The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

First time = use random scenario generator rather than campaign map, then carefully re-read rules afterward and be ready to look up confusing items on BGG Rules forums.

Gloomhaven is $95 on Amazon now.

Weird, it was $100, then $105 or $110, and now under $100. What's their plan?

Keithustus wrote:

Weird, it was $100, then $105 or $110, and now under $100. What's their plan?

It's just random deals. I got mine for like $85 almost a month ago.

Crockpot wrote:
Keithustus wrote:

Weird, it was $100, then $105 or $110, and now under $100. What's their plan?

It's just random deals. I got mine for like $85 almost a month ago.

I'd so jump on that super quick if ever dropped to that price over here.

Cheapest I've seen it in UK would be around the equivalent of $150-ish.

Went to the Meeple Mountain Nashville Game Night last night. Meeple Mountain is a review site operated from here in Nashville, and they host regular game nights that are really well done. Last night's had about 75 people, a library of about 200 games, and free pizza. Each one is sponsored by a game designer or company, and they've always got some excellent prizes. I played three games, starting with:

Gunkimono

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/SM7I3V9.jpg)

This was highly recommended by a friend, and I can see why. Each player takes turns placing these cardboard dominos on a colored grid. The only rule is that they have to be even (both halves have to be on the same level), and you can't cover a color with the same color. You then decide whether to take the straight points earned by contiguous islands of one color, or honor points, which give you the chance to place strongholds and seize large chunks of points. It's easy to learn, fast, and immediately interesting. Placing a stronghold locks down an entire island of color, giving you points for each square in that island at the end of each turn, but there's nothing stopping other players from slicing huge chunks off your point generating island with the judicious placement of a domino. I really enjoyed it.

We followed that up with On Tour.

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

The goal of this game is to plot your band's tour across the United States. Each player gets a map and a dry erase marker, and a dice roll gives you starting locations. Every turn, three cards designating a city and a region (south, north, midwest, etc.) are drawn, and two D10 dice are rolled, giving you two numbers (if you roll an 8 and a 5, you get 58 and 85). You choose where to enter those numbers, with the goal of creating the longest ascending order trip (every step on the trip has to be to an equal or higher number). It's a really interesting puzzle.

It's just not a game.

There's zero player interaction. We barely spoke the entire game, and that was only to ask for clarification. This game would be kind of cool as an app, or maybe a cheap roll and write, but it's ridiculously overproduced, and will easily cost at least sixty bucks. It came with the "expansion", which was just more boards that allow more players. Huge letdown.

Fortunately, we ended with Samurai.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/3UmnOnG.jpg)

MAN, this game is good. You place tiles to try to surround different caste tokens. Each tile specifically supports claiming one type of caste token (with the exception of some wild cards and special tiles). In addition, the winner is the player with the most leader tokens, which are earned by having the most of that caste token. However, there are often ties, which are broken by the player that has the most tokens NOT of his leader token type. In other words, you need to get just barely enough tokens to claim the leader token, but not forget about the others. It's gorgeous, it's simple, and it's the best game I played that evening. Highly recommend.

Crockpot wrote:
Keithustus wrote:

Weird, it was $100, then $105 or $110, and now under $100. What's their plan?

It's just random deals. I got mine for like $85 almost a month ago.

Amazon is mostly a collection of independent sellers. Many are just folks with a supply of something in their garage, basement, storage space. They're price warring right now and so they go up and down as they each run out of stock and they adjust prices.

trichy wrote:

Samurai

Reiner is love. Reiner is life.

carrotpanic wrote:
trichy wrote:

Samurai

Reiner is love. Reiner is life.

It's strange. Some of his games are kind of dump, but he has some genuine masterpieces.

I almost backed On Tour on kickstarter, so looks like i made the right decision to skip it, nice components aside.

trichy wrote:
carrotpanic wrote:
trichy wrote:

Samurai

Reiner is love. Reiner is life.

It's strange. Some of his games are kind of dump, but he has some genuine masterpieces.

