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Werthead
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2020 has been the first full year I’ve logged everything I’ve played on the BG stats app, and I’ve been keeping an eye on my H-index as the year closes (for those that don’t know, your H-index is the highest value for which the following is true: “I have played X number of games X number of times”, so if you play 5 games 5 times each, it’s 5).

I actually quite enjoyed steering my plays to get a higher number, it almost acts like a random button when you can’t decide, you can just say “what game do we need to play to get our H up?” Ended up with 10, although two of those are Gloomhaven games.

1. Crokinole 70

2. Railroad Ink 55

3. Decrypto 38

4. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion 23

5. Gloomhaven 22

6. 7 Wonders Duel 15

7. A Feast For Odin 11

8. The Search for Planet X 11

9. Great Western Trail 10

10. The Castles of Burgundy 10

Crokinole feels a bit weird being top, we got a board last Christmas and played a lot in January, but it’s really a game we bring out for when people are round which stopped happening pretty quick. We usually play 5 or more games in a session so that’s why the number is so high. Decrypto is there purely because did how well it works over video, and we started playing every week with my Dad. And Planet X will be waaaay higher next year, we got to 11 plays in a very short space of time.

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  • 3 months later...

My Company of Heroes Kickstarter showed up and it is preposterous.

NINETY-SIX TANKS.

Hoping to get it to the table this week to see how it plays. The rules seem very promising.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I did something this week that I used to read about people doing and think ‘well that was stupid, why did you do that?’ - I rebought a game that I’d previously sold. Star Wars: Rebellion didn’t get to the table back when I owned it the first time (in fact, I played it once with someone who insisted they’d learn as they played and it went very badly) but I saw it on FB for £90, unplayed AND including the expansion AND the folded space insert. Seemed like a good deal, and it looks great in the box now. Gonna finally play it for real this weekend.

I’m also eagerly awaiting my big box Railroad Ink that I backed last year, and I just backed The Transcontinental with a late pledge. After a big lull in purchases, I seem to have suddenly caught the ‘gotta own em all’ bug again.

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5 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

I did something this week that I used to read about people doing and think ‘well that was stupid, why did you do that?’ - I rebought a game that I’d previously sold. Star Wars: Rebellion didn’t get to the table back when I owned it the first time (in fact, I played it once with someone who insisted they’d learn as they played and it went very badly) but I saw it on FB for £90, unplayed AND including the expansion AND the folded space insert. Seemed like a good deal, and it looks great in the box now. Gonna finally play it for real this weekend.

I’m also eagerly awaiting my big box Railroad Ink that I backed last year, and I just backed The Transcontinental with a late pledge. After a big lull in purchases, I seem to have suddenly caught the ‘gotta own em all’ bug again.

Rebellion is superb. One of my favourite 1v1s for a medium-length game (I'd probably pick one of the Command & Colours games for a short 1v1). And yeah, there's enough oddities in the rules to trip you up to make it possibly unenjoyable as a first play, but once you overcome that it becomes great.

I also played War of the Ring, which Rebellion takes a lot of inspiration from, and that's also awesome.

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50 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Rebellion is superb. One of my favourite 1v1s for a medium-length game (I'd probably pick one of the Command & Colours games for a short 1v1). And yeah, there's enough oddities in the rules to trip you up to make it possibly unenjoyable as a first play, but once you overcome that it becomes great.

I’ve heard a lot about how much the expansion improves the combat, but I’ve opted to play just base game first. It seems like too much of a chore to learn one system and then learn a slightly different one, and at least I’ll pick up an impression of why they changed what they did.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Rebellion is superb. One of my favourite 1v1s for a medium-length game (I'd probably pick one of the Command & Colours games for a short 1v1). And yeah, there's enough oddities in the rules to trip you up to make it possibly unenjoyable as a first play, but once you overcome that it becomes great.

I also played War of the Ring, which Rebellion takes a lot of inspiration from, and that's also awesome.

Rebellion is really fun and great game, War of the Ring is superior to it in legitimately every possible way.  Subsequently I no longer play Rebellion, which kind of sucks but War of the Ring is that good.

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I actually just got Star Wars Rebellion at the beginning of this month, but have no had the time to learn/play it yet.  I also got A Feast for Odin and Gaia Project at the same time, but again, no time to play any of them.  I've been working on 3D printing some inserts for them and Scythe lately though.

Our go to game lately has been Obsession or, if we don't have as much time, Five Tribes.

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On 4/29/2021 at 9:59 AM, .H. said:

I also got A Feast for Odin and Gaia Project

Those are two of my top ten or twenty games.  Both also have excellent solo modes, if that's your thing.

On 4/29/2021 at 9:59 AM, .H. said:

Our go to game lately has been Obsession

That's one looks great, and I want to get it to the table very soon after my groups start meeting in person again. 

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On 4/30/2021 at 10:36 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

Those are two of my top ten or twenty games.  Both also have excellent solo modes, if that's your thing.

