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Subject: It sat on my shelf for too long ... rss

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Patrick
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...collecting not dust, but expansion. Yes such is the fate of a completist. It sat there, patiently, waiting to be played.

(warning: English is not my primary language, so please excuse my poor syntax)

I am an ex-MTG player, I had a strong feeling by reading the rule that this game would hit the spot. I was looking for a "Take that!" kinda game. The kinda game that if you are not on top of your own strategy, you will get smashed. Not by a score but by being killed/destroyed/annihilated. The kinda game that... well you get the point. Yes, direct interaction, I am looking at you. I already own a few game with indirect interaction and they are great too. I just like diversity in the game play. My collection is small but I find it covers a lot of the available mechanic that I am interested in. Direct Interaction was lacking a bit … until now.

It finally hit the table yesterday night. Yes, the wait was over. Two players. Both players had read the rules before the confrontation. We set up the game easily.

/rant on
AEG/David/whoever is in charge of the box insert and dividers, they are perfect. Why o' why can the other company making card game can't copy this simple yet elegant and very functional model? What, are you really telling me that the sleeved card fit in the box inserts? THANK YOU!
/rant off

We recap the rules to make sure we both interpreted them the same way. And as fast as lightning we were ready to play. Katchow! Then the complexity of trying to combine moons, kicker and pulling out COMBOS hit us square in the face. I emphasize on the combos, since the moons and kicker represent the game mechanic to deliver those deadly combos. For those who haven't played this game, to be able to use more than one card on your turn or any cards on your opponent turn, you need to match the moon colors represented on the cards (It’s a little bit more complex than that, but I do not want to cover the rule explanation, it is well explained in the rulebook and in other reviews). Those combos are what make the game click for me and I am pretty sure I am not alone on this. The game mechanic of the moons/kicker is quite clever though. Not as intuitive as I would've taught by reading the rule, but clever nonetheless. Learning curve was not that smooth for us. Few questions were quickly answered by David’s Online FAQ.

I would like to take a few words to talk about this Online FAQ. It is unbelievably amazing. Lots of work for David I am sure. Folks you are looking for someone caring about their customer? Look no further. That FAQ is the epitome of caring. One single place that is easily navigable and that contains extra info on every cards in the game. Again David, thank you. For people like me who might not understand everything as quickly as we should sometime, this FAQ was a blessing. There are probably other games that have something similar to this and I am sure the gamers would agree that it rocks. I also understand that some game designers have many games under their belt to support and that it could prove very difficult to do something like this for all their creation. But this one has it, and I really appreciated it.

So where was I. Oh yes. The learning curve. Ouch. All I can say is that although there are only 10 pools of cards available, pulling out chain that makes sense – combo wise – is a lot harder than it looks like. We are far from multiplayer solitaire. You need to alter your deck to be able to chain of your opponent. Easier said than done. It finally clicked at the end of the first game. Combos were found and executed without kickers of course! The pace of the game was picking up. First game: 1 hour 30 minutes. My gaming partner was taking lots of time trying to figure out what to do. He's not a former CCG player so I could see he had more to learn in this first game than I did (building an efficient deck and trying to pull out combos). I beat him by four wounds. I wasn't sure if he'd like it. I knew I couldn't wait to start another one since it was exactly what I was looking for (beside the learning curve!). To my surprise, he had a blast. He liked the challenge this game proposed. So did I.

I see that the weight average for this game is 2.6. To play this game well, to know which card to discard to claim more, to be able to build an efficient deck chaining from other deck, I believe that medium-light weight is a bit underestimated... What I am trying to say is, yes the rules are simple. But to play it properly, and that is my opinion, it is NOT that simple.

Second game, we both had a plan in our head. And we were both able to chain off each other. It was smooth and elegant. "Bait and Switch" how could I not see the power you offered? A classic counter spell. The kind of spell you do not discard to claim more cards. My adversary played it in my face. I then understood its power. Instead of wounding him on my chain, he won the game with a clever combo of direct damage while neutralizing my chain. Pure genious. He was thrilled. I was thrilled. The best strategy won the game. What more can you want from a card game. No mana-skrewage, no army looking at each other waiting for the first one to move. Just a good ole bloody brawl.

Didn't mention yet the art. I can understand that it would not be everyone's cup of tea. Me, it has that 70/80ish kind of feel. I absolutely adore it.

