Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WOW:TAG Initial Impressions

World of Warcraft the Adventure game is certainly a departure from the WOW: Board game. I've had a chance to play this game three times so far. The first was a 2 player game, then a 3 and finally a 4 player jaunt.

I won't be detailing the rules as this isn't a review and the rules can be found on FFG site. The goal is WOW:TAG is to be the first to acquire 8 Valor Points. This is done primarily by quests although there are certain space on the board which allow you to acquire these points as well.

The board itself has an Arkham Horror feel to it in terms of layout and art direction. In every game we've had a hard time finding various places, something that will change with added play I am sure. The art itself is very good on the cards, board, ability cards, my only complaints is the text on the challenge cards is very small. My eyes aren't even close to perfect but I've played with people who do have great eyesight and they have trouble reading some of the cards.

So the game has an adventure game feel, Talisman and Runebound come to mind although I think this game is better then both of those. On a turn each player moves, explores, does a challenge (event) and then manages his character. Most turns take 2-10 minutes, with the average turn about 4 or 5 and this includes combat.

In terms of downtime there certainly isn't a lot unless you get a player who doesn't look at their abilities during his downtime. My 2 player game was a learning game and it only took about 90 minutes. The 3 player game took just shy of 2 hours and with rules explanation. The 4 player game however took over 3 hours, there was rules explanation but the main culprit was over character management from a single player. This game should never take 3 hours, granted a lot of it comes with quest draws and knowing the way to win the game is to finish quest, not gather loot.

The characters have a good variation and I found playing some a lot easier then others, it's hard to speak of balance after 3 plays but each time a different class won the game. The quests are interesting enough to keep the game enjoyable after multiple plays but there is a good amount of luck involved in draws. In game two we were all around 3 or 4 valor points and a player happened to draw a quest card to eliminate another player, which is no easy task unless the other player is currently hurt which he was. So just through that random draw and luck he won the game out of no where.

On the whole WOW:TAG is a decent game, I will continue to play it and see how my feeling change on it. It's definitely primed for expansions, not only charcter expansion but Map ones as well.

Is it the perfect Adventure game? For me no I am still looking for that but right now WOW:TAG is a solid game that will see a lot of table time at least for a while.


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