Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Dungeon Twister» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: BloggerMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: I love Israel!Microbadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: It's Alive! fan
Jon 5, Dylan 2

The others went, and I thought Dylan would be the perfect one on which to try out this game. Neither of us had played it.

It's an action point race game with a rich fantasy RPG theme. You've got eight characters to move out your opponent's side of a maze-like board. Various useful items are sprinkled around. Each character can only carry one at a time. The maze is made of passages, walls, pits, and doors, the latter three of which can be passed only by some people or using some items.

And topping it off, the maze is divided into eight sections, each of which can be rotated a quarter turn at a time by someone sitting on the rotation gear which can be found in each section. That makes traversal of the playing field, and avoidance of barriers within, uniquely interesting, as everything and everyone on the dungeon rotates along with the section.

I've heard this game called "Chess like" which is completely untrue. There's blind luck when you have combats, for one thing. For another, it just doesn't feel like chess. It feels like a dungeon crawl, not like an abstract.

The game asks you to choose secretly your starting positions, but we played by randomly placing all the pieces. It was a tense and close game for all that. I suspect that the random placement is probably the best, but I'll have to read up on the strategies of opening placement to see.

It's quite good. I won, but I suspect that I'm not very good at the game and will probably lose most of the time to certain players.

I started with an early lead, but discovered that taking my best characters off the board early can make it quite difficult for the remaining characters. One negative of the game is that each piece moves independently. That makes movement as a party rather difficult and it loses something for that.

Another thing I didn't fully like was that wounded characters were essentially dead. It would help a lot if they could at least still move.

Dylan came up from behind with a strategic lineup across the board which made it look like my remaining two characters who had any chance to escape were likely doomed. But then he undervalued a combat with his strongest player against mine. I ended up killing him (worth a point) and escaping with that player (worth another point) to win the game (at five points).

As I said, it's a very good mind-bender of a game which I'll happily play again.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris De Rhodes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
Interesting insights.

Yeah I don't really know why people compare DT to chess. It might be because it involves moving pieces around trying to take your opponent's pieces with little or no luck involved. I think there's a vague similarity here in that respect, but it definitely doesn't feel like chess at all to me. There's really nothing like Dungeon Twister. I think it's fair to say that some aspects of DT are like some aspects of chess. Not sure how helpful that comparison is though.

Combat is 0% luck. You choose a card and so does your opponent. Card choosing occurs based on whatever rationale or tactics you're employing at the time. I'm wondering if you were drawing combat cards at random...

Yeah, moving characters (especially good ones) off the board means you have less support for your remaining ones. This is one of the important tactical decisions of the game. I'm usually happy to move the weaker ones off at any time, but even those have some special ability that you're going to have to do without.

In my game last night, my opponent had his Undead Dragon and Mummy on my baseline ready to exit very quickly. He agonized over having them exit (I'm always happy to see the UD Dragon go).

Wounded characters... yeah they're helpless. If they could still move though they'd be able to get off the map, outrun attackers, etc and I don't think that would be so good.

Wounded characters have more uses if you use the other sets. There are a couple healing pools you can take them to. The Undead make great use of them. zombie

In closing I'll say that with one play through I really had no feel for the game, nor much vision. I kinda just stumbled through the dungeon. The second game was much better. Last night I played my 6th game, and wow I'm seeing stuff I never would have imagined before. The interplay of the environment and characters is amazing. You really start to feel like you're playing the actual dungeon as much as you're playing your characters. No other game compares.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: BloggerMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: I love Israel!Microbadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: It's Alive! fan
cebalrai wrote:
Combat is 0% luck.
*blink* *blink*

Is rock-paper-scissors 0% luck just because you can choose exactly what you want to play?

It's not lucky what card you play, but it's nearly entirely luck whether the card you chose was the best, worst, or middle card versus what your opponent played. That's luck.

You can add the word "bluff" if you like, but unless you're really practiced at the psychology of your opponent, it's still luck.

Yehuda
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris De Rhodes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
Shade_Jon wrote:
cebalrai wrote:
Combat is 0% luck.
*blink* *blink*

Is rock-paper-scissors 0% luck just because you can choose exactly what you want to play?

It's not lucky what card you play, but it's nearly entirely luck whether the card you chose was the best, worst, or middle card versus what your opponent played. That's luck.

You can add the word "bluff" if you like, but unless you're really practiced at the psychology of your opponent, it's still luck.

Yehuda
Since Dungeon Twister is nothing like rock-paper-scissors, your logic fails.

What I think you're failing to realize is the intrinsic link between character positioning, abilities, dungeon rotation, and combat. All three are so intertwined that you can't focus on any one aspect of the game and analyze it in isolation.

Before combat, players analyze the situation at hand. You also analyze what combat cards you and your opponent have access to. You then take your analysis into the combat draw. That's the short version.

