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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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    Two quick mentions of board games I've been playing online a lot lately:

    Settlers of Catan - Online, Free @ http://www.playcatan.com/en/
    The website looks old, and some of it is in German, and it doesn't always work that well... but if you download the Java applet I've found it to be reasonably functional. There is no AI option but there always seem to be people around and playing. You can play as much of the original game as you want. You can play some of the variations once a day for free, or you can upgrade to a monthly payment to play those all you want as well.

    Ticket to Ride - Steam Game, $4.99 atm
    I'd wait for this to go on sale, since you probably want some of the DLC content with it (the one map with the regular game gets old). It's a solid game that I haven't bored of yet, but not as good as Catan in my opinion. But if you have friends who are really into board games the Steam version of this one has a good interface and can be played against the AI while offline.

    Anyone else know a good online board game? Steam or otherwise.
     
  2. StrawberryPingu

    StrawberryPingu First Year

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    Star Realms is a two player deck-building game with a very good app. It's fairly new, so I'm not sure how many people have heard of it. The app has a free version, where you can get a handle on the rules and gameplay, but if you want to play against real people, you can pay $5, and get the game on all of your devices. There's a leaderboard as well, so you can compare yourself to the top 1000 players of the week, month, and all time.
     
  3. Ash

    Ash Moves Like Jagger DLP Supporter

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    I have Carcassonne on my (Android) phone with a bunch of expansions, which I am enjoying. There's also Elder Sign: Omens, Stone Age, Ticket to Ride & Catan, though I can't speak for how their apps are. I prefer playing board games on my phone rather than at my computer when possible, though!
     
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I don't really own anything that can do apps, unless I found a way to put them on my computer (which I haven't bothered doing). Unless it's a Blackberry app I could get on my ancient tablet, I guess, but that's far from idea.

    Still, thanks much for those recs. Maybe one day I'll upgrade my phone.
     
  5. Poytin

    Poytin The Arby's Hipster DLP Supporter

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    Catan and Small World are also on Steam. Small World is for some reason called Small World 2 for the steam version.
     
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I've heard that the Steam version of Catan is horrific, but haven't tried it myself. Not familiar with Small World, thanks for the rec! *goes to check it out*
     
  7. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I played catan online probably like 5 years ago. I recall the website being on the back of the board game box. I spent too many late nights in college playing it. Of course, it's different than the real game, but it was still fun.
     
  8. StrawberryPingu

    StrawberryPingu First Year

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    Star Realms can be downloaded and played on the computer as well.
    http://www.starrealms.com/digital-game/
     
  9. enembee

    enembee The Nicromancer Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I have Talisman, 100% Orange Juice and Magnifico on Steam.
     
  10. Poytin

    Poytin The Arby's Hipster DLP Supporter

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    I see you got the same Humble Bundle that I did.

    Didn't mention those because I honestly didn't like them.
     
  11. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    I played the X-Comm game and it's fun. It fixes the biggest flaw from Pandemic by introducing a time-limit to each player's turn and limiting what each player can do. You can't sit down as a group and talk out what the best possible move is, you have to do it right the fuck now. You have to trust that each person playing is smart, and is making the best possible choice. The choices themselves are easy, and if you had a lot of time you could pick what the best one was. The time-limit forces you to make split-second decisions with whatever information you have, and you wont have all of it. It prevents the situation where you have the one person who knows how to win and a bunch of doofuses that get pulled along for the ride -- at that point Pandemic is basically just solitaire.
     
  12. enembee

    enembee The Nicromancer Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Patrick Rothfuss and James Ernest are making Tak and have already smashed their Kickstarter goal.
     
  13. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    Ash
  14. kmfrank

    kmfrank Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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  15. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    Several months ago, I donated to the kickstarter for Scythe, by Stonemaier games. It came last week, and I finally managed to get someone to play it (little brother).

    Here's the website.

    First things first, the box is big. 30x35x10 cm big. And it's full - although admittedly, I went big on the kickstarter, and got everything. Expanded board, resin resources, metal coins, extra cards, art book.

