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Clifford Jones
United States
New York City
New York
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I'd like to review Migration Books I & II (Kickstarter edition), since it looks like there is only one other review.

First of all, this is one of my favorite games of all time. I've only played Migration with two players. After some thought, I don't think I can predict whether the game will be better or worse with more players.

Gameplay:

Some of the movement mechanics are reminiscent of both Hive and Neuroshima Hex because pieces have different special powers and they affect the pieces around them. It also is very heavy on abstract strategy.

However Migration it is a much better game than Hive because of a game mechanic that eliminates analysis paralysis without adding randomness. In Migration, you secretly select which pieces you will use before the start of game play. These pieces aren't revealed until the turn when you play them. Because you don't know which pieces your opponent has selected, analysis paralysis is greatly diminished. In addition, if you play with the same people again and again, you can try to anticipate their strategies and choose pieces to counter them....this keeps the game really interesting over time.

I choose to play the variant without Age Cards because I enjoy games without randomness. I recognize that randomness can sometimes be useful at limiting analysis paralysis in games, but the hidden piece selection mechanic already limits analysis paralysis.

Gameplay is always fresh (and I have dozens of plays) because:
- The the board is modular and different every time
- Before each game everyone can agree to exclude certain types of pieces from the game for a different twist.
- Your strategy must continue to evolve as your opponents' strategies evolve.

There is a slight imbalance due to which player goes first. That was mostly solved through a rule change that occurred during play-testing, and you can always do multiple rounds to make it more fair if need-be. There is more discussion of the imbalance here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1162836/playtesting-feedback

Rule-book:


Frankly, the rule book could be more clear at times, however if you read on the forums you'll clear-up any questions you may have.

Components:

The artwork is amazing and the components are very high quality. The box is a bit too small for the pieces.

Also, you'll need screens to hide your pieces from your opponents, because they are round and therefore don't do so well stood up on their edge.

Theme:


This is an abstract strategy game, so the theme isn't going to be as strong as it is in war games. However I feel like when compared to other abstract strategy games, the theme is done especially well, and is well connected to the artwork and the "story" of the rule-book.

Closing Thoughts:

As I'm writing this post, I can see that the most recent post in this forum was more than 4 months ago. This is sad because Migration really has the potential to be the sort of living game (kind of like Neuroshima Hex) where the community keeps coming up with new types of pieces and variants. It felt like things were moving in that direction when a lot of us were providing feedback and play-testing during the Kickstarter campaign, but that activity fizzled out during the long wait to receive the game.
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Felix Lastname
Germany
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I only got to play my copy rather recently (3-player), and it was great experience. But then, I love NHex and Hive to pieces, so this is a really good fit.
But how many copies were even produced? I have a sense this game never really got the exposure it deserved.

(edit for spelling)
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Raithyn
United States
Tennessee
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Two player is great, but once you experience a game with all four colors and both books, it's hard to go back. Moves are no longer zero-sum and it's rare to be able to predict all three other players' moves for the next round.
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Clifford Jones
United States
New York City
New York
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I actually really like zero-sum games as well as those where you have to try to predict the other player's moves. I'm looking forward to trying it with more players to experience the type of gameplay experience you describe.
raithyn wrote:
Two player is great, but once you experience a game with all four colors and both books, it's hard to go back. Moves are no longer zero-sum and it's rare to be able to predict all three other players' moves for the next round.
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Danny Mack
United States
Santa Fe Springs
California
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Againsto wrote:
How many copies were even produced? I have a sense this game never really got the exposure it deserved.

Looking at the BGG stats (A 7.15 rating with only 130 owners? and only 14 Wishlisters?--you've gotta be kidding me!) I have to agree with your assessment. It's criminal how underexposed this game has been thus far.
I guess it's up to us 130 Explorers...
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