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Author Topic: The Boardgame Thread  (Read 171969 times)
BobtheSomething
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Reply #2380 on: May 03, 2017, 12:57:42 AM

A friend of mine just introduced me to Frostgrave.  It's fun and fast paced and seemed cheap since I could use my existing miniatures, but it needs a lot of terrain.  A lot of terrain, such as multilevel buildings.  What is a good source for cheap, easily stored or transported terrain?  I'm more interested in card stock or snap together plastic than full GW towers and castles.  What do you recommend?
Stewie
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Reply #2381 on: May 04, 2017, 04:09:24 PM

I see that Shut up and Sit Down is doing a board game convention, and its in my city.  (woot?!)

$150 usd for the weekend though. Thinking about attending. maybe get to see a bunch of games I don't normally play.

https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/shux2017/

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Sky
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Reply #2382 on: May 04, 2017, 07:39:28 PM

A friend of mine just introduced me to Frostgrave.  It's fun and fast paced and seemed cheap since I could use my existing miniatures, but it needs a lot of terrain.  A lot of terrain, such as multilevel buildings.  What is a good source for cheap, easily stored or transported terrain?  I'm more interested in card stock or snap together plastic than full GW towers and castles.  What do you recommend?
Mantic's stuff?

BobtheSomething
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Reply #2383 on: May 05, 2017, 01:49:35 AM

A friend of mine just introduced me to Frostgrave.  It's fun and fast paced and seemed cheap since I could use my existing miniatures, but it needs a lot of terrain.  A lot of terrain, such as multilevel buildings.  What is a good source for cheap, easily stored or transported terrain?  I'm more interested in card stock or snap together plastic than full GW towers and castles.  What do you recommend?
Mantic's stuff?

Do they have any fantasy buildings?  I've got some of their sci fi buildings and some of their fantasy terrain accessories, and I'd get a tower or tavern from them.
Sky
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Reply #2384 on: May 05, 2017, 11:22:50 AM

No idea. Best to join a Frostgrave group on FB, game is pretty huge amongst mini fans because of the proxy-friendliness.

Soln
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Reply #2385 on: May 05, 2017, 01:17:37 PM

I see that Shut up and Sit Down is doing a board game convention, and its in my city.  (woot?!)

$150 usd for the weekend though. Thinking about attending. maybe get to see a bunch of games I don't normally play.

https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/shux2017/

Not to dump on you, but I stopped watching SUSD  during gamergate.  Everyone has a Con now, but these guys always seemed to have the lightest gamer cred.  Nothing wrong with trying to make a business, but I didn't like their delivery and they just feel sleazy.  Like, every game session requires getting drunk or some issue outrage to back up why they are authorities.
Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #2386 on: May 05, 2017, 01:33:13 PM

Update email from Phil Eklund today.
Quote
Hello from sunny Arizona, where I am spending some time with my grandchildren.

The new Sierra Madre games for 2017 are John Company (by Cole Wehrle, author of Pax Pamir), Bios:Genesis 2, Bios:Megafauna 2.

BACK OUR KICKSTARTER. The Bios:Genesis 2 is part of a kickstarter campaign that still has a few days to run.  This includes options to bundle with Pax Renaissance or the soon-to-be published Bios:Megafauna 2.  Also, if you already own the 1st edition Bios:Genesis, an economical upgrade kit can be ordered.

GRAND VISION. The 2 Bios games are the first 2 games of the Bios Trilogy. (The last is Bios:Origins 2, not yet published). There will also be someday a game link to a 4th edition of High Frontier and Interstellar (not yet published), so that a grand campaign starting with Bios:Genesis 2 and culminating with Interstellar seedships will be possible.  At least, that is the grand vision.

PREORDERS. All games to be published by October 2017, in time for the 2017 Essen Spiel Messe.  I will be taking preorders starting on June 1, and ending Sept 30.  The earliest to back the kickstarter and the first to preorder will get priority when I receive shipments.

FUTURE GAMES?  I have been playtesting my son Matt's new Pax concept, Pax Transhumanity.  Its a rather refreshingly utopic view of the future of human society and prosperity. Although I have some creative differences with Matt, I have decided to make Pax Transhumanity a priority for October 2018 release.

Other possible 2018 games are Bios:Origins 2, and a 4-player Greenland with eskimo meeples.  More speculative is a game on the sudden downfall of slavery as a worldwide phenomenon: Pax Emancipation.

