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Subject: Sword & Sorcery from the perspective of a defender of the galaxy rss

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Skaak
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The Sword & Sorcery Kickstarter has launched, and needless to say I've already backed it! I was lucky enough to receive a prototype version of the game to play, and it's a blast.

However, I know the big question for a lot of my fellow Galaxy Defenders' minds is whether a fantasy game is going to make them as happy as Galaxy Defenders did. To which I say: it depends! Let's take a look at Sword & Sorcery from the perspective of Galaxy Defenders player (hereafter S&S and GD, respectively).

A solid cooperative core

S&S is much more than just a fantasy reskin of GD, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise if all you did was read the rulebook (I certainly thought otherwise the first time I read it!). Going through S&S's table of contents it looks like Gremlin Project took all the mechanics from GD and its expansions and crammed them together with some fantasy flair: we've got attack and defense dice, enemy AI cards, poison, critical hits, Combat/Movement/Actions/Free Actions for heroes, and modular maps. In fact, the basic elements of the two games are indeed identical:

- Fully cooperative, with a team of 2-5 characters (GD permits playing 1 agent, but as anyone who has played the game knows from a practical standpoint it requires 2 agents or more)
- Branching storyline, with missions that each provide their own special rules to tweak the formula
- Enemies are controlled by cards, and their behavior changes depending on their range from the heroes
- Heroes gradually improve over time, but always have three basic things they can do on their turns (attack, move, and take an action)
- Enemies and heroes take turns acting, bookended with a book-keeping and event card phase
- As mentioned, a lot of the keywords, agent statuses, and token names are familiar

However, the devil here is in the details. While the overarching structure of the game is very similar to GD, it feels completely different when you're playing it.

The death of the hex

GD is highly tactical; careful positioning of your agents within particular hexes in an area combined with timing of when you use their weapons and abilities can have a large effect on your success or failure. You, as the human player, are pitting your superior tactics against the overwhelming rush of aliens who are able to quickly teleport across half the map in a single movement.

Now, don't get me wrong: S&S certainly has its share of tactical decisions, but it is nowhere near as focused on tactical positioning as GD. In S&S both heroes and enemies move area-by-area, so you're actually faster than the early enemies ("3" is a typical base movement value for heroes in S&S, whereas a lot of the early enemies can only move 2 areas at a time). Rather than moving around a large map interrupted by a few obstructions, you are often navigating areas that only have a couple of exits, and it's all or nothing: any enemies in the same area are at range {0} (melee range) and any enemies in other areas are at a higher range. Some of the larger map pieces break this pattern, but the number of areas you are going to choose from for positioning is still only about 6-8 at the most (about equivalent to the number of hexes in a single GD area).

Specifically, in S&S your tactical decisions will usually be based around managing your presence in particular areas of the map. Unlike GD, there is no limit on the number of enemies and heroes who can occupy a particular area (if you run out of physical room, there are tokens you can use to move your miniatures off the map temporarily). Additionally, you gain advantages (and suffer disadvantages) when your heroes are vastly outnumbering their foes (or vastly outnumbered by them) which influence both your ability to freely move and the effectiveness of you and your enemies' attacks. Movement between areas is sometimes more costly or even impossible depending on what lies between them, without impacting LOS (similar to barrier sides in GD's expansions, but usually not requiring special abilities to bypass the borders). As a result, you will largely be moving your melee heroes as a group, while your ranged heroes attempt to find positions where they can shoot at enemies without being exposed to melee attacks.

Defense dice are a privilege, not a right

A lot of first-time GD players are frustrated by how difficult it is to deal damage, thanks to the "one defense dice per hit" rule. Particularly in the early game, the average of hits from any given attack hovers around 0-1, with a few outlying attacks that cause 2 wounds.

S&S scraps this system entirely. Instead, enemies have up to three defense values:

- An armor value, which straight-up subtracts hits from the total
- A magic armor value, which behaves identically to energy armor in GD
- A defense value, which is the maximum number of blue dice they can roll (if they have a defense value, then they roll 1 blue dice per hit, up to the defense value; if hits exceed this value, then some of them will be undefended)

As many of the early monsters have no defense to speak of (aside from an occasional resistance to a particular type of damage, or a single armor value) S&S heroes will often be able to predict very accurately how much damage they do simply based on the number of hits they are likely to roll. Although your heroes will feel fragile at early levels, they will also feel like awesome damage dealers, even with their crummy starting equipment. Gremlin Project has stated that they wanted the game to feel like the board gaming equivalent of an action RPG, and this combat system is a large part of what makes that successful.

