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Subject: A Negative review of Earth Reborn rss

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Chris Salvato
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I find that positive, glowing reviews about a game do little to help me decide if a game is right for me and my group. So I have decided to start writing reviews of games I have played, highlighting the downsides to the game in the hopes of helping to educate other BGG users and give the other side of the coin.

We shall start with a game I have personally rated a 10: Earth Reborn.

• Earth Reborn is NOT a board game. There is a board (sort of), and it is a game, but it is much more a skirmish-level tactical miniatures game system than an actual by-the-book board game.

Edit: Although, I suppose the "by-the-book" definition of a board game is slowly dissolving these days . . .

• There is a substantial learning curve to this game, although it is doled out in very small bites in the Tutorial scenarios included with the game. You will not be playing anywhere near this game's full ruleset the day you bring it home. You will need at least 3-4 plays of select tutorial missions, depending upon your familiarity with skirmish minis games, before you can really take the safety off and go whole hog. In all, players will need to commit to around 4 solid sessions of Earth Reborn before you have everything down.

• This is not a Game Night game. If you want a game that can be played amongst others with a different crowd each week, Earth Reborn is not that game. Earth Reborn almost demands a dedicated game night of its own, due to the game length (see below) and the time investment needed to really get a handle on the strategies and tactics of the game.

• The box fibs about players. While it is playable with 3-4 players, 2 players is where this game really shines. 4 players can manage in two teams of two, but I find the free-for-all game style to be somewhat of a muddled mess. In addition, the tutorials included in the box are designed for 2 players, and the 3/4 Player Tutorial missions available on Ludically's web site are not all designed for 3 or 4 players. Some are designed for 3, some for 4, and some can accomodate 3 or 4.

• The box fibs about play time. The box claims that game time is 45 minutes to 4 hours. The early tutorial missions can take 45 minutes, but once you begin to add in rules, your average game time leaps dramatically. Once you are playing SAGS - the "truest" version of the game with all rules in play - you are looking at a minimum game time of 3 hours.

• Needs more Official Characters. The NORAD faction has only 4 characters in the main box, one of which is a big honkin' mech. This leaves very little choice for the NORAD player when choosing characters. An expansion which adds characters and figures would be lovely, but there is no sign of any such happenings from the game's designer or publisher.

That's about it for the negative; I'll leave other reviews to talk about the vast and varied positive elements of this game.

Let me end by saying that Earth Reborn has quickly become one of my favorite games. I used to play Warhammer 40k and Space Hulk, and this fills a sweet spot right in between them. If you have been interested in miniatures games in the past, and you have the time to invest, Earth Reborn will not disappoint you.

So I hope I have brought to light some of the less desirable aspects of Earth Reborn, in an attempt to educate you, the review-reader, about this game and its suitability for your game shelf.

Good Gaming!
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Jonathan Harrison
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I couldn't shake the feeling, reading your list of negative points, that you actually liked this game.

I'm glad to see I was right.

And you're right, too, about the negative points. They are definitely negative if they're not what you're expecting!
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Scott Everts
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A negative review but you liked it!

You are right about your points. I've had the game for awhile and read the rules but not played it yet. It really doesn't fit my Saturday game group so have to figure out the best way to get it to the table. I'm glad I have it and even had all my minis professionally painted but still need to find a suitable way to get it played. Most likely the best bet is setup a special night and have it all ready to go. Do that every week until I have a dedicated group that knows what they are doing. But that can be hard to setup and keep going.
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Diz Hooper
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This is a great idea for a review series. I'm looking forward to reading more of these.
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Tim Kelly
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Yeah, I hate this game. I still haven't won the lotto so I can quit work and devote my life to playing it.
TK
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I agree with everything except the 4 player note (and perhaps the boardgame point, though that's more playing symantics). The tutorial scenarios are "team"based but SAGS plays exceptionally well 4 player, non-team. If you haven't tried it yet, give it a whirl, I think you'd enjoy it.

-shnar
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Jonathan Harrison
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shnar wrote:
I agree with everything except the 4 player note (and perhaps the boardgame point, though that's more playing symantics). The tutorial scenarios are "team"based but SAGS plays exceptionally well 4 player, non-team. If you haven't tried it yet, give it a whirl, I think you'd enjoy it.

-shnar

Yes. This is also an exception I take.

SAGS is brilliant for those who want what it gives.
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Ryan Langewisch
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I have found that 4-player SAGS is my favorite way to play. And in my experience, the play time for a game of SAGS hovers more around 2 hours than 3 hours. Good points though on a good game.
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Marc Mistiaen
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
I couldn't shake the feeling, reading your list of negative points, that you actually liked this game.

I'm glad to see I was right.


This might have been your first clue, though :

shidara wrote:
We shall start with a game I have personally rated a 10: Earth Reborn.
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Jonathan Harrison
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Yes, but that would require me to exhibit reading comprehension!

