Jayson Myers
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...



Conclusion:

Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident is not my normal type of game. I would love to be able to play a game like this, but this just didn't have mechanics that I enjoyed. Too many charts, dice tables and too much random rolling the dice. You roll dice to bring aliens out on the board. In my first game for the first 4 rounds I never got an alien on the board. It was too easy and too boring. The opposite can happen where you get over run.

This game has a lot of rules and the rule book doesn't help you much. The rules are all there, but there are a ton of little rules. I understand this isn't an Euro game, but the game could have used some streamlining and maybe a little more direction on what to do. So much is also reliant on a 6 sided die roll that luck plays a huge factor in this game. Too much for my taste, but others may enjoy this game a lot.

I've said some negatives about this game, but I'm not hating on it. This is a fine game that I would recommend to fans of "Aliens" the movie. You do get the feeling of doom like you do watching that movie. The aliens are coming, they are nasty, and they love the taste of your blood. The decisions are a little straight forward, but the story that comes through is awesome. After you play a game you will have a story to tell that is epic and fun.

This is a fun little game, but a little dated. This is a game from another era. This is a game out of the genre that I normally play. This game needs a good player aid. You need to just work through the game until it becomes second nature. Sit back and enjoy the story that is unfolding in front of your eyes. I would recommend playing this game a few times before giving up on it. This game could easily be pimped out to include better components. All in all, a fine game that many will enjoy. It is mainly a solo experience which is nice for us solo gamers out there.


Purge.




Components:

This game feels and looks like more like a war game than any Euro game I am used to playing. You get a paper mat that is cut into different sections of this ship and to be honest is pretty tough to read and use. I wasn't sure where the elevators came and went and had to go to a video online for help. There are a ton of small chits with icons on them that are never explained in the rule book. The whole component package has a war game feel to it.

To be 100% honest and up front, this may be a print and play edition. I think the components are very similar to any "official" version on the market. I've read online that there may be different versions of this game so do your research before buying the game.




Rule Book:

Color/B/W: Color

Pictures of components: Yes

Picture of game set up: Yes

Pictures included: Yes

Example of playing the game: Yes

How long to read the book: 1 hour and likely multiple times

Player Aid: No

The rules are not written well in my opinion. They are not great. There is some help on the web that might push you closer to playing. The game isn't hard to understand there are just a lot of rules. There are charts and dice tables. War gamers will have zero problems. As for us Euro gamers, this will be new for us. The rule book doesn't help that transition either.



Flow of the Game:

Goal of the Game:

The goal of the game is find all the crewmen and get off the ship that is going to blow up. I felt like what exactly you are trying to do was not properly explained. This was a huge flaw in the game to me.

How it plays:

Players will rush around the board fighting aliens and looking for crewmen (and items) and then rush off the board to score points and win the game. The game is a little complicated so as the game progresses players will learn the game better and better.

Turn of the Game:

1. Human Phase:

This is going to be your main movement and take actions phase. You can move, fight, search, pick up items, carry down marines, etc. This is where you do what you need to do to win the game.

At the start of this phase you will choose whether this is a explore or combat turn. Explore allows you take more actions where in combat mode you get one, but you only get a certain number of explore actions. There are some situations where you don't have a choice and you must choose the combat mode.

I'm going to make a list of everything you can do in this mode. Instead, mostly I will state you will move and fight in this section. This is a very complicated portion of the game as there are quite a few things you can do.

2. Alien Phase -

This is the phase where the aliens will move and attack. If there are any humans off alone, then you roll a die to see if they are abducted. Then, the aliens move in a described initiative order to move and attack the human players.

3. Orbit Phase (only if explore was chosen in Phase 1) -

The game timer is moved one space. And then the humans make take one action from a select few: move, use robot, heal, repair, examine, etc. This is just a little extra time to do things since you are in the explore mode.

4. Discovery Phase -

You will roll dice to see what happens. There are three possible scenarios:

a. moved into new room - full discovery phase

b. reenter room already explored - ambush only actions

c. human in room last turn - nothing happens

This is the phase where aliens, the crew you are looking for, robots, items enter the game. This is how things will enter the board and increase the hurt on your good marines. This is going to heavily use charts and you will be drawing random chits from a bag.





Should I buy this game?:

This is for adults only. This is a rules heavy game or at least for me. This is not for the faint of heart. This will take a little work to jump into and it is a solo game (can be played with more players as a cooperative game). This is more for that Euro player who wants to try a "war type" game. Hardcore war gamers may like this for something lighter.

Purge.


*The images posted with this review are not mine and are images I found on BGG. If you click on the image, you can see who posted it to BGG.
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Franco
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Re: The Purge: # 844 Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident: A different game for me and an "old school" game
I get where you're coming from. But I do love this game.

... Those initial rounds without an alien attack are awesome. Much like the movies. The dread. You know something bad is going to happen soon.
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George Pattison
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Re: The Purge: # 844 Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident: A different game for me and an "old school" game
I also get where you're coming from, but I disagree with some of it.

After playing somewhere around 78 logged games, my point of view is a little different.

As far as the brevity and clarity of the rules are concerned, I am not really sure that this game benefited from the rules reorganization that the Kickstarter 2nd edition brought. The 1st edition rules were organized more by concept than by phase which is what the 2 edition tried to do. In the process, I found the 2nd edition rule book to be a little more disjointed, and I really wondered whether that approach was warranted. The rules are all there from the 1st edition, but I think those little nuance rules that wind up hanging people up are buried a little deeper. In the process, I think that some of the deficiencies in organization forced on the designers by the limitation of the first edition publishing costs were not rectified.

