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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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Victorious Losses - Games without Loss or Victory Condition

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16 May 2023 00:00 #339355 by oliverkinne
Early Digital Games
I grew up with one of the first,...

In digital games, the idea of a high score table dates back to the 1970s and 80s. Yes, you would eventually run out of lives or credits and therefore lose a console game, but beating your own or someone else's highest point score was much more important. Finishing a game and beating the last boss monster was not really a thing. Many digital games didn't even have an ending as such. They just got more and more difficult. So the question is, if something similar is also possible for analogue games.

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18 May 2023 02:07 #339356 by SuperflyPete
Pinball immediately comes to mind, but games like Ganz schön Clever come to mind. I love them.
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18 May 2023 09:10 #339357 by RobertB
Back in the dawn of time, the original Breakout machine had a victory condition. Clear two walls and you were done.

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18 May 2023 11:26 #339361 by Gregarius
It's hard to imagine a board game that doesn't have an end condition. As for no win/loss, many games where you're just earning points could fit your description. What popped into my head was Knizia's My City. When playing solo, you're just trying to beat your previous score.

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18 May 2023 12:53 #339364 by Smeagol
I couldn't get RPGs and campiagn based miniatures gams like Mordheim out of my head while reading this. Both technicaly have no end, but aren't straight up board games either.
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18 May 2023 14:09 #339365 by Shellhead
The Quiet Year has a definite end condition, but the players are invited to interpret whether that ending is good or bad, based on the events leading up to that end.
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18 May 2023 15:14 #339366 by southernman
Does Shadowrun: Crossfire come close ? - Yes, you are completing runs everytime you play but it is just a continual playing of a finite set of missions to build up your runner's level. And, yes, there is a final mission but you can keep doing that as well, you can even design your own missions.
I've got nothing else ... can't think of any board or card games that don't have an end.
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18 May 2023 16:36 #339367 by ChristopherMD
There are probably some old wargames where you'd die from old age before finishing.
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18 May 2023 22:36 #339371 by Sagrilarus
The endgame conditions in games like Firefly are pretty bolted-on. An arbitrary number of missions or number of dollars just makes finishing convenient. You could play Firefly as a campaign for years if you liked, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way.
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18 May 2023 22:39 #339372 by Shellhead

Sagrilarus wrote: The endgame conditions in games like Firefly are pretty bolted-on. An arbitrary number of missions or number of dollars just makes finishing convenient. You could play Firefly as a campaign for years if you liked, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way.


I've played the Firefly rpg a few times. It might be interesting to run a hybrid campaign that alternated between games turns in the board game and then sessions of the rpg to resolve crime jobs. Or maybe use that Firefly Adventures game in place of the rpg, since it uses of the same iconography as the board game.
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19 May 2023 09:09 #339373 by charlest
One of my biggest disappointments with the Stardew Valley board game was the lack of guts to make the ending less traditional.

That game would be much better if you could decide to have your goals assessed by grandpa whenever you like to receive a score/judgment, instead of a finite turn limit. This would give you the option to play as long as you'd like and just see what you've built. The game would need to be recalibrated somewhat to work this way, however.
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