Flashback Friday - Nexus Ops - Love it or Hate It? Do you Still Play It?

Flashback Friday - Nexus Ops - Love it or Hate It? Do you Still Play It?

ubarose     
423   0
Nexus Ops 1st edition

Nexus Ops is an Ameritrash game if ever there was one. Bright neon plastic units that practically glow in the dark and a theme not too far removed from Starship Troopers. Move units one space, gather up resources, build a bigger army, smash your units into your enemy and roll to determine the victor.

 

1st edition by Avalon Hill/Hasbro. 2nd edition by Fantasy Flight Games. Both editions considered by some to be the most garish game ever published. I personally prefer the neon colored monsters in the Avalon Hill version to the after-dinner-mint colors of the Fantasy Flight Games version.

 

 

Do you have a preferred version?  Do you love it or hate it? Do you still play it?  

 

 

Flashback Friday - Nexus Ops - Love it or Hate It? Do you Still Play It? There Will Be Games

Shop Amazon - When you make a purchase using these links a small % goes to the support of this site


Shellie RoseSubscribe to Shellie Rose Follow Shellie Rose Follow Shellie Rose Message Shellie Rose

Web Admin

Plays boardgames. Drinks bourbon. Writes code. 

Log in to comment
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 06:55 by san il defanso #281587
san il defanso's Avatar
I traded Zooloretto for an in-shrink copy of the AH edition. No regrets, it has become a perennial favorite. It's basically the only Dudes-on-a-map game I genuinely love, because the play style fits my personality so well. Not a ton of planning, dynamic board state, taking advantage of momentary benefits. This is my wheelhouse.

It is in my Top Ten, and it's not going anywhere.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 06:55 by Legomancer #281588
Legomancer's Avatar
I'm not much for Dudes on a Map, but this is the one I prefer. Not too long, gaudy as fuck, easy to pick up, and full of action. Any other DOAM has to beat this and so far there hasn't been much that can.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 06:59 by hotseatgames #281589
hotseatgames's Avatar
I have the FFG version. I have never had the pleasure of playing the AH version. I love my game, but I do wish the board tiles weren't so dark.

This is the quintessential DOAM. I will never turn it down.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:07 by Josh Look #281590
Josh Look's Avatar
Still love it and will never turn down a game.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:26 by jpat #281591
jpat's Avatar
For me, what makes Nexus Ops so prized is that it strips off the chrome and hits the accelerator. Nexus Ops avoids the slow buildup of many/most DoaMs and gets the players at each other almost right away (no hourlong marshaling of forces or engaging with neutrals first). There's a simple but nice exploration element that also helps accelerate the game by introducing tiles that often put new units near the center of the board, which itself isn't too big to traverse relatively easily. There are also a minimum of well-demarcated terrain effects--some flavor and effect but not too much. The king-of-the-hill center space is definitely worth fighting over but not completely dominating strategically. The combat mechanic, though hardly innovative, is simple, engaging, visceral, and "right-sized"; compare it to any of the increasingly baroque FFG approaches from around that time and later to see the difference. The economy is just right, so that you can afford to lose units but not completely waste them. Not only are the units cool as hell (I have the AH edition), but there is just enough differentiation of them to create interest without overwhelming players with incrementally different options. The cards help juice things up just enough with added powers and dole out just the right number of VPs. The game is compact in space and time, and yet it retains, even purifies, the DoaM experience, and I don't recall in about ten plays (I know, not enough, right?) the game ever feeling too short for all that.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:36 by Michael Barnes #281598
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Simply stated, this is the best DOAM game ever published and it is absolutely evergreen. Time has revealed it to be a near perfect distillation of key genre concepts both looking back and forward. I still feel like designers are chasing what this game has already done.

When it came out, I had my store. We got this little demo kit for it. It was like a paper board and two sets of pieces. It looked stupid as hell. But we tried it and everyone loved it. It was like Axis and Allies in some ways, like Twilight Imperium in others, some Risk in there...maybe some Starcraft...it was singular and fresh. And it stil is.

I love that it exists in a perfect state. No expansions. No redevelopments. Only the horribly misguided FFG reprint, which kept the game intact while ruining the visuals. And it’s a total one hit wonder for Charlie Catino, who never did anything else but CCGs. He was involved with the early develoment of Magic.

