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Subject: Chaos in the Older World, Cyclades, Kemet, or... Imperial Assault rss

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Jamie Pollock
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Hi,

I had my eye on the first three in particular - CitOW, Cyclades or Kemet - and would like to hear peoples thoughts on which might be the better game?

I'm looking for a 3 to 4 player game, ideally around the 2 hour mark to play, and the gaming group tends to like conflict as opposed to drier Euros. Each of the three listed seem to have some value in this bracket, with some notable pros and cons e.g.:

*Various reviews have hinted that Cyclades becomes much better with Titans, which if so, means quite an expensive purchase!
*The CitOW expansion seems to have garnered some mixed reviews - probably no biggie
*The theme of CitOW has drawn some raised eyebrows though personally I don't think this would bother our group
*Kemet I don't know much about, other than it's the sister game to Cyclades and has often been talked about as a comparison

Then there's Imperial Assault which came in as an afterthought. It looks quite cool, if a little modular, and I'd probably prefer a more self contained game rather than the constant feeling of pressure to purchase expansion after expansion. It's also quite pricey.

So, any thoughts or advice?
 
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chris thatcher
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I personally like Cyclades best (with the Hades expansion).

Kemet is also very good, more combat orientated than Cyclades.

Only played Citow once, thought it was ok, but prefer Cyclades and Kemet.

If your group wants conflict, go for Kemet.
 
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Korneel Troch
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I think the most appropriate for your gaming group would be this order:

1. Kemet
2. Chaos in the Old World
3. Cyclades
4. Imperial Assault
 
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Claudio Hornblower
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Maybe Kemet as they say. CitW is more than just conflict, it's a weird (good) mix of powers and variable victory conditions: player counts is a bit strict if you want to enjoy it fully, in my experience.

What about Nexus Ops, it's a pretty straight dudes on map fighting.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Jambo wrote:
Then there's Imperial Assault which came in as an afterthought. It looks quite cool, if a little modular, and I'd probably prefer a more self contained game
Imperial Assault is a self-contained game. You don't need extras to play. You can easily get 3-4 campaigns from the core game without adding any expansions. There are 30 missions in the core box, and in a campaign you play 11 to 14, each one to three hours depending on the mission and your group. So you'll get close to 100 hours of gameplay out of it.

Some missions (especially story missions, which are selected by the previous story mission result) you may play again in another campaign, but they still play differently due to having different heroes (4 out of 6), different imperial deck (3 alternatives), different items and abilities purchased on both sides, thus different strategies, and you having learnt the game better. Side missions happen between story missions, so when each is available for the rebels will also change how they play.

The expansions add just a little more (one side mission or one agenda set) than the figures (to replace tokens) for the campaign. The expansions are more fun/necessary for people playing the skirmish mode or wanting something to paint (like me).
 
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Kris Phare
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I've previously owned all of these.

My gaming group is usually 4-5 guys who enjoy combat/conflict games and we play relatively regularly.

Cyclades - is a good game though definitely isn't conflict heavy, nor did I find it similar to Kemet (lots of discussion re this topic on here). I enjoyed it but didn't see much table time with my group so traded.

Kemet - initially a big hit with all the possible powers and creatures on offer. Found the end game became too similar once we worked it out, ie players would gang up on leader and a couple of turns later someone else would sneak a victory, even if they hadn't done much other than have attention directed at other players during the final rounds.

CitOW - Excellent game and my favourite amongst the games you've listed. Plenty of conflict but also many other paths to victory. The strength of this game may also be it's weakness depending on your group. This game shines when players have played enough with all Gods to know what their strategy will be, but also what they need to do to stop the other Gods. If your gaming group plays infrequently or likes lighter games then this one is probably better left until you think they're ready. It also seems like a game that is infinitely better with 4 players over anything else. Horned Rat expansion fell flat with us too, again plenty of discussion around that.

Imperial Assault - a bit different to the other 3 in that it's got the coop element. Have only played this a few times but it's getting better with each play (and most of my group are big Star Wars fans).


It really depends on your group, if you're only playing every now and then and want something you can pick up and play with variable player counts then go Cyclades or Kemet. If you think you've got a core group of 4 that want something deeper then go CitOW. If you think they'll enjoy coop then go Imperial Assault.



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Angel Carrete
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I've owned all three games and I am a big dudes on map fan so here is my input.

Like people say, Cyclades is not really very combat oriented. I even owned the Titans expansion but I do not care that much for the expansion. Cyclades is better with less combat. I would prefer to play Kemet any day over Cyclades if I am looking for combat. Also, Cyclades is, in my opinion, unplayable with 3 when you add the Titans expansion. Every time I played it with three with the Titans expansion there was clearly a runaway leader. This has never happened with Kemet.

