The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

Fedaykin98 wrote:
jonnypolite wrote:

We started our weekly in person gaming session again a couple of weeks ago, with the requirement that everyone be fully vaccinated. After a year of online gaming using discord, seeing everyone in person and playing across the table was emotional, everyone was practically giddy. It was an amazing feeling.

We did one night a few weeks ago where we finally played Rising Sun. Being together in person was completely fantastic, but no one seemed particularly wowed by Rising Sun. We played with four. Maybe the fun only happens when people know how it's "meant" to be played, ala Cosmic Encounter.

In my extremely humble opinion, I've never played great games of RS or CE. They're supposed to be multiplayer masterpieces, but I just don't get them.

We tried out Tortuga 2199 last night since a person in my group got it from having Kickstarted it... 3 years ago? We gave it a fair shake and we did our utmost to really like it, but in the end there are some design decisions that makes it a less than solid deck builder. How did you fail us? Let me count the ways:

1. The end goal is practically unreachable if you have players that are familiar with area control.
2. To counter act that it's basically not feasible to win, they added a mechanic which just ends the game and the person with the most vp wins.
3. Instead of focusing on a couple of elements and shine them until they really work well, they seem to have added mechanics willy nilly to allow for people to get the victory condition. Again, it didn't work.
4. Some confusion in mechanics where you use A to take over an area, but B to upgrade it. Of course if you want to protect it, you need to use C.
5. Combat is too luck driven and not enough strategy, depending entirely on the hand you drew at the end of your turn.

I can go on, but suffice to say I doubt it will hit the table again.

Was at Target the other day and saw Parks on the shelf, so decided to pick it up.

Fun game, amazing components. It has the problem similar to Ticket to Ride where 2 players seems a bit more like solitaire, but 3 players seems like it will get a lot more interesting. So far its only been with my wife, but I'll be playing with a 3rd in a few weeks, and would like to see what happens when it gits a bit more crowded on the board.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Parks
would like to see what happens when it gits a bit more crowded on the board.

I'd say three is the sweet spot in my experience. The games I've played with four tend to drag on a little long, for what it is. I also highly recommend picking up the Nightfall expansion, mostly for the improved objective cards.

In my own games, I played my tenth game of Oath last night. It was a weird one, with the chancellor and two citizens against a single exile. Lots of weird swings as the game went on, too. I think we're reaching the "comfortable enough with the game that we can start trying odd stuff to see what happens" stage

MikeSands wrote:
Carlbear95 wrote:

Parks
would like to see what happens when it gits a bit more crowded on the board.

I'd say three is the sweet spot in my experience. The games I've played with four tend to drag on a little long, for what it is. I also highly recommend picking up the Nightfall expansion, mostly for the improved objective cards.

Cool, I'll look to pick it up before the 3rd shows up, and yeah, looks like it addresses one of the problems of the base game which is the overly challenging personal objectives for little reward.

My wife and I are 7 games deep of Don't Get Got. it's a great little play in the background game while we're just doing everyday life to help spice things up and help instill a sense of fun into day to day life.

She recently benefitted from me preparing a lovely picnic for us just so I could get her to lay on the ground with me so I could "get" her and win the latest game

Carlbear95 wrote:

looks like it addresses one of the problems of the base game which is the overly challenging personal objectives for little reward.

Exactly that, yep. They work much better than the originals.

The new park cards are also good.

There's also some "campsite" rules but I haven't tried them yet. They looked like they added another layer of stuff which I don't feel like I want yet.

I love dungeon crawler board games and I've been a huge fan of Descent (1st and 2nd editions). Fantasy Flight Games just recently released https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/322708/descent-legends-dark (from here on out LotD) which is a bit of a spin-off as opposed to a proper 3rd edition. The price is honestly a bit outrageous but given my love for the series and genre I couldn't help but give it a try.

