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November 30, 2021
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Lunar Base Board Game Review

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Tharos Board Game Review

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07 May 2021 13:32 #322953 by Gary Sax
You and So Very Wrong About Games pushing me toward a dumb anachrony purchase. Does it play well with two and how conflictual is it on a Rosenberg to Argent the Consortium scale?
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07 May 2021 13:40 #322955 by Michael Barnes
Just get the Essential Edition to start with, it’s just $55. Everything in the Infinity Box (including the box) is or will be available separately. But even at aftermarket prices there is a little savings from buying an Infinity Box upgrade pledge..

It’s actually more on the Rosenberg end. At least the base game is. Not sure yet if the expansions change that. There’s not any direct interference...but the timeline creates this sort of “negative” majority thing where only the player with the most warps has to roll for paradoxes.

It’s great with 2- 75-90 minutes tops.
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07 May 2021 13:50 #322956 by Gregarius
I had my first play of Whale Riders last night. It's a semi-light, family-friendly Knizia, and it's very good.

The board is a track of ports, each with five random commodity tiles on them. You go up and down the track once, buying and selling goods along the way. At each port, there are five spaces with progressive costs (0-4), so if you buy something cheap, all the others slide over to become cheaper for the next person. On your turn, you choose two of five actions: move a space, buy a good, take a coin, discard contracts, or fulfill contracts. That's basically it. As the game progresses, more "blocker" tiles come out to fill up the cheaper spaces. The contract cards reward both coins and victory points and are pretty random, but none are so hard as to be too much of a handicap, plus you can always discard for a new selection.

What I liked most about this game was just how quickly everyone "got" it. You can see what your choices are very easily, and it's very clear what the cost analysis will be. That doesn't make the decisions easy, but it makes them simple, which makes the game move at a very brisk pace. There's a lot of indirect player interaction, too. "Hey, you took the pottery I wanted. Oh well, that just makes those seashells cheaper." The artwork is great--simple and clean.

I'm really eager to play it again, as was my group. The game came with two variants, and I think I'll add them both in the next time. One gives each player a unique special power (fulfill contracts for one less, move one space for free, etc.) and the other gives bonus points for certain achievements (first to get five tiles, first to fulfill a contract, etc.). Neither one of them are too complex, I just didn't want to overburden the number of things to track in our first play.

We also played a few rounds of Whale Riders: The Card Game, which is a retheme of Trendy. I like this one too, but it's super light and quick, and almost not even a game. A fast, take-that, set collection game.
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07 May 2021 14:46 #322958 by Ah_Pook
My copy of Whale Riders is coming today I believe. Pretty excited about it, I thought it looked really fun back in the hazy past when it was on Kickstarter. Glad to hear it went down well with yall.

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07 May 2021 22:29 - 10 May 2021 12:28 #322975 by Cranberries

Sagrilarus wrote: In theory, in September, I will go from having three kids living with my wife and me to none. At that point, with three bedrooms freeing up, I may be able to consider purchasing a game like this at that point.

My oldest son has moved out to pursue his dreams of indie band fame. One song has the f-bomb repeated for three minutes. They are getting better. My oldest daughter is a missionary in East Tucson, waiting to get transferred to the Ukraine, but Covid. My 21-year-old son has been languishing in the basement, writing RPGs, making podcasts, dropping out of school due to anxiety, and waiting for Covid to pass. My remaining daughter, seventeen, has gone from a 4.0 GPA to failing most classes. We may be empty nesters in a year, or may have two depressed kids living at home. It doesn't matter because I have a hard time getting them to play anything and have cleared out most of the collection. I know, I whine about this all the time, for years, on this site.
My college friend told me that this past Easter all of their kids were across the country, and they were watching little video clips and pictures of them having a great time with family and friends, and his wife broke down sobbing.
And now, back to games!
Last edit: 10 May 2021 12:28 by Cranberries. Reason: tidying up
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08 May 2021 16:28 #322977 by ChristopherMD

Gary Sax wrote:

ChristopherMD wrote: Fields of Arle is on my table a lot. I added the expansion my second game with no issues. I like the tea mechanic to improve or duplicate a worker action and more building variety is good. But trading overseas seems more like a novelty than worthwhile endeavor. Not a must-have unless you're a fan and just want more stuff to do in the game.


It makes farming more viable.


I was playing the game earlier and pondering the boats while recalling this comment you made. What was Gary seeing that I wasn't? I somehow had it in my head they were one-time use so a rules error on my part. I see now how they are useful. Thanks.

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08 May 2021 16:53 #322978 by Gary Sax
The weird irrigation ditches are the thing with farming, the tea makes you more flexible and facilitates just about everything.

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08 May 2021 23:11 #322980 by Gary Sax

Michael Barnes wrote: Just get the Essential Edition to start with, it’s just $55. Everything in the Infinity Box (including the box) is or will be available separately. But even at aftermarket prices there is a little savings from buying an Infinity Box upgrade pledge..

It’s actually more on the Rosenberg end. At least the base game is. Not sure yet if the expansions change that. There’s not any direct interference...but the timeline creates this sort of “negative” majority thing where only the player with the most warps has to roll for paradoxes.

It’s great with 2- 75-90 minutes tops.