Phil
Stewie
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Reply #2387 on: May 05, 2017, 03:02:06 PM

Quote
Not to dump on you, but I stopped watching SUSD  during gamergate.  Everyone has a Con now, but these guys always seemed to have the lightest gamer cred.  Nothing wrong with trying to make a business, but I didn't like their delivery and they just feel sleazy.  Like, every game session requires getting drunk or some issue outrage to back up why they are authorities.

No worries, not felt dumped upon at all :)

I always felt their reviews were fairly entertaining and often cheesy. (never got a sleazy vibe) I also got the impression that they were directed at a more casual crowd as opposed to competitive people like myself. Especially their more recent reviews, they really seem to focus on games more as facilitating just hanging out with friends as opposed to game mechanics being great. For example they really seemed to love the Junkart game. Looks like a mildly fun game, but nothing I would go out of my way to play.

I always just appreciated the opportunity to get exposed to some games I may not have heard of and if it looked decent I would look into it further. Now I can do that in person and not have to travel or get a hotel :P



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lamaros
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Reply #2388 on: May 05, 2017, 06:22:43 PM

Unfortunately their reviews aren't as funny anymore, and they recently review a lot of MOR nothing games that I double they ever play again despite them being ok.

Expect poison from the standing water.
jgsugden
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Reply #2389 on: May 09, 2017, 11:31:35 AM

Final Seafall Assessment:

We know everything.  We just need to do the final thing, so I feel it is a good time to give my final assessment of the game.  This assessment is based upon playing through the campaign and doing some research into the history of the game. 

I think this is a game without a good target audience.  It has complex rules and requires devotion to play it through for 20 to 60 hours of gameplay, but the design is not up to snuff to keep a group of experienced gamers happy for the entire game - the cracks in the design will be evident and frustrating for at least some, if not all, in a an experienced gaming group.  As such, neither novices or experienced players will find this to be the right game for them.

Problems:

* There are a number of catch-up mechanics in the game.  However, there is a competing runaway leader element.  If people make the right runaway leader decisions, they can get a hefty advantage that will allow them to run away with games and will make the catchup mechanic insufficient to be competitive. 
* There are secret elements in the game that discourage sharing of information, but some of these elements require understanding of rules that are not well spelled out anywhere.  As a result, people may make massive mistakes in how they play the game and may fail to take rewards - including important ones - that they have earned.
* There can be games in which people make massive investments in their future - and those investments can be denied to them because someone ends a game earlier than expected due mostly to luck.  That can be fun to some people, but I watched a friend totally lose it when they were cut off from what they were trying to achieve by a twist of fate and it cost them almost an entire game's worth of points - which all add up to determine the final winner.
* The 'Legacy Twists' are brutal.  In Pandemic Legacy, it feels like the legacy twists move a story along. Here, they take something that you invested heavily to create and turn that investment into a cost.
* The math doesn't add up well.  In a game like this, there is math under the mechanics of the game.  Here, they rely upon you making certain types of decisions to make the math work late in the game - and that isn't necessarily going to happen.   As such, you can end up with certain things in the game being things that only one player can really achieve - and that hurts.
* There are also a few combos in the game that give someone ridiculous power.  Some of that ridiculous power manifests in long term advantages that carry over from game to game and can't realistically be stopped. 
* The storyline is fun, but it moves along randomly and without enough major moments to make it feel like a continuous story.  They needed 'cut scenes' between games that added periodic changes to the game that move the story forward in ways independent of the elements that move forward due to unlocked achievements.

All that being said, I had fun playing the game.  Just not as much fun as I would have had playing other games (overall).  There were high points that were great, and low points that were grating, but in general it was still fun.

Comments from the designers indicate that they understand the failings of the game.  They also indicate that they left a lot of the game on the cutting room floor in an effort to get something manageable into the hands of players before funding became an issue.  I fully expect them to try this again, likely with a different (space?) theme.  When they do, I think they'll address the elements that did not work and *that* game will be a major hit.  However, I won't expect that anytime soon.  Maybe 2020.  With the other Legacy Style games out there coming out soon, I'd rather put my Legacy time into another game.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Ghambit
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Reply #2390 on: May 09, 2017, 01:04:34 PM

Update email from Phil Eklund today.
Quote
Hello from sunny Arizona, where I am spending some time with my grandchildren.

The new Sierra Madre games for 2017 are John Company (by Cole Wehrle, author of Pax Pamir), Bios:Genesis 2, Bios:Megafauna 2.

BACK OUR KICKSTARTER. The Bios:Genesis 2 is part of a kickstarter campaign that still has a few days to run.  This includes options to bundle with Pax Renaissance or the soon-to-be published Bios:Megafauna 2.  Also, if you already own the 1st edition Bios:Genesis, an economical upgrade kit can be ordered.

