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TOPIC: What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing?

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 09:23 #260768

I have a couple more thoughts on Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks. I solo'd a full four-Doctor game last night. I promise these are my last ones unless other people really want to talk about it.

- The game does a good job at making you feel like you have ownership of what's in front of you. You get attached to certain companions and items, and if you find the right combo of people you are more effective. Regeneration is therefore an appropriately disorienting process, because the TARDIS setup you created is tuned to the Doctor you just had. Companions sometimes carry through, and sometimes they need to move on. This hits the beats of the show really well, and it's what sells the game for me.

- A lot of my issues with the game will be solved by adding the two Doctors who were removed to make the product smaller. More variety in companions, cards, locations, will make the game more enjoyable as a fan experience. The regeneration mechanic will also be more interesting, even with just two more Doctors in the mix. The more I think about it, the incompleteness of the product is its biggest downside.

- The semi-cooperative aspect is stupid. There's no good reason to have the Doctors doing anything but cooperate. The good news is that after four games I can confidently say the game can simply be regarded as full co-op without any rule changes at all. The Doctors lose if the Daleks make it to Gallifrey, and they win if one of them makes it there first. There are a couple of cards that affect the other players, but all of them are easier to explain thematically if the game is cooperative than if one Doctor is trying to beat the others. Honestly, just this one change in mind-set improves my attitude toward the game quite a bit. It removes the key thematic disconnect that was hampering my enjoyment. The only downside is that I think the game could use a little more opportunity for direct cooperation. But it functions much better as a co-op than as a semi-coop.

- The dice mechanic works for me. I like the process of fine-tuning the dice pool and using the sonic screwdriver to get out of jams. It feels appropriately improvisational to take a couple of wild chances to reroll dice or to chuck a black die to reroll everything. It allows you to swing for the fence and figure out how to get out of jams with different techniques. The symbols do function well thematically if you care to see what they actually mean, but they don't have any mechanical impact at all. Kind of like the icons in Knizia's LotR.

- The difficulty is all over the place. A few bad rolls can really tank the game, although a few good ones can give you a foothold. I think the swing was much sharper with just two Doctors, since the Daleks are moving more often and the players have less time to respond. For two-player games I think you either need to do the "beginners version" listed in the rules, or just play two Doctors each. With four Doctors it feels just about perfect in terms of challenge level, though it's still going to swing a good bit.

- It's just a bit too long. This seems to be pretty common with Gale Force 9.

Overall I like the game, and more content will help immensely. Playing it as a full-on cooperative game is definitely the way to go. It's easy to be disappointed at the game it isn't, rather than appreciating that it does capture its theme pretty well and provides a good experience as is.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 11:08 #260782

The difficulty issue is the one that has been sticking me recently. The difficulty is 100% controlled by luck. I have played games where we just blew through the Dilemmas and never broke a sweat. Others, we struggled from the outset. There is no sense of difficulty scaling over time, other than the Dalek ship's movements, the anomalies, and dice extermination (which is itself a function of luck). This can make the game feel unsatisfying...or crushingly frustrating. This could have been avoided by having some kind of mechanic to scale the required rolls later in the game you progress to Gallifrey.

We've been playing it full co-op, actually- all win or none win. It just makes more sense. And even then, the mild take-that makes sense too, assuming the Doctors bicker a bit and one-up each other in a jovial fashion.

The ownership comment is a good one- I think that is really strengthened by the linking mechanic. You want to get "your" stuff for the Doctor you are. At least if you follow the show...if not, I guess that doesn't matter as much.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 11:37 #260784

I've only ever played Elder Sign on the app, but that game has the same issue with difficulty. There I've taken to just starting over when it gets stupid, and it looks like that's what we have here too.

