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Subject: Marbles + CCGs + Robots = Silly Fun and a Little Strategy! rss

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Gabe Covert
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When I saw this game in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart, I thought, "Hey! Here's a cool game that I could play with my 5 ½-year-old son." I picked up a "Battle Pack", which is enough for two people to play and ran $19.97 plus tax.

The Contents:

Inside the box, you get 6 Bakugan, 3 each of two different factions, 8 cards, and the instruction set.

The Bakugan are little transforming creatures, which all fold up into a ball approximately one inch in diameter. They seem flimsy, but I think it is really that they are flexible to stand up to some abuse. Time will tell if this is true.

The cards are fairly rugged… They seem to be some sort of plastic laminate over a metal core. Each Battle Pack comes with a rare “Ability” card, which is foiled. The art is very anime-style, and the text for those cards which have text is in both English and French.

The rules are very simple; probably a little too simple, to be honest. There are several situations that come up in play which aren’t covered very well, if at all.

The Rules:

Each player has a force of at least 3 Bakugan, and 3 cards. You may have more, but both players must have the same number of each. The game is set up by players taking turns laying two cards each on the playing field, face down. Players then take turns rolling their Bakugan at the cards.

The rules refer to a Bakugan "Standing" on a card, this means that the creature pops open and stops moving. Each Bakugan has a magnet on one point of the sphere which, when attracted to the metal backing in the cards, causes the transformation.

Cards are inactive until there are two Bakugan standing on them. If the Bakugan are of the same player, they get control of the card, and their Bakugan back. However, if the Bakugan belong to different players, a battle occurs.

Each Bakugan has a G-Strength on them, which varies depending on the type of Bakugan. They range in the hundreds. Each card (besides Special Abilities) has a number, positive or negative, for each of the six factions. Command cards also have game text that modifies the battle, such as making the lowest strength the winner, putting off battle until a third Bakugan arrives, and so forth.

When a battle occurs, the card is flipped over, the modifiers revealed, and added to the strength of the Bakugan based on its affiliation. The winner is the Bakugan with the higher strength. If there is a tie, the card is pulled aside from the battlefield, and each player takes turns shooting at it again, until only 1 Bakugan stands on the card after a round. When a player wins a battle, they not only take the card, but they capture the opponent’s Bakugan, worth points at the end of the game, and get their own Bakugan back.

If you have no more Bakugan to shoot, you may choose a Bakugan on a card, and do a "Stay". If, at the end of the round, no other Bakugan stands on the card, you capture the card and get your Bakugan back to shoot again.

The game continues, with each player taking turns shooting their Bakugan, until all cards have been captured, or one player has no more Bakugan to shoot. Each captured card has an “HSP” value, varying in the hundreds. Additionally each captured Bakugan and each player’s remaining Bakugan are worth 100 HSP. Add up the totals to determine the winner, who is the player with the highest HSP.

There are a few unanswered questions in the rules. For example, there are a series of cards called "Dragonoid" (and others, I presume one for each model of Bakugan) that say: "All Dragonoids in this sector get double their base HSP value." I’m assuming this means that, if a Dragonoid is captured in a battle for that card, it is worth 200 HSP at the end of the game. Nowhere, either in the rules or on the web site, can I find a list of which model is named Dragonoid, Raptor, Shredder, etc.

Overview:

There is strategy here, to be sure. Which card do you aim at? Do you try to avoid battle, or try to capture the enemy? Since the various Bakugan have different strength, which do you use? Which cards do you pack in your force?

Skill and luck both play important parts, as well. You have to aim for the card you want to capture, but you also have to hope that the magnet on your Bakugan rolls within range of the metal mat embedded in the card. I believe that there are also "hot spots" on the cards, and that it’s not a uniform metal plate, though I have yet to confirm this.

I was fairly impressed by the mix of strategy, skill, luck, but most of all fun I had playing this with my 5 ½-year-old son. We stumbled with the rules a little and we need to find a good table to play on. (Sega/Spin sells an "official battle arena" that we might buy if we play this a lot.)

Bakugan come in 1, 3, and 6 figure sets. The single figures with a single card run at about $5, and show the Bakugan rolled out. 3-figure sets run about $12 and have 3 Bakugan of the same faction, one folded out, and the other two folded up, as well as three cards. The Battle Packs come with 6 Bakugan, including 3 each of two different factions, and 8 cards, including a Special Ability card. All card contents are blind. You can also purchase the official arena and a wrist-mounted launcher.
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B J
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I too saw this game (at Target) and was pretty quickly drawn to it. I talked my 8 year-old into spending some of his hard earned money on it, and it was a good decision! He loves it, and it's something that I can play with him and not be totally bored.

I have some of the same issues . . . there is no way to know for sure which Bakugan belong to the certain classes (falconeer, fear ripper, etc). And on the "character" cards that have the class listed at the top, I think it's confusing when it says the HSP is doubled. . that doesn't really make sense to me. I think it is supposed to be the G-power value that is doubled.

