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OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

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

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:25 pm

I was feeling lousy on Saturday morning. Even after getting in the car, I wasn't sure that I'd actually go until I was 3/4 of the way there. I'm glad that I did.

As for LfW, we were playing at the desk, and I was stationed away from the board, so I couldn't maintain as much situational awareness as I normally could, but I still made mistakes that hindered my escape. There were a few times on night 2 where a bolder move could have paid the day. I should have backtracked and left them haring off in the wrong direction. I'll have to remember that for future games. Of course, you still have to have a clear path. Even if they hadn't arrested me, I had no valid move, having exhausted all of my tokens before we got to that point.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:57 pm

Played a solo round of Mansions of Madness tonight to get a better feel for the game rules and strategy without any distraction. I figured I'd just piddle around with it a bit until I felt like I had everything down pat, then set it aside until the next game night opportunity. I didn't expect to have ome of the most captivating solo board game experiences I've had in a long time.

I played two investigators, purposefully choosing one brawny fighter and one skilled in lore and high in sanity. They complemented each other very well, and I breezed through most of the game snatching up clues, fighting off the occasional creature, and having a grand old time.

However, the Mythos will only let you get away with that crap for so long. One of my investigators became severely wounded, and the other was driven insane. Even worse, the mansion was on fire. We desperately attempted to finish the investigation as the servants of mighty Cthulhu closed in. I was rolling dice feverishly, my luck running dismally low with each toss.

In the end, I triumphed, but just barely. I was within one damage on each investigator of dying, and I surely wouldn't have survived another Mythos phase. I could almost see the story unfolding like a thrilling action/horror film before my eyes. Pretty epic.

I'm still working on painting everything, and just ordered the Suppressed Memories and Beyond the Threshold expansions. That should give me every tile, mini, and scenario available right now. This one's definitely shot to the top of my solo list, but I think my group is going to love it as well.

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

Post by Xmann » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:31 am

coopasonic wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:Played Letters from Whitechapel with a full group. Usually I think 2-3 opponents is the sweet spot, but the five we had managed to all play well without shoving others out.

While I had a 6 move lead after night 1, they hounded me mercilessly on night 2, investigating my location four times before finally pinning me in and arresting me. At one point, I used a carriage ride, and they knew immediately where I ended up. Not my best performance.
Losing your touch? The only thing stopping me from making it out this weekend was my lack of desire to go out.

On the plus side, I've ordered Clank!, Last Friday and Captain Sonar (and a replacement copy of YINSH). I am dreaming of playing Captain Sonar at work. We have a curtained space behind our desks with a table that would seat 8 comfortably and be perfect for this. It's a silly dream, but it lives nonetheless. If I were to actually bring it up, I assume everyone would look at me like I am crazy so just based on that assumption I will never bring it up.
If I had a large gaming group I'd love to try out Captain Sonar

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

Post by Zarathud » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:32 am

Sonar is a great game for a convention.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by coopasonic » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:02 am

It definitely doesn't need 8. 6 is reasonable. I think 4 would be playable but things would get a bit hairy for the captain. With 4 players, the Captains are playing 3 roles. Now, the First Mate role is basically a casual observer, just charging a system with each move, but the Engineer has a slightly more thoughtful role. I guess eliminating that communication might even smooth the game out a bit, depending on the captain. I'd call 4 the minimum for real time though. You could do 2 turn based then it becomes a cat and mouse puzzle game.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Lordnine » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:38 pm

Having played Captain Sonar a few times, I would not recommend it at less than six people and six is a much weaker experience than eight. A large part of the brilliance of the game is that you do have 4 people all working together at a goal. It’s chaotic, frantic and a ton of fun.

Six people is playable but expect a lot more problems to crop up and there is a higher chance of someone not enjoying the game because someone gets overwhelmed. Remember that this is a real time game so if one side is struggling, the opposite team can win before the first team realizes what is going on.

