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TOPIC: What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 26 Jul 2017 16:36 #251719

I found a local supplier that is bringing in some material to retail that's where I'm grabbing Azathoth, Opener, GOO pack 1 and cosmic Terrors. The other factions are sold out so I'll be throwing Windwaljer and Sleeper onto the KS order along with High Priests and the 6-8 player map. Aside from that I'll try to source out some other maps over the next year but the KS comes with one at least.

So I should have 5 factions and enough independants to last some time, once this stuff comes in over the next couple of weeks.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 26 Jul 2017 16:52 #251724

Like Pat I'm gonna jump into Cthulhu Wars, but I think I'm just gonna get the base game then keep an eye open for other stuff. I think I'd like to get Opener as well and maybe a map or two but likely not right away. I think the map in the new KS is ugly, so not really seeing a reason to back and will just pick up stuff piece by piece if its around. I think the base game is showing up at online discounters Septemberish.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 26 Jul 2017 16:56 #251726

Sorry to butt-in, but what were the few tweaks, if I may ask? Are they component-based, map-based, or just rule tweaks?

It's really a great game, but I thought the copy I had did what it had to do nicely. I'm curious though, that's all.

Gregarius wrote:
I second Barnes on the new edition of Nemo's War. I played it a couple of times last week, and it really is a delight.

I loved the original edition enough to pimp out my own version fairly extensively. I was irritated by the pricetag on the new edition, but I knew I had to have it. It doesn't disappoint. The core game is the same, with a few tweaks that improve playability. The artwork is perfect.

I've only played a few different solo games, but this one stands out for me. Your choice of focus at the beginning, plus all the decisions during the game, really matter and keep it engaging. Disclaimer: I've been a fan of the source material since I was very young, so I'm quite biased in that regard.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 26 Jul 2017 19:00 #251727

I was getting bored of Star Realms so I decided to buy another boardgame app. I heard Lords of Waterdeep was a great port and had great AI so I bought it. And the app itself is great, but the game is leaving me increasingly cold every time I play it.

My main issue is that it's not really possible to play it well, only slighty better or slighty worse. As long as you buy a building or get a Plot Quest that works well with your character you are assured to get a good score, even if you fumble some quest chains here and there. There's very little player interaction so if you count cubes a head chances are you'll be able to get most stuff done.

What this means is that the game is actually decided by very few points, probably between 20 and 30. And these points can only be gotten through a handful of ways:

1) The half-actions of Waterdeep Harbour
2) Significantly above-average Quests (Eg. Those that give you buildings, 2VP per Intrigue card or high VP/resource ratios)
3) Significantly above-average Intrigue cards (Eg. Those that give you buildings)
4) Significantly above-average buildings (Eg. The Yawning Portal)
5) Being able to pay for take-that cards (Eg. exchange 4 money for 4 VP)

In other words, other than the Waterdeep Harbout, I feel most of the actual decisions of Lords of Waterdeep are in the little margings of the game, where the over-balancing couldn't get them. The vast majority of the game is strategically unimportant because it's too easy to be more-than-competent at it.

The first expansion, Scoundrels of Skullport improves on this part of the game. The base game should have been more like it. That's not a full argument, but that's more or less my gist of it.
Scott_F wrote:
Couple of points. First I'm shocked at the love Terraforming Mars is getting here. I'm not going to bash the game as I've only played it once and don't believe one play is enough to criticize most games. But I will say I hated the game and will never play it again. To me it was a very solitaire game with random drafting of a few take-that cards and grabbing valuable spots on the map before your opponents. And always watching the metrics that give extra points. It played as a solitaire engine builder with a hard sci fi theme, like playing a Kim Stanley Robinson book. Lots of people love it; I just hate it.
I don't think it's not interactive. It's level and kind of interaction actually remembers me of Automobile, which I don't think most people will claim it's solitaire.

