Board games anyone?

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Tyndmyr
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:57 am UTC

Adacore wrote:So, err, yeah. Anyone have any great ideas/recommendations? In addition to the above, I'd also be cool with picking up basically any game that people think is a fundemental gap in our collection, or any expansions to the games listed that you think are must-have.


Village. It's a worker placement game, and it's quite different from Carcassone, so it's not really like anything in your current library. Has solid play depth, with multiple strategies, and the game changing subtly as you move up from two to four players. It's also not bad to pick up....if you guys can handle Arkham Horror, which has some complexity to it, this will be no sweat.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:25 pm UTC

has anyone played the D%D series of board games? Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, etc?

I tried Wrath for the first time over the weekend. There were good and bad things. Good, it was interesting, and felt somewhat like Hero Quest - which is what I wanted. It also doesn't require a GM, so you can do co-operative without having someone be the bad guy.

The bad - Rules were poorly written, and left gaps and gray areas. The biggest problem - encounter cards. The game felt less like dungeon delving and adventuring, and more like stumbling from one disaster to another. We lost probably twice or three times as much hp to traps and such compared to fighting monsters. It wasn't 'hey, we get to explore something new', it was always 'uggg, another freaking encounter card'. Unless we misread the rules(again, not written very clearly), we drew probably 75% of the encounter deck on the 3rd mission to recover some dude's gear.

Overall, I liked the idea, but the execution wasn't great. The game just wasn't that fun. Late game especially, it felt tedious.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:04 pm UTC

emceng wrote:has anyone played the D%D series of board games? Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, etc?

I tried Wrath for the first time over the weekend. There were good and bad things. Good, it was interesting, and felt somewhat like Hero Quest - which is what I wanted. It also doesn't require a GM, so you can do co-operative without having someone be the bad guy.

The bad - Rules were poorly written, and left gaps and gray areas. The biggest problem - encounter cards. The game felt less like dungeon delving and adventuring, and more like stumbling from one disaster to another. We lost probably twice or three times as much hp to traps and such compared to fighting monsters. It wasn't 'hey, we get to explore something new', it was always 'uggg, another freaking encounter card'. Unless we misread the rules(again, not written very clearly), we drew probably 75% of the encounter deck on the 3rd mission to recover some dude's gear.

Overall, I liked the idea, but the execution wasn't great. The game just wasn't that fun. Late game especially, it felt tedious.


I've played Castle Ravenloft - it's a reasonable attempt to convert 4th Ed D&D rules into a board game (or to do a board game using 4th Ed D&D terminology) but, yeah, like 4th Ed generally, it's just not fun

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:26 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
clockworkmonk wrote:So, on August 2-4, Board Game Bash is occurring in Austin Texas. It is three days, nonstop, of board games, along with organized events, a flea market of sorts, and a large amount of free open play.
Of all the times for me to be out of town! Argh.


There is a weekly board game meetup every Tuesday at the Rockin Tomato on South Lamar and Manchaca, starting at 6, in case you were looking for a regular board game thing.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:26 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:I've played Castle Ravenloft - it's a reasonable attempt to convert 4th Ed D&D rules into a board game (or to do a board game using 4th Ed D&D terminology) but, yeah, like 4th Ed generally, it's just not fun


I've played it as well. It seems...odd. Like the fact that things generally target an entire tile, but movement happens at a lower granularity than the tile just feels strange. It's not quite a bad game, but I've had no urge to ever play it again, so it sat in my basement, and I play just about anything. I guess I'd say it just seems to have too much detail for the level of complexity in actual gameplay. Some games have emergent complexity from fairly simple rules...I tend to enjoy these a lot more.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:19 pm UTC

Is there a good guide for Race for the Galaxy? The rulebook is pretty good, but there are a few things I need to get figured out.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:46 pm UTC

I haven't seen one, but BoardGameGeeks has good stuff. What in particular were you struggling with?

My sense is that it's worth being patient; spending a few turns exploring until you have what amounts to good card combos is better than putting down shit and trying to work around it. It's also worth sticking to a plan; if you draw a good gene card, don't hold onto that alien battle cruiser in hopes of being able to rock it.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:43 pm UTC

I'm struggling a little with the trade/consume produce thing.

So on produce, every production planet gets a good? And if you pick the thing, you get one on a windfall world?

