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Board Games

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

  1. mangaguy

    mangaguy Fifth Year

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    Space Base is alright. It's a better version of Machi Koro. Has the same problem as Terraforming Mars where default board is kinda shitty for holding cubes. There are a couple of expansions for it, which add more ships and a kinda story mode.

    Terra Mystica is pretty good but is one of those games which has a ridiculous fan community which has leaderboards and starting position analysis and stuff. See here:
    https://terra.snellman.net/stats/

    Interesting rabbit hole to follow but it can be a lot.

    I hear Gaia Project is a reskin with a space theme + a more variable map as well.

    Tapestry is completely out of wack for balancing. Designer released balance change updates recently and they suck. Changes as simple as +15 pts per player. Pretty frustrating:
    https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2316659/official-tapestry-civilization-adjustments

    On top of that, the components are way too excessive for the game, leading to a preposterous 100$ msrp. The core gameplay loop is pretty damn fun (remembers me of chaining stuff in Ganz schon clever, a really good roll and write), but theres a lot not to like about the price tag and balance.
     
  2. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Tapestry has fallen for the Kickstarter trap. Your typical boardgamer that supports Kickstarter projects wants MOAR STUFF so it's heavily incentivising designers to make their games around an ungodly number of miniatures and tokens. This naturally forces the prices up and really restricts the market for who is going to buy it.
     
  3. mangaguy

    mangaguy Fifth Year

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    The worst thing is that Tapestry isn't even a Kickstarter and its designer hates Kickstarter now.
     
  4. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    I like tapestry quite a lot, but yeah, it can be very unbalanced. I've had games where the leader hits 300 points and last place is at 90 points, despite not really doing anything wrong. Sometimes a guy can complete 2 progression tracks while others can't complete a single one. It's just so easy to get screwed, and the catchup mechanic doesn't come close to stemming the snowball effect.
     
  5. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    not gaming tomorrow, so I'll just post the two new games I played today.

    Mansions of Madness. Not exactly a new game, but I have my misgivings about games like this. First, I hate games that run off an app, and this game did nothing to change my opinion on that. The game isn't that complex, but setup takes forever, and it's continual, since you build the map as you go. One continual trend for me is that I hate games that take too long in between turns, especially when the turns you take suck. This game had a lot of problems. First, the core gameplay loop just isn't that interesting. Second, there's too much randomness (which I guess is partially due to the app). For example, your character has 6 different stats, ranging from 2 to 5, which corresponds to the amount of dice you get to roll for a check. Now, as far as I can tell, specific monsters have a group of checks that they can pull from when they attack/defend, so a ghost will have lore/observation/will, and a normal guy will have str/agi. So, it's possible to get hit by multiple longshot checks in a row, starting from the very first round. On top of that, you actually have roll hits on the die, with most checks requiring 2+. They're D8's, with 3 hits, and 2 gimmick hits that use a finite resource. Essentially, you have a game that is pretty fucking hard without considering any possible variance, and then pretty much impossible once you factor it in. I essentially spend the first 8 turns of the game fighting monsters, finally cleared them out so I could move to the next room, and had a monster immediately spawn on me. All because I picked the wrong guy at the start of the game and couldnt pass any of the numerous 2 or 3 dice checks. Couple that in with the fact that rounds take forever, it's just tedious. I will say that the puzzles were good, and the overall scenario was interesting, but the gameplay was needlessly punishing. And supposedly this game isn't even that difficult compared to some of the other horror games. As it stands, I'll be perfectly happy never playing it again. 4/10

    Amul. Fun little filler game. Simple to play. It's a semi-drafting item matching/collecting game. Vaguely similar to seven wonders I guess? But, to me, it pretty much felt like the castle-sacking element in Reavers of Midgard. Some items are worth more as singletons, others as pairs, others as specific sets, some were dependent on your opponents items, etc. 7/10
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    Somehow forgotten that I had learned and played Dinosaur Island yesterday as well. Really fun worker placement came, with the goal being to make your own offbrand jurassic park. The game captured the flavor pretty well I felt, and there seems to be a decent amount of replayability. The only bad thing I have to say is that I think it's a bit too susceptible to powergaming. Overall, I'd say it's like an 8.5/10
     
  6. Churchey

    Churchey Supreme Mugwump

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    I love boardgaming but don't get to play often, as I don't have a consistent playgroup. Used to play with friends and wives, but now with most of them having kids its more difficult to get together, and those get togethers are a lot more drinking and catching up instead of being invested in the game. We still play stuff, but we trend towards werewolf/secret hitler/avalon/cards against humanity rather than seven wonders/race for the galaxy/power grid.


    BUT my sister is in town and she got me EVERDELL for Christmas. Now as the last couple posts mentioned, this definitely falls into the kick-starter trap of moar stuff and miniatures, but I find that Everdell hits a nice balance, as the pieces feel like a part of the game, not needlessly excessive. Keeping track of shit in games that don't take the extra steps, (the worst offender I've seen being terraforming mars, imo) is enough of a turn-off for many of the casual boardgamers I play with, so I appreciate the tactile nature of modeled pieces over cubes, cards, or counters.

    It's a worker placement/tableau building game. There's several reviews and let's plays up if you want to see it in action, but I have really enjoyed the game a ton and wanted to recommend it to anyone who enjoys some medium-weight games. It's not overwhelming like Dead of Winter or mage knight, but has complexity to rival 7 them, and the MOAR factor of pieces makes it much simpler to follow without constantly needing a reference guide for symbols. You get plastic berries that squish, translucent golden resin pieces, little wood sticks, and smoothly cast pebbles. The whole game goes very far in on its theme, which is both pleasing and helpful for learning/teaching.

    Teaching my wife to play this was a breeze, as she loves board games but is averse to learning new games and new things in general, but this is a new favorite of hers, whereas terraforming mars is one she hates to play. I think a large amount of the difference is the aesthetics and theme.

    You place workers to gain resources, use them to create buildings or critters, which provide one time effects, timed effects, continuous effects, or meta-scoring effects. So you have to balance your resources of worker meeples, plastic resources, and cards. The cards work together in combos that can be found, and are all permanent, so your selections have to find a balance on your tableau or you'll find yourself with a city full of production giving you excess resources with nothing to build towards as you've hit your city limit. Players move at their own paces through the seasons (rounds/ages) so you may finish Autumn as someone else is just moving into Spring, and that's okay. It's one action per turn, always, so while decision paralysis can lead to large wait times, generally it's very fast paced.

    Players interact in the game, but it's missing the "fk yr shit" factor that you get in some other games. You can earn points by giving resources to other players (in fact several of the cards that are best for scoring points have this effect), you are competing with other players for limited meeple placement spots, and there is a shared bank of cards to play from that other players may come into competition with you over, but there's only one "destroy your tableau" sort of effect in the game, the fool, which you play into another player's city to give them -2 points. Those 2 points aren't much, but your city is limited to 15 cards, so sometimes the fool can really ruin someone's day. I find that this level of interaction is a nice break from playing some others. Similar to debt in 7 Wonders: Cities, the fool reminds people of their 15 city limit and pushes them to think more strategically. It's another reason to place it somewhere on my intro to board games list between Sheriff of Nottingham and Dead of Winter.

    I feel this may be the new 7 wonders for my group (our all-time favorite), if the expansions can add similar layers of complexity to the game in the way cities/leaders did for 7 wonders. No one enjoyed Babel, but Armada seemed great the few times I tried it. I find with 7 wonders, when I do eventually get a new player up to 7 wonders level, they need several games of the base version to get comfortable, then a few with just cities and leaders. Very few are ever up to then getting out babel or armada. With Everdell, I feel one game is definitely enough to grasp the concept of the game and be ready to tackle an expansion.


    My biggest issue is that it's a 1-4 player game, but the next expansion comes with additional pieces and 5-6 player rules. There's also a robust single player, but I'm not sure how replayable it is. I haven't tried it yet.

