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[Board Games] Pandemic in a Pandemic

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Posts

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Oh wow. The Cthulhu Island kickstarter pulled out before hitting their funding goal last week. Looks like they've got a pretty long post up about why.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cortadoo/cthulhu-island/posts/3458111

    I'm actually really happy to see this, as it means they will make a bigger, better game. And that's exciting. :)

    I dunno that we're reading the same update... That's not particularly long or particularly insightful. "We want to make a better campaign. While we revisit the drawing board here's another of our kickstarters."
    What I took away from the earlier banter in the thread was that it didn't look like they actually had a finished game, so uh ... good on them for deciding maybe to revise that?

    they absolutely have a finished game, the complaints were the standard "no reviews and no gameplay video" and "way too expensive".

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    I don't think one player doing poorly and making someone else win is limited to auction games

    This is a common thing with almost any multiplayer board game genre, especially highly interactive ones

    ArcticLancerElvenshaeAh_PookCantidoFrySageinaRage
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Last night we played Gaia Project because one of our five was off sick

    I wish he had been healthy, 10% out of concern for my good friend and 90% because low-interaction efficiency optimization point salads with narrow margins give me hives

    It's a good one of those but it's definitely one of those.

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Damn. It's about time.

    https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2022/3/24/unfinished-business/

    Outer Rim is getting it's expansion! It looks like there are some really good quality of life changes in here, like the core worlds hyperlane. Interestingly, there is no apparent content from the Mandalorian or Book of Boba Fett. I wonder how long this has been on the shelf waiting to be released.

    Boooo, This is shallow af but I was waiting for an expansion to introduce playable Greedo before jumping in. Don't judge me!

  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Damn. It's about time.

    https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2022/3/24/unfinished-business/

    Outer Rim is getting it's expansion! It looks like there are some really good quality of life changes in here, like the core worlds hyperlane. Interestingly, there is no apparent content from the Mandalorian or Book of Boba Fett. I wonder how long this has been on the shelf waiting to be released.

    Boooo, This is shallow af but I was waiting for an expansion to introduce playable Greedo before jumping in. Don't judge me!

    Greedo’s dead, buddy: sorry to bear the bad news

    Elvenshae
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited March 27
    The issues I saw was that bounty hunting was incredibly weak, while mission running was just too good. Dr Aphra was particularly ridiculous because she removed the one difficult aspect to missions.

    MrBody on
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Damn. It's about time.

    https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2022/3/24/unfinished-business/

    Outer Rim is getting it's expansion! It looks like there are some really good quality of life changes in here, like the core worlds hyperlane. Interestingly, there is no apparent content from the Mandalorian or Book of Boba Fett. I wonder how long this has been on the shelf waiting to be released.

    Boooo, This is shallow af but I was waiting for an expansion to introduce playable Greedo before jumping in. Don't judge me!

    Greedo’s dead, buddy: sorry to bear the bad news

    If we're dealing with the canonical fates of the characters, some notable issues arise with some of the other player characters, as well!

  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Damn. It's about time.

    https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2022/3/24/unfinished-business/

    Outer Rim is getting it's expansion! It looks like there are some really good quality of life changes in here, like the core worlds hyperlane. Interestingly, there is no apparent content from the Mandalorian or Book of Boba Fett. I wonder how long this has been on the shelf waiting to be released.

    Boooo, This is shallow af but I was waiting for an expansion to introduce playable Greedo before jumping in. Don't judge me!

    Greedo’s dead, buddy: sorry to bear the bad news

    If we're dealing with the canonical fates of the characters, some notable issues arise with some of the other player characters, as well!

    they'll never take jyn erso from me!

    BloodySlothNips
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    My game store got in the KSE versions of Return to Dark Tower.

    I've never played the original and glossed over the kickstarter.

    ... but man is that an impressive monolith.

    So now I need to research if it is $250 worth of impressive monolith.

    He/Him
  • DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    My game store got in the KSE versions of Return to Dark Tower.

    I've never played the original and glossed over the kickstarter.

    ... but man is that an impressive monolith.

    So now I need to research if it is $250 worth of impressive monolith.

    I've been considering the same thing. If you get it, let me know what you think!

    In the meantime, I bought more Dark Souls expansions, picked up the new reprint of Stardew Valley (the updated insert is actually functional and print job is so much better), and put my name down for a copy of Ark Nova.

    I think I need a new house just for board games.

    Xbox Live, PSN & Origin: Vacorsis 3DS: 2638-0037-166
  • KandenKanden Registered User regular
    edited March 29
    I haven't gotten my order in yet, so can't speak from first hand experience. But I ordered a dark tower from The Game Steward. Ended up being like $10 less than MSRP after all said and done because Restoration had to increase MSRP post campaign.

