Castle Ravenloft/Wrath of Ashardalon Catch All

So apparently that was a bad idea, wife had no fun playing it, and I think I screwed up on some of the rules. Apparently my wife has no patience for this game. Sigh, I'll just have to see if I can convince some friends to play it with me.

Has anyone tried some of the rules variants posted on BGG? There are a hell of a lot.

I saw one once that randomized the monster spawn (0-3, I think), which seems like a big improvement to me. The one-monster-for-every-tile rule seems a little too mechanical to me.

Any variant or house rules recommendations people can make? After 2-3 plays, I like the game, but I don't love the game. Seems like some homebrew tweaks might close the gap.

Hangdog wrote:

I saw one once that randomized the monster spawn (0-3, I think), which seems like a big improvement to me. The one-monster-for-every-tile rule seems a little too mechanical to me

One of the basic adventures for Ravenloft does exactly this. It's the wind hag one, I think.

Just played my first game of Ashardalon. Pretty fun overall. I know we screwed up some rules, so I'm going to blame our crushing defeat on that

BadMojo wrote:
Hangdog wrote:

I saw one once that randomized the monster spawn (0-3, I think), which seems like a big improvement to me. The one-monster-for-every-tile rule seems a little too mechanical to me

One of the basic adventures for Ravenloft does exactly this. It's the wind hag one, I think.

Yes, and the "town defense" where you setup the dungeon before starting the game and put the monster tiles on them top down.

But indeed it is a very interesting idea, to use this mechanic all the time.

Wrath of Ashardalon Bonus Adventures
Servants of the Thunder Shaman

Edwin wrote:

Wrath of Ashardalon Bonus Adventures
Servants of the Thunder Shaman

These bonus adventures require both the Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon board games. Unless otherwise noted, they use the standard adventure rules presented in the Rulebook and Adventure Book.
Gravey wrote:
Edwin wrote:

Wrath of Ashardalon Bonus Adventures
Servants of the Thunder Shaman

These bonus adventures require both the Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon board games. Unless otherwise noted, they use the standard adventure rules presented in the Rulebook and Adventure Book.

Sweet. I'm totally trying these out he next chance I get.

I'm continuing to enjoy Ravenloft though my wife is really over it after just a few games

These bonus adventures require both the Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon board games. Unless otherwise noted, they use the standard adventure rules presented in the Rulebook and Adventure Book.

On hearing this, my daughter said "well we need to get the other one, too". I told her that she should save up her allowance for it

Just played vanilla Ravenloft for the first time today. I feel like a lot of the rules are unexplained. We had a lot of confusing moments. Really fun overall though.

I played Wrath of Ashardalon last night. Some real tuning seems to have gone into the new game. When I heard about the WoA extension/new game, I seemed to recall reading how it could be integrated with the old game. Now, I am not sure how well it would work.

The monsters seems to have more hit-points on average (most have 2), but they seemed to be less deadly to the party. So, less lethal to the party, but harder to take out easily.

Also, the "chamber" system is pretty sweet. Adds a lot of replay-ability to many of the adventures.

The cleric and paladin classes are much better at actively healing. The wizard's ability seems like it requires playing a "locked door" adventure. Kinda meh. Also, none of the classes seem to be able to disarm traps easily. Traps are much more annoying.

Encounter cards seemed less lethal overall, also.

Overall the game feels more fun and less of a rough beating. But it's a very subtle overall change.

Played CR with a couple friends of mine last week up at the cottage, it was certainly interesting. We decided that we dilly-dallied way too long near the entrance at the beginning while still getting a feel for the rules. Heading home, his car was overpacked, so I got to take all the board games home with me. Brought in CR to get a better feel for it and played several solo games.

Wow, is this ever an unforgiving game. Not only are you playing against the game, but the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you. I attempted the solo adventure where you have a single hero running to escape out the secret stairway. I think I tried that about 5 or 6 times, with a few different heroes, and escaped once. Then I tried the other solo adventure where all the heroes enter the dungeon one at a time and have to find and kill 3 of Strahd's minions. Tried that twice and failed both times. Nasty.

