Sunday, December 4, 2011


It is new! I own it! And it is a fantastic little game. Or at least I think so after one play through. Maybe by the second play through I'll decide I hate it and I'll end up trading it for the new dominion expansion. Or I might become addicted to coke and trade it for a hit. Right now though I am so very much in love with the game that both of these posiblities seem very remote to me. I also spent about a half hour last night patrolling the internet looking for the limited edtion Candy and Cola preorder bonus figure. Miniature Market had it and I was frantically trying to purchase it they ran out of stock. Sad panda is a sad sad panda. So yeah the game is great.

Someone who I was discussing the game with on a forum commented that while the session itself lasted two hours the game plays really quickly. It is a weird thought but she is absolutely right. Heroes are able to butcher a depressing number of monsters every turn and the consul is able to spawn a delightful number of monsters every turn. Put the two of them together along with a loot system, treasure system, and mini boss spawning system all based around violence and you got yourself more than a few reasons to commit regular acts of violence. In fact there is never really a reason to not kill things every turn which is something I very much appreciate.

I've been wanting a game in this genra for a long time now. Tyson purchased Descent which is basically the Twilight Imperium version of Super Dungeon Explore and everyone ended up hating it. This saddens me and I was never really able to coax everyone into giving it another shot. I think it would of gone better if people were willing to try it one more time and if the person playing the monsters was well versed in the errata. To me these games are the natural extension of the first edition of D&D where it very much is the GM versus the players in a contest of wits that is mediated by a set of rules. I don't mind playing these sorts of games but I feel very strongly that role playing games can be so much more dangerous dungeon crawls. That isn't to say that I don't like dungeon crawls or that dungeon crawls are a bad thing but I prefer to do them in a more limited context where the rules are more transparent and my limitations are more clearly defined than in the open set of possibilities in which roleplaying offers.

The other advantage these games have is that playing the monster master is only nominally more difficult than playing the players. This is not true in role playing. The other advantage is that you can really cut loose and be as vicious of a bastard as possible while you are playing the as the consul. It was weird at first because when we first started the game we were all floundering around trying to get our footing. Then they destroyed one of my monster spawners. Then it was on. It took awhile for it to get it through everyone's head that the monsters we not controlled by AI and they would do things like charge past the fighter to mug the druid before he could cast backlash. Or that I would use a mini boss to block line of sight to the boss and use the boss to hose down the remaining heroes with fire. Or that I will lure the heroes into killing a bunch of people only to put them in range of my flingers. Flingers are awesome seriously they are the second best unit the kobalds have.

Having a player control the monsters is the main reason why I chose this game over one of the D&D family of board games. They were tempting for black friday both Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashcalon were half off which means together they were about the price of SDE, but the main problem I have with these two games is that the monsters are controlled by AI. So it isn't so much you beating the monsters but you beating an ai controleld monster and to me there is just something somewhere lacking in all of that.

However, there is the lack of senarios and that is a thing worth bringing up. Senarios help to keep the game fresh and interesting once the new game smell wears off of the minatures. SDE has no such thing. All it has is the DM gets a certain number of spawn points, the heroes get characters and it is GO TIME! This doesn't mean that we couldn't come up with some senarios. Quite the contrary I think the game has all sorts of potential for tweeks and changes. HOWEVER, the game also has all sorts of potential. I could see just from the way we were playing that there are all sorts of interesting subleties and mechanics that we weren't even really messing around with. It took us nearly half the game to get the rhythm down. We also had the misfortune of having a player who didn't really want to play. Once I killed his character he was gone for good yay! But he took our happy fun guy along with him BOO! Oh well. I am excited to give it some more play throughs and I fortunatly have enough games so that there will be an expansion out long before we get tired of it. YAY!

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