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jonnyalpha
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I missed the Kickstarter for Sword and Sorcery, but did pick it up when it hit retail. I unboxed it and settled down with the 55 page rule book and went through the set up. I felt a little bamboozled so watched a playthrough. In the end I packed it all away again without really giving it a proper go. I really need to try and get it to the table because theoretically I should love it! Have been thinking about it a fair bit recently. 

 

I have done a pretty similar thing with Shadows of Brimstone. :( I didn’t get as far as punching the tokens of that though.

 

Are you heading to the UK expo this year @Cosmic_Guru? I know there was talk of a board games meet last year but it didn’t go ahead I don’t think! It would be really cool to get in some gaming. 

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1 hour ago, Rikku said:

I missed the Kickstarter for Sword and Sorcery, but did pick it up when it hit retail. I unboxed it and settled down with the 55 page rule book and went through the set up. I felt a little bamboozled so watched a playthrough. In the end I packed it all away again without really giving it a proper go. I really need to try and get it to the table because theoretically I should love it! Have been thinking about it a fair bit recently. 

 

I have done a pretty similar thing with Shadows of Brimstone. :( I didn’t get as far as punching the tokens of that though.

 

Are you heading to the UK expo this year @Cosmic_Guru? I know there was talk of a board games meet last year but it didn’t go ahead I don’t think! It would be really cool to get in some gaming. 

 

It's certainly inconsistent in places, and that makes it rather fiddly to play, at least in SP mode.   Some things in the game seem puzzling as to their classification (as a passive ability, a free action or a limited (yellow triangle) action) - actually these latter seem to be the worst to keep track of - I should have used some yellow cubes or something from the beginning to count them off for each hero's turn.  Yellow triangle actions can be move +1, attack +1, change your equipped item, give or receive an item from another hero (with apparently no range restrictions), use some (but not all) consumables, use a projectile, use some but by no means all your hero powers, so it's very easy to lose track (actions such as bashing chests you tend to remember more easily).  Looking at some of the Thorgar hero powers again more closely, I can't understand why "heal wounds" is a yellow triangle activity power but "purify" which is just an upgraded version is a white squiggle one (and thus not limited in the same manner).  All of which suggests that my rule adherence accuracy in this play through hasn't been great :( (or I should have looked more carefully and bought potions and not bandages)   The other thing I forgot in the first one or two scenarios when my heroes were "dying" frequently was that the enemy responsible should have drawn an enemy power card :o.

 

I'm not planning on attending the UK Expo.

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Missed the S&S KS but would like to get it at some point, maybe have a look when all the content is released. 

 

Do you have the KS version and is there much exclusive content? Also remember something about a scenario designer app or similar facility for community created content, did that ever come out? 

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35 minutes ago, Kzo said:

Do you have the KS version and is there much exclusive content? Also remember something about a scenario designer app or similar facility for community created content, did that ever come out? 

 

No, the retail version.  Browsing the http://www.sword-and-sorcery.com/files/ suggests there are downloadable apps available to generate additional content and pro-forma template cards to use etc.  

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If anyone's interested, this photo shows the inherent inconsistency and / or the need to check the detail each time you play a card - the 3 consumables and 2 power cards have different classifications for, arguably, the same type of action.  You can also see that there is no bullet point for "use an inventory item or activate a power" under the list of action activities on the quick reference card (well, that's my excuse anyway).  Anyway, final boss was a push over for the good party so the evil ones have come out for their turn with added super-strict rule adherence.

 

 

 

 

2018-04-07_12_02_09.jpg

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.............And done with the evil campaign in Sword & Sorcery.  Much more fun than being goodie goodie, as I guessed it might be at the outset.  The last couple of scenarios (5 & 6) were well intense and we ended up with a huge pile of swag in the stash.  Using cubes to represent actions helps a lot in keeping track of them.  The game flow took while to gel with me for some reason (positioning is hugely important and having more ranged attacks in the team and damage varieties always helps) but it's well crafted (apart from some wonky miniatures even before treading on them) and entertaining in the way of these things with 2 or 3 forks in the story, and, as I may perhaps have mentioned before, a high degree of randomness throughout.  The unwinding of the story via the game board, and/or the turn over of encounter cards is cool as is the "death" mechanism (you lose a level but can come back the next round if you have the necessary levelling up tokens to hand).  It definitely gives you that sweet power-up feeling essential to any RPG.

 

I would recommend this to any group of 2-5 looking for an adventure-book style game which can probably be polished off in 12-15 hours allowing for the odd repeat along the way.  It's worth noting though that there is an expansion and a second act anticipated, so this is not a fully contained adventure in the current state. 

 

Top tip - equip your characters with non bladed weapons for the first scenario if possible - blades inflict -1 damage on gremlins, and this, together with the -1 penalty for all heroes at the start of the game, is a recipe for frustration.

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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Arkham LCG: Path to Carcosa Scenario 2, The Last King.

