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Darkest Night expansion #3

 
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Manxome
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:44 pm    Post subject: Darkest Night expansion #3 Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

http://www.victorypointgames.com/games/darkest-night-expansion-3-from-the-abyss.html

Channeler, Exorcist, Mesmer, & Valkyrie heroes, new deck containing Necromancer abilities, new events and artifacts
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Hicks
Duke


Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dude, I gotta buy your game; it's not enough to wish you the best. I'll start saving.
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Duke


Joined: 10 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The lack of an enchanter in this expansion is killing me.
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DSMatticus wrote:
Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
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Manxome
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Enchanter is going to be a separate promo item, like the Nymph, and it's coming soon.

I originally thought it was going to come out before this expansion, but release dates work in mysterious ways...
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Orion
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Both of the expansions so far have been substantial improvements to the game. Not just new content, but new systems that substantially enriched it. I'm quite excited.

EDIT: The first expansion is such a big deal that I'd say it's almost not worth buying the first game without it. The second can wait; it mostly adds replay value and a tiny nudge of difficulty. But seriously, just buy With an Inner Light at the same time. The quest system, and especially the bonus quest option makes the game approximately 200% more fun. (Not 200% AS fun, 200% MORE fun)
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Last edited by Orion on Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ravengm
Knight


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Since I bit the bullet and picked up the Necromancer's bundle a while back, I'll have to check this out.
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Orion
Prince


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Should I buy now, or will the enchanter be in the store (allowing me to save shipping)?

Do you have any guidance on coordinating the various difficulty meters? My group has been playing with

--Choose heroes, choose powers
--Start 5 darkness, 2 blights
--Pall of Suffering

We win 90% of the time, but with some very tense edge cases. If we dropped Pall of Suffering, what would you recommend? If we kept it? Also, if I start the darkness at 5, the necromancer will begin the game with a darkness card in play. Is that a problem or is that an intended use case?
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Manxome
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My understanding is that, like the Nymph, the Enchanter is going to be exclusive to BoardGameGeek, at least for a while. AFAIK, BGG doesn't sell the actual Darkest Night game or expansions, so I don't think there's an opportunity to save on shipping between the Enchanter and the expansion. You might be able to save on shipping by combining the Enchanter with the Nymph and/or the dice tower (if you want them and don't have them yet).

Starting with a darkness card in play is not a problem, unless you are using the 5-hero variant rules AND the starting card happens to be Eclipse, in which case you should shuffle Eclipse back into the deck and choose a different card (otherwise you'd lose the game during set-up).

The intent is that the "standard" darkness rules (2 cards total, replacing the 10 and 20 darkness track effects) should keep things at roughly the same overall difficulty you had before adding this expansion. So if you want the game to be harder than it currently is, I suggest you keep all your current rules and play in twilight or midnight mode. If you like the difficulty as it is, I suggest you use the standard darkness card rules OR remove some of the difficulty-increasing rules that you are currently using--for example, turning off the "expert" rules but using midnight-mode darkness cards might be close to a fair trade. I don't really have metrics for saying what combinations of difficulty-increasing rules should be equal to other combinations at this point, though.
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Manxome
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So it's about 9 months later than I originally expected, but the Enchanter is finally available:
http://boardgamegeekstore.com/products/darkest-night-enchanter

Keeping in mind some of the complaints Orion made about modal powers in this thread, I have replaced Essence of Water with Essence of Stone as a starting option, and added a new power called Attune that helps manage Essences and lets you use more than one at a time, so I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.
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Manxome
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Now recruiting playtesters for expansion #4
http://www.victorypointgames.com/news/playtesters-wanted-darkest-night/
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Orion
Prince


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Expansion #3 was very good, incidentally, in case anyone prospective buyers are out there. I'd go so far as to say Base+Abyss is about as good as Base+Inner Light, and either would be a good initial investment. The big new mechanic is to randomize the necromancer's abilities. Instead of getting 2 pre-scripted power-ups as the game progresses, he draws power-ups from a deck of cards, and you can challenge yourself by giving him 4 rather than 2. The best part of this, for me, is that I feel comfortable using it with first-time players. In principle, changing up the necromancer's abilities every game makes it more complicated, but for literal first-time players they will be seeing the abilities for the first time whether they're scripted or drawn, and the abilities will at least be printed on cards and not tiny print on the bottom of the gameboard. The only downside is that if you only draw two powerups, lucky draws can lead to an extremely easy win for the players, but that's not a terrible thing for a learning game. Okay, one or two of the cards are annoyingly complicated for new players, but that's the trade-off when you make them satisfying for regulars.

