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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 RMC »

Dead Reckoning has not hit the table for me yet. The last two times I had people over, there were 5 of us, and with only allowing 4, it was my mistake. I thought I could do 5 or 6 with the expansions..but nope. Actually Dune is in the same boat with my gaming group, my 4 player games don't get to be played as much because I almost always get 5 people.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

I finally broke down and picked up Terraforming Mars yesterday. I had avoided it because the theme didn’t appeal to me, but was itching for something new. Played my first couple solo games today and while I didn’t win either, I had a blast with it. I’ll be interested to see how it plays differently with others, as it seems like it would change the game in very significant ways.

I actually had TM and Scythe in my hands yesterday. Two games that are very highly rated that I've avoided because the theme did nothing for me. I had the kids flip a coin in which one to get, came home with TA. :)
Last edited by Skinypupy on Sun Apr 03, 2022 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Ænima »

Isn’t there a solo gaming thread?
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by wonderpug »

Isn’t it a game he played this weekend?
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

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

Post by Ænima »

I'm not sure what I did to earn the snark. I was just trying to point him in the direction where he might get a better answer. But hey, if it makes you guys feel better, snark away!
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

I mean, this is all pretty harmless banter. But you do have to admit your reply could be seen as snark if you're sensitive to it. But I don't think anyone here (yourself included) is trying to be mean.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Blackhawk »

I thought that was pretty a pretty low-snark reply. FWIW, when I read it, I also got the strong impression that you were telling him he'd done something wrong. Likely just the nuance lost in written communication rather than any intent.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

I had also posted a question about TM expansions that I edited into it's own post in the Solo thread.

I read it as Aenima intended, that it may be more likely to get an answer there...although it is pretty much the same group in both. :)
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by baelthazar »

hepcat wrote: Sun Apr 03, 2022 9:53 am Next was Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles from one of my favorite game designers, David Turczi (the maker of the great Anachrony and about 3,402 solo AI add ons to games...he's built a niche for himself as the go to guy when you want to add a solo component to your game).

Honestly, this one disappointed me. This was the one I was anxiously awaiting for as I was sure after Anachrony, he'd make another great game. But if you have Anachrony, I see no reason to get this game. And if you have a choice between the two, I would go with Anachrony. There's nothing in Perserverance that makes it stand out from its predecessor. It's not horrible. It's not even bad. What it is though is just redundant. However, the caveat being that we only played the first game. There are two games in the box. The first game is essentially a stripped down version of the second game and there's the ability to play both as sort of a legacy like game. I haven't tried the second one yet. But if it's like the first one with more stuff to remember, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to enjoy it as much either. I hate to say that as Turczi is hands down one of the nicest game designers ever. He's constantly on BGG helping people, taking praise and criticism alike with a cheery nature, and just generally being a real mensch. But I just can't bring myself to recommend Perseverance. Get Anachrony if you can. That's all I can say.
I played one round of the solo game of Chapter 1 and I think I would agree. That said, I certainly haven't grasped all of the mechanics here and the way scoring is done is very different that Anachrony. I spent a lot of time defending the settlement but not actually SETTLING the settlement, so our population remained fairly low and my score followed suit. My other main criticism is that the solo AI for Anachrony is a thing of beauty that, once you grasp it, becomes easy to run in seconds. The solo AI for Perseverance requires a lot more thought since it has a TON of contingent rules for placement of stuff. I feel like I need a helper flow chart (and they did NOT include one in the game). Maybe this gets better with repeat plays.

Visually, Perseverance is pretty stunning. Anachonry is awesome with its mech suit workers, but there is something pretty cool about alien dinosaurs queuing up and being held back by walls and multiple sculpts of defenders. I'm curious what Chapter 2 is like, but I think I will do one more round of Chapter 1 before trying it.

My player boards are also warping slightly, which is annoying. It isn't terrible but it is noticeable. I am also not particularly pleased at how the premium metal tokens literally get stuck in the recesses provided to the point that I have to pry them out when I want to move them.

