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ubarose
August 07, 2020
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Gods Love Dinosaurs Announced

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Swatch Board Game Review

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August 05, 2020
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August 04, 2020
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Episode 53 - Meddling Wizards

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August 02, 2020
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Funko Last Defense Available Now

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26 Jul 2020 15:29 #312501 by Ah_Pook
Played the first half of the early war scenario (The Air War Begins, 8/42-12/42) in B-17 Flying Fortess Leader today. Took maybe 3 hours, though a nontrivial amount of time was spent double checking rules and ironing stuff out. It was moving right along by the end. I'm on pace to maybe just clear the bottom tier Dismal rating and get to Poor instead, so that's great lol. This game starts hard and gets harder as it goes along. The choices of targets and armament and whatnot are consistently tricky/fun, and the narrative you get from resolving everything has been quite engrossing so far.

After I finish this one out I'm going to jump into a later war scenario, which drastically enhances your options as far as what planes and tech you can field. Also ups the difficulty of what gets thrown at you, natch.
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26 Jul 2020 23:12 #312504 by Scott_F
I've played a bunch of new games recently thanks to TTS.

First up is Dominant Species. I've seen this played before but always avoided it as my max hours for a single game is around 6 hours and the games I've seen have been that long. Did rules for 30 minutes and 3 hours later the game was finished. 4 players and had mammals, amphibians, arachnids, insects. I jumped to an early lead only to get beat on for a while and miss out on all the end game scoring. Final scores were within 20 points for everyone. Game is great! I was surprised by how swingy the cards were but really liked the game. Hoping a 5/6 player game can be done in 4 hours.

Wildcatters is next. I'd compare it to Brass but a bit more fiddly. Another econ game with forced cooperation and some area majority scoring. I think Brass is the better game in this category but the theme and mechanics all work well in Wildcatters. It has a share mechanic that is a bit tough to understand bc they aren't shares, just a separate form of currency. Looking forward to trying it again.

Have heard a lot about Keyflower and finally tried it. With 3 players it was damn good, 90 minutes with a cool auction mechanic. Felt like a classic game in the vein of Glory to Rome. Good amount of interaction both in the auction mechanic and in taking the good spots in other player's tableaus.

Around 6-7 plays of Empyreal, the train game by Level 99. Another game that takes about 2 hours max and plays well with 3-5 players. Liked this one a lot too, the variety in the factions and the spellcars and the specialists are cool and its fun trying to find ways to break things on your turn. People that own the physical copy of the game say its a pain to read the board and store it in the oversize box. Still I'm tempted to try and buy it if we ever get to play games in person again.

6-7 games of Imperial Struggle. Its been talked a lot here so I won't go into too much detail. Its a heavy game and I don't see it ever being quicker than Twilight Struggle and it completely lacks the tension and deep theme of TS. It is damn good though and I want to play it more, very different feel from TS. But the rules ambiguities are not insignificant and that board is a disaster of counting things after every action. I don't feel exhausted after playing most games except for deciphering the rules in Dune, but in IS I am exhausted after the game. France seems to have a huge advantage starting the game and using the obvious minister cards too, all of my games except 1 have ended with a France win. Some of the minister cards are...painfully bad too. Yeah I only have 6 full games played but almost half of the cards just seem like bad choices except for really rare situations.

Bios Origins by Phil Ecklund is a...creative unique disaster of a game. A good disaster, but still a disaster. Nothing else out there is like for civ games. Its long and has a Rosetta Stone as a player aid to help players decipher all the symbols on the cards. The end game is pretty rough, to trigger it you have to choose an event card at the start of your turn that ends the game. Only 2 reasons to do this, you're tired of playing the damn game and want it to end or somehow in between your last turn and the current turn nobody has prevented your victory. Thats rough. I still like it and the story it tells of civs develping and expanding and warring with one another.

I think I'm done with Time of Crisis. Too many recent games of it have really highlighted how it is a rich get richer game. In theory everyone is trying to tear down the Emperor, but at least half the games the players not Emperor are being actively invaded by barbarians. At least 1-2 players are out of the game by halfway through the game with about an hour to 90 minutes left. The expansion is pretty problematic too, a couple cards are really ridiculous and hammer the weaker players.

