1. grithog

    Chris, I hope you’ll revisit your review of Salmon Run on your podcast. I just listened to your description of it on Episode 10, and it sounds unappealing. You stressed the mechanic of fatigue, which sounds like it really slows the game. You emphasized the game “arc,” wherein you “start off fast . . . having lots of success and then it gets harder and harder as you go because you get so tired.” This seems like exactly the opposite of what I want in a game, especially a deck builder. I want my progress to make me more and more powerful and agile. Your description sounds like the game becomes more and more of a slog, as if the “deck building” is the accumulation of fatigue cards that impede you. Yuck. Please discuss this again!

  2. Chris Norwood

    Okay, let me start by saying this again – Salmon Run is NOT a deckbuilding game.  So even though I’m about to make a comparison to a deckbuilding game, Salmon Run is primarily a really cool and thematic RACE game that happens to use a deckbuilding mechanic.  And as a race game, I think it is really cool and interesting, probably more so than almost any other race game that I’ve played before.

    But you know, if you like deckbuilding games, especially the deckbuilding game (Dominion), then you’re used to a very similar mechanic.  Because the way that the victory point cards build up in your deck in Dominion is very similar to the fatigue mechanic in Salmon Run.  In both games, you’re accumulating cards that don’t do anything and which (during play at least) only clog up your hand.  And also in both games, you have some control over when and how many you accumulate. 

    If you always buy a victory point card in Dominion every time you can afford one, you’ll be “ahead” early on, but then get less and less effective as the game progresses.  And in Salmon Run, if you push it hard from the get-to and always play 3 swim cards and be as aggressive as you can jumping over waterfalls, then you’ll build up a lot of fatigue that will slow you down later.

    But in both games, if you pace yourself more (working more on your “engine” early in Dominion or just playing 2 swim cards at a time in Salmon Run), then you’ll be more effective near the end.  And actually, I think that there’s more strategic variety in this aspect of Salmon Run because the heavy fatigue route is probably more viable in it than is the “but VP cards early” strategy is in Dominion. 

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