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Lizalfos

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Posts posted by Lizalfos


  1. Based on the card images, which show nothing but a picture and House color, it sounds like this is a super simple game that could be played with a poker deck. The fact that the theme is Westeros intrigue and the Targaryens are involved makes it seem a bit thoughtless, theme-wise. Dany should not be placed into court, yet that's what you do according to the post.

    It sounds like a neat, light card game. I am just scratching my head at the theme. Doesn't seem like something Thronesy at all.


  2. We finally played this today.  Ultimately, three of us were quite interested, and another was a bit disappointed when things started to go downhill for him and he mailed it in for the rest of the game, but he said he'd be willing to try it again in the future now that he knows how things work.  We played the On the Continent variant (no islands, ships, or bridges) to keep things simple for game one.

     

    I pretty much had the middle of the board at set-up which meant I had access to everyone for trade and always had options for attacks, but it also meant I was a big target.  I felt a little bad about this since I had played the original and read the rules, but on turn one I took a production site from one player and on the next turn I cut off his trade route to one of the other players.  He still had trade access to another player but for a turn or two he could do nothing but trade with that person.  However, it paid off, and he got to build the only two boats for the game, one on one turn and one on the next.  Boats are a huge deal because they can move 8 spaces with the same strength as a weapon / skywork.  They're great for attacking and more importantly transportation.

     

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the board, one player quickly got one of each resource to build a skywork while another squandered the opportunity and made a weapon since I'd attacked him previously, hoping to draw them out and into the game (no one else was attacking -- that is just their predilection, they aren't really strategy gamers).  The guy with the skywork had no military power to speak of while the other was all military, like me.

     

    The game pretty much ended when the boat guy overextended a boat after taking one of my gold sites.  I took the boat and then was able to defend an area where I had materials for my skywork.  With the skywork, the boat, some horses and weapons, the area was impenetrable for a long time to come and I had a monopoly on gold, which you need to build skyworks.  So while another player had two skyworks, I had an easy time keeping him from his third when I built mine.

     

    There is one element of randomness, and it came up a few times, where an entire phase of a round (production, trade, or transportation) can get skipped based on a die roll.  I don't know that they liked this since it means not doing something, and doing things is fun.  However, I actually had the chance once to choose whether to have a phase or not, and I chose to skip it.  This unpredictability may seem negative at first but it makes one round feel different from the previous since not producing, for instance, means you'll have to adapt your strategy on the fly.

     

    As noted, these guys weren't strategy gamers, so it's not really the best audience for trying this sort of game.  I think it is still a very clever game that would be a lot of fun to replay with the right group.  As it is, I want to try again with them to add in islands, ships, and bridges.  I think that will help keep people from feeling defeated too early since islands are easier to defend, and if they have resources on them, I would think you'd always feel like you can at least do something and hope to get a ship by trade.

     

    I don't know how much any of this helped, so feel free to ask questions.  I feel people should look into it and consider their gaming group before buying.  It is a clever game from a clever group of people but doesn't necessarily appeal to the same kind of players as Cosmic / Rex do.  No cards, no special powers (though variants for this could be a fun idea), almost no luck -- all features that set it apart from Eon's other games and not to be taken lightly.

     

    I really think the "best with 2P" thing is a mistake.  No one in BGG's forums recommends it.  I may try it some time, but the trade, diplomacy, and manipulation aspects are what I most enjoyed in Borderlands.


  3. It may have been the recently-ish announced Cosmic expansion that Kevin was working on.  Hopefully this gets done with or without him.  I do love games where I can flood the board with creature minions. Maybe we'll hear something from Gen Con.


  4. Um, sorry about this, but for some bizarre reason as I was looking at this thread, I saw the option to "Erase" on top of each post.  Then I saw other admin-y stuff so I wanted to see what was going on and tried the least harmful one: Sticky.  And for some reason it worked, at least on my side.  Not sure if everyone else is seeing this stickied now.  My momentary administration has ended though, so the mishap won't happen again.  Thought maybe we had new controls to make things appear stickied for ourselves only, or to hide posts for ourselves only, etc.

    (Just realized how suspicious having Hacker as my avatar is… I swear I'm innocent!)


  5. Tromdial said:

    Easily the most under-rated game ever. I've given up hope recently for an expansion and have instead opted for playing Gears of Wiz-War and Wiz-War Zombicide to spice my gaming nights with friends. How well this game mixes with other games is remarkable.

    Please explain!

    Hopefully it is just a matter of Kevin's leaving causing slowdown on development, as I am hoping this is the reason for no Cosmic expansion announcement yet.


  6. I forget what it is called, but there is a section of this site where you can search for users who want to play a certain game.

    However, in an ideal world, I would play Rex everyday and nothing else, so it doesn't hurt putting out redundant information:

    Thibodaux, Louisiana.  There is a game shop in Houma, a nearby city, where people will play this, in addition to some local friends.

