tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
Costa Rica
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So I got this in a Math Trade and was very excited for another Deck building Game.



photo thanks to

Mathew Anderson
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Dominion - I really enjoy playing it online ( at www.boardgamearena.com ) but not so much in person ( the whole set up , tear down, time to change cards, and all the shuffling just don't do it for me - plus if you lose a card or 2 your kinda screwed ). I feel it is usually a solo race game with other people around in person, on line it is usually fast enough that I will play it over and over again. I also think the Designer has no social skills and comes off like an idiot so I will not buy his games anymore, just to many other good games from cool people.

Ascension - Love it, so much better then Dominion in my opinion, with the new expansion it got way better to play also. The designers are super cool and don't even ask $ for you to sign their game ( that you just paid for - some designers should take this to heart ).

Heroes of Graxia - Hmmm, I am on the fence till a few more plays ( got in my first 3 games ) but so far does not feel like a deck building game at all.


So I actually got my friend, Matt, to read the rules and play test this one so he could teach me a new game ( now that is cool, his first time ). Well, I think it is time for him to teach me the game and he has a date - good for him. So I read the rules and play test it solo for a few hands to get a feel for how it works. The rules are OK, but could be good or great - which they are not. After my run through of a few hands all I could wonder was why would you not always attack the other guy - I did not see much reason to go for monsters? But with out really playing it, who knows, it is all just speculation at this point.


After reading the 6 hero cards to choose from I realized a few are way more powerful then the others I took the Human hero to start and Matt choose the Albino looking guy who can heal and take a card at turn starts. Matt attacked me cause I had just the hero in my legion and he had good cards. He did a bunch of damage to me, I did a little to him. I has used cards to defend and then was left short on cards for my turn, not fun. I really couldn't attack him and get the better of it so I was left with killing a whimpy monster and bought a low point card with what was left in my hand. I then drew up and had new cards that could not be used till next time. Matt attacks again and does decent damage to me, but I was able to give what I received that time. I then attacked him and got good cards that made him lose a guy and wound his hero pretty badly.

This was our first game,and very slow as we went back and fourth and tried to figure out how it all works. The thing to me is your not given a good enough reward to go after buying stuff or attacking monsters, the way to win is just kill the other guy. In 3 games we each bought a few cards and the powerful ones did change the game up a bit, but I see no reason to not attack the other guy unless you have a crappy hand.

So we went back and fourth and I killed his hero, which he then gets a 1/3 of his deck - he chooses what cards also, then he comes out with all the actions he wants -- a great catchup mechanic thrown in. I think this is where it fails as a 2 person game, where I think it would be fine with more people. If I attack you and leave my self open to attack by a 3rd player I will be in trouble, but in a 2 person game having just you attack me back is not as bad ( I am guessing ).

I ended up winning on prestige points for killing his guys and we played again with new hero's and Matt going first. I figured the first person to attack would win, but I won the 2nd also. The game flowed better once we knew the game a little better, but Matt still asked a lot of guestions through out the whole game ( there is a lot to remember compared to Ascension or Dominion ).

The game has some good cards but if you take the time to get them I think it leaves you falling behind in the attack the other guy part of the game and it should hurt you in the long run, but I am not 100% sure on that yet.

I think a big part for me was - To much math and to much work to deal with everything. The math is terrible,and this is coming from a guy who likes numbers and likes most Knizia games. The cards for wounds just make the game more clunky, this game needs streamlined in a lot of ways I feel.

I like the concept of the game and we are going to play a few more times before this turns into a dust collector, but so far I am underwhelmed in so many ways from this game.

The art work is fantastic,and the mechanics seem like they should work great, but after actually playing it all I can think is - I wish I had been playing Ascension.

You are not going to be buying a lot cards, just a few. A lot of your cards will stay on the table a long a time so your deck will stay small. But I do not see you cycling through your deck more then a few times and I see no way to get rid of cards from your hand to get the better cards to come up more often. So for me it did not really feel like a deck building game, even though it is. I think the attacking part of the game is fun but takes a lot of math ( you need to figure out what your attack will be, what his defense is and then guess how much more he will be able to add from a hand you can not see ) and time.

I also find it funny that they add figures for no reason other then to sit in front of you. Does not add to the game, there is no reason for them, but hey there figures & I like them, just not sure why they are there.

