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Xia: Legends of a Drift System» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review after a game and a half. rss

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Asher Thee Gravedigger
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Background : (Why I got the game, skip if you don't care about context)

A while back, I heard great things about Xia from a couple of different people. A guy at the local Trumpeteer Gaming club was drooling over the copy he'd gotten from the Kickstarter campaign, and it was mentioned by a couple of podcasts I'd listen to. I've gotten a bit burnt out on Kickstarter, after the Zombicide and Miskatonic School for Girls failed to live up to the hype. I've still got the bonus minis for Zombicide, which are apparently selling for a ton each, though not locally, and I'm trying to decide how best to sell them off. With that in mind, I wasn't sure how much of the game's hype was the post-Kickstarter rationalization process and how much was legitimate appreciation. Anyways, the other night, I accidentally sold off some Warhammer stuff that I'd had kicking around the basement and managed to get a copy of Xia : Legends of a Drift System in trade for the balance.

The game is 3-5 players, and we happened to have 3 players over at my house last night. That gave us a choice between Xia and Dead of Winter, which I still haven't played. Given that we'd spent a bit of time talking about Star Citizen that day, Xia was the obvious choice.

Components and Setup :

We opened the box and were impressed with the quality of the components. The materials feel great. Solid cardstock and a nice variety of pre-painted ships. And plenty of plastic storage bags for sorting out the components. It took us a bit of time to understand all the pieces and where they should go.

We watched the Tutorial video on FarOffGames site, it helped quite a bit, though it didn't go into the mechanics much. We read the rules, played the into game, the one with the 5 point goal. It went quickly, with Dimestore almost wining the game in his first turn, through a nice bit of luck in the draws. The other player, Kilo, managed to blind jump into a star, killing himself instantly. With that under our belt, we reset the game started up again.

First Real Game:

This time, we set the point counter at 10 and put together our ships. I made an attempt to travel into the the nebula to harvest plasma to sell on a nearby planet. I managed to get one cube worth of energy from the nebula before my ship's power supply had been drained to the point where I was worried I wouldn't make it back to the dock to recharge. Dimestore decided to try scanning for new systems, wary of blind jumping into danger. Kilo decided to pick up a couple of missions and managed to perform "Science!" on a local planet. Basically, the game was living up to the promise of being a sandbox. Dimestore blind jumped through the shields of one of the planets, getting himself a bounty in the process. We attempted to find the rules for getting rid of a bounty, but apparently you can't buy them off, not that he really had the credits for it anyways. One of the discovered planets was willing to sell plasma so I was able to set up a nice trade route, running plasma from one planet to another. Kilo continued to perform missions while Dimestore explored, looking for a planet to deliver his mission to. He managed to find an amazingly powerful trade route, one that could be achieved twice during a single turn. These two trade routes turned into a race to see who could upgrade their ship the fastest, and we hit the 10 point marker before getting to play with the tier 3 ships. I think next time we'll play a longer game.

We sorted out the components and cleaned up the game, and it's definitely on our list to play again in the future. After that, I updated my game list over on Boardgamegeek, putting in ratings for a bunch of things we hadn't bothered to rate.

Summary :

I like it, and I'll play it again. It has a nice mix of space theme, cool mechanics and options for gaining Victory points. It is very much a sandbox game, which is something I've always been fond of in video games, but hadn't really seen much of in the way of board games.

The models are all really neat and fairly distinctive. The ships each have their own special powers and the outfit system, which is basically an inventory-tetris mini-game for the various components and the cargo, works really well. I can imagine an expansion that includes missions with specific cargo requirements that would be really interesting.

It does require a decent amount of table space, and we probably need to come up with some better solutions for storing the outfits. While piling them up in stacks on the table sort of works, they tend to get messy once you start upgrading ships and moving them to make more space on the table.

I think one video game comparison would be FTL, though I've seen others compare it to Freelancer. Television wise, it's clearly Firefly or maybe Red Dwarf. Or I suppose Cowboy Bebop.

