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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Nov 2015 21:24 #215467

Gary Sax wrote:
Pax Porfiriana is so profoundly nasty in an amazing, strategic way. I felt like everyone else's simcity buildup was better than mine so I sent us into depression with a headline that put unrest on everyone's properties (unrest properties don't generate money.

In depression you have to pay for your cards and about half of the income generating territories don't generate anything. So if most cards have unrest on them, you're not only at 0 income on most stuff, but you also have to pay for all the stuff you've carefully bought and put onto the board.

Heh, I felt like you were in better shape than me, but you pulled the trigger anyway. Put a hurt on poor Stoic, though, although he'll be digging out of it now.

Shit, I think I'm up...

(also, my Pax Pamir arrived, so learning time commences.)
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 20 Nov 2015 22:01 #215524

Wow, is Spartacus a better game with 4 than 3.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 21 Nov 2015 06:17 #215533

Also fuck Theokoles
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 21 Nov 2015 08:55 #215548

For the record, I have it on good authority that you are mistaken...Pax Porfiriana is a stupid game about Mexicans.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 22 Nov 2015 08:47 #215604

Last night I finally got to see if Blood Rage was worth all the hype. Two 5 player games; in the first I came in dead last, but in the second I won.

I really liked it, but I didn't like it as much as I expected to with all the talk. While it encourages combat, I don't think it encourages it to the degree that Nexus Ops does, and in the first game, the two front-runners spent most of the game being total wuss pacifists.

Maybe this is thematic, but it seems to reward losing more than it does winning. I know the vikings want a glorious death, but it seems weird to be able to score 12 glory for losing a single ship (after an upgrade) and get (as a rule) less glory for actually winning a battle.

Apparently the owner (who went all-in on the kickstarter) left out some expansion material, so I'm interested to see what else the game has to offer. It's cool and I definitely want to play it again. But I think I'd choose Cthulhu Wars over it, at least after 2 plays.

Best moment- marching into a province, severely out-manned, and kicking ass with 3 Heimdall's Eye cards. ha!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 22 Nov 2015 10:38 #215627

Last night I played my first game in years of Arkham Horror. A friend and I were playing two investigators each, using the Dark Pharaoh expansion. For most of the game, nothing too terrible happened to us, which was nice. We were progressing a little slow for most of the game though; constantly fighting back the open gate limit.

So finally we have five gates sealed, and just need one more. Six other gates were open (seven open gates triggered the AO to wake), which meant all the unstable locations either had a seal or a gate, which meant no more could open up. I had the brilliant idea that we should not close any further gates without sealing to prevent doom tokens being added to the AO sheet, which was only at 6 of 12 at the time. The redeemed cultist jumped into the nearest gate with a shitload of clue tokens and near full mental and physical capacities. The next turn, my two clue-laden investigators although jumped through two other gates just for some insurance if something bad happened to Diana Stanley while she was gallivanting around Yuggoth. Earlier in the game, my friend was getting enthusiastic that we were actually doing well, and really wanted to chock up a win considering the game had abused him repeatedly in the past. Things were looking good.

The end of that turn arrives, with Diana just fine and ready to come back to Arkham next turn and power seal that gate, giving us the win. "We're home free," I say as I draw the last Mythos card we'd have to deal with. Unfortunately for us, the Arkham gods had one last trick up their sleeves to fuck us real good (because of course). The card I drew had a gate burst location for one of our sealed gates. The turn before we were going to win, I drew one of the three gate burst cards in the whole ~100 card deck. This brought us up to 7 open gates, triggering the awakening of Chaugnar Faugn, who dispatched us with virtually no resistance.

Totally worth it just for that moment.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 22 Nov 2015 12:15 #215633

hotseatgames wrote:
Last night I finally got to see if Blood Rage was worth all the hype. Two 5 player games; in the first I came in dead last, but in the second I won.

I really liked it, but I didn't like it as much as I expected to with all the talk. While it encourages combat, I don't think it encourages it to the degree that Nexus Ops does, and in the first game, the two front-runners spent most of the game being total wuss pacifists.

Maybe this is thematic, but it seems to reward losing more than it does winning. I know the vikings want a glorious death, but it seems weird to be able to score 12 glory for losing a single ship (after an upgrade) and get (as a rule) less glory for actually winning a battle.

Apparently the owner (who went all-in on the kickstarter) left out some expansion material, so I'm interested to see what else the game has to offer. It's cool and I definitely want to play it again. But I think I'd choose Cthulhu Wars over it, at least after 2 plays.

Best moment- marching into a province, severely out-manned, and kicking ass with 3 Heimdall's Eye cards. ha!

My thoughts exactly in that the aim seems to be to get your fighters killed regularly. I won by working this out and applying it for the 2nd and 3rd Ages, doubling up on the missions that gave points for having four or more fighters in Valhalla and in the 3rd Age also having a doubler card for that. And at the same time talking the others to keep away from the regions where one player had his 'eternal' ship (gave him 12pts to get killed then he got it back). Seemed a bit anti-climatic to me, plus I'm not a fan of card drafting either.
I'm sure other strategies work but it just left me a bit bemused.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 22 Nov 2015 14:13 #215637

That awkward moment when your daughter has a realization after playing Puerto Rico with you for years....

