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BradHB
September 18, 2021
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DavidNorris
September 16, 2021
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Quick, Simple Fun: High Society

Board Game Reviews
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Andi Lennon
September 15, 2021
502 0
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oliverkinne
September 14, 2021
471 0

Play and Pass

Essays
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ubarose
September 13, 2021
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thegiantbrain
September 13, 2021
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oliverkinne
September 10, 2021
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Karuba Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
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BradHB
September 10, 2021
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kneeshawdevelopments
September 09, 2021
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DavidNorris
September 09, 2021
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adamr
September 08, 2021
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Mariposas - a Punchboard Review

Board Game Reviews
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oliverkinne
September 07, 2021
642 0

Paring down

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BradHB
September 03, 2021
517 0
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oliverkinne
September 03, 2021
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Earthenwar Review

Board Game Reviews
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DavidNorris
September 02, 2021
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oliverkinne
August 31, 2021
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01 Apr 2021 11:31 #321569 by Michael Barnes
Shell I wonder if you might come out better buying it and selling the sprues...those skeletons and zombies are going to be in high demand and this box is the only place to get them. They are freaking awesome and...here’s the weird thing...they are kind of under scaled. Which means they will be great for D&D, Frostgrave, etc. the heroes are a full head taller than they are. There are also some other great pieces that I think have more utilitiy than WHQ- bat swarms, rats, gravestones, pillars, etc. I bet you could dramatically defray the cost just selling the sprues off.

Game wise, it looks very much like Blackstone Fortress. It’s also way more Old World feeling and looking. Not a Stormcast in sight.
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01 Apr 2021 11:41 #321570 by Shellhead
I bought stripped copies of Silver Tower, Hammerhal, and Blackstone Fortress for an average of about 33% of MSRP, and got everything except the sprues and the box. It's true that I could potentially come out even farther ahead by buying the game at full cost and then re-selling the sprues online, but then I would need to deal with the petty hassles of taking pictures, posting a listing, packing the box up for shipping, and then standing in line at the post office on a Saturday morning. If I find an eBay listing for a stripped set for less than $70 plus shipping, I would rather go that route.

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01 Apr 2021 12:11 #321573 by RobertB

mezike wrote: I’d say it depends on what colonies are in play. If it’s Titan and Enceladus then yeah, not much good unless you are building to have floaters and microbes. Ganymede, Io and Callisto are straight up boosting terraforming, although Callisto can be a godsend if you have power hungry projects or multiple trade fleets. The other colonies are supporting card based strategies because steel and titanium only really matter for cards and Pluto is straight card draws. Luna is the only one that is a flat benefit in all situations with hard cash rewards. But then all of that is true regardless of player count.
I would say that Colonies generally supports card based engines because they provide incremental gains that help either directly with drawing and playing cards or with stuff that can otherwise be a struggle with random draws (microbes, floaters, animals). The reason why I like it is exactly that, I believe that it adds agency by mitigates some randomness caused by that huge deck of cards.

You're right about the colonies themselves - they're pretty neutral WRT terraforming vs. engines. The theory is that the Colonies cards lean more towards engines than the do towards terraforming. So the deck gets thinned out. Bear in mind that we're talking 1v1 here.

I could very well suck at the game, but my experience has been that to make terraforming work with Colonies, you have to get a good draw and you have to be relentless about drafting (if you're drafting) and buying cards.
And even then you're going to need help from the deck. This might be Terraforming 101, but definitely harder in practice than in theory.
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01 Apr 2021 12:22 - 01 Apr 2021 12:34 #321574 by mezike
Oh yes, I hadn't thought much about the cards themselves. I don't know that is a problem though, I mean our 2p games are usually done in generation ten, sometimes a little earlier, so we don't have a problem terraforming, and I don't think that is slow going by what other people seem to say. My approach is that a TP is an income as well as a VP so I tend to push hard on that in the early game regardless of strategy, and then in the late game they just become cheap victory points and a way to close out the game if my opponent has a better points scoring engine than me. Playing a few solo games also helps because you learn how to get the terraforming done very efficiently from a greatly weakened starting position.

