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December 03, 2021
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Rebis Board Game Review

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November 30, 2021
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12 Sep 2021 12:28 #326457 by mezike
Yeah, I agree. I don't think it belongs in a game like this where you do all this neat machiavellian plotting and then someone says 'aha! I have nine hidden points that secretly wins me the game!' Given that they are randomly seeded you could just leave them in the box though, the game surely works fine if none of them ever come up. I would definitely toss out that promises one for sure.
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12 Sep 2021 15:08 - 12 Sep 2021 15:13 #326459 by Not Sure

mezike wrote: Yeah, I agree. I don't think it belongs in a game like this where you do all this neat machiavellian plotting and then someone says 'aha! I have nine hidden points that secretly wins me the game!' Given that they are randomly seeded you could just leave them in the box though, the game surely works fine if none of them ever come up. I would definitely toss out that promises one for sure.


I'm of mixed opinions about all of that. I mean, isn't the machiavellian plotting somewhat richer with some hidden threats to fuzz up the info? I think some sand in the gears helps there, if only to keep point-counting from bogging things down.

As the person who was going to be hosed by you giving away promises, at first I said "Hey!", but then I thought "if there was ever a game for this...", so ultimately I was fine with it happening. Like you, as a player I probably wouldn't have done it, but I'd have had no real complaints if you did. It's a nasty game about nasty people.

On the WG Discord there was a parallel discussion where it was correctly pointed out that if you gave away promises, I could simply trade the card to Sax for the 3VP, getting whatever I could in return.

I think that card is a little odd because in mid-turn there are some promises that will never matter if the company crashes that turn (most of them, actually), so they're effectively free to give away at that point.

The real odd part is that "secret" info is less than secret based on spending order, which set up this whole situation.

I'm excited to play it again, I think some of our 1e experience worked against us in making choices and valuations.

edit: And of course, we haven't even seen the 2e private firms yet, which were my favorite part of the 1e game...
Last edit: 12 Sep 2021 15:13 by Not Sure.
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12 Sep 2021 21:14 #326462 by Jackwraith
Third game of Ankh; another 4-player. It was Anubis (me) vs Hathor vs Ptah vs Set. We used Wadjet (+1 Strength and gives +1 Devotion for a win if she's your only figure in the region), Khepri (Can be moved to or summoned to any monument on the board when you take the Gain Followers action), and Babi (Counts as an Obelisk in Conflicts) as Guardians. I planned to play Anubis just to try to test out that scenario that Charlie mentioned, where being Obelisk Attuned with a 4 strength god hopping from region to region would be something of a menace. But I fell way behind in the early game and simply couldn't get enough guys on the board to get close to enough Obelisks and/or couldn't get access to enough Control Monument events to capture the Obelisks that I needed. I was 1st player, so I also didn't start in a region with one. So, I decided to switch tack after the first conflict and just began getting dudes on the board and focusing on a couple regions where I could extract as much Devotion as possible from conflicts. I also focused on Ankh powers, so that I could capture a Khepri and a Babi and also gain Bountiful before the 3rd conflict. I shot right into the lead and then just planned to be in as many battles as possible so that I could exploit Worshipful (pay 2 Followers after each battle to gain 1 Devotion) and win the game.

In fact, that power has been key in all three of our games, as each winner has used it to basically close the game out. Once you have a sufficient lead and enough guys on the board, there's really no way to stop it unless someone is so close to you that there's a risk of them jumping you based on turn order. That's a bit of a concern, at the moment. Set was as devastating as I expected he'd be, especially after a couple of Camel events, where the new regions are small enough that there's almost no way not to be adjacent to him and be stolen away. Hathor was as useful as before, being able to flood the board with dudes and use Wadjet to good effect. I was full with enemy warriors twice during the game and used it to win a couple battles handily. Ptah's ability didn't really come into play very much, but it is one of the more subtle ones, I think. I'm starting to see a couple gaps in either the design or the approach of our group (e.g. Worshipful) so I'm going to try to get a couple 2-player games in and see how it changes things, as well as trying a different scenario.
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13 Sep 2021 11:50 - 13 Sep 2021 11:53 #326475 by Gary Sax
We played another game of Arkham Horror 2nd edition in its new renaissance in our house. Another game that ended with final card flip in our favor and a huge table cheer. I just don't know any other game that has this sort of hit rate on Exciting Gaming Moments.
Last edit: 13 Sep 2021 11:53 by Gary Sax.
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13 Sep 2021 17:11 #326484 by Shellhead
Once this pandemic settles down again, I am looking forward to playing Arkham Horror 2nd again. In 2019, I made friends with a couple that I met at a party, and it turned out that we already had several friends in common. The guy has some tabletop rpg experience (D&D & White Wolf, I think) and the woman is a fan of stories involving the Cthulhu mythos. They noticed Arkham Horror in my collection when they attended my 2019 Oktoberfest boardgame event, and have since also expressed interest in trying the Call of Cthulhu rpg. So I plan to put together a group of potential players and test the group chemistry with an afternoon of Arkham Horror 2nd.

