$30.00
Recommend
27 
 Thumb up
 Hide
37 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Tannhäuser» Forums » Reviews

Subject: So Much Promise...and Incredibly Disappointing rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brian Counter
United States
Champaign
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I bought Tannhauser at GenCon 2007 as my Take-a-Chance game: a yearly GenCon ritual (that I now question after this experience) where I buy a game I haven't fully researched yet, and take my chances with. There was so much promise to this game. Who doesn't like killing evil Nazis in a seemingly pulp environment with flavorfull missions and good tactics? That was the appeal.

Executive Summary: Tannhauser "borrows" many game elements from exisiting games (Frag, Adventure!, Mage Knight/HeroClix, Doom, Red Faction II, HeroScape), and while the flavor is still great, that flavor does not translate well to the gameboard, which plays like a better Frag (and Doom-deadly at that), but the board itself is a deal-breaker along with a half-baked rulebook.

Let me start by saying that I am not hard to please when it comes to board games. I can play most and enjoy them, and rarely do I refuse to play a game. Ergo, when a write this largely negative review of Tannhauser, know that it takes a lot for me personally to react as negatively as I have to this game.


THE GOOD

There are some great things about this game despite my overall frustration with it. The rulebook art is top-notch. There are plenty of tokens with great art (a bit dark, but more on that later). The flavor of a pulp Nazi vs. Union conflict with some supernatural elements and higher tech is so very well done in the rulebook. It easily captures your imagination and makes you excited about playing. The minis are also very well sculpted and painted. My game was missing the Eva mini, but FF was very quick and courteous to send a replacement.

The story mode is really neat (at least before you actually play). The objective tokens tell a neat little background story about what your team has come to do, and this adds well to the flavor of the game. Well done.

THE BAD

The board itself is a deal-killer for me. The background art is actually pretty good, but the board is so dark, people with really good vision have to strain to see even the walls let alone the path colors. If you don't play under a theatre searchlight, you're already in trouble. The self-touted 'revolutionary' pathfinder system may be untried, but it's hardly revolutionary and is frankly not even needed. Do selfish players really argue about line of sight *that* much? The paths are so murky, almost muddy looking, you almost have to stare down at the circles from directly overhead with a flashlight to see them. Who approves something like that? I can see it was made dark for flavor, but if you can't see the board because of really shoddy design, that kind of kills any flavor.

The rulebook is another mess. I can get past a few spots of less than optimal translations, but the organization is messy. There are some areas overly covered and some areas not covered nearly enough, and it jumps around. I don't think it's a good logical choice to be explaining something in one section and then refer to another section that hasn't even been covered yet. The many unique weapons and starter packs require people to pass around the rules for far too much time.

The bits, while many as one expects from a FF game, are well-constructed, but some are hard to see. For example, on the dial down counters for health, could the arrows be any smaller? While the actual artwork on them is good, again, too dark, murky, and so many of them that you don't really even need. I love customizability, but the different equipment packs are largely unimportant, as your character is likely to die not long after seeing an enemy anyway.

THE UGLY (Gameplay)

So at this point we have great pulpy flavor and artwork nd missions, with an awful board and dubious rules. But how does it play? This is where there is a large disconnect between flavor and execution. At set up, the story objectives are simple tokens. Granted, they are placed near room objects which match the objective in some way, which is neat, but they are still just tokens, so it loses some flavor for me right there, mostly because you can't see the board well enough to enjoy the story objective with the murky dark board.

The actual movement and fighting is pretty simple. When you encounter an enemy you essentially roll competing dice pools for successes (Adventure!) pitting your attack stat against your opponent's stamina stat (and equipment and other elements add +/-s to the rolls). You then compare whether you have more successes than your opponent (HeroScape), and if you hurt their character, you dial down their stats (Mage Knight/HeroClix), often with lethality (Doom). If you can get your characters with the proper skills to the objective tokens, you can win. There are other modes like Capture the Flag and Deathmarch, but those are rather Red Faction II-ish, and I have no personal interest in as far as a board game.


