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Tierdal

This game is BSG 2.0. It is Amazing. It needs hype.

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Guys...we are 2 weeks for launch. I got to play a full game with some FFG staff at BGG Con. I was BLOWN AWAY. This is the BEST implementation of crisis management, semi-coop, negotiation I have seen in any game, EVER.

 

If you were on the fence and you like BSG or ANY other type of negotiation semi-coop... do anything you can do get yourself a copy.

 

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Full Thoughts:

 

I had the great pleasure of playing New Angeles (from the Makers of BSG) this weekend at BGG Con. What struck me about this game, beyond being amazing, is just how it took all the amazing parts of BSG and improved so much about it. If you love hidden agendas, if you love potential traitors, if you love negotiation, if you love player interaction... well ...welcome to the New World of NEW ANGELES.

1) Overall Game Flow/Strategy: 

Think BSG Crisis - and that is this game. You have 2 ROUNDS of play to collectively ensure that the city of New Angeles has the supplies it needs.

If you do not provide for the city, the Government will take notice. If they take to much notice, they will come in and clean house. (If you get to 25 threat ALL players except the federalist lose). 

Meanwhile you all have personal goals. You can either have your card as your goal (meaning you must be ahead of 3 other players), Have an opponents car, meaning you win as long as you are ahead of that person...even if you are behind EVERYONE else. Or the Federalist who wins if they have 25 points AND the Threat track reaches 25. 

2) Game Play:

There are 3 rounds. First you draw a "DEMAND" card. It will tell you what level of Entertainment/Food/Credits/Technology ECT the City needs. Thing the reverse of BSG. Instead of not losing X amount of FUEL you need to gain X amount of FUEL to avoid Threat/Losing.

Each player will have 1 market card (chosen from 2 at random). These are your personal mission for that ROUND. Ranging from having epidemics in districts (IE you invest in pharma and make points the more districts that are sick). So while you are trying to collective get resources for demand...you also want to get them while covering off on YOUR personal goal for that round. Example: manipulating districts to gain resources for the primary goal when they are suffering a plague causes threat to go up (I.E. you are ignoring a problem in a district while trying to generate profits and this pisses off the government). So if you have the secret investment cards for plagues everywhere...you may not support removing plagues even as you look for ways to produce to not fail the main goal.

The meat of the game and how you manipulate the map is the Proposal/Counter Proposal phase. First an asset comes out (assets are upgrades that go to the player who passed the proposal...they give you game effects..for instance Caprice Nisei allows you to FORCE someone to tell the group how they will activate their proposal if we vote for it, and they can NOT go back on this. You can even use it on yourself to prove to the group you will do what you promise. 

These proposals are cards in your have (private info). They come from 6 different schools of cards that have different specializations. Some are great at exploiting districts, some cure diseases, some build infrastructure making distracts better. My favorite is MEDIA as it basically uses news broadcasts and propaganda to stop protests and strikes.

The FIRST player places a proposal next to the asset which will manipulate the board in certain ways to allow for production of the resources you need. There are too many cards to explain but they are all interesting and many have advantages and drawbacks built in allowing you to put in a sub optimal one that helps you but keeps threat from causing everyone to lose. 

Then you go around and everyone clockwise can put in a counter-offer. Only one counter-office can be active at a time. The second player (in order) may put in a counter-offer for free, each other player can replace that counter-offer..at the cost of discarding extra cards. If nobody counters the proposal passes and the player who played it activates it as they wish, and takes the asset. If there is a counter offer then starting from the first player each player can put in cards (face down) in support of the offer they wish to support. Sometimes you won't even care but can ask for bribes. Sometimes you REALLY need one to pass to help complete your goals. Sometimes its just obvious the one is the one we all need to pass and only the federalist would vote against it. Which offer succeed, it goes off. You then pull the next agenda and repeat.

Each PHASE of a ROUND (of which they are 3 rounds and 2 phases per round) you draw a crisis. The crisis will add things to the board , impact resources ect... it will also tell you many actions (player turns) you have for that phase. Can be from 3-6. So you may get 12 actions to fix the city or 6 over 2 rounds. So this is variable. 

