The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

DudleySmith wrote:

I'd say never try to play The Crew: Search for Planet X with more than 4 players - we find it way too difficult. I think I might like to play around the stage 10-15 level with 4: we're finding it gets a bit too tricky (and too dependent on card distribution) after that point.

I thought the whole game was trick-y?

Fedaykin98 wrote:
DudleySmith wrote:

I'd say never try to play The Crew: Search for Planet X with more than 4 players - we find it way too difficult. I think I might like to play around the stage 10-15 level with 4: we're finding it gets a bit too tricky (and too dependent on card distribution) after that point.

I thought the whole game was trick-y? ;)

BOOOOO! HISSSSS!

(privately applauds)

-BEP

hbi2k wrote:

Anyway, "point salad" might be the closest I've come to a simple term that describes the kind of game I dislike and want to avoid.

From your previous descriptions point salad is probably a much better term to use than Euro to be fair. I don't know the actual split, but even if Euros make up just half the board games in existence that's a lot of hate. Point salad, a narrower subsection more understandable and know a few people who just don't get on with that type of game, but who like other types of euro plenty.

An example of a non point scoring euro I guess might be the new game from one of the most popular Euro game designers Uwe Rosenberg, New York Zoo. There are no points at all, it's a race to fill your polyomino zoo. First to do that wins, everyone else loses. I think someone asked for examples of euros with a simple win/lose condition... There you go.

Our family copy arrived a couple weeks ago and wife who's not really a big board gamer of any kind is super keen to play it. This weekend we'll get to it probably, will report back on how it plays.

This seems pretty rad! Apologies if it has been linked before.

"Tiny Paper Dungeons," @brintown's Kickstarter campaign for a pocket-steno-pad-sized book of procedurally generated RPGs.

I'm trying to strip this genre down to its simplest form: 1 player, simple mechanics, no story-telling, just you, a die and pencil, and a series of simple decisions in the face of randomness.

I'm not sure I'd classify every Euro as a "point salad" game, though i would tend to agree that a point salad game is likely going to be a euro game at first. The classic point salad game that I have in my collection is "Five Tribes" which turns into a ridiculous score keeping exercise, but honestly its a pretty fun game. Another definition of "point salad" is when you get a crazy combination that generates a ton of points like the Roll and Write Ganz Schon Clever and its sequels. And of course there is the actual game "Point Salad" that sort of makes fun of the term as you score a bunch of points.

I think its odd that you mention that you wouldn't like point salad games but you enjoyed Space Base (I do as well). Its definitely a game that especially later on, each "move" can generate a crazy combination of points, in fact that's typically what you're building for. I would say Space Base is very much a point salad type game.

I think the difference, to me, was that in Space Base, the points all come from one source (your spaceship cards getting triggered by dice rolls), they are tracked on the fly, and you can tell at a glance who's ahead and who's behind.

In Roll Player, on the other hand, while victory points all go into one big tally at the end, they come from a variety of disconnected and, at times, competing sources. The theme there is that every round a bunch of colored dice are rolled and put into a market that the players draft from to fill out a D&D-esque character sheet. You get bonuses for things like having a given ability score within a certain range, there's an equipment market that you can buy gear from and try to collect set bonuses, stuff like that.

So at the end you tally up the victory points you get from your ability score, equipment sets, alignment, backstory, etc. None of these things have any mechanical similarity to D&D, by the way, and you're not actually playing a role or telling a story: it's just another skin on the same basic optimization game. Albeit one that's at least a little more familiar / interesting to me than, say, trading wine for wheat in ancient Rome or whatever.

Anyway, at the end of Roll Player, I won because there was a rule tucked away in the very back of the rulebook that said you got a bonus for each die of a certain physical color. This bonus was large enough that if anyone had known about it, it would have meaningfully affected our strategy, but the guy who ostensibly knew the game had forgotten about it until we were looking at the score tally rules at the very end. So that win didn't feel great, and the fact that up until the final tallying phase I had no way of knowing whether I was doing well or poorly meant that the minute-to-minute experience of playing didn't feel great either.

