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jonnyalpha
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Played a couple of new games last week -

 

Spyfall - A bit lttp on this but fuck me it was hilarious. Haven't laughed so hard in a while, it's been dubbed the 'awkward date simulator' as that is what every conversation sounds like.

 

Celeste - A reasonably straightforward push your luck game where the captain of the ship changes each (very short) round which adds quite a lot of depth to the tactics which could otherwise be a bit dull. Only played once though so needs to get a few more games in, seems decent though.

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Alright, welI haven’t posted since the last day of May so this is a big one. Blog post incoming. Over the past few months we have been playing - 

 

Pandemic Legacy Season 2. We played through Season 0 a while back and had a whale of a time. This is just as good with those breezy Pandemic mechanics, but it adds some really cool post apocalyptic stuff to the game which gives it a strong feel of trying to rebuild after a disaster. These games are so good. Ideal for after work when you’re a bit tired to cope with something super rulesy, but you still crave a bit more than snakes ‘n’ ladders.

 

Descent Legends of the Dark. This was our Sunday group game (there’s now a regular four of us!) for a good while until one of us needed some time away. We started the campaign over with a full team and have made some solid progress, now with all six characters unlocked. I know this takes some flack for being overly app driven, but I love it. You still get to chuck handfuls of dice and shufty little mans around a board, but you get the cool in-app graphics and character interactions. I think it strikes a really good balance and for me, it’s FF’s best app game yet. Seeing that 3D cardboard dungeon grow as you explore will never get old.

 

Warhammer Quest Cursed City. Still meh. Improved a bit by having three players but it just ain’t very good. GW fumbled this one.

 

Oathsworn. While we’re down to three players, this is our group game.  I didn’t like it very much at first. It’s dark fantasy, part choose your own adventure, part boss battler. So maybe think along the lines of Roll Player Adventures meets Kingdom Death Monster. It’s a real mish mash. You can see mechanics pulled from all sorts of games and bundled together. But my word, I’ve grown to love it! The narrative choices feel like they have real meaning, and can have quite an impact on the fighty bits. It has you making all kinds of ability checks, solving puzzles, making decisions. I’d go so far as to say it’s my favourite implementation of choose your own type stuff I’ve yet played in a board game. Very well written and grim at times. The combat is where it fell down for me at first. Coming from skirmish games and dungeon crawls, the fighting here is far more puzzly. It still involves moving minis and rolling dice (or drawing cards), but it’s very much about positioning, preempting boss moves and managing resources - in this case your attacks and abilities, as they leave your hand after use. Once I started approaching it with more of a puzzle game mindset than a dungeon crawling one, it really started to shine. So much so that I’d have it in my top ten.

 

Dungeon Quest. Lol. Game hates you, m8.

 

Massive Darkness. I quite like this. It’s Zombicide +. You can see that’s it’s built off the Zombicide system, but it adds a little levelling up, some neat mechanics around being in lit or unlit zones aaaand, ummm, that’s about it really. I might chip away at the campaign but @Rikku has the sequel ordered, which is supposedly a big improvement. I dunno. It’s pretty cool, but it didn’t feel much different to Black Plague, which I’ve played a lot of already.

 

So yeah, we’ve been playing a lot. I took some pics, meaning to update the thread but never got around to posting. You know how it is. I’ve probably played some Memoir ‘44 and Hero Quest as well but time flies, it’s hard to recall the past four months board gaming! I’ve learned Undaunted Normandy, but haven’t tried it yet, and bought a couple of Battletech boxes, but that’s yet to hit the table. It’s pretty complicated. I used to play it back in the 90s but looking at the rules, I think I might be a bit thick for it these days.


Edit - I did that on an iPad so it’s probably riddled with typos and bad autocorrects. You’re welcome.

 

 

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I do enjoy your posts in here and reading about all the fun you’ve had. 
 

I was looking at getting descent, but these last two weeks I’ve bought:

 

zombicide 2nd edition

mysterium

betrayal at house on the hill 3rd edition

everdell

destinies

small world of warcraft

wrath of the lich king pandemic 

and I’m getting nemesis next weekend. 
 

 

So another £130 on descent might be a bit much! 
 

I also almost bought oathsworn all in until I realised the kickstarter had ended ages ago and you just can’t get it now :lol:

 

Also, Cthulhu death may die is sold out everywhere, which is frustrating. 
 

