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jonnyalpha
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Got a few games to the table yesterday.

 

Flamme Rouge x 2

Wow, it's really good! Lovely light rules means people can get right down to planning. It feels like a cycle race, the peleton, trying to break away.

Didn't win either race but looking forward to improving my tactics and trying more course designs. My mistake was being far too conservative holding back big movement cards, think I'll be much more aggressive, early next time and see how it goes! With this for low player counts and Formula D for higher ones, I'm in race game heaven!

 

Unusual Suspects

It's just a game about judging people and it's hilarious! You have 12 faces, a bit like guess who. You draw a random question and the clue giver can just say yes or no. It works because the questions invoke discussion and stir up prejudices, e.g. "are they superstitious?", "Do they watch fox news?", "Do they own an SUV?". Great fun if you are comfortable with your friends.

 

Shogun

Love a big dudes on a map game, this one is more Euro than most and has a bit of money and food management. Really enjoy it! My friends managed to completely disrupt my rice income and I faced devastating Winter riots, luckily some of my key provinces survived and I squeaked out a win. Great fun, more thoughtful than Risk, less cutthroat than GoT.

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I've managed to play plenty this weekend, mostly with the kids. My eldest (11) seems to have got into games in a big way this weekend. He's currently painting some warhammer high elves! This makes me happy. Kind of. Hoping it's not just warhammer he gets into because that's a terrible money sink!

 

Had the usual Friday eve with friends and played Jorvik (was ok i guess) and 7 wonders (one of my absolute favourites and still fantastic despite having played it countless times). Taught my son to play Blood Bowl team manager on Saturday. He picked it up in no time and gave me a good thrashing. Works better with 2 than I expected as well. Only played it with more previously. Today, I took both kids to a friends and we played History of the world (lovely game and has aged well), Rattlebones (dicebuilding funs), Ultimate Warrioz (beat em up funs) and Braggart (boasting in the pub funs). It's been a lovely gaming weekend :)

 

Tomorrow night: more Arkham Horror the card game!

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And with all the expansions you can tailor the game length to fill the time you have. A short end of night game? Just play the base game. Fancy stretching it out to 90 minutes? Add in leaders, cities and/or Babel.

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Another vote for 7 wonders. I go to a boardgame night with friends one or two nights a month, and 7 wonders is a staple when we have played a longer game but have an hour to kill. 

 

We played Elder Signs this week, apparently a shorter version of Arkham Horror. Was good fun.

 

The brilliant thing about these kind of games is that I have now got my 2 boys who are 11 and 13 into playing them. We regularly play Fluxx and Munchkin, also Love Letter. All are Adventure Time versions which got the boys the buy in to start with but now they love the games. We also have Netrunner, Star Wars Risk, Codenames Pictures and Star Wars Dobble that we play a lot. It's brilliant to play physical games with them, and as Fluxx and Munchkin can take a long time, we probably play board and card games more than we play video games.

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got back from the club an hour ago. Played 3 more games of Cosmic Encounter. it just doesn't get old! admitedly, i won all three games. The best was when one of the guys was playing as the Leviathan. which can attack other planets by flying the entire planet over to someone elses system and attacking with +20. which was fine, until i got a colony on one of his worlds in a negotiation before i'd revealed my alien. Because i was the Plant. which allowed me to "graft" his powers for an encounter - so basically mimic his ability. the interesting part is, the leviathan can't attack with a planet if it has someone elses ships/colonies on a planet with him, so i ended up locking him down from being able to attack, and attacking back as his leviathan ability.

 

the other guy had the ability to banish ships from the game rather than send them to the warp, so i got a colony on his planet with help of the leviathan ability and wrapped the game up in 2 turns.

 

so good.

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I got to play some Netrunner last night, for the first time in yonks. I really enjoyed it, each deck I played with offered a different style and strategy. It's not often I get to play two-player games, especially LCGs, so it was a nice change. I wish I had more opportunities to play it.

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Board game group last night decided to play a series of lighter games rather than go for a biggie.

 

7 Wonders - Not much else to say on this. Except I think combat is broken. Even if you win every fight that's 18 points. Doesn't seem like a great return.

