Monday, May 14, 2018

Board Game Preview: CARD TYPES and COMPONENTS!

It's time for another awesome preview of what's in the New York edition of the adventure game, Galaxy Zento. For those who need a little catch up, it's a 2-6 player game that utilizes an event deck and interactive board to simulate an adventure where you are trying to complete a random goal for good or evil before anyone else. So much has gone into the creation of this game that gives nods to classics like Talisman and other event deck games. If you liked Talisman you will love GZ. The game is packed with action and options. Even as today's post gives you a solid view of that, it only scratches the surface. So lets dig in! (click on image for better view)

Player Characters: The first thing you get when you set up for play is a random player character type. There are 18 of them with GZNY and they all have cool abilities to help you on your journey. Some of them are even predetermined to be good or evil (otherwise you would have a choice). Some of them have special cards that go with them to boost them even more. The symbols are for attack (star), defense (shield), recruit (speech bubble) and evade (arrow). While red and green are part of their color scheme, the symbols are colorblind friendly. Next you have stats for Spells, Traps, and Obtain. Not all PC's can start by playing spells, but all have a stat for them should they become able during game play. Traps are for escaping trap cards and obtain is for artifacts. Each of the numbers, except defense are your modifiers to add to d20 rolls where they apply for each type of
encounter (traps, artifacts, combat, etc). Ways to build on your stats are all over the place and most players wind up pretty huge in just a few rounds.

PC Specials: These are identified on the back of the card by the word "special" and you only get them with certain player characters. There is another type of special card, but we will get to that in a few. The best specials are for the Elemental in this case with four cards. Each one is powerful but can only be used once per game. There are 11 specials spread out to 4 PCs. So there is a good chance of seeing them in play in a six player game.

Goals: These are the win conditions that are dealt randomly to players. Some team play options will be included. Goal cards also back you up with built in rewards as you play and earn your goal tokens. You can read much more on goals in my last post, linked HERE. In the next newsletter I will be spoiling more of the goal cards so be sure to sign up for that! If you can't get the link in the upper left to work, hit the links in the upper right and visit the Facebook page. You can't miss the pinned sign up link there! The newsletter comes with character spotlights, game spoilers and more! Resends of the first 3 editions will start next week and will only go to people who either are new or didn't open them in the first place.

Powers: These also have their own deck and there are lots of ways to get yourself a cool power. With 36 powers available and a limit of 3 in play per person, the combos are nearly unlimited. There are even a few you might call "broken". But fear not, nearly everything has a balancer in place. No matter how powerful you are, something out there thinks you're a snack. You'll be getting a solid example of that soon. The first two expansions had powers in the main deck and those are still good depending on how you want to run your game. Remember that the game is totally customizable so you can play it any way you want. Play or don't play any card you want.

Spells: The spell deck contains 90 powerful cards that make spell castors special in their own right. But there are several ways to wind up able to play spells. If you can play spells, at the beginning of your turn, you draw a spell card that you don't have to reveal. Spell cards are the only secretive cards in the game. You only have to reveal a spell when you actually play it. Everything else is full reveal. Spells serve nearly every purpose you can think of to the point of duplicating some effects. Spells can really be easy come easy go however as the game changes pace over and over again. Be careful when hoarding spells that something doesn't make you lose your hand. Spells can be used both in and out of combat with specific rules for each way of play.


As if all that weren't enough, you still have the card types within the event deck itself to contend with. GZNY comes with a main deck of 126 cards that you can adjust to your whim. Want to play all death effects and see how far you make it? Go ahead. Want to make it super easy with only the simplest things? Same deal. These are the types of cards that you will have jump out you as you wander New York City.

Items: A simple freebie card. Who leaves a laser rifle laying around? Whatever, it's yours now. Found a power potion? Cool! Only at focal points do you have to worry about them not being a free pick up for your turn (if you reveal a threat with it because you reveal 3 cards at focal points- see the board explanation HERE).  Items can be weapons, armor, or just some cool gimmick. Either way, they add to your play abilities and help you on your journey.

