× Use the stickied threads for short updates.

Please consider adding your quick impressions and your rating to the game entry in our Board Game Directory after you post your thoughts so others can find them!

Please start new threads in the appropriate category for mini-session reports, discussions of specific games or other discussion starting posts.

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

More
05 Jul 2019 10:58 #299264 by Gary Sax
That's awesome Charlest, living *my* best board gaming life over there.

Two player Pax, in general, tends to be a good, tense game but very zero sum. I like them with three---enough players to reduce the zero sum part, but not enough to make you almost individually powerless over the board state. Pamir has alliance mechanics, though, which might be compatible with more players.
The following user(s) said Thank You: charlest

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Jul 2019 17:46 - 05 Jul 2019 18:58 #299287 by Jackwraith
Finally got Stormseeker over here with two of his friends to do an afternoon of DoaMs.

Started with Cthulhu Wars, since he'd only played once and they'd never played. Because of that, we stuck with the four base factions. I took Mr. Big Head (He Who Shall Not Be Hatted) and started with the usual Zingaya approach, with the two new guys not quite being conscious of how dangerous the Yellow King freight train can be when it gets going. Black Goat started out really well, though, with three spellbooks in the first round, but that also left him terminally behind in power while Stormy with Nyarlathotep shot ahead. As usual, I plodded along until I had desecrated a third of the map and they weren't quite aware enough to keep me from gaining power by leaving random Undead or Byakhee there. Combine that with gaining Elder Sign trophies from desecrating with Hastur out and I won pretty handily in the fourth or fifth round. I had 37 and my nearest rival was around 28.

Then we finally- FINALLY -got a four-player game of Cry Havoc in. I love Portal Games' stuff and this was no exception. I took the Machines, since they're the most complicated/slowest and this remained true. I came in dead last because Steve didn't get a fast start with the Humans, which then meant that the Troggs ran rampant across the board. Admittedly, I also misplayed the first round by not moving to an open space near me and building. Everyone loved the game, though, which means I probably have ready players for next time.
Last edit: 05 Jul 2019 18:58 by Jackwraith.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, Gary Sax, mezike, hotseatgames, Frohike, charlest, WadeMonnig

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jul 2019 00:58 #299323 by dysjunct
So I’ve played about a dozen games of Flamme Rouge thanks to Wade. I have not won a single one of them, either mostly losing to my 4.5yo spawn (as well as the dummy decks from Peleton) and once I beat her but still lost to the dummy decks.

At this point I am not exactly sure why I am so bad at this game but I am about to top-deck my next play and, if I win, ceremonially burn it and curse Wade’s descendants unto the seventh generation.

We’ve also played some Colt Express which is fun but I beat her every time. SUCK IT KINDERGARTEN.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Frohike, charlest, BillyBobThwarton, WadeMonnig, DarthJoJo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 Jul 2019 13:08 #299363 by barrowdown
I played the first scenario of Necromunda: Underhive with my primary miniatures gaming opponent. The local scene may get a Necromunda campaign started so we thought we try the game out to see if we want to participate. We both liked it even though we made some rules errors. The core game rulebook is terribly laid out even for GW. Hopefully, the combined rulebook/Gang War rules version is more clearly laid out. I would likely play Cawdor and my opponent is leaning towards Orlock for league play. Hopefully, the league works out but based on my personal experience of the local Missoula leagues it might be difficult for us to play with a typical M-F work schedule.

My wife and I finished off the Chronicles of Crime: Noir. We liked it overall, but not as much as the core game/DLC mysteries. The new actions available seem like they were forced in to make it feel a little bit different than the base game, but without being fully incorporated. The also give you side characters in places just to mimic the core game investigation support options.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, Frohike, charlest

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 Jul 2019 15:21 #299375 by Legomancer
Finally played the big hotness, Wingspan, and it lived up to the hype. Oh it's not the be-all and-all game, and I'm not going to kill a baby to get a copy of it, but it's a solid tableau/engine builder with beautiful production. And it's, thankfully, not an overdesigned mess like so many other hot games these days. It does what it does with focus and efficiency.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, RobertB, mezike, Frohike, WadeMonnig

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 Jul 2019 19:32 #299392 by hotseatgames
Do tell us if you encounter a game worth killing a baby.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Legomancer, san il defanso, Frohike, Hadik, Vysetron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Jul 2019 10:49 #299505 by barrowdown
We played the first scenario of Chronicles of Crime: Welcome to Redview. This expansion is set in 1980s small town America and each player gets a unique character to play. It adds skill checks as alternate ways to approach various difficulties, which is definite improvement over the card option system in Noir. There did not seem to be a real negative penalty for failing other than a loss of time. The scenario was fun and fairly well tied together. It felt more cohesive than the Noir scenarios, which often felt like pieces were missing. On the other hand, we had solved the scenario earlier than we expected because we felt we needed to gather all the pieces for every path like in Noir. It definitely felt different than Noir and the base game.

