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Subject: Can someone explain what makes the chaining mechanism interesting? rss

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Chris J Davis
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I haven't played yet, but wanted to know so I can sell it to my gaming group - what is the clever twist that makes the chaining mechanism so interesting (if it has one)? Okay, so you can only play cards that feature a colour of the previous card played... that doesn't sound so ground-breaking on its own, so I was wondering if there was something more about it that emerges during actual gameplay that makes the player go "ah, okay - that really is a cool little mechanism".
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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It is something to be aware of when buying cards to put in your deck and it provides a way for all players to put cards in play each turn.
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Ken B.
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rickert wrote:
It is something to be aware of when buying cards to put in your deck and it provides a way for all players to put cards in play each turn.


Yup.

Chaining well requires you to pay attention to both your own deck as well as what players to your left and right are playing and buying. A lot of deckbuilders you just do your own thing and buy what you want (excepting Moat/Attacks for Dominion, which is a surprisingly passive interaction.)

Also, chaining well means you are involved in every turn. Most deckbuilders are you go, I go, you go type deals, but with Chaining, you are literally involved in every turn. As such, there feels like very little downtime, something else that can plague deckbuilding games.

This really is one of the best deckbuilders I've played, and I've played a lot of 'em.
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bleached_lizard wrote:
I haven't played yet, but wanted to know so I can sell it to my gaming group - what is the clever twist that makes the chaining mechanism so interesting (if it has one)? Okay, so you can only play cards that feature a colour of the previous card played... that doesn't sound so ground-breaking on its own, so I was wondering if there was something more about it that emerges during actual gameplay that makes the player go "ah, okay - that really is a cool little mechanism".


1) The chaining mechanic lets you play cards and resolve their effects when it's NOT your turn, which can can reduce downtime as you're making decisions and moves even if you're not the current player. This also affects gameplay with screwing with your opponents and setting stuff up for when you're the current player.

For example, I'm player 1 (p1 for short). You're p2 to my left, and p3 is to your left. On my turn (ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLE) I play a greenTOblue card and blueTOgreen. As p2, you then play greenTOgray, and grayTOred. P3 plays redTOred. THe cards get resolved in reverse player order. When my turn ends, and your turn starts, the cards you chained off my turn can then attack me or p3, instead of waiting a whole round of turns




2) As mentioned in the post above, a really good card isn't as useful nor practical if it becomes more difficult to play due to mismatched colors.

In the end, opinions vary... for example with Dominion, some people thought the base game was bland, but the exp added enough new twists and variety. Others don't like the base game and though the exps were "the same damn thing". While there is some truth to the latter camp (ie they simply just don't like Dom, I think overall, folks can say that's not the case and as objectively as possible back up that claim)
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Chris J Davis
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Is there ever very much of a reason that you wouldn't just play every card you can to a chain as soon as the appropriate colours appear for you, or is it sometimes better to wait until a later player's turn, and why? Just due to the kicker mechanism, or also for some other reason?
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Is there ever very much of a reason that you wouldn't just play every card you can to a chain as soon as the appropriate colours appear for you, or is it sometimes better to wait until a later player's turn, and why? Just due to the kicker mechanism, or also for some other reason?
As with many similar games, if a card doesn't say "may", then it's mandatory. Playing such a card can force you to attack your minions if they're the only one's in play. I don't know NF that well, but I"m sure there can be other undesirable effects.
 
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Greg Cox
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I've only played twice but in reality - unless you know the game really well - you would probably chain as the opportunity arises, as I imagine it may not happen often on future turns. I also think it would be tough to know what your opponents will add to the chain as previously mentioned.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Thanks for the responses, all!
 
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Todd Rowland
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Is there ever very much of a reason that you wouldn't just play every card you can to a chain as soon as the appropriate colours appear for you, or is it sometimes better to wait until a later player's turn, and why? Just due to the kicker mechanism, or also for some other reason?


Well there can be times where if you have a heavy hitter, such as Big Ghost, you may want to not chain him too early in a trip around the table, because he will have such a big target on him. He's best to slide onto the table during the chain of the player just before your turn, so he can be in with relatively little chance of being sniped, and then immediately attack for his large 5 point hit.

There are other times when you may want to save certain attacking cards if you feel the other players at the table will do the work for you. For instance lets say Big Ghost did hit the table. Do you use your direct damage to take him out, or let the guy next to you do it with the cards you're relatively sure he has? Thus saving yours to knock away other pests on the board.
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Patrick McIntyre
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Quote:
Is there ever very much of a reason that you wouldn't just play every card you can to a chain as soon as the appropriate colours appear for you, or is it sometimes better to wait until a later player's turn, and why? Just due to the kicker mechanism, or also for some other reason?


Some effects only apply on your own turn, such as cards that provide influence. Other cards have effects that may not trigger in a desirable way depending the order cards are resolved. For example, a vampire may resolve as doing 2 damage to a target minion, but if your opponents have no minions in play yet, you have to target your own.
 
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David Gregg
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Kevin Gordon
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Is there ever very much of a reason that you wouldn't just play every card you can to a chain as soon as the appropriate colours appear for you, or is it sometimes better to wait until a later player's turn, and why? Just due to the kicker mechanism, or also for some other reason?


In addition to what others have said, remember that you only draw cards at the end of YOUR own turn. So if you have chained out your entire hand during your opponents' turns, you'll be left with nothing to chain on your turn, possibly (likely) leaving you wide open to attacks.
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Peter Darby
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Well, there was that one time I chained and kicked my whole hand on the turn of the person to my left.

Looked amazing.

I lost on the next players turn.
 
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Game Guy
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Yup, chaining on every turn creates an inherent comeback mechanism. The stronger you are on the board, the less you have in your hand. It's like a general who commits all of his reserve troops at the beginning of the battle. I think this is also the best answer to the OP's original question. You really have to think about how aggressively you want to play with this chaining rule, particularly in conjunction with the rule that requires all monsters to attack and then be discarded at the beginning of your turn.
 
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