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Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game

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19 Aug 2021 21:15 #325843 by mc
I don't doubt it! One of those ones where the rules are so simple you don't look at them when you pull it out to play, so if you make a mistake it just stays. And then you house rule (without coming up with a really simple "house rule" that would fix the perceived issue, of course! :lol:

I just told my kids and they were open mouthed as the implications dawned.
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19 Aug 2021 22:48 #325847 by charlest
In danger of derailing the thread, but I looked it up to make sure. It says floors may overlap slightly, but a floor may not use another floor as support.

That's kind of murky actually. How much can they overlap?

We usually don't allow you to overlap more than just a small fraction, which means floors cannot really share a wall.
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19 Aug 2021 23:25 #325848 by mc
Structurally speaking, if you put a floor on top of another floor but directly above a wall it's not really using that floor as a support, is it? :lol:

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20 Aug 2021 16:07 - 20 Aug 2021 16:15 #325878 by Msample
Given the cancellation of WBC, a dozen ( vaccinated ) friends got together recently for a long weekend of mostly multi player stuff as we caught up with folks we hadn't seen since all this bullshit started. Games played in no particular order:

ROLL FOR THE GALAXY - hadn't played in a awhile but it proved a good warm up for those who were about to play....

TERRAFORMING MARS ARES EXPEDITION.  Most had not played it yet and opinion was split between those who saw it as a better, more streamlined version of TM vs those who missed some of the subtle aspects of the base game like board position, awards/milestones etc. I played twice and each game went about 90 minutes. One other game went well over three hours; the AP guy that slowed the game to an utter crawl unsurprisingly found himself somewhat shunned after that. 

BRASS BIRMINGHAM. Three player, all of us had played before. This is usually not my type of game but I find it quite enjoyable. Two of us pursued income based strategies while the third went deep into loans for his money. The two income players were leading at the end of the first era, but the debt guy was also playing a longer game, going after the slower but more lucrative Kiln builds. When the dust settled he had edged me out 158-156. 

STAR WARS OUTER RIM.  Taught the the game to two new guys. I had the bounty hunter who can zap patrols/encounters from three spaces away. I spent the early part of the game farming cash for a better ship and upgrading my weapons so that both ship and ground combat I had pretty much max dice. I started blasting patrols left and right as well as gunned down a couple bounties. However this took too long and Dr Aphra beat me to it by one round as she sold off her stuff to fund a statue being built on Tatooine.
 
PAX VIKING - three player  with basic goals. I started in the Caspian Sea while the others started in the Baltic and Norway. I've yet to play the game with a higher player count but would like to. The rules and mechanics are easily the most accessible of the PAX or Wehrle games but like them the game state is in constant flux. I was about to take the win by planting my sixth cross follower, but another player replaced two of mine with his via Jarldom influence and won.

SEVEN WONDERS - hadn't played in years; we had a half hour to kill. Four players; I found myself drawing into a strong military tableau and won with 58 points, almost half of which were from military victories and the Military Guild I built. Still prefer Duel. 

CAESAR ROME VS GAUL. We had both played several times before so we launched into this after dinner one night. I randomly drew Rome and despite knowing that I had to waste no time as the Roman, allowed Caesar to be distracted down south too early while Belgium became infested with Gallic unrest. By the time I moved up to clean out Germania, I was running out of time. While I did subdue them, a battle on the way out not only cost precious time but flipped four legions and with no path to trace back to Rome to replace the losses at the end of the turn, I resigned at the end of turn 4. Like the game moves at a good clip. Rome has by far the steeper learning curve.

COMMAND AND COLORS SAMURAI BATTLES. Another familiar game we'd been playing via VASSAL, so some FtF was a nice change. We found a largish 7 flag battle and went at it. My early thrust into his center pushed him back and damaged several units, however I had left my forces somewhat exposed. Meanwhile I had used several Dragon cards to up my hand size by two cards. However in doing so I had left my Honor pool depleted which forced my leader to commit Seppuku to regain Honor. The game tilted in my opponent's favor til a bad turn on his part allowed my to claw my way back to a 5-5 tie. He was able to knock off two more of my units in a move that was desperate; had he failed he was toast. I am really liking this iteration of the CC system. 

