Recommend
48 
 Thumb up
 Hide
46 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Ascension: Return of the Fallen» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Ascension: Return of the Fallen -- falls flat for me rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: strategy [+] Ascension [+] [View All]
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ascension: Return of the Fallen
By: Justin Gary
Published: Gary Games

===

A Brief History
I recently reviewed the core game, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer. If you are not familiar with Ascension, I suggest you read that review (or any of the other excellent reviews) of the core game first. That review was very positive; still, I called Ascension Deck Building Lite and was slapped a couple of times for that. I can handle that. No problem.

I am a fan. I like the game. It is Deck Building Lite, however. And for all the potential that could have been had in an expansion to this fun little game, it seems they have let it fly by in the breeze.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Return of the Fallen follows in the footsteps of Dominion and Thunderstone in giving us an expansion that is also a fully playable two-player game. In this game you get two starting decks (20 cards), a set of Mystics and Heavy Infantry (34 cards), a Cultist (1 card), and honor (victory) tokens -- note, the rulebook says you get 40 tokens (20 red, 20 white); I did not get that many, more like 30 (about 15 of each), but this is enough to play. The rules also claim you get a playing board; this is obviously a typo. Lastly you get 65 cards that are actually new.

Yes, of the 120 cards in the box, only 65 are actually new cards. I did not like this when I got the duplicate cards in Dominion: Intrigue. I did not like this when I got the duplicate cards in Thunderstone: Dragonspire. I do not like this now.

The game provides enough to play 6 players (when mixes with the core game; 2 players alone); the rules provide a team version for up to 6 players, as well as a simplistic solo version.

That all said, as far as this expansion is concerned for me -- the point is those 65 cards. So we will get to this in a moment.

One thing that many have pointed out, and I would be remiss to gloss over is the fact that the cards are, in fact, smaller than the ones from the core set. This is a good and a bad thing:

* It is good if you sleeve your cards because they are much easier to get into those beautiful custom sleeves without bending them (I managed to bend two of my cards from the main set putting them in sleeves). Once sleeved, you cannot tell the old and new cards apart.

* It is bad if you do not sleeve your cards because the cards are obviously different sizes when shuffled together. If I were someone that did not sleeve my cards, this would truly tick me off.

This is not all that changes in the cards; and the rest of the changes are good. At the bottom right hand side of each card is a color-coded expansion symbol. This color code will tell you if this card is unique (gold), one of two in the deck (blue), one of three in the deck (white), or one of four in the deck (red). This is a very cool addition to the card layout.

Eleven cards in the set have the new 'Fate' mechanic. These cards are darker bordered with a deeper, more vibrant coloring to them, as well as having a dark box to indicate what the fate mechanic does. Strangely, Fate is defined as: an effect that triggers when the card first entered the center row, even at the start of the game when the center row is first dealt, yet every single fate effect in the game starts with the keyword Fate, followed by "when this card enters the center row, {do this}." Seems redundant. A simple "Fate: {do this}" would have been just as clear, and take up less space.

As a side note: one does have to wonder if the Rat King will be re-released, properly Templated as a fate card -- he was the first one, after all.

The last real innovation is Samael The Fallen, who actually shows up as a card in the game. And he is a bit of a wuss. He is a power 8 card (only one more than his Avatar), unbanishable (nice to see that key worded here; future printings of the core game will make the Avatar easier to read that way). You get 8 honor for defeating him, but he does not go into the void. Instead, he stays face up in front of you, and as you defeat additional monsters, they go into your deck and fight for you with their power added to your hero's power in combat.

What could have been...
Of the 65 cards, you get eleven that are relatively fresh (fate); one that is a rather dull upgrade of the Avatar from the core game; and 53 that are nothing more than more of the same. Nothing really inventive.

A few of the cards are relatively broken. The Lunar Stag, for example, costs the same as a Mystic, does everything the Mystic does (2 runes, 1 honor at the end of the game), and has the option to forgo the 2 runes it can produce and simply hand over two honor every time you play him. At least +1 Rune cost to this guy would be appropriate.

But overall, nothing new. Just more variations on the same themes.