How dare you

polypusher wrote:

Amazon is mostly a collection of independent sellers. ...They're price warring right now and so they go up and down as they each run out of stock and they adjust prices.

Interesting. I had only been looking at the game’s main front listed price, eligible for Prime, and don’t often look at the third-party sellers area. I didn’t know that main price could work like that.

carrotpanic wrote:
trichy wrote:
carrotpanic wrote:
trichy wrote:

Samurai

Reiner is love. Reiner is life.

It's strange. Some of his games are kind of dump, but he has some genuine masterpieces.

How dare you

U mad, bro? Come down and fight me! In three weeks! At Tennessee Game Days!

Would that I could

carrotpanic wrote:
trichy wrote:

Samurai

Reiner is love. Reiner is life.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was "Reiner."

I mean, the dude's made over 600 games. Of course some of them are gonna be duds.

trichy wrote:
carrotpanic wrote:
trichy wrote:
carrotpanic wrote:
trichy wrote:

Samurai

Reiner is love. Reiner is life.

It's strange. Some of his games are kind of dump, but he has some genuine masterpieces.

How dare you

U mad, bro? Come down and fight me! In three weeks! At Tennessee Game Days!

I would love to go to Tennessee Game Days sometime, unfortunately I have other plans that weekend... maybe next time.

Started Betrayal Legacy last night, with prolog & chapter 1. Great fun, although as messy as I suspected it would be. I died twice, but it was still pretty fun.

My best death, in chapter 1:

Spoiler:

I was badly hurt, so drank from the Chalice of Insanity. I rolled badly and it did just enough damage to kill me...

MikeSands wrote:

Started Betrayal Legacy last night, with prolog & chapter 1. Great fun, although as messy as I suspected it would be. I died twice, but it was still pretty fun.

My best death, in chapter 1:

Spoiler:

I was badly hurt, so drank from the Chalice of Insanity. I rolled badly and it did just enough damage to kill me...

I'm really enjoying this game so far. Loved the original, too.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

I'm really enjoying this game so far. Loved the original, too.

I'd only played the original once, must be ten or more years ago. This felt basically the same but a bit more streamlined, to me. We already had some fun developments, like an area outdoors that is now packed with ghosts and an item that "upgraded" itself to a much spookier version.

Cross posted from the TNGD thread, but I figured this was also a good spot for some thoughts about the games I played this weekend. Short version: Tennessee Game Days is the best value for board gaming in the country. For forty bucks, you get three days with access to a massive library, various tours of new games, and the chance to play some amazing stuff. If you get the chance to join us next year, you absolutely should.

Scythe

I hadn't played this in a few years, but it was impressive how quickly this game can be picked up considering how complex it is. We did a five player game, but even with several playing for the first time, it went fairly quickly. Stilgar crushed us all, but my strategy of sitting in the corner and not doing a damn thing for half the game other than reproducing like horny rabbits left me rich in friends but not in victory points.

I like Scythe, but I've never gotten as excited about it as much as a lot of people. I think it does a lot of stuff well, and nothing really badly, but there's not any one particular aspect that makes me eager to try it again. Still, it was a good mid-weight game to kick things off.

Treasure Island

Similar to games like Letters from Whitechapel, this game sees one player taking the role of Long John Silver, hiding treasure on a buried island, and spending two weeks in prison getting the tar beat out of him while he gives smug hints that may or may not be true to the rest of the players, who are sprinting blindly around the island. Each turn, the other pirates can move, dig, or check to see if Long John Silver is a lying bastard (spoiler: he is), and draw on the dry-erase board to narrow down where he hid that booty. It's amazing. The game accelerates in a really amazing way. Initially, the goal at hand seems overwhelming, especially when LJS is sitting there like a smug bastard saying, "Maybe the treasure's east of you. Yeah, I know you're two nanometers from the west edge of the board, and that clue basically eliminates a surface area smaller than a postage stamp, but, I dunno, maybe you should be better at interrogations."