    I think they're just now starting to get their dark tower orders shipped out, they do frequent updates on what they've got on their Facebook page, apparently they got a huge nemesis order in right before Dark Tower and that took most of their man power for a couple weeks. The level and quality of their communication on everything makes it seem like they're legit.

    Kanden on
  • DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    Kanden wrote: »
    I haven't gotten my order in yet, so can't speak from first hand experience. But I ordered a dark tower from The Game Steward. Ended up being like $10 less than MSRP after all said and done because Restoration had to increase MSRP post campaign.

    I think they're just now starting to get their dark tower orders shipped out, they do frequent updates on what they've got on their Facebook page, apparently they got a huge nemesis order in right before Dark Tower and that took most of their man power for a couple weeks. The level and quality of their communication on everything makes it seem like they're legit.

    I saw it in person at Boardlandia like a month or so ago. I hand it in my hands. Alas, I put it back and now I'm slightly kicking myself.

    Xbox Live, PSN & Origin: Vacorsis 3DS: 2638-0037-166
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    Kanden wrote: »
    I haven't gotten my order in yet, so can't speak from first hand experience. But I ordered a dark tower from The Game Steward. Ended up being like $10 less than MSRP after all said and done because Restoration had to increase MSRP post campaign.

    I think they're just now starting to get their dark tower orders shipped out, they do frequent updates on what they've got on their Facebook page, apparently they got a huge nemesis order in right before Dark Tower and that took most of their man power for a couple weeks. The level and quality of their communication on everything makes it seem like they're legit.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my copy of Fireball Island. But I also enjoy the theme and the aesthetic... Enough where I bought a giant crate to store it in, and then expanded that crate!

    Dark Tower looks quite a bit meatier.

    He/Him
  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited March 29
    I received my Return to Dark Tower pledge a few weeks ago. I've played it four times so far, 1 solo, and 3 duo games. I was hoping to get a 4-player game under my belt before writing up a review, but I'll throw some stuff out here.

    First, and primary feedback. DO NOT BUY THIS IF you're 60 years old, and looking to recapture the magic of your youth funneled through bits of cardboard and plastic. Return to Dark Tower takes inspiration from, but does not seek to replicate the old game. If you're going to set this on the table in front of people who are just going to complain that it's not the original Dark Tower, you're better off searching the internet for a working copy or facsimile of the original game. I'm starting here because every unfavorable review of the game I've read starts with someone heavily impacted by nostalgia.

    Second, I LOVE IT.

    It's one of the only board games I've played in the last few years where I'm actively hankering for the next game during the week. I love fantasy games with a lot of flavor. I love games with some complexity to it. And I love cooperative games. I'm also a sucker for premium components, and RtDT has these all in spades.

    I went all in with the Azkol's Fortune purchase, plus the neoprene play mat.

    Here's the shots of the boxes and the tower, as well as the set up for my first game with a friend:
    bbqdr259o9by.jpg
    jwrgas0y4ye3.jpg
    h69zsizdg0qu.jpg

    So let's talk about the actual game experience.

    First, the rules. When you look at the massive amount of stuff you're unpacking, it can be a bit overwhelming, but the rule book is surprisingly light. To compare, another game I play a lot, Wingspan, has a thicker rule book with more to reference. There's depth to the game, but the rules are impressively compact. All of the heavy lifting is done beautifully by the companion app, which I'll talk about later. For your average gamer, you should only need a few minutes to explain the rules, and most of it can be done as you set up the board.

    Getting the board set up only takes a few minutes. You'll place the Dark Tower at the center. The board is divided up into four kingdoms, one for each player. If you're playing with less than 4, the kingdoms without a player are dormant, but stuff still occurs around the board. There's events that might affect a player in a certain kingdom, but those are ignored if no one's actually in that seat, so you're not punished for having a lower player count. Each kingdom has a dominant terrain type: Forest, Hills, Desert, or Mountain, and the player will get advantages by taking actions in their favored terrain anywhere on the board. But since your starting kingdom has the most favorable terrain for you, you're a bit stronger when it comes to defending your own realm against the Dark Tower. Otherwise, kingdoms play identical. Each has one type of the four buildings: Sanctuaries, Citadels, Villages, and Bazaars. Then there's the cards for equipment (4 each of 6 types), a treasure deck (3 face up and a draw pile), and then the tokens for skulls, warriors, and spirit. Each player gets their own playmat for their character. And that's about it.

