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I really want to enjoy playing Relic, but…


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#1 HappyDaze

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 03:02 AM

When I play Relic the game usually seems to be decided in the first 30 minutes and then drags on for another 90 minutes until reaching its predictable outcome. I've only played five times, but only one game was even remotely close. In the other four, one player has cruised to the finish with ease while the others are often still struggling to handle the middle tier. Some characters seem way better than others, and some of the Relics throw the game the moment they show up (trying playing the mission against Corruptis when one of the players has the Canoness and gets the Relic that lets him discard a Corruption card every experience phase). I go into every game hoping for an enjoyable bout, but it has consistently let me down (even in the games where I've won). Most of us can't really maintain any interest in finishing when the outcome looks pretty certain - and when one player is several levels ahead with excellent assets, full life and little or no corruption, it really is pretty predictable.

There really needs to be a way that the beaten-down players can draw together to work against the one rocketing through the game, otherwise I fear that I'll keep seeing games where everyone is ready to throw in the towel and simply declare a winner without ever actually finishing another game.

Am I the only one having this kind of experience?


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#2 Dam

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 04:03 AM

I'd say most of my 10 plays so far have been close or very close. Vanilla Mystery Beyond even saw a footrace on the inner tier, though with the first to the center, it was more prone to first to the inner tier wins. However, last plays have been with the Chaos Manufactorum (aka One-Armed-Bandit) and has every time seen two characters in the middle pumping up the Manufactorum to see who wins, with a third character in the inner tier hoping to reach the middle before one of the two wins.


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#3 zealot12

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:40 AM

There are definitely some things in Relic that I don't think  have been properly  playtested. The corruption-removing relic  is one and the other is Tech Priest pitted against the Rogue Trader(tech priest loses his starting wargear on turn 1).

I'd say just avoid the broken combinations as much as possible or houserule the game to make it more to your liking.

 

For instance, we don't like the continuous drawing of missions after acquiring the 1st relic. We find it distracting, since at the onset, you have a goal to work towards to: acquiring a Relic. and it feels right because you start out with limited resources and power.

But as you accumulate assets and gear, completing missions becomes easier, and this also cheapens relics in the long run, since they become something you hoard  rather than revered artifacts of power.

Combine this with the fact that relics can be used without any limitations, and the high asset limit of some characters- and you've got god toons plowing through everything.

 

Some notions we've been entetrtaining, and others we have implemented.

1)After acquiring your 1st Relic, you cease to draw Mission cards continuously. You only draw Mission cards, if you land on a space that allows you to draw one, or if a game effect allows/tells you to.

2) If a game effect has you losing a stat point, and you can't(at your initial value), draw one Corruption card.

3)Similarly, if a game effect has you gain a stat, and you;re at your Max value, draw one Corruption card.

4) At the Flagship scenario, during the confrontation,you can't lose Influence.

5) If you have used the Warp Rift to bypass any of the squares in the Inner Tier. and then failed at one of the Trials, you're zapped back to the  Warp Rift again.

 


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#4 HappyDaze

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:38 PM

I can't even say where I'd have to start with houserules. There are so many swingy bits that can totally ruin the fun, and while they don't just say "I WIN, YOU LOSE' they might as well since that would atl least save everyone the remaining 90 minutes of boredom that come from marching to a predictable end.

I really think I'm done with this game until expansions allow for player-vs-player to nip this in the bud. As for the designers not having this in the base game "because everyone is an Imperial" - WTF? Idiots. Imperials backstab one another ALL THE TIME! Designer failure.


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#5 Bayard91

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 02:41 PM

Have played nearly twenty times since release.

Winner only five times.

Loved every minute of it.

Swearing FFG sells weighted dice.

Never seen so many 6's in my life in any other game.

Can't wait for an expansion.


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#6 zealot12

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 04:32 PM

HappyDaze said:

 

I can't even say where I'd have to start with houserules. There are so many swingy bits that can totally ruin the fun, and while they don't just say "I WIN, YOU LOSE' they might as well since that would atl least save everyone the remaining 90 minutes of boredom that come from marching to a predictable end.

I really think I'm done with this game until expansions allow for player-vs-player to nip this in the bud. As for the designers not having this in the base game "because everyone is an Imperial" - WTF? Idiots. Imperials backstab one another ALL THE TIME! Designer failure.

 

 

If you've played Talisman before, implementing PVP combat is easier done than said: if you land on a character, and wish to attack him/her, choose the battle form of your choice and then both sides roll to determine the outcome, utilizing wargear and power cards to their advantage.

If you win, you may take, one of the following three:

1)an asset of your choice from the defeated party(excluding relics*)

2)a life (your opponent loses 1 life)

3)one influence

*If your level is equal to or  lower than the defeated party and you  don't have a relic,you may take one relic of your choice from him,/her. 

If you lose, you must lose 1 life. The other player may not take assets from you instead if his level is  higher than yours.

In addition, if the victor had at least one Corruption card, the defeated paty must draw a Corruption card.

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You could also try playing other scenarios. The Chaos one, for instance doesn't depend on a character's level for victory.

