Recap: Resident Evil First Impressions
This week, I got to try my hand at the Resident Evil Deck Building Game. As a fan of the video game series (especially the earlier titles), and a fan of deck building in general, I was happy to give the game a go. I also got into a ton of other games, including another attempt at Carson City.
Resident Evil. A friend of mine brought this over and cracked it open. After a rules explanation, it was clear that Resident Evil borrowed heavily from both Dominion and Thunderstone. You generally follow the ABC rules of Dominion with Action, Buy, Cleanup. Ammunition is the main currency (technically each ammo card has a gold amount on it that is used to buy). You draw a hand of five cards, buy something, and then draw five new ones.
Like Thunderstone, you can also buy weapons. When drawn, weapons only function if you also drew the required ammo. Some weapons take more ammo than others. Once you’ve completed a purchase, you must then either explore the mansion or take an infection card. If you take a tenth infection card, you will turn into a zombie and attack your fellow players.
If you explore the mansion, a random event happens to you. Sometimes you’ll find a helpful item that you can add to your character. Sometimes you’ll find something less helpful. But most often you’ll find zombies. Zombies range in strength from weaklings all the way up to the big bad boss man. The trick is that you don’t know what you’ll be fighting until it’s revealed. It feels like entering the dungeon in Thunderstone, but a lot more random.
Overall, Resident Evil just didn’t do it for me. Having to draw weapons and ammo in the right combinations made deck management essential, but it also made bad draws more common, especially in the early game. Plus it was easy to have a decent draw and then get skunked by a bad zombie/event draw. The deck building aspect itself was fun, but lets face it, it isn’t the only deck builder. There are plenty of awesome ones out there.
I’d give it another play if someone else was really enthusiastic about it. But otherwise, I’ll stick to some of the better deck builders. I have little interest in returning to Resident Evil.
Carson City. Prior to this week, I’d only played Carson City twice, and both on the beginner yellow side tiles. I found it… slightly unbalanced. A heavy gunfire strategy seemed overly powerful and easy to execute compared to alternate strategies. I had heard that the red side tiles for the experienced players were more balanced. So this week I tested that hypothesis.
It was a five player game and we had a blast. I actually ended up being a no good cheater. I selected the sheriff role, which does not allow you to start gunfights, but gives you three points if another player starts one with you and you lose. I asked if I could still attack properties for money and was incorrectly answered in the affirmative. I found out that was wrong, but only after spending a full turn extorting protection money from my fellow players. Apparently that’s not allowed if you’re the sheriff. Pssh, whatever. I am the law!
Once again, the player with the biggest firepower advantage, and the one newest to the game, completely devastated the rest of us. Now, it may be that we went a little easier on him since it was his first play. But I remain a little concerned. Firepower allows you to get money (there is a money per firepower spot), points (there is a points per firepower spot), and it also allows you to kick the other players out of those spots with your dueling advantage. I feel like I still need to play some more games of Carson City, but I’m definitely even more concerned that the firepower strategy is the most powerful and will be the go-to strategy.