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Subject: Nightfall is a winner rss

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Jacob Lee
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So I’m one of the lucky winners of AEG’s Nightfall contest. Considering how often I enter these free game contests, I was surprised when I was contacted and learned I had won. As a token of my appreciation, I told AEG that if I liked the game I would post a positive review (but I wouldn’t post a negative review if I didn’t like the game). I don’t write reviews because I don’t think my writing skills are up to snuff, but I don’t care about this one because I just want to get the word out: Nightfall is going to rock the BGG charts.

How many sessions should someone have before reviewing a game? I think two sessions with the proper rules. One game is adequate for a “first impressions” type review, but the second session gives a better perspective because the focus isn’t on learning the game, but on playing the game. Of course, the more sessions the better.

Since I don’t do reviews, I’m not sure where to start. I never read the components evaluation of any review because that just doesn’t matter to me. All I care about is the gameplay so that’s where I’ll begin.

The “chaining” mechanic is kind of neat because you get to play on other people’s turns. Someone starts a chain and then there’s an opportunity for each other player to continue the chain. If you’ve got the right cards, you can get extra turns, get your minions into play before it’s your turn and then start dishing out damage sooner. This is very satisfying.

I like the scoring method: least damage wins. No victory points needed. I also like that I don’t feel mean-spirited during the game when I’m picking who to hand out wound cards to. In general, the three of us were trying to target the person who we thought was in the lead and it was kind of fun that we were never really sure who was in the lead.

I like that each player has a private archive that nobody else has access to. It makes me wonder if Dominion could be played with each player having their own vault of two or three cards that nobody else could buy. My assumption is Nightfall must be well-balanced to allow private archives in the first place.

It’s too early to comment on replayability (other than to say I really want to play it again), but I can comment on the theme: the theme doesn’t grab me. In fact, I doubt I would have bought the game on my own just from reading about it because the whole vampire/werewolf/monster theme doesn’t spark my interest and, truthfully, it didn’t elevate itself in my mind during the game. I check moon colours, I check damage points, health levels, anything quantitative, but the artwork didn’t inspire me to think I was doing much more than attacking somebody else’s cards. This is simply a personal preference. I still enjoyed attacking other people’s cards and watching them rotate their card a couple of times to indicate damage, but the theme isn’t a plus for me.
In fact, if the game had been designed with a street fighter-like tournament theme I think I could have gotten into it more. But this probably wouldn’t appeal to as many people. So like I said, personal preference.

The rulebook is hard to judge. I thought it was kind of funny when I first saw the rulebook was bigger than the game box (how are they going to sell this in the stores?). But I was a bit worried, too, because I thought it would be a very complex set of rules. I did not learn the game quickly. I would say the rulebook was a hindrance for me. I could not make myself sit through a reading of it because I kept saying to myself, “Wha? What does this mean? Why would I do this?” and I was very frustrated. I realized I would just have to try playing it and consult the book when necessary. So the first game was a writeoff.
Now that I know the game (maybe not all the strategies, though) I go back to the rulebook and see quite plainly that all the information I needed initially is there. But some things could have been emphasized or arranged in point form or something to ease my learning. I just couldn’t find the info I needed at the time, so we were making assumptions at first. We were correcting ourselves mid-game. But this is probably just my learning style, though, so I’m not being hard on the game. I don’t really consider the book as part of the game anyway (it doesn’t even belong in the box, ha!)

7 Wonders and Dominion are the only other big card games I play regularly, but 7 Wonders has a low replayability for me. I'll play it maybe once a month at this point. And Dominion has officially been shelved for the next several months because Nightfall is the game we’re going to be playing to finish off our game nights. I say this, but Dominion and Nightfall are nothing alike. They scratch the same itch for me and Nightfall scratches it better right now. In time, Dominion will win out unless Nightfall gets their expansions out this year and keeps them coming. Dominion’s got over a hundred cards for instant variety and it has already stood the test of time. And yet, Nightfall is my preference right now. It is more interactive and it may be the most interactive game I own. That sets it apart.

