The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

Personally, I like that in Scythe the person who triggers the end game can't be sure they'll win. I'd find it less interesting if we could all see the scores before you choose to grab that final star.

Side note: I would never have called Scythe a Eurogame, myself. It's so perfect a contemporary hybrid with elements from many games that went before that it doesn't fit neatly into any category I've seen.

The only time I've ever had a bad experience similar to one hbi2k is describing was playing Ora et Labora.

I know more than a few people who love it and think this is a wonderful Euro, but there are 19 resources to keep track of and some or my own possible actions are held on another players board that is written in 4 point type on a card that is upside down and 6 feet away.

That is a "never again" game for me.

Boudreaux wrote:

You're exactly right that the recent push online combined with all the "learn to play" resources available online allows people to get up to speed individually and make for a much smoother experience.

One of my groups has been very good over the last few years about sending out a "here's a video for Game X" email to everyone in preparation for a particular game day. What they rarely actually do is watch the video, and I end up teaching it anyway. I used to enjoy it, but after 10+ years it's gotten exhausting. Even when we play an old game that everyone has played before, it's usually been long enough that I have to teach it again anyway.

We've only ever done that once, with Vast: The Crystal Caverns, where we assigned a role to each player beforehand and had them read the rules and watch a video pertaining to that role. To my surprise everyone did it and it flowed really smoothly as a result.

I hear ya on the exhausted part - beyond the Portal Detective games I haven't bought a new game in a few years now because of this.

hbi2k wrote:

they had to invent a disparaging term like "Ameritrash" to denigrate other folks' brand of fun.

The term doesn't originate from euro players.

It came from the fans of that type of game, specifically the MiltonBradley Gamemaster series, as the term was coined from a Fortress America fan page(ie: Fortress Ameritrash).

Sp while some people do use it disparagingly these days, it was born out of self deprecating love, not as a put down.

Okay, I played a new game tonight that had some of the things that I've been complaining about in Cones of Dunshire, but this one was good and I had fun. It was called Space Park.

It had this retro-50s rocketship aesthetic, but the theme really didn't seem to particularly inform the mechanics or vice versa. Depending on how liberally you want to define "currency," it had between three and six different currencies: three different colors of little space crystals that you could pay to turn in mission cards, the mission cards themselves (which are worth victory points after you turn them in), and these movement tokens that let you move farther on your turn.

The basic order of play was counterintuitive. There were these three rocket ships, and each one occupied a square on the board, but they weren't assigned to particular players like in Monopoly or Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. There was no one rocket ship that represented "you." Instead, on your turn you could move any of the three rocket ships. And instead of landing on a space and doing what it said, you did what it said on the space you LEFT. (Usually collecting one of the three colors of space crystals, or collecting a new mission card for your hand, or turning in a mission card for victory points.)

So theoretically, based on the bitching I've been doing on this thread, I should have hated it. But once I grokked the basic gist, I enjoyed myself.

Because the key was that it limited your options severely at any given time. Your basic move was just: choose one of the three spaces with a rocket ship on it, and do whatever it says there. The information that you needed to make that decision was always at your disposal. Why do I want to move the rocket that gives me more pink crystals? Well, because I've got this goal card in my hand that I need to pay pink crystals to turn in. Why do I want to turn in this goal card? Because it's worth more victory points than that other goal card. All of that information is printed right here on the goal card, and there are seldom more than two or three goal cards in your hand at most, and the board only has seven spaces on it.

There was a bit of emergent strategic nuance to it, because by moving a rocket and taking the move from the space it left, you're denying that move to the person who goes after you. And there were a couple more wrinkles to the rules that don't bear getting into here. But the point is, it avoided that frustrating feeling of analysis paralysis where you've got this whole giant convoluted mess of a board laid out in front of you and a million possible combinations of moves and no real way to know whether what you're doing will get you any closer to victory.

If there are any Quacks of Quedlinburg fans in here, there is a second expansion coming to the US in April called The Alchemists. From Board Game Geek: "In The Alchemists expansion for The Quacks of Quedlinburg, you must distill essences in your new laboratories to free the citizens of Quedlinburg from nightmares and worse." It has already released with German language in Europe. QoQ is among my top 5 all-time games, so I'm rather excited.
IMAGE(https://cf.geekdo-images.com/MItB23cDhf1kn-2qFFlmeA__imagepagezoom/img/vd8uSiRsFtBnWCGwu_NFZdTnEyg=/fit-in/1200x900/filters:no_upscale():strip_icc()/pic5623014.jpg)

hbi2k wrote:

Okay, I played a new game tonight that had some of the things that I've been complaining about in Cones of Dunshire, but this one was good and I had fun. It was called Space Park.

Space Park is great! Fantastic art as well in that one.

