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Subject: Comments after a few games rss

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Matt Chase
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Played this twice on the weekend after receiving a Polish copy from Portal games (very quick shipping to Australia, btw). Here are a few observations after playing Ukrainian rules and the total mystery ending:

> This is a great game, and I imagine will replace Dixit for me unless I'm playing with kids.
> It's really hard. I had a mild concern before I played it that there would be too many obvious connections between the dream cards and other cards, but this is not the case. The ghost job in particular is very tough, sort of like having 20 themed Dixit turns in a row. We played on normal difficulty both games.
> It's harder at lower player counts. With more players, at the start of each round at least, you have lots of options for your 7 dream cards as the ghost. In a game with only two psychics those 7 cards seem really limited as the chance of connections is reduced. God knows how hard the Polish version would be with only six cards!
> I think the perfect endgame for this has still to be developed (as do the developers, obviously, as they invent a new endgame with each edition). Playing the total mystery version is very difficult, as you are trying to match three dream cards in a hand of 7 to three psychic cards. I think that playing one card as a clue for the set of three psychic cards may be a bit better, and I'll try this next time.
> In a 2 player game with 2 psychics, we played the first part of the game as elimination so that there was a choice between more than two in the final phase. Seemed to work OK.
> This game will need expansions, particularly of the who/what/where cards. I'd want about 50 of these instead of the current 20. Hopefully the English edition uses new art, so it can be used as an expansion.
> I can certainly see that Dixit cards could be used as substitutes for the dream cards, although this could significantly increase the difficulty.

All up, a very enjoyable and unique game.
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bort
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Matt - you need to bring that along to Critical Mass ;-)

I've been following this game, nearly pulled the trigger a couple of times, I'd love to try it out.
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Nate
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We played yesterday as well, and I agree with your observations.

I'd also note that player stands are just a necessity, as others have pointed out. Having all person, place, and weapon cards viewable at all times not only cuts down on playtime by avoiding the constant re-looking, but also helps the ghost avoid playing a clue that may inadvertently be an "obvious" pointer toward one of the non-correct cards. That happened to us several times, but only because it just wasn't practical to keep looking at every possible card for clue crossfire.

Regarding end-game, I agree it's a little shaky, thematically and mechanically. I do think the Ukrainian rules are better. To build on them, however, I don't think the game should necessarily end prematurely if all psychics don't flesh out their person/place/weapon combo in time. If they don't do it by round 7, why not line up those combos that were guessed, and then line up the cards still not guessed. For example, if 2 out of the 3 psychics guess their combo correctly, but the third hasn't guessed their correct weapon by round 7, the ghost can still give clues pointing to the third psychic's combo, but the psychics would still have to pick out the correct weapon from the assortment of choices still remaining.

We found that some players just weren't on the same wavelength as the ghost, and this variant would still keep the game alive even when one psychic had a series of wrong guesses. The game is meant to be light and non-competitive, and ending after 4 rounds feels wrong. It also helps includes kids. My niece LOVED the idea of the game, but didn't go very deep in her symbolism and imagery-matching.

All in all, it's a very novel game that I can't imagine ever not having in my collection of ~50 games.
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Cheap business card holders work great for us. This might be a good way to handle teh 7th night whether or not all cards have been revealed yet. It could make the endgame feel more complete for the players intead of not having that second part of the game at all.
 
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John Drake
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Podicle wrote:

> It's harder at lower player counts. With more players, at the start of each round at least, you have lots of options for your 7 dream cards as the ghost. In a game with only two psychics those 7 cards seem really limited as the chance of connections is reduced. God knows how hard the Polish version would be with only six cards!


I had an opposite feeling. With more players, there are more cards... which makes pin-pointing dream cards much more difficult.

At 6-players, I found the easy game quite challenging (we lost). At 2-players, I found the easy game too easy.
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Alexandre Garcia
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Podicle wrote:
> I think the perfect endgame for this has still to be developed (as do the developers, obviously, as they invent a new endgame with each edition).


Indeed, Libellud will also release a different last step for this great game. The purpose is to get the tension up at the end, having the most coherent possible storytelling.

The general gameplay will have some improvements, as referred before in another thread. The new version of Mysterium will provide more actions to the players, creating a stimulating and more permanent atmosphere around the table (and more interaction!). And of course, new components will appear to improve the gameplay a lot (and they will be beautiful as well)!

Stay tuned for more news about the international version of Mysterium: this diamond was polished once more
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Matt Chase
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John,
But at the start of the round you have 7 dream cards in your hand and, just say in a 7 player game, 6 cards you can match those to, giving you more options. And you draw a new card/s 5 times during the round.

With only two psychics you are left giving some dodgy clues.
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Matt Chase
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Alexandre,
Happy to hear about the progress on the English version, but I would caution against doing too much to the general (i.e. non-endgame) gameplay, as it's near perfect. The only issue would be some downtime at high player counts as the ghost searches for cards.

I also hope that any new cards developed are compatible (in size etc) with the existing versions so the sets can be used together.
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John Drake
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Podicle wrote:
John,
But at the start of the round you have 7 dream cards in your hand and, just say in a 7 player game, 6 cards you can match those to, giving you more options. And you draw a new card/s 5 times during the round.

With only two psychics you are left giving some dodgy clues.


Perhaps our playing styles are different... but I have a difficult time playing more than 2 cards, unless I'm trying to hint at a dominant color. So in practice, I often draw 1-2 cards between players. And then I need to consider the next round and whether I need to save any of my dream cards.
 
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Matt Chase
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John,
I'm still only playing one card for each clue. I'm drawing back up to 7 in my hand after each clue. The more players, the more possibilities there are for finding matches early in each round.
 
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Alexandre Garcia
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Podicle wrote:
Alexandre,
Happy to hear about the progress on the English version, but I would caution against doing too much to the general (i.e. non-endgame) gameplay, as it's near perfect. The only issue would be some downtime at high player counts as the ghost searches for cards.


Exactly
 
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Kevin O'Brien
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bortmonkey wrote:
Matt - you need to bring that along to Critical Mass ;-)

I've been following this game, nearly pulled the trigger a couple of times, I'd love to try it out.

I'll second the request for a Critical Mass visit!

I just ordered the Polish edition last night. It's due to arrive in the middle of January...
 
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bort
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cyberkev63 wrote:
bortmonkey wrote:
Matt - you need to bring that along to Critical Mass ;-)

I've been following this game, nearly pulled the trigger a couple of times, I'd love to try it out.

I'll second the request for a Critical Mass visit!

I just ordered the Polish edition last night. It's due to arrive in the middle of January...


Kevin! I was looking for another to share postage on this...posted about it on CM.
 
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Matt Chase
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Guys,
I'll bring it to critical mass when i'm there next. Can't make it Friday. Is anything happening next week (Christmas week)?
 
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bort
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Podicle wrote:
Is anything happening next week (Christmas week)?


Yup - Boxing Day all day gaming at CM
 
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Matt Chase
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I'm in.
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bort
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I've played this twice so far, once with the full 7 players, then with 4. Both times I was the ghost - and both times we've won! On easy, so I guess I need to step up the difficulty.

Close wins tho - on the final night. I felt like we got a bit lucky in the 7 player game with the final dream card - got one that that identified the culprit pretty well (card was the vampire, culprit was the magician). In the 4 player game, they guessed it without any trouble as well (they had a fair chance of guessing correctly too of course, 1 in 3).

It would be a lot harder without being able to redraw so often - I used that a lot.

Maybe the people I play with know how literal I am with clues - and dont expect anything too out of the box.
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