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Subject: Mindblowing game! rss

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Ron
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After playing my first game of Bios: Genesis on Friday, I have to say my mind is blown. And it has a few different causes.
1. I spent five hours reading the rule book. Not because it's such a difficult game to grasp (it's among the heavier I played, but very comprehensible), but because I wanted to read and understand all the footnotes. So I Googled a lot and ready many an article while working my way through the book. And I learned quite a bit, even though I thought I had an alright grasp of the subject matter

2. My first game was two-player. We took an exploratory approach and decided to play phase by phase, do stuff and find out later what the consequences were. After all, with any sufficiently complex/strategic game, a first game is not going to be very strategic anyway. But after this first game, I still have hardly any idea how I could do better next time. My 4VP beat my friend's 1 by the end of the game, but I don't think those are actual proper scores. We did play some things wrong, though (most prominently, I think, was ignoring all mutation abilities after the cube got stolen by a parasite. I think that one broke the game somewhat), so next time should be better

3. I normally hate it when randomness destroys my progress. But for some reason, I don't mind in this game. I think the reason is that the randomness is thematic. Our existence itself is made possible by a string of coincidences, and it appears to make perfect sense that life spawned and died due to chance before evolving far enough to be somewhat resilient. So I really didn't mind seeing my first microorganism have an error catastrophe and go extinct.

So: thanks for this game! I'm happy that I have a signed copy and I can't wait to play it again
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Samuel Hinz
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Be sure to check out Greenland and Neanderthal then.
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Omer Hertz
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Kfar Vradim
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Quote:
I normally hate it when randomness destroys my progress. But for some reason, I don't mind in this game. I think the reason is that the randomness is thematic.


... That is as perfect a way of describing Eklund's games as I've ever seen (and 100% accurate!). That's the exact same way I felt about Bios: Megafauna (which I would highly recommend you try if you can find a copy somewhere).

I don't know how it is with Genesis (I'd love to hear more on your thoughts after another game or two) but the other reason that Eklund's games' high degree of randomness (which I usually despise in games) does not bother me is because it seems to hit everyone more or less equally. I wonder if you'd agree on that with Genesis.

Thanks for your post!
 
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Ryan Spangler
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I have noticed this as well, and I think it is because the randomness is applied to everyone impartially. Usually randomness is *against* someone else: like in classic die rolling battle games where "the dice just hate me", and you feel targeted. In those games the dice take sides. Here everyone is under the same unrelenting pressure of entropy and survival. Everyone is suffering together against a common cause, not my-guy-blows-your-guy-up-because-I-rolled-a-6.

I love this game especially for that. We are all just trying to hang on while this soup of chaos tries to buck us off, jabbing up here and there, shearing away in tectonic sheets. My favorite card has the text "the earth's crust has been blasted away"... or something to that effect. That should be devastating! Most of us died. And that is right.
 
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Chris Stoakes
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Just received a copy. For any Phil Eklund nut (like me) who wasn't sure about this, then rest assured: it's great.

The box is glossy and the cards have a different sort of artwork from Pax Porf, Pamir, Renaissance, Neanderthal and Greenland. But the whole thing is a joy to behold. And any rule book that has as its opening sentence: 'One to four players start as organic compounds shortly after the Earth's formation' has got to be bonkersly brilliant.

In fact it stopped to make me think: why not? What's so different from being hobbits or orcs or any other fantasy figure? And down here in molecular land, just as in the larger insect world above, it is fight-or-flight, life-or-death. Incidentally the rule book has a very attractive, modern look and feel to it.

In decades to come Phil Eklund's games will end up in art galleries and museums, they are so beautiful in the way the components bring to life the presiding genius that is the game.

This is a fantastic addition to the canon.
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Johann Tor
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A special note should be made of the art, which is beautiful! Kudos to Karim Chakroun!
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