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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 00:06 #215050

Last night I played Imperial 2030. I was Russia and expanded out pretty quick and attracted a lot of attention. I noticed everyone seemed to be upgrading bonds instead of purchasing outright, which left the low cost, higher interest bonds available. So when I saw the US buying into Russia, I let her take control and I became a Swiss bank and stayed that way for the remainder of the game. I tried the strategy of buying up as many bonds as I could in the leading countries without taking control. The problem I ran into was the countries' I was invested in had empty treasuries, so I wasn't able to bring in enough income to buy as many bonds as I hoped. I ended up in the middle of the pack, but overall everyone was pretty close in score.

Today, I played Diplomacy. This was essentially my first time playing. Again, I was Russia. I made some bad moves early on which didn't help me. My alliance with Turkey that should have lasted for most of the game was broken by Turkey very early, and screwed me heavily. But it also left Turkey stuck fighting Austria and Italy by himself with out much opportunity to expand. I think he made a poor decision, but I was the first eliminated shortly after, so what do I know? Austria was eliminated right after me, and Germany a few turns later. The other 4 people decided to end it in a draw.
I'm not sure about this game. The diplomacy aspect is pretty unique, but I don't know if it is worth the time investment and potential to be sitting out for a lot of the game if you get eliminated. I think I'd probably rather play Game of Thrones. I had to buy a copy of Diplomacy for this, so maybe I'll try it again in a while and see how I like it then.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 01:15 #215051

Arkham Horror w/ Dunwich + herald + FBI.

Was it an annoying pain in the ass to set up? Yeah.

Did it take three sessions of 2-3 hours each to finish? Yes...

Was it kick ass? Hell yes. There is so much variety it just never gets old. I like collecting a zillion items and spells. I love all the cool encounters that can happen. Still the best adventure game on the market (that I've played). Glad I didn't cave in and get Eldritch Horror. Just don't see the point.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 06:19 #215053

Yesterday I played one of those games that have practically nothing going for them. You know the kind, those games in which all the deicions are obvious and a dice roll to compare attack values is the main mechanic. The game is called Noches de Sangre (Blood Nights) and basically has the players try to survive against Vampires. Half of the turns are spent buying stuff, weapons, characters that have an upkeep cost in life and are only useful to hold weapons and a couple things to keep down upkeep costs. The other half are spent drawing a Vampire card and rolling a die to see if it dies.

There's nothing to it. It has no strategy. It has no fun. The components are made of a bad, mushy paper and the art is simply traced over photographs ala A Touch of Evil but significantly worse. It's not that it's a terrible game, is that there's no reason to play it over any other game I've ever seen.

On the other hand,as of yesterday I have over 1000 games of Android: Netrunner under my belt. What a difference the right game makes!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 07:11 #215054

Finally, today I played several games with my sister and her boyfriend. We all had great time.

We played Steam, which was very cutthroat. Sly moves were made and weird rail configuration were created. Then we moved to two games of Ticket to Ride: Europe which is always enjoyable. We then played Kingdom Builder with the Nomads expansion. Weirdly, no Nomads maps appeared. The only component from the Nomads that came out was a kingdom card (the Shepherd), which was new to us all. Finally we pulled out Agricola with Farmers of the Moor. This lasted quite a while, but we enjoyed it. The game is very, very thematic. It's interesting just to come up with the thematic interpretation of the minor improvements. I built a nearly perfect farm in this one (all filled spaces with no negatives and a clay house).
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 07:27 #215056

TRASHFEST NORTHEAST EDITION!

I'll have more details later, but here's my personal rundown (and please let me know who of you played these with me as I'm terrible about names and FAT users)

Battle Merchants
Dark Moon
Space Cadets Dice Duel
Space Cadets Away Missions
Albion's Legacy
The Omega Virus
Cockroach Poker
Maus Nach Haus
U Mad Bro


had a great time!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 08:54 #215064

Disgustipater wrote:
Last night I played Imperial 2030.

