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January 23, 2020
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Michael Barnes
January 23, 2020
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Top Gun is a Maverick - Review

Board Game Reviews
Josh Look
January 22, 2020
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January 22, 2020
452 0
January 22, 2020
319 0
January 21, 2020
558 0

Circle Undone Review

Board Game Reviews
January 21, 2020
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Setup Pains

January 20, 2020
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san il defanso
January 20, 2020
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Clank! in Review

Board Game Reviews
January 18, 2020
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January 18, 2020
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January 17, 2020
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January 17, 2020
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January 17, 2020
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Crack in the Bell

Podcasts & Videos
January 16, 2020
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Coming the Week of January 18th (17 Jan 2020)

First Impressions of Return to Dark Tower.
Reviews of Clank!, On the Underground, Cover Your Kingdom, and Arkham Horror LCG: Circle Undone Core Box.
It Came from the Tabletop's take on Sanctum.
Part 3 of The Others.
And more TBA

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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?

13 Jan 2020 09:44 #306080 by the_jake_1973
My copy of Isle of Cats arrived and it is as good as I thought it would be. I've only played a two handed solo game, rather than the solo specific rules, so I can teach it to some others.

Great components. The player mat (ship) can get a little crowded and you need to be careful of jostling the pieces. The card drafting is nice and keeping cards/fish between rounds allows you to have some freedom to plan for a big turn. Because the board state is open to all ,you can play cards to bump your turn order to get the cat you know someone else is gunning for. I like that as it keeps it as interactive as you want it to be.

I'm looking forward to playing it with friends this weekend.
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13 Jan 2020 10:03 - 13 Jan 2020 16:32 #306081 by Jackwraith

Vysetron wrote: S: Hunters
A: Aliens, Grays
B: Marines, Bots
C: Scientists
Impossible to grade: Pandora

I've been thinking of doing a more in-depth article on Theseus, recently. I agree that the Hunters are amazing, but really only for experienced players. There's enough nuance in their deck that if you don't play things at the right time (or don't take advantage of their sometimes ridiculous "go outside" abilities), you can basically feel like you're treading water. I've also had more luck with the Bots than most. And the Aliens can feel unstoppable with the right combo of cards (Parasite!) Yeah. Really should write that...

Edit: And, of course, I did that already, almost a year ago. Didn't think I'd gone into that much detail, but when have I ever not gone into detail?
Last edit: 13 Jan 2020 16:32 by Jackwraith.
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14 Jan 2020 11:17 - 14 Jan 2020 11:17 #306138 by Msample
Played three rounds of UNDAUNTED NORMANDY this past weekend. My friend who bought it is def on the lighter side of wargaming vs me. I was a bit underwhelmed. I wasn't expecting ASL or Combat Commandeer, but a few things bothered me:

- Scouts seem over powered. Same fire attack as a squad, and a higher defense - the only offset is they have less staying power due to having fewer cards .

- There isn't any differentiation between what would be considered Melee/close combat vs ranged attacks other than a lack of a range modifier. So again Scouts and MG teams are not much different than a squad for holding a space.

- the German and US units are exactly the same - no differentiation whatsoever. Even if you toss out the need for any sort of historical flavor, from pure game design perspective some sort of asymmetry gives a lot of replay value as well as design opportunity down the road.

- the format screams out for some sort of random event mechanism; as it is seems to lack any sort of narrative flavor.

There are some interesting ideas, but it didn't strike me as having a ton of replay value. I get that I am not the target market here but the juice doesn't seem worth the squeeze if you've already played something meatier. I can bang out a game of Combat Commander in under two hours usually I'd rather just do that.
Last edit: 14 Jan 2020 11:17 by Msample.
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17 Jan 2020 10:37 - 17 Jan 2020 12:48 #306324 by Ah_Pook
Highlights of the past couple weeks

Tried out a friend's copy of Heroes of Land Air and Sea and thought it was okay. It was a weird mashup of resource management optimization stuff and wildly random card draws/counter flips. The game was won on the other guy drawing better spells than me basically. I'm fine with crunchy management stuff, and I'm fine with randomness, but the marriage between the two here felt off. Plus we played 2p which obviously didn't feel like where the game would shine. We had a 4p game planned but two dropped out at the last second. The map was big enough that we didn't fight once the entire game. Also the end game triggers felt really off. I would guess that's in service to keeping the playing short, but yea. It just kind of ends. So, a mixed bag. I'd try it again at 3-4 I guess but I'm not clamoring for it.

