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Board Games

Discussion in 'Gaming and PC Discussion' started by Ash, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Since the pandemic myself and friends have been playing a lot of games on Board Game Arena. I bought a sub for ... I think $5 for the year? But there’a a lot you can do for free and the website runs pretty smoothly.
     
  2. Alindrome

    Alindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Ooh. Haven't seen this before. How does Board Game Arena stack up compared to tabletop simulator?
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I HATE tabletop simulator. So I’m biased.

    I much prefer a system that won’t let me make moves that aren’t allowed as it takes lot of the stress of learning a new game off of me.

    Edit for more detail now that I'm not on my phone...

    TTS is a fantastic simulator that does a great job of what it's meant to do, but I don't like it because I don't like having to be fiddly about where my cards/pieces/etc. are and then moving them with the mouse.

    If I can't play in person and use my actual hands, I'd much rather have that aspect of gameplay automated for me. I click here and my meeple/piece/card is placed there and points are scored for me.

    This is exacerbated by the fact that I don't like learning new games and if I'm playing on TTS then I actually have to, because there's nothing available to indicate available moves or moves that aren't allowed, etc. BGA alleviates that.

    I'm fine with TTS for games I know well, but that's about it unless my friends bully me into playing it AGAIN.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  4. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    I played boardgames 3 times this week... lucky me minus the flat tire.

    Tidal blades

    Typical kickstarter worker placement game with a bazillion pieces. It’s okay, but feels overdesigned, and too short. It’s played over 4 rounds and you get a total of 12 actions total, which feels super short for how long the game actually takes to setup. The game mechanics are okay to good, but it never feels like you can do enough, which makes it kind of not fun, especially since there’s a punisher mechanic in the form of monsters which eats away at your already limited actions. 6/10


    Pendulum

    Weeeeeeird kickstarter game. Honestly kinda sick of the kickstarter board game culture. I’m not sure how I feel about this game. It’s a worker placement game, but there’s no turns, and it’s a “real time strategy” game, meaning it uses actual time, meaning hourglasses. There’s three different ones, one 3 minute, one 2 minute, and one 45 second. There’s 3 action sections on the board to correspond with the 3 different times., and each section has 2 rows of identical rows of actions, with slightly different staging areas. Essentially, you can only place a worker in a staging area that the hour glass currently isn’t on, and then when the hour glass gets flipped over on it, thats when you move your worker from the staging area to the action space and do the action, and then you can place more workers on the other staging area. 2 of the sections have single-meeple action spaces (unless you have the upgraded worker which can go on those spots). Essentially, once you start getting more workers, you have to be more on top of what actions they’re going to be taking, but at the same time, some of your workers are iced waiting for the 2 or 3 minute timers to count down before you can remove them and replace them. There’s resource management, resource upgrades, an action deck that you can recycle, and multiple personal victory point tracks, and pseudo-voting/initiative when turns the game into 4 rounds of about 12-15 minutes each, as each round is determined by 4 turns of the 3 minute hourglass, and you don’t have to flip it immediately. I liked the game, but I don’t know how good it actually is. It’s pretty complicated, and I only played it with 3 players. If you play five players, that’s way too much shit going on the board, as everyone needs to be in range to place all their shit across the board and turn over the hourglasses, so you'd probably be getting in everyones way constantly. And the hourglasses themselves kinda suck. The 3 minute one got stuck constantly, so we ended up using an actual stopwatch, and the bases are really narrow so they’re super easy to knock over. Some sort of chess clock or just stopwatches on all 3 would work a lot better. I don’t know what to actually rate it. It’s either a 4/10, or like a 9/10, but right now I’ll put a ?/10 until I can play it again, but I don’t think any of us want to have to teach it to a new player. In practice it’s probably a 6/10.
     
  5. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Have probably had 8 or 10 sessions since the last update, not that many new games in that time (though I'm pretty sure I forgot to write one of them down). Lots of Terraforming Mars which is starting to eat into our time allotment quite a bit.

