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Subject: Navia Drapt Revival The King is dead Long live the King rss

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gary rembo
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Hi all,
hope you are all having a great easter break...
Just wanted to put my opinions in on this game.
Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant.
I love the figures except the Navia {bit girly}
Game plays brilliantly.
The theme and game terms could put people of this great chess variant with great scope and flexibility.
I use these terms instead.
Navia? nooo =sorceress
Drapt? What the hell is that anywhoooo..... =Morph
Mesetie? ok I suppose or The Chosen
Gulled? ok I suppose or Warriors
Gyullus crystals? Nyada.. =Mana crystals

Since this game has flopped due to poor marketing I thoughtwe could pool our knowledge as to where you can pick up starter sets or boosters cheap in the UK?, I have one.
Kids Dreams in boundry road Hove are selling the starter sets {double size with 14 mesetie and 2 navia for £3.99 clearout but no boosters.
anyone??????
Although billed as collectable the starter is plenty and allows plenty of variation on its own.
So come on lets give this game the support it deserves.
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Ron Laufer
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Seems like this is a common thought about the game. I see a lot of people online mentioning the same. I was just thinking over the weekend, I bet this game would really be successful with a completely re-themed reprint.

Make the similarity to chess obvious. Call it "War Chess" or something, and switch from the anime theme to medieval. the Navia's become kings, the gulled become black pawns and red pawns. The gyullas become gold coins or something. The Masetai are warriors. Dratping could be "training" or "battle-hardened" or "blessed" or "The Queen's favor" or something. You could even keep the same pieces functionally, just rename them like "Sir Gilgame III" or "Olip the Meek" and resculpt into knights, warriors, wizards, dragons, etc.

Bandai would make a killing if they did this, I think. (If they are even still in business, I'm not sure...)
 
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Calvin Daniels
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A fantasy theme of some sort is necessary to have an avenue to create so many diff pieces

The problem it has a Japanese anime theme and Westerns are very slow to dare the unknown

That said this game probably ran its course in the sense I fear more pieces would have likel created mass power creep very quickly.

As is there are huge options

and still quite avaialbe so enjoy as is
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Bwian, just
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gonzoron wrote:
Seems like this is a common thought about the game. I see a lot of people online mentioning the same. I was just thinking over the weekend, I bet this game would really be successful with a completely re-themed reprint.

Perhaps, as long as you don't retheme it as similar to chess . Seriously, chess players already have a game they like, enough that they are unlikely to pick up a random new game just because it has a similar theme. Generic fantasy or SF might work, though.

gonzoron wrote:
Bandai would make a killing if they did this, I think. (If they are even still in business, I'm not sure...)

Bandai is an anime company, not a gaming one. If they do a re-theme, it will be to make Power Rangers Showdown! or The Ben 10 Battle Game. While those might be salable into the mass market, I think it would be a worse fit to gameplay than the original Navia background.

I like the original background, myself. I suspect the design was intended for a Japanese audience, where anime is not viewed as kids' stuff. (And for all I know, abstract gaming may not be viewed only as adults' stuff.)
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ND is a great game. I didn't mind the theme at all but the terminology for the basic components was horrendous.
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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This question has been nagging me for quite a while... How the hell do you pronounce Navia Dratp, anyway?
 
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The Abstractionist wrote:
This question has been nagging me for quite a while... How the hell do you pronounce Navia Dratp, anyway?

I think I read that it's pronounced:

NAH-vee-ah DROP (with the t silent).
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Brian Pedersen
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The Abstractionist wrote:
This question has been nagging me for quite a while... How the hell do you pronounce Navia Dratp, anyway?

According to Wikipedia:
"nah-vee-ah drap"


 
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Ron Laufer
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Bwian wrote:
Perhaps, as long as you don't retheme it as similar to chess . Seriously, chess players already have a game they like, enough that they are unlikely to pick up a random new game just because it has a similar theme. Generic fantasy or SF might work, though.
I'm not thinking they'd lure in "real" chess players. I agree, chess aficionados aren't interested in a chess-like game, when they can play chess instead. But everyone has heard of chess, and casual chess players or generic non-gamers would be lured in by the similarity, I think. Yeah, you can put in fantasy pieces to spice things up a bit and match the masetai powers, but the core of the game is chess. Embracing that and not playing anime dress-up would've gotten them more players, IMHO.
 
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BoB3K wrote:
ND is a great game. I didn't mind the theme at all but the terminology for the basic components was horrendous.

Agree.

Anime = great
Bad terminology=random booster= gulp
 
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Martin DeOlden
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I picked up a couple boosters and 2 main sets to try it out myself as it looks like a great game. I picked it up very cheap at a 5-Below store.
 