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

Post by coopasonic » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:28 pm

Have you played as the First Mate? I have and don't see any reason the Captain can't add that to his duties without any problem.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Lordnine » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:25 pm

coopasonic wrote:Have you played as the First Mate? I have and don't see any reason the Captain can't add that to his duties without any problem.
I have played all the roles. I’ve also played as the Captain + the First Mate. The problem we ran into is that both of us (me and the other captain), admitted after the fact, that we were frequently forgetting to check off a system. It’s basically a panic reflex. As the captain, you are trying to input your next order as soon as your crew tells you “Go”. Between plotting your course, making sure you are not going in a direction that will break something and managing your equipment it becomes a lot to take in. The other problem is when you have to surface, having to trace two roles kills a lot of time, during which the enemy team is narrowing in on you.

I suppose if you were to slow the game down, it might work better, but our group tends to go at about four moves a minute.

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OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Zarathud » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:36 pm

We did better by taking a bunch of moves, then slowing to confirm a plan to "restore X system in Y moves" then rapidly carrying it out. Going too fast can box yourself in a corner with no escape or a disabled system.

It also freaks the other team when they hear you're reading a torpedo to take a shot.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:23 am

Played the first scenario from The Dunwich Legacy expansion for the Arkham Horror LCG. Really, really enjoyed it. Put a write-up over in the Arkham Horror LCG thread. Between this and Mansions of Madness, I might as well just set up direct deposit to Fantasy Flight's bank account.

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

Post by hepcat » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:16 pm

When we played Captain Sonar at Octacon, I was secretly working for the other side.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hentzau » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:17 pm

hepcat wrote:When we played Captain Sonar at Octacon, I was secretly working for the other side.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Well, I did abandon you guys 3/4 of the way through the rules explanation. So you can blame me for your failure as a captain.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:18 am

Beat Missions 6 and 7 of MECHS VS MINIONS tonight with three players. Got them both on the first try, but like every mission so far...things never felt easy.

At this point each of us are starting to settle into our own play styles that complement each other. Jay is our finesse guy, focusing on agile movement. If something needs moving or we need precise positioning, he's our man. Terry's our speed demon and aggressor. He's going to get from A to B as fast as he can and take out a ton of stuff as he goes. I tend to be the Area of Effect guy. I'm not moving as fast, but I'm taking out a ton of minions with a high powered area offense.

The game's really fun now that we've all clicked, and often we don't even need to say a word about who wants which card. We just gravitate towards our roles and get things done.

We should be wrapping this one up in 2-3 weeks, then it will be on to MANSIONS OF MADNESS, which the others are very eager to jump into.

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

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:16 pm

This Onion headline is a little too on-the-nose:
Explanation Of Board Game Rules Peppered With Reassurances That It Will Be Fun

Repeatedly seeking to ease his friends’ growing skepticism and disinterest, local man Joel Mayhew peppered his explanation of the rules of the board game Pandemic with reassurances that it will be fun, sources confirmed Friday. “I know you’ll really like it once we actually get going,” said Mayhew, flipping through the game’s instructions to clarify the rules while pausing frequently to promise that the game was much less complicated than it seemed.

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

Post by coopasonic » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:36 pm

Dammit, you beat me by 20 minutes.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by baelthazar » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:16 pm

My friend posted this to my wall. I am also the one who always teaches the rules. He is still a little mad because he HATED Arcadia Quest (my other friend loved it).

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

Post by hepcat » Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:58 pm

Image

I love the production value on GMT games. This is Comancheria from Joel Toppen (the sequel to his game Navajo Wars). A solitaire history game covering the Comanche between the 1700 and 1800's in America. I absolutely love the AI he uses for these games. They work like flowcharts, but without actually having to follow a flowchart. It's all done via a set of chits and an elegant diagram on the board itself.
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OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Isgrimnur » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:19 pm

So when are you going to teach me a COIN game on TTS?
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:29 pm

The only problem with COIN games is that playing with less than 4 either means running two factions, or using the flow charts for the player bots, which can drag a game out to a frustrating length. But maybe we can get some folks together and play some weekend. That or when you come to the next Octocon. :wink:
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Isgrimnur » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:10 pm

Spring will be a roadtrip to Florida. Maybe some frequent filer miles will get used in the fall.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:38 pm

Florida board game meet-up???

