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27 Apr 2020 12:11 #309687 by Shellhead
Played a second Silver Tower mission with a fresh set of four characters. This time, I randomly got the Lord of Chaos, Nomad Prince, Skaven Warlord, and Savage Orruk Warboss. Lord of Chaos is loosely inspired by Elric and his sword Stormbringer, capable of doing a mighty 6 damage on an attack roll of a 6. Nomad Prince is a scout with trained hawk that he uses like a missile attack. Skaven Warlord is a rogue who can take a free move after an attack, and can backstab a wounded opponent for extra damage. Savage Orruk Warboss easily hits for 1d3 damage or can charge people for up to 4 damage.

The mission was a bust. The team ruthlessly plowed through a half dozen easy encounters in just 8 turns, but a diverging map caused them to abandon a room that ended up being a one-way trip to the final boss room. So they won every fight but failed the mission. The Skaven got lost due to the collapsing map (you only keep the current room plus rooms up to two away in play at any given time). And the Orruk got beat up pretty good in the last room due to a bottlenecked map tile that allowed his Blue Horror opponents to all target him with ranged attacks. But otherwise, there was zero challenge to this mission.

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03 May 2020 16:00 #309879 by Gary Sax
Played our first two games of Feast for Odin 2 player. No opinions yet other than that the scoring makes you feel like shit as a new player in a pretty hostile way, which is very against type for the genre Rosenberg spawned.

I know that the rep on worker placement is point salad, everything you do earns points have a good time. This game is absolutely not that. Nor is Agricola, to be honest. Feast for Odin has very few ways for you to actually earn serious points, like maybe 4 or 5. It is really telling you what you need to do. You can dick around in the game just fine on your own board if you want, you can move your score up to 0 with that sort of do whatever you want strategy, but my early impression is that you will never, ever win unless you orient your strategy around emigrating or settling and filling one of the expensive islands. Most of the other shit just sits on your board, it doesn't earn you any points. You need to do it but it is incidental. My first game give me a score of 12. My second game like 30. By contrast, my spouse focused on actualy scoring mechanisms and had like a 70 something.

This is a "just dick around" game in appearance but it super is not if you're trying to win.
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03 May 2020 21:04 #309882 by DarthJoJo

Gary Sax wrote: This is a "just dick around" game in appearance but it super is not if you're trying to win.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Clearly there’s room for “just dicking around” as you can come out of a game of Outer Rim in a distant last place but still be pleased as punch that your Greedo cashed a bounty on Lando. Is the game harmed if there’s an optimal points strategy? Does it only matter if the players aren’t on the same page regarding the reason you all are playing the game? Does it feel like a cheat when you’re given twenty options but only two matter?

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04 May 2020 11:05 #309895 by mezike
I haven't written much for a while and have pent-up words to release. We’ve been playing a lot of old favourites during lockdown, chief among them is Root which has been making a regular appearance. It’s a shame that we haven’t yet received the Underworld expansion but at least we are getting some good time in with what we currently have before being distracted by the new stuff. My regular club had a bit of a grump over the game a while back and decided it was too long with too much downtime to be bothered with, which bemuses me greatly as our games at home are really engaging and wrap up well under an hour. Eh, Eurogamers, what are you gonna do. Daughter has mastered the Vagabond to the point of instigating Pied-Piper woodland massacres in order to tilt the balance of power and literally carve an open path to victory. Son loves the idea of the Lizard Cult but keeps forgetting to score, between the two of them though I’m fortunate to escape from last place but loving it all the more when I do. They steadfastly refuse to trade with me when I am taking the role of the filthy Otters which makes for an interesting strong-arm approach to playing them – “nice empire you’ve got here Mr. Cat, it’d be such a shame if someone was to accidentally give it a nudge and break it” – it’s a side to daddy that they’ve not seen before. Well, not much anyway.

Flamme Rouge – Grand Tour is a set of rules governing using the game to hold a racing tournament over several stages. You track the overall time position of each rider at the end of each race, score points for King of the Hill and so on, and retain some exhaustion cards between races. It adds a little more strategy into the mix as there comes a point where you refrain from going flat out for a winning place and instead strive to stick in the peloton and hit the downhill areas in order to shed some exhaustion cards without picking up more of the persistent buggers. It’s tough to start a stage at the back of the pack with a deckful of red cards.
In our tour I decided early on not to compete for King of the Hill, particularly because one other player had gone all-out for the title, so used a really hilly mid-game track to cool down between two bigger bursts of competition either side of it. The result was that I went into the final race with a fully fit Rouleur and a Sprinteur in better shape than most of the competition; I took a first-second double header across the line that cemented the lead I was already carrying into that final stage.
Great way to play this game and highly recommended although I’d caveat that the relative value of race titles like KotH vary depending on how many stages you include, and shorter tours are perhaps more interesting than longer ones as it dilutes the otherwise overwhelming impact of points scored for winning individual stages.

