The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

I agree, I wouldn’t use them in a stacked storage situation, but they’re prob good if you’re carrying one or two games in a soft bag.

Malkroth wrote:

Anyone have any experience with those rubber bands or elastic straps meant to hold board game boxes closed? I have a couple games that always disassemble themselves in transit if the lid comes slightly loose and was thinking of picking some up for use while traveling. Any recommendations?

I use the Game Shut Cross Rubber Bands from boardgametables.com that I like quite a bit, I'm about to order more actually, I'm finally starting to open kickstarted boxes I hadn't had the opportunity to during the worst of the pandemic.

Fredrik_S wrote:

We played Cosmic Frog again last night and it solidified my opinion that it's my favorite game this year.

How's the setup time in person? It seemed intimidating from the rules.

Delbin wrote:
Fredrik_S wrote:

We played Cosmic Frog again last night and it solidified my opinion that it's my favorite game this year.

How's the setup time in person? It seemed intimidating from the rules.

It's not bad at all comparable to other "big" games. The only tedious bit is setting up the tiles. There's 75 or so barren tiles that need to have a certain number of rupture tiles mixed in depending on the number of players. If you have them separated in when you unbox the game, it's easy. After that it's just a matter of shuffling them and putting them on hexes. The land tiles that goes on top of the barren tiles makes a difference in strategies, so we have house ruled that we all get one land piece of each type and set them out one by one. Otherwise someone might clump a certain type together and get an advantage.

I'd say 10-12 minute setup if everyone around the table helps out.

Played my first game of Feast for Odin (3p, with Norwegians exp) last week, loved it! Rules not overly complex, but so many choices! After enjoying Agricola live and with it being my fave game on bga at the minute, and now Feast being so cool... I might have to look into one Uwe's meatier farming games for myself.

I've been told Caverna is somewhere between the two, that true?

Any other games from different designers would recommend for an Agricola convert?

Played through the first 6 memories of Assassins Creed: Brotherhood of Venice. As a fan of the AC video games I'm loving the board game so far. The first 3 memories are a bit of a tutorial as they slowly add rules and mechanics so you can start the game having read just the basics and learn the rest as you go. They tie that into the story of those missions in a way I thought worked well.
The memories/missions have been averaging just under an hour including the setup and tear down for each one. I suspect they will get a bit longer as they get more complex going through it.
The story ties into the AC universe really nicely - not going to say more than that so I don't spoil anything for anyone else.
I also have been impressed with how much it feels like playing Assassins Creed. You get rewarded for being stealthy but when that fails or there are just too many enemies to sneak around you can attack in the open and hold your own. They have a lot of the classic AC game things like throwing out coins to distract guards.
Looking forward to playing through the rest of the campaign - which is going to take a lot of play sessions I suspect because I think there are something like 28 memories in it.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

Played my first game of Feast for Odin (3p, with Norwegians exp) last week, loved it! Rules not overly complex, but so many choices! After enjoying Agricola live and with it being my fave game on bga at the minute, and now Feast being so cool... I might have to look into one Uwe's meatier farming games for myself.

I've been told Caverna is somewhere between the two, that true?

Any other games from different designers would recommend for an Agricola convert?

A Feast for Odin is one of my favorite games ever, with the most plays at our table. I bounced off Agricola because I never felt like I knew what I was doing. In Odin I still feel that but I'm having fun with my Viking yard sale. (Behold, my sweater!) Caverna I only played once, but the exploration element seemed fun. Odin, I think, is Uwe perfecting the game design he's been honing for so long.

A quick reminder that Board Game Arena Premium subscription prices are going up on 1st Nov. Recurring subs are grandfathered in before then.

