martes, 17 de diciembre de 2013

Review by Orphebus

Miguel García "Orphebus" nos ha regalado una estupenda crítica en la BGG tras jugar en las 
Advanced Castilla & Dragón 3ª Edición. Yo sólo he destacado un par de frases en negrita. 
¡Gracias, salud y suerte! ¡Sean los Dioses contigo!
Not only the minis and the game look great, actually it's quite fun!

The game manages to recreate the chaos and the ambiance of the roman gladiatorial games. Not only it is a good and enjoyable game, but it's also historically accurate!

I only played the prototype, but the minis are wonderful, the overall visuals are really fantastic.

The basic caserns are quite balanced and very diverse, they allow for very different playstyles. There's also a lot of "scenarios" with different prices, objectives, setups, cards, and so on that allow for plenty of different games... only with the basic game!

The rules are quite elegant, and very well designed to maximize the combat, and not only by punishing players that choose to idle while the others damage themselves. This make 3 and 4 player games possible. The rules also not only respect the theme (gladiatorial games), but they enhance it.

The luck factor is important (not only with the dice, but also with the cards, the pits, traps and so on). There's still an strategic factor, but sometimes the luck factor is just more important.

It's not a short game. A full game (with 3 scenarios) for 4 players can take around 3 hours. You could play 2 scenarios instead of 3 and shorten it to around 2 hours (or you an play a basic game 1 vs 1 with 1 scenario for half an hour, but probably you would only want to do that ocasionally. Still, the game doesn't feel long and never loses interest.

It's one of those games that can accomodate up to 6 players (or even more, if you have enough components), but I don't recommend more than 4 because of the dead time between turns and the overall lenght of the game. 

-> Some skills (very few really, I just saw 1) are only useful against specific units; those skills are very powerful if you happen to play against that oponent, and useless if you don't.
-> I don't like the fact that the public has to approve your gladiator. You might have spent 2000ss to improve it and losing it just because of a bad roll with an 1, is not fair nor fun (you can actually improve your chances by paying 500, but a roll of 1 is always a fail). I would make it possible to pass the roll automatically by paying money (you have the option of trying to save some money by pushing your luck with the roll or to pay more to be safe), or either eliminate the roll and reduce the prices' ss to balance it.
-> A few of the cards text is unclear, or at least could be drafted in a less ambiguous way. This is very normal, since it is an advanced prototype.
-> The luck factor is too big for me. This is a very personal issue, as I do not tend to like games with luck factor. Still, I recognize that without that luck element the game would not be that fun :-)

For sure it's best minis game I have played. I really hope it will get a generous edition when published, with nice and diverse figures, and good design, because the prototype is very beatiful and the game really deserves that. For me, it will be a most buy.

And I had the chance to have a look (and also game test) some of the expansions and extra content that the developpers have been adding trhough the years, and I can only say... WOW!

Disclaimer: I have played some games with a very advanced prototype. There are persons who have played much more and their opinion will be much more accurate. And even if advanced (quite a few years of development), it's still an unpublished prototype that can see changes before publishing.

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