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Bryce K. Nielsen
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It really is the best tactical miniature game out. I would differ on the 2 player only though. I've played a couple 4 player SAGS and they play just as fantastic as the 2 player ones.

-shnar
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Henrythesecond
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Well said, Jacob.

As you mention, I would never part with the game. It's simply just too special, too unique, too...awesome.

However, it sits at the bottom of my shelves, not quite in view, but never hidden away either. It's presence is brooding, and every so often, like a deliciously dark secret, I'll pull it out, lift the lid and smile a knowing smile to myself. Magnificent.

From the amazing array of mechanics, to the moderately well-painted figures (I'm no Picasso), to the dozens and dozens of tiles, markers and dice, the game just dares you to set up a small scenario. Just a small one, no need to go crazy...but when you start feverishly fingering the components, you realise that a small setup just isn't going to cut it. You NEED to luxuriate in the sea of options available in the box, otherwise you feel you're cheating yourself out of a good time. And then you realise you're still sat on the floor, with the game spread all around you, and the rulebook open on your lap - and you've already spent an hour of your precious gaming time...

I agree with just about everything you say Jacob, but for me Earth Reborn's brilliance - the varied mechanics, the options, the sheer possibilities - are also it's Achilles heel. I own a lot of games, across the entire range of the complexity scale, but Earth Reborn's rules just don't 'stick' with me. Consequently, I feel I have to re-learn it every time I play it, and THAT's a big investment in time. As you say, I'm convinced if someone could get a hold of it and rewrite the rules in a cleaner, less verbose style, Earth Reborn would gain a new lease of life and perhaps claim it's rightful place as one of the best miniatures boardgames of all time.
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John Di Ponio
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I have had a love/hate relationship with this game. I loved it at the start and then became frustrated and traded it away only to have it come back to me in a large trade like a farm club lefty that is attached to a blockbuster allstar trade. I love the game in what it has to offer but I can't get people to sit down and play it. You have to have a dedicated person to play the game with. They all get scared by the bright colors and character cards with tons of info on them.

So, to solve my little dilemma, my oldest is getting his own copy for Christmas this year!! That way i will have someone to play the game with. I did the same last year with Myth for my two oldest boys and it seemed to work out well. Dear old Dad gets to have boy time with kids he misses!!!!
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A Brave New Geek
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Great review.

I love this game though unfortunately would never get the mileage out of it. IF i had this in the my wasted college years it would have been brilliant.
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Con Sequence
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Wow Henry, you just posted as I wanted to say that I love the rules. I indeed think they are the best rules I own.

I do not love them for being short since they are not and I could do without some scenarios. But I love them because they actually stick in my mind (in contrast to your experience) and I love them for covering nearly every single bit of rules question I had up to now and I also love them for the birlliant introduction.
I am very thankful for a game buddy of mine who re-introduced me in the game a while ago since it was in the state you described for 1 or 2 years before. He did the rule work on his own which is a huge benefit since it is a lot easier to follow (and discuss) all those rules and this experience.

The most brilliant thing beyond the rules is that all the mechanics seem to fit the theme and to feel thematically correct. And all this while Earth Reborn is a game opening 3 million crazy options every turn with at least 1 million reasonable in some way.

Thanks for this thread. Liked the read!
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Alexander
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Great review

Yeah, ER is indeed an extremely awesome, tactical miniatures game and the best I've played at least, that's for sure.

I would so love for this to get at least one expansion. The most necessary things I would like to have are more characters (maybe also some alternative cards for the existing chars), more interesting rooms to interact with, and more missions that go along with that. I would however not necessarily need more rules, although I would not mind them, if they feel right.
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Einmal ist keinmal
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The good thing about Franck Einstein and Cherokee Bill is that they are relatively cheap for their abilities (likely due to their weaknesses). And there's a nifty Salemite VP card for killing one of the traitors.
devil

An easy defense for Franck (although you might find it scripted) is (in SAGS, at least) for the Salemite player to equip Franck with one of the Smoke Grenade item cards. For those who aren't familiar with the game, Vasquez can only seduce Franck with line of sight. If Franck drops smoke grenades* before she approaches (make sure to bid high if you need to interrupt!), she can't seduce him**. He is strong enough without a weapon to then be able to pound her to a pulp. The threat of this situation, alone, is usually enough of a deterrent for the NORAD player to keep her well away from F. Einstein.

* The item card comes with 3 such grenades, each of which lasts for 2 game turns.
** The smoke grenades also prevent any ranged attacks on Franck as an added bonus.
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Dandelion
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your first few para's described my experience exactly. Unboxed it, "WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?" the garish colors, terrible rules, and crazy design had me selling it within 3 weeks.

And I like 'fight to the death' games. I just stuck with Tannhauser, which for all its flaws, is a much much more accessible game.

You have to seduce others to play with you, too, you know...
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Marc Conrad
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Great review! I love Earth Reborn and agree that it has a few hurdles to jump over before you can enjoy all of its awesomeness. It's worthwhile though.