Enemies can still be difficult to kill and require the cooperation of multiple heroes (particularly when they start gaining multiple defense values), but S&S heroes also feel a lot more powerful than their GD agent brethren (and their defensive and offensive capabilities are always gradually improving, too, thanks to gaining better equipment).

Another side effect of having dice be just one of many possible parts of defense is that combat in general tends to run a bit quicker than in GD when attacking enemies because typically your heroes will be the ones with the highest defense value on the board (many enemies will not roll dice at all, which makes combat against them go very quickly). This keeps the focus of the player more on the hero and makes them feel less like they are playing against themselves.

Luckless leveling

A lot of GD players have a love-hate relationship with how their agents gain ranks in GD, particularly since higher ranks are so difficult to obtain if your luck isn't in. Once again S&S completely replaces its GD counterpart with a new system.

In S&S, when you kill most enemies you gain "soul points". These are a shared resource for the party, and you can spend them either on improving your hero's soulrank, or to resurrect a slain hero. As your heroes gain ranks it becomes more and more expensive to upgrade (costs the square of the target level, so four for level 2, nine for level 3, and so forth) and heroes are not allowed to rank up if there is another hero who is one or more levels lower.

As a result, no hero gets overpowered compared to his or her comrades, and leveling is predictable (and predicated on your success, rather than on your success with a healthy dose of luck like in GD).

Death is not the end

One of the most devisive aspects of GD, particularly for people who want to play with others, is the permanent death of agents during a mission. It's entirely possible via poor positioning and bad luck to have an agent die early on, and then the player controlling that agent just has to sit twiddling their thumbs the rest of the mission.

In S&S, on the other hand, dying results in losing a hero losing a soulrank and entering a ghost soul form. Ghost soul heroes cannot interact with enemies and the map as normal, but they do have a limited number of actions they can take to support their team mates, and if they move back to an altar and pay soul points to resurrect. As a result, although heroes who die are penalized, the players controlling them can stay in the game. The downside is that death is not particularly threatening; sure, you lose a soulrank (and thus must kill more enemies to earn enough soul points to level back up), but the sheer terror of losing an agent who you've spent multiple missions leveling is not there the way it is in GD.

If you are playing in a group, this change will make S&S a far easier sell than GD.

Taking action

In GD, no matter how elite of an agent you have, they will still have one Combat activity, one Movement activity, and one Action activity every turn. In S&S, however, different heroes have different capabilities as they gain soulranks. A highly combat-oriented hero might unlock multiple Combat activities per turn, while a hero focused on skills and powers might unlock additional Actions. This, combined with some new basic Action options, means that you never lack for things to do on a given turn, and as the game progresses and you gain better equipment and powers your capabilities keep expanding.

Something that will be particularly welcome to GD players is the ability to spend an Action to add +1 HIT to your attack, or +1 to your total movement for the turn. This means that even low level heroes without access to eqipment or skills are still always able to do something on their turn. And on the flip side, as your hero gains options he or she will also likely unlock additional Actions, allowing you to avoid having a turn where your Action becomes more valuable than gold.

Planning ahead

Although S&S removes provides fewer tactical choices with regards to movement, the cooldown system for using your hero's powers provides some interesting tactical and strategic choices because your more powerful abilities will take multiple rounds to recover to the point where you can use them. In GD, the question of what to do on a particular turn was typically determining where to spend your scarce Action resource among several options that are either single-use (devices, and to some extent tactics) or available every turn (hero abilities and skills). In contrast, in S&S the question of what to do on a particular turn is less governed by scarcity and more by timing. Do I cast my sorceress's area damage spell now, which will mean she can't use it for the next two turns, or do I wait until the gremlin that is two areas away closes on my heroes and the other heroes have their abilities ready for a single turn of massive damage? Managing what skills you use on which means that you have to think ahead a bit further down the road.

Who needs an alpha?

Before a mission in GD even starts, I spend some time thinking about how to order my heroes because the order on the table affects the order they will activate. In S&S, however, you can activate heroes in whatever order you deem fit. Once you activate a hero, you simply flip his or her gem so you know not to activate them again this round, and move on.

