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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 Feb 2018 15:08 #263147

I've now played three games of Rising Sun. I'd be very surprised if anything else comes close to toppling it as my game of the year.

What's particularly fascinating to me is how little control you have in the game, yet it's not very random at all. It does the Puerto Rico/TI3 action selection in such a novel way, adding oomph to the sleek alliance system.

The battles lack the Blood Rage 'oh shit' moment from cards, but they produce their own brand of drama through the bluffing and second guessing of blind bidding on different aspects of the conflict.

The way every decision seems to tumble outward and have a noticeable effect on the game is pretty damn fascinating. It's a very opaque game where it's difficult to pinpoint one obvious moment that it all went wrong (or right). One of those designs that you spend a lot of time thinking about in between plays as you subconsciously analyze your decisions and what you could have done differently to try and wrestle with what little control you have.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 Feb 2018 17:15 #263178

More Dungeon Degenerates...it is holding up and in fact getting better.

Here is the main thing that I like about the game. If you grew up in the 80s with classic D&D books, Tunnels and Trolls, gamebooks, Conan and all kinds of fantasy detritus you will surely remember being 8, 9 years old and kind feeling like maybe the picture on the Steve Jackson microgame box was a little bit beyond you. It was WEIRD. It was kind of foreign. Or you would read about Mind Flayers or Displacer Beasts and it would just blow your mind, then you'd see a crude drawing of it and that would stick with you forever. This is all before you could sort out which fantasy tropes were Tolkien, which were Howard, and which were Moorcock. This game sort of recaptures all of that, when things like a mancatcher or phylactery were out there and you kind of had no idea what the deal was with them. This game has a lot of that atmosphere- you may not know what a Bog Conjurer or a Witch Smeller actually is, but it feels like that is definitely a "thing" in this particular world and as you play, you are like "yeah, Bog Conjurer". I think they've actually done a surprisingly good job of creating a very unique setting that isn't Tolkien, Howard, or Moorcock.

It's the kind of world were goblins wear studded leather vests and there are iron crosses on everything. It feels like a conflagration of junk culture motifs. There's a little S&M, a Soft Cell reference, Halloween, fuck-off beards, and all kinds of drugs. Warhammer, Motorhead and Bolt Thrower are in there, but so are Crumb, Rat Fink, and Dore.

Yet despite its "lowbrow" approach- it actually isn't vulgar or coarse. It's much like the Warhammer FRPG setting in a lot of ways. Everyone is varying degrees of BAD, but most aren't EVIL.

So I've actually really come to like the setting, even after the surprise of some of the monsters has worn off.

I think it bears repeating that this is a VERY combat-heavy game. There is a ton of fighting. You will fight a lot. Most of the mechanics are actually to do with fighting. But it is FUN fighting, and sometimes pretty exciting fighting.

But there is plenty of story too, and the way that many of the icons, environments and effects work together create a cool bedrock for storytelling. For example, if in the one in 100 chance you wind up fighting the Mold Mummy in an area that has been overgrown with fungus...it suddenly takes on a different turn.

The characters are also REALLY fun, so far I have yet to play with one that disappointed. The werecat kid or whatever might be my favorite- she takes damage each turn she's lycanthroped out, and you get a reward for going at least three rounds in that state. She has no weapons, but is pretty savage with her claws. The reptilian sorcerer is pretty interesting too, he's not that great at combat but he has some neat things going on...like a familiar that can steal stuff from towns.

I am really thinking this is GOTY material at this point...there isn't anything else like it out there, and once you make peace with its idiosyncrasies there is definitely a top notch game there.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 Feb 2018 17:36 #263180

charlest wrote:
It's a very opaque game where it's difficult to pinpoint one obvious moment that it all went wrong (or right).