Do we get cards that can have long term impacts on game play? No. I would have loved to have seen a card that made the Cultist tougher for as long as it was in play; I would have loved to have seen a card that would make heroes and/or constructs more expensive as long as it was in play; I would have loved to have seen a card that siphoned off honor tokens back into the pool as long as it was in play; I would have loved to have seen a card that caused the number of creatures in the center to to increase or decrease... anything that caused some sort of dramatic shift in the game. Nothing.

Do we get cards that can alter the game? No. I would have loved to see a fate card that added some number of honor tokens to the pool; I would have loved to have seen cards that caused players to banish constructs in play rather than just put them back in the discard pile to come back out again; I would have loved to have seen heroes that had alternate costs to purchase (suppose that the Lunar Stag cost 3 runes and you had to return 6 honor tokens to the pool -- this would be an interesting card; if you can play him 3 times, you can recoup this cost... it makes for an interesting choice). I would have loved to have seen cards that created alternate end of game triggers -- Samael is a great example!

If Samael had been a power 10 card or something, and gave the player 10 honor and ended the game immediately... then it might be interesting.

If Samael had been a power 8 card that could not be defeated so long as any other monsters existed in the center row. As long as he remains, no honor tokens can be gained... thus, the game cannot end until someone clears the center row of monsters and then defeats this guy... that might be interesting.

If Samael had been a power 10 card that, each turn, players had to put one of their honor tokens on. The person that defeats him gets the honor tokens that have collected on him, and the end game is triggered... that might have been interesting.

Anything groundbreaking might have been worth while. What he does is sad, in my opinion.

Conclusions
Ascension is a good game. Return of the Fallen is, in a vacuum, a decent stand alone game. Once you stop thinking of it as a stand alone game and see it as an expansion to the core... it is a lot of filler, and no real meat.

Was it worth $30. No. I do not believe so. Will I use the cards... in the long term, I am not sure. Time will tell. But right now, they seem to add very little to the game play experience.

Forgot Something...
IN my initial review, I forgot to state something that is a change in the rules. I am not sure if this is a change only if you are playing the expansion, or if this is an official change for all versions of the game.

The starting Honor pool is now 30 honor per player. Thus, 60 honor in a 2 player game; 90 honor in a 3-player game, 120 honor in a 3-player game, and so on...

Edit: corrected four typos; clarified one sentence; added the Forgot Something section on July 5.
39 
 Thumb up
1.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Daulton
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been curious what they would do to expand the game and was hoping it wouldn't be "here are more cards, put them in the big pile, and play the game the same." However, from your description it sounds like that is what it is. This is now further back on my buy at GenCon list.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good review, with concrete constructive criticisms.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drinky Drinky
United States
Carmel
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I concur with your version of Samael. In multiple games he was just sitting there in the center row, and the game would go on about him as if nothing were going on.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
KDLadage wrote:

I recently reviewed the core game, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer. It is Deck Building Lite, however.


In your opinion, of course.

I see it as no more "lite" than Dominion or any other game in this overly-popular genre right now. I've not seen any real arguments that convince me it's a lighter version of this type of game - but of course it's all based on your perspective, too.

Thanks for the thorough and insightful review, however.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wytefang wrote:
I see it as no more "lite" than Dominion or any other game in this overly-popular genre right now. I've not seen any real arguments that convince me it's a lighter version of this type of game - but of course it's all based on your perspective, too.

This seems a little off-topic. But I would say it's lighter than Dominion simply because you can develop a single strategy to the game because the card mix is fixed and identical for every play. Once you learn that mix (which happens within a dozen plays), you'll know all the combos and paths through the deck decently well.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would tend to agree except for the fact that the cards you face are random every time and not really fixed. The Cultist and the other 2 types of cards that you can always buy also allow for players to adapt and other strategies to emerge should the random middle piles prove frustrating.

But I appreciate your perspective, Dormammu (plus I'd rather not cross one of Dr. Strange's tougher foes, if possible!)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James 3
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
as I stated in your first review, I strongly disagree with most of your opinions on the game, its "lightness" in relation to other deckbuilders, etc. To each his own. I personally think the expansion freshens up the game and met my expectations as to what an expansion should do.

You only mention FATE as a new thing for the expansion, but I think there are other major factors at play here you failed to mention:

1) There are many new cards that provide a means to get honor without killing monsters. I think this provides a better way for a runes-heavy deck to control the pace of the game. The 4-of Asp monster also allows a way to reign in a person that goes heavy power early, and manipulates the honor pool in a unique new way.

