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

Post by Zarathud »

Car Wars is on the truck to me. Oooh yea.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

The guy running our demo at origins was the main designer behind this sixth edition of Car Wars. It was interesting hearing him explain design decisions while we played. I will say I hope they release a mall map at some point. That was our favorite back in the day.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

Got a couple friends coming over tonight, and they want to play Star Wars Outer Rim. Looking forward to it, as I've really only played solo (which is meh).

I was reviewing the rules and realized I have been playing Reputation completely wrong in this game. When a card said to gain or lose reputation with a faction, I thought that meant the slider moved up or down only one of the tiny green or red notches. Just realized that there are only three zones on the slider: top (positive), middle (neutral), and bottom (negative). You move it all the way into one of those zones each time the game tells you to change reputation. I was only moving it up or down one tiny notch, which meant it rarely ever moved into a different zone.

I was wondering why reputation so seldom had any impact in my solo games. Makes so much more sense now!
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Daveman »

I still enjoy Pandemic now and then. It's a good solo game and a neat little tactical puzzle to figure out. I like Fall of Rome better but haven't tried any other versions.

I picked up Wrath of the Lich King the other day. I don't know why Target is selling it for $10 over the MSRP but I got Target to price match it so I only paid $56 factoring in their Red Card bonus.

So far I like it a lot. They've nailed the WoW theme and WotLK was my favorite expansion so that was an easy sell. It plays a lot differently than normal Pandemic. The biggest 2 changes are:

1. Players have hit points and the crucial actions you take (Fighting and Questing) often involve taking damage. The penalty for dying is pretty harsh overall (although you do respawning at full health) so there's an ebb and flow to the game as you have to use actions to heal now and then, and heals can fizzle and do very little.

2. The core victory mechanic of Pandemic (get players to amass enough matching cards so they can turn them in to cure diseases/ally with tribes, etc.) is replaced with a questing system. It's very different, semi-dice/luck driven but there's some card play and chances for players to team up. Overall I like it.

There's only 1 loss condition, the Despair track. If it reaches the end, game over. Players dying advances the track, having to add a 4th Ghoul to a location advances the track... but so far for us the killer has been that if you have to spawn a Ghoul or an Abomonation and there are none in the supply, you advance the track.

The catch is there are only 3 Abomonations, and they're relatively hard to kill... so you really need to keep them at bay.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

Having played every iteration of Pandemic so far, I'm looking forward to trying that one out!

Tonight I finally got in a 3-player game of HORRIFIED: AMERICAN MONSTERS. Being veteran HORRIFIED players, we decided to go standard 3 monsters with 3 random players. We wound up defeating Mothman but ran out of time trying to take out the Chupacabra and Jersey Devil.

Gameplay-wise, there's not much new here - the same basic rules apply. However, there are a few key differences overall:

- Monsters, on the whole, are a bit more complex. Chupacabra, for instance, despite being one of the lowest complexity monsters, still makes you collect 6 specific goat tokens on the board (that come out randomly) and "save" them by returning them to the farm. Compare that to the lowest complexity monster in base HORRIFIED (Dracula), in which you just had to go to four locations and smash a coffin. Mothman was a bit easier in that you only had to arm four traps and then lure him into one - however it still required some manipulation of monster movement. Jersey Devil was by far the most complex (and frustrating), as you had to take actions at City Hall to get citizens on the board. Once you got a citizen "home" you got to uncover a clue. Uncover three clues, and you can determine who the Jersey Devil is disguising himself as. THEN you have to get to that citizen's location, lure the Jersey Devil there, and defeat him. All the while, the Jersey Devil can potentially remove clues that you've uncovered. He was TOUGH.

- Components are a bit different. The item tokens are much larger now, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Cards in general are still pretty flimsy, but that was an issue in the first game as well. They include a new velcro-closable plastic draw bag, but I prefer the cloth bag in the original. The minis are nicer, however.

- The map is a bit more complex. While it has some of the same general layout, there are more locations, and more dead end spots where you can get stuck. It's neither better or worse, just different, and it was a pleasant surprise that they didn't just reskin the original game board exactly.

