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[Board Games] aren't worth playing until you add at least five expansions

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  • BlazeFireBlazeFire Registered User regular
    I can academically see that player order being unrelated to seating position makes for a more fair/tactical game.

    I also practically know that any game that doesn’t proceed clockwise around the table will inevitably lose significant amounts of game time to mix ups about whose turn it is and people staring blankly at the game not realising it is their go.

    Rarely worth the hassle.

    This happens all the time even with clockwise turn order.

    admanbArcticLancerCaptainPeacockPowerpuppiesArmorocCampy
  • MNC DoverMNC Dover Game Designer/Stay-at-home Dad Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I have an Assassin's Creed mock-up game I worked on in college where turn order was determined by turn order cards. Slowed things down a bit, but added more complex strategies...and a bit of RNG.

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  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    JonBob wrote: »
    It's simple, but that's really the only upshot.
    I think this is probably objectively true, but you might be underestimating the value of simplicity in game design.

    Agricola is a complex enough game that its target audience would probably not balk at a non-clockwise turn order, and it would indeed solve some potential problems with the game. But if you think that gamers generally find an arbitrary turn order to be easy, you haven't observed enough games.

    I recently finished development on a game that involves bidding on turn order, and in recording stats I saw that people attempted to play clockwise instead of the stated order on average twice per game. This despite the turn order mechanism being the central part of the game. I was able to add enough ergonomic touches to reduce this to an acceptable error rate, but it's astonishing how deeply-set a clockwise turn order is to people of all levels of exposure to games. If you are violating it in a design, it should be a damn good reason. I think left-hand binding like in Agricola is one of the good reasons, but it is totally reasonable to opt for simplicity here too.

    I'm going to assume you didn't mean this to be as condescending as it is. :P
    On the contrary, I've observed enough games to know that even with a fixed turn order players will lose track of whose turn it is. Your example is fine, but you state directly in it that your players are either already accustomed to playing games that use clockwise turn order (being a habit doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve design, and this is not such a grievous thing as reversing the push/pull handles on doors), or that they felt like your game should have used it in spite of your design for it.

    Simplicity absolutely has a place, and in some games an action space is fine for "you go first now", but Agricola is not one of those places, nor are many of the games that use it. They could be better, and it would not be a great burden on the people likely to play them.

  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    I've found rem8nder tokens to be useless at reminding players. if we forget, we also forget the token. Until two turns later when we realise that the token isn't where it is supposed to be. A token is just another thing to remember.

  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    Gvzbgul wrote: »
    I've found rem8nder tokens to be useless at reminding players. if we forget, we also forget the token. Until two turns later when we realise that the token isn't where it is supposed to be. A token is just another thing to remember.

    I would think that the person who has first player would draw attention to them in order to claim their benefit of going first?

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  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    No. We just play a few rounds without touching the tokens and then realise we haven't been moving them. At which point we try figure out where it went wrong and usually decide to keep playing as if it didn't happen.

    Gvzbgul on
    Fry
  • FairchildFairchild Rabbit used short words that were easy to understand, like "Hello Pooh, how about Lunch ?" Registered User regular
    GLOOMHAVEN's wildfire success is a strong argument that variable turn order is not a show-stopper.

    In my experience, if your group is consistently forgetting turn order, then you have something else going on. Perhaps the game is not engaging enough, or players are spending too much time fiddling with their smartphones.

    Ivellius
  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    Fairchild wrote: »
    GLOOMHAVEN's wildfire success is a strong argument that variable turn order is not a show-stopper.

    I would speculate that most people playing Gloomhaven are predisposed to D&D-style initiative systems. GH is closer to an RPG than it is a traditional "turn order" board game.

    AuralynxElvenshaeWearingglassesFry
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Honestly I never mapped Gloomhaven's initiative system to D&D, as the fact that you choose your initiative, it changes every turn, and there's no way to delay in Gloomhaven makes it far more strategic than D&D's "go fast = good."

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  • FairchildFairchild Rabbit used short words that were easy to understand, like "Hello Pooh, how about Lunch ?" Registered User regular
    and there's no way to delay

    Good points, but I'd argue that finding ways to manipulate your cards' printed initiative ratings is a big part of GH's player strategy.

  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Fairchild wrote: »
    and there's no way to delay

    Good points, but I'd argue that finding ways to manipulate your cards' printed initiative ratings is a big part of GH's player strategy.

    That's exactly what I'm saying. :)

  • DirtmuncherDirtmuncher Registered User regular
    So endeavor age of sail has arrived. After taking 30 minutes to sort everything I find out I am missing a shield token and the player discs stick together. But it looks really good.