GRAND VISION. The 2 Bios games are the first 2 games of the Bios Trilogy. (The last is Bios:Origins 2, not yet published). There will also be someday a game link to a 4th edition of High Frontier and Interstellar (not yet published), so that a grand campaign starting with Bios:Genesis 2 and culminating with Interstellar seedships will be possible.  At least, that is the grand vision.

PREORDERS. All games to be published by October 2017, in time for the 2017 Essen Spiel Messe.  I will be taking preorders starting on June 1, and ending Sept 30.  The earliest to back the kickstarter and the first to preorder will get priority when I receive shipments.

FUTURE GAMES?  I have been playtesting my son Matt's new Pax concept, Pax Transhumanity.  Its a rather refreshingly utopic view of the future of human society and prosperity. Although I have some creative differences with Matt, I have decided to make Pax Transhumanity a priority for October 2018 release.

Other possible 2018 games are Bios:Origins 2, and a 4-player Greenland with eskimo meeples.  More speculative is a game on the sudden downfall of slavery as a worldwide phenomenon: Pax Emancipation.

Phil

Those biogames were always his 1st joy.  The rocket stuff was definitely not.
His "grand vision" is damned compelling though.  They share similar systems??   Going from Bios->Interstellar would be neat, especially since his patent mechanic makes it impossible for someone to fall too far behind technologically.  Victory conditions are another thing altogether though; which is only dealt with through politics or shady deals I suppose.

"See, the beauty of webgames is that I can play them on my phone while I'm plowing your mom."  -Samwise
jgsugden
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Reply #2391 on: May 09, 2017, 01:20:41 PM

I'm betting the Kickstarter when the 'grand vision' is ready to go will have all of the games in it as an option...

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Soln
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Reply #2392 on: May 09, 2017, 02:16:24 PM

Thanks JG for the good notes and continued play.  /salute

If I was 20-60 hours into a game, and any of those things happened to me I would burn the game on the table.  Any one of those happening to me <5 hrs in a game I could tolerate.  But more than one and 10+ hours in?  Jeebus.
Goldenmean
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Reply #2393 on: May 09, 2017, 02:59:59 PM

It really feels to me like competitive legacy games are just a terrible morass of design problems waiting to happen. You have a tightrope to walk of wanting to have winning a single game be rewarding for the overall campaign without creating a positive feedback loop. To combat the feedback loop, you want catch-up mechanisms, but you don't want those to be too heavy handed. Legacy reveals are going to be aggravating because they can't really help but affect one player more than another for completely arbitrary reasons from the player's point of view, etc.

Seafall ran into all of those along with being an only moderately interesting game to start with.

Risk probably ran into those as well, but I wouldn't know because I couldn't stomach playing more than one game because it was still basically just Risk. In some ways that probably helped it, because Risk is already a terrible mess, so adding more arbitrary unbalancing elements on top of it wasn't as noticeable as it was with Seafall.

I'll be curious to see how Charterstone ends up doing, as it's the next major competitive legacy release.

Thus far in the history of the mechanic though, it seems to be great for cooperatives, but not so much for competitives.
jgsugden
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Reply #2394 on: May 09, 2017, 04:57:59 PM

I think some good ideas for legacy games:

1.) Hide the overall winner status or make the overall winner the person that manages to achieve a series of goals.  Don't make it a point total that everyone can see and leaves people feeling out of it.
2.) Each game should reset on a neutral, but changing, board.  Seafall has elements where players start with advantages gained from prior games in the form of various resources and cards.  I started a few games knowing one of my fellow players was going to go halfway to the victory point of the next game with carryover from the prior game. 
3.) Get the math right.  There are interesting mechanics in Seafall that do not work well because the math isn't right.  This isn't a case of math being too hard - it is just a case where the math wasn't thought out.
4.) Change objectives.  In Seafall, each game (except the last) ends when someone scores enough points.  Give us multiple ways to end a game.  In Seafall, they could have had scoring be one way to end a game, but they could have also ended games when people built a series of buildings, or when in game achievements are unlocked.
5.) Never let a player feel like their entire game was a waste.  If you have resources built up in a game and the game ends suddenly, allow them to transitioned into something - whether that is a preferential board placement in the next game, points, or something else.

My fixes for Seafall that would make it a much better game:

1.) Better math. 2.) Better presentation of the initial and revealed rules for greater clarity. 3.) Hidden total scores (give VP chips that players hold onto between games - the VP criteria would be fulfilled by revealing your points)
4.) Less resources continuing between games: 5.) More boats: 6.) Bigger board: The board felt small, especially in the later game where there was more mobility. 
7.) Less total "Screw You" unmanageable randomness: 8.) More variation between copies of the game so that people can't cheat by looking things up online.  9.) Different paths through the game like Gloomhaven - I wish there were elements of the game that you miss out on by making certain choices so that there was some replayability.   

