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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

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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

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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 20, 2022
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Michael Barnes
July 14, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 14, 2022
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adamr
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27 Jun 2022 13:04 #333927 by Cranberries
I watched a Steve McQueen movie last night, and every time he lit up a cigarette I thought about his future death from cancer.
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27 Jun 2022 15:48 #333932 by Virabhadra
I finished setting up the board for our next fracas in Warcry's Vermintide campaign. I missed the boat on Core Space, so a belated (and bruised) thumbs up for Battle Systems Fantasy Terrain!





In true Battle Systems fashion, every last inch of the surface area is playable.




I wonder if I can get those skinks painted before Des gets home to play?
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27 Jun 2022 19:12 #333933 by Jexik
Last Tuesday I taught two new people how to play Race for the Galaxy. (New to the game but not Games). First game was close, all within 1 point of each other. In the second the New Sparta guy managed to get New Galactic Order and Galactic Federation and beat me by 9 points. Rulebook never opened, but the player aids were great. I take this loss as a huge victory for my ability to teach this game that frightens a lot of people for some reason.

Also, it’s now a 15 year old game!
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27 Jun 2022 19:34 #333936 by Gary Sax
My spouse and I started an Innsmouth campaign of Arkham LCG. We had a good time until we got to a point where she just got backed into a corner by her weakness draw---I just think the way Arkham LCG can just lock you down if you're insufficiently prepared/deck sucks/very unlucky isn't a great fit for her. Bad feels. I didn't say this, but unfortunately this time it was just a result of her straying way too far from me---we're playing a very traditional punch Daniella/clue Trish combo and you gotta stay somewhat close when neither of you has much flex.
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27 Jun 2022 22:42 #333937 by Jackwraith
We wanted to start something larger, but our fourth was late because he said he forgot what time we usually get together, so we broke out Tiny Epic Kingdoms again while waiting and, of course, it turned into a lengthier game of TEK so he showed up and ended up watching us for quite a while. It was the Ooze vs the Yetis vs the Lionkin. The latter immediately went into Expand and grab Plains mode, but we were playing with the newer territories, which are all comprised of at least one Tundra and at least one Peaks. You can use Silver from the Peaks as food and it still doesn't count for war, so that was almost as good. I couldn't get anything going with the Yeti and got beaten rather soundly by both of my opponents in a couple wars. Our various heroes were fairly important, with the Ooze really benefiting from the abilities of the Teacher and he also leveraged his skills rather nicely and ended up walking (oozing) away with the victory, 14-10-9.

Since it was already in place and our fourth had had time to read both rulebooks, we went another round. It was the Birdfolk vs the Constructs vs the Order of Gamelyn vs the Undead. This time the heroes didn't measure up. I had the Baron with the Birdfolk but, in contrast to the battle-filled first game, this one was largely passive, which benefits neither Baron (-1 war cost to adjacent regions) nor Birds (can retreat into Crags and later gets points for being there, but can't retreat if no one attacks.) While the Undead tried to get people fighting in order to benefit from their skills, our fourth player is the least-aggressive wargamer I've ever met and I wasn't in a position to do much fighting even if someone had attacked. Meanwhile, the Constructs took the reclusive stone men route and stayed up in the mountains and eventually squeaked out the win, 11-10-9-7.
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02 Jul 2022 14:25 #333982 by WadeMonnig
Played The Warriors: Come out and Play with four players. Yes, I can dig it. Not sure how much legs the game will have, seemed a bit too easy for a co-op. I'll probably write a review of it somewhere down the line, the movie was something we watched ALL the time in my early teen years. Baseball Furies forever.
Also played King of Tokyo: Dark and it was...okay. I know, I know I'm one of the biggest fans of KOT and this aesthetic of this game is TOTALLY me, love the night feel, the dice, everything. I just prefer the power-up expansion to the Wickedness Track. Getting to 10 on the track feels like a tactical nuke but the game is usually decided way before then unless things just sync up right. I'll need more plays.
The young man down the road borrowed a few games for a game night. Cash and Guns, King of Tokyo, Hellapagos, and the gladiator deck builder whose name is escaping me . Interested to hear how it went.
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02 Jul 2022 14:45 #333983 by Jackwraith
I played a couple games of King of New York several years ago and didn't come away overly impressed. I know there are differences between NY and Tokyo, although there seem to be far more similarities. One of the things that has held me back from engaging with it (aside from not being knocked over the first time I played, as it seemed to mostly just be chucking dice for 15 minutes (not that there's anything wrong with that)) is the pile o' stuff that seems to be both games at the moment. I know the Dark Edition was trying to address that pile of expansions to some degree, such that you didn't feel like it was a "lesser" game without 15 different Power Up expansions and the new creatures contained within?
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02 Jul 2022 14:48 #333984 by Msample
Charlie did a review of the Warriors game, don't know how I missed it when it came out.

