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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 10 Apr 2016 04:55 #225644

Advanced Squad Leader

Went to my first ASL Tournament. I was a little hesitant because not being an expert in any sense of the word I didn't want to show up and have everybody roll their eyes and heave heavy sighs at my fumbling grasp of the rules. I needn't have worried though because everybody there was welcoming, inclusive, patient and helpful.

The actual tourney is a 3 day affair but I only went up for the Saturday "Mini" which is a three round/singe elimination event run for those who couldn't stay for the whole three days.

I ended up winning my first game on the last roll of the last phase of the last turn. It was super close and I will admit to letting out a "whoop" when the dice came up in my favor. My opponent let out a groan but wasn't all pissy about losing to a newb, as one might have seen at a WBC tourney. The second game was against a dude who was the BEST type of gamer. Great attitude, great sense of humor, taking the game but not himself too seriously. He was vastly more experienced than I but while not suggesting what I do with my units he was very cool about showing my how to do it. After he crushed me, he spent a few moments going over my initial deployments with suggestions as to how I might have done it better and why. Not in a condescending way at all but with an eye towards improving my understanding of the game.

I honestly haven't had this much fun at a game event in years. I think the singular focus on one game helped make that happen. We were all there to play that one game, albeit with a vast selection of scenarios the actual games can be as different as you can imagine, and are pumped and excited to play it. Just a great day. I have already signed up for the next relatively close tourney in New Hampshire in July. This time I'll stay for the whole three days.

Star Wars: Rebellion

Josh brought over his copy yesterday and I got my first experience with this game. I totally dug it. I think it's very rules light which is good. The basics of doing stuff are pretty straight forward and easy to remember. The depth coming from the cards. With no real knowledge of the decks I did get to enjoy that sense of discovery every time I drew something new but I was at a slight disadvantage not knowing what was likely to turn up in the game. That did not hinder my enjoyment in any way but I think an experienced player, as in many card driven war games, will have a distinct advantage. The combat was fine and reminded me of the system used in Forbidden Stars. Barnes mentioned in his recent review that the "tactic cards" are "over wrought" and simply making a die modifier between the tactic values of the two leaders would have been cleaner and better. Well, as much as it makes me want to go into the closet, dig out my Wakizashi blade and commit ritual sepuku, I have to admit that he is probably right.

Still, this is a great game. It certainly felt like macro level Star Wars.

Josh won on turn 8 or 9 by discovering the Rebel Base in the nick of time. He only came in with minimal force and I had a chance to blow up the lone transport carrying his AT-AT's but alas....in a moment of weakness....I failed to do so and lost. So kids, get used to the Emperor, he's going to be here a while.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 11 Apr 2016 06:22 #225672

Friedrich with three players. I took Russia/Sweden and France. I was new to the game, and made more than a few mistakes, but I enjoyed the game. I'm still not sure how I could win without the suits I needed (France's hand never had more than one spade through the whole game) but some reading on strategy will help if I get to play again. It ended pretty quickly (2.5 hours) with the other new player achieving victory with Austria. Possibly because I threw my own armies too readily at Prussia to bleed his cards.

Thunder Alley another seven player game. It went mostly well (over half were new players and the rules on linking in different movement types constantly confused). Events were all green flags, and the track seemed like it would have gone better with two laps than three, but that was also a symptom of one player (who is always a problem) essentially trolling the game. I ended up winning based on average scoring positions, and the player who's car won the race actually came in second even with his other two cars eliminated due to lapping.

Zombicide two plays of this over the weekend, both with the Prison Outbreak set. Beserker zombies add a nice/nasty tactical element to the game (you can't shoot them). Friday's mission ran like a pretty well oiled machine even with only five characters. Saturday went longer, with new players and we completed half of the map. Still a fun game.

