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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 24 Oct 2017 14:08 #256260

Continuing on my John Clowdus kick, I played another game of Merchants of Muziris, this time with my wife. I do like the game quite well, and I think with just a little bit of work (some more cards, and another character to select) it'd be a great three player game.

We followed it up with Hemloch: Dark Promenade. This is actually a game that SBG released back in the spring, but there's a new print-on-demand version now. The basic idea is that there is a grid of cards representing locations in the city of Hemloch. The players take turns playing minions to one side of the board. One player is placing minions along the columns, and the other is placing them along the rows. At the end of the round, you compare who has the most support for each individual card by comparing the minions each side played at that intersection of rows and columns. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that's the best I can do right now with describing it.

All of the minions have multiple powers. Many of them have bonuses when used on specific kinds of cards in the grid, or they win ties on specific kinds of cards. They also change the game state by moving minions around, forcing the other player to discard cards, and taking control of different item cards that all give lots of points at the end of the game. It felt like the game was a little prone to big swings in luck, but that generally doesn't scare me off. I've not played to original Hemloch, but this was a fun two-player game. Definitely worth the $12.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 24 Oct 2017 19:41 #256280

san il defanso wrote:
Lots of games this weekend.

Merchants of Muziris - This is one of John Clowdus's new games, available on Drive Thru Cards.

Wow, Drive Thru Cards is really interesting--anyone can come up with a card design the printing and distribution is taken care of. That is really appealing.

As with digital sales, you get paid 70% or 65% of the price the customer pays, depending on whether you are an exclusive partner with OneBookShelf or non-exclusive. On print sales, though, you receive your share of the margin after the print cost of the book (or cards) is taken off the selling price.

When compared with offset print runs distributed through conventional channels to brick-and-mortar outlets, your profit margin on POD is excellent. For example, a 220-page hardcover in standard color costs us just under $13 to print in the U.S. With an MSRP of $34.99, at 70% of each sale, you’ll see about $15.35 in profit, per copy. Compare this amount with your profit selling an offset-printed book into distribution, and you'll find that POD compares very well!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 24 Oct 2017 20:02 #256281

Wow, Drive Thru Cards is really interesting--anyone can come up with a card design the printing and distribution is taken care of. That is really appealing.

Yeah, it's definitely been a weird ride. The card stock quality and printing has been just as good, or possibly better, than how I've been having cards printed for the past 5 years from a large, traditional offset printer. Obviously, I lose the box and printed rules, but the cost goes down for everyone, aside from international customers. But, I've been eating a lot of international shipping for the past few years. However, it got to a point of unsustainability, as costs have risen.

My goal is to have a really varied, evergreen catalog of games available. Existing reprints and new, bigger games will be handled by Kolossal Games, but my smaller designs will show up on DTC. By the end of 2017, there will be 7 different SBG games available through DTC

Glad you're enjoying MoM and Hemloch: DP, San!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 24 Oct 2017 20:09 #256282

They're very good games. I have Carthouche: Dynasties and Lords sitting around too, I'm anxious to play those as well. I might be able to sell my wife on Carthouche, but I am reasonably certain she would not be into Lords. That game looks a lot more unconventional and confrontational than she normally likes to deal with.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 24 Oct 2017 20:59 #256283

If you, and/or your wife, like MoM and/or Hemloch: Dark Promenade, I think Cartouche is potentially a good fit as well. It's got the game weight of Hemloch: Dark Promenade with the interaction level of Merchants.

Lords is a different beast. It's mean. It probably the most *game* I've ever packed into a deck of cards. But, it's mean. You need to know that going in.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 25 Oct 2017 09:40 #256319

I totally destroyed my six year old at KERPLUNK! yesterday. We played the master version- where you have to draw only your color sticks. That loser picked red sticks... ha. Everyone knows green is superior.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 25 Oct 2017 15:04 #256349

I picked up Crossfire this week. Still can’t believe I walked into a Toys R Us and bought it. In 2017.

No issues with my copy.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 26 Oct 2017 23:34 #256451

Cyclades. Got it in a math trade a while back and never managed to get it to the table. We played two 3-player games (my friends Derek and Alistair and I), one with the base set and one with the Hades expansion added.

The first game with the base set started slowly but then we all began to snowball into massive amounts of coin, since with only two gods in play, it was easy for people to get priced out and just start accumulating Prosperity tokens via Apollo. I pursued a naval-heavy strategy, but was confined to one island for much of the game and was one of the exploiters of Apollo for quite some time. In the end, I was on the verge of winning,, needing only a Temple, but forgot to take the Cyclops so that Derek couldn't use it. He snagged it and switched out a second Port for a University and scored his second Metroopolis.

The second game started much faster, not least because Hades and the Divine Favors really accelerate the pace. With Undead units allowing more aggressive moves early on and magic items and heroes populating the board, a lot more fireworks were on display. I once again emphasized the navy and had control of basically the entire top half of the board (keeping Alistair confined to one island at various times.) Derek grabbed the Kraken and heavily overpaid it to sweep 6 of my 8 ships off the board, but I loaded up on Undead, bought Pegasus, and landed on his island defended only by Perseus and one troop and stole a Metropolis for the win with the help of Apollo's arrows.