playerelimination.com/2022/04/05/come-ou...lay-ay-the-warriors/
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02 Jul 2022 14:53 #333985 by WadeMonnig

Msample wrote: Charlie did a review of the Warriors game, don't know how I missed it when it came out.

playerelimination.com/2022/04/05/come-ou...lay-ay-the-warriors/

It's actually Charlie's old copy, I picked it up from him. Small world ;)
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02 Jul 2022 14:57 - 02 Jul 2022 15:36 #333986 by Ah_Pook
Game night last night:

Downforce x2: picked this up in clearance at Target for $12, seems fun. Seems like there might be a runaway leader issue, but I'm obviously not very experienced dice this was the first two times I've played it. Regardless, it's light and nasty and quick so yknow. Fun times.
Dungeonquest: this game was shockingly non-lethal. 3 people made it into the middle and back out alive.
Adel Verplichtet: kind of a weird game of this since as far as I could tell two of the five people playing did not grasp it at all, no matter how many times people tried to get them on board. So counter picking them was basically impossible. Still fun though.
Last edit: 02 Jul 2022 15:36 by Ah_Pook.
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02 Jul 2022 15:02 #333987 by WadeMonnig

Jackwraith wrote: I know the Dark Edition was trying to address that pile of expansions to some degree, such that you didn't feel like it was a "lesser" game without 15 different Power Up expansions and the new creatures contained within?

I think Dark is bit of a lesser game than KOT with power up. I'd recommend the Monster Box to anyone interested. It has everthing I prefer to have in my KOT games except the minions from the Cthulhu expansion.Monster box review incoming in two weeks.
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02 Jul 2022 15:34 - 02 Jul 2022 15:38 #333988 by charlest

WadeMonnig wrote:

Msample wrote: Charlie did a review of the Warriors game, don't know how I missed it when it came out.

playerelimination.com/2022/04/05/come-ou...lay-ay-the-warriors/

It's actually Charlie's old copy, I picked it up from him. Small world ;)


Yeah, I had intended to keep it long-ish term as I'm a big fan of the film - which should be evident in my review. I'd recommend using the difficulty adjustment in the rulebook, Wade.

What pushed me into selling it is Prospero Hall's Rear Window. That made five Prospero Hall games under my roof (Villainous, The Warriors, Jaws, Rear Window, and Jurassic World Legacy of Isla Nublar), which is too many for the people I play games with. Jaws is going nowhere, I think it's their best still. Villainous is to play with my daughter/wife. Jurassic World will be given away once we finish it. And Rear Window will be a wait and see. I'm really enjoying it after a couple of plays.

Sold The Warriors to Wade in a cheap lot, I let go of Jim Felli's Duhr as well, which stung a bit. Selling games you enjoy is always like ripping off a band-aid for me.

Kind of off-topic, but it seems like it's getting more difficult the past several months to get rid of games. I used to be able to put together trades relatively easily, sold off some games, gave a few away to people in my group that liked a particular title. Now, everyone is just packed to the gills with stuff. I know I am, stuff overflowing to the floor around my shelves, not sure what to do with it all.

