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MegaCity: Oceania caught my eye at my local gaming cafe a few weeks back and I bought it on a whim. Finally got around to playing it Saturday afternoon, and it's a really satisfying little game of planning and manual dexterity.

 

Building things out of the lovely grab bag of pieces is delightful, and the stress of having to physically "deliver" your building without it collapsing enjoyably high. Meanwhile the bit where you can only build when it isn't your turn keeps downtime to a minimum, though it can make 2-player a bit off-pace when both players have everything they need to build.

 

Very tactile, surprisingly tactical and occasionally frantic, it's a lovely little game that I highly recommend if you're after something reasonably light. 

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I played “It’s a Wonderful World “ yesterday. Misleading title, highly unthematic drafting game about building a future city. No player interaction and just a bit dull. Worked perfectly fine, but that’s not enough now. Felt like an early 7 Wonders prototype, when it would rather have coloured resource cubes than be fun.

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On 27/09/2019 at 08:48, Glasgowchivas said:

Anyone played 'The King's Dilemma'? 

 

Yes.    Played 3 games so far.  It's very interesting but also (as you might expect) pretty niche.  Something I didn't realise is that games vary quite a bit in terms of duration - if a few dilemma cards turn up which (a) don't prompt extensive debate within the group and which (b) cause large movements in one or more of the 5 "state of the nation" indicators, a game can end very quickly via abdication - there is a counter which moves up and down in tandem and if it reaches either end it's game over.  If the indicators instead bobble around and go up and down then it is more likely the game ends via death of the king, and that takes a little longer (but still not terribly long).  

 

Each player chooses a house and these houses have their own backgrounds, priorities and agendas, as outlined in your card.   In my game I have O'Donnells, Rockerfellas, Castros, Erickssons and Torquemadas in play - I think if you are playing this in a group each player should introduce themselves and their house at the outset so others can appreciate where they are coming from.   Your house should influence the stance you take over each dilemma, but cleverly there is also a short term secret game-by-game objective in play.   You will be continually balancing your role playing  with more cynical considerations over short term gains because end of game scoring is based on these short term objectives (this takes a game or two to make itself clear).  You have to consider what happens to each 'state of the nation" indicator as a result of each dilemma vote (there is an indication on the card to help you) and then compare this  with your goals (you may want a big spread, clustered at the top, at the bottom etc).  Sometimes though there are consequences which are harder to anticipate. 

It appears there are 6 story lines to be initiated by opening numbered envelopes.   Most envelopes contain an event card either starting or relating to one of these stories, and 3 dilemma cards which are shuffled into a deck (there are exceptions to this).  The conclusion of each of these stories will lead to a big reveal and you stick one of two large stickers into your book (this is by deduction - i haven't finished any individual story yet).  Gameplay is through resolving dilemmas, as drawn from the deck.  The dilemmas vary from simple go this way or that, hold another [redacted] or not, to more subtle issues such as interactions with neighbouring states, taxation etc.   Voting is public and may often go on for several rounds - putting down the largest numbers of tokens on one side or the other assigns you the leadership role and potentially gives other players additional actions because voting continues round the table until it reaches the leader again.  If you don't care about the issue, or want to build your power for future votes you may abstain (and gain a share of power expended in the previous vote).  If you don't care about the issue and instead want to create mischief you can solicit bribes from your fellow players (relative cash is also scored).  You can attempt to bribe everything other than the leadership role and the direct transfer of power tokens. It's excellent if players really engage, role play and think beyond the superficial consequences.  However, I can also see players zoning out if a couple of dilemmas come up which they can't match up with their characters motives, and which don't appear to help their short term goals.  Once the vote has been taken, the current leader (the one who has invested most power on that issue) has to take responsibility by signing any new "state of the nation" sticker which is placed.  This is very interesting idea since you could have opposed the motion in question, plunked down a stack of power, but been outvoted by others voting in concert.  Fortunately these "significant event" stickers get overlaid pretty quickly.  

 

Design wise the game grows on you - no need after all to have high quality components for something disposable, but the white, beige, and brown scheme and card art are nice.  The idea is that a new player may join the game by selecting an unused house (there are 12 supplied with a max of 5 at the table at once) but after a few games have been played it's not obvious to me that such a new player would be able to catch up.

