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Mycelia Board Game Review

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08 May 2015 12:28 - 08 May 2015 12:36 #202067 by mikecl
I played Temple of Evil.. It's pretty much exactly the same gameplay as the other D&D Adventure Series -- a health attrition race to the exit. The game predictably eats away your health in a mechanical manner through rote monsters (or Encounters if you don't move fast enough to the edges of your tile). That said, it does have a few things working in its favour that I liked. Bear in mind my point of comparison is Castle Ravenloft which I traded away because at that point I thought the game system sucked

Anyways in its favour: Traps: They're placed in a way that prevents you getting to the edge of the tile without either triggering them or disarming them. Quite a few are duds so you're always tempted when pressed for time (facing another fucking Encounter card) to move onto them. Finally -- an interesting non-completely-obvious decision.

Monsters now spawn on and move to monster points. That's a plus. And there are more blank tiles with just traps and less monster spawning (black-arrowed) tiles which helps give the game play some sorely-needed variety. In exchange, tiles sometimes spawn two, or even three monsters offering yet more surprises. The game has a campaign system and you collect gold like crazy in this game so you're going to be able to level up and then purchase additional tokens for extra modifiers and other benefits.

It has town adventures. I'm hoping they're interesting too. I like the whole evil theme of this one the best. The minis are extraordinarily well done and the Heroes look cool. The fighter with his axe nonchalantly slung across his shoulder like he's going off to the woods to chop down trees and the Dwarf cleric holding his in two hands with the shaft horizontal across the back of his shoulders like he's on a sight-seeing expedition exude calm and confidence as their figures seem to strut into the dungeon.

So I guess despite my reservations I'd have to say at this point, (after the first scenario) so far, so good. More plays will tell the tale.

I played Fallen last week. Story driven card and dice game for two that's actually quite decent. It's Hero vs Dungeonlord. The Dungeon Lord reads a choose-your-own-adventure-style card. The Hero picks options that hopefully match his strengths. The DL puts monsters in his way. The two sides square off with dice, innate abilities and power cards, strategically deciding what to add to their rolls of swords. The dice deliver wounds and recharge powers in the form of symbols above the swords. Some dice are better than others. Your two dice -- white for the Hero, black for the DL are the strongest. Blue dice, which you get from power cards and and skills ( or monsters and power cards for the DL) are the weakest. The DL levels up with stronger monsters, the Hero with skills, both of which provide the coveted red dice.

The DL rolls first and modifies his rolls according to other attributes and cards he has and then has to set his roll in stone. The Hero has a small advantage in that he gets to see the final roll, but is also at a disadvantage in that he has to beat it.... ties are a loss for the Hero. You play through three story cards this way, (four challenges to a card) then have a thematic battle, with cards specific to your particular DungeonLord outlining final battle scenarios, as you personally fight the DL in his lair. First one to win three of these battles wins the game.

It's quick. The stories on the cards are well written and engaging and the dice make it a lot of fun. There's lots of little decisions and room for skill in how you choose to level up your Hero and manage your hand. (The Power Cards have a cost using a scarce commodity called Fortune). The cards' cost is modified by a Light-Dark track you manipulate during the game with Reward tokens awarded following each challenge. When the track is on your side (dark for the DL, light for the Hero) your power cards cost less.

The back and forth battle to keep the Dungeon in the dark or move it toward the light if you're the Hero, so you can play Power Cards as well as Hero and DL skills more effectively, is a constant backdrop to the struggle adding yet another delicious little layer.

