Earth Reborn - a boardgame for videogamers?

I've been thinking about whether to create this thread, since I didn't want to seem self-indulgent. I've recorded a 'first impressions' video of a boardgame called Earth Reborn and wanted to let people know about it.

Earth Reborn is the first boardgame that I wished was a videogame. It's also the first game that has ended up containing several ideas that I thought videogames should have, but never expected to see. It's the first boardgame I've told (at least one) videogame designer about.

If it were a videogame, it'd be a shooter, let's imagine an FPS. An FPS with: asymmetrical teams, squad-based tactics, destructible terrain, Metal Gear Solid-style gadgets, Fallout-cum-Borderlands ambience, objective-based gameplay and procedurally generated maps.

It's a game whose rules I think videogamers should read. Yet, despite having all of this, I still can't recommended it without caveats.

Curiosity sufficiently piqued. Tagged to watch the video later.

Gravey wrote:

Curiosity sufficiently piqued. Tagged to watch the video later.

Same. Can't watch right now but I want to take a look.

Watched your review and I'm with you 100%. You hit every single compliment and complaint I have of the game. Earth Reborn is filled with tons of really interesting concepts that I think don't quite come together.

The stuff you do over the course of a game is incredibly fun: run around, shoot each other, smash through walls, find new equipment and generally have all sorts of crazy and cool things happen. Few games tell fun stories like Earth Reborn. I had a male character start in the women's bathroom. His first action was to smash the toilet. Why? Just because. As you said, the action point system is incredibly clever. You use APs to active your character, improve the actions you take and interrupt your opponent. Resource management is key and you are given tons of flexibility with how you approach the game.

My main complaint, though, is that with all the flexibility in what you can do, I find the game actually a bit limited in what you really do from moment to moment. The biggest problem is that characters are limited in how many action points can be spent on them per turn, but you generally only have 3 or 4 characters on your team. Given the game's wild complexity it's good, but with such a small squad I find it really limits what you can accomplish practically from turn to turn. The action point system allows lots of flexibility but I feel the game's execution limits you, if that makes any sense.

There are tons of really interesting ideas going on in Earth Reborn. Unfortunately the game components (holy hell are they dark... it really is impossible to see the walls) and rule complexities make it impossible to play casually. You really need to find someone who can dedicate a lot of time playing the game to get much out of it.

I'd love to see a simplified version of this ruleset be implemented in another game. Keep the core action point management system in place but build a game that plays faster. I'd be down for that.

Yes, it does feel a little like you've got many options, but not the option to take them. I think ignoring the 'CP per turn' limit for characters might help. You'll be limited anyway since there are limited CP. And if a character is able to earn extra ones (I can't remember if they can), perhaps you could house rule it so only the character that earned them could use them.

There's so much flexibility in it, that I think it could easily accept player-made varients.

Well, after watching the video and reading an epic review on BGG, I'm in love. The setting is crazy-go-nuts but I can't get over the depth of play found in the rules. Fortunately (or not) I have enough miniatures combat games right now, but I'll definitely be thinking about this one. I'll try it out if I ever have the opportunity, and read the rules for now.

I haven't played Dungeon Twister, but it was a dungeon bash I was looking into after I got Descent. I've only heard highly positive things about it, so I'm not surprised now to hear how good ER is, caveats aside.

Are action points not a common way of handling actions in board games? I always thought it was such a good implantation in Valkyria Chronicle, I figured board games had been all over them already.