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Patchwork Doodle, Horrified, Sumo Gnomes, Doctor Doctor, and Jaws reviews, Beyond the Veil, Brainwaves Podcast and more TBA.

It Came From the Tabletop! - Star Trek: Ascendancy and Civilization: A New Dawn

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13 Nov 2018 23:00 #286116 by Josh Look

As Josh and Al recover from a busy weekend of playing games, they talk about two of their favorite empire building/4X games.

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13 Nov 2018 23:48 #286117 by Disgustipater
Nothing to add other than keep up the good work.

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14 Nov 2018 07:28 #286119 by WadeMonnig
Your enthusiasm is totally contagious. Quit making me want to add more and more games to my wish list :)

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14 Nov 2018 08:43 #286122 by Ah_Pook
I got a strong scythe vibe from New Dawn the couple times I played it. Everyone sat in their corner trying to out efficient each other with their constrained action selections, and there was some interaction in the middle of the board but it didn't amount to much before someone anticlimactically hit the win condition. Granted I could see it playing out differently if people were good at it, but it didn't really catch anyone's interest enough to want to try to get there.

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14 Nov 2018 09:07 #286123 by Legomancer
The interaction in New Dawn is a lot softer than in other civ games; part of why I like it. Your cities can be taken over, but building a new one is not usually a big deal, other than the lost action. If you're looking for a full 4X experience, you'll be disappointed, but as I'm not looking for that I really like it and think it's been unfairly slept on.
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14 Nov 2018 09:23 #286124 by ubarose

Ah_Pook wrote: I got a strong scythe vibe from New Dawn the couple times I played it. Everyone sat in their corner trying to out efficient each other with their constrained action selections, and there was some interaction in the middle of the board but it didn't amount to much before someone anticlimactically hit the win condition. Granted I could see it playing out differently if people were good at it, but it didn't really catch anyone's interest enough to want to try to get there.


I think a lot depends upon which civilizations and victory conditions are in the game. The set up of the map impacts the game as well. Some games lean more towards trade and development, others have folks messing messing with each other early and often.

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14 Nov 2018 09:42 - 14 Nov 2018 09:45 #286128 by Josh Look
As I said on the show, that greatly diminishes with familiarity of the game. The core mechanic is personal and it’s very easy to get stuck in your own game which makes it a pure race. Once you get over that and become accustomed to just how little time you actually have in this game, you begin to recognize what you shouldn’t let people get away with. Even the game’s with less confrontational victory conditions are confrontational games, because nobody is going to be going purely for the top victory conditions. Building even one wonder makes you a target for attack.

It can feel at first like a game where the ending sneaks up on you. Games like this often fall flat with me and my groups, but luckily Civ has such a fun core mechanic that it just kept hitting the table and that went away. I’ve only had it for a couple months and I’ve played it over a dozen times with multiple groups.
Last edit: 14 Nov 2018 09:45 by Josh Look.
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15 Nov 2018 14:57 #286214 by engineer Al

Ah_Pook wrote: I got a strong scythe vibe from New Dawn the couple times I played it.


You need to come play with US! You have a standing invitation for Thursday nights.
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15 Nov 2018 15:01 - 15 Nov 2018 15:02 #286215 by hotseatgames

Ah_Pook wrote: I got a strong scythe vibe from New Dawn the couple times I played it.


You killed my enthusiasm
Last edit: 15 Nov 2018 15:02 by hotseatgames.
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15 Nov 2018 18:19 #286225 by Sevej
A New Dawn seems exactly what I'm hoping a board game would do: Clever streamlining. Added to wishlist!
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15 Nov 2018 19:40 #286228 by Josh Look

Sevej wrote: A New Dawn seems exactly what I'm hoping a board game would do: Clever streamlining. Added to wishlist!


Let us know what you think if you end up getting it!

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15 Nov 2018 19:45 - 15 Nov 2018 19:47 #286231 by Sagrilarus
You're the only guys on the Internet talking about the spirit of games. That shouldn't be the case. Everyone else focuses on mechanical aspects or the pretty parts. To your credit you make this look easy, but apparently it's not because no one else has caught on. Even the big names like Vasel and his cohorts don't seem to get that.

I think it helps that you've just played and you let the experience of that particular session be a featured part of the conversation. It makes things feel more real.

Of course, you'll have the good taste not to mention that I said this to you. -- Blazing Saddles (A bit of a paraphrase.)
Last edit: 15 Nov 2018 19:47 by Sagrilarus.
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15 Nov 2018 20:34 #286233 by repoman
I think part of the genius of the new Civ game is how it totally eliminates many of the crummy aspects of Civ VI the computer game and yet delivers the same sense of accomplishment you get from developing your civ.

For example, the city states in Civ VI do require a long time to woo to your side. You must send envoys and have more envoys than any other civilization. They then provide a benefit in terms of the currencies in the game (production/science/culture/etc) but is a long and involved process. In the board game, if you are one of the first two to get a trade unit to the city state you get a one time benefit in trade tokens but they also give you their "buddy card" which gives a slight permanent boost. It's quick and it's easy and it's great.

The military aspect of the game is also genius. Let's face it, in most civ games the military aspect is a big time and resource sink where you devote a lot of energy to it. It becomes one of the primary aspects of the game. However, in Civilization the board game, it's very abstract and fast. There is still tension but no long list of modifiers, unit differentiation, or other chrome that seem cool on the surface but add little value to the experience.

Also, there is no "feed your people" buzz kill as there has been in many civ games. Although, to be fair, I think most games have moved away from that horrible mechanism.

As to Star Trek Ascendancy, I agree with you guys that the map development is one of the coolest parts of the game. You're discussion of how there are "no hexes" got me to thinking. It's much more of a "point to point" movement system as seen in many card driven war games. There are the roads in between systems that can be used so the analogy isn't 100% but certainly the warp system draws much of its inspiration from that.
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15 Nov 2018 21:28 #286235 by Sevej
I've been disenchanted by Civ games lately. Mid-game/late-game is always a slog. Managing a city or two is fun. Managing 12 of them, and then acquiring 5 more through conquest, isn't quite enjoyable. This is in addition to almost a dozen of units you use for attacking...

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15 Nov 2018 21:54 #286238 by Josh Look

Sevej wrote: I've been disenchanted by Civ games lately. Mid-game/late-game is always a slog. Managing a city or two is fun. Managing 12 of them, and then acquiring 5 more through conquest, isn't quite enjoyable. This is in addition to almost a dozen of units you use for attacking...


Yeah, you’re pretty much the target audience for New Dawn. Mid-late game is where it really picks up and amazingly enough, you’re really not dealing with any more shit than what you started with.

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