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Kevin Klemme
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Mycelia Board Game Review

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River Wild Board Game Review

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Outback Crossing Review

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Tiny Epic Vikings Review - Not Particularly Shiny

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03 Apr 2023 09:00 #338872 by Jackwraith
I'm a Tiny Epic fan, as any casual review of...

In a case of function over form, TEV suffers from a lack of theme.

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03 Apr 2023 10:22 #338873 by dysjunct
Great review as always. The bloom is a bit off the rose for me with the TE series; I love the tinyness but I lately find myself wishing they’d trade in a bit of the epicness for a simpler and more streamlined package. They cram so much into the box that it creates unclarity, weird edge cases, vague rules, etc.; all of which means it’s a pain to relearn, a pain to teach, and so they just don’t come out as much as they should — if I’m going to relearn and teach a complex game, my instinct is that it should have the table presence to justify it. A silly attitude perhaps.
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03 Apr 2023 10:48 #338875 by Jackwraith
Thanks. And, no, I don't think that's a silly attitude at all. I've been having some similar feelings about the last couple releases. I really like Dungeons as a dungeon crawler, but the amount of rules and icons packed into it make it mildly onerous to teach and to re-teach, since few players that I've encountered have remembered how things operate from one session to the next. I'm afraid that Vikings will run into that same problem, in that a lot of it simply doesn't feel intuitive. Of course, my favorite among the series is Western, which some can also make that claim against, but I think it's a relatively simple game, whereas Vikings and Dungeons clearly aren't. When you add rules that don't feel intuitive AND bury them amongst a ton of other rules, it can start to lead to some frustration. I totally feel that. I still like all of them, but the trend of the last couple years is a mild concern.
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03 Apr 2023 13:45 #338880 by dysjunct
I think an easy improvement would be to get rid of all the alternate game modes in the rulebook. Just keep it as a simple all v. all. If people really want to play coop, semi-coop, teams v teams, one v many, or solo ... throw the PDFs up on the website and let people print them out. Use the extra space to write a rulebook that is clear and easy to follow and look up rules in.
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06 Apr 2023 15:07 #338922 by Jackwraith
I hear you. I've been one of the more outspoken on various fora against the constant, entitled whines ("Will there be SOLO play?!!!") of those who think that board gaming should be an isolated affair like most conduct their video gaming. But there's no denying that there's a market for that approach and, given the tight windows that Gamelyn seems to operate in, it's probably much easier to incorporate all of that into one production effort, rather than trying to section it off (e.g. "Refer to our website for solo play!", instead of "Buy our game with solo rules included!") It's likely been analyzed to be a marketing drag. The blowback that Leder and Cole Wehrle got from saying that Arcs, their upcoming effort, would only be a 3+ player game was remarkable for its petulant persistence. (They have since rescinded that decision, as development led to uncovering ways to make a 2-player experience workable; still no solo rules, though, for all you isolationists out there.)
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