So now that I'm done with my responsibilities with regards to Kemet, how do I really feel about the game? After all, I received a copy early specifically so I could write a cover article for Game Trade Magazine about it. And then I had to write about 800 words about it - someone else's word count to someone else's deadline ...
The fact is, I love this game. I really do.
It's not difficult to learn, and is the best game I have ever seen for discouraging turtling (which is a real problem in war games).
It wasn't long before I started seeing, "X Tile Is Broken!" on the Boardgamegeek forums - but that was not a surprise. Because every single tile in the game is broken. The key is to find the ones that break in favor of your preferred strategy - or which counter what your opponent is doing.
And the reviews have been mostly positive. People that have played the game have liked the game. Which matches my perception in person, too. Every week I fail to bring it, I get requests for it. Every. Week. From a variety of folks. I've only had one friend who was lukewarm to cool about the game. He disliked that some tiles seemed more important than others - and, while I see his point, I disagree with it. Which tiles are important depends on your strategy and that of your opponents. If you are only moving one space, then the ability to bypass city walls, for example, is meaningless. If you are already bypassing city walls, then you probably don't want to buy the Phoenix - there are better creatures for you.
Are there issues? A few. But it looks like most of the inevitable complainers are all missing different things, which tells me they are probably only reading the rulebook through once before playing. Or else they assume they won't miss anything - I miss things even on a third read-through with some games, so I always read through at least twice before trying to teaching.
I am not the wargamer I used to be - I still love Empires in Arms, don't get me wrong, here - but more and more I'm enjoying games I can play in an evening. And it's hard to find a good war-flavored game that does that. Kemet fits the bill. An argument can be made for Eclipse, but it's not really a wargame - it's a 4X.
Kemet has earned its place in my car. And it's seeing regular play on Wednesdays - even when I'm not playing, it's occasionally in use. That, for me, is a sign of a good game.