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So why is combat so damn convoluted?


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#1 DemonNiko

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:03 AM

I get that you couldn't copy the GW version to the last detail, and that you've got this quirky little gimmick of melee, ranged, and Magic, but you basically took a combat system that was little better than rock-paper-scissors and turned it into... a hot mess that is now no longer easily explained to a group of players. What, Leap Aside, Slash, and Mighty Blow along with a diagram just wasn't complicated enough?

Oh, and what's this determination token garbage? "Whaaah, I can't make it out of the pit trap so you have to give me a handicap." Seriously? Seriously?

I was kinda hoping to enshrine my old version of the game and reduce the wear and tear on the poor thing, but I guess it's not meant to be...



#2 DoomTurtle

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:20 AM

Combat is simple.  Each play a card.  Lower number looks to see if the card that beat them can be counterattacked.  If not, they lose.  If so, play more of that type to win.  Winner then looks in the middle stack to see if any match their attack type. Winner gives his cards and matching attack type middle cards to loser as damage.  Loser puts his cards in the middle stack.  Continue until one is dead.

What part are you having trouble with?  Because the names of the attacks on the cards themselves are just for flavor and don't affect the combat.  The only added complexity is if one of the combatants uses a power card, but you just do what the card says.



#3 DemonNiko

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:46 AM

DoomTurtle said:

Combat is simple.  Each play a card.  Lower number looks to see if the card that beat them can be counterattacked.  If not, they lose.  If so, play more of that type to win. 

Stop there. If combat went "play a card, lower number takes 1 damage. Ties both take damage" you would have sufficiently replicated old DQ's combat system as far as I'm concerned. Are all the rest of those instructions really necessary?



#4 keltheos

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:53 AM

 I'm happy with it. The counterattack rules were a bit oddball, but then I realized trying to read them at 2 am wasn't helping. A diagram for how they work would have solved the problem.

 

And, if you're wanting to play the old GW version of DQ, go play that. This is an update, which includes some changes...things change, roll with it.



#5 Steve-O

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:31 AM

DemonNiko said:

DoomTurtle said:

 

Combat is simple.  Each play a card.  Lower number looks to see if the card that beat them can be counterattacked.  If not, they lose.  If so, play more of that type to win. 

 

Stop there. If combat went "play a card, lower number takes 1 damage. Ties both take damage" you would have sufficiently replicated old DQ's combat system as far as I'm concerned. Are all the rest of those instructions really necessary?

That may be true, but your original argument was that the new combat rules are no longer easy to explain to new players.  As someone who has not played FFG's DQ, nor even read through the rulebook online, I have to say his explanation was pretty simple.  As simple as the original DQ?  Maybe not, but certainly not "a mess" as you assert.

Also, as far as the determination tokens go, if you really don't like them that much I'm pretty sure you could house rule them out without too much difficulty.

I like my DQ fast, hectic and prone to sudden death just like the next guy.  Based on all the reviews I've read so far it sounds like the new version still has that element, but I'm sure removing determination tokens would only make it more hectic and sudden death-y.  No particular issue with that idea here.



#6 TheDukester

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:03 AM

 "Convoluted" might be a bit unfair. "Different," certainly ... "more involved," too.

I've been through the rulebook once, and I felt like I grasped combat. Of course, we'll see how it goes when I explain it to a group for the first time. I think it'll be okay, though.

Personally, I'm glad it's not just RPS again. That would seem a bit ... well, dated ... for 2010.



#7 DemonNiko

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:17 AM

Steve-O said:

 

That may be true, but your original argument was that the new combat rules are no longer easy to explain to new players.  As someone who has not played FFG's DQ, nor even read through the rulebook online, I have to say his explanation was pretty simple.  As simple as the original DQ?  Maybe not, but certainly not "a mess" as you assert.

Also, as far as the determination tokens go, if you really don't like them that much I'm pretty sure you could house rule them out without too much difficulty.

I like my DQ fast, hectic and prone to sudden death just like the next guy.  Based on all the reviews I've read so far it sounds like the new version still has that element, but I'm sure removing determination tokens would only make it more hectic and sudden death-y.  No particular issue with that idea here.

You got me there. I still think it's a mess, but I should have added that compared to the old system it is a mess to explain to players, which means I am using more as a litmus test. On it's own, never having played the game before in my life, it would probably have given me a fresher perspective on things and I'd have been more willing to accept the idea of having stacks of cards all over the place in place of combat.

