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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

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28 Mar 2020 21:51 #308670 by dysjunct
FLAMME ROUGE with my wife, daughter, and mother-in-law. I somehow won, which is surprising because I am terrible at this game. My tendency is to try to avoid exhaustion at all costs, when really I should be fighting to stay in second place for the first 80% of the game.

Thrillingly, I won on the last turn when my roleur (in 3rd place) played his final 7 and slipped ahead of the exhausted 1st and 2nd place riders by exactly one square, crossing the finish line.
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29 Mar 2020 10:22 #308672 by Shellhead
Played Arkham Horror for the first time in about a year. Played solitaire with four characters, Dunwich, Kingsport, Innsmouth, the Egyptian exhibit, and no herald. I got a pretty decent group of characters: the federal agent, the researcher, the reformed cultist, and the reporter. The big bad was Cthulhu itself, which meant that everybody's maximum sanity and health were reduced by one for the whole game.

Roland the fed was my best character. He gets a free clue and/or a free dollar whenever he is low on either. His skill was Credit Rating, which he could tap once per turn to pay up to $2 of any cost. He starts with an ally, and I drew Duke the dog, which increased Roland's max sanity by one. More importantly, Roland started with a flamethrower and a magic staff, so he was loaded for monster-whacking from the start. In every single fight, he killed his opponent on the first round, whether it was a lowly cultist or a proto-shoggoth. Thanks to Roland, monsters never had a chance to build up on the board, and the terror factor never rose above 1.

Mandy the researcher ended up being my best gate sealer. She started with a decent magic sword. She sealed three gates during the game, though one got burst later on. Mandy also joined the Sheldon Gang.

Diana the former cultist didn't start with any good gear, but she did find a magic mask that let her use her Speed value to Sneak or her Sneak value for Speed. She also started with a one-shot spell to Bless someone, but saved that until late in the game. Diana had some bad luck and eventually got sent to Kingsport to prevent a rift, and she also failed at that.

Rex the reporter is a swingy character. He starts out with curse that doesn't evaporate on its own, but he scores an extra clue token every time he gains clue tokens. I had him focus on his personal story early on, which cost a whopping 10 clue tokens, but once achieved, the first player got a free clue each turn for the rest of the game. He got rid of his curse early on, at the risk of turning into a deep one. He had to return to Innsmouth after martial law to successfully put down a fishman uprising, and his Sneak skill plus clue gathering was perfect for that job.

We lost. We made pretty good progress on sealing the gates, but that was after wasting a number of turns on pursuing personal stories for the characters, which also cost 20 clue tokens. We were kicking butt in the second half of the game, but got hit twice with mythos cards that added 2 doom tokens instead of a gate. We went into battle with three blessings and two well-equipped characters, but Cthulhu regenerates a doom marker every turn, so it was lengthy but unwinnable final battle.

One reason I wanted to play Arkham Horror solitaire is that I want to find the right game balance that still allows me to play all boards. I love the idea of a big sandbox where anything can happen, but that also opens up an extra potential threat on each board: the Dunwich Horror, the Deep One uprising in Innsmouth, and the rifts of Kingsport. Dunwich stayed quiet, but I had to deal with a rift and the Deep Ones. That, plus the personal stories, was a big distraction from the essential job of sealing gates. I want to find a better balance, because a couple of new friends expressed an interest in trying Arkham Horror sometime, especially since one of them is a big fan of the Cthulhu mythos.

The conventional wisdom is that Arkham Horror plays best with one extra town and one herald. Maybe I can accomodate all four boards by throwing a guardian (good guy equivalent of a herald) or institution in the mix. I have also toyed with a house rule where Kingsport spawns clue tokens at the rift encounter locations. The Lurker at the Threshold is also a herald that tends to be more helpful than harmful.

At any rate, I left Arkham Horror set up on my gaming table, and plan to play at least a couple more times in the next week, testing for balance. Back when I first got Arkham Horror, our gaming group played it a lot and eventually we were winning about 90% of the time. With Dunwich, our win rate dropped to 50%, which I prefer. Although the Epic Battle cards are fun enough to make the final battle entertaining, I would also like to see more games that are won by sealing or closing gates.
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30 Mar 2020 08:41 #308681 by edulis
I made up some campaign rules awhile ago for solo-Arkham. I typically play 3 character solo and just leave the game set up and play a few turns here and there.

I've been playing through the narrative campaign in Days Gone By expansion for the Walking Dead : All Out War. Really digging the game, although I keep forgetting rules.

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30 Mar 2020 16:51 #308695 by Legomancer
A couple weeks ago on Twitter people were talking grunge music and the early 90s, which made me recall those times, and what I was doing a lot of then: playing Magic. I got into it in winter of 93 and stayed until Urza's Saga or so, and loved every minute of it. But when I got out, I got out pretty much for good.

With the plague upon us, though, I figured there was no better time to dig into it again. I got rid of my cards long ago but signed up for MTG Arena, which is like Hearthstone but with Magic. I'm having a ball.

