What game is hitting your table?

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R Newell

Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #380 on: March 04, 2016, 02:52:20 PM »
Since last time I posted...

More Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization with the wife.  She absolutely crushed me in a game that had a strange lack of new areas to colonize, so population was very low.  I squeaked out a victory in a rematch.  I'm now at the point where the rules are completely and fairly permanently internalized, which is great because this game was previously a bit intimidating to teach.  Now I could teach it in my sleep.

I'm a big fan of one vs. several / hidden movement games (like Fury of Dracula or Letters from Whitechapel), so was quite excited to try Specter Ops.  There were five players for this session, which, at that player count, adds the extra fun of a hidden traitor.  It's a clever game, and definitely fun, but I feel the muddy map and less relatable theme relegate it below the best-in-class titles listed above.

I played in an epic, five-player game of Xia: Legends of a Drift System with pretty much all the fixings.   I'm pretty ambivalent on this one after one play.  I'm impressed by the breadth of this sandbox in space but, in the end, it has the same qualities that made people move on in the 90s from games like classic Risk: it's overly reliant on dice, goes on for more hours than it needs to, and has lots of downtime between turns.  Really, its most interesting qualities are shared by other similar games that I'd probably opt for instead of Xia if given a choice (Merchant of Venus and Firefly being its closest cousins; Mage Knight is a more distant cousin but still has an obvious family resemblance).  I did have fun with Xia, but I think it would be better with fewer players to quicken the pace and shorten the overall play time (I'm guessing three players would be the sweet spot).

I'm not a fan of 7 Wonders.  I once read a comment in a forum comparing it to a knitting circle and I thought that was apt.  7 Wonders: Duel improves on its progenitor by narrowing in on active rather than passive competition.  The additional victory conditions are also welcomed.  Chintzy production, though.  The small building cards are thin and weak while my wonder cards came badly warped.

Bounce-Off is beer pong for kids.  It's a cute novelty that I'd play again but don't need in my games closet.

I struggled through teaching a game of Imperial, which was new to all five players involved.  I say struggled because a) the rulebook is overly vague in places, b) I hadn't internalized the rules beforehand as much as I should have, and c) it's just such a different, intricate design.  I don't mean it's a complex game -- despite what the rulebook would have you believe, player actions are incredibly quick and straight-forward -- but rather it's intricate in how the various elements of the game interact.  It's not at all obvious at the outset what one should do to start laying the foundation for victory.  Between the conflicts (or peaceful movements) unfolding on the map, the importance of taxation to fill the national treasuries, knowing when to trigger investments in a way that will be to your own benefit while also being to the detriment of the other players (and knowing how to cushion yourself so that others can't trigger investments at your own detriment)... there is just so much to consider with each and every action.  A very impressive design that takes the foundation of Diplomacy and builds something quite unique.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 03:05:56 PM by R Newell »

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R Newell

Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #381 on: March 14, 2016, 02:16:57 PM »
Since last time I posted...

Still more Through the Ages: A Story of Civiliazation.  A few close games, one of which ended in a tie.  I suspect this will be my most played game this year.  The fact that it takes us only about two minutes to set up certainly helps.

Mage Knight Board Game finally hit the table in 2016.  We played the full conquest (competitive) scenario using characters from the base game.  I ended up having a pretty dominant session by managing to attain a total of 15 (!) advanced action cards, a few spells, and a few artefacts by the time we were done.  Next time, I think we need to jump into more of the scenarios from the Shades of Tezla expansion.

I taught another game of Taj Mahal.  For the most part, the rules are pretty simple, but there are a few nuances I'll have to remember to emphasize next time I'm teaching it.  I think it is a solid, second-tier Knizia game.

I lost a fairly competitive game of Twilight Struggle in the semi-finals of the 2015 Play With Your Food fundraising league.  It really seemed more competitive than it was, though.  I got lucky with the scoring cards I was dealt in the first two rounds that I was able to play as headlines, which gave me (the US) an early lead.  By mid-war, though, the map was painted in red, especially in the higher scoring regions.  I finally succumbed with the final card played in the final round: Africa scored 6 for my opponent, causing an instant win of 20 points.  I'm very glad I joined the league; I definitely have a deeper understanding of the game than I used to.  Now I just need to get a copy of the Deluxe version...

