The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

Received Ticket to Ride: Marklin for Christmas, we didn't really like the passenger mechanic (we've played every other version but just introduced it to extended family) and ended up playing without it after a few games. I also received a Dominion expansion I already have (Prosperity) so I'm going to return that for something, probably the only Dominion we don't own - Hinterlands though I might be able to convince my wife it's time for a new game, maybe 7 Wonders.

cyrax wrote:
So I finally got to open up Dominion: Intrigue, and played with four total. Obviously, the game will take longer than 30 minutes because of the number of people, and the fact that I was the only one who knew the game, but I know the game shouldn't last over 2 hours...we even ended it early because there was no end in sight. I might've misread something, but it's only 10 decks, 5 card draw, and 1 buy and 1 action per turn, right? Maybe next time I'll cut the deck's cards in half.

You're definitely playing something wrong here. Are you playing with all of the cards? You only pick 10 different sets to play with each game and once three piles are empty the game ends.

A typical beginning if you're playing some Intrigue cards:

first turn-
draw 5, get: copper, copper, copper, estate, estate
buy: silver
Discard all cards including purchased card
Draw the next 5 cards

second turn-
draw 5, get: copper, copper, copper, copper, estate
buy Bridge
Discard all cards including purchased card
Draw the next 5 cards

third turn-
draw 5, get: copper, silver, copper, copper, estate
buy: Trading Post
Discard all cards including purchased card
Draw the next 5 cards

skip a couple turns, lets say you end up with this:

draw 5, get: silver, copper, copper, silver, trading post
play trading post (all actions happen before purchasing anything)
with trading post you trash two coppers, gain a silver and put it in your hand
buy a Gold
Discard all cards including actions played and purchased cards
Draw the next 5 cards

Notice in that last turn I managed to get rid of smaller cards from my deck so I'd be drawing silvers and golds. This is how you get to Provinces.

EDIT: Also it's possible to play a 4 player Dominion in less than 15 minutes (not counting card setup/takedown)

Got the Game of Thrones board game for Christmas from my sister, and Halo: The Interactive Strategy Game from my friend. The latter was played tonight as the rules are "more simple", but there's a lot left unsaid as well. I have mixed feelings about the game. It might not get the most play from me.

Game of Thrones looks simple once you get into it, but at first will be super tough. It has a lot of set up.

HedgeWizard wrote:
fleabagmatt wrote:
crunchy wrote:
My family and I played our first game of Smallworld today and it was excellent. Still to come: Stone Age and Memoire 44. I may have gone overboard with the new games but what the hey.

Wife and I just played the final scenario in the Memoir 44 rule book (#16 I think). We love that game, although she commented that she's ready to try a game that doesn't limit your choices by the three sections. We have Battles of Westeros, but haven't tried it out yet.

Played three games of Guillotine with my family this afternoon. Things turned pretty cutthroat, which was awesome. I think we're going to break out Pandemic after dinner. I bought the On the Brink expansion a while back, but we haven't had a chance to play it.

Awesome! I feel that the BoW version of the command and colors systems is the best yet. Among other reasons, a key one is precisely the reason your wife notes: more tactical flexibility. You aren't hamstrung by poor card draws that don't allow you to act on a given flank.

But the rule set is also more dense.

I really do like the Battles of Westeros system. It's simillar to Memoir or C&C, but with some added bits that feel more sensible. Instead of just playing a card each turn, you have a hand of similar cards that can be played, or you can move a single unit, using up a token, giving you the choice between being quick and taking advantage of the moment (playing the card immediately) or setting things up so when you do play a card it's much more effective. Plus cards only work within a radius around your leaders, an abstraction for units they can communicate with, instead of arbitrary lanes. This creates a nice risk/reward dynamic between getting your leaders into the thick of it so you can use your cards where it really matters, and keeping them safe so you can continue to use your cards at all.

All this means time is measured in rounds instead of turns, where nearly every unit on the field has moved in a round, instead of your important units moving over and over (so long as you have the cards) while the units in the backfield just sit around.

ccesarano wrote:
Game of Thrones looks simple once you get into it, but at first will be super tough. It has a lot of set up.

Excellent choice. I'm glad you think the rules are simple, because in action they lead to all sorts of complications and negotiations. Get some buddies over and have fun with it.

As for the setup, explain the basics and have each player set themselves up. It's all listed nicely on the inside of their screen (if you're using the fancy new second edition.). Takes no time at all.

