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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?

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15 Apr 2019 21:35 - 15 Apr 2019 21:37 #295544 by san il defanso
One of my favorite games to play with my son is 7 Wonders Duel. I feel like it captures the Euro-style civ game idea much more effectively than its big brother, mostly due to its alternate win conditions and its more compelling drafting method. But yesterday we decided we would take a crack at the Pantheon expansion.

Overall we both enjoyed it a lot. It's the kind of expansion that adds stuff I like, mostly single-use special powers in the form of deities. There's a sort of draft for these powers within the larger draft during the first age, and then in the second and third ages they are revealed and available for the players. Either player can use any of the gods, but they are priced different depending on where players put them on a little track. If you put one power closer to you, it will be much cheaper for you to use that god than it would be for your opponent. These powers are pretty strong too, like stealing an unfinished wonder from your opponent or copying one of their science symbols.

The selection and valuation of the powers was really interesting to me, and I think that's where this really shines the most. It's a layer of strategy that I think makes the game richer. It also makes it a little easier to win with military, and much easier to win with science. I like that a lot, because alternate victory conditions that never actually happen are a frustration for me. I'm also a sucker for special card-based powers (as is co-designer Bruno Cathala), and I think that's a welcome addition to this. The whole thing feels more volatile and dynamic, and I think that's an improvement.

That said, it won't be for everyone. It doesn't add too much in terms of process to the game, but it does make it more complex, possibly more than some people actually want. It's interesting to me that the expansions of both 7 Wonders games have taken the angle of adding new subsystems, rather than lots of new cards to the original design. I know people who weren't crazy about that in the original game, but I think it works well here. It feels like it dovetails in with everything else nicely. Still, it complicates things, both mechanically and in terms of setting. It also made our game longer, although that might have just been because we were digesting new rules. I think the best comparison is how the Mythology expansion affected the original version of Mare Nostrum. It added lots of supernatural stuff to a fairly minimal design, making it richer and more complex.

Still, I'm glad I bought it with the original game. My son and I both enjoyed it enough that I think we'll continue to play with it when it's just the two of us. He actually won the game on the tie-breaker, and I was not really trying to hold back on him. Definitely glad to have it around.
Last edit: 15 Apr 2019 21:37 by san il defanso.
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15 Apr 2019 22:10 #295545 by hotseatgames
Played my first full (solo) game of Runebound tonight. This game is pretty slick! It moves along, and honestly doesn't give you much time to build up. I spent the whole game broke, barely able to purchase two cheap pieces of equipment. I was really well skilled, though, so that helped shore up my weaknesses.

I got my ass beat by random monsters a couple of times, but managed to obtain enough knowledge about the boss dragon to significantly weaken it. It started marching on Tamalir, so I stepped to it and fought bravely... only to have it kill me while it only had 1 remaining hit point.

I am declaring a moral victory, and Mage Knight is going on the chopping block in the near future.
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16 Apr 2019 08:53 #295555 by charlest
Been hitting the dungeons lately.

Played through the first three scenarios in Josh Derksen's Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Machines. This game deserves a bit more buzz than it's getting. It's an Ameritrash Terminator dungeon crawl where players cooperate to play iconic characters such as Kyle Reese and John Connor or even Arnold ("The Guardian"). The narrative is that you're embarking on the mission to locate and capture/utilize the time machine that would send Kyle Reese back in time to 1985. The scenarios thus far have been kind of side quests on that narrative, reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan kind of.

Anyway, the core system is a neat dice mechanic that's similar to the Claustrophobia demon player. You roll four six-siders and then spend them on your player board and equipment to trigger different effects. Sometimes the value matters, such as how many spaces you move or a 5/6 offering a re-roll on certain weapons. Characters have asymmetric abilities, there's a rank token mechanism to allow you to re-roll dice, and the enemies are extremely well executed.

Mostly it feels as though you're a rag-tag resistance scraping by as T-800 endos and Hunter Killer Drones seek you out. There's lots of freeing of prisoners and taking out high value targets.

The best part is that the scenarios have waypoints that trigger little narrative vignettes. So you reach a face down token and flip it, causing you to read a couple of sentences in the book. This causes unexpected shit to happy such as a T-1000 to break out of nowhere. The T-1000 is scary as hell as it's invincible. All you can do is stagger it by dealing it several blows. You track it's damage received which causes a movement and attack penalty for its turn, but then it heals a random amount of damage.

So the firs time I ran into it I was scared shitless. I had to run around and keep trying to perform my mission goals while this thing endlessly hunted me down. Meanwhile other enemies were spawning and it felt like I was in a warzone and heavily outgunned. The difficulty feels very good as it's rough but not too bad.

It's a campaign thing at heart but it has rules to play any scenario and add more equipment and skill cards. I really dig it although it doesn't quite make it into the upper echelon with Gears of War.

I have the expansion too I need to try which adds another small campaign, more enemies, a new character that has a mini gun, and a random scenario generator.

We also started Middara. This is basically descent if it was a JRPG and had thousands of pieces of equipment. It's a little insane. I backed it years ago and finally it arrived.

The main pull of this game (which is going to turn off 90% of this place), is that it has a 400 page adventure book you work through. It's like an Ameritrash Gloomhaven in terms of content. My group loved it, absolutely loved it. Nothing groundbreaking here but I enjoyed the core dice system and the setup of encounters linked by very long passages of narrative was kind of neat. The story is very much cringeworthy dialogue at times but we got some great laughs out of it. Feels like a JRPG for sure.