And now to the highlight of the weekend. Saturday we played a full campaign of HERE I STAND. I was the Papacy. It had been several years since I had played but I was still pretty up on the mechanics. France made a turn 1 Circumnavigation , worth 2 CP and drawing a target on his back. Crucially, the Habsburgs, deployed thinking they could take out Algiers ( they can't til Pirates show up ) . So France was able to walk into Metz. Meanwhile the Reformation plodded along in Germany, barely countered by my weak Debate rolls ( I only managed to torch a single debater the entire game ) which often resulted in ties even after a second round despite often starting with a superior debater in terms of die rolls. Elsewhere the Habsburg and Ottoman fleets sent other to the bottom of the Med and England got a good early marriage producing a sickly but 5 VP Edward. France was invaded by both Britain and Spain but deftly sued for peace so as to not adversely modify his Chateau construction. He was rebuffed in his attempts to siege Florence away from my Papal forces but managed to pull out a victory on Turn 5. 

Sunday the same group took on VIRGIN QUEEN with each player playing the same power; my Papacy changing into the Holy Roman Empire. This I was most looking forward to as I had never played the HRE . Once again the French hot dice saw him circumnavigate on Turn 1, followed shortly by the Turks digging the Suez on the first turn as well. To boot, both powers had a pretty high average CP value on their cards, throwing down lots of 4s and 5s during the game, I think I saw one of each the same time period. My Artists and Scientists racked up a fair number of VP aided by the Observatory ( +2 to Science rolls ) and several draws of the card allowing sponsorship of Italians. We botched a few minor rules and one player had never played before ( the Protestant ) . In the end I kind of inadvertently gave the French the win. As he was creeping up to 25, I had to choose between the Home Card that allows a mid turn Declaration of War, or the more sure Patronage. Plus - the Science bonuses were about to dry up. So I delayed declaring War and got the last Science VPs. But then I played the card that activates Venice. I figured with 4 players rolling and France having no modifiers vs two players at +2 and me at +4 he wouldn't get it. You know what happened next...French beat all of us and get the final 2 VP needed to win. I came in tied for second with a respectable 22 VP. Had I correctly guessed that the Prots would reign supreme ( I picked Catholic due to the Prots inexperience ) I would have fun.

Great four days of gaming and while not as good as WBC, better than nothing. 
Last edit: 20 Aug 2021 16:15 by Msample.

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20 Aug 2021 16:10 - 20 Aug 2021 16:14 #325879 by sornars
In addition to a bunch of Arkham Horror LCG I’ve also been playing some other things.

Pandemic Legacy Season 1: I’m perplexed by the folks who got invested in this campaign. I’m in June and am so ambivalent about the fate of this earth. Are people role playing these characters? I see each unlocked relationship or scar as a purely mechanical thing and when viewed that way all I see is a bunch of levers to make standard pandemic slightly harder or easier. I cannot wait for my friends to stop being interested in this, I’ve been a trooper so far for the sake of hanging out but I did let them know about my ambivalence last session.

Railroad Ink and Cartographers: I briefly explored getting a roll and write to play with my partner and these titles popped up as frequent recommendations. Both had an app implementation which gave me a chance to try before getting a physical version. After trying the apps I’m not sure I’d ever want to bother with the physical versions. Of the two, Railroad Ink has captured my imagination more than Cartographers. I attribute that to the more chilled out vibe it evokes but it might also be due to how much better implemented the respective app is. These are more puzzles than games but I find them to be a pleasant distraction not dissimilar to Sudoku. I can’t believe that there are a billion expansions to Railroad Ink, any box with your favourite colour should be good enough. The key thing, especially for solo play, is the challenge cards which I think came in some expansion box.

Parks with the partner again. She mentioned preferring the base game over the expansion stuff. This surprised me as I thought the rules overhead was so minimal but she insists we go back to the base game so I’ll be separating it all out to get it back on the table.

Ticket to Ride: Nordic This is also with the partner, not much to say, it’s TTR. The Nordics is a great two player map. I’ll start looking into some of the other low player count maps once we’ve played this one out.
Last edit: 20 Aug 2021 16:14 by sornars.
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20 Aug 2021 19:11 #325891 by Disgustipater

sornars wrote: Ticket to Ride: Nordic This is also with the partner, not much to say, it’s TTR. The Nordics is a great two player map. I’ll start looking into some of the other low player count maps once we’ve played this one out.