Isle of Skye which is nothing like Carcassonne, and more like Castles of Mad King Ludwig with the price setting mechanism. I really enjoyed this one, which is fairly abstract, but you get to see what the (random per game) scoring conditions will be during each round, so letting a round or two go with poor scores to make big gains later can really work. I won that by one point, though two of the five players were pretty far back in score at the end. Of the games that are Not Like Carcassonne I prefer this to Cacao.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 11 Apr 2016 06:57 #225673

repoman wrote:
Barnes mentioned in his recent review that the "tactic cards" are "over wrought" and simply making a die modifier between the tactic values of the two leaders would have been cleaner and better. Well, as much as it makes me want to go into the closet, dig out my Wakizashi blade and commit ritual sepuku, I have to admit that he is probably right.

I suppose this could be quick and dirty variant:

Don't use the tactics cards at all. Before you make your combat roll, each ship may contribute one extra die of the appropriate color, with a total of extra dice not exceeding your leader's tactic rating in the current theater (you have the choice as to which ships contribute extra dice if the decision needs to be made). "Lightsaber clash" die results count as a hit (but not a "direct hit) and can be rerolled (ala "exploding sixes") OR can be used to block a hit. Aside from this, normal combat rules apply.
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Last Edit: 11 Apr 2016 07:04 by Josh Look.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 11 Apr 2016 07:02 #225675

Don't the tactics cards sometimes let you cancel hits, right?

I thought that was a key part of the strategy in combat, over-assigning hits when you attack to ensure you get a kill, or sometimes playing it risky and just assigning the exact amount of hits needed for the kill.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 11 Apr 2016 07:03 #225676

charlest wrote:
Don't the tactics cards sometimes let you cancel hits, right?

I thought that was a key part of the strategy in combat, over-assigning hits when you attack to ensure you get a kill, or sometimes playing it risky and just assigning the exact amount of hits needed for the kill.

Just remembered that. Editing my post to fix that.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 11 Apr 2016 07:15 #225677

Great game of Pax Porfiriana yesterday. Three players, which I think is best. Green looked like he had it nailed down with a Revolution Topple, but we kept thwarting him. I was collecting Loyalty, but was very low on cash. I threw the economy into Depression on purpose, since I was in a better position to deal with it than they were. This sucked money and tableau cards away from them, which let me get a Loyalty win on the fourth topple. An excellent session where everything about the game shone.

Then Lost Valley, the new(ish) Yukon Goldrush edition. Claims to fix the three player problem. We played with four, and it seemed like there'd still be a 3p issue, but then again, we played utterly wrong, screwing up a key rule which dramatically changed the game. I can't even blame the shitty rulebook for the mistake, it was all on me. (Why bother to reprint a game with a known rulebook issue if you're going to not fix that?) I like the game and will keep it for now but damn, it defies you to really enjoy it.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 11 Apr 2016 07:57 #225682

Legomancer wrote:
Great game of Pax Porfiriana yesterday. Three players, which I think is best. Green looked like he had it nailed down with a Revolution Topple, but we kept thwarting him. I was collecting Loyalty, but was very low on cash. I threw the economy into Depression on purpose, since I was in a better position to deal with it than they were. This sucked money and tableau cards away from them, which let me get a Loyalty win on the fourth topple. An excellent session where everything about the game shone.

I agree that three players is the sweet spot for this game.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 11 Apr 2016 08:04 #225683

Jeff: That sort of camaraderie is why I played Heroscape for so long. Everyone is like that, or at least 99% of everyone. It makes gaming fun when everyone acts like they're there for the game and winning is just a byproduct of playing, not the sole reason to play.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 11 Apr 2016 17:29 #225698

Msample wrote:
Legomancer wrote:
Great game of Pax Porfiriana yesterday. Three players, which I think is best. Green looked like he had it nailed down with a Revolution Topple, but we kept thwarting him. I was collecting Loyalty, but was very low on cash. I threw the economy into Depression on purpose, since I was in a better position to deal with it than they were. This sucked money and tableau cards away from them, which let me get a Loyalty win on the fourth topple. An excellent session where everything about the game shone.