Today, I played Diplomacy. This was essentially my first time playing. Again, I was Russia. I made some bad moves early on which didn't help me. My alliance with Turkey that should have lasted for most of the game was broken by Turkey very early, and screwed me heavily. But it also left Turkey stuck fighting Austria and Italy by himself with out much opportunity to expand. I think he made a poor decision, but I was the first eliminated shortly after, so what do I know? Austria was eliminated right after me, and Germany a few turns later. The other 4 people decided to end it in a draw.
I'm not sure about this game. The diplomacy aspect is pretty unique, but I don't know if it is worth the time investment and potential to be sitting out for a lot of the game if you get eliminated. I think I'd probably rather play Game of Thrones. I had to buy a copy of Diplomacy for this, so maybe I'll try it again in a while and see how I like it then.

My experience is that most games end in a draw or shared victory. I think the original board is the main cause. There are many Stalemate Lines.

I don't think it is worth the time commitment. Games can easily run 7+ hours and, as you point out, if you are eliminated or worse reduced to a point where you have no power to affect the game other than to King make then it's going to be a long day for you.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 09:45 #215065

repoman wrote:
if you are eliminated or worse reduced to a point where you have no power to affect the game other than to King make then it's going to be a long day for you.

Germany tried to convince me to make some deals with other people that would allow my one remaining army to stay on the board. Because he "wanted to take me to the end," and also didn't want someone more powerful to end up with more supply centers right at his back. Screw you; I'm not going to make your game easier just so I can continue to have no impact. We're at my house, so Austria and I are going to go play some Nidhogg.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 10:20 #215066

The stalemate lines (many of them, common) are actually why I think Diplomacy is a fairly badly designed game. And it's too long, but some of that length is required to make the game so fucking nasty and non-throwaway. It is certainly a key piece of gaming design/history, of course, no doubting that. I just wouldn't play it again. Same with Axis and Allies. And Risk.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 10:36 #215067

Why do people still insist on playing Diplomacy? It's like an embarrassing old grandpa that you can't get to leave.

It is such a waste of time...there are tons of games now that do what it did and more in literally a tenth of the time...and without expecting struggling players to hang in there for eight hours while two or three leading players fight it out.

It's an important game, it had its time, but it's over and it's time to bury it. It's one of the very few games I absolutely refuse to play.

Don't kid yourself that there is anything timeless or worth revisiting about it.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 10:40 #215068

I do think there is an argument that games of its ilk need to be at least an hour long to get people appropriately invested.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 14:28 #215070

Michael Barnes wrote:
Why do people still insist on playing Diplomacy? It's like an embarrassing old grandpa that you can't get to leave.

It is such a waste of time...there are tons of games now that do what it did and more in literally a tenth of the time..

I'm partial to the title, Intrigue, but if you have other suggestions Michael, I'd value a few other suggestions of titles you find do this game mechanism justice.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 14:30 #215071

My default is FFG Game of Thrones for this. But it's not a perfect comparison, the game has more mechanics than Diplomacy.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 14:54 #215073

Paul- Intrigue is basically everything exciting about Diplomacy in 45 minutes. As far as "be a douchebag" games go, it is probably the best.

I would also say that Cosmic is a perfect replacement for it- after all that was what it was designed for.

Dune, Game of Thrones...even Spartacus has some elements that obsolete Diplomacy. Both versions of Imperial are obviously inspired by Diplomacy but with a stronger economic game attached to it.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 20:37 #215081

So Thursday my copy of Blood Rage (late-late kickstarter) arrived a few hours before I was heading out of town for a family get together on Sunday. This gave me the rare opportunity to set up a chance to play games on Saturday and get it played.

