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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
313 0

Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

Board Game Reviews
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thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
158 0
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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
363 0
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
596 1
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oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
665 0
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
541 0
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
840 0

Scout Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
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oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
856 0
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thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
611 0
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WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
904 1
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oliverkinne
July 26, 2022
1017 0
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thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
741 0

The Split - Review

Board Game Reviews
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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
819 0
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18 May 2022 22:28 #333136 by dysjunct
A friend invited me to GREAT WESTERN TRAIL on BGA.

I am on turn 2, am already miserable, and have requested to abandon the table.

“Games should look fun and be fun” is not an opinion I want to be controversial, but here we are. A spreadsheet is not fun. Struggling to figure out how to do basic things is not fun.

In high school a friend and I had graphing calculators, because we were nerds. We would sometimes present each other with a calculator, with a seemingly-random number in the display, and give a challenge: “perform five operations on this number and get to pi!” or something similar. When you’re bored in a class this is better than nothing, maybe. It gets old real quick though. This is what looking at the GWT board makes me feel. Figure out some random shit and maybe you’ll get the right answer.

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18 May 2022 23:14 #333137 by Gary Sax
So Very Wrong About Games did this bit where the one guy tried to figure out what Great Western Trail is *actually* modeling. I believe it was something about space aliens abducting cattle.
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19 May 2022 06:05 #333139 by mc
A guy at work has that Wild Serengeti game, he was gushing about it big time when he'd just got it. A month and a half later, he's played it about 50 times (I think he said). He said he thinks one of the strategies is "too powerful" (it didn't sound like the flush one though). So he's gonna get the expansion when it comes out.

It's always the ones you least suspect.

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19 May 2022 08:00 #333140 by Msample

Sagrilarus wrote: With my crowd that means a weekend. We ain’t the fastest bunch.

Thanks for the word.


Just shoot me. That’s painful to even think about. Even if the goes the full ten turns, we take about 5 hours.
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19 May 2022 09:17 #333141 by Legomancer
Last night we played some Xia. We played for almost as much time as I played that Serengeti game. During that time:
* I explained the rules to 2 players
* One player got to 5 fame points
* I nearly flew into the sun
* someone got destroyed twice
* once by another player
* most of the tiles got discovered
* we forgot the NPC ships
* several missions got completed
* my engines (a d8) hardly ever rolled above a 4
* we had a blast

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20 May 2022 11:03 #333167 by Gregarius
I got to play Return to Dark Tower last night and had a lot of fun. We played co-op, which allowed us to just explore the game more easily. The game is engaging, the tower is awesome, and the app integration is extremely well done. I can definitely see this being a hit with the younger crowd (10 to 18?), and something that will cause huge nostalgia for them 20 years down the road.

All that said, I have no desire or expectation to ever play it again.

We had the copy on loan from a friend who got the full KS edition for free in order to take photos. So it had all the miniatures and whatnot. As much as we all enjoyed it, not a one of us thought it was worth the enormous price tag. Maybe we're just out of the loop on what things cost these days. When you're competing with video games and similar boardgames, a stack of which would cost half of what this does, you've really got to hit it out of the park. This comes as close as it probably could, but it's just not enough.
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22 May 2022 02:06 #333191 by hotseatgames
Had a friend over who likes cooperative games, so we played the first quest in Arena: The Contest, with each of us controlling two heroes. The game is pretty easy to teach, and he was commenting that the rules are very similar to D&D 4th edition, which I have never played so I'll take his word for it. Either way, he connected with it pretty easily.

This game hinges on the fickle d20 roll, and there were numerous times we could have grabbed victory, only to have it snatched away by the Evil Dice Gods. Once it was so bad that on a roll of 2 d20s, only one of which had to roll a 7, they came up 1 and 3. Regardless, after two heroes perished, we eked out a victory on what probably would have been the last turn one way or another. This is a great game, and my friend enjoyed it quite a lot.
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22 May 2022 15:05 - 22 May 2022 15:07 #333198 by dysjunct
Had two people busy, two people test positive for COVID, and one person out of town, so I, and the the one other free person, went in for a rematch at WAR OF THE RING 2e.

