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oliverkinne
November 26, 2021
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Lunar Base Board Game Review

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BradHB
November 26, 2021
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Jackwraith
November 25, 2021
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whowhatwhycast
November 24, 2021
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adamr
November 24, 2021
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thegiantbrain
November 23, 2021
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oliverkinne
November 23, 2021
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oliverkinne
November 22, 2021
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Tharos Board Game Review

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BradHB
November 19, 2021
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Jackwraith
November 18, 2021
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whowhatwhycast
November 17, 2021
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oliverkinne
November 16, 2021
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Michael Barnes
November 15, 2021
1435 0
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BradHB
November 12, 2021
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whowhatwhycast
November 10, 2021
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oliverkinne
November 09, 2021
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Too Many Bones - a Punchboard Review

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24 Nov 2021 00:00 #328190 by adamr
Chip Theory Games, who make Too Many Bones, have a...

Too Many Bones is one of those games that’s been on the periphery of my interest for a really long time. I saw people streaming it, I heard how good it’s meant to be, and how amazing the components are, and I really wanted to be enthused. I wanted to want it as much as everyone else seemed to. My apathy meant it slipped me by for a long time while I fed my worker-placement addiction, like a Euro junkie getting his cube fix. This summer I finally got the chance and the renewed impetus to play it, after talking to the rather fabulous Chip Theory Games.

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24 Nov 2021 04:08 #328191 by adamr
It's a little while since I originally wrote this, and I still really enjoy it. I've surprised myself with just how much. I'm still not sure about the expansions yet, but time will tell.
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24 Nov 2021 09:34 #328193 by jason10mm
My concern about a game like this is having to memorize, or consult a lengthy chart, about which symbol means what. Compounded by difficult to distinguish (totally not because of ageing eyes) iconography; is that an orange flower or a lime atomic symbol or a yellow sunburst? these types of games can seem rules light at first but become a mess when every roll results in stopping play to consult the manual to figure out what just happened. How are these issues addressed in this game.

Otherwise it looks pretty cool, I generally like games where the mechanics are baked into the pieces and who doesn't like boxes of dice?

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24 Nov 2021 11:51 - 24 Nov 2021 11:53 #328196 by Michael Barnes
It’s more than looking at the charts…it’s also working out what actually happens when the rules don’t exactly cover the situation or they just aren’t clear.

I was really into this months ago- I played it quite a lot, mostly solo but also with my kids, who…kind of hated it. But it got to where I felt like the battles, although frequently interesting at a tactical level, were very grindy and repetitive. The outcomes on the adventure cards were often more interesting than the outcomes of the attrition-y battles. It just became extremely tedious, I think in part because it is so loaded with dice effects.

I actively disliked Undertow. It added elements that I thought were wholly uninteresting and even more tedious.

There are really good things about the design- the bones thing is great, an excellent “fail forward” mechanic that also feels like a charge meter in a video game. Some of the dice effects are really cool and there are definitely synergies abound- playing different characters makes the gameplay feel wildly different.

But the bad things are kind of irredeemable, I think, for a game of this price. For one, the production is a fucking joke. It’s portrayed as this luxe pinnacle of high end game manufacture but it’s -garbage-. Toxic neoprene mats, heavy but still very plastic and very cheap stickered poker chips, “menu” material plastic instead of paper. It’s massively wasteful and the whole things smells like poison. The dice are fine, whatever, but they look terrible: every single aspect of the game looks terrible. It’s like a graphic designer without a whit of taste, style, or consistency was hired to do this. Nothing matches. The art for the disgusting flesh gremlins isn’t like the art for the monsters. There’s like 35 different fonts across the product. Shit that would barely have passed graphic design muster in 1995 is all over the place, I’m surprised there’s not WordArt and dropshadows. The rules writing is among the worst in the business. Living rules are no excuse for rules writing that was trash to begin with.

When I saw the new Kickstarter and the absolute mountain of ugly, junk plastic they are offering I decided it was time to part ways with it. I did enjoy my time with it and it was fun to explore. But I honestly think that a lot of folks are dazzled by a jumped up (but not actually any good) production and the strong sense of variability on offer.

There is absolutely zero reason this should be a $150 game. None of the junk plastic needs to be there at all.
Last edit: 24 Nov 2021 11:53 by Michael Barnes.
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24 Nov 2021 11:56 #328197 by Michael Barnes
Adam as far as the expansions go, the characters are the best way to go. I had Ghillie and Nugget, they were both interesting to play with. Particularly Ghillie. The other stuff was just more clutter, I felt like, and some of it was specifically not interested in (the campaign thing). Undertow has some cool characters but I hated everything else about it.
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24 Nov 2021 12:11 #328198 by Ah_Pook
Chip Theory makes games that I sort of want to try but always with some big caveats, and then they price them waaaaay out of my price range for things that I sort of want to try. Also I think their "premium production" schtick all actually looks quite shoddy and cheap. Cloudspire is a game that I would take a punt on for $50 and see if it's actually fun enough to get through the learning curve and mountain of poorly written rules etc etc, but for $200+ they can keep it.

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24 Nov 2021 13:42 #328204 by adamr

Michael Barnes wrote: It’s more than looking at the charts…it’s also working out what actually happens when the rules don’t exactly cover the situation or they just aren’t clear.

I was really into this months ago- I played it quite a lot, mostly solo but also with my kids, who…kind of hated it. But it got to where I felt like the battles, although frequently interesting at a tactical level, were very grindy and repetitive. The outcomes on the adventure cards were often more interesting than the outcomes of the attrition-y battles. It just became extremely tedious, I think in part because it is so loaded with dice effects.


Out of interest, why did you choose to get it in the first place, and persist with it if you don't like much about anything in the box?

I understand the tons of plastic bits too. It feels like an attempt to get the video game feel into a box. I'm still enjoying it lots, but I know at some point it may wane, just as it did with things like Disgaea, Into The Breach and other video games it reminds me of.
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24 Nov 2021 14:01 #328206 by Michael Barnes
Oh no I did like it, I had head so much about it and thought I’d give it a try and it did hold my attention for a while…but the things I didn’t like about it wore on me over time. The last time I played I got halfway to the tyrant and was like I just do not feel like doing this anymore.

Disgaea and Into The Breach are excellent comparatives.
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24 Nov 2021 14:47 #328207 by Gary Sax
The TRPG comparison in your review really helped me understand a lot of other reviews of this game (I haven't tried it) too, thanks for that adamr.
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