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Nexus: Scrapyard Kickstarter Preview


Quick Look:

Designer: Nicholas Markgraf
Artist: Corey Shillingford
Publisher: PawnJoker Games
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-5
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Nexus: Scrapyard. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

Review:

Rules and Setup:
A new space race begins in Nexus: Scrapyard; keep your game directions handy, and get ready to set up. First up, shuffle the component, event, and crew decks individually. Deal each player five component cards, which will become their starting hands. Take the top five cards from the crew deck and lay them face-up to form the Roster. Keep the rule card and voucher cards nearby for easy access during game play. Spread out the CivShip cards so each has space for cards underneath it. Once completed, the setup should look something like the photo below.


The basic rules dictate that each player has 60 "minutes" to spend during their turn. When a player runs out of minutes, their turn ends and the next player's turn begins. There are five different actions that can be played out during a turn. Choosing 'Income' costs 15 minutes and allows a player to draw one card from the component deck. Choosing 'Bribe', 'Hire', or 'Purchase' all cost 20 minutes each. Bribing allows a player to add a card to a CivShip to gain vouchers, hiring uses vouchers to hire crew members from the roster, and purchasing uses vouchers to pay for CivShips. Lastly, choosing 'Rally' costs 25 minutes, discards all current crew cards from the Roster, and replaces them (and any empty slots) with new crew cards.

After the last CivShip in the scrapyard is purchased, each player has one final turn. Once the last turn ends, players count up their renown points from each CivShip in their fleet, including any bonuses they might gain. The player with the most renown points (which are calculated at the end of the game) wins.



Theme and Mechanics:
Scrapyard revolves around a futuristic, space-age theme. The idea of scrapping spaceship parts for rebuilds evokes memories of both Star Wars and Firefly. The main mechanics include memorization and a point-allowance system of in-game time. Memorization of the placement of cards is an important element in Nexus to ensure players sabotage their opponents and not themselves. The point-allowance system provides players 60 minutes of in-game time to complete their turns. Players must decide for themselves which actions they want to spend their time on and budget it wisely to get the most out every turn.

Game Play:
Fast paced, easy to pick up, and potentially strategy-intensive is how I would describe game play. The rules are concise; however, some card descriptions were not explained thoroughly enough. This required my play test group to create house rules in order to continue with game play. Some cards are also extremely powerful, such as the Pirate crew member, to the point that buying it almost certainly wins that player the game. While the game claims players can create a new story each time they play, limited flavor text and a lack of card explanations make this difficult. Strategies, however, were easy for each player to develop, and they complicated game play in an unexpected and enjoyable way. Memorizing card placements, discreet card plays, and many other strategies can be used to sabotage opponents and win the game.



Artwork and Components:
While the futuristic theme was represented well throughout the art, there simply wasn't enough of it in the game. There are only seven unique pieces of art on the fronts of cards and four unique card backs. With so many cards to sift through in a deck of well over 100 cards total, the lack of unique art for each crew member, ship, and component was disappointing. Unique art for each card would have been helpful when trying to select cards from a deck to play. Additionally, new color schemes and more art would eliminate the monotony players experience from the same two colors and eleven images repeated over and over. (Editors Note: Publisher has a budget for art included in the Kickstarter goal)

The Good:
Nexus: Scrapyard has the potential for players to develop unique strategies while still maintaining an easy-to-teach and easy-to-learn feel. Turns go quickly once all players are familiar with the cards and rules, and game completion doesn't take too much time.

The Bad:
The sparing use of art in the game took away from the futuristic theme and made game play visually monotonous. The lack of flavor text made the element of unique story creation for each play-through difficult to achieve.

Final Thoughts:
While Nexus: Scrapyard was an entertaining game to play through and had the potential for great strategic play, it could use some more polishing.

Players Who Like:
If you enjoy dungeon-building card games like Boss Monster, or other sci-fi themed card games, you will enjoy Nexus: Scrapyard.

I am giving Nexus: Scrapyard 7 out of 10 super meeples.

7  10

Check out Nexus: Scrapyard on:

         

Nexus: Scrapyard is on KICKSTARTER between now and September 7, 2017.

About the Author:


Sarah Johnson is a freelance writer and board game enthusiast. When she’s not playing games or writing reviews, she enjoys writing articles for food and wine magazines. Sarah lives in rainy Corvallis, Oregon where she studies writing, English, and communications.
Nexus: Scrapyard Kickstarter Preview Nexus: Scrapyard Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by Sarah Johnson on August 09, 2017 Rating: 5

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