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DCR Thoughts

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Having played a full game, here are my thoughts :

The game is seriously against the players, but that is what gives it the challenge. It also gives the game the replay ability because each game will be different from the last.

Game components: I haven't opened my copy, but based on the demo copy I played with, I felt the pieces and the art were well done. The box art, however, was an illusion to be size of the game; it's a flat game that packs well.

Rules are solid, and even though we had questions during play, they got answered quickly and often referred to in the rulebook in case it came up again.

Thanks!

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The game is noticeably arresting, the color choices are brilliant.  The attention-grabbing red of the life markers on the muted green cards.  The shock of the blue spirit animals when you flip the card over.  The feel of the game is interesting, it has a certain underlying storytelling element to it that gives it quite a mood.  It has a lot of flavor.  I know that when I bring it into my gaming store today it well get a lot of attention.

 

I've only played one game so far since I brought it home, my husband and I were the only two players.  Somehow we managed to eek out a victory and it felt wonderful!

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There really was a great narrative feel to the game.  As the sun went deeper and deeper into Darkness with a hero chasing it, more corruption spread on the board, which was almost too much for the remaining hero to deal with.  It was pretty tense throughout, especially with a single shadow stealing five items from us and dealing as many wounds.  I can't wait to play my next game of it!

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We've finished our first game. Here's some thoughts:

 

Game parts:

Overall it's pretty good, although there were some parts that already had a "used" look to them (character cards and cut-outs, wind tracks), making it feel a bit less polished as one would expect out of the box.

 

Game art: amazing. From the little shadows at the back of their decks to the characters, the setting is really good, and helps create a story-telling mood like few others. Out of my mind came a memory from Buffy the Vampire slayer...when she explores the dark men facing the first evil. The shadowmen iirc...well the game feels in that time and place with the artwork.

 

Game rules: While simple, the rulebook is not the easiest thing to browse in when you are learning the game, but it's still nicely done.

 

One thing that wasn't clear for us though: some challenges have a green C snake instead of a skill. Since it is not prensent in the rulebook, we assumed that meant your hero will not have a Skilled challenge re-roll, but the Moon's Blessing says that the warrior considers all challenges as Skilled...which would give a re-roll to them. Spirits also have a similar ability that give them a skill re-roll vs all challenges. Do these things work even vs those "Snaked" challenges?

 

Gameplay: Also great here, we discussed the order of play for tactical advantage, traded items and prepared for the dreaded rumors to come...and the time to send one of us down into Darkness. The challenge system is good, and while it is difficult and the shadows are spreading like crazy, it creates a sense of urgency that is just fun.

 

The strange:

 

Now there's something that bugged us a bit...the event cards are nastey, nastey little things and the sun randomly pops them. Moreoever, the warrior who walks the Darkness can also trigger them. For the most part it's fun stuff adding challenge to the game.

 

That said, we've found 2 cards that don't add much fun when it's happening to the Warrior in Darkness and can actually cause the game to stop automatically. Both these cards sends the warrior who trigger the event to go back to the village. One of them actually makes you change your character without a choice of resisting it (unfun mechanic imho, we love our warriors, why not make it suffer wounds instead or at least face a challenge to avoid it). The other one prevents you from going to a Region...and sends you back to the village as well  (rargh!). We had that happen twice, i feel that we were unlucky, but the possibility of an auto-loose occurence ain't great. The problem with these two cards is that they can (not always) stop the game in a very binary manner (you loose). It's not like the walk through Darkness is easy for the warrior who'se thrown in there :P

 

-------------

 

Overall i'd give this game an easy 7.5/10, so i recommend it for sure.

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I actually encountered that nasty little event, the one that bans you from a region and takes you back to the village. It occurred when I played the demo on GenCon. It happened so early in the game that I felt my character wasn't doing much in the game later on.

Aaron, what happens if the hero chasing the sun in the snake gets sent back to the village? I don't recall it as a way to lose the game (beyond the ones that were mentioned), but it's not like the hero can go back in the snake afterwards.

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I got to play in a quick demo at Gencon. The hall was closing so we never made it into the Snake. I thoroughly enjoyed the flavor of the game but it seemed hard enough that I wonder how often the game will grind to a loss once you do make it to that last phase. The difficulty makes me a bit afraid of setting it up for just anyone at the store on Board Game Night. That said I bought a copy and I look forward to breaking it out with some of my more tactically minded friends! 

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Quite true, you can stop before the event icon, however the Dark Die can rattle during the challenge phase, causing said event to occur. I take it we were very unlucky, as the sun bumped into the event icon a few times and sent the warrior twice in the village, the last time making the game stop as there was no more rumors to be found.

As for difficulty, we didn't find it that bad, although with few players the sun is much slower. From what we could gather, a 4+ game will likely need to have a good cooperation for success, because the sun is that much faster the more players there is. In return, if players are successful at their challenges, they will collectively get much more equipment in a shorter time. Then it's a matter of pooling the best kit to whoever is the fittest and sending the hero asap down the snake.

 

P.S. we did play again, this time with more people. The sun went really fast and breezed past the rumor icons thanks to a "swallowing of the night", but we soldiered on and Hrafn got within 1 square of the sun by the time it was digested fully. Great times we really felt the emergency through the last turns..

 

 

Edited by Sybaris

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Guest Zak

Echo most of the positive comments above...truly an engaging game that does not fry your brain on fiddly mechanics.  

The only rule question I have has a major impact on the game...movement.

1) The rules clearly statement a move action is a single "Space."

2) However, I noticed that the bridges connecting the village to the Regions and from Regions to Merchants do not directly connect with the middle or outer spaces within the region.  This could purely be cosmetic.

3) Or does this visual design choice suggest that when you move from the village to a region you can go to any of the three spaces.  Once inside the region it costs a movement point to move between spaces.  Likewise you can move from any space within a region to a merchant and vice versa.

Playing with the interpretation of #3 above gives you more to do on your turn, otherwise, you will suck up most action points simply moving.  On the other hand, if this is the wrong interpretation then it would make the game too easy.  I have only played once so I have no point of reference on whether or not I am interpreting this right based on the result (which was a win.)  I'm inclined to say I'm wrong...since we won the first of what is purposed to be a challenging game.

Thanks for the feedback and love this game!

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When you move from the village to the region, you have to move to the center space. When you move from a region to the village, it has to be from the center space.

Only the spaces directly adjacent to the merchants may move to them, not any other region spaces and not village spaces.

Hope that helps!

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Guest Zak

It does indeed...thanks Tyrant.  Certainly will make the game more challenging for us...which is good to hear.

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I'd have to look at the cards to know for sure, but triggering an event while inside darkness is 100% optional. You can just choose not to land on those spaces.

I'm a little confused by this.  On page 16, it says: 

Any time a Warrior on Tallil succeeds on a Challenge
Card, the Warrior in Darkness may move forward
1 space after the Challenge is fully resolved. If this
movement causes the Warrior to land on a Darkness
Track icon, it does not resolve.

Does this mean that when you move forward on your own turn, that you resolve any icons you land on?

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Yes, as noted under "The Darkness Track" on page 16:

"When the Sun or a Warrior ends its movement on (not just moves past) a space with a special icon, a special effect takes place, as determined by that icon."

 

However, you can choose to end your movement short to avoid landing on bad icons... though that means that you're not as close to the sun as you would be if you ended on the icon and suffered its effects.

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