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Subject: First Impression rss

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Jason Brown
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I had a chance to play a full game of Edge of Darkness at PAX Unplugged and wanted to jot down some quick impressions for those looking for information.

Card Crafting
I played Mystic Vale when it first came out. I found the card crafting mechanic interesting and fun, but the game wore out its welcome after only a few plays. Unlike MV where the mechanic is the entire game, the card crafting in EoD is only a part of the gameplay. Another thing that sets it apart is that you actually build enemies at the same time you build your deck. The reverse side of every card is an enemy that may attack you, and every time you insert a plastic addition, you make the enemy stronger.

That Tower Thing...
Speaking of enemies, that plastic tower is what determines what enemy attacks and who it targets. Each player draws cubes from a bag each turn and drops them into the tower. The colors get randomized and when 7 cubes accumulate on an enemy, it attacks the player with the most cubes on it. After the attack resolves, the enemy is discarded and a new card is drawn from the bottom of the common deck and flipped to its enemy side in the empty space. Remember that awesome card you built with all three spots filled to give you a super-turn? It’s now a 7-point monster poised to rain destruction on you.

Worker Placement
At its heart, this is a worker placement game. There are 10 locations each game and I was told there will be many to chose from when the game launches. These spots allow you to attack enemies in the aforementioned cube tower, defend from impending attacks, draw money from the treasury, add workers, claim neutral cards, etc. Each player drafts their hand from a common deck and adds one insert to one card each round. You can draft any card and use any action, but you need to pay your opponents to use cards that bear their insignia. Of course, everything you do will gain or cost you end game victory points.

Overall
After reading some overviews, I was worried that this game would be a jumbled mess, that there would be too much going on. After learning and playing it though, I found the gameplay smooth and intuitive. Turns move quickly and the enemy tower works as a timer that you can use to anticipate and plan for attacks. Our 3-Player game took less than two hours to include teaching and we were taking our turns without help by the second round. Our game played out much differently than any other games played that day even though we all had the same setup. This is the game John D. Clair designed for his card crafting mechanic and it shows. I look forward to seeing what AEG can do with it and will be a day 1 backer when the Kickstarter launches next year.
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Ryan Dancey
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Glad you had a good first play!
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Blayne Miley
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Really looking forward to the Kickstarter! I was able to demo this at GenCon and loved it, curious if the final version will be changed at all.
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Jason Brown
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MuckBubbler wrote:
Really looking forward to the Kickstarter! I was able to demo this at GenCon and loved it, curious if the final version will be changed at all.

I saw a pic of the newest tower prototype and it’s pretty nice. Looks nothing like the “frankentower” in use for demos.
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Lee Fisher
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Is this like the Queen cube tower or something else?
 
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Jason Brown
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lfisher wrote:
Is this like the Queen cube tower or something else?

I’ve no idea what the Queen cube tower is, but this simply randomizes cubes into three different bins that hold enemies poised to attack your city on the edge of darkness.
 
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Lee Fisher
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
lfisher wrote:
Is this like the Queen cube tower or something else?

I’ve no idea what the Queen cube tower is, but this simply randomizes cubes into three different bins that hold enemies poised to attack your city on the edge of darkness.


Like in Shogun/Wallenstein/Amerigo/Immortals.

OK that sounds a bit different. Cool.
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Jason Brown
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lfisher wrote:
MAJBrown22 wrote:
lfisher wrote:
Is this like the Queen cube tower or something else?

I’ve no idea what the Queen cube tower is, but this simply randomizes cubes into three different bins that hold enemies poised to attack your city on the edge of darkness.


Like in Shogun/Wallenstein/Amerigo/Immortals.

OK that sounds a bit different. Cool.

Gotcha. No, everything that goes in comes out.
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Petra
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Nice to read your impressions. I watched the prototype a bit at Essen this year but didn't get a chance to try it. I'll probably be a day one backer too.
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Skazz of Discworld
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I played a demo at Essen. My impression was that it will be fun but might really need three or four players. In a two player game you just might only concentrate on your own cards when they come out.

Also had the impression that just defending against monsters give you a lot of points and attacking is not worth it because you need a lot of workers and do not get that many points. But maybe they tweaked that or this was just my impression ecause we only played 3 rounds and not until the end.
 
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Jason Brown
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skazz wrote:
Also had the impression that just defending against monsters give you a lot of points and attacking is not worth it because you need a lot of workers and do not get that many points. But maybe they tweaked that or this was just my impression ecause we only played 3 rounds and not until the end.

It's funny that our group had the exact opposite impression. We found it much more effective to go on the offense than to invest in defense. We had 4 players play an entire game, so that may have something to do with it. The monsters with 3 full cards are worth oodles of points!
 
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Skazz of Discworld
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
skazz wrote:
Also had the impression that just defending against monsters give you a lot of points and attacking is not worth it because you need a lot of workers and do not get that many points. But maybe they tweaked that or this was just my impression ecause we only played 3 rounds and not until the end.

It's funny that our group had the exact opposite impression. We found it much more effective to go on the offense than to invest in defense. We had 4 players play an entire game, so that may have something to do with it. The monsters with 3 full cards are worth oodles of points!


Good to know, really seems that hunting becomes much more important in the Endgame.
 
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Adrian Whipp
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Blood Rage, Scythe, Champions of Midgard... etc.?
Your first impressions post is the first thing I’ve seen on this game that has piqued by interest in backing it, even after skimming through videos and the Kickstarter page.

How does the tension in this game compare to something like Blood Rage or Scythe? My fiancé and I enjoy everything from euros to worker placements, but have recently gotten into more dudes on a map games, and those are two of our absolute favorites. If I had a basis for comparison, I might have a better understanding of what kind of experience Edge of Darkness might offer. If nothing else, get pointed in the right direction.

To me, this game looks most like Champions of Midgard, maybe a bit heavier, but I haven’t played CoM yet. Just an outsider’s perspective here.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Jason Brown
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HouseOfPanda wrote:
How does the tension in this game compare to something like Blood Rage or Scythe?

I've played all the games you mentioned and Edge of Darkness stands out in that the tension comes from the game more than other players. You're in competition with everyone at the table, but the cube tower is democratic in it's decisions You must balance your plans against the rising number of cubes in each section and you hold your breath each time another bunch is dropped in. Every potential reward comes with a big risk, so no decision is taken lightly.

For folks that like multi-player competition without having to attack your fellow players, this is a great pick. Like Champions of Midgard that you mentioned later, the competition comes from taking limited resources and you can smile when slotting another guild identifier into a valuable neutral card and blame their losses on the monsters (never mind that the monster attacking them is actually the back side of the awesome card you created!).

I should caveat this post by saying that Blood Rage, Scythe and Champions of Midgard are all Top 10 games in my library. I enjoyed my play of Edge immensely and look forward to adding it alongside those all-time favorites to my library!
 
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