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Subject: Thematic Colors of Gaming - A ProCon review of Warehouse 13 rss

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Dustin Crenshaw
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Sometimes a game lives up to the hopes you have for it. Licenses rarely do. Not long ago Buffy really let me down. I was very excited to have an opportunity to player Warehouse 13. A TV show I'm a big fan of.

If you've never seen Warehouse 13, it's similar to The Librarians. Artifacts get created with powerful abilities. A few agents go around collecting these artifacts for safe keeping.

The game mixes a bit of BSG, Dark Moon and Elder Sign. The loyal agents need to capture 3 artifacts before McPherson does. If they do they win the game. If not, they don't loose. Instead you move to plot cards that McPherson is trying to do. It's a race to win 2 of those, whomever does wins. There is a hidden traitor amongst the players mucking up the works.

Nails the theme
I was very pleased with the job done with the theme. It feels like warehouse 13, and you can tell it's made by people who love the show.

Theme not required to enjoy the game
I played with someone who didn't know the show at all, and they had a great time. This is a similar case to BSG. Knowing it certainly leads to more enjoyment, but not required.

Mix of game ideas work great

Multi-Use cards. Movement. Dice drafting. Hidden dice rolling. It all works, and it works well.

Doesn't get bogged down by rules
I would say the game is on the light to medium side of things. Once you get moving it's easy to understand.

I think player scaling will be really good
I see no reason it wouldn't play well at all player counts.

And will likely play solidly as a coop
The evil event deck mucks up the works in the normal game. And should allow the game to not only be played as a coop, but with adjustable difficulty.

Unique characters
The characters all play different. Each have a once per season ability (once per artifact). A once per game ability, and a negative effect. I'm a big fan of special abilities in games, and they completely nailed the characters.

There are good reasons for the traitor to stay secret and to be revealed
Staying secret lets you muck up tests. If you run your mouth good you may even be able to snag an artifact for evil if out in the field alone (I love this). But if you are revealed, you have more control knocking out dice used by the agents, as well as the evil events.

Several ways to mitigate dice rolls
This isn't a stuck with what you rolled game. You can even effect what others have rolled with the abilities on the cards.


The dice colors are a bit of a mind screw with how they can go into different colored locations
It will certainly confuse you at first, and we all got confused it at some point. Dice symbols are what mostly matter, not the dice colors. Seeing a red dice in a blue spot will confuse. I almost wish they where just speckled a color or outlined instead of being a solid color. But I don't think it'll be a big deal once you get use to it.


soblue No full turn overview to easily reference
Hopefully they'll add this. While there is an overview for player turns, there isn't one overall turn structure. This is a big no-no for me in all games. I like everyone to be able to see turn structure. It helps for teaching, and for questions during the game.

soblue Small cards
Oh how I loath small cards. They should never be in any game ever. I hate FFG made them popular. Cards should never be smaller than catan size IMO.

soblue No HG Wells
Sad to see she wasn't one of the selectable characters. She may appear in the kickstarter. But she's one of my favorite characters and wish she was in the base game.

soblue Too many locations without special abilities
I'm never a fan of games that have decks of cards with special abilities, with cards like "no effects" or "nothing happens". Obviously this is a personal preference.


VERDICT -
I don't back much on kickstarter, but I will certainly be backing this. I think this will be a consistently played game in my gaming group once I get my hands on it. And I think it will be a favorite. I really enjoyed it. I'm big on theme and fun, and this game delivers both of those.















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Rodger Samuel
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I certainly intend to back this. Enjoyable show, sounds like an enjoyable game.
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David Jones
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SeerMagic wrote:
soblue No HG Wells
Sad to see she wasn't one of the selectable characters. She may appear in the kickstarter. But she's one of my favorite characters and wish she was in the base game.


When I playtested back in March, the designer said that there were plans to introduce her in an expansion. I can't remember all the details but I remember him talking about some other new mechanics that would enhance the theme.

Quote:
I have some concerns about replay value. But I had those same concerns with BSG.