Now I just need people to play with! We’ve agreed that Saturday nights will be family game night. Just me, the wife and the two boys at first, but we’re looking at inviting some family over, too, eventually. 

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I meant to reply to your message on Discord @Captain Kelsten, but as I read it at 5am, wasn't sure you would appreciate the ping!

 

Oathsworn is returning to Kickstarter (or Gamefound, can't recall) next month.  I went for the standee version during the original campaign due to funds, but I'm really tempted to back again for the minis, they are  outstanding and I think it would look incredible all painted up. :)Will wait and see what is on offer. 

 

With Christmas approaching, I've subscribed to the Zatu New Releases subscription box, the idea being that we will have 3 or 4 board game mystery boxes to open on Christmas Day. :D

 

Let us know how you get on with Destinies, I was quite tempted by it.

 

 

 

 

 

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I've got my grail game on the table this afternoon. Darklight Memento Mori. I've posted about it before but it really is special - captures the essence of those brutally hard, early crawlers so well. Warhammer Quest, Advanced Hero Quest - those games. I managed to bag the last expansion I didn't have for a ridiculous price on eBay about a month ago and it adds four new playable characters to the game. I really wanted it for the Nephilim (barbarian) for solo play, because this game is crushingly hard and he's cheat mode. He can heal and regain stamina (used to dodge attacks) in a way that no other character can, making him ideal for true solo. It's balanced a little bit by not being able to use magic or wear armour, but it's super cool being able to use two handed weapons in a single mitt because he's so massive. Dual wielding great axes :D

 

It's such a wonderful time. A dark fantasy world riddled with hideous, twisted demons in which you wake up from death knowing nothing. The campaign takes you on a quest to kill demons and find out who you are. I've just played through the tutorial mission again to get my head around the dungeon mechanics since it's been a while. Killed the boss, have done the little narrative interlude and next it's time for the Journey Phase. Between dungeons you have to journey for X amount of days to the nearest settlement, which you then name and populate with services to visit. There's so much to it. Depending on the size of the settlement, you might find a church, apothecary, blacksmith, tattooist, even a castle. As you play through the campaign you level up, gain skills, gain noteriety and much later on there are even rules for buying a home, marrying, jousting, becoming a lord...but you have to live long enough, and this game wants you dead. After town you read the next chunk of narrative and journey X days to the next dungon. Even surviving a journey can be tricky. It's a bit like Folkore where you draw events each day which can leave you ill, injured or even dead if you get very unlucky.

 

There's a huge section in the rules about playing it as a proper TTRPG, which I think would actually be viable. The framework of the game is robust enough to come up with stories and run them for a group of people. It wouldn't have the staying power of a proper RPG, of course. Alas, the premium nature of it meant it was much more expensive to produce (and buy) than its creator anticipated so it's long out of print with no hope of a return. He did say he was working on a new sci-fi game, but that was a couple of years ago and nothing has been mentioned since :(

 

Anyway, as usual I digress, here's Barry the Big ol’ Barbarian smooshing up a Dreadworm and a couple of Deviants which look like they've just crawled out of a Clive Barker novel.

 

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It's a lot of game on the table. Bear in mind a good chunk of it is distributed over the chairs as well!

 

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You can look forward to this post again in a couple of years after I get excited to have it back out.

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On 01/10/2022 at 12:49, Rikku said:

I meant to reply to your message on Discord @Captain Kelsten, but as I read it at 5am, wasn't sure you would appreciate the ping!

 

Oathsworn is returning to Kickstarter (or Gamefound, can't recall) next month.  I went for the standee version during the original campaign due to funds, but I'm really tempted to back again for the minis, they are  outstanding and I think it would look incredible all painted up. :)Will wait and see what is on offer. 

 

With Christmas approaching, I've subscribed to the Zatu New Releases subscription box, the idea being that we will have 3 or 4 board game mystery boxes to open on Christmas Day. :D

 

Let us know how you get on with Destinies, I was quite tempted by it.

 

 

 

 

 


I’m looking forward to giving destinies a go - I like the fact the characters aren’t heroes, they’re just regular people. I’ve obviously not played it yet but, based on what I know you and Nate to like, I reckon you’d love it based on every review I’ve seen. 
 

 

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Recently I've been playing DuneSub Terra and Mind MGMT.

 

I think people have mentioned Dune recently so obviously I'm just going to say it's fab and should definitely be played if you've got 4 other people nearby who like to move dudes around a map. Sub Terra feels very random, but I can sort of blow an hour or two on it without panicking too much and it does a decent enough job of making me feel like I'm in the Descent movie when everything hits the fan.