As long as you go in knowing that the odds are against you and you're unlikely to win, you can still have fun. And it makes the successes all that much more of an epic tale.

Kept picking up on rules that I wasn't playing quite correctly on previous attempts. Shared experience pool? That would have made the first game with my buddies a bit easier. Players can't control more than one of the same monster? Probably would've helped that game I drew 2 wraiths or that other one where I drew 2 gargoyles. And gotta remember to draw treasure each turn I defeat a monster. Probably would've made things a little easier.

All in all, I love the random dungeon tile placement, and the game overall. Think I'm gonna head down and pick up Wrath of Ashardalon sometime soon.

FYI, the next game in the series, The Legend of Drizzt, comes out next month around October 18th. Originally it was suppose to be next week, but it got pushed back.

Canadians can get one third off the sticker price by ordering through chapters.ca

DanyBoy wrote:

FYI, the next game in the series, The Legend of Drizzt, comes out next month around October 18th. Originally it was suppose to be next week, but it got pushed back.

Canadians can get one third off the sticker price by ordering through chapters.ca

Nice find! I have a friend who is a huge Drizzt fan who I should be able to get to play this with me on a dime.
I'll be picking this up since others seem to have the Ravenloft set covered very well.

Never played CR, since I didn't think the wife and daughters would be too keen on the more horror/undead theme of it, but was always intrigued by Rabbit's praise in the podcasts last Spring. Picked up WoA last weekend and have played 3 games so far: scenario 2 twice (once with friend and once with wife), and then my wife and I tackled scenario 3 last night.

Still learning the rules - I think we've got them down pretty good, the only thing we messed up on last night was not putting Ashardalon's Dragon breath encounter card next on the stack - we left his card in the deck and drew him about 3/4 of the way through the scenario. Also I just now read the Rulebook back to back (was always in too much of a hurry before) and realized we have never started out with 1 Treasure item each. Heh.

Ashardalon popping up while we were still dealing with the monsters on the way to the vault was a bit scary. We ended up defeating him, though, through much use of the throwing shield + gauntlets of ogre power doing extra ranged damage. We ended up killing him and about 18 other monsters, grabbing the gear, and using a wand of fear and wand of monster control to clear the way to the stairs. Crazy and tense.

BadMojo wrote:

The cleric and paladin classes are much better at actively healing.

I'm curious about this, because I played the paladin last night and to be honest, my wife was doing more healing with her Dwarven resilience than I was with any paladin powers. We got to a point where I could flip one used power back up and we decided it was better to flip her Dwarven resilience (heal herself for 4), than it was for me to use Lay on Hands (only heal 2) or the one Daily where the paladin can heal both heroes for 1 each. It made more sense that she could heal herself for 4, and I would go down to 0 hp and use a healing surge on myself to get back 6 (level 2 surge + grace). That seems a little crazy. Maybe I overlooked a better healing solution from the paladin when I was choosing cards. Can you elaborate on how the paladin is good at active healing?

Very happy with the game, though. Looking forward to painting the figures (they are decent sculpts) and incorporating some new classes and monsters. Also want to dabble with more experience levels. Anyone try that yet?

Right off the bat, the Paladin can heal. In Ravenloft, the Ranger was an excellent damage dealer, but adding a second healer means more heals net. In a three player game with Cleric, Paladin, and Fighter, I think it's a pretty large amount of healing compared to Ravenloft. Righteous Smite for the paladin is pretty meager with a small number of players. With five, and most heroes on a tile, it's a good heal. In most games I play, it's not uncommon for one or two hit points to be the difference between winning and losing.