Went much smoother since we didn't have to teach ourselves the game. I was once again Free Peoples. This spun out a little differently than last time but still produced thoroughly believable (and thoroughly enjoyable) alternate-universe Tolkien.

Knowing that the Ent cards were in the deck, Sauron had to hold back on Isengard's advancement. This let Rohan build up a little more proactively and kept Helm's Deep free.

I split the Fellowship early, moving Boromir, Strider, Legolas, and Gimli out on their own once the party got past Moria and out the Dimrill Dale. Gandalf and the hobbits stayed together. (This seemed like the smart thing to do mechanically, since if Gandalf dies preventing corruption, he can come back as Gandalf the White, and if I draw Merry or Pippin, they can wriggle out of it with their special ability and survive.)

Strider moved to Bree to activate the North via a card, Gimli went to Erebor, and Boromir headed down to Gondor to rally troops there. Legolas went to Lorien to help with defense, in advance of a military buildup in Dol Guldur.

With the North activated and finally on a war footing, they swept in and occupied Angmar, then brought troops over from the Carrock to threaten the stronghold at Mt. Gundabad. Gandalf fell protecting the Ringbearer, as did Merry and Pippin, who used their abilities to squirrel out of it. Gollum took over as guide of the Fellowship and they slowly toiled down to Emyn Muil and then cut across to the Dead Marches.

Gandalf was reborn and joined Merry in leading Rohan to victory in Orthanc. I was at 3 points and on the cusp of a military victory. Orcs from Mt. Gundabad liberated Angmar, taking me back down to 2 points. On my next turn, I rolled five dice and got four Will of the West (wild) results. The Shadow then played a devastating card that forced all of my Will of the West dice to be discarded with no effect. The armies in Dol Guldur struck out, led by the Witch-King of Angmar, and beseiged Lothlorien. They bravely held out as long as possible, but fell to the Shadow, with the orcs cruelly hewing the mallorn trees and desecrating the once-peaceful glades of the Eldar. Legolas snuck out to Fanghorn.

The Fellowship was at 9 corruption and took refuge in Minas Tirith, resting and healing a bit before sneaking out in the dark, through Osgiliath and South Ithilien before declaring in Minas Morgul and entering the final trek up Mt. Doom. The Shadow started devoting the majority of his dice to the hunt for the ring. Even with a lucky draw of the Phial of Galadriel, Frodo went to 10 corruption and was on the brink of disaster -- any move could result in a ring victory for Sauron.

Finally, Gimli got some space to recruit a few stout battalions of dwarves. Making a double move with a card, they marched south from Erebor, down to Southern Mirkwood. With resounding cries of "Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!" they they fell upon the lightly-garrisoned stronghold of Dol Guldur. The enemy retreated immediately behind the walls and the siege was joined. The dwarves were repeatedly repelled by the orcs and trolls; both sides grinding each other down with little progress. I started burning cards for combat abilities, and ran out of strategy cards. (No reshuffling; once you're out, that's it.) Massives armies of Easterlings started moving in to break the scrappy but exhausted dwarves.

Marching double-time, light reinforcements from the North moved down from Dale and joined the siege of Dol Guldur, relieving the beleaguered dwarves. I wanted more turns to build up a bigger army but didn't think I'd have time before the Easterlings got to Mirkwood.

With the Northmen joining the fray, the dwarves made one more assault on the walls of the Necromancer's fortress and they finally fell, giving the Free Peoples a military victory (as they also still occupied Orthanc).

As the FP player, I think I did a much better job this game. If FP try to directly oppose the Shadow in either arena (ring or military) then they will get crushed, as SP is more powerful in a direct fight. So the strategy of the FP is to give the SP too much to worry about, splitting his attention and hoping he misreads the nature of the various threats and overcommits. And FP has to be dynamic about it -- SP can mostly dictate the flow of the game depending on the allocation of hunt dice. Trying to stick with a ring strategy when there's five dice in the hunt box and Nazgul swarming about the Fellowship's location is a dead end. But you can't just switch on a dime; if you haven't built a reasonable military base then your ability to pivot to a military strategy will be weak.