Yeah, I'll keep my eye out for a dumb infinity box if one comes my way to buy it on a flier. This is the sort of game that my wife and I play together a lot if it's not too conflictual worker placement, so it could have a high usage place in my house. Moreso than a lot of the games I buy.

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09 May 2021 10:30 #322982 by Ah_Pook
I looked into Anachrony but apparently you don't get any solo options in the base game, and I'm not buying in for the game and the big box expansion so that's that. I do remember thinking it looked cool back when it was originally on KS.

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09 May 2021 13:42 #322983 by Michael Barnes
Chronobot 1.0 can be downloaded for free. The Fractures of Time expansion has both Chronobot 2.0 and Chronossus, which is slightly more complex but compatible with the expansions. So you don’t really have to go all in to get solo.
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10 May 2021 13:01 #323003 by Ah_Pook
Well their release format is nothing of not confusing. I looked through the BGG forums and that was as close as I could get to correct info.

For myself, I've been playing lots of good stuff lately.

Whale Riders: taught this to my mom 2p on mother's day, and it hit the spot perfectly. Dead simple rules, tricky decisions, beautiful art. This is a really solid old style German family game Knizia design.

At The Gates of Loyang: this is an older big box Rosenberg game that feels kinda like it was designed as a solo game and then had a card drafting phase worked in to support more than 1 player. It's great 2p, but it's really great solo. Basically you plant fields that will give you vegetables each round, and you draft contracts for certain combinations of vegetables to either fulfill once, or once a round for 4 rounds. There are ways to trade and buy vegetables, and cards that do all kinds of other things, but basically you're trying to efficiently fulfill contracts to get money to buy victory points. It's a really satisfying solo puzzle.

Nusfjord: great solo and 2p. This is Rosenberg's latest tight smaller scale worker placement game, a la Agricola ACBAS. It's not actually that small though, as it plays up to 5p and has a lot going on. Basically you build up your fishing fleet to get more fish income, and you try to make a bunch of very old very white men happy by giving them fish. You only ever get 3 actions per round, and there are only 7 rounds, so you have to be efficient. There are tons of cards to give the game variability, and it's just a really great little worker placement game. This one slots on nicely next to Glass Road as far as cramming a full big euro games' worth of decisions into a much tighter package, and they're both phenomenal solo imo.
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10 May 2021 13:26 #323004 by southernman
One week to go and I'll be able to post here again - I'll finally be able to have visitors, after six months of various levels of lockdown, so my game group can show up again B) .
In the last 14 months I've lost 10 months of gaming with my AT group, and at two sessions a week with an average of 5-6 hours per session that must be around 400-450 hours lost - we're behind in a lot of big game campaigns and now all my delayed KSers are arriving I probably have enough gaming, on the shelves or arriving, for two years :pinch: .
And my euro group, that I attend frequently, hasn't met at all in those 14 months so that's going to be a strange meet up.

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10 May 2021 17:44 #323019 by DukeofChutney
A good observation Ah_Pook on Rosenburg games. I've been playing Glass Road and I would say the same. I think Rosenburg really just wants to create solo games but then puts in a card system or worker placement as a vague pass at interaction. Glass Road works fine as a solo game, 2 player the interaction is somewhat incidental. It might be more interactive with 3 or 4 given the way the card system works.
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10 May 2021 21:48 #323028 by Ah_Pook
i think the forced follow card play in Glass Road makes it one of the more interesting games of his on the player interaction front. theres definitely an aspect of bluffing and outguessing your opponent there that is quite different from most of the straightforward euro mechanisms he typically employs.
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11 May 2021 10:41 - 11 May 2021 10:42 #323040 by charlest
Two in person game nights with my vaccinated group. Some quick thoughts:

Everdell - Enjoyable tableau builder. Dig the buildings giving you free creatures mechanism. Thought it felt pretty difficult to dig for specific cards or cycle your hand though. Would play again but I'd choose Race for the Galaxy/Jump Drive over it every time.

Excavation Earth - Heavy Euro that would fit into Michael's current playlist. I was attracted to this game due to how it models the remains of human culture being turned into a commodity by alien excavators, which is pretty interesting. It's a heavy game and all about setting up big sells to a player manipulated market by sequencing multiple actions. Some neat things but it's a little more of a cognitive load than I'd prefer. Can feel like work.

Awkward Guests - This game surprised me. May dethrone Mystery of the Abbey as my favorite Clue-ish deduction game. The trading card mechanic sucks about half the time, and it's a shame it's such a central part of the game.

Fantasy Realms - still a banger.

Ruination - This one surprised me. Everyone loved it. Another guy said if I'm getting rid of it after playing/reviewing it, he wanted it. It borrows from many other Dudes on a Map hybrid games (Kemet, Blood Rage most notably), but it manages to feel unique overall. Very pleased with it as a first impression.

Deranged - Some very neat elements in this quirky gothic horror game, but it felt underdeveloped. We had problems where the AI enemies balled up and people got caught in death spirals, repeatedly being sent to the graveyard. That, combined with its overall clunkiness and too many mechanisms, detracted from the very neat elements.

Dune: Imperium - Finally played this. It's solid. Very smooth. I don't really like worker placement games but this one was enjoyable. Nothing amazing or mind blowing here, but I'd play it if others wanted to. Still likely wouldn't request it though.
Last edit: 11 May 2021 10:42 by charlest.
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