Kemet is one of my favorite games and is a blast to play. Combat throughout the whole game and almost no luck at all. It is a very fun game where the most skilled player normally wins. The expansion rules for the turn order fixes a common criticism about the game i.e., going last is super important.

CitOW is also extremely fun but you need 4-5 players and all players must be at the same skill level. I know I mentioned that the most skilled player typically wins in Kemet but if someone is not doing their part on CitOW then it is harder to control who wins e.g., if Nurgle does not try to stop Tzeench, then even if you are playing well Tzench is likely to win because you cannot stop him and Slaanesh at the same time.

Overall, if I think there is definitely room in my collection for all three (I sold CitOW because it was not hitting the table enough because of my current gaming group) but if I had to choose between just one game and I assume the game will hit the table very often, I would go for CitOW. Otherwise Kemet is way more accessible.

Imperial Assault I played it twice and I did not care too much for it. It could have been the players though.
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M M
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WarriorFan wrote:
I've previously owned all of these.

My gaming group is usually 4-5 guys who enjoy combat/conflict games and we play relatively regularly.

Cyclades - is a good game though definitely isn't conflict heavy, nor did I find it similar to Kemet (lots of discussion re this topic on here). I enjoyed it but didn't see much table time with my group so traded.

Kemet - initially a big hit with all the possible powers and creatures on offer. Found the end game became too similar once we worked it out, ie players would gang up on leader and a couple of turns later someone else would sneak a victory, even if they hadn't done much other than have attention directed at other players during the final rounds.

CitOW - Excellent game and my favourite amongst the games you've listed. Plenty of conflict but also many other paths to victory. The strength of this game may also be it's weakness depending on your group. This game shines when players have played enough with all Gods to know what their strategy will be, but also what they need to do to stop the other Gods. If your gaming group plays infrequently or likes lighter games then this one is probably better left until you think they're ready. It also seems like a game that is infinitely better with 4 players over anything else. Horned Rat expansion fell flat with us too, again plenty of discussion around that.

Imperial Assault - a bit different to the other 3 in that it's got the coop element. Have only played this a few times but it's getting better with each play (and most of my group are big Star Wars fans).


It really depends on your group, if you're only playing every now and then and want something you can pick up and play with variable player counts then go Cyclades or Kemet. If you think you've got a core group of 4 that want something deeper then go CitOW. If you think they'll enjoy coop then go Imperial Assault.
I've played all of these except Imperial Assault but have played Descent 2e which is very similar. And I'd say this analysis is spot on correct.

I'd add why Cyclades is different than the rest. Really it's more of a euro feel. A lot of the game happens in the auction stage to enable or prevent the actions that someone wants to take. If they can't move their troops, they can't initiate combat. If they can't move their boats, they can't reach your island. So it's more about stonewalling conflict than it is about creating or winning it.

I'll also add that I wouldn't play CitOW with any number other than 4 unless you have the rat expansion where apparently 5 is enabled. But not 3. If that matters to you.

Also a consideration is Dune/updated variant, I forget the name.
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Douglas Fost
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Have you given any thought to Blood Rage, from what I've read it plays similarly to Kemet and CITOW.

It also plays well with 3 to 5 players and is very confrontational with lots of battles and player interaction.
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David Hoffman
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douglas fost wrote:
Have you given any thought to Blood Rage, from what I've read it plays similarly to Kemet and CITOW.

It also plays well with 3 to 5 players and is very confrontational with lots of battles and player interaction.
I was going to make this same suggestion. Also -- to head the next concern off at the pass -- it's very, very, very good without the Kickstarter extras (though you could pick up the gods and mystics and a 5-player pack later, if you were so inclined -- none of them are necessary, however, IMO.)
 
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Peter Bowie
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Cthulhu Wars is my favourite skirmish game. Well worth the price. I don't even care about the (admittedly impressive) models, the gameplay is just rock solid.

Failing that, Kemet. It has a pretty fun skill tree. Cyclades is more dry, most of the action is auction-derived (Titans adds most of the combat). I find CitOW clunky, fiddly and kinda bland looking - it also has a ton of luck in it, from dice rolls to card draws. I believe Imperial Assault is only a skirmish game with 2 players, otherwise it's D&D-style campaign.

What is Blood Rage like? I was turned off since the theme doesn't appeal and I'm not a fan of the designer.
 
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Dani Evans
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They are all excellent and you'll probably be happy with any of them. That said...