Ok, seems I forgot that your discard pile stays discarded until you're out of cards from your deck. I had people shuffle all their cards after their turn. Can't believe that would have that much of an impact, but I guess it did.

My overall December/Christmas haul is:

Game of Thrones 2nd Edition (owned & played 1st edition a ton)
Expansion to Mansions of Madness
Star Trek: Fleet Captains
Chaos in the Old World

HedgeWizard wrote:
My overall December/Christmas haul is:

Game of Thrones 2nd Edition (owned & played 1st edition a ton)
Expansion to Mansions of Madness
Star Trek: Fleet Captains
Chaos in the Old World

The last game is awesome, and I've heard good things about ST: FC. I'm not a fan of AGoT, but do pay special attention to that and the MoM expansion BGG entries. It seems there have been some issues with both, doubtless to be corrected by FFG in good time. Please report back and tell us what you think.

Strangeblades wrote:
I got Lasherthecat Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer and I got us Claustrophobia.

Congrats to you and your wife! Ascension in iOS format is my favorite game of 2011....I trust it plays just as well ftf. Please tell us how Claustrophobia goes.

Natus wrote:

The last game is awesome, and I've heard good things about ST: FC. I'm not a fan of AGoT, but do pay special attention to that and the MoM expansion BGG entries. It seems there have been some issues with both, doubtless to be corrected by FFG in good time. Please report back and tell us what you think.

Yeah, I've been eyeing CitOW for a long time and finally pulled trigger. Unfortunately I am aware of the production/design problems with Alchemy and am very dismayed. But I have confidence that FFG will make the owners whole, and at worst, I can make it work with my kids wherein I tend to play a much more narrative style MoM game.

I'm not aware of any problems with AGOT 2nd edition, beyond some of the boards being cut improperly (which thankfully mine doesn't suffer from). I know people have argued about starting positions and X House is easier to play in 3, 4, 5 player games, but those arguments have been circling since 1st edition. My group has always been good at playing the game very aggressively which mitigates some of the fears or concerns that some are voicing.

shoptroll wrote:
Has anyone here played Panic Station and could give me a verdict on it? The early buzz on it looked attractive, but the BGG ranking is lower than I expected. My board game group tried playing BSG with moderate success so it looked like something we might enjoy without all the lore (I still haven't gotten around to watching it yet) and complexity of BSG.

I did not have fun the one time we played it. It's a neat concept, but the rules just don't work as written. Also, they don't make much intuitive sense. For example, the soldier character can't fire a gun. He has a flamethrower, but inexplicably, it can't be used as a weapon.

I got Lasherthecat Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer and I got us Claustrophobia. My lovely wife will now parade around with the prizes.

Ascension: Chronicle of the God Slayer - with thanks to Homelessgiant for showing my wife how it is played at Penguincon 2011.

IMAGE(http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab221/Strangeblades/P1030715.jpg?t=1324883523)

and

Claustrophobia. Posters on this thread and Bill Abner at Gameshark and No High Scores have both told me how it is a great, two-player romp that takes under an hour to play. Cannot wait to try it.

IMAGE(http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab221/Strangeblades/P1030714.jpg?t=1324883686)

I have to say some good things about Elder Signs. My wife and I have tried both Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness. We found Arkham to be interesting but take too long and generally be too convoluted. Mansions was a fun experience.

Elder Signs I am enjoying a lot more. It's simpler and faster which means we get to the fun faster and there is less confusion. The way they've designed the dice game is really interesting. You can bite off more than you chew and come out on top. You can take up an easy one and just continuously fail to roll that last die right. It leads to some pretty fun gameplay. You'll be up against the wall then sure enough that last dice roll will come up right. That's pretty exciting.

I'm not sure about the difficulty. I've have played 3 rounds with just the two of us. All 3 games have been challenging but we have won each time. Twice we gathered enough Elder Signs to win. The 3rd time, the ancient one awoke. I was devoured at the end of the first round of fighting but my wife just kept rolling and rolling, giving up trophies to stay alive (cant remember which ancient one that was, but that's his attack, devours you unless you sacrifice a trophy) She probably threw down the dice 50 times and had just given up her final trophy when she cleared off his last doom token for the win.

There is a lot of luck involved in the game so it is possible we're getting lucky and making good choices where we can. We also could be doing something wrong but I'm fairly confident we are playing correctly.

Anyway it is great fun and I completely recommend it. It's actually pretty cheap too.

So I played Memoire 44 today for the first time and just thougth I'd post that if anyone is thinking about playing a strategic wargame for the first time this may be perfect. Certainly it was for me and my son, who sometimes loses interest easily. The mechanics are simple (thanks for the recommendations one page earlier on next logical steps) and the games are relatively short. I am very eager to play more.

