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Fallen City of Karez» Forums » General

Subject: Got it yesterday, first impressions rss

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Mark Chen
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I received my kickstarter copy yesterday (I'm in Seattle for anyone else checking their status) and gleefully played my first solo game.

First, I completely agree with many on these forums that the rulebook could be much clearer. It'd be great to see a short description of *each* building, for example, as well as clearer indication that taking an action that does not require workers still requires a guild token and also makes that particular action unavailable for the rest of the assignment phase (I like to call it the "assignment" phase rather than the confusing "actions" phase).

Also, I totally cheated without knowing. Somehow I completely missed that you have a limit to the number of heroes you can send to a dungeon (equal to the valor rating of the dungeon). Not having this limit, of course, made the game way too easy as I just trampled all the dungeons with a 5 hero party! (Except on the first turn I got my butt kicked when I only had 2 heroes and drew a particularly nasty undead.)

I saw that there's a hero limit during the video demos for the game, and when I doublechecked where in the rulebook I missed it, I found the rule on page 3 where it shows the anatomy of the dungeon cards. It's also implied in the 1st caption on page 9. It *really* ought to be made more explicit under the section on page 9 about forming the party... Just saying.

I'll try a solo game again today with the rule correction and rejudge the difficulty. I'll also likely throw in the optional rule that Elad posted about adding a threat cube each round.

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Brian Cwikla

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FYI - there's a good note about party limits on page 8 in Section 1.4 Sending Heroes To Explore. It's right next to the image of the adventure card.
 
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Mark Chen
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So there is!
I think I've learned that I skip over captions and notes and quotes, etc. that are italicized or something... whistle

After the second play, following the rules, I won relatively easily still. I think the game shines much more with multiple players with contentious agendas.

I then tried a third game playing all five guilds. The city wasn't assured until turn 6 or 7, but after it reached it, it wasn't going back. But then it turned into a pretty close game between the guilds. In the end Builders won but only just.

I'm wondering if I'm playing the Mage's guild correctly, though... It's threat cubes can be wiped out pretty easily...
 
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Mark Chen
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Also, reread Elad's rule variant: "After the adventure phase has ended, you must add 1 Threat cube (if available) to any adventure or private dungeon that is still open and running (from left to right). This will force the players to take more risks and make private dungeons more menacing to the city development."

I didn't add threat to private dungeons. This would make the game much more uncertain, for sure, as well as solve the Mage's guild's problem! Will try that today.
 
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Steven Durst
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Indeed, this game is definitely better with more players. It does not work as a solo game at all in my opinion but that is fine since I didn't get it for that.

I don't know if it is even possible NOT to make it to a city by the end of the game as there are so few ways to kill off citizens so that once you get them, you are pretty certain they aren't going anywhere. I haven't tried the increased threat variant so maybe that will help. I have found that the black meeples run out rather quickly as there are multiple ways to kill those guys off (which sucks if you have a private dungeon as you want them to sacrifice for treasure and threat). I also haven't tried the Golden Dragon traitor mechanic either.

My 5 player game the other day I used the Arcane guild and yes, my private dungeon was sacked rather easily by 3 other players who decided to gang up on it. There was very little I could do even with a hand of 5-6 monsters and traps. Next time I'll try with the Golden Dragon and increased threat variant and see what happens.

 
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Mark Chen
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Wait a sec... you got the Golden Dragon materials?
I didn't get it included with my shipment...
 
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Steven Durst
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McDanger wrote:
Wait a sec... you got the Golden Dragon materials?
I didn't get it included with my shipment...


Yeah, they were a separate pack of cards in the box. PM Elad if you don't have a copy in your box and he'll make sure to settle it.
 
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Ian Allen
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its a tiny little shrinkwrapped deck of cards hidden underneath the regular little deck of shrinkwrapped cards in the box ..
 
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A. B. West
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Why aren't you PLAYING a game?
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Nope. Didn't get it.
 
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Mark Chen
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I didn't get it either, PM'd Elad.
 
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Owen Fingerhut
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Got mine yesterday and played my first game, with a friend, today. I was playing the Builder's Guild against her Trade Guild. It went quite well. I did a lot of adventuring, helped by the fact that I owned the arena, library and barracks as soon as Karez became a town. My adventuring helped her quite a bit as I bought a lot of gear from her market and tower. Eventually I came out on top, 15 to 14.5. Guild tokens became scarce quickly, between all our purchased buildings and a dead hero each. She opened a private dungeon which turned out to be VERY profitable. She sent a few adventurers down there and easily made back the cost of the monsters. If I had explored it sooner it might not have been useful, but even so the cost of one monster is quite low and so by using a guild token for two turns, you can dump an adventurer for a treasure roll, which is quite often worth it. Plus your opponents will have to waste a guild token to destroy it, and if one monster is there he won't even get any loot.

Also I'm not sure on a few points: Can you use the general action of a building you own without using a guild token? That's how we played and it seemed to work well. Same thing with replacing gear in markets by making more. (some stuff just won't get bought :/)

And BTW throwing axes are probably in the top 3 best equipment. They are INSANELY valuable.
 
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Mark Chen
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I believe you were playing it right; no guild tokens needed to use the general action on property you own. But you do have to remember that you've used the spot so others can't also use it... which is a little klunky maybe, but I just leave the resources that the space costs in the spot so I remember it's been used already.

Opening a one-monster dungeon. Nice.

I completely agree. I think throwing axes are actually the best item in the game. I've been playing that they do not affect fixed dice, only rolled dice, but I'm not sure if that limit is right. It seems like it'd be way too OP if you could use it on fixed dice... Your party would just need a fixed 2 and a fixed 5 and be guaranteed a hit on any monster in the game...
 
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Elad Goldsteen
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McDanger wrote:

I completely agree. I think throwing axes are actually the best item in the game. I've been playing that they do not affect fixed dice, only rolled dice, but I'm not sure if that limit is right. It seems like it'd be way too OP if you could use it on fixed dice... Your party would just need a fixed 2 and a fixed 5 and be guaranteed a hit on any monster in the game...


Fixed dice are fixed. You cannot alter them as they are a specialty of a given hero class against a specified group of monsters.
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Owen Fingerhut
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EDIT: Ninja'd by Elad.

I'd definitely say throwing axes only affect rolled dice. Bow of accuracy is almost certainly the best item, probably better than the bright sword. My 3 heroes with healing items at full power almost got TPKed by a Succubus because I couldn't roll a 3 on twenty dice in a row.

The ranger, wizard and cleric are almost certainly the best heroes. They can take lots of gear and have good stats and have good class specific items to boot. The templar is alright as is the rogue but the knight is terrible, compare him to the wizard, one more HP, one less autohit, strike last and 2 less item slots. That is almost a straight up downgrade. There might be less monsters autohitting the knight but equipment slots are what really matter past turn 2-3.

A potentially interesting item would be a bag of holding. Two more equipment slots if you use it (overall gain of one since it takes one itself).

And BTW do you think you should be able to send someone to manufacture gear in a filled spot in the market/blacksmith/tower, replacing the previous gear and discarding it? I think it makes sense. Sometimes the slots just get filled with items no-one wants to buy.

Overall the game was a lot of fun but I want to play it with my full group before passing judgement. I still think there is room for improvement of course.
 
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Peter Frazier
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I think the rules state that you can create an item on a used slot- it just goes on top of the already created item.
Also, the manual is really bad and the game is not very obvious about explaining or making things clear. Just had to say that.
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