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Subject: TVB - After Jambo, a bit of a let down. rss

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Richard Pardoe
United States
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After 2 rounds of Jambo, we looked over the other games we could play, Dave expressed interest in trying Blue Moon but commented that the shrink was still on the game. No problem, the shrink was off the game and we set up the bits and started to explain the rules. In Blue Moon, players have asymmetric decks of cards representing various "peoples". In the base game, those people are the Hoax and the Vulca.

The players are playing cards from their hand in "duels" in an attempt to attract dragons to their side. The player at the end of a game who has attracted the most dragons wins points and the game is repeated until a certain number of points (the rules suggest 5) is achieved.

But unlike other games where cards played to the duel are cumulative, here the back and forth involves having to match/exceed the opponents score with new cards from hand. Basically, a duel might begin with one player declaring a strength of 2. The other player then plays to tie (or beat that total), so they play a 2 to match. The first player now has to play a new card (or set of cards) that meet or beat 2. The original 2 is no longer active and doesn't count in the current battle.

Of course, in the game itself, this is all dressed up with nice artwork on the cards as players play "characters" (or base values) which can be modified by boosters and support cards. In addition, there are cards that can change the active cards played by the other player. The game ends when one player runs out of cards, so there must be some thought given to the decision to retreat from the current battle in hopes of doing well in the next or to continue the current battle.

The initial duel was won by Rich, so he attracted one dragon of the 3 dragons to his side. A few minor skirmishes resulted in Dave winning a subsequent duel, so he attracted a dragon (which resulted in Rich's dragon returning to the neutral central ground.) A long battle followed which finally ended with Rich winning. Due to the number of cards used, Rich managed to attract 2 dragons. The next battle was similarly long, but Rich outlasted Dave attracting 2 more dragons. As there are only 3 total, Rich won that game having all 3 dragons on his side and attracting one more.

A scant description for which I apologize, but this was a learning game for both Dave and I and it is difficult to write down the cards that were played. As the Hoax, I found that I had nice cards in my hand and I also tried to control battles in areas where I felt I had strength (namely "earth"). Dave did complain that he felt his cards didn't really seem to mesh as well as my combinations did, but I suspect that this is a feature of the asymmetric decks. Each people will need a certain set of tactics/strategies to utilize them efficiently.

Of the two games played tonight, Jambo was certainly the easier one to get into and to understand more easily. Blue Moon has to potential to be just as tense and exciting as Jambo, but suspect a bit longer learning curve to understand the decks is necessary. To be fair, Jambo has perhaps 5 types of cards, in Blue Moon, each card is unique, so one does need to learn 30 different cards and how they interact.

But in the end, a nice evening spent exploring a couple of the Kosmos 2-player line. I look forward to the opportunity to try them again in the near future.
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