    Survive: escape from atlantis. Just kind of a random game. You’re trying to get some survivors off atlantis to some islands. Each guy is worth a different amount of points and once they’re placed, you’re not allowed to look at what their value is, so its on you to memorize that. There are monster that either destroy a boat, eat a person, or both. Easy to learn, easy to play. Bit of strategy, bit of luck. I enjoyed it well enough. 7/10

    Cave troll. This game is boring. It’s a bit of a territory control sort of thing (you get occasional points for controlling rooms with different point values), except you have very little recourse to do anything, and you are utterly at the whims of your deck.. You have 1 of each unit who all have different types of moves (think chess sort of), and 9 generic guys with no abilities. You get 4 actions a turn, which is more than enough to do surprise attacks and wreck unsuspecting opponents, and it’s all luck in whether you draw a cave troll or orc. 5/10

    First Martians. Bought this game about 2 years ago. I think it was on sale (or I hope it was). Never got around to it, partially because I didn’t realize it needed an app to run, which I’m pretty against. My opinion on that didn’t change, but I’m kind high on space-themed games that actually represent the theme well, and because I saw a game called “On Mars” that seemed really cool, and reminded me that I already owned a similar version to that. Now, “On Mars” is rated a 4.6 in complexity which is monstrous, and this game is a 4.2 which is still pretty much higher than anything I’ve played, which may have also contributed to me not playing it.

    Anyways, I’ve played a lot of boardgames in that time, so I felt more comfortable with something like this, and I got the guys to try it. The game is quite complex, but I felt like I was personally fighting the rules the whole time. I felt like I had a handle on about 90% of the game, but that final 10% was quite annoying. Its a game with really tight action economy to give you the feeling that you’re always on the brink (you’re the first colonists on mars in a base and are struggling to survive), but while most of the actions sort of work the same, theres enough things that have their own personal tweak or gimmick that really trips you up. It’s not quite as bad as Through the Ages in that regards, but it does remind me quite a lot of Trickerion which I had the same hiccups with (though I liked that game a lot more than I like this one, and its the same complexity). Anyways, still don’t really care about the app and it seems like it only exists to cut down on the amount of pieces and card decks, since the game already has like 500 pieces and 15 decks. Not sure what to rate it yet, as even after having played 1 of the standalone missions, I feel like I need to watch the tutorial for all the answers to all the questions I now have. ?/10. (probably about a 6/10)
     
  6. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Roll to the top: Generic little dice roller in the same vein as quixx and that's pretty clever, but not as good. For a filler game, its exactly that, filler. 6/10

    Tokaido: First time actually playing this game, and it was underwhelming with 5 players. Never felt like I could really do anything, and I got maybe 10 actions in the game. Its one of those worker placement games where you keep advancing forwards and only some spots have double actions, but it's pretty bleh. Its an old game, and it feels old. 5/10

    Dune: Imperium. Brand new deck building/ worker placement game. Mechanically, it's pretty good, if a bit generic. The deck building part is essentially a modified version of ascension (which makes sense since its made by the same people who made clank), you get your combat points and your buying points, but additionally, the control what kind of actions you can do on your turn. Honestly, the deck building part feels a bit tacked on, and you only go through and shuffle your deck maybe like 3 times during the game. Overall its pretty fun, easy to learn, and not too long. I will say that the actual Dune theme doesn't really come out. All the stuff is named after Dune, but it feels like you could just slap any franchise on it and it would be the same game. 8/10
     
  7. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Godspeed. Game I’ve had my eyes on for awhile. It’s themed as a space-development sort of game, but the theme doesn’t come through at all. It’s as vague as the Dune game I recently reviewed. But it’s decent fun. Ten rounds, 2 actions (usually) per round Start of each round theres an event. If everyone agrees to the downside, everyone gets a bonus, elsewise the dissenter gets a negative and everyone else gets nothing. Then people bid on 4 cards + first player marker. Your bid chips serve double duty as your workers, so whatever workers you bid, you can’t use for actions, and theres only a certain amount of action spots, and theres VP for being the first to certain objectives. There's a lot of jockeying for position, and it works well. The thing that I don’t like are the faction tracks, which are way too finicky and theres no way to do it without constantly knocking them out of place. It’s way too small. At the end of the day, it’s just a cube pusher, so kinda meh. 7/10