    To set up the scenario, you connect the app to the Tower. You can have it randomly select adversaries and the main quest, or you can pick. You pick a level 2, level 3, level 4, and main adversary, which will determine the monsters you fight in the game. Each monster has different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and each main adversary introduces new challenges. For example, one adversary will occasionally rain fire down on the board, destroying buildings or blocking paths. Another acts like an assassin which will target specific players and make their life very unhappy. The third I've played against causes plagues which mainly seemed to kill off a lot of your warriors. The game takes place over the course of 6 months. The first month gives each player 1 turn (thematically as the Tower starts to awaken), and then each month has a random numbers of turns. The ultimate goal is to complete the main quest in order to bring the main adversary onto the board, then defeat them before your lose the game.

    Losing the game happens if time runs out, if the supply runs out of skulls, or if one of the players becomes corrupted. Skulls are added to the board randomly through events, or via tower actions. They're placed on buildings in kingdoms, and if you get 4 skulls on a building, it's destroyed. When you lose a building in your kingdom, you get a corruption, and those skulls are removed from the game. Players can use actions to remove skulls from the game and return those to the supply. It's a neat mechanic because it can feel like you're doing ok with skulls, but as the months go on, if you're not careful about managing the skulls on the board and in the supply, things can snowball very quickly leading to a quick end. Players gain corruptions when they can't resolve a combat, event, or action, in addition to have a building in their kingdom destroyed. For example, if you're fighting a monster and you lose 10 warriors, but only have 5, you can't resolve that action so you take a corruption. Or an event (for the Brigand monster as an example), might occur telling players that anyone on or next to a Brigand loses a piece of equipment. If you have no equipment to lose, you take a corruption. Luckily, there are ways to remove corruptions. And corruptions aren't completely debilitating (they can make certain actions more expensive, reduce the amount of treasure or potions you can carry, or state things like "feral - you can't end your turn on a building"), but if you get three - Game Over!

    The main quest scenarios I've run feature things like having to collect 4 very specific treasures, recruit 100 warriors, or some other unique set of requirements. During the game, quests will also pop up during months 2-6. One quest is typically a "Do this to get this advantage". It could be recruiting a companion or earning a treasure than gives you a valuable edge in the scenario. For example, in the quest where you need to gather 4 specific treasures, you can complete a quest to get an item that will allow you to cycle through the treasure deck faster. Another quest is usually aimed at stopping the adversary from doing something bad to the game, like handing out corruptions, causing a plague that can kill your warriors, or destroying buildings will balls of fire. Players have to ask themselves, is it worth the extra turns and resources to complete a quest, or should you stay focused on managing skulls and monsters on the board, or directly working towards the main quest. Maybe? Maybe not.

    Anyway, getting on to how you actually play the game. One player starts, then play continues to the next player. The months have a random number of turns total (usually between 7-9), so each player doesn't always get the same amount of turns. But each month the first turn goes to the next player in line, so each player will get to start a month, and then play continues. There's a lot of decisions a player can make during their turn, but the turn order is very simple.

    You always start with a banner action, which is unique to each of the four characters. The warlord gains 5 warriors. The scion gains 1 spirit. The spymaster gets a free move to any space in the current kingdom. The treasure hunter gets a free potion. The next block of actions can happen in any order.

    You can move up to X spaces. Base movement is 3, but it can be modified. Before moving, you can pay 1 spirit to double your move. Movement can be done at any time, and you can break up your move however you wish during your turn. The only rule is you have to declare that double move before you decide to move.

    You have a heroic action which consists of: Battle a foe (using the app), cleanse a building (remove skulls back to the supply), or complete a quest. After you do your heroic action, you get 2 spirit. Spirit is an important resource you'll generally spend to gain advantages or items, so it's important to collect. You generally don't want to be in a position where you miss completing a heroic action.

    Battling a foe through the app is an awesome experience. This is where I think the game really shines. A huge amount of complexity is managed via the app. I can only imagine if you had to manage this in a more traditional way (which admittedly some people might prefer), the upkeep, tracking, and time added to the game would (in my opinion) be a big detractor. To combat a foe, you move to their location and hit the Battle button on the app. You select the foe. Each foe has a deck of cards you have to defeat. Depending on the level of the foe, you have to beat between 2 and 5 cards. The strength of these cards can also vary based on how deadly the foe is (foes get more deadly as time passes and they're not eliminated). Your character also has advantage points, which can be used to decrease the negative impacts of the cards. For example, a 3 (out of 5) point card might say, "Lose 10 warriors". You can spend an advantage to downgrade that card. The next step down might say, "Lost 5 warriors". Another point might decrease it to "No losses". You get advantages via character abilities, items, treasures, potions, or kingdom bonuses. Some things, like potions, might be single use, while other advantages can also be available for each fight. Advantages are also spread across different categories. An item might give you a melee or magic advantage, or stealth or against beasts. Different monsters are weak against different advantages, so thought has to be given to how you're building your character, or how you approach a battle to make sure you have the maximum advantage against these foes. Or heck, you can charge in face first and just be prepared to suffer a lot of losses...but hey, that's what reinforcing at villages is for! When you successfully battle a foe, you complete the battle on the app, and the foe is removed from the board.

