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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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The May Getaway Gaming Weekend

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08 May 2023 00:00 #339247 by Sagrilarus
To lead off on Wednesday evening, the half day in...

Just got back from my groups May Gaming Weekend, where seven of us spent three and a half days doing nothing but gaming and eating crap food.  This first post will only cover the gaming.

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08 May 2023 10:04 #339248 by ubarose
Wow! Buffy, Primordial Soup, Nexus Ops and Firefly all in the same weekend! You make me feel like I may need to do some arm twisting to get my group to try these. Although, I have kind of given up on ever convincing anyone to play any of these.
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08 May 2023 10:47 - 08 May 2023 10:47 #339249 by southernman
As my group went there different ways due to work, health, and preferring RPGS and Warhammer in their free time I appreciated hearing about Buffy, Firefly, Nexus Ops, Buffy being played over the weekend - shiney ... and especially enjoyed hearing Root being described as just an excuse to put a lot of rules in a book, the only time I played it (and I did OK) I couldn't actually see the point (or fun) in playing any of the factions - thank you for identifying the emperor's new clothes
Last edit: 08 May 2023 10:47 by southernman.
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08 May 2023 10:53 #339250 by Jackwraith
Can't possibly disagree more on Root and Knizia. The word that comes up most often with the latter is "elegance" because the ones that have lasted the longest in my stack have been those that have that aspect to them. I think Through the Desert is one of them, although it would be lower in the stack. But things like Samurai, T&E, Taj, Modern Art? I'd play those again and again, for as long as people wanted to play them. Same with Root. I think Cole's hands are visible all over that design. IMO, it's one of the best wargames ever made. I think you unfortunately picked one of the factions (Corvids) that's on the very edge of the design limitation as far as viability goes, but it's still in the "will never sell/trade" pile for me. I will say that one of its issues is that it does function FAR better with a regular group that knows the game well and only playing occasionally or regularly teaching people would be to its detriment.

Really glad you're still enjoying BBTM. That's another on the "never trade/sell" pile. OTOH, I'm thinking of shipping Nexus Ops out the door again. I keep trying to become attached to it as with my other favorite DoaMs and it's just not there for me. There's the dividing line between simple and simplistic and it falls too much on the latter end of that scale. (I realize I'm committing about 15 different forms of F: AT heresy in those previous sentences but, there it is.)

That full-on game of Firefly sounds awesome. Gotta try to put one of those together, but I never picked up Blue Sun or Kalidasa so I'm a couple steps below maximum velocity.
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08 May 2023 12:46 #339256 by Sagrilarus
Yeah, a few of Knizia's bigger titles can go a little farther down the road with me. I'm not overwhelmed by his eternal "control the timing of the endgame" thing, nor his "clever" scoring options. I think in some of his titles they work, Ingenious works the scoring well (this week's episode) but as a whole his games have a distinct flavor and it's strong. So if it's not your thing you can pick it out before you take your first bite.

I know I'm a minority opinion on Root. But jeeze, I keep trying to let it impress me and each time I find myself disassembling the game's running gear in my mind as I'm playing, trying to figure out what it is that makes it so clunky. If that's happening and I'm not even trying it's a sign that the game just doesn't work for me. The tinker-toy aspect of it is not sufficient to grab me, and I'm not going to power through 20 plays to get to a place where I can enjoy the greater package, not when there are dozens of games, perhaps hundreds, I take more enjoyment from. I get a lot of downvotes for this, but what am I supposed to do?

Root lovers are like Apple iPhone lovers. There's a deeper relationship to the game in them than you would expect on the surface. Those of us on the outside don't see it for some reason.

As for Uba's call out of dynamite titles, hell yeah. One great weekend of gaming. If you like let's pick a spot near an Amtrak station and meet in the middle for a mini-con someday. Anyone can come, but the games are invite-only.

I'll mention that some jaundiced eyes hit my uber-beat copy of Buffy when I pressed for them to play it. But man, they were hooked. I had a pretty good understanding of the rules, but I play so rarely. At one point after a correction one of them asked "when was the last time you read the rules?" and I answered "about 2008 or so." At that point I was let off the hook.
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08 May 2023 13:36 #339258 by Cappster_
I can think of only a few Knizia games that I truly enjoy. Ra, Ingenious, Modern Art come to mind. Winner Circle gets a pass because our group has a personal history with it, but it ... Well, I get bored with it about halfway through.

Blood Bowl isn't going anywhere. I somehow missed all the BBTM games this weekend, but I did find it interesting that the group still hasn't opened Sudden Death yet. I get that no one wants to open it without me, but I think it speaks to the depth that the base game has that it's been played so many times and no one has complained about not having the expansion available.

Heat: Pedal to the Metal was fun. I enjoyed it as much as the first play. The set up took a little longer than I was hoping for, but I think the payoff is worth it. It concerns me that there are SO many upgrade cards, but you'll only have three per player in play at a time. It reeks of an obscene amount of content to make for replayability's sake. But I think there is enough game here to not necessarily need it. Perhaps we play a super-mod race with six upgrades? That's the beauty, you can do that.

