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jonnyalpha
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A board game meet up you say? I'd be interested in that.

 

Not much to report on the playing front as I haven't managed to get much in lately. Played Yokohama a couple of weeks ago which I thought was excellent. So good I bought my own copy the very next day. Friday night is cardboard night though and tonight we have Quadropolis with expansion, Fabled Fruit and First Class lined up. It was my son's birthday yesterday and his main present was Blood Bowl, with a dwarf team and the 1st rules expansion. He's really keen to get into paintingas well as playing it and we've already bought him a load of paints. Very much looking forward to playing it with him! Once I've made all the figures.....

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Played Talisman for the first time in absolute yonks and it was the first game I actually resolved (playing up to 6 hands solo).  I think previously I couldn't have grasped the elementary fact that unless you have a very high strength or craft skill there is little point in reaching the inner circle since you simply get bumped back down again (and the craft route also requires reasonable strength since it requires fighting off up to 6 monsters with 4 strength).  Some fun was had with PvP exchanges en route and nicking talismans and other objects  - Enchantress was undone in this way after making rapid progress after coming in as an alt.  Some interesting spells and alignment changes too (evil priest was runner up).  

 

In the end Troll won having been initially severely handicapped by picking up BOTH the followers which limit you to moving one space, but then having the good fortune to draw the well of strength card and gaining an easy 4 points there, as well as clobbering anything else in his path.  

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Picked up Chemistry Fluxx yesterday because I don't have many above-two-player games and a chemistry theme is right up my street. Absolute bedlam even when I sobered up enough to remember basic rules like "everyone gets 3 cards at the start" and "there is only 1 goal at a time". 

 

Kind of curious about the other themes now, given that they seem to have quite different rules. 

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Played Inhabit the Earth with the wife and she absolutely hated it! :) I should have guessed she wouldn't like it because it relies heavily on getting combos to work. She's a very dry thinker and will normally beat me in games which are more abstract but games where you need some imagination she really struggles with. 

 

This game is basically a racing game but how you do it is pretty interesting. The rule book isn't the best as it's actually pretty simple, but the rules are about 16 pages too long. 

 

The evolution line of games looks to have been heavily influenced by this game but doesn't have the racing element in it. It's a keeper for my collection but will have to choose the audience better next time! 

 

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I flippin love Inhabit the Earth. One of my favourite games. Works well with 2, but I think  3 is the sweet spot as you get a bit more competition in the race through the continents. With 4 the downtime can get a bit painful.

 

I played The Networks the other night. Really nice midweight game where you are trying to earn viewers (ie VPs) for your prime time shows. You can also make use of stars to boost your viewing figures and adverts to increase your income. All the cards are drafted from a central pool that's refreshed at the start of each round. Lots of interesting decisions without being overly complex.

 

I also got to play The Grand Austria Hotel. Tough game but I thought it was excellent. Essentially you are trying to fill your hotel rooms with guests, which is the main way to score points. You get two actions each round and the available actions are determined by rolling a bunch of dice. You pick a dice to do the action associated with the face it shows. So some turns an action may be unavailable as that number wasn't rolled. Or it may dissapear before you get a chance to grab it. There's also a track that gets resolved every few rounds. If you aren't far enough up that track you'll receive a nasty penalty. If you did managed to advance up it far enough you'll get a bonus. So, lots of things to think about and timing seemed very important. Definitely a game I want to play again.

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On 22/06/2017 at 10:16, Stejay said:

I just haven't had the time, or been in the right mood to play anything at all this year apart from a couple of tabletop escape games and one game of TTR. I need to get myself back into the hobby and much like my video game collection, clear my pile of shame.

 

Does anyone else here go through extended periods of lethargy regarding board gaming?

 

 

 

My son asked if we could play a board game tonight, so we actually did. I broke open the copy of Paperback I've had since before Christmas, which went down well. Dominion is still my favourite ever deck-builder, but this was a pleasant variation on the theme. I had a disastrous game though, coming last out of four of us with just nine points! My son won with about sixty. I made some bad purchases and had unlucky draws.

 

The we got one of our old favourites out, Splendor for a couple of games, and it is still excellent fun. I love how it starts slowly then there is that tipping point when it suddenly speeds up and everyone is buying cards like mad. We had a very tense second game when the other three were all on thirteen points and I was on twelve. My wife then hit fifteen to make it the last round, and I bought another card and gained a noble on the last turn of the game snatching victory away from her.

 

Because I could be bothered to do something midweek other than slobbing in front of the TV, I feel a lot better, less tired than usual, and it made a really pleasant change after such a long lay off. The hobby may just have reclaimed me again.

