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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
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Scout Board Game Review

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oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
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oliverkinne
July 26, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
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The Split - Review

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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
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Gale Force Nine’s Wise Guys Tries Again - Review

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24 Feb 2022 00:00 #331027 by Michael Barnes
Back in 2014, Gale Force Nine was on fire. Hot...

Is the third time a charm?

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24 Feb 2022 12:59 #331028 by n815e
Barnes just… Can’t Stop… throwing us for a loop.
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24 Feb 2022 13:15 #331030 by Shellhead
Because of the limited appeal of the setting, it has been consistently difficult for me to get people to try the Sons of Anarchy board game. But when I do get people to try it, they really like the game. Mechanically, it is a very solid design with a perfect blend of euro and AT elements. Thematically, the components nicely emphasized the setting, especially the player screens that were made to look like big, fat leather wallets, the kind a biker might have attached to a metal chain.

Because of the problematic theme, it was smart for Gale Force Nine to re-theme the game, but D&D was not the right match. This gangster version is a better fit, but not exactly a timely cultural reference.
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24 Feb 2022 14:13 #331034 by RobertB
I've had that problem with SoA: Men of Mayhem as well. Some folks never watched SoA and the theme was meaningless. Other folks weren't too keen on the drugs and guns theme, as in, "I'm not playing a game that glorified drug dealers." A shame, because it's a really good worker placement game.

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24 Feb 2022 14:39 #331035 by hotseatgames
I used to own SoA. I never liked it, and I chalk that up to two problems. I was never playing with the right crowd, and I loathed the show.

At the time, FOX groomed that show to be their star after The Shield ended. Sons of Anarchy is no Shield.
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24 Feb 2022 15:30 #331039 by Shellhead
The other component that emphasized the Sons of Anarchy setting was the location deck. The locations were sized and shaped like bar coasters, and the back of each location actually looked like it could have been a coaster from the SAMCRO clubhouse. The fronts were a bit busy with game information and a picture, but the neon minis stood out nicely in contrast. I also liked that each player got their own d6 that matched the color of their minis. In the occasional multiplayer throwdown, it made easier to tell at a glance who rolled what. The minis were adequate, but my players liked the little plastic money stacks, guns, and bags of contraband.

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25 Feb 2022 09:49 - 25 Feb 2022 10:00 #331056 by Sagrilarus
So the question remains — is the fundamental running gear of this game, regardless of theme, not palatable enough for the bulk of the modern audience? Can any theme salvage it enough to make it a commercial success?

I mean, wargamers know that their success comes directly from their opponent’s failure. The first player to earn one point wins. That confrontation is built into the setting, and anyone sitting down at the table knows not to take their opponent’s actions personally. Can this unwritten understanding be grafted into a game that presents itself to the broader hobby gaming audience?

And more to the point, a modern hobby gaming audience? Because in the original The Game of Life you can be a complete dick to a fellow player. 1960s family title. Confrontation is not new in gaming, in fact if anything I think it’s an older concept that is slowly dying off.
Last edit: 25 Feb 2022 10:00 by Sagrilarus.
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25 Feb 2022 10:05 #331058 by Shellhead
I think that the fundamental structure of the game is fine. Plenty of people like worker placement games, and this is unquestionably a worker placement game. You place dudes in certain locations and receive goods or exchange one type of goods for another. The exciting twist is that instead of just passive-aggressively cockblocking opponents from key locations, you actually fight for the right to use that location for the turn. You can choose to use some guns in a fight, at the risk of drawing more attention from the cops. One more neat twist is that there is a market phase at the end of each turn where everybody secretly chooses how many goods to sell that turn. The price they receive is increased if few goods get sold that turn, or decreased if everybody is flooding the market with goods. Replay value is enhanced due to an event deck, a location deck that greatly exceeds the number of locations that will be used in a single game, plus each faction has a special ability. I haven't played Wise Guys or the D&D version, but I suspect that those qualities are found in every version of this game.

