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Board Games

Discussion in 'Gaming and PC Discussion' started by Ash, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Palindrome

    Palindrome Magma Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Gotta play it with the right people. Source: played with Aek and Irene for one :p
     
  2. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    If you get a bunch of people who are good at telling stories, or at least can string a narrative together, Gloom is awesome.
     
  3. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    Okay, now for the next kickstarter game:

    A.D.A.P.T. A card/dice game where you play a fish. You slowly evolve, taking on parts of other sea creatures, and kill all other fish, so that you can become "the Masterfish".

    The box is tiny. It comes with the basic set (I'll get onto THAT at the end), three sets of dice, three player mats, and one rulesheet. It just about all fits in, although there is no extra space whatsoever. You start play by picking one of the guppys (red, blue, green), the corresponding dice set, and then roll to get a random bonus.

    The bonuses are either extra exp, or a card from the gene-stream, which is three face up cards. This is where you purchase new cards from, and you only have N+1 (up to five) cards in the stream at once. New ones are dealt whenever needed from the deck, and the discard is reshuffled when the deck runs out. Pretty standard.

    Little brother got an extra 4 experience, I got a level five body.

    The levels are an interesting tactic - you have five levels (plus the level 0 guppy bodies), and you have one card per level per location. Each card is a specific thing -so either a brain, lungs, heart; or can be thing from a creature - so clownfish skin, an orca mouth, or flying fish fins. BUT you can't just jump levels - you can only increase your body by one each time (no jumping from a guppy to a Great White), although you can have parts that are two levels higher (so you can have a Great White jaw on a Marlin, for example). Therefore having a level five body means I don't have to worry about getting one later (I also got a decent one, which always helps). You don't replace old cards in the deck - so once it has been adapted, it is gone forever.

    At the start of each turn, you get 3 exp, and can then take one of five actions - buy, adapt, attack, special, cycle.
    - Buying takes a card from the genestream, and instantly adapts it if able - if not, put it into your personal stream, from where you can adapt for free. This is useful if you REALLY don't want an opponent to get a specific card.
    - Adapting takes a card from your stream, and plonks it on your creature.
    - Attacking is pretty self-explanatory
    - Special means you can do a special thing granted by your current loadout. For example, Flying Fish have the ability to jump out of the water, making them unattackable for several turns.
    - Cycling means you scrap the genestream, and draw three fresh cards. You also get a bonus 3 exp.


    Gameplay is pretty fast, although there are a MASSIVE amount of special rules, most of which only show up on one or two cards. For example, jump only appears on the Flying Fish body and fins; ram only appears on the dolphin tail and nose.
    A lot are easy to figure out, and to remember, but I honestly think the rule text should be on the card. Especially as, whilst nice, the art doesn't add much to the game - it just shows a slightly cartoony picture of whatever it describes. On top of that, the rules are pretty open to anyone - they refer to ten sided dice, rather than a D10. As the game is aimed at younger players, this isn't horrible, but again, it could maybe be tidied up. Maybe it's the MTG in me, but I really don't think that "roll d10 under your total 'stun' count to skip target players next turn" loses much from a large paragraph of text.

    Early game has a lot of cycling, because doubling experience is pretty useful. As such, you can't always plan ahead - your opponent is going to be scrapping whatever is there now, so don't get too attached. You also have to try and balance getting a higher body against having lots of other parts.

    Each part has up to five things to keep track of:
    - Health (pretty simple. Count up total for your total health pool).
    - survivability (count up total, subtract from an opponent's attack pool)
    - Ferocity (roll dN, add Lethality. That's your attack roll)
    - Lethality (a bonus of up to +5 on a successful attack)
    - Special rules (bonuses, such as ram or jump).
    and you only get the bonuses from your top card.

    As this changes pretty quickly, we didn't keep track of them at all. There's apparently an app that does it for you, but I haven't bothered downloading it, and likely won't - basic mental maths isn't something I strain over.

    The game doesn't take much space at all - each players mat is about A4, and the genestream will be about the same. So nice and compact to play with.

    No real gripes, although only being a two or three player game does limit it a bit more than most. RRP is USD39 (about GBP30 / EUR35), and I don't think I can easily recommend it at that price. It's fun, and I'll have a few games, but I'm not sure it's really excellent. Without a single player version, at least.

    ----

    Now, onto (as I said earlier) the deck...

