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Subject: COGZ a three player initial review rss

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Alicia Smith
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COGZ

2-6 Players
30 minutes
Ages 8+
Strategy Pattern
Light Steampunk Theme
Designer: Wesley Lamont
Publisher: RAEZ

I played COGZ for the first time this evening.

It came to me as a preview version in a compact box with a slip cover. Very little wasted space inside.

Each player gets a scoring board, four scoring tokens (one of each colour) and three initial tiles. First player is decided according to the instructions which are clear and well laid out. In fact, we read as we went on and it worked really well, our game was under way in minutes.

A Tile Board is then laid out according to the number of players.
For a 3 player game it is a 5x6 grid.

The really quite clever Game Gadget seen below next to a section of the Tile Board is then given to the last player, who rotates the cogs on it to show how many people are playing. This will cause the number of rounds left in the game to display on it through the workings of the cogs within. Of course, the last player rotates the cogs after they have their turn, and the round counts down. It gives quite a thrill as the gadget displays "2nd Last Turn" etc.




The players examine their tiles. The light steampunk theme supposes that the Mad Professor's Chromatic Cogtraption has been broken and it's up to the players to restore order to it before the Prof returns.

Each square (corners cut off) tile has two Cog Segments on it - a curve that can be either red, green, blue or yellow. These have been given textures to assist people with colour differentiation issues.

You take one of the tiles you have and swap it for one on the Tile Board.

If you've not changed a thing, you get no points. But if things have changed you score at least a point for the appropriate colours of the Cog Segments that are on the tile you've placed. And more if they join up to other segments on the Tile Board - see you're gradually creating order out of chaos!

You are made aware that your final score will be your scoring Token with the LEAST POINTS.

Once a closed loop or the Cog Segments of one chain reach both ends to an edge of the board, that's a Mechanism which gets the creator a nice bonus and then becomes locked in - you're not allowed to break the Mechanism! You must only play tiles that keep the Mechanism in that state, and you won't score for it after its initial creation.

This makes play quite challenging toward the end of the game and may lead to Analysis Paralysis in susceptible players.

We found that this abstract played quickly, we were finished in less than half an hour even though none of us had played before.

I don't generally go for abstracts but I find this appealing. I really want to play it again - this is after the shellshock of teaching and playing Tsuro about 38 times in a row and feeling like I've been totally burnt out on this form of game. Its graphics and all over design is clean and elegant, and the rules are well written.

Gamers who like The Very Clever Pipe Game or Tsuro and the scoring system of Tigris and Euphrates and Ingenious might like to give this a try. Gamers who like steampunk will enjoy the theme, and gamers like me, who don't go for abstracts that much might just find this one worth giving a shot.

I will let you know how I go with more, and less players. I know enough from this one play that I'll be backing this one.


COGZ is due out on Kickstarter on May 30th 2014.
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Alicia Smith
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I've now had two 2-player games, both with my mother who grasped the concept very quickly and thrashed me at the first game.

My second game I started to see some interesting strategies to develop, which stood me in good stead.

I have a one line review from my 72 year old mother.

"I like it, and I don't usually like games."
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Solomon M. Green
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We played today, at Euro Games Fest (Melbourne), and were instantly hooked by how deep the thinking with such a simple game can be. If you have played Ingenious, you will see similarities with the scoring mechanics, though the big difference is the board is full to start and only gets more tricky. We can see how it easily scales well for 2-6 players. Well worth a look given its launch on Kickstarter at the end of the month.
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Alicia Smith
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I had a chance to play it 5 player, you quickly learn not to get attached to any part of the board you were planning on on mechanizing...
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Wesley Lamont
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Totally agree. Five and six players you get the random element of other players so planning ahead becomes much more challenging. What can occur is a move that requires a particular colour combination being planned for.

I'll be aiming for Tournament games of COGZ as well and that will certainly be limited to 2 players for the most strategic version. 6 players is better for casual games though there is always room for good strategy.
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thedaffodilfish
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Hi Wez, has this launched on Kickstarter yet?
 
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Wesley Lamont
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Nope I've had to delay the launch for a month due to non finalised Manufacturing and Shipping which I was expecting to have in stone before last week.

So I've got some more time to refine and polish the campaign as it is.
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Alicia Smith
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COGZ is now live!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/raez/cogztm-and-ludicro...
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Wesley Lamont
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Last 24 hours now for COGZ by RAEZ. So if anyone is after getting on board NOW is the time.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/raez/cogztm-and-ludicro...
 
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