Friday, March 25, 2011

It's card night 7 Wonders and Nightfall

Thursday night is my usual weekly gaming night. Last night I had full intentions to play games like Cosmic Encounter and Mansions of Madness but was happily derailed. It's not a secret that card and deck building games are very popular right now. There also much more profitable for the companies as it is far cheaper to churn out a card game then games with lots of bits.

I am / was really getting burned out on the whole card game phase. Last night however I had the chance to play two games I was very interested in and both revolve around cards.

The first game was 7 Wonders a game many people have been raving about and rightly so. Although I only played a single game I knew I had to find a copy so the hunt now begins. The game is sort of like a light civ game, but you also collecting sets and it has a card draft. I wouldn't even attempt to review it without a lot of plays but this is a really good, fun and fast game.

Up next was the new deck building game Nightfall. I really liked the concept of this game while reading about it and after playing two games I really liked it a lot. It is different then other deck builders like Dominion in that you're attacking the other players.

The game begins with a draft of cards, so you essentially get to draft 2 cards to your private archive which only you can buy (some cards circumvent this) and then you draft another card into the general buy pile. I think this is an excellent way to determine whats in play. However two things.

The game turn goes basically like this, if you have minions out they attack and then go into your discard pile. Then you may play a card to start a chain. Each card has a colored gem in the corner and that gem has one or two smaller gems on it. So my card Might be yellow big, blue and red small. I can play as many cards as I want in my chain from my hand. The the person to my left can elect to chain off my last card and so on. Once all players have had a chance to partake, the chain is resolved in reverse order.

After all of this has happened you then can buy cards. Each player has a standing 2 influence (currency) and then may discard cards from his hand to get 1 influence per card. So if you use all your cards in a chain you can't buy much.

The game plays very fast and it is definitely a pick on the weak guy / leader type game. In other words if you get pissed because people are slamming you with attacks this is not the game for you because you don't have the temperament for it and you're just really bad to leave yourself open.

Few things to note.

Your initial game of Nightfall is going to be wrong. The game is kind of fiddly to teach, even thought it is really easy. So you're going to be drafting and buying cards without knowing why no matter how well it is explained to you. The good news is even if that first game takes an hour, the next game will take half that time guaranteed.

Second since it was not my copy I am not positive but the amount of card variations seemed limited. In fact looking at the space in the box compared to the cards it came with I was thinking to myself did my friend get half a game.

Whether this will effect the game I can't say. The drafting is unique in that you can try to customize the cards to the way you play. However repeated playings, and this is a game begging to be played a lot, might leave you wanting.


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