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oliverkinne
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Turing Board Game Review

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It Came From the Tabletop! - Star Wars: Outer Rim and War Chest

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24 Jul 2019 14:36 #300004 by Jackwraith
As an aside, since I haven't played Outer Rim (I only know one person who owns it and the last time he was here, we played Cthulhu Wars instead), I have to say that I was kind of blown away by the quality of War Chest and agreed with pretty much everything you two said about it.

It's not just the game. The components and production are really remarkable. The heft of the coins/units, the quality of the emblems on the lined(!) bags, the box with the magnetic clasp in which everything fits perfectly. I'm not usually prone to commenting on production values outside of artwork and minis quality, since most games are delivered in standard sized boxes and with components that are as nice as needed to deliver an experience. But this one is just leaps and bounds above most others for such a simple and elegant game. The thought and planning that clearly went into things as simple as the unit tray and the box speaks highly of Alderac/Gigamic.
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24 Jul 2019 16:23 - 24 Jul 2019 16:25 #300008 by Josh Look

WadeMonnig wrote: I can't get over Shellie not liking Inis ;)


I think she likes stuff that is either on the far end of the stupid scale or stuff that’s really heavy. Most games in the middle she tends to come away saying why bother.

I don’t even understand my own tastes, but I will say that I typically will revisit things I have an initial deep disliking for and find that I actually really like it a lot. It’s happened more times than I can count, Spirit Island, Agricola, Scythe, the list goes on and on. Not sure why this is, but it happens.

Xia was not a game that really turned me off, so I’m not sure if I’d come around on it or not, but what I’m saying as for it feeling dry to me is that I just could not get into the gameworld. I think that’s important to me when it comes to adventure games and why I like so few of them. I need to connect with the setting because none of these games really have any mechanics that make me sit back and say, “Now THAT is a fucking idea.” While there are certain themes that are an immediate turnoff for me, there really isn’t another genre that lived or dies by this, and I think that’s due to my RPG roots as discussed in the previous episode. What does impress me is when a design can trim out the bullshit, which Outer Rim does super super well, as does Runebound 3e. When you start making those broad cuts to things long thought to be inalienable from a games genre, that’s when you start to find some things that might actually be more brilliant than they look at first glance.

I played Outer Rim again for a fourth time since recording this and I like it even more now. What’s there works well and the quality of life improvements over Firefly are significant enough for me to say that I prefer OR. I think I said it on the show, but even though this is a long game, it values my time in ways Firefly does not.

I forgot to say on there, and I know Charlie disagrees with this, but I really like the NPC ships. The way they move is quick, easy, and they do get in the way of the players in meaningful ways. They don’t go to war with each other, and not only is that fine but I *love* that choice. This is not the story of the Empire vs the Rebellion and I don’t want to deal with that overhead bullshit. This is my story of being a smuggler or a bounty hunter or an assassin or whatever. Your alignment with these factions and their enemies are the only thing that the game should address and it does.
Last edit: 24 Jul 2019 16:25 by Josh Look.
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24 Jul 2019 17:12 - 24 Jul 2019 17:14 #300013 by Gary Sax
Interesting point about game world/setting. I can go either way. I can go generic like Xia or deeply grounded like the Pax games or a licensed star wars game pretty easily. Both can still be really thematic to me in play.

I think my ultimate fusion of these is Shadows of Malice, which is sort of generic (roll up all your enemy monsters) but in practice is extremely thematic in setting via its combination with your items, magical tools and weapons, etc.
Last edit: 24 Jul 2019 17:14 by Gary Sax.
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24 Jul 2019 17:15 #300014 by Josh Look
I tend to be able to get into generic fantasy easier than I do generic sci-fi. And Shadows of Malice is evocative AF. It has the look of an old NES Zelda map. Love the art direction in that game.
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25 Jul 2019 02:13 #300018 by mc
Josh, if Outer Rim was generic a la Xia, would it knock Firefly off the perch for you still? You know, like, if it was a Roxy Music cover band (or Rush.... dammit, I can't remember which one you said now heh). Genuine question though.
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25 Jul 2019 07:43 #300023 by Josh Look
Maybe, maybe not. The un-fun stuff in Firefly was really starting to drag it down for me, so maybe I would appreciate a generic space game that removed those parts and tightened everything else up?
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25 Jul 2019 11:23 #300029 by ubarose
For me it might as well have been a generic space setting, as I was unfamiliar with the part of the Star Wars Universe it is set in. I think if you are more familiar with the characters, planets and politics of the setting it might inform some of your choices, but I didn’t feel like I was at a significant disadvantage not being familiar with them.
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26 Jul 2019 01:25 #300072 by engineer Al
Played Outer Rim today at WBC and had an awesome time. Continuing to LOVE this game!
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27 Jul 2019 11:19 #300122 by Josh Look
I played it yet again last night.

Guess what?

I still love it, it’s still awesome and we easily could have set it right back up
and played again.
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