Unfortunately, this game has a big, juicy but. While the game is fantastic, some really bizarre choices about how to color the board and the dry erase markers you're given make it really tough to see your marks. It's such a simple thing, and BGG is filled with hacks for how to improve it with chalk markers and other solutions, but it really puts a crimp on the experience. I'd still recommend you try it, but it's disappointing Matago didn't go the extra mile.

Also, I totally found the treasure. Me. Suck it, you pirate jerk.

Lisboa

Minarchist lured me away for a two-player game of this behemoth with his sultry siren song and promise of sweet Vital Lacerda goodness. To call this a brain burner is an understatement. The board looks like an accountant's nightmare (granted, a nightmare with a beautiful art design), and the rules explanation took nearly an hour. Even with Minarchist's excellent teaching, it was still another hour before I felt like I had a grasp on the game.

And I don't care in the slightest, because this came very close to being my favorite game of the damn con. It's so, SO good. I can't imagine trying to design something like this. There are dozens of mechanics, but they all work together so seamlessly that once you understand the basics, the game just flows. Normally, my first game of something this complex is not particularly successful, as I spend the entire game just figuring it out, but it took surprisingly little time for me to offer up a real challenge to Minarchist. It was a narrow victory on his part, but I definitely want to try this one again. It's really amazing.

Lowlands

This was our kickoff of Saturday morning, as Obirano and Domano sat down to raise sheep and stop the ever-encroaching ocean with me. Lowlands is a light worker placement game that sees players trying to simultaneously get that sweet, sweet sheep cash, while all working together to build a dike to stop the rising waters. There's a really awesome balance between the two elements, and leads to some hilarious selfishness. If you see that both of the other players worked on the dike today, I mean, they did a great job, and is it really that big a deal if you skip it today to make sure your sheep have room to bone down? Judging from Domano's expression, he wasn't mad, he was just disappointed in me. Whatever. I rode those sheep to victory, even if half of them did get washed away in the flood.

If you like Rosenburg-style games, this one will hit that sweet spot. It's approachable, but has a lot of cool mechanics to give you various paths to victory. I have a copy at home that I haven't opened, but I'm excited to get it to the table more.

Quacks of Quindlinberg:

Minarchist and I were already interested in this game before we arrived, and quickly found out we weren't the only one. There's always one game that everyone at TNGD wants to play, and this year, Quacks was the belle of the ball, with the single library copy nearly impossible to get your hands on. I bought it from the vendor, and was a bit worried that I would regret buying it without having played it.

Yeah, that wasn't a concern. This bag-builder was the game of the con for me, and I don't think I'm alone in that. Each player is a quack doctor trying to mix up a potion that won't explode. To do this, you draw ingredients from a bag that includes several cherry bomb tokens of various value, trying to add as many to your cauldron as possible without hitting a value of 8 cherry bombs, upon which point your cauldron blows up in your face while everyone howls with laughter at your hubris. At the end of the turn, you earn victory points and cold hard ingredient cash, which you use to buy more ingredients for your bag. It's the best kind of push-your-luck game, as each ingredient has different powers. Rat skulls let you see into the future and change your fate. Theoretically, mandrake root lets you calm down a fizzling potion on the verge of erupting (assuming you draw it at the right time. You won't.) Over time, your bag becomes this unique combination of amazing ingredients that rapidly fill your pot.

That description can't do it justice, though. There were several moments in which one of us, all intelligent, educated adults who can count, would feel around in our bag, and realize that we only had a one in eight chance to draw the ingredient that would make us explode. The reaction when your hand emerges from the bag clutching that cherry bomb is amazing, with the player's howl of rage matched by the laughter from everyone else. It's a joyous, approachable game, and there are lots of variations of ingredients and a special advanced ruleset that I can't wait to try. 100% the best game of the weekend.