 

Mind MGMT is something else though. Based on a comic book I've never read, it's a hidden movement game based on the theme of psychic spies who have gone rogue and are trying to stop a mysterious Recruiter from pulling any more unfortunate telepaths into the organisation. The visual design is apparently very thematic for the comic, but can be a little chaotic when you first start playing.

 

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I have a pretty mixed history with Hidden Movement Games. I like them in principle - but I can't help but groan inwardly when somebody pulls out a copy of Fury of Dracula because while it can be tense and exciting, the vast majority of the time it feels more like you're trying to work out where you put your keys down in the house. The process can become long and frustrating and the fun never balances. Either an investigator gets your scent on turn 2 and you spend the entire game feeling like a rat in a trap struggling to get out while they pen you in, or you absolutely elude them for 2 hours and people just end up looking bored as fuck with it all.

Mind MGMT is like greased lightning compared to that. The game is much faster, the hidden player can achieve his objectives much faster than Dracula can so the pressure is on for the investigators to suss you out from the word go, and the hidden player also has a bunch of visible in-play units to mislead the players or throw spanners in the works. On the flipside, the "map" is relatively small, and the players being psychic can ask you if you've been past any sort of landmark on the map (Fountains, Tuk-Tuks, that sort of thing) and you have to declare it. If they want to know when you were there, they need to go to the site. There's nothing to collect, no equipment to scavenge for or anything like that - the game is just the movement puzzle and the group trying to solve the mystery of where the recruiter is standing.

So you end up with a game where they can use their Psychic powers to actually find your trail quite quickly and it becomes a game of trying to work out not where you are but when you were there. A key play point being that once the recruiter has been to a location they can never return to it again on the map, so actually you need to be quite careful where you're standing the whole time.

 

Then it gets a little more elaborate.

 

The game comes with about 14 little mini-expansions which contain 7 different "tools" to make life easier for the opposite side which you can add in any or all of, depending on how nightmarish a puzzle you want the game to become. Further to that, it acts as a balance because if you have one side absolutely smashing the other over the course of a few games, you can add a few extra tools to the lagging side to even it out and make it a bit more fun for them.

 

All in all, I love it to bits and is probably my favourite game of it's type and has permanently replaced Fury of Dracula in my collection. The number of games where the recruiter has won by being one square away because of Rogue miscalculation is absolutely unreal, and I don't think I've ever played a game where one side feels completely at a loss as to what to do - and the game is short enough for the tension of being cornered to be exhilarating without becoming stressful.

 

So, thumbs up from me, I guess.

 

TLDR: -

 

 

 

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Got cooper island to the table this weekend. I picked this up just as we went into lockdown in 2020 and managed one 2 player game since then (it’s a bit too heavy for my family). 
 It’s a worker placement game but has a fairly unique resource generation mechanism - as you build up your peninsula you place a cube on any newly laid tiles - the value of the resource is equal to the height of the tile stack. 
 The entire game is one big puzzle, 5 short rounds trying to optimise every action and gain the few points the game hands out. 
 Glad to say it’s excellent at 4 and one that will be more regular at our gaming group as despite being a brain melting euro it plays in under 2 hours. 
 

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Played another round* of Spyfall last week and the only time i've laughed harder in the past 5 years** was playing it again the week before. Absolutely in love with it and everyone is already starting to develop their own little strategies.

 

* entire evening

** Men at Work came close though

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got 3 new games to the table yesterday!

 

Scout - really enjoyed this, it's a great puzzle, very satisfying making sets. I made a lot of tactical errors and it just made me think how much depth and skill there seems to be. Keeper

 

So Clover - word game from the publisher of Just One. We agreed this one was the final nail in Codenames' coffin. Scratches the same itch of combining words and agonizing over the ways everyone misinterprets your ideas but in such a short time frame without all the waiting around with AP. Keeper

 

Skull King - classic trick taking game with a fun simultaneous bidding system. Bloody brilliant. So breezy and fun. Rules were easy to grasp and I love how the negative points allowed for really swingy games. My favourite out of all 3 games I think. Keeper 

 

I am amazed that I've all three were hits. I get buyer's remorse for most games I buy and sell them immediately. But these are going to be played a lot.

