Board games anyone?

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:47 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Ummm... You know that bit on the "Build 3 new Supply Centers" objective card where it says "Mandatory"?
Oh shit. We almost never build new supply centers because we're so focused on keeping places supplied and rarely get the cards together to build a new supply center. I don't know how we missed that being mandatory.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:10 pm UTC

Going to a local board game night here tonight. Very excited. And my husband wants to join, how unusual!
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Xanthir » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:09 am UTC

@pseudoidiot Yeah, having to get all three supply centers down makes the game *dramatically* harder (but will help you out a ton in the later game, which I suspect is why it's there - you really want to have some cities regularly growing, and getting the [special thing you can do for supply-center cities]).

We basically end up running the "use one less card to make a supply center" person every single game (with some upgrades that make that easier, of course).
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby heuristically_alone » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:52 am UTC

Found a fun group of people that play board games each week at a village inn. Having a blast. Hoping to start pandemic legacy s2 soon!
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:00 am UTC

Xanthir wrote:@pseudoidiot Yeah, having to get all three supply centers down makes the game *dramatically* harder (but will help you out a ton in the later game, which I suspect is why it's there - you really want to have some cities regularly growing, and getting the [special thing you can do for supply-center cities]).

We basically end up running the "use one less card to make a supply center" person every single game (with some upgrades that make that easier, of course).


Yeah, we've got a team of 4 characters (with synergistic upgrades) that we've stuck with from February through September, though we have increasingly been looking at the other available characters and may even take one or more of them in October... maybe November. December? The sticky question is which character to bench...

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:13 pm UTC

Ended up playing a game of Lords of Waterdeep with five players. Pretty fun, I will go again.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Xanthir » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:41 am UTC

Pandemic Legacy S2: dat October revelation, hoo boy. So hidden in plain sight!
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Xanthir » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:28 pm UTC

Finished Pandemic Legacy S2 this last weekend. Some really lucky card drawing in November made it pretty easy - we got thru 3/4 of the goals in the first November game, so the second was a cakewalk. December, then, phew:

Spoiler:
We'd set things up for a quick exfiltration of the cure, with a supply center in Johannesburg. Then we read the dang scar, *and you can't fly* ??!? Welp, there goes our plan to have the Runner take care of things. Luckily we had upgraded Ginger Brett, our dude from Wellington, with the "discard a card to grab one from the discard" ability, so as soon as a red card was drawn, he was able to quickly make his way to J-Burg in just three turns, while the rest of the party kept the world from burning.


Ended with 729 points, square in the middle of the second-to-best category. (Seriously, the best result seems almost *impossible*, from what we can tell by reviewing scoring opportunities. You gotta be more-or-less *perfect*. We might be able to hit that if we replayed it, but there was no way we could have done it on the first try.)

One final note about Topaz:

Spoiler:
We interpreted it such that if a location had no supply cubes, and it came up for infection, we could discard a card to prevent it from getting a plague cube - we'd be preventing the game from *trying* to remove a supply cube, and so no plague would be added. Looking online, the community seems split: some people agree with us; others are interpreting it more strictly to mean that there has to be a supply cube there, and discarding prevents it from being removed - if there is no supply, it gets a plague cube no matter what.

We don't think it would have been *possible* for us to win with that latter interpretation, but the rules really do seem somewhat unclear on this. I can see a strict reading going either way.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby SDK » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:12 pm UTC

Plan is to start Season 2 this weekend. We just barely sqeaked into the top tier on scoring for Season 1, so we'll see how we end up!
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:16 pm UTC

We've started having "house rules" in season 1 because we've been doing so badly. I think having the dispatcher die IN THE VERY FIRST GAME was particularly shitty. So we allow ourselves to fly into and out of 2nd level cities, and we might throw in a few extra funding cards when we play. The goal is to have fun, after all. If we're all miserable, we're not having fun.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby plytho » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:55 am UTC

We're playing pandemic season 2 following the actual months of the year again (more or less). We've played up to march now and managed to win each month on the first try so far.

The pre-game debate for our next game could take a while though:
Spoiler:
We got a new character that will help us with our diminishing starting supplies but we'll have a hard time dropping any of our existing characters.