Overall I really enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing the other monsters. Do you need this one if you own HORRIFIED? Well, no, unless the theme appeals to you more OR (like me), you've played HORRIFIED so much that you want new content. I would still definitely recommend base HORRIFIED over this one for new players. Not only is it a bit simpler, the rulebook is MUCH better in the base game. I don't know who proofread the rules for American Monsters, but the rulebook is filled with typos, isn't laid out as nicely as the original, and uses an annoying font that is boring and hard to read. If you can get past that, though, it's just as much fun as the original with maybe a slight increase in difficulty.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Skinypupy »

Wow, Outer Rim is a completely different game with a group than it is solo. I got really bored of it solo, but it was an absolute blast playing with a group. The dynamics of dealing, scheming, and working against other players is completely missing in the solo version, and it feels very stale and dull as a result. Playing in a group was fan-damn-tastic.

Both guys I played with had ordered it off Amazon by the time they left. :lol:
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

Is there a way to make Cosmic Encounter less like Munchkin? I just wrapped up a game, and while it was bonkers and fun, the last 90 minutes felt like an endless carousel of bash-the-leader.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Blackhawk »

*Quietly removes Cosmic Encounter from his wishlist*
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by baelthazar »

Blackhawk wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:17 am *Quietly removes Cosmic Encounter from his wishlist*
I feel like I know you well enough to say, absolutely you wouldn't like Cosmic Encounter. My dad once played it with my group of guys and said "This is a game where you have to embrace the chaos."

Literally no plans go unscathed. The alien powers create havoc with every rule in the game (you learn the rules solely so you know how the alien powers are going to break them). You absolutely have to gang up on the leader, if you can (where you can attack is often random, but that is also highly variable). I've gone from the brink of victory to last place in a round (and vice-versa). I love the game, with the right group, but it is another one of those "loved it then but likely not as much after seeing new game mechanics" types.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by LordMortis »

AWS260 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:14 am Is there a way to make Cosmic Encounter less like Munchkin? I just wrapped up a game, and while it was bonkers and fun, the last 90 minutes felt like an endless carousel of bash-the-leader.
Don't play with more than 4 people and don't play with a gazillion rules. I've been in never ending six player games. As a result, I haven't played in well over 20 years and am not likely to play again for much the same reason as you describe. I'd get distracted two hours into an 8 player game full of everything cosmic and I wouldn't want to throw the game and ruin other's fun. So I just quit playing. "Oh it's a Cosmic night? Cool. Have fun. I'm off to something else."
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by coopasonic »

This is the big departure point between Tom Vasel and I. He is generally a really good predictor of what I will like but this was his #1 (last time I watched his best of all time videos, which was years ago). Cosmic Encounter is on the list of games that would likely have me walk out of a game night. Games where I murder prostitutes? No problem. Games where I run a Nazi POW camp? Sure thing. Games with politics? GTFO.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Zarathud »

Cutthroat games like Cosmic need a group dynamic that works. You’re going to see the game end because of emotions to dogpile more than is needed, so a group that plays into that is more fun. Even if you’re the usual target.

One friend who hasn’t played in a while is perfect in those chaotic games — he plays to impact the game not to win. He’s like a walking time bomb. And you never know who he’ll explode on, but he will implode to do something interesting.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by LordMortis »

coopasonic wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:35 pm Games with politics? GTFO.
Zarathud wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:20 pm . Even if you’re the usual target.
Raises hand.

Also our group who previously played way too much CE to eventually burn me out for life will often move to become too competitive to "embrace the chaos" which is often an approach I like in gaming. Simply loving to watch a game play out irrespective of the winner. CE is made for that dynamic but competition takes over aided politics.

In that vein a chunk of our gaming group of days gone by loved Diplomacy. A great big GTFO to that one.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Smoove_B »

Zarathud wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:20 pm One friend who hasn’t played in a while is perfect in those chaotic games — he plays to impact the game not to win. He’s like a walking time bomb. And you never know who he’ll explode on, but he will implode to do something interesting.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by baelthazar »

LordMortis wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:26 pm In that vein a chunk of our gaming group of days gone by loved Diplomacy. A great big GTFO to that one.
I won't likely ever play Diplomacy again. I used to love it in college. But it takes 9 hours and everyone goes home mad. I have only seen one game of it actually END.