After the second PHASE of each ROUND you go to the MARKET phase and collect profits based on how well you accomplished it. 

This repeats 3 times and then you determine a winner!

There is so much more so here are some highlights:

1) Each district in the city produces different resources.
2) You can only produce from 3 districts each PHASE within a ROUND.
3) Producing in a district (called exploiting - cuz mega corps bad!) causes that district to first protest, then strike, then riot so hard that the district gets blacked out until order can be restored. At Strike and Black Out no resources will be produced.
4) Org Crime units (mafia) show up on spaces taking a part of the profits if you don't get rid of them
5) Human First protesters cause districts to go on strike after the first production...skipping protests completely
6) PriSec (Cops/Security) can be used to keep Mafia and Human First people out of districts... but they DON'T get rid of them. They just protect that district and push the crime to neighboring districts. If ever there is no legal spaces for Mafia or Human first the go off the board increasing threat (similar to marching Cylons in BSG)

That is general the gist. All the mechanics work together SO well. You may have a mafia infestation and you want to fight OrgCrime as a team...but one person may have a personal investment in the mafia (meaning they get points for each mafia unit on the board). So you may try to get others to not remove mafia...even though they make it harder to generate city resources ect... 

Each Mega Corp has a specialty. They all draw from different card types. Similar to characters in BSG. Cards are used for voting AND for proposing things to vote on...so hand management is important. 

You have next to unlimited negotiations. Any promises made that can be done immediately are binding, any future promises are not.

If I say Ill give you 5 victory points to vote for my proposal, you MUST do it if you accept. If I promise to give you the agenda reward for passing my proposal...I may change my mind if we win.

Because not everyone is against everyone, it is possible for the majority of players to win which means you can ALWAYS find allies (if you trust them) and there is no such thing as a SPOILER in this game. If you are losing you can't just refuse to help and let the city burn...because the other players will band against you (because they aren't necessarily fighting each other!

In my game at BGG Con I had my own agenda card meaning I needed to be ahead of 3 other corps...and since NOBODY had my card ...nobody had to be above me (unless they had their card and couldn't get past 3 other corps). So I was able to negotiate HUGE point swings. I had a rare card that would help prevent the feds from coming in (threat hitting 25) ..so I am like (hey give me ALL your points up to where you need to be above your own opponent and I was able to get 75 points to play this card...without actually making anyone who gave me points LOSE. In any other game this would be a **** move because you are actively saying you will ruin the game if people don't support you...but here you can work together with allies so the deal isn't as bad as a **** extortion, and more of an acceptable extortion that doesn't hurt the people you extorted. 

The game in short, is unbelievable.

There is next to 0 down time. Nearly everyone is always engaged at ALL times. Bribing people to vote for your proposals, asking for bribes to support others. There is NO alpha player issue because nobody knows what is best for everyone, and there will almost never be a move that IS best for everyone (especially if a federalist is in the game). 

Some will lose but MANY can win together. And that knife edge balance creates this exciting, fun and NON-TOXIC negotiating game.

If I where to rate this game I would give is an easy 10/10 as it is one of the best designed games I have ever played. 

If you enjoy player interaction, negotiation, and semi-coop with personal goals...this will be your favorite game, for a LONG, LONG time.

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Wow... I recently bought BSG with all expansions and after playing it a few times with friends it quickly became one of my favorite games! 

 

I didn't even know the guys behind BSG did this nor am I familiar with the Android universe... I just liked the idea of of playing giant futuristic megacorps as depicted in Blade Runner and the Alien franchise... Now I'm definitely going to want to pick this up!

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Thanks for the great information. One thing I'm hoping for is a good 2-3hr game. How long does a game take? 

 

-tpl

According to coolstuffinc its 2-4 hours and requires 4-6 players.

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Played it twice over new years eve- in one word: amazing. OP's description that this is BSG 2.0 is spot on and the rules are incredibly tight. It's a great experience and I can't wait to play much, much more.

