The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

Fredrik_S wrote:

Tangle, are the enemy mechanics the same as in Ravenloft? As in, each player controls the bad guys he / she discovers? How does the movement differ? Super curious about this title.

Monster movement is initiative based; I'm not exactly clear on who moves the monsters in a multi-player situation, but their AI is largely to charge the nearest PC.

Re: the PC movement, there are environmental hazards (running water, mouse traps, ledges) that can be interacted with directly, or through party items. Many of the tiles also contain 'flip' spaces (for example, a grating in the floor) that allow the PCs to get to the other side of the tile, rather than just moving N, S, E or W.

Fredrik_S, check this set of videos on Mice and Mystics.

Distantsound wrote:

Fredrik_S, check this set of videos on Mice and Mystics.

Excellent, thank you!

[edit]Watched it and it seems to be a mix between Descent and Ravenloft. What I like about it is that since there's no death and not really any scary monsters it looks like something I can use to tell stories with to my kids (when they get a bit older). Hm.. I think it'll go on the old wishlist.

Tanglebones wrote:
Fredrik_S wrote:

Tangle, are the enemy mechanics the same as in Ravenloft? As in, each player controls the bad guys he / she discovers? How does the movement differ? Super curious about this title.

Monster movement is initiative based; I'm not exactly clear on who moves the monsters in a multi-player situation, but their AI is largely to charge the nearest PC.

Re: the PC movement, there are environmental hazards (running water, mouse traps, ledges) that can be interacted with directly, or through party items. Many of the tiles also contain 'flip' spaces (for example, a grating in the floor) that allow the PCs to get to the other side of the tile, rather than just moving N, S, E or W.

When we played Mono's copy at PenCon, we all took turns moving them. If there was more than one of them in the initiative, we had the person to the left of the active player making the rolls for the monsters. Since there is a decent story with each adventure that unfolds as you progress (with new bits of text to read), you could have a DM of sorts run the monsters; unless of course you pass the story around for everyone to present a part of it.

Tanglebones wrote:

Ran the first chapter of Mice & Mystics with Kittylexy - each of us took two mice. I'm not sure if I missed a rule somewhere, or just rolled well, because we absolutely stomped the board, only taking our first points of damage on the last tile. Still - great fun, and I look forward to playing it more. It's basically Castle Ravenloft with a better theme, and more interesting movement actions.

That's about how our run through went, on the intro story.

Well, here I go again. I'm building another print-n-play game; It's the twin of the last game I built actually, called 18ga. Since there's a fair amount of overlap in the components, I'll be able to build it in less time and at half the cost.

My game group is actually digging these 18xx games, hence my repeated investment of time and cash in building these games. Though, unless you have a love of crafts, I wouldn't recommend starting with these print-n-play versions. The classic of the series, 1830, is currently in print, so anyone interested should definitely start there.

I'm a bit disappointed personally that all the other popular versions in the 18xx series are currently out of print, with no plans for reissue for a long, long time.

One of these days I'll have to play your crazy train games, Dan. I'm pretty impressed with your construction efforts.

Played Chaos in the Old World last night, and we loved it. Really impressed by the asymmetry and the strategic options, while still being relatively straightforward rule-wise for a FF strategy game.
Also got in a game of Tales of the Arabian Nights, and I was surprised at how much we enjoyed that, too. It's nice to have a narrative-heavy game that's also really easy to get into, that you don't have to take so seriously. In a lot of ways I wish Arkham Horror was more like this - I'd like to experience that narrative and theme in a simpler wrapper.

Dysplastic wrote:

One of these days I'll have to play your crazy train games, Dan. I'm pretty impressed with your construction efforts.

Played Chaos in the Old World last night, and we loved it. Really impressed by the asymmetry and the strategic options, while still being relatively straightforward rule-wise for a FF strategy game.
Also got in a game of Tales of the Arabian Nights, and I was surprised at how much we enjoyed that, too. It's nice to have a narrative-heavy game that's also really easy to get into, that you don't have to take so seriously. In a lot of ways I wish Arkham Horror was more like this - I'd like to experience that narrative and theme in a simpler wrapper.

Arabian Nights works much better when you aren't taking it seriously, I've found. One of my friends has a vendetta against it because of the time he was trapped in a dungeon for half the game, every attempt to escape foiled.

Dysplastic wrote:

In a lot of ways I wish Arkham Horror was more like this - I'd like to experience that narrative and theme in a simpler wrapper.

