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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 07:25 #221650

V-Wars - Rob Daviau's newest from IDW is interesting but weird. It's like half BSG/Homeland with mini crisis checks and a traitor, and then half Pandemic kind of. Definitely a bit of a unique feel yet hearkens to those. I liked it, especially a couple of the mechanisms which are pretty different, but we had a weird first play with sub-optimal decisions and it ended quickly. Humans lost in about 30 minutes. We're looking forward to playing again and I see huge room for an interesting meta game to develop with the traitor mechanism.

Cthulhu Wars with Crawling Chaos, Opener (me), Sleeper, and Windwalker. This was on the Yuggoth map (our first play on it).

Yuggoth is weird. Neutral monsters that are controlled by whoever owns a gate on this central space and they're pretty damn scary. The thing is, it makes everyone kind of gun for that special space so it's a kind of the hell type atmosphere of sorts.

There's also a space on the other side of the map that summons this odd Great Old One equivalent that just wrecks shit and players take turns controlling him in player order at the beginning of each round. The guy only comes out in late game though unless you get unlucky.

I had a tough time with Opener. I started on a fantastic space that allowed me to summon brains in a jar that are functionally identical to cultists with some special rules (they can't move and you have to carry them). This allowed me to resummons cultists and start with a great initial Power, but it also made me too big a target.

Combine that with my ability to summon monsters to enemy gates and then move them around the damn map and I had everyone pissed off and gunning for me. This cost me the game, along with spending too much energy fighting Crawling Chaos whose Polyp ability pretty much nullified my strong monsters.

Sleeper was ignored and played extremely well, using Lethargy to delay and then wreck shit with Tsthoggua. He was capturing monsters and cultists left and right and we had a hard time defending from him. He also gained control of the neutral monsters.

We tried to wreck him with the neutral monsters but Crawling Chaos was a dick and just decided to come after me because even though I was in last place because I attacked him earlier. So I made what felt like the optimal move and he gets pissy. This cost him the game.

Sleeper would win as I could never really get myself going. Crawling Chaos was in second but was being idiotic near the end and even granted Sleeper first player in the final turn. Windwalker played ok but spent too much power summoning the neutral monsters only to lose them. He was coming back but it was too late.

If played well, Sleeper's delay action is crazy. I played Sleeper last time we played and did very poorly, although I blame that partially on the Dreamlands map which makes spreading out extremely difficult unless you want to just get wrecked by a Dhole. This guy learned from my mistakes and put the knife to our throats. So hard to protect gates all over the map before Sleeper gets his full turn and can do whatever he wants.

We also played Discworld which wasn't very good. I can see it being funny and enjoyable if you're a fan of the books but its entirely random with the hand you're dealt and felt very wishy-washy.

I'm still playing Techno Bowl and loving it.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 09:17 #221673

Gregarius wrote:
I like Codenames quite a lot, but I agree pretty much completely with everything else you say. It's not *fun* enough to be a "party" game. It's not raucous or hilarious or embarrassing (words usually associated with the genre, though not necessarily a selling point for me). I also don't understand the hype machine around it. It's a solid, simple, well-designed game, but nothing more. I'll still keep my copy, though.

I don't get the hype either. I played it 4 or 5 times with my family at Christmas, and over the span of those 4 or 5 games, my opinion went from "This is mildly amusing" to "I hope to God I never play this game again."

The problem we ran into was that the team that won took the safe route EVERY TIME. They came up with super-obvious and easy clues that would always result in one correct card being flipped each turn. The other team (my team) kept trying to push their luck with riskier clues that would hopefully reveal 2 or 3 words at a time. This strategy almost always backfired, by revealing the other team's cards, or (best case scenario) a neutral card. The risk / reward calculation doesn't pan out. You're almost always better of taking the slow-and-steady route ... but that makes for a fucking BORING game where teams take turns swapping one-word clues, and solving one word at at ime.

Now, granted, maybe my team just sucked at the game (entirely possible). But if the surest route to victory is also the most boring route, than that's not a game I ever want to play again.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 09:30 #221676

Never seen a team win at Codenames going 1 word clues every time.

I snagged a 4 word turn last game. Typically we see 2 word clues being the norm.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 14:33 #221711

Same, 2 words/turn is about average for us. Earlier in the game we often see 3s, occasionally 4s. I got a good one with Royalty:4 (king, crown, court, jack)
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 15:54 #221719

I am thinking of trying a homebrewed version of codenames using the Cards Against Humanity cards. Somebody gave me CAH as gift and after a couple of plays I am kinda bored with it. There is an interesting skill you need to be good at CAH and that is knowing your friends sense of humor to optimally use the '2 midgets shitting in a bucket' card on someone who likes that crass vulgar stuff.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 17:37 #221735

I'm struggling to think who WOUDDNT like the phrase and/or concept of 2 midgets shitting in a bucket.

