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Oh, I'm prepared for full & complete failure, based on how the campaign has started.

 

Not sure that actually matters though, in terms of enjoyment! ^_^

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Nope, that's definitely part of the fun and rolling with the awfulness is what I love about the Arkham Files games.

 

House rule here is the person who dares say "It can't possibly get any worse!" has to make the next cuppa because it can and will always get worse :lol:

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2 hours ago, Spatial said:

Nope, that's definitely part of the fun and rolling with the awfulness is what I love about the Arkham Files games.

 

House rule here is the person who dares say "It can't possibly get any worse!" has to make the next cuppa because it can and will always get worse :lol:


Drew Ghoul Priest from the encounter deck on the first turn, which was effectively game over. 
 

I unmasked zero cultists, never left the starting location, was defeated via a retaliation attack from the priest & have now suffered another mental trauma. 
 

It almost feels like I’ve skipped the entire second scenario. :rolleyes:

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30 minutes ago, ph0rce said:


Drew Ghoul Priest from the encounter deck on the first turn, which was effectively game over. 
 

I unmasked zero cultists, never left the starting location, was defeated via a retaliation attack from the priest & have now suffered another mental trauma. 
 

It almost feels like I’ve skipped the entire second scenario. :rolleyes:


And that’s that; we’re all dead, everyone is dead, dead, dead!

 

(null)

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I’ve only gone & bloody won a scenario in Arkham Horror, as in properly won it ( not like Saturday when I reached R3 of the final scenario of Night of the Zealot which was kind of a win but I felt a bit mean ). :omg:
 

I’d moved on to one of the separate scenarios; Murder at the Excelsior Hotel, which sounded pretty interesting & boy was I fed up of the f**king Ghoul Priest so I needed a change. 
 

It is such a breath of fresh air & there were quite a few different options / ways it could have played out which was a surprise. Based on that, I’m really looking forward to other scenarios now. 
 

Played a few games initially with the standard chaos bag setup & Roland ( starter deck ) & managed to make some good progress but not enough to identify the ‘True Culprit’. Then I decided to drop the difficulty down a bit by switching to the easy chaos bag setup. 
 

The rolls were definitely kinder but I still had one turn in the middle where I drew tentacles, -3 & tentacles again, which was annoying. 
 

Everything came together right at the end though, the perfect encounter card ( now that’s a strange sentence to type! :lol: ) & I put all my resources into it, praying for anything other than tentacles from the bag; drew a 0, which was enough to finish it off in style. 
 

What I really like about the game as a whole is that it basically plays out like a ‘rogue-like’, each time I try a scenario, I get a little bit further; I learn what each room has / does, I advance the act or agenda, I see a few more encounters & all of that helps me shape the moves I make in subsequent games. 
 

Going to take a little break for now as Cloudspire is due to arrive tomorrow but I’ll definitely be back at the weekend, think I’ll have a crack at Curse of the Rougarou next. 

:wub:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Finished my first game of Sleeping Gods over 3 days this week.  This is the new Ryan Laukart game, and it bears the same distinctive design, but unlike his earlier atlas / story book games, this one is ideal for solo play.  Basically you control a motley crew of 9 folk on a boat, transported to some alternate world by means unknown.  The gist of the game has you sailing around this world seeking totems, of which there are 71.

 

Spoiler for length

 

Spoiler

Once you have enough of these you can escape home / do various other things at the end of Act 3.  The game takes place over 3 acts of 18 turns each - that sounds long but actually its pretty fast, since each turn comprises:

  1. Take a ship action (e.g gain resources, small heal, cycle "command points")
  2. Reveal an event card (usually requiring a skill test v a "fate deck" which doubles as a crew ability deck)
  3. Take 2 free actions, principally sailing to a different sector, exploring a location and using port services.  

"Command points" are the game's equivalent to action points - you spend them to, for example cook sausages to replenish health, to equip certain ability cards and to activate armour in combat.  The nub of the game is to ensure you have these available when you most need them, i.e in combat. You also want to equip lower value fate cards toguve the crew skills and improve the odds in skill tests 

From time to time you have to fight monsters (see picture).  The combat system is really neat - each character has a weapon with an accuracy level and a damage number - if you hit, you apply the damage in some continuous manner on the grid of spaces - when all hearts are covered, the enemy dies.  Each enemy counters the attacker (unless they die first).  When the enemies attack, you get to choose who the targets are - typically I choose the back row support staff who have not taken any damage from counter attacks (cook, medical etc).  Thus, although looking fearsome, it's fairly easy to see how damage should be applied both to enemies (to reduce their damage or troubling end round effects etc) and your team to keep everyone alive.  

