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Summoner Wars» Forums » General

Subject: Summoner Wars vs. Pocket Battles - recommendations rss

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Gustavo
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I want to buy a portable battle game, and so far these were the options I could find. Looking at the BGG ratings it would be clear that Summoner Wars is a better game, but I still would like to hear the opinion of people who have played or who own both games, especially regarding:

- Replayability;
- Balance between factions;
- Fun factor;
- Luck factor;
- Learning curve;
- Accessibility.

Of course, any other suggestions of portable battle games would be more than welcome.

Thank you in advance for your input.
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Mark Jackson
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- Replayability

The nod here has to go to Summoner Wars, due to the sheer variety of factions available - and even more so w/the reinforcement decks to add to the four basic factions.

- Balance between factions

Both games do a great job balancing the factions!

- Fun factor

Summoner Wars is focused on the playing out of the battle (which is a blast); Pocket Battles is about equally divided between building your army & actually fighting the battle (also a lot of fun). It really boils down to whether you enjoy deck-building... if you do, Pocket Battles is going to be more your speed. (And, yes, that's true even with the reinforcement cards for Summoner Wars... deck-building is pretty constricted - IMHO, a good thing for the game.)

- Luck factor

Both have dice... and lots of them. You can mitigate the luck a bit more in Pocket Battles, but both involve playing the odds.

- Learning curve

Out of the box, Summoner Wars is easier to learn - probably because the army building element is difficult until you've played a couple of games of Pocket Battles. (The first PB game - Celts/Romans - had no suggested armies in the rules. They've since been posted here on BGG by the designer. Orcs/Elves comes with suggested armies, which help a great deal with getting the game started.)

- Accessibility

Not sure what you mean by this - Summoner Wars is probably a little more non-gamer friendly... but both play quickly IF you have some gaming background.

I'm glad I have both of them in my collection!
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Gustavo
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Thank you for your answer. How would you define the Replayability factor if you had only one of the basic sets of both games?
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Gabriel Manasan
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With only one set, I'd give the replayability nod to Pocket Battles. There's a lot of army configurations even with just one box. Whereas for one basic set of Summoner Wars, in the long term, variations in gameplay will be driven by luck of the draw.
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Mark Jackson
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What Gabriel said.
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Bruno Gaia
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Replayability: if you buy the whole package (8 factions at the moment), SW's replayability is higher than maybe 98% of the games I own.
With two starter deck, I think that drops to 70% but it's still A LOT!
SW is a great game (Pocket Battle too buuuut...)
Plus there's the beauty factor:
Pocket Battle is an eyesore, whereas SW looks great and is becoming better and better.
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Caleb
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Also, bear in mind that Pocket Battles, even if you're using the recommended armies, takes a while to set up - you have to select the relevant tiles from among all the tiles in your army. It can take 5-10 minutes, if you're not that familiar with the tiles. This is a huge, colossal, boring chore. Actually BUILDING the armies yourself is fun, but a brand new player is not going to know how to do that effectively.

Summoner wars is pretty easy - finding the 4/5 cards to place on the board is quick, and then you shuffle and go.


Edit: oh, and during play, in Pocket Battles, you have to constantly know how many dead units you have vs. your opponent, because victory comes when you have defeated 50% or more of the opposing force. In Summoner Wars, the victory condition is much more clear - whichever Summoner dies loses.
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Gustavo
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Thanks everybody for your replies.

It seems that Summoner Wars has indeed many characteristics that would suit better my purpose than Pocket Battles. I wonder what people would reply if I posted this in the Pocket Battles forum.... I think I'll do this right now
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Sann Dehrclahs
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cannoneer wrote:
Summoner wars is pretty easy - finding the 4/5 cards to place on the board is quick, and then you shuffle and go.

I've actually gone one further and sort out the cards needed for starting and oriented them opposite the rest of the deck so that setup takes about 30 seconds; since after a game you have to go through the Discard and Magic piles and sort out which decks the cards go back in anyway, it takes very little time to accomplish.
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