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  1. So, I got the game for Christmas and I just tried it tonight on solo play. Basically, I woke up on an island, learned that I needed to try to find a boat, but then I got trench foot, slowing my movement. I died of hunger before I found the boat while two unknown monsters were following me. That is about all I want to say to avoid spoilers. So, first of all, I like the game mechanics. Simple and easy to play with a nice combination of narrative and skillful planning involved. The game moved along at a nice quick pace. For me, the game has decent replayability. For one, the game has 5 scenarios, each scenario gets a random map set up, random character(s) to use, and some limited randomization of the adventure/monster decks (my first scenario told me to use only one card out of 2-3 for three different numbers). For me, that is pretty good replayability. For example, I love the new Arkham Horror game, but it only comes with (I think) 4 scenarios. The maps are different for each scenario, but they are not random. If I don't see any problem with replayability with that game, then I certainly don't see any problem with the replayability with this game. Yes, both games are the most exciting the first couple of times you play a scenario, but they still have an appeal in that you can draw different cards, use different characters, and get a different narrative with each game, even if the overarching story is the same for each scenario. Also, there is the simple fact that there are very few board games that I own that I have actually played 4-5 times. What about the idea of the game being unique? I really love this idea. Before I opened my game I really didn't know what I was going to get. In fact, I thought there was only island and desert terrain, so I was super excited to find that I had island and bayou. If I actually manage to play the game several times and feel hungry to relive the experience again, I can buy a new copy, with new terrain, new quests, new characters, and play the same game again but relive the experience of true discovery. I think that is pretty sweet. If I end up playing it only 2-3 times before moving on to another game (which is what I usually end up doing, as I have quite a collection to work my way through), then that is cool too. I also really like that if one of my friends have a copy, we can take turns playing each other's copy for new experiences. Some others on the forum have suggested trading games, which also sounds like a neat idea. I just have one reservation. I have heard in other reviews that the game is fun during the exploration part, but falls apart later on when you are running around trying to accomplish tasks. In my first game, I died before I got that far, so I can't speak to that. But the idea of the nature of the game-changing halfway through is not necessarily a bad thing. I guess I will just have to play more and see. Overall, seems like a fun game I can play with more casual players with a novel idea in that my copy is unique. It is not my favorite game (looking at you, Twilight Imperium!), but I think it was certainly worth the price of admission, and might even be worth the price of buying a second copy if I actually manage to exhaust the scenarios in my copy and I am still hungry for more.
  2. Yeah, in one of the games I played I didn't mulligan and I regretted it.
  3. I noticed that almost everytime I went first I lost. Play one card, draw nothing, then let your opponent put down 3-4 creatures/artifacts. Seemed like it was always hard to catch up without a board wipe card (which usually chained you). Getting plus one card doesn't seem to make up for the only being allowed to play one card rule. I also noticed that with new decks, if people didn't do a really, really good job shuffling, we would constantly pull mostly one house for each hand, allowing for constant large hand plays. A really good shuffle, however, helped ensure that, for the first few hands, I had close to an even 2 card per house split in my hand. If my opponent had a new deck, they often could play 5 cards of a single house on turn 1-2, while I am struggling to get out more than two cards. This is a minor thing since over time decks will naturally be better shuffled, but it seems to make sealed event play not so great. Personally, I have moved from the "super excited and in love with this game" camp to the "I am not sure if this is for me" camp. I am going to try focusing on just learning one or two of my many decks and see if that improves play experience.
  4. I plan to buy a starter and 6 decks. That is 100 bucks investment for 8 random decks and two pre-built decks (so, ten decks total). I will use the starter decks to teach the game and, if I like them, I will use them in regular play too. I will take my time exploring all the decks, and I will use the starter box to store everything.
  5. Oh, I see. So you could have cards that you literally don't want to play because they will be counteractive against your strategy. That is interesting...
  6. Right, but you can only discard cards for the house that you chose to play for that turn. So, why not just play those cards instead of discarding them? Like, say I don't like any of my Mars cards in my hand and I want to get rid of them, so I choose to activate Mars so I can discard them. But, wouldn't it be better to just play them since I can't play any other cards that turn anyway?
  7. I am having trouble understanding why you would ever discard cards. You can only discard from the house you activated, and so why not just play those cards instead of discard? Can anyone help me out with this? Thanks!
  8. "What prevents deck tampering?" The Categorical Imperative!
  9. So, the official word is Q4, so Oct, Nov, or Dec. Though I have seen a place listing preorders shipping in December, as well as September and October, so its really not clear. Pictures from gencon make it look like the game is ready to roll out, but FFG has it listed as still "in development," and not even at the printer much less on the boat. I really want to get into this game ASAP too!
  10. It doesn't look like there is a lot of "out of turn actions/reactions" if that is what you mean (though I don't really know that, it's just my impression from the rules). The closest thing seems to be the fact that attacking is simultaneous, which could cause certain abilities to trigger. Also, if a player calls "check" at the end of their turn, then you know they are going to unlock a key if you don't steal some of their amber. I did see a clarification for what happens if you take control of another player's card, so that will be a thing. Some cards will allow you to chain your opponent, so chains will get used even if you don't opt to use them as a handicap. There is the "hazardous" key word, which means that an attacking creature will take x damage before the attack is resolved. There will also be a way to unforge your opponent's forged keys. But I think that is about it, at least for now.
