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

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  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    My fiance's friend from Boston came this weekend, and he is an avid board gamer who wanted to do nothing more than hang out with us and play games. I like this guy a lot. We ended up playing....many games.

    Arboretum: The quintessential "I want to simultaneously play all the things and also nothing every turn" game. Short, fairly simple to explain (though I don't have a great way to explain the path scoring the first time through yet...), and great art. Utterly brutal game play. Every turn feels hard, and every turn has interesting decisions. Plus, you have to pay close attention to what your opponents are doing. It's also great because my fiance doesn't super love direct player interaction, but she doesn't mind this game where the interaction is less direct / in your face, and more kind of ancillary. Played this one twice, and it worked great as a post Friday night food / pre-bed game.

    Push Fight: This weird game I think I found because of Jerry Holkins posting about it. It's a quick little two player puzzle-y game that I adore. My fiance hates it, so I don't get to play it much, but it's such a great little brain burner every time I play it. We played it 3 times (not including the obligatory 30 second loss after explaining the rules). New friend enjoyed it as much as I did. I really like the balance of every piece and every move being incredibly important and impactful.

    Splendor: We played this two player when M (fiance) needed a break. I'm starting to warm on Splendor. The strategy still seems kind of degenerate to me? Like, I haven't lost to anyone since adopting the strategy of -Ignore gem types, ignore level 1 cards, focus only on getting cards worth 3-5 points-. In 2 player, because you'll see less cards in the market, sometimes you do need to engage a little bit of engine building in order to close out the strategy, but I won 18-8. I also ignore nobles completely. Still, it's an interesting little game, it's over quickly, and people seem to enjoy it.

    Blood Rage: This is one of my favorite games. I have a hard time getting it to the table, though, because it's complex, the rules explanation takes a bit, and pretty much everyone is guaranteed to lose their first game. However, I've talked about it long enough, and the first time I met M's friend, I had mentioned it, and he and her both wanted to at least see it and play it once. M, as mentioned, doesn't particularly like direct conflict, and the theme of "Yeah, just completely keep murdering your opponents pieces repeatedly forever" was not her favorite. Friend loved it though, and if we had had more time, probably would have wanted to play it again.

    NMBR 9: We had a few minutes to spare before my friends showed up for the Board Game Evening portion of M's friend's visit, so we busted out NMBR 9. M continues to impress here. I've never beaten her, and she's consistently put out scores that just blow my face off. She suffered her first defeat in game 2, once the rest of the crew showed up, and I bowed out to make the pizzas for dinner. So, she's won 4 out of 5 times in this one.

    Space base: Honestly, this has solidified its space in my collection as "Machi Koro but better". I wish it took a little less time to play (we clocked in at just under an hour and a half, not including rules explanation), but it tends to end *just* as people are starting to get their engines built and cooking, and most people seem to enjoy it. It's funny because I always feel like it's a bit of a random luck fest, but my friend Cody has won literally every time we've played it together (4-5 plays), so clearly he's doing something right / better than I am.

    Mysterium: M's favorite genre of game is co-op, so I always try to make sure we play at least one co-op or co-op adjecent. With 5 total people, that meant Mysterium was the best bet I have in my collection. It was pretty fun overall, it was over in under an hour including set up and rules explanation, and it was so different and weird that I think everyone had fun. I totally didn't realize one of our player's was color blind, but since we were all playing together, it ended up being ok.

    Century: Golem Edition: This is a pretty re-skin of Century: Spice Road. I really don't think I like this game. I think it's *fine*, but our 5 player play through took ~an hour or so, and while it ended up being close in the end (I won with 80, to the next person with 79), I just don't think it's a very good game. The completely and totally random market place and random distribution of gem generators vs gem converters means it's super easy to get completely and utterly screwed just by RNG. M and I were player numbers 5 and 4 respectively, and through the whole game, we collectively managed to get 1 additional gem generator. I managed to sneak a win by grabbing cards nobody else wanted, but again, it's just super weird to have an engine building game where your engine type is completely out of your control, where you're kind of puzzling together whatever the hell you can manage, and after each successful run through of your engine you have to start completely over from scratch. It's a game I'll play if the group wants to, but I won't be buying it, nor would I want to play it otherwise.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    38thDoeMNC DoverArcticLancerFishmanArmoroc
  • 38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    I think the ignore the game focus on points strategy for splendor is good, but it can fall apart quickly if people are paying enough attention. Its one of the things I dislike about splendor, it seems like it should be a game great for table talk and catching up, but if you don't watch the other players like a hawk someone suddenly has 15+ points. Nobles can be huge if you can get them without going too far out of your way.

    I got to play Arkwright again last week with 4 players. That game benefits greatly from having played it before. For one, you know to break out that calculator on your first turn and keep it at hand. I think you run the risk of locking yourself out of the win at the very start of the game by getting too much cash. This time I started with $50 and kept most of my shares. Last time I played I started with $100 with the plan of keeping my stock price low, buying up a ton and then raising it, but the game isn't that long. Which is an odd thing to say for a 4 hour game. It was much less horrible maybe even pleasant although it still took 4 hours to complete. I managed to eek out a win by gambling on going into the last two industries on the second to last turn (540 to 525). Managed to do it ignoring shipping and warehouses too. I still think its an amazing game, but not something I'd want to play often, maybe monthly or bi-monthly.



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    JustTee
  • QuantumTurkQuantumTurk Registered User regular
    JustTee wrote: »
    My fiance's friend from Boston came this weekend, and he is an avid board gamer who wanted to do nothing more than hang out with us and play games. I like this guy a lot. We ended up playing....many games.

    Arboretum: The quintessential "I want to simultaneously play all the things and also nothing every turn" game. Short, fairly simple to explain (though I don't have a great way to explain the path scoring the first time through yet...), and great art. Utterly brutal game play. Every turn feels hard, and every turn has interesting decisions. Plus, you have to pay close attention to what your opponents are doing. It's also great because my fiance doesn't super love direct player interaction, but she doesn't mind this game where the interaction is less direct / in your face, and more kind of ancillary. Played this one twice, and it worked great as a post Friday night food / pre-bed game.

    Push Fight: This weird game I think I found because of Jerry Holkins posting about it. It's a quick little two player puzzle-y game that I adore. My fiance hates it, so I don't get to play it much, but it's such a great little brain burner every time I play it. We played it 3 times (not including the obligatory 30 second loss after explaining the rules). New friend enjoyed it as much as I did. I really like the balance of every piece and every move being incredibly important and impactful.

    Splendor: We played this two player when M (fiance) needed a break. I'm starting to warm on Splendor. The strategy still seems kind of degenerate to me? Like, I haven't lost to anyone since adopting the strategy of -Ignore gem types, ignore level 1 cards, focus only on getting cards worth 3-5 points-. In 2 player, because you'll see less cards in the market, sometimes you do need to engage a little bit of engine building in order to close out the strategy, but I won 18-8. I also ignore nobles completely. Still, it's an interesting little game, it's over quickly, and people seem to enjoy it.

