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oliverkinne
September 18, 2020
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oliverkinne
September 18, 2020
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Bots Up Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
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ubarose
September 17, 2020
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mezike
September 17, 2020
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boardgameinquisition
September 17, 2020
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whowhatwhycast
September 16, 2020
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WadeMonnig
September 16, 2020
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Andi Lennon
September 15, 2020
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oliverkinne
September 15, 2020
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Min-Maxing

Essays
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thegiantbrain
September 15, 2020
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Letterpress Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
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Matt Thrower
September 14, 2020
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Play Matt: Village Green Review

Board Game Reviews
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GrantLyon
September 13, 2020
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TabletopIsland
September 12, 2020
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ubarose
September 11, 2020
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ubarose
September 11, 2020
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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?

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19 Mar 2020 11:28 #308304 by charlest
I've been running the March race. The upper bound of skill in this game is pretty high for its simplicity.

My March times are pretty bad. Had a real fantastic second run but wiped out twice on the second lap when the weather shifts to rain.
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19 Mar 2020 13:56 #308315 by Jexik
Been watching out for my aging parents and playing Catan with them a bit. It's amazing how different the market can shake out based on the random placement. Had one game where we were getting cities before additional settlements, there was so much ore flowing.

Part of me wishes I had a fresh copy of Pandemic Legacy season 1, although they haven't even played the base game. I'm also not sure how much my dad would like coops.
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19 Mar 2020 19:40 #308347 by Ah_Pook
Played World of Warcraft: The Boardgame for the first time today. Solo, 2p, using a coop variant. It's fun, with a big caveat that it's just way way too long. I would never play this with more than 2. A full pvp 6p game would be a 10-15 hour nightmare. But it looks great, and it captures the process of questing/gearing/leveling in a fun way. You build up your dice pool, you get powers to manipulate the dice etc, you roll huuuge handfuls of dice. The real issue is that now Sanctum exists, and it also captures a very similar feel in a more abstracted waaaaay faster package. You do lose a lot of flavor and the ability to build your toon in a bunch of different ways, but is that worth like 3 more hours? Dunno. I'm glad to have the game but it's definitely going to be a once in a blue moon kind of thing.
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20 Mar 2020 02:21 - 20 Mar 2020 04:59 #308361 by Frohike
I played a couple of games of High Society (after hearing Josh & Al’s discussion about it on It Came From the Tabletop).

I think one of the ultimate dick moves might just be to open the bid on Faux Pas at 25 francs before the next bidder has even acquired his first card. I’m still salty, yet proud of my son for opening the game with that one.

Excellent game.
Last edit: 20 Mar 2020 04:59 by Frohike.
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20 Mar 2020 13:50 #308377 by engineer Al

Frohike wrote: I’m still salty, yet proud of my son for opening the game with that one.


Awesome.

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20 Mar 2020 20:27 #308389 by Sagrilarus

Ah_Pook wrote: Played World of Warcraft: The Boardgame for the first time today. Solo, 2p, using a coop variant. It's fun, with a big caveat that it's just way way too long. I would never play this with more than 2. A full pvp 6p game would be a 10-15 hour nightmare. But it looks great, and it captures the process of questing/gearing/leveling in a fun way. You build up your dice pool, you get powers to manipulate the dice etc, you roll huuuge handfuls of dice. The real issue is that now Sanctum exists, and it also captures a very similar feel in a more abstracted waaaaay faster package. You do lose a lot of flavor and the ability to build your toon in a bunch of different ways, but is that worth like 3 more hours? Dunno. I'm glad to have the game but it's definitely going to be a once in a blue moon kind of thing.


We used to punch out a 6-player game in an evening, maybe four hours. You do all your prep and post on other people's turns.
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21 Mar 2020 17:00 #308402 by Shellhead
Finished my epic 6-player solitaire game of Magic Realm. Took forever because I kept pausing the game to look things up. Scoring feels like the final cruel joke by the game designer, and I ultimately used a spreadsheet from BGG to calculate my scores. I didn't have any major strategy about who should purse which types of VP when I picked those targets at the start of the game, aside from a vague idea that non-spellcasters wouldn't seek spells.

