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Kingdom Death: Updated opinions request

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  danlee 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #1569961

    lawnor
    17422xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I’m constantly toying with the idea of picking up a copy of KD:M despite its price and my lack of funds.  The hype and curiosity gets to me and I want to experience it for myself some time.  I hear v1.6 is on the horizon and they often get stock in for Black Friday and do good deals (relatively speaking!) so I’m debating buying it again right now.  I have a few questions for those who have had it for a while and played it plenty.

     

    1: Is it still good?

    The game came out 5 years ago.  You’ve had it for ages, and completed the campaign.  You’ve had it long enough for the hype and the impetus to complete/experience it to wear off.  Other games have come in and got you fired up.  Do you still think its good and worth buying, or maybe do you think perhaps you didn’t get full value from it?  Do you now wonder if the game is actually more style than substance?

    2: What’s the campaign experience like?

    I’m not talking mechanically.  Is there more to the campaign than “Kill something to gain parts. Spend parts to get better at killing.  Repeat.” Does it have a story it explains?  Does it have an ending?  Does it have a goal for you to work towards?  I’m not convinced I can enjoy a campaign game that isn’t working towards something and I cant complete the campaign.

    3: How essential are the expansions?

    Do you get a full experience without buying some/all the extras?  Is the story complete without them?

    4: Are there better alternatives now?

    KD:M has been out for 5 years and I’ve seen a few games go by that have taken a strong influence from it.  I’ve backed one on KS (Aeon Trespass: Odyssey, due early next year, but I doubt that)  Have you experienced any alternatives that give a better version of the same idea/experience?  For those who’ve played KD:M and seen AT:O videos or even tried the demo, should I just stick with AT:O or do they look sufficiently different for both to be worth having?

    5: Does it still feel as good when played solo?

    If I ever pick this up I’ll almost certainly play it solo mode (especially if 2020 becomes the year that will not die).  It’s a co-op game so solo mode seems identical to group play.  Does it still feel as good in solo, or does it lack something with the loss of social interaction?

    #1570002

    berger15
    1422xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Okay, I’ve owned this game for a couple of years, and these are my answers:

    1: Is it still good?

    I love this game. It’s still the only game I want to play regularly. I have games by Warlord, GW, WoC, Mantic, Gripping Beast, FFG and I’m sure some others – but this is the game I go back to.

    2: What’s the campaign experience like?

    The campaign has a story and an ending – but there’s nothing to stop you playing on if you want. The ultimate goal is survival, but initially there are events that foreshadow something more. Whether you get enjoyment from that, I can’t say. there is a “final” game-over type ending, but you can play on if you like – it will just get a little more tedious when there is nothing to aim for. I will admit that the additional content added for the final years of V1.5 is less polished than some other writing in the campaign.

    The premise is as you’ve described – but how you mould and shape the settlement, the events that impact decisions, the loss of survivors or gear, all change with every year and every game. So yes, it’s hunt, kill, gather resource, build, repeat. but the decisions change – sometime due to external factors, sometimes because you’ve learnt something new.

    3: How essential are the expansions?

    You can absolutely enjoy the core game only – I’ve solo played through it twice, I have another campaign with friends that has just two expansions (Flower Knight and Gorm) and I only added the Flower Knight to make a specific item to help them out  – but the campaigns included in the Dragon King and Sunstalker are better experiences overal, but no expansion is essential.

    4: Are there better alternatives now?

    That’s pretty subjective – I have read some people prefer Gloomhaven, but I didn’t enjoy the mechanics or the story, and I don’t know anyone who plays it. Only you can say what’s better or worse.

    5: Does it still feel as good when played solo?

    I love the solo play. Even when played as a group there is no DM/GM – the entire showdown (the fight) is based around the monsters AI deck and Hit Location deck. Playing as a group you will discuss options or just have some people wade right in. When I solo, I find I am more measured and reserved. I think I get more attached to characters when I solo the game. Not a bad thing per se – but survivors die. The gear is the key to winning.

     

    So, for fairness, some cons – You need space and time to play this. My first campaign failed part way through – but that was still nearly 20hrs of play. My second campaign looped – it took about 80hrs. The campaign with friends is currently at 30hrs and they have around 10″years” of play left. And I would say a 4ft x 3ft area is the smallest you can reasonably play on.

    There are a lot of models – you only really need to build the Quarries (3), nemesis characters (5) and four survivors – the rest are purely for the aesthetic.

    The game could possibly have done with one more monster to hunt, and one fewer nemesis. Adding  either the Gorm or Flower knight as a new quarry does add some variety – particularly in the mid-game.

    A couple of people I have spoken to and played with, find the mid-game is a bit of a grind, as you are searching for particular resources, or trying to get a character a certain milestone. I didn’t find this, but again, it’s personally preference.

    As far as I know there is no 1.6 as such. There are two particular expansions that came out of the last kickstarter – Campaigns of Death and KD:M Advanced. Campaigns of Death has some rules tweaks to some expansions and has a slew of suggested campaigns to play (including which expansion you can put together to change the game experience). The main game has a couple anyway (People of the Bone, Seven Swordman etc). Advanced KD:M is a whole new set of expansion – all of which are optional. At some point in the future there may be a new KS for V1.6/7/8/9 or whatever version number they choose – but given Adam is still working on the last Kickstarter expansions, it could be a few years off yet.

    Black Friday sales do happen – but whether you can get a copy then is something of a lottery.

    As I say, this is just my view – and others may have totally different opinions. It’s a big investment either way. If you can find a group to join and play, I would try that first – unless you can afford £400 off the bat, and are willing to possibly take a loss (how much varies wildly) if you resell.

    Hope I’ve helped in some way.

