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Re: What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?

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23 Feb 2023 23:13 #338443 by Jackwraith
Still no power, so the game nights continued. Tonight, we started with LYNGK, since we hadn't managed to play it since I'd snared a copy last summer, as the last of the GIPF series. (I had to find a copy in Germany.) The biggest question with it is: When do you claim colors? Early so you can stomp around and threaten everything or later so you can try to set up lyngk moves on multiple passive neutral pieces? After two games, one of which i lost, 4-2, and another of which I won, 3-2, I'm still not sure. The latter game i definitely won by executing a blocking strategy, in which I got an early lead and then did my best to neutralize her ability to make anymore 5-stacks. It obviously borrows from earlier parts of the series, like DVONN and TZAAR, as intended. Successfully? Not sure yet.

Then we stuck with the abstracts and broke out Senet for the first time in forever. She had never played and it had been multiple dogs' ages since I had. However, she caught on quick, got an early lead, and won the first game. In the second, I got a wall set up in the middle row and just shifted it, keeping her bottled up while I got two pieces off, but I eventually had to let her out and she went on two 7+ rolling sequences with multiple 6s and flew past me. I should probably stick to the throwing sticks, as I was doing much better with them but can very rarely get 6s.

We stayed in ancient times and played Ur next. As with most experiences with this one, it was underwhelming. We've tried a couple different rulesets; one like Senet, where you're racing to get dudes off like backgammon and one where you're trying to get 4 pieces on one of the 5-symbol spaces and 1 on another and neither are very satisfying. The former is just a clunkier version of Senet and the latter is a more complicated tic-tac-toe, where aping your opponent's actions either leads to a stalemate or a victory if they trip up. I'm going to make a concerted effort to find a better one. She won the first one In a couple moves and I won the second in a half-dozen. But at least the power came back on a few minutes after we finished the second.
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24 Feb 2023 10:47 - 24 Feb 2023 10:48 #338446 by Bernie
Another day another session of Aeon Trespass: Odyssey. This session only had one battle. But we got a lot done otherwise. We had our first fight against Lvl 2 Hekaton which was going great until it was not. Back to back Dread draws killed one of our Titans outright. This was compounded by our Selfish Argonaut basically being worthless except as a punching bag. We won in the end. But it got much messier.

We made some gear upgrades to address some of our issues. A new wave of one handed weapons was desperately needed and revived. Also some new armor. We threw a piece of gear that taunts on the selfish titan as well so that she can get hit more and shield the others. Hopefully we get that cleared soon.

We also finished our first side quest line. We pulled a pretty awesome reward from that.

With another session planed today hopefully we get a good bit more accomplished.

In another note. Charlie has his review of this game up on his blog. You should give it a look. He sums up how I feel about the game. It is a beast to get into. But it provides an experience worth the effort and unlike most other games.
Last edit: 24 Feb 2023 10:48 by Bernie. Reason: Spelling error
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24 Feb 2023 14:49 #338452 by Msample
Last weekend I got together with a dozen friends for a long weekend ( 5 days ) of casual gaming, mostly multiplayer stuff. Games played, in no particular order:


ATLANTIC STORM x2 . A favorite of the group , basically a filler/nightcap for us as it only takes about 90 minutes or so. I got thoroughly skunked in one game, not winning a single convoy but scored a semi respectable 13 points based on some nice spoils. The other game I did decent, coming in mid pack out of six players.

COMMAND AND COLORS SAMURAI BATTLES x2 . Pete and I played the same scenario twice, switching sides to even out any balance concerns. We each won once, but he scored more total flags ( 9 to my 8 ) . As is typical for many CC:S scenarios this was fought with a river crossing which makes things interesting. As I've said in other posts, this iteration is easily my favorite after ANCIENTS, mainly due to the Honor/Dragon card mechanics which introduce a degree of uncertainty to the game that the other games lack.

TERRAFORMING MARS ARES EXPEDITION x 2. This version has fired the original board game version for me. Smaller footprint, plays faster. The upcoming expansion will add Milestone/Awards and some other stuff. We taught the game to a newb and still finished in like 90 minutes. Lean and mean, something the base game has bloated beyond IMO.

WAR OF THE RING CARD GAME x 2. Played twice as Monstrous faction ( Saruman/non Mordor ) and lost both times. First game was fairly close, but the second game we lost on like turn 5 auto . The Free People drew Gandalf and Strider very early, letting them race through multiple Paths and shorten the game; my Mordor Partner being unable to play much on the Paths meant they scored tons of Path points. My partner was new and I am not sure he knew how to play his deck well enough, esp re Path Corruption.

