Barnes on Games- Mistfall and Undercity in Review, Ingenious H2H, Halloween Games, SCAM, Champions of Midgard

Barnes on Games- Mistfall and Undercity in Review, Ingenious H2H, Halloween Games, SCAM, Champions of Midgard Hot

Michael Barnes     
 
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mistfall undercity.jpg

Two good ones this week!

We've got a lot of ground to cover today so let's get right down to business.

First up- Mistfall review is up at Nohighscores.com. I really like this game, and I think anyone that petered out on Pathfinder ACG or found LOTR LCG frustrating but interesting will too. It should also appeal to the Mage Knight crowd.  The rules suck and it is a somewhat difficult game to grasp, but ultimately it has been worth it. It is also worth noting that this is one that I think falls squarely in the "better solo than with a group" category. Having the time to parse everything, to take your time with it without having to worry about anyone else's entertainment level is ideal. But if you play with folks that are willing to play learning games and also read the rules themselves, you can circumvent some of that. Neat setting, cool artwork...this is a good one.

Second act- Undercity officially reviewed at MiniatureMarket.com. Four stars out of five. I liked this one a lot as well, I think it's a fun dungeoncrawler with some neat things going on, but it is definitely going to struggle to be heard in an overcrowded genre. The production is really great, I know everyone complained about the tiles but the way that they make setup QUICK and EASY makes up for their blandness. I do hope that Privateer Press dresses them up in some Iron Kingdoms finery for any expansions.

Third order of business- I did a head-to-head with one of my Senior Writers, Kyle Mann, over Ingenious. I think it turned out pretty good. One day I really am going to get that Knizia project rolling- I didn't expect to be buried under review copies like I've been lately. It is still happening. Soon.

Fourth stage- I bossed my writers into doing a little Halloween feature, each picking a Halloweeny game to write a bit about. Notable F:ATties Charlie Theel, Pete Ruth and Nate Owens pitched in. It's a fun feature...the TOMB OF TERRORS is right here.

And now for the odds and sods section...Stephen Buonocore, notorious internet salesman, has SCAMmed me. I've played the first two scenarios and the good news is that I don't have to sheepishly decline to review it to avoid coming to a disagreement with the Rose family. It's definitely good, definitely fun and definitely cool. I really love the lighter tone and the golden age SF setting, it's very refreshing compared to pretty much every other dudes in a hall game out there. The Overkill mechanic is brilliant and I think it might be the next deckbuilding. Not really, but it is something that sets this one apart. More later as I dig into it.

Buonocore also attempted to buy positive press with a copy of Survive! Space Attack!, which I somehow didn't realize was done up by our very own Geoff Englestein and his clan of budding young game designers. I love Survive!, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out. It may even inspire me to finally get that new edition of the original game since I still have that awful-looking "dolphin" edition they did years ago.

From Grey Fox Games, I've got a copy of Champions of Midgard complete with a "Dice Tower Seal of Approval". I ran through it last night and it seems like it's pretty good. It's WAY more like Stone Age (paging Pete Ruth) than Lords of Waterdeep. There's some cool things going on, love the Troll/blame mechanic and the dice rolling is fun, but I suspect that it might be repetitive. There's no sense of escalation, no mounting or increasing challenge level. You might fight the weakest monsters/trolls/draugrs in the deck on the eighth turn. The game kind of tries to keep pace by fluctuating your strength (gaining/losing Viking dice), but four turns in a three player solo outing and I was feeling like I was on a pretty set cycle. But it looks really good and it's very easy to play, which is important. The rulebook has got to be one of the most UNDER written ones I've seen in a while.

Gale Force Nine sent over Kalidasa, which I'm taking over to a friend's house to play since I don't have the base Firefly game anymore. It looks like it may, unfortunately, tip the scale on that one toward expansion bloat.  A new board and 200 new cards is a lot in a game that is already putting on weight.

 

Barnes on Games- Mistfall and Undercity in Review, Ingenious H2H, Halloween Games, SCAM, Champions of Midgard There Will Be Games
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Posted: 22 Oct 2015 14:44 by SuperflyTNT #213102
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I uploaded a Space Cadets: Away Missions review here last week and told Shellie about it when I was visiting, so it should be up soon. TL;DR: Fucking awesome.

