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Inis» Forums » General

Subject: Feeling Pre-Buyers Remorse after Essen Comments rss

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Tyler DeLisle
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I've had this game pre-ordered for months now. Cyclades and Kemet are both in my top 15. Cry Havoc looked nice, but Inis looked cleaner. When those initial raving reviews came out from SU&SD and a few other places, I couldn't be happier. Then some lukewarm reviews started coming out.

Seeing the latest comments from Essen, the game seems to be much more polarizing than I would have thought.

Quote:
10/10 - Blast of a game. One of the best area control game ever made. Easy to get into, but hard to master. Best art design i have seen in years.

Quote:
4/10 - Great theme, a couple of interesting mechanical twists, but it's all brought down by really distasteful endgame, where people continue ganging up on the leader until someone wins by accident.

Quote:
4/10 - Played it at Essen:
- Combat is awkward and pretty dull.
- The use of cards instead of normal actions is clunky (There are almost no "normal" actions)
- The drafting of the 4 cards gives the illusion of control, but actually there is so much luck involved with it because of their only being 4 cards per player.
- You need to announce, that you think you'll win next round...

Quote:
10/10 - Had the chance to play several games before the release. Definitively love it! I can play again and again.
The base card are easy to all remember and you start to build your strategy from the fist turn by selecting your card and guessing what other players will do. There is many ways to win and table is turning quickly. Almost no luck involved, just calculating plays and guessing game from other players.

Quote:
6/10 - Quite nice, and it can be fast, but has too much bash-the-leader for me. If you're not the winner, or the leader being based t's pretty difficult not to be some sort of King-maker.



The talk of bash the leader and having to announce before a turn that you think you're going to win are what gives me concern. I don't mind bash-the-leader to a degree, but if it's done so much in a game where it just feels like whoever is left, wins, that's not as much fun.

I'm hoping for a game similar in feel to Blood Rage, but where the card power is slightly downplayed in favor for board tactics, that's what Inis looks like to me, but...

Having to announce that you're going to win sounds awkward to, is that actually a rule? Reminds me of the weird end condition with Mythotopia where you also have to announce that you're winning unless everyone can stop you, and if they do you keep going.

Like a lot about whats going on with this game, but a frustrating or unsatisfying ending can really kill a game. Do you think these people who didn't dig it just had bad games?
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Brandon Holmes
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I was going to preorder this but now I am waiting after reading those same comments. The main reason I got rid of Cyclades was that I disliked the bash the leader aspect.
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Kristo Vaher
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I liked Mythotopia and based on what I know about the game, I will like Inis too. While this may be polarizing, I actually think that the best games are polarizing. Case in point? BGG Top 100.

I think it is incredibly thematic endgame, as this is about leading the country and submitting others to your rule. It's wonderful. And all area control games have, to some extent, bash the leader aspect to it. It's the very nature of tight area control games. Kemet, Cyclades, Game of Thrones, etc.

But it sounds like you didn't like ending of Mythotopia and it is not that different in Inis.

Have you looked videos of the game and read the rulebook? It may not be worth a risk if you don't find videos and mechanisms rulebook appealing.
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Christophe Jannin
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I haven't played the game but from what I've seen so far, the key word in Inis will be : timing.
Based on the fact that you're supposed to know the cards in play, you have to time your victory so that nobody can challenge you.
Furthermore, it seems that you need to time all of your action, as you mostly know what cards are in play you need to time your action to maximize their effect at the end of the round.

I can't wait to receive it
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Tyler DeLisle
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Slashdoctor wrote:
I liked Mythotopia and based on what I know about the game, I will like Inis too. While this may be polarizing, I actually think that the best games are polarizing. Case in point? BGG Top 100.

I think it is incredibly thematic endgame, as this is about leading the country and submitting others to your rule. It's wonderful. And all area control games have, to some extent, bash the leader aspect to it. It's the very nature of tight area control games. Kemet, Cyclades, Game of Thrones, etc.