Thus, IMO, the great flavor doesn't translate well to the simple gameplay, which is a better Frag with real minis, and combines elements from various games as described above. If the board was more usuable, and the unneeded pathfinding system was replaced with spaces you could see, I might not be so critical of this game. And I don't mind dice-fests at times. But a $60 dice fest that is very disconnected from the neat flavor of the game is very frustrating to me. Others may enjoy this game, and I respect that, but I am not one of them.

7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lawrence Spode
United States
Mount Airy
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
heymondo wrote:
Do selfish players really argue about line of sight *that* much?



Yes. We do. I am still argueing with one of my friends about a LoS ruling in Squad Leader and that was over 3 months ago.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Fiscus
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Compiling elegant mechanics from other games does *NOT* make a game less desirable to me, but I am worried about the board quality. The game is coming to me in the mail this week and I will post back here with an agreement or disagreement. Thanks for your frank review!


Edit for the missing "Not". Duh.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adrienne
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Subhuman wrote:
heymondo wrote:
Do selfish players really argue about line of sight *that* much?



Yes. We do. I am still argueing with one of my friends about a LoS ruling in Squad Leader and that was over 3 months ago.




Uh, yeah, we do.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
BorderCon
Australia
Lavington
New South Wales
flag msg tools
8 Weeks to BorderCon!!! And the Geeklist is up...go find it!
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review - I appreciate your comments.

This means I have to scale back my 'Must have this game' to a 'Thinking About it'. More research will follow.

I can forgive a game for mashing other games mechanics together, expecially when I have no experience with many of the games mentioned (Doom aside).

I can even forgive poorly constructed rule sets - how many games fall into this bracket?!

But the functionality of the board is critical. The board conveys the feel of a game, it should inspire. It if does neither of these things and then even makes the game hard to play...shake

I'll look forward to Tim's comments in due course.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Libby
United States
Middletown
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
heymondo wrote:
Who doesn't like killing evil Nazis in a seemingly pulp environment with flavorfull missions and good tactics?


I thought this game was an alternate history of The Great War. There were no Nazis in that war (well at least the real Great War). Are the characters just Nazi-like or are there actual Nazis in this game?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
But the drumbeat strains of the night remain in the rhythm of the newborn day.
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
    For those of us who's eyes are over forty, is the print type used in this game going to be a problem?

             Sag.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
fightcitymayor
United States
Mc Donald
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Proprietor and Chairman Emeritus of The Naughty Palace
mb
heymondo wrote:
I bought Tannhauser at GenCon 2007 as my Take-a-Chance game: a yearly GenCon ritual (that I now question after this experience) where I buy a game I haven't fully researched yet, and take my chances with. There was so much promise to this game.

If you hadn't "fully researched" it, and it was a "take-a-chance" game, then how could it have been "incredibly disappointing"?



9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
But the drumbeat strains of the night remain in the rhythm of the newborn day.
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
fightcitymayor wrote:
heymondo wrote:
I bought Tannhauser at GenCon 2007 as my Take-a-Chance game: a yearly GenCon ritual (that I now question after this experience) where I buy a game I haven't fully researched yet, and take my chances with. There was so much promise to this game.

If you hadn't "fully researched" it, and it was a "take-a-chance" game, then how could it have been "incredibly disappointing"?


    Because he, like me, just wanted it to be a good game. The theme is just so cool you want the rest of it to match.

             Sag.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Libby
United States
Middletown
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Sagrilarus wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:
heymondo wrote:
I bought Tannhauser at GenCon 2007 as my Take-a-Chance game: a yearly GenCon ritual (that I now question after this experience) where I buy a game I haven't fully researched yet, and take my chances with. There was so much promise to this game.

If you hadn't "fully researched" it, and it was a "take-a-chance" game, then how could it have been "incredibly disappointing"?


Because he, like me, just wanted it to be a good game. The theme is just so cool you want the rest of it to match.

Sag.


