The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

bepnewt wrote:

I have a Steam key for "Scythe: Digital Edition" that I don't want. If a non-grinder here wants it, let me know. First come and like that.

I'm going to offer it to my brother who plays it all the time in a couple days if no one here grabs it. He may have a friend who wants it. If he doesn't want it, then I'll put it in the Keys thread here.

-BEP

I'd love it if you still have it. Valmorian on steam.
Careful, there's more than one Valmorian.. lol.. I use Valmorian [GWJ]

I played XCOM - The Board Game over the weekend. For those not aware, it is a hybrid game that relies on an app to run through the play. We had 3 players, with two roles being taken by one participant. This was the commander and the controller. The latter of which was primarily responsible for reading out what the app said to the rest of the players. In other words, they went full 'Sigourney Weaver' in that they had one job and they were going to do it. Thankfully I had the foresight to screen share from the iPad onto a large TV that is fixed to the wall at the end of my dining room table, making this job somewhat easier.

It's a coop game where everyone is sharing the responsibilities of managing XCOM as it attempts to fight off the alien invaders. There are major differences between it and the video game of course, the most obvious being that there is only one XCOM base and that combat is dealt with via skill check rolls on d6s in a rather abstract way, rather than having some kind of miniatures battle arena.

We played through the tutorial, which we lost but only barely. Taking solace in this, we decided to play 'for reals' and not only that, but the expansion as well. This introduces mech units, human anarchists, and new technologies. Amazingly, we actually won that session and we have vowed to return to it at a higher difficulty setting, for there are many.

Anyone else enjoyed the delights of XCOM - The Board Game and what are your opinions on 'hybrid games'?

Aeoringas wrote:

Anyone else enjoyed the delights of XCOM - The Board Game and what are your opinions on 'hybrid games'?

I'm a luddite purist when it comes to board games. The only board game I'll use an app with is the "escape room" ones, as they're one-shots. If a game requires an app other than that, I won't touch it.

Valmorian wrote:
bepnewt wrote:

I have a Steam key for "Scythe: Digital Edition" that I don't want. If a non-grinder here wants it, let me know. First come and like that.

I'm going to offer it to my brother who plays it all the time in a couple days if no one here grabs it. He may have a friend who wants it. If he doesn't want it, then I'll put it in the Keys thread here.

-BEP

I'd love it if you still have it. Valmorian on steam.
Careful, there's more than one Valmorian.. lol.. I use Valmorian [GWJ]

Done.

-BEP

Aeoringas wrote:

Anyone else enjoyed the delights of XCOM - The Board Game and what are your opinions on 'hybrid games'?

I haven't tried XCOM, although I've heard generally positive things about it.

Overall I'm pretty positive on "hybrid games" that include an app in some form, although I think the app needs to enable an experience that would otherwise be difficult to manage with purely physical components.

My favorite hybrid game right now is Descent: Legends of the Dark. It's a pretty standard dungeon crawler but the app does a lot to make that experience more smooth and varied.

For example:
* The rulebook explains very little about the monsters and their rules because the app very clearly explains what monsters do on their turn. It's a great way of presenting information on a "need to know" basis.
* Additionally, monster behavior varies from turn to turn. This is more than just replicating a deck of random behavior cards though, which other dungeon crawlers have done. Monsters tend to remember who has done the most damage and are more likely to target them and there are times where monsters will call out a specific hero so you know who they will be going after next. It gives the monsters more character along with a level of information tracking and variety that would be difficult to achieve with cards.
* Some quests (not enough IMO) have a random element to them, providing more variety. This is usually in the form of a puzzle that has randomized elements so the solution is not identical each time. Again, this could be accomplish with physical components but is much easier digitally.
* There's an entire crafting system that is akin to crafting in many modern video games, with lots of different resources/currencies that you collect as rewards for killing enemies, including random weapon and blueprint drops. Having an app to manage all this makes it fun and not a book keeping burden.
* There are skills and weapon modifications that start introducing interesting effects that have a percentage chance to proc, e.g. 15% chance to inflict status on an enemy. You aren't limited by any specific set of dice so the designers are able to come up with all sorts of interesting effects and odds beyond what you could easily accomplish without a lot of components or tons of lookup tables.

Both Mansions of Madness 2nd edition and Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth had similar app integration. I haven't played Mansions 2nd edition but I also really love Journeys in Middle Earth as it uses in the app in very similar ways to Descent. That said, I think Descent is a stellar example of how apps can really be additive to a board game and create new experiences.

Bad app integration though makes for a horrid game experience. We have Chronicles of Crime and while I really like what the game does I'm not sure the app is doing enough to make the experience new. Most critically though the app is pretty janky, including one of the most critical portions of the game: almost every card has a QR code that you need to scan into the app to "interact" with it. I don't know if it was just the lighting conditions we played in but it was nearly impossible to get the app to scan the codes which made for a very frustrating experience.