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13 Sep 2021 18:02 #326486 by Shellhead
This is probably the third or fourth time that I have mentioned this as-yet unscheduled event. But it is the only specific gaming thing that I am looking forward to in the post-pandemic era. I always host an October boardgame gathering, but it didn't happen for the obvious reason last year, and probably not this year either.

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13 Sep 2021 18:34 #326488 by hotseatgames

Shellhead wrote: Once this pandemic settles down again,


Now I'm depressed, because I no longer think about that time, or that it could exist.
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14 Sep 2021 20:34 #326515 by DarthJoJo
Won two games of Machi Koro by building into big payouts of 12+ coins on rolls of 7 and 8 on my turn. It’s just not that interesting of a game.

Also played an old favorite of Winner’s Circle at two players for the first time. I prefer it at higher counts and more trash talking, but it still works head to head. I had a slight lead going into the second round. Then my opponent realized how hard he could cripple my horses. And cripple them he did. He took win and place on only his horses in the third round and nearly doubled my score, but it’s okay because he was standing and leaning over the board by the end.
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14 Sep 2021 22:26 #326519 by ubarose
Played Dune Imperium on Sunday. Went to work on Monday and recommended it to my boss - it's that good.
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15 Sep 2021 12:52 - 15 Sep 2021 15:42 #326532 by southernman
Well we finally finished all four campaigns in Sword & Sorcery: Immortal Souls in the weekend, after a long and then a very long COVID interruption causing one restart a quarter of the way through it is done. Looking back on my plays, all up there were 38 sessions and with each at least 3 hours I think I got good value for money out of it.
Now for the follow up, Sword & Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles, but there is a queue of other games before it and that is probably a good thing - a break to make it a fresh experience again, plus we're also doing Tainted Grail now so probably some slightly lighter games in tandem with that is the best call.
Last edit: 15 Sep 2021 15:42 by southernman.
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15 Sep 2021 13:37 #326533 by hotseatgames
That's amazing that your group was able to stick with it for that many sessions! Not commenting about the game itself, as I would be surprised no matter what the game was.

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15 Sep 2021 15:42 #326534 by southernman

hotseatgames wrote: That's amazing that your group was able to stick with it for that many sessions! Not commenting about the game itself, as I would be surprised no matter what the game was.

We are big dungeon-crawly, narrative campaign adventure fans and it being a great game and system made it easier, also just doing one 3-4 hour session one night a week helped. I'm assuming it is similar to rpg'ers in their campaigns (the others in the group are big rpg players) where you get invested in your character and the story you are following and just want to see what's going to happen scenario after scenario.
Tainted Grail is giving us a challenge, enjoyable but a challenge (although we had to restart it as be just got ourselves into a death spiral) - we are halfway or so through chapter 3 after about 13 hours :S , it's tough going.

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17 Sep 2021 07:38 - 17 Sep 2021 08:04 #326577 by Ah_Pook
Tried out the new The Crew: Mission Deep Sea today, which seems a worthy sequel to the first game. That's saying a lot, since I think the first game is going to be an all time classic game. The game of largely identical, except the Task deck has changed. Now each task has difficulties on the back broken down by player count, and based on the mission you're playing you deal out X total difficulty of tasks. The tasks are much more varied this time, ranging from stuff like "win this specific card" , "win an 8 with a 4", "win the first two tricks", "don't win two tricks in a row" and on and on. It's a really fun change, though I think the original is cleaner since it's just "win these cards". Hard to say which is better, but if you like the first one the second one of a no brainer. I wasnt sold on the concept of a sequel, but Thomas Sing done it again.

Edit: more explicit player count difficulty scaling is a really nice change.

My gut feeling is the original is better for consistent play with a group, and the new one is more varied for pick up and play games. But also either works fine in both capacities.

Edit edit: favorite task I saw was "Win X tricks", where you secretly write down your prediction before you play out the hand. Love it.
Last edit: 17 Sep 2021 08:04 by Ah_Pook.
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17 Sep 2021 18:09 - 17 Sep 2021 18:14 #326579 by Jexik

ubarose wrote: Played Dune Imperium on Sunday. Went to work on Monday and recommended it to my boss - it's that good.


I almost wrote a review of it called “One and Dune” after my first play, but decided I should give it a bit more time. It’s riffing on Ascension and Lords of Waterdeep, and is better and more interactive than either game… I just don’t like either of those games.

I also got way off to an early 9 points, almost winning, then got repeatedly foiled for two rounds by the player to my immediate right, who ended up winning. It’s kind of interesting (and frustrating) how your potential scoring avenues dry up the more you score.

