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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 01 Nov 2017 11:36 #256774

HA you are right- missed an 's' should be Echos and Figures expansionS. We use both.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 02 Nov 2017 09:18 #256846

Most of my games of INNOVATION have been two player. What I've observed and read online is that two player games rarely get into the higher numbered decks; most of our 2P games usually emptying up to deck 5-6, with some occasional pulls out of the later decks.

Of the three Chudyk games ( along with GLORY TO ROME and IMPULSE ) INNOVATION is probably the most chaotic. All three share the trait that the cards allow a player to bend or break the rules basically, which for newbs can be hard to grasp. Each player is trying to build an engine of sorts that breaks the game the hardest. In teaching the game you have to be like Morpheus - "What you must learn is that these rules are no different that the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken. "

A player can gain the upper hand quite early over his opponent(s) if he amasses a majority in a certain icon that allows the execution of dogmas that can't be shared. We only play dogmas the other player can match as a last resort usually.

A player can also gain an early Achievement if the cards fall correctly .

Most games seem to have one player gain an early lead and rarely lose it; but there are occasional come from behind victories as well. Sometimes a player will get an engine going using low value cards, but then be stuck there and unable to graduate to higher value cards ( and thus unable to claim a Dominant card from said higher pile ) ; a clever player will return low value cards to the draw pile so the opponent "stalls" on the low decks.

We played with two expansions at once ( pre KS version ) Echoes was one of them IIRC. I think the base game by itself has a ton of replay value, given the fact that each of the 100 cards are unique, the fact that one of them is held out as a scoring card, and the order they appear.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 02 Nov 2017 10:36 #256851

Msample- First I always read your name Ms. Ample, not sure Swearengen would appreciate that... It is interesting how many differences there is between your games and our. I frequently get an early lead only to lose to my wife's more impressive but slower to start rolling engine (like you mentioned my engine only works with low cards or I worry to much about keeping a really strong "demand" rather than working on advancing ages.

Most of our games are typically really close and we frequently make it to age 8 or 9 and occasionally 10, although with the later ages jumping from 8 to 10 can happen pretty fast.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 02 Nov 2017 11:09 #256852

My experience is very much like Msample's. Although we do usually get to the 7 deck, and occasionally higher. However, like I said above, we almost always play with the Cities expansion now, and those can really accelerate technological growth. Games with the Cities usually see us diving into the 10 deck quite a bit.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 03 Nov 2017 00:46 #256896

I often read game night reports on this site that leave me sick with envy. Well, I finally had a night of gaming that more than met my expectations.

It started as I finished teaching my course on "The Rhetoric of Ethnographic Discourse" where we basically just talk about amazing research and feel smugly self-righteous about our insights into hidden reality. My graduate students love me, and want to be me. I often have to restrain them from carrying me out of the room on their shoulders when the lecture is over. I headed back to my office, took a short nap in my zero gravity chair after ingesting 1.5 grams of sweet red vein kratom, then awoke refreshed and relaxed. I picked up a heavy, one-foot stack of student papers that needed to be graded and handed them to my two graduate assistants Monique and Adèle with instructions to have them returned by Monday. They're both in love with me, so it can be a little awkward, but I've gotten used to it, I guess.

I headed downstairs to my car (a Tesla prototype) and drove home for a bit of dinner with the family. As I walked in I overheard my oldest daughter talking to a friend, "I guess I got lucky. It's not my fault your dad's a jerk." That kid! My wife greeted me immediately; I've told her not to wear that when the kids are home. "Honey! I got that job I was hoping for! I hope you don't mind me making twice as much as you!" She then gave me a kiss which, if I were to describe it as merely passionate, would have been a legally-prosecutable lie. "I know you have game night tonight, so we can 'celebrate' when you get back. You deserve some time with your friends!" That woman is amazing.

After dinner I hopped into the new Elon Musk hyperloop train and headed to Chicago (only thirty minutes from Salt Lake City now) to McFlernigan's, a board game store that has been around forever. The shelves are filled with obscure, amazing games that somehow have never been listed on Board Game Geek. Nobody has "solved" any of them, or complained about tragic flaws, or otherwise reductively defined them. I met my friends who I've been playing with for about ten years. We all get along great, and they all have a full complement of adult social skills and are willing to play anything I bring to the table.