    Luckily I am not missing the actual board, like some other backers....

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  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    So endeavor age of sail has arrived. After taking 30 minutes to sort everything I find out I am missing a shield token and the player discs stick together. But it looks really good.

    Luckily I am not missing the actual board, like some other backers....
    Oooof. Really? Damn, someone dropped the ball. :(

    Dirtmuncherwebguy20
  • Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    Just saying, variable turn order isn't better or worse it's just different. Presumably designers test these things in development, and choose what they feel is best in their particular game. I don't know that Agricola would be better with Caylus style turn order, it would certainly be different though.

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  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    when i ended in second place by 1 point in my 3-worker playthrough of Tzolkin, the first player space, with it's instant retrieval, variable food bribe, and opportunity to accelerate time, was instrumental to getting things done with so few workers.

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  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    Just saying, variable turn order isn't better or worse it's just different. Presumably designers test these things in development, and choose what they feel is best in their particular game. I don't know that Agricola would be better with Caylus style turn order, it would certainly be different though.
    Factually true! ;)

    Played another game of Root tonight. We did 5 players with the designer's suggested setup of Erie-Vagabond-Vagabond-Riverfolk-Lizards. Let me say I don't understand this setup at all - it seems terrible for new players.
    I was the Lizards and generally just had an awful time of it. I went 4th in turn order, and was sitting at 17 points when the birds won. They feel SO dependent on their random card draw it's depressing. There's too little board presence for anyone to want to attack you - the Erie has little incentive to do so since the board is huge with just two players worrying about buildings, and it's quite hard to magically appear in an area and control it to build a garden that would actually trouble them. Besides, then you're giving up points for the garden just to get them to try and kill your guys. The Vagabonds are better off making enemies of either of the other factions early on since Riverfolk also have little presence and offer little resistance, and the birds will be everywhere making them just as easy to score from as you, but without the drawback. So you're either trying to off your own guys with birds (and doing little else on your turns) or you're building a few dudes or a garden from whatever cards you happened to have drawn (and maybe scoring 4 points every other turn). You're practically immobile, so have limited incentives to buy any Riverfolk services other than cards, but because you're not readily aggressive the birds aren't buying either. There's no good reason warriors removed via strike shouldn't also funnel into your box, but I guess it's just cleaner rules to limit it to combat? The Lizards just feel like they don't get to have the same luxury of a real gameplan that every other faction in the game does.
    The irony is that basically all of these problems disappear the moment there's another faction on the board that actually cares about board presence. If one of the Vagabonds was the Marquis or Alliance, everything would change radically, and I cannot fathom how it doesn't get better.
    Every other faction in the box I am really interested in. There's just things about how they function and interact that I want to explore. The Lizards have some cool ideas for sure, but I really don't want to touch them again. <_<

  • DarricDarric Santa MonicaRegistered User regular
    The difference with Gloomhaven is that you resolve your turn order for exactly one action, then it resets.

    I often find games with variable turn order that persists for longer than a single turn each confusing to keep track of (for example, Gaia Project).

  • 38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    I've played Cats vs Lizardfolk and it cured me of my desire to play Root again. There is no way to displace Lizards. They take your clearings, warriors, and buildings effortlessly and you have to spend all your actions to hold them off.

    Had a birthday party on Friday and managed to get a couple of games in. I managed to get my two sisters to sit down for The Mind and they loved it. We played several rounds of the mind until some more people drifted over and I broke out Captain Sonar which was a huge success. Both are great games for entry level gamers. My sisters have been messaging me since, one wants me to pick up the Mind for her next time I go to the boardgame store the other can't wait to play Captain Sonar again.

    On Monday I played Castles of Burgundy for the first time. Really enjoyed it even though it is an older game I guess. Also found out there is a clearance/used section in the boardgame store. Nothing great there but good to know.



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    Armoroc
  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    38thDoe wrote: »
    I've played Cats vs Lizardfolk and it cured me of my desire to play Root again. There is no way to displace Lizards. They take your clearings, warriors, and buildings effortlessly and you have to spend all your actions to hold them off.

    Had a birthday party on Friday and managed to get a couple of games in. I managed to get my two sisters to sit down for The Mind and they loved it. We played several rounds of the mind until some more people drifted over and I broke out Captain Sonar which was a huge success. Both are great games for entry level gamers. My sisters have been messaging me since, one wants me to pick up the Mind for her next time I go to the boardgame store the other can't wait to play Captain Sonar again.

