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Werthead
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So...I had to wait until the new year to talk about it, because Rio Grande held the rights until the end of 2021, but Elf Creek Games is publishing a new edition of Santa's Workshop.  All new art, and updates to gameplay.  Here's the BGG page although not a lot of info on there quite yet - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/353942/santas-workshop

It will come out sometime towards the Christmas season this year, I don't have an exact street date yet.  No Kickstarter or anything - just right to retail.

Edited by HokieStone
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1 hour ago, HokieStone said:

So...I had to wait until the new year to talk about it, because Rio Grande held the rights until the end of 2021, but Elf Creek Games is publishing a new edition of Santa's Workshop.  All new art, and updates to gameplay.  Here's the BGG page although not a lot of info on there quite yet - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/353942/santas-workshop

It will come out sometime towards the Christmas season this year, I don't have an exact street date yet.  No Kickstarter or anything - just right to retail.

Nice one!

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4 minutes ago, RedEyedGhost said:

Wow, congrats Keith.  Elf Creek puts out some high quality productions.

Thanks!  Yeah, I'm excited about it.  Certainly an upgrade in art, and I feel confidant we've improved gameplay as well.  A few changes were hard to make (the first edition had a substitute-plastic mechanic that I really liked, and we eventually did away with), but all-in-all it works better, I think.  It's certainly going to be high quality, but this is meant to sell in more "regular" retail spaces, and they wanted to try and keep the price point reflective of that...so no super elaborate plastic minis or anything like that.  But everything will still be very high quality.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yesterday I got my reward for backing The One Ring (an RPG based on Tolkien's Middle-earth) on Kickstarter last year - the rulebook, the starter set and dice. Went through it a bit yesterday evening and it seems quite fun, though I'll obviously have to play it a bit before being able to say more.

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8 hours ago, baxus said:

Yesterday I got my reward for backing The One Ring (an RPG based on Tolkien's Middle-earth) on Kickstarter last year - the rulebook, the starter set and dice. Went through it a bit yesterday evening and it seems quite fun, though I'll obviously have to play it a bit before being able to say more.

Fria Ligan represents!

This post made me come across the artist Martin Grip that they've been using for years, and that led down a rabbit hole (in part because he changed his name, and seems to have gotten mixed up with a fine artist who had his same given name). Amazing atmosphere in his work.

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@Ran This is my first contact with Fria Ligan, but they made a pretty cool product. The more I read, the more I like it. Can't wait to gather some friends and try it out properly.

I've looked at some of their other stuff and it looks impressive, but my party is pretty entrenched in D&D, even switching to 5e took quite a bit of effort. LotR is an easy sell but I'm not so optimistic on some of those others.

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Free League do great work. Their Alien and Tales from the Loop RPGs are both amazing things of beauty, as is their Loop board game. I did get their latest version of the Mutant Chronicles RPG as an extra reward for backing the Loop board game and it's good stuff, though I'm unlikely to run it any time soon.

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I'll do my best to get up to speed with all the rules and run a campaign for my friends as soon as possible. At the moment, I'm aiming for the week after next. We have some national holiday and we get Tuesday and Wednesday off work so that's probably the best time for us to get together and at least start with character creation and all that.

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Major sale at the local board game cafe. Last time they did this it was super lame, and I ended up buying nothing. This time around it was on fire, with a ton of really good games, some of them at insane prices.

Even putting a major cost cap on myself, I still ended up with Clank!A Fistful of MeeplesThis War of MineStreets Escape Tales: The Awakening, a pre-painted BattleTech and Empires of the Void II (which I knew almost nothing about, but the price for an almost-new copy was absurd). I was happy with the very cheap price for Clank! and This War of Mine (a game I'm sceptical I'll get to the table very often, but at this price it becomes more justifiable). A Fistful of Meeples and Escape Tales will hopefully rectify my collection's tendency to be "heavy games that take ages to play," as a friend reflected. Even Empires of the Void is reportedly a fast-playing semi-Euro space game, so I'm hoping that will also get some table play once our regular gaming group sessions resume in the next couple of weeks (for the first time since COVID started).

