Please start new threads in the appropriate category for mini-session reports, discussions of specific games or other discussion starting posts.
What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?
Argent: The Consortium - .....
My main issue with this game is it can be played by someone having no clue what they are doing and still not lose. This implies to me, that the mechanics, however elegant they might seem, actually don't really work. I am witness to this as I was the player being very tired and probably drunk but still couldn't lose to save my life.
hmm.. I've yet to run into this. I've taught probably 7-8 people this game now, and never (other than the first game or two) has a 'new' person won. But I can definitely see how this would make someone not care for a game.
There's definitely a smaller connection between knowing the voters and winning than there should be. Someone who's good at worker placements and combos can just generate 'stuff' and have a good chance of winning. the 2nd edition rules for making the marks break ties helps a little.
My daughter played Spirit Island with me. We played River and Earth. she ended up drawing a bunch of dahan -based minor power cards, so there ended up with tons of Dahan on the board. so between her shuffling them and the invaders around, and my Earth having defense all over the space, we just mopped up the board fairly easily with the Dahan killing off invaders during Ravages. We played on the beginner level stuff. So we moved the difficulty up, and were promptly destroyed.
Hannibal:Rome vs Carthage - Taught wargame buddy this. I like to play super aggressive in lots of games....so as Hannibal I made a hard charge over the Alps, with only 1 CU loss, and Hannibal stayed the rest of the game in Italy with little opposition. My opponent never quite clicked that there needs to be a large army to oppose Hannibal's stack. He kept making little 5 CU armies to do 'cute' things. and Hannibal would promptly run over there and kick it down. Even when Scipio Africanus came on the board...rather than stack Scipio with his extra CUs, Scipio stayed with his 5 and he had another stack of 6 CUs elsewhere in Italy. So Hannibal jumped on the chance and killed Scipio on the turn he showed up. He did have terrible luck on his retreat rolls, twice rolling high enough to kill all the units (once with a double envelopment to get the dreaded "all" result). the way to beat that kind of bad luck is to not roll. I think there was only 1 fight the whole game where Hannibal had an 'even' fight in front of him. I also had an amazing 2nd turn hand, where I had "Hannibal Charms Italy", "I have come into Italy" and "traitor in Tarentum". So by the end of 217 BC, I had a stronghold of Support in Gallia Cisalpinia, a walled port in Tarentum to bring reinforcements in to, and near control of Samnium and Apulia.
2 games of Twilight Struggle -
oof -game 1 was rough. It was game over by turn 3. Turn1 As the Russians I headlined Cambridge 5, which showed that he had Asia scoring. After launching a coup in Iran (is there a better opening play for Russia?) I played Vietnam Revolts which gave me access to Thailand. the Korean War happened, and the North won this time. So by the end of the round when he played Asia Scoring, it ended up for +7 the USSR. on the 2/3 reshuffle, I was given Asia Scoring, and had Nuclear Test Ban. So...that was a quick game.
We set up again and things went significantly longer. Asia and Europe both scored in Turn 1, so we had a lot of conflict in the Middle East, waiting for that scoring (Turn3). decolonization game up twice, I didn't feel a huge need to put influence in Asia, so dropped a couple in the cheap African countries both times. When you do that in the early war and then headline the corresponding scoring card before someone is paying attention it is just morale killing.
This one ended in Turn 7, with SE asia scoring being the final play for Russia.
I would think that your opponent should have played Asia Scoring right after he revealed it to you. Did he try to recoup Iran -- to prevent you moving into Pakistan? I'm always curious how people make decisions for each hand.
I'm trying to remember, the two games kinda blur..but I think he actually took Pakistan from me by the time scoring happened, but never took Japan.
Re: single hand puzzle
absolutely. I don't remember most of the cards. Other than the 3 scoring cards in the early war and the fact that there is a 2/3 reshuffle. So against really good players I'm boned. but I'm pretty good at looking at a hand and figuring how to maximize it or limit the bleeding. But that's what you always hear is a big 'negative' to TS, is that you have to memorize the cards.
