The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

I agree but that would be fun once a group had it down.

I picked up a copy of Red Dragon Inn at Madness Games in Plano a few weeks ago while I was in town. I managed to get a quick learning game in while I was still In town, but I'm going to introduce it to my group this week. We'll see how it goes.

So, after a couple of attempts with Castle Ravenloft, my daughter wanted to try our luck with Wrath of Ashardalon ( after quite a break in time ). We started off the first adventure for multiplayers ( Hunt the Monsters ) and we were down to our last monster, and our last hitpoints. Dad ( playing the rogue ) swung and missed, then died. We lost. But we had fun and got closer than we ever did in Ravenloft. We will try again with a different combo of heroes ( she was the Paladin ). These still are some of the most fun games we lose a lot

When it comes to co-op or many-versus-one type games, I like to stress a "no overthinking, play the game" rule. I have a few friends who will either become paralyzed with analysis every move, or argue incessantly about whether someone else's move is optimum. If the turn planning ever starts running past half a minute I will loudly repeat OOOOOVERRRTHINKING as obnoxiously as possible until everyone shuts up and the player takes his turn. It becomes so much fun to yell this that after the first few times, everyone who isn't an over-analyzer will start joining in.

Naturally some turns are going to be critical and worthy of extra noodling, but I can't stand it when people want to verbally min-max the next three turns every single time. It makes the games much more entertaining when they zip right along and you get multiple rounds in. We would never have been able to run a Descent 2E campaign without finding a way of dealing with the ever-present Slowy McSlowplayerson.

Cragmyre wrote:

So, after a couple of attempts with Castle Ravenloft, my daughter wanted to try our luck with Wrath of Ashardalon ( after quite a break in time ). We started off the first adventure for multiplayers ( Hunt the Monsters ) and we were down to our last monster, and our last hitpoints. Dad ( playing the rogue ) swung and missed, then died. We lost. But we had fun and got closer than we ever did in Ravenloft. We will try again with a different combo of heroes ( she was the Paladin ). These still are some of the most fun games we lose a lot :)

I'm glad you're having fun with these, I love this system too. The only part of the series I've really played is Drizzt, but my wife and I lost big time when we were only playing as one character each. When we each took two, we won every game, although many of them were really close nail biting fun. If you and your daughter are only playing one character maybe try controlling two each and see if you can win an adventure?

Cragmyre wrote:

So, after a couple of attempts with Castle Ravenloft, my daughter wanted to try our luck with Wrath of Ashardalon ( after quite a break in time )... These still are some of the most fun games we lose a lot :)

I really prefer Ashardalon over both Ravenloft and Drizzt. Ravenloft is fun, overall, but there are too many treasures that you can't bank for when you really need them, and I think it is a bit too hard. I actually found Drizzt too easy; the characters are just so powerful that if your luck holds up just a little bit you should win (sorry Gravity, no idea what happened to you). Ashardalon hits the perfect balance for me; winnable, but really really close to defeat every time. I found that giving one extra Healing Surge is the best way to tweak the victory likelihood, and it gives you a small jump in learning curve if you want to play purely by the rules. Remember, you can cash in experience to nullify an Encounter - I think all three of the games are almost unwinnable without doing that.

lancejt wrote:

I picked up a copy of Red Dragon Inn at Madness Games in Plano a few weeks ago while I was in town. I managed to get a quick learning game in while I was still In town, but I'm going to introduce it to my group this week. We'll see how it goes.

Best played in a bar where you can easily turn it into a drinking game. If you can't, its still great fun. When you play it, be loud and boisterous as the game really benefits from a loud and jolly atmosphere. The one rule we have when we play it is that it's obligatory to read the name of the cards out loud at the minimum.

gravity wrote:

I'm glad you're having fun with these, I love this system too. The only part of the series I've really played is Drizzt, but my wife and I lost big time when we were only playing as one character each. When we each took two, we won every game, although many of them were really close nail biting fun. If you and your daughter are only playing one character maybe try controlling two each and see if you can win an adventure?

Huh. Demyx and I had some experiences similar to Cragmyre where we got really close to winning only to die at the very end. We'll have to try that next time we decide to bust it out.

If you haven't brought up AP before starting a game you think it's prone to, a polite way to bring up the issue is just wonder aloud how every time you play the game (ideally when not playing it) the game takes longer than the box says.

In my experience some AP-prone players can self identify, and then offer to take care of the problem themselves. Most of the time they are just wanting to make the best choice, they just aren't good at coming to a decision without a little nudge!

