Tech tree, resource management, and action selection. There’s a lot going on here, but is it too much? Check out our review to find out.
I’m surprised I’m writing this. I promised myself last year that I would never join Kickstarters again. One of the many reasons for this is that publishers are seeking “reviews” when the reality is that they are looking for marketing materials for their Kickstarter pages.
Again, breaking the rules is like my brand. Anyone who has read my reviews knows that I follow the traditional format of board game reviews as well as the rules of the English language.
This is one of the reasons why I was interested Atlas Lost: Rise of the New Sovereign, It is a post-apocalyptic game that does not include an endless nuclear fallout desert and focuses on scarcity rather than abundance.
The other reason I’m interested is that this is a Japanese game. Call me tired, but it’s hard for me to be influenced by most western sports nowadays because they emphasize having more miniatures than raindrops in a tropical storm. What’s worse is that this deluxe of games tends to mask a mediocre gaming experience.
Japanese game design has always appealed to me because of its “less is more” approach. Many Japanese games do not have hundreds of pieces yet create an engaging experience that is not often replicated elsewhere. Testament is a testament to it. No, I will not apologize for forcing you to read.
atlas lost Describes itself as a “tech-tree, resource management and civilization” game, which sounds like a mouthful.
Put a gamer and the word “civilization” in the same room, and chances are you’ll have something that involves a hexagonal map, hours of gameplay, and complexity. None of this applies here because the word “civilization” is simply referring to the game’s plot.
from the bones
atlas lost AI is all about reclaiming a world devastated after the war. Around the table are you and your friends, leaders of your own faction, ready to dig up what has been buried by the war. Resources are limited, and you can’t research everything, so the path you take plays a huge role in what tools are available to you.
a play of atlas lost Uses three out of five technical trees. Each tech tree has its own mechanism, up to 3 levels of techniques, a gimmick, and a deck of support cards. With this setup, there are ten possible combinations. For the sake of pacing, we’ll discuss what each tech tree does later.
On your turn, you go through an action phase followed by an effect phase.
Action, well, action. You have a lunch menu of actions to choose from. Your main task is the driving force of your turn, where you can choose to collect data, research, place an advance team on a tech tree, or activate a tech where your advance team is.
The command action uses a sparse resource called a command point. You spend your command points to activate any technology, even if you don’t have access to it. This provides some of the flexibility that allows for creativity, such as doubling down on a specific technique or doing something unexpected.
Card action is using the support card in your hand to do something. You get help cards by sending your advance teams up technical trees or collecting data or research resources.
There are three card types: Passive, Active and Crate. The crate is your straightforward “do what he says and discard it” card play. There is a resource cost to keep the passives and actives running in front of you permanently. Passives will be activated when a particular event has occurred, while active ones are used once per turn. You can also discard a card in your hand for data or research resources.
reach the end
After you’ve done your actions, you have the effect phase. There’s an impact track, and you pay for the data or research resources to move forward. Some spots will give you rewards, such as command points. If you’re at the end of the track, you win. Well, one of three ways you can win anyway.
The other two ways are to get 30 technology points or to have all four initiative tiles. You gain technology points by misusing support cards and level 3 technology. If you have a majority of something you get an initiative tile. Influence is one for the track, meaning whoever is furthest on the track gets it, while the other three tiles belong to the three technology trees available in the session.
Basically, atlas lost It’s about using your limited tasks wisely and using resources to get a more productive turn than your opponents. Essentially, it’s an efficiency race with the cards complicating the position, and if it sounds like other games, that’s because it is.
If there’s one thing I can say about it atlas lostIt is not a groundbreaking invention like the shovel.
framing is everything
At first I was a little disappointed with it, yet I kept playing it more and more. I was more impressed with its design with each play, especially how it redefines the experience of efficiency races.
First of all, atlas lost not a power fantasy Race Archana, aquaticaeither vindicatioN.
Race Archana wants you to become the most badass alchemist by unleashing the powers of monsters, dragons and undead. aquatica Puts you in the role of Alexander the Great underwater where you conquer or buy underwater territories for points. evidence It revolves around being stranded on a huge island and being a “super special” who can change its destiny.
During this, atlas lost asks you to put together a puzzle of five thousand pieces, and you don’t even know what the picture is. While other sports are about abundance, atlas lost It’s about scarcity.
A bad decision is one that hurts
There is an immediate sense of lack in how tech trees work. Everyone starts at level 1 on each tree, which means they have three available techniques to use at the beginning. On each technical tree, you can only have one level 2 and one level 3.
This lack theme is also part of the support card. Each time you place an advance team on a tech tree, you draw two cards from that tech tree’s support deck and discard one. Once you put your advance team there, it stays there, and you’ll only have two cards to use per technical tree. As you deploy more advanced teams in the Tech Tree, your data and research income functions improve as you reveal more similar icons mower And Gaia ProjectIncluding drawing support cards.
Not even data, research or command points can escape the game’s theme. Sure, by doing income tasks, you’ll have a remarkable cache to play with, but that abundance will deplete faster than a stockpile of rainbow flags at a Pride Fest. You never feel safe in this game because resources disappear as fast as you get them.
It’s all tied together because all the technologies at Tech Tree are good. Not a single technique is useless, meaning new players will feel like they’re doing something good while veterans still have many productive moves to count on. Because of this, it also means that finding the “best” option can be as bleak as a Nintendo 64 game.
The tech trees themselves give the game replayability and a different vibe. Each tech tree has its own set of tiles to use, so if you play the culture technique back-to-back, the technology available will be slightly different. Also, your player’s mat depends on which technical tree is used.
If economics is at play, you put economic pieces on your advance teams, and your collected research action will increase. In addition, each technique you activate in the economics tree gives something to the other players.
Science gives bonuses or discounts for placing your advance teams or activating technology. This allows you to move your advance teams already placed on the technical tree, giving you additional flexibility.
Culture is where you put pieces of culture on techno trees with a limited number of spots. This turns a passive game into an area control game without a map. Many level 3 technologies give you extra points for each culture piece you have in each tree or on the board. Plus, each culture piece increases your data revenue.
Military technology is what you’d expect. You gain military power and will use it to remove pieces, push people back on the impact track, or steal technology points outright from other players. Even the rule book says that the purpose behind this technique is to interfere with everyone.
The most interesting of the five has to be religion. You have a battalion of priests to send to other players. When you send them out, they move to their effects track. If you have most of the priests on their influence track, they are your “religious players” and you exploit them.
What makes it fascinating is how it all ties into the game’s narrative. Everyone is the leader of a faction, and being a leader requires the use of limited resources to make sustainable decisions. It is interesting to see how four heads on a table can view the same position, or in this case, three technical trees, yet unfold in different ways to the game. There is something so human about it.
Hence my confusion on the lack of technical names. In this interesting setting, I want to indulge more in science fiction elements. In the final version, each backing card will have its own artwork and name. However, the technologies in the tech tree have no names, only symbols.
I could go into more nitpick territory, but it’s hard to get serious about it because the version I’m reviewing is a prototype. Some support cards are too strong or too weak, which the rulebook accepts. The pieces on your player mat are very long, making them very easy to get out of the way. Many verb names or terminologies have been loosely translated.
Even then, atlas lost affect me. Despite the lack of innovation, I can’t ignore how well it transforms the genre and can easily see it competing against similar games. Like paved road driving until recently, the ride here is smooth and enjoyable, even if the neighborhood looks the same.