The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

Natus wrote:
thejustinbot wrote:
So played Here I Stand yesterday and had an overall terrible experience overall from a few different things. First off, I ended up my a crushing headache for the last three hours which ruined things a lot. Second, the players for the Hapsburgs, Protestands, Catholics and English all would never plan out their turn during the off time while other people went. That and none of them ever seemed to grasp the rules so after ten minutes of hemming and hawing each impulse they would play a card, get halfway through the action, then realize the card didn't do what they thought it did so would take it back and start hemming and hawing about what to do again. Those things can make a 9 hour game kind frustrating, especially when we only got through 5 turns in 9 hours.

Pardon the late response. I love the game, but even that kind of experience would ruin it for me, too. It's certainly not the easiest multiplayer game to play, and the Wars of Religion on their own can have the other players pulling out their hair. Had anyone in the group played before, to act as a leader of sorts?

No one had played before though we had all read the rules. What made it worse was the guy who owned the game was the worst offender.

In happy gaming news, taught several more people Dreadball last night. Looking to gear up for a season of that at one of the local stores in February. Every is constantly impressed by how much faster it plays than Blood Bowl.

Is Dreadball available in stores yet? I know the Kickstarter backers just got the game before Xmas, yes?

Dysplastic wrote:
DanyBoy wrote:
Gravey wrote:
I've bought from Starlit Citadel, and am looking at German Boardgame Company.

Those are the best two I've dealt with. GBC gives me a nice flat-rate shipping of <$10, since they're based out of southern Ontario. Starlit will give you free shipping if you're willing to spend >$175 in one shot, and they're based in Vancouver, which is closer to your neck of the woods.

Both stores have a very good selection, and are a fair amount cheaper than local stores if you order multiple items.

I go GBC exclusively. They've been fantastic to deal with and I love their website, and they consistently have the best or near the best prices so I don't have to bother browsing. It mostly boils down to their Ontario shipping price being really good. If I were in BC, I would probably go Starlit.

Okay, looks like those two are it then. Thanks, guys.

I got Smash Up for my family for Christmas. It has been awsome! My 9 year old plays pretty well, but is a bit much for my 7 year old.

I might finally get to try Flash Point with my fiance tonight. She's becoming a relatively seasoned gamer. Better to start with the basic rules, or go straight for the advanced set?

Tenebrous wrote:
I got Smash Up for my family for Christmas. It has been awsome! My 9 year old plays pretty well, but is a bit much for my 7 year old.

My daughter ( 11 ) enjoyed it too. We just did random factions, but she got it pretty quickly, and even had a good combo or two.

Chaz wrote:
I might finally get to try Flash Point with my fiance tonight. She's becoming a relatively seasoned gamer. Better to start with the basic rules, or go straight for the advanced set?

We won easily with the family rules, though luck may have been on our side too, but it helped us get used to the phases of a turn. We will definitely be playing the experienced rules next time.

Chaz wrote:
I might finally get to try Flash Point with my fiance tonight. She's becoming a relatively seasoned gamer. Better to start with the basic rules, or go straight for the advanced set?
In my experience, it is pretty easy to win with the basic rules, and really hard to win with the advanced rules. I would suggest starting with the basics, since you can probably knock out a win in 30-45 minutes, then play again with at least some of the advanced rules.

Sounds like a plan to me.

lostlobster wrote:
Is Dreadball available in stores yet? I know the Kickstarter backers just got the game before Xmas, yes?

One of our local stores has it, but they were in on the Kickstarter. The other local store that is into it ordered it three weeks ago but it hasn't come in yet through Alliance. So the answer is... maybe?

...thank you?

HedgeWizard wrote:
Natus wrote:
Gunner wrote:
My gaming group got a game of Eclipse in last night and it was simply fantastic. What an elegant design that gives a manageable 4X with all of the important elements you would suspect. The game ran a bit long (4.5 hours with 5 players), but I think that will improve a lot when we're not learning. Even so, there wasn't any suggestion of stopping early despite running well past midnight on a work night.

NICE! That looks like it was ferocious! I particularly like the serious demeanor, as well as no iDevices anywhere in sight. But the beer so close to the game does give me a shudder.

Provided you don't count the phone at the upper left corner of the table. (which I suppose could be an android).

I really enjoyed the 1 game of Eclipse we played earlier this year and would like to have another run through soon before I totally forget the system. IIRC there is an iOS version coming soon(ish).


It really was great and engaging for everyone. Good call on the beer, that one was actually mine. Not sure about the iDevice hate though. Have they been a problem as distractions for you?

Regarding the Eclipse mobile app, I'm looking forward to it too. It probably wouldn't work all that well for async multiplayer, though I suppose I haven't tried the two player game yet.