    The app tracks all the foes, their power levels, cards, etc, removing a lot of the booking keeping from a game. So you get the advantage of extra depth without getting bogged down in complexity.

    The other action is to reinforce, which occurs at a building. Each building has a free action on it, or you can pay to get a bigger benefit. For example, at the village you can get 6 warriors. Or you can pay 1 spirit to get 12 instead. Citadels allow you to get potions or buy advantages for your character. Sanctuaries grant you spirit or allow you to pay to cleanse corruptions. Bazaars give you a free item, or you can pay to select a treasure.

    You then end your turn by taking a skull from the supply and dropping it in the Tower. That may activate the Tower, which causes events to happen. Events could be anything like a seal breaking on the tower (causing you to remove a specific door, opening up something unpleasant on the tower), adding enemies to the board, making the current enemies stronger, or adversary events (like causing a plague that kills your warriors). Enemies on the board might also take an action, such as "Add 1 skull to any building next to Y monster" or "If X monster is in a space with a building, destroy it". Or everyone's favorite...the Tower rotates and out flow a bunch of those skulls you've been dropping in, which are then placed on buildings in whatever kingdom they land.

    These events can feel random but are driven by the state of what's happening on the board, so you're never completely without agency.

    Throughout the game, players move around the board, fighting monsters, completing quests, claiming treasures, and recruiting companions. Like any cooperative adventure game, you have to balance board control with main objective progress with just flat out getting stronger. You can work hard to keep a board clean of skulls and monsters, but the clock is always ticking (at some points the tower actually makes an audible ticking sound), so if you're not making progress towards the main quest, you risk losing. As the months go by, the tower also grows in power, and gets nastier and nastier, so time is of the essence. However, if you're not also getting stronger each month, you might not have the skills required to defeat the main adversary.

    Anyway, this post is getting way longer than I intended, which speaks to just how much there is going on in this game. So I'll stop here for now.

    But if I had to sum up Return to Dark Tower, what I really love about it is it's a very deep and complex game that does such an amazing job of integrating the tower, app, and traditional components in a way that makes it very easy to teach and play. The cooperative elements are awesome, but the strengths of each character, combined with the need to balance protecting your kingdom versus working towards the collaborative goals leaves each player with a tremendous amount of agency. Coordination is rewarded, but I never felt like quarterbacking was a problem.

    If you're looking for a heavier weight cooperative game that feels a lot lighter due to the integration of the app, Return to Dark Tower nails it. It's easy to teach, easy to play, but contains a huge amount of depth so that each player should feel challenged and engaged. Plus, with all the options of foes, adversaries, and quests, the replay factor is incredibly high.

    Also, each game I've played took about 100 minutes to complete, but the game felt like it was moving very fast. Average turns per player in each game varied from 3 to 5 minutes (the app tracks all this:)). But since events between turns can impact you directly, it never felt like you weren't engaged with the board at all times. I would guess half the player turn time is spent specific to their actions, and half is spent reacting to all the mean things the Tower wants to do to you in response.

    ironzerg on
    DirtmuncherNipstyrantula22BloodySlothElvenshaeArmoroc
  • tyrantula22tyrantula22 Registered User regular
    edited March 29
    Athenor wrote: »
    My game store got in the KSE versions of Return to Dark Tower.

    I've never played the original and glossed over the kickstarter.

    ... but man is that an impressive monolith.

    So now I need to research if it is $250 worth of impressive monolith.

    A friend got his copy in just over a week ago. He had gone all in, so the bigger playmat and the minis vs using tokens (I understand the playmat was highly recommended if you got minis due to the extra space needed on the board). I've played it once so far. I thought it was really good. It's the first game I've played that is app based, but the app works extremely well. I think what the app does, and allows, makes some aspects of the game better than it would have otherwise been even.

    Now I think in large part, whether it's worth $250, is in part going to be whether you enjoy coops and are fine with app based games. The other part is unable to be truly known right now. And that is how the tower itself will hold up to time. It has to have lots of gears and things because it will shift/rotate internally during the game, making openings and such change around as the game goes. Assuming it's made well and that holds up, then great. If not, and they can break easily or (relatively) early in it's life, then maybe not so much.

