Jamin Mills
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I just spent the holiday playing Nika with the in-laws and they loved it, even those that don't like board games much. The thing I didn't get to try was the variants.

So my question about the variants is what do you guys think about mixing them? What if players were allowed to choose which variant power they wanted to play at the start of the round? Do you think they are close enough to balanced?

I was thinking something along the lines of everybody picking the piece they want to use and revealing them at the same time. I won't get a chance to try it for a while so I thought I'd ask here first.
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Mike Bosch
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I don't own it, but have been interested in it since the Kickstarter. Is it fun? A brain burner? Deep?

Thanks.
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Kevin Duke
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Fwiw, the designer posted on another thread that the special abilities were not created with "balance"in mind and the intention was for everyone to have the same.
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Morten K
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How is it when playing in two teams? And did you talk about what to do internally in the teams? I've only played it as a two-player
 
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Bernard Hopkins
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I'd love to see a game of this played. I'm struggling to visualise from reading the rules how those pretty static pieces march through their enemies without being routed or blocked on a one for one basis. Seems to me like it's the fact that pieces are going back to the routed box that will break the symmetry of fighting.
 
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Jamin Mills
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Hmm, looks like I need to try it myself, thanks Kevin though for bringing that up. It doesn't seem like it's intended to be balanced but I think I'll try it when I get a chance.

Cookie Cruncher wrote:
I don't own it, but have been interested in it since the Kickstarter. Is it fun? A brain burner? Deep?


The game is easy to learn and play, but the strategy can be very deep. I feel like it fits in with the classics like Checkers or Go. Yet it has an awesome theme! Casual gamers picked it up and had fun, yet more experienced gamers had fun planning ahead.

One thing I've noticed is it is very hard to plan ahead and force a player to do what you want like you can in chess. Many of our games we couldn't predict who was going to win, as each turn would seem to turn the tide of the game. It could be that we aren't used to thinking in Nika strategy, but when I saw a demo of this game in Utah I saw a guy use a tactic that the designer hadn't seen before, and he had been demoing for over a year at that point.

I haven't seen a perfect strategy, we've tried to have grand plans but it always comes down to what the guy before you does determining your next move. It's open enough that you can often find a way to thwart their plan.

It's simple enough that I would teach this game to a non-gamer, yet as a gamer I really enjoy it and find it a good challenge to try to strategise in.
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Jamin Mills
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Tigrillo wrote:
How is it when playing in two teams? And did you talk about what to do internally in the teams? I've only played it as a two-player


I think it is a lot more interesting with 4 players. With 2 you are just trying to out-smart the other guy. With 4 you are trying to cooperate with your teammate as well as out-smart the other guys.

It's fun trying to share tactics without giving too much away. Often we found it worth it to let the enemy know our plan in order to discuss and plan a better move. The game is open enough that it helps a lot having a teammate to share ideas, otherwise I miss a lot of opportunities.
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Jamin Mills
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Arctic Jack wrote:
I'd love to see a game of this played. I'm struggling to visualize from reading the rules how those pretty static pieces march through their enemies without being routed or blocked on a one for one basis. Seems to me like it's the fact that pieces are going back to the routed box that will break the symmetry of fighting.


You do need to try it! As for the pieces returning to the 'routed box' it is very expensive to bring new pieces out rather than better position your surviving pieces. To win the enemy only has to get 1 piece across the board, to bring a new piece out you often loose so many moves that the new piece can't be any help. So far we rarely see bringing in reinforcements being worth the time.

There is a natural defensiveness built into the game, like in real life, if you choose to wait and let the enemy approach you in hand to hand combat you can react to his attack and often win. It's tempting to just sit in the game and wait for the other to move, but you soon see that you won't ever win. I find it much better to dive in and find a weakness as fast as I can.

One round is finished in very few moves, most of the game time is spent thinking trying to figure out what is the best move to attempt. As we have played it a round easily gets under 30 minutes.
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