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1066, Tears To Many Mothers» Forums » General

Subject: Reaction after first game (an epic win for Harold) rss

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Faldum Faldum
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This is my initial reaction to the game, which I’ll try to come back to once I’ve played it a few more times. So I’ve only played the game once, but I loved that and am looking forward to playing it again.

The concept
I loved it on paper: Historical, asymmetrical, shuffle and play.

The rules
The rulebook could be clearer, though the mechanisms are simple enough and each card clearly explains what it does (an accomplishment, that). It might be that I simply found the flowery font pretty but difficult to read, and that I’m comparing the current rules to those from a publisher, with a more designed layout that would include examples and images of what is being discussed.

The cards
Though it was print and play, I found the cards well-designed and good looking. The historical period is not one with which I’m particularly familiar, but I enjoyed the different units, the names and flavor text. It’s all very historically evocative.

The game
The event cards felt artificial at first, but in retrospect they do exactly what I imagine they were designed to do: 1) differentiate the way the two armies play 2) set up a first few rounds of cards on the wedges 3) offer yet more opportunity for flavor text and art. An added bonus, at least since we were discovering the game for the first time, was that the event cards allowed us to get our feet wet before facing off directly (though I realize that there isn’t anything that keeps us from immediately going at each other’s throats). We didn't quite know what we needed to be doing, apart from perhaps not letting ourselves become too outmatched in might and zeal on any given wedge, and I suspect with more plays this period becomes more strategic. (Prowler’s comments, for example, make me realize I haven’t thought it through enough.

It felt like I got off to a strong lead. But I played the Saxons, whose three-cards attrition I found brutal. It required me to play cannon fodder, yes, but worse it forces you to take the time to play expendable cards instead of something more forward-looking and useful. Between the attrition and my opponent getting a run of resource-rich cards (including a tactic card for 2 resources per turn — ouch!) I quickly felt myself slide into playing catchup. Still, I somehow managed to keep myself from being too exposed on two of the wedges while going aggressively for the third. My opponent made some unexpected (I thought poor) tactical choices, and to my surprise I was able to decisively take that wedge. But as my opponent marshaled his superior resources, I felt the endgame — and sure doom — approaching.
I held out, though, each round managing to stave off what seemed like inevitable loss. Indeed, I could do little to keep my opponent from taking the second wedge, and it came down to the final battle, our two leaders facing off opposite each other. I made one last charge, throwing everything I had into one final effort and (uselessly, I thought at the time) taking the initiative. It felt like my opponent was arrayed before me, taking his time to choose the most enjoyable way to defeat me. He made his play… our armies clashed… and were equal! First I was amazed I had survived (we tied), until we remembered that, in this case, the army with the initiative wins!
Against the odds, after all that, the Saxons won! Epic! We laughed and cheered.

So that’s the first reason I want to play it again: The story. We each felt we were building and playing out a story, one that had its ups and downs, heros and villains even, and for me one with a clear narrative — the underdog, fighting the odds. The second reason is the cards. We didn’t get through anywhere near our full decks (which the link above tells me was intentional). There were still more units and events to discover. The tactical if not strategic possibilities ought to be fun to explore. And finally, it was simple and easy to just pick up and go. Aside from cutting out the counters (we used pieces from another game), there’s no prep time. Just shuffle and get started. And I should add, I expect to get a better sense of some of the history with future plays, and that I'll ground and attach to something by reading 'out of game'.

I hope to get in a few plays with the same partner when we see each other this summer. I’ll report back if we have any insight worth reporting!
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Tristan Hall
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Gloom of Kilforth reprint Kickstarter Sept 29-Oct 31
Gloom of Kilforth reprint Kickstarter Sept 29-Oct 31
Excellent battle report Faldum.
It can obviously go either way, but those extra close finishes are what I love about this game. Your experience as someone coming to the game for the first time is going to mirror almost everyone else who picks the game up, and is therefore as valuable as a veteran's experiences - so thanks so much for sharing this. And I hope you get another chance to re-write history again this summer!
I'll have a look at making the manual clearer in the meantime and see if I can include some graphic examples too.
Have some GG. thumbsup
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