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Subject: Fusion, space mojo and throwing rocks at dinosaurs. rss

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Björn Hansson
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Summary:
A neat and quite mean little resource game, that is a lot of fun to play and has a pretty unique theme.

What's good about it:
There are a lot of cards in this game, yet it doesn't feel like a card game (generally I'm not very fond of card games). Resource management is where the key to victory lies. You don't have to "know the deck" in order to play well.
The fusion mechanism is brilliant.
Great connection between theme and mechanics
Very nice game graphics.

Downsides:
Like most engine building games, it is hard for someone who is falling behind to catch up. Not unique to this game. The reversed player order during the fusion phase is probably an attempt to mitigate that, but it 's not powerful enough if you ask me. Generally speaking this is only a problem in a two player game. In multiplayer games this can be handled by ganging up on the leader. Which brings us to my next point.

Interaction:
Some people might not like the "take that!" element of the game. To me it is the thing that saves the game. If someone tries to get ahead, the rest of the players can bring him down to size with various catastrophes. This makes for a tight game, where the players try to consolidate their power through black holes, life & civilization before they make a run for the final victory.


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Description:
Eons is a wonderful engine building / resource management game where you get to create an entire galaxy. Now if that wasn't enough you also get to turn your opponents' stars into supernovas. Someone has to keep his or hers feeble attempts at creating an equally awesome galaxy at bay. This is what being a megalomaniac god / galaxy creator is all about!

Perhaps you'll get lucky. Perhaps you'll be left alone long enough to not only create a planet, but to inhabit that planet with life forms. Of course there is nothing stopping your opponents from slamming a giant rock into your planet while shouting "You have gay dinosaurs, taste the wrath of god!". Well, there is one way to stop them. Each player has a "force" token, indicating where he has his divine crib. You don't mess with another divine beings house. And you definitely don't pee on his rug.

Now creating a galaxy doesn't come cheap and there are few factories to be found. Easily assembled Ikea planets are far off, so you'll have to make due with what you have laying about in the vast emptiness: basic elements. You have your hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and iron. Simple fuse these into a star and you have yourself one hell of a furnace. Now the more tech savy of you out there might think "fuse into iron? That's a sure way to kill a star!" and yes you are correct. As long as you keep slaming the lighter elements together everything is dandy. In the end though you'll reach a point where the elements you fuse will turn into iron. However, here's where being a divine super creator has its perks. You simply bend the laws of physics a bit and give the star a tiny reboot, using some of your divine space mojo, or as it is called in the game: essence.

Essence or space mojo, whichever you prefer, eminates from all the things you create and can be used for anything from purchasing more elements (at the intergalactic 7 eleven) to creating supernovas. It is also required together with the basic elements when you want to build a star or a planet.

All of this jolly madness continues until the entropy level of the universe has reached its maximum level and there just not enough juice in the universe to keep it going. Each time a star dies, either when it fail to fuse elements together or by becoming a supernova or a black hole, you get one step closer to the end.

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Björn Hansson
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AtkinsonWH wrote:
I agree, there are alot of cards and you do not need to know the deck well in order to play well. This is a great aspect of the game. Although, my biggest complaint with the deck is that it was a lot of the same ole same ole. Did you happen to also feel that the deck seemed to lack in variety of different events?

Just seemed to me that Eons had only really two aspects to the cards, Take That and build cosmic bodies. Kinda wanted a bit more from it and feel a couple good expansions will brighten Eons up.


That is true. I see a big "expansion potential" in this game. I reckon after more plays the lust for more cards will be even stronger.


Quote:
I think you're right here...engine building games really do seem to be better in three+ games. Did you feel Eons relied too much on the Take That mechanic as a path to victory? Or did you see there were many different ways to find yourself on top when entropy took hold?


I don't feel that it relied too much on the Take That element. At least not in the two games I've played. Players have to use it with caution. If you knock down the leader, someone else will take his/her place. Unless you are certain that player is you and that you will have the ability to hang on to that lead, you'd better use it with caution.

I personally would have liked to see a less destructive option to cull the runaway leader problem (although I think that is too strong a word). The reversed player order in the market phase of Power Grid is an example where this works great. In Eons it doesn't work as well.

All in all I'd say that the best way to approach this game is to not take the lead. Make sure you stay in pace with other players. That'd generally make for a less hostile game, I think. And make sure you build as many non-destructable things as possible.

Quote:
My review is here if you're interested in seeing my thoughts about Eons in a two player universe.


Very nice review. A lot of interesting points. I'll drop by and comment on it later.
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Jonathan Franklin
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Can EONS be played as a constructive Euro, or is it by nature a war game where taking down your opponents is core to the game? Thanks.
 
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Björn Hansson
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grandslam wrote:
Can EONS be played as a constructive Euro, or is it by nature a war game where taking down your opponents is core to the game? Thanks.


I wouldn't call it a wargame. If you think that game is to vicious you could easily make the supernova cards more expensive. That ought to temper things.

The other interactive cards, like killing the dinosaurs or showering the planet with meteorites are not as destructive as the supernovas. They're quite managable as is.

Generally I'd say if you're playing with four players conflicts won't be a problem. Because it is better for you if someone else sends a supernova at your opponent, so that you can use that turn to further your own interests.

The two player game is where problems occur.
 
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