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World of Warcraft: The Boardgame» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Observations. rss

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Paul Newby
United Kingdom
Bolton
Lancashire
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There follows interminable musings/ramblings about the latest board game I played. The story may wander and take some time to read, but it'll get there in the end...

My wife and I invited her brother and his son around for an epic sunday session of World of Warcraft. They arrived at 10:30 am and here follows some observations on the game and how it unfolded.

First off, I spent saturday afternoon setting the game up, because we were playing with both expansions (Shadows of War & the Burning Crusade). It took me a lazy hour or so to do this as I was in no rush and my beautiful wife was reading a book whilst upstairs tucked up in bed. I had already bagged and tagged all the components previously upon purchase years ago.

I tend to set up big games like this the day before as I find it helps confirm a few rules in my own mind whilst I'm actually handling all the goodies and I don't get burned out by setting up and playing all in one hit.

Hayley and I had played twice before; once with six of us, and once just the two of us on my cosy little flat's floor - those were the days! Never again with six players though. The wrong type of gamer coupled with new players are a difficult mix to play with for this game. The wrong type of gamer was our fault as we knew he suffered from terrible analysis paralysis - even whilst playing Doom, so it was probably a bit of a stretch to throw this beast at him.

Anyway, this was only four of us, and my recommendation is that I think it's better as a four player game than a six player one. I'm sure 6 seasoned WoW players would disagree. but as it happens Hayley and I had played twice before and her brother and his 11 year old son had never played before.

My brother's son and I chose to playe the Horde, with me as the Paladin and him as the Hunter. Hayley and her brother therefore had the Alliance and Hayley played the Warrior whilst her brother chose the Druid.

Matthew (her brother's son) likes to collect stuff and decided early on to go solo. Partly my fault as I was running the game for everyone as I had a firm grasp of the rules and oversaw combat and such for everyone, which led to me always taking my turn last without really studying my talent and power decks.

We had a blast. Hayley and her brother Simon were an efficient team, questing together, killing numerous baddies and generally being all far too good!

Myself and Matthew had a blast too. But. We were always one step behind the goody two shoes Alliance because we went solo early on and both died whilst trying to overcome grey starter quests. So embarrassing I know!

The Alliance pair both reached level six simultaneously and Matthew did the same a couple of turns later. I was on level 3 wondering what had gone so wrong for my mighty paladin.

The Alliance confidently entered the dungeon of the overlord and proceeded to have a very close final combat with him. One more combat round and he would have triumphed and not them. Meanwhile the scattered Horde had the Hunter in Outland and poor old me still stuck on the main board, albeit now at wonderful level 4.

Well done to the Alliance for a deserved victory which they accepted with true goody two shoes grace.

My observations:

1. Set aside a whole lazy sunday to play. The game needs time to enjoy it fully. Your character talents and powers and all the combinations that a level 5 or 6 character has access to can really eat into the day.

2. I found it very difficult to be the rules chap and play an efficient character. With hindsight I should have granted myself the conceit of choosing a character the day before during setup, studying the powers and talents and having a personal strategy of some sort in advance.

3. Teamwork in a four player game tends to trump soloing.

4. At high levels, gold becomes a nuisance as you have more than you can ever spend - especially when you are receiving gold instead of xp as well, if you reach level 6.

5. Establishing what is always your base dice rolls of each colour in combat is a very good idea - if you can do this. My lovely Hayley got that little frown she gets when counting during each round of combat, especially if I tried to interrupt her to remind her of a missed rule or two (usually for her benefit). The phrase involving a lead balloon springs to mind.

6. We didn't use any house rules. Despite what some players have said about dungeons,they weren't over used and were still fun.

7. Don't choose a Paladin if you have a team mate that likes to solo! You wont be doing much healing.

8. I almost wished at one point I had run the game as a referee managing four other player rather than play myself. I found that being the rules chap severley compromised my efficiency as a player and therefore my team as a whole. We were doomed to fail! I know that sounds crazy for a 10 hour session, but I like seeing my family and friends having fun playing board games. That's enough for me to enjoy the day!

9. Hope you have good dice rolls for the day, because my word you will roll more than a few in the next few hours.

10. Avoid player vs player combat. I know this can make it seem like a team game version of Runebound but I found it quickened the game up if the players viewed it as a race to kill the main man rather than slowing the other team down.

Finally, don't dig this out if you are playing to a strict time limit. It finishes when it finishes. If you say, we have to be done by 3 o clock for example, your enjoyment will diminish as you keep a beady eye on the clock. You need both eyes on your character sheet from level 3 onwards!

We really enjoyed the day. We had a nice evening meal as a break and Hayley kept us all supplied with tea and coffee all day long. We will definitely play World of Warcraft again. Probably about once every six months or so.

Thanks for reading my ramblings and hopefully I'll type another observations post about our next game early in the new year - Runewars.

Merry Christmas everyone.
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stephen
United Kingdom
Burton on trent
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Good session report and your experiences roughly tally with my own. being the rulesmaster of the game and keeping all the paperwork and cards organised as well as restockingthe board etc eats into you ability to play your own character well. We also tend to eschew PvP, it just adds to game length and seems to add relatively little to the overall game.

I look forward to your next report.
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Paul Newby
United Kingdom
Bolton
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Thank you for the kind words.

I must just add we finished playing the game at half eight in the evening. Then Hayley and myself spent half an hour putting all the components away (bagging and tagging).

One aspect of the game I did reinforce at the beginning was the relevance of the combat dice and how they equate to the actual fighting you are doing. The blue dice are your bow and arrows - the red dice are your melee combat weapons and your green dice represent all your armour, etc.

I felt that because the combat is so fundamental to the game, it was worth getting the thematics of how the dice represent your fighting style across to the players. Previously, I've found it becomes too easy for a player to simply say "what do I need to roll?"

Even explaining what attrition is thematically (cuts, bruises, poison, etc.) really helped the two new players understand combat so much more.
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Zoran Ignjatovic
Hungary
Budapest
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Thank you for the game session report, it was a joy to read, and very well worded.

As for the PvP aspect in WoW: The Boardgame, it was mostly inserted to preserve Blizzard's original spirit of conflict between Alliance and Horde, but for time-saving sake, there is no reason why players cannot agree on a truce of sorts, and "avoid" the need for PvP combat on the board.

Cheers!
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Jovan Milojevic
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when we play, everyone is like ultra busy with leveling and best way to get nicest loot and to be ready when times comes to confront big bad boss. No-one want pvp
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denny prijadi
Russia
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Jocinetu wrote:
when we play, everyone is like ultra busy with leveling and best way to get nicest loot and to be ready when times comes to confront big bad boss. No-one want pvp


just like the mmorpg
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