Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

The Others» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Others: 7 Sins Review: Worthy as the object of your Greed? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Alex Stanmyer
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
If you enjoyed my review, keep an eye on my blog, Stanmyer Gaming , for more reviews and gaming-related writing in the future!

Number of Players: 2-5

Honest Playtime: 90 minutes to 2 hours

Playthroughs: 4 (Once as the Sin and three as a member of F.A.I.T.H.)

Overview: The Others: 7 Sins is an us vs. him game of tactical combat and tense-decision making with strong horror and science fiction themes; think of Event Horizon set on Earth (with more guns) and you’d be pretty close. It was developed by Eric M. Lang and released in 2016.
One player takes on the role of an embodiment of one of the seven deadly sins: Wrath, Pride, Sloth, Greed, and so on. The Sin player summons monsters, spreads fire and corruption, and generally makes life pretty terrible for the heroes and citizens of Haven--the fictional city where the game takes place.

The remaining players take on the role of members of F.A.I.T.H. (Federal Authority for the Interdiction of Transdimensional Horrors), a group of heroes that range from a werewolf, to a vampire, to a high-tech sniper, to a female Nick Fury-esque shotgun wielding, eye-patched leader. The heroes will work together to complete missions, clear corruption and fire, and, hopefully, drive the Sin from Haven. Many will not survive.



Gameplay: Games begin with the Sins player choosing their Sin of choice and the players together choosing which scenario and map set-up to play on. There are 3 main scenario types, each with different themes and missions for the heroes to complete: terror, corruption, and redemption. One terror game I played saw the city of Haven engulfed in flames and monsters. A redemption mission tasked the heroes with rescuing innocents from all over the maps. Corruption, I thought, was the most interesting mission type. During this game each hero is assigned a hidden “dark past” card that is flipped when their corruption meter fills. These range from annoying--the hero takes some damage--to terrible--the hero is entirely corrupted and joins the Sin player’s team. There’s enough variation between the mission types to keep things interesting and cause for a change in strategy. The heroes win when they complete their mission objectives, and the Sin player wins when the heroes enough are killed off and they can no longer muster any additional reinforcements.

There are four different hero classes for the FAITH players to utilize: fixers, leaders, brawlers, and shooters. Each hero brings their own unique abilities and stats to the game: the vampire brawler Morgana heals a wound every turn; the shooter Brad can detonate explosives that kill monsters but leave behind fire; and the demonic brawler Thorley can tank for other heroes. Over the course of a game heroes will almost assuredly perish. When this happens, a player simply gets to take a fresh hero from their remaining roster. If there are no remaining heroes on the bench when a death occurs, the Sins player wins. There is definitely a lot strategy to consider when deciding which heroes to start with, which heroes to save for later, and which ones to sacrifice for the greater good of the team.

At its heart, The Others is a pretty straightforward game of tactical combat--Star Wars Imperial Assault is a decent starting point for comparison, though The Others is a bit simpler (I was able to run through my first full game of The Others without having to refer back to the rule book more than once or twice). The heroes of FAITH will move around the modular board, complete objectives, collect loot and equipment, fight monsters, and remove corruption and fire tokens. The Sins player does not have traditional turns, but is able to react to the actions of the heroes by moving around monsters, engaging in combat, and playing reactionary Sin and Apocalypse cards. Combat is resolved through relatively simple dice rolls. If the player rolls enough damage to kill the monsters, he wins. If the monster rolls more damage than the hero has armor, it gives the hero a wound. It’s simple enough to pick up on and resolve quickly, though I did find myself wishing for some more complexity or decision-making at times.



There is one interesting caveat to the dice rolls in the game: the mechanic of so-called “exploding dice.” Each die has one side that acts as an “exploding” wild-card. If this side is rolled, not only does the hero get to choose the result, but they also gets to roll an additional die. This allows for a theoretically infinite series of additional rolls where the wild-card comes up again and again. The Sin player has a similar mechanic on their dice rolls as well, the only difference being they do not get a wild-card effect and instead can only stack damage. Because of this mechanic, victory is never entirely out of reach for the heroes or the Sin player. The most wounded, weak hero, could (with an extreme amount of luck) defeat the most monstrous creature the Sin player throws at them. Likewise, the most well-equipped and healthy hero could, if unlucky, perish by moving through a space that is on fire. I loved it.