I've only played the first two scenarios so far (not sure how many there are in total... if it is like Journeys in Middle Earth then around 13) but I'm incredibly impressed so far. LotD is a cooperative app-driven game, meaning there's a required app that runs the bad guys and tracks lots of information for you throughout your campaign. It's an integral part of the experience and can't be played without it.

Here's a quick hit list of my pros and cons from my first couple of plays:

+ I love the tweaks to the Descent rule set. Many things are simplified, including combat which now just has you chucking one or two dice for most things (at least so far). Makes the entire experience a bit faster to get through.

+ The best new mechanic is how they've reworked fatigue. Your character, items and skills are all "double sided" and have a fatigue limit on them. As you use each card's abilities you put fatigue on them up to their limit, at which point you can no longer use their special abilities. For an action (you get three per turn and one must be movement) you can flip a card over to its other side, clearing all tokens on it. The awesome part is that the flip side isn't better or worse, just different. For example, on the ranger one side of your weapon is a sword and the other is your bow. For the fighter one side of the character is more defensive mode and the other is more offensive. I love this because you end up trying to balance which side you need to be on for the situation against which side you want to be on so you can keep using special abilities or if you have some nasty condition tokens you need to clear off. The system is simple and super fun.

+ I've only played two missions but the scenarios have been wildly different and introduce lots of interesting events/mechanics. If they can keep this up for the whole campaign that'll be stellar. Descent has always had fun (although not necessarily balanced) scenarios and this looks to keep that trend.

+ There's a whole phase between missions where you get to craft items. Seems like there's a ton to explore here, far more than I imagined. I spent a lot of time looking at crafting recipes and wishing I had more stuff to craft or buy the things I wanted.

+ The app is really being leveraged to pull off things that would otherwise be difficult to do in a board game. Enemies have a variety of attacks and abilities and the app just reminds you of everything you need to do and when; there's no massive stack of cards you need to keep track of or complicated rulesets to remember. Crafting and loot also feels far more complex and varied than you might otherwise see as well. Many loot items have cards but there's also some that are purely digital and they get into the types of bonuses you are more likely to see in Diablo than in a standard board game. It's pretty cool.

- As much as I love the mechanics the app introduces, it was pretty unusable on my iPhone X. Performance was okay but the text was way too small and I found the touch interface to not be very responsive. Maybe some of that can be tweaked in the app, not sure. I immediately switched to the Steam version on my laptop and it was vastly superior.

+ 3D terrain. So cool. Necessary? Nah. But so cool.

- The terrain is really neat but revealing and setting up new rooms really does kinda grind things to a halt as you dig up the right tiles and terrain pieces. I'm okay with that tradeoff but I could see that being a bit of a pacing killer for some.

- I played the first scenario once and the map layout was the same. I'm curious if this is always the case or if that was just with the first scenario. One thing I loved about Journeys in Middle Earth was the random map generation, it adds a lot of replay value to the game. There are enough other random events in Descent that I think it's still going to be fun to play through multiple times - including the addition of multiple difficult levels - but I'd love it if each scenario had a little bit of layout randomization as well. We'll see.

+ The game comes with six heroes and you aren't stuck playing a single character over the course of the campaign. In fact many scenarios seem to require at least one specific hero so you'll get to play with all of them eventually. It's really cool and encourages you to experiment instead of getting stuck with a single character the whole time.

- The price. Oof. As much as I love everything I've seen it's a very difficult recommend at the price point: US$175. You can find it for less at many online board game retailers (e.g. Gamenerds has it for US$140) but it's still an incredibly steep price. I think it's going to be well worth it for me by the end but that is not a "let's see if I like this" price point.

Overall I'm incredibly impressed so far and can't wait to play more. So far I'm just playing solo and that may be my primary form of playing, but hoping to table it up with my game group this week as well. We like playing a variety of games so dedicating to a single long campaign game can be a challenge but I'm hoping it clicks. Also really hoping the game does well enough to warrant more content.

