The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

Jow wrote:

Has anyone here played Spirit Island? I don't remember it being discussed here but the asymmetric powers and the idea of a cooperative medium-weight Euro are really piquing my interest.

It is my new go to co-op and solo game hands down. Every game is very different and always tense and fun. My one comment is I don't like it at 4-players because it gets a bit bogged down and chaotic, but love it at 1 to 3.

That's perfect cus getting 4 to the table is pretty rare these days. How have I not heard of this game previously?

Do you have the Branch & Claw expansion?

Jow wrote:

Has anyone here played Spirit Island? I don't remember it being discussed here but the asymmetric powers and the idea of a cooperative medium-weight Euro are really piquing my interest.

Some discussion a month ago on page 571 starting with Erik (below).

EriktheRed wrote:

Who here is playing Spirit Island? I picked it up over Christmas and I've really been digging it. It is such a great subversion of the traditional Euro settling/colonizing game where instead you play as natural spirits of the island trying to drive off the island's invaders via fear, destruction, and mobilizing the island's native inhabitants. The game is oozing with theme. It has beautiful artwork, really evocative naming for the spirits and powers, completely unique cards (no duplicates). And all this great theme ties in really well with the mechanics of the game, so it feels like each round you are telling a story of how the land is fighting back against the invaders.

The gameplay itself is very strategic. You have some idea of what the invaders will be up to over the next couple rounds, so you have plan ahead and coordinate with your allies in order to fight back effectively. Each round feels like a really complicated puzzle, and it is satisfying to see your plans play out.

Probably the best part of the game is that each of the 8 spirits you can play have very different playstyles. It almost feels like you are playing a different game with each one. If you've played Sentinels of the Multiverse, it is similar to the feeling of how the different heroes play with one another. The Ocean's Hungry Grasp's presence on the island waxes and wanes with the tides growing and fading each round. A Spread of Rampant Green covers the island in plants choking out the invader's towns and cities. Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares doesn't do any direct damage to the invaders, but instead terrorizes their dreams causing them to flee their homes.

I'd love to hear other's thoughts on the game.

I really enjoy the asymmetry and the themed powers of the Spirit Island. I'll agree that 4 players may be too chaotic. This might be the type of game that lends itself more to repeated plays after you know the rules but the introductory game was a constant process of pickup up, putting down, and moving tiny miniatures. The shuffling of all the physical product somewhat masked the fun of the mechanics to me.

That said, I'm really curious how the solo or 2 player games would play because that might really be the sweet spot there. I can't stress how well themed each of the spirit powers are, you really feel like a river coursing across the land or the tide washing against the beach or even shadows, lacking presence to the point of near non-existence but appearing out of nowhere to project terror into the minds of the invaders.

Jow wrote:

Has anyone here played Spirit Island? I don't remember it being discussed here but the asymmetric powers and the idea of a cooperative medium-weight Euro are really piquing my interest.

I got it for Christmas, and I have greatly enjoyed it. It is definitely one of my favorite co-op experiences. I LOVE the theming around it, the nomenclature of the various spirits and cards and the artwork is all so evocative, and the anti-colonialism of it all appeals to me politically. I love being able to embody the various spirits through their mechanics. When I am Ocean's Hungry Grasp, I go in and out with the tides and eagerly drown those who come too close to me. Or when I am Thunderspeaker I am raising Dahan war parties and moving them around the island to take the fight to the invaders. Each spirit tells such a fun story with their cards and powers. And the story always feels different depending on which spirits you bring to the table.

The game itself is such a great brain burner of a puzzle, but each player will have to learn how to communicate what they can do and what they need without getting too into the weeds about exactly what they are doing. You need to be able to convey things like, "I can take care of this forest, and if someone can move invaders to the desert I can finish them off there". No one person is going to be able to hold all the various options in their head at once so each player needs to be responsible for understanding the areas where they have presence. This greatly mitigates the problem of quarterbacking.

I haven't yet purchased the expansion, but I definitely intend to once I get a few more games under my belt. I have heard nothing but good things about it. I did just pick up the promo spirits which just got reprinted, and I highly recommend grabbing them. They, of course, bring whole new mechanics and playstyles into the game. Pick them up before they sell out again.

Jolly Bill wrote:

That said, I'm really curious how the solo or 2 player games would play because that might really be the sweet spot there. I can't stress how well themed each of the spirit powers are, you really feel like a river coursing across the land or the tide washing against the beach or even shadows, lacking presence to the point of near non-existence but appearing out of nowhere to project terror into the minds of the invaders.

I have played a bunch of solo games. I initially did a single spirit on a single board, and that was a good way to figure out how the spirits worked, but I think the experience is even better if you play two spirits and figure out how to get them to work together.

I’ve got the expansion and the promo spirits but haven’t had a chance to get any of them to the table yet.