But it sounds like you didn't like ending of Mythotopia and it is not that different in Inis.

Have you looked videos of the game and read the rulebook? It may not be worth a risk if you don't find videos and mechanisms rulebook appealing.


Good points, I actually didn't realize that the rulebook was available, I'll check it out. I have a pretty decent idea how it plays though, it's tough to really know the "feel" of the game without playing it.

I don't mind bash the leader, obviously if I enjoy Kemet, but I feel like it's a fine line. Game of Thrones it felt tiring to me because it was so hard to bounce back. Cyclades I actually didn't feel too much of it, people usually rush to their first Metropolis and then it's a game of who can get their second first.

You're right though, this doesn't sound too different from Kemet where one person could be winning, but they need to time when they get it, and they need to plan enough to ensure that they can secure the win despite other's efforts. I'll probably still like this.

To be honest I didn't give Mythotopia much of a shot, it felt too drawn out and restricted by card draw.
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You may call me
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I suggest you read the rulebook. There is an action where you grab a token (I forget the name) that basically tells everyone you are planning to win because if you have that token in hand and a couple other conditions are met then you win. So yes, there is "bash the leader" and "king making" in Inis. Just like Cyclades (I haven't played Kemet).
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Charlie Theel
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haplo92 wrote:
I haven't played the game but from what I've seen so far, the key word in Inis will be : timing.
Based on the fact that you're supposed to know the cards in play, you have to time your victory so that nobody can challenge you.
Furthermore, it seems that you need to time all of your action, as you mostly know what cards are in play you need to time your action to maximize their effect at the end of the round.

I can't wait to receive it


This is the thing. This game does have bash the leader but it's different than Cyclades in that you don't publicly pre-select your actions (Cyclades auction) so it's still possible to pull out a win in dramatic fashion. You need to properly time when to execute your move and this adds some tension to the end of the round and gravitas to combat and losing cards.

I'm not sure how I feel about the pretender crown tokens and announcing you are able to win ahead of time, in theory I don't like it but in reality, it would be disastrous for someone at the end of the round to state, "Oh wait, I win. We're done" and no one realize. You could easily remove the pretender crown mechanism if you don't mind this and I was told that mechanic wasn't always there in development.
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Tyler DeLisle
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charlest wrote:
I'm not sure how I feel about the pretender crown tokens and announcing you are able to win ahead of time, in theory I don't like it but in reality, it would be disastrous for someone at the end of the round to state, "Oh wait, I win. We're done" and no one realize. You could easily remove the pretender crown mechanism if you don't mind this and I was told that mechanic wasn't always there in development.


Yeah exactly. I hadn't heard about the coin before, and it sounds really weird to announce a win beforehand... but you're completely right that not using it and just having someone win by virtue of no one noticing sounds like a weak ending also.

I guess Chess has the same thing with Checkmate, it's probably not as bad in practice, and like you said easily houseruled.
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Charlie Theel
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TyDeL wrote:
charlest wrote:
I'm not sure how I feel about the pretender crown tokens and announcing you are able to win ahead of time, in theory I don't like it but in reality, it would be disastrous for someone at the end of the round to state, "Oh wait, I win. We're done" and no one realize. You could easily remove the pretender crown mechanism if you don't mind this and I was told that mechanic wasn't always there in development.


Yeah exactly. I hadn't heard about the coin before, and it sounds really weird to announce a win beforehand... but you're completely right that not using it and just having someone win by virtue of no one noticing sounds like a weak ending also.

I guess Chess has the same thing with Checkmate, it's probably not as bad in practice, and like you said easily houseruled.


Yes, one nice thing about it is that you claim you can win as an action (you have to objectively point out how you qualify for one of the victory conditions). You can perform this action near the end of the round, you don't need to do it at the beginning or anything.
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Arnaud MATAGOT
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charlest wrote:


I'm not sure how I feel about the pretender crown tokens and announcing you are able to win ahead of time, in theory I don't like it but in reality, it would be disastrous for someone at the end of the round to state, "Oh wait, I win. We're done" and no one realize. You could easily remove the pretender crown mechanism if you don't mind this and I was told that mechanic wasn't always there in development.