I don't think of Cosmic Encounters as a "politics" game though. You have painfully few options on making deals (unless you use Negotiate cards). You don't even get to decide who you attack (normally). It is more of, as said above, a "spoiler" game - where the fun comes from throwing grenades at other players' plans in interesting ways.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by wonderpug »

Well there's a Thunder Road Kickstarter up and running. I have really fond memories of playing the original when I was a kid... but that got me into the Fireball Island Kickstarter, which I found to be a resounding 'just ok'. I found myself more interested in replaying the original than the remake.

But on the other hand, new Thunder Road is new and shiny.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Isgrimnur »

baelthazar wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:39 pm
LordMortis wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:26 pm In that vein a chunk of our gaming group of days gone by loved Diplomacy. A great big GTFO to that one.
I won't likely ever play Diplomacy again. I used to love it in college. But it takes 9 hours and everyone goes home mad. I have only seen one game of it actually END.
There are so many stalemate lines to grind it to a halt.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Blackhawk »

baelthazar wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:08 pm
Blackhawk wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:17 am *Quietly removes Cosmic Encounter from his wishlist*
I feel like I know you well enough to say, absolutely you wouldn't like Cosmic Encounter. My dad once played it with my group of guys and said "This is a game where you have to embrace the chaos."
To be fair, I like some games like that. Fluxx. Galaxy Trucker. They're designed around embracing chaos and having your plans ruined. What you described, though, is the reason I won't touch Munchkin with a ten-foot pole anymore. It's the reason that I put my copy on the highest shelf at the back, where nobody whose turn it was to pick a game would notice it (I'd still play it if they asked because courtesy, but I didn't have to remind them of it...) I just had one too many games go on for tedious hour after hour because it reached a point where nobody could win, where every time someone got to level 8, they'd get knocked back down, over and over, endlessly.

There are two kinds of games I really dislike, those which drag on until everyone agrees that [whoever] won just so they can stop playing, and long games where the winner is determined in the first quarter of the game and the rest is just going through the motions. An honorable mention for long games where you can be eliminated early, causing one player to have to sit out the evening's entertainment.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hentzau »

wonderpug wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:49 pm Well there's a Thunder Road Kickstarter up and running. I have really fond memories of playing the original when I was a kid... but that got me into the Fireball Island Kickstarter, which I found to be a resounding 'just ok'. I found myself more interested in replaying the original than the remake.

But on the other hand, new Thunder Road is new and shiny.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

AWS260 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:14 am Is there a way to make Cosmic Encounter less like Munchkin? I just wrapped up a game, and while it was bonkers and fun, the last 90 minutes felt like an endless carousel of bash-the-leader.
Granted, there are some 'gotcha' mechanics. But unlike Munchkin, if you negotiate and learn how to play Cosmic Encounter well, better players can and do rise to the top over multiple plays. Sure, some aliens are outright better, and some hands of cards will be outright better than others. But you begin to develop a feel for the intense negotiation, bluffing and, more often than not, comical chicanery Cosmic Encounter inspires. This is what makes it much more amusing and entertaining to play than Munchkin. I've heard it described as the board game equivalent of a game of chaotic space poker with a mind-boggling array of deliberately-unbalanced alien races/powers, all with a wicked sense of humour. Sometimes you get a bad beat, sometimes you got the nuts. But with experience, better players will triumph. Also, by virtue of the Destiny Deck, you cannot choose who you are having an encounter with, which helps significantly diminish the lingering "gang up" resentment of other free-for-all style games.

The key to Cosmic Encounter is that it's a game played 'above the table,' so to speak, akin to Werewolf and the like. Most of the game is really being played through the table-talk you have with the others at your table:

"Trust me, I want to be peaceful with you. Let's negotiate."

"Nah, I'm really not winning here, it only looks that way -- see, if you look at Bob over there, he's going to do x or y, and win like the sneaky Filch that he is."

"Lend me your support here, and I'll give you x, y, or z in the future. Last time I was stuck with a terrible hand of cards, and needs must when the Warp drives."


