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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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Running the Maze of Design with Theseus

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30 Jan 2019 00:00 #291073 by Jackwraith
Theseus: The Dark Orbit can be a surprisingly simple game....

Well regarded, but never a huge hit, Theseus tests the concept of "rules complexity".
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30 Jan 2019 08:13 #291074 by hotseatgames
Great article! It's been a while since I have played. I had been of the opinion that Hunters are a bit OP. I have never seen them lose, personally. The only time I played above 2 players, we did 3 players, with the third player controlling the Pandora virus. It was a decent game but not as good as 2 players. I will consider trying to get a standard 3 player game going.
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30 Jan 2019 08:20 #291076 by Gary Sax
I just think the Hunters being able to control their movement better than others is kind of a core betrayal of the game system so I have them but have never tried them.
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30 Jan 2019 08:39 #291077 by mezike
There was a period in my life, before I got back into hobby gaming, where I was mad keen on Mancala. My GF of the time and I had spent some time in Gambia where it was something of an obsession amongst the locals and we brought a set home which we then played with an equal level of gusto.

The reason why I eventually stopped playing was because it felt like such a negative game. You do not create anything positive, there is no forward progress, it’s just grinding each other down with trick moves and counters. Very intense strategically, however we always left the table feeling like we had just been awful people to each other for a while.

I’ve only played Theseus a couple of times but I really appreciated all of the additional little wrinkles that it adds to the game that inspired it. You can still be strategic and competitive whilst actually creating something so you come away with a more positive feeling at the end. You win by doing more than just grinding down your opponent.
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30 Jan 2019 08:48 #291078 by Jackwraith
On the Hunters: I think they can border on being OP when played by someone who is flexible in their approach to the game. The Hunters' versatility means that they do everything well (including move), but aren't particularly great at any one thing. They're kind of the converse to the Scientists, who don't really do anything well, but kind of stand around and observe, which occasionally leads to wins. However, I think the Hunters versatility also masks the fact that, if you're in the late game and you need to push a few points one way or the other, many of the other factions are better equipped to do so because they inflict more damage with installed cards or they have more ability to manipulate opponents, whether directly like the Greys' Control or indirectly with traps.

@mezike: I irritated one of my players by describing the movement in Theseus as "Mancala-like." She immediately solidified the idea in her head that, like mancala, you moved all of your pieces at once and dropped them off, one by one, until you had moved all of them. When I finally convinced her of how movement actually works in Theseus, she was like: "Don't ever tell anyone that again!"
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30 Jan 2019 08:51 #291080 by Legomancer
I love this game and don't play it nearly enough.
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30 Jan 2019 08:56 #291083 by hotseatgames
I'll also add that my favorite faction to play is the Scientists. I think I just find their play style satisfying, I don't think I have actually racked up many wins with them, but that's alright.
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30 Jan 2019 09:13 #291086 by Jackwraith
I enjoy them, too, most importantly for something I didn't really cover in the article: theme. All of the factions operate the way you'd expect them to. The Marines shoot everything that moves. The Aliens spawn everywhere. And the Scientists often win just by racking up Data points with their cameras (observing) and otherwise trying to stay out of the way. They're scientists! It's a rare bird that is both engaging to play and executes its own theme so well. The old mantra about Knizia is that his games are great, but theme is secondary, if that. Tigris and Euphrates is a brilliant set collection game, but has nothing to do with Babylon. But Theseus factions play like what they are. The theme IS the game. That's part of what makes it so great.

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30 Jan 2019 12:01 #291119 by stoic
Love the game! Great review! These are excellent descriptions of the factions.
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30 Jan 2019 13:10 #291135 by LazarusTNT
When you taught me to play (HotseatGames) I beat you the second game with my Greys vs your Hunters

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30 Jan 2019 14:09 #291144 by hotseatgames
I have no recollection of that, but if anyone could screw up the hunters, it would be me.

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