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Nexus is an abstract game of strategy and control.
Players take turns playing cards, and creating zones of control by playing their counters to capture Nodes. Each Node holds the power to control a Nexus, but victory is never guaranteed.
Nexus is a clever and engaging strategy game designed by hipster James Ernest. And it's cheap, cheap, cheap!
Nexus takes two minutes to learn and twenty minutes to play. It is played with a deck of cards on which there are different combinations of 'nodes' and 'rods'. Each turn a player selects a card and then annexes it to the existing pattern of cards that have already been played onto a handy tabletop. The rods and nodes will form nexuses, and when a nexus is 'closed' (i.e. it has no rods not terminated at a node), it is scored. Players attempt to control a nexus (and thus score its points) with their counters. Each turn, after they play their card, the player may place a counter on any node on any unclosed nexus, thus increasing their control over that nexus. The amount of worth a node has in terms of control depends upon how many rods are connected to it (between one and four).
As simple and abstract as it is, Nexus is a good game. There is tension and player interaction as you try to control and close nexuses while keeping your opponent(s) from doing the same. There is more than one strategy that can be employed and even a certain amount of sneakiness. There is a small amount of luck involved (in terms of getting the right card at the right time to close a nexus), but, as no particular card is inherently better than another, it pays more to be smart than to be lucky.
The game is not particularly attractive, being a monochrome green, and it is not very complex, but so far I have played Nexus eight or nine times and my opponents and I have enjoyed it. A very good light game, considering the price.
Cards illustrate from one to four circles. A circle's value equals the number of paths (one to four) emanating from it to the card's edges. Start turns by drawing and placing a card adjacent to another, continuing a path from that card. End by placing a token on any circle in the array. Completing a network of circles containing only one closed path initiates scoring. With tokens occupying the network's highest value of circles, you score the value of unoccupied circles. So, occupying circles stakes a claim, but reduces your eventual gains! This infuriating mechanism makes this simple game a favorite for its quick but demanding battles. You win by reaching 10 points (tokens not supplied).