Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

MT
Matt Thrower
January 18, 2021
1183 0
AL
Andi Lennon
January 20, 2021
236 0
W
WadeMonnig
January 20, 2021
162 1
M
MarkusButticus
January 19, 2021
695 0
T
thegiantbrain
January 19, 2021
158 0
O
oliverkinne
January 15, 2021
493 0

Tinderblox Review

Board Game Reviews
DS
Dying Stylishly
January 15, 2021
766 0
MB
Michael Barnes
January 14, 2021
988 0
B
boardgameinquisition
January 14, 2021
447 0
W
WadeMonnig
January 13, 2021
722 1
O
oliverkinne
January 12, 2021
454 0
MT
Matt Thrower
January 10, 2021
1056 0

Play Matt: Inkling Review

Board Game Reviews
O
oliverkinne
January 08, 2021
1240 0

Oath

Board Game Reviews
MB
Michael Barnes
January 07, 2021
1924 0
AL
Andi Lennon
January 07, 2021
963 0
W
whowhatwhycast
January 06, 2021
398 0
×
Bugs Update: Recent Topics & Main Menu (11 Dec 2020)

Main Menu drop down bug has been fixed. You may need to clear your cache to pick up the new code.
Recent Topics paging bug requires a patch which has not yet been released.

× Use the stickied threads for short updates.

Please consider adding your quick impressions and your rating to the game entry in our Board Game Directory after you post your thoughts so others can find them!

Please start new threads in the appropriate category for mini-session reports, discussions of specific games or other discussion starting posts.

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?

More
25 Oct 2020 09:48 #315530 by Shellhead
I wasn't sure about Blackstone Fortress at first. It looks great on the table, but the combat system felt a little too light and the fights were a little too easy. Then I had two missions in a row end abruptly when a hero got killed, and had to revise my tactics. I was getting more familiar with the opposition, especially since the early game limits the enemy to Spindle Bots, Traitor Guardsmen, Negavolt Cultists (sung to the tune of Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley), and Ur-Ghuls. But it still seemed a bit light, until I finally got four clues together and was able to take on one of the four strongholds.

A normal Blackstone Fortress mission consists of taking four random challenges and four random combats and shuffling them together, then taking them on one at a time. Going after a stronghold means tackling four random encounters that could be either challenges or combats, then tackling a big combat map with a greater than normal variety of opponents who are deployed more carefully than usual. There will be some special rules for the engagement, typically including more specific tactics for some of the enemy. There is also a specific goal and a unique special events table for this combat.

I drew the stronghold card for Corridor of Death. I suddenly found myself fighting three new types of enemies, and the Rogue Psykers were quite vexing because they were stripping activation dice from my team long before we got close enough to fight them. I had learned the hard way that the different types of opponents are defined as much by their action rolls as by their weapons, and the best way to fight them is to set up situations where they are less likely to take their favorite actions. For example, Traitor Guardsmen love it when they can sit in cover and take a couple of shots in a row, especially if the Guardsman in question has a flamer. So you want to take cover and let them come to you, but Corridor of Death gave them specific rules of engagement that encouraged them to do hit and run attacks.

Corridor of Death turned out to be a valid name. Two out of my four explorers were taken out and each had a 20% chance of dying after the fight. But my swashbuckling rogue trader and my UR-025 murderbot were victorious in the end, and the whole combat was pretty exciting. As a bonus, I managed to score four more clues during the approach to the Corridor, and so I will soon be tackling the Deathmaze stronghold, which features a grinding chamber.
The following user(s) said Thank You: hotseatgames, Nodens

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
25 Oct 2020 19:28 #315541 by Shellhead
Another premature snowfall blocked me from a couple of outdoor projects, so I went down to the basement gaming table and entered the Deathmaze of Blackstone Fortress. The four leadup encounters were easy, up until my rogue trader got mauled by ur-ghuls for three grievous wounds, leaving him barely functional for the actual Deathmaze. But my whole party was inspired (kind of like leveled up in rpg terms) and we had some good gear, so in we went.

No spoilers here, but it was brutal. The boss was the nastiest enemy in the Blackstone Fortress base set, and we had to get past a semi-predictable bottleneck issue to get at him. At the end, my whole party was down and out and possibly dead, except for the ranger/sniper who escaped with a single grievous wound with nearly 20 enemies still on the board. Fortunately, all of my downed explorers made their Blackstone saves and did not die. As a bonus, we barely managed to scrape up four more clues during the approach to the Deathmaze, ensuring that our next mission will be another stronghold.