So then on trade, you can only consume once, or what? Like if I have 5 planets, but only one with a thing that I can trade stuff in, I trade in one good, and that's it? And if I have three planets with trade-ins, I can do three?
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby ConMan » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:45 pm UTC

emceng wrote:I'm struggling a little with the trade/consume produce thing.

So on produce, every production planet gets a good? And if you pick the thing, you get one on a windfall world?

Yes to both. And if you have a world or development that has the "produce on a windfall" symbol, then that applies whether or not you picked produce.
emceng wrote:So then on trade, you can only consume once, or what? Like if I have 5 planets, but only one with a thing that I can trade stuff in, I trade in one good, and that's it? And if I have three planets with trade-ins, I can do three?

If you chose Consume/Trade, then you consume one good, then you use the trade ability of every one of your worlds that has one until you are unable to, in the order that you choose (so if you have three goods and two "1 good -> 1 VP" abilities, pick two of the goods to trade; if you have 1 blue good and two others, and one "1 good -> 1 VP" ability and one "1 blue good -> 1 VP" ability, if you choose to use the blue good for the generic ability first you obviously can't trade any more). Importantly, if you *can* trade then you *must*.

Have you downloaded the AI version? It's quite good at teaching the game, and the AI is brutal enough that if you play long enough you'll get quite good at the game (or horribly frustrated).
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Adacore » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:40 pm UTC

Thanks for all the game recommendations last month. Here are some initial reviews on the stuff I ended up getting:

Hanabi - this is really pretty cool. The mechanics of being able to see other people's hands but not your own create a very interesting combination of memory, logic and psychology puzzle, in a way I've never seen before in a game - it's pretty taxing, mentally, to keep all that going, and we generally want to take a break after a couple of games, but that's fine. My best friend loves it (I played it with her and her boyfriend, and she made the point of coming to our game night for the first time in months just so she could play it again). The game came in a small metal box, and is easily transportable. Works just as well with any number of players (2-5).

Forbidden Island - fun, relatively light co-op game, also works well with anything from 2-4 players. Seems pretty luck-based, but not too much to make it un-fun. Once you work out the mechanics of how the 'waters rise' cards interact with the game, it doesn't have as much depth as it first appears, but is still pretty enjoyable.

Love Letter - the backstory is ridiculous, but the actual gameplay mechanics make it a fun, light game to play when our brains are fried. Sixteen cards and a small (not really vital) pack of tokens mean it's extremely transportable (I can just slip it in my pocket). Doesn't really work with 2 people, best with 4 players, but fine with 3.

Resistance: Avalon - only played this a couple of times with 5 players. It was fun, but felt like it wasn't quite balanced with 5. We figured it would work much better with 7-10 people.

Oh, and we do actually have Wizard already, although not at 'game night'. It's the game that afore-mentioned best friend always has in her purse on a night out.

All in all I'm pretty satisfied with those additions. They're all very easy to transport, we now have co-op games, and Avalon is a second game suitable for large numbers of players. I've not played my Ticket to Ride expansions (I got the Europa 1912 and Asia map expansion sets) enough to comment, but the Asia map seems like it'll play pretty differently from the Europe one, and obviously the teamplay version will be very different.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby 3fj » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:35 am UTC

Had a weird experience today. Tried to buy a game on Amazon, and it was faffing me about and cancelling orders and such. Reached out to my local tabletop/comic book shop via Facebook messenger and had one held back for me in the space of 3 minutes. Since when was shopping in real life easier than the internet?

Anyways, a question. I'm about to buy the Android Netrunner base set. If there's the possibility of buying some of the expansion decks right off the bat, I'm thinking of getting one or two. Which are the best to buy having never played the game before? (I heard Creation and Control was a good shout?)
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Chen » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:31 pm UTC

ConMan wrote:If you chose Consume/Trade, then you consume one good, then you use the trade ability of every one of your worlds that has one until you are unable to, in the order that you choose (so if you have three goods and two "1 good -> 1 VP" abilities, pick two of the goods to trade; if you have 1 blue good and two others, and one "1 good -> 1 VP" ability and one "1 blue good -> 1 VP" ability, if you choose to use the blue good for the generic ability first you obviously can't trade any more). Importantly, if you *can* trade then you *must*.


