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Subject: One big game for the Christmas list rss

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Jeff DeRyke
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Michigan
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Hi friends,

I'm a gamer on a pretty tight budget with a 6 month old baby, so gaming time is also limited. Lately I've been sticking to a lot of games that are shorter and cheaper, since my wife is more excited about them, but right now I've got my sights set on three big games, all of which would fill untouched niches in my collection, and all of which look amazing. With Christmas around the corner, I've got a chance to ask for something a bit bigger, but I can realistically only expect to get one game. Which one should I put on my list? (I've been trying to track when these would be available in the US, and it seems like I could at least ask for a pre-order in time for Christmas on each, but if you have information to the contrary, I'd appreciate that as well)

Star Wars: Imperial Assault
I'm a HUGE Star Wars fan, don't own any type of dungeon crawler, and don't have any Star Wars games other than SW: The Queen's Gambit, which rarely gets to the table.

Alchemists
I don't own any deduction games, and Istanbul is the only thing I have that comes close to worker placement. I've been looking to fill both niches. I think thematically, this is the one I've got the best chance of getting my wife to play this with me, although she generally doesn't go for much over 60 minutes.

Xia: Legends of a Drift System
I don't have a pick-up and deliver game, and nothing that approaches the sandbox openness of this game. Both sound very intriguing. I'm also very interested in the ship customization in this game.

I'd be very grateful for any feedback you can send my way!

 
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Matthew Peckham
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How many people will you be playing with, do you think?

Why not add all three to your Christmas list, and see which your wife chooses - more of a surprise then!
 
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Jeff DeRyke
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Generally I can get my wife or brother to play games with me on a periodic basis, so decent play with 2 is a plus. We have one other couple who we play with several times a year, so working well with 4 is also great. I host a large game event at my church about once a quarter, so that group could be any size.

As for listing all three, my wife probably won't be the one purchasing the game, since most of our Christmas budget this year is going towards our son. I'm hoping that parents, siblings or in-laws might go in together, but they are all completely clueless about new games, so I generally have to rank games for them if I ever ask for more than one.
 
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CHAPEL
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Round Rock
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Xia was a fun game. Definitely in line with the Merchants of Venus lineage.

I hate Alchemists with a hot fiery poker to my brain. If you love deduction games, and I mean if you REALLY love deduction games, then you might kind of like this one. But I found the whole engine for it and the app almost totally unintuitive and not fun at all. And if you can find 4 other people on the planet that also fall into that category to play it with you, then it might work. I'd stay on the safe side and pass on that one.

Go with Xia.
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Brett Burleigh II
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Bless the Maker and His water... Bless the coming and going of Him... May His passage cleanse the world...
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MWChapel wrote:
Xia was a fun game….Go with Xia.


Yes, +1 for Xia… It's a blast, and highly moddable. You can make your own sectors, missions, titles, etc. It's 3-5, I've played it solo to learn the rules, but if you're going long term for 2, you could adapt it.

The game is beautiful and all of the components (except the dice) are super high quality. It's pretty much a no-brainer…
 
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Necessary Evil
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Glen Arm
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Having played Star Wars: Imperial Assault, I would say get it. It adds tot eh streamlining in descent mark 2 and its starwars! Also the 1 on 1 missions are cool and make it so you have almost 2 games in one box.

I passed on Xia because its a sandbox thing not a game.

-M
 
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Jeff Jones
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I've played both Xia and Alchemists so I suggest you get Star Wars: Imperial Assault.

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Jeff DeRyke
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Kafka wrote:
I've played both Xia and Alchemists so I suggest you get Star Wars: Imperial Assault.



Anything in particular that rubbed you wrong about Xia and Alchemists?
 
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Felix Brause
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Hard choice between SW:IA and XIA...
If you got a fixed group to play the campaign I would suggest SW:IA. But XIA is also really really good and I love it. But a game can easily take 4 or more hours (depending on group and FP limit...). SW:IA playtime can managed better...
Hard choice, hard choice.... Both? One for Christmas, the other for New Year
 
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Kerstin
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I played and personally absolutely love Alchemists, but this certainly is a game that I would not suggest to everyone.

You really have to like these kinds of logic puzzles to begin with, but then you also have to be aware that this is just part of the game and that eventually focusing too much on solving the puzzle can get in the way of actually doing well in the game and I've seen quiet some people get irritated by that.
I always tell everyone before playing that this game is about bragging a lot to be a good scientist and not about actually being a good scientist and with the right group it quickly became an absolute favorite of mine, but this is one I like with a certain group of people but would not bring out with a lot of other people, because I see that this can be a very love it or hate it type of game.
 
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Richard A. Edwards
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Star Wars Imperial Assault!
Lots of missions, miniatures, fast & fun. Skirmish game for 2 player or Campaign mode for up to 5 players. My girlfriend loves playing the Wookie hero!
 
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Kris Wiggins
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I'm not much for dungeon crawls (though I'll still at least try IA eventually because Star Wars), and Alchemists left a bad taste in my mouth at BGG.CON this year (...perhaps I was doing it wrong...). So take my comments with a grain of salt. I tried Xia at BGG.CON as well and it blew me away. I think it's the funnest game in the entire world ever. haha I exaggerate... a bit. haha Seriously though, I really enjoyed Xia's openness. But really, yes, it's "open", but there IS a framework with rules, you just have a lot of options! You can pickup/deliver, you can become a criminal, you can blow up other people, you can explore to new unrevealed sectors, so many things that score you points while moving these incredible minis around on the variable board. To me it didn't feel like a game you PLAY, it's a game you play WITH like some huge, awesome, sprawling childhood toy. It's also variable length (play to X-points or for X-hours) which is a plus as well in my book.

Negatives- In a lot of ways, Xia is pretty random and is something of a luck fest, but in this game it doesn't bother me since it's just so darn cool and fun. Worth mentioning is that there are some pretty interesting house rules and variants on the forums to explore, some that negate some of the luck aspects in the game. Another downside is, as mentioned previously, it's for 3-5p, but you might be able to figure something out to make it work for 2p.

/2_cents
 
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Richard A. Edwards
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Add one of the Shadows of Brimstone core sets to your list if you want another huge game. It's fully cooperative so you can all play on the same team too.
 
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Jeff DeRyke
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Thanks so much for the feedback everyone! I think I'm going to settle on SW:Imperial Assault, mostly due to the time factor. Xia looks completely amazing, but I think length will prevent it from seeing the table as much as I'd like. I really appreciate your input!
 
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