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Subject: Is Aton by Queen Games that good? rss

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Chistopher Frazier
United States
Barnegat
New Jersey
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I am considering picking up Aton by Queen Games. Is this a good 2 player game? How is it for a wife/gf? Is it better than Thebes for two?
 
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Jeffrey D Myers
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I like Aton quite a bit, but it's more of an abstract area-control game.

Thebes is more pick-up-and-deliverish, so it scratches a different itch for me.
 
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Thomas Blackwell
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Middletown
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My wife and I enjoy Aton as well. It is nothing like Thebes though, not even thematically.
Multiple paths to victory are always good, even though we almost always end the game on points. Filling all the green or yellow boxes is just really hard for us. Its got a nice mix of luck and skill. Go buy it if you are thinking about it. Pretty inexpensive compared to a lot of our other games.
 
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Brian Cherry
Canada
North Bay
Ontario
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For the price I think Aton is great. It is a very compact game (my wife and I played it in the hotel of the city where we bought it) and easy to learn (I read the rules in the um... office... and then we started playing when the kids went to sleep).

You are dealt 4 cards and must choose how to play those cards to maximize your placement. Sometimes you get bad draws, but that is usually offset by good draws later. It is very confrontational, but not in a nasty way (you place your tokens while removing your opponents, which does not come off as nasty since its the only way to play)

We can usually fit 2 or 3 games in an hour, and its often a game we play when we dont want lots of setup time, or consulting rules.

Most importantly, my wife loves it.

As for Thebes... I'll have to let you know. Its coming in the mail "any day now". All I can say, is that its more than twice the
price.

If you're interested I have a geeklist showing quick thoughts on games my wife and I play : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/23631

Jugg
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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Meh. It reads better than it plays. We were looking forward to trying it, but by the second game the choices seemed obvious and repetitive. Traded it away ...
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Larry Welborn
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Anderson
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My wife and I like Thebes a lot. Aton did not go over as well. I thought it was ok, my wife didn't like it at all.
 
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Robert Aube
Canada
Ste-Julie
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Like the first person to reply said, Aton is great but it's really an abstract. It's not the kind of game I'd try out with my wife.

Thebes is OK for 2, but really intended for more.
 
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Michael Kandrac
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Grand Prairie
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I've played over 40 games and I'd play at least 40 more. The threat of dominating a temple or one of the colors (green or yellow) and winning in those ways can sometimes be realized, so it isn't only about the first player to 40 points. I doubt whether the game can be truly appreciated after only a couple of plays - there is depth to it.

Aton is a lot of game in a very small box; it is better than Lost Cities, the Gipf series games I've experienced, or cribbage because of its many textures and well-integrated mechanisms. The ability to discard and redraw only one very bad hand can prevent a disasterous round but is therefore a highly strategic decision. The Hall of the Dead scoring round trigger is genious, the game is gorgeous, and it plays in the right amount of time.

Gg
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Derek H
South Africa
Johannesburg
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tawny wrote:
Like the first person to reply said, Aton is great but it's really an abstract. It's not the kind of game I'd try out with my wife.

Have to disagree. Aton is only an abstract if every other Euro is an abstract too - of course, some people think this anyway My wife and I do like this game; easy to pick up and learn but hard to win. Great value for money.
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Roy Hasson
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Kfar Saba
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Aton is one of the best (if not THE best) dedicated two player games I own.
My wife and I love playing it.

I think that it has several things that make it stand out:

1) Short setup and playing time (important when you have little kids..)
2) Multiple paths to victory - this gives the game a strategic level
where you have to decide which of the victory paths you want to pursue. That choice will effect your play in every turn. It also means you have to keep watching your opponent to see where her strategy is taking her - so that you don't suddenly find yourself on the verge of defeat because you were too busy concentrating on your plans you didn't notice she was filling up that temple... blush
3) Constant tactical choices - in addition to the strategy choice, every turn is a tactical choice of how to use the hand you were dealt, and trying to outguess your opponent.
4) Terrific artwork (though a pasted-on theme, but aren't many games like that..)

Go get it. You will not regret it.

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Jason Quintal
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Burlington
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Just finished our first two games. Call me crazy, but I see shades of ystaris-type mechanics here. Mykerinos, Amytitis, even Caylus! But in half the time it takes to play any of those games. There are certainly deeper strategies here then at first glance.

Want to play more games of this as the second game I played specifically to try to 'break' the game [by either filling a complete temple or the yellow or green bands.] No dice. Couldn't do it...

The different strategies in this game are subtle, and with a few games, can be fine-tuned to finesse. The 'hall of the dead' is a fantastic timing mechanism in the game that can certainly be exploited to your advantage.

I give this game high grades for it's simple rules, medium-depth strategy and short play time. Would highly recommend as a two-player game.

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Tom Chappelear
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Kensington
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Since I picked this up cheap at a tag sale, I didn't have any expectations about the game. It has surprised me by becoming my single most-played game. It's not brain-burning or overly calculable, but for a game that takes 10 minutes, there is more tactical and strategic depth than I expected. In depth (not gameplay), it reminds me of Ra--each decision is limited in scope and quite manageable, but they feel meaningful nevertheless.

It's also not a game that can be fairly judged after a couple of plays. There are lots of different paths the game can go down, with unexpected assymetries. Frequently one player is trying to fill a temple to win, and sacrificing points everywhere else, while the other player tries to run out the clock and fill the Hall of the Dead before this can happen.

Also, at least two people I've played with have gone out and bought the game, and it's become their most-played game, too.
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T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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Count me among the Aton fans. Even Lost Cities has some wasted cards, but not a single decision in Aton is without repercussions: absolutely fabulous in its tactical goodness. I also love the time pressure mechanic. I'd rather play a thousand games of Aton than one of Caylus (and they'd take the same amount of time!)

My brother-in-law and I have been playing all this week, and twice now my wife has stopped what she's been doing to watch. She has never done that for even the most visually interesting game. Without a word of explanation from me, I could see her wheels turning. I am bracing for my inevitable defeat.
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Ethan Larson
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I've played 3 times now, with one rule wrong (forgot 3rd card also affects removals). We liked it already, but we can see it will just be better with card 3 played correctly.
 
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Justus
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Las Vegas
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I know its only be TWO years since the OP, but having just played thebes last night (and formerly liking that game a bit) and doing my first play of Aton tonight I thought I'd reiterate that it has next to nil to do with Aton. Then again I was using a homemade board so the theme was different.

That said its a great brain 2P game if your wife is into it. I'm absolutely smitten...
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Justus
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LordHellfury wrote:
After almost a year of playing Aton, I can say it has remained firmly implanted with our top 3 of two players games within our collection.

The fairly heavy luck of the card draw is immediately mitigated with how you implement their use within your strategy from turn to turn.


I agree, that's what really makes the game tick, since you both have the same deck, your draws will more or less even out, but because the decks are shuffled, you have to improvise cause the timing of the good cards will almost certainly differ. My personal preference is for games that are neither perfect information (Chess) nor pure Chaos (Munchkin) and given a nice dosage of Euro "Elegance" this makes for a really, really great game.

BTW I was wondering what is this triumvirate of 2P games that you have? Looking at your profile I assume it includes Crokinole so whats the third?
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