    There are five expansion sets. Each one is 13 cards (plus a new rules card, and a few status trackers), and each is themed - Mech, Tentacles, Amphibians, Mythical beings, and Basic Bodies. Each (apart from basic bodies) is shuffled into the main deck, and used as well. It includes a single set of bodies and parts, plus a few extras at different levels.

    AGAIN, the special rules only show up on one or two cards per pack. Interestingly, some of the limits from the core set aren't applicable until you have the expansions, and I don't like designers planning for expansions on day zero.

    Also, the expansions all come together in a single cardboard deckbox. And there isn't any space in the core box for it, or them. Which is a negative.

    I haven't actually had a chance to take pictures yet, but I'll likely have another game later (including the expansions), so I'll get back to you with those later.

    (I do also have another game that's come I need to have another game with, to try and see if it gets better - Ultimate Dinosaur Fighting - and I have Necronomicards on the way too, although I don't how that plays at all).
     
  4. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    And here's part 2 of A.D.A.P.T - ADAPT AGAIN.

    We added all the bonus cards - there's four packs that are used in game, and about thirteen replacement starters. The replacement starters have a special rule that means they grant a bonus that applies to the entire game.
    Little brother picked one that gave him a bonus to his EXP for cycling the gene stream (see above), and I picked one that gave me regeneration. We found last game just how powerful this was, and it really did pay off this game too.

    Once again, the game started quite slowly. We both got high level cards for our starting bonus, and cycled the gene stream quite a few times. I'd gotten a griffin beak and a clownfish tail on my guppy, doing the opposite of last game (where I focused on powering up my body, and only that), whereas brother had a higher level body, and a few more bonus parts.

    Then came my first break - I got a card that meant if a higher body attacked me, they suffered for it. I then got a second regeneration card (and healing two damage every turn is really powerful. It saved me, this game). Eventually, we ended up both on high level bodies, with very full card slots - brother ended up with ten, and I ended up with nine - although we'd both gone for skilled builds this time, rather than just having high stats.

    Which lead to brother's downfall. He had an incredible attack, and massive health, but was very frail - so my medium level stats would rebuff most of his damage, and deal way more on a lower roll. With my constant healing, this put me in a race he wasn't in a position to win. Once again, my Masterfish ruled the waves.


    ---

    Also, each expansion has all the rules mentioned in it explained on a double sided card that comes with the pack. This is a lot better than the massive rule sheet that the core set uses, although (once again), I think they should be explained on the cards themselves.

    ---


    I also had a fiddle with the app.

    It's crap.

    I mean, it does the job (counting the total of your stats), but I feel it should be able to do this automatically - you should be able to put in what parts your masterfish has, and it give you the statblock. As is, I won't be using it again.

    Also, they really missed a trick - if the app had been able to create pictures of your fish, given the card names, it would have been awesome. Even if the pictures were crap (given the images they used on the cards, they must have had access to the artwork), it wouldn't have mattered. Being able to immortalise your masterfish would have been awesome.

    ---

    Right, pictures! WARNING - not edited, so might well be massive.

    Game 1 - Winner and loser

    Game 2 - Winner and loser

    Example Gene stream, showing Undrawn, #1, #2, #3, Discard.

    ---

    The expansions are good fun. I know I shat on the idea of them last time (I still think they should just be bundled with the game as an extra, not a second purchase), but they were decent. I might, at some point, try having games with only one or two of the sets at a time, as having that many cards did make shuffling quite unwieldy.

    But if you're picking up the game, I'd definitely add them.
     
  5. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    Best game I've played recently is Telestrations. It's like chinese whispers mixed with picture charades. So everyone starts with a word and people pass on their word to the next person who draws it, then the next person guesses the word. It then goes around either for 8 goes or until it returns to you.

    It's great fun if you have any drawing skills, and even more fun if you don't.
     
  6. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    Another new Kickstarter game - Necronomicards.

    Card based game, three decks of cards. You have the summons, spells, and curses. To start the game you shuffle seven curses into the spell deck, deal out spell cards to each player, and that's it. Gameplay is pretty simple - draw one card a turn, cast a spell if you can (and discard down to six), cast a summon if you can, pass the turn. To win the game, you need seven summons (or all four horsemen of the apocalypse). The cards are tarot sized - elongated playing card length - and seem of decent stock. They aren't flimsy, and they don't feel like they'll tear easily.

    Curses are bad - you skip turns, or lose spell cards, or something like that. Some are based on whoever drew them, some on a tablewide level, some are whoever drew and another target player. If you draw a curse, you suffer, then end your go. Again, it's quite simple. Given that the game is for ages 10+, you would expect it to be.

