Dungeon Run 2 – Ideas & Templating

In my last post, I spoke about coming up with an expansion for Dungeon Run, and I’ve started making good progress towards this.  My thought process was that it was best to start with the bones.

By that, I mean that I wanted to start with the foundation for the expansion, rather than to monkey around with art or templating.  So, I started off by creating a spreadsheet with six distinct tabs: Notes, Encounters, Rooms, Items, Characters, & Lookups.  This was to create a single location where I could put all of my ideas, and easily track/share the ideas with my friends.  I started by creating one tab for each of the different types of materials I’d need in the expansion.  Since I wasn’t planning on creating any ground-breaking concepts like entirely new decks, I knew I was going to have to create encounters, rooms, items and characters.  So those seemed the logical starting points.  See the example from the “Encounters” tab below:

In each tab, I entered the relevant sections for that type of card/tile, and then created some input validation rules.   That might be a little nerdy sounding, but what it means is that when you choose “type” from the drop down column, you could choose either “Trap,” “Monster,” “Stranger,” or “Boss” (all information that I stored on the “Lookups” tab to keep things clean and consistent).  The advantage here is that you don’t get a bunch of garbage data in your spreadsheet–no typos, etc.  So when it came down to making my playtest cards, I could easily export them with a mail merge or similar and ensure that the data was clean. Continue reading

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Dungeon Run 2 Expansion

My gaming group hasn’t been playing all that much 40k. This is because I try not to alienate folks who show up, and not everyone in the group actually plays 40k (plus, those of us that do, don’t always bring models, or aren’t always interested in playing).

So, that means that many weeks we aschew 40k in favor of board games. One of the old standards that we’ve been playing a lot is Dungeon Run by Plaid Hat Games (which is, apparently, out of print). It’s not a typical game that I would enjoy because, while it does have a level of strategy involved, who actually wins the game is seemingly random. It’s a semi-cooperative style board game wherein you explore a dungeon together, but then fight each other to escape. And when I say that it’s random who wins, I truly believe that. Sometimes it’s the person who gets all of the treasure, or sometimes it’s the person who spent the entirety of the game laying face down because they’ve been repeatedly killed by the wandering monsters.

Typically that’s not the sort of game that I enjoy, but this one sees the table more than most, and I always walk away with a smile. The down side is that there’s just not all that much meat to the game. The game is solid, but I find myself wanting a little more: diversity, length, options… something.

Well, as luck would have it, Plaid Hat announced an expansion to the game called, suitingly, Dungeon Run 2. Of course, this was more than six years ago, so hopefully you haven’t been holding your breath. If you read around forums online, it’s pretty clear that people aren’t expecting this to come out ever (which makes sense–why bother releasing an expansion to a game that isn’t even in print).

But then I got to thinking–why not? Granted, there’s no money for Plaid Hat to publish an expansion, but why couldn’t I create one of my own?

So that’s what I’m planning to do. I’m gonna whip together an expansion for the game, complete with new characters, items, bosses, encounters, and dungeon tiles. I won’t add any new card types, but I might play with some of the existing classes/structures. I plan on incorporating what I can from their planned expansion: they have already announced Demons as a monster type, voting mechanics, and changes to traps, so I’ll be sure to include all of those in my homebrew expansion.

I should be clear that I don’t intend to sell this–it’s for personal use–but I certainly won’t mind sharing it with anyone who might be interested.

My first step is to to create a spreadsheet, so I can come up with all of the various information in a consolidated location. Once I come up with enough ideas, I’ll break into templating. I’ll also create a search term for DungeonRun2 that you can use to follow the progress of this on my blog, should you be interested in it.

Wish me luck!

Image Credit: Plaid Hat and Dungeon Run Logos owned by Plaid Hat Games.

Warhammer: Silver Tower Review

I have a hard time believing that I’ve never written a blog post on Silver Tower.

Back in May of 2016, Brandon wound up buying a copy of this game and trying to drum up interest in our local gaming group.

In hindsight, I now see that’s kind of his thing. He keeps buying into new games and trying to get the group into them: Silver Tower, X-Wing, Imperial Assault, Age of Sigmar, Shadespire, Destiny, etc. Now that I think about it more, they all seem to be either fantasy or Star Wars related. Maybe that’s why our game group has fallen out of favor with him?

Anywho, he bought Silver Tower last year and tried to drum up interest in the game. Now, I’d played Warhammer Quest before, back in the 90’s, so I was immediately on board. We also got some tepid responses from others. It wound up competing against other games at the table (including eventually another campaign of Star Wars: Imperial Assault), and it eventually died outright.

