isn't going to come on the first game play. And if you don't win, look at how you could have. There is luck, but not to the extent that you might imagine after one or two plays.
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trevor

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Fair enough, I KS this and am looking forward to it alot. I was certainly going to play it vanilla a bunch before seeing if it needed changes.

Thanks for the fair and well thought response though. I am excited about this title, I was mostly trying to defend against what I thought was a critical review But what he said does make sense, you never really know any game until a few play throughs
 
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Justin Robben
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After a handful of games with various people playing, my wife and I are thinking this needs some small tweak, too, to be honest.

We are having fun with the game, but just want a little more incentive, so to speak, to take Boasts...

We were brainstorming that a simple fix might be (might be, mind you) to give a player +1 Gold after each successful kill for each Boast he/she carries.
The obvious issue is Blindfloded...we have to figure out how to alter that obvious contradiction...

Well, anyways, this is just thinking out loud, trying to get just a tad more out of a fast, filler game we have enjoyed, thus far.
 
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Travis Worthington
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Kalidor wrote:
After a handful of games with various people playing, my wife and I are thinking this needs some small tweak, too, to be honest.

We are having fun with the game, but just want a little more incentive, so to speak, to take Boasts...

We were brainstorming that a simple fix might be (might be, mind you) to give a player +1 Gold after each successful kill for each Boast he/she carries.
The obvious issue is Blindfloded...we have to figure out how to alter that obvious contradiction...

Well, anyways, this is just thinking out loud, trying to get just a tad more out of a fast, filler game we have enjoyed, thus far.


Based on what I have seen, this approach would make each of the boasts a net positive rather than negatives (which they are designed to be).

Decreasing the penalty of each boast would make it possible that the strong hero with all six boasts added would still be stronger than the weakest hero. As the game is designed now this won't happen - any hero with all six boasts added will be weaker than even the weakest hero

In my plays of the game the strongest hero(es) is usually hampered with 3-4 boasts (in many cases two heros have 3-4 boasts, but different boasts), with just a single hero (the worst) being selected without any boasts. I would expect that valued correctly that this would be the norm.

I am consistently over boasting myself, and rarely win - consistently losing to the same 1-2 people that are clearly better at valuing the heroes and boasts than I. With the benefit of experience and understanding the underlying mathematics I understand that my losing is not a result of luck but rather lack of skill in valuing the heroes & boasts.
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Harald Korneliussen
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I wouldn't take Tom's review very seriously. He's a nice guy but he hasn't got very good taste in games
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Harvie Jarriell
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I would wait for more than one review, while Tom's are usually pretty good,

I am suspect of any reviewer once I see them do paid promos...
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Brian M
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I've only played half a dozen times, so take this with a grain of salt.

It seems like there are two elements to choosing a hero and boasting.

The first is trying to get a strong hero. Obviously, if one hero appears stronger than the others, you want that hero. But if it's that obvious, someone else will just take the hero away from you!

So, you need to consider how many boasts you can take to keep that hero strong, but held back enough that someone won't want to add on one more boast.

You can certainly pass on boasting at first, but then you'll have to wind up taking even more boasts to get the strong hero back!

Then we've got the second element. Avoiding a weak hero.

We've had several games where the first three players (out of four) all select a hero and don't take any boasts. At that point, you might be tempted to just pick the remaining hero and not bother with a boast. After all, otherwise you could be stuck as the only player with a boast, right?

But the problem is, that one hero that's left sucks. That's why we all skipped boasting. The other three heroes seem pretty close. We don't feel ready to bring one of them down yet. But that fourth hero - yuck! None of us want to get stuck with that loser.

So the fourth player steals a hero and adds a boast. Not because that hero is so good, but because they want to avoid the bad hero!

And then the other player's do the same, passing the heroes back and forth until someone finally decides it's just better to take the dud hero.

I think the boasting mechanic is a lot of fun and a clever bidding variant for the game.

