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Subject: Deciding between two heavy games... opinions? rss

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Dan
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When Anachrony came to KS, I had a tough decision to make, because I could only back one game. It was between that and Mistfall: Heart of the Mists.

They were similarly priced, but Mistfall, being a co-op, appealed more to the group. It also seemed a a bit lighter.

So, a year later, I've played Mistfall twice (once by myself to learn, and once at the table, 4p).

It is definitely heavier/crunchier than I expected. We liked it, but there are a LOT of rules, and there's a lot to learn about the individual characters before playing them effectively.

I don't know how often it'll hit the table, given the considerable re-learning curve if we go a couple months between plays.

Anyway, now I have the opportunity to buy or trade for Anachrony.

It's rated a little heavier than Mistfall, but the play time is maybe shorter on average. So I'm hoping you Anachrony fans can answer a couple questions to help me decide.

First, can anyone that's played both games offer any comparisons of weight, crunchiness, and teaching difficulty?

Second, can anyone else offer insight into these same things for Anachrony, as well as how much advantage an experience player has over someone whose played only once or twice before?

It's possible I could have both, but my one-in one-out policy means something has to go, and there's only so much time to play heavier titles. So, if I had to choose one, what would you suggest?
 
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Brian Lewis
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So I haven't actually played Mistfall, but I have played Anachrony a handful of times with a few weeks between plays. While it is a very thinky, complex game, I don't think that it's a particularly complicated game. There are a lot of decisions and things to do, but the rules themselves are fairly straight-forward once you've played a game. And once you've learned what the iconography means, it becomes very easy to "re-learn" the rules even after a while by using the reference cards and the iconography throughout the game.
As far as the different factions, the player boards have both a symmetrical and an asymmetrical side. All the differences are pretty clearly marked with iconography and also listed in more detail in the rulebook. The basics are essentially the same but some factions get discounts or get more points for certain things. The only other asymmetrical aspects come from the leaders, who each have a different ability (2 leaders to choose from for each faction), and the evacuation conditions (again, 2 to choose from for each faction). Playing it more will definitely help you get better at it over time, of course, but I think that anyone who is an experienced gamer should be able to get it pretty well on the first or second game, even if they haven't actually played Anachrony before.
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Gannon Dubay
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Haven't played Mistfall but I'll throw my 2 cents in. Teaching Anachrony is much easier if the other players are already familiar with worker placement. At its heart, Anachrony is another worker placement game with resource management and engine building, so it shares a lot of mechanics/concepts with other WP games. There are some twists, but after the first round, new players (gamers) tend to pick it up pretty quickly in my experience. I would not try to play this game with non gamers or people not already familiar with worker placement games however.
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Dan
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Thanks for the feedback! I was hoping this was the case... Mistfall seems like a pretty great game, but the terrible "wuick start" guide paired with the density of the rules and exceptions made it a bit of a slog to learn and teach. I'm sure it will get easier with multiple plays, so I'm not ready to dump it yet.

But you've alleviated my fears that getting Anachrony would just be adding another box to the stack of things that I semi-dread having to teach. Mage Knight still hasn't hit the table outside of my solo adventures Someday...
 
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Brian Lewis
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I will say that Anachrony does take a decent amount of time to teach, but not in a difficult way, just because there's quite a lot to explain with the different actions to take and the time travel. The boards and such are language-independent and so they rely heavily on iconography rather than text, which can be hard to pick up on at first. There is a list of what all the icons represent on the back of the rules, though.
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John Jarvis
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oddbod wrote:
Second, how much advantage an experience player has over someone whose played only once or twice before?


I've played Anachrony over ten times... I played a game against someone who had only played once before..... I beat them by 30 points...I nearly doubled their score...

For me a big part is playing enough to understand factions / leader combinations, A or B side etc. Knowing a good combination to pick at he start of the game is vital...Well in my experience anyway !

Still it's an amazing game, my number one of all time, can't recommended it enough.
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