Clans of Caledonia

Minarchist was kind enough to teach us this excellent worker placement game that's similar to Terra Mystica, but with whiskey instead of magic gems. Players take turns spraying workers, farms, cows, and sheep across the game board, working to fulfill contracts and make the best whiskey. It's surprisingly generous for a game of this type, with lots of options and variety to what you can do. Each clan has a differing ability, which allows for everyone to embrace a different strategy. It's exactly the kind of game I dig. I'm not really sure why I bounced off it the way I did. I liked it, but I realized near the end that I hadn't really enjoyed playing it. It may have just been some confusion about the best approach for my clan, or just my headspace, because the game's design is really impressive. I think I want to try it again to see if I feel differently.

6 Nimmt

An excellent quick card game about bulls, stacks of bulls, all the ways you don't want bulls, and other people being a jerk and making you take bulls. Obirano had so many bulls. Of course, I had several bulls, but it was funny when CptDomano got more bulls!

Bulls.

Look, I don't know how to explain this game (which began with Minarchist telling us, "Look, just start playing and see what happens," advice which turned out to be surprisingly good). It's fun. Do you like bulls? It doesn't really matter. Give it a shot.

Railroad Ink

With roll and write games having their moment in the sun this year, I'm surprised this was the only one I played, but it's a good one. You spend your turn drawing roads and railroads on a map, with four dice telling you whether to draw a railroad turn, a straight road, an overpass, etc. The goal is to connect everything together in a neat and organized way. The reality is four people cursing at the dice and their board and themselves from ten minutes ago because why the HELL did you put that there you stupid bastard. It's a great puzzle, and a lot of fun. It's nowhere near as good as Welcome To, another roll and write that's impossible to find right now, but an approachable and fun filler game.
[/quote]

Great recap, Trichy! I always appreciate when folks take the time to write up their impressions of games.

I am right with you on Scythe. It is gorgeous and does a lot of things very well, but it did not really hook me.

Also Q of Q is a game I'm dying to play again. Bag building plus press your luck is a great combo. It also has some great catch up mechanics so that even if you do screw up your round you can still recover. It is strange that the white bits are called cherry bombs in the game description. I was taught that they represented a poison berry that that you didn't want to overdose your customers on. That seems to make more sense to me than tossing explosives in the pot.

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I played Wingspan for the third time and I can now confidently say that it's not a game for me. Every time I am bored to tears and couldn't care less about the birds and I realized that I just don't like engine building games. I didn't like Terraforming Mars or any of the other engine building games out there as everyone is staring at their boards with no player interaction at all. I can see why people like Wingspan as it's easy to learn and pretty to look at, and I do like the little facts about birds on the cards.

I think the problem I have with pure engine building games is that there is no payoff (at least in the ones I've tried out). You build the engine, get some points, and that's it. Let me attack another player or save a flooding island or something at the end of the game! Anything! Is there an engine builder out there that has player interaction and a payoff at the end?

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I also played another game of Paradox and I am really starting to like that one. It's a weird little game that does things (the match 5 mechanic coupled with the destructible game state) that I have never seen before. The co-op / head to head combination where you have to negotiate with the other players to have them save planets so we all can score points is terrific.

Prederick wrote:

Is there an engine builder out there that has player interaction and a payoff at the end?

This is a really interesting question. I've felt something similar, that engine building games tend to end too soon. I think it tends to be a mercy for the players who failed to get their engines up and running. But what about a cooperative engine building game? That should be an ideal case for creating an engine and giving it the opportunity to pay off, yet I can't think of one.

polypusher wrote:
Prederick wrote:

Is there an engine builder out there that has player interaction and a payoff at the end?

This is a really interesting question. I've felt something similar, that engine building games tend to end too soon. I think it tends to be a mercy for the players who failed to get their engines up and running. But what about a cooperative engine building game? That should be an ideal case for creating an engine and giving it the opportunity to pay off, yet I can't think of one.

I'd be all over a cooperative engine building game where resources are traded amongst players to create the most efficient engine to do something awesome together at the end. I can totally see this working.

Also.. Prederick?

