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Subject: What is it like to play this game? rss

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J. James
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Seems like a funny question, perhaps, but I hope it makes sense by the end of this posting. So my deal is that I love player interaction, but am not big on cutthroat games or games with a lot of interplayer aggression. This makes finding games a bit tough because a lot of games rely on battles and aggression for the interaction. I end up playing a lot of co-ops for this reason, interaction without aggression. I love playing Cosmic Encounter for all the banter that comes from recruiting allies. Obviously there are battles in that game but usually the destiny cards tell you who to fight. I like Roll for the Galaxy because I like engine building and guessing what the other player is going to do. And it looks like I might like card drafting because amongst purely competitive games Sushi Go Party!, 7 Wonders and Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure(sort of, right?) are all in my top five. I have noticed that usually I don't care if I am getting screwed over (or handing out the same) if the game is quick, and we can play again, or it is not a deal breaker every time, or if the game is just reallly fun to play regardless. I would put Photosynthesis in this last category because in addition to very indirect interaction it is also just fun to watch your forest grow even if occasionally you are getting pushed out or blocked from prime real estate.

So anyways, just curious what the game play of Blood Rage feels like from this perspective. I have watched one playthrough so have a decent sense of the game but thought I would ask here. I am especially nervous these days because I just bought a cheap version of TI3 and this great game was wasted on me and my group because we are all carebears apparently.

Thanks, as always!!
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Josh Murphree
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After reading your post I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Blood Rage to you. I find the player interaction in the game to be less cutthroat than it may first appear. You don't ever attack another player directly. You're looting a village and the other players decide whether or not to jump into the fight on their own. There are also tons of situations where having your clan members die in battle is a good thing! I also find that one or two battles rarely seal the deal on who wins or not. The Game is more balanced than that. There are a few circumstances where you may be faced with a few "take that" moments. For example another player may beat you in a battle but you have a card that adds some last minute points to your score so you end up winning. Blood rage is also relatively quick. 60-90 minutes, with most my games being on the 60 min side. I think you should give it a shot. There are definitely epic battles where your clan will win or lose against other players. There are also quests and upgrades you do on your own to score points. And times when you want all your clan members to end up in Valhalla by dying in battle. Let us know if you pick it up and like it! I sure do!
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Murph20047 wrote:
I find the player interaction in the game to be less cutthroat than it may first appear.

What he said.

Blood rage is quite lighthearted. You need to improvise a lot because you don't know what cards you are going to get each round and your strategy revolves around those cards. And even if you destroy someone's units it may be that he profits from it because his Loki strategy and quests give him points for dying. You can also pick strategies that don't involve a lot of fighting, like quests to conquer provinces.
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Dizz
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I love Blood Rage. It's probably in my Top Ten... but I am not sure it would be near the top of my list for someone who is hesitant because of the aggressive aspect.
Sure, I would recommend that you try it... but I think it is a risky buy.
I would love to suggest some other options if needed.
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William Gaskill
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I tend to agree with Dizz, although I can vouch for what the
others posters have said about BR whistle

It's not a co-op and it is a completion against the
other players to win.It requires ever player to look to his/her
own self interest & in the end "there can be only one"

That said it's a fun fast Game and the aggression is more
directed against the other players as a whole and not a
constant one on one grind.

Perhaps you should have your group look into BR as you have
and see if it's something they would be comfortable with
playing.

OD
 
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Rick S
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Blood Rage is one of my favorite games, but I also would recommend that you try this before you buy it.

What the other posters have said is not wrong, but the game is very tense and it can be very frustrating when you are counting on an easy win.
Example: Another player moves in on your pillage with a single warrior, plays a card that destroys all of your units but one and then wins the battle just to stop you from pillaging an area that was essential to your strategy.

Or there is the player that joins every battle just to lose and steal rage from the winner.

It’s a great game, but I have seen many players get frustrated or aggravated during my plays.
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Jason J
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I hated Blood Rage the 1 time I played it at a convention. It has numerous flaws. Here are a few:

-Huge Snowballing potential. A 3 hour game can be lost in the 1st 20 minutes.