    Edit: @ironzerg's post above is pretty spot on. I would agree with basically all of that. Can't wait to play again and that post didn't help!

    tyrantula22 on
    Battletag: Tyrantula22#1623
    Steam ID
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    Dashui wrote: »
    Kanden wrote: »
    I haven't gotten my order in yet, so can't speak from first hand experience. But I ordered a dark tower from The Game Steward. Ended up being like $10 less than MSRP after all said and done because Restoration had to increase MSRP post campaign.

    I think they're just now starting to get their dark tower orders shipped out, they do frequent updates on what they've got on their Facebook page, apparently they got a huge nemesis order in right before Dark Tower and that took most of their man power for a couple weeks. The level and quality of their communication on everything makes it seem like they're legit.

    I saw it in person at Boardlandia like a month or so ago. I hand it in my hands. Alas, I put it back and now I'm slightly kicking myself.

    I love Boardlandia! Big fan of them as an online FLGS and their ding n dent grab bag videos.

    I can't imagine what might take me up their way (I live in NC and no business takes me to Wisconsin) but I have their physical store marked on my map of I ever do get to the area.

    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
    Hedgethorn
  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited March 29
    Additional notes. The base game package is absolutely fabulous. I saw the original MSRP was going to be $150, but it looks like it's being sold for about $180.

    I would highly recommend giving the base package a shot first. Again, I went all in and the extras are fantastic. Zero regrets. The extra miniatures are beautiful, and the neoprene playmate is almost required if you want to use them because of the extra space. All in all, the add-ons make for a really tremendous experience.

    But the base game is stellar. The tower and the app are the difference makers here, and the stars of the show.

    I've also have not tried the expansion, and the reviews I've read say great things. Some people say negative things. But there is so much content in the original box that you'll likely see more expansions out before you get bored of it. This is one of those games were the base game feels so awesome, I'm not having any urges to unbox the expansion any time soon. Apparently, they're already working on more content for Dark Tower, so I think you'll benefit from buying the base game and waiting.

    So again, unless money really is no object, could not recommend more going with the base game versus the expanded set.

    Edit:

    On my lunch break, I set up some pictures to compare the minatures and the neoprene map with the base components. In my humble opinion, they work really well together. The minis take up a lot more room, and the playmap is a lot bigger than the default board. Even without the playmat, the minis do a great job of visually showing you what's going on, versus the cardboard tokens. Even without the minis, the playmat adds a bigger area, so the board is more impressive and feels less crowded as stuff gets on spaces.

    Again, something to consider, especially if you do grab the Azkol's Fortune bundle. You might also want to consider finding the playmat, but then you're pushing $400 for this game...which is a lot, even considering how awesome it is. I have the miniatures AND the tokens on spaces, but in a real game it's either or, not both.

    I included the haggle die next to a minature for some sense of scale. It's a standard D6.
    agzu21s93wps.jpg
    8oalbkouvjhe.jpg
    t3mm0lgrd78m.jpg

    ironzerg on
    tyrantula22ElvenshaeArmoroc
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    I really have not enjoyed being a backer for Dead Reckoning for the past year or so; the campaign was really frustrating to follow and AEG has not been very open or informative.

    That being said, Dead Reckoning the game arrived this past weekend and it absolutely fuckin slaps. I have my concerns about how long the sleeves for the card crafting system will last, but it comes with a bunch extra and either way, the game is fun as hell. I've had it for like 3 days and we've played it 5 times.

    Elvenshae
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited March 29
    Shit.

    I love coop games.

    I love app driven games.

    I also love big, pretty boxes.

    This sounds a lot like Power Rangers.

    Athenor on
    He/Him
    tyrantula22Elvenshae
  • tyrantula22tyrantula22 Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Shit.

    I love coop games.

    I love app driven games.

    I also love big, pretty boxes.

    This sounds a lot like Power Rangers.

    Power Rangers is quite possibly my favorite coop (and I'm not even a Power Rangers fan). It's one that is TRULY cooperative. Most coops you work towards the same goal and win/lose together but still play all individually, which is fine. I still like them. Power Rangers though you really have to cooperate and decide who fights together and all that. I love it. Dark Tower definitely still falls in the latter. But the app streamlines turns so well and allows the battle/quest mechanics to really shine and work smoothly. It's definitely a contender for a high ranked coop spot to me.

    Battletag: Tyrantula22#1623
    Steam ID
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    I hate that I know myself so well.

    vAmbAKRl.jpg


    ... the store sold through their 3 mats, and it doesn't look like they ordered any sleeves. So.. the hunt begins.