But I keep asking for review copies and buying more. Just purchased a big lot of Academy Games' Agents of Mayhem which seems to have completely escaped the zeitgeist. It was probably a mistake. Also spending at least a hundred on new content for Company of Heroes.
Last edit: 02 Jul 2022 15:38 by charlest.
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02 Jul 2022 15:47 #333989 by Msample
Got away for a long weekend of gaming with some friends down in the Carolinas. We were fortunate enough to have a local game store ( BOARDWALK in Greenville SC ) with plenty of space to host us. If you're ever in the area I encourage you to check it out. Games played, in no particular order: 

HANSA TEUTONICA ( x2 ) . Never played before; it's kind of a control game where players alternate placing cubes along connections between cities. When two cities are linked by a player, they can either take an available office in that city, or in some cases, increase their capabilities ( Muster, Actions, scoring multiplier, merchant increase, access to higher offices ) . There are virtually zero random elements in the game beyond a handful of bonus discs earned for completing certain routes. I can see why it's popular but to me it felt a bit dry. I'd probably play it again, but only if there was nothing else better at the player count. 

7 WONDERS ARCHITECTS ( x4 ) . This game fires the original IMO as it boils down the base game into somewhat interchangeable resources, military, and ( more useful ) Science. In the original, Science was often an all or nothing sort of strategy; here you can gain useful abilities at a lower cost. It plays fast, even at high player counts. And set up and clean up are simpler as there are no different eras of cards. You can knock out a game in a half hour; scoring is also much easier as well. 

JAWS ( x2 ). Was the human in both games. In the first game, the shark are enough stupid humans to get 8 cards to our only 5, and early on in Part 2 we were struggling. However the power of Quint's hammer ( nullifies Evade value ) kept chipping away at the shark's health as the ship disintegrated. A well timed flare ate up some more health.  Soon we were down to only a single ship section left, with 2 of the three humans down to a single hit point. Knocking them all into the water, the shark killed one, but missed ( 1 in 6 chance ) the other human . The following round, the mighty hammer finished off the shark. It doesn't get any closer than that !

Second game was a little more one sided; the humans found the shark sooner ( 7 swimmers IIRC ) and the ship was still halfway intact when the shark succumbed. 

DUNE IMPERIUM with RISE OF IX expansion ( x2 )  .  The expansion is a must have IMO. Not only does it add more cards and characters, but it adds a new starting card that allows trashing of the suboptimal start cards . My first game I was the Baron Harkonnen, but it took me a while to get my two free political track bumps. I did however, in a bit of non-thematic irony, get the Kwisatch Haderach card which helped offset my late Swordmaster acquisition. Alas I came in third, I think with only 8 points. 

Second game was 3 player Epic mode ( play to 12 VP ) . I was the Lady Yuna Moritani who starts with no water, but whose Signet Ring allows you to spend 7 Solari to gain a political shift and get a spice. She also adds 1 to every Solari award gained on her turn. I spammed the Shipping Track ( aided by a card that Shipped when Revealed ) and got High Council, Sword Master, and 3 of the 4 alliances. I was fairly weak on Conflicts, only winning one. I had 7 VP from the political track, trashed a tech for a VP, bought a worm, and had two endgame VP for 11 VP, being edged out by a player who was much more combat focused. The other runner up also had 11 VP in a very tight game. Due to many of the early Conflict cards not having VP rewards, the game went the full ten turns, a rarity in my experience of 16 games played so far. 

ATLANTIC STORM. The "original" edition still holds up after all these years. I think I came in the middle of the pack. 

ANGOLA : I was the FNLA ( green faction ) and our opening set up was fairly good - we had control of most of the coastal strip both north and south of Luanda. However my two columns in Novo Redondo and Benguela were somewhat isolated and unable to reinforce beyond one leg unit per turn. Over time they got ground down. Meanwhile the reinforcements drawn from Foreign Aid were mostly missiles and mines, not enough offensive weapons to press the attack. On turn 8 the commies won an auto victory. This BGG logged play was #40 for me and my enthusiasm for the game is as strong as ever. 

