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Subject: More comments/questions (plus summarized review...) rss

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Joe K
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Hey all, just played this game a few times with family this past weekend. Interesting stuff!

Comment: Not sure about the reviews that talk about replacing a card in the middle (without mentioning an Eradicator is needed). You can only replace a card in the middle if an Eradicator is used and if you have a matching card, at least that's how I read the rules...

Comment: It does seem like one could run out of cards, especially in the two player version. If machines all ran out to 15 cards before starting, then even with Catalysts closing off paths, it seems like play-after-activate could eventually result in players running out. It would be nice to know what to do when that happens, or clarification on the fact that running out is theoretically or practically "impossible" (pardon the titular pun!)

Comment: We always continued on with the same deck in our playing. Putting cards back in your deck between machines doesn't really make sense (except for the running-out scenario mentioned above). Here's why -- playing the same deck down adds to strategy. There are only five Eradicators and five Catalysts, so playing them smartly and knowing their remaining density can subtly effect decisions. E.g. should I use my Eradicator right now, or save it for next game? Odds are good one will always play an Eradicator right away, but I haven't thought through everything. It would seem there might be times when "saving up" certain cards would be beneficial, especially if you think OTHER players have burned through their Eradicators already (like saving a bunch of Catalysts in the hope that a machine gets a lot of splits and one can close off a bunch of paths with maximum points).

Comment: Remember, you can only stop a catalyst from starting a machine if the next player Eradicates the Catalyst on the very next turn. Eradicating a Catalyst later has no effect on the machine remaining active.

Comment/Question: We scored each machine right after it was completed. This aided in strategy, as in knowing who to Eradicate to keep scores close, and knowing when to play a Catalyst to end the machine on a high note (keeping other potential Eradicators in mind). In that way, it felt a little like Coloretto -- knowing when to "bank" points and when you need to risk it to get the biscuit. Do others wait until the end to score? Upside/downside on either method?

Question: (others have this one, too) As a machine is activated and some cards get turned over, can an Eradicator nullify a card just to the right of a turned-over card, and if so, what card must replace it? Can the player choose a card with a different input than the nullified card had since there really is no longer an output from the card to left (turned over)? My feeling is that the card replacing it should have to have the same inputs and outputs as the nullified card, exactly, otherwise saving Eradicators until the machine is active would be that much more powerful (hm, and maybe a worthwhile strategy angle, so it is a tough question).

Question: The rules state that the first player can place cards to the right OR LEFT of the first card as they start the game. From that, I assume subsequent players can build on EITHER END of the machine. Is this the way others are playing, or are you playing only from left to right? Note: playing on both sides seems workable. Catalysts will still only be able to be played on the right (there are no star inputs to match on the left), and playing on the left will obviously become impossible once the machine starts and cards start to get flipped (flips will ALWAYS be from left to right). Splitters should work fine on either end, too, so I don't see that being an issue. Thoughts?

FINAL THOUGHTS: I can understand why this is scoring below a 6/10 on here, but I personally think the game is more of a 6 or 6.5, and would be a solid 6.5 to 7 if the rules were clarified a bit. Yes, there is a lot of luck in the drawn cards, but there is still some "deck density" in play, just like Dominion (not nearly as core to the game-play, but it is there with the Eradicators and Catalysts). I think the game is just a slight bit deeper than folks are giving it credit for, especially considering how simple it is and how fast it can be played.

Thanks,
JoeK
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Charles Waterman
United States
Commerce Township
Michigan
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Caveat - haven't bought the game yet...

1) Even in a two player game, each player has a deeck of 35 cards. How many of them are eradicators? If say 5 are eradicators and 5 are catalysts, that still leaves each person with 25 cards. 25 x 2 = 50 cards. 50/3 = more than 15 cards per machine even without Catalysts, right? Even with heavy use of Eradicators, it doesn't seem like running out of cards should be possible?

2) I agree that building on either end throughout the construction of a machine should be fine - with the exception of Catalysts, of course.

3) I don't have the rules here, but it seems like once a machine is working and cards are turning over, there should be a DANGER: ELECTROCUTION! rules that states that cards can only be eradicated from an activated machine if there is at least one card still FACEUP to the left of it. (Grabbing the leftmost card in an activated machine should lead to some hilarious mishap to the person attemting to stick his hand into the active area of the machine? *grin*)

Montebanc
 
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M. Tamin Yurcaba
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Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
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Am not an authority, but my response regarding the below comments based on many, many plays... (remarks assume machine build begins and runs left to right.)

Comment: Not sure about the reviews that talk about replacing a card in the middle (without mentioning an Eradicator is needed). You can only replace a card in the middle if an Eradicator is used and if you have a matching card, at least that's how I read the rules...

I would say that is an accurate assumption, but do not forget one may freely insert one or more cards into the machine at will assuming intial input and ending output match opposing symbols. Inserting cards does not require an Eradicator.

Comment: It does seem like one could run out of cards, especially in the two player version. If machines all ran out to 15 cards before starting, then even with Catalysts closing off paths, it seems like play-after-activate could eventually result in players running out. It would be nice to know what to do when that happens, or clarification on the fact that running out is theoretically or practically "impossible" (pardon the titular pun!)

In many, many, many plays have never run out of cards. I don't think it possible if correctly following the rules.

Question: (others have this one, too) As a machine is activated and some cards get turned over, can an Eradicator nullify a card just to the right of a turned-over card, and if so, what card must replace it? Can the player choose a card with a different input than the nullified card had since there really is no longer an output from the card to left (turned over)? My feeling is that the card replacing it should have to have the same inputs and outputs as the nullified card, exactly, otherwise saving Eradicators until the machine is active would be that much more powerful (hm, and maybe a worthwhile strategy angle, so it is a tough question).

We play that one can Eradicate the left-most face-up card provided the eradicated card is replaced with a machine part exactly matching the input/output of the eradicated card.

However, it is worth noting that we do not permit inserting any cards between a face-down card and face-up card of an activated machine.


Question: The rules state that the first player can place cards to the right OR LEFT of the first card as they start the game. From that, I assume subsequent players can build on EITHER END of the machine. Is this the way others are playing, or are you playing only from left to right? Note: playing on both sides seems workable. Catalysts will still only be able to be played on the right (there are no star inputs to match on the left), and playing on the left will obviously become impossible once the machine starts and cards start to get flipped (flips will ALWAYS be from left to right). Splitters should work fine on either end, too, so I don't see that being an issue. Thoughts?

Construction is permitted on either end of a machine assuming it has not yet been activated. Once activated construction is limited to the right side, or by insertion anywhere right of the left-most face-up card.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I can understand why this is scoring below a 6/10 on here, but I personally think the game is more of a 6 or 6.5, and would be a solid 6.5 to 7 if the rules were clarified a bit. Yes, there is a lot of luck in the drawn cards, but there is still some "deck density" in play, just like Dominion (not nearly as core to the game-play, but it is there with the Eradicators and Catalysts). I think the game is just a slight bit deeper than folks are giving it credit for, especially considering how simple it is and how fast it can be played.


I would agree with the above. I think it is a terrific game and one that has not gotten the play or ratings it deserves. Myself, I think the greatest weakness is that there seems to be no easy, or "correct" way to hold the cards which leaves them readily readable.

And one other note, I do like it better as a two, or maybe three, player game at most.
Above that it gets just a little too "crazy" for me.
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