The other problem I have is that I am all-in so Turmoil and Venus are also getting in the way, plus there will be another twenty cards coming with the box of tiles set. I'm sure I've lost track of what each individual expansion does because I'm up at a macro level where it's all working together.

edit: in direct response to your last point, there are always standard projects in the mix. As an example, my son and I have played three times in the last couple of weeks plus I've run a handful of solo games and in most of them I've barely touched any cards. Sometimes it's worth it to land an Asteroid just to get that heat bonus, or put down a lake or a forest paid for in cash, and building power plants are often a great investment. It does help a lot to have Turmoil in the game though because manipulating which party is in power can give some great bonuses that broaden your options. I'd actually rank the expansions now as Turmoil > Prelude > Colonies > Venus.
Last edit: 01 Apr 2021 12:34 by mezike.
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01 Apr 2021 13:59 #321581 by RobertB
Turmoil was one of my few Kickstarter purchases. I have the full set, but my wife hasn't shown any interest in getting it all out. We're still playing standard + Preludes + Colonies + the four promo cards: Penguins, Small Asteroid, something that bumps up the heat for cheap, and Self-Replicating Robots - a weird card that lets you get a big purchase three or four rounds down the road for free. I might nag her to play it soon.

Advice to the TWBG folks - do not use one of those $20 card shufflers on TM (or any game's) cards unless you sleeve them. They make shuffling easy but are hell on your cards.

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01 Apr 2021 14:00 #321582 by Gary Sax

Michael Barnes wrote: Shell I wonder if you might come out better buying it and selling the sprues...those skeletons and zombies are going to be in high demand and this box is the only place to get them. They are freaking awesome and...here’s the weird thing...they are kind of under scaled. Which means they will be great for D&D, Frostgrave, etc. the heroes are a full head taller than they are. There are also some other great pieces that I think have more utilitiy than WHQ- bat swarms, rats, gravestones, pillars, etc. I bet you could dramatically defray the cost just selling the sprues off.

Game wise, it looks very much like Blackstone Fortress. It’s also way more Old World feeling and looking. Not a Stormcast in sight.


I mentioned this in the thread about this release, but the aesthetic on this thing is absolutely off the charts incredible. It's basically my happy place from all the GW properties---the gritty Old World, empire as pseudo-HRE under siege from everything aesthetic.

They were smart to move away from that crusty aesthetic because I doubt it plays well with other audiences but, fuck man, it hits me right.

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01 Apr 2021 14:23 #321584 by hotseatgames

Shellhead wrote: and then standing in line at the post office on a Saturday morning.


FYI, a couple of weeks ago I sold a game on ebay, and was delighted to find that I could schedule a USPS pickup online. I set the box on the porch that morning with the pre-printed label attached, the driver grabbed it, and that was that. Easiest ebaying I have ever done.
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02 Apr 2021 19:33 - 02 Apr 2021 19:34 #321615 by Erik Twice

RobertB wrote: There's been more than one discussion on BGG about what Colonies does to the game, the thought being that for two players Colonies makes the game favor engines over terraforming. My wife is a firm believer in that, not from reading BGG because no way will she read BGG, but from her personal experience. For her it's cards, money, and point engines, or lose. I think they're all right, but I'm stubborn enough to keep trying something else, and losing.

I haven't played too much with Colonies but I've actually found the opposite: That it lets you play a much more aggressive game because you don't need as many cards to do stuff.

I won a game of Colonies not playing any cards until turn 5 or 6. I don't think I could have done that in the base game.

--

Talking about Terraforming Mars, I played that massive Giga-Terraforming Mars variant. It took 7 hours and was a lot of fun but I did get a headache. I'll try to write about it this week if my mind doesn't explode.

