Xia: Run away… stay away
Thanks for an excellent session Roger.
Xia: Run away… stay away
Thanks for an excellent session Roger.
Push It! - played it 2 player while we were waiting for people to arrive. WIth 2 players, you simply play with 4 pucks: warm colours vs cool colours.
The King of Siam aka The King is Dead - played it with 3 players. I did comment a long time ago that 3 players is my least fave player count, yet I still love it. The dastardly British invaded twice, but the Ramas end up supreme.
Scythe - played 5 players and clocked at 1.5 hours. That is how you play Scythe. I got a bad combo of Crimea + Mechanical and didn’t manage to finesse it. I got spoiled by the app as well. 5 players who play at a nice pace is still boring. You plan 2 or 3 turns ahead and you’re still waiting. Jeez. I’m thinking of downgrading this in the ranks now.
Poseidon - we only played 2 rounds of stock round and operating round. I don’t think this is comparable to any 18xx - in a bad way. However, as a game in itself that runs for 2 hours, this seems like a good one. I will explore this a bit more and confirm my feelings.
I played my first game of Resist! today.
There are stand-alone scenarios and also a three-scenario “historical campaign” in a second booklet, but I just played the standard game with 10 randomly-selected missions to tackle from the set of 20.
The game has a pretty interesting push-your-luck end condition, whereby you can choose to cut your losses after any mission and end the game with whichever points you’ve acquired thus far (with thresholds for “draw”, “minor victory”, “victory”, and “major victory”), or else you can continue to the next mission and see if you can acquire enough points for a better victory (or even the ultimate “epic victory” if you defeat all missions) – but at the risk of hitting one of the “lose” conditions and ending with nothing at all!
You start with a deck of 12 maquis who are working in secret. These are either randomly dealt from the 24 in the game, or drafted (draw two, keep one), with every maquis having its own special abilities. These “hidden” maquis go to your discard pile after each mission they are involved in, and will be shuffled back into your deck when it is expended; however you can also choose to “reveal” any number of them during a mission in order to perform a more powerful effect as a one-time action, after which you lose them from your deck entirely (i.e. they are captured or killed due to their overt action; a sacrifice for the cause of the resistance). It’s possible but rare to be able to recruit any more (from the 12 which weren’t selected initially), so your starting 12 are largely all you’ll have for the entire game.
Succeeding at missions is fairly tough, so you will commonly be forced to reveal one or more of your maquis in order to avoid worse problems, meaning your deck gets thinner and thinner over the course of the game. Your deck also contains some “spies” which can’t be removed, and so as you slowly reveal and lose your good cards, the chances of drawing spies in your hand gets higher and higher, making it harder and harder to achieve things with each new hand (especially if more spies infiltrate your deck during the game).
So as the enemy squeezes tighter and your “hidden” forces dwindle, you will be wondering whether you can afford to risk one more mission, or if it’s time to accept that you have achieved everything you can. As a thematic decision, I found this quite striking. The card play is somewhat abstract, but it’s definitely not a “pasted on” theme – the sense of being an against-the-odds resistance movement comes through well.
I was much more successful in this first game than I expected, and managed a “major victory” with nine successful missions and 24 points (but burning most of my remaining resources in order to get the ninth, so an “epic victory” was completely out of reach). It’s possible that I had a fortunate set-up, as one only sees about 50% of possible missions and maquis in any given game, and other comments I’ve read have suggested that statistically I shouldn’t have done quite that well in my first game. I look forward to seeing how things go in future plays, and also to checking out some of the scenarios.
Other related things…
Last weekend we played a looong game of On Mars with a couple of friends from work who foolishly expressed an interest in playing “complicated” board games. None of us had any idea what we were doing but it was still fun. We followed that up with Space Base, which is somewhat reminiscent of Machi Koro and Henchmania which is a fairly short take-that card game involving duelling.
This weekend we have been introducing my parents to Lanterns and Swatch. Both are set collection games but Lanterns is driven by laying tiles to collect different coloured cards, whereas Swatch is driven by playing cards to collect cubes to collect discs to collect cards . My parents have started playing board games regularly with some people from their church (mostly Ticket to Ride, by the sounds of it) and they were instructed to gather intelligence on more games !
We played two games of Kingdomino yesterday. The first game, we tied at 32 points, but my wife had the largest contiguous terrain with 9 wheat fields, so won the tie-breaker.
I won the second game, 36 - 27. I only had forests and lakes, but had 18 points in each of them, so they were sizable.
So after playing around 20 games of Terraforming Mars on the app, I decided I had to play my actual copy. After the fun my partner had with Ark Nova and him listening to me comparing that game to TM… it turned into another solo experience to nobody’s surprise really.
Since this is my all in copy, I decided to mix it up a bit and included Venus Next (the strategy is straightforward for that. Just another rating to push. But it gives you the world government that upgrades one rating at the end of every round (except #14) and helps get to some of the good stuff faster.
With the experience of 20 games behind me, I wasn’t all that worried about my abysmal performance in the first half of the game. The solo really ramps up from turn 10 usually. However… I missed winning by about 6 credits which would have allowed me to buy the last point for Venus. Ah well, I am also not sure if I placed the lake you get from temperature rising. And I probably made a few book keeping mistakes.
Overall the table experience is more enjoyable because I can just see all the information all the time. TM as an app is one of the better ones. But there is a huge difference still between table presence and an app.
PS: I never really build cities except via cards. And those I got were space cities
Games weekend with a friend who lives too far away for convenience:
Nevertheless, I’d like it to be noted that I was the winner.
As you also were at Star Realms, Go500, and Baseball Highlights. I just didn’t mention it.