My writing laptop died, so I'm selling some board games if anyone is interested. I posted them here. I'd rather sell them to Goodjers than anyone else, so give me a PM if you're interested.

trichy wrote:

My writing laptop died, so I'm selling some board games if anyone is interested. I posted them here. I'd rather sell them to Goodjers than anyone else, so give me a PM if you're interested.

Dope. Sharing with boardgames friends to see if anyone wants anything.

trichy wrote:

My writing laptop died, so I'm selling some board games if anyone is interested. I posted them here. I'd rather sell them to Goodjers than anyone else, so give me a PM if you're interested.

Chinatown for $20? Not sure which version, but that's a steal.

Contrary to all wisdom and my own knowledge and good sense, I went to gencon. If I had had to travel anywhere I would never have gone. First off, you may have seen the photo online showing a bunch of people crowded up against one another before the vendor hall opened and the cries of crowd control that erupted from it. I absolutely agree that GenCon could have done a MUCH better job with crowd control and I absolutely think they should have had a vaccine requirement.

On thursday and friday when I went I got there after the hall had opened and the lack of crowds was the most significant thing I noticed as I went. I was VERY anxious about the whole affair and had decided that if I saw a large crowd, I would just turn around and leave immediately. If I saw any unmasked people I would leave immediately. If I felt unsafe I would leave immediately. During Thursday and Friday none of those things happened. Everybody kept their distance, kept their masks on everywhere (even outside) and if you were about to walk into someone one person would stop to let the other people walk by. No, absolute it wasn't completely safe, but I felt as safe as I could be at any large gathering. Nerds are amazing people.

Saturday on the other hand I walked into the con and promptly left right away. The crowds had ballooned with "regular people" and I saw multiple people walking around without masks and the crowds were as thick as on a regular GenCon. I was there for all of 10 minutes.

Games! I did get to play some games. I am sorry, but I didn't take any pictures and I don't remember most of them so I am just going to the highlights / lows.

First off: Cosmic Frog. Holy cow, what an incredible game. You play as a 2 mile long, cosmic, indestructible, frog swallowing up shards of an exploded planet for your God.. creator? Whatever. You store those pieces in your throat until you can get to your vault where you expel (throw up) the shards you have eaten. Those are the land pieces you score eventually. The game is weird, fun and hysterically funny as you listen to the people around the table discuss that they just hit your frog so hard it flew into the 6th dimension. It's a wonderful piece of entertainment which is strategic, tense, funny and has more great ideas about gameplay than 99% of the games out there. HIGHLY recommended.

The Loop: You play as a team of time repair people trying to stop a bad guy from killing off the time line by spawning clones and doing bad things to different eras of the timeline. Each round you have three action cards that you play in any order doing things like "remove a clone" or "push a clone" or remove a danger cube, or move across the time line. I was not a big fan as after you have done your turn, I really wasn't interested in what the other players around the table did. As a co-op game it fails.

Super Mega Lucky Box: This is roll and write / flip and write distilled down to it's core. Flip a card, cross out a number on one of your three cards. When you get a bingo you get a bonus. Those bonuses chain together to make more bonuses. It's pure dopamine in a box. HIGHLY recommended.

Sumo Kabuto: This is Tony Miller's new game about bugs fighting it out sumo style in a circular ring. I was curious about it since I really liked Fire in the Library so I gave it a try. The explanation really doesn't do it favors as it's a game you HAVE to get your fingers on to appreciate. As you push the circular pieces around, they snake, slither and NEVER behaves you want them to behave. Throw in some very odd shapes into the ring and things devolve into chaos and unpredictability every move from either player. HIGHLY recommended. After the first day, we spent three hours straight playing this game.

Luna Capital: A game, unlike Sumo Kakuto, that I bought on description alone. After the person explaining the game to us said one critical piece of information (the tiles need to be placed in sequential number order), the game clicked in my head like a ton of bricks. I could see all the different permutations and possibilities lay before me like a never ending highway to the cosmos and I watched my disjointed arms float around my body to my wallet and pull it out. If you like games that make you swear because the move you thought was so great three turns ago turns out to have completely screwed you forever this is the game you want. It's about building a base on the moon or something.

