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

What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 17 Jan 2018 08:45 #261165

after BattleCon, I'm not sure I need to try any other Fighting game analogues. I've got more of that than I'll probably every play.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 17 Jan 2018 10:56 #261186

Wow, Alien Artifacts s-u-c-k-s. Totally un-fun. Do not be fooled by the low cost and awesome artwork.

It is fundamentally a Portal-style engine builder, so it is in fact similar to 51st State and Imperial Settlers. But it is somehow more convoluted and overly complicated than the former (!) and less satisfying and accessible than the latter.

It's pretty much another tableau builder that hinges on establishing discount loops and expanding those loops to increase your buying power. Then there's also a super lame combat mechanic that tries to make it slightly less solitaire. The titular alien artifacts are totally underwhelming and barely worth the effort to get them- weird, because they are just kind of a side thing that almost feels like an expansion piece. Not really worth titling the game over.

The resource mechanic is kind of neat- you can only spend two cards, and the cards have four suits of resources valued 1-3 to build the three different types of cards (you buy them with money and then build them with resources- this game is a mess). So if you need to pay 7 to build something, you have to come up with a way to increase your "assembly limit", usually by building ships, or getting a discount from a planet.

The problem is that it's easy to get stuck into a deck-fishing routine when you are behind the curve as you expand. You might spend three turns just trading cards in for money to buy card draws, looking to get a ship to increase you assembly limit so you can develop a technology. but then you wind up in that situation with your technology category. It's needlessly frustrating rather than thoughtful and compelling.

It is interesting at first that when you build a card, you can choose the Operational or Logistical side, and you get different effects. But it's kind of just a sloppy way to force a decision point and increase complexity without necessarily providing much of an interesting payoff.

Then there are scoring cards (which are in the technology category on their operational side for reasons unknown), you get VPs for having sets or varieties of elements in your empire. Then you score them again at the end of the game. But there's not many ways to lose something, so effectively you are rescoring the same card, sometimes with slightly more points (like, 1 or 2) if you qualify for a higher reward at the end.

As for the "4x in an hour" claim- hah! One thing, it's not an hour. It's 2 for a first game because the rules are so awkward (remember- take a defense plan card when you build an exploitation card! Don't forget!) and there's tons of calculating going on. For another, having cards labeled "Extermination", "Exploration", "Expansion" and "Exploitation" don't make it a 4x game. In the game I played last night, the Star Union (Halo guys) hit on this loop where they had a huge fleet and spent the remainder of the game just attacking the Alien System and claiming points. They won because he figured out that was the cheapest and most effective way to generate points, coupled with some bonuses and his faction's scoring ability that gave him points for having operational ships. For him, it was all about exterminating, I guess.

I hate this game. I can see where the Portal flunkies might convince themselves to like it, but this is a much weaker and less interesting design than 51st State or Imperial Settlers, and there is no reason I can imagine that someone would want to pick this up over Race for the Galaxy, Innovation, Glory to Rome, Jump Drive, or even San Juan.

Blech. Very rare I dislike a game so severely.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 17 Jan 2018 10:59 #261188

I think I told you most of that a couple of months ago.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 17 Jan 2018 11:09 #261189

Space Freaks is the superior game by far.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 17 Jan 2018 22:49 #261280

Urged to tryout Elfenland by F:AT after cleaning out my game closet and finding it unplayed, tonight we played our second session of Elfenland. We've played four games total, all with the hometown cards and obstacle tiles (wish there were more). I like Elfenland slightly better than Ticket to Ride because the decisions felt more complex and interesting. It also has a minor bit of screwage where you can disrupt other player's plans. I had to find a draw bag for the travel tiles because I got tired of spreading them out and scrambling them out on the table between rounds--they're too small in this version. Elfenland was much quicker than TtoR too. The artwork was halcyonic and dreamy. I want to drink liqueur from an elf boot now. It's a keeper.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 17 Jan 2018 23:25 #261287

It’s too bad Elfengold went out of print...it added money, which was pretty interesting.

That’s a really good game, I think it holds up. Really miss those Matthaus illustrations, that to me is still the look of “German” games.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 18 Jan 2018 08:51 #261321

I played more Techno Bowl last night with a dude from Australia on the TTS module. I had terrible dice again, even with +1 and +2 mods. It was a bad night for the Reapers. I need to get much better with setting up the plays. It may be a case of Blood Bowl affecting my playstyle since I need to get used to the alternate activations.

It is a well designed module for the TTS and I highly recommend it.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 18 Jan 2018 09:58 #261338

stoic wrote:
Urged to tryout Elfenland by F:AT after cleaning out my game closet and finding it unplayed, tonight we played our second session of Elfenland. We've played four games total, all with the hometown cards and obstacle tiles (wish there were more). I like Elfenland slightly better than Ticket to Ride because the decisions felt more complex and interesting. It also has a minor bit of screwage where you can disrupt other player's plans. I had to find a draw bag for the travel tiles because I got tired of spreading them out and scrambling them out on the table between rounds--they're too small in this version. Elfenland was much quicker than TtoR too. The artwork was halcyonic and dreamy. I want to drink liqueur from an elf boot now. It's a keeper.

I played it a few times ages ago, and I remember it being a bit long, as in worn-out-its-welcome long. You're right about the artwork though.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 18 Jan 2018 10:55 #261349

Elfenland was one of the first big hits for my group (after Catan, of course) way back in the day. We played it *a lot*. When I finally got rid of it, I was sad to see it go, but happy to know it had been well used.
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What BOARD GAME(s) have you been playing? 18 Jan 2018 12:22 #261380

Michael Barnes wrote:
It’s too bad Elfengold went out of print...it added money, which was pretty interesting.

That’s a really good game, I think it holds up. Really miss those Matthaus illustrations, that to me is still the look of “German” games.

If I could find the Elfengold expansion for it cheap, then I'd give it a try, but, the prices they're asking for it now are outrageous! I paid $1.95 at the thriftstore for this copy of Elfenland.

I see that Rio Grande Games reprinted this classic game in 2015 with what looks like a big box release of Elfenroads, which contains the old Elfenland, Elfengold, and Elfenroads games, along with new maps to play, and a slew of other variants.


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