When you explore you might get the hint of a totem and the game controls this very simply with keywords.  You will obtain a "quest" - in practice just a keyword and some directions to help you navigate.  The keyword will then unlock the "quest" at the correct location - could be an exploration, a fight etc.  You mark keywords on the map for reference in future runs.

In my first run I managed to get 6 totems, albeit the more low hanging fruit.

I also played on brutal i.e if all crew die and ship suffers 11 damage it's game over.  Game doesn't seem terribly difficult if you regularly cook sausages and call in to port fairly frequently.  However, the further areas might well be more hazardous.  

As a soloist you have complete control and discretion over Command points and how you organise the team in combat.  With more players, you will be dividing turns, crew and command points.

 

 

 

 

 

20210520_123943.jpg

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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Literally just finished my first game of Twilight Imperium 4. Played it online. With 7 players. With the expansion. To 14 points.

 

I think it took us 14 sessions of 2-3 hours each. 

 

NEVER AGAIN. 

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:o

 

I played Barenpark* for the second time on Sunday.  We were slightly disappointed to take 65 mins instead of the advertised 30.

 

 

 

 

*THAT INSERT <_<

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3 hours ago, frumious said:

:o

 

I played Barenpark* for the second time on Sunday.  We were slightly disappointed to take 65 mins instead of the advertised 30.

 

 

That's probably par for the course isn't it?  Not a big problem for me on my own some, but playing times seem to be consistently understated, sometimes ridiculously so.

 

I scored a copy of Fantasy Realms now it's back in stock (and nominated for the big prize).  Lovely game.  It works well solo because you have exactly the same conundrum - if I (Player A) discard a high base score card now because it's useless to me (being blanked) will it be snapped up by player B or C, or will the card I require to un-blank it miraculously turn up in the next turn or two?  Trying to figure out how to use the wild cards most effectively is also brilliant.  Taking your eye off the ball is fatal too, or simply not having time to get organised (game ends when the discard pile has 10 cards, so potentially after only 3/4 rounds in a 3P game).  The whole thing is over in mere minutes.  Managed to get a 200+ score with a sequence of six, and left it for now.  I also have the expansion which introduces curses (not great for high scores) and further suits; unfortunately they are printed on slightly different card stock so it's possible to differentiate them in the deck. 

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Yeah, we were fine with it really!  More in comparison with the first game (with half as many players, who also weren't hard-of-hearing and indecisive grandparents...) triumphantly coming in under 30.

 

I will not ever be playing something that might take at least 28 hours.

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Played Coffee Traders on TTS with my group last night. It’s a reasonable heavy area control/economic game about building up coffee cooperatives and selling to coffee shops but played quite smoothly at 4 with minimum downtime (beyond the usual AP these games induce). 
 Loads of ways to score from a majority control board, area control main board, contracts to fulfil and a couple of other small bonus bits. Took us about 3 hours for the first game but I expect at 4 or 5 it would be a 2 - 2.5 hours game. 

 Quite an easy teach for a game with lots going on - mainly due to an excellent  player board and well written manual. Think I could get the teach down to 20 mins or so after our play last night. 
 Ended up preordering the rather expensive physical copy which should hit at the end of June all going well and maybe we’ll be allowed to sit round a table and play it - exciting. 

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Been chipping away at the Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign with my gaming pal over the past handful of weekends.  We're quite a way in now and the monster and encounter decks have evolved to be very nasty indeed!  That giant scorpion construct and the two zombie Beholders just turn up in the normal deck now, having been added after they were defeated as bosses in earlier quests, and the Death Tyrant (Beholder with no eye stalks) will too from the next game onwards as he's just been added to the deck!  That one is particularly nasty as is casts three spells each turn from a random deck which includes such delights as Finger of Death and Disintegrate, which any D&D players will know are particularly vicious.  This feels like the best balanced DDAS game yet.  We've only failed one mission so far but the victories have all been very skin of our teeth and the rewards are a bit nicer with 4 levels to work through as opposed to 2 in the previous games, and some very powerful expert powers to earn.

 

 

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Picked up Railroad Ink (Yellow) at the weekend and have really enjoyed the first few games. Nice and easy to play without having to be setup at a table, more strategic than something like Patchwork Doodle and random enough that it still feels different each time.

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This, but what exactly this is remains elusive after the first game. Protean, cylindrical, never-ending, either king-making or possibly anti king-making, sly, absorbing, potentially ultimately pointless (certainly in the literal sense)........

