New to Me – August 2020

What’s this?

Yes, it’s a “new to me games” post!

We skipped July because we didn’t play anything new (thanks, COVID!). However, in August we did actually get some games played and even one new one!

The Cult is getting a little antsy, but they do realize that “new to me” games are hard to come by in the pandemic era. They’re not rebelling like they would have before all of this hit. I have to thank them for that.

Instead of playing games, we’ve been streaming lots of cool TV, including the entire 7th season of Agents of SHIELD and now we’re watching all six seasons of Bosch on Amazon Prime.

What a great series. Titus Welliver is awesome in the role and the supporting cast is also wonderful. We haven’t watched The Wire yet but a number of alumni from that series are in this one and they all do great jobs.

But yes, I would like to play more games, and we are vowing to ourselves that we will do more in September.

With my month-long vacation coming to an end, I hope to be doing more blogging. This week will hopefully see at least a couple of posts (though maybe not everything I promised in my last post though I do plan on doing all of that in the next couple of weeks).

So, without further adieu (all of my adieu was drained of all its health by a couple of Vampire hippies), let’s begin!

Crave (2019 – Black Forest Studio) – 2 plays

Designer: Bryan Sloan

Artists: Randis Albion, Aaron Griffin, Artur Jag, Daria Rashevskaya

Players: 2

Crave is a 2-player deck-building game much in the vein of Ascension and Star Realms, but it does have a couple of different twists that make it interesting.

Much like those two games, there is a market of cards that you can buy using the purchasing power of the cards that you have played on your turn.

However, the twist is that each player (Vampires and Hunters) has a unique market row of their own that only they can buy from to get their own faction’s cards.

Also, much like Star Realms and Shards of Infinity, the object of the game is to reduce your opponent’s health (or whatever you call it in the other games) to zero and thus win the game.

You do this by playing attack points on the cards that you play from your hand each turn.

There are some other really cool aspects of Crave that I really enjoyed.

Much like the other games where there are constructs or champions or bases, Crave has “Patrols”. When a card that you lay has a sign on it with a number in it, then you keep it in front of you as a “Patrol”. The “Yield” sign means that the other player does not have to attack it before they attack your health meter. If it’s a “Stop” sign, then they have to destroy it before they attack you (much like the difference between “Outposts” and regular “Bases” in Star Realms).

If your Patrol isn’t destroyed, then you get their effects on your next turn as well (influence to buy cards, fight, or healing or whatever). Thus even though you don’t *have* to destroy a “Yield” patrol, it may be beneficial to you because you don’t want your opponent to get that sweet stuff that they’re providing to your opponent.

That being said, there are some differences which again make Crave interesting. If you play a card that “stuns” a Patrol, then that Patrol is turned upside down. You don’t have to destroy it if you would have had to normally before you attack your opponent. Even better, that Patrol is stunned until the end of your opponent’s turn, so they don’t get the effects the Patrol provides on their turn.

It’s a nice way to bypass a “must-destroy” Patrol without having to actually defeat it.

Also, there are some cards that have the “Fatal” effect, which kills a Patrol without you having to use Fight. That can be handy as well.

“Item” cards have to be assigned to a “Being” before they can be used. That adds some interesting nuance because if you don’t have any beings, the cool effects the Item would have are totally worthless. The Being doesn’t have to be a Patrol. It can be just a Being that you play on your turn and then both the Item and Being go to your discard pile.

But if the Being is a Patrol, then the Item gets assigned to that Being and stays with it.

It’s unclear from the rules (I’m not sure even now) whether you can have multiple Items attached to a Being, but we played it like you could (there’s nothing in the rules that says you can’t).

So there are some cool things about Crave that I really want to explore.

In our two games, with my wife playing the Vampires both times, the Vampires seemed really powerful and hard to defeat. That could easily be a problem with me trying to play the Hunters and not playing them very well.

Next time we play we’re going to switch and see what happens. If she still wins with the Hunters, then obviously the problem is with me (Editor: which is likely the case).

However, it could be the fact that the Hunters are just more nuanced and take a bit more skill to play. The Vampires can just get really powerful and pound on you and you have to figure out how to stop that (or how to do your own pounding).

Wait, that sounds wrong…

But anyway, it’s an enjoyable game, quick just like most of the similar types of deck-builders that we’ve played, and I look forward to trying it more often and seeing whether we can figure it all out.

I hate being one of those “play twice and then say something is overpowered” people, so I want to explore it some more to see what we can do with it.

For now, though, I can say the Vampires are the more straightforward faction and maybe that’s the issue with it.

So there we go. Only one new game in August, but I look forward to at least a couple more in September.

It’s still nice to have one of these posts up for August because I hate not playing new to me games. We missed July because we just played a Arkham Horror: the Card Game a couple of times and it’s nice to be playing some new stuff.

We actually did get a few games played in August, though this was the only new one.

Here’s hoping September is much better!

What new to you games did you play in August?

Let me know in the comments.

5 Comments on “New to Me – August 2020

  1. Pingback: Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #140 – 131 – Dude! Take Your Turn!

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