I’ll be playing Nightfall three player again before I get to play it four player, but I think it may be better with four than with three because the group dynamic of fighting against three other players rather than just two should lend itself to a more engaging experience. Great work, AEG, and thank you for giving me this awesome game!
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Cattlemark
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Congrats on the win. I don't know if you knew about the Rulebook, but the actual retail edition of Nightfall is in a box that's basically like two of the preview edition boxes connected at one side. So the rulebook fits neatly.

I hear a lot of people complaining about the theme. I'm pretty much seeing pure game play in my case. I'm sure this could have been themed ANYTHING at all and I'd be down to play it. Maybe at some point they can try a re-theme if (or is that more likely when?) the game hits it big. I'd doubt we'd see that though. More than likely there's going to be a couple of re-themes pop up from the fan community.

Thanks for your review, Jacob.
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Jonathan Larochelle
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Can you tell me what is the number of card in Nightfall? I want to be sure i have enough sleeve for this wonderfull game.Than in advance for the info.
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Cattlemark
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SenseiJoe wrote:
Can you tell me what is the number of card in Nightfall? I want to be sure i have enough sleeve for this wonderfull game.Than in advance for the info.


According to this image of the retail release's box back, there should be 312 cards.
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Christopher Paul
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It seems like a lot of people complain about this theme, and the Dominion theme, although in the latter it's often that there really isn't a theme. Thunderstone seems to be the most popular theme-wise. For me it's opposite, I don't care that Dominion lacks a theme, I'm tired of Fantasy themes, so Thunderstone doesn't do much for me, but I'm really pumped about the Nightfall theme!

Thanks for the review, this and the earlier video review by another BGGer are inching me towards a pre-order, where originally I was in the "wait and see" zone...
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Jacob Lee
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SenseiJoe wrote:
Can you tell me what is the number of card in Nightfall? I want to be sure i have enough sleeve for this wonderfull game.Than in advance for the info.


312 is correct.

I don't need a lot of theme in my games, but when the theme works it's worth pointing out. It doesn't work for me in Nightfall, but I don't need it to.

Thanks for the comments, guys. You've got a great game coming your way.
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Eric Foldenauer
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Your enthusiasm is contagious.

Drooooooool.
 
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Cattlemark wrote:
Congrats on the win. I don't know if you knew about the Rulebook, but the actual retail edition of Nightfall is in a box that's basically like two of the preview edition boxes connected at one side. So the rulebook fits neatly.

I hear a lot of people complaining about the theme. I'm pretty much seeing pure game play in my case. I'm sure this could have been themed ANYTHING at all and I'd be down to play it. Maybe at some point they can try a re-theme if (or is that more likely when?) the game hits it big. I'd doubt we'd see that though. More than likely there's going to be a couple of re-themes pop up from the fan community.

Thanks for your review, Jacob.


Already has a great, more than acceptable theme. No need for a re-theming at all.
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Cattlemark
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wytefang wrote:

Already has a great, more than acceptable theme. No need for a re-theming at all.


Oh, don't get me wrong, I love the theme and don't think it should be any different. I didn't make that clear in my comment. I was just saying that with all the conversation and dislike on the theme, and the fact that this game is going to be big, we'll be seeing fan re-themes just as we have with Dominion (Zombinion, Battletech: Domination).
 
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Jon Horne
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You shouldn't feel self-conscious in the future regarding your writing skills. I found your review to have good grammar and a logical layout. It was also informative and a pleasure to read. Thank you for posting it.
 
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Jacob Lee
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Thanks, Jon. My review seemed appropriate because there weren't a lot out there yet. It was just a small token of gratitude for the hundreds (I'm sure I've read over a thousand) of reviews I've read contributed by other geeks.
 
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John Wray
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Nice review! I am also a winner of the Nightfall contest (•85. John Wray). I am looking forward theme and overall gameplay. AEG seems to be covering several genres with these type of card games: Fantasy, Horror, and next? Perhaps, sci-fic?
 
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