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Barnes on Games - Grand Prix in Review, The Others, Black Fleet, Planet Rush

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14 Nov 2016 16:12 #238413 by Michael Barnes
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15 Nov 2016 00:11 #238414 by Vlad
I liked The Other's review, thanks Michael&Charlie. It made me think that the boardgame market is getting to or is already at the point of over-saturation. I bet the same game would have garnered a warmer reception a few years ago, I think I might've been excited. Now it's just: meh, another coop. Makes me wonder what will be next for the industry.

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15 Nov 2016 06:58 #238422 by JEM
The Others isn't a dungeon crawl co-op. It's a strategy game. Barnes reviewed the game on the basis of what it isn't, not what it is, and I'm not surprised he didn't have a good time with it.

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15 Nov 2016 11:33 #238449 by Michael Barnes
I get what you are saying Jem and we talk about that a bit in the review- how there is more strategic depth due to the way activations work and so forth- but ultimately it is another "dudes in a hall" style game with typical dungeoncrawl-style objectives and gameplay concepts. The change in scenery/nomenclature is cosmetic, the fundamentals are the same.

Vlad, what you are pointing to is exactly the reason that I have retreated increasingly toward miniatures games. I'm pretty worn out with the four or five different games that get pushed out over and over again now that Kickstarter has democratized the publishing process and it turns out that people are perfectly happy being sold the same thing over and over again. There's very little forward movement in terms of innovation, so it's actually been refreshing to go the other way and play really quite simple, back to basics games like what GW is doing right now. There aren't any clever mechanics. There's just a basic assembly of rules to prop up a bunch of story, atmosphere and action. I'm getting more out of that (and the hobby aspects of it) than playing games like The Others right now.

With that said, this has actually been an unusually strong year for games. There have been a lot of really good and great titles released this year- some of which I haven't even gotten around to playing like Cry Havoc and Inis. Sure, we got absolute trash like Valeria: Card Kingdoms, but we also got Star Trek: Ascendency. I think you are right, four or five years ago The Others might have made a splash. In 2016, it's another in a long line of too-similar games.
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15 Nov 2016 12:04 #238454 by Shellhead
I took a long look at The Others when it showed up in the new games section of the local game shop. I could tell that it started as a Kickstarter, because it honestly looks like it was designed to be a successful Kickstarter when it should have been designed to be a good game.
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15 Nov 2016 12:10 #238455 by Josh Look
Black Fleet is a terrific game. It think all of the CT Fatties own it now as well as the lone RI one.
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15 Nov 2016 12:44 #238458 by Colorcrayons
I was taken aback a bit by pooling black fleet in with classic euros. It seems like a total ameritrash game to me.

But the more I think about it, I can see why you would place it in with classic German games. I still disagree a bit, but not totally.

Really good game that is heavily underrated. It definitely needs 4 players though. I'd play this over merchants and marauders every time, and agree with SU&SD how they lumped it in with Survive in a review.
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15 Nov 2016 12:53 #238460 by Msample
Be interested in your take on COLDITZ. I played it for the first ( and only time ) a few years ago and its definitely a product of its time . We're not talking ground breaking mechanics here; roll to move, when's the last time you played that. I dig it more for the theme and my interest in WWII history, esp prisoner of war camps and escapes. My understanding is that they basically cleaned it up rules wise and made a few tweaks, although I think they took out the Do or Die cards.

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15 Nov 2016 12:59 #238461 by JEM

Michael Barnes wrote: I get what you are saying Jem and we talk about that a bit in the review- how there is more strategic depth due to the way activations work and so forth- but ultimately it is another "dudes in a hall" style game with typical dungeoncrawl-style objectives and gameplay concepts. The change in scenery/nomenclature is cosmetic, the fundamentals are the same.


That's my problem with your review, though. It's not a dudes in a hall game at all. It's an abstract strategy game about moving pieces on a board. The presentation is messed up for sure, and you're not the only one to compare it to Zombicide which is a sign that they dropped the ball on presentation. It shouldn't even be in the same topic as games like Zombicide or even Descent, it's genuinely nothing like those games. It's a King of the Hill type of game at the core, and that's how it plays. So I guess I'm completely refuting your notions about what its core gameplay concepts even are, and at that point the review fails for me.
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15 Nov 2016 19:02 #238526 by wkover

Msample wrote: We're not talking ground breaking mechanics here; roll to move, when's the last time you played that.