I also have setup Against the Odds, Issue #27 (Volume 7, Number 3) The Pocket at Falaise that I will hopefully get to tonight.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Frohike

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Jul 2019 17:43 - 11 Jul 2019 08:19 #299523 by lj1983
Wiz-War! 5 players. I convinced Red to hold open a door for me, so I could create a wall and trap the leader into a square. that he never escaped from. Another wizard created a wall of fire and mind controlled another player into crossing it 3 times. this left that wizard with 3 health, whereupon I threw a boomstone at him and blew him up for the win!


We didn't have a ton of time left, but one guy wanted to play Pax Pamir again, so we cut down the # of cards in each deck and played with 4 players. Britain and Russia tied through the first two dominance checks. We switched sides and most of us joined the Brits. Lots of betrayal actions going on, with almost no control tribes on the board. eventually Purple cards came out and Britain dominated the board. We had lots of military actions...but we were all on the same side, so Britain definitely was in control...but we couldn't shoot each other's tribes. There's things I should have done here, but I was always a turn too late. the final scoring (and double! points) determined the winner. 10 points for winning dominance is crazy.

of the 4 players, I loved it...guy who wanted to play again has decided it's officially a "very good game", other british player enjoyed it...4th player who sided with the Russians was overwhelmed.
Last edit: 11 Jul 2019 08:19 by lj1983.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, Msample, mezike, hotseatgames, Frohike

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 Jul 2019 10:12 - 12 Jul 2019 08:22 #299551 by charlest
[in reference to a question asking if Pax Pamir is good at 3 - the original question was moved to the Pax thread]

I've played it at three and it works very well. I think four is probably best, but three is nearly as good.

The only element you lose by cutting down the player count is less nuanced alliances. There's a dynamic at play in higher counts that doesn't fully come through at the lower end. You still get some of it, but two players pumping up Britain while one opposes is not the same poison as three or four players all switching to the same coalition.

I have not tried the Wakhan AI yet so haven't played solo. I don't think I likely ever will.

Concerning my own plays this week - I'm becoming a bit enamored with the Jagged Alliance board game. It's not up there with Pamir, Gods War, or Core Space for me (my top releases at this point), but it's solidly in my top 10.

It's kind of a dungeon crawl but kinda not. You move tile to tile and start mini tactical skirmishes that are localized to the specific tiles. You kill everything on the tile and liberate it before moving on. This happens in the context of a scenario.

The timer element is pretty neat. It's a threat track specific to the dictator in your campaign (yes, you want to play this as a campaign game). The dictator at first is annoyed with your attempts to liberate these third world villages, but as things get more serious they send counter attacks and try to swat you down. Since there's ways to manage the timer it works much better than say Imperial Assault.

The campaign elements are great too. You open up new gear which you need to manage (a big part of the original PC game), you liberate whole towns and gain income in Rebels or Cash. You can acquire allies that permanently grant you new abilities.

They also managed to somewhat capture the wide range of mercs available, offering 12 for you to choose from.

The minis are average and the artwork is solid. They do only offer six options for player characters so you have to sort of choose the one that looks closest to your merc (similar to Western Legends, I don't mind this at all).

The confined tactical structure moving tile by tile, combined with a neat light campaign framework provide a pretty strong experience.

Contrast this with Crusader Kings which we played this week. It wasn't nearly as good and has quite a few design flaws. There's only a single vector to winning really (owning territory) and Crusading is fluffed up by offering special abilities but should have really been an alternate path to victory.

Despite that, we did have quite a bit of fun. Nobles and family members are represented with trait discs that you toss into your bag as your family grows. You draw these to test for success with various actions. So, my King started out rather poorly marrying a Slothful woman from France (I had no better option and wanted to make sure I was eligible for children). I drew the slothful trait three times early in the game, thwarting my attempt to build a castle, marry off a child, and hatch a plot to create unrest for my neighbor.

