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This topic contains 21 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Universal Head 3 months ago.

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  • #14167

    ShadowClipse
    Participant

    UniHead,

    Here’s another great discussion we had 2 1/2 years ago!

    Since I presume you finally have access to your copy of Android the Board Bame, it’s time to bring it out to the light of day. If you have some extra leisure time, I suggest trying a solo playthrough just to experience the rich plots of each character’s story. In my first post above, I mentioned that for a solo game you can use the minimum of 3 characters and only play dark cards against the character to the left of the active character. Everything else can be played as normal.

    One other thing I’d like to mention since all this time has passed. I remember when Android: Netrunner was released, the only source or lore and backstory of the Android Universe at that time was the rulebook from Android the Board Game. So it’s also fun just to read through the rulebook and see the origin stories of this rich universe.

    Not sure if you have seen this, but FFG has recently released a hardcover tome that is the definitive guide to the Android universe complete with the backstories of key characters, the corporations, and all the accompanying artwork.
    It’s called “The Worlds of Android”: http://a.co/biJpWXK


    #14170

    Universal Head
    Keymaster

    Wow, time does fly.

    You read my mind, I saw it on the shelf the other day and I’m just waiting for the opportunity to play it again. A solo run through is a good idea.

    Cheers for the link. And thanks for reminding me!


    Universal Head Grand Master of the Esoteric Order of Gamers

    #14217
    Addum
    Addum
    Participant

    I played 1/2 a game of this about 18 months ago. 1/2 a game only as we were only sampling it as a two player just to run through the mechanics in lieu of a big session with it in the future. Sadly that session never happened.

    We both loved the time we had with Android. It is a superbly rich universe an this game dips into so many of it’s corners. Theme, mechanics, androids, crime. One day we will get the group together to play this.


    #14218

    Universal Head
    Keymaster

    A group of us are having an all-day game session next Tuesday and finally getting this one to the table.


    Universal Head Grand Master of the Esoteric Order of Gamers

    #14224

    ShadowClipse
    Participant

    UniHead,

    Looking forward to hearing about how this goes after you bring it to the table to play as a group. Make sure to frame the backstory and the premise the way I suggested in my original post (2 years ago). I’m willing to bet everyone will have a much better time with the game if expectations are set correctly from the start. This is doubly important because of the longer play time. You want everyone to understand what they are in for. Remember – everyone is acting as an unseen force of storytelling, they are helping to write the script to a world-spanning epic movie from the point of view of the character they have chosen to create a plot for. Enjoy!!


    #14230

    Universal Head
    Keymaster

    Well we played Android yesterday – a 4 player game that took more than 5 freakin’ hours!

    And I’m so sorry ShadowClipse, but I was really inimpressed.

    Yes, we probably should have broken it into two sessions as you suggested, because it did drag. But to me, it felt like a bolted-together Frankenstein of different game mechanics, held together with a clunky assemblage of thematic text and cliched storylines.

    Note that some minor spoilers follow if you haven’t read any of the plots.

    I found that none of the plots went anywhere particularly interesting. As Blaine, I was continually having to spent time and effort taking bloody Sara out somewhere just to get a favour. A lot of my light cards didn’t seem to have enough pay off to justify the effort. I was annoyed at Caprice’s plotline, which basically made her sanity dependent on whether her man Daniel loved her or not. Floyd’s plot didn’t really go anywhere. I didn’t get any particular sense of stories developing, and by the end we were fed up with reading out the disjointed snippets of text anyway.

    The conspiracy puzzle concept was very undermined by the 4VPs you get for just joining up 5 tiles in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal direction, which felt very gamey. The winning player (Floyd) got a heap of points from just getting a bunch of Haas tokens for 3 VP each. I got both of my hunches right but came in second-last.

    But my greatest problem is with the main system, which basically just consists of visiting board spots, moving a counter, and putting a number counter on a suspect. This kind of boring busy-work really reminded me of Kevin Wilson’s recent debacle The X- Files. There’s really no game in doing such things.

    There’s no way of knowing who is going to win until all the points are counted up at the end (a real bugbear of mine). There was no build up of tension, or even much ‘fun’ – we were zooming through latter half of the second week as we were all getting bored. The only meaningful interaction was when players played Dark cards on each other, which could feel a bit vindictive at times.

    Anyway, I’m sorry to say I just didn’t see the attraction of Android, and I can’t quite imagine it coming down off the shelf again.

    I am going to slightly update my summary sheet to fix some things, however.


    Universal Head Grand Master of the Esoteric Order of Gamers

    #14249
    Addum
    Addum
    Participant

    That’s a shame. Sorry to hear that UH.

    It makes me sad to hear when a group of players put in 5 hours but are really disappointed with the experience.


    #14251

    ShadowClipse
    Participant

    Hi Unihead,

    This very much has me discouraged that you feel like you wasted your time! I’m sorry that the experience was not what you or the players were hoping for. Why didn’t you stop after the first half of the game when nobody was having fun? I can only take the blame for convincing you to try it, so please don’t hold it against me!