    Blood Rage: This is one of my favorite games. I have a hard time getting it to the table, though, because it's complex, the rules explanation takes a bit, and pretty much everyone is guaranteed to lose their first game. However, I've talked about it long enough, and the first time I met M's friend, I had mentioned it, and he and her both wanted to at least see it and play it once. M, as mentioned, doesn't particularly like direct conflict, and the theme of "Yeah, just completely keep murdering your opponents pieces repeatedly forever" was not her favorite. Friend loved it though, and if we had had more time, probably would have wanted to play it again.

    NMBR 9: We had a few minutes to spare before my friends showed up for the Board Game Evening portion of M's friend's visit, so we busted out NMBR 9. M continues to impress here. I've never beaten her, and she's consistently put out scores that just blow my face off. She suffered her first defeat in game 2, once the rest of the crew showed up, and I bowed out to make the pizzas for dinner. So, she's won 4 out of 5 times in this one.

    Space base: Honestly, this has solidified its space in my collection as "Machi Koro but better". I wish it took a little less time to play (we clocked in at just under an hour and a half, not including rules explanation), but it tends to end *just* as people are starting to get their engines built and cooking, and most people seem to enjoy it. It's funny because I always feel like it's a bit of a random luck fest, but my friend Cody has won literally every time we've played it together (4-5 plays), so clearly he's doing something right / better than I am.

    Mysterium: M's favorite genre of game is co-op, so I always try to make sure we play at least one co-op or co-op adjecent. With 5 total people, that meant Mysterium was the best bet I have in my collection. It was pretty fun overall, it was over in under an hour including set up and rules explanation, and it was so different and weird that I think everyone had fun. I totally didn't realize one of our player's was color blind, but since we were all playing together, it ended up being ok.

    Century: Golem Edition: This is a pretty re-skin of Century: Spice Road. I really don't think I like this game. I think it's *fine*, but our 5 player play through took ~an hour or so, and while it ended up being close in the end (I won with 80, to the next person with 79), I just don't think it's a very good game. The completely and totally random market place and random distribution of gem generators vs gem converters means it's super easy to get completely and utterly screwed just by RNG. M and I were player numbers 5 and 4 respectively, and through the whole game, we collectively managed to get 1 additional gem generator. I managed to sneak a win by grabbing cards nobody else wanted, but again, it's just super weird to have an engine building game where your engine type is completely out of your control, where you're kind of puzzling together whatever the hell you can manage, and after each successful run through of your engine you have to start completely over from scratch. It's a game I'll play if the group wants to, but I won't be buying it, nor would I want to play it otherwise.

    Splendor, at least as the base game, has a good balance at various player counts for a couple main strategies that I have seen, There is yours, going for 2nd row and above, but attentive players at the table should be sniping those cards you are about to buy with aggressive reserves, and as the 2nd/3rd row are so much more expensive, unless you get lucky with draws, you are stuck with plenty of the wrong gems, with multiple turns spent building them up. The 10 gem limit can also bite hard here. The other strategy is to go low and speed for nobles. This can also turn into a cat fight over cards with reserve sniping being very important for preventing that last card a person needs for a noble. But snipes are way less important to that strategy since the cards running it are cheaper/less invested in a single color. This can change a lot based on player counts though. With your main strat, in a two player game, even if they agressively block you, you can still hit your draws and win out. In a 3-4 player game, the blocking can be more spread out. The way we play, we also totally allow table talk about "well, I'm not doing it, but you really need to block that person from doing x"
    Splendor really is a quiet game, because it's very possible and necessary to see a couple moves ahead, to make sure you aren't building for a card about to be bought. And the nobles totally change the relative value of each color each game. I really like splendor a lot and think the expansion adds some very interesting play at two people, especially the rules for the strongholds makes for a much richer counter-play game. But also a directly meaner one, so if you don't like that, well, it's not the expansion for you.

    38thDoe
  • Dirk2112Dirk2112 Registered User regular
    edited February 25
    I always speed run for nobles. I like hanging out with Macchiavelli and Isabel of Castille and don't really care if I lose to the guy with the big empty jewelry store.

    It reminds me of one family game of zooloretto when I had a zoo filled with camels and kangaroos. I technically won on points, but my zoo sucked and nobody would ever go there.

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  • ChaosHatChaosHat HelloooooooooRegistered User regular
    JustTee wrote: »
    My fiance's friend from Boston came this weekend, and he is an avid board gamer who wanted to do nothing more than hang out with us and play games. I like this guy a lot. We ended up playing....many games.

    Splendor: We played this two player when M (fiance) needed a break. I'm starting to warm on Splendor. The strategy still seems kind of degenerate to me? Like, I haven't lost to anyone since adopting the strategy of -Ignore gem types, ignore level 1 cards, focus only on getting cards worth 3-5 points-. In 2 player, because you'll see less cards in the market, sometimes you do need to engage a little bit of engine building in order to close out the strategy, but I won 18-8. I also ignore nobles completely. Still, it's an interesting little game, it's over quickly, and people seem to enjoy it.

    Century: Golem Edition: This is a pretty re-skin of Century: Spice Road. I really don't think I like this game. I think it's *fine*, but our 5 player play through took ~an hour or so, and while it ended up being close in the end (I won with 80, to the next person with 79), I just don't think it's a very good game. The completely and totally random market place and random distribution of gem generators vs gem converters means it's super easy to get completely and utterly screwed just by RNG. M and I were player numbers 5 and 4 respectively, and through the whole game, we collectively managed to get 1 additional gem generator. I managed to sneak a win by grabbing cards nobody else wanted, but again, it's just super weird to have an engine building game where your engine type is completely out of your control, where you're kind of puzzling together whatever the hell you can manage, and after each successful run through of your engine you have to start completely over from scratch. It's a game I'll play if the group wants to, but I won't be buying it, nor would I want to play it otherwise.

    This is amusing to me because I feel like Century: Spice Road is basically Splendor + card actions instead of "you always have these three actions available." If I had any criticism it'd be that Century maybe takes longer and is less portable but part of criticism 1 is probably because I end up playing it at 5 often because Splendor can't. If Splendor could play five I bet it would take about as long.

  • jergarmarjergarmar hollow man crew goes pew pew pewRegistered User regular
    edited February 25
    Glazius wrote: »
    jergarmar wrote: »
    On the other hand, and this will vary wildly depending on the person, but perhaps it's hard for you to think of the last game you played that was genuinely new. That made you say, "Oh, I haven't played a game like that before". Perhaps these trends tend to marginalize games with innovate gameplay. And to come back around, take a game like Food Chain Magnate (and Splotter generally), which is perhaps reacting against this trend? Why else take such pains to repeatedly say that it's a "heavy strategy game", for "serious gamers"? There are certainly games that are tougher to learn, that don't feel like they need to put "SRS BSNS" all over their games.