Also, I think Charlie assigned it to me on MiniMart as well.

My major bitch right now is that Stephen didn't send any emails out to me stating that the pre-painted minis are available for sale.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 16:52 by San Il Defanso #213121
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Correction: I pitched in to the Halloween deal and my contribution was cut.

Not that I'm salty or anything...
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 17:06 by Michael Barnes #213125
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Oh shoot, Nate did get cut. Mainly because he picked Shadows of Malice and we were out of space on it...and it was the least Halloween-ish of the titles.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 17:46 by moofrank #213128
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We completed the Undercity campaign. The game is mechanically REALLY good, but just a touch dry (Kingdom Death has ruined me.)

It reminds me a bit of the excellent Arcadia Quest with full coop, more questing, and an even better campaign mode that strongly emphasis character development. I think it may have some things on Descent as well.

The BIG downside. 7 missions, and....PP has said NOTHING about what else they are doing with it. They did one extra mission based on the figures in the IK Unleashed boxed set. If they blew that out to a PDF campaign, it would get a full reccommend.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 17:53 by Alastair MacDirk #213129
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Raise your hand if you read the ingenious review and knew what the acronym gipf referred to. I am a moron so I had to look it up. Ya, people throw acronyms around in here a lot. I guess I know about half the time what they mean. Pete, what is tl:dr?
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 18:23 by hotseatgames #213133
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Too Long; Didn't Read

You can also use pwidr

Pete Wrote It; Didn't Read
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 18:39 by JonJacob #213135
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Alastair MacDirk wrote:
Raise your hand if you read the ingenious review and knew what the acronym gipf referred to. I am a moron so I had to look it up. Ya, people throw acronyms around in here a lot. I guess I know about half the time what they mean. Pete, what is tl:dr?

I didn't think it stood for anything. I am under the impression it's just the project name for Kris Burn's abstract series of games. GIPF, YINSH, ZERTZ etc... I really like some of them.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 20:12 by San Il Defanso #213144
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Yeah I was a little surprised MM classified Shadows of Malice as a horror game. I picked it because it was the one I had played most recently, and that was still left to pick. Otherwise you'd be reading my review of Fury of Dracula, let me tell you.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 20:16 by Michael Barnes #213146
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I'll put you on the upcoming reprint, then we can read what you have to say about it.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 22:07 by San Il Defanso #213154
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I've said this before, but I love those MM Head-to-Head reviews. That's one of the best game criticism things out there I think.
Posted: 23 Oct 2015 06:50 by charlest #213170
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I was a big fan of SC:AM and now have it temporarily put away since my review has gone up. Need to get back to it sometime soon.

As an avid fan of Stone Age, I don't agree with the CoM comparison. The dice aren't used in the same way at all and the drama/payoff isn't parallel in either design.

You acquire resources and block spaces much more like Waterdeep. You have hidden goals/objectives like Waterdeep. It feels much more similar to LoW to me than Stone Age.

Stone Age has its own tempo thing going where you're battling over the love hut area, trying to block out at the boats and time your purchase of huts correctly. In terms of resource collection you're riding out averages and balancing whether to feed your workers or not. Much of the game is long-term planning and building for the future with tools/workers/boats/huts.

LoW and CoM are about edging out other players and getting what you need so that you can have big individual turns all the while keeping your eye on your hidden goals. You also have asymmetrical player powers in each, and the drama is a bit higher with some take that elements (the shame in CoM and the Intrigue in LoW).

Undercity looks cool. I can't get past the perceived work involved with Mistfall to care enough unfortunately.
Posted: 23 Oct 2015 10:35 by SuperflyTNT #213203
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Says the guy who made almost the opposite argument when attempting to compare Chaos in the Old World and Cthulhu Wars LOL ;)

I loves me some Stone Age (May My Forever Shelf Remain Always Nut Cuppified). To me, Stone Age is a purely economic-engine building game. Do all kinds of shit but all the while, make sure that you're getting as much grain as you can as fast as you can so that you can get more guys to keep building upon that base. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's kind of how it feels to me. Lords of Waterdeep is much more about sticking it to everyone else as much as possible by blocking their activities while retaining yours. I don't like the open information, and I think that the game would've been DRASTICALLY better, like a 10/10 stars kind of better, had you been able to gain objectives by drawing the top 3 cards in the deck and choose one.
Posted: 23 Oct 2015 10:44 by charlest #213206
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SuperflyTNT wrote:
Says the guy who made almost the opposite argument when attempting to compare Chaos in the Old World and Cthulhu Wars LOL ;)

