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September 18, 2020
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Bots Up Board Game Review

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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

Barnestorming- Shadows of Malice in Review, Segamania, Patlabor

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19 Mar 2015 20:01 #199786 by LazarusTNT
More games should just include character sheets and wee pencils. I hate having to keep track of a million things with tiny little circley bits.

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19 Mar 2015 20:14 #199787 by Michael Barnes
Oh, come on Pete...of course the game isn't dangerous in that it's going to hurt someone...but it is dangerous in the scope of hobby game design because it's basically throwing out the established- and popular- methods for communicating setting and narrative. It's showing FFG and all of the Kickstarter carpetbaggers that you don't have to have all of these specialized components, 10 decks of cards, character back stories, etc. to effectively communicate an epic fantasy story. It also flies in the face of the prevailing notion of co-op games, which is the whole whack-a-mole, division of labor concept. Everybody in this game has one overarching goal.

It is obviously risky, because we're being asked to do something -different- with this game. Yet it is almost more back-to-basics than forward thinking, showcasing a style of game design that hasn't been popular since 15-20 years before a lot of this generation of gamers were even born.

It's also risky and dangerous in a sense because Jim Felli put up his own money, his own stake to bring this game to market. Total props for that.

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19 Mar 2015 20:18 #199788 by Michael Barnes

SuperflyTNT wrote: More games should just include character sheets and wee pencils. I hate having to keep track of a million things with tiny little circley bits.


I've been saying this for years. Screw all of these little die-cut heart counters. Just jot that shit down. I'm sure supplying a golf pencil and a pad in a game box would be much less expensive than a couple of punch boards worth of counters.

But oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth at BGG if a publisher did that...
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19 Mar 2015 20:26 #199789 by LazarusTNT
Well, if there's any ONE thing that the pariah known as DOOM AND BLOOM: SURVIVAL got right, it's the resource tracker. A bunch of cheap glass stones laid over a stiff board with a bunch of icons and numbers. Totally makes upkeep useful.

Still, I'm all about the pencils and paper. It always pisses me off that I have to make a 50$ game a 60$ game via Plano box purchase simply because the publisher had to have 1x10^100 counters to track stupid shit that you'll lose in one turn.

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19 Mar 2015 21:22 #199793 by DukeofChutney
pencil and paper in my copy of dune beats FFGs tokens anyday.

I usually think coop suck but this game has something that interests me. It understands the basic tenet of good rpg writing; show don't tell. I like stories that accept that im smart enough to read between the lines and fill the gaps and don't have to state every fact of their fiction upfront. Having said this, its still a coop.

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19 Mar 2015 22:07 - 19 Mar 2015 22:40 #199795 by Sagrilarus

Michael Barnes wrote: . . . character back stories . . .


You know, when you put it in the list like that it makes it obvious to me why I hate modern games with characters. I don't like the characters! It's rare that the art on the card interests me all that much and I kind of like the idea of setting my own personality. If I want to play Lazy Karl then that's who I want to play, not Willie Ibn Hoojomowotz from the Lower Boozeeboos with a fangs and big ears, whose blind but sees through a rock embedded in his forehead or some other hokey-assed bullshit I outgrew when I was 14. FFG and that crowd always have you playing some freak with a "tragic flaw" to him. Having that character thrust onto me sucks, because no one ever puts Lazy Karl into their box. I can make Lazy Karl come alive dammit!

So bully for this guy for having people make up their own personalities to play with. I might just be able to manage that on my own.

This thread is bracing. I'm buying the next round.

S.
Last edit: 19 Mar 2015 22:40 by Sagrilarus.
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19 Mar 2015 23:39 - 19 Mar 2015 23:44 #199797 by Frohike
To clarify (maybe), the monsters don't need to be tracked beyond the span of the turn being played. You either win the battle or flee, with a couple of options depending upon your desperation. You can either immediately withdraw to a random hex, or you can risk enduring one more round of battle without the ability to attack (i.e. defense only) and withdraw to a hex of your choice if you survive. Once you withdraw, the form you were fighting is gone. If you re-enter the lair, or chase a Shadow down that you previously fled, you will regenerate a new adversary. So... any paper & pencil tracking you need to do is up to you but may not be as necessary as you may be thinking. I haven't needed to jot anything down yet, personally.
Last edit: 19 Mar 2015 23:44 by Frohike.