    I think it's more that you can effectively be "out" of Food Chain Magnate after the first couple turns if you get outplayed badly enough.

    That's not something you really want to toss at a newbie.

    If by "newbie" you mean "new to boardgames", I'll agree with that, but I've had quite good success introducing the game to even occasional boardgame players. It's one of the first games on my list if one or two other players are interested in a 2-3 hour game, and if I know them well enough to know that they don't have their feelings easily hurt. It's the first game on my list if they specifically ask for something interesting and/or exciting. As long as I'm there to prevent a really poor initial restaurant placement, it's rare that a truly catastrophic board state develops (and even then, I can usually steer the game away from that).

    But to give some context, in certain respects FCM has a lot in common with Tigris & Euphrates (which is another one of my favorite games). By that I mean:
    • it's (pretty) easy to learn
    • subsequent games can play out very differently
    • the board state can change dramatically in a single round
    • it's good for players who want to talk and mess with each other
    • it's best with players at around the same level of skill, OR with players who will not deliberately go after the guy in last place.
    When I play FCM with people for the first time (or T&E, for that matter!), I will often (because of my greater experience) set up a strong board position, and then basically declare a "come at me, bro" to the other player(s). "You have to attack my position, or else I'll just win". I will tend to focus on my strategy rather than attacking theirs, and wait for them to attack me before modifying my strategy. Usually that will be enough to draw out the other players, to get them really engaged, regardless of who eventually wins.

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  • starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    So, Small World came out when I was really ramping up my interest in modern boardgames and it was the new hotness - man did I love it. Played a ton but put it down for other new games. A few years after an initial flood of playing, I tried it again and couldn't even bring myself or the group through the rules. So much fiddliness for so little meat. I traded it away and moved on, but always wanted to find another dudes-on-a-map game that wasn't too long, was fairly straight forward, but offered tough decision making.

    Closest I found was Risk 2210, but even that suffered from the Risk issue of being loooooong due to all the dice rolling. I was browsing games the other day and Small World: Underground popped up. I passed over it back at its release because I heard it over complicated a game I liked at the time - but now that I was essentially looking for a game like small world but more complex, why not try it out? So I ordered it (along with Colt Express + Stagecoach expansion).

    My wife and I played our first game of SW:U and man - I really enjoy it. One game isn't enough to do a full analysis of mechanics, but I think the main difference I noticed is that Underground encourages conflict much more than the base game - many racial powers make it easier to conquer rather than just provide extra points or defense, places/relics give an incentive to take over a region even at a combat cost, and the map layout allows you to travel quickly. My main complaint is there is still quite a bit of explaining to put a new player in a position to do ok over the first few turns and that the Underground races are a bit less iconic than the base game. Looking forward to playing a lot more.

    I know its old and small world isn't as well regarded anymore, but does anyone else still enjoy playing it or have input on which expansions contain the most interesting additions?

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  • jergarmarjergarmar hollow man crew goes pew pew pewRegistered User regular
    Awesome, I still own Small World, and it's great in some situations (you can start playing pretty quickly, even if you have to periodically explain a quirky ability), but I agree that it can feel a bit thin, and that having a bunch of defense abilities can sometimes slog up the game. I'll keep an eye out for Underworld.

    When I was a child, I had a fever...
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  • captainkcaptaink TexasRegistered User regular
    edited February 25
    I feel like I'm missing something with Dead of Winter. Most coop games when we lose I feel like it's bad luck or bad strategy. Dead of Winter is so deterministic that I don't know how things could play out differently. If someone has a good strategy or defense of the game please let me know.

    We also played some Legendary with the new Ant-Man set. Microscopic Size Changing makes it so that buying cards can actually cost negative amounts of money, but unfortunately that didn't happen in our game. I like that the box is kind of a back door Avengers set since we get Wonder Man and Black Knight as heroes too. But that also makes the absence of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver more egregious.

    captaink on
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  • jergarmarjergarmar hollow man crew goes pew pew pewRegistered User regular
    captaink wrote: »
    I feel like I'm missing something with Dead of Winter. Most coop games when we lose I feel like it's bad luck or bad strategy. Dead of Winter is so deterministic that I don't know how things could play out differently. If someone has a good strategy or defense of the game please let me know.

    Yeah, I hear you. I still feel like there's parts of DoW that are kind of magical. It's part of the Crossroads system, so that was supposed to be an opportunity to refine the gameplay, refine the ideas, and still build on the decent impressions that the game delivers on the first one or two plays. Buuuuuuut what's going on about "the Crossroads system" again? Nothing? Argh, what a lost opportunity.

    When I was a child, I had a fever...
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  • captainkcaptaink TexasRegistered User regular
    jergarmar wrote: »
    captaink wrote: »
    I feel like I'm missing something with Dead of Winter. Most coop games when we lose I feel like it's bad luck or bad strategy. Dead of Winter is so deterministic that I don't know how things could play out differently. If someone has a good strategy or defense of the game please let me know.

    Yeah, I hear you. I still feel like there's parts of DoW that are kind of magical. It's part of the Crossroads system, so that was supposed to be an opportunity to refine the gameplay, refine the ideas, and still build on the decent impressions that the game delivers on the first one or two plays. Buuuuuuut what's going on about "the Crossroads system" again? Nothing? Argh, what a lost opportunity.

    I mean I am actually interested in Gen7. I demoed it at Pax and it seems less punishing plus I like the theme more.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited February 25
    MrBody wrote: »
    Trying out Nemo's War: 2nd edition now.

    You sail around the world in the Nautilus, sinking ships, exploring, gathering treasure, inciting colonial uprisings with one of four random motives that acts as a score multiplier at the end for different objectives. It feels like FTL and Strange Adventures in Infinite Space had a boardgame baby.

    Okay, about to finish my first full game.

    You have to survive at the end of the game, at which point you calculate your score to determine if you won and if so by how much. The motive you draw at the start of the game acts as a multiplier for different sources: treasure, scientific discovery, colonial uprisings, warship tonnage sunk, non-warship tonnage sunk, etc. A motive of "explore" will place a higher multiplier on treasure and discovery while "anti-imperialism" will score more for uprisings. The motive also have different game lengths: peaceful ones will have less turns with a lower loss threshold while the warfare based ones will be the opposite. This acts to balance out the tougher nature of attacking by giving you more time. It also lets you decide the length of the game if you wish.

    So you start out on the map. Every turn you draw an event card, then roll the dice for ship placement. Ships act sort of like monsters in an Arkham game. You start off placing "hidden" ship tokens which represent an unknown ship present that will not affect you until you decide to attack it. If all slots are full when you have to place a ship there, you have to start replacing the hidden tokens with actual ships. No hidden tokens left, you start flipping ships over to their deadlier side, and after that they start actively attacking you. Revealed ships will also hinder your other actions in that space, so keeping the oceans from filling up is always a priority no matter your motive.

