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Subject: You lose...again...and again...and...again... rss

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Ed Lovell
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First off, let me say that I loved playing Wolfenstein when I was a kid and the thought of a card game that had that theme got me hooked. The game is quick enough to print off and cut up. A quick read through of the rules and I was off.

Playing The Game: The object of the game is to defeat all 6 bosses (which are the same bosses from each of the six episodes of the original game). The bosses are distributed randomly throughout the deck along with the other enemies found in the PC version of the game. Also contained within the deck are weapons of varying degrees of damage and a few other cards that let you heal or negate any damage you would have sustained. You start off with 20 hit points. When you run out, you die. Game over. If you defeat all 6 bosses, you win.

The game is played over a series of rounds that contain different phases in the following order:

Find Phase: Flip over the top three cards. If any of them are cards that help you (weapons, heal, defend) put them in your hand. Enemy cards are put at the bottom of the stack.

Flip Phase: Turn over the top card of the deck. If it is an enemy, put it face up in front of you. If it is any other card (weapon, heal, defend) put it in your hand.

Fight Phase: Here is where you use the weapons in your hand to fight the enemies in front of you. You can play one card on each enemy. If the enemy is killed discard the enemy and weapon card. If you don't kill the enemy, still discard the weapon card and use something to mark how many hits the enemy has. (I just left the weapon card on the enemy until it was killed) You are allowed one additional attack on any enemy (provided you have the cards to do so) but must roll a d6 to complete the attack. If you roll 5+ then you miss and discard the weapon card anyway.

Foe Phase: This is where you take damage. Every enemy in play will attack. Their attack value is the number on their card minus any damage they have already taken. You can use a defend card to negate any damage done.

Fini Phase: Here you can use heal cards if you have them. If you have more than 5 cards in your hand, you must discard down to 5.

Repeat the phases until you either kill all the bosses or die. (Most likely die.)

I was excited to play this because I really liked playing Wolfenstein and couldn't resist the nostalgia. I feel however, that the game is broken in the sense that it is impossible to win. (Someone please correct me if I am wrong). The mechanic in the find phase sets you up to have a stack of enemies at the end of the deck with no chance to pick up additonal weapon, heal or defend cards (because you already picked through them). Even though in the deck there are 32 cards that help (ie. weapon, heal, defend) versus 24 enemy cards, the fact that you have to discard down to 5 cards every round hurts you. Chances are that during the find phase during the first few rounds of the game, you will get more than one card to add to your hand, the rest will go to the bottom anyway. As the game progesses the chances are great that your hand will be more than 5 cards and you will have to discard leaving you with no way to combat the enemies later in the game. You will simply run out of cards to fight with toward the end of the deck. That being said, here is a quick rundown on some other aspects to consider.

Graphics - There really isn't much by way of graphics here. Well, really no graphics at all. This was a bit disapponting as I really thought that more graphics could have been used from the game. I have since made my own version of the cards, but until I can figure out how to fix the game mechanics I don't think I'll print them out.

Difficulty - This game is extremely difficult, dare I say impossible to win. I have played about 10 games so far and have lost all of them. I think that the mechanic where you search the top three cards for items and put the rest on the bottom always leaves you in a situation where there will be a stack of enemies at the bottom of the deck with no weapon, heal or defend cards left to draw. This puts you in an impossible situation toward the end of the game. You can't kill any enemies if you don't have any weapons.

Replayability - You can definitely play this over and over, but with the current game mechanics as stated in the rules, why would you? You will lose everytime.

Time - This game will take you around 10-15 minutes to die. It plays fairly quickly, but you can never win, so why waste your time.

Overall I thought this game looked like a fun little solo game to kill a few minutes of my day, that is until I played it. It's really no fun playing something that you know you will never win. It just becomes pointless. (If someone has every beaten this by playing with the original rules please let me know!) Until someone comes up with a different mechanic to go through the deck, don't waste your time with this one.

P.S. - Before I actually played the game, I got so excited about it that I made a more graphically appealling card set. But until I can figure out a better game structure they remain on the shelf. soblue
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John "Omega" Williams
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Interesting review.

Did you play that the Bosses do not lose damage when they are damaged? The rules state foes lose damage, but no mention of bosses doing so.