I think W13 is going to feel more versatile than BSG. BSG, to me, feels like the same plot every game. With W13, the game will come several artifact and you don't see them all. It may be a dozen games or until you've seen every artifact and they will still come out in different orders. You similarly have different ways that MacPhereson attacks the group, so you're going to be facing a different combination of logic puzzles every time you play. Like any game, I think eventually certain patterns will emerge and you will find specific ways of dealing with a given problem, but the flow from one episode to the next will keep things variable up to a point, at least more variable than BSG.
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Scott Everts
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Thanks for the review. I'm also a big fan of the show so will be checking out the KS when it goes live.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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If you guys have any questions for me about my thoughts on the game, feel free to ask.
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Michael Aldridge
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SeerMagic wrote:
If you guys have any questions for me about my thoughts on the game, feel free to ask.


And I'm watching the thread too, so if you have any questions, I'm here and available.

Thanks, Dustin, for the awesome review! And I'm glad that there are so many people who seem to be excited for our game's release!
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Matthew Proper-Lee
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SeerMagic wrote:

soblue No HG Wells
Sad to see she wasn't one of the selectable characters. She may appear in the kickstarter. But she's one of my favorite characters and wish she was in the base game.


I thought when it was starting to appear earlier that they were going the traditional publishing route. Interesting the game comes out years after the show's run ended (despite being well received and with still-good ratings for the network).

Either way, I have to agree HG would be a great addition as a selectable character, although a bit of a spoiler if you only saw the first two seasons. If she shows up in the KS, I'll have to back this from day one as well. My wife is a huge fan of the character and the actress.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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klz_fc wrote:
Either way, I have to agree HG would be a great addition as a selectable character, although a bit of a spoiler if you only saw the first two seasons. If she shows up in the KS, I'll have to back this from day one as well. My wife is a huge fan of the character and the actress.


Jamie Murray is great!!!
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Michael Aldridge
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klz_fc wrote:


I thought when it was starting to appear earlier that they were going the traditional publishing route. Interesting the game comes out years after the show's run ended (despite being well received and with still-good ratings for the network).


We had been trying to secure the license since mid-Season 4.

klz_fc wrote:
Either way, I have to agree HG would be a great addition as a selectable character, although a bit of a spoiler if you only saw the first two seasons. If she shows up in the KS, I'll have to back this from day one as well. My wife is a huge fan of the character and the actress.


Only the actors who are considered as "primary cast" by NBC will be offered as playable characters in the base game. These are the only characters from the show that NBC has the rights to license and are therefore the only characters we can use at the moment. In fact, we had to negotiate with Roger Rees' estate and with CCH Pounder to negotiate the rights to use their images.

Assuming the Kickstarter goes well, we will begin negotiating with Jaime Murray for the rights to use HG as the Adversary for the first expansion. Additionally, it is highly likely that the first expansion will include both MacPherson and HG as playable characters.

Other eventual character options include Mrs. Frederick, Dr. Vanessa Calder (though Lindsay Wagner is notoriously difficult to license), Hugo Miller, Charlie Martin, Rebecca St. Clair, and Jack Secord.
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Matthew Proper-Lee
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Sounds like you have some great plans ahead! considering there still does seem to be a fairly decent following still, I hope this helps boost the fanbase (and by extension helps the popularity of the game!). Looking forward to seeing more and hope you do well!
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Michael Aldridge
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klz_fc wrote:
Sounds like you have some great plans ahead!


Including some we haven't revealed yet... like a Warehouse 13 legacy game played as a 13-episode season. Artifacts lost in an episode can come back to have disastrous effects in later episodes.

Of course, we will have to do incredibly well on the Kickstarter to allow us to work on something like that as a full time job...
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Shawn Smith
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BosonMichael wrote:
Assuming the Kickstarter goes well, we will begin negotiating with Jaime Murray for the rights to use HG as the Adversary for the first expansion. Additionally, it is highly likely that the first expansion will include both MacPherson and HG as playable characters.

It is also worth mentioning that even securing a single actor's likeness rights can take several months. Add to that the time it would take AFTER securing the rights to get digital assets from NBC (NBC won't even start looking for the assets we would need until after we have a signed license deal) and then to get new components approved. It simply isn't feasible to even make H.G. Wells a stretch goal because all that time would be keeping the base game out of people's hands. I know she has a lot of fans but it works best for everyone to help make the game a success and let us work on getting H.G. into the first expansion.
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Shawn Smith
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klz_fc wrote:
Sounds like you have some great plans ahead! considering there still does seem to be a fairly decent following still, I hope this helps boost the fanbase (and by extension helps the popularity of the game!). Looking forward to seeing more and hope you do well!