I'm not sure how common the game is at this point, but it's certainly not impossible to get currently, unlike a few other games I could mention. If someone in your local gaming circle has it, give it a try. If not, it might be worth getting, as the component are a good value for the cost and the game is quite a bit of fun.
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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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TheeGravedigger wrote:
If someone in your local gaming circle has it, give it a try. If not, it might be worth getting, as the component are a good value for the cost and the game is quite a bit of fun.


I second this! It's a blast to play!
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Great game!
 
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Steve O'Grady
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Kickstarted it. Got it in November. Tried it out with my wife and two sons (who love Sci-Fi stuff) over the Holidays, and it was the hit game of the season.
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Andrew Ronzino
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I Kickstarted the game, and it has become one of my favorites! I'm glad you were able to get a copy and try it out. I hope you have many more exciting adventures.
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Mark Streed
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We've been playing XIA pretty solid for the last week. Even a couple 20 point games with 5 players. Which averaged about 3hrs. And it never felt like there was too much AP. We all had a blast!

I can't say enough good about XIA! It's a fantastic experience, so much fun! If I had played it before we did our TOP of 2014 list it would have been number one for me!

I put together some home made inserts for a more rapid setup and take down of the game. Inspired by Robert Searing at Insert Here.

Hoping for many expansions, new ships, new tiles, and abilities...

We will be doing a review for it soon!

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Jerry Hawthorne
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BgCorner wrote:
We've been playing XIA pretty solid for the last week. Even a couple 20 point games with 5 players. Which averaged about 3hrs. And it never felt like there was too much AP. We all had a blast!

I can't say enough good about XIA! It's a fantastic experience, so much fun! If I had played it before we did our TOP of 2014 list it would have been number one for me!

I put together some home made inserts for a more rapid setup and take down of the game. Inspired by Robert Searing at Insert Here.

Hoping for many expansions, new ships, new tiles, and abilities...

We will be doing a review for it soon!

This does look like a game that would benefit from Robert's style of awesome inserts. Yours look really good.
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Robert Searing
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Get cool game inserts at www.inserthere.me
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Mark - you've always been such a huge supporter of my business (ie forwarding and favoriting tweets). I'm very humbled to be an inspiration for you - and, more importantly - to something that looks SO kick butt!! If there's ever anything I can do (pointers, etc) to help you out, you know how to get a hold of me!

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Mark Streed
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nobeerblues wrote:
BgCorner wrote:
We've been playing XIA pretty solid for the last week. Even a couple 20 point games with 5 players. Which averaged about 3hrs. And it never felt like there was too much AP. We all had a blast!

I can't say enough good about XIA! It's a fantastic experience, so much fun! If I had played it before we did our TOP of 2014 list it would have been number one for me!

I put together some home made inserts for a more rapid setup and take down of the game. Inspired by Robert Searing at Insert Here.

Hoping for many expansions, new ships, new tiles, and abilities...

We will be doing a review for it soon!

This does look like a game that would benefit from Robert's style of awesome inserts. Yours look really good.


Thanks so much Jerry, means a lot coming from you. It was modeled after Robert's insert for Lords of Waterdeep.

Thanks!
 
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Mark Streed
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rsearing wrote:
Mark - you've always been such a huge supporter of my business (ie forwarding and favoriting tweets). I'm very humbled to be an inspiration for you - and, more importantly - to something that looks SO kick butt!! If there's ever anything I can do (pointers, etc) to help you out, you know how to get a hold of me!



You are most welcome Robert! 2014 was an amazing year for me and my show, you and the rest of the folks at the Dice Tower have been awesome! Looking forward to what 2015 has in store...

We should sync up on what I did for XIA, it's a modified design of your Lords of Waterdeep insert. It would be easy for you to add this to your set of products. meeple

 
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Justin Lovell
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I've loved every game of Xia I've played. There was only one of my friends who didn't enjoy it, and that's because he's not a sci-fi fan at all, so the space theme was lost on him.
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