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Chris Ferejohn
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At the risk of being pedantic, 3 hours is between 45 minutes and 4 hours.
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Joseph LaClair
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The only problem I have with the game is that it was one of the few games that was liked enough to get played a bit and I am way ready for expansion stuff but all is quiet on that front.
 
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J Mathews
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I hated the blind bid as an interrupt/op fire mechanic. We got to the 4th or 5th scenario and just couldn't take it anymore and it was traded. But outside of that thing, it was a pretty good game. It does need more characters though.
 
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zoran
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EventHorizon wrote:
I hated the blind bid as an interrupt/op fire mechanic. We got to the 4th or 5th scenario and just couldn't take it anymore and it was traded. But outside of that thing, it was a pretty good game. It does need more characters though.


I got along fine with the duel rules. I didn't think I would but found that they added to the sum of interesting decisions the player has to make. I suppose a dice roll on a stat could have taken it's the place.
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Johan Haglert
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cferejohn wrote:
At the risk of being pedantic, 3 hours is between 45 minutes and 4 hours.
YEAH?! IN WHAT UNIVERSE?!

This review also made me want to buy the game. And I was expecting to actually find something negative :/

Damnit.

It's such a shame this aren't that likely to get an expansion. If only the tiles had been a little brighter or the map been background + specific pieces/objects and maybe the art/color choices a little cleaner maybe that would had happened?

I hope it happens regardless of whatever I purchase it or not. But it's hard not to considering the current price of the euro. So it's likely to become mine. Price from Germany is almost about the price of Neuroshima Hex here in Sweden...
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Tim Kelly
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aliquis wrote:

It's such a shame this aren't that likely to get an expansion.

This game has so much cool stuff in it, it's almost like it was published containing two expansions.
TK
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Robin Powell
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shidara wrote:
An expansion which adds characters and figures would be lovely, but there is no sign of any such happenings from the game's designer or publisher.


From the rule book, under the Large Miniatures rules.

Quote:
Large Miniatures cover four map squares. Earth Reborn the Basic Set contains the first Large Miniature: the powerful Mammoth MK II, with more to come in future expansions.


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Chris Salvato
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robo37 wrote:
shidara wrote:
An expansion which adds characters and figures would be lovely, but there is no sign of any such happenings from the game's designer or publisher.


From the rule book, under the Large Miniatures rules.

Quote:
Large Miniatures cover four map squares. Earth Reborn the Basic Set contains the first Large Miniature: the powerful Mammoth MK II, with more to come in future expansions.




Earth Reborn was released in late 2010, meaning we are coming up on a minimum of 18 months since release. That seems like quite long enough to at least announce an expansion, if not actually release one, if it were going to happen.

No, despite the two-year-old rulebook's promises and the designer's best intentions, it appears Ludically has shelved expansions for Earth Reborn for the near future.

And that's a damn shame.
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Chris Salvato
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tkelly wrote:
aliquis wrote:

It's such a shame this aren't that likely to get an expansion.

This game has so much cool stuff in it, it's almost like it was published containing two expansions.
TK


Indeed, rules- and scenario-wise, the box contains enough to keep the game interesting for a long time.

Sadly, the one thing lacking is variety in force composition; NORAD has only 4 characters to choose from, while Salem has 6 (plus zombies). I can't see taking more than three characters in SAGS, meaning NORAD's only real choice in force composition is whether or not to take the Mammoth, and who sits out in exchange.
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Ryan James
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I was seriously considering this game until this review. Not that I don't think the game would be amazing, but all of the points you hit on; length of time, number of players, miniatures game vs board game, not a great game for a game night with rotating players, really made the decision for me. This would not be good for me.

Seriously, thank you!
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Chris Salvato
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Sandmanx82 wrote:
I was seriously considering this game until this review. Not that I don't think the game would be amazing, but all of the points you hit on; length of time, number of players, miniatures game vs board game, not a great game for a game night with rotating players, really made the decision for me. This would not be good for me.

Seriously, thank you!


Glad to help. That's why I decided to write this review, to illustrate some major factors of the game that might not make it right for a particular group.

Do give it a play if you get a chance, though. It's definitely worth knowing, even if it's not right for your group.

As a side note, there is a Netflix-like service for boardgames called boardgameexchange.com, and Earth reborn is one of the games they offer. Anybody interested in trying ER before buying should consider the service.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Boardgameexchange.com in any way other than I am a satisfied customer.
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michael dorazio
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Awesome game that could use an expansion of the Claustrophobia: De Profundis sort.
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John Di Ponio
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I agree with all of Chris's points. I would CERTAINLY like to see more characters which would really open the game options up. I can live with the learning curve because of the way the game is fed to you in chunks. It is not hard to get down once you understand the symbols.
 
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Jacob Chang
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Don't mistake the relatively few miniature count for lack of replayability value. There is big depth and big replayability in this game. Hopefully, as the first printing sells out, the designer will publish an expansion.


JohnnyD wrote:
I agree with all of Chris's points. I would CERTAINLY like to see more characters which would really open the game options up. I can live with the learning curve because of the way the game is fed to you in chunks. It is not hard to get down once you understand the symbols.
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