    I can’t speak for a 4 player game, but my 3 player games have been enjoyable for me and my friends. I’m glad you at least gave it a real try. I was hoping you’d try what I did before my first multi-player game: a trial run as a solo experience. It gave me a better feel for everything before bringing in a big party in. If I hadn’t done that first, I may have been frustrated and overwhelmed and not understanding the bigger picture. Also with my solo play, I left it on the table and played in small bite-sized sessions over several days. This kept me from getting too overwhelmed and I was able to better absorb all the details. Having that deeper level of knowledge about the game world made things much easier when other players joined me for a real game. I could then treat my role as more of a host or a GM in an RPG. It allowed me to make sure the story and everything else made cohesive sense. When the players finally joined me, we only played the first half of the game and completed the second half of the game in our next game session (7 days later). My group really enjoys playing RPG’s and games that tell immersive and descriptive stories, so maybe all those factors are what made a difference for us.

    Seems like this game has a very hard division line. You either like it or your don’t, there is no in-between. It’s been said in many forums that this game is not for everyone, so all players must understand what they are getting into before investing the time. It might also depend on what kind of games you enjoy. Some folks like tactical combat, dice rolling games. Others like abstract strategy, Euro-style victory point driven games. I’m a well-rounded gamer in all of those categories, but others are strict dice rolling brawlers and won’t touch a game like this. Game experiences usually depend on the group you are playing with, which means if one person is not enjoying the game it can affect everyone at the table. Also if everyone at the table is overwhelmed or confused and not understanding complexities, then it’s definitely going to be a bad experience.

    Again accept my apologies for your sub-par experience with this game.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it.


    #14252

    Universal Head
    Keymaster

    Please ShadowClipse, there is aboslutely no need whatsoever to apologise! I’ve been meaning to get it to the table for a long time. I did try a bit of solo play beforehand to get used to the mechanics, and everyone got the hang of it pretty quickly. And in fact everyone had a pretty good time – we probably just wouldn’t bring it off the shelf again.

    I can see the ambition in the design, and I applaud what the designer was trying to do – what other game tracks your emotional baggage? – but I think the problem is that the mechanics of the game don’t reflect the theme. Instead, you have very basic and unsatisfying game mechanics (eg, visiting a location and placing a token on a sheet) with lashings and lashings of theme piled on top. As tasty a treat as the theme topping is, eventually you get down to the bog-standard unsatisfying mechanics underneath.

    I (and my game group) enjoy RPGs, but I must admit I often have this problem with very thematic games – they try to be an RPG, and when it comes down to it RPGs are just the perfect format for imaginative storytelling. Boardgames bound by rules mechanics, not so much.

    This is what Michael Barnes was talking about when he recently surprised everyone by asserting that Reina Knizia’s games were highly thematic. He argued that the game mechanisms themselves immersed you in the theme, not the layers of fluff text and illustrations and padding (a la Fantasy Flight Games). While I don’t fully agree with him (for a start Knizia’s games are often re-themed over and over, so the theme can’t be that intrinsically linked to the mechanics), I understand the point that for a game to really transport you, the mechanics of the game – the stuff that you actually do – has to be pull you into the theme.

    An example I re-discovered the other night was Theseus: The Dark Orbit. The game is relatively straightforward, but the central mechanic, which is you can only move around the space station a number of sectors equal to the number of units in the sector you started from, and the laying of trap and action cards throughout the station that change the gameplay, actually makes you feel like you’re on a claustrophobic space station persued by intelligent aliens. Far more so than any cards with “you crawl through the dripping air ducts, any moment expecting the hot breath of an alien to blast over your face in the darkness” cards.

    It’s an interesting subject, especially since the EOG is so concerned with theme in games.


    Universal Head Grand Master of the Esoteric Order of Gamers

    #14253

    Universal Head
    Keymaster

    Please ShadowClipse, there is aboslutely no need whatsoever to apologise! I’ve been meaning to get it to the table for a long time. I did try a bit of solo play beforehand to get used to the mechanics, and everyone got the hang of it pretty quickly. And in fact everyone had a pretty good time – we probably just wouldn’t bring it off the shelf again.

    I can see the ambition in the design, and I applaud what the designer was trying to do – what other game tracks your emotional baggage? – but I think the problem is that the mechanics of the game don’t reflect the theme. Instead, you have very basic and unsatisfying game mechanics (eg, visiting a location and placing a token on a sheet) with lashings and lashings of theme piled on top. As tasty a treat as the theme topping is, eventually you get down to the bog-standard unsatisfying mechanics underneath.

    I (and my game group) enjoy RPGs, but I must admit I often have this problem with very thematic games – they try to be an RPG, and when it comes down to it RPGs are just the perfect format for imaginative storytelling. Boardgames bound by rules mechanics, not so much.

    This is what Michael Barnes was talking about when he recently surprised everyone by asserting that Reina Knizia’s games were highly thematic. He argued that the game mechanisms themselves immersed you in the theme, not the layers of fluff text and illustrations and padding (a la Fantasy Flight Games). While I don’t fully agree with him (for a start Knizia’s games are often re-themed over and over, so the theme can’t be that intrinsically linked to the mechanics), I understand the point that for a game to really transport you, the mechanics of the game – the stuff that you actually do – has to be pull you into the theme.

    An example I re-discovered the other night was Theseus: The Dark Orbit. The game is relatively straightforward, but the central mechanic, which is you can only move around the space station a number of sectors equal to the number of units in the sector you started from, and the laying of trap and action cards throughout the station that change the gameplay, actually makes you feel like you’re on a claustrophobic space station persued by intelligent aliens. Far more so than any cards with “you crawl through the dripping air ducts, any moment expecting the hot breath of an alien to blast over your face in the darkness” written on them – even with evocative illustrations.

    It’s an interesting subject, especially since the EOG is so concerned with theme in games.


    Universal Head Grand Master of the Esoteric Order of Gamers

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