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Subject: Deciding between different types of games... rss

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Michael Futter
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So... there are three games I've had my eye on and was hoping to get some advice from you fine folks.

The games are:

- Small World

- Risk: Halo Wars

- Chaos in the Old World


Each of these games appeals to me for different reasons. Halo Wars interests me both because I don't have any other version of Risk and because of my interest in Halo, though I'm not opposed to being steered towards other flavors. I've played/liked Risk: Godstorm, but a friend has it so I'm not likely to purchase it myself.

Any thoughts?

Admittedly, these aren't the only games I'm interested in (truthfully, there are MANY) but these seem to have piqued my interest the most.

Feel free to make other suggestions if the core mechanic in these games was done better by someone else.

Thank you in advance,

Michael

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Justin Fitzgerald
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A brief description of your gaming group will help shake out a suitable answer.
 
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Michael Futter
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Right now, my gaming group would probably be up for any of the three. The confounding factor is that I'm moving soon and will need to find/build a new group.

I want to make one last purchase to support my neighborhood game store. I guess one other thing to consider, and maybe none of these games would be suitable, is if a game could reasonably be played solo or with one person playing all sides.

I know games like Agricola and Arkham Horror come with rules for a solo option... and maybe Arkham Horror is a good choice? One of my friends picked up Commands and Colors: Ancients and the expansions and plays through the scenarios solo.

Sorry if this is completely unhelpful. Being a gaming group nomad soon has me a bit confounded.

Thanks!
 
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Steve Duff
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I'd buy what's furthest from your current collection or play list.

After you've got a collection that spans widely across genres, length, play style, etc, then start getting games that are similar to ones you've already got/played.
 
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Jordan Booth
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My vote goes to Small World for it's versatility. The random combination draws give it more re-playability than any of the other games. I also enjoy it because the attack mechanic is so simple and straight forward. You don't have to worry about making X of Y attack rolls, you just count up the number of tokens needed to get the territories you want and see if you can spare that many, if not, you get a new race that can.
 
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Michael Futter
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Thanks, Jordan! I didn't realize the attack mechanic was so simple.

I did read a review written by a father mentioning that it was a good game to play with kids. I'm trying to find things that I can use to get my 5 year old into.

I had Small World in my hand the other day and didn't grab it. Might have to go back for it now...

Thanks!
 
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Mark Johnson
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“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
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I would go for Chaos in the Old World. It's really the perfect blend of AT and Euro mechanisms. I say this because on one hand you can try for area majority/VP and can co-exist with certain of your opponents units without resulting in combat. Each god can try for completing objectives for various benefits throughout the game as well as an instant Victory. Direct conflict can also be advantageous through your units/cards. Finding the right mixture of strategy and tactics based on what your opponents are doing is key for victory.

People say Small World has variety? They need to play Chaos in the Old World. Every time you play Chaos in the Old World you will have a completely new experience regardless of whether you play the same faction or select them randomly. The first way the game achieves this is through the 7 - 8 different Old World event cards used per game out of the 28 card deck included with the game. These cards can have dramatic effects on the game and the fact that you don't know what ones will come out or the order in which they appear, ensures a fresh experience. If you play the same faction each time, you can still play the game differently by choosing VP or Dial victories and the upgrade cards can provide general benefits or unit altering effects of which you'll only be able to use a max of 3/5 (usually less) each game! If you get different factions from game-to-game you will have asymmetrical number of units amongst the 3 types, asymmetrical unit stats (as well as special abilities when upgraded), and a unique deck of cards to augment your strategies.

Other things to mention is that there is an action point system in place, dice is used to resolve combat, and it will not be a 3 hour affair like some other FFG games. The visual design is heavily themed, though some may be turned off by the theme. There are so many other positive things that could be said but words can only express so much. I feel similarly to Robert Florence about the game and urge you to check out his review:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/437246

I like Small World, and a fair bit at that but there is no comparison. The only time I would consider playing Small World above CitOW is if I had 5 players (which Chaos doesn't accommodate for) and if I had new/non-gamers as Small World is a lot more streamlined and simplistic.
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Michael Futter
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And now I want to purchase both. Admittedly, Chaos caught my eye in a big way, but with an upcoming move, I'm losing my group that would most definitely play this with me more than once. On the other hand... it seems really dang cool.

Small World allows for two players and Chaos (at least according to what I've read) can only be played with 3 or 4.

Decisions, decisions...
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Mark Johnson
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While I like Small World, don't get it for the two player experience. If you want it for 5 then Chaos is not the answer.

Chaos might work with two if each player controls two factions each. I don't know how it would go, but it couldn't be any worse than Small World imo.
 
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Michael Futter
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So... does Small World not scale well at 2 players?

I would love a game that is as much fun as Betrayal at House on the Hill, which also serves as a solid "gateway game." That's part of the reason that my interest has recently been piqued by Last Night on Earth, which apparently can be played with as few as two.

I have interest in the games we've talked about for the following reasons:

Small World:
Pros: Light atmosphere, board scales for number of players, could be accessible for my 5 year old.
Cons: Not the most complex game out there.


Risk: Halo Wars
Pros: Theme, I don't have a Risk variant.
Cons: At this point, not anywhere near the frontrunner in interest.


Chaos in the Old War
Pros: Exceedingly cool theme. Multiple ways to win. Elements of euro gaming and territory control gaming. Very near the front of the pack for interest. Variable games with cards.
Cons: Not designed for two players, probably won't interest the females that we might get to play with us. Apparently, they don't want to be evil goddesses.


Last Night on Earth
Pros: "Gateway game." Variable game types. Variable games with available supplements and expansions.
Cons: ? Still don't know enough, but seems well-reviewed.


Maybe this glimpse into my thinking is useful... but maybe just for me.

Thanks for all of your thoughts past and future.
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Michael Futter
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I should also mention that I'm considering Arkham Horror, esp with the built-in single-player options. However, that's something I'm likely to pick up down the road if I can find in for a good price.

I'll need to scope out a new store in northern NJ...
 
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Michael Futter
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Thanks for the link to the video review. Definitely made me want to go get it... along with Small World, Last Night on Earth, the LNoE web-only supplements, Arkham Horror.

I think I need an intervention.
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Michael Futter
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Result:

I purchased Last Night on Earth and a friend got me Chaos as a going-away gift.

Thank you to all of you who responded. I greatly appreciate your input!
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Tim Collins
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So, you got the best of the bunch with those 2 games. Good luck on your move and now you have 2 excellent games that you can entice other gamers with.
 
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Garcian Smith
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My complain with LNoE is that playing as a zombie is brainless. Spawn a couple dudes, move them one-closer to heroes and play a card when a good opportunity arises. Heroes are almost the same case - search for cards until you get the win-condition item and do such. It's too long for what it is - a simple game.
 
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Michael Futter
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I picked up LNoE to give me and some of my bridge-gamer friends something in addition to Betrayal at House on the Hill. Like Betrayal, LNoE is a game that is so accessible, that the two-page player aids are enough to go by in most cases. Unlike Betrayal, there is better clarity around most of the rules and very few ways to break the game.

Don't get me wrong, LNoE can be horribly lopsided, leading to a foregone conclusion (the initial zombie roll of double-sixes is nigh impossible to recover from).

I agree that it is certainly more simplistic than many of its shelf-mates. This is precisely what made it the right game for me to pick up to play with this particular audience.

I would never pull out a game like Chaos in the Old World, War of the Ring, or Commands and Colors for my father or sister, but I might get them to be zombies.
 
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