I really hope Fantasy Flight keeps experimenting with hybrid games because I think they are starting to lock into a formula that works.

Valmorian wrote:

I'm a luddite purist when it comes to board games. The only board game I'll use an app with is the "escape room" ones, as they're one-shots. If a game requires an app other than that, I won't touch it.

Well that's a shame. One of my favourite hybrid games is U-Boat. It has the players taking on 4 roles of a crew of a German U-Boat in World War II. The app is really impressive as it models the conditions on the boat as well as acting as periscope view to see if there are any ships nearby. The game would not actually work without an app.

I thought the X-Com board game was great, and the app integration worked really well. My only complaint was that the real-time aspect of it made for kind of a stressful game, especially since the source game is turn-based. Still, we played it several times and (mostly) enjoyed it.

Descent: Legends of the Dark is probably the best app-driven board game I've seen so far. Not only the gradually revealed maps, but the branching quests and storylines were really interesting. It left all the fun decisions and dice-rolling to the players and kept all the bookkeeping behind the scenes, really well done.

I've always wanted to try U-Boot but never had the chance. I have a friend who owns it, he really likes it, but he thinks it really needs 4 and we always seem to have either 3 or 5 players in our group.

Forgotten Waters is another that has a fantastic app to drive the game.

My mail today included the Nemo's War "ultimate edition," which I'm looking forward to trying out. It's a solo game in which you guide Captain Nemo and the Nautilis against all the imperial powers of the world. Looks pretty fun, with lots of episodes from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the various adventure cards and stuff.

MikeSands wrote:

My mail today included the Nemo's War "ultimate edition," which I'm looking forward to trying out. It's a solo game in which you guide Captain Nemo and the Nautilis against all the imperial powers of the world. Looks pretty fun, with lots of episodes from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the various adventure cards and stuff.

Just got mine today as well. I have yet to even crack any Nemo's War content, so I have a LOT waiting for me.

I've put a half dozen solo plays into Nemo's war. it's tough and runs fairly long for what it is. I feel like I'm just about ready to move my copy on.

Our group finished King's Dilemma last night after 15 sessions starting back in June last year. I have complaints about the game, but those are nitpicks on a seriously great experience. We ended up

Spoiler:

absolutely ruining the country and having the black dawn create chaos to build something new

(do NOT click this if you don't want to know the ending!!). The writing in this game is just stellar. The choices you are presented with are very much designed to create discussion and hoo boy did we. There were times I bankrupted myself just to get that one resolution through that I believed in, which left me out of the loop for the rest of the session, but in later games paid off handsomely.

I loved King's Dilemma and if you have a chance to play it with a group of people who can argue a point then absolutely pick it up and give it a try.

Nitpicks just because; I wish there was a culling mechanism so decisions that come up AFTER a story line has been finished are removed from the decision stack.
The ending is.. a bit lackluster. All those points you collect during the game do matter, but I wish there was a bigger separation between "good points" and "bad points".

All in all, a wonderful experience.

Valmorian wrote:

I'm a luddite purist when it comes to board games. The only board game I'll use an app with is the "escape room" ones, as they're one-shots. If a game requires an app other than that, I won't touch it.

The Betrayal at House on the Hill free app for characters stats is far superior to the little black clasps that don't clasp and slip right off. Not necessary but definitely a quality of life improvement.

Grenn wrote:

The Betrayal at House on the Hill free app for characters stats is far superior to the little black clasps that don't clasp and slip right off. Not necessary but definitely a quality of life improvement.

Not really an issue for me, as I've never really liked that game.

Grenn wrote:

The Betrayal at House on the Hill free app for characters stats is far superior to the little black clasps that don't clasp and slip right off. Not necessary but definitely a quality of life improvement.

I've never tried the app so it may have other advantages, but for the record, ordinary garden variety paper clips work great.

So it's finally happened... First repurchase of a game I had previously sold!

The culprit Marvel Champions.

Good news is the just bundle bought has got twice as much content for the same price as I sold my bundle for a year or so ago.

Not that it matters if I have misjudged and do the double buy, double sell combo!

Bubblefuzz wrote:

So it's finally happened... First repurchase of a game I had previously sold!

The culprit Marvel Champions.

Good news is the just bundle bought has got twice as much content for the same price as I sold my bundle for a year or so ago.

Not that it matters if I have misjudged and do the double buy, double sell combo! :)

I've really liked Marvel Champions. I've only played a few games of it and only solo. But it seems like it could be pretty fun. I am not much of a deck building guy, though, so it may wear out its welcome.

Any recommendations for a 6 player board game thats 2 hours long or less?

mrwynd wrote:

Any recommendations for a 6 player board game thats 2 hours long or less?

Libertalia. If no one needs to learn it, Scythe can fit in that window. Zombicide. Telestrations. Lords of Waterdeep (with expansion). I haven't played Architects of the Western Kingdom with 6, but I bet it fits in 2 hours.