This is, I think, the only game I have ever owned two copies of. When it went OOP, I bought another one. I still have both.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 07:42 by Jexik #281599
Jexik's Avatar
Own it. Totally overtraded superfly for it but have no regrets. Probably haven't played it more than once in the past year. I should rectify that.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 08:00 by stoic #281601
stoic's Avatar
Play it all the time.

It's in my top ten--Near perfect.

Hate the colors of my FFG version.

Love it so much that I 3D printed a monolith.


image-4.jpeg
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 08:28 by Ah_Pook #281605
Ah_Pook's Avatar
Love it, don't play it nearly enough since most people I play with don't really like direct conflict games. It distills the doam experience down to pure fun imo.

I made a custom black light monolith for it, even.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 08:34 by ubarose #281606
ubarose's Avatar
Wow, all these custom monoliths are impressive. We just use a shot glass.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 10:56 by jeb #281615
jeb's Avatar
AH owner here, box is taped, I have cool purple plastic gems for the money. I play this probably 10x a year. It's a truly beautiful game on the table and it plays light and is fun as hell. THIS is my gateway game, honestly. When folks want to know what my little hobby is about, I have them play NEXUS OPS.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 12:36 by Ken B. #281620
Ken B.'s Avatar
There is an undeniable and untouchable genius to this game. It's so much fun. Awesome combat, surprising cardplay, shifting objectives, fast playing time. The game essentially starts and hits the ground running immediately.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 12:36 by Colorcrayons #281621
Colorcrayons's Avatar
Ive only played it once a couple moons ago for the first time in the last couple years.

Still solid as hell. I played it a bit too much however, so I burnt out on it a bit.

I have rethemed this game twice. Once as an early Edo period themed game using components from Shogun/samurai swords. And the second time as StarCraft using the FFG StarCraft components. I never quite finished the StarCraft version, but the Edo version is done.

I also made larger hex tiles that were sculpted to mimic the AH version. They were larger hexes because I was tired of the crowding problem. I sold those off but still possess the molds.

I still have a copy of the AG version in shrink.

I like a few things that FFG did with it though. Like adding a couple extra exploration tiles, so that you ate never sure what the last time will reveal, unlike the AH version. That does add a fair amount of tension and something I wanted to do to my own. The alternate maelstrom/monolith rules aren't bad either. Otherwise, the FFG version can be lost in time and forgotten merely because the board tiles are egregious.

This game survived the Cull of 2013, from 250 titles down to 20.

I may not play it alot, but there is no better title than Nexus Ops to fill that niche, though many have tried. It will absolutely never leave my collection. It is a top ten and compulsory ameritrash game.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 13:06 by Jexik #281626
Jexik's Avatar
After the so-far unanimous approval here, I decided to check out what the BGG hivemind gave it- and it's right at 350, with games like Citadels, Roborally and Thurn & Taxis.

And Concordia is 22?! What.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 13:28 by Sagrilarus #281630
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Love it, still play it. I'd much rather sit down to this than Scythe or Rising Sun.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 13:37 by Space Ghost #281633
Space Ghost's Avatar
Jexik wrote:
After the so-far unanimous approval here, I decided to check out what the BGG hivemind gave it- and it's right at 350, with games like Citadels, Roborally and Thurn & Taxis.

And Concordia is 22?! What.

Nexus ops is just a wonderful classic. Thurn & Taxis is possibly my least favorite game ever.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 14:25 by Ken B. #281637
Ken B.'s Avatar
Jexik wrote:
After the so-far unanimous approval here, I decided to check out what the BGG hivemind gave it- and it's right at 350, with games like Citadels, Roborally and Thurn & Taxis.

And Concordia is 22?! What.


I've had people whose opinions I respect recommend Concordia, but I can't make it three minutes into a how-to-play video without going, "NEXT!"
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 15:01 by Southernman #281638
Southernman's Avatar
I've got the AH edition and even though it doesn't get played often now (a combination of owning lots of great games, few gaming opportunities and a small group) it will only be sold when I finsih up in the hobby.
The minis are great, the rules simple but thorough and near perfect, combat both simplistic and involved ... and fun, and the VP objectives ahead of its time. I have always talked about building a custom monolith but never done it - maybe I just like it how it came.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 15:26 by WadeMonnig #281639
WadeMonnig's Avatar
Space Ghost wrote:
Jexik wrote:
After the so-far unanimous approval here, I decided to check out what the BGG hivemind gave it- and it's right at 350, with games like Citadels, Roborally and Thurn & Taxis.

And Concordia is 22?! What.

Nexus ops is just a wonderful classic. Thurn & Taxis is possibly my least favorite game ever.