I agree that three players is the sweet spot for this game.

On a tangential note, Marty, did I just buy High Frontier off you on the BGG marketplace or is there another Msample in the world that is a wargame enthusiast?
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Apr 2016 06:55 #225712

Played scenario 3 last night of Shadows Over Normandie. My Deep Ones crushed the Allies. Barnes- how, exactly, are the allies ever supposed to win one of these? I had units I literally never activated the entire game, and all I had to do was swarm the allies so that they couldn't move past my zones of control.

Followed that up with a game of Dungeon Command, which I had been wanting to dig out for a while. It was great, and down to the wire. My undead fell to the goblins by one turn. I love this game but I still feel like it doesn't really get going until all the stupid treasure chests are claimed.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Apr 2016 08:12 #225717

hotseatgames wrote:
... all I had to do was swarm the allies so that they couldn't move past my zones of control.
If tactical use of ZOC is prving a challenge then I would suggest the allies should try laying down some suppressive fire, preferably with a machine gunner so that they can hit multiple targets. A target that is suppressed loses it's ZOC along with the usual -2 penalty to movement and dice rolls.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Apr 2016 08:23 #225720

Wow. I've read the rulebook twice and I never caught that rule. That does make a ton of difference. Thanks!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Apr 2016 08:34 #225721

Yeah, they changed it in a rules revision for Heroes as people were gravitating toward ZOC blocking which isn't in the spirit of the game. I don't know if it's in the Shadows rulebook or not, but they are supposed to be on a shared system so I'd certainly recommend implementing it regardless!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Apr 2016 09:00 #225724

Perhaps as a balance for all of the Fury of Dracula and SW: Rebellion and TIME Stories I've been playing lately, I've also had a strong urge to play medium/heavy-ish thematic-ish Euros, especially if they have some solo-playing ability. In that vein, I have loved playing Orleans and The Gallerist, but have been more meh about the latest one, Viticulture.

This was a stretch for me to even pick up, as I don't drink (wine or otherwise) and it felt like a theme disconnect for me in that sense. But it's more about producing and selling wine. I am just the meth maker and dealer, not the user, so that's okay. :oP (Eh, I don't drink blood, either, but that sure hasn't stopped me from playing FoD.)

Anyway, it's a pretty standard worker placement game with a few small wrinkles (as they all have), but a nice aspect are these visitor cards that have all kinds of different abilities and which you can use at different times to increase your potential score. I'm sure the game is okay multiplayer, but my issue with the solo variant is that it's over after just seven turns, which takes about a half hour and feels pretty insubstantial. You get some of the visitor cards (one each turn, guaranteed, and potentially a few more), but you may or may not get ones that are particularly useful, and if not, there isn't much time to do anything about it.

According to the guy who made the official solo variant, seven is supposed to be about the average number of turns a multiplayer game would take, but that's likely to take an hour or more, at least, with multiplayer. To me, a good solo version of a game doesn't just emulate the feel of the game play, but also gives you a similar sense of the weight of it. This one feels pretty arbitrary and light as a solo game. Took me four tries to beat it, and now I don't really care to continue, because each play feels so short and a bit throwaway. I may try a variant with ten turns and see how that goes, and there is a campaign of sorts that I'll probably try, but compared to Orleans and The Gallerist, this doesn't measure up, at least as a solo game. Those other games also had more interesting tweaks on the worker placement concept (which SW:Rebellion also has).

Any favorite medium/heavy-ish thematic-ish solo-playable Euros you guys play??
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Apr 2016 11:02 #225735

Mezike wrote:
Yeah, they changed it in a rules revision for Heroes as people were gravitating toward ZOC blocking which isn't in the spirit of the game. I don't know if it's in the Shadows rulebook or not, but they are supposed to be on a shared system so I'd certainly recommend implementing it regardless!

It's there. I just missed it. Numerous times.
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