I noticed that in the rules and the website, the "attributes" have different names, like Haos intead of Luminoz, and Ventus instead of Zephyroz or whatever.

I also don't really like the "sudden fury" rules. . . do you roll at the same time? take turns? I dunno . .I wish there were a better rule to deal with tied "brawls."

But anyway . . I really think this is a cool game. I think the possibilities are endless . .I can't wait to see if Spinmaster keeps things interesting by introducing new series, etc.

I would also add that these things are pretty pricey. . . kind of makes it hard to collect. . one Bakugan (e.g. a Booster Pack) is 5 bucks! and I wish the Starter Kits and Battle kits had more variety . . a better mix of different attributes.
 
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Mori Roberts
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Great review. I agree with all of your points especially about the flimsy set of rules provided. I'm sure an official set of tourny rules will be released once the game takes off. I do predict Bakugan is going to be fricken huge. Moms and dads will have as much fun as the kids.
 
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Scott Groat
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Nice review. I found them the same way and we've been having a lot of fun with them.
I think the character cards are supposed to double the specific creatures G number but is written incorrectly.
I uploaded some cards with Bakugan standing to help with figuring out what is what since it's difficult.
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Gabe Covert
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Keegrepus wrote:
Nice review. I found them the same way and we've been having a lot of fun with them.
I think the character cards are supposed to double the specific creatures G number but is written incorrectly.
I uploaded some cards with Bakugan standing to help with figuring out what is what since it's difficult.


Thanks!

Yeah, upon reading the comments here, I'm 98.746% certain that they intended this to say "G-Power" instead of "HSP"...
 
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Quijanoth
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Is it possible they DO mean HSP? HSP is the value you get for winning the card by battle or having two of your Bakugan on the same card. That's how you win the game...by totally up your HSP. Now, how you're supposed to remember that you got double HSP for one of the cards is beyond me...maybe tokens or something. Just a thought.

TOTALLY agree about not being able to tell which type of guy is which, though. My boy can tell the difference (he watches the show) but I'd be stuck if I wasn't playing him.
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Scott Groat
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From Bakugan.com
Quote:

A Character Card is designed for one specific Bakugan Warrior. There are as many Character Cards as there are Bakugans. Much like a Normal Card, a Character Card consists of six G-Power Boosts and an HSP score. These cards differ in that a Character Card will bare that Bakugan’s image and double its G-Power when it stands on it. Standing a Bakugan on its character card dramatically increases the chances of winning that Battle.
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Quijanoth wrote:
Is it possible they DO mean HSP? HSP is the value you get for winning the card by battle or having two of your Bakugan on the same card. That's how you win the game...by totally up your HSP. Now, how you're supposed to remember that you got double HSP for one of the cards is beyond me...maybe tokens or something. Just a thought.


You don't need to keep track of doubled HSP values - at the end of the game, each Bakugan is worth a flat 100 points. You just add up the HSP value of the cards you've captured and add 100 points for each Bakugan you have.

These things are fairly difficult to find at the moment, they're pretty popular. Some of the things are pretty easy to guess - the Dragonoids are pretty obvious, but I have several that I'm not sure what they're supposed to be. I'd like to know what the different "flavors" are supposed to represent - there are solid colored Bakugan, translucent Bakugan, Bakugan with a metallic ring...
 
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stirling joyner
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this is a little bit off subject but, does any one have the card black hole? it has a fear ripper grabing a serpeniod on it and I don't understand what it does. It says (and I quote)The winner removes both bakugans(TM). although his own bakugan is no longer in play, he still counts it as 100 hsp to his final score. any ideas? by the way,about the double G power for character cards I'm sure your right because dan did it in the show with his dragonoid.
 
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stirling joyner
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oh and can you play captured cards?wow
 
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Scott Groat
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I have black hole and if you and another person are battling for that card and you win the battle, both bakugan go into your captured area and are worth 100 hsp at the end. The winning bakugan no longer gets to be used in that game.
You cannot use captured cards or bakugan, they count to your final hsp score only.
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stirling joyner
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thank you. so, your own bakugan don't normaly count as 100 hsp to your final score? and how do the attributes work? do you have to use an abillity card like pirus vs darkus or can you just do it?
 
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Michael Becker
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Again (and unfortunately) the wording on the cards is not clear. I would use the black hole card as such:

Both marbles go into the winners captured pile. They will both be worth 100 pts each at game end. The black hole HSP card will also be included in the winners final total.

According to the rules all bakugan in play or in your "available" pile will count 100 pts towards game end score. Unfortunately there isn't a FAQ available so house rules would be the way to go.

I just posted a review on BGG... if you want have a look.