If hollering deceptive table-talk bluffs like those above at your friends sounds like fun, then stick with it and you can absolutely learn to enjoy playing the game, and learn to play it well.

For me, Cosmic Encounter is fun whether I win or lose -- not because I don't care about winning, but because so much of the game is about capitalizing upon the hand you've been dealt. I think some people often do not focus sufficiently on how much Cosmic Encounter uses its hand management and card drawing system to inspire tension and creative play. Because your randomly dealt hand of cards is unchangeable until you run out of encounter cards, which could be the entire game. Once you grok that there are attack cards ranging anywhere from 0 to 40 strength, you realise that it's really not a numbers game. It doesn't matter what strength you have, it matters what strength everyone thinks you have.

This creates other interesting problems. For example, say I have two attack cards left in my hand, a 0 and a 40. I can choose to use the 40, and attempt to simply force a win all by myself. I won't invite any allies to join in my attack because I may be able to win without them, and it's generally more advantageous to avoid helping other players score easy foreign colonies (Victory Points). But what if my opponent gets allies, and plays a Morph card? Then they will outnumber me. So, maybe I'd better get some allies, more than them at least. Or I could save the 40, and play the 0 instead. But then I'm sure to lose. But perhaps I could cozy up to the other player, and convince them I'm going to try to negotiate. An attack card, no matter how small, always beats a Negotiate. That would be a crafty way of flushing the 0 out of my hand. To support this lie, I'll only put forth one ship into the encounter, as a sign of good faith on the proposed -- yet deceitful -- negotiation. And so on, and so forth…

So, that's a simple example of how hand management and the card drawing system can help inspire imaginative above the table play. But the hand management aspect goes deeper than many give it credit for, especially when playing with full Flares and Artifacts. Because then each hand also becomes a mini puzzle. Unless you're dealt ALL encounter cards, there's almost always a little trick you can pull off with card combos and card/alien combos that the game does not explicitly state. No two games are ever the same, so you feel clever sussing those out, and it's very satisfying to win encounters with them.

The point being, the whole system is designed to inspire hilarious (yet often clever and amusingly devious) tactics of posturing, table-talk, and negotiation. That said, getting into the game can be awkward for some. The first game can often also go quite slowly, as you get used to the game mechanics. So, if this was your first attempt at playing Cosmic Encounter, you may find it useful to watch the SU&SD playthrough or No Rolls Barred playthrough of the game to help develop a better sense of how it's done.

PS. In terms of the "endless carousel of bash-the-leader" you experienced, keep in mind that joint victories are a crucial feature of Cosmic Encounter for good reason. They are an essential aspect of the game rules, and one of the key release valves against the obnoxious eternal leader-bashing that tends to occur in games like Munchkin. In Cosmic Encounter, the rules make no distinction between a solo and joint win. Everyone gets to value the various styles of victory however they see fit, which provides a natural variety in viewpoints at the table. This helps keep things interesting, and bring more of the players personalities into the game. So, some might try to stubbornly slug it out for a solo win, some will be willing to accept any potential winning coalition, while others will be somewhere in-between the two. But as long as some number of players will eventually accept a joint win, the game should end without being interminably protracted. After all, even for those who find joint victory less palatable than a solo win, a joint win undeniably aligns with the spirit of negotiation in the game. So, it may help to emphasize that to those with whom you are playing in future. Encourage players to see both the strategy and enjoyment involved in shared wins as more than solo wins in most circumstances. Grinding out a solo win via luck of the cards is much less satisfying than a shared win achieved strategically. Some players or groups may not believe you, but lead by example one time in strategically planning a shared win with someone (intentionally blocking a player who always goes for solo wins), and maybe the next game they will take the hint.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Zarathud »

Played a game of Car Wars, Apocalypse Road and Dune: House Secrets this weekend with hepcat and seppe.