Oh it's full of people playing the same three net decks and such, and I don't care about the meta or anything, I'm building my dumb themed decks (my first was the 101st Airborne -- all flyers -- which has now been improved to the 102nd Airborne) and throwing them out there to sink (more frequently) or swim. I've got cards galore and the game keeps throwing more of them at me. I've spent a grand total of five bucks already and that was just so I can maybe do some drafting later on.

Magic really is one of my favorite games I ever played and I thought it was behind me forever. But it's back, baby, and I'm pretty stoked about it.
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30 Mar 2020 16:52 #308696 by Legomancer
oh and I've been playing Pax Porifriana against some pals over on Yucata.
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31 Mar 2020 00:01 #308706 by DarthJoJo
My mom snuck over before our governor enacted a shelter-in-place order for a little support in the last weeks before my wife is due, so it was a chance to pull out some time-tested classics. I almost won a round of Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age on just four cities, but my mom rolled exactly thirteen workers in the last round to finish the Great Wall and force the tie. We won a game of vanilla Pandemic with expansion roles and events with just three cards left in the player deck. My wife won Carcassonne on the back of a 44-point city and 24-point farm, both of which I failed to steal from her. Just some good, solid gaming comfort food.
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31 Mar 2020 18:32 #308745 by WadeMonnig
Played a vanilla game of Champions of Midgard (as in, my wife said take out all the expansions). My wife prefers the game without all extras. I came in third after a ill-fated Troll Hunt ended in failure and my bid to "catch up" ended with (basically) me losing my single warrior on a ship to a bad card draw. (I had a plan that involved a Axe warrior die, three re-roll tokens and my character who scored the 2 glory even if he used the re-roll tokens..but I never reached the monster...lost at sea).
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31 Mar 2020 22:35 - 31 Mar 2020 22:37 #308749 by Sagrilarus
There was a thread on BGG where AirJudden was advertising Vassal and more or less saying there's no excuse not to try it right now, and asked people to put up games they'd like to play, especially if they can teach.

I put Warriors of God up and Tommy Nomad took me up on the offer. His first play of Warriors of God in spite of having been toying with it for years. As I always do I found art from whatever Vassal game I have going that goes onto my PC background, and boy oh boy are there choices for the 100 Years War. This time I went with the Seige of Orleans, with Joan swinging the flag. Alas, I had to crop. But I wanted something different than what I've used in the past.



I love the guy in the upper corner with the rock.

Tommy is in the Netherlands, my first time going abroad for an opponent.
Last edit: 31 Mar 2020 22:37 by Sagrilarus.
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03 Apr 2020 02:18 - 03 Apr 2020 02:50 #308846 by Disgustipater
Using an online module, I played a game of Sandy Petersen's recently Kickstarter Hyperspace. It's billed as a light and breezy 4X space game. As a big fan of Twilight Imperium, I found it a little too streamlined, removing some of the elements I like out of these types of games. You don't slowly build up and expand outward; you just go with what you've got and can plop colonies down anywhere on the board where there is an unoccupied planet space. While you can score a couple of VPs for exploring or researching tech, it seems like the only reliable way to get VPs is to battle several times to get yourself up to the last space of one of three tracks, which will then get you 1 or 2 VPs for fighting if you can do enough damage. While I like the aspect of encouraging combat, it can be too costly and too hard to deal enough damage as there are several ways to buff your units' defense. While I admit that I found it hard to re-orient my thinking away from the standard 4X progression, I wasn't really impressed with the different approach. It just felt somewhat aimless and all over the place with what you need to do. My friend went all in on the KS so I'm sure I'll play it some more (maybe in about a year for the physical copy) and see if my opinion changes. We played a 3-player game, so maybe it would be more dynamic with 6?
Last edit: 03 Apr 2020 02:50 by Disgustipater.
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05 Apr 2020 20:32 #308932 by Shellhead
Because I am apparently a masochist, I played Arkham Horror (2nd) again with all the boards. This time I ran five characters and left out the personal stories, thinking maybe I would win if I stayed laser-focused on sealing gates. My team was Akachi the shaman, Luke the dreamer (aka Donnie Darko), William the Gravedigger, George the lawyer, and Michael the gangster. The Great Old One was Azathoth.

I haven't played against Azathoth in a really long time, so I had forgotten that its presence means that characters will have more time to acquire good gear, or madness and injuries if things don't go well. In fact, both things happened this game. Nearly everybody ended up with impressive combinations of weapons and spells and nifty items, and the team ended the game with 5 permanent injuries and 8 permanent insanities. Instead of having characters go to the hospital or sanitarium in a proactive way, they flung themselves heedlessly into peril and got smacked down hard at times.

Akachi had a so-so game. She never seemed to be in the right place at the right time, and was the only one with unimpressive gear. She even got both Tainted and Jinxed. By mid-game, she was sent to Kingsport to deal with rifts, and she struggled with even that task to the point where she needed a little help dealing with the second rift. During the very first encounter of this game, she had a chance to meet Duke the dog, the only ally I found in the previous game, but he ran away.