The game's a blast and could easily become my favourite two-player game.
Last edit: 08 May 2015 12:36 by mikecl.
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09 May 2015 12:57 #202138 by MacDirk Diggler
Tried 3 player Terra Mystica last night. It has high marks on TOS, but it's not for me. It's a very Germanic euro that could easily have been authored by Stefan Feld. You draft bonuses every round, get resources to build buildings that get you more resources, all the while trying to build a "longest road" ala Catan. There's a Long ass, dry rule book that took 45 mins to teach. There are challenging decisions like would I rather have 5 gold, 3 power, a meeple, or some cubes (workers?). We could have spent that time playing CiTOW or even Caylus.
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09 May 2015 18:09 #202157 by DukeofChutney
Lost some games of Impulse then played two games new to me;

Legion of Honor - Throwers SUSD review of this is pretty much accurate to my experiences. It's probably closest to Tales of Arabian Nights but with card decks and a lot of D10 pass fail rolls. My first character died leading a charge and the Battle of Jena, the second retired after Waterloo a Chef de Battalion with quite a cash load. You can do quite a few things; Marry, duel, and then go on campaign but its heavily die roll based and the cards have little to no flavor text. Its all stats and you have a spread sheet in front of you that you update as your rpg stats go up or down. The main problem with it is, its an experience and i'm not sure it will vary much with replay.

Nothing Personal - This is the Vassal game. Its Kremlin redone for the modern gamer and uses a bit more take that card play, a catch up mechanism and more special powers etc. Thing is, it ends up feeling like a lot of other games. Kremlin has a lot of character and a uniqueness to it, which is gone here. Kremlin also allowed players to act at anytime and so was more free flowing. In short i prefer Kremlin but this isn't a bad game. One downside was the final winner was king made by a third player. Didn't bother me that much but given its a classic game review critique i thought id point it out.

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09 May 2015 19:16 #202162 by repoman
Only the newest of the new for me.

Played Starcraft with expansion for the first time today with 6. Was it long? Yah I guess. But it was a boat load of fun.

In my opinion it blows the doors off TI3, a comparable game in length and theme. Why has TI3 endured and this has not I am unsure. Was it the license? Is it only because TI3 is still readily available and this is out of print? No idea.

This is one super game.
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09 May 2015 19:44 #202164 by Gary Sax
Fuuuuuuck. Starcraft with 6 sounds awesome. Maybe I'll come New England this time and my dad won't decide to almost die...

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09 May 2015 19:57 #202166 by repoman
Yah, tell your dad to stop always making things about him!

You come for a visit and we'll make it happen
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09 May 2015 20:29 - 09 May 2015 20:30 #202169 by Egg Shen

Alastair MacDirk wrote: Tried 3 player Terra Mystica last night. It has high marks on TOS, but it's not for me. It's a very Germanic euro that could easily have been authored by Stefan Feld. You draft bonuses every round, get resources to build buildings that get you more resources, all the while trying to build a "longest road" ala Catan. There's a Long ass, dry rule book that took 45 mins to teach. There are challenging decisions like would I rather have 5 gold, 3 power, a meeple, or some cubes (workers?). We could have spent that time playing CiTOW or even Caylus.


I'd rather take a shit in a filthy, overused port-a-john at high noon in scorching hot heat than play Terra Mystica ever again. That game is dreadful. It's like someone figured out how to turn eating a spoonful of cinnamon into a boardgame...dry as fuck and a regrettable decision.
Last edit: 09 May 2015 20:30 by Egg Shen.
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09 May 2015 22:15 #202170 by Josh Look

repoman wrote: Only the newest of the new for me.

Played Starcraft with expansion for the first time today with 6. Was it long? Yah I guess. But it was a boat load of fun.

In my opinion it blows the doors off TI3, a comparable game in length and theme. Why has TI3 endured and this has not I am unsure. Was it the license? Is it only because TI3 is still readily available and this is out of print? No idea.

This is one super game.


Yeeeeech. Please, don't compare TI3 to SC. You will reek of the same type of folks who compare it to Eclipse.

A Game of Thrones is a more fair comparison. Look past the window dressing, you know, like an adult would.

TI3 has endured because it's AWESOME. I apply the same logic to it that I apply to Space Hulk and the games that seek to unseat it from its throne. I've heard the cries of "This new game is better than TI3!" so many times in the past, why then will we be comparing the next one to TI3 and not the last one we had claimed was superior?
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09 May 2015 22:32 #202171 by Josh Look

Egg Shen wrote:

Alastair MacDirk wrote: Tried 3 player Terra Mystica last night. It has high marks on TOS, but it's not for me. It's a very Germanic euro that could easily have been authored by Stefan Feld. You draft bonuses every round, get resources to build buildings that get you more resources, all the while trying to build a "longest road" ala Catan. There's a Long ass, dry rule book that took 45 mins to teach. There are challenging decisions like would I rather have 5 gold, 3 power, a meeple, or some cubes (workers?). We could have spent that time playing CiTOW or even Caylus.