Car Wars - we took a while figuring out the rules and getting the cards organized. It felt like Car Wars, with the strategy from maneuvering and firing. The car bases integrate really well with the turning keys, overcoming one of the problems with X-Wing and similar games where you're constantly looking for the right movement piece. It's all in the turn key, which slides nicely underneath the bases. We learned that the ACE tokens are only for rerolling defense, not attacks. Your driver and gunner can each attack. So there's no benefit to having more than 2 weapons on any side. You determine where you can shoot based on firing arcs of the attacker, then determine the hit location based on the firing arc of the defender. Very clean, elegant. We could play again and spend 1/2 the time -- our first game was 2 hours, but I'm sure we can get it down to 1/2 that if I can get the cards organized and we do our builds before the session. I'm really looking forward to how Steve Jackson Games rolls out expansions.

My strategy of staying on the move worked out -- in swinging around hepcat, I was able to shoot at them using my side weapon while having plenty of defense dice to discourage them from attacking me. When I turned back around, hepcat and seppe had worn each other down at point blank range. A few missiles and my side guns finished the job. I think Car Wars will be great fun at 4 players.

Apocalypse Road Thunder Alley with guns continued the Mad Max theme for the day. This was even more fun than a typical racing game, because of the team names and the constant carnage. I got out to an early lead with some quick kills during a bounty car which doubled my VP for each kill. But then hepcat started ramming my poor cars to oblivion, taking very little damage. The trickiest part of the game was figuring out the movement mechanics -- when you had to make other cars follow/move ahead in a line, and when you had the choice to link up instead. Once we worked through that rule, it was simple and dirty fun. Lost by a point as hepcat blew up my cars just before the finish line. seppe was lucky to have his most damaged car spin out off the track to avoid all of the carnage.

Dune It's a Dune story game with minor characters trying to explore some intrigue and uncover the story. We were able to successfully complete the tutorial. It required more thought to piece together the riddle than I expected, and I'd like to see where the story leads even though we're only dealing with minor Houses. I've read the entire Dune series, as well as the prequels, so they're coming up with characters not appearing in the series to tell the story. It's familiar to Dune, but I would stay away if you're not already familiar with the Dune universe.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

It won't be truly Car Wars until we've got a giant ass map (preferably a mall) and I've got two hours to design my car.

But yeah, it feels like the old days of Car Wars, so I'm happy.

Apocalypse Road is simpler than I expected it to be, even with trying to suss out the linking car mechanic. I appreciated that they just said you can only shoot cars adjacent to you instead of adding in a bunch of rules on line of sight, range, cover, etc..
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Zarathud »

It was deadly just shooting an adjacent car. It would be insane if you could kill someone at range.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

I am playing Dune this weekend (the 2019 re-release of the 1979 original). Wish me luck.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Zarathud »

Jealous. I have both versions. :)
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“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

I wouldn’t mind trying the new version.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by EzeKieL »

I played Radlands, Kabuto Sumo and Dollars to Donuts the last couple of days.

Radlands is super! If you like Borderlands / Mad Max / Nuclear Wasteland, kind of stuff you will love the art for sure. In short, Radlands is a 1v1 game where each person has 3 camps and however destroys their opponents camps first, wins. With a playtime of around 20-30min you know that there's lots of meaningful choices on your turn and power moves are definitely a possibility if you leave an opening. I want to mention the art again because it's pretty damn impressive.(unboxing and playthrough in spoiler)
Spoiler:


Kabuto Sumo was fun! Everyone is an insect wrestler with special powers and you're trying to literally push each other's wrestler off a tree stump. You do this by pushing discs of 3 possible shapes from a platform onto the tree stump. If any pieces fall off, you get to keep those for a later turn. Every wrestler has 2 special moves that you can use by paying regular discs to the supply. Often this will get you the personal custom piece that comes with your wrestler, With the dung beetle this is a bigger flat disc that looks like.. dung :D. I think there's 8 different insects + an expansion that adds several more. Definitely a cool game especially for families. (videos will be added later)

