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To avoid going into exhaustive details about the mechanics, game play or theme of the game. So what's left you might ask? My thoughts on why I bought this game and key aspects of the experience leading up to the conclusion of my first few plays.


Purchase
Honest answer - I saw it one day at my FLGS. The smallish box felt solid, packed and art work was interesting. Read about it on BGG and saw all the positive reviews for both the multiplayer and solo experience (always a plus in case my wife decides she doesn't want to play it with me). Eventually (ok - the next day), I went back and bought a copy.

Note: If I think back, this was about the time as my board game collecting started to spiral out of control


Rules
Many times (including this one), I read the rules several times before unboxing a game. As with everything I do, I have to feel comfortable with what I'm getting into before I take the leap. Only exception to that rule is actually buying the games, which most of the time I do blindly

How were the rules? After reading them a dozen times, reading forum posts to seek additional clarification, I figured that the only way I'd learn is to dive in and even after playing a handful of games, I was still making mistakes. I don't know what exactly made this difficult for me to grasp, but like others have suggested, it could be because there are many different subtleties and the ruls bounce all over the place. Thankfully, there are some excellent threads on BGG where the ambiguity of some rules is flushed out, but there are still many gotchas to look out for (see below).


Quality
As I mentioned, the box felt solid. Opening it up revealed what I considered at the time to be an efficient design. Quality of cards was really nice (linen finish), punchables were precut well and card was of good heft. Finally, the die was nice to look at and handle (note to publishers - spare a tree; avoid wooden dice).



WAF (Wife Approval Factor)
(It's back ) I've only played this as a solo game (was perfect for our winter vaction as it gave me something to do while my daughter napped). My wife has seen me play a number of times and seems completely disinterested - aside for asking me "how's the game", she hasn't said boo about it. On the positive side, she hasn't made any negative comments about the theme, either. For now, the WAF is Neutral, but I'll update if I ever convince her that it's more fun to command hulking marines around a virtual ship while being attacked by goo spitting aliens, than to moving little monochrome plastic penguins around ice drifts to collect fish (review to follow).


Gotchas
As noted, many rules are misunderstood/misinterpreted by many. There is an excellent thread at /thread/577108/what-am-i-doing-wrong-the-list-of-possible-mi... that goes into details of misplayed rules.

Once getting past the ambiguities and subtleties, the biggest issues that remain for me are:
- Having enough space - it's tricky enough when playing solo (with just 3 teams/6 levels in the formation). For a full 6 player game when all 6 teams/12 levels are used, imagine the space that will be needed!
- Having to constantly read the text on the cards - might get better over time but expect many more games will be needed to reinforce.
- Having to remember what special abilities are active at any given time - can probably be simplified by additional markers, etc.
But the most significant one for me is:
- Severe case of overthinking every move by iterating through different card combinations and trying to read ahead too much (must be the chess player in me).


Overall
I actually really enjoy this game in spite of the complexity and other issues I've run into with it. Now after having played a few games in their entirety with correct rules and winning once, I have to admit that getting there was most of the fun. Perhaps this is because I won it with a control panel condition / die roll, but it wasn't as glorious as anticipated.

I expect I might enjoy it even more if I get to the point where I don't overthink it as much, play it with others, or have win by brute force.
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Re: Fun exercise in space management and analysis paralsis
lajaro wrote:
- Having to remember what special abilities are active at any given time - can probably be simplified by additional markers, etc.
But the most significant one for me is:


A great tip I've heard from these forums is to play all your Action Cards face-up. Get the otherwise useless team selection marker out of the box. When you select your action, instead of playing a card, just place the token on one of the cards.

Next turn, when its time to take an action again, you'll just move the token from one card to another one.

So much easier than playing a card, setting the others aside, trying to remember what card you played last time, etc. Plus it gives a use for that extra token.
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Thanks Langley, love the WAF - awesome!

You have just pushed this one into the buy category for me - thanks for the review. GM
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lordrahvin wrote:
lajaro wrote:
- Having to remember what special abilities are active at any given time - can probably be simplified by additional markers, etc.
But the most significant one for me is:


A great tip I've heard from these forums is to play all your Action Cards face-up. Get the otherwise useless team selection marker out of the box. When you select your action, instead of playing a card, just place the token on one of the cards.

Next turn, when its time to take an action again, you'll just move the token from one card to another one.

