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Subject: Nexus Ops - Libertarian Monopoly TO THE EXTREME! rss

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Josef S
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In my junior year English Lit class, I was assigned to read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. I had also just managed to get a copy of Final Fantasy 7 for Playstation, so obviously I didn't get around to reading it. I did, however, get the Cliffs Notes, and pulled out a solid B+ on the essay. I'm quite certain Nexus Ops would be the only game on Ms. Rand's game shelf.

In Nexus Ops, you take command of one of four companies who were clearly last in line on "Evil Corporation Name Day" - Ares Inc, Black Helix Industries, The Galactic Syndicate, and Zyborg Technologies (the corporate motto for said companies is left to the imagination - I assume each are vying for the trademark on "Never leave a baby unpunched"). Free from even the most basic forms of government oversight, worker's safety regulations, and common sense, you blast off to fight for control of a fancy, sparkly rock called Rubium. To do so, you will strip mine natural landscapes, enslave the peaceful inhabitants to swell your ranks, and roll dice. Lots of dice.

This is Amerigaming at it's absolute zenith.

The game works like this: Troops are deployed in a map made of hex tiles, each depicting some form of nature. On those hexes "Exploration Tiles" will be placed which can represent mines (where you get money), wildlife (which you turn into killing machines, clearly enraging the Intergalactic SPCA), money/cards, or sometimes combinations of the aforementioned stuff. Deploy your troops, head out to explore, mine for resources which are collected at the end of the turn. This continues until through the natural progress of conquest you run into an opponent, and a battle breaks out.

Battles play out simply, but intuitively Each unit has a target number, which they must roll at or above to score a hit. An included battle board shows the units and their target numbers, and generally each involved player starts on the right and every unit of that type attacks simultaneously. Hits kill a unit, and the player suffering the damage chooses which piece to send to a extraterrestrial grave. Certain cards and creatures have abilities that can alter this flow, but this is the general way battles play out.

Victory is achieved not through destroying your enemy, as killed pieces are sent back to the player's supply, and can be redeployed later. Winning a battle nets a "Battle Victory" card, worth a victory point. Other cards can be cashed in when certain criteria are met, such as winning battles in a certain way, or controlling various parts of the board. The first player to 12 points wins.

With a theme and setting that is as violent as it is idiotic, mountains of little plastic pieces, dice rolls by the dozens, and angry space marines riding plasma breathing dragons, this game isn't going to appeal to everyone. Even with the theme and presentation, it sits in an odd place for light wargames - game length is only about an hour, and with victory being decided by points rather than elimination, hard American concepts are interrupted by a jarring European end game mechanic. The game CAN be won if all other players are cleared from the board and have their deployment zones held by an enemy, but this is very rare. All that being said, I cannot recommend this game enough.

Even though this will not be a universally adored game, it deserves a purchase, for three main reasons:

1. It's a light wargame that can be played by many types of people. Clearly this is not trying to compete with something like Axis and Allies. Much shorter and much simpler, the basic but workable mechanics mean it's accessibly to new players but offers enough strategy for advanced gamers.

2. It doesn't take itself too seriously. Space marines, fungus monsters, giant spiders, and dogs that play in lava. Playing it straight is a good time, but with the right group of people, hilarity will ensue.

3. It needs nothing further. No expansions have been released for this, and more than likely, none ever will. This is good. It doesn't need them. Yes, it is very light, but it is complete, and never feels like it's missing anything.

Nexus Ops is a solid light wargame, with just enough levity to mitigate the harsher aspects of wargames as a whole. Everything about the game, from the goofball non-story to the simple and efficient battle system works together to create a game that will see a lot of play.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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RoguesRefuge wrote:
In my junior year English Lit class, I was assigned to read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. I had also just managed to get a copy of Final Fantasy 7 for Playstation, so obviously I didn't get around to reading it. I did, however, get the Cliffs Notes, and pulled out a solid B+ on the essay. I'm quite certain Nexus Ops would be the only game on Ms. Rand's game shelf.

Sorry dude, but you lost me with that first paragraph. I may not be an acolyte of Ayn Rand, but I'm definitely an an acolyte of (and advocate for) reading. I see Cliffs Notes as emblematic of societal problems, a tool for those who are content to give the impression they know something, however superficial their actual knowledge may be.

Nexus Ops is a fine game; if you reached that conclusion in the rest of your review then we have that much in common.
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David desJardins
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I think CliffsNotes are an excellent way to learn everything you need to know about Atlas Shrugged. Good choice! You can use the time you saved to do something more worthwhile, like bowling.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I think CliffsNotes are an excellent way to learn everything you need to know about Atlas Shrugged. Good choice! You can use the time you saved to do something more worthwhile, like bowling.