Bought Ticket To Ride - Marklin (germany) to introduce the family to the next baby step up from the mainstream board games. Is it just me, or are the instructions the most poorly written game instructions ever created? Were these translated from German?

MitchellW wrote:

If you haven't brought up AP before starting a game you think it's prone to, a polite way to bring up the issue is just wonder aloud how every time you play the game (ideally when not playing it) the game takes longer than the box says.

In my experience some AP-prone players can self identify, and then offer to take care of the problem themselves. Most of the time they are just wanting to make the best choice, they just aren't good at coming to a decision without a little nudge!

Oh, this specific player's AP is a well known factor. The people who usually corral him just weren't there today.

Ghostship wrote:

Bought Ticket To Ride - Marklin (germany) to introduce the family to the next baby step up from the mainstream board games. Is it just me, or are the instructions the most poorly written game instructions ever created? Were these translated from German?

I don't remember them being too bad, though that version is one of the more complicated versions of TTR. There are far, far worse rule books, some of them to some fantastic games.

Chaz wrote:
Ghostship wrote:

Bought Ticket To Ride - Marklin (germany) to introduce the family to the next baby step up from the mainstream board games. Is it just me, or are the instructions the most poorly written game instructions ever created? Were these translated from German?

I don't remember them being too bad, though that version is one of the more complicated versions of TTR. There are far, far worse rule books, some of them to some fantastic games.

Yeah I didn't think they were too bad. You might want to skip passengers the first time you teach a group of people, though.

Big thanks to Danyboy for tolerating both my tardiness and my needing to leave early and teaching me Labyrinth yesterday.
It really is a fantastic game, though the asymmetry makes the first learning game hard as it's difficult enough to remember what you can do, let alone remember what your opponent can do. While some of the swings were a bit painful and the cardplay was frustrating at times (especially if you get a lot of your opponent's cards), I think that's something that's natural for a first game and I think could easily be mitigated with some more experienced hand/resource management. My favorite thing about the game was how well the mechanics worked with the theme to create a fascinating narrative in a modern-day setting.

I was proud of myself for succeeding in bringing about regime change in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the world was unimpressed that I let a nuclear weapon detonate in the later and I got bogged down in my war of liberation in Indonesia. Instead of cutting a swath through these Islamic ruled regimes, I got bogged down and ignored the rest of the Arab world, which fell further and further to poor governance and terrorist plots. While I had to leave early, I had no doubt that Danyboy's jihadists would prevail.

Really an excellent game, but like most deep games, one that I think requires at least two playthroughs to play at a level where you're running a well-oiled machine. In the meantime, the narrative experience makes up for the painful losses you'll experience.

I think with two people who have played the game before, a one-deck game should be able to be resolved in 2 1/2 to 3 hours - not too bad. Veterans could probably do it in 2.

Think I might be playing a large (60-80 point) Star Wars minis game tonight. I'm fairly stoked.

carrotpanic wrote:
Chaz wrote:
Ghostship wrote:

Bought Ticket To Ride - Marklin (germany) to introduce the family to the next baby step up from the mainstream board games. Is it just me, or are the instructions the most poorly written game instructions ever created? Were these translated from German?

I don't remember them being too bad, though that version is one of the more complicated versions of TTR. There are far, far worse rule books, some of them to some fantastic games.

Yeah I didn't think they were too bad. You might want to skip passengers the first time you teach a group of people, though.

The explanation of passengers was particularly poor.
I assumed that you have three chances to go on a points bonanza. You may or may not get your passengers on the board, or may or may not get to move your passengers. It seemed like the best bet was to place them at one of the neighbouring countries, end of line cities, then go as far as you can grabbing tokens.

It also didn't seem like you want a passenger on the board for long before you move it.

Nevin73 wrote:

Think I might be playing a large (60-80 point) Star Wars minis game tonight. I'm fairly stoked.

I saw a tournament of this going on last weekend at the local game store. I tried to watch a bit but there was a lot more talking and fiddling with dials than there was of moving things around and going "PEW PEW PEW!" so it wasnt a ton of fun to watch.

The game does look cool though.

The new Watch It Played series is doing Legendary the Marvel deck building game. Rodney goes over the instructions in that first video. The others aren't up yet.

Ghostship wrote:
carrotpanic wrote:
Chaz wrote:
Ghostship wrote:

Bought Ticket To Ride - Marklin (germany) to introduce the family to the next baby step up from the mainstream board games. Is it just me, or are the instructions the most poorly written game instructions ever created? Were these translated from German?

I don't remember them being too bad, though that version is one of the more complicated versions of TTR. There are far, far worse rule books, some of them to some fantastic games.