 

Camel Up - Got absolutely stomped in this, but good silly fun. The combination of dice rolls, Oasis/Mirages, Leg beats and overall bets works surprisingly well.

 

Flamme Rouge - A game about a cycle racing. I was surprised how well it worked mechanically and thematically  the interaction between riders and teams). Has the good combination of "plan what you want to do" and "laugh as players muck each other's plans up". 

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Expansion set & Campaign book for Conan turned up yesterday; tbh I'd forgotten all about it!

 

Looks nice, it's the Nordheim expansion so a couple of lovely snow covered gameboards to fight on, makes a nice contrast from the castle/swamps/ships/cliffs in the base game. As usual, the campaign book is written as some sort of challenge itself, torturing sentences in a way that would even have a Cimmerian screaming. 

 

I've still not managed to get this to the table bar solo playthroughs though; a fact that was made pointedly by my wife as I unboxed this....

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Hexx said:

7 Wonders - Not much else to say on this. Except I think combat is broken. Even if you win every fight that's 18 points. Doesn't seem like a great return.

 

Military scoring is really interesting in 7 Wonders, because you only need to exceed your neighbours' strength for victory, and if they've been completely neglecting their militaries, then that could be with as little as 1 red card. Which, if you can get away with it, is an insane return for a single turn. It's not a mechanism by which you win the game (that's science and guilds, usually), it's a mechanism to encourage players to keep an eye on their borders, and weigh up the value in getting into an arms race when the maximum penalty for losing all your conflicts is -6 points.

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Early impressions - Well, it's gorgeous. And that goes some way to displacing any misgivings about the cost. I would say it's a Splendor class boardgame. Easy to explain, tactile and satisfying to play, the sort of theme people warm to immediately and replayability brought about from some clever wrinkles in the game design (the tool cards and different windows you can choose). The scoring is perhaps a little fiddly, and occasionally the abstract underbelly can poke out through the theme, but I think it's an extremely worthwhile buy as a couples game, or the sort of game you could bring out as a gateway, as well as a lovely physically nice game to put in a game night as a filler. I think I paid about £35 and I'm totally happy with that - on a potential table time/price return I think it'll more than pay back what I paid for it. A lot more so than more niche games I've bought. 

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Incidentally, I wanted to chuck in a good word for a game called "Looterz" from Cool Mini or Not. It's about £10-15 online and is a sort of MTG/take that mad card game that we've really, really enjoyed in the office. With 2 or 3 it plays really well and the luck element means even people who understand card advantage and chaining plays can sometimes be utterly wrecked by a bad roll or an overpowered card. I don't know - there are probably loads more brilliant games, but this one has really captured our attention and we've had some hilarious, protracted and ding dong battles with it. 

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On 5/25/2017 at 09:24, Hexx said:

7 Wonders - Not much else to say on this. Except I think combat is broken. Even if you win every fight that's 18 points. Doesn't seem like a great return.

 

If you win every fight it's a 21 point advantage over your two neighbours and 18 over everyone else. You can never win just with military but if you can grab some points for just a card or two it's totally worth it. It can also force you opponents to change strategy to try and compete with you, which is denying them opportunities to score points elsewhere.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Captain is Dead

 

Didn't spot this at the Expo, only heard about it with chums talk after. I was really disappointed as it sounds right up my street.

One of them bought it last night.

Kinda glad I missed it now? It's a co-op "mission" style game ala Pandemic and others, with elements of damage control ala Flashpoint.

 

Thematically it's very cool - but gameplay wise it's...sort of the same? 

 

Characters were interesting, although some looked crap. And because success is all down to using one ability color/card - certain of the 20~roles seemed mandatory with one "right colour" person doing all the win progress and the rest running around fighting fires/funneling cards to him. But some people were so good at certain tasks (e.g. repair shields) they just staying in one location using the same actions each round.

 

The alerts (think Epidemic cards drawn at end of each turn) are all too specific. There's none of the random/emergent interaction you get from city cards in Pandemic for example. The same things will occur (in random order) everytime - e.g. Sensors fail and need fixing

 

I had a great time playing it, because the theme makes events amusing. And I'd play it again.

