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Subject: War 20XX rss

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Mike Malley
United States
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War. Possibly the best example of a game you play just for the experience. Going by its score, i'd have to guess that not too many people here are big on nostalgia, but my brother and i love us a game every now and again. What we've noticed now that we're older though is that the wars aren't just the best part of the game; they're the only reason we play. So, to that end, i updated it. As a placeholder, i've named it War 20XX.

Even moreso than Risk 2210, War 20XX is based on the parent game, but i'll go ahead and list all of the rules just for the sake of completeness (though not in a "teach me how to tie a shoe" way).

1- Each player lays out a card.

2- Compare the ranks of the (top) face up cards. If the cards are more than one rank apart, the winner gets all the face up cards. Go to Step 1.

3- If the cards are exactly one rank apart, a Small War occurs. Each player lays down a card face up**. Go to Step 2.

4- If the cards are of the same rank, a Big War occurs. Each player lays down two cards face down and one card face up**. Go to step 2.

A- All captured pairs go on top of the player's inactive pile, face down.

B- When a player empties his active pile, his inactive pile immediately becomes his active pile. At this time, the other player places his inactive pile underneath his active pile and begins a new inactive pile.

** If a player doesn't have enough cards to complete a Small or Large War, that player has just succeeded in failing to win the game.


The quickest game of old school War we can remember clocked in at 15min, which is probably a bit of a fluke. Our first two games of War 20XX clocked in at 20 and 15, so it seems that it packs more fun into less time. The Small War should not be underestimated. We were surprised how often that occurs. Our first game we had it at least a half-dozen times, and in our second game we made it up to Triple Small War and had a Small War lead into a Big War. The highlight of the second game was the Triple Big War. Outside of the grail Quad Big War, it just doesn't get any better. I added Rule B as a way to shuffle the leader's deck ever so slightly. And that's about it. Well, one more thing: if any parent hasn't passed War onto their children, shame on you. Don't not check if they like it just because eventually they'll play "better" games.
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Mike Malley
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(smirk) Look at me, replying to my own stuff. I debated making this a session report, but since i'd have to point to here anyway, i decided i might as well just skip the middleman.

The first late night game we played yesterday didn't even pretend to drag out, ending like this: Small War > Small War > Big War > Small War > Big War > he ran out of cards. Had we played those same cards using old school rules, he would've had six left, one of which was an Ace.

After that, we got the idea to go black vs red. (Losing a queen to an ace is bad, but losing "your" queen to "your" ace is that much worse.) That one took just shy of half an hour. Not out of the ordinary using the original rules, but our longest 20XX so far. It *was* our most interesting, though. Around the twenty-minute mark i definitely was ahead, but then the pendulum swung the other way and i couldn't pull it back. It ended with me losing a Double Small War.

We decided to give it one more go to see if the long-playing black vs red game was a fluke. It's too early to say that thirty minutes is the extreme for 20XX, but this game was sub-ten. That seemed *too* short. We were both hoping i'd pull a magic combo at the end just because there weren't any super-interesting plays like we had in the other games. We might've done another if we hadn't been so tired, but i won most of them, so it's fair that i got crunched on the last one.

A couple asides and then i'm outta here... We play that the face-down cards of a Big War remain secret. With won pairs, we tend to grab our card and then the other, which puts the low card on top and alternates high/low. It's minimal tactics, but mixing that up would alter your deck.
 
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Anthony C
United States
Sterling Heights
Michigan
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I like it! It's got all the fun randomness of War with speedier and more exciting interactions. Great writeup and rules.
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Mike Malley
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I forgot all about this. This brings back some memories.
 
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