GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
17 Days Left
Quickfight is a legacy deck-building game.
I first heard about the game in an article about Seafall: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/22/seafall-l.... The article mentioned that one of the Seafall playtesters, Jamie Barriga, was working on his own legacy game, and listed his website: http://www.quickfightgame.com/.
I signed up for the open playtest, and Jamie soon sent PDF files for a print and play version of the first three games of Quickfight.
My playgroup has finished Pandemic Legacy season 1, is savoring Seafall by playing 2 games per month, never played Risk Legacy, and is eagerly anticipating Gloomhaven, Charterstone and Chronicles : Origins.
Quickfight starts with the basic deckbuilding mechanics of Ascension or Star Realms - Each player starts with a small (7) card deck of basic, low-powered cards, then adds to this deck from random supply piles of more powerful cards.
Unlike Dominion, with its static supply piles, or Ascension with a random market, Quickfight has 3 or 4 (depending on player count) random supply decks, called locations. Each turn the top card of each location is available for acquisition. Instead of having a fixed price, players use a blind bid mechanic to compete for the card they want. This is themed as your army fighting over the location, and the currency is combat power. Cards acquired are added to your discard pile, and a turn ends with discarding all cards from play and hand, and drawing a new hand of 3 cards.
This acquisition mechanic has two immediate differences from other deck builders - First, it allows for simultaneous turns, nearly eliminating downtime. Second, it adds player interaction and bluffing. Based on the power of your current hand, you can either compete for the most desirable supply card, or try to low bid on a location you don't think anyone else is likely to want.
Familiar legacy mechanics are layered on top of this basic deckbuilder. In the first three games, we experienced three main legacy mechanics. With a full campaign expected to take 12 games, we expect to see many more legacy elements in the future.
Starting deck - a limited number of cards added to your deck during the game become permanent additions to your starting deck. This quickly allows players to develop varied long-term strategies and asymmetric starting positions. Imagine a Dominion game where player A starts with a gold, player B starts with a market, and player C starts with a chapel.
Card Improvements - during the game there are opportunities to make permanent improvements to your starting cards, by filling in check boxes to increase their value. These opportunities are valuable, so are likely to be fought over by players, but they also cost your acquisition for the turn, so you are trading short-term gains in the current game for a long-term bonus for the rest of the campaign.
Unlocked additions - meeting certain criteria or achievements unlocks envelopes of new cards to add to the supply piles and new rules. The first three games of the campaign only included one unlock, triggered by the same player placing last in two of the three games.
Setup - quick and simple: shuffle four 30-card location decks, and hand each player their unique starting deck. Storage will be more of an issue, as each of these decks needs to be kept separated between games. I expect tuckboxes will be required rather than slots in an insert, as the location decks will be unable to be accurately reconstructed if jumbled together.
1) Draw top three cards of your deck
2) Reveal top cards of each location deck - these are the new cards available for acquisition this round, and can be units, items, or upgrades.
3) Play one item card if you have one (item cards are played once, give an immediate benefit, then don't return to your deck/discard. Potentially they could also give an ongoing benefit.)
4) Choose an order for the round. this is the bluffing stage of the round. Each player has an order card corresponding to each of the locations, and chooses one to play face down. That choice selects the location you want to fight at to attempt to acquire a new card. During this phase you can also activate special abilities of some unit cards, or play a special order card.
5) Reveal order cards. If no one else chose the same location as you, you automatically acquire the supply card at that location. If two or more players reveal the same location, they compare the power value of units in their hand, highest value wins the card.
6) Repeat for 10 rounds.
7) After round 10, the player with the highest total value of cards in their deck wins. Some units have a high VP value and a low combat power, and vice versa. Winners get a unique card to add to their starting deck, while losers get a consolation prize.
The full campaign is intended to be 12 games of gradually adjusting your starting deck, permanently changing cards and adding new rules. The playtest rules have a short spoiler peak at some of the rules for later games, which indicate many additional elements and more complex rules than the first three games.
At the end of the campaign, each player should be left with a personalized deck, which can then be used to play non-legacy games against any other deck that has completed the campaign. I expect this post-legacy playability to be more important for Quickfight than other legacy games, due to the much shorter total playthrough length.
My group enjoyed the game. It was a very refreshing change from other legacy games, because it was fast paced, short playtime and simple rules. The simultaneous play and limit of 10 rounds per game made each game fly past. We played all three games back to back in about 90 minutes. The player interaction and bluffing elements spiced up the basic deckbuilder mechanics. There is a lot of obvious design space for more unlocks and new cards to keep the game evolving over the campaign.
Each individual turn doesn't have the strategy of Dominion, instead you are just taking reactive advantage of your opportunities, but over the three complete games, each player was able to deliberately choose a long term strategy and mold their deck differently.
After three games, our decks have the 7 fixed starting cards, plus 7-9 added cards chosen by the players, and they have clearly identified strategies. Player A has units with special powers in the bluffing phase, Player B has high raw combat power and starting victory points, and Player C has a trashing/deck thinning strategy.
We feel ready for games 4-6 to throw some new mechanics at us. In the first three games there was one minor rules change unlocked, and more will be needed to keep the game from getting too repetitive.
One criticism is that the theme of the game does not feel coherent or integrated into the mechanics. I expect this to be a relatively simple problem to solve in response to playest feedback.
Quickfight is very rules-light, without complex card interactions or unit keywords. Unlike Pandemic, which is a fun game without the legacy elements, Quickfight is clearly designed to focus on the legacy aspect. Playing Quickfight without the legacy would be a repetitive, simplistic game, but that very simplicity makes it a great, accessible base to build on, and the speed of each individual game means your legacy choices of which cards to keep have an immediate impact, and give you that "lets play one more game with our new decks" feeling.
Designer Jamie Barriga has said full spoiler playtest reports are acceptable on BGG, so I will be submitting a more detailed report of our three games, with comments on specific rules and cards in the sessions forum.