Thanks guys, appreciate the retread. I likely missed it because I normally tune out when I see "euro" anything, but this one intrigues me cus I'm a giant monster humongo asymmetry fan. I'm probably most stoked at the idea of being able to 2-player this because most of my favorite coops don't work particularly well with 2.

I've been eyeing Spirit Island for awhile. I was hoping to play it at a convention last month but didn't get the chance. I may have to just give in and buy it.

I think it is going to be on my birthday wish list to my wife and son later this month.

*double checks to make sure this isn't D&D*
MOD

It apparently bears repeating that we should try our best to be respectful of those with differing opinions and viewpoints. This goes doubly so for potentially sensitive topics.

Also, if you're a fan of Spirit Island, I highly recommend checking out the designer's blog on BGG. It is an interesting read into the evolution of the game and understanding the decisions he made along the way.

Jumpstarting a conversation from the Kickstarter thread:

bhchrist wrote:
EvilDead wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

I just saw War of Mine in my FLGS. Man, it did look depressing, but interesting.

I've put a moratorium on buying new games until I get some of the older games on the table more often (or sell them).

Wrong thread? Game is a bit depressing but pretty good nonetheless.

Yup, Got mixed up switching between the threads when I saw the topic. I was asking about the board game version, not video game. Reposting the question over in the Board Game Thread.

I've played the iOS version pretty extensively but like Papers Please I wasn't able to stomach my way though and finish it initially. I plan to do so, one of the few games I definitely will go back and try to complete once I've got some free time, but for now secondhand accounts are stimulating enough. It will be interesting to acquire its compulsory Survival Is All That Matters mindset to 'win'.

And it's because of my interest in the iOS/pc version that I am fascinated that they converted it to a tabletop game. I honestly don't know if I would want to play that since I generally prefer digital versions so I don't have to fuss with stuff--I'm looking at you, Twilight Struggle!--so going from digital to tabletop seems backwards to me (don't know what to make of the Fallout game, for instance). Have you guys, particularly those who had played the original This War tried the tabletop? Is it worth the extra fuss to have another player or two with you? I can't imagine doing the tabletop as solo coop when the digital game does that so perfectly; maybe if you just don't want to deal with the realtime combat?

I found Tom Vasel's review striking, particularly where in his final thoughts he discusses that it is an excellent but not fun game:

I played this with Charlie Hall from Polygon (and several other people) before he wrote this hands on review. I'll pull out the most relevant snippet. Also, Charlie is a GWJer and might chime in here if he sees (hi Charlie!).

Ultimately, while the ruleset supports up to six players, multiplayer is accomplished simply by handing off the decision-making responsibility for each phase of the turn to the player on your right. Player one gets the morning, player two the afternoon, and player three gets to go exploring.

Players are simply handed control of the whole game, hotseat style, until all of the cards on the table are gone. There aren't any mechanics in the game for betrayal or intrigue of any kind, which feels like a lost opportunity. You should feel free to argue, the slim instruction manual says, but the final decision always rests with the player currently in control.

While the multiplayer aspects of the game left me cold, what excites me the most about This War of Mine: The Board Game is a unique feature called the Book of Scripts.... [review continues to talk about some of the nicer narrative elements]

Basically, the game is fun and has some pretty interesting mechanics to give you the RNG narrative / mechanic feel that the computer game has. But the hotseat style decision making somewhat destroys any feeling of ownership or attachment to the characters or setting, since you're only occasionally in control of them at any given time. Long term strategy potentially suffers since someone else could craft an item using resources you wanted to save for something else and suddenly you're left doing something other than you expected even aside from marauders showing up and stealing things. You can and should tabletalk around such moments and move your way forward and I suppose there is the potential to feel like you and the other players are meta-playing the constant alliance managing, etc. that might be going on in the colony, but overall it did leave everything a bit flat.

My daughter's first foray into solo gaming. I am so proud!

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/VypwAxT.jpg)

I was recently getting hyped for the upcoming release/re-implementation of Fireball Island, and it was making me feel nostalgic for playing the game back when I was a kid. It felt like a good time to break out my old copy and share it with my daughter. She really dug it, and it is still pretty enjoyable for me as well. I mean it obviously isn't a great game mechanically, but there is no denying the pleasure of rolling fireballs down the the mountains on a 3d board to smash into your opponents. The games play quick and we have a fun time.

My parents have moved to the family vacation home full time, and are in the process of emptying out the house I grew up in. Fireball Island surfaced at some point last year and I took it for a spin. The general setup is pretty good, but we ended up chasing each other trying to steal the macguffin instead of actually making for the escape boat, and quit once it was obvious that we had stalled out. I'm definitely interested in the update.

At one point, before they announced the remake, that thing was selling for >$200 on ebay. Not bad for a piece of molded plastic. I wish my step-mother hadn't thrown my copy out.