Hundred of play tests led to this rule exactly for this reason. We would constantly and unanimously say" Oh wait let's revers time and play to find the "REAL" King"
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Tyler DeLisle
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Thanks for relieving my concerns, I'm back to looking forward to my pre-order. Going to assume that the same people rating it low after Essen, are the same people who would also not enjoy Kemet.
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Ian Barker
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arnaud4matagot wrote:
charlest wrote:


I'm not sure how I feel about the pretender crown tokens and announcing you are able to win ahead of time, in theory I don't like it but in reality, it would be disastrous for someone at the end of the round to state, "Oh wait, I win. We're done" and no one realize. You could easily remove the pretender crown mechanism if you don't mind this and I was told that mechanic wasn't always there in development.



Hundred of play tests led to this rule exactly for this reason. We would constantly and unanimously say" Oh wait let's revers time and play to find the "REAL" King"


I like the pretender tokens because you can actually sneak in a victory if your timing is perfect. Wait for everyone to spend their last action cards THEN grab the pretender. It's risky, because if you do it too early people can respond with their own actions. But if you wait too long, everyone might pass and end the round. It's a really nice element to the game.
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Christian
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If you allow me, I'll give you my take on bashing the leader in Inis...

Well, in a way Inis is Bash the Leader: the game

But wait for it...

Actually what happens is that starting with round 2, may be 3, several players are in position to win. So you do not bash one player only. But, and more importantly, in Inis you can do nothing if you don't have the cards. And this is the cool thing. Action cards regulate the amount of clashes, with the grain of salt introduced by the Advantage cards (public knowledge) and Epic tale cards (surprises up your sleeve).
So what happens is that from round 2 or 3, everyone wants to bash the leaders (plural) and at the same time win! With the limited pool of cards!
This is a very important feature, and one of the aspects that gives a huge amount of tension, without feeling unfair.

Well, you got to know the game a bit for that to work, of course.

As for King making, this almost doesn't happen in Inis (except again in your first games), thanks to the victory rules, especially the one that makes the game go for another round...

Cheers!
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Jeff Lyons
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As in all games, it really depends on the group you play with.

I am a huge fan of Inis and love that the elements of the game that would seem to create a "bash-the-leader" aspect only make you take your strategy to the "next level". The game is all played right in front of your eyes so if you are obvious and telegraph your strategy, it is simple enough for an opponent to put a stop to it. Inis is a game that is more about timing, subterfuge, cleverness, and adaptive tactics than "I have more dudes than you".

If that sounds fun to you, I wouldn't worry about less than stellar reviews.
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Michael Schneider
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I've got it from Essen and played three games so far.

I actually think that the way Inis tackles the "bash-the-leader" problem in a very smart way.

As Christian said, often multiple players have victory conditions fullfilled. Since ties lead to another played round, rather then to the end of the game end and some tie breaker, you are encouraged to work towards your own victory condition instead of pushing another player back (because you would need to push multiple players back).

In the games so far, the winners played smart, looked closely at the played cards, and striked in the right moment to win so that nobody could do anything about it - exactly how it should be!

I'd say king making can happen - but it is hard for me to conceive how. In Kemet, this actually happens quite regulary because you can pick on the weakest player and his actions might decide who has an opportunity to do so. In Inis, picking on the weakest player is rarely beneficial because:

1. If you want to become chieftan to control six clans you actually don't want to kill them
2. If you just invade for the sake of taking territories and sanctuaries you don't want to start a fight because it will weaken your position, most of the time.

Therefore, king making is reduced to a minimum, I think.