    Spell cards have either four or six symbols on. The symbols are a mix of astrological signs, runes (mostly Norse, although I think there might have been Celtic), and symbols (probably not actual satanic symbols, but I haven't exactly looked up where they are all from). Some symbols are coloured, some are just black. You need to match symbols up to cast your spells - three pairs get you a single summon, two triples get you two, and a sextuple gives you three summons. RAW, I didn't see anything about multiple sets, so we houseruled that combinations (three pairs AND two triples) got you the sum of everything, although they had to share cards.

    So the rules are simple, and there is little room to impact other players - most creatures have "when this enters play...", but as you can only cast (at best) one a turn, there's minimal chances to dick people over.

    The problem (although maybe deliberately) is that these symbols are infurating. They seem to have been placed randomly - [Saturn] appears in top left on card, but centre right on the next. [Inverted female] is on the bottom right on one card, [Inverted female but with a dot in it] is in the same place on another. This means that each turn takes longer than it should, because you have to spend a few minutes looking over your cards and trying to match up all the pairs. Holding twelve different unusual symbols in mind isn't easy, so you can't instantly determine whether you can cast a spell each turn or not.

    As I said though, this could be (maybe) deliberate. After all, you're supposed to be wizards drawing forbidden, mind-bending knowledge - the game should be driving you mad!

    All the artwork is so-so. Whilst it isn't terrible, there's nothing memorable about it, and no massive consistency across all the cards. With creatures spanning from Cthulu, Satan, and Death to the Monster under your bed, and the Krampus, I guess it's okay that things aren't consistent. But, still, I'd have liked it if they were.

    it RRPs for 25USD (19GBP), and I don't actually think that's too bad a price. Maybe wait for it to be on sale, or come down slightly, but I don't regret getting it.

    ----

    I also managed to get in an extra game of Scythe (great fun again, although having to explain every single term every single turn gets annoying), and several more games of ADAPT, which my group has started calling Battlefish.

    I've already had several requests for a battlefish day. And I have to admit, the gameplay on it is still really good. Worth seeing if you can have a go on, somewhere (I think a PDF version was a kickstarter reward, so might be for sale somewhere?).
     
  7. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    Back once again with another kickstarter project: Dark Souls the boardgame.

    I wasn't the backer this time, it was another of the group. So I can't talk for how clear the rulebook and everything is, nor how similar it is to "canon", but the models are solid, and are nicely detailed. The player mats and boards feel like they'll stand up to some mishandling, and the dice and other miscellany all seem decent quality.


    Gameplay is pretty simple. Pick a player, they get the "aggro token".

    Monsters move. Most attack either the closest player, or the aggro player. Once all monsters have attacked, then the player gets to make two actions - move, and attack. Either can be switched for estusing, or using your special (once per bonfire). Then the token moves to the next player, and the monsters go again.

    Turns go quickly, although play is pretty dangerous - every monster on the board gets a go between each player's turn, and they get to move first. Thankfully, the monsters each follow pretty set rules, so you can plan in advance quite a bit.

    Health and stamina go on a single track, and more powerful attacks use stamina. Some heavier weapons use stamina on even the basic attacks, but you fully heal at the end of each room.

    Each map is made of N(umber of player) rooms, and clearing a room gets 2N 'sparks', which can be used for upgrading stats, or levelling the bonfire up. Bonfire costs 2N sparks to level up, and is capped at level 2. If any single player dies, or if you go back and rest, then it drops a level. If it hits 0, you lose. Beating the boss gets you N sparks per level of Bonfire, but it's a much harder fight than the mobs.

    We only played the first half of the 'mission', fighting against basic skeletons (I think), silver knights, and a charging axe guy, before facing off against the Gargoyle. I think we ran through the map about five or six times, and it got significantly quicker each time.

    Treasure is basically random, and a lot of it has minimum stat requirements. We quickly figured out it was actually best to focus on a single character, boosting them to get the best equipment out of what we had, rather than piecemealing everyone up at once - we had a main guy capable of dealing with any threat by himself, rather than four of us needing to gang up and gank someone.

    Obviously, I went for the Dex build, and I have to say that the dodge mechanic seems much more powerful than blocking - I started with two dodge dice (50% chance of a dodge on each), and 1 success was enough to dodge nearly anything in the floor. Two were needed for the Silver Knights, but I just ran away and let the tank deal with them, until I got the powerups and started backstabbing everything. I've now got four dodge dice, so basically don't get hit by anything. Two dice let me take no damage from most lower mobs with ease.