    The expanded board is pretty big too - 80x95 cm. And then each player has their faction/civilization mats, which come to probably 20x20 cm total again.

    You /can/ play this on a kitchen table, but it'll fill it.

    I've found, a few times, having to ask other players to move my pieces, or my trackers, or draw cards for me. That's all fine, and I do like it when the game actually looks impressive.

    But it does bring me to all the items.

    There are 36 wooden/plastic pieces per faction, plus 80 (cardboard) resource tokens, plus 80 (cardboard) coins. Going for the big box adds 80 resource tokens in resin, and another 80 coins in metal.

    500 little fiddley pieces. Some need to stay on the board, some on your player mat. Nearly all of them get moved around.

    Then there's 4 decks of cards (factory, objective, encounter, combat), for a total of 105 in the basic set, and another 14 in the expanded editions. You remove one deck after set up, and most of another, but it's yet more stuff to keep track of, and to pack away at the end.

    There's also the single player set, Automa, which is an extra 23 cards in 3(?) colours, although you don't need to keep track of them at all for multi-player games.

    So... Your table will be busy, at least.

    Here's pictures, from halfway through my game. Sorry for bad quality.

    Pic 1 - The game mat
    Pic 2 - My player mat

    The player mat has four sections, and then I've added my "factory card" to the right. Each turn, you pick one section, and play it from top to bottom.

    Taking the example of section 1 (with the guy welding), I'd pay 1 gold, to gain either 2 resources of my choice, or to gain one happiness (there's a cube next to this, I'll explain in a minute).
    Once I've done that, I can then do the bottom section. In this case, pay 2 Oil to get 1 upgrade.
    Both sections are optional, but I must pay the full cost to get any reward. If I can't pay the cost, I can't do it at all.

    The upgrades are the little cubes at the top and bottom. You upgrade by paying the cost (3 oil to begin with on this mat), and then move a Technology Cube from the top row to the bottom. My first upgrade moved a cube from the "move" action (allowing me to move up to three things per turn), and put it over the third oil to upgrade (therefore future upgrades only cost 2). These come on set places, and can only be moved to others - I couldn't make upgrading completely free, for example.

    Each turn, you have to move your "action counter" to a different section. This means you can only produce every second turn (at best), only move every second turn (at best), and so on. You also can't mix and match - if you choose to move, then when on this mat, your second action is to build a mech (or nothing).

    As you only have a choice of three (or four, in later game) options per turn, each turn can pass quite quickly. Players can't trade pieces, and don't interact often (fighting can have significant costs), so you can plan your turns out several ahead, to make sure you don't waste each

    There are five different mats, each giving different starting bonuses in the form of happiness and gold. 'Worse' positions are more likely to be the first player, and therefore get an extra turn, but they don't seem to imbalanced. From worst - Industrial, Engineering, Patriotic (my opponent's), Mechanical, and Agricultural. The difference between top and bottom is 2 happiness, and 3 gold, which is roughly a turn and a half of bonuses.

    Each mat has the same starting four actions - they have the same costs and benefits, and they upgrade the same - but they are linked with different secondary actions.
    Industrial movement is linked with building structures, as it is in Mechanical. But for Engineering and Patriotic, it's linked with enlisting recruits (and different costs and benefits). For Agricultural, it's linked with upgrading.

    Once you get to the factory, you select a factory card from N+1 random cards. They're all good. My current one (#16), is:
    Discard one resource (of any kind)
    Gain one combat power, happiness, and gold. Then move one thing twice.

    The player mats look complicated, and you do have to read the rulebook carefully to understand them. But once you have the hang of it, and know what the symbols mean, you're set. It's all simple, and pretty self-explanatory.

    Gameplay ends when one player places six 'victory stars' on some of the ten places on the star chart. You then sell all resources, land, and stars for an amount of gold per item decided by your happiness. The player with the most gold wins. Currently, it looks like if the game were to end (for some reason), I'd have ~45 gold, opponent ~30.

