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Kevin Klemme
March 09, 2020
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Kevin Klemme
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Mycelia Board Game Review

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December 12, 2023
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River Wild Board Game Review

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Outback Crossing Review

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Re: What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?

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24 Jun 2024 11:35 #342542 by dysjunct

DarthJoJo wrote: limited Star Wars Unlimited

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24 Jun 2024 13:17 #342543 by Cappster_

dysjunct wrote:

DarthJoJo wrote: limited Star Wars Unlimited

Could you imagine how strange reading "Star Wars Unlimited limited" would be?

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30 Jun 2024 20:05 #342565 by Jackwraith
Had a couple of the semi-regulars over today. Started with March of the Ants. I traded for it a while back and hadn't gotten it to the table because the rulebook isn't laid out that well and it seemed like the teach would be problematic for a weeknight session, but today was Sunday so I tried it out. It's actually less daunting than I expected and the rules are duplicated quite well on both the player boards and reference cards. However, I'm tempted to say that the game would be vastly improved with 4 and 5 people, simply for the much greater number of player reactions (Active player does an Action; all other players can do a Reaction) which means that the game would advance much more quickly. We were still kinda puttering around in round 3 without showing much in the way of evolutions (I had two; everyone else had only one) or real territorial dominance. But when round 4 kicked in, suddenly everything snowballed. Where we had been scoring 1 or 2 points, I burst ahead with 7 in that round and eventually won 15-10-7. I like the possibilities that seem inherent to the design but, again, it needs more than three players and probably needs the "long game" option (one more round, for a total of 5) to really make it sing.

Then one of them ventured downstairs to the shelf and said: "We haven't played Chaos in the Old World for years!" The one of the pair had, in fact, never played it. He picked Tzeentch, she picked Nurgle, and I decided to leave out The Sheriff and picked old favorite, Slaanesh (I'm officially forbidden from playing the Perv God with one of my other groups.) Of course, without Khorne, the board got crowded as it often does and points and dial ticks were coming fast. Our Old World cards were pretty passive, other than Dark Elf Corsairs causing some problems. I probably misplayed a couple cards and there was still a significant amount of combat, as Nurgle and I were contesting the same spaces and trying to knock out each others' Cultists to get the Ruination bonuses. In the end, the disease god couldn't be stopped, as the game was ended by five Ruinations and Nurgle won, 63-55-49, with the newbie as Tzeetnch, who'd played all three of his The Meddling of Skaven (target player with figures in this region must discard two Chaos cards) on me, which wrecked my hand for most of the game, bringing up the rear, but still having played well.

We finished off the day with Fate of the Elder Gods. I haven't been especially fond of this one, even though one of my friends loves it because it's a Cthulhu game that doesn't involve direct combat (as I have long since traded off her all-time favorite, Arkham Horror.) However, this game turned out to be really solid and quite competitive, rather than one person kinda running away with it while everyone else gets screwed by Investigators. I brought in the two tiny expansions (extra abilities for the GOOs and recruitable monsters.) I was playing Ghatanathoa vs Hastur vs Tsathoqqua. The board was quite crowded and both Hastur and I had empty Lodges at a couple points (in my case, not least because Tsathoqqua was Devouring my guys.) I managed to avoid the penalty, as a spell let me get another Cultist at the last minute, but I got raided badly a couple times; the second time by choice to go to a location that was crowded with Investigators and which could have knocked me out of the game by Elder Signing my whole player board. But the die roll left me one short of defeat. The Toad had racked up 7 points (you need 9 to win) quite quickly and then stalled, while Hastur muddled about around 4 points. Meanwhile, with Mi-Go on the board regularly giving me control of locations, I was advancing steadily and would have won with one more turn before the Toad finally put it away with a couple quick spells. Again, I haven't been really excited about playing this one for most of our previous sessions, but I really enjoyed this one and am kinda looking forward to playing with the expansions again.
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07 Jul 2024 10:44 #342583 by hotseatgames
A friend of mine went all-in on Return to Dark Tower at Origins a couple of weeks ago, and last night we played with 4 players. We played a cooperative scenario in which we had to explore 3 dungeons in order to bring out the boss, an entity known as the Gaze or something. His powers kept opening panels on the Dark Tower, causing trouble. And skulls. A lot of skulls.

The components are magnificent. All the minis have a wash on them, the neoprene mat board upgrade is great, and the tower itself is neat. I like that it sporadically elicits screams, monster groans, etc.

I'm not into app-driven games; I like my analog games analog, and my digital games digital. This game is very cool, so I'm quite pleased that my friend has it and I didn't need to pay for it. He had an Amazon fire tablet or something that was quite up to the task of running the app, which is basically a digital event deck and game tracker. It also communicates with the tower, which is neat. One of our players was turned off by the whole thing, as he is even less open to app games than I am. That's fine, I get it.

My favorite part of the game was the dungeon crawling, in which you tap your way room by room through a small dungeon or cave, entirely on the tablet. One downside to this is that other players don't really get to enjoy the process with you if you aren't explicitly showing them. This was one of my friend's complaints, in that he felt the downtime was a bit much. It's true that some turns can take a bit, but usually they are pretty snappy.

I was the relic hunter, and managed to gain quite a bit of power over the course of the game. It was decided that I would gather all of the other players' forces and take on the main boss myself. It turned out that I did not need all of the warriors I had, because the boss mainly spent time dumping skulls in the section of the land that I was in, and almost ended the game on us due to corruption. But... he didn't, and I crushed him, winning the game.