The thing is, you can't just build an engine, you have to build an engine that can play well in the environment you and the other players are creating. What kind of cards you play change what kind of game you are playing: Lots of cities or just a few? Fast or slow? High or low temperature? Easy greenery or are VPs being gained through cards? The game is not aggressive, but it's very reactive.

Imagine someone is spamming forests which have the highest VP potential in the game (1VP for raising oxygen, 1VP at the end of the game, possibly 1VP more for cities). There are indeed some cards that may directly hurt him, but they are a minor part of the interaction of the game. For example, should you build cities? This will give you the control over the ground he currently has and gain VPs but it will make you poorer and slow you compared to card-heavy players.Or is it better to invest in Oxygen plants and spend energy to produce it? You'll be able to quickly seal the problem but produce an Oxygen-rich game. Does that benefit you or someone else?

Also note that most of the points of the game and specially those that are easier and give you income early on are limited. If you don't participate, you'll lose but if you play too hard and try to nab those valuable spots on the map too early you'll struggle to fulfill your long-term goals.

It's also important to diversify. Your engine will never be enough, you need to scrap as many points as you can.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 26 Jul 2017 21:33 #251733

Erik, I'm not at all interested in either Lords of Waterdeep or Terraforming Mars, but I do appreciate your insights about these games. Partly because I might some day need to play one of these games in order to get one of mine on the table. And partly just for insights about what makes game designs fun or not fun.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 27 Jul 2017 08:38 #251740

Nemo's War sounds really interesting but I just can't seem to make myself solo boardgames. The other night we played Terraforming Mars and I told the others to leave it out instead of putting it away because I was going to finally try it solo the next day. When I sat down to do that, I just said "eh" and put it away and played videogames instead. I'm not even that crazy about playing them solo on iPad. I don't know what it is.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 27 Jul 2017 12:26 #251747

I've been playing more Twilight Struggle, but in the digital form. It is definitely one that benefits from quite a few games and I like it more an more each play.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 27 Jul 2017 18:24 #251764

Shellhead wrote:
Erik, I'm not at all interested in either Lords of Waterdeep or Terraforming Mars, but I do appreciate your insights about these games. Partly because I might some day need to play one of these games in order to get one of mine on the table. And partly just for insights about what makes game designs fun or not fun.
Thanks a lot for the kind words, I really appreciate it.

You know, it might be seem a bit silly but it's something I actually try to achieve with my games writing. When I write reviews or analysis I tend to look for that one thing that defines the game or makes it different and work from there. So I'm very glad that got across :)
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 28 Jul 2017 17:57 #251803

Good game of 2p Argent today. Board was odd, no gold and lots of weird stuff. Only influence came from the room you can drop tons of mages in with a single action. We ended up all piling into the expansion room that gives you stuff based on what color mage you put there, which is usually more of a utility room in my experience than a go to. She won 6-6 voter tie breaker w/influence.

Also a cool combo available of golem lab (drop a temporary mage of any color) with the room that generated resources based on mage color placed.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Jul 2017 08:41 #251810

Got back to Clash of Cultures after far too long a hiatus. Used the expansion. This is still a great game and holds up. I really like the expansion. The leaders and special abilities add just enough asymmetry. The only negative is that if you draw a civilization with abilities that foster a strategy that you don't want to pursue well too bad, and many of them have warlike abilities. I came in second by one point in our 3-player game. I spent too much time dealing with my wife's armies. She has this thing she does where if I march a single army anywhere near her stuff she goes into a full-blown arms race. I mean, my army armies are just there as an insurance policy! They surely wouldn't invade or conquer! Until they do. Anyway we spent too many resource and too much time in cold war mentality while the other player kept racking up VP.

Playing Shadowlord! Tuesday. I wish somebody would reprint this game.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Jul 2017 10:07 #251811

The commiting you to a strategy thing is the reason I go back and forth on the expansion. It's why I'm really glad it was not in the base game, so that the game holds together without it.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Jul 2017 22:04 #251824

Target for Today came in the mail today and I sat down tonight to give it a whirl.