    On Monday I played Castles of Burgundy for the first time. Really enjoyed it even though it is an older game I guess. Also found out there is a clearance/used section in the boardgame store. Nothing great there but good to know.

    But they don't at all. Doe, are you sure you guys played it that only DEFENDING lizards are turned into acolytes? The Lizards get nothing from attacking you, but take an age to do it if you aren't attacking them first. Their action economy is also literally garbage-tier, costing them basically an entire turn to play some guys that they HOPE will die and trade with you (poorly) a turn later, with the saving grace that because you don't actually really move, you never have to spend actions moving guys around. As the Marquis you'll outscore them literally every turn and keep better board presence.

    admanb
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    In Agricola if someone takes all the wood every round even though they don't need it you'll have a bad time too, I don't know that poor play is a knock against a turn order mechanic. If the people at the table are consistently overvaluing first player them you need to adjust your gameplan to either take first before them when it's important for you to have it, or work around being later in the turn order...

    Emptying wood is very different from taking 1st player. In order to compare them, taking wood would have to give a bonus to the player on the left and a penalty to the player on the right.

    All other players are equally locked out of getting wood once someone takes it. It does not matter who takes it, just that "not you" took it. Who takes 1st player does matter, and like someone else said it can decide a close contest through no foresight or lack of, just on which position at the table decided they wanted 1st player.

    Caylus is more fair because who takes 1st player does not matter, because every "not you" person who places a worker on the stables bumps you down the order equally. Yellow does not get an edge over green just because red took 1st player as opposed to blue.

    Brass also has a neat system. Turn order is determined by the order of who spent the least money the previous turn. People making big plays go last next turn, while people who mostly bid their time go first. Somewhat similar to Kingdomino.

    I think the overall lesson to walk away with here is that every single aspect of Agricola is now obsolete and has been implemented better :p

    MrBody on
    Elvenshae
  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular

    I'm going to assume you didn't mean this to be as condescending as it is. :P

    Apologies. I absolutely did not mean to be condescending. My point is that we all play tons of games, but I bet few here spend time observing player behavior from the outside. I was surprised that the actual statistics I gathered on this topic did not match my assumptions, and you might too.

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  • 38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    38thDoe wrote: »
    I've played Cats vs Lizardfolk and it cured me of my desire to play Root again. There is no way to displace Lizards. They take your clearings, warriors, and buildings effortlessly and you have to spend all your actions to hold them off.

    Had a birthday party on Friday and managed to get a couple of games in. I managed to get my two sisters to sit down for The Mind and they loved it. We played several rounds of the mind until some more people drifted over and I broke out Captain Sonar which was a huge success. Both are great games for entry level gamers. My sisters have been messaging me since, one wants me to pick up the Mind for her next time I go to the boardgame store the other can't wait to play Captain Sonar again.

    On Monday I played Castles of Burgundy for the first time. Really enjoyed it even though it is an older game I guess. Also found out there is a clearance/used section in the boardgame store. Nothing great there but good to know.

    But they don't at all. Doe, are you sure you guys played it that only DEFENDING lizards are turned into acolytes? The Lizards get nothing from attacking you, but take an age to do it if you aren't attacking them first. Their action economy is also literally garbage-tier, costing them basically an entire turn to play some guys that they HOPE will die and trade with you (poorly) a turn later, with the saving grace that because you don't actually really move, you never have to spend actions moving guys around. As the Marquis you'll outscore them literally every turn and keep better board presence.

    I think so? They didn't attack much, they didn't need to, they just replaced my guys constantly. And I died trying to remove their gardens because gardens fight back or something. It was at least three weeks ago now. I went last in the turn order and by the time I got to go the lizards had replaced my forces and destroyed a building. I think I went in to kick them out and lost all of my guys due to bad roles and then they just replaced more of my guys and buildings every turn. I was at the verge of player elimination a few turns later between bird and lizard aggression. In my defense in the little against the lizard card it doesn't really list a good way to stop them. I won't rule out that I'm awful at root.



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  • Mr. GMr. G Registered User regular
    I printed out the Mechanical Marquise so I'd be able to play Root solo when I have time but not people to play with

    and I must be playing this wrong, because they seem impossible to beat solo

    They get so many units and victory points at such a faster rate than all of the other factions except the Marquise, which you can't PLAY as when you play against them

    I must be missing something

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  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    So endeavor age of sail has arrived. After taking 30 minutes to sort everything I find out I am missing a shield token and the player discs stick together. But it looks really good.

