Author Topic: Board Game Banter  (Read 1265 times)

Teproc

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2018, 02:32:38 AM »
Caverna really shouldn't take four hours. Was it everyone's first time playing it ?

I've been playing some Cubirds recently, which is a pretty smart card game with a unique design (cubist birds, as the name indicates). It's pretty interesting mechanically and quite unique in how it looks, I'd recommend it heartily.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2018, 08:58:47 AM »
Caverna really shouldn't take four hours. Was it everyone's first time playing it ?
It was for two of us.

Teproc

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2018, 11:28:31 AM »
Caverna really shouldn't take four hours. Was it everyone's first time playing it ?
It was for two of us.

Hm. Were the other players surprised it took that long ? I guess I haven't played it that many times, but 3 hours already seems pretty extreme to me. I'd recommend Agricola instead, if you enjoyed the core mechanics: I guess it would still take some time with your group, but you have cards (instead of the many buildings) which elp focus your strategy and might make it more fluid.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2018, 01:40:43 PM »
Time for a big dump of new plays:

Saga is a rather lightweight miniatures game that played rather fast. I didn't do particularly good at this game. Some of it was horrible rolling, some of it was just not quite fully understanding the system. I'm not huge into miniatures game, but I'd play this one again as it went rather quick and your actions are dictated by dice which means you basically work with what you have instead of thinking out a myriad of choices.

Clans of Caledonia is a lovely little euro about farming in the Scottish countryside. It's quite the vicious game with a lot of blocking each other off from spaces and competing over a market that rises and falls based on a basic simulation of supply and demand. The market is definitely the part that made this game tick the most for me. I quite liked this one and would certainly play it again.

Praetor is a tile-laying worker placement game where you're building this city and then placing workers to get things from those various buildings. If you built the place someone uses, you get the payment for using that place, which made for some great strategies where certain players would try to corner the market on a good or a certain action to reap more rewards. It had a big table presence which it didn't quite need and I'm baffled by the added system of having scoring based on matching colored corners, especially since the corner-matching was not friendly for our sight impaired players. It seemed like a goofy addition to a rather straightforward game.

The Expanse Board Game is based off the TV show and all about area control throughout the solar system based on playing cards for either events or action point values. It plays a lot like the GMT games like Twilight Struggle. I did horribly, but I liked it well enough to want to try it again, especially since I got a better understanding of how the factions differed. Also, it got me into the show which is great.

Concordia, oh what a beautiful game. You get a deck of cards, a couple of workers, and are tasked with expanding out from Rome to gather goods in order to either build more facilities to generate more goods or gather more cards to perform more actions. I could see this becoming a favorite with more plays as you've got this tight board you're competing over while also trying to figure out which goods to snatch up first so you don't have to pay more for them later.

It's a game where you'll line up several turns based on your cards, have to shift strategies halfway through executing a plan, buy a new card to pursue just one more action and then find you're awkwardly left one card short of doing everything you want to so you have to spend a turn picking up your whole hand of cards and man it's way more tight and exciting than it sounds and I'm eager to play it again.

Keyforge: Call of the Archons is the latest from Richard Garfield of Magic fame. The actual trappings and ultimate goal of the game is rather boring, but I could sort of say the same thing about Magic. Basically, you're trying to forge three keys before your opponent does the same and you do that by picking one of three houses in your deck to play cards of every turn. This leads to times when you have to decide between playing one or two killer cards that could give you great tempo in the game or play a middling set of 3-4 cards and hope your draw gives you some other cards to add to that one house you really want to play.

The main hook is that each deck is a completely unique combination of cards and you buy decks as a set thing that can't be mixed or matched with another deck. As someone who really enjoys the deckbuilding of Netrunner and Magic, this is somewhat of a turnoff but for anyone who wants to play a card game without feeling the siren card to constantly buy more, this could be the solution. The base box comes with 4 decks, 2 everyone gets as the two starter decks, and 2 completely random decks.

Minerva felt super similar to Praetor but instead of building one common city, each person built their own city and then activated rows and columns of tiles instead of just one tile. I liked this one much more than Praetor. Placement was a lot more important and choices felt a lot more weighty. It was also satisfying to build your own thing and then having a combination pop off.

Dice City wasn't much to write home about, but amusing enough. You roll a set of colored dice, match them to a personal grid you have, and then have the option of performing that action or the action of the spaces on either side. Choices felt rather limited and certain strategies seemed to snowball a lot faster than others. Maybe with a higher player count it would play nicer, but with only two, it wasn't fantastic.

Replays through this period include: Pandemic, Watson & Holmes, Star Realms, 7 Wonders, Eldrich Horror, The Castles of Burgundy, Kemet, Rising Sun and lots of games of Magic: The Gathering.

sdb_1970

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2018, 03:42:31 PM »
My spouse and I play all sorts (although not so much with the legacy games), but over the last few years, Seven Wonders Duel (with the expansion and extra wonders in play) is our favorite for sure.  We ended up purchasing the metal coins and other pieces.
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Teproc

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2018, 04:49:55 PM »
Concordia might be the purest design of any heavy eurogame. So smooth, so simple and so rewarding.

philip918

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #56 on: January 14, 2019, 02:53:15 PM »
My wife suggested playing some board games and partly inspired by lurking in this thread I picked a few up over the weekend.

Scrabble
We started with a classic. This was my "family" game growing up. My grandma loved it and we'd always play when we visited. What's there to say really?

Codenames
We are just playing two-player, which clearly isn't this game's strong suit. I read the Duets version is better. Look forward to playing with a couple more people to see how it goes.

Exploding Kittens
This is a fun one. We only played one round, but can see that once we're comfortable with the rules it will play really quickly.