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20 Mar 2015 11:12 #199818 by Gary Sax
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21 Mar 2015 16:15 - 21 Mar 2015 19:28 #199852 by Sagrilarus
The Devious Weasel interview linked above (thank you both) was a good read as well. This guy has walked the same path I have, and I can hear it in everything he says. I don't do co-ops anymore, but I may need to make an exception in this case.

S.
Last edit: 21 Mar 2015 19:28 by Sagrilarus.
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21 Mar 2015 20:21 #199856 by Josh Look

Sagrilarus wrote: I don't do co-ops anymore, but I may need to make an exception in this case.


Same here, I can't stand co-ops, but this sounds pretty compelling. I ordered it.

Great review, Michael, and that interview is pretty cool, too. Makes sense that one of his favorite movies is Alien, a movie that embraces the concept of allowing your imagination to fill in the blanks in order to generate a greater effect, as that sounds like what the game does as well.

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21 Mar 2015 20:36 #199857 by Sagrilarus

Josh Look wrote:

Sagrilarus wrote: I don't do co-ops anymore, but I may need to make an exception in this case.


Same here, I can't stand co-ops, but this sounds pretty compelling. I ordered it.


When's it due in? I'll stop by for a game.

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22 Mar 2015 10:20 - 22 Mar 2015 10:26 #199861 by LazarusTNT

Michael Barnes wrote: Oh, come on Pete...of course the game isn't dangerous in that it's going to hurt someone...but it is dangerous in the scope of hobby game design because it's basically throwing out the established- and popular- methods for communicating setting and narrative.


Sorry, Michael, but I call bullshit. There's absolutely nothing dangerous about designing a board game or about a board game design, unless there's some political thing that might get him shot. You should've stopped with risky, as in "risk of success". Dangerous is not an adjective that works here.

It is obviously risky, because we're being asked to do something -different- with this game. Yet it is almost more back-to-basics than forward thinking, showcasing a style of game design that hasn't been popular since 15-20 years before a lot of this generation of gamers were even born.


Nope. The risk is in if you buy it or not. And actually, from your description, I don't really see much different other than the party ability. It sounds like an adventure game with a random monster generator and no pretty pictures. It almost sounds like Red Box D&D in the sense that you have to imagine everything yourself, which is cool. But it's not that far a cry from a lot of other games, again, based on your description. It's almost like Magic Realm with the ability to join up and adventure together. As an aside, I wonder how that would fly with the Alpha Gamer Syndrome...do you just dump him and say "we're not a party anymore, dickweed"?

It's also risky and dangerous in a sense because Jim Felli put up his own money, his own stake to bring this game to market. Total props for that.

That's the only risky part in all of this is the risk that consumers will not buy into it. I guess that constitutes as "dangerous to his wallet" but that's not what you meant. You were going for a hyperbolic adjective to describe "vastly different and that rocks the boat of conventional board game design" and failed, this time. Don't worry, though, you fail so infrequently that you were due.

Here, I made you something:
Attachments:
Last edit: 22 Mar 2015 10:26 by LazarusTNT.

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22 Mar 2015 20:51 #199881 by Wetworks
Marcowargamer did a video with the developer at Gencon 2014



He also did a video review and called it one of his favorite games of 2014.
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22 Mar 2015 23:56 #199884 by Sevej

SuperflyTNT wrote:

Michael Barnes wrote: Oh, come on Pete...of course the game isn't dangerous in that it's going to hurt someone...but it is dangerous in the scope of hobby game design because it's basically throwing out the established- and popular- methods for communicating setting and narrative.


Sorry, Michael, but I call bullshit. There's absolutely nothing dangerous about designing a board game or about a board game design, unless there's some political thing that might get him shot. You should've stopped with risky, as in "risk of success". Dangerous is not an adjective that works here.


Come on Pete, give the guy some leeway. It's not Barness without some hyperbole.

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23 Mar 2015 10:53 #199894 by LazarusTNT
That's why I'm being a pain - he's usually better at hyperbole. We have to keep his hyperbolic barometer finely tuned or he'll end up like me or Weeks. This was done out of love, my friend. :)

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