2) there are cards that let you acquire cards from the void, turning what used to be "removed from game" into an area that extends the center row occasionally. This has a pretty big impact on games when the requisite cards are a factor.

and as mentioned:

3) FATE indeed can play a big role, especially if they flip early and improve your deck before the game has begun. Adding a mystic or removing a militia in the first turn can really get your deck humming faster than normal. Gorph can show up midturn and really mess up your buying plans. I like it!

you mention some cards are "broken", a term in MtG used to mean "too goodand shouldn't have been printed" and generally game warping. Lunar Stag is DEFINITELY not broken. Yes, it is strictly better than the basic always available Mystic, but it is not always available, so there is room for center row cards to be slightly better than those vanilla cards. Runic Lycanthrope and Deathseeker are also "strictly better" than the basics. This is a feature, not a bug.

Other ideas you have may see the light of day in future expansions possibly, but I think its unreasonable to expect every nook of design space to be mined initially, or that there wouldn't be some cards that are variations on the cards from set one. I noted above that there actually several new angles of gameplay introduced with the expansion and I think its clear there is still lots of space to explore in future expansions.

I think banishing opponents constructs from play would be way too powerful and swing games erratically, as they are often huge components of overall victory points to just remove from game, especially expensive Mechana Constructs. There are more ways than ever to shut down a construct collection in play, and the "screw you" cards like Xeron and Baku are sufficiently hateful in my experience.


The biggest sore point for the expansion is definitely the small change in card size, though the improved card stock quality is definitely a good change in the long run, and a non-issue if you sleeve or are not very OCD in general. Gameplay-wise, I thought the game felt fresh yet familiar, and I'm looking forward to playing this alot more soon.

24 
 Thumb up
1.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Glad I got rid of the base game. I was wondering whether expansions would liven it up, but it doesn't sound like that's the case.

Thanks for the review.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
@flamejuggler: Our opinions differ, obviously.

I still see the game as deck-building lite; you do not.

You see things like having cards that are obviously strictly better in the center stack as not a bad thing; I do (as the MtG community learned -- rarity cannot be judged a part of the cost; I think that maxim applies here just as well).

You see honor giving creatures as new methods of controlling certain situations; I see the methods chosen as not much different than what came before in Lifebound. You see it as a feature; I see it as a feature only in the old software sense (e.g., Q: What is the difference between a bug and a feature? A: A feature is documented).

You see fate playing a huge role; in the two dozen or so games I have played with the new cards (alone and mixed), I do not see the overall impact to be all that great. It is interesting, which is more important for this sort of an effect; but that is the only 11 cards that really spark my interest.

I do not want to see all of the design space explored in one expansion. I want to see more than 11 cards in a 65 card expansion that explore some of it, however.

I will continue to play Ascension -- with or without the expansion is hard to say at this point. But I do consider this expansion -- as an expansion -- to have been far below my hopes and expectations.

And as a stand-alone game, it is not nearly as good as the original.

All in my humble opinion, of course.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vince Lupo
United States
ALEXANDRIA
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
flamejuggler wrote:
as I stated in your first review, I strongly disagree with most of your opinions on the game, its "lightness" in relation to other deckbuilders, etc. To each his own. I personally think the expansion freshens up the game and met my expectations as to what an expansion should do.

You only mention FATE as a new thing for the expansion, but I think there are other major factors at play here you failed to mention:

1) There are many new cards that provide a means to get honor without killing monsters. I think this provides a better way for a runes-heavy deck to control the pace of the game. The 4-of Asp monster also allows a way to reign in a person that goes heavy power early, and manipulates the honor pool in a unique new way.

2) there are cards that let you acquire cards from the void, turning what used to be "removed from game" into an area that extends the center row occasionally. This has a pretty big impact on games when the requisite cards are a factor.

and as mentioned:

3) FATE indeed can play a big role, especially if they flip early and improve your deck before the game has begun. Adding a mystic or removing a militia in the first turn can really get your deck humming faster than normal. Gorph can show up midturn and really mess up your buying plans. I like it!

you mention some cards are "broken", a term in MtG used to mean "too goodand shouldn't have been printed" and generally game warping. Lunar Stag is DEFINITELY not broken. Yes, it is strictly better than the basic always available Mystic, but it is not always available, so there is room for center row cards to be slightly better than those vanilla cards. Runic Lycanthrope and Deathseeker are also "strictly better" than the basics. This is a feature, not a bug.

