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January 23, 2020
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Michael Barnes
January 23, 2020
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Top Gun is a Maverick - Review

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January 22, 2020
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January 21, 2020
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January 20, 2020
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January 20, 2020
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January 18, 2020
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Coming the Week of January 18th (17 Jan 2020)

First Impressions of Return to Dark Tower.
Reviews of Clank!, On the Underground, Cover Your Kingdom, and Arkham Horror LCG: Circle Undone Core Box.
It Came from the Tabletop's take on Sanctum.
Part 3 of The Others.
And more TBA

Star Wars Outer Rim in Review

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13 Jan 2020 09:50 #306082 by san il defanso
At first glance Outer Rim appears to be in a...

It’s hard for me to gauge the buzz in board gaming circles these days, but the release of Star Wars: Outer Rim this last summer completely passed me by. From way over here in Asia, it barely seemed to register at all. The consensus was one of muted approval, a perfectly cromulent game but little more. I’m glad I gave it a chance, because while Outer Rim is a different game than I expected, I am altogether in love with the game I got.

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13 Jan 2020 11:06 #306083 by Jackwraith
Coolness. Thanks, Nate. That's the clearest description I've read yet. Makes it tempting, but I already have Firefly and M&M on the shelf (and no $ for new games...)
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13 Jan 2020 12:50 - 13 Jan 2020 12:51 #306084 by Josh Look
I’ve been singing Outer Rim’s praises for awhile now (why doesn’t anyone take my word on anything?) and I’m 13 plays into it. I hit the point 5 plays ago where it became clear that Outer Rim (along with Western Legends) represents a clear cut evolutionary line in the PUD/adventure hybrid genre. Anything before it feels antiquated to me, and while there are parts of Firefly and Xia that I like (the movement in Firefly and the ship design in Xia, specifically), the quality of life improvements put OR and WL clearly ahead enough that I couldn’t imagine playing Firefly and M&M (which I’ve never liked) again. The verdict is still out on Xia, but I already know which game will hit the table more often.

Great write up, Nate, glad to see it getting some much deserved love on this site.
Last edit: 13 Jan 2020 12:51 by Josh Look.
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13 Jan 2020 12:53 #306085 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Star Wars Outer Rim in Review
It's a really good time. Especially if you're Lando and can do a passable Billy Dee Williams.

"A Gift For Jabba? Jabba loves me! Or, at least he will by the time I get to Tatooine, I'm sure of it… Pretty sure."

"Maz, you are an important and integral part of this team. Without you would we have made it through The Maelstrom? Hardl—what's that, Bossk? you roll 5 guns and want Maz? I barely know her really; have a good time trying to track her down, she's a tough cookie."
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13 Jan 2020 13:16 #306086 by Space Ghost
I'm about 1/2 dozen plays in, and Nate's review is spot on. It evokes the Star Wars atmosphere that I want.

I definitely have no need to play Firefly again.
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13 Jan 2020 13:58 #306087 by Shellhead
Great review. Everything sounds good about this game, but that rim layout gives me claustrophobia. I understand the concept, but I want a space game with more of a sense of freedom in movement. In Firefly, when I've got a handful of jobs, I like being able to mentally plot out fuel efficient routes and weigh them against the potential risks like reavers or complications during the job. This linear rim leaves players endlessly going back and forth past the same locations all the time.
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13 Jan 2020 14:20 #306089 by Sagrilarus
Oh for Chrissake people, how come nobody told me Doctor Aphra is in the game?

Must-purchase.
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13 Jan 2020 14:53 #306092 by Space Ghost

Shellhead wrote: Great review. Everything sounds good about this game, but that rim layout gives me claustrophobia. I understand the concept, but I want a space game with more of a sense of freedom in movement. In Firefly, when I've got a handful of jobs, I like being able to mentally plot out fuel efficient routes and weigh them against the potential risks like reavers or complications during the job. This linear rim leaves players endlessly going back and forth past the same locations all the time.


That's the sense you get when you look at it and what I feared as well; however, once you play it, it works really nicely. It's all managed through both the number of jobs you can take and how you interact with the spaces based on what you are looking for. Surprisingly, it doesn't get repetitive -- very nice design work
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13 Jan 2020 15:17 - 14 Jan 2020 06:18 #306098 by Sagrilarus

Space Ghost wrote:

Shellhead wrote: Great review. Everything sounds good about this game, but that rim layout gives me claustrophobia. I understand the concept, but I want a space game with more of a sense of freedom in movement. In Firefly, when I've got a handful of jobs, I like being able to mentally plot out fuel efficient routes and weigh them against the potential risks like reavers or complications during the job. This linear rim leaves players endlessly going back and forth past the same locations all the time.


That's the sense you get when you look at it and what I feared as well; however, once you play it, it works really nicely. It's all managed through both the number of jobs you can take and how you interact with the spaces based on what you are looking for. Surprisingly, it doesn't get repetitive -- very nice design work


I'll admit I've kind of been thinking in the same direction. I like maps because they make for open play, lots of options even if some of them are favored. I'm always impressed that Merchant of Venus will result in four different players on the same map taking advantage of four different sets of synergy.