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  berger15.
    • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  berger15.
    #1570008

    lawnor
    17422xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Thank you.  That’s a big help.  I’m in a Gloomhaven campaign right now (on hold due to The Rona) and I’d have to say its a very different game and not really comparable.  But perhaps that’s just me.

    Its $400 which is currently £311, (Assuming the price is American dollars.  The site doesn’t say and the cost is the same when shipping from Australia who also use dollars) but that’s before shipping etc so that could take the price up, once its all back in stock.  No idea how much that’ll cost and if Customs will get involved and demand their share.

    I’ve a metric I use to help me justify spending too much money on toy soldiers and board games.  If I go to the cinema I’d be willing to spend about £10 on about 2 hours of entertainment (Its gone up since I started doing this).  So if I get more than 1 hours enjoyment out of something for every £5 it costs then its earned its cost.  That’d be 80 hours for KD:M.  If we assume 2 hours a game thats 40 fights.  It sounds like that’d be playing through the campaign 1-2 times, which sounds normal for those who enjoy it, and it definitely sounds like you’ve got double value from your copy and still love it.

    I’m in the process of buying a house and once I’m done I hope to have space to leave a game set up indefinitely and still have another table for other games and work, so time to play a campaign hopefully won’t be an issue for me.  Money might be.  I don’t know for sure how much I’m going to have left after the purchase, but I should have more than enough for this, but I should probably spend it on DIY, but we all need to enjoy life and not just only invest in the future.  There’s always more future, and very little present.  I really wish the solicitors would pull their fingers out and do something.

    Sounds like if I want to buy it on Black Friday I need to make that decision before looking at the price and click buy before getting out of bed that day.

     

    I’m interested in other opinions too please.

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  lawnor.
    #1570048

    balginstondraeg
    Participant
    696xp

    I’d say it’s held up really well so far. There are one or too clunky issues that got fixed with faq & eratta (Butcher’s infinite kick loop anyone?). In terms of comparisons it feels “more like Dark Souls than the official Dark Souls board game”.  You don’t need any of the expansions to play. They each add something optional (some add alternate campaigns as well but every campaign containing expansion also contains options to integrate it into the main core campaign with the alternate campaign being an optional extra).

     

    Initially you only need to build 5 models. You can then build more as the campaign progresses and you encounter new foes or craft new equipment.

    #1570134

    ced1106
    Participant
    3496xp

    GH is a hand-management dungeoncrawler and, for now, there’s no dungeoncrawler like it. KDM is still dice-based combat, so purchasing depend on whether or not you already have dice-based dungeoncrawlers. KDM has dice-based combat, but it’s more of a boss showdown sorta thing, rather than bashing grunts.

    KDM will have another KS in several years, possibly with a different KDM game system, focused on actual dungeoncrawling. If you like GH and aren’t close to finishing it up, no point buying KDM, imo. My KDM set is sitting in my closet doing nothing.

    KDM has a settlement component, which no other dungeoncrawl has, afaik. Characters die often, so (I think) you can players dropping in and out.

    KDM, of course, has high-end miniatures. While you can avoid spending time painting the miniatures, that’s what you’re paying hundreds of dollars for. You might find a core set without mini’s on eBay, at a lower price.

    #1570151

    lawnor
    17422xp
    Cult of Games Member

    We have a lot of GH to go, but we were only playing it 3-4 times a year as getting the group together is tricky.  I’d most likely be playing KD:M solo (At least to begin with) so they’d fit different opportunities to play in my life.  From what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t call KDM a dungeon crawler.  There’s no dungeon and only one enemy.  Its a Boss Battler or a Monster Hunter or something.  Whatever this new genre is called.

    I watched THIS video last night.  The only KD:M Vs AT:O comparison video I could find and I’m veering back towards thinking waiting for my KS of AT:O is the smarter plan.   Its KD:M with more story and more campaign elements.  But I’m still curious to try KD:M.  It’s something of a legend in its field.  I might be able to get my hands on the digital assets and throw together a print and play demo set, but that’d be piracy and I fear it would not give a fully representative experience.

    The only campaign games I have in my collection are Reichbusters (A lot of fun.  I’m half way through the campaign.  Not sure I’d end up playing the campaign twice, but I might play through different campaigns when I’m done. I’m yet to play it with friends.) and Mice and Mystics, which I’ve yet to try.  Bought and painted it pre-covid.  Was hoping to play with friends.  I should probably change that expectation.   AT:O and KD:M should both be very different games from either of them.

    #1570314

    danlee
    14269xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I got V1.5 from the second kickstarter and played it through once solo. I stopped after the “normal” campaign ending, so I didn’t play the extra 5 or 10 turns to get to the final boss. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but playing one evening a week took about 7 or 8 months.

     

    1: Is it still good?

    Being only 5 years old I don’t think it’s age is a problem. It is so unique it will stay good for quite a while.

    2: What’s the campaign experience like?

    To be honest I don’t think you’ll get much out of it if you don’t play the campaign. I really enjoyed the settlement building aspect of the game. Don’t focus on individual survivors. They die too easily.

    3: How essential are the expansions?

    Not essential at all. Play the base game then buy expansions later if you like the game.

    4: Are there better alternatives now?

    I don’t buy that many games so couldn’t say. Aeon Trespass looks to be very similar, but hasn’t delivered yet.

    5: Does it still feel as good when played solo?

    I only played solo. A single lantern year (campaign turn) took me about 4-5 hours. I would strongly recommend investing in time savers, such as character trays you can store equipment layouts in and storage trays to make retrieving game parts quicker. Combat is very tactical so without others to point out mistakes or suggest better tactics it can be harder when playing solo.

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