It's billed as a modernization of the well known solo game, B-17 Queen of the Skies. I knew that when I ordered it. I knew that when I got it. I knew that while I was playing it. And I knew that when I was putting it away. So it's okay to be disappointed but let no-one think for a minute I have the right to be surprised at what this game is and, more importantly, isn't.

Now you can call it modernized in that the components are way better than anything Avalon Hill ever thought of doing back in the day but don't think the heart of this game is any different than it's inspiration.

What this game is is a large, a very large, collection of charts. And you roll on these charts. And these charts give you results that might affect your rolls on other charts. Your target is determined by a chart. Your success is determined by a chart. The weather is determined by a chart. Enemy resistance is determined by a chart. Attack charts, hit charts, location charts, effect charts, flak charts.....and on and on and on.

What this game is not is something where you get to make decisions. Any decisions at all. Ok not entirely true. Here are the decisions left in your hands. Naming your plane and crew. Deciding which enemy fighter your gunners will shoot at if they have more than one option. And if somebody gets killed you can shuffle some crew members around to fill the vacant spot. Not what you might call a deep decision tree.

But that is exactly what B17-Queen of the Skies was. So I shouldn't be shocked. The only real mystery is why I ordered the damn thing in the first place.


target.jpg
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 30 Jul 2017 01:12 #251827

I found that the PC version of the AH B-17 is enough to scratch that 'rolling on charts' itch that AH fosters in me.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 30 Jul 2017 08:16 #251829

I played Arkham Horror LCG and while it was entertaining there's something that bothered me about it: It often punishes you for taking the right action.

The way the game works is that you first decide what to do and then you pull a chit from a bag to see if you succeed. And given these chits range from +1 to -5 and have several automatic failures thrown in every single action has, at least, a 35% chance to fail. if not more. Turns in which you just fail and don't do anything useful are common and the game is not forgiving enough to account for these failures.

And, most importantly, these failures aren't fun because doing nothing isn't fun. You can feed cards to reduce the chance of failure but then the game becomes an unthematic probability optimization excercise.

I don't know, I didn't have a bad reaction to the game or anything, but when I think about it objectively I realize it's a very wonky game. For example the "Weakness" mechanic is kind of dumb too: You have one card in your deck that does something bad to you if drawn. It doesn't add to the game, it just randomly screws you over if you happen to get it.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 30 Jul 2017 09:06 #251830

repoman wrote:
Target for Today came in the mail today and I sat down tonight to give it a whirl.

It's billed as a modernization of the well known solo game, B-17 Queen of the Skies. I knew that when I ordered it. I knew that when I got it. I knew that while I was playing it. And I knew that when I was putting it away. So it's okay to be disappointed but let no-one think for a minute I have the right to be surprised at what this game is and, more importantly, isn't.

Now you can call it modernized in that the components are way better than anything Avalon Hill ever thought of doing back in the day but don't think the heart of this game is any different than it's inspiration.

What this game is is a large, a very large, collection of charts. And you roll on these charts. And these charts give you results that might affect your rolls on other charts. Your target is determined by a chart. Your success is determined by a chart. The weather is determined by a chart. Enemy resistance is determined by a chart. Attack charts, hit charts, location charts, effect charts, flak charts.....and on and on and on.

What this game is not is something where you get to make decisions. Any decisions at all. Ok not entirely true. Here are the decisions left in your hands. Naming your plane and crew. Deciding which enemy fighter your gunners will shoot at if they have more than one option. And if somebody gets killed you can shuffle some crew members around to fill the vacant spot. Not what you might call a deep decision tree.

But that is exactly what B17-Queen of the Skies was. So I shouldn't be shocked. The only real mystery is why I ordered the damn thing in the first place.


target.jpg

Have you played Silent Victory? I'd be interested to hear if it was more appealing to you. (If you haven't and would like to try let me know, I have an idle copy.)
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