    Negatives:
    It's repetitive. You CAN face the boss having only ran the floor once, but you'll lose.

    So instead you need to run the rooms again and again and again until you're basically mostly statted up. Each run gets faster, and you get better equipment, but once you know what you're doing it starts getting a bit tedious. One of the players basically just fucked off at this point, because they didn't need to do much.

    Which leads to con two - turns take a while to come around, and there's not much to do in the mean time. Some monsters attack spaces, so you still have to block/dodge, but you're not actually doing anything. It picks up once people know what to do, so run a few games first to pick up the rules.

    Finally - it seems to have a low ceiling. We got in around three hours, including set up and packing away, and another half hour would have seen everyone at full stats, able to wield any items that came up. Admittedly, that would have meant a half hour of pure grinding, but we stopped because we were out of time. There's supposed to be more expansion with enchanting items in part 2, so I'll hold off on saying anything really bad, but it didn't feel like we had much more space to grow into, rather than open-ended RPGs.

    Now, as I said, I didn't pay for this. But I'm REALLY looking forward to our next session, and the ones after that.
    I think it's a god game, even for the price-tag. It's a well put together game, and the learning curve was about right, giving you just enough rope to hang yourself with if you didn't realise you were going to die.

    Definitely would recommend.
     
  8. JErosion

    JErosion Fifth Year

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    Yeah, Ive been hitting up Kickstarter lately



    I backed a Deck building word game called Hardback https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fowers/hardback-the-pre-quill-to-paperbackHard

    Also two other games ive backed, both of which are still campaigning as of this posting.

    The first is an area control, take that game with a farm theme, think of it as Farm to Table Fuckery. Get Off My Land! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1812622835/get-off-my-land-0/description

    And the final game i'm backing is Brass. Brass was originally printed ten years ago, however a company named Roxley, who had previous success with their games Steampunk Rally and their new edition of Santori, is releasing both a new edition with revised rules of the original game, plus a sequel. Im backing this one because what they have done looks really good and im also lacking a medium/heavy economic euro. Brass: Lancashire and Brass: Birmingham https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/roxley/brass-an-industrial-revolution
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  9. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I'm looking for recommendations on 2 player board games to play with my mom. Doesn't have to be a board game in the strictest sense, since she likes card games and dice games. Can't be anything too complicated, but I'm not looking for base level games like stratego or chess either. Games along the lines of Takenoko or Catan are around what I'm looking forward, or perhaps slightly more complex.
     
  10. Blinker

    Blinker Sixth Year DLP Supporter

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    I've got a couple of recommendations, one may be a little too simple, the other a little too complex

    Carcassonne is a very pleasing tile placement game, quick rules and quick to play, with a nice balance of luck and skill.

    Race for the Galaxy is a card game where you build a tableau. It takes maybe half an hour to learn and a few games to get into (maybe 10-15 minutes to play), but I've gotten completely hooked and played hundreds of times online now.

    edit: neither is exactly a board game if that's too much of a deviation
     
  11. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I ended up buying Star Realms and 7 Wonders duel. Other options I was considering were one of the worker placement type games, either Castles of Bordeaux, Lords of Waterdeep, Imperial Settlers, Five Tribes, etc. Of those, Castles seemed like the best for 2 player, but I'm holding off for now.

    Might pick up Pandemic since I know my LGS has a copy. (they also have Lords of Waterdeep)

    There's also https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/108745/seasons which seemed interesting and not too expensive, but maybe next time.
     
  12. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    Machi Koro is a brilliant card/board game.

    It's a board game... played with cards... and no board. Basically, you're competing to build all your city landmarks the fastest, and you decide which buildings to purchase, so they can help you grow as fast as possible.

    It can be played by 2-4 people with the base game and the rules are fairly simple (even with expansions). It usually moves pretty fast (blazing fast, with only two players), so even getting your ass kicked is pretty fun, because it doesn't take an hour or more for your opponent to inevitably meet the win conditions, such as with Catan or the like. It's also very possible to pull off a come-from-behind victory, even if you've had a run of bad luck, as long as you play it smart.

    I've played an absolute ton of Machi Koro with my board game enthusiast best friend and every match was fun (and all that just in the little bit of time he's been back in-state). I really need to set aside some money to buy my own copy.

    The art is nice, too. It looks good, but it's simplistic enough that you can tell which card you're seeing, at a glance, as opposed to squinting at some illustration that is beautiful but detailed to the point of obfuscating what you're looking at.