Actually I'd like to get a sense of perspective from someone who either played through it at Gencon or bought it at con and is playing it currently. How long does one combat take? In the old version, combat lasted at most 10 minutes, and that's if they were screwing around making jokes at the time. It was really meant to be more of a means to and end rather than this large aspect of the game. Basically you drew a card "Oh no! Monster!" Then you played the equiv. of RPS for a couple of minutes trying to outthink your opponent. If you won, yay, you passed on to the next turn and hoped you made it out alive. Now it's turned into more of a card game inside of the board game with attacks, counterattacks, deathblows and all that jazz and it just seems like too much work for something that is meant to be a means to an end. I guess what I'm trying to ask without getting too wordy is "How fast is this little minigame and do you *honestly* feel it doesn't slow down the game?" If you can tell me without telling me "It's not that bad, just deal with it" that it runs almost as fast as combat in the old version, then I'll concede the point and be a little less critical of that aspect of the game.

Yeah, if I did buy it, I'd probably cut out Determination and that stupid sun track killing the game early idea. It's a cheap mechanic to increase kill rate.



#8 Shmoozer

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:25 AM

DemonNiko said:

Oh, and what's this determination token garbage? "Whaaah, I can't make it out of the pit trap so you have to give me a handicap." Seriously? Seriously?

Did you not read the rules properly or what? determination tokens make it easier, not give you a handicap! the amount of tokens you can add up, so in due time you will always succeed .



#9 DemonNiko

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:45 AM

Do you know what a handicap is?

When you go bowling and because you suck so bad at it they give you a 20 point handicap it means that they're giving you 20 free points so you have a chance at winning against them. Determination Tokens do the same thing, they incrementally give you a 1 point per token handicap so that you will be more likely to win at the task.

In the old version of the game, if you had a 4 strength, it pretty much meant you had to be more creative about getting through the dungeon because you knew that you couldn't open that porticullis except by a miracle. It meant you didn't waste time trying to screw around in the same room unless you were forced to. With Determination tokens you're instead telling the players "Don't worry, you just keep wasting time with that bridge or porticullis because if you're determined enough, then it'll just fall over eventually." In the old version, (the starting) characters were more or less balanced because they each had strengths and weaknesses and thus different playstyles. Who needs a playstyle when every task you have a problem at you can just barrel through eventually. That's not game design, that's being lazy.  Dammit, ranting again... I don't like the idea of carving rules *out* of a game, but I don't see a choice.



#10 Xiayose

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:56 AM

DemonNiko said:

Do you know what a handicap is?

When you go bowling and because you suck so bad at it they give you a 20 point handicap it means that they're giving you 20 free points so you have a chance at winning against them. Determination Tokens do the same thing, they incrementally give you a 1 point per token handicap so that you will be more likely to win at the task.

In the old version of the game, if you had a 4 strength, it pretty much meant you had to be more creative about getting through the dungeon because you knew that you couldn't open that porticullis except by a miracle. It meant you didn't waste time trying to screw around in the same room unless you were forced to. With Determination tokens you're instead telling the players "Don't worry, you just keep wasting time with that bridge or porticullis because if you're determined enough, then it'll just fall over eventually." In the old version, (the starting) characters were more or less balanced because they each had strengths and weaknesses and thus different playstyles. Who needs a playstyle when every task you have a problem at you can just barrel through eventually. That's not game design, that's being lazy.  Dammit, ranting again... I don't like the idea of carving rules *out* of a game, but I don't see a choice.

I believe that determination was added to keep the game moving forward and prevent players from getting stuck. With a race game like this, the best option is to avoid a situation where you need determination to succeed. I haven't played yet, but I think it is meant to prevent players from being stuck forever in spiderwebs and similar traps.



#11 Shmoozer

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 08:41 AM

DemonNiko said:

Do you know what a handicap is?

When you go bowling and because you suck so bad at it they give you a 20 point handicap it means that they're giving you 20 free points so you have a chance at winning against them. Determination Tokens do the same thing, they incrementally give you a 1 point per token handicap so that you will be more likely to win at the task.