I think you're confusing Trade with Consume. Trading is the 1 good you trade directly for cards (based on its color and any bonus trade abilities you have) and can only be done when you choose consume/trade (barring a few cards that let you trade on any consumes I believe). Consume abilities are the other ones where you consume to produce victory points/cards etc. These abilities need to be done after you Consume/Trade or Consume VP x2. Note that when you Consume/Trade you must trade first, then use all your consume abilities. Trade abilities are the $ ones and I believe Consume are the IV ones.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:09 pm UTC

Ok, so not I'm more confused.

Let's say I have 5 worlds. 3 blue, 1 green, one yellow. I pick Trade. Two blue worlds have $->card. If I trade in a good for cards, do I get the bonus from both, or just one? Do I only get the bonus if I sell the good on THAT world?

Let's say on those worlds, ONE has blue -> victory point. I can only trade in ONE blue good for one VP, correct? So if I have 5 production worlds, and only 3 consume things, I end up with two worlds still holding goods at the end of the turn.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:15 pm UTC

It's my understanding you can only use one trade ability per turn. You will then consume, and MUST use every consume ability that can be met.

I also believe you can trade irrespective of the abilities presented on your cards, but the cards that display trade abilities represent bonuses. So if you have two cards down with a trade ability, and you played Trade, you would select one of them to use.

And yes to your hypothetical.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:05 pm UTC

Ok, thanks. I think I'm getting it, but sometimes still a little confused. Now I just need people to play with.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Chen » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:31 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:It's my understanding you can only use one trade ability per turn. You will then consume, and MUST use every consume ability that can be met.

I also believe you can trade irrespective of the abilities presented on your cards, but the cards that display trade abilities represent bonuses. So if you have two cards down with a trade ability, and you played Trade, you would select one of them to use.

And yes to your hypothetical.


You apply ALL trade powers when you trade your single good with Consume/Trade. So if you had two worlds with $->Blue+1, and you traded a blue card you'd get an additional 2 cards.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Xanthir » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:57 pm UTC

Yes. When you Consume/Trade, you take one trade action, but all your trade bonuses apply. (In other words, the trade icons on each card are not denoting individual actions you can take, but rather just the bonus you get from that card when you trade.)

Consume is different, as explained - after anyone who's Trading has done so, everyone then Consumes as much as possible. You can choose the order in which you run your consume powers, which might result in you not being able to run all of them, even if you could do if you chose a different order - there's no requirement to be "optimal" or anything. Each Consume power can be used exactly once, unless it has a multiplier on it (some powers can be used 2 or 3 times).
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby BoomFrog » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:37 am UTC

3fj wrote:Anyways, a question. I'm about to buy the Android Netrunner base set. If there's the possibility of buying some of the expansion decks right off the bat, I'm thinking of getting one or two. Which are the best to buy having never played the game before? (I heard Creation and Control was a good shout?)

You should probably stick to just the core to start and if you like the game you will probably get sucked into buying a second core and one of each expansion. If you are really trying to save money you could use a deck builder online than only buy the ones you want cards from. But they did a pretty good job of spreading out the cards in each set. The expansions are to keep it fresh each month, but you don't need that starting out.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:06 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:It's my understanding you can only use one trade ability per turn. You will then consume, and MUST use every consume ability that can be met.

I also believe you can trade irrespective of the abilities presented on your cards, but the cards that display trade abilities represent bonuses. So if you have two cards down with a trade ability, and you played Trade, you would select one of them to use.

And yes to your hypothetical.


You apply ALL trade powers when you trade your single good with Consume/Trade. So if you had two worlds with $->Blue+1, and you traded a blue card you'd get an additional 2 cards.

Noooooooooooo shit... I've definitely been playing wrong.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:54 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Chen wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:It's my understanding you can only use one trade ability per turn. You will then consume, and MUST use every consume ability that can be met.

I also believe you can trade irrespective of the abilities presented on your cards, but the cards that display trade abilities represent bonuses. So if you have two cards down with a trade ability, and you played Trade, you would select one of them to use.

And yes to your hypothetical.


You apply ALL trade powers when you trade your single good with Consume/Trade. So if you had two worlds with $->Blue+1, and you traded a blue card you'd get an additional 2 cards.

Noooooooooooo shit... I've definitely been playing wrong.