    He/Him
    Kandenironzergtyrantula22SeGaTaiElvenshaeWhelktzeentchling
  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    edited March 29
    Athenor wrote: »
    I hate that I know myself so well.

    vAmbAKRl.jpg


    ... the store sold through their 3 mats, and it doesn't look like they ordered any sleeves. So.. the hunt begins.
    If it's any consolation, this was the least surprised I've ever been by one of your posts. ;P

    ArcticLancer on
    Athenorwebguy20NipsVyolynceElvenshaetzeentchling
  • KandenKanden Registered User regular
    I wanna be able to talk myself into the enemy minis so bad, but like I've got Marvel United coming within the next couple weeks and I already don't know where I'll put that so I just can't.

  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    That's awesome. I hope you have as much fun with it as I am. Let us know what you think.

    tyrantula22Athenor
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    I will say this: I GREATLY appreciate games that account for the punchboard being removed. When you do, the game boxes fit perfectly without needing to put them below the game.

    The dark wash is appropriately dark... I'm debating if I want to paint the quest markers though.

    He/Him
    Magic Pink
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    I have a problem. Well.. a few problems.

    qEuSrbVh.jpg

    This isn't even all my non-standard sized boxes!

    He/Him
    ArcSynElvenshaetzeentchling
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    I have a problem. Well.. a few problems.

    qEuSrbVh.jpg

    This isn't even all my non-standard sized boxes!

    I only see solutions

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
    ElvenshaeCptHamiltonironzergSneaksironsizideArmoroc
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited March 30
    ironzerg wrote: »
    I received my Return to Dark Tower pledge a few weeks ago. I've played it four times so far, 1 solo, and 3 duo games. I was hoping to get a 4-player game under my belt before writing up a review, but I'll throw some stuff out here.

    First, and primary feedback. DO NOT BUY THIS IF you're 60 years old, and looking to recapture the magic of your youth funneled through bits of cardboard and plastic. Return to Dark Tower takes inspiration from, but does not seek to replicate the old game. If you're going to set this on the table in front of people who are just going to complain that it's not the original Dark Tower, you're better off searching the internet for a working copy or facsimile of the original game. I'm starting here because every unfavorable review of the game I've read starts with someone heavily impacted by nostalgia.

    Those reviews were probably written by the guy I sold my old copy of Dark Tower to in 2010. He was willing to pay $130 for it, so sure!

    Then I discovered just what sort of person is willing to shell out that kind of money for that kind of nostalgia. The game was complete, and I had up front listed all the conditions (mostly the box being busted). I get Ebay messages two days later screaming that I had lied and was ripping him off.

    The offense? Out of ALL the components, he was flipping out over the dragon missing its tongue.

    yqsc4rtisc3a.jpg

    It was so minor, I couldn't even tell or remember that there was supposed to be a tongue there in the first place. He kept sending messages that he was going to review bomb my account blah blah blah so I ended up just refunding him $15 and vowed to never get into the nostalgia selling market again.



    (okay, I lied. During the early pandemic, I was helping my parents clean out the basement and I discovered all my old video games. Turns out my playstation 2 collection included Rule of Rose, which was THE number 1 top collectible rare game at the time. Unopened copies were going for $1500. I managed to sell my good condition unopened for $900. That was the price I was willing to break my vow)

    MrBody on
    PowerpuppiesArcSynElvenshaeBursartzeentchlingBloodySlothArmoroc
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    We played our first game of Sleeping Gods last night. We're still like 2/3rds of the way through Betrayal Legacy and I've had a "One Legacy/Campaign Game At A Time" rule for a while but one of our Betrayal players travels for work and hasn't been available for over a month at this point so I figured having one for off-nights was alright.

    Anyway: it's a neat game but god damn are the rules a mess. The only game I can recall having rules this busted is going all the way back to Dragon Dice in the 1990's. Initially it seemed like a really positive rules experience. There's the rulebook, a quick-reference guide with what seems like all the pertinent rules, and then a whole introductory scenario/first-two-turns walkthrough that walks you step-by-step through the various systems.

    But then it just falls flat on its face, rules-wise.

    For example: every character in the game has their personal weapon printed on their character card in the bottom right corner. The walkthrough covers this, explaining that you've got stats there for your accuracy (to-hit, basically) bonus, your damage amount, and your block value. There's also a skill icon there next to your damage, like <damage number in a damage icon> + <skill icon with a little arrow that the game seems to use for 'discard'>. In the walkthrough it explicitly calls out this iconography, but says "Don't worry about this for now". Okay, sure. More complicated rule, we'll cover that later. Only we never do.

