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jonnyalpha
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Played our first game of Hardback this weekend. It's a deck-building word game, and is the sequel to Paperback. It has the same basic mechanisms (it's like Dominion but making words rather than random combo chains), but they've managed to make it feel substantially different to Paperback, to the extent that it's worth owning both. Paperback rewards players that have a good vocabulary or the ability to come up with longer words, whereas Hardback concentrates more on the gamer-y aspects of chaining combos in shorter words, and introduces a push your luck aspect where you can draw extra letters into your hand but you then have to use them.

 

It went down really well in a group that included a couple of non-gamers (once they got to grips with the more 'gamey' aspects of it). Going to introduce them to Paperback next weekend and see which they like better.

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8 hours ago, Professor Rob said:

Played our first game of Hardback this weekend. It's a deck-building word game, and is the sequel to Paperback. It has the same basic mechanisms (it's like Dominion but making words rather than random combo chains), but they've managed to make it feel substantially different to Paperback, to the extent that it's worth owning both. Paperback rewards players that have a good vocabulary or the ability to come up with longer words, whereas Hardback concentrates more on the gamer-y aspects of chaining combos in shorter words, and introduces a push your luck aspect where you can draw extra letters into your hand but you then have to use them.

 

It went down really well in a group that included a couple of non-gamers (once they got to grips with the more 'gamey' aspects of it). Going to introduce them to Paperback next weekend and see which they like better.

 

 I haven’t had a chance to play it with a group yet but have had a few tries at the solo mode and it’s as hard as nails. 

 First game I got beaten 17 to 60, 4 games later I managed 43 to 60. Not that I’m complaining - a solo mode you can beat on the first couple of games isn’t worth playing :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Played Inis last night, thought it was OK, but I couldn't help feeling it was all a little dry. It was very intelligent, brilliantly designed but felt quite Maths-y or something, I'm not sure. Its so well liked by reviewers that I trust that I'll definitely give it more time, but I kind of wished I'd put Flamme Rouge on the table instead.

 

We just played two races of Flamme Rouge, it sucks you in brilliantly and everyone is breezing along having a great time. The Peleton expansion adds cobblestones and other new track pieces that worked really well at just spicing things up a bit. Haven't played with 5 or 6 players yet but I can't wait!

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I think Inis is a game that you learn to love the more you play it. Knowing exactly what cards are available to you and when they are best played takes a bit of time and with a group that knows it well it can be pretty cut throat. 

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4 hours ago, Jackson said:

 

We just played two races of Flamme Rouge, it sucks you in brilliantly and everyone is breezing along having a great time. The Peleton expansion adds cobblestones and other new track pieces that worked really well at just spicing things up a bit. Haven't played with 5 or 6 players yet but I can't wait!

 

I finally picked it up and made the Mrs and my parents play a game of it a week ago or so. Huge success, everyone loved it and it was super close at the finish. 

 

It was so popular that my dad (who isn't really much of a gamer at all) demanded that I bring it next time we go to visit them :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Little one got Stuffed Fables for his birthday a couple of weeks ago. I knew he would love it but it has taken a couple of weeks to talk him in to playing. I only got him to play this evening because it’s mother’s day. 

 

Anyway, Stuffed Fables, you play as the teddy bears of a little girl and protect her throughout her childhood milestones. It’s a gorgeous looking co-operative adventure story driven game where the “board” is actually the story book. Each player takes it in turn to be the book keeper, they take the first player token. They read the story text and each page of the book explains the set up and objective of that page. Depending on what happens, you go to that paragraph outcome and the book keeper reads the relevant passage.  

 

Each turn you take 5 die out of the bag and take actions accordingly. White die, you get a chance of getting some stuffing (health). Black die is the enemy threat die. The other coloured die can be used for various things, searching, skill tests, attacking, defending, moving. The enemies remind me a lot of the toys that Sid had in Toy Story. 

 

It has a bit of a legacy deck thing going on where you only take the deck of the current story you are working through and can only reveal the cards when told to do so. They are easily identifiable making it very easy to reset and replay value seems pretty good.  We have played three pages of story 1 but skipped about 5 pages due to our choices and actions.

 

The actual minis are really beautiful and the artwork is stunning. Really good fun. I imagine adults would enjoy the game as well, as while the focus is on childhood milestones, I don’t think it’s particularly aimed at children. And some kids might find it a little too frightening!

 

 

Stuffed Fables.jpg

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Funnily enough I was listening to the latest SUSD podcast today, and they were talking about Stuffed Fables. They thought it was great, but had concerns that the way it introduces rules in between segments stalled enjoyment a bit. The hosts both admitted that as childless adults they maybe weren't the most qualified to comment though. I'd be interested to hear what your little one thought, @Rikku.