Yeah I didn't think they were too bad. You might want to skip passengers the first time you teach a group of people, though.

The explanation of passengers was particularly poor.
I assumed that you have three chances to go on a points bonanza. You may or may not get your passengers on the board, or may or may not get to move your passengers. It seemed like the best bet was to place them at one of the neighbouring countries, end of line cities, then go as far as you can grabbing tokens.

It also didn't seem like you want a passenger on the board for long before you move it.

The longer you hold out the more potential to gain points. But going first means you get the higher tokens. It's like a reverse game of chicken, where both people are holding out, but want to be the first to bite. (Or for a more precise comparison, a dutch auction)

Stilgar Black wrote:
Johnvanjim wrote:

Time to institute the egg timer, if you don't finish the basics of your turn in that amount of time, you're just done.

Do you guys actually do this? We just have one guy who is AP prone, but I'd like any advice in helping him break this without damaging friendships.

I use it while running my D&D campaign. I don't actually have to enforce it all that often, sometimes just pulling it out and dropping it on the table works wonders.

Nevin73 wrote:

Think I might be playing a large (60-80 point) Star Wars minis game tonight. I'm fairly stoked.

I'm so jelly... I want to try this game bad.

Finally played NetRunner tonight, though I've had a copy for at least a month. It's streamlined and tame compared to the original, of which I am a huge fan. As far as I've played, it's the best commercially available LCG or CCG out there.

Can't wait to try it and compare it to GoT LCG. Is it only two player, or is there a 4 player mode?

So, I was reviewing the rules of Wrath of Ashardalon and my daughter and I forgot a really important one. One, in fact, that probably would have given us the win. We forgot to grab a treasure for each kill. We killed 11 ( out of the required 12 ) monsters. I'm sure one of those treasures would have given us some sort of healing or other way of killing the last creature.

Oh well, next time we'll put the treasure pile right next to the experience pile.

Dysplastic wrote:

Can't wait to try it and compare it to GoT LCG. Is it only two player, or is there a 4 player mode?

Just two player. Works best that way. I haven't played a full game of GoT or of Vampire:TES, but those seem to be the ones to beat where multiplayer is concerned. Well, a revamped Shadowfist is coming out soon, but I haven't played that at all.

Dysplastic wrote:

Can't wait to try [NetRunner] and compare it to GoT LCG. Is it only two player, or is there a 4 player mode?

You'll like it, I think. The asymmetry is truly excellent.

Natus wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Can't wait to try it and compare it to GoT LCG. Is it only two player, or is there a 4 player mode?

Just two player. Works best that way. I haven't played a full game of GoT or of Vampire:TES, but those seem to be the ones to beat where multiplayer is concerned. Well, a revamped Shadowfist is coming out soon, but I haven't played that at all.

Wut? Shadowfist you say? Still collectible, or some kind of LCG format? That game was hilarious. Of course, I doubt I'd wind up with anyone to play with, but still!

Chaz wrote:
Natus wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Can't wait to try it and compare it to GoT LCG. Is it only two player, or is there a 4 player mode?

Just two player. Works best that way. I haven't played a full game of GoT or of Vampire:TES, but those seem to be the ones to beat where multiplayer is concerned. Well, a revamped Shadowfist is coming out soon, but I haven't played that at all.

Wut? Shadowfist you say? Still collectible, or some kind of LCG format? That game was hilarious. Of course, I doubt I'd wind up with anyone to play with, but still!

It was on Kickstarter and made its goal, so I think we are just waiting for the decks now. Not sure where it will be sold commercially. I've been chasing the game for a while, so I'm eager to try it.

Natus, I agree about the streamlining, but I'm not sure what you mean by "tame". Care to explain?

Natus wrote:

Just two player. Works best that way.

There was a semi-official (in the sense that it was eventually printed on Wizard's web site) multiplayer variant that was designed on the old Netrunner listserv, but it was a bit of a kludge and never really caught on. It would probably work with the new version, but I think the game is best played standard.

Cragmyre wrote:

So, I was reviewing the rules of Wrath of Ashardalon and my daughter and I forgot a really important one. One, in fact, that probably would have given us the win. We forgot to grab a treasure for each kill. We killed 11 ( out of the required 12 ) monsters. I'm sure one of those treasures would have given us some sort of healing or other way of killing the last creature.

Oh well, next time we'll put the treasure pile right next to the experience pile. :)

Just about—you get one treasure per turn that you killed any monsters. So if you kill two monsters in your turn, you still only draw one treasure.

But yes, that would have helped immensely. Some healing potions, a well-played lucky charm...