Dollars to Donuts is a tile laying game where everyone has a donut shop. this is sadly only represented by a squared player board. On your turn you buy a 4 space rectangular tile that you place on your board. The difference with other tile laying games is that your tile can go over the edge of your board so you have more freedom in placing it. Only the connections on your board count though. The tiles all have different combinations of halves of 4 different kinds of donuts on them. When you match a donut, you get that tile which represents end game points, however you can also use these donuts to serve customers for more bonus points. At the end of the game majority of certain types of customers (they come from 3 different regions) give you bonus points as well. There are more rules but that covers the main gist.
I liked the game but wasn't blown away by it. It came with 3 expansions so I'm curious to see if that spices it up some more. It does look cute though.
(Unboxing video in spoiler)
Spoiler:
We're trying out a new series on our channel, called 'Weekly Update' that will have a bunch of different segments. This first episode has a lot of stuff though, running for 1:17:35 :oops: . Feel free to check it out!
Spoiler:
Oh and also made a Dwellings of Eldervale Rap Video on an Xzibit beat.. There's also that :ninja:
Spoiler:
For whoever likes chillout downtempo music (or HipHop) ->
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Daveman »

I don't back a lot of Kickstarters but I did chip in for Radlands. From their updates looks like it should be shipping here in the US in the next week or two. Can't wait!
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

It was a good weekend of gaming.

First, Dune (the 2019 edition). It was the first time for all of us, but we are quite full of ourselves so we played with the advanced rules. It was great! The balance of power swung wildly from the Spacing Guild to the Emperor to the Bene Gesserit. As the Fremen, I had a good time moving all over the map, hoovering up spice and being generally annoying. Ultimately, a Bene Gesserit/House Atreides alliance won in Round 6. The BG had gradually built up their forces while all the other factions battered each other to dust, and an alliance with the Atreides let them protect their gains in that final round. The rest of us simply didn't have enough concentrated power to push them out of their strongholds. A really excellent game.

Then Cosmic Frog, which is always a fun time. Crazy powers were activated, dice were rolled, frogs were punched, mountains were consumed and disgorged. I'm particularly glad that we got to introduce it to a couple of new players.

Finally First Contact, a Codenames-esque deduction game about aliens trying to communicate with ancient Egyptians. It's a bit more complicated than Codenames, and the game is very different for the alien and human players (one alien and one human win at the end, so you're only competing against your own species). My group rarely plays this kind of game, so it was a refreshing change of pace.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by hepcat »

Saturday was the annual Halloween game event. 4 of us played the Dearly Departed scenario in Mansions of Madness 2nd edition. I never have anything but fun with this game. :wub: Three of us lost because we went insane and drew insanity cards that prevented us from winning unless some very specific events occurred...which they did not. But the fourth player was able to win as he did not. The priest does have his advantages.

Then we got Cthulhu: Death May Die out to end the day (MoM took us about 4 1/2 hours). It was also a bit long, but we actually won that one at the last minute. Sure, zarathud went out in a blaze of glory trying to help us...and my character kept going catatonic on his turn...but a skin of your teeth win is a win no matter what.
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You have to whack a few rabbits before you are ready to punch a camel.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Zarathud »

Lizzie Borden had a free move, and 4 actions to swing her axe.

Who cares that Cthulhu was surrounded by a horde? It was time to murder the Elder God.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

hepcat wrote:but a skin of your teeth win is a win no matter what.
I've rarely ever played a session of Cthulhu: Death May Die where I *didn't* win by the skin of my teeth. It's one of the game's biggest strengths, I think. I often point to it as a perfect example of great game balance. There may be an occasional outlier where I win or lose decisively, but 9 times out of 10 I feel like it's going to come down to the last 2 or 3 rounds.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

Just got back from a play of Dune: House Secrets. This is the Dune-ified version of DETECTIVE: A TRUE CRIME BOARD GAME.

Going in I was not expecting much because I watched some reviews that really tore into it. But our group has literally played every piece of Detective content available so skipping this was never an option (especially for a group of fantasy/sci-fi nerds like us).

Mechanically, it's exactly like Detective - or more accurately, the most recent incarnations of Detective like Vienna Connection. The only real gameplay change is that there are now options to "Take a risk" to get more information by drawing a Consequence token. If the token is green, there is no effect, but if the token is red, you lose 1 XP on your Consequence track. You earn the amount of XP on your Consequence track when finishing a chapter, and that XP can be spent on skills to improve your character between chapters.

So what did I think of the prologue and Scenario 1? Well, I enjoyed it with a caveat, and that caveat is something I would point out for ANY Detective game. It's one of those games that you get out what you put in.