I'm really enjoying it. It's very different from Season 1 but it's still clearly a pandemic game.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:56 pm UTC

plytho wrote:We're playing pandemic season 2 following the actual months of the year again (more or less). We've played up to march now and managed to win each month on the first try so far.

The pre-game debate for our next game could take a while though:
Spoiler:
We got a new character that will help us with our diminishing starting supplies but we'll have a hard time dropping any of our existing characters.


I'm really enjoying it. It's very different from Season 1 but it's still clearly a pandemic game.


Sounds like you're off to a better start than we managed - we lost January once, and March twice - due to play November tomorrow and December end of this month. There's a point where you unlock something that solves a lot of problems - since that happened, we've been constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Xanthir » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:04 am UTC

@rmsgrey, no actual spoilers, but just in case you don't want *any* information about the thing you're talking about:

Spoiler:
We were really scared of it too and barely used it, having been burned by Season 1's "good stuff", but don't worry - it doesn't hurt.


@zohar: I highly recommend giving yourself a "min 1" or "min 2" for funding. Otherwise it's an annoying bounce between 0 and 2 funding, and when you're on a roll you don't get to use the cool new funding you acquire.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:59 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:@rmsgrey, no actual spoilers, but just in case you don't want *any* information about the thing you're talking about:

Spoiler:
We were really scared of it too and barely used it, having been burned by Season 1's "good stuff", but don't worry - it doesn't hurt.


Spoiler:
Yeah, if you're talking about what I think you're talking about, that already hit - and got a "meh". Even Season 1's "good stuff" is worth using - even the trap - you just need to be a bit careful about what you do with it.


And, yeah, 0 funding/rationing is the one of the few things I consider to be an objective design error in both games - reduced access to events, sure, that's good design, but locking them out entirely and continuing to provide new ones as part of the progression is bad - while at 0, any events you unlock are a negative when they should be a positive. You could have an event that read "Play this to win the game" and it would just be another thing taunting players who'd never get to use it...

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:29 pm UTC

We played S1 September yesterday, the one with the big twist. We decided to have four funding for the game. We're generally pretty casual about things with this group, and also my sister-in-law and her husband are going on their honeymoon at the end of the month for seven weeks so it would be great to finish the game before then.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:03 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:We played S1 September yesterday, the one with the big twist. We decided to have four funding for the game. We're generally pretty casual about things with this group, and also my sister-in-law and her husband are going on their honeymoon at the end of the month for seven weeks so it would be great to finish the game before then.


Very slightly spoilery tip for October:
Spoiler:
pretend the new objective is "Mandatory: Complete all incomplete Searches"


Actually spoilery explanation:
Spoiler:
If you haven't completed all the Searches by the start of November, the game completes them for you, then later slaps you with a penalty for not having done it yourself. Of course, since you're going casual, you might decide that it's better to just move on and deal with the penalty rather than taking a second attempt at October to try to get the Search done.


There's some poor phrasing on one of the cards in the Legacy Deck at the start of November - assuming it hasn't been updated in later printings (spoilers for people who don't want to know about November of S1):
Spoiler:
The panel that tells you to scratch it off if you haven't opened package 6 or 7 (or similar phrasing - I no longer have the card) means "if at least one of them is still sealed" - or (since one of the things needed to open package 7 is inside package 6) "if you haven't opened package 7" would have done. Either way, by the time you finish dealing with the Legacy effects at the start of November, you should have opened every dossier door, and every package except possibly package 8. December's changes come entirely from the Legacy Deck.


Meanwhile, over in S2, we played November at the weekend, winning on our second attempt. Both games were dominated by a less-than-co-operative player deck requiring us to invest resources into staving off defeat for the first time since about March/April (most games since, we've been debating how many rounds to hold off winning in order to pursue plot-based goals and set things up for the future rather than trying to figure out how we can win before being overwhelmed). December will be next session, on the 31st.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:22 pm UTC

I actually already played through S1 already about a year ago, this is my second play through. I appreciate the tips but in this case they're not needed.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby ConMan » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:16 pm UTC

After I made reference to it many, many times, my wife bought me "Vast: The Crystal Caverns" for my birthday. Yesterday, while she was napping, I opened it up, punched all the bits out, and played a solo game as the Knight. Some of my thoughts:

