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Subject: Blood rage, kemet, or cry havoc? rss

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Theodore Moffett
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Hey everyone,
So lately I have been looking at conflict based games and blood rage, kemet, and cry havoc all look interesting to me. The only thing that makes me a little nervous is that I own and have played Cyclades 2-3 times and I didn't love it. Maybe my family/gaming group doesn't love direct conflict and that might have a little to do with it, but my other issue was it seemed like everyone "turtle-shelled" as they call it (myself included, almost out of necessity). I continually hear great things about all these games and I was wondering which is the best choice. The things I find really cool about cry havoc are that combat does not use dice (don't want to play another clunky game like risk) and I also think it is cool that there is tactic above and beyond just wiping your opponents out (they actually give you other worthwhile choices). Perhaps it is a little early to ask about cry havoc because too few people have experience with it to say, but the other two seem to have a healthy following and naturally that would be because they are good games. What does everyone think? I want recommendations for sure, but if you could also give a little bit of reasoning for the game you said, that would be ideal! Thank you!
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Theodore Moffett
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Also, does kemet play well with the 5 player complement? The other two games just play 4, but maybe it gets too bogged down to play with 5 people. Also, I was wondering about the expansion too and if it is really good or not...
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Garbage Person
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It is virtually impossible to turtle in either Kemet or Blood Rage, so that should not be a concern with either of those games. Both are fantastic games. You can maybe turtle a single area critical to your engine in Kemet, but you are going to have to fight to score any points, so it isn't an issue.

Kemet was fine with 5. Blood Rage does have a 5 player expansion. It doesn't look to change much and turns are very quick in that game, so I can't imagine it isn't fine, though I've not yet played it.

None of the games use dice in combat.
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Jason Parham
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If your group wasn't prone to conflict in Cyclades than I'm not sure they will like the much more in-your-face approach of the three games you listed. What was it specifically that you didn't like about Cyclades?

I own all of the games listed with exception to Cry Havoc, which should be here soon.
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Garbage Person
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Goreyok wrote:
If your group wasn't prone to conflict in Cyclades than I'm not sure they will like the much more in-your-face approach of the three games you listed. What was it specifically that you didn't like about Cyclades?

I own all of the games listed with exception to Cry Havoc, which should be here soon.


Obviously depends on the group, but I've found that the "non-combat" personalities will not like it and avoid it when the game gives them a choice to do so, but they generally don't mind when that is the only choice the game gives them.

When there is a choice to be non-combative, they'll avoid it, often to be nice or out of fear of reprisal. When combat is the central tenet of the game and the only way to win, most people generally don't mind doing so. It changes the mindset on attacking from "I'm not going attack you because I'd feel bad about it and I can do something different" into "well, I have to attack because that is literally the primary scoring mechanic for this game, there is no other way to play it". (i.e. they no longer expect that they should feel bad for attacking someone, to not do so would be to not even be playing)
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Anthony Ferrise
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I haven't played Cry Havoc and am formulating my opinion purely based on reviews I've read, heard and watched. I own Kemet and Blood Rage (as well as Cyclades for that matter). Cyclades is quite a different game in my opinion and is much more euro-leaning than these other three. Kemet, Blood Rage and Cry Havoc are all much more directly confrontational than Cyclades. If you don't like Cyclades (which is too bad because I think it's a great game) there is still a very good chance you would like any of these other three.

I personally would rate them: 1. Kemet, 2. Blood Rage, 3. Cry Havoc
but I would recommend them to others:
1. Blood Rage
2. Kemet
3. Cry Havoc

Kemet and Blood Rage have a lot of similarities. In both games you begin with a 'clan' with identical stats, but as the games goes on, you are gaining abilities and your clans each become an individual 'points-engine' of your creation. Both are driven on 'action-points allocation' (rage or prayer points). The major difference is how you gain victory points, and the final win condition.

Kemet centres squarely on mainly getting points by winning battles and defending areas - other points are available but are less prevalent. You win a game of Kemet by reaching a pre-determined number of points - this in itself makes Kemet more of a game about jockying for position and stealing points from the right person at the right time. It's about getting your engine running as quickly as possible to grab those points through winning battles and holding areas.

