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Subject: An oldie newbie review of Innovation rss

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Richard Hills
Australia
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Although I am a newbie on the Geek, I have been playing multi-player strategy games since the 1980s, starting with Titan and later gaining a Grandmaster title in Duplicate Bridge.

I have owned the IELLO version of Innovation for only two months, yet during that time I have played dozens of games, more-or-less evenly split between the 2-player, 3-player and 4-player scenarios.

Yes, scenarios is the right word. 2-player Titan uses an entirely different strategy to 4-player or 5-player Titan (in 2-player Titan one must kamikaze small stacks so as to recycle their markers). Likewise 4-player Innovation is quick, fun but random. 3-player Innovation allows the two trailing players to gang up on the early leader. While 2-player Innovation maximises skill (which is why I have lost three out of three 2-player games to my 13-year-old nephew).

A brief note on the IELLO gorgeous graphics for its cards. De gustibus non est disputandum. Some may prefer the uncluttered original Innovation cards "if you want art, go to a museum". And the compact IELLO box (also covered with gorgeous graphics) is over-compact for those grognards who routinely sleeve their cards.

Some other reviewers have dismissed Innovation as a longer version of Fluxx. I acquired Monty Python Fluxx because of its humorous theme (I have been a Python fan since watching the original television series), but I found the actual game-play of Monty Python Fluxx long and dreary. Contrariwise, not only is Innovation satisfyingly quick, but even when you are losing you have interesting decisions to make.

Other games where it is fun to lose are Dominion: Prosperity and Power Grid.
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Benjamin Schoenheiter
Germany
Heusenstamm
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Can I give THREE thumbs up for this succinct review?
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James 3
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wish i could get a copy of the IELLO version here in the States for a reasonable price...Iello does great looking games and I already have King of Tokyo and Biblios (which is in the same type of box as Innovation). whistle

great simple review. I agree it shines in a 2 man duel as a true strategy game, and gets more chaotic as you add players. almost too much info and things to count with many players...
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Jonathan C
United States
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"..satisfyingly quick...interesting decisions..." good and to-the-point review. Innovation (along with the 'Echoes' expansion) is one of the best card games to come out in recent years.

You might also like Glory to Rome!
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Meng just Meng
Malaysia
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Nice and to the point! I have recently roped in my sister into the game, so now I'm playing lots of 2-player and 3-player games. I also find that the 3-player games have a lot of ganging up happening but this is not a problem as there is always a way to defend or come back to win or get back your lost advantage. This is what makes the game so good, as long as you never give up, the path to victory is always open.
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Richard Hills
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I have just acquired a copy of the expansion, Innovation: Echoes of the Past. The designer, Carl Chudyk, has shown sagacity and a sense of humour with this advice on the front page of the Echoes rules:

"It is strongly advised for you to not introduce new players to Innovation while playing with expansion cards. You might note that "strongly advised" is bolded and underlined. That is because it is very good advice."
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Meng just Meng
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There's an expansion for the Iello version?

Also let us know your thoughts!
 
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Richard Hills
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limmyfox wrote:
There's an expansion for the Iello version?

Also let us know your thoughts!


The Iello version of the Innovation: Echoes of the Past expansion will be published later this year. See:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/7395685#7395685

But since "I demand" instant gratification, I have bought both the Asmadi version of the base game and also the Asmadi version of Echoes. (My pre-loved Iello copy of Innovation was given as a belated Christmas present to a fellow enthusiast for the game.)

EDIT: I now have played Innovation: Echoes of the Past twice (5-player and 3-player) and I also now have played Glory to Rome twice (3-player and 2-player), so my preliminary thoughts on these one-and-a-half different games (counting Echoes as half a different game) are:

(1) Carl Chudyk is a hedgehog. The ancient Greek poet Archilocus wrote, "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing". After finding a great Gloria Roams mechanic for a card game, Carl the sensible hedgehog stuck to a variation on that mechanic for Innovation and Echoes. Some other game designers are over-clever foxes, over-frequently inventing zillions of different game mechanics in under-playtested zillions of game designs.

(2) My personal opinion, so far, is that I like Glory to Rome and Echoes, but I lurv the base game of Innovation (despite almost always losing).
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Ryan M
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I bought innovation back when it came out (a year ago already?), played it once 2p and it just fell flat. So it has sat on my shelf collecting dust.

Last night by brother came over so our kids could play and I decided on a whim to bust it out and give it another try. THis would be only my second play and his first. It was a rough start since i needed to re-read the rules and explain to him how to play as well.

Honestly, this game was a blast this time. I remember last time the game taking forever and pretty much moving slowly through each age stack. This time the cards we drew had a lot of "attacks". My brother managed to get a good jump on points, but then a card he had let him jump right into the 3 stack. I had a card that let me steal two of his cards which meant I jumped to 3 quick as well. Then after only a couple turns, he was forcing me to lose my points but I would get a 6 card and he would get 7s...which I stole one more time.

The back and forth of this made the game much more exciting and interesting than that very first game long ago. We had to call the game just before the chance to finish, but the end result was he had a few points, 2 acheivements and a ton of splayed cards allowing him to steal most of my moves. I had very few cards in front of me, and eventually lost all my points, but had 4 or 5 acheivements.

Yes, the game was very chaotic and unpredictable and, at times, frustrating. But it was also very interactive and fun and seeing the strategies evolve to adapt to the cards was cool.

I'm definitely going to be sure innovation doesn't get left behind again.
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