This removes a lot of the stress from the first phase of each round, because the only important decision you have to make is whether to pay to move someone up a soulrank; you don't have to worry about who is the Alpha Agent and how that is going to affect the entire turn because it will dictate the order your agents can act.

Equipping, and re-equipping

As a GD campaign carries on, improved weapons tend to accumulate within Headquarters, mostly to sit there unused because there is no way to change your load out during the mission other than to draw a random new improved weapon (and hope that someone can use it). S&S on the other hand is faithful to its RPG roots: as you gain equipment you can either toss it in a character's inventory or save it in your "stash" for use later in the quest (or in another quest entirely, if playing a campaign). Additionally, since heroes can use an Action to swap equip new items from their inventory (or to pass equipment from one to another) you can bring extra weapons and so forth with you and change equipment on the fly to suit the situation. However, you are only able to move equipment to and from the stash when visiting the Emporium (which happens between quests, and occasionally during a quest) so your limited inventory space does mean that you cannot simply take everything along with you in order to see what sticks.

Two sides to each hero

Although there are a lot of potential ways to build GD agents as they rank up, for all practical purposes it's there's usually only a subset of tactics and skills that make sense for each agent. Agent Titanium always gets Charge for his first skill, while Agent Iridium always gets Eagle Eye for his. Agent Mercury virtually has to have the "Heal 1 health" reaction tactic, and Agent Thorium needs as many passive and reaction tactics and skills as he can get, since Actions for him are always so dear (thanks to his drones).

By contrast, you can play an entire campaign with an S&S hero, then try again with them playing as an entirely different hero simply because they all have two different version you can play: usually a "lawful" and "chaotic" version (to use D&D terminology). Additionally, some of their more interesting hero powers are only usable by one version, which means that the same hero can feel drastically different depending on what version and skills you choose to use. Even from quest to quest the way your heroes perform can change a lot, since weapons and armor have very different capabilities (for instance, Ecarus with a sword and shield plays very differently from Ecarus with a giant war hammer). This provides a lot of flexibility for experimenting not only between quests, but also between campaigns, which should improve on the replayability of the game out of the box compared to GD.

Interchangeable enemies

Another big change, that will mostly matter for Kickstarter backers, is that enemies in the core campaign can be replaced by enemies provided as extras in the Kickstarter (or presumably, future expansions). This is possible because each enemy in S&S has a level and fighting style; to use a different set of enemies, simply replace the ones in the current quest with ones who have the same levels and fighting styles.

As a backer of both GD Kickstarters, this is one of the things that I'm most excited about. I have a bunch of extra aliens for GD that I've simply never used because there is no system in place to easily substitute them into the campaigns (and each enemy usually only has at most one downloadable mission available). For S&S, having additional enemies from the Kickstarter will actually increase the replayability of the game yet again.

Making an event of it

Both GD and S&S use the Event deck as a timer and to shake things up over the course of the game. However, whereas GD has you drawing an event card every turn (and sometimes getting swamped by signals as a result), S&S only has you draw an event card every other turn: if there is not an event card face upwards on the deck, you draw the next event, resolve it, and place it face upwards; otherwise, you discard the face upwards event card and end the event phase.

Additionally, S&S quests will sometimes place story events (and other events) on the map itself. This can provide a surprise (darn, I thought I was visiting a merchant, but it was a trap!) and also allows you to slow down the timer by triggering events as you go (because the go from the map to the top of the event deck, just like a normal event).

Additionally, "shadows" (the S&S equivalent of signals) do not move, and are rarely spawned by event cards (if an event is spawning enemies, it usually does it directly).

Table space at a premium

It likely seems that I'm super excited and positive about S&S (because I am). However, not everything about the game is sweetness and light. In particular, S&S requires a lot more table space than GD ever did. This is partially because the maps sometimes wend their way all over the place, but mainly because there are more tokens (there are more types of statuses and so forth than GD plus its expansions) and the hero boards take up quite a lot more room (and do so less efficiently) than GD agent sheets due to the way the many mini cards that become associated with your hero spread out to the left and right (and to a less extent upwards). I am very hopeful that there will not be any quests in S&S that require 4 or 5 heroes, because I would not be able to play them on my current tables (I usually play on a space 3x3 feet, but if I co-opt or main table have more like 3x4 feet).

