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Mycelia Board Game Review

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

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07 Mar 2023 14:43 #338591 by Virabhadra

Jackwraith wrote: I'd be hard-pressed to remember all the names involved. There were five Skaven: Skritch, Hrrk the Almost-Trusted, and then three regular dudes (maybe Hungering, Lurking, and Skittering?) and four Slaaneshi, all of whom were unique characters. I think it was just based on what he had available and had painted and since Slaanesh and Skaven are both Chaos, it would be enough points to match his Sigmar dudes.


I applaud you for sticking out what appears to be the most complicated game of Warcry I can imagine! It sounds like you mashed two Underworlds sets together - the balance issues probably aren't significant for a casual game (you can legally add two heroes from the same Grand Alliance to a warband but you can't mix different faction units willy-nilly), but it tripled the rules overhead for you.

The rules for Underworlds models were a late addition to 1.0 that GW recently grandfathered back into the game, and they were contentious partly because each model had different stats than their archetypal counterparts and because each warband had a unique, additional suite of Abilities.

Normally, you're only working with the Universal Abilities and your Faction Abilities. In your case, you would have been juggling the Universal Abilities, Skaven Faction Abilities, Slaanesh Daemons Abilities, Skittershank's Clawpack's unique Abilities, and the Dread Pagaent's unique Abilities. That's a head explode-level of rules. I'm glad you had fun though!
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07 Mar 2023 19:05 #338593 by Jackwraith
Yeah, it was a bit to absorb, although as an old hand at WHFB and other GW stuff, not horribly much more than trying to remember every unit's abilities and their suite of spells in each battle. Oh, and the standard spells if they took those. There were four abilities on the Slaanesh side and three on the Skaven, IIRC, plus the universals. The most complicated part for me was interpreting some of the symbols, because the unit cards are very small and one chaos symbol with a skull in it looks a lot like other chaos symbols with skulls in them, but the gradation of border or points was what is supposed to differentiate them. You can tell if you look closely but it's a visual challenge for my 52-year-old eyes. Had good memories of playing both my Skaven horde and my Slaanesh warriors, though. The abilities of the latter have turned a bit more toward the ferocious end, kind of like the Perv God's opposite number, Khorne. Everything used to be about confusion and control, but the most damage dealt out on the table, more than once, was by a big Slaanesh enforcer called Shadeslake(?) Had the prototypical lobster claw and dealt some massive hits with it. Survived the last two rounds on 1 health, too.
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08 Mar 2023 13:28 - 08 Mar 2023 14:47 #338601 by Sagrilarus
Played a game older than some of the players at the table -- El Grande. This is our podcast episode this week if you want the details -- gamesfromthecellar.com/episodes/el-grande . It's out on the street already, the official podcast announcement due to release in the near future.

A game that 15 years ago received largely universal praise, but that appears to have slipped a bit. Is it just me thinking that?

As it stands we have one player that I share very little in game tastes with that does not like this game at all, in spite of it offering the kind of control he usually looks for in a play. So it just seems that we can't come to consensus on much.
Last edit: 08 Mar 2023 14:47 by Sagrilarus.
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08 Mar 2023 14:57 #338603 by sornars
I played El Grande for the first time on BGA sometime in the last year or two so with no nostalgia bias I can say it still holds up excellently! I do think the Castillo is fun but kind of dumb, take that memory nonsense away. It was still a good episode though.

Is Merchant of Venus on the podcast docket?
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08 Mar 2023 14:59 #338604 by DarthJoJo
Tried Dice Forge for the first time. Feels like a mechanic in search of a better game. Building your own die and rolling it is fun. Only gathering resources and powers and points with minimal interaction is less fun. More the pity because it’s a gorgeous production. Vibrant, unique art even on the dividers; great, useful insert; buildable dice. It’s like buying this high-end mountain bike with custom paint but screwing on a basket to ride four blocks to the grocery store once a week.

Tinkering with Skytear Horde. Thoughts are pretty similar to Mark Bigney’s. It’s a well-designed game that’s eminently easy to get to the table but doesn’t play to its strengths in its briskness. My games haven’t crossed eight turns which creates swingy difficulty on minimal draws. Facing a big monster but with a handful of attachments? Oh well. At least it’s not an issue to reshuffle and start over.

Not done with Bullet. Took out the Penny Arcade crossover heroine for a spin. She’s an inventor who builds her patterns by matching the requirements and removal through translucent cards. A lot of fun with a brutal boss side that forces you to use two patterns at a time.
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08 Mar 2023 19:34 #338605 by Sagrilarus

sornars wrote:
Is Merchant of Venus on the podcast docket?



Yes.
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08 Mar 2023 19:59 #338606 by DarthJoJo

Cranberries wrote: WHAT GAMES HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING THAT HAVE A 6.5 ON THAT OTHER SITE BUT COMPLETELY KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF?

I find Donald X. Vaccarino’s Greed (6.1), Vengeance (5.9), SEAL Team Flix (5.8) and Pocket Paragons underrated. Greed is a top-shelf pure drafting game that rewards paying attention to other players and allows hate drafting, Vengeance is a beautiful marriage of setting and mechanics that evokes strong narrative with minimal text, Flix is methamphatemine-grade fun and Paragons is an awful lot of game in under 10 cards.