  • The choice to include wood and cardboard options for many of the pieces is an interesting one, and I kind of like it. I can even see uses for the duplicates - for example, put the wood Knight token where she starts each turn so you can remember more easily how far she's moved and what she's done (since so many of her sidequests involve "do a thing X times in one turn").
  • The art reminds me a bit of Quentin Blake's illustrations in Roald Dahl novels. Sketchy line drawings with a lot of character.
  • I won the solo game rather handily (I didn't even reach the collapse stage), so I'm pretty sure I did something very wrong.
  • There seems to be a lot of clever stuff happening in the game, although I don't know how much of it shows up at fewer than 4 players.
  • I'm looking forward to playing this with more people, but I want to solo play the other roles before I do because there's so much to keep track of and it'll be quite tricky to teach.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby heuristically_alone » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:35 am UTC

How many different roles are there?
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby ConMan » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:58 am UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:How many different roles are there?

Six, although one of them (the Cave) you can't play solo. The idea is that each role plays very differently - different win conditions and different play rules. Which is cool, and it's the reason I wanted it, but it's also a hindrance to learning the game because you essentially need to learn 6 different rulesets.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby heuristically_alone » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:23 am UTC

In January I got this new game, Assault of the Giants. Basically each player represents a different faction of giant and they are fighting over a new "ordering", basically the level of heirarchy among the gianta. Each faction has a different story that they follow with their own play rules to earn points, whether it's ravaging villages, trying to eat as much/get as fast as possible, or freeing your kidnapped king, ect. Ive really enjoyed it.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:13 am UTC

ConMan wrote:
heuristically_alone wrote:How many different roles are there?

Six, although one of them (the Cave) you can't play solo. The idea is that each role plays very differently - different win conditions and different play rules. Which is cool, and it's the reason I wanted it, but it's also a hindrance to learning the game because you essentially need to learn 6 different rulesets.


The base game comes with 5 roles - Knight, Goblins, Dragon, Cave, Thief. There's an expansion that adds a further 3 roles - Ghost, Ghoul, Unicorn - each of which can either be played as an additional role (allowing up to 7 players total - the independent Unicorn is strictly an NPC role) or replace a specific existing role (Cave, Goblins, Dragon respectively). The rules for the expansion do recommend that you avoid going above 5 players in order to keep play time from increasing yet further.

Each of the 11 possible roles has its own rules, and mechanics, so the whole thing is a lot to wrap your head around, particularly since several roles' default victory condition involves another specific role, and if the latter role isn't in the game, then that victory condition changes.

Just in the base game:

The Knight explores the cave to gain "Grit" (experience) to unlock more points to allocate to three stats (move, encounter, strength) or to spend to activate special items (all points spent reset at the start of her next turn). She uses an encounter whenever she explores a "dark" (face-down) tile, or interacts with anything on a tile (including other players' pieces). Looting treasure gets her more items (though she can opt to take more Grit instead), and she has a supply of sidequests, each of which earns her Grit when she completes it. Her default victory condition is to slay the Dragon. She's pretty conventional in her play.

The Goblins player controls 3 tribes of Goblins, each with its own special ability. They gain population (and combat strength) each turn, and can also be supported by tame monsters and secret powers (drawn each turn) - at the start of each turn, they draw some cards and pick one to determine how much each tribe grows, and how many monsters/secrets they draw that turn. Population, monsters and secrets are all capped, and if at least one tribe would break the population cap on a given turn, then one tribe has to be scattered - reduced by 2 population, removed from the map, and they lose any tame monster they have too. The tribes all start off the map, and it takes a tribe's entire turn to appear on the map (or to disappear off it) - each tribe gets a turn in whichever order they choose. While on the map, they can move freely through dark tiles, but lose population as they move through lit (face-up) tiles. They have to emerge into lit tiles in order to attack the Knight - killing her is their default victory condition - but any combat scatters the tribe. The Goblins player is constantly managing their resources, avoiding overpopulation, while making sure tribes have enough population to attack the Knight successfully, and also balancing their Rage - which I haven't mentioned - which controls how many cards they choose from at the start of their turn, and is changed by various actions.

