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K2 Review - Digital Eyes

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15 Oct 2021 00:00 #327222 by oliverkinne
The game is relatively old now, but it's probably the...

Being halfway up the mountain, in bad weather, the time when we were still acclimatizing at base camp felt like an eternity ago. I knew that "Squiggle" was ahead of me and had erected their tent, but I had to save mine for nearer the top, where we needed the shelter more urgently. I could only imagine the relative comfort my fellow climber was in, while I was hunkered down behind a small collection of rocks to take the brunt of the storm. I kept thinking how dangerous it was, but I also kept reminding myself of the ultimate goal: reaching the summit of K2.

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15 Oct 2021 11:39 #327223 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic K2 Review - Digital Eyes
So is the element of luck limited to the cards you draw from a short deck? The weather sounds luckish, but would apply to everyone evenly.

This sounds like an interesting game but it also sounds like one of those games where the design is intended to give everyone the exact same resources so that there's a real matching-of-wits aspect to it, and I've kinda come to dislike those game. They feel constricting.

But I've never seen the game, real or virtual. There may be aspects that rattle around enough to give me the feeling that I'm having to think on my feet to deal with what's been dealt to me.

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15 Oct 2021 13:13 #327229 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic K2 Review - Digital Eyes
I enjoy K2 quite a bit with the caveat that summer weather on the summer climb should be avoided as it makes the ascent too simple and the game boils down to the blocking tactics that Oliver mentions. The result is often pretty sour for someone at the table and isn’t very challenging to play. Using at least one and preferably both winter elements makes it a much more challenging climb and puts more onus on good decision making and careful timing of when to make a risky ascent and when to move back to a safer rest point. There is a good amount of agency for sure, it’s fun and has dramatic moments, but the lack of cloth trading or zombie slaying makes it a hard sell on gaming nights.

Ultimately though I feel that the Broad Peak expansion is the best way to enjoy this game, the pinnacle if you will excuse the pun, as it has multiple peaks to scale and encourages you to both traverse the board and to make a start on a descent; something that is notably absent from the base game where I suppose the assumption is that everyone simply dies whilst stuck at the top of the mountain after the timer runs out? The three peaks negates the value of any blocking tactics which I think is great as it feels like a conspicuously gamey element, however you can still slow down and frustrate your opponents by dallying in certain places without completely wrecking their game.

L’Hotse does something different again with three climbing routes each with their own weather patterns, a setup which benefits from having multiple players creating crossing routes.
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17 Oct 2021 21:05 #327266 by DarthJoJo
Replied by DarthJoJo on topic K2 Review - Digital Eyes
I played Broad Peak for the first time this weekend and have to agree with mezike: this is the best incarnation of the K2. I’ve enjoyed multiple sessions with the base game but more as an experience than a competition. There’s risk and stress hoping you can draw a rope to get below that weather, but the very basic, open scoring makes calculations too simple. If someone loses a climber early, it’s trivially easy to figure the minimum height you need to climb to confirm the win and then spend the rest of the night sipping hot chocolate at base camp.

Broad Peak cracks that wide open with multiple scoring avenues. Even though I lost a climber early, I still had a chance to steal the win if I could hit every peak and traverse the mountain. I didn’t. He also froze to death two turns before game end, but I had a chance.

K2 was always fun, but Broad Peak makes it competitive.

Regarding luck, Sag, the maximum score in K2 is twenty, each of your two climbers able to score no more than ten points. Based on which weather set you use and which side of the mountain you climb, scores should probably range from ten to maximum. However, it is a fight for a climber to score more than six. The end scores may only be seventeen, sixteen and fourteen, but the skill and luck separating first and third is a lot.
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