When our group plays, we have four people putting our heads together to solve the case. We have a big whiteboard we use to track encounters and clues. We have a guy that takes meticulous notes. Another guy reads the cards and narrates. We really get into it, and we discuss, debate, and argue. It's a heck of a lot of fun, but it's a fun generated more out of the group dynamic than the gameplay mechanics. I could see another group which isn't "all-in" playing this and being bored out of their minds.

And that's because the game really doesn't have much player agency at all, and the stakes are never really high. The only decisions you have to make are which clue to follow and (rarely) whether or not to spend a token to reveal further clues. In the earlier incarnations of Detective, you would be run through a series of multiple choice questions and given a numerical score on how well you solved the case. In later incarnations, that has been tossed aside in favor of a "no wrong answers" approach - giving the correct advice at the end of a scenario will reward you with more valuable information for future scenarios. But giving incorrect advice doesn't doom you - it may just make you have to work slightly harder next time or throw more red herrings in your way.

And that's really the game's strength and weakness, depending on what kind of player you are. If you're just there to experience a narrative, it's great. If you're looking for a challenge, you're not going to find it here. It's a cooperative game, but you're not going to lose - even if you're the worst detective in the world, you're just going to experience a (very) slightly different story than the best detective.

When you couple that with the fact that it feels like a re-skin of a typical Detective case, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend it. Sure there are Fremen and thopters and spice, but ultimately you're essentially just playing Detective. And if you're just playing Detective, I have better iterations of the game to recommend. I never felt immersed in the Dune universe. I felt more like a low-level detective who suddenly found himself on Arrakis.

Really the only people I *could* recommend it to are our exact group. Those that have played all the previous Detective content and want more. And in that respect, we enjoyed it. All others, proceed with caution.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

Chaos in the Old World remains excellent.

That is all.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Fardaza »

Just received my used copy of Dungeon Alliance yesterday afternoon. Got it on the Geek Market for $65 including shipping. It also came with a shrink-wrapped Champions expansion. That's about half the price of a new core box and expansion.

When I opened the box it looked practically new. The original owner had even kept all the cardboard frames for the counters. She'd put all the bigger pieces back into the frames! The way she'd packaged it made it look at first glance as if the pieces had never even been used. There were also 5 bags of pre-punched counters.

I spent a couple hours or so trying to figure out what everything was, especially the cards. Read the rule book and supplement. Pulled out the pieces and cards needed for a solo playthru. Grabbed the minis out of the box. Sleeved the cards I was going to use, and set up my first foray into the dungeon!

I got 2 of my 4 heroes moved and counterattacked. Then I had to go to bed. :(

At first blush it seems like a very cool game! It's much more complicated to set up than I had thought based on a couple BGG videos I had watched. Still, I'm thrilled with the whole package that I got in such great shape for such a great price. I hope to squeeze in some more time today!! :D
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

Just got through a session with my new purchase today, THE LOOP.

I picked this up after hearing a lot of positive buzz and watching the Rahdo Runs Through It playthrough, and immediately knew it had to be in my collection. It incorporates tons of mechanics I love, including deck-building, action-chaining, and outbreak management.

The circular game board is divided into 7 time eras, which Dr. Faux will jump between. On your turn, Dr. Faux adds a clone of himself to the board and reveals a new card in one of the eras that can be gained by ending your turn in that era. He then jumps to a random era and opens two rifts + 1 additional rift for every clone in that era. The rift mechanic is accomplished via a nifty little "cube tower" that has a left, middle, and right chute that cubes could possibly go down. Meaning when you drop cubes in the top, a random number could land either in Dr. Faux's current era, or to one or both of the adjacent eras.

Players win the game if they can accomplish four missions, 2 of which are always available. These may include adding energy to a specific era X amount of times, surrounding Dr. Faux by being adjacent to him a certain number of times, clearing rifts in every era, etc. They lose the game if Dr. Faux ever runs out of cards by going through all 3 of his difficulty phases, or if he places 4 Vortexes. A Vortex is created when any one era has more than 3 rifts on it (think outbreak from Pandemic).