    So far, I'd definitely recommend it, the gameplay is simple enough to pick up, and the game is good fun. There's not much combat, for a game set in 1920 dieselpunk Eastern Europe with giant mechs, but the rest of it works quite nicely.

    It's like a board game version of Civ, almost. But you have to manually keep track of everything.


    The only complaint I have is the future planning. The box set contains enough for five players. But there are two more starting locations marked on the map, and the website states that the two new factions will be Albion and Togawa (presumably Celts and Japanese). I dislike including 'dlc' features in the original game, rather than an additional overlay or something. Given the static map, I can sort of see why they designed it that way, but even before looking up what the factions would be, you could take a good guess (gold and green boar with spirals, and a yin-yang purple fish... I wonder who they could represent?), which sort of, to me, is worse than if they had just left the starting areas blacked out or something.

    I don't think the game is up for public sale before GenCon is over, but I'd love to hear from anyone else who has it, or who's had a go.

    EDIT

    Also, best bit, there's a winning sheet. You fill in the leaderboards when you win (first win with Poland, of 2016, with no mechs, etc). Aiming to platinum this.

    ---------- Post automerged 04-08-2016 at 21:27 ---------- Previous post was 03-08-2016 at 21:29 ----------

    Second post, same game as the last.

    I finished up the first game this morning, losing at 79 gold to 86. We both felt that gameplay really speeds up towards the end - one of the 'secondary' actions (enlistment) allows you to choose any secondary action, and whenever you (or a player to either side) does that action, you get a small bonus. You can do this for each of the four secondaries, which adds a level of strategy to the game, trying to ensure you don't pass too much an advantage to an opponent..


    A friend came over, and we then tried with three. It also allowed another look at the 'objective cards', 'encounters', and the 'factory cards'.


    As I said previously, 'factory cards' add a fifth set of actions. Each one has a different primary, and then has a "move one unit twice" as the secondary. With some of the movement upgrades, this becomes incredibly powerful.

    But the factory cards REALLY aren't equal. Last game, I got one that allowed me to trade in any single resource (wood, oil, food, metal) to gain one Combat Power, Happiness, and Gold. This was powerful the whole way through the game. But not exceedingly so.

    This time, I got "exchange two unsimilar resources to either upgrade OR enlist". This was obscenely powerful early on, because you can do this every second turn (you start with two workers, and you can't lose them). I had some resources built up, so I could move my workers around to get a better board position for later too. But once I'd done all the enlistment, and all the upgrades, the card wasn't really useful at all. Similarly, there are some that function entirely off of combat cards, which take a turn to purchase, and are only otherwise useful in combat. Resources have a use in determining victory points, but combat cards are only really useful for combat.

    I'm sure each one will be useful, but they will heavily impact your style of play (if you use them), and the artwork is often linked with the action, which is always a bonus.


    Okay, so now onto encounters.

    At the start of the game, you put the eleven encounter counters on the board. Each faction has a character, and putting that character on an hex with a counter lets you draw a single encounter card, and remove the counter.

    Each has a piece of artwork, and then three options - be nice, be generous, or be a dick.

    Being nice gets you a small bonus. Normally one or two resources, gold, or happiness. Being generous costs money, and will get a medium bonus - deploying a mech, enlisting a recruit, or gaining larger resource powers. Being a dick costs happiness, and will get you large bonuses - more resources, lots of money, and so on. These don't actually look powerful, but they really are, and taking away the chance for an opponent to get them, is even more useful - landing on the hex counts as your movement, and so you may well end up getting the resources to fire off your linked secondary action. As secondary actions lead to victory stars, you normally want to set them off as often as possible.


    And onto Objectives:

    At the beginning of the game, you draw two cards from the objective deck. You can complete either of these for a victory star, whenever you want. These are supposed to be kept secret during play.