I've been working on a review as well and a session report, and some micro-cards. Will have to dust them off and post soon.

My conclusion was very close to yours.
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Ed Lovell
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No I did not play that way. While the rules, as written, do not expressly say foe and bosses, I think it's implied.

I've briefly toyed around with different variations on how to play, but haven't come up with something that I have found satisfactory yet. If you have any ideas of your own I'd love to hear them.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Well I have been playing through and finally realized I had been doing a few things wrong that made things harder and exponentially longer.

The main one being that I was inadvertently shuffling the discard pile together with the enemy pile. (I keep the enemy pile separate as its easier than constantly lifting and setting the main stack.)
You just shuffle and draw from the discard pile if you run out of cards. This means that eventually you will deplete the deck one way or another.

So scored a victory despite playing that Bosses do not reduce damage.
Keeping a Cover/Disguise handy helps alot. Though getting a few Bosses early will allmost certainly end your adventure.

Right now Im trying to get screencaps of characters and weapons to make a graphical version or mini cards for a travel version. Slightly renamed a few things along the way.
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Ed Lovell
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I still think that the game is flawed in the following way:

Per the rules, in the find phase you keep any useful cards and put the rest on the bottom. This essentially is lining up a bunch of enemy cards at the end of the deck with no chance for any useful cards in between them.

In the flip phase, if you find a useful card keep it, otherwise try and fight the enemy.

If there is an enemy go through the fight and foe phases as necessary. Heal if needed and discard down to 5 cards.

You then repeat this process, putting more and more enemies lined up at the bottom of the deck. Given that there are more useful cards than enemy cards, the chances of your hand having more that five cards in it as the game progesses is great, causing you to have to discard. You will then reach a point in which all of the useful cards have been pulled from the deck. You will have discarded quite a few of them because of the hand limit. You are then left with the remaining deck of enemy cards and only a hand of 5 cards to fight them with.

Yes, IF the deck runs out, you can shuffle and draw from the discard pile, but the deck will never run out. According to the rules, all enemy cards in the find phase go to the bottom of the deck, thereby giving you a deck of only enemies toward the end of the game. From what you stated, I think you are drawing from the discard pile if you run out of cards in your hand. The rules do not state to do that. They only state to draw from the discard pile if the deck runs out.

I also disagree that Bosses always do full damage. It does not state that in the rules and I think it's implied that the Boss cards work the same as the Foe cards.

I have also developed a set of cards with graphics from the game. I went with keeping it true to the PC game and eliminated the stick grenade, rifle, sub-machine gun, and flame thrower. I left it where the chain-gun and machine gun can to damage to two enemies.

 
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John "Omega" Williams
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edlovell wrote:
I still think that the game is flawed in the following way:

Per the rules, in the find phase you keep any useful cards and put the rest on the bottom. This essentially is lining up a bunch of enemy cards at the end of the deck with no chance for any useful cards in between them.



Ah-hah! Got it. I was playing a phase wrong! Im going to have to update my review now. cry

Ok, simple solution is this...

Instead of placing enemies drawn in the search phase to the bottom of the deck. You start a seperate pile with them. When you deplete the deck shuffle the used item and enemy cards from battles and start drawing from that for the search phase and draw from the enemy stack for the flip phase. You will continue to get gear and this makes the whole thing play out faster too and evens the odds.
 
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Shaun Austin
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edlovell wrote:
I still think that the game is flawed in the following way:

Per the rules, in the find phase you keep any useful cards and put the rest on the bottom. This essentially is lining up a bunch of enemy cards at the end of the deck with no chance for any useful cards in between them.
I agree, this seems to be a fundamental flaw that proves the game is broken.

However there are two possible solutions.
1. Put cards you would discard, to the bottom of the draw pile. OR
2. Discard the cards you would normally put to the bottom of the draw pile

The second option seems to be the preferable solution as you get to shuffle the discard before re-using it, which may also help break up the runs of enemy cards.

I am sure Lloyd will appreciate your feedback and make changes accordingly.
 
