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Dervish

RtL app should make more choices explicit

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Delve item picks:

 

My group's transitioned entirely to playing RtL.  As such, we have our shop decks alphabetized, for easy lookup in the shop when we are playing RtL.  It's pretty annoying that we have to shuffle it to play the Delve, then re-alphabetize it when we go back to playing a long campaign series.

 

Monster placements:

Why not always tell us exactly where every monster goes?  It does this sometimes, so we know it has the code.  It has the knowledge of what our group size is, so it knows how many monsters to create.  Don't make us decide where to place them and try to 'ignore' our own biases of where we'd like them to be.  It cheapens the feeling of us going up against the app.

 

Monster actions:

They leave way too much ambiguity as to who they are attacking/engaging/etc.  There should be a lot more "the player with the most/least health/damage/X-stat/etc" to reduce the number of times we have to pick for them.

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Often the placement gives you one square for the whole group when there is randomisation in the monster selection. In this case the designer doesn't know how many there will be, or even how large they are.

As for targets text like lowest health still doesn't help in many cases. We just randomise targets when there are multiple options. Of course the app could certainly do this for you in many cases (but not the health example).

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Often the placement gives you one square for the whole group when there is randomisation in the monster selection. In this case the designer doesn't know how many there will be, or even how large they are.

I'm not saying the quest designer has to hand-designate everything. The app should be able to lookup the appropriate number of monsters for the monster selection and group size, and then randomly place them. Just don't make the players choose.

 

As for targets text like lowest health still doesn't help in many cases. We just randomise targets when there are multiple options. Of course the app could certainly do this for you in many cases (but not the health example).

Provide an ordering of the players and print it on the monster activation summary. The players then use the highest one in the ordering that meets the criteria.

Edited by Dervish

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Delve item picks:

 

My group's transitioned entirely to playing RtL.  As such, we have our shop decks alphabetized, for easy lookup in the shop when we are playing RtL.  It's pretty annoying that we have to shuffle it to play the Delve, then re-alphabetize it when we go back to playing a long campaign series.

I'd love to see the App present it's own random selection - and record our picks! This makes saving the game-state much easier if we want to stop and resume later as a Delve seems to take much longer than the 2 hours mentioned in the launch article.

 

Monster placements:

Why not always tell us exactly where every monster goes? It does this sometimes, so we know it has the code.  It has the knowledge of what our group size is, so it knows how many monsters to create.  Don't make us decide where to place them and try to 'ignore' our own biases of where we'd like them to be.  It cheapens the feeling of us going up against the app.

The only times the App places individual monsters on specific squares is when it reveals board tiles - at that point there are no other figures on the tiles, meaning that the App can safely place these figures without fear of positioning them where another figure is.

Because the game does not track the locations of the heroes or monsters, when it introduces monsters in later turns it will only show the first location so that players can position the incoming monsters around other monsters, heroes, familiars, etc.

As to 'ignoring' biases when placing monsters ... the decision is ultimately up to you, but the way I play it is that ALL monster positioning or decision making is optimised for the "overlord" as if a human opponent were making the placement decisions. This is addressed in the rules for RTL which specifically says to play it either way ... "easy" (favouring the players) or "hard" (favouring the monsters)

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At a minimum, it should do it for all monster placements on new tiles when opening a door, since there's not going to be any unexpecting things in the way on the new tile.

 

In fact, why not show us everything at once (search tokens, objectives, monsters, etc) instead of making us click through one thing at a time.  We have 4 players sitting here, let us all help out setting up the new tile by digging up different things.

Edited by Dervish

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At a minimum, it should do it for all monster placements on new tiles when opening a door, since there's not going to be any unexpecting things in the way on the new tile.

To be clear, when the App is placing Monsters specifically, the positions of those monsters have been manually put in there by the scenario designer. The designer has, for example decided that there will be 5 Goblin archers in a room and has selected exactly which squares they appear on in the given tile.

The App is not being told to "place five goblins on this tile and fit them as best you can".

Monster groups that are not manually programmed in are more often than not a random selection of core set Monsters or a randomly selected "Open" monster (i.e. selected from expansions that the player owns), which is a wide range of quantity (number of monsters based on type and party numbers) and size (different base sizes from 1x1 to 2x6 and others in between).