I'd rather take a shit in a filthy, overused port-a-john at high noon in scorching hot heat than play Terra Mystica ever again. That game is dreadful. It's like someone figured out how to turn eating a spoonful of cinnamon into a boardgame...dry as fuck and a regrettable decision.


Have I got a Terra Mystica story for you...

I worked the Z-Man booth at WBC the year it came out. The game was shit hot that summer and we had managed to get a case of it, which was 6-8 copies or so. $80. Motherfucker sold out within a minute of being open. About an hour and a half later, this somewhat strange lady came to the booth and the conversation that took place would become the stuff of legends...

LADY: Do you have Terra Mystica?

ME: No, sorry. We were only able to get one case for the con and it sold out within a minute of being open. It was crazy.

LADY: Hold on. You're Z-Man games, right?

ME: Well, not me personally, but for the con, yes, I'm working for Z-Man games.

LADY: And Terra Mystica is a Z-Man game, am I correct?

ME: (Not sure where this is going, since where it appears to be going is far too obvious)....yes.

LADY: So Z-Man games can't see to it that they have plenty of a Z-Man game on hand?

ME: ....um...

LADY: THIS IS FUCKING HORSESHIT!!!!!!

(I'm not using all caps and a mess of exclamation points to sell up the story, this is exactly how I would translate what this lady said and with the tone she said it in to the written word).

LADY: How am I supposed to play the game if I can't, I don't know, BUY IT?

ME: Well, there's a least 6 copies of it floating around the con, maybe you can make some new friends and give a shot.

I saw her playing it on later on in the evening. She, as well as everyone else at the table, looked BORED OUT OF THEIR MINDS. I'm sure they'd all go on to proclaim it GOTY and say it's one of the top 3 games they've ever played, since that seems to be how those people function.
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09 May 2015 23:03 - 09 May 2015 23:06 #202173 by Gary Sax
Played Eldritch Horror again after our aborted first play. I enjoyed it.

It deserves more play but I've been thinking about it re: Arkham Horror. They're very different games in some ways. EH is more of a flip a card adventure game than AH. EH solves everything that AH solved with tests as card flips---closing a gate being a great example of this. Arkham Encounters became rare as the game went on and it was more tests and sometimes gate encounters. EH makes sure you are always pulling encounter cards for even advanced tasks. It's also more about the story of the whole board than whatever crazy shit is happening to your individual character. I wonder if EH wouldn't have been a better superhero/Justice League type game than Cthulu.

But there's no question it is tighter and more cohesively designed. Everything in EH is more... purposeful is I guess the word? The best example of this is the condition cards, which are DEEPLY embedded into the game vs. the condition cards in AH which rarely mattered and only once in a blue ass moon did something crazy or unexpected.

Still trying to decide if my wife and I should just go down to 2 investigators for EH, we've been doing 2x2 like we always did for AH but I don't know if it's necessary with EH. Thoughts on that from you guys would be extremely welcome.
Last edit: 09 May 2015 23:06 by Gary Sax.
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10 May 2015 00:15 #202175 by stoic
I played some 4 and 5 player games of Linko! to confirm my initial opinion of it when I played it with 2 and 3 players: lame and hype driven. Thereafter, we played Coup, For Sale, Hanabi, and finished up with Jungle Speed.

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10 May 2015 03:29 #202177 by repoman

Josh Look wrote:

repoman wrote: Only the newest of the new for me.

Played Starcraft with expansion for the first time today with 6. Was it long? Yah I guess. But it was a boat load of fun.

In my opinion it blows the doors off TI3, a comparable game in length and theme. Why has TI3 endured and this has not I am unsure. Was it the license? Is it only because TI3 is still readily available and this is out of print? No idea.

