October 7, 2007

Game Night at Matt & Ling's

Luna and I just got back from a game night at Matt and Ling's place, up in Fremont. They live very close to Shannon and Yvonne, actually. Wendy, Brian, and Quyen were there and Thomas showed up later at 8pm. We ate some random stuff for a while before starting the games. Luna wanted to play Bohnanza again so we played that first. Wendy won that with 13 points; I had 12 and Luna had 9. By that time Thomas had arrived so we needed to figure out how to get eight people into a game. We ended up splitting into two groups. Luna played Settlers of Catan with Wendy, Ling, and Brian. And I played a game called Nexus Ops with Quyen, Thomas, and Matt.

Nexus OpsNexus Ops is a little remiscent in the look of its units to Starcraft. The basic idea is to acquire victory points by completing missions and winning battles against the other players. There are six types of units, with the cheaper ones being very weak and the more expensive ones very powerful. The mid-level units have certain abilities that make them more useful in some situations than in others. You're also limited in the number of a type of unit you can purchase, and the combat system makes it benficial to have a good mix of unit types.

The main mistake I think many of us made was to consider this a territory game. That's how the board looks, and also how many similar games are designed. But Nexus Ops is a capture game, which means there is no reason to try and take and hold territories unless there is some immediate benefit. Losing a territory makes sense if that lets you win a battle somewhere else. It's a pretty fun game, but tense because just about everything you might do is likely to leave you open to a successful counter-attack. It becomes important to figure out the trade-offs. I ended up coming in second place, with 11 points; Quyen was the first to 12. I think if I'd been more aggresive I could have won, because I would only need to win one more battle to reach 12 points before Quyen.

Posted by josuah at October 7, 2007 7:58 AM UTC+00:00

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