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Boy Scout play-testing

 
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chuckpint
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:57 pm GMT    Post subject: Boy Scout play-testing Reply with quote

Took 3 large bags of Daemon Diceâ„¢ with me to summer camp and to Jamboree. Got a lot of playtest results. Paul is going to post his observations of the playtest.
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Dakorok
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:55 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that sounds like my cue to start posting.

First off, the multiplayer rules appear to be working fine. They're easy to follow, and nobody ever had any confusion about whose turn it was, whose dice were grabbing whose, etc.

There was one item of note that appeared during a multiplayer game, however. One player had decided to be incredibly irritating, and chose a daemon with 7 shells and 6 arms. The other players, decided to gang up on him to take him out. The interesting thing was, however, that if someone didn't have a monsterous attack, that this shell player would be able to easily defend against it all. What the players quickly figured out (after I told them it was possible to choose to not array attacks or minuses) was that they could "set up" the other players by choosing to attack them with no attacks or minuses, therefore maximizing the chance that they could get a powerhouse roll and eliminate the one irritating player.
I think that the rules involving arraying attacks and setting aside minuses should be looked at again because of this, even if it's only to confirm that the rules should allow it.

As for the daemon building, shells were a very common pick amongst all the new players; most of their daemons had 1-3 shells. The group quickly figured out that any more than that started greatly hampering their offense, and so they would lose quickly once they started taking damage. The reason for the shells' popularity was, of course, the ability to negate an attack, regardless of boosts.

This defensive focus ended up making a lot of games become stalemates, as players were unable to deal any damage to each other due to the fact that both had such high defenses.

Some of our playtesters decided to try out something different, though. They still kept a shell or two for their defenses, but would focus on putting in dice that could target down other players' shells, specifically brains and wings. Lungs also were quite common in these playtesters' daemons, due to their robust double minus and reliable plus generation. These daemons ended up doing very well against the shell-focused daemons, but were on about equal footing with someone who had less shells and was a bit more offensively focused.

Those were the large happenings that I observed from the boys playing the game as completely new players.


I also took the time during this to try out all the different body parts for myself, and I found myself satisfied with the rules for them as they are now. The only body part I had much comment on was the Stinger.

Before I was doing this round of playtesting, I thought the stinger to be quite worthless. Once an attack was sucessful, it wounded itself and was useless the rest of the game. However, looking at it again, I found that it had quite a good bit of use. A stinger dealt a stun right away, and then either a stun every additional turn, or a wound. In addition, once used in conjunction with Fester purebloods, it became, in essence, a two stun; one wound attack (if the opponent didn't want to suffer one stun per turn). The fact that it was all minuses besides the stinger faces also gave it a great deal of disable.
One thing to note, though, is that stingers weren't used at all by the newer players until I brought a few out and they saw that they were quite brutal when utilized properly.
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:11 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dakorok wrote:
Well, that sounds like my cue to start posting.
Paul, I assume?

Thanks for the post. In general it sounds like a normal progress of people learning to play a game. Someone gets a slightly better strategy and everyone fixates on it until it is beat or someone comes up with a slightly different strategy. So the evolution of the builds migrates around in a rock-paper-scissors fashion.

The comment about Stingers also doesn't surprise me. I don't think you would want too many (though a fester stinging bush needs to be tested as does a fire stinging bush), but it is common for some game component to be over looked until someone points out its potential power.

The most interesting comment you made is:
Quote:

I think that the rules involving arraying attacks and setting aside minuses should be looked at again because of this, even if it's only to confirm that the rules should allow it.


So there are a few things here.
1) We are SO close to printing the rules for starters that it should've already been done.
2) I really don't want to immediate release rules 1.1 and have starters that don't have them.
3) This initial starter run is small, so it wouldn't be long before they were all sold out and by xmas all new starters could have a new rulesheet.
4) The root question is: should the rules allow it? Should the rules allow you to help one player to hurt another. I think we have to say yes. The original intention of this rule may have started out by allowing you to ignore a brain when all you had rolled was a tail (the original rules would've reduced that damage from two to one). However to change this rule would be to try to change the meta-game and you can never fully control that. The players would just find some other way to use the rules in a way we didn't intend. So I think it is a great strategy that allows a weaker player to use a stronger player as their weapon against the strongest. That is part of battle and I think it is perfect the way it is.

Quote:
This defensive focus ended up making a lot of games become stalemates, as players were unable to deal any damage to each other due to the fact that both had such high defenses.

Ok here is another one that is a meta game issue. There is always a way for a player who is not trying to win to ruin the game. Recall the ST:TNG episode with the game where the surest way to lose was to try to win and the only way to not lose is to not try to win. Another example is the card game PIT. When I play this game I try to get one of every card and then stop trading. Thus no one else can ever get a complete set and the game will never end. We could put a stalemate rule into place, but I don't think its needed for the basic game. In a casual setting, someone will always be able to make an all shell monster and they will never lose, but they will never win and eventually people will just not play with them. In a tournament setting we have timelimits and that player will never win and at worst will turn out to be a guaranteed tie. Yes it might cost you the tournament, but that could be true of playing someone better than you or just being unlucky.
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DialFforFunky
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:22 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

In regards to the stalemate-issue: how interesting would it be to implement an (optional) sudden death rule? Something like beyond turn 10 (5*(nr of players)) every turn all daemons take one unrecoverable wound, or a daemon dies instantly upon taking damage? We all know the Lords of Hell get bored easily...


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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:40 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was originally going to say that as a special rule for a tournament (based on time) that is a perfect idea to prevent ties. However, having tie-breaking rules based on 'active' dice is almost the same thing.

I think this would benefit the core rules and help make game shorter, However it would reduce the effectiveness of defensive dice and we add the requirement of a 'turn counter' which is just an annoyance to players...

Additionally, in the meta game. Players would then design not to win quickly, but towards staying alive and winning via this new 'end game' boundary. If it was a wound per turn, then I win via attrition. If it is sudden death, there would be some other build just to draw the game out that long.

hmm... I need to think about this and there isn't much time.

but you did give me an idea...

As a 'meta game' die, I'd thought about environments that might benefit one race over another (like how pokemon changes the terrain they battle in). The 'Daemon Lord' could be another die which can affect either player in the manner which you describe.

Should this re-launch take off and generate a lot of cash flow, then an expansion like that could easily supplement the game.
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DialFforFunky
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:56 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

cliffwiggs wrote:
Should this re-launch take off and generate a lot of cash flow, then an expansion like that could easily supplement the game.


And terrains/battlefields/arenas - a die to provide a background setting!


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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:19 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

DialFforFunky wrote:
In regards to the stalemate-issue: how interesting would it be to implement an (optional) sudden death rule? Something like beyond turn 10 (5*(nr of players)) every turn all daemons take one unrecoverable wound, or a daemon dies instantly upon taking damage? We all know the Lords of Hell get bored easily...


F
BTW - I expect to learn a lot from our DaemonDice events at Gencon. These will all be sealed events, but it'll give us a feel for the flow of the game and how many turns it really takes to end a game in a reasonable time.
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