This session took less than five hours, which is probably typical for a full mission. At the end, I put everything away, using the handy data vaults (sturdy ziplock bags with logos on them) to store each explorer with his gear and money. I will be playing solitaire horror games next weekend, so time to take a break from Blackstone Fortress even while I am having fun with it.

There is one more small data vault to keep track of the legacy cards. At the end of each normal mission, you draw a legacy card. Some have permanent effects on your remaining missions, like unlocking a new type of enemy or leveling up the threat level of the spindle bots. The whole legacy deck functions like a timer, so if it runs out before I conquer the four strongholds and then the hidden fortress, I lose the campaign. At the rate I am clearing strongholds, I may not even see half the legacy deck, assuming that I don't see three more explorers killed first.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
25 Oct 2020 23:05 - 25 Oct 2020 23:05 #315546 by JoelCFC25
My son (he'll be 6 in January) wanted to play something new, so we busted out DungeonQuest and gave it a go. I've got some colored D12s to use the streamlined "no combat cards" variant you can find on BGG. He seemed to understand my warning that it's really hard to survive and that wacky things can happen. With only two small incidents where I cut a corner in favor of "more fun" we played it straight up--he was pretty excited to defeat a skeleton, and was able to laugh it off when a trap exploded in his face for a bunch of damage. He got to the dragon's chamber pretty quickly, while I got detoured by a rotating room. The push-your-luck of the dragon was the best part, and he made off with two turns of treasure before skedaddling for an exit. He took a new path and had amazing luck in the catacombs to save several turns, but then got blocked by a cave-in just one tile away from the exit. Then he rolled like a champ to pass the agility check, clamber out, and finish with 2200 gold--and an achievement he can keep bragging about, because I honestly don't think I've ever survived all the way to exiting the dungeon.
Last edit: 25 Oct 2020 23:05 by JoelCFC25.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, mads b., jay718, Jackwraith, mezike, jason10mm, hotseatgames, DarthJoJo, Ah_Pook, n815e

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
25 Oct 2020 23:38 #315547 by Jackwraith
My regular two-player opponent came by today. We started with 13 Days, since he'd only played once before and wanted to try again to see if the game has staying power for him (I already knew it did for me, which is why I still own it.) Unlike last time, my hands were pretty good through all three rounds, or at least not terrible. And I had massive dominance in the Aftermath, which let me reduce his 2 Prestige score back to 0 but, just like last time, he had the Personal Letter. Foiled, again.

Then I introduced him to War Chest. We used the beginning builds since this was his first game (Crossbowmen/Light Cav/Swordsmen/Pikemen vs Archers/Lancers/Cavalry/Scout.) I took the side with the Lancers because they're among the worst units in the game and they played out to be fairly useless, like usual. However, I think I didn't recruit often enough while he had almost no coins left on his cards by the end. He won, 6-5. Then we played another game where we drafted. He went entirely for units that had 5 coins, probably thinking that a plethora of options was the best route to success, based on his first win, and ended up with Footmen/Swordsmen/Mercenaries/Ensign. If you'll notice: no missile troops and no cavalry. I drafted Warrior Priest first and he let me have Berzerker second, which pretty much sealed his fate. I followed with Archers and Lancers. Doing the "Warrior Priest attacks, draw a coin, play Berzerker, discard, discard" so that I kill two or three units in one turn and/or also take a control point is, uh, pretty devastating. Don't let your opponent get that combo. I still ogle the production values of that game every time I play it.

Then we finally got Remnants to the table. Pete had lured me into it a couple years ago, probably because he knows I'll try anything post-apocalyptic, but I'd never had a chance to bring it out, because a lot of my regulars aren't likely to be interested in real-time dice throwing. And... I'm a little underwhelmed. The game is a small one and not meant to be the main event of a game night, so one has to keep in mind the relative level of complexity. Even accounting for that, there's a solid amount of replayability in the box, with the different Specialists, the array of Development cards, and the decent amount of foes and bosses. But two players is definitely not optimal. I think the game really demands four players, where the chaos of rolling for resources would be far greater and the chance that someone screws everyone else by taking the last bonus token has much more impact. In fact, it'd probably be best at the local brewery over some beers, to even further emphasize the excitement and noise of rolling so many dice. So, I'll hold on to it until I can get it into that kind of scenario and see how it plays there. But it probably won't come out again before then.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, DarthJoJo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
26 Oct 2020 20:16 - 26 Oct 2020 20:18 #315591 by Jexik
Been playing a little bit of Fort lately, 2-player. I haven't been timing my games, but when compared to something like Dominion or Glory to Rome, it's not quite as engine-y and ends more abruptly. New gamers who have neither of these games could do a whole lot worse. I could talk at length about the mechanics, and I may at some point, but not tonight. The art is cute, kinda reminds me of a cross between Root (same artist) and those kids from Doug the cartoon.
Last edit: 26 Oct 2020 20:18 by Jexik.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, Gary Sax

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2020 21:56 #315624 by jason10mm
I wanna hear about solitaire horror games.

