I’ve not played Dixit but I really really want to give it a go. The main issue I have with Mysterium is that if you are the ghost you have a LOT of setting up to do which late at night can be a bit frustrating but I don’t mind it too much - I feel like there is a bit less of that for Dixit although I guess I wouldn’t know.
That’s definitely true. Dixit doesn’t take long at all to setup; just shuffle a deck of cards, and you’re ready to go. And the art is really wonderful in Dixit. I’m tempted to use the cards for other games, like Codenames or Mysterium to see how that works.
Gonna piggyback and say I love Photosynthesis too - it’s a delightfully weird little puzzle. I enjoy the rhythm of spreading out then strategically culling yourself. Any game that gives you an incentive to carefully consider how you score to avoid screwing yourself over for later is a good one.
It’s also worth pointing out that its pieces do a good job of emphasizing the “shade” mechanic. The sun physically moves around the board, and the pieces are distinctly different enough in height to make it really easy to eyeball who’s in what shade. It’s quite elegant.
Anyone else pick up Pandemic Legacy: Season 2? Without spoiling anything, I’ll say that I’m really impressed with how they managed to put together a distinctly different game that still feels like Pandemic. It’s an interesting inversion (You want to put cubes onto the board rather than take them off!) that manages to feel really thematically appropriate and makes you feel really strapped for resources, in a good way.
They did fix a couple of minor gripes from the first game. For instance, the persistent effects on cities can be undone or mitigated instead of just triggering and lasting forever. And the legacy deck now has “Pause” cards which do a better job of indicating that you should keep drawing when your game finishes. I also like how the characters you create have specific homelands that actually affect where they start. So far with my partner it’s meant we’ve had to vary up our characters to account for where the initial trouble spots are, instead of using the same two characters throughout the game.
I’m probably not doing the best sell job, but part of the issue with a legacy game is you don’t want to spoil too many of the specifics, since that’s half the fun. You don’t have to have played the first season to play this one (but I highly recommend it!), but either way it’s definitely worth a look - I say that having only played through January and thoroughly enjoying it.
Guess I’ll throw up my thoughts here on a few games I’ve played in the last weeks other than the Scott Pilgrim deck builder.
A Study in Emerald (2nd Edition) - Based on the Neil Gaiman short story of the same name, this game is a mashup of deckbuilding, area control, victory point salad, and social deduction. I think the craziest thing about it is that this insane hybrid isn’t some new hotness from CMON, but the first edition was printed back in 2013. I freaking loved it, though other players weren’t quite as enthusiastic.
How to Rob a Bank - Picked this up for 50% from Target using a coupon, and I believe it’s Target exclusive? It’s basically a condensed version of Colt Express, where one player controls bank guards and 1-3 other players control robbers that are trying to grab loot and get it to the getaway car. Players draw a hand of action cards from their deck and program out their turns (with some wiggle room) 5 steps at a time before resolving them. For example, cards may have the move action on them, but it’s up to the player to decided where they will actually move to when the card turns up, and up to the opposing player(s) to try and anticipate that. If you’ve got the time for a game of Colt Express, I still think that’s a bit more satisfying, but this scratches that programming itch in a much shorter timeframe.
Shifty Eyed Spies - Another small box I picked up from Target for cheap that I believe is exclusive, this is a party game that got my heart racing like no other. It’s a game where you are constantly trying to send signals to other players via winks and glances while hoping no one else picks up on them and intercepts. Incredibly tense and fun, but actively exhausting. After two pretty short rounds (one of which I would have won but got caught seconds before declaring the winning mission), my nerves were shot.
I had no idea there was a Study In Emerald game - now seeking this out!
I’ve got the first edition, and enjoyed it the couple of times I was able to play, but it’s hard to get to the table. I’d love to try the second edition at some point, but I don’t think I can justify buying it without trying it, especially since many of the changes don’t sound like improvements to me.
I’ve never played the first edition, so I’m not too familiar with the changes. Looking at BGG comments, I know not everyone is a fan, but it does appear to be more streamlined which ought to help get it to the table more often.