The Dragon has a long-term goal of building power so it can awaken, surface, and escape the cave. They have a list of abilities powered by various combinations of symbols, and a hand of cards, each of which has one of those symbols. Those abilities allow the Dragon to move about (initially below the cave, letting him ignore walls) and interact with things within the cave. The dragon builds power by digesting Goblins, by collecting treasure, or by showing off in various ways - each turn, he can move one cube from each of those three categories to his "wakefulness" track. As cubes accumulate on that track, the Dragon gets stronger, and eventually awakens. An awakened Dragon can surface by ending their turn on a particular type of tile. Once surfaced, the Dragon can no longer enter dark tiles, is limited by walls, and is easier for the Knight to attack (though not necessarily easier to damage). At the end of each turn, the Dragon discards any unused cards, reshuffles the deck, and draws a new hand to start planning his next turn.

The Cave player doesn't have a piece to move around the map - instead they are the map. On their turn, the Cave first draws "Omen tokens" based on how many treasures and crystals are on the board. They have a list of omens - special abilities - each of which can be activated by spending appropriate Omen tokens. A typical omen will accept half the types of Omen token, and require 1-3 such tokens to be spent, with some omens increasing in cost each time they're used during a single Cave turn. Unlike the Dragon, any unspent Omen tokens carry over for future turns. Once they're done spending Omen tokens (or sooner, if it chooses), the Cave adds a new dark tile to the board, and places a treasure on an empty dark tile of its choice. The Cave constantly holds a hand of 3 cave tiles, and any time a lit tile has exposed non-wall edges, as well as during its turn, the Cave chooses one of those tiles to fill that gap. The dark sides of tiles have the symbols of the 3 goblin tribes and control where the Goblins can appear on the map (each tribe can only appear on its own symbol), while the lit sides have various effects when they're revealed (usually by the Knight) - Goblin ambushes, random events, treasures or crystals. When the Knight encounters an event or claims a treasure, the Cave draws cards from the relevant deck and chooses one to give to the Knight. The cave tiles are also seeded, Pandemic style so that there are 3 crystal tiles in each third of the deck. Once the last tile is placed on the map, that triggers the Collapse. Starting from the Cave's next turn, rather than adding a tile to the map, the Cave removes 3 tiles from the edges of the map. Once five crystal tiles have been removed (there are other ways tiles can be removed - before the Collapse, non-crystals get added to the bottom of the deck, but removed crystal tiles still count) the Cave wins. The Cave acts as a clock for the game - its main strategic aim is to keep everyone else from winning until it can claim its inevitable victory.

The Thief starts each turn by assigning numbers to his three stats - Movement, Stealth, Thievery (actions) - then collecting a number of action cubes equal to his Thievery. He then moves (1 point per space) and spends his cubes on actions - looting treasure (1 cube), bypassing walls (2 cubes and the usual 1 movement), attacking or stealing from other players (1-3 cubes to determine the chance of success or effect, and only if Stealth is high enough), picking the lock on a treasure vault (1-3 cubes to determine chance of success - vaults are special tiles that get seeded into the cave deck when the Thief is playing), or making himself less rewarding to attack (by default, attacking the Thief successfully gets a 3-point reward - the Thief can spend cubes in advance to reduce the eventual reward down to 0). Looting, stealing, and picking locks get the Thief treasure - which reduces his Stealth while carrying it, but is also his path to victory. Whenever the Thief returns to the entrance tile, he "stashes" any treasure he's carrying, using it to upgrade his abilities, but also making him more rewarding to attack (reset to 3 points). If the Thief manages to stash a 6th treasure, he wins. Whenever the Thief is successfully attacked, he dies, dropping any treasure he was carrying, and respawning at the entrance on his next turn.


So: The Goblins want to kill the Knight, the Knight wants to kill the Dragon, the Dragon wants to eat Goblins and escape the Cave, the Cave wants to keep everyone else from winning until it can collapse on them, and the Thief just wants to stay out of the way long enough to loot the place. Every role has at least one way to interact with each other role.