I did spy Space Hulk 4th Edition unplayed which was a bit more expensive, but fortunately/unfortunately it was snatched before the sale could begin (by the owner of the building the cafe resides in, so fair enough). That was probably a good thing because my normal gaming group would probably not be into it, but it's so incredibly pretty that I wanted to get it for the collection.

Looking seriously at getting in on Beast, which has a great SU&SD preview. The one versus many type of game is underrated and I have a friend who loves playing those games (he always wants to play "the bastard," like the bio-terrorist in Pandemic: On the Brink) so that might be a good shout. Plus I've noted Swedish studios seem to be completely unmatched for their ability to get maximum and at times ludicrous production value from very low prices compared to other crowdfunders. Even the "all-in everything maximum" tier for this game is only about £60, which is pretty cheap for what you get in the game.

 

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Got in 3 games last night, all from designers I know, and had played - or at least seen - in prototype form.

One Card Wonder by Nat Levan, published by Ape Games.  In this game you have one of the ancient wonders (although there's like 15 in the box), which you build by collecting resources.  First to finish their wonder is the winner.  Resources are gathered by pulling 3 from a bag, but only keeping 2, putting 1 in a common pool.  Players can choose to take from the common pool instead of the bag.  The real key here is that you can build other buildings, which help with your engine...but if you spend too much time constructing those buildings and falling behind on your wonder...you probably won't win.  It's a nice light, fast-moving game that plays up to 6 players.

Three Sisters by Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback, published by Motor City Gameworks, in partnership with 25th Century Games.  This is the second of Matt and Ben's "Loaded Roll & Write" games - following Fleet: The Dice Game from Eagle Gryphon.  Similar to Fleet, they really lean into having players exploit combos through the game.  The theme is that you are building your backyard garden - the "Three Sisters" are corn, beans and pumpkins.  Corn provides a lattice for beans to grow on, and pumpkins provide ground cover.  Anyway, not only are you growing those plants, but you can also plant fruit trees, have an apiary, grow flowers, and make improvements in your shed.  It's certainly on the brain-burny side for a roll & write.  (And I've played the proto of their next roll & write - "Motor City"...and that really takes the combos up another notch).

Squaring Circleville by Matt Wolfe, published by Spielworxx.  This lets players recreate...well...the "squaring" of Circleville, Ohio, which was originally built with a circular street pattern, as it was constrained by a Hopewell Indian earthwork.  In the mid-1800's the citizens became annoyed enough by the circular street pattern (and wedge shaped plots of land), that they decided to change over to a more traditional grid pattern.  This is a heavier game, and I won't go into the complexities here, but it's sort-of area control, where players tear down the old buildings and streets in different areas of the city, then rebuild new buildings and streets (somewhat abstracted), and increase their abilities to take these actions, while also vying to claim different bonus actions and scoring bonuses.  We botched a rule or two, but I definitely want to try this one again.

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  • 2 months later...

Thought I'd resurrect this thread.  A few games I played recently:

Dead Reckoning by John D. Clair, published by AEG.  A "pirate" game, where you lay out island tiles upside down, and do a little 4X type thing (though, there's not really an "exterminate" part).  The two schticks this has going on is that it uses the "card crafting" sytem that Clair has used in previous games (first in Mystic Vale, I think), and the combat system which has players drop cubes down a ramp on a cardboard boat (a pain in the ass to build), and into a tray, which has a number of sections that detail what happens.  My son and I played 2 player, and while I thought there was some interesting things going on...I'm not sure 2 player is great player count.  I won by having more area control on various islands, and combat was infrequent.  You can go "pirate mode", but basically that means a player has to combat you if they want access to the island tile you are on...they can choose to bypass you altogether if they want. 

Skull Canyon Ski Fest from Pandasaurus Games.  Another 2 player with my son.  This is a relatively light game, and I only got it because my family is avid skiers.  Basically, you play sets of cards to go down ski runs (the harder the run, the more cards in your set you need), and between days, you can buy equipment.  Again, pretty light, but entertaining enough...need to try it at more players.