The India map is pretty cutthroat at 2-players.
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22 Aug 2021 00:25 #325917 by Jackwraith
Went to a game gathering at the co-op housing of a couple long-time friends (former tournament MTG colleagues.) Everyone had to provide proof of vaccination and we were asked to wear masks, regardless. Taught a couple people Funkoverse. We played the Territory scenario on the Alice in Wonderland map because Territory is simple to understand and the large map for Alice is also simple (i.e. not a lot of obstructions so movement is almost literally straightforward.) One person was an experienced gamer and the other not at all. They played Harry Potter, Kool-Aid Man, and Arya Stark against my Wonder Woman, Lord Voldemoort, and Dr. Ian Malcolm. Their team was based on characters that the non-gamer just liked and recognized and mine was just a random pull from the pile of characters I hadn't played in a while. I spent a lot of abilities early on to demonstrate the game to them and to gain myself an early scoring advantage, but they held on to more of their tokens and, while most of mine were on the cooldown track, were able to exercise their advantages more often later in the game and eventually take the win, 10-7.

Then I met up with a couple other friends there and we played a game of Scoville. This time, I was the newb. I didn't expect to enjoy it, but actually did. The components are kind of nifty and I appreciate the subject matter (I'm a bit of a spice freak) and I liked the mid-round change of turn order so that bidding to go first wasn't your only consideration, since you'd actually be harvesting in reverse turn order, so getting to auction, plant, and fulfill first wouldn't necessarily ensure that you had the peppers you needed if someone happened to move first and block the path you needed to take to make your expected combo come to fruition (ahem.) I picked up several solid recipes and a couple good first-time planting awards and ended up with a solid win, 88-71-63. I'd gladly play that again, not only for the multi-layered planning involved, but also because it plays quite quickly at three, even with a first-timer. It plays up to six, though, and I can see how that would get pretty dizzying and lead to some serious AP.
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22 Aug 2021 19:10 #325938 by charlest
If anyone is looking for even a small amount of negativity regarding Descent Legends of the Dark, it's provided me with a great deal of frustration today.

After begining the campaign I realized my Fire tablet kept putting the screen to sleep due to inactivity, so in attempting to fix this setting I accidentally closed the app. No sweat, it autosaves during the dungeon.

Except after closing it mid scenario it refused to open anymore. Started crashing after loading assets on the first screen. Tried restarting and no luck, still bugged.

So I uninstall and reinstall.

Start a new campaign and I get 1.5 hours into the first dungeon. Tablet dies from the battery running out. No big deal it was a decent time to take a break. Recharge the tablet and take care of some chores.

App opens fine and I load my autosave. Now it crashes Everytime a cutscene loads (I'm near the end of the first scenario). Restart and try some different things before loading the cutscene. Nope. Guess it's just fucked on Fire. Another person posted with similar crashing issues on BGG.

I guess I'm going to switch to my shitty laptop but I have to restart again, losing 90 minutes this time. Frustrating.
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22 Aug 2021 23:08 #325942 by hotseatgames
That is not a great testimonial.

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22 Aug 2021 23:10 #325943 by Michael Barnes
Yikes that is bad. I’m running it on the current IOS and haven’t had a single issue at all with about 12 hours into it. There may be some kind of compatibility issue with Fire that they need to either get on or let people know about.

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22 Aug 2021 23:18 - 22 Aug 2021 23:18 #325944 by charlest
I was able to get through the first scenario and hit Frostgate using my laptop/Steam.

It was enjoyable and I pumped it up to hard difficulty, which proved somewhat challenging. Ended with a serious wound on Brynn and Syrus.

Looking forward to seeing how it evolves, but nothing has blown me away yet. The app very much reminds me of MoM2e/Journeys in Middle Earth.

The app being an iteration, combined with my fatigue of having to replay the scenario, may have blunted the experience somewhat. Will keep at it.

The card flipping is the best part, by far. Fantastic minis and 3D visuals are also great.
Last edit: 22 Aug 2021 23:18 by charlest.
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23 Aug 2021 20:22 #325971 by DarthJoJo
In the continuing (and best entry yet) in the saga of introducing board games to my boys, I found them playing Carcassonne after I put their brother down for a nap. My oldest calls it The Gingerbread Man game because I have the meeple-shaped tenth-anniversary box. We just play roads, cities and monasteries and only one lap around the track, but it’s a good time. Hopefully this one will stick.
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24 Aug 2021 13:37 #325997 by mezike
Escape rooms:

Played a few more of these over the last couple of weeks. The Custodians Keys (thank you Sornars for lending this to me) is a receive-by-mail series of escape puzzles that can be found right here: curiouscorrespondence.com . I found this to be quite inventive given that it is a multi-layered experience on just a few pieces of cardboard and sheets of paper. It even has a pretty neat paper 'lock' where you need to slide some keys into the lock at just the right depth in order to reveal the correct sequence of codes on the other side. Enjoyed this one, it's professionally made and I love that it fits into an envelope. The difficulty was a bit variable, most of it is deducible with a bit of thought although there were one or two answers that took a bit of a leap to get there. Something that I enjoyed is that all of the components are immediately available so you are straight in at the deep end rather than being led through one stage at a time, and that wonderful sense of bewilderment as to where to start is often missing from these experiences.