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So, a round up of a couple of recent games.

 

Concordia. First time play tonight. Darling of BGG and many, I have to say this was as good as I hoped it would be, though of the 5 players only 3 we played with tonight were really keen on it. Reminds me a lot of Le Harve, with an incredibly elegant, refined ruleset which generates a lot of emergent complexity from very little. I love the endgame scoring too. My only complain, perhaps, is that it's a touch dry. But I'll certainly look forward to playing it again. Already bought a new map, may well splurge for the Salsa expansion. 

 

Century Spice Road. A couple of weeks in. I remain slightly torn on this. Sagadra has been getting a lot of playtime, but this is also proving popular, and while I think it's very good, I don't think it's as universal as either Splendor or Sagadra is. It also rewards skill a lot more, which is fine, but as a family weight game I'm finding I do tend to win fairly easily, simply because I understand the mechanics of deck building and action efficiency more than someone who only plays occasionally. But it is a lovely package though and it will see a lot of table time. 

 

Looterz. We still regard this as spectacularly good. Seriously. You need Looterz in your life. 

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Had a couple of games of Terraforming Mars over the past few days. Not sure how I feel about it if I'm honest.

 

In both the games I've played I was getting some really crappy cards dealt to me, just wasn't able to get anything going, whereas the guy I was playing with seemed to be getting loads of great stuff (strong cards that weren't limited by environment conditions and cards that generally complemented the Corporation he'd chosen). He just steam rolled out in front and I was never able to catch him. It felt as if luck had too much to do with it. Over the entire game I did start to get some momentum back but it was too late by that point. And this happened in both games I played!

 

I really want to love it, I do love the theme, but even when I rolled with the punches and tried to make the best of what I had, there just didn't seem to be much of a way back into it.

 

Anyone else played it and have any thoughts?

 

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I imagine I've played it a dozen times or more now and it's definitely a better game with drafting. It removes a large slice of the luck with the cards and also makes for some tough choices as to whether you take the card that suits your strategy or choose to deny your opponent the card that suits theirs.

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Played Steam Rails to Riches  tonight. It's hard to compare it to Age of Steam because it's very map dependent but Steam definitely feels more streamlined. Money is easier to work out as in what you're paying at the start of each turn. Tiles are cheaper and there seemed to be more opportunity to put cities out. 

 

The one thing I wasn't sure on was how the cities received new cubes. In AoS it's by dice roll, so one city could get quite a few cubes through the game. In Steam, you put cubes on at the start and then you can add another three once during the game, new tiles only get one set of three. That means once those cubes are delivered, the cities only use is to continue your link. 

 

Considering its more streamlined I got myself into a right pickle because I hadn't put together a nice train link, so I was delivering at most 2 stations whilst the others were doing 4 or 5's. At one stage I very nearly went bankrupt, was quite impressed with the way I dug myself out of the hole I'd made and got to a positive income! 

 

 

 

We finished with Glass Road. I bloody love Rosenberg games but I'm pretty bad at them. This is another clever game by the master. The wheel which tracks your resources is just so frigging elegant in how it works that it makes you think why hasn't it been done before.

 

The card play is also unlike something I've come across before. On your turn you choose five cards to play. Each card has two actions. The first card you choose goes face down in front of you. When it's your turn, you reveal it and  everyone checks what cards they've selected (not their face down card). If someone else has it, they get to perform one of the actions on the card. Remember I said that their was two parts? If no one else has the card you've played you get to do both of those actions. 

 

Of the five cards you only play three but you want to match your other two card's with other players cards so you get those bonus actions. If you don't match then you lose out on two extra actions per turn. If that makes sense!? :)

 

Loved it. 

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Amazingly got a game on the table at home tonight, a spur of the moment game of Escape: Curse of the Temple. Went well enough that we played it three times.

 

The 2P game is a bit too easy, TBH - I think it must be like Scotland Yard, where the communication-related entropy ratchets up considerably as you add more players. We added 3 extra gems after round 1, but still smashed it. The final round was a bit closer, as we had hit the gem goal and were madly exploring looking for the exit... only to realise we'd forgotten to shuffle it into the deck! Put it in two cards down, and managed to get there in time. Good fun, tense, co-operative laughter. Also, I like dice - more dice games, please. *PMs LaParka to buy Elder Sign*

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6 minutes ago, Alexlotl said:

Amazingly got a game on the table at home tonight, a spur of the moment game of Escape: Curse of the Temple. Went well enough that we played it three times.

