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Subject: Regarding flaws in the game rss

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Art Vandelay
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100 Mile House
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I just read a users geeklist entry about this game. It starts off with:

"Now, I don't mean to be nasty but I think some honesty here could prevent other innocent people from getting hurt."

well honesty isnt much good, if its wrong. His opinion isn't wrong, as everyone has their own thoughts and feelings, and there is nothing wrong with a negative view, or review. But i think his facts are wrong.
So im writing this, hoping that other innocent people arent hurt, because they read his comments, and chose not to try the game, and thus will never get to enjoy it.

First, the game is not trying to be dominion, it has its own identity. Yes it uses the "build your deck as you go" mechanic, but since when has it been wrong to recycle a game mechanic? All games that use the role selection mechanic, besides Puerto Rico are steaming piles of poo, right? I wont go into anymore detail than that, as the designer has already posted a lengthly article on that topic. But the game does not feel like a dominion clone, with a skirmish phase tacked on, to get rid of useless cards. The entire theme works very well, and the skirmish phase adds to it nicely.

Second, digging is not "mandatory". But it is worthwhile.

Quote:
If other players were lucky enough to hit the goodies before you, the odds of you finding anything useful at all is horribly reduced. You are effectively out of the game, blinding digging to play catch-up as the lucky folks buy up all of the good dirty-syringe using frozen-Mad-Max looking dudes.


There is plenty of goodies to go around. There are plenty of useful items. And the items you find can help to shape your strategy. Dont find a med kit? you probably find a syringe. This will probably lead to different mercenary choices than someone who found a med kit. the game isnt meant to have complete parity which what everyone finds, and which mercenaries everyone can hire.
And there is NOTHING in the junkyard that is absolutely necessary to find, or else you will lose. In our first game, 2 players didnt find a medkit, while the 3rd player found one right away. He came in last.

The game is great. Try it, and dont just pass it off as a re-themed Dominion copy cat. You might just find it a nice addition to the deck building genre, sitting beside Dominion.
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Richard Hoover
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frankly, that's why the drake's flames [vixxentor??? - Small Press Publishers Get All the Chicks] review finalized it for me.

If the game was just a dominion poseur, I have no doubt that he would have said that. Instead, he also downplayed the comparison to dominion and was pretty ecstatic about the game.


p.s. "innocent people getting hurt" - I find it bizarre that the presumably sincere poster would talk about the game like there's some major federal RICO statute fraud occurring. I am not sure how the heck could someone read all that's been posted on the game and somehow feel "victimized." That it might not do it for you. Sure. No problem. But "innocent people" being "hurt." That seems overly dramatic.





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Jason Cookingham
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fbi_boy wrote:
Try it, and dont just pass it off as a re-themed Dominion copy cat.


I hope to try it. The theme intrigues me, but I am concerned that it will be too much like Dominion. Since I am the only one who buys board games in my circle, it will have to wait until I can try it at a local con or something similar.
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Michael Kandrac
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I have played 9 straight games of Arctic Scavengers without once wishing to revisit Dominion. Dominion is a good game, but once again, David has slain Goliath.

Gg
 
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Dominique Cortens
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Diest
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Well, here in Diest (Belgium) we played the game yesterday evening for the first time (4 players). We had also planned to play some other games but they never made it to the table. We started with Artic Scavengers and after our first session we couldn't stop. We played 5 games in a row and we had a blast!
A very, very good game!
 
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Erin Leonhard
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fbi_boy wrote:
There is plenty of goodies to go around. There are plenty of useful items. And the items you find can help to shape your strategy. Dont find a med kit? you probably find a syringe. This will probably lead to different mercenary choices than someone who found a med kit. the game isnt meant to have complete parity which what everyone finds, and which mercenaries everyone can hire.
And there is NOTHING in the junkyard that is absolutely necessary to find, or else you will lose. In our first game, 2 players didnt find a medkit, while the 3rd player found one right away. He came in last.

The game is great. Try it, and dont just pass it off as a re-themed Dominion copy cat. You might just find it a nice addition to the deck building genre, sitting beside Dominion.


In my game, there were not "plenty of goodies to go around" - I didn't get a medkit, syringe, or anything else that helped my position. I watched everyone else play because as the other players got better cards and the cheap ones I could afford were depleted, I couldn't compete in the blind bid.