Another interesting mechanic that I enjoyed and that makes The Others stand apart from other games in the genre is the ability for the heroes to voluntarily take corruption damage to temporarily improve their abilities. It leads to a great risk vs. reward system that leads to the players having to ask themselves some tough questions. Do I become more corrupted to guarantee victory, even if it could mean death later? Do I take corruption on this low-powered enemy now, or do I save it for going head to head with the avatar of Sin later? Is it worth it to take corruption to remove this blazing fire now, or should I just ignore it and take a point of damage instead?

Every game of The Others that I’ve played has come down to a razor-thin finish. Two of the games I played came down to a single die of the final dice roll. The other two came down to similar do-or-die situations on the final turn. The level of tension created in these moments easily rivals any other I’ve experienced while board-gaming. There is a great balance of power between the Sin and the heroes and it always feels like things are just one bad roll from spiraling out of control.

I enjoyed my time spent playing as both the Sin and as a member of FAITH, but probably preferred acting as one of the heroes. Talking strategy, planning moves, and facing off against difficult odds as a member of FAITH was, for me, more fun than reacting to the heroes as the Sin player.

Art and Pieces: The selling point for The Others has to be the miniatures, especially those of the Sins and their minions. They are sturdy and detailed, with each individual tentacle, slavering tongue, and gaping maw lovingly crafted. I’m not a mini-painter, but can imagine that those who are will find tons of little details to love and agonize over while working on these pieces. Browsing the images of painted figures on BoardGameGeek gives a great idea of the possibilities someone with an imaginative mind and steady hand could achieve. If you are into minis, they could be reason enough to purchase The Others.
The other artwork in the game is less impressive than the minis, but serviceable. Item card illustrations get the job done, character boards feature large color illustrations, and the rule book is full of lots of cool, horrific pictures of corrupted, betentacled hobos and other monstrosities.

The modular map pieces are the weak point of the game’s art. In contrast to the minis, they feel boring and uninspired. Additionally, many map locations will have corruption or monster-nest tokens printed directly on them. These can be extremely easy to miss because of too-dark or busy backgrounds.



Conclusion: The Others: 7 Sins offers a strongly thematic game of light tactical combat and tense finishes, all carried out with gorgeously horrific minis.

There is enough variety in mission types, Sins, and heroes to allow for a solid amount of replayability, and games are quick enough that they can be played through in a week-night gaming session. I don’t, however, see The Others as offering enough depth to make me want to keep returning to it month after month.

For a game that focuses largely on combat, the combat itself can feel a bit simplistic and random at times. However, the exploding dice and the corruption system mechanics did enough to make sure I was never bored while playing.

With an MSRP of $100--selling on Amazon for $80 at the time of this review--for the base game (there are many, many expansion packs that introduce new Sins and hero groupings), The Others is certainly not an impulse-purchase type of game. Yet, for the mini-enthusiast, there is a lot of great stuff that comes in the base box.

I’d recommend the game to anyone interested in gorgeous miniatures, but might caution those more focused on gameplay to think before dropping the money on the game.

Overall Score: 7/10
12 
 Thumb up
5.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd be interested to know how many games you played before writing this review.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelly B
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dormammu wrote:
I'd be interested to know how many games you played before writing this review.


Read the first few lines.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sebastian Elliker
Switzerland
flag msg tools
Thanks for the nice review.

Some questions/suggestions:
Quote:
At its heart, The Others is a pretty straightforward game of tactical combat--Star Wars Imperial Assault is a decent starting point for comparison, though The Others is a bit simpler (I was able to run through my first full game of The Others without having to refer back to the rule book more than once or twice).
The sentence in brackets might be misleading. It seems that you want to imply that because you did not need to refer back to the rulebook, the game is simpler overall. However, just because you have an easier/simpler time learning a game does not mean the game itself is easier/simpler, there might be other reasons for the simpler learning curve. Thus, I would suggest that you might want to say that the game is easier to learn compared to IA/Descent and then later on, explain that you think this might be because the game is simpler as compared to IA/Descent.

