Nathan Worcester
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I bought the retail version of this game recently and took it on a week long vacation to the beach. I loved the theme, art design and had seen a video or 2 describing the gameplay and it looked like something I would enjoy. We played 6 games over the course of the week, and were constantly checking the rule book to make sure we were playing it correctly because it just felt like it was missing... something. The production value is unreal and the theme is right up my alley so I really really want to enjoy it.

The issues I had with the game were:

-Why do the runners score just for occupying the scoring pads at the end of each period? We felt like this totally overpowered attempts to score with the ball during the period when you were going to get a couple points at the end anyways just by moving to the zone.

-The reaction mechanic felt like it leads to much longer games and eliminates a lot of strategic movement when you have to announce your action and then the players know they can prevent that by reacting to your movement.

-The tactic cards just don't seem that useful (outside of the fire and walls). I wish there was a card that allowed you to move multiple characters. A greater variety in cards, and maybe some that actually have a combat value, would be nice.

-The cheating/money system feels underused. The concept is cool but I know exactly how much money I have after the draft so I know the number of cheats I can do. Not really sure how to liven it up but it just felt flat.

-There are too many miniatures for each team. I like the idea of killing off the whole team to win, but there's just too many miniatures to even make that feasible.

-I wonder if a second ball in play would make things a little more exciting. At first I thought that was what the extra scoring pad was for but its just a new spot even though it looks like a ball.

I could probably list a couple more but the negatives certainly outweighed the positives in our initial opinions. Tom Vasel seemed to really like the game and all other reviews have been pretty positive, so maybe I am just in the minority?
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Charlie Theel
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St. Louis
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I really enjoy this game and plan on reviewing it at some point in the future.

Runners scoring with the ball during the period can be huge. You score each and every turn you stay on the Mound, that's crazy good. I also like that you can dictate the pace of the period by playing less cards if you're going for scoring so that you don't end the period prematurely.

The reaction mechanic is a huge part of the game and why I enjoy it. It facilitates the area control aspect of the game and makes the game much more strategic in terms of where you position your players. Control scoring zones and threatening lanes is enormous and a large part of strategy. You can also do some really cool things like react to force challenges just to get your opponent to burn a card.

Tactics cards are useful to varing degrees. Are there any specific cards you don't like? It's hard to argue this opinion without specifics.

Cheating/money does seem underused. I'm hoping the expansion has cards which allow you to gain money (from winning a contest or possessing the ball or whatever) and spend money (to enhance a card). That would greatly improve this mechanic in my opinion.

Too many miniatures? I don't necessarily agree. It is very hard to get eliminated, however, the upshot is that you get points for having the most kills. Going for kills is already rewarding enough and you've probably already won if you've killed a large chunk of their team.

A second ball in play sounds very interesting, certainly worth trying.

Overall, the game is great because it is deceptively simple, but very deep. It's kind of like an abstract or area control game lurking beneath the surface. It feels very chess like in maximizing your moves and controlling the board, always wanting to threaten and put your opponent on his heels. It also has a wide berth for creativity (Walls, flames, Boot to he Head, all of the different team abilities) so it really gives you that satisfying feeling of being clever when you place a wall down and then stomp your opponent into it or seal off an approach just in the knick of time.
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Duncan Idaho
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River Vale
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Nate23VT wrote:

-Why do the runners score just for occupying the scoring pads at the end of each period? We felt like this totally overpowered attempts to score with the ball during the period when you were going to get a couple points at the end anyways just by moving to the zone.


At it's heart, it's an area-control game, not a ball-scoring game.

Quote:

-The reaction mechanic felt like it leads to much longer games and eliminates a lot of strategic movement when you have to announce your action and then the players know they can prevent that by reacting to your movement.


I'm not sure I understand the alternative you're imagining. In any game I can picture, you'd have to announce your move before making it.

Quote:

-The tactic cards just don't seem that useful (outside of the fire and walls). I wish there was a card that allowed you to move multiple characters. A greater variety in cards, and maybe some that actually have a combat value, would be nice.


I've gotten a lot of use out of the tactics cards. I don't think they're meant to be an overpowering action, but they all have a variety of uses.

Quote:

-The cheating/money system feels underused. The concept is cool but I know exactly how much money I have after the draft so I know the number of cheats I can do. Not really sure how to liven it up but it just felt flat.


I found it to add a lot to the drafting system. It's made 4th quarters tighter, too.

Quote:

-There are too many miniatures for each team. I like the idea of killing off the whole team to win, but there's just too many miniatures to even make that feasible.


Then you're not playing aggressively enough. I've had many games end that way, or at least get to the point where I (or my opponent) had to alter our strategy because we were at risk for going out.