Space Park is a light game though. Like I said earlier, the issue you had with Euro games is that you played a game above your skill level and experience level which is why you felt overwhelmed. When you get more experience with strategy games you won't find the heavier games so frustrating and overwhelming.

Djinn wrote:

Space Park is a light game though. Like I said earlier, the issue you had with Euro games is that you played a game above your skill level and experience level which is why you felt overwhelmed. When you get more experience with strategy games you won't find the heavier games so frustrating and overwhelming.

I'm reminded of a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quote:

It is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation products by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other words - and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxy-wide success is founded - their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.

Well-designed games are simple and elegant, no more complex than they need to be. Poorly-designed games have to hide their fundamental flaws behind obfuscating layers of complexity.

~mod~
This is rude and incredibly uncalled for and has been removed. No personal attacks.
-Amoebic

hbi2k wrote:

~mod~ personal attacks, insults have been removed. -Amoebic

Wow, really? You're throwing in a comparison to domestic violence to put down games you don't like? Taking things a little far, aren't we?

I just don't get you. It's fine to not like something, but your thought process is clearly "I don't like this thing, so clearly it's objectively bad and people are wrong for liking it". ~mod~ personal attacks, derails removed-Amoebic~ Well, some are to be sure, but since you ignored my question to provide specific examples this entire conversation is based entirely around generalizations.

There’s really very little new or surprising in euro game mechanics these days, lots of games are just reworking systems or layers that have been refined over the years. Once you’ve played a few dozen or so, you start to see that, and learning new games gets easier/faster, I find.

~mod~
This post was rude, incredibly uncalled for, and has been removed. No personal attacks.
-Amoebic

Time to derail!

After completing it with my wife and brother, I can confirm Pandemic: Season 0 lives up to the hype. There are some great moments in there that your game group won't soon forget. As a trio, we had already played through season 1, and uniformly we enjoyed this experience much more.

Anyone else complete it? I'd love to hear your experiences in how the story played out.

Yeah seriously guys. Lets not go from "I don't like this thing" to "well that's because you suck at it".

I don't know anything about Space Park. Looking at the bits and mechanics as far as I can read them it looks like you could draw a parallel to maybe one of Gamelyn's Tiny Epic series. If you like the space theme, maybe try Tiny Epic Galaxies. If you want a little more "set collection" maybe a game like Century Spice Road. The latter may smell a little more dunshiry but it really isn't and while the theme may be light, it makes sense. If you like the worker placement gameplay, and you want something meatier but relatable, try something like Lords of Waterdeep (relatable only because you mentioned D&D in some of your other posts).

In fairness to Djinn, if your "Cones of Dunshire" moment was someone telling you "you've been playing the wrong games, here is a real game" and busted out Puerto Rico or Brass Birmingham, then shame on them for doing that to you. That's the equivalent of a gamer who's only played FPS and they ask "I want something a little more strategic" and you drop Crusader Kings on them. Its not fair to brand a whole "type" of game because your only exposure is one of the more complex games out there.

It's fine to not like something, but your thought process is clearly "I don't like this thing, so clearly it's objectively bad and people are wrong for liking it".

This person does this in almost every thread they are part of. At this point I would just stop trying to reason with them and move on. You will never get a satisfactory end to this discussion.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Its not fair to brand a whole "type" of game because your only exposure is one of the more complex games out there.

It's true, which is why I brought up Space Park as an example of a game that I can recognize shares some DNA with some of the ones I liked less, but executed some of the same concepts in a way I enjoyed more.

I will keep my eyes open for some of the other games that you mention. I know one of the regulars at my game group has been itching to play some Lords of Waterdeep, although she has straight up told me "if you didn't like that game we just played, you probably wouldn't like this either."

I wish I could remember the names of the specific games that were giving me problems; I literally took notes yesterday because folks on this thread have been asking me for specific examples, but was stymied by the fact that I actually liked everything we played yesterday.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Yeah seriously guys. Lets not go from "I don't like this thing" to "well that's because you suck at it".

I didn't say that. I said that if you find Euro games to be overwhelming it's because you lack experience at them and are playing something about your skill level. Criticizing the entire genre as poorly designed because you struggled with them and comparing Euro fans to battered wives who learned to love their husbands beating them is unfair and childish.

MOD

It's okay to not like a game, or even an entire genre of games. There is no need to attack fans of genres you don't like, and there is no need to attack people who don't like the same games you do.

This is elementary stuff, folks. Move on.

Just wanted to remind everyone--especially during the holidays and whatever quarantine hell that you might be living through--that there are a myriad of ways to very easily and mostly without expense play boardgames online, via Steam (Asmodee's catalogue is here, Tabletop Simulator, Root just received a very good implementation, and Terraforming Mars just landed an expansion), Board Game Arena, Yucata, Android: NetRunner via Jinteki.net, and my personal favorite, VASSAL, on which I've played, just in the last week, Versailles 1919, A Study in Emerald first edition, Commands & Colors: Ancients EPIC, and Imperial Struggle. Add Discord or Skype to taste.

