The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

SommerMatt wrote:
GrandmaFunk wrote:
Demyx wrote:

It's cool if you don't like Dominion but I don't understand how it has all the fiddliness of Magic the Gathering. Each round only requires you to understand ten unique cards, and most of those cards are extremely straightforward. There's only three phases in a person's turn (Action, Buy, Clean-up) and not much in the way of strange interactions.

Haha ya I did a double take on that too... comparing the "fiddliness" of dominion to that of mtg is like saying baking muffins is just as complex as molecular biology =)

I'll also jump on the DOMINION love. I own every expansion, and played it often (haven't had a chance to lately). I bought the ASCENSION iOS app, and the actual physical version, and really find it boring. Maybe it's not a fair comparison without factoring the ASCENSION expansions, but alas.

I also bought the Ascension app when it was on sale and I agree -- it just doesn't do it for me. Thunderstone Advance, on the other hand, is quite enjoyable.

I keep meaning to pick Thunderstone Advance up myself.

I'm thinking about picking up Risk Legacy. Has anyone played this? I understand there's a persistent world type philosophy that can affect the rules from game to game, but is the actual gameplay much different than basic Risk?

SommerMatt wrote:
GrandmaFunk wrote:
Demyx wrote:

It's cool if you don't like Dominion but I don't understand how it has all the fiddliness of Magic the Gathering. Each round only requires you to understand ten unique cards, and most of those cards are extremely straightforward. There's only three phases in a person's turn (Action, Buy, Clean-up) and not much in the way of strange interactions.

Haha ya I did a double take on that too... comparing the "fiddliness" of dominion to that of mtg is like saying baking muffins is just as complex as molecular biology =)

I'll also jump on the DOMINION love. I own every expansion, and played it often (haven't had a chance to lately). I bought the ASCENSION iOS app, and the actual physical version, and really find it boring. Maybe it's not a fair comparison without factoring the ASCENSION expansions, but alas.

I won't speak for your tastes, but I did feel that vanilla was somewhat limited in its effective strategies, though I still enjoyed it at the time. The expansions really have made the game alot better. Storm of Souls may as well be Ascension 2.

soonerjudd wrote:

I'm thinking about picking up Risk Legacy. Has anyone played this? I understand there's a persistent world type philosophy that can affect the rules from game to game, but is the actual gameplay much different than basic Risk?

Our group ran through this over the period of a few months and some of them are debating picking up a brand new copy to do it all over again.

Initially, the basics are the same with some twists (factions with some basic powers to make them slightly different) and these differences slowly grow as you and your group play the game. That's the real appeal of the game actually. I HIGHLY recommend playing this with the same group over and over again for the first 15 or so games. Our group still has discussions about some of our epic battles and war-torn world. We might actually frame the board as a keepsake.

Also, don't read into the details of the game and get it spoiled for you while also allowing for power-gaming. Not knowing what's coming down the pipeline is amazing.

So yeah, we like this game a bit.

Teneman wrote:

I keep meaning to pick Thunderstone Advance up myself.

I got that for Christmas, and have really liked it so far. Dominion with a big of a D&D-ish theme. You're building your deck to fight monsters in a dungeon, and you have the option to acquire cards in the village or go fight in the dungeon. Some fun, quick mechanics. I see me getting more Thunderstone sets in the future and building upwards.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Teneman wrote:

I keep meaning to pick Thunderstone Advance up myself.

I got that for Christmas, and have really liked it so far. Dominion with a big of a D&D-ish theme. You're building your deck to fight monsters in a dungeon, and you have the option to acquire cards in the village or go fight in the dungeon. Some fun, quick mechanics. I see me getting more Thunderstone sets in the future and building upwards.

That description of it may have just sold me on picking it up right now. Amazon's showing Thunderstone, and a several different Thunderstone: Advance Insert Subtitle Here. What's the best entry path into the game?

Datyedyeguy wrote:
soonerjudd wrote:

I'm thinking about picking up Risk Legacy. Has anyone played this? I understand there's a persistent world type philosophy that can affect the rules from game to game, but is the actual gameplay much different than basic Risk?

Our group ran through this over the period of a few months and some of them are debating picking up a brand new copy to do it all over again.

