Tesla vs. Edison: Duel by Artana Review

Theme and What is It?

Tesla’s dislike for all things Edisonian was legendary, as was Edison’s willingness to liberate Tesla’s ideas at his leisure to further modern technology is a story for the ages. These men are arguably responsible for every convenience you now enjoy, including the little screen you may now be using to read this article. Duel brings that rivalry to life in a small form factor board game, that allows you to battle your adversary for control of the United States through your love of A/C or D/C electricity. 

You can play one of 8 different leaders of industry, 4 of which are A/C and four are D/C. Let the Gods of Thunder take you on a magical mystery ride (that might make for a good rock song).

Gameplay Mechanics

A card game that is built upon the wildly successful Edison vs. Tesla game also released by Artana. Yes, I know the name is actually Tesla vs. Edison, but this battle continues in card form. 

Each round, you are given several assistants (cards), each with their own abilities (actions), and you were limited to the actions on the cards. These powers each affect the three cities, technologies, or stock. In the end, whoever controls more cities (2/3) wins, regardless of popularity (unless a tie exists at the end).

The gameplay is very easy, though the rules make the game seem more difficult than it really is. 

How to play:

  1. Pick A/C or D/C, your enemy will be the other
  2. Pick one of four Legends of Industry
  3. Lay down the cities, in three separate lines
  4. You will be playing the assistant actions as follows;
    1. Take stock if you have relevant technology
      1. add it to your side of board, to same colored city
    2. Flip city from A/C to D/C
      1. this disallows other player from adding smaller substations
    3. Add substation city to your primary cities
    4. Raise popularity, which at prime 3, allows for additional actions
    5. Take technology
      1. only three technology branches exist, and you cannot take stock if you do not have the relevant tech
  5. You will have three rounds, each with three assistants
  6. At the end of three rounds, you will count the stock value, and substation value to determine who controls a city
    1. whoever controls more cities wins
    2. a tie is broken by popularity

These directions may be imperfect, but they will get you going. If you are like me, reading long directions makes a game less enjoyable. I want to just play through the first time, and learn as I go.

Initial Impressions

Directions and me are enemies. We just are not good friends. We could call each other frenemies possibly. 

TVAD is a great game, to play. I was not a fan of the directions. It took far too long to just get into a game based on the games actual complexity.

With that being said, I really like most of the game, including what comes in the box, which will be discussed below.

Quality of Components and Insert

Nice cards, hefty poker chips, and nice cardboard. 

For the small form factor of the game, it just feels nice. The quality is akin to the larger cousin large box game of Tesla vs. Edison. 

All in all, it feels like you are getting your money’s worth based on the quality of components.

Artistic Direction

Artana hit a chord with me with the original Tesla vs. Edison. The art was just subdued and beautiful. It was designed to be subdued, and it was designed to emote a feeling of old-timey photos. 

It did both wonderfully. Therefore, I am also a fan of the TVED art, it just feels like we are living during the industrial revolution, and colors were less enriched than they are now. Games do not need to be flashy to be beautiful. Artana has a great art direction on their hands, and I’m interested in how their future reiterations will play out. In the meantime TVED is a great middle weight game, that has not skimped on the art.

Fun Factor

Once we played the game, it is a quick back and forth that screams to be played over and over. I played with my brother, and we really dig the game. We both like heavy and medium weight games, and although this is a lighter medium weight game, it is highly enjoyable. 

The directions make it more difficult than need be. Get past that issue, and if you like medium weight drafting, resource management, and deck building (used lightly), I think you will like TVED.

Difficulty and Age Range Suggestion

The posted age range is 14+. 

I think that is likely an accurate assessment. Some younger kids with a lot of board game background, may be able to pick it up, but by and large 14+ is hitting the nail on the head.

Conclusions

I like TVED, and dislike it’s directions. 

If you play it, and get used to it, the game plays very well, quickly, and is very much about planning your moves in advanced, based on the snaking draft of the cards. 

The art is beautiful, and the gameplay tight. 

I’d give this game a BUY recommendation, and for me, classify it as a TOP SHELF game.

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Originally posted 2017-11-10 17:38:57.