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Subject: The Purge: # 72 The Ares Project: A Real Time Strategy Game in a box rss

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Jayson Myers
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Conclusion:


This is a "real time strategy" game, but in board game format. The game is highly abstract and "borrows" a lot from Star Craft (mostly in characters and format). For the most part, you build buildings and units. There are a wide variety of units in the game. Each faction plays differently with a different "super weapon". The main complaint I have is how abstract the game is. There is no map, no fog of war, no "real" battles. The battles are mostly cards "fighting". The individual units do not really play all that differently.

In the end, this wasn't really a game for me. There are too many exceptions to the rules and small little rules. Due to poor components (mostly color scheme and artwork), there wasn't enough to draw me in and keep me interested. It wasn't a game system I really want to learn.

In the end, this is a purge for me. With that said, I can tell this is a very good game, but with its current production quality, it was not for me.



Components:

This is where the game really let me down. There are a ton of chits and bits, but I do like a good map and minis in a game like this. I am not a huge fan of card games and learning a lot of iconography.

All the bits are of find quality, but nothing about them draw me in.

It really reminds me of a game from an era in the past.



Rule Book:

The rule book is fine. You can learn the game from the rules if you take a slow approach. My main issue is with the rules (not so much about the book). This is by far a gamers game and not an entry level game. There are a lot of little rules.

Some people will like this sort of game and a rule set like this, it is just not for me. This is not a flaw with the game really, but more my personal taste.



Flow of the Game:

I am not going to dissect or teach the rules of the game, instead I merely want to discuss the flow of the game. This isn't a game I played a lot as it just wasn't for me.

The game is intended to move fast (thus RTS). This game is highly interactive and all the battles will be head to head (directly against your opponents). Players play one card on their turn which is either face up or down (depending if use as a building or a resource).

When an attack card is played, a battle occurs. At this point, positioning of the cards is very important. After battle, the game reverts back to playing one card.

In the end, you play one card and keep going until someone attacks.



Should I buy this game?


Possibly. If don't mind a drab looking game and you really like RTS games, then you may like this. The game is rather unique, but that doesn't mean good.

I ended up missing the board (map) and defending an area (seen in RTS games). I liked the different factions, but I think I'd rather player Starcraft: The board game.

To me, a purge.
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Dirk Ackermann
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No, there is no RPS mechanism! Look closer man!

To the OP:

It is always good to read a more negative review. I think you reasoned your arguments well. That does't mean, that I nod along to them, because my view is more positive.
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Ian Allen
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I bought this the second it came out and while I love asymmetric gameplay and this did that pretty well, it was very fiddly and required lots of computation of adding up your cards and bonuses and so forth.

By the end of a 3 player game we were constantly counting and re-counting and one guy had about 15 cards out in front of him, all of which he had to take into account.

It started out well, but it turned tedious quickly and by the end we all wanted to hang ourselves rather than keep computing stats and trying for the win.

I resold mine immediately and haven't thought about it since.
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Dan Poole
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Not a bad review though all the negatives appear to be personal preference issues (artwork, complicated rules, not having a map). IMO though there is a little bit of a learning curve the game is far from overly complicated. In fact, the actual gameplay is rather simple and straightforward after a few plays. The artwork to me is neither here nor there. As for not havinga board, this is a card game, so I don't expect a board.

Quote:
This game has a rock-paper-scissors mechanism, which is lazy, then deflates the mechanism by giving one faction the ability to morph from paper to scissors (or whatever).

Not a terrible game, and an interesting idea, but not very imaginative or compelling in execution


I hate to see a good game bashed here but as I say everyone has a right to their opinions but I have to disagree with all of this.

I think this is a very interesting card (not board) game with a very unique feel to it. Nothing is mentioned here about how each faction plays completely different. It is amazingly tense in that you never know when your opponent will strike. Every card play is a tough decision. Yes its more complex than your standard games here but I feel you are rewarded with a richer depth of game play. To those interested in this game and are on the fence about it, I would definitely recommend reading some other reviews for comparison.



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Chris Berger
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voynix wrote:
As for not havinga board, this is a card game, so I don't expect a board.


It has a board! Actually, several, but that detailed map of the frontier is essential to gameplay...
 
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Marc Mistiaen
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voynix wrote:
Nothing is mentioned here about how each faction plays completely different.


william4192 wrote:
Each faction plays differently with a different "super weapon".
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Tim Seitz
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I'm a huge Starcraft fan, and was keen on playing this game to try out how it handles secret army development.

For what it is, a card-based battle game, it's very complicated. There's a huge build up in terms of laying cards and counting resources, which is essentially just playing down cards in secret. Then there's a battle, where you reveal your secretly played cards, convert those cards into units, and then lay cards to play out the battle.

The units all have typical RTS unit strengths and weaknesses, so the card play of the battle is all about matching up your units over your opponent's units.