Specials: Another freebie that can accent your play. There's one to help reveal more cards and another that allows you an extra ally. There aren't very many specials hence the term, but they are handy.

Artifacts: These are more powerful can common items and require a dice roll to pick them up. If you fail the roll, they vanish. If you make the roll, you have a new powerful trinket. Artifacts do all sorts of a awesome things to enhance game play but watch out for....

Cursed Artifacts: There is no roll required for one of these. In fact, they will attach themselves to you as soon as you reveal them. They will block you from using any other weapon items or artifacts. Some will send away your allies. Some will turn you into a monster. There are ways to get rid of cursed artifacts, but your best bet is to get your PC killed in action. Most of these will make you a danger to the whole table and a target anyway.

Event: An event card triggers as soon as it is revealed and before any other actions can be taken. They can be both good and bad when it comes to the game environment. In some cases, more than one event can trigger at a time. In those cases, the player whose turn it is gets to decide which is first. Many of the events mirror things that happened in the novels the game is based on. Check those out via the links in the upper right.

Gods: A god card is a permanent effect with special rules. Gods have a powerful effect on the game and offer a little more if you succeed at praying to one. You can appease a god with a sacrifice of a power or artifact followed by a dice roll, but be wary. Fail, and you still lose your offering. Just like events, some gods are beneficial to the table. Others raise the stakes considerably. There is an event and spell to help clear them out, but you have to draw it first.

Traps: Trap cards require a dice roll to escape. Failure to escape causes bad things to happen to you. Pretty simple.

Training Cards: A training card is another freebie that gives you a boost or two. They can affect nearly any of your stats and allow you to play spells, attack better, or hunt for monsters.

Beasts and monsters: These two types serve many of the same purposes with a few differences sprinkled in. Some have different rewards for defeating them in combat. The same to be said of the repercussions of failure. As you look at the card you see several stats like your own. They have their own attack and defense before giving a number to roll if you think you can evade them. Failure to evade any threat means going into combat. Sometimes, failure to evade makes the enemy stronger because they noticed you. Some rare beasts can be made into allies either by spells or special ability.

Good and Evil characters: This is where your alignment really matters. If your alignment matches a character you reveal, you may roll to recruit him or her as an ally. Allies give you bonuses listed on the card. If they don't match, you can either try to evade them or fight them. Combat involves being the first to hit the opposing defense three times. If a player loses, they take 1 damage (per combat, not hit) and sometimes, something else bad happens. When it comes to characters, you want to be careful who you fight. These are the heroes and villains of the GZ stories. There are plenty of them.

Team Memberships:  If you look closer at that character above, you will note a word under her name. That word is the super hero team she belongs to. There are a few teams represented both good and evil in the game. When you reveal a membership, it's a freebie and you belong to that team, making it easier to recruit them as allies when you come across them.

Special Enemies: Special enemies have no alignment requirements and are general enemies to everyone once they are triggered to a point. Some will attack everyone no matter who reveals them. Some will start with the player who revealed and move on to everyone else afterwards. All of them are dangerous and challenging.

Other components: Do you love lots of components? Well, this comes with colored tokens to keep track of your goals, health, achievements, and poison. There are special cardboard chits for the special enemies that you put right on the board when they appear. There are 38 cardboard chits and they represent some spells and some threats. The game comes with 2 d 20s and a d6. It comes with a fleshed out rule book and alternative play methods. The best part, as I write this, is that it's almost available! All I can say is to stay tuned. Hope you enjoyed this very revealing post! Got questions? Hit me up in comments anywhere!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Board game preview: HOW TO WIN!

Isn't that what everyone wants to know? How to win the game is the single most important key to nearly any game out there. Well, it's time for these previews to heat way up as I show you just a few ways to win at the Galaxy Zento adventure game!

