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Inis» Forums » General

Subject: We had our first play tonight, at 2 players... it didn't quite click with us rss

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Andreas Becker
United States
Los Angeles
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Okay, full disclosure: This is our first "dudes on a map" game. We play a lot at two players, so we've never felt the need to buy more of them. Funny enough, however, I bought Inis and two days later made a trade for Cycaldes and Kemet, so I guess we're getting the full experience pretty quickly!

Disclosure part 2: We were kind of tired when we played this, so we might not have been doing as well strategy-wise.

Okay, so we played this one first, as it seems to get the most praise with two players. The art is amazing, the cards are wonderful, etc.

We read the rules, which seem simple. You mostly play some cards, check some conditions, get some bonuses for having more guys in certain areas, and do it again. The clashes seem to be the big thing that can shift guys around in ways that cards might not, and those seem to be influenced pretty heavily by the cards you draw.

The game felt pretty short. Like, we got maybe 4-5 tiles on the board over a few rounds, we played some cards that did a small amount of things, and then the game was over. Granted, the way it happened was pretty cool - my SO started a clash, I played a card that let me move a bunch of guys in there, she asked to end the clash and I did. Then, on her next turn, she grabbed a pretender token and I had no cards left to play. Confused? Yep. I didn't see any of the victory conditions met... except I forgot that she had a Deed! So, she won.

I liked some of the ideas in the game, but it kind of just felt like very little happened. Did we play it wrong? Were we just not focused enough on the win conditions? What's the "hook" for most people when playing this?

I think what stood out for me is how quickly it all went by. Each round goes very fast, and with two players, you'll probably meet one of the victory conditions pretty quickly in most games. Since there are just two of you, one will always be the Brenn, and so there will always be a tie-breaker.

I'm eager to try it again under different circumstances. More caffeine, perhaps? Just looking for people's opinions!
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Nisses Clan Skryre
Belgium
Gent
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From what I gather, the pretender system was put into place after playtests because of this reoccurring situation... Somebody would claim a win, then somebody else would go "hang on, I seem to have already won last turn. Let's roll back a bit to check." In this case, you also didn't see the winning part.

That problem right there "unsold" me on Inis. The pretender system, instead of fixing this, causes a bash on the leader problem, where you now need to aim for multiple victory conditions so that the other players can't take all your winning away in 1 turn anymore.

Add the fact that all actioncards are played each round, and you see all of them time and again.

It made Inis feel like the weakest of the three titles to me.


But, I *LOVE* Kemet & Cyclades (not settled on whether I prefer Cyclades w/ expansions or Cyclades Titans). So you definitely have some good times ahead I have never played them with only 2 people though...


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Kristo Vaher
Estonia
Tallinn
Harjumaa
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Dudes on a Map games are in general pretty bad at 2 players. Games of this kind need a balancing of extra players, otherwise a single player with a single good play (or luck) can run away with the game unopposed.

I don't think any game has yet really cracked the 2-player-dudes-on-a-map style while also being playable at 4, 5 or 6.
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Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Burcht
Antwerp
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I still need to play for the first time (probably Wednesday), but I think the pretender token and the bashing that can follow is not a bug or a bug fix but a thematic feature: you do not only need to dominate, but you need to dominate in such a way that you can hold on to the power. I can see that this game is completely different with 2.
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Three Headed Monkey
Australia
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stefaan wrote:
I still need to play for the first time (probably Wednesday), but I think the pretender token and the bashing that can follow is not a bug or a bug fix but a thematic feature: you do not only need to dominate, but you need to dominate in such a way that you can hold on to the power. I can see that this game is completely different with 2.

Remember that more than one person can hold a pretender token, so it actually can reduce leader bashing. You don't necessarily need to take down the person ahead if you can also claim a pretender token for yourself. And then the other players can't tear you down as that would king make the other guy.
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Jeremy P
United States
waconia
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Nisses wrote:

The pretender system, instead of fixing this, causes a bash on the leader problem, where you now need to aim for multiple victory conditions so that the other players can't take all your winning away in 1 turn anymore.

Add the fact that all action cards are played each round, and you see all of them time and again.


With only one play under my belt, although I'm not vehemently opposed to a bash leader catch up mechanic as Kemet is one of favorite games which has quite a bit of bash the leader throughout a game, I was curious how it would play out being an often cited concern, though. Frankly, I was expecting it to certainly devolve into a bash the leader type endgame.

Although there were a few moments of "we got to get this guy because he is closest to winning" I can say a well played hand closed our game with no opportunity to even consider "bashing the leader" who won with a single victory condition. A smart draft and a well timed pretender token locked the other players out from being able to respond to the leader, netting him a rock solid win. Even more assured would of he had a deed.