Initially, the basics are the same with some twists (factions with some basic powers to make them slightly different) and these differences slowly grow as you and your group play the game. That's the real appeal of the game actually. I HIGHLY recommend playing this with the same group over and over again for the first 15 or so games. Our group still has discussions about some of our epic battles and war-torn world. We might actually frame the board as a keepsake.

Also, don't read into the details of the game and get it spoiled for you while also allowing for power-gaming. Not knowing what's coming down the pipeline is amazing.

So yeah, we like this game a bit.

Another vote for Risk Legacy. I think that while the very basics are the same as traditional Risk, it's been changed so that the game tends to get resolved much more quickly, and usually without the epic buildup and one big battle that made traditional Risk a slog every single game. The changing world is gravy on top.

Teneman wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Teneman wrote:

I keep meaning to pick Thunderstone Advance up myself.

I got that for Christmas, and have really liked it so far. Dominion with a big of a D&D-ish theme. You're building your deck to fight monsters in a dungeon, and you have the option to acquire cards in the village or go fight in the dungeon. Some fun, quick mechanics. I see me getting more Thunderstone sets in the future and building upwards.

That description of it may have just sold me on picking it up right now. Amazon's showing Thunderstone, and a several different Thunderstone: Advance Insert Subtitle Here. What's the best entry path into the game?

THUNDERSTONE ADVANCE - TOWERS OF RUIN is the 2.0 version. Start there. Full stop.

http://www.amazon.com/Thunderstone-A...

Cool, thanks SommerMatt. I take it the Thunderstone Advance Caverns of Bane and Thunderstone Advance Root of Corruption are the expansions then.

I just may have to pick that up. Based on your description it sounds like something my wife would enjoy even more than I thought.

I picked up a copy of Risk Legacy last week with the intention of playing it over lunch at work. I've got a solid group of three committed to it. Trying to nail down another two before we start in. Also need to track down a fine tip Sharpie.

Teneman wrote:

I take it the Thunderstone Advance Caverns of Bane and Thunderstone Advance Root of Corruption are the expansions then.

You are correct. Technically, all of the older sets are compatible as well (although the iconography is somewhat different on the cards).

If you want to give the game a shot before buying the whole set, play the Facebook App version -- it has a bunch of IAPs for other cards, but you can play quite a lot for free. These are using the original cards (not the Advance versions), but it will give you a good taste of how it works.

Poppinfresh wrote:
Datyedyeguy wrote:
soonerjudd wrote:

I'm thinking about picking up Risk Legacy. Has anyone played this? I understand there's a persistent world type philosophy that can affect the rules from game to game, but is the actual gameplay much different than basic Risk?

Our group ran through this over the period of a few months and some of them are debating picking up a brand new copy to do it all over again.

Initially, the basics are the same with some twists (factions with some basic powers to make them slightly different) and these differences slowly grow as you and your group play the game. That's the real appeal of the game actually. I HIGHLY recommend playing this with the same group over and over again for the first 15 or so games. Our group still has discussions about some of our epic battles and war-torn world. We might actually frame the board as a keepsake.

Also, don't read into the details of the game and get it spoiled for you while also allowing for power-gaming. Not knowing what's coming down the pipeline is amazing.

So yeah, we like this game a bit.

Another vote for Risk Legacy. I think that while the very basics are the same as traditional Risk, it's been changed so that the game tends to get resolved much more quickly, and usually without the epic buildup and one big battle that made traditional Risk a slog every single game. The changing world is gravy on top.

The way Risk: Legacy was explained to me is that you have to treat it as a disposable game, and its best when played over and over again with the same group.

From what I hear, it just starts to suck when one person keeps winning over and over again, because then the boards gets really tight, and you have an asymmetric power that is almost too much to deal with even if the rest of the players gang up.

Stilgar Black wrote:

Ascension requires knowledge of all the cards in the deck

No, you just have to know some general strategies.

Stilgar Black wrote:

Dominion presents all the card available at the beginning.

Dominion requires knowledge and wisdom about all the cards in the deck from turn #1. In Ascension, you just need to concentrate on the cards in the centrer row.

Stilgar Black wrote:

Ascension's central deck makes chance more of an overriding factor. In fact, adapting and reacting to the central deck and cards sharply contrasts to Dominion's predominantly up front strategy.