 

But for £40-45 quid I'm glad I didn't get a short demo...because I would have bought it. And for that price I think I'd feel slightly regretful after first proper game.

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Finally cracked open Fury of Dracula last night.

 

With four of us at the table, one had control over two of the hunters, while I put on my fangs and cloak.

 

I was terrible! I was uncovered on turn four, resulting in a battle where I lost two health. The hunters all jumped on trains and cornered me a couple of turns later, engaging me a second time, blasting me with some holy weapons for another four damage. I fled to sea, taking two more damage, but one of them played a double-move event resulting in everyone joining me for a final battle, where I lost the remaining seven health in a single round of combat.

 

Has anyone played this before and can offer any advice on playing Drac? It seemed like all my encounters were easily countered, and my combat cards were just as easily nullified. Rather than the Lord of Darkness, praying on the innocent from the cover of darkness, I felt like the fox on a fox hunt.

 

I want to play it again, I'm just hoping I got hosed with bad luck. 

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This evening I christened the copy of Terraforming Mars I picked up at the expo last weekend with a solo game. I didn't win, but I wasn't far off.

 

I love it. It helps that I'm a big fan of the Mars trilogy of books (the three players in the rulebook examples are Kim, Stanley, and Robinson :D), but there's a really solid game in that box. The theming is incredible, I don't think I've ever played a euro-style game where everything makes so much sense. There is a humongous deck of cards, every single one of which is different, and they are all thematically appropriate, which is quite an accomplishment.

 

The game starts off quite pedestrian, with very little happening for the first few turns, and in a solo game the first half of your allocated 14 generations will fly by. But as your engine gets established you'll be able to accomplish a lot more each with each subsequent round, and the endgame sees you slamming asteroids into the planet and pumping out plant life like it's going out of fashion. There's a racheting of tension as the game progresses, as you race to complete your objectives before you run out of time. In a regular multiplayer game there are awards and milestones to compete for too, which I can imagine only adds pressure to that frantic dash for points.

 

It's a game of interesting decisions, and even in my first game I could see there was a wide variety of different strategies that could be used, again helped by the uniqueness of the cards. I can easily see why it's so popular.

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Knights of charlemagne  - started with a quick filler game. The game has a row of spaces where you have to play cards. 1-5 points in neutral colours and then 5 points in each of the colours in the game (yellow, blue etc). You're dealt a hand of cards which are different numbers and different colours. On your turn you have to play a card to the table. And to do this you either match the number or the colour. So a red 2 can go in neutral 2 or the red 5 spot. 

 

The aim of the game is to collect points by having the majority of cards in a section. So at the end of the game if in neutral 1 you have 3 cards and another player has 1, you win it and you take the 1 point card. If you come second you get a 1 point card automatically. If it's a draw nothing is scored and it's discarded. The first to get two neutral cards take a bonus 5 point card which makes the lower neutral cards more attractive. 

 

Enjoyed it for what it was and it had some interesting decisions in that you could purposefully draw with someone so no one scores it or do you spread thin and hope to win a couple of points cards. 

 

Macao  - wow. I really, really enjoyed this Feld game. I know he's got a lot of games out their but I'd happily play this, Bruges or Notre Dame every day. 

 

The main part of this game is action cubes and how you get them. You have a seven sided disc which sits in front of you with a section having an arrow and the rest being 1 - 6. At one point of the turn six coloured dice are rolled and you choose two of them (everyone can choose from all the dice). The dice tell you how many action cubes you take and where you put them on your disc. For example if green was 1 and red was 3 you take 1 green and place it at the number one spot and 3 red at the three spot. Once everyone has chose you then turn the wheel so that the arrow is pointing at the one green action cube. You use that for this turn but you know that in two more turns you'll have access to 3 red action cubes. 

 

This decision of do you choose a high number to get potentially six cubes but you have to wait five turns to use them or a lower number to use them sooner but then have less actions to take is bloody brilliant. And you're always making sure you haven't got gaps on your wheel as you don't want a potential turn with no action cubes. 

