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Subject: Review on Pawnstar rss

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Anthony Simons
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Hello All,

Please find for your perusal a review of Senji over on Pawnstar:

http://fellonmyhead.blogspot.com/2009/03/this-game-could-sen...
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Quote:
It’s just too easy to build a set with four and score accordingly[...]


If you're talking about the 10-point Diplomacy card set bonus, you need cards from the non-player powers as well to count as a set.
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Anthony Simons
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sdiberar wrote:
Quote:
It’s just too easy to build a set with four and score accordingly[...]


If you're talking about the 10-point Diplomacy card set bonus, you need cards from the non-player powers as well to count as a set.


Thanks for picking this up, Scott.

Well that would make it harder; it appears we did make a mistake there; I will edit it out accordingly. Unfortunately the rules are not worded very well and this doesn't seem apparent at first look, so even though I can accept that as my mistake, the lack of rules clarity once again shines through.

I'd like to add that playing properly next time probably won't improve my opinion of the game much.
 
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Mark Bigney
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Can't say I agree with the review, though I can understand that some people won't like Senji.
a) The game is far better with five or six than with four;
b) The fact that territories are relatively equivalently valuable on the map strikes me as a bonus, not a problem;
c) Your rules error would throw the balance of economics, diplomacy and combat off considerably;
d) I have yet to see someone win without making points from combat, and I have seen winners score the vast majority of their points from combat. People on their first game can be understandably timid re: attacking, but that's not necessarily the fault of the game.
To each their own, though.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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fellonmyhead wrote:
Well that would make it harder; it appears we did make a mistake there; I will edit it out accordingly. Unfortunately the rules are not worded very well and this doesn't seem apparent at first look, so even though I can accept that as my mistake, the lack of rules clarity once again shines through.

We made the same mistake our first game, in addition to other mistakes involving movement (you CAN daisy chain moves, it turns out).

The rulebook is clearly ESL, but succeeds more than it fails.

Quote:
I'd like to add that playing properly next time probably won't improve my opinion of the game much.

No skin off my nose. I don't know if this is your specific issue, but if people come in expecting something along the lines of Nexus Ops, they'll be disappointed with Senji (I was a little bit too, but want to give it a fair shake).
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Anthony Simons
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Gyges wrote:
Can't say I agree with the review, though I can understand that some people won't like Senji.
a) The game is far better with five or six than with four;
b) The fact that territories are relatively equivalently valuable on the map strikes me as a bonus, not a problem;
c) Your rules error would throw the balance of economics, diplomacy and combat off considerably;
d) I have yet to see someone win without making points from combat, and I have seen winners score the vast majority of their points from combat. People on their first game can be understandably timid re: attacking, but that's not necessarily the fault of the game.
To each their own, though.


I can agree with most of what you say except for (c) and, to some extent, (d). With respect to combat, many of us took points from combat; the main issue with combat raised in the review is less to do with this and more to do with the great swing between success and failure.
 
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Anthony Simons
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sdiberar wrote:
No skin off my nose. I don't know if this is your specific issue, but if people come in expecting something along the lines of Nexus Ops, they'll be disappointed with Senji (I was a little bit too, but want to give it a fair shake).

We've never played Nexus Ops; I wasn't expecting anything AT here, I was expecting less disparity between the game elements.
 
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Jess Newman
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First, I think this review would be more helpful if it were posted here as well as on your blog. Second, what is the problem with the winner of a conflict getting honor instead of you, if you lose a battle to them? This is present in every wargame- you take a risk attacking someone, and if they win and not you, they get the points, keep the territory, and decimate your forces. What's hard to like about that?
Overall, I'd have to say I'm not really sure what you're against in Senji, unless you just think it doesn't justify the price, in which case you'd have a leg to stand on.
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Anthony Simons
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Hello Jesse, and thanks for your response.

zarajess wrote:
First, I think this review would be more helpful if it were posted here as well as on your blog.

Well I don't see the point in posting it to two separate places, and I have very little to keep the blog going so that's why it's there and not here.

zarajess wrote:
Second, what is the problem with the winner of a conflict getting honor instead of you, if you lose a battle to them? This is present in every wargame- you take a risk attacking someone, and if they win and not you, they get the points, keep the territory, and decimate your forces. What's hard to like about that?

That's not really the issue; while the points awarded for a combat can be good, they can only be good if you attack a great enough force with a strong enough force and the roll goes your way. Any other time the strength of attacker and defender are too weak to score significantly and your energy is better spent doing other things. This puts combat on the sidelines in a game where it ought to be one of (if not the) core mechanisms. What's to like about that?

zarajess wrote:
Overall, I'd have to say I'm not really sure what you're against in Senji, unless you just think it doesn't justify the price, in which case you'd have a leg to stand on.

Well I'm sorry about that; I thought I'd summarised it quite well:

Senji review on Pawnstar wrote:
In summary, I don’t like this game. I abhor the fact I parted with good money for it, but even worse I detest the fact that the game doesn’t behave the way it looks like it should. For a moment you think that clever diplomacy and trade present alternative strategies to the usual militaristic game style; in reality they render the militaristic element irrelevant - almost to the point that the whole board is chrome. My advice to the uninformed is as follows; if you’re after a grand strategy game based in feudal Japan pick Samurai Swords or Samurai & Katana, if you want a Rummy variant with bells on, pick Ticket to Ride or any of the myriad card games that perform a similar function.
 
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