Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Exploring Nautilus, Thunderstone and Slavika

On Saturday we played a couple of newly acquired games at Murphy's Heroes. Tom had brought Nautilus and Thunderstone, while I added King of Tokyo and Slavika to the programme.

The underwater base expands, submarines scan the sea bottom for treasure
We spent quite some time at Nautilus, a eurogame with little conflict where the players expand an underwater base. From there they explore the surrounding sea in submarines for the lost treasures of Atlantis.

By adding new labs to the base and staffing them with scientists you can improve your searching capabilities and ability to retrieve treasures. You can even make more money out of finds and increase the number and the speed of subs. In the end these little advantages proved decisive as I was able to score bonus points by being able to ignore the less valuable treasures.

Not a game I´ll be asking to play again.

The heroes of Slavika
After that it was on to Slavika, in which the heroes of each clan take on a range of monsters from Slavic mythology. Apart from overcoming the monsters, the challenge is in dividing the spoils.

That was easier said than done because there are limits to where you can put your heroes and monsters and because the situation changed constantly. The winner was the one best able to profit from these opportunities.

This looks to be a decent but not entirely special eurogame with a reasonable level of interaction but not direct conflict. There were more rule questions than I had expected and we couldn´t solve all of them quickly.

The unique selling point for this game is that it's beautifully illustrated with a cast of relatively unknown mythological characters. I´d like to give this one a few more goes.

The runner´s up kill pile in Thunderstone. The winner scored 19 points
There was some time left for a game of Thunderstone, a deckbuilder in which you either enter a dungeon to kill monsters or spend time in the village preparing for these expeditions.

Like all deckbuilders, the challenge is to balance between the size of your drawing deck and the quality of the cards. In the end two of us had spend to much preparing and were surprised by the end of the game, without having killed enough monsters.

Considering that this was one of the first evolutions on Dominion it is not a bad attempt to cash in on the popularity of the former, but I don't see this one keeping the attention of players for very long. But the range of cards will probably give you enough opportunity to try out differing strategies. Happy to play again.

Things are heating up in downtown Tokyo
We had started the day with three very bloody and quick games of King of Tokyo. You already know I'm quite taken to this game.

I tried to just go for maximum damage and this proved effective in frustrating the build up of strong cards with the other players. It proved tit for tat and all games were decided by last monster standing rather than victory points. Maybe this was part of the three player setting.

This was a good start to the Essen 2012 challenge, with Slavika receiving it's baptism, and King of Tokyo's first play after Spiel.

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