Blood Rage on the other hand gives a myriad of ways to get points - the biggest reason I would recommend it to others over Kemet is for the flexibility in the 'engine' you build with your clan and the lack of a pre-determined end time. Blood Rage gives you the ability to develop your team, and see them perform straight through to the end of the game (aka. the end of the world in Ragnarok). Sure, in some cases winning battles and controlling areas gets you points, but in other cases losing battles AT THE RIGHT TIME, also gets you points. The winner of Blood Rage is the person with the most points at the end - so there is no 'built in' game timer (like the pre-determined number of points in Kemet). This gives both games a very different feel.

To me, Blood Rage is more about having an idea of your strategy, adapting through the game, and executing plays at the right time for maximum points. Kemet is more about knowing the direction you want to go from the beginning of the game and tailoring each turn to building upon that strategy to rake in victory points, faster than anyone else. In my opinion, both games give similar but different experiences and both are very satisfying for different reasons.

As I said before - I have not played Cry Havoc, but the biggest difference from Blood Rage and Kemet is the asymmetrical factions. Right off the start each player has a faction that is completely different from one another. This is very different from the other two as the game is now more about learning and exploiting the strengths of your faction - and the weaknesses of the others. Cry Havoc seems like a game that would be at it's best with repeated plays, once you know the factions and the best ways to play them.

My final comment - which is marginally interesting - is that all three games resolve combat very differently:
1. Blood Rage - based on the strength of your units plus a SINGLE card played by each participating player. The real kicker here is that the winner of the battle wipes all his opponents off the board, but the losers all get to keep the card they played. An ingenious bit of game balancing in my opinion.

2. Kemet - strength of units, plus a battle card that can add to strength, kill other units or defend against death of your own units. The interesting thing is that although the 'winner' is the person with more strength, they could have all their units killed off by the loser - even though the loser has to retreat out of the space. Creates an interesting dynamic.

3. Cry Havoc - uses a really innovative 'battle board' where units are allocated to Controling the area, Capturing units, or Killing units (executed in that order). Whomever has the majority in each area of the 'battle board' gets to execute the action - this means that even though you take control of the area off the start, you could end up having your controling units captured or killed right after. Again - very interesting.

Thanks for reading my rant. Hopefully that helped a bit?
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Galen Iliev
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tonyf55 wrote:

I personally would rate them: 1. Kemet, 2. Blood Rage, 3. Cry Havoc
but I would recommend them to others:
1. Blood Rage
2. Kemet
3. Cry Havoc


I agree with that. Kemet is by far the better game, but Blood Rage is just more ... easy going... you can win games there by losing battles.

Blood Rage is less brain burning.

in Kemet you have to plan in advance, pretty much like in any Euro game.
You first games, will be like: "Oh look, I can buy this cool thing, and this cool thing... and oh yeah!"

But when you get better and more knowledgeable you will start racing for some tiles and some attacks need to made at crucial times.
I would definitely suggest Kemet Expansion just for the extra pyramid and modified turn order. The other addition pretty much bog down the game.

Price difference won't be that much if you consider BloodRage + 5th player expansion vs Kemet + Ta Seti expansion.
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Chris Williams

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I haven't played any of the games, but I feel like I remember hearing some reviews of Cyclades which said that the base game had an issue where it seems like everyone tries to build up their army, to go out conquering, just to have the game end suddenly the instant one person attacks (or something that effect).

But that there's an expansion (Titans, I believe) which corrects the issue and makes it a better game. You might want to watch some reviews about the Titans expansion and compare prices before expanding out to a new game.

You might also consider throwing Chaos in the Old World into the mix. I think that one got less love because the theme offended the Dice Tower reviewers, but otherwise would be in the same crowd of games.
 
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Theodore Moffett
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My question is do either blood rage or Kemet have an OP way of winning? The only thing that makes games a little stale for me after some time is when there is a certain strategy (or two) which pretty consistently crushes the competition. An example would be science in 7 wonders. It isn't sure fire, but it is consistently pretty effective at smoking everyone else. Does that make sense?
I like games that reward strategic players but not necessarily by letting them crush everyone else every single time. Some of this might have to do with the fact that I don't consistently play with one particular group of people. There are some regulars but I'll teach it to new people often enough and do I'll teach them and just murder them the first 1-2 times we play.
 
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Anthony Ferrise
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moffettt wrote:
My question is do either blood rage or Kemet have an OP way of winning?


