Author Topic: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition  (Read 6414 times)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #440 on: December 24, 2017, 04:38:45 PM »
Last week was a crazy week of boardgames. Strap yourselves in because here we go:

We're on the last mission of Imperial Assault. Thank goodness. We got a third through before we had to break down but we're hoping we can knock it out this Thursday. This session and another session a couple of months back were more fun but the mechanics still feel unnecessarily clunky and annoying. It's something I'm starting to notice I feel about a lot of Fantasy Flight Games.

The Metagame is like a less juvenile, more elegant Cards Against Humanity. Each player draws a prompt card in front of them and then everyone plays on each other's prompts and then you go around one by one with the player judging their prompts. It goes much quicker and a lot of prompt cards have blanks the player gets to fill meaning there's a lot more replayability in this box.

Mage Knight is an exploration, combat deck-building miniatures game with this gradually revealed hex map and a leveling system. It's probably too bloated for its own good but I kinda love it anyways. Each turn feels like you're just barely eeking out the best possible combination of actions based on the cards you draw. Really hope to get a chance to play this again.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 continues to be a wild ride. It's neat to see how the game constantly evolves into a totally different kind of game that is still based around the core systems of Pandemic. We've been on a bender for the past few months and I'm loving that each month comes across as a puzzle with a couple of twists thrown into the mix and it just keeps getting more and more complex as the months go on.

Played Small World with the family and it was a lot of fun. It's rather light and less confrontational than other area control games so I don't think this works as well with more serious gamers but still I like it and the variable power/race combos which sometimes result in some rather ridiculous combos and ever evolving strategies.

Star Wars: Rebellion was a beast of a game. It was a 7 hour session and boy was it a lot more fun than I expected. Two of my favorite board game critics didn't like it, but I found it to be far more engaging and a memorable story than they let on. Mon Mothma was captured early and when Leia went to rescue her a couple of turns later, Darth Vader turned her to the dark side. The Death Star was coming down on my hidden base so I evacuated it and then for kicks I did a Death Star run and destroyed it which felt pretty good. He found me on the last turn, I beat off his ground forces, but it was all for naught as he played a mission where he launched another landing force that overwhelmed me. I was surprised how close the game was.

In terms of mechanics, I really liked the leaders split between hidden missions and combat. I found myself using certain leaders to draw out characters in battle and then playing missions unopposed. But while that worked so well, the actual combat was super clunky. Different colors for different types of damage made it confusing, the card system makes the combats drawn out and then the dice have some of the dumbest looking symbol designs I've seen in a game. Combat was the least interesting part of the game and always felt like a timesink to get back to the more interesting elements of the game.

Played another scenario of BattleLore with the Undead faction. Oh man was this faction a lot of fun to play. I went a lot more aggressively with my army this time and I kept him on the back-foot the whole game. As much as I enjoy this game, I'm not sure how much the lore system adds to the core experience. I wonder if Memoir 44 or another command and colors system would scratch the same itch and play a lot smoother.  As it stands, I feel like this game goes on longer than it should.

And then there's Trajan. Oh man, this game was magical. Points salad delight for sure but it's the tableau action selection that makes this game shine. Early game I used it to get some advantages but then I felt like I neglected it too much late game. I double downed on trading which paid off given my opponent kept picking the other senate bonuses, leaving me with the trading ones. With only two it played really tightly and I wonder how it would go with four. This is a delightful Euro.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #441 on: December 24, 2017, 05:51:04 PM »
Hellblade went back on sale a couple of days ago.

Hmm...do I go Hellblade or Nier?

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #442 on: December 24, 2017, 09:51:17 PM »
Nier is bad, IMHO, but I could see FLY liking it as you tend to like Japanese anime shenanigans more than I do. I will say it feels way looser with gameplay than I expected from a Platinum game.

Solid Blake

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #443 on: December 27, 2017, 05:28:58 AM »
For Christmas, I gifted myself a 7.2 Surround Sound 4K/HDR Sony receiver to replace my older Yamaha 5.1 receiver that only had optical audio in. I also got two new floor speakers to be my new FL/FR speakers and used my older floor speakers as my center surrounds. After several hours of set up, cable management, and some calibration... I dove right into some 7.1 supported games. Gran Turismo Sport and Star Wars Battlefront 2 sound great. You can really hear cars/blaster fire move around you. I also popped in The Force Awakens on blu and the sound design is phenomenal! I walked around to listen to each speaker, and during Rey's Jakku scenes you can hear sand being blown around in some speakers, while ambient alien chatter emanates from another. It's pretty rad!

smirnoff

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #444 on: December 27, 2017, 11:33:02 AM »
Played Small World with the family and it was a lot of fun. It's rather light and less confrontational than other area control games so I don't think this works as well with more serious gamers but still I like it and the variable power/race combos which sometimes result in some rather ridiculous combos and ever evolving strategies.

