Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Navia Dratp» Forums » Reviews

Subject: chess with a fantasy twist rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
wayne r
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Navia Drapt is a boardgame by Bandai with elements of chess, fantasy, and a collectible bent. The basic premise is you play as one of the Navia battling it out with an opposing Navia. In your battles, you summon creatures called Maseitai to help you gain the upper hand on the battlefield. The battlefield is a 7 square x 7 square area where all the action unfolds.

The components of the one player starter version consists of 7 black Gulled pieces, 2 red Gulled pieces, 7 fixed Maseitai, 17 Gullas crystals, and a Navia. The Gulled are tombstone shaped pieces that lie flat with the pointy end towards your opponent. They have a fixed movement with the red Gulled pieces having a slightly higher degree of movement. The Gullas are the “currency” in this game which is used to win the game and power your Maseitai. Each Maseitai have their own unique movement as well as enhanced movement and/or ability when dratping. Each Maseitai comes with its own card detailing its movements and abilities. The Navia comes fully painted and like the Maseitai, are beautifully sculpted and collectible. The difference is that there is no difference in movement or ability among the Navia and not all Maseitai come fully painted.

The setup consists of the Navia taking the middle square on the 1st row and the 2 red Gulled pieces flanking the Navia a couple of squares away. The black Gulled pieces are placed on the 2nd row. The Maseitai are placed behind the board. The board also consist of areas for taken Maseitai (the graveyard) and to hold the Gullas.

The gameplay shares a lot of similarities with chess. The Navia’s movement is just like the king. The black Gulled pieces act like pawns. The Navia can be maneuvered into check/checkmate. That’s where the similarities end however. The game is further complicated by each Maseitai having their own unique ability and not being able to start in play. The addition of Gullas adds another layer of complexity with the players having to worry about resource management. Finally, there are multiple win conditions.

On a player’s turn, he may do one of the following:

1. move one of the pieces on the board
2. summon a Maseitai into play. The summoned Maseitai, unless specified by an ability, must be placed on a square on the 1st row.
3. move and then Dratp a Maseitai or Navia but may not dratp the piece and then move. Dratping is paid for by earning Gullas and the cost of each ability varies according to the individual pieces.

A player can earn Gullas by:

1. moving a Gulled piece. A black Gulled piece earns the player 1 Gullas per move. The red Gulled piece earns him 3.
2. a Maseitai may have an ability allowing it to earn Gullas by taking certain action or movement.
3. taking pieces. If taking either a black or red Gulled piece, the player earns 1 for the former and 3 for the latter. If a Maseitai is taken, the Gullas earned is according to the cost of individual pieces.
4. crossing over an enemy’s end line with one of his pieces on the board (must cross the board and go off the board at the opponent’s end).

The win conditions are:

1. successfully moving the Navia over an enemy’s end line.
2. dratping a Navia by earning 60 Gullas
3. checkmating an opponent Navia.

I caught onto NaviaDrapt during the last leg of it’s existence. My friend and I bought the game when my FLGS got it at a steep discount and passed that discount on to my friend and me. I played chess extensively in high school. My friend, on the other hand, never played chess but has had more experience with ccgs (specifically Magic). The game is great whether you’re experienced in chess or not. The flow of the game is pretty intuitive and one tend to catch on quick. There is no steep learning curve as seen with chess. All the movements and special abilities are printed on the pieces themselves which frees the player from memorizing the movement of each piece. Navia Dratp offers a much deeper gameplay than chess without the steep learning curve. Not only do the individual Maseitai offer a more varied environment, but it also adds a new element by having you build a battle group. How well you build your group will have an effect on gameplay as well. The addition of Gullas offers another layer of complexity. It is important as a winning condition as well as its use as a cost to dratp.

The game is not all that rosy though. It is a collectible game so everything bad that entails with that aspect also affects this game as well. The game is more expensive than most collectible games due to the high quality sculpting of the Maseitai and Navia pieces. This along with the long wait between expansions is what probably killed the game.

That being said, one will get a lot of mileage from just the starter sets alone. It is fun and very satisfying. It’s one of the few games that I would initiate asking someone to play with.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill
United States
Sayville
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I really enjoy Navia Dratp but "deeper than chess" might be an overstatement. I understand how the decisions required to assemble a band of Masetai give the game an interesting new level of strategic elements to consider but I'm not yet convinced that the game itself is "deeper" than its ancestor.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
wayne r
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think Navia Dratp is deeper because there is more things going on. With chess, you only have to worry about the placement of the pieces on the board. Also, the pieces are the same for every game therefore the movements are familiar. Finally there is only 1 way to win (not counting forfeiting).

With Navia Dratp, there are multiple paths to victory. Since you don't know what Maseitai you will be facing, your opponent's strategy/tactics/combos may not be so apparent. Finally, you have to deal with resource management which adds another layer of complication.

I think the "deck" building, the resource management, and multiple paths to victory makes it much deeper than chess.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Howe
United States
Cromwell
Connecticut
flag msg tools
More complicated does not mean deeper.

I will however, grant that Navia, with its hideously busy figurines and made-up vocabulary, is more annoying than chess.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Franklin
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
This has been discussed elsewhere, but the game could easily be played with just the disc part of the figures. For many at BGG, the greatness is in the game, not the sculpted figures. I think of them largely as gray blobs of different sizes and shapes to tell them apart.

There are many reasons why the game did not take off, even though it is great and quite balanced. One is that it combines cerebral play of the game with detailed fantasy figures. Not exactly a peanut butter & chocolate situation (see also Dreamblade, but it lacks the game quality of ND).

Second, when released, each starter was $30. Since you need two to play, that is a $60 up front investment, then $15 per booster of 3 figures. Ouch.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
wayne r
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mhowe wrote:
More complicated does not mean deeper.

I will however, grant that Navia, with its hideously busy figurines and made-up vocabulary, is more annoying than chess.


What I was getting at was that there are more options in this game than chess and those options together offer a deeper level of play.

Out of curiosity how would you quantify the term "deep"? You seem to want to counter my opinion that Navia is a much deeper game but you don't offer why you don't consider it so. I gave my reasons. I want to hear yours.

Just because it has a fantasy element doesn't exclude it from being able to produce a deep level of gameplay. You can complain about the figs and vocabulary but that draws in the casual gamers who otherwise would have passed on chess.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
wayne r
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There was a 2 player starter set but I don't know how much that was.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Carlson
United States
Wheaton
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Out of curiosity how would you quantify the term "deep"?


I'm with Wayne on this. Can you please clarify? I see Navia Dratp more in line with Fischer's random chess.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harald Korneliussen
Norway
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
The fuzzy term "depth" that abstract gamers like has more to do with how much the game has been studied, than with the game-tree complexity or similar. You can make a competition out of everything, if you set your mind to it... I suspect that for human purposes, all non-solvable games commonly played have comparable potential for depth.

Which is not to say that some can be more fun than others. Combining Magic:The gathering and chess was probably not a bad idea in that regard. Pity it didn't work out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.