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Subject: Mafia themed Munchkin (from a non-backer) rss

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Michael Kormanik
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My FLGS demoed Nothing personal tonight, and I admit I was excited. This was one of the first kick starter projects I saw and Tom Vassal's reviews were what I started watching when I got into board gaming recently.

Components: The whole table was impressed, the cards were nice and bright (though the purples and blues looked closer on the Influence cards than they did on the character cards), the tokens had a nice heft, and I really liked the included player sorting boxes. If you are one of those people who use colored ziplocks to sort out what everyone starts with, you will really appreciate these.

Why this game felt like Munchkin: As others have complained about, there is no real catchup mechanic beyond gang up on first place. In the entirety of the game, even though the rules allow for a particularly nasty version of screw over (if you have a card that forces you to choose another player to gain an influence, you can offer it to player A, when you get their money, you can choose to give it to player B anyway), we never did that because it would always be in our best mutual interest to target the leader.

Just like in Munchkin you say I need X in order to kill this monster/influence this mobster, who can help me? Followed by negotiation on what their assistance is worth. And if you are in first, then people won't assist you. There were no alliances, no plans, no backstabbing, and while a healthy dose of tactics can save this, your options are severely limited by your hand. There were a couple rounds (there are only 5 total) where I felt I didn't have to make a real decision.

The end result was a game that dragged on, was decided by last second king making, and left no one wanting to play again.
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Philipp Ottensamer
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I'd say it feels more like Cosmic Encounter than Munchkin, but yes, if you don't like this kind of "bash the leader-balancing" with negotiation, then this is the wrong game for you .

Edit: I'm a backer but I hate Munchkin with a passion. Just saying... whistle
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Eric Matthews
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Aftter 10 plays now I'd say the only similarity with Munchkin is that hitting the leader often looks like the best move, but ussually isn't. And if you think there are no decisions to make, then maybe someone taught the game incorrectly as the whole game is frought with tough decisions; everything from which Gangster to invest Influence on to which player to to accept a bribe from. Every turn there are half a dozen decisions like this. If anything there are too many decisions.

I've not yet experienced the player-in-the-lead-never-wins feeling that Munchkin develops either. Of the 3 games I actually managed to win in Nothing Personal, 1 consisted of holding on to the lead from the begining of round 4 through to the end (3 scoring rounds). In another win I purposefully and sneakily came from 4th place (4-player game) to the lead right at the final scoring round. My other win was a less dramatic, slow slog up the ranks, and that game ended with 3 players all with in 4 points of Respect from one another. I was trounced badly when trying that same strategy in the next game.

It isn't Munchkin.

e
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Eric Matthews
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And I can't help myself with this criticism, and I don't mean anything personal about it, but,

"Attack the Leader" is not a catch-up mechanism, it is a player driven tactic.

Nothing Personal actually has 2 powerful catch up mechanisms:

1) The Fence Phase- players with control of few gangsters gain more Influence Cards, the most valuable resource in the game. Players with control of many gangsters gain fewer Influence Cards. This often results in the players at the back often getting as much as 4 cards while the one in the lead gains only 2. This doesn sound like much, but in use this is huge. One strategy can be to remain behind in gangster ownership and Respect while stockpiling Influence for a big shocking move.

2) Many of the Influence cards themselves have alternate uses that benefit players that are behind more than those in the lead.
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Kevin Streicher
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Ganybyte wrote:
And I can't help myself with this criticism, and I don't mean anything personal about it, but,
Shouldn't it be "nothing personal"
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Jordan S.
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Ganybyte wrote:
1) The Fence Phase- players with control of few gangsters gain more Influence Cards, the most valuable resource in the game. Players with control of many gangsters gain fewer Influence Cards. This often results in the players at the back often getting as much as 4 cards while the one in the lead gains only 2. This doesn sound like much, but in use this is huge. One strategy can be to remain behind in gangster ownership and Respect while stockpiling Influence for a big shocking move.

Aye. After my first game, I was hit with a huge realization about just how big a deal it means to a player to have more Influence cards. Influence cards a) give you more options on the board, b) give you more "special actions", c) give you more money and d) give you more leverage in negotiations. So, having a hand-size advantage over other players can be a very big deal.

Ganybyte wrote:
2) Many of the Influence cards themselves have alternate uses that benefit players that are behind more than those in the lead.

Yes, I really dig this aspect of many cards. Generally, the more "powerful" cards force the player to give someone else a boost. Lots of negotiation can revolve around this but, often, the players at the front of the pack will tend NOT to want to give extra help to those in closest competition with them. So, they will (generally) tend to favor those players that seem to be lagging behind. I've seen players pick up a lot of steam by being "low man on the totem pole" and then use that momentum to make a lot of surprise moves in the late-game.

Personally, while I can see some surface-level impressions of Munchkin, for me the game has come a bit closer to an experience like Lords of Vegas or Tammany Hall, both of which are also very excellent games, in my opinion.
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Eric Matthews
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Webhead123 wrote:

Yes, I really dig this aspect of many cards. Generally, the more "powerful" cards force the player to give someone else a boost. Lots of negotiation can revolve around this but, often, the players at the front of the pack will tend NOT to want to give extra help to those in closest competition with them. So, they will (generally) tend to favor those players that seem to be lagging behind. I've seen players pick up a lot of steam by being "low man on the totem pole" and then use that momentum to make a lot of surprise moves in the late-game.


Exactly
 
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Nicholas Wyman
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Glen spey
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bad game
This is a bad game. It's takes to long and you got to hold back for the whole game. If you push head to early you will lose. The game winner is pick on the last turn of the game. Save your money! I like how nobody talk bad about this game"dice tower". This game sells for $60 and really bad game.
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