 

With this is also cards and card effects. At the start of the turn a certain amount are up for purchase with it being taken in player order. You have to take one and put it on your player board. You only have space for five and to activate them you have to pay the cost of the card which is in different coloured action cubes. A card with three separate colours is harder to pay for than one with only one colour but higher amount of cubes. This then plays into your decision of which cubes to take at that stage too. 

 

Now the key part about this is that you have to take a card and if you ever have to take a sixth you lose three points (which is huge) and at the end of the game, any left on your board is -3 points for each one! Ouch. 

 

The cards themselves can be fun and you can get some nice combos going. One player had one which gave him a point for being first, a point for getting a point in the round, a coin if he gets a point etc etc. 

 

There's also a pick up and delivery aspect which works well too. You buy the item from a market (using coloured action cubes) and then deliver them on the board (using action cubes to move). The first player to sell gets more points than second and third and if you sell in one go you get the higher value per item sold. It's 5, 3, and 1 points and I managed to sell three papers first and got 15 points for it. 

 

Amazing game, and of course its not currently in print and unlikely to be reprinted any time soon. Another benefit to going to a gaming club is playing other people's games! 

 

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kraftwagen Convinced my wife to play Kraftwagen, and really enjoyed it. The look of horror as I kept adding chits to the board was pretty funny. At the core of the game, like all good euros, it's very simple and easy to follow. 

 

The aim of the game is to make the most money. You do that by building a race car and winning a race, and by building cars to sell. 

 

The selling point of the game is how you choose actions. There is a line of actions to choose and whoever is last in the line is the active player. They then move their piece to the action they want, carry it out and then move that action to the back of the line. If they are still last, it's still their go and they get to choose again. This means if you jump ahead to the better actions you could potentially let your opponent do multiple actions in a row before they leap frog you. 

 

To build a car you need an engine and a body. Your level of research is dependent on research cards you've taken from an action. You also need a worker to activate the research and gaining a worker is also an action. You start at level 1 on both, so if you take an engine research card and activate it with a worker when you take the engine action you'll take a level 2 engine. Same for car body. 

 

The difficulty is that you only have three workshops in which to place either an engine or a body and since you need both for a car you can only complete one at a time. 

 

Once you can build a car you send that car to market as a body, an engine and a worker and then you set the price for it. One of the other actions is to place buyers in the market. One buyer wants the best engine, one wants the best body, one wants the cheapest car and one wants the most workers on it. 

When the cars for sale is full the round ends and the cars are sold. If I put out a 1 body car with a 3 engine and set the price at 10 and my opponent had the same configuration but with a cheaper price, the buyer would choose their car. You can potentially send a car to market and not sell it and then it gets discarded. 

 

You've got to choose the configuration wisely and then try and position the seller in the market, which can be pretty stressful. 

 

There's also a race which gives you points for how many laps you do and who wins, cones second, third etc. 

Last part is when you take research action you can also take engineers instead of researching cars. They give you pretty cool effects like letting you add an extra buyer to the market or first refusal on selling. 

 

There are also bonus points for things like first to do a lap on the racetrack, first to get a level 4 body. I've got the v6 edition which adds one off action tiles to the available actions but I didn't add those in for this game. 

 

It played pretty quickly too as a two player. Hopefully getting a four player game in some time this week as we've arranged another all day meeting on Saturday. 

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"Tides of Madness" is another small game ostensibly to bring an Amazon order over £20 but secretly because I want to fill a house with tiny boxes. Fun card drafting game where you try to build up hands to meet particular goals while screwing over your opponent, with the added option of giving them all the "madness"-soaked cards so they crash out of the game Lovecraft style. Lovely artwork too.

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Statecraft (or "Why won't it end dear god make it stop")

 

So was quite excited to play this last night.

Set up was interesting - the components are well made and meaty. Good stock and artwork etc all well made.

