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Subject: Purge: Sins of Science Review rss

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William Leighton
Middle Sackville
Nova Scotia
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We gave this game another go yesterday and we ended up spending quite a lot of time with our noses either in the rule poster, on the official site or online here at BGG. He played with ZGA114, The Juggernaut deck and I the Exa X, Alpha Clone Matriarch deck.

His starting TEK card unlocked Memory Metal so he could have the Juggernaut right away and mine unlocked Clone DNA, which is one of the two unlocks I needed for my Eva. On my first turn I got myself Pyrite Rounds, which unlocked her, and an infantry. We carried on in this manner, building up our TEKs and units until he decided to move his three units and Juggernaut into the middle battle area or 'Vector'.

On my turn I got myself a new unit, a new Tek and moved in to meet him with my units and Eva X. The combat was halted when we couldn't remember where we had gotten the idea that everything healed when combat was over. We couldn't find a word on it in the rules poster or online and decided the units must remain damaged and carried on. In this encounter I was able to kill his Juggernaut. On his turn to attack me he killed my Eva X.

Soon he was able to play 'Core Reactivation' at a cost of 4 energy and 4 TEKs, "Resurrect the Juggernaut at your Stronghold. This card cannot be nullified or cancelled." There are two of these in his OPS deck. Then he found a loop, by playing Exhaust Synthesizer, a TEK card with a cost of 1 Energy and 0 TEKs, that states: "Pay X: Return target OPS card from its discard pile back to your OPS deck. X equals the 'Energy Symbol' of the targeted OPS card." This allowed him to bring his Juggernaut back right after I killed it and made it possible for it to return every time I killed it.

Within a few turns he had 'Improved Chassis', 'Forced Endurance', 'Rampage" and 'Darkest Hour'. The Juggernaut was now not only able to come back whenever, it was also able to heal itself, take three attacks and did five points of damage. All of this made him unkillable.

An example: My Eva has five hit points with a damage reduction of one. He attacks her, she is down to one, then she attacks him for 3, he reduces it by 1, uses his played TEK card of Improved Chassis to reduce my damage by another 1 making my total damage to him 1, which he heals using Forced Endurance and thus totally nullifies my action.

Improved Chassis: TEK card, costs 1 Energy and 0 TEKs. OPT: Target Unit or Commander gains +1 'Shield (Defense)' until Battle Resolution.

Forced Endurance: OPS card, costs 2 Energy and 1 TEKs. Juggernaut regenerates 3 'Cross (Health)'. There are 3 of these cards.

Rampage: OPS card, costs 3 Energy and 2 TEKs. Juggernaut gains +1 'Reticle (Battle Action)' until battle resolution. There are 4 of these cards.

Darkest Hour: TEK card, costs 6 Energy and 0 TEKs. Your Commander gains +1 'Fire (Damage)'.

As far as we were able to understand, the TEK cards can be used each turn and he can get his OPS cards back using Exhaust Synthesizer when he isn't resurrecting his Juggernaut. Then he found his 'Modular Assembly' and 'Destroyer' Cards.

The Modular Assembly card (TEK) lets him return a unit from his discard back to his WAR deck at a cost of the energy on the unit. The Destroyer card, of which there are four, kills a targeted infantry or tank outright, there is nothing I can do to stop it, boom, dead. Not only can I not kill the Juggernaut, I couldn't keep his units away long enough to do anything and when I got some headway he could totally decimate me.

Now, my deck wasn't without some serious hiccups too. When Eva was destroyed I thought my OPS cards were now useless to me. After trying to make sure with the rules poster and the information online we decided they could all still be used cos he had a few in his deck, like the one that brought back his Juggernaut, that could only be used when the Commander (The Juggernaut) was dead.

Was then I started to see some problems with my deck as well. I could get Eva back, several instances of her in fact, whenever I wanted too, but she would only last until the end of the battle, then she'd be gone again. When those OPS cards were used, that was that, there were no cards that allowed me to get used OPS cards back. I could do little things to damage him using Carpet Bombs (OPS, Choose a Vector and deal 4 'Fire (Damage)'to all targets in the chosen vector) but again, once the two cards were used, that was that.

At this point we were generating upwards of thirty energy per turn and decided to end the game when it was clear that I had no way whatsoever of beating him. All he had to do was wait me out.

All of this, while frustrating, doesn't even touch the ridiculous that is the Mastermind of Matter's Engineered Disaster: Supernova. At a cost of twenty four Energy and 8 TEKs, this card reduces the target Stronghold to 0, any effects that prevent or reduce the loss of the Stronghold are nullified or cancelled. It is a "I win" card and its one that that doesn't take that long to get either. I'd have no issue with the "I win" card if every deck had one.

I really want to like this game, I spent a fair amount of money on it ($50) and it looks lovely. Wishing now I had just gotten the art book and left it at that. Unless we are playing this game completely wrong (which honestly is possible cos the rules poster is not only poorly organised it poorly describes what on the surface looks like a generally straightforward game) it is broken and needs a major overhaul then a reprint.

Some final thoughts.

I was thankful for my copy of Sentinels of the Multiverse, without it we would have gotten lost trying to keep track of Energy, Hit Points and 'Tokens'. This game really needs counters.

The shipped box was totally underwhelming, the Amazon package was large and it looked promising, inside however was a small little box and a poster. When I sleeved the game with Penny Sleeves it no longer fit and I was forced to get a new box for it. Thank you Dollarstore.

If they reprint, which I would honestly think about buying, cos like I said, I want to like this game, Nova Forge should use different colors on the back of the cards to make the six decks distinguishable from one another. God help me if I get them mixed up, I'll have to go to the rules poster and go through the title of every card to get everything right again. All of that can be avoided with either different color backs or a small symbol in the corner (Think of Smash up, where each faction has a symbol in the corner so after you've played you can easily separate the smashed together decks.)

While I don't expect any kind of reply, it'd be nice, to be honest though, what the game really needs is a video showing a full game from start to finish. It would clear up a lot of the questions here and probably make it so the game will be remembered for more then its pretty pictures and ambitious ideas.


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