20210603_144719.jpg

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We played Stuffed Fables today, my wife, my eight year old and myself. What a ridiculously complicated “kids” game. I’m sure the rule book doesn’t actually explain a number of the rules properly or at all. 

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On 03/06/2021 at 17:45, Cosmic_Guru said:

This, but what exactly this is remains elusive after the first game. Protean, cylindrical, never-ending, either king-making or possibly anti king-making, sly, absorbing, potentially ultimately pointless (certainly in the literal sense)........

20210603_144719.jpg

We played on TTS after my Kickstarter arrived - I quite enjoyed it. It’s got bits of root, John company and pax Pamir in it and you never quite know if you can trust anyone - even if they appear to be on your side. 

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Posted (edited)
On 04/06/2021 at 19:01, Mortis said:

We played on TTS after my Kickstarter arrived - I quite enjoyed it. It’s got bits of root, John company and pax Pamir in it and you never quite know if you can trust anyone - even if they appear to be on your side. 

Oh yes, its quintessential Cole Wehrle.  As Chancellor you can never trust your citizens, and if you inherit 2 or 3 from the previous game you will probably have to coexist with them.  Maybe retiring gracefully is the way to go....

 

Edited - you don't really inherit Citizens unless you choose to make it so, or if you have some obligation to other players.

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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I've written about Oath.  The spoiler is for length, really running through the mechanics, and not for story or any such.  References to "he" have no significance (of course).

 

Oath is a game for 1-6 players in which one player takes the role of Chancellor, the ruler of the Empire.  He sits at the end of the table, be-robed in purple, holding his Sceptre of Power.  He also has 10 more war bands, and one more Favour than other players who all start the first game as Outcasts and who simply pick a colour.  There is no backstory, or location, or factions - only the interrelationships between players in real life, and the Oath in play for this session.

 

Spoiler

The Chancellor has taken an Oath to rule the Empire’s lands using one of four criteria - either a military conquest of territory, or the possession of relics (of which his Sceptre is one) and /or two  banners representing Favour and Secrets, the two game currencies.  The Outcasts aren’t about to tolerate this.  They are seeking to either Usurp the Chancellor by becoming the Oathkeeper - to conquer more territory than him for example - or to disengage from this competition and to seek an alternative Vision to underpin a future Oath.   A third option is for them is to become Citizens of the Empire, and win the game as the Chancellor’s Successor, in which case they will ally with him and both will have to work together to ensure a pesky Outcast doesn’t win (in a planned succession, there are alternatives). Outcasts have to protect their position for a round once they trigger the Usurper / Visionary win condition, and that can be tough until you get a little more canny.  In practice, leaving aside the conquest activity, this amounts to a lot of tussling over relics and the two banners (both of which are advantageous to hold, regardless of win conditions).

Basic gameplay.  You take actions such as exploring, moving your pawn, trading with Denizens, mustering troops from these Denizens, and fighting - these actions are unlimited so long as you can support them by spending “Supply”.  Cleverly, if you draft many of your troops, you have less Supply available for actions next turn.  If you accept an offer of citizenship, you will be thenceforth tethered to the Chancellor’s supply level, and if he is of the conquering mind-set, that can be a significant restriction.  You may also do some other things, as free actions such as activating cards by paying the cost.

The game world is represented by 8 locations in 3 regions, some initially face up, others face down.  Each location supports 1-3 Denizens, 0-2 relics, and many have other characteristics.  At the end of each game locations ruled by the winner are retained and moved “in and up” on the mat, before the gaps are filled and the cards placed in order in the box provided for storage until next time.  Significantly, all the Denizens present on these sites remain in place too.  At the beginning of the next game they will be populated by the new Chancellors’ troops. This is a major and interesting variable from game to game - one of the “legacy" elements.

Denizens are sourced from the world deck, which is recycled amongst players via discard piles for each region.  When you explore you draw three cards and retain one, discarding the others to a different location’s discard pile (the “cylindrical” effect).  The card you retain may be placed  at your location if there is space, may be placed up next to you as an Advisor, or you may keep it face down. Face down cards may be used later or discarded (Maximum of 3 face up + down cards).  Vision cards are identified by different backs.  As  Outcast, there is no advantage in playing a Vision until you can both fulfil it and protect your position for a round.  The cost of exploration from the world deck (but not the discard piles) increases each time a Vision card is drawn, until it gets very expensive.

