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OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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Skinypupy
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

Picked up D&D Adventure Begins and ran through it with the Wonder Twins 7.4 this afternoon. I give it a big thumbs up...with the equally big caveat that it is for a very specific audience only.

The game is basically an ultra-simplified D&D campaign. Choose from four characters (Dwarf Fighter, Dragonborn Rogue, Human Sorceror, or Elven Bard) along with a simple "A or B" attack template and one of 4 personality types that provide special skills or abilities. Your party moves through four zones (Neverwinter Woods, Neverwinter City, Gauntlgrym, and Mount Hotenow), each with their own special deck of unique encounters and monsters to fight.

The beauty here is that the DM role switches to a new player each turn. On each space, the DM for that turn draws a card from the deck, which is either an event or a monster. If it's an event, the DM reads the description, then everyone role plays what happens. These range everywhere from agreeing on a solution for getting across a gap, to simple X/Y decisions, to dancing or creating silly noises. The funniest was the one that had each of us doing our best imitation of a Gelatinous Cube. The winner was able to sneak by the Cube, while the loser had to take 1 damage. :lol:

Combat is very simple, but quite fun. Each player chooses one of three attacks to use, rolls a D20, then does damage. Most attacks are pretty basic, such as rolling a 5+ to hit with a Mace for 2 damage, or rolling a 12+ to hit with a Greathammer for 3 damage. Repeat until the monster (or the party) dies, then get your reward and move on to the next space and pass the deck to the next DM. There's a mini-boss with increasing difficulty at the end of each zone, with a big bad at the end. Our big boss was a Beholder, with mid-bosses of zombies and other minions, as well as a cavern of Shrieking Fungus we had to figure out how to get around. There's also a basic leveling mechanic, items to buy and use, death penalties, etc.

For kids in the 6-10 range who aren't quite yet ready for full D&D but are still interested in the general idea, this is a brilliant introduction. Letting them creatively be a DM, fight simple battles, and role play very quick, easy scenarios is near perfect for their ability. Watching the kids emphatically describe exactly how they landed the killing blow on an Owlbear or talk their way out of a Witch's trap was an absolute joy to watch. The entire campaign took just under an hour, which was just about right for their attention span.

I imagine most OO-ers would get bored with this very quickly. And, to be honest, I doubt it'll get a ton of play once we've made our way through all the scenario decks. That said, this is a fantastic introduction for kids, and I think it would be quite fun for novice board gamers or role players as well. Plus, it's only $25.

So 7/8 tentacles for those of us with kids of a certain age or complete newcomers, and probably a 3/8 for those without.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

This weekend I played Cthulhu Wars for the first time. I was the Crawling Chaos faction, whose leader looks like a 3D Georgia O'Keefe painting. While I came in last place by a long shot, I really enjoyed it. (And it's making me feel better about backing Glorantha, since that seems to be largely the same game.)

The asymmetry is just fantastic -- the different factions are so diverse, but their special abilities and monsters interact in really interesting ways. I found myself thinking about strategy long after the game concluded, which I think is a sign of a very good game. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play it again before too long.

We also played Wayfinder, an older game that's very reminiscent of Five Tribes, as you move around a grid mancala-style. It's less polished and interesting that Five Tribes, though, and probably not something that I would ask to play again.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

It was a good weekend of gaming. Today was a solo game of Pax Pamir, still one of my all-time favorites, and a learning game of Oceans.

Oceans is the next evolution in the Evolution series, and I think it diverges from the original in some interesting ways. The basic cards allow for some engine-building, and the advanced ("Deep") cards each have a unique game-breaking power. I ended winning our game thanks to two advanced species: one with the "gentle giant" trait that allowed it to forage massive amounts of food, and one with "kraken" that could then feast on my gentle giants.

But the centerpiece of the weekend was Cerebria on Saturday. It was the first time for all four of us (two teams of two), so it took some time to get into the flow. It's a very complex game - many resources, actions, and scoring opportunities are constantly interacting. And the terminology is a real barrier to entry. I absolutely love the theme of building an individual's psyche, but it leads to completely unintuitive labels for every element of the game: Ambition, Essence, Inspiration, Vibe, Aspiration, etc.