All and all, excellent weekend of gaming!
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08 May 2023 14:34 - 10 May 2023 16:09 #339259 by southernman
I don't play that many euro/german games these days but did like some of Knizia's earlier and/or simpler games - Modern Art, Stephenson's Rocket, Ra, Pickomino, and T&E (sometimes) - and I will give a shout out to one of the best abstracted-themed games (if that's even a term) ever, The Lord of the Rings. That game pulled in the theme and story of the books both in its sequence of boards and events but also just of the gradual corruption of the ringbearers - and when you throw in the Sauron expansion with someone playing the bad boy it is an under-rated wonder.
Last edit: 10 May 2023 16:09 by southernman.
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08 May 2023 14:58 #339262 by Jackwraith

Sagrilarus wrote: I know I'm a minority opinion on Root. But jeeze, I keep trying to let it impress me and each time I find myself disassembling the game's running gear in my mind as I'm playing, trying to figure out what it is that makes it so clunky. If that's happening and I'm not even trying it's a sign that the game just doesn't work for me. The tinker-toy aspect of it is not sufficient to grab me, and I'm not going to power through 20 plays to get to a place where I can enjoy the greater package, not when there are dozens of games, perhaps hundreds, I take more enjoyment from. I get a lot of downvotes for this, but what am I supposed to do?


Will never tell anyone how to have fun. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't. Cole (and Patrick) have both frequently said that they're in the business of making someone's favorite game, not everyone's.

Sagrilarus wrote: As for Uba's call out of dynamite titles, hell yeah. One great weekend of gaming. If you like let's pick a spot near an Amtrak station and meet in the middle for a mini-con someday. Anyone can come, but the games are invite-only.


Was talking to a friend recently who took a month to do one of Amtrak's cross-country tours when he got out of law school and before he started his first post-grad job at a major firm. If we could find a dining car with large enough tables, Can you imagine how much of a blast that might be to spend a week rolling around the country while rolling dice? But, yeah, I'd be fine just trying to find some kind of locus spot like you're suggesting and finally meet some of you in the non-electronic world.
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08 May 2023 17:04 #339268 by Shellhead
I am totally on board with your likes and dislikes of the games played. I have played Through the Desert Twice, and that was one play too many. I'm not big on sports games, but Blood Bowl Team Manager is a great game that easily surpassed my previous favorite Slapshot. Buffy is a very good game and certainly the best mass-market game that I have seen, and the board is indeed everything. Well, everything except the dice-rolling. Root does suck the hairy root. The asymmetry offers the illusion of depth, but each player role is scripted and the limited player interaction feels muted because effectively nobody is playing the same game. It is my dream to play a big game of Firefly again some day, with a full playtime commitment from the other players and the willingness to do some advance planning for each turn to keep the pace interesting.

Level 7 Invasion sounded familiar, so I looked it up. I actually played once, pre-pandemic, but I couldn't shake the feeling that this game was playtested using a Risk board. It had some ideas, but I didn't feel like those ideas converged into an enjoyable game.
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08 May 2023 17:54 #339269 by Sagrilarus

but I couldn't shake the feeling that this game was playtested using a Risk board.


Absolutely no doubt in my mind.

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08 May 2023 19:39 #339270 by dysjunct
I absolutely love Ra, Llama, and Llama Dice; and would be fine never playing another Knizia game. So apparently 0.2% of his output is an A++ for me.

Sounds like a good weekend though; glad you had fun. I have a similar AirBnB house con coming up in July and am getting pretty hyped.
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08 May 2023 20:12 #339272 by Sagrilarus

dysjunct wrote: Sounds like a good weekend though; glad you had fun. I have a similar AirBnB house con coming up in July and am getting pretty hyped.

We’ll all need an address and check-in time. I’ll bring Buffy.
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08 May 2023 21:29 #339273 by dysjunct
It's about 2.5 hours ESE of Sacramento, so pretty remote. Feel free to FedEx your copy of Buffy there in advance -- I'd hate for it to get damaged in your luggage.

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08 May 2023 21:54 #339274 by Virabhadra
Have Buffy, will travel. We're in Sebastopol.

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08 May 2023 22:40 #339275 by Jackwraith

Shellhead wrote: Root does suck the hairy root. The asymmetry offers the illusion of depth, but each player role is scripted and the limited player interaction feels muted because effectively nobody is playing the same game.


FFS, come on. Like I said, I'm not going to tell people what to like. It's perfectly fine if you don't like Root, but this is horseshit from beginning to end. No one's role is "scripted." Yes, you shouldn't try to play the Woodland Alliance like the Marquise; basically because you can't. But everyone is, in fact, playing the same game (e.g. trying to get to 30 points first) and you have to know how to play your cards and respond to the other factions that are in play to get the most out of what you're doing. It just actually takes some grasp of the strategic angles that each faction provides and then understanding how those angles intersect with those around you. If you've played a game of Root without "player interaction", it's because either no one at the table knew what the fuck they were doing or didn't actually try to figure it out. That's not the game's fault. It does take more than one session to learn how to play, believe it or not.

Sorry to bring the dark clouds to your thread, Sag. I'll just stay out of it.
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