    You spend your action points moving, attacking ships, searching for treasure, inciting native uprisings on colonies, or resting/repairing/refitting. You're trying to end the game with the highest score possible given your motive's score multipliers while knowing exactly how many turns are left based on the number of event cards left.

    There's quite a few push your luck mechanics. You can launch a reckless or cautious attack against ships. Cautious will give you a roll bonus, but costs 1 action point per attack. Reckless gives no bonus but allows you to keep attacking every ship in your space until you fail a roll, all for the same one action point. Every roll can have a bonus applied to it by risking one of your 3 resources: Nemo health, crew health, and hull strength. You only lose the resource you risk IF you fail the roll, and the bonus for risking it gets lower and lower as each one goes down, forcing you to try and stop to rest/repair in a spot clear of ships.

    So yeah, that's mostly it and it's mostly fun. I'd say check it out if you want a solitaire game. The one mechanic I do not care for is rolling for action points. Every turn you roll 2-3 dice for ship placement, and the action points you receive for the turn is the difference between two dice. You can get totally screwed over by rolling a difference of 0-1 a bunch of turns in a row, and there's zero mechanics in play to compensate you for that. It's not so much a "roll for actions and do what you can with it" like War of the Ring, and more that it almost feels like roll to move. This is the one rule I think needs overhauling.

    MrBody on
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  • jergarmarjergarmar hollow man crew goes pew pew pewRegistered User regular
    captaink wrote: »
    jergarmar wrote: »
    captaink wrote: »
    I feel like I'm missing something with Dead of Winter. Most coop games when we lose I feel like it's bad luck or bad strategy. Dead of Winter is so deterministic that I don't know how things could play out differently. If someone has a good strategy or defense of the game please let me know.

    Yeah, I hear you. I still feel like there's parts of DoW that are kind of magical. It's part of the Crossroads system, so that was supposed to be an opportunity to refine the gameplay, refine the ideas, and still build on the decent impressions that the game delivers on the first one or two plays. Buuuuuuut what's going on about "the Crossroads system" again? Nothing? Argh, what a lost opportunity.

    I mean I am actually interested in Gen7. I demoed it at Pax and it seems less punishing plus I like the theme more.

    Errrrrrr hwaaaat? Dang, this flew entirely and completely under my radar.

    <goes and reads up on it>

    ... huh. Seems like a large change to the system as originally conceived. Definitely not the single-session story-generating rollercoaster that I was hoping for. I do give them credit for being willing to go in a different direction, but wow I don't know what to think about that. Will certain make the barrier to entry higher, with the specter of a single 14-hour story (in 7 segments) hanging over the decision to start. Shoot, from what I understand, even Pandemic Legacy seem less of a commitment, because it seems that you aren't always bound to stick with the same faction the entire time (I've never played Pandemic Legacy, but that was expressed in a couple of reviews, if I'm wrong please correct me).

    When I was a child, I had a fever...
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  • Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    I literally haven't heard anyone say anything positive about Gen 7 thus far, so maybe do some research on that one y'all

    Pancho needs your prayers it's true
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  • LykouraghLykouragh Registered User regular
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    I literally haven't heard anyone say anything positive about Gen 7 thus far, so maybe do some research on that one y'all

    In particular the No Pun Included review was as harsh as anything I've heard from them and convinced me to firmly keep my hands off the game.

  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    If you missed the Trogdor kickstarter like me then you'll be pleased to know that you can preorder the game now.

    https://trogdor.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders/143755

    Elvenshae
  • jergarmarjergarmar hollow man crew goes pew pew pewRegistered User regular
    Lykouragh wrote: »
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    I literally haven't heard anyone say anything positive about Gen 7 thus far, so maybe do some research on that one y'all

    In particular the No Pun Included review was as harsh as anything I've heard from them and convinced me to firmly keep my hands off the game.

    I just watched this, and cross-referenced it with Tom Vasel's review, who I figured would have the most positive outlook possible on a story-driven Plaid Hat game. And yeah, it's actually amazing how much they intersected, in particular the way they described how the game's base systems (more or less placing dice to gather resources) became more and more irreconcilable with the game's narrative. Yikes.

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  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    I just bought root and evolution over the weekend. I originally heard root was good but poorly balanced. But I've also been told that there has been a rule update since then. Can anyone confirm?

    CaptainPeacockJustTeePowerpuppies
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    edited February 26
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    I literally haven't heard anyone say anything positive about Gen 7 thus far, so maybe do some research on that one y'all

    I've also posted a bunch of my thoughts a couple times in this thread. I can go back and look at what pages the posts are, but I can also just helpfully do a TL;DR:
    Gen7:
    Base mechanics - TL;DR: A perfectly fine little light weight euro-ish worker placement with some hand management.

    The base game is pretty solid. It's a tight little puzzle. The first impression it gives is great! And it seems like there's a lot of space for interesting mechanics and narrative decisions to be tacked on as the campaign goes. So, this explains the initial hype for the game - playing Episode 1 (and even, to some extent, Episode 2) seems like you're about to play something AMAZING. However...

    "Crossroads Game" - TL;DR: An overly clunky design tacked onto a game that didn't need additional overly clunky fiddly bits.

    Ostensibly, this is a cross roads game in the same vein as Dead of Winter. And, to an extent, it is! You have Crossroads cards, and they managed to simultaneously reduce the number of times you have to check for Crossroads triggers, and up the fire rate of the cards you *do* check (each player has a Captain die, so you only check Crossroads when a player places one, and the triggers are often more general, like "played their officer in the Power Division (which is 3 spaces + additional possible spaces off the board each round). However...

    The actual effects of the Crossroads cards are...dumb. You read a bunch of text. You either collectively vote on a choice, or the individual who placed the officer die makes a choice. The effect of the choice goes towards your Brain vs Heart track. What does the Brain vs Heart track represent thematically? BIG SHRUG. The mechanical effect is that *sometimes* you make a narrative choice as a group, and your brain / heart track will add "default" votes towards one or another option. But, after making each choice, this track gets reset to 0, so there are no real lasting consequences. And playing as 4 players, you get a number of votes equal to your rank. So your Brain / Heart track might be at 2 Brains. But with 4 players at rank 2, you have a total of 8 votes as players, and the track only accounts for 2. PLUS, if anything, even IF the Brain/Heart track would influence anything, it would either reinforce the choices you're already making (it would make sense if the narrative portion of the game had any sort of coherent moral leaning, but it doesn't), in which case, it's kind of pointless. Or, it would over ride your choices, which would be WORSE.

    Player Incentives: - TL;DR: A big initial premise that peters out...FAST.

    One of the big driving factors in Gen7 is that each player is incentivized to play for their own personal merit track. You get 2 things by doing better on the merit track (the game's score board, more or less). First, if you get to hit 50 in a round, you get Promoted. Second, if you do better on the merit track, you can get additional "Star" currency. You get 1 star per 25 points.