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Calvin Daniels
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I'm not sure how you avoid fantasy pieces when you essentially need nearly 50 distinct pieces based on the moves of ND.

Rooks and Bishops etc don't cut it.

The game just needed different terminolgy from the game name, on through.

The pieces too might have attracted more done as mythological creatures like the world of Narnia, versus anime flavour too.

I wish they would reissue the starters at least, to attract new players, but I don't think the game needs new pieces at all.

That said, this game deserves more attention, and only way to do that is for players to hold a few demos at game days etc
 
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gonzoron wrote:
I agree, chess aficionados aren't interested in a chess-like game, when they can play chess instead. But everyone has heard of chess, and casual chess players or generic non-gamers would be lured in by the similarity, I think. Yeah, you can put in fantasy pieces to spice things up a bit and match the masetai powers, but the core of the game is chess. Embracing that and not playing anime dress-up would've gotten them more players, IMHO.

Fair enough. I can see that argument, although it doesn't match my experience. I have negative interest in chess, and I think many casual gamers feel the same: it's a game that evokes deep study and brain-burning concentration, not fun experimentation. It was the "anime dress-up" that convinced me to try the game. Along with the guy who demoed the game to me, and about half the people I demoed the game to. It could well be that my group is unusual, though. (Our FLGS was one of the last to hold MechWarrior tournaments, too... )

Talisinbear wrote:
I wish they would reissue the starters at least, to attract new players, but I don't think the game needs new pieces at all.

That said, this game deserves more attention, and only way to do that is for players to hold a few demos at game days etc

I agree: I think the game had one more expansion in it, at most, before they ran out of design space.

I try to do my part in promoting the game. I still hold my twice-yearly tournaments, even if new players are rare. But it's hard to get people to try an out-of-print, no-luck abstract...
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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Bwian wrote:
But it's hard to get people to try an out-of-print, no-luck abstract...

There is a market for such things, and I'm one of its poster children. I've been attracted to the description of Navia Dratp ever since I first read about it, but it's the fantasy figs, even more than the obscure terminology, that have always put me off from buying it. I want my abstracts, well... abstract! To be sure, abstract gamers are a very small subset of the gaming community as a whole, but it seems to me that perhaps this was a game that failed to gain traction because it was a missing link that nobody really wanted.

Miniatures gamers are generally Ameritrashers or wargamers by their primary nature (and therefore prefer some degree of chance in their mechanics), but abstract gamers like to see the underlying mathematical/logical structure of the game exposed with clarity, rather than obscured under all that toy factor (and prefer games of no chance). Certainly, excessive toy factor tends to put me off a game, and I think it would be pretty hard to convince someone I've managed to get to consistently play other abstracts with me to even try something that looks like this one does, even if the gameplay is excellent, as it very well may be. Popular abstracts (I know, I know, it's an oxymoron) have some gravitas to their appearance, or at least pretend to have it... Even lowly Mastermind, as originally packaged by Invicta, had the old guy and his slinky squeeze on the cover art. (And, no, please, let's not open the "classy games" can of worms again! However, the very existence of the OP of that thread serves well to illustrate my point.)

I'm still curious about Navia Dratp, and would very much like to watch a game of it being played between two accomplished players some time. In any case, if I ever see a copy available on the cheap, I will pick it up to check it out. But I'm very likely to de-theme it into a home-made set before actually playing, if the rules look to be worth the effort. See, the thing is, "abstract" actually means the complete, total, utter, absolute absence of theme. It does not mean, even though it often implies, a game of no chance with no hidden information. (Even Chess is not fully abstract, which may account in part for it being ranked below Go, which is.) A "themed abstract" is in fact an oxymoron. We call such hybrids Euros nowadays, but the Euro crowd seems to prefer their stuff to have effin penguins or an obscure Renaissance historical theme and an emo dude of questionable orientation rather than fantasy monsters on the artwork.

This poor game was a misfit from the get-go in so many ways... I sort of feel sorry for it. All the other games must have made fun of it while it was being playtested.
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Calvin Daniels
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If you have any interest in chess this is A MUST HAVE. Stop reading this forum now. GO BUY THIS GAME
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The Abstractionist wrote:
There is a market for such things, and I'm one of its poster children.

Oh, there is absolutely such a market. It's just a small market. Combined with my small geographic market (Denver is a decent-sized city, but it ain't New York), and my events don't see many participants.

The Abstractionist wrote:
I'm still curious about Navia Dratp, and would very much like to watch a game of it being played between two accomplished players some time.

