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Subject: Deus - A box of awesome. rss

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Tragic TheBlathering
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Deus is great example of a light euro that can appeal across all gamer types. The decision making in this game is not complicated but the after effects of your decision is. You basically have two actions you can choose from. You either play a card or discard X cards. That is it. This deceptively simple player choice in fact is the exact reason this game is so brilliant.



Each card you play goes onto the table and sorted into columns by colour and has a printed ability on it. The thing is that when you play a card you work your way up the colume activating every card you have placed in that colume on previous turns. So if you play the 3rd card into a colume, it actives 3 actions, not just the action from the card you played that turn.

This leads to a cascading action sequence that allows some very interesting and satisfying combos to be generated form the seemingly simple choice of choosing to play a card. Card effects can even reference other colume colours and it is very possible to make very large plays by the end of the game. This gives the game a great tempo, there is an escalation here that builds as you play as action sequences get longer and longer and more and more happens on each turn. Yet the core ideas of how to play could not be more basic. Play a card or discard a card. Your choices are no more complex than that and AP is minimised as everything is reactionary.

While experienced players have a general idea of what cards are going to come available to them over the game, you are effectively evaluating your simple play or discard choice on the moment of your turn. So matter how complex the cascading action sequence is, the actual choice the player has never increases in difficulty.



So unlike some euros there is pretty much zero effort involved in teaching or playing this game. You can teach it in 5 minuets and people have no problem with mental burn out when faced actually playing. As a player plays their understanding increases about their own game state and what they need to do to win, at the same time the game itself is picking up speed with the cascading actions. This tempo is so brilliant as it matches the increasing complexity of what the player wants.

The only recent games I have seen this have been pure card games. Seasons is a good example of a game with cascading action sequences, though unlike Seasons and many other games of this type Deus is very segmented and controlled. Having the cards split into coloured columns limits interaction around specific tasks needed to achieve your game win. While say Seasons is so much more free form that it can fall into a loose collection of jumbled powers though bad play. Deus's actions however are tightly linked by theme that are separated by those themes, making your choices clearer and producing a very manageable focus for the player.



This in conjunction with a small area control element upon a game board allows your cascading actions to have something to build off. Rather than just referencing other cards, which is more common for this kind of game, they are all linked directly to the communal player board giving you a visual and most importantly providing a goal orientated target for what you wish your action sequences to achieve you.

I am so impressed with this game. Its tempo, its deceptively simple choices and the real feeling of complexity it provides players with out any stage of brain burn is just a design master class.

Can not recommend it enough. One to satisfy heavy players and the monopoly crowd all at once.
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Alberto Verduzco
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Excellent review! Indeed an amazing game

Thanks for using one of my pics! (the second one, the one with the foot)
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Adam P
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Quote:
This in conjunction with a small area control element upon a game board allows your cascading actions to have something to build off.

I am curious about this game, but area control is the only mention of any player-to-player interactions. The rest is about playing cards. Is this game multi-player solitaire or is the area control enough interaction to provide tension?
 
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Chad Ackerman
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adamredwoods wrote:
Quote:
This in conjunction with a small area control element upon a game board allows your cascading actions to have something to build off.

I am curious about this game, but area control is the only mention of any player-to-player interactions. The rest is about playing cards. Is this game multi-player solitaire or is the area control enough interaction to provide tension?


Unfortunately, this is one of those games where the opinion of player interaction can go either way, especially among those who don't like the game. A common complaint is that the military cards can be too mean. They can steal money and VPs from players, and they can be used to run around the board trying to grab the limited VPs from barbarian villages which is also one of the ways to end the game and can be a powerful strategy.

Others complain that players are just doing their own thing in their own section of the map and building up VPs through card combos and building the Temples faster.

So it's really going to depend on if the people you game with get stuck on one particular meta of the game, or if they open themselves up to the multiple paths to victory that the game can offer...
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Jordan Short
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I really enjoyed this game! I don't particularly like solitaire-like games, Dominion for instance, but Dues had a bit more interaction than Dominion, for instance. Most importantly though, the solitaire you are playing by yourself is way more interesting than a lot of other games. I agree that this is on the lite side of player interaction, but, as one person who doesn't generally enjoy that sort of thing to another, I would still recommend this game.
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Michael J
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I liked this game in my one play. But one thing that bugged me was how near the end of the game everybody was just dumping cards and grabbing new ones just to search for specific cards. It kind of bogged the end game down as we cycled through the draw deck in the last 5 rounds.
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Hubert AMG
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TragicTheBlathering wrote:

I am so impressed with this game. Its tempo, its deceptively simple choices and the real feeling of complexity it provides players with out any stage of brain burn is just a design master class.

Can not recommend it enough. One to satisfy heavy players and the monopoly crowd all at once.


I agree with every single word on that game. I have the same impression. It's very underrated game. Maybe it's due to expectations that people had - but it's classic Pearl production. Looking forward for 2015 release from Pearl (i guess they are having new owner now).
 
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