Free time is always a challenge, but I might try it at some point.  Mostly things are two player, with my wife and I.  We actually got a game of A Feast For Odin last night.  I'm terrible at reading rule books, so I made some mistakes right off the bat, so we did one turn then went back and redid that first turn after watching a "how to play video."  We both really liked the game, looking forward to trying it again.  Not sure how, but I won, making a couple Longships and pillaging/plundering my way to more points somehow.

On 4/30/2021 at 10:36 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

That's one looks great, and I want to get it to the table very soon after my groups start meeting in person again.

I had done some research on BGG about it, it seemed good and my wife seeming to be interested so I got it.  I have to admit, it's even better than it seemed in the reading/watching.  We did get the Upstairs, Downstairs expansion, which does add some neat stuff but is by no means essential (if you are on a budget).  But it is nice to have, as it does open the game up some.

For anyone who might be interested in buying it right now, it is being reprinted so there should be plenty of copies available on or around August, I'd definitely recommend checking it out then.  I'll be picking up the smaller expansions I didn't get already, along with a small box the designer is putting together at a discount rate with some minor error corrections to some cards/tiles from the older printings of the game at that time.

If you do play it, I'd recommend the shorter number of rounds when you first start, just to get the feel for it.  But (and this won't make sense until you get into the box) I'd recommend the Charles Dickens variant of a constantly refreshing builders market and the Jane Austin variant of a closed courtship.  Dickens is probably more "necessary" for us at 2-player, but Austin makes the Courtship a little more interesting (but also a bit more luck based) since you won't know it's theme until it happens.

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Damn, Richard Halliwell has passed away. He was the co-creator of not only Warhammer but also Dark Future and the monstrously unforgiving Space Hulk, the board game you make your friends play to break their souls.

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6 hours ago, .H. said:

We actually got a game of A Feast For Odin last night.  I'm terrible at reading rule books, so I made some mistakes right off the bat, so we did one turn then went back and redid that first turn after watching a "how to play video."

I hate that rule book, and most Uwe Rosenberg ones actually. I can’t put my finger on why but they’re so unintuitive for me. What helped me was finding a player aid online that’s literally just the action spaces but written in English instead of symbols. Not sure why they didn’t just include that, the rules speak in generalities about which section you’re in and it comes across as weirdly vague. 

The Norwegians expansion is really good, tidies things up a bit, adds some more tiles (cos the bae game is really short on those...) and adds a column of actions that you can only use with your final Viking of a turn.

I played my first Rebellion game, really fun but not much in the way of strategy from either of us as we got to grips with it. I (empire) basically spread out thinly across the Galaxy and hit the probe deck as often as possible, got lucky with a card that forced the Rebels to reveal three systems of which the base was one, forced a base move and got lucky again and blew it up with a Death Star. Gotta hand it to the game, there’s nothing quite like obliterating a whole planet to get you over the finish line.

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1 hour ago, DaveSumm said:

I hate that rule book, and most Uwe Rosenberg ones actually. I can’t put my finger on why but they’re so unintuitive for me. What helped me was finding a player aid online that’s literally just the action spaces but written in English instead of symbols. Not sure why they didn’t just include that, the rules speak in generalities about which section you’re in and it comes across as weirdly vague. 

The Norwegians expansion is really good, tidies things up a bit, adds some more tiles (cos the bae game is really short on those...) and adds a column of actions that you can only use with your final Viking of a turn.

Yeah, I guess we can chalk this one up to sub-par rule book plus my sub-par rule reading ability.  But the rule book did seem oddly vague and casual to me.  But even the Obsession rule book that is pretty decent, I just flat out missed things.  Or the fairly simple Rise of Tribes rulebook where I horribly misread and jammed two unrelated sentences together in my mind, making the game super unbalanced by turn order, haha.  So I am generally inclined to blame myself for rules understandings.  Also very much a reason why Sidereal Confluence has been opened but not played, because I can't quite pin down the rules well enough to teach it for sure (and I don't have 4 players ready for the dive at the moment anyway) even to just try a test game, although that would be a lot of bookkeeping to try to 4-player solo it.

But I do have the Norwegian expansion on my wishlist already, seems it is between prints at the moment.  Also there is another expansion coming soon too, The Danes, due out late Q3 or Q4 apparently.  I'll be looking for both, no doubt.

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20 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

I played my first Rebellion game, really fun but not much in the way of strategy from either of us as we got to grips with it. I (empire) basically spread out thinly across the Galaxy and hit the probe deck as often as possible, got lucky with a card that forced the Rebels to reveal three systems of which the base was one, forced a base move and got lucky again and blew it up with a Death Star. Gotta hand it to the game, there’s nothing quite like obliterating a whole planet to get you over the finish line.

I did one game with a friend where he (as the Empire) became convinced I was in System A, but I was in System B next door. When the Death Star moved adjacent to System A, I launched a last-ditch attack to draw off his fleet and then hit the undefended Death Star with every fighter I had for a lucky trench run. The Death Star blew up, carrying me over the victory line.

Epic.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So I'm hoping someone can help me with a recommendation.  We have a game group that is between 4 and 6 people each night, although different combinations of people each night.  We'd like to play something that you can play and finish one game in 2-3 hours, and then potentially continue on next week.  But that continued growth is challenging because next week there will probably be different people/different numbers. 