Do tell about Thurn and Taxis. Was considering doing a article on it.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 15:32 by Colorcrayons #281640
Colorcrayons's Avatar
Jexik wrote:
After the so-far unanimous approval here, I decided to check out what the BGG hivemind gave it- and it's right at 350, with games like Citadels, Roborally and Thurn & Taxis.

And Concordia is 22?! What.

I've found some of the best games lie outside of the top 200 that the hivemind recommends.

Proving yet again that the only reason to use that system is for inventory purposes when running a game shop so that you remain stocked in fashionable trends.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 15:38 by Southernman #281641
Southernman's Avatar
WadeMonnig wrote:
Space Ghost wrote:
Jexik wrote:
After the so-far unanimous approval here, I decided to check out what the BGG hivemind gave it- and it's right at 350, with games like Citadels, Roborally and Thurn & Taxis.

And Concordia is 22?! What.

Nexus ops is just a wonderful classic. Thurn & Taxis is possibly my least favorite game ever.

Do tell about Thurn and Taxis. Was considering doing a article on it.

Please don't. Also it will be a couple of hours of your life you will never get back.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 16:28 by Jexik #281642
Jexik's Avatar
Ken B. wrote:
I've had people whose opinions I respect recommend Concordia, but I can't make it three minutes into a how-to-play video without going, "NEXT!"

It's not bad. In fact it's probably pretty good. 22 all time surprised me though.

And 350 for a 13-year old game is still good. There are about 10 games in the top 100 that are as old or older than Nexus Ops.

Thurn and Taxis felt like a proto Ticket to Ride.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 16:56 by engineer Al #281644
engineer Al's Avatar
Ah_Pook wrote:
I made a custom black light monolith for it, even.

OK, that is the coolest game pimp I have ever seen. I want to play with you!

Possibly my favorite game of all time.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 17:22 by Whoshim #281645
Whoshim's Avatar
I found NexusOps unsatisfying. I won the first multiplayer game that I played even though I was basically destroyed. I was able to get points through the cards matching up pretty exactly with what I was able to do each turn. It just felt weird to me to lose so much but still win the game. It was not satisfying. I think I only played one game after that.

While Risk does not have a lot of bells and whistles, it feels more satisfying when I win that game.

I don't play very many DoaM games much right now (my sons are still young). We will start doing Axis and Allies in the near future. Then, when they are a little older, we will be playing Imperial and Rex.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 18:33 by SaMoKo #281646
SaMoKo's Avatar
Mentioned in another thread that this game was alright, but I honestly find it a bit dull for a DOAM. Maybe I just haven’t found what I’ve been looking for in the genre, but I’ll know it when I see it. Nexus Ops seems very crunchy to me, and a bit too chaotic. I’d honestly rather play Dominant Species, Chaos in the Old World, or Combat Commander (2p)
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 19:29 by Michael Barnes #281647
Michael Barnes's Avatar
You monster
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 19:55 by SaMoKo #281648
SaMoKo's Avatar
Michael Barnes wrote:
You monster

Just wait until I press for the supremacy of Trains on a Map (TOAM*)

*Also known as Toads on a Mantle
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 19:59 by ubarose #281649
ubarose's Avatar
WadeMonnig wrote:
Space Ghost wrote:
Jexik wrote:
After the so-far unanimous approval here, I decided to check out what the BGG hivemind gave it- and it's right at 350, with games like Citadels, Roborally and Thurn & Taxis.

And Concordia is 22?! What.

Nexus ops is just a wonderful classic. Thurn & Taxis is possibly my least favorite game ever.

Do tell about Thurn and Taxis. Was considering doing a article on it.

You monster.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 20:01 by jeb #281650
jeb's Avatar
I can't fault the complaints. The game is pretty simple at its core and can be swingy as hell if your white-point objectives line up. But it's just so good. It's not trying to be a three-hour slugfest between genius tacticians. It's just trying to have cool fights between spider guys and lizard guys, with a dragon guy shooting some lava here and there.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 20:09 by SaMoKo #281651
SaMoKo's Avatar
jeb wrote:
I can't fault the complaints. The game is pretty simple at its core and can be swingy as hell if your white-point objectives line up. But it's just so good. It's not trying to be a three-hour slugfest between genius tacticians. It's just trying to have cool fights between spider guys and lizard guys, with a dragon guy shooting some lava here and there.