Gloom
This was the standout. From the Edward Gorey-inspired artwork and the macabre goals to the simple, but very clever, card play, we ended up playing four games in a row.

I have Azul ordered. Really looking forward to that.

Happy for any other recommendations. Leaning toward smaller and simpler for now. Not huge boxes with hundreds of pieces.

Teproc

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2019, 03:33:07 PM »
Azul is pretty great. In that style (as in: 2-4 player games that takes 45 minutes and has strategy without being overwhelming, and also looks nice), I'd recommend Reef, in which each player is putting pieces of coral on their board to complete objectives you have on your cards. It requires some thinking ahead because playing a card makes you place corals and check for an objective, but the corals on the card are never the ones required for the objective, so you're always planning for the next few turns. It's puzzly, but still quite fluid and easy to play.

And yeah, Codenames is not the best with two. I'll note that if you enjoy word games (which it seems like you do), I'll recomment Decrypto, which is a brainier Codenames basically. You have two teams, they each have four words that everyone in the team knows, and every round each team has someone draw a "code" (a sequence of four numbers which indicate which of the four words you have to get your team to guess and in which order) and must get their team to get that code... but the other team is listening, and if you use obvious words, they'll eventually "intercept" you. I don't know if that's clear, but anyway, it has that Dixit tension of "I must be clear but I can't be too obvious" and it gets really interesting as the rounds go by, really recommend it.

And if you're looking for a two-player game, 7 Wonders: Duel is the gold standard currently, in case you don't know about it.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 03:36:38 PM by Teproc »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2019, 04:00:39 PM »
Been about six weeks since the last time I commented in here. Time for all the new plays:

Discover: Lands Unknown is a game I demoed once but I actually got to play it and it's basically a easier Robinson Crusoe. That's not entirely fair as there is a lot more interaction on the board as far as things moving around and having to go to specific places to move forward the story arc, but a lot of the mechanics feel the same. I like it. I'd rather play Robinson Crusoe again, but I'd certainly play this again if someone else initiated play.

Ingenious is a simple little tile laying game where you have hex shaped dominoes that all fit in a giant hex and you're trying to score over six colors as evenly as possible as your lowest score is your final score. (So if you have 16 in purple but your lowest color is blue at 7, you're final score is 7.) I like it as a little abstract puzzler. It's a bit on the ugly side, though and I would love to see an updated version of this as game aesthetics have improved a lot in the past 15 years.

Santorini is a prime example of how you can make a gorgeous abstract game. You play  the pawns of Greek gods building towers where the only point is to place one of your two workers on the top level of a three level structure. It sounds simple but this two player game becomes devilishly hard, especially once you introduce the god powers into the mix. I've been eyeing this game since it came out and I'm glad I finally got to play it. I can see this becoming one of my go-to two player games.

Commands & Colors: Ancients is more Commands & Colors goodness. I already love that system and playing another version of it is just experiencing more goodness. This version's leader system added in with some of the more nuanced stats of each unit made for some great play. I was getting stomped early on, but threatened to come back at the final hour of the game with a heroic push back. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Hunt for the Ring is a hidden movement game that's also a sort of board game prequel to War of the Ring which is the big ole two-player strategy game titan of board gaming. It's a much lighter game but boy did I find myself straining just as much to make my choices and double guessing everything. I played the Ringwraiths and found myself completely in the dark for most of the game and seeing how close I was so many times makes me want to play again.

Villainous is a gorgeous looking game with a cool theme where you try to fulfill your wicked goal as a villain from one of the Disney films while foiling ever other villains' wicked plan. Each villain plays very different and has a unique win condition. Some want the hero's plan to progress only to make for a dramatic finish while others simply try to stonewall the hero. And then there's Prince John who just wants lots of money. It's super thematic, I can't think of another game that plays quite like it, and I think most Disney fans will enjoy it. The only downside is that I thought the card art not being actual stills from the film and instead new renderings was a big misstep as some of the card art is highly inferior to the film versions.

Sushi Go Party! is a card drafting game that has already gotten a lot of play with my family. You pick a card, pass your hand to the next person, score points once all the cards are gone, and then do it all over again until you finish a third round. It's simple, the art is gorgeous, the Party version allows for tons of variations of the kinds of cards you can add and take out of each draft, making each game we've played so far result in very different strategies. I love card drafting and this one makes it so easy to pick up and play that I think I'll get a lot of mileage out of this one.

There were also a lot of replays over the holidays. I got in games of The Expanse Board Game, Watson & Holmes, Century: Golem Edition, Lanterns, Pandemic and Ghost Stories (which we actually won).

Since the new year has come I actually haven't gotten much of a chance to play board games, which makes me kinda sad. This weekend is not looking like I'll have much of a chance either so January might be a dry month for me.

philip918

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Re: Board Game Banter
« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2019, 04:24:24 PM »
I'd recommend Reef, in which each player is putting pieces of coral on their board to complete objectives you have on your cards

I'll recommend Decrypto, which is a brainier Codenames basically.

And if you're looking for a two-player game, 7 Wonders: Duel is the gold standard currently, in case you don't know about it.

Thanks for these recs, Teproc! I'll definitely check them out.

Santorini is a prime example of how you can make a gorgeous abstract game. You play  the pawns of Greek gods building towers where the only point is to place one of your two workers on the top level of a three level structure.

Hunt for the Ring is a hidden movement game that's also a sort of board game prequel to War of the Ring which is the big ole two-player strategy game titan of board gaming. It's a much lighter game but boy did I find myself straining just as much to make my choices and double guessing everything. I played the Ringwraiths and found myself completely in the dark for most of the game and seeing how close I was so many times makes me want to play again.

Really piqued my interest with Santorini, and my wife loves Lord of the Rings, so maybe I'll surprise her with one of these.