This game has been a pleasant surprise. It has a LOT of depth and tricky decisions. Each of the four decks plays very differently. While the game has a 2P mode, its WAY better as a 4P game. I am eagerly awaiting the 5-6 player expansion, although given ARES glacial development schedule its gonna be awhile.

HERE I STAND. A somewhat random draw left me in command of the Ottomans. The Pirates came out as late as possible; coupled with my natural enemy the Hapsburgs getting out 3 early Colonies pumping out 2-3 extra cards per turn I was hard pressed to make much progress. Especially a mid game card drought with multiple turns drawing mostly 2 OP cards. This made conducting Piracy a very herky jerky affair since each attempt costs 2 CP. So one card I'd move, then wait til the next impulse to Pirate. Still i was able to get to 22 VP, due in part to winning a Foreign War in Persia plus 1VP for an ally playing Julia Gonzaga, but fell short of both France ( winner ) and Hapsburg who closed out the game at the end of turn 5.

DUNE IMPERIUM x2. One game with both expansions, the other with just RISE OF IX as we were teaching a newbie. The first game was a bit strange in that the Tleixau cards on offer kind of sucked, so that row stagnated and there wasn't much progress on the Research board either. I think only one player got to the first Genetics line , but he eventually won. Second game I had Baron Harkonnen and got Guild Shipping access earlier than anyone else. I got most of my VP in the Faction tracks ( 7 VP ) and the other three via Combat, 2 of which were in the Turn 8 Conflict to trigger the game end. I think IX may be the sweet spot, expansion wise ( esp with the CONTROL THE SPICE starter card to enable easier Trashing ) but IMMORTALITY adds more branching opportunities, albeit with some really powerful combos that can really elevate some players if they are lucky.

ANGOLA. All four of us are old hands at this by now and play went switfly. My UNITA ( non Commie ) forces made early gains in the south but the Communist set up gave them access to interior lines of communicated that kept them in the fight long enough to steadily build up a force advantage. A marginal attack by them on the southern coast cracked my defences open and they won a Sudden Death victory at the end of turn 9, a rare late game win for the Commies .

GALAXY THE DARK AGES. This is an older game, basically TITAN THE ARENA on steroids. Mechanically the big difference is that you can "fight" other cards when you match or cover another card in the same row; some cards allow you to move bets up and down. So its a bit more dynamic than TTA. Maybe takes a bit longer but its the better game IMO.

LAS VEGAS x2 - another short, quick filler type game. Nothing deep/thematic but amusing for what it is.

SPACE BASE. A bit more thinky/longer than LV .

JAWS. Played 4P with one guy randomly drawing the shark. I was Hooper, tossing barrels on the first side and got a lucky hit fairly early; we tagged him two rounds later with only 6 swimmers eaten. So we had 7 Gear cards and the shark had 6 attack cards. We drew 2 CHUM cards, so one early round we were able to eliminate two of the three possible attack locations and I shot the shark with the Harpoon gun for 4 damage. It was all downhill after that for the shark as his attack cards were not that good. We killed him with only half the ship destroyed and all three characters still alive, although Brody was down to 2 HP.

STAR WARS OUTER RIM w/UNFINISHED BUSINESS expansion. We used all the expansion content, including Ambitions, which are basically individual quests that need to be completed on top of the Fame requirement. I drew Maz Kanata as my character; she's mainly focused on Jobs and cargo runs. Her ability is being able to carry extra Crew members. While the other three players focused on Fame first then fulfilling their Ambitions, I did so in reverse. Partially this was because my two initial goals were gaininng $20K and getting Positive Reputation among all four factions. I figured fulfilling both would make getting Fame easier as well as prevent other players from drawing cards that allow attacking other players with more Fame. Sure enough I lagged most of the game with less Fame, but caught up in the end game while they stalled on their quests. I got my last 2 Fame using my 4 person crew to bring in a 2 Fame Bounty on Aksoka Tahno, then completed my final job ( Sabaac game ) to win a turn ahead of two other players. While I am of a mixed opinion on the Ambition part, the other expansion content ( more card variety, accelerated reveal of Contacts, Favors ) make the base game much better. Get it if you like the base game.

DECATHLON - an old Avalon Hill game, maybe 3M originally ? Its basically a press your luck die rolling fest; its the traditional final day of the event closer. I was doing OK til I triple faulted in the pole vault and thus didn't score for the event. More a social game than anything serious; trash talking highly encouraged.

I managed to play two new to me games.

