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Subject: What makes Terraforming Mars and Cry Havoc good? rss

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Andi Huller
Germany
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Hi all,

I will most likely getting these two, but what makes them so good or hyped up?
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Georg Wolgast
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They're new. #GrumpyOldMan whistle
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Jason Garman
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I've only played Cry Havoc once so far, but I liked it quite a bit. The main things I like about it are:

- It has very asymmetric factions with very different play styles. Scores on my first game were relatively close, but after only one play I can't really comment on overall balance.

- It has multi-use cards, which I love. You have to decide whether to use your cards to take more powerful actions now or save them to turn the tide of a battle later.

- The combat mechanism is deep and interesting. The three different goals that you can work toward and the combat cards mean that even if you're outnumbered you can win something useful from the battle. I also like the back-and-forth mind games when you're placing your units on different objectives and playing the cards.

The only thing I didn't really like is that while the basic gameplay is easy to understand, it's hard to tell what an effective strategy would look like as a beginner. At the end of our first game, there was a lot of "Oh, if I had done more of X and less of Y, I would have been a lot better off". That does mean that the game has a lot of depth to explore, but I wish it was a bit more transparent at first.
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Matt Brown
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Both had really good reviews early on, but TM seems to be the one holding up better. I'm rather not surprised CH has talk of balance issues. Portal's games seem to need a 2nd edition by default.
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Pater Absurdus
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Cry Havoc looks interesting to me. I am always looking for another game like Chaos in the Old World and it appears as though it might scratch a similar itch.

My friend wrote his thoughts about it and is very excited here: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/55970/first-strike-cry-ha...

I respect his opinions and find them interesting but he preferred Blood Rage over Chaos in the Old World so what the crap does he know...
 
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Matt Brown
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Also, with Rising Sun coming out next year, I don't think there is a lack of DoaM games worth looking into so I'm not sure CH is going to stand out enough for me to break down and get it.
 
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Michael Drog
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GeorgW wrote:
They're new. #GrumpyOldMan whistle


This is the answer.
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dave bcs
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I have Terraforming Mars and have played it a few times. It is now my top game of the moment. The engine building is complex, and involves six or more different commodities than can be produced and collected. The commodities (and in some cases, type icons on previously played cards) can be used to lower project purchase costs, score points, or place tiles/advance temp or O2. The primary mechanism involves drawing of project cards that allow various production abilities and scoring opportunities, as well as potentially advancing the O2 level, number of oceans, and planet temperature, which drive the end game condition. Keeping cards you draw costs money, so there is a lot of tense decisions over which cards will dovetail with your engine building best in the long run. The player interaction is most tense in regarding claiming of milestones, and when to pay to activate the limited number of endgame scoring awards. There is almost no "take that", the cards that force other players to lose stuff occur more coincidentally as opposed to being a viable targeted strategy, and the landmass of Mars is big enough that competition for spaces on the board is fairly light. Every project card in the very large deck is unique, with believable science and artwork. Theme immersion is quite convincing.

The solitaire rules produce the best solitaire game I have seen in most any boardgame.

I tend to prefer heavy euros that also have theme congruence and tense player interaction, so this game hits every spot for me, and is right up there fore me with Mombasa, Signorie, and Nippon.
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Ian Kissell
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I've played both. Here are quick thoughts:

Terraforming Mars:
"What Makes it Good"
Excellent Tableau building game with tough choices
A heavy Euro without a ton of exceptions to rules and a ruleset that is intuitive because of the theme

Avoid if you don't like

Marginal graphic design. This really needs a second edition.
You can easily screw up and ruin the whole game. This is true for a lot of meaty game, but this has some component issues which makes it easier.
You want NO take that in a heavier Euro

TLDR: one of the best Tableau building heavier Euros out there.


Cry Havoc:
"What Makes it Good"
Brilliant and thinky combat system that blows "strength + card" a la Kemet out of the water.
Assymetrical powers that change every game
A nice mix of deckbuilding that reminds me of some of Martin Wallace's games
Excellent components


Avoid if you don't like

The assymetric power require the players to balance the game, much like Chaos in the Old World
Games that don't artificially keep scores close.
An ugly board

TLDR: Excellent Euro-ish dudes on a map game with a cool mix of powers and a brilliant combat system.


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chris thatcher
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Ive also played both.

Terraforming Mars.
Good theme, Mechanics are not complicated, smooth gameplay, very re-playable. I think the take that element is fine. The components are ok but the cubes on the player boards can easily slide around (i will use D10 dice from now on). The cards are on the thin side, i sleeved. It is a long game when playing corporate era, probably to long. Still fun tho.