That's kind of what Elder Sign is, but it's possibly too simple of a wrapper.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

In a lot of ways I wish Arkham Horror was more like this - I'd like to experience that narrative and theme in a simpler wrapper.

That's kind of what Elder Sign is, but it's possibly too simple of a wrapper.

No, it's a simple enough wrapper, but Elder Sign is just too weak on the narrative. I would want something more immersive.

Gremlin wrote:

Arabian Nights works much better when you aren't taking it seriously, I've found. One of my friends has a vendetta against it because of the time he was trapped in a dungeon for half the game, every attempt to escape foiled.

That happened to one of my friends last night too, but we were laughing like crazy at how incompetent he was at getting out of jail, especially since he had the right skillset for it.

Gremlin wrote:

Arabian Nights works much better when you aren't taking it seriously, I've found. One of my friends has a vendetta against it because of the time he was trapped in a dungeon for half the game, every attempt to escape foiled.

That happened to one of my friends last night too, but we were laughing like crazy at how incompetent he was at getting out of jail, especially since he had the right skillset for it.

I'm coming to think that Arabian Nights, like Once Upon a Time, is the kind of game where trying to win at all costs is somewhat missing the point.

Just found a really old board game that I got when i was probable 6-7, Lionheart. Basically a two player game of chess with some mini and dice. I've had it for 20 years and never once played it, that will change...
I did tell my mom I'd play it if she bought it for me...

Played third game of Claustrophobia with my wife. Now I see why it's balanced against the humans. Multiple tunnel abilities kept getting used. There were troglodytes in the front, trogs coming up the tunnel behind us. They were comin' out of the goddamn walls! And I died. For a silly photo session of the event go here.

Played 1914: Twilight in the East this weekend with a friend and his buddy from out of town. It is a hex and counter wargame focused on the opening months of the Eastern Front of WWI. The term "monster wargame" is certainly apt -- we got through 8 turns which equals about 3 weeks of gameplay after playing all day Saturday and most of Sunday. To top it off, we were just playing the smaller Galicia scenario as opposed to the monster campaign that has the entire Eastern Front.

All that said, it is a pretty enjoyable game if you have the time to sit down with it. Pushing past the fiddliness and counter there lies an elegant game that forces you to consider things that simpler systems have to abstract away. A great example is its insistence on using 3 separate resolution tables for each combat allowing for interesting distinctions between combat success, casualties, and unit cohesion. The models for supply and artillery fit in nicely with the combat model and give a nice period flavor. The best period touches though come from the victory point system which rewards relentless attacking (regardless of success and casualties) and actually prohibits units from moving away from their pre-war battleplan objectives.

Overall I was favorably surprised with how well the mechanics worked. The scenarios are too big and slow for me to realistically get many plays in, but I look forward to giving it another shot if the opportunity presents itself.

Here you can see my Russian (brown) 3rd and 8th Armies advancing towards Lemburg, with Przemyśl behind at the edge of the map. The long and thin markers indicate the separation of areas for armies.
IMAGE(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8070/8177757682_d2a42436b3_c.jpg)

For the lazy skimmer in all of us (or just me) what kind of game is Libertalia?

Also, Rio Grande finally settled on a December 2012 release date for Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts! Plus they announced a Q2 2013 for Roll for the Galaxy which is a dice based spinoff that's been in the works for a while now.

Tanglebones wrote:

It's basically Castle Ravenloft with a better theme, and more interesting movement actions.

Hmmm. I'm intrigued by this. We've got Wrath of Arshadalon and while we like the dungeon crawly-ness of it, the rules are a bit haphazard/loose and way too open to interpretation. We haven't played enough of it yet to really determine if we want another game like it, but I think this would be a good alternate to Claustrophobia or Dungeon Run which we were looking into at one point.

shoptroll wrote:

For the lazy skimmer in all of us (or just me) what kind of game is Libertalia?

It's a bluffing/role selection/auction kinda thing. Each player has a deck of 30 role cards, each with a different numerical value, and a unique power(s). The game's played in three rounds. At the start of each round, you put one booty token per player in each of six boxes. One player then pulls 9 cards randomly from their deck, and everyone else pulls the same cards from theirs, so everyone starts with the same set of nine.

