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Ugh. Played the full game once. So many things that detract from the gaming experience going on here. First, the mining is a mini-game of multiplayer Yinsh that feels so disjointed from the rest of the game, which seems to present a stronger theme.It seemed to me that there's a lot of fiddliness and complexity that shouldn't be there. It needed more developing. Too many resources (six) to collect for creating different types of weapons to use on adventurers of different levels to send on adventures of different difficulty (with different rewards) all requiring some specific type (or none) of weapon. In order to do well, the game requires players to 1) be good at spatial Yinsh-like abstracts (to collect resources) 2) be good at planning ahead and predicting what your opponents will do. With 2), it's like the regular customers in At the Gates of Loyang, but without the guaranteed income from your farms and with having to contribute an increasing number of vegetables to the customer each turn. While I enjoy games that require heavy analysis, this one was too easy to make a mistake in one's calculations. It would frustrate a player, but on the other hand, frustrate other players if you're taking slow turns to plan everything out in order to prevent such a mistake. It has excessive fiddliness with the six types of ore/gems to collect, a tableau for each player consisting of cards as well as a row of public weapons. In addition, you're constantly managing which adventurers are going on which adventure for that turn, checking to see if they have the right level to wield that weapon, making sure you have the required weapon type(s) for that adventure, and making sure you have enough strength to advance on that adventure while also planning perhaps other simultaneous adventures and considering how you will increase the strength on each one in the future. Whew! (breathe) On top of that, there are 20 abilities from which to choose when an adventurer reaches Level 4, each with a corresponding tiny counter. Sounds exciting, huh? And there's 18(?) rounds of this!I was so bewildered that I couldn't even appreciate what thematic elements were there. I rarely read the title of the adventures, and even what I saw had rewards that had little to do with any thematic reasoning.Forge War? The title makes it sound like a combat-oriented game, and while that probably sells more copies, it is highly misleading. Another commenter said it best in describing it as Human Resource management. Deciding who goes on what mission and what they will bring. You may likely get a better gaming experience by playing a couple games of Yinsh and a couple games of Lords of Waterdeep in the time it took to complete this game.
A pretty good Euro. In fact, it's probably my top Euro, especially when playing full-mode. However, it is heavy, and rarely sees the table due to its length, so I am parting with it.
backed KS - Due feb 2015. 18/4/2015 - tried a solo variant. Note to self, don't try this one late at night. 19/4/2015 - two player game with the wife. Lots of setup and explaining. Most of the game seem intuitive. A few more plays required. 21/4/2015 - 4 player epic game. Got 2/3 of the way through. Fun & thematic. It's growing on me
Okay, so maybe this is the heaviest game on my list. Watched Rahdo do a runthrough with a prototype expansion and it may be too heavy for me at my stage in the hobby. Will look at it in the far distant future (after Panamax and Shipyard).