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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
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Scout Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
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oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
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oliverkinne
July 26, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
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The Split - Review

Board Game Reviews
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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 20, 2022
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MB
Michael Barnes
July 14, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 14, 2022
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adamr
July 13, 2022
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15 May 2022 14:38 #333054 by charlest
That slot is weird, we use it to push comms tokens through when we spend them. No one has ever commented on being able to see the damage trackers through it before though. Haven't noticed that.

I've also only played the shorter mission (3 times so far), and never felt it was long. Seems to always clock in around 45 minutes. I can imagine the longer mission though stretching too long I suppose.

I think you can adjust difficulty by starting with more damage or less comms.

Sorry it wasn't a hit.
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15 May 2022 15:58 #333055 by Sagrilarus

Dive-Dive-Dive! wrote: We had a fantastic 3-player game of Wings for the Baron yesterday. The linkage between theme and actions is wonderful, and it's clear the designer and developer spent a lot of time on historical research and incorporating that research into the game mechanisms.


As a student of the era I will mention that the art is manufacturer-specific as well. It also has a great, gritty feel to it where you can almost smell that factory from looking at it. Talk about a unified pacakge, this is it.
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15 May 2022 16:57 #333056 by dysjunct
WAR OF THE RING 2e. Had 1e back in the day, sold it because 2p games are hard to get to the table. Picked this up after hemming and hawing for years (it's a decade old already). Pulled the trigger because I'm a big Tolkien nerd. Such an epic experience. It's not a pure Tolkien game like the Knizia coop (which really distills the experience down to the themes of friendship and sacrifice) but it does nail the corruption and desperate balance that the Free Peoples navigated. I was FP and just getting hammered militarily. Helm's Deep fell, then Lorien. I started pushing hard towards Mordor. Gimli and Legolas died protecting the ringbearer. The Ents destroyed Orthanc and ousted Saruman, too late to help Rohan. Orcs were pouring out of the Misty Mountains towards Rivendell.

Frodo was one step outside of Morannon, at 7 corruption. Then we had to call it on time, unfortunately.

It's not the best designed game; there's a lot of rough edges (even in 2e) and stuff that is unintuitive and easy to forget. But it's a helluva ride. Glad I picked it back up -- even if I play once a year, it has a place.

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15 May 2022 18:58 #333058 by n815e
My most favorite game of all time!
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15 May 2022 20:54 #333059 by Virabhadra
We have the Collector's Edition and I've never regretted ponying up for it. We play at least ever New Year's (Tolkien's birthday is Jan. 3rd) and I'll be excited if they ever release a CE of the final expansion, Kings of Middle Earth.
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15 May 2022 22:03 #333060 by Msample

Virabhadra wrote: We have the Collector's Edition and I've never regretted ponying up for it. We play at least ever New Year's (Tolkien's birthday is Jan. 3rd) and I'll be excited if they ever release a CE of the final expansion, Kings of Middle Earth.



I’d be excited if they just release the NORMAL edition of Kings of Middle Earth let alone a CE.

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15 May 2022 22:52 #333062 by Dive-Dive-Dive!

charlest wrote: I think you can adjust difficulty by starting with more damage or less comms.

Sorry it wasn't a hit.


No worries. It was worth a try or three.

I do think adjusting the difficulty would help, as would having Mission Control solve one of the crises triggered by special events. That player needs more agency.

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15 May 2022 23:16 #333064 by ChristopherMD
I remember owning the original release of WotR CE and how much the giant delicate wooden book sucked. Sold it for a nice profit and bit of relief.
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16 May 2022 10:13 - 17 May 2022 07:19 #333075 by sornars
Dune: A Game of Conquest and Diplomacy: I got a single play of it in yesterday so my thoughts are still raw and unformed but it seems... fine? What it does well is implement the great combat system from Dune. My only gripe is that this one of the few instances where I think mini-sized cards would be preferable to standard sized ones if only for the ergonomics of bluffing behind the wheel. Other members of the table said that it was hard to remember what has been cut out of the game compared to the original version while cutting the playtime to two hours or so. I didn't disagree but I also felt like 1) the grand scope and time of the original adds to the experience and so this felt like reading an abridged version of the novel and 2) the game felt kind of random at times, a potential consequence of reducing 1. For 1, that's probably a separate discussion in which I believe forcing people to invest time to raise stakes is a legitimate tool of game design - see the recent conversations on TI IV vs Twilight Inscription and Elden Ring for similar discussions.

For 2, let me explain. I was Harkonnen and had a strong selection of enemy leaders in my hand. We could get into the tactics of optimal picks and counterpicks in the initial draw but I saw four strong leaders with at least one from each of my foes and chose them to have some options; from the Imperium side I picked the Reverend Mother. I listened to the rulebook and grabbed some spice and set myself up to get into several conflicts over the next few rounds. By turn 2 I saw I was getting into repeated conflict with the Imperium so I started pruning my hand of other factions to try and get more Imperium traitors. Someone else killed the Reverend Mother and I never saw any other Imperium Traitors so by Turn 4 I was wiped off the board and effectively starved of spice. I guarantee there's room for me to play better but it seems like playing a Traitor card is really hard to pull off and the weapons/defence cards also seem pretty random. There's not enough time in the game for knowledge of opponent hands to emerge and be capitalised on. I've only played the one time and I still enjoyed myself but I'm less excited than I thought I'd be for this game.

