Saturday, 15 March 2014

Let's play a game: Pathfinder ACG. This time it's personal...

I've had Pathfinder ACG : Rise of the Runelords Base Set box for a month now. Why did I get it?

  • I wanted a game that could be solo as well as co-op.
  • I wanted  fantasy RPG feel, where characters could be continually levelled up.
  • I like cards.
  • I like minis but I don't want any more painting. Please no more projects that I'm going to start and then shelve 'cos I'm too darn busy. So, no minis this time please.
  • Some nice artwork.
  • Sound 'fluff'.
  • Expansions if need be, thank you.
  • LOTR LCG was beginning to do my head in. Numerous fails causing frustration and much gnashing of teeth (but I still love you really...)
  • Legend of Drizzt appearing too limited in terms of progression within the parameters of the box itself (e.g. levelling up)
  • A little more complexity than Mice and Mystics (of this game, more at another time).
Aha. Reviews indicated that this might be the one for me. The negative reviews said - too much  random, not enough story, broken/unclear ruleset with ever-growing FAQ, not RPG enough, too easy. The (overwhelmingly) positive reviews said - addictive, fun, great cross-over between RPG and board game, easy to learn, then gets harder.

Boom! Have at thee foul beast.

So to end the review at the beginning, both of the positives and negatives are true. But boy do the positives outweigh the negatives. It's great!

Since getting the game, it has been out and played at least a dozen times. Now, given my personal time constraints that's saying something. I have also not played all of the way though the additional campaign card set that is included because I want to get my characters right first. And that in itself should tell you something about the game. There are a number of permutations to equip and mold your character as you go through the order of scenarios. As you go through the 'campaigns' you pick up items and improve your character  -  and then meet progressively harder enemies.
This works as a solo game or co-op but the real beauty is that in either mode you can work with a number or characters each - which gives a real sense of team building. So, a quick note, in solo play don't use one character, go for three or four. With two or three other players - go for two each. It does mean the game is harder, you have more enemies to get though in a shorter time. But there are so many ways to puzzle out a completion route that it makes losing fun too.

There is a time limit, 30 turns - this is fixed. It might seem that makes it harder for more characters but, of course, they can get more done in that shorter time. Furthermore, you do, quickly, get to know how the game works. I'm not going to say too much about the mechanics.They are straight forward enough. But here goes  -
Decide your characters and build them with basic items - suggestions in the rulebook (now revised) so read the FAQs if I were you.
Decide scenarios. Build location encounter decks with specific number of random items/monsters etc.
send characters to locations in order to find items and defeat enemy and henchmen.
That is it. Basically.

I don't think I've done it justice though. Both in terms of the complaints circling on the internet - or the fact that I've really enjoyed playing this. It's a bit like one of those computer games that you love redoing areas because you want to know how else you can get round the monsters and find more loot. it does fit well among different gaming genre. Do not assume RPG strength story telling. Do not assume a board game feel either. When my son (15) and I played, we had a blast telling the story of our adventures in an RPG style as we went along. Try it  - it made us laugh.

Highly recommended. Buy it then get your non RPG and RPG mates round and have a laugh too, while probably arguing about why!


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Sweet Tomatoes Printable Coupons