Cover Your Assets

Living in a profit driven society who wouldn't want to join the ranks of the social elite and become the next millionaire. Not that a million dollars is a huge sum of money anymore, but it's still more than I will ever own, I imagine Cover Your Assets wouldn't be that much fun if you already had or have a real million dollars.





Objective: Your objective in this game are simple, obtain assets then stack them on top of each other to protect your previous possessions until the deck of cards runs out. It will take luck, bluffing and some clever timing to successfully Cover Your Ass.


Once the deck has ran out you will continue playing until everyone's hands are empty. Then record your totals and play again until someone reaches 1 000 000 dollars.
Each card is scored individually therefore a pair of Jewels is
worth $30 000 and if you stole this with another Jewels asset
 the set would be worth $45 000

Gameplay: Playing is simple you are about to learn how to play by only a couple pictures and sentences.


On your turn you must:

Play a pair from your hand using a pair of assets.

After playing your first pair of assets you place them on top of
each other in a perpendicular orientation
(longways, sideways, longways, sideways)
Play a pair from your hand using a wild card.
Play a pair using the top card of the discard pile and an asset from your hand.
Play a pair using the top card of the discard pile and a wild card from your hand.
The Wild Cards can be used with any asset including themselves

Steal a set of Assets from another player by playing the asset matching the intended target's top set of Assets.

Steal a set of Assets from another player by playing a wild card and taking the top set of Assets.

Discard 1 card.

Additional Rules:

At the end of your turn you always draw back up to 4 cards.

You cannot steal someone's first set of assets.
The Bank Accounts would not be allowed to be stolen as they are
at the bottom of a player's asset stack.

You cannot add cards to assets that are already played in front of you.

You cannot play more than 2 of an asset in front of you.

My Thoughts:

Cover Your Assets is a great game, actually its one of the few I have been able to win lately so my review may be a tad biased. Over the last few weeks time has been an issue..again so I have been having trouble squeezing in as much gaming time as I would like. Quick playing games and more importantly quick setup games like Cover Your Assets make it easy to still get a gaming session in. Although it might look like Rummy or other standard playing card games, stealing cards (Assets) is a huge twist and is mechanically perfected.

Wild Card Gold can be used to steal any player's top asset


This is one of those games that is great for getting new people into gaming, relaxing from a hard day, playing on a train or outside. There are so many options because age, background, interested don't really matter, anyone can learn and will enjoy Cover Your Assets. Having an objective that people can sort of relate to in real life (trying to become a millionaire / have the most money) helps as does the low price point and excellent card quality.


Who Will Enjoy Cover Your Assets?


Family Gamers: As I said above, you can literally play Cover Your Assets with anyone regardless of age or background. The theme might not be the most family friendly, steal from your neighbours and hoard your property until its worth 1 million dollars. But then again you aren't blasting each other with lazers or crossbows and since most people today think money is the most important thing anyways...It would also be worth noting here that Cover Your Assets has won a few awards, people agreeing with me that this is a fantastic game for your families, the Canadian Toy Testing Council gave it a best pick award, Major Fun gave it the Major Fun Family award and it won the Creative Child award all in 2012.

Casual Gamers: Between games, waiting for friends to show up, introducing friends to board games, waiting for food to show up, waiting for beer to show up, warming your brain up, having drinks, relaxing outside, these are all occasions where you might play Cover Your Assets. With a setup time of 2 minutes to shuffle and deal cards, a teaching time of 2-4 minutes, a cleanup time of 10 seconds and a play time of 15-30 minutes, the neutral theme, plays best with 4-6, just by reading the features you can tell this game is versatile. Casual Gamers this is one you don't want to miss.

Grandpa Beck's Games offers a couple other titles that play similarly, what I mean is they are twists on standard playing card games they can be played by a wide age range and are good quality with an inexpensive price tag.. Check out his other games at GrandPaBecksGames.com
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Android: Netrunner

Is Netrunner all its cracked up to be, I mean how has it locked down the hotness section on Board Game Geek since its release basically never losing a top 3 position? Well I am here to help you make that decision for yourself. First I will give a brief overview of how the game is played, then I will compare it to the other LCGs I have played.



Gameplay:

Players take on the roll of either a Corporation or a Hacker (Runner) and their goal is to either advance your own goals/agendas (Corporation) or sabotage corporate plans and steal their valuable information (Runners).

Each turn players get a limited amount of "clicks" which serve as your 'actions' for the turn. There are predetermined actions you can take or playing cards from your hand (Installing Cards) or activating abilities on cards in play requires 'clicks' as well.