"The worker tokens are brown.....and are brought in on a boa.......Dad WTH WE ARE SLAVERS!"
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 22 Nov 2015 16:34 #215642

Over the last week I've played quite a few games.

Thursday a bunch of people weren't around so I played two games of two-player Puzzle Strike: Shadows. I think it is becoming my favorite deckbuilder. As I said in another post, it's the one that stays closest to the Dominion chassis of creating a combo engine, only the things you do are more interesting and interactive, especially head to head. We randomized the characters and puzzle chips. I managed to squeeze out both games.

Then we called over a friend and out of nowhere he sets down Dungeon Run. I haven't seen that one in a couple years. It was the second offering from Plaid Hat, and it's a bit rough around the edges. It's kind of like a mix between Betrayal at House on the Hill and... Munchkin? We had a decent time. The game offers you surprisingly few chances to level up, almost like how the DDAS games are. I was the human mage girl and managed to bargain with an old crone to get a very powerful forbidden tome, which I used to incinerate everyone else and walk away with the Summoning Stone.

He has a thing for kickstarter, so then he plopped down Burgle Bros. It was surprisingly cool. It's from the same guys that made Paperback, that Dominion-Scrabble hybrid, but it's completely different. It's a heist game with all the different archetypes you would expect. You know the basic floor plan of the building that you have to steal stuff from, but you've got to find the safes and stairs to eventually nab 3 expensive items and get to the helicopter waiting for you on the roof. Many of the rooms have locks or alarms that are triggered in various ways. There was a great moment where a guard only moved one space and ended his movement in the lavatory, and then the next turn an event called "Espresso" caused him to move three spaces. So we figured out why he stopped there... It's pretty tense as you try to avoid the guards' patrol patterns, even though it gets kind of gamey at times. (The guard only moves that's on the level of the active player. The rules say that just like in the movies, they only move when they're in the current scene). All of this is packed into a box the size of those M:tG fat packs.

It occurred to me that two of these games were kickstarted, and that Dungeon Run was from a company which at the time was the size of those that are holding kickstarters now. I've also liked Evolution, Coup (which probably doesn't need to be kickstarted but that's another topic entirely), and my friend's copy of bomb squad.

Last night I played a bunch of rounds of Hanabi, Codenames, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf with my friends. Three of us didn't do better than 22 in Hanabi, Codenames was a nailbiter of a best of 3, and I witnessed some really clever and heads-up werewolf plays. I enjoy these shorter social games, which we played for a good 4 hours. A couple of us really wanted to play Dead of Winter but we had 6 people.

When some people left we started Dead of Winter really late at night. We played the scenario where you have a ton of extra helpless at the start, but on the very first turn we drew a crossroads card that let us kick all of the helpless out of the colony at the cost of 4 (of our 7) morale. Yeah, we were heartless bastards, and the game was mostly pretty easy after that. We were very careful to keep morale up as best we could. There wasn't a betrayer, although one guy started attacking someone else because he needed to have the most survivors of any player. Three of the five of us won. Overall there were tons of Crossroads triggered- 4 in just the first round alone.

Hex Sinister wrote:
Michael Barnes wrote:
Yet again, the reality is that I probably won't ever play it again.
This is what I thought, too. But my friend was fiending so I said fuck it. I'm glad I did. What's cool about it is that it's easy enough for novices to get into. His 18 year old son had no problems getting right into it. But yeah, on and on until the break of dawn... we'd play this at the local con until my voice was thrashed and my eyes crossed.

It's one of the best games that I'll probably never own or play with my friends. There's an older guy at one of my game groups who held a 12-hour, 7-player session of it last winter, and I thought it was great. Advanced Civ is a really expensive expansion!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 22 Nov 2015 18:26 #215658

RE: Blood Rage
I've been thinking about the strategy of killing your dudes for Glory...And I think it is one of those early one strategies that is potent, but also one of those where as players becomes more proficient it won't pan out as well. I feel it'll end up being a solid 3rd place strategy over time. In a game where you have maybe 20-25 Rage total to spend all game, spending 4 or 5 each turn to get your defeated troops back out means you're spending a large percentage of your limited resource just to bring out stuff to kill it again.

Meanwhile you're also not gaining Glory and clan stat increases since you're looking to lose the battle. And give your opponent's opportunity to pillage and gain stat increases which also give bonus Glory at the end. Also, it's an easy strategy to stop because it doesn't have much flexibility. Once players know you're going for death a flexible clan can spend a turn keeping of those Valhalla Quests from you.

Just some thoughts I've had thinking about the game.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 22 Nov 2015 21:15 #215672

I played my first game of Wings for the Baron tonight (I played a recently published game! Look Ma! I'm trendy!) and enjoyed it. I played three players simultaneously so that I could really get the rules down for play later this week. There are solo rules in the box, but this seemed more interesting.

