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Subject: Why is this so revered? rss

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Chris
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I have this game on my wishlist, but I'm curious as to why it's in such high demand. Is it simply because it's not available?

For example, I have the game Heroes Incorporated - I like it; it's fairly simple and easy-to-play. Is Capes & Cowls *so* much better that it's worth the prices?

I'd love to hear from someone who has played both before...
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Michael Denman
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Yes, I suspect a lot of the reverence for this game is connected to how difficult it is to acquire, but it's actually a good game as well. I shudder to even compare it to Heroes Inc. I might as well compare a fine wine to sewer water. I really dislike Heroes Inc and I don't think it makes any attempt to capture a superhero theme. UGH!
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Chris
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Trump wrote:
Yes, I suspect a lot of the reverence for this game is connected to how difficult it is to acquire, but it's actually a good game as well. I shudder to even compare it to Heroes Inc. I might as well compare a fine wine to sewer water. I really dislike Heroes Inc and I don't think it makes any attempt to capture a superhero theme. UGH!



Painful as it might be, please try...

I don't LOVE Heroes Inc.; but I don't despise it either. I think it's ~okay~. How does C&C execute the game better (in comparison - cause I don't imagine the mechanics are drastically different).
 
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* It's played on a customizable map.
* It has a great theme. I think it's better that the heroes are not from a known franchise so that there's no disconnect between known heroes and their in-game capabilities.
* Varying character abilities. The characters play quite differently. Even characters who can "fly" all have their own different flavor of flight. For example, one only flies straight. Two can only fly between squares of the same color. In fact, only one has true unrestricted 'flight' as an ability.
* Flexible complexity. With few heroes and limited terrain, a game can be 10-15 minutes. With more heroes, scenarios, more terrain, a game could be an hour.
* Great balance of luck and strategy. The rules discourage turtling, which is important in a fighting game. (Whenever you attack there is always at least a 1/6 chance of hitting.)
* Synergy. Take any 4 heroes and the team synergy will be different for each combination. Because of that, every game feels quite different.
* Balance. I think there are three or four characters slightly more powerful than the rest and one slightly underpowered. But overall, the characters are remarkably well-balanced. As one person put it, every character is so ridiculously overpowered that it all evens out. And it also means each character really feels like a hero.

This mostly comes from the first geeklist I ever made on BGG:
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14640/the-perfect-fighting...-

I was looking for a character-level fighting game, and that list I created led me to settle on Capes & Cowls and Cowboys: Way of the Gun. Cowboys fell flat for me. Capes & Cowls lived up to expectations and then some.


Here's a comparison to several other fighting games...

Heroscape, Duel of Ages - good games, but I'm not as much of a fan of the mixed-genre theme. Neither really fit into the shorter time frame that Capes & Cowls can fit into. I'd still like to play either of these more often than I do.

Gunslinger, Battlestations - RPG elements are great, but make them far harder to get to the table, and really make them hard to compare to C&C

Star Wars Miniatures, Heroclix - CMGs can be really expensive, but with Capes & Cowls clearing 3 digits, you could get a good playset of one of these for the same price. I rate both SWM and Capes & Cowls a 10 (and only 4 other games besides them), but SWM takes longer than C&C, and the sheer number of Star Wars figures makes it harder to find opponents. The pieces in SWM are of radically different abilities so that random armies aren't really possible like they are in Capes & Cowls (or Duel of Ages). Army building becomes a definite part of the game, which is difficult when playing someone who doesn't have their own pieces. I've never played Heroclix, but don't really have any desire to either.

Star Wars Epic Duels - Another 10 rating from me. Closest thing I can get to Star Wars Minis that my wife will play with me. I prefer SWM, but prefer to play this with someone than to play SWM with nobody.

Strange Synergy - Probably the closest thing to C&C in terms of random armies of heroes fighting. I haven't played this one, but from what I've heard the balance and personality you find in C&C is lost because the heroes in Strange Synergy are nameless collections of abilities, and those abilities can easily be randomly combined in clearly game-breaking ways.

Cowboys: Way of the Gun - Beautiful game. I had it but traded it away. I've considered re-acquiring it just to play with another ruleset (perhaps The Rules with No Name). The worst thing for me was that all the cowboys in this game felt the same. No personality to the characters.