But once we got rolling, the experience was great. Each turn is an exercise in making the most of your situation, interfering with the opposing team, and setting up your teammate for success. All the while you need to keep a close eye on the scoring conditions and when the next scoring round might be triggered.

After 3 or so hours, the game ended in surprisingly satisfying tie between Gloom and Bliss. We all decided that we had mutually succeeded in creating a well-rounded personality.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

We played a 4-player game of Back to the Future: Back in Time, which I believe is the first time I've played a 4-player game. It was a big hit. We wound up winning with love meter maxed and DeLorean maxed, so pretty much a perfect victory.

I'll have to say, it was by far the most perfectly played session of the game I've had to date. The two newcomers we had really grasped the strategy quickly, and everyone was firing on all cylinders. It's always satisfying in a co-op game when the team just clicks.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Blackhawk »

There's nothing quite like getting together with friends and maxing your love meter!
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

I picked up Back to the Future: DIce Through Time, Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons, and The Princess Bride Board Game from Target for $60 and some change. They have all of them on sale as part of their 2-day response to Prime Day, and they also have a Target Circle promo for $10 off a $50 toy purchase.

All of those games are ones I had my eye on for my collection, but didn't really want to pay full price for. For $20 a pop, though, I'm in!
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

Many games today!

I've been poking around Tabletopia and decided to try their implementation of Under Falling Skies, a solo game that I believe it coming out soon. It's a very compact dice-placement game about fending off an alien invasion. The design and balance is super-tight, and it plays quickly. Depending on the price point, this is one that I could see adding to my solo collection.

awSHUX is this weekend, and I was hanging out on the conference Discord when one of the publishers was looking for people to participate in an online demo of Funfair, so I jumped in. It's a straightforward light-to-medium tableau-builder about building a theme park -- nothing new, but attractive and well-designed. A good family game, I would think. Comes out early next year.

In the real world, I tried Scape Goat, a new entry in the ever-growing constellation of social deduction games. I'm not a huge fan of this genre, because I'm a terrible liar, but Scape Goat handles this well. You're a group of thieves who just completed a big heist, and now you need to frame one member of the group so that the rest can get off scot-free. At the beginning of the game, you secretly learn who the scapegoat is -- except maybe the scapegoat is you, and the secret info you received is a red herring, intended to keep you in blissful ignorance until your compatriots and sell you down the river. If you're convinced that you're the scapegoat, you can run to the cops

We played three times, and the game really came to life in the last play, after we had all wrapped our heads around the mechanics. It was packed with meaningful glances, penetrating questions, cryptic answers, and the occasional kick under the table.

Finally, I also played an in-person game of Liberte, an old Martin Wallace game about the French Revolution. In some ways it's reminiscent of Pax Pamir, since you jockey for influence in different factions (Radicals, Royalists, and Moderates), trying to push them into power while being their best friend. Having the most influence in the faction elected to government wins you VPs, and most VPs wins. Importantly, Liberte has a couple of alternative game-ending conditions: a Radical landslide and a Royalist counter-revolution.

In our game, I was well behind in VPs but managed to successfully engineer a Royalist counter-revolution and win. The game is a bit hard to learn -- a lot of situational tie-breakers to remember -- but it plays relatively quickly once you have it down. It was very fun, and I'd happily play it again, but I think Pax Pamir provides a similar-but-superior experience.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

Thought I'd give a quick update on the games I ordered last week. I have more in-depth discussions in the solo thread for a couple of these:

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game - Quick take - love the minis. Gameplay is very light and luck-driven but if you like the IP they do a great job of making you feel like you're playing through the story. Doesn't scale particularly well IMO - tough with 2 players if you get bad card draws. However, I have not played through full game yet so will reserve final judgment for later.