So, yeah, I'm a tad disappointed as well. I'll probably play each mode several times then judge to see if I want to keep it our sell it.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

baelthazar wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 8:56 am
My player boards are also warping slightly, which is annoying. It isn't terrible but it is noticeable. I am also not particularly pleased at how the premium metal tokens literally get stuck in the recesses provided to the point that I have to pry them out when I want to move them.
Those are the EXACT two issues I complained about during our game Saturday. The bigger boards for game 2 are warping even more badly. And the recesses for the metal pieces should have had some kind of finger hole to get them out. I resorted to using another token to dig them out whenever I needed to move them.

I also dislike the dice as workers mechanic. The facings mean almost nothing, really. If you're going to use worker placement and then use dice, do it in a meaningful manner, like in Teotihuacan.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by baelthazar »

hepcat wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 9:20 am I also dislike the dice as workers mechanic. The facings mean almost nothing, really. If you're going to use worker placement and then use dice, do it in a meaningful manner, like in Teotihuacan.
This took me by surprise too. I couldn't really see a lot of difference in the faces. Yes, some spaces become limited based on what faces you roll, but most of this is not an issue. It seemed the main thing was being able to control exactly what dinos get placed on the board (and how many), which was useful for trap planning and soldier placement. Where I really bungled up the game (and will need to work on for my second play) is converting die to my color and using those dice to "dominate" an area when scoring comes around. I neglected this and almost always ended up in second place for area control.

I need to set up and play again. The first play through is very overwhelming - there is a LOT going on in the game. Do you build settlements? Do I defend against dinos? Do I build protection? Do I influence the officers? The right choice isn't very clear. I also didn't use my leader effectively and that hurt me in the end.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

I need to try the game solo myself, as I doubt that I will be able to bring it back to the table with anyone other than one of our group that's a heavy euro lover. I think my disappointment primarily comes from the feeling that it doesn't do anything really new that sets it apart from Anachrony, and that it seemed like it was billed as more of an adventure game....which it really isn't. At least the first game wasn't. I still need to try the second game in the series.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

I learned Russian Railroads last night. It's a relatively simple game in the abstract: place workers to go up tracks to unlock bonuses that help you place workers and go up tracks. But there's a heck of a lot strategic depth in there. You could focus on the Moscow-Kyiv line(the game is from a simpler time) for pure points. Or the Trans-Siberian line for a longer-term payoff. Or build factories for a series of hefty bonuses. Or some combination of the above.

This kind of medium-to-heavy game is right in my sweet spot, complexity-wise. It's light on player interaction--just the "hey I wanted to take that space" competition typical of worker placement games. I tend to prefer more interaction in games these days, but I still had a fun time with Russian Railroads.

I see that it's on BGA. I should try taking it for a spin there.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by tylertoo »

I've been playing Sleeping Gods solo. Finally over the learning curve and about a third of the way through my first campaign and I find the 'just one more turn' effect in full force.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by baelthazar »

hepcat wrote: Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:00 am I need to try the game solo myself, as I doubt that I will be able to bring it back to the table with anyone other than one of our group that's a heavy euro lover. I think my disappointment primarily comes from the feeling that it doesn't do anything really new that sets it apart from Anachrony, and that it seemed like it was billed as more of an adventure game....which it really isn't. At least the first game wasn't. I still need to try the second game in the series.
So I played Perseverance - Act 1 again solo. This time, knowing the mechanics and what the game was about (e.g. how to get score), I felt like the experience was far different than my first play. This time, it felt much more differentiated from Anachrony to me - particularly in the scale, scope, and purpose of your actions. Anachrony is an engine builder at its root - you build new stuff to optimize your flow to both generate resources and then turn resources into victory points. Perseverance is, in many ways, an area control game with tower defense mechanics thrown in. I think this second play through allowed me to come to grips with that.

For example - the key mechanic to scoring is the assembly (for solo play, it is the clearest path to getting dissenter acceptance, which is one of two scores you need to beat to win). To score in the assembly, you need to have the most presence in a zone, which is counted by having your color die, your leader, and your settlements in the zone. The more settlements in a zone, the more votes/score you get. So what you want to do is either be the majority settler in a zone and/or place your color of die in the zones to ensure you have more of your color pieces in the zone. Resources, defense troops, walls, traps - all these are just means to get and protect the key score generator - settlements and zone dominance. Zone dominance can also change - unless you are the solo dissenters, you aren't likely going to get enough settlements to get a total lock in a zone when die and leader placement comes into play.

