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Kaosball: The Fantasy Sport of Total Domination» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 4 Player Total Chaos rss

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Ben Nietzel
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Iowa
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I had a chance to get Kaosball to the table yesterday, and had a great time. I'm itching to write a review, but the reality is I haven't played it enough do so. Rather, I'll do a brief session report and give a few of my initial thoughts on the game.

Full disclosure: I've played the game once before yesterday, and it was bare bones (no upgrades, no ringers). Yesterday we played another bare bones game to teach the new guys, and then played a 4 man free-for-all with ringers but no upgrades. Thus, I don't feel I can write a review yet.

Our four player free-for-all pitted four very new players against each other. Since everyone was pretty green, we decided to forgo upgrades, but the ringers are just too cool, so we did play with them. We had the following teams in action:

Samurai with Dragon
Ninjas with Kutulu
Barbarians with Macho Libre and Gojira
Ogres with M.A.Z.E

I was playing the Ogres. I had the Samurai to my left, the Barbarians to my right, and the Ninja's straight ahead.

The game started pretty slow. No one was really sure what to do, so everyone starting launching runners out to grab the ball early on. Our Barbarian guy, who is sometimes slow on the tactics front with a new game, took to this game like a fish to water. He started dropping fires on the board and running his guys through them to get the stat boost. What a headache those Barbarians become. He then ran over and with some good card placement, one shot'd Kutulu off the board. Early on I moved MAZE up after Booting the Barbarians to the head, to help him win a contest on their brusier. Next turn MAZE moved again to attack the samurai, but a well played "upset" card knocked me down against the wall I had created. At least he was out of harms way... for now. The first quarter ended fairly quickly as the Ninja and Barbarian guy got in a lot of contests, meaning myself and the Samurai didn't get to do much.

You won't hear a lot about him, but most the game the Samurai guy was just straight calling out his card to get the +1 point. It's a really nice ability, but I think he only lied once, and even then, it was obvious what he'd play. Still, I really like that team ability... great risk/reward + mind games. He took an early lead and would stay their most the day b/c it's an easy way to play.

The second quarter was wide open. I though MAZE was out of commission until half, which was fine by me because the center was turning into a bloodbath. A quick look of the rules confirmed I was wrong though, and so MAZE and all the other knocked down figures popped up. This meant MAZE found himself starting down the barrel of Gojira, who ran through fire on his way through to get beefed up. He took old MAZE to the woodshed, and I was down my ringer. Oh well. This also put the Barbarian on 3 kills. At this point, I had two goals: the first was to make sure I got enough kills to get 2nd place points at halftime, and the second was to try to knockdown the Barbarian bruisers b/c they were running roughshod over all of us. I got one of with placed walls and my team ability, and then got a chance to kill Gojira and took it. The Barbarian player had spent all his high cards and his upset, so I went for the kill and got him, even with his +2. Somehow, I got to three kills and the Barbarian and I got the bonus. This allowed us to catch up to the Samurai player at half (around 18 points) while the Ninjas were having no luck and were at a single point.

The third quarter was a whole new game. Having worked some of the basics out, we now had four cagey players going at it. i started the festivities by going right after the Samurai. Lots of tackles, kills, and very few points (except for Samurai) ensued during this quarter. The end of the third saw the Samurai open up a bit of a lead again.

The fourth was a ton of fun. It was a free for all with tackles and kills. Probably the deciding moment of the game came when my Ogre Bruiser took a gamble an killed Macho Libre. this secured the most kills for me, and ulimately the game. I scored 44 points. Barbarians finished second at 32, but only b/c he got the stiffest cheating penalty b/c he had one cheat, but rolled a +2. The Samurai finished 3rd with 30 points (2 cheats = 2 fouls also) and the poor ninja's finished with 10 points.

I was going to give my initial impressions on the game as a whole, but I've already gone on a long time, and after starting that, I realized I was straying into my (hopefully to come) review territory too much. Instead, let me give you a few thoughts on Free-for-all based, admittedly, on one game.

* Free-for-all was a blast. yes it's chaotic, but that's a good thing. It adds a really neat dynamic where things can change so much from turn to turn. I was impressed b/c no one felt ganged-up on nor singled out for punishment. It has a great balance.

*It's chaotic, but not luck based. It did feel like strategy and tactics would carry the day. Case in point, I had four kills and the Barbarian had four in the fourth quarter with everyone close to that 9th card. My Bruiser had range on a Ninja and a Samurai. A quick look at their cards told me I could almost guarantee a victory over the Ninja, but had almost all dead cards against the Samurai. So I chose the Ninja, avoided his only out (using his ability of playing the same card to beat me) and this propelled me to victory.

*More players meant more special abilities, more ringers, and more fun. Lots to think about and deal with, which made it fun.

The one negative I found was the number of cards. We ran shorty on cards in 3 of the four periods, which is a bummer. If the game came with 10 more cards, we'd have had enough. I know the number of cards in the deck may be based on balance issues, but it stinks that four player is an option, but if feels like you have to few cards for it. Still, very minor quibble as it never seemed to play out to be too big of a factor.

overall, great session. Hope to get a few more games in in the next week or so and do a proper review!


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Joshua Reubens
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I can't say I have been as impressed with four players but one of the big complaints from my group, like yours, was the number of cards.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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Our last 4p game saw the deck run out when the end out round had hit and the next to last player was drawing back up. Other than that, the rounds never usually drag out to that point. In fact, that happened in round one, and rounds 3-4 didn't come close to that.
 
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Ben Nietzel
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@ Joshua: Ya, I don't know we really liked it. I will freely admit, it was our first "full" play, so it's possible my excitement may have gotten the best of me. Also, having never played a full two player game before, it's possible that I didn't know what i was missing. Sort of like how you might think Hangover 2 was way better if you hadn't actually seen Hangover 1.

There is a lot going on to be sure. I think the game loses a bit of the skill b/c it's easier to play the mind games of the card mechanic when you can focus on one person.

That said, it also opens up a lot of decisions. In your game, I invested the resources to slowing down the Barbarians, but that helped my two other opponents too. Also, a lot can happen before your next turn, so that creates excitment (if people aren't taking too long to go, to be sure). Finally, with that many people on the field, you can't win all the contests. This makes for some great tension as you decide whether you want to stop someone in your tackle zone or not.

@ Doug: it's entirely possible that our newness meant more timid play, which stretched the periods out longer. The first quarter we had no issue, but that was when the Barbarian and Ninja's played a lot of cards, and us other two played very few. That last three quarters had all of us with 7,8 or more cards out when someone ended their turn with 9 cards. Not a huge deal to be sure, but a bit annoying. In our game it made no difference, but I could see a contest occuring where someone was down a few cards and that would be too bad.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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Quote:
@ Doug: it's entirely possible that our newness meant more timid play, which stretched the periods out longer. The first quarter we had no issue, but that was when the Barbarian and Ninja's played a lot of cards, and us other two played very few. That last three quarters had all of us with 7,8 or more cards out when someone ended their turn with 9 cards. Not a huge deal to be sure, but a bit annoying. In our game it made no difference, but I could see a contest occurring where someone was down a few cards and that would be too bad.


In all fairness an even match of experienced players, IE the one I mentioned, can see this anyway. One player played his 8th, a cheat, and could have ended the match, but chose to let it go for reactions and possible kills, etc. It only went around once more, but that was enough to drain the deck.
 
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