  11. My impression of the quick start rules plus the examples of the cards they provided is positive. I love the fact that you are not limited by mana costs in terms of what you can play, but instead, are limited to what you can play by what house you choose to activate that turn. I think this little mechanic is what is pivotal to making this game work. Sure, you may get several powerful creatures in play over the course of a few turns, but those will likely be from different houses, meaning that you won't be able to activate all of those creatures every turn. Also, while killing creaturs is nice, it is not really the focus of the game. For example, in Magic and L5R, you are trying to beat your way past enemies to "damage" the other player (either directly or through attacking provinces). But in this game, it is all about that sweet, sweet, amber. While one or two of the example cards have a Fight: receive x amber ability or, destroy the creature and receive x amber, this doesn't appear to be a central means for gaining amber. Healing Wave, for example, heals all creatures (including your opponents) and then lets you gain one amber for each creature healed. And several cards give you amber just for playing them. So the impression I have is that you don't want to get distracted by trying to just win fights because that won't get you to the finish line. Instead, each turn, you will need to try to determine the best way to collect amber, which is not necessarily beating up on your opponent's creatures. In other words, it is not your standard "spend resources to deploy attacking/blocking units followed by executing attacks and blocks." This is further emphasized by the fact that attacking happens simultaneously, meaning that attacking will usually hurt your self as well as your opponent. The Reap Action also creates an interesting dilemma for players. Do you attack with your creatures or reap amber? Attacking means you can reduce your opponent's ability to reap, but you also forgo gaining amber. If you reap, then your opponent can reap as well or go on the offensive and attack you. Deciding when to reap and when to attack or use other action abilities will be pivotal to winning games, I think. My first impressions are that this game will play fairly different from other card games in that there is no resource management and no real playing to block. Instead, the limitations on what you can play are self-imposed by what house you activate, and if you choose to reap amber or use cards in play (either their action abilities or fighting). The game seems to be heavy on weighing opportunity costs in that every choice you make means giving up on something else. Again, especially regarding attack/action vs. reaping. With regards to the "every deck is unique" aspect, I think this could be a lot of fun. There is only 300 some cards spread over 7 houses, so we know that each house will have a relatively limited list of cards (for now, it is maybe about 50 cards, I guess). When a person shows up with a random deck, that deck has three specific faction symbols, those symbols will give you a pretty decent idea on what you might be facing for that game. Likewise, if you are playing with a cold deck that you have never used before, the three house symbols will give you a quick idea of what to expect from your deck and how to strategize on the fly, so to speak. This sounds like a style that some will love and others will hate. Many competitive players tend to want to build min/maxed decks to optimize their chances to win. For other players, customizing decks and experimenting with strategies is the heart of the game. Also, those who are collectors will struggle with the idea that you simply can't collect each deck (though you can certainly get each card). On the other hand, those of us who like to be able to just sit down and play without having to look up deck lists online and buy expensive single cards just to remain competitive will enjoy this game more. For example, I myself always wanted to get into a card game and play at events, but I never do because I simply don't have the time, money, or will to build carefully tailored decks. In addition, having to play with non-min/maxed decks is a new form of challenge for competitive play. In one sense, not being able to look online for the latest winning deck and paying to buy the cards for that winning deck makes the game a more competitive challenge. Again, for myself, I never played Magic competitively not because I can't, but because chasing down cards and decklists in order to be competitive is not appealing to me. Also, while I can't be a completionist, the idea of collecting decks, and knowing that probably no one (or very few) people out there will have the same decks that I have, makes my decks kind of special. If I am winning games with one of my decks, no one else can just copy my deck. My deck is my deck, and that is really cool. From a collecting aspect, that has a lot more charm for me than "I randomly got a rare card that other people will also have because they bought it for 10 bucks as a single." So, I think the unique deck aspect is what will turn people on/off about this game more than the rules. The good news is that you don't have to necessarily only play one type of game. I personally avoid games like Magic because I do not like the card chase, but I do play games like L5R because I enjoy deck building, and LCCs make it easy to have all the cards I need and then leave it up to me to build decks. This game seems to offer a very different experience, one that I am very eager to try out.
  12. I have a quick rules question. How do you measure distances when the base is in two segments at once. for example, if a base is halfway between range 2 and 3, is it considered to be within range two or range three? The full rules seemed to make a distinction between "at range" and "within range', with "within range." How does it work for shooting? Thanks!
  13. Yes, I thought he built a 30 card deck from two boxes as well until halfway through the game when he asked how I had two of the same dynasty cards! In my defense, he told me he was going to get a second box after I smashed him pretty bad with Scorpian and that he had reworked his deck (again, though, we did so much wrong that these victories should be taken with a big grain of salt). We are still at the "learning stage" and nowhere near being competitive. But playing with more unicorn cards, and not having to build most of my action deck out of neutral and other clan cards, made the deck feel much more thematic. So I am really looking forward to our next games where we will have 40 card decks and actually (hopefully) get all the rules right for the first time!
  14. Ah, yes, good catches. I did not realize that the champion is female. Do-oh! Yes, I messed that up with the Utaku Infantry, I probably confused it with the charge! card. Another thing we did wrong was initiating two of the same types of conflicts a turn. Only being able to initiate one military conflict will be more limiting to Unicorn play style. I am pretty sure I used the Boarder Raider character's ability to attack twice with military actions, which I now know is not possible. But I did realize a good combo for the champion and way of the unicorn card. If you go first and manage to break a province with Shinjo Altansarnai, then your opponent will have to discard a non-bowed character, since they haven't had a chance to activate anything yet. By using way of the unicorn card and going first for two turns in a row, you have a chance to pull that off twice. While the other player can always just chose to discard a weak 1 cost character with no fate on it, that is at least one less character for your opponent to use for the turn. Also, an experienced player might feel the need to spend a fate to put a weak character into play to protect their stronger characters, rather than use that fate to extend the lifespan of a stronger card. And thanks for answering my question about moving bowed characters, that makes sense! I am new with a lot to learn, though, as is the person I am playing with. So, maybe in time, I will start to see unicorn's weaknesses.
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