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Author Topic: The Boardgame Thread  (Read 177527 times)
jgsugden
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Reply #2415 on: July 09, 2017, 03:08:33 PM

...

And yes, Feast for Odin is definitely top tier Rosenberg, maaaaaybe my favorite of his, but I recognize that I have strong cult of the new tendencies, so I'll decide that once I've played it as much as his older games.

(I still like Colonists and Great Western Trail more from last year though)
Great Western Trail was great.  I've only played once, but I can see it having amazing replayability.  It takes a bit of time to figure out the icons and gameplay, but then there are so many goals to try to achieve with such simple mechanics.  The primary choice you make in the game is how far to move... really strong. 

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Goldenmean
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Reply #2416 on: July 23, 2017, 07:16:15 AM

Keep meaning to update this with the games I've been playing recently, because there's a ton of good ones this year, and then it got to the point where the backlog was just too high and I feel that no one really wants to read my walls of text anyway, so why bother, but I figured I'd give getting back into it a try.

Been obsessively playing a lot of Spirit Island This is a co-op reverse colonialism game. You are the nature spirits of an island being invaded by European colonists, and you're trying to drive them off before they blight the land and you into nonexistence. This is naturally a hilarious theme considering every other game has you as the colonists.

Let's get this out of the way first. Yes, it's a co-op. If you do not like co-ops, you will probably not like this, but it is one that is incredibly hard to quarterback/alpha player if that's a problem for you. I'm a big optimizer, and while I try to curb it, I'm constantly asking "Why did you do that. Wouldn't  this have been better", and while I haven't squashed it entirely, it is a complicated game, and it is very, very, very difficult to keep a wide enough gaze on everything going on at once for your suggestions to actually be helpful to other players. You definitely need to fall into a pattern of talking about grand strategy or a bit of "I have a power that generates extra energy, would you benefit from that", and just trust other players to deal with the problems local to their area of the board.

This is also not a light game. The board game geek forums for it are littered with threads of people saying "I'm an experienced gamer and so I skipped the tutorial mode they suggested and that was a mistake". The basic flow is fairly simple, but it will probably take a game to click how the invaders behave, and until you can predict that, you're going to be doing a lot of flailing and acting reactively. With that said the game starts off relatively easy. I believe the designer has said that at cons new players can win the basic setup about 70-80% of the time, and that's where the game begins to shine,  because one of the best things about it is the wealth of difficulty tuning you can do to it.

Once you're used to the default invader movement, you can play with adversaries. Each one of those represents a different colonial power and tries to mimic their style. The base game comes with three of these. The expansion with another. Each of them has seven different difficulty levels which scale up quite a bit. Playtesters who have played hundreds of times can apparently beat the most difficult modes less than fifty percent of the time. There's scenarios you can add that can radically change up the game, adding different objectives or making it a faster more tactical game, or offering a mini campaign where the results of one game feed into the next, and probably most importantly, the spirits play very differently, and I believe there's 8 in the basic box, with 4 more between kickstarter promos (which will apparently be available if this does well), and the expansion.

So, anyway, how does it play? At the beginning of a turn, you have a choice in how you want to grow. Thematically, the idea is that while the spirits are incredibly powerful, they operate on a much longer time scale, and they're really only just waking up to the fact that these invaders are going to be a problem. Each spirit has different growth options. These are largely things like "Get a new power card" or "Recycle your discard pile" or "Gain energy (the currency of the game)" or "Place more presence on the board", but they come in some wackier variations as well, especially for the more advanced spirits. Presence on the board is where you can target your powers from (every power is unique and has different requirements to be played). Each spirit starts with 4 minor powers unique to them which set a general theme of what they're good at and has some innate synergy and rewards if you continue playing to your strengths, but if your river spirit suddenly realizes that there's nothing quite like a good volcanic eruption, the options are always open.

Once all spirits have taken a growth option, you gain an energy income and then spend it on the powers you're going to use that turn (by the way, this entire game can be played simultaneously for the most part, which keeps things pretty snappy modulo your group's dynamic). Powers are fit into fast and slow. Fast powers will happen in the next phase, whereas slow need to wait until after the AI has done its thing. And now let's talk about how that works.