But I do get why they rank where they do. Greed and Flix have a weird meeting of humor and setting. Some of your business in Greed is clearly prostitution while at least one character’s name is a Simpsons reference. The cover of Flix has po-faced SEALs who would right in on a Call of Duty cover tossing a grenade at eco terrorists making faces better suited to a Looney Tunes short. Vengeance, on the other hand, is too close to its sources and their violence. Paragons? People just don’t appreciate their fancy rock-paper-scissors.
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08 Mar 2023 23:57 #338609 by dysjunct

Cranberries wrote: WHAT GAMES HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING THAT HAVE A 6.5 ON THAT OTHER SITE BUT COMPLETELY KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF?

  • HELLAPAGOS. I rate it a 10, geek rating 6.082.
  • CAMP GRIZZLY. I rate it an 8, geek rating 5.972.
  • WAR OF THE RING: THE CARD GAME. I rate it an 8, geek rating 6.116.
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09 Mar 2023 00:51 #338610 by Virabhadra
We lost one of our Warcry regulars to a rummage sale over the weekend and seized the opportunity to bang out a 3-player game of Cave Evil.



Under the normal rules, the Blood Eye Marker - a token tracking the Reveal and "Awakening" of the game's alternate victory condition/secret ultimate Evil - moves every time someone invokes a creature as well as every time all the players have taken a turn (one Cycle.) We use the optional rule to extend game length, where the Blood Eye Marker is advanced on the Awaken track only when creatures are invoked and at the end of Cycles in which no player invokes a creature. According to the rulebook this is "the preferred method of time keeping if you know the rules, but can be too long if learning the game." This pans out, in my experience. In the regular game, and sometimes even in 2-player games, there isn't time for anyone to rack up enough Kill Points to interact meaningfully with the Awakening Evil. The Extended Play option allows for a more patient, plotting game; I mention it because we went deep into the endgame this time around the Necropolis and it's one of my favorite sessions we've played. 

In the first Act, the three of us saw a lot of fumbling in the darkness for resources. Lacking firepower, nobody was keen to commit the first openly aggressive move - until I lost my excavators in a freak collapse and my loyal pet demon-dog the Harbiter (more later) ran away during a slave revolt, at which point I pushed my Necromancer, alone but bedecked in necrotic accoutrements, towards the central Pit in search of blacker pastures. A couple turns later, we revealed our Awakening Evil to be the Darkest Statue of Death.

Between being Revealed and Awakened, any Necromancer can bathe the Darkest Statue of Death in 18 Kill Points' worth of gore and be rewarded by blasting an 8-hex annihilation beam from the statue's eyes. Once Awakened, the Statue instead becomes disgusted with the Necromancers and turns aggressive. To win at this point, you still have the option of slaying the other players, but you can also attempt to defeat the Statue with its monstrous stats and then carry its glowing Eyes out of the rubble and back to the Chthonic Crystal (more later) in your lair. When we discovered that we could turn the Statue into a death ray, both of the other players -immediately- collapsed the entryways to their lairs to avoid being fried and left me stranded in the middle of the map with nothing to attack. 

I spent most of the second Act whittling dark trinkets while the other players turtled up and took a hilariously misguided shot at an early victory. In Cave Evil, you can defeat an opposing Necromancer by either killing its squad in combat on the board or by invading the Necromancer's lair and 'crushing' its Chthonic Crystal, which is the source of its power and houses its astral form. The latter method is a single combat using the enemy Necromancer's base stats without the benefit of items or allies, provided you can physically get to the thing.

One of my first creatures on the board was a Harbiter, a runty demon that looks like a Boston terrier was attacked by a Half-Life headcrab. Its stats are crap, but it can excavate - and more importantly, it can sacrifice its entire turn to "produce" 1 Gore. I lost control of it in the early game when a Slave Revolt forced us all to pass one creature to the player on the right and I didn't want to give up my Swiss-Army Necromonk. When the Harbiter's new owner couldn't find a clear path to deliver its payload of resources to his Necromancer on the other side of the board, it turned tail and bolted back into my undefended lair... where he realized that even if he rolled a natural 12 on every stat, it was mathematically impossible for the little guy to damage my Crystal. Unable to take me out but insistent on helping his Master's unholy effort, the Harbiter spent the rest of the game hanging out in my Necromancer's bedroom, eating darkness and shitting viscera.

