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Subject: The Purge: # 372 K2: A hike up a mountain..no problem, right? rss

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Jayson Myers
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2604212#it...



Conclusion:

K2 is a game built around the theme of climbing a mountain. The theme is very thick with the game. I can't imagine this game with another theme. It just wouldn't work.

If you want to play a game about climbing mountains, then this is your game! There are a lot of decisions to be made and all are related to climbing the mountain and battling the outdoors.

The game is a little unique in that you are not really racing to the top. In addition, you are not really trying to get to the top of the mountain. Instead, you are trying to get further than the other players. But that is easier said than done!

I really liked this game. Moving up the mountain was a struggle and knowing where to camp and how to move was a real gamble. There is some luck in when you draw which cards, but you really have to mitigate the cards that you are dealt. You will use all your cards, so you know what is coming but you don't have to use all the cards that are dealt to you so you get a lot of choices and control.

While not a whole bunch of player interaction, you can block your opponents and you get a sense of urgency in when your opponents start moving up the mountain and your plans are not going the way you want it to. There is plenty of time to make your move, but just don't wait too long.

The game allows the players quite a few decisions and different directions to climb in. Some are shorter, but harder to climb.

I will have to play the game more to see the long term playability. In the game you get two boards and two sets of weather cards. I am hoping for more boards and more expansions.

Keeper.



Components:

The components in the game are top notch. You get a double sided board: one easy and one harder. You also get two sets of weather tiles: one makes the game easier and the other harder. This gives you nice flexibility to make the game easier to hardest.

You get a few cardboard tiles and some wooden pawns in different colors. Everything is made of good quality and the appropriate size. You get some player trackers that are small but fit nicely. The cards are normal sized and have good art work on them (even a little generic).



Rule Book:

The rules are actually pretty easy to understand. Yet, I struggled with the rules with a simple read through. I had to set the game up and play it through. The main rule I struggled with was the Acclimatization checks. It seems a little gamey, but it works with the theme and the game.

I'd recommend sitting down for a solo game and playing a round or playing a practice game to get all the rules down. The rules are easy, but they are so attached to the theme that if you do not know a lot about mountain climbing you may find some rules gamey. Stick with it, the game is worth it.

I do not wish to stress the game is hard to learn. It is not. It is a fun game and the rules are not hard.



Flow of the Game:

This is going to be hard to explain. There is a VP track on the side of the board which corresponds with your ascent up the mountain. When ever one of your two climbers make up to the next level, the corresponding scoring token moves up. So, the idea is not necessarily get to the top of the mountain, but to get your combined score for your two climbers to be higher than the combined score of the other players.

If you get high, but die on the way down, you can lose your standing on the VP track. Thus, you don't want to make a last ditch effort to get too high too quick as you also have to live through the experience!

I will try to describe a turn the best I can.

1. Each player draws 3 cards for a total of 6. You then play 3 down that will be used this turn.

2. Whoever played the most movement points (on the cards), they take one of the three risk tokens.

3. Actions:

A. Play cards to move your climbers

B. Place a tent (paying the cost with cards)

C. Increase an acclimation level (by playing cards)

D. If you have a risk token, you must subtract those points from the numbers on the cards

E. VP are tracked

F. Remember weather can influence your movement points. This is a tracker that can be seen and can help you influence your future moves.

4. Acclimatization Check - For lack of a better explanation, this is how your climbers can breathe and live in the weather. Each space on the board may decrease a climber's acclimatization score.

Tents add + 1.

Subtract the current weather (remember you can plan for this)

If your score exceeds 6, decrease your score to 6.

If it drops below 1, you die (decrease your VP).

5. End of turn: pass starting player, move weather to next spot.

There is some simple math. You need to plan your turns out including how much you can move, how you adapt to the weather, and your acclimation to the surroundings.





Should I buy this game?:

Yes. At least try it. K2 is a game that relies heavily on its theme, but it has a unique play style to it. I am not sure this game would work with another theme on it.

I did enjoy this game quite a bit, but it is about doing better than the other players, not necessarily getting to the top. Interesting decisions abound. This is a simple game and most new players could learn it. It will take some concentration to get a few of the newer concepts. I do recommend at least a couple of plays.

Keeper.



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John Bandettini
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I loved my first few plays of K2, even wrote a review. But the lack of variety in the base game started to tell and I sold it after about a dozen plays. I understand that the Broad Peek expansion does a good job of adding variety to the game.
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Ben O'Steen
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JohnBandettini wrote:
I loved my first few plays of K2, even wrote a review. But the lack of variety in the base game started to tell and I sold it after about a dozen plays. I understand that the Broad Peek expansion does a good job of adding variety to the game.


K2: Broad Peak has two maps (Alpine and Three Peaks), one that alters how sheltering works (the Alpine one) and the other that keeps the normal play mechanism but rewards visiting certain points (hence 'Three Peaks') as well as completing a circuit of the mountain (go up one side, and return to base down the other)

There is also a 'Mount Everest' fan expansion, which adds in avalanches and is rather well done. I liked it enough to craft the board and tiles and it plays well (although I think it needs a tweak for balance, which Kamil Chocimski (user: hunter4hire) points out well in the comments).

I've kept K2 as I still enjoy playing it, and it is a great gatewayish game. Something totally different from the usual perceptions of boardgaming, with a strong theme and reasonable playtime.
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Joe Saul-Sehy
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Quote:
While not a whole bunch of player interaction


More players = more interaction, plus using the rules that allow less people on the top of the climb also adds interaction.

We also began shuffling the weather cards (and the avalanche mini-expansion) and pulled completely random weather from those. It makes it really tense because the weather can be great at the bottom, all the way through....or horrible the whole way. Fun game. Nice review.
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Jesse Carrasco
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i played this game once and i loved it. i'm hoping to buy it once the reprint hits the States. Thanks for the revew.
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Jayson Myers
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JohnBandettini wrote:
I loved my first few plays of K2, even wrote a review. But the lack of variety in the base game started to tell and I sold it after about a dozen plays. I understand that the Broad Peek expansion does a good job of adding variety to the game.


I can actually see this happening. I try to make my reviews "living" reviews so I can come back and add to them from time to time. I just did a review of the expansion and I liked it a lot also.

I do tend to like games that are heavy themed and the mechanics work so well with the theme.
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Jayson Myers
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Domino Man wrote:
Quote:
While not a whole bunch of player interaction


More players = more interaction, plus using the rules that allow less people on the top of the climb also adds interaction.

We also began shuffling the weather cards (and the avalanche mini-expansion) and pulled completely random weather from those. It makes it really tense because the weather can be great at the bottom, all the way through....or horrible the whole way. Fun game. Nice review.


Excellent idea! and thanks!
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Jayson Myers
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hpbruin wrote:
i played this game once and i loved it. i'm hoping to buy it once the reprint hits the States. Thanks for the revew.


It would be a fine choice.
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Holger Doessing
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Domino Man wrote:
Quote:
While not a whole bunch of player interaction

using the rules that allow less people on the top of the climb also adds interaction.

We also began shuffling the weather cards

I don't understand. This is how the game is supposed to be played anyways, right?
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Joe Saul-Sehy
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Quote:
This is how the game is supposed to be played anyways, right?


Not quite. There are clear weather cards and bad weather cards. The rules say to use one or the other. We did both of those to add variety, but then we shuffled ALL the weather cards and used half.
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