The AI is driven by a simple card deck. There's four types of terrain on the island. The invader deck has cards that map to a certain terrain (or once you get into the later stages of the game, terrains), and there's a simple track that these cards move along representing the phases of exploitation the invaders undergo. First they explore an area, then they build ever larger towns and cities there, and then they ravage it, killing the native people (who will passively fight back, but only after they're attacked first, which makes them pretty easy pickings unless you manipulate them with powers) and blighting the land. Blight in the short term destroys presence where it is and can cascade if a blighted area gets ravaged again. In the long term it's one of the game lose conditions. The game flow goes through this backwards though. If there is a card in the ravage spot, all invaders in that terrain type across the island, then comes build and whatever is in that site will build, then you flip a new card over to see where they explore (placing new explorer figures which will start the whole process again). Then you move all of the cards along the track. This leads to a flow where once you know the game,  you know what to expect.  Other than the flip of the card, the game is entirely deterministic (in the base set at least), so you know when that first explorer pops up in the jungle that it's going to be a town next turn, and start adding blight after that.

There's a wealth of different powers, and they all fit thematically with different spirits. The earth spirit is defensive and is good at reducing the effectiveness of ravaging. The lightning spirit  blows entrenched settlements to pieces, but can only do that occasionally, needing to charge up in between. Forest spirits are good at wearing down cities with their branches, but they're almost useless at getting rid of explorers. The river spirit can control the board by pushing invaders around the map, but eventually someone else is probably going to be the one destroying them. There's two fear spirits (which is a whole other mechanic I haven't talked about). There's a spirit that's embodied as one of the natives and allows  you greater control over their movement. There's an ocean spirit that flows in and out of coastal lands on the tide, but can never place presence on the interior of the island. There's a forest fire spirit that is incredibly strong offensively, but can't help spreading blight when it places presence as it burns down its surroundings. There's a world serpent equivalent who is incredibly weak and operates mostly by buffing its allies in the beginning of the game while slowly absorbing their presence until it wakes up and becomes ridiculously powerful (if your partners managed to keep the island from being overrun till then)

This, like Gloomhaven is one of those games that plays like a euro, but is dripping with Ameritrash theme. Cards all have some art (not really my favorite style, but it's not original Ascension), but it would be obvious from name and mechanics alone what your spirit was doing when it played that.

Anyway, great game. It's sitting at number two for the year to date right now (after Gloomhaven), and I mighhhht like it better, but I'll decide that once I have as many plays of it under my belt. If you like heavy co-ops it's hard to imagine someone not liking this.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 07:25:15 AM by Goldenmean »
Hawkbit
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Reply #2417 on: August 04, 2017, 07:03:39 PM

My fucking FLGS. I was going to buy a copy of Spirit Island, everything I've read including ^ makes it sound like a good game for me. Amazon has it for ~$65 and I can get it on Tuesday, but I want to check my FLGS to see if they had a copy so I could get it today.

So she was going on and on about how her distributor doesn't have it, but she can get a copy from a secondary distributor she has access to. Oh, and it should be here on Tuesday and would only be MSRP $80!  Ohhhhh, I see.
schild
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Reply #2418 on: August 04, 2017, 07:05:35 PM

I haven't set foot in an LGS in a solid 3 years. For whatever reason, basically every single one is run by fucking idiots.
Sky
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Reply #2419 on: August 05, 2017, 01:34:26 PM

I don't mind paying a small, local business price for stuff I could get a few bucks cheaper (and faster) on Amazon.