 

Really really liked this. Definitely won't be the same if we play again - but watching the mechanics evolve (while staying close to the "gather clues under time pressure" basics) was interesting. We had no idea how to complete the act - and in the end gathered info and ran/limped away

 

(Mechanics spoilers follow)

 

We really weren't sure what to focus on - clues, clearing people to flip them etc.



 

By the time the Agenda advanced to starting transforming Witnesses we were starting to get a handle on it.

 

In the end though we only managed questioned one person. Then the Encounter deck and transformed guests overran us - hunters in such small location became brutal pretty quickly...and we had to leg it out the door. 15/23 clues picked up though.

 

The first scenario I've completed by all investigators resigning...I've no idea if we got a good or bad ending...which is perfect Arkham really.

 

We did get the Pallid Man defeated twice - so progress there :)

 

In our option "Go back in, Barracade or KILL THEM ALL" we chose to burn the building down with them all in.

 

Thematically PoC is much more "what the fuck is going on" that Dunwich's more basic "Stop the end of the world"...and it's great!

 

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The Expanse Board Game continues to prove to be a really accessible game once game get past the intimidating-sounding scoring conditions that you kind of hopingly handwave at the start of the game, but boy is it cheaply made. Good lure for people to start the TV show too.

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Imperial Assault - Mission #3 (Fly Solo) and Sidemission (Vipers Nest)

 

Another fun session of this - but remarkably unforgiving. We won both missions - but Fly Solo felt very very lucky. And if we didn't have our builds, and some lucky dice rolls, nothing would have saved us.

 

No idea how anyone else could do - Gideon and Diala are feeling more and more mandatory. It was very fun though - with no idea of victory/loss conditions at the start left us as a condundrum as to how to play.

 

Scenario spoilers

 

 

Fly Solo felt very Imperial weighted. From the start we were under pressure as surrounded. Our Wookie nearly died in the opening salvo (Trandoshans man!). We got very lucky after activating Han that of the 4 enemies that could attack him, only 2 dealt damage due to great defense rolls (4 damage out of 12 HP though!). Han legged it. Then next round we used Gideon to Double Command Han onwards (and healed him to full from lucky supply drop), he dodged a barrage of stormtroopers (7 damage out of 12 HP) and then used his moves out. (We had Force throw on Standby if the Imp blockaded him in).

 

 


Without the heal and the 4 moves it felt like the Imperial could easily focus Han down far too easily. His White Dice just isn't that good - we got very very lucky and only against 2 activated teams. Given them Imperial could have potentially activated up to 7 to hit him without the double move it could have gone much much worse. Still we won!


The second side missions was fairly basic in terms of mechanics - but memorable because we STOMPED Impy. Our Wookie SMASHED everything - being fed re-rolls and focused from Diala, and extra attacks from Gideon. Combined with Cleve/Brutal Clever he just rampaged through everything. There were turns when the Imp player had nothing on the board. We got all crates and won...

 

(We are lucky our Imperial player is a lovely ball of woobie. Anyone else could be really upset/disheartened.)
 

 

 

 

 

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First play of TI3 yesterday. Took absolutely hours, and absolutely a product of its time. We also didn't read the FAQ and played with the original rules, which were a bit shit (and also gamable). That said, it had a sort of austere beauty to it - like chewing your food 20 times before swallowing, perhaps it did us some good. 

 

Then did our first game of Millenium Blades. Mixed reaction, but by and large we really enjoyed it. 

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I think it's unlikely I'd get the version wrong after playing it for 8 hours :D

 

A friend bought TI3 cheap. Played it without the expansions, or FAQ. The original Strategy cards aren't great and there's an exploit with fighters that can wreck the game. But it was OK. A bit 90s. 

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Moose, Donk and mengot together for games last night. A summary:

 

SUSHI GO - I smashed everyone in this lovely game.

 

MANHATTAN PROJECT CARD GAME - I smashed Moose in this lovely game while Donk did something else. Then Donk came back and smashed us both in a second game.

 

AZUL - Donk smashed us both in the first game, but it was my first go at it and in the second game I didn't smash them so much as murder them horribly and then wipe their gene pool from the face of the earth before burning all things that have any indication they'd ever lived and then legally ban any mention of them by any human being ever again.

 

I think Azul is great. 

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Snagged a copy of Santorini (the cheaper edition) for £25 which I was pleased with - quality is fine and as it's for playing with the family I'm not bothered about premium components. It all looks good.

 

Played a couple of three player games. My 10 y.o. won the first one then I got the second.

 

It's really nice, dead impressed with it. 

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I finally had a chance to play Anachrony with others last night. I've played the solo variant a few times, but never with other humans before. It was the first time I'd played in a while, and I'd forgotten just how much stuff is in that gigantic box. Expansions and extra modules I'll probably never get the chance to play. But after sifting through all the boards, cards, chits and dice to find the core components, the three others were very patient while the rules were explained. This was massively helped by the fact that the rulebook is very well put together, with plenty of examples, notes about exceptions in all the right places, and comprehensive appendices in the back. How often does one encounter a good rule book?