Well, I do like to complete things, so this summer I made a push to finish both our Imperial Assault campaign (which was an easy sell to those involved) and also our Silver Tower game. The latter eventually wound up being just Brandon and I grinding things out at his place over a couple of sessions with his Dwarf my my Elf.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about the game itself:

The Components
The models are standard quality for GW, which means to say that they’re fantastic in the box. They’re all great looking, and I’ve heard of people buying the box just for some of the chaos models inside it (originally I think it was the only way you could purchase most of the models–though by now I’m sure they’re available seperately). The cardboard is thick and well laminated. Literally nothing about the game comes across as cheap. Continue reading

Seafall Campaign: Game 11

Before we played game 11, we went back and discussed enmity distribution that happened in game 11 and lead me to believe I was relatively safe from my adversaries.

Oh man, how do I describe this game without spoilers? Since we opened up two chests in the previous game, there was naturally a big difference in how things happened to play out. With new unlocks around the board, particularly the one from the Octopus chest, strategies of players all changed a bit. As a result, I was able to settle back into my old strategy as nobody was deliberately trying to stop me.

My strategy was to play the roll of the explorer, and it was going reasonably well. I was able to pick up an upgrade that helped out, and also used the Navigator, who proved to be quite helpful in exploring. Sadly, through no fault of my own, one of my ships sank due to an event card. Even in hindsight, I don’t believe there was anything I could’ve done to prevent that. The harder part is that my other ship also wound up sinking. That one, however, could’ve been prevented. I played a calculated risk and it really didn’t pay off for me.

Sam turned out to have a good game though and took the win. His last turn, he might have been able to perform a major milestone unlock, but we were really pressed for time, so instead he attacked me for a few final extra points.

And though that’s fairly vague, I think that’s about all I can say without spoiling things.

Trust me, there’s going to be far more in the spoilers below…

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Seafall Campaign: Game 10

I’m a little late to the game on this post, as we’ve actually had two sessions of Seafall since my last blog post. In the first, I was awakened to a couple of surprises. The first was, as we had learned from our previous game, that not all of the contents we had been keeping obfuscated were intended to be treated that way. I can’t talk about it too much for fear of spoilers, but suffice it to say that Sean had discovered that things were supposed to be in the open, and I had been sandbagging. That lead to Sam playing the role of spoiler and attacking me to gain that particular item.

That wasn’t a surprise though. Back games 5 & 6, Sam painted a target on my back and it was evident that he was going to start attacking me.  The thing is, he hit a lull for games 7-9, before coming back with a vengeance. Realistically, the game’s enmity mechanic really limits the amount of attacking that one player can do throughout the course of a game though.

What I didn’t expect though was that he conspired with Sean to both plot against me. Sean isn’t the force for attacking that Sam is (though I suppose with the proper advisors and upgrades, he could be). Instead, he waged financial war against me–buying the various upgrades that he figured I wanted (ie. the ones I had been purchasing in previous games).

Their strategy worked to some degree. By the fifth turn, I was in the back of the pack as far as points go. The thing is, when playing in first place, you can’t depend upon the same strategy game after game. I’ve learned to be flexible, so when they had taken my preferred buildings, I opted to go another route: exploring.

That left me to a relatively slow start, but things picked up quickly. By the second winter, I had jumped up to the rest of the pack, and after that, I had taken the lead. In fact, I was within range to win the game completely by the first turn after winter, but Sam was going after me and was in a position that he could assault my port if things went awry. Rather than pushing it, I played it safe and had to wait two more turns for him to get out of position. Unfortunately, that meant that Derek had a chance to catch up.

Actually, he didn’t do much catching up in those two turns. I fiddled around, getting myself lined up, and Derek inched closer. When Sam moved away from my port, I snatched the points to win–but didn’t see Derek having an absolutely astounding turn. He wound up discovering an island, earning a milestone, and buying a large treasure with money he had earned earlier in the day. That scored him a whopping 14 points and pushed him over the top. Heck, he had to roll over on the point track to actually accrue all of those in a single game.

After that, Sean and Sam both went and they each looked for ways to attack me and take me down in points (they weren’t concerned about how to score points themselves, but rather how to make me lose by more). Both were out of position though, so there wasn’t anything they could do.

We only played one game that day because of a Star Wars tournament that some guys had to go to so we wrapped things up quickly. There was a fairly large factor we overlooked at this point though. More on that in the spoiler section below.

STOP HERE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ SPOILERS:

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