In the mid 1970s, a dark and gloomy england rife with strikes by coal miners and the like, and power cuts galore, I lived in a dark,dank and shitty terrace house on the outskirts of Rotherham (aka shiteholeville), we had no indoor toilet, so we had a shit bucket in our room, me and our kid, aged 4 and 6, and I still have nightmares about the time my kid brother scooped some shit into the back of a smal diecast car we had, as I recall something like a Subaru. The car was discovered some months later, I can tell you the time had not been kind on the odour.

hmm, maybe its me thats weird
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 18:06 #221738

charlest wrote:
V-Wars - Rob Daviau's newest from IDW is interesting but weird. It's like half BSG/Homeland with mini crisis checks and a traitor, and then half Pandemic kind of. Definitely a bit of a unique feel yet hearkens to those. I liked it, especially a couple of the mechanisms which are pretty different, but we had a weird first play with sub-optimal decisions and it ended quickly. Humans lost in about 30 minutes. We're looking forward to playing again and I see huge room for an interesting meta game to develop with the traitor mechanism.

I watched Vasel's video review on this one and can't help but chuckling for the duration of it.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 22:32 #221756

We played Dune game number 3 last night. We had 8 people present, so the two people who had not played got paired up with players who had so they could learn the game, it worked pretty well actually. This game was the no training wheels version and we dove right in with minimal teaching and rules refreshers. This time I got Atreides and was ready to highlight the aspect of selling information to fuel spice gains, which the previous Atreides players had underused in the first two games.

Emperor came at me hard turn two with 14 troops into Arrakeen. The loss hurt and I slowly picked my spots and built up over the next 6 turns to become a viable force. I had finally taken Arrakeen back and was a turn or two away from positioning for a win when the Emperor took advantage of a turn 9 opening at the near end of turn order needing to only battle the BG for the win... which despite the voice they managed to pull off for a solo win.

The strategy has evolved nicely for the players at this point. They see the strength in the two capitals with the bonuses they confer and while total battles were still high, much more probing and weakening attacks have been added to their repertoires. Guild struggled a bit with committing too much to battles and had so many troops in tank most game, they could not make any major ploy settling to just act as a spoiler in a spot or two. Harkonnen had a mighty strong full hand early, but over-committal and coming up just a little short of an early win left them without spice or mobility once mid-game started. Fremen played quite well to get spice, but were ravaged in two major engagements with traitor call outs (those high numbers on Fremen leaders just seem to force people to hold on to them). I stand by BG being both the strongest faction and the most difficult to use, especially for new players. I think our BG player was too passive as he felt out exactly what he was capable of. My Atreides did not fare well early as mentioned, but with some key mid-game shipments and small gains harvesting spice I think I would have been a very dangerous late threat. The winner of course did quite well to keep his coffers full with high bids and seemed very tough to remove once his troops were on the board, they played it quite well and I would again recommend that any new player to a group be given Emperor as the economic advantages really are a boon to someone new to the game.

Of particular note was that not a single worm showed up, I think this was excellent for this group as they really saw the factions strengths and weaknesses drawn out over the course of the game. They were clamoring for a nexus to "move the game forward" but I believe by endgame they found out alliances are not a necessity and the sweet taste of solo Dune win is intoxicating. I think after this burst of games they will want a brief period of time before coming back to the sands of Arrakis, maybe go back to Spartacus for a game or two or at least take a week or so off, but I'm expecting the next game to be VERY robust.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 Feb 2016 23:46 #221758

aarrghh nobody can compete with this Dune awesomeness!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 Feb 2016 06:46 #221766

Sevej wrote:
charlest wrote:
V-Wars - Rob Daviau's newest from IDW is interesting but weird. It's like half BSG/Homeland with mini crisis checks and a traitor, and then half Pandemic kind of. Definitely a bit of a unique feel yet hearkens to those. I liked it, especially a couple of the mechanisms which are pretty different, but we had a weird first play with sub-optimal decisions and it ended quickly. Humans lost in about 30 minutes. We're looking forward to playing again and I see huge room for an interesting meta game to develop with the traitor mechanism.

I watched Vasel's video review on this one and can't help but chuckling for the duration of it.

Why is that?
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 Feb 2016 07:03 #221774

Blood Bowl: Team Manager. Haven't played in a while and a friend and I have been slowly indoctrinating his girlfriend into AT awesomeness. She has time limit issues, where if the game goes for more than about an hour-and-a-half, she starts fading out. But Blood Bowl has a very defined round limit so I think that helps. We did a random draw for teams and I said I'd overrule if she ended up with the VC or the Goblins, since those are tough teams for a first-timer, but we all ended up with original teams (Kate had Orcs, Nathan had Dwarves, and I had Skaven), so that probably worked out. We skipped Magic Balls, Stadia, the Ref, and Penalties, but left Contracts in because the Highlight deck is already loaded with them and I wanted to start quickly. Kate played really well, going right after Fans in the highlights, using the Orc Tackling in the right spots, and so on. She actually had the lead going into the last round. Nathan did decently with the Dwarves, but I still think they suffer from not being a very active team. In other words, they don't do much when played, but can endure when people challenge them at highlights, which makes them mostly reactive, instead of as dynamic as the other teams can be. The Skaven, of course, remain the Skaven. I got great use out of my Gutter Runners, swiping balls and Sprinting with a majority of my plays and hewing to my usual approach (Star Players for the first couple rounds and then hardcore Fans for the last couple.) My first Star Player pick was a boon in that respect, since I got the Minotaur who has double Sprinting, so I could keep cycling my deck even while laying down a 5-star. But the game stayed close and my Contracts put me over the top, 41 to 39 (Kate) to 32 (Nathan.)