I like how compact the game is, that is a big plus. I have to wonder if not allowing you to attack the other guy till he has at least one guy in his legion besides the Hero may help the game, then I wonder if you should each take a turn first before you attack the other guy, then I wonder why bother and juts let each other attack the crap out of each other cause that is what the game is about - killing the other guy ( with some other options if you have crappy cards and are to weak to attack the other guy ). Hey, I usually miss a rule or 2 every game I play, so I could be missing something here, but so far it feels like just an OK game that should be a lot funner then it is cause it has a great theme and awesome artwork. Hopefully I am wrong and will figure out the beauty of the game next play session, but only time will tell.

Thanks for Reading

Game On'


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Edit:

Ok, so like every game I play where I am the one teaching the game I got a few rules wrong the first session that I wrote about. It just didn't sit well with me how it played out. So after some research on the BGG and printing out a cheat sheet ( reference card provided by the awesomeness of the geek - and someone who made it of course ) I went back at it and it is better then I thought but still a little clunky and fiddly, go figure that one out. On our 2nd game of the session I switched the wounds cards to markers and found that to be much better ( Heroscape wound markers for 1 wound and the Heroscape order markers for 5 wounds, was very handy. )

We bought a lot more cards and they where longer more interesting games. Matt did try killing monsters but his math skills are lacking and we where having a few so he actually lost a army guy when attacking a monster? In that sense this is not a game for drinkers or partiers cause there is a lot to think about and remember, i can see why Enders made a little tracking chart ( something I love about the BGG is you can print out so many frigging handy things to help your game out, one of the best resources here really ).

I won all 3, one was close on points, but Matt was frustrated, I wast just kinda still eh, but liked it more and later found myself wondering about the combos that are possible. There is luck of the draw and some strategy here in what type of cards you are buying. Once you figure out how to really buy and get some bonuses going you can really buy some cool stuff, it just seems it is usually later in the game and you only use said cool card one time, 2 if your lucky.

I will say this, I want to try it with 3 and 4 people now.

I like stocking my characters with all the cool stuff, and I like how the attacks works but it just seems like homework or a mental challenge to figure out all the bonuses correctly, which is a shame because it does work really well in theory.

I am not one to give up on this one so I will be playing it more to get a better feel for it, but this is not going to be a main stay unless something really chances for me.

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dan williams
United States
Jefferson City
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Re: Not that impressed with the 2 person version after 3 plays
Boy, this game had plenty of promise to blow out the competition, but for all the reasons you discuss, falls short. Very disappointing.
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Lee Valentine
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I liked it better as a 3-player game. Note that, although it's not written, the designers play with an odd rule where you draw up at the beginning and end of each of your hands. As written, defending yourself cripples your next hand. Their refill suggestion fixes that, but then is broken with the mulligan rule. A possible alternative: just let the defender refill his hand after being attacked. This is one area where the two player game can get a little questionable.

The 3-player game has better interactions. I think the monster attacking is not as well integrated as it could be in two-player because there's such a premium on scoring points from blasting the other guy. Monsters are more important with more players because there are more disincentives against all-out attacks.

Lee
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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2 more plays, getting it down, OK it is better then I first thought whistle

But still clunky in a lot of ways, but a better game. I totally destroyed Matt the first game. But the 2nd he had the jump on me getting good cards early and a bigger army out. I did some good damage, got his hero down to 1 life left, but then he was completely healed and came back to strong for me to attack again. Then he went on the offense and I held out a few rounds, but he killed all my guys. I could do nothing so went to buying cards and killing Monsters - very interesting, he won 19 -17 but I only had 2 victory points to his 16, so the cards can do a lot, will keep track of that more.

Having wound markers verses the cards really helps. But for me the big thing is when you have a hero, a henchman, a few armies, and a merc or two it is a lot of adding and remembering what everything does. My friend Matt forgets things everytime, and I am always telling him to add the gold from his cards.

I will be playing more to see if it becomes more streamline with more plays, but I don't think so. For me when someone gets as far ahead on guys as Matt did I see no way to attack him where it matters. I was waiting for a good spell to come up that I could use, but nothing really showed up for me.

thanks Lee, will try and find a 3rd player, I figured it might be better that way. What do you think of it with 4 player? Is there a lot of down time.

I also see why Enders has a scoring track, you really have to have pen and paper for this game if not
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Lee Valentine
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Hendal wrote:

thanks Lee, will try and find a 3rd player, I figured it might be better that way. What do you think of it with 4 player? Is there a lot of down time.


I've only played with 2 and 3. The game moves quickly for everyone with little downtime until player-vs.-player attacks happen. Then the game comes to a complete stop for everyone not involved in the combat while the abacus and stones come out ot figure out who is winning.

I think you wouldn't want to play with more than 4, and probably that 3 is the sweet spot.

Lee
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