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29 Apr 2015 09:00 #201603 by Chaz
Some buddies and I finished up a VASSAL game of A Study in Emerald last night. It had a bit of a slow start, but I chalk that up to a combination of it being the first game for all of us, and the game itself seeming to have an exponential growth curve. The Zombies card got picked up early, so they were the ongoing threat, and they ultimately ended the game. I had the team assignments pegged by about halfway through. That made things really interesting for me because I was way in the lead, and the other Loyalist was trailing by a wide margin. I had to delay ending the game to try and push some points his way. Ultimately, he managed to end the game via zombies, and had some hidden points, so the Loyalists came out ahead. Then I beat my teammate by one point for the win.

It was a pretty cool game. I definitely want to play again. We play weekly on VASSAL in two-hour blocks, and we were able to get through the entire game in two sessions, including a lengthy rules explanation and the usual VASSAL shenanigans. That' pretty fast compared to our four-session play of Britannia recently. Thumbs up.

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29 Apr 2015 09:47 #201604 by Gary Sax
^That sounds like a BLAST. Definitely need to play my copy more, it's only gotten about 5 plays.

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29 Apr 2015 09:54 #201606 by charlest

Shapeshifter wrote: One night werewolf (Bezier games)
After all the positive reports I wanted to try this variant of werewolf, especially since people assured me it played well with 4.
In all honesty, I was a bit underwhelmed. I felt it lacked the drama of regular werewolf, and I am pretty confident this game shines brighter with more than 4 players.
The role of the troublemaker and robber also made the game feel a bit more random, with less control of what is happening.
This is not a hughe problem for such a short game, but the fact you only have one night to manipulate the system, having a random element switch your role without any chance to counter this switch is a bit...well....weird and frustrating. Not a bad game by any stretch, and we had some good discussions while playing.
I liked the fact trying to convince/manipulate players is just as crucial here than in the vanilla version makes it a good alternative.


While some people like it with 4, we've always kept it mainly to 5+. 4 is very frail and prone to faltering if the roleset is not perfectly selected.

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29 Apr 2015 12:11 #201616 by edulis
Got rocked by a 6 A-wing swarm in a game of X-wing. Yes 6 of them. Good lord. Flown well with lots of blocking and lots and lots of shots. First time I've seen this this build.

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01 May 2015 11:08 #201745 by Columbob
6 player Turfmaster last night. Finished first, third and dead last (damn handicaps) for an overall tie for the win. Final race had the steeples, loved it when someone got stuck behind them because of poor dice rolling.

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01 May 2015 11:46 - 01 May 2015 11:49 #201750 by aaxiom
How do you delete a post around here? For some reason, I've been double-posting... and would like to avoid it. Thanks!
Last edit: 01 May 2015 11:49 by aaxiom.

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01 May 2015 11:47 #201751 by aaxiom

Columbob wrote: 6 player Turfmaster last night. Finished first, third and dead last (damn handicaps) for an overall tie for the win. Final race had the steeples, loved it when someone got stuck behind them because of poor dice rolling.


Say, out of curiosity, can Winner's Circle be easily home-modified to be Turfmaster, or are there other elements to Turfmaster making a home-mod impractical?

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01 May 2015 12:08 #201753 by lj1983

edulis wrote: Got rocked by a 6 A-wing swarm in a game of X-wing. Yes 6 of them. Good lord. Flown well with lots of blocking and lots and lots of shots. First time I've seen this this build.


I've seen it once or twice, and its definetely a high-skill build. I'd be interested to see what you were playing against them.

It has all the classic swarm pros/cons, just with alittle better durability and maneuverability at the cost of some damage. I've seen it with 4 prototypes and 2 PTL greens, or 6 prototypes, with 2 having proton rockets (I think the PTL version is alittle stronger). kills BBBBz, and most fat ships and really limits the effectiveness of control builds, whether stress or ion. Suffers against phantoms especially and (less so) against soontir. 2 dice attacks just have a hard time getting through 4 agility. But there is something terrifying looking across the table and being outnumbered 2 or 3 to 1.

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01 May 2015 14:59 #201765 by Columbob

aaxiom wrote:

Columbob wrote: 6 player Turfmaster last night. Finished first, third and dead last (damn handicaps) for an overall tie for the win. Final race had the steeples, loved it when someone got stuck behind them because of poor dice rolling.


Say, out of curiosity, can Winner's Circle be easily home-modified to be Turfmaster, or are there other elements to Turfmaster making a home-mod impractical?


I'm not familiar enough with Winner's Circle to be of help here.
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01 May 2015 15:06 #201766 by aaxiom

Columbob wrote:

aaxiom wrote:

Columbob wrote: 6 player Turfmaster last night. Finished first, third and dead last (damn handicaps) for an overall tie for the win. Final race had the steeples, loved it when someone got stuck behind them because of poor dice rolling.


Say, out of curiosity, can Winner's Circle be easily home-modified to be Turfmaster, or are there other elements to Turfmaster making a home-mod impractical?


I'm not familiar enough with Winner's Circle to be of help here.


Oooo, apologies. I thought that one was a reimplementation of the other... but they're two different titles. Sorry about that. :-(
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01 May 2015 20:22 #201779 by edulis

lj1983 wrote:

edulis wrote: Got rocked by a 6 A-wing swarm in a game of X-wing. Yes 6 of them. Good lord. Flown well with lots of blocking and lots and lots of shots. First time I've seen this this build.