Cry Havoc
Blast to play, great components, battle system is great. Unfortunately unbalanced. If you play the machines you will likely lose...by a lot, but they are fun to play. Humans seem overpowered in 3 player games.
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Dave K
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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I think the good points of TM have been covered above. It's simply a really good game. It has enough interaction to keep you carefully watching your opponents but not so much that being targeted will ruin your game. The engine building is deep and lets you plan, but you also have to react to the opportunities you get from the cards. The theme is surprisingly strong, which is a nice bonus.

It does have some component issues. I plan on buying some acrylic cube holders for the player boards eventually, and I'll also be putting the cards in sleeves.

It has held up very well over several back-to-back plays and I'm optimistic it will be a long-term keeper.

Haven't played Cry Havoc so cannot comment there.
 
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dave bcs
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I myself am pleased with the quality of the components. The map is attractive and well constructed, as are the cards. I like the clear plastic cubes and the metallic looking money, which seem to fit the space theme. My main issue with the components is the production tracking on the fairly thin player boards, on which you can easily lose track with a little bump. Some type of more solid tracking mechanism, such as a bigger, wider scale with different markers for each commodity, would have been better, perhaps, or some other system?
 
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dave bcs
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Tell me more about "acrylic cube holders". I am interested in hearing about this potential solution to the sliding problem.
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Dave K
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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drdranetz wrote:
Tell me more about "acrylic cube holders". I am interested in hearing about this potential solution to the sliding problem.


The player mats for Eclipse had similar issues with cubes sliding around, and a couple accessory companies made plastic overlays from acrylic that sat over the mats and held the pieces in place. I have heard talk of places doing the same for TM. I have seen one place that offered them but their website had issues on my iPad and I was unable to place an order - I'm afraid I don't recall the name. If you do some Googling for it (maybe "plastic" instead of "acrylic" in case the material is different?) I'm guessing it'll turn up though.
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Tom
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I found CH to be absolutely boring after the second time I played it. After the fourth time I started to feel like Bill Murray in the movie Ground Hog day so I traded it away. Absolutely more chrome than content. Surprising considering I love Portal games. Oh well you win some and loose some.
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Laurie V
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Found these: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BoardGameBoost?campaign_label=shop...

The designer posted in this thread demonstrating how the blinged boards fit in the game box!

Happymrdave wrote:
drdranetz wrote:
Tell me more about "acrylic cube holders". I am interested in hearing about this potential solution to the sliding problem.


The player mats for Eclipse had similar issues with cubes sliding around, and a couple accessory companies made plastic overlays from acrylic that sat over the mats and held the pieces in place. I have heard talk of places doing the same for TM. I have seen one place that offered them but their website had issues on my iPad and I was unable to place an order - I'm afraid I don't recall the name. If you do some Googling for it (maybe "plastic" instead of "acrylic" in case the material is different?) I'm guessing it'll turn up though.
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dave bcs
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Thanks!
 
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dave bcs
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Thanks. Just ordered it!
 
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Laurie V
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drdranetz wrote:
Thanks. Just ordered it!


Cool! Would you post here - or maybe more appropriately on the thread that I linked above - with your feedback when you've had a chance to test them out?
 
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dave bcs
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Sure.
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Jim Van Verth
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I had a chance to see the overlays at a local con and they looked pretty good -- I regret not picking them up when I had the chance. But at that point I wasn't sure that I was going to buy the game.
 
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dave bcs
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Until the overlay arrives, I will have all the players record their production levels on a piece of paper as tableaux jarring could be a game buster. Changes in production levels occur infrequently enough to make this not too burdensome.
 
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Anon Y. Mous
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matthean wrote:
Both had really good reviews early on, but TM seems to be the one holding up better. I'm rather not surprised CH has talk of balance issues. Portal's games seem to need a 2nd edition by default.


What asymmetric game doesn't have "talk of balance issues"?
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Mark Aasted
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drdranetz wrote:
Until the overlay arrives, I will have all the players record their production levels on a piece of paper as tableaux jarring could be a game buster.


I just played 3 times, each 5 player games with different players. No one had an issue with their cubes, or at least no one mentioned it. We were playing on the standard plastic folding tables which are prone to moving when bumped.

Everyone who played it enjoyed it and all said they wanted to play again. I still haven't used the extra corporation and project cards...next play hopefully.
 
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dave bcs
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They boardgameboost overlays are great! Look nice, easy to assemble, cubes fit perfectly.
 
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