After two rounds of both of us two handing Sidereal Confluence, we were exhausted by the mental gymnastics. in any case we both understand how the game works now and I for one can’t wait to play this with at least 4 people
Honestly I’m very impressed at the level of commitment there. My plan is to read through the rules a few times and put up with a slightly messy teach whenever I can play with people. Hats off to you.
You’ve played it more times than me, and I bought the original at launch!!
(I was utterly convinced this would not do well at retail and become a mythical curio, so I thought I should buy it even if I couldn’t immediately play it)
my partner has been very indulgent with my boardgame antics He recently spent an hour getting taught On Mars just so I could figure out if I could teach it… indeed I could and that means maybe I’ll get to play that.
also it’s not so much commitment as an intense curiosity. I am terrible at learning from just reading or watching, I need to be doing. So the only way to grasp how a game really works is to play.
I thought from watching the Susd review that it would be more intimidating. I’m not really good at games that require negotiation and i have bad memories of Catan. but the resource conversion and global engine building intrigued me so much I had to have this. originally i had planned to preorder the new version but then came covid and any chance of playing vanished. but the recent spacebiff review pushed me to get it before this version sells out… I am thinking asking the same lines as you that it will go away again.
in any case I’m glad I have this. from what I could grasp today, I feel it will play less stressful then i feared it might. and that production phase is quite satisfying overall it’s not a game of lots off complicated rules which makes me believe I can convince a variety of people to give this a try.
I played The Crew (with three players), and Geometric Art (with two players) tonight.
Our third player for The Crew was familiar with trick-taking, but didn’t have a lot of experience with modern games (and certainly hadn’t seen a cooperative trick-taking game before), so we flagrantly ignored most of the rules about not communicating during the game as we worked our way through the training missions, and I’m absolutely convinced that was the correct thing to do.
My previous experience with this game left me feeling awful at the time, because one of the players was struggling to understand how it worked but didn’t feel confident asking outright for more explanation, and so the game’s “no comms” rules was the nail in the coffin of their experience, and I felt responsible for that.
Tonight we talked plenty, which allowed our new player to pick up some unfamiliar concepts without much difficulty, and we all still had a great time with the game. We didn’t play open-handed, but occasionally indicated outright if we had a certain card, and explained exactly what we were doing tactically in order to pull off some difficult objectives, and I think it helped hugely to clarify the gameplay.
I think I would only ever introduce the game in this way in future – totally cheat until I’m confident that everyone truly understands the game. If you’re strict about the comms rules then it’s just not a game which treats the uninitiated kindly; and there are so many missions in the game book that I figure who cares if the first several aren’t played properly – once everyone has a handle on the game, there’s still going to be loads left (and I suspect a higher chance of everyone being interested in playing them).
After that it was the lovely Geometric Art, in which my friend’s ability to construct an instantly-recognisable rose with one spiral, one curve, one line, and two triangles left me amazed and impressed.
Their sheep was mistaken for a mouse, OTOH, but when you’re working under severe constraints these things happen.
(They were also a tad ambitious, when tasked with “body part” as a subject, in attempting to portray a biologically-accurate heart out of a square, a triangle, and some squiggles : )
First game of my friends’ Blitzball League - Elves (me) vs Nurgle.
The opponent hadn’t practiced much, and had forgotten about the Get On With It rule. After both of us having a punch up without either taking the ball, I ducked out the fight since my rolls had probably more luck than they had any right to have. Nurgles took the ball and hid in the corner. Get On With It happened and another ball entered play - bouncing straight into my open linesman’s arms who had an clear run to touchdown.
Then they did nothing again, Get On With It. Nurgles took the second ball too. So I tackled to free the ball. Ran just shy of the touch line. Only Nurgle in range was the injured Pestigor who came out to mark my linesman, tried to block, but I had a sidestep challenge card. No other Nurgle could get close, and no way to score another card in 2 actions to narrow the gap. Won by 10 point margin
Final score Elves 12 - 2 Nurgle.
I feel bad.
(For the record, I did allow my opponent a few small take backs, but a league’s a league…)
Had a great game of Oceans yesterday with my 8 yo daughter. It took some convincing, as last time we did not play with the deep cards, and she was a bit reluctant (as she had lost). I showed her the deep cards and how they worked, and she grocked it really quickly.
So well she did, that she beat me fair and square, 54-45. She had some great cards and even though I managed a final push with my pelagic filterer, I could not keep up with her leviathan, a shark cleaner and a whale cleaner that kept feeding off my filterers. But what really surprised me was how, by herself, she forced migrations on the last turn to push for the end game. It is nice to see strategic moves come about, without any advice given. Kudos to her.
