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Subject: One good step beyond Risk rss

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Stefano Castelli
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Put Risk on one end of your imaginary line. Then, put Twilight Imperium III on the other end. In the middle you can put Nexus Ops, a good gateway game for bringing players from a total dice-fest to a more tactical approach.

The game is basically a fast royal rumble played on a relatively small hexed modular board. Players gain resources from mines and spend them to buy armies, which comes in six different shapes, each with it's own power and special abilities. They range from the poor human cannon fodder to the mighty Rubium Dragon (a very bad guy indeed, which can spit acid as the only ranged attack in the game). The aim of players is to reach twelve victory points by completing secret missions or by simply defeating other player's units (every victory in battle grants one victory point).

The nice thing about Nexus Ops is that it contains all the major elements of a complex wargame (modular board, different units types, secret objectives, terrain modifiers, resource management), but all of them are introduced in a light way, easy to explain.

The whole set of slim rules blends well to create a game that is enough complex to appeal to unexperienced player without leaving the more expert ones groaning from the other side of the table...

At the same time, the light nature of the game may cause the exact opposite reactions, leaving the newbies confused by a somewhat rich set of rules ("Yay! There are at aleast twice the rules of a regular Risk! game!") and the expert wargamers disappointed by the high luck factor that permeates the whole game.

Bits in Nexus Ops are a mixed bag. On one side we have the nice units, made in a nice transparent plastic which comes in psychedelic colors (hint: in case you are wondering, they do NOT glow in the dark... ). On the other side, the graphics on the board exagons are a little bit too much "acid", the cards are not that sturdy and the central mononith will crumble to pieces after a few games (better to replace it with something more solid... should be easy to build a better one).

The clearest issue of Nexus Ops is represented by the special mission and the power cards: some of them are way too much powerful and most of them feels unbalanced. Of course, you'll notice this after a few games and this won't ruin that much the experience with the game (which is light-hearted at his core), but it tends to power-up too much the luck factor of the game.

Too bad Avalon Hill removed Nexus Ops from their lineup. The game is quickly going against a sad disappearing, while it still retains a nice fan base (which was awaiting for an expansion...). Right now you can buy it for as much as 10 dollars around the Internet: quite a deal, considering how nice the game is.

Oh, i was almost forgotting the score. The game deserves seven ninjas (NOT pirates...) out of ten.
ninjaninjaninjaninjaninjaninjaninjarobotrobotrobot

Bottom Line: If you like fast and light wargames and you are bored with Risk clones you should give it a try.
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John Earles
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Castef wrote:
in case you are wondering, they do NOT glow in the dark... ).


They do though glow under black light!

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Stefano Castelli
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Yup, but by looking at some of the photos some users may think they are fluorescent.

(like... err... me... blush )
 
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Alexander E. Stevens
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Castef wrote:
Yup, but by looking at some of the photos some users may think they are fluorescent.

(like... err... me... blush )



Well, to nitpick, they are flourescent. Flourescence is the effect caused when ultraviolet light strikes a surface and is reflected as visible light. This is exactly what the black light effect is.

They are not phosphorescent ("glow in the dark").
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Stefano Castelli
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I surrender! cool
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John W
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Castef wrote:
I surrender! cool
[oblig war joke, hopefully light-hearted]


But - you aren't in France....
shouldn't you instead be switching sides?
[/oblig]
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John W
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Castef wrote:
The aim of players is to reach ten victory points
Small nitpick - the official rules go to 12 victory points.

Nice article - and anything which helps remind people to pick up this game for dirt cheap while they still can is good!
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Swood
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If only there was a way to rid those pieces of the noxious odor.
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Stefano Castelli
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reapersaurus wrote:
Castef wrote:
The aim of players is to reach ten victory points
Small nitpick - the official rules go to 12 victory points.

Nice article - and anything which helps remind people to pick up this game for dirt cheap while they still can is good!


Fixed!

It was Twilight Imperium's fault... cool
 
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Stefano Castelli
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Skadar wrote:
If only there was a way to rid those pieces of the noxious odor.




"noxious odor"?

Never noticed it.
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John W
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yeah - some sets of pieces are particularly armoatic, and stink up the place for quite some time.
My friend got a set that didn't seem too bad, and I got one that still emenates plenty of plasticy smell whenever it is opened up, even after leaving to air out awhile.
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Stefano Castelli
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reapersaurus wrote:
yeah - some sets of pieces are particularly armoatic, and stink up the place for quite some time.
My friend got a set that didn't seem too bad, and I got one that still emenates plenty of plasticy smell whenever it is opened up, even after leaving to air out awhile.


1 - fill a bucket with hot water and baking soda

2 - take the Nexus Ops armies for a swim (about an hour...)

3 - no more smell!

I cannot guarantee for the final result...

But on the internet they say that baking soda will remove plastic odour...
 
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