    Beyond the Sun. I like this game more than I should, probably. It’s a worker placement economy game. There’s 3 parts to the game. The first is the technology tree. You slowly work your way down the tree, unlocking new action spaces for yourself and gaining discovering bonus. It’s pretty cool. There’s also the system board, which contains all the star systems you are vying for control. When your ship power is the greatest on the spot, you get to place an outpost. But if your fleet strength gets passed, you lose your outpost. If you colonize the system, you gain it permanent and get a double outpost. The last part of the game is the production board, which is perhaps the most clever part of the whole game. Hard to explain it, but it works sort of like Scythe, in that your production tracks produce whatever is unveiled. In scythe, that’s detrimental the more people you have out, but here its simple the more you have uncovered, the more you produce. And they’re covered by the discs which serve as outposts and automata. So the more you explore and research, the more you produce. You only get 1 action per turn but you get to move around so many thing on your production board per turn that it’s really engaging. And it’s not that hard of a game to learn. 9/10
     
  8. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Unstable unicorn. Meh. Just a themed Magic-lite in a box. The memeyness didn’t do it for me. 4/10

    Gloomhaven: jaws of the lion. I’ve always wanted to play Gloomhaven, but it's a daunting game with a million pieces, a three-digit price tag and a large time requirement. This is the dumbed-down lite version of it. 25 scenarios (we did three) and a more casual approach to teaching the players the game mechanics, and no fidgety board construction. I didn’t find the card combat mechanic all that interesting, though maybe it gets better later on when monsters are a bit more durable and actual strategy is needed. 8/10

    Teotihuacan. Been on the radar for awhile, designed by the person who designed T’zolkin, which is a top 3 game for me. This game is excellent as well. I’d say its a bit more complex, and it has a ridiculous amount of bookkeeping, but if you have players actually invested in playing the game, it’s a great time. There’s a few expansions to it (I only have the first), but it doesn’t seem like there’s a 5th player addon, which can make it hard to find in rotation at my lgs. 9+/10
     
  9. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Istanbul Dice. Dice version of Istanbul. It’s pretty good, and it definitely feels like the original istanbul. Easy to learn as well. I think I like it more than the original. 7/10

    Tammany hall. Reprint of an older game. Other than the powers, I found it to be pretty boring. It’s a zone control game, and that kind of concept just feels kind of dated, and it does nothing for me. I guess I like it better than cave troll. 6/10

    Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lions (addendum to the previous). Played a couple more scenarios, and got a lot new cards for our decks and such. Still don’t really like the card system, but there’s a lot of options now and I felt a bit of analysis paralysis trying to figure out the optimal configuration, and failed. Playing the void warden, a lot of time I also felt helpless, as my initiative was almost always last, and my spells would always fizzle because the monsters would get killed before I could do my cool shit. Part of that is on me, part of that is on the group. Not changing my rating.
     
  10. Quiddity

    Quiddity Headmaster

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    Been really into Clank! lately, looking forward to trying Clank Legacy someyi.e this year. The issue is my default group is too large, and whilst my partner would play, I'd prefer a few others (especially as she's not great at deckbuilders).
     
  11. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Trismegistus. Complicated alchemy dice drafting game. Takes place over 3 rounds, and each round you get to draft 3 dice 1 at a time. Each dice is 6 sided (lead/tin/copper/mercury/iron/wild) and there are 6 dice pools, 1 corresponding to each dice face. So if there are 5 iron dice, if you draft one, you get a potency power of 5. Now there are only 4 dice left in that pool, so the next person who wants an iron will have a potency of 4. Each dice is also a different color, of red white and black. On your turn, you get different actions that you can spend potency on. Exactly 3 potency gets you an artifact (based on your current die color), 1 lets you research an experiment (based on the die face), 1+ lets you transmute (based on die color), and 1+ lets you make raw materials (based on die face). Transmuting also requires you to spend an essence, which is either mercury, salt, sulfur or aether, and doing so advances you up the corresponding mastery track (essentially a god track like the designer uses in all of his other games). Goal is to work towards your philosopher’s stone, complete your masterpiece, publications and experiments. It’s a really good game, but it is quite complicated. 9/10

    Deadly doodle. Cute little pseudo-tile laying game. 7 rounds, each round 4+ tiles come out, and you have to draw them on your board, essentially making a path in which you try and pick up swords, loot and kill monsters to collect points. Quick filler game. 7/10

    Colt express. I’d seen this game on the shelf for years, but never played it. No desire to. Western themed stuff just feels dated at times, and I had a really bad experience with Western Legends a year or two ago that just put me off the genre altogether. But this is a quick, simple, easy and fun game. It’s a card-programming free-for-all brawl where you’re trying to collect as much loot as possible off a train. It’s neat. 7/10
     
  12. Alindrome

    Alindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    And more players = more fun. It's a great party game.

