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After almost 2 years, my group finished Seafall.  Well, technically we're not finished yet.  There's a last scenario that really changes the game - but supposedly gives you a final game you can play over and over again.  But we're done.  It's been a slog - this game was an exercise in a grand vision that was terribly executed.

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Played New Frontiers a couple of times recently.  Really, really enjoy it.  It's already got me to the point that I never need to play Race for the Galaxy or Puerto Rico again.  I really like Roll for the Galaxy too, but don't have any desire to play it right now even with the mega, 3 module expansion about to be released.

Gave Key Flow a try and enjoyed the hell out of that.  Need to finally try Keyflower at some point, as I really like Keyper - the only other "Key" game I've played.

Got a couple of plays of Gugong in also.  An extremely tactical game from the designer of one of my all time top ten games - Hansa Teutonica.  Very fun, but the second game was with a group that has one guy who has severe AP, and it took way too long.

Played another game of Great Western Trail with the expansion.  Just a fantastic addition to the game.  Of course, my opinion may be colored by the fact that I'm now 2/2 in games with it (both wins by a fair margin).

Tried out the new A Feast for Odin expansion Sunday, and really liked that.  New tiles, new islands, and a modular board for scalability.  Will probably play that again this coming Sunday.

Crown of Emara was another recent hit for me.  Medium weight, but extremely puzzle-y, in a very good way.

Also loved Wingspan.  The way the actions increase in strength and decrease in number as the game progresses is great in lovely and friendly engine/tableau building.  Can't wait to play it again, if I'm lucky enough to score a copy at the game store when it's released March 8th (or in a couple of months on the next print run).

Would love to finally get Vindication to the gaming table... filling out the insert defeated me when I opened the shrink, and it's been sitting on the coffee table for 3-4 weeks.  Just got the Caverna expansion as well.  Need to play that sooner rather than later.  Other recent acquisitions or kickstarter fulfillments that I really want to play are The Networks, Blackout: Hong Kong, Mombasa, Dinogenics, Dinosaur Island, Firenze, CO2, Crisis, Newton, Village, Kanban, Concordia: Venus (I've already played the team game, but am really looking forward to the new individual Magister card), and the big bad grandaddy - The Colonists.

Played my worst game of TI4 a couple of weeks back.  I had a wonderful board position, and was extremely well set up for to start rolling in the points, but it was way too little way too late.

Finally got a win in a game of Brass.  Thought I was going to going to come in last as I decided to ship some cotton before other people had the chance to use all the ports as my last action in the last round where you can take a loan.  Ended up having to burn 3 of my last 4 actions in order to have enough cash to build my second rail era ship.  By far the worst I've ever done on rail points, but end up with 95 points from building.  Love both versions of the game.

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I played Puerto Rico so goddamn much when it first game out just looking at any kind of similar game gives me vertigo.

 

Edit: Oh and I also picked up Village and just finished putting on all the damn stickers.

Edited by Darth Richard II

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54 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I played Puerto Rico so goddamn much when it first game out just looking at any kind of similar game gives me vertigo.

I absolutely love games with role selection that everybody follows, and I love a good bit of theme in my games.  But brown "colonists," that are shipped in on boats to work your fields and factories is several steps too far and I just feel so damn bad any time I play Puerto Rico.  New Frontiers gives me the same feel with an infinitely more palatable theme.

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Ha, yeah I remember some controversy on that. If I ever did play it again I would obviously go for the sci-fi version. But my god back when it first came out me and my friends were just getting into euro style board gaming and it was one of maybe 10 games total we had, and we played the fuck out of it. It was those games we played so much we could knock out a full game in like 30 min we new it so well.

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Played the Battle of the Blackwater scenario from Battles of Westeros. It was proper bananas. The battle is divided into three subsequent stages, each as long as a regular battle, with reinforcements arriving mid-mission, so for the entire battle it took about 6 hours to play through.

Baratheon (me) won the first stage, which involved crossing the bridge of ships (some of which are still fully of wildfire and might blow up at any moment, although this didn't happen). Stannis led a naval crossing by boat, which went great until he ended up in one-on-one combat with Addam Marbrand and was defeated and captured. The Baratheon army rallied to seize the shoreline. Stage 2 was a bit of a disaster for the Baratheons, as the reinforcements were mostly fanatics led by Melisandre who moved really slowly, whilst the Lannisters got cavalry reinforcements led by Gregor Clegane and Tywin Lannister (it should have been Sandor and Tywin, but I didn't have the right expansion). So the far faster-moving Lannisters curb-stomped the Baratheons in this scenario. In the third stage, Brienne of Tarth led a further Baratheon contingent of reinforcements (canon is not the game's strong suit) which captured a postern gate whilst Davos Seaworth's band of smugglers pinned down the main Lannister force at the gates. It all came down to the very last minute of the last turn, when the Baratheons eliminated one more enemy unit, seizing the victory point needed for victory.

Tense, nail-biting and extremely epic. Also, mind-bendingly intense. Next month we'll try something a bit lighter.

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17 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Edit: Oh and I also picked up Village and just finished putting on all the damn stickers.