Setup: still the bane of gremlins everywhere

One of the things I like least about GD is how long it takes to set the game up, and S&S is even worse. Modular maps are more difficult to locate and put together than laying out several rectangles as per GD. There are a ton of tokens, and a bunch of different decks of miniature cards (several of which have to be shuffled prior to each quest; and boy, do I hate shuffling miniature cards). Setting up the event deck is just as annoying, only again you're working with miniature cards which ups the annoyance factor several notches (though honestly it was the right choice; there's no way they could have fit everything on the table if they'd used full sized cards).

Just as with GD, you really need to want to play a quest to get this game out, because it's going to take a fair bit of work before you can start playing.

All together now

Gremlin Project has said in the past that GD is heavily inspired by the video game XCOM whereas S&S is inspired by action RPGs like Diablo, and despite the similarities of their base gameplay that comparison is quite apt. When I'm playing GD, I tend to move very slowly and carefully because each decision I make has a lot of weight; agent positioning, Alpha Agent assignment, and when and where I use my devices and skills all have to be perfect because the game is so unforgiving. When playing S&S, however, I move a lot quicker; yes, I think about a lot of the same things (like what order to act in, whether to spend my skills now or save them because of their cooldowns, and where on the map to position my heroes), but because the enemies are generally easier to defeat and the cost of mistakes is lower I am able to move through the game much more quickly.

This is not to say that S&S is not challenging; the enemies may be easier to kill, but they're also pretty unforgiving if they get a chance to attack (and since they sometimes get dealt cards that assign random buffs, even the weak enemies can sometimes morph into things that are surprisingly nasty) and heroes have much lower starting health than in GD. However, the game in general is less stressful and more forgiving. It fixes a lot of the things that I disliked about GD, but also does away with some of the tension that I love so much.

For me, that's just fine. I love the fantasy theme, I love the GD-inspired gameplay, and because the game is a less stressful I suspect I'll have a lot more luck introducing it to other players. GD is my favorite solo game, but I have a niggling suspicion S&S might end up my favorite cooperative game for multiple people.

Way too long; didn't read:

- Similar base mechanics and keywords, very different feeling game
- Less intensely tactical, but a bit more impetus to think ahead a few turns (thanks to power cooldowns)
- Fixes some of my least favorite aspects of GD (death is a setback, not end of the line; different enemies can sub into main quests)
- Generally less dice rolling for monsters in combat (easier to predict likely damage based on hero weapon stats, as a result)
- Same number of playable characters, but far more diversity (dual natures, nature-specific powers, multiple types of weapons)
- Leveling characters is based on performance, not luck, and higher level characters gain can access to multiple Combat or Actions to complement their growing arsenal of powers and equipment
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Kevin Erskine
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Great write up!

I backed the game immediately anyways, but now I'm even more excited. Everything you described is a positive to me!

Thanks!
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David Kartzinel
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I'm going to have to invest in some kind of a tokens box so that it's all presorted. This has easily been the biggest hindrance to Galaxy Defenders getting played...sooo much set up time for a solo game.
 
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Skaak
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dkartzinel wrote:
I'm going to have to invest in some kind of a tokens box so that it's all presorted. This has easily been the biggest hindrance to Galaxy Defenders getting played...sooo much set up time for a solo game.

Plano is your friend (or really any variety of tackle box with configurable compartments). I've changed things up a little since getting the expansions, but here's my basic approach to Galaxy Defenders storage.
 
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I love GD but I wonder if S&S will replace it...

Overall I like the changes they've made to the system although I'm not as much a fan of the fantasy setting.
 
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Skaak
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Logus Vile wrote:
I love GD but I wonder if S&S will replace it...

At least for me, it's not going to replace GD anytime soon. They're complimentary, but quite different despite the base similarities. At least with the prototype of S&S, GD still has the edge for soloable games for me because things like permadeath have a less negative impact when there's only one player and S&S cannot replicate the same level of tension.

That said, I'm going to have to buy a second house just to store my Gremlin Project games. I'm really worried about how physically big the KS edition of S&S is going to be...
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Skaak wrote:
That said, I'm going to have to buy a second house just to store my Gremlin Project games. I'm really worried about how physically big the KS edition of S&S is going to be...

Yeah that too!
 