I agree with that also. I really wanted to try it at GenCon, but did not get a chance. The theme looked really cool and I really had my hopes set high on this one. Now I am glad I held off getting it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Counter
United States
Champaign
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the comments everyone.

Gary - You are correct, and I misused the term Nazi. It's not about killing Nazis proper, but that's the feel it has. It does indeed reference only WWI.

Sagrilarus - I just hit 40, and while I have visual challenges myself, even the younger guys in our group sans glasses remarked "holy crap, that's hard to see" referring to the board especially and some of the murky tokens. And you're right on with the Take A Chance motiff. One of my friends was very excited about it and blogged his excitement, which after reading the blog, got me hopeful it was a good game. I bought it on the hope that the flavor would carry it, but as mentioned, the mechanics are a large disconnect from the flavor, IMO.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
fightcitymayor wrote:
If you hadn't "fully researched" it, and it was a "take-a-chance" game, then how could it have been "incredibly disappointing"?


Anything can be disappointing if it's less than you hoped for. I've often gone to a movie that I knew nothing about, and been very disappointed by it.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Douglas Buel
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
heymondo wrote:
But a $60 dice fest


You said the BGG magic phrase!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ronald lee
Singapore
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Was really looking forward to purchasing this... But yet another negative review convinces me to drop the idea...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Chaplin
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Ice-choked tower, Mondavia, Nanglangka.
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
conditionred wrote:
Was really looking forward to purchasing this... But yet another negative review convinces me to drop the idea...


What he said.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Rogers
United States
Hoboken
New Jersey
flag msg tools
designer
They're Young, They're in Love... They eat LARD
mbmbmbmbmb
As another member of the over 40 crowd, I can vouch for the game.

Contrary to this and many other negative reviews, the rulebook is not confusing, nor is it difficult to read. If you want to see for yourself go download the rules for free from Fantasy Flight. As has been noted there is one misprint....the game comes with 6 d10, not 2, an error in the players favor.

If you are concerned about the board features, try looking at the photos posted here on the Geek, I think you will find that while the board depicts a claustrophobic set of low-lit rooms on one side and a catacomb, unsurprisingly sparsely lit, the pathfinder circles are quite easy to read.

The quality of the components is also top-notch and my own board shows no sign of warping, in fact it is one of the nicest, more durable boards I have ever seen. The surface seems to be a matte finish or plastic not dissimilar to contact paper. Perhaps that matte finish contributes to some perceptions of darkened play areas. Regardless the pieces will last a long time.

On cost, if you are not familiar with table-top miniature prices, the price of non-collectable miniatures is significantly different. The ten miniatures in this game would cost practically the same as the entire box if offered by most other publishers. In fact you can buy the set, unpainted in Europe for $28 - $50 (depending on shipping options). This game could have easily been priced at $75, but as is at $60 it’s a great value.

In terms of gameplay the concept of derivative vs. original is a deceptive one. Very few games are iconoclastic enough to be labeled as original. A designer combines game mechanics and the game works or it fails. In this, I think the game excels in what it represents.

The heart of any game is this: is the game fun, challenging and does it appeal to you? Tannhauser works on all three levels for me.
22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Angela Lammers
United States
Sheboygan
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Subhuman wrote:
heymondo wrote:
Do selfish players really argue about line of sight *that* much?



Yes. We do. I am still argueing with one of my friends about a LoS ruling in Squad Leader and that was over 3 months ago.


We do too. And the rules are always different in each game. I really like the Pathfinder circles, they make it much easier for me to figure out what I can hit from where, so I can plan my turns better. I'm terribly bad at LoS for some reason.

And while the board is too dark, even to differentiate walls well and such, the Pathfinder circles also help figure that out. The good thing about the dark board is that it makes the circles more easy to see. Bright board with bright circles could be painful to look at.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrey Velkov
Bulgaria
Doganovo
Elin Pelin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
epilgrim wrote:
Contrary to this and many other negative reviews, the rulebook is not confusing, nor is it difficult to read. If you want to see for yourself go download the rules for free from Fantasy Flight.