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9 hours ago, revlob said:

Funnily enough I was listening to the latest SUSD podcast today, and they were talking about Stuffed Fables. They thought it was great, but had concerns that the way it introduces rules in between segments stalled enjoyment a bit. The hosts both admitted that as childless adults they maybe weren't the most qualified to comment though. I'd be interested to hear what your little one thought, @Rikku.

 

I just listened to the segment of the podcast you mentioned and have to admit to being a bit concerned about the future missions! We’re only on story 1, so whilst there was a little bit of extra rules to manage for each page (in addition to the actual game rules) it was nothing earth shattering. More just, on this page there is a penalty if you do this - which was easy enough to handle. His attention span was tested when I was reading the actual story on the first page, he kept asking if he could pick his dice yet and just wanted to play. But there was a lot of text to read out to set the scene and introduce the characters and introduce what we were up against. As soon as we started rolling the dice and taking turns he was absolutely loving it. He liked making decisions on how to move and what dice he would spend for doing the different available actions and what items to buy, etc. He only just turned 6, he has amazing concentration for things he is really enjoying but if he is bored then he just totally tunes out. It happened when we started our 4th page. We had been playing well over an hour though. And that was after two games of Ticket to Ride, Europe. 

 

It sounds as though story 2 or 3 might be where the SUSD guys hit the problems so will need to see how that goes when we get there. I’m half tempted to read ahead and see how bad it gets! 

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So we finished our Charterstone campaign this weekend. Overall, it was pretty good. I absolutely loved the first 5-6 games but then once the game slipped into denying us choices (or made them expensive) rather than drip feeding new mechanics it all got a bit frustrating and less fun. It could of done with being a couple of games shorter in my opinion. So, not a bad game by any measure, but it was heading for a BGG 10 but it's ended up with a mere 7.

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Gloomhaven for the eleventy billionth time.  I enjoy the game and the mechanics are awesome... but I've no idea what's actually going on with the story.  In the meantime, Clans of Caledonia has been seeing the table and tabletopia quite a bit of late.

 

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Been playing Gloomhaven a bit myself - one of my mates picked up a copy. It’s a bit good isn’t it :) 

 We’ve played the 1st two scenarios already and had great fun (despite a few rules mess ups) - can’t wait to dive further into the game and can see why it’s so highly rated. 

 

 Also my latest Kickstarter arrrived - The City of Kings, only had a chance for one quick rules run through on a simple scenario but despite losing badly I had great fun. It’s essentially trying to be an ARPG in board game form with all the levelling up and massive character tree that they entail. 

 

 Looking forward to getting this one to the group. 

 

It it also looks stunning. 

 

F9A1B941-DDC5-467D-8FB4-D82964C80F28.jpeg

DD4CC381-0471-46F5-935C-E3FAC25083B3.jpeg

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On 18/01/2018 at 10:27, revlob said:

Millennium Blades

 

This is insane. If you've never heard of it, Millenium Blades is a CCG simulator. It's a game which encompasses not just the actual duelling gameplay of a CCG, but the trading and collecting aspects too, all inside a single (huge, stuffed with hundreds of cards) box. The game begins with each player given a small nine-card "starter deck", and you're immediately thrown into your first tournament. 

 

Tournament play is about taking your "carefully-crafted" "deck", and playing exactly one card on your turn into a tableau in front of you. Some cards will have an immediate effect, some will provide a single-use action you can perform later, and some might provide a scoring mechanism you can use at the end of a round, if they remain face up. Because one of the chief actions performed in the game is the flipping of cards face down, and once they're down, they stay down. So a large part of your strategy during a tournament is about choosing the right order to play and flip your own cards, whilst finding opportunities to flip other players' cards to interfere with their strategies. Once everyone has played six cards, the round is over and everyone scores points, and VP are awarded according to how well you did.

 

So what's interesting about that? Well, nothing, if that were the only part of the game. But it's really less than half, because after each tournament round is a deckbuilding round!

 

This is where the game really starts to shine. A timer is started, and everyone has a few minutes to build their decks for the next tournament round, in real time. You're given literal stacks of cash, and the shop in the middle of the table is opened. In those seven minutes you can "open a booster pack" by paying cash to purchase a face-down card from the selection in the middle, buy and sell cards face-up from the second-hand aftermarket, trade with other players, and archive sets of cards to your collection for bonus VP, all while trying to pick the eight cards that will synergise the best in your next deck.