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Great writeup! Very informative. I'm on the "I like Sci-Fi way more than Fantasy" camp and I do want to know the comparison between the two games. GD is a smash hit with my group but I'm not so sure about S&S mainly because it seems that it is less tactical.

Lost tension aside which is why S&S is not going to replace GD for me, would you say that the tactical decisions of S&S are something more than "move melee character near opponent, hack, move Ranged character back there, attack with spell/bow." Note that I do not think managing cooldowns as a big tactical thingy. I'm asking about positioning, NON-damaging support abilities and really diverse character differentiation beyond the usual fighter/archer/mage cliches.

Does the game use its distinctive Area control/domination mechanic much or is it just a gimmick? I believe that many interesting tactical decisions could arise if the game takes advantage of that mechanic.

Also, do you know if the missions are interlinked and change based on the outcome of previous missions as they do in GD?

Sorry, for all the questions but I want someone to convince me to buy this game even though I'm not a fantasy fan. Its GD roots is what keeps me interested. I want a tactical game though not a hack-and-slash. There is a ton of those out there already.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Skaak
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Bowmangr wrote:
Lost tension aside which is why S&S is not going to replace GD for me, would you say that the tactical decisions of S&S are something more than "move melee character near opponent, hack, move Ranged character back there, attack with spell/bow." Note that I do not think managing cooldowns as a big tactical thingy. I'm asking about positioning, NON-damaging support abilities and really diverse character differentiation beyond the usual fighter/archer/mage cliches.

Positioning is still important in S&S, just not to the same extent as it is in GD (where you have to balance your more tactically-driven granular positioning against the aliens superior mobility). You'll probably want to watch a gameplay runthrough to get a better feeling for how well this would fit your group, since I can't think of any other fantasy board games that I've played that are comparable.

Character differentiation is actually one place where S&S has a solid lead on GD. There's a lot of different ways you can build your team, particularly if you discard the default "all characters in your party must either be lawful + neutral or chaos + neutral" rule. They're still mostly fantasy archetypes, but you can do interesting things with them (for instance, you can have design Thorgar to be a healing support character or a character who buffs his allies and penalizes his enemies). Similarly, the elf ranger can be a ranged character, or kick butt with dual-wielded swords (both of which are based off Legolas, but play very differently).

Bowmangr wrote:
Does the game use its distinctive Area control/domination mechanic much or is it just a gimmick? I believe that many interesting tactical decisions could arise if the game takes advantage of that mechanic.

It does indeed leverage area control/domination, and figuring out how to manage this is part of the tactical decisions you have to make. If a hero leaves an area with enemies in it, the hero must suffer an attack from every enemy prior to moving out of the area. The only exception to this is if the heroes are dominating the area.

This opens up some interesting choices. When my tank is almost dead of his wounds, do I move my ranged heroes into the same area in hopes of retreating him temporarily? Conversely, should I move my ranged characters in to improve the attacks for everyone involved (since dominating an area grants +1 HIT to every attack)? Or will that simply open my ranged characters up to getting killed out of hand?

Throwing an additional wrench in this is the fact that different enemies will target different heroes. For instance, the basic gremlin enemies will always preferentially target the hero with the most gold (so if I have two characters at {0} the gremlin will go after the richer one; only if the two have equal amounts of coins will the game fall back on a GD-style most wound->least health type logic path). So I could move my sorceress into the same area as my tank in order to use her melee area damage attack while her ranged spell is on cooldown, but since she currently has more gold I have to weigh the risk of her getting taken out by gremlins while my tank just stands around twiddling his thumbs.

Bowmangr wrote:
Also, do you know if the missions are interlinked and change based on the outcome of previous missions as they do in GD?

I believe the quests will have a mildly branching path just like in GD, but I haven't played very many of them yet.

Bowmangr wrote:
I want a tactical game though not a hack-and-slash. We have a ton of them already.

I'm not sure if S&S will make you happy or not, honestly (I love fantasy, and don't own any good hack and slash games, cooperative or otherwise). The game is tactical, just not as tactical as GD. Similarly, it's difficult, but not as punishingly difficult as GD. There's tension, but not as much tension as there is in GD.

