I played my first game of Web of Spies last night. We played a 3 player game with experienced players. We had .... loads of fun. Since I saw that the game is funded on KS I thought I write my first review.
I'm not going to talk about the rules, you can find them at the KS website. They are very clear and cover most of your questions.
I used the PnP to play this game. I printed the game, I bought some pawns and was ready to play.
The art, although I used a PnP, is very nice. It certainly adds to the gameplay. The worldmap is clear and all the lines are easy to read. No confusion here.
I put some art on the gamecards. This made gameplay very exciting. The game is all about theme so it's way better to see a rocketlauncher than just read about it. Art is a big part of this game. I hope the final art will be nice. Text and symbols on the cards explain exactly what you need to know.
Setup was quick so in a couple of minutes we were able to play. We all started in Africa. We were on our way quickly using our black car and starting spy cards. This game uses dice, so luck will play a part in this game. It didn't bother us at all. Of course, it's nice having an asset near to you instead of being in Cairo and having the assets be half a world away. But this all levels out, sometimes you're near an asset (or it lands just in your feet) and somtimes you won't bother going to it, way to far.
The best part of the game is attacking another spy.
Agent X "He, I'm going to drive you over with my speedy black car."
Agent Z "Well, it's too noisy so I heard you coming and could dive away and use my silenced pistol to shoot at you."
Agent X "You missed me, now I will throw this C4 explosive at your head, and set if off, you're gone my friend"
Not all attacks succeed, but sometimes death is instantaneously. Using your garrote and discarding 4 other cards, but what the heck are you doing all alone in Bogota.
This storytelling is so much fun. This is what makes the game, together with the nice cards.
Play is mainly tactical. What can I do with the cards I have in my hand (normally 5, but less after an attack if you used cards to defend). Should I use my silenced pistol to shoot or do I use it to move (since I have only one attack card in my hand). Do I go for a secret asset (not knowing what it is, but going for a cheap buy) or do I go for a public asset.
Going for the assets adds strategy to the game. What asset do I want (if I can get it) and what am I going to do with it. Is it worth going for the rocketlaucher (who wouldn't want to have one) and spend 5 cards to get it and use it in later turns or is it beter to ....
We played with 3 (experienced, not this game of course) players and this is a good number to play with. I can see it being played with 4, makes for a nice crowded world. I think 2 players make a different game. More space, more hunting and only one player to attack.
Replayability will be good too I think. There are so many cards, we used about 15 and there are more than 70. Different cards will make sure gameplay will be different.
An important factor could be luck, but we didn't find this the case. Some player will be lucky to acquire more assets more easily but the lead player (with the most spies) will be attacked the most. I found out myself, having 5 spies and the other players 2 and 3. I had to use my cards to defend and was not able to attack so much.
The end was surprising as well (we all liked this). I was driving my black car to go to Santiago and a bomb blew up the car and me of course. Gone was my last spy.
Who will like this ? If you don't mind a bit of luck and you like storytelling, not too much strategy but enough tactics, this might be your game. I would say this is a lightway game. Easy rules, you can play it with allmost anybody (if he/she is still alive).
Have fun, Agent X
Awesome review, thanks for supporting my game!