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Werthead

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Played On Mars for the first time on Sunday.  I think it's probably my second favorite of Lacerda's games.  Delightfully heavy and wonderfully thematic.  Can't wait to play it again.  

Played Food Chain Magnate with the new milestones, reserve cards, and Fry Chefs a week and a half ago.  Wow did that change the game significantly.  I was a broken man after that game, looking forward to a second attempt.  

And I've been playing more 18XX.  Have now played 1846, 1889, 1830, and 18CZ.  I think CZ is my favorite with 30 in second place.  Playing 30 on Sunday, and will be playing 1862 next Sunday - that one looks crazy.

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I've been playing A War of Whispers and it is Good(tm). I'd describe it as middleweight -- it plays in an hour or so, far shorter than, say, Terraforming Mars, but much longer than, say, Jaipur. The premise is that there are a bunch of nations at war, and you are... none of them. You are a secret society trying to rig the outcomes of those wars in a way that benefits you. So you plant agents in the ruling councils of those nations so that they'll do what you want, but the outcomes affect you only secondarily -- for example, causing House Eagle to suffer a military catastrophe might be terrible for House Eagle, but it could be great for you if you don't like them.

This is a good step up for people who want to try a middleweight strategy game -- people who have already played and liked some of the simpler hobbyist board games and want to take the next step, but don't want to jump into 3+ hour monstrosities.

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So after a long time of eying the game I went out of my way and bought Pandemic, despite the disadvantage of not knowing any people to play it with. So I played it with my mother and am just stumped afterwards just how horribly we got thrashed and then find out in the internet that a 2-player game and having a researcher and a scientist is pretty much the easiest mode possible. I thought we had a pretty impressive constellation where I built two research centers and gave her my cards to develop three cures in short succession. But we were in a strange position quite possibly caused by the decks not mixed up well enough that the initial outbreaks were nearly entirely blue and having a chain of four outbreaks at turn 3 in Europe just after we just discovered the blue cure still in the US. While we were rushing to contain Europe we drew all the desease spreading cards, apparently we were going through our turns far too quickly, and the infaction cards drawn from the bottom were all red and caused another chain of outbreaks in Asia one turn after I arrived there to spread the cure. So that's where we were, with three cures discovered, the yellow desease never even appearing in the game and us still completely unable to contain anything.

Edited by Toth

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Pandemic is a system mastery game. Once you know how the system works and how likely the infection cards are to come up, it becomes more straightforward to deal with. That's why they had to keep changing the game to make it more interesting (via the On the Brink expansion, then later expansions and then Pandemic Legacy) because players kept getting on top of the game. You can alter the difficulty level by adding or removing outbreak cards from the deck though.

I recently took leave of my senses and bought Gloomhaven because it was going really cheap (relatively). Looking forwards to giving it a whirl, but damn it's huge. I've never bought a game which is such a big box full of stuff.

Played Wasteland Express recently and was a bit dubious about it - it took ages to set up and it's one of these games with a token for every occasion - but to my surprise it ended up being a pretty good game. Mad Max meets the Firefly board game meets the Fallout board game, but certainly far superior to the latter.

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10 hours ago, Toth said:

So after a long time of eying the game I went out of my way and bought Pandemic, despite the disadvantage of not knowing any people to play it with. So I played it with my mother and am just stumped afterwards just how horribly we got thrashed and then find out in the internet that a 2-player game and having a researcher and a scientist is pretty much the easiest mode possible. I thought we had a pretty impressive constellation where I built two research centers and gave her my cards to develop three cures in short succession. But we were in a strange position quite possibly caused by the decks not mixed up well enough that the initial outbreaks were nearly entirely blue and having a chain of four outbreaks at turn 3 in Europe just after we just discovered the blue cure still in the US. While we were rushing to contain Europe we drew all the desease spreading cards, apparently we were going through our turns far too quickly, and the infaction cards drawn from the bottom were all red and caused another chain of outbreaks in Asia one turn after I arrived there to spread the cure. So that's where we were, with three cures discovered, the yellow desease never even appearing in the game and us still completely unable to contain anything.

What Wert said, but even then sometimes things just don't break your way.  I play with a group of friends and the crisis management aspect is great!  Of course, this is what we do for a living. 

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16 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Finally found a copy of Wingspan for a non obscene price.

I played that a couple of weeks ago (with @Werthead and others). It seems like a fun and well thought-out game. It was also something that made good use of its theme and that there are a lot of different types of birds that could be used as cards.

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Played Root for the first time yesterday.  All four players hadnt played before.  It might be a really good game once everyone learns it but both games were pretty much won by accident...

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1 hour ago, williamjm said:

I played that a couple of weeks ago (with @Werthead and others). It seems like a fun and well thought-out game. It was also something that made good use of its theme and that there are a lot of different types of birds that could be used as cards.

It's been a pain to get. When it's in stock I never have the money and it sells out quick, and amazon has it only for jacked up scalper/amazon bot prices. Walked into B&N, say a copy, grabbed it.