We've been playing Roland Wrights with my Brother In Law. We just sent a few sheets of Ganz and Dople (sp?) Schon Clever, a Railroad Ink board, and Welcome To has a great app that replicates the board as well.

We just put a camera faced towards the dice box / card surface and away we go!

Edit: the post I quoted seems to have evaporated?

Kronen wrote:

Anyone else complete Pandemic Legacy Season 0? I'd love to hear your experiences in how the story played out.

Not yet, one member of our group has been unable to play for the last few weeks. Hopefully we can get together to play April and May next week...

Natus wrote:

Just wanted to remind everyone--especially during the holidays and whatever quarantine hell that you might be living through--that there are a myriad of ways to very easily and mostly without expense play boardgames online, via Steam (Asmodee's catalogue is here, Tabletop Simulator, Root just received a very good implementation, and Terraforming Mars just landed an expansion), Board Game Arena, Yucata, Android: NetRunner via Jinteki.net, and my personal favorite, VASSAL, on which I've played, just in the last week, Versailles 1919, A Study in Emerald first edition, Commands & Colors: Ancients EPIC, and Imperial Struggle. Add Discord or Skype to taste.

Yeah most of my gaming has been on Board Game Arena, async with with a smattering of live sessions on there with game group. It's been great and been introduced to some new players locally with similar tastes in games. We're looking forward to get some of those same online games to the physical table when able to meet up in person.

Here's a question that might interest those who've used online platforms a lot since spring....

Which 3* games have you been introduced to online this year that you would love to add to your own physical board game shelf in readiness for post 2020 return to in person gaming? (Money no object)

*I would have said which ONE game, but I wouldn't be able to narrow it down that far

Mine would be...
Targi (board game arena)
Russian Railroads (board game arena)
Food Chain Magnate (board game core)

... and close but no cigar, but still worth a mention... 7 Wonders Duel (most honourable of mentions), Alhambra, City of the Big Shoulders, Castles of Burgundy.

... and a couple really enjoyed online, but had played in person pre-pandemic... Tzolkin and Libertalia.

There's a definite style of game that works well on BGA format and similar sites, and it's a style that personally I look forward to exploring more in person next year!

Bubblefuzz wrote:

Which 3* games have you been introduced to online this year that you would love to add to your own physical board game shelf in readiness for post 2020 return to in person gaming? (Money no object)

Mine would be (from board game arena where my group plays):

Targi
7 wonders duel
Room 25

Really enjoy these every time we can play them.

Natus wrote:

Just wanted to remind everyone--especially during the holidays and whatever quarantine hell that you might be living through--that there are a myriad of ways to very easily and mostly without expense play boardgames online, via Steam (Asmodee's catalogue is here, Tabletop Simulator, Root just received a very good implementation, and Terraforming Mars just landed an expansion), Board Game Arena, Yucata, Android: NetRunner via Jinteki.net, and my personal favorite, VASSAL, on which I've played, just in the last week, Versailles 1919, A Study in Emerald first edition, Commands & Colors: Ancients EPIC, and Imperial Struggle. Add Discord or Skype to taste.

Thanks Natus, I’ve been all in this year with many of the boardgames and websites you mention. The Root app is great and I’ve been playing Terraforming Mars this month and will pick up the expansion.

Here are some additional links and resources for your online board gaming:

A big downloadable list of many online boardgame resources:
Options for Online Boardgames (New updated PDF version - Dec 2020)

Board Game Arena has a good free option and a very reasonably priced premium tier.
Some of the recent games I’ve enjoyed playing on BGA are Santorini, Hive, 7 Wonders Duel and Puerto Rico. I’m NeutrinoVe on there if you want to connect and there’s also the BGA GWJ group

Lastly, there’s a current Humble Tabletop Sale with Tabletop Simulator and others including:

Tabletop Simulator 50% off
Blood Bowl 2 80% off
Mystic Vale 40% off
Gremlins Inc 70% off
Jackbox games up to 50% off

Played Air, Sea, Land with a friend (who is in our bubble). It's essentially a 2-player trick taking card game where you bid on which theaters to win. Each card can be played for a number of points to the theater it belongs to or played face-down as a wildcard to any theater. The kicker is that each card has some sort of special action, either a one-off or persistent which only activates if the card is face-up. The mechanics really come down to playing cards, flipping cards, and moving cards. It's simple, but has some depth.

