Thanks Rahdo for this awesome review of Delve, the board game. We are really happy to be able to share this in depth review on our board game blog. Please check out his channel here for other informative review videos.
Delve, the board game – Review Blog
Here are my final thoughts for Delve, the board game. Which really does what it sets out to do very very nicely. This is really a game from designers Richard Launius and first-time designer I believe, Peter Shirey.
They have achieved what they wanted to do,which is basically completely re-theme Carcasonne and give it a radically different feel. The core is here. The turn-based tile laying of I’ll put a tile down and put some meeples down,and you’ll put a tile down and put some meeples down,and we’ll try to score the landscape as best we can. Maybe a little more exciting and stimulating than Travel Chess, but that depends on the gamer.
What makes the Delve Board Game Interesting?
This is also the first time we are reviewing the Delve Board Game here at Pelissier-cie, the board game blog.
But we’re not making bucolic French countrysides with farm lands and chapels and little villages. Nah!! We’re making a death-dealing dungeon with treasure around every turn and tons and tons of peril to face. So it’s very, very clever and works really, really nicely.
Jen and I were surprised how much we enjoyed it. I think in part because this game’s design very smartly borrows really less from Carcassonne,and more from my favorite variant of Carcassonne ever, Carcassonne: The Castle. It gives you a lot more freedom with how you lay out your tiles. I definitely love it, and I could see this being a perfectly reasonable thing to add to regular Carcasonne,the notion that you don’t have just 1 tile to choose from, from you got 3. So you have a lot more flexibility but what you’re doing. But you also get flexibility because you’re allowed to mix and match tiles.
There’s only one rule: make sure your corridors or “roads” are adhered to. But otherwise you can build this however you want. And then on top of that,instead of just putting people down to indicate that you’re going to try to score these areas you’ve got a secret deployable characters. And nobody really knows for sure until you revealwhat it is you’ve got in the given room. So that adds an extra air of excitement because in regular Carcassonne. . .
Oh, I’ve got a really nice area this is going to score a lot of points. Okay, well everybody else sees that so they kind of try to muscle in on my action.
And a simple majority thing. Whoever has the most in a given area takes it. Here it’s not simple, because that’s when my thieves and magic usres might face off against your gruntsin a battle royal death-defying rolling sequence. With some interesting choices, because these XP markers are so precious but they can be so powerful if used at the right time. So whether you are just going really quick trying to snag little bits of land for yourself to score some points,or trying to build for the really really big epic rooms. . . you’re going to have a lot of drama. If you go big, chances are other players are going to muscle in and you’re going to be fighting it outif you go small you’re going to be facing off against a huge collection of all these different encounter cards. And interestingly. . . I mentioned this right up front, this is on Kickstarter right now.
You can click here to go learn more. Right now you can back and just get the game and stretch goals,or you can get the game and stretch goals and its first expansion,which almost doubles the number of encounter cards you get.
If you’re interested in the game, I would definitely suggest doing that. Because Jen and I really enjoyed the game quite a bit. And that’s interesting because we normally don’t like being at each other’s throats,trying to steal stuff from each other. We normally don’t like a lot of, Here, let me read a card here’s a little bit of story,now make a choice and roll some dice to see if it works.
Comparison Between Other Board Games
These are all things we cannot to like in other games. Richard Launius’s Arkham Horroror games that have been inspired by Arkham Horror. Those just don’t work for us. But we enjoyed this one I think in large part because the core euro goodness of Carcassonne is still here, and it works so nicely. And this game plays so fast, so smooth,and it’s just so full of twists and turns as you build up bigger and bigger and bigger stack of loot. And at the end of the game you reveal who got what. But it’s a fast game, and it’s a short game.
So we’re not too terribly bothered by you know the the player aggression and the random swings. The only thing–this is why mentioned to get it with the expansion–and the only thing that kind of bugs me a little bit, and give me a little bit of pause, is. . . these encounter cards. . . they are very very cool. But there will come a point where you’ve been through all of them. And you’re going to play the game again, you’re going to shuffle it back up,you’re gonna see new ones and and different ones,but you’ll start seeing some of the same objectives or encounters over and over again.
I while think for the most part that’s fine,because it’s not like you’re going to remember every little persnickety thing about each one,they are going to be some that really stand out. And you’ll remember, oh. . . this is that one again. I remember how much that hurt you because you chose this. Right. I’m choosing the other thing!So the thing is, the more you play it the more familiar you are going to be with this deck.
And it’s not like all these choices are, Well this is a simple. . . If you could see these choices before you make them,it’s usually pretty obvious which one you should do. It’s only when your first experiencing it like,I don’t know. Should I open the door or should i go through the window?I don’t know! Which one should i do?. . .
Benefits of the Expansion and Longevity of the Game
That the excitement’s really there. And that’s why I think the expansion for this is so important because again you almost double the size of this. Plus, I hope the game succeeds because there’s a lot of stretch goals to get more of them in there.
And I expect. . . this is from Indie Boards and Cards.
And if this game is successful they have proven in the past they are great at continuing to put out more and more expansion content. And really, this is about the only thing I would want to see more from Delve–is just more of these cards. You’re always going to want more. So provided there are more and more blister packs with more and more coming out,you’re never gonna get tired of this game.
Otherwise I think you’re getting to the point where if you play it enough. . . and to be fair, that means you’ll have to play a lotso you’ll probably get your money’s worth out of it anyway. You’re gonna get to the point where you start recognising a lot of these,and some of the ‘zazz is going to be lost. So that’s a little thing to bear in mind.
This is a infinitely expandable game. I mean heck, i would hope someday that they would actually decide to develop an app,and then they could just release new cards all the time. Heck–they could even make an encounter random generator.
That would be really awesome too. Like I said, that’s the one tiny little thing that sets me back. So it’s something to bear in mind. If you plan on playing this game a lot–like, dozens and dozens and dozens of times every month,you’re going to go through this deck. You’re gonna start memorize these. And because the design of these are there are often very clear choices: A or B?
Of course i would choose B if I knew the whole thing. You will eventually get to where you know the whole thing.
If you have the situation where if an experienced player is playing against noobs that who don’t know what any of these cards are,the new is gonna be kinda unfair disadvantage. So it’s a little thing that is like that mostly resolved by providing more content.
But that’s kind of the nature of this style of game. All your Arkham Horrors. . . that’s why are more has a bajillion expansions,because you need you want to feed that beast. Once you’ve got the game and you know you like it, you want more new content. Delve is a game that i think is poised to get tons and tons of new content.
Like I said, Indie Boards and Cards, they’ve done that in the past. Like, if you look at how well they’ve supported Flash Point Fire and Rescue, they just constantly put out new stuff. I suspect the same thing will be true for Delv as well. And that’s it folks.
Thanks for watching. Now, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, as always please let me know. Like i said, the Kickstarter link shows you how this project got kicked off. You can check it out. If you’re going to back it, definitely back it with the expansion to double the size of his deck. So you’ll get a lot more life out of this very fun game. And I cannot reiterate enough. . .
I went in expecting to think: Well, this is clever because I will enjoy it. Because I knew we were going to be fighting each other a lot. I do they’re going to be lots of “draw and see what happens” kind of stuff. These are things normally we can’t stand.
They just don’t work for us. They’re not the kind of thing we enjoy. But here we did find ourselves rolling dice with abandon and fist-pumping at successes,and having a great time while delving in Delve. So questions, comments, concerns, as always please let me know.