In the scope of the larger game, available combat cards (even outside of combat) influence the game tremendously. Players have to be very mindful of this when they go into combat. As part of your analysis of what combat cards to pull and what will be pulled on you, consider the greater impact on the game of the combat being won either way. The insight you gain from your grand analysis will not only tell you what card you're best off playing, but what your opponent is best off doing as well.

Therefore, it's not luck at all. The player who has the best grip of tactics and most successfully analyzes the whole situation is going to have the most positive outcome.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
Costa Rica
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Big Lebowski fanMicrobadge: Gen Con attendeeMicrobadge: ChristianMicrobadge: Heroscape fanMicrobadge: Led Zeppelin fan
Great post, Makes me want the game even more. I love to hear that after 6 games you have figured it out and are getting strategy down it sounds like.

Oh yea, this is must have as far as I can tell!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
So Near, So Far: Musings for Miles - Joe Henderson
badge
Bryant & May: Strange Tide - Christopher Fowler
Avatar
Microbadge: Fugitive fanMicrobadge: Whitehall Mystery fanMicrobadge: Little Wars centennial (1913-2013)Microbadge: Wargamer of 50+ yearsMicrobadge: I love reading to my grandchildren
Shade_Jon wrote:
Another thing I didn't fully like was that wounded characters were essentially dead. It would help a lot if they could at least still move.
That's the power of the Cleric - he can heal those wounded characters for you.

I'm inclined to the "not luck" side of the combat argument, at least when looking at any given combat in the context of the entire game. But luck arguments are so tedious, and have been pursued so many times, that I'll yield rather than participate in another.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris De Rhodes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
I think that if the entire game was just drawing combat cards then yes, it would be pretty much just luck. It's the context that makes it not luck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fabrice Wiels
Belgium
Chatelet
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Tabletop RPG playerMicrobadge: Unknown Armies RPG fanMicrobadge: I have played 100 different roleplaying games in my lifetimeMicrobadge: Roleplaying Since 1985Microbadge: Powered by the Apocalypse
I agree: Combat is bluff, hand management and calculation, but certainly not luck. If your combat cards are depleted, you'll have a tendency to avoid the fighting. If you have a strong hand and your opponent already has depleted his hand, you will be able to fight more often. If you attack a character for no reason and the opponent cleric is not far behind, you're just stupid... Of course, the bluff element plays a lot. If you play poker, you probably know that. Poker gamers make great DT gamers. But that's no luck: as attacker, you know that you take chances if you play a combat card that can result to the loss of the fight.

Most experienced players don't do that. They prefer to play a card to "even" the combat scores if the defender plays his highest card. So if my troll hit the opponent goblin, I'll play at least a +3, and sometimes a +4 (if I need to be certain to win and I don't have any action left).

On the defender side, most of the time, you'll play a +0 combat card, because if the attack is declared, you have already lost the fight. The attacker won't attack if he thinks he will lose (it can happen if he doesn't remember which combat cards have been played, or if he wants that you play your highest card so he is dominant in that area, but that's another matter). So most of the time, you play +0. Sometimes, the situation can be so interesting for you if your character is not wounded that you will sacrifice your highest card, and hope your opponent plays to even the score. But against experienced players, this tactic doesn't succeed very often: chances are that if you have seen a good action to play, they have seen it too...


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: BloggerMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: I love Israel!Microbadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: It's Alive! fan
It's obvious that everyone else has a definition of luck entirely, ENTIRELY different from mine.

Yehuda
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris De Rhodes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
What's your definition?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: BloggerMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: I love Israel!Microbadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: It's Alive! fan
http://jergames.blogspot.com/2008/02/skill-and-luck-and-card...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris De Rhodes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
Okay here's your definition of luck from your blog:

"Luck: an event that occurs beyond any player control that has direct effect on victory. A series of lucky or unlucky events will decide the game, regardless of your skill.

The key word here is "any". In DT combat there are absolutely no combat elements beyond any player's control. Therefore by your own definition there is no luck in DT combat.

From an experiential viewpoint, we certainly don't see luck overriding skill and deciding DT games, do we? In fact, the chance of a unskilled player defeating a skilled player is so remote it's not really worth mentioning. I would also assert that the skilled player will win almost 100% of the time regardless as to how many combats there are.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: BloggerMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: I love Israel!Microbadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: It's Alive! fan
My definition is obviously incomplete.

Once again I'm forced to bring up the example of RPS. Nothing in RPS happens beyond one or the other's control, yet most people would agree that there is luck in the game.

If an opponent's choice is good or bad depending on what you do, and your choice is good or bad depending on what he does, and both of you must select your choice simultaneously without sufficient certainty as to what the other will choose, then there is luck.

I honestly don't see how you can argue otherwise. You continue to say that a better player will win. So what? A better player will avoid most of the situations in the game fraught with luck. That doesn't prevent luck from being involved in the combat.

There's lots to the game besides luck. Sure. A better player will usually win. Sure. In many combat situations, one player can guarantee a victory. Sure.

That doesn't prevent luck from being involved in the combat.