-Gigantic gap between new and veteran players. This may be inherent to many drafting games but in many cases particularly brutal cards may not be apparent upon 1st viewing meaning you can get unexpectedly decimated.

-Questionable balance among cards and among monsters.

-Sometimes Significant downtime for certain players


The 1 game I played saw basically 2 of the 4 players eliminated by the end of Round 1. For example, if you do not understand immediately the importance of saving 1 Rage Point or if other players steal 1 or 2 of your Rage points you can become totally screwed. Once your rage points hit 0 you cannot play any more, so if your last 1 or 2 get stolen your game can almost end as your opponents play card after card while you sit there unable to play for the next 20 mins.

Back to the convention game, at the end of the 1st turn, 2 of the players had like 10 rage or so (going from memory) and myself and the other each had like 7. This meant not only did we not do well Round 1 but also now had 3 fewer Rage points in the next Round too. In Round 2 I was fortunate to play a ridiculously broken card which killed almost 2 entire armies including 1 with a fire giant (goes back to the questionable card balance with a single card being that insane) but even with that was not even to remotely come close to narrowing the gap created within the 1st 20 mins.

At the point the game was hitting the near the 3 hour mark so I had to leave before playing the 3rd age since I was signed up for another game.


****Blood Rage would be 1 of the LAST games I would recommend for someone who specifically dislikes games that are cutthroat and long
 
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Zack
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judo artist wrote:
Seems like a funny question, perhaps, but I hope it makes sense by the end of this posting. So my deal is that I love player interaction, but am not big on cutthroat games or games with a lot of interplayer aggression. This makes finding games a bit tough because a lot of games rely on battles and aggression for the interaction. I end up playing a lot of co-ops for this reason, interaction without aggression. I love playing Cosmic Encounter for all the banter that comes from recruiting allies. Obviously there are battles in that game but usually the destiny cards tell you who to fight. I like Roll for the Galaxy because I like engine building and guessing what the other player is going to do. And it looks like I might like card drafting because amongst purely competitive games Sushi Go Party!, 7 Wonders and Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure(sort of, right?) are all in my top five. I have noticed that usually I don't care if I am getting screwed over (or handing out the same) if the game is quick, and we can play again, or it is not a deal breaker every time, or if the game is just reallly fun to play regardless. I would put Photosynthesis in this last category because in addition to very indirect interaction it is also just fun to watch your forest grow even if occasionally you are getting pushed out or blocked from prime real estate.

So anyways, just curious what the game play of Blood Rage feels like from this perspective. I have watched one playthrough so have a decent sense of the game but thought I would ask here. I am especially nervous these days because I just bought a cheap version of TI3 and this great game was wasted on me and my group because we are all carebears apparently.

Thanks, as always!!


I wouldn't recommend Blood Rage for you even though I agree with most of others said in this thread.

In this game dying in battle may be a good thing (depending on picked strategy) and you certainly don't have to be aggressive in order to win the game. However to fully enjoy this game, players HAVE TO try different strategies and differentiate between passive and aggressive tactics. For example one player will try to focus on pure battle power, another player will try to die a lot and take as many units as he can to Valhalla, third player will try to win battles with some cunning card (and not pure battle power) etc. In order to benefit from the "passive strategy" (i.e. Loki's cards) someone else HAS TO be aggressive so you can feed off of him.

Furthermore in this game you do not pick a strategy at the beginning and stick with it through the whole game. Even the passive player may try to win one or two battles with massive power if he thinks it is crucial for him.

While I agree that this is not specifically "take that!" type of game and is more about area control... but at the same time it is about vikings furiously battling and killing each other. One of the most interesting mechanisms in this game is "joining" the battle when other player declares pillaging a province. If you and your group will not be joining battles (because you try to avoid conflict) then you miss a big part of the game. Huge battle over Yggdrasil can be very devastating for losing players and very rewarding for the winning player.
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Dizz
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MrPerfect1 wrote:

At the point the game was hitting the near the 3 hour mark so I had to leave before playing the 3rd age since I was signed up for another game.