Only one I ever played was Fields of Fire with the original rule book :,p
The following user(s) said Thank You: CranBerries

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Oct 2020 11:40 #315639 by Shellhead

jason10mm wrote: I wanna hear about solitaire horror games.

Only one I ever played was Fields of Fire with the original rule book :,p


Most horror co-op games work well as solitaire games, and you've got Death Angel.

Arkham Horror 1st and 2nd work fine if you run multiple investigators. In theory, Arkham 2nd edition scales down to one player, but not really because you nearly zero chance of winning except in Final Battle, but that final battle will probably be a cakewalk if you gear up for it instead of closing gates.

Camp Grizzly is also fine as a solitaire game, as long as you run multiple characters. As with Arkham Horror, it can become a bit of a hassle keeping tracking of all your special abilities and gear in each relevant situation. But since you're playing alone, nobody can stop you from rewinding a turn when you realize you forgot something important.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jason10mm

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
29 Oct 2020 18:31 #315719 by CranBerries
I may have posted this but can't find it. I played my first game of Wingspan with my 20-year-old son who taught us the game (I call him my External Brain Pack) and my 16-year-old daughter who fussed and worried that she didn't know what what going on. She pursued an egg strategy and beat us, 58/51/49. I like the art, we have two bird feeders, and it feels richer to me than Dominion, with the multiple scoring paths. I'm avoiding strategy articles although I did see the review on here that said the game comes down to luck and eggs. Like a character in a time travel movie (I just saw Tenet) I am going to avoid spoilers about the future and enjoy learning more about the game with the kids, if I can get them to play. My wife won't touch it. She does not want to play anything where "each turn takes an hour and you can barely understand the rules"
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, ChristopherMD

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
29 Oct 2020 20:15 #315726 by Jackwraith
[Stifles comments about egg strategy so as not to be a spoiler]

I'm surprised at your wife's reaction, though. It's a pretty standard engine builder. There's some complexity when you're trying to exercise that engine to its fullest, but the few times I've played haven't dragged at all and certainly it never felt like turns took an hour. They just [stifles comments about eggs again.]
The following user(s) said Thank You: Msample, WadeMonnig

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Nov 2020 10:15 #315811 by hotseatgames
Last night I got to play the Rambo board game with my friend, who bought it on KS. This is a 4 person co-op, and when you play with 2 players, each character takes 2 turns in a round, and gets 2 extra health. The game is mission-based, and I think comes with 20 missions loosely covering the events of Rambo 2 and 3. We played the first 3 missions of the Rambo 2 timeline. There are numerous characters, including a few Rambos and 2 Trautmans. Each character has different "stances" they can activate (more on that later). I played as "Guerrilla Rambo" and my friend was Trautman from Rambo III.

The tiles are very nice. There is a red arrow on them that helps you orient them properly based on the mission diagrams. Unfortunately they printed the arrow on the opposite side of the tile. Oops! Hey, these things happen, and boy do I know it.

The miniatures.... they kind of suck. They are overly small, and most of them look extremely similar to one another. At one point we lost the Trautman miniature for 10 minutes because it got mixed in with standard enemies and they look almost identical.

Tokens and player boards are fine. Cards are quite nice. Sturdy stock, nice photos from the movies, etc. There is a ridiculous round counter that is Rambo's knife. It is enormous, and to track the round you place a tiny bullet that looks more like a whiskey bottle into the sawteeth on the back of the blade. Clearly someone felt that they just HAD to cram his knife in there somehow.

Speaking of his knife, I had it equipped, and it is devastating. I was doing more damage than Trautman with his pistol. Later on we obtained a "normal" military knife. It was like stepping on a tack compared to Rambo's knife.

On to the game itself... it's... fine. Not great, but fun enough to play. Many of the mechanics are recognizable from other games, but that is standard operating procedure. Each turn, you start by drawing a Threat card. These are generally the "bad event" that hinders you in some way for the round. These cards FUCKING SUCK. Some of them are so arbitrarily punishing and limiting, it's a real head scratcher. I get wanting to add challenge. But not at the expense of fun. One of them is effectively a "lose a turn" card if you can't pay a toll of 2 "Valor" which are tokens you can gain. They are priceless.