Tonight I brought along an unpublished prototype by the designer of Full Metal Planète. It's a refinement and expansion of everything he'd ever worked on. He told me it was too beautiful to publish, but that he wanted me to have it after I saved his life in the war and taught him to fly fish in the Utah wilderness. The system was then refined a bit by Chris Crawford and massaged by Nemo's War designer Chris Taylor. I hired them for the job.

My friend who designs rocket engine parts with a CNC machine and a custom 3D metal-epoxy printer made the pieces for me. Each of them weighs about four ounces. Interestingly, the game has a narrative element as well, similar to Tales of the Arabian Nights or that new kickstarter continent game that I hear is passable. So we played for about three hours, but it felt like 20 minutes. It was so immersive that all of my cares and worries drifted away, like I had been sitting in meditation. The ending to the game's organically evolving story arc left us all smiling, but misty eyed. A small crowd had gathered, and several people were openly weeping at the sheer beauty of the narrative and game play. They then applauded.

"where can we buy this game? " they pleaded.

"I'm sorry, but a game like this can't be purchased," I replied, "You have to wait for it to find you. It's the reward for a life well-lived, a life spent not playing the tendentious point salad spreadsheets that pass for games these days."

They nodded, and wandered off, grateful for even having experienced the game second hand. My friends thanked me for the experience, and we agreed to meet in a week to play something even better that I had been saving for a special occasion. I headed down the street toward the Hyperloop station and stopped off at a new kombucha bar. Sitting on a stool covered with the skin of a whale penis taken from Aristotle Onassis's yacht, I sipped my drink and thought about the evening.

I noticed a very striking African-American woman sitting next to me. Slowly it dawned on me that this was Michelle Obama. She was wearing a wig and sunglasses, and a stunning black sleeveless dress. I couldn't help but stare at her amazing arms. She caught my stare, flashed a blinding smile at me, and said, "Go ahead Cranberries. Barak says he doesn't mind." I placed my hand on her tricep while she flexed it not once, but three times. Each flex sent a bolt of lightning through me, and it felt like grabbing onto a bag of wrestling kittens. Her husband then strolled up, shook my hand and thanked me for a brief I had written for him several years ago, winked, and then left with Michelle, followed by several Secret Service agents.

It was a great night, one I'll never forg...


"Cranberries! Wake up! We're in the final round of Terra Mystica!"

"Uh, ok. What are my options again?"

(exasperatingly) "Well, as I mentioned 45 minutes ago, you can put a priest on the cult track in order to gain a power bonus, and if you have a key which you shoud have acquired two turns ago you can occupy the top space on the track. But be careful because even though you might have the longest train/house bonus, your friend Anton the backstabber appears to be using his indirect adjacency ship bonus to connect a whole string of buildings that appeared to be disconnected, thus assuring that you can't possibly win. Or you can spend those purple power cubes to buy special abilities that you can't use because it's the last round, or you can upgrade an apartment to temple, gain another priest meeple, and enable one of eight different income engines that all tie together in a way that only an AI can fully comprehend. Did you know that the German authors of this game all committed suicide after they played it the first time? Weird huh?"

I looked over at my copies of Zimby Mojo and Kemet then prepared to play my final turn.

Addendum: I went home that night and unfriended every geek buddy who had given that pile of mechanics a "10." (seriously)
Barnes, on Terra Mystica:
Not playing it on the table, but on IOS...Terra Mystica. Speaking of heavy, complicated Eurogames....

You know, I played this a few times for the review 3-4 years ago...but I can not for the life of me figure out how I learned to play this inscrutable game. I remember just about nothing in terms of how to play it. It makes utterly no sense whatsoever, it's like a Macross Valkyrie fired spaghetti missiles with warheads filled with rules at a board. I've gone through the tutorials and I'm left with my classic "do what now" response. There are all of these charts and graphs filled with icons that make no sense. The screen is filled with random numbers that change when you do stuff. There are like four screens worth of faction information. And a cult board that seems to do nothing. Bonus tiles, two currencies (or is it three), shovels, boats...good god. People LIKE this?
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 03 Nov 2017 15:23 #256969

I played El Grande about 10 years ago but didn’t really remember much about. A friend of mine recently got the 20th Anniversary Big Box and we played it last night with 3 players. I really liked it. The scores were 136-125-118 with me taking second. I know most people here rate it pretty highly (or the highest). I’m happy I played it and will definitely like to play it again.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 Nov 2017 10:17 #257051

Last night a friend came over and we ran 2 heroes through the 3rd quest in Massive Darkness. This was the first time playing "correctly", with a full understanding of the rules. While this game is relatively simple, the rule book is large and it is easy to miss some details. Even with all of this, we did have to search for some clarifications and make some judgement calls.