Having support from some of the actors is really beneficial as well. I don't know if you saw the review on Geek & Sundry but we were playing at Eddie McClintock's house. Allison Scagliotti is also a big fan of the game. Both have tweeted about it for us and intend to do so during the Kickstarter as well.
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Michael Aldridge
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webspyder wrote:
klz_fc wrote:
Sounds like you have some great plans ahead! considering there still does seem to be a fairly decent following still, I hope this helps boost the fanbase (and by extension helps the popularity of the game!). Looking forward to seeing more and hope you do well!

Having support from some of the actors is really beneficial as well. I don't know if you saw the review on Geek & Sundry but we were playing at Eddie McClintock's house. Allison Scagliotti is also a big fan of the game. Both have tweeted about it for us and intend to do so during the Kickstarter as well.


Here's the Geek & Sundry review:

http://geekandsundry.com/be-the-secret-agent-of-your-dreams-...
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Brian Carroll
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Following this thread. Super excited about this game, loved the series. Thanks for making this happen, can't wait to snag my copy!
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Michael Aldridge
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Wrs.Madsci wrote:
Following this thread. Super excited about this game, loved the series. Thanks for making this happen, can't wait to snag my copy!


Our pleasure. Hope it brings you many years of enjoyment...
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Florian Stock
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SeerMagic wrote:
If you guys have any questions for me about my thoughts on the game, feel free to ask.

From your comments, it seems you know BSG.
I am interrested how they compare to each other? If I had to decide between those two, which is the one to go for?

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Dustin Crenshaw
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flolo wrote:
SeerMagic wrote:
If you guys have any questions for me about my thoughts on the game, feel free to ask.

From your comments, it seems you know BSG.
I am interrested how they compare to each other? If I had to decide between those two, which is the one to go for?



Very Familiar. I'd say the are very comparable, and certainly in the same ballpark. However, not so alike one replaces the other. The card play is just like BSG. Use a card for it's skill value, or use it for it's action. It's fantastic in BSG, it's fantastic here. The warehouse maintenance is similar to the centurion track, it's not a problem until it's a problem. Each artifact is like a crisis card in BSG. But I like it here more. They are more of an interesting battle, and certainly take a bit longer to solve. And obvious you won't be going through as many as BSG. Turns go around much faster here, so less downtime. I love the character powers in BSG, but some are situational or small bonuses. For whatever reason I had a bigger connection to my characters in this game, but they certainly function similarly.

The biggest thing is the rules. I love BSG, but with 3 expansions it's rules heavy. This is not. And while you can certainly enjoy BSG without knowing the theme, the theme here is easier to get into if you don't know warehouse 13. Another big pro is unlike bsg, I feel the difficulty could be adjusted and play well at a lower count.

That's all off the top of my head. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
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Russ Rupe
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flolo wrote:
SeerMagic wrote:
If you guys have any questions for me about my thoughts on the game, feel free to ask.

From your comments, it seems you know BSG.
I am interrested how they compare to each other? If I had to decide between those two, which is the one to go for?


Wow...what Dustin said. :)


Just to slightly expound, in BSG you get lots of crises (one per player turn). In W13, you get 3-5 artifacts per game, one per "Episode."

In BSG, you play cards into a crisis check. Most cards are acquired for free at the start of each player's turn. The Traitor can hide his badness in card play or lack thereof both in the crises and slow playing his hand.

In W13, cards are acquired through actions and one free card each turn. Cards are worth 0/1/2, and you spend them each turn to get one clue die, also valued at 0/1/2. If you can't/won't claim a clue die, one is neutralized for the rest of the Episode. After all 13 clue dice are claimed or neutralized, everyone secretly rolls and must select 1 die to apply to the artifact. We have awesome Warehouse miniatures that allow players to hide their selected dice and thus enable a simultaneous reveal. Repeat the roll/select/apply process again and again until the artifact is Retrieved/Lost. The Traitor can hide his badness by not-claiming dice (blaming low numbered cards), by slow playing his hand (blaming bad draws), and by applying bad dice during Retrieval (blaming bad rolls).

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