Back to the Future: Dice Through Time - Quick take - this was the surprise of the haul for me. Didn't expect much out of this one but found it to be a better solo experience than the other Back to the Future game. Very puzzly as you attempt to maximize efficiency of actions limited by your dice rolls. Played this one 5 times over the weekend as it sets up quickly and plays fast. Had an epic session last night with a buddy over TTS where we won on the very last turn. My record is 4-1 on normal difficulty, but it never feels easy.

Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons - Quick take - I knew that this one had a "hidden info" mechanic that would make soloing difficult, but I thought I could maybe work around it. Alas, removing that hidden info from the game just makes it too easy as unexpected player actions are a vital part of the game's difficulty. I'm going to give a true solo variant from BGG a whirl, but this one might get shelved until I can get a group together. I like the concept, however - definitely has a Pandemic: Fall of Rome feel, components are decent. I think I'll really like it once I can play a proper game.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by coopasonic »

Our team at work has been doing "games and hang" every other week for the past few months as a team activity since we aren't seeing each other in the office these days. It has mostly been Pictionary using an internet word generator and the zoom whiteboard feature. We've done a little Jack in the Box Party Pack stuff and Codenames as well. This week one of our main gaming proponents announced she was leaving the company and it was suggested for her farewell we play something a little more board game-y. We were looking at 5-7 players and talking with her we landed on 7 Wonders. We ended up with 5, all but me new to the game, playing it on boardgamearena while on a zoom call and it went really well. I've been avoiding playing board games online because I figured if I was going to be playing on the PC I could just play any of my thousand or so pc games. I may be coming around on that.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

Anyone tried Sanctum? It was referred to as a “board game version of Diablo” by a couple people today, which definitely got my attention. Curious to get the hivemind’s thoughts on it, especially the solo variant.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by EzeKieL »

From what I've heard it's great up until the boss fight at the end which seems to be a big dud.

Aside from that it definitely looks very cool.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

I dusted off SPACE CADETS: AWAY MISSIONs because I was in the mood for a bit more tile exploration after Fallout, and have been having quite a bit of fun with it.

The game can be challenging, but this time around I've been really taking my time and trying to really utilize each crew member's special powers and Overkills for maximum efficiency. I'm also playing 3-handed this time around, which at least so far feels more fun to me than 2 without being significantly more upkeep.

I've also been trying to kind of immerse myself in the retro sci-fi theme and let the game events play out as stories in my head. It's made the whole experience a bit more fun and casual. I think the last couple of times I tried this game I got so hung up on mechanics that I didn't fully enjoy it. I've kind of let that pressure go and it's really clicking now.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by coopasonic »

Finally got my 14yo to play the first game of Journeys in Middle Earth. Now he wants to watch the movies. Which I have on DVD... why did I have to insist on the extended editions? It's going to take DAYS!

On the game, it's a little simplistic, but we had fun with it. We went with Legolas and Aragorn and I don't think that's a great duo as there is too much skill overlap, but it worked. My phone is way too fast to lock on me, but since it is technically work's phone I'm not allowed to stop it for security reasons. It looks like there is a kindle fire version of the app so we may try that. I don't suppose there is a way to migrate our save data. Googling it looks like I might be able to do something as the save files are json.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by $iljanus »


coopasonic wrote:Finally got my 14yo to play the first game of Journeys in Middle Earth. Now he wants to watch the movies. Which I have on DVD... why did I have to insist on the extended editions? It's going to take DAYS!
But it will go quicker if you pass through the mines of Moria!

(yeah that's all I got. But at least you are giving him all the tools he'll need to be an awesome nerd like us! But don't feed him the Silmarillion too early since you don't want to scare him off...)
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

Show him the Ralph Bakshi version. Then make sure he has no access to drugs of any kind.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Tao »

Wizards is an awesome movie and sort of like Animal Farm in that it's meaning and relevancy morph's as I age. When I originally saw it as a teen it was D&D fantasy with cool animation and injected with sexy imagery, a few years later and it became a psychedelic phenomenon only to be watched when entering a particular state of mind, and today it's a political and cultural commentary on the sate of the world. In any case it's always a lot of fun to watch.
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