The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

MonoCheli wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

So what expansion to Ascension would ya'll recommend? I'm thinking of getting one to start with; one that hopefully doesn't dramatically change the way the game is played.

Ascension is designed around the idea of a "block" structure, meaning the releases are structured as a large standalone expansion followed by a smaller expansion for the latest large expansion. Each block tends to have slight changes to the mechanics, while the core rules are the same. For example, in the Chronicle of the Godslayer block mechana constructs tend to stay in play and do something every turn. However, in Storm of SOuls block their abilities only fire if you play another mechana construct. There's more obvious mechanics changes like the Storm of Souls block is the only one with "Event" cards (similar to the "Planechase" variant in M:tG), while the upcoming Rise of Vigil block is the only one with the new "Energy" resource. Regardless of the differences, since the basic rules are all the same you can mix the blocks together if you want.

I personally like Storm of Souls over Chronicle of the Godslayer. SoS is more interesting since it has a bit more card interaction and the events mechanic makes the game a bit more varied. Plus the mechana faction was rebalanced which makes them less dominant than the first block (Chronicle of the Godslayer and Return of the Fallen).

I agree with where Shoptroll is going but would add that Immortal Heroes is my fav so far and I enjoy playing it with Storm of Souls as it was intended. Adding the change event cards and the Soul Gems worked out very well.

I still haven't played Immortal Heroes yet because Playdek won't get around to it until June for the iOS version. From what I've seen it looks very cool though.

Ouch, $175 to get the game with minis. Okay, how about just the block game—ack, $40 to ship to Canada. Okay, maybe I'll just get some minis on their own—oof, only ships to the US.

Well, I'll keep an eye on the stretch goals as they get hit to see if they sweeten the pot, and keep playing Conflict of Heroes in the meantime.

Gravey wrote:

Ouch, $175 to get the game with minis. Okay, how about just the block game—ack, $40 to ship to Canada. Okay, maybe I'll just get some minis on their own—oof, only ships to the US.

Well, I'll keep an eye on the stretch goals as they get hit to see if they sweeten the pot, and keep playing Conflict of Heroes in the meantime.

Ouch. Yeah. Ship to someone in the us to smuggle or come to a s&t?

Man, I have a lot of mixed feelings on this one. On one hand Conquistador is a great company and the system certainly looks interesting with the card draw and area movement systems. Also, the minis are great if they're the same as the ones that were given out at Pencon 2011 (have my Tiger II sitting right here!) Even without the prohibitively expensive minis option though, the art on the blocks and cards looks quite good.

That said, there are a lot of compelling low to mid level complexity WWII tactical games out there. I feel quite fulfilled on that front with my current collection of Conflict of Heroes plus Fighting Formations, and Up Front will be on the way whenever it is ready. On top of that, Band of Brothers and Combat Commander are both known quantities that I could pick up any time for less money than what War Stories is asking for. As Gravey said, unless some seriously impressive stretch goals (a la Up Front) pop up I think I'll be giving it a pass. Certainly hope it does well though!

I have a similar conflict Gunner, although mine is more around lack of people nearby who wish to play this type of game. I solved my quandry by backing the Kickstarter at the $20 mini-only level. I get some cool minis, and I get to support Conquistador. Win, win.

I may still up my pledge and pickup the $60 version of the game, but that depends on whether I can convince Mrs. Teneman that she really wants to play a World War II game.

Well, I may have pledged $225 to get both editions and minis so I'm confident you two can get a crack at this game when the time comes.

I played Betrayal at House on the Hill last night. I ended up being the one to run the haunt. I think I like it better than Arkham Horror (haven't played Mansions of Madness).

MsbS wrote:

Niiiice! Me want!

EDIT: Heck, you need to supply your own pennies... I have some left after a trip to the US a few years ago, but this might not be enough.

I wonder if the local equivalent (a.k.a. grosz) would work? Or a euro-penny?

The etsy site says that they work with the 2-cent/euro coin. (They will also sell you US pennies in a bundle order, though I'm sure that adds quite a bit to the shipping costs.)

For reference, a US Penny is ~19.05mm in diameter and 1.55mm thick, and weigh ~2.5g.
2-cent Euro coins are 18.75mm in diameter and 1.67mm thick, and weigh ~3g.

Just finished up a great game of Sword of Rome with some friends. For those unfamiliar, it applies the your usual Card Driven Wargame mechanics from Hannibal, Labyrinth, and the like and to a 5 player contest for Italy and Sicily in the 4th and 3rd Centuries BC. Each side gets its own personal deck, so there is a good amount of flavor for everyone to enjoy. In addition, each of the powers plays pretty differently on mechanic and strategic levels. For instance, the Etruscan half of the Etruscan/Samnite combined side I was playing as has the ability to bribe enemy generals into not attacking at the cost of permanently discarding a valuable card. This ability combined with a healthy dose of fear-mongering towards the growing Roman threat let me cruise into a fairly comfortable victory, though I'm not sure how well things would have gone with one or two more turns.