Before we started I taught my brother Theseus - He ran into a brutal combo during the first learning game, his marines versus my aliens, and was dealt wiped out on consecutive turns. The rematch game saw his Scientists vs. my aliens and somehow I allowed him to get 3 Secret passages in play and I could not overcome that board control and he ended up with the victory. Great game... after about five plays I still have no real idea what I am doing when I play but doesn't mean I don't enjoy it.

The other players showed up and we did a quick rules explanation and got into Blood Rage. We played game 1 with just the base game and 5 player expansion. Everyone made sub-optimal moves throughout the game as we learned the rules, but seemed everyone very quickly at least partially figured things out and had a good time coming up with some combos. My brother came from way behind the last age by sending tons of dudes into Valhalla and questing.

We stopped all ate dinner and then played a second game, adding the mystics expansion and the kickstarter monsters. My brother stomped everybody the whole game with good questing and board control, pillaging yggdrasil twice and maxing out all his clan stats. This game was much better and closer score wise as we had a slight idea of what we were doing, except me who had a completely miserable and embarrassing performance losing by almost 100 points.

I'm glad to report that my verdict on the game despite my pretty poor showings is that it is pretty fun. I was wary of the math crunchiness issue brought up here, and while likely there didn't detract too much from my enjoyment of the game (maybe I would do better if I let it). It is lighter than I thought it would be, plays very quick, and is easy to teach. I am a bit surprised that it has gotten the amount of positive reception it has as the game definitely did not blow me away, this should not take away that it is a very solid, tight game. I look forward to playing it more and becoming less bad and that I want it to hit the table again speaks to its quality.

I think its important to talk about the add-ons and kickstarter stuff too. Firstly I think the base game alone is plenty of game for a whole bunch of plays and I wouldn't spend high dollar amounts, with one caveat, to get the extra stuff. The caveat I speak of is if you are in it for the minis as I think Fenrir and Mountain Giant are the best two sculpts and if painting is a priority you may want to seek them out. The exclusive sculpted tokens are nice but other than being slightly easier to keep track of on the player sheets there is no need at all. In this game it seems more monster options = more fun so I like having those extras. The mystics added a cool little wrinkle but again very easy to play without and wouldn't really be missed if not there. The God expansion we didn't play with because after reading the rules for them decided its the type of thing to add and mix up the game play after the "vanilla" style needs a shakeup and we were no where near that point yet.

In the end I don't think this game is nearly as good as CitOW as I have oft seen it compared toward. They kinda do different things though and this one is much easier to bring to the table with inexperienced players while a dedicated group will get a lot more satisfaction out of CitOW. Also there was one player I thought this game would be a massive hit for and I was correct due to the combination of drafting + combos + theme - this game definitely hits all those marks and you will likely really enjoy it if that combination sounds fun to you. I personally would have liked more asymmetry in the factions as that style of game more suits my tastes, but this game isn't really that. At the end of the game each side won't be using drastically different play styles, just little tweaks and bonuses that shade one way or the other. My initial impression is that staying flexible and reactive while maximizing your own slight strengths is how to be successful (remember I got my ass kicked both times so what the hell do i know). I do really like the theme and think it does a good job presenting bad ass viking stuff, if you are super into that you have no excuse not to get the game.

TL;DR: The game is pretty good and very fun, quick and easy to teach, but not a legendary title that stands as a giant of design among the masses. I will always play, even when teaching to new players with the extra kickstarter monsters (not the alt sculpts just the new ones) and mystics expansion - those are the extra goodies that are most desirable but even those are pretty solidly in the optional acquisition category. If you enjoy miniatures these are easily the best I've seen in a board game, almost all of them are excellent.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 15 Nov 2015 20:45 #215082

Thanks for digging into Blood Rage...I'm waiting on MM to get it in but I'm really interested in seeing it in action...mainly because I don't see what the fuss is about. It looks like another decent hybrid DoaM. Which I love, but is it the next big title in the genre? It seems like the reactions are either "OMG board game Jesus" or "it's alright- mehven point five".

I have heard pretty universally that the KS stuff is pretty disposable.
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