It's good, plays easily, and I'll happily play it again. Is it better than a good game of Fallout or Relic? No, I don't think so.
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08 Jul 2024 00:18 #342584 by DarthJoJo
Attended the latest prerelease for Star Wars Unlimited. Set puts the focus on bounty hunters, smugglers and general underworld of the universe with particular attention on the characters of Solo, Bad Batch, Book of Boba Fett and the sequel trilogy. Only two other attendees, both of whom I taught the game, but that’s good enough.

Good set. Thought it might be too synergy dependent with the bounty and smuggle interactions but didn’t feel hamstrung only dipping into them a little. Don’t think my pulls were bonkers, but I was excited about the possibilities. Considered Rey and little chumps or Han cheating out Wookiees but settled on Bossk Vigilance. Thought it could be cool to boost my own bounty characters but mostly just played it straight.
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10 Jul 2024 03:43 #342591 by KingPut
Ok it's only after 1 play but Burning Banners www.compassgames.com/product/burning-ban...-of-the-witch-queen/ by Compass Game is my current GOTY. It hits on my love of wargames and fantasy games. Right now I'd rather play this Burning Banners than Ti4, Rebellion or War of Ring. That is huge for anyone who knows me. My current feel after 1 play, watching videos and reading the rules that it's similar to War of the Ring in that it plays 3 or more player but the sweet spot is really 2 players. Has anyone else tried burning banners?
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10 Jul 2024 04:30 #342592 by sornars

KingPut wrote: Ok it's only after 1 play but Burning Banners www.compassgames.com/product/burning-ban...-of-the-witch-queen/ by Compass Game is my current GOTY. It hits on my love of wargames and fantasy games. Right now I'd rather play this Burning Banners than Ti4, Rebellion or War of Ring. That is huge for anyone who knows me. My current feel after 1 play, watching videos and reading the rules that it's similar to War of the Ring in that it plays 3 or more player but the sweet spot is really 2 players. Has anyone else tried burning banners?


Burning Banners has been on my radar. The art looks incredible but I was waiting for some rave reviews. Yours is certainly the sort of hype I was looking for; I'm keen to hear more if you play again!

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10 Jul 2024 10:17 - 10 Jul 2024 10:18 #342593 by charlest
I'm really looking forward to playing Burning Banners. I should have a copy soon. A little worried about the playtime with 4-5.
Last edit: 10 Jul 2024 10:18 by charlest.
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10 Jul 2024 10:48 #342594 by KingPut
I’d play Burning Banner with 2 players until you get everyone up to speed with the rules before trying it with 4 players.
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10 Jul 2024 11:58 #342595 by Msample
It’s on my radar but being a Compass product, has an automatic asterisk attached that basically means - let someone else try it first, since Compass has a spotty track record. I imagine I’ll see people playing it at WBC next week.
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10 Jul 2024 16:46 - 11 Jul 2024 15:39 #342596 by KingPut
I'm with you on being watchful with Compass Games. Luckily, 2 guys in my gaming group bought a copy so I didn’t have to.
Last edit: 11 Jul 2024 15:39 by KingPut.
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11 Jul 2024 05:52 - 11 Jul 2024 11:13 #342597 by sornars
The Quest For El Dorado: The Golden Temples This is a very fun game with a great pace; in and out of a 4 player game in under an hour. My biggest issue is the same with all deck builders, I really dislike how the efficiency of deck thinning dominates all of them. Sometimes I want to fat deck and the game doesn't want me to! I ended up getting down to a very efficient 4 card deck which let me buy 3 of the expensive Pilot cards which were incredibly versatile and let me cruise to a comfortable win. There was still some pressure from the player in second place but their deck sputtered out in the final rounds. It's at that nice medium-family weight level but I'd happily play it again.

Amun-Re This game was decent but I found Alley Cat Game's production of the deluxe edition kind of disappointing. I found the iconography unnecessarily unclear with some obvious tweaks to the graphic design resulting in more clarity. Also many of the components seem slightly oversized leading to a messy overcrowded feel to the temple and score tracks. I enjoyed the game well enough, the build up of infrastructure across epoch 1 and 2 resulting in different values of plots of land is interesting but I'm not a huge fan of having to blindly fish scoring cards out of the deck, many of which are mutually exclusive from one another. With only 2 scoring opportunities a dead draw is extremely costly. I'll happily play it again but Knizia has better games I'd almost always rather play. The game is simple to play but felt more complex than necessary to learn with some weird subtleties in scoring that didn't feel like classic Knizia cleverness. It definitely felt unique amongst all of his games that I've played.

Both games exist in that B-tier of Knizia titles, good, solid but not necessarily worth seeking out. I liked Quest El Dorado more than Amun-Re though. I recently got Cascadero and suspect it'll also live amongst this tier but need to get a few plays in to confirm.
Last edit: 11 Jul 2024 11:13 by sornars.
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11 Jul 2024 09:54 #342598 by Jackwraith
Have wanted to play the original Quest for El Dorado (and been trying to trade for it) for years, but have never managed to find someone with a copy. I agree with your assessment of Amun-Re. I like it and I can see the solid concepts behind it, but it just never seemed to have the elegance that so many of his other titles have. I've actually put mine up for trade, since it's going to be significantly behind in the pecking order when it comes to grabbing one of his off the shelf.
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12 Jul 2024 11:01 #342604 by dysjunct

charlest wrote: I'm really looking forward to playing Burning Banners. I should have a copy soon. A little worried about the playtime with 4-5.


Looks like the designer and artist is the same Christopher Moeller who did the Iron Empires comics and the RPG for it, Burning Empires. Don't know anything about his game design chops, but if the game is decent then the art might push me over the top.
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12 Jul 2024 11:04 #342605 by charlest
I did not even realize that. I enjoyed Burning Empires quite a bit.
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