I don't exactly mind doing that, but it's not a point in the game's favor.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 11:40 #260785

Regarding Dr. Who, seems like a lot of talking to excuse or apologize for a game, based on your descriptions and comments, is inadequate. It's a miss. Don't be afraid to say so. How often has it been said that good isn't good enough in a world of ten billion games and a limited life span. I know there is affection for the IP but if the game sucks the game sucks. Reminds me of the old adage that if you put a spoon full of dog shit in a gallon of vanilla ice cream what will it taste more like? Shit or ice cream?

Enough of that though, I won't buy it so moving on....

Played a 4 player game of Terraforming Mars last night. This with the True Believers not without significant twisting of Uba's arm who was of the opinion that any game not involving Cthulu or dressmaking isn't a game worth playing. Having my wife out of the picture and her enjoyment skewing my perceptions to the positive I have a more level opinion of the game.

It's a fine Euro "cube squasher" with just a bit of gentle screw your neighbor to it. The take that business seems way under powered in order for "cut throat" to be applied to any aspect of the game. It's a soothing game which is fine but there isn't an iota of adrenaline to be found anywhere in it. Which, I suppose can be said of just about every cube squasher ever made. It is a fine example of it's genre though. Smooth and well put together. And I like how the card titles and flavor text are working hard to make you think your doing something other than laying tiles and moving markers.

However, I do have one huge gripe and that is the "Jostle Factor". Good lord, the chances of you lightly brushing your flimsy player board and sending those cubes, that have approximately zero mass, skittering hither and yon is almost 100%. And those cubes with their metallic coating are slick and tiny so picking them up is a pain in the ass as well as having a high probability of droppage be it on the floor, on the board or on your player board.


terraformingmarscubes.jpg


worst cubes ever
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 11:52 #260787

You misunderstand me. I do like the Doctor Who game, in spite of some definite flaws. It's not like every game is either great or lousy. It's a good game with problems.

I would be more inclined to cut bait if it were a huge bloated mess, but that's certainly not the case. In that sense the smaller scope does it a favor.

I would probably be harder on it if I had to review it, but I don't. I'm free to like it just because it's a decent Doctor Who game.
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Last Edit: 12 Jan 2018 11:55 by san il defanso.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 15:25 #260802

Just introduced my 2 kids to Room 25. I explained to them that there were various competitive modes, but for the first time we would play cooperatively. Once my one son, who takes after me a bit too much, learned how things worked, he smirked and gleefully pushed my character into a mortal chamber, ending the game.

They both liked the game and want to play again... I think the next time will be much bloodier.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 15:42 #260804

repoman wrote:
However, I do have one huge gripe and that is the "Jostle Factor". Good lord, the chances of you lightly brushing your flimsy player board and sending those cubes, that have approximately zero mass, skittering hither and yon is almost 100%. And those cubes with their metallic coating are slick and tiny so picking them up is a pain in the ass as well as having a high probability of droppage be it on the floor, on the board or on your player board.

You can get an argument about that anytime you want on BGG. "Just don't bump it, you'll be fine."
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 17:29 #260806

san il defanso wrote:
I've only ever played Elder Sign on the app, but that game has the same issue with difficulty. There I've taken to just starting over when it gets stupid, and it looks like that's what we have here too.

I don't exactly mind doing that, but it's not a point in the game's favor.

Same. I've only ever played on the app, too. It was the first game I ever bought specifically for my phone (which I don't play basically anything on; I have a couple more games plus Hearthstone, but I just don't play them.) I played maybe half a dozen games and all of them were just utter debacles from the outset. Seriously, like four or five turns in, it would be obvious that I had no chance of winning. So I took advantage of Android's return policy and "returned" it. I got a nice message from FFG asking why and I explained to them what happened. Whoever I was speaking to was pretty non-committal after that, but acknowledged that bad rolls could lead to dead ends pretty quickly. I don't know if they've improved it at all since then, but it certainly wouldn't incline me toward trying it again without someone really talking it up here.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 18:49 #260812

hotseatgames wrote:
Just introduced my 2 kids to Room 25. I explained to them that there were various competitive modes, but for the first time we would play cooperatively. Once my one son, who takes after me a bit too much, learned how things worked, he smirked and gleefully pushed my character into a mortal chamber, ending the game.