Village is one of my favorite games - and it doesn't get to the table often enough.  I have the sequel - "My Village", but it only got played once, and I just put it in the sale bin for the convention I'm headed to in two weeks.

On 1/2/2019 at 1:53 PM, Guy Kilmore said:

So have any of you tried the Broken Token organizers?  I got one for both Flash Point and Castle Panic and seem to be really nice and sturdy, I'm just curious at their longevity.  

I have a lot of Broken Token and Meeple Realty - and I love them.  I really like having my games organized.  It particularly helps when they make it easy to fit expansions in the original box.  And for some game, they're almost a necessity - Gloomhaven in particular, it makes the setup so much easier.  That being said, they're not cheap...the Gloomhaven one I got was something like $70 itself.

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I have been playing Sidereal Confluence and Root lately, two asymmetrical strategy games. I love asymmetric design, though of course execution is everything. Both require some extended time; Sidereal will be a few hours, Root at least one and probably more.

Sidereal is one of my new favorite games. It's competitive, not cooperative, but in a lot of ways it's collaborative. It's an economics and negotiation game where most of the gameplay is the negotiation. The core mechanic is "converter" cards, which take resources as inputs and produce different resources as outputs. It supports up to 9 players, each of whom plays as a different race with very different playstyles: the Eni Et have incredibly good converters, but can't run them by themselves and must partner with other factions to make use of them. Unity have special "wild" gray cubes that can be any resource, so a lot of their game is making deals to trade those at a profit. The Zeth are running a protection rackets against the other players in which they have to trade with you because you'll just steal their stuff if they don't. It's super fun and even hooked my friends who aren't into heavyweight games.

Root has been around for a little while but just came back into print. It's an asymmetric wargame wrapped in a cute animal package; four different factions (more added in the expansion) are vying for control of the forest. The cats are the current dominant power and start out controlling most of the board, and are the most traditional wargame faction. The birds are the old, out-of-power aristocracy, now reduced to a corner of the forest; each turn their leader must make more and more additional promises about what he'll do, and if he ever fails to keep them (this happens a lot) he is deposed and the government collapses and a new leader rises. The Woodland Alliance ("mouse ISIS") start with no pieces on the board but foment dissent and incite rebellion. The Vagabond only plays with his one piece the entire game and makes alliances with the others, stabbing them in the back later if the situation calls for it. No one faction is particularly complicated to play, but the complexity comes from needing to understand what all the other factions are capable of.

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https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos/review-game-of-thrones-mother-of-dragons/

They finally got round to reviewing A Game of Thrones, and mostly nailed it for my money. The vassal system completely fixes the player count issue, that’s the only omission worth mentioning I think. But as far as describing the great lumbering time-drainer that is this game it’s a great watch.

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9 hours ago, Inigima said:

Root has been around for a little while but just came back into print. It's an asymmetric wargame wrapped in a cute animal package; four different factions (more added in the expansion) are vying for control of the forest. The cats are the current dominant power and start out controlling most of the board, and are the most traditional wargame faction. The birds are the old, out-of-power aristocracy, now reduced to a corner of the forest; each turn their leader must make more and more additional promises about what he'll do, and if he ever fails to keep them (this happens a lot) he is deposed and the government collapses and a new leader rises. The Woodland Alliance ("mouse ISIS") start with no pieces on the board but foment dissent and incite rebellion. The Vagabond only plays with his one piece the entire game and makes alliances with the others, stabbing them in the back later if the situation calls for it. No one faction is particularly complicated to play, but the complexity comes from needing to understand what all the other factions are capable of.

I have had that sitting unplayed for nearly 6 months, because I just don't want to have to teach it.  I am definitely starting to get the itch to play it though, and watched the Geek & Sundry play through the other day which makes me think it won't be too terribly hard to teach.  I played Vast: The Crystal Caverns not too long before I received Root, and that soured me on it.  The player abilities are much more asymmetric in Vast, and I've known that, it was a really bad experience though.

Root's going back to Kickstarter on March 14th with two new factions, two new maps, and a new deck of cards that can be used instead of the current deck (but probably not with the current deck).

 

ETA: Did play Vindication last night.  Really dug that, ready to play again.  I did try to teach it very quickly (to try and save time as we were approaching closing time) without integrating any theme, and that seemed to make people have a hard time trying to decided what to do...

Edited by RedEyedGhost

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5 minutes ago, RedEyedGhost said:

 I played Vast: The Crystal Caverns not too long before I received Root, and that soured me on it.  The player abilities are much more asymmetric in Vast, and I've known that, it was a really bad experience though.

At an "Unpub Mini" gathering I ran several years ago, the designer, David Somerville, brought a curious prototype called "Trove". I didn't get to play it that day, but it attracted some attention...particularly the part where someone got to play "the cave".  Fast Forward a year or two, and he found a publisher in Leder Games - they changed the name to "Vast" for some reason.  I got in on the original Kickstarter since I had somewhat of a personal link to the game.  I've only played it a handful of times, and while I appreciate the innovation, it doesn't get to the table much - and a big reason is the difficulty teaching it.  There are also a lot more "edge cases" than in a normal game, particularly when you add in the expansion factions. 