    There's a little-known game I'd like to recommend that plays a lot like Colt Express: 404 Law Not Found.

    [​IMG]

    It's a game where you are controlling a robot on a spaceship who have suddenly been reprogrammed away from their old, mundane "look after humans" directives into new, far more insane goals. Like to throw all the spacesuits into space and vent the ship, or maybe fire an astronaut out of the ship's cannons. And the humans the robots were previously looking after are so stupid it's hilarious - they'll throw their tools into the incinerator and load their friends into machines given half the chance.

    Like Colt Express, all players decide moves at the same time and fire them off all at once. It's chaos, pure chaos.

    (The rulebook is not very well organised though! It's a big downside!)

    Hell yeah, Clank is such a classic! A big part of me wants the dungeon to be about four times as big so I can keep building that perfect deck... :D

    Have you played Marvel Legendary, if you're into deck builders?

    [​IMG]

    I have so. Many. Expansions. It's a good two player experience and a miserable four player experience, fair warning. The balance is all over the place. But I can't get enough of that crunchy deck building action where you're really against the clock on smashing some villain of the week down with your ragtag team of second rate X-Men, the Illuminati, and Thanos.

    I fucking love deck builders, recommend me more because I truly haven't played enough! Only really Dominion and Marvel Legendary. (Legacy-style games like Arkham horror and Gloomhaven don't count.)

    On that note, I picked up Wingspan today and it was amazing!

    [​IMG]

    I didn't think I'd like it as much as I did, but it's just fecking lovely. I felt this sense of serenity as I assembled my worm-devouring bird army and cuckoo'd the points goals.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  13. Nerox

    Nerox High Inquisitor

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    Anyone playing Axis & Allies or TripleA (in pandemic times)?
     
  14. Blinker

    Blinker Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    I'm a big fan of Wingspan. If you've not seen them I really recommend the expansions, particularly the Oceania expansion. As well as lots more birds it has a new set of boards that slightly tweak the balance of the habitat actions, as well as an overall tendency towards more interaction. What's particularly good is how well the changes make you interested in keeping track of your opponents actions while not interfering with building your own little happy sanctuary.
     
  15. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Whistle Mountain. Interesting game that I've put off playing for a few months now. It's a worker placement game where you get actions both from placing, and taking back your worker, and you have three different sized workers (1 tile, 2 tile, 3 tile). I guess it's a bit of a steam punk theme where you pilot zeppelins and build steam-powered machines. It was a bit too chaotic to give it a high grade, like it constantly felt like I was getting sabotaged, and there was no catch-up mechanic, so if you got behind at all, you were kind of boned when the resource gathering spots get covered up. 7/10

    Marvel Villainous. I've been sick of marvel shit for years, but I can tolerate it in small doses. This game was pretty fun once you figured out what the game was actually trying to get you to do, and that was to fuck with the other players. Things can cascade out of control, and you can get locked out pretty hard, though I found the actual gameplay loop to be decent. 7/10
     
  16. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Maglev Metro. Fresh game, terrible instructions. It's decent. It's a worker placement pickup and delivery game. It's actually described on the box as an engine builder, but it's not (unless you consider engine building have 20 actions but only able to build 10 of them in the game, then sure. But there's nothing compounding upon anything, it's just choosing between having like +4 movement or +4 track building, or the ability to build blue or red buildings, not very exciting). The whole game essentially resolves around the idea that you can't do everything... but that's every worker placement game ever. Oh, and the robots are painted copper/gold/silver, and the copper and gold ones are almost indistinguishable without direct comparison. 6/10