Amazon - Killed on turn 17 by the tremendous demon using Power of the Pit. She was teamed up with the Elf and the Witch to loot a site and the Demon showed up while Amazon was not hidden, but Elf and Witch were hidden. The Witch then used Absorb Essence on the Demon to take his form for future use.

Dwarf - He eventually made his way to the subterranean Lost City and camped out at the Hoard, hiding and looting each turn. His goals were Treasures 1, Notoriety 1, and Gold 3. He did find a great treasure, and 50 gold, but never fought anything. Score = -22.

Elf - Killed on turn 29 at the Inn. The Elf and the Witch were worried about VP and decided to Hide and then start a fight with the Rogues, of which R7 was already employed by the Elf since earlier in the game. The Witch killed a couple of rogues with Stones Fly at the start of the fight. R7 killed a rogue, then got shot dead by archer R4. The Elf shot a couple of rogues dead, but got killed by R4 at the same time the elf hit R4 for a negligible wound. The Witch turned into the tremendous demon and killed the last two rogues over the course of a few rounds.

Witch - She did well with the looting, and sold off much treasure at the end, plus got 27 notoriety for killing rogues. But I forgot that she got cursed with Ashes while reading some runes, so her whopping pile of 116 gold was worthless. Her goals were 1 pt in each category, and her final score = -8,

Wizard - Maintained his alliance with Woods Girl the whole game. They did well in the Lost Castle hex, where his Lightning spell was devastating against a spider, a dragon, and the octopus. But he didn't do as well at the looting, and came up short on gold and spells. His goals were spells 2, fame 1, and gold 2. His final score = -18.

Woods Girl - She was more effective at the looting, and managed to kill the imp and also got a lucky shot on the tremendous flying dragon. Near the end of the game, she got insulted by soldiers, but couldn't take them on to the erase the fame penalty, as there were four of them and the wizard didn't have any color chits enchanted to power a Fiery Blast. Her goals were fame 2 and notoriety 3, and her final score = -43.

So technically every character lost, but the Witch lost by the least. Even if she hadn't been cursed, she would have still netted only -6. Next time, I will have a better idea of how to go after points. Certain sites have spells, so characters with that goal should go to those sites. Killing monsters is good for fame and notoriety, but killing natives is only good for notoriety. It's not impossible to go for gold and get a couple of vp, but going for 3 or more vp worth of gold is a very difficult goal.
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21 Mar 2020 17:54 - 21 Mar 2020 17:54 #308405 by Gary Sax
How'd you feel about the game when you were done?

I think there's something so special about the game that is so different than other games like it. It plays like a 1st edition D+D Gary Gygax thing in terms of how weird the setting is and how non-climactic the deaths are---the game doesn't have a traditional hit point thing so fights are just fucking brutal. That said, I've only played it in realmspeak and I don't know that I'd play it again.

There's something so special and thematic there that's buried underneath its complexity and obtuseness. It's like adventure/hero game but with a completely different philosophical bent. There has to be some other way to capture that theme, but I'm not sure how.
Last edit: 21 Mar 2020 17:54 by Gary Sax.
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21 Mar 2020 23:01 #308420 by Shellhead

Gary Sax wrote: How'd you feel about the game when you were done?

I think there's something so special about the game that is so different than other games like it. It plays like a 1st edition D+D Gary Gygax thing in terms of how weird the setting is and how non-climactic the deaths are---the game doesn't have a traditional hit point thing so fights are just fucking brutal. That said, I've only played it in realmspeak and I don't know that I'd play it again.

There's something so special and thematic there that's buried underneath its complexity and obtuseness. It's like adventure/hero game but with a completely different philosophical bent. There has to be some other way to capture that theme, but I'm not sure how.


I enjoyed Magic Realm, despite the frustration with the rules. With 16 fairly different characters, a modular map, a decent variety of monsters and natives, and an interesting collection of magical treasures, the replay value is vast. I am particularly taken with the way the game doesn't assume a specific relationship between the players. They can do their own thing, they can cooperate, they can attack and kill each other, or even a combination of these things all in one game.