Also I ordered a German copy of Babylonia , and have played it 5 times so far. It feels a lot like Knizia's follow up to Blue Lagoon and it is GREAT. Take the super streamlined tile laying/route building of Blue Lagoon and mash in various concepts from Samurai, T&E, Through The Desert, and also unlockable variable player powers and voila. You can score by surrounding cities for majority a la Samurai, or by building huge networks of connected tiles that score when other people score cities. Both have hugely explosive score potential, which is really fun. Play things correctly and your late game turns are like I play these tiles and score 40 points and your opponent go... Wait what. Plus if you get majority of a ziggurat when it scores you get to claim a game breaking special power, which is just great fun. Place extra tiles, larger hand size, back to back turns, etc. Plus it's super quick (15-20 minutes 2p, 45-60 4p tops) and brutal to play. If you like nasty tile laying games like Knizia is famous for you should order this right now.

Edit: forgot, also tried out Senators , which is a Savage little auction game. Basically the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and you kick each other in the dick. Some people thought it was too swingy, and I mean it's definitely very swingy but that's part of the charm I think? If you like auctions and being an asshole check it out.
Last edit: 17 Jan 2020 12:48 by Ah_Pook.
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17 Jan 2020 20:58 - 17 Jan 2020 21:01 #306354 by Road Judge
My son is back at college (sadness), but over Christmas break we played some games I got for Christmas. ]War of the Ring second edition. I got expansions too but just played base game. It's one of my favorites.

Tank Duel by GMT was another we played several times. We've only played with the tanks but want to add infantry and all the other stuff it has.

Most of our gaming was Imperial Assault -Tyrants of Lothal. He loves running the Imperial side. I like it because it gets us gaming every night to get through a campaign.

Lastly got to play Western Legends at my meetup a couple weeks ago.

Been a good last 4 weeks.
Last edit: 17 Jan 2020 21:01 by Road Judge. Reason: Having trouble with my bold setting apparenly
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17 Jan 2020 21:26 #306356 by charlest
I'm halfway through a review of Tank Duel right now. Good game for sure.
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17 Jan 2020 21:46 #306357 by Road Judge
Look forward to hearing what you think. We're getting showed in so I would like try the solo mode this weekend. We'll see.

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18 Jan 2020 00:04 #306360 by Msample

More when I get home after the weekend , but basically if you thought it was hard wrangling forces in Uncrappy King Charles, this takes cat herding to a new level on the swamps and steppes of medieval Russia. But in a good way; looking forward to playing again. The system certainly bears watching going forward.
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18 Jan 2020 00:55 #306361 by Jackwraith
My friend, Brad's, gaming weekend was rolling again tonight and I tried three new (to me) things:

The first was Glass Road. It's an engine builder that's somehow based on the glassblowing industry in Germany in the 15th-century. It's not especially complex except for two things: 1. You're committed to making glass and bricks above all else. 2. You use two rondels to track resources, which force you to create those two manufactured goods whenever you can, thus depriving you of resources that you might've wanted to use to make buildings, which is how you score the majority of your points. It's complicated by having to select five roles (Builder, Carpenter, Cultivator, Pit Worker, etc.) and try to anticipate what your opponents will be playing so that you can get extra actions, as the ability to take actions is extremely limited. I'm not really sure what I think about it, but I'd like to play again to see if I can see some more angles of it.