It certainly gives the feel and tension of an RTS game in a boardgame format, but I wasn't eager to play it again. If I want to play an RTS, I will play it on my computer.
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Robert Carroll
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I appreciate the review and the subsequent comments. I have been sitting on the fence with this one for some time now . . . and looks like I will continue to sit. Some of the items pointed out by the OP (e.g., components and complexity) have been likewise nagging at me; however, the postive remarks (e.g., unique faction game play, theme and translation from computer "real-time" to card game "real-time", etc.) are compelling.

Sit, sit, sit . . .
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John Sizemore
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I liked the game pretty well. I would call it "RTS meets MtG" due to the lack of a map, play time, and "plot line". Like the OP says, it is a gamer's game, and one that will take a few sessions to really learn. Once learned, though, it seems to be a game that you could play during lunch, or play in multiple sessions.

I'm holding on to my copy.
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Nate K
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See, this is the sort of review I enjoy. It sat down and said, "This isn't my kind of game, and here's why." Then it listed all sorts of things that I like in a game!
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Jayson Myers
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DarAng wrote:
No, there is no RPS mechanism! Look closer man!

To the OP:

It is always good to read a more negative review. I think you reasoned your arguments well. That does't mean, that I nod along to them, because my view is more positive.


I can honestly see this game appealing to a different type of gamer than me. If I had the time and/or friends to play it with, I might like it more. To be the look is so drab, it never compels me to play it either (yes, I know I'm shallow).
 
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Jayson Myers
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glookose wrote:
I bought this the second it came out and while I love asymmetric gameplay and this did that pretty well, it was very fiddly and required lots of computation of adding up your cards and bonuses and so forth.

By the end of a 3 player game we were constantly counting and re-counting and one guy had about 15 cards out in front of him, all of which he had to take into account.

It started out well, but it turned tedious quickly and by the end we all wanted to hang ourselves rather than keep computing stats and trying for the win.

I resold mine immediately and haven't thought about it since.



I wish I had typed this.
 
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Jayson Myers
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voynix wrote:
Not a bad review though all the negatives appear to be personal preference issues (artwork, complicated rules, not having a map). IMO though there is a little bit of a learning curve the game is far from overly complicated. In fact, the actual gameplay is rather simple and straightforward after a few plays. The artwork to me is neither here nor there. As for not havinga board, this is a card game, so I don't expect a board.

Quote:
This game has a rock-paper-scissors mechanism, which is lazy, then deflates the mechanism by giving one faction the ability to morph from paper to scissors (or whatever).

Not a terrible game, and an interesting idea, but not very imaginative or compelling in execution


I hate to see a good game bashed here but as I say everyone has a right to their opinions but I have to disagree with all of this.

I think this is a very interesting card (not board) game with a very unique feel to it. Nothing is mentioned here about how each faction plays completely different. It is amazingly tense in that you never know when your opponent will strike. Every card play is a tough decision. Yes its more complex than your standard games here but I feel you are rewarded with a richer depth of game play. To those interested in this game and are on the fence about it, I would definitely recommend reading some other reviews for comparison.






Dan,

I had hoped that I thought the game was good, but wasn't for me came across. I have failed at it, so I hope I have stated it now. Not a horrible game really, just not for me and I tried to explain why it was not for me.
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Jayson Myers
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Corwin1980 wrote:
voynix wrote:
Nothing is mentioned here about how each faction plays completely different.


william4192 wrote:
Each faction plays differently with a different "super weapon".


Thanks!
 
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Jayson Myers
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Nap16 wrote:
I appreciate the review and the subsequent comments. I have been sitting on the fence with this one for some time now . . . and looks like I will continue to sit. Some of the items pointed out by the OP (e.g., components and complexity) have been likewise nagging at me; however, the postive remarks (e.g., unique faction game play, theme and translation from computer "real-time" to card game "real-time", etc.) are compelling.

Sit, sit, sit . . .


I'd say if it appeals to you at, then buy it. If you don't like it, sell it and you can get most, if not all, of your money back.
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Jayson Myers
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kurthl33t wrote:
See, this is the sort of review I enjoy. It sat down and said, "This isn't my kind of game, and here's why." Then it listed all sorts of things that I like in a game!



We may be opposite gamers then! I'm sure if I had the time, players, and willingness this would be a good game. I just have games I like more.
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Luc VC
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Thanks for the review! I can see the games faults, but I really like it.

It seems like you look rather positively to the game but were expecting something else with better components (nothing wrong with that, happened to me with other games ).

The general look could have been better, but I really like the feel of the game. While I like Starcraft:TBG quite a bit, I found this having more a RTS feel than SC. Especially with the fog of the screen and the fast turns of just playing a card and then back to the other player.
Still YMMV.

 
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