Vanguard - Review @ GameSpot
GameSpot has finally kicked up their review of Vanguard, awarding a score of 7.5/10 despite what they describe as "a litany of bugs". Here's a bit on diplomacy:
Vanguard's most fascinating feature is diplomacy, which lets you earn favor with various factions, area-wide buffs, and more by engaging NPCs in conversation. Parleying is a simplified strategy card game in which you play five cards that represent different types of statements, such as flattery and inspiration. A game board with an influence marker keeps track of how you are doing, and as long as you keep the marker on your side for the specified number of turns, you win the parley. As your skills improve, you earn new cards--and even gain the use of temporary cards when visiting certain areas. Parleying itself is pretty simple, although as you gain skill, winning a high-level conversation gets to be quite a challenge.