The second aspect, tower defense, comes in when the dinos attack. EVERY action results in dinos being placed on the board. So you really have to plan that focusing on an action will shorten the time to get a dino attack. What this also means is that actions become pretty limited. You get one die placed action and one "secondary" action per turn, but I often found that my secondary action was more "deterministic" - I knew it was going to have to be placing soliders, or influencing an officer based on what threats existed. Playing solo, you get to see what the choices will be for the dissenters, so you have to think about where they are going to be adding dinos (and perhaps not defenders). That is an added element not in the multiplay game.

I also found that defending against the dinos produces very little in rewards. To get rewards, you have to spend these other resources (the ones that are tracked with the poorly designed holes that are hard to retrieve the little metal tokens from). These resources are generated largely by placing troops and doing patrols. They are always scarce - and I contributed to defense at times but could not afford rewards, which was a huge bummer and waste.

So - that long winded synopsis all boils down to a few things. The second play was much more enjoyable than the first and differentiated this game as being something distinct. Also, this is only half the game, and it is like getting two full games in one in the box (but I haven't yet played the other version). That all said, so far, for my time, I'm not sure that I wouldn't rather just play Anachrony (even if different) or something like Tapestry (which I see as being a closer comparison to Perseverance). It is a compelling and fun game, but just not sure it stands out enough for the time commitment.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by LordMortis »

AWS260 wrote: Wed Apr 06, 2022 2:43 pm I learned Russian Railroads last night. It's a relatively simple game in the abstract: place workers to go up tracks to unlock bonuses that help you place workers and go up tracks. But there's a heck of a lot strategic depth in there. You could focus on the Moscow-Kyiv line(the game is from a simpler time) for pure points. Or the Trans-Siberian line for a longer-term payoff. Or build factories for a series of hefty bonuses. Or some combination of the above.

This kind of medium-to-heavy game is right in my sweet spot, complexity-wise. It's light on player interaction--just the "hey I wanted to take that space" competition typical of worker placement games. I tend to prefer more interaction in games these days, but I still had a fun time with Russian Railroads.

I see that it's on BGA. I should try taking it for a spin there.
I played it on BGA. It's a tough one and the people who know how play, play it well. I haven't been on BGA in quite a while. I let my subscription lapse. I'll probably head back after I stop working... soon...soon...
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Cognizant »

I played Jumbling Tower and on coming weeknd I'm going to play JT again cause it's so addictive, brilliant game.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

I finally got my son to sit down and play GHOST CASTLE, which is that game that is perpetually on sale at Target. There's a reason why.

GHOST CASTLE is a remake (I think) of an old '80s game I never played. It's essentially a bit like MOUSE TRAP. The game is divided into four sections, each with a trap that can take you out if you're on any of the red spaces near the trap. Your goal is to make it out of the castle with your team of investigators.

The game is basic roll the die and move, with the only real strategy deciding when to risk landing on a red space. Any time you end your turn on a red space (or roll a ghost on the die), you must push down on the ghost at the top of the castle. This releases a ball which can randomly trigger one of the four traps. If you're caught by a trap, you must retreat back to the nearest safe space.

While the novelty of watching the traps trigger is fun the first few times, the game quickly becomes an exercise in tedium. That's because after each time a trap is triggered, you've got to reload the ball into the ghost. Over the course of the game, this means you'll probably be reloading this ball into the ghost 50-60 times. And that doesn't even take into account the dreaded "axe trap" which tends to capture the ball so that you have to fiddle with it with several seconds to even get it back out so you can reset it. Fun!

Now add in some significant setup time, as you have to build the castle and assemble all the traps every time you play because they won't fit in the box otherwise. My 10-year old enjoyed the one game, but after that he was out and I doubt I could persuade him to ever play it again.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by malchior »

FYI if you don't have a download of Gloomhaven Helper lying around, get it while you can. Isaac and the dev had some sort if falling out and it won't be available after May 12th.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

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malchior wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:30 pm FYI if you don't have a download of Gloomhaven Helper lying around, get it while you can. Isaac and the dev had some sort if falling out and it won't be available after May 12th.
That sucks. That app is the only thing that saved Gloomhaven for me. Doubt I would have bothered to play without it.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

Just got back from a game of SUMMIT: THE BOARD GAME. One of our gaming group picked it up after Trey Parker listed it as his #1 favorite board game. We played the cooperative mode, though it can also be played competitively.