The expansion roles are generally more like the Thief in that they treat all other roles broadly alike - in fact, the Thief plays like an in-box expansion to the core gameplay of the other 4 roles. There are specific rules for various role combinations - for example, with no Goblins, the Dragon gets some free Wakefulness to compensate for not being able to eat Goblins during the game - but for 3-5 player games with the Thief, the rules are basically "rules as the 2-4 player variant without the Thief, but with the Thief added" (there are a couple of tweaks to the Thief for 3 player games). And that carries over to the expansion roles - it's only the 4 core roles that have different tweaks depending on which other roles are around.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Chen » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:11 pm UTC

So our group just started our Pandemic S2 game. We absolutely crushed S1 with a score in the 900s if I recall correctly. Total of 2 losses.
Spoiler:
I think it was mainly carried by our Researcher/Scientist combination with the relationship that let them trade cards even easier


Anyways, S2 gave us a nice rude awakening. We lost the prologue, but that was due to some sub-optimal play on our side which resolved in Jan. Won Jan but then lost the first in Feb. Beat the second in Feb and then lost the first in March. So not a stellar start. That said our losses were 1 turn away from victory but only because we got lucky with how quickly we moved through things. It seems MUCH less forgiving.

Spoiler:
Adding the new epidemics after our March loss was like a kick in the junk. Its going to make this second March game even worse. We did find the lab in South America so at least we got a hint at what kind of bonuses we can get to mitigate the disaster that's unfolding.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:42 pm UTC

I played Vast once and it didn't feel very interactive. The mechanics are interesting and it's well-designed, but I'm not sure how it works over multiple plays.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:53 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I played Vast once and it didn't feel very interactive. The mechanics are interesting and it's well-designed, but I'm not sure how it works over multiple plays.


Typically, you'd expect someone's first game of Vast to be spent getting their head around how their role works, so a first game can feel more like 5 different solo games happening to share the same board - it gets more interactive once players start understanding how other roles work, and where they're vulnerable to disruption.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:23 pm UTC

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby plytho » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:16 pm UTC

pandemic legacy april report:

We lost our first game and it was a big loss. It wasn't at all clear how we got that far behind. Usually we're struggling by the end of the game but we weren't even close this time. I was afraid we'd run out of luck and wasn't optimistic for our second game.

We won our second game by the skin of our teeth. At one point we must have spent half an hour figuring out how we could get cards and pawns where they needed to be in order to be able to win. We were one cube away from losing for the last 5 turns.

Spoiler up to the start of may.
Spoiler:
I think we're pretty much on track now. We've reconned north and south america and just got our first new haven. (We named it 5-O because in our endless ambition we felt we were on track to hit 5 objectives this game. We didn't do a recon so only got 4.) Since the start of may had us opening package 60 (the new haven) we feel right on track. Next up: Europe!
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:21 pm UTC

Perhaps you should specify you're talking about season 2.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:06 pm UTC

plytho wrote:pandemic legacy april report:

We lost our first game and it was a big loss. It wasn't at all clear how we got that far behind. Usually we're struggling by the end of the game but we weren't even close this time. I was afraid we'd run out of luck and wasn't optimistic for our second game.

We won our second game by the skin of our teeth. At one point we must have spent half an hour figuring out how we could get cards and pawns where they needed to be in order to be able to win. We were one cube away from losing for the last 5 turns.

Spoiler up to the start of may.
Spoiler:
I think we're pretty much on track now. We've reconned north and south america and just got our first new haven. (We named it 5-O because in our endless ambition we felt we were on track to hit 5 objectives this game. We didn't do a recon so only got 4.) Since the start of may had us opening package 60 (the new haven) we feel right on track. Next up: Europe!


If you get the chance, it's worth trying to get ahead of the game - there are a few things that can trip you up, but having a lead means you have more tools for dealing with issues, and means you can weather RNGesus turning on you and making you lose a game. Overall, there's a net gain from being ahead of the pace. Also (vague spoilers from first few months of S2):
Spoiler:
The required catching up at the start of each month isn't keeping you to the target pace, but making sure you're not too far behind - so you can fall behind a little without getting forced back closer to the designed level - or you can do things in the "wrong" order without being punished for doing step 3 when you should have been doing step 2 - but if you're too far behind, the game will catch you up, penalising you in the process.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby heuristically_alone » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:55 pm UTC

New Legacy game coming out based off one of my favorite tabletop games!