    However....

    This all seems really smart and fun and interesting in the beginning, but it all begins to fall apart quickly. First, the stars:

    Your base star income is...pretty high. You all collectively get a star for beating the episode without any narrative set backs. Seeing as it's a co-operative game, this is the biggest incentive, really, to not ignoring the problems as they come up. Maybe in a different group more willing to eff the group over (4 stars for all!) for individual gain (1 star maybe(?) for myself??), but in 4 episodes of play, we never missed getting this star.

    Then, each player gets a star for each 25 merit points they got during the game - we've never had someone miss out on the 25 point star. Most of the time, we've managed to have 2 people get 50 points, or 2 stars.

    Then, the highest player gets a star.

    Then, each player was given 2 cards at the beginning of the episode, each of which can give a star. There are only a couple of these objectives that are actively difficult, the rest just kind of happen. So, 1-2 additional free stars per player.

    Lastly, each player has a card to not let their personal division fall below yellow status. Again, in 4 episodes, we've never missed a star on this one either.

    All in, you get between 4 and up to 8 stars per episode.

    What do you actually use these stars for? Buying upgrades that represent more or less the only lasting effects any of the episodes have on the game. HOWEVER, even HERE there are issues AGAIN.

    First - you can only have a number of upgrades equal to your rank. And the upgrades also have minimum rank requirements. So, when you're rank 1, you're not incentivized to get many merit points because:
    The upgrades you can buy at rank 1 are cheap (2 or 3 stars, I forget), and BAD. You definitely don't want many (if any).
    At ranks 2 and 3, you unlock more upgrades that are, again....cheap and pretty bad?

    After 4 episodes, most of us have no desire to get any upgrades until the rank 4 upgrades unlock, and by the time that happens, we'll all have banked enough stars to immediately purchase 1 or 2 of the upgrades each. While having stopped shooting for stars directly after Episode 2.

    Next, the rank:
    If you hit 50 points, you rank up. If you don't hit 50 points, you get your current rank underlined. If you would ever underline your rank a 3rd time, instead, rank up.

    So you can have games (it's happened to 3 of the 4 of us at least once so far) where you have literally no incentive to play for 50 points - I already talked about how the extra star from ranking up is kinda worthless (Too High Star Income + Too Low Spending Incentives), but if you're guaranteed to rank up that episode, there's legit no reason for you to shoot for 50. So, then you're just playing straight co-op, and the game is absolutely not balanced for that. The game only feels tight if everyone only has a *portion* of their dice to contribute to group tasks, but if one player is basically contributing all their dice towards the group, that makes it easier for each other player to either accomplish their own objectives, or to accomplish their own, which quickly wobbles the whole thing off course.

    Narrative: - Poorly written, oddly paced, weirdly deterministic

    I've seen the designer write in places that a big part of the cost of the game came from the spiral bound plot book that comes with the game. And if that's true, man, does that make me mad. Through 4 episodes, I've only seen ONE piece of art in the whole thing, and it wasn't even on a page that I got to linger on / look at (it was on the result page of the OTHER choice we made - our choice brought us to yet another page with just words).

    If they spent most of their money hiring writers, they should get a refund. There are only a few "main" characters in the plot (and by few, I mean...through 4 episodes we've only seen 2 named characters, one of whom is the ship's AI), and the rest of the time dialogue gets written as "a fellow officer says" or "someone else chimes in" or other vague / generic phrases.

    There are often times where what happens in the narrative and what happens to reflect that mechanically on the board seem wildly out of whack, disjointed, and otherwise just janky and weird. And while it's fun to open envelopes and read passages, most of the time, the mechanics they add don't add to the *fun* part of the game, and instead, add to the ever increasing impression that the game more or less will play itself. Almost every round can have it's requirements mapped out from the initial set up, and there's very little that will alter it, so you spend 5 minutes discussing plans and individual requirements, work out the plan, and then spend 15-20 minutes playing it out.

    Rulebook: - The. Worst.

    I've never read a worse rulebook for teaching a game. Watch the How to Play video on youtube. And still have questions constantly. And while the designer is super helpful-seeming on BGG, the rulings he gives basically show you how the game is TERRIBLY designed from a rules stand point, and how it absolutely needed both a strong editor and several thousand more hours spent in play testing.

    Conclusion:
    A huge amount of potential here that is utterly failed by lack of clear design goals and ethics. A game full of tacked on systems and ideas that overall don't end up gelling like you think they would after your initial play. An over priced box of mildly good components with nary a piece of evocative art.

    Steer clear unless you want to spend $100 to read the (poorly written) story arcs.

    That, uh...got a little longer than planned. I added TL;DR headers. I'm pretty mad at Gen7, to be honest, ESPECIALLY after listening to the ludology episode that featured Gen7's designer. Ugh.


    As for Splendor / Spice Road - I think I'm starting to warm up to Spice Road (in its Golem Edition form, as that's actually pretty and thematic). I was reading a bit more about strategies and things, and I think I both over valued gem generators, and I think our table was playing a bit dumb in general - we were emptying our caravans to purchase golems, when we should have spent an extra turn or two generating / trading gems to have not just the bare minimum for golem purchasing (except in cases where someone else would buy your golem before you got it). That would greatly speed up the engine building part of the game and would probably make me enjoy it a lot more.

    Splendor - I think I've warmed to it. It's not a game I hugely love (partly because I haven't lost to anyone in a while), but I'll much less begrudgingly play it in the future. As for people saying "aggressive reserving of cards" defeats the strategy I was talking about - Yes, that might work. It might also hugely back fire. Because if I'm going for cards that are expensive and hard to purchase, you reserving a card to stop me might get stuck in your hand for the rest of the game. And the value of gold coins (particularly in 2 player, as it helps circumvent the fact that there's only 4 of each gem, but in general too) is so high that reserving cards *super* matters. Plus, in a game where every single turn matters because the game might end in 15-18 turns, if you take a turn to reserve a card to block me, it might slow your own game down enough that I can pivot and still win.

    At the end of the day, I like that there's this tension, and that I might not be right about the degenerate strategy. I've yet to see anyone actually implement a counter strategy to mine and actually beat me at it, but some people have gotten close enough that I'm willing to entertain the idea that I'm possibly wrong. When I initially started ignoring nobles *and* ignoring basically the entire first row, I was beating opponents so badly that it hardly even seemed like we were playing the same game. As my opponents have gotten better and adapted, it has seemed much closer and tighter. So, all in all, I think Splendor is a fine game. Enough interesting decisions to make each turn to keep my interest, and to earn its place in my collection.
    I just bought root and evolution over the weekend. I originally heard root was good but poorly balanced. But I've also been told that there has been a rule update since then. Can anyone confirm?