I've got a bit of a possibly apples-to-oranges question. Can anyone compare and contrast Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation with Knizia's other Lord of the Rings game with the Sauron expansion? I'd like a LOTR game that my wife and I can play together—she tried War of the Ring once, bless her, but would like something faster. I've read a lot of good things about Confrontation, but also heard Sauron does well for LOTR.

Here's the pros and cons I've compiled about the two so far:

Confrontation Pro: Costs half what LOTR w/Sauron does Con: Competitive only
LOTR+Sauron Pro: Co-op is an option Con: Costs twice as much

What I'm missing, the substantive difference, is how each plays. Is Confrontation that much better than Sauron, or just incomparably different? Would it be better to hedge my bets and get Confrontation and co-op LOTR? Like I said, I'm familiar with how the co-op LOTR plays, but not competitively with the Sauron expansion. Also, if you can avoid it, please don't compare Confrontation to Stratego, since I've never played Stratego.

—————

crunchy wrote:
So I played Memoire 44 today for the first time and just thougth I'd post that if anyone is thinking about playing a strategic wargame for the first time this may be perfect. Certainly it was for me and my son, who sometimes loses interest easily. The mechanics are simple (thanks for the recommendations one page earlier on next logical steps) and the games are relatively short. I am very eager to start collecting the expansions.

Another Christmas/birthday, another M44 expansion. Hello, Mediterranean Theatre!

I picked up Ticket to Ride for my 11 year old for Christmas. She quite enjoyed it when we gave it a run through Christmas day. Probably the first game in a while that I've enjoyed as well.

Now I just need to get her to play Game of Thrones with me.

Gravey wrote:
I've got a bit of a possibly apples-to-oranges question. Can anyone compare and contrast Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation with Knizia's other Lord of the Rings game with the Sauron expansion? I'd like a LOTR game that my wife and I can play together—she tried War of the Ring once, bless her, but would like something faster. I've read a lot of good things about Confrontation, but also heard Sauron does well for LOTR.

Here's the pros and cons I've compiled about the two so far:

Confrontation Pro: Costs half what LOTR w/Sauron does Con: Competitive only
LOTR+Sauron Pro: Co-op is an option Con: Costs twice as much

What I'm missing, the substantive difference, is how each plays. Is Confrontation that much better than Sauron, or just incomparably different? Would it be better to hedge my bets and get Confrontation and co-op LOTR? Like I said, I'm familiar with how the co-op LOTR plays, but not competitively with the Sauron expansion. Also, if you can avoid it, please don't compare Confrontation to Stratego, since I've never played Stratego.

Gravey,

I am by no means a veteran of LotR, but I must have three dozen plays under my belt of Confrontation. Get it. There. Done. It's that good. Yes, there are some people who don't like it and think it's just an advanced version of Stratego, but they're wrong. Knizia is full of genius in many ways, but in particular his LotR (the novels) adaptations are brilliant. However, just to warn you, in neither game are you going to be wielding a Vorpal sword of +2 Might against Shelob. All the combat and adventuring is abstracted, but, as I said, brilliantly so. So I don't think you can go wrong with Confrontation, especially since it's 2-player.

LotR is a different animal because it's cooperative, and I've never played it 2-player. I think it's best for the full complement of five players, but I may be wrong. Do check the LotR forums on BGG and see what they say and suggest. LotR is also a deeper, less accessible game than Confrontation, since one could learn the rules and have the latter game set up in 10-15 minutes. I myself have wanted to love LotR, and it's taken 2 games with four players to really start to "get" it. But some of my friends, devoted LotR (novels) fans, cannot seem to like it and think it's too chance-driven and too abstracted (and they would point you towards Middle Earth Quest, also from FFG, which I hear does play well 2-player.) But MEQ is much more of a generic adventure game in the ME universe, so for me LotR is the deeper, more thematic, more challenging game. But I'm also a huge Knizia fan, and even where he misses I find lots to appreciate.

I trust I've made myself obscure. By all means post here or PM me if I can help further. I'm Natus on BGG as well.

One thing to keep in mind is that LotR can be played with 2 players controlling 2 hobbits each though. Not sure if that will go over well with your wife or not but my wife and I have found that to be a good solution for co-op games that play better with more players.

Another option to consider is the LotR LCG. I just got it for Christmas and haven't played it yet but if card games are your thing it could be a good alternative to LotR since it is co-op as well.

