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Best Boardgame you've played recently....
For me its been D&D 4th edition. I call it a boardgame because it is totally a tactical miniature game within a confined terrain. Role playing aspects take a back seat to the powers and abilities of the charaters and it is very much about when and where to expend your resources and where to position yourself and teammates.
Initially I did not care for the game at all. It fell short on many aspects of RPGs that I love and I felt that the use of powers and healing surges gave the character a very cookie cutter video game feel( Hi I'm Guiles Streetfighter the Elven Ranger with my repetior of 3 devestating attacks, 4 medium attacks and a power up.) Reguarding the game as a tac mini or open ended boardgame though is a totally different story. The game really shines with a group of 4 or 5 players when powers, tactics and postioning all gel together in a delightfully brutal manangerie of choices and effects. Now that our group has become familiar with each other's powers, there has been some very exciting gameplay with combats being razor close to going either way. Players need to carefully spend their resources and work well together to squeak out a victory.
Game balance has never been great in Dungeons and Dragons and they continue the legacy with 4E. I'm absolutely convinced that a party of thieves would decimate opposition as they are one of the big damage dealers in the game (Strikers) still have reasonable hit points and a high armor class. However, the other character classes can each be very effective as well if utilized wisely. Our Warlord does pathetic damage is easier to hit but he is MVP more often than not because of his ability to move people's characters on his turn.
"Oh please Mr. Warlord,I would be ever so grateful if you moved me out of the way of the GIANT FREAKIN' BALL that just dropped out of the ceiling and is about to crush me flat..."
I have come to fully embrace D&D 4e not as a great RPG (sublimnal: Spirit of the Century) but as a great Boardgame. Get yourself some dice, a pack of minis, a few dungeon tiles and a Players Handbook and most importantly some Fun Gamers and I doubt you'll be disappointed.
In my group it's me as overlord and two guys with two heroes each. One guy picked Shiver (the new tomb of ice magic guy with the aura 4 ability on the OL's turn) and Laughin Baldur (the guy who can use two-handed weapons as one-handed). I think the new heroes from Tomb of Ice are pretty cool. Shiver's ability has got me a few times when I've forgotten about it and Laughin Baldur can really dish out the damage, but at the same time he has a base armor or one so he's takes a beating fairly often too.
As for the new monsters, so far I've gotten out shades and a medusa. Both were pretty fun to play with.
I think D&D 4E sounds pretty awesome, but the only guys I know to play it with are my Descent buddies. None of us have every REALLY played an RPG outside of the typical 12-year-old D&D phase and none of us have ever been a dungeon master. And besides, I've sunk hundreds of dollars into Descent now so it doesn't seem very economical to switch to another, similar game - even if it is more open ended.
I've seen so many mixed reviews of this game, including a recent comparison to a steaming turd, which I just don't get. The rules are just the right level of complexity for my gaming friends and the game is really aesthetically pleasing.
Yeah, some of the scenarios are unbalanced, but the balance can be easily corrected if that is important to you. For myself, I don't mind taking the weaker side playing against great odds. It just means more kudos if you manage to pull it off. The fun is in the playing, not the winning.
I'm planning on getting the Days of the Fox expansion in the next couple of weeks and I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on the new scenario book being published.
For me, probably Cash N Guns. Great fun and fast game...can play it with friends and with young family, too. A blast (not sure if it is worth the expansion, though--contemplating.
I went into my FLGS on Thursday to pick this one up and they had sold the last copy in store on the Wednesday.
I've read the rules (5 mins) and I just know my buddies are gonna love this one!
Powerpuff Girls: Saving the World Before Bedtime. I've been playing a lot of boring Eurocrap lately. I found Powerpuff Girls at the Goodwill for $2 last week. Craig Van Ness comes through again. If you have kids, it's totally worth picking up if you run across it. Nice little superhero, adventure game that plays in about 20-30 minutes. Way more fun than Nefertiti.
gar. I like the way the Powerpuff games play, never hit the good sales for this.
And one stands out head and shoulders above the rest - Arkham Horror. It has the rpg factor that actually gets you feeling you are fighting for you life, and it's a great fun game.
Starcraft and Last Night on Earth come in a honourable (but distinct) 2nd tier, with Star Wars: Episode 1 - Clash of the Lightsabers heading the other two because it is a fun little game that I can play against my 9yr old lad and it just gives me more fun and feels more complete than Galactic Emperor or Cutthroat Caverns.
I think I blew up almost every bridge I could get my hands on in my last game, my opponent was shocked by my orgy of bridge destruction.
Manoooovre arrives tomorrow. That should make for a good time too.
TOMB sucked, HERO IK sucked, WEALTH OF NATIONS sucked...a lot of decent but not great games have come and gone this year but the highlights have been few and far between. Still holding out for BSG to top it all.