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Curtis Lemmons
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Howdy everyone,

This is my second review I have ever done, and so it might be a little rough around the edges. I hope this helps people who might be on the fence, and people who, like me, want to get a better feel of a game when they cannot watch videos at work (I know, I am such a slacker.) This will be an actual review of the game, so there will not be any real breakdown of how to play. There are a bunch of wonderful videos and posts about that. So, without further ado, let's dive in.

Components are a big part of this game. There are chits for days. I do not normally play solo board games, but I find that the better ones have a lot of markers because it just gets too hard to keep everything straight in your head. War games are especially known for this, and well, Nemo's War, at its heart, is at least half war game.

I love the art on the boats. I also love that everything is as thick as it is. Some war games, you get these super flimsy card stock pieces, so these have a bit of substance to them. The motive cards look beautiful, though part of me wonders why we have them, since all the stats are sitting right under the card. The plastic treasure crystals and the wooden pieces (action and notoriety) are really nice additions.

I think the few problems I have are with just a few components. Firstly, with the crew, Nemo, and hull indicators. I accidentally ripped one of them while punching, so it looks a little funky. Those 3 are the most flimsy of the game. Second, same problem, though not ripped, was the Arabian Tunnel. Lastly, some of the chits seemed to want to hang on to their parent board, and so they might not have punched so cleanly.

Components 7.5/10

You want to go on adventure? Well this game is probably for you. The replayability is pretty good. You get 30+ cards to play, with 6 or 7 different endings. The left overs go into a random adventure deck that can give you more treasure. On top of all that, you can have the same deck, and play a different motive and each time, the game will be different even that way. Each game gives you a completely different narrative, and even if you had never read 20k Leagues, you might still understand at least a good portion of what is going on in the book. My only quip is, you always know what is going to be on the Act cards, every time. I know they are just there to kind of give you a heads up that things are about to get worse, and you might want to think about time scale, and they do great in that aspect. That said, maybe a little flavor would be good. Again, it is miniscule, and does not really deter from the narrative, but reviews are supposed to nitpick I think.

Replayability 9.5/10

Looking at the game, you would think, with everything going on, you would need something the size of 20k Leagues to explain it, but the game is very trimmed. I was surprised by the ease of play. You get a little fiddliness here and there, but it is a much better put together rulebook than others I have perused. There was one or two times where I had to flip the pages, trying to find something, and once I had to come here, but for the most part, it was alright. I apologize if this part is not very exciting. It is a rulebook...

Rules 8/10

So the meat and potatoes of any game is, did you have fun? I did, and I want to delve into it again. There was one part where I was fairly frustrated toward the beginning where I had 4 lull turns in a row. Things got to be a mess pretty quickly. Most games, doubles are a great thing. This time, it was increasingly frustrating. Once I got out of that funk, and found my rhythm, things got increasingly better. My main litmus test to games is: Can I see myself playing this at least 10 times, and not feel bored. With this game, I can say yes. As I said, it is different every time, so that makes that answer easy. So, fun factor downside. With any game that uses dice, randomness is just part of it.

As I said before, 4 lull turns in a row was pretty harrowing. I did not ever actually have more than 3 AP per turn, and after those 4 lulls, it comes down to 2 AP because you really should save one per turn. Now I understand bad rolls, and I play a lot of games where the dice just do not like me, but it can really kill you in a solo game. If I had any real qualms with this game, it is that, in cases like this, where you just cannot get the dice to roll your way, it would be nice to have a mechanic to fight against that. I thought of homebrewing a 1AP allotment if I go through more than 2 lulls.

Also, gaming is supposed to be a social exercise. I got this game because I really like VPG and what they do. As I said before, I do not play many solo games, and I know there is a cooperative version to this game, but I just haven't found anyone who would be interested in trying with me. Therefore, my score might be somewhat skewed in this aspect.