    You can't take pieces off of the board, so some (have five workers and no mechs) are locked out if you don't plan ahead. Some are simple (amass nine of a single resource), and some are difficult (have 0 combat power, more than 13 happiness, and more than five workers). Some won't really change your gameplay much (amass $20), and some will require planning (have your character, a mech, a worker, a building, and one of each resource on a single tile).

    The thing is, you don't actually have to worry about these at all.

    You get one star for completing either objective, and there are ten ways you can place a star (all upgrades/recruits/workers/mechs/buildings, max happiness/power, win a combat, complete objective, win combat again). As such, you can pick four things to ignore. So if your objective is something you can do without actively working (reach the factory without upgrading), then you can sort of go for it incidentally. If it's something that requires minimal effort (control three mountains) then you can plan to get damn close, and finish it when appropriate.

    But if you rush headlong into something constricting (have six or more workers on one hex), then it scuppers your game. You've spent several turns moving things into place (and don't forget, you can only move every second turn), whilst your opponents have actually been progressing. This ruins everything forever.



    Also, I won today's game. Engineering Russians took the lead at 115/Crimean 101/Saxony 70.



    Finally: Faction Bonuses, because of course each player has super powers.

    Each mech you build gives your team abilities, and what you get changes per nation. There's a static +1 movement, some form of combat ability (either a -2 at a cost, or -2 in certain situations, etc), teleportation (between villages and the Factory, between lakes, etc), and Riverwalking.

    Riverwalking is exactly what it sounds like - your mechs and characters can now get wet. But only sometimes - they have to cross rivers to certain land types. For example, Saxony can only cross to forests or mountains. This will give you a way off your starting island, and a way back.

    On top of that, you also get a static bonus that breaks the other rules of the game. The dev has said somewhere that the specifically designed these abilities to break rules that you might otherwise forget:

    Nordic Kingdom - Workers can cross rivers to any land.
    Rusviet Union - Can repeat the same action each turn.
    Crimean Khanate - Can spend a combat card as if it were any resource (once per turn).
    Polanian Republic - Character can take two options (out of three) on an encounter.
    Saxon Empire - Can finish both objectives, and can gain more than two stars for combat.


    Overall, still a plus. An issue I can foresee is that the game is very static - there's little to no randomness, which means you can plan several turns in advance really easily, for both you and opponents. But then the next time you play, it'll be the same stuff - there won't really be any massive surprises (which cards you draw might have some impact on the game, but realistically, only speed you up by a turn or two's worth of production). I can see that the game might well end up getting quite repetitive.

    So...

    From now on, I'll be asking people to wear appropriate hats, and maybe put on accents.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  16. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I play loads of Settlers of Catan online via a free download at playcatan.com. I think they're revamping things, and while I can still log in and play I'm not sure if new players are currently accepted.

    I have Ticket to Ride on Steam, though I only play if someone asks me. Had a group for a bit but that game didn't hold interest in the same way Catan does. Fun though, and the Steam version is solid imo.

    Other than that been playing some Deck Building games on Tabletop Simulator. Mostly Ascension and DC Deck Building.
     
  17. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I've been playing a lot of catan online as well!
     
  18. 9ine

    9ine Squib

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    After quickly getting bored of cards against humanity I've been on a bit of a party type game kick.

    Recently managed to pick myself up a copy of Snake Oil which went down amazingly with my usual group. Requires a bit of imagination but can be absolutely hilarious and a right blast to play with the right people.

    Another game I've been getting quite addicted to is a more causal game in Qwirkle, can be played with 2-4 players and the simplicity of the game makes it a good one to play with young and old family members alike.
     
  19. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    If you're into storytelling at all, play Gloom. It's a fun little game where you have to try and make your family as miserable as possible before they die, while trying to make your opponents' families as happy as possible. You do this with transparent cards that layer on top of each other for point bonuses, which you narrate a story for as you play them.

    Good fun.
     
  20. Oz

    Oz UNQUESTIONABLY THE MOST HETERO MAN IN THE WORLD Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Found gloom to be really dull. Carcassonne is hella fun though. Basically a multiplayer jigsaw puzzle.
     
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