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Rendakor
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Reply #2395 on: May 09, 2017, 06:38:59 PM

The notion of a competitive legacy game just seems odd to me; rich-get-richer seems the inevitable result if any sort of progress carries over.

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eldaec
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Reply #2396 on: May 10, 2017, 07:01:10 AM

Quite.

Risk legacy - although not an amazing game in its own right -  is still the best implementation I've seen. Legacy events change the board for everyone, but relatively few of them build advantage for a specific player.

Daviau seems to be moving more and more toward one-off campaign games rather than giving legacy a distinct feel imho.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 03:51:03 PM by eldaec »

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jgsugden
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Reply #2397 on: May 10, 2017, 10:49:46 AM

The notion of a competitive legacy game just seems odd to me; rich-get-richer seems the inevitable result if any sort of progress carries over.
There are ways to fight the problem.  Seafall's balance between catch-up mechanics and winner rewards is an attempt to do so - it just needed more refinement. 

However, for the most part, I agree that competitive legacy works best when the players start out balanced at the beginning of each game.  Legacy can evolve the board, can evolve the rules, can evolve the features - but players should not carry over advantages between games.  Especially late in the game, it is possible to bogart key game winning resources and start the next game with a huge advantage in the final Seafall challenge.   

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Soln
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Reply #2398 on: May 10, 2017, 12:02:31 PM

I've heard the game has too much randomness as well.  Is that the case?  And is that (partly) what you meant by "bad math"?
grebo
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Reply #2399 on: May 10, 2017, 01:57:52 PM

Feast For Odin is back in stock at coolstuff if anyone is interested.

http://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/231083

Why don't you try our other games?
jgsugden
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Reply #2400 on: May 10, 2017, 04:35:06 PM

I've heard the game has too much randomness as well.  Is that the case?  And is that (partly) what you meant by "bad math"?
There is a lot of die rolling, card drawing, and lucky entry picking that have a big impact on the game.  There were times when two players did essentially the same thing, but because one picked one random number and the other picked a different one, the first player scored 9 points and the other had no real benefit at all from what they did.  Skill and luck both play a big part in the game, but if you don't like losing a game when someone else gets a randomly lucky pull, then this is not a good game for you.

Bad math refers to something different.  It is more in line with the problems with early Magic the Gathering sets: The costs and benefits of certain cards will end up being way out of wack, leaving certain things in the game as ridiculously bad choices that clog up the game with options you'll never choose.  Further, there is a limited resource of 8 tokens that can be used to allow you to perform certain actions - and it is easy to get to a point where you don't have enough of these to take actions they seem to think you should be performing multiple times per game.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
grebo
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Reply #2401 on: May 11, 2017, 11:52:41 AM

Feast For Odin is back in stock at coolstuff if anyone is interested.

http://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/231083

And gone again.

Why don't you try our other games?
Soln
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Reply #2402 on: May 11, 2017, 11:55:26 AM

It's Caverna scarcity all over again.  It will be back and ubiquitous in a few months.
eldaec
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Reply #2403 on: May 16, 2017, 03:30:57 AM

Posting to say Feast for Odin is still good.

If I have one complaint - I wish the goods that go on your board were wooden. Eurogames shoukd be made entirely of wood.

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Goldenmean
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Reply #2404 on: May 16, 2017, 04:33:25 AM

If I have one complaint - I wish the goods that go on your board were wooden. Eurogames shoukd be made entirely of wood.

I do not even want to imagine what the price tag on that version of the game would be. Or the weight of the box it would require.

With that said, I'd probably still buy it.
eldaec
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Reply #2405 on: May 16, 2017, 05:52:11 AM

Dreaming of blocks with stickers on four sides so you can upgrade from orange to blue without changing the block....

Caverna has 11 wooden/plastic commodities, this would take odin up to 11, or 14 if you double up the 3x3 and 3x4 so they can be only 2 sided but not as huge, and keep the livestock separate from the 2x4 blue/green. It'd be bigger than Caverna because the larger blocks, but probably same order of magnitude.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 05:53:54 AM by eldaec »

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Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #2406 on: May 29, 2017, 05:19:54 PM

Is Dark Souls worth the $100?  I get the whole awesome minis thing, but is there a game as well?
jgsugden
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Reply #2407 on: May 30, 2017, 12:23:11 PM

This last weekend was Kublacon in SF - big West Coast gaming convention.  I saw this game on a lot of tables.  There were wide opinions, but having only seen it and not played it, I don't think I made a mistake passing on the KS.  There are other similar games that I'd rather play.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Sky
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Reply #2408 on: May 30, 2017, 03:51:48 PM

In case you're under a rock, CMoN is running the KS for the stand-alone sequel to Black Plague, Green Hordes. Orc zombies!

