Sunday, September 2, 2007

Nexus Ops

Nevin came over on Saturday, 8/25/07 and we played a 3-player game of Nexus Ops by Avalon Hill. The players represent corporations competing for control and thus the Rubium ore discovered on an un-named moon in some remote un-named planetary system. The corporations were played by the following players.

Cody Boone - Black Helix Enterprises (Blue) = 12 VP John Boone - Zyborg Technologies (Green) = 11 VP
Nevin Ball - Galactic Syndicate (Red) = 7 VP

Cody won the game at 12 VPs scoring his last two VPs needed squeaking by his dad.

The Object of the game is to be the first player to attain 12 victory points. As soon as one player reaches 12 victory points during their turn the game is over.

For those not familiar with the game, there is no difference between the different player sides other than the name and color of playing pieces. All sides can build the same type of units during the game. This was the first time Cody and I played the game but it seemed like it would be more interesting if the different corporations had a special ability ala Twilight Imperium. None the less it was a fun game.

We rolled for sides and I came up as first player. The first player starts with 12 Rubium to begin the game and each subsequent player gets 3 more Rubium than the preceding player so Nevin was second with 15 Rubium and Cody was third with 18 Rubium.

Nevin Contemplates His First Unit Purchases

Turns are not simultaneous; each player completes the steps of the turn sequence and then the next player takes his turn. The steps of a turn consists of a number of phases conducted in the following order; 1) purchasing new units, 2) move units, 3) conduct attacks, 4) collect income, and 5) draw a secret mission card (if you control the Monolith draw two Energize cards.

An Evil Plan Formulates!

Purchase New Units
During this phase, the the active player purchases new units paying for them with the Rubium they have collected from their mines or due to non-played discarded Energize and Secret Mission cards. Purchased units are placed in any of the players three home spaces. You can place units in your home spaces even if they are occupied by enemy units.
Note: You may discard Energize and Secret Mission cards from your hand anytime during your turn to gain 1 Rubium per discarded card. Discarded cards go face up next to the appropriate deck.

Move Units
After all newly purchased units have been deployed, the active player may move any of their units on the board at least 1 space. I say at least one space because some units have special abilities which increase their movement allowance and certain Energize cards increase the movement allowance of a specific creature type.
1. The Rock Strider can move two spaces if one of the spaces moved to or from is a rock plain.
2. The Lava Leaper can move two spaces when moving from a Lava Pool.
3. The Rubium Dragon, when starting from the Monolith, may move to any space on the map.
If a unit starts in a contested space, the unit may only move into a non-contested space. This move is called a Retreat. Additionally some spaces are off-limits to some unit types. For example, humans, fungoids, and crystalline units may not enter the monolith space.

Conduct Attacks
After moving all of your units you wish, any of your units in a space with an opponent's unit must conduct an attack. Similar to Axis and Allies, each unit has a hit number that must be rolled, on 1D6, to cause 1 hit. And like Axis and Allies, units attack in a specific order so it is possible that a unit is taken as a casualty before it has had the chance to fire. Within the same class, all units attacking and defending fire simultaneously. Losses are chosen by the owner of the unit hit, unless the hit was scored by a Lava Leaper with a die roll of 5 or greater. After all units have fired and losses taken, if both sides still have units occupying the space it is considered contested. If only one side remains in the hex it is considered owned by that side. Note that some Energize cards can be played during this phase. In fact, even players not involved in the battle may play Energize cards to help out one side or the other. The loser of the battle draws an Energize card as compensation for their loss. Some units have enhanced or degraded combat abilities depending on the terrain they occupy.

Collect Mine Income
Once all battles have been resolved the phasing player collects Rubium from all his mines that 1) are occupied by one of his humans, fungoids, or crystalline units and 2) that mine is not contested. Each mine will produce from 1 to 3 Rubium. Note that only the three weakest units can operate the mines to collect Rubium.

Draw Cards
After collecting your mine income the phasing player draws one Secret Mission card. Additionally if the phasing player has sole control of the monolith they also draw two Energize cards. This ends the phasing player's turn and the next player then takes their turn.

Energize Cards
Energize cards give the side playing them special abilities, that may break the normal rules when played, last for a specific amount of time either during your player turn or a battle, or award an instant effect, ie. "Destroy 1 Fungoid". Energize cards are divided up in to two types, ones that are played at the beginning of your turn and ones played during a battle. Of the ones played for battle some are required to be played at the beginning of a battle and some may be played during the battle after seeing the result of a die roll.

The Game Gets Interesting

How to Win
As stated previously, the first player to reach 12 victory points ends the game and is declared the winner. Victory points are awarded by play of Mission or Special Mission cards during the player's turn whenever they satisfy the conditions of the card. Mission and Secret Mission cards can only be played during your turn so if you satisfy a condition of a Secret Mission card during someone else's turn your out of luck. All Mission cards and most Secret Mission cards involve winning a battle. For each battle you win, you can play only one card with the victory point total listed in red.

The game also ends when one player is eliminated, ie. losses all of their units on the map. As soon as this happens the winner is declared from the remaining players with the most victory points.

All Mission Cards have their victory point total listed in red, are worth 1 victory point, and all are awarded by winning a battle.

The majority of Secret Mission cards are awarded during battle, but not all. Some require dominating, having more control, a terrain type, ie Rock Plains. These type of Secret Mission cards have their victory point total in white.

A fun game I would play again.

1 comment:

Nevin said...

Good game review. You should review for Paper Wars. =)