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Subject: My First Urbion Session: Is it me, or is it meh in here? rss

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Suzanna
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The game is so popular, that when I heard it was going out of print, my neuroses kicked in, and I knew I had to buy a copy immediately.

In my first session, I played two solo games. I chose to start with just the basic game, sans expansions, to give myself room to get used to the rules. Speaking of rules, it may have been an ill omen when I opened up the brand new box and discovered that the instructions were not included. I managed to get them here, though, and, after reading them several times, felt ready to go.

First game:
In my deal-out, I ended up very unbalanced. There were far more Incubi out than Songae. Still, there were just enough Sognae that I was able to get something done on every turn, to keep things going. Sometimes I could lay a card directly to balance, sometimes I had to make a swap. Most satisfying was when I had to figure out a multiple swap, because that was actually giving me something of a challenge. That wasn't necessary much, though.

I felt that the Chaos cards didn't do all that much to mess things up, and maybe they aren't really supposed to. I was never so wedded to a row of cards that discarding them to get rid of a Chaos card was painful.

In the end, I managed to balance all of my City cards with half of my deck still left, and didn't feel like it had really been any challenge at all. I had high hopes that the second game would be better.

Second game:
The second game's deal started out more balanced (better shuffle, I guess), which actually made things easier, rather than more challenging. In this second game, I never had the opportunity to finagle a double-swap. It was all direct balances or single swaps, and at least half the deck left when I finished balancing the last of my City cards.

Thoughts:
I have re-read the directions even more times since this session, and still don't find anything I might be doing wrong to make this too easy. I am going to seek out some of the videos before my next session, to see if I can figure it out. It seems like I must be missing something, since so many people love the game so much. If I'm actually doing it right, I find it unchallenging, dull, and way overhyped. I want to be sure I'm doing it right before I make that opinion official though.

The Plan:
I will look at those videos, and play some more. My goal is to play at least 10 games, regardless, so that I can really say I've given it a fair chance. At the end of 10 games, I'll write a review - whether positive or negative remains to be seen - and either keep the game or part with it.



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Aki Järvi-Eskola
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asmyr42 wrote:
I felt that the Chaos cards didn't do all that much to mess things up, and maybe they aren't really supposed to. I was never so wedded to a row of cards that discarding them to get rid of a Chaos card was painful.

I get the feeling that you may have done the same mistake that I did on my first play, that resulted in me having similar thoughts of the game initially. To quote the rule book, emphasize mine, from ways to resolve a Chaos card:
Rule booklet wrote:
2. Discard this Chaos card, then discard all Dream cards on both sides of an unclaimed balanced City card;

So if you have no balanced cities, it is my understanding that discarding a city's cards is not an option.

Cheers
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Suzanna
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Quote:
So if you have no balanced cities, it is my understanding that discarding a city's cards is not an option.


You're right. I hadn't been doing it that way. But when are you going to have a balanced city card sitting around? At the end of the turn, you remove the balanced one(s) to make room for more, so when you draw a new card, which might be a Chaos card, there shouldn't be any balanced City cards available, right? Or am I just completely wrong?
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asmyr42 wrote:
Quote:
So if you have no balanced cities, it is my understanding that discarding a city's cards is not an option.


You're right. I hadn't been doing it that way. But when are you going to have a balanced city card sitting around? At the end of the turn, you remove the balanced one(s) to make room for more, so when you draw a new card, which might be a Chaos card, there shouldn't be any balanced City cards available, right? Or am I just completely wrong?

You "score" balanced cards as a "Discard effect" (of which there are two kinds of in the solo game), not automatically.

You see, turn consists of two phases: Play/Discard and Replenish Hand. During Play/Discard you do exactly one: Play a card on the table, Swap, or Establish Balance (notice that no matter what happens, a single card leaves your hand). During Replenish, you replenish your hand to 4 cards, resolving any Chaos cards immediately (which never enter your hand).

I hope this clears this at least a bit
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Jonathan C
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asmyr42 wrote:
Quote:
So if you have no balanced cities, it is my understanding that discarding a city's cards is not an option.


You're right. I hadn't been doing it that way. But when are you going to have a balanced city card sitting around? At the end of the turn, you remove the balanced one(s) to make room for more, so when you draw a new card, which might be a Chaos card, there shouldn't be any balanced City cards available, right? Or am I just completely wrong?


No wonder there was no tension in this game for you!

Balanced city cards are not automatically removed at the end of the turn. You have to take a discard action to "claim" all balanced cities.

How else could "perfect balance" ever be achieved if, whenever a single city becomes balanced, it is immediately removed from play at the end of the turn? Perfect balance would be impossible because, at most, only two cities can be affected (via a swap) during any given move, so only up to two cities could ever be balanced simultaneously using this house rule.
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Suzanna
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Aha! I've been doing it crazy wrong! Okay, I'll try to figure this out and try again today! Thanks guys! blush
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Debbie
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Hi Suzanna, you do also realise that you can only swap one pair of cards for each card that you discard?

Must admit I wasn't particularly taken with this game after the first couple of plays either, but after a rereading of the rules, and a few more rounds, it's really grown on me.
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Chris Gray
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asmyr42 wrote:
The game is so popular, that when I heard it was going out of print


I missed that news. How do you know it is going OOP?
 
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Steve Kennedy

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I think it may just be repackaged by Zman into Sylvion.

 
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Jonathan C
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stev4uth wrote:
I think it may just be repackaged by Zman into Sylvion.



The description of Sylvion sounds completely different than Urbion/Equilibrion. I think that they are intended to be different games.

Sylvion description wrote:
Sylvion is a tower-defense type game in which attacks come down four rows and in waves. You build a deck using a unique drafting process and play cards from your hand by paying with other cards in your hand. You can play cards to the rows like fountains and trees or play animals for instant effects or to manipulate the enemy decks of cards. When all the waves have finished, you must have your marker on a green space to indicate that you have saved the forest; if you stand on a red space, then your precious forest has burned down.


Urbion description wrote:
Urbion is a solo/cooperative card game: You (and your partner) must work (together) against the game and claim all the cards from the City deck before the Dream deck runs out! Victory is achieved by balancing the twelve City cards: when the sum of all Dream cards played next to a City card is equal to zero, you may claim it. In order to prevail, you must play your Dream cards skillfully or discard them at the right moment to trigger helpful effects. And you will have to dodge the penalties of the Chaos cards...
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Dave James

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I felt the same way about onirim. Although it's great if you have insomnia.
 
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