Some nice new gameplay twists, with siege weapons for survivors and a horde mechanic for the zeds. I'm still backing these, as I like the light gameplay. Nowhere near as nice as KDM, but it does scratch the itch much faster. And I do like the sculpts and the cameo characters...

eldaec
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Reply #2409 on: June 01, 2017, 07:10:14 AM

And to answer a question a few posts up, unless you really want games about cooperative dice rolling to be complicated for some reason, I'd go with any zombiecide over dark souls.

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"Hyperbole is a cancer" - Lakov Sanite
Stewie
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Reply #2410 on: June 05, 2017, 10:49:22 AM

So I picked a Feast for Odin last week and got a few games in on Friday.

I really liked the game. That being said our scores seemed a bit low compared to what people seem to be saying on BGG. I then realized that we missed the rule where you can buy a ship at any time for silver. (doh)

I love the multiple paths that you can take and despite the crazy amount of options, it still feels like you are competing for spaces.

I know some people complain that the occupations can really swing the game, but when you can string a few together its pretty rewarding. I also even liked the dice rolling for hunting/whaling/raiding/pillaging.



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eldaec
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Reply #2411 on: June 05, 2017, 01:57:43 PM

We found that the occupations aren't strong so much as their randomness means they are sometimes irrelevant to your strategy, sometimes very relevant.

I house rule occupations to have everyone draw 2 and pick 1.

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"Hyperbole is a cancer" - Lakov Sanite
Goldenmean
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Reply #2412 on: June 06, 2017, 02:44:32 PM

I stopped liking Agricola all that much because it felt like the game was mostly determined by who got the best combination of occupations/minor improvements. I didn't feel like the Feast occupations were nearly as swingy, which is a very good thing.
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Reply #2413 on: June 12, 2017, 12:38:58 PM

One... more ... Seafall ... update.

We're at the very endgame.   We know pretty much everything there is to know.  We know how to end the game.  We just need to have someone assemble the right engine and the game will come to a conclusion.  

But that is the problem: Constructing that engine will be very, very hard.  Doing it requires you to assemble a series of resources.  You can get one (maybe 2) on each of your turns.  However, once you have them, any other player can sabotage your efforts and remove those benefits from you by attacking you.  

Only one player will have an incentive to bring about the end of the game.  As a result, when they are about to do so, all other players will get one (or more) chance to disrupt the player trying to end it which will make the endgame nigh impossible until everyone just gives up and lets the leader win.  

The player in last place wants to see the game end so we can move onto something else - He is 50 points out of it and it would take 10 or so games going his way for him to get back into contention.  He probably would not stop the leader.  The player in third is also out of it, but he plays to win and will disrupt the leader.  There are two players in striking range of the win.  Either would disrupt the other if they go for the win.  

I'm not saying the win is impossible, but I am saying it may take several games to cross that final finish line - and those final few games may be very repetitive.  This will be especially painful for the last place player who has felt out of it for a long time (although I think he could have gotten back into it with a different strategy if he'd adopted it about 10 games earlier).  

This is not the way to end a game that has taken so long.  The last match took over four hours and each player only took 9 turns.  We've played about 50 hours of games so far... I want an ending that feels like an epic conclusion, not a limp over the finish line where everyone finally decides to put the game out of its misery.

All in all as my final review: I did have a lot of fun playing the game.  It is worth playing, but so are a lot of other games out there.  It isn't a must play, but if you enjoy a lengthy legacy game, this scratches that itch.  If I were to play again, I think the rules work best with 5 players, but that will make for a lengthy game...  Very.

I would suggest reaching out to someone that has finished the game every time you open a box to make sure you understand the rules correctly (I'd be happy to advise a few folks).  The rules - especially rules added as the game progresses - needed more clarity.  I'd suggest one rules change:  Any player that ends a game more than 25 points behind the leader automatically moves to 25 points behind the leader.  This will allow these players to focus on building their resources for future games rather than focusing on scoring points so that they can start the following games with a way to get back into the game - a possible, although uphill, climb.


« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 01:04:15 PM by jgsugden »

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
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Reply #2414 on: July 01, 2017, 03:14:49 PM

Unf unf unf. Got my LE metal Warlords and Necros for Cave Evil.

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