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Subject: Fealty - A Simple Review rss

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I first became aware of Asmadi Games and Chris Cieslik when I purchased Innovation which is a super game. So first up I will say that I was intially drawn to look at Fealty on Kickstarter off the back of this association. The game had pretty good marketing, and I was sufficiently interested that I put some hard earned into the project - also got myself Innovation: Echoes of the Past as part of the KS package which helped me make the decision. I also just like the way Chris markets his games, he seems like a funny bloke, and this industry needs characters like him - so again I am happy to invest in someone who is an entertainer and is doing something he believes in through his business.

Notes for couples

As many of my regular readers know, I am the father of a three year old daughter, Mackenzie and a ten week old son, Frazer. Hence my wife Nic and I have limited time to play games these days. This review is based on the play of this game that I had with Nic when the game arrived a few days ago.

I will go on the record now as saying this probably won't be one that will hit the table for us as a couple that often. Its not to say we didn't like it, far from it, this just didn't seem to have the appeal of other games we have played recently.

I suspect it will really suit couples who are more duo-geeks rather than a partnership where one party is the bigger geek. I have seen this phenomenon in the last 24 hours I think concerning Carnival, where my review I think represents a couple with one big geek and one less so, whereas this review looks to be more like a duo-geek couple as opposed to ourselves (happy to be corrected on that if necessary).

I will still be adding this to the geeklist but thought it important to make that point for my regular readers.

The game

So, lets talk a bit about the game in more detail. This is an area influence game, played over several cards (duchies). Players have nine pieces each to play and they will end up playing up to eight of these in a game. Duchies have a variety of capturable squares including fields, roads, cities and forests (cities get bonuses at the end).

Pieces have different speeds, and ways they influence areas around them. Faster placed pieces typically influence smaller areas or only certain types of squares, whereas bigger influence pieces typically place slower but exert a wider influence. Also certain pieces have special abilities that influence the game in different ways, from moving pieces to putting areas in conflict (therefore not capturable).

Players start with a hand of three cards (representing pieces) and then pick up one card per turn. Players choose in secret then reveal, with lowest placing first (tie breaks based on who placed first in the previous turn).

Once all pieces are played, players place influence tokens based on piece types, again in speed order (i.e. faster lower influence pieces play first). Once an area is influenced, this cannot be altered, hence slower, larger pieces may find much of their areas of influence already accounted for.

Largest influence wins, cities are worth an extra influence token if you win them.

The verdict

Probably the most awesome thing for me about this game is the speed with which you can chop through a game. This isn't a card game, so often a non-card game can be harder to get to the table in a time limited situation. This one definitely lives up to its branding in terms of fast play time.

The next awesome aspect is the high quality rulebook - one of the best I have seen for some time with a game of this nature.

The components are high quality as is the game box, which is nice.

We struggled a little bit with the iconography, but I suspect this issue will reduce with time.

Certainly if you like area influence games, you will enjoy this. It is also relatively easy to teach, even to your wife after a hard day with the kids (a real acid test for rules ease!).

I found myself comparing this game in my mind to Infinite City for some reason. I think the speed and simplicity of the games are similar, the major difference being that Fealty does not have the more random nature of Infinite City. I suspect this game would suit a cohort of Infinite City folks that struggle with the randomness of that game.

I certainly would play this game in preference to Carcassone, which was never a game that got me that excited. Having not played enough Fjords, I will resist drawing too many comparisons here, but I will definitely be testing out that game with Fealty in mind for some comparative work.

So, overall, a good game, worth the purchase price and definitely one for geeks who love fast and furious area influence games.



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Jeremy Olson
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Love this game too, as does the wife. Thankfully we are both geeks, and this is a nice confrontational game when we are tired of the other more isolationist favorite, Dominion. I DO wish they had made the box smaller. There is a lot of empty space in there, and I would prefer it to be more portable since it is such a nice quick/deep game. I may find another box solution so that I am not lugging around a Ticket to Ride sized box with me everywhere I go.
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Thanks Jeremy, yes I had forgotten to mention the box size, this would certainly be an issue for folks who take games on holiday etc, good add thanks! GM
 
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A post script to my review, have now played 50 odd games of Fealty on iOs and I can say that this is a very special game, it has grown on me a lot playing online and I highly recommend all to buy both app and physical. GM
 
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Chris Cieslik
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Guy Mullarkey wrote:
A post script to my review, have now played 50 odd games of Fealty on iOs and I can say that this is a very special game, it has grown on me a lot playing online and I highly recommend all to buy both app and physical. GM


Awesome!

(For those wondering, Guy is playing the beta version, it has not been released yet)
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Good point thanks Chris, will send some feedback soon. Once this one is released folks, get it on your want list, the AI is superbly hard!!
 
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Jonathan C
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angelkurisu wrote:
Guy Mullarkey wrote:
A post script to my review, have now played 50 odd games of Fealty on iOs and I can say that this is a very special game, it has grown on me a lot playing online and I highly recommend all to buy both app and physical. GM


Awesome!

(For those wondering, Guy is playing the beta version, it has not been released yet)


When is the expected release date? Universal app? (please ?!)
 
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Now playing Beta v4 of the app, Chris has made it a little easier by introducing a 'moderate' AI who will allow folks to ease into playing this one rather than getting instantly smashed by the harder AI - will say again this is a neat game and very iOS friendly. GM
 
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Ok, just played the new beta release of the app with music and the 'replay' function, this is one polished product, for goodness sake get the app if you haven't already and stand by for the update with the medieval music!

I hope my feedback helped in you deciding to go this way Chris, the product is great.

And...I even managed to beat the tough AI this morning, yessss.
 
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Chris Cieslik
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Thanks for the feedback We're testing it for a couple days and hope to submit the new patch to the app store Monday (and available about a week after that typically)
 
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