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[kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

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[kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hepcat » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:40 pm

A cross between Arabian Nights and Pandemic and set in the world of Cold War spies? There's absolutely no way I can resist. I went the 70 dollar route as it will give me the encounter book with 200 pages of extra adventures.

It's getting some great reviews and I love the art style.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:03 pm

hepcat wrote:A cross between Arabian Nights and Pandemic and set in the world of Cold War spies? There's absolutely no way I can resist. I went the 70 dollar route as it will give me the encounter book with 200 pages of extra adventures.

It's getting some great reviews and I love the art style.
Dang, I thought I posted about this last week. Must have been an alternate universe me. Yeah, I'm in at the 70 dollar level too. Just sounds way too good.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by Boudreaux » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:17 am

This is really tempting. I love the idea of Tales of the Arabian Nights but I find the game fairly tedious and slow, and it hardly ever gets played. This might be a good alternative.

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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by baelthazar » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:31 pm

I was going to get this last night, but then found out that WotC sneaked a Euro-game style work-placement and building game (Lords of Waterdeep) past my radar and ordered that instead (for release in March). I like the idea of Smersh, but my wife isn't all that keen on co-op games.

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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:46 pm

baelthazar wrote:I was going to get this last night, but then found out that WotC sneaked a Euro-game style work-placement and building game (Lords of Waterdeep) past my radar and ordered that instead (for release in March). I like the idea of Smersh, but my wife isn't all that keen on co-op games.
Lords of Waterdeep is a great game. Now, I'm saying this after a single demo play at DDXP, but a euro-style work placement/resource management game where the resources you are managing are fighters, rogues, clerics and wizards? And a 5 player game can be played in 2 hours (including teaching the game!) I'm so anxious to get my hands on this one it isn't even funny.
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[kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by baelthazar » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:27 pm

Do you think LoW will still be fun with 2-4? Usually Euros scale well. It totally slipped under my radar until last night!

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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:57 pm

baelthazar wrote:Do you think LoW will still be fun with 2-4? Usually Euros scale well. It totally slipped under my radar until last night!
Sorry, Bael. Missed this. I have no practical experience with the game with that few players. However, it really seems to be a great mechanic, so I think it will probably be OK. Actually, I'm counting on it, since I usually play with 3.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:01 pm

And now, the real reason I came here...9 hours left to go on the Kickstarter, and $10K needed to get the stretch reward of engraved dice! C'mon! You know you guys want this game!
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hepcat » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:49 pm

Now he's pledging that if they reach 100,000 he'll personally hand deliver your copy if you live within 200 miles of Atlanta and spend the day playing with you and your friends. :lol:
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:55 pm

hepcat wrote:Now he's pledging that if they reach 100,000 he'll personally hand deliver your copy if you live within 200 miles of Atlanta and spend the day playing with you and your friends. :lol:
Not quite. You have to pledge at the $1000 level for that.

Too bad I live to far away. Otherwise, I'm sure my wife wouldn't mind me dropping a grand on a game.

Edit: And they just added another support option...add $10 to your pledge and if he gets 100 +$10 backers, he'll do the engraved dice.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by Zarathud » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:53 pm

No matter how much this interests me, both hepcat and hentzau have preordered. I'd probably end up getting Rex instead.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hepcat » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:49 am

A side project by the ubiquitous Richard Launius called Ace Detective is being touted by the makers of this game. As soon as it hits kickstarter I'm in. I can see no other course of action...
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hepcat » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:37 am

Shipping for this one just started. Folks are already receiving their UPS notices. Hopefully this will be in my eager little hands by end of week. The reviews have been pretty good so far.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:56 am

Was that the shipping notice I got today? I didn't recognize the company shipping me a package. If so, great! Can't wait to give it a try.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by Chaz » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:03 am

Keep us posted. I like the idea and theme of this one, but I wasn't crazy about what I saw on the Dice Tower video review, and I already own Tales of the Arabian Nights. It's expensive enough with the book that I'm hesitating.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hepcat » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:33 pm

Whoo hoo, it just got dropped off my USPS. Hefty box. It wasn't shrinkwrapped so I'm guessing something was signed...that or they opened it to add the KS extras. The Encounter book is just as big as the Tales of Arabian Nights book.