 

I've mentioned it here before, but this is the worker placement game about preparing for an inevitable apocalypse, stomping around a board with huge mech minis, built using resources received from the future. There's a cool time travel mechanic where you can receive stuff for free from your future self, but you have to build time machines to send it back later on in order to repair the damage you're doing to the space-time continuum.

 

It took us a good three hours or so to play through to the end, but never did anyone feel like they wanted to call the game early, as we've done with similarly long games in the past. A testament to how it kept us interested and entertained. I was beaten in the final scoring by two others despite being the only one with any experience, but it was because I made poor decisions, the game rewarding those who had better mastered time travel.

 

Not a game that everyone will enjoy by far, as it is one of the heavier games I own, with a significant time investment required. But with this group of eurogame nerds, it was very well received.

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The single player is pretty good, it has an interesting AI system using a die and a series of tokens which move around on a special player board and determine which actions the AI takes. I did find it easy to make mistakes though, there are a number of extra rules and weird possible interactions with the AI player. Don't be disheartened if you are soundly beaten in your first couple of games.

 

It's quite a beast to set up and put away, so solo games of Anachrony take quite a while. Expect nothing less than couple of hours for your first game, certainly. Once you know the rules and understand how the AI player works it does move very quickly, but getting it in and out of the box is still quite a task. I need to get a better storage solution, really.

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Will do, this one is a sort of pastiche of the start of the Dominion War that makes little canonical sense but feels quite thematic.

 

TBH I bought it because I remembered there was one that's supposed to be really good, that it wasn't the 3-player-only one, and that it wasn't Attack Wing. Turns out I was thinking of Fleet Captain! This looks good though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Frontiers does have some good central mechanics but it suffers from being a hastily reskinned version of another game (Mage Knight), which seems to have informed most of the design decisions. 

 

The basic ideas are good and thematic. You play cards from a deck to take actions like moving, attacking, blocking attacks with your shields, or negotiating with diplomacy. You can get better cards added to your deck as rewards for completing tasks of various difficulty levels, like away missions. You earn new Captain abilities you can use without needing a card at hand, and can recruit new crew with their own new abilities at bases. You can send the Captain and/or crew on away missions and use their abilities there, or apply them in navigating the board and space battles. 

 

The first warning sign that this might not be the best reskin of an existing game is the “data” you can use to activate a more powerful version of a card’s ability. It’s a weird fit and feels like a mana consumable Mage Knight must have had. The headache kicks in when you find out that there are three kinds of enemy bases and none of them map well on to the Star Trek theme, while adding enormous complexity and loads of special cases. In a game where Romulans are always a legitimate target (and the only enemies you can fight apart from the Borg) there are Romulan bases you can beat in combat, and then they ally to you and give you new crew, until another player beats them. There are Dominion bases you can overthrow and then everyone can recruit Dominion crew and earn super-powered cards. There are Borg bases, again with their own special variation... and crew to recruit?

 

Presumably there are direct analogues of these in Mage Knight where the theme makes some sort of intuitive sense, but here it means memorising which bad guy location behaves in which way, and it’s not the least bit intuitive as a result. It makes no sense thematically - there’s not even a lore cludge for how you can recruit Romulans while blasting others.

 

The five types of planet you can visit actually do work well. They amount to more or less complex away missions or freely visitable planets with people and knowledge to add to your ship. I just wish a bit more thought had gone in to how all the other mechanics align.

 

The end result is a game where you have two playable ships each for the Federation and Klingons, and the game uses ships on the same nominal side as completely distinct factions. I can only conclude that because they used up all the recognisable Trek forces recreating Mage Knight game elements on the board, they had only those two left and had to improvise.

 

Fun but not exactly elegant or inspired. Also it uses up about eight square metres of table space per player.

 

Edit - I just read the Mage Knight rules and it’s not even subtle. The scenarios even have the same names!

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Oh, it's that Star Trek game. I remember watching a Dice Tower review of it and Tom Vasel made exactly the same complaint that you did regarding the data crystals. It does sound like someone wanting a Trek game for the theme is going to be tripping up constantly over the underlying Mage Knight setting. Perhaps I'd enjoy it more with its original fantasy trappings, but should look elsewhere for Trek-ness.

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Yeah, I’m thinking about trying Mage Knight too now. Will keeping looking out for Fleet Captains too.

 

It’s a shame, the away missions, combat and basic mechanics are a really good fit. It feels like it’s just a bit of board and rules streamlining away from being a proper Trek game.

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Games night last night with Donk and Moose.

 

We played:

 

HERO REALMS - a card game from the makers of Star Realms and Epic. It's better than either, in some ways. I liked it.

 

SANTORINI - had a pile of 2 player games and one 3 player game. It scales really well, thanks to the god cards. I like this a lot too (and it's gone down well with the wife and kid).

 

MADAME CHING - I think we played this one next. It's a decent little game that plays fast and is easy to learn. I like this one as well.

 

SUSHI GO - love this. 

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