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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 03 May 2018 13:27 #272590

After almost five years, I was able to get Up Front on the table! One of my favorite games!
The co-worker that I introduced it to really liked it. Just wanted to share.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 03 May 2018 13:36 #272593

Any good moments? Up Front is one of the original games that tells out there, spontaneous stories.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 03 May 2018 13:46 #272596

Mantidman wrote:
After almost five years, I was able to get Up Front on the table! One of my favorite games!
The co-worker that I introduced it to really liked it. Just wanted to share.
Lucky you! If it wasn't for the fact that I get regular games of Combat Commander, my inability to get Up Front to the table would be one of the banes of my gaming life. It's simply the single most original game I've ever played.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 04 May 2018 12:17 #272671

I played Clans of Caledonia last night, and man did I hate it.

It was everything wrong with the currently in vogue design ethic:
--30 minutes (at least) of rules explanation before we even started
--Plain old cube conversion, overlaid with multiple complications
--Very little player interaction
--Hundreds of custom wooden figures representing commodities
--A literal spreadsheet at the end to tally your score
--Dull as dirt

I tried very hard not to "yuck his yum" for my host who taught the game, but I was bored before we even started.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 May 2018 21:34 #272721

Gregarius wrote:
I played Clans of Caledonia last night, and man did I hate it.

It was everything wrong with the currently in vogue design ethic:
--30 minutes (at least) of rules explanation before we even started
--Plain old cube conversion, overlaid with multiple complications
--Very little player interaction
--Hundreds of custom wooden figures representing commodities
--A literal spreadsheet at the end to tally your score
--Dull as dirt

I tried very hard not to "yuck his yum" for my host who taught the game, but I was bored before we even started.

I watched Heavy Cardboard play some of this and was just completely puzzled what the draw was.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 05 May 2018 23:24 #272724

Gary Sax wrote:
Gregarius wrote:
I played Clans of Caledonia last night, and man did I hate it.

It was everything wrong with the currently in vogue design ethic:
--30 minutes (at least) of rules explanation before we even started
--Plain old cube conversion, overlaid with multiple complications
--Very little player interaction
--Hundreds of custom wooden figures representing commodities
--A literal spreadsheet at the end to tally your score
--Dull as dirt

I tried very hard not to "yuck his yum" for my host who taught the game, but I was bored before we even started.

I watched Heavy Cardboard play some of this and was just completely puzzled what the draw was.

At a glance, Clans of Caledonia appears to check all the standard euro boxes. Thanks to the extensive brainwashing conducted at TOS, that makes Clans of Caledonia an autobuy for many gamers.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 06 May 2018 00:42 #272726

We were supposed to have 3 players tonight for game night, so I set up Cry Havoc after it not seeing the table in a long time. But one person didn't show (and didn't text either.... no more invites for that person). We started playing this kickstarter card game my friend bought called Lords of Rock, in which you choose a group of gods (Norse, Elder, etc) to form a rock band and play various venues. Yes, that's correct. It's pretty dry, I ended up winning but it's really just chasing points so whatever. Not the worst thing he's ever bought on Kickstarter.

We decided to play Cry Havoc two players. He took the Machines, I took Humans. I had never been the humans before. I got off to a good start but quickly fizzled under the assault of the machine army. It became clear pretty quickly that I would lose, and I lost badly. I think I got beat by 23 points. That game is really cool, and I have not played it nearly enough to get good at any faction. I have never been the Trogs yet, and it certainly seems that 2 players is not the way to play this game. I think Cry Havoc is under-rated.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 06 May 2018 19:16 #272745

Played the Lion in Winter scenario for Warriors of God during the May Getaway at the Delaware shore this past weekend. Went all twelve turns and won as the French by five or eight points. Played Merchants of Venus, Net Runner, Photosynthesis, Glory to Rome, a lot of other games too, and the venue the company and the and gaming was excellent. But the Warriors of God game may have been the highlight. Each turn tells its own story.

S.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 May 2018 11:22 #272790

I spent the last week of my solo time with the newest Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition expansion - The Sanctum of Twilight. This introduces the Silver Twilight lodge/order and adds two new scenarios alongside the physical stuff.