Just taught my 9yo Orleans using the cooperative Invasion expansion. We started off fumbling quite a bit: him, because, you know, he’s never played before, me, because apparently I haven’t learned from past mistakes. We were close, but probably going to lose, when the last event forced us to choose between keeping money or moving back to Orleans. Since the two things we were most behind on were filling the treasury and building towers, that finished it for us. But we had fun, and I’m very sure he’ll play again, so it counts as a success! And who wants to win a co-op the first time, anyway?
Some lighter games with our game group this week:
Truffle Shuffle, this one went over super well - to the point where, when I’d started packing it up after our first game, multiple people were like “hey, can’t we play that again?” It’s such an easy game to grasp but offers some interesting choices. Initially I thought Point Salad was the superior game, and while i’m not 100% sure that’s wrong, Truffle Shuffle is better than I initially gave it credit for. Such a cracking trio of designers too! Definitely keeping an eye on them!
Archaeology, this was great fun, first time with the burial chamber monument - it’s cool but weird - makes when you get maps super important!. Definitely sucks to get a map after it’s all been looted though (happened to two of us) Our early leader ended up winning, off the back of some good luck, but also some good play. I think I should’ve stuck with my talismans and built a bigger set, that would’ve kept me in contention, but I got nervous about sandstorms and sold a smaller set than ideal.
Played a 2 player game of Legendary: Marvel tonight with my wife. Broke into our copy of the Secret Wars volume 1 expansion which we have had for a while but barely touched. So, I pulled all of our heroes from it, and our Henchmen deck.
We played the Clone Saga scheme against Apocalypse who had the Four Horsemen, the Villains of Asgard, and the M.O.D.O.K.S using Superior Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Lady Thor, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther. These really all synced well together, with lots of ranged and strength aspects to trigger effects.
Sadly, shortly after starting, my wife started feeling ill (she had her second Covid shot yesterday), so went to lay down, and we paused the game using highly advanced technology.
After a bit of time and some water, she felt better and we resumed play.
This scheme with this mastermind was really annoying, as Master Strikes forced us to put any cards with a cost greater than 0 back on top of our decks, with usually left us with just a couple of cards. Scheme Twists made us reveal two cards for the same non-gray Hero from our hand, otherwise discard down to 3 cards. So we had a lot of turns where we could not do much.
Also, this meant we were near the end of the Villain deck when we finally won the game. It didn’t help that we had to take out Apocalypse six times, not four, because one of his tactics got shuffled back in twice for not being the last tactic. My wife got to draw 12 bystanders for those two, which gave her a healthy 47-30 win in the points department, making her the MVP.
It was fun using some new heroes. Need to go through the new schemes and masterminds and give them a go as well.
Had a dentist appointment today, so took the day off from work. So, played Concordia with my wife afterwards, with no kids at home! Played on the Creta map, which is the tightest one we have for two players.
It was funny for the first number of turns we played almost the exact same cards, just swapping Architect and Diplomat, but we finally started diverging. She went one way and I went the other, but it was not long before we both started encroaching on the others territory.
It seemed like my wife kept doing things just before I was planning to do it, like grabbing the Mason or Prefecting a region right before I was going to build there to Prefect it myself.
Despite this feeling, I managed to build all of my houses before her. I think she still had two unbuilt at the end, and was only in 8 of the 9 regions, while I got in all of them. Final score was 146 - 117 me. One of my better games in a while, though my wife said she was trying a new strategy, which apparently did not work
What an amazing day of gaming! I have not played this many games in one day since SHUX '18!
So after Concordia, described above, we played a quick game of Azul. My wife took an early lead, getting her tiles in good positions so that she was getting 16 or 17 points with some placements on one turn. That was countered by the next turn where she only got 4 points.
I was able to pass her and ended up winning by 12, thanks to completing all of two colors of tiles for 20 points, and dinging her on the last turn with four tiles she could not place, giving her -6.
She was done with games for the time being, so I dug out Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion and tried out the first scenario. I used the Hatchet and the Red Guard. I know the first scenario is just a tutorial, and that more mechanics will be introduced over time, but I liked what I played. It was simple, after re-reading the attack and monster activation sections. Won handily, only taking a few damage and using just one short rest. I did not log anything, as I hope to play this with others, and want them to experience everything.
Having a little time left before needing to get my kids, I played a solo game of Space Hulk: Blood Angel. This game reminded me that the die was forged in some daemonic ritual, probably carved bone that was steeped in the blood of tortured innocents in the process, which explains the red color with white numbering.
I actually managed to get to the last room, but I only had three of my starting six marines alive by then. I should have had more, but the accursed die failed numerous rolls. One genestealer attacking my primary purple marine with two re-roll tokens on him. Just need to roll 2 or better to live in three attempts. Nope, can’t do it. Need to not roll a 0 after Brother Claudio takes out three genestealers to keep him alive. Nope, 0 it is. Another marine will only die if he rolls a 0 this turn. You guessed it, he died on the first roll.