I concur that this game needs more of everything to feel complete, but we always play board games with the intent not only to have fun but to maximize the fun included in the box.

This can't be achieved without houserules.



#7 HappyDaze

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:26 PM

If that's the only PVP option, then I'm done with the game. There needs to be a way for weaker players to be able to temporarily align themselves to slow down the progress of a runaway leader. Without such an option, nothing will change as the PVP method described will just benefit the guy already winning.

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#8 HappyDaze

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 04:50 AM

I was talked into giving it another try. After 45 minutes, two of four players were ready to quit, and after another ten minutes the third player conceded too. One more try after that went the same way. So now seven games and only one has really been any fun. Not looking very promising at this point.


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#9 zealot12

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 06:42 AM

Are you playing with the default ending? We've found rushing to the center quite  anticlimatic.

All the other scenarios(Flagship and Chaos, in particular) give lagging players a fair shot to catch up and turn the tables.



#10 HappyDaze

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 07:17 AM

We've played as written, with random mission draws. The Chaos Manufactorum has never been drawn, nor has the Inquisitor character. Corruptis has come up three times and the vanilla one twice. As for characters, the Canoness has come up three times and dominated every game she's been in. She has too many powers that are just too damn useful. The ability to draw extra cards after seeing what the icons require is just too strong IMHO and allows the character to get rocket through the game.

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#11 zealot12

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 07:43 AM

If you're playing with  four, you could houserule sporadic teaming up - a game in   which alliances shift in accordance with corruption level. 

Uncorrupted players can only form alliances with uncorrupted players and vice versa.

The moment you're corrupted, your alliance with an uncorrupted player immediately breaks up.

  When allied you share knowledge of each other's  Power cards, and  can swap/trade assets, and power cards between you by passing through your teammate's space on the board. And aid each other in battle by lending your Attribute value as a bonus to your teammate's attack against a monster, if you're sharing the same space.

 

 

 



#12 zealot12

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:42 AM

As for the houserule proposed above, about ceasing to draw Missions after acquiring the 1st Relic, well, we've put it to the test,--it slows down the game drastically.

We'll keep playing as written then. My brother and I are  still getting acquainted with the new mechanics that make this game different from Talisman,

 

We do have fun with Relic as written. Of course, if some players in your group feel out of the game, I understand that it can be very frustrating. It's all the more frustrating when you're the one who feels left out of the fun boat while the others enjoy themselves.  

   In general, we're rarely put off by  loose game design.From our experience with FFG,  many of their  games are loosely ruled, but we see it  as an opportunity to experiment with our own  variants for increased fun.



#13 Dark Bunny Lord

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 10:39 AM

Odd, while I won't deny the game has a very snowball effect when it comes to power typically it's not been so bad as to be predictable. If anything it's usually been the case that whoever snowballs first tends to loose because they start to get power and then decide rather than rushing to the middle that they have time to fool around maxing everything out. Typically what happens then is one or more of the players who is behind risks going into the middle with only modreate power, and despite having less (or far less) than the higher player happens to win do to the overprepardness of the player we would have called to have the best chance of winning. Maybe it's just a level of arrogance in our group haha.



#14 HappyDaze

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 05:00 PM

zealot12 said:

 Of course, if some players in your group feel out of the game, I understand that it can be very frustrating. It's all the more frustrating when you're the one who feels left out of the fun boat while the others enjoy themselves.  

I think that the worst feeling is when you discover that you're the one racing ahead because of some broken character/relic/mission combo and everyone else is just *done* and wants to quit playing. I've been there twice and the second time I almost felt like it was my fault before returning to the reality that the game is just horribly imbalanced.


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#15 zealot12

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:22 AM

Yesterday we had the most anticlimatic game with the default ending. Add to that our effort to incorporate some of the houserules listed that slowed the game down  to a crawl, - the session was disastrous. This was our third game in total with the "bam, you win!" variant, and we're never playing with it again.

That is why some of your negative opinions on this game resonated with me yesterday. I'd say that Relic is balanced,(well, as balanced as a game based on Talisman can be) but certain combinations of characters and scenarios may put a damper on the game.

For example, perhaps  it's not the best idea to allow a corruption-removing relic in a game against Corruptis, since it removes the main threat  from a character who  acquires it.

One thing I would advise is not to play cautious, but take risks as it makes for faster-paced and more exciting games. This is a risk management  game after all, but to a point where recklessness can reap great rewards. 

 

Our main issue with the game lies in the design of the default ending.

In our 2-player games with the Mystery Beyond starting scenario, there's always this uncontrollable urge to race to the center once a relic has been acquired, and this ruins the game for us.

The Inner Tier in Relic was not designed to challenge the  player, but to weaken him for the confrontation, and since it's very easy to caluclate the optimal number of lives that will get you through the Trials,(regardless of success),  the first player to gain that number of lives and step into the inner tier, wins the game.

The other scenarios are different, since they require gearing up and proper preparation, featuring a looming threat ahead that can and will slow down the leader during  confrontation, thus presenting a window of opportunity for the lagging player. With just the right amount of luck and calculated risk, the underdog will be able to claim victory. 