I've not tried Root - I hear mixed things. Some people love it, others think it's way overhyped.  I'd like to give it a try at some point though.  I did not go in on the Vast follow-up, "Mysterious Manor". 

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7 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos/review-game-of-thrones-mother-of-dragons/

They finally got round to reviewing A Game of Thrones, and mostly nailed it for my money. The vassal system completely fixes the player count issue, that’s the only omission worth mentioning I think. But as far as describing the great lumbering time-drainer that is this game it’s a great watch.

Yeah, it's not the most elegant of games. It comes from Fantasy Flight's first era when their games tended to be big, complex and lumbering beasts. Their other games from that era - Twilight Imperium and Arkham Horror - have been (if only somewhat) simplified or at least made more rules-coherent in later editions. It's bizarre to me that Game of Thrones didn't get the same treatment. The 2nd edition was released purely to cash in on the TV show rather than fix problems with the game design, and with the release of the new expansion it doesn't seem likely we'll get a better 3rd edition any time soon.

I'd be keen to see them review Battles of Westeros, as Memoir '44 is one of SU&SD's favourite games and Battles derives from the same source rules but fixes some of the more egregious issues in the game system (admittedly at the expense of a much longer playing time, one of M44's strongest features).

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Leaving this morning for "Prezcon" in Charlottesville, VA.  Will play in some tournaments (and I'm running a tourny for my game, Santa's Workshop) - and hope to play some of the new games from the past year that I haven't had a chance to try yet.  I'll also be wearing my Hokie colors in enemy Wahoo territory ;)

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Technically tabletop rather than board, but I've started getting into Warhammer 40K (god help my wallet). I'd really gotten into how over-the-top the lore was from some of the video games and decided to try out the real thing. I haven't actually played any games yet, but I picked up the Dark Imperium starter set and will be using the space marine side from it as the core of my army. I've got all them assembled and primed (along with the chaos side, which is probably all I'll do with them unless any of my friends get interested) and have started painting. Gonna be heading back to my local Games Workshop to see about playing a couple friendly games this weekend.

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Red Alert: Space Fleet Warfare hits the shelves this month, launching with six (!) expansions.

I enjoy Richard Borg's Command & Colours rule system and actually only own one of his games in this vein (Memoir '44, although Battles of Westeros is sort of a spin-off of BattleLore, the fantasy version of the same rules), so I'll certainly pick this up. It'll be interesting to see how easy it is to substitute miniatures from other franchises into the game, to turn it into a Star Wars or Babylon 5 game or something.

 

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If anyone will be in the Baltimore area next week, and is interested, the annual "Unpub" convention will be in Hunt Valley.  You're going to have 50+ designers looking for playtests of their game - admission is free for anyone just wanting to come and play games.  More info can be found at www.unpub.net

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On 2/16/2019 at 6:06 AM, DaveSumm said:

https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos/review-game-of-thrones-mother-of-dragons/

They finally got round to reviewing A Game of Thrones, and mostly nailed it for my money. The vassal system completely fixes the player count issue, that’s the only omission worth mentioning I think. But as far as describing the great lumbering time-drainer that is this game it’s a great watch.

I'm not sure how many times you've played with the new expansion but in my opinion it has actually made the game worse. Significantly so.  Not the vasssal system but the Targaryens.Basically you don't want to play with more than 6 because if you do 1 person is stuck doing what the vassals have to be doing all game long *you have to have baratheon and arryn constantly fight the dragons, over and over and over.  And god help them if that one person is the Baratheons because whomever is playing targaryen can take Dragonstone turn 1 every single time without fail.  There is no way for a player to stop it without relying on the stupid tides of battle cards which, if you are playing with those why bother playing game of thrones at all?.  It's baffling that it got past the testing stage with the current setup if Baratheon isn't a vassal (and so not getting a bunch of extra shit to hold off the targaryens.).

Edited by Slurktan

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10 hours ago, Slurktan said:

I'm not sure how many times you've played with the new expansion but in my opinion it has actually made the game worse. Significantly so.  Not the vasssal system but the Targaryens.Basically you don't want to play with more than 6 because if you do 1 person is stuck doing what the vassals have to be doing all game long *you have to have baratheon and arryn constantly fight the dragons, over and over and over.  And god help them if that one person is the Baratheons because whomever is playing targaryen can take Dragonstone turn 1 every single time without fail.  There is no way for a player to stop it without relying on the stupid tides of battle cards which, if you are playing with those why bother playing game of thrones at all?.  It's baffling that it got past the testing stage with the current setup if Baratheon isn't a vassal (and so not getting a bunch of extra shit to hold off the targaryens.).

Yeah, this is what happens when you try to bolt a new expansion on a game that's almost 20 years old and you don't update the mechanics. In fact, IIRC 2nd Edition made the game worse as well by unbalancing the starting positions.

This is a game crying out for a much more thorough 3rd Edition which actually revamps and streamlines the rules.

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