At least twice per year. Legend of the Moonsword , baby - now with ubarose seal of approval.

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15 Nov 2016 19:31 #238529 by Josh Look

Colorcrayons wrote: Really good game that is heavily underrated. It definitely needs 4 players though. I'd play this over merchants and marauders every time, and agree with SU&SD how they lumped it in with Survive in a review.


I agree with all of this. Even before I watched the SU&SD review, I had likened it to Survive due to having those NPC ships that everyone gets to control to screw with everyone. I love that and want to see it more often.

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15 Nov 2016 19:44 #238531 by Deleted
When I played The Others it was presented as Barnes described it and it fell very flat. The entire time I looked at the minis and considered what game they would fit best with.

- Houseruling Betrayal at House on the Hill
- Homebrew minions for Cthulhu Wars
Ultimately, after stealing it from Michael at his time of weakness, I have decided to dump all of the bits and keep the miniatures for Strange Aeons.

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15 Nov 2016 20:00 #238532 by Frohike

Not sold on The Others: 7 Sins.

I know some folks here have jumped on board, and it's Eric Lang & all, etc. But everything about this is just off-kilter for me and not in a good way. The sins being incorporated as variations of tentacally blobs is boring and tame. The vibe comes off as trying to be "extreme" in a teenage variant of Garbage Pail Kids that doesn't really carry any kind of transgressive air to it (look out for those corrupted hobos, always stealing your shit amirite?). I'm surprised nothing has punny names yet. It's basically just a bunch of Cthulhu crap with arbitrary "sin" tags. The Hell Club (... really?) wears some bondage stuff, I guess. How Matrixey!

The gameplay is dull as hell, from what I've seen so far, and I still don't like the idea of 1 overpowered antagonist player quasi-GMing to kill 4 other players (but not too hard! gotta make it fun!). The "branching" looks really simple, but maybe some scenarios will warp the game mechanics a bit more, who knows. I can't say that would be much of a selling point for me, in any case. On top of these curmudgeonly grievances of mine, I think the tile art looks too clean and computer-generated, like a dull top-down Sim City clone or something.

I look at this, then contrast it with stuff like Cave Evil or Claustrophobia, or even some of the source material like Hellboy, and it just comes off as vapid & un-integrated, both in the gameplay and the aesthetic pretense that coats it. I'm sure it'll be successful, though, and the aftermarket for the KS editions will be huge, etc, etc.

And hey, Blood Rage rubbed me the wrong way (and still does), so what do I know.


... yours truly, 9/14/15
( fortressat.com/forum/10-ameritrash/19782...-not-buying?start=15 )
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16 Nov 2016 08:14 #238545 by drewcula
I guess my follow up is: Why is Eric Lang considered hot shit?

I'm beginning to think more and more he's a hot mess.

I suppose I'm bitter, cause I've backed the wrong (Kickstarter) horses. Namely, Kaosball and The Others. I missed out on Blood Rage.

And while I'm at it, I would argue that Blood Rage is more 'three times a charm.' As in; he already developed Midgard into > Chaos in the Old World into > Blood Rage.

I bought Cthulhu Wars....

I'm a sucker for horror games and sports games and games with cool minis. Kaosball and The Others deliver on the cool minis, but damn - the games aren't doing much for me. [Optimistically] Kasoball may see new life since I'm now an advisor for my college's 'board game club.' Hey, I needed the faculty development points. Kaosball may have enough appeal to the mixed lot of student members.
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16 Nov 2016 09:23 #238552 by Shellhead

drewcula wrote: I guess my follow up is: Why is Eric Lang considered hot shit?


Over the last 15 years, Lang has designed, developed, or produced over 100 games and expansions. Mostly expansions. That's pretty damn impressive.

However, my favorite Lang design is Chaos in the Old World, and I just like it. I don't love Chaos because there is disconnect between subject matter and gameplay that make it feel a little abstract to me. On the down side, I think that Dice Masters is a terrible game. So I'm not a big Lang fan either. But he and Kevin Wilson are designing the new version of Siege of the Citadel, so I don't want to count him out yet.
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