About half of us had played before, which made for a much more balanced game from the first try. Ended up taking about 7 hours total, and I think if this group turned around and played again we could knock it out on 5 or so. A fun time was had by all and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a multiplayer CDG that is a couple of steps down from Here I Stand/Virgin Queen in complexity.

oilypenguin wrote:

Well, I may have pledged $225 to get both editions and minis so I'm confident you two can get a crack at this game when the time comes.

Nice! We'll definitely have to break that one out some time.

I was checking up on War Stories, and saw this on the front page of KS:

Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination

Assassination card game based on an anthology (book catch-all thread from 2010 here), designed by webcomic David Malki, and illustrated by Kris Straub and other webcomics luminaries.

I've no interest in it personally, just mentioning it as a point of interest. Its funding goal has been decisively smashed with three weeks left, so it's all stretch rewards now.

Curious. I wonder whether this will generate as much ignorant riled controversy, mostly on BGG, as Tomorrow.

Gunner wrote:

Just finished up a great game of Sword of Rome with some friends. For those unfamiliar, it applies the your usual Card Driven Wargame mechanics from Hannibal, Labyrinth, and the like and to a 5 player contest for Italy and Sicily in the 4th and 3rd Centuries BC. Each side gets its own personal deck, so there is a good amount of flavor for everyone to enjoy. In addition, each of the powers plays pretty differently on mechanic and strategic levels. For instance, the Etruscan half of the Etruscan/Samnite combined side I was playing as has the ability to bribe enemy generals into not attacking at the cost of permanently discarding a valuable card. This ability combined with a healthy dose of fear-mongering towards the growing Roman threat let me cruise into a fairly comfortable victory, though I'm not sure how well things would have gone with one or two more turns.

Nice! I'm itching to try Sword of Rome again, especially after having played a few games of Here I Stand. We had a tough time getting through the rules of Sword of Rome the first time we sat down with it, but now after being taught HIS I think we'd have no problems at all. The more straight-up army bashing seems more up my alley, although I do recall battles being pretty bloody affairs.

Gravey wrote:

I was checking up on War Stories, and saw this on the front page of KS:

Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination

Assassination card game based on an anthology (book catch-all thread from 2010 here), designed by webcomic David Malki, and illustrated by Kris Straub and other webcomics luminaries.

I've no interest in it personally, just mentioning it as a point of interest. Its funding goal has been decisively smashed with three weeks left, so it's all stretch rewards now.

My wife fell in love with the idea, so we're in for the game and all its expansions...

Boy, glad I setup Mint.com and added a Kickstarter budget...

Dreaded Gazebo wrote:
Gunner wrote:

Just finished up a great game of Sword of Rome with some friends. For those unfamiliar, it applies the your usual Card Driven Wargame mechanics from Hannibal, Labyrinth, and the like and to a 5 player contest for Italy and Sicily in the 4th and 3rd Centuries BC. Each side gets its own personal deck, so there is a good amount of flavor for everyone to enjoy. In addition, each of the powers plays pretty differently on mechanic and strategic levels. For instance, the Etruscan half of the Etruscan/Samnite combined side I was playing as has the ability to bribe enemy generals into not attacking at the cost of permanently discarding a valuable card. This ability combined with a healthy dose of fear-mongering towards the growing Roman threat let me cruise into a fairly comfortable victory, though I'm not sure how well things would have gone with one or two more turns.

Nice! I'm itching to try Sword of Rome again, especially after having played a few games of Here I Stand. We had a tough time getting through the rules of Sword of Rome the first time we sat down with it, but now after being taught HIS I think we'd have no problems at all. The more straight-up army bashing seems more up my alley, although I do recall battles being pretty bloody affairs.

I find the rules to be a bit more fiddly than they should be, but overall they're pretty straightforward. They're especially easy to get into if you've played Hannibal since it's essentially a multiplayer version of it.

About the battles, yeah, they can be quite bloody and random. Each side throws a 3d6 to determine who wins, with modifiers usually coming at +3 or less. The numbers on the dice are then used to determine casualties in addition to who won, so a sure victory can very quickly turn into a major rout.

Got my Kickstarter copy of Tammany Hall in. The rules looks pretty straightforward; I'm going to try running a game with Alexis soon, and a phantom third player. Definitely looks like it'll be a fun one to bring to PAX.

Gunner wrote:

About the battles, yeah, they can be quite bloody and random. Each side throws a 3d6 to determine who wins, with modifiers usually coming at +3 or less. The numbers on the dice are then used to determine casualties in addition to who won, so a sure victory can very quickly turn into a major rout.

