Monday, June 27, 2011

Catch up (frag x2, Nightfall, Power Grid)

Very late post... Will keep it brief.

A few weeks ago I showed up late and only was able to participate in the second game. They had started out the evening with Frag, which i've never played and know nothing about. I had recently participated in a mammoth ( for me) math trade, and so had a pile of new to me games sitting around. One of the games was Nightfall, the new AEG deck building game, and Kozure decided he wanted to try it. We unwrapped the cellophane and did what we have rarely, if ever, done before: read and learn the rules as we played the game. Typically we make sure someone knows how to play, but this one didn't seem like it would be too complicated and it turned out to not be too bad.

The game is extremely combat centric. It's all about getting past the other player's guards and doing damage to the players controlling them. Think Magic the gathering instead of Dominion or Thunderstone. The clever twist which makes this game work better than Magic for multiplayer is that the goal is to inflict "wounds" and the winner is th eplayer with the least wounds. The result is that in order to win, players are forced to spread out their attacks, not simply picking on the weakest player.

I used to be an avid "Jyhad" player, and on the surface I thought that the game might feel like a stripped down version of that game. The theme is similar, the combat oriented gameplay fits, but ultimately there us little resemblance. Where Jyhad did a great job of capturing the theme through it's mechanics, Nightfall could really be about anything. The gameplay in Nightfall revolves around playing chains of cards, and other players can choose to add to the chain if they have the right combo in hand. Effects are resolved in reverse order so later orders can mess around with earlier ones. It is through this mechanic that players will play their minions and give them orders. In practice, it creates interesting gameplay and decision making, but the chaining has zero connection with anything that could be going on thematically so it feels like you are playing a game mechanic, not a ferocious battle between vampires and werewolves.

I was very successful and finding combos, but less successful at taking advantage of them. It's quite hard to set up cards that will work together AND be useful, which makes choosing cards for your deck difficult. Our first game saw Shemp emerge victorious.

So, I enjoyed it and look forward to playing it again but I was disappointed by how weak the game was thematically. It's also tough on the colorblind, because the chaining mechanic depends on matching collies between cards that haven secondary symbol associated.

Last week I also missed games night. I heard Power Grid and Frag! were played.

No comments:

Post a Comment