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Barnes on Games- Defenders of the Last Stand in Review, Mansions of Madness 2, Scythe, Dreadball

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11 Aug 2016 17:39 #231856 by Michael Barnes

In this post-apocalyptic wasteland, the scarce resource is GOOD TASTE.

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11 Aug 2016 21:15 #231857 by drewcula
RE: DreadBall.
Well it's about damn time Michael. I've only been singing DB's praises for 3.5 years.
To your criticism - DB is very much a spiritual successor to BB. And it's no bloody surprise - all of the big wigs at Mantic use to work for GW. DB Season 1 is an EMBARRASSING rip off of GW factions. Originality begins to shine in Season 2, and now with 25 teams available; DB has a lot of fun sci-fi / non-GW tropes to play. League play is f***ing awesome, tournaments are pretty cool, one off games are just okay (for me). Have fun.

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11 Aug 2016 21:46 #231859 by LazarusTNT
Nefarious LOL.

I'm not a detractor at all. You simply aren't hearing me, through your veil of "It's so
Damned Pretty I Lost My Perspective!"

It's a well designed, tight game. It's gorgeous. It's smart.

It's also dull, repetitive, a bit gamey, is absolutely not a 4x, and is barely a hybrid. It's a straight up spreadsheet game, with an eye toward efficiency and racing to get X points (stars).

That doesn't make it a bad game. I've never remotely said it was a bad game. I just was bored senseless the first time. Then the second time I was slightly less bored but took some time to analyze it, and found that it really is a very simple Euro worker placement game in the guise of a 4x DOAM.

About this 4x "old way of thinking", nah, fuck that. The buck stops there. You can't arbitrarily re-imagine a lexicon to fit your narrative. Gasoline has a specific definition. If you say gasoline, people know precisely what you mean. 4X has a distinct meaning as well. You can't just say "put Kerosene in my transport" and expect me to put 93 octane gasoline in because you've decided to change the meaning of kerosene to mean gasoline. Sorry, language doesn't work when you start making shit up. Unless you're a rapper.

It's not a 4x. He even said so in that interview someone posted. Call it what it is. It's not a re-envisioning of 4x, it's a sorta-DOAM Euro efficiency game. Nothing wrong with that. Let it be what it is. Don't bullshit people with flowery language and become the shitheel apologist you and I both despise.

Let it be what it is.

Some will like it. Some won't. Who fucking cares?

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11 Aug 2016 21:54 #231860 by LazarusTNT
On STAND: I adore it. It's a sort of reskin of Realm but it's definitely more of an actual reimagining. The adventure is there. It feels integral in a way that Realm never had. The setting is absolutely better developed. The board is far better looking and slightly less practical thanks to the absurdly large biker dudes.

I like the fonts, too. Much easier to read and I feel them to be aesthetically fitting and pleasing. But I'm not a font snob.

What I agree with wholeheartedly is the ridiculously bad casting of the mini's. I don't have the same Chinastank odor that you do but I know your pain. My old copy of Vlood Feud in NY was so bad I literally tossed it in the garbage. Almost called EPA! What a shame too.

Before you shitcan it, maybe toss some primer on and see if that helps the definition. I'm convinced that it will help, and the bright baby-room colors don't help matters because they're so shiny. Still think that someone, somewhere should be beaten with a cane for such a travesty.

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12 Aug 2016 07:35 - 12 Aug 2016 08:20 #231871 by Mr. White
I'm going to tag in here and help DB out.

I was a skeptic at first, in fact I shrugged it off when an out-of-state buddy brought it down a few years back. Clearly, I'm now sold.

Granted it isn't BB, but there's a lot of fresh air there because of it and everything about DB is leaner. A DB pitch takes up half the space, teams cost a fraction of the price, you only need to paint half as many models, game time....cut in half. All in all, you get all the hobby and gaming aspects of BB, but in a more condensed package. Also, DB encourages more dynamic play. _Any_ failure in BB results in a turnover. So, you have a lot of almost pre-programmed decisions on your turn as you perform, in order, the obvious low to high risk actions. Not so in DB, only failure on a play with the ball results in the end of your rush, so a coach will find themselves pushing their players more or going for more dubious slams and throws. Combined with the 'showboat' rule I really, really enjoy this aspect of the game.

I'm not sure why league play isn't going to happen. One can _easily_ run a six game season over two nights. Don't know how long you guys play, but three DB games a night is doable. 3 games (with between game league building) usually takes me about 4 hours.

Thing is all these sort of games (BB, DB, Mordheim, Necromunda) are pretty good as one-off games but when set up in a league/campaign are easily the best gaming experiences I've ever had. Dipping your toes into a DB league seems mandatory.

Anyway, regarding the races. Near as I can tell Mantic started off as a company that provided WFB/40K players with much cheaper model options as well as bringing to the hobby those long lost races that GW left behind. Abyssal Dwarves (Chaos Dwarves), Veer-myn (Hrud), and Forge Fathers (Squats). When all these legit developers came on board (such as Alessio Cavatore and Jake Thorton) all of a sudden Mantic has games. Recall, my DB post from last summer. I purposely passed on the races from the Season 1 book because I didn't just want 'Blood Bowl in Space'. Drewcula is correct, the latter season books have all the unique space races....which includes fish people.