    Yes - there's been a minor rule update. You can get the details on the leder games website (I believe). I think there was a mention of releasing the art to let people print their own updated cards, but I'm not sure the status on that.

    JustTee on
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  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Closest I found was Risk 2210, but even that suffered from the Risk issue of being loooooong due to all the dice rolling.

    From what I remember of Risk 2210, most games were over by the 2nd or 3rd turn.

  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    I just bought root and evolution over the weekend. I originally heard root was good but poorly balanced. But I've also been told that there has been a rule update since then. Can anyone confirm?

    From what I remember: cats get to save all their cats with one card, not one per card. Vagabond gets no battle points when defending. The guerillas get their point track nerfed

    sig.gif
  • FairchildFairchild Rabbit used short words that were easy to understand, like "Hello Pooh, how about Lunch ?" Registered User regular
    cats get to save all their cats with one card, not one per card

    Wow, that's huge.

    38thDoe
  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    edited February 26
    One card sounds wrong ... I thought they just removed the restriction where it had to match the clearing the warrior was coming from?

    [Edit]
    Nope, I'm dead wrong, but I misunderstood what you meant. You can save all cats lost in a single fight with a single card matching the clearing. Right-o.
    For simplicity, the full changes can be found here.

    ArcticLancer on
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    I might get to play it tonight! We played once not knowing about the errata and kind of disliked it. The guerillas won handily and it was impossible to inconvenience the vagabond and as the cat player I forgot about hospital and then lost my keep early. So the errata seems precisely targeted to improve our experience

    sig.gif
  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    Ironically, the errata is explicitly _not_ targeted at you. :p
    It will definitely make the factions slightly more balanced, yes, and that will be nice enough. But a huge amount of Root is understanding how much advantage anyone has at any given time and playing the game based around that, which nobody is going to have a good idea of until you're many, many games in.

  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    The Woodland Alliance won our first game and then didn't win again until much later. Once we understood how they could blow up we figured out how to counterplay against them.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    captaink wrote: »
    Played Dead of Winter two more times and decided I'm not going to play Dead of Winter anymore.

    Anyone played Gen7 and have opinions on how it stacks up to Dead of Winter?

    Certainly, the theme appeals a lot more to me.

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  • Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    edited February 26
    Look a few posts up

    Short answer: no one anywhere likes gen 7 as far as I can tell

    Ah_Pook on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    Look a few posts up

    Short answer: no one anywhere likes gen 7 as far as I can tell

    Well darn, that sucks.

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  • LykouraghLykouragh Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    The Woodland Alliance won our first game and then didn't win again until much later. Once we understood how they could blow up we figured out how to counterplay against them.

    My group is just now getting there- the answer is that birds/cats have to just eat their sympathy and take the hit to cards in hand right?

  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Lykouragh wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    The Woodland Alliance won our first game and then didn't win again until much later. Once we understood how they could blow up we figured out how to counterplay against them.

    My group is just now getting there- the answer is that birds/cats have to just eat their sympathy and take the hit to cards in hand right?

    Sometimes. The main thing is setting up a wall of Martial Law around the first few intrusions. If the cats or birds spend too many actions smacking them down they'll fall way behind, but moving is a lot more efficient and has better side effects. Just forcing the WA to spend one extra card will slow them down a lot.

    Dark080matter
  • psyck0psyck0 Registered User regular
    What are people thoughts on the mechanica Kickstarter? I'm interested, the female design and publishing team is a good thing in this rather homogenous hobby of ours, but the game looks just a little short to me.

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  • ChaosHatChaosHat HelloooooooooRegistered User regular
    Updated Arkham LCG Thoughts (spoilered for long):
    So, the game is pretty dang great. After beating the initial campaign a few times I immediately went out and just grabbed the Dunwich big box and cycle. Buying just the box seemed pointless so we went to the excessive level. I just finished the fourth pack (having two more adventures left in the cycle) and it's been a lot of fun so far. Some thoughts:

    Either normal is pretty easy, I'm very lucky, or my character is brokeeeeen. I'm playing as Jenny Barnes and with the skill pumping assets I'm just shredding through. It's to the point where I'm wondering if I'm getting rules wrong. Part of me thinks I should be a little more greedy to farm EXP or something if I get through the scenario quickly.

    I'm thinking I should be playing two handed. I think there's a lot more design space to explore that way and I'd also experience a lot more of the encounter decks. The ease of setup and minimizing the footprint are big pros to true solo play. Further, I think I'd miss a lot of triggers and fuck up the rules more by losing count of actions, where in the turn I am, etc.

    The encounter deck is maybe the weakest thing because you have to shuffle the shit out of it when you assemble it to get a good mix of things, and then you take it apart a bit later to build a new deck. I feel like I should be running multiple campaigns through simultaneously so I get like two or three plays through an encounter before having to tear it down again. That seems like it could get confusing though, and I don't have the card pool to keep all these decks assembled.

    I'm not sure how to work storage for this in the future. I wouldn't want to carry around one massive box with all the scenarios/encounter cards but I assume that each cycle will borrow some of the encounter sets from prior cycles so you'd need to have that around too. Maybe separate the boxes by the cycles and keep the encounter cards that don't specifically belong to a scenario in a different generic box? Seems cumbersome.

    I also have a problem where I get bogged down in the mechanics and don't really appreciate the story or consider thematically what is happening. I think I would enjoy it more if I slowed down and pondered what is happening in fiction.

    The game honestly feels like something I've been trying hard to find: D&D without the DM. I've tried a lot of games like this, like Pathfinder ACG, Dragonfire, or Gloomhaven and they all have problems. Pathfinder is close but I really dislike the loot system in that game and mechanically it's pretty samey from mission to mission and it doesn't feel like an RPG with choice and variance. Gloomhaven eats the whole table, takes a long time to play and set up. It's also hard to reset a scenario if you fuck it up and want to play again. Dragonfire is a fun deckbuilder that has a good theme but I hate the loot and progression system.

    Arkham is fast, the character options are really varied and the encounters keep changing from scenario to scenario. The theme is very take it or leave it for me. I keep thinking about how amazing it would be as a D&D game or as an Android: Netrunner successor. Teaming up as runners to take down the corp over a campaign? Sounds amazing.

    I'm thinking about running a play by post if people would be interested.

    Armoroc
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited February 26
    ChaosHat wrote: »
    Updated Arkham LCG Thoughts (spoilered for long):
    So, the game is pretty dang great. After beating the initial campaign a few times I immediately went out and just grabbed the Dunwich big box and cycle. Buying just the box seemed pointless so we went to the excessive level. I just finished the fourth pack (having two more adventures left in the cycle) and it's been a lot of fun so far. Some thoughts:

    Either normal is pretty easy, I'm very lucky, or my character is brokeeeeen. I'm playing as Jenny Barnes and with the skill pumping assets I'm just shredding through. It's to the point where I'm wondering if I'm getting rules wrong. Part of me thinks I should be a little more greedy to farm EXP or something if I get through the scenario quickly.

