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Heroes of Land, Air & Sea» Forums » General

Subject: If I own other 4x games is this going to be a let down? rss

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Randolph Bookman
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First, I'm not in anyway downing this game.

Second,I've watched the limited reviews and to be honest those that gave an actual opinion on the game don't really like a lot of heavy games.

I own Clash of cultures, Eclipse,TI4 and Rune War and was interested in this game because I heard it was more RTS than 4x. However, I keep reading that the game starts with everyone doing the same opening move and that the game though short can start to drag as people fight more to get vps instead of ending the game. Is that fairly accurate?
Normally, I wouldn't be bothered by this, but at $200.00 or more, it's a gamble I'm not sure I want to take.
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C B
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HoLAaS looks like TEK++ to me. TEK was not a 4X game in my book - it was also too short to accomplish its goals, I sold it while it still had value.

What I saw of HoLAaS combined with what you've written above, has me firmly convinced that HoLAaS is in no way shape or form worth its high buy in.

HoLAaS may fix what I didn't like about TEK, but I'll never know because it is just too durned expensive.
 
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Ivan Alaiz
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I have eclipse as well so I will use it for comparison on your points.

"I keep reading that the game starts with everyone doing the same opening move": I am one of those voices, to be fair out of the 3 hours game we are talking about the first 1-2 rounds feeling scripted so 5-10 minutes. Its a similar thing than saying on eclipse first round everyone research if something available and then explore. So it does feel scripted but it goes away quickly.


"the game though short can start to drag as people fight more to get vps instead of ending the game": As you will have seen a popular house rule is to award VPs for triggering endgame and also use time as an extra endgame condition.
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Andrew Bonneau
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I like HoLAS a lot but can say it feels more like an old RTS as a board game. It has different end game conditions but honestly if you have a full player board, 4 or 6, it is going to be eXploration every time. So it is more of a timer to stop the game from running too long.
 
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Steve Malczak
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We play all of the games in your OP and enjoy them all, but Heroes has been very well received and replayed in our group. We can typically get through 2 games in one night and we've played it over a dozen times in the last month or so (which is a record for us).

We have fallen into a sort of 'scripted' first turn, but we are already experimenting with ways to break out of it. And honestly beyond the first turn (which is very short), its been wide open in terms of strategy and options.

One unique thing with the game is that you generally earn points for fighting (attacking or defending). So it makes piling on the leader a bit less appealing since it can often just be a wash in terms of points (you cost them some points, but they earn some).

It sounds like our groups have similar 4x tastes and if so, I would highly recommend picking this up if you can find it at a reasonable price. It has become our current favorite 4X/'Dudes on a map' game.
 
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Sebastian Elliker
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It depends whether you go into it expecting a 4X game in the classical sense (think Endless Legend or Civilization) or not. HoLAaS is not a 4X game in the classical sense, but it fits the broad usage of the term (that also applies to games like Warcraft 3). However, I would not put too much weight on the definition. The game is pretty good (coming from somebody who likes Clash of Cultures, Civilization, Forbidden Stars and Twilight Imperium).
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Mike Kettley
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Tom Vasel did a review on it, and he loves it from what I can tell. I think he's more into heavier games, but he said that it fits the RTS theme really well.
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Peter Dorsett
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Hey, here's my 2c worth.

shieldwolf wrote:
I own Clash of cultures, Eclipse, TI4 and Rune War and was interested in this game because I heard it was more RTS than 4x.


Haven't played Clash.

Eclipse is significantly more rule heavy. Eclipse has a much more euro feel about it and I've found that bad starts in Eclipse can be pretty crippling. The relatively few individual abilities of each race have pretty asymmetrical differences, however the main 'crafting' aspect of eclipse comes down to customizing your ships and whether you purchase a few other premium techs or not. Eclipse doesn't work 2p and personally, I don't think eclipse is at its best with 3 either. However, once you go to 5-6 you're looking at a pretty huge play time. Enemies don't always feel as 'accessible' in eclipse because paths can be blocked in various ways and elite ships can seem insurmountable for the less military minded.