Clank: I have never played Clank so I thought I would give it a try. It's not for me.

Kaiju Battle: A nifty little area control game where with each move you do, you destroy the tile you landed on, collecting the tile for points. The thing is that you can't land on that tile again. So with every move you gain a larger area but limit your movement. Slamming into an opponents Kaiju unleashes an extended form of rock paper scissors, which makes battles quick and to the point. I had fun with this title and would play it again if someone asked me to.

Video Vortex: A friend of mine is way into Undaunted so we went to the Mondo booth. As we were standing there my eyes darting around their titles, I notice a purple box with (of course) gorgeous art on it. "huh.. video vortex.. wtf is that" I said to myself. I checked out the box and the front of it says something about mutants in the future discovering VHS tapes and start basing their doctrines around "action" or "sci-fi" or "rom-com". I still have no idea about the game play so I ask a girl behind the counter and as soon as I say the word "Video Vortex" her eyes light up and out comes a stream of how incredible this game is. After 5 minutes, her colleague gets drawn in and start talking about how great it is, and how that incredible move that one person did that one time. After a little bit there are 4 people in the Mondo booth arguing about which character is the best, the best strategy for beating other characters and they have completely forgot that I stood there. I bought the game.

Storywoods (Story book, Story Tree?): First off. The initial WOW of this game is better than ANY other game I have ever seen. In front of you is a book. It's tattered leather reeks of history and magic. You are urged to open the book and as you do a GORGEOUS tree grows in front of your eyes. Yea, it's a pop up book, but the size of that tree that they managed to cram into the story book is astounding and there were gasps around the table as the book was opened. Then it all falls apart in a super generic hit monsters that spawn endlessly until you find a key kind of game. Hard pass.

I also bought the Goonies game because my wife loves the Goonies.

Edit: I took a nap. Here's some more games I tried. Most of them are under the category of "meh". Let's go through them.

Ceasar: This is the new game from the designer of Blitzkrieg. Fairly simple game where you pop down a tile which is split in two (each side has a strength value on it) on the border between two sections of the lands and you try to capture as many regions as you can. Once all the little spots around a region has been claimed the last person gets a bonus and the person who put down the highest value tokens around that region wins the region. It doesn't sound great, does it? WELL THINK AGAIN! It's phenomenal. Super easy to learn and after the first few tiles you start thinking strategically and the ap goes through the roof.

Thunder Road: It's Mad Max in boardgames format. Some people will love it and some will not. It's very light and chaotic, so if you dig that jazz go for it.

Holi: 3 layers of paint dripping down or something. I lost interest as he was talking about it which is a shame seeing that it's from the Sagrada people and I love me some Sagrada. Pass.

Camel Up: Offseason: yeah, not awful. So instead of racing camels you are now using them to transport goods. Each camel can only carry one type of goods and you get a set of them based on an auction. Each auction set has multiple types of goods and if you win the auction (the type of auction varies) you get to pick first. But the camels can only carry 5 things, so if you pick something that breaks the camels back you lose ALL the things stacked on the camel. After you collect, you sell one thing and make some money and then repeat. It's not awful and it's not spectacular. We played a full game of it and I had fun.

There were a few more smaller titles we played but nothing that I need to waste your time with.

Nerds are amazing people.

This is what I was thinking as I read your 2nd paragraph. Our local game store has been great the few times we've dared go out its basically the only place we're sure everyone 'gets it'

Fredrik_S wrote:

First off: Cosmic Frog. Holy cow, what an incredible game. You play as a 2 mile long, cosmic, indestructible, frog swallowing up shards of an exploded planet for your God.. creator? Whatever. You store those pieces in your throat until you can get to your vault where you expel (throw up) the shards you have eaten. Those are the land pieces you score eventually. The game is weird, fun and hysterically funny as you listen to the people around the table discuss that they just hit your frog so hard it flew into the 6th dimension. It's a wonderful piece of entertainment which is strategic, tense, funny and has more great ideas about gameplay than 99% of the games out there. HIGHLY recommended.