    Send a friend request and/or PM if you'd like to play.  I don't check the boards but once in a blue moon.


  7. I wish there were someone here who'd played the original two-players. I can only guess that it wouldn't be as fun and hate to steer someone away from it based on a guess and one real play experience with a different number of players.  It would definitely be a different game than what is being advertised, if nothing else, as you'd obviously have far less incentive to trade and no one to ally with.  It would definitely be more chess like, in that there would be nothing unpredictable in combat at all unless they've made changes here, and combat would be the main focus.  On paper, it sounds less interesting to me. Some previews would be helpful.


  8. Not completely wrong.  I would say it is more Diplomacy than Risk since combat is deterministic and alliance-based.  But if the point is, "conquest game + Catan," yea, you've got it.  I wouldn't have been surprised if this was an inspiration for Settlers, but a quick search doesn't reveal any connection.


  9. I have played it only once with the correct rules.  One note I can certainly share: If someone tells you that you can't move/attack across rivers, slap them and make them read the rules again before continuing on or else your friends will hate the game and you.  Please note that the slapping may seem unnecessary, but it totally isn't.

    With that out of the way, we played it again later with five of us (this required an expansion, but it looks like this game will have all aspects of the expansion other than the fifth player -- the boats, bridges, and islands). Basically each round has different phases, most of which you have to roll a die for (this is the only die roll in the game): 1-4 the phase happens like normal, 5 it is skipped, 6 you vote for it, with the current round's first player breaking ties.  So, for example, you might have a round where resources aren't produced, or resources can't be traded, or what have you.  So you always have to be prepared.    The voting thing is neat mechanically but a bit odd thematically.

    The goal of the game is to win, and you do so by building two cities (the new version has new terms, but I will stick to the old ones so as not to confuse myself while the new edition is still partly a mystery)… or by conquering them.  It is heavy in diplomacy and warfare both.  Each game the map is randomly populated with resource generating sites that produce wood, iron, horses, gold, or coal.  Unlike Settlers of Cataan, these resources don't go to a hand but stay on the board, so you have to protect them, and if you want to use them, they all need to be in the same territory.  However, a site will not produce another of a good if one of it is already there, so you have to ship things around by foot, horse, riverboat, or ship.  

    You can also trade with anyone sharing a border with you, in which case you can ignore the rules of shipment and place the goods wherever you like.  This was another odd rule because it encouraged trading like goods simply for the ability to "teleport" them (i.e. I trade you one gold for one gold, neither of us gains resource advantage, but we then both get to place our new gold in any territory), and the rules even mention this, so it's not an oversight.  It is mechanically interesting because it made trading more important, but thematically odd, like the voting on skipping production.

    Combat is a big part of the game, too.  Each player will be able to make two successful attacks at most.  If you fail an attack, you are welcome to keep trying elsewhere.  There is no randomness, so the only way to unexpectedly fail an attack is if you don't get support from another player where you thought you would.  To attack you declare a target you're adjacent to and just add up the strength in each territory plus any territories adjacent to the target if their owners choose to support one side or the other (they do not need to be invited to do so).  You automatically ally with yourself, of course, if you have territories adjacent as well.

    One more thing about combat, is you don't build up troops in this game.  If you own a territory, it means you have one guy there, and he has one strength.  You can hire more guys to defend there.  If you take a new territory, you place a new guy there immediately.  To build up forces, you build a weapon, a horse, a boat, a ship, or a city, each of which has a strength value, and each of which is limited to one per territory.

    That was more rules than intended, but that is the gist of the game.  I quite enjoyed the mechanics of it, though it is the kind of game that can lead to people getting upset since your chances of success are dependent both on your skill at the game and the social dynamic.  If you are offering good deals and someone just doesn't like you, that person can ruin both his own chances and yours.  Like Diplomacy or Settlers, you have to play with easy going people who aren't going to get emotional about a board game.


  10. If you are unable to wait any longer, just look up the original Borderlands on boardgamegeek.com.  The rules are probably there.  Aside from the theme, this doesn't look like a huge departure from the original, so you'll get a good feel for it.  I always describe it as Diplomacy + Settlers of Cataan.

    I have only played the game once or twice (once was with terribly wrong rules -- completely my fault, not the game's), both times with four-five players, and I am not sure I see how this could be a particularly great two-player game, at least with the old rules.  I doubt it would be bad, but if I had to guess, it would probably not be something worth buying strictly for the two-player game.

    I do recall the rulebook having a section, amusingly, to basically justify and defend the two-player game.  It said something to the effect of (from memory): "Though designed as a game for several players, the two-player game is excellent and offers a more chess-like game."  

    I sold off the game when I heard this was coming several years ago (very pleased to finally see that wasn't a mistake), so my memory may be doing it a disservice, but I thought it funny.  I would have liked to try it but just never got around to it.


  11. They could always do like for Game of Thrones and have special expansions that basically transform the game into a different time period and replace one or two factions.