My copy of Stuffed Fables arrived and it looks AMAZING. Especially the miniatures, which are freakin' awesome and I'm probably going to take a stab at painting them.

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHXPLyKXcAAyqo8.jpg:large)

Lumpy is my favorite <3

IMAGE(https://www.plaidhatgames.com/images/u/lumpycard.jpg)

that's freakin adorable.

Pyxistyx, don't forget to check out the coloring book on PHG website. It contains character sheets for two new stuffies! (Not physically producing the minis yet though so enjoy the DIYness of finding appropriate substitutes.)

There's some great mini painting examples and some instructions on BGG.

neat! thanks for the heads-up!

jeez...i'm gonna have to catch up with The Path to Carcosa stuff first! (AND track down the final pack for the Dunwich campaign, too).

The more the merrier though

We are two packs away from finishing Dunwich. Hell of a ride. We died for the first time during
Undimensioned and Unseen as the invisible monster crashed into a barn. I missed my leap and got crushed. My friend went insane after that. Love this game.

We're really behind in AHLCG. About midway through the first campaign but we're currently trying to break the shrink wrap on a handful of new games we got over the holiday as gifts or Kickstarter rewards. Hopefully the new campaigns don't go OOP before we get to them!

Fredrik_S wrote:

We are two packs away from finishing Dunwich. Hell of a ride. We died for the first time during
Undimensioned and Unseen as

Spoiler:

the invisible monster crashed into a barn. I missed my leap and got crushed. My friend went insane after that. Love this game.

ahem

Welp. I got fed up waiting for "lost in time and space" to come back into stock in Europe (it is literally unavailable ANYWHERE, from the UK to France and Germany, as far as I can see and nobody seems to know when it'll be back in stock) so I just bit the bullet and ordered it direct from FF Games.

I added on the next two packs of the Carcosa campaign just to make it worthwhile (the postage alone costs more than one of the expansion packs!) so whenever these arrive I should be up to date with both current campaigns. Then I just need to grab curse of the rougarou and I have everything released for the game to date (minus the alternative character cards you get from some of the character specific novels).

Also in the process I noticed that the next expansion for Eldrich Horror is out this month! :O
Masks of Nyarlathotep (based on the old CoC campaign). Main new features seem to be official rules for a campaign mode (fight six Great Old Ones in a row!) and special skills / ability / story progression cards for every character released so far, in any expansion.

I'm going to need a bigger box...

*oh, also I just ordered Mansions of Madness Core set. So...that happened.
I have thing for Cosmic Horror, can you tell!?

My copy of Antiquity just arrived, fresh off the boat from the Netherlands!

Initial thoughts: 3ed build quality is high, but holy cow I wish they hadn't shrunk the box size. There was a very thin layer of wood bits at the very top and then a solid 3" of punchboard! With a single plano that has almost no air in it I'm still riding over half an inch of the lid off the box. Might need to see what professional solutions surface for this one.

Anyway, considering this has been my favorite Splotter Spellen game for a while and that I almost pulled the trigger on the insane OOP prices, I'm very happy to have waited and finally have this in my hands. Hope to bust it out at TNGD if anyone can make it!

Oh, also, I'm not sure we've mentioned that in this thread. Y'all come on down to Tennessee Game Days!

Minarchist wrote:

My copy of Antiquity just arrived, fresh off the boat from the Netherlands!

Initial thoughts: 3ed build quality is high, but holy cow I wish they hadn't shrunk the box size. There was a very thin layer of wood bits at the very top and then a solid 3" of punchboard! With a single plano that has almost no air in it I'm still riding over half an inch of the lid off the box. Might need to see what professional solutions surface for this one.
!

I needed this to complete my Splotter collection and received it last night. There have been a lot of complaints about the box size but the old box unwieldy. Per usual I will not play a game until I figure out how to store it properly first and this one will be a challenge. Most people seem to keep the wooden bits loose in the box which is not something that I'm willing to do.

I'm not sure a professional solution will come out for this; Splotter is still niche and their print runs are small.

I think I may have figured it out, but I'll have to test it this evening. I was hoping to be able to store all unique buildings and player pieces in the same bags (1 building per bag), but if I separate the two things I think I can get the buildings in the cracks around the storage box and leave the bits looser around the big tiles at top. Even another 1/2" of height on the box would have made all the difference.

pyxistyx wrote:

*oh, also I just ordered Mansions of Madness Core set. So...that happened.
I have thing for Cosmic Horror, can you tell!?

Interested to know your thoughts. There's something awesome about it, but I think most of the awesome is the freshness created by randomization in the app, I guess. I'll need to play the same scenario more than once to be sure.

I watched this playthrough of Gloomhaven -

The guy has a great voice for this - he speaks quickly but clearly, allowing the action to proceed quickly. So well done on that. That said, I'm sort of amazed by how many times the text comes up on the screen for him to correct himself. Seems like a ton to keep track of(?)