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    TheAngelOfChaos's Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia (Other)

    [February 9, 2014 01:48:50 PM]
    two teams of 1 or 2 players fight for control of the board and objectives (similar to Risk) using card and dice based combat. A “computer controlled” 3rd party, Booker and Elizabeth, move around the board, interacting with players. The game is over when players have achieved enough victory points by capturing territory or completing objectives or the city is destroyed by Booker and Elizabeth.
    Play Session 1:
    This will focus on basic game mechanics and my initial impressions of them. I will make plenty of comparisons to Risk since this game is in the same vein.

    This is a very complicated game and took us a while to set up. There are a huge amount of pieces and lots of rules. It definitely requires a “trial play through”, which is what this session is.

    Players start their turn by buying units and structures. Compared to Risk though, there are much fewer territories and units so each is more important. Personally, I like this as it makes the game more compact and hectic and each decision carries more weight. Structures allow for combat bonuses and are a good way of defending against attacks if your troops are elsewhere or you are attacked by both opposing players.

    After buying comes unit movement and this has a unique twist. A unit can move normally, a short distance from one location to the next or they can use the skylines to travel anywhere they want on the map in one turn. However, to balance out the power this gives, all units riding the skylines have a chance to die, with the chance increasing the farther they go. This is a cool tie in to the game but the chance to die is so great that it’s almost never worth it unless absolutely necessary. This is one of the few parts of the game I would change. High risk, high reward is one thing but this is betting everything you have and hoping to roll snake eyes 5 times in a row. It’s just not practical.

    Finally comes combat. Rather than just rolling dice like in Risk, players play cards from their hand to add to the roll. This is a decision I very much like since it forces players to strategize rather than just hope for a lucky event. This is a good time to talk about the upgrade system. Players are given lots of chances to upgrade their combat cards (of which there are 6 different types), each in 4 different ways up to 2 levels. As someone who loves getting meaningful upgrades, this is a great way to keep players interested and helps to support myriad different play styles. Each card also has an unlockable special ability, some of which are the same to both teams and some of which are unique to a faction. These are a very fun way of mixing up combat and an addition I’m a big fan of.
    Play Session 2:
    This will focus on some more advanced topics as well as issues we ran into our second time around as more “advanced players”

    At the start of each game, each player randomly selects a team leader. These leaders each have a different power which gives a bonus in a certain way (extra troop movement, extra money, cheaper structures). Though some are definitely better than others, all are useful and none are game breaking. It is important to play to your leader’s strengths though and to account for your enemies’.

    At the start of each round, an event card is played and players play cards from their hands to either pass or fail the event. These are the same cards which are later used in combat, forcing players to choose between an important affect (extra money for a team, extra damage for a turn, Booker will attack someone specific) and attempting to win a fight later on. Additionally, a world card is also played which gives teams a chance to vie for victory points. These give the game a high level of replayability.

    One of the problems with the game though is that it is very complicated. That in of itself isn’t the issue though; it’s that the rules will inevitably have gaps that will be confusing. In our case, we could not decide what “occupation of a territory” meant. Can you use a structure or do you need a unit there? This is a simple example but it was only our group’s second game and we had already come across this. Groups that play this game are going to need to be able to establish a good set of house rules to account for this.
    Final Impressions:
    As someone who’s started getting into “serious” board games like this, I really like this game and would put it among my favorites. It’s deep, balanced, well put together, has high replayability and is generally well thought out. It does have its issues, but its nothing that puts a serious dampener on game play.
    Playing Bioshock: Infinite the video game will probably make you enjoy this game a little more, as you recognize places and people from the game, but you certainly don’t need to have played it to enjoy this game. Half my group hadn’t and they had a blast. If you are looking for a large, fun game and aren’t afraid to spend a few bucks, this is a great choice.
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    TheAngelOfChaos's Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia (Other)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 11 January, 2014

    TheAngelOfChaos's opinion and rating for this game

    Overall, this a very fun game that has high replayability. It rewards skill but has a element of chance that forces players to adapt.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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