In the game you're trying to scale a mountain and reach the peak, losing only if all climbers die. You win if at least one of your party makes it to the top and then back down to base camp.

Gameplay is pretty simple - on your turn you can move, playing tiles from your hand to traverse up the mountain. Normal tiles have no effect, ice tiles require more movement to cross, and thin air tiles require an oxygen to move into. As you climb, you'll have to manage food, oxygen, and your weight, all of which will ultimately affect your movement speed and health.

After your turn you roll an event and weather die, which often have negative effects.

There are game mechanics that can help you survive the onslaught of the mountain events and weather. A Sherpa is provided in the co-op game who travels with you carrying supplies that you can replenish. You can also bring along items which have various game effects such as healing or allowing you to move faster. And each climber has a different special ability.

My overall impressions are that the game is fairly light, easy to teach, and fun, even though it didn't completely blow me away. We did play on a very easy mode, however, so we were never in any real danger. Next week we're going to tackle a harder difficulty, and I'm hoping that adds enough challenge to warm me up to the game a bit more. I have a feeling that the competitive game is probably where the game's true strength lies, and that may be why I'm a little lukewarm on the co-op.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

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I've been feeling guilty lately about my most expensive board game purchase, Descent: Legends of the Dark, gathering dust having only been played a couple times. So I busted it out to give it another dedicated try this week.

I have decided that I really just don't like this game and am seriously kicking myself for getting sucked in and paying full price ($180) for it. There's so many things that just absolutely bug the hell out of me:

- The writing is just SO incredibly bad. Honestly, my 13-year-old could write much more compelling and interesting dialog than this. Everything about the story, the conversations, the mid-mission interactions, etc is just incredibly juvenile.
- I really dislike the artwork. I get that they were going for a stylized approach, but it's all just looks (again) rather juvenile and amateurish.
- The minis, while incredibly detailed and cool to look at, are a PITA to actually play with. Two of the player characters are so large that they overlap multiple squares and you're constantly fiddling with them to try and fit everyone in. They're difficult to get out of the container (actually cut my thumb twice). They have small bit and bobs that break easily. The colored bases are constantly falling out.
- The main selling point (for me, anyways) was the cool terrain and the table presence. And I'll admit that it looks pretty neat when it's all laid out. But I've found that I spend nearly as much time building the damn map, moving tiles, placing tables/shelves/archways, and doing other general maintenance as I do actually playing the game. Not to mention is a massive table hog. I have a pretty decent sized 3' x 5' gaming table, and I was still constantly having to take down bits of scenery and shift the entire map around to make room for the new area I just unlocked on the map. Which becomes very problematic when mobs suddenly spawn behind you...in the area you just tore down to make room. :evil: I thought that I would have fun building the level as I went, but I found it incredibly tedious and annoying. Also, the cardboard scenery isn't exactly the best quality. I was pretty careful and only played through 4 missions, and three of the large posts that you use to elevate platforms have already started to split.
- The gameplay is just...boring. I'm all for simpler systems over needlessly complex ones, but this one just isn't exciting at all. Assign stamina tokens, roll dice, flip cards...that's pretty much it. There's not much more interesting that happens. Higher difficulties make enemies more difficult to hit and they do more damage, but there's no positioning, only a few very basic status effects, no real buff mechanics, etc. Maybe those come in at higher levels, but I wasn't interested enough to play through that far.

My overwhelming thought as I was playing through the 3rd mission tonight was "why am I playing this when I have Middara - a far superior campaign dungeon crawl - sitting there on the shelf?" I literally shut off the app mid-mission and packed Descent back up. I doubt it'll hit the table again, and will go down as my biggest gaming regret purchase.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

I feel your pain, even though I didn't pay close to full price. That was the one I split with the group and we've never gotten it to the table (nor have any plans to do so).

I spent WAY too much time trying to paint those damn minis, which are a pain. Finally resorted to sundropping them, and then gave up on that 1/4 of the way through. Played maybe three scenarios but wasn't having enough fun to justify all the setup and tear down.