I've seen it once or twice, and its definetely a high-skill build. I'd be interested to see what you were playing against them.

It has all the classic swarm pros/cons, just with alittle better durability and maneuverability at the cost of some damage. I've seen it with 4 prototypes and 2 PTL greens, or 6 prototypes, with 2 having proton rockets (I think the PTL version is alittle stronger). kills BBBBz, and most fat ships and really limits the effectiveness of control builds, whether stress or ion. Suffers against phantoms especially and (less so) against soontir. 2 dice attacks just have a hard time getting through 4 agility. But there is something terrifying looking across the table and being outnumbered 2 or 3 to 1.


I was flying Ramman decimator and Soontier w/ PTL and a stealth device and Mauler mithal with PTL and an engine upgrade (I call this a cheap man's interceptor)... anyway I set up poorly and bumped Mauler into Soontier and then Soontier into an A wing. He one shot both of them. 3 dice rolled 4 blanks. Then three dice rolled and 3 blanks.. Boom! then it was a matter of time to destroy the Decimator.
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01 May 2015 20:24 - 01 May 2015 20:28 #201780 by edulis
Played mother-frackin JACKS with my 12 year daughter last night for quarters. Despite being forced to play 'eggs in the basket' to her 'onesies' I still made enough for a doughtnut on the way to work this morning.

Also I now roll a D6 for damage.
Last edit: 01 May 2015 20:28 by edulis.
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01 May 2015 22:53 - 01 May 2015 22:55 #201782 by Gary Sax
Eldritch Horror with the wife. I love the changes to some of the mechanics (e.g. man have rumors improved), but it's slow going right now till I learn the icon soup and process. And I am crawling in every asset I ever wanted because of the Politician. Hopefully it will improve.
Last edit: 01 May 2015 22:55 by Gary Sax.
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02 May 2015 14:56 - 02 May 2015 15:20 #201799 by stoic











THESEUS: THE DARK ORBIT

"The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."—Plutarch, Theseus


Having recently purchased its Bots expansion, my son and I renewed our Theseus: The Dark Orbit contests. After first purchasing it last year, we initially played Theseus quite a bit, but, we set it aside to play other games--that was a mistake! Fortunately, for us, the Bots expansion gave us a ready excuse to bring Theseus back to our table. It's apparent on a second visit to this game that we shouldn't have left it in stasis. Adding to our mistake, we also hadn't played, but had purchased, its Space Station cards expansion, which adds another ten bonus cards to the game, adding to its alluring entropy of change.

With renewed gameplay, my opinion about this amazing game remains unchanged: it's amazing. Defining its nature is the classical Ship of Theseus Paradox. Game play evolves when you change only one or more of its elements--the sum of its new parts lends it an entirely new identity. Don't be fooled by surface appearances, the game just isn't the same once one of its parts is altered. Everything changes when you rearrange its parts: for example, when you: rearrange the order of the sector boards; swap out the bonus cards; and/or when you choose to play a different faction or oppose another.

Theseus's cycle of change and game mechanics create interesting decisions. Everything about its mechanics reenforces its theme of being trapped on a space station where you're both the predator and the prey engaged in a yen-yang contest to survive. Its primordial Mancala engine fuels the game's temporal orbit. Theseus feels like you're playing tag on a spinning space station where players orbit the game board while reacting to its ever changing Newtonian forces.

Despite its interesting array of decisions and constant entropy, gameplay is extremely satisfying. Tension builds to a climax once players run out of faction cards--once that happens, players desperately race to add points for a victory or act to stymy an opponent from doing the same. Theseus's end game arrives all too suddenly, it's almost a surprise. If you held on to your strategy just long enough before Theseus's centrifugal forces caused you to let loose your grip, then you'll win. It's the same fun feeling that you had when you were a kid on the playground and attempted to hold on to a merry-go-round/round-a-bout while your best friends were spinning it as fast as they could to eject you off of it! One pointer: if you find that game play is talking too long, then you've likely overlooked Theseus's essential rule in its Pending Card Phase requiring a player to replace an installed faction card with another of their factions card from their deck in the now vacated pending card slot on that sector board--this is Theseus's count-down timer--forgetting it removes an essential part from its sum that gives it its identity.

Bots adds a sixth faction to the base game. It includes some interesting new powers with its "Bots" faction cards. Of these, my favorites are: one faction card giving you a new hook/trapping action allowing you to wisk-away an enemy to another sector when you move on the start of your turn; another faction card offering you a force field shielding one of your units; a faction card giving you a missile launcher to damage an opponent in another sector; and, an incredibly powerful faction card providing you with a hidden hatch to eject an unlucky enemy unit into space if they land on it in a sector where its installed. I wouldn't say that the Bots expansion is essential to own, but, it does add to Theseus's paradox by giving you yet one more part with which to change its overall essence and vary gameplay in the Fourth Dimension. For now, Theseus: The Dark Orbit is on my forever shelf: I'll let you know when that changes.
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Last edit: 02 May 2015 15:20 by stoic.
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02 May 2015 16:48 #201800 by Erik Twice
Played Dead of Winter today. Three times in a row, actually. We lost two times and the other one the traitor got the best of us. I'm actually surprised at how well it worked with three players and my impression of the game was very positive: It's a well-designed game if a bit quirky at parts. It won't dethrone The Republic of Rome as king of not-quite-cooperatives, but it doesn't need to because it doesn't take six hours to play. I feel I could have played much better, which is a always a good sign, too.
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