Following that, we played two games of Summoner Wars.  We swapped races in a Fallen Kingdom versus Mountain Vargath matchup. The Mountain Vargath won both games, bullying the undead with their more powerful attacks.  Each race has such a distinct flavour that comes through very strongly in how the games unfold.

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Jolo

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Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #382 on: March 15, 2016, 10:49:26 AM »
A moderately busy month for me, even including a trip to Cuba. I played 13 games a total of 20 times, they are, as always, in numerical order

Frostgrave - not a board game, but I participated in Tim's Birthday Bash tourney (full writeup can be found here). I really enjoyed this, I used to play Mordheim back in the day, but Frostgrave is an excellent replacement.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set - 3 plays, all losses, I refuse to say more about this at times frustrating but still addictive game.

7 Wonders Duel - 2 plays while we were in Cuba, good game that retains the flavour of the original.

Sentinels of the Multiverse - this game passed Dominion last month as my most played game, I still love it and still play it, often... 2 more plays (making 96 total lifetime)

Sushi Go - 2 plays of this while in Cuba, not a bad game, the draft mechanic works well

BANG!: The Walking Dead - 1 play while waiting for the bus (in Cuba again)

Chaos in the Old World - 1 play (not in Cuba) of this wonderful area control game.

Loot - 1 play in Cuba

Nations: The Dice Game - Brenda and I played this at King Me a couple of weeks ago, I was crushed...

The Resistance: Avalon - 1 play at King Me, it was The Resistance, a game I am indifferent to

Swordfish - 1 play of being a fisherman, it is ok but not spectacular

Wings for the Baron (second edition) - 1 play (another tomorrow) of a game where you play a German aircraft company competing for contracts during the latter half of WWI, a little mean in places but good fun.

Zombie Dice - another Cuba played game

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R Newell

Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #383 on: April 04, 2016, 03:17:04 PM »
Since last time I posted...

I enjoyed a 5-player game of Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery.  Four of us were newbies and one was a cagey old veteran.  The vet ran away with the score and us newbs all had fairly comparable scores (or at least I'd like to think so since I finished in last place).  Fun game.  Worker placement with a smidge of combat, though could probably use a smidge more.  Strange board, with a lot of wasted space.

I played in three games of No Thanks!.  I continue to adore this one.  The only problem with it is that those plastic chips get so sweaty with everyone clenching them in their fists.  Blech.

I also played in a few games of another gem, For Sale, which I consider to be a very close cousin the the aforementioned game.  I tend to do well in both.  My brain clicks with these simple risk/reward games.

I had never heard of Battle Sheep until it was being set up in front of me, but I thought it was a great game.  I tend to default to the assumption that most abstracts don't work well with more than two players, but this one was quite a brain-burny puzzle since you have to take a few potential manoeuvres by other players into account before it comes back to your turn.

I was on the winning side in a game of Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game.  I thank the dice for that one.  Things could have gone much worse.

I took part in a few games of Codenames, once as a clue-giver and once as a clue-guesser.  It's a fascinating window into how people interpret information.

I won a game of That's Life!, another risk/reward game that I'm strangely good at.

I was taught the game Star Realms and played several games of it with three and four players in various modes (attack the player to your left, 2 vs 2, cooperative).  A deck-builder in which your cards are used almost solely to attack?  In space?!  Yes, please.

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Jolo

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Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #384 on: April 04, 2016, 03:47:35 PM »
Since Ryan reminded me, here is a list from only 3 weeks!

I have played 10 games, a total of 18 times, there are, in number of games played...

Sentinels of the Multiverse - 4 games, which means I have played an even 100 games of this since I first played it at Christmas 2012, call it 30 games/year? It is one of my top ten games, easy to play, easy to teach.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) - 3 plays, my first plays in a couple of years, I am currently deciding whether to keep my 1st ed or not, so I want to get some plays in of this.

7 Wonders - 2 plays, at a meetup group for people 45+, Brenda and I taught it to 3 others.

Army of Frogs - 2 plays, lazing away on a Saturday afternoon with Brenda and a friend of ours. Leah won both.

