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Nexus Ops» Forums » General

Subject: A lot of praise for this mysterious game rss

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Garcian Smith
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I just played my first game today and I was happy how it went. I expected to be dominated by my two other opponents, but I held on surprisingly well.

+speed
It felt like a good amount of time. Downtime was absolutely minimal with no insanely difficult decisions. The VP cards help guide you to unit purchasing. Battles are quick and then your turn is over. The game must have lasted an hour or less.

+bits
The sculpts are colored very well, but the designs are all different which is something I'm fine with, but it does take time getting used to the puny roundish humans, the pointy crystallines, etc.

+energize cards
This is what puts Nexus Ops ahead of many other games. Even though the loser just lost a great deal of men, the energize cards can get him back. To balance the cards from being too powerful, they are randomly situational, which also makes it fun trying to come back.

+close game
I think it's nearly impossible to clean the entire map of someone. That plus the energize cards makes the game always closely matched.

+VP cards
I love this system. It makes battles meaningful and different rather than 10 turns fighting over the same hex. As mentioned the goals also lower downtime by having players focus their men somewhere.

+unique stats
It's great how the units you buy are different in their own way. I like seeing different abilities than just "unit B costs more than unit A because it just does more damage than A"

-monolith
I felt drawing 2 energize cards a turn might be too much. Maybe 1 a turn would be better? One opponent got enough free rubium to build 2 dragons and who also won the game.

-identical players
The game is awesome, but I would have loved to see some unique powers between players. Perhaps each could make a unique unit, have a unique deck of energize cards, etc. Not a big deal, but would be cool.

In essence, you got the sheer brutalness of a wargame, but you cut out the problems such as a long playtime and player elimination.
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mar hawkman
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Player powers/Factions has been brought up before:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/449105/special-faction-power...

^I liked that thread better(in part because some of the ideas were mine)

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/145342/each-corporation-havi...

It makes a nice variant for people like me who get bored playing the same game everytime.
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Aswin Agastya
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Regarding "faction powers", in Nexus Ops the combination of a player's territories and 6 troop types tends to create an archetype for a player's army.

I'd be very careful to try any player powers variants. Nexus Ops is an extremely balanced game (whether through pure luck or extensive play test), and I think a lot of variants in BGG do not go through many play tests.
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Aswin Agastya
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Indeed.

But variants also often detract from play experience intended by the game's designer. The majority of variants that popped up in BGG are results of instantaneous thoughts, that even the users who proposed them no longer care about it in a matter of weeks or even days. Worse, variants that are made based on only reading the rules.

Tabletop games, especially GW ones, are altogether a very different beast, boasting a dozen of individual army books, heaps of troop types, innumerable special rules, and multiple conflicting editions. Starcraft with 'merely' 3 factions received many, many patches, so I'm kind of accepting the unbalanced nature of tabletop games and collectible card games.
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Aswin Agastya
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Uh, what?

I'm not adverse to variants.

For example, there is one in Doom that is excellent. Another in Android (the Director's Cut), although I do not use, but I have to respect the depth and the writer's dedication on it. He like to direct people to it, and to be frank it's a little annoying, but I appreciate that he stands by his variant, and stick to it. Also one in Castle Ravenloft.

But they're gems among sands. Too much noise.

I'm ALL for variants that are well-tested, but that's not even necessary, as long as the writer stands by it. More often than not, these 'variants' are written at the spur of the moment, without any further follow up (and I actually did guilty for this kind of things).

Not everything official is actually golden, but in Nexus Ops, I have to admit they are. I personally have come to the point that I think I understand many of the games subtleties, that the variants proposed above break.

As for the Halo game, I guess salvaging games is just not my thing.
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mar hawkman
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Hehe, one example of a game that NEEDED variants to fix is Age of Mythology.

Good: The base game used a "bucket-o-dice" system where winning was determined by how many :6: you rolled. Needless to say this made combat very unpredictable. After the game's release a very popular variant came up where you would get a hit on :5: or :6:. I've played both ways and the second is DEFINATELY better. Good enough that the guys who made the game gave it their seal of approval.

Bad ideas: the "battleline" variants.
Sure it's time consuming to have 6 guys beat 6 guys to death. But as written there's a sort of rock/paper/scissors aspect to combat. Using one of the battle line variants tosses that out the window entirely.

Neutral: trade with players.

It's common in late game for the bank to run out of resource cubes of the type you want(or, well, everything), thus you CAN'T trade with the bank. so it was proposed to add a rule allowing you to trade with another human player. Sounds good? Obviously both parties would need to agree on the trade, and that's only gonna happen if they feel it's to their benefit. thus this would be largely useless in a 2-3 player game and of limited usefullness in 4 player. why? your opponents are the people directly to your left and right and they'd probably rather watch you fail horribly than help you. In 4-6 player games you have co-belligerants who you don't directly interact with, Ie the players not next to you. Being able to trade with them is a nice idea, but I've never played with more than 4 players, and in 4 player it's kinda iffy as to if the guy even has what you want.

Neutral: great temple 'fix'

basically the idea is that since the Great Temple costs twice as much to build as ANY other building (except the wonder) that it should be twice as hard to destroy. enh... I've never actually tried using them, but it sounds kinds reasonable.

That being said, I dislike the exploration variants for Nexus ops. Factions? I think the idea is workable. The idea behind balancing factions is to make them "equally broken" IE not necessarily equally useful, but close to it. Also Playing as a faction is always better than NOT playing as a faction. Kinda like the Risk 2210 factions.

Personally I like my games to be complicated. It makes the old "obvious best choice" situation less of an issue. Easy example: Archaeology what's the best card in the game? the golden mask right? Wrong... Broken cup. It's one of those things where you literally can't go wrong by grabbing and playing all of them. Archaeology may be fun, but it's got a rather thin layer of strategy and gets boring quick.
 
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