As I've explained before, in game set up, each player is given a random goal. The first player to complete their goal wins. But not all goals are created equal. Thanks to the game being heavily customizable, the host should make sure the main deck is built to support the goals being used. There will be 18 goals with the New York edition, but you don't have to use all of them. For a 6 player game, having 7 to 8 goals possible is plenty. I will get more into main deck arrangements later. For now, let's look at just a few of those 18 new goals!

Achievement Hog:  Of course, the first one I show you is kind of a dirty trick. You might look at the player with this goal and think, "why bother playing any further?". Well, don't let a guy with a ton of achievement tokens deter you. There is a good chance this guy will have a bull's eye on him all game long. Since players can take damage and 5 damage kills a player, you know how to nerf this goal. Getting achievement tokens only happens when you win combats, escape traps, or obtain artifacts. And getting a lot of tokens isn't that easy to build up. But with the right build up of powers or spells, the achievement hog can do a lot to interfere with other players while building up their stash. He'll force you to pay attention around the table as you make way for your own win.

Archaeologist: Gain three artifacts from the deck. Seems simple enough right? The best way to win goals like this one are to utilized force points on the board to make those cards come out for you. If you caught the last posting of this blog, you got to read about them all. There are 7 points on the board that can up the ante for revealing cards from the main deck for any goal like this one. So what's to get in your way? Threats from the main deck and other player's goals of course. There are similar goals for hunting beasts, or fighting enemies. Of course, cursed artifacts don't count. Note that when you start pulling off your goal you get bonuses. Every time you obtain an artifact, you put a goal token on this card to keep track. The bonus allows you better chances at dice rolls to obtain artifacts. But some artifacts you have to fight for.

Combatant: First of all, please not the dedication to our nation's veterans. Then note the goal itself. It's simple. Just win combats. These can be from any assortment of enemies in the deck or other players. To get in combat with a player, you just move adjacent on the board and challenge them. With but a few exceptions, they can't say no. Then hope you win the combat via d20 rolls.

Power Monger: Remember what I said about goal tokens. Well, there are two goals that give them a slightly complicated twist. You will have to track your goal tokens two ways on this card. One is for the bonuses you gain and the other for what actually will apply to win. Powers come from their own separate deck and there are several ways to get your hands on them. Of course, if you get the original game and the expansion, powers can come from the main deck too. Totally up to you when you host a game. Power monger can get really beefed up once he starts cycling powers. The limit to powers is 3 so you have to have 3 before you can start changing them.

Serial Killer: When a player character dies, the player isn't out of the game unless they want to be. If they think they still have a chance. They can continue with their goal and player character card or change them both at random to try again. The Serial Killer is there to help players make those choices (I know. ha ha ha). As you can see, this goal also affects a player's alignment of good or evil. Also note the effect on achievement tokens, allowing this goal to challenge the Achievement Hog. The Serial Killer has to be very opportunistic to win, watching for players to build up toward fatal damage before diving in to take them out.

Strange Addiction: Some effects of the game will poison a player character. Apparently, some of them like it. With this goal, you want to see about getting poisoned without actually killing yourself. Watch out if the Serial Killer is on the table while you try this goal. Getting killed means starting all over again.

King of the Hill: For the last one today, I bring you one more dirty trick. The player of this goal will literally spend the entire game beefing up with items, artifacts and spells for the last combat of the game. Past that, it's wait for someone to call "winner" so the title bout can begin. The winner of that combat is who really wins the game that time around. It's not a guaranteed win, just a different one.

Want to know what the other goals are? Well, you can only find out two ways. One, wait for the game or two, sign up to the mailing list!  See upper left corner or links in upper right. Because that is where I will be spoiling some more of them.

About the artwork. You might wonder, in my universe of heroes and villains, why more of them aren't represented in these cards. That's because the seemingly random people in the cards are meant to represent YOU. You, the player who is exploring this aspect of the GZ universe. Thanks for reading. More to come soon!