After the threat card fist fucks you, you choose a "Stance". Each character has 4 stances, and you can't repeat the same stance you used last turn. These basically define your abilities for the round. How far (or even if) you can move, if you gain some bonus armor, a valor point, raise or lower your alert level, how many actions you can take. Having to change the stance round to round is an interesting mechanical choice (familiar to anyone who has played Death Angel). BUT... remember that Threat deck? There is a card in there that can force you to take a wound. If you take a wound, you have to cover up one of your stances permanently for the mission. Likewise, if you fill your damage meter, you clear it and take another wound (hello, Gorechosen). While this makes perfect sense, in practice, the end result is a loss of choice that kind of sucks. We never lost a stance due to taking damage, but losing one to an arbitrary Threat card is not fun.

Let's talk about the Alert level. This is an interesting mechanic that drives a lot of your decisions. Each character has their own alert meter on their player board, divided into green, yellow, orange and finally red stages. The amount of steps in each color band is different from character to character, providing very nice asymmetry. While the box cover says the name of the game is "Rambo", an alternate title could be "Alert Level Management." If you let this meter get out of hand, a lot of bad things happen. Many of those shitty threat cards have varying effects based on individual alert levels. Further, the first two missions actually fail you out if you start a turn at Red level. As for actually managing it, most attacks will push it higher, and some stances will lower it slightly. Rambo in particular often has attack options that don't move the alert level at all, which is nice.

I am not a fan of the enemy activation. There are enemy groups, like group A, B, C. Each round, a different group activates. This seems really dumb... like these soldiers are just going to hang around while the others mobilize? When they do activate, they have a simple list of instructions. Managing them is easy.

Combat is deterministic. That's right... there are no dice in a game called Rambo. Your weapon has X damage, add some bonuses, bam. While all of this serves to add to the strategic planning nature of a round, you lose the drama of hoping for a given dice result.

I know I sound pretty negative here, but the game really isn't all that bad. Since my friend already paid way too much for it, I'm sure we will play it again, and it is not unpleasant. That said, I can only recommend purchasing it if you are a Rambo super-fan. If you aren't, might I suggest you buy Terminator Genisys. It's similar, and much, much better.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Msample, Jackwraith, WadeMonnig, DarthJoJo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Nov 2020 11:13 #315813 by WadeMonnig

hotseatgames wrote:
After the threat card fist fucks you, you choose a "Stance"


Visuals, baby, visuals. :woohoo:
I saw a tweet about this game with the quote "Get to the Chopper!" and I couldn't bring myself to click it...you can't mix pop culture references like that, it hurts.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Nov 2020 11:40 #315814 by hotseatgames
Ha! Someone needs to brush up on their action movies. One thing I didn't touch on above is that the missions (the ones I looked at, anyway) don't seem set up for a lot of replayability. There are fog of war cards that are always placed in the same positions every time, and once you learn what each card is, there is no mystery if you were to play again. It's an odd choice. I think this game would have benefited from being more of a "Rambo sandbox" than anything trying to follow movie plots.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Nov 2020 14:40 #315828 by mads b.
Played a couple of solo digital ROOT games against the AI. I have only played the game once before IRL, and I've been wanting to try it again for a long time. Still a great game, but it seems like the AI opponents aren't much of a challenge.

Then I played a cooperative game of NEMESIS with the boys (8 and 4). The 4-year-old and I shared control of the scientist and my other son had the soldier. We ended up completing both objectives (fixing the ship and setting the right course plus investigating two intruder weaknesses), and early on the soldier even killed the queen without getting touched himself. Then fires started around the ship, the self destruct sequence initiated because of a coolant leak and suddenly we were in trouble. The soldier got to the hibernatorium and got in the fridge, so we had to turn of the sequence and find our way there too. We shut it down at the last possible moment and even made it past fires and intruders before getting in the fridge in the final turn of the game. And luckily our contamination cards turned up blank, so a full win.

The game has a lot of rules, but works pretty well with the kids since they can mostly just say what they want to do and then I can help them with the cards. Of course the youngest needed extra help, but he's okay with co-driving a character.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, Msample, Jackwraith, mezike, hotseatgames, Gregarius, DarthJoJo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Nov 2020 16:46 #315832 by hotseatgames
Nemesis works better in co-op than I would have expected. A really great game.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Msample

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Nov 2020 18:44 #315835 by ubarose
Played Horrified. Then the Spawn indulged me and we played Monster Slaughter, which is essentially just a move and attack game, and not the kind of game she enjoys. Was pleasantly surprised when she said that she really likes it and wants to play again. She even got psyched when I told her I was waiting for my Kickstarter with a bunch of other monster types. Also, she wants to paint all the victim minis. So big win for me today.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CranBerries, hotseatgames, birdman37, Gregarius, WadeMonnig, n815e

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 1.074 seconds