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Bugs Update: Recent Topics & Main Menu (11 Dec 2020)

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Hot Take on Fort

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11 Sep 2020 00:00 #313988 by mezike
Hot Take on Fort was created by mezike
Fort is a rehash of the mildly successful 2018 KickStarted game...

Play like a kid again.

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11 Sep 2020 10:17 - 11 Sep 2020 10:19 #313993 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Hot Take on Fort
Finally some front page content out of your awesome what have you been playing posts!

Pure deck builders are a tough sell for me. It's interesting to see them coming back around after the post race for the galaxy glut.
Last edit: 11 Sep 2020 10:19 by Gary Sax.
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11 Sep 2020 10:44 #313994 by ubarose
Replied by ubarose on topic Hot Take on Fort
The name of this game really threw me off. I appreciate having someone here describe and review it. I think this would be a big hit with my current gaming group, specifically my daughter and her friend who have discovered deck-builders. Plus, it is very reasonably priced. I may need to put this on the holiday gift list.
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11 Sep 2020 10:59 #313995 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Hot Take on Fort
Thank you for the kind words.

I would say that describing Fort as a deckbuilder is a bit of a stretch. Sure, the ingredients are there but it doesn't feel that way when you play. Your deck is pretty small and generally stays that way, some cards will go away during the course of events or be lodged in your treehouse as lookouts, and you only ever play one card on your turn with the others either adding 'resource' support (friends joining in on the game you have decided to play) or being used out of turn to follow the leader. Most of the time you are trying to find ways to ditch cards out of your hand so that they don't end up in your yard, or to get them out of circulation. There are tight limits on how much you can do with your one card play and so the combos that you can make across individual cards ends up being more important than doubling down on 'strategic purchases.' The kids you choose to invite over to play has its own particular thought process that isn't quite the same as choosing which stack of cards to mine. It's actually so divergent to the usual fare that it didn't even occur to me to think of it as deck-building.
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11 Sep 2020 11:39 #313998 by ubarose
Replied by ubarose on topic Hot Take on Fort
@mezike

Thank you. That sounds even more interesting.

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11 Sep 2020 17:51 #314006 by mc
Replied by mc on topic Hot Take on Fort
I can't help but keep thinking of Glory to Rome when I hear about this one - I guess that "follow with cards from your hand" action - are their other Chudyk likenesses? How wacky can those combos get?
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11 Sep 2020 23:28 #314016 by ubarose
Replied by ubarose on topic Hot Take on Fort
@mc
I was thinking the same thing.
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12 Sep 2020 03:25 #314021 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Hot Take on Fort
On the Chudyk scale it rates about 0.2 Carls. There is some potential to make big plays that will make everyone ooh and ahh but you won’t see the explosive game-breaking actions that Carl’s games are known for. ‘Synergies’ between cards may have been a better turn of phrase than ‘combos’
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27 Oct 2020 12:20 #315603 by Jexik
Replied by Jexik on topic Hot Take on Fort
I've got about 10 (2-player) games in now and I'd say a 3.5 or so matches my feelings as well.

The big difference here compared to most other deckbuilders is the single-mindedness of building the titular fort, and the fact that your pizza and toys stick around between turns to build said fort. A typical score is in the mid-30s, and up to 27 of that can come from building your fort to level 5 and being the first to do so. Much of the game is about gaining resources and building the fort; there is not as much focus on improving the cards in your deck to buy bigger and better cards to... well you get the idea.

In fact, all cards you can add to your deck have the same price- free. After you perform your action for the turn (and anyone follows who wants to), you recruit someone from someone else's unused pile, or from the central pool that refreshes every time one is taken. Starting decks are formed by 8 totally random cards and two "best friends" which can't be taken away. The best friend actions are simultaneously core and relatively strong, but the fort building in particular can be copied.

Much of the strategy and tactical decision making comes from the fact that there are two spaces for actions on each card- the public action (which can be copied, but sometimes in a less effective way like in RftG or Puerto Rico), and the personal action which only the active player can use. Finding cards that can build the fort up on that secondary action slot can help you get ahead. In general, scoring options are on the personal action, usually related to how many resources are in your pack (an additional storage slot) or how many Lookouts (cards slotted in to boost actions much like the Patron action in Glory to Rome) you have. One important thing to note is that your Lookouts can't copy- you can just discard one card from your hand to do so.

Another neat thing is that your strategy naturally focuses itself a little as you build your first and second level of your Fort. The first level gets you a "Made-up rule" (secret victory conditions generally worth 4-8 additional VP), with the second getting you a "perk" which is an additional power-up related to the various mechanics; in some cases they're one-time use.

Between trashing cards, lookouts, the delayed discard mentioned by Mezike, and other people stealing your friends, your deck can get pretty thin and focused; how focused it is at the start is determined by luck of the draw- compared to Dominion or Ascension, starting with 8 random cards gives this more of an 'in media res' kind of feel, which is part of why the game ends up being shorter. I'm a little interested to try this with 3 or 4 to see if it changes the dynamics of how many people follow actions and having additional options when it's time to recruit.
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