As I’ve said, I’ve been binging anime while I’ve been working, so I’ve fallen a bit behind on the shows and talking about them. I’m coming back with another one this week, Fire Force. In a world where spontaneous human combustion is a thing, and …
Black Friday has struck again with a vengeance, and there is an amazing sale that people should checkout from Greater Than Games. They have stuff from 15% off to over 80% off, and if, like me, you don’t have enough Sentinels of the Multiverse, there …
Will you be able to outmaneuver your rival gods and get your worshippers in this area influence game?
- Looks amazing with the minis and the map
- Elements make sense in what they do
- Established company
- Solo Play
- Abstract in nature
I’m going to start out by saying my normal thing, this page looks good. An established company like Side Room Games should know how to run a Kickstarter, and they don’t disappoint. And I think they also know what makes a solid looking Kickstarter as well. They have what is generally a pretty abstract game, and they created minis for it, for the elements for the monuments for the gods, and while they didn’t go overboard and make them not functional, they did a good job of giving this game some bling, which Kickstarter games generally need.
I also want to call out that while you don’t know how to play from the first two paragraphs, they do a good job of giving you the tone of the game. You have an idea of what might be happening in the game, and sometimes even after reading through the rules section of the Kickstarter page I won’t understand that. And with that said, I didn’t have have to scroll down 70% of the page to find the rest of the rules, they give them to you early, and you have a how to play video you can checkout as well.
I think that the game itself looks interesting. They do a good job of highlighting the game play, which I like, and the fact that it can be played solo is always interesting to me. However, I wonder a little bit about the solo play on this, they do have a playthrough I can checkout. This game seems like it’ll be better with a higher player count.
For me I get a little bit of a Fae vibe, though this does seem quite different, but just with manipulating things and the idea of worshippers, like I said, I don’t think this is super accurate comparison. But the aesthetic gives me a similar vibe.
Back or Brick
For me, I want to say that this one is a back, but just with Kickstarters and holidays, I don’t think that I will actually back it for financial reasons. I hope that I can pick it up later, because I think this is the type of game that I’d really like a lot. It seems like it’d have both strategy and tactics, which I find to be a good combination in a game. And the look of it is very nice. The one thing that worries about this plan is that it is a KS exclusive, which I believe that there other games might have been as well, so there only might be limited stock later. I do see that they have a retailer pledge, so fingers crossed my FLGS will be getting some copies.
How about for you, is this game a back or a brick?
Final holiday list of the year as we are getting up to Thanksgiving, and honestly, most places already have Black Friday deals going because with Covid, shipping times might take longer, but more than that, people aren’t getting into stores as much nor will there …
Alright, let’s start getting into the details of this game. I’m not going to build everything out in front of people, but I do want to start and give some idea of what characters and levels are going to look like in practice. Eventually there …
We have some news surrounding a potential casting in Black Panther 2, and more about that upcoming film. Plus Deadpool 3 news. Then I take a deep dive into the early life of Charles Xavier, before he formed the X-Men.
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It’s been a while since I’ve done a board game review. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of Point of Order articles come up and go in that time because I can buy games, but I can’t play all that many of them. But one that I was able to play three times in person and twice via Zoom, plus about a million times on the app has been Ganz Schon Clever. I won’t be talking as much about the app today, but more about the game.
Ganz Schon Clever is probably one of the more influential games in terms of putting the roll and write craze over the top. There had been games before like Qwixx that were out there, but Ganz Schon Clever hit the market and took off because it made a game that was interesting and challenging and put in so many combos into the game. So many combos. In this game, you are playing a number of rounds, 4 to 6 depending on player count, more rounds for less players. On your turn you roll six dice, you can then use one of the dice in one of the five sections. Each section corresponds to one of the dice colors and then there is a wild die, the white one, that can be used in any section. The trick for what die you’ll use comes down to the fact that any dice that are of a lower value than the one you select go onto a platter (this will be important later). Then you roll the remaining dice again, repeat the process, and do it all one more time. At that point in time, all the other players can pick and use one of the dice on the platter. Then the turn passes, next person goes, and so on and so forth. Doesn’t seem that challenging, but there are so many interesting things in it, as each section scores differently and can then let you activate other areas, possibly chaining even more things together.
Let’s do a quick run down of how each section works. In yellow you cross off a number, and for rows and the diagonal that you complete you get some bonus, like crossing off a spot in another section or adding a number. The columns when filled in give you points. In Blue, you always take the total of the blue and white dice and fill in the corresponding number, the more spots you fill in, the more points you get, and filling out rows or columns gives you bonuses. In green, you fill in from left to right and the number has to be greater than or equally to the number i the circle to cross it off, the more you fill in, the more points you get, and if you make it to certain points you get a bonus. Orange is the easiest, it’s just the number on the dice, and then there are bonuses that you get for filling in certain spots, but you have to work left to right. There are also a few spots that double or triple in yellow. Finally, there is purple, in purple you go left to right and the number must always be greater than the previous number, so you could go something like 1, 4, 6. When you put in a six, you can start over again, and there are a ton of bonuses in purple. Finally, there is the fox bonus. The fox bonus shows up in each section and for the fox, you score the number of foxes you’ve made it to times your lowest score, so you can’t just skip one section, because then your foxes would be X time 0 which would give you no points.
Really, that’s probably enough to get going on the game and be able to play it. The game is simple, but there is strategy. Plus, you do get some other bonuses that I haven’t mentioned yet. You can unlock rerolls, you can get +1 that you can use to use an extra dice after people are done rolling, and you can just fill in a spot of your choice in round four. So sometimes you can use the +1 die to chain into something else and fill in a few spots, or maybe the filling in a spot will do that for you.
Like I said before, this game is pretty simple to learn. But to master it, you need to figure out the strategy for it. Sometimes you’ll want to reroll just because to use the die you need to, or want to, will lose you too many dice. Saving the +1’s towards the end can also be a good strategy because you can use them to combo more sooner, but sometimes I’ll spend a +1 to get a +1 when it’s a harder +1 to get than others, if that makes sense. So there is way more going on than just rolling dice and putting down a number, and scores can vary wildly.
Now, if you don’t like luck, there is luck involved. You might roll all ones, reroll and roll all ones again. It’s improbable, but not impossible. Or someone else might be consistently rolling higher numbers so they can score the orange and purple sections better. But with that said, since the game is fast, and since you are using dice that someone else has rolled, it is possible that you’ll get to use better dice, or if you don’t, the game will be over quickly and you can try again. The luck factor though might be a turn off for some, but I do think with all the combos that it is hard to get completely locked out of the game and doing well at all in it.
I’m also looking at this as a big fan of a lot of roll and write games. There are a number that I’ve talked about before, such as Welcome To… Second Chance, Criss Cross, and Cartographers, all of them great games, and a number that I like better than Ganz Schon Clever, but one thing that Ganz Schon Clever does differently from all of those is the combos. With those there might be other variability in the game, but you never will get that really satisfying chain of doing one thing and then doing another and another because of that first thing that you picked. Sonora, the flick and write, has that comboing if not more going on it, but that’s one of the only others I’ve played that does that.
Overall, this is clearly a game that I like a lot. I think that the play is pretty clever (the English translation of Ganz Schon Clever is That’s Pretty Clever). I like that the game plays pretty fast, I think slightly longer than the box says, but with that game speed, you never feel like you have much down time since you are doing things on other people’s turns as well. It scales well, and the rules are easy enough to teach that I think I could with most people, with just a few reminders during the game.
Overall Grade: A
Gamer Grade: A-
Casual Grade: A