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jonnyalpha

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I'm enjoying reading your write-up. Have you thought about playing using a dummy player? We played with 3 but used a 4th character to allow another friend to jump in and give us the flexibility of more roles. It worked very well and we'll be doing that again when we tackle season 2.

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My copy of Founders of Gloomhaven arrived yesterday and our group got it right to the table in the evening. 

 It’s a proper brain burner, working cooperatively to build the city using each other’s resources, laying roads,  creating routes to build upgrade buildings and trying to use these to complete “prestige” buildings - being aware that everything you build has a trickle down points score for every resource used along the way. 

 This basically means that in the process of awarding yourself points you can end up handing most of them to your opponents if you aren’t paying attention. 

 All of this is done via a fairly simple 5 (6 in 2 player) card action deck that you augment with “advisor” cards along the way which add to your hand of cards and give you more powerful versions of the basic actions. Play a card to the discard pile then everyone else can follow your action (the follow is the same action costing more or giving less reward) or take a basic action (gain influence, money, build a road or place a worker). 

 Add into this the worker placement tiles that open up as the prestige buildings are developed and you have a game that by the last few rounds is choc full of difficult choices and one wrong move can see you hand victory to another player. 

 We did mess up a few small rules (almost a tradition in our group) but I’m already looking forward to our next session. 

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Funny you should mention that :) - had a couple of attempts at the solo mode yesterday and it’s a great little puzzle. 

 You get 7 rounds to complete 6 prestige building and have access to all the basic resources. Using only the 4 action cards and the regular placement rules you have to quickly recruit advisors to expand your deck and give you extra actions but if you use their action the advisor card is discarded. 

 To add to the pressure - each round end you have to add a new prestige building and mark it with a disk - if that isn’t removed on the round by delivering a resource you lose unless you can pay influence, initially 2 red gems worth per remaining marker but this increases as buildings are completed. 

 I've so far made it to round 6 of 7 with 3 complete buildings and it’s a bit ruled by the card draw on the prestige buildings but it’s a great way to pass an hour solo and considering there are 9 races with different worker actions, different start positions and 2 maps there’s a ton of replayability. 

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We played May (early) on Pandemic Legacy S1 last night.

 

Spoiler

We only had 2 funding after our April victory and, because we are now trying to quarantine the CoDA virus the scientist got swapped out for the Quarantine Specialist. We also got the roadblock ability, but didn't once use it.

 

The game seemed alright to start with. It took a while to hit our first epidemic and while Red looked like it'd soon cause us a problem Dr Meatpouch, our medic, soon got it under control. It wasn't long until we'd eradicated it.

 

Yellow was slowly building, so Genevieve headed over to that area of the world and did her best to keep things under control. Luckily, as her and Meatpouch are coworkers, they'd been able to share knowledge over the phone rather than in person. This meant that Yellow was soon cured.

 

However, by the time wed got there, Africa was taking a beating and we'd had a couple of outbreaks in Black.

 

Things began to go a little wrong. A couple of chain reactions later, we'd cured all 3 diseases and eradicated red, but still needed our third win condition. We were on 7 outbreaks, the player card pile was getting low and we were having to draw 3 infections at a time; with some areas of the board already on 3 cubes we handed ourselves over to lady luck and decided to risk the draw.

 

Meatpouch stormed through Europe, quarantining cities but well aware that on his next turn he'd take a scar due to the Fades in the building next door.

 

But he survived the infection draw and Genevieve took her turn. Placing one quarantine remotely, and then doing another locally, we met the final win condition and immediately emerged victorious.

 

This game is getting hard now. We are on 4 wins to 2 losses but we've been very, very lucky with out card draws.

 

I'd post a pic but my camera is being g a dickhead. 

 

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Formula d never fails to entertain my daughter. I have to do the gears obviously because she's only five.

 

Yesterday she beat me twice. Today I beat her once and her first reaction was: 'hmm. I beat you twice yesterday though.'

 

I guess it's genetic. Her grandad once made my two nieces cry when they were about five because he was being too competitve at trivial pursuit. 

 

Oh, and we played the bear hunt boardgame too. She won that too.

 

And I ordered fire in the lake because someone here recommended it. Look forward to trying to teach the rules to my daughter...

