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Subject: Fantasy Frontier Is A Bit Of A Lead Balloon rss

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Jeff
Canada
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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We're forced to bed, but we're free to dream. -Gift Shop: The Tragically Hip
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In Fantasy Frontier players control Zeppelin-type airships that fly around the world in an attempt to find resources, use them to build settlements, and generally score points.

It is a worker placement game. A flawed worker placement game at that. Each Zeppelin has some special power. The special power will make your Zeppelin a little better at fighting other Zeppelins, or at moving, etc. Each player also gets a crew of five to use. So, on a player's turn they are going to assign their five crew to various stations on their Zeppelin, which is depicted on individual player boards. They may also interact with the ever growing world (as more of it is explored). The world is created by drawing hex tiles from a bag, and placing them out into the centre of the table. Then the active player takes the actions they selected and play moves to the next person. But because you do everything on your turn from placing your workers to taking the actions, the workers really aren't necessary. You might just as well say the 5 things your going to do and be done. It would make much more sense, as a worker placement, if all players place their workers secretly behind a screen first, then simultaneously reveal, then do their actions in turn order. I mean, in real life I wouldn't know what other crews are doing on other ships, nor would they know what was going on in my ship. However, the way the game works is I see what another player is going to do, I see them do it, then I can adjust my strategy as needed.

Another thing that just doesn't sit right with me is one of the major ways of scoring. One of the actions you can take is to research. When you do that you take research cards. Most of these cards show a pattern of terrain types. If you can manipulate the board to have this matching pattern (or if this pattern just happens to come up) then you score points equal to the number shown on the card. Why? I don't get it. It just seems thrown in. There's enough going on in Fantasy Frontier already. You have to discover the world, find resources, turn those resources into cities, fight off your opponents...and make patterns in the topography? Maybe just me, but it doesn't sit right.

After saying all that I wouldn't call Fantasy Frontier terrible. There are some neat ideas here. Flying a Zeppelin around the ever expanding world is cool. Sending your workers down on "away missions" is fun too. I can't recommend purchasing the game however. Play it, sure, but let someone else buy it.
 
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