It's particularly frustrating to me because I'm usually very good about getting a critical consensus on a game before I buy it. If you look through my collection, you won't find much of anything that has a score less than a 7+ on BGG. The warning signs were all there with countless YouTube previews, etc. but I got sucked into the people going "well it's not as bad as we thought it would be" probably in an attempt to justify the price to themselves.

I think I even had a somewhat postive impression post on here while I was still in the hype glow.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

YellowKing wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 8:33 am If you look through my collection, you won't find much of anything that has a score less than a 7+ on BGG.
Out of curiosity, I looked it up on BGG this morning...8.0. That doesn't feel like a game anywhere near an 8/10 from an actual gameplay standpoint.
Different strokes, I guess.

The silver lining is that this purchase sort of "broke the fever" for me. I had been on a somewhat insane spending spree last year, buying any game that even remotely piqued my interest. After the Descent debacle, I've been much more careful about what I'm spending my $$ on, and have generally avoided any "big ticket", sight unseen purchases. The exception being when I picked up Return to Dark Tower on a whim, but that one was mostly just the lure of nostalgia (plus, it's actually a damn fun game).
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

I'm still in the camp that loves Descent: LotD. I painted the hero figs a while back, as well as a couple of the monster figs and it's helped with immersion a bit.

I absolutely love the artwork, myself. Too Many Bones I love for the gameplay, but the artwork has always annoyed me. But I appreciated that they tried to do something other than the standard Frank Frazetta novel cover. Descent manages to capture the dynamic aspect of these characters in a unique way that I like. So that's a plus for me.

The figures being too large for the map is something I haven't had any issues with. I guess because I play so many crawlers, it's just something I don't notice. But I'm hard pressed to think of any moment in a game where information was covered up by a figure.

As for the fatigue as a proxy for action points approach, I did find it a bit hard to get into at first. But eventually I saw what they were trying to do and am now fairly happy with it. It forces you to make some meaningful choices when combined with the mechanic behind enemy weaknesses. Do I waste an action flipping a card to use something they're weak against? Or do I do something else? Do I stop to rest and clear fatigue so I can use this skill? I admit, there's less choices than I'd like, but I still find those choices meaningful.

The writing is pretty bad, but honestly, I can't think of a single crawler I own that has good writing. That's just something you have to accept if you like dungeon crawlers, sadly enough (Mansions of Madness has decent writing on some scenarios, but that's less a dungeon crawl and more an RPG to me).

Middara still has the best combat mechanic I've come across in a dungeon crawler, so I prefer it to Descent. However, its story is even more goofy.
Last edited by hepcat on Wed Apr 27, 2022 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

hepcat wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 9:40 am The figures being too large for the map is something I haven't had any issues with. I guess because I play so many crawlers, it's just something I don't notice. But I'm hard pressed to think of any moment in a game where information was covered up by a figure.
I should clarify, the minis never covered up any game info. But trying to get the staff dude and the phoenix dude into adjacent squares felt like a game of Tetris.
As for the fatigue as a proxy for action points approach, I did find it a bit hard to get into at first. But eventually I saw what they were trying to do and am now fairly happy with it. It forces you to make some meaningful choices when combined with the mechanic behind enemy weaknesses. Do I waste an action flipping a card to use something they're weak against? Or do I do something else?
Descent's combat system seems to be a love it or hate it sort of thing. I came to Descent right from Middara though, so I'm sure that colored my opinion on it.
The writing is pretty bad, but honestly, I can't think of a single crawler I own that has good writing. That's just something you have to accept if you like dungeon crawlers, sadly enough (Mansions of Madness has decent writing on some scenarios, but that's less a dungeon crawl and more an RPG to me).

Middara still has the best combat mechanic I've come across in a dungeon crawler, so I prefer it to Descent. However, it's story is even more goofy.
I thought Imperial Assault had good writing. JiME, for all it's other flaws, was written quite well. I don't remember the writing in 2nd Ed Descent being particularly bad. Maybe it's just a style thing, as I just inwardly groaned every time the dialog came up in Descent: LotD.

