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Subject: Why should one buy this game? Is it really special? rss

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Delia Volpi
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Hi,
I saw this card game few days ago.
I must admit I am bit tempted...I love Race for the galaxy (I own it with the first expansion) and I borrow Roll for the galaxy to play it (very nice too).
I am generally not so fond of Fantasy theme (however here it seems simply attached to the game). Why should one buy this game with a lot of other games outside?
I like the deckbuilding mechanic, but I have a lot of deckbuilding games.
Why is this so special?
I saw a video from Rhado, but I was not convinced.Then I looked at a B
Dice Tower video and I was a bit more intriguide.
Can someone explain to me the originality of this game?
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Jason Reid
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I mean, Rahdo called it out in his video...imho the big draw of this game is the wider window of strategic planning it offers. If that isn't enough to sell you, I don't know what will be. There's little else that Res Arcana seems to do that other games don't do better. But for me, that one thing is hugely appealing.
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Alexandre Santos
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Agreed with Jason.

Also, this game has drafting, not really deckbuilding.

Strengths of the game are that it's a quick engine building with lots of strategic options. It's more approachable than Race for the Galaxy, so if you like Race, you should probably give it a go.

I don't really know what else do you have as a current alternative. Paper Tales is also quick and is based on the drafting with an aging mechanic twist, but does not offer the options provided by Res Arcana. Splendor is a much simpler game, Century is a straight deckbuilder which is also much simpler.

What games are you thinking about when comparing?
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Mathue Faulkner
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Even the drafting aspect is relatively minor, and there is zero deck building. The pacing and strategic planning for an 8-card deck is very unique. To give you an idea of pacing, you may not even make it through your 8-card deck depending on how you play. You really need to know how you're going to play your deck from the outset, but then you have to be flexible since you don't know the order that cards are going to pop up. We're just getting started with it, but it feels really unique in that aspect.
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Tom Lehmann
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Res Arcana is not a deck-builder, though managing your deck can be important as spending cards for essences is vital and some powers can recover cards from your discard pile.

Res Arcana is sort of a "mini" tableau builder, since you rarely place more than 3-4 of your 8 artifacts (placing more is usually a trap). Add to this your mage and magic item, 0-2 places of power and 0-3 monuments and you barely get up to 7-9 things in front of you by game end.

It's all about finding synergies and exploiting them quickly, while watching and reacting to what your opponents are up to, where each game and deck is unique.

It's definitely a game of timing, where there are lots of different things (cards that grant your opponents essences, cards that copy essences, magic item availability, a few attacks, new monuments being flipped up, are you contending for a given place of power, how fast is everyone's engine going, passing for 1 VP on the final round, etc.) that affect play and which you have to react to.

There may be only 40 artifacts, but 40 choose 8 is ~77 million random decks. That's a lot of variety (before we start counting Places of Power, Monuments, Mages, etc.).

If you're drafting with 4 players, say, then you'll see more cards, but there's still 40 choose 8 cards not in the draft pool, ensuring variety by what's not available to anyone in a given game.

Granted, about half the artifacts have fairly straight-forward resource generation/conversion powers, but the other powers vary a fair amount and you'll typically have at least 2 "unusual" cards in your deck to think about and decide whether you want to try to exploit them.

There's a thread that players have started listing various combos they've found. There's more... ;-)
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Anders Olin
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Me too had some concerns about this game, but then I played it and could not stop thinking about it.

What impresses me most is how you can, from just the 8 cards and two mages (you choose one of them) can find a unique strategy to go for in the game. For me it has been like this:
- Look at the cards
- Look at the mages
- Look at the monoment / places and power
and then, at least for me, all the time find a strategy to go for. Then you pray that the three cards you pick up will help you on the routue towards victory
cool

In my opinion a fanastic game !
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Delia Volpi
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Thanks a lot for the explanations.
I had no idea how to classify it...thus I definied it deckbuilding game.
Never heard about tableau-building...good to know.Thanks.
Yes it looks interesting under this new light.

@Alexandre
I own Century Spice road. It is a nice (not amazing) game, but I like to play it. I own also Splendor, not so fond of it (for me an amazing engine, but there is not a lot which is going on) but everybody else like it and it is a classic and a good game...thus it will remain.
I did not like Paper Tales at all. I do not know why...I think because I thought it was completely another kind of game, however I love the aging idea.


Now I am tempted...and Race for the galaxy is really one of my favorite games.
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