How much of role luck plays is not really that great. I have games where there is no other conclusion that luck stole your victory away most of the time, this game is not one of those. The randomness in this game makes the situation extremely fluid most certainly, but a great deal of that randomness has boundaries that are quantifiable which can be overcome by efficient planning and flexible execution.

While the randomness can make the game a bit uneven in the nonstop action department, this is a game of big pictures some of which only appear with experience. For instance, a new player might be thinking, "geez, four turns and nothing. This is too easy and boring." The more experienced player is going to be thinking, "crap, if this continues, I am going to have to expand the area of my search by going to single marine room clears, so I can clear more locations in the same amount of time just to have a decent chance at finding enough of these missing crewmen to win. I hope the 'ring stop' doesn't hop out of the bag, or I could be looking at abductions. And, I could lose a sixth of my available weapons to panic fire jams alone. Or, I could stay a couple turns longer than I planned and search a few more locations; but if the Feynman reenters early, I could have difficulties getting to an exit before the ship breaks up."
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Dean
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Re: The Purge: # 844 Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident: A different game for me and an "old school" game
Purged this too a while ago, mostly due to the points you mentioned.
I notice that many of the older generation solitaire only games haven't aged very well.
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Martin Gallo
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Re: The Purge: # 844 Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident: A different game for me and an "old school" game
Maybe I am just an old guy but I really enjoy the game. I had a minor flood in the basement and lost three games. This was the first one I replaced.
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Ryan
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Re: The Purge: # 844 Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident: A different game for me and an "old school" game
In regard to your opinion on the rules: I largely agree. I don't think the rulebook presents the necessary content in an approachable manner. The game is simpler than the rules imply. I agree that many players will need to read the rule book several times, with additional frequent referencing during the first games to get a handle on the game.

In regard to your comments on the components, there are multiple editions. Even within the Kickstarter edition, you'll find different options allowing for different sized maps, map medium, counters versus blocks, color versus black & white, old versus new art, or polybag versus box. I wouldn't judge too harshly on the quality of the components as they range from simple and utilitarian to very nicely produced. The wide range of components available is a good thing because it gives the consumer options. My edition is gorgeous to look at and play with.

I think this is a very well done game whose mechanics have stood the test of time. It presents relentless tension, requires sound decision making, and offers what I feel to be a strong but surmountable challenge. You'll have a bad run of luck here and there, but I think victory is often within grasp of the player who understands the game.

Unfortunately, this game has a higher barrier to entry than it should, and will understandably be off-putting for some. The rules are largely responsible for this, but the mechanics described in the review are also unique and may be hard to comprehend initially. But if the theme is appealing and the player has the patience to devote a few hours to patient learning the reward should be there in the long run.

The analogy to the mood of the movie Aliens is apt.
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Neal Sofge
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Re: The Purge: # 844 Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident: A different game for me and an "old school" game
Just to make things clear, there is no "print and play" edition. There are two editions: the Fat Messiah Games original "micro game" or "pocket game" edition (which I published) and the Print & Play Productions edition, which is what you have.

Admittedly, the latter edition came in several versions, which is where some of the confusion comes from. They differ in component size and quality only. There is also a Print & Play Productions "classic" version, which is simply a reprint of the FMG edition with errata folded into the rulebook.

As for it being wargame-like, I wholeheartedly agree. This is a design from an era when almost all hobby games were wargame-like, the occasional exception like Arkham Horror sticking way out. The "microgame" format products were especially wargamey, and our attempts to nostalgically continue their legacy aped the design philosophy while trying to avoid the worst excesses of Avalon Hill/SPI-style rules formatting.
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Jayson Myers
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Re: The Purge: # 844 Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident: A different game for me and an "old school" game
loquitur wrote:
I get where you're coming from. But I do love this game.

... Those initial rounds without an alien attack are awesome. Much like the movies. The dread. You know something bad is going to happen soon.


Yes, dread. Also boring. I wanted to love this game so much. Instead, I sort of liked it. If I had played it when released, I think I would feel different.
 
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Re: The Purge: # 844 Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident: A different game for me and an "old school" game
Dancing Frog wrote:
I also get where you're coming from, but I disagree with some of it.

After playing somewhere around 78 logged games, my point of view is a little different.

As far as the brevity and clarity of the rules are concerned, I am not really sure that this game benefited from the rules reorganization that the Kickstarter 2nd edition brought. The 1st edition rules were organized more by concept than by phase which is what the 2 edition tried to do. In the process, I found the 2nd edition rule book to be a little more disjointed, and I really wondered whether that approach was warranted. The rules are all there from the 1st edition, but I think those little nuance rules that wind up hanging people up are buried a little deeper. In the process, I think that some of the deficiencies in organization forced on the designers by the limitation of the first edition publishing costs were not rectified.

How much of role luck plays is not really that great. I have games where there is no other conclusion that luck stole your victory away most of the time, this game is not one of those. The randomness in this game makes the situation extremely fluid most certainly, but a great deal of that randomness has boundaries that are quantifiable which can be overcome by efficient planning and flexible execution.

While the randomness can make the game a bit uneven in the nonstop action department, this is a game of big pictures some of which only appear with experience. For instance, a new player might be thinking, "geez, four turns and nothing. This is too easy and boring." The more experienced player is going to be thinking, "crap, if this continues, I am going to have to expand the area of my search by going to single marine room clears, so I can clear more locations in the same amount of time just to have a decent chance at finding enough of these missing crewmen to win. I hope the 'ring stop' doesn't hop out of the bag, or I could be looking at abductions. And, I could lose a sixth of my available weapons to panic fire jams alone. Or, I could stay a couple turns longer than I planned and search a few more locations; but if the Feynman reenters early, I could have difficulties getting to an exit before the ship breaks up."


I agree with all of this. Just wish it wasn't so rule heavy. It is one of those games that I never feel like I get the rules right for.
 
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