In the old version of the game, if you had a 4 strength, it pretty much meant you had to be more creative about getting through the dungeon because you knew that you couldn't open that porticullis except by a miracle. It meant you didn't waste time trying to screw around in the same room unless you were forced to. With Determination tokens you're instead telling the players "Don't worry, you just keep wasting time with that bridge or porticullis because if you're determined enough, then it'll just fall over eventually." In the old version, (the starting) characters were more or less balanced because they each had strengths and weaknesses and thus different playstyles. Who needs a playstyle when every task you have a problem at you can just barrel through eventually. That's not game design, that's being lazy.  Dammit, ranting again... I don't like the idea of carving rules *out* of a game, but I don't see a choice.

Haha oke, i guess you're from the USA, normally when people here are talking about a handicap it means you get it harder. So increasing the handicap will make it harder to achieve the same. (For me it still appears this way in this game, you get the opposite of your handicap, you get points extra to aid you, instead of giving points to make it harder).

Anyways, i get your point now



#12 Doc Belmont

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:42 AM

Shmoozer said:

 

Haha oke, i guess you're from the USA, normally when people here are talking about a handicap it means you get it harder. So increasing the handicap will make it harder to achieve the same. (For me it still appears this way in this game, you get the opposite of your handicap, you get points extra to aid you, instead of giving points to make it harder).

Anyways, i get your point now

 

 

A "handicap" means BOTH of those things in the USA. Being "handicapped" also means being mentally of physically disabled in some way.

Determination tokens make sense to me due to the fact that I see examples of it in daily life. The whole concept of "troubleshooting" is analogous to getting determination tokens. Many people have had trouble opening a stubborn jar on occasion, and might have tried several times before they hear that "pop" and feel the jar top slack. How is that any different from receiving a determination token?

 

Better question; what's with all of the serious hate on the boards lately? At least two other boards have some posts with people who have a seething, throbbing hate-on a new game coming out. Some have enough to the point of attacking everyone who posts.



#13 BillStivers

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 05:22 PM

Doc Belmont said:

Shmoozer said:

Better question; what's with all of the serious hate on the boards lately? At least two other boards have some posts with people who have a seething, throbbing hate-on a new game coming out. Some have enough to the point of attacking everyone who posts.

Remember that forums only represent a very small number of the player base.  You should have seen the people lining up to buy this game after their demo at GenCon.  It's not for everyone, but it seems to have the right combination of elements to attract many different kinds of gamers/players.  I also don't understand  the "hate" that people express for games, the best action is to just not play it, if you don't like it.  Here is to good gaming and to good friends. :)



#14 Lakoda

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:55 AM

 So I have to admit I am changing my opinion of combat in DQ. I played a 4P game the other night (this was my first non solo or 2P game). One thing jumped out at me as a major flaw, that isn't noticed in a 2P game. Turns are quick. Place a tile (most of the time) and then draw a card and resolve, with a posibility to draw another and resolve. These turns are measured in seconds. Then combat happens and the turns are measured in minutes....like 5+ minutes. In a two player (or solo) game that isn't a big deal because all the players are involved, but in a 3 or 4 player game it sucks to sit and watch when most turns are 30 seconds (give or take).

I don't mind the convoluted combat system, I actually find it interesting (I have no ties to the old way, and as DemonNiko pointed out, that probably makes it easier for me to do so). It is just too damn long. Basically, for different reasons I will be house ruling a different combat system that can resolve in 30 or so seconds, so that, at worst, a turn is a minute long. If anyone already has something that fits with the game, please let em know, I'd appreciate not having to do the work. ;) 

The 4P game session was enjoyable for me, because I enjoy the game. 2 of the other players had play the older version and the combat system turned them off. The other player hates random in boardgames and was playing it to be nice - he was very polite and did not complain or anything, but it was obvious he wasn't enjoying himself. Such is life, in a board game group. I though the random nature of the game would be the sticking point, the point where people either decide to like or dislike the game. It has been my experience that combat is in that point.



#15 CanadianPittbull

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 02:01 AM

BillStivers said:

 

  I also don't understand  the "hate" that people express for games, the best action is to just not play it, if you don't like it.  Here is to good gaming and to good friends. :)

 

Agreed!  But I think some just like to ***** for the sake of bitching.



#16 kingbobb

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:53 AM

I don't see combat as convoluted.  It's basically war, with a Rock/Paper/Scissors element added in, although I don't actually know if the three types of combat cards actually show a RPS heirarchy.  So, play your card, check the number, if you're losing, check the RPS/Combat icon to see if you can play additional cards?  Stack the cards after the round, repeat until something's dead.  Deathblows take a little more explaining, but if it takes more than a minute to explain the basics, you're probably trying too hard. 