On your turn, you play the 3 cards in your hand to try to remove rifts, destroy clones, all while trying to make progress towards objectives. Every player has one free move to hop between adjacent eras, but any additional moves require energy. There are cards that generate energy on eras, so generating energy to be able to get around the board and accomplish other things is critical.

The biggest use of energy is the game's primary mechanic, THE LOOP. By spending an energy from the era you're on, you can create a time loop which allows you to play all cards from your hand with the same dimensional type AGAIN. And for an additional 2 energy, you can perform a second loop, for an additional 3 energy a third loop, and so on.

Out of these fairly simple rules arises a vast array of interesting decisions. Because your cards and special actions can be played in any order, it opens up a tantalizing menu of how best to order them to provide the most efficient turn possible. Do you end your turn so you can pick up that sweet artifact and strengthen your deck, even if it means leaving two dangerous rifts in the next era? Do you burn all the energy on the board now with one big mega-move, or save some for your partner?

Like the best co-op games, youv'e always got several things you technically *could* do, and all of them are equally beneficial. But you're never going to have enough cards to do what you *need* to do, so you're always under the gun. I've seen people call this "Spirit Island-lite", and now I kind of get what they're saying. It's got the extreme crunchiness of Spirit Island's decision-making, but with a little more casual-friendly ruleset. Still, don't let the "lite" part of that fool you - this game is tough even on base difficulty!

The replayability on this one is through the roof, thanks to the multiple game modes. There are four game modes, each with some unique (and more challenging) mechanics mixed in with the base game. And each of those game modes has 3 difficulty levels. There's also a true solo mode which I haven't tried yet, but look forward to checking out.

If you like games with really satisfying and thought-provoking turns, check this one out. It's already a knockout hit with me for solo play, and I have a feeling it's going to be a group favorite as well.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by YellowKing »

We finished our playthrough of Dune: House Secrets last night, and were........underwhelmed.

While I enjoyed it from the standpoint of getting together with my group and experiencing the story, the reviewers were correct in that unlike (most) entries in the Detective series, this one has almost no player agency. It's sort of the equivalent of playing a choose your own adventure in which you can't make a wrong choice.

It's frustrating as many of the mechanics they introduced in this version you come to find out are completely irrelevant to the game. For instance, there is a way to earn XP in the first two scenarios that can be spent to gain skills for your characters. We wound up not needing to use any of them, and only used them in the last scenario to burn them since the game was going to be over. And they were completely irrelevant to the outcome.

Then the last scenario introduces a victory point track instead of XP. We figured this would give us some kind of score at the end to measure the level of our success. We were excited when we maxed the VP track heading into the conclusion. And...nothing. Victory points aren't even mentioned in the conclusion. No score, nothing. So what was the point?

Combine that with a wonky website that hitched and paused trying to play simple Powerpoint style slides, and the whole experience just felt rather half-baked and rushed. There is a planned Chapter 2 and 3 that could benefit from a longer development time, but honestly I'm not sure if I even want to play them.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by AWS260 »

Last night I played The Road to Canterbury (the board game, not the PC game). It has a pretty delightful theme: you are medieval pardoners, tempting pilgrims into sin and then charging exorbitant fees to pardon their sins. Very Chaucerian.

Gameplay is pretty simple: you either play a sin card (there are 7 types, of course) to temp a pilgrim, or play a pardon card to squeeze some money out of them. If you manage to play all 7 deadly sins, you've completed the "Circle of Sin" and get bonus money! If you play so many sins onto a pilgrim that they die, you get an extra turn! It moves along at a good clip, with pilgrims falling to temptation left and right.

Given how much I like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and how well this game captures that spirit, I'm pretty sure it will have a permanent home on my shelf.
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by Isgrimnur »

Whitehall Mystery
Sol:Last Days of a Dying Star
Chinatown
Black Orchestra
Black Lives Matter

10% real fruit juice, motherfuckers!!
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Re: OO Boardgamers, what did you play this weekend?

Post by coopasonic »

Isgrimnur wrote: Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:00 pm Whitehall Mystery
Sol:Last Days of a Dying Star
Chinatown
Black Orchestra
So you found it after all! :D

Also :cry:
-Coop
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