Iberian Gauge: This game is a lot of fun. I'm glad I've played so much John Company because it makes grasping and therefore teaching a shared incentive game much easier. The looks people give me when I decide to railroad a company on turn 2 to mess with everyone else as they suddenly clue in to the fact that this is not a cooperative game of running companies well is why I play board games. Of course the inevitable side effect of being the one to draw first blood is everyone else ends up drawing blood from you instead. The slightly annoying part of this game is that being seated with a weaker/cash poor player to your left means you're forced to either pass early in the earlier stock rounds or give up the opportunity to invest in companies when they're approaching the share limit. That ended up making a a pretty big difference in the game we played as I ended up locked out of one company which turned a corner and became very profitable in the second last round of the game. I'm keen to play this game more; I'm curious if the layout of the map has scope for different end game networks or if a southern coast line is going to emerge almost every single game due to the presence of mountainous tiles in the interior.

John Company 2e: I think the handful of us who keep playing this game online have stopped trying to proselytise over here but it's worth repeating, the game is still great, seek it out when you have a chance. This time we drafted our setup cards instead of randomly dealing. I'm not sure if its better, worse or just different. I think a random deal is quite fun because it forces you to answer the question of "how the hell am I supposed to leverage this situation" rather than crafting a situation which you then have to leverage. I love the 1758 scenario and after playing with private firms, now strongly believe that anyone who doesn't make it past the first few learning games without them is really missing out on the full depth of what you can do here - they specifically address a lot of my complaints about 1710 particularly by letting you play around getting locked out the company and therefore denied retirements. The Events in India phase kind of slows the game down but I've taken to delegating that section of the game to Not Sure :P. I'll have to figure it out eventually when I start playing with my crew in person once the physical copy arrives. India decided it wanted nothing to do with us and we crashed the company in turn 2. As a result one of us ended up with a big fat 0 for points - the Debtor's Prison a is bad place for your entire family to end up.
Last edit: 17 May 2022 07:19 by sornars.

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16 May 2022 13:26 #333082 by Not Sure
I still haven't fully internalized Events in India to be fast enough at it, but I have my gigantic work-from-home monitor setup so I can skim the rules at the same time we're running the events. It is kind of the odd system out in that it's a little complex and it only fires at the end of a turn with very little player input, so you forget about it until it happens. We've definitely seen the mark it can put on a game, though. The difference between a trade-friendly India and a big sweep of closing orders can absolutely destroy everyone's plans.

It was the "Careless Shipbuilders" failure card that drove the score to zero last game though, one player had lots of shipyards and ate like -6VP on the failure condition. Yikes.

I'm also unsure about the draft, I think it's good in some senses to let you veer toward a strategy, but I also think it avoids those weird situation where you don't know if you really want to be in or out. Like all the things in this game, I think more competition for choice will just make it shine more.
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16 May 2022 16:42 #333086 by Legomancer
Man, fuck Agricola too.
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16 May 2022 19:24 #333088 by WadeMonnig
Man, I had a true nostagia moment last night playing Risk: The Dalek Invasion of Earth. I really don't remember the last time I sat down and played a physical copy of Risk. I've done plenty of Digital games with the kids but, damn, I was 12 years old again for a few minutes last night. Really proved to me that it's nearly impossible to capture THAT feeling in a digital game. I'll do a Discount Dive on this in the future.
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17 May 2022 12:31 #333094 by Sagrilarus

Sagrilarus wrote: Illimat, the sleeper game of the weekend. I bought this two years ago at the beginning of the pandemic, have brought it to game night maybe half a dozen times since then, never played. Saturday morning before people were up I cracked it open to relearn it. Soon the chairs were full, everyone enjoying. My buddy Sam asked to hold onto it so he could show his wife.



Okay, so, a mild update. After playing three or four more rounds of this game, and gotten much better at it, we've all discovered that this may be the single biggest two-middle-fingers-up-in-your-face play we've ever stumbled across. There is some serious hate-strategy available, and, assuming we've found all of it (which may not be true) this one is firmly in the nasty category.

There's a couple of options available to players to poison the work their opponents have done, or to block it with a strategic card play. There's also times where you're just stuck and you have to lay down cards that enable the people that follow you, often to great profit. We hurled insult after insult at each other last night, and the game took twice as long because none of us could pull together plans and have them survive to our ability to act on them.

Don't get me wrong -- I think we'll still play it. But we'll get all glass and silverware off of the table before we deal the cards.
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17 May 2022 15:16 #333098 by Legomancer
Who are the LLAMA fans that are on BGA? I wanna try it there with folks who aren't new to it.

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17 May 2022 15:22 #333101 by dysjunct
Me, Barnes, Theel, maybe more.

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