Pulsar 2849 from CGE.  This one has been out a few years now.  I really like it, but rarely get it to the table.  2 3-player games with my son and brother.  The first game was spent relearning the game.  Basically, move your spaceship around, explore planets, or build "pulsars", which will generate constant points, or build transmitter arrays, or go up on the tech track, or work on your own personal player board.  Basically, one of those games with 10 different paths to victory...you can't do it all, so try and find something that works.  The gimmick here is the dice rolling, where you roll them all, place them in holding spots, mark where the median die is, then it's dice drafting.  If you draft higher than the median, you end up going down on initiative and/or energy tracks...draft lower than the median, you go up.  Of course, higher dice are typically better for actions...so that's a choice you have to make.

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I always see this thread resurrected and intend to post, and then forget. 

Wife and I are looking fairly seriously at SHUX 22. We play 99% of games with just us 2 so I’m gradually building up a list as long as my arm of games that sound great, but don’t shine at less than 3/4/5 etc. We’ve always thought it sounded great, so why not.

Currently loving Ark Nova. Nothing hugely original in there, but it combines to make something that’s perpetually exciting to play. Really rate it.

And in local news, the top of town in Basingstoke, a place where 20 years ago I would genuinely be afraid for your safety if you tried playing a board game, has a board game shop AND a few doors down a board game cafe. It’s a bizarre turnaround for what used to be a heavy drinking culture, that that’s a profitable thing to be putting there. 

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Unfortunately due to cashflow issues I had to cancel both my Beast and War Room preorders and get refunds. War Room was extravagant and silly and I'd probably struggle to play it once a year, so no loss, but Beast was more annoying. Hopefully I can get a copy at a reasonable price after it comes out.

Our attempts to get the old regular gaming group back together have been constantly stymied by absences, but managed to get a few sessions in. The Fallout Shelter game has been a big hit, as a worker placement game that's very tight and focused (usually 1-2 hours to play, far below most other WP games in the rotation) whilst still being great fun to play.

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On 4/12/2022 at 8:05 AM, Werthead said:

Unfortunately due to cashflow issues I had to cancel both my Beast and War Room preorders and get refunds. War Room was extravagant and silly and I'd probably struggle to play it once a year, so no loss, but Beast was more annoying. Hopefully I can get a copy at a reasonable price after it comes out.

I had to look both of those up...Beast I was totally unfamiliar with, sounds like an intriguing idea for a co-op.  War Room is one from the Axis & Allies designer.  I saw it at Origins...2 or 3 years ago.  As I recall it's like A&A on steroids...with having to plan logistics and things like that.  I remember getting the overview, thinking it could be interesting, and then they were like "It's $250".  I was like...welp...good luck!

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7 hours ago, HokieStone said:

I had to look both of those up...Beast I was totally unfamiliar with, sounds like an intriguing idea for a co-op.  War Room is one from the Axis & Allies designer.  I saw it at Origins...2 or 3 years ago.  As I recall it's like A&A on steroids...with having to plan logistics and things like that.  I remember getting the overview, thinking it could be interesting, and then they were like "It's $250".  I was like...welp...good luck!

Yeah, I was a big fan of A&A when younger but it's flaws have become more obvious (although I still play it with my OG secondary school board game group when we regroup and are feeling nostalgic). War Room tried to adjust for that and it does look interesting, but very expensive. I did get a preorder in for very cheap (half that original price) but ultimately it was too much. I need to be downsizing my collection, not upsizing, and I have a bunch of recent games I haven't even got to the table yet.

Beast does look really interesting (1 v many games can be great fun if approached in the right way), but I with that one I suspect it will be more freely available after release.

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12 hours ago, HokieStone said:

with having to plan logistics and things like that.

