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Nature of the Beast: City vs. Suburb» Forums » General

Subject: observations (after one play) rss

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Chrees M
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Key 20 delivered my game pretty fast, and with a friend around to stay for a couple of days, we broke it out to play.

The first thing i found was, that the plastic "wrapping" on the decks, caused warping. Some of the trick cards from the outer edge of the heat-wrapped pack were pretty badly warped, and i had to stand them under several heavy books for a bit while we played other games. It helped putting the cards into sleeves, but still, it was a bit disheartening.

The other thing i noticed was, some of the cards where 'blurry', usable, readable, but you can tell straight off that there's something wrong with it. However, this is me being petty on this point.

The rulebook, also is pretty confusing in places, and have to be re-read to get the gist of what is being explained. More examples would be nice, with some things picked out such as any animal in your field can attack any animal in their field.

However those aside, the good points...

The artwork is good. This isn't Rage or Magic, but the artwork suits the game to a 'T', and i love the animal images. The cards seem 'busy' with alot of information on the 'troops', but after starting the game it falls into place. I know from my friend's reaction when he saw the cards, that newcomers could reject this without giving it a chance, but i'm not sure how they could really present the information needed on the cards without the cards looking cluttered with information.

The whole "imaginary grid" is fine, but it's a little more difficult to visualise. Maybe after a few games this will fall into place, but it seems easier to mix up where your "front row" is, something that a mat or something similar could easily clear up.

The different ways of playing the games, just by altering the grid, means many more ways of enjoying the game when the original 3x3 grid gets 'old'.

The game itself plays well. It's fast, turns don't really take that long (other than searching through the rulebook for clarifications), and i guess it reminds me of Disgaea, a Strategy RPG for the Playstation 2. With that game it's all about manoeuvring your 'team' around, so that you can get chain/combo attacks in combat, and this follows suit, recruiting animals and moving them around the grid to get the best attack/defence bonuses (not to mention claiming the areas too.

I did find the City creatures to be tougher than the Suburb ones, but then i had to trash more than my fair share of creatures to bring my side out, where he managed to score some lower rank, higher clout creatures to help him.

After one game, although it took a while, and the rulebook hampered a little, we both decided it's worth playing again. For now i'm going to re-read the rules, make some notes, and hover around this forum.

All in all, i'm glad i've got the game.
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Mark Anticole
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No doubt, there is a little learning curve with Nature of the Beast. It is the chess to most card games' checkers as we like to think.

When you run into any questions, ask away. We are more than happy to help out and clarify things (though Matt will usually beat me to the responses; he is very quick like that! )

Thanks again for trying us out and posting some thoughts on BGG.
 
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Matt Anticole
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JohnnyRyce wrote:
When you run into any questions, ask away. We are more than happy to help out and clarify things (though Matt will usually beat me to the responses; he is very quick like that! )


I think Mark beats me out just as often! You'll also find a small legion of other "Nature of the Beast" fans who patrol these waters pretty frequently. Their responses are often just as thorough as what we'd say. I find that pretty cool.

As Mark noted in the other post, just let us know which card are un-usable and maybe we can coordinate shipping tokens with some replacement cards. Sorry about the inconvenience. Nobody likes getting a new game that isn't in mint condition.

Keep posting to keep us posted! We're here to help you 'Focus on the Fun'! (Shameless slogan placement.)

 
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Chrees M
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It's nice that the site for the game has some FAQs, some of them actually helped out too. We did a few things wrong in the first game (Junkyard dog has to move onto the field before his ability can be used, same, i imagine, with Abandoned Kitten), but all in all it was really good fun. I do worry a little about how easy it was for him to get the clout for his side (He was City), i think at one time he had his 'leader' that gave 10 clout... Lab Rat (2), Leader (2), Abandoned Kitten (4), Megaphone (2), which meant he could bring out his Legends pretty fast. I'm not sure if there's something similar in the Suburb set, most of my time was spent discarding pen animals trying to bring in more troops. It was amusing though that at one point he was easily considering combat as a viable option, up until the fuzzy bunnies came into play. As we played hands-up for the first game, there was also a card in my hand that i could force someone gaining 1 Fury to gain another one, plus another 1 to trash a bunny, 3 Fury gain in a single turn (2 Fury if he attacked my ferret instead)! I had effectively locked the combat down, and instead it became a scramble to run around the proverbial board getting the nine animals down.

I think i should try playing a little more aggressively too, i stayed at 3 Fury for the whole game, attacking once using the card that stops Fury gain from a combat.

One thing i do want to ask, is untilting an animal is an action, so can you in theory use an animal twice? Use the leader to recruit, then untilt the leader, then use the leader to recruit?
 
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Mark Anticole
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Muzzaro wrote:
It's nice that the site for the game has some FAQs, some of them actually helped out too.


Well, we are always looking for new questions for Nickel to answer. He's had it too easy lately, so send those questions to him!

Muzzaro wrote:
I do worry a little about how easy it was for him to get the clout for his side (He was City), i think at one time he had his 'leader' that gave 10 clout... Lab Rat (2), Leader (2), Abandoned Kitten (4), Megaphone (2), which meant he could bring out his Legends pretty fast.