Everyone liked it, but I think it will work much better with 4 or 5 players.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Oct 2017 07:34 #256536

About 12 hours of High Frontier 3e in the past week.

The production is solid. OSS made a few misprints/mistakes; get the community errata off of BGG. The rules format is much easier to parse than Eklund's, even if the text is often nearly identical. One of the simplest and best things OSS did was move all the footnotes into a different book. It makes the rules books about half as thick. The option of using a normal-sized or double-sized board is nice too, and is more convenient than the poster map ever was.

We played a basic game followed by a colonization game without colonists, GW thrusters, or combat. The basic game is decent, and it's a great way to learn about traversing the solar system, but it is just a little bit underwhelming. Nothing about your rockets ever feels like you really put anything interesting together; you just slapped some cards together and took off.

Colonization adds flybys, radiation, and support modules. All of them are great. Support modules mean you can't just slap any old thruster on your rocket, you need generators and/or reactors, which might need radiators, and so on. When you get one of these rockets off the ground you're just a little bit more committed to the cause through the effort it took to make it work. Flybys make the deeper solar system slightly more accessible, and radiation makes the hold journey just a little bit more dangerous. Highly recommend these things from the colonization rules. The events and space government stuff is pretty neat too.

Highly do not recommend the freighter and bernal modules. They add a lot rules for what seems to be very little payoff. Unless I completely missed something the freighter module doesn't make freighters significantly more awesome than basic game freighters but it adds quite a few rules. The freighter module does add in mobile factories, but I don't see anyone making efficient use of that until they've got a bunch of experience anyway. Bernals are the same way. They give you a little boost getting a rocket out into space, and a promoted bernal can protect you from some events, but other than that there's a ton of bernal rules that just aren't worth the payoff. Again, maybe once you have a ton of experience bernals can open up the game for you, but if you don't there's no reason at all to use them.

Colonists and combat add a ton of complexity. We didn't use them. Haven't read the GW thruster rules yet, so I can't speak to that at all.

The game is good though once you wrap your head around it. We didn't play very competitively -- there were times when we were helping each other out -- and I think that's the proper way to learn the game. There are enough ways in the game to screw it up yourself that you don't need other players messing with you too when you're a newbie. Depending on your fortitude you could choose to learn using just the basic game or with adding some colonization bits. If you go colonization I recommend using the basic game rules with the core colonization parts and the supports module. That will get you events, space governments, flybys and radiation, and neat rockets with generators and reactors and such. If you want to make it easier just ignore the events and government parts. The game really is a kit, and most of the pieces can be added or removed to taste.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Oct 2017 07:59 #256538

A friend of mine hosted/organized a game day yesterday so I went and played a few games.

Quarto was first. This is an abstract game where you place wooden pieces on a smallish board trying to get a line of four that share one of four main characteristics; height, color, shape, and if it is hollow or not. The twist is that your opponent picks the piece you have to place. It was "meh". The bits were nice and hefty and wooden which was nice. The game played in about 15 min which was about right. And my friend got it in a second hand store for $2 so he already got his money worth out of it.


quarto.jpg


Three Kingdoms was next. This is three player game from Capstone Games but designed by some dudes out of Hong Kong or so I was told. If you boil it down it is a worker placement/bidding game. It has a lot of spaces and a lot of options and several tracks on which you are trying to at least maintain parity with your opponents. Some of the cool things were that each of your "workers" which are called "generals" has different strengths and weaknesses. This one might be stronger on an Administrative space but weaker on a Military space. They also have a card associated with the token which gives them another special power such as getting a stronger effect of a specific space or a stronger effect if they are the first one you played etc etc. There were also cards you could buy which would give you bonuses in resource collection or a vp award at the end of the game. Another cool thing was the quality of the production. The bits and art were all great.

With all these variables, there was much to consider on each and every turn and the game took a long time to play. It's 12 turns long but took us around 4 hours. Yes first game, learning game, and all that but I still think it might be too long for this type of game. Also at the end of play there was a 5 point difference between first and last which made me wonder if it's one of those games where no matter what you do, there are so many ways to earn vp's that every game will be artificially close. Not saying it is, just saying it might be.


threekingdoms.jpg


Glory to Rome got played. An all time classic and one of my favorites. I was beaten badly as usual. Original art For Evah! Playmobil Ceaser toy for start player marker for extra awesome!

ceaser.jpg


Tiny Epic Galaxies was next. A simple and relatively fast game of space exploration. I thought it was pretty fun. Reminded me a little bit of Impulse. Lasted about a half hour and I won so it gets bonus points for that.

tinyepicgalaxy.jpg


Spurs with Uba and Al was last. I forgot how much fun this game is. Really underrated. I took the roll of the hunter and was potential the worst hunter the Wild West ever knew. I had trouble killing a rabbit for the love of Pete. Got my ass kicked by a wolf. Ran away from a small fawn. Meanwhile Uba was breaking horses and buying the good rifle and Al was robbing the bank which won him the game.