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Played my third game of Star Wars Rebellion with my girlfriend last night, with me taking on the mantle of the Rebel Alliance versus her Galactic Empire. It was the first time either of us had taken on these roles and she managed to successfully defeat virtually every mission and objective I went for - plus she'd done such a good job of organising her forces that I lost every battle we had. She was like the cat who got the cream throughout, whilst I spent most of the game desperately fighting an urge to tip the board up and storm off. I had at least spent most of the game performing troop movements to lead her away from where I'd hidden my rebel base, but she eventually sussed it's location. Now she just had to get her Death Star in position. She'd almost completely wiped out my ships, so although I had some serious ground defences ready, they'd be useless against a primed Death Star.

 

And then, just as all hope was lost, I suddenly realised I could just about perform a string of objectives - provided she didn't realise or try to stop my sudden, desperate, suicidal rush towards Coruscant with what little remained of my fleet. She realised all too late what I was doing, and I was successfully able to reveal two objectives at once... and just enough to ensure she'd never get to my base in time before the end of the game. I'd won... and she threw such a strop I wish I hadn't.

 

She's fine now of course, but I'm starting to think I might need to find someone else to play with. That, or next time I just let the wookie win.

 

(She's going to murder me if she ever sees this post).

 

Seriously though, it can be simultaneously the most fun and incredibly frustrating game, and yet once it's over and you've had time to digest what happened, you just want to play it again.

 

I really want to buy the reprint of Dune next, but from everything I've seen about it, I worry it could cause the end of my relationship.

 

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2 hours ago, Zio said:

I was successfully able to reveal two objectives at once...

 

Which objectives - normally you can only reveal one during each window IIRC

 

 

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1 hour ago, Hexx said:

 

Which objectives - normally you can only reveal one during each window IIRC

 

 

 

Shit, really?? Oh man, the missus is going to be even more pissed! :D 

 

If I remember rightly it was...

 

Spoiler

...4x Rebel systems with a Rebel unit and all populous systems in a region are loyal to the Rebellion.

 

To be fair, by the next refresh phase - provided she'd not realised and tried to stop me - I should've had the Rebel units in Coruscant with no Imperial units one, and that's worth 2 Rebel loyalty points.

 

I figured I'd spoiler them in case there are people reading here that don't want to know the Rebel objectives before they play themselves.

 

Let me know if I've got the rules wrong here - if so I might hopefully convince my girlfriend to play a rematch!

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https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/0b/07/0b07601a-6ac3-4333-ac41-b6d1b9a979da/sw03_learn_to_play_web.pdf

 

Page 11 - "Only one objective can be played during each combat and each Refresh Phase."

 

So yeah if I recall correctly both those are "refresh phase" cards, so you could only play/complete one of them at a time.

 

(There's some others particularly in the xpac...maybe only in the xpac...that change it up a bit as they endure over multiple rounds until someone does something...but you can still only "play" one card a turn even if you end up completing multiple objectives on one turn on cards played previously)

 

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10 hours ago, Zio said:

Played my third game of Star Wars Rebellion with my girlfriend last night, with me taking on the mantle of the Rebel Alliance versus her Galactic Empire. It was the first time either of us had taken on these roles and she managed to successfully defeat virtually every mission and objective I went for - plus she'd done such a good job of organising her forces that I lost every battle we had. She was like the cat who got the cream throughout, whilst I spent most of the game desperately fighting an urge to tip the board up and storm off. I had at least spent most of the game performing troop movements to lead her away from where I'd hidden my rebel base, but she eventually sussed it's location. Now she just had to get her Death Star in position. She'd almost completely wiped out my ships, so although I had some serious ground defences ready, they'd be useless against a primed Death Star.

 

And then, just as all hope was lost, I suddenly realised I could just about perform a string of objectives - provided she didn't realise or try to stop my sudden, desperate, suicidal rush towards Coruscant with what little remained of my fleet. She realised all too late what I was doing, and I was successfully able to reveal two objectives at once... and just enough to ensure she'd never get to my base in time before the end of the game. I'd won... and she threw such a strop I wish I hadn't.

 

She's fine now of course, but I'm starting to think I might need to find someone else to play with. That, or next time I just let the wookie win.

 

(She's going to murder me if she ever sees this post).

 

Seriously though, it can be simultaneously the most fun and incredibly frustrating game, and yet once it's over and you've had time to digest what happened, you just want to play it again.