Aeon’s End Legacy – grabbed this a few months ago at a convention bring’n’buy after hearing positive things about it on here and didn’t realise at first that I had the legacy version and not the standard game. The first scenario is full of promise and a Harry Potter licence away from being amazing; you are trainee mages facing a big bad that you don’t have a hope of taking down but it’s okay as the faculty staff are all there to act as the big guns. Story cards come out and provide an exciting narrative along the way. The premise alone makes me want to reach for the Sorting Hat.
It’s refreshing to play a game where your remit is to tackle challenges around the periphery of the action and to occasionally soften up the boss with plink-damage; unfortunately all of this is jettisoned in the second act and it reverts back to being a straightforward legacy game where you get a little bit tougher each time while the threat also ramps up accordingly to match, and the drip-feed of additional new rules makes it constantly feel like there is only ever half a game in play. We’ve stalled out about halfway through and there’s a lack of interest in getting it going again. I’m still keen on trying the base game proper but the legacy version has sadly been more fizzle than sizzle.

7th Continent – I resisted the KS runs because I didn’t like the FOMO-scare sales tactics used by Serious Poulp and the pnp preview was uninspiring to say the least, but a couple of friends occasionally rave about it and I came across a good deal for both big boxes and all the curse expansions so took a punt. Really happy that I did so because the full game is a world away from the desperately poor reflection of the pnp. Not really a co-op game though, more of a collaborative solitaire which is fine as it’s just the kids and I playing together. We’re not bothering with the paranoia rule because it’s clearly just a finicky fix to force the group apart and give the false illusion that there are meaningful multiplayer decisions. Best additional content by far is Creature Comforts where you get to hatch an egg into a useful travelling companion.
We are going through the curses in the recommended order starting with Crystal Song, which is a great introduction for anyone completely new to the game as it allows you to drop into one of three areas of the map and to explore and try out the basic mechanisms of the game for a limited period of time (you have an additional deck of exploration cards that operate as a timer). It’s super useful in helping you to understand crafting, hunting and hand management which are vital for success. Experienced players bemoan the value of this one and I can understand why as it has little to offer beyond providing a set of training-wheels, but is absolutely the best way to start the game proper for new players.
The Voracious Goddess was a little more tedious with lots of back-and-forth traipsing yet still fun to play – and this is what keeps us coming back, even when we feel lost and directionless it is so quick and easy to get into and just roam around looking for clues and having mini-adventures along the way. We ended up on the wrong path a few times but managed not to fall for the obvious mistake, the highlight (or lowlight) being going back to the same location twice after being too afraid to open an inviting treasure chest and then realising that was the whole point of us being there in the first place. That’s what this game does to you, dialling up paranoia and doubt so that you start to second-guess your actions.
Offering to the Guardians was a lot more fun to play as there were clues within the map cards of where we should be going and what we should be doing, and I felt that it leveraged the “If-Then” card replacement mechanism to better effect than the first two scenarios. Although we figured out a way to cheat the curse by respawning on a hunt/sacrifice combo that would allow us to spam our way out of the first part of the curse we played it properly by putting in some legwork and going on an adventure instead. The ending was a bit disappointing though, and I think the one-dimensional nature of this curse makes it a good one to play alongside another, particularly the interesting choice of deciding how best use XP points.
Icy Maze is up next, however we are taking a pause for a bit as when we play it has a habit of completely consuming our gaming time.

Bought, tried and sold Freshwater Fly. I’m always on the lookout for good sports-themed games, and what could be more relaxing than a spot of fly-fishing? There are some cute elements like using a rondel mechanism as a reel that you wind round in order to land a catch, and a nice use of action-bonus tiles that you need to plan ahead for and churn in order to maximise your performance. It was indeed pleasant to play, however there were a couple of red flags; almost zero player interaction, every play was exactly the same experience, and, worst of all for me, it didn’t actually feel like the sport itself in any way. Not once did I feel like I was waiting for a bite or struggling with a catch on the line, plus it was far too easy to make a catch and lacked any sense of sport as a result. Inoffensive yet uninteresting.