Yehuda
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris De Rhodes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
Quote:
My definition is obviously incomplete.
If an opponent's choice is good or bad depending on what you do, and your choice is good or bad depending on what he does, and both of you must select your choice simultaneously without sufficient certainty as to what the other will choose, then there is luck.
Yehuda
If the choice is good or bad depending on what the other person does (and not a random number), how can it be luck? It's something else.

Let's take your example where player A has a 4 combat value and player B has a 1 combat value. Player A wins 100% of the time by playing his 4-card, since the best player B can get would be seven. However as you pointed out, player B knows this and may choose to play a zero in order to minimize losses. Therefore, what does player A do?

Here's how it's not luck. Player A is in control of the situation. Gaining control through the greater game is key, and it's part of how combat is determined not by luck, but by skill. But let's move on. Player A either chooses to win outright or chooses to yield to player B if player B wants it bad enough. The decision player A makes is to place a certain value on the combat and compare it to player B's value. The highest value wins.

If player A picks his 0-card and player B picks his 6-card, player A doesn't lose because of "bad luck". He loses because he intentionally chose a strategy that player B could counter if he wanted to do so. He loses because he didn't place a certain value on the combat. If both players pick 0-cards, A didn't win because of "good luck". He won because player B didn't try to win. Control is key.

Again, I will try to redirect the focus to the larger game as much as possible. The game of positioning and getting into combats where one has control of the situation is a crucial element here. Getting into player A's position in the first place needs to be counted in the analysis of whether or not "combat is blind luck" as you claim.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Franklin
United States
Milton
Washington
flag msg tools
He sees you when you're sleeping; he knows when you're awake ...
badge
He knows if you've been bad or good.
Avatar
Microbadge: My lover is also a BGG userMicrobadge: Golden MeepleMicrobadge: Dungeon Twister fanMicrobadge: Repos Prod fanMicrobadge: Matagot fan
Quote:
My definition is obviously incomplete.

Once again I'm forced to bring up the example of RPS. Nothing in RPS happens beyond one or the other's control, yet most people would agree that there is luck in the game.
RPS is a bad example. There is never any reason to choose one vs. the other - Rock is always an equivalent choice to paper or scissors.

(Well, unless you ask The World RPS Society - who have an excellent article here on "Advanced RPS")

In DT, I know which characters are critical to my strategy and which characters I can afford to lose. Admittedly, this is something I've learned over time, not something a beginner will be able to easily do.

Quote:
If an opponent's choice is good or bad depending on what you do, and your choice is good or bad depending on what he does, and both of you must select your choice simultaneously without sufficient certainty as to what the other will choose, then there is luck.
I don't know what you mean by "Sufficient Certainty." My opponents know I'll usually (but not always) throw my '0' to defend with my Goblin, as he doesn't feature heavily in my normal play. I can use that information against them, sometimes, by throwing higher cards - but if I do it too often, they learn to anticipate my "bluff."

Quote:
I honestly don't see how you can argue otherwise. You continue to say that a better player will win. So what? A better player will avoid most of the situations in the game fraught with luck. That doesn't prevent luck from being involved in the combat.
I don't disagree that there is some luck in combat - especially for beginning players - but combat is not 100% pure luck, either. There is a "best play" for each combat, but that play will depend on your strategy and its key characters as much as (or more than) what your opponent plays. If you NEED that Goblin to last until next turn, then don't play a '0.' If your troll is only attacking to burn your opponent's cards, then don't burn your own cards in the process.

Quote:
There's lots to the game besides luck. Sure. A better player will usually win. Sure. In many combat situations, one player can guarantee a victory. Sure.

That doesn't prevent luck from being involved in the combat.

Yehuda
Eric
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fabrice Wiels
Belgium
Chatelet
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Tabletop RPG playerMicrobadge: Unknown Armies RPG fanMicrobadge: I have played 100 different roleplaying games in my lifetimeMicrobadge: Roleplaying Since 1985Microbadge: Powered by the Apocalypse
I find it difficult to see everything that is out of my control as "luck".

For me, luck is linked to randomness.

If you consider that in a game there is luck because your opponent has some kind of control over the outcome of an action because he can react, then there is luck in nearly every game!

R-P-S is a bad example too, because you don't have any clue about the choice your opponent can do - he can chooze any of the three and you will still have a 33% probability to win and 33% probability to chooze the same item.

You cannot say the same about Dungeon Twister: you do have some elements upon which you can assume what your opponent choice will be, and you can make your choice accordingly, sometimes accepting to take chances, sometimes playing without any bluff. But that choice is under your control, and that's the key word here: in Dungeon Twister, you have a tremendous amount on control on the maze and your characters: you are able to make choices, and usually, these choices will have short and long term effects on the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Van den Broeck
Belgium
Zwijndrecht
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Dungeon Twister fanMicrobadge: Warhammer Underworlds: ShadespireMicrobadge: Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire - Sepulchral GuardMicrobadge: Corto Maltese fanMicrobadge: Great Western Trail fan
Anyway, it is "less luck" then throwing dice...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls