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Werthead

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Played some of the Crusader Kings board game last night. Very impressive. It nails the feel of the video game but removes 95% of the complexity (which wouldn't work in a board game setting), streamlining things down so you are focused on dynasty-building and alliance-making with military action quite hard to pull off and various options for winning.

I did pretty poorly through the game, ending up with picking up a lot of negative traits from marriages with suboptimal matches. My king, William the Conqueror, died on Crusade literally on the first go. I did manage to invade and annex Wales, which gave me a reasonable number of provinces to count towards victory points, but France, Germany and Italy all had one more. I surprisingly managed to win at the very last moment by sending my new king (with no heirs!) on Crusade. He somehow managed to win and got two shields on the Crusade track (thanks to a good card draw) which gave me enough points to win, just about.

Very strong game. For a Kickstarter it's relatively modest in what it's trying to do. It's a little over-engineered (the huge cavalry models as area-control tokens feels very counter-intuitive) and the three-tier turn system (where you have Eras divided into Turns subdivided into Rounds) feels cumbersome. But once you get used to that, it's a surprisingly intuitive and strong game, with a nice diceless mechanic and all the comic potential from the video game (of ending up with incestuous kids, a cruel wife etc). Will need to give it a few more goes to decide how I feel about it.

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On 6/14/2019 at 8:57 AM, DaveSumm said:

My dream is to curate a collection where you genuinely might play any of your games, instead of having 70% of them existing for a group of people that you thought might magically come to your house when you bought them. Next purchase will either be Gloomhaven or Spirit Island I think. Gloomhaven is a risk, never played a dungeon crawler and neither has my SO. But we do love Legacy stuff.

My wife, son and I are working our way through Gloomhaven.  The only reason I'm still doing it is because my son really loves it.  The game is almost all combat, which is starting to bore me.  In hindsight, I wish I'd gotten 7th Continent instead - that one sounds more interesting to me.

We also finally got around to starting Pandemic Legacy Season 2.  Only 1 game in so far...we have to keep the momentum going....

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6 hours ago, HokieStone said:

My wife, son and I are working our way through Gloomhaven.  The only reason I'm still doing it is because my son really loves it.  The game is almost all combat, which is starting to bore me.

Too late, I got it. :) I deliberated a little, but Firestorm Cards lost a different game and offered me £10 off when they already the cheapest, so I got it brand new for £100. And got compensated for the lost game, obviously.

I’m really enjoying it so far, I think about it quite a lot between games which is always a good sign. I like how much each scenario feels like a new game. I’m also massively loving the app, it cuts out soooo much admin.

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19 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

I’m really enjoying it so far, I think about it quite a lot between games which is always a good sign. I like how much each scenario feels like a new game. I’m also massively loving the app, it cuts out soooo much admin.

Glad you like it - I don't necessarily dislike it...just was hoping for something not as combat oriented.  My son just started using the app, so that helps a little.  It also helps that he's 14 and I say "Oh, you want to play...go set it up, and let me know when it's ready".  :)

 

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Second-hand sale today at the local board game cafe, with some really good bargains. Ended up getting Tokyo HighwayWar of the Ring (1st Edition!), Command & Colors: Ancients (plus the Roman Empire expansion), Ticket to Ride: Rails & SailsFirefly: The Game and the Call of Cthulhu RPG very cheaply, given they were all in excellent or near-new condition (War of the Ring has to be 15 years old and looks like it's been played once or twice, if that).

These are all games I'd looked at and fancied in the past (there's only so many C&C or TTR games you can justify buying at full price), but at the near-nothing prices they were going for, they were well worthwhile.

Slightly disapproving of the guy selling the AD&D 1st Edition "First Edition" PHB for £50 though, as it was the second edition (with the cover art that didn't look like it was drawn by a ten-year-old) which was printed in its millions and is readily available for less than that. In fact, I'm bemused by how cheaply big board games go for at these things but how insanely expensive older RPGs are, despite the latter readily being available a lot cheaper online or very cheap if you don't mind PDFs.

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There's a couple of Firefly games, but I'm assuming you mean the big board game that takes hours and hours to play.  I like it, but it never gets to the table.  I hear that "Star Wars: Outer Rim" has a similar feel, but in much less time, so I've been keen to check that one out.

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The board game cafe has The Outer Rim in, which I'm interested in playing, but the rest of my regular group is heavily burned out on Star Wars. Which is a shame because we were having a good run with Rebellion before that happened.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

The board game cafe has The Outer Rim in, which I'm interested in playing, but the rest of my regular group is heavily burned out on Star Wars. Which is a shame because we were having a good run with Rebellion before that happened.

I can understand that.  It's certainly reached saturation point in a lot of ways.

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I love a good board game, but haven't explored much honestly. I finally played Settlers of Catan for the first time last year and absolutely love it. So fun. Also played a similar but simpler game called Carcassonne that was fun.

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Just reporting in to declare that I have played literally nothing but Gloomhaven since my last post. Played 17 times in three weeks. (It’s awesome).

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First game of Captain Sonar. Ridiculous fun, although it was a bit intense at 2v2. Would be interested to see it running 4v4.

Also played the Firefly board game for the first time. It was pretty solid, although it suffers from the same problem as FFG's Fallout board game that it's really each player playing their own game and hoping to luck out and get enough points/money to win, with limited scope to screw one another over. However, the theme makes this make a lot more sense in this game and it's quite interesting to see what other players are doing to achieve their goals. Expansions reportedly improve the experience and I'll be looking into those.

Had another game of 878 Vikings and it's really an excellent game. Unfortunately the expansion sounds like it doesn't add anything of value to the game.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Also played the Firefly board game for the first time. It was pretty solid, although it suffers from the same problem as FFG's Fallout board game that it's really each player playing their own game and hoping to luck out and get enough points/money to win, with limited scope to screw one another over. However, the theme makes this make a lot more sense in this game and it's quite interesting to see what other players are doing to achieve their goals. Expansions reportedly improve the experience and I'll be looking into those.

While I do like the game, I think you're right about its weakness being that there are limited opportunities for player interaction. Some of the expansions do allow combat between ships, although I think it's probably not going to happen frequently in the game.

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I've been back home for the week so I've had a chance to play a few games with my sister and the board game club she's joined (boy I really need to get that sorted on my end).

Had my first ever game of Catan so that was nice, and also Azul.


On top of that, we dug into:

Rising Sun, which is an elaborate and busy strategy/diplomacy game but a load of fun. Amusing that the most exciting bit for all of us was not the backstabby diplomacy, not te fighting (though that was fun), but the opportunity to go shopping, since what you can buy is gods and monsters.

Probably won't have too many opportunities to play it in future but if I get the chance I will.


Western Legends: played this before just in a pair but we got a few people round and dug into it more fully. Was still a bit 'exploring what's actually possible' but works much better with more players. May not be for everyone as it's a sandbox and almost more a collection of intersecting minigames than one unified grand aim going on (you really need people willing to choose to interact and do a bit of gentle role-playing rather than just play the mechanisms for most points) but it's a good time.

Goodcritters, possibly the hit of the week, which I pciked up basically at random while getting Villagers, and went down a treat as a warm-up/cool-down game around the bigger ones. Even my sister, who professes not to like backstabby games, got into the negotiation, backstabbing, and deceipt necessary to win. It's likely a good game to introduce to non-gamers coz the rules are incredibly simple and offer maximum opportunity to be a dick to your mates in funny ways.


And the aforementioned Villagers. Didn't dig into this properly, just had one exploratory game, but it seems like fun once you get going. Haven't really played much in the way of engine-builders yet so see how I get on with this, which is a pretty pure one. This one I'm taking back to Germany so hopefully will dig in over the next few months.

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9 hours ago, Werthead said:

Also played the Firefly board game for the first time. It was pretty solid, although it suffers from the same problem as FFG's Fallout board game that it's really each player playing their own game and hoping to luck out and get enough points/money to win, with limited scope to screw one another over. However, the theme makes this make a lot more sense in this game and it's quite interesting to see what other players are doing to achieve their goals. Expansions reportedly improve the experience and I'll be looking into those.

I've never had any interest in trying it because everybody that I know that has played it has said that it's way too long for what it is.  I've also heard that the new Star Wars Outer Rim provides the same feel in a much more punchy experience.

I've played Pipeline three times in the past month and a half, and so far it's definitely my favorite 2019 release.  Q.E. is my favorite filler game that I've played so far this - quick little auction game where you can bid any amount of money that you want, but the player that spends the most automatically loses.