And I've been playing Final Fantasy games for 25+ years. Middara's goofiness didn't phase me one bit. :lol:
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

I do think that without the crafting and skill component behind Descent, it would be a pretty lame game. With those though, I tend to approach my adventures with an eye towards what's going to get me what I need to make some sweet, sweet upgrades later.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

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I never played far enough to get into the crafting, so I'm still open to the idea that my opinion could be changed. One of these days I'll give it another spin, when the mood strikes.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

It's also surprisingly quick to set up, which is a plus for me.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

So while I have cut back significantly on my game purchases over the past 6 months, there are still about a half-dozen games on my list that I really want. One of those games, Bardsung, happened to come available in a local board game trading forum this morning. It also happens to include the Fables expansion, which is what I was really hoping to get. So, against my better judgement, I'll be going to pick that up at noon today. Guess that'll be my weekend gaming.

I simply have no willpower at all. :lol:
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

Thoughts on Bardsung, after playing for about 3 hours.

What I Like
- At it's core, this is basically a more robust version of the D&D Adventure System. I happen to love those games, so this was a positive for me. YMMV. You bring out new tiles, roll d20 abilities/attacks with modifiers against monster AC, trigger events, etc. Very, very similar to all of the D&D games.
- The artwork and miniatures are all absolutely fantastic (with one notable exception). They absolutely nailed the high fantasy aesthetic here. And it comes with what is now my favorite mini ever, this giant Demon. This beast is going on my gaming shelf as a statue. :)
- I've seen some complaints about the size of the board, but I think it looks fantastic on the table. Really excellent table presence.
- The campaign looks like it will be really long. I did just the first three nodes (which took me about an hour each) and I'm not even done with Chapter 1 yet. There's 30 chapters.
- The level of tweaking and customization you can do is really impressive. Each character starts with 3 skills, with another dozen or so they can purchase or upgrade as you gain XP. Or you can improve your base stats for improved rolls. Or you can improve your weapons. Or you can purchase skills from OTHER classes and essentially create a dual or multi-class character. The possibilities seem pretty much endless.
- The characters are pretty interesting. There's 5 base characters, with another 8 in the Fables xpac. They range from pretty basic roles (tank, rogue, mage) to a giant turtle who spawns ghosts to harass and debuff enemies or a Demonblade who can switch between blade stances for ranged or melee attacks (other characters get one or the other). I'm playing with a Tank, a Fire Mage, and a Bard (the sweet spot for solo play seems to be three characters).
- There's a shared pool of 'Fate Tokens" that allow for more powerful abilities. It's fairly limited (one token per player) but can be replenished by specific actions such as landing two attacks or setting an enemy on fire. Forces you to be very strategic about when to stick with a basic attack or push it with an empowered attack or other ability.
- I can see battles getting really insane down the road when there are more abilities available. Looking forward to that.

What I Don't Like
- The actual dungeon tiles themselves are really difficult to use. They tried to go with this aesthetic where instead of grid lines on the tiles to delineate hexes, walls, doors, etc, they instead tried to make those barriers part of the natural artwork. Problem is, it's not very obvious which parts of the tile are which. Is that big black area supposed to be a door or an impassable wall? Are those two areas separated by that faint, wavy line supposed to be two hexes or one? I get what they were trying to do, but they executed it VERY poorly.
- As with all dice-based games, it can be insanely swingy. If you get a run of 1's and 2's, you may as well just kiss that run goodbye...and there ain't a damn thing you can do about it.
- Same thing goes for the tile draws. Most maps require you to build a path from one end of the map to the other. You might get lucky with a few draws of straight rooms and corridors from point A to point B in 3-4 tiles. Or you can get extremely unlucky and get a series of twists and turns that take 10-12 tiles. My last run was the latter and I barely made it out alive against basic enemies.
- There is an "Echo" mechanic which has a chance to spawn wandering monsters at the end of each round. Roll a d6, a 1 or 2 spawns a mob. As with combat rolls, you can get unlucky with Echo rolls and end up fighting a neverending horde of random mobs. Which would be fine if you gained any benefit at all from doing so, but you don't. No XP, no gold, nothing. It just ends up being a huge annoyance (at best) or a complete mission destroyer (at worst) rather than an interesting gameplay mechanic. I may need to house rule that a bit.
- The only way to mark minis with status effects or damage is to put tokens right down on the board next to them. Those tokens then need to be moved every time the mob moves. That can get really messy when there's a whole bunch of mobs with status effects. There's also no way to show whether a monster is the initiative track is on "side 1" or "side 2" (their cards flip when you do a specific amount of damage). You have to manually keep track of it if there's more than one of a specific mob on the board. It's annoying.
- The cards are filled with VERY tiny text with VERY tiny symbols that are incredibly difficult to read. The magnifier app on my phone is getting a workout.
- The instruction manual is...not great. It's very vague on a number of rules, leaving lots of stuff up to player interpretation. That doesn't bother me a ton (I'm fine making a few things up as I go), but I can see it being a huge issue for others. It's also really unclear about the terms it uses. For example, it mentions the tutorial mission ends when the dungeon you're building reaches the "crease in the map" (printed on the board). I'm looking at the board right now and honestly have no idea WTF that means. In different places, it refers to enemies as "mobs", "models", "monsters", etc. There's very little consistency and it can be quite confusing.