Problem is my LGS is mostly (still) about GW/MtG. Gotta shoot for that mainstream money, but meh. No real reason for me to drive an hour to their store and their events don't cover any games I'm interested in, or mini painting.

jgsugden
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Reply #2420 on: August 05, 2017, 08:31:50 PM

If my FLGS provides me a place to play, I am happy to pay a bit more to support them, but when they begin to make their customers feel unwelcome, I just go online. Sadly, most FLGSs are becoming more of ULGSs.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Soln
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Reply #2421 on: August 09, 2017, 12:16:31 AM

Splotter is reprinting Antiquity. Go now.  Shipping in Oct.
schild
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Reply #2422 on: August 09, 2017, 12:25:12 AM

   
2017 REPRINT PRE-ORDER

We will reprint Antiquity this year with some significant updates to the materials, including:
- We are changing the box; dimensions will be the same as the standard Splotter box, but 50% deeper to fit all the materials. The picture still shows the old box!
- The wooden pieces, which were simple cubes in past editions, have been redesigned to fit the theme (and yes, we'll check them for size!)
- There will be easy-to-handle plastic chits for pollution instead of cardboard tokens
- Some of the goods tokens which were hard to distinguish have been recoloured

son of a fucking bitch you assholes
Teleku
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Reply #2423 on: August 09, 2017, 04:43:19 AM

What, no Kickstarter?!

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
-Stephen Colbert
Goldenmean
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Reply #2424 on: August 09, 2017, 10:46:35 AM

Hope they actually manage to get this out in October instead of the massive delays Great Zimbabwe/Indonesia had, but regardless, glad my Splotter essentials collection is finally going to be complete.
eldaec
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Reply #2425 on: August 10, 2017, 06:56:08 PM

My copy of Zimbabwe arrived exactly when they said it would.

"People will not assume that what they read on the internet is trustworthy or that it carries any particular ­assurance or accuracy" - Lord Leveson
"Hyperbole is a cancer" - Lakov Sanite
lamaros
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Reply #2426 on: August 10, 2017, 08:30:11 PM

Umm yeah, what massive delays?

Indonesia has some serious issues with the reprint, but delays weren't one of them.

Expect poison from the standing water.
Goldenmean
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Reply #2427 on: August 11, 2017, 01:33:53 AM

Had to go look up the old BGG thread to make sure I wasn't imagining things. And I wasn't, but I did blow it out of proportion in my head, because I saw TGZ in my FLGS a good month before my pre-order showed up, which rubbed me the wrong way. Looks like it was a chain of unfortunate events entirely beyond their control. https://boardgamegeek.com/article/24752532#24752532
Soln
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Reply #2428 on: August 15, 2017, 06:25:08 PM

I was literally talking about this game over lunch, and now here we are:  Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition
Goldenmean
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Reply #2429 on: August 15, 2017, 07:33:29 PM

Honestly, I'm a little surprised it took them this long. The last time I moved, I noticed my copy of third ed had suffered some water/mold damage and went poking around for replacements, only to find it a bit more scarce than I expected. I held off, figuring they'd be announcing a new edition before too long, and that was several years ago. I like what I've seen of the changelist. The old tech tree, while true to the 4x game source material, was fairly clunky, and the changes to trade/influence seem pretty solid also.

It'll still be one of those games I basically never play, partially because my gaming tastes have changed since I got involved way back in 2nd edition, and partially because the only other people I know who are interested in it insist on playing 8 player games and beginning to drink heavily during set up which makes for a lengthy and increasingly sloppy experience. If I'm going to devote an entire day to a single board gaming experience, I'd rather it be Mega-Civilization or Titan or the like.
ghost
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Reply #2430 on: August 15, 2017, 08:11:55 PM

Got a copy of Barenpark to play with the kids.  It's actually a really nice little game.  It's a bit like 4 player Patchwork.  Plays in about 20 minutes or so and so far hasn't outstayed its welcome. 
Sky
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Reply #2431 on: August 15, 2017, 08:16:24 PM

Mierce Miniatures is putting out a game if you're into mini games (they have some amazing sculpts in their skirmish line). They're pushing it as Zombicide meets Space Hulk meets Hero Quest. Minis are compatible with the skirmish game, which can get spendy with GBP conversion and resin minis.

I like the minis and the co-op (cough soloable) games cited as influence. I don't expect a deep experience, but that's not what I'm usually after (and I have KD:M for my crunchier game).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mierceminiatures/darkholds-ancient-barrows

Goldenmean
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Reply #2432 on: August 15, 2017, 09:54:05 PM

Got a copy of Barenpark to play with the kids.  It's actually a really nice little game.  It's a bit like 4 player Patchwork.  Plays in about 20 minutes or so and so far hasn't outstayed its welcome. 