Space Base had a fair amount of emergent complexity from interactions between different cards' powers, but the basic thrust of the game-- we're going to roll 2d6 a lot of times and if you have a ship deployed on the number that's rolled you get goodies, so try to cover a lot of numbers and especially the ones in the middle of the distribution that are likely to come up most often-- was pretty easy to grok.

Generally speaking, you should look at what gets you points toward winning the game sometime before the game is over. That would likely ease your feeling of not knowing how you are performing.

The scoring for Roll Player is at the end of the rulebook, true, but I don't see that any element is more 'tucked away' than any other.

It's okay to like 'lighter' games, with obvious scoring paths, low rules complexity and simpler decision spaces to navigate. There's no need to try to classify what you don't like by looking to classify it according to the BGG-world terminology of 'Euro' and 'Point Salad' and the like, when it's easier to state that you like simpler games.

And that is fine.

There are games that encourage a sense of who's ahead and behind with their design, e.g. Space Base has a persistent score tracker that you update as you go.

And there are games that discourage it with their design by hiding the scoring through obfuscating complexity, in order to create the illusion of big endgame swings.

I tend to prefer the former to the latter, and I find it helpful that there is apparently a more granular term that can help me identify the latter than a one-dimensional "simple to complex" spectrum, which is a vague descriptor.

It's nice to be able, when my board game meetup is splitting up and deciding who plays what, to be able to ask, "This looks like a bit of a point salad, am I wrong?" and have everyone understand exactly what I mean.

I'm not sure if Space Base specifically is the kind of game that will keep me coming back again and again, and if that one OP card we discovered is any indication it seems to have balance issues. But I enjoyed playing it the once, which is more than Roll Player and its ilk have ever done for me.

Personally, I'd say play lots of different games, learn how they're commonly categorized, and then you'll figure out the keywords for the types of games you like.

I am currently semi-surprised how much I've enjoyed my first two plays of My Little Scythe, although I am biased since I've been playing it with my family. This game is definitely a Euro, as its the base game, but the theme is cute and the strategery is on point.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Personally, I'd say play lots of different games, learn how they're commonly categorized, and then you'll figure out the keywords for the types of games you like.

I am currently semi-surprised how much I've enjoyed my first two plays of My Little Scythe, although I am biased since I've been playing it with my family. This game is definitely a Euro, as its the base game, but the theme is cute and the strategery is on point.

Clearly, someone needs to design My Little Dune, with cute worms and a cuddly Baron Harkonnen. Might not be the worst thing since the original boardgame is still in a state of flux.

Natus wrote:

Clearly, someone needs to design My Little Dune, with cute worms and a cuddly Baron Harkonnen. Might not be the worst thing since the original boardgame is still in a state of flux.

Wait, there's a Dune Fluxx now?

State of flux? It was recently re-released after years and years of being an out of print grail game.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Personally, I'd say play lots of different games, learn how they're commonly categorized, and then you'll figure out the keywords for the types of games you like.

I am currently semi-surprised how much I've enjoyed my first two plays of My Little Scythe, although I am biased since I've been playing it with my family. This game is definitely a Euro, as its the base game, but the theme is cute and the strategery is on point.

Since this isn't College Football I agree with Fed on this one. From your posts it sounds like you're relatively new to the hobby, and are exploring different types of games. That's great. You're best best is to just play games... or if you know what game you may be playing at your next meetup, look it up on BGG or find a youtube video. At this point there's probably a great Let's Play or other rules review of every game ever released.

Rather than saying "I didn't like Roll Player" so everything that smells like it I won't like, don't worry about the labels and just try different things. Fed probably doesn't like Euro area control games with card drafting mechanics... but if you call it Blood Rage then its the best game ever

Received my Tainted Grail box today (Wave 1 & 2). Can't wait to start digging into it.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

State of flux? It was recently re-released after years and years of being an out of print grail game.