Quote:
With the benefit of experience and understanding the underlying mathematics I understand that my losing is not a result of luck but rather lack of skill in valuing the heroes & boasts.

But, ya know, sometimes you roll 5 dice and can't beat a 12.
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David Low
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First note: I like this game - but as a bit of fun, not as a serious intellectual exercise zombie

The place I've seen "issues", in either 2p or 3p+, is when the last player to pick has the choice of "bad, or worse": that is, in the example above, realising that any of the chosen heroes with an added boast is "worse" than the remaining hero. Now sure, trying to work out what constitutes "worse" is an exercise in itself, but I'm theorising here whistle

In real gameplay, this evens itself out over many fast games, and many player-choice-orders. But it does irk me a little, and makes me muse about potential ways to balance it. However, this is probably overthinking the problem, in what *is* a fun bit of story-telling

The theorist's solution, of course, is to implement a more sophisticated form of the pie rule ("I cut, you choose") than is presented by the single Hero/boast version already applied; but I think there's too much granularity in the existing boasts to make this feasible. Maybe something as simple as adding a gold penalty to the existing boasts: "Not only will my Barbarian go in with no breakfast and a hangover, he will donate his first [N] gold to charity!!"

The beauty of a neat, simple game like this is that such horseplay is fun and easy :-)

Regards,

David.
 
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Brian M
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Quote:
The place I've seen "issues", in either 2p or 3p+, is when the last player to pick has the choice of "bad, or worse"

Have you seen this happen often? It seems to me like it would be quite rare to have situation where the remaining character was worse than all of the other characters, and yet better than all of the other character's with a single boast would be. Given that boasts can vary widely in how much they impact a character, and that it's hard to make real definitive statements about which characters are stronger to begin with, this seems like a non-issue.

That said, there's no reason you couldn't add more "granular" boasts such as gold pieces; but I think part of the charm and fun of the boast system is that nothing is absolutely clear cut. Some boasts will appear to be better or worse than others for the situation, but you'll never be able to say precisely how bad a boast will be.
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David Low
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I agree with what you say. In terms of me/my group, I'll certainly admit that it's probably a combination of things:

1) play enough, and the little things happen more;
2) one tends to remember the small annoying things over the bulk of smoothness;
3) despite what my mother told me, I habitually scratch things that itch cry

We also, almost certainly, fall into the traps identified here and elsewhere: I suspect that we underboast, by overestimating the (negative) effect of boasts.

But that's all by-the-by. What I find that I like - what I want to happen - is that, at the end of boasting, everyone is convinced that they have "the best" combination. What I don't like - what I want to avoid - is having one (or more) players feeling that they got shafted. Even if they didn't

And, obviously, I'd much rather identify that the problem (for me/us) is in the granularity of the boasts, and thus "fix" it via smoothing things out, than possibly entertain the possibility that it's just that we Aren't Very Good At This Game zombie
 
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Brian M
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Quote:
What I don't like - what I want to avoid - is having one (or more) players feeling that they got shafted.

Well, avoiding that feeling may be futile in a game where you are all probably going to die anyway.

Based on my (again, limited) experience, if you are looking at a character that seem lousy (but less lousy than the others) and are trying to decide how to boast:

* If the defense is poor, go for "While Blindfolded", since it only hurts you when you dodge.

* If the attack is low, fight "with one hand tied behind your back". If you don't have many dice, a roll with 1s and 2s probably won't hit anyway.

* If the attack is high, consider "with a hangover", as you can likely get rid of it right away.

Those seem like a good set of "default" boasts to start with.

If your group really does want a way of making a smaller boast, what about, rather than adding an entire bidding system, just adding a single extra boast. Something like:

"With holes in my pockets"
When you die, lose 2 gold.
Only an adventurer with no other boasts can make this boast.
When another player takes this adventurer, they may choose to discard this boast if they add at least one boast.

This gives you a low effect boast to work with, but that should be fairly low key and get you into the normal boasts.
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