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Subject: Help clarify my cautions! rss

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Black Alexidor
Canada
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I have been looking at this game since release and am continuing to grow interest. My largest hesitation is that it would be mostly played as a 2 player game and my SO and I do not like games like Chess, Hive or the like. Or many games with perfect information. We like the fun of random elements.

I am wondering how owners have found this game on the 2P scale and if my association to chess-like games is incorrect.

I like the random element of drawing from the bag, but am not sure what kind of downtime this would create between turns since you are not able to pre-plan.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Alex Rodriguez
United States
Portland
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I like this game and don't like Hive. I find there is little down time as the other player(s) watch intently what is being played. The games resolve rather quickly in any case.
 
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David LeftOn4ya
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Florence
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I like but haven't played much "perfect knowledge" abstract strategy games like Chess, Othello, or Blokus in awhile. However this game adding a little randomness to it both helps and hurts it. You cannot "master" it as you would checkers or tic-tac-toe (i.e. you could get so smart at it you will never loose) but you can get quite good at the strategy so an experienced player can usually beat a less experienced player, but randomness does allow anyone to win. I do liken the game as a combo of chess and Reversi/Othello but - you try to put your opponent in "checkmate" but also overwrite pieces for board control.

Turns usually go quick except the first game or two when you are still figuring out rules and beginner strategy.
 
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Flawed Hero
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Rochester
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Your concern about abstract theme is hard to address. I'm up and down when it comes to abstracts. I prefer Euros or themed games, but with the right opponent I like many abstracts like Onitama, Santorini, and even Hive. I do have to be in the right mood. Mainly, I've found that if I don't take to a 2-player abstract like these, it's usually because I've failed to see the strategy that opens the game up, and if see it played by someone else, it will sort of "make it click" in my mind and I'll approach the game's mechanics and strategy differently. Not sure if that's a fault in the game design or in me.

With Element, there's so little investment in sitting down and playing it that you're really missing out by not trying it. I was very surprised to find how well the game scales between 2-4 players. I didn't expect it to, due to the board size and having more open space between players' pawns. But after just a few turns the game gains traction and opens up. I get your concern about downtime but I don't think you'll see that as too much of a problem. At most you have 4 pieces to play and alot of the choices will be either intuitive or reactive to your opponent. I play it with 3 of my kids aged 8-16 and we get through games quickly, usually playing again 3 or 4 times right after (addicitng game!). Sometimes we'll lose a player or two, but like I said we won't notice a big change in the gameplay.
 
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