The quest took 3 hours; longer than I expected, but this quest uses 5 tiles. Some quests actually use 6 - 7 tiles. I played a battle wizard, and really didn't have strong dice-rolling capabilities for the whole game, but ended up with skills that more than made up for it. I was crushing fools by the end. My partner was the shadow barbarian, and he was an effective tank; keeping damage away from me. In fact, I don't think I got attacked even once. He did die one time, early on.

While it wasn't "challenging", we did have to play using our heads. If you are careless or wander off alone, you will get killed in this game. Playing "properly", you probably have little chance of death.

As for scaling issues, I think we decided that the difficulty increases a huge amount when you add a second hero up from one, but heroes 3 and 4 add much less difficulty. Mobs get larger, but your increased attack power will probably negate that. It will cause the loot to be more evenly distributed, which in turn lessens each heroe's ability to take the Transmute action (turn in 3 level X treasures to get 1 level X + 1 treasure).

We both liked the game and agree that it is better than Sword & Sorcery (he bought that one, haha).

I may paint some of the minis; one nice thing to do would be to base the "boss" figures differently than minions; sometimes identifying them can be tricky.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 Nov 2017 10:45 #257060

cranberries wrote:
Wow. Reading this was the most fun I had on the internet in months. One thank you isn't nearly enough.
We had a rather nice game night, starting off with Infiltration until our fifth player got there. This is a game that reliably delivers. We got screwed and found the human guard who shoots at everyone in the third room, the two rooms before that one weren't so great either. Everyone who entered the fifth room of the twelve was still around when the cops arrived and we all had a good laugh at their expense. The winner had left through a shortcut after four rounds with one extract.
Then we decided on Acquire. Again one of us got hosed by no fault of his own, as is often the case, but nobody except him minded because Acquire is short enough and pure capitalism, so fuck you and have a nice day. We joked around that if this came out today, there would be a rule like: 'in case of a merger, everyone gets paid.' I even won by having all my good card draws in the second half, which allowed me to get rid of one competitor whom I had made too much money anyway and then jump on another players' back for the rest of the ride.
Then some Cockroach Poker to unwind. A very good choice if anyone needs retaliation for misdeeds in previous games. So basically it was 'laughing a lot at others' misfortune' night and pretty awesome, because for once everybody got their share.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 Nov 2017 19:02 #257090

yep, cranberries basically invalidated all subsequent posts for the foreseeable future.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 06 Nov 2017 09:30 #257106

My wife and I took a staycation last week, and a good portion of it was devoted to board gaming. In (very) brief:

Kansas Pacific. I quite liked this one, but I willfully forget that I'm the only one of my wife and our mutual gaming friend who likes economic games, so this will be the last time for this with that crowd. There's too much we like to play together, and I have other friends who like economic games.

King of Tokyo. Also with the friend. Always a good time. Jenn wiped out our friend quite early, and then she wiped me out.

Eldritch Horror. Jenn and me. Only our second game of this, though we've played a fair bit of Arkham. This game was our best Arkham/Eldritch experience, and it's pretty much convinced me that, at least for me, there's nothing that Arkham does that Eldritch doesn't do better, slightly faster, and in a way that's easier to pick up. (I could re-teach this one in about 20 minutes, with about the same amount of prep, versus the combined hour and a half the other would've taken me.)

Loopin' Chewie x5. We even got the boy to play--once. The usual good time.

Clans of Caledonia. Just arrived. Surprise! I quite liked this (also like Terra Mystica), and I thought the Scottish theme would pull Jenn through, but it was more of a thinky economic game than I was for some reason thinking it was. This is one I definitely want to play at a game day with players more into this kind of thing.

Hammer of the Scots. Probably Jenn's favorite, and she won as the Scots. I goofed and allowed blocks to move more than once a turn (just missed the obvious rule, even though we've played several times). This helped Jenn, but I'm pretty sure she would've won anyway, as this time out she had a better grasp of how the noble flipping works and what the combat odds are like, and she played much more effectively.