Mr Eko wrote:
I did not have fun the one time we played it. It's a neat concept, but the rules just don't work as written. Also, they don't make much intuitive sense. For example, the soldier character can't fire a gun. He has a flamethrower, but inexplicably, it can't be used as a weapon.

Ok. I think I'm going to pass on an impulse buy and put it on the list of stuff to check at PAX if I can get a chance. I'm not that good at explaining rules (part of the reason I don't think I've been able to win my group over with stuff like Space Alert and Galaxy Trucker) so unintuitive rules is a big problem for me.

As mentioned earlier, I bought Ticket to Ride and 7 Wonders for my family for Christmas.

We tried Ticket to Ride yesterday with 5 players (myself, my wife, my 2 older kids, and my youngest co-playing with my mom); there was a bit of a struggle to get going, as far as learning and explaining rules, but about halfway through we were pretty much rolling right along. There were a few sore moments at the end when doing the final score tally, partly because we didn't know exactly what we were doing at the beginning, and we all held onto the 3 initial tickets -- even if they weren't obtainable within 1 game.

We played 7 Wonders today, with 4 players (myself, my 2 older kids, and my mom). I had some serious concerns about this one, given that it's rated 13+ and my middle daughter just turned 9... but we managed it. This one again there was a struggle to get off the ground -- the cards were a bit confusing at first to learn all at once, so we just focused on the bare minimums (these icons here mean you have to pay resources to put the card into play; and these icons here mean that's what you get by playing the card). And around the 3rd round of age 2 we really got into the swing of things and had figured most things out (we think). I'm still not sure what all the extra cards are used for (1 card for each Wonder, and then a few other cards that look like they're used to separate ages, or something?).

All in all, I think it was pretty successful! And now that we know more or less how to play these, I'm hoping we'll be able to rip through a few more games sometime soon.

7 Wonders is definitly the kind of game you learn by playing. Luckily you can finish fast enough to put in another game right after. Check the rules for those few icons you can't interpret, as there's explanations for each type of icon, and some only show up on very small number of cards, like the "get a free card out of the discard pile" icon.

Alright, so some of my thoughts on the Halo Interactive Strategy Board Game:

I looked up a couple reviews, and it seems there wasn't something wrong with me and my cousin after all. The rule book is very simplified, to the point that it's actually a bit unclear and ambiguous under certain conditions. It is very easy to play this game wrong, especially since you can never be too sure if you're playing it right.

The idea is you take the modular pieces of the board, place them together in a map and then complete the objectives. You can either play Slayer, Capture-the-Flag or "Campaigns", with one player as the UNSC Marines and the other as the Covenant. There are three versions of the rules that change the manner of the game, each titled Normal, Heroic and Legendary. I can understand their attempts to throw in references to the video game, but in the Legendary rules should have been the default rule set with the "Normal" rules being a shorter skirmish mode. Basically, Heroic and Legendary add rules for increased weapon range for heights, and on Legendary everyone has an "energy" value that basically means they can lose X number of fights before dying.

It should be noted that the "Slayer" map seems to require more pieces than the game actually comes with, while all the other maps seem to use everything that's in the box.

My cousin and I started with Heroic rules and played one of the campaigns with a sort of King-of-the-Hill objective. Before we even began there were problems.

The booklet says to take the Halo and Weapon tokens and take turns spreading them across the map. There are two problems here. The first is the Halo and Weapon tokens are the same physical object. On one side, it says Halo. On the other, it says Weapon. The game provides no indication as to how many Halo or Weapon tokens should be placed, or if it is simply up to the whim of the player. The second problem is the game provides no rules as to where these items can be placed. As a result, a player can simply drop weapons or Halo tokens right in front of where their pieces start, allowing them to get better equipment right from the start. There are no rules saying a token must be placed X number of spaces from the starting area, and X number of spaces away from another token.

There aren't any rules regarding the starting areas, either. My cousin assumed that you don't count the movement range until after leaving the starting area, so we simply started that way. This is a minor point, however.

The real trouble was in how turns were played out. A piece can only move or attack on its turn, but it cannot do both. As a result, we reached a problem where one player would move into range of their opponent, and then they'd get shot at and, usually, die. While this wasn't always the case, and while on Legendary having energy would keep pieces in play longer, it always gives advantage to the player that doesn't have to move. After I lost half my team without even being able to make any progress, we started over.

