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Thread: Dungeon Run - California Sessions

  1. #1
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    Cool Dungeon Run - California Sessions

    Introduction
    My demo copy came in the mail today. I was super excited and needed a study break, so I met up with the demo team to learn the game before we head up a string of winter demos in a month.

    Prior to the game I had a few concerns about Dungeon Run. Reading at the rules, I was concerned that it would be rule heavy and hard to remember all the powers. Boy, was I wrong! The rules are very streamlined and intuitive - anyone who has played an rpg videogame will instantly understand everything (I haven’t shown the game to nongamers yet, but I think even they will appreciate the mean spirit of the game).

    Session report
    The three of us (deceit, dkartzinel, and I) got two games in. In the first game, we were still fiddling with the rules and ran about 90 minutes. In the second game, we knew the rules and clocked in at 45 minutes even with different characters.

    The first game, I played the Tundra Orc (I don’t know the names yet) with amazing stats. Deceit was Stabbins the hero killer. dkartzinel was the Filth mage who had powerful abilities, no so great stats. The Filth mage soloed the dragon boss, and Stabbins used Sly to switch places with him to trap the mage in the Portcullus room. This plan failed because of dice and an epic battle ensued. The mage went to fight me first. My awesome beefy orc would have killed him, but he had an ignore pain ability which kept him alive (invincible). Then Stabbins went in to clean up the Filth, but again, ignore pain kept him alive (invincible). Good game starter sets, you’ve just been served by an unreleased faction.

    The second game, I went with my least favorite faction, the Vanguards. I hated it. Right from the start he had an ability to assist others, and frankly, I missed the beefy stats and fury of my orc. Humans are so lame. dkartzinel was the racist, powerful Dwarf and Deceit went with the well rounded Phoenix Elf archer. dekartzinel has a knack for picking the strong characters, because he soloed the boss yet again. However, this time he wasn’t quite as powerful and sustained numerous wounds. The PE archer came in for the kill, but the dwarf remained slightly out of range and headed for the door. I was lame and didn’t want to cross the ancient bridge in fear of death so I camped out by the entrance. I killed the dwarf and walked out. The lame human won.

    Thoughts
    This game is awesome. It has elements of roleplaying without being too complicated. It has fantastic art that blend with the light-hearted theme of the game. There are also so many choices the player gets to make every single turn. The game rides perfectly on the line between “party game” and “hardcore boardgame,” if that makes any sense at all. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who likes Cosmic Encounter, any type of roleplaying game, or board games in general. I was so excited about the game, that when I went home, I wrote this up instead of catching up on studying.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a fun session. Ordered my copy from Plaid Hat this morning. Hopefully it will ship ASAP.

  3. #3
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    Yep it was good. Can't wait to try it out with my buddies over winter break. I normally supply the games and we usually play Cosmic Encounter, but lately I've grown tired of all the tiny bits and rules lawyering. I see DR replacing it

  4. #4

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    I hope it won't be too long until it the game becomes easily attainable in Europe.

  5. #5
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    Good read, I cannot wait to try it myself.

  6. #6
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    I was expecting this to be a Cosmic Encounter in a dungeon game and I am glad to hear that's exactly what it is.

    I heard on the podcast that the DR supply is/was on hold at the border, so I don't think I will be getting the game when it is expected.

    I really am itching for this game.

    I never really buy a game if I haven't tried it, this is an exception though.

    *edit: actually come to think of it, Summoner Wars was bought without first trying as well. I guess, I have faith in PlaidHat.
    Last edited by airdroppers; 11-15-2011 at 03:11 PM.
    The Fallen Kingdom is Rising...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by airdroppers View Post
    I was expecting this to be a Cosmic Encounter in a dungeon game and I am glad to hear that's exactly what it is.
    Let me clarify. It is similar to CE in that:
    -Variable powers
    -There is an team element where sometimes you strike up alliances people to fight a common enemy, or you backstab someone else, or you go solo
    -There is definitely an element of fight the leader in the endgame. In both DR and CE, all players will team up on the player who is on the cusp of winning. I like this because it isn't necessarily punishing the strongest player at all points of the game. And endgame politics/scenarios like this build up to an epic finale, laughs, and fond memories.
    -There is an element of negotiation (in CE it is more formal), but you end up trading your items like you do cards in CE or Settlers

    It is different than CE:
    -Significantly less bits!
    -Rules are a bit more streamlined. It would be nice to have some more detailed player aids. The plus side for CE's more complicated rules is that some crazy stuff can really happen - good times.
    -No destiny pile - this is big for me...I like to pick my fights

    I love both games, but I think DR has stolen the place in my heart for nerdy party game.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the comparison Dustin.

    I can't wait!
    The Fallen Kingdom is Rising...

  9. #9
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    Default Thanksgiving Games

    After dinner, I had a few hours to kill so I showed the game to some family friends. The first game was with to two non-gamers, so I simplified the game by taking out extra powers and roaming monsters. It was an instant hit - they were asking to play a second time after the first game ended on an unsatisfying note. We had tons of laughs when Emma Goodluck (mage) used the library to preview the boss, and tried to solo the Dragon Boss only to find out it was immune to magic. She both killed once and walked out with one health left. The game continued with Palleal and Vargagg getting pummeled, because we didn't play with powers. Then Emma walked out with the stone. Even though the boss was obscenely difficult, I would recommend no powers or roaming when introducing new non-gamer players. As they read the reference card, new players naturally ask about those other missing elements, and it's really easy to explain it the second game after they have the basics down.

    The next game got cut short but it was with 5 people. The two new people were reluctant to play because they looked at the game and passed judgment on it because they say minis, tiles, and dice. But then they saw how much fun we were having, laughing and joking around, and were interested. Okay while I'm on this tangent, I have some complaints about society's attitude toward non-Monopoly games. Begin rant: like two maybe three times last night, Dungeon Run was prematurely written off as being some hardcore anti-social game. But then when people took literally five minutes to learn it, they loved it. What is wrong with the gaming image? And why do people immediately pass judgment on a game before they even play it (you would rather spend three hours playing Monopoly?). I'm a fun person and I wouldn't play it if it wasn't fun. Why would I waste my time if the game was needlessly complicated and lame? So it frustrates me when people are resistant to trying something new, especially when it's something as awesome as Dungeon Run. It's also funny to see people addicted to it after playing it once. End rant.

    This is only the beginning of a string of Thanksgiving weekend games. Expect more sessions and rants.

  10. #10
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    Nice review. I've got Dungeon Run on my Christmas wish list...it seems awesome. Thanks for the reports, and I'm very glad to here that it works pretty well for "fringe" gamers as I call them. Most of my friends in college like to play games, but nothing too long or hard. Sounds like this is one of those 5-10 minutes to teach, 1 hour to play, which is perfect for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixio View Post
    As for Ranior, he's a little more difficult to deal with and can do some real damage.
    Tournament Record: 37-18

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