I'd love to see your painted teams.
Last edit: 12 Aug 2016 08:20 by Mr. White.
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12 Aug 2016 08:14 #231873 by JEM
Happy to play Dreadball with you any time, Michael. ;) On the subject of Scythe my main problem (having not yet played it, though there are two copies floating around our group) is aesthetic. Plastic mech and hero figures sharing a board with recycled viticulture meeples really bugs me.

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12 Aug 2016 08:29 #231876 by charlest
My problem with arguing about whether Scythe is a 4X or not is that it's a big waste of time. Everyone refers to TI3 as a 4X, but it's strictly not either.

When I hear the term 4X I think of a type of game and not specific details. If I'm describing Scythe to someone I think 4X is fine as long as you qualify it with explaining its Euro elements and how punitive combat can be at times.

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12 Aug 2016 08:36 - 12 Aug 2016 08:38 #231877 by drewcula


Two of the Season Six teams squaring off. Crystal Rock creatures that power-up when close to one another and my current fav; ghosts that turn incorporeal to evade tight spots.
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Last edit: 12 Aug 2016 08:38 by drewcula.
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12 Aug 2016 08:43 - 12 Aug 2016 08:47 #231879 by Mr. White
I actually do really well with with the Ada Lorna. Is that a general consensus...that they're a good team...or is it a good fit for my play style?

I don't play them in league because I fear may run away with it. I've since passed the team to my son.
Last edit: 12 Aug 2016 08:47 by Mr. White.

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12 Aug 2016 08:46 #231880 by drewcula
Advancing an earlier statement I made about Mantic.
I've always found Mantic's similarity to GW's product line "uncanny."
Yes, every game is different. And many of them are damn good. A lower price point doesn't hurt, and while the models are nice - they're rarely the exceptional quality of GW.

But boy, do they seem to be cut from the same cloth:

Warhammer > Kings of War [Mantic actively (and successfully) recruits pissed off WH gamers to adopt KoW, even allowing GW models on the battlefield]
WH 40K > Warpath
Necromunda > Dead Zone (sort of)
Blood Bowl > DreadBall
Dungeon Bowl > DreadBall Extreme
Heroquest (GW/MB joint) > Dungeon Saga

With Dungeon Saga's commercial success, there may be traction to the rumor that Mantic will make their own Space Crusade in the Warpath universe.

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12 Aug 2016 08:50 #231881 by drewcula

Mr. White wrote: I actually do really with with the Ada Lorna. Is that a general consensus...that they're a good team...or is it a good fit for my play style?

I don't play them in league because I fear may run away with it. I've since passed the team to my son.


I have the ear of the Rules Committee member charged with Ada Lorana edits. We're on the same page.
They're good, but not great.
Mid tier team, a solid B.

For me, they match my play style and my thematic preference for the supernatural.

That said, I BARELY lost the Gencon tournament with these guys. Tied for first place with the Sharks (Sphyr), I had the same record and the same fan checks. 1st place had three more 3 point strikes. #secondplacesucks

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12 Aug 2016 09:05 - 12 Aug 2016 09:25 #231882 by Mr. White
I do best with Dark Elves in BB, and to me the Ada Lorna seem to have a similar play style. With their phasing, you can have an open player every rush for nice, short passes.

I _almost_ took them to Shawn's tourney a few months back. And I really should have. Being my first DB tourney, I was expecting to get schooled so took the Zee so I'd have the mindset of simply hanging out and having fun. I actually won some games with the monkeys and feel I could have done really well, if not rolled that field of players with the Ada Lorna. Of course, talk is cheap, but next time...
Last edit: 12 Aug 2016 09:25 by Mr. White.

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12 Aug 2016 09:26 #231884 by drewcula
Barnes initial play reports of MoM 2nd edition is harshing my Friday mellow.
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12 Aug 2016 09:42 - 12 Aug 2016 09:42 #231886 by JEM
Mantic comparisons to GW are always going to be there because Mantic was made by, and is full of, ex-GW staff who wanted to do things differently.
Last edit: 12 Aug 2016 09:42 by JEM.

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12 Aug 2016 09:42 #231887 by Shellhead
I've been following the discussion here about Scythe with interest. I admire the art and overall visual design of the game. The setting is a novel combination of familiar elements. It sounds like the game was meticulously designed and thoroughly play-tested. Unfortunately, Scythe sounds like a very Euro game to me, despite the combat element. And that's just a dealbreaker for me. As a very experienced accountant, I really and truly do not take any enjoyment in crunching numbers anymore. If I'm not receiving at least a middle class wage for working with numbers, I am wasting my valuable free time on fake work. That doesn't mean that Scythe is a bad game or I am a bad player, it just means that if Scythe hits the table, I will watch for a bit and then wander off to find more something interesting to do.

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