Obviously not WWII focused, but if the logistics part interests you, Volko Rhunke's Levy & Campaign series might be something to look at.  I actually just picked up Nevsky: Teutons and Rus in Collision 1240-1242 but haven't gotten to play it yet.  They are working on several more installments, the next of which is Almoravid: Reconquista and Riposte in Spain, 1085-1086, and then Inferno: Guelphs and Ghibellines Vie for Tuscany, 1259-1261.

I think they have mentioned though that there are something like 20 more in development for the series (the next one might be Plantagenet: Cousins' War for England, 1459 - 1485).  But I think they are all set during the Medieval period.  I have heard though, that once you get used to the system, what ends up happening is actually few battles, since those are risky and a more chess-like (perhaps) game where you are trying to line up your supplies and force your opponent to make risky attacks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I made a post back on page 20 looking for recommendations, and I wanted to come back to that.  My play group is now down to just 4 dudes, and we have mostly been playing Magic (and sometimes ticket to ride or catan) but want to get into some sort of legacy game.  What we're looking for is:

 - something medium complicated (more than Catan is fine, but less than the original Game of Thrones games, which was a frustrating mess).

 - for 4 people that can be played with only 3 members present.  We're busy and getting all 4 of us on any given weekend is hard. 

 - Something legacy that builds each time we play and has some sci-fi or fantasy action stuff.

 

We've discussed purchasing Gloomhaven, but I'm worried that it is expensive, complicated and maybe not the best choice for us.  Something like Gloomhaven/D&D but simpler is kinda what I have in mind.  I'm willing to DM, but I've never done it before so it would be nice if it weren't too hard.

Thoughts?

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16 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I made a post back on page 20 looking for recommendations, and I wanted to come back to that.  My play group is now down to just 4 dudes, and we have mostly been playing Magic (and sometimes ticket to ride or catan) but want to get into some sort of legacy game.  What we're looking for is:

 - something medium complicated (more than Catan is fine, but less than the original Game of Thrones games, which was a frustrating mess).

 - for 4 people that can be played with only 3 members present.  We're busy and getting all 4 of us on any given weekend is hard. 

 - Something legacy that builds each time we play and has some sci-fi or fantasy action stuff.

We've discussed purchasing Gloomhaven, but I'm worried that it is expensive, complicated and maybe not the best choice for us.  Something like Gloomhaven/D&D but simpler is kinda what I have in mind.  I'm willing to DM, but I've never done it before so it would be nice if it weren't too hard.

Thoughts?

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is a starter version of Gloomhaven which is faster, far smaller (and cheaper!) and easier to learn. If you dig it, you can then try out Gloomehaven itself (and later on Frosthaven).

My City is a rapid-fire legacy game, where each game takes maybe 20 minutes and then you move onto the next one and do legacy stuff immediately. You can get through quite a few games in one night, with it changing rapidly.

Pandemic Legacy is about as complicated as Catan and because of the way the roles work, you can swap in characters more easily than in other legacy games. 

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Posted (edited)

You’re describing Jaws of the Lion pretty much exactly. Other than being smaller, it’s actually better than Gloomhaven in a lot of ways; using a book to play on as opposed to tiles makes so much sense and I wish they’d adopted it for Frosthaven.

Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is one of my favourite games ever, and while you can have people drop in and out, the story is really great so I’d be gutted to miss some sessions. If you can swing for it, PL for when you’ve got 4, Jaws for when you’ve got less? (I love Jaws and GH but the story is dull as dishwater).

Edit to add; if you’re into Magic possibly the Arkham Horror Card Game could be worth looking into, it’s really good BUT expensive. It’s a co-op where you each build a deck to take into scenarios and defeat monsters and stuff. Campaigns are 8 sessions long (3 in the first one which comes with the base). They’ve just switched release models so it’d actually be a good time, before you’d have to buy a deluxe expansion AND six booster packs for a full campaign, but now it’s just 2; one has all the chapters (if you’re into campaigns) and one has all the player cards (if you’re into deck building).

I found it a little tricky to get to grips with, but then I’ve never played an LCG so I think Magic would set you up pretty well.

Edited by DaveSumm
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