Playtest For One

 Posted by at 7:23 am  Boardgames, DDO  Add comments
Feb 062017
 

Playtest For One

 

DDO the Card Game revision 2 is up and running; cards printed and received, rules refined and ready, nothing left except for actual playing.

There was even time available, something that had not happened in the last several weeks. And so I found myself checking out the claim that the game could be played solo.

It plays quite differently when you are by yourself. It is always your turn. The distinction between the Banking Phase at end of one turn is easy to conflate with the Build Phase of the next turn.

But the biggest difference is that you can play with a single Hero and build it up to crazy-high levels. You can use a single Hero in the multiplayer game too, but when you do there is a risk that your Hero will be part of a failed Quest, return tapped, and you won’t have any Heroes available to send on one or more quests.

When you are playing solo that doesn’t matter. It is always your turn, and the first thing you do every turn is straighten all your cards. Your one Hero is always available.

I started with a Cleric.

In the early going, before I’d been able to build up my Cleric very much, I had to pass on most quests. Later, once I’d gained power, the Hero was devastating, skewering whatever it encountered with ease.

That is one powerful Hero!

That is kind of the drawback of solo play; either your Hero is built up enough to win a Quest or it is not. When there are other players, there are ways to team up and help each other, ways to manage monster focus, that sort of thing, and sometimes you can beat a monster that is harder than you thought you could defeat.

But not in solo play. When it is just your one character it all comes down to the numbers on that one guy, no managing focus, no support, either you have enough or you don’t.

Also, Cure spells are not very useful, because you need a turn to use them and the monster is still pounding on you.

At the Raid I faced the Storm Giant with my one Hero. Even as built-up as I was I could only hit him twice before he killed me. I took him down to 11 hit points, but I needed to hit him twice more. No chance for that, his second attack finished me off.

If I’d only had a companion.

My Gamer Girl joined me for the the next go, a two-player test. She chose to try the One Hero method, while I decided to build two. Sure enough, she had to miss out on a couple of quests when they happened during my turn while she was tapped. But her Hero ended up massively powerful, eight or nine Level Ups and a bunch of other cards. I was building a Rogue to do DPS and a Cleric to heal in the raid.

We were feeling pretty confident.

Then we turned over the Raid card (the Storm Giant again) and it’s accompanying three Quest Boss monsters. Uh oh, one was the Wraith from Free Delera, who can only be killed with spells, and between us we had no damage spells. Only buffs and cures.

Delera ate us up, we never even got to the Storm Giant.
 

All by herself, Delera was more Monster than we could handle


 
If only we’d had a Wizard.

In retrospect, that is a pretty obvious need, the Monsters are intended to require a variety of different abilities to defeat. Some Monsters cannot be Ranged, some are very difficult to Melee, some are immune to most spells. And a couple can only be killed with spells, like Delera.

No worries, the game is supposed to win at least some of the time. I’m not sure what the ideal balance for that is, but I am certain that there must be a very real chance that the players will lose or it won’t be any fun when they win.

We tried again, but the Super Bowl got in the way and we never finished.

Stupid Super Bowl.

🙂 😀 🙂

What do you think?

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