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I taught my lad Puerto Rico when he was nine, and he won against Mrs Professor Rob and me on his second game. I must admit though, teaching a five-year-old Fire In The Lake boggles the mind.

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Finished up with Rise of Queensdale over 21 games.  Really enjoyable experience, even with the interruptions for translation.   So generous with content and scoring opportunities, you shouldn't get bored or feel that the games get progressively longer and longer, since scoring flexes.  With a little wrangling I saw most things from the story cards, but you are forced to assume the consequences of your actions a certain way in which cuts off some activity.  Look out for it in English if you either have a stable group of 2-4 looking for something fairly light hearted which doesn't hog the entire gaming session OR a family group - - I reckon this would work really well with children under 12 (with at least one adult reading and supervising) if they have shown any interest in board games - it's tactile and simple to understand the point of it all - you could make it more so with a little imagination by e.g. raising the castle segments obtained when you reach a target using foam inserts or something similar to show progress, using small buildings from other games etc etc.

 

Then I've played a few games of Spirit Island.  Blimey, this one exercises the mental faculties a wee bit!  I like the premise - you are a spirit entity assisting the button mushrooms natives to repel invaders from their island, and the gameplay is fairly simple in mechanical terms (playing action cards in the form of powers), but there are a lot of dimensions to this co-op experience, so much so that they give you a few training wheels to start off with to get the hang of it.  A bit of detail on some of the dimensions (not spoilers)

Spoiler

Basically the principal dimensions from the point of view of the spirits who have to co-ordinate are:

 

geographical dispersion - how to have an effective presence on the board given constraints on placement of new tokens which vary by individual spirit

constraints on numbers and values of cards used in any turn and as you increase your presence on the map by adding tokens you are continually having to decide if you need more power or a greater number of cards to be played

elements - each spirit is associated with 2 or 3 of these and playing cards which include these elemental features grants you additional action(s)

actions may be red or blue in colour (can't remember the names offhand) - red ones are played before the invaders act, blue afterwards (but of course some skills or circumstances enable blue actions to become red ones).

 

The invaders have 3 phases over successive turns - invade (add man), build (towns and cities where invasion has occurred) and ravage (attack the land with an attack value dependent on the invader presence, destroy the natives present if insufficient in number to survive, and add blight - which latter eliminates spirit prescence on that map segment).  

 

The most common reason for failure is if the finite pool of blight is exhausted, and a ripple effect means that adding blight to already blighted land accelerates the process significantly.

The most common success path I have encountered is to eliminate all cities, which is feasible by clamping down on towns, and gaining as much "fright" as possible which is another aspect of spirit card selection and  which puts the heeby jeebies up the invaders and hampers them to some degree

 

You can predict what will happen over the next 2 turns, and understand the keys to success at an intellectual level,  but it's still deuced hard to get all the ducks in a proverbial row once the training wheels are off ( the ducks being principally marshalling the natives to be effective in counter-attacking rather than simply zapped, stopping building gaining momentum, and focussing on cleaning or suppressing areas already blighted).  

Of course the developers consider the basic game to be too easy so they add plenty of more complex spirits, scenarios and invader characteristics, not to mention a flipped board, just to provide additional challenge and game legs, so I'll be dipping back in from time to time.

 

I've now moved on to look at Feast for Odin which is rather lovely.  I thought about selling this one since I didn't really "get" Caverna despite several attempts, and the other Uwe Rosenberg game I've played (Fields of Arle I think) was rather slight, but this is a different kettle of fish entirely.  You basically have to obtain as much loot as possible whilst feeding your bunch of vikings each turn.  Brilliantly, you can build ships and emigrate to places like Greenland which reduces the food needed for feast.  You can also go whaling, hunting and set snares, or more aggressively raid and pillage to get the really good stuff.  The good stuff in this context being stuff which is large and takes up a greater number of individual squares on your home boards, since each uncovered -1 square evokes a game end penalty.   Sorting out your loot is a little bit like Tetris in that there are certain squares you may wish to leave uncovered, and others which need to be covered in a certain order, and fortunately loot has all sorts of shapes.  Unusually there are dice to roll for the hunting and pillaging activities, but they work well her.  Dozens of occupation cards provide plenty of variety.  As a bonus item there is a comprehensive almanac which provides background information on Vikings.