My biggest gripe was the setup time because of the puzzle piece board design and putting all of those pieces away back into the box. But, some bright cat here on BGG,
Jimmy CHAN
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Tseung Kwan O
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uploaded files that you can download to print already assembled playing boards for all of the booklet scenarios. Those were real time savers. Thanks.

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ANDRES PALACIOS
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I have played this game a couple of time with 4 players, and it works great for me, actually I think there is more replay ability value with 4 players because you are not limit to choose only one faction.
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Dennis Gadgaard
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HenryTheSecond wrote:
I'm convinced if someone could get a hold of it and rewrite the rules in a cleaner, less verbose style, Earth Reborn would gain a new lease of life and perhaps claim it's rightful place as one of the best miniatures boardgames of all time.


Did you mean anything like this?

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/67544/universal-head-eart...
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Henrythesecond
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DenGad wrote:
HenryTheSecond wrote:
I'm convinced if someone could get a hold of it and rewrite the rules in a cleaner, less verbose style, Earth Reborn would gain a new lease of life and perhaps claim it's rightful place as one of the best miniatures boardgames of all time.


Did you mean anything like this?

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/67544/universal-head-eart...


Hey Dennis, yeah those Universal Head summaries are some good work. I think I've downloaded his files for most of the boardgames I have.

I was referring more to a re-write of the official rules contained in the box game. Just to make the new gamer better able to access the sheer awesomeness of ER right out of the box.
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Peter
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Savory Oliver wrote:
...terrible rules...

You have to seduce others to play with you, too, you know...


Terrible rules? I agree with the OP that they can be dense and some things are over-explained, yes. On the other hand, though, they are so comprehensive and thorough that, until now, I've never had to come to the BGG forum in need of clarification - which, for a game with that many interlocking mechanisms, is quite a feat. And if I have a doubt about a rule while playing, I know exactly where in the rules I can find the answer and it only takes a few seconds to look it up. That's how well it is structured.

Granted, 40 pages make for a (too) long rulebook and to split it up into a shortish Learn-to-Play guide and a comprehensive Rules Reference, like FFG did with Star Wars: Imperial Assault, would have been a better approach. Personally I don't mind long rule books, as long as the rules are clearly laid out, and in ER they are. I even enjoy the slow process of playing one learning scenario after the other, discovering the game step by step, adding more mechanisms and watching the options grow exponentially. But that's me, and I can understand that other people are more impatient and want to get to the full experience asap. But even if they streamlined the rulebook or split it up, ER is just not a game you learn within an hour (nor is SW:IA, and I don't see people complaining there, and you get 4 different books in that box).

Unless you have someone who teaches it to you - then you might actually learn it quite fast. Anyone who already has some experience in tactical skirmish games should be able to pick this up rather easily. The way the dice work is a bit special, the Order tiles as well, and the awesome Duel mechanism. Once you get these, the rest is easy. Also, there is no need to play all the learning scenarios. An experienced player might probably just as well go through all the rules and start playing with everything unlocked right away. And once you've worked through the rules, all you'll ever need again is UniversalHead's rules summary, as DenGad pointed out above. It's all there, on no more than 4 pages.

Setup also isn't really a big deal once you have the tiles sorted and stored properly - I'd say 10 minutes max. (for the scenarios).

As to seducing others... I admit, the bold mix of colors is certainly not the most attractive design choice. And ER does seem daunting with all its details. I mean, just look at the miniatures and their bases with different colors and varying partitions, it surely must be cumbersome using them in play, right? But then I read the first few pages in the rulebook about movement and close combat - and not only did I see that the underlying system is actually easy to grasp, effective and elegant, but that was also the point when ER had seduced me successfully. Such an awesome game.
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Jan Tuijp
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JonJacob wrote:
hugolefou wrote:
I know exactly where in the rules I can find the answer and it only takes a few seconds to look it up. That's how well it is structured.


I do think in places the rules are strange. Like how in the SAGS (bottom right of page 35) it says that when you lay a tile that has a Norad symbol on it and a +1 the Salemite players gains + 1 MP ... what? That is counter intuitive.


It may be counter intuitive, but I have yet to find a rule in ER that doesn't make sense when you think it through. Maybe Chris didn't over-explain some rules enough... cool

Quote:
Remember the 80's when you'd just play Panzer Blitz wrong for 10 years because the internet didn't exist yet? I'm still ok with that stuff so it doesn't bother me that much.


*shivers* O, yes... shake

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Peter
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Oh don't worry, you're doing a great job at telling how you feel about the game and/or how it makes you feel respectively. And that's also how I read your review. I actually prefer this kind of subjective reviews, they make for more interesting reading and usually have a stronger impact on my desire to try (or buy) a game than an objective analysis of all its mechanisms and their execution.

I agree that the floor tile cost indicators are misleading and counterintuitive. It actually makes me wonder if that might not be a printing mistake? But then again, I haven't played any SAGS yet, so I can't tell how it is justified that the NORAD player loses 1 MP when the Cemetary is placed (which seems like a double punishment for NORAD, since the 3 potential zombies that can be raised there should be a good thing for the Salemites).