SMARTPHONE. This is a pretty typical Euro economic optimization game. Pretty nice components; simple mechanics and reasonable integration of theme. Every turn you secretly plan how many phones and at what price you will sell them . Everyone reveals; cheapest phones sell first, then more expensive etc. Its a balancing act. Kind of interesting, but ultimately kind of bland IMO.

QUACKS OF QUEDLINBURG . This is a press your luck chit pulling game with a little deck building kind of thrown in. Each turn you draw markers from your potion bag; you are looking to draw as many as possible before drawing too many white cherry blossoms ( which make your pot blow up, forcing you to choose to either score VP OR buy more markers to dilute your bag and decrease the chance of drawing bad stuff . Each color marker has variable costs and effects. Simple, fun, fairly quick. I'd def play it again .

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25 Feb 2023 08:58 #338458 by Ah_Pook
Bot Factory is Lacerda taking a knife to Kanban and removing half the stuff to make a more playable lighter game. It was fine? I don't think I would play Kanban again, and I don't think I would play Bot Factory again, but I probably enjoyed BF more (if only because it was 80 minutes instead of 3+ hours). You collect parts to build robots to satisfy contracts, there's timing and screwing each other over based on how the robots are built, Sandra is there being a bitch, it has the exact same single worker worker placement thing that Kanban does... If you're familiar with Kanban literally imagine that game with half the stuff removed. Our game was weird because one player was poised to finish the game but then screwed it up and didn't, so then everyone was left trying to scramble and do things for points after having cashed out thinking that guy was ending the game. But then everything you take (robot parts, contracts) that you don't use up is negative points at the end, so it was kind of a degenerate ending since no one wanted to take negative points and get stuck if someone else did some BS and ended the game but then that meant basically no one ended the game and it just dragged on. Dunno, it was fine I guess. I think I just don't like Lacerda games as a general statement.

Played Atiwa for the fourth time, which will probably be the last time. It's a weird game because it's quite fun in the moment, but it's extremely linear I think. There is one thing to do in the game, and you do slight variations of it each game and end up within the same 10pt score range each game. There's no variation game to game, and it just feels really samey after even 2 or 3 plays. You solved the puzzle, and there's only so much room for optimization in the framework provided. So it's on the trade pile, but I'm glad to have played it.
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25 Feb 2023 11:55 #338460 by n815e
Hi Msample. I think you’d like some others of the C&C games, which also have those “combat” cards in them. Great War, American Revolution, Jacobite Rebellion, Red Alert, Battlelore. Napoleonics gets them in expansion 5. Medieval has a sort of twist on the idea.

American Revolution and Jacobite Rebellion actually even offer separate decks to draw from for each side, making the asymmetry of the sides pronounced a bit more.

They do add another layer to the system that I enjoy.

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25 Feb 2023 21:46 #338463 by Msample
I’ve played most of the other CC games.

Nappy seems to play longer, esp once blocks get whittled down.

Medieval seems REAL swingy; whoever’s cavalry gets the first Mounted Charge is at a huge advantage.

The AmRev stuff I’ve not played much.

BattleLore played once, ages ago.

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27 Feb 2023 09:45 #338470 by Vysetron
Hey TWBG gang! Y'all remember Mystery Rummy? Wizkids' new Detective Rummy asks the question: what if it was worse and came in a big box?

I'm an unabashed fan of recent Wizkids because it's just Z-Man 2, but this is a complete botch. It's got all the hallmarks of a modern box: grafted on campaign mode that adds nothing, an errata pack, a design that attempts to add "variability" but instead just makes setup and teardown annoying, etc. Bad. Don't.
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27 Feb 2023 10:49 - 27 Feb 2023 10:49 #338472 by Ah_Pook
I saw the name and was excited about new mystery rummy, then read an article about it and saw that it was a big box campaign thing and immediately noped out. That is not what I want from that product in any way.
Last edit: 27 Feb 2023 10:49 by Ah_Pook.

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27 Feb 2023 11:34 #338474 by dysjunct
HEAT, 5p. First race of the 1960 season, with all the modules added except the legends (NPC cards). 5p. I came in second. 9/10, brought down a point because one guy kept spinning out and was grousing about it.

ARCANA RISING, 5p. Card drafting, try to efficiently turn stuff into other stuff and then into VP! Bet you've never played that before. Came in 3rd maybe, but honestly I couldn't bring myself to care. 3/10.

CAT IN THE BOX. I can't figure out how to not suck at this, but apparently other people have an even harder time figuring it out, because I came in 2nd. 9/10.