Can't wait to give this a try after work! Gonna give the solo game a whirl.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:38 pm

Hopefully mine will show up today. I had a box coming from someplace I didn't recognize show up yesterday, but when I opened it it was a game from TMG that I had forgotten I ordered. I was quite disappointed.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hepcat » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:49 pm

Next Monday at your place? I believe you went the same level so you should have everything I got. That way I don't have to lug the heavy box to your place. :P
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:54 pm

hepcat wrote:Next Monday at your place? I believe you went the same level so you should have everything I got. That way I don't have to lug the heavy box to your place. :P
I'd be up for it.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hepcat » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:58 pm

Chaz wrote:Keep us posted. I like the idea and theme of this one, but I wasn't crazy about what I saw on the Dice Tower video review, and I already own Tales of the Arabian Nights. It's expensive enough with the book that I'm hesitating.
I already own Tales as well...but I own a ton of games that have similar mechanics. In deck builders alone I believe I own 1,207 games.

Just finished a solo game and this one's a keeper. I lost...horribly...but before doing so I managed to get whacked hard enough by a henchman to become an amnesiac, get detained by a ship's captain in the Indian Ocean and win a card game against the evil Mr. Ling.

It plays like Tales of the Arabian Nights...but it also feels like Pandemic and Arkham Horror at times too.

During setup you choose a spy and set his basic skills (athletics, hand to hand, etc.) and draw two advanced skills (seduction, driving/piloting, etc.), as well as any starting items they might have. Then you set up 4 henchmen and Dr. Lobo (the mastermind).

Each turn you roll a movement die (or if you don't want to use that, you can just move 1 to 3 spaces) and move that many spaces. If you're in a space with an airport or a train, you can use that to move further.

Once you're done moving, you can collect any intel that is in that space...or discard the intel to put out a random henchmen token on a random space determined by drawing a fate card and reading the associated location on the card. Then you pull an encounter card from the appropriate deck (in Paris? draw from the Europe deck) and perform a skill test (if called for). If you win, you get the reward (if any). If you lose, you get a penalty usually and advance Dr. Lobo's advancement track by the number listed on the villain card you draw after losing to an encounter.

At the end of the turn, you pull another villain card and read the End of Turn side of the card...which usually just puts new intel on the board and closes airports.

Players win if they defeat the henchmen a certain number of times (after doing so, you advance on the Location Track...if you get to the third space in a 2 player game, the game is over and you reveal all intel collected....4th space in a 4 player game) AND have collected intel with icons matching the space on which Dr. Lobo's marker is currently sitting.

If Dr. Lobo makes it 9 on his track, everyone loses.

It's simple, it's fast and it's fun. And with the optional Encounter Book with almost 2000 extra encounters that you can substitute for the standard encounter deck (or add to it), it's got replayability out the wazoo.

Two thumbs up!
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:15 pm

You suck. My copy didn't show up today. After the day I had at work, I really needed something like this to distract me for the evening.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:38 pm

Grr. Still no AoSMERSH.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by MythicalMino » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:56 am

So, I am really enjoying this game...BUT....

Unless I am simply playing wrong, the game seems way too easy to win. I have won my last 3 games, and the last game, I only failed one test. I seem to become some "super spy", that can rock and roll with the dice and simply pass test after test after test. And that last game was played using the harder rule that has you find more locations than normal.

What do you guys suggest to up the difficulty and make the game...tougher?

Although, I could be playing wrong, but I really don't think I am...
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:06 am

I've only played twice so far, and both times it wasn't a nail biter by any means. First game I think we beat Lobo when he was at 6, and the second time he got no lower than 5.

Hmm...to make it more difficult? Remove one of the dice from the pool that has the higher chance of success? Use the movement die? Reduce the amount of resolve you start with? Those are the things that I can come up with off the cuff.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by Chaz » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:59 am

This is kind of what I'm worried about. A game that's fun is all well and good, but a co-op game where you'll always win is boring. I'm teetering on the edge of ordering this, but at $60, it's not cheap.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:28 am

If I'm not mistaken, Hep lost his first couple of games solo, and the first one he won was with me. Maybe I'm just lucky!
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hepcat » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:31 am

Hmmm...we lost a game on Saturday with 3 players, and I've lost two out of three solo games. Encounters are never all that easy for me, so I'm wondering if you're performing encounter skill checks correctly.

A few things to remember:

the only symbol on the die that is a success is the gun. a heal is not a success.

the number in parentheses at the end of some skill checks is the number of successes (i.e. gun symbols on the dice) that you need to win that encounter.

you can only use resolve ONCE per encounter, unless you have a special character ability or a card that allows it to be used more often.

