Let’s start with the obvious question, yes that is a tongue in cheek title, but it was a post on the Dice Tower Facebook group that got me thinking about this question. Someone asked the question, how do you take care of your board games […]
Tag: Clank In Space
So I normally do a lot of top fives at the end of the year in bigger categories, but I wanted to break it down for a few specific categories within board games so you can see what I really enjoy in the various genres and I’ll give my reasons why:
5. Magic the Gathering
Normally I don’t have games on a deck building list like this. MtG, though, is a deck building game, you just aren’t doing it actively in the game. But I would argue that a lot of the fun of Magic, though I really do like the game, is trying to build out that crazy deck that just might work. I think that part of the game can become too much when people start to take the game too seriously and go all in on the pay to win model. But putting together a deck that just might work, that’s a lot of fun. Then you get to test it out, go back to the drawing board, and try again. I really liked to create decks that would build towards a big finish if I could stay alive long enough. Best way to describe it is building the ticking time bomb deck that you know will blow up, but you don’t know when.
4. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
A deck builder that has a good amount of theme. It feels, as you’re early in the game, that you’re playing through the books. The only odd thing is that you continue to add villains each game, so the further in you are, the more it feels like you’re playing through the series as compared to playing through a book. I wish that was different, but the cards themselves, and the characters as you open up more books and unlock more of the rules, feel like you’re playing as the different characters from the books and each has a different thing they are a bit better at, such as Hermoine with spells.
3. Clank! In! Space!
I really enjoy this game for the goofiness of the deck building. The cards are all references to various Sci-Fi shows, books, and movies. I also like it because it’s not something that is just a deck builder. You are building your deck, but you’re building it so that you can move around the space ship and gather the best treasure that you can. So the people you recruit and the cards you buy actually matter in the game for more than just something like victory points. The turns are also extremely fast in the game, which is great, because the game can take a little while to set-up with the modular board and all the different tokens and cards.
2. Xenoshyft: Onslaught
What you’ll notice about most of the games on the list is that they add a lot of plot to the game. Xenoshyft: Onslaught continues that as you are space marines fighting off waves and waves of bug monsters. What I like about this game is that you are using your cards and money to set-up your defenses for the next wave of bugs. So it has the theme of what you are doing, recruiting more troops and upgrading their equipment. I also like that you can help out your fellow players because if they are facing troubles in their lane of defense, you can help them prior to the wave of bugs or sometimes during the wave of bugs, so you can actually help build up someone else’s deck if you have your own engine working well already. It’s a very tough game, but I really like that about it, because you’re always feeling the pressure of getting the right pull.
1. Arkham Horror LCG
This game is amazing and I haven’t even played it a ton. It’s not your standard deck builder as you aren’t purchasing cards as you go, but between games you are gaining XP and upgrading cards or putting in new cards. Sometimes the scenarios even give you new cards you can add to your deck. This deck builder is closer to Magic the Gathering in the style you are building the deck because you build it prior to the game. But it is great because you have to build it in such a way to have some weaknesses that specific to your character(s) in the game, so each deck feels unique.
Now, just a few honorable mentions:
Century: Golem Edition & Not Alone, both great games, but they are really a hand builder versus a deck builder. The mechanics are pretty similar to deck building though, so can be HM’s
Marvel Legendary, I’m not the biggest fan of the game, some because there’s so much bloat that you end up just not getting the right combination of cards because you put together too odd a group of heroes. It can just be too swingy at times, but superheroes are awesome.
Aeon’s End/Aeon’s End: War Eternal/Aeon’s End Legacy, I’m going to be playing this soon, I’ve watched a playthrough of this game, it has enough extra going on with the monster you’re fighting and the spell slots, basically, that you can open up. It seems very interesting, and a deck builder that you don’t shuffle is very cool as you can theoretically stack the deck in your favor.
What’s missing from the list because I haven’t played enough or just didn’t like it that well:
Clearly there is no Dominion on the list. While Dominion is the grand daddy of them all, or at least the first super popular one, Dominion is a pretty boring game where the cards are themeless and could be anything. It’s a pure deck builder, but that’s about it.
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is also missing from the list, it’s a pretty cool epic game, however, it’s supposed to be RPG like, and leveling up is just too slow. The game just needs to move a little bit faster. The same thing is the case with Shadowrun: Crossfire. I love the setting, and the game is cool, but the original printing was also just too slow to build to the cool things. I think that Harry Potter is the game that could be like this, bu t you feel cooler much faster.
What are your favorite deck builders? Which games would you recommend to people?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!
I mentioned the topic in the Kickstarter FOMO post, but I wanted to talk more about different game mechanics that you might here people talk about when it comes to describing a board game, this will be a bit more focused definitions than the Jargon […]
Are you excited for this game review, because the game sure is. Yes, Clank! In! Space! has all those exclamation points in the title and it’s really excited to have a TableTopTake written about it! So let’s get jazzed, people, and jump into this game review.
