The Big Thread of Board Games

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-01-23 07:13am

If you don't like the Japanese theme of Shogun, you could also just pick up Wallenstein as it's practically the same game.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-01-31 10:42am

I finally got to play my copy of Eclipse this weekend. It was pretty much like I expected, and that is excellent*. I had a feeling the 30 minutes/player duration as noted on the box was on the low side; it's more like 1 hour/player, even when playing at relatively high tempo for a first play (this was because the game is pretty easy to learn).

A pity I missed the supernova mini expansion though. I checked the BGG daily and I still was too late; it was sold out in 1 hour.

I hope the guys who offer it on ebay for 50-60€ (= same as base game) step on a lego.

*and the fact that people were jealous because I had a copy made it all the sweeter ;).

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-01-31 10:55am

Are the plasma torpedoes as broken as they were reported in BGG?

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-01-31 11:04am

Zinegata wrote:Are the plasma torpedoes as broken as they were reported in BGG?


Dunno, the tech dropped at the very end of the game so we couldn't really try it. If there was one beef from one of the players, it was that you had to assign the dice hits after you rolled (instead of first telling which ship you fire one, then roll and then assign damage). The latter would be more 'realistic', but it would also make combat (and therefore downtime) a lot longer so I didn't really care either way.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Gerald Tarrant » 2012-01-31 06:24pm

My experience with the Plasma torpedoes is that it takes a while to go from researching them to making your fleet truly terrifying. You really need a computer to go with the torpedoes, even if you're going to have a lot of them by putting them on interceptors. The other thing is that it takes a while to pump out enough ships to do what you want. So if someone's making a torpedo strategy work, they probably have a lot of other things going for them; and torpedoes are just accelerating the win. There are also some pretty good tech based answers to torpedoes: improved hull is my favorite. Throw it down your interceptors and they suddenly take 2 hits to kill. And if your opponent has a pure torpedo fleet than he/she'll die if any of your ships survive the initial salvo. The shield systems work well if the torpedo guy gets good computers. 2 torpedo components (4 shots) that only hit on 6's are only going to get a hit a little over 1/2 the time. If you don't respond to torpedoes they can be a real problem, but the responses to torpedoes are generally cheaper than the cost of torpedoes so it's reasonably balanced. In my opinion the Wormhole generator can be much more destabilizing especially when coupled with Neutron bombs. Research that tech, and suddenly all the territories your opponent thought were in a safe cul-de-sac are suddenly bombed out by cheap little interceptors. Even Monoliths (3vp per monolith) are cheaper to research than Plasma Missiles, and I've had plenty of games determined by monolith builds. I've only really seen Plasma torpedo strategies dominate when other people didn't respond sanely, or if the person with the torpedoes was already winning. It's powerful but there are answers.
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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-01-31 06:55pm

Great, thanks for the info. I think I might push through reserving a copy now :)

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-02-11 06:17am

Finally got to play Agricola. The theme looks boring but it's an excellent worker placement game. And with so many cards and options, the variation between each game is limitless.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-02-11 09:35pm

wautd wrote:Finally got to play Agricola. The theme looks boring but it's an excellent worker placement game. And with so many cards and options, the variation between each game is limitless.


Got to play it recently, and it can be very brutal with experienced players. I had a stone house but placed last, the player who built 7 rooms (yes, you can) was just 1 point ahead of me, the player who took all the improvements clocked in just 6 points more than the house-builder, and the winner squeezed by with stone house + lots of animals.

Also, forgot to mention that I got to play Pret-a-Porter a couple of days ago (twice), and it's a very good game.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Gerald Tarrant » 2012-02-12 03:55pm

The makers of Eclipse just announced an expansion Link. More players sounds pretty good, with four or less my group has an unfortunate tendency towards turtle style play; although playing purely aliens balances that. The more symmetric a game is, the less effective combat seems to be, fortunately the aliens are so different from each other that combat becomes very viable. The play tests from the expansion showed 9, which should be much more cramped, and conflict driven.

I just tried a new solo game. Friday; by Friedman Friese (maker of Powergrid), you're Robinson Crusoe and your goal is to build a deck that can take on the pirate which show up at the end of 3 rounds. You begin with a collection of cards values 0-2, There's also a "danger deck" that has a series of of cards with value 0-4 and neat special abilities, like extra draws; and a challenge value on the bottom you need to beat, you draw two and choose one to take on. If you pass the challenge you add the card to your deck, if you fail you end up losing life points equal to the deficit, and you're allowed to ditch cards (your non-performing cards usually). Every time you pass through your draw deck you add an "aging" card to your deck; they're generally minus points or zero cards that have some negative effect, so the challenge is to pick up the good cards from the challenge deck and try to chuck out your 0's and aging cards. It's quick, I finished one in 20 minutes or so (and lost :( even with coaching from the guy who owned the game). There's a cool element of optimization, like in Dominion when you begin trashing the worthless cards, as well as a very clear game clock, and "final boss".
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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-02-18 05:50am

double
Last edited by wautd on 2012-02-18 05:58am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-02-18 05:53am

wautd wrote:
Oh yeah, also a game setup in china where you had to build castles, house workers and fight another crisis at the end of each turn. It was pretty good but I can't remember the name.