Absolutely, and that's why Ascension is a better game. Dominion is first about picking which cards to make available for the game, which is a daunting decision unless you're experienced player or use some kind of random choice. Then once the game actually begins, Dominion is like watching non-pro players play RTSs....all about build order memorization and not affecting the other player. Ascension, on the other hand, requires that you adapt your strategy based on what comes up, and when possible, influencing the center row and/or void to prevent your opponent(s) from capitalizing.

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soonerjudd wrote:

I'm thinking about picking up Risk Legacy. Has anyone played this?...

Go listen to the creator, Rob Daviau, talk about creating and testing the game on Three Moves Ahead! Very useful podcast. With better knowledge, the prospect of playing will either revolt or intrigue you.

Keithustus wrote:

Dominion requires knowledge and wisdom about all the cards in the deck from turn #1. In Ascension, you just need to concentrate on the cards in the centrer row.

It's just ten cards (plus the basics), and they don't change all game. Ascension has six cards in the center (plus the basics) that change constantly, plus the cards in your hand which are usually different from the cards on the board.

Stilgar Black wrote:

Absolutely, and that's why Ascension is a better game. Dominion is first about picking which cards to make available for the game, which is a daunting decision unless you're experienced player or use some kind of random choice.

This is kind of a weird criticism to me since Dominion usually is played with random choice. It's not supposed to be a daunting decision.

Then once the game actually begins, Dominion is like watching non-pro players play RTSs....all about build order memorization and not affecting the other player.

I do understand this, but Dominion is actually similar to Ascension in that there are a few basic dominant strategies to learn -- many strategies are variants on Big Money, Thin Deck / Chapel, and Deck Draw / Laboratory -- and you generally look at the board, decide which of those general strategies makes the most sense, and execute.

Ascension, on the other hand, requires that you adapt your strategy based on what comes up, and when possible, influencing the center row and/or void to prevent your opponent(s) from capitalizing.

I actually think Dominion has more player interaction than Ascension. I don't think Ascension has any dedicated attack cards, just the scattered attacks you find on random enemies, so you can't plan a strategy around attacking your opponent like you can in Dominion.

Regarding player interaction, it really depends on what expansions you're using and what cards you chose. I do agree though, Dominion can be seriously more interactive than Ascension.

McIrishJihad wrote:

The way Risk: Legacy was explained to me is that you have to treat it as a disposable game, and its best when played over and over again with the same group.

From what I hear, it just starts to suck when one person keeps winning over and over again, because then the boards gets really tight, and you have an asymmetric power that is almost too much to deal with even if the rest of the players gang up.

I've heard the complete opposite of two of those points. I have heard it's best played with as many of the same people each game, and with as many people as possible—but it's also easy to introduce new players to an ongoing game, and there are methods for them to catch up.

But I haven't heard that it's disposable—well, I did hear that a lot on BGG, but that was by whinging posters who hadn't played the game (because it wasn't out yet). What I've read is that the idea is you and your friends, over the course of 15 games, build your own unique board. Then you can play that board from then on.

And for asymmetry, I've heard there are lots of ways that the game accounts for it, but it all involves spoilers so it's best to trust the game and keep playing.

The disposable nature doesn't bother me. If you think how much entertainment you get out of those 15 games (for multiple people no less) it really works out to a great deal even if you never touch it again.

Chaz wrote:

Yesterday, I finally got to sit down and teach my fiancee War of the Ring. This is one of my favorite games, but it's been a while since I've played it. I'd warned her in advance that it's probably about a four hour game, and that it's hard to learn. I don't think she fully grasped what "hard to learn" means when I say it.

The whole teaching part went about as well as can be expected. As anyone who's played it knows, it's a very intricate game. No one part of it is very complicated, but there are a bunch of exceptions to things. There are also a few different systems going on at the same time, which all tend to affect each other in different ways, and there are cards that can make the whole thing messier.

The most PITA part is that you really can't have a nice, succinct player aid to simplify things, just because there are so many options. There are good ones, but none of them are short.

Are 8 pages for everything short enough?
http://www.headlesshollow.com/freebi...