Put another way, in GD I almost always feel underpowered and outgunned. In S&S, I feel like I'm more comparably powered to my enemies and on my way to becoming a total kick-butt epic hero. There's still very real danger if I get sloppy or unlucky, but I'm not going to need to replay the first quest half a dozen times before I get my first win. It's still a lot of fun, though, and particularly with the Kickstarter extra content I think there's going to be a lot more incentive to replay the campaign (totally different aspects of the core heroes + completely new enemies like the skeletons and presumably more down the road).

Additionally, S&S seems designed to work a lot better for multiple-person playgroups, so that might be one aspect that would appeal, as well.
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Highlord Tamburlaine
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Great read. Gets me really excited for this one.

But you know, reading on how they took all the neat bits of Galaxy Defenders and streamlined them, tweaked them, and made the game run better for it...

Gets me wondering if we'll see some of these ideas re-implemented in a new core Galaxy Defenders game some day down the line.
 
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Olaf Polly
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Skaak,
great writeup - very very useful to figure out the game, even for someone who never played GD. I have few followup questions:
1. How is the campaign /story book setup? Is there a single campaign or multiple ones, how many missions/scenarios in each, etc?
2. How interesting are the missions - are they "go there, kill/find someone, done" variety, or there is more variety and flavor? Can you give an example of a mission?
3. How easy is the game? - I play Shadows of Brimstone a lot, and had to design a bunch of custom enemies and special harder difficulty rules just to make the game interesting - otherwise it would be way too easy. Did any of your heroes die during your plays?
Thanks.
 
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Skaak
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opaliy wrote:
1. How is the campaign /story book setup? Is there a single campaign or multiple ones, how many missions/scenarios in each, etc?

I haven't seen the whole thing, but from what I have seen it's very much like Galaxy Defenders: one overarching campaign, with a bunch of individual inter-linking missions.

opaliy wrote:
2. How interesting are the missions - are they "go there, kill/find someone, done" variety, or there is more variety and flavor? Can you give an example of a mission?

I can't really answer the first part; I haven't seen enough of the storybook yet.

The first mission has your heroes wake up at a remote altar, fight through several gremlins to reach the central square, deal with difficulties in the central square, and then face a red gremlin in the chapel before escaping. It has a nice flow to it; feels very much like an RPG level where you fight increasingly nasty foes until you face off against a mini-boss. There are rewards that are difficult to get without some smart tactical maneuvering, and an environmental hazard that slows you down along the way.

opaliy wrote:
3. How easy is the game? - I play Shadows of Brimstone a lot, and had to design a bunch of custom enemies and special harder difficulty rules just to make the game interesting - otherwise it would be way too easy. Did any of your heroes die during your plays?

I haven't played Shadows of Brimstone, so I can't compare to that one's difficulty. It's more forgiving than GD, but I did have a hero die and need to resurrect. I was, however, playing at what was functionally the easiest difficulty (the quest supports 2-5 heroes, with the number of enemies increasing at 4 heroes; I played with 3 heroes, so it would have been more challenging if I'd played with 2 or 4). I had to move pretty sprightly through the level in order to get out before time (also known as the Event deck) expired; the quest feels very nicely balanced.
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Brian Busha
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Could you elqborate on why 3 is the easiest number of heroes and what scaling the game does to accomodate 2~4 players?


Really great job on this, wonderful read!
 
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Gutrix wrote:
Could you elqborate on why 3 is the easiest number of heroes and what scaling the game does to accomodate 2~4 players?

During the setup for the mission, you place "shadows" (similar to signals in GD), and the number you place depends on the number of heroes; in this instance, 2-3 players had fewer and 4-5 had more. Enemies can get spawned in via events, and it scales them similarly to GD (usually things like subtracting the number of enemies from the number of heroes and spawning that many or scaling it via table based on the number of heroes).
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Skaak wrote:
Gutrix wrote:
Could you elqborate on why 3 is the easiest number of heroes and what scaling the game does to accomodate 2~4 players?

During the setup for the mission, you place "shadows" (similar to signals in GD), and the number you place depends on the number of heroes; in this instance, 2-3 players had fewer and 4-5 had more. Enemies can get spawned in via events, and it scales them similarly to GD (usually things like subtracting the number of enemies from the number of heroes and spawning that many or scaling it via table based on the number of heroes).

