51 State Ultimate Edition is the newest, gathered edition of the legendary card game for 1-4 people set in the world of post-apocalyptic Neuroshima. Gathered because a large box contains the base game and all previously released extensions and one new "No Man's Land".
Decks of six expansions, and at the bottom two piles of cards from the basic deck
Qualitaty it on very high level, the original insert contains all the elements in an orderly manner, it also has a handy gametray, which makes it very easy and quick to set up the game. You take the tray, the base deck + eventually the expansion deck, the boards for each player and you're done.
Resources are made of wood, bricks, canisters, guns, cogs and workers.
Contact, score, shield, and other constable tokens are made of cardboard.
We also have the first player marker - a plastic mini that can be painted!
In the game, you lead your faction (we have 4 asymmetric factions) and try to build the 51st state in the destroyed United States, or rather what's left of it.
Like in oridynary a card game, we build our state from cards. We're trying to build a self-winding engine for resource generation. The instructions for the game are brilliantly written - I love the humor with which the rules are explained, the author must have had a lot of fun writing these humorous remarks.
We can use the cards in the hand in 3 ways - raze the resources from it and discard it, make a deal with the location that the card symbolizes in order to derive constant profits from it at the beginning of each turn, or build a location in our state from the card.
If we decide on the 3rd option, then depending on the type of card, we will have the production of some resources, the ability to perform actions or it will be a card with a specific feature, which will usually provide us with some bonuses.
Unfolded base game with expansion "No Man's Land"
The end-of-game condition is very interestingly constructed and the use of cards should be optimized in this context. If a player reaches 25 VP, the end of the game phase is triggered, i.e. the round we are in is the last one. At the end we add points for locations and we have a winner :-)
At the beginning I was wondering if it is possible to get much more points here than the limit of 25 ... well, it is possible, the last phase of the action can work wonders - we focus only on activities that give points, and at the end we add bonuses for each location in our state.
No Man’s Land
This is the type of game I like the most: easy to learn and hard to master.
The replayability is huge, the number of cards in the base game is so big that there is no chance totake all the cards in one game, and we still have 6 extensions. The latest extension also introduces the "area control" mechanic to the game...
The atmosphere from the graphics of the cards is very clear, the game is brilliantly painted - and the cards are almost never repeated (sometimes we have, for example, two cards of the same type).
The game is worth its price and is a must-have for card game lovers, and worth recommending to other players.
I even played with a 10-year-old ... which, apart from the topic, was not a problem at all. We have 14+ years old on the box but it's probably because of the theme of the game and I agree with BGG users, that 10+ was good here too.
As for my rating, compared to the average on BGG 8.5, I give a full 9. For high quality of workmanship, gameplay and high replayability.