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Gman

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Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
https://boardgaming.com/register/?invited_by=gman
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Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page
6
Go to the Hooyah: Navy Seals Card Game page
340 out of 357 gamers thought this was helpful

Mr. Fitzgerald’s strength is in designing traditional card games with a light dusting of subject matter, and that’s definitely the case here. It’s worked in the past, but not so much in Hooyah. He really does try to sell the Navy SEALS concept- in each description of the game’s included missions he at least tries to explain why you’re using particular colors to overcome obstacles since each coordinates at least in name to a SEAL skill. But it just doesn’t provide enough of a transitive layer to put the player in the situation and communicate the danger of the kinds of operations that SEALS take on or the almost superhuman skill with which they execute them. Character cards with negligible special abilities don’t equate to immersion or engagement.

It’s a cooperative game, and most of what goes on consists of drafting cards either from a display or a blind draw from a deck. There are some equipment cards that generally let you pair them up with other cards to make another color or provide a special function such as resetting the display. There’s a really quite cool timer mechanic whereby players only get a certain number of drafts before they start losing health, which adds a nice and rather unexpected degree of tension to a mundane game process.

One player is a Lieutenant Commander, and at any point he can make a Roll Call- this is a smart way that the game gets around the “what cards do you have” groupthink that can spoil card-based co-ops. If the LC feels like the players have a good shot at making it through the current of five Ops (really just a pair of colored, numbered cards that indicate how many and what kind of cards the team will need to discard), it can be executed following a round of Events. It’s almost laughable to call them events, because they’re really just unexpected penalties and discards. Make it through, and if there was any time left on the clock from the preparation round there’s a bonus. It all ends if any player loses all of their health from failing skill checks or random events.

If you haven’t already sorted it out, I’m not very impressed by a game that calls itself the “Navy SEALS Card Game” that boils down to lots of card drawing and discards, occasionally showing you a picture of an assault rifle on a card. I really admire Mr. Fitzgerald’s attempt at bringing in historical missions with included descriptions and as a highly abstract, family card game it might be successful with some groups look for a low friction, low commitment card game. That said I’m not quite sure why it needs 40 pages of rules, even if it is a small format book.

It’s also a fairly easy game although there a couple of ways to increase the difficulty. But they’re silly- take one less health at the beginning or whatever. The missions are all more or less the same, just requiring different discards. One or two have some minor alterations, like an Insertion card that comes up or that handicaps one of the team members since they’re protecting a hostage.

 
Go to the Hanabi page

Hanabi

188 out of 237 gamers thought this was helpful

The deck consists of 50 cards in five colors (red, orange, blue, black and green). Each color consists of the following cards: 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5. At the beginning of the game, the cards are shuffled together and a hand of either 4 (4 or 5 players) or 5 (2 or 3 players) is dealt to everyone. The cards are picked up by each player with the backs facing them so that they cannot see their own hands but may see everyone else’s. The game also includes colored tokens. 8 blue tokens are placed on the table in the box cover and three red tokens are placed next to the box cover on the table.
The goal of the game is to build five complete fireworks displays. This is accomplished by making five stacks of cards (one in each color) that go from 1 to 5 in sequential order. On your turn, you must take one of only three possible actions:
1. Give information to one of the other players
2. Discard a card to discard area
3. Play a card to the display area
Giving information to another player costs one blue token which will be removed from the box cover. If there are no blue tokens available, then you cannot give information and must perform one of the other two actions; you may not pass. When giving information, you are allowed to tell one player about the quantity and location of all cards that are the same color, all cards that have the same value, or the absence of a card of one color or value in that player’s hand. For example, you could say “You have two green cards; here and here,” or “You have three 2s; here, here, and here,” or “You have no blue cards.” No one else may say anything and you must give information about all of the cards that match. So if you are telling a player about red cards, you must point out all of the cards which are red.
When discarding a card, you will simply declare that you are discarding a card and then place that card in the discard area. This card is out of play permanently, but it will now be visible to everyone including yourself. You then draw a card from the deck so that you have the same number of cards that you started with. But more importantly, you may return one of the blue tokens to the box cover. This is how you “recycle” the blue tokens so that more clues can be given. Remember, you only start with 8 blue tokens and no one knows anything about his own hand!
Finally, you may play a card to the display area. To do this, you need only declare that you are playing a card to the display area. You do not have to state what the card is or on which firework you are playing it. If the card may be legally played as the start of a new firework or on an existing firework, hooray! You place the card in its proper location in the display, draw a replacement and play passes to the next person. If the card was a legally played 5, then as a reward for completing the firework you get to return a blue token to the box cover. But be careful; if the card was not a legal play (e.g. you played a blue 4, but the top card on the blue pile was a 2, or you played a red 1 but there was already a red firework started) then you cause an explosion! You place one of the red tokens in the box cover. If you place the third red token, the game ends immediately. Your display goes up in flames and the team loses the game!
Play continues until either the third red token has been used, all 5 fireworks have been completed, or the draw deck runs out. If the draw deck runs out, players continue with the cards remaining in their hands until the person who drew the last card gets one additional turn.
Those are all of the rules. The rules are easy, but the strategy is the fun part.
Scoring:
At the end of the game, the top cards in each stack will be added together. The higher you score, the more impressed the crowd is and the better your rating.
Strategy:
Players have to work together to figure out which cards they are holding. Information is very limited, so frequently players will need to infer additional information from the information they are given. For example, if the blue firework display is currently at 3, and someone tells you “you have a blue card; here,” did she tell you that because it’s a 4 and you should play it? Probably. Other times it will take information from more than one player to narrow down a card. Remember, you’re not allowed to give advice to the other players.
The card distribution is also important to remember. There are three 1s in each color, so losing one of those will probably not be a big deal. But there are only two of the 2 through 4 value cards and only one of each 5. If someone discards a blue 3, the other blue 3 will suddenly be very important because if it gets discarded, the blue firework display will never be able to reach completion.
Giving other players information about what card or cards they can safely discard will also help the team regain valuable blue tokens. For example, if all of the fireworks have been started, then all further 1s will be useless.
Memory is very important since each player will be getting information about her hand that may or may not be immediately useful. I often find myself thinking things, “Okay, this is a 3, these two cards are blue, and this card is black. Do I know anything about the other cards? Well I guess I know they aren’t 3s, blue, or black, since I haven’t played any of these cards yet” Yes, it’s deliciously tricky!
Drawbacks:
The biggest drawback to this game is in the cards themselves.
In the original edition the art is simple yet attractive, but the colors are very hard to discern even under the best lighting conditions. The blue and black cards especially are very difficult to distinguish. Colorblind players will have an exceptionally hard time playing the game because the card suits are only differentiated by color.
In the second edition, the problems with the colors were fixed and symbols were introduced on the cards making them colorblind friendly. However, the art is somewhat more garish and the cards were made in a large square format. Since this game requires you to be holding a hand of cards up visible to all players for the entire game, anything that makes the cards more cumbersome, like an awkward shape, is just unnecessarily complicating things.
Finally, it’s a card game. Sometimes you get a bad shuffle. But that’s always the case with card games.

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