I'm not implying every game will never have a bash the leader fest, but it seemed at least from what I saw, that a good play had the opportunity to mitigate this potential.

Also, worth noting, in OP's situation particularly 2 player will always be bash the leader.

In regards to the action cards, I also shared the exact same concern. With only 17 action cards how "samey" would this game feel? It didn't. And after the first play I understood why it worked so well. With only 17 action cards, limiting movements and attacks, it's reasonable to suss out your opponents possibility of making certain moves. More cards would have left too much hidden information available. But limiting the actions each player can take each round lends itself to great strategic depth.

Example: If know I drafted one of 3 cards that allowed a battle, and I know 2 of my opponents already played those cards this round I then know no one else can attack me, and I'm safe to make some otherwise risky moves.

It's very similar to why the battle mechanic in Kemet works so well. By limiting the available cards you're allowing other players to know exactly what you can and can't do.

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Mark Jackson
United States
Greensboro
North Carolina
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You fell in a pit on the first turn. Good job!
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Yea the limited card pool is key to the entire game. Especially 2p you will know almost exactly what options your opponent has at any given time, and then it all comes down to timing and smarter card play.
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Nick S
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Eagan
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Wisecow wrote:
Although there were a few moments of "we got to get this guy because he is closest to winning" I can say a well played hand closed our game with no opportunity to even consider "bashing the leader" who won with a single victory condition. A smart draft and a well timed pretender token locked the other players out from being able to respond to the leader, netting him a rock solid win. Even more assured would of he had a deed.

I'm not implying every game will never have a bash the leader fest, but it seemed at least from what I saw, that a good play had the opportunity to mitigate this potential.


For what it's worth, I was in this game and was the one that ended up winning. Early-on, I had claimed a pretender token (for being chieftain of 6 clans) and was immediately beaten back by multiple players -- bashing the leader, I guess. What's cool about Inis is that I was able to change my pursuit to a different win condition, and at no point did it feel I had hurt myself by changing strategies. I can't say that about any other area control game I've played.

When I claimed pretender the 2nd time (for being present with 6 sanctuaries), my draft certainly helped, but honestly it was the use of well-timed passes that gave me the advantage. When I made my move after passing 3 times in a row, there weren't enough cards left in people's hands to do anything about it. However, if I had guessed wrong and everyone passed because they lacked any cards they wanted to play, I'd have lost my hand full of awesome cards without getting to play a single one of them. I think well-timed passes are going to be a significant tool to use in your pursuit of victory, and that's kind of awesome.

It wasn't a landslide either - nobody else was able to claim pretender that round, but had it gone one more round, Wisecow and one other player were in a position to do so via presence in 6 territories (they were each in 5). Even the player who was nearly wiped from the board early-on could have probably made a push toward chieftain of 6 clans in the last round we played if one of the movement cards got to him.

I love that it was so close, and that it was a good play that won the game and not some OP card combo that's nigh-impossible to stop (I'm looking at you, Loki / Blood Rage). Every round you get a chance to "balance" the game through the draft, and that's really, really cool.




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Arnaud MATAGOT
United States
Fremont
California
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Xonim wrote:

For what it's worth, I was in this game and was the one that ended up winning. Early-on, I had claimed a pretender token (for being chieftain of 6 clans)
...
When I claimed pretender the 2nd time (for being present with 6 sanctuaries),



Hello,


Just to make sure that it was over 2 different seasons, because within one season you do not need to claim twice.

Have fun playing,
Arnaud.
 
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Nick S
United States
Eagan
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arnaud4matagot wrote:

Hello,


Just to make sure that it was over 2 different seasons, because within one season you do not need to claim twice.

Have fun playing,
Arnaud.


It was
 
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Three Headed Monkey
Australia
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arnaud4matagot wrote:
Xonim wrote:

For what it's worth, I was in this game and was the one that ended up winning. Early-on, I had claimed a pretender token (for being chieftain of 6 clans)
...
When I claimed pretender the 2nd time (for being present with 6 sanctuaries),



Hello,


Just to make sure that it was over 2 different seasons, because within one season you do not need to claim twice.

Have fun playing,
Arnaud.

I will claim all of the pretender tokens and lord it up so much and there is nothing you can do about it.
 
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
France
Paris
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Slashdoctor wrote:
Dudes on a Map games are in general pretty bad at 2 players. Games of this kind need a balancing of extra players, otherwise a single player with a single good play (or luck) can run away with the game unopposed.

I don't think any game has yet really cracked the 2-player-dudes-on-a-map style while also being playable at 4, 5 or 6.
For 4 players: Cry Havoc? Also, almost a dudes in a map, for 4 and 5 players (with expansion): Clockwork War?
 
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