Determination Tokens:  I really like this.  It's an idea that I suggest our group uses when playing Descent for escaping Web tokens, because there are fewer things less fun than getting webbed and then having your entire turn consist of rolling a dice, then sitting out the next 10 or 20 minutes.  I see determination tokens as the character trying different ways to get around his obstacle, using more than just his raw stat.  So a weak STR character might fail their initial attempt to lift a portcullis, but then in subsequent turns found a stout board from a broken door to use some leverage on the gate.



#17 BillStivers

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:10 PM

Lakoda said:

 So I have to admit I am changing my opinion of combat in DQ. I played a 4P game the other night (this was my first non solo or 2P game). One thing jumped out at me as a major flaw, that isn't noticed in a 2P game. Turns are quick. Place a tile (most of the time) and then draw a card and resolve, with a posibility to draw another and resolve. These turns are measured in seconds. Then combat happens and the turns are measured in minutes....like 5+ minutes. In a two player (or solo) game that isn't a big deal because all the players are involved, but in a 3 or 4 player game it sucks to sit and watch when most turns are 30 seconds (give or take).

I don't mind the convoluted combat system, I actually find it interesting (I have no ties to the old way, and as DemonNiko pointed out, that probably makes it easier for me to do so). It is just too damn long. Basically, for different reasons I will be house ruling a different combat system that can resolve in 30 or so seconds, so that, at worst, a turn is a minute long. If anyone already has something that fits with the game, please let em know, I'd appreciate not having to do the work. ;) 

The 4P game session was enjoyable for me, because I enjoy the game. 2 of the other players had play the older version and the combat system turned them off. The other player hates random in boardgames and was playing it to be nice - he was very polite and did not complain or anything, but it was obvious he wasn't enjoying himself. Such is life, in a board game group. I though the random nature of the game would be the sticking point, the point where people either decide to like or dislike the game. It has been my experience that combat is in that point.


I like that you have an open mind to new systems!  I also felt the pace of the game slooowwwed down durring combat,  but I also enjoyed the drama that combat put most characters in.  It is a life and death situation almost every time.  After 5 group games and 6 solo games, my final opinon on combat is........  Enjoyable!

Good luck with your game group and finding a balance with the combat system that pleases everyone.  It's rough in my group when we try do makes changes so everyone is happy.  Most of the time someone will take one for the team, beacuse we will play games that they like when others would rather not play.  It seems you have group that does the same.

 



#18 Doc Belmont

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:43 PM

kingbobb said:

although I don't actually know if the three types of combat cards actually show a RPS heirarchy. 

That's where the "counterattack" symbols come from.

Melee counters Ranged, Ranged Counters Magic, and Magic counters Melee.



#19 Lakoda

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:59 AM

BillStivers said:

 

I like that you have an open mind to new systems!  I also felt the pace of the game slooowwwed down durring combat,  but I also enjoyed the drama that combat put most characters in.  It is a life and death situation almost every time.  After 5 group games and 6 solo games, my final opinon on combat is........  Enjoyable!

Good luck with your game group and finding a balance with the combat system that pleases everyone.  It's rough in my group when we try do makes changes so everyone is happy.  Most of the time someone will take one for the team, beacuse we will play games that they like when others would rather not play.  It seems you have group that does the same.

 

Thank you! In another setting I would have really enjoyed the combat system. But when you are playing with a diverse group, large changes in game speed can be very difficult for the people who are playing out of their preferred style of game.



#20 larienna

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 04:23 AM

quote:

In the old version of the game, if you had a 4 strength, it pretty much meant you had to be more creative about getting through the dungeon because you knew that you couldn't open that porticullis except by a miracle. It meant you didn't waste time trying to screw around in the same room unless you were forced to. With Determination tokens you're instead telling the players "Don't worry, you just keep wasting time with that bridge or porticullis because if you're determined enough, then it'll just fall over eventually."

True but you lose time, and in this game time is a valuable ressource.

The only thing I don't like about combat is that your character stats does not influence the battle. There was some suggestions about giving each character an affinity to a type of combat card so that for example, they could win ties with that category or that they gain +1 to their combat card if they use card that matched their type.






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