Also, after two games, I have still a lot to learn. One of them is the effect of the moon's color. I read somewhere on BGG that there was a thematic related with them. But I was a bit overwhelm in my first two game to even care about it. I didn't check the new set of starting minions, neither the avatars nor the moon phase, etc... Yes this games offer tons.

I was looking for a conclusion for this mini review of Nightfall. I taught that this was appropriate:

There will be blood.
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David Gregg
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Glad to hear you enjoyed the game and FAQ. Let me know if you ever head south into the states
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Kevin Gordon
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I always enjoy reading about new NF fans. Such an amazing game.

If you ever get the iOS version let me know. I'm always looking for new opponents.
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Patrick
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It's also crazy when you check the rating on BGG for this game. The three explanation I can think of:

- People were expecting something else when they tried it for the first time. Non-Confrontational game or something more along the line of Dominion. Yes, Dominion has some interaction, but it's not the core purpose of the game. Well from the 10+ games I played of it, that is what I came to conclude, but I accept that I might be wrong. Nightfall, on the other hand, is all about confrontation.

- I've also understand that it can get political with more player. And I can see that it wouldn't be everybody's thing. Fine two points that could bring the rating down.

- The theme. People are saying that its been overly done... Fantasy ? Sci-Fi ? A lot of game using those themes are amongst the top 100. So I am a bit "meh" on this reason. You don't like undeads. Ok. Not much I can argue over this.

I won't change people mind. For me it offers so many things. Team play, 1v1, multi-player madness, drafting. All this with a unique (to my knowledge) and very interesting mechanism and now with a more than decent pool of cards. I've only scratch the surface and I can't wait for more.

Everyone is entitle to his own opinion. Basically, to each is own. But I am glad that this one is my "own".

Edit: @Kevin Gordon: I own no-Apple product. Nothing against them. Might change in the near future as Summoner Wars and Nightfall and a few other games are offered on iOS only. Yes, I have Android product... it stinks a little bit right now.
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LesPatatas wrote:
It's also crazy when you check the rating on BGG for this game. The three explanation I can think of:

- People were expecting something else when they tried it for the first time. Non-Confrontational game or something more along the line of Dominion. Yes, Dominion has some interaction, but it's not the core purpose of the game. Well from the 10+ games I played of it, that is what I came to conclude, but I accept that I might be wrong. Nightfall, on the other hand, is all about confrontation.

- I've also understand that it can get political with more player. And I can see that it wouldn't be everybody's thing. Fine two points that could bring the rating down.

- The theme. People are saying that its been overly done... Fantasy ? Sci-Fi ? A lot of game using those themes are amongst the top 100. So I am a bit "meh" on this reason. You don't like undeads. Ok. Not much I can argue over this.

I won't change people mind. For me it offers so many things. Team play, 1v1, multi-player madness, drafting. All this with a unique (to my knowledge) and very interesting mechanism and now with a more than decent pool of cards. I've only scratch the surface and I can't wait for more.

Everyone is entitle to his own opinion. Basically, to each is own. But I am glad that this one is my "own".

Edit: @Kevin Gordon: I own no-Apple product. Nothing against them. Might change in the near future as Summoner Wars and Nightfall and a few other games are offered on iOS only. Yes, I have Android product... it stinks a little bit right now.
[shrug], if you're still into Dominion, then get Androminion on Google Play while you still can (by the end of Aug. 2012, iow, end of the month). Unlike the official version of Nightfall, the official version of Dom so far doesn't inspire much confidence, and no telling if that'll ever improve


What did surprise me about Nightfall is that it's more similar to Magic than Dom or many other dbg. You actually put out minions, attack players, etc., so even though I don't play it much, I still find that mechanic to be delightfully novel.
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Patrick
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@ackmondual
Thanks for the info on Dominion. I am not too much onpar with Dominion news. Just sold the hard copy of it. I played a few 2-players game and it never clicked. I can see the potential. But I could not get into it. Still its good to know. Maybe I could give another try sometime.

I totally agree with your statement about NF looking a lot like MTG. Not sure why I associate the DBG mechanic with euro-game but I do. I haven't played enough different games with that mechanic to know for sure if its true. Maybe because Dominion was the first DBG game (correct me if I am wrong but I associate that game to the start of the DBG mech) and it looks very euro to me. NF however, beside the mechanic doesn't feel euro at all. Just like MTG.

In any case wether it mimics MTG gameplay or not, I am thrilled with this one.
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