The narrative context of failing or succeeding on a test due to these traits is the best part of the game. As your bag builds it feels as though your dynasty's gene pool is shifting and being bent to your will. Very neat.

Unfortunately the game is very random, it's fiddly, and it lacks the overall strategic sophistication of Crusader Kings 2. It's an abstracted facsimile which doesn't feel true to its material, merely parroting some of its features and hinging everything on that bag building - which is quite neat but not enough. Fief is the better experience for this sort of fuedal dynastic game.

Slide Quest is still ripping it up as an amusing family game. I introduced it to my main group and we lost on level 10.

I also broke out Flamme Rouge and enjoyed it. It continually forces you to question how much your decisions actually matter (so much of the game is obfuscated), but it was pleasant and elegant. I did see some depth and I want to try it again, as well as the cobblestone spaces from Peloton.
Last edit: 12 Jul 2019 08:22 by charlest.
The following user(s) said Thank You: bendgar, mezike, hotseatgames, Frohike, WadeMonnig, DarthJoJo, n815e

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Jul 2019 01:17 #299627 by Jackwraith
Monthly Meetup group got together today for the usual soiree, but it was the one-year anniversary of the group, so a bigger crowd than usual (organizer was doing some raffles, etc.)

Broke out Cthulhu Wars with five people: Crawling Chaos, Yellow Sign, Sleeper, Windwalker, and Opener (me.) I still can't think of Yog as "Opener". To me, he'll always be The Key and the Gate. I loved that faction in the CCG/LCG... With both Chaos and Opener in play, we got off to a slower start than usual. There were also three new people and another who'd only played once or twice, so there was a lot of info to absorb. I kept poking people about remembering their spellbooks. Sleeper caught on quickly, though, and started abusing the Serpent Men. Windwalker never really got on track, while Hastur started his snowball a little late. Meanwhile, I shot out front with Yog's crowd when I kept summoning Mutants at others' gates, stealing their Cultists, and replacing them with mine. That gave me a pretty steady stream of power (and Doom) until I could start hopping my gates away from threats and then summon Yog in the same space as Nyarlathotep to complete my last two spellbooks in one stroke and then use Dragon Ascending to protect my gates in the late stage of the turn and Dragon Descending to get the double Doom bonus for the win. Combat was very light in this game. I had to force the issue to get my fourth spellbook by throwing my lone Mutant against two Hunting Horrors. If I bring it next time, I think I can convince people to be a little more aggressive. I should just play Cthulhu and pick fights all the time.

Then we started up a 5-player Blood Rage session, with one newbie. In complete contrast, the bloodshed was widespread and constant. I defaulted into the Loki strategy because I was forced to: Everyone kept clobbering me with huge combat cards. I didn't win a single fight until the end of the Third Age. I advanced my Glory/Axes one point and nothing else, because I could never win a Pillage contest. However, I had the Loki card that lets me steal Glory when I lose and the other one that gives me Glory for everyone who dies in a fight. I played it in two slugfests at Yggdrasil and scored bunches. But the Raven Clan had the Odin's gateway upgrade that lets them double their Glory for Quests, so I got passed in the end scoring and finished second. A couple turns in, the newbie was like: "This game is awesome!" Seems like a pretty common reaction. I think it's a close second to CitOW for Lang's best game.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, mezike, hotseatgames, Frohike, WadeMonnig

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Jul 2019 11:34 #299631 by mezike
At home:

Lazer Riderz for less than a tenner was a steal and we've played it a lot in the last week or so since it arrived. I pulled out of the KS and promptly forgot about it until it was mentioned in Josh and Al's podcast, and I'm glad they did because it's a lot of fun but boy am I glad I waited to get it for a fraction of the price. I'm also glad that I have another game I can play on the mat I bought for X-Wing. This game is immense fun, it's basically a take on the lightcycle racing in Tron and gets better with more players. Given that it's dirt cheap at the moment I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone.