There are so many smart ideas in this game, it is almost to much for a single game. If you enjoyed Cyclades and Kemet, I'll say that the probabilty that you will love Inis is very, very high meeple.

Edit: Which "lukewarm" reviews are you referring to other than the few and between Essen comments?
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Shane
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I'm actually more interested in picking this up after reading some of the early opinions. I think the endgame mechanisms make for a more interesting game, and one that feels less like other games. I'm not in the market for a game that feels like another game - I'm in the market for a game that feels unique, and this seems to fit the bill.
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Michael Schneider
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ShaneXtopher wrote:
I'm in the market for a game that feels unique, and this seems to fit the bill.


It absolutely does feel unique! Interestingly, it feels also quite different from Blood Rage which has many similarities on the surface.
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Richard Mullet
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I played this for the first time on Tuesday and it's been on my mind since which to me is the sign of a good game! I'd echo other people's thoughts above- timing when to push for a win and positioning yourself well to get in a winning position when others can't stop you seems key. There are several cards out of the 17(?) that could put you in a strong position to get the win as the game comes to a close. Out of 4 of us 3 could have won on the last turn. It seems like there may be some useful long term ways of putting yourself in a good position like collecting the harps since they count towards all the win conditions or hoarding red cards. Timing your card play & using passes to wait for others not to be able to stop your dash for victory also seems important. Good level of interaction without too much King making if you ask me
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Tyler DeLisle
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Thanks for all the great comments guys, I'm really pumped to get this again. I love when a game makes me feel clever and sneaky to eek out a win.

I definitely love endings that are more interesting than a point track, which is what kind of kills Blood Rage for me a bit.
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Matthew Hebert
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knurps wrote:
ShaneXtopher wrote:
I'm in the market for a game that feels unique, and this seems to fit the bill.


It absolutely does feel unique! Interestingly, it feels also quite different from Blood Rage which has many similarities on the surface.


Don't fret, the game is awesome. I just got my Essen preorder and played it last night. It didn't disappoint.

It feels very fresh and very fluid. I am looking forward to getting deeper into it.
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Luc Jacobs
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Fully agree, the key is timing.
Pass and hope not everybody is passing.
It sometimes happend (everybody passing), then select actions cards to play save for the next round.
Wait for the right chance to the win, but probably somebody will just beat you.
Chess and Poker, sneak in for the win when nobody expects!

Great game, can wait for next play !
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Adam Gemmer
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Take comments like that with a grain of salt. Do a little more research if you're not sure, but every game has people that love them and hate them. Look at the negative comments of your favorite games and be glad they didn't stop you from getting them.
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Mark Turner
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There comes a point when all map battling games are bash the leader, although admittedly some are more so than others.

As others have said, the essence of these games is timing. There is no sense in saying 'well, I would have won, as I was the leader, but then I got bashed', as the way the game works is charting a way to win, but not emerging from the pack until you can secure that win.

It normally requires a fair amount of table talk and misdirection, and can lead to some noisy debates about who is, in fact, the leader. These games aren't everyone's cup of tea, but the alternative is a more mechanistic engine building type game, wherein you have the flip side problem: the runaway leader.

At least bash the leader keeps players in the game; runaway leader can be more dispiriting, especially for newcomers, as they can be effectively won in the first couple of move. This leaves the laggards with a dull experience.
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mark van der werf
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I didn't find Bash the leader as strong in this one as others. Some wins like being present in 6 area's or being present with 6 monasteries are quite hard to prevent in the first place because of citadels. The being dominant over 6 clans is easy to prevent but can catch others by surprise, or can be used as a means to force a retreat or fight another player doesn't want to.

Area majority games always have bash the leader to some extent, not a big deal in this one I think. And building up a strong finish out of nowhere is part of the charm as well.
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Three Headed Monkey
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I thought this had a rather good anti-bash the leader mechanic by allowing someone to tie with the leader, and now everyone has to double win. So it can become less about stopping your own plans to take down the leader and more about making sure you are up there too.
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