These days, your best bet is VASSAL. But if you're ever in Colorado and bored, feel free to look me up.

The Abstractionist wrote:
But I'm very likely to de-theme it into a home-made set before actually playing, if the rules look to be worth the effort.

Very easy to do: just tear off the miniatures. The bases contain all the game information, and you can just flip the entire piece rather than twisting the compass when you dratp. The cards will still have artwork on them, I suppose, but after a few games you don't need those any more anyway. I'll warn you, though: the rulebook is pretty bad. Learning it independently, you'll have to go through a few play-read-play-question on BGG cycles. A shame, because the gameplay is really quite good.

The Abstractionist wrote:
See, the thing is, "abstract" actually means the complete, total, utter, absolute absence of theme. It does not mean, even though it often implies, a game of no chance with no hidden information.

Like many things, gaming has its own jargon. "Collectible" means something different in the wider world, than in the gaming world. Similarly, "abstract" has come to mean a game of no chance with no hidden information in the gaming world, regardless of how Princeton defines it. (Rather like "check" means something very different in a chess game, a hockey match, and a restaurant... )
 
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Yes I believe abstract are now widely thought of as perfect information games (chess) etc rather than no theme

I mean even chess a great abstract has a theme.

And ND is as good as chess in many ways
 
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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I really don't mean to stray off-topic, but I've got to rant for a bit. I promise to keep it fairly brief.

Bwian wrote:
Like many things, gaming has its own jargon. "Collectible" means something different in the wider world, than in the gaming world. Similarly, "abstract" has come to mean a game of no chance with no hidden information in the gaming world, regardless of how Princeton defines it.

Er... I've been "in the gaming world," frequenting FLGSes, collecting and playing abstract games for roughly 30 years out of a somewhat longer gaming history that started out more mundanely, and I know well what both of these terms mean.

Talisinbear wrote:
Yes I believe abstract are now widely thought of as perfect information games (chess) etc rather than no theme.

This is an erroneous, if common, usage. See the glossary. Yes, it is "often used" in that way, but it is also "often used" incorrectly. This is like saying that "nucular" is one of the accepted pronunciations of "nuclear." Dice games like Yahtzee are abstract, but they are not games of no chance. Dominoes are abstract (and the Domino Bead Game is a great little strategy game). Card games like SET are abstract. Mastermind is abstract, though not a game with no hidden information. Even word games like Scrabble are abstract, because, if you really think about it, word formation is a mechanic, not a theme, in this case used for the adjacency constraints in a positional strategy tile-laying board game.

If Chess were to be invented today, it would be classed as a Euro strategy game with a "pasted-on" theme, like Hey, That's My Fish!, Ricochet Robots or Venice Connection. I personally call such games "semi-abstract," or "quasi-abstract," so as to distinguish them from the likes of Hex, Twixt, Y, Sextillions and so many more: the true abstracts.

There is some contention amongst gamers regarding whether "abstract" means by definition an abstract strategy game of no chance and no hidden information. I am in the camp that sides with both the English language and with logic: no, it does not, although it often implies that (by induction).

"Abstract strategy game" implies it even more strongly, because we who play abstract games typically like the perfect information type best, but then there are games such as Trippples and Saikoro, which introduce randomness (in the setup), Knockabout which uses dice both as randomizers and as playing pieces, and strategic tile games like Micropul with both randomness (in the draw) and hidden information (though in this case the flimsiest of themes - so sheer as to practically be a game négligée). Completely lacking theme, we also have a whole slew of "twisty path" abstract connection tile games: Kaliko, Tantrix, Ta Yü, Knots, Octiles... These are nothing if not abstract, though I personally would appreciate Knots more if the tile art were abstract as well.
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Well there is an old adage about perception being reality

and the perception for many is that abstract games are perfect information (no luck) games.

The idea of pasted on themes in gaming is rather silly when you think about it. They are after all games.

The ones without theme hmmmm short boring list I suppose; Go, Pente and that line.

anyway I am not changing my definition, since it works nicely for me, and makes more sense to me.

I mean do I care if a game has a theme or not? No!!!! I just want a good game

For me that is generally abstract Straegy games with perfect information.
 
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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Talisinbear wrote:
The ones without theme hmmmm short boring list I suppose; Go, Pente and that line.

Go explore abstractstrategy.com, and then tell me what a short, boring list it is.

Talisinbear wrote:
anyway I am not changing my definition, since it works nicely for me, and makes more sense to me.

That's fine. As I said, it is a point of contention. I have laid out the arguments in favor of my side of that issue. Feel free to disagree.