Then we switched over to Warhammer Quest, since I hadn't yet gotten a game in. I'd played a couple turns solo when I first picked it up to try to familiarize myself with the rules but... Save me, jeebus. That's the WORST fucking rules setup I've seen in years from FFG. Just bloody fucking awful for what is inherently a relatively simple game. I'd read through both books but there are so many key details casually dropped into lengthy paragraphs that it was a significant struggle. I'm completely baffled. Their last several releases since they hired their rules editor have been fine. The worst problem is two-fold: their example game that they try to force you into as a teaching tool leaves out multiple basic functions and, even worse, there's not a single play example in either book! Would it have been that hard to put in one more page in the "Learn to Play" manual that showed a single turn sequence, especially the Enemies phase where you have to figure out keywords and activations and what happens with both between being engaged and being in the shadows?

That whole rant aside, we had a good time and narrowly won the first quest of the campaign (Grump's Sump) with Kate on the Waywatcher, me on the Warrior Priest, and Nathan on the Ironbreaker. We had the extreme good fortune to draw two half-plates and one full-plate out of the first 4 Gear cards, though, and we had a half-dozen enemies in the Shadows when we turned a nice sequence of Explores and Aids into a win right after we killed Grump.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 Feb 2016 11:50 #221813

charlest wrote:
Never seen a team win at Codenames going 1 word clues every time.

I snagged a 4 word turn last game. Typically we see 2 word clues being the norm.

We've got a guy who had a 5-word turn once. Another time he got 6, but that was after his team completely whiffed on a 3-word clue he had given. He gave the number 6 for his next clue to give people 3 words for the new clue and 3 to pick up what they missed. If people give 1-word clues in the first half of the game, their own team will hassle them. I'd still say that the average is 2, and if someone says 3 they're probably stretching it for one of those.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 Feb 2016 13:49 #221823

My one complaint about Codenames might actually be a complaint about my cheating relatives. To make the game work, you have to follow the rules about "One word/compound word and one number. No grunting. No saying anything like, 'Ooh, didn't see that one,' when the guessers make a lucky right guess." Something like that would happen with my relatives, and I'd say "There's not many ways to cheat in this game, but that's one right there." Then they'd bitch about being called cheaters, and I'd bitch because they were basically cheating. I wouldn't go so far as to call it intentional, but it's against the rules of the game and breaking that particular rule hurts the game.

Edit: I guess the point is that to my nongaming relatives, that seems like a trivial rule and I'm just being a dick. In actuality, although I am being a dick, it's an important rule.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 06 Feb 2016 19:32 #221877

I loved M.U.L.E. on my Atari 800 way back when, but I managed to resist buying the boardgame, However, one of my gaming coworkers could not resist. We were hoping to get a 4-player game together today, but one couldn't make it and we had to settle for a 3-player game.

The designer has done a surprisingly good job of bringing the 8-bit game over to a boardgame. If you've played M.U.L.E. before, 90% of learning the game is finding out how they ported what you already knew. He's (or she's) shortened the game to seven turns, but the game will support a couple more turns. I can't think of anything in the video game that isn't in the boardgame, except for runaway MULEs,

Is it good? M.U.L.E. was one of my favorite games so I'm biased, but I liked it. Of the three of us, one had never played before, and he liked it. You're solving the exact same problems in the boardgame that you are in the video game; make the most money while keeping you and your plots fed.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 06 Feb 2016 19:49 #221879

Played a game of Twilight Struggle this afternoon with a friend, I was the US, as always. It was a turn 10 Wargames victory for me, I would have won pretty handily in the final scoring anyway. He's getting better so it's interesting to watch him learning to play... he has sort of gotten over the thing where he gets a scoring card then can only focus on that single region, though he's still not great at spreading himself while shoring up a scoring region simultaneously. The importance of spreading the USSR around ASAP has finally dawned on him, as well.

He's still one of these dudes who remembers every six I rolled and every one he rolled and talks about lucky draws of cards. You'd think that me horsewhipping his ass like 15 times in a row might suggest something as he starts down this road, but no. I put up with it and nod, as I realize he's just salty after losing a long game. It goes away quickly, he isn't someone who will keep pounding on the "injustice." But still.
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