    Overall, I highly recommend this game. I've only played six times so far, but the replayability is definitely there. I've watched the review videos and lets plays for pearlbrook/spirecrest/bellfaire. This is the first game I've been so all in on since 7 Wonders, which is STILL one of my favorites. Pearlbrook is released already, while spirecrest and bellfaire are in the post-funding stage of kickstarter and are available for order with expected delivery in February. I've ordered all 3 expansions, and now I've just got my eye out for a big box or an organizer insert.
     
  7. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    I liked Everdell the one time I played it, but it was lacking something, not sure what. Not the kind of game we'd pull out again unless someone specifically requested to play it. Might have to do with the theming, which I guess is essentially Redwall. There's definitely an amount of strategy involved that you can only learn through repeated playthroughs. Like, when to stop focusing on resource production and go for points, or identifying when you have to change strategy. I remember my opening hand had the expensive tree building (evertree?) that gives you a point for each specific type of thing you had (I forget what it was, but maybe unique critters?), but it ended up being counterproductive to what I was doing and what was available during my turn, so even if I wanted to go all in on that, it wasn't possible. The actual gameplay I found to be generic worker placement stuff, which is fine and makes it a more approachable game than most. That might be the best part about the game, the intimidation factor of having a ton of pieces, but then not actually being that difficult to learn and play.
     
  8. Churchey

    Churchey Supreme Mugwump

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    For sure. I'm very excited to add the expansions that seem to address some of those issues, specifically by giving you more targeted goals to reach for. The base game still has a ton of depth to it, and we are reevaluating our "best cards" as we get separate playthroughs.

    I'm still of the opinion that the university is the strongest card, letting you clear your city of unwanted cards in the "best way" (giving you a refund on resources +1 extra, and granting you a point every use), but I've found it can be beat.

    For example, last play I played a dungeon with a cemetery, which let me get an undertaker for free, which let me move an evertree from the center to the discard, where I got to get it and play it for free with a worker on the cemetery. Then I used the dungeon to get rid of the undertaker to play a ranger, which let me move a worker to someone else's inn to play another undertaker which let me go through 4 cards off the top and draw a fool. Then I played a worker to discard for cards in the meadow, and another worker on the cemetery to grab a castle from the discards for free. Then I dungeoned the other undertaker, then ruins the dungeon, then dungeoned again. Basically cycling through way more cards than anyone had.

    Between those, the monastery, and the post office, I think I drew 50 cards or more through the game, which made the game seem very different compared to the previous times I played it, where I drew maybe 15 cards through the entire game. This let me have basically anything I wanted, except for a few things that my opponents got early. It has a very surprising amount of depth for just the base game that is rare to find in a board game of this quality, while also being incredibly easy to teach to others.

    There are certainly more complex games, and certainly easier-to-get-into games, but I don't think I've ever found another game with this depth of complexity (in the base version) that was this easy to introduce and explain to new players, especially players who aren't "into" boardgames yet. It feels a bit like a powergrid without the annoying math (for people who don't use their elementary math skills on a daily basis), much more depth, and less intimidation.

    I think my review is obviously colored by the fact that this fills in a great slot for me in my intro-to-games list that I find needs a bit of a bridge from Sheriff/Splendor to more complex games.
     
  9. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    That time of the week again.

    Formula D. Really fun, really easy game to learn. Also really long. Who knew dice rolls could be so exciting? Not something you can play every week I don't think, but for the occasional thing it's pretty good. 8/10

    Clank! Legacy: Acquisition Incorporated. Really good as well. Never played a Clank game so this was my first. Luckily for me, it pretty much just follows Ascension rules, plus a bit from Fallout (which I'm sure is hardly the first game to use the library reference deck story telling mechanic). My first actual legacy game as well, as I've always been hesitant, but it someone else's copy. 9/10