Other ideas you have may see the light of day in future expansions possibly, but I think its unreasonable to expect every nook of design space to be mined initially, or that there wouldn't be some cards that are variations on the cards from set one. I noted above that there actually several new angles of gameplay introduced with the expansion and I think its clear there is still lots of space to explore in future expansions.

I think banishing opponents constructs from play would be way too powerful and swing games erratically, as they are often huge components of overall victory points to just remove from game, especially expensive Mechana Constructs. There are more ways than ever to shut down a construct collection in play, and the "screw you" cards like Xeron and Baku are sufficiently hateful in my experience.


The biggest sore point for the expansion is definitely the small change in card size, though the improved card stock quality is definitely a good change in the long run, and a non-issue if you sleeve or are not very OCD in general. Gameplay-wise, I thought the game felt fresh yet familiar, and I'm looking forward to playing this alot more soon.





This is good to hear. I feel like there's a very strong strategy in the original is to just buy lots of the power 2 guys and wipe out lots of enemies for honor. Also, I feel like constructs are a little weak in that monsters often discard them from play. Banishment would be terrible.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James 3
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MTG has TONS of cards that are strictly better than others, and its not always the rarity that makes the difference in them, though it is sometimes. And there is a big difference in rarity in pack distribution (not a factor in Ascension), and rarity in in-game access (a factor in both limited Magic and Ascension), and magic does use the rarity factor of distribution to balance the "in-game access" of powerful cards in limited formats, some of which are strictly better than commons. There is room for some cards to be better than others in any game, and can serve as skill testers or ways to appreciate other cards etc. Mark Rosewater, MtG's R&D chief, has talked about this issue alot and defends its place in game design.

In Ascension, I don't see why its a negative thing to have cards in a center row that are inherently limited be better than cards that are 100% unlimited. The starting and always available cards are "below the curve" of what you should expect for your runes and you generally want to buy center row cards when you can as a result, so this makes sense to me and there is more space to be mined here. Mystics are simply average workhorses, but there are better ways to get the effect of 2 runes per card if you are in the right place at the right time. Regardless of how you feel about strictly better cards being the in center row, it definitely doesn't make them 'broken', not even close.

I think it is also odd to think only cards that have a keyword on them as being interesting. Serpentcall is pretty interesting and explores new space for sure and doesnt have fate on it etc. /shrug.

the honor without killing monsters wasnt entirely absent in the base game (flytrap witch, yggdrasil staff, and Lifebound initiate), but werent in quite enough critical mass to reliably allow a rune-heavy strategy a way to controll the pace of the game. I think this has changed significantly with the new set with a higher density of cards like this. Another benefit for heavy runes strategy is that the rewards for getting just a tad of power (ie: getting 3 power sometimes, but not expecting to get 5+ regularly) are more rewarding as well; the 3 cost monsters are worth more than before, and the asp lets a rune player steal back some of the early lead a power player would get while being a poor kill for a heavy power deck. and other non-lifebound factions have cards that get honor in cleaver ways now too (the enlightened banish askara that nets 3, the void deathseeker that gets honor upon banishing etc). Yes, its not a 100% new idea, but its fleshed out alot and becomes a much more viable strategy than previously, which is what I want out of an expansion. this is the best part of the expansion so far for me. If you don't think that rune+honor strategies are more viable and varied than was previously possible in the base game, /shrug, but this seems like an important change in card pool to me and those I play with.


I wouldnt classify fate as having a HUGE impact on game, but it shakes things up sufficiently to rekindle my interest in the game. Id classify fate as "interesting" too in that it changes what is possible and can lead to explosive turns in situations that couldnt have happened before. ie: arbiter of fate flips first turn, so i banish the useless militia in my hand, which leads to me reshuffling my first turn buy into my second turn hand. interesting...Stone circle flipping early can lead to 6 runes on turn 2. interesting...

I definitely agree that the game as a standalone is not nearly as good as the original, and I think i will play 100% of games from now on mixed together. I don't even want to attempt to play this with 5+ players after my experiences playing this with 4.