And as to being unaware of playing games wrong, I only found out very recently that I had been playing Monopoly wrong for the longest time, that is without the auction rule. I was taught it that way as a kid in the 80's and have never bothered to actually read the rules by myself... shake
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Tim McCormley
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One of the best reviews I've ever read on this site. You clearly describe the reasons why some people have had difficulty getting into this game while explaining exactly why they need to get into this game.

This review is also extremely visceral, which is exactly the kind of review Earth Reborn deserves.

Very impressive.

Tim

P.S. But I disagree with you a bit on the rules. The scenario system probably did move too slowly, but the rules of play are absolutely amazing. It's never taken me more than 30 seconds to get a question answered, mostly because it has an amazing index.
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Tim McCormley
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Desiderata wrote:

An easy defense for Franck (although you might find it scripted) is (in SAGS, at least) for the Salemite player to equip Franck with one of the Smoke Grenade item cards.

Another defense is to select a lot of narrow corridors when you build the map. LOS is blocked by characters and enemy characters block movement. So you can often march the Salemites in single file with Frank somewhere in the middle. He can then run out from behind his friendlies at an opportune time and deal with Vasquez, er, "directly." If you can equip him with some claws to start, he has a decent chance of killing nearly anything in one full activation.

Tim
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Jan
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Jan Tuijp wrote:
JonJacob wrote:
hugolefou wrote:
I know exactly where in the rules I can find the answer and it only takes a few seconds to look it up. That's how well it is structured.


I do think in places the rules are strange. Like how in the SAGS (bottom right of page 35) it says that when you lay a tile that has a Norad symbol on it and a +1 the Salemite players gains + 1 MP ... what? That is counter intuitive.


It may be counter intuitive, but I have yet to find a rule in ER that doesn't make sense when you think it through. Maybe Chris didn't over-explain some rules enough... cool

Quote:
Remember the 80's when you'd just play Panzer Blitz wrong for 10 years because the internet didn't exist yet? I'm still ok with that stuff so it doesn't bother me that much.


*shivers* O, yes... shake



just to mind, on p35 there s an unfortunate misprint (1o5 in the whole).. upper left icon (out of six) reads as "Norad earns 1MP", and the one right below reads "salemite earns 1mp" ..same swap with a pair of "loses" icons with a "-"index.. hope it clears the stuff, at least we play it that way, it makes sense imho..
cheerz!
ER4EVER
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It's me, the fabulous
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Edit: this is a weirdly political review that I don't like and I'm just going to edit out what I said other than to say I don't want to read your weird politics in my board gaming review.

Obligatory Earth Reborn rules, best tactical game ever made, etc. etc. etc.
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It's me, the fabulous
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Oh, you quoted me before I removed what I wrote. Great. So I'm gonna explain myself a little better because I did a bad job.

I think this is a bizarre review that brings up "feminism" and "feminist" for no reason whatsoever in a context where it's absolutely not necessary (more on that in a second). Like it just confused me why you were saying this, I freely admit I don't "get" your intentions or what you're trying to do here with repeated shoehorned references to "making feminists angry" over and over again in a context that doesn't matter at all. It's weird.

It's weird because Earth Reborn is not intrinsically a game about women or gender or discrimination at all. The Salemites have a ruthless Ice Queen style brawler and nerd scientist and Norad has a babe sniper and impossibly handsome Pretty Boy general and they all kick ass and can easily hold their own on the battlefield. Their gender is not an issue beyond aesthetics. And speaking of those aesthetics, I can totally see the game having a gay character who chases around Nick Bolter, or a character in a wheelchair (covered in guns) or something else ridiculous, because it's that kind of game, the kind of game where the theme is cheerfully insane and chaos reigns. And I could totally understand a pro- or anti-torture critique (because that's actually a subject that the game tackles) but the weird feminist stuff? Really?

The number of thumbs on this review tells me that it has value for others posters, and that's good. But this is honestly the strangest review on BGG that I've read in a while, with some criticisms that I don't particularly get (badly explained rules) and an ideological stance passive-aggressively forced into it. So much so that I felt compelled to comment on it, then changed my mind because this is a touchy subject for most people. But now it's been quoted and I'm sure people are gonna get pissed. Such is life.
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It's me, the fabulous
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Nah, I don't want to see how the magician does his trick.
 
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Sharp Hawk
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To argue, of course.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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No, to dissent. Disagree != Argue. The exact same question could be said to those who agree, why engage in the thread in the first place? I liked what he had to say, but I disagreed on the 2 player only comment, and so made the comment. In fact, I'm much more likely *to* comment if I disagree with something than if I 100% agree with it. It's the whole point of posting something in a public forum!

-shnar
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Beorne
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Good review, apart I too consider the rulebook almost perfect.
The setup time imho is its only serious drawback.
I can't understand why the author does not support anymore this unique work of art.
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Dennis Gadgaard
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Beorne wrote:
Good review, apart I too consider the rulebook almost perfect.
The setup time imho is its only serious drawback.
I can't understand why the author does not support anymore this unique work of art.


Old timed setup stats:

Scenario 1 - 6:20
Scenario 2 - 5:00
Scenario 3 - 4:02
Scenario 4 - 6:25

So many games take way longer than that to set up. I really don't see this as a serious drawback. Maybe it's just me.
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