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Inis» Forums » General

Subject: After two games, we love it rss

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Greg Purcell
United States
Amherst
Massachusetts
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"Because the ultimate purpose of crime is to establish the endless empire of crime."
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In terms of marketing, this game has a few things going against it. It feels like part of a "series" by the same designer, and its rules are so simple that one may suspect it's just a variation on things one has seen before in Kemet and Cyclades. Its "70's blacklight poster" art aesthetic may contrast somewhat with the "sort-of-fighty vibe" of the game. It's the sort of third-wave, Eon-inspired game that foregoes both luck and Mentat-like strategy for bluffing and interaction (I've noticed this can really irritate some board gamers). Finally, its rules and theme are not quickly expressible to a very consumerist crowd such as we are here on BGG (I'm guilty, too).

But our group loves it, and I just want to say a few words in its favor.

It's a card driven game. As a mechanic, this may sound beaten to death, but the card pool is very small. It's less about "learning" cards and combinations and more about guessing who can do what on their turn. Think Twilight Struggle on a massively reduced scale. This, plus the very interesting draft mechanic, means that drafting is always compelling. Compare to games like Seasons, where you have a dumptruck full of cards and find yourself doing the same three things anyway.

Combat is about negotiation. This is great. "You want to quit now?" is actually a very meaningful and strategic question in this game. Characterizing this as a rough-and-tumble Dudes-on-a-map game is only half right. It's simple, but political in nature.

A few beautiful components, rather than a bucket full of ugly ones. This, again, might hurt it with the 'thrash crowd, but we found it refreshing to scan the table and know the function of every item on it in the first round of play.

The end game. The ending is "announce, defend, and wait for next turn." I've seen a lot of comparisons to Mythotopia here, but that isn't exactly fair. The difference is that Mythotopia is a weird game with diverse functions and very little negotiation folded into its core mechanisms, whereas determining and negotiating the endgame in Inis folds neatly within the rest of the game, is simple to determine, and feels natural.

None of this may appeal to players who don't like that specific type of gameplay I most often associate with Eon's best work, like Dune and Cosmic Encounter. Even so, this is a modern development of that sort of system, much as King of Tokyo was to Yahtzee, or El Grande was to Risk.

Hey, your mileage may vary. We love it, and can't wait for our next game!

*corrected for grammar and spelling
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Lance Holly
United States
Colorado
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Very nice! I have three plays under my belt now, with 4 and 3 players. Everyone so far has loved it! It definitely takes a few rounds to know what in the world you're doing, but you start to recognize the cards very quickly. Here are a few thoughts:

- Deeds are VERY powerful.

- Many, many of the epic tales cards don't look impressive until you really think through their uses. A card that places one wimpy guy anywhere? Who cards? Well, that allows you to slip in to that 6th territory or 6th sanctuary without having to fight, or suddenly become chieftan!

- I keep telling new players that the epic tales cards are unforeseen game changers. Once everyone knows the green action cards, things are predictable, and thus easy to play around. Not so with the epic cards - might want to save them for your victory-clinching play!

- At the outset of the game, a winning strategy is definitely not apparent. This helps new players - just play some cards, see what happens, see how the board develops. By about round 3 you should see where you want to focus. This makes it easier than, say, Dominion where you can see your whole game strategy right from the start.

Great game!
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Wayne Harding
United States
Washington
Utah
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Play one more and you will love it even more, I did.
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