Betrayal Legacy
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby plytho » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:33 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:New Legacy game coming out based off one of my favorite tabletop games!

Betrayal Legacy

Wow, that sounds awesome!
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:09 pm UTC

plytho wrote:
heuristically_alone wrote:New Legacy game coming out based off one of my favorite tabletop games!

Betrayal Legacy

Wow, that sounds awesome!


I'm more cautious than optimistic about it right now. One of the things that sinks Legacy games is ambiguity or uncertainty in the rules, and one of the things Betrayal is kinda notorious for is having to fill in the blanks in the rules.

From the sounds of it, the game should be playable as something like the base game once the campaign is finished - 50 scenarios total, some of which aren't part of the legacy campaign - though no word yet on whether/how far the legacy campaign is replayable.

So, something to keep an eye on, but not something to commit to buying just yet.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby heuristically_alone » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:35 pm UTC

I read one review that said the campaign will be 13 scenarios out of the 50 possible.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby plytho » Thu May 17, 2018 2:06 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:If you get the chance, it's worth trying to get ahead of the game - there are a few things that can trip you up, but having a lead means you have more tools for dealing with issues, and means you can weather RNGesus turning on you and making you lose a game. Overall, there's a net gain from being ahead of the pace. Also (vague spoilers from first few months of S2):
Spoiler:
The required catching up at the start of each month isn't keeping you to the target pace, but making sure you're not too far behind - so you can fall behind a little without getting forced back closer to the designed level - or you can do things in the "wrong" order without being punished for doing step 3 when you should have been doing step 2 - but if you're too far behind, the game will catch you up, penalising you in the process.


We just played (and won) may and we're still just ahead of the game, but we feel we're set up to take a big leap next month.

Spoilers up to the start of june:
Spoiler:
We managed to recon europe and we already connected every city in europe including (black) moscow. We used our points to get some nice upgrades on two characters: one for quicker recons, which could enable us to do both the african and the middle-eastern recon next month, the other for easy searching (take a card matching the city you are in and do a search on that card, all in one action!).


Anyway, we're feeling pretty good, which means we're probably in for a devastating loss :D
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby plytho » Tue May 29, 2018 8:08 am UTC

We finished june with another success! Our game end upgrades from may payed off big time. Spoilers for all 5 recons.
Spoiler:
We did both remaining recons, the black one even before everyone had played a turn and our new search specialist managed to find our first two companions. We did 4 exposure and two new scars as our first epidemic got us Cairo (where two people were for the fast recon) from the bottom and then twice from the top (one cube, one hollow man). So we had two people starting their turn with cubes and leaving a city with hollow men. Luckily we didn't get into any more trouble after that.

July should be a pretty relaxed game. Focus on connecting cities and doing searches. Building supply centers should be very easy without recons and building satellite towers seems cheap. The only risk is that door we need to open if we have our three satellite towers.

This is our setup at this point:
The cube distributor upgraded with a remote cube drop.
The cheaper supply station builder upgraded with a player card grab.
The radio operator (pawn mover) upgraded with a discard pile card switch (same color) and the cheaper recon
The card giver upgraded with a move to any location (for a card) and the grab and search an unsearched card in your city.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:07 pm UTC

We finally, finally finished going through Pandemic Season 1 with my in-laws. I think they all appreciated the experience, even though it started on a very low note - two losses in January and the loss of the dispatcher. Things kept bouncing around but I ended up giving us a few perks along the way. The two huge ones were ignoring panic level 2's impact on travel/construction of research labs, and including extra funding events in our deck. The game in general ended up being more fun, but our December game was a bit lackluster.

(December spoilers ahead)
Spoiler:
We were very lucky to be able to eradicate one disease fairly early in November, so we concentrated on vaccinating a lot of COdA cities. When we started December we only needed to vaccinate two more cities, managed to quickly eradicate another disease, and it was just a waiting game to hopefully get the cards we need for searching.