It worked a lot better when a turn was moving someone's entire team at a time rather than just one piece. It allowed for more action and progress. However, it still didn't feel right. Part of this is because the map we chose wasn't very balanced (the UNSC has easier access to a teleporter, thus getting to a higher level and increased range faster than the Covenant). The other is simply because the player whose turn is first still gets the advantage, as the opposing player will probably have to take a turn getting into range and thus becoming vulnerable to enemy fire.

The dice were a bit problematic as well. Each D6 has three UNSC symbols and three Covenant symbols, and the instructions read that the team with the most corresponding symbols wins.

This makes absolutely no sense when you take into account each weapon has a different strength value. All that matters is how many symbols total favor one side or the other. So if you have seven dice versus three, if six of those seven dice are for your opponent, you lose. There's no real advantage to having more dice. The odds are still 50/50 that one player wins and the other loses. You just have more dice.

That is, unless the directions are worded poorly. The alternative wouldn't make any sense, though. If one player has four dice to roll that come up, say, Covenant, and he is playing Covenant, and the UNSC has seven dice to roll with five coming up UNSC and two Covenant. Let's assume that victory is determined not by both symbols combined, but just for your side. Who wins? Would UNSC have to have three UNSC symbols to lose against four Covenant? Are you simply adding how many symbols of your kind there are versus theirs?

The major problem with this game is that the instructions are very simple and basic, and one simple test game would have told the developers, B1, that they needed to write some expanded rules with greater detail. It feels like a seriously amateur effort, and I don't know how anyone could really know how to truly play the game. I feel like I should go back, reread my Mage Knight Dungeons rules, and see if I can apply some of those rules to this new game.

That, or buy some Halo heroclix and just use the terrain for that.

Natus wrote:
Gravey,

I am by no means a veteran of LotR, but I must have three dozen plays under my belt of Confrontation. Get it. There. Done. It's that good. Yes, there are some people who don't like it and think it's just an advanced version of Stratego, but they're wrong. Knizia is full of genius in many ways, but in particular his LotR (the novels) adaptations are brilliant. However, just to warn you, in neither game are you going to be wielding a Vorpal sword of +2 Might against Shelob. All the combat and adventuring is abstracted, but, as I said, brilliantly so. So I don't think you can go wrong with Confrontation, especially since it's 2-player.

LotR is a different animal because it's cooperative, and I've never played it 2-player. I think it's best for the full complement of five players, but I may be wrong. Do check the LotR forums on BGG and see what they say and suggest. LotR is also a deeper, less accessible game than Confrontation, since one could learn the rules and have the latter game set up in 10-15 minutes. I myself have wanted to love LotR, and it's taken 2 games with four players to really start to "get" it.

gregrampage wrote:
One thing to keep in mind is that LotR can be played with 2 players controlling 2 hobbits each though. Not sure if that will go over well with your wife or not but my wife and I have found that to be a good solution for co-op games that play better with more players.

Thanks for the responses, guys, that was really helpful. I think in asking if Confrontation is that much better or just different than LOTR/LOTR+Sauron, I sort of lost sight of the real question, which would be for Mrs. Gravey: would she rather play co-op or competitively? That will pretty much settle it. But it looks like Sauron is unnecessary, and it will be either Confrontation or LOTR to start, and then I'll pick up the other one in the future.

Thanks again!

So I got Ticket to Ride: Marklin and Stronghold this Christmas.

TtR: Marklin was a big hit with all the family, although we introduced the passenger rules only after a few run throughs without them.

Stronghold was a beast, with my brother and I foolishly attempting to learn and play at 01:30 am after all day drinking. Suffice to say we managed one confusing turn and called it a night. The manual for this game is not very clear about some things, but after reading both Invader and Defender through again I thought I had a handle on it. Then I went onto BGG and found a great rules summary PDF for each of the roles that makes way more sense than the manual. So now my brother and I are looking forward to trying again in the new year. I love all the dobbers that Stronghold comes with!

Star Trek Fleet Captains was played tonight by Toph513 and NSMike. It looked like it had a lot of variety and a lot of interesting mechanics. The depth was there though some of the production decisions were questionable. I watched over their shoulders and definitely got the feeling of tactical decisions being made though, which was more than I expected of a Wizkids release.
The star trek parts of it are really great too. Lots of the characters you want to see and lots of the ships you want to see and lots of the planets you want to see.

Good stuff. Would recommend.

Just put up a review of the Gears board game. Someone feel free to tell me I was doing it wrong, but to be honest there are better ways to spend my dollar and my time. About the rules cheat sheets and such: it shouldn't be that hard.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/gears...