SUPER MEGA LUCKY BOX, 5p, with non-gaming family. I doubt I'd play this with gamers but it's fine for what it is. Has a nice narrative arc where the first few turns have little going on, but then combos start opening up and people start to get it.

LOVE LETTER, also 5p with non-gaming family. My 8yo absolutely shellacked everyone. Final scores were 4-2-0-0-0; I was one of the zeroes.
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27 Feb 2023 11:48 #338476 by Ah_Pook

dysjunct wrote:
ARCANA RISING, 5p. Card drafting, try to efficiently turn stuff into other stuff and then into VP! Bet you've never played that before. Came in 3rd maybe, but honestly I couldn't bring myself to care. 3/10.


I played this at a game night once and thought it was pretty fun until the last like third of the game turned into 100% hate drafting the game. Once you're set up then most of the cards don't tie into whatever you're doing, so then your job is to take whatever is good for the next person since nothing is relevant to you. Just got tiresome.
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27 Feb 2023 14:40 - 27 Feb 2023 14:41 #338487 by Sagrilarus
Blood Bowl Team Manager episode just released and listening to it I want to get it back out again. Great game.
Last edit: 27 Feb 2023 14:41 by Sagrilarus.
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27 Feb 2023 15:03 #338489 by Shellhead

Sagrilarus wrote: Blood Bowl Team Manager episode just released and listening to it I want to get it back out again. Great game.


I regret not buying Blood Bowl Team Manager. My thinking at the time was that most of my gaming friends were not interested in a sports game, even with a fantasy setting. But the game was a neat design that shrunk down each game within the game into a highlight reel. Since then, I have learned to pay attention when a board game involves a licensing IP and/or a cooperative effort between two different game companies. At least I got everything possible for Space Hulk: Death Angel.

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27 Feb 2023 15:15 #338490 by quozl

Shellhead wrote:

Sagrilarus wrote: Blood Bowl Team Manager episode just released and listening to it I want to get it back out again. Great game.


I regret not buying Blood Bowl Team Manager. My thinking at the time was that most of my gaming friends were not interested in a sports game, even with a fantasy setting. But the game was a neat design that shrunk down each game within the game into a highlight reel. Since then, I have learned to pay attention when a board game involves a licensing IP and/or a cooperative effort between two different game companies. At least I got everything possible for Space Hulk: Death Angel.


I could sell you mine if you're interested.

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27 Feb 2023 16:00 #338494 by Shellhead

quozl wrote:

Shellhead wrote:

Sagrilarus wrote: Blood Bowl Team Manager episode just released and listening to it I want to get it back out again. Great game.


I regret not buying Blood Bowl Team Manager. My thinking at the time was that most of my gaming friends were not interested in a sports game, even with a fantasy setting. But the game was a neat design that shrunk down each game within the game into a highlight reel. Since then, I have learned to pay attention when a board game involves a licensing IP and/or a cooperative effort between two different game companies. At least I got everything possible for Space Hulk: Death Angel.


I could sell you mine if you're interested.


That is tempting, but I still have the original problem that I don't have the players. Sometimes a good game just doesn't have the right theme and my friends won't play it. Sons of Anarchy is a good example. It's a fun worker placement game that also has combat, plus components that really nail the setting, but nearly all of my friends are repelled by the biker game theme and won't even try it.

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27 Feb 2023 22:43 #338498 by Jackwraith
Brought Tiny Epic Vikings to the Monday night group, where there was only three of us yet again. However, that was better than just two for the first session I played. It took both of them a little time to figure out what they were doing, but the fortunate thing was, as I expected, with more players come more battles and more exchanges of island runes. I realized that we missed a rule in our first game, where the gods' Fury levels rise every time their respective rune gets exchanged between players, so the scores were significantly higher. We had Sif, Freya, and Noldir and the latter had the highest Fury because of heavy competition over the southwest island and its 'F' rune between my two opponents. Meanwhile, I played the slow game and took both the northeast and southeast island and pretty much just camped out on them, with a couple incursions on the central islands, but mostly preserving my villages and doing a lot of fighting in the last round to try to secure one more Favor card to put me over the top with Sif's 'C' runes. In the end, I won, 29-20-19, but both of them were interested in trying again. Having played twice now, I think it's safe to add in the Shaman cards from the mini-expansion, as they add some more interesting aspects to the Leader deck. But I think I'll hold off on the Cairns part of the mini until a few games from now. There's still a lot to think about in this game and the drafting is one of the biggest challenges, in the same way it is in Blood Rage. I can't say that this would rank as one of my favorite TE games just yet, but it took a while for Dinosaurs to grow on me, too, and this is a bit more intriguing than that.
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