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Ed Lovell
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Yes, I have tried the second option, but that just makes the game a long, drawn out and inevitable win as you keep shuffling and reusing the discard pile until you find and kill all of the bosses. Since there are more helpful cards than enemy cards, you will always have plenty of attack/defend cards to use with an occasional hit. You can of couse heal yourself pretty quickly as plenty of heal cards will come up.

It might work if you remove some of the helpful cards to mkae things more balanced.
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Shaun Austin
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Yes, both options just draw the game out until you do win.

I did some quick calculations and realized that all the multi hit weapons must damage at least 2 enemies to successfully defeat them all, including the bosses. There has to be some strategic depth in their use.

So now I propose a different rule change, that hopefully adds a bit of strategy as well. (Do you try for for that 5+ extra attack or put the attack card back into the deck? And which cards do I put back into the Deck?)
Quote:
FINI PHASE
You may play a First Aid Card to Heal 4 Damage.
Max hand size is 5 cards. Put excess cards on the bottom of the deck.
Note this negates the "If the Deck runs out, shuffle the discard & draw from it." as doing that is extending the game to an eventual win like the previous two solutions.
When the draw pile is empty, you only have the cards left in your hand to destroy the Enemy.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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I've been going through the game and come several times now to beating it playing RAW.

The thing to keep in mind is to reserve the bigger x2 weapons for the end game. And then soak damage long enough to set up a good raking with gunfire. Getting a few bosses early can really tip things in your favour.

Something as simple as increasing your hand to 6 cards might be a easier fix. Still testing.

For now though Im approaching it as a puzzle that requires a certain pattern to beat and a little luck early on.

For the OP.
I think this game would have been better as a WarpQuest game. Still puzzling over that one.
 
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Alexander Okland
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edlovell wrote:
I still think that the game is flawed in the following way:

Per the rules, in the find phase you keep any useful cards and put the rest on the bottom...


The rules say you may take any useful cards and throw the rest underneath. This allows (and essentially forces) you to take only what you need or think you will need and put the other helpful cards back under. You've really gotta think ahead and not be wasteful with your ammo. I agree with everybody that the game needs some major tweaking, but as per the rules, victory is possible. It wasn't until my sixth game, but I won with the last attack card left. Efficiency is the name of the game, here. Don't go wasting your higher damage attacks on little wimps, and if you've got an attack that hits multiple targets, use it on multiple targets. And don't be afraid to take damage. Taking a hit or two so you can get the most efficient use out of your attacks is how you've gotta do it. You can afford to take at least 19 hits during the game; use them.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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Your interpretation of may is just one. It could be read differently and therein lies the problem.
 
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Alexander Okland
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I don't really see how it could be misinterpreted; it's pretty clear. May gives permission to conduct an act without mandating the act be conducted. It then follows to reason that one has the permitted ability to take any and all helpful cards during the flip, but need not do so.

Although the rules, as written, are garbage at best, there is no mistaking the meaning of the directions for the flip phase, which are comprised entirely of:

Quote:
FIND PHASE
Flip over the top 3 cards.
If any of them are Attack, First Aid, or Defense cards, you may put
them in your hand. Place the remaining cards on the bottom of the deck.


I would word it differently to eliminate the supposed misinterpretation resulting from the text. The rule could be more clearly stated as:

Quote:
FIND PHASE
Reveal the top three cards of the deck. You may put any Attack, First Aid, and/or Defense cards into your hand. Put the cards you don't take (if any) on the bottom of the deck.
 
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Michael Barlow
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Omega2064 wrote:
Well I have been playing through and finally realized I had been doing a few things wrong that made things harder and exponentially longer.

The main one being that I was inadvertently shuffling the discard pile together with the enemy pile. (I keep the enemy pile separate as its easier than constantly lifting and setting the main stack.)
You just shuffle and draw from the discard pile if you run out of cards. This means that eventually you will deplete the deck one way or another.

So scored a victory despite playing that Bosses do not reduce damage.
Keeping a Cover/Disguise handy helps alot. Though getting a few Bosses early will allmost certainly end your adventure.

Right now Im trying to get screencaps of characters and weapons to make a graphical version or mini cards for a travel version. Slightly renamed a few things along the way.
I've never had a game where I actually got to reshuffle the discards. What am I doing wrong?
 
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