 

Some players will hover over the store, wads of notes in hand, waiting for it to open so they can snatch up the booster cards from the less common expansions, some will spend their precious time to carefully curate a set for their collection for bonus victory points, and some will keep an eye on the "metagame", which is represented by two cards that offer additional scoring bonuses if your tableau contains certain types or elements, making those cards highly sought after. When the time is up, you've got to play with whatever cards you've chosen to put in your deck, and those who spent their time wisely will have hopefully forged a bulletproof series of high-scoring combos. Or, if you're like us, you'll be screaming at the countdown and wonder what your actual plan was with this seemingly random collection of terrible cards you call a "deck".

 

It's a real brain-burner, and our first game nearly killed us. With the added pressure of the limited time, trying to hunt for cards that work well together in the deckbuilding round is mentally exhausting. It's definitely not an experience to be entered into lightly, but I really enjoyed myself. Even though you only ever get to play six cards in a tournament, building your deck is a real rush, with the excitement of opening mysterious boosters, occasionally discovering an amazing card, tempered by the realisation that it doesn't work at all in your deck, and then building the whole thing from scratch again, with only a minute to spare. The addictive, candy-shop like-nature of CCGs is well represented here. There's almost too much game in the box, with different expansions that can be thrown into the mix, and special "promo" cards that can change everything, I don't know if we'll ever see it all.

 

Is it a substitute for Magic? Maybe, maybe not. If you enjoy it though, it'll leave you a hell of a lot richer.

 

 

 

I've played this twice now and it's really quite good and unlike anything else I've played. I can't really add much that revlob hasn't already said.The real-time deckbuilding stage is hilarious, stressful and panic inducing as the clock ticks down and you realise your cunning plan is no longer very cunning as you haven't found enough cards to make it work. So you try and make a different deck with a couple of minutes to spare, and thus end up with this low scoring mess for the turn based tournament phase. That seems to be how my games have gone anyway. I love it and can't wait to play it more.

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2 hours ago, Mortis said:

Been playing Gloomhaven a bit myself - one of my mates picked up a copy. It’s a bit good isn’t it :) 

 We’ve played the 1st two scenarios already and had great fun (despite a few rules mess ups) - can’t wait to dive further into the game and can see why it’s so highly rated. 

 

 Also my latest Kickstarter arrrived - The City of Kings, only had a chance for one quick rules run through on a simple scenario but despite losing badly I had great fun. It’s essentially trying to be an ARPG in board game form with all the levelling up and massive character tree that they entail. 

 

 Looking forward to getting this one to the group. 

 

It it also looks stunning. 

 

F9A1B941-DDC5-467D-8FB4-D82964C80F28.jpeg

DD4CC381-0471-46F5-935C-E3FAC25083B3.jpeg

 

oooo - saw that Airecon and it looked great... really fancy that.  

 

On Gloomhaven.  It's very good and enjoy playing it. 

 

BUT

 

Matt from SUSD is spot on.  There's a lot of busy work, a lot of downtime when there's more players and the campaign story is totally bobbins.  I think it *seriously* needs some real professional campaign writers to come in and mix it up.  There isn't really any consequences to your actions beyond immediate impact - there aren't any choices during the scenarios that make a change any major change to the story or direction.  If you fail a mission, you've got to restart it (we stopped doing this and just decided to carry on minus the XP and loot when it happens).  The game mechanics are great, although certain things could be streamlined quite a bit (hit indicators on the bases of monster standees would make a big difference) but the story and campaign side of it is seriously lacking.

 

We're continuing to play it to see it through to the end, but we've pretty much abandoned going for side quests and just following the main story path.  Every mission is the same... a bunch of relatively dull looking generic rooms with monsters in them.  Kill all monsters and move on.

 

Don't get me wrong - we enjoy it.  But it's a bit over-rated and suspect it'll be significantly improved with more releases over time.

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2 minutes ago, Mortis said:

@scottcrCome along to Settlers one Wed evening (or let me know if you have a group running) - I'll bring it along :) 

 

we have a regular group and play GH most Tuesday evenings - there's 5 of us, so we've modified the scaling based on some feedback on BGG to accomodate 5 players and it works quite well.

 

Quite fancy getting down to one of your nights in Settlers.

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@scottcr  I think there is a case for Gloomhaven being a better solo game than a party game. Basically you are in total control of the party / parties and can shape their evolution precisely as you wish.  Also, downtime is eliminated.  I aim to play a scenario a week to keep my hand in and thereafter work out roughly where I'm going for the next 2 or 3 sessions (so as to advance personal quests etc).  I think my satisfaction comes from developing and shaping the various classes into a well drilled monster slaying team e.g the spelleweaver was initially very frustrating to play but is now the proverbial glass cannon and can go 3 times with her most powerful "one use" spells, if supported by the engineer.  I got a bit tired of rat boy so packed him off after he developed the perfect poison...  I could despatch the brute at will since I merely have to repeat a boss scenario, but a high level tank is hard to find....

