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11 May 2020 10:30 #310173 by Gary Sax
Played a game of Terraforming Mars and what a huge empty dud this thing is for me. I need to play it with more players, which might be part of the issue, but it's long for what it is and I don't think I've ever played a less dramatic game.
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11 May 2020 11:04 #310176 by Jackwraith
I had the same issues with TM and ended up trading it. I wonder if the difference between engine builders is based on the planning phase vs the action phase? There's obviously a lot of planning that goes into building a functioning engine in TM and the board provides some outlet for direct interaction with others; unlike, say, Race for the Galaxy. But it all seems very methodical, with almost too much planning...? Dunno. It just never worked for me and I played in groups of 4-6.

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11 May 2020 12:07 - 11 May 2020 12:09 #310177 by Gary Sax
I think we are on the same page, jackwraith. I posted about this on instagram here if anyone wants more TM thoughts, I've mostly spared you all:



The thing I keep coming back to is, weirdly, Argent the Consortium (a vastly, vastly better game to me). Slightly different genre, yes, but the same sort of gonzo infinite possibilities tableau and has a lot of the same ideas in its blender. You'll be drafting *so much* content just like TM in Argent. But all the cards super do something non-incrementally consequential in Argent! Even the rare completely boring card, like the supporters with no powers, are still contributing toward a street fight to win influence and other victory conditions.

In Argent, there is also the concept of milestones and awards. But the game is ballsy enough to make the milestones and awards the only victory condition so the races are vastly more cutthroat and urgent. Moreover, they require an investment on behalf of the players to reveal so you still aren't sure if you're winning by the end unless you've revealed them all.

Playing TM has been super illuminating about my tastes in games. My partner likes it a lot so we'll keep playing it and that's totally fine with me.
Last edit: 11 May 2020 12:09 by Gary Sax.
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11 May 2020 14:05 #310179 by Disgustipater

Gary Sax wrote: Playing TM has been super illuminating about my tastes in games.


Several of my friends absolutely love TM but I find it incredibly boring. After a couple of plays I realized that I just don’t like pure engine builders.

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11 May 2020 15:08 #310182 by charlest
I think pure engine builders are great - if they're very short and reach their payout quickly. Jump Drive is killer.
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11 May 2020 15:36 - 11 May 2020 15:37 #310185 by mezike
I think the thoughts expressed here are spot on. I hated TM the first two times I played (4p & 3p), but there was something there that kept nagging at me. I grabbed a cheap second hand copy and solo'd a couple of times to figure out how the engine building worked and then started playing with my son, then we fell down the rabbit hole together. I can't think why I like it, but I do - or at least the dynamic of playing it with my son works for us, there is no way I would ever get into this on a game night with strangers or with more than two players. It's not the sort of game that I would ever normally enjoy but somehow it's got its hooks into me.
I particularly agree with the comments on it being a slowly incremental game, almost painfully so. It's hard to see the engine that you are building in the same way you can't see the woods for the trees. I guess I'm just used to it now and have come to appreciate it, but I would say that I still ultimately prefer something like 51st State that gives an immediate feedback and also lets you reshape your tableau/engine to hit that high multiple times in a much shorter playing time. Haven't tried Jump Drive, it ought to be on my wish list but seems to have become quickly forgotten.
As always, play the games you like with the people you like.
Last edit: 11 May 2020 15:37 by mezike.
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11 May 2020 16:14 #310190 by Gary Sax
Yeah my whole tenor on this game is probably coming off a little too negative on the site wrt what I actually feel. It's just been a real interesting experience to think about what isn't totally clicking with me.

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11 May 2020 17:42 #310192 by ubarose
I've been playing nothing but co-ops. I am just not in the mood to be competitive with the people that I am living with.
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11 May 2020 19:37 #310199 by Sagrilarus
I enjoy nerding out on the science in Terraforming Mars. It's a game where I really couldn't care less if I win.
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13 May 2020 07:35 #310249 by mads b.
Played an epic game of Marvel Champions with the 7-year-old. His Black Panther and my Captain Marvel were up against Klaw and his minions. We did quite well, but suddenly we could see the villain would win by fulfilling his evil scheme unless we could deal 18 damage in a turn. I had some good cards, but I was down to one health and needed to finish off a guard before being able to attack Klaw. I managed to bring him down to 5 health, but died as he retaliated with some solid sonic body or some other cool comic book nonsense. Black Panther had no way of activating his suit upgrades, but he did have Luke Cage and Mockingbird. Together they just managed to defeat Klaw, and there was much rejoicing.

I really dig this game. It's easy to setup, the turns don't have a lot of procedural stuff, and it seems like even just the base game heroes will play very differently.
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13 May 2020 11:10 #310262 by Ah_Pook
I played 3 Unlock games over the last week or so, and I've come to the conclusion that they're pretty bad as a series. Too much reliance on hidden number BS pretty much kills the whole thing, and a hint system that doesn't work finishes it. Some of the puzzles are fun, but it's frustrating when you're stuck and theres not even a puzzle you're stuck on you just didn't realize that something was supposed to be a number. Luckily I bought all the ones I have on super clearance so whatever. I've got a few Exit games to try out soon, maybe they'll be better.

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13 May 2020 11:16 #310263 by barrowdown

Ah_Pook wrote: I played 3 Unlock games over the last week or so, and I've come to the conclusion that they're pretty bad as a series. Too much reliance on hidden number BS pretty much kills the whole thing, and a hint system that doesn't work finishes it. Some of the puzzles are fun, but it's frustrating when you're stuck and theres not even a puzzle you're stuck on you just didn't realize that something was supposed to be a number. Luckily I bought all the ones I have on super clearance so whatever. I've got a few Exit games to try out soon, maybe they'll be better.


Which Unlocks did you play? I prefer Exit, but Unlock has been improving over time where Exit has been getting stale (other than Catacombs).

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13 May 2020 11:17 #310264 by Ah_Pook
Tonipals Treasure
Squeak and Sausage
Insert Credit

I've got the three pack that Insert Credit is part of, so at some point I'll play through the Wonderland and Sherlock ones too.

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13 May 2020 11:23 #310265 by barrowdown
Oh, well I think Tonipal’s Treasure is one of the stronger ones. Insert Coin is fun, but easy. Squeak and Sausage is the easy one from the first wave and definitely more reliant on hidden numbers (as the easy ones tend to be).

Puzzle design is generally much better in Exit, but some of the last few waves have been kind of week. I prefer the puzzle focus to the theme focus of Unlock, but I do like seeing how Unlock plays with the format.

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17 May 2020 07:29 #310385 by Ah_Pook
I have now taught both my parents and various uncles/aunts how to install and use steam and tabletop simulator. I do not recommend this particular game.

But we have been playing a lot of The Crew, which is just a phenomenal game I think. It carries over enough traditional card playing stuff to be very easy to teach, but twists it in an interesting and fun way.
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