I've ticked another Splotter game off my list with Indonesia.  Antiquity is still my favorite, but I think Indonesia is just as good as Food Chain Magnate (both of which I like a bit better than The Great Zimbabwe - will be trying both Roads & Boats and Bus when my preorders arrive later this year).  I was talking about it with a couple of guys I had played it with (one from each game) last night after we had played Pipeline, and that really made me want to play it again as soon as possible.  I taught the game both times, so I know how to play it, I just still don't have any idea of how to play it well.  The ability to merge other peoples' companies without their input is what makes this game different from anything else I've ever played, but the Research and Development track is what makes the game brilliant.  

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7 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

I've never had any interest in trying it because everybody that I know that has played it has said that it's way too long for what it is.  I've also heard that the new Star Wars Outer Rim provides the same feel in a much more punchy experience.

The game is highly modular, so you can change things around. For example, the game we played was a race for the first person to make $15,000, but that would have easily taken all day, so we cut it down to $6,000 and the game went much faster (about 3 hours, and it took that long because 3 of the 4 players had never played it before).

I think it is a good game, and it has a lot moddability so you can make it a more combat-focused game, more of a cops and robbers thing (one of the expansions adds bounty hunters who can chase down players with wanted markers, which sounds like it turns it into a completely different game) and so on. I can see why it's so hugely popular.

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Cole Wehrle the designer of Root, Pax Pamir, and John Company announced on twitter that's he working on a game inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson's 2140.

 

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Got in a few games that last two weeks...

Rococo - a game about making dresses and suits for nobles to wear to balls during the time of Louis XV.  I'd heard good things about this game, and it lived up to the hype.  I was fortunate to get my engine going early and sort of ran away with the game.  Although we realized after the fact that we were playing on the 4-5 player side of the board, when we only had 3 players.  So the game was a little more open than it should have been.

Point Salad - a relatively quick set-collection game, where you can change how your sets score during the game.  Pretty light, and a decent filler game - I'd play again, but probably not something I'd actively search out.

Parks - brand new game, got my Kickstarter delivery in the mail just last week.  First, the artwork is simply stunning in this game about visiting the U.S. National Parks.  When I read the rules, I was wondering if it was going to be a little light for me...but my one play so far revealed it to be a deeper game than I expected.  I'm eager to try it again...I don't like to make snap judgements after one play, but one player did get a good card combo that allowed him to run away with the game - I'm hopeful that was just a strange one-off kind of thing, and that it isn't an inherent problem with the game.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I got in a play of one of my favorites - Power Grid.  Played the U.S. map.  I was leading in number of cities the whole time - which can be risky, but I had sort of boxed the other players out of the Pacific Northwest, and had a significant income lead.  And then...the market caught up to me.  There were only 2 of us with garbage plants - I had the plant that needed 3 garbage to power 6 cities.  On what ended up being the last turn, there were only 4 garbage in the market.  Sure enough, the other player with garbage bought two of them, leaving me short and unable to run that plant...allowing another player to build up to her 17th house, and claim victory (it also helped her that the Step 3 card flipped up during this round, opening up the 3rd slots in all the cities).

Side note - for anyone in the DC metro area, I'm running an "Unpub Mini" at Comics and Gaming Pair O' Dice in Fairfax, Virginia on Saturday, Oct 5 - if you're interested in coming by and playing some games still in the design stage...

Oh...2nd side note - New on Kickstarter is "Camp Pinetop" - a lightweight resource gathering/set collection game that was originally called "Scouts".  I've played it a few times during it's development, and recommend taking a look to see if you're interested.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/693352677/camp-pinetop

 

 

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Played Castles of Mad King Ludwig last night. Pretty solid game, but I was very surprised to hear it was a successor to Suburbia, not a predecessor. It feels a bit clunker than Suburbia and not as streamlined. The theme is good fun though.

2 hours ago, HokieStone said:

Side note - for anyone in the DC metro area, I'm running an "Unpub Mini" at Comics and Gaming Pair O' Dice in Fairfax, Virginia on Saturday, Oct 5 - if you're interested in coming by and playing some games still in the design stage..

Currently planning to go to WorldCon 2021 in DC, so if you're still about we could organise a games day or something?

 

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

Played Castles of Mad King Ludwig last night. Pretty solid game, but I was very surprised to hear it was a successor to Suburbia, not a predecessor. It feels a bit clunker than Suburbia and not as streamlined. The theme is good fun though.

Currently planning to go to WorldCon 2021 in DC, so if you're still about we could organise a games day or something?

 

I like CoMKL much better than Suburbia...I think the theme does it for me.  Also, in Suburbia, I wasn't a big fan of your tiles scoring based on other people's cities. 

Happy to get together for a game or two if it works out!

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