Then I played Ca$h and Gun$ for the first time. I had the Vulture role (I could swipe two random loots from anyone who's been eliminated.) Unfortunately, I was properly perceived as a threat and didn't bother to duck a single time, so I got knocked out. It's a good group/party game.

Then we played Brawl; a "real-time" battle card game. It's, uh, simple and plays quickly. That's about all I'll say about that.

I'm hosting/teaching Cry Havoc and Tiny Epic Tactics tomorrow, so no new stuff.
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18 Jan 2020 09:03 #306364 by Gary Sax

Msample wrote: Nevsky

More when I get home after the weekend , but basically if you thought it was hard wrangling forces in Uncrappy King Charles, this takes cat herding to a new level on the swamps and steppes of medieval Russia. But in a good way; looking forward to playing again. The system certainly bears watching going forward.

Awesome, keep us updated on this one, I've been eyeing it.

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18 Jan 2020 18:27 #306370 by hotseatgames
After it sitting on the shelf for so long, I finally got to play another game of Neuroshima Hex. My girlfriend took the Outpost, and I took Mississippi. She hasn't played in a long time and has only played a couple of times. Outpost is pretty straight-forward. Likewise, I had only used Mississippi once before.

I got an early draw of a Poisoner, which I of course threw up against her HQ. I also managed to paralyze her HQ. I was also able to use my HQ ability to push her units away quite successfully, and her health started ticking down pretty rapidly. She got a few long range hits in on my HQ, but by the time my stack depleted, I won with 13 HP to her 3 HP.

She was really not happy when I dropped the Toxic Bomb down next to her HQ and informed her that it was a foundation tile and thus couldn't be eliminated.
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18 Jan 2020 21:42 #306375 by Jackwraith
Ha! Venomous rednecks, FTW!

Spent the second day at Jen Con (the hostess' name is Jennifer.) While waiting for others to show, we played a couple games of For Sale! It's a slick, little card game that's a basic bid for the properties (numbered 1 to 30 in value; withdrawn bids pay half for lesser properties in order of withdrawal, winning bid is paid in full) and then a hidden bid with the properties for money cards. The winner is whoever has the most cash at the end. It plays very quickly and takes a lot of anticipation and awareness of the risk-taking tendencies of those around you. It makes a really good group/social game, too. I was impressed.

Then I taught a three-player game of Cry Havoc. I had to kind of juggle a couple rules in my head because I'm totally accustomed to playing it four-player (i.e. with the Troggs controlled by a human) and there are a couple subtle differences with AI Troggs. I explained the three factions to my newbies and they immediately pounced on the Pilgrims (former control player in M:TG, like me) and the Humans (easiest to start with; and the player, the hostess, doesn't really like DoaMs.) So, I took the Machines, prepared to once again demonstrate their inherent superiority to all of the BGGers who simply can't see what's in front of their own visual receptors.

I went the heavy-build route because that's the Machines. In the end, I had two Shredder Drones, two Barracks(!), a Factory, an Orbital Sniper, and a Matrix. I got into a couple of the middle territories that arc around the planet and started using the Shredders and Sniper regularly. I dropped the Barracks in those territories to be able to respond to any attempts to retake them, since they were both fairly crystal-heavy. The Pilgrims played well, getting all three Harvesters out and using them regularly. They then made the one push for a territory that would've tied the final score if they'd been able to take it, but I'd stocked two Desert cards on my Matrix, both of which were either move one of my guys from Reserve to an objective or move to a different objective. And this is after I'd taken the lead in dudes from Shredder use. The Humans did OK, getting an Airfield going and generally testing the limits of what she thought she could do. In the end, I won 54-49-45. Even though it felt like a significant advantage for the Machines, the scores were still close, which is one of the things I love about this game. Three-player starts a little slower, since there's not an expansionist mind behind the sudden explosion of greenskins, but it's still one of the best DoaMs out there and both my new players enjoyed it.