 

Seriously, my only negative with this game is that I wish the plastic Prisec units were a different colour (maybe a light grey) to make it easier to differentiate them on the board from human first and orgcrime...that's it.

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I did really enoy the game the first/only time I've played it so far. It does seem to be a little too much of a luck game based on the type of game it's trying to be, or maybe I just had extremely bad luck so it seemed that way. Basically, I was the red/Japanese faction (gets 2 points whenever a disease token is removed) There were so few diseases on the board and the ones that were there never seemed to match resources we needed so no one ever removed them or supported my cards to remove them. I came in last place by a long shot because the disease threat just never materialized.

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I don't see this game as similar to BSG at all, although I do love both games.

BSG is a team game, this is not.  Your win condition is the same as the rest of the people on your team.  In NA, you all need to keep the city going, but you win as an individual.

There is a ton of paranoia in BSG.  I don't have the same concern that there is a federalist out there that I have about cylons.  The federalist just has a slightly different win condition than everyone else that the other players don't want to see happen.

BSG is talking with people on your team about what is the biggest threat and how to deal with it.  This game is about trying to come out ahead while dealing with the threats on the board and negotiating these deals.

When a cyclon soft reveals, there is a strong need to get him in the brig, there is also a ton of stuff you can do after a soft and/or hard reveal.  In NA, there is no hard reveal and when you soft reveal there is very little you can do after that.

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Outside of my player card, I simply do not see how I could formulate a strategy and follow it.

Do I have a good offer or Counter Offer based on the board state to win a strong asset?

Are my Investment cards any good? Relevant?

Will Event cards supplement my ability to gain credits?

Once behind, is there a mechanic to catch up or am I going to sit through two hours of miserable failure while other players' dominant Assets control the deals?

Am I missing something with this game?

 

 

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Outside of my player card, I simply do not see how I could formulate a strategy and follow it.

In general:

1.  You want to pass actions that either cleans up what you gain capital for or puts down items that you gain capital for removing.  You also want to do the reverse for your rival. 

2.  You want to push for items that will fullfill your investment.  If you gain points for meeting the demand for Credits, make sure that happens by supporting the appropriate actions.

3.  The event deck needs to be managed and kept under control, but don't let that get in the way of fulfilling your investments or your player card.

4.  Since a lot of your motives (investment, rival) is hidden you can often get people to give you capital or assets for something you support anyhow.

5.  You need to do all this while ensuring threat doesn't hit 25 and no player falls to far behind in the capital track (people need to believe they have a chance of having more capital than their rival).

To add to that, a lot of the game is situational, with a swirling mess around investments, rivals, demand and what is coming up on the next event card.  You need to have a strategy that adapts to the changing conditions.

Do I have a good offer or Counter Offer based on the board state to win a strong asset?

Winning/losing assets are secondary to getting capital/keeping the threat from popping.  In my assessment, the primary use of an asset is to trade it away so that you can make a deal in your favor.  Overvaluing assets is something I see new players doing a lot.

Are my Investment cards any good? Relevant?

Not sure what you mean by this.  You need to either chose an investment that will be relevant or if its not, make it relevant.

Will Event cards supplement my ability to gain credits?

When you say credits, I think you mean capital.  Credits are something else used in supply and demand.  Or maybe I am wrong and you mean credits.  If you mean Capital, the answer is maybe, maybe not.

Once behind, is there a mechanic to catch up or am I going to sit through two hours of miserable failure while other players' dominant Assets control the deals?

There is a strong one.  Explain that you see no reason to do xxx since you are so far behind and have all the other players throw in a bunch of capital to change your mind.  Once again assets are a tool not what drives wins.  Remember very few of the other players actual care how much capital you have, you could have 1 or 1000, it doesn't change their win/lose.  Also if I give you three capital and my rival gave you the three capital, I have not gained or lost anything, I am still the same distance ahead or behind my rival.  If i give you 2 and my rival gives you 3, I have gained a point in the deal.

Hope that helps.

 

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