At the start of a turn, everyone secretly selects one card, and they're all revealed simultaneously. You then place them in numerical order. Then you go from lowest to highest value, firing off any abilities marked "daytime". That done, you go from high value to low value, taking a booty token from that turn's box, and placing your card face up in your "den" area. After you get to the bottom, everyone fires the "night" abilities (if any) of any character cards still face up in their dens. Then you go to the next turn. At the end of six turns, you get points for all the money/booty you have, and any "end of round" abilities from surviving characters fire. Then everyone resets money to starting values, all played cards are removed from the game, everyone gets six new characters (again, everyone gets the same ones) to add to the three left over from the last round, and does it again.

While it's pretty simple at a basic level, the card powers mess things up with the quickness. Everyone starting with the same batch of cards leads to some interesting double-think. Only downside I saw was that it'll take a few plays to really get a handle on how the characters can interact before you really get into the grungy bits of out-thinking your opponents.

Gunner wrote:

Played 1914: Twilight in the East...

Hardcore! I've turned into an Eastfront WW1 fan (and WW2, of course!), but I've only played Ted Raicer's games on the subject. I doubt I'd have the time or brain power for something like TitE. The level of detail must be delicious, though. Thanks for posting!

Hmm. Are there any really good board games that cover the Great Game/spycraft in India and Afghanistan in the 19th century?

Tanglebones wrote:

Hmm. Are there any really good board games that cover the Great Game/spycraft in India and Afghanistan in the 19th century?

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/9...

I'm very interested in the subject as well and I'm eyeing this game. Looks interesting, at least!

Got my first play of Here I Stand in this weekend. Here are some quick thoughts:

* Learning the rules wasn't too bad as I have a copy of Sword of Rome that I've tabled up a couple of times for some partial games. Same basic card driven wargame concepts with some additional layers added in.

* I was mostly impressed with the (seemingly... have only played it once!) balanced asymmetric powers. Love asymmetry in my board games and this certainly delivers. The Pope and Protestant players are playing with very different mechanics than the other players as they vie for religious control of Europe. Pretty interesting stuff.

* I played the Ottomans, which are probably the most straightforward. Not a whole lot of negotiating to do, just slam against the Hapsburgs and be piratey in the Mediterranean. That also helped with learning as I didn't have to deal with colonizing the new world and really had little political maneuvering.

* Turn wise our game was short with the Pope winning at the end of the third round. Of course those three rounds took something like a good 5 hours! We were playing pretty slowly though as only one of us had played the game before.

* My biggest complaint with epic long wargames like these - especially card-driven ones - is that you can get screwed by the deck pretty badly. The Pope mostly won so early because the Protestant player drew mostly 1s and a couple of 2 strength cards in round 3. It was pretty bad, no way we could hold out and nobody else could anticipate that happening. I got hit hard by some nasty cards and poor rolling on my part, so the next round would've probably been pretty boring for me, mostly just rebuilding.

* My other big complaint is that after three turns I felt like very little had happened. A couple of territories changed hands and the Pope/Protestants were flipping territory religion but that's about it. I much prefer games where the face of the map changes a lot. The Pope's five winning points came from building St. Peter's Basilica, which doesn't even happen on the map. Made the ending feel a little anti-climactic.

* Would I play Here I Stand again? Yeah, I'd probably give it a second shot. I'd be more tempted to table up Sword of Rome again though, just because I prefer the more straightforward bash-em-up without as much of the political maneuvering. Or, more likely, I'd rather play Britannia, which is one of my all-time favorites.

Interesting report on Here I Stand. I wonder if a more seasoned group would have been better able to identify the Papist threat and mitigate it? Glad to hear good references towards Sword of Rome though, it just arrived today for me!

Did it just get really grognardy in here? I wholly approve.

Gunner wrote:

Glad to hear good references towards Sword of Rome though, it just arrived today for me!

Got my package on Friday, though I was too busy to sit down with it. I read some of the rules last week, though I noticed they've updated the living rules from 1.4 to 2.0 since then. I have an extra day off today on account of Remembrance Day, so I'll sit down with it later to parse the rules and sort components. But for now...

IMAGE(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yMHyFDAvaOw/UKFBT0Otc_I/AAAAAAAAAYY/U0-hlHt6f7o/s1095/IMG_20121112_133410.jpg)

... work on 18GA continues slowly yet surely.

Very nice, DanyBoy. Makes me want to fire up the old 1830 pc game in Dosbox.

Dreaded Gazebo wrote:

Got my first play of Here I Stand in this weekend.