I completely agree with the above, I dont own the game, but havin read the rules online, the rule book seems one of the most clearly written rule books from all that I have read, which includes everyone from FFG and numerous others.

As for somebody mentioning something about the game borrowing different game mechanics from various games, almost all games do so. There aren't endless original ideas in the world, and even worse it is very often that e very good idea that you came up on your own later turns out to be already published by someone. So almost any game can be said that borrows mechanics from some other games (even chess), so this is not a reason to dislike a game.

7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Mayse
United States
Los Lunas
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I must say that I am disappointed in all the negativity regarding this game...I can't say that it is the absolute best game I have ever played (and I feel that I have played all shapes and sizes of games in my day), but this is a solid, fun boardgame with mechanics that are easy to grasp, but challenging to master along with simple yet high quality pieces in which to play.

Many players here seem to think of the rulebook as a major detractor to this game. This rulebook is not exactly fluid in the way that it is laid out, but it is extremely simple to read and understand, especially with headings like "How do I make a Combat Roll?" or "How do I give away a piece of equipment?". With instructions like these, how can anyone go wrong? Just look up your question on the Table of Contents at the beginning of the rulebook and just turn to that page. I am almost certain that your particular question or a similar one is listed and will be explained in that section of the rulebook. If not (very unlikely IMO), then the existing rules for the way things work are fairly intuitive as to what you can do in a certain situation. When in doubt, agreement on a course of action with the other players or a simple roll of the dice will keep things moving. If there is a blarring omission of rules, several other players will most likely post their questions and findings here on BGG or on the Tannhauser main website.

Alas, a lot of people seem to be bashing the gameboard ad nauseum. Indeed, it IS dark (deliberately for theme and logistics of the Pathfinder system) and it can be a potential problem on some darker lit tables, but the Pathfinder system makes up for borders of rooms and corridors very well and the printing of the board's artwork and logical placement of terrain features is as good if not better than many similar "themed" boards. I have had no trouble seeing where colored paths lead and where they end (when you look at the gameboard in a normal light, it is very obvious all of the LOS terminations). There were only two places on the House side of the board where there was any question as to the adjacency of circles, but it mattered very little as they were in the same color path and only needed to be quibbled over on ranges for specific types of weapons).

I do agree that this game lacks the promised theme of an "eldritch horror" and referencing the Great War (WWI) is pointless as this could easily have been done using an alternative WWII motiff as I think it would be more in line with Hitler's supposed "obsession with the occult" (thank you, Raiders...), but the elements are in place for the players to create their own scenarios and/or stories/campaigns using the objective tokens and background history to make a very characterful adventure/strategy experience. If players want exciting scenarios, post some that you have made up on the Tannhauser main website or give ideas that would be in line with the theme. It is not completely up to the game designers to think of everything. This one has a pretty good start and I am confident that lots of players (seasoned or otherwise) have the ability to add flavor and excitement to a game this open where it can be very limiting in many other similar "genre" games.

All in all, I have to say that, so far, the six games of Tannhauser that I have played since I purchased it last week, proves to be more satisfying than not and I totally recommend this game to both tactical/strategy players as well as action/adventure players and the expansions that are upcoming will only help to enrich this game system by adding more board/maps and characters to the mix which will enhance the enjoyment of a game that I plan on playing many times in the future...

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve R Bullock
United States
Palm Coast
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm buying it.

Must...have...plastic...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Fiscus
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
HuckmanT wrote:
The game is coming to me in the mail this week and I will post back here with an agreement or disagreement.


I have received the game, looked at the board and the paths under varying lighting conditions, and here are my thoughts:

NOTE: I am 30-something with poor vision enhanced by fashionable "Under This Clark Kent There Is A Superman" spectacles.