 

The 2P game is a bit too easy, TBH - I think it must be like Scotland Yard, where the communication-related entropy ratchets up considerably as you add more players. We added 3 extra gems after round 1, but still smashed it. The final round was a bit closer, as we had hit the gem goal and were madly exploring looking for the exit... only to realise we'd forgotten to shuffle it into the deck! Put it in two cards down, and managed to get there in time. Good fun, tense, co-operative laughter. Also, I like dice - more dice games, please. *PMs LaParka to buy Elder Sign*

 

If you like frantic co-op dice games, you should check out Fuse, or its sequel Flatline.

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The Dunwich Legacy 6/6 : Lost in Time and Space

So the journey ends....7 months and many reaches into the mythos bag.

The story still doesn't feel particularly satisfying (some of the pay offs for early choices are "take a horror" style) but the mechanics in this are solid.

It's effectively a race against time - both doom and horror - which given you're beyond time and space is appropriate.

It's all about spawning locations, despawning as needed. Keeping track of doom (on mythos cards, locations and creatures), horror and creatures. There's a lot going on here as you rush to make sense of the strange dimension you're in - and the gameplay managed to reflect that. It's still all about clues - but here you're charting the unknown.

Ending spoilers

Managed to win after battled to get to the edge of the universe - but could make a way to the path home. Locations coming and going and trying to keep the routes you need connected was an interesting choice. I couldn't make a path to tear in time with horror/doom stacking up (and Yog-soroth entering play)



Feels like a solid ending. The world didn't die

Really liked this and interested to see where to go from here. Tempted to build a new deck and replay. Not sure I can see any other investigator being as solid as PEte for solo

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Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery (with Shadow of Death expansion)

 

Played this for the first time last week, adding the expansion to have a 5 player game. The game was great craic, but ran very long (about 5 hours, with 4 of us being completely smashed by the end).

 

The game has 3 phases: (1) Upkeep (pay money for gladiators, gain money for slaves) and play scheme cards; (2) market phase; (3) fight in the arena.

 

Schemes

I think, owing in part to it being the first play and in part to insufficient shuffling, that we did not make full use of the scheme cards available. Many cards were sold to the bank for face value, especially in the early stages. My group is very cutthroat but it didn't seem beneficial to make enemies early in the game by reducing players' influence with scheme cards etc (we are all generally wary of becoming a target as an early leader). The mechanic for supporting others' schemes is very fun as it opens up the game to all sorts of betrayal shenanigans. As we will all readily fuck each other over (and it is allowed under the game rules), we had to come up with a variety of  ways to ensure people kept their promises and paid what they said they would etc. (each holding one side of a card, placing money under a cup held between the two players).

 

Overall we enjoyed this aspect, although it could maybe benefit from some more variety in card effects (most that I saw were + / - influence).

 

Market

Not much trading was done between players as only one had a significant amount of money and we were hesitant to give each other cards we needed. The river mechanic and blind bids were fun, blind bids are included in a couple of games we play (Game of Thrones, Risk 2210AD) so we are used to each others' habits which can make the bids fairly tense and exciting. We each ended up with strong gladiators by the mid-game and the wealthy players (not me!) were able to load theirs up with equipment.

 

Arena Fight!

The highlight of the game. The host of the games (selected by blind bid) invites 2 players to field gladiators to do battle in the arena (4 players for a primus battle). The gladiators then do battle on the hex-based arena board by rolling dice to represent attack, defence and speed. Each  wound suffered causes a gladiator to remove 1 die from their choice of attribute pool, making them slower, weaker etc. as the battle rages on.

 

Players may also bid on the outcome of the match, which is a great mechanic as it makes the combat exciting for the players not directly involved. You are not allowed to bet against yourself, however, during one Primus I was able to roleplay Batiatus by betting for decapitation and switching in one of my slaves to be beheaded (to the dismay of my Primus partner!). 

 

The arena combat is exciting, if a little simplistic (maybe we will discover more strategies on subsequent plays, simplicity is also a pro when most of the players are steaming) and there was and lot of cheering a swearing around the board. At the end of the fight, the host gives the thumbs up / thumbs down to the defeated gladiator, a very tense moment for the defeated player!

 

This game suits my group very well and although it went on a bit long we loved every minute. Alliances were made and broken quickly and many a back was stabbed. Excitement and noise level was high throughout the game and I can't wait to have another go.

 

Will get the minis painted when I work out how to do skin. The expansion minis are much better than the base game ones.