Related to the above we playtested CROWN AND CRESCENT, a game on prepub from MMP using the system pioneered in ANGOLA. It depicts the numerous battles in South Carolina during the American Revolution. There are some new twists however. Most notably is that there is now the feature of political control; the map is divided up into 7 districts; factions vie to control more districts than their opponent . This is what scores VP. If both sides are tied at the end of a turn, BOTH sides score a VP, thus driving the game more toward the end where a sudden death victory gets more likely. This portrays war weariness. There are also named leaders for each side, each with a unique special ability. Some of the cards that are gained via aid bidding at the end of the aren't reinforcements, but events like Spy in Enemy Camp ( take three enemy program cards and rearrange the order ) . This will be demo'd at WBC in the MMP table in open gaming. 

DICE MINER. ( new to me ) A fast sort of filler game; players draft dice from a tilted display filled with dice; you can only select dice with two edges showing. There are plain d6s, dragons, falling rocks, shields, gems. You play three rounds then score. As long as players don't AP out and play fast and loose it's not even a half hour. OK game, nothing I'd buy but if I need to fill some time, sure. 

LAS VEGAS. Roll dice, pick a number to bet your dice on. Needs 5+ players to really shine. 

ROOT - base game; I was a bit rusty compared to the other two players . I was the Cats and managed to craft a bunch of items and stay in the game leading to the very last turn where I was overtaken by the Corvids, who went the entire game without going into Turmoil. In retrospect I should have been a little more focused on getting in his way and paying attention to his Decree requirements. I really need to make an effort to play this more often seeing as how I own all the content as well as have the iPad app. 

TERRAFORMING MARS ARES EXPEDITION. Another case of a more recent version firing the base game IMO. Plays faster, with a smaller footprint, easier set up.take down. 

SPACE STATION PHOENIX ( new to me ) . This is a relatively new game from Rio Grande. Players start with a tableau of 9-11 ship cards, each with a particular function. The goal is to build a station of up to 9 sections . Each round you activate one of your ships, or another player's ships( that player gets paid ) to do a variety of actions - construct, populate station spaces , or tear down one of your ships for the metal needed to build the station. So it's a balancing act between needing metal and not drawing down your action choices. Visually it's a bit overwhelming at first.  Once you get the hang of it, it's probably a two hour game. I won by completing my station first and racking up the most points via having dominance in two of the five alien species filling my station but I can't say I am eager to play it again. 

WELCOME TO CENTERVILLE. This often overlooked gem from the late and great Chad Jensen is basically a boiled down version of URBAN SPRAWL, which never took off. We played four player; the game is basically rolling six dice and using the various die faces to build, plant trees, get elected to various offices or gain education ( a long game strategy akin to 7 Wonders science ) . Its surprisingly cut throat for a game of its type. I thought I had the game in the bag but end game scoring saw me pipped by a player whose tree strategy game him some late game points to push him past me. 

WINGSPAN. We had some time to kill before heading to the airport to drop off my friend; we borrowed a copy from the store library. We played the base game which reminded me how dull the end game can be as laying eggs is often the most efficient way to gain VP. IMO you need the expansion that adds Nectar as a food type; the end game scoring based on Nectar not only opens up more strategies but the additional birds do so as well. 

VERSAILLES 1919. First time playing this. It sees 3-4 players vie for post WWI control of various treaty issues. Mechanically you are playing cubes onto issues in order to control them when they get resolved. A bit dry for my tastes, as it lacks much flavor . The possibility of revolts in various parts of the world adds some volatility to things as well as a way to sometimes reel in a leader. If desired, players can inject a fair amount of diplomacy into it if that's your thing. 

WAR OF THE RING. My opponent and I wanted to get in a tune up game before next month's WBC tournament. We diced off and I got the Shadow. Early game saw some strange Action die rolls; I rolled but a single Muster out of 14 dice in the first two turns; my opponent rolled but a single Character in that period. So he was able to start building up his military while I was not. Halfway through the game I was able to lock down all of Gondor preventing a crowning of Aragorn but it became apparent that it was going to end via Corruption one way or the other. I was only using the military to mainly cycle Character cards as the Witch King .  He was pretty low on Corruption when he entered Mordor, but had only put one FP tile in the Hunt bag whereas I had gotten all four Shadow ( bad ) tiles in. One move saw him draw an Eye tile when there were 5 eye dice in the Hunt Pool; discarding it via Mithril Coat he drew a sigh of relief only to draw....another eye tile for five Corruption . He was now at 10 Corruption with no meat shields left. He draw the final tile to dunk the ring, with roughly a 50/50 shot of success and drew....wisely to win. I love this game; BGG shows 37 plays logged and I know I've played way more than that since I only started tracking plays 8 years ago. 