The Phoenixborn loss hurt the most though
Just played our first game of Ice Team. It’s fine. Very cute, fun, quick and easy. For the younger gamer. I lost, of course, 22-13.
Today I managed to get my copy of Oathsworn on the table for the first time.
The manual is… not good. Not horrible, but a lot of things are mentioned without any reference to what they are, or how to use them. For example, how to use Item - Equipment cards is never really explained, just kinda hinted at (for example, can you use Armour for its Block value when you are attacked? No. Can you use weapons for an attack, and if you do so are they exhausted? Maybe! And so on). The designer is very active on BGG, but it’s a damn shame it was necessary. The book is very bad for people wired like me who always default to Rules As Written because the RAW often is lacking critical pieces of information.
Just as an example: the Huntress starts the game with 2 different two-handed weapons (a longsword and a bow). But she can only equip one of those… so when does she equip it? At the start of a Chapter? At the start of an Encounter? We eventually found an answer, but it shouldn’t have been necessary to search for something so foundational.
That stated, we did have fun with that first round, and using the little gems for mana/stamina was neat. Like… Conan’s old system, but a little more refined?
Oh, and the terrain models are ridiculously huge. Way too big. But whatever, they’re fine.
We had fun. I look forward to playing again!
EDIT: Ooh, I forgot about the “Free Company Token.” A perfect example of why I am so consistently annoyed with the rule book. Eventually you are told to place your “Free Company Token” in a specific location… but no such token exists. Check the packing list, check all the pictures of the components in the two different rule books, nothing… start searching Google, and eventually find a single line buried halfway through a different rule book (because of course) that “Free Company Token: use any model from your Free Company as a token to track your location on the map.”
ONE LINE. BURIED. ARGH.
I got a good deal on a secondhand copy of Forgotten Depths, and was able to spend some time organizing and playing it this weekend. A good, light dungeon-crawler with some interesting ideas. I will definitely be cutting the box down, though. It’s huge.
I played the introduction Chapter of ISS Vanguard last night. The rules are heavy, at least with a lot of components to keep track of to begin with. Luckily the manual and the app are quite decent at explaining the rules. I must admit most of my trouble was momentarily trying to find some component that does not get used much (Planet Scanner or Bookmark for the Systems map come to mind)
The chapter took a good over 3 hours, with the log being played on the app, so I don’t know how much longer/shorter it would have been without the app, but I tend to think that looking around on the log book would have taken longer. I can hint that the first mission without time limit is going to be way easier than any other planet exploration phase to come later, but I will have to wait and see.
The final Book Ship phase I thought it was going to be a drag, but it was actually quite entertaining. It is book keeping in a way, but they have made the choice selection interesting, so it goes a lot lighter than I expected.
I will have a look at a tutorial video to see how right I was on my interpretation of the rules, but so far, I am quite positive about it. I am loving the theme, and the voice acting in the app is really good, so the theme side of things is very, very good. I am getting very good vibes a la Mass Effect / Early Start Trek.
Played 1860: Isle of Wight with @EnterTheWyvern and two other players - Very different from the usual 1830-style games in that you can own 100% of the company and you can also dump all shares without a dead company hanging on you like baggage - very similar to 1862: East Anglia (Same designer). Amazingly dynamic. Since the risk of holding a company no longer exists, the game puts so much emphasis on timing. When to buy which at the right time.
There was some lamenting that I won during the mid-game, but some companies end up being late bloomers and they rocketed from shit share value to top tier value. Mistakes were made where I didn’t set myself up for late game. This is something I haven’t figured out yet. While you can indeed cycle in and out between companies with zero baggage, you should be setting up for the end, and then buy into those companies as much as you can.
The companies themselves are very weird in a good way. The first layers of companies that can be open, they can start with more money, but it’ll be them who will pay for infrastructure and trains. While the companies on the bottom layer have less money, but the rail network is already set up for them. The starting companies though are the best placed for late game as they are the ones that can put their tokens on the board and have excellent positioning. Again, the problem for players is timing. When to buy which at the right time.
Procrastination ftw. And I hear from SVWAG that one must brag about winning Regicide.
I just had my first ever win of Regicide (on BGA).
Now I have to go back to work and do some stuff that hurts my brain even more.
I didn’t know that was a rule =P. I got a “silver” win on my 2nd play. I guess getting “gold” (no jester use) requires a healthy dose of luck, I haven’t tried.
Probably my 10th game or so and I needed both jesters. I had a better rhythm than normally. I was a bit surprised when I checked what King would be coming up next and… there was none.
Haven’t you made that background noise yet? Never listen to their complaining.
Really enjoyed 1860. Was asked how I won, I’m not sure still. Have been pondering and I still feel the early game monstrosity of a company which I got 80% of and the highest share value was a big part of it. I think also I got to share cap earlier and avoided the late game duff shares. I missed getting in on Black shares when the payouts were high, however it did leave me able to fully attack your position with the train rush. I wonder if the low pars on my companies was helpful. I had money left to hit other companies values after a little extracting of their profits.
I think you’re right that it’s about holding good shares at the right time. It’ll be interesting to see how it progresses. Starting a company, bankrupting it then starting it again seems appealing. Early game companies with consistent creeping up of share value seem good, but the routes are a touch tricky with both so maybe using one to feed into a later company might be feasible? The privates all being shares is fun, the values seem really opaque though so let’s see how that goes long run. Not a waterfall though so I’m happy about that!
I do wonder if I have been hasty myself. Did I pushed the train rush when I - with my Black company - was doing really well?
Anyway, glad to play this for realsies. This is a keeper. Dynamic. Very different to anything I have played.