Stilgar Black wrote:

In fact, adapting and reacting to the central deck and cards sharply contrasts to Dominion's predominantly up front strategy.

I think Dominion vs Ascension is largely a matter of personal taste, but the above statement sums up the differences pretty well. I fall on the Ascension side as just executing a set strategy is a little boring to me. That might be affected by the fact I haven't played with the Dominion expansions, but my wife didn't really like Dominion so not likely to get that any time soon.

I would also say if you aren't following what your opponent is doing, and factoring that into your strategy in Ascension you are doing it wrong :-p (at least in terms of trying to control the center row, this is huge in knowing what to banish and what to buy before they can)

Keithustus wrote:

Ascension love

I agree with everything said in that masterful writeup. Not because I'm an Ascension fanboy--which I am--but because 4+ initial games of Dominion made not a dent on me at all. There was ZERO player interaction the entire time but a ton of meta-gaming ("you took the chapel! nice move! to capitalize, you must therefore take..."). Now, I don't get advice or meta-gaming over GameCenter with Ascension, but it appealed to me right away just as Dominion had bored me right away. I even bought Ascension against my better instincts since it was said to be so much like Dominion. Now, maybe had Dominion been on iOS and had the same treatment from Playdek, I might have liked it a whole lot more. But where Ascension oozes charm and theme, Dominion just....oozes.

SixteenBlue wrote:

The disposable nature doesn't bother me. If you think how much entertainment you get out of those 15 games (for multiple people no less) it really works out to a great deal even if you never touch it again.

Is Risk basic disposable? Because at the "end" of the unlock process, you end u with a unique world all your own that you can play on forever. It's not "done" it's just, at that point, static, like and non-Legacy game is out of the box. Yours is just cooler.

rabbit wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

The disposable nature doesn't bother me. If you think how much entertainment you get out of those 15 games (for multiple people no less) it really works out to a great deal even if you never touch it again.

Is Risk basic disposable? Because at the "end" of the unlock process, you end u with a unique world all your own that you can play on forever. It's not "done" it's just, at that point, static, like and non-Legacy game is out of the box. Yours is just cooler.

Risk Legacy is another one of those games that's on my list. It just sounds so fantastic. Keeping myself spoiler free of it is hard.

Nevin73 wrote:

So, thanks directly to MonoCheli, I bought myself Ascension for my birthday. It is a game I found, thanks to my stay at Ravenwood, that I can enjoy with my wife. X-Wing, on the other hand, she will not be as excited about. That one I bought to play with my son.

Oops did I do that? You are welcome!

Teneman wrote:

That description of it may have just sold me on picking it up right now. Amazon's showing Thunderstone, and a several different Thunderstone: Advance Insert Subtitle Here. What's the best entry path into the game?

I also have all of them if you want to barrow them for a trial. I would also recommend yucata.de as it has a great implementation of the original game.

Thoughts regarding Ascension/Dominion/Thunderstone, etc. I enjoy all of them. I think the base sets of all three are not the best game play of their respective franchises later expansions and/or remakes have greatly improved the originals. Ascension is nice because it sets up very fast and plays quickly. You can setup, teach and play a whole game in 30-45 min. Dominion and Thunderstone both take slightly longer as you have to find and pull all the different card sets but also offer some deeper/longer game play. I personally like them all but appreciate the theme of Thunderstone the most. Ascension I could ditch the theme completely as I am not a fan but I put up with it due to the game play and speed of setup. I play get it to the table very regularly. I was very hopeful Marvel's Legendary would replace Ascension with similar speed and game play but with a theme I enjoy more but it also suffers from being more setup intensive.

rabbit wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

The disposable nature doesn't bother me. If you think how much entertainment you get out of those 15 games (for multiple people no less) it really works out to a great deal even if you never touch it again.

Is Risk basic disposable? Because at the "end" of the unlock process, you end u with a unique world all your own that you can play on forever. It's not "done" it's just, at that point, static, like and non-Legacy game is out of the box. Yours is just cooler.

Yeah I wasn't clear there. I actually completely agree with you, I just meant even if you were forced to throw the game away after 15 games, it's worth it.