This is one super game.


Yeeeeech. Please, don't compare TI3 to SC. You will reek of the same type of folks who compare it to Eclipse.

A Game of Thrones is a more fair comparison. Look past the window dressing, you know, like an adult would.

TI3 has endured because it's AWESOME. I apply the same logic to it that I apply to Space Hulk and the games that seek to unseat it from its throne. I've heard the cries of "This new game is better than TI3!" so many times in the past, why then will we be comparing the next one to TI3 and not the last one we had claimed was superior?


To which I reply "Blah".

You read it here first everyone, Starcraft is the game that fired Josh Look.
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10 May 2015 07:07 - 10 May 2015 07:21 #202180 by Erik Twice
Played some boardgames with my buddies yesterday :D

First, I had the chance to play my newly bought copy of Traders of Genoa (I got it for just 15€!). What a mind-bending game! We didn't know the value of anything and the game is all about pricing stuff. It's tough because you have stuff like a tile that can turn into any good, which means it's worth more than any of them, but if you don't know the value of any of them you don't know the value for the tile. Still, it was fun, it's a game I can see improving with each play and I really look foward to playing it again.

Dead of Winter
is in a similar spot, I think that right now we are still in the "Draw cards: The game" stage and not in the much more interesting "He drew the wrong cards: He's a traitor" stage. In a sense, we are just interacting with the mechanics of the game and not using them to interact with other players, but I also think it will get better.

We also tried some new Netrunner decks because I'm trying to game the new metagame. With Astrobiotics gone, Runners have been able to build bigger rigs and play slower, beefier decks to compete against the slow decks I was playing so I'm trying to introduce a new, fast deck to punish them for it. Right now, the build I'm playing is one known as NEH Butcher Shop, because it's incredibly focused on killing: 3 Midseason Replacements, 3 Scorched Earth, 3 Traffic Accident and a singleton Reclamation Order to play all those Scorched Earth again.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a really cool deck because you play lots of Data Raven and a couple Gutenbergs. Easy to play too, so I hope it's popular enough to turn the metagame around.
we need a new deck to fight the new, slower meta. I was playing Industrial Genomics, which is the single slowest game in existance and it was bothering me how
Last edit: 10 May 2015 07:21 by Erik Twice.
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10 May 2015 07:34 - 10 May 2015 09:52 #202181 by JMcL63
More Combat Commander and more partisans. This time it was Scenario 67: The Orient Express featuring a small partisan force versus hugely outnumbering Italians, trying to hold on until British SOE Commandos arrive to blow a railway bridge.

Playing the partisans my plan was based on the idea that the night-fighting special rules would cover me in the face of the Italian firepower. My opponent soon proved that wrong by building a large and dangerous firegroup which kept me effectively pinned on my right, later to be outflanked as my opponent made a dash for exit VP. Fortunately my left flank attack on the bunkers guarding the railway tunnel went smoothly so that my bridge-busting commando team had an easy run to their exit hex, giving me the VP I needed to sneak a narrow win.

The game's main incident involved me eliminating both of my opponent's leaders- leaving his force scattered and uncoordinated, only for events to give him one back plus a new one to boot. Seeing the Italians reorganise so quickly made for some tense final moments as I wondered if I'd be able to hold on for the victory.
Last edit: 10 May 2015 09:52 by JMcL63.
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10 May 2015 10:55 #202186 by jeb
@GarySax You can play EH with two investigators and have a great time. If anything, I think it gets easier with four, and WAY HARDER with three because of rounding effects. Two is good because a lot of tests get rounded to one success needed, but you might not have a character "juiced" for that kind of test, which is likelier with four.

Played RISK: LEGACY with the kids and finally got a win. My faction had [[some powers] that let me get [[something] early and set up for a win about turn ahead of the other three players. I was turtled in South America largely until then, with just card-seeking expositions for the most part. I did have to venture over to Siam to [[do something] to impact the defense of that stupid archipelago in future games. Everyone go play RISK:LEGACY. It's beautiful and amazing.
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