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TOPIC: Cleaned Out Closet

Cleaned Out Closet 28 Dec 2017 13:35 #259734

I've been culling the collection. Today I donated a bunch of older, long dormant, or just mediocre games to Goodwill. However, I also found some games in my closet that I forgot that I purchased over a decade ago. I've never played them. Before I give them away, I wanted to see if they're worth trying out or not. I think most of these were Tanga-on-sale-extreme-closeout games. They have no monetary or trade value.

Age of Gods
Power Struggle
Carpe Astra
Dark Minions
Revolution!
Portobello Market
Elfenland (1st ed.)

Any opinions on any of these, crap or not, would be greatly appreciated before I donate them away.
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Cleaned Out Closet 28 Dec 2017 17:08 #259738

Power $truggle is fun but you’ve got to play with people who like euros but wish they were more cutthroat
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Cleaned Out Closet 29 Dec 2017 09:39 #259761

Age of Gods is a pretty light area control/DOAM games with hidden player powers. Not really complex but easy to learn and relatively quick.
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Cleaned Out Closet 29 Dec 2017 19:43 #259812

Elfenland is one of those games that got lots of ink back before there were that many games to choose from, then slowly fell into disrepute except among a handful of gamer senior citizens like Greg Schloesser. It is sort of a marker that rests between two generations of gamers, or perhaps it is one of those games that repels long-term strategists with a distaste for randomness.

Cortexbomb wrote: "It is also worth stating that the game rules really need to be tweaked using "The Atlanta Variant" for the game to fully shine. Very simple: 3 rounds only, but you can hold up to 4 cards between rounds and draw 8 up to a max hand of 12. This gives you the same number of moves as the 4 round game, but is much less likely to result in ties, as the standard 4 round game makes max score ties very common."

Is that a Barnes invention?

The Elfengold expansion, which sort of turns the game back into the Elfenroads it was derived from, is getting harder to find, but someone said you can just roll your own.

Elfenroads is apparently Elfenland + Elfengold with some changes and nice art. So to recap, they took Elfenroads, simplified it into Elfenland, came out with an Expansion to sort of bring it back to Elfenroads, then re-released Elfenroads in 2015. They have been milking this game for decades.

I would hit you up for it, but if my family won't play the great games I'm currently selling, they won't play this.
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Last Edit: 29 Dec 2017 21:40 by cranberries.
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Cleaned Out Closet 30 Dec 2017 08:50 #259830

Dark Minions

The receipt said that I paid $2.99 with free shipping...my expectations, none.

Last night I broke the shrink on Dark Minions and we played several three-player games. It feels like it would be better with 4-5. Experimental 2-player rules also exist. Before playing, I perused BGG and found a lengthy FAQ by the game's designer clarifying rules ambiguities, correcting omissions, and filling-in oversights--this FAQ is absolutely necessary to play the game since the rules included in the box apparently don't allow you to play as the designer intended. The FAQ is cumbersome to wade through, but, easy enough to do. What this game really needed was an official designer and publisher released rules rewrite (perhaps distributed by PDF), which likely wasn't done because it didn't sell well? It also feels like it needed to bake longer in the beta testing oven because a few graphical choices don't mesh well, impeding user interface (UI), lightly, but, none of that prevents game play. Was it rushed to meet deadlines? Did someone forget to review the proofs?

But, regardless, you ask, how does this game play after you straighten out the rules and grok the minor UI wrinkles? Dark Minions is a combination luck-based dice-chucker with risk/odds assessment, bidding, and resource management whereby players compete to conquer cities for victory points, capture sets of towers to level-up to use better dice, resurrect minions from the graveyard, and purchase overlords, all using the dice results rolled on their turn from the dice pool of black, red, and/or white dice--you'll have to choose which ones to use. Some die results offer your minions graveyard resurrection or modifiers (e.g., +1, +2) that you can use with other dice or by themselves. When players level-up, they're allowed access to better dice or even more dice to roll. Leveling up also gains victory points. In the advanced game (recommended and essential), players purchase overlord cards and gain access to another special die choice, a yellow die (great risk, but the potential for great benefits). These overlord cards (fantasy and horror themed bad dudes) give the players special powers, break the rules of the game, and/or add a take-that to the game. This adds to the fun.

Dark Minions feels like King of Tokyo, Quarriors, and Elder Sign, but, its offers more complex choices and the game play lasts longer (perhaps, a bit too long). Compared to those other mentioned dice chucking-games, it likely didn't sell well because of the rules mishaps, its dryer artwork, muted colors, poor graphical choices, a very pasted-on theme, and an overall lack of polish. You never feel like "Dark Minions" conquering cities in this game, but, game-play is fun--chucking dice from a dice pool and figuring out where to assign your minions is satisfying--using the overlord cards to gain an advantage, break the rules, and/or screw over another player feels Ameritrashy good. Dark Minions is a strange luck based dice-chucker with light Euro resources management. This is a strange combination, an awkward diametrically opposed dog-cat combination, since these two genres aren't supposed to mix. Yet, I still liked Dark Minions. In fact, I enjoyed playing Dark Minions much more than King of Tokyo, Quarriors, and Elder Sign. To be sure, it lacks the polish and themes of those games, but, in return, it offers more complexity and strategy. Overall, it's worth resurrecting from the Island of Lost Toys. I'll keep it.
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Last Edit: 30 Dec 2017 15:20 by stoic.
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Cleaned Out Closet 31 Dec 2017 08:36 #259882

FWIW, Elfenland (without Elfengold) was a staple of our family when my kids were younger. We played without the Obstruction tokens to make it a bit more friendly.

We haven't played in a while, but I'm sure they'd be happy to if I brought it up. You should give it a shot if you haven't tried it!
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Cleaned Out Closet 31 Dec 2017 11:00 #259900

You guys have convinced me to try out Elfenland. We used to play quite a bit of Ticket to Ride so I'm sure this Moon design is very similar with set collection as his mainstay mechanic. This is a thrifted copy which I paid $1.95. It appears unplayed and was likely thrifted because it's the Scandinavian edition without any English rules. Fortunately, I was able to download and print the English rules pdf.

If we don't like it, then Cranberries will have to accept yet another game into his collection because I'm going to mail it to him. Sure, it'll be like having another monkey on his back and he'll be weighted down with the burden of having yet another game on his shelf which calls to him, but remains, sadly, unplayed. The added stress may drive him insane and he'll have to be admitted to Arkham Asylum.
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Cleaned Out Closet 31 Dec 2017 15:37 #259913

stoic wrote:
If we don't like it, then Cranberries will have to accept yet another game into his collection because I'm going to mail it to him. Sure, it'll be like having another monkey on his back and he'll be weighted down with the burden of having yet another game on his shelf which calls to him, but remains, sadly, unplayed. The added stress may drive him insane and he'll have to be admitted to Arkham Asylum.
Your suggestion of another Secret Satan early in the year meets my approval. Consult the auguries for a suitably Satanic date and set it up Barnes!
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