When you lose ANY encounter, draw a villain advancement card and move the pawn on dr. lobo's track. This includes encounters with henchmen.

intel overflow wipes ALL intel off the board and leaves only ONE location marker. this happens every time you hit the intel overflow number.

intel goes to the intel pool face down. you are not allowed to peek at intel in your intel pool and they can only be turned face up as part of a special ability from your character (if there is one) and/or card effects.

you only move the location marker up the location track if you WIN against a henchman after traveling to a location with a location marker.

if you're defeated (you take more hits than you have hit points) during an encounter, you immediately draw a villain advancement card, move up the lobo track that number, clear off hits, then draw ANOTHER villain advancement card for losing the encounter.

when the location track hits the required game end number for the number of players, the game ends immediately and the intel is revealed.

p.s. the first game that i played with hentzau, we won when the lobo track was at 7 (you lose at 9) and the next villain advancement card that we would have drawn had he lost the encounter was a 2. i would consider that close.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:48 am

Also, when playing solo, did you prep the villain deck properly? (Remove the wounds and -1's from the villain deck, and then remove 3 random 1s.)
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by Zarathud » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:53 am

Our Saturday game had us sitting on a pile of 7-8 face down intel with 2 face up guns. We needed 1 communicator and 1 henchman. The pile turned out to be all guns, nukes and henchmen -- no communicators.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:00 am

Zarathud wrote:Our Saturday game had us sitting on a pile of 7-8 face down intel with 2 face up guns. We needed 1 communicator and 1 henchman. The pile turned out to be all guns, nukes and henchmen -- no communicators.
Aw. So sad.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by MythicalMino » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:52 pm

Hep, I am doing each of those...

It feels as though I may be doing the encounters and tests wrong, possibly, though. I notice that I barely, and very rarely, ever fail a test.

Here is an example of how I do tests, so tell me if I am doing them wrong.

My agents deception is at "1". I have a test, Deception +1. I draw TWO dice from the bag (my deception score of 1 + the test addition of +1). That gives me THREE dice (the yellow/gray die, and I draw a black and a green die). I roll all three...and the results: failure, success (gun symbol) and "injury". So, I take an injury, but succeed the roll because of the "gun" symbol I rolled.

Is that the correct way to do tests? It seems as though I get too many "Top Secret Cards" to auto pass a failed test. I do fail tests, but those cards gets me out of those spots. Maybe I am doing that wrong? Because in those instances of fails, I do not draw a villain advances card (because I then play the Top Secret card to auto pass that fail). Is that where I am missing it?

I just know that the game is incredibly fun to play, but so far, no challenge, really at all...
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:24 pm

Yep, you're playing it correctly. Not sure why you're cruising to such easy victories.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:27 pm

One thought strikes me...I do find it interesting that you are getting "too many 'Top Secret' cards". In the two games that I've played, I've only ever gotten one card before the endgame hits. Are you really going after the Top Secret missions that hard? Or are you always playing with the guy that gets 2 cards every time he pulls one?
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by MythicalMino » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:18 am

Not sure, to be honest. I complete them when I can. Not obsessive over them. But, in a solo game you start out with 1-3 of those cards. And then add onto that positve status cards...
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by hentzau » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:33 am

MythicalMino wrote:Not sure, to be honest. I complete them when I can. Not obsessive over them. But, in a solo game you start out with 1-3 of those cards. And then add onto that positve status cards...
I didn't know you started with extra Top Secret cards in a solo game. Well, I guess that explains it.
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by MythicalMino » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:01 am

Yeah, you get extra UN transport tokens and extra top secret cards. You get either 3 cards, or 3 UN tokens, or a combination between the two equaling three total (2 cards + 1 UN token for example).

Maybe my next game I will not use that rule...
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by MythicalMino » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:02 am

Yeah, you get extra UN transport tokens and extra top secret cards. You get either 3 cards, or 3 UN tokens, or a combination between the two equaling three total (2 cards + 1 UN token for example).

Maybe my next game I will not use that rule...
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by MythicalMino » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:25 pm

ok, so I think I found a solution for my (the game being too easy).

The rules state in a solo game, you get a combination of UN Transport tokens & Top Secret Cards equaling a total of 3. That seemed to be way overpowered, as I never lost a game (out of about 5 games or so total). I have changed that to either 1 UN transport token OR 1 Top Secret Card. I have lost my last two games...this last one was a blowout, as I was soundly defeated by Dr. Lobo and the gang. The game before was quite the nail biter, though I still lost.

I really am enjoying this game. One of the things I really appreciate is the ease of "customizing" the rules to either make the game harder or easier....
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Re: [kickstarter] Agents of SMERSH

Post by MythicalMino » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:43 pm

I am really loving this game. I also got hold of the kickstarter version...and I really like the other 3 agents (they were much needed), and I also really like the Shadow henchman. I will use the travel die for every game now.

Just too much fun.
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