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Subject: Fun with only two? rss

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Justin Rizzo
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Typically only playing games with my wife due to our jobs.

I heard it can be really swingy with two. That would probably turn us off to the game. Is this true? Is it fixed with any expansions?

Thanks.
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Trevor Taylor
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Swingy is a strange description for it. As a person gains wounds, those wounds actually give you powerful abilities which you can use to your benefit. The game can 'swing' one way or the other, because although someone with more wounds is loosing, those wounds could actually allow them to perform a tremendous single turn which could end the game with them winning. It just makes it more important about how you decide to play your cards and defend with your minions.
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Yao-ban Chan
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I should preface by saying that I've only played the iOS version. But I actually refuse to play with any other player count than 2, because choosing who to attack is a very political decision which is a significant determining factor in who wins; it's kind of like free-for-all multiplayer Magic in this way.

Having said that, for 2p it can be incredibly brutal; I've lost games by turn 5 with barely a chance to react. I do find that games tend to be one side stomping the other rather than a long drawn out back-and-forth. But I don't mind that; it's a fast game where you pick your strategy, one person crushes the other in 5-10 minutes, and then you can do it all again, perhaps with a different result!

Edit: It takes 5-10 minutes on the iPad; I make no guarantees for face-to-face.

Also, while in theory wounds are a comeback mechanism as Trevor said, I find in practice they don't work all that well; if you have a lot of them, you just draw more wounds with your extra draws. They're really only good when you have a small number of them - which doesn't happen when you are being crushed.
 
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Jack Francisco
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I play this solely with 2p as well. I think it's very fun!
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Trevor Taylor
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That's contrary to every game I've played of this. I've played it mostly on iOS (about 50/50 against humans or AI, but at least 150 games total), but some in person too. All my games have been close up until the finish. One player might eventually win by a landslide (as they do a lot of damage in 1 turn) but it's always been a lot of back and forth before then. I akin it to boxing, with people testing each others defences with little jabs here and there while building up their deck. Until they get the right cards in hand to time an offensive well with either lots of card attack, or queued up minions for the next attack phase to finish the game off with a hay-maker.

I'd say that yes, sometimes in more than 2 players it can be a little 'negotiat-ee'. But often your decision is tactical. I could attack the guy with minions, which means he won't get to attack me, but then I'm not improving my finishing position. Or I could attack the wide open guy which will put him dead-last and end the game, but do I have less wounds that the 3rd guy. But yes, it's best played 2 player.
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Justin Rizzo
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Orntt wrote:

Having said that, for 2p it can be incredibly brutal; I've lost games by turn 5 with barely a chance to react. I do find that games tend to be one side stomping the other rather than a long drawn out back-and-forth. But I don't mind that; it's a fast game where you pick your strategy, one person crushes the other in 5-10 minutes, and then you can do it all again, perhaps with a different result!

Also, while in theory wounds are a comeback mechanism as Trevor said, I find in practice they don't work all that well; if you have a lot of them, you just draw more wounds with your extra draws. They're really only good when you have a small number of them - which doesn't happen when you are being crushed.


Yuck. Turn 5? That sounds disgusting. My wife and I would absolutely hate this then.
Is this the experience for everyone else? I mean, if it's that bad we will just go for Hero or Star Realms. Cheaper.

We like to stomp on one another, but I'd it's over that fast and the stomping is that big (no chance at all to catch up or counter) then this is not for us. A good PvP deck builder should be minimum of 20-30 minutes IMO. Especially if setup is involved.
 
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Joe Prozinski
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JustinRRizzo wrote:
Orntt wrote:

Having said that, for 2p it can be incredibly brutal; I've lost games by turn 5 with barely a chance to react. I do find that games tend to be one side stomping the other rather than a long drawn out back-and-forth. But I don't mind that; it's a fast game where you pick your strategy, one person crushes the other in 5-10 minutes, and then you can do it all again, perhaps with a different result!

Also, while in theory wounds are a comeback mechanism as Trevor said, I find in practice they don't work all that well; if you have a lot of them, you just draw more wounds with your extra draws. They're really only good when you have a small number of them - which doesn't happen when you are being crushed.


