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Please start new threads in the appropriate category for mini-session reports, discussions of specific games or other discussion starting posts.
What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?
I really want to try it in real-time with a larger group.
One major issue for me was I could not keep track of all of the rules that were applicable to my units. The Daemon Princes had 10-15 special rules each that were spread across three rulebooks. For my next game, I am typing up a one page summary for each figure/unit with all special rules fully typed out in one place.
I had an enjoyable time, so that was definitely good.
Replayed Grifters with the "Informant" card, which adds a poorly-explained-but-we-figured-it-out bluffing element. I think it's a decent enough game, but there's very little tension in it. Maybe we're just not playing it how it's meant to be played.
Friday night I tried out Codex: Card Time Strategy (look, I didn't name it that.) Here's what I had to say:
I did the Magic thing in the 90s and a little in the 00s and while it still remains the funnest time I ever had with a game, I've not looked to get back into it. Nor, as I found out a few times, do I really want to get into similar yet not collectible experiences: Netrunner and such tempted me, but I ultimately wasn't interested in building decks and buying cards.
Codex is the latest in a line of games looking to "fix" Magic and introduce its own spin. It takes the "you have all your cards and choose which ones you add" element and applies it to a somewhat spatial game.
I was wary of this one because of several red flags. First, it claims to be inspired by real-time strategy computer games, a genre I've never liked. Second, it's from Sirlin Games, which I haven't played many of which which for some reason always struck me as having too many things clunkily thrown into the mix. Third, my aforementioned lack of interest in Magic-Killer games.
In practice, it didn't seem particularly real-time to me, so that was a non-issue. However, there are definitely way too many things going on. The base game (and we played the scaled-back intro version) feels like you're well into the third expansion of a game, and playing with all of them at once. There are just a lot of elements that are in there which don't add much except noise.
As I said, we played the baby game, and I'm sure the real game adds a lot more (in fact, it adds a whole lot more, which I'm not sure it needs to.) The thing is, with all its complexities and components, I don't think Codex is a significant improvement over, say, Epic, which also does the Magic-Killing thing in a much more streamlined, accessible, and far cheaper package.
Then on Sunday, a bunch of 2-player things. First, Star Wars: Rebellion:
Nine year old me would be shocked and appalled at now year old me's absolute disinterest in Star Wars, having had my initial saw-it-in-1977 enthusiasm gradually beaten into submission. As with Lord of the Rings, Star Wars has almost become, instead of a tempting beacon, a giant red flag for me. Coupled with its asymmetric deploying troops and leaders and doing combats and such, I wasn't sure this game would be a thing for me, but I wanted to give it a try.
And nope, it's not. I lost, as the Rebels, on turn two, after making a stupid error on where to put my base. It was enough, though, to confirm my fears.
Then, 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis:
Twilight Struggle remains a gold standard of boardgames, but it's big and long and intimidating, so folks have tried to make versions of it that are a little more manageable. 1955 was one such creature, and wasn't bad, though it simplified things a little too much. Now there's 13 Days, a game focusing on the Cuban Missile Crisis, which also looks to shrink TS down into a more agreeable footprint.
It does a pretty good job of this. You're never unaware of the game which inspired this, but it still manages to also do its own thing. As is appropriate to the theme, you always feel inches away from a nuclear war, and it's super easy to get into a position where you can be maneuvered or bumble into doing so. There's also an element where you will want to pull out of locations, both to lower your defcon and to get precious precious cubes back.
That was followed by Mottainai which, for my money, is the version of Glory to Rome to go for. It still probably has one too many elements going on, but it's still the champ here.
And finally, 7 Wonders: Duel. Enjoyable version of a game I got tired of long ago. Apparently and predictably, it's coming out with an unnecessary expansion soon.
Michael Barnes wrote: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle- three star game in a five star package.
I just picked that up. Have you played through the whole series? I've heard it gets better as they add more things around book 4-5, and that book 7 is particularly good/hard.
It does get harder, for sure. The first two games are kind of a waste of time APART from the experience of going through each game/year. They are sort of like deckbuilding 101, ground floor stuff. Game three (Prisoner of Azkaban) ramps it up. 4 adds something that I actually had no idea was even in the box, so that was a neat surprise. 5-6 definitely got harder and there were WAY more choices, but they also got quite a bit longer. A bit too long, possibly, because it kind of felt a little grindy.