    Terraforming Mars: Turmoil. Brand new expansion that was a kickstarter from summer last year. I don't want to say it revamps the game, but it adds a ton of needless complexity. There's an automated event/catastrophe board, which by itself could probably be an expansion (its like the same amount of cards as the prelude) but then there's a senate board, which adds most of the complexity along with another 50 pieces to the game. Honestly, all it really does is make an already long game go even longer. And, it sort of dilutes the game further as well. Too many expansions, and it sort of falls into the trap that Magic has fallen into, as too many cards only really work with themselves. So, if you're doing Venus stuff, you can get completely hosed by never seeing another Venus card, and this is now even worse with another expansion set to bloat the draw deck. I liked it, but didn't love it. You can still just easily run away with the game by exploiting trade colonies or getting lucky and getting a broken corp like the heat = money one. 6.5/10

    Dino Island. Second playthrough. I still really like the game, but it can be frustrating. Or maybe it's that I lost the game because I somehow drew three hooligans on the very last turn, which is like a 1 in 1000 shot. Doesn't feel good. Victory point system overall is kinda eh, and the game does tend to end abruptly. Really close to being really good.

    Tapestry. I've played this 6 times I think now? Maybe more. We've played it enough that pretty much everyone in the store has multiple plays under their belt so the game runes smoothly. But, just played with the errata for the first time. Firstly, the idea of needing to errata a boardgame is kinda funny. How does a game make it to publish without adequate testing to see which civs are busted/not busted. Because some of them really are a lot better than others, and its obvious. Anyways, I took the Inventors, which wasn't errated, I guess because its straight forward. But it's still really good, and gives you an obvious path to victory. I just kinda rolled the table by accumulating like 15 inventions and just hitting tons of bonuses off them. It's like they want the civ card to be worth like 25-40 points, but Inventors is one that just synergizes with a strategy and is worth tons more.

    Probably another new game in there somewhere that I'm just not remembering. 2 back to back 13 hour game sessions with barely any sleep makes things blur a bit.
     
  10. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Isle of cats. Fun kickstarter game. Doesn’t really do anything new, but it does a bunch of different things combined into one. Basic premise is that you’re rescuing cats out of the ocean using baskets. Anyways, at its core, its a resource drafting/tile placement game. You draft baskets, initiative order, bonus tiles, instants, and point salad-esque end of game scoring cards. And the tiles are tetris like, though anywhere from 4-6 blocks and in tons of shapes. In fact, that’s the main problem with the game. You don’t want to play this with anyone who suffers from analysis paralysis, because you can have upwards of 24 different cats to choose from on your turn, and they’re all different size, shape, and color, and reversible. It can turn a game that is like a 2 on the complexity scale into something that is too drawn out. Anyways, I’d say a 8/10 is fair, though I have a feeling repeated plays will reduce that.


    Keyflower. Weird worker placement game. Premise is that you're colonizing a new piece of land (I guess). Has a tile bidding system, and ways to regrab workers. Resource system is a bit fleeting, and the road/upgrade system is a bit nuanced. Also, setup is too finicky. Probably a 7/10. There’s better worker placement games out there, but I wouldn’t say no to playing this one again. Theme didn't really resonate with me either, since it was played for just 4 turns.


    Five Tribes. Saw this on Tabletop forever ago (probably like 4 years ago), played it for the first time today. It’s ok. One of those games that is more complicated than it looks, and you can definitely get caught up in trying to perfect every move. Not a particularly exciting or engaging game, so probably a 6/10. Again, I’d play it if someone else picked it out, but won’t go out of my way for it.
     
  11. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Bunch of games between the last two week, nothing too notable.

