$20.00
$30.00
$15.00
$5.00
Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Crisis» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Crisis review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Seph North
United Kingdom
Oxford
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Mechanics

Crisis has a sharp learning curve and requires taking on and understanding a lot of features right away. The key mechanics of the game are engine building, worker placement and resource management so if you are familiar with these mechanics you will get to grips with the game more easily. I would recommend starting on easy mode for beginner players who are new to the game, so they can concentrate more on getting to grips with how to play and not be distracted by the pressure of the higher difficulty.

The important thing about the difficulty is, it isn't so much how hard it is to win as how hard it is for the game to reach "normal" ending. The harder the difficulty, the more rapidly Axia (the fictional world within the game) will crumble into economic collapse. But if you play right, you can still win even in an economic collapse - the important change caused by the economic collapse is that 1: the game ends earlier than usual and 2: you can't win at all unless you reach a threshold (which is set by the difficulty level). If you can see the game ending, it's time to grasp for victory clawing and biting every step of the way. But if you get it wrong and the game does continue, you will pay for your short-sightedness.

Strategy

Broadly you need to buy companies to produce goods, recruit specialists to increase company efficiency (some companies are so inefficient that they are bad to run without the right specialists). This is the heart of your engine. There are two primary ways you can turn the proceeds of your engine into victory points: Export trade, and buying more companies.

The trick of the game, like most engine-building games, is when to stop building your engine and start running it instead. Getting the timing right for this (judged from the overall economic state of Axia) is key to victory.

Play experience

For my first game, with five completely new players including me, we took a gung-ho attitude and launched into hard difficulty right away. We certainly felt the pinch of the crumbling economy within only a few rounds, and by round 4 (of 7) it was obvious that the game was going to end soon. Two of us (myself and another player) began scrabbling for victory at the cost of the other players.

I started with my typical gameplay strategy in an engine-building game, of getting my engine built at any cost, which I achieved by focusing on getting a solid set of expert workers and companies to produce goods. This did result in my VP score falling behind sharply for the first few rounds, as my engine hadn't started running yet. However when I got it running (on round 4) I rapidly caught up and overshot my opponents. Round 5 ended with the collapse of the Axian economy, with me as the sole player who had reached the threshold to be able to win at all. I got my engine running just in time to save myself from an economic collapse... a collapse which I may have caused by taking too long to get it running.

I will say that I was playing with four players who had not even read the rulebook (I had given it a read through in advance), two of which were more comfortable with lighter games, which I suspect played a part in my victory (and also, the collapse of Axian economy).

Criticisms

I do have some doubts about Crisis. The opportunity cards seem unbalanced, some of them stand out as much better than others. I also think the game board is very muddy and indistinct, which makes it unnecessarily hard to get to grips with. I recommend studying the game board carefully if you have poor vision.

Some actions inflict a penalty on you if you choose them (by playing a worker) but then can't or wont do them. The problem is that the game board does not make this clear, so you will need to keep checking the rules or summary cards for which actions have it.

Finally, the summary cards themselves are bizarrely incomplete. I had to check that the 8 summary cards I got (3 of one kind, 3 of another, and 2 of a third kind) were actually the correct box contents - but they are, which is only more strange. Since this is a complex game, the incomplete (and bizarrely lacking 3rd card of the 3rd kind) summary cards will slow the game down with a full set of players. These could have been done much better, perhaps with less numerous and larger summary cards.

I wouldn't go so far as to call this a flaw, but the game is unpredictable. The combination of workers, companies and events that come up is random and demands your full attention. If you are careless of them they will ruin you. This does not suit casual gamers.

Summary

Overall, Crisis is a cut-throat and unforgiving game (more forgiving on easy mode). It's exactly the style of game I like - play hard, or fall behind. I would not recommend it to gamers who struggle with adversity, but if you like a game that will challenge you to sit up and pay attention then this will suit you.

I will certainly play this again and do not regret pledging for the deluxe edition of the game. I am interested to see how the game can work out differently with a set of experienced players, working to keep the economy afloat or possibly trying to intentionally sink it in order to get ahead.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Morten K
Denmark
flag msg tools
mb
The review sounds a bit more negative than what you think about the game it looks like because the criticism section fills a lot but is mainly about other things than the gameplay. A small hint on how to remember which of the areas that give you negative points if you cannot do the action is that they all demand you to pay something if I remember quickly. That is how I memorised it anyway.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seph North
United Kingdom
Oxford
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Tigrillo wrote:
The review sounds a bit more negative than what you think about the game it looks like because the criticism section fills a lot but is mainly about other things than the gameplay.


Graphics and presentation are important to a good game too.

But it's true that I didn't reflect on what I did like about this game much. I liked the way the economic collapse mechanic changed how you need to play and prompted more player interaction (and even cooperation) in a competitive game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pantelis Bouboulis
Greece
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Seph!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the game, and I am hopping you enjoy playing it.

The reasoning for pay the penalties when you can't do the action is very simple. We didn't want players to occupy action places just to block their oponents. As Morten observed, whenever an action requires to pay something and you don't (either because you can't or because wou don't want to) then you take penalty cards.
1 
 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.