    Tiny Epic Pirates. There's a lot of pieces in a tiny box. Almost too many pieces. Like Maglev Metro, the instructions are pretty bad, I had to read how the captain worked about 10 times before I spotted the one critical sentence that explained it, and even then, I was unsure. Other than that, it's just kind of a bland game. The combat and crew system is good, but that's about it. Biggest complaint comes with the territory, and that everything is just so small. Practically need tweezers to fit the cargo cubes on the tiny ships, and finding the icons on the map isn't easier either. And the manual is pretty much a full-sized manual scaled down to microscopic levels. 5/10
     
  17. Legacy

    Legacy Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    Love seeing you do these game reviews Anarchy. Gives me some great insight into mechanics and design decisions that work and very obviously don't for board games. Also makes me nervous as hell to eventually go beyond close friends and family playtests for my game.
     
  18. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Lost Ruins of Arnak. One of those games that has a lot of of the common worker placement ideas combined into one game. There’s a lot of them out there, most of them come as quite generic but I think this one managed to make it above the cut. I think the closest comparison to this game is Dune: Imperium. That game had a watered down deck building rules, and this is even further watered down, but it’s different enough to be interesting.

    Anyways, you have a starter deck. Your cards do 3 different things. One, some of them can be used at instant speed to gain resources. Two, they have a main action that can be done (you get one main action per turn and infinite bonus action). Three, they can be used to travel to worker placement spots. There’s 4 different symbols they can have; plane, boat, car, and boots. Boots can only go to boots, car can do car and boots, boat can do boat and boats, and plane can take you anywhere

    You have two worker meeples, meaning you get two worker actions at some point in the round (5 rounds total). You start off with 4 basic action spots, each with 2 places to go, (ex, first spot takes 1 boot, second 2 boots), typical stuff. There are additional spots you can unlock by exploring the area, and thematically, I think this works very well. This is done using exploration resources. There’s two levels as well, with level 2 being more expensive and requiring more transportation, but also giving a better action spot. The tricky part is that exploring triggers a guardian monster to appear, which requires resources to beat, elsewise you acquire a fear card for your deck. You start with 2 in your deck, and they are worth -1 point each and only give boots. It plays like a typical deck builder where you don’t want to dilute your deck too much so you want to remove those cards through various means. Exploring also gives you artifact tokens which give you a one time boost, 3 vp, and the ability to cash it in for a second time boost at the cost of bonus vp. On your player board, there's 4 slots, 1,2,3,4, and each one of those slots you don’t fill with an artifact gives you bonus vp and you have to go in order

    There is a card row, and I think the cards here are actually a lot more interesting than you’d usually find in a deck building game. There’s two types of cards, with two different costs. Artifacts, and equipment. There’s 1 artifact available in the first round, 2 in the second, etc, and consequently, the number of equipment goes down from 5 to 4 to 3, etc.). Some of the cards are basic resource generation, but most of them are things like discounted actions, resource trades, assistant swaps, equipment swaps, things like that.

    The last major thing is the temple you can explore. I refer to this kind of thing as a god-track mechanic, and it features in a lot of games, but I’ve never played one that worked quite like this. There’s multiple paths and branches in it, each with different resource requirements and bonus rewards, so you’re competing against each other as you go down the track. There’s like 10 rungs on it, and each rung gives a static ability. The twist is that you have two different meeples climbing the same ladder, a magnifying glass and a book. The magnifying glass always has to stay ahead of the book, presumably since exploration happens first, note-taking second. And the reward on each rung is different depending on which meeple is there. If you do manage to reach the top (I did in my first playthrough), you can buy a limited amount of extra bonus points (you also get points depending on the order you got to the top.)

    In a well-balanced game, you can’t do everything, and that’s true here. You also can’t really ignore anything either. You need better cards in your deck, you don’t want to fall behind in exploring the temple, and you’re going to need better worker placement spots available to get the resources you need to do everything else.