As a Harry Potter fan, I FREAKING LOVED IT. The atmosphere is great. It's genuinely fun to see EVERYTHING in the game- I don't think there will be an expansion because there simply isn't anything left to add to this. You name it, it's already here. Luna Lovegood, the Triwizard Tournament, Crookshanks, all the spells (with wand gesture diagrams), butterbeer, Barty Crouch Jr...it's practically encyclopedic. And if you like Potter, you'll get a kick out of seeing all of this stuff turn up. And it is genuinely cool how the game develops over time and brings in all of this stuff so that by the time you get to 6-7, it's escalated to included ALL of the Harry Potter saga.
The gameplay is just not particularly impressive. It's GOOD, don't get me wrong. It's a perfectly competent deckbuilder. It even has some cool ideas that foster the co-op angle nicely, and the character abilities add a lot to it. But it also isn't going to sway you from your favorite game in this genre UNLESS you are a Potter fan and then it just might. For my part, I own no other Potter memorabilia other than the books, films, and some costume stuff we got at the Wizardling World so I am really happy to have it as a big ol' Harry Potter souvenir if nothing else. I absolutely do not think it is some kind of junky, "tacked-on theme" at all though I think that whoever was in charge of this at Forrest-Pruzan really put some heart into it and really gave a shit about being a proper Harry Potter game.
Oh wait, I do have Harry Potter Clue that I got at the thrift store...so I guess I have two Potter pieces.
I started at book 3, playing 3 hands (Ron, Hermione and Harry) solo. Barely won the first game and lost the second on book 4. I can see where it might get long and tedious with more stuff added... And I do question the ability to keep removing the location tokens. There's a point where you could get stuck adding/removing them and never progress, which happened for a while in my second game. There's a bit of a Legendary feel to it (though I think I'd have preferred a full-on Legendary Aliens type version of this), and even a bit of a Legacy experience when you crack open the new books.
Eh, I'll play through it all once until I win everything and then sell it off. It's not a keeper beyond that. But I think it's a pretty high-quality game all around. For what could have been a quick knock-off HP property, as you say, there's a lot of good attention and care put into it.
hotseatgames wrote: Tried Captain Sonar for the first time, but just a two player game that was turn-based. Despite it not being the ideal setting, it was a good way to learn the game and was more engaging than I expected. Both of us copied down the other player's moves slightly wrong, and when we called the game because we had to quit, both of us said where we thought the other sub was. I was off by 1 location and my opponent was dead-on. Due to the way the map is constructed, you can still get a fix on the other player even if you mess up a bit.
I really want to try it in real-time with a larger group.
This was exactly my experience. I don't think the two player turn-based should be oeverlooked. It's really better in realtime wiith more, but two-player turn-based might be the right way to come to grips with what the game do.
We didn't get very far before I got trapped between two corruption on the Terra board and drew the corruption that makes you draw another. That put me over the threshold. This is bad news normally but much worse in this scenario - pretty much a lose condition. Anyway, it was pretty good overall. There were some minor blemishes like a couple cards that forced us to hurt each other in small ways. Nothing disastrous but definitely against the co-op flavor. I would have liked to see one more co-op mission released but I think this is it. Easy enough to home-brew a custom one no doubt.
I'll note that we originally intended to play a game using one of the Nemesis characters but I didn't know they were only used in 3+ player games. So that kind of burst our bubble over that expansion a bit. However I found out afterward that there is one team game mission that works well if both players take two characters, one Imperial and one Nemesis. So that's a big plus for us (mostly) 2 player gamers.
Next we played Captain Sonar, again two player / turn-based. I listened more closely this time, and was accurately tracking my opponent's route, but this time made a different error. I wrote down when he triggered a mine, but made the incorrect assumption that he had been on the spot where he triggered it. In fact you must be ADJACENT to the spot where you place the mine, and it can't be on the path you were already on. This single error was my undoing, and I lost. This game is great, despite my being a shitty radio operator.