 

I really want to buy the reprint of Dune next, but from everything I've seen about it, I worry it could cause the end of my relationship.

 

 

Sounds incredible, I'd love to play this but don't think I'd get it out regularly enough (OH definitely wouldn't be up for it). 

 

Just got Dune in, haven't played it yet but the box is really lovely :wub:

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Pandemic Legacy 1 - November

 

This wrecked us. We went in feeling that it might be easy/simple - but we lost both tries. Convincingly. Felt like bad luck of the draw more than bad choices but all in all rather dispiriting.

 

We'd managed to get 2/3rds of faded cities immunised, but a bad Epidemic phase set up and set off a chain of yellow outbreaks (about 4 in a row) - losing us our research station in South America. Combined with cities now panicing/rioting yellow is now by far our biggest problem. It's near impossible to get into and move around.



A similar bad draw finished attempt 2

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On 08/12/2019 at 03:18, Wiper said:

MegaCity: Oceania caught my eye at my local gaming cafe a few weeks back and I bought it on a whim. Finally got around to playing it Saturday afternoon, and it's a really satisfying little game of planning and manual dexterity.

 

Building things out of the lovely grab bag of pieces is delightful, and the stress of having to physically "deliver" your building without it collapsing enjoyably high. Meanwhile the bit where you can only build when it isn't your turn keeps downtime to a minimum, though it can make 2-player a bit off-pace when both players have everything they need to build.

 

Very tactile, surprisingly tactical and occasionally frantic, it's a lovely little game that I highly recommend if you're after something reasonably light. 

Thank you! It's really nice seeing folks enjoying something I made :D Reviews are coming in now and they're generally pretty positive, which is great!

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2 hours ago, michael said:

Thank you! It's really nice seeing folks enjoying something I made :D Reviews are coming in now and they're generally pretty positive, which is great!

 

One of the two women over on dice tower is a big fan - there was a nice little bit of coverage on their most recent podcast.

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On 09/12/2019 at 21:20, moosegrinder said:

We've cracked out the Holding On I got in the black Friday sale. I will report back.

 

Speaking of Michael (and him now being a swanky board game designer too good to post in here often *grump grump moan*) only managed to get this to the table once, but we really enjoyed it. It's straightforward enough, but has plenty going on and making decisions as to whether Billy's health can take a hit or have to add stress to one of your staff is brutal. The game itself is dead enjoyable but the theme and mechanics make it feel 'heavy', if that makes sens. Many a "Fucking hell fire..." was uttered in just that first game.

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Mage Knight.

 

Finally, finally, finally.

 

A bit of fumbling about yesterday to get back into things, and I've had a full game this afternoon where any snooping microphones directed towards Chez Cosmic would have been rewarded only by a series of delighted yelps and squeals with just a few curses thrown in now and then.  I was trying to do the solo city conquest scenario but ended up dialling the difficulty of the first city down to 3 (from 5) just to get one city conquest under my belt.  It's so clever in a number of ways

 

  • the variety of tile set ups and the juxta-positioning of hexes within tiles (only one monastery ever revealed in this run for example),
  • the dummy player turn is as simple as it gets and you don't have to learn another entire set of rules as is so often the case with solo mode in modern games,
  • the knights themselves are slightly asymmetric (I was playing Norowas who seemed a little skewed toward recruiting or powering up units),
  • and above all the way to get the most of any given hand of cards (i've got a huge amount to learn, I always seemed to finish way before the dummy - I also indulged in getting a couple of advanced skills which required trashing some cards to get powerful actions, not necessarily the best approach).

In short - sheer genius.  It also doesn't take a lot of space (I can get the levelling up board and the various offerings on a chair to one side).

 

On the other hand the game does show it's age in some ways (2011).  The rule book is small print and has to be read because the teaching scenario doesn't cover nearly enough (not sure if this has been rewritten in the ultimate edition).  There are some instances where more tokens would be helpful (e.g. to distinguish mana crystals and tokens).  The levelling up board isn't even labelled!

 

I really recommend creating some achievements for this to ease yourself in and feel you are achieving things and moving forward.   You can reach a decent level by doing ruins etc but still feel woefully underprepared.  I decided to dial down the difficulty of the city I assaulted because it seemed absolutely impossible at the suggested level (it was the blue city so all the fire / ice attacks were +2).  Having done this, with all my units knackered, in the final night I  sacked my first monastery and called it a day (so to speak)!