Frankly, I'm surprised you want to continue to play this game so much and write about it, with how cynical you seem to be about all aspects of it. Surely you have other games in your collection that are more satisfying to your tastes. What are some of your favorite games?
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
flamejuggler wrote:
Frankly, I'm surprised you want to continue to play this game so much and write about it, with how cynical you seem to be about all aspects of it. Surely you have other games in your collection that are more satisfying to your tastes. What are some of your favorite games?

Why not write your own review of the expansion? His seems honest and coherent; there's no point in arguing opinion.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Caleb
United States
Seminole
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
the cards are, in fact, smaller than the ones from the core set.



If true, this is unbelievably, egregiously lousy.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James 3
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
i should write my own review, i have put alot of thought into the game.

His viewpoint is honest and sincere, but its DEFINITELY a cynical and pessimistic one that oversimplifies some things and exaggerates others. I simply don't play games multiple times that irritate me as much as this one seems to irritate him, so I'm left wondering what sort of gaming experience DOES satisfy him to better understand his clear disappointment with this game.

I think the review and subsequent comments dismiss or omit some significant gameplay additions that I find to be a key part of the expansion that others looking for a review of what the game adds would be interested in, so I offered some counterpoints, trying to not lay into his opinion so much as offer facts of my own that he glossed over initially.

But calling Lunar Stag 'broken'? that is just asking for it! wow

yes, the card size thing definitely should have been handled better. I'm not going to try and defend that point, just the gameplay. I sleeved my copy, and can't tell the difference in cards at all in sleeves.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Van Wagoner
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
the orig is fun, and my wife enjoys it...so it gets played...we do not sleeve the cards, and after reading here that the expansion cards are smaller k. david saved me some money; i will not be buying this now and i'm glad i didn't waste my time/money...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Doherty
United States
McKinney
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
KDLadage wrote:
Ascension: Return of the Fallen
By: Justin Gary
Published: Gary Games

Do we get cards that can have long term impacts on game play? No. I would have loved to have seen a card that made the Cultist tougher for as long as it was in play; I would have loved to have seen a card that would make heroes and/or constructs more expensive as long as it was in play; I would have loved to have seen a card that siphoned off honor tokens back into the pool as long as it was in play; I would have loved to have seen a card that caused the number of creatures in the center to to increase or decrease... anything that caused some sort of dramatic shift in the game. Nothing.

Do we get cards that can alter the game? No. I would have loved to see a fate card that added some number of honor tokens to the pool; I would have loved to have seen cards that caused players to banish constructs in play rather than just put them back in the discard pile to come back out again; I would have loved to have seen heroes that had alternate costs to purchase (suppose that the Lunar Stag cost 3 runes and you had to return 6 honor tokens to the pool -- this would be an interesting card; if you can play him 3 times, you can recoup this cost... it makes for an interesting choice). I would have loved to have seen cards that created alternate end of game triggers -- Samael is a great example!

If Samael had been a power 10 card or something, and gave the player 10 honor and ended the game immediately... then it might be interesting.

If Samael had been a power 8 card that could not be defeated so long as any other monsters existed in the center row. As long as he remains, no honor tokens can be gained... thus, the game cannot end until someone clears the center row of monsters and then defeats this guy... that might be interesting.

If Samael had been a power 10 card that, each turn, players had to put one of their honor tokens on. The person that defeats him gets the honor tokens that have collected on him, and the end game is triggered... that might have been interesting.


Those are actually quite awesome ideas - maybe YOU should design an expansion to the game?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
flamejuggler: MTG has TONS of cards that are strictly better than others,
Yes it does; this was a complaint of mine there as well.

flamejuggler: and its not always the rarity that makes the difference in them, though it is sometimes.
In the Alpha/Beta days, rarity was a big consideration in cost. This resulted in the Power 9 being so amazingly wrong as to define the era of the game.

flamejuggler: And there is a big difference in rarity in pack distribution (not a factor in Ascension), and rarity in in-game access (a factor in both limited Magic and Ascension),
There is a difference. But in either case, it is a bad idea. IMVHO. of course.

flamejuggler: and magic does use the rarity factor of distribution to balance the "in-game access" of powerful cards in limited formats, some of which are strictly better than commons.
Actually, according to Mark Rosewater, no. Not any longer. Rarity is most often used to ensure that the more complex cards are less common, according to many of his articles.