I'd agree if it were casual reading, but not when a person is taking an English Lit class and supposedly studying the book. (That said, it's good to know I'm still high on your radar, David.)
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Josef S
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Thank you, David. You make the internet a better place, by your understanding of humor.
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RoguesRefuge wrote:
Thank you, David. You make the internet a better place, by your understanding of humor.

Preserved for the ages. When it comes to humor, David has few peers.
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Josef S
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Yay, I'm preserved. I feel like I just got a Tupperware hug.
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Peter Collins
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I think CliffsNotes are an excellent way to learn everything you need to know about Atlas Shrugged. Good choice! You can use the time you saved to do something more worthwhile, like bowling.


Or playing Nexus Ops. Apparently.
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Thom Goodsell
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Sphere wrote:
Nexus Ops is a fine game; if you reached that conclusion in the rest of your review then we have that much in common.


He did. The review was much too long to read, but I checked the Cliffs Notes. cool
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Josef S
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I feel like I've severely dated myself by referencing Cliffs Notes. Do they even make them anymore?

On a brighter note, my high school self would be proud his decision to forego indulging in a paperback cure for insomnia so he could save the Lifestream from the evil Sephiroth is cause for so much spirited discourse.
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Dan Lokemoen
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Sphere wrote:
I'm definitely an an acolyte of (and advocate for) reading.


Reading -- the pretentious version of watching TV.
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jumbit
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Damn, did a libertarian punch you in the nose and steal your lunch money or something?

I'm just wondering what makes it OK to inject completely irrelevant political discussion into a game review. It just came out of left field.
 
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Josef S
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It's my review.

I do what I want!
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jumbit
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RoguesRefuge wrote:
It's my review.

I do what I want!


I'm sorry you feel the need to be a gigantic ass in public. I clicked the red X to report this obviously political thread, but as it's still here I don't know what's happened.

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mateenyweeny
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Good idea jumbit, I just clicked the red x to report your post for a personal attack on OP.
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Aaron White
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I read the title expecting worse, but it was a very good review. Do not see any problems here, thanks for the review and Nexus Ops is one of my favourites.

One of my workmates has said if a book is any good they will make a movie of it and he can watch it then. I nearly always prefer the book.
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Antagonistic, insulting, or otherwise disruptive comments ARE NOT welcome here.

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Grant
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If I'd only taken more English Lit classes myself, I might be able to expound upon the irony contained in this post:


jumbit wrote:
RoguesRefuge wrote:
It's my review.

I do what I want!


I'm sorry you feel the need to be a gigantic ass in public. I clicked the red X to report this obviously political thread, but as it's still here I don't know what's happened.

Community Rules

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Use common courtesy
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(even when they don't deserve it)

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Following the spirit of these rules is at least as important as following the rules themselves.
The following are prohibited:
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Disruptive content, including but not limited to:
Trolling
Raising issues of religion, sex, or politics outside of the designated Religion, Sex, and Politics forum


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Josef S
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Rook96 wrote:
I read the title expecting worse, but it was a very good review. Do not see any problems here, thanks for the review and Nexus Ops is one of my favourites.


You're welcome, and thank you for the comment.

I don't understand the hubbub here. I simply took a concept (libertarianism) and followed it to a clearly illogical extreme for humor. I insulted no one, nor made a claim about the ideology. I don't see how, under any circumstances, that could be construed as offensive or antagonistic.

Completely not offensive review:

Nexus Ops is a great game. Play it.
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Josef S
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Grant - You are amazing!

That violates the rules. Definitely a personal attack.
 
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David Marowske
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RoguesRefuge wrote:
Nexus Ops is a great game. Play it.


Cliff Notes version of your review.
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Josef S
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esquire468 wrote:
RoguesRefuge wrote:
Nexus Ops is a great game. Play it.


Cliff Notes version of your review.


You are amazing. It's the 99% off BGGers like you that make this the best site on the internet.
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mar hawkman
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One thing I personally loathe, and it's the reason I read few novels, is writing that is excessively verbose and seemingly never gets to the point.

The OP was not. I thought it was a pretty well written review.
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Aaron White
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marhawkman wrote:
One thing I personally loathe, and it's the reason I read few novels, is writing that is excessively verbose and seemingly never gets to the point.

The OP was not. I thought it was a pretty well written review.

I had a funny one, it was The Three Musketeers. When I read the first chapter I had no idea what had actually happened in the story. The writing was so unusual and the words used were unfamiliar. I was not sure whether to keep reading.

On my second try it stuck and I loved it. There are books out there with unusual writing, but my experience with a The Three Musketeers made me persevere with every book. It is now one of my favourite novels.
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Pas L
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marhawkman wrote:
One thing I personally loathe, and it's the reason I read few novels, is writing that is excessively verbose and seemingly never gets to the point.

The OP was not. I thought it was a pretty well written review.


Because all books have a single point that they are meant/trying to be getting to?
 
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