ec2-3-219-167-194.compute-1.amazonaws.com | ToothyWiki | RecentChanges | Login | Webcomic Earth has just come out of a war which was started mostly by accident. Earth sets up a set of five diplomatic space stations to talk things out. The first four blow up, get stolen, blow up and vanish, respectively. The final one hangs around long enough to spawn a fantastic TV series, a not so fantastic movie series, a godawful spinoff series, a computer game that never made it to market, a couple of BoardGames? and a so-so CCG.
The TV series, in a nutshell:
There is a pilot episode. The style is fantastic - Like StarTrek but with CoffeeStains? on all that shiny equipment.
There is a first season, wherein not much is explained, but a dark sinister force is hinted at and a lot of people get haircuts.
There is a second season, where they get a different male lead, and the female lead gets hair. Leading to a funny episode where she gets a haircut. Half of this season is about a war, the other half is a soap opera.
There is a third season, in which lots of things happen very very tightly. The entire season was done by JMS. A war really really happens. As 'in 5 seconds' says: "If you go to ~ you will die". Goes to ~. Dies.
There is a fourth season, in which things get a bit overcomplicated because the author was trying to compress the plot for seasons 4 and 5 into one season. Some telepaths revolt, but that plot doesn't really go anywhere. The space station fights earth, and everybody else.
Then season five gets cancelled. Then it gets uncancelled. Then it gets cancelled. Then it gets uncancelled.
There is a fifth season, which is notable only for the conversation "What happenned to her?" "Oh, she left" "Why?" "She heard this place was getting canned and got a job elsewhere" "But it wasn't canned" "Nope, but she's still got the job elsewhere"
Notable things about the TV series:
base plot for the 5 year story arc was written from the start
quality of acting from the supporting cast (Londo and G'Kar)
amount of interaction between the author, JMS, and the B5 usenet newsgroup
Sanity checking by an actual science fiction author, HarlanEllison?
Six. Add "Most annoying game ever" or "game quite likely to result in personal injury". --Jumlian
Seven. "Slow. But nice enough with a good crowd." --Volkazz
For AlexChurchill's point of view, it's an interesting CCG for being designed primarily for multiplayer. It does seem to take a long time, but there are lots of strategic decisions both in deckbuilding and in gameplay, and the diplomacy/politics aspect naturally takes on a much higher role when the game's been designed around it. It seems quite fun. I played in an epic game a couple of weeks ago where all three players ended up on 27 power by the time the game actually ended, but that was (a) a very long game and (b) quite unusual as I understand it. What's Vitenka's actual opinion (of the two listed above), and major criticism?
My opinion varies based upon mood, obviously - but my major criticism is that it is based around many specific ways to win and many specific counters. Much of the game devolves to "Do you have the counter to this? No? You lose" but a deck which can counter everything ends up with no way to win. It's basically impossible to win without a cheese strategy. The other problem is the multiplayer nature. While the game can work in an interesting close match, usually one deck picks upon another (in order to win) and the icked upon deck ends up in a position of KingMaker. --Vitenka (ok, it's not unutteraby awful. There are wayy worse things. But it's not good, and it takes aaages)
The later expansions went a long way to countering the cheese problem, and the people I play with have the right attitude to cheese decks... My most recent game winning decks contain (or at least use) no power gaining agendae - I'm considering removing the back-up cards and adding a couple of anti-power cards... --Volkazz
This KingMaker situation caused a lot of tension at wargaming meetings because it a) took 4 to 6 hours to reach this point and b) actually caused a fair bit of argument. When it takes 2 hours for a gradual, wearing victory to be suddenly overturned by the player who has been splatted, dismally and irretrievably, since turn one the leader and formerly obvious winner gets a little annoyed. The KingMaker has nothing to gain from picking either side, since they lose either way, unless you count the game actually ending as a pyrrhic victory. Which I do. But anyway. The problem with this is that in almost all games I encountered there was no way to win (short of the unutterably cheesy) by tactics or cleverness of deck construction, only politicking and relying on the smallest player for aid could get you victory. Thus any victory felt rather anticlimactic, and after 6 hours it isn't what you want. I got so annoyed I traded my B5 deck for a couple of NetRunner cards, I recall. --Jumlian
Oh, you can; I almost won the other day by pure outpowering the rest of the table in my chosen field, and killing those who annoyed me (Narn diplomacy deck with early assassin)... I have managed to win a tournament with no power granting cards or other clearly definable cheese (a discussion of what constitutes cheese might be interesting). Still, it's not NetRunner or Jyhad... --Volkazz