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TOPIC: Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review

Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 25 Jun 2017 22:26 #250427

One of the most famous magic items in Dungeons and Dragons is the bag of holding. On the outside, a small cloth bag. On the inside, a pocket dimension capable of storing huge amounts of stuff. Pax Renaissance is the closest real-world equivalent that we have. On the outside, a small box, no bigger than a couple of packs of playing cards. On the inside, one of the densest, biggest games we've seen this decade.

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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 26 Jun 2017 03:39 #250428

The thing is, I find most of the time the "theme" and stuff he adds as detail doesnt *really* add anything to the game. Pax Porf was a clever game with multiple winning conditions interlocking via the different card categories, and yes, the theme was "cool" and interesting but it didnt really drive anything in the game, it could equally well have been an abstract euro card game with colours and Icons instead o the graphical hotch potch he Went with in order to convey the idea he was trying to simulate that historical idea. If anything the graphical design just got in the way of what was actually a pretty simple idea, cards plop out with different game ending conditions, based on the different kinds of cards you have in front of you, and with a resourcey Money Engine helping you along. His rulebooks, living or otherwise, are shit. I still Think High Frontier is the only one of his games where the theme means anything, or shows through in the actual game, and thus justifies all the extraneous detail
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 26 Jun 2017 04:04 #250430

but he's still great, and unique and should keep doing what he does,
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 26 Jun 2017 07:15 #250431

Eklund is one of only a handful of designers to be in my auto buy category.

I think his rulebooks are getting better, but his games are always so unique that parsing his ideas into a rulebook is never going to be easy.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 26 Jun 2017 07:35 #250432

Pax Renaissance lacks a creative name. It feels like it was named by a focus group of eurogamers.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 26 Jun 2017 07:38 #250433

There's also a question mark over the game's historical foundation. I'm no detailed student of history, but it doesn't seem hard to look back and imagine how merchants and bankers influenced kings and queens. How they might have influenced religious thinkers like Martin Luther seems a far bigger stretch. Yet that's what the game wants you to believe. To the point where the mercantile houses of Italy could have turned all Europe into part of the Ottoman Caliphate in their pursuit of profit.

Eklund is a devotee of Rand, and thus capitalists are the prime movers of all that is worth moving. To suggest that anything worthwhile could happen without capitalism is anathema. People I know who have degrees in medieval history have told me that his working hypotheses here are pretty unsupportable.

Still, it wouldn't be the first Eklund game in which I have to ignore his dopey agenda and just play it.
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Last Edit: 26 Jun 2017 10:51 by Legomancer.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 26 Jun 2017 09:09 #250441

Given the importance of the movable type press in the distribution of Luther's 95 theses, it's not a huge stretch to imagine shadowy financiers assisting in the usage of such technology to promote an agenda that aligns with their own. I don't think games like this suggest that someone showed up at Luther's monastery with a bag full of cash to pay him to troll the pope, it's more abstract than that. And I don't think that the sinister hands of finance have ever been far from the levers of power, historically.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 26 Jun 2017 15:12 #250463

After two plays, I thought it was more of a bag of devouring.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 26 Jun 2017 15:31 #250464

Nice review Matt. I agree that it is a little far fetched, but i think that is part of the appeal. I've found hitting the 1 hour mark not to difficult but i've played the pervious two games.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 28 Jun 2017 12:57 #250566

Incidentally, Pax Renaissance is in stock but its card expansion is gone. Phil has no timeline for reprinting it. So if anyone wants to move their decent shape copy w/expansion, PM me, I'll give you the same I'd give for a new copy w/expansion.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 28 Jun 2017 15:01 #250573

Gary Sax wrote:
Incidentally, Pax Renaissance is in stock but its card expansion is gone. Phil has no timeline for reprinting it. So if anyone wants to move their decent shape copy w/expansion, PM me, I'll give you the same I'd give for a new copy w/expansion.

Its funny, I thought PAX REN would be more popular than BIOS GENESIS or PAX PAMIR yet the other two seem to see more play and the former is getting reprinted. Glad I snagged my expansion copies when I did .
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 28 Jun 2017 17:18 #250579

I did one of those "add both to cart, naw wait till next paycheck" things two weeks ago and now I'm regretting it.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 28 Jun 2017 19:05 #250590

I batch ordered the Pax Pamir expansion, Pax Ren, and the Pax Ren expansion (which was of course printed simultaneously with the game) a while ago.

This sort of thing is exactly why. It happened with the Pax Pamir expansion too, selling out before the game. I think he hasn't quite optimized the number of expansions to print, and I think it's a lot higher ratio than typical game studios.

I also coughed up for the tiny Pax Ren expansion from the BGG store.

I wouldn't call Eklund an auto-buy for me, but I like the Pax games at least. I probably cannot disagree more with his politics, but I'm a grown-up who can separate art from personality. The perceived value of the game is enough to make my invisible hand reach for my fiat money wallet.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 28 Jun 2017 21:12 #250593

Not Sure wrote:
I batch ordered the Pax Pamir expansion, Pax Ren, and the Pax Ren expansion (which was of course printed simultaneously with the game) a while ago.

This sort of thing is exactly why. It happened with the Pax Pamir expansion too, selling out before the game. I think he hasn't quite optimized the number of expansions to print, and I think it's a lot higher ratio than typical game studios.

I also coughed up for the tiny Pax Ren expansion from the BGG store.

I wouldn't call Eklund an auto-buy for me, but I like the Pax games at least. I probably cannot disagree more with his politics, but I'm a grown-up who can separate art from personality. The perceived value of the game is enough to make my invisible hand reach for my fiat money wallet.

Fuck BGG and their exclusive promos. I skip 'em.
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Pax Renaissance - A Creativity Quest Review 28 Jun 2017 21:35 #250594

Yeah, I'm a bit salty about not ordering it when I could.
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Last Edit: 28 Jun 2017 21:35 by Gary Sax.
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