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Subject: Seriously silly? rss

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Brad Johnson
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I noticed this game from the pictures of the pieces (who didn't?), and decided to take a look at the rules. Even setting aside the thematic gibberish, this game seems as if it might make my investment in "Darkness Falls on Sevinpold" seem well-spent.

Can anyone with actual experience playing this game comment? Here are the issues I have with the design:

1) General balance between the two sides: The Taker gets to move 1 piece the distance of one die roll, automatically eliminating or disabling everything (more or less) in his path. The Giver has to use that same single die roll to move 3-4 pieces while protecting 24 others.

2) Degenerate strategy: Since you can only win as the Giver, is it really worth doing anything as the Taker? I wouldn't think you'd want to cause too much damage as you might have to deal with your own mess at any moment if you get changed to the Giver. And trying to reset the game just seems like a boring waste of time. Finally, can't you just guarantee a stalemate as Taker by forcing at least 1 piece to always remain at least 2 spaces away from the Blue Pyramid? (Move your piece as far away from the Pyramid as you can; the best Giver can do is return it, right?) I just don't see how Giver can win, unless Taker is an idiot; and by definition, Taker can't win.

3) Game termination: That leads to the fact that, in theory, this game can continue forever, even with both players trying as hard as they can to win. Generally not a good thing.

4) Rules artifacts: What's the deal with the talk about "each 90 degree turn costs 1 move" when every Human piece "must face the same direction at the end of a move as at the start"? What would be the point of rotating pieces then?

So where's the fun? I must be missing something, because it seems silly as written. The only thing I can think of is maybe the final "drawing of the masked piece into the Blue Pyramid" should be a free move to finish the game?

I can certainly accept Paradice as a concept piece that is 99% art and 1% game (even though I personally would hate to see the living room that these colors would match). However, I just hate to see yet another self-published game that apparently has't seen a day of actual playtesting by experienced, non-partisan players.

 
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George Kinney
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tempus42 wrote:
So where's the fun? I must be missing something, because it seems silly as written.


I'll bet that 'fun' never even crossed the mind of whoever put this together. Besides, if only one side can win, it by definition isn't a game at all. Just a run of the mill eco-babble rant with movable bits.
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Nathan Morse
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I think the intent of
The Paradice author wrote:
A Human Being must face the same direction at the end of a move as at the start. Each 90 degree turn costs one move.
is that you can't rotate as part of a move: You must burn a move to rotate. I do not think the intent is that you must end your turn facing the same direction as you started. I believe that the author is merely dodgily asserting that rotation is a separate action, and is the only way to change face. I particularly interpret the claim this way, because the author appears to be referring to each single-space move as "a move", rather than using the term "a move" to refer, say, to a fifteen-space jaunt.

http://seethroughgames.com/paradice_rules.html

No question about it, though, Paradice's focus definitely seems to be artistic...



...though I do give the author points for attempting to do something innovative with the gameplay, which is way harder to do well than most people realize. (The difficulty of effective innovation in game design is an epiphany to me every time I try to do it. ) Forget about making the innovation actually fun! Does that mean I want the game? Maybe in a display case.
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Matthew Schmidt
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tempus42 wrote:
I noticed this game from the pictures of the pieces (who didn't?), and decided to take a look at the rules. Even setting aside the thematic gibberish, this game seems as if it might make my investment in "Darkness Falls on Sevinpold" seem well-spent.

Can anyone with actual experience playing this game comment? Here are the issues I have with the design:

1) General balance between the two sides: The Taker gets to move 1 piece the distance of one die roll, automatically eliminating or disabling everything (more or less) in his path. The Giver has to use that same single die roll to move 3-4 pieces while protecting 24 others.

In my experience, it's usually slightly in the Giver's favor. If the Giver can get 2 or more Humans together, she can reverse any attacks by the Taker. You usually don't worry too much about protecting the trees, rather, you put back trees if a Forest Spirit is in danger and otherwise generally ignore them.
Quote:

2) Degenerate strategy: Since you can only win as the Giver, is it really worth doing anything as the Taker? I wouldn't think you'd want to cause too much damage as you might have to deal with your own mess at any moment if you get changed to the Giver. And trying to reset the game just seems like a boring waste of time. Finally, can't you just guarantee a stalemate as Taker by forcing at least 1 piece to always remain at least 2 spaces away from the Blue Pyramid? (Move your piece as far away from the Pyramid as you can; the best Giver can do is return it, right?) I just don't see how Giver can win, unless Taker is an idiot; and by definition, Taker can't win.