So much easier than playing a card, setting the others aside, trying to remember what card you played last time, etc. Plus it gives a use for that extra token.


I get the impresssion that the OP was referring to abilities that linger until the end of the turn, rather than which actions were chosen last turn. I simply leave still active cards out or even place them on card thats they are affecting until the ability has resolved. Such as ones that say "end of turn" or "end of attack" etc.... I don't have the game in front of me and have not played for several weeks so, i can't cite any exact examples.

I have played this about 4 times - solo only. I do have it down pat for the most part but, I am sure when I go back to in the future, I will need to do some brush-up of the rules. Oh, yeah , and I have yet to win !
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Mulligans wrote:
lordrahvin wrote:
lajaro wrote:
- Having to remember what special abilities are active at any given time - can probably be simplified by additional markers, etc.
But the most significant one for me is:


A great tip I've heard from these forums is to play all your Action Cards face-up. Get the otherwise useless team selection marker out of the box. When you select your action, instead of playing a card, just place the token on one of the cards.

Next turn, when its time to take an action again, you'll just move the token from one card to another one.

So much easier than playing a card, setting the others aside, trying to remember what card you played last time, etc. Plus it gives a use for that extra token.


I get the impresssion that the OP was referring to abilities that linger until the end of the turn, rather than which actions were chosen last turn. I simply leave still active cards out or even place them on card thats they are affecting until the ability has resolved. Such as ones that say "end of turn" or "end of attack" etc.... I don't have the game in front of me and have not played for several weeks so, i can't cite any exact examples.


To track which cards are used which turn is easy. Cards played last round are pushed to one side. Cards played this turn are marked with the tokens. At the end of the current turn, I swap the ones on the side in, and the ones with the tokens out.

What I'm talking about is the special abilities on the action cards that might be overlooked. I recall some people created their own little markers, but when you're focussed on the cards in the formation, not completely acquainted with the game, or don't keep on going back to read the text on the action cards, it's easy to miss some things. For example, forgetting that Noctis kills up to 3 with a roll of 4, or forgetting that Zael kills the number showing on the die roll.
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I guess it was a little easier for me because I'm familiar with the Warhammer universe. For me, it's not that "this guy has this special rule and that guy has that special rule". It's that I know the guy carrying a heavy flamer will have a shorter range and kill lots of people and the guy carrying a heavy assault gun should fire many times and have a longer range.

I don't see the need for more tokens. I think it will just come naturally with practice. One guy in every team always has a special rule when you declare an attack, and the special rule is on the card that you set to the side.

I wish there was someway I could think of to make it easier for you, short of inviting you to California for a few games. (You'd like it. Our sun is constantly on fire, making the sky super warm.)
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lordrahvin wrote:
I wish there was someway I could think of to make it easier for you, short of inviting you to California for a few games. (You'd like it. Our sun is constantly on fire, making the sky super warm.)


Cool - Road Trip!

(let's see what the WAF is for that one whistle)
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lajaro wrote:
I actually really enjoy this game in spite of the complexity and other issues I've run into with it. Now after having played a few games in their entirety with correct rules and winning once, I have to admit that getting there was most of the fun. Perhaps this is because I won it with a control panel condition / die roll, but it wasn't as glorious as anticipated.

I expect I might enjoy it even more if I get to the point where I don't overthink it as much, play it with others, or have win by brute force.

We record our wins and loses with kill stats so even with the easier endgame objectives, we go for maximum overkill to ensure future bragging rights.
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lajaro wrote:
WAF (Wife Approval Factor)
(It's back ) I've only played this as a solo game (was perfect for our winter vaction as it gave me something to do while my daughter napped). My wife has seen me play a number of times and seems completely disinterested - aside for asking me "how's the game", she hasn't said boo about it. On the positive side, she hasn't made any negative comments about the theme, either. For now, the WAF is Neutral, but I'll update if I ever convince her that it's more fun to command hulking marines around a virtual ship while being attacked by goo spitting aliens, than to moving little monochrome plastic penguins around ice drifts to collect fish (review to follow).
In my home, the WAF is currently/finally in the positive spectrum, since my wife finally caved in and played it with me (only took about a year of asking). It got a slightly positive nod, and I was given a vague promise of another try... At some point in the future, yeah y'know, later on...
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