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Went to Stabcon this weekend just for the Sunday. Played Valley of the Kings, Trias, Grand Prix, and Wealth of Nations

 

Wasn't too fussed on Grand Prix, and Trias and Valley of the Kings were nice fillers. The meat of the day was Wealth of Nations. Oh my God, it was so much fun. WoN is a stock market type game where each player is trying to produce certain commodities which can be sold to other players or back to the board. Prices for these items then increase or decrease depending on the availability. For example, one player was the only player to go into one resource and was using it for his own plans so they were pretty scarce, as such they were really expensive to buy, which limited other players. A couple of us got into food production so food was overproduced and thus cheap. 

 

I'm not usually a fan of trading games but this just clicked. The value to buy a good was clear, to sell it back to the board was also easy to see and it gives a suggest trade price in between those numbers. You can haggle a different price but apparently this just drags the game on for a hefty length of time. Because everyone starts penny pinching the result is no benefit to anyone, so we stuck to the suggest prices. You're not intentionally withholding goods from players who are doing particular well as most of the time you're just trying to survive each turn. One player invested heavily in automating his industry but then produced ore which is required for automation, but not a single other player automated their industry making his production pretty worthless. You can take bank loans which get progressively worse, at one point in the game he had 15 loans whereas the average was about four. Not only can you get yourself in a hole taking loans, they accrue interest between turns. At one stage he had to take a loan to pay back his other loans!

 

The way goods are produced is interesting too. you put a hex on the board after claiming that hex and for each completed circle, if you're able to power your industry for a turn produces one good for each circle. Farms have a lot of circles on them so if you have two hexes you can produce five food whereas the bank has a two half circles on two adjacent sides per hex. So one hex produces nothing, two hexes produce one and three hexes produce three. I managed to get three bank hexes but it took me so long to do it I only got two good turns out of them. If it had gone a couple of more turns it would have moved me in to first place.

 

So after all this trading and building industry and producing the game came to a close and surprisingly we'd been playing for just over four hours! and it really didn't feel that long. Subsequent games won't take that long as we all know now how things work and the chap who had all the bank loans would play the game significantly different. All of us who hand't played it before underestimated the advantage in being the only one producing a certain good that was actually needed to buy all the different industries. What helped the game is that it was played in good spirits, you could be a dick to other players but in doing so, would harm your own plans for a turn. We all seemed to play it in a way that we wanted to achieve our own goals so produced goods, kept what we needed and sold everything else to whoever would buy them. 

 

Awesome game

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Vin said:

On a long weekend off and fancied a bit of retro. I'm fucked off with this gen and the bullshit 10gb+ patches and so fired up the old PS3. 

 

Spent today mostly playing OG MGS, Okami, OG Sonic, JSR, Afterburner, Virtua Fighter 2 & 4, NiGHTS, Streets of Rage 2, Final Fight, Ridge 4. Also purchased Soul Caliber II for something like a quid fifty and still plays so goddamn good. Gaming was the fuckin' best back in the day. 

Abort abort abort!

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Star Realms

 

Well this was a nice little suprise. Chum brought a load at the Expo and we had a go this week. (3 of us, Free for all mode).

 

It's a solid little deck builder - with a nice space motif. Not going to set the world alight - but thematically nice and mechanically solid. The use of Outposts to "tank" and protect yourself from damage is a great idea. Card interaction between "money, attach and regain health" was a good system without being too complex. We all ended up in close contention to winning (partly because no one focused on one target - we spread our attacks/damage.) 


Mainly the thing I took from it - get decent card sleeves! For Arkham i'd been using UltraPro (about 4-5p each IIRC) and they seem nice. Chap from this and spent 1p per sleeve...bit loose and "flabby". I feel sensible now! :D

 

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Played Caverna: Cave Vs Cave last night. Loved it!

 

I haven't played regular Caverna, or Agricola yet for that matter so this was my first taste of one of these, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a fun puzzle trying to stay ahead of your opponent. You basically each have a player board showing a cave space which you have to excavate to add rooms, each of which contain VP's and various actions such as generating resources, which are then used to add more rooms. Each player takes turns choosing from a pool of action tiles (excavating/furnishing/wall building) and the whole game takes place over 8 rounds.

 

Sorry, I'm terrible at explaining this stuff, it makes sense in my head! :)

 

It was close at the end as well, I won 60 points to my friends 58. Will definitely be playing a lot more of this. And a bargain at around £18.99!

 

Next up, hopefully this weekend,  Castles of Burgundy, which I'm very much looking forward to after watching some YouTube playthroughs.

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