First, it is worth doing things as the Taker as it will buy you time while waiting to roll a 1. And if you don't cause any damage, the giver will win while you are waiting to roll a 1. Reseting the game wasn't a "boring waste of time" in my experience, as games are short. If you don't have time to play a second game though, you can always delay the reset until the next time you play. Finally, the endless escaping of the masked human from a Giver 3-group is stopped when the Opertunity Changer changes the idenity of the Masked Human to one of the 3-group. This will disrupt things such that either one side or the other can claim victory.

Quote:

3) Game termination: That leads to the fact that, in theory, this game can continue forever, even with both players trying as hard as they can to win. Generally not a good thing.

I have never seen this happen. Let's say for a moment that the Masked Human is near a 3-Group of the other humans. Even assuming that Mask never changes hands, the Giver cannot exactly reverse every more the Taker makes. If the Taker runs away and cuts down a bunch of trees, the Giver must spend moves to replace those trees. And each tree they replace means that the Masked Human gets one more space away. In any case, I have never seen the Oppertunity changer make more than one circuit around the board.
Quote:

4) Rules artifacts: What's the deal with the talk about "each 90 degree turn costs 1 move" when every Human piece "must face the same direction at the end of a move as at the start"? What would be the point of rotating pieces then?

What this means is, that humans must point the same way UNLESS you pay for turning. At least that's my interpitation.
Quote:

So where's the fun? I must be missing something, because it seems silly as written. The only thing I can think of is maybe the final "drawing of the masked piece into the Blue Pyramid" should be a free move to finish the game?

To actually experience the fun, one really needs to play it. I made a very makeshift set using 2 chess sets and various other objects found around the house. I found it fun. Your mileage may vary.

Quote:

I can certainly accept Paradice as a concept piece that is 99% art and 1% game (even though I personally would hate to see the living room that these colors would match). However, I just hate to see yet another self-published game that apparently has't seen a day of actual playtesting by experienced, non-partisan players.

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Greg Schloesser
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My wife and I played tonight and were terribly disappointed. All of the points made by the original poster seem valid. Our game dragged on and on. The rules are terribly written and confusing, especially with all of the new-age gibberish.

Regarding the turning of the piece, the rules seem to indicate that a MASKED human must face the same direction at the end of its turn as it did at the beginning. So, why one would pay to rotate it would not make sense at all. So, one must infer that the rules are simply poorly written and that a player CAN rotate the piece by paying one move to change its facing each 90 degrees.

My one experience so far was quite frustrating, with my wife begging to stop 15 minutes into the game. Indeed, it was frustrating. We were not able to accomplish much of anything, and it seemed as though the game was one of the Taker removing trees, and the Giver assembling the remaining blue pieces in order to place one or more treesback onto the board each turn. The game dragged on and on, and it lost fun rapidly.

As a final note, picking-up the game was maddening. It was very difficult to fit all of the pieces back into the little holders, and we also had difficulty placing the pieces in the proper locations so everything would fit back together again. There really should be a diagram included in the game showing how the pieces should be placed in order to properly store the game.

I have written to the designer for some clarifications and pointers. Hopefully he will shed some light on what is appearing to be a very bleak game.
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Nathan Morse
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Alright, then, Greg! The gauntlet has been thrown down. Can you creater some fun rules for those visually stimulating pieces, or are they best used to decorate one's home, dotted about one's abode?
 
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Greg Schloesser
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I just heard back from someone intimately familiar with the game. It appears we played the rules correctly. However, I am still awaiting an answer on the rotation of the game pieces (whether it is allowed to have them face in a different direction by spending movement points to rotate them).

I'll give the game another go, but I don't see anything here that is going to elevate the game to one that I desire to play.
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anthony siegle
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Hi Greg:

I have been following the plight of this game on an EBAY site where it has been listed at least 4 different times and he has sold one game, to a doctor it seems. It is a striking looking game and their website makes it look like people actually play it and enjoy it (Staged no doubt)There was one for sale at the SF Museum of Modern Art for $99.00 but not to me. I wrote the seller and suggested he explore the comments on BBG which he actually did,greatly enlighteded. But it still is listed for $189.00

The comments all agree that it is far nicer to look at than to play but since you were game to try it, how did you make out playing it a second time (message of 4/18/06)? Did you ever get the pieces back in the box.

I can't imagine I would be dumb enough to buy this game when I don't even have Carcasonne!

Thanks,
rockytony
 
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Greg Schloesser
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Played a second time, and it was as disappointing as my first attempt. There is no real game here. Pretty to look at, but no fun to play.

I did get the pieces back in the plastic inserts, but it wasn't easy!
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Seriously, what is up with shitty expensive games being marketed like this?

On a related note, my dad picked up this extremely shitty pirate game in a wooden box and because it was expensive, obviously it is good right? ARGH.
 
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