 

Cosmic Black Hole award for solo play incoming.

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Yep, Mage Knight is a work of genius, both for the soloist and, i'm sure, for groups where there would be a different dynamic depending on whether co-operative or fully competitive (sack all the monasteries!).

 

For the soloist it's simply one of the most intense experiences there is.  Far more so than Gloomhaven to which I've seen this compared here - not to denigrate that game in any way but it includes a number of stodgy scenarios as well as those which are really clever puzzles to solve.  With MK, everything is a puzzle and it will change every game.   Pouring over your hand, trying to make the impossible work somehow....  It makes a nice contrast to the dice-chucking-skill-checking of so many games I like (and it's much less sprawly and dry than Hex-explore). 

 

I've  now completed 3 games getting, I believe, fully rule compliant by today (pretty certain on Tuesday I was moving after interacting which is strictly verboten and which contributed to racing through the deck, and I used incorrect enemy types in the green city yesterday).  Needless to say, none of these 3 games have resulted in conquering 2 cities at the required level, but progress is being made.  Today I defeated a L5 city for the first time, but ran out of time before attempting the L3 one (both cities being inaccessible and guarded by those vicious fire dragons)  I learned from yesterday's game that mobility is essential late game and here the spell "wings of wind" did the trick - literally flying over the hexes :wub:.  I was playing the green lizard guy Goldyx and he has some very nifty skills, including using crystals as influence points, as well as a sort of free evade move, all very handy.  With reputation sky high it was a breeze to purchase deed offerings and units from monasteries.  Getting some powerful de-buff spells is also very helpful (probably essential).  But how do you optimise?  and of course even if you get lots of goodies they aren't always available to play when needed.  I'm pretty certain I play too cautiously and should take a few more wounds just to move on in the early game, just not to the extent of being K'Od.  Yesterday I played Tovak as an ice cool specialist, and that was great against said dragons but ultimately I didn't have the  mobility to go and recruit more units or get more spells late on (he has a fantastic skill though whereby sideways cards may be +2 or even +3).  Norowas is obviously a unit specialist, as I guessed on Tuesday.  That just leaves the fire and night loving female to play, but I need to stop playing for now or I'll achieve nothing this week!

 

 

 

 

 

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Good luck, it's a savage game.  I really enjoy it.  If you like it I'd highly recommend the Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Game (if you can find it) or Heroes of Terrinoth.  They both have a bit of a similar vibe

 

Wrath of Ashardalon has been going on today - one solo game followed by two more with my gaming chum.  Love the DDAS games so, so much.  Fast, furious, brutal fun.

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This seasonal period has seen an explosion of new board games here at Twinbee Towers. My son’s birthday is right by Xmas, so we’ve doubled up. 
 

Forbidden Island

Played this at a friend’s house and loved the co-op vibe, and was taken by the beauty of the environments on the tiles, as well as the four trophy pieces. Has gone down really well as a family game, with even grandma eventually getting it (once she realised it was co-op halfway through, after initially refusing to give a treasure card to my daughter). Proper nana request though - “can I just go straight to the helipad and wait for you all there?” 
 

Combo Fighter

i got this for my son after watching a rave Shut Up and Sit Down review of it. I’m fairly new to this niche board gaming world, so was rather alarmed to have had to fork out 35 sheets for a bloody card game, but wowee, it’s fun! Quick 10-minute games, that really do capture the sometimes-precise, sometimes button mashing desperation of 1on1 beatemup games. Do seek it out. 
 

Spell Smashers

another one for my son after watching a couple of online reviews. It’s sort of like Dungeons & Dragons, crossed with Scrabble. You collect letters, with which you make words to defeat monsters. Different letters have different elemental values, to help you defeat certain monsters. Get wounded, and you receive letter cards that are hard to get rid of. In between rounds, you buy weapons and armour and potions, that help. Lots of counters and cards, and first play felt a little fiddly, but the artwork is all first rate, and I think it’ll benefit from more than two players. 
 

Escape the Dark Castle

Firm favourite over the last 6 months, with non-games friends and my mom all loving it. Son has received the second expansion, but we haven’t had time to play yet (see above).

 

Games, eh? Blimey. 
 

After getting Warhammer Kill Team a bit too early for my kids to enjoy, the immediacy of the above games are very welcome. 

