I am so happy that I backed Boss Monster on Kickstarter! This game rocks!
To be clear, we are playing the prototype that was sent out to backers of a certain level and higher before Christmas of 2012. This is not a finished product, and it has had quite a learning curve as we’ve had questions and gotten feedback on the forums here. But we have played it a lot and I feel confident that we are now playing it correctly and to the best of our abilities with cards that are not finalized.
My starting hand was very strong with three monster rooms that really worked together. Neanderthal Cave, Goblin Armory and Shark Tank. I knew once I got those three cards out, it’d be a very strong, although basic room. I knew I would be in trouble when it came to spells, but things always change quickly in Boss Monster.
It’s hard to take accurate notes during a game that goes this fast, but Will got one soul and I did not. But I was able to counterspell him so he didn’t take an additional hero. However, that was my only spell card.
I got my three initial rooms out easily while Will had a Dragon Hatchery, Recycling Center and Dark Laboratory (built right to left from the boss monster card). So I got two heroes, one which I killed, but Will froze my Neanderthal room so the other hero became a wound. Ouch! I knew not having spells was going to hurt me.
My fourth room was a Ghoulyard and Will’s was a Succubus Spa. Then Will killed a hero so we were even with 2 souls, but I had a wound.
We each played our fifth rooms, I had Torture Chamber and he had Neanderthal Cave. My boss Draculord’s level up ability triggered and I got a spell card from Will, Teleportation. However Will was playing Gorgona and he got to kill a hero in the town and add it as a soul, so he was up one soul. I killed my hero, blew up Torture Chamber to make Will discard a card. But the Succubus Spa room his hero died in gave him a random card from my hand and he got his teleportation back! Grrr!
Next rooms to be put out were a Goblin Armory in the fifth slot for me while Will built a Witch’s Kitchen over the Dark Laboratory. Once he did that, I knew I was screwed as it would allow him to discard a monster room card to draw a spell. I killed my hero easily. Will started off by discarding to get a spell. He ran his hero through 2 rooms then cast teleportation and it died in the Succubus Spa again so he took another card from me.
So a quick tally put me at 1 wound and 4 souls and Will at 5 souls.
My cards in my hand seriously sucked with Liger’s Den, Dracolich Lair and Monstrous Monument. I wanted to play them, but didn’t want to cover up what I had, which was combining very well, though quickly becoming limited to only attracting fighters. I chose not to play a room card while Will played Boulder Room on his far right room. We both killed our heroes. He destroyed his Witch’s Kitchen for the Boulder Room, which activated the Recycling Center so he could draw two room cards.
I drew Jackpot Stash, which didn’t help so I passed on building a room again. But I wasn’t worried since I knew I could kill the waiting epic hero fighter. I guess the one good thing about focusing on one treasure type is that I can really kill those kinds – if they would only show up! Will built over the Succubus Spa with another Recycling Center. I would have killed my hero except Will froze the Ghoulyard so I got a double wound. For his hero, Will destroyed the Dark Laboratory to the Boulder Room. With 2 recycling centers, he got to draw 4 room cards.
I felt completely outclassed here as I couldn’t react or do any kind of combos with my heavily fighter-based dungeon. At this point I had 3 wounds and 5 souls while Will had 7 souls and no wounds.
Pixel Lincoln came out in the next turn and we each drew 3 spells. Which was nice, but I feared too late for me. I got Assassin, Counterspell and Fear. I also drew the Vampire Bordello, which would be useful to turn my wounds into souls, but my Ghoulyard was too close to the entrance so a hero would never die in there, not now that we’d gotten to epic heroes. Well, I’d just try my best to stop Will.
So I skipped building and Will put down a Neanderthal room in his last spot that opened up from destroying a room last turn. I played fear to put Pixel Lincoln back at the town from Will’s dungeon entrance. Will played Assassin on my fighter, which I counterspelled. So I killed the epic fighter for 2 souls.
This made us even on souls with 7 each, but I had 3 wounds.
I chanced building the Zombie Prison over Goblin Armory in the left-most spot to try to attract the epic mage to my dungeon, which didn’t work because he built Construction Zone and then Dark Laboratory over it. I failed to attract the Mage, but it didn’t matter because he cast Caved In on the Dark Laboratory when Pixel Lincoln got into it, which killed Pixel Lincoln. Then he destroyed the Construction Yard to give the Boulder Room its plus 5. So he easily killed the next two heroes, especially with playing Annihilator for fun.
So I had 7 souls and 3 wounds while Will ended with 13 souls. He had played TPK, but the one thing I did was deny him fighters. He also ended with 15 cards in his hand, 2 spells and 13 room cards. Wow! He got these cards by destroying rooms which activated his two Recycling Centers which each gave him 2 monster rooms.
Oh, and it took us about an hour and half to play. I did get analysis paralysis a few times, but I was also trying to take notes for this session report. Here's what the end of the game looked like:
1. It is bad to get a dungeon stuck with only one kind of treasure. Short term might be good, but long term, it doesn’t.
2. Spells rock and those who have them win and those who don’t lose.
3. My husband is as intelligent and clever as always, but he really got a great combo working with the Boulder Room and the two Recycling Centers. As long as he put down rooms that he didn’t care about, he could sack them to the Boulder Room and draw four more rooms.
4. This, like some other cards games, might not be completely balanced with 2 players. The luck of the draw might have a bigger influence than when played with more players. Will told me that he felt like he couldn’t do anything last time we played Boss Monster and he lost horribly because he never got anything that could work together. Having heard other people complain about the imbalance with 4 players, I am guessing that this game does best with 3 players.
In the end, I am sad that I lost, but I still challenged Will a few times and killed quite a few heroes myself. I am looking forward to playing again, especially if we can get one of our friends over to play. I really want to see how the balance works with 3 players.
For now, I am happy to crown my husband Boss Monster for the day.