The third Act began around the time I took the above photo and announced out loud, "I don't think I can actually get to either of you and I don't have any creatures, so I may have to win this game the hardest way possible." I watched the realization dawn on them as I laid the Statue low in a frighteningly perilous combat, following which we found ourselves in a brief above-the-table kickup that involved checking every movement rule and exception in the book to determine whether anybody could legally swoop in and snatch the Eyes out from in front of me. Unfortunately for my opponents, I was positioned -just so- that I was able to grab the Eyes unimpeded and run. The mad dash from the Pit to my lair was just beautiful: every single nasty thing on the board homed in on my Necromancer, who was firing bolts of stygian energy over his shoulder every couple hexes to keep the horde at bay as he careened through the labyrinth. The demon with the best chance of catching him was a Hellchomper, a powerful creature with the ability to excavate, move, and attack in a single turn. It crashed through the Necropolis from across the board, unearthing a more or less straight line to my fleeing Necromancer, and in the home stretch the guy pulled excavation tiles that left him exactly one hex short of me -twice- in a -row-. By the grace of the Eternal Evil Emperor, I patted the Harbiter on the head and delivered the Eyes to my Crystal for the win. 

Really fun session, because I normally get blown up by a bomb.

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09 Mar 2023 09:27 - 09 Mar 2023 09:28 #338615 by n815e

We lost one of our Warcry regulars to a rummage sale over the weekend


It’s always a shame when someone decides to sell a used, but still perfectly good, gamer. Hope their new family gets them into another group quickly.
Last edit: 09 Mar 2023 09:28 by n815e.

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09 Mar 2023 11:13 #338619 by Not Sure

n815e wrote:

We lost one of our Warcry regulars to a rummage sale over the weekend


It’s always a shame when someone decides to sell a used, but still perfectly good, gamer. Hope their new family gets them into another group quickly.


The alternative is even worse:
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09 Mar 2023 14:47 #338625 by dysjunct
PUZZLE STRIKE II, after reading a glowing review from Vysetron, only with the kid so far. I have a conflicted fandom for Sirlin. I admire his [-]maniacal[/-] strong commitment to his vision and aesthetic for his designs, but his games would be more popular if he'd gone the more traditional route and submitted his designs to a publishing house, where they could be finalized by a developer. Doing it all in-house makes the end product highly targeted towards a particular audience -- his hardcore playtesters, who (like Sirlin) are generally happy to sacrifice accessibility and simplicity if it means more finely-balanced asymmetry.

Now, that's 100% fine -- that's his brand, and more importantly, what he likes to play.

As for the game itself, PSII is much better than PSI. Unlike PSI, Dominion, and most deckbuilders, you don't tediously build a market of cards. This is in the Ascension or Star Realms school that uses a "river" where you slide down cards to fill in the gap left by a purchased card, and then deal from the deck to bring the market up to five cards. But unlike Ascension or Star Realm, there's not just one deck of bank cards -- there's six (2 base game + 4 expansion), each of which is balanced for a particular theme and playstyle, and has vastly different effects. You choose one and then have to adapt accordingly.

The game itself is bright and colorful and has very fun splashy graphics. It's wildly overproduced with big sparkly plastic gems and a Pretty Princess style scepter that lights up. Kind of silly but I guess the rationale is that Sirlin didn't think he'd get another chance at making this game so he went over the top.

PSII retains the core risk/reward mechanism of its predecessor -- the closer you get to losing, the more powerful you get, and the more bonkers your turns are. Comboing left and right, crashing dozens of gems, and trying to overwhelm your opponent. Very fun game.

THAT'S NOT LEMONADE. In case a lightup plastic scepter doesn't turn off the chin-stroking Serious Gamers, try this game about hopefully not drinking a cup full of urine! Or I guess any other yellow liquid you'd rather not consume, Gatorade or Fanta or whatever. It's a pretty pure push-your-luck game, you want to drink the most lemonade without drinking anything that's not lemonade. In game terms you decide to hit or pass. If you hit you get a card that has either lemons, ice cubes, or THAT'S NOT LEMONADE on it. If it's TNL, you flip it over and are out of the round. Anything else, next person's turn. If you pass, you can come back in when it gets around to you again, but if everyone passes then the round's over. Flip your cards, most lemons wins the round. First to three rounds wins. Easy, fun. You could make your own deck easily enough but this has cute retro art, red solo cup markers for passing, etc. Designed by our own Matt Loter.

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09 Mar 2023 16:09 #338627 by charlest
That's Not Lemonade is underrated. Fun time.
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11 Mar 2023 13:24 #338645 by southernman
This post is not about games played but a game to be played tomorrow ... after at least probably half a dozen years I'm finally getting my Battlestar Galactica out again. The new club I've started tagging along with, showing up when non-euro games break out, has managed to provide four people who want to try BSG. I don't think any of themhave played it before so I've spent the afternoon stripping out all the base game content - the expansions are great if you are a fan of the show and/or like complexity (together they basically provide an rpg simulation of the series) but as I don't know if the other four are either of those I'm just introducing them to the base game.
The base game is still a great game (many people here on the site prefer just the base game) so hopefully I can grow them into the expansions with a good first experience ... I just hope they're not regular euro gamers as, through painful experiences, those gamer types just don't understand how to play it.
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11 Mar 2023 14:45 #338650 by Msample
If your group likes the game , but is deterred by theme I can highly recommend UNFATHOMABLE. Basicalyl a reskin of BSG, its mechanically cleaned up a bit and while the Cthulu theme is meh for some, the player aids and the various nips/tucks they made to the system make it a worthy alternative .
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