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Subject: From the Mouth of Jormi - Nexus Ops rss

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Michael Jordal
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The pretty pieces and Toys R Us sale pulled me in to the Nexus Ops world, but the great gameplay got me to stay.

Gameplay- I was pleasantly surprised to find that Nexus Ops has great gameplay to match the beautiful colorful bits.

The object of the game is to obtain 12 victory points through waging battles with your opponents on a moon that contains a much sought after energy source called Rubium.

The game is set up with hexagonal tiles much like Settlers of Catan. The differences in this game being that the center tile is a raised cardboard hex called the monolith. The next ring consists of single hexes and the ring beyond that contains double hexes. Then depending on the number of players, the home bases (made up of three hexes joined together) are played out on the edges of the board. Each hex is also a different type of terrain that influences the game in some way.

Play consists of several steps in a turn. Once one player has finished all of their steps, their opponent performs the same steps.

The first step allows players to recruit new units through spending of Rubium. The units have variable cost depending on their respective strengths; starting with the lowly 2 cost Human Soldier to the magnificent 12 cost Rubium Dragon.

After units have been paid for and placed in one of their home base tiles, the move step begins. During this phase, the player whose turn it is may move each of his or her units onc hex, unless that unit has a “special movement ability”.

The next step is to explore the tile if it hasn’t already been explored. Each tile has a facedown chip on it at the beginning of the game, these chips can have mines and or additional units to join your side.

Then every hex that has units from more than one faction must battle. This is where a lot of the victory points can be accrued. If a player wins a battle on his or her turn, he or she may play a win a battle card for one victory point, if instead they have met the requirements for a secret mission card in their hand, they may play that card instead. If a player loses a battle on an opponent’s turn, they are allowed to draw an energize card. Energize cards are cards that are either played at the start of the turn or they occur at some point during or before a battle and offer some sort of benefit to the player that plays them. Battle starts with the most expensive units and moves to the cheapest. Each figure has a “to hit” number and must roll that or greater in order to cause a casualty. If a casualty is caused the opponent must immediately remove a figure of his or her choosing.

After every contested space has had one battle occur, the player may collect Rubium for each mine that he or she controls. A player controls a space if he or she has the only units on that hex.

The last thing a player does on his or her turn is draw a secret mission card. That player may also draw 2 energize cards if he or she controls the Monolith.

The game is really a light war-game and can be played with relatively young players.

There can be a little bit of an unbalanced board in a two player game, but it usually isn’t too big of a deal. Nexus Ops plays really well with two, three or four players. I could see an expansion allowing for five and six players working well. But, since Hasbro seems to be dumping Nexus Ops along with a lot of the other Avalon Hill titles, I don’t believe we will se an official expansion.

There is a lot of luck in the rolling of the die, but a player who plays the odds right and manages their resources well should usually beat the player that fails to do these things as well.

I feel that the gameplay deserves 8 out of 10 Rubium.

Look and Feel- This game definitely gets props in the look and feel category, but the smell category definitely brings it down (the people who own this game know what I am talking about with the smell. The stench has pretty much left mine now, but when I first opened the plastic bags for the pieces, they had quite the strong unpleasant smell about them).

The bright colored board and pieces look great, and appear as if they would glow in the dark. While they don’t quite glow in the dark, they are black light reactive, so you can have some good fun playing this game by black light.

The one negative to the feel of the game, besides the smelly pieces is possibly the size of the pieces. They are pretty small, which makes them easy to move when the table is bumped, or send flying into another space while trying to move other pieces.

The look and feel of this game earns Nexus Ops 8 out of 10 Rubium.

Overall Score- 8 Rubium out of 10

Final word- If you like a light war-game with lots of bits and some dice rolling, you might find yourself a winner here. The game is very colorful and fun for 2-4 players and is suitable for a wide age range.
 
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Andy K.
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Jormi_Boced wrote:


After every contested space has had one battle occur, the player may collect Rubium for each mine that he or she controls. A player controls a space if he or she has the only units on that hex.



Just want to clarify that in order to gain Rubium, you must have a mining-capable unit in an uncontested space with a mine token. The mining-capable units are Humans, Fungoids, and Crystallines.
 
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Michael Jordal
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Yeah, I didn't cover every rules instance in my review.
 
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Carla Harper
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Thanks for the informative review. I've been resisting the urge to buy this game for a while, but I think I've lost my resolve. Gummi aliens, here I come.
 
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Michael Jordal
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She-Wolf wrote:
Thanks for the informative review. I've been resisting the urge to buy this game for a while, but I think I've lost my resolve. Gummi aliens, here I come.


I am pretty sure you won't be dissapointed.
 
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