Quote:
For a game that focuses largely on combat, the combat itself can feel a bit simplistic and random at times.
Firstly, how do you tell that the game focuses on combat instead of say tactics? Secondly, compared to other games of the sort (say IA or Descent), why do you think the combat is simplistic? Thirdly, you make it sound as if a random combat is bad for a game focusing on combat. As a lot of combat systems are random to a certain degree, it would be nice of you to explain why you think this is bad if that is indeed what you want to get at.

This would also help your final verdict. Because aside from this sentence, you do not really explain as to why you think the gameplay is not worth the 80$. The only other sentence I found is that you wanted more "decision-making" and complexity in connection with combat. But you never explain what this should entail or what the game is lacking compared to games that have the complexity you wish for.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomer Mlynarsky
Israel
flag msg tools
First, regarding art? I have to agree with you. I find it baffling that everyone keep talking about the art being amazing in this game when it's one of the weak points.


I'm not talking about the minis, I'm talking about the other game components. The tokens have a "wear and tear" look on purpose and I get that, but it's done awful and make it look really cheap. Good concept terrible execution.

The actual game spots look really boring. Nothing really in them? Not even some trash cans with tentacles coming out of it? Look at how the board in Arcadia Quest (same company and designer and modular board assembly) have so many little details on the board. They mean nothing in terms of gameplay, but they make it more fun to look at.

The board isn't clear at all, they could have highlighted some of the painted corruption markers that are in the city.

But most importantly, why on earth don't the NPC have their effect written on them? It would have made first game easier.


However... I am going to have to jump on you for the following:
AlexStanmyer wrote:

At its heart, The Others is a pretty straightforward game of tactical combat--Star Wars Imperial Assault is a decent starting point for comparison, though The Others is a bit simpler (I was able to run through my first full game of The Others without having to refer back to the rule book more than once or twice).


Okay, I understand the desire to compare this to IA (Never played Decent so I'll only stick to that) since both are a game of one vs all. But the game dynamics are quite different.


First, you're assertion that you never once went back to the rulebook is more of an indication of how horrible the rulebook is for Imperial Assaul rather than a problem in The Others. The Others is simply very intuitive as far as basic gameplay goes (although there ARE some situations where the rules don't cover certain cases, I opened up a huge thread about it already).

The fact that you go and check the manual over and over again is a bad thing. It's like complaining a tripe went great without hassles?


Second, you're assuming that The Others is more about combat - which is straight up false. Actually between the two, I would say Imperial Assault is far more combat oriented than The Others.

In fact, in many situations, players are actually doing their best to avoid combat and avoid killing (especially the acolytes). You'll also note that in fact, players can usually move around through monsters freely (taking a single wound at worst) while in Imperial Assault it's much tougher since enemies will always shoot at you (whereas in The Others only the current turn player can be hurt).

I think IA has a much more dedication to combat than The Others.


Out of curiosity have you tried playing non Terror missions? Those missions by default have the words focused on combat written on them. Have you tried the corruption \ redemption stories?

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
reaching out from the in-between spaces...
United States
Baldwin
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Alex-

Welcome to the Geek. Great written review! Usually you get a positive or negative review. Not often we get a neutral review. It was refreshing.

Jorune
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Stanmyer
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
LovingAngel wrote:
Thanks for the nice review.

Some questions/suggestions:
Quote:
At its heart, The Others is a pretty straightforward game of tactical combat--Star Wars Imperial Assault is a decent starting point for comparison, though The Others is a bit simpler (I was able to run through my first full game of The Others without having to refer back to the rule book more than once or twice).
The sentence in brackets might be misleading. It seems that you want to imply that because you did not need to refer back to the rulebook, the game is simpler overall. However, just because you have an easier/simpler time learning a game does not mean the game itself is easier/simpler, there might be other reasons for the simpler learning curve. Thus, I would suggest that you might want to say that the game is easier to learn compared to IA/Descent and then later on, explain that you think this might be because the game is simpler as compared to IA/Descent.