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

Post by Isgrimnur » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:46 pm

Possible. I'll be in Panama City, probably haven driven.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:45 am

Bah - Panama City is barely Florida. You gotta come to the meat of the state!

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

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:19 pm

Given what the state looks like, I'd rather not have to deal with the meat of the state.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Archinerd » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:04 am

hepcat wrote:The only problem with COIN games is that playing with less than 4 either means running two factions, or using the flow charts for the player bots, which can drag a game out to a frustrating length. But maybe we can get some folks together and play some weekend. That or when you come to the next Octocon. :wink:
I'd be willing to learn how to use TTS to do this.

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

Post by TheMix » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:09 am

Archinerd wrote:
hepcat wrote:The only problem with COIN games is that playing with less than 4 either means running two factions, or using the flow charts for the player bots, which can drag a game out to a frustrating length. But maybe we can get some folks together and play some weekend. That or when you come to the next Octocon. :wink:
I'd be willing to learn how to use TTS to do this.
The majority of TTS involves: right clicking, pressing ALT, the mouse wheel, and WASD/arrow keys. And most of that is moving the camera around. It's really pretty easy. Start with something that isn't complex like Castle Panic or Sentinels of the Multiverse.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:45 am

Archinerd wrote:
hepcat wrote:The only problem with COIN games is that playing with less than 4 either means running two factions, or using the flow charts for the player bots, which can drag a game out to a frustrating length. But maybe we can get some folks together and play some weekend. That or when you come to the next Octocon. :wink:
I'd be willing to learn how to use TTS to do this.
Or you could just come over and play sometime.

I want to try Seppe's copy of Liberty or Death, a COIN game set in the revolutionary war. I also have Falling Sky for a Gallic revolt against Caesar theme. I still need to get Zarathud to try a COIN game, so he could be our 4th.

Edit: I found Falling Sky, Andean Abyss, Fire in the Lake and Cuba Libre in the Steam Workshop for TTS. But no Liberty or Death. Oh, and Churchill.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Daveman » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:20 pm

Managed to play a lot this past weekend that spilled over into the last couple nights...

- Doom: I posted about this title awhile ago but it's still a hit. I finished painting the miniatures and was very anxious to see them in action. Still loving it as a quick playing 1-vs-many with little setup.

- Inis: This was our first weekend trying out this title and it's amazing. It's another Euro take on "dudes on a map" from the same company as Cyclades and Kemet only this time in an ancient Celtic setting. I played 2-player with my son and we immediately played it again (twice)... played a 3-player with my father-in-law and immediately played it again. Short version is you start out on a small map which gradually expands, you build citadels and sanctuaries, add your clans to the map and eventually move them around and fight one another. You're ultimately trying to accomplish one or more victory conditions: occupy 6 different territories, occupy territories containing a total of 6 sanctuaries (there's no limit on how many can be built per area), or rule over 6 other clans. You "rule" over other clans by having the most clans in a single territory that also contains another players clans (in this game, players can occupy the same territory).

You accomplish all this via a set of 13 (17 in a 4 player game) action cards which are drafted each round. One card is set aside each round and then players are dealt 4 cards, pick one and pass, etc. All of the cards are good so it's almost always a tough choice. One of the cards is a particularly evil "counterspell" like card that cancels out another card... each round players are nervous as you never know if that critical card you want to play will get cancelled out, assuming it wasn't the card that was set aside at the start. As you get familiar with the game (doesn't take long as there's only 13-17 cards) the draft becomes an extremely tense part of the game as you try and figure out what every one has and are likely to try and do.

Having the most clans in a particular territory gives you a specific "advantage" card that you get at the start of each round. The Valley card lets you add an extra clan on the board, Salt Mine lets you take an action card from another player but you have to give him one in exchange, etc. There's also a deck of "epic tale" cards you can earn in various ways that represent Celtic myths and legends. They all tend to be fairly powerful, if situational, cards that can make a big difference.

