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Subject: First full game rss

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Rob Uccello
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Millbury
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I got my copy in on April 19th, but didn't actually have the chance to get a full game in until the 20th. A big part of this is the presumed complexity; the game is very pretty, but it can be downright frightening to look at with so much going on. I finally got my teenaged son to convince his mother to join us in a game; this is how it went.

My son was the Arcane Guild, so he was the first player to go. My ex was the Builders Guild, and I was the Heroic Guild. At first I thought for sure I would have an early advantage, since my goal was to acquire valor cubes, all but ensuring I would have the benefit of first action each turn. We did have a couple of rules errors that we caught early on: using the wound-healing die to reward successful dungeon runs instead of the actual treasure dice; sending people to the market to purchase items instead of for production of said items, for two examples. We overcame those dumb mistakes before the second round, so it wasn't a problem.

We were unclear on a few other aspects, so if we made mistakes, please point them out to me. The Arcane Guild refused to build a dungeon until the third turn, because the second-turn visitor was the one that exchanges three monsters into an Ancient - he didn't want to build his dungeon until it could be truly dangerous. For two turns, he stockpiled monsters and on the third turn he created a dungeon with 6 monsters and two traps - it was never attempted.

The Builders Guild did almost nothing for the first few turns of the game - I think all she did was put villagers to producing goods at the Blacksmith and later the Tower. My Heroic Guild was interested in winning fortune and glory, so I provided a steady supply of gold to the Builder by purchasing items. Thanks to the sacrifice of citizens to both the City Watch (for my Valor) and the Wishing Well (for the Arcanists' evil plans), it was a chore to get the Town upgraded to a Village. The game feels like there just are not a lot of options on what can be done on a turn when stuck in the Town phase - I worry that with 5 players this problem would be even worse.

As you saw, the first two turns were basically a slog. Arcanist Guild gets monsters, Builder's Guild does basically nothing, Heroic Guild exchanges his Valor for a Threat with the first-turn Visitor, then uses all actions to produce valor, Adventurers and sends Heroes off to fight. The first-turn adventure winds up killing the Ranger, so we end Turn one with fewer Villagers than we started, and only one more coming in, along with more Adventurers. The second turn's adventures ended better, resulting in a huge uptick of Civilians coming into to Town, upgrading it to a Village. The third turn ended with the population dropping down under 7 again, and the Builder's Guild investment in multiple buildings left her with only two actions. She opened her own Private Dungeon, which I attempted to raid, resulting in my killing of two of her monsters, but losing my Hero and Treasure Map. Since I still accomplished two dead monsters, I rolled for the treasure, and was able to afford to pay for the lost Hero, but since the graveyard was closed at the time, I lost the good Knight. (I had another Knight buried there from turn 3, so my token was already spent in a graveyard plot).

After turn 4, the population of the city began to climb, as I had been clearing out dungeons with my Heroes as quickly as I could. Sadly, I kept rolling for Weapons instead of Gold, and since the number of Adventurers in the Village was getting low, I could not use my Inn to stock pile gold every turn - the first three turns I was able to use at least one, if not both of the Inn spots to get the money needed to outfit my Heroes for their adventures.

As we got closer to turn 8, the citizen population was around 14 or 15, with no way to acquire enough threat tokens to overcome my 10 Valor cubes, let alone the 2 the Builder's Guild had with the 5 for the Arcane Guild. With that the case, I was starved out of money, but had multiple suits of armor and weapons for my Heroes. When the game ended, we saw that the Builder's Guild, by sitting quietly and buying buildings for two points each was clearly the game winner, since I would have needed 4 Valor just to match each building owned by her Guild.

The bad:
The game started off extremely slowly, and it wasn't until it was reliably at the Town state that it felt like we had enough meaningful choices to make. We had a non-active player roll for monsters in combat, since otherwise every other player would be watching one person roll a handful of dice until the one number they needed came up, and it got boring. It seemed like taking a large upgraded party into any given dungeon all-but guarantees success with time, making the earliest dungeons the most dangerous; it feels odd.

The good:
Once you have options on your turn, they almost always feel meaningful. The art is beautiful. The turns (until dungeon runs) go pretty quickly once everyone knows what they are doing - the balancing of adding complexity while having fewer action shields as the game goes on is brilliant.
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Ian Allen
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did you remember to only send in the amount of adventurers into any dungeon that equals the amount of valor cubes to be gained from that dungeon, or did you just send in a large gang to every dungeon?
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Steven Durst
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I agree with the sentiment that the dungeons get easier. Once you have a kitted out group of heroes, it really is rather difficult not to beat the dungeons; even a full blown private dungeon with many monsters. Having multiple heroes just increases your power exponentially as they cover each other's weaknesses. I have a game day tomorrow in which I'll try it out again and see if I get different results.

 
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Mark Chen
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Atras wrote:
Heroic Guild exchanges his Valor for a Threat with the first-turn Visitor


Why would the Heroic Guild want to do this, or did the Arcane Guild force you to?
 
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Kris Ardianto
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DKI Jakarta - Jakarta Utara
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McDanger wrote:
Atras wrote:
Heroic Guild exchanges his Valor for a Threat with the first-turn Visitor


Why would the Heroic Guild want to do this, or did the Arcane Guild force you to?

There are good reasons to this action. The threat and valor are 2 resources that really matter in the progress of the game. Not that valor is good and threat is bad. The point of view that Valor is indeed gives you many benefit as a player. Valor gives you points in the end and gives you advantage of turn order. But, to threat is also important, since adventurers only want to come into the city with high threat level.
Adventures are important to get new heroes and other things.
Maybe the heroic guild player is forced to do this action, because he wanted the city to have more adventurers, since he couldn't get his hand to any adventurers and need more.
 
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Throknor
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glookose wrote:
did you remember to only send in the amount of adventurers into any dungeon that equals the amount of valor cubes to be gained from that dungeon, or did you just send in a large gang to every dungeon?

Wow. I completely missed that. Which isn't that surprising since it's a Note.

That would make a huge difference.
 
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Rob Uccello
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glookose wrote:
did you remember to only send in the amount of adventurers into any dungeon that equals the amount of valor cubes to be gained from that dungeon, or did you just send in a large gang to every dungeon?

I did, it is why I feel like later dungeons are actually easier: when there are three valor cubes up for grabs, you can send in three well-equipped heroes, giving you a lot of options for spreading out damage and rolling defensive dice. When there is only one valor cube, it is riskier for the Hero, since there are a lot fewer opportunities for defense, and damage assignment.

McDanger wrote:
Atras wrote:
Heroic Guild exchanges his Valor for a Threat with the first-turn Visitor


Why would the Heroic Guild want to do this, or did the Arcane Guild force you to?
I did it as the Heroic Guild because I wanted to stack as many Adventurers in the Town as I could. Each Adventurer can, at a bare minimum, be used to pick up one Gold in the Inn each turn, an action that only the Heroic Guild can get, and they can get it twice a turn. As long as there are spare Adventurers, it is a huge advantage. I think I did it wrong, though, because the Threat is supposed to go on a Private Dungeon, and I didn't have one - I just had one Threat on my Guild Card the way I usually have a lot of Valor on there.
 
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