People complain about the Loki strategy in Blood Rage, but in my experience it's actually very hard to win with Loki if you're playing people who have even the slightest idea of what they're doing. People that complain about OP stratagies forget that you have to adapt your gameplay to what's going on around you - you can't just expect to play a game with direct player interaction and not have to modify your strategy for the choices of other players. I don't know of any OP strategies in Kemet - but damn if the power tiles arn't all amazingly overpowered. The great thing is that ALL of the tiles are equally overpowered; keeps Kemet a very balanced game and makes it exciting when you get to add these abilities to your faction.

As a side note, if you're playing with the right people the science strategy in 7 Wonders should never be overpowered. If everyone is allowing someone else to collect all the science cards - then they deserve to lose. You can't just ignore an entire part of the game and expect someone not to take advantage of it. This would be the same as if everyone ignored civic (blue) buildings or military (red) buildings.

EDIT: That being said - if you are often teaching a game to new people, I would recommend Blood Rage over Kemet. Just a little easier to teach and a little easier for new players to make mistakes but still not feel like they're punished too much for it. An experienced Kemet player will often beat new players, esspecially if those people don't play a lot of other hobby board games.
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Garbage Person
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moffettt wrote:
My question is do either blood rage or Kemet have an OP way of winning? The only thing that makes games a little stale for me after some time is when there is a certain strategy (or two) which pretty consistently crushes the competition. An example would be science in 7 wonders. It isn't sure fire, but it is consistently pretty effective at smoking everyone else. Does that make sense?
I like games that reward strategic players but not necessarily by letting them crush everyone else every single time. Some of this might have to do with the fact that I don't consistently play with one particular group of people. There are some regulars but I'll teach it to new people often enough and do I'll teach them and just murder them the first 1-2 times we play.


Well, you'll play Blood Rage and it will seem fine. Then you'll play again and you'll say Loki is a broken strategy. Then you'll play again and grasp how to beat it.

In many ways, it is a lot like the science strategy that you believe is a problem with 7 wonders. I've always found Science to be a very good strategy when playing with a bunch of new players, but often a poorer strategy with a group of experienced players. People learn that it can get out of hand due to the multipliers...once they do so, those cards get buried in wonders, discarded, built out of spite, etc. They become spread out and are much less effective. If you always play 7 Wonders with a several new players, you can pretty consistently win by going science. You could certainly find the same thing with Blood Rage. A player with 1 play that goes Loki strategy can generally beat a bunch of newbs. Just like in Science in 7W, people just need to see it in action. It LOOKS broken for about 1 or two plays. People in my group quickly learned that drafting a Loki card or two was almost always valuable. It both keeps the strategy in check, but it is also almost always useful. Things almost never go to plan and you find yourself in a battle or two you can't win. Having a Loki card to play is good insurance. Unlike in 7W where you sometimes find yourself hate-drafting a science card purely to keep it away from someone, drafting at least Loki card is rarely not beneficial, even if done in spite.
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chris thatcher
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Cyclades also plays up to 5 players.

Both Kemet, Cyclades and Blood Rage all work great at 5 players.

I havent played Cry Havoc so cant comment on that, but if direct conflict is a issue id avoid all these games. Cyclades is the least confrontational which i like. You can win without much combat.

If i had to rate them, id go with..

Cyclades
Kemet and Bloodrage are about equal to me.

All are great games.

The Kemet expansion Kemet: Ta-Seti is only really worth getting for the Black pyramid and powers plus the extra DI cards. The Ta Seti board is rubbish.

I really like the Cyclades: Hades expansion and feel it completes the game (cant wait for the monuments expansion tho!!), the Cyclades: Titans expansion did not interest me as it tries to make Cyclades more like Kemet.
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Garbage Person
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I'll just note that as of right now, there is a lot of contention over whether Humans are broken in 3-player Cry Havoc. Yet to be seen if it develops similarly to 7W, or similarly to Blood Rage, or if it is just broken. In 7W, people have to learn to be aware and kill science just for the sake of killing science. In Blood Rage, people start taking Loki cards not just to hate on them, also but because they are generally useful in any strategy.

Unfortunately, right now, it sure seems like it is more 7W-ish than Blood Rage-ish. That is, the strategy often needs to be actively countered like you counter Science in 7W, rather than often being passively countered just by finding good use for the cards a la Loki in Blood Rage.
 