 

The story is bobbins though, to be honest those in the D&D board games are probably better.  I've wondered off the beaten path  to obtain enhancement and water wings early on, and replayed scenarios on casual to advance personal objectives and and I'm not really bothered.  

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4 minutes ago, therearerules said:

No downtime for Gloomhaven in our group, especially compared to Mansions of Madness (the downtime in that was horrendous!)

 

Interesting - our experience is the exact opposite.  We love playing MoM.  When it comes to Gloomhaven though, we're a terrible bunch of ponderers though - we add at least 2 hours to a game length for pondering.  

 

The mechanics in Gloomhaven are superb.  There's no game like it, and I reckon we'll start to see more like it - it's a brilliantly flexible system that could easily be used in all sorts of genres/themes... 

 

The campaign aspect to it really lets it down for me... the map is pretty much next to useless.  I'd like to see more variation in the adventures, more NPCs that you can interact with.  By and large, every scenario is very similar and the generic floor tiles don't help when it comes to adding theme.

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23 hours ago, Mortis said:

Been playing Gloomhaven a bit myself - one of my mates picked up a copy. It’s a bit good isn’t it :) 

 We’ve played the 1st two scenarios already and had great fun (despite a few rules mess ups) - can’t wait to dive further into the game and can see why it’s so highly rated. 

 

 Also my latest Kickstarter arrrived - The City of Kings, only had a chance for one quick rules run through on a simple scenario but despite losing badly I had great fun. It’s essentially trying to be an ARPG in board game form with all the levelling up and massive character tree that they entail. 

 

 Looking forward to getting this one to the group. 

 

It it also looks stunning. 

 

F9A1B941-DDC5-467D-8FB4-D82964C80F28.jpeg

DD4CC381-0471-46F5-935C-E3FAC25083B3.jpeg

 

You have all my jealousy. I missed the boat on Kickstarter with this one. I think I managed to secure a preorder with Games Lore, I paid up. It was showing out of stock, then later available and then out of stock again.  I know for sure that someone else has cancelled a preorder with them since I ordered so I guess it could be that I got lucky! I heard some horror stories that 365 games claim to have 6018 copies for retail which is more than the entire UK will have available so given the recent hype train, people are doubling up on preorders making it a hard one to secure!

 

Question: Do your characters retain all level up stats from story to story? 

 

And also, I just happen to be back in Glasgow. :bye: You know, if you need someone to help with rules.

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You retain levels between the phases of the story but each chapter has a reset of the skills in setup. It does however give you xp and perks to allocate from the start so you won’t always begin as a clean slate. 

 I run a small game group out in Hamilton that you’d be more than welcome at if you want a game :)

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For me the appeal of Gloomhaven lies in the combat, and it's a gameplay loop I find very satisfying. I think it's better to think of it as a tactical strategy RPG with campaign and story elements, rather than the other way round. Like Chaos or something but with a bit of story.

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In a weird way Gloomhaven reminded me of playing Inis with the limited hand of cards to play and the tactical depth that there is from that limited pool. The bonus of the huge campaign is that the setup is always new and the fights vary wildly rather than some massive branching Witcher 3 style storyline. 

 If I was craving RPG story/choose your own adventure I’d likely go for TIME stories or 7th Continent (which I wish I’d backed) instead 

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3 hours ago, Mortis said:

You retain levels between the phases of the story but each chapter has a reset of the skills in setup. It does however give you xp and perks to allocate from the start so you won’t always begin as a clean slate. 

 I run a small game group out in Hamilton that you’d be more than welcome at if you want a game :)

 

let me know when youse are playing City of Kings, I fancy coming down to see that and a mate of mine will probably come too

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4 hours ago, Mortis said:

You retain levels between the phases of the story but each chapter has a reset of the skills in setup. It does however give you xp and perks to allocate from the start so you won’t always begin as a clean slate. 

 I run a small game group out in Hamilton that you’d be more than welcome at if you want a game :)

 

Sounds ideal! What night / time do you guys meet?

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Our group (ML2 gamers) meets up around every 2nd Wednesday evening at Settlers from 6:30pm till Shazz kicks us out (9:30 - 10ish). 

 

https://m.facebook.com/groups/163708224079373

 

 There’s also a semi regular group at The Kings church hall in Coatbridge on a Saturday evening every couple of weeks that I try to go to. 

 Beyond that if the group know your face we get fairly regular evenings at each other’s houses playing whatever games take our fancy. 

 Basically if you don’t mind a trip out we’re mad for board games round here. 

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