Summary:

- Existing Monthly/Yearly Premium players will keep the current prices (= nothing changes for you as long as you keep your Premium Subscription going).
- You can still subscribe to Premium before November 1st with the current prices.
- Premium prices will be raised on November 1st.
- the new Monthly Premium price: $5 / €5 per month
- the new Yearly Premium price: 30$ / 30€ per year, $2.5 / €2.5 per month

Bubblefuzz wrote:

Played my first game of Feast for Odin (3p, with Norwegians exp) last week, loved it! Rules not overly complex, but so many choices! After enjoying Agricola live and with it being my fave game on bga at the minute, and now Feast being so cool... I might have to look into one Uwe's meatier farming games for myself.

I've been told Caverna is somewhere between the two, that true?

Any other games from different designers would recommend for an Agricola convert?

I really love Hallertau from Uwe. You don't even have to feed people! Everything just hits for me.

Neutrino wrote:

A quick reminder that Board Game Arena Premium subscription prices are going up on 1st Nov. Recurring subs are grandfathered in before then.

Summary:

- Existing Monthly/Yearly Premium players will keep the current prices (= nothing changes for you as long as you keep your Premium Subscription going).
- You can still subscribe to Premium before November 1st with the current prices.
- Premium prices will be raised on November 1st.
- the new Monthly Premium price: $5 / €5 per month
- the new Yearly Premium price: 30$ / 30€ per year, $2.5 / €2.5 per month

Didn't know they were going up but I think BGA is fantastic (if a little Euro-heavy). Good to know that they are taking care of their existing subscribers.

Neutrino wrote:

A quick reminder that Board Game Arena Premium subscription prices are going up on 1st Nov. Recurring subs are grandfathered in before then.

Summary:

- Existing Monthly/Yearly Premium players will keep the current prices (= nothing changes for you as long as you keep your Premium Subscription going).
- You can still subscribe to Premium before November 1st with the current prices.
- Premium prices will be raised on November 1st.
- the new Monthly Premium price: $5 / €5 per month
- the new Yearly Premium price: 30$ / 30€ per year, $2.5 / €2.5 per month

Thanks for this. I've been meaning to try BGA out. Years (and years) ago I tried Brettspielwelt and it was kinda rough, so I was hesitant. In my reseach I came across this, which helped me decide to subscribe:

BGA is well worth it.

Yeah that's still a fair price for BGA

jonnypolite wrote:

BGA is well worth it.

True. I just wish I used it more.

Natus wrote:

True. I just wish I used it more.

Async games are key for me. I'm always down for async games but my real-time play is very limited.

I'm always down for async of any game though.

99% async here. I've got an annual membership, every penny well spent. I've got way more play out of it than any video game over the past 18 months, way more. Lucky to have found a really solid group of 4 locals with similar euro tastes, and now meet up for in person games fortnightly. That's thanks to bga, we've had at least two async games on the go since April last year. It honestly feels weird now if we don't have a game in progress

Edit. Thinking about it I wouldn't know middling to heavy euros would be such a draw for me if it weren't for bga.

polypusher wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

Played my first game of Feast for Odin (3p, with Norwegians exp) last week, loved it! Rules not overly complex, but so many choices! After enjoying Agricola live and with it being my fave game on bga at the minute, and now Feast being so cool... I might have to look into one Uwe's meatier farming games for myself.

I've been told Caverna is somewhere between the two, that true?

Any other games from different designers would recommend for an Agricola convert?

A Feast for Odin is one of my favorite games ever, with the most plays at our table. I bounced off Agricola because I never felt like I knew what I was doing. In Odin I still feel that but I'm having fun with my Viking yard sale. (Behold, my sweater!) Caverna I only played once, but the exploration element seemed fun. Odin, I think, is Uwe perfecting the game design he's been honing for so long.

It seems foolish as someone else already owns the game, but I kind of want my own copy of Odin Sensible thing to do would pick up Caverna, for half the price, which no one has and try that, but...

bhchrist wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

Played my first game of Feast for Odin (3p, with Norwegians exp) last week, loved it! Rules not overly complex, but so many choices! After enjoying Agricola live and with it being my fave game on bga at the minute, and now Feast being so cool... I might have to look into one Uwe's meatier farming games for myself.

I've been told Caverna is somewhere between the two, that true?