It really is a very well-designed game though. We're all excited to try something else. I have a copy of Near and Far I'm looking forward to playing with. I only played Above and Below, but I hear this one's better.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Xanthir » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:10 pm UTC

Yeah, I've got Near and Far waiting on deck to play with my other boardgaming couple. We're still playing thru our Time Stories scenarios right now.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:50 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:We finally, finally finished going through Pandemic Season 1 with my in-laws.


I'm guessing you want a break before moving on, but Season 2 is good fun too.

It's different enough from vanilla Pandemic that it's worth taking the recommendation to play a couple of practice games first, just to get your head around the differences, and it's rather more open than Season 1 when it comes to the Legacy side of things too. Straight out of the box, there are 5 packages you could open (in principle) immediately - not all of them are actually possible to complete in the first game - for example, there are only 3 yellow cities to start with, but one unlock requires you to spend player cards from 5 different yellow cities - still, you can run through them all reasonably quickly if you push hard for it and prioritise long-term unlocks over quick victories - much faster than the campaign needs you to.

Mild, generic spoilers for the Legacy deck and campaign progress:
Spoiler:
January requires you to recon North America, but after that, the game just encourages you to make particular recons at particular points and then sometime later there's a Team Bravo style catch-up to make sure you have the right tools. The back end of the campaign is a lot closer to Season 1, with a sequence of specific variants in specific months. The downside of the more open structure for the first chunk of the game is that it is possible to progress too fast and run out of optional objectives and have a few months where it's technically impossible to win - though it's also possible to think it's impossible to win when you're just not paying enough attention to the right things.

The other big change in Season 2 is that the flavour text is a lot more relevant. In fact, there's been quite a bit of thought put into the Legacy Deck, learning from some of the issues with Season 1. Now you have cards that tell you to open sealed elements that can be safely discarded, and cards with flavour text and other reference material that you are told to keep for later, as well as cards which serve as game components and are to be destroyed under certain circumstances.


There is one quirk that slipped through playtesting - at least for early printings (it might have been fixed since): for practice/"prologue" games, there's a card with special rules for the prologue on one side (short version: "don't do any Legacy things") and the initial story on the other. The rules side tells you to destroy it when you're ready to start the campaign; the story side tells you to keep it for future reference. So you're supposed to destroy one side of a card while keeping the other intact...

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Zohar » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:25 pm UTC

I don't know if this group will be interested in playing season 2. They were a bit overwhelmed by the constantly changing rules and map, and the massive consequences of each round on future plays. It led to a lot of anxiety. I might play it on my own, or if I find another group to play with.

I'm not sure I love the idea of the open-ended legacy play, though. I tried that with Risk Legacy and found it pretty boring. Granted, I don't think Risk is as good a game, and they probably learned a lot from Pandemic's success, but I wouldn't immediately put that in the pros column.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:10 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I don't know if this group will be interested in playing season 2. They were a bit overwhelmed by the constantly changing rules and map, and the massive consequences of each round on future plays. It led to a lot of anxiety. I might play it on my own, or if I find another group to play with.

I'm not sure I love the idea of the open-ended legacy play, though. I tried that with Risk Legacy and found it pretty boring. Granted, I don't think Risk is as good a game, and they probably learned a lot from Pandemic's success, but I wouldn't immediately put that in the pros column.


I can't make sensible comparisons with Risk Legacy, not having played that, but there are some definite consequences to the more open structure of PL2. One is the possibility of doing too well and ending up with no objectives saved for later games. Another is that the difficulty is rather less balanced - there's even more scope than in PL1 for good forward planning to make things easier (or for bad planning to make things harder).

It sounds like legacy/campaign style games are not for that group - a large chunk of the point of such games being to play a new variant each game, with previous rounds impacting later rounds. Ironically, Gloomhaven, while probably inappropriate for that group, has the most laid-back campaign element I've come across - whether you do well or badly, you'll still accumulate XP and (usually) money, and you can always go back and replay a scenario whether you won or lost. Okay, some personal goals have an impact on gameplay, but, generally, the biggest impact is whether you unlock new scenarios or not (and not all scenarios lead to new scenarios anyway) - other stuff gets unlocked too, but in a low pressure way...

I've been enjoying a Charterstone campaign that should finish this weekend, and planning to play a Scythe: Rise of Fenris campaign next (we've been playing some non-campaign games as warm-up).


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