    I'm thinking I should be playing two handed. I think there's a lot more design space to explore that way and I'd also experience a lot more of the encounter decks. The ease of setup and minimizing the footprint are big pros to true solo play. Further, I think I'd miss a lot of triggers and fuck up the rules more by losing count of actions, where in the turn I am, etc.

    The encounter deck is maybe the weakest thing because you have to shuffle the shit out of it when you assemble it to get a good mix of things, and then you take it apart a bit later to build a new deck. I feel like I should be running multiple campaigns through simultaneously so I get like two or three plays through an encounter before having to tear it down again. That seems like it could get confusing though, and I don't have the card pool to keep all these decks assembled.

    I'm not sure how to work storage for this in the future. I wouldn't want to carry around one massive box with all the scenarios/encounter cards but I assume that each cycle will borrow some of the encounter sets from prior cycles so you'd need to have that around too. Maybe separate the boxes by the cycles and keep the encounter cards that don't specifically belong to a scenario in a different generic box? Seems cumbersome.

    I also have a problem where I get bogged down in the mechanics and don't really appreciate the story or consider thematically what is happening. I think I would enjoy it more if I slowed down and pondered what is happening in fiction.

    The game honestly feels like something I've been trying hard to find: D&D without the DM. I've tried a lot of games like this, like Pathfinder ACG, Dragonfire, or Gloomhaven and they all have problems. Pathfinder is close but I really dislike the loot system in that game and mechanically it's pretty samey from mission to mission and it doesn't feel like an RPG with choice and variance. Gloomhaven eats the whole table, takes a long time to play and set up. It's also hard to reset a scenario if you fuck it up and want to play again. Dragonfire is a fun deckbuilder that has a good theme but I hate the loot and progression system.

    Arkham is fast, the character options are really varied and the encounters keep changing from scenario to scenario. The theme is very take it or leave it for me. I keep thinking about how amazing it would be as a D&D game or as an Android: Netrunner successor. Teaming up as runners to take down the corp over a campaign? Sounds amazing.

    I'm thinking about running a play by post if people would be interested.

    I think solo is a totally different beast. When I tried it 2 player, it seemed nigh-unbeatable on normal and we only ever won easy. Carnival of Horrors, we just baaaaarely won on easy.

    I don't think it would work very well by post. There are so many instant reactions per play, you'd have to constantly be pausing to confirm.

    MrBody on
  • Dark080matterDark080matter CrateriaRegistered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    The Woodland Alliance won our first game and then didn't win again until much later. Once we understood how they could blow up we figured out how to counterplay against them.

    This is basically the quintessential Root experience. Much like a faster Twilight Imperium, a huge part of the 'game' is actually what your group's metagame brings to it in subsequent plays.

    I can't wait for the next expansion.

  • ChaosHatChaosHat HelloooooooooRegistered User regular
    edited February 26
    MrBody wrote: »
    ChaosHat wrote: »
    Updated Arkham LCG Thoughts (spoilered for long):
    So, the game is pretty dang great. After beating the initial campaign a few times I immediately went out and just grabbed the Dunwich big box and cycle. Buying just the box seemed pointless so we went to the excessive level. I just finished the fourth pack (having two more adventures left in the cycle) and it's been a lot of fun so far. Some thoughts:

    Either normal is pretty easy, I'm very lucky, or my character is brokeeeeen. I'm playing as Jenny Barnes and with the skill pumping assets I'm just shredding through. It's to the point where I'm wondering if I'm getting rules wrong. Part of me thinks I should be a little more greedy to farm EXP or something if I get through the scenario quickly.

    I'm thinking I should be playing two handed. I think there's a lot more design space to explore that way and I'd also experience a lot more of the encounter decks. The ease of setup and minimizing the footprint are big pros to true solo play. Further, I think I'd miss a lot of triggers and fuck up the rules more by losing count of actions, where in the turn I am, etc.

    The encounter deck is maybe the weakest thing because you have to shuffle the shit out of it when you assemble it to get a good mix of things, and then you take it apart a bit later to build a new deck. I feel like I should be running multiple campaigns through simultaneously so I get like two or three plays through an encounter before having to tear it down again. That seems like it could get confusing though, and I don't have the card pool to keep all these decks assembled.

    I'm not sure how to work storage for this in the future. I wouldn't want to carry around one massive box with all the scenarios/encounter cards but I assume that each cycle will borrow some of the encounter sets from prior cycles so you'd need to have that around too. Maybe separate the boxes by the cycles and keep the encounter cards that don't specifically belong to a scenario in a different generic box? Seems cumbersome.

    I also have a problem where I get bogged down in the mechanics and don't really appreciate the story or consider thematically what is happening. I think I would enjoy it more if I slowed down and pondered what is happening in fiction.

    The game honestly feels like something I've been trying hard to find: D&D without the DM. I've tried a lot of games like this, like Pathfinder ACG, Dragonfire, or Gloomhaven and they all have problems. Pathfinder is close but I really dislike the loot system in that game and mechanically it's pretty samey from mission to mission and it doesn't feel like an RPG with choice and variance. Gloomhaven eats the whole table, takes a long time to play and set up. It's also hard to reset a scenario if you fuck it up and want to play again. Dragonfire is a fun deckbuilder that has a good theme but I hate the loot and progression system.

    Arkham is fast, the character options are really varied and the encounters keep changing from scenario to scenario. The theme is very take it or leave it for me. I keep thinking about how amazing it would be as a D&D game or as an Android: Netrunner successor. Teaming up as runners to take down the corp over a campaign? Sounds amazing.

    I'm thinking about running a play by post if people would be interested.

    I think solo is a totally different beast. When I tried it 2 player, it seemed nigh-unbeatable on normal and we only ever won easy. Carnival of Horrors, we just baaaaarely won on easy.

    I don't think it would work very well by post. There are so many instant reactions per play, you'd have to constantly be pausing to confirm.

    That's true. The ability to assist on tests would probably bog shit down significantly.

    I do think my solo investigators is part of it. She has no weakness. She's well rounded and can pay her way out of problems. If I get lone wolf I'm drowning in money and spend two resources to investigate at 6 is real dang strong.

    ChaosHat on
  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    ChaosHat wrote: »
    Updated Arkham LCG Thoughts (spoilered for long):
    So, the game is pretty dang great. After beating the initial campaign a few times I immediately went out and just grabbed the Dunwich big box and cycle. Buying just the box seemed pointless so we went to the excessive level. I just finished the fourth pack (having two more adventures left in the cycle) and it's been a lot of fun so far. Some thoughts:

    Either normal is pretty easy, I'm very lucky, or my character is brokeeeeen. I'm playing as Jenny Barnes and with the skill pumping assets I'm just shredding through. It's to the point where I'm wondering if I'm getting rules wrong. Part of me thinks I should be a little more greedy to farm EXP or something if I get through the scenario quickly.