    Our first combat after the walkthrough we wonder, "Okay, what does that symbol mean?" and it took 4 of us collectively searching the rulebook, the reference sheet, the walkthrough, and Google for 10 full minutes to find the rule explaining that you can discard an equipped item with a matching skill icon to get a bonus to damage.

    This happened several times, though not quite as egregiously. "Oh, I need to discard 1 food. Uh..what is food? Is grain food? Or do I need to discard this Soup card? Have we just not gotten food yet? There's no Food entry in the index..."

    Aside from the really poorly laid-out rules, it seems like a solid little co-op story game. The combat mechanics are some of the most interesting I've seen in a board game, having incorporated hit locations, positioning, and splash damage into a diceless, gridless board game really cleverly. Turns are long but there's a lot of narrative to keep your attention on other players' turns and a lot of opportunities for you to use "your" characters to impact what's going on not on your turn. And there are always the same crew of 8 + 1 shared characters but no requirement players have the same characters assigned each game, so you can switch up which crew-members you're controlling between games. I think once we've gotten through enough turns that we don't have a new, difficult-to-answer rules question every turn it'll be a good time.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
    Elvenshae
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited March 31
    Speaking of shitty rule books...

    Picked up Code 3 yesterday. I'm a sucker for games that organically convey a fun theme, and I'm a sucker for 80s cop movies. Code 3 seemed right up my alley. It's a co-op with an Arkham Horror 3ed scenario based objective, and the randomized tile town of Ghost Stories. Each player picks an obvious stand-in character for an 80s movie cop. Recreate your own 80s buddy cop movie!

    We only got half a game done before we had to pack up. I can see potential and future games will go smoother, but it has some issues.

    There's a lot of fun stuff here. You can gather bonus citations for good work, or Internal Affairs heat for not playing by the book. Each game gets a random police chief for different effects (although only one of them, obviously modeled after archetypal angry chief Frank McRae, carries any kind of fun movie cliche). You can play as legally distinct Robocop, John McClane, Martin Riggs, Sipowicz (90s...), even Samurai Cop, a dog, and more!

    BUT

    (no actual spoilers, just hidden so this doesn't take up a whole page for people who aren't interested)
    First off the rulebook is awful. The entire 1st half is nothing but a component overview that tells you what a component does, but without explanation of what that means ("Motivation cubes can be spent to acquire Overtime tokens. Overtime tokens will be explained on page 19" uhhhh...thanks?). Then the 2nd half explains the actual turn and mechanics, but not the components. So you're constantly flipping between the two halves for complete explanations. It's like they saw how recent Fantasy Flight books were divided into "Quick start" and "Detailed rules" sections, but bungled it up.

    Worse, some important stuff just flat out isn't explained. Each turn, you draw 3 cards from your deck and place them face up for that turn. Each card has two stat values: investigation and patrol. You'll do an action that requires one of the two, and the book will say, "roll a number of dice equal to your patrol stat." Uhhhh...the patrol stat on one card? The total of the cards? The book never says. That's pretty important to know! One card seems way too low, and total seems too much. There's always a max of 6 dice, and there's almost no instance where you'd have fewer than 6 dice if you totaled the cards.

    Apparently there's an FAQ that clarifies things, but wow what a basic omission. It's a clear case of never testing with new players.

    For actual mechanics, I'm not a fan of how they handle each player's deck. I was imagining each player picks one cop, and you get to roleplay as buddy cop partners with your teammates. But each player actually picks 2 cops and combines their cards for a deck. So you're each playing a duo team. I think that hurts the theme in a game that's heavily relying on theme. I much would have rather that each person plays one cop each and really gets into the role. Sadly, there's no good way to house rule each player to one cop, since the game is designed around the deck size of two combined cops (to account for proper probability of bonus and penalty cards that get added later). Theoretically, you could get two copies and double each cop's individual deck...but what solution is that?

    Another theme fumble is the cards. Each one is supposed to reflect that cop's personality through a mechanic. A loose cannon type might get cards with special abilities to make sacrifices for high gains, reflecting cutting corners to "GET RESULTS!". But every card has the exact same portrait of the character, and the only thing to convey the action is tiny text description on the bottom. How hard would it have been to give each one its own illustration, or at least a cool name like Sentinels of the Multiverse did? You'll have a card with the generic portrait and tiny text saying something like "Gain 2 extra time on a radio call, but ignore patrol car and chief bonuses." How much more fun would it have been to give it a name like "No time for backup, I'm going in!" and illustration that shows you dropping your radio to rush in alone?