    So what to rate it? Obviously I wrote a ton of words here, and despite most of them applying to many worker placement games, I wouldn’t have written that much if I didn’t like the game. The cards are randomized, the exploration is randomized, artifacts are randomized, assistants are randomized, the bonus tiles are randomized, so there’s a lot of replayability, and it’s not too difficult to learn either. Best part is that it diverted from the usual lame point mechanics of having random generic bonus end-game objectives, or some variant of set collecting which every game does. For now, 9/10. It’s a great game


    Also played the European expansion for Wingspan. Nothing but positive in it. Adds in new boards with new actions spaces. Mostly, each space is just pushed over to the left one, but some of the bonus costs are modified. And there’s a wild resource as well, and new cards. I don’t think it’s enough to change my rating of it, but it’s good.


    Also, noticed I never posted my review for Arcadia Quest. Unfortunately, I don't really have anything good to say about it, other than meh. Started up while in the middle of clank legacy and gloomhaven, which was a mistake. I'd give it a 6/10

    updated ratings, minus Arcadia Quest.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some notes. I didn't feel like it was worth rating expansions separately unless it was drastically different. Turmoil makes Terraforming Mars a completely different game, so it gets its own rating. I also didn't want to rate all off them separately, so the 10/10 rating is essentially everything minus Turmoil, so you could say it was specifically Colonies. Honestly, the only bad thing I have to say about the game is that that all the expansions have watered it down a bit, like the frequency in which you see Venus cards can make that strategy inconsistent at best. Subsequently, the expansion for Tzolk'in turns it into almost a perfect game. Teotihuacan has a similar expansion, except your god powers don't change the game enough, but the rest of the components streamline the game.

    The amount of plays listed is just an estimate, but probably pretty accurate. Even for Wizard. Like, I've got 334 plays of it on my app. A single play only takes 5 minutes on it, so you can get a few in before bed. And we play it in person once or twice pretty much every single meetup, so I can see 500 actually being quite close to the actual number. Terraforming Mars probably isn't far off either. That's an average of less than 3 times a week, and there's also an app for it.

    As for the ratings... I'd say anything 8.5 or higher is something I'd gladly play. Games that are 8 are usually really good, but likely slightly generic (or super generic in Everdell's case). Games that are 7.5's are essentially 8's that I felt were missing something (or in the case of catan, a game I'm just sick of playing at this point). Games that are 7, I like, and will likely have no problem playing, but am unlikely to recommend myself, or have a rating that can change with some more playthoughs. Games that are 6s and technically fine (godspeed), but either lack the wow factor(Gods Love Dinosaurs), or left a bad first impression (maglev metro). I'd be willing to give any of those a second change probably, but 5 and lower, no chance. These numbers aren't hard and fast rules, as some games I've only really played once and it's been awhile since I've played it, so sometimes I'm simply measuring one game against another if I have a comparison.
     
  19. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Location:
    NJ
    Cryo. Newly released game. If you break down worker placement games into like 10 different mechanics, this has about half of them. You’ve got the dual-action placements, where you do stuff when you place as well as return. You've got the build-an-action, you’ve got card drawing, you’ve got pop building. You’ve got action blocking. You’ve got rule-breaking powers. You’ve got bonus points. Quite an enjoyable mix of actions. The only weird thing is that we had uneven turns somehow, though that may have been because it was our first game and somehow someone forgot to take one of their tokens in their event step. 8.5/10. Definitely want to play it again.


    Barrage. Crazy worker placement game. Highly rated on BGG, but also with a very high complexity rating. Any time it’s around a ⅘ or higher, I’m a bit wary due to my play group, which is often fluid. Games like this are about the cusp.


    It’s a 5 round game, and each round has 5 phases. You’re competing with each other to make the most energy and ultimately the most victory points. That’s done directly, or through bonus tiles and contracts. You have 12 workers to take actions with each week, that seems like a lot but the resource management is pretty tight. You have a beyond the sun type production board, where the more buildings you’ve built, the more production bonuses you get.


    You have 4 types of buildings, Base, extensions, turbines, and powerplants. Bases are the bottom of a dam, extension go on top, to a make of 2 extensions and 1 base for a total height of 3. Turbines make power. Powerplant makes power. There’s a bit of complexity, as you can use any powerplant, but can only pull water from your own or neutral dams. And when you pull water through, they move basin to basin. The map is a pretzel, and probably half the reason the complexity is so high, as you can have one powerplant feed from two different basic, and you can block people, or even go farther up stream to get the water first. It’s really cool.