A very epic game, and super fun. I slightly take back last week's comments on the rough edges. They are still there but recede a bit with familiarity.
Last edit: 22 May 2022 15:07 by dysjunct.

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22 May 2022 23:27 #333207 by DarthJoJo
I really haven’t been pushing Pocket Paragons hard enough here. It’s fancy Rock Paper Scissors, but the drama and skill packed into those six cards is off the charts. Just an amazing game yesterday where my wife knocked me down to two health within a few plays. It was at this point I decided to not lose, and she obliged by failing to put another finger on me. I countered and blocked every single card for the next fifteen plays. I knew what she was playing before she did. When I got her to zero, she threw her cards at me. In the lobby of the YMCA.

Then she switched to her favorite character and rolled me for the next two rounds.
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23 May 2022 06:38 - 23 May 2022 06:58 #333211 by sornars
After the football ended yesterday, I got to playing another game of Iberian Gauge: I'm pleased to report that this time the map ended up looking like an actual rail map of Spain (all the way up to including an under served Galicia)! Connecting 5 major cities gives shareholders a bonus dividend which ends up being very decisive and kind of acts as a rich gets richer forcing function if only one or two companies do so. What I find interesting about this game is that both the tension and the balance of the game is provided by the players. There is so much more to explore in this game. Despite getting the genre/mechanics much more solidly than the rest of my table, both games I've ended up near the bottom in points. It's driving me mad so I need to play more to get better! This game I learned a bit more about the subtleties of which price to par your company at.

We then played Sheepy Time: This is a fun game that's far too difficult to sell to people. I really like the art but it looks and sounds like a kids game. The rulebook is a god-awful giant square and not laid out particularly well. It's logically constructed but hard to reference for some subtle rules. And the teach itself is kind of nightmarish for what is otherwise a pretty simple game. Having said all of that, this game is a lot of fun - there are multiple aspects of push your luck baked into the design and then after the first round you start laying out tiles and putting together some awesome combos which sling your sheep around the ring, racking up winks while trying to avoid getting caught out by the wolf. I'm not sure the complexity to reward ratio is right for the push your luck genre but now that my group has learned it I'm sure we'll like to play it again. Damning quote of the night from my table: "I'm having WAY more fun than I expected to when you pulled out this game."
Last edit: 23 May 2022 06:58 by sornars.
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23 May 2022 07:13 #333213 by Ah_Pook
I love the concept and the art of Sheepy Time, but the actual gameplay fell really flat the couple times I've gotten it to the table. There's just not enough risk in the push your luck race for the game to work. One game someone won in the first race without ever getting knocked down... That's not how that's supposed to go! You could probably house rule something up but eh.
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23 May 2022 07:16 #333214 by sornars
Did you end up trying the other monsters? I could tell the Wolf was going to be a little boring but I think some of the more complicated monsters might make things more spicy. As for house rules, you could easily up the tension by shuffling in a couple more nightmare cards.

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23 May 2022 07:31 #333215 by Ah_Pook
We tried all the monsters, and messed around with using more nightmare cards. Probably the best option is more nightmare cards and using an unknown mix so the nightmare options are less deterministic, but at some point it's more trouble than its worth when there are other games that just work yknow.
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23 May 2022 11:46 #333220 by dysjunct
RANSOM NOTE with the in-laws. Kind of a Cards Against Humanity, Apples to Apples vibe, but with a thousand little magnetic poetry words. Mildly amusing, but not much to recommend it over a thousand other party games.

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23 May 2022 11:50 #333221 by Msample
Got in two more games of DUNE IMPERIUM , teaching my regular opponent the game. We played 2P plus the AI/bot, which is both simple to use and does a reasonable job of blocking spaces and scoring enough to keep players honest.
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