They both liked the game and want to play again... I think the next time will be much bloodier.

I like him already. Such a one whose mega bastard third eye awakening could grow up to be the next incarnation of the enlightened spirit of AT.

Room 25 could be his Bodhi tree.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 12 Jan 2018 19:50 #260814

For me, Terraforming Mars simply has a +20€ added to its price tag.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 13 Jan 2018 21:27 #260870

I finally got around to playing Techno Bowl, albeit solo, to get a feel of the rules. The organic evolution of the plays is fantastic. With the time limit for the team setup and play creation, you almost need to have some pre-made card selections. I suppose that rapid card selection comes with playing more frequently.

Now to introduce it to my friends.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 14 Jan 2018 08:38 #260877

Techno Bowl gets better every time you play it, frankly. We have never really used the time limit for play selection. I'm not saying it's bad to do it, and it would certainly make games end quicker. I just haven't bothered or felt the need yet.

Last night 2 friends came over and we played Massive Darkness. We did quest 6 in the base campaign, in which you have to locate 2 keys in the dungeon and unlock a final door containing a level 5 Hell Hound. I played a Rogue, and frankly didn't do very much cool stuff. I was pretty adept at rolling mobs though since my abilities nullified all but the hardiest of defenses. This was the first time that the game actually put up a challenge, and there was a decent chance that I thought we would lose in the final chamber. We did manage to win though, and it was a good time.

We ended the night with me introducing them to Room 25. They wanted to play cooperatively, and we ran out of time JUST as we were about to win. Had we formulated a plan a little better, we actually would have won if one of my characters had her actions 1 and 2 reversed, but that's how it goes. They both liked it but balked at the notion of playing with a traitor. I'll keep working on them.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 14 Jan 2018 09:27 #260885

With Terraforming Mars, I bought these neat trays on Etsy, a friend from my FLGS had them, and they make things SO much nicer.

www.etsy.com/listing/472884308/5-terrafo...f=shop_home_active_1


It's a laser cut tray of I think basswood? with a printed backing nicely glued on.

Played a space-card-trading-game last night called Sidereal confluence. I guess it was developed under a name that wasn't all cumbersome - Trade Empires or something? I liked it, but bidding, trading, negotiation games are not my strongpoint, and ARE the strongpoint of a couple of the other regulars. Upside, it plays up to 9, although it was a bit of a 'Wallstreet Trade Floor' chaos when we had 5 people playing. Came in dead last - didn't see the flow of production to inputs to what was trade bait engine soon enough.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 14 Jan 2018 10:17 #260889

unfortunately those trays wont fix the basic problem that the game itself is a bloated empty turd.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 14 Jan 2018 10:39 #260892

Couple games played last night.

Cobra Paw is stupid fun, made by Bananagrams. I don't think it's worth it for me to carry in my shop, but you can buy it for like $15 at Target or whatever. Roll two dice. Grab the domino that matches what is shown- you could probably proxy it with 2d6 and a set of dominos. 21 of them, each unique. First to 6 wins. You CAN steal if an opponent's domino is rolled for. The actual game has some kanji and other asian looking things with 6 different colors to make finding them easier than dominos would be, and the actual dominos have a pretty damn slick design.

The Networks is okay. Reminds me of a slightly more complicated version of whatever that old german movie making game was. Rules are simple, but it looks pretty complicated and does some clever things. It's kind of 'heavy' in the way that Power Grid might be, if you hate adding 2 digit numbers. Jokes are probably funny the first few times- I don't see playing this 10 times with the same group. I'd be fine if I never played it again, but I probably won't turn it down either. A bit too much for the 7-year-old, even when he was just a teammate handling someone's money.
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