Speaking of apps, I recently came across this one called Boardgame Scorer which keeps track of and helps in the computation of scores. They seem to have free versions for the specific games available and a combined version for sale. I tried out the helpers for Ora et Labora and Eclipse, and they were actually well done. The Ora et Labora one especially sped things up. Plus stats nerds like me will be sure to appreciate the info it saves over time. Other notable games it has are Agricola, Le Havre, Stone Age, and 7 Wonders.

lostlobster wrote:
...thank you?

Just depends on which stores went through the Kickstarter and which went through traditional distribution. Good luck finding it, because it really as a fast and fun game.

The family picked up Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, King of Tokyo, and Small World Underground last week. We love how crazy and random Survive can be. We need to play King of Tokyo more, but it shows huge potential. There hasn’t been time to play Small World yet, but I'm excited to try it. Since I'm a filthy skimmer what's the take on Small World?

Jucofett wrote:
The family picked up Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, King of Tokyo, and Small World Underground last week. We love how crazy and random Survive can be. We need to play King of Tokyo more, but it shows huge potential. There hasn’t been time to play Small World yet, but I'm excited to try it. Since I'm a filthy skimmer what's the take on Small World?

I really dig Small World; it's light, kind of goofy, and there's enough variability between races/special powers that it doesn't get too stale. It's clearly not a hardcore game, but I've had lots of fun with it.

Jucofett wrote:
The family picked up Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, King of Tokyo, and Small World Underground last week. We love how crazy and random Survive can be. We need to play King of Tokyo more, but it shows huge potential. There hasn’t been time to play Small World yet, but I'm excited to try it. Since I'm a filthy skimmer what's the take on Small World?

Big fan of all three games. And Underground is my favorite version of Small World by far, though I still need to play around with the Realms expansion. Good solid game that you can teach to almost anyone, but still has lots of depth.

Jucofett wrote:
The family picked up Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, King of Tokyo, and Small World Underground last week. We love how crazy and random Survive can be. We need to play King of Tokyo more, but it shows huge potential. There hasn’t been time to play Small World yet, but I'm excited to try it. Since I'm a filthy skimmer what's the take on Small World?

I love Small World. Fast, furious, and often funny, and the theme marries beautifully with the mechanics: in 20 minutes I really do get the feeling of seeing a whole age go by, civilizations expanding and declining across the world. It's basically a perfect game (amazingly readable iconography too!).

That said, I'm not a big fan of Small World Underground... I think the board is garish to the point of unusable, or at least unenjoyable. The relics (?) mechanic is a good touch, but I think there's an expansion for regular SW that can deliver the same thing in IMHO a better game. Unless undergroundness really appeals, and if the shrink is still on, I personally would exchange it for the original game.

thejustinbot wrote:
And Underground is my favorite version of Small World by far

You are wrong! Justify yourself!

(Read: I am interested in hearing your differing opinion.)

Small World was the first big hit of my now regular play group. Doesn't hit the table much anymore, but I've gotten tons of plays out of it.

For Christmas, I got Kingdom Builder and after 4 plays, I'm much more impressed than I expected. It's quite simple to teach, goes relatively quick (~ 60 minutes), but subtler more complex than expected. Not a heavier than say RFTG, but not nearly as light as Carc, which is what I expected. Fairly light on theme, but the quick plays let it slide in that respect. Overall thumbs up.

Also had the X Wing Miniatures game hit the table 3 times, but only in the beginner game rules format. Even then, enjoyed it more than I expected (although not sure why my expectations were low). Looking forward to playing with all the rules, and I could easily justifying buying more figures. Anyone had good or bad experiences with expanded plays of this?

Gravey wrote:
thejustinbot wrote:
And Underground is my favorite version of Small World by far

You are wrong! Justify yourself!

(Read: I am interested in hearing your differing opinion.)

I think the board is gorgeous, but then that visual style appeals to me. I also thematically like most of the races much more. I'm a sucker for cute/silly macabre things that Underground seems to be going for. I like how the Chasms work, I like the relics and and sites.

For our group, everyone always wanted to play with all the expansions, which can get a bit unwieldly. I was able to table Underground as kind of a reboot, using just it with great success. I've also found it much more enjoyable as a 2-player game than I ever found the base one. Not sure if the races are more balanced, or the new terrain rules and needing one extra token per space of invade makes it better suited for two players or if it has been just random luck having better games.

thejustinbot wrote:
Gravey wrote:
thejustinbot wrote:
And Underground is my favorite version of Small World by far

You are wrong! Justify yourself!

(Read: I am interested in hearing your differing opinion.)

I think the board is gorgeous, but then that visual style appeals to me. I also thematically like most of the races much more. I'm a sucker for cute/silly macabre things that Underground seems to be going for. I like how the Chasms work, I like the relics and and sites.

For our group, everyone always wanted to play with all the expansions, which can get a bit unwieldly. I was able to table Underground as kind of a reboot, using just it with great success. I've also found it much more enjoyable as a 2-player game than I ever found the base one. Not sure if the races are more balanced, or the new terrain rules and needing one extra token per space of invade makes it better suited for two players or if it has been just random luck having better games.

