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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

Board Game Reviews
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thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
364 0
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
596 1
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oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
542 0
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
841 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
612 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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05 Jun 2022 06:49 #333460 by Erik Twice
After years of asking my fellow club members to play it, I finally managed to try Modern Art. And I loved it. I've only played it once, but it has all the signs of a masterpiece. It's incredibly clever, with tons of almost invisible but powerful mechanisms that add incredible depth, like the semi-circular economy or the way winning paintings become more valuable for the next round. But, you know what? It's just fun. A lot of fun.

I should get a copy and review it because it's incredible.

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05 Jun 2022 08:58 - 08 Jun 2022 21:59 #333462 by Jackwraith
Agreed. It's probably my favorite Knizia, despite my earnest affection for so many others of his. I've found that it has significant appeal across the community I know, as well. You wouldn't put T&E or Taj Mahal in front of "non-gamerz", but Modern Art can be explained in a couple minutes and is such a great social engagement that I've taught it to any number of people who aren't regular presences around the table and they've all really enjoyed it. I say all of this with the admission that I'm pretty sure I've never won a game of Modern Art in my life. But I still keep coming back to it because it's great.
Last edit: 08 Jun 2022 21:59 by Jackwraith.
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05 Jun 2022 12:23 - 05 Jun 2022 12:45 #333468 by ubarose
I managed to get VOC to the table, but we only were able to play 5 rounds before folks had to leave, because it took so long to teach. It doesn’t have many rules, and it isn’t very complicated, but it is terribly difficult to communicate that the entire game is played above the table - it is all about negotiating and communicating.

On first appearance, it looks like some heavy economic Euro game. Folks get confused by how few rules there are regarding the bidding for contracts; that you bid with time not money; that the cubes are workers not resources; that position on the boats matter; and that you can’t just grab up a bunch of contracts and quickly pop over to the East Indies and back again and fulfill all those contracts on your own. I think it went over like a lead balloon, as folks couldn’t wrap their heads around how loosey-goosey the negotiation rules were, and how many years it takes to sail out and back.

Also, I think having meeples, instead of cubes will help folks conceptualize the game better, so I think I’m going to order some off Amazon.
Last edit: 05 Jun 2022 12:45 by ubarose.
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05 Jun 2022 17:59 #333471 by mc

Jackwraith wrote: Agreed. It's probably my favorite Knizia, despite my earnest affection for so many others of his. I've found that is has significant appeal across the community I know, as well. You wouldn't put T&E or Taj Mahal in front of "non-gamerz", but Modern Art can be explained in a couple minutes and is such a great social engagement that I've taught it to any number of people who aren't regular presences around the table and they've all really enjoyed it. I say all of this with the admission that I'm pretty sure I've never won a game of Modern Art in my life. But I still keep coming back to it because it's great.


At my last school I used to have a very low key board games club going once a week. One thing it taught me was that if I had to play with random people sight unseen, I would would basically choose to play with teenagers (or non-gamerz) almost any day of the week. We sometimes played Modern Art (and High Society, too), and they just GOT it straight away. Trash-talk came straight out, role playing like there was no tomorrow, being stupid with the auctioneer stuff trying to sell the paintings. But I've seen both these games fall flaaaaaaat with gamerz, furrowed brows and ultra conservatism plus thinking the game is broken because a bad play can mess up their collection or whatever. YES. YES. A bad play WILL mess it up. And that's FUNNY.
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05 Jun 2022 23:44 #333476 by KingPut
I picked up a copy of Cascadia for $35. Super easy to teach. I picked up as the game to play with the gamer wives. QueenPut has played it twice and GBubbs and his wife played it once. It went over well because it's a very simple game. It's actually much simpler then Wingspan which is the other game we've played when we've gotten together with the gamer wives.
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06 Jun 2022 13:15 #333486 by dysjunct
QE. All I know about this game is from the really long thread on BGG about whether or not extreme hyperinflation breaks the game, or if engaging in the strategy is a groupthink problem. I decided to try and play the game straight for my first play. I had the most total bids and lost, but it was pretty fun regardless. If I play again I might try to start things off with 10 billion or whatever and see how it shakes out.

