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Asgard's Chosen» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A unique strategic and somewhat fiddly card game. rss

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Paul Smith
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Asgard's Chosen is a complex strategy game set in Viking Mythology. It is perhaps a mistake to compare it too much to anything else. I think that might be where some of the disappointment is coming in some of the reviews. It is not a light fast game like Dominion and although there is deck manipulation that is definitely not the focus. It's not an area control game either. There is literally no reason to control more than four or five territories on the board for it's own sake. Sort of like Nexus Ops your goals are more specific than that. You have 10 of them and only -- as I remember -- four of them have to do with which territories you control on the boards. It differs from Nexus Ops, however, in that every one's goals are the same and a lot more of your time will therefore be spent closely watching other players, guessing what they're going after and specifically blocking them.

Essentially the game is played by attacking territories and using territories of different types to recruit cards into your deck from a common pool. You'll then use your more competent deck to go after a variety of end goals. These include banishing certain cards from your hand, giving cards to other players, attacking other players, attacking specific kinds of territories, and even losing battles. It's very important to keep your eyes on the prize because it's easy to become distracted by making your deck better, and then being unable to win the game with it because you're behind in objectives and are only allowed to complete 1 objective per round.

I quite the liked the game. It seems like more and more games coming out feel like you're playing alone and comparing your scores with everyone else at the end. This one is much more cutthroat and it really pays off to watch everyone else, and keeping another player from progressing often doesn't amount to taking yourself out as well, as you can usually hurt someone and complete an objective in the same round. It is the most competitive game I've played in a long time. Another nice thing is that the theme and game complement each other nicely. It does feel like I'm exploring a wilderness in a fantasy version of medieval Norway. If the map were more nicely drawn, that would strengthen it even more. I hope maybe some fan draws their own map tiles and makes them available to download. The art on the cards is phenomenal. And I love how all the creatures have German names. The cards are quite small, however, this particularly makes the text a pain to read and perhaps hides some of the beauty of the artwork and even nice border designs.

Negatively, the combat is quite complicated to learn, but I think with a few more playthroughs it will become smooth. In my first few games it seemed like there was always some mistake I was making. I forgot to check opposing type, or discarded to the wrong pile. I'm not saying I dislike it, I think it's neat how different creature effects only sometimes come into play and because a thing might be more useful in a different situation, it makes you constantly make choices about what to play and what to save. It's just that it doesn't flow naturally right from the beginning making things easy to overlook and will take some practice. Also the terrain artwork, FTW. It's both ugly and confusing, especially for color blind people. And I imagine even for people who aren't as the terrain does not match what is on the cards. I think Mayfair should come out with a second edition quickly and give owners of the first edition a hefty discount.

Which is not to say the terrain is enough to keep you away. I highly recommend the game. It's very unique, highly strategic, has beautiful (card) artwork, and a well integrated theme. It's definitely one I'll bring out regularly, although only for a group who doesn't mind rules.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Lakoda wrote:
I doubt Mayfair will do as you suggest because if they would they would have taken the time to produce the game in the quality it deserves. If I were the designer I would be pretty pissed by the treatment Mayfair gave his game.

The designer is the art director for Mayfair.
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Paul Smith
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Well partly my problem with combat is just colorblind issues.
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Paul Smith
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Maybe if the game is popular enough for an expansion pack, it will just completely replace the land tiles. They could have more different types of enchanted land too.
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Brian Walker
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Ugly artwork is part of Mayfair's DNA. Remember their first box art for Catan?
 
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Thomas
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archcorenth wrote:
Well partly my problem with combat is just colorblind issues.


I'm somewhat color blind what is the problem?
 
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