Quote:
For a game that focuses largely on combat, the combat itself can feel a bit simplistic and random at times.
Firstly, how do you tell that the game focuses on combat instead of say tactics? Secondly, compared to other games of the sort (say IA or Descent), why do you think the combat is simplistic? Thirdly, you make it sound as if a random combat is bad for a game focusing on combat. As a lot of combat systems are random to a certain degree, it would be nice of you to explain why you think this is bad if that is indeed what you want to get at.

This would also help your final verdict. Because aside from this sentence, you do not really explain as to why you think the gameplay is not worth the 80$. The only other sentence I found is that you wanted more "decision-making" and complexity in connection with combat. But you never explain what this should entail or what the game is lacking compared to games that have the complexity you wish for.


Thanks for the feedback, and I can see where I didn't make myself clear. I did like the clarity of rules and ease of combat. Definitely easier to learn than IA. I should have more explicitly that the clarity of rules was a positive for me, but that I felt overall game play complexity was a bit simple to likely hold my interest for many months or years.

'd guess something I'd want more from the game would, perhaps, be more variety in the way the Sin creatures interacted with the heroes. It often felt like they were distilled simply down to their combat strength number, especially when stacked up on a single tile. I know that the Hell Club creatures add some variety here, but in my 4 playthroughs I think only 2 or 3 of them ever spawned total--which may have just been bad (or good when I was a member of FAITH) luck.

Overall, I've really enjoyed the game. A 7, for me, is a game that I think is "good." However, the price tag for The Others is fairly steep, and that's something that I take into consideration when reviewing. Also, I don't paint or generally collect minis. If I did, I could very well see giving this game a higher a rating. Say an 8 or 9.

Thanks again for the feedback!



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Stanmyer
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
GrandMasterFox wrote:

Out of curiosity have you tried playing non Terror missions? Those missions by default have the words focused on combat written on them. Have you tried the corruption \ redemption stories?


Hi GrandMasterFox. Thanks for the feedback! I have tried the corruption and redemption stories. My play of a corruption mission was my favorite time spent with the game. I really enjoyed the dark past mechanic and felt more engaged in the outcome of my battle. I loved the tension it created and really enjoyed trying to guess which card the Sin player placed on which hero.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sebastian Elliker
Switzerland
flag msg tools
AlexStanmyer wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, and I can see where I didn't make myself clear. I did like the clarity of rules and ease of combat. Definitely easier to learn than IA. I should have more explicitly that the clarity of rules was a positive for me, but that I felt overall game play complexity was a bit simple to likely hold my interest for many months or years.

'd guess something I'd want more from the game would, perhaps, be more variety in the way the Sin creatures interacted with the heroes. It often felt like they were distilled simply down to their combat strength number, especially when stacked up on a single tile. I know that the Hell Club creatures add some variety here, but in my 4 playthroughs I think only 2 or 3 of them ever spawned total--which may have just been bad (or good when I was a member of FAITH) luck.

Overall, I've really enjoyed the game. A 7, for me, is a game that I think is "good." However, the price tag for The Others is fairly steep, and that's something that I take into consideration when reviewing. Also, I don't paint or generally collect minis. If I did, I could very well see giving this game a higher a rating. Say an 8 or 9.

Thanks again for the feedback!
Thanks for the reply and you're welcome. Don't worry, I did not take offense with the score given. I am perfectly fine with you giving it a 7. I am not yet ready to rate it and will have to see how it holds up over more plays. So far, I really like it (as I really like 1 vs Many games that may be played fully competitive and not just GM-style like). And I do not paint minis nor do I collect them. I generally just like highly thematic and complex games.

Regarding to the Sin creatures:
Firstly, yes, the heroes were lucky. The Hell Club monsters as well as the Mayor and Nicolas (from the KS) greatly increase the variety and give the heroes new targets they often want to see dead rather sooner than later. When I first looked at the monsters, I was a bit disappointed that the Abominations, the Avatar, and the Controller do not have different stats and different special abilities depending on the Sin. I expected the monsters to have abilities like the monsters from Level 7 Omega Protocol (which is the game one should be comparing 7 Sins to) or at the very least have different stats depending on the Sin. However, given the streamlined nature of the game and the way Story, Missions, and Maps are handled, I see how different stats and abilities would have made balancing the game a true nightmare.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.