flamejuggler: There is room for some cards to be better than others in any game, and can serve as skill testers or ways to appreciate other cards etc. Mark Rosewater, MtG's R&D chief, has talked about this issue alot and defends its place in game design.
Mark Rosewater is also responsible for much of the Urza's Block -- the most broken overall collection of cards to have been created for the game. Look, I think Mark Rosewater is a great guy. I love his writing (both in TV and online). But this does not mean I have to agree with everything the guy says. It means I do respect him and his opinions. But respect != agree with.

flamejuggler: In Ascension, I don't see why its a negative thing to have cards in a center row that are inherently limited be better than cards that are 100% unlimited.
And this is where we will have to agree to disagree.

flamejuggler: The starting and always available cards are "below the curve" of what you should expect for your runes and you generally want to buy center row cards when you can as a result, so this makes sense to me and there is more space to be mined here.
More space to be mined? Yes. Need to be far below the cost:gain ratio of the other cards? Most definitely not.

flamejuggler: Mystics are simply average workhorses, but there are better ways to get the effect of 2 runes per card if you are in the right place at the right time. Regardless of how you feel about strictly better cards being the in center row, it definitely doesn't make them 'broken', not even close.
Again. this is one of those areas we will simply have to agree to disagree.

flamejuggler: I think it is also odd to think only cards that have a keyword on them as being interesting. Serpentcall is pretty interesting and explores new space for sure and doesnt have fate on it etc. /shrug.
Since I have no idea where you got the idea that I only like key worded cards... or that I like cards simply for being key worded... I am going to smile and step away from that one.

flamejuggler: the honor without killing monsters wasnt entirely absent in the base game (flytrap witch, yggdrasil staff, and Lifebound initiate),
Never said it was.

flamejuggler: but werent in quite enough critical mass to reliably allow a rune-heavy strategy a way to controll the pace of the game.
OK.

flamejuggler: I think this has changed significantly with the new set with a higher density of cards like this.
And this means they should not be appropriately costed, because...?

flamejuggler: Another benefit for heavy runes strategy is that the rewards for getting just a tad of power (ie: getting 3 power sometimes, but not expecting to get 5+ regularly) are more rewarding as well; the 3 cost monsters are worth more than before, and the asp lets a rune player steal back some of the early lead a power player would get while being a poor kill for a heavy power deck.
You honestly believe that this reward is something that can change the tone or outcome of a game? Far from it. Most of the games I have played -- nearly all in fact -- have had far more points in cards than in tokens anyway... Mechana Constructs being gathered not because they fit as strategy of the deck, but simply as 1:1 rune:honor gathering devices.

flamejuggler: and other non-lifebound factions have cards that get honor in cleaver ways now too (the enlightened banish askara that nets 3, the void deathseeker that gets honor upon banishing etc). Yes, its not a 100% new idea, but its fleshed out alot and becomes a much more viable strategy than previously, which is what I want out of an expansion.
Then what you want and what I want are two very different things.

flamejuggler: this is the best part of the expansion so far for me. If you don't think that rune+honor strategies are more viable and varied than was previously possible in the base game, /shrug, but this seems like an important change in card pool to me and those I play with.
OK. Your opinion. You are entitled to it. I am glad this is what you wanted.

flamejuggler: I wouldnt classify fate as having a HUGE impact on game, but it shakes things up sufficiently to rekindle my interest in the game.
Had you lost interest?

flamejuggler: Id classify fate as "interesting" too in that it changes what is possible and can lead to explosive turns in situations that couldnt have happened before. ie: arbiter of fate flips first turn, so i banish the useless militia in my hand, which leads to me reshuffling my first turn buy into my second turn hand. interesting...Stone circle flipping early can lead to 6 runes on turn 2. interesting...
Yes they are. And I have said as much.

flamejuggler: I definitely agree that the game as a standalone is not nearly as good as the original, and I think i will play 100% of games from now on mixed together. I don't even want to attempt to play this with 5+ players after my experiences playing this with 4.
And so the two extra players are essentially filler and not meat. As I said.