I'm also not fond of Turmoil. I don't own it and every time I play it I feel it drags. The -1TR economy feels wrong and the bonuses don't seem interesting me to, just tiring. I don't like it.
Last edit: 02 Apr 2021 19:34 by Erik Twice.
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02 Apr 2021 21:02 #321617 by ChristopherMD
Fields of Arle is the farming game I wanted Agricola to be way back when. I like that abstract food is the main currency and its a small fixed amount for your family each round. I like the sandbox of building my farm however I want instead of focusing on some endgame VP bonus like having the most horses. Lots of potential strategies to try out even solo with nothing ever blocked. I'm not sure I'd even like it with another player. Definitely not a game night game but more an at home chilling with friend/family game. Will probably add in the expansion soon as I like tea.
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02 Apr 2021 21:03 - 02 Apr 2021 21:04 #321618 by Gary Sax
The expansion is excellent. BGG says we've played 30 times.
Last edit: 02 Apr 2021 21:04 by Gary Sax.
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02 Apr 2021 23:54 #321620 by Michael Barnes
UGH I want it...had a winning $35 bid on a copy but dude pulled the listing at the last minute.

I like Underwater Cities better than TM, I think. It’s probably not the better design, but I have more fun playing it. The economy is simple and the development curve feels good. Only producing three times is interesting and forces you into some tough mid-era choices. It’s interesting having a more fluid, four cards only tableau- it’s more tactical and situational, and you are never locked in. But it does seem like you are more prone to having bum investments out there. I’ve just played the learning game but I dig it so far. There is no AI, just automated obstruction which is just right for this kind of game.

Going back to Spirit Island, I’m reminded of some things about it I had forgotten...how utterly frustrating it can be for one. How awkward it is for another. I’m not really sure I find it al that fun...it’s definitely interesting, the concept alone is brilliant. But turn to turn I’m not really sure if I’m enjoying it. I’m just messing around with 1 spirit, when I was playing it a few years ago I was doing two and getting all of that crazy synergy/cross-spirit combo action in. Maybe I’m kind of shrugged about it right now because I want more economic concepts.

About to try Paladins of the West Kingdom. Never played any of those Garphill things other than the Raiders of the North Sea App.

Next week- Lost Ruins of Arnak.

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03 Apr 2021 00:11 - 03 Apr 2021 01:24 #321621 by Ah_Pook
I played through the Grime & Gold at the Ghostgates module for Dungeon Degenerates. The main issue I ran into is there are missing rules. The rules at the beginning of the booklet end mid sentence, and there is crucial information just not there. I houseruled the obviously missing rule about checking for wandering monsters, but I'm not sure what else might have been in there.

Aside from that, it was a lot of fun! Basically you go location to location in a dungeon, and each location has an encounter to read through and then probably some monsters to fight. The vibe and the writing and encounters and everything were great, exactly what you would expect from DD. I'm not sure how often I'll want to play through it again, having basically 100%d the dungeon the first time through, but it was worth playing at least once for sure.

It's a fun way to repurpose the stuff from the game into a slightly different form, and I really hope they come out with more of these. This one uses the monsters and whatnot from the Lowlands, so hopefully they'll do one for each environment.
Last edit: 03 Apr 2021 01:24 by Ah_Pook.
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03 Apr 2021 17:53 #321633 by Frohike
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04 Apr 2021 22:51 #321652 by Ah_Pook
2 solo games of Maglev Metro tonight, first two games of it. I scored 52 and 58, which both felt pretty good. I see people posting about getting like -8 or 0 for their first game so get I'll take it. The solo score chart goes to 145, which seems wildly impossible but who knows. So far its been get all the actions, build everything, empty the bag as fast as you can while doing some big deliveries at the end to enable whatever bonus scoring you've set yourself up for.

Really interested to try this with some people soon. The combination of engine building and pick up and deliver/route building is neat, and figuring out when you need to switch gears from engine building to points rushing seems like it will be fun multiplayer.
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05 Apr 2021 05:24 #321657 by Erik Twice
I've heard so many good things about Maglev Metro from you guys I wanted to check it out. But it's suepr expensive! I thought it would be a normal 35€ game but it's in Splotter range.

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