BLACK ORCHESTRA. Co-op, conspire to kill Hitler! Pretty good and very thematic co-op. I was Dietrich Bonhoffer, who was probably the only real "good guy" character. The rest were kind of portrayed as heroes, but really they were Nazis who were fine with invading countries and murdering undesirables, as long as Hitler was winning. So that was a little ecch. It deviated nicely from the Pandemic model of whack-a-mole on the board -- there's not a lot of bad stuff that pops up on the board, but you do have to manage your own player board of how much the regime suspects you of disloyalty, and how motivated you are to put together progressively riskier plots. We killed Hitler with a poison gas satchel when he was holed up in Anlage Sud.

STARTUPS. A fun Oink game of stock picking and bidding. I've played before but apparently forgot how, and lost badly.
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07 Jun 2022 14:36 - 07 Jun 2022 15:28 #333525 by Sagrilarus
Paleo.

It seems to me we must have been playing incorrectly. There's a lot of those pictograpic instructions on all the cards that presumably mean something to you but they actually don't. So if you learn something incorrectly you can drive into a ditch.

Frankly, the game just seemed as flat as a board. Everyone turns up a card, you total your resources, and you do the best you can to get the stuff you need. I had two warriors to start and spent much of the game lending my two people's meager resources to other players. That is, I did nothing, other people used my stuff to do something else instead. And there were turns where it was better for me to do nothing at all, not even lend, than it was to use the stuff I had to do actions that produced cheesy results, because you have to discard cards to do things. The cards you discard are what keeps you playing. When they run out you're out of turns, so there were turns where it made more sense to turn my card over and then just discard it doing nothing. Can't imagine that's correct.

I'm curious to hear other people's opinions on this, because it gets good reviews. But jeeze, the way we were playing the game was positively lifeless.
Last edit: 07 Jun 2022 15:28 by Sagrilarus.

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07 Jun 2022 15:35 #333532 by Sagrilarus
Just in case y'all think I'm wallowing into game night depression with all my lackluster impressions, I'll mention that after bombing out with Paleo my buddy pulled out his work in progress, a fighting arena game that is still very much in the design stage. In spite of us changing rules mid-game and finding plenty of flaws, it was awesome. There's a great core design there that needs to be pared down and tuned, but it was a lot of fun and we burned a couple of hours before we realized it.

So there is hope out there. It was nice to free-wheel for a bit after playing very structured, programmatic games recently.
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08 Jun 2022 20:42 #333559 by WadeMonnig
My son stopped by and had a two hours to kill before going to a concert. He wanted to know if we could get a game of Dune: Imperium with the expansion in. So, we fired up a three player game (my daughter Tegan playing the 3rd player).
I had a rough opening few rounds and it took me a bit to get my Dreadnaughts. I had an intrigue end-game card that was going to reward me with a at least a couple of VP with the way I was heading, however I went over my 3 intrigue card limit and my son pulled that EXACT card from my hand. It, instead, netted him 2 VP at the end of the game which he triggered with an epic battle that put him at 10 VP plus the 2 bonus VP. I was tied at 8 with my daughter. We finished up in 1hr and 45 mins, just in time for him to head to the concert. Still loving this game!
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10 Jun 2022 16:18 #333597 by DukeofChutney
I've played three missions of Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion with a friend.

Nerds seem to love user interfaces. This game, like Eclipse, is all the rage because of its UI. For a lot of folks UI = great game design, this seems to be the craze in indie RPGs right now too.

It reuses its cards for a lot of things and is abit what of a sane Carl Chudyk did a tactical combat game. The game itself is good, the core puzzle being ordering your action cards correctly to beat on various cardboard standees on a hex grid. There's a bit of range in the different characters and the ways you can upgrade them and the mission variety so far has been fairly strong. I suspect the real life will be in whether they can get enough variation in the missions. My friend solo'd the tutorial missions and i've played three from the mid game (there are 25 in total). The first one was pretty lame, but the most recent was quite interesting. We had to run around swatting cultists whilst a giant bag of blood kept resurrecting them and chasing us around.

Overall its been fun so far but I am glad there are only 25 missions.
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10 Jun 2022 16:47 #333598 by stormseeker75
I bought this forever ago and I know damn well I won't ever play it. #shelftoad

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10 Jun 2022 17:10 #333599 by Michael Barnes
I thought Gloomhaven was great at first but after like 10 scenarios (we’ll, more like 20 between the big box and JOTL) I realized that I absolutely did not give a shit about what was in the prize boxes and have not touched the game since.