X2 Lords of Waterdeep

mrwynd wrote:

Any recommendations for a 6 player board game thats 2 hours long or less?

7 Wonders?

mrwynd wrote:

Any recommendations for a 6 player board game thats 2 hours long or less?

Already some great recommendations. I'll toss in a couple more:
* Cartographers - Awesome "flip and write" where everyone is creating their own map. Largely soloish experience like many "x and write" games, although there's fun interaction when you get to draw monsters on an opponent's map. I love this game.
* Take 5 / 6 Nimmt - One of the most fun simple card games that exists. I pretty much consider it an essential.
* Shikoku - Fun card game in a similar vein to Take 5, but it's a race where you have to balance your position. Only those who place 2nd & 2nd to last win! It's just slightly more fiddly than you'd like in a game this simple but it always goes over well.
* Citadels - Oldie but a goodie, fun hidden role selection that doesn't involve team play or "who is the traitor" mechanics.
* Don't Mess with Cthulhu - The gold standard for hidden traitor games in my book. So incredibly simple and fast yet always an absolute blast to play.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

So it's finally happened... First repurchase of a game I had previously sold!

The culprit Marvel Champions.

Good news is the just bundle bought has got twice as much content for the same price as I sold my bundle for a year or so ago.

Not that it matters if I have misjudged and do the double buy, double sell combo! :)

My gaming group loves Marvel Champions, but we've played it so many times that were all able to throw together solid decks pretty quickly at this point. I've played a ton of different heroes and builds but Captain America is probably still my favorite in the Leadership build, which is honestly very on brand.

It has as of late been replaced by The GI Joe Deck Building Game which is a lot of fun, especially if you dig the source material. There's only two missions in the base game but all but the final mission of each act can vary. Looking forward to the 1st expansion that I pre-ordered for two more missions and more leaders as there are only 6 in the base box.

mrwynd wrote:

Any recommendations for a 6 player board game thats 2 hours long or less?

I’d offer that although ugly, Ethnos is the best game fitting that criteria.

Thanks for all the recommendations, going to bring these to the group and see what they think. 7 Wonders was the only one I came up with before asking but I've really played that to death to the point I don't have to pay attention.

Two plays done for Nemo's War. I'm enjoying it, the game's a great puzzle and I didn't feel like it took too long myself. Even on the easiest of settings, you always feel like you can only do half of what you want. Still haven't got an actual full success, so I'll have at least one more go on the basic "Explore" motive before I start trying the other options.

Also had game three of Now or Never last night. It's enjoyable, but I have mixed feelings about it. The core neat bits are the storybook adventures and building stuff and rescuing people for the village. However there are lots of other mechanisms and things to deal with that make it a real brain burner and don't have that same appeal. If it was a bit simpler and more streamlined, this would be a favourite for me, but as it is it's more of a "quite good, some fantastic moments."

MisterStatic wrote:
mrwynd wrote:

Any recommendations for a 6 player board game thats 2 hours long or less?

I’d offer that although ugly, Ethnos is the best game fitting that criteria.

100% Makes me so sad how long it has been since I have played Ethnos. Seriously, a better branding and components and this would be a top 25 BGG game. Seriously.

bhchrist wrote:

Seriously, a better branding and components and this would be a top 25 BGG game. Seriously.

Yikes. Strongly disagree. . I don't sell many games, but got rid of this one. Devolves into 'hope I get what I need from top-decking' way too often.

webdanzer wrote:
bhchrist wrote:

Seriously, a better branding and components and this would be a top 25 BGG game. Seriously.

Yikes. Strongly disagree. . I don't sell many games, but got rid of this one. Devolves into 'hope I get what I need from top-decking' way too often. :(

Interesting. First person I have heard this from. It plays so quick that it hasn't been an issue. Top 25 may have been hyperbole, but not a game I will ever sell.

Played a game of Kanagawa the other night. It's lovely. Just the right amount of decisions while making a lovely tablaeu. Good stuff.

Also, kickstarter for Psychic Pizza Delivery as well as Dandelions is on it's way. Very excited about these japanese games.

MikeSands wrote:

Also had game three of Now or Never last night. It's enjoyable, but I have mixed feelings about it. The core neat bits are the storybook adventures and building stuff and rescuing people for the village. However there are lots of other mechanisms and things to deal with that make it a real brain burner and don't have that same appeal. If it was a bit simpler and more streamlined, this would be a favourite for me, but as it is it's more of a "quite good, some fantastic moments."

Have you tried Near and Far? It's another Ryan Laukat game and while I haven't played Now or Never (although I'm interested), I've played Above and Below and Near and Far and the latter is hands down the more enjoyable game. It has just enough mechanics to be interesting and there's also just enough of a storyline that gets built for your character to make progressing fun. I haven't finished a campaign yet but I really like what I've seen. It might scratch a similar itch as Now or Never while landing a bit lighter on the mechanics.