Fun Factor 7.5/10

So, I like the game. I like the game more because as soon as I found out about this game, I read everything I could on Captain Nemo. Some of the book was hard to get through (a different time, a different writing style) but all in all, I really like how this game really caught the theme of Nemo's love of all things science, and hate for all things English. You can really sense his descent into madness (through ticking down his stat line) as he grasps toward revenge. It makes sense that there there is more tension with his madness, as he is the shortest resource group, yet can be the most effected by things. You are playing a captain on a doomed mission. This game is very heavy with theme, and the artwork is gorgeous. It will always give you a different game. The main core is a bit basic, but it heaps on with the flavor.

Overall score 8.25/10
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Peter
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With this review you managed to give a good overview of how playing Nemo's war makes you feel - I always appreciate that in reviews.

However, I'd like to nitpick on two things:
Quote:
Also, gaming is supposed to be a social exercise. I got this game because I really like VPG and what they do. As I said before, I do not play many solo games, and I know there is a cooperative version to this game, but I just haven't found anyone who would be interested in trying with me. Therefore, my score might be somewhat skewed in this aspect.


Sorry, but I think this is a poor argument. Nemo's War is - first and foremost - a solo game. It was designed as such, it's meant to be played as such. Why criticize it for accomplishing its goal (of being an enjoyable 1 player experience)? To me, that's like saying, "I don't like this pizza because it only feeds one person - it's too small to feed my whole family." - it was never supposed to.

The second thing - and that's just something personal - I'll never understand people who, in their reviews, give equal weight to "component quality" and "fun factor". To me, the latter is about ten times more important (though, admittedly, the components may influence the "fun factor" to a certain degree).
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Curtis Lemmons
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hugolefou wrote:
Nemo's War is - first and foremost - a solo game. It was designed as such, it's meant to be played as such. Why criticize it for accomplishing its goal


I understand Nemo's War is a solo game. I got it because I do not play many solo games. I always like to branch out into things I am uncomfortable with because I think part of gaming is discovery of self. I guess I am critiquing Nemo's War from a different aspect than the gamers who normally come to this game. I want people to read this, and those who normally game socially, those are the ones I am most trying to reach. It might be an act of futility, as people who mostly game for the social aspect might never find this page, but for those that do, they can see an aspect of a solo game that a solo gamer might never hit on. I said before that I rely on these reviews over videos when I look at a game because I do not have access to how to play's a lot of time. I do not normally watch those until I have almost made up my mind to purchase. So this review is for people like me. I do, however, love the pizza analogy.

hugolefou wrote:
I'll never understand people who, in their reviews, give equal weight to "component quality" and "fun factor". To me, the latter is about ten times more important (though, admittedly, the components may influence the "fun factor" to a certain degree).


I do not actually give equal weight to components over gameplay. I use the same base 10 score because that are what people are used to. In fact, my overall score is higher than the average of the other scores. It is not by much, but I do not actually consider the math into the score. Each score is something I feel. I do not keep a checklist and then round it out at the end. Again, I just did it for the sake of trying to stay uniform. As this is only my second review of a game, I will make a note of that, so that I can put disclaimers into my next review.

I do appreciate the feedback. I like people to be critical. Gives me a chance to learn, so thank you.
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Rob White
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I don't know if I'll ever buy or even play Nemo's War, but I certainly do appreciate the fact that you two managed to have a mature internet conversation that involved criticism. Well done. meeple
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Curtis Lemmons
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Thank you Rob. It is always about furthering the culture. One of us. One of us.
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Rob White
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Rob in Richmond wrote:
I don't know if I'll ever buy or even play Nemo's War, but I certainly do appreciate the fact that you two managed to have a mature internet conversation that involved criticism. Well done. meeple


Ok...... well it took a few days of thinking it over, but I *did* end up ordering a copy off CoolStuff. Be here tomorrow. Pumped.
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Peter
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So... how do you like it, Rob?
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