STAR WARS OUTER RIM with the new UNFINISHED BUSINESS EXPANSION .  The expansion really improves what was already a pretty solid game, and we didn't even use all the content. The three biggest improvements: 
- all the decks get additional cards; this increases variety. 
- along with the new cards, many have icons which cause face up Contacts to be revealed. This fixes one problem with the original in that if you were the only bounty hunter, it became very hard to find contacts sometimes, as other players often had little reason to do so unless they were looking for crew. 
- there are now two planets at the end of each side of the arc that can now be used to generate Encounters possibly allowing you to move to the other end cap instead of spending 4-5 turns going "the long way" around. 

We all used expansion characters. I was Hera Syndulla; two more were Wookies Chewie and Black Krygstan, and the last player was Cad Bane who ended up winning by cashing in an impressive number of bounties 
If you liked SW:OR I can't recommend the expansion highly enough. 

COMBAT COMMANDER PACIFIC. After briefly thumbing thru the scenario book, we looked at each other and said "Random Scenario Generator" ( RSG ) . Its insanely clever and fairly simple to use. It gave us my Japanese company attacking a Ghurka  detachment. We'd be fighting over a fairly open board with a high ridge splitting it down the middle lengthwise. My opponent set up his forces up high, forcing me to deploy on either side of the ridge to try to stay out of LOS of his firepower . Early on I lost most of a platoon and the survivors hid in a gully and traded occasional shots with the enemy. Meanwhile I had a battery of 3 50mm mortars laying down an effective barrage of smoke that allowed a larger force of 6 squads on the other side of the ridge to work their way through low jungle hexes along the board edge til they jumped up behind the British, killed a squad in Melee and then Exited off the board for a ton of VP . This was too much to overcome after I proceeded to take an objective that turned out to be the Secret Objective for both players. The RSG again proved its worth; if you are a Combat Commander player and haven't used it you're missing out. The game was originally submitted to GMT using ONLY the RSG; there were no preset scenarios. 

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02 Jul 2022 17:44 #333990 by Jackwraith
Interesting that you mention two games that I was kind of meh on (Dune: Imperium) or absolutely loathed after one play (Outer Rim) that are "fixed" by expansions for precisely the reasons I found negative. Imperium lacks any decent way of trashing the early cards in your deck, which means that you can easily end up in the late game with a handful of awful cards and simply lose because of the draw. As a corollary to that, it also means that you only see and/or use those cool cards you're buying at the end of every round a couple times, which is both annoying and kind of self-defeating from a design standpoint. One of the best things about my favorite deckbuilder, Tyrants of the Underdark, is that the Promote option is readily available in all six half-decks, so you can clean out the chaff and really ramp up the midgame and beyond.

I traded Outer Rim after my first play because of exactly what you cite: I was the only bounty hunter (Boba Fett) and I spent the whole game running in circles trying to find targets, getting delayed by patrols, and then arriving at my targets without enough strength/resources/whatever to actually take them down. I've never been so disenchanted with a game that I traded it away after one play but that's exactly what happened here. I already have M&M, TEP, and Firefly, so I doubt I'll try again, but it's at least gratifying to know that it wasn't just me.

(BTW, you played against the Eyrie in Root. The Corvids are a different set of birds. ;) )
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02 Jul 2022 18:23 - 02 Jul 2022 18:23 #333992 by Msample
The ability to trash is a core principle to any deck builder, so I am always surprised when designs fail to recognize this . Especially in a game like D:I where the game has a maximum of ten rounds. The base DUNE IMPERIUM had some ways to trash, but it was still lacking IMO; if I were to somehow play the base game only again, I'd still add in the new starting card because its easy to implement and really opens up the possibility to tune your deck; I've played games where I've trashed 5-7 of my start cards because of it. Besides the new start card, more cards have ways to trash .
Last edit: 02 Jul 2022 18:23 by Msample.
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