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Subject: Will it Play?:For the Crown 2ed rss

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Josh
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Intent of this Review:To provide a context for the game, using comparisons to hopefully known games in the industry, helping people who allready understand how games work and if the game works decide if they will LIKE how the game works, while remaining a short and sweet review.

What it is:For the Crown is a twist on the classic game of Chess, throwing basic deck building mechanics into the most unlikely of places in order to put a new spin on this time honored game.

How it feels to play the game:Imagine the grand finale of and Olympic fireworks display going off inside your brain, then set the whole thing on fire, over a cliff, with chainsaws, and lava. Chess is an undisputed brain-burner of a game. Dominion, the archetypal deck builder is lauded as a strategic heavyweight by those who have ventured into its depths. Combine the two and you've something even more engaging than either of the two together, with one added bonus. There is just enough 'heart of the cards' built in to take the sting out of losing, but not so much that you feel out of control.

Will it Play?
This is the part where I attempt to enumerate what to expect, and what not to expect from a game, hoping to help you decide if your money is well spent here.

*Do you like to think? This is a serious question, some folks play games to relax and 'have fun.' They are specifically looking to disengage for a while and be entertained, if this is you then you should step away from For the Crown. This game brings you choices on many planes at once. What cards to play, what cards to buy, which pieces to recruit, which pieces to move, how to respond to your opponent, what spaces are threatened, what reinforcements might be called out against you? There's a lot to keep in your head for this game and it'll spin up all your turbines in the process.

*Are you in it for the bits? Victory Point games has never been about the bits. If you are then you might be dissapointed. This is a second edition with upgraded components, but it still pales even in comparison to VP's other recent offerings in Darkest Night or Dawn of the Zeds. There's nothing wrong with these pieces, save for a tendency of the cards to bow a bit. The tokens are very thick and color+shape schemes are wonderfully clear when you're trying to track all this information at once, but if you're expecting this to be a component bomb then you're going to be sad.

*Do you like replayability? Yes? Then you win. I'm a 'new stuff!' junkie, and yet even after half a dozen games under my belt I'm not even remotely hankering for busting out anything other than the 'beginner' set of cards. That static setup has so much play to discover that I'm not willing to set it aside and start mixing things up yet. This may seem normal for some folks, but coming from me it's almost heresy.

*Do you play with the same person a lot? I feel FTC is a game best enjoyed over and over, much like the original chess, with opponents who can learn and grow as you do. Someone who can sink into the real deep strategy of the game with you is going to be a worthwhile thing to have for this game.

*Do you play with new people a lot? Ha! I cheated! 'It's like Chess' and almost everyone in the western hemisphere knows what you're talking about. 'It's like Dominion and Chess' and you've still got a huge chunk of the population that'd be willing to sit with you at a table and play games. While there is a lot of depth to the game, and enjoyment grows with repeated plays, there is very little hindering accessibility to this game. From the presentation of the information on the cards, to the turn order on the board itself, and the very basic mechanics of the two parts involved; For the Crown is an easy teach as long as your fellow gamer likes thinky games.

*Do you have 2 players exactly? Freebie. It's chess. 2 sides. There is an expansion that apparently adds (exactly) 4 player play on teams, but my budget has not let me pick that up yet so I cannot review it.


Summary:For the Crown surprised me. I received it for Christmas as a gift, having been unwilling to front the money myself on what I wasn't sure was a game worth the price. As a gift I figured it would be a novelty at the very least, a neat thing to have in the collection. I state now for the record I was a bloody fool. This game is worth every cent you would pay for it. The whole really is greater than the sum of the parts, and I find myself leaving other big budget games at home while toting For the Crown whenever I think I can get a 2P game going. Other games I play for fun and to socialize. For the Crown is a game that makes me want to be good at it(and it's fun as hell too as a bonus!) The only way you could go wrong with For the Crown would be to try and introduce it to someone expecting a light game.
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Alan Emrich
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I've published over 150 titles from Victory Point Games these last 6 years, and like this reviewer, FOR THE CROWN is the one game I tote everywhere I think I have even the remotest chance to get a game going.

Yes, it's a brain-burner, but for me that's a great way to relax and concentrate on the 'game world' for while.

We're starting playtesting on the next expansion kit, THE WORLD IS ROUND, which introduces pieces that move cylindrically across the left and right sides of the board, and it really adds some challenging new twists!

Alan Emrich
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