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Wingspan is definitely a £30 game, not the £60 that seems to be its default UK price. The components are nice but not that nice. I mean, you can get Gloomhaven in the UK at the moment for £70-£80 (down from £140 at launch!) which has very conservatively ten times as many components.

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Boardgame prices (in the US at least) have skyrocketed in the last few years. It's been a while since I've bought something retail and thought wow I got what I paid for. :/

Edit: That being said Wingspan is far from being that big of a rip off price wise. Terra-forming Mars, which I LOVE, is still way to expesnive for what it comes with.

Edited by Darth Richard II

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£45 in the UK, but that's not counting some kind of player holder tray for the cubes, which is pretty much mandatory. Yeah, that's a bit steep considering the game has almost no custom art and is just really the board, a couple of sheets of paper and the cubes, which clearly aren't that expensive (Pandemic has more cubes and is significantly cheaper).

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On 2/9/2020 at 4:16 PM, mcbigski said:

Played Root for the first time yesterday.  All four players hadnt played before.  It might be a really good game once everyone learns it but both games were pretty much won by accident...

I played this last Sunday for the first time and absolutely loved it.  I had backed it when it was first on kickstarter, and left it unplayed since.  The main reason I didn't get it played was that between backing it and receiving it I played Vast and absolutely hated it.  So this from the same company and with "similar asymmetrical" design I was quite put off, and definitely didn't want to have to teach it without playing it first.  One of my buddies absolutely loves it, played it a ton when it was first released, but I couldn't ever get to the table with him for it.  He just got the new expansion and was excited to get it back to the table, and myself and another of our friends wanted to try it.  Ended up just playing the four base factions as the fourth player had only played it once.  I played the Vagabond (Tinker) and already want to play all the other factions and other iterations of the Vagabond (especially the cats as my friend who's played it more than a dozen times didn't recall ever seeing them win).  Was hoping to play it with my Friday night group last week, but a blizzard curtailed that.  

 

1862 might be my favorite 18XX game.  The tight map coupled with the train permits' highly variable set up and different ways to open companies has me jonesing to play it more - so much so that I've played the solo version twice.   The solo version isn't as good as the multiplayer, but it's really damn good.  

 

In other news, On Mars is amazing.  Might be my favorite Lacerada game (just ahead of Vinhos).  I do think Lisboa is a bit heavier of a game than On Mars, although that's not the way they're rated on BGG.  Maybe On Mars was just easier for me to grock...

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Is On Mars available in the states yet? I see it pop up for 100 dollars + but I'm not sure what the actual retail is.

That said the retail for Terraforming Mars in the states is 70 dollars, which is some bullshit.

 

Edit: Derp derp, I used teh google!

Retail for On Mars is 119.99 but damn it looks good.

Edited by Darth Richard II

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On 2/10/2020 at 7:33 AM, Werthead said:

£45 in the UK, but that's not counting some kind of player holder tray for the cubes, which is pretty much mandatory. Yeah, that's a bit steep considering the game has almost no custom art and is just really the board, a couple of sheets of paper and the cubes, which clearly aren't that expensive (Pandemic has more cubes and is significantly cheaper).

Wait...are you still talking about Wingspan here?  Every single bird illustration is custom art.  And the quality of all the components is phenomenal, down to the linen texture on the rulebook.

Not going to to quote all the previous comments in here, so I'll just sort of comment on a few of the things I read upstream.  I'm tickled to see some games by people I know being mentioned.  War of Whispers is by designer Jeremy Stoltzfus, who I met several years ago when he was playtesting his first game, "Villainous Vikings".  I had a chance to play A War of Whispers recently, and quite enjoyed it.  I know that he drew some inspiration from Game of Thrones/ASoIAF in terms of the "powers behind the throne" theme.  I look forward to digging into it some more.  I also see Wasteland Delivery Express mentioned, and Matt and Ben are good friends - this came out to some decent fanfare 2 years or so ago, but seems to have fallen off the radar (which happens far to often to far too many games these days).  I know they were working on an expansion for a while, but I don't know the current status of that.  I finally got a chance to play it at PAX Unplugged in December, and I will admit that I came away frustrated at the fact that I could spend a few turns traveling to a location, only to find that the goods it was dealing in changed right before I got there.  But...we also started it late at night, and a player dropped out halfway through, so it wasn't the best experience in which to judge a game.

Games that I've been playing recently:

Everdell - Just learned this one tonight.  I enjoyed it a lot, though by the end of the game, there can be so many combos you have chaining off of each other, that AP can be a real issue.  I lost by 2 points...but cost myself 3 points by not reading a card fully.

Irish Gauge - A fairly straightforward train/stock game - a very basic version of 18xx games, as I understand it.  I've not played any 18xx games, but I would call it a bit simplified version of Chicago Express.  I bought it on a whim at PAX, as I have a friend who really enjoys these types of games.  I can't say I love it, but I tend to be bad at stock manipulation type games.

Maracaibo - I got a demo at PAX and promptly bought it.  But I haven't played a full game yet.  Alexander Pfister, same designer as Great Western Trail - and I can see some similarities.  I need to do a thorough reading of the rules and get it the table.  There are a lot of extra bits and pieces for playing a campaign game (not a "Legacy" game, you don't destroy or permanently alter game pieces) - but this will be hard enough to get to the table as a base game, so I'm not sure I'll ever get to the campaign.