It was pretty much a bloodbath, and the event deck didn’t help either, adding more cards to the blip poles a couple of times, changing the facing of all the marines a couple of times, etc. Final room contained two Brood Lords who promptly eviscerated my remaining three marines, giving me my first loss of the day.
But not my last. Tonight I played Vampire the Masquerade: Vendetta with some friends on TTS. I had never played before, just watched a tutorial video before playing. I tried out the Malkavians and did okay, despite coming in last out of five players. The game is pretty good, with all players making use of a small individualized deck of cards and playing three rounds, trying to win power struggles in a number of locations to get influence (VPs) and win the ally there which can give you more influence scored at the end of the game, or special abilities. Your cards get played to these locations, face up or face down, though you have to pay a blood to the bank to play face down.
Once everyone has placed their cards, all the players at that location simultaneously choose to stay and fight it oit, or retreat to the Prince’s domain, which is the last location to score each round. Then all catds are revealed. The cards have special effects that can take place before scoring or after. Blood is used as a resource, which you can use to buff the cards you play, but if you ever run out, you Frenzy, which means you shuffle up all your allies and kill one for their blood value, which will cost you points in the end game, or can even have immediate effects if the victim is another vampire.
I liked the game, and can see how strategies for each clan can emerge as you learn their decks. You will typically only ever play with half of the available cards, so each game will play somewhat differently, and with seven clans to play and learn, there is a lot of replayability here.
Just a really fun day. And my wife has said she will try out a new to her game sometime this weekend, so I am excited for that and just need to figure out which game to choose!
Jaws of the Lion , another fairly uneventful win for us, yay I guess
Cloud City , first play. New (ish) game from one of my favourite designers, Phil Walker-Harding. It all seems simple enough – you play a tile that has two coloured areas, place buildings on those spaces, and then put in pathways from one building to another (of the same colour). The longer the pathway, the more points. Can get a little tricky as you realise that buildings can stuff up where you want a pathway – the buildings vary in size by colour. It was fun, and there can be a race to get to the higher point paths.
Oriflamme , first play. Another simple (at first look) game. You have ten cards, but you take out three cards randomly. That leaves you with seven, and you wont play your last card (so, six rounds). There are two phases, the first is where you play one of your cards face down, on either end of the cards already in play. Then, from left to right, the owner of the card gets to either keep their card facedown (and add a VP token to it), or reveal it for its ability. There are cards that can eliminate other cards, copy an ability, steal VPs, move cards, and of course, just get VPs. You can keep your card face down, just collecting tokens on every turn, and keep people guessing what card you might have there. Maybe its a Conspiracy card (that doubles the number of token you get when revealed, or maybe its Ambush, which gives you four VPs if another player reveals it. Good little filler, so easy to learn.
Lost Ruins of Arnak , third play, and things seemed to be going along ok, I thought i was finally not going to finish last. Sadly, I finished last yet again. Sort of close scores, 65/56/53. I explored some sites, got my research to the top, bought a few cards, but everyone else did the same thing, but just that little bit better. Brought out one of the worst AP I’ve seen in a game for a while now, I think my mate spent a good ten minutes on a turn. Even I’m not that bad (hmmm, maybe thats why I lose…). Still good fun.
Pictures , revisiting an old favourite. We stopped playing because we had seen pretty much all the cards out there. It was good fun to revisit – and I finally won a game!
This reminds me of my wife and I talking the other night about a game to play and she eliminated Unmatched as an option because it was too thinky for her at that time. I said I considered it to be a very light game. We determined that that is probably why I lose at it so often
Too many to count BGA games of Innovation, Race For The Galaxy and Troyes. Love them all, so different from play to play. First couple of games of Quantum. No idea what is going on!
Just had our first play of Merv. I had utter FOMO with this and my wife got it for me for Xmas. It’s beautiful, up there with Brass Birmingham. It’s fiddly, complex and not a good 2 player game. I want to try it with 3 or 4, but right now I’m not convinced.
Been having a go at Bargain Basement Bathysphere the last few days, and it is sheer joy to play. Probably my favourite roll and write… and I could print pages at work!
Starting to consider other roll and write games for my collection. We love Welcome To, I wonder if Fleet: the Dice Game could be a good addition.
Had similar issues with Merv I blame @yashima (anything to avoid my own weak will).
Although it’s another one of my damn you Iain O’Toole games, your so pretty I just want to look at you.
Hey I do like the game. Is it really fiddly? I personally really liked the two player and haven’t had a chance at testing other player counts.
Here have a spacebiff.
I read that review and felt justified for keeping it in my collection for at least a minute.
I do feel that it’s got a flat out classic second edition in it.
I don’t think Merv will make the 2021 cull, I’m looking at you skull hollow/ hero realms.