Any other games from different designers would recommend for an Agricola convert?

I really love Hallertau from Uwe. You don't even have to feed people! Everything just hits for me.

See I kind of like the need to feed in Agricola, but Hallertau is one I should look at aye, ta for the reminder.

FYI, A Feast for Odin is in alpha on BGA, has been for almost 2 months. I’m hoping it comes out soon.

jonnypolite wrote:

FYI, A Feast for Odin is in alpha on BGA, has been for almost 2 months. I’m hoping it comes out soon.

Yay!

I had a chance to play 7 Wonders: Architects this weekend. We have played 7 Wonders many times, and this game is a more streamlined version, also designed by Antoine Bauza. Instead of drafting cards, you choose from your deck or your neighbor's deck, both face up, or a communal deck which is face down. The main thrust of the game is building your wonder, which is in 5 parts, which you flip over as you complete each step. Each step awards victory points, but some steps give you a special ability. More powerful abilities mean that you get less victory points for your wonder.

You also accumulate points through blue cards, wars, and progress tokens (acquired through obtaining science cards). Our final score was very close, and we had a good time. It is an easier game to play than 7 Wonders, and so I see it as a good warm up game for the groups I play with. Also, the production is great, but does not feel over-produced.

Our group had our first play of Oath last night. Oh boy. I really can't tell if I like it or not because there is SO much to it. There is no action you can take which is self explanatory, even moving your piece on the board has added complexity to it. We followed the tutorial as laid out in the Read me first book, and it gave you the overview of how the game mechanics works, but it puts one of the players in the negative right from the get go and it wasn't a pleasant experience for them.

Is it a good game? I really don't know. It's my second game from Leder games, the first being Vast. Vast we could wrap our heads around even if learning each of the factions was a bit of a chore each role had a clear goal and most mechanics were pretty straight forward. In Oath, it seems like each little thing you can do is wrapped in complexity just because?

We all agreed to try it again now that the tutorial is over to see if we like playing it.

We have a 4-player Oath game going that's now finished 5 games or so. There is definitely a learning curve to it in the early game. I'm curious about the "added complexity" you see in moving your pawn - to me, it's just "pay supply, move your dude." Though I'll agree that a lot of the actions are significantly more complicated than in other games - wrapping one's head around the Campaign action took some time.

Strengths: Immersion, Theme, Number of paths to victory, evolving gameplay as the decks and board change so it doesn't get stale.

Weaknesses: Often comes down to a Kingmaker scenario for at least one player, complex, tricky to learn (esp. the Campaign system!), can be swing depending on what's in the deck.

Suggestions:
* It is eminently more fun to be an outcast player if you hedge your bets and keep one or two paths to victory within reach. It SUCKS to focus on only one to then have that one shut down, because then you're just playing for playing's sake. For outcasts, there are usually two different paths available right from the start (Visions or Usurper).
* If you're the chancellor, watch for the Successor condition. Citizens are sneaky like that.
* Play the first few games for the sake of playing, and if you win, chalk it up to luck. As the cards and actions become more familiar, it's much easier to start to think about strategy. I think it took me three games before I started to be comfortable thinking toward an end goal.
* Embrace the swinginess. We had a messed up conclusion to our last game where the "leader" changed I think three times in the last round. This is not a game for people who lay out grand strategies, play to win and get upset if they don't; one good draw - whether denizen or artifact - can turn a player's fortunes on a dime.

Now me - I love this game. I am a sucker for emergent story and a strong theme, and I will play sh*tty mechanics all day to enjoy a good story. Not that I think these are bad mechanics, but they're definitely complicated.

Feegle wrote:

We have a 4-player Oath game going that's now finished 5 games or so. There is definitely a learning curve to it in the early game. I'm curious about the "added complexity" you see in moving your pawn - to me, it's just "pay supply, move your dude." Though I'll agree that a lot of the actions are significantly more complicated than in other games - wrapping one's head around the Campaign action took some time.