 

.  

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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The wife and I are still playing Pandemic. Except for two losses in March we have a clean sheet in wins. It feels a little bit...easy...though the July objective makes it a little more interesting.

 

I know it's sometimes down to the luck of what comes out of the deck, but basically playing as the medic and the quarantine specialist is like having superpowers.

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I wonder whether playing with two characters is making it easier? I know you've got less options to cover the board but you have more control as your turn comes round quicker and you're getting a much higher chance of gathering the cards you need for a cure. With four players the cards get spread out more and you have to work a lot harder to get them collected.

 

You could try playing with a dummy player or two and see if it changes the balance.

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I suspect that's it, coupled with luck of the draw. We've been close a couple of times - 6 outbreaks tonight, we've had at least one on 7.

 

We are enjoying it, we just seem to have a handle on it now!

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Decrypto

 

Codenames meets Dixit meets Mysterium.

I thought this was well bonza. It's what I think I wanted "Newspeak" at the expo to be

 

So each team has it's own set of four words assigned to a number.

 

e.g. 1 team might have the following

 

1 Barn                 

2 Lunch

3 Witch

4 Volcano

 

Each team knows their own words/number combination

You draw a random card that contains 3 numbers in  an order (e.g. 3 2 4))

You then try to come up with 3 words or phrases to tell your team which order to say

(e.g. Cat, Box and Sacrifice).

If after you reveal the correct numbers, your team gets the numbers/order right you move on no issue. If they get it wrong they take a failure token (set number = loss)

The enemy team also gets to guess (not the first round when they have nothing to go on). If they get the order and numbers right they get a win token (set number = win)

 

Each team takes it in turns. You never change the Words/Numbers in a game, just the order cards. So each team builds up a list of words (and the correct numbers they were assigned to) that have a linking theme. So they might guess the "Codeword". This will help them get the number/order guesses right - but only becomes important at the end if there's a tie - correctly guessing words breaks tie.

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Can't get enough of Shadespire just now... it's brilliant.  Takes two minutes to set up and 30 minutes to play... and then you go right back in and play again.

 

Haven't broached the deck building aspect of it yet, want to learn the cards I have in the starter and how the warbands play.

 

Haven't played a combat game that really does the arena style hack and slash brawling so well.  

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I tried The Legend of Korra: Pro-Bending Arena for the first time last night and really enjoyed it. I always fear that licensed games are going to feel quite disconnected from the source, but this does a tremendous job of translating the theme. The fact that it's based off a sport in the show must have helped with this, but they've really nailed it. Worth checking out either way, but especially if you're a fan of the show.

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The Dunwich Legacy continues to show off what the AHCG can do. It's a lot of fun even when we're failing at it.

 

Spoiler

Extra-curricular activity had two fun and interesting mechanics. I suffered a lot from the forced discarding early on, which provoked me into an ill-advised charge at the monster towards the end. I was clobbered by a combination of it and that From Beyond curse, and the other player retired when it became clear we weren't going to find the guy before the monster reached the dorms.

 

The game still swings a lot on what you draw in to your hand, something the difficulty really doesn't change very much. However I think Dunwich Legacy embraces that and tries to make sure that it's forcing you in to a lot of interesting choices with narrative implications, rather than boxing you in to inevitable failure or a slow grind like, say, Star Trek Frontiers which I have come to absolutely loathe and will be offloading in the near future.

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Twilight Imperium: 4th Edition second play this weekend. It's now my favourite game of this type. The somewhat legendary game length now apparently effectively being halved in the current edition makes it actually feasible to play, and it's utterly brilliant.

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Thanks to that sale Rob pointed out I now have Abandon Planet and the Vivajava Dice Game to tool about with. Love the ships in AP but I don’t think the game sells itself well in the rule book. Will see how it goes with a crowd.

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On 29/07/2018 at 12:31, Benny said:

Twilight Imperium: 4th Edition second play this weekend. It's now my favourite game of this type. The somewhat legendary game length now apparently effectively being halved in the current edition makes it actually feasible to play, and it's utterly brilliant.