    Istanbul. Worker movement game? Kinda fun, but mostly generic. 6/10

    Friday the 13th. Quick filler game where you try to score as few points as possible using 3 different color piles + wilds. Really easy to play, though without fail everything always goes wrong on the very last card. Filler game is filler, 5/10

    That's pretty clever. A more complicated version of quixx. I polled people in the store today, and everyone actually said they liked quixx more, including me. The problem I found is that it's a bit too chain-reactiony, and it's not hard to max out half the board and get 75% on the others. 6/10

    Shipwreck Arcana. A kickstarter game I think, that uses deductive reason to solve basic logic puzzles. It's a game that works pretty well if everyone is able to evaluate what is going on. 8/10

    Trial by Trolley. Another kickstarter game (one that was just released I think). It's... meh. Typical party game with try-hard humor. 5/10

    Also played a game of Xia today, for the first time in probably a year (whenever I last posted about it in here). We finished a 10 point 5 player game in a reasonable 3 hours, and that included setup and teaching new players and refreshing myself on the rules
     
  12. Teyrn

    Teyrn Auror

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    Finally managed to start playing Gloomhaven yesterday. Failed miserably at the first scenario, tried again and failed today. Then we tried it for the third time and succeeded, but didn't manage to get the treasure chest.

    I'm already plotting out different things to do to get to the treasure.
     
  13. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Century Spice Road. It's one of those games that's always in the conversation to get played, but never actually does. Well, played my first game today. It's a mix of splendor and a bunch of other similar games, and I found it to be quite streamlined and fun. Only thing I'm unsure of is how much replayability it has. 8/10

    Archipelago. An interesting sort of double action worker placement game. It's an exploration/feed-the-people type of game, and it's almost excessively complex, but it is fun. Only gripe is that the market boards seemed a bit extraneous, and the game is very low point scoring. It essentially comes down to whether or not you accidentally got second place on a bunch of the other player's cards, and those cards are secret so there's little you can do about it. I would say an 8/10. If it was a short game, it would rate higher.

    Did play Alien Artifact for the first time in a long time - I'm pretty sure I already scored it. Anyways, played it with a bunch of actual board game enthusiasts today, and they loved it. Pretty simple to teach, pretty easy to learn, and gameplay is very fluid, so it'll probably end up in the mid-range game rotation.
     
  14. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Unspeakable

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    Played Stuffed Fables. Very fun, older child friendly (spiders living inside dolls is as scary as it gets, but thats also what it starts with). You play as stuffed animals defending a girl's dreams as she moves from her crip to her big girl bed. The way we play it is is that you play as what stuffed animal you had as a small child (rabbit, teddy bear, elephant, lion, pig, and handmade). The best way to think of it is Gloomhaven light and childfriendly.
     
  15. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Racoon Tycoon. Interesting little engine builder/economy simulator? Combines elements of a lot of other games I like into one package. Auctioning, set collection, resource management. Neat little game that offers more depth than is readily apparent. 8.5/10


    Cosmic Encounter. Took awhile to figure out the basics of the game. We played a new version of the old game, though I don’t think anything really changed other than graphics (though I base this on nothing other than the one guy saying the last time he played it was 20 years ago). Lots of little nuances that I don’t quite think we got right, but I still found it fun. The only real thing I didn’t like was the negotiating stuff, as it often felt like even if I “won” I still lost, and having to make deals… meh. I do like the gotcha moments though. 8/10


    Suburbia. Not a particularly obscure game, and one I've wanted to play for awhile. Funner than I thought it was. City building/semi tile drafting game. Only thing I didn't really like was the bonus objective, in which we had a particular set that rewarded you for playing badly. I get that that can be part of the strategy, one of self-sabotage, but I prefer to build resource engines. 8.5/10
     
  16. Newcomb

    Newcomb Minister of Magic

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    Love this game. An all-time classic. One of those "minute to learn, lifetime to master" types of games. If you play with all green races you can probably get a batch of new players up to speed in 20 minutes or less.

    One of the things I love about it is how it keeps everyone pretty decently involved when it's not their turn. When it's not your turn, even if you're not dialed up to get attacked, chances are you're going to be invited to ally with at least one of the attacker or defender, and a ton of races have abilities that can twiddle with the game on off-turns. Plus whatever bullshit relic or flare you've got in your hand.

    It also has a really high potential for late game upsets that don't feel random, which is a tough needle to thread.
     
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