GeekInsight, over at Giant Fire Breathing Robot, recently posted a recap on several new game impressions they’ve had recently.
Lots of new games this week and a ton of First Impressions. Lets jump right in.
Goblins, Inc. Thematically, Goblins is beyond amazing. In a four player game, the players randomly partner off into teams. Then, they build giant robots. Then, they smash those robots against each other until only one survives. Explosions, pieces of robot flying everywhere — it’s fantastic.
Layered on top of that is a set of secret agendas where you might want to protect different parts of your robot than your partner — or destroy different parts of an opponent than your partner. The interaction in agendas is fun, and ensures that sometimes you and your partner are actually working at cross purposes while building your robot.
Our first play was really fun. Sometimes, one successful blow can cripple an entire robot. In our game, we had several battles where a well placed strike (often assisted by dynamite or homing missiles) would cause whole sections of the opponents’ robot to simply fall off.
Our first play was a learning game, and ran a little longer than it should. I’ll be looking forward to games that move at a brisker pace in the future. One interesting aspect was that the game seemed to have a “rich get richer” feel. After two games, one player will have won both contests and one will have lost both. That can make the third contest seem irrelevant when there is already a wide point discrepancy. But, in our play, the player in last place had an amazing final round and managed to reach second place. It was very surprising, and I wonder how common those large point swings are.
I’m looking forward to more plays for sure. There is so much potential here and I need to explore it.
Courtier. Courtier is an odd area control game that is superficially similar to the other Tempest game, Dominare. It’s area control, but constrained by a card draw. But, the game is just as much about acquiring and maintaining coterie abilities as it is about completing Petitions. In some ways, they even provide alternate paths to victory.
The really interesting twist is that after someone completes a petition, they must remove all cubes from that person — thereby relinquishing influence. And, a queen card is randomly drawn that fills the board with neutral influence. Neutral influence not only helps to fill in courtiers, but if a courtier is completely filled in as neutral, then any player can use them to fulfill a petition. It’s a great way of causing a completed Petition to assist the next player in turn order by flooding the board with neutral cubes. By game end, the board is awash in white and Petitions are quickly and regularly completed.
This four player game was really fun. And very close. One player focused on completing Petition after Petition. Each one brought the game closer to an end and he hoped to run the deck out before anyone else could get much of a foothold. Meanwhile, I tried to complete only the biggest petitions. And I had a minister card (who can complete any courtier’s petition for them) so I had an edge right from the beginning of the game.
At game end, the score was incredibly close: 36 to 35. There was plenty of tension in the game, but also times when my best plans were thwarted – seemingly unknowingly – by the player just before me. Courtier surely keeps you on your toes.
To read the original article, and learn a little bit about the game Seasons, click here.