Sushi-Go - 2 plays at the meetup group again, Brenda and I taught it as well.

Bohnanza - 1 play on a Saturday night (I AM a wild party). Easily my favourite of Rosenberg's games, I like how every turn, everyone is involved. I tied in a win.

Elder Sign - 1 play, squeaking out a win on a Saturday afternoon. We played it three player so your turns were pretty fast.

Ships - 1 play of this Wallace game, tough for me to do well at, but a very good game. I didn't do well

Wings for the Baron (second edition) - 1 play, our second of this neat game, the concept of the game may be too war like for many, but it is an economic game, with variable player powers, and action selection.

Xia: Legends of a Drift System - 1 play of a ten point game, it was our first play in 18 months. I finished with 2 points...

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puggeroni

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Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #385 on: April 12, 2016, 08:27:51 PM »
Spent the last couple days playing through my collection, was a great idea!

Brought out:

Black Fleet - A new purchase.  Anything with limited sabotage is up my alley, and the theme just makes me love it even more.

Splendor (only sat on the shelf for a year...!) To be honest, I don't remember why I even bought this, maybe a random review I read somewhere.  It's got a nice mechanic, and nice tokens.  Little bit of strategy and a little bit of luck.  Can't go wrong.  This will get a lot of play.  Wish I had brought it out sooner!  The husband wants to play this on a nightly basis, so I consider it a truly good game.

Machi Koro - Picked this one up in anticipation of the tournament at Fan Expo.  I like it; seems kind of like the bastardized lovechild of Catan & Monopoly.  It's fun.  I can't wait to upgrade the cardboard tokens to real coins though.  Yuck, cheap cardboard tokens.


Mammut
- I got this in a trade, and it will probably get recycled to spare others from this horrible game unless it is drastically better with 4 players (we played through as a duo, and....no.  Just no.)  Does anybody like this game? Serious question.

Also learned Sushi Go! (which I really like, and is easy to pick up).  Also played through a friend's copies of Stone Age, and Champions of Midgard (which seems like Stone Age with vikings to me) so was a bit repetitive in that sense.  Neither of those two really gets me jazzed up but it did let me unload my unplayed copy of Stone Age without any sadness, so I consider that a win.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 08:37:43 PM by puggeroni »
I don't even not understand it in a way that's understandable...

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

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Bix Conners

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Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #386 on: April 12, 2016, 10:40:10 PM »
Machi Koro - Picked this one up in anticipation of the tournament at Fan Expo.  I like it; seems kind of like the bastardized lovechild of Catan & Monopoly.  It's fun.  I can't wait to upgrade the cardboard tokens to real coins though.  Yuck, cheap cardboard tokens.
:thumb-up

My wife and I play a lot of Machi Koro. The two expansions add a lot to the game.
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puggeroni

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Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #387 on: April 18, 2016, 04:52:43 PM »
My wife and I play a lot of Machi Koro. The two expansions add a lot to the game.

Good to know! I just ordered them, along with a swanky playmat, so I'm hoping to get a lot of plays from the game. 


We recently did a run through of Niagara which was pretty simple to learn (I can see it being a great game for kids!!) but not as much fun as I had hoped.  Another play, and we'll see.  Sometimes it takes 2-3 plays to get into it.  If not, it'll go into my trade pile.

We also did a 2nd run of Black Fleet, and while I love it, I found that the revenge aspect to be frustrating with players who like confrontation; it sucks when you're ganged up on by everyone else at the table.  To avoid frustration I might consider making it a house rule that the same player cannot be attacked multiple times in a row (but worry this might handicap the game too much).  Will wait and see.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 04:55:20 PM by puggeroni »
I don't even not understand it in a way that's understandable...

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #388 on: April 23, 2016, 05:27:51 PM »
Mostly Werewolf, MTG, and then AGOT

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R Newell

Re: What game is hitting your table?
« Reply #389 on: April 28, 2016, 10:59:14 AM »
Since last time I posted...

I played a few games of Star Wars: Epic Duels in celebration of the home release of The Force Awakens.  (I'll look for any excuse to play a Star Wars game.)  It's a fun beer-and-pretzels tactical miniatures game on a map that's small enough that trying to escape death is a fruitless exercise.  Not one of my favourites but I do enjoy breaking it out every once in a while.