If you want a game that you can play regularly with an experienced group, CitOW is excellent, and with four is very well balanced without needing the expansion. It's quite a deep game though, and most rewarding when all of the players are experienced. It does use dice for combat, which can make or break it for some people.

Kemet is lighter and more flexible, so you can try different strategies and play around a lot more than CitOW. It's much fightier and you'll be constantly attacking each other right from the start, plus with the tighter map design, all of the players will be within reach of everyone else - it's a knife fight in a phone box. Combat is card driven, which is pleasing and opens up some more strategies, but many people are put off by the turn-order rules, whereby the player in last place chooses the turn order. Personally I like it as it gives you a choice between holding back but controlling the pace, or lunging forward and trying to hit the victory mark before your friends realise and drag you back.

Cyclades is a much drier, more cerebral affair and not that suitable for a combat oriented group, but you might find screwing each other over on the Gods auction to be as much fun as screwing each other over on the board. I've not played Titans but I hear it makes for a more aggressive game.

Blood Rage is built along the same lines as CitOW and is much streamlined. It's far easier to get into and has a lot more direct interaction that CitOW, but is less rewarding overall I think. If you'll be playing your new game on a weekly basis, I think BR is the one that will run out of steam the soonest. I *do* think it's a great game, but so are all of these games and BR doesn't have the same depth as the others (which is to be expected when you streamline a more complex design).

The other game that is often mentioned in the same breath as all of the above is Forbidden Stars. This probably runs too long for your group (3-5 hours, depending on your experience), but is a very rewarding dudes-on-a-map experience. Lots of depth, strategy and variety, with an interesting (if slightly cumbersome) combat system.

Finally, my outside bet would be Quantum, which is a fab little dice based space-conquest game. It plays quickly, has a number of viable strategies and always feels different. It doesn't have minis though and is far more abstract in feel, so might not be to your tastes.
 
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T C
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I really like Kemet, but you might also consider Blood Rage, which is made by the designer of Chaos in the Old World and has some similar mechanics. I think it's easier for players to learn since every faction starts the same and customizes it's strategy by drafting cards during the game. The draft and randomization of the board make every game different and the mini-expansions further increase the uniqueness of each replay.

Cthulhu Wars is great and you can order the expansions right now on kickstarter, but it is expensive. The models are huge though so you do get your money's worth in quality components.
 
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Lawrence
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Kemet is a great game that brings a lot of tension to each session. That said, while Kemet is a bit more strategic, Blood Rage does a better job of creating tension and forcing conflict.

I wrote a Blood Rage review with some thoughts vs. Kemet (2nd to last section towards the bottom): FOR GLORY AND VALHALLA!! - A Blood Rage Review
 
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A P
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Chaos in the Old World is superior (by a good amount) to the others based on my experience. As a previous poster mentioned, Blood Rage would be a good one to add to the mix. It shares some similarity with Chaos in the Old World but plays faster and has more stream lined game play. That said, I think CitOW is more epic than Blood Rage.
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Jamie Pollock
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Thanks everybody for all the recommendations and comments. I ended up going with Kemet and have since played it with 3 and then 2 players. I don't regret the purchase, it was a lot of fun.
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Pas L
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Oh no, I'm too late to save you.

Glad you enjoy Kemet, and I hope you continue to do so.

I personally don't enjoy it, and don't think it's that great a game with much longevity. I also don't think it's much (at all) of a area/war game, and more of a Euro take-that.

However ultimately if you're having fun that's all that matters.
 
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Kemet
Chaos
Cyclades
Imperial Assault

from best to worst for me. I think Kemet is the most scalable and balanced/fair without egregious faults while being fair. I think Chaos is pretty balanced but it only works at 4P exactly. Cyclades has pretty big problems with Attack the Leader and Pegasus, moreso than Kemet from what I've played. Imperial Assault is a different kind of game but bored me more than the others. The tactical combat and downtime annoyed me.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
Imperial Assault is a different kind of game but bored me more than the others. The tactical combat and downtime annoyed me.
What downtime? Didn't you have any opinions on how the heroes should proceed?
 
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Jamie Pollock
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lamaros wrote:
Oh no, I'm too late to save you.

Glad you enjoy Kemet, and I hope you continue to do so.

I personally don't enjoy it, and don't think it's that great a game with much longevity. I also don't think it's much (at all) of a area/war game, and more of a Euro take-that.

However ultimately if you're having fun that's all that matters.
HAh!

To your point though, I suppose the Kemet expansion could help tackle some of your concerns regarding longevity? It's adds black tiles, and the extra Ta-Seti path amongst other things.
 
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