Nevin73 wrote:

Played Air, Sea, Land with a friend (who is in our bubble). It's essentially a 2-player trick taking card game where you bid on which theaters to win. Each card can be played for a number of points to the theater it belongs to or played face-down as a wildcard to any theater. The kicker is that each card has some sort of special action, either a one-off or persistent which only activates if the card is face-up. The mechanics really come down to playing cards, flipping cards, and moving cards. It's simple, but has some depth.

One of my favorite, favorite, games.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

... and close but no cigar, but still worth a mention... 7 Wonders Duel (most honourable of mentions), Alhambra, City of the Big Shoulders, Castles of Burgundy.

Well I wish you lived in the states or I would happily send you Alhambra. I have the older Queen Games version and the box is just way too big for a game I dont' play enough of.

Also I'm surprised 3 people mention 7-Wonders Duel. Don't get me wrong, I think its a great game, but its been out for a while so I'd expect more folks to have a physical copy.

Fredrik_S wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

Which 3* games have you been introduced to online this year that you would love to add to your own physical board game shelf in readiness for post 2020 return to in person gaming? (Money no object)

Mine would be (from board game arena where my group plays):

Targi
7 wonders duel

Seems like we should have a game of async Targi? Maybe a 7WD if up for it.

Neutrino wrote:

7 Wonders Duel

Same

Carlbear95 wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

... and close but no cigar, but still worth a mention... 7 Wonders Duel (most honourable of mentions), Alhambra, City of the Big Shoulders, Castles of Burgundy.

Well I wish you lived in the states or I would happily send you Alhambra. I have the older Queen Games version and the box is just way too big for a game I dont' play enough of.

Also I'm surprised 3 people mention 7-Wonders Duel. Don't get me wrong, I think its a great game, but its been out for a while so I'd expect more folks to have a physical copy.

That would have been a cool thing to do, if we weren't opposite sides of the Atlantic, nice thought though.

As for 7 Wonders Duel, I think it works really well online and plays super quickly, a spare 5-10 mins and can get a game in or a couple async in a day with a friend. Physical game group, there was a copy hanging about to be played, but usually left untouched on the night because it was fairly rare for 2 player games to get played.

I know, I know I've stuck Targi down as my top game been introduced to and would like to own, but that's because it's too good not to at least try and get a 2 player game of that on the go. I do know someone who has the physical Targi and the expansion, but still I'd like to have it myself. That's how much I've enjoyed it.

Kronen wrote:

Time to derail!

After completing it with my wife and brother, I can confirm Pandemic: Season 0 lives up to the hype. There are some great moments in there that your game group won't soon forget. As a trio, we had already played through season 1, and uniformly we enjoyed this experience much more.

Anyone else complete it? I'd love to hear your experiences in how the story played out.

We've played and finished as well!

We definitely had some great moments, some very lucky and VERY unlucky moments, and it's very interesting how the complications around objectives start to force you into prioritizing certain objectives over others as time goes on. How you choose to prioritize could be based on whether it's easy or hard, early or late game success, what's in your starting hands, or even just thematically (one of our favorite ways to choose). Either way it becomes very clear, ESPECIALLY if you've been succeeding so far and have low funding, that you're just unable to keep the board under control AND go after all the objectives at the same time.

The aliases were GENIUS and a ton of fun to put together and see how each passport played.

I won't put any spoilers here because it's just too damn tempting to click on them.

Feel free to message me for more conversation on it.

fenomas wrote:

I like the idea of euros, but the ones I've played never seem to have satisfying win conditions. The ending always seems to be: each player counts up various piles of tokens, multiplies each sum by various modifiers if certain conditions are met, and then whoever has the highest final total wins. That always leaves me feeling like the game's challenge mainly just stems from the players not knowing who's in the lead, or why.

Can anyone recommend any good euro style games with more... I guess, chess-like win conditions? I took your queen, you sunk my battleship, etc.? Or is mathy win conditions part of what makes a game Euro?

This is a bit of a sideways recommendation based on your question, but maybe give Lords of Xidit a look?

End game scoring eliminates one player at a time who is the lowest in each of the 3 influence/victory points. The order of those is randomly determined but public knowledge. Each of the victory paths is interesting and has different amounts of visibility to current totals but regardless it changes your thinking when you're not trying to be first, you're just trying to not be last.

It's Euro in that each person plans out their turns based on all information on the board and assumptions about the other players' actions. Then the next 5 to 6 actions play out in programmed fashion before the next round.

I'm probably not doing it justice but it's a wonderful game that combines a few underutilized mechanics and a really novel end game determination.

Edit: Oh! Also, I forgot to mention: It tends to play reasonably fast for the size of the game because the programming means everyone takes their turns at the same time and each action is really just a choice of doing 1 of 2 things: Move (along one of 3 paths from your current spot) or recruit/vanquish (depending if there is a city/monster in your current space). You can also wait and do nothing. That's it. Decisions are made relatively easily and then the programming runs it's course.

Damn, I need to go back and play this now.