Overall
I'm really enjoying it so far, but it's definitely not going to be for everyone. It's a pretty combat simple system overall with success entirely dependent on dice rolls. I happen to generally enjoy that, but I know others don't. I'm really glad I got the Fables xpac, as it comes with a bunch of stand-alone modules that take 4-5 hours instead of the campaign that looks like it'll be 80-100. The chances of it keeping my interest that long are...minimal.

I'd give it an 8 so far, but can see others dropping it down to a 5 or 6.

P.S. Don't watch the Dice Tower playthrough from a couple weeks ago. I'm pretty sure the rep from Steamworks Games had never played the game before. It's really kinda baffling that they'd have him doing the walkthrough with such a high profile group. It gets pretty much all the rules wrong and is really painful to watch.

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

Post by AWS260 »

Late to the party as always, I just had my first play of many people's 2016 game of the year, Great Western Trail. We played the BGA version of the 2nd edition. It's really clean and smooth, and even has an interactive tutorial. Very impressive.

Online implementation aside, GWT is just a lot of fun. While there's a lot going on (cows, workers, buildings, the trail, the train track, the city track), it's easy to track all the different information and understand your options. I decided early on to pursue a cow-heavy strategy with very little building, but I definitely want to explore other approaches the next time I play.

It was worlds different from my previous games of Boonlake, which is by the same designer and has a similar move-down-the-path framework. Boonlake is obtuse and fiddly, with a theme that barely made sense. GWT is less fiddly and more coherent, with a theme that helps you understand the mechanics, which makes all the difference in the world.

If anyone wants to play GWT online sometime, let me know! I'd love to get in some more plays of it.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hentzau »

Absolutely love GWT. I have the original version, not the new one, but it's an all time favorite of mine. I love the differing paths to victory that the game presents.

If you look too deep beneath the theme, it doesn't make a lick of sense, but it's still a boatload of fun.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

Just got back from the first session of Batman: Everybody Lies. This is the latest in the series of games based on Detective. As I've mentioned previously, our group has played every piece of content ever produced in the Detective series, so I was eager to give this one a shot considering I'm a HUGE Batman fan. I was also eager to see if they corrected the mistakes of their previous effort, the decidedly mediocre Dune: House Secrets.

In terms of mechanics, Batman: Everybody Lies dispenses with any gimmicks or major gameplay changes and delivers on one the of the most streamlined and refined versions of Detective gameplay to date. No worrying about leads costing variable time amounts - every lead followed costs a single space on the time track. As in previous games, certain leads require spending specific tokens to follow. However, these costs have been moved from the lead card to the location itself. This small change does improve the feel of the game thematically, as the places requiring costs are "hard to get into" spots like the Batcave, Arkham Asylum, or the Criminal Underground.

Perhaps the biggest addition to the franchise with this iteration is the concept of personal motives. During the case, each character may come across a personal question that they want to answer, which may drive those players to want to persue those lines of inquiry over others. However, because Detective is a true collaborative effort, these personal motives don't feel much like a "hidden agenda" or "traitor" mechanic, but instead just serve as an extra way to improve your case score at the end of the game.

Another minor addition I liked is the use of scene cards, which are basically just comic book panels that are referenced on certain clue cards. While many are just essentially story flavor, some can hold actual clues if you're observant.