Forgot to mention I played Rallyman, which is an out-of-print rally racing game. It’s much more puzzle-y than a typical racing game, with some push-your-luck elements mixed in. Overall I liked it, but it felt a little dry at times. It was pretty rare that the dice rolling seemed to matter, which I guess is preferable for some players. I only played using the simple rules, so I need to try out the more advanced rules in order to really weigh in.
Last week I played:
Relic - a Warhammer 40k reskin of Talisman with a few new mechanics. It’s not my first time with this one, but it is the first time I played using a house rule I’d read about where instead of rolling for movement you can choose to move 1 space (must decide before you roll). This definitely helped speed the game up, but not in a way that felt totally broken. This game (like Talisman) is a total luckfest, but it’s so thematic and pretty to look at that I really don’t mind.
Summoner Wars (Cave Goblins vs. Guild Dwarves) - I bought this during a Barnes and Noble clearance something like two years ago, and finally got it to the table with my partner. I liked it a lot! It’s basically a mashup of a miniatures tactics game with a card game where instead of cards going into a single lane like they do in Hearthstone or Magic, units get summoned onto a grid where they have to maneuver into position in order to attack. If you’ve played Duelyst on PC, there are a lot of similarities. I’m always on the lookout for a game that plays like a miniatures game, but without the painting and/or overwhelming fiddliness that scares off casual gamers, and this really seems to do the trick.
Originally I was thinking of starting a new thread every month on the board games I’ve played but I think I like the whole attaching to a large thread concept:
Games i’ve played last month:
Metro X - A new roll and write game (the hottest genre right now in board games). Each player has a map of Tokyo/Osaka and they are filling out routes based on certain cards being dealt out. The more routes that are completed the more points. Really interesting puzzle game.
Clank! in Space - Clank is a hit deck builder that mixes deck building with push your luck dungeon crawl. While I really liked Clank there were a few issues. Clank! in Space seems to fix some of the issues and I enjoy the sci-fi theme a lot more. Lot of cool references to Sci-fiction pop culture and a ton of fun to play.
Blood Rage - I’ve played blood rage couple of times a long time ago but only 2 player. This time I got to play a 4 player game and man…its really fun! Its a really well thought out dudes on a map game. Its has a drafting phase and you can upgrade your clan to make them unique. I love that their a viable strategy of winning the game by killing all your units. First game we had a runaway leader cause a lot of us didn’t know the strategies but the next game was really close. Each with our own unique strategy and we were all 10 points apart. Fun game
I was listening to the podcast today (7/16) and Patrick was talking about having a tough time playing board games. I totally get it. Gateway games are there for a reason, they are easy to learn and offer great depth. Target has an incredible selection of games. If you need help i’m more than happy to make some recommendations!
Also side note: Austin was talking about how he likes more Ameri-thrash games vs Euro Games. In the last couple of years the industry has gotten pretty good at blurring that line. There are more Ameri-thrash games that have solid mechanics and great Euros that tie their mechanics to the theme really well.
I thought I’d post here too after hearing their talk on the podcast. My boyfriend and I have really been wanting to become people that play board games especially with other couples. So far we have bought two games: Tokaido and Betrayal at House on the Hill. Last week for two nights in a row, we decided to play them with just the two of us so that we could have a better handle on the rules before played with other people.
Betrayal at House on the Hill, even with two people, is such a blast. The mechanic of “the haunt” where all of a sudden it isn’t a four player game but a 1v3 game is so smart and entertaining. We have gotten caught up a few times with rules, but so far we’ve really enjoyed it and hopefully can have a game night with friends soon.
Tokaido we picked up exclusively because of how gorgeous the art was. It’s a fairly fast game to play, but the strategy is fairly deep. It’s a competitive game where you are a traveling crossing Japan and stopping at various places including inns to earn set points. It also has a mechanic much like Catan that awards point during and at the end for completing specific tasks. They even have a two player mode where there is a third character who is controlled by the current person furthest along the path, can’t earn points, and is used as denial. I seriously recommend the game as a quick one after you’ve learned the rules.
I haven’t played too much since my last post in the other thread. While my brother and his partner were visiting I taught them how to play Kemet, and that game is still very good. For those that don’t know, it’s an Ancient Egypt themed mash-up of a dudes on a map game with euro-style victory point salad win conditions. It has very well designed tension in balancing your action economy between upgrading your faction and getting victory points.
