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thegiantbrain
March 04, 2021
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boardgameinquisition
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Fantasy Fluxx Board Game Review

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February 26, 2021
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Barnes on Games- Barnes' Best GOTY 2016

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30 Dec 2016 15:37 #241611 by Michael Barnes

Spoiler- It's Star Trek: Ascendancy

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31 Dec 2016 11:41 #241612 by drewcula
Great stuff as always MB. You're directly responsible for my purchases of: Spartacus, Earth Reborn, Cthulhu Wars and Claustrophobia among others I'm too Saturday morning drunk to remember.
I guess I'll have to look into Silver Tower and Gorechosen.
Still, I own a hell of a lot of Heroquest and Dungeon Saga and those scratch a lot of itches.
And Wiz-War fun in the 80s?! Come on now. I have fun playing Wiz-War in 2016! Wiz-War is probably by favorite FFG reprint.

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31 Dec 2016 12:21 #241617 by san il defanso
It occurs to me that Felli is working in a very auteur kind of design space. He seems to be designing games that he wants to play, and the rest of us are along for the ride. That's a great quality, and it makes Shadows of Malice and Zimby Mojo really special games, but it does severely limit their appeal to the hobby at large. I think most gamers, not unreasonably, expect a game to be theirs to mold and shape, and both of Felli's games resist that. Great games, and I'm keeping them both for the long haul, but they really do force the player to approach them with a willingness to let the game do what it wants, rather than the other way around.
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31 Dec 2016 13:42 #241619 by Gary Sax
Great post and choices! Thanks for your contributions here all year, Barnes.
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31 Dec 2016 15:41 #241626 by southernman
I feel bad now (possibly heretical) .... I've just posted that, after my initial gushing over it, I think Star Trek: Ascendancy may be slightly broken (or just not that good) in a couple of aspects. (How many weeks suspension have I just occurred).
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31 Dec 2016 16:46 #241627 by Gary Sax
0, shit like that is way more welcome here than a bunch of people posting "me too!" And shouting down dissent.
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03 Jan 2017 18:56 #241751 by Michael Barnes
That's right, we here at F:AT completely embrace your right to be wrong.
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04 Jan 2017 10:19 #241781 by Columbob
Hey Mike, have you tried Mechs vs. Minions yet?

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04 Jan 2017 10:50 #241786 by Michael Barnes
An old friend of mine was in town for the holidays and he brought it over twice, but we wound up playing Doom and TMNT instead when I saw him. I'll get to it eventually!

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05 Jan 2017 22:12 #241877 by Malloc
Barnes, Ascendency is a mess, some good ideas in there but the game play is not great. There are real issues, from the fact that it encourages turtling, to the fact that the races all essentially play the same (due to turtling culture) and that the space lanes are kind of worthless once everyone starts warping. This thing needed more testing. Also combat... it could have been better. I like the dice but its pretty easy to figure out who is winning a battle before it starts.

I want to like it, its has things that could have worked but it needs help
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06 Jan 2017 08:40 - 06 Jan 2017 08:41 #241885 by charlest
Interesting. I've only played four games but turtling has not been a thing for anyone besides the Fed. Whoever ends up with less culture typically cannot turtle at all. We've had 3 wins from Dominance and 1 from Culture.

The space lanes also matter because ships block people from warping through, so they create choke points.
Last edit: 06 Jan 2017 08:41 by charlest.

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06 Jan 2017 09:15 #241889 by southernman
I still like the game but my disappointmants (still) are:
- Research broken as it can't be used (effectively) both for weapons/shields and advancements (unless you are well on your way to a supremacy win, then it doesn't matter).
- Hidden exploration with no initial player contact for maybe five turns can make a player a spectator if they get unlucky draws (i.e. three phenomenon and a planet eater out of eight system draws = just watching the other two).
- It's still just a production race.

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06 Jan 2017 09:24 #241891 by san il defanso
I very nearly bought Ascendancy a couple weeks ago, but I decided against it. I think the 3-player limit and length were my main issues, but I am curious how this turtling thing plays out for other people. I think for any sort of map-based game that's the toughest thing to push against.

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06 Jan 2017 11:36 #241902 by Unicron

Southernman wrote: I still like the game but my disappointmants (still) are:
- Research broken as it can't be used (effectively) both for weapons/shields and advancements (unless you are well on your way to a supremacy win, then it doesn't matter).
- Hidden exploration with no initial player contact for maybe five turns can make a player a spectator if they get unlucky draws (i.e. three phenomenon and a planet eater out of eight system draws = just watching the other two).
- It's still just a production race.


I know that ten games isn't a ton, but on average, our games have first contact on turn 3. Two players are trying to make contact with the Romulans to get trade up ASAP. I don't think that shields and weapons are meant to be maxed, only to have the capacity for a few upgrades if they become the sole research priority. I think the terrible system draw can be crippling, but not as much as when you and your opponents are inexperienced. As for the production race, if that were the case, then I think the Federation should win every game, right?

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06 Jan 2017 18:14 #241919 by southernman

Unicron wrote:

Southernman wrote: I still like the game but my disappointmants (still) are:
- Research broken as it can't be used (effectively) both for weapons/shields and advancements (unless you are well on your way to a supremacy win, then it doesn't matter).
- Hidden exploration with no initial player contact for maybe five turns can make a player a spectator if they get unlucky draws (i.e. three phenomenon and a planet eater out of eight system draws = just watching the other two).
- It's still just a production race.


I know that ten games isn't a ton, but on average, our games have first contact on turn 3. Two players are trying to make contact with the Romulans to get trade up ASAP. I don't think that shields and weapons are meant to be maxed, only to have the capacity for a few upgrades if they become the sole research priority. I think the terrible system draw can be crippling, but not as much as when you and your opponents are inexperienced. As for the production race, if that were the case, then I think the Federation should win every game, right?


We are aggressive players so 1st contact does not come quickly, we are too busy exploring to get all the resource nodes to be able to attack or defend attacks.
I had two games in a row where I was basically out of the game by turn four/five - one wasn't as bad as the other and I was squirrelling away ships hoping to make a backdoor attack on the guy smashing over the other guy but he won before i had enough ships just to match one of his fleets.
Not sure where you are going with your Fed/production comment.

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