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Is GoW like Death Angel?

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#1 Ephraim



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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:56 AM

Im sorry if this has been asked.  I looked back a bit but didnt see anyone ask this specific question.


I play and like Death Angel.  I noticed that Corey Konieczka designed both games, and while reading the GoW pdf I noticed that the two games play with similar mechanics…Of course GoW looks way more complicated with board movement, health tracking, assorted weapons, and grenades.


Is it a fair assessment to say if someone likes Death Angel, that chances are good that they will really like Gears of War?  Am I way off in thinking these two games play alike?


Thanks for any replies. 

#2 Angus Lee

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:13 PM

I've played both games, and I'd say the game experiences are quite different.  In death angel, movement is abstract (the cards just shift around and flip left and right) while in GoW, you actually move (figures) on the board, and have to consider line of sight and terrains.  However, thematically they are similar in that using a future timeline with monsters (genestealers or locusts).  Most important of all, they are both co-operative games.

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#3 ironman



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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:51 AM

I have to say mechanically they are very similar.

a player chooses an action, then the AI gets to go using a card saying what they do. Its very easy to die, and like space hulk you have to make tough decisions. Of course because this uses little 3d people on a highly detailed board it is much better than death angel.

#4 Thia Halmades

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:53 AM

This is a great question; I consider Corey "lead designer" for FFG right now [regardless of his actual title, the cat pops up enough to warrant that level of recognition] and both DA & GOW are brilliant in their own right. So let's break it down right quick:

First, as was previously noted, Death Angle [DA] is abstract, except for the die rolling. You're really managing the formation and the horde, moreso than attepting to manage concrete elements. GoW is significantly more concrete, relying on the canon of the game to provide structure and framing, where Death Angel is a wildly restylized version of the brilliant Space Hulk [2009].

Second, both games point weapons through card play. Resolution in GoW is more complex and thus more interactive (more on that in a moment) but broadly speaking, the underlying mechanics are similar. You are responsible for one COG, that COG has a hand that actively determines his options, and you make decisions from that. So instead of, say, six cards where you play 2 because you command two wings of Space Marines, you have one COG with a full hand which is also their health.

Third, both resolve through dice rolls, but here they start to vary wildly. You're accustomed to reading the single die in DA, and looking for the skull. In GoW, it's similar, but in many cases you're looking for a "6," or the Omen (a skull device inside a gear). This conveys special adjustments to the roller, whether enemy or ally. It's a system similar [or at least inspired by] Descent's complex die rolling mechanics, which I think are excellent, but stripped down to be more significantly straight forward.

Now, the big breaks.

DA uses a mission construction system that is fairly random, while GoWs is pre-set. Second, GoW has a significantly wider variety of enemies and thus requires more complex die rolling to resolve combat. Third, because GoW is a minis game, and not an abstract map, elements such as line of sight, cover mechanics and so on come into play. In DA, you can get your team shredded and be down to 4 Space Marines. Now, the Genestealers are in positions 5, 7 & 8. Good news. They keep moving (and growing in some cases) but they never attack. GoW doesn't have this "problem" because enemies are constantly moving after every turn on the map itself, so there's a significantly higher likelihood of getting jumped. And.

Just to add insult to injury.

Many cards read "if you don't have any X, discard and draw a new card." So the deck of pain is in fact out to get you.

Deep down, I love Gears as a franchise. It's machismo and melodrama, but it's got great big freakin' guns, great mechanics, and a neat twist in game 2. If you haven't done a "big box" board game before, Gears is a great place to start. The map tiles are good, and believe me when I tell you: play once, and you'll have the rules down cold. I would absolutely recommend it. If DA is good for you, please give Gears a shot. Also, try LOTR: The Card Game. Also excellent.

Keep Calm & Carry On

#5 Tromdial



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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:28 PM

Everything that has been said I agree with. To summarize, if you prefer minis over card format, I'd go with Gears. Personally, I like Death Angel more, as it is quicker to set-up and play, especially only for solitaire. I also enjoy the ruthlessness and gloom and doom you feel when playing DA, which I find sadistically hilarious. The tyranid pack and the PoDs before it really made Death Angel for me. Gears I feel like there is more work and effort to play it; someone pointed out that unlike Death Angel where the mission is random and a surprise, with Gears you always know what your objective is and nothing really changes as you play except what is already staged.

In the end, I'd wager you would still get a kick out of Gears. Not intending to deter you from your sights on Gears, but there is also a game like Gears but more survival horror like Death Angel called Level 7 [Escape]. I just got that a few weeks ago and it's been pretty fun. Albeit I had to take notes (i.e. the manual was so poorly written I literally had to take 10 pages of notes), I like that too more than Gears because of the survival aspect and its quicker to play .

Lord of the Rings LCG as someone likewise posted is fun. I own and continue to purchase the sets they release for that. After a while that too feels a little stale unless you have vast amounts of time to create new and unique decks. If you have lots of time and money on your hands, then LotR is an awesome game to invest in. With me working 40-60 hours a week though, I settle more for games that I can play with a group of friends and don't take too long to bust through (i.e. Sentinels of the Multiverse, Rune Age, Wiz-War, Dungeon Quest, Level 7, Mansions of Madness, Resident Evil DBG, etc. etc., Fury of Dracula if time warrants). Hope this helps.

#6 Tromdial



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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:29 PM

Oh, yeah, and Red Dragon Inn. That game is amazing.

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