SW Outer Rim lots of divided opinion but for me it easily replaced Xia. There’s just so much more personality to it and, crucially, significantly less busywork. The first time we played we were surprised at how quickly the turns went past and ended up playing back-to-back games and it’s become the norm to reset and replay straight away. We aren’t achieving less, simply getting more done with our time. Plus what fan of science fiction doesn’t want to wear Mandalorian armour, fly the Falcon and get the better of Dengar while being hunted by both the Rebel and Imperial factions after playing them off against each other for profit and for fame? It sure beats transporting green cubes halfway across a hex map.

Speaking of Xia we also started up again on Tavarua, a game about surfing also from Cody Miller and which has that same hallmark weirdly unintuitive feel about it. My normally gaming-averse spouse has got into the habit of watching surfing videos on YouTube so decided that she wanted to join us for a game, and put together one ace run after another to almost take a clean sweep of the trophies but for a last ditch traversal of a barrel wave that scored me just enough to get my hands on the longboard cup. So my long-unbeaten cardboard crown was finally lost, a fact which I am reminded about on a daily basis. Perhaps I deserve it as divine retribution from Cody for saying mean things about Xia.

Pre-lockdown, I got to try Wavelength which is a pretty great party game – actually, let me rephrase that, Wavelength can be a pretty great party game with a good crowd. It’s one of those games where you need to crawl into the headspace of the clue-giver as much as anything else so if everyone is up for the craic there will definitely be some fun moments to enjoy. Like all the good games in this genre it has a very simple principle that sparks interesting and fun interaction between the players. The clue-giver needs to give a clue that must sit at a specific point somewhere between two extremes and the rest of their team needs to pinpoint where that is by turning a dial on a fancy-dancy dual-layer screened scoreboard. Get it right and score points, get it wrong and the opposition score points if they were more correct than you were. Very straightforward but leads to magical situations discussing such diverse topics as the sexiness of Giraffes or exactly how sandwich-ey people generally consider peanut butter and jam to be in relation to other fillings such as cheese, Marmite or concrete. This and Just One would be my current party games of choice, if only such a thing were viable at the moment.

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04 May 2020 11:30 #309900 by Gary Sax
I had a generous TWBGer send me all their cards from 7th Continent since the whole base game got its cards reprinted, thanks for reminding me we really need to get this thing out. I think my spouse would be pretty into it.
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04 May 2020 15:41 #309922 by Gregarius

mezike wrote: This and Just One would be my current party games of choice, if only such a thing were viable at the moment.

Just One plays very well through Zoom (or your video conferencing tool of choice). I have had several great sessions with different groups.

I've heard that Wavelength is also very playable that way, but I haven't yet had the courage to try it. The only impediment is just trusting people to close their eyes while the clue giver looks at the wheel.
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04 May 2020 19:54 #309937 by christopherwood
I'm playing Lords of the Renaissance, Sierra Madre Games 1995. It's unclassifiable, part wargame, part economic engine, part card game, part historical sim. The rulebook's a mess but that was standard for historical-sim/wargames of the day (and still is, darnit). I'm doing 6p schizo. Tons of fun so far! This is the middle game of a trilogy. The first, Lords of the Sierra Madre, was a blast. Now Renaissance, next Spanish Main. I'm on a mission to play all the SMG games this year ... and I won't finish this year, so I'll just keep going til I finish.
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04 May 2020 20:14 #309939 by hotseatgames
Just playing and working a TON on my latest game. I am demoing it for the publisher again on Wednesday. I'm very happy with how it's shaping up and look forward to being able to say what it is.
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09 May 2020 03:51 #310108 by mads b.
Yesterday we dusted off Pandemic Legacy Season 2 and it turned out it's been just over a year since we played the first three games. We won those, but promply lost twice in april. I can see how it's still Pandemic, but it's also very different in the way you have to play. An while you still have to wait to draw the right cards, you can sort of do a bit more since you can always spend you last action producing a supply cube. Supply cubes are a new thing in Season 2, and they are both used to ward of the pandemic (they are like masks and face shields, I guess) and to make certain important actions.

Season 1 is one of my all time favourite board game experiences, but so far I'm really diggin the new season. It feels more like an adventure game, and the disease is much more dangerous. But I do still hate how the thing that will make you win a game of Pandemic - namely drawing the right cards - is something you don't actively do on your turn. It happens automatically at the end of your turn, and it just feels wrong.
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09 May 2020 08:49 #310109 by Sagrilarus

hotseatgames wrote: Just playing and working a TON on my latest game. I am demoing it for the publisher again on Wednesday. I'm very happy with how it's shaping up and look forward to being able to say what it is.