Had a great game of Xia where I tried something I haven't done before. I took the ship that can fly through planetary borders without penalty and then equipped it with a big engine and some enviro-shields. I then used it to slip behind both law enforcement and my opponent while embarking on a strategy of shorting the market by siphoning goods off into the black market. Being able to short cut between planets meant that I could dominate on trade routes and I used the outlaw planets to dump cargo without creating production which quickly shorted the market and created further bonuses on trade. The bounty that I was picking up didn't matter because I could use my ship to slip away from the Enforcer and was able to take a few hits without care anyway wen I couldn't. With all the cash I was making I was also able to upgrade whenever the heat became too strong. When I got within touching distance of victory I added some weapons and shot down the Merchant so that I could get enough cash to buy the final victory point that I needed.

However I was just pipped to the post when my opponent had a lucky near miss with a comet that landed him three FP and catapulted him into victory, a last gasp do-or-die risk which we decided to dub as his very own Kessel Run.

We went for a cycle ride earlier today and when we got back there was demand to play Flamme Rouge for which I was happy to oblige. We took a fairly flat route with lots of cobblestones which resulted in stringing the group out and creating lots of opportunity for slipstreaming. At one point the rearmost riders gained seven steps in just two turns which then shook things up at the inevitable breakaway attempt that followed.

The Peloton bot just crawled over the line in first place after one of their special cards flung the Rouleur into a breakaway, however the rest of the bots were suffering with one of them dead last. They didn't create as much carnage through the cobblestones as I expected because they randomly pulled big cards at just those points when a Human rider might have pulled back a little in order to block the way. Second place went to my son's Rouleur who had crept in all the way from the rear of the pack where he had been coasting on everybody else's hard work and timed his sprints to perfection through the gaps in the cobblestone sections.


At the club:

A few weeks back I got to try Detective: City of Angels from Van Ryder games, wherein you take the roles of prohibition-era detectives dealing with cases involving a local organised crime gang. It has a super neat mechanism where, as a detective player, you can question an NPC on any of the other currently known items in the game and the GM/Overlord has a matrix from which they can give you one of a series of responses. Very simply you can accept the answer you've been given or challenge if you think the witness/suspect is holding out; being right gives you 'leverage' on them which is a token you can spend at a later time to immediately force out the best possible answer, failing gives them leverage over you which can prevent you from getting anything at all later on. It's a really cool approach to handling evasiveness and unreliability and works really well with the thematic setting of hard bitten film-noir detectives grilling their unwilling suspects and sometimes going too far. You also find yourself going back to suspects after finding new information elsewhere and it really invites you to get into things when you realise some scumbag has been holding out on you. The only frustration that I found when playing was that sometimes I wanted to ask an obvious question that the game simply didn't cater for, so you just have to roll with the idea that your avatar has a very limited amount of information within which you need play the game.

It was very enjoyable, it's smart, it's beautiful and I'm looking forward to playing again, However, and it's a big but, this is a game you can really only play four times, once for each case, and then it's done. Sure you can maybe find another group to play it with and act in the GM role for them (and the person doing this for us assured me that it's still a lot of fun to do so even though he knew how the case would pan out) but it's going to have a very limited return given the high price of acquiring the game. Unlock games have a similar challenge but are cheap and easy to clear on the secondary market with little loss, whereas Detective: City of Angels is a bit of a whale by comparison.

Also had my first taste of Cthulu Wars a few days ago! I think it's really great, definitely best in class Dudes On A Map. I had Hastur and was up against Cthulu, Ithaqua and Tsathoggua. The game felt really lop-sided because half the players had a good idea of the moving parts and us other two dum-dums trailed far behind simply by playing it wrong due to having no idea of how to play it right. Ithaqua got mugged a couple of times early on because he didn’t understand how he was making himself vulnerable and I ended up putting the cart before the horse by giving myself an horrendously slow start and having to send the King in Yellow to retrace his steps at a crucial juncture. By the time I had figured out what I should have been doing with Hastur in order to snowball Elder Signs it was far too late and Cthulu had stamped so far into the lead that his win was inevitable. We took about two hours to play but it really didn't feel like it, fun all the way through even though I was hilariously inept.

