One of the few games that doesn't take too long and my non-gamer friends actually understood relatively quickly (the symbols were a bit confusing at first though). But they seemed to get the concept faster than even Bohnanza. Would be better if I could gather enough people more easily though. The shorter duration also makes it more appealing as a game to take out and play for us busy college students. Also how it's slightly similar to Mafia (known as Werewolf here at BGG), a game that most of us learned in the dorms.
Edit: After a few more playings, I've realized just how confusing those symbols are to new players... so rating dropped a little bit.
Good, a bit long. Some people may not like the diplomacy/negotiations, but it's part of the fun. Turns can take a bit long as people sort through all the possibilities for their turn, especially when close to the end game. Best with 4.
The game that started it all. But as the years went by, the expansions started to get more and more boring, and expensive too. [Free] Digital alternatives also made buying the real cards less enticing. But if you've already got a big collection, there's always the chance of playing again with a new person and a new deck. But digging out my cards will be a pain... and prevents me from wanting to play it as much.
Played two games with two gamers for a closer. We did actually have a lot of fun playing it, especially the second one where we just ignored the fairy tale archetype and made a modern story about a couple graduate students from our college. Did make it hard to use certain cards though, although it does allow for more creative uses (you could use This Item Can Talk with cell phones for example).
Have the retail copy now. I've played the playtesting copy before and the Plot cards really add to the game by providing several more layers of information. 1) Who the leader is giving the good/bad cards to 2) Who the people with the cards choose to use it on and 3) The actual effects of the cards themselves
If BSG and Werewolf had a baby, it would be this game.
1) Like BSG and Werewolf, it has hidden good guys and bad guy roles 2) Like Werewolf, it's more of a party game (5-10 players) 3) Like Werewolf, it's pretty simple and does not require a lot of explaining to new players 4) Like Werewolf, it doesn't take 3 hours 5) Like Werewolf, there's an open voting phase, but instead of choosing who to kill, it's whether the chosen people get to go on the mission 6) Like BSG, It has hidden "skill checks" (missions) where the bad guys can choose to support or sabotage 7) Like BSG, there is no player elimination 8) Like BSG, there are ways you can look at someone's loyalty card or assign them special roles (with the Plot cards in the retail copy)
Need more plays to decide where it eventually falls. Instinct mechanism is great and should be used in more co-op games. Marine team abilities are different and interesting enough that they matter for your overall strategy.
Nice game, enjoyed by my friends each time we played, most of which have been M:tG enthusiasts. Definitely a nice break from 5 hour M:tG gaming sessions we used to do. Some ambiguousness about rules/cards is the only real detraction from the game. Hopefully will be fixed in the 8th edition (I own the 7th edition).
Well, I suck at chess games in general, although I still like playing them.
You can use also the board and pieces to play a variant (called Banchi or An-qi) that uses only half the board and plays sort of like Stratego. Just shuffle the pieces and place them on the squares upside down. During a player's turn, they can either flip a piece or move one of their pieces one square. The first player has to flip a piece, and the color of the piece is the color they play as. Pieces can take other pieces if they are the same or greater rank, and the order is as follows. General > Guard > Elephant > Chariot > Horse > Cannon > Pawn > General. The cannon is special, because it can only kill (and can kill anything) by jumping over one other piece, but it is also very vulnerable because of its low rank. Game ends when you lose all your pieces (it may also end in a draw).