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25 Feb 2022 11:48 #331071 by RobertB

Sagrilarus wrote: So the question remains — is the fundamental running gear of this game, regardless of theme, not palatable enough for the bulk of the modern audience? Can any theme salvage it enough to make it a commercial success?

I mean, wargamers know that their success comes directly from their opponent’s failure. The first player to earn one point wins. That confrontation is built into the setting, and anyone sitting down at the table knows not to take their opponent’s actions personally. Can this unwritten understanding be grafted into a game that presents itself to the broader hobby gaming audience?

And more to the point, a modern hobby gaming audience? Because in the original The Game of Life you can be a complete dick to a fellow player. 1960s family title. Confrontation is not new in gaming, in fact if anything I think it’s an older concept that is slowly dying off.

I'd guess as long as the player knows there's conflict, it shouldn't be a problem. Copies of Risk are still on the shelves at Target, so conflict in games isn't a deal breaker these days. The problem with SoA was that its setting (theme for every boardgamer not on TWBG) was a little too far out there. "Play the role of your favorite scuzzy biker drug dealer! Straight off the show you probably didn't watch!"

Bootleggers are a little cuddlier than biker dope dealers, and the setting matches the mechanics just as well. Shellhead is correct about the game itself - there's a lot of good stuff going on there.

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25 Feb 2022 12:17 #331074 by Jackwraith

Shellhead wrote: The exciting twist is that instead of just passive-aggressively cockblocking opponents from key locations, you actually fight for the right to use that location for the turn.


This is one of my favorite parts about Tiny Epic Western, too. You get the initial bonus as the first arrival and then you're often fighting to keep the secondary bonus of being there. Or sometimes you're just drawn into a fight because someone else wants to get the initial benefit. Both players stay active there for the poker game, regardless of duel outcome, too.

Back on topic: I agree that SoA has some interesting stuff going on. My one play (with Stormseeker!) just didn't have a lasting impact for some reason and, like RobertB says, I didn't watch the show, so I didn't have any other attachment to it. I will say, however, that the theme of a modern biker gang, no matter how repellent it might be objectively, is at least more interesting than going back to that same, tired 1920s bootlegger theme (made up of people who were, if anything, every bit as violent as the characters on SoA, from what I know of the show.)
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25 Feb 2022 16:55 #331086 by Cranberries

hotseatgames wrote: I used to own SoA. I never liked it, and I chalk that up to two problems. I was never playing with the right crowd, and I loathed the show.

At the time, FOX groomed that show to be their star after The Shield ended. Sons of Anarchy is no Shield.


The Shield still haunts me.

I recommend the Mob museum in old Vegas.

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01 Mar 2022 12:50 #331188 by san il defanso
This looks cool! I never played the first game because the license did nothing for me, so seeing it back in this form looks neat. We'll see if it's still available the next time I'm in the US.

I'm a little out of the loop, but did anyone do something like this for Spartacus or Homeland? Those were good games, but the Spartacus license did nothing for me, and the Homeland one did nothing for anyone who might possibly have played the game with me.
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01 Mar 2022 12:57 #331190 by Shellhead
Yes, there was a re-themed Spartacus featuring characters from the X-Men comics, called X-Men: Mutant Revolution. I haven't played the X-Men version, so I don't know how well the treachery, slave auction, gambling, and gladiatorial combat elements translate from Spartacus to X-Men.

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01 Mar 2022 12:58 - 01 Mar 2022 12:59 #331191 by charlest
No Homeland yet, but Spartacus was rereleased last year with a generic gladiator setting. Otherwise it's almost unchanged.

Edit - forgot about the X-Men version. That was a long time ago though at this point and that bombed.
Last edit: 01 Mar 2022 12:59 by charlest.
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01 Mar 2022 13:03 - 01 Mar 2022 13:04 #331192 by Shellhead
And I forgot about the generic gladiator one. Does it have the infamous Jupiter's
Warning: Spoiler!
card?
Last edit: 01 Mar 2022 13:04 by Shellhead.

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