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Subject: How to get into the game right now? rss

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Jorge Arroyo
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Hi all,

I think I want to get this game because it may be a good fantasy wargame that I could play with my girlfriend. I think she'd probably like it, as she is not really into complex wargames, but enjoys Nexus Ops (The only comparable game we play together). This game seems like a nice step up and the theme is right (we both enjoy sci-fi and fantasy themes best).

So, I'm pondering how I should get into the game now that the 2nd edition is out, not without problems. I'm not thrilled about the collective aspect, although I wouldn't mind it if it would have been implemented better, so I'm not sure what to do...

Should I go for a complete 1st ed set (as you can see, there's someone selling one here in Spain for 110€) and then eventually get some 2ed boosters? I understand, in order to play 2ed scenarios I'd need to make some of the new blocks like treasures, right? The biggest drawback I can see is the risk if the game fails for us... It'd be a big waste of money...

The alternative would be to just start with the 2ed. I think I can buy the base game in my town for around 50€ but it's already a bit expensive. As soon as we want to expand it, adding some maps and boosters (which I may have to order online with shipping charges) and we're talking again at price around 100€...

So, I welcome any ideas, thoughts and suggestions....

BTW, We've considered also Battlelore as another possibility. I think I'll enjoy Wizards more (it being more of a gamesystem). I also like the fog-of-war aspect and am not too sure about the card driven system... but opinions about this are also welcomed

Thanks!

Edit: Just to compare prices, I'll add that in Columbia's site, I can get the base 2ed. game with 4 expanisons (for a total of 19 blocks per army) and a set of 4 maps for about 102 € (shipping included). It's still less than the 1ed option that includes all the maps and all the old armies, but it may not be too bad...

-Jorge

 
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Niko Ruf
Germany
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If this is your first block wargame, I would not recommend getting the full set right away. Even if you like it, your girlfriend might not be so keen on the game. Also, you can do quite a bit with just the base game.

As for the collectibility: it's really just an issue if you feel compelled to get a complete set (and that would be expensive even with perfect randomization). I've bought 4 expansions to supplement my 1st edition set and that's probably all I'll ever pick up. I don't have a hero or a minor wizard for each of my armies, but so what? I have plenty of different blocks, and each of my armies has a unique feel.
 
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Jeff White
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Niko,

But if you have the 1st edition set, then don't you have a hero and minor wizard from those 1st edition armies? Or are heroes and minor wizards new units?

(What happened to the post from the guy commenting on the quality of the components?)
 
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Niko Ruf
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BullBear wrote:
But if you have the 1st edition set, then don't you have a hero and minor wizard from those 1st edition armies? Or are heroes and minor wizards new units?


They are new. The 1st edition only had A+ wizards and no heroes.

Quote:
(What happened to the post from the guy commenting on the quality of the components?)


He must have deleted it. When I saw it, there were no responses, so I'm not sure why he changed his mind.
 
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Captain Cutlass
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Wow, I got the game to review it and I played my first sessions last night. However; I wasn't aware that it came at such a steep price?!
I personally think its a very good game, I'll have to play more to get a decent idea but the three games last night (2 player scenario's) were great.
Still, you might want to seek something less expensive as the look and feel of the game are rather rudimentary.

Just my 2 cents...
 
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Mark Crane
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cutlass wrote:
Wow, I got the game to review it and I played my first sessions last night. However; I wasn't aware that it came at such a steep price?!
I personally think its a very good game, I'll have to play more to get a decent idea but the three games last night (2 player scenario's) were great.
Still, you might want to seek something less expensive as the look and feel of the game are rather rudimentary.

Just my 2 cents...


Wizard King is a fun game, but it's sort of an artisanal effort in terms of components. Because Columbia Games apparently only distributes the game directly, they can keep prices relatively high. I payed $46.53, shipped from TimeWellSpent (it wasn't available locally).

Battlelore, which is admittedly a different kind of game, is $58 shipped, but it includes 210 miniatures, mounted boards, tiles, a huge, active fan base, and most importantly, a company that aggressively promotes and supports the game in a timely manner.

The last blog entry on the Wizard Kings site was March 20th, approximately six months ago. The most recent posts in the http://blockgames.us forums (which isn't linked to from the Wizard Kings site) are a month or two old. The third-party email lists are somewhat active.

When you factor in an additional $15 expansion that is arguably needed to play the base game (I'm thinking of treasure blocks, specifically), then one begins to get the nagging feeling that maybe we're not dealing with cottage cheese, but instead really old milk.

It is a fun game, and a cool game system. I like playing it, and I like thinking about playing it, imagining scenarios, etc. But for good or for bad, the boardgame industry has changed and Columbia, at least in the case of Wizard Kings, hasn't quite kept up. Perhaps it is because other products (Hammer of the Scots and EastFront?) are bringing in more money. What's unfortunate is that there is a really supportive fan base, yet their efforts are scattered over five different sites and a handful of personal pages. It looks like BGG and the internal Wiki are the best single place to visit for information about the game.

I apologize if this sounds excessively negative. I'm a new player, and many of you have suffered through much more for much longer. It is just that the game has so much potential yet seems under-supported and consequently under-ranked.

That said, I will probably still order the Heroes/Treasure expansion!
 