I played the basic rules and they flowed beautifully after about three turns. The game's mechanics are a stellar match to its thematic elements, and the gameplay was complex enough to keep it interesting. The epitome of German Game, euro mechanics with plenty of dice rolling and card draws.

In this particular play the dice made a difference, with Halberstadt unable to get a roll above a three for most of the game. But they have a strength in design and once I figured out how to play them they were able to grind out a second place late in the game.

I'll go for the advanced rules next time which add another twist to the game, working unused factories into the production mix building bombers and recons.

Big FAT pieces. I love VPG's chits. You can stand them on edge without even trying.

S.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 23 Nov 2015 03:22 #215682

Your membership card to the Cult of the New was about to be mailed but then you indicated that you intend to play the game more than once.

MEMBERSHIP REVOKED!

So is this a straight up economic efficiency type thing? Is there player interaction beyond a blocking move for resource or some such.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 23 Nov 2015 05:10 #215683

Wings for the Baron --

There is. You can steal or kill off influential supporters, steal technology or sabotage, that kind of thing. But if you do that it slows down your research a bit. I love the phase order. You get to perform espionage before design, so you can steal somebody's stuff and leverage it in the same turn (if your die rolls go your way, of course.)

One of the things I liked about it was that you pretty much get to run your business the way you want to. If you want to go on a tear focusing on Design you can, regardless of whether other people want to do the same thing or not. "Blocking" in my opinion is ugly in gaming because it's almost never attached to theme or setting and it generally makes no sense even without it. It can also be annoying, and I don't sit down to a game hoping for annoying. I get my plans blocked at work 20 times a day so in the evening I'm looking for a chance to do what I want. In Wings for the Baron you may have someone sabotage part of your design effort (and there's cards you can hold to defend against that), but that's a legit attack and I'm more comfortable with that. You're wasting a card to attack me, so even if the attack works it cost you something. Someone can't put a pawn on a spot and say "no one else gets to go to the bank today!"

There's some parts to the game that are really very interesting from a historic perspective. You get paid in German Marks which lose significant value during the game just as in the WWI era. You can convert them to gold (that's one of your choice of actions) but that can be dodgy because you roll a die for the number of Marks converted. Halberstadt rolled plenty of ones and twos doing this as well. Airplane design is important but if you have a commanding lead in it you don't have a lot of incentive to continue to innovate. My game had Halberstadt well ahead of its competitors and the Allies for much of the game and they had a shot to build a World War II era aircraft 20 years ahead of schedule. But, you win by running a business, not winning a war, so it made more sense to spend efforts building factories, converting to hard money, and gaining political influence for follow-on sales of the good-enough plane. Halberstadt's aircraft went largely unchanged while they grabbed hard money. Germany was losing the war, so that came into the calculation. As a businessman do you help a losing cause, or do you prepare for post-war where paper money will be worthless? Another place where gaming meets history. Many major German Industrial Companies got their footing during World War I -- That blue and white logo on BMWs is an airplane propeller after all.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 23 Nov 2015 06:01 #215686

Loki is the new Khorne.

Codenames. I don't know, there are some laughs here, but I don't feel what people are loving about this one. Also, "Ferret 2" was a perfect clue for PANTS and SMUGGLING. Like casting pearls before swine...

Kingsburg. Second play, after the first one a week ago was a seriously miserable experience due to one of the players basically never being at the table (or able to understand rules) for over half the time. This week was a bit better, but still had people taking upwards of five minutes to decide where to put dice. I never felt the choices were that difficult: I want XYZ. If I can, I'll place on A. If that's taken, I'll place on B then I should be OK to place on C, and that will get me XYZ. I started checking my phone, the game took at least an hour longer than it had any right to. I finished second, which I was happy with, as I was rolling under 8 a lot during the game and the winner was a regular visitor to the 17 spot. When you get two resources a turn from the dice and someone else gets two resources and three victory points just by rolling better I'm struggling to see where the strategy is.

Cosmic Encounter. Never play this game with a) couples, b) miserable bastards.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 23 Nov 2015 08:46 #215713

JEM wrote:
When you get two resources a turn from the dice and someone else gets two resources and three victory points just by rolling better I'm struggling to see where the strategy is.

A long time ago I had a discussion with the designer and he was quite frank about it -- Kingsburg is supposed to be a light play where luck has a significant effect. If you roll sixes all day you're going to win, but usually that doesn't happen. You get what you get and my original complaint (that the winter challenges generally weren't very difficult) was part of the package. If you get crap rolls you don't get nuked when the Huns show up.

But I feel your pain -- if you read my Wings for the Baron post above you'll see that one of the companies just got crushed with awful rolls. Didn't earn one deutschmark until turn four because it kept rolling a 1 at contracts time. Never did get good rolls clean through the end of the game, but at least pulled some good cards after a while. Dice are fickle things, you need to unclench your teeth at some point and enjoy working with what you get. Taking a second place finish with crap rolls is a victory as well.
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