August 23, 2011

Countdown to the EVE of Nightfall

Yeah I admit it's a pretty contrived title, but I wanted to hit everything in there that's happened in the past week. The biggest thing has been my nutzo work schedule, which not only had me working late on Thursday, but for almost all of Sunday as well. That was a real shame because the weather here on Sunday was a gorgeous sunny day.

The format for Thursday's VS System tournament was Countdown, and I wish I could tell you who played what and how it went. However since I wasn't there, and no one has given me any details, all I can tell you is that cards were brought and games were played. I think.

Monday's scheduled game was EVE: Second Genesis. If you've played the online computer game you might have heard of it's CCG counterpart. The card game shares a lot of artwork from the computer game, and boasts some truly fantastic original art as well. The cards look great and I was looking forward to playing.

My anticipation was quickly dashed however. Within the first four or five turns, almost nothing happened and peace reigned in the galaxy. Sebastien's cartel started to build up a presence in the outer regions while William and I struggled to cobble together a few measly ships. When we finally did, we flew them around and generally avoided each other like children hiding behind a mother's skirts.

Finally I had a ship strong enough that I thought I could gain a minor victory and take control of an outer region in William's control. Issuing orders my ship went off in search of conquest. The orders I gave them however, were the wrong ones. Laser fire was exchanged, nothing happened and my ship withdrew in shame while Sebastien watched, or napped, I'm not sure.

A few rounds later I decided to try again and sent all of my might against Sebastien's unprotected home region. He had wealth, ships and power, but had unwisely left his starbase completely devoid of defenders. The cost for this mistake was his life, and his sanity, as he was forced to watch William and I struggle with the combat mechanics of this game for another half hour.

William set down to building more ships, faster than I could, flying in and doing a lot of pointing at cards. I pointed at cards too, we spent some time being confused by all the results of said pointing; and when the game was over we packed up all the cards and agreed that it sort of stunk.

EVE Second Genesis is slow to start, boring while it's not your turn, and the combat system really isn't any fun. The targeting system for applying battle damage isn't smooth and made our brains hurt even though the math was simple. I wanted to like it, and still think the cards are pretty awesome looking, but it's very unlikely we'll bother to play again.


Two out of three then? No, not another game of EVE, please! We tried out yet another new game recently added to my collection: Nightfall. Yep another deck building game. Cooperative games, and deck building games seem to be a major trend in gaming for the past few years...and I really can't complain because I happen to like both genres.

Nightfall appealed to me for two reasons. The first was the theme. It's set in an end-of-days-where-the-sun-has-burned-out-and-monsters-have-appeared world and players control legions of undead, zombies, humans and werewolves trying to destroy one another. The second appeal-factor was the nature of the game itself. In games such as Dominion and Ascension, while both very good games, the level of player interaction is low to non-existent. The whole goal of Nightfall is to chain cards together so that you can attack and destroy your opponents.

We were only able to play a single 2-player game and it was a bit of a runaway win on my part. William and I were both trying to figure out how to chain cards together in a useful manner and I got off to an early lead. I'm not certain that the game is entirely balanced for a two player game, but 3 or 4 should balance out very nicely. I'd definitely play it again.

The artwork on the cards is pretty spiffy too.

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