So my question with this game has been if it's more in a Magic The Gathering model, where there's a lot of variability but it's about managing the minute instead of managing the grand. I'm more of a grand guy, though I know there are a lot of people that really dig the minutia. That's what's going to call this game for me . . . and Doc Aphra of course because let's face it, she kicks ass. I love competent women.
Last edit: 14 Jan 2020 06:18 by Sagrilarus.
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13 Jan 2020 15:39 #306102 by Josh Look

Shellhead wrote: Great review. Everything sounds good about this game, but that rim layout gives me claustrophobia. I understand the concept, but I want a space game with more of a sense of freedom in movement. In Firefly, when I've got a handful of jobs, I like being able to mentally plot out fuel efficient routes and weigh them against the potential risks like reavers or complications during the job. This linear rim leaves players endlessly going back and forth past the same locations all the time.


This is a non-issue. It’s a different set of decisions that your movement offers. Instead of playing the efficiency game, Outer Rim’s movement is more about where do you want to stop. Getting to a planet is cool because you can shop or manipulate the market against other players. However, stopping at a planet might mean giving up movement points. Stopping in space is giving up the chance to shop and the space encounters are unpredictable. The board layout is also to ensure that all the moving parts actually work. The NPC ships actually do what they’re supposed to do (as opposed to M&M where they outright suck and Firefly where they sometimes work with expansions) and once you have a bounty hunter player who knows what they’re doing, it makes player interaction actually possible. It’s not anywhere near restrictive as it looks and it really does benefit the design. Firefly is just as back and forth as Outer Rim is and Outer Rim is free of all the random, frustrating BS I couldn’t care less if I ever had to deal with ever again.
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13 Jan 2020 17:09 #306105 by Josh Look
Just to expand on something I glossed over in my last post...

If you or your group insists on player interaction, make sure someone is a bounty hunter. In 3 player games especially, there will often be a point where the bounty hunter needs to collect on another player’s crew. It’s lead to some fun moments in my games, like when I (as Boba Fett, who can really learn where all the NPC characters are) came after another player because I had the bounty Greedo and they had him in their crew. They were just dabbling in bounty hunting but had the bounty for Lobot. I caught up with them and asked if they were going put up a fight over me taking Greedo. The agreed to staring out of my way if I told them where Lobot was. I have no idea if that is against the rules but I don’t care, it was a killer little standoff.

So yeah, my advice is to play with at least one bounty hunter. Not having one won’t spoil the game like having the wrong balance of lawful/outlaw characters in Western Legends, but knowing that someone might want to come after your crew at some point is fun.
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13 Jan 2020 18:14 #306107 by Jackwraith

Josh Look wrote: I’ve been singing Outer Rim’s praises for awhile now (why doesn’t anyone take my word on anything?)


And just to follow up on something Josh said: It's not that I don't take your word on anything. In fact, I read your words (or listen to them) just as closely as anyone else's here. However, there are two bits of context:

1. You're a Star Wars fanatic. That means that, most of the time, you're going to look favorably on anything that's Star Wars and at least decently designed. I am not a huge Star Wars fan. I'm more interested in how it plays than what it is (see: my thoughts on Villainous.)

2. Like MB, you're prone to seeing things very starkly. You've done it in the post I quoted, where you've decided that games as well regarded as Firefly and M&M are dust/trade bait to you now that you've played Outer Rim. I'm not that, uh, enthusiastic about my opinions and I still think there's value in both of those games, in the same way I think there's value in a number of games that I still own that are of similar styles.

Speaking for myself, I'm not ignoring things you say. I'm just interested in reading opinions in addition to yours that may be a little less fervent. Also, just to reemphasize: I was mostly just pointing out Nate's excellent review, where he provided a solid look at the game, good AND less-than-good parts, in an objective manner.
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13 Jan 2020 20:49 #306112 by san il defanso
A week or two ago I played a game as IG-88 where I managed to get Chewbacca on my crew. (He's great if you plan on fighting a lot.) Then when Chewie's bounty came up, I calculated that it would be more profitable to turn him in. The big walking carpet put up a fight, but I subdued him and sent him the client on the Ring of Kafrene.

Everyone around the table was kind of bummed out. But not me, because I was programmed without mercy.
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13 Jan 2020 21:03 - 13 Jan 2020 21:05 #306114 by Road Judge
I got Outer Rim for Christmas and hope to play it at my next meetup. I own Xia (got it and expansions this summer) and I really like it. Visually it's also very appealing and I like the various ways the board can be assembled since its unique every game. I was on the fence for Outer Rim because I own Xia and wasn't sure I wanted another pick up and deliver. But it's Star Wars, so I put it on my Santa list.

I'll admit seeing the half circle board for OR I was wondering if after a couple games if it will feel same-y but your review gives me hope that I'll enjoy it with multiple plays.

Nice review!
Last edit: 13 Jan 2020 21:05 by Road Judge. Reason: Edited to add "board"
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13 Jan 2020 22:04 #306119 by jpat
Replied by jpat on topic Star Wars Outer Rim in Review
Heaven knows I don't need another SW game, and I reflexively bristle at obsolescing Firefly even if I don't end up playing it all that much, but you've intrigued me more about this one than anything else has. The points about this being universe evoking rather than cube transporting echo almost word for word what Corey himself says about the impetus for the design, interestingly enough.

(And how did I miss that Corey had left FFG last year? I read [and just now alluded to] what seemed at the time to be an oddly valedictory retrospective, but I feel like I should've registered it more.)
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