Oh yeah, t'was In the Year of the Dragon.

Gerald Tarrant wrote:The makers of Eclipse just announced an expansion Link. More players sounds pretty good, with four or less my group has an unfortunate tendency towards turtle style play; although playing purely aliens balances that. The more symmetric a game is, the less effective combat seems to be, fortunately the aliens are so different from each other that combat becomes very viable. The play tests from the expansion showed 9, which should be much more cramped, and conflict driven.


I guess having the ability to play up to 9 players is nice if you have the time and people. I'm already happy it goes up to 6.
I'd rather have more hexes, techs, races*, exploration tokens, (prettier) ships,...

PS. the developers offer a free holiday expansion on bgg. Just print and paste on the blanc tokens that are in the box

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-02-20 12:44am

In The Year of the Dragon is a game by Stefan Feld, who's my favorite designer. You may want to try out Macao as it has a very unique mechanic.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-02-29 02:20am

I've tried Eclipse. It's pretty good.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-02-29 02:34am

Tried Coney Island the other day. It looks deceivingly simple on the outside, but there are a lot of possible strategies to do and it's pretty exciting to the end to see who wins the game because you can have hidden bonus points or penalty points when final scoring is made. I had a good first impression so I'd rate it a bit higher than what it gets on BGG

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Gerald Tarrant » 2012-03-17 03:56pm

I've been playing wargames lately, and decided to give a mention to my favorites.

Pocket Battles Orcs vs Elves. Army Building Light. Units in the two factions are represented by small cards. Each unit has a point cost and a maximum unit size. Both sides agree to an army size (multiples of 10) and then build an army matching that number. Next they combine their armies into companies (of no more than the max unit size). In general the real bruisers (Trolls for the orcs and Ents for the elves) aren't able to be part of larger companies. Each combat piece has a hit dice at the top, when engaged with someone else they'll roll a dice and if they match their hit value they'll score a wound on the enemy company. Combining combat units lets you improve your odds that any given company will hit. For instance one Orcs figure may hit on 4's and 5's and another may hit on 3's and 4's grouping these two combat units into one company will allow you to hit on 3-5's and 4's generate 2 hits. Each side gets a number of order/wound tokens = to 1/10th the army value. Orders are required to move pieces from flank zone to zone or from front to back, and to attack. When a combat unit is wounded and not killed a wound token is placed on it, which cannot be reclaimed until that piece is killed, thereby limiting that players future actions. It costs extra actions (over the base cost) to activate a unit a second time. What sold this game for me was the speed (My first game took 30 minutes rules explanation and all); the customization (both sides have 100 points in army and lots of ways to combine into different companies); the cost ($15); and the simplicity easy to pick up and learn but still a decent amount of depth.

Hammer of the Scots; Brave Heart the game. Part of a series of wargames from Columbia games called block games (GMT and a few others make Block wargames as well). Each block has several stats on it, a movement rating (how many zones they can travel through), an initiative letter (going alphabetically, A's act before B's etc), A combat rating number (the number is what you need to roll below to get a hit, like Axis and Allies; so a 4 would have a 2/3rd hit rate) and finally The number of hitpoints and dice the unit rolls. Every time a unit is injured its block is rotated, in the future that unit will have 1 less combat dice, and one less hit point. Both sides only see the back of their opponent's blocks which means a great deal of hidden information. What makes Hammer of the Scots stand out for me is how Asymmetric the sides are. The English have generally better combat units (in terms of initiative, and combat rating), but must begin the year South of the Scottish Border (except for a few blocks who can winter in Scotland, and a special action by the king). The Scottish blocks are with the Exception of William Wallace (FREEEEEEDOM) worse than most of their English counterparts, they're superior or on par with the English infantry, which is the only English Unit that can stay in Scotland over the winter. The English side drafts new units in at full strength, whereas the Scottish side must pay to bring in each new unit (the areas you fight over all have supply ratings, and you get one health point of healing or drafting for each supply point). The goal is to control all of the Nobles in the Highlands (most blocks die when their last hitpoint is taken, Scot nobles switch sides). If the Scots are ever able to control a majority of the blocks they can bring in Balliol who is as good as William Wallace (FREEEEEEDOM). The king can also be brought in if the English Kill Bill Wallace (FREEEEED-urk), although that will cause some of the nobles to switch sides. The game is easy to learn, but deep enough that each game is different, I like how different each side feels as well.
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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-03-18 06:22am

Yesterday has been a good gaming day. Played a game of Hawaii, which is one of these games where there is a multitude of ways to earn points. Didn't really like the theme but it was a pretty decent game. Cherokee, a simple card game that felt pretty chaotic and unpredictable rather than tactical but it was OK for a filler game and worth the couple of euro's and finally ended with a game of Agricola. 2nd time I played it and it's really fun now I get the hang of it. (and stressful if you're hoping nobody else take the same action you're planning to do).