Interesting. I'm playing it this weekend, and am really looking forward to it. When playing Cthulhu Wars, I almost immediately think "oh, I just fucked that up."
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 Feb 2018 17:45 #263182

I'm starting to get the appeal of Dungeon Degenerates, but I'm not convinced that it deserves shelf space in my collection. I was initially very put off by the extreme colors, but I kind of get it now. The monster card art exists at an unholy visual intersection of '70s underground comics, Rider-Waite tarot cards, stained glass windows, and of course black light posters. And the Barnes point about the unfamiliar but intriguing strangeness of fantasy rpg monsters makes complete sense to me. However, the statuses sound like they might eventually feel like a drag on game play, and I don't currently have the kind of game group that would be able to do the legacy campaign mode.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 08 Feb 2018 07:37 #263198

Are there solo possibilities with this game?
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 08 Feb 2018 08:56 #263200

hotseatgames wrote:
charlest wrote:
It's a very opaque game where it's difficult to pinpoint one obvious moment that it all went wrong (or right).

Interesting. I'm playing it this weekend, and am really looking forward to it. When playing Cthulhu Wars, I almost immediately think "oh, I just fucked that up."

Yes, it's very different than Cthulhu Wars. Very different. CW is much more free-wheeling, do whatever the hell you want and hope the other players don't impede your plans. Rising Sun is more about fighting through the other players choices to see who can best execute a plan. That gives it a quality where it doesn't feel like you're doing the same thing in repeated plays (at least in my three thus far), as you need to adapt and progress where the opening appears.

Cthulhu Wars strategy can be pretty repetitive for a specific faction. There's a couple of variations but most people settle on a specific order of spellbooks and playstyle when playing the same faction over and over. The game deals with that just fine by allowing the other players to mess with your plans so readily (it in fact relies on this of course), so each play is more about pushing forward while trying to douse flames and keep others from derailing your train. Rising Sun doesn't feel like that at all to me.

One thing I really dig in Rising Sun is how you cycle out just a portion of the season cards, as well as the randomized Kami each play. These don't change the entire game, but they have a significant impact downstream (much as I said earlier about choices rippling out with unforseen consequences). There's so much content available to cycle into this game that I think it will also be difficult to count on any specific combos or strategy subsets over time.

Cthulhu Wars and Blood Rage are top 10 games for me and Rising Sun is not at this time. But I don't think it will end up terribly far behind.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 08 Feb 2018 09:08 #263202

How many games of Lords of Hellas have you played? Is it even making it into the conversation? I feel like I won't be seeing my copy until June.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 08 Feb 2018 09:24 #263204

I played it back to back right after I got it and we really enjoyed it. I don't think it's close to Rising Sun as it's not quite as sophisticated, but it's pretty damn good and somewhat unique. It feels like a cross between Cyclades and Runewars, with a very unique multiple paths to victory approach - which happens to be the best part of the game. We plan on playing it more soon but not sure when. On the plus side, it's a very quick play clocking in at 90 minutes for 4 players and 60 for 3. Rising Sun has taken us 2.5-3 each play, but that's likely because we negotiate quite a bit.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 08 Feb 2018 16:13 #263233

charlest wrote:
The way every decision seems to tumble outward and have a noticeable effect on the game is pretty damn fascinating. It's a very opaque game where it's difficult to pinpoint one obvious moment that it all went wrong (or right). One of those designs that you spend a lot of time thinking about in between plays as you subconsciously analyze your decisions and what you could have done differently to try and wrestle with what little control you have.

I agree. There are so many options, even in a losing battle that can have ramifications all over the board. I've enjoyed it more with each play. The individual mechanics are really well integrated into one another. I've been loving it. John Company may wind up sitting in shrink a couple more weeks waiting to be played.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 09 Feb 2018 12:12 #263265

We played our first few games of Innovation. Awhile ago, I traded away the I.V. edition of Glory to Rome for Cosmic Encounter, way back when there was no jeopardy that it wasn't going to be reprinted. Ever since then I've wanted to get another copy, but, I just won't pay the stupid prices for it that the marketplace is now asking, whether comic book or black box editions.

