Today got off to a late start which has only impacted the number of games we played today…one. Last night before the kids were kicked up stairs I set up the first Thunderstone scenario. There are two ways to play Thunderstone a random set-up or a scenario. Random, which was the first time we played can lead to a very slow game as you try to figure a way around a block of uber-large monsters in the dungeon or a village filled up with cards that are less than useful.
The scenarios are well balanced, easy to set-up, and have a backstory. In this case the first scenario in the chain is that the village has been living happy for a long time since evil (you know evil) was vanquished and then one day, about a week ago, evil came back (why when evil is vanquished it comes across as more of a long vacation because evil comes back?). Of course evil rebuilds its old home and some new homes close to the village, who of course are totally unprepared and send out for some heroes who if I am reading the backstory right they treat like crap.
All this was told to Barb and our boy who were totally unimpressed, but they were impressed with the board which had spots for everything and made reading the cards a lot easier. Plus being able to see the dungeon made the light source and darkness rules make a lot of sense. Anyway, we started our game and…(insert sound of something really slow that makes a noise so not a turtle)…turns out that the same strategies that work in DC, Star Trek, and even in Marvel do not work in Thunderstone.
Our boy bought up every card he could and had himself a fat deck that never came together as needed. He would have hands of heroes with no weapons, weapons with no heroes, villagers with nothing to work their villager abilities on, and so on.
Barb went for the dungeon right away and had a nice lead, but she did not notice that her high victory point victories were killing off her heroes and she was not replacing them. Then she got slapped with two curses, that kept giving her more curses. Curses are good/bad cards. Some do good and bad, some do just bad, but either way they take up deck space and are a pain to get rid of.
Me, I went hero heavy, but that was because I thought our boy was buying them all up and there wouldn’t be any left late in the game. Unfortunately I went so hero heavy that I didn’t see the weapons I had bought to give to my heroes. Then once I started taking down monsters I bought some villagers that were supposed to work with my monsters, but they rarely got drawn together.
Suffice to say the learning curve for Thunderstone is steeper than anything we have played before. That being said Thunderstone is fun to play and with a few house rules to make a connection from one scenario to another * Thunderstone may become our “role-playing game” until we can get a group together.
* When a scenario is over each player starts the next with the standard starter deck. We are playing around with being allowed to take one or two cards from your last deck into the next scenario.