Hansa Teutonica - always a favorite, and I see that they're coming out with a "big box" version this year, with all the expansions included.

Taverns of Tiefenthall - I have never been a deck builder fan, but I did enjoy this one. Played the base game, and I understand it's better if you add some of the optional modules. 

I won't go on too much more about games played in this post...I'll try to keep up with the thread in a more timely manner. 

Some of you may recall that I have one published game, and have been working on a few others.  2020 is not off to a great start on that front, unfortunately.  I had a rough prototype at the annual "Unpub" convention back in March of 2019, and a representative of a publisher was very intrigued by it.  He took it back to the owner, and they asked for exclusive rights - with one request.  I had designed it as a 3 player asymmetric game - like Vast, or Root, where all roles play differently.  They requested that I add a 4th player, as that would be more easily marketable.  I worked on it for the rest of the year, but I could never get the 4th player to really jive with the rest of the game.  I showed it to them again at PAX in December, and they initially said they would get more involved, but later I got the call that they decided it would be a little more effort than they were prepared for, with all the other projects they had on hand.  And I totally understood that - and in a nice show of class, they did pay me a little bit for the work I did at their request.

Secondly, a game that a friend of mine and I have had with a publisher for about 18 months seems to be going off the rails.  It's a first time publisher, although someone who had been in the industry in some capacity, and when we originally talked to him, it sure seemed like he had a solid plan.  Unfortunately, he has been beset by a number of personal issues.  And now he does not respond to any of our attempts to reach him.  So, we're in the process of trying to get that situation resolved.

Edited by HokieStone
fixing some grammar

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I have yet to really dive into my Wingspan contents but the texture on the manual sure is nice. And I think its 60 in europe?

I think the 45 was in reference to Terraforming Mars

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3 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I have yet to really dive into my Wingspan contents but the texture on the manual sure is nice. And I think its 60 in europe?

I think the 45 was in reference to Terraforming Mars

Ah...yeah, that would make more sense.  Stronghold has a made a mint off that game...not sure why they can make an edition with custom art.  The picture of the cow always makes me shake my head.  Now...I went in on the Kickstarter for the latest expansion, "Turmoil", and it came with new player boards that had inset areas for all the cubes, which is very nice.

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2 hours ago, HokieStone said:

Ah...yeah, that would make more sense.  Stronghold has a made a mint off that game...not sure why they can make an edition with custom art.  The picture of the cow always makes me shake my head.  Now...I went in on the Kickstarter for the latest expansion, "Turmoil", and it came with new player boards that had inset areas for all the cubes, which is very nice.

I think there’s too many expansions now to bother with a second edition. You’d be upsetting fans who wouldn’t have matching components, and it’s been out long enough now that most people who want to own it probably do.

I really hope they do what A Game Of Thrones second edition did, take the cream of the expansions and update all the art in one package. Then I’d be tempted to pick it up.

After 89 plays, we finished Gloomhaven. Just started Forgotten Circles. It’s kinda nice to be back on track on a campaign (Gloomhaven core can kinda trail off if you’re not sure where you are) but I’m struggling a little with the class the you have to play with this expansion. Full support character, which is always tough in 2 player.

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2 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

I think there’s too many expansions now to bother with a second edition. You’d be upsetting fans who wouldn’t have matching components, and it’s been out long enough now that most people who want to own it probably do.

I really hope they do what A Game Of Thrones second edition did, take the cream of the expansions and update all the art in one package. Then I’d be tempted to pick it up.

After 89 plays, we finished Gloomhaven. Just started Forgotten Circles. It’s kinda nice to be back on track on a campaign (Gloomhaven core can kinda trail off if you’re not sure where you are) but I’m struggling a little with the class the you have to play with this expansion. Full support character, which is always tough in 2 player.

Don't you run 2 characters each in 2 player or is there some modifier to reduce difficulty if you're just running 2 characters?

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Don't you run 2 characters each in 2 player or is there some modifier to reduce difficulty if you're just running 2 characters?

That’s an option, but I think the official version is is just running one character each (not sure if you’ve started yet but running two each would seriously hurt my head). Each scenario has three different enemy placements depending on player count to scale them (the hexes around each enemy are colour coded for player count in the scenario book).

The problem with two player is that you might get some combos that don’t work as well. The game never fully breaks of course, and there are those that see it as a way of increasing difficulty, to intentionally pick mismatched pairs. My girlfriend and I started with Scoundrel and Spellweaver, and then discovered this is arguably the worst combo (Scoundrel picks up XP and +X attack when allies are adjacent, meanwhile Spellweaver doesn’t want or need to be adjacent to enemies). I switched to Cragheart which is a great, fun, all rounder.

There’s more than a few characters that are ‘support’, in that they shine when they’re aiding allies rather than fighting. Stuff like ‘Bless All Allies’ or ‘Heal All Allies’ becomes inherently weaker the fewer allies you have.

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