Following Trichy's lead and dropping his excellent articulation, here's my abbreviated TNGD rundown (crossposted from the other thread):

1) Crokinole Double Tourney: We did 100% better than last year (made it to the 2nd round) , with a comeback for the ages.
2) War Chest (4p): Wasn’t expecting *how* different this would be compared to 2p.
3) Pandemic Fall of Rome: I don’t know why, but I loved the new take with it’s invasion routes and raising armies.
4) Decrypto: I think it’s getting to be one of my favorites of all time.
5) Quacks: Really hit the same deck building mental highs of Dominion, and loved the push your luck element. Hope there’s variety to make it evergreen.
6) Wildlands (2p): 2p was _so_ good, and then 4p was not.
7) El Grande
8) Treasure Island
9) Winner’s Circle
10) The Estates: I’d heard of the Estates, and really didn’t think I would like it, but what a great, distilled auction experience.
11) The Bulls: Strangely, this seemed more strategic to me at the higher player count because you could expect almost every card to be out there.
12) Rollin’ Dice: No legs, but stupid fun when you play. A great game for a con.
13) 13 days
14) Civ: New Dawn
15) Camel Cup: with a C
16) Fox in the Forest
17) The Mind
18) Scythe
19) Villanous: I’d like to play again, but I think I like the production and concept more than the gameplay.
20) Wildlands (> 2p)
21) Roll Player

Best Meal: Bishop’s hot chicken, the second time around.

Worst Surprise: Seeing my phone leap forward an hour Sunday morning as I was falling asleep.

Fredrik_S wrote:
polypusher wrote:
Fredrik_S wrote:

Is there an engine builder out there that has player interaction and a payoff at the end?

This is a really interesting question. I've felt something similar, that engine building games tend to end too soon. I think it tends to be a mercy for the players who failed to get their engines up and running. But what about a cooperative engine building game? That should be an ideal case for creating an engine and giving it the opportunity to pay off, yet I can't think of one.

I'd be all over a cooperative engine building game where resources are traded amongst players to create the most efficient engine to do something awesome together at the end. I can totally see this working.

Also.. Prederick? :D

Got kinda close without looking Sorry, fixed (in this one, leaving the original gaffe for posterity)

Once you learn the game well, Evolution is an engine-building game, and it's definitively and absolutely about player combat. Tabletop, Steam, iOS, Android. https://www.northstargames.com/colle...

Fredrik_S wrote:
polypusher wrote:
Prederick wrote:

Is there an engine builder out there that has player interaction and a payoff at the end?

This is a really interesting question. I've felt something similar, that engine building games tend to end too soon. I think it tends to be a mercy for the players who failed to get their engines up and running. But what about a cooperative engine building game? That should be an ideal case for creating an engine and giving it the opportunity to pay off, yet I can't think of one.

I'd be all over a cooperative engine building game where resources are traded amongst players to create the most efficient engine to do something awesome together at the end. I can totally see this working.

Also.. Prederick? :D

Check out Sidereal Confluence. While it's not totally cooperative in that there is a winner at the end, everyone has to work together. It's an engine builder where it's near impossible to run your own engine, you need to trade with the other players in order to get the resources you need. Everyone also needs to be researching tech at the same time to continue to advance the galaxy and build better engines. It's hard to describe, but it's very neat to see in action. My one caveat is you have to like trading and negotiation games where nearly anything can be traded and has a price.

Keithustus wrote:

Once you learn the game well, Evolution is an engine-building game, and it's definitively and absolutely about player combat. Tabletop, Steam, iOS, Android. https://www.northstargames.com/colle...

Evolution is one of my favorite games! Highly recommend giving it a try if you haven't! It's an engine builder with the tension of PvP.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative engine building game. Each deck is an engine. It has one way it really hums. If you're lucky/good enough you get your engine humming and a few of the other players do too so you win.

Too bad it's always tripping over its own feet. I think it stopped being fun for me right around the time the $200 mega ultra box kickstarter finally shipped :p