While I really enjoyed it, it's important to note that this and other games in the series are really more about group discussion and story immersion more than strategic thinking. In any given case it's fairly trivial to get enough clues to solve the case in the given time. The fun of the game lies not so much in the decision-making (which is fairly foolproof), but in the occasional flashes of insight as clues lead to theories which lead to "aha" moments.

I do sometimes miss the old-school Detective mechanics, where poor choices could lead to wasted time and dead end clues, and your ability to solve the case was never certain. However, I also understand how those moments could be frustrating and why each iteration of the game has slowly phased them out. The end result is a different game; one where the stakes perhaps aren't as high, but the journey is more fulfilling. I'm looking forward to the next three cases, and hope this represents the start of more polished and more IP-driven Detective games.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by gbasden »

Skinypupy wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 12:07 am I literally shut off the app mid-mission and packed Descent back up. I doubt it'll hit the table again, and will go down as my biggest gaming regret purchase.
Interesting. I've been playing it with my wife and two friends and we have been having a great time with it. The maps get increasingly cool in layout and the scenarios have forced us to make some interesting choices. But I totally get that not everyone likes the same games.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Malificent »

gbasden wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 2:29 am
Skinypupy wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 12:07 am I literally shut off the app mid-mission and packed Descent back up. I doubt it'll hit the table again, and will go down as my biggest gaming regret purchase.
Interesting. I've been playing it with my wife and two friends and we have been having a great time with it. The maps get increasingly cool in layout and the scenarios have forced us to make some interesting choices. But I totally get that not everyone likes the same games.
My wife gets the biggest kick out of the 3d terrain. We've played the first few sessions and really enjoyed it so far.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

This week I played Crisis, a game about building a business in the midst of an economic crisis. It is a thinly veiled allegory for the Greek financial crisis; the economy of "Axia" (Greek for "value" or "worth") is in freefall and forced to adopt austerity measures by the Economic Union (EU - get it?). The two designers are Greek, and this is their only design, so imagine it's quite personal for them.

The game itself is a nifty worker-placement game where you acquire companies, employees, and raw materials, which you turn into goods to be sold on the market. The twist is that you're not only building competing business, you are also collectively rebuilding the country's economy. Many actions - establishing a company, fulfilling export contracts - will prop up the economy. But others - selling on the black market, importing foreign goods - will have no or even negative impact. Axia's overall financial strength rises or falls each turn depending on players' action, and if it falls too far the economy collapses and the game ends early.

And that's what happened in our game. The economy teetered on the brink on more than one occasion thanks to the selfish actions of some players, and then collapsed utterly on turn four (of seven). Final scoring is a little bit different when the economy collapses - you don't have to pay back loans (yay), but your money is worthless (boo). I ended up coming in a pretty close second, largely thanks to a productive steel factory that I managed to get up an running.

Crisis has been on my radar for several years, so it was great to finally get it to the table. Very fun, and I'm hoping we can play it again soon.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Fardaza »

Malificent wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 8:03 am
gbasden wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 2:29 am
Skinypupy wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 12:07 am I literally shut off the app mid-mission and packed Descent back up. I doubt it'll hit the table again, and will go down as my biggest gaming regret purchase.
Interesting. I've been playing it with my wife and two friends and we have been having a great time with it. The maps get increasingly cool in layout and the scenarios have forced us to make some interesting choices. But I totally get that not everyone likes the same games.
My wife gets the biggest kick out of the 3d terrain. We've played the first few sessions and really enjoyed it so far.
I don't see any 3d terrain in the pics on BGG. Do you mean the cardboard doors?
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

Fardaza wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 11:52 am
Malificent wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 8:03 am
gbasden wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 2:29 am
Skinypupy wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 12:07 am I literally shut off the app mid-mission and packed Descent back up. I doubt it'll hit the table again, and will go down as my biggest gaming regret purchase.
Interesting. I've been playing it with my wife and two friends and we have been having a great time with it. The maps get increasingly cool in layout and the scenarios have forced us to make some interesting choices. But I totally get that not everyone likes the same games.
My wife gets the biggest kick out of the 3d terrain. We've played the first few sessions and really enjoyed it so far.
I don't see any 3d terrain in the pics on BGG. Do you mean the cardboard doors?
The doors, crates, chests, bookcases, trees, stairs, and multi-level maps. Like this:

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