Spurs-2.jpg



Then I went home and played the ipad app for Through the Ages where I played the "challenge" to beat three computer players on high difficulty. I've been trying to accomplish this for over a week and finally did it. So I ended the day as a winner!

Through-the-Ages.jpg
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Oct 2017 08:03 #256539

sounds awesome, I would love to try this game, even though it beggars belief that so often these reprints (Glory to Rome another obvious example) that seem like they would be just a money pot end up turning into total wrecks of delays, bungled mistakes, and not even doing that well commercially. I do HATE the living rules crap that Eklund seems to run by, and I thought the main point of this reprint was just get the community to put together a finalised, cleaned up rulebook that would not need updating every week. It even seems like some of the "enhancements" of the components didnt even end up being much(any?) better than the original. I love some of the community efforts in putting those mini lego ships together. I much prefer the original box (size and design) as well. But I do think that one day it would be great to sit down and get going with this.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Oct 2017 09:36 #256542

Why doesn’t Repos post have more thumbs? That should set the standard for posts to this thread

How’s the digital version of Through the Ages? That game was too long to play live. Digital would be nice
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Oct 2017 10:02 #256543

wadenels wrote:
About 12 hours of High Frontier 3e in the past week.

The production is solid. OSS made a few misprints/mistakes; get the community errata off of BGG. The rules format is much easier to parse than Eklund's, even if the text is often nearly identical. One of the simplest and best things OSS did was move all the footnotes into a different book. It makes the rules books about half as thick. The option of using a normal-sized or double-sized board is nice too, and is more convenient than the poster map ever was.

We played a basic game followed by a colonization game without colonists, GW thrusters, or combat. The basic game is decent, and it's a great way to learn about traversing the solar system, but it is just a little bit underwhelming. Nothing about your rockets ever feels like you really put anything interesting together; you just slapped some cards together and took off.

Colonization adds flybys, radiation, and support modules. All of them are great. Support modules mean you can't just slap any old thruster on your rocket, you need generators and/or reactors, which might need radiators, and so on. When you get one of these rockets off the ground you're just a little bit more committed to the cause through the effort it took to make it work. Flybys make the deeper solar system slightly more accessible, and radiation makes the hold journey just a little bit more dangerous. Highly recommend these things from the colonization rules. The events and space government stuff is pretty neat too.

Highly do not recommend the freighter and bernal modules. They add a lot rules for what seems to be very little payoff. Unless I completely missed something the freighter module doesn't make freighters significantly more awesome than basic game freighters but it adds quite a few rules. The freighter module does add in mobile factories, but I don't see anyone making efficient use of that until they've got a bunch of experience anyway. Bernals are the same way. They give you a little boost getting a rocket out into space, and a promoted bernal can protect you from some events, but other than that there's a ton of bernal rules that just aren't worth the payoff. Again, maybe once you have a ton of experience bernals can open up the game for you, but if you don't there's no reason at all to use them.

Colonists and combat add a ton of complexity. We didn't use them. Haven't read the GW thruster rules yet, so I can't speak to that at all.

The game is good though once you wrap your head around it. We didn't play very competitively -- there were times when we were helping each other out -- and I think that's the proper way to learn the game. There are enough ways in the game to screw it up yourself that you don't need other players messing with you too when you're a newbie. Depending on your fortitude you could choose to learn using just the basic game or with adding some colonization bits. If you go colonization I recommend using the basic game rules with the core colonization parts and the supports module. That will get you events, space governments, flybys and radiation, and neat rockets with generators and reactors and such. If you want to make it easier just ignore the events and government parts. The game really is a kit, and most of the pieces can be added or removed to taste.

Sounds like the way i have always played high frontier. I have 2nd ed+2 expansions which adds up to the same modules, but i use hardly anything from the second expansion as bernals etc just seemed like lots of extra rules faff.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Oct 2017 11:06 #256544

Black Barney wrote:
Why doesn’t Repos post have more thumbs? That should set the standard for posts to this thread

How’s the digital version of Through the Ages? That game was too long to play live. Digital would be nice

Digital TtA is great. You can play a typical game in 20 minutes or half an hour. A bit of a challenge at normal difficulty. It was hideously hard to beat the three computer players at top difficulty. I more stumbled into that win than deserved it. And good lord, you will be CRUSHED if you fall behind in military. Just like the real game as I recall.

I rate it second only to the Twilight Struggle app as my favorite digital game. Not as good graphically as the TS app but once you understand what the visual board is saying it's functional as hell.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 29 Oct 2017 12:01 #256545

Yesterday we had a pre-party game, and a post-party game, both 3 players.
Before the party was King of Tokyo, which I haven't pulled off of the shelf in a very long time. It was fun, but went on too long. I won.
After the party, we played Nexus Ops, and it was awesome, per usual... also went on a bit long but I ended up winning that one as well!
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