One full game of Pan Am. It was good, felt like the next step up for a game to have fun with non-gamers. Worker placement, route building, press your luck, and a theme that works pretty well. The deck that you draw random cards from is really swingy and can award anything from a couple of end game VPs to something useless. Fun game and pretty great that something like this can be found at Target.
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26 Jul 2020 23:19 #312505 by Gary Sax
Thanks for the impressions. Empyreal is on my birthday present list because I just can't resist a lvl 99 game from the designer of Argent, my favorite worker placement.
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26 Jul 2020 23:31 #312506 by Andi Lennon
A particularly grey and damp weekend actually led to one of those mythical 'gamers weekends' that are unicorn-like in their frequency around these parts. Got in plays of Machina Arcana (gets better with every play), Tainted Grail (once more enthralling after a bumpy third session), Trust Me I'm a Doctor (review pending), Marrying Mr. Darcy (fantastic source of table talk) and Big Trouble in Little China (peak Amerithrash that still raises a smile). It was awesome, and helped reforge a group that was starting to splinter somewhat due to Covid isolation. It's been good times.
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01 Aug 2020 21:57 #312714 by Gary Sax


My spouse set up Gaslands today so I was like sure! Good times, she whipped my ass.
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02 Aug 2020 11:13 #312721 by hotseatgames
My girlfriend and I played Millennium Blades for the first time in over a year. As hard as it is to get this game to the table, I don’t see it ever leaving my collection due to how singularly unique it is. It deliberately tries to avoid analysis paralysis by throwing more choices at you than you could possibly deal with, combined with the unknown of what your opponents might do.

It’s certainly true that the game really wants more than two players, but I will take what I can get.

Setup /tear down is also brutal, with a lot of deck sorting. As for the session, I had some nice points combos that enabled me to win all 3 tournaments, and the game.
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02 Aug 2020 12:46 #312722 by Gary Sax
That game seems totally wild.
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03 Aug 2020 12:53 #312749 by Gary Sax
tfw you've been playing a rule totally wrong in a game you've played like 30 times. Nate, my spouse, and I played a game of Merchants of Venus on tabletop simultor and I was playing the multiple demand tiles pretty wrong.
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03 Aug 2020 14:26 #312756 by Ah_Pook
My wife and I played Lost Cities wrong for like 2 years lol. Only one discard pile instead of one per color.

How were you playing MoV wrong?

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03 Aug 2020 15:08 #312759 by Gary Sax
I thought demands were satisfied one by one, max one per sell, and don't stack. I'm fact, they stack and you discard one demand each sale. I also messed up the IOU rule re: number of transactions.

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03 Aug 2020 15:40 #312760 by hotseatgames
I played Theseus MANY times before I finally saw that everyone was supposed to start with one module in place already.
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03 Aug 2020 16:37 #312762 by Jackwraith
Ha! We did that, too! Thankfully, it was only for a couple games before I stumbled upon that part in the rules (which could really use another editor...) However, I also overlooked the multiplayer rules about adding up damage done, rather than decreasing health. It sounds simplistic, but I really think it has an impact on the way the game is played with three or four players, as the "damaging" factions (Marines and Aliens) do seem to have an advantage.

Also, in our first couple multiplayer games, I didn't notice that the game ends when any one player is eliminated and scores are tallied. We played one game until there was only one victor standing from four. It, uh, took a while.
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03 Aug 2020 23:29 #312769 by OhBollox
Pleased with Undaunted: North Africa so far. It's got what Normandy should have had, asymmetry, and it has it in spades. The rules are sharper, so you avoid long stalemates and the playtime is kept short, and the sides and objectives are very different. Can't see us ever going back to Normandy, playing US/German forces that are identical in composition and performance after so many wargames depicting them as different, however slightly, just feels odd.
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04 Aug 2020 02:51 #312772 by mads b.

Ah_Pook wrote: My wife and I played Lost Cities wrong for like 2 years lol. Only one discard pile instead of one per color?


I've always played with just one discard pile. In fact I was so sure of it that I checked the rules both online and in my box to see if multiple discard piles is a new rule. It isn't. But the weird thing is I remember playing LC online some years ago on a page dedicated to that and Schotten Totten, and it too had only one discard pile.

I imagine it changes the game quite a bit.
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04 Aug 2020 04:11 #312773 by mc
lost cities... multiple discards... wait what

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