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Eric Matthews
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moffettt wrote:
Also, does kemet play well with the 5 player complement? The other two games just play 4, but maybe it gets too bogged down to play with 5 people. Also, I was wondering about the expansion too and if it is really good or not...


Kemet works great at 5, Blood Rage frankly works BEST at 5 (and was obviously designed as a 5-player game) though yeah it's more expensive with the expansion.

E
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Petteri Heino
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Tariff wrote:

I really like the Cyclades: Hades expansion and feel it completes the game (cant wait for the monuments expansion tho!!), the Cyclades: Titans expansion did not interest me as it tries to make Cyclades more like Kemet.


Don't feel like Kemet at all. Sure, you end up fighting a lot faster, but it is still Cyclades. Titans is even better than the core game.
 
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Theodore Moffett
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Thanks guys! There have been several really helpful responses. Right now, it seems like it is down to blood rage or kemet (lots of that probably has to do with cry havoc being brand new). If I wasn't planning on purchasing an expansion for either game, does that tilt it in one's favor? They both look fun and if everything is roughly equal (in strategy and fun) then I may as well go with the cheaper, more available one: kemet. Objections?
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Petteri Heino
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Ganybyte wrote:


Blood Rage frankly works BEST at 5


Noup. It's too long with 5 players. It is the best with 4 players.
 
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moffettt wrote:
Thanks guys! There have been several really helpful responses. Right now, it seems like it is down to blood rage or kemet (lots of that probably has to do with cry havoc being brand new). If I wasn't planning on purchasing an expansion for either game, does that tilt it in one's favor? They both look fun and if everything is roughly equal (in strategy and fun) then I may as well go with the cheaper, more available one: kemet. Objections?


No objections. In a vacuum without price/availability/exclusive considerations, I'd choose Blood Rage, but including them in the picture, Kemet is probably the winner.
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El_Mutanto wrote:
Ganybyte wrote:


Blood Rage frankly works BEST at 5


Noup. It's too long with 5 players.


Same could be said of almost any game with 5 as the max count, unfortunately.
 
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Justin Strickland
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moffettt wrote:
Thanks guys! There have been several really helpful responses. Right now, it seems like it is down to blood rage or kemet (lots of that probably has to do with cry havoc being brand new). If I wasn't planning on purchasing an expansion for either game, does that tilt it in one's favor? They both look fun and if everything is roughly equal (in strategy and fun) then I may as well go with the cheaper, more available one: kemet. Objections?


I found Kemet to be way too fiddly, what with temporary victory points constantly changing hands, every time you pick a tile you have to consult a huge tableau. I thought it was dumb that all the spaces on the board were equidistant, and aside from the monsters, the minis aren't that great.

Blood Rage is perfect in almost every way. The components are amazing, the rules are simple, and the strategy is deep.

Objectively, Blood Rage has 7567 ratings with an 8.22 average, while Kemet has 7553 ratings with a 7.78 average. So the data would suggest that Blood Rage is a far better game. A 0.44 difference is fairly substantial with that many voters.
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Anthony Ferrise
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I think if you go either way you won't be disappointed. Blood Rage costs more because of the miniatures you get in the box - that's the biggest reason for the difference in price. If you like the mini's, perhaps that's worth it for you.

If you're stuck on which to buy, consider your game group. If they are experienced hobby gamers I think either would satisfy them - Kemet perhaps gives more lee-way for developing a long-term strategy and really seeing it through, while Blood Rage rewards adapting your strategy on the fly (the real consequence of having all power up available and picking them vs. drafting your power-ups on a round-by-round basis). If your group are newer to gaming and might be frustrated by a game that requires a decent amount of forward strategic planning - Blood Rage may be more approachable.

Either way though - I really don't think you can go wrong.
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Theodore Moffett
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Now I'm kinda thinking blood rage. You guys aren't making this easy on me! The fact that it is easy to play and still so much fun makes it pretty enticing. Is it good with both 3 and 4 players? Also, although I don't consider myself super into figurines, but the miniatures in the game look really really cool!
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Jeff Connell
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El_Mutanto wrote:
Ganybyte wrote:


Blood Rage frankly works BEST at 5


Noup. It's too long with 5 players. It is the best with 4 players.


Not too long at all. Eric Lang himself even said it was designed for 5.
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