Good counterpoints. I agree about the relics, for sure. My main hang-up was the board, not the style, but the colours, which I found made it too busy and much harder to see all the tokens once the game is underway.

I actually loved the color scheme a ton, but again that's more of a personal taste thing than anything. I will say I had a bad experience with whichever expansion adds the event cards. Mostly because the guy who insisted he be the one to read every card has a hard time parsing rules text and spent ten minutes every turn trying to figure out what the card actually meant.

Atras wrote:
Head over to the X-Wing thread!

Woah, missed that one. Thanks for the heads up.

Stilgar Black wrote:
Also had the X Wing Miniatures game hit the table 3 times, but only in the beginner game rules format. Even then, enjoyed it more than I expected (although not sure why my expectations were low). Looking forward to playing with all the rules, and I could easily justifying buying more figures. Anyone had good or bad experiences with expanded plays of this?

I think the game gets better and a lot more interesting with more ships on the board. Also, running the Advanced rules really shows why the game has movement go from low to high; I found that puzzling in the basic rule set, but there is a lot of strategy in the real game. Head over to the X-Wing thread!

Well Mrs. Gravey's short list looks like this:

Gravey wrote:
Balloon Cup
Battle Line
Biblios
Eminent Domain
En Garde
Jaipur
Jambo
Lost Cities
San Juan
Scarab Lords/Minotaur Lords

Jaipur is the winner, and it looks like a good pick: fast, simple, and not very confrontational for a competitive game, i.e. it looks like you're playing more against the board than your opponent.

After watching video reviews, they all look good to me. For a second game, I feel professionally obligated to get Biblios—or maybe it's just the rad box. Likewise as a beginner fencer, En Garde is really appealing, but it seems simple enough to make a homemade version—and sure enough, a glance through the images on BGG shows I'm not the only to have thought of that. Really nice card art in the official version though.

And Battle Line, Lost Cities, and San Juan all have iOS apps! Ties that up quite nicely.

Thanks for the help, all.

Now I just have to wait for Jaipur to be restocked next month...

Count me in for loving Small World. I have the base game, all the race expansions, the deck of cards and the Realms pack

I love games where variability make you use different tactics each time. Small World does this beautifully since there are a lot of different strategies you can pursue based on your race/class and your opponent's race/class. It also lasts a good length of time for a two player game and is strategic without being a brain burner. I like games that make for funny stories, too.

I think my favorite thing about multiplayer Small World is how they balanced the game. As in, the options aren't actually balanced. Flying Skeletons or Marauding Orcs or the like are downright brutal and unfair. What happens though is as soon as you grab a really good combination, the rest of the table dogpiles you and makes your life miserable.

Cracked open my new copy of Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin last night, and it was a huge hit. By and large Dominion with a D&D-ish theme, building your deck to fight monsters. Played three games, all pretty quick, and thought the whole concept was a nice advancement on the usual Dominion-ish strategies. Favorite minor bit--"prepping" your hand if you don't like what you have, being able to take whatever cards in your hand you have you like and putting them on top of your deck for the next hand, discarding the rest, basically just skipping a turn to build a better hand. When multiple people are doing that in order to try to build up enough strength to take on a baddie, it makes things a bit more tense.

thejustinbot wrote:
I think my favorite thing about multiplayer Small World is how they balanced the game. As in, the options aren't actually balanced. Flying Skeletons or Marauding Orcs or the like are downright brutal and unfair. What happens though is as soon as you grab a really good combination, the rest of the table dogpiles you and makes your life miserable.

We played a lot of Small World, around 30 games. It's the only game in my collection that I'm selling off because I just don't get the strategy. Read strategy articles, tryhard, still lose every single time. And I don't feel like I'm learning while playing the game. Unlike the other 70 games in my collection.

That said, it just might be the whole "everyone always dogpiles Mitchell every game" thing.

Gravey wrote:
Unless undergroundness really appeals, and if the shrink is still on, I personally would exchange it for the original game.

I had gone in wanting the original but they were out and I didn't want to go home empty handed. I have the receipt and it's still in the shrink wrap so I'll see if I can swap it out for the above ground version.

Played a few new games today. First up was Ticket to Ride Africa - it is Ticket to Ride so great, with a new mechanic involving terrian, basically you can now draw terrian cards that represent 3 colours and if you use them when laying that colour of track, you get double the points however only if you have the same amount or more of any other player.

Next up was Elder Signs - this did nothing for me, I found it a bit dull and devoid of any decision making. Just roll dice and hope you get the right symbols

Galaxy Trucker - I sucked at this game but had a great time sucking, which is the sign of a great game

7 Wonders - Great game, first time I had played it with the Cities and Leaders expanisions and I managed to get a huge 96 points from green cards.