Nearly every category of the rules could be streamlined without losing the flavor and style of the game, though maybe the combat system would be better left in its current complex state. Well, except that combat involving several opponents get ridiculously convoluted when there are hirelings involved. Movement could be a little easier, especially the damned horse rules. Nearly half the spells are too limited in application to consider, and the whole spell-casting thing is overly fiddly. The sound and warning chits are a neat idea that was poorly implemented. And the victory point calculations veer off into absurdity when you get to the bonus point calculations. And I say all this as a former teenage wargamer who taught himself how to play Squad Leader at age 15.

And yet, having read through the Book of Learning, I feel that this is a game worth further play. There are strategies to explore and nuances to learn. If I managed to master the rules, I could be happy with this game aside from the numerous trash spells. And I would be able to teach other people to play while sparing them the considerable time that I invested in learning.

My next step will be to go through the Book of Learning a second time. This time, I will set up the mini-map for each chapter and play through the steps of each example, to make sure that I am getting everything right. I may even try playing each mini-map my own way first, and then compare with the Book to see how I could have done things better.
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21 Mar 2020 23:06 - 21 Mar 2020 23:06 #308421 by boothwah
Got s $100 Gift card before the world ended. Used it a couple of weeks ago, on my last trip min to civilization. I have been wanting my own copies of Terraforming and Imperial Settlers. Inexplicably, I left the store with Quacks of Quedlingerwhatever and Small World.

In hindsight, my gut feeling to get some family friendly titles was spot on now that my gaming group has dwindled down to the wife and the 20 year old whose plans to move out to N.D. with her friend are most definitely on hold.

Quacks is amazing btw. Geat push your luck game.

Small world is starting to get cut throat.
Last edit: 21 Mar 2020 23:06 by boothwah.
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22 Mar 2020 06:58 #308429 by Nodens
With four players in social isolation, we taught the kids Mah Jongg and have been playing daily for a week now. It just gets better.
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22 Mar 2020 08:57 - 22 Mar 2020 09:07 #308430 by Ah_Pook
I soloed through Expedition Mode last night in Aeons End The New Age , which is basically a mini campaign of 4 linked games. You improve your deck and market after each game, but the bosses get improved cards as you go too. It's a lot of fun, though I'm not sure how often im going to want to play 4 games of AE in a row, and bookkeeping between sessions would be a pain. The main cool thing is you can use the upgrade cards to tweak the difficulty in lots of ways, and you can just jump straight to lvl 4 mages vs lvl 4 Nemesis and fun stuff like that. Outside of expedition mode the 4th wave adds lots of fun New cards, mages, and Nemesises. The complexity level of everything is tweaked upwards, being a later take on the core system, which is welcome imo. I do think after this wave AE is going to be deep into diminishing returns with more boxes, but we'll see how I feel once wave 5 hits retail. I think New Age is overall a great addition to the line, but will be best suited as the second or third box you get (since the expedition mode plays with all the old content in new ways, and everything is marginally more complicated). AE is pretty far up my personal best of list these days, and I don't see that changing unless I just burn out on it or something. 20 games in the last month and still going strong atm.
Last edit: 22 Mar 2020 09:07 by Ah_Pook.

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22 Mar 2020 10:04 #308432 by Jackwraith

Nodens wrote: With four players in social isolation, we taught the kids Mah Jongg and have been playing daily for a week now. It just gets better.


Still my favorite classic game for more than 2 players. I have a pretty nice set that I got from an old roommate. She had been playing the video game "Mah-jongg", which was just matching the tiles and casually mentioned it to her mother before Christmas one year. Said mother went out and picked up a nice, traditional set in a finished wooden box. However, the rules that came with it were very poorly translated from Cantonese, so we couldn't figure them out. I went to a bookstore (we had them back then...) and found a large book with the rules for most classic games and it had them. My roommate didn't seem interested, so I taught it to my girlfriend and her son and his girlfriend and we played constantly for a few months.

We usually played on this glass-topped bistro table at our place and my roommate used to complain that we were drawing and discarding so fast, it was like listening to someone play castanets in the hallway. When we split up, she walked off with a toaster oven of mine, so I just kept the mahj set. I've taught it to many people since then, but have never quite reached the level of enthusiasm that my first group had. Glad you got one small good thing from all of this.
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24 Mar 2020 16:34 #308535 by lj1983
Well, this past weekend was supposed to be a scheduled game day with friends. but that's on hold.