Richard III. Being in a block game mood, we hauled out RIII, which we'd only played once. We got the rules right this time, and Jenn (Lancaster) beat me pretty convincingly, never ceasing to be king. I was marginally close in the third campaign to wiping out her remaining heirs, but she wisely kept them at arm's length, and I ended up having to make some desperate lunges to try to finish them off, which didn't work. I doubt we'll play this as much as Hammer, but I'm glad we pulled this one back out of the basement, as the first game had been a bit of a head-scratcher for us in terms of strategy.

Roll for the Galaxy. We've been playing this with the Ambition expansion, which is pretty easy to integrate. Jenn ended up winning that one, too.

Lost Cities. My older daughter played this one with me and quite liked it (her first time out). I won, but mainly because she was still learning the ropes in the first round (of three).

Tales of the Arabian Nights. Already reported on in the TotAN thread. I've had this one since 2009 without playing it, and I think I'll sell it to our gaming friend who likes these sorts of games better than we do (although we do like Above and Below). It's an impressive bit of work on the part of the designers/developers (and proofreaders), but it just felt like there were too many dead end, and the encounters were too hit-or-miss.

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game (FFG). Jenn and I played this once, as a four-player, when we were first dating in 2010 and she was brand-new to hobby gaming. She struggled mightily with it at the time, and it's sat in storage ever since. I decided now was the time to jump back on the horse, and of course she picked it up quite easily. She almost won with Egypt and probably would've won had she utilized all her faction's abilities, but technically I won with Germany in a military victory right before she would've won with culture. We both quite liked it and want to play again, so don't think I was terribly cruel to bring it out. (Now her only gaming phobia is Age of Steam, which I don't think she'd find that hard, either, but she also might not like it either).

I'm a lucky guy.

Edit: Forgot to add a game of Merchants and Marauders, which Jenn won.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 Nov 2017 13:18 #257201

I'm trying to decide if 6 plays is enough to declare that Kingdomino is perfect. Played once with 3 (although we got a rule wrong- it was my learning game anyway), and at least 4-5 games 2p while waiting for our laundry to wash and dry. I'm very excited to try it with the 7-year old. With a suitable handicap for points, I can easily see him getting it. I hate describing games in terms of other games, but a lazy description is Dominos meets greatly simplified Carcassone meets a 2-dimensional Torres. The rules fit on two pages and it takes 2 minutes to learn, but I could see experienced players getting very cutthroat (and memorizing the dominos Power Grid Power Plant style) with it despite the fact that each players makes their little kingdom separately. I know it's a bit light for these parts, but man, I can't remember a game being this tight of a design in a long time.

When most people hear about Lovecraft Letter, they'll roll their eyes, but I think it's a whole lot of fun and the rule changes do add to the enjoyment of the game. And components are excellent.

Century (I played Golem, but I think Spice Road is much more available) is solid too. It feels a lot like Splendor but with a tiered resource system and granular scoring similar to hut construction in Stone Age. Much like Splendor, it is not really... fun, as I realized when I tried to explain it to Jake.

I haven't really had too many chances to play longer games lately.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 Nov 2017 21:59 #257228

Got my homemade copy of Table Battles out against a real opponent, ran the Battle of Bosworth Field scenario which is a simple one and then on to Malplaquet which is significantly bigger. I liked it. $12 on WargameVault.com.

It's not wargamey at all except for the settings, more of a work-your-angles/press-your-luck kind of play. I'm thinking scenarios may have favored strategies but it's early to judge. We split, with me winning the bigger scenario through a concerted attrition approach.

The game has this funky mechanic where you can force your opponent's choice of action by making him respond to your attack. It lets you string together groups of attacks, controlling the flow. But your opponent can build strength as it happens, and when your dice or your decision don't work out he can take charge. It's the neatest part of the play.

Additional scenarios due out soon, and the nature of the gameplay could suit just about any battle, even naval battles. Those will be card-only expansions and due to be cheap. I'm really digging what Hollandspiele is selling right now, they're definitely worth a look if you haven't noticed them yet.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 08 Nov 2017 10:17 #257250

cranberries wrote:
I played the top secret Felli prototype with my friends who have normal social skills, and we all haggled like crazy and negotiated and it was a much more enjoyable session than when I introduced it to the eurogamers.

If anyone wants a teaser about this game, here's one:

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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 08 Nov 2017 10:43 #257253

Man, that is vintage Hans Im Gluck/Alea circa 2000-2004.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 08 Nov 2017 10:49 #257254

Finally a game about creating poisons to quietly dispose of my enemies.
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