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Subject: Free Kosmos 2-Player style game rss

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Beau Bailey
United States
Missoula
Montana
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Note: I was provided with cubes and sleeves for this game in exchange for a review. I printed up the cards on my own.


Introduction:
Magnate is a simple resource collection and building game. It is similar in many regards to the games in the Kosmos 2-Player line. However, Magnate is designed to be used with a Decktet, 2 d10s, and a handful of things to uses as resources. You will need approximately 15 items of 6 different types/colors. There are many workarounds to this requirement posted in the forums here.

The idea behind the game is you are the ruler of a small kingdom in competition with the ruler of an adjacent kingdom. Both players are competing to control the most area by the end of the game.

The game has very little to do with the theme. Had I not read the description, it would never have occurred to me. The game feels more like two real estate developers jockeying for position. I know this is only a slight change in focus, but it is how the game feels to me. Even then, the theme is only tenuously attached to the game.

Thankfully, the game isn't entirely reliant on its theme...

Gameplay:
The basic structure of a turn is very simple:

1. Roll the dice to generate resources (this effects both players).
2. Play a card
3. Draw a card

The game's clock is determined by the deck, with the end arriving after the second time through the drawpile. This timing for the ending is nearly perfect, not ending to early nor staying way past its welcome.

As for the structure of the turn, their is a lot of interesting things hidden there. The resource generation provides a very elegant system for emphasizing the building of higher cost cards as only the higher die is used. The ability to partially pay the cost of a building to get it out of your hand helps alleviate resource screw that possibly could occur.

Instead of playing a card, any card may also be discarded to generate resources, which helps get around a hand filled with high-cost cards with poor resources available.

The scoring emphasizes spreading out and boils down to a simple area control battle over five regions. Whoever has the highest total of build value in each region takes the region and scores one point. Highest score wins. With the small number of regions, the game really feels like a fist fight between the players.

Thoughts:
Magnate is an excellent example of a quick, two-player game. There is a decent number of meaty decisions that are helped by the general knowledge of the Decktet. The game is lean and stripped to the bone (both ideal qualities in any game). There are no superfluous parts to slow the play down or to waste your decision making.

The game is easily at the same level of quality of most of the Kosmos 2-player games and probably would do quite well if it was sold independently with a custom cards or tiles for the game.

I would recommend the game to anyone who has a few spare sheets of paper around to print a Decktet up with (added bonus of being able to play other Decktet games). You can grab whatever to use as resources and most gamers should have a couple of d10s somewhere.

6.5/10
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Geeky McGeekface
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badweasel wrote:
The game is easily at the same level of quality of most of the Kosmos 2-player games and probably would do quite well if it was sold independently with a custom cards or tiles for the game.

6.5/10

You are either a very tough rater or you don't think much of the Kosmos 2-player series.
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Lacombe
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Larry Levy wrote:
badweasel wrote:
The game is easily at the same level of quality of most of the Kosmos 2-player games and probably would do quite well if it was sold independently with a custom cards or tiles for the game.

6.5/10

You are either a very tough rater or you don't think much of the Kosmos 2-player series.


Lol. Too many people on this site are too generous with crappy games.

There's a whole second half to the rating distribution, y'all! Leave some 4s and 5s!

Beau's rating distribution looks pretty much like mine [I think I'm less kind on average, but I'm also more kind to games I really love--like Magnate], and I'd be inclined to recommend any game I rate a 6 or higher. With a rater like Beau, I'd consider 6.5 a good rating [there are users on this site that a 6.5 is equivalent to any other user's 8s or 9s].

It's tough to figure out how to rate stuff when you've got stuff like 1870: Railroading across the Trans Mississippi from 1870 and Hey, That's My Fish! sharing table time / shelf space, or when you're trying to judge games based on something other than just how much you enjoyed playing them.

Putting it a different way, if we take the numbers as actually meaning anything, Magnate is statistically "better" than about 70% of the games Beau has tried [i.e. somewhere in the 70th percentile of his ratings].
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Beau Bailey
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Nate has it right. My ratings are fairly harsh overall. My average rating is around 5.35. I would consider anything over a 6 worth playing. Magnate is a strong game even though it hasn't risen to my short favorite list
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P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
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Thanks for the review.

Whatever else it might mean, your rating of 6.5 pushes Magnate one step closer to being ranked.
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Daniël Muilwijk
Netherlands
Zeist
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Thanks for the review. I've added it to the thread: Overview of all the reviews (up-to-date)
 
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