Swashbuckler - I don't have anything to say about this other than to say that of all the fighting games I haven't played, this one (with simultaneous action selection) is the one that I'd most like to play.
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Chris
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FlyingArrow wrote:
* It's played on a customizable map.
* It has a great theme. I think it's better that the heroes are not from a known franchise so that there's no disconnect between known heroes and their in-game capabilities.
* Varying character abilities. The characters play quite differently. Even characters who can "fly" all have their own different flavor of flight. For example, one only flies straight. Two can only fly between squares of the same color. In fact, only one has true unrestricted 'flight' as an ability.
* Flexible complexity. With few heroes and limited terrain, a game can be 10-15 minutes. With more heroes, scenarios, more terrain, a game could be an hour.
* Great balance of luck and strategy. The rules discourage turtling, which is important in a fighting game. (Whenever you attack there is always at least a 1/6 chance of hitting.)
* Synergy. Take any 4 heroes and the team synergy will be different for each combination. Because of that, every game feels quite different.
* Balance. I think there are three or four characters slightly more powerful than the rest and one slightly underpowered. But overall, the characters are remarkably well-balanced. As one person put it, every character is so ridiculously overpowered that it all evens out. And it also means each character really feels like a hero.

This mostly comes from the first geeklist I ever made on BGG:
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14640/the-perfect-fighting...-

I was looking for a character-level fighting game, and that list I created led me to settle on Capes & Cowls and Cowboys: Way of the Gun. Cowboys fell flat for me. Capes & Cowls lived up to expectations and then some.


Here's a comparison to several other fighting games...

Heroscape, Duel of Ages - good games, but I'm not as much of a fan of the mixed-genre theme. Neither really fit into the shorter time frame that Capes & Cowls can fit into. I'd still like to play either of these more often.

Gunslinger, Battlestations - RPG elements are great, but make them far harder to get to the table, and really make them hard to compare to C&C

Star Wars Miniatures, Heroclix - CMGs can be really expensive, but with Capes & Cowls clearing 3 digits, you could get a good playset of one of these for the same price. I rate both SWM and Capes & Cowls a 10 (and only 4 other games besides them), but SWM takes longer than C&C, and the sheer number of Star Wars figures makes it harder to find opponents. The pieces in SWM are of radically different abilities so that random armies aren't really possible like they are in Capes & Cowls (or Duel of Ages). Army building becomes a definite part of the game, which is difficult when playing someone who doesn't have their own pieces. I've never played Heroclix, but don't really have any desire to either.

Star Wars Epic Duels - Another 10 rating from me. Closest thing I can get to Star Wars Minis that my wife will play with me. I prefer SWM, but prefer to play this with someone than to play SWM with nobody.

Strange Synergy - Probably the closest thing to C&C in terms of random armies of heroes fighting. I haven't played this one, but from what I've heard the balance and personality you find in C&C is lost because the heroes in Strange Synergy are nameless collections of abilities, and those abilities can easily be randomly combined in clearly game-breaking ways.

Cowboys: Way of the Gun - Beautiful game. I had it but traded it away. I've considered re-acquiring it just to play with another ruleset (perhaps The Rules with No Name). The worst thing for me was that all the cowboys in this game felt the same. No personality to the characters.

Swashbuckler - I don't have anything to say about this other than to say that of all the fighting games I haven't played, this one (with simultaneous action selection) is the one that I'd most like to play.



Thanks for the comprehensive breakdown -- I've played some of these (Heroscape, etc.) - and I certainly wouldn't make the comparison between the two. I agree re: Strange Synergy -- the first game I played we broke the characters.

I will say, to someone who has played Heroes Inc. -- the early points sound like that game as well (although I like the flexibility of the game length, etc.). Strikes me that there's more replayability in C&C (?)
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Lemur wrote:
Trump wrote:
Yes, I suspect a lot of the reverence for this game is connected to how difficult it is to acquire, but it's actually a good game as well. I shudder to even compare it to Heroes Inc. I might as well compare a fine wine to sewer water. I really dislike Heroes Inc and I don't think it makes any attempt to capture a superhero theme. UGH!



Painful as it might be, please try...

I don't LOVE Heroes Inc.; but I don't despise it either. I think it's ~okay~. How does C&C execute the game better (in comparison - cause I don't imagine the mechanics are drastically different).