In contrast, HLAS is much less of a rules explanation and new players are certainly not going to bog the game down all that much. 5-6 is longer, but certainly quicker than eclipse equivalent. 2p = <1hr. It works well at any player count. The races all start out identical, but evolve to be different as you level your capital, build buildings and focus on different types of units and spells. In HLAS, your opponents (and you) are vulnerable pretty much from turn 2 until the end. Combat is decidedly different in HLAS, with much of it being deterministic (choosing combats you will win) and require resources to fund.

A big difference is that combat, while central, is not the beating heart of HLAS. Ultimately you win HLAS by cashing in your resources for points as effectively as you can. The goal of each player can be slightly different. Alternatively, in Eclipse most games escalate the same way. Expand, tech, turn 4-6 you start combat for territorial supremacy (though this is fun too).

If you like 4x, these feel very much like very different games. Own both. If you only play 4x sometimes (with personal preference aside), own HLAS, its much more accessible.

Making comparisons between TI and HLAS is kinda silly. They are wildly different games, with very different focus (objectives vs. area control/ resource cashing), play length, rule heaviness etc. My only comment here would be if you thought the 'following actions' was kinda similar... it's really not at all.


Haven't played Rune Wars.

Is this an RTS? ...ummm no. You do not play this game in real time (aka magic maze/ escape). It is an adaptation of the game warcraft 3 (essentially), which is an RTS... but this is a simplified 4x board game, not an RTS. Many games have 'build hierarchies' aka TI technology hierarchy and forms of engine building. Producing 'workers' to escalate 'resource production' certainly is everywhere too.

shieldwolf wrote:
I keep reading that the game starts with everyone doing the same opening move


Personally, I kinda 'eye-rolled' when I looked at this (one?) thread. So much so I couldn't bother to reply. There's always a couple of people who come on and comment 'this game is broken' in some way. In this vein, I've seen three complaints. Opening moves, end condition and the third is 'vessels seem weak'. While people have valid opinions, in this case I personally see absolutely zero validity in any of them. I wouldn't put weight on the views a few individuals. For every person who posts something like that, there's literally hundreds of others who don't see an issue and therefore don't post anything... for some reason it reminds me of going to a Rising Sun forum and asking if faction 'x' is OP/ broken. Many times individuals have points to make, but more often groups of like-minded voices are more trustworthy.

The tax-follow/ recruit-follow/ march x2 strategy seems pretty silly to our group. Why would you make a move that helps an opponent? Isn't the aim to do something that gets you ahead rather than equal/ behind? Sometimes people march a warrior and serf together first to avoid orcs, then the warrior by itself later. Some march double serfs. Some march a warrior twice because they start with a combat card like possession. or similar. Some start with resource gaining spells so they research. Really there are loads of ways to start and personally, the tax/recruit/ march is just one. Turn 1 tower anyone? Of course there will be many similar opening moves, but what game doesn't have this?

shieldwolf wrote:
the game though short can start to drag as people fight more to get vps instead of ending the game.


The idea behind this one is that the game reaches a point where no-one has a big enough 'lead' and therefore no-one wants to end the game because they want to gain the 'lead' before 'choosing' to end the game. Again, is this just the one thread? ... From all my plays (quite a few now) this has never happened. If anything, almost every game I've played has ended a little too quick as a point leader sneaks the game-trigger quickly before the others get the chance to knock them down too much.

We regularly see 3 of the 4 end conditions trigger the end-game. Only exterminate hasn't come up, yet I still feel fine about this, as the 'threat of it happening' requires the players (particularly the leader) to consider it, keeping the condition ever-relevant.

If I had some (extreme) nitpicks, it's that the game ends too quick, before you get to really mobilize that awesome hero + sidekick on a flying beetle/ death ferry. Again, that is probably a testament to how different groups experience a game such as this one... The other is that there is a significant amount of FAQ that continues emerge, not just from the building/ hero abilities, but also the core rule book. Again, they're all straight forward reading and interpreting when using common sense, but there's definitely some ambiguity in the language.

What I like most is that there is almost zero upkeep (no pulling 12+ technology tokens from a bag each round and finding their 'home' etc.) during the game and it almost never stops moving. Most 'follow' actions can be resolved simultaneously by everyone, as they don't affect other players moves (aka following in TI). So you needn't ask "is anyone following..." etc.

Hope that helps.
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Tim Maynard
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Peteyandycreek, thanks for that great post! Glad I decided to back everything today for April 2019.
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Peter Dorsett
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You're most welcome!
 
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