Ideally, looking for something that is medium complicated.  Can be a little more complicated than Catan, but hopefully not dramatically so.  Not looking for something where the first game we're all just confused and rereading the rules for 3 hours. 

Is D&D the answer?  I haven't done that since college and have no experience as a game master, but I'd be willing to give it a shot. 

We've discussed buying gloomhaven, we've all heard good things, but I'm worried it doesn't have the flexibility to accommodate the nights when there are six of us. 

At the moment, we usually just end up playing Magic: the Gathering because we all know the rules and have the cards, but to be honest Magic is feeling a little stale. 

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The first thing that came of mind would be Eclipse: Second Dawn of the Galaxy, since it can play from 2-6 players.  I don't think it is super complicated, but it definitely has more rules than Catan, so it likely fails your simplicity requirement to some degree.

You could also try Space Base, but I think you need some expansions to bring it up to 6-7 players.  But it is a card game, so I'm sure some of the MTG "knowledge" would likely help there.

EDIT: And here I rec'd two Sci-Fi games despite you obviously liking Fantasy.  Maybe Clank!, which, I think, with the Adventuring Party expansion supports 5-6 players.

Edited by .H.
Wrong game name...
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5 hours ago, Maithanet said:

So I'm hoping someone can help me with a recommendation.  We have a game group that is between 4 and 6 people each night, although different combinations of people each night.  We'd like to play something that you can play and finish one game in 2-3 hours, and then potentially continue on next week.  But that continued growth is challenging because next week there will probably be different people/different numbers. 

Ideally, looking for something that is medium complicated.  Can be a little more complicated than Catan, but hopefully not dramatically so.  Not looking for something where the first game we're all just confused and rereading the rules for 3 hours. 

Is D&D the answer?  I haven't done that since college and have no experience as a game master, but I'd be willing to give it a shot. 

We've discussed buying gloomhaven, we've all heard good things, but I'm worried it doesn't have the flexibility to accommodate the nights when there are six of us. 

At the moment, we usually just end up playing Magic: the Gathering because we all know the rules and have the cards, but to be honest Magic is feeling a little stale. 

D&D is good but ideally you'd want the exact same group playing every week, at least to start with. Once you're more experienced, creating a campaign where different characters can slot in and out becomes more practical and you can start doing cool stuff (like if 1 or 2 people are absent one week, do a side-session with just them which is happening simultaneously with the main branch of the story; like the breaking of the Fellowship or something), but if you've never DMed you don't want to start off with that.

Maybe a legacy game, so Pandemic Legacy (Season 0, which is actually based around Cold War intrigue, is a better place to start if you don't want to actually deal with the virus idea if it's a bit too close to home at the moment) could work, although again ideally you'd have the exact same group each week. Also, Pandemic Legacy (all three versions, I believe) and Gloomhaven are 4-player games, so you can't adapt to 6 anyway.

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Just to clarify - you are looking for a game that keeps going narratively session-to-session? Or just looking for games that can be played at all, to mix it up from MTG?

I am not super experienced with D&D. There are a lot of rules to setting up characters, though, and the DM needs to prepare quite a bit (even if using a stock campaign). That said... you could have characters just sort of "get sick and need a rest day" from session to session. We had a guy miss a session so the DM assigned his character a case of explosive diarrhea. It made for some interesting interactions.

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Something worth noting is that although D&D is kind of taken as the default starter RPG, it's actually one of the most complicated RPGs around (certainly in terms of modern games) and there's a bunch of others that are easier to learn. They recently re-released the original West End Games version of Star Wars, which is a very solid system (the actual current Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight is okay but a monstrous cash-grab requiring three very expensive rulebooks rather than one and custom dice, which is a massive no-no in TTRPGs, whilst the West End version just needs d6s) and quite easy to pick up. Of course, not much good if you have people in the group who dislike Star Wars.

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Very good point. Citing the Critical Role folks, they done some fun one-shots using systems that have just a couple stats and need only d6s for, essentially, succeed/fail. It could be that those pros made it look way easier than it was, but hard to know.

I know a friend of mine plays a stripped-down system that still uses most of D&D's world... I don't know all of the specifics but I know it was very quick for him to pick up and that they fought owlbears.

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7 hours ago, Lightning Lord said:

Very good point. Citing the Critical Role folks, they done some fun one-shots using systems that have just a couple stats and need only d6s for, essentially, succeed/fail. It could be that those pros made it look way easier than it was, but hard to know.

I know a friend of mine plays a stripped-down system that still uses most of D&D's world... I don't know all of the specifics but I know it was very quick for him to pick up and that they fought owlbears.

Savage Worlds is another very good system with a whole bunch of settings (including their own version of Pathfinder, or off-brand D&D, for epic fantasy), including the outstanding Deadlands. It might have been that (that has a Critical Role campaign as well, I believe).

D&D's key weakness and a reason for its reasonable mechanical complexity is being level-based, which almost no other RPGs are any more (apart from other legacy games from 20+ years ago). Most other and certainly most modern RPGs are skill-based, which allows for much more nuanced (and less grognard power-gamery) gaming. Probably best-discussed in the TT RPG thread though.

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