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Dragon Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
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Phoenix Clan - Legend of the Five Rings

Aselus

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Go to the Legend of the Five Rings - Emperor Edition page
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6
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
161 out of 240 gamers thought this was helpful

I am going to start this review off by saying that I am personally not the biggest fan of co-op games. This mostly a personal preference, but I do like veriety and my playgroup did want to play some things that where ‘vs the board’ and this is among them. So although I like to say I kept an open mind as best I could, note the disclaimer :-).

Probably out of the three co-op games I have tried (pandemic, ghost stories and this) given the choice if I had to play co-op, I would chose this.

Now if I said I would chose this why is it that it has such a low score from me you ask? well the reason I would chose it has something to do with that ironically, this game probably has the least amount of ‘randomness’ out of all of the aforementioned titles, it has a good flow and a power build up/challenge set that is possible to overcome if the players at the table play well. The problem comes with the replay value, the base set comes with three scenarios effectively, and once you have a team of players who is competent at the game from playing a few rounds and understands how to work together, you will win 99% of the time, with little or no challenge [the 1% being when the board and all the players decks are out to screw you]. Now the up side to this is that you win because there is an understanding as to what to do in the scenario which makes this game great! my greatest complaint against coop games has always been the board just randomly decides to f* you over and the game ends without any real feeling of accomplishment, this game does not have this to that degree.

So in conclusion, pro is lack of (utter) randomness when compared to other coop and prevalence of skill needed in players. con is easily overcomable obstacles that do not have a lot of re playability(yes i know there are ‘packs’ to boost this, but i actually have not found any of the three packs we purchased much harder then the hardest base adventure.)

7
Go to the 7 Wonders: Leaders page

7 Wonders: Leaders

48 out of 49 gamers thought this was helpful

Don’t let my 7 dissuade you from this as an expansion, it is a great expansion, the 7 is mostly because despite being really good, what you get in my opinion doesn’t quite warrant the expansion price, and they could have done slightly more. Here are my thoughts:

Pros:
– Adds a good bit of depth to the game,
– Enables you to have some ‘secret’ objectives that youcan use to tip the game for your favour, which is all too important in a game where chasing a single victory condition is a very strong strategy.
– The extra stage of the game is extremely easy to teach
– Follows the base rules of card actions from the core game while adding veriety

Cons:
– Some of the leaders seem far stronger then the others.
– While allowing for a good bit of switch to ones play, if a player gets ‘lucky’ and ignored by neighbors while piling on something that he has a leader for, s/he will end up winning
– Does not add more cross table interaction to the game (severely lacking in 7w)
– Only one wonder actually deals with the new cards (the new colosseum), it would have been nice to either have ‘addon’ rules for some of the other wonders or more then one wonder as an option (my main reasoning for a low score here)

Overall it is a great expansion, that fits seamlessly into the game and is easy to teach. The disappointment mostly stems from the lack of variety that the game adds on top of the leaders feature itself, and the fact that it is sometimes too easy (especially for newer players) to use the leaders as just another stack on top of their tower of ‘victory condition x’, which is a fault in this games design (imho) that the expansion does not address to its fullest with these leaders.

7
Go to the Rune Age page

Rune Age

18 out of 38 gamers thought this was helpful

It is always a difficult thing to say about a good game (which this game is very much a good game) when the experience is just not heavily repayable, but this game is very much in this category. Here is my reasoning. 🙂

The game has a good amount of unique depth to each of the four sides, that is appended to by a random draw/order of locations per game, as well as a small (not always the same) set of ‘everyone can buy these’ type cards. With some of these parameters changing based on the game type (there are a few provided with the game) that is being played. The issue comes in the fact that the random/displaced features make up a very small percentage of the game and that the majority of the game revolves around knowing howto control each of the four decks effectively. The (sad) reality to this game is that once a player (or set of players) are at that point the game ends up staling quick with the playgroup as there is not enough to get the thought process flowing.

