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Subject: First Play, First Thoughts - 011 rss

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Caleb Smay
United States
Dayton
Ohio
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When I first heard about 011 I was very intrigued based purely upon the theme. It is a combination of steampunk and Norse mythology. Both of which I am a very big fan of and would love to see more games of both genres(or combo genres like this one). It seemed like it took forever to get my hands on a copy, but I finally got one from my friendly local game store.

Rules and Setup
At the beginning of the game, one of the eight character cards is placed facedown somewhere near the game board - this card is called the 'Chosen One' and is kept secret until the end of the game. Each player is also dealt one character card. This card is kept secret from the other players. Keep in mind, this is not the character you control. It is simply there to help you figure out, by process of elimination, who the 'Chosen One' is. Any remaining character cards are placed facedown on the table and form the 'Secret Character' pile.

The players will also be given four cards. These four cards are the same for all the players and can be used once per game to give the player something quite helpful. Also, these cards have the same back as the cahracter card they were dealt so when the other players are 'Investigating' your hand, they will not be able to tell which card is which. Keep in mind that, except under very few circumstances, once you use these special cards they are gone. This makes it easier for the other players to pick your character card and get closer to victory.

The goal of the game is fourfold. But on the fifth round, one of the players will become possessed by the spirit of Fenrir and their victory condition will change. Below is an explination of both conditions.

The 'Hero' players.
-Discover the identity of the 'Chosen One.'
-Obtain 15 pieces of music.
-Place the 'Inscrutable Musical Instrument(I may be misremembering the name and I do not have the rulebook handy)' on the board(see 'Gameplay').
-Move the 'Chosen One' to the location of the 'IMI.'

The 'Villain' player.
-Discover the identity of the 'Chosen One.'
-Obtain 13 pieces of music.
-Obtain tiles until you have at least two Fenrir symbols(these look like a stylized wolf head).
-Move the character whose card you have in hand into the same space as the 'Chosen One.'

If none of the players achieve these victory conditions before the end of the 11th round/hour(the game has a really cool "clock" build into the board and you move the hand each round), everyone loses even the 'Villain' player.

The game comes with four disks of 6 different colors. Each player will choose a color. Each of these disks are used to keep track of something.
-Turn order - which will change every round. For the first round, this is decided randomly.
-The amount of music you have. Everyone starts at 0 and will gain more as the game progresses.
-The amount of time you have. In a 3 player game, you start with 30 time and 45 with 4 or more players. You will use this time for just about everything and if you run out you are elminated from the game.
-The character you use on your turn. No character can be used more than once each round. Each of these characters will give you a special ability(see 'Gameplay').

When all this is done, you are ready to begin the game.

Gameplay
The first thing that happens each round is a random event card is drawn. This is something that will change certain things for that round only. Sometime a character will be locked and cannot be used that round. Sometimes picking a certain character will give you 'Clues' or music automatically. So you will sometimes have to adjust your plans accordingly when this event is drawn.

After this, players will bid using their time points for turn order. They can choose any one they want upto the max number of players. Each other player will than either pass or raise the bid. If they pass, they are out for the remainder of that turn bid. You can bid 0. This will continue until everyone has their turn placement decided.

The 'Clues' mentioned above are square tiles with '?' on them. These can be used to help your investigation. One is placed by each player at the beginning of each round.

On a players turn, they will turn the three interconnected gears that are attached to the game board 1, 2, or 3 spaces using time points for each turn. On these gears, there are symbols that will determine what you can do each on your turn.
-Look at one card from another players hand or the 'Secret Character' pile.
-Draw one tile. These tiles can be used for special ailities or to place the 'IMI.'
-Gain one music.
-Move a clue token one space.
NOTE: By discarding clues, you can boost all of these actions except the move clue action.

Another gear will show how many spaces the player may move a character that turn. Each space the move a cahracter they will need to spend one time point.

The last gear will show which form of transportation you can use on your turn. Basically, you will be able to move from one of the three colored spaces to a matching color spaces anywhere on the board. There is a fourth that will let you move 3 spaces while only spending one time point.

As mentioned, each character has a special ability. Below is an explination of each. Because, as mentioned, I do not have the rulebook handy, I will simply be posting the special abilities without saying which cahracter they are attached to.
-Gain 3 time points.
-Gain 2 tiles.
-Gain 2 music.
-Pay two time points to use the special ability of any other character.
-Gain 3 movement points.
-Place a clue on any special location.
-Look at two cards of a chosen player or the 'Secret Player' pile.
-Perform the investigation action for free.

As mentioned, there are tiles in the game that you can draw at certain times. In addition to give you a special action(after which they are discarded) or other benefit, they will also have locations on them. These locations are places on the board and are important to finding the 'IMI' and winning the game. On the board, there is an area with four spot each corresponding to a direction - north, south, east, and west.

Let's say, for example, I place the special location 'Obelisk' on the northern section of this area. That means that the 'IMI' is somewhere to the south of the 'Obelisk.' You can place down two of the same location so long as they do not contradict one another(the 'IMI' cannot be both to the north and south of the 'Obelisk').

Also on some of these tiles are those Fenrir symbols mentioned earlier. The 'Villain' player needs to collect two of these to win the game.

After each player has taken their turn, we move onto the next round. Play continues in this manner until one player declares victory and meets the conditions by the end of their turn.