TheWanderer wrote:
Just put up a review of the Gears board game. Someone feel free to tell me I was doing it wrong, but to be honest there are better ways to spend my dollar and my time. About the rules cheat sheets and such: it shouldn't be that hard.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/gears...

I haven't played, but I'm not surprised. I'm generally not a fan of Koniezcka's designs. He's far too fond of showing off new mechanics that may prove a liability. But I find most of FFG's licensed material pretty poor.

Natus wrote:
TheWanderer wrote:
Just put up a review of the Gears board game. Someone feel free to tell me I was doing it wrong, but to be honest there are better ways to spend my dollar and my time. About the rules cheat sheets and such: it shouldn't be that hard.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/gears...

I haven't played, but I'm not surprised. I'm generally not a fan of Koniezcka's designs. He's far too fond of showing off new mechanics that may prove a liability. But I find most of FFG's licensed material pretty poor.

I am guessing that you are the same Natus from BGG?

HedgeWizard wrote:
Natus wrote:
TheWanderer wrote:
Just put up a review of the Gears board game. Someone feel free to tell me I was doing it wrong, but to be honest there are better ways to spend my dollar and my time. About the rules cheat sheets and such: it shouldn't be that hard.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/gears...

I haven't played, but I'm not surprised. I'm generally not a fan of Koniezcka's designs. He's far too fond of showing off new mechanics that may prove a liability. But I find most of FFG's licensed material pretty poor.

I am guessing that you are the same Natus from BGG?

FFG scourge, at your service!

Rules, rules. I mean, sure, maybe I should have read the Dominion rules more carefully when I started playing it months ago and maybe using all the cards from the original set plus all the Prosperity cards made for a very long game, but hey, it's not like I noticed today you're only supposed to use 10 different kingdom cards total rather than the 40 or so that were out for our very fun multi-hour game.

I think I like my version better.

I finally gave up on waiting for the kids to find them on their own and put copies of Unexploded Cow and Kill Dr. Lucky under the tree this year to great squees of laughter and much later backstabbing.

The make-it-yourself-and-donate-what-you-think-they're-worth editions at Cheapass Games have really improved their quality since the last time I looked at them. Deadwood, Falling, Spree, and Devil Bunny Wants a Ham are in the works.

TheWanderer wrote:
Just put up a review of the Gears board game. Someone feel free to tell me I was doing it wrong, but to be honest there are better ways to spend my dollar and my time. About the rules cheat sheets and such: it shouldn't be that hard.

You were doing it wrong

I've played the game a few times and just picked up a copy myself. It's not Gears of War turned into a board game as much as it's a cooperative dungeon crawler with a Gears of War theme. It has a lot in common with other cooperative crawlers like Warhammer Quest, the recent D&D games, etc.

My favorite mechanic is hand management, with your hand representing your health, actions you can take on your turn and reactions you take on the enemy's turn. I like that. I also like the "area" based movement (similar to Mansions of Madness); square grids always have some issues and feel so rigid, but moving from area to area works really well. Having played a few different scenarios I also like that they play very differently and require different tactics.

I really only have two complaints from my few plays. First, the game can take a long time, probably to the point of outstaying its welcome based on how into it your friends are. Second, there's not much loot. Yeah, that makes sense given the Gears of War theme, but I'm in it for the dungeon crawleriness and miss having fun loot to pick up.

I think if you enjoy games like Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft but want something that gives you more interesting decisions to make each turn (which leads to a longer play time), Gears of War is a good next step. I do think that increased complexity is going to be a turnoff for many, though. I love me some Fantasy Flight games so it's right up my alley.

drdoak wrote:
Star Trek Fleet Captains was played tonight by Toph513 and NSMike. It looked like it had a lot of variety and a lot of interesting mechanics. The depth was there though some of the production decisions were questionable. I watched over their shoulders and definitely got the feeling of tactical decisions being made though, which was more than I expected of a Wizkids release.
The star trek parts of it are really great too. Lots of the characters you want to see and lots of the ships you want to see and lots of the planets you want to see.

Good stuff. Would recommend.

Demiurge and I played a few rounds yesterday. You always have more things you want to do each turn, but I always felt I had good, interesting choices to make each turn. My curiosity is piqued for sure, and this dovetails nicely in with my plan to watch every episode of Star Trek ever produced (finishing sometime in 2014).

I also got a couple of late board game gifts:
Quarriors!
Dungeon Run
Mage Knight
Tide of Iron: Designer Scenarios book

Now, how will I find the time to play all of these?