 

We went 6 people with a basic democracy. 6 supporters were a wide mix of interests, so was hard to see how you could control more than one or two[you support policies that give you stats in 4 areas, once you meet the stat requirements (e.g. trade and surveillance) you can claim an unclaimed supporter, or poach it from someone else for a cost. There's more to it, but that's basically the play]

 

Then we started...then it wouldn't end. Nearly 2 hours later and we were on round 6 of 8.

 

I think the game doesn't scale well. 6 people was too many. Everything took longer, there was too much to keep track of (I basically picked out stats I wanted, and focused on the 2 other players in the same area. The other 3 were ignored.)

 

But the biggest problem was the "policy/event" deck. At the end of your turn, you draw your hand back up to 3 cards. Most of these are cards to play on your turn, or policies to put in your play area...some are "events" that effect everyone in play, normally negatively.

 

But with 6 people we burned through the deck pretty quickly...so reshuffled and continued. But there's loads of policy cards out of the deck/in play - but the same number of events. So they come up more frequently. This continued so "events" came up more and more frequently as the game progressed, but there's not that much variety in them. Normally just discard politicians or hand cards. These coming up so regularly stalled the game/actions fairly badly. You draw up to 3 cards (i.e. actions) at the end of your turn. But when the round gets back to you (5 other people have played) we were often down to 1 or 2 cards. Everything felt action/card starved and not in a good way.

 

In the end we called it at 3 way draw at 10pm. The latter rounds would potentially have been more interesting (much more poaching supporters than building up your stats) but the time we'd played, time to go and starving of actions made us call it. It didn't help we'd just had to redraw 3 supporters, completely changing some win conditions.

 

With a smaller quicker group (and maybe a different scenario?) there's probably a good game here - but not for 6

 

 

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High society  - very quick auction game, with a very cruel twist. 

 

This was just brutal, a lot of the auction games I've played recently have lived and died on the ability to know 'value'. Without playing a game more than once there's a real element of guessing based on the small amount of information you have mixed in with a bit of reasoning (power grid). This one was just evil. 

 

Every player starts with the same hand of cards to start the game, each card being a denomination 1k, 2k, 4k, etc giving you some nice bidding combinations. A round consists of a card from the display being up for auction. There's ten single point cards from 1-10, some cards which give you a nice bonus (x2 or x3 total at the end of the game) and four red cards which are negative (½ total score at end of the game is one). 

 

The round continues until someone wins the card, winner spends the bid and everyone else takes back their money. The red cards are what makes it horrendous. The first person to pass on a red card has to take it so you're forced to bid something. The 'winner' of the red card then takes the negative card but also takes back their bid and everyone else loses theirs. Do you bid enough to lose so you don't take it but can work around losing that money or do you run the bid up hoping everyone spends a lot and you can take your bid back and hope to work around the negative card. 

 

Game ends when the fourth red card is turned over. And the last horrendous effect occurs. Whoever has spent the most in the game is automatically disqualified! 

 

I had the most points with 10 and had spent $61k. Second player had 8 points but spent $59k. Overall I'd spent the most so I was disqualified :D

 

I really enjoyed for sale a few weeks back but for a bit of teeth and anxiety during an auction, I'd play this in a heartbeat. 

 

In the Year of the dragon  - to continue we played another game with horrific consequences. I think I'm definitely in the Feld Fanboy club so I mentioned to one of the chaps if he had any more of those Felds to try. He smirked and started setting up In the Year of the Dragon. 

 

A lot of Feld games that I've played have had a lingering negative effect which happens if you're caught out such as rats in Notre Dame, the threats in Bruges etc. This one is just one continuous threat. 

 

In this game you start with two temples which have two floors each. This means you can house two people in each. There are a variety of people which have different abilities depending on what they are and how many symbols they show. For example a farmer with two rice symbols on will produce two rice when you activate the farmer ability. 

Some of the people have two versions and the difference being those with more symbols move you less spaces on the people track because every time you draft a person you move forward the designated number of places. The reason this is important is it determines turn order. Actions and spaces are limited so being near the front is a huge advantage but your people are less productive. Already I'm freaking out trying to do everything. 

 

The first two turns consist of taking people, activating them and taking their action and scoring points. If you activate a spot already taken it costs you three money and money is incredibly tight in this game as you only start with six money. 