Also, the Intrigue cards vary wildly in power and usefulness, which helps the game be less calculable (like waterdeep) but also kinda felt like bullshit the first time I played. In our particular game I gathered up a ton of spice to win on tiebreakers, but the winning player had an intrigue card that turned 4 of his spice into a whole other point! This one went to 11.
Last edit: 17 Sep 2021 18:14 by Jexik.
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17 Sep 2021 20:18 #326583 by mezike
At the not a club game night:

The Court of Miracles is a very enjoyable area control / bluffing game about dominance of 16th century Parisian slums, briefly mentioned here only once by our illustrious Mr. Lennon but which I feel deserves a touch more illumination. Drop hidden tokens representing your beggars, hoodlums, defrocked priests, and other unsavoury scum into one of five areas, and check for dominance once there are three such tokens or the Beggar King passes by on his ticking timer of an afternoon stroll. There are plenty of options for switching your tokens for superior versions and for manipulating tokens by moving them around or tripping the checks early, let alone being able to hedge against victory in order to steal money from the eventual winner, leading to all manner of complex and opportunistic ploys to swing the balance of power and to set your opponents against one another.

We played with four and the power swings were very enjoyable as holding the individual courts can be fleeting and there are clear routes to quickly tip the balance of power with a little effort in order to bring down an opponent who is getting a bit too big for their britches. There is also a deck of tarot style cards that allow for some tactical opportunism, and plenty of unique characters that you can upgrade your tokens to via the mechanism of murdering your ineffective goons and dumping them in the Seine. I enjoyed this quite a bit, it's not holding particularly strongly to its theme but works very well as a fun and slightly cranky power struggle. Looking forward to playing this some more, it hits a sweet spot for a quick and confrontational yet fulfilling filler.


Then I had an opportunity to try the incredibly solitaire Hadrian's Wall which is a perfectly cromulent flip-and-write with absolutely zero interaction apart from some seriously shoe-horned nonsense surrounding some mini-games that turned out to be fairly irrelevant. You get various flavours of meeple that you spend to tick off boxes on tracks that give you back various other things that you can use to tick off more boxes ad nauseum and hey, I know that you are falling asleep already. I think that there is one very overt exploit in the game which is that using your meeple to get more stuff is so clearly the best way to maximise efficiency that it would be fairly dumb to be distracted by anything else. Having said that, if you max out to the highest difficulty (we played at one notch below) then some of the mini-games become more relevant because every round you will be assaulted by angry Scots who are only difficult to handle at that very top level of antagonism and the less interesting of those distractions give you methods to mitigate the impact of those incursions. I found it quite enjoyable to play although the entertainment here superficially comes across as very thin and incidental; it is also absolutely and totally a solo game so unless you are a fan of you and your friends muttering to yourselves for a couple of hours and then comparing final scores it doesn't have much to offer beyond being a private experience. I might play it again if I get the chance but I frankly don't see much variety in the experience, I managed to win with a very sizeable score and I cannot imagine wanting to use a different approach on another play.


At the club:

We essayed a sashay down the catwalk with Pret a Porter, a game about building up a clothing brand and strutting your stuff at a series of global shows, wherein I doubled down on a fast fashion strategy and landed a ludicrous final score of well over five hundred at the end (this is an insanely high score that I don't expect to repeat, ever). I had two retail outlets and two marketing execs which effectively meant that I was creating my own bullshit fashion awards that I handed to myself and then exploited in my stores for enough cash to pay off my hideous expenses. Alongside this I was using tactical opportunities to both pick up style cards for my collections and to acquire shoddy materials to make them and hired some creative talent who could smoosh all of this together into passable seasonal trends; this meant that I was able to put any old crap into overly large collections made from the cheapest and lowest quality materials I could find, with just enough hype to bring in some totally undeserved industry awards. Hello Primark! In fairness both my opponents were having their first tilt at this and hit the learning curve fairly hard which allowed me to run what felt like an almost perfect game.


A slightly lighter follow-up with My Farm Shop - hey, wait, come back for a moment! I want to talk about this for just a little bit - I would describe this as Farmville meets Machi Koro with a touch of Dream Home; the standard game is a passable and quite lovely activity where you chuck three dice, use one to purchase a card from a market of six which you then place on your personal board, and then the other two dice trigger the effect in the matching spot on that board which you may have upgraded in that very same round. Every opponent round also triggers one of your spots just as your two remaining dice triggers theirs. You can collect burlap sacks that are spent to alter the value of dice, and sunflowers that are placed strategically to increase the return of cards, gaining various farming themed commodities with some results and selling them for cash on others in a straight race to get stinking rich. It was perfectly lovely to play and I can totally see this as a great game for young families; what intrigues me though is that there are several modules for advanced play that we did not use that look like they will add a bit more oomph to proceedings, and which I am keen to try out to see if it puts a bit more game into what is otherwise a nice activity without a great deal going on.


The other recent game of note, which we actually played last week in a fairly unremarkable yet very fun evening of filler-fair, was Subtext which is some kind of weird-ass take on doodling games by Wolfgang Warsh and is unfortunately pretty terrible, the lowlight of which is the most insanely complicated scoring method that I am still confused about. One person knows a word which is then mixed up with a bunch of other words and distributed amongst the other players. Make a quick drawing and see if you can pick out the person that got your word except there is some kind of convoluted Dixit-esque scoring pattern that made all of our heads hurt. It is a very pale shadow of any other game of this genre and I would much rather have spent the wasted time playing something like Pictomania or Fake Artist instead.
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