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Many Keyforge Players Are Asking the Questions...
I guess I'm surprised to see you reflecting on its longevity! If there's one thing I've gotten from you (you've changed *my* attitude towards games a bit, tbh) in the last five years it's the transitivity of gaming experiences, and Keyforge seems right in line with that philosophy! It doesn't have to be good forever. It isn't important for something to make the forever shelf. If it's super good now, for the next 6 months and you play it a lot... then it worked! Sell it off when you're done!
I'm not calling you out or anything. I just find your extended ruminations on the long-run really interesting in light of how I feel like your gaming philosophy has evolved over time in your writing.
Normally I'd be banging on my desk and demanding long term plans, but I'm just happy with where it is right now. I can wait on answers.
Gary Sax wrote: First, really good review, Michael.
I guess I'm surprised to see you reflecting on its longevity! If there's one thing I've gotten from you (you've changed *my* attitude towards games a bit, tbh) in the last five years it's the transitivity of gaming experiences, and Keyforge seems right in line with that philosophy!
Barnes is the Marie Kondo of board games.He inspires me to fling my verbal feces at him in passive-aggression so I don't have to think about the invisible cage I dwell within, the bars constructed of my felt need to hoard everything, and more unsettling, the fear of loss. Perhaps it's the transitivity [great word] of all experiences that Barnes is leading us towards, and board games are just the first step on the journey.
However this seems to be more akin to a card game that is tournament only. Sure you can use the same draft tournament decks after you get home in Magic, but why? How you all are talking reminds me of how my old group was when the original DiskWars came out. Boy did we have a lot of fun with a sealed draft. DW is still a sound game mechanically, but no one plays it anymore.
This game is really trying to replicate a sealed deck tournament with every game you play.
At the end of the day what turns MTG from a good to a great game is that you can show up to every Friday Night Magic with a different box of decks and completely different play style. I'm not sure this is in the same league as MTG.
I think you accidentally hit the nail on the head when you sort of asked if it would be better as an online game.
Not Sure wrote: The hype is way the fuck out of control, though. It's a good game. That's about it. If you skipped playing it forever, you're not missing anything critical. It's a fun asymmetric light wargame, set in a forest. There's some decent depth to it, and it does a lot with not too much chrome in the rules.
Predicted timeline for Root at this site:
Now: This thread picks up steam and goes to five pages.
Early 2019: Barnes names Root as Game of the Year, 2018.
Summer 2019: Barnes put up Root for sale.
2020: Nobody here talks about Root anymore, even in the What BOARD GAME(s) Have You Been Playing? thread.
2028: Ubarose starts a Flashback thread about Root. Several people rave about how it was such a great game and they played it just last month.
This is what Keyforge means: it is the latest novelty that will inspire obsession in people who tend to fall for each latest novelty. It is so laughably predictable that Archon will experience a dramatic rise and fall over the course of maybe two years, but some people lack self-awareness. You could replace every reference to Root with Keyforge above, and it would probably still be a solid prediction.
I'm a fan of Richard Garfield's card game designs, aside from the disappointing Battletech CCG that quickly sank from sight. But he is someone who creates these games and not the caretaker who sustains them. There were a couple of clans in Jyhad that were at a disadvantage in the base game, and the Corp player definitely had the advantage in the original base set for Netrunner 1st edition. These games can carry on because other people stepped in and designed subsequent sets that adjusted the play environment in hopes of a better approximation of parity. Keyforge is already known to have unbalanced decks that can never even be improved through deckbuilding, and I think it remains to be seen if chains can successfully restore balance. Expansions are likely to add new "colors" (with respect to Magic), and those are likely to also result in some unbalanced decks. And while I have never enjoyed the deckbuilding aspect of CCGs, it does seem like each individual Keyforge deck offers a very finite amount of entertainment because it can never be changed.
I found the rules instantly online, so that's not really a concern. But all of those tokens and apparatus that people were dismissing as non-essential seem to me to be far more useful than initially considered. I'm fine with using dice or paper and pencil to track aember (just like MTG life totals, back in the day) but then you have to use dice to track wounds on every creature, since damage sticks around. And it's not feasible with just d6s, since I see power totals going up to 10. So, conceivably, you need a fistful of d10s. And you need something to track keys with. And you need a way to count power tokens. And record which creatures are stunned (turn them face down?) AND a way to track chains on each player, since it's not just a mechanic to restrain decks, but is an active part of the game that many cards implement.
So, it really seems like it's a wise idea to pick up a starter if you're going to play, unless you want to keep a laptop with a spreadsheet around and spend time typing in everything that's happening on the table. The problem I see is that I have no desire to spend money on or have a pair of "starter" decks sitting around. I'm smart enough to just dive in, thanks. What would be nice is a way to get the game apparatus without spending on starter decks and two more decks that I don't really want.
"OK. The orange dice are Aember, but all the d10s are damage. Power tokens are pennies. Rubber bands are stun tokens. Heads on the half dollars is a forged key; tails is unforged. And we'll keep track of chains on this scratch paper." Dunno. Seems like too much of a hassle. But given the number of times I'm probably going to play, another $40 isn't something that interests me right now.
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The Cadillac option is the Team Covenanr set, which includes randomly generated Æmber tokens...but they are mad expensive.
I’m still just using dice...