I found that the demand it places on you as a player is quite similar to Eric Lang's design style, being hopelessly lost in an opaque bubble of mechanisms where you all have the same goal and same actions available to you but very different ways to leverage those actions to achieve that goal. Doing well in the game requires you to understand your faction and, crucially, to then play it right as failing to do so results in rather middling and aimless progress. As much as I enjoyed playing I find this design approach a touch too opaque and think that I prefer the approach taken with the COIN series and exemplified in Root where faction playstyle is a little more overt, sometimes even guided to a certain extent, and you cannot help but step on the other player's toes along the way rather than it being incumbent on the players to figure out the hard way what they should be doing and when. Even so, Cthulu Wars is really great and it's a shame it's so ridiculously expensive or I would be all over getting a copy for myself.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, Sagrilarus, Jackwraith, hotseatgames, Frohike, charlest, WadeMonnig, DarthJoJo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Jul 2019 13:19 - 14 Jul 2019 23:17 #299632 by Jackwraith
I think that's a fair point about Cthulhu Wars, in that new players have a much harder time playing the game because they're not sure what's happening outside their own actions. The last time I played, it was with one player who'd played once and two new players and they just let me run away with the game as Yellow Sign because they had no idea how much that faction can snowball later in the game. I was content to my own thing as Yog yesterday because I could tell that our Yellow Sign player (new) was having trouble grasping the whole Desecration chain sequence until it was too late (even though I kept poking her about remembering her extra actions.) It is a very tight design in terms of game length, too, so if you screw up in one or two spots, you can easily be so hampered that you just won't be able to recover. Windwalker is perfect for that, because it's enormously powerful if played well, but if a couple mistakes are made early, it's tough to come back.

I don't agree with the comparison with Root, though. I think that game is also pretty hampered by lack of experience. There's virtually no way for a new player to win or often have any idea what's going on, until they've played it three or four times. People rave about the elegance of the design and the theme opened doors for a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise have looked at DoaMs, but the questions I've had both from and for a lot of people are: Are you actually having enough fun while being lost for three games to want to get to where it's REALLY fun when you know what's going on? Are you willing to go through two or three games of bewilderment in order to actually enjoy playing because you finally know what steps to take as the Aerie or the WA? Are games "good" when they take three or four plays to enjoy? Thinking back, were the first few games of Chess or Go enjoyable while your opponent was running rings around you? I'm not sure.

The reasons that most of my players were giving for wanting to try CW again were that they could see the potential of the occasionally over-complicated spellbooks and cool things you could do with the different monsters. Root doesn't have that kind of visceral detail. Instead, its variation comes from the fact that the different factions really aren't playing the same game, but happen to be on the same board. I don't find that as appealing, but YMMV.
Last edit: 14 Jul 2019 23:17 by Jackwraith.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, mezike, hotseatgames, BillyBobThwarton, WadeMonnig, DarthJoJo, n815e

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Jul 2019 13:45 #299633 by mezike
Good points.

What I was trying to get across with Root is that the faction boards pretty much tell you what to do. Playing as the cats? Build stuff. Eyrie? Expand and place roosts or expand and fight. Alliance? Get in people’s way and be the victim, and so on. There are definitely subtleties to discover and which a good/experienced player will leverage but it’s pretty clear what you ought to be doing with your faction.

CW on the other hand is the same goal for everybody - put Cultists on Gates and/or collect Elder Signs. What isn’t immediately apparent is how to get that done with your faction. Maybe I just need to play CW some more, it just didn’t click anywhere near as quickly as my first game of Root did.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Jul 2019 14:01 #299634 by hotseatgames
Sounds like some good Cthulhu Wars action! Makes me want to get a game in again soon, but before that happens I need to get some mileage out of Lords of Hellas. LoH is a much more accessible design since each player is pretty much the same with slight hero differences.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, Hadik, WadeMonnig

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Jul 2019 15:19 #299636 by n815e
But each faction board of CW tells you exactly what you need to do to obtain your spellbooks, which are required to win. And each spellbook is available to read from the beginning.
Some factions may be harder to “see” how to win with if you are unfamiliar with the game or the play style is different from what you normally like. But it is all there for you to see.

mezike wrote: Good points.

What I was trying to get across with Root is that the faction boards pretty much tell you what to do. Playing as the cats? Build stuff. Eyrie? Expand and place roosts or expand and fight. Alliance? Get in people’s way and be the victim, and so on. There are definitely subtleties to discover and which a good/experienced player will leverage but it’s pretty clear what you ought to be doing with your faction.

CW on the other hand is the same goal for everybody - put Cultists on Gates and/or collect Elder Signs. What isn’t immediately apparent is how to get that done with your faction. Maybe I just need to play CW some more, it just didn’t click anywhere near as quickly as my first game of Root did.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary SaxFrohike
Time to create page: 0.384 seconds