I was taught the game VERTI-GO, which falls under the Jenga-style of dexterity games (build an increasingly precarious structure and hope you're not the one who makes it collapse).  This is a unique one, though, in that you're connecting like-coloured plastic cards (much like credit cards) that each have a slot in each corner that the corner of another card can rest inside.  The more cards you play, the bigger this "flower" of cards will blossom.  Knock cards off onto the table?  These get added to your hand of cards that need to be placed.  First player to have an empty hand wins.  Neat game that's perfect for the pub (so long as you have a stable, level table to play it on).

I took part in a 2v2 game of Talon, the new tactical space combat game by GMT Games.  Think Star Trek (big ship) more than Star Wars (dogfighter).  It's a neat production that tries to minimize the use of dials or tokens by having the players write and adjust their ships' stats right on the ship tiles using a dry erase marker.  I thought that sounded gimmicky but it was actually a pretty efficient way to communicate information.  I also got a kick out of the fact that you pimp out the game by throwing some q-tips in the box (to use as erasers).  Neat game that I'd like to explore further; especially the more advanced setups/scenarios.

Played a game of Love Letter.  Love Letter is Love Letter.

Got in a four-player game of Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery.  I still like the game but my enthusiasm for it has dulled a bit over time.  It has a tendency to drag on occasion, especially the arena combats.  I do like how the expansions' additions of the Primus combats, though, enable four players to take part in a battle instead of just two, which reduces downtime.

I'm now 2/3 getting a victory when playing Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game.  One issue I have with the game is that actions that fulfil the secret objectives can sometimes feel a bit contrived.  Like the theme is forced rather than occurring organically.

I took part in a game of Maria, which is a reimplementation of a favourite of mine, Friedrich.  Well, it's more an advancement than a reimplementation, adding a few more layers of both rules and strategic complexity.  Friedrich is definitely the more approachable of the two.  I'm not sure if I really have a preference.  They're both completely brilliant designs.

That was followed by Favor of the Pharaoh, which I had a completely different reaction to.  This design is just a bad idea from the start.  "Let's take Yahtzee and make it more fiddly, take way longer to set up and play, and take up more space on the shelf and on the table!"  Blegh,

I played a game of Nexus Ops.  This is definitely one of the better beer-and-pretzels, dudes-on-a-map games out there.  No fuss, no muss alien combat in which every rule encourages aggression.  I still need to try it with a black light to make the most of the glow-in-the-dark units.

I continue to be impressed with the elegance of Battle Sheep.  More than that, I appreciate an abstract that plays very well with more than two players.  Plus, I won!

And FINALLY I got to play Psycho Raiders, a hex-and-counter war game simulation of a 70s grindhouse horror movie (think The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Last House on the Left, or I Spit on Your Grave).  Four of us took on the roles on the titular Psycho Raiders while three played as the hapless campers being hunted through the countryside on the outskirts of a small town called Crucible.  Here are a few highlights:

- Torch being held by his fellow Psycho Raiders out the side of their black van (complete with a vampire mural) to blast the campers' ditched pick-up truck with his flamethrower until the campers had no choice but to escape into the woods and hide...
- Dawn (one of the campers) screaming outside the Crucible gas station for help until the mechanic came out to give her a ride in his "fixer upper"...
- Fluke (a Psycho Raider) forcing his way into the fixer upper and engaging in an extended fight with the occupants while careening along the road, finally killing the mechanic with a road sign he was carrying...
- Drunky (the town drunk) fruitlessly trying to break into the old store, until finally giving up and hotwiring the sheriff's patrol car instead...
- Randy trying to take off in his damaged pick-up truck but going less than 100 feet before Torch finished off the vehicle with his flamethrower...

And none of these events are my interpretations of abstract actions... all this and quite a bit more narrative emerged directly from the game mechanics and player actions.  Brilliant stuff.  My only issue with the game is that the production is quite cheap, which makes the game harder to play than it should be (a muddy paper map that doesn't distinguish topography nearly well enough, tiny fonts on the tokens, the tokens constantly wanting to slide around on the paper map, etc.).
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 11:17:04 AM by R Newell »