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Barnes on Games- Scythe Roundtable, Mansions of Madness in Review

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26 Aug 2016 13:24 #232868 by Michael Barnes

Three stars separate this game from the other one...

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26 Aug 2016 14:30 #232869 by Msample
I'd say after reading Pete's comments, 2.5 stars is still generous. A lot of what he says resonates with me, and confirms my decision to skip this game.
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26 Aug 2016 14:34 #232870 by Gary Sax
Perfect opportunity for a head to head, real disagreement over major issues.

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26 Aug 2016 15:22 #232874 by Deleted
I still think this is Jamey Stonemeier trying to redefine 4x as something completely different, which serves no one but Stonemeier games and dilutes the lexicon.

It's like someone saying "well, I made a baseball game" but the game is actually a game about bowling.

He's not stupid. He knows that standing out in the crowd for a Euro isn't easy. He also knows that ...some... folks are OK with stretching the lexicon to include shit it most assuredly should not. So, he used that to his advantage to sell the game.

Good on him for quality PR and salesmanship.

I still think it's a spreadsheet game that, while well designed, isn't terribly compelling.
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26 Aug 2016 15:51 #232877 by Msample
But he certainly nailed the presentation . This was one of the more frequently played games in open gaming at WBC last month and it was certainly eye catching. These days, like it or not that can make up some bland game play .

Speaking of which, the other one that saw a lot of table time was the new MARE NOSTRUM. Any opinions on that one ?

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26 Aug 2016 16:24 #232879 by Deleted
Yeah, from a beauty standpoint, the CE version of the game is astounding. The version that has wooden resources is mehtastic though.

Mare Nostrum is only really awesome with the expansion, IMO. Good game but I'd always play Cyclades instead.

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26 Aug 2016 16:37 #232885 by charlest
New Mare Nostrum is great. Haven't used the expansion yet and 4 plays deep.

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26 Aug 2016 17:08 #232887 by Space Ghost
I got the New Version of Mare Nostrum with Expansion, but it appears that the old mythology expansion wasn't completely ported over. Is that correct?

If so, I might be getting rid of the new version and hang onto my old version.

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27 Aug 2016 06:38 #232902 by southernman

Msample wrote: I'd say after reading Pete's comments, 2.5 stars is still generous. A lot of what he says resonates with me, and confirms my decision to skip this game.


Yeah, same here, reading everyone's highpoints (and lowpoints) of the game I'm happy that my decision not to get into this game was right - in fact as soon as I heard it compared with Eclipse (I hate that 'elegant' spreadsheet game) the rest of the discussion was pretty meaningless.

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27 Aug 2016 07:38 #232903 by wadenels

Space Ghost wrote: I got the New Version of Mare Nostrum with Expansion, but it appears that the old mythology expansion wasn't completely ported over. Is that correct?

If so, I might be getting rid of the new version and hang onto my old version.


I haven't had a chance to play Mare Nostrum: Empires (new version) but my understanding is that the original + expansion is a bigger and longer game, while Empires has been steamlined a bit while still including some Mythology parts. The same spirit and core concepts but differences in implementation. Maybe similar to Descent 1st vs 2nd edition?

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27 Aug 2016 08:12 #232904 by Chaz
So the main knock against Mansions of Madness is "you should go play an RPG instead"? Cool, except that doesn't work for everyone. My wife likes the storytelling, investigative, co-op aspect of MoM. We usually only get to play games with the two of us. Any game that requires a game master/bad guy player means that we're playing against each other, which she doesn't always love. Playing an actual RPG is right the hell out for all the reasons that I play board games instead. Hell, even the "you'll start to see the same effects multiple times" thing is pretty standard. How many times do you pull the same location card in Arkham or Eldritch Horror, or as the game master in Descent, send a bunch of beastmen at the squishy wizard turn after turn?

I'll grant you that all things being equal, there are definitely better ways to get the kind of thing that MoM is trying to go for. But for those of us without a regular game group that can just go play an RPG or something, MoM has a fair amount to recommend it.
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27 Aug 2016 10:23 #232908 by Varys

Southernman wrote:

Msample wrote: I'd say after reading Pete's comments, 2.5 stars is still generous. A lot of what he says resonates with me, and confirms my decision to skip this game.


Yeah, same here, reading everyone's highpoints (and lowpoints) of the game I'm happy that my decision not to get into this game was right - in fact as soon as I heard it compared with Eclipse (I hate that 'elegant' spreadsheet game) the rest of the discussion was pretty meaningless.


I've tried to play Eclipse and I can never get into it. Even the app puts me to sleep. Scythe, on the other hand, is quite enjoyable and easy for me to get into. I've also had no trouble teaching the game to others even people who seemed lukewarm about playing it beforehand. Everyone I've played with enjoyed it. They weren't always good at it, but they wanted to try it again. For me, that's a win.

I think you just have to try Scythe out once and see if it's for you. If you can find someone who has it, that would be best, but at the least, go watch a video play through. There are a few out already. I like the one by Jon Gets Games.
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27 Aug 2016 10:29 #232909 by Deleted
You nailed it.

Either it's for you or not, but until you play it you won't know.
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27 Aug 2016 17:10 #232918 by DukeofChutney
Played the new Mansions of Madness today and I quite enjoyed it but I agree that there is really nothing under the hood. It think it ends up being slightly less ambitious that the original game which I sort of always wanted to love but found slow and a little dull in practice. This requires very little effort on my part and following the narrative is nice but it is essentially just exploring rooms followed by periodically throwing dice. To me it also feels like a game where the App really is the game rather than the physical components. X-com felt like a good marrage between the two, here FFG could have easily just put the pieces onto the APP map and scrapped all the minis and the board and just provided a card deck and character card at a quarter the price. Hot damn is this game expensive for what you get in the box. RRP on the 1st ed was like a full £30 quid cheaper. Despite all this I'd happily play it again and i guess there is a market for people who are allergic to playing actual rpgs.

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28 Aug 2016 08:38 #232926 by Legomancer

SuperflyTNT wrote: You nailed it.

Either it's for you or not, but until you play it you won't know.


I'm thinking it's not. If someone around me wants to play, I will, but I'm not seeking it out. If it turns out I would have liked it, that's ok. I'll survive.
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