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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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19 May 2023 22:08 - 23 May 2023 10:22 #339381 by Jackwraith
Got in a great evening with my 2-player partner. First, we went back to Unmatched, since we'd never played Houdini vs the Genie. I think I got my maps mixed up because we weren't playing on the one that came with them, instead playing on Baskerville Manor. We tried twice with both of us trying each character. I came out swinging with Houdini in the first game, which probably wasn't the best idea, since he has a lot of movement and counterpunch abilities. The Genie, OTOH, already has a base move of 3 and can get a third action each turn by discarding a card, so you're kind of encouraged to burn through your deck quickly. Brad put together a couple big combo turns and burned me out when we'd gotten about halfway through our decks. Then I took the Genie and spent most of the game chasing him, but killed Bess (Houdini's wife) early and then kind of wore him down. I had to go through my entire deck to do it, though, meaning I was going to start taking damage each turn when I couldn't draw. It's the first time I've ever done that with a character. Those are easily the two most complicated Unmatched characters I've played, but can do a lot of cool tricks (appropriately.)

Then we switched to Cthulhu Wars: Duel. Brad had never played the original game, so I taught him how things worked as we set up Great Cthulhu and Black Goat. That's a tough game to grasp on your first try, though, and I'm pretty experienced with it. So I coached him a bit and he picked up all six of his spellbooks, but I'd gotten a power lead with a greater number of gates and, in addition to Cthulhu's flow of Elder Signs, conducted two Rituals that put me over the top (hitting 30 Doom ends the game.) The differences to the original game are relatively minor but need to be understood by anyone who's played before. Once one player runs out of Power, the Decay token advances by one every time they'd be taking a turn. What that means is that the player still acting has to pay the Decay cost in Power before taking their own actions. That bit both of us a couple times. But you also gain Doom equal to an enemy unit's cost when you kill/eliminate them, which encourages people to crash in, since you don't gain Doom for controlled gates like usual. He tried to take advantage of that by starting fights, but my Shoggoths generally gave me the advantage in that respect more than once. (Gotta be willing to swallow those Cultists!) Cthulhu did get killed in the round that I won it and gave him a 7-point boost (the average of his 10- and 4-point costs) but I was able to execute a Ritual in that Doom phase that led to the win.

Then we tried Hero Realms, which I'd never played before. It's Star Realms, but fantasy. You can play competitively or cooperatively, so we stuck with the latter, because it's easier to teach that way. Also, there's a campaign mode in cooperative so you can keep building up your character, so we decided to try that and play it long-term. I took the wizard and he took the rogue, so we're Team Glass Cannon. I don't remember the name of the boss we fought but we got a decent selection of champions and I picked up some good White actions (Dragon Breath, Recruit) and managed to knock him out in about half an hour or so. I liked it. It seems like it flows better than Star Realms does and the theme is much more applicable to a deckbuilder (but perhaps that's just my Tyrants of the Underdark/Rune Age bias talking.)
Last edit: 23 May 2023 10:22 by Jackwraith.

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24 May 2023 18:42 #339447 by DarthJoJo
Boys have been jamming hard with Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Scrawlers - Heroes of Undermountain. It gives lie to the belief that only $300 Kickstarters can have luxe production. A strong scribbling-in-the-margins-of-your-class-notes aesthetic and quality laminated maps go a long way in a $30 game. I’m not totally enamored of these competitive mazes, but the eldest is getting used to losing with grace, and it makes him and two happy. Can’t ask for much more.

Took a shot on Skytear: Horde with my wife and was pleasantly surprised that she enjoyed it alright. I enjoyed it a lot more than the solo experience, as the swings seemed more even with more draw on both sides. So I ended up pledging for the expansion.
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27 May 2023 17:21 - 27 May 2023 17:38 #339468 by hotseatgames
Yesterday my Kickstarter for Witcher - The Old World arrived. Everything looks great. Component quality is stellar. If you don't know, this is an adventure game ala Runebound, with the main mechanic being deckbuilding.

It's primarily competitive but there is a cooperative mode I have not yet examined. I ran through a solo game (you are supposed to try for as few turns as possible in solo but I didn't bother with that). It did become very obvious how much more challenging it would be in competition with other Witchers. You win when you gain 4 trophies. These come from killing monsters, beating up other Witchers, or raising a stat to level 5 before the other players can do the same.

The cards are gorgeous, and I think use art from Gwent but I am not 100% sure on that. The best part is that you can chain the cards in the same way that Nightfall did it. I ended up smoking a monster with a 7 card combo, which was great because 7 is the hand limit.

You travel around, spending cards for movement. It is similar to rolling terrain dice in Runebound but you have more control over it. You can play "dice poker" which is pretty much just trying to get poker hands by rolling 5 dice. It is a decent way to earn some gold. You spend the gold primarily raising your attributes at different Witcher schools. You can also "explore" which is kind of like the story cards from the Fallout adventure game. I found these to be varied and really cool. When you feel you are strong enough you can go challenge a monster. At this point you trade blows back and forth until one side has depleted their deck.

I can see how downtime could become an issue at higher player counts (it maxes out at 5), since you can actually do quite a lot on your turn. I'm trying to get a 3 player game set for Monday.

I didn't go "all in" because the expansions seemed like bolted on junk and the miniatures pack seemed extremely superfluous for a game that doesn't feature tactical combat. Now, I'm sure that a monster mini is more imposing on the table than a cardboard token, but I don't regret exercising restraint in this case.

