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jonnyalpha

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2 minutes ago, Tourist said:

I was fortunate enough to get the base game free because Amazon messed up my order and gave me a refund and let me keep the game. I paid full whack for three expansions and didn't enjoy a single one so gave away the whole lot to a friend. Je ne regrette nuffink.


I'd have paid you a couple of quid for them. :P

 

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With every Time Stories scenario (at least the ones we've played), the first and second play-throughs are quite enjoyable and interesting, then the third wanes a bit as you re-tread familiar ground but end up falling foul of some random, time-consuming encounter or insta-death, then after that it's just a tiresome chore to get back to where you were, only to go down another dead end and do it all again.

 

We've still got Prophecy of Dragons to go through but after that I think I'm done with it. If anyone wants Marcy Case or Under The Mask (£10 each or £18 for the pair, inc. postage) drop me a PM.

 

Edit: Sold to Hexx.

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13 minutes ago, Hexx said:


I'd have paid you a couple of quid for them. :P

 

 

I was going to post on here but I asked my friend first and it turned out he was about to buy it. But in any case I'd have given it away free. Would have felt bad to take money for something I couldn't recommend!

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Fire in the Lake

I played this last weekend, 2 player variant where each player controls 2 factions. So I was the VC and the NVA and the other side was the US and the ARVN. I'd never played it before as finding 4 people willing to play a COIN game isn't easy. It was superb. I've not played too many of these games but I enjoyed this one the most. I think the theme helps as the system seems ideally suited to the Vietnam War, whereas a lot of the more historical settings just don't appeal to me so much. The 2 player variant states that for US and ARVN player to win both of those factions have to achieve their victory conditions when a coup card appears. The other player wins if just one of their 2 factions achieves theres. The US got a really strong early position and would of won if we'd been playing a 4 player game. Then I managed to claw some support back and the game end came when the NVA decimated the US troops in one turn which freed up the VC to snatch victory while my opponent didn't have the troops to respond. Really can't wait to play it again as one play just feels like we've scratched the surface of what it has to offer.

 

Pipeline

If you like really heavy dry economic euros then you should give this a go. Luckily I do. This was really tough. Money is tight throughout the game and it would be easy to cock it all up and then have to spend half the game trying to get yourself out of a hole. It's all about action efficiency and trying to make little improvements to your oil refining engine as the game progresses. Another one I can't wait to play again! 

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I've been playing 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis, (which was less than £15 in various online offers last week).  This cold war themed, card management and influence/area-control game is played out on a map representing the different politically significant battlegrounds across the ... hang on, I'm describing Twilight Struggle aren't I?  Well, yes - I very nearly am.  This is ever so derivative of T.S., but plays out in a much smaller timeframe.  There's just about enough difference to make it its own game.  There are a lot of difficult choices with how to play cards. Very similarly to T.S. the cards can be played for influence on the map, or for their Events (belonging to the USA, USSR or either (U.N.)), but if played for the influence, and the card belongs to the opponent's side, they have the option of also triggering the event.  (This mechanism is entirely borrowed from Twilight Struggle).

Anyway, despite its obvious parentage this is a good game in its own right, and is similarly engaging to T.S. - albeit with a shorter play time, and no dice rolls.  It's never going to have the same level of depth and strategy that T.S. has (or have so many words written about how-to-play and online strategy guides), but equally the decisions made are meaningful, and there is a strong bluffing element along with card play strategy there.  I'd definitely recommend it, perhaps as a gateway to Twilight Struggle, or something similar but less hard work (insofar as it doesn't last as long).

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... well that went well bleakly.

 

It turns out This War Of Mine is as depressing as people say.  My rag-tag assortment of civilians caught up in a war were made up of Boris, Cveta and Bruno - and they ultimately fell to misery (upped and left the party), wounds (killed by the military, whilst out scavenging for food) and suicide (brought on by extreme hunger).

The gameplay, exploring the shelter, and doing out for raids is a painful set of 'there's never enough actions available to do what I want', and this is exacerbated with your character's actions being simultaneous so rewards from one can't be used to pay for the others.  (Though there are up to three actions per day, this is often reduced to just one or two, thanks to the the fatigue/illness/wounds and misery states reducing the number of actions available).

The 'book of scripts' is passably written, and I think the designers making a thing in the rules of a player reads it to themselves and paraphrases is a cop-out interesting way of getting around whether it should be writen as "I approached the house and I saw..." vs "We approached the house and we saw...".  

The narrative elements are generally bleak, with some moral choice available for your actions in places (without the obviously predictable 'good path will give you morale boost, bad path will reward you financially' that I'd anticipated).  One moment (I won't spoil, but it wasn't the death of a character) of quite matter-of-fact writing did connect with me, and made me ... not well-up exactly ... but in that direction.  So kudos on a game for making me feel that.

 

I can really see how the game is going to be difficult to win.  I only survived part way into 'chapter two', of a three act game.  As a solo endeavour I thought it worked pretty well - not sure how I'd like to share the not-very-fun narrative with other people.  Thinking of the people I game with there's one who I definitely wouldn't play it with, as I can't imagine him taking it seriously.

I'll definitely give it another go, when I'm in the mood for something a bit downbeat, and brutal (emotionally and gameplay wise).  Perhaps the take-away is that in a scenario like this, there are no winners.

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