I think I mentioned this back when I got the game, but I picked up a set of average dice to help flatten out the randomness in combat. While the dice still play an important role in the resolution, it's less pronounced, and with a little less losses in combat on the average.

I've yet to finish an entire game. I made it three rounds with my gaming buddies in a learning/teaching game, but unfortunately I haven't had a chance to bring it back to the table.

I'm glad to hear you managed a win with the Etruscan/Samnites. After playing them myself I was worried that they had an unwinnable position, being stuck between the Roman rock and the Gaul hard place. But I'm sure that playing politics would have a big influence on that.

Gunner wrote:

I find the rules to be a bit more fiddly than they should be, but overall they're pretty straightforward. They're especially easy to get into if you've played Hannibal since it's essentially a multiplayer version of it.

About the battles, yeah, they can be quite bloody and random. Each side throws a 3d6 to determine who wins, with modifiers usually coming at +3 or less. The numbers on the dice are then used to determine casualties in addition to who won, so a sure victory can very quickly turn into a major rout.

Last we discussed this game, I think there was mention of a variant combat table that gave less chaotic results. If I played SoR again, that new table would have to be included.

Tanglebones wrote:

Got my Kickstarter copy of Tammany Hall in. The rules looks pretty straightforward; I'm going to try running a game with Alexis soon, and a phantom third player. Definitely looks like it'll be a fun one to bring to PAX.

We got our copy about a month ago. The wife's gotten a few plays in so far, but I haven't been lucky enough to join the table for them.

DanyBoy wrote:

I'm glad to hear you managed a win with the Etruscan/Samnites. After playing them myself I was worried that they had an unwinnable position, being stuck between the Roman rock and the Gaul hard place. But I'm sure that playing politics would have a big influence on that.

Didn't they have five players? That definitely helps the E/S, as Rome and Greece now have the Carthaginians to contend with.

Natus wrote:
DanyBoy wrote:

I'm glad to hear you managed a win with the Etruscan/Samnites. After playing them myself I was worried that they had an unwinnable position, being stuck between the Roman rock and the Gaul hard place. But I'm sure that playing politics would have a big influence on that.

Didn't they have five players? That definitely helps the E/S, as Rome and Greece now have the Carthaginians to contend with.

During my play we did have 5 players, where Greece and Carthage were predominantly fighting each other, the Gauls found the Etruscans to be easy pickings for raids, the Romans played Sim-City while the Samnites did what they could to blunt the Gaul armies to keep the Etruscans from being completely picked apart.

Like I said, we only made it three rounds, so the game may have turned after that, as Rome was looking threatening enough that others would start focusing on bringing them down, but even if the E/S's weren't the primary target in that situation, with all those armies marching around to fight Rome right next the the E/S home cities, I could easily see the E/S becoming the target of a fair amount of opportunistic attacks.

Yeah we played with 5 players. An AI Carthage would definitely make it much harder on the Samnites since as it was the Greeks were almost entirely focused on Sicily (until a bizarre last turn naval invasion of Etruria). I believe we were using the newer combat table that comes with the most recent printing. I think the old one dishes out additional casualties to the loser for "1" rolls, which would be quite harsh indeed. Those average dice are interesting and would certainly make for a more even experience. One thing I do appreciate about the current level of variablility is that it actually ends up feeling quite historical, though that can be hard to appreciate when you're on the losing end of major upset. The variability encourages you to not blob up in a stack of doom, which I also think is commendable.

As for playing the Etruscans/Samnites, I think getting a strong ally on your side against the Romans is essential. I could perhaps imagine a weird scenario where the Greeks throw their attention up north, but most of the time you'll have to try and court the Gauls. The Romans just have way to much potential power to start running away with things if they're left undisturbed for one or two turns. I made a deal with the Gauls saying it was fine for them to pillage what they'd like of my E/S territory in exchange for directing their armies against Rome. Buffing the Transalpine Gauls whenever I could also helped to keep them honest. Also putting your Etruscan cities up to 3 loyalty asap and making it clear that you will liberally bribe attacking Gallic forces means that they'll have a tough time trying to take those cities with their -1 siege modifier.

I tried teaching my wife to play Netrunner last night. That ended up as an unmitigated disaster. I did have better luck teaching my 10 y/o son, but I fear that a lot of the concepts are still a bit beyond his grasp.

I gave Washington's War a try this weekend. It was fun, but any game that has instructions so complicated that you have "see section 9.1.4", almost becomes too daunting to play. Fortunately I was playing with guys who had played before.

Nevin73 wrote:

I tried teaching my wife to play Netrunner last night. That ended up as an unmitigated disaster. I did have better luck teaching my 10 y/o son, but I fear that a lot of the concepts are still a bit beyond his grasp.

