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Author Topic: Aeon's End  (Read 765 times)

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trivialknot

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Aeon's End
« on: December 05, 2022, 12:49:44 am »
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We were interested in trying a cooperative deck builder, so we got Aeon's End--specifically Aeon's End: The New Age.

It's a fun game.  Similar to Dominion, it has fixed supply piles.  However, there isn't as much variation in kingdoms, because the power level needs to be balanced from game to game.  Much of the variation seems to come from the choice of mage for each player, and the choice of nemesis.

The unusual thing about it is that you don't shuffle your deck.  Instead you just turn it over.  We were worried this would cause a lot of analysis paralysis, but in practice it feels like you're fairly restricted in your choices.  Spells are discarded first, and then cards you bought, and then cards in play--and usually we just put the best cards first, to draw them sooner.  As a consequence of non-shuffling, "missing the shuffle" isn't really a thing, and deck quality tends to be more uniform.  There's probably some advanced strategy here but we're not at that level.

We were thinking we'd get some expansions, but the expansions are shockingly difficult to navigate.  As in, there isn't enough of a fan community to find decent and up to date recommendations, without reading at least a dozen independent reviews.  Some of the expansions are "legacy" games, and I don't know what that means.  The New Age had some legacy elements, in that new cards were revealed over the course of your first campaign.  But we replay our board games extensively so I'm very leery of anything described as "legacy".  I don't suppose anyone here has experience with Aeon's End and could comment on the expansions?
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SirSlugma

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Re: Aeon's End
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2023, 12:29:26 am »
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This is a very belated response, but just in case you're ever looking at this and still curious, I feel compelled to give a (hopefully) useful summary.

Aeon's End has seven (!) "waves" of expansions so far, each consisting of a large box and some smaller boxes (and a few assorted promos) that come out together via some kickstarter campaign.
Each "block" of three waves comprises of a main wave, an expanded wave (with increased complexity and difficulty), and a Legacy expansion wave to finish it out.  That said, the complexity of the sets has generally increased as they've gone along.
The first "block" is Base - War Eternal - Legacy, the second is New Age - Outcasts - Legacy of Gravehold, and the third is Past & Future only thus far.

I think there's definitely a feeling of diminishing returns here - getting a couple really good main expansions will likely do enough for variety and replayability to feel any need to collect everything, though I've enjoyed the game enough to pick up a healthy chunk of it and try the Legacy campaigns.
As for suggestions, I'd say picking up one of the other non-Legacy main boxes is good to just have more bosses to fight and more mages and supply cards to just keep things fresh.
Base has much simpler cards and mages and nemeses (being the first set) and would be my last recommendation if you played New Age and want something more interesting.
War Eternal has some pretty cool nemeses and is actually fairly difficult, though its decks are just hard and the challenge can be a little swingy.
I've heard Outcasts and Past & Future bring a lot of extra (good) complexity, and they also are structured around the "expedition" model of storytelling that New Age does, and either would probably be a good next step depending on what you're looking for specifically - Outcasts continues the plot structurally directly from New Age (though IMO the plot of Aeon's End in general is a little underwhelming and not my draw into most of what the game has to offer.)

The Legacy games are less "tear up things" and more "build up a character and/or play Aeon's End where decisions have more long term ramifications".  There are a healthy amount of reusable things for playing after the campaign - Legacy 1 is much more about the campaign itself.  Legacy of Gravehold is a giant box with a ton of stuff but also very story heavy which has its pros and cons for me.  There is a lot more reusable post-game content, though.

Anyway, that's a vague enough but hopefully useful rundown.  I like the game quite a bit but I still look it as much more of a Carcassonne than a Dominion - new expansions are welcome but you don't need all of them; getting what sounds good from a quick blurb will work well enough.
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