Like most games, I’ll play and have fun with it if it’s in front of me. I’m a gamer, it’s a rare game I dislike enough that I’d have more fun doing nothing (ie, Hansa Teutonica). It’s just not generally gonna be my pick when my rotation of picking a game comes
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 21:41 by Sevej #281654
Sevej's Avatar
Really liking it. It's got the whole thing, except for research/tech tree. Every unit is different & useful, terrain types are interesting, cards are powerful, and you can make combos with the objectives.
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 22:38 by SaMoKo #281656
SaMoKo's Avatar
Shit, I just remembered by favourite DOAM style game. Circus Imperium, and obscure old game about futuristic chariots racing and gladiators slaughtering each other. Maybe it's more a racing game but I dont care. It was pure black tar Ameritrash. That game rocked and I wish I could find it again :(
Posted: 15 Sep 2018 03:00 by Aarontu #281657
Aarontu's Avatar
I still love Nexus Ops. It fast and fun, and feels more like StarCraft than StarCraft the board game did.

While we're sharing our monoliths, here's mine that I made last year. I carved it from wood and painted it and attached some plastic crystals and greenish uranium glass bits that glow under the black light.
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Posted: 15 Sep 2018 20:30 by heruca #281691
heruca's Avatar
I love this game, would never turn it down.

Most of the comments here are spot on about what makes it so great.

I prefer the AH version, and think the FFG version looks like someone puked.

But I never really liked the sci-fi theme, so I created a medieval re-theme that I called Feudal Ops. Unfortunately, it only exists in digital, not physical, form. It's a free download from my site.

Posted: 15 Sep 2018 20:50 by dysjunct #281692
dysjunct's Avatar
I am pretty lukewarm about the game. I bought the AH one when it was $12 and then sold it a year later. Then I bought the FFG one when everyone kept gushing about it. And sold it a year later.

It is okay but super light. It is basically Fightin’ Yachtzee: roll some dice and make some mostly obvious decisions. That is fine but I’d rather play almost anything else. I would rather play San Juan or Love Letter or something.
Posted: 16 Sep 2018 19:25 by jeb #281718
jeb's Avatar
dysjunct wrote:
It is okay but super light. It is basically Fightin’ Yachtzee: roll some dice and make some mostly obvious decisions. That is fine but I’d rather play almost anything else. I would rather play San Juan or Love Letter or something.
It's not my fault you're wrong.
Posted: 17 Sep 2018 02:30 by MattDP #281728
MattDP's Avatar
Still great, still sees play, still impressive with a clever combination of traditional DOAM tropes alongside just enough streamlining and mechanical balancing to keep rogue dice in check. Chaining a series of objectives in one round for a victory out of nowhere is a magnificent moment.

The only other game that can challenge it is Risk: Legacy. But that's Legacy, which is great but makes it more of an occasion game. There's never not a great time to play Nexus Ops.
Posted: 17 Sep 2018 07:08 by Jexik #281741
Jexik's Avatar
Whoshim wrote:
I found NexusOps unsatisfying. I won the first multiplayer game that I played even though I was basically destroyed. I was able to get points through the cards matching up pretty exactly with what I was able to do each turn. It just felt weird to me to lose so much but still win the game. It was not satisfying. I think I only played one game after that.

Yeah, it's really more of an objective based thing. If you're expecting the guy with the most dudes on the map to win, he's doing it wrong. You get points for attacking people and accomplishing things, not waiting until you die of sun cancer in Australia.
Posted: 17 Sep 2018 17:43 by Whoshim #281783
Whoshim's Avatar
Jexik wrote:
Whoshim wrote:
I found NexusOps unsatisfying. I won the first multiplayer game that I played even though I was basically destroyed. I was able to get points through the cards matching up pretty exactly with what I was able to do each turn. It just felt weird to me to lose so much but still win the game. It was not satisfying. I think I only played one game after that.

Yeah, it's really more of an objective based thing. If you're expecting the guy with the most dudes on the map to win, he's doing it wrong. You get points for attacking people and accomplishing things, not waiting until you die of sun cancer in Australia.

Yeah. I thought objectives would make it better, but it just felt a bit too random for me. I think the idea of being able to win without dominating the entire board is a good one. However, I was able to win while being dominated (from a military perspective).

I think that objectives usually make military games better ("kill them all" is my preferred way to play Heroscape though). I would be willing to play Nexus Ops again, but I don't know anyone who has it. I might find that my opinion of it changes, but I have enough games that I really like that I am not interested in tracking down a copy.