"Monolithic and Unstoppable"
So I've gotten lazy about posting my reviews here...time to play some catchup with a digest post!
There's some good ones in here. First up, a H2H with my good friend Charlie Theel on DOOM. All caps. Because the game is awesome. Of the recent rash of Guys on a Grid games, it's my favorite. It's ruthlessly violent, it incentivizes close quarters fighting, and it has a lot of cool and fun things going on. I especially like how your weapon loadout determines your overall moving and shooting strategy. I think this is a MUCH better game than Imperial Assault and I wish that it was the chassis upon which Star Wars was built. It has the best minis FFG has ever produced and the whole thing is...a whole thing! There are no character packs or backer-only areas of the game. And it doesn't have that "needs an expansion" feeling. Which is all to say that it will probably be on the Christmas sale at the end of the year, which is a shame because this is one of FFG's best in recent years. Really like this one a lot. One knock is that it is kind of long-ish. But there is also more game here than in similar titles.
Charlie and I have another Hug 2 Hug over TMNT. I liked this one a lot too, but a couple of elements keep it from greatness. The production is half awesome- REAL comics art, cool comics-style presentation of scenarios...but then half terrible. The miniatures are horrendous and the component quality in general makes it feel like a typical mainstream licensed game. It looks cheap. But the game is really good, and I especially like that each scenario is presented as the climactic fight at key points in an ongoing story. I LOVE how it tracks the campaign...nope, no mountains of cards to show for your victories...you just flip this bookmark over to whoever won the last time so you know where to go on the next game. The dice sharing mechanic is near-brilliant, and there's lots of fun action in this one. Really hate that a lot of it is Kickstartered away, rendering it incomplete.
Speaking of Kickstarted away...I gave one star to the first two Conan expansions, Yogah of Yag and Crossbowmen. These $25 additions are a complete ripoff and should be avoided. Yogah is literally one really shitty, cheap looking figure and a card in a box big enough to put five of that figure in. There is no actual content in the expansion, it's just the figure. No scenario, no rules, no background information. The Crossbowmen you get ten figures but hey, they really aren't that much different than the archers in the base game. Not $25 different. Because of these expansions, I decided to ditch the game altogether. I wanted to see more, but if this is how they are going with it I can't be bothered with it. I hear that you can download scenarios for these but I shouldn't have to do that. The Imperial Assault expansions are like $8, you get multiple figures and you get two skirmish maps AND cards AND other game materials. Or, looking at GW, $25 gets you a really awesome hobby-quality figure or almost gets you to a unit box.
Further on expansion packs, Armada wave 5 is pretty great- the big winners are the Phoenix Home (a new large ship for the Rebels, from the show Rebels) and the new squadrons. The squadrons give you some of the more specialized ships like the Z-95s and TIE variants. I am, however, getting to the saturation point with Armada- I kind of wish they would just put the brakes on it. Well, maybe just the Hammerhead Corvette from R1 and then stop. I assigned the Corellian Conflict campaign expansion to my man Craig, because this is the dude that worked out a way to play the entire Battle of Endor using Armada, X-Wing and Imperial Assault. Plus I don't really care about playing campaigns like this.
And then there is the Dreamlands expansion for Eldritch Horror. A big "meh" on this one. I was excited to check it out, but just like with Mountains of Madness it adds a stupid side board (PLEASE GOD NO) and some super conditional content that may or may not have an impact on the game, particularly if it is diluted with other expansion content. There's new Dreamquest cards, whoopee. So much redundancy in this game at this point. As usual, the advisement here is to stick with the small box expansions and avoid the big ones.
Back on to the good stuff- Kyle and I talk about Acquire since there's a new edition. There are a couple of changes that may or may not cheese off longtime fans- the board is smaller and third place gets a dividend, but it is all still Acquire. I can't say that I'll be divesting myself of the never-bested 1999 edition, but at least the new version is better than the one before which was just ugly and chintzy looking.
Finally, Ogre. Yep, there is ANOTHER edition out. This time it is the same components and all from the Designer's Edition, but it's JUST Ogre. Which is kind of cool because it is back to basics and it avoids all of the idiotic excess of the Designer's Edition, but you get the cool cardboard Ogres and overall high quality components. But it is JUST Ogre. So none of the GEV content, which is IMO what makes Ogre go from great to Great. But then again, the classic MKIII versus Command Post scenario is iconic, and the thematic concept is the strongest in the bare bones edition. Still one of the best games ever published, and one that goes strangely underappreciated by modern gamers.
Coming up next- Escape from Colditz (another one with Charlie), Assault of the Giants and...maybe Gloomhaven?