The new characters are a mixed bag. The Exorcist will never be popular, but he's an interesting niche character. He has a couple of abilities so powerful that he's tuned to a balance point that looks extremely weak on paper, and once you figure him out, you realize that he's in fact average-strong but not really better than average, so it's got neither newbie appeal nor power-gamer appeal. If you happen to enjoy his specific weird dice mechanics and other quirks though, he's fine. Channeler is popular because it's a carry, and players love carries. I find it pretty bland; the abilities voltron together so much that no individual component really stands out and there are relatively few iconic power-plays. You mostly just start doing everything pretty well and scale into doing everything extremely well. Mesmer is a home run. It's a support with the potential to be very strong, with interesting choices to make even with initial powers, and that feels less game-breaking than the early supports while still strong enough to play on hard mode. The only downside is that Mesmer plays best in an experienced group, because it's based on moving people around and giving them double-edged sword buffs, which means you need to trust them to understand what they should be doing or be willing to boss them around. Valkyrie is a really interesting hybrid design that works very well with mixed skill levels. She has a mix of "always-on" buffs that affect the entire party from any distance, and a bunch of personal fighting abilities. The catch is that while her fighting abilities are extremely straightforward, the buffs are extremely weird effects that new players may not really know how to take advantage of. It's a great character to give to a first timer because they will easily stay alive, and buff the experienced player with interesting mechanics. They also get power by taking damage, which is great for mixed-skill groups. New players may well mess up and take damage needlessly, but now there's a consolation. On the other hand, new player are often cowardly, which leaves experienced players in harm's way, and again the valkyrie comes through with the consolation prize.

Seriously, it's a great expansion.
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Duke


Joined: 10 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Orion should I get Abyss over Shifting Winds?
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DSMatticus wrote:
Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
Kaelik wrote:
I invented saying mean things about Tussock.
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Manxome
Knight-Baron


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Orion wrote:
The Exorcist...has a couple of abilities so powerful that he's tuned to a balance point that looks extremely weak on paper

For the record, which abilities did you peg as "so powerful"?
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Orion
Prince


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@YLM,

Two questions: do you have "with an inner light", and how hard do you want the game to be? With an inner light is most fun if you use the variant that generates extra quests, so you can actually spend more time interacting with the content. Similarly, From the Abyss is most fun if you're drawing 4 darkness cards per game, ideally starting at darkness 5 so you have one in play at the very start. If you run with 5 starting 4, 4 necromancers power cards, and bonus quest generation, you may find the game too hard. Thus, there are some "diminishing returns" from owning both sets together.

Shifting Wind's primary mechanic is new blights, and while I think they do make the game slightly more difficult, they can easily combine with either the quests or the darkness cards.

Condemn, I think? The one that destroys blights automatically but makes you lose turns. It's strong enough that you can feel good about just spamming it for most of the game, but strong in a way that makes the rest of your character fairly irrelevant. 3 starting grace looks bad, for instance, but when you're outright skipping half your turns and you can destroy blights remotely from the monastery, it's not a big deal. The other one I had in mind is the one that lets you destroy blights while defending from them. It's decent-not-amazing for the actual exorcist, but that's my point; because of the way it breaks the action economy, it wouldn't be safe to include something like that in most kits. Like Call to Death and False Orders, it has to go on a 3G chassis without strong survival powers.
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Duke


Joined: 10 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm awful at this game (as is everyone I play with) so easy is better. I already own With An Inner Light, and the quests are probably the best thing to happen to us even though we never win playing Pall of Darkness.

I also tend to play with1-2 people so more autopilot characters could be better?
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DSMatticus wrote:
Again, look at this fucking map you moron. Take your finger and trace each country's coast, then trace its claim line. Even you - and I say that as someone who could not think less of your intelligence - should be able to tell that one of these things is not like the other.
Kaelik wrote:
I invented saying mean things about Tussock.
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Orion
Prince


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

On Shifting Winds introduces the Scout, who is among the most overpowered characters ever written, and also the Ranger, who is pretty much autopilot. Your group would probably enjoy those. The other two will probably be less appealing. Wind Dancer is a carry with deliberately abstruse mechanics. The Wayfarer is interesting, because his abilities are all set up to reward "bad" play, but they're also on the complex side. I'm not sure what it's like to be bad at this game, so I don't know how helpful that would be.

The new blights include more powerful zombies and shades, weaker spies, 2 new globals, and blights that impair movement, exhaust powers, and worsen events. I *think* it's an overall difficulty bump, but I'm not totally sure. Manxome probably knows better than I.

If you play From the Abyss with just 2 darkness cards, there's an excellent chance that the Necromancer becomes trivial to kill, so that's nice.
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