It was just a, bad, example, of the complexity of it. I am not a stranger to complex games and I enjoy the learning process of it. The problem I have with it is that many of the actions you can do seems arbitrarily muddled and the rule book(s) are not great.

Trading is a better example. To trade for favor you need to have an empty card at your site (which may require you to take a move action to get to one), then place a secret on the empty card. Then take one favor.. then another favor IF the card you played the secret on matches your face up advisors. Oh, and don't take from the general stash, take from this OTHER bank that matches the symbol on the card. Oh, and the secret you placed on the card? You get that back at the end of your turn.

It's a lot just to make an exchange of what could have been just one denomination (money) you collect to pay to use actions on cards.

I dunno.. maybe it will click with another play through! I hope so, because it's thematic as all get out and I really want to like it.

I do have one more question:
Why would a chancellor want to make an exile a citizen? What benefits does the chancellor AND the exile get from this? Should the Exiles band together / form loose coalitions against the chancellor / citizen? Can verbal agreements be made? Are they binding?

Speaking as a veteran of about 13 or 14 games of Oath, you do need a group who all buy in to it and play it enough times to get your head around the system. Then it becomes a great way to explore "can I win this way?" or "what happens if I build a strategy on this weird combo?"

For the way favor works, it helps to think of it as support amongst the different parts of the empire rather than money. That is why when you spend favor on cards of that suit the favor piles up amongst that group. Conversely, suits that have been over-used and not supported have their "bank" of favor dry up and are no use to the players.

Why would the Chancellor offer citizenship?

1. You turn an enemy trying to destroy you into a frenemy who needs your win condition before they have their own chance of winning.
2. Another Exile is about to win and you need them taken down.
3. You can always exile the citizen again later.
4. You can mess up a citizen to stop them winning later.
5. Sometimes the abilities from the uncovered reliquary slot are very useful to you.
6. Sometimes the sites that player rules will be very useful to you.

From the new citizen's side, they get to be part of a stronger coalition and can sometimes sneak into a successor win.

Should the Exiles band together to destroy the empire?

Most definitely (except maybe there will be a last minute betrayal?)

Can verbal agreements be made? Are they binding?

Yes, you can make any agreement you want (but not trade anything).
They're only binding if they're made through a card action that says they are (The Tribunal, Tinker's Fair, Deed Writer, etc).

MikeSands wrote:

For the way favor works, it helps to think of it as support amongst the different parts of the empire rather than money. That is why when you spend favor on cards of that suit the favor piles up amongst that group. Conversely, suits that have been over-used and not supported have their "bank" of favor dry up and are no use to the players.

This is terrific. Thank you! You answered pretty much all my questions about citizenships. One more question: What is the point of the different banks? I understand, like you said, they can dry up and others become wealthy, but I don't understand why not just use the general supply? Why would you want to dry up one faction? Or is this something that just happens because some cards on sites turn up and not others?

We've seen players set up very powerful engines by focusing on 1 or 2 of the factions and trading favor between them. Siphoning favor out of one of those can disrupt that engine and really hamstring their plan.

The 2nd printing of Stardew Valley : The Board Game is now available.

Link for US folks

Unfortunately the online store is only shipping to US addresses, but they're working to get copies into local stores in Canada, Australia, NZ, EU, UK. Hurray, you don't have to pay 400% to get a copy.

Fredrik_S wrote:

I don't understand why not just use the general supply?

I think the economy is limited in order to model the population getting sick of all the factions engaged in civil war

MikeSands wrote:
Fredrik_S wrote:

I don't understand why not just use the general supply?

I think the economy is limited in order to model the population getting sick of all the factions engaged in civil war

The closed economy also leads to some pretty interesting gameplay. In one of our games, a player had a card with a really powerful ability that burned two favour. The same player was working on victory conditions that didn't really require them to have or use favour. They screwed the rest of us by essentially destroying the favour economy to the point where the rest of us couldn't really do what we needed to. (It wasn't a broken power, and it took time - they had to raise the favour, then burn it at a rate of one power use per turn - but we were all feeling the pinch.)