    Of course, I don't know the story, so I don't know if there is another time when Rex or another planet would be fought over in this way.


  12. I would call it Settlers of Catan + Diplomacy.  It predates Settlers, obviously, but was actually inspired by Diplomacy and was intended to be a quicker game with a similarly simple, luckless combat system (though it is turn-based, not simultaneous like Diplomacy).

    For those not familiar, you can have one warrior in a territory, and he has one strength.  Weapons, horses, etc. all have strength bonuses, and these too you can only have one of each in the territory.  You attack an adjacent territory and other players next to the defending territory can offer their strength to either side in an alliance system like Cosmic Encounter, except without any reward whatsoever (well, you could promise them resources in the next trade phase, but the game won't force you to make good on that promise, if I recall correctly).  

    That's (pretty much) it!  There is a combat shipment that can be made (looks like it is called Spearheading now, from the product page), but that is the only added complexity there is.  No combat die roll, no cards.  Sounds maybe too simple, but the negotiation and alliances elevate the game well above the basic mechanical level.

    Only played the game once, but really looking forward to getting to play it again with much, much better components.


  13.  Pods sound like a great idea to me.

    It is hard to get new players in a card game to make their own decks, and when they finally do and are super proud of how cool it is, they show up to a tournament, get crushed, and it is not very encouraging.  Hopefully this will put more emphasis on player skill, which can more easily be taught by example rather than tearing apart someone's deck and trying to explain resource curves, while leaving room to develop a deck suited to your tastes.

    It could also make theme decks more viable, which I think is a great thing.  I sure hope I can make a stormtrooper deck without feeling like I absolutely must have the Emperor in it.  It could be one pod will end up in all decks of one side, but it seems less likely since it takes up a larger slot in your deck.

    Summoner Wars is similarly constrained for deck building, as has been pointed out before, and it really isn't the light filler game it might look like.  I tinker with my decks a lot, and it can change the way you play drastically, but unmodified decks are still fun to play and can keep up with constructed decks in the right hands. Not every customizable game has to be all about customization.  It is just a different kind of game.

    I don't see how it can work as an optional rule if they're designing around the concept. I think you'd actually get far less variety that way because the power cards would all be auto includes without the rest of the pod to balance them as intended.  There is much talk of supposedly optimal builds, but who is to say there is such a thing?  To use Summoner Wars as a comparison again, there are sixteen factions which cannot be mixed, and they are impressively balanced.  Star Wars has six factions and they can mix, but there is no reason with time there can't be six or ten or however many strong builds.

    I'd say that's just my two cents, but until we know more, I don't think anything I say about the game can be that valuable.  Just shooting the breeze.


  14.  I don't see a problem with testing the balance of the Force.  Yes, in the movies the balance is tilted toward the dark side until the end, but we aren't reenacting the movies or else we'd have to add a rule that the light side always wins to stay accurate.  We are putting our own spin on the story, and so the balance may shift if light side players play well. I think it is a neat and flavorful mechanic that gives the game some strategy beyond just combat and deployment.

    Also, droids might be able to commit, but they don't have Force icons so it won't really help… Right?  I am still not one hundred percent certain of the rules and icons.  If it works like I think, there is no issue.  I wouldn't have a problem with storm troopers committing.  It is a silly idea, but storm troopers are silly to begin with.  The Force binds all living things, let's not discriminate.

    The ships thing IS weird, but if the alternative was having ship battles and infantry battles separate, I'm fine.  That would reduce combat interaction, which does not make the game more fun, and it would introduce more luck than I'd care for, since someone who doesn't draw ships would be screwed.  Personally I'd have preferred ships be support cards (like ships in Thrones) or just not present at all.  They could have made it so Xwing was their space battle game and Star Wars was their land battle game.

     No big deal though.  Card games always end up with inexplicable scenarios no matter how you try to avoid them.  Likely their will be some enhancement that can be played on any character to allow it to do damage, then you can have R2 finish off Vader, which I've done in previous Star Wars games.  It is completely ridiculous, but no more so than imagining a character infiltrate a cruiser and wreck havoc on its crew.

     


  15.  Summoner Wars also does fixed distribution to great success.

    The state of Decipher is sad.  I liked Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Wars, and Young Jedi.  Fight Klub looks awful, but I haven't tried it.

    I think LCGs may be a hard sell because stores eventually have too many SKUs to stock if the game is going to pick up, whereas for a CCG they just need a booster box and some starters to get a game going.  Not that I know anything about selling games.

    I like the new model for Cthulhu and would like to see other games (FFG's or other's) give it a whirl.


  16. Borderlands is their surprise product, though not really a surprise to me.  It is the third of three titles licensed from Eon Games, the first two being Cosmic Encounter and Dune (now known as Rex).  The classic was original and very strategic but with a few weird and hard to explain rules (namely the different types of shipment).  The theme seems to be changed, but I can't tell from the picture if it's being assimilated in a different franchise as Twilight Dune was.

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