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Monday, October 22, 2007


Nexus Ops initial impressions

Finally. After a boardgame drought this summer I spent two evenings this last weekend playing games.

Friday was Nexus Ops. Two games. Initial impression: Pretty good. Surprisingly good, even. This little 90 minute, Axis-and-Allies-esque wargame should be widely available at WalMart, Toys R Us, etc. I think it would have mass market appeal if it were properly marketed. I've had Nexus Ops for a year or more and this was our first opportunity to play. I can see this game being very popular with the teenage boy crowd.

Don't know what to say about it, though. It is a balanced shoot-em-up with units of differing strengths, costs, and abilities. It is not a simple wargame that devolves into massive armies squaring off with lots of dice rolling, nor is it subject to the controversial "turtling" strategy (holing up, amassing units and busting out when opponents have weakened themselves).

Players draw secret goals every round and earn a few points (1-4) for accomplishing those goals. First player to 12 points wins. Goals might be kill a unit of a certain type, or win a battle and have a unit of a certain type survive the battle, or place a unit on a certain terrain type. There are many different goals. Even if a player wins a battle but has no specific VP that he can claim for winning the battle he still earns one VP for winning the battle. In addition players need to control mines to get get money to buy units, this leads to a lot of fighting that has nothing to do with gaining VP, but your opponents can never be sure of the purpose behind the attack.

Give it a try. Not a great game, but still highly recommended. As much as that sounds a bit contradictory, I stand by it. Call it a good gateway game for your videogame playing nephew.

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