Clank! In! Space! is a deck building game at it’s core, but beyond that, you’re doing something more with your cards to just purchase more cards. In the game, you are on Lord Eradikus’s ship as a bunch of different adventurers. You’re trying to break through his security, steal some artifacts that he’s stolen and get back out without bungling around too much and making too much noise. This is easier said than done, because some of the good cards that would allow you to fight more or move more are going to give you clank as you make noise. If you’re too noisy, there’s a better chance of Lord Eradikus’s henchmen finding you and punching in the face.
That seems like a bit more going on in Clank! In! Space! than in Dominion. The various resources on your cards all make sense as you are getting money/recruitment power, movement, and fighting abilities versus the more generic money, action, and buy. Your movement, the equivalent to Dominion’s actions, actually moves you around a board, and you have to plot out how you’re going to go and how you might be able to get through the space ship quickly and gain access to the treasure vault on one end of the ship. The buying of cards does still have the thematic disconnect, though, if the argument is that Lord Eradikus has a giant ship, and why wouldn’t he, these are people working or prisoners on his ship, or could even be people you’ve hired to show up to help you, some of them are just showing up later rather than at the beginning. Definitely not the strongest ties for the people you recruit, but the items make a lot of sense to be there, lying around the ship. And the bad guys are definitely out there patrolling the corridors.
While the deck building part is the biggest part of the game, it isn’t the most fun. The most fun part of the game is the Clank! (Just feels like it should always have the exclamation point). The noise that you make is denoted by cubes, and when a card with Lord Eradikus shows up in the adventure area, all the cubes you’ve added to a pool get put into a bag, and depending on how mad Lord Eradikus, a number of cubes are drawn from the deck. If you’re color of cube is drawn, you take damage, and if your damage track ever fills up, you are knocked out. So you’re trying to make as little noise as possible, but it’s still possible, even if you are the noisiest one on the ship that your color won’t be drawn. And there are things that make Lord Eradikus madder and drawing more cubes. Once you’ve breached his security system, he gets madder, once you steal and artifact, he get’s madder, and if you find one of his personal diaries, he gets madder.
So, in case you haven’t picked up on it, another good part of Clank! In! Space! is how seriously it takes itself. There are nods on basically every card to some Sci-Fi TV Show, Movie, or Book, or if not that, some pun being made. Star Wars, Star Trek, Tron, Chronicles of Riddick, Enders Game, The Fifth Element, and more show up and they are really well done. I didn’t get a chance to read all of the extra text on cards that I got in the game or that were out there, but each of them has a little line at the bottom so if it wasn’t already obvious what Sci-Fi thing it was spoofing, it would be clear. Even the adventurers you are playing, their meeples (wooden figures) are nods to sci-fi characters. That keeps this game from becoming too intense while playing it, but you still do feel the pressure of trying to gather points on the ship and trying to get off as quickly as possible so that you can score the most points and hopefully stop the other players from escaping the ship.
This is a well designed game and has a few differences, so I’ve heard, from the original game of Clank! which was a dungeon delve where you were trying to avoid a black dragon who was after you. To me, the theme of space and sci-fi makes more sense than a dungeon delve would as there are more things to Clank! about with on a space ship. And once you’ve played a few hands of this game, you start to know what you are doing right away, the biggest question is always what you’re going to buy or recruit and if you can fight someone. But everything is limited by the cards so that makes it simple. Even the card combo powers, where having a tech guy might cause another tech character to be better, those are easy to spot. The fact that there are only three different factions of cards means that you don’t have to think about the combos as much.
Finally, one fun thing about the game is the board. The board is set-up so that it slightly looks like a spaceship, but that’s not really the fun part of the board. The fun part of the board is the fact that three parts of it are modular. That means you can adjust the configuration of the board, and not just that, t hose three parts are double sided, so you have six potential modules to throw in the board. That means that you can change up the board from game to game, even by just moving the same modules into different positions. We played with the recommended starting game, but by just moving things around slightly, the game could be quite different.
Clank! In! Space! is a very fun game. It does run a little bit longer than some games. With three players, I think it took us an hour and a half, however, that was with us learning the game as well. I think once everyone knows the game, it would probably take an hour or less because the hands play out quickly once you know what cards you have. I do wonder a little bit about the long term replayability of the game, but there’s an expansion out there that I’ve heard adds some more interesting parts to the game, and with the modular board and a large deck of cards to recruit and fighting bad guys from, I think it’ll stick around for a while. I also like it because it has more of a game to it than Dominion does so while the hands play themselves, it’s way less auto-pilot than Dominion is.
Overall Grade: B+
Gamer Grade: B
Casual Grade: B+
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!