Don't suppose you've played Cottage Garden? I've been mildly eyeing Barenpark as something kid friendly to put on my "indoctrinate my daughter into gaming" list when she gets older, but I'm not at all sure I need both of them.
jgsugden
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Reply #2433 on: August 17, 2017, 09:23:14 AM

I played Flick Em Up, a dexterity disk flicking game while inebriated with several friends. Great drunk game to play while sobering up.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
eldaec
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Reply #2434 on: August 18, 2017, 02:50:33 PM

FFG announce 40k-but-star-wars and hopefully without the hideously unmanageable dice.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/8/18/star-wars-legion/

"People will not assume that what they read on the internet is trustworthy or that it carries any particular ­assurance or accuracy" - Lord Leveson
"Hyperbole is a cancer" - Lakov Sanite
Goldenmean
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Reply #2435 on: August 18, 2017, 03:14:33 PM

You know, I feel really stupid for not seeing that one coming a mile off.

I haven't been a big miniatures gamer since the Adeptus Titanicus/Space Marine era, but they seemed to do a decent enough job with X-Wing and Armada. Has anyone actually played their recent Rune Wars (aka WHFB except set in their Terrinoth universe) miniature game? That's probably going to be the best indicator of how this will turn out.
Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #2436 on: August 18, 2017, 10:17:41 PM

This looks glorious but their first foray with skirmish minis with Dust Tactics went nowhere.  I'll buy if it's a great game like XWing.  Shame not painted.
ghost
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Reply #2437 on: August 18, 2017, 11:29:14 PM

Got a copy of Barenpark to play with the kids.  It's actually a really nice little game.  It's a bit like 4 player Patchwork.  Plays in about 20 minutes or so and so far hasn't outstayed its welcome. 

Don't suppose you've played Cottage Garden? I've been mildly eyeing Barenpark as something kid friendly to put on my "indoctrinate my daughter into gaming" list when she gets older, but I'm not at all sure I need both of them.

Looks really similar.  Don't think I'd get Barenpark.  Well, unless she really, really likes Bears.   awesome, for real
Sky
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Reply #2438 on: August 19, 2017, 10:19:28 AM

This looks glorious but their first foray with skirmish minis with Dust Tactics went nowhere.  I'll buy if it's a great game like XWing.  Shame not painted.
I'm skeptical as to the quality of the miniatures. I missed the era when Knight Models had the SW license, there's just a pile of crap for SW minis on the market. I wish Disney would contract with a top shelf company to cast up some actual display quality SW models!

jgsugden
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Reply #2439 on: August 21, 2017, 02:56:24 PM

Finished Seafall.  Entirely - we were going to let the epilogue game go, but an opportunity arose to get it over with and we took it. 

In the end: If I could go back in time and decide not to play it, but rather to play other games with the same folks, I'd decide not to play it.  There is a good game hidden under the problems here, but it doesn't manifest.  They did not balance the mechanics, the storytelling is off and there is way too much left up to chance.

However, if they make a Seafall 2 (actual or in spirit) and learn from their mistakes, I will jump on it.  

What I'd do to fix the game now that I have completed it:
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 03:06:44 PM by jgsugden »

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
jgsugden
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Reply #2440 on: August 30, 2017, 09:37:25 AM

...
2016 BoardGameGeek Winners & Runners Up

Board Game of the Year
Winner - Scythe
Runner Up - Terraforming Mars
Runner Up - Star Wars: Rebellion
Picked up Terraforming Mars on the cheap at a Ding and Dent. We put it on the table in a four player game last night and everyone loved it.  Simple game mechanics, lots of variation in how they're executed. The economy behind the game mechanics changes with how far you are into the game when a card appears, and with how many players are in a game. As a result, cards that are amazingly good in one game are horrible in another. One small. decision made in round/generation 5 of the game can turn into a huge tipping point later on. In a game where I'm making $40 per rou d, $1 reflected a difference of 20% of my final score.  You're constantly building engines to gain points, but if you overbuild them you can find your engine relegated to uselessness in the last few rounds/generations of the game. Moves can have multiple impacts on a game as well. It all combines to create an interesting, exciting and compelling game with high replayability. First game, regardless of number of players, will likely be three hours. After that, likely you'll trim it to 90 minutes.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Goldenmean
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Reply #2441 on: August 30, 2017, 11:45:07 AM