I haven't played Heroes Inc, and it's been a while since I read up on it, but I was under the impression that it wasn't really a fighting game. You have heroes being heroic, but more in the sense of moving around and accomplishing goals... more like Marvel Heroes. Not in the Bang! Pow! Whack! character-level skirmish type of action like Capes & Cowls. But maybe I'm wrong about Heroes Inc.

In my previous post I mentioned lots of good things about Capes & Cowls. But to specifically point out what makes C&C "better" than most other fighting games...

* A short, simple skirmish game with balanced characters who have personality. Few games meet that criteria. Star Wars: Epic Duels is the only other one I can think of. All the other games I mentioned either sacrifice personality for simplicity and a shorter game, or they sacrifice simplicity and short game length to add in more personality. (If you didn't have to build the Heroscape gameboard, it could also be added to the short list of C&C and Epic Duels.)

* More strategic. There are dice, but good positioning in C&C can make dice less important - many attacks require no die roll. A character's attack is his personal attack rating plus the value of the square he's on (1-4). A character's defense rating is his personal defense rating plus the value of the square he's on (1-4). If attack>defense, automatic hit. If attack = defense, hit on a roll of 5 or 6. If attack < defense, hit on a roll of 6. This simple rule leads to very interesting decisions, especially as all of the characters' superpowers interact. Even though there are dice, it feels more like Chess than Risk.
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Lemur wrote:
I don't LOVE Heroes Inc.; but I don't despise it either. I think it's ~okay~. How does C&C execute the game better (in comparison - cause I don't imagine the mechanics are drastically different).


You don't? Why not? Just because they share a theme? These two games have nothing mechanical in common.

C&C is about a fight. The fight may have objectives other than just stomping your opponent into the ground, but it is pure fighting.

Heroes Inc is about running around a city amassing hero points. When you're ready to fight crime, you roll a die and if its high enough, you win. Yay. If a supervillain shows up, you need to roll a bit better. More Yay. If you can't tell already, I find "fighting" in Heroes Inc to be incredibly pathetic.

Imagine Heroes Inc as a dish towel that you constantly twist, squeezing out every ounce of theme you can so that you're left with a game with as much flavor as a saltine cracker. Now imagine a bowl beneath that towel, absorbing all of that theme up and adding even more. Then you'll be closer to C&C.
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PAUL OCONNOR
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It's scarce.

It's a labor of love.

It's loaded with character.

It's not about securing favor with some damn vizier.

It's awesome.

And it's mine -- all mine!
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FlyingArrow wrote:
Heroscape, Duel of Ages - good games, but I'm not as much of a fan of the mixed-genre theme. Neither really fit into the shorter time frame that Capes & Cowls can fit into. I'd still like to play either of these more often than I do.


I LOVE mixed genres so I'll have to disagree with you on that one. Heroscape is okay, but the tactics are at a very simplistic kiddie level and it takes an insane amount of time to set up. Duel of Ages does a pretty good job of telling a story and offers more than simple fighting. I liked it a lot, but got to where I wasn't playing it any more and sold it off.

FlyingArrow wrote:

Star Wars Miniatures, Heroclix - CMGs can be really expensive, but with Capes & Cowls clearing 3 digits, you could get a good playset of one of these for the same price. I rate both SWM and Capes & Cowls a 10 (and only 4 other games besides them), but SWM takes longer than C&C, and the sheer number of Star Wars figures makes it harder to find opponents. The pieces in SWM are of radically different abilities so that random armies aren't really possible like they are in Capes & Cowls (or Duel of Ages). Army building becomes a definite part of the game, which is difficult when playing someone who doesn't have their own pieces. I've never played Heroclix, but don't really have any desire to either.


Heroclix is a good skirmish game and it has the obvious advantage of using recognizable characters. It's quick to set up and not hard to learn. However, it does have two things dragging it down. One is that the interaction of different powers and skills can be pretty hard for the new player to sort out. The other is that luck can really swing a game massively. Probably the only way I'd play it now is to make a few teams up beforehand and then just have people pick a team. No crazy team-building. No weird power/skill interactions.

FlyingArrow wrote:

Star Wars Epic Duels - Another 10 rating from me. Closest thing I can get to Star Wars Minis that my wife will play with me. I prefer SWM, but prefer to play this with someone than to play SWM with nobody.