flamejuggler: Frankly, I'm surprised you want to continue to play this game so much and write about it, with how cynical you seem to be about all aspects of it.
I like the game.
I cannot count the number of times I have said this in this review, my previous review, and other posts and other boards. What makes you think I am cynical? I think it is a lighter game than Dominion -- so if I want to play a lighter game than Dominion, I might play Ascension. I think this is a lighter game than Thunderstone -- so if I want to play a lighter game than Thunderstone. What is wrong -- or cynical -- in my opinion of Ascension?

flamejuggler: Surely you have other games in your collection that are more satisfying to your tastes. What are some of your favorite games?
My top 10 (in order) are:
* Small World
* Jambo
* Dominion
* Hive
* Carcassonne
* Acquire
* Cosmic Encounter
* Thunderstone
* Ascension
* Starmada
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
flamejuggler wrote:
i should write my own review, i have put alot of thought into the game.
I, for one, would love to read it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
John_VW wrote:
the orig is fun, and my wife enjoys it...so it gets played...we do not sleeve the cards, and after reading here that the expansion cards are smaller k. david saved me some money; i will not be buying this now and i'm glad i didn't waste my time/money...
Glad to help.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pdoherty wrote:
Those are actually quite awesome ideas - maybe YOU should design an expansion to the game? :)
I'd love to. I doubt Gary Games wants an expansion designed out of house, however.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James 3
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
you edited your review to sound somewhat less bombastic on things I mentioned, like 'broken'. touche.

you made it sound like fate was the only thing somewhat ok about the set and called the rest of the set not remotely inventive/interesting multiple times. You have a huge section in your review titled "what might have been", whining about how you would have done things so differently. So, yes, your review seems cynical and pessimistic to me. It's a very negative review. The fact you really do like the game was not clear to me, only that you have played it.

You clearly disagree with many principle design decisions of the game, and seem grumpy about it. To me, your suggestions of what the game 'should have done' sounds full of overly harsh costs, swingy unfun moments of point loss, and situations that will often lead to a board stall and a game that won't end. Clearly we want different things from this game.

And you seem irritated that I'd dare play devil's advocate or call a negative review negative, and got all nerd rage on me. So I'll be done now.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
flamejuggler wrote:
But calling Lunar Stag 'broken'? that is just asking for it! wow

Thinking that the cards should not be YGWYPF? wow
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
flamejuggler wrote:
you edited your review to sound somewhat less bombastic on things I mentioned, like 'broken'. touche.
Not sure what edits you are talking about... I have mostly simply clarified sentences and corrected typos.

Quote:
you made it sound like fate was the only thing somewhat ok about the set and called the rest of the set not remotely inventive/interesting multiple times.
True.

Quote:
You have a huge section in your review titled "what might have been", whining about how you would have done things so differently.
Giving examples of what I find to be a lack of inventiveness by showing some things i would like to have seen is whining? OK... perhaps we have a language issue here.

Quote:
So, yes, your review seems cynical and pessimistic to me.
I do not see it that way.

Quote:
It's a very negative review.
Yes it is. But this does not mean I do not like the core game. Not at all.

Quote:
The fact you really do like the game was not clear to me, only that you have played it.
The parts where I say I like the game in both reviews did not clear that up for you?

Quote:
You clearly disagree with many principle design decisions of the game,
Yep.

Quote:
and seem grumpy about it.
Disappointed, yes. Grumpy, no.

Quote:
To me, your suggestions of what the game 'should have done' sounds full of overly harsh costs, swingy unfun moments of point loss, and situations that will often lead to a board stall and a game that won't end. Clearly we want different things from this game.
Yes we do.

Quote:
And you seem irritated that I'd dare play devil's advocate or call a negative review negative, and got all nerd rage on me. So I'll be done now.
Sorry you are done. I do like getting feedback for anything I write -- positive or negative. But I would like to clarify: I am not irritated that you disagree with me. I am irritated that you are judging me because we disagree.

We have differing opinions. True. Fair enough. I am glad you liked the expansion; I did not. But this fact does not cause me to judge you as a gamer; it does not cause me to judge your temperament or call you names. You, on the other hand, have made many judgements on my character related to my views of a game. You have called me negative, grumpy, cynical, and nerdy in this last one.

To each his own. I can take this. But if you are going to throw down, be prepared for the other person to defend themselves.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K. David Ladage
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Note: I added a small section on the number of honor in the game that I neglected to state initially.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.