This one really falls under people's radar. At GenCon a few years ago I got to sit in on a demo game of an earlier version of Cosmic Frog with the designer, Jim Felli. The first words out of his mouth after we sat down and had introductions were "So...this is Cosmic F*cking Frog." He then takes us through an entire game, and even his explanations and design thinking was interesting. You really have to be able to handle a lot of chaos and unpredictability in this game, but it's really original and I don't own anything else quite like it.

I've also heard a lot of great things about Kabuto Sumo.

Boudreaux wrote:
Fredrik_S wrote:

First off: Cosmic Frog. Holy cow, what an incredible game. You play as a 2 mile long, cosmic, indestructible, frog swallowing up shards of an exploded planet for your God.. creator? Whatever. You store those pieces in your throat until you can get to your vault where you expel (throw up) the shards you have eaten. Those are the land pieces you score eventually. The game is weird, fun and hysterically funny as you listen to the people around the table discuss that they just hit your frog so hard it flew into the 6th dimension. It's a wonderful piece of entertainment which is strategic, tense, funny and has more great ideas about gameplay than 99% of the games out there. HIGHLY recommended.

This one really falls under people's radar. At GenCon a few years ago I got to sit in on a demo game of an earlier version of Cosmic Frog with the designer, Jim Felli. The first words out of his mouth after we sat down and had introductions were "So...this is Cosmic F*cking Frog." He then takes us through an entire game, and even his explanations and design thinking was interesting. You really have to be able to handle a lot of chaos and unpredictability in this game, but it's really original and I don't own anything else quite like it.

I've also heard a lot of great things about Kabuto Sumo.

Fredrik, thanks for the roll-up. I have been intrigued by Cosmic Frog for a long time. I just can’t ever manage to find a copy!

Darn. Cosmic Frog awfully expensive from secondary sellers.

chooka1 wrote:

Darn. Cosmic Frog awfully expensive from secondary sellers.

A friend just got hold of a copy - preordered direct from the publisher for the latest print run. But it looks like that might already be sold out

Good to hear Fredrik_S had fun with it. I'm looking forward to playing it, myself, as soon as we organise a time.

MikeSands wrote:
chooka1 wrote:

Darn. Cosmic Frog awfully expensive from secondary sellers.

A friend just got hold of a copy - preordered direct from the publisher for the latest print run. But it looks like that might already be sold out

Good to hear Fredrik_S had fun with it. I'm looking forward to playing it, myself, as soon as we organise a time.

The scoring isn't easy and takes a few to grasp. Once it clicks, you realize that the scoring is not just counting up VP, it's an actual mini game at the end of the game that you have built up during the main game. Oh, and you can't eat the grey tiles. Oh, and when you attack from the aether to the shard, you need to specify which direction you are attacking from so the knockback goes in the desired direction. The rulebook reads like something from the mid 90's.

I think there's a third printing of Cosmic Frog in the works. The guys from the So Very Wrong About Games podcast have been raving about it for some time. I've been hesitant to buy, but really interested in trying it.

I like that look of that Sumo Kabuto. It seems like a round version of those coin slider games.

Fredrik_S wrote:

First off: Cosmic Frog.

I managed to grab a copy of this when recently reprinted. I heard about in on a podcast and couldn't resist the premise, the art and the sound of the gameplay itself. I'll be painting up the space frog minis in a suitably psychedelic fashion before taking it to game group however. The look of the game is deserving I reckon.

Edit. I failed to read the follow on comments about it being tough to find. I grabbed the latest reprint as soon as it hit UK shores a few months ago. I had emailed the publisher to ask when there would be more released, apparently this guy publishes his own games, he got back to me himself with a rough guesstimate of when the reprint would be getting distributed. Kept an eye out, put in a pre-order when it popped up on my retailer of choice site.

So yeah, basically ask Devious Weasel if he can give you a guesstimate on the next run.