My group wanted to keep playing this after a couple of hours but I forced them to stop so we could play one of the newer Unlocks. It was the boogeymen one and I was very amused with the 4th wall tricks it pulled. Still love this series.

We closed out with Five Tribes which I loathe. I'm looking to play some more Terminator Genisys solo and get Res Arcana to the table next week alongside more Middara.
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16 Apr 2019 09:02 #295556 by hotseatgames

charlest wrote: The main pull of this game (which is going to turn off 90% of this place), is that it has a 400 page adventure book you work through. It's like an Ameritrash Gloomhaven in terms of content. My group loved it, absolutely loved it. Nothing groundbreaking here but I enjoyed the core dice system and the setup of encounters linked by very long passages of narrative was kind of neat.


Please tell me that several of the passages just say "..."
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16 Apr 2019 09:34 #295559 by Josh Look

hotseatgames wrote: I am declaring a moral victory, and Mage Knight is going on the chopping block soon.


MK is getting a digital version soon anyway. I absolutely love that game, but there’s nothing about it that needs to exist in a physical format.
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16 Apr 2019 09:36 #295560 by charlest

hotseatgames wrote:

charlest wrote: The main pull of this game (which is going to turn off 90% of this place), is that it has a 400 page adventure book you work through. It's like an Ameritrash Gloomhaven in terms of content. My group loved it, absolutely loved it. Nothing groundbreaking here but I enjoyed the core dice system and the setup of encounters linked by very long passages of narrative was kind of neat.


Please tell me that several of the passages just say "..."


You can pound the skip cut scene button repeatedly but you're likely to get a paper cut flipping the page.
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17 Apr 2019 11:20 #295621 by Vysetron
Played Rum and Bones Second Tide last night as research for my Battle for Biternia review. It might have the biggest gulf between game weight and actual physical weight since Crokinole.

They say this game was MOBA inspired but I don't see it, aside from occasionally needing to conga line your crew along. It's just a super light skirmish where you roll fistfuls of dice at problems with no modifiers or rerolls and someone eventually wins after about an hour. Is it pretty? Yes! Is it fun? Sure! Would I want to own it? Absolutely not.

My question is why this particular game even got a second edition. Was the first unplayable and they just had to fix it? If so they must've left a lot on the cutting room floor because there's barely any meat on these bones.

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17 Apr 2019 11:40 #295623 by hotseatgames
I suffered through a couple of sessions of the 1st version of that game. I actively hate it and will never play again, 2nd edition or otherwise.

It takes forever, and is a tedious slog. That's great that it sounds like it has improved, but no thanks anyway.
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17 Apr 2019 11:42 #295624 by Vysetron
That's crazy to hear, because our game was like 4 rounds long. Super fast. Probably an hour, even including first game jitters. They must have changed a ton.

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17 Apr 2019 11:55 #295627 by charlest
The 2nd edition is better but it's still tedious.

Surprised you don't see the MOBA roots. I mean, it has:

-Mindless creep that move towards the opponent
-Destruction of enemy structures for points (yes, you get points for killing other dudes, but this is an improvement in 2nd edition merely to speed up the game, in 1st edition you had to destroy structures)
-Heroes that are asymmetrical and have upgrades
-Three lanes to pursue and push down
-Bases you respawn from and push out of

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17 Apr 2019 12:13 - 17 Apr 2019 16:13 #295632 by Vysetron

charlest wrote: The 2nd edition is better but it's still tedious.

Surprised you don't see the MOBA roots. I mean, it has:

-Mindless creep that move towards the opponent
-Destruction of enemy structures for points (yes, you get points for killing other dudes, but this is an improvement in 2nd edition merely to speed up the game, in 1st edition you had to destroy structures)
-Heroes that are asymmetrical and have upgrades
-Three lanes to pursue and push down


I see them, they just aren't that well done. Part of that might have been our board: bigass ship vs 3 small ones.

- creeps aren't mindless, they're played as manually as your heroes to the point where you opt where to spawn the bosuns
- structures are spread out and the lanes are completely skippable because you can rope swing everywhere
- sure, but specialized skills are a moba standard and getting to hit on 3+ instead of 4+ ain't it
- see point 2
- spawns are set all over the place and you can opt to spawn wherever, which is distinctly un-moba

It didn't feel anything like a moba, just a vaguely piratey skirmish. Biternia abstracts out some of these too (notably creeps), but the coordinated pushes and structured map feels right. The combat also takes some semblance of thought and unlocking abilities is a huge deal there. In R&B it just feels like you push plastic at each other and see who rolls better.
Last edit: 17 Apr 2019 16:13 by Vysetron.

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17 Apr 2019 12:53 #295645 by WadeMonnig
Not to sound jaded but wasn't second edition just to make sure the game was available for a slew of faction expansions to be released?

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17 Apr 2019 13:48 #295654 by Frohike
That and it was a reboot due to the first edition being a steaming pile that got a really poor reception with backers.

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17 Apr 2019 15:48 #295660 by Michael Barnes
I no longer want it, but I keep Rum and Bones on my BGG want list. I get at least one offer a week from someone trying to get rid of it. It’s funny. I’ve been offered like the whole product line for about $75 worth of games.

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17 Apr 2019 16:07 - 17 Apr 2019 16:57 #295663 by Gary Sax
It's interesting how much both the guys from So Very Wrong About Games likes this one because I've heard nothing but mildly negative stuff about this game since it came out.
Last edit: 17 Apr 2019 16:57 by Gary Sax.
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