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Subject: Games With Two Review - Feeling The Variety rss

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Jason Moslander
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Fenton
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Originally posted at www.gameswithtwo.com

The King is dead. There is no apparent heir, and things are not looking good. It appears that several families will try to claim the throne as their own. The land is full of forests, farms, cities, mountains, and roads. Each family will try to influence the country's territories and try to be the new king. This is the premise of Fealty.

Fealty is a new game from Asmadi Games. It is a 2-4 player abstract strategy game that plays in 20-40 minutes. The game is played on modular boards. You will play with one more board than there are players so, a two player game will be played on 3 boards called Duchy. Each Duchy consist of 36 squares arranged in a 6x6 grid. Each square has a different type of region or regions, containing mountains, cities, roads, farms, and forest.

Each player is given a set of nine cards and nine influence markers. The players will shuffle their cards and draw three into their hand, and then simultaneously play a card from their hand. Each card corresponds with one of the nine influence markers that they have. Once the cards are revealed, the player with the lowest numbered card will play first. Each player will then place an influence token on the board to try to influence the different territories on the board. These tokens influence in different ways: some in how far their influence stretches or they may only be able to influence one type of region. At the same time, your opponent(s) is also trying to gain as much influence as possible by blocking you and limiting your movement. Some of these tokens also have special abilities that allow you move your tokens or place special tokens on the board that will block you or your opponent from influencing a square.

Each player may place a token wherever they want on their turn with a few restrictions. You cannot place a token on the same board (Duchy) that your board played on this turn. You cannot place a token in the same row or column as one of your already played pieces. Finally, You cannot place on the mountain regions. Each turn will continue in this manner until each player has placed eight of their nine tokens. Players will then place influence markers on the board for each of the regions that their tokens influence starting with the lowest (fastest) number and moving up to the highest. The player that is able to place the most influence markers on the board wins the game. These are by no means all the rules to the game, but hopefully this gives you a general idea of how the game is played.

So, how is Fealty? Let's start with the massive amount of variety in this game. There are six double-sided boards that come with this game. They are all modular so there is quite a few different setups that you can have. You also use a different amount of boards for however many players you are playing with and you can vary this to make a game shorter or longer. Secondly, all of the tokens are double sided. You have 18 different tokens and you will use nine of them in a game. Normally, you will either use all of side or all of the other, but you can customize your play to have a unique game experience. Finally, the instructions comes with about a half dozen variations that you can play. So, if you end up really liking this one, you can continue to keep it fresh with the endless combinations.

The components for Fealty are pretty good. The game boards and tokens are of the same stock and are a good weight. The cards are large and easy to read. They also thoroughly explain what the card does with text and pictures. Finally, each of the colors has a different symbol for the color blind. This was a nice touch that not everyone thinks about. The box is your standard big box (i.e. Ticket to Ride), the insert is just cardboard that makes the box smaller. There isn't a good place or way to store the pieces or cards. I just took some plastic baggies and bagged the components. I wish there was a little something more to the insert, but I can't complain too much. Finally, the price is right on at $40. The box size, components, and game play all lend themselves to this price point.

As far as the game play is concerned, I tried to enjoy it, but I just did not find the concept to be that interesting. I wanted to like Fealty, but it just missed the mark for us. The game is well designed and is a solid abstract strategy game, however, I think that this genre of game is not always the best fit for us. The game also uses some area control elements as well, and this combination was not working for us. We have enjoyed other abstracts such as Hive and Qwirkle, so we don't hate the genre. I don't know what exactly is was, but the game play was just off and a little bland. That being said, if you enjoy abstract strategy games and you want a game that works with 2-4 players, this one might be one you may want to look at it. The variety also allows for Fealty to continue to stay fresh even after multiple plays. The short game play also allows for you to bring this one out to start and/or finish a night of gaming with a lighter abstract game. That all being said, if you are an abstract gamer and want something a little lighter and can support four players you may want to consider getting yourself a copy of Fealty.

See more at www.gameswithtwo.com
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Santa Clarita
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I think it works a lot better on the ios platforum (un)fortunately. The areas are a lot easier to detect and figure out.
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G W M
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jschlickbernd wrote:
I think it works a lot better on the ios platforum (un)forutnately. The areas are a lot easier to detect and figure out.


Likewise, my liking of this game has vastly increased post beta-testing the ios app and now owning the final product, just wish the app had a nice medieval soundtrack like other ios medieval themed games (e.g. Hungry) - what do you think for an update Chris!?
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Jason Moslander
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I wish I had an iOS device just so I could play all the board game apps. I could see this one working very well as an app.

Guy Mullarkey wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
I think it works a lot better on the ios platforum (un)forutnately. The areas are a lot easier to detect and figure out.


Likewise, my liking of this game has vastly increased post beta-testing the ios app and now owning the final product, just wish the app had a nice medieval soundtrack like other ios medieval themed games (e.g. Hungry) - what do you think for an update Chris!?
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Shane
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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jschlickbernd wrote:
I think it works a lot better on the ios platforum (un)fortunately. The areas are a lot easier to detect and figure out.

I think not having that when playing the actual game makes it better. It's just the right amount of thinking for me.
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