Then I taught a game of Tiny Epic Tactics to two new players. Similar to Cry Havoc, I hadn't played three-player TET at all. It's MUCH more open and the immediate fisticuffs that occur in four-player didn't really happen. One of my new players played carefully and picked up two flags in one turn. I later discovered that that should've put the game in "final round" mode right there, but we played another round until the third flag was captured, too (not by me.) If we'd played it that way, the two-flag winner would've won 16-15-8. Once they figured out how the portals worked, they both were moving efficiently across the land.

We finished far more quickly than I expected, too, so we played a game of Guildhall. Our TET winner was ahead with 15 points, before I got one of the small VP cards that lets you play out as many cards from your hand as you want, which basically set me up to finish two chapters and get two more small cards on my next turn, bringing me to 19. Then I just had to wait for it to come around to my turn again to drop a Farmer and win it. I discovered this game at last year's Jen Con and am still undefeated in it, a dozen games later.
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19 Jan 2020 12:59 #306378 by hotseatgames
Last night was the debut of Glamazons vs. The Curse of the Chainmail Bikini. Four of us were doing some drinking and this lightweight game fit the situation perfectly. We played 3 rounds in a row and it was nice seeing the bluffing and level of "advanced" play progress as the rounds went on.

I'm glad I finally have my copy!
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19 Jan 2020 14:01 #306379 by jeb
We played 5p SIDEREAL CONFLUENCE and battled our way through the rules with a couple new players. We set them up with the easier aliens and they did well. They also teamed up and took big leads that the balance of us couldn't claw back from.
Me: Imdril, have to get Fleets to power the economy. Tougher than it looks! But man, once you can fire things up they are the best economies in the game. I really hate not having any colony support though. I should have been trading for economy cards. I came in a close third @460, using our corrected scoring.
Hadar: Caylius, plants that double colony production. One of the easier ones to play. Trade for ships make the best colonies in the game, repeat. She came in second at 469.
Sivan: Kit, hive with null-space colonies and dual economies. Easiest alien to play and the upgraded dual economies are ridiculous. She got them online fast and killed everyone. 560.
Shai: Unity, AI with "wild" cubes, process trash into treasure. Hard as balls to play and he got rolled. No one could figure out how to value his stuff and he kept to himself too much. 407.
Edden: Kjas, colonists with "big" economies. He's a kid and definitely made the best sound effects in the game, though perhaps not the best deals. He never really got rolling the way Kjas can. 418.

Corrected scoring is just applying a factor of 12. VPs = 12, Hexes = 6, Bigs = 4, Smalls/Ships = 3.

Later on we played TWITCH and that game is worth tracking down if you have teens. They were fascinated. We'd played it when they were younger, but they didn't remember. I broke it out again and they were just enchanted. If you haven't, it's a card game where each played card tells you whose turn it is to go next. "Yellow" or "two-to-the-right" or "Back at ya" and so forth. You throw cards into a bowl to keep things sane, and if someone is slow or misplays, you throw a challenge card in to see who gets stuck with the pile. It's a genius game from Richard Garfield I got like 20 years ago. Hasn't seen print in about as long because we need another game where you turn cardboard into wood into cards into points.
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19 Jan 2020 23:05 #306387 by ubarose
We just finished up our our hygge board gaming weekend. Friends come for the weekend, and we play games in our comfy clothes (flannels, yoga pants, slippers, etc),and eat comfort food (Mac&cheese, brisket, hot cider, cocoa) from Friday night until Sunday afternoon.

The high points were Western Legends, which I didn’t play but heard the stories from it, Mare Nostrum, and a game of Yacht Race which will not soon be forgotten.

Yacht Race is a pinnacle of thematic game design, with the tiniest of rule sets. Saul and I were way behind in the race having suffered a number of misfortunes. With the wind against me, and no chance of catching up with the rest of the racers, I turned around and headed back to the Yacht Club. Saul decided that sounded good to him, and did the same. We got back to club just a couple of turns before the rest of the the racers, and cheered on the winner from the comfort of the Yacht Club bar.
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