Pie Factory Designer
Co-founder of Nevermore Games. Follow me on Twitter @bryanfischer
We played the revised print and play (Crusades and Plagues vs. Apollo Mission) three times last night. While the rulebook is lengthy, mainly due to examples, it's easy to follow and the game is easy to learn. I feel like there can be some deepness to strategy, but I'm not sure the print and play shows us that as well as it could. Here are my thoughts ...
1. The Apollo Mission deck has nice synergy. Focusing on Vision is fun and it's used well with the more expensive cards in the deck. Build up your vision with some early/cheap cards and save the big guys for later. Or use Vision cards as your hand while you dump all 8 you draw to put out an Apollo 8, etc. The cheap 0,1, and 2 cost cards are great when you're trying to save up for something big, but two of them rely entirely on Resource cards. I've had games where I didn't draw a resource card the entire time (not into my hand anyway) and it hurts big time.
2. The Crusades and Plagues deck is really straight forward, at least it seems that way. You need to rush out Hamlets, scoring as many Progress Points as you can as fast as you can and pressuring your opponent to keep up. This might not always be the strategy, but against a slower moving deck like Apollo Mission can be, it’s the way to go. My biggest complaint in the deck is synergy. The use of keys seemed more difficult than in the Apollo Mission deck. I think a lot of it had to do with the Church of Rome card being so expensive. In a deck that needs to move, it’s hard to justify an early Church of Rome card instead of two Hamlets (more or less) or a Hamlet and a Port.
3. In general, I find the first two turns to be super interesting. My friend and I were trying to figure out if it’s best to dump the first 8 cards into Build Piles, etc. In my opinion it’s definitely up to the deck being played. From the Apollo Mission deck, I really liked adding 2 cards to the Build pile on turn one and looking at the rest to Play. I had good luck with finding early Nasa Controls (for Vision) with that. Also, the deck seriously benefits from early resources, so this was the way to find the Resource Cards that I liked best. Thanks to Vision, the deck could easily catch up on playing cards. I never did figure out a similar strategy for the Crusades and Plagues deck (and I’ve only played it once).
Anyway, my primary purpose of writing this isn’t to critique, but to start a discussion and see what others think. I’m eager to see other ideas. I also hope the publisher will put out another set of print and play decks to try. I’d love to see how these two decks play against other decks.