 

I've played a lot of 3rd edition and it's definitely one of my favourite board games, but it's such a fucking massive commitment. One of my mates picked up 4th edition recently though, and we've arranged a nerd weekend at the start of October to play a some games. Can't wait, the changes all sound fantastic and just what was needed tbh.

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Ok, it’s not a tabletop game, but definitely unplugged - Mölkky!  We’ve just spent the weekend away in a cabin in Sherwood Forest and bought Mölkky to play while there, and it is truly excellent. The scoring system and the way the skittles space out over time offers a hook that elevates it way above traditional bowling games. Highly recommenced for outdoor summer gaming.

 

I’ve since seen there is a Mini Mölkky for indoor play, but I can’t quite determine what it is. I’ve seen it referred to as a tabletop version, but it looks to me like it is literally just the regular version shrunken down for playing on the floor, not on a table.

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I’m on holiday with the kids and i’ve promised the winner of the most games on holiday some v-bucks. That’s fortnite currency for those of you fortunate enough to not have kids obsessed with it. So far I’m winning the most, but not by much! 6 to 5 to 4.

 

We’ve played ticket to ride New York (superb filler version of ticket to ride), high society, Karuba and Braggart. Oh and pass the pigs..

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We’ve got TTR:NY too. It is quite cleverly designed in how it distills the regular game into a fifteen minute opener without losing many elements at all. It is quite handy for travelling, however, given the a regular game of TTR only takes us 30-45 minutes anyway, I’d rather just play that when at home.

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Found Tzaar in a board game shop in Lithuania for just 11 euros, don't really play abstracts but had to give it a chance!

Two days of pestering and finally my girlfriend played it with me, haha. She won both games and we both really enjoyed it.

 

It only takes about 15 minutes each game, and immediately is quite easy to make choices without analysis paralysis. Set up is random each time too which keeps it fresh. Recommended.

 

https://goo.gl/images/YYbQLm

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Back to Arkham Horror LCG. Set up a camping table in part of the house so I can keep it up and not worry about set up and tear down every time.

 

Played the first two missions of the Carcosa campaign and continue to be really impressed at how much story can work into a card game.

 

a cracker

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Been playing Everdell a fair bit recently. I backed it initially because of the lovely artwork and board setup. Turns out the actual game behind the presentation is bloody brilliant, place your little workers (Mice, turtles, squirrels, hedgehogs and rats if you have the CE) to get resources and use them to play cards into your personal village, sounds simple enough.

The game starts slowly, everyone only having 2 workers and placing a card mostly requiring some resources but as the game progresses through the 4 seasons you gain workers and start to place cards from your hand (max 8) or the meadow - an open to all area of 8 cards that can be taken and played on your turn if you can pay the cost.
 There are 2 types of cards in the deck - buildings and critters and in a similar vein to the 7 wonders games if you have a building of a certain type you can add the relevant critter for free to your village, all the cards give different bonuses - some immediate, some every time you perform a specific action, some at certain seasons and others at game end.
 As your village gets it's engine going you can start to chain effects, gaining resources, adding buildings, getting the occupying critter for free but since there is a limit to what you can add it's easy to run out of room towards the end and see big point scoring opportunities pass you by (or even to be screwed over by other players if they have the right cards).
 Add into the mix the bonus tiles that are on display that everyone is also trying to add for the bonus points and possible end game multipliers (and once it's claimed it's gone) and you suddenly find this cute looking game with woodland creatures, a big 3D tree and lovely resource pieces (although the wood does have a habit of rolling off the board by nature of it's design) has turned into a competitive, cutthroat fight where everyone else seems to constantly take the thing you wanted and you're looking at each others village trying to figure out how you can mess up their plans.

 I'll be interested in seeing what the expansion that's going to Kickstarter in September will add and if anyone is going to Tabletop Scotland in Perth next weekend and fancies a try of it I'll be at the open play area all weekend :)

E9D24D85-0A6F-4E94-AC81-C15300C20629.jpeg

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I’ll be in for the expansion for sure as this has gone down really well. Let’s hope they add new log designs as a stretch goal though - or at least a thematic dish to hold them in. 

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It’s pretty simple on a turn by turn basis as there are only 3 actions but the chaining of cards and the general admin on a turn when you have a few “every action” cards in play can require some attention. I’d  expect it depends on the kid in question  

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