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About Gramsci

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    , Arizona, United States
  1. My wife and I are occasional Fury of Dracula players so this looks great. The system is a litle less "fussy": more pared down in mechanics and removes dice (that's GOOD for players like us) and it clearly stresses logic and deduction over all else (also great). NOT so sure she will find a game based on the historic murder of women so appealing (!). Dracula is a cartoon, albeit a compelling one, in this sense, relative to Jack. So, we'll see. I'm definitely awaiting the release with interest.
  2. Apologies to any fans of Risk for my typically hyperbolic response. There are people who love Risk and even those who love Monopoly. Any time someone can lay out a board or set of cards with friends or strangers is time well spent. I respectfully retract my vitriol (though I admit Risk's mechanics are repetitive and slow for my personal tastes) and thank jhagen for the civil intervention. BUT, Game of Thrones actually DOES operate with very few random elements. Without the random battle cards, only the mechanics of the Wall are randomized. So the real point of my response was to answer a simple question - what does the game PLAY LIKE? What are the dynamics at the table like? Game of Thrones doesn't play like Risk (whatever one may feel about the game). Rather, it plays like Diplomacy, in that it requires deal-making and deal-breaking, precisely because moves depends on the support of others in adjacent positions, and those momentary allies eventually must defeat those they earlier supported. This is the flattery of imitation of time-tested game mechanics. So too, the starting positions of each faction are unique (Stark in the north operates a great deal like Diplomacy's Turkey in the Southeast in this regard). The game is like Diplomacy in this regard. This is indeed high praise in my world. Best wishes to players of all games!
  3. Now that it has arrived at my home, and I've had a chance to read the rules and try out some moves, I can happily report that NO indeed, Game of Thrones is not like Risk. The closest relative, if there is one, is the classic Avalon Hill board game Diplomacy. This is because the central dynamics in both games are two-fold: 1) moves are somewhat simultaneous, insofar as you have to plan your actions for different armies and locations before you know the plans of others, and 2) the success of your plans often depend on the support of other players, who may or may not help you, no matter what they said in your top secret meeting five minutes before. So, the two games share suspense, uncertainty, and the opportunities for alliance and betrayal. So, if there is an analogue, it is Diplomacy and not Risk, which is good, because as others here have already astutely pointed out... Risk sucks. But the similarity ends there, I can now see, and the power of the R. R. Martin thematics figures heavily in the power of the game. The board is a beautifully rendered version of Westeros. The cards all evoke the characterisitcs of major players from the novel. The threat from over the wall is ever-present. They've done a great job of capturing the complex feel of the novels with very simple and elegant dynamics and terrific art. Euro-simplicity. Deep-chrome. Core player-centered gameplay. Cool. So, good news. This is not Risk. Anyone out there live in Tucson Arizona and want to play?
  4. We play in a group that can usually only muster 4 players, so this is a question facing the cylon player every time. Because the group typically seeks to redline a resource to thwart a midgame cylon sympathizer, it is essential for the cylon - if they are activated in the first half of the game - to stay hidden and work against the goal. After that, I think it has a lot to do with the talents of the player in question. Some of us are simply better at deception, distraction, and subversion of group efforts than others. They can bleed a few key failures that make it worth remaining on board Galactica for few extra turns. On a good day, they can get another player thrown in the brig (!).Even if not, the doubt and confusion encourages humans to "hedge", which is always good for the cylons. But some of us simply enjoy being "out" and stalking the humans front and center. These folks turn their card more immediately. I am keen to see how the Exodus expansion might change our calculation on this question, if at all. But overall, this is a decision that is often made based on our local player skills and enthusiasms. Note: we are a group that tends to produce cylon victories more often than not...
  5. awp832 said: I suggest playing with only 1 expansion board at a time as well. But, have you wasted your money, buying other expansions? I think not... The 'big box' expansions add a lot to the game, even if you don't play with their boards. Extra items, injury/madness, investigators, AOs, heralds, monsters and encounter cards are all things you can put in your arkham games without having to use the extra board.. Yes, I would strongly agree with the caveat above. I can't see why you shouldn't have the full suite of investigators at your disposal for any board (or small box expansion), along with injury/madness, heralds, etc. I'd keep a few of the "mood" monsters out of the mix and use them with specific boards (the Watleys and that huge crop of Deep Ones that come with Innsmouth for example). On that point, I am dissapointed that (if I am right), "barred from neighborhood" sitations only arise when using the DP small box expansion. This seems like a nice "universal" situation that should be in the mix all the time.
  6. I am a long-time player of the base game, who has only recently bought all the expansions for periodic play with my group (who meet VERY infrequently). I'd say, from having read the rules, that a combination of ALL the boards and explansion rules may make an interesting game, but it would dilute the mood, more than anything. Innsmouth's board and the Deep One / Feds mechanic really seems to convey a feeling of Shadow over Innsmouth: the parnaoia, the one-way trip to the reef. Creepy. King in Yellow seems to load the streets with mad rioters and wigged-out versions of local people, littering hypnotic yellow signs across the board (or like The Crying of Lot 49). Dunwich? Well, the idea is someone has to climb Sentinel Hill and face down that blasphemy. Otherwise, where's the fun? I'd hate the Dunwich Horror to be a sort of sideshow. So, loading all the pieces and boards together may be a fun game (to each her own), but for my very Lovecraftian group (call us purists), I'd think one-at-a-time expansions capture the feel better. Now time for an Mountains of Madness board!
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