I loves me some Stone Age (May My Forever Shelf Remain Always Nut Cuppified). To me, Stone Age is a purely economic-engine building game. Do all kinds of shit but all the while, make sure that you're getting as much grain as you can as fast as you can so that you can get more guys to keep building upon that base. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's kind of how it feels to me. Lords of Waterdeep is much more about sticking it to everyone else as much as possible by blocking their activities while retaining yours. I don't like the open information, and I think that the game would've been DRASTICALLY better, like a 10/10 stars kind of better, had you been able to gain objectives by drawing the top 3 cards in the deck and choose one.

We are in total agreement concerning Stone Age. Champions of Midgard doesn't feel that way to me.

I know you're joking but here we're discussing whether CoM is MORE similar to Stone Age or Waterdeep.
Posted: 23 Oct 2015 11:28 by Egg Shen #213212
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Dungeon Crawls are one of my favorite type of games...so it goes without saying that I'm interested in Undercity. However, the main thing holding me back is the complete lack of support for the game at this point. It doesn't need 79 expansions, but just knowing that more content is on the way (more characters, new campaign, more items) would make me much more likely to dive in. I think I can get past the drab ass artwork...but Privateer Press doesn't seem to provide much support for their big box games. Level 7 Omega Protocol has been out for a while and they just started teasing an expansion for it. I'd hate for Undercity to languish that long without any support. But who knows...if CSI or MM has it for cheap on a daily sale my resolve will weaken and I'll end up with a copy.
Posted: 23 Oct 2015 11:36 by SuperflyTNT #213215
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I looked at this and kind of pooh-poohed it. At the end of the day, Warhammer Quest is the undisputed King of DC's, still, and this doesn't do anything any better than it does.

At what point is this constant need to re-imagine the genre just jumping the shark?
Posted: 23 Oct 2015 22:45 by moofrank #213262
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Hmmm. Shadows of Brimstone totally blows away Warhammer Quest.

SoB actually feels like someone's house rules for WQ reworked into a full game. Every single aspect of SoB is handled better than in WQ, and they are easy to compare because there is a nearly direct correlation for everything in WQ. Except one: WQ has more monsters if you count the ones in the RPG book.
Posted: 27 Oct 2015 10:20 by dfour #213457
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Man, you've got me so torn on mistfall. I'm really wanting it but it sounds like I want the second version after they've ironed out the kinks.
Posted: 27 Oct 2015 10:33 by SuperflyTNT #213458
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moofrank wrote:
Hmmm. Shadows of Brimstone totally blows away Warhammer Quest.

SoB actually feels like someone's house rules for WQ reworked into a full game. Every single aspect of SoB is handled better than in WQ, and they are easy to compare because there is a nearly direct correlation for everything in WQ. Except one: WQ has more monsters if you count the ones in the RPG book.

Really...? I have a hard time looking at the two, side by side, and seeing Shadows of Brimstone being superior, if for no other reason than the fact that it looks like someone's prototype. Aesthetic needs to be taken into account when it comes to highly thematic games, I'd think.

I keep wanting to get Shadows....but fuck sakes, it looks so damned bland that I just know we'll play it and think, "Wow, this would be great if it had ANY art..."
Posted: 27 Oct 2015 11:43 by charlest #213463
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Pete if you want my Shadows of Brimstone KS set it's yours for the low low special friendly rate of $300.
Posted: 27 Oct 2015 13:58 by SuperflyTNT #213483
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I can get the set with the Outlaw for 70$, Charlie, but I appreciate your kind offer. ;)
Posted: 27 Oct 2015 13:59 by SuperflyTNT #213484
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And, as an aside, I got the two games mixed up - I was thinking Shadows of Malice, not Shadows of Brimstone.

I had to go back and look it up. Now I'm even more intrigued, despite the theme.
Posted: 27 Oct 2015 14:16 by charlest #213490
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SuperflyTNT wrote:
I can get the set with the Outlaw for 70$, Charlie, but I appreciate your kind offer. ;)

But not with those hundreds of dollars worth of stretch goals.