If you're playing Terraforming Mars, play with the drafting optional rule in the back. It adds some length to the game, but removes a lot of "Oh, you happened to draw a perfect engine, while I'm stuck with two cards that actively work against each other. Great" arbitrariness. BTW, a new map expansion for this released last week. Should add even more replay, though my copy is still en route. There's another, beefier expansion showing up at Essen as well.
jgsugden
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Reply #2442 on: August 30, 2017, 04:17:41 PM

I'm betting we can play 10 or so games before we need the far side maps in the expansion.

I'm wondering if the draft takes longer per generation, but reduces the number of generations by increasing efficiency.  I also have my doubts it actually solves the luck problem - in the 4 player 8 generation games I played last night, we bought cards 7 times.  Most of the time people were buying 1 or 2 cards, and it was rare that we were excited about more than one card in a hand.  However, we will be trying it next time.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Goldenmean
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Reply #2443 on: August 30, 2017, 07:50:49 PM

It's still a card game. The "luck" is a feature, but drafting certainly helps mitigate it and add a more strategic layer. Personally, I'd refuse to play without it at this point, but I'm notoriously on the "enjoying less randomness" side of things. I didn't notice it shortening the length of the games in generations, but I also wasn't tracking it, and we added in the other optional cards at the same time, which give a slower start as well.
Soln
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Reply #2444 on: August 30, 2017, 10:10:33 PM

Speaking of BGG, I wonder how Aldie's ginormous collection is faring in Houston (I think he's there).
Bunk
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Reply #2445 on: August 31, 2017, 08:10:12 AM

Came to mention the Draft option for Terraforming Mars as well. One of the biggest things it does is makes the game feel less solo. You have to actually pay attention to the other player's strategies, and occasionally eat cards to keep them out of circulation.

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jgsugden
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Reply #2446 on: September 01, 2017, 01:24:01 AM

Lots of advantages for drafts.  However, what I do not like about draft mechanics is the impact that seat choice has on the game. Sitting to the right of a bad drafter can give you a huge advantage. Reducing randomness is good, but introducing bias not based on your skill is not good.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
schild
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Reply #2447 on: September 01, 2017, 01:30:58 AM

I like it when board games give people insight into Magic.
schild
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Reply #2448 on: September 05, 2017, 02:56:10 PM

« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 03:02:03 PM by schild »
Sky
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Reply #2449 on: September 05, 2017, 10:35:56 PM

I'm not the most erudite nor experienced board gamer (I like Kingdom Death: Monster and Cave Evil, I don't mind Zombicide because of the minis and variety, gameplay is too simplistic imo).

But I'm really digging Massive Darkness. Needs a few tweaks with house rules, but it found a nice way to build on the Zombicide formula to something a bit deeper while still being a pretty light game (with cool minis and good variety if you got the KS bonuses).

It can get a bit easy and OP (which I don't mind), but it can also get pretty hairy. Some gear creep with transmuting gear up a level, on the other hand you can get boned on drops for a character class easily and with monster having gear cards, you can buff them interestingly, either bolstering their strengths or shoring up their weaknesses. I also like dice mechanics and the game keeps it pretty interesting while capping things to keep it from getting too out of control (you can never stack more than 3 of any die type). And the dice have a Blood Bowl vibe with bams and diamonds to fuel effects and skills, and of course blanks for the big bone. And some can mitigate those, even, with reroll skills or enchantments based on rolling a blank.

Game has crossover cards for Black Plague, so you can play with some minis from Zombicide. Folks have already been bringing over content from Z into this game, building some really interesting quests using zombies and the light/dark mechanics.

Really happy I backed this one. Doesn't dethrone KD:M in my opinion, but it's damn fun.

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