I remember this as okay, but again, I sold it off when I stopped playing it.

FlyingArrow wrote:

Strange Synergy - Probably the closest thing to C&C in terms of random armies of heroes fighting. I haven't played this one, but from what I've heard the balance and personality you find in C&C is lost because the heroes in Strange Synergy are nameless collections of abilities, and those abilities can easily be randomly combined in clearly game-breaking ways.


HORRIBLE! The powers are not evenly balanced at all and it's not hard to have one team have the obvious advantage from the start. And what's with handing out random powers to Team Member #1, Team Member #2, and Team Member #3? Totally generic. Especially horrible to me are the game components. Are you kidding me? $30 MSRP for that?

FlyingArrow wrote:

Swashbuckler - I don't have anything to say about this other than to say that of all the fighting games I haven't played, this one (with simultaneous action selection) is the one that I'd most like to play.


I haven't played since high school so I couldn't say if I'd like it now, but I do remember that the game was excellent in the use of your environment. You don't just run around stabbing with your sword. You tip over shelves, throw mugs, yank carpets, swing from chandeliers, and wave your hat as a distraction. If you think that sounds interesting but you prefer a sci-fi theme, they also put out Adventurer which was quite similar.
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Chris
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So...is C&C closer to say...Monsterpocalypse, as compared to Heroes Inc.? Is that closer to the mechanics?
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Lemur wrote:
So...is C&C closer to say...Monsterpocalypse, as compared to Heroes Inc.? Is that closer to the mechanics?


I haven't played Monsterpocalypse, but it appears to be a character-level skirmish game. C&C is mechanically similar to most other character-level skirmish games: Star Wars Minis, Duel of Ages, Heroscape, Cowboys: Way of the Gun. In C&C players alternate turns every character. In Star Wars Minis players use characters 2 at a time. In Duel of Ages and Cowboys, players use all their characters at once and then the other player does. But in terms of characters with special abilities running around on a map beating each other up, they all fit that definition.

Epic Duels is a bit different because it's card-driven. Gunslinger and Swashbuckler are a bit different because they're simultaneous action selection.
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Michael Denman
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Lemur wrote:
So...is C&C closer to say...Monsterpocalypse, as compared to Heroes Inc.? Is that closer to the mechanics?


It's closer, but it's still not exactly the same. MonPoc is about manipulating your dice pools. C&C is a bit more about getting into certain positions. They are both essentially just fights, so I guess they're similar in that regard.
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Probably not fair to compare it to Heroscape (as you said, the mixed genres), maybe if you've ever tried the MarvelScape Master Set(or the online released DCScape Sets). I get my fix for fighting in those 2 games and they replace C&C well, however the only downside is it takes a while to build the maps for the 'Scape games and you never feel like tearing them down once you have a good one built.
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Joe Wyka
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What struck me more than anything in Capes and Cowls was the importance of positioning on the board. The rules for what you can or cannot do shift frequently depending on what square you are on and who your character is - in an often arbitrary kind of way. It adds a tactical, almost chess-like element to play beyond simply line of site and dice rolling. The extremely tight board means that there are almost no dead turns, the combatants are almost on top of each other the whole way. The super heroes are witty, unique twists on some of the classics. The artwork is phenomenal for an indie production, even if that artwork doesn't extend to the abstract playing space.

It's a one-of-a-kind feeling game.
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joewyka wrote:
even if that artwork doesn't extend to the abstract playing space.


It does extend to the scenery, though, if you add in cars, trees, walls, etc.
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Observation here.

Just finished a game of C&C. After 30 plus plays, the goodness of the game has not worn off.

When I first read the rules prior to my first game many moons ago, I thought that it might make the game seem kind of, well, gamey the way the spaces (different colors and numbers 1-4) would effect the heroes and what they could do and how well they could do it. I was a little worried about that.

But, time has proven my initial reservations to be unfounded. The first game was a blast, as were the games that followed to this day. C&C is a game requiring skillful planning as well as a little luck. Awareness is important... if your opponent has Tennebro, you want to avoid the black spaces. If he has Fantasm, you want to attack him first in the round because once he moves he becomes an unhittable phantom until the next turn.

Very good game!
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