When clans wind up in the same territory there's usually a "clash" which is a very Euro take on combat. To start, the clash can end at any time if all the participants decide they don't want to fight any more. Since players are all trying to spread out and/or wind up ruling over other clans there's often advantage in doing so and letting clans coexist in the same territory. But if fighting does start up there's no random element to it at all, players simply take turns either retreating, playing an epic tale card, or "attacking". If you attack, you simply choose a player who still has clans in the territory and he either loses a clan or discards an action card. That can be a very tough decision... losing clans affects your presence on the board which is needed to win, but discarding action cards means you'll wind up doing less this turn.

Can't recommend this one enough!

- Mansions of Madness: This has been on hiatus as I painted the miniatures and rebased the monsters. Plus a small delay once Beyond the Threshold arrived last week to paint those 6 miniatures. We started off with one of the BoT scenarios (I forget the name) which is essentially Mansions of Madness Clue Edition. We botched the investigation portion of the game and were 2 (out of 32!) damage away from beating what we assumed was the final boss when the app informed us we were too late and all of us died. We started up the Dunwich scenario but only played a few turns.

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

Post by wonderpug » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:44 pm

Inis made a really good first impression on me as well. I think I've only played it twice so far, but it's probably one of my favorite new games I've gotten to try in the last year.

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

Post by baelthazar » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:31 pm

I took Inis off my radar because I did not think it could be played with two. But it sounds like it is a decent 2-player experience.

Did I ever do a write-up of A Feast for Odin?

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

Post by hepcat » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:50 pm

I really wanna play Inis. But I'm waiting for someone in our Chicago group to get it first.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Daveman » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:04 pm

baelthazar wrote:I took Inis off my radar because I did not think it could be played with two. But it sounds like it is a decent 2-player experience.
For us, it plays very well with just 2. You draft 6 of 12 cards each in 2 player so you both have more options per turn, but it's very cutthroat and you have to be very mindful of what's going on. In 3 player everyone gets 4 cards which is more restrictive, and there's a 3rd player to contend with. Different, but not in a better/worse kind of way. We haven't tried 4 player yet.

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OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Chrisoc13 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:22 pm

baelthazar wrote:I took Inis off my radar because I did not think it could be played with two. But it sounds like it is a decent 2-player experience.

Did I ever do a write-up of A Feast for Odin?
no i don't think you did and I would like to hear your thoughts.

Good to hear about inis. It's back on my radar.

Anyone here played any of the academy games birth of a nation series? 1775 Rebellion is catching my eye in a big way.

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

Post by hepcat » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:42 pm

I owned 1812: The Invasion of Canada. And while I thought it was fun, it was a little too simplistic for my tastes. I would recommend the Quartermaster General series over this, to be honest. Same feel, but with a bit more meat on its bones.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Chrisoc13 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:17 pm

hepcat wrote:I owned 1812: The Invasion of Canada. And while I thought it was fun, it was a little too simplistic for my tastes. I would recommend the Quartermaster General series over this, to be honest. Same feel, but with a bit more meat on its bones.
Interesting. Well I already ordered 1775... because it looked interesting. We will see how it goes. Simple might be ok for me, and the theme was more interesting than anything. I don't have any war type games from the revolution era. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm going to keep quartermaster general on my radar though, that looks pretty interesting and I haven't heard much about it before.

2 new games to the table this week-

Tiny Epic Western- Another in the Tiny Epic series. I like these games but don't love them. I think if they were normal sized boxes I would pass on them completely but the small boxes and easy price point entry makes them appealing to me. It's an easy way to bring a pretty full sized game on the road. Tiny Epic Western is no different really. It's a good game, but I would hesitate to call it a great game. The game is worker placement where if you go to a square someone else is on you can duel them for the square (much like Carson City, a game I love). Then at the end of each round you have a single poker card and play 3-hand poker to determine who wins the pot at each building (on top of your benefit from placing your worker). The poker mechanism is interesting, the production value is very high (especially when compared to previous tiny epics) and it plays easily. The rules are a little finicky and the dueling mechanism (you basically both just roll a dice) is actually pretty lame. Better off just avoiding duels as losing them is pretty rough and none of the resources are rare in any way shape or form. I think Carson City handles dueling much better, especially with the might is right expansion, and it is less of a loss to duel in carson city.