I enjoy Small World as well. My buddy had some version of it that included every expansion and came in a small chest and weighed a ton, but it was a nice set to play on. Metal coins, individual boxes for every race and special power (that's something I remember driving me crazy about the base game... you could hardly get the pieces out of the box!)

The combinations are fun but as you say some are definitely stronger than others and can be pretty crushing. I played several 4 player games a while back and after a few games and getting familiar with how the game worked, you could start to see pretty early whether or not you were really in the running for first place. Especially when a really strong combo hasn't come your way. Everyone seems to have their own ideas about who's actually winning though, so it's hard to coordinate an effort against anybody.

But landing a good 15+ round is awfully satisfying. :)

Another game I played recently with a group of 4 was Codenames. That was super different and fun. It ends up being a kind of quiet game because everyone is concentrating so much, but what good brain work. You never feel out of it, and the more you play the better it is. :)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #445 on: December 27, 2017, 12:51:02 PM »
Yea, Codenames is a fun one I've played before with a group of eight people. I do enjoy that one a lot.

I played the Fallout boardgame with four people and it has issues. Part of me wonders if this should have been a one player game. I'm gonna read up on house-rules because a lot of the game is fun but the actual act of winning feels like it takes forever to get to with four people. We ended up calling it after about  5 hours of play.

In other news, I picked up No Man's Sky today from the used game store after trading in some DVDs. I hear the updates have improved the game and two of the people I trust the most in gaming have both said they loved the base experience, so I'm gonna give it a shot.

I'm going to cool my heels on buying video and board games for the next few months. I have a decent backlog of video games and I have seriously neglected some other hobbies this year. Going forward I think I'm going to subscribe to Humble Monthly as $11 a month is easily more than I spend on video games and between that and PS+ try to play new games as much as possible that way. I'll still have to shell out some money for Switch games, but I've got plenty to still play on that: Breath of the Wild DLC, Odyssey post-credits worlds, Steamworld Dig 2 and Axiom Verge. I'm sure some 2018 games will jump out to me and I might still get one a month, but I think I need to quit chasing all these game sales given how many of them I still haven't played.

For board games I have both Rising Sun and 7th Continent coming in between January and March. Both of those as well as my collection of 15ish games should keep me busy for a while. Plus, everyone else in my gaming group has a good 100+ games so we have plenty to play. The only thing that might call to me is the Android Netrunner revised coreset, but even then that's an affordable $40 and I'd probably buy it between the two games if I decide to take the plunge.

Solid Blake

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #446 on: December 28, 2017, 06:12:40 AM »
For Christmas, I gifted myself a 7.2 Surround Sound 4K/HDR Sony receiver to replace my older Yamaha 5.1 receiver that only had optical audio in. I also got two new floor speakers to be my new FL/FR speakers and used my older floor speakers as my center surrounds. After several hours of set up, cable management, and some calibration... I dove right into some 7.1 supported games. Gran Turismo Sport and Star Wars Battlefront 2 sound great. You can really hear cars/blaster fire move around you. I also popped in The Force Awakens on blu and the sound design is phenomenal! I walked around to listen to each speaker, and during Rey's Jakku scenes you can hear sand being blown around in some speakers, while ambient alien chatter emanates from another. It's pretty rad!

Here's a photo of the setup: https://www.instagram.com/p/BdOfxp1A4zR/

Solid Blake

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #447 on: December 28, 2017, 06:42:54 AM »
I've been listening to Giant Bomb's end of the year award deliberations and man, the confusing "Best World" argument/inability to figure out what this topic actually is = frustrating as hell. Otherwise, it's a pretty interesting listen. Their inability to talk about Battlefront 2 on the merits of the game itself is pretty disappointing, but I'm enjoying these conversations.

... that said, their best music selections are underwhelming. Go and listen to Rebel FM's latest podcast for some really good video game music.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #448 on: December 29, 2017, 05:56:43 PM »
I'm way far behind on them, just got through the Best World part, which was rough. I like Alex, but they CINECAST!ed up by not having it be world building. The fact that Night in the Woods wasn't the winner, let alone in the top three, is baffling.