There are two currencies in the game - Favour (coin like objects) and Secrets (blue books).  Secrets used to activate cards are returned to you at the end of each turn, Favour circulates around via banks corresponding to the card suits. Favour and Secrets are exchangeable but efficiently so only if you have multiple advisors of the same suit as the emissary you are trading with at your site.   

Combat is fairly simple dice chucking but is modified by combat scheme cards at sites you rule or as your Advisors - making some sites particularly attractive to win and retain.  The relics and banners you own may also be fought over, and your pawn unceremoniously dumped elsewhere and your Favour burned by this action.

There are plenty of factors which keep the situation fluid, particularly so with certain sites in play which permit exchanges and binding player arrangements (pertaining to this game and future ones). Players will see an Outcast post a Vision, or become the Ursurper and will often be able to put a spoke into that particular player’s wheel when it comes to their turn.  A Chancellor who cannot win via conquest might cede the Sceptre to his chosen successor (difficult otherwise to prise from his grasp).  Players stipulate their terms for accepting citizenship (and delightfully may also gain this status by other means, or accept it and promptly exile themselves again for little cost).

And that’s basically it, mechanics wise.  The game is limited to 8 rounds and the Chancellor wins by default, and will start to roll for the win from the end of round 5 if he remains Oathkeeper and has no Successor, but in the interim there will be an almighty scramble for position.  I’ve played 5 games with 4 players and had the default win condition at the end of round 8 just the once, and that was when the Chancellor started in a freakishly strong position.

At the game’s end the world deck is modified - you add 6 cards weighted toward the winner’s advisors, and remove 6 at random.  You will also start to have edifices in the world if the Empire clings on.

 

Most of the criticism from reviewers on BGG concerns King-Making, but maybe in light of the mechanics outlined above King-Making should be considered a core mechanic, and it's certainly totally consistent with the game’s theme.

 

More interesting questions - what benefit does winning confer?  and Is it more enjoyable, or easier playing Chancellor than playing as Outcast?

 

Spoiler

If you win you start the next game as Chancellor.

There is no point scoring in this, nor record kept, (as in many legacy style campaign games such as the King’s Dilemma), other than anything the players choose to record.

You get a little influence over world deck composition but it’s not particularly significant in any single game.  You don’t even always get to determine the win condition of your next game as Chancellor - if you win a game as a Visionary Outcast, then you have to deliver on that Vision next game and don’t get to choose something else.  You may offer Citizenship to any of the defeated Outcasts to bolster your initial position, (or you may be obliged to do so from some prior agreement reached), but this can be risky.  You can’t really trust your own citizens.  However, you always play first each round, and an experienced player will be in a good position to exploit his advantage, however slim, especially if they have had the luxury of thinking ahead and preparing for the victory. e.g by ruling sites with powerful combat schemes or other valuable Denizens.

 

I think a more valid criticism of the game is that it can be very scrappy and will severely disadvantage less experienced players.  You get to see a limited number of cards each game and many will seem pretty useless - hence the temptation to take the small benefits they confer, rather than bide your time and see what turns up (or go kill a few bandits which is cheap and easy).   In fact, there are some incredibly powerful cards in the deck, and real potential to mix and mess things up for your opponents, but this takes time to emerge.

 

Certainly, a rather unusual and interesting game.

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I think what I like about oath is the fact that I should be able to play with my various game groups and once the initial rules hurdles are done it’s a game that will change each time but that change is influenced by the last group (or even solo if the fancy takes me. 
 The fact that Root, John Company and Pac Pamir are favourites across the various groups also bores well for this getting to the table a fair bit - especially compared to other “legacy” games ive tried to play that fall flat as we can’t get the same group together regularly. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had a very long overdue meet up with some old school friends for a bit of a session. Played Scythe which we’ve been meaning to do for ages prior to lockdown. I struggled with it tbh and only really had a grasp on what I should have been aiming to do in the last hour (of the 4 hours it took to play). Love the art tho and the host had the images cycling on a big screen while we played. Looking forward to trying it again now I have a handle on it.

 

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Then had a fantastic game of Project Elite. You play as a team of heroes trying to hold back alien hordes and achieve certain goals. Most of the time is spent deploying and moving the alien grunts and the bosses, but you get 2 minutes per round where everybody is simultaneously rolling dice to take them out. Really good fun. We managed to win with seconds to spare.

 

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Then it was on to Stop The Train, somebody is the saboteur and wants to crash it! Who could it be!? Liked it a lot, but felt a little random and too short for anybody to successfully work out who was who. After a bit of Zombie Dice we finished up with Wingspan.

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