This is an awful lot of overhead to be coded into the game to have it set up monsters and position them optimally based on the above as well as allowing for "overspill" in the situations when the Monsters so positioned may end up overlapping/setting up on another tile. Not to mention that this would have to be continually updated as new models are added.

Is it possible? Absolutely. Are the developers resources best spent on this instead of cranking out content? Not in my opinion.

 

In fact, why not show us everything at once (search tokens, objectives, monsters, etc) instead of making us click through one thing at a time.  We have 4 players sitting here, let us all help out setting up the new tile by digging up different things.

As an option in settings that would be good for those who want it.

 

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As an alternate suggestion to save your group from needing to try to ignore bias when placing monsters or activating them, why not designate one player in your group as the decision maker. He or she can make all these choices in whatever way, and the rest of your group doesn't have to worry about it. If this is too much responsibility to put on one player, maybe one of your group could exclusively control the monsters, while the rest of you control heroes... ;)

 

Seriously though, that's a lot of unnecessary code, and not realistic for the MANY instances of placing monsters in potentially occupied spaces. The setup option to see everything at once would be nice, but part of the issue might the limited zoom function. If it says to place a search token way up to the north, then place an objective token way off to the west, the map would have to zoom out considerably to show both at once, which probably wouldn't work well for many smaller mobile devices.

Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to have (similar to the tiles) a list of other stuff you'll need (search and objective tokens, doors, etc) and then for the click through just place each thing.

Edited by Zaltyre

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I put the 1st group the master on the square designated by RtL then on the corners clockwise from there. If a 2cd group is placed on the same tile I place all the minions as close to the master as possible. The last run ended with the last hero to get to the portal took all but 1 HP, THEN ESCAPED. It just doesn't get any better than this! BTW this is not an original thought, either Redjak7 or out of the print co-ops, I don't remember which.

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It shoudn't be so hard to evaluate where the monsters go for the app...

 

Rather than mark one space, mark:
[up to 6(Largest 1-Sized Group?) 1-sized spots]]

[3 4-sized spots]

[2 6-sized spots]

 

Give all of those spots a spawn-priority 1-6 (or 1-4, 1-2, 1-3)

 

Now: New monster spawn: check monstertype | Check Monstersize | Check Groupsize | Check how many monsters spawn | If there are master monsters: Display the master monsters on the spots with the highest priority,| display all normal monsters on the other spots with the highest priotity

Edited by Tokatasa

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Typically we just place the master on the designated square and then if it's a ranged group they go in adjacent squares further from the heroes and melee groups get placed closer. We also try placing them so they touch the fewest adjacent monsters.

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For the generic "attacking/engaging/spot the closest hero" actions they could randomly prioritize which hero to engage. Just show a randomly ordered list of hero portraits in the monster activation screen. If you have multiple choices choose the first hero in the list as target.

Should be easy to implement.

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We play like the Overlord is making decisions within the options given, in short what's worse for the players with the caveat that not every Goblin is a tactical genius and sometimes bunches up in a corridor while staring down a Mage with Blast.

 

 For anything else a d6 is handy to have around for equal decisions (such as which equidistant hero gets attacked), a d8 for monster placement  when we can't or won't decide (8 squares around 1 placed figure for example).

 

  I would like to see Monster Activation commands which focus on specific objectives outside of attacking and retreating.  'Block Hallway to Objective', 'retreat to LOS cover if available', 'kill the Hero carrying the X'.  I keep wondering how the App will deal with future objectives like we saw, for example, in SR: A Fat Goblin, where the Monsters needed to grab bundles of crop and run for the exit, OR fight depending on situation.

 

 Perhaps I just haven't played far enough?   I have been stalling while trying to complete my collection.

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I typically use a targeting rule that, if there is a choice, a monsters natural instinct would be to attack the weakest hero. So, whoever has the lowest total health remaining.

If there is still a tie, whoever killed something last (which would be the more recent threat, in a monsters limited view).

If still a tie, following the threat line of thought, monsters would see normally ranged heroes as weaker than melee heroes.

Still a tie? Whichever would be worse for the heroes if there was a Overlord. 

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