I enjoyed the scenarios (which are the main value here), as they both have pretty strong personality and offer different challenges and pacing. The second one felt incredibly hard, but I enjoyed the unique setup of it.

The main fallout here was that it got me on a path of reflecting on this game, a game whose first edition feels much older than it is and whose second edition struggles at times. I ended up writing 2200 words on it for Player Elimination this week: playerelimination.com/2018/05/07/641-day...madness-2nd-edition/

I continue to tinker away with Gaslands, building cars and gearing up for our first game (which may be tomorrow night). I promised the group I'd play a Euro with them as one guy has been pushing for Terra Mystica or Terraforming Mars, neither of which I'm a fan of. Hoping for Gaslands afterwards.

I've also reconnected with High Society thanks to the Osprey re-release. I'm curious why I didn't enjoy it as much when I played it several years ago, and thinking maybe I just wasn't in the right place. I'm enjoying it quite a bit now, although its edged out slightly by Modern Art.

I've also messed around with Grimslingers a bit, testing out the duel mode. This is a decent rock/paper/scissors type duel game with ridiculously effective art and a great setting. The duel mode has some solid sensibilities but I don't think I'd ever choose it over something with more oomph, like Codex. That's fine though as I was mainly interested in it for the story Co-Op/Solo mode.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 May 2018 12:38 #272798

Quick hitters are about all I've had time for- Final Fantasy TCG, Race for the Galaxy, Century: Golem Edition, M:tG (EDH/Commander), and Codenames lately.

The FFTCG is actually a really solid game that seems to be somewhat reasonable in the price of good decks. I think the game has legs because it has a solid license, two more distributors just picked it up, and the gameplay itself is actually quite engaging. It has a "pay for other cards by discarding cards" mechanic that will appeal to you if you enjoy Summoner Wars, Race for the Galaxy, Imperial Settlers, or the old decipher Star Wars game. If you like the sound of this and/or like the license, I recommend it. I made a decent little deck based around Knights from FFTactics and FFIX for about $15.

Century is a short, solid, innocuous game if you like that kind of thing. It's the kind of game that I'll play over Lords of Waterdeep any day, because it's about as engaging and as much of a game... in half the time. Kind of like a slightly more interesting Splendor. And the Golem edition has a more interesting collection of art and shiny gems than the spice road.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 May 2018 12:40 #272800

charlest wrote:
I spent the last week of my solo time with the newest Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition expansion - The Sanctum of Twilight. This introduces the Silver Twilight lodge/order and adds two new scenarios alongside the physical stuff.

I enjoyed the scenarios (which are the main value here), as they both have pretty strong personality and offer different challenges and pacing. The second one felt incredibly hard, but I enjoyed the unique setup of it.

The main fallout here was that it got me on a path of reflecting on this game, a game whose first edition feels much older than it is and whose second edition struggles at times. I ended up writing 2200 words on it for Player Elimination this week: playerelimination.com/2018/05/07/641-day...madness-2nd-edition/

I really appreciate this review of Mansions of Madness 2nd edition. First edition was one of the most disappointing games that I have ever purchased. Lovely components, a designer that I respected, and a publisher that was reliably delivering good games at the time. We played three game before it turned into a dusty shelf toad.

Besides the complex and fragile setup of each game, my group had a few other issues with first edition MoM. First, the role-playing aspect was diminished by the sense that every scenario was linear and on a tight time table. Second, a common play for the Keeper in some scenarios was to take control of character, usually reversing their previous turn of moment, which feels like the worst form of the old, despicable lose-a-turn mechanic. Third, players fell into two widely divergent groups with the puzzles: most found the puzzles too easy, and a couple of players found them impossible. Overall, first edition felt like a neat collection of ideas and mechanics that got lightly play-tested by a bunch of FFG fanboys.