    It's not complex but it's not dumb, either. However, the base game alone may be a tad too repetitive for some people, after playing it several times. The expansions can add extra layers of intricacy if you wish. I'd recommend getting the Harbor Expansion, at the very least, or just go straight for the deluxe version of the game (mainly because, by the default rules, with just the base game, whoever grabs the most convenience stores can usually stomp on the other player quite handily). Adding the Harbor expansion gives you enough cards to play with 5 people, but some say that makes the game too long.

    The extra types of cards and new randomized card layout rules with Harbor really add a lot to the game, though. It will be money well spent. Millionaire's Row adds enough time and complexity that it sort of moves the game out of its niche of being super simple and fast, but it's still a lot of fun.

    EDIT: Here are the Dice Tower reviews.
    Base Game
    Harbor Expansion
    Millionaire's Row Expansion
    Bright Lights Big City (I believe it's basically a "best of" selection of cards from the base game and expansions, but with different card backs and nighttime illustrations.)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  13. Rehio

    Rehio Alchemist DLP Supporter

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    Surprised to see this - It's the exact same reason I started scoping out board games a while back. I didn't find too much, I'm afraid, and most of it has already been mentioned in responses.

    I'd really recommend Carcassone, by the way. There's the physical board game version, and it's lovely, but what I used to play with my mom was actually the iPhone app. It's "asynchronous," so you can play out the games over days if you need to. Thinking back on it at this point.. we've been playing Carcassonne for something like two years now. It's pretty simple and it can get really strategic. The mind games get stupid-fun when you've been playing against the same person and know their gameplay habits.


    Actually really glad to see this topic; I'd given up on finding good ones just browsing shelves on my own.
     
  14. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    Expensive, has a lot of expansions (also expensive), and sometimes it gives me a headache, but still a fun game with, in my (somewhat limited) experience, quality components.
     
  15. Rehio

    Rehio Alchemist DLP Supporter

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    I guess I haven't really looked into the board game and expansion expense, since I've relied mostly on the phone. 10 dollars for the app isn't outrageous, especially considering that we've been playing it for over two years.
     
  16. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    The base Carcassone is $20 on Amazon. The reason I didn't reply to anything about it is because it's a super common game that most people know about. It's like half a tier below Settlers of Catan in regards to non-Hasbro games that are popular. It's like akin to Ticket to Ride, which is fine, but not very helpful information, no offense.
     
  17. JErosion

    JErosion Fifth Year

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    2 player mom friendly games, sure why not.

    Herbaceous https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/195314/herbaceous
    1-4 player set collecting push your luck card game, with gardening theme. The art is gorgeous water-colored images of herbs. I backed this one on Kickstarter.

    Jaipur https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/54043/jaipur
    2 player only. also set collection and push your luck with a trading theme... and camels.

    Patchwork https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/163412/patchwork
    2 player only. Abstract tile placing game. Players take turns purchasing tiles of fabric to build their own quilt. its fun and requires a bit of spacial reasoning as you "tetris" together the pieces you buy

    Dream Home https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/194880/dream-home

    2-4 players. a light family game where players spend twelve rounds filling the interior of a house with various rooms, by selecting cards from tableau that gets refilled every round. In a 2 or 3 player game things can get a little mean since the first player gets to eliminate one of the five rows you can select from. Think of it as a game for the HGTV crowd
     
  18. Churchey

    Churchey Supreme Mugwump

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    My wife and I really love Sushi Go, a drafting game that's great with 2 players or any number higher than that. Cheap and portable too, and really easy to explain. Simple tip for making it extra fun: use racist asian impressions to pronounce the names.
    Upgrade with Sushi Go Party, where you customize the party and have an easier time of keeping track of score (I always used my MTG life counter app on my phone for keeping track until I got the Party version).

    Both are pretty cheap as far as board games go as well.


    Another really great one is Patchwork. Easy to understand, with some depth, quick play game about research management. Wife and I really enjoy this one. I recommended it to my brother and his wife loves it as well. Kind of the go-to for non-gamey people I'm introducing to boardgames.
     
  19. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'd recommend Twilight Struggle. It's fairly complex but it's got a lot of replay value. It models the Cold War from start to finish and runs for ~2-3 hours.
     
  20. JErosion

    JErosion Fifth Year

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    I forgot about Sushi-Go. The best part is if you start to get bored with it you can play a variant of the game "Sushi-No" and try to be the player with the Least amount of Points, it completely changes the strategy and the way you approach the game.