Just a suggestion from someone in a similar predicament. Change all the terminology. "Rezzing", "clicks", etc are obtuse and non-intuitive terms. Try things like "activate" and "turns" or "actions". That worked well for my non-gamer wife.

Nevin73 wrote:

I tried teaching my wife to play Netrunner last night. That ended up as an unmitigated disaster. I did have better luck teaching my 10 y/o son, but I fear that a lot of the concepts are still a bit beyond his grasp.

I got my copy back from a couple of friends who wanted to try it. They didn't like it, but they also pointed out that they were allowing the corp to Melange Mining Corp without using 3 sequential actions which is... a bit broken. They also didn't like the fact that the Corp can easily lose due to a bad shuffle where the runner romps all over the Corp deck and pulls enough agendas out that way.

maverickz wrote:

Try things like "activate" and "turns" or "actions".

The funny thing is that "clicks" were called "actions" in the old design. That was a weird change since "action" is really straightforward.

shoptroll wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

I tried teaching my wife to play Netrunner last night. That ended up as an unmitigated disaster. I did have better luck teaching my 10 y/o son, but I fear that a lot of the concepts are still a bit beyond his grasp.

I got my copy back from a couple of friends who wanted to try it. They didn't like it, but they also pointed out that they were allowing the corp to Melange Mining Corp without using 3 sequential actions which is... a bit broken. They also didn't like the fact that the Corp can easily lose due to a bad shuffle where the runner romps all over the Corp deck and pulls enough agendas out that way.

maverickz wrote:

Try things like "activate" and "turns" or "actions".

The funny thing is that "clicks" were called "actions" in the old design. That was a weird change since "action" is really straightforward.

This is exactly why I won't really be buying the game. I could get into the theme, but my daughter would not, and since it isn't a solo-able game, I have to appease the only other game player in the house

shoptroll wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

I tried teaching my wife to play Netrunner last night. That ended up as an unmitigated disaster. I did have better luck teaching my 10 y/o son, but I fear that a lot of the concepts are still a bit beyond his grasp.

I got my copy back from a couple of friends who wanted to try it. They didn't like it, but they also pointed out that they were allowing the corp to Melange Mining Corp without using 3 sequential actions which is... a bit broken. They also didn't like the fact that the Corp can easily lose due to a bad shuffle where the runner romps all over the Corp deck and pulls enough agendas out that way.

maverickz wrote:

Try things like "activate" and "turns" or "actions".

The funny thing is that "clicks" were called "actions" in the old design. That was a weird change since "action" is really straightforward.

I'd have loved to change the terminology, and I do in a lot of games. That's harder to do in Netrunner, since the cards all use the themey terminology. I feel like it's probably easier to just learn it than try and translate constantly.

I taught my fiancee two weeks ago. We played the first game with her as the runner, and I couldn't convince her to take a proactive approach, and she spent a lot of clicks just picking up cash or drawing cards. I think she may have gotten a lousy draw, and I didn't get any agendas for a long time either. Second game went better. I think part of it will just be trying to get her a feel for how the runner needs to be constantly running, and I'll need to modify the starter decks. The base Criminal deck seems to be a bit streaky.

Played a Few Acres of Snow over the weekend. It was the first time for me and my opponent, but he had done a little bit of reading before hand and stumbled into the Halifax Hammer (do not look this up if you don't know what it is). Between that and

Spoiler:

Fort Halifax being able to be claimed with one move (and then being in raid distance of Quebec, the French's only settler, which he took out before I could respond)

I was pretty irretrievably boned. Reading up on BGG it seems to be a pretty imbalanced game once you know about the dominant British strats. I guess that's kind of cool to have an underdog, but it put me off of playing again for now.

Chaz wrote:

I taught my fiancee two weeks ago. We played the first game with her as the runner, and I couldn't convince her to take a proactive approach, and she spent a lot of clicks just picking up cash or drawing cards. I think she may have gotten a lousy draw, and I didn't get any agendas for a long time either. Second game went better. I think part of it will just be trying to get her a feel for how the runner needs to be constantly running, and I'll need to modify the starter decks. The base Criminal deck seems to be a bit streaky.

I think this is the problem teaching the game to a new player, especially someone who's not particularly competitive. Its the same mistake I made. As a corp, the player could build up some defenses that look good. They wont excel at it, but they'll put cards in the right place. Meanwhile you can make runs against their defenses to get those mechanics down, specifically without exploiting the holes in the defense.

As a runner a player can't just build. They have to be attacking most turns and those just aren't things that come naturally to most players.

So even if you're both learning the game, the more aggressive person should try the Runner first. Later on, branching out anyone can be anything, I think it just works best this way when learning.

there's a bgg thread in which the game creator posted a balancing fix to mollify the Hammer.