There is so much bullshit fuss going on in the game, all the cards and the magic track, different monster stuff going on but it all feels completely sterile and a bunch of mechanics propped up by the notion that somehow it is an “full RPG campaign in a box”. It is not. I’d honestly rather play Heroquest.
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10 Jun 2022 21:06 - 10 Jun 2022 21:06 #333600 by hotseatgames
I want to talk briefly about a new feature we are experimenting with in Phantom Division. This may not make it into the game, but I expect it will.

One of the criticisms of STF was that there are really only 3 enemy types. PD raises the base number of enemy types to 4, but then includes 3 different stat cards for each of the types, making a total of 12. You choose which set of cards you are using each mission. But wait... there's more!

The new feature is called Specialists. Unique units that you add to each game for flavor. There would be a small deck of Specialist stat cards. You'd shuffle it and draw however many were specified to be needed, and then add those specific enemy discs to the enemy bag. Each of these Specialists behaves differently than standard enemies, and poses unique tactical challenges.

As an example, one of them is basically a walking robotic bomb. It does not shoot, but it just marches towards the Phantoms, and once it reaches one, it arms itself and stops moving. At that point it will blow up at the end of the next round, so you had better get out of the way. You can also shoot it to blow it up, but you don't want to be standing next to it when you do. I was actually able to manipulate the timing of the explosion so that it not only took itself out, but two other enemies.

I mentioned the "Enemy Bag". In SEAL Team Flix, there is a Tango Pool and you just pluck standees out of it when you need one. But you can take whatever you want, and use this to your advantage. Not anymore! We are using wooden stickered discs for the enemies. They all go in the bag, and you pull one out when you need one. When they die, they don't return to the bag until you need an enemy and the bag is empty. So if there is an Enforcer in there, or a Zealot, you can be sure they will make an appearance sooner or later.
Last edit: 10 Jun 2022 21:06 by hotseatgames.

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10 Jun 2022 21:37 #333601 by ubarose

Michael Barnes wrote: I thought Gloomhaven was great at first but after like 10 scenarios (we’ll, more like 20 between the big box and JOTL) I realized that I absolutely did not give a shit about what was in the prize boxes and have not touched the game since.

There is so much bullshit fuss going on in the game, all the cards and the magic track, different monster stuff going on but it all feels completely sterile and a bunch of mechanics propped up by the notion that somehow it is an “full RPG campaign in a box”. It is not. I’d honestly rather play Heroquest.


I agree that it is rather sterile and fussy. However, My daughter liked it. It was her first experience with this sort of game. Playing it together got us through the worst part of the COVID lockdown. She’s get so happy and excited to kill those monsters and open the next box.

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11 Jun 2022 11:43 - 11 Jun 2022 11:55 #333606 by Virabhadra

Michael Barnes wrote: There is so much bullshit fuss going on in the game, all the cards and the magic track


Patton Oswalt has an older bit about self-checkout at the grocery store, joking that "they finally got all my letters saying I WANNA BE A CHECKOUT CLERK."

I get a similar feeling from Gloomhaven. Instead of having a computer handle the fussy stuff, they offload all of the crunch on to you, the player - you can tell that it was intended to be a videogame before it ever saw a tabletop release. I too played about 10 ten scenarios and probably won't revisit it.



If you were to collect all of the Skaven models with Silver Tower adversary stats in the max quantities in which they can appear, that's what it would look like. I think it's eight fighter types excluding command.

For comparison, all of that together is about 2/3 of the way to a standard Age of Sigmar army and about five times the number of models you are allowed to field in a single Warcry warband (15.) At Warcry's (and Silver Tower's) scale, you can buy one box of infantry and build the models with every conceivable weapon loadout. I like being able to embrace every part of a kit.





Dry-posing the Arachnarok before I glue it. Warcry doesn't have rules for the spider flinger or goblin war party that you can build on its back, so now I have a whole sprue of spiderwebbed bits for kitbashing the Grot Scuttling warband I've been dreaming up. (I've never seen it done before, it's exhilarating to be working without a net.)
Last edit: 11 Jun 2022 11:55 by Virabhadra.
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