    I like the idea of gaining commendation bonuses and Internal Affairs penalties, but I don't think the mechanics for gaining them fit the theme. It should have been that playing by the book gets you commendations while cutting corners gets you reprimands. Instead, you get commendations from completing random missions and "IA heat" for failing them. So in practice it's the other way around, accepting penalties to cut corners lets you stack up commendations, while refusing high risk bonuses (doing it "by the book") increases the chances of failure and hence reprimands. Playing a loose cannon cop who cuts corners with those wussy "civil rights" to get the job done should be like taking debts or dark pacts in Eldritch Horror that will eventually catch up to you.

    I dunno. We're definitely playing it again (after going over the FAQ) and hopefully it will go smoother.

    MrBody on
    wonderpugElvenshae
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    Just played a 2 hour grind of Netrunner. It was glorious.

    I was playing my NBN deck against his Shaper. He was up 6-2 and had decent money makers, so set up a 3 ice server that would cost him 11 to get through (plus a tag from Funhouse). Installed a card.

    He calculated the cost and got his 11 together. Ran it. Bellona - which he can only steal if he pays 5. Spent all his money on the run, so no game winner for yooouuuuuu. I scored it next round.

    Cut to 3 rounds later. Installed another card on that server. He was running low on installed cards due to me wrecking some shit via tags and Retribution. But he had the 16 so he ran it. Spin Doctor. Sorry friends.

    A few more rounds later and I've installed a 4th unrezzed ice. He has 17. Unrezzed ice is a second Funhouse. He gets through it all, taking two tags along the way. Another Bellona. He only had 4 credits!

    With those two tags I wiped his resourced and killed his only ice breaker. Two rounds later that Bellona was mine for game.

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
    Athenortzeentchling
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    My mind just isn't geared for that kind of betrunner game. Tourneys needed you to play 2 games in less than an hour, so "slow" builds were not really feasible. Closest I ever got was when my Weyland deck went into glacier mode, and even then I would try to build it and score fast.

    He/Him
    CaptainPeacock
  • tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks OaklandRegistered User regular
    Honestly, that style of "drag the runner through a server only to find out the card isn't what you thought it was" is one of my favorite ways to play. Yellow glacier decks with Bellona are great for that. Just gotta watch out for Overclock money!

    CaptainPeacock
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I received a significant pile of Nemesis (and Nemesis: Lockdown) in the mail:
    8pe5v7vto2md.jpeg

    Gotta figure out where to even put it all...

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
    KandenNipsAthenorironzergCaptainPeacockMagic PinktzeentchlingElvenshae
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    I really like the weird mold aliens that came as a kickstarer exclusive. they're like angry cheese

    Elvenshae
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    Athenor wrote: »
    My mind just isn't geared for that kind of betrunner game. Tourneys needed you to play 2 games in less than an hour, so "slow" builds were not really feasible. Closest I ever got was when my Weyland deck went into glacier mode, and even then I would try to build it and score fast.

    Isn’t the game asymmetrical how did that work in tournaments? Was it like bring decks for each role, chose them at the start the same way you determine play draw in other card games?

    initiatefailure on
    Athenor
  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    My mind just isn't geared for that kind of betrunner game. Tourneys needed you to play 2 games in less than an hour, so "slow" builds were not really feasible. Closest I ever got was when my Weyland deck went into glacier mode, and even then I would try to build it and score fast.

    Isn’t the game asymmetrical how did that work in tournaments? Was it like being decks for each role, chose them at the start the same way you determine play draw in other card games?
    You had an hour to play a set, which was one game each as Runner and Corp. IIRC you just flipped for which you played first, with the possibility of in later rounds the player with the winning or losing record deciding which they wanted to play first.
    Honestly it was fine, minus the period in time where Replicating Perfection and The Future Perfect was everywhere. Those games crawled ... Anyway, unfinished sets weren't that common all told.

    CaptainPeacock
  • DirtmuncherDirtmuncher Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    I received a significant pile of Nemesis (and Nemesis: Lockdown) in the mail:
    8pe5v7vto2md.jpeg

    Gotta figure out where to even put it all...

    Yeah after getting my all in pledge I am now debating which one I am gonna sell, nemesis or lockdown.

    Dirtmuncher on
    steam_sig.png
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    I received a significant pile of Nemesis (and Nemesis: Lockdown) in the mail:
    8pe5v7vto2md.jpeg

    Gotta figure out where to even put it all...

    Yeah after getting my all in pledge I am now debating which one I am gonna sell, nemesis or lockdown.

    i got bot all-ins down to one box so i kept 'em both

  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    I just saw that the Terraforming Mars card game, Ares Expedition, has its expansions up on Kickstarter... along with a big box option.

    I really needed to evaluate my life last night when looking at a big box for Dungeon Drop. I just.. I just have to walk away.

    He/Him
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