I will also say (after one play) that it feels really good how quickly you can raise in power. Something like Talisman has the board just beating the fuck out of you, and it seems much more approachable here.
Last edit: 27 May 2023 17:38 by hotseatgames.
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27 May 2023 20:07 #339472 by n815e
I was interested in, but decided not to pledge for, Witcher. I’m feeling a little regret about it. I’m looking forward to reading what everyone thinks of it.
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27 May 2023 20:32 #339473 by Cappster_
Nightfall.... Now there is a game I haven't heard from in a long time...
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27 May 2023 22:56 #339474 by hotseatgames

Cappster_ wrote: Nightfall.... Now there is a game I haven't heard from in a long time...


Still one of the most aggressive games I've ever played. All violence, all the time.
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28 May 2023 09:02 #339476 by charlest
Don't ever play Witcher with more than three players. It's also better multiplayer than solo.

I'm enjoying it. The retail edition, however, is somewhat meager with encounter cards. It's a shame the expansion that more than doubles the cards isn't in the first slate of retail releases.
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28 May 2023 10:55 #339479 by hotseatgames
Yes I should have mentioned that about the encounter cards. The KS version has quite a lot more than the base game.
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29 May 2023 17:24 #339483 by hotseatgames
Played a 3 player Witcher: The Old World game today. Everyone loved it, and it took about an hour per player. We could get faster now that everyone knows how things work, but it is still a game that will take a while no matter what. I agree with Charlie, don't go past 3 players on this one.

We did have one Witcher on Witcher battle, I was the defender and BARELY won, but unfortunately for me, only the Attacker may claim a trophy for defeating a Witcher.
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29 May 2023 19:55 - 29 May 2023 19:55 #339485 by Shellhead
Most of my Call of Cthulhu group didn't show up last night. So the one player and I instead hung and talked for a couple of hours and played a great 4-character game of Camp Grizzly. We collected a set of items good for either the van or the barn escape fairly early, but injuries left Sherry and Tracy creeping slowly across the map. Kevin double-equipped with meat cleaver and baseball bat like a post-modern D&D ranger, and ran up an impressive run of wins against Otis.

Then things turned ugly. Tracy died from a botched first aid attempt by a camper and turned into a ghost, right at the exit point for the van. All of the little campers became bear cultists and got shuffled back into the deck. Sherry dropped the keys, though Chet eventually recovered them. Both Otis and Karen's boyfriend were chasing Chet, until Otis killed the boyfriend and then got distracted by another npc.

We did the van escape but got a flat tire, which sent us hitchhiking. The driver was an eerie doppleganger of Chet. We were required to deal out five cabin cards, face down, and could peek at one card for each item we sacrificed from our backpacks. Then we got dealt another card that only a virgin could peek at, but we didn't have a virgin. Then we had to guess if there were any red cards, then decide if we were going to disarm ourselves or kill the driver. Chet decided that he didn't like the looks of his doppleganger, and killed him. Then we flipped the six cards and found no red cards, which meant the driver was innocent. Chet went to prison for murder, and so did the rest of us, as accessories to murder. I guess Chet was the real monster after all.
Last edit: 29 May 2023 19:55 by Shellhead.
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30 May 2023 16:15 #339498 by southernman

hotseatgames wrote: Yes I should have mentioned that about the encounter cards. The KS version has quite a lot more than the base game.

Shit - thank God you posted that :blink: , I thought Charlie was referring to the Core KS game without the expansions that's due to arrive at my door in the next couple of weeks.
And glad to read it plays really well, I also skipped the expansions as they just seemed (to me) to be for minis collectors and the big fans of the videogame without adding a hell of a lot to the gameplay.
Now the stalking of courier trucks starts ...

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30 May 2023 16:31 #339499 by charlest
The stretch goals include the "Adventure Pack" which more than doubles the encounters. It's supposed to come to retail eventually. Unfortunate they prioritized Skellige and the Mages at retail first, likely because they know there are backers who will want to buy them.

But bummer for those of us with a retail copy as you see repeats pretty quickly. It also has me somewhat put off from exploring it more solo as that problem will only be further exacerbated by working through the content too quickly.
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30 May 2023 16:36 #339500 by hotseatgames
We found the adventure cards to be the best part of the game, and I made a point to play my Witcher as quite the psychopath. I took choices that led to me murdering a dwarf and an old man. Both times, I was rewarded.
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02 Jun 2023 09:29 - 02 Jun 2023 09:52 #339553 by Disgustipater
I was able to play my new copy of Thunder Road: Vendetta. As expected, it was just pure chaos most of the time, and all around fun. One player managed to have all three of his vehicles eliminated in the same round. One of those was jumping a ramp into his own helicopter. Right at the end there were only two cars left, one of them being mine. We both were slowly coasting toward the finish line neck and neck until the next round started and I wound up as first player and shot across for the win.

After that we played The King is Dead. It was my first time playing and for some reason I didn't really have a good grasp of how the win condition worked, so I was sort of fumbling through it. But I liked it and wouldn't mind playing again.
Last edit: 02 Jun 2023 09:52 by Disgustipater.
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02 Jun 2023 10:41 #339555 by hotseatgames

Disgustipater wrote: I was able to play my new copy of Thunder Road: Vendetta. As expected, it was just pure chaos most of the time, and all around fun. One player managed to have all three of his vehicles eliminated in the same round. One of those was jumping a ramp into his own helicopter. Right at the end there were only two cars left, one of them being mine. We both were slowly coasting toward the finish line neck and neck until the next round started and I wound up as first player and shot across for the win.

After that we played The King is Dead. It was my first time playing and for some reason I didn't really have a good grasp of how the win condition worked, so I was sort of fumbling through it. But I liked it and wouldn't mind playing again.


I plan on buying a copy of Thunder Road at Gen Con if I can't get one sooner. The King is Dead is fucking awesome, especially at 3 players. It's the best 3 player game I own.
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