The Cleric has similar powers as in Ravenloft, but lost the power to basically give up an attack to heal one point on the immediate tile. I think it's rare to be in a situation where you would use that over an attack that hits a monster and heals for one point. And in Ashardalon, the Cleric's at-will heal is ranged, which is very nice. The Healing Hymn power is, maybe a little weaker than I recall the Ravenloft Cleric's utility heal, but I think that is countered by the entire re-balance of the game. Ravenloft tended to have easier to kill monsters that did more damage. Ashardalon seems to have tougher monsters that do less damage. Given that, the net bonus in healing is felt. I would not want to take the Ashardalon Cleric and Paladin into Ravenloft, for example. But, I would take the Ravenloft Cleric into Ashardalon.

That's the best I can do to quantify why I feel the Ashardalon game feels so much more healer friendly and healer powerful. I can see how you might take my "actively" as the powers having more actual points of healing, but maybe I should have used the word "actually". I feel like the Paladin and the Cleric do a much better job of actually keeping people alive in Ashardalon.

I don't think I've seen this thread before today. I have CR and WoA, although I've only played the latter, and only once. My friends and I had a good time with it, although by the end of the night we had house ruled it to where we weren't quite so overwhelmed with monsters. I can't recall exactly what we said, though.

We enjoyed it so much that it led to us checking out D&D Encounters ("real" D&D sessions hosted at game stores with DMs provided), which led us to starting up our own 4e home game with MudderFudder77 taking the reigns as a first-time DM.

Anyone played the Drizzt version?

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Anyone played the Drizzt version?

I've played the first five adventures of Drizzt, and I really like it. It definitely has the most interesting looking tileset, and the endcaps are nice additions. The treasure deck is a great combination of good loot and useful fortunes, which splits the difference nicely between CR and WoA. And stances are a surprising amount of fun to make the combat a little more nuanced—not deeply nuanced, but they're an extra wrinkle to think about each turn. The Drizzt heroes consequently feel much more powerful, but it doesn't make the game easier.

I think Drizzt is to WoA what WoA is to CR: by far the best and most mature one so far. I'd say it's the place to start, or a huge step-up from CR. If you already own both of the first two games, or even if you only own WoA, it'd have to be up to you if you're really that invested in the game system to pay for Drizzt. I only own WoA and it's tempting me, but I think I have enough tactical board games (for now).

@Gravey: So far my group has only played CR, and we somewhat enjoy it for its good middle ground of tactical, yet casual gameplay.

We have not bought WoA nor Drizzt so far (as it is an import, the games are quite expensive over here).

For a fresh fix, it seems like Drizzt seemed to be a good choice. But reading your comment makes me wonder if it would make things much more complex or not.
Is there any place I can have a look at the rule changes? Or maybe simply the rulebook of Drizzt to get a feeling for it?

Grimmi Meloni wrote:

@Gravey: So far my group has only played CR, and we somewhat enjoy it for its good middle ground of tactical, yet casual gameplay.

We have not bought WoA nor Drizzt so far (as it is an import, the games are quite expensive over here).

For a fresh fix, it seems like Drizzt seemed to be a good choice. But reading your comment makes me wonder if it would make things much more complex or not.
Is there any place I can have a look at the rule changes? Or maybe simply the rulebook of Drizzt to get a feeling for it?

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/product.a...

Click the Product Details tab and three versions of the rules are there.

I played WoA once and I enjoyed it a good deal. The only problem is one that if one of your characters finds a room with some poison gas or some big hazard, the rest of the party will take off in another direction, making your turns boring as you struggle to catch up to the action.

Grimmi Meloni wrote:

For a fresh fix, it seems like Drizzt seemed to be a good choice. But reading your comment makes me wonder if it would make things much more complex or not.
Is there any place I can have a look at the rule changes? Or maybe simply the rulebook of Drizzt to get a feeling for it?

Yeah, read the rules padriec linked to. I wouldn't say Drizzt is more complex than the other games. It adds a couple wrinkles, but it's all within the same general framework: if you've played one game, you can play them all with just a skim of the new rulebook to learn the couple of new things.

Thanks for the link. I will look through the manual to see what's new.