    Luckily I am not missing the actual board, like some other backers....
    Yikes. I am confident that they will make it right. If you have any problems, let me know directly, though; the publisher has done one of my games and I know the guy personally.

    jswidget.php?username=JonBob&numitems=10&header=1&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=right&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
  • DirtmuncherDirtmuncher Registered User regular
    JonBob wrote: »
    So endeavor age of sail has arrived. After taking 30 minutes to sort everything I find out I am missing a shield token and the player discs stick together. But it looks really good.

    Luckily I am not missing the actual board, like some other backers....
    Yikes. I am confident that they will make it right. If you have any problems, let me know directly, though; the publisher has done one of my games and I know the guy personally.

    It will be allright, I have already contacted them and it will get sorted. Even the damage due to sticky playerdiscs.

    steam_sig.png
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    I think I levelled up my Dominion play last night as due to Bandits being about I attempted and pulled off a cashless bullshit deck of 90% Markets and Vassals that pulled endless chains of actions.

    In related news my group doesn’t seem to want to play Dominion any more.

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    FuselageElvenshaeJonBobFryVyolynceAlistair HuttonjakobaggernwrabeVirgil_Leads_YouJustTee
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    I think I levelled up my Dominion play last night as due to Bandits being about I attempted and pulled off a cashless bullshit deck of 90% Markets and Vassals that pulled endless chains of actions.

    In related news my group doesn’t seem to want to play Dominion any more.

    so really you won twice

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    Elvenshae38thDoeMNC DoverFryVyolynceAstaerethinitiatefailureSageinaRageJustTee
  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    Money free Decks are, like, one of the greatest things.

    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

    I made a game, it has penguins in it. It's pay what you like on Gumroad.

    Currently Ebaying Nothing at all but I might do in the future.
    jakobaggerHedgethornVirgil_Leads_You
  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    Does that work only with a specific expansion's content?

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  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    Does that work only with a specific expansion's content?

    you can do it in the base set, with Village/Smithy/Festival/Market and optionally some combination of Woodcutter/Chancellor/Moneylender, but it's not very good. It becomes better and worse as you add and remove expansions. Swindler, Conspirator, Nobles, Fishing Village, Caravan, Merchant Ship make me more likely to go for it.

    sig.gif
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    Oh man. Villainous is indeed awesome.. but there's no way we are getting in a 6 player game over lunch.

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  • Mr. GMr. G Registered User regular
    yikes, the Alliance is the only Root faction I'm even coming CLOSE to beating the Mechanical Marquise with

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  • Virgil_Leads_YouVirgil_Leads_You Not on Any Podcast or Affliated Don't Even Own a MikeRegistered User regular
    Someone in the boardgame diner group bought Root!
    Hopefully someday they let us play it.

    VayBJ4e.png
    DarricElvenshae
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    I finally had the chance to play Formula D last night with 5 other newbs to the game. It was a TON of fun. It was at an open game night at the FLGS and it was the stores copy. It was nail biting and pretty competitive through both games we played.

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    CaptainPeacockDarricBursar
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Best way to play Formula D is to play it with your selected driving game/anime/movie soundtrack.

    Personally we have some Gran Turismo, Initial D, and Redline stuff on queue in Spotify/Youtube.

    CaptainPeacockArcticLancer
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    Love Formula D

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    So uhhh what do y'all think about the whole Manitoba fracas?

  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Best way to play Formula D is to play it with your selected driving game/anime/movie soundtrack.

    Personally we have some Gran Turismo, Initial D, and Redline stuff on queue in Spotify/Youtube.

    We actually talked about that! If we had been at a house we would have streamed days of thunder or some shit.

    Also we played with the recommended quick action, where when its your turn, you pick your gear, you roll and move quick. No planning out your turn on your turn. Better have counted those squares on the previous players turns! It really ramps up the excitement and makes it feel more like racing.

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  • DirtmuncherDirtmuncher Registered User regular
    So uhhh what do y'all think about the whole Manitoba fracas?

    I think it's not that big a deal. Theme is usually pasted on to make the mechanics easier to explain. The designer could have called it manitobe and have given the people in the pictures pointy ears and it wouldn't have made a difference.

    steam_sig.png
    Lezta
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    Busted somebody the fuck up in SeaFall tonight. Team effort. Still in fourth but only nine points out of first. Biggest tailwind, for sure, so hopefully I can finally climb out of fourth or fifth for the first time, maybe win a game for the first time.

    Powerpuppies on
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    Elvenshae
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