Got it! I usually play with 2 and want to make sure it is balanced for it. Sounds like it is.
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Simone Romano
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Yes,

the entire campaign is balanced for 2 heroes (and more of course), but you have to choose wisely your party and/or your items from the Emporium (the shop before the quest) because for instance:
Making a quest with just a mage and an assassin without buying several healing potions may result very hard devil on the other side you will deal an impressive amount of damages

Fortunately if an hero dies you can resurrected it (unless all heroes are in ghost soul form), but the first time an enemy will kill one of your heroes it will become an enemy champion... gaining an additional random power!
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Judy Krauss
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Simone Romano wrote:
Yes,

the entire campaign is balanced for 2 heroes
...

That is good to know! I will be playing solo, too, and I don't want to have to handle more than 2 characters during a game.
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Thomas L.
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Wow, this game seems to be exactly what I was looking for.

I really love GD and its very tactical combat system. But sometimes I wished that it was More streamlimed.

Thus, in the future when I want to play a tactical cooperative dungeon crawler with interesting decisions - I will play S&S.
And if I want to add even more tactics and complexity (in a good way), I will play GD.

Very nice combination to have both in the shelf!
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Thibaud Dejardin
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I'm still on the fence about this one.
The map doesn't look like an open map but like corridors you have to move forwards, fight, then move, then fight..., with almost no tactical decision about placement. It reminds me a little the "dungeon and dragons" boardgame series: I hated them for how much you have almost no control about nothing.

I hope there will be more in depht videos about gameplay to decide if i back this or not.
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Exo Desta wrote:

I'm hoping for a more dynamic experience this time. And man would I love to see them implement a system for taking cover -- might not be a big deal in S&S, but without that in GD it felt like something major was missing.

Overall the game looks great though.

Have you tried the stances from the expansions?
 
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Exo Desta wrote:
Logus Vile wrote:
Exo Desta wrote:

I'm hoping for a more dynamic experience this time. And man would I love to see them implement a system for taking cover -- might not be a big deal in S&S, but without that in GD it felt like something major was missing.

Overall the game looks great though.

Have you tried the stances from the expansions?
Negatory. Never got to try the expansions (one of them seemed to have some new kind of map tile too, from what I remember).

Well, even if you don't have the expansions I'm pretty sure you can find the images online. Try them with your core game and see if that provides the added tactics you're looking for.

I actually haven't tried them yet as I'm still finishing the original campaign and I'm the kind of player that sticks to the official rules as written. Once I'm through the core campaign and expansion boxes I'm might come back to the core game with the added expansions stuff.

Back on topic though, one of the things I wish GD had and that they added in the expansions were modular boards. Something I've been looking for in a dungeon crawl for a while and only found in the D&D adventure series (found these games to be too simplistic though) is the random dungeon tile laying. I would love a mode in S&S where you just place random tiles with randomly spawned (level appropriate) monsters and loot and try to make it to the master monster or find the exit (or something like that).
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Kendro wrote:
Wow, this game seems to be exactly what I was looking for.

It seems that way to me as well. A buddy pointed this out to me yesterday and I got in on the EB - Thanks Random!

Based on what I've read here and seen other places, this really intrigues me. I really wonder what type of community support this will have (I don't have GD). Anyone know/think this design encourages us as a community to create our own stuff? For instance, will there be official templates we can use to create new content?

I'm definitely all in on this and have high expectations. cool
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Olaf Polly
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Logus Vile wrote:
...one of the things I wish GD had and that they added in the expansions were modular boards.
Skaak, do you know if each mission has a specific preset map, or there is some randomness in how the map will end up? I.e., can you replay the same mission/scenario and have a different map with different events?
 
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Judy Krauss
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I'm probably dropping it. The responses to some women backers' concerns, plus the lack of response to the sexist trolls in the comment section makes me not want to support this company. soblue I will give them until tonight to see if they respond differently (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are considering how to respond).

EDIT: Dropped.
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Skaak
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opaliy wrote:
Skaak, do you know if each mission has a specific preset map, or there is some randomness in how the map will end up? I.e., can you replay the same mission/scenario and have a different map with different events?

I can't really answer this one since I haven't seen all the quests, but my guess it they all use a specific map.

That said, the modular maps would make a randomized setup possible (unlike GD, where randomizing the map is very difficult). I would be very surprised if we don't see at minimum a fan variant for random scenarios, and given that Gremlin Project has expressed interest in this for GD in the past it's entirely possible it might show up as a stretch goal or something for S&S (note: I have no inside info about this; merely speculating).
 
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