City is probably the easiest pre-built deck to get started with because it is pretty well balanced. (The forest is more combat, the farm is more evil and the suburb is more sneaky.) That is an awesome combo of cards, though technically the Kitten couldn't climb onto the Lab Rat. The Kitten can only get on medium-sized animals or larger (I can't see a rat hauling around a kitten on its back). Still, it would've worked with a bigger animal. Nicely done. Of course, with a low combat that rat would have a VERY big target painted on its back...

Muzzaro wrote:
I think i should try playing a little more aggressively too, i stayed at 3 Fury for the whole game, attacking once using the card that stops Fury gain from a combat.


Being aggressive has its advantages, especially with a 'rush' game. The great trade-off of this game is "do I build my own army?" vs. "do I damage my opponent's army?". Tough choices. No one said it'd be easy...

Muzzaro wrote:
One thing i do want to ask, is untilting an animal is an action, so can you in theory use an animal twice? Use the leader to recruit, then untilt the leader, then use the leader to recruit?


Exactly. You can totally do what you suggested. You could also attack with an animal, untilt it and attack again with the same animal. Plenty of options.

Thanks again for the post. I'll chat with Matt regarding those tokens.
 
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Chrees M
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JohnnyRyce wrote:
City is probably the easiest pre-built deck to get started with because it is pretty well balanced. (The forest is more combat, the farm is more evil and the suburb is more sneaky.) That is an awesome combo of cards, though technically the Kitten couldn't climb onto the Lab Rat. The Kitten can only get on medium-sized animals or larger (I can't see a rat hauling around a kitten on its back). Still, it would've worked with a bigger animal. Nicely done. Of course, with a low combat that rat would have a VERY big target painted on its back...


Ahh ok that's one good thing then. The rat however was expertly guarded by a crocodile and a police canine, and nothing i had out could do much damage. Two bunnies, a ferret, and eventually a cat, but either way it would have been suicide to attack the rat, although thinking about it, i could have moved the bunnies around to flank the ferret, to add +2 to the attack. Hmm. Yeah it was a nice combo, if it had been the police canine as his leader, i'd have been pretty screwed over.

Is there any way to get a certain creature as a leader, or is it mostly just the luck of whatever's next after the leader card?

JohnnyRyce wrote:
Being aggressive has its advantages, especially with a 'rush' game. The great trade-off of this game is "do I build my own army?" vs. "do I damage my opponent's army?". Tough choices. No one said it'd be easy...


I do like the fact that combat can be locked down, and that effectively you have to weigh up each combat you start. Starting at 3 Fury/Favour, that's only 7 combat actions before you lose without the right cards in hand.

JohnnyRyce wrote:
Exactly. You can totally do what you suggested. You could also attack with an animal, untilt it and attack again with the same animal. Plenty of options.


Yeah, i do love the whole "you don't untilt at the start of your turn". I suffered it badly in one turn where i had to tilt three animals to bring in the fourth... and then realising i'd left myself open for attack, had to use the last two actions to untilt two of the creatures.


JohnnyRyce wrote:
Thanks again for the post. I'll chat with Matt regarding those tokens.


Thank you for the reply, my friend is coming back over on Sunday, so i'm spending tomorrow going through the suburb decks to see if i can pick up some ideas.

And how are the farm decks evil? That isn't a call out to Animal Farm is it? Four legs good, two legs baaaad!
 
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Matt Anticole
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Muzzaro wrote:

And how are the farm decks evil? That isn't a call out to Animal Farm is it? Four legs good, two legs baaaad!


I wouldn't call the Farm deck as a whole "evil", maybe Machiavellian. They do what needs to be done and leave the opinion polls in the feeding trough. Of course, their tactics don't make a lot of friends and there are a couple bad apples... *cough*Baron Kozel*cough*.

One of the features I'm proudest of with NOB is the whole Fury mechanic and the consequences it places upon combat. Combat is a tool for victory but it can't be alone in the toolbox!
 
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Chrees M
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I know i keep singing your praises here, but yes i have to agree, the Fury mechanic does work very well. I come from a more confrontational side of CCG games (Magic, Rage, Harry Potter, Pokemons, Netrunner), and combat is 'the norm', to the point where it's actually a phase in the game. Here it's just an option, and you could (although it might not be practical) just forgo combat all-together.

One thing i would like to know though, is there a way to actually hire the Bodyguard in the Suburbs deck? 6+ Favour, in our game we saw plenty of ways for him to get favour, but for me i had nothing, and stuck on 3 Favour for the whole game.
 
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Matt Anticole
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Muzzaro wrote:
One thing i would like to know though, is there a way to actually hire the Bodyguard in the Suburbs deck? 6+ Favour, in our game we saw plenty of ways for him to get favour, but for me i had nothing, and stuck on 3 Favour for the whole game.


Since the Suburbs aren't a heavy fighter deck to begin with, you could start with higher Favor and Fury and count on bringing out some songbirds to lower your Fury. Attack with your Family Dogs when you need to strike out, since they don't typically gain Fury during attacks.

She doesn't see play very often, but a pretty effective card... for a human.
 
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