9
Go to the Nightfall page

Nightfall

79 out of 86 gamers thought this was helpful

Now I will say this up front, as many who have ready my reviews know, I love deck building games, and am quite good at them. I also love crunchy games(games where there is a lot to think about and a decent amount of number crunching to be done in the head). Of all of the deck building games I have played, Nightfall is the one that does it best for my kind of play style, and here is why:

1) The game starts with players ‘drafting’ cards that are to be played (in my playgroup we even draft from 8 cards to give the players more choice, when playing with more experienced people). Two of these cards go into a personal pool that is only for you and 2 into the center pool for all players, allowing for a good bit of mind play/planning before the game even starts.
2) The game is interactive in not only one, but three ways! Verbal negotiation for not being the target of attacks, comboing(mentioned a bit later) and combat itself.
3) Comboing is an amazing mechanic. Reverse execution of cards, and the balance of whos turn to play cards on and whether it is worth the risk to place cards in a certain situation, whether changing the combo color to something a player who is after you can/can’t take advantage of, etc. There is such a rich amount of game control here that it makes many games very different!
4) Wound mechanic, now this has gotten better with newer and newer versions of the game, but the fact that the wound mechanic essentially doubles the ‘wound’ section of your hand is a great comeback mechanic.

cons(because no game is without them sadly):
– Learning curve and grasping reverse execution combo mechanic is VERY difficult for some people especially if they are of a casual gamer mindset.If this is you or a good bit of your group, this game will lead to more frustration then fun, you have been warned! (i tried to teach it to some more casual friends, did not end will at all)
– You will sometimes end up in a situtation where what you drafted first, possibly second turn will have no viable combo. We found drafting the first two (personal pool) cards face down helps alivate people avoiding the draft of cards that combo with you on purpose and makes the game better for it, but it is still at times a problem
– Colour blind people(and friends) have EXTREME difficulty dealing with the moons. And in general the design of the cards is poor, easy to see symbols from across the table would benefit this game a LOT, a redesign ala Thunderstone advanced with new combo symbols, would be greatly appreciated in the future (even if it is just for the expansions)

Overall though amazing game, that if you enjoy deck building you should Definitely at least buy the base set of and play! 🙂

9
Go to the Eminent Domain page

Eminent Domain

119 out of 128 gamers thought this was helpful

There are a LOT of deck building games out there, some I count among my favorites, some not so much. This is one of those that I would place somewhere in the middle of my personal list.

First the pros:

– Role selection has a meaningful tactic around it that encourages different players to both abuse the choices other players make (by trying to have drafted cards that their opponents are likely to pick) as well as diversifying in order to reduce the opponents ability to do so.
– There are a few predetermined but unique and varied roles/cards that are equally strong, so going for something different then your opponents does not nerf your ability to go for winning the game. The differing roles are well balanced.
– planets add a bit of adaptability to the game encouraging players to take advantage of what is drawn.

The cons:
– Technologies are very hard to teach to new players and don’t make sense until they have a few plays in them, making newer players inherently weak at the game (it is hard to level a playing field between newbies and ‘veterans’ in general, but in the case of this game the tech cards exemplify this problem in a game that is intended to be simple.)
– Although planets add a nice bit of adaptability as mentioned in the pros, they can also do the opposite if someones luck is runnin ‘well’ and make a ‘single card’ tactic (especially military) win the game for them, which makes for an un-interesting game.

Overall i think the game is good, although playing tech1-only with new players is a must, to reduce the stated ‘tech canyon’ created between players(even shuffling the t1 cards and having only the top one show has worked well for introducing new players since games are so fast.). Prestige planets are good only when the players are experienced as they can throw someone ahead of the curve quickly. In my opinion this game is good,e specially if you need a quick game, i just wish there was some way to get around a few of the issues, especially those single tactic games.

8
Go to the Thunderstone page

Thunderstone

28 out of 35 gamers thought this was helpful

I know I gave this game a bit of a high score, and this is easily explained with a few words: I was able to enjoy the game, while my much less ‘gamer’ subset of friends where able to enjoy it as well.

Thunderstone is like dominion yes, but there are a few very key differences that do not throw powergamers extremely over the top where this game is concerned that make it a great choice when playing with those friends of yours that do not have the want to wrap their heads around something like nightfall (when it comes to draft games). Which makes it awesome, really by the middle of the first game they where already making decisions without a lot of questions and we where treading a long.

Now I understand that the level of strategy in thunderstone is very very small(although it is there) which makes it a large turn off for me anyways, but there is enough in the game to explore with and figure out combinations of drafted cards with (like in most draft games) that makes it a solid. The theme and cards are good (although the redesigned symbols in the advanced version are much better) and in all honesty nothing beats a good not overly interactive (with still some interaction) game for players that are more social but still want to play with powergamers.

So the reason for my score? this is an amazing bridge game, to bridge the gap between different kinds of gamers 🙂

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