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Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective - Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures

 

Got this for my fiance for Christmas (we'd agreed to each buy the other a game to play while we were off, she got me Pandemic ^_^). She loves a good murder mystery on TV so thought this would be right up her street. Sat down about 9 on Friday to play this and ended up going until 1am!

 

This is the one with the Jack the Ripper campaign of 4 cases, plus an additional 6 standalone ones. We started with the unconnected Dr. Goldfire case as per the recommendation (neither of us having played this before). There are no rules to learn so we were able to jump straight in. There is a map of London with hundreds of numbered locations, a directory listing the addresses of citizens and places of interest, plus you get the day's newspaper and a case book filled with narrative passages linked to locations on the board. The introductory section of the case book sets the scene for us; we are a team of aspiring detectives assisting Mr. Holmes and are approached by a client in fear of his life following an attempted assassination. The client hands us a list of suspects and we are let lose on London to unravel the mystery.

 

Players are free to approach the case however they please. To follow a lead, you decide to visit a particular person or location, look up their address in the directory and then look in the case book to see if there is a corresponding passage. This is then read aloud (funny voices mandatory!) and the players discuss any new information or clues before deciding where to visit next. When you believe you have solved the case you can turn to the end of the book to view a list of questions. Answering these correctly nets you points. You then get to read how Holmes solved the case and subtract points from your score for each location you visited over Holmes' total. I don't think Holmes is beatable. We visited 25 locations and still couldn't answer all of the questions. Holmes managed it in 6, leaving us with a final score of 10 points. 

 

This was a brilliant experience. We both got really into it, doing the voices and taking notes (about 8 pages!). I think it would have been easier had we known what questions we would be asked at the end and feel that we will do better in future cases knowing the sort of information we should look for (also pretty tired and a couple of bottles of wine down by the time we decided to cash in our chips). The writing in the case book was great, with some real twists and head-scratchers and the whole thing is superbly crafted and presented. We got a great feeling of closing in on the criminal towards the end as we began to narrow down the clues and leads. I didn't see the 4 hours going in at all and can't wait to try the next case. A perfect game for a night in with 2 players and definitely great to play with someone who isn't into board games as there are basically no rules.

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I snagged a cheap copy of Santorini a couple of months back and finally played it two player with my wife yesterday.  We only played the basic version minus the God cards, but still had a lot of fun.  Although mechanically or visually is it nothing like Connect 4, we both got that kind of vibe from it.  Trying to get to the top of a tower without it getting blocked off feels like trying to get that fourth piece in place in Connect 4, with the same frustrations if it goes wrong.  I'm certainly looking forward to trying the cards with it next time, assuming they don't add too much of a random element to it, and with an extra player or two.

 

 

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To be fair santorini is best at 2 or 3 - it’s not a great 4 plr game and some of the god powers can be a bit unbalanced but it does add a fair bit of extra strategy trying to negate an opponents power while utilising your own. 
 I’d also say to import the expansion from Amazon US as the extra powers in there and play modes are also excellent - plus it gives you the nice base board that’s entirely pointless but looks nice :) 

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Pandemic Legacy 1 : December 

So it all came down to this...

December 1 took a turn as gameplay shifted on head. We had the medic running around keeping things under control while rest searched and vaccinated.



My poor eyes let us down as I didn’t notice doubles later on - we should have saved Binoculars for then. Oops.

Ended up just failing the search by one and with only 2 cities to vaccinate. 

Which made December 2 a fairly ‘non event’ as we basically just stayed in Atlanta (we didn’t bother faffing and adding funded events as it was going to be easy)

Then we score! Another twist - we were high end Recovery underway, just short of ‘Disaster averted’. November’s unlucky draws really hurt us. I can’t see us playing again but there’s loads of max/min we mucked up (eg we used relationships we liked for RP/giggle reasons rather than potent combos)

Overall an amazing package that everyone should try. It’s use of changing dynamics and legacy elements blows the others I tried/seen out of the water.

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On 30/12/2019 at 18:02, Mortis said:

 I’d also say to import the expansion from Amazon US as the extra powers in there and play modes are also excellent - plus it gives you the nice base board that’s entirely pointless but looks nice :) 

 

I've seen pictures of it and it sadly looks almost worth for me just for the base board.  Kind of like when I replaced my older edition of Settlers of Catan for one with the proper sea tiles board.

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