Quote:

-I wonder if a second ball in play would make things a little more exciting. At first I thought that was what the extra scoring pad was for but its just a new spot even though it looks like a ball.


Again, the ball isn't as important as the area control elements of the game. If you're looking for Blood Bowl, this game is not it. Same theme, but different feel. Mantic's game is closer to it. This game is about controlling parts of the field and laying the hurt down.

Quote:

I could probably list a couple more but the negatives certainly outweighed the positives in our initial opinions. Tom Vasel seemed to really like the game and all other reviews have been pretty positive, so maybe I am just in the minority?


I think a lot of people are going into this game thinking that it should be about picking up the ball and scoring with it in cool plays/runs. This game isn't about that - it's about controlling the parts of the field. It's actually closer to chess with a pinning element (ie oppenent's player pieces can't move if you have them "pinned") than Blood Bowl.
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Kyle S.
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Idaho11 wrote:

At it's heart, it's an area-control game, not a ball-scoring game.


I can't gives this enough thumbs up.

Once you realize this is an area control game, you will think about your strategy, positioning, and card uses much differently. It will change the game for you for the better.

I think this game is blast for what it is. We play it at least once every gamenight since we had it.
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fightcitymayor
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"This is a really weird game, and you’ll find that most people will not want to play this."
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coraaay wrote:
Yeah in my experience people fall into 2 categories with this game. Those who expect it to be a sports game(which is completely understandable), but are disappointed that it's not. And those who accept the game for what it is; a king of the hill, area control, tactical miniatures game in sports clothing.
Hmmm...
That seems like dangerous territory, for every person buying the game thinking, "Hey, this looks like a fun sports game!" to instead be greeted by an area-control exercise. Understanding that some might fall into fans of both camps, but that's like buying a Mercedes and getting a pick-up truck instead. It might be a great pick-up truck, but that isn't what you were buying.
Hmmm...


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Kyle S.
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fightcitymayor wrote:
coraaay wrote:
Yeah in my experience people fall into 2 categories with this game. Those who expect it to be a sports game(which is completely understandable), but are disappointed that it's not. And those who accept the game for what it is; a king of the hill, area control, tactical miniatures game in sports clothing.
Hmmm...
That seems like dangerous territory, for every person buying the game thinking, "Hey, this looks like a fun sports game!" to instead be greeted by an area-control exercise. Understanding that some might fall into fans of both camps, but that's like buying a Mercedes and getting a pick-up truck instead. It might be a great pick-up truck, but that isn't what you were buying.
Hmmm...


It's not like there's an absence of information on the game at this point. Know what you're getting into before you buy. That's pretty standard procedure for buying any game, no? I'm not sure whats dangerous territory here.

It still is a "fantasy sport" game. But its not Dreadball or Bloodbowl and was never advertised as such.

In no way are "area control" and "sport" mutually exclusive ideas.
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Alex
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But the sports theme still feels a little tacked on. Something like armies competing for control of cities or provinces with the major scoring mound being some sort of capital would fit the actual gameplay a lot better.

The way it is right now, a sports game just doesn't make a lot of sense. How would scoring actually work? Why can Cowboys use pistols to shoot someone from afar (only in a straight line), but Hellcats can only attack players next to them with their assault rifles? There are a lot more of those things and I know these are obviously stupid questions. But the point I am trying to make is that the game is rather abstract and they still try to sell it as an actual fantasy sport with tournaments and championships and such. That is at least a little off, I think.

Like you said, it is more akin to Chess, but IMHO they built a world and theme around it so it doesn't look like Chess.
 
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Felipe Machado
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Gronlokk wrote:
But the sports theme still feels a little tacked on. Something like armies competing for control of cities or provinces with the major scoring mound being some sort of capital would fit the actual gameplay a lot better.

The way it is right now, a sports game just doesn't make a lot of sense. How would scoring actually work? Why can Cowboys use pistols to shoot someone from afar (only in a straight line), but Hellcats can only attack players next to them with their assault rifles? There are a lot more of those things and I know these are obviously stupid questions. But the point I am trying to make is that the game is rather abstract and they still try to sell it as an actual fantasy sport with tournaments and championships and such. That is at least a little off, I think.

Like you said, it is more akin to Chess, but IMHO they built a world and theme around it so it doesn't look like Chess.