Components
The play area of the game itself seems a bit simplistic. Just kind of gray and bland. The movement and action gears as well as the round clock look great and do add to the steampunk theme of the game quite nicely. The board and other pieces seem durable and should last a good long while.

The cards all have nice steampunkish artwork with real models in the pictres. Apparently, all the characters in the game are members of a band called Therion who became interested in the project and offered their likenesses to the artist. Some people will like this choice, others will hate it. I liked it very much.

The tiles you collect are kind of a hassle to me. The stack was constantly being knocked over whenever someone stood up or moved in any way. Granted, the table we were using was less thn sturdy. But I see no reason why cards could not have been used in place of these tiles. Simpler and would probably drop the retail price($65.00).

The character models are nice and have a fair amount of detail. They are just difficult to tell apart. Each character does have a symbol associated with them, but is is so small on the model base it can be very hard to see and, therefore, slowed the game down a bit as we had to look and make sure we knew which model was which cahracter.

Final Thoughts
Good game. It is a little heavier than I was expecting going into it especially since the rulebook is only a few pages long. But it was a fun game with good theming and, while it is not for everyone and it is not something I will want to play all the time, it is a worthwhile game if a bit steep in the price department.

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Imp Rovius
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I got a chance to play this last month, and I wasn't terribly impressed. I knew nothing about the band and didn't think much of their music as it was being played while we went through the game. So right off the bat I suppose I was a bit put off by the theme, which is more about the specific band than steampunk in general.

One very specific gameplay problem was that the symbols on the plastic miniatures were very hard to read, so it was nearly impossible for me to tell them apart. The other players already had a few games under their belts and didn't have as much trouble with this, so I guess it isn't a big deal once you get used to it. Also, I don't know if this was the official release or some sort of beta version, so this may have changed in the final printing.

All in all, though, I found it fairly boring. The player interaction was minimal and consisted mainly of bidding for turn order and selecting from a limited set of options.

To be fair, I should mention some of the influencing factors from that night:

1) This was the last game I played that day.
2) Several people involved had been drinking to some extent prior to pulling this game out.
3) For various reasons, it took almost an hour just to set it up and have the rules explained (not a fault of the game itself).
4) The turns went very slowly because everyone was distracted by other goings-on. We ended up quitting about halfway through because it was getting late.
5) The other half of the group that night was playing my copy of Betrayal at House on the Hill, and having a GREAT time with it. The two of us who were playing 011 for the first time kept glancing longingly over at the other table where everyone was shouting and laughing.

Final thoughts: if you like the band, go for it. Otherwise, meh.
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Lee Fisher
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improvius wrote:
I got a chance to play this last month, and I wasn't terribly impressed. I knew nothing about the band and didn't think much of their music as it was being played while we went through the game. So right off the bat I suppose I was a bit put off by the theme, which is more about the specific band than steampunk in general.

One very specific gameplay problem was that the symbols on the plastic miniatures were very hard to read, so it was nearly impossible for me to tell them apart. The other players already had a few games under their belts and didn't have as much trouble with this, so I guess it isn't a big deal once you get used to it. Also, I don't know if this was the official release or some sort of beta version, so this may have changed in the final printing.

All in all, though, I found it fairly boring. The player interaction was minimal and consisted mainly of bidding for turn order and selecting from a limited set of options.

To be fair, I should mention some of the influencing factors from that night:

1) This was the last game I played that day.
2) Several people involved had been drinking to some extent prior to pulling this game out.
3) For various reasons, it took almost an hour just to set it up and have the rules explained (not a fault of the game itself).
4) The turns went very slowly because everyone was distracted by other goings-on. We ended up quitting about halfway through because it was getting late.
5) The other half of the group that night was playing my copy of Betrayal at House on the Hill, and having a GREAT time with it. The two of us who were playing 011 for the first time kept glancing longingly over at the other table where everyone was shouting and laughing.

Final thoughts: if you like the band, go for it. Otherwise, meh.


Thanks for your info Imp Provius, though it might be better in a separate thread. I'm not sure I understand your conclusion, though. Other than the pictures, which you might not know is a band, how does it have anything else to do with a band. I didn't even think they had music associated for this (yet?).
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Imp Rovius
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lfisher wrote:


Thanks for your info Imp Provius, though it might be better in a separate thread. I'm not sure I understand your conclusion, though. Other than the pictures, which you might not know is a band, how does it have anything else to do with a band. I didn't even think they had music associated for this (yet?).


Well, the premise of the game is to compose the "song of making" and then move the correct character (Therion band member) to a mystical organ so that they can play it and save the world. And each turn you select one of the band members to play/move as. Given the two main objectives are gathering musical notes and identifying the chosen Therion member, it seems to me that it has everything to do with the band.

To clarify, though, I don't think the CD was actually part of the game. The other players were just playing their own collection of Therion tracks for additional atmosphere.

Also, I guess I didn't feel my somewhat incomplete experience warranted its own post, and might be better as simply a response to Caleb's well-written review.
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FatOs Bob
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The band simply associated their image with the game because they found the project interesting and they kinda fit into the steampunk athmosphere. Therion or not, the game would have been the same as they have nothing to do with the gameplay. They could have used meeples or the Spicegirls as pawn and it would not have changed a thing on gameplay.
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