1) It's dark. The board and the mood set are dark.
2) The pathfinding circles are fairly bright against the dark except for the "all black" circles which contain a bright icon.
3) A few of the colors are poorly chosen in my opinion, but can be discerned without too much effort.
4) Totally, totally playable.
5) The pathfinding circles could have been thicker, but then we'd be complaining about how they break "the mood".
6) The artwork is really good - love it.

Bottom line: I can very much understand the negative comments on the board visibility, but I don't share them.

Here's hoping it plays as good as it seems like it will!

11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
BorderCon
Australia
Lavington
New South Wales
flag msg tools
8 Weeks to BorderCon!!! And the Geeklist is up...go find it!
mbmbmbmbmb
Great stuff Tim - I'm back on the bandwagon.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Miller
msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I got my pre-order today and the complaints about the game board to my eyes are unfounded.

The image on the board was clear and easy to see, the walls black and clear to see, and the rings were very easy to see. I'm old with bifocals and have no issue with the map. The warping complaints must have been for the European version, because the FFG version is a single piece that folds and only has one "crack" where the pieces join. This seems like a nice board to me.

The board is also larger than I expected. So were the figures.

I cannot comment on gameplay as I haven't played yet, but I think that much of the flavor will be what the players bring to it. It will take some rpg like scenario making to really make the game great. I can see that in time, the boards can get over played.

This will also be a really expensive game if they keep cranking out expansions at $10 a figure. And what is the price for the big expansion?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
RIK FONTANA
United States
St. George
Utah
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, while I see and somewhat understand every one of the reviewers points, I don't agree they are as bad as he makes them out to be.
One of my alltime favorite games is WAR OF THE RING... and I just can NOT read the cards without a strong magnifying glass.
And while I like MK Dungeon, I just can no longer play as I cannot easily make out the stat lines.
But my 50+ eyes have not had a problem with the map or components, which by the the way is of Excellent quality.
My solution was kinda unique: Lottsa lighting! I set up an extra lamp on the table and Voila! I could see everything pretty well!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ray Diebel
United States
Phildelphia
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
I must say I thought this review was quite harsh...and NOT very fair. Sure the writer is entitled to an opinion...but I wonder what it was that he/she thought they'd be pulling from the box? Maybe the gold shiny stuff that was in Marcellus Wallace's briefcase in PULP FICTION that we never got to see!!!

Anyway,
The borad elements are dark purposefully to paint the scene, and the pathfinding works just fine. And I am technically COLOR BLIND. I agree a dimly lit playing area might prove challenging with this board, but no more than with other dark board games (such as CAVE TROLL).

What I found amusing about this review was the many references to so many other baseline games. Was the player anticipating this game to ba a miracle culmination of all of them wrapped into one?

The game sets up quick out of the box and offers a great one-off game for two or more players. It cleans up nice. It plays well. There is much flexibility and variety in the equipment and options...and the benefits of the various elements are EVEN and CONSISTENT, two things that many overzealous game designers often times screw up majorly on a project such as this.

The art and theme are incredibly gripping, and I commend FFG on their aggressive approach to deliver the expansions they promised. And everyone knows that FFG is very guilty for delaying releases...and so I like their effort on this one.

To answer the question regarding Nazis. NO NAZIS. To use the FFG language, the game is a U-Chropic fantasy world that takes an alternate course through history. The Kaiser fends off the world's onslaught, and World War I (or more appropriately) the GREAT WAR, continues on for about 35 years. The Germans (the Reich) seek to find power and domination in the occult, while the Americans (the Union) benefits from technological advances learned from researching a crashed spacecraft held in Area 51 at Roswell. The storyline includes players such as a General Patton, and A FeldMarshall Rommell, players from World War II...but you must remember...it is set in the time frame of the late 1940's...alas...these people were NOW INVOLVED. It's right on...and it's well done.

Please...anyone with an initial interest in this based on the HYPE...you owe it to yourself to proceed with your purchase (or at least give it a play or two at a local game store) before you let this negative commentary dissuade you!

It might not be an in-depth strategy game like Axis...but it certainly carries far more flavor and fun than Doom, Heroquest, or any other hot sellers.





2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.