Luke was the big damn hero of the game. He sealed three gates and was even in possession of the Great Seal at the end of the game. (A weird encounter yanked him out of Arkham and dumped him in the Strange High House in the Mist, in Kingsport.) He's a natural, because he starts out with that handy Gate Box and picks up a clue token every time he enters an Outer World space.

William started out the game thematically going to the Graveyard for a clue. By the time he left (two turns later), he had ironically acquired Necrophobia. Then he kept running into undead. Late in the game, he made a foray to clean up Innsmouth and also acquire a surplus of clue tokens, just before he got Devoured.

George had an even rougher game. He got his hand broken early in the game, and was dragging around a nice magic sword that he couldn't even use anymore. Eventually he traded the sword to Luke for a nice one-handed magic cane. Late in the game, he also got a broken ankle and was left hobbling through the streets while a couple of dangerous flyers were in the sky.

Michael always starts out as an ideal monster whacker, aside from his lack of ability to deal with monsters with physical immunity. He ventured out to Dunwich during midgame to head off a problem with the Dunwich Horror. At one point, he tried to whack one monster too many and ended up with Amnesia, losing a distressing quantity of clue tokens. Now that he could only retain four clues at a time, he re-dedicated himself to pure monster whacking, and eventually killed a total of 11. He even managed to lay hands on partial elder sign from the Egyptian exhibit and managed to seal a gate with it despite his amnesia.

In the end, gate bursts kept me from sealing for the win. We had five sealed gates and Luke heading for the final one with the Great Seal, but Azathoth showed up and that meant no final battle, either.

I've learned my lesson now that all four boards is just too hard. But I really want to play with the full sandbox. So here is my new house rule when playing with all four boards: the first time a Mythos card makes reference to either Kingsport, Dunwich, or Innsmouth, that is the only board that is allowed to pose an additional threat (rifts or Dunwich Horror or deep one uprising). That one extra threat should be enough to create some extra pressure without making the game impossible to win outside of Final Battle. And though I do enjoy the Final Battle cards, I don't think that every game should end in Final Battle.
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05 Apr 2020 23:19 #308933 by hotseatgames
Played 4 player Root last night. Underground Duchy, Vagabond, River Folk, and Corvid Conspiracy.

It was my first time as Vagabond, and my girlfriend's first try at Duchy. The game started out pretty much as expected, with the Duchy and Vagabond keeping pretty close and the other two trailing.

I was helping the Corvids by giving them cards and started scoring a lot of VP that way. The River Folk player was thoroughly distressed because nobody bought any services. I am convinced that this is the least fun faction in the game, and that they should never even come out of the box unless there are 6 players and whoever is playing them knows exactly what they are in for.

Corvids were trailing, but had an explosive turn in which they gained about 10 points and pulled ahead, stopping at 29 points. It looked like they had it locked up, but I was able to play cleverly, gaining 7 points to beat them by a single point. Ha!

TLDR, fuck the river folk
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06 Apr 2020 00:18 #308937 by Jackwraith
See, the Riverfolk are probably my favorite faction (although the Corvids are currently running a close second), largely because they're totally subversive. They're kinda like the Mamluks. At first they're just the tools of the rulers. Then, suddenly, they are the rulers. But that was probably a uniquely bad combination for the otters. You have one faction with a lot of reach that doesn't really need the mercs or the movement, another faction that can't use the mercs and also doesn't need the movement, and a third that is more oriented around its own goals than even other Root factions. I'm not surprised they couldn't make any headway.

However, there is a way for the otters to play against that. It just takes a very experienced Riverfolk player.
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06 Apr 2020 00:21 #308938 by Gary Sax
They're never going to win if you're playing a table that's too afraid to take their benefits to advantage themselves at the cost of increasing their win percentage. I can totally see how this dynamic would play out, though. Conservatism is the heart of being a new player for a lot of people.
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06 Apr 2020 00:55 #308939 by dysjunct
I taught my spawn how to play Crazy Eights. She sometimes beats me.
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06 Apr 2020 02:24 - 06 Apr 2020 16:52 #308940 by Frohike
I had some fun soloing Gloom of Kilforth today. It's a design in the vein of older Runebound-style adventure systems but with an abstracted overworld map in the form of a randomized grid of location cards. The player is given a personal quest to complete in stages, collecting cards with required keywords by passing tests in various skill registers (combat, lore, cunning/sneak, influence) and an eventual boss showdown. The difficulty of that final battle depends on how assiduous the player has been in cleaning up "plot" cards that are occasionally dropped on the map when locations inevitably "fall into gloom," a timer that reminds me a bit of Forbidden Island as I flip the locations over to their desaturated, HP-draining side.

It's an interesting adventure game with a strange appeal: abstraction of typical genre tropes combined with lavish art that allows the player to take its queues and flesh out the world & events for themselves. The personal quests also help with the narrative framework, providing brief paragraphs to tie the keyword chase together. These remind me of the "personal stories" in the Sands of Al Kalim expansion for Runebound.

It was a nice way to spend the afternoon indoors, sequestered from the rain and COVID, & avoiding the usual display screens for the day (aside from my nerding out on Insta :P )

Last edit: 06 Apr 2020 16:52 by Frohike.
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