Yuck. Turn 5? That sounds disgusting. My wife and I would absolutely hate this then.
Is this the experience for everyone else? I mean, if it's that bad we will just go for Hero or Star Realms. Cheaper.

We like to stomp on one another, but I'd it's over that fast and the stomping is that big (no chance at all to catch up or counter) then this is not for us. A good PvP deck builder should be minimum of 20-30 minutes IMO. Especially if setup is involved.


A game ending in 5 turns is pretty rare in my experience.
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Jack Francisco
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I'd say the game ends or continues kind of in the same vein as Roma/Arena by Feld. There is the occasional sudden whitewashing blowout with about the same frequency as games that end up in a back and forth tug of war.
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Justin Rizzo
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Well if it's a gradual tug of war as each player builds up their deck with a final crushing blow by the player with the most efficient deck and smartest play style, then this game IS for us!

Now sell me on this over a $13 copy of Star/Hero Realms.
 
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Trevor Taylor
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Base game Star Realms will have most games playing fairly similarly after a few games. Whatever cards come up early in the market will probably dictate your building strategy.
Nightfall, due to the limited, partially drafted market and your own private market means that each game is a little more unique.

Also, Star Realms is just about getting cards that are in the same 'faction' as they get bonuses to utilise. You'll always play all your cards.
Nightfall combos require you to buy cards that have matching moon symbols so that you can actually play multiple cards in a turn. If they don't chain and you don't deck build carefully, you'll not have a good turn.

I really enjoy Star Realms, but it is a lighter affair (with very little to offer if you DID want to play with more players). Nightfall is a far meatier game and even the pre-game draft brings interesting choices above and beyond the best choice turns you have in Star Realms.

TL;DR I'd recommend both if you have the capacity, as they are both quite different, but if you can only grab one, I'd choose the meatier Nightfall.
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Justin Rizzo
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Initial NF buying order was Base, Martial, Coldest, done. Eastern Skies impossible.

Sound good? Or anything else worth picking up?

Also thunderstone quest is on KS in a few days.
 
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Trevor Taylor
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JustinRRizzo wrote:
Initial NF buying order was Base, Martial, Coldest, done. Eastern Skies impossible.

Sound good? Or anything else worth picking up?

Also thunderstone quest is on KS in a few days.


I started off by just getting the base game cheap second hand. After that, I just kept picking up expansions (some are stand-alone base games which are also an expansion) whenever they came up cheap on BGG or eBay. I even ended up being refunded one as the game arrived with a huge gauge out of the box which luckily didn't damage the cards. It was shipped quite far so they didn't want to pay to have it shipped back to them!

I'd say that once you own ANY 2 sets, you'll have plenty of variation. Although the one that adds ghouls is pretty fun. Also any stand-alone set which give alternate starting cards is nice. But I wouldn't worry about buying things 'in order' or paying a premium to snatch up everything you can.
 
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Jack Francisco
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Personally, of all the "Realms" games, I like Cthulhu Realms best and on par with Nightfall. I am biased towards Nightfall, though, since the designer made a custom card out of my daughter when I told him that she was so good at the game, that she was the Queen of Nightfall.

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Kevin Gordon
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Just wanted to chime in with my opinion:

I have 55 face to face plays (almost all 3-5 players) and something like 250-300 iOS plays (almost all 2 players). The two player version of this game is fantastic. For some reason, it seems to have garnered a bit of a reputation for being "swingy" with two players, but I completely disagree with that assertion. I think the reason some think that way, is that it absolutely rewards solid, tactical play. So yes, an experienced player should certainly beat an unexperienced player. But, shouldn't two player games be that way?

And, for what it's worth, I completely agree with Trevor's above comparison to boxing. Jab after jab for a while, then someone goes for the knockout. With relatively evenly match opponents, this game is tense throughout, usually with a big, massive attack to finish it up.

I highly recommend it for two players!
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v b
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JustinRRizzo wrote:
Initial NF buying order was Base, Martial, Coldest, done. Eastern Skies impossible.

Sound good? Or anything else worth picking up?

Also thunderstone quest is on KS in a few days.

NF?
 