How'd the demo go?

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09 May 2020 10:35 #310110 by hotseatgames

Sagrilarus wrote:

hotseatgames wrote: Just playing and working a TON on my latest game. I am demoing it for the publisher again on Wednesday. I'm very happy with how it's shaping up and look forward to being able to say what it is.


How'd the demo go?


Really great! I got lots of ideas and change suggestions. I’m told the game will likely be on KS in the Fall. There’s a ton to do before that but I’m excited. I don’t know when I get to say what it is yet.
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10 May 2020 21:32 #310160 by engelstein
Fantastic! Look forward to hearing more about it.
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11 May 2020 01:54 - 11 May 2020 01:58 #310168 by Scott_F
Played Dune on TTS using the new expansion rules and subbed in the Bene Tlielaxu for the Spacing Guild. Kept all the rest the same as Gale Force 9 - we've never liked playing the Spacing Guild, they have a high win rate by dragging the game out extra turns just to hit the default of turn 10 and irritate people. Spent easily an hour arguing over rules interpretations as there are still many ambiguities with GF9 advanced rules. Add in the irritation of a TTS mod and several people talking over each other and it was frustrating at times. But the game is absolutely amazing. We did random draws for factions and I got to try out the BT and damn are they fun. I won't list out everything they can do, but mainly 1) they own the revival tanks and get paid for revivals, and 2) they draw 3 cards from the traitor deck after everyone has chosen their traitors and keep them as face dancers. Face dancers can be flipped up after any battle where a face dancer won, sending the leader to the tanks and replacing all surviving troops with BT troops. At the end of every round they can cycle out an unused face dancer and draw a random one from the deck. The paranoia and fear this created over the whole game was fantastic. I was in a spot a couple of times to flip a face dancer but it wasn't worth it. Definitely fun. I'm thinking of spending some time trying the game at 4 players with the base rules instead of advanced, getting tired of wasting time with ambiguities. Also looking forward to trying the other new faction, Ix.
Last edit: 11 May 2020 01:58 by Scott_F.
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11 May 2020 09:43 #310171 by christopherwood
I guess GF9 not yet clarified the ambiguities?

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11 May 2020 10:19 #310172 by Shellhead
Played more Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower, with a fresh set of four characters. This time, I drew the Necromancer, Knight-Heraldor, Warden King, and Mistweaver Saih. My initial impression was that this was a below average team for Silver Tower, with a decent mix of attacks but nobody particularly broken or over-powered.

The Necromancer is a so-so character, but has a lot of style. He has a weak melee attack, and decent ranged attack (spell), and can have up to two skeleton bodyguards. Each skeleton acts randomly each turn, moving and attacking half the time, or just standing there or even falling apart 1/6 of the time. The skeletons are slow and weak even compared to the Necromancer, but he can replace a destroyed skeleton with an action die of 5+.

The Knight-Heraldor is okay an concept but a bit lackluster. Heroes moving closer to him can move up to two extra spaces, so it's good to keep him in front and leading the charge. But his movement rate is only 3, so he was usually in the middle of the pack. He can also do an area attack that stuns opponents. The Warden King has this neat ability where he can spend a 6+ action die to stay put in one spot but do double damage with all of his attacks. The Mistweaver is one of the six heroes included with the Silver Tower box. He (she?) has a weak melee attack, a good ranged spell attack (for 1d3 damage), and an area stun attack like the Knight-Heraldor.

The mission was, as usual, too easy for the most part. But the final room was a real grind, with seven successive waves of attacks by eight skaven each. As soon as the last member of one group of eight was killed, the next eight would appear. The fight took place in a big squarish room that had a couple of obstacles that blocked movement and line-of-sight, so by the third wave, our fighting formation was lost and each hero was at times surrounded by enemies. That was mostly a problem for the Mistweaver, who didn't have good armor. The Necromancer fared better because he tended to keep his skeletons in between him and the skaven, leaving him free to blast away with his ranged spell attack. More importantly, usually either the Mistweaver or Knight-Heraldor was doing an area stun attack that kept maybe half the Skaven from attacking.

At one point, a random even dropped four Tzaangor (blue birdmen cultists of Tzeentch) into the fight, and that was rough. A turn later, another random event literally dropped a dwarven Runesmith into the room, and some timely aid from the Knight and the Necromancer brought him around. He smashed some skaven with his warhammer and gave the other heroes breathing room to focus on the relatively tough Tzaangor. Before the fight was over, everybody picked up at least one more skill card, and the Knight-Warden finished the adventure with a total of three skills.
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