I love the game, but I agree with you that some things don't make a lot of sense... And those things "take me out of the field" and say "this is a game with mechanics".
I hate that feeling while I'm playing... =/

Still, the game is great and I do feel that the sports theme makes sense because of the points and the cheats...
If it was a war theme game, with a "defending the flag" kind of thing... It would feel weird, to me, to gain points. There's no judge in war that says: "Yeah, you stayed long enough on this hill, here's a point!"
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pilum pilum
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I'm satisfied by this game.
I didn't expected a blood Bowl like.
For me, KaosBall is Kaosball, nothing else.
Kaosball is simple game, with a lot of tactical moves.
I like that.
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John Curtis
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I was looking for a new Blood Bowl style of game. I didn't get it... exactly. But I'm not dis-satisfied. While this doesn't fill the niche in my gaming schedule that Blood Bowl does... I think it will get a place in the rotation. Until the league rules get some polish, it won't replace BB for me. But it will still get some regular play.
 
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Alex Martinez
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I think people are confused too about the nature of a "sports game".

To me, Kaosball is a simulation of a sports game, but one where the ball is just one of the factors. However, most sports, while having a ball or a puck or some other such object at the center of the action, are still about area control and positioning. Kaosball just doesn't disguise it as much.

The ball is actually pretty damn important as smart control of it can allow someone to score a lot of points, which can be a determining factor for many games. But getting your runners to scoring position for the end of the period is important too. I like this because the game isn't JUST about controlling the ball, but controlling the field.

The Team Elimination option isn't necessarily meant to be the way one is trying to win. If the game was as simple as killing a few players, then everyone would concentrate on killing everyone else. This would only render the ball less important and make the game all about bruisers.

Here's the thing though. You are allowed to not like the game. It's okay. There are a ton of games out there, and maybe this one isn't for you. I don't care if everyone in the universe loves the game, if you don't want to play it, don't find it satisfying, you don't need to justify that feeling. I guarantee there are plenty of people who feel the same way, so no reason to feel bad or even question it.

It's okay to disagree with Tom Vassal. It's okay to disagree with the board game community in general. I find Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Cataan boring as hell. I despise Munchkin, and it is incredibly popular. We all have our tastes, and no need to force yourself to play something you just aren't into, regardless of how many people love or hate it.
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Nathan Worcester
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I got this game to the table again tonight for the first time since my initial post, and I must admit that I enjoyed the play. I went into it with an open mind and treated it as an area control game instead of a sports game which I think helped me appreciate it more.

I still don't know if I love the game enough to really recommend others to pay $100 for it, but I also don't despise it like I originally did and think it fills a small little niche in my collection.

I can't imagine a game with more than 2 players though. The 2 player game already seems very crowded and I would be curious to know how it played with any more players.
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Felipe Machado
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I'll only talk about the 4 players 2 x 2.

It's VERY crowded.
But it's cool to try to use the best way possible both teams abilities.
And I believe that passing the ball became way more frequent.

I liked it better than the 2 players, but it takes too long... And I think that some teams became kinda 'meh'.
 
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Dead Za
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Indiana
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coraaay wrote:
Yeah in my experience people fall into 2 categories with this game. Those who expect it to be a sports game(which is completely understandable), but are disappointed that it's not. And those who accept the game for what it is; a king of the hill, area control, tactical miniatures game in sports clothing. I fall in the latter. Kaosball is currently one of my favorites. The cardplay is the bee knees; way better than heavy dice chucking. I actually think this system would make for a really excellent tabletop miniature skirmish game.


Well not really. I went in expecting an anime/gonzo Blood Bowl. Which I never have played to be honest, I just know of it. So kinda just expected a mini game with Fighting and a Ball of some sort and thats exactly KB, though its neat I was halted by 2 things during my demo at gencon today

1: $100 is insane for the unpainted, unassembled, and quite frankly repetitive minis. They do look nice though. So it isnt quality Im complaining about directly. Just level of quality vs asking price.

2: Too random gameplay or maybe it was just unbalanced teams. But something felt wrong in how conflicts resolved. I was playing the ogres and thought they had neat tactical abilities with Stomp until I couldn't win a contest because of their abysmal stats and they just up and die because their 1 extra Hp is flat worse than +1 fight and the math of the game stats just doesnt add up Team vs Team for me. Balance is important and it struck me as a very capricious system while having a cumbersome card mechanic instead of just using the fate of dice.

So. I went in expecting not much more than what was printed on the box top and just didnt like the system.



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Mike Walko
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I just picked this up at gencon, and we found it to be a lot of fun.

We were a bit disappointed that it seems like going after the ball is the least practical way to score any points, and in fact getting the ball into scoring position seems needlessly difficult.

However, once we realized it's more about holding board position and killing enemies, it made for a much more pleasant play experience.

I'd say it's a good game with terrible marketing. I find most coolminiornot games to have terrible rules and balance, but this one is actually good in those regards. I'd recommend it over super dungeon explore or zombicide.
 
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