The game needs development work. It's not horrible and it's not a horrible idea, but it's not there, either.
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Robert K Gabhart
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andsoerinsaid wrote:
fbi_boy wrote:
There is plenty of goodies to go around. There are plenty of useful items. And the items you find can help to shape your strategy. Dont find a med kit? you probably find a syringe. This will probably lead to different mercenary choices than someone who found a med kit. the game isnt meant to have complete parity which what everyone finds, and which mercenaries everyone can hire.
And there is NOTHING in the junkyard that is absolutely necessary to find, or else you will lose. In our first game, 2 players didnt find a medkit, while the 3rd player found one right away. He came in last.

The game is great. Try it, and dont just pass it off as a re-themed Dominion copy cat. You might just find it a nice addition to the deck building genre, sitting beside Dominion.


In my game, there were not "plenty of goodies to go around" - I didn't get a medkit, syringe, or anything else that helped my position. I watched everyone else play because as the other players got better cards and the cheap ones I could afford were depleted, I couldn't compete in the blind bid.


A) After personally tracking 100+ plays and watching twice that many, I can confidently say that while it does happen, what you describe is rare.

B) Performing early digs (especially larger digs of 3+) consistently (every chance you get for the first 3-4 rounds) is important.

C) There are, in fact, 12 cards that have medicine in the base game - 5 Medkits and 7 Syringes. Even just getting 1 Syringe is sufficient to open up the other Mercenary cards.

Think you MUST have a Medkit to win? Nope. Check out this recent session report: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/419807

D) Aside from anecdotal evidence, I actually have a computer simulation model of the Junkyard that I use for balancing and playtesting. Assuming that you aren't doing a dig of '1' or the occasional '2' every other round and essentially playing the lotto hoping for some medicine, then the percentage chance of getting at least 1 med is above 90% in a 5-player game by round 4 and it is over 95% in a 3-player game. Furthermore, the odds of getting 2 or more meds into your deck by this point is over 90% in a 3-player game and in the mid 80s in a 5-player game. In both cases, 4-player games fit somewhere in the middle.

Of course, your mileage may vary. The computer model does average things over 100 played games, each game is different, some games involve lots of Refugee trashing (which bloats the Junkyard), and OFTEN I have seen newbies do small digs early on (or no digs early) only to realize by the middle of the game that they REALLY need some medicine. At which point they begin to frantically dig for the perhaps 2 or 3 cards that still exist (in a pile of 30-40) at that point in the game.

Bottom-line? Play it again. Play with your newfound awareness of how key big digs are early game. Play it knowing that you DO NOT have to get a medkit to win the game. And play it with the awareness that SOMETIMES in the bitter struggle to survive the next ice age.... not everyone finds the key resources they need to sustain life.

Keep scavenging!
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Arden Nelson Jr.
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gabhart wrote:

C) There are, in fact, 12 cards that have medicine in the base game - 5 Medkits and 7 Syringes. Even just getting 1 Syringe is sufficient to open up the other Mercenary cards.

Think you MUST have a Medkit to win? Nope. Check out this recent session report: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/419807


I think the difference is Erin was playing in a five player game. I hosted the game and hoped it would turn out better. I'm starting to rack up my plays of Arctic Scavengers. The teens at church keep requesting it and are dissapointed if I forgot to bring it. It is portable enough I should just keep it with me.

I'm hoping to write a session report of a session with the teens or a review soon. I will say I don't think the 5 player game is as balanced if it requires dig early and often in order for players to survive in later rounds. I would prefer multiple strategies to be viable.

As of right now I like the game but I would like to love the game if that makes sense.
 
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Robert K Gabhart
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Xanthos wrote:
I will say I don't think the 5 player game is as balanced if it requires dig early and often in order for players to survive in later rounds. I would prefer multiple strategies to be viable.


You make an excellent point. In my opinion, the base game is perfect for 4, plays well with 3, and plays fine with 5 but is a bit more cutthroat.

The expansion smooths all of that out so that it is balanced for all of those, supports 2-player mode, and offers multiple viable strategies for success.

Xanthos wrote:

As of right now I like the game but I would like to love the game if that makes sense.


It makes perfect sense. Give HQ a look when I unveil it in August. I think you'll be quite pleased.
 
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