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Jason Quintal
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I think for bang for buck you guys might enjoy Runebound moreso...it can be a bit lengthy, but so can Wizard Kings. Wizard Kings can get a bit mired down in pre-setup and scenarios as well as phases of combat. I think the way Runebound is set up is a bit less complicated and has a lot more atmosphere.In general, I think Runebound, although a completely different game all together, has a lot more personality than Wizard Kings and does much more justice to the fantasy genre. Just a personal opinion.
 
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Mark Crane
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Devonelle wrote:
I think for bang for buck you guys might enjoy Runebound moreso...it can be a bit lengthy, but so can Wizard Kings. Wizard Kings can get a bit mired down in pre-setup and scenarios as well as phases of combat. I think the way Runebound is set up is a bit less complicated and has a lot more atmosphere.In general, I think Runebound, although a completely different game all together, has a lot more personality than Wizard Kings and does much more justice to the fantasy genre. Just a personal opinion.


I can see Runebound being a good time, but it's also true, despite my whining, that Wizard Kings just scratches some hard-to-define itches. I like the strategic scale, the simplicity of the blocks, the multitude of maps and, to a degree, the fact that it is a system. Also, it is less fiddly than some fantasy games, and it's a wargame, as opposed to multi-player solitaire with occasional conflict.
 
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Chris Farrell
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Also in fairness, Runebound is a totally different game. They both may be great games, but one does not substitute for the other.

To say Columbia "hasn't kept up" would be a little too strong. BattleLore has its own strengths, but tons of plastic pieces do not make a great game, and BattleLore is also bloody expensive if you buy all the expansions. If you invest the same amount in WK that you did in BattleLore (base game, Call to Arms, Epic, 4 batallion packs), I think you get a game with *way* more variety with WK. BattleLore is a nice game, which I like, but it's very straight-jacketed by the tactics cards and the reliance on minis.
 
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Adam Knight
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maka wrote:
Should I go for a complete 1st ed set (as you can see, there's someone selling one here in Spain for 110€) and then eventually get some 2ed boosters? I understand, in order to play 2ed scenarios I'd need to make some of the new blocks like treasures, right? The biggest drawback I can see is the risk if the game fails for us... It'd be a big waste of money...


If you're thinking about spending 110 euro for a game, don't forget that someone else probably will too - so if you buy this set and don't like it you can always sell it on. It's already second hand, so you won't lose too much (if any) money when you re-sell.
 
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Mark Crane
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cfarrell wrote:
Also in fairness, Runebound is a totally different game. They both may be great games, but one does not substitute for the other.

To say Columbia "hasn't kept up" would be a little too strong. BattleLore has its own strengths, but tons of plastic pieces do not make a great game, and BattleLore is also bloody expensive if you buy all the expansions. If you invest the same amount in WK that you did in BattleLore (base game, Call to Arms, Epic, 4 batallion packs), I think you get a game with *way* more variety with WK. BattleLore is a nice game, which I like, but it's very straight-jacketed by the tactics cards and the reliance on minis.


Well, that probably was overly harsh of me. I like block games, and I prefer Commands and Colors: Ancients to Battlelore. I just think that, strictly in terms of components, WK is a little pricey. But, as you noted, there is more to games than bits. I'm hoping to trade for a complete set of first edition WK and exploring that variety (and your scenarios) further.
 
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Ted Kostek
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cfarrell wrote:
If you invest the same amount in WK that you did in BattleLore..., I think you get a game with *way* more variety with WK.


I mostly agree, but there's one big, huge, enormous thing that you get w/ BL that you don't get w/ WK: a set of reasonable scenarios. All my games of BL have been interesting, and they've all been from the included scenario set.

The base BL gets you 10 scenarios, all fairly balanced, although of variable interest level. Then you get 5+ freebies on the web site. Each expansion also comes with a set of scenarios. These are just the official ones. There are dozens of fan scenarios, though they look to vary quite a lot.

Actually, coming back to Chris's choice of the word "variety," if anything WK is sufferring from too much variety, IMO. More specific choices would help the situation.

The bottom line for me is that WK is not a game, it's a game kit. If you enjoy making scenarios, you'll likely enjoy WK a lot. If you want to just play scenarios, I'd avoid WK and go for BL.

There's a brilliant game inside that WK box. CG just doesn't seem able to bring it out. If CG supported this game as energetically as DoW supports BL, WK would be a top 10 game here for sure. I guess CG is too small, though I don't see DoW being a big corporation either.
 
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Peter Batterton
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What a come down- It's now collectible. I can't stand this money making scheme.angry

I suppose that its the way of the world now. Every time I turn around, there's another collectible game. This is the first time I've seen a 2nd edition turn the corner though.

Note to self- Create collectible Monopoly game. The board will have "blank" spots and you will need to buy "booster" property pieces to complete the board. . . . yuk

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Ted Kostek
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PBatt wrote:
What a come down- It's now collectible. I can't stand this money making scheme....


A lot of people are upset about this, but it doesn't bother me. It should be no problem to play very good games with just a few boosters. Just because there are 300 units doesn't mean you need to own them all to play good games.

The big upside to this scheme for players is that you can periodically inject some fresh units into your set and keep the whole game feeling new.

My problem is not the random expansions or collectable aspect. My problem is that the scenario situation is fairly weak. I'm willing to pay this much for a game, but what we have here is a *kit*. Interesting raw materials, but not really a finished product, IMO.
 
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