Wife, daughter and I have been playing a ton of Menara. I've decided I love dexterity games where you build stuff. not so much the flicking things style.

Menara is a co-op building game, similar in style to Rhino Hero Super Battle, which I absolutely adore for a family/kids game. Menara doesn't use cards, but instead cardboard floors and wooden dowels for supports. the floors are cut into all kinds of crazy shapes, none of which fit exactly right over each other. you draw cards which tell you how many columns you must put down (or fill a floor, or move a floor) and if you can't fulfill the card, you add a floor to the victory conditions.

So, by the end of the game, once all the columns/wooden dowels run out, your structure must be a certain number of floors high.

Suffice to say, it's pretty difficult, and requires some decent communication between all the players. We played 5 times with a win only on the last go (on easy difficulty).



I also got those two to play Root. My wife has played Root a couple times, while my daughter has not. So we went with the base 3 regular factions, Cats, Birds, Woodland Alliance. The last time we had played, we threw both the Corvids and the Underground duchy(and otters and cats) in....and left with a little bit of a bad taste in our mouths. I think it was too much, too new, and it had been a while since we'd played. this time, with the 'simpler' factions in, things clicked pretty well. Daughter had the Cats and ran them pretty well....even though she was frustrated at being a punching bag to the Birds. Wife had the birds and I had to help her out at first to avoid going into turmoil in the 2nd turn....but once she got rolling, it's hard to stop the birds. Daughter tried for a domination victory, and once that failed....turned most of her attention on kicking mice around. So eventually the birds took over. Still, it was a game where things really started to click for me and my wife.

Then we drug in my eldest son to play Spirit Island So 4 players, 'easy' difficulty. I was River, Wife was Earth, Daughter Thunderspeaker and son was Lightning. He's got a visual processing disorder that affects his reading skills, so many times more complicated games are frustrating to him. Not this time, he was making plans, striking the explorers and burning down towns like crazy. He was able to expand out of his corner and help both his mother and sister in places where they were doing poor. It just clicked for him. So we're definitely going back into this one. I hadn't played Spirit Island for a while, mostly due to my regular gaming friends not being big into co-ops.....this is such a well designed game. It just flows very smoothly from one action to the next, and really helps you get the feeling of 'growth' for your spirit over the course of the game.

Sunday the twins wanted in, so we started with some 5 Minute Marvel. I've played 5Minute Dungeon, and that's probably the better game..but the kids love their superheroes. I linked my phone to the Bluetooth stereo system and had that stuff booming. the youngest boy (3yo) was in charge of the timer...as long as he paid attention.

Then some Ultimate Warriorz where everyone was thrilled to beatup daddy's barbarian tree-man, the dwarf samurai and the Dragon faced off at the end, with daughter's dragon coming out on top with points.

Harvest was the next pick, and as always, it's a great little game. One of the twins had the character that allows you to plant your crops with less poop than normal, which propelled him to a big win (and stealing the building to give bonus points for Scarrots (scary carrots) while I was stockpiling scarrots was a pro-move) Daughter with the Orc-Lady who pushes to the front of the line (can jump into used worker placement spots) ended up 1 point behind.

Then the other twin requested Arcadia Quest. I think it's my favorite dungeon crawler type game, mostly because there isn't AI and it's still competitive. We've been playing with the kids each running their own guild. I mostly just manage the rules for them. This was the third game in the campaign so far. the "Brightsun Arena" with Bullroarer the Minotaur as the mini-boss. two of the guilds through their warriors at Bullroarer, weakening him.....and allowing red to sneak in and steal the kill/quest to end the scenario.

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24 Mar 2020 16:48 #308536 by Jackwraith
Awesome. That sounds like a blast. You're right about Spirit Island. Once it clicks, it CLICKS and you can really start sinking your teeth into the possibilities of various spirits and powers. Sounds like your son found that sweet spot.

I keep trying to get Ultimate Warriorz to the table after trading for it last year, but I wonder if it's the type of game that just isn't in my group's wheelhouse. It strikes me that it's either good for a family game, since it's kinda goofy but pretty straightforward, or for a super competitive group that likes bashing each other, and most of those types in my group have moved away and, regardless, are now inaccessible. Every time I'm trying to get a fighting game in recently, we've opted for either TET or the old standby, Wiz-War.
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