Next week I'll be playtesting the prototype of Rogue Agent, from the same makers as Panic Station. It has an interesting theme so I'm curious how well it plays.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-03-18 09:35am

Hammer of the Scots is the best block war game there is. There are others that try to be better, but aside from Hellenes nothing comes close.

It is kinda embarassing when William Wallace gets surrounded and killed though.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby irishmick79 » 2012-03-18 10:47am

If you're into war games, I can't recommend VG's The Civil War enough. It's a fantastic strategic level take of the American Civil War, from start to finish. You can find the complete game on VASSAL if you can't find a copy. Simple, elegant rules mechanics, and one of the best rulebooks you'll ever see. I've played a lot of wargames in my time, and this one is by far and away my favorite.
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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Gerald Tarrant » 2012-03-18 02:31pm

Zinegata wrote:Hammer of the Scots is the best block war game there is. There are others that try to be better, but aside from Hellenes nothing comes close.

It is kinda embarassing when William Wallace gets surrounded and killed though.


Hammer is my favorite of the Columbia series. And whenever Wallace chooses to winter in Selkirk, I'm always feeling alternatively worrying about how to spring him from a trap as the Scots, or complete his encirclement as the English.

I'm going to disagree that nothing comes close to Hammer though. Crusader Rex 1st Edition is awesome.

Lifted from Board Game Geek wrote:Crusader Rex is a block game of the 3rd Crusade. One Player plays the Christian Franks, the other, the Muslim Saracens. The objective of the game is to control important Victory Cities such as Jerusalem, Acre, Damascus, and Antioch.

The board depicts the Middle East from Antioch in the north to Egypt in the south.


From BGG. My favorite wargames are the ones that are the most Asymmetric, and this starts with very different sides. The crusader player's units are spread all over the map in small groups. The Saracens (with the exception of a few outriders) are all clumped into 3 massive army units. The Franks need to draw blocks from a block pool to get their most powerful units in, and they don't come in immediately, you need to draw the entire reinforcement crusade (like all of Richard the Lionheart's group) to bring them in, meaning you never know when your heavy hitters are going to arrive. The Saracens start with their heavy hitters (Saladin and his sons) on the board. The Frank very powerful units, quite a few 3's (and Richard a 4); they also have the ability to execute a Knight's charge doubling the number of dice the roll (at the risk of injuring yourself on a 1). The Saracens have higher initiative blocks, and the ability to harry the enemy's blocks, shoot at a minus one and leave before the enemy can counterattack. The Saracen's as the aggressors have a more difficult supply situation, unless a block is in its home seat it takes two supply points to heal it, also wintering limits are different depending on whether the area was initially Frankish or Saracen. If the area was initially yours (its town color on the map Green or Orange depending on which color you are) then you are allowed to stack up to 3 times the castle/supply rating on the map over winter. Otherwise you can only stack up to the castle limit. Since the Saracens are behind on victory cities at the start of the game; they need to be the aggressor this means they'll be sitting on Frankish towns, meaning they need to spread out to deal with the lack of resupply. And then the Saracens face the worry that the Crusaders will build up enough military force to mirror the Saracen's initial advance (Concentrated military force against small isolated units). The Strategic and Tactical differences between each side are really pretty well thought out. The game has some very interesting strategic themes, and once again it's deep enough that you can get lots of game play variation.
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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby DPDarkPrimus » 2012-03-18 08:49pm

This is kind of a last-minute announcement what with only 26 hours left on the Kickstarter, but Agents of SMERSH is a game that seems to be tailored to a lot of the itches I like getting scratched.
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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-03-18 10:30pm

Crusader was a bit problematic for me though, as the randomness of getting your best troops as the Franks tends to determine the tempo of the game a lot.

I honestly much preferred Hellenes, as despite the assymetrical nature of the game (Athens is a naval power, Sparta is a land power) it still manages to feel incredibly balanced on both sides.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-03-22 04:21am

wautd wrote:My modest collection since I got stung by the boardgame virus (man, looking back I spent a lot on games this year)



Since then the virus spread to another cupboard. Still got a lot on my wish list but this month I've been constraining myself and rather played than bought some games :P

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby The Yosemite Bear » 2012-03-22 11:12am

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby Zinegata » 2012-03-22 11:52am

I just played Kingdom Builder the other day. Cute game.

Do you have Ora Et Labora in there somewhere wautd? It's Uwe's (Agricola) latest game, and I found it pretty interesting.

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Re: The Big Thread of Board Games

Postby wautd » 2012-03-23 07:15am

Zinegata wrote:I just played Kingdom Builder the other day. Cute game.


It looked nice but I got mixed feelings once I played it. Then again I only played it once with 2 playersin which case the map is too big in my opinion. I guess it's a lot better with 4 players.

Do you have Ora Et Labora in there somewhere wautd? It's Uwe's (Agricola) latest game, and I found it pretty interesting.


Heared that it's good but didnt played it yet and not in my collection.


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