I couldn't tell from your comments if the puzzles are still in the game, or if the lose-a-turn thing was still an issue. It does sound like the scenarios are less linear, or somehow interesting anyway. But ultimately your review took me to a conclusion that I would prefer to avoid: Mansions of Madness second edition sounds like it would be more fun as strictly an app game, with no physical components at all.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 May 2018 12:53 #272804

Regarding any moments in Up Front, I was teaching the game so we played with open hands. The Soviets vs. the Germans.
I got completely slaughtered as the Germans. I could not pull a fire card and the Soviets just walked up and mowed down four
guys in one shot. I think I pinned one Soviet soldier the whole game. It was brutal. We were playing Scenario A: A meeting of Patrols.
I am hoping to get it to the table this week and end up with a regular player over lunch.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 May 2018 13:00 #272805

Shellhead's stuff

You probably would be better off avoiding it. It still has the puzzles but it doesn't have the lose a turn thing.

Some scenarios are less linear and some aren't, it kind of depends. It's kind of like a randomized puzzle often, in that you need to find the right pieces but the way you go about getting to that point can be a little open.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 May 2018 13:16 #272807

Shellhead wrote:
Besides the complex and fragile setup of each game, my group had a few other issues with first edition MoM. First, the role-playing aspect was diminished by the sense that every scenario was linear and on a tight time table. Second, a common play for the Keeper in some scenarios was to take control of character, usually reversing their previous turn of moment, which feels like the worst form of the old, despicable lose-a-turn mechanic. Third, players fell into two widely divergent groups with the puzzles: most found the puzzles too easy, and a couple of players found them impossible. Overall, first edition felt like a neat collection of ideas and mechanics that got lightly play-tested by a bunch of FFG fanboys.

This isn't entirely inaccurate. Remember when the first large expansion was released and a couple scenarios were unplayable because they'd printed two required rooms for the same scenarios on opposite sides of the same map piece? They ended up sending corrected board pieces and free copies of one of Terry Hickman's novels to everyone who'd bought it. Right after that, they created a "final editor" position and also hired a bunch more designer-cum-tester positions because they realized that their production pace had exceeded the capability of the staff.

But I had a similar reaction to first edition. The setup was lengthy and tedious. The roles felt locked in, such that players rarely had opportunity to make free decisions, but instead were either putting out fires or wandering about aimlessly until a clue hit them over the head. It was ridiculously easy for the GM/Overlord/Invader/whatever to create a setup that was either so combat-intensive or so time-constrained that it could easily feel impossible for the players. And, yes, the puzzles were not a good mechanic, as they were all too easy and felt pasted on so that players had something to do other than putting out fires or wandering aimlessly. MoM was a game that basically demanded that both Overlord and investigators agree to have a storytelling experience, rather than play a competitive game; similar to how Diplomacy only works if you have players that are actively interested in negotiating. It's a case of Must Have the Right Group™ to the nth degree.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 07 May 2018 13:48 #272813

I've also reconnected with High Society thanks to the Osprey re-release. I'm curious why I didn't enjoy it as much when I played it several years ago, and thinking maybe I just wasn't in the right place. I'm enjoying it quite a bit now, although its edged out slightly by Modern Art.

Well, Modern Art is the greatest auction game ever, so if High Society is just slightly edged out...

It's definitely somewhere between the Major Knizia Canon and the Minor Knizia Canon. It's a really good, small frame auction game where folks tend to get more caught up on the genius of the mechanics (with the classic Knizian method of having set, limited and balanced monetary denominations) than they do on the theme- which is wealth and what really is valuable. You spend the whole game chasing down these material items, but the real value is in earning recognitions...because your stuff can get stolen and your house can burn down, and even the scandal doesn't impact your recognitions (which are multipliers) that much. At the end, the player that spent the MOST is actually the loser! So in accordance with the way this theme depicts wealth, the player that went all out and blew all of their money is the failure- especially if one of the negative cards comes up and they don't have the financial security to contend with it. It goes to the player that drops out of bidding first, which creates a sense of having to keep up with the social strata. But you may also find yourself having to grossly overpay on avoidance or on another acquisition, based on the bills you've already spent on previous auctions. Like all great Knizia games, there is more going on than you think after a first play, both mechanically and thematically.
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