Gary Sax wrote: I think the single turn hand puzzle of TS is very overlooked. I hear a lot more about memorizing events or long term strategy but TS has good turn to turn puzzles too. Bluffing is strong in TS as well.
I can't agree with this enough. At its core, that is what I find so compelling about TS. For 7 cards, there are 5040 ways to play each hand -- and I think there are near optimal ways to do it, and it can be small missteps that cost the entire game. The engagement comes from trying to guess what the opponent has and then update that guess by the order they play their cards (which strikes at the bluffing you mention), which might have you adjusting the order you have to play your cards in. Add in needing the flexibility to use cards for different purposes than you originally had planned, and the turn by turn game play is so compelling.
What keeps me coming back year after year, now well into hundreds of games, is I think that you usually don't win because of how well you played. Rather, you win because you were able to take advantage of a mistake of an opponent, which could be as simple as they should have played a card third in the hand instead of fifth -- that gap provides you with room to exploit the chink in their armor. The kicker being you need to do it without overplaying your position.
Not sure if anyone else goes through this, but I'm better at doing this in a face-to-face game than I am on the app. I dunno, I think having all the cards in front of me helps me to be more aware of their consequences. Digital games of all kinds encourage me to overlook really important details.
Josh was really into this game a month ago, until he tried Starship Samurai and now I think he's dumped it. I'm sort of in the opposite position as I played Starship Samurai a number of times when it came out and found several elements to be bland. I really dislike that in both of these games your units don't really die but instead they go back to your pool or base or whatever. This trend started in Scythe and it needs to end.
Both games also suffer from very soft consequences in general. Nothing dies, there's no huge set backs, mostly just you lose time and scoring opportunities (which does hurt to a degree). This Euro approach to softening the blow takes the edge off the game and leaves me wanting a bit more.
But Neon Gods. Besides the general sense of softness permeating the streamlining, I did dig this one quite a bit. It's rapid, in your face, and there's plenty of fighting--even if the stakes aren't always where I want them to be. We actually played it twice last night and the second game was even better than the first.
The deck-building feels somewhat inconsequential at first, kind of point salad-y in that whatever you do you're moving onward and upward. But with some experience, I realized I wanted to prioritize the card draw/heal abilities. The tight card economy is kind of brutal, but in a subtle way. You need to play cards out of your hand to boost attack and defense, and you don't draw a great deal of cards. So if you burn your cards attacking you will get stomped during other player's turns. This can lead to a volatile game state.
I also really dig how event cards pop up in the recruitment deck, allowing players to buy them instead of a dude to trigger wild effects. This is the most turbulent swings in the game and I wish there was more stuff like this. That's probably my biggest complaint is that the game isn't quite crazy enough, particularly for how hard it tries to show its zani-ness.
I enjoyed it regardless though, and I'm looking forward to more plays. It's about an hour and a half long and moves along at a good clip. If it can manage an expansion, I think it could be propelled up a significant step.
I wished I could play it more, but the last time I played it with my wife she threw her cards at me in a restaurant because I ran back a sixty-point deficit for the win.
Iron Curtain with teams of teenagers. Worked surprisingly well. Lots of shouting and disagreements and getting in character.
I've played it and 13 Days of the TS light games, and it's pretty good, the spatial element really makes it - you actually place down the cards to make an abstracted map of influence, and there are placement rules and then consequences with regards to influence.
I've been making a list for a Magic: The Gathering cube and it's proving harder than I thought. While there are good cubes to copy, they are larger than I want to (I'm looking for 360 cards) and often have many cards I either don't want to include (Power, Jitte, Planewalkers) or that I don't like on aesthethic terms (Many modern cards). It's also true that White kind of sucks in cube and is hard to build.
I wonder how possible it is to make cubes for other card games. Have you guys done it for something else?
I think there are three or four concepts that I would have liked to learn earlier in my Legend of the Five Rings experience. Most importantly, the idea that you don't have to engage into four conflicts a turn and that passing is perfectly fine.