We also played Witches of the Revolution for the 4th of July, and that was pretty fun. It’s a cooperative deckbuilder where each player manages a coven of witches that are attempting to aid the Americans during the Revolutionary War by accomplishing objectives like deposing the British governor and curing Paul Revere of lycanthropy. While the mechanics weren’t particularly special, the theme came through well enough and we had a good time. The intro-level difficulty was too easy.
I bought Thanos Rising but haven’t played it, yet. I hope to get it to the table tomorrow. Reading through the rules, it seems a bit like a Marvel-themed version of Elder Sign.
Has everyone heard about Monopoly: Warhammer 40,000? That sure is… something. I might be interested if it was a twist on the formula like the Monopoly Gamer games, but it seems to just a be a straight reskin.
For picking a game solely on looks you could have done much worse than Tokaido! I love the sort of sneaky cutthroat vacation-as-a-zero-sum-game essence of the whole thing. And best of all when I get tired of it, I’ll just frame the board!
Kemet is my favorite game of all time. Its like the designers all sat around and said “How do we make a game in which all players need to highly aggressive” and every design choice was built around that idea. Turtling is rarely a viable strategy and usually the person that wins is the most aggressive.
Thanos Rising does look like marvel Elder Sign but if it helps get more people in the hobby i’m all for it. Also that Thanos action figure looks pretty cool.
I have no idea which audience they are targeting for Monopoly: Warhammer 40,000. Most of them probably play the miniatures game…maybe the people that played some of the video games and scared to play the miniatures game…
Used to play a lot of games growing up (cribbage and Milles Borne especially) so naturally we’ve got a small collection of boardgames begging for proper shelves.
I’m ashamed to say that we have an unopened copy of Tokaido sitting at home. Keep meaning to play it but never get the chance.
Tsuro is a game we often bring to warm up a game night or when we meet up with large groups of non-boardgame folk. It’s fairly simple to grasp and quick to play.
Coup and Love Letter get a lot of play time in our circles, and I’ve been introducing Skulls into that mix.
Firefly: the Board Game is very fun so long as you sticker over all the instances of Adam Baldwin’s face.
There’s one game I really want in my collection, but I never pick it up because I will never convince seven other people to play it: Diplomacy.
Can now confirm that Thanos Rising is indeed a MCU themed version of Elder Sign. I played 2-player with a friend, and we won pretty easily. We didn’t lose a single hero and Thanos only recovered two of the infinity stones by the time we won. Still, though, it wasn’t hard to see how a few unlucky rolls could have caused everything to come crashing down rapidly. Much of what I’ve read from other folks seems to imply that luck of the draw in the initial setup can cause the game to swing from trivially easy to absolutely brutal.
Much like Elder Sign, this game started to wear out its welcome about 2/3 of the way through. For what’s purely a dice game, I’d prefer sessions to be a bit shorter. It’s not a bad game, but any enjoyment you get out of it is going to be tied pretty heavily into how much you like the MCU.
Wanted to give this thread a bump for all the Games Workshop action that’s happening this month. Warhammer 40k Kill Team is out, and supposedly very good. I haven’t bought a 40k miniature in over 20 years, but I broke down and bought the starter kit and Space Marine box for this game. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but man, I really didn’t. Each figure is like 7-8 different parts now! And all the scenery requires pretty intense assembly as well. Man, this was not something I needed to buy a month before moving across the country.
Also, Blitz Bowl and Space Marine Adventures: Labyrinth of the Necrons are due out this month, which are more accessible versions of Blood Bowl and Space Hulk, respectively. GW is making a hard push toward the mainstream by getting them carried in Barnes and Noble instead of hobby stores. Pretty excited about these, but I’ll probably wait a bit to pick them up.
I played Claustrophobia for the first time last week. It’s a good 1v1 asymmetric dungeon crawl. Rules aren’t very complicated and it felt like everything moved pretty quickly. I typically shy away from dungeon crawlers because they’re too slow and/or math-y, but this was pretty good.