The Corporation player must 'install' agendas and place enough advancement counters on them to score the agenda points. In order to stop the Runner from stealing their 'Agendas' the Corporation player must install 'Ice' and 'Upgrades' in order to protect their Assets and Agendas.

The Runner must steal agendas from the Corporation player, this is initiated by 'starting a run'. During a 'run' the hacker will need to bypass the corporate security measures using 'programs' and 'hardware'. If the Runner successfully makes it to the agenda and steals it, the Runner instead scores the agenda points.


Corporations will also play 'Asset' cards to both help them achieve victory faster and mislead the Runner.

The Corporation player will 'install' ice in order to protect their Agendas from being stolen by the Runners. 


In order to get past the Corporate defenses and protect themselves the Runners will need to utilize 'Programs' and 'Hardware'.
Program: Icebreaker are the programs Runners will play to combat the Corporation's defences, each Icebreaker is broken
into a subcategory that specializes in breaking certain types of ice.  


Now that you have a basic idea of the types of cards I will demonstrate a hypothetical run. 

CLICK THIS THE IMAGE WOULDNT FIT RIGHT ON THIS PAGE 
>>>>>>>>>>>;Example Run<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Here are the different types of servers the Runner can hack:
Central Servers:
R&D - corporation card draw pile
HQ - Corporation Player's Hand
Archives - Corporation trash / discard pile

The Corporation player may also have multiple 'Remote Servers' where cards can be installed.

My favourite thing about Netrunner by far is the huge community behind it, you will have no problems finding someone to play with and there are so many extra materials available online, here are some of the ones I found useful:

Complete Tutorial
Solo Variant
Deck Builder
Full Card List & FAQ
Awesome Looking Player Mats

My Thoughts:

There is a lot of terminology and since both players have different rules the learning curve for Netrunner is quite high. That is not to say that it is higher than other LCGs, if I were to rank it in difficulty out of the LCGs I have played, I would say it is the 2nd hardest to learn.

In terms of the LCG matching its universe/theme, I think that Netrunner does better than all of the other LCGs out there. They did a really good job keep the ambiguity of each faction making sure to emphasize that there is no real 'hero', only lesser evils. The Game of Thrones multiplayer does a fantastic job capturing the treachery and backstabbing from the books, but I feel like the 2 player game lacks, so Netrunner has replaced Game of Thrones in this aspect for me. 

Until playing Netrunner, the Warhammer Invasion LCG was my go to 2 player competitive game. Although they play totally differently, they both feel very me vs. you and sometimes you need a game like that. Netrunner has replaced Warhammer for me though because the real world is becoming more and more like a science fiction movie each day and if you keep up with the latest technologies and research...cyber crime is already a issue and as someone who is anti corporation in real life, it feels nice to make their plans crumble around them.

Netrunner almost feels like an evolved, better Call of Cthulhu, players compete over the same victory points and try to cripple their opponents enough that scoring the points is easy. I found that CoC had a run away leader problem and Netrunner did not, Netrunner is also just more fun. However I do tend to like the actual deck building in Call of Cthulhu better than any of the other LCGs. I also found the counters in Netrunner to be a better quality, it could have been cool to have a statue representing who is the corporation and who is the runner but it would serve no purpose, the Cthulhu statues just blow any card game components out of the water, they are really well done.

In terms of difficulty, I find Call of Cthulhu and Warhammer Invasion to be around the same difficulty and the easiest to learn out of the LCGs I have played. I think that Android Netrunner is a little more complicated than both of them but is still easier to learn than the Game of Thrones. The reason I fell that the Game of Thrones is the hardest is because it is more difficult to teach someone diplomacy and when to backstab than it is to teach someone a structured rule. Although this applies more importantly to the multiplayer game, with just 2 a Game of Thrones is on par with Warhammer and Cthulhu.


Who Would Like Netrunner?

Family Gamers: Like I said the learning curve is pretty hard, but once you've got the hang of it this will make a great father - son game. Netrunner is no harder than learning MTG and there are TONS of online resources like cheat sheets, player mats, rules summary, turn breakdowns to make playing your first few games a breeze.

Casual Gamers: I think that LCGs make great games for casual gamers because they leave the option to expand and get more into the game without draining  the wallet and more importantly without you burning out from the game itself. The advantage LCGs have with casuals is you can play it right out of the box but you can also make the experience what you want based on who you are playing with. Being able to appeal to different groups and ranges of gamers is important in casual friendly games.

Gamer Gamers: This is where I think Netrunner shines. Because of the deckbuilding component LCGs do really well with Gamer Gamers, there is room to bend the games rules and really make your own strategy. The only thing that hinders Netrunner is its 2 player limit, but tons of choices, additional content, great gameplay, new mechanics and a large following makes Netrunner great for all avid gamers. 
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