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We had another game of Massive Darkness a couple of weeks ago but it just left me cold. It takes a long time to play a quest and feels very flat and lifeless. Samey loot, combat, enemies. I’d rather just play some Zombicide to be honest - at least that revels in being a fast to play dice chucker, where MD tries to pretend it’s something more.

 

Massive Darkness 2 is a different beast entirely though. That arrived a couple of weeks ago and we’ve played a few game already. It’s very, very good. On the surface it looks similar, and I came away from Tom Vassel’s review thinking it was just going to be a slightly tweaked MD, but it’s so much better. It’s still a lengthy session, but there’s a lot more loot and enemy variety (in terms of how they behave), levelling up to get new skills is quicker and each hero now plays totally differently. They all have their own cool little mechanics which basically amount to a mini-game that adds much flavour. I like the centaur ranger best so far. His ‘mini-game’ is a push your luck card drawing one, where you’re trying to draw exactly 7 arrows during combat. Draw under 7 and you get a normal result, draw exactly 7 and you get some huge bonuses, but pushing your luck too far and going over makes you fumble your shot and take a load of nasty effects. It’s fun stuff that really livens up what can often be a bit of a po faced genre.

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Spent yesterday playing games with Donk and Moosegrinder.

 

MACHI KORO: the original one plus the fishing and millionaires row expansions. The expanded deck meant the early to middle game draaaaagged as a result of having 10 shit sets of cards out, and I definitely made a mistake taking the loan office early on.

 

Then the late game kicked in and my son smashed us all.

 

I enjoy Machi Koro but it is in need of some house rules.

 

QUACKS: I need to play this more but am firmly in the IDGI camp right now. Feels like I may as well just be playing a solo push your luck game, player interaction is so low. I'm sure there's some strategy here somewhere but yeeaahh for the amount of moving parts it's very, very simple and thin.

 

PARKS: We played this 5 player, and I'd only played two player previously. I still really like it - not surprising as Tokaido is a firm favourite and they're almost the same game - but the play time feels loooooong at that player count.

 

Still, probably my favourite game of the three.

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I'm not sure you're missing much in Quacks. I don't think there is any player interaction so it is a solo puzzle of what chips to put in the bag and then a healthy dose of luck. The different sets of chip tiles add some variety but the biggest improvement to the game, imo, was the Alchemy expansion which gave you something else to do if the draw was going badly. I liked that change a lot although I realise it's not very helpful to suggest buying an expansion for a game you don't like too much. The Herb Witch expansion also added some extra mitigations to bad draws but didn't seem as big a change to me.

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9 minutes ago, jonnyalpha said:

I'm not sure you're missing much in Quacks. I don't think there is any player interaction so it is a solo puzzle of what chips to put in the bag and then a healthy dose of luck. The different sets of chip tiles add some variety but the biggest improvement to the game, imo, was the Alchemy expansion which gave you something else to do if the draw was going badly. I liked that change a lot although I realise it's not very helpful to suggest buying an expansion for a game you don't like too much. The Herb Witch expansion also added some extra mitigations to bad draws but didn't seem as big a change to me.

 

Luckily Donk bought the Megabox so I think everything's in there. We'll have to give those a go. 

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2 hours ago, Pelekophoros said:

QUACKS: I need to play this more but am firmly in the IDGI camp right now. Feels like I may as well just be playing a solo push your luck game, player interaction is so low. I'm sure there's some strategy here somewhere but yeeaahh for the amount of moving parts it's very, very simple and thin.

 

As jonnyalpha says, that is pretty much it. I like it as a good downtime game where you can just chat shit while you're playing.

 

 

2 hours ago, uglifruit said:

KING OF TOKYO (with nieces/nephew for Halloween).

Review: it's nice and short, and very easy to understand, even if you are eight years old. I'd not play it with adults though.

 

 

I've only pleayed the game with adults and really rate it, it does need 5+ players though to give it more of an edge using both spots in Tokyo.

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As mentioned on the Bargain Finds thread, I found a copy of Fort in BHF for a fiver yesterday, and played it last night with my 10 year old daughter.

 

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I was really impressed by this one. The theme is that each player is the leader of a gang of kids trying to build the best fort; to do that, you recruit kids from the park to help you out. The artwork by Kyle Ferrin is great, and has a lot of personality - my daughter absolutely loved it, and it's not at all twee either. It has nice chunky player boards and little wooden pizza/toy figures, and generally all feels very well put together.