Gazebo, I'm by no means an expert on HIS, but I've rarely seen anyone really get screwed by the deck that badly. Of course, every player can get sub-par hands that they can't trade or diplome their way out of, but for the Papal player to win that quickly means something was off.

Did the Papal player besiege Florence? That's 3-4 impulses right there, if all goes well. He had to play one card for the Diet of Worms, and he only starts with three plus his two home cards. Starting at 19 points, he needs six for the auto win, which is St. Peter's plus Florence. St. Peter's is 25 CP's to complete, which means he was playing both his home cards, or equivalents, every turn. It also means that the Prot wasn't converting any areas at all, since their relationship is zero sum. A Domination victory cannot take place until Turn 4 at the earliest.

Not saying it can't happen, but it means that the Papal player had a fistful of high cards and the Protestant, in three turns, took barely anything.

I would have thought you'd have enjoyed playing the Ottomans and sacking Hungary. How far did you get towards Vienna?

Natus wrote:

Not saying it can't happen, but it means that the Papal player had a fistful of high cards and the Protestant, in three turns, took barely anything.

That's pretty much what happened; the Protestant player was getting incredibly low-valued hands, especially in that third round. I think the problem was that us first-time players didn't catch on to the implications of that, the Protestant player didn't think his hand was game-endingly bad and the experienced player was a bit too distracted to fully see what was happening. I have no doubts future Protestant players will be more aware of their positioning.

Natus wrote:

I would have thought you'd have enjoyed playing the Ottomans and sacking Hungary. How far did you get towards Vienna?

I was in Buda and preparing to knock on Vienna's doorstep, but a rookie mistake on my part let the Hapsburgs reclaim Belgrade. That basically set me back one round which would've been a bummer had the game kept going but was certainly recoverable. I did enjoy sacking stuff, but the problem is that over three turns I look over two spots on the map. Not much landscape change for the time investment. I also completely failed at pirating as the Hapsburg player went all in to stop me. Like I said, I enjoy games where the map changes quite a bit, so while those two keys were very important for me it didn't feel particularly exciting.

Games like this are always tough to judge after a single play though. Most everyone seemed interested in playing again soon while the basics are fresh in our memory. I'll certainly report back if I hop in a second play

shoptroll wrote:

Also, Rio Grande finally settled on a December 2012 release date for Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts! Plus they announced a Q2 2013 for Roll for the Galaxy which is a dice based spinoff that's been in the works for a while now.

Finally! I have high hopes for this one. The first expansion was ok, the second was really underwhelming and I didn't even try the third, but the reboot sounds like a nice twist on the game that'll really bring something new to the table. I'll wait and see about a dice game though, the basic RftG core gameplay is going to be hard to match in any meaningful way with dice.

I've been roped into a game of Twilight Imperium on Saturday. Yeah, my arm is totally sore from all the twisting.

It's going to be a little different than usual, though. The game is full up with 8 experienced players. Each of those guys will have a newb to teach/coach/collaborate with through the game. The hope is to end up with more players willing to do this again.

I am one of the newbs. Does anyone have any good resources to study up with on hand? I'll be looking around myself, but I thought you guys might have some ready reference you would be willing to share.

Wish me luck, and hopefully Itsatrap is still speaking to me on Sunday

Shut Up & Sit Down somewhat recently did an LP of TI. Haven't watched it but it might give a good idea of what to expect.

momgamer wrote:

I've been roped into a game of Twilight Imperium on Saturday. Yeah, my arm is totally sore from all the twisting.

It's going to be a little different than usual, though. The game is full up with 8 experienced players. Each of those guys will have a newb to teach/coach/collaborate with through the game. The hope is to end up with more players willing to do this again.

I am one of the newbs. Does anyone have any good resources to study up with on hand? I'll be looking around myself, but I thought you guys might have some ready reference you would be willing to share.

Wish me luck, and hopefully Itsatrap is still speaking to me on Sunday

Here's a brief primer on TI.

shoptroll wrote:

Shut Up & Sit Down somewhat recently did an LP of TI. Haven't watched it but it might give a good idea of what to expect.

Lord I really want to play that game, but damn 5 or 6 turns and it takes seven hours?! I will never get a chance to try it, but damn it's beautiful sounding.

We played Escape yesterday and I liked it. Mostly because frantic dice rolling. It's really hard to coordinate with people though.