I have a famously slow game group (like Caverna taking 4-5 hours). But man... I do not believe we have ever spent more than three hours on the full explanation and play of Blood Rage for a 4-player game.
I'm not sure what MrPerfect1 did to deserve such a fate, but that circumstance is most certainly out of the ordinary.
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mike mcalister

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It sounds to me like MrPerfect might have been playing a pre-release version of the game at that convention or perhaps all the players did not understand the rules. That may have contributed to the long play as well. After 2-3 plays in our group BR rarely goes beyond 1 hour.

While you can spend all your rage (which is essentially your 'actions') - that concept is no different than most other actionable games. (There is exactly 1 card to 'steal rage' in Age 1.) Even so, in my 15+ plays, no one has EVER been eliminated by then end of Age 1... several times I have been sitting on 0 Glory (points) at age 1 to come back and either win the game or challenge the leader to a close game. I will say that with a new group we found even after several plays we were still finding rule nuances that we did wrong; so reviewing the rulebook can help - and provide the balancing needed to keep everyone "in the running".

Like others have said, some strategies revolves around losing battles on purpose; making it far less cutthroat than other games. So the new player who focuses on winning battles or dominating board presence (like me haha) is not gaining Glory (points) which determines win/loss.

Like most card drafting games, some of the skill and strategy comes from knowing the cards and options that show up in future rounds - and playing 1 game is going to skew a viewpoint. I would no more judge BR with one play than judge 7W by one play, etc.


HTH,

Mike
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Sylvio Z
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Blood Rage IS NOT LIGHTHEARTED, have played it now for almost 50 times, and i can say, sometimes you can be crushed without mercy. But of course, depends on the game, depends if you and other players are wanting the same things, etc.
However, IT IS A QUICK GAME. When we play, we play 3 matches in a period of 4 hours.
So if you accept a little bit of aggression in a quick game, you will do just fine with Blood Rage.
 
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col_w
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MrPerfect1 wrote:
In Round 2 I was fortunate to play a ridiculously broken card which killed almost 2 entire armies including 1 with a fire giant (goes back to the questionable card balance with a single card being that insane)


No card (or combo) is 'broken'. You just haven't discovered a counter for it yet. There's a ton of threads complaining that this card or that combo is broken/overpowered... when everything is overpowered, nothing is.
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Jason J
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Technically it was probably only 2 1/2 hours for the 1st 2 ages since the person was like 25 or so mins late to host the game but was at last 2 1/2 and the end of the 2nd age was just wrapping up when I had to leave

col_w wrote:
MrPerfect1 wrote:
In Round 2 I was fortunate to play a ridiculously broken card which killed almost 2 entire armies including 1 with a fire giant (goes back to the questionable card balance with a single card being that insane)


No card (or combo) is 'broken'. You just haven't discovered a counter for it yet. There's a ton of threads complaining that this card or that combo is broken/overpowered... when everything is overpowered, nothing is.


You are right that no card is so broken that you auto win the entire game only with that 1 card. However, it is pretty debatable whether 1 card should have the power to completely destroy 2 strong armies, including 1 army with a full health Fire Giant
 
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J. James
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Thanks everyone for so much thought and help. Yeah this game is right on the cusp for me. I really like card drafting and the similarities to Cosmic that keep coming up (joining in on battles etc) which all are telling me yes. But, come on, it's a game about viking warfare. Seems unaviodable to get player conflict and 'take that'. I guess, as suggested, I will try to find a copy to test out a few times first.

I haven't found a local shop that has it in their library, but I think a guy at work might have it for me to borrow.

Thanks!!

 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Sylvioze wrote:

Blood Rage IS NOT LIGHTHEARTED, have played it now for almost 50 times, and i can say, sometimes you can be crushed without mercy. But of course, depends on the game, depends if you and other players are wanting the same things, etc.

As you say, it partly depends on who you play with. We don't have a lot of personal issues with BR like they can sometimes arise with other games. It's harder to take things personally as the cards more or less dictate your options and space on the board is (increasingly) limited.
And as I stated before, it's not always clear why people do things because some quests and tactics require different actions. You all have your own sometimes very different agendas in order to get glory.