 

In terms of the game itself, it's a deck-builder. Every turn you draw a hand of 5 kids; at the end of your turn the kids you've played with (those which you used that turn) go into your discards pile, while the kids you didn't play with stand in the yard outside your fort. When recruiting new kids, you can either take one from the park (a TTR style draw pile), OR from your opponent's yards. This is both thematically excellent (kids might leave if you don't play with them), and adds some crunch to what actions you take, as you may not want to risk losing a particularly powerful kid. The exceptions are your "Best Friends" - two cards you start with, who will stick with you whether you play with them or not.

 

Each kid card has a private and a public action they can carry out, which do things like gather resources (toys & pizza), upgrade the fort, recruit more kids, score VP, or move resources/kids into special stores. It's not unlike Race for the Galaxy in that sence, and like Race it largely communicates in heiroglyphics which can be a bit intimidating at first, but you soon get the hang of it. Public actions can be "followed" by any other player who has a card of the same suit, which is a nice way of making turns more interactive, and not just be a multiplayer solitaire. There is very little in the way of attack cards, though - I think I saw one kid with the ability to trash a card in your opponent's yard, but that's about it.

 

The other bit that really impressed me is the asymmetric elements that get introduced. At first, everyone is playing by the same rules, but when you build your first fort upgrade, you take a Made Up Rule from the pile - this is effectively another scoring rule that only applies to you. Made Up Rules are public once drawn, so you can see what your opponents are aiming for. For example, my daughter had one called Sleepover, where she gets 8VP at the end of the game if she has more kids in her deck than any other player. When you build your second fort upgrade, you select a Perk, an extra ability that applies only to you. My daughter got Birthday Party, which let her recruit an extra kid from the park in every recruitment phase, meaning she could grow her deck hugely and achieve her Made Up Rule goal (although at the cost of having any kind of defined engine).

 

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Anyway, thoroughly recommended for anyone with kids in the double-digit age range  - I'd happily have paid £20 for it.

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Started playing T.i.m.e. Stories.

Can't decide if it's much of a game or just an activity that fills a few hours. Only two 'runs' into the base Asylum case, and enjoying the exploratory aspect, but not entirely sure the time mechanic and dice rolling to test skills are really adding much. It's like a very light RPG with tests of skills, but without much meaningful happening upon failure. (I see how the comparisons to a point and click adventure might be closer than a chose your own adventure book. But you don't normally get asked to just start again if you run out of clicks on a P&C game!)

 

The thrill of gaining access to a new area is palpable, and I'm intrigued enough to finish the Asylum, and have a crack at the other cases I've got sitting there. But at this stage I'd be wary recommending it to others I think.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Battlelore 2nd Edition made it to the table today after absolutely yonks on the shelf. It's such a good game. Adds some really neat stuff to the Command and Colors system with the Lore decks and unit traits. We had a couple of games with the premade armies then just stuck every unit on the board for one final giant battle. It was lots of fun but I got thrashed 3-0 by the forces of good as the chaos god watched on from its lair.

 

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37 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

God I love Battlelore. It doesn't get to the table much because of the real estate it takes up and set up. Such a good game, though.

It’s certainly a big board, but I find set up a lot faster even than Memoir ‘44. The big hexes and chunky minis are far less fiddly to get on to the field. We don’t bother with laying out the mini cards and decoys before revealing. It’s such a swingy game that I really don’t feel like it makes much difference whether my pal knows where my units are or not. You could easily spend the first five turns not being able to activate an entire flank anyway. I’d dearly love to pick up the other armies but I’m afraid that ship has sailed.

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Most recently played!

 

The Initiative: bought at UKGE and played for the first time these past couple of weeks. My wife and I played through the first 2 chapters. I really like it - taking a core mechanic of Hanabi/The Game, layering a board across it and adding objectives works really well. And it's all dressed up as something a bit different. And each chapter looks to be bang on 30 minutes long, so perfect for us.

 

Unlock 7: we played the spy mission this time, having had this box for a while. Unlock is Unlock, and this was decent. I continue to be perpetually pissed off about being punished for wrong guesses - we finished with 7 minutes to spare, but the wrong guesses took us over the limit and I hate that. You don't get punished in actual escape rooms for fucking up except by the loss of time figuring out the wrong thing, it should be the same here. So, we just ignored that and said we completed it.

 

7 Wonders: 3 games with the family, having gotten it for my birthday. Really like this, especially as the boy hasn't figured out his eternal winning strategy just yet.

 

Quacks: Played another game of it! Managed to get >50. Felt good. Next milestone will be filling the pot.

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