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Jack Francisco
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NF = Nightfall.
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Justin Rizzo
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kevster wrote:
Just wanted to chime in with my opinion:

I have 55 face to face plays (almost all 3-5 players) and something like 250-300 iOS plays (almost all 2 players). The two player version of this game is fantastic. For some reason, it seems to have garnered a bit of a reputation for being "swingy" with two players, but I completely disagree with that assertion. I think the reason some think that way, is that it absolutely rewards solid, tactical play. So yes, an experienced player should certainly beat an unexperienced player. But, shouldn't two player games be that way?

And, for what it's worth, I completely agree with Trevor's above comparison to boxing. Jab after jab for a while, then someone goes for the knockout. With relatively evenly match opponents, this game is tense throughout, usually with a big, massive attack to finish it up.

I highly recommend it for two players!


If this is in fact the way the game plays, I will pick it up. This is the style of gameplay we would enjoy.
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Kevin Gordon
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Be sure and let us know what you think if you do end up grabbing it. For me, it's the very best deck builder out there, and it's not even close.
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Justin Rizzo
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Our problem is we just traded out Castles of Ludwig for Ascension Storm of Souls + Immortal Heroes....and I'm planning on backing Thunderstone Quest in a few days.

But, I can nab Martial Law for $12. That's so cheap...hard to pass up.
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Mike Beiter
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Adding my 2 cents. Nightfall to me is best with 3 or 4 players.
It can be fun with 2, but it is much more challenging and can be overcome with experience.

Two players usually goes VERY quickly. 5 to 6 turns most of the time. Especially with high damage minions lurking about.

I would say 90% of the games end extremely 1 sided, like 4 to 16+ wounds.
Rarely is it even close. It took us a while to see our first even two player match up. One player always seems to get destroyed over a couple of massive wound giving turns.

***The reason why comes down to how efficiently you chain on your opponents turn. That is the game changer. If you can chain better than them on their turn, you will dominate.
Example: If player 1 chains only a couple cards and player 2 dumps 5+ in an amazing chain, they will most likely swarm player 1 on their next turn, destroy player 1s army and deal several wounds to them.
Then player 2 can skip their chain phase so as to deprive player 1 from rebuilding their army, and player ones turn rolls around with them having no minions to attack.
So a standoff ensues on who will choose to chain next and who will get a better chain.
So the standoff is brokem when one player chooses to chain and we go right back to the item above. (If your opponent can chain a stronger army than you on your own chain, they will beat you down come their turn)

Now, this can be mitigated with experience.
Chaining cards your opponent can't chain off of for example is a good one.
Or having orders in your chain that remove your opponents minions etc.
Or having high life minions that can survive a pounding, but sadly in the base set, Big Ghost hitting for 5 will take down any foe.

It really comes down to what archives are available.
Generally the player who gets the hardest hitting minions out the fastest and in largest quantity wins.

Again it is a generalization and the archives can alter this outcome.

I hope this helps.




 
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Chad B
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I would include Martial Law in your purchase. The Martial Law wounds can increase the attach strength of your minions and are a key catch-up mechanic that is being referred to in the thread.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I completely disagree with the long response that said most games are one-sided. In my experience the only way that happens is if each and every game features a more experienced player against a much less experienced player. Because it almost always follows that if both gamers are playing well, the game will be close, if both are playing poorly the game will be close. What lopsided games that do exist are most likely when only playing with the base game. It is a lot of fun with 2. One tip is to make sure to add minion cards early and often as those base cards will cycle out of the game quickly.

One thing the above lengthy poster didn't point out as a big negative to 3+ player counts is that the game is quite given to king making. Since you have to attack with every minion each turn and can pick who those minions attack, if you can't win, you can play a big part in who does.
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Justin Rizzo
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It crazy. Both in the forums, and in video and text reviews I keep seeing polarizing reviews on whether the game is swingy and short in 2P (meaning, the winner DOMINATES and in under 10 turns).

I mean, it's like 50/50.

For $12, maybe I'll just get it and try it for myself.
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David Gregg
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I'm just glad to see so many folks so passionately discussing the game meeple
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Rick Teverbaugh
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s3rvant wrote:
I'm just glad to see so many folks so passionately discussing the game meeple


C'mon David. It's your baby. What do you think about it as 2-player?
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