Another issue with Tiny Epic Western is that each place you play has a pot you can win at the end of the game, which is really cool, and you win by having the best poker hand. While this sounds cool in theory, if nobody else is contesting you for the pot (which in our experience was generally the case due to the weakness of dueling) then you play against a random dummy rival. And yes... it is completely random. So it isn't really like playing poker, but rather like having a random draw at the end of the game and hoping you get lucky. Cool idea... just not perfectly implemented.

We also played Escape: Zombie City which I picked up on a very cheap amazon deal around Christmas. While I have never played Escape I thought the real time aspect looked like fun. I would have rather bought escape but it wasn't on sale and this was like $8 with free shipping so... I bought this one. THe game is real time played in around 15 minutes with frantic rolling of dice trying to get symbols to flip over new tiles (exploring) and then moving onto them and fighting zombies and collecting items before getting in a van and taking off. 1 side of your dice has a zombie face on it and you cannot reroll it without getting a human face on another dice. The trick is that when you are in the square with a zombie you cannot re-roll those even with a human face. So you have to be very careful not to get stuck with the zombies. The game is silly, and heavy on luck, but we actually found it to be pretty fun and it was replayed 3 times the same night (partially because of the quick play time). That's always a good sign. The game has some minimal strategy but is hectic. I was pleasantly surprised.

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

Post by Archinerd » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:25 pm

hepcat wrote:I really wanna play Inis. But I'm waiting for someone in our Chicago group to get it first.
Zarathud sure is taking his time picking this one up. :)

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

Post by hepcat » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:27 pm

I even offered to pick it up for him too. :cry:
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
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hepcat
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:45 pm

Chrisoc13 wrote:
Interesting. Well I already ordered 1775... because it looked interesting. We will see how it goes. Simple might be ok for me, and the theme was more interesting than anything. I don't have any war type games from the revolution era. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm going to keep quartermaster general on my radar though, that looks pretty interesting and I haven't heard much about it before.
I'm probably going to pick up the new game in the series, Quartermaster General: Victory or Death. It moves the franchise from WWII to the Peloponnesian War.

As for aforementioned Academy Game series, they're not bad at all. Don't get me wrong. As a matter of fact, I would say it's a perfect game for getting new players into strategy board games, yet it's fun for those nights when you wanna play a strategy game but don't want to haul out pages of notes on game play. I played it a few times and I enjoyed it, but I didn't see myself pulling it out of the closet all that much as most of my gaming groups prefer heftier material.
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
-Mr Bismarck

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

Post by baelthazar » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:44 pm

I've had a little Bulleit Rye, so bear with me on my A Feast for Odin write up.

Despite my better judgement and despite the fact that the price leaped to almost MSRP, I went ahead and ordered this in early January. What I was looking for was an Agricola/Caverna-like experience that was even better as a solo game (yes yes, this is despite the fact that Comacheria is sitting, waiting to be cracked open, I am an addict with FOMO - we have already established this). I own several of this series, although I managed to miss Fields of Arle (which flew under my radar or I would have likely grabbed it).

The premise of A Feast for Odin is that you are playing a clan in a Viking saga. When I first got the box, I was shocked - it is almost a foot tall but has the same length and width as Caverna and the other Rosenberg games. Opening it up was even more shocking - instead of the bags and bags of wooden meeples, sheeples, pigs, cows, etc., you only have a few wooden pieces (wood, stone, ore, and your meeples) and a metric TON of cardboard. Cardboard chits overflow and I think there were at least 10 sprues of cardboard chits that were almost completely full. So instead of have the resource be wood they are cardboard. At first, I decried the "obvious" attempt to save cost by switching to chits... until I realized that the game revolved around an economics engine where chits are "upgradable" by flipping them (most of the chits are double sided, with different colors of goods on both sides).