MonoCheli wrote:

Thoughts regarding Ascension/Dominion/Thunderstone, etc. I enjoy all of them. I think the base sets of all three are not the best game play of their respective franchises later expansions and/or remakes have greatly improved the originals. Ascension is nice because it sets up very fast and plays quickly. You can setup, teach and play a whole game in 30-45 min. Dominion and Thunderstone both take slightly longer as you have to find and pull all the different card sets but also offer some deeper/longer game play. I personally like them all but appreciate the theme of Thunderstone the most. Ascension I could ditch the theme completely as I am not a fan but I put up with it due to the game play and speed of setup. I play get it to the table very regularly. I was very hopeful Marvel's Legendary would replace Ascension with similar speed and game play but with a theme I enjoy more but it also suffers from being more setup intensive.

Yes, but is there any theme at all to Dominion, other than medieval-esque? I haven't played Thunderstone--I must get to it on Yucata.de--but it sounds more thematic than either of the other two. What don't you like about Ascension's theme? After a while, it actually impressed me with its new take on the fantasy genre.

Plastefuchs wrote:
Chaz wrote:

Yesterday, I finally got to sit down and teach my fiancee War of the Ring. This is one of my favorite games, but it's been a while since I've played it. I'd warned her in advance that it's probably about a four hour game, and that it's hard to learn. I don't think she fully grasped what "hard to learn" means when I say it.

The whole teaching part went about as well as can be expected. As anyone who's played it knows, it's a very intricate game. No one part of it is very complicated, but there are a bunch of exceptions to things. There are also a few different systems going on at the same time, which all tend to affect each other in different ways, and there are cards that can make the whole thing messier.

The most PITA part is that you really can't have a nice, succinct player aid to simplify things, just because there are so many options. There are good ones, but none of them are short.

Are 8 pages for everything short enough?
http://www.headlesshollow.com/freebi...

It's not that I need a shorter rules summary. Years ago, I wrote up a 4-page rules outline that I use to teach off of. What she needs is a player aid that she can reference at a glance during her turn. She's a visual learner, and does much better learning games when she has one. The shortest one I've found is still a dense 2-page affair that's about as succinct as it can be, but is still really long. Given the game itself, this may be an impossible problem.

Chaz wrote:
Plastefuchs wrote:
Chaz wrote:

Yesterday, I finally got to sit down and teach my fiancee War of the Ring. This is one of my favorite games, but it's been a while since I've played it. I'd warned her in advance that it's probably about a four hour game, and that it's hard to learn. I don't think she fully grasped what "hard to learn" means when I say it.

The whole teaching part went about as well as can be expected. As anyone who's played it knows, it's a very intricate game. No one part of it is very complicated, but there are a bunch of exceptions to things. There are also a few different systems going on at the same time, which all tend to affect each other in different ways, and there are cards that can make the whole thing messier.

The most PITA part is that you really can't have a nice, succinct player aid to simplify things, just because there are so many options. There are good ones, but none of them are short.

Are 8 pages for everything short enough?
http://www.headlesshollow.com/freebi...

It's not that I need a shorter rules summary. Years ago, I wrote up a 4-page rules outline that I use to teach off of. What she needs is a player aid that she can reference at a glance during her turn. She's a visual learner, and does much better learning games when she has one. The shortest one I've found is still a dense 2-page affair that's about as succinct as it can be, but is still really long. Given the game itself, this may be an impossible problem.

The player aids that come with the 2nd edition aren't bad. There's a breakdown of all the different dice actions on one side, and some important rules on the other, such as turn sequence, Hunt for the Ring sequence and the like. It's definitely not complete, but between that, the well-organized 7 page rule summery I got off BGG for teaching and quick reference, and the full rules for settling disputes and corner cases I get along alright.

Just bought Space Alert and having some pals come over on the weekend for a 4 player session or two and then dive into an Arkham Horror game.
Any tips on making a good impression with Space Alert? I'm planning on having the FTL soundtrack playing in the background... (three of the four of us are fans).

troubleshot wrote:

Just bought Space Alert and having some pals come over on the weekend for a 4 player session or two and then dive into an Arkham Horror game.
Any tips on making a good impression with Space Alert? I'm planning on having the FTL soundtrack playing in the background... (three of the four of us are fans).

Let us know how it goes. I'm interested in that game.