Sylvioze wrote:
However, IT IS A QUICK GAME. When we play, we play 3 matches in a period of 4 hours.
So if you accept a little bit of aggression in a quick game, you will do just fine with Blood Rage.

Yup. Quick it is. And very dynamic.
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Todd Parker
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MrPerfect1 wrote:
You are right that no card is so broken that you auto win the entire game only with that 1 card. However, it is pretty debatable whether 1 card should have the power to completely destroy 2 strong armies, including 1 army with a full health Fire Giant

The game is great because there is a counter to every strategy. If someone managed to build a huge army, he could just roll over everything with no way to stop him. This card is the counter to that strategy. Why arent you complaining that building a big army is an overpowered strategy?
This game isnt about building an army and winning battles. Its about getting points any way possible, and stopping others from getting points. There are plenty of strategies and plenty of counters to each of them.

When I am teaching this game, I emphasize that it looks like a battle game, but this is not the case. There are battles, but the game isnt about winning battles.
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Zachary Pickel

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I had almost the opposite experience. My first time I was down until final scoring where I came out well ahead. The game can be long and there can be a lot of down time if you burn you action points too quickly, but at high player counts Cosmic Encounter has a lot of downtime too. Last time I played that it was over an hour in before I took my first turn as the offense.
I would recommend Blood Rage based on what you've said.
MrPerfect1 wrote:
I hated Blood Rage the 1 time I played it at a convention. It has numerous flaws. Here are a few:

-Huge Snowballing potential. A 3 hour game can be lost in the 1st 20 minutes.

-Gigantic gap between new and veteran players. This may be inherent to many drafting games but in many cases particularly brutal cards may not be apparent upon 1st viewing meaning you can get unexpectedly decimated.

-Questionable balance among cards and among monsters.

-Sometimes Significant downtime for certain players


The 1 game I played saw basically 2 of the 4 players eliminated by the end of Round 1. For example, if you do not understand immediately the importance of saving 1 Rage Point or if other players steal 1 or 2 of your Rage points you can become totally screwed. Once your rage points hit 0 you cannot play any more, so if your last 1 or 2 get stolen your game can almost end as your opponents play card after card while you sit there unable to play for the next 20 mins.

Back to the convention game, at the end of the 1st turn, 2 of the players had like 10 rage or so (going from memory) and myself and the other each had like 7. This meant not only did we not do well Round 1 but also now had 3 fewer Rage points in the next Round too. In Round 2 I was fortunate to play a ridiculously broken card which killed almost 2 entire armies including 1 with a fire giant (goes back to the questionable card balance with a single card being that insane) but even with that was not even to remotely come close to narrowing the gap created within the 1st 20 mins.

At the point the game was hitting the near the 3 hour mark so I had to leave before playing the 3rd age since I was signed up for another game.


****Blood Rage would be 1 of the LAST games I would recommend for someone who specifically dislikes games that are cutthroat and long
 
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David Tolin
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Someone once described Taj Mahal as "a knife fight in the dark." I really like that description, and it stuck with me.

I would say Blood Rage is "a knife fight at a rave, on Ecstacy, with superpowers."
 
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Sylvio Z
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MrPerfect1 wrote:
Technically it was probably only 2 1/2 hours for the 1st 2 ages since the person was like 25 or so mins late to host the game but was at last 2 1/2 and the end of the 2nd age was just wrapping up when I had to leave

col_w wrote:
MrPerfect1 wrote:
In Round 2 I was fortunate to play a ridiculously broken card which killed almost 2 entire armies including 1 with a fire giant (goes back to the questionable card balance with a single card being that insane)


No card (or combo) is 'broken'. You just haven't discovered a counter for it yet. There's a ton of threads complaining that this card or that combo is broken/overpowered... when everything is overpowered, nothing is.


You are right that no card is so broken that you auto win the entire game only with that 1 card. However, it is pretty debatable whether 1 card should have the power to completely destroy 2 strong armies, including 1 army with a full health Fire Giant


Man, the game is like this, so, advise, when you get a big monster, don’t get all confident to it, because it worths nothing to go to a battle with one monster, and play a card with a + 1 STR, because, if you do so, man, you are going to get smashed.
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