The Lost Knowledge from The Enigma Fellowship is another receive-by-post effort, with the more traditional step-by-step unlocking of envelopes and with some pieces needing to be held for later. Some hokey story about a missing professor who travelled the world leaving clues to some MacGuffin you need to chase after, this one was quite a lot more procedural and less of a challenge as a result as the next step was always quite well telegraphed. There was a fairly unique puzzle toward the end trying to recreate the action of a sports match via some truncated commentary but by that point the story had become very silly.

Death at the Dive Bar, which is apparently mass market and at Target stores in the States, was good. There is a mix of papers and physical items in the box and a physically padlocked bag with all of the second-stage articles. We had fun with this although the complexity is pitched pretty low; I mean we figured out the killer and the likely motive almost straight away and then just had fun proving our theory right. Overall it was pretty decent, there is quite a bit of material when you first open the box and it takes an enjoyable while to work through it all and to start to piece everything together. There is kind of that 'true' escape-room vibe where each person is figuring out a different part of the puzzle based on the information they have been exposed to, rather than collectively resolving one step at a time and waiting for that one person to always get the answer first. I'd recommend this one although it is very light.

The Vanishing Gambler is another title from The Mystery Agency who are responsible for the truly excellent Ghost in the Attic that I mentioned on here a few weeks back. This one sadly is not quite up to the same standard, with some really strenuous leaps of logic which require some co-incidental solutions rather than hard logic and some elements that need to be found along the way that are almost impossible to see even with good eyesight. It also features Morse Code which I absolutely loathe in any kind of puzzle because it's always done badly, as is the case here (we had to jump to the online spoiler after failing to track the poorly timed signals). To be fair it is still made to a very high quality it's just that the puzzle itself felt a little capricious and we started to get bored toward the end.
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24 Aug 2021 13:55 #326000 by dragonstout
Mezike, thanks for all the mini-reviews of the escape room games!

My kids are really into escape room games, so I'm wondering what the difficulty level of these are. In particular, how do they compare to the Exit games, if you've played those? My kids can do level 2 Exit games on their own, need help with the level 3 Exit games, and wouldn't want to do something harder than that.
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24 Aug 2021 14:42 #326003 by mezike

dragonstout wrote: Mezike, thanks for all the mini-reviews of the escape room games!

My kids are really into escape room games, so I'm wondering what the difficulty level of these are. In particular, how do they compare to the Exit games, if you've played those? My kids can do level 2 Exit games on their own, need help with the level 3 Exit games, and wouldn't want to do something harder than that.


Thank you!

I haven't played many from the Exit series, the ones I tried felt somewhat procedural in being a series of fairly well delineated puzzles with each one unlocking the next step in the narrative, plus they have a fairly standard format that works well; that's perfectly fine but a bit different to the ones I've been writing about here which aspire to being a bit truer to real-life escape room experiences, not just through the introduction of physical locks and other components but also dropping you into an open narrative where discovering the puzzles that need to be solved is as much a part of the proceedings as resolving them. For younger kids that might be less satisfying because you may have to provide a bit more input on 'this is what we should look at for what to do next' which may take away some of the agency from them. In the case of Vanishing Gambler there were too many instances of tenuous logic so we were sometimes grinding through everything that looked likely to maybe yield a four digit number or whatever we needed, just like those moments of being unable to see the woods for the trees in real-life rooms, and I imagine that kind of game would be unable to hold their attention.

Ghost in the Attic has been far and away the most enjoyable and professionally made one so far but comes at a high price-point. I enjoyed The Custodians Keys which I think they could handle with a bit of direction from you (there are six displays in a museum, each with their own puzzle to solve and you can do them in any order, to what purpose can be a little tricky to figure out though). Complexity on this is a bit higher than Exit in my view but Sornars might be able to make a better comparison because as mentioned I'm not overly familiar with the Exit series.

Death at the Dive Bar was super straightforward and enjoyable but the subject matter, which I can't get into without massive spoilers, is likely a bit strong for kids - I'm sure there are more from the same company that I would recommend looking into on the strength of this particular one.

I have a very long list of companies making these things that my friend shared with me and which I'll put here in a spoiler tag for anyone interested in exploring this in more depth! Apparently there are Facebook groups actively trading these so there are cheap ways to get into them if you don't mind getting stuff second hand and moving it on once you've solved them.

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