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Lords of Vegas: UP!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Fantastic Game of Muscle-flexing, Scheming, and Luck! rss

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Braden K
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Lords of Vegas has been our latest "rage" game (what I call those games that completely take over all other games for a certain amount of time and that I lay in bed devising new strategies to play better next time). It is an incredibly dynamic game of strategy, mind-games, muscle-flexing, scheming, and of course, luck! The uber-conservative will not win nor will the extremely aggressive. You need to find the right balance of each (which changes each game depending on who you play with and how the game plays out!) to pull off the elusive win.

The turn mechanics are very simple: Take over a new lot. Get paid by vacant lots you own. Get paid by casinos. Get points by being the boss. Take your actions. Done. Clean and simple, just how I like it. The money grossed is used to take one of four actions: 1. Building on a lot you own, 2. Sprawling onto a lot you don't own, 3. Remodeling (meaning changing the color of your casino), and 4. Reorganizing (meaning mixing up a casino's power structure!). Remodeling and reorganizing cause some very tense, even heated moments as you vie for control of ever-expanding casinos. I've bruised my fist many a time slamming it on the table when my hard-earned investment goes right out the window. But just as many times I've pumped my fist when a well-devised risk pays off massive dividends!

I am a reward-sensitive person, essentially meaning that my genes make me love the thrill of high risk/high return! This game is that outlet for me. There is a high risk/reward component that is a blast. Manage it well (as you would in Vegas!) and you'll find yourself at the top of the food chain. Mismanage the risk/reward paradox and you'll crash hard. Have an extra risk/reward itch to scratch? Once per turn, you can also straight up gamble at another boss's casino!

Favorite moment: when I own a single, hapless tile in a large casino and the two leaders are in a heated battle to become boss. One of them pays a fortune to reorg and guess who the lucky new boss is? Me! Hahahaha!

Most frustrating moment: when I'm one of the two leaders in the situation above.

The Up! expansion takes Lords of Vegas to a whole new level...literally. Instead of playing on just a flat plane, you build your casinos vertically to increase their returns, make them more difficult to be taken over, and paint a bigger target on your back! This expansion also allows for 6 players instead of 4.

Overall, this game is so much fun. It's relatively quick, simple in construct, has an incredibly high replay value, has a fantastic balance of strategy and luck, is completely consuming...and has an awesome game board with chips, dice, and cards! Tell me, what more could you ask for? I give it an extremely high 9 out of 10.
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Bruce Bacher
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I've read people complaining about LoV being too luck-based. But, on the contrary, I feel there's just enough luck to give it a great balance between strategy and tactics. Your well-planned strategy just blew up in your face? It's time to think fast and run with it!
 
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Braden K
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I completely agree! If your strategy is the baseline and luck is the variable, luck in LoV definitely has very wide swings back and forth (more so than, say, Acquire where there is a tighter spread around your strategy). But yeah, if your luck changes wildly, you just re-baseline your strategy! =-)
 
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Moe45673
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Indeed. While I love heavy math-based games, I hate AP-ing; I get impatient when even I take too long! Lots of times, I'll go with my gut and the best I can math something out in a fairly short time, which doesn't always lead to a win but keeps the game moving and fun (there's also diminishing returns about length of time increasing while agonizing over a move).

If you like to math every move out and dislike adjusting your baseling, you'll likely run into situations where the luck will screw you. If you stay fluid, go with your gut, and negotiate shrewdly, you'll love this game for what it is. And boy, I love this game for what it is.

Having said all that, base game with 4 players is the best way to play. The Up expansion simply makes the game work (a bit more clunky) with 5-6 players. I still love it with that number, though!


 
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