    I'm thinking I should be playing two handed. I think there's a lot more design space to explore that way and I'd also experience a lot more of the encounter decks. The ease of setup and minimizing the footprint are big pros to true solo play. Further, I think I'd miss a lot of triggers and fuck up the rules more by losing count of actions, where in the turn I am, etc.

    The encounter deck is maybe the weakest thing because you have to shuffle the shit out of it when you assemble it to get a good mix of things, and then you take it apart a bit later to build a new deck. I feel like I should be running multiple campaigns through simultaneously so I get like two or three plays through an encounter before having to tear it down again. That seems like it could get confusing though, and I don't have the card pool to keep all these decks assembled.

    I'm not sure how to work storage for this in the future. I wouldn't want to carry around one massive box with all the scenarios/encounter cards but I assume that each cycle will borrow some of the encounter sets from prior cycles so you'd need to have that around too. Maybe separate the boxes by the cycles and keep the encounter cards that don't specifically belong to a scenario in a different generic box? Seems cumbersome.

    I also have a problem where I get bogged down in the mechanics and don't really appreciate the story or consider thematically what is happening. I think I would enjoy it more if I slowed down and pondered what is happening in fiction.

    The game honestly feels like something I've been trying hard to find: D&D without the DM. I've tried a lot of games like this, like Pathfinder ACG, Dragonfire, or Gloomhaven and they all have problems. Pathfinder is close but I really dislike the loot system in that game and mechanically it's pretty samey from mission to mission and it doesn't feel like an RPG with choice and variance. Gloomhaven eats the whole table, takes a long time to play and set up. It's also hard to reset a scenario if you fuck it up and want to play again. Dragonfire is a fun deckbuilder that has a good theme but I hate the loot and progression system.

    Arkham is fast, the character options are really varied and the encounters keep changing from scenario to scenario. The theme is very take it or leave it for me. I keep thinking about how amazing it would be as a D&D game or as an Android: Netrunner successor. Teaming up as runners to take down the corp over a campaign? Sounds amazing.

    I'm thinking about running a play by post if people would be interested.

    I think solo is a totally different beast. When I tried it 2 player, it seemed nigh-unbeatable on normal and we only ever won easy. Carnival of Horrors, we just baaaaarely won on easy.

    I don't think it would work very well by post. There are so many instant reactions per play, you'd have to constantly be pausing to confirm.

    The various heroes differ wildly in ability, and different player counts make various strategies more or less feasible. For instance, playing two-player with Rex doing all the investigating and some strong fighter dealing with the monsters wrecks most of the Zealot and Dunwich scenarios. (Even in 3-player, Rex can almost handle all the clue finding by himself.) Essex County Express, for instance, I found to be terribly difficult without Rex but almost too easy with him.

  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    In regards to encounter sets, from what I've seen there's very rarely (if any) cross-over between cycles. Usually they're pretty well self-contained, and if it's going to pull from something it'll either be the cycle deluxe expansion or the core set.

    It *would* be interesting if they had options where if, say, you had access to a certain encounter set you could sub it in, but it'd probably be a balance nightmare.

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  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    MrBody wrote: »
    ChaosHat wrote: »
    Updated Arkham LCG Thoughts (spoilered for long):
    So, the game is pretty dang great. After beating the initial campaign a few times I immediately went out and just grabbed the Dunwich big box and cycle. Buying just the box seemed pointless so we went to the excessive level. I just finished the fourth pack (having two more adventures left in the cycle) and it's been a lot of fun so far. Some thoughts:

    Either normal is pretty easy, I'm very lucky, or my character is brokeeeeen. I'm playing as Jenny Barnes and with the skill pumping assets I'm just shredding through. It's to the point where I'm wondering if I'm getting rules wrong. Part of me thinks I should be a little more greedy to farm EXP or something if I get through the scenario quickly.

    I'm thinking I should be playing two handed. I think there's a lot more design space to explore that way and I'd also experience a lot more of the encounter decks. The ease of setup and minimizing the footprint are big pros to true solo play. Further, I think I'd miss a lot of triggers and fuck up the rules more by losing count of actions, where in the turn I am, etc.

    The encounter deck is maybe the weakest thing because you have to shuffle the shit out of it when you assemble it to get a good mix of things, and then you take it apart a bit later to build a new deck. I feel like I should be running multiple campaigns through simultaneously so I get like two or three plays through an encounter before having to tear it down again. That seems like it could get confusing though, and I don't have the card pool to keep all these decks assembled.

    I'm not sure how to work storage for this in the future. I wouldn't want to carry around one massive box with all the scenarios/encounter cards but I assume that each cycle will borrow some of the encounter sets from prior cycles so you'd need to have that around too. Maybe separate the boxes by the cycles and keep the encounter cards that don't specifically belong to a scenario in a different generic box? Seems cumbersome.

    I also have a problem where I get bogged down in the mechanics and don't really appreciate the story or consider thematically what is happening. I think I would enjoy it more if I slowed down and pondered what is happening in fiction.

    The game honestly feels like something I've been trying hard to find: D&D without the DM. I've tried a lot of games like this, like Pathfinder ACG, Dragonfire, or Gloomhaven and they all have problems. Pathfinder is close but I really dislike the loot system in that game and mechanically it's pretty samey from mission to mission and it doesn't feel like an RPG with choice and variance. Gloomhaven eats the whole table, takes a long time to play and set up. It's also hard to reset a scenario if you fuck it up and want to play again. Dragonfire is a fun deckbuilder that has a good theme but I hate the loot and progression system.

    Arkham is fast, the character options are really varied and the encounters keep changing from scenario to scenario. The theme is very take it or leave it for me. I keep thinking about how amazing it would be as a D&D game or as an Android: Netrunner successor. Teaming up as runners to take down the corp over a campaign? Sounds amazing.

    I'm thinking about running a play by post if people would be interested.

    I think solo is a totally different beast. When I tried it 2 player, it seemed nigh-unbeatable on normal and we only ever won easy. Carnival of Horrors, we just baaaaarely won on easy.

    I don't think it would work very well by post. There are so many instant reactions per play, you'd have to constantly be pausing to confirm.

    The various heroes differ wildly in ability, and different player counts make various strategies more or less feasible. For instance, playing two-player with Rex doing all the investigating and some strong fighter dealing with the monsters wrecks most of the Zealot and Dunwich scenarios. (Even in 3-player, Rex can almost handle all the clue finding by himself.) Essex County Express, for instance, I found to be terribly difficult without Rex but almost too easy with him.

    Arkham Horror 3rd edition suffers a problem like that. The investigators are unbalanced to the point of having a pretty rigid 3 tier system of Bloodbowl proportions. The top tier makes games too easy (The Cop, The Hunted) and the bottom tier is there only as a handicap challenge (Rex).

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