 

After the end of the third round and every round until it finishes at round twelve, an event happens. The event track is random but there are five events and each one happens twice. And they are horrible. 

 

Mongol invasion - everyone gets a point for each soldier symbol and the player with the least loses a person. 

 

Plague - every player loses three people unless they have three doctor symbols (a person has at most two so that takes two turns to stop!) 

 

Famine - you need one rice for each building you own. For every food short, lose a person. Those rice are spent so you need to generate them for when the famine event happens again. 

 

Tribute - pay four money. For each money you can't pay, lose a person. 

 

Fireworks - whoever has the most fireworks gets 6 points, second gets 3 points and you lose half your fireworks rounded down. 

 

For each building you have with no one in at the end of the round, one floor crumbles until it falls down.

 

For the first time in a Feld, the feeling isn't how do I stop this negative effect but choosing which negative effect you can live with happening to you, as you're going to lose people. There's just not enough people to go round as the stacks of people to draft is finite, to build a temple is an action but it feels like a waste as you're not generating money, rice or soliders. The decision about generating more stuff by drafting people who don't advance you on the people track limits your choices as your lower down the turn order unless you can pay but then generating money is hard. 

 

Absolutely loved it. I'd happily play this, Macao and Notre Dame back to back each week. One of the guys is going to bring Trajan to the group in a few weeks. :)

 

Round House  - we started this about half 9 and scooped up at 11 as the pub was kicking everyone out. It wasn't that hard to get your head round the rules but the symbols weren't massively clear and everything just took a little while to get to grips with. It's been translated from Japanese (I think) so the rule book was a bit of a struggle. We're going to restart on Saturday and try and blast through it.

 

What I saw looked excellent though and a nice take on the worker placement mechanism with a bit of racing involved to trigger an event which happens when you do a complete circuit. Seems to be a lot to do with taking the right cards which play off each other to generate points which let you take orders which when completed generate points. 

 

It's also the thickest cardboard I've ever seen in a board game. The spaces you can land on must have been about a centimetre thick! 

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On 2017-6-15 at 09:39, Hexx said:

Statecraft (or "Why won't it end dear god make it stop")

 

...

 

Then we started...then it wouldn't end. Nearly 2 hours later and we were on round 6 of 8.

 

With a smaller quicker group (and maybe a different scenario?) there's probably a good game here - but not for 6

 

Yikes! I played a four-player game of this at the UKGE, and it whizzed along, but the demonstrator did mention we were playing a shortened version. It is supposed to be a light, tongue-in-cheek card game, and while it was occasionally amusing (while you, for example, explain why your manifesto pledge of mandatory military youth clubs is popular with single parents) during our 20-30 minute game, I can easily see how it would be draining if it went on for over an hour. Two hours sounds awful. Here's a picture of us playing it though, for anyone wondering what it looks like:

 

IMG_20170603_102806.jpg

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Forbidden Stars

 

This was awesome. It's a FFG game so big board, loads of components. But mechanically it's actually very simple (basically there's only 4 types of actions).

 

The meat comes from the stress of picking which of your 4 actions you'll do, where, and what other people will do. It's so redonculously tense as you try to work out what to do. But it's not hard to know what to do, just difficult to choose what to do.

 

(You place orders in turn in systems until everyone has placed 4 orders, then take turns resolving in an order - but people can place orders after you in the same system and block your order until they resolved theirs)

 

Combat is the meat of the game - and it works amazingly well. Much more so that Rebellion with it's constant dice re-rolling and passing them each round between players.

 

I struggled because I was playing it as an area control game, rather than constantly moving/crusading to each of my objectives. Managed to win though by sneakily dancing round other people's conflicts and playing nice with everyone so they ignored me. In a game focused on combat if you weren't attacking they tended to ignore you :P (close game - nearly a 3 way draw before tie breakers).

 

(p.s. I no nothing about Warhammer lore/setting. The game seemed pretty light on it to the point where I learnt nothing during it. At a lull in proceedings I asked a chap to explain. What a load of balls :D)

 

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