Talisinbear wrote:
I mean do I care if a game has a theme or not? No!!!! I just want a good game

I do too. But I find themes, the thicker they are, to be a distraction from thinking about the game structure. And some themes will limit the number of people who will be willing to take the game up with you, which is what started my little piece of this thread in the first place. You may well be able to talk your average intellectual GF into a game of Chess, but I suspect Navia Dratp will be a harder sell. And ultimately, to play, you have to have someone to play with.
 
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Talisinbear wrote:
Yes I believe abstract are now widely thought of as perfect information games (chess) etc rather than no theme


The notion that a game without perfect information is not an abstract is also widely rejected, and hotly disputed when those who favor that peculiar definition trot it out.
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Sadly you are right

Chess fans are rather elitist, so they snub a game like ND, which is really a ramped up chess game with huge strategic game play.

Their loss and the game's

That said, turn ND into boring looking chess pieces and would have detracted hugely from this game's appeal and charm for me.

The language, I do agree with, since pronounceable definitions and game pieces would be better
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The Abstractionist wrote:
I really don't mean to stray off-topic, but I've got to rant for a bit. I promise to keep it fairly brief.

Bwian wrote:
Like many things, gaming has its own jargon. "Collectible" means something different in the wider world, than in the gaming world. Similarly, "abstract" has come to mean a game of no chance with no hidden information in the gaming world, regardless of how Princeton defines it.

Er... I've been "in the gaming world," frequenting FLGSes, collecting and playing abstract games for roughly 30 years out of a somewhat longer gaming history that started out more mundanely, and I know well what both of these terms mean.

Talisinbear wrote:
Yes I believe abstract are now widely thought of as perfect information games (chess) etc rather than no theme.

This is an erroneous, if common, usage. See the glossary. Yes, it is "often used" in that way, but it is also "often used" incorrectly. This is like saying that "nucular" is one of the accepted pronunciations of "nuclear." Dice games like Yahtzee are abstract, but they are not games of no chance. Dominoes are abstract (and the Domino Bead Game is a great little strategy game). Card games like SET are abstract. Mastermind is abstract, though not a game with no hidden information. Even word games like Scrabble are abstract, because, if you really think about it, word formation is a mechanic, not a theme, in this case used for the adjacency constraints in a positional strategy tile-laying board game.

If Chess were to be invented today, it would be classed as a Euro strategy game with a "pasted-on" theme, like Hey, That's My Fish!, Ricochet Robots or Venice Connection. I personally call such games "semi-abstract," or "quasi-abstract," so as to distinguish them from the likes of Hex, Twixt, Y, Sextillions and so many more: the true abstracts.

There is some contention amongst gamers regarding whether "abstract" means by definition an abstract strategy game of no chance and no hidden information. I am in the camp that sides with both the English language and with logic: no, it does not, although it often implies that (by induction).

"Abstract strategy game" implies it even more strongly, because we who play abstract games typically like the perfect information type best, but then there are games such as Trippples and Saikoro, which introduce randomness (in the setup), Knockabout which uses dice both as randomizers and as playing pieces, and strategic tile games like Micropul with both randomness (in the draw) and hidden information (though in this case the flimsiest of themes - so sheer as to practically be a game négligée). Completely lacking theme, we also have a whole slew of "twisty path" abstract connection tile games: Kaliko, Tantrix, Ta Yü, Knots, Octiles... These are nothing if not abstract, though I personally would appreciate Knots more if the tile art were abstract as well.


Except for the implication that Chess is only semi-abstract, I have to agree. This is why I say my preferred genre of games is that of 2-player perfect information traditional abstracts. Backgammon is an abstract but all means, but it's hardly a perfect information game.

I will agree there are shades of abstract so that one could for example ARGUE that Stratego ought be regarded asan abstract, although it doesn't seem quite to fit to me. What makes an abstract is the abstraction-- the pure elements of the game without "dressing it up".
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Talisinbear wrote:
That said, turn ND into boring looking chess pieces and would have detracted hugely from this game's appeal and charm for me
FWIW, in my imagined chess retheme, only the pawns would be boring chess pieces (much like the comparatively boring gulleds) The other pieces I see like a fancy sculpted chess set. The Navia/Kings would be sculpted old men on thrones. The masetai equivalents would be sculted knights, dragons, stableboys, whatever.

like this one:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/165478

And regarding the earlier point of marketing to the non-hardcore chess fan with the chess name, I'm not the first to think of it, since when you search the geek for chess, you get 2 pages of games that aren't actual chess.
 
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I can see merit in that, but again that ends up a chess-looking set, and part of the draw for me was something different with ND. the names are more problematic here than the great sculpts
 
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