Another thing, at first glance, that you notice is that the game is WAY more complex than even Caverna (which was on the medium-heavy side, even if you had played Agricola). This one is probably fully on the heavy side and may even be a "hardcore" game. As I learned the rules, I mulled over how I would teach them. It isn't that the game is not as streamlined as the other Rosenberg games - it has many of the same pure Euro mechanics of worker placement, action spaces, action space blocking, and a large dedicated action board. What is different, however, is the function and reason for the actions. So it would be easy to teach what each space does, but very difficult to teach WHY you would want to do each action (for example, why would I want to get furs from a trapping action or what reason would there be to "flip" tiles to their alternative side). Once you mull over the book and play a round, things become more clear, but I am still not sure the best way to optimize an economics engine in the game.

The entire economics engine centers on placing Tetris-style goods chits on a variety of boards. You start with a home board, but can acquire extra islands (like the Faroe Islands or Iceland) and long houses. These boards have a ton of -1 vp spaces on them - so the goal is to get the boards and cover the -1 VP spaces in order to have a net gain on the VP the boards give you (or, in the case of your home island, to cover the negatives as a way to show your prowess). Also on the boards are diagonals that give you silver income (you have to cover previous diagonals to go up the income ladder) and space peppered around that, should you surround them with tiles, you get a bonus good. This is a very interesting mechanic and a large part of the puzzle or fun of the game. You do not have any sort of "farm" and you cannot plant goods for harvest (harvest is passive and predictable for all players), although you can raise sheep and cows. Otherwise, all goods are gained from actions or by "processing" goods with an occupation card.

The game took me a while to learn and a while to play. That said, and I would need some subsequent plays to make a final call, but I think this is the most solo-friendly Rosenberg game of the series. In fact, I am not sure what you would gain by playing with other players (other than the social aspect, of course). The solo game simulates action space blocking and you still feel the brain-burn of decision making on which would be your most optimized move for your engine. Some of the more annoying aspects of previous games in the series, notably feeding your people and growing your tribe, are now automated (making feeding more of a tax and growing something that happens every turn to all players). The issue will be getting the right sized and color tiles for your boards. Certain tile colors cannot be next to one another (green cannot touch green) so they need to either be placed carefully or traded for blue goods (which have no placement restrictions). This is the entire reason for the engine - to get goods and then turn them into the proper colors to fit on the board.

There is a lot of rules policing - you need to make sure you follow the tile placement rules or the game falls apart. This is made more difficult by the fact that different boards have different placement rules (e.g. you cannot place red and orange goods on home boards but you can place them on longhouse boards). Additionally, and this is odd for a Rosenberg game, there is a dice-rolling and luck component on a few of the actions - notably hunting, trapping, and whaling. This is not a HUGE issue and you can certainly take steps to mitigate or overcome the dice roll, but it is still there and it will bother some Euro purists (a fact he must of realized, as he adds a note justifying the choice in the rules). The occupation cards, like Agricola, also add some luck, although I would not say the occupations are quite as imbalanced as Agricola (there are some clearly more useful, but most get you at least SOMETHING good).

So the best way to describe the game is the action board of Caverna meets the goods and tile-base engine of Le Havre (where you process tiles for profit). This time, however, the tiles ARE the profit and you place them on your boards. The puzzle element is quite fun and very good for a solo player. I would so far rate it a 9.5-10 and I immensely enjoyed my playthrough. I have been wanting to play more, but have not had the time (and I only get to play at night after getting up at 6:00am - not optimal for a brain burner). Do note, Caverna is in my top 5 games, so I am biased about these Euros.

EDITED P.S. - when you first see all the -1 VP spaces on these boards, your mind freaks out and says "how will I fill those and why would I ever take a SECOND island square." Oddly enough, I filled every one of my spaces in my first playthough. That said, I was far away from the 100 VPs that the rules say is considered "winning" in a solo play.

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

Post by Zarathud » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:33 am

Archinerd wrote:
hepcat wrote:I really wanna play Inis. But I'm waiting for someone in our Chicago group to get it first.
Zarathud sure is taking his time picking this one up. :)
Inis is on my convention buy list because my sister couldn't find it for Christmas. We still have to play Scythe!
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