Gale Force Nine issued another version of the FAQ and I'm sure there will be other additions.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Since this isn't College Football I agree with Fed on this one.

Stele has had this experience, too: The sickening realization that, outside of the fractious tribalism of college football, I'm super cool.

Nevin73 wrote:

Received my Tainted Grail box today (Wave 1 & 2). Can't wait to start digging into it.

Mine is supposed to be here tomorrow. Let us know how you like it! I'm not sure when I'll get around to playing mine.

-BEP

Yeah I haven't had time to dig into mine. We had to clean out the garage today.

My Bloodborne from the Kickstarter arrived today. PROBABLY not gonna play this one with my kids, so it'll stay in the box until the quarantine is over.

Cracked out Chinatown the other night. We had to cut the game short half way through but it was still a really fun time. I need to get that to the table more.

Then main reason I'm not a euro gamer is while building a nice engine is good, for me board gaming is really all about the table talk and social interaction.

Prozac wrote:

Then main reason I'm not a euro gamer is while building a nice engine is good, for me board gaming is really all about the table talk and social interaction.

They aren't mutually exclusive. At all.

EIT: Chinatown is completely awesome

Prozac wrote:

Cracked out Chinatown the other night. We had to cut the game short half way through but it was still a really fun time. I need to get that to the table more.

Then main reason I'm not a euro gamer is while building a nice engine is good, for me board gaming is really all about the table talk and social interaction.

I love Chinatown it’s one of the most played games in my collection. If you like interaction may I suggest eclipse as a good halfway house between euro and having to interact with other players I only have the first edition and it’s great albeit expensive and I think needs 4 players to work at its best.

Double post.

How is Chinatown not a Euro? It fits the definition pretty well to me. It's a semi-abstract, theme-lite, strategy game with trading.

Ameritrash games are more about strong theme and conflict. Say Axis and Allies, Descent, or Cosmic Encounter.

No, no please....not another few pages on what a Euro means and is.....PMs exist.

heh, fair enough. I'm tired of it myself too, but my posting was on auto-pilot. Ignore my comment y'all.

So I'm loving this new trend of publishers using Tabletop Simulator to hype their games. It's not just for shady pirated copies you get from Discord any more. I hope it continues post-pandemic.

Masters of Mutanite is a fun team-based superhero combat game heavily inspired by King of Tokyo. It replaces the dice chucking with deck-building and you can do some cool combo moves with elements like a really basic Divinity Original Sin. If you throw a water tower into an opponent it adds a water token to the space and later you can toss a hydro pole at them to watch the sparks fly. Literally. Throwing cars causes fire to spread, etc. The game has a fun, comic book aesthetic.

Middara is a dungeon crawler that feels like a mix between Gloomhaven and Descent. You get the enemy AI and heavier combat of Gloomhaven, but you keep the dice chucking and character building of Descent. Unlike other dungeon crawlers, this one is heavily inspired by JRPGs and even has an Isekai storyline that is anime AF. Great gameplay, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the questionable character designs for some of the women.

Dune: Imperium is a worker placement / deck building game based on the books. I've never read the books, but you collect spice and you're on a desert planet. I guess that's accurate? Wonderful game and easily my favourite game of 2020. I feel like it's going to need an expansion to expand on some ideas, but given the game's success I'd be shocked if one isn't already underway.

TTS is awesome for discovering games. Many, many games are on TTS before they are even released - often before their Kickstarter campaigns are over, even.

Three of us Goodjers played Oath on TTS during the Kickstarter. I had a good time, and ended up pledging.

Has the opposite ever happened? Yes, and hopefully no publishers are reading this.

Speaking of which, I'm trying to learn Cthulhu Wars. I've found a large Discord just for this game, and apparently there are people who are happy to teach.

Here's the link, if anyone else is interested in learning: https://discord.gg/fbWneqj