With the promise of conflict ahead, we feel encouraged to continue exploring the  board for a while longer which is more fun than one of us merely racing to certain  victory immediately after all  Warp Rift requirements have been met. 

 

Today we've played it as writtten with the Sniper and Assasin characters against Corruptis. It was a blast. It was a 2-hour-game, though we had still conceded defeat, since the both of us breached the Inner Tier far too early(levels 9 and 7) and were corrupted by the Archdemon.



#16 HappyDaze

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:41 PM

Today I gave this game away to a friend. I asked that he never bring it to my home again. I can't express how disappointed I am in this product. Played a total of nine games and only three of them were even remotely enjoyable for the group (not just me, but for everyone playing). I will not buy a FFG board game again.


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#17 zealot12

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:59 AM

Despite my nitpicking, Relic  is one of  our absolute favorites. We've  clocked at so many games already. But Talisman-type games are certainly not for everyone.

 

The few things we didn't like we've managed to tweak to our liking, 

1)injected some uncertainty and fairness into the default ending

 

 



Once the first player gets to the scenario space, the game is not over.
Instead, the other players are immediately teleported to the Inner tier.Players who are already in the Inner tier, are teleported back to the Warp Rift. Any player at this point who doesn't have a relic is eliminated.

The Warp Rift stops functioning at this phase.

Then each of the remaining players must go through all the spaces in the Inner tier, without being able to skip any, regardless of meeting requirements.

The turns are resolved simultaneously, so as not give lead to any one player. The player/s who manage to pass through the all the spaces without being corrupted or vanquished, share the victory with the leader

2)*Swapped the dice in the game with the Talisman set(we've done it just today, but I believe the Relic dice are weighted to produce more 6s and 1s)

 

3(Introduced fair play with Tech Priest vs. Rogue Trader(Tech Priest gets to go first in the game)

4)I haven't gauged the effect of the Corruption-annuilling relic on games with Corruptis as we're yet to draw it in this scenario.

5) Contemplating of nerfing Psyker- allowing him to  draw Power cards up his limit with his special ability , and not beyond.

 

These are all the imbalances  we've spotted in our games.

Publish

 

I do think you're exaggerating, though I understand if you're disappointed that the game has not lived up to your expectations. Certainly not all FFG games are like Relic and Talisman. Actually, these are the only two, as far as I know.



#18 HappyDaze

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 10:56 AM

zealot12 said:

I do think you're exaggerating, though I understand if you're disappointed that the game has not lived up to your expectations. Certainly not all FFG games are like Relic and Talisman. Actually, these are the only two, as far as I know.

I'm not sure what point you believe that I'm exaggerating. We've had nine games with 3, 4, and even once with 5 players. Six games have been terrible for all involved after the first hour of play. Even the other three usually had one player that was totally out of the game in any meaningful manner* for more than an hour of play. None of this is an exaggeration.

* Turn after turn of desperately trying to land on a space to bleed off Corruption or to get a new mission count. So too does running around the outside with no power cards, assets, or influence when everyone else out levels you by 4+ levels, is on the middle or inner tier, and has a Relic. These might not be so bad if they only happened occasionally, but we've seen it over and over.


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#19 zealot12

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:11 PM

This is a risk amangement game, and as such, it's a game of choices and probabilities.  You can often pick your fights, depending on your current mission,  which wargear you have, which character you play, what assets and power cards you possess, and which spaces yuo choose to land on.

Recovering from being vanquished can be tough, but it shouldn't happen with regularity. All I'm saying is while the game has luck, there are always indicators of better/more certain choices to make and many ways to mitigate that luck  via a combination of assets, power cards and character speical abilities

So far, the greatest imbalancing factor in the game that we've encountered is the dice. We've swapped them to avoid swingy results.

 

I'm only trying to understand tthe difference in our perspectives here in what is primarily a love it or hate it title.

I'm guessing that the power gap between weaker and stronger characters is much greater in 4-player games as opposed to 2-player games , as the same threat decks are distributed between a larger number of people, so certain card- drawing patterns may emerge.Some may get only the good things while others will be punished by daemons throughout the entirwe game.

That's one thing. The other thing that sort of stems from the above is that it's much more difficult to retain interest in  larger gaming groups, if at least one person is not having fun. Sooner or later the sense 0f unfun is spreading through the ranks catching up to all.

One guy gets the shortest straw, and suddenly all the game goes sour. I can relate because I've been there.



#20 zealot12

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:37 PM

To expand somewhat on the power gap between characters in larger gaming groups. One player is bound to draw a character who has a better starting edge than the rest, since there are only 10 characters to choose from.

This powerful character gets a great asset in the beginnig and runs away with it. I can certainly see this happening. In Talisman this was mitigated by the rest of the group being able to gang up on the leader via PVP.

Time between turns is  also longer, so each player who feels at a disadvantage gets to boil in his frustration longer.

Until a PVP expansion comes out, I don't see how this game can support a full complement of players without there being grievances about power gap.

Maybe I'm wrong though.

 

 






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