    The construction wheel is probably the most complicated part of the game. Building requires worker meeple’s, a corresponding building tech tile, plus reusable resources in the form of mixers and excavators. They are limited in supply (you can get a couple more, but they’re limited overall), which stay on the 6 segmented wheel. Every time you build, the wheel turns 1 segment. So essentially you can build another turbine until the turbine tile makes a full rotation, and get mixers/excavators back as well. There’s ways to get bonus spins on the wheel, so it definitely takes some planning ahead, and it’s really quite intriguing.


    Overall, it’s not *that* difficult. The complexity is genuine, and it’s not due to weird interactions or having to constantly look up edge-cases in the rules. But for the most part, you get a hang of it after 2 rounds, and by the end will definitely know what you can do better next time. Everyone loved it, and I think it’s around a 9.5, which might change with more plays.


    Played the water expansion for dinosaur island. Like Teotihuacan, you can play with whatever modules you want It adds like a unique corporation power + a special worker and a bunch of other stuff. Lots of interesting stuff and unlike Teotihuacan, it might actually bump my rating on it, depending on future plays.


    A few updates


    Lost Ruins of Arnak. Have like 6 plays now. It’s really fun, and not too complicated, but I don’t think it’s balanced correctly. Racing down the track has been consistently the best course of action (which is fine, since that’s the name of the game), and getting to each one first gives bonus tiles, which in turn help keep up the momentum. That seems to be the main strategy no matter what, and the secondary strategies can’t make up for it. Like, fighting 6 monsters just eats up a bunch of actions, and have 20 cards in your deck dilutes it way too much. Still good, but an 8.5 I’d say. Very approachable


    Dwellings of Elvervale. Played it again, really like it, but people have a tendency to end the game early because they like to spam the dungeon action while only being able to afford 1 card (you can buy up to two). I really want to play it again, but there always seems to be ahead of it


    Beyond the Sun. Probably up to 10 plays of this. I really like this game a lot. Playing two players is actually a fairly quick game, about 45 minutes, which is cool. Not *too* complicated. Might bump up the rating, though not sure if there’s enough substance to actually be a 9.5/10
     
  20. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,614
    Location:
    NJ
    Red rising (CE). Not sure how to describe this. It’s kind of like a gin rummy variant? There’s 4 different spots where you can play a card, and playing a card gives you the cards ability, + a different spot’s static ability + the top card from that spot’s pile. It’s fun, but it was a bit of a slog, as there were 3 new players (including myself), and it’s a 120 card deck with every card being unique. That makes for a lot of reading, and a lot of slow turns. 7/10

    Pan Am. Somewhat interesting worker placement game. Played over 7 rounds, you have 4 workers to do your actions with, which is a small amount so you really have to plan out what you want to do. Half the game is a pseudo-bidding system as well to purchase various things. Victory points are in the form of pan am stocks, so naturally they’re cheaper in the beginning of the game, and more expensive later in the game, but there is a luck element to it because you never know how much its going to go up or down by. You’re essentially building airports, buying airplanes, and creating routes, and then selling routes to pan-am to gain money. It’s one of those games where timing is everything. You have to figure out when to pivot your strategy, where you’re no longer buying new planes and are trying to sell as many routes as possible to get as much money as possible. It seemed like that was the crux of the game, and that was fine. Overall, its about an 8/10

    Couple updates:

    I've played cryo again. It's fun, but I don't actually think there's that much depth to the game. Almost like it's a "solved" game.

    I've played barrage 5 times now, and it's really good. However, it feels inconsistent. I think that's due to the inherent strategy of the game, and the difficulty in enacting it. One thing I've noticed is that each time the one company has been in play (the one where if you'd generate less than 4 power before modifiers, you generate 4 instead), it's won. It's a small sample size, but it's notable. Enacting strategies is really difficult, because it's so easy to be blocked. Yet, at the same time, you want to get out enough buildings to get a production bonus, but sometimes there's not really pressure to do that since you can just use a neutral dam. My impression is that it's a very tight resource management game and multiple small deviations can really set you back. However, we've yet to play the advanced version of the game, so maybe that will fix some of the drawbacks (mainly, there's technology tiles that give you bonuses when you use them, but it takes your already limited workers to buy them)
     
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