MB
 
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john hong

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hi when it says double the HSP when the bakuga nthat is shown on that card is on the card, it really means double the HSP just say i rolled a falconeer onto a falconeer caricature card and the HSP was 100 it would double to 200...
 
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Marlon Lazarre
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I'm impressed that you're son understands the rules.
I'm 19 and I had to read the rules and watch people
play before I understood. If it helps, all Bakugan
can belong to all the 6 attributes. Different Bakugan
have different power and character cards double the power
of a that Bakugan regardless of attribute.

I've got a Bakugan who starts out with 950 G power!
 
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Chester Bai
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Sorry Masquerade, I dont want to rain your parade with doom cards, but there is no official Bakugan that starts out with a G-power of 950. There are many well-customized Bakugan that have G-power in the millions that can be found on eBay. However, these are not allowed in official game play and can upset kids' peers that attempt to "cheat" their way to victory. Rules are continually modified to adjust with all the newer Bakugan that are released. I will be posting original Bakugan articles and game strategy this week at http://www.actioncardgames.com. This site also provides the resources to find the best Bakugan bargains available on the web.
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Chester Bai
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The highest official one I've seen is the Dual attributed Preyas II - special attack 720Gs. Previous to that was the 700 Subterra Clayf and ranking in at number 3 is 680 Pyrus Fortress. As the new Bakuneon rolls out, it'll be only a matter of time before a higher one comes out. New modifications to rules can be found in the FAQs section of bakugan.com.
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Dan Dragonoid
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There is a list of all the G-powers for all the Bakugan available (with exception to a few Bakuneon) http://bakuganpriceguide.com/pricing Also has better deals and bargains on all Bakugan!laugh
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Bakugan Sensei
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Great post and description of the rules. It's simple and easily understood. You are right, the rules are very vague in this game. It's my understanding that lots of people just make up their own rules where it is not exactly clear.

Draganoid Bakugan are any Bakugan with the dragon shape I believe. There's a few different Bakugan that are considered Dragonoid.

There certainly is a lot of strategy in the game, based on what attributes you choose, what strategies you go with, whether you attack directly or let your opponent come to you. There's lots of cards that let you counter abilities, and change attributes and tons of stuff. So you have to think ahead a good deal if you are playing with a good player.

Each attribute has a different strength and playing style as well, the ability cards of its kind help you determine what is the best way to play that attribute. Lots of strategy, and it looks like the game is constantly evolving too with Bakuneon, the new Bakugan traps, and lots of other nifty changes. It's like marbles on steroids! With magnets! What's not to like??

-Bakugan Sensei
Bakugan Toy Dojo
 
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Jason -
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Good review. I'm having a similar experience. I picked up a two person starter set to give to my daughter for her 7th birthday thinking that there might be just enough game here to make it fun for me to play with her (and, yes, also thinking that these little self-morphing marbles were pretty cool toys that I would have liked to have as a kid).

So far, it's been a hit. You have a toy (my daughter likes activating them and playing with them as action figures) with a playable game attached to it. If you were playing to be completely competitive, I can see the possibility for some limited, but interesting decision making in assembling your squad of Bakugan and your hand of Gate Cards and Ability Cards (more and more as your collection grows). In game, there's obviously a dexterity element, a small memory element (the Gate Card you've played may interact better with certain of your Bakugan, so you'll want to try to get those to land on that card), and some decisions to make on when to play your Ability Cards, which you have a very limited number of.

Right now, though, we're playing it more cooperatively. My daughter picks out her squad and my squad and then we flip through the cards together to pick out Gate Cards and Ability Cards that look like good matches for her squad to make up her hand. I'll then select cards for my hand that seem comparable and will work with my squad. We then leave our Ability Cards face up and talk throughout the game on when it might make sense for her or I to play one of them. With time, I expect we can move away from that and she'll be "on her own" for deciding which cards to select and when to play them.

I never played with the older rules (which your review was based on), but it seems the newer rules are less clunky. And there is an FAQ on the official website that plugs up some holes. My big gripe echos what others have already said, which is how some of the cards' text can be cryptic, particularly when it references certain Bakugan types (it's not clear cut, for example, there are a few different shapes that count as varieties of Dragonoid, but then there are other different shapes that are similar that you'd guess were also Dragonoids that turn out to be a different class of Bakugan). There's an image file on the official site that shows many of the types and gives there names, so that helps, but it's still a little bit of a frustration for a rules lawyer type such as myself.

Thankfully my daughter isn't a complete-ist collector type. She owns Bella Sara cards but has never been concerned with which cards she doesn't have. Otherwise, I probably would have given more thought before buying the starter set as buying additional Bakugan and cards can add up quickly. So far, so good. She's gotten a few more Bakugan, but it's pretty much based on how interesting one looks and not driven by a sense of needing every different one. (My 3 year old son with his wooden Thomas the Tank Engine toys on the other hand...).
 
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