Innovation isn't Glory to Rome, it's better, much better so I doubt that I'll go looking for the fabled Glory to Rome until it eventually attains a reprint. Innovation is quicker, more chaotic, and contains satisfying elements of "take-that." I really like the fact that you can't stay with any one engine like you can do with Glory to Rome in the hope of gaining victory. Instead, in Innovation, you have to be quicker on your feet, attuned to the constantly evolving environment--you can't be wedded to one strategy or type of resource; you must constantly hone a winning strategy. It lacks the crazy, powerful combos from Glory to Rome, but, it also feels more satisfying because of the underlying civilization development. This is muted and subtle--it isn't Sid Meier's Civilization, but, the certain march-of-history and its panoply of human development, ideas, and innovations are all still, cleverly so, there. We'll experiment with adding in the two expansions that I bought along with the base game: Echoes of the Past and Cities of Destiny.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 09 Feb 2018 12:50 #263266

Michael Barnes wrote:
Here is the main thing that I like about the game. If you grew up in the 80s with classic D&D books, Tunnels and Trolls, gamebooks, Conan and all kinds of fantasy detritus you will surely remember being 8, 9 years old and kind feeling like maybe the picture on the Steve Jackson microgame box was a little bit beyond you. It was WEIRD. It was kind of foreign. Or you would read about Mind Flayers or Displacer Beasts and it would just blow your mind, then you'd see a crude drawing of it and that would stick with you forever. This is all before you could sort out which fantasy tropes were Tolkien, which were Howard, and which were Moorcock. This game sort of recaptures all of that, when things like a mancatcher or phylactery were out there and you kind of had no idea what the deal was with them. This game has a lot of that atmosphere- you may not know what a Bog Conjurer or a Witch Smeller actually is, but it feels like that is definitely a "thing" in this particular world and as you play, you are like "yeah, Bog Conjurer". I think they've actually done a surprisingly good job of creating a very unique setting that isn't Tolkien, Howard, or Moorcock.

It's the kind of world were goblins wear studded leather vests and there are iron crosses on everything. It feels like a conflagration of junk culture motifs. There's a little S&M, a Soft Cell reference, Halloween, fuck-off beards, and all kinds of drugs. Warhammer, Motorhead and Bolt Thrower are in there, but so are Crumb, Rat Fink, and Dore.

This is a perfect summary of a big part of the game's appeal. I really love it for all of these reasons (+solid mechanics). I just need to find more time to play!
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 09 Feb 2018 14:01 #263272

stoic wrote:
We played our first few games of Innovation. Awhile ago, I traded away the I.V. edition of Glory to Rome for Cosmic Encounter, way back when there was no jeopardy that it wasn't going to be reprinted. Ever since then I've wanted to get another copy, but, I just won't pay the stupid prices for it that the marketplace is now asking, whether comic book or black box editions.

Innovation isn't Glory to Rome, it's better, much better so I doubt that I'll go looking for the fabled Glory to Rome until it eventually attains a reprint. Innovation is quicker, more chaotic, and contains satisfying elements of "take-that." I really like the fact that you can't stay with any one engine like you can do with Glory to Rome in the hope of gaining victory. Instead, in Innovation, you have to be quicker on your feet, attuned to the constantly evolving environment--you can't be wedded to one strategy or type of resource; you must constantly hone a winning strategy. It lacks the crazy, powerful combos from Glory to Rome, but, it also feels more satisfying because of the underlying civilization development. This is muted and subtle--it isn't Sid Meier's Civilization, but, the certain march-of-history and its panoply of human development, ideas, and innovations are all still, cleverly so, there. We'll experiment with adding in the two expansions that I bought along with the base game: Echoes of the Past and Cities of Destiny.
I'm a big fan of Innovation as well. Glad to hear new people are giving it a try. Cities is super easy to incorporate, and you'll probably never want to play without it. Echoes I only have vague memories of, but I think it was good, too. I'm eager to hear what you think of them.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 10 Feb 2018 09:26 #263333

charlest wrote:
I've now played three games of Rising Sun. I'd be very surprised if anything else comes close to toppling it as my game of the year.
.

Its good that you float that out there in February.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 10 Feb 2018 09:44 #263334

Tron wrote:
charlest wrote:
I've now played three games of Rising Sun. I'd be very surprised if anything else comes close to toppling it as my game of the year.
.

Its good that you float that out there in February.

We like to have a new Game Of The Year every month around here.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 10 Feb 2018 09:59 #263335

Which rolls right into Sale of the Year
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