Yeah, holy shit was that powerful. Played one game, and one guy got out a $->blue +3(on this planet only), then three other planets that gave him +1.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Chen » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:20 pm UTC

Its rare I'll build specifically for trade bonuses but they do come in handy. I think the one cheaper development "Galactic Advertisers" is a nice boost to Consume Trade. I believe its a generic +2 to trade but also gives a Card whenever you consume so its a net +3. Pretty strong for I believe 3 cost.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:15 pm UTC

So I played Innovation recently. First game was a 3 person game. I got agricultural to start, and that got me 2-3 achievements very early, which got me the win later on. Overall it was interesting - though I think we played one part of it wrong with the attack abilities.

Second game(4 man) I just got crushed. I basically couldn't keep cards on the table. Opponents got their cards splayed, but I couldn't do much because every ability I had was getting copied by everyone else, and then they did abilities that made me lose the few cards I did have out. I ended the game with only 2 cards on the table.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby b.i.o » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:25 pm UTC

emceng wrote:Second game(4 man) I just got crushed. I basically couldn't keep cards on the table. Opponents got their cards splayed, but I couldn't do much because every ability I had was getting copied by everyone else, and then they did abilities that made me lose the few cards I did have out. I ended the game with only 2 cards on the table.

Were you remembering to draw the extra card you get when someone copies one of your abilities?

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:13 pm UTC

b.i.o wrote:
emceng wrote:Second game(4 man) I just got crushed. I basically couldn't keep cards on the table. Opponents got their cards splayed, but I couldn't do much because every ability I had was getting copied by everyone else, and then they did abilities that made me lose the few cards I did have out. I ended the game with only 2 cards on the table.

Were you remembering to draw the extra card you get when someone copies one of your abilities?


Yeah, but I didn't want to do that usually. Since I was so far behind on cards in the field, every time I took an action all three other players would get to do it too. That felt counterproductive. Played games with that group last night, and it sounds like we weren't doing something right anyway.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:32 pm UTC

For those USA Americans shopping on black Friday, Barnes and Noble has a buy one, get one 50% deal right now, possibly through December 2nd or 3rd. Plus 'BFRIDAY30' let's you take 30% off one item. and the deal stacks. Got $150 in board games for $91. Though compared to amazon, only saved about $20.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Adacore » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:24 am UTC

I got a load of new games in January (delayed Christmas presents, basically): 7 Wonders, Village, Agricola and Kingdom Builder. They all seem to be pretty much exactly what I wanted out of them, which is nice.

7 Wonders works very well for out game night setup: it can be played with anything from 3 to 7 players, and fairly consistently takes about an hour to play, regardless of number of players. I'm not sure how balanced the wonders are (Halikarnassos seems very powerful), but it's certainly fun, with just the right amount of depth and replayability to work for both our core gaming group and any newbies that happen to come along. The only downside I can see is that having an experienced player sitting between weaker/new players results in a powerful advantage for the expert, as they get far fewer useful cards denied to them. Scoring highly seems as dependent on how well the people choosing cards before you play as it is on how well you play yourself.

Village is fun, and different. We've not played it much yet, so we're only just getting a handle on how the game balance works, but it seems quite deep and I've already thought of a few different strategies I might try out next time we play. I wouldn't want to take it to game night purely because of the large number of tiny wooden cubes involved, and the fact that it's important not to lose them. Time-wise it can be played in 60-90 minutes, probably faster if someone goes for a rush strategy and forces the game to end early (which is one of my ideas for next time we play).

Agricola is so famous you've probably all played it already, but it's certainly a fun game, deserving of its reputation, albeit maybe a little overhyped. We've only played with either the basic card decks or no cards at all thus far. It feels to me like the cards add just a little too much random chance to the game; if you get a very good hand that synergizes and ramps up well (and you don't brag about it so much that everyone realizes you need to be shut down) then you have a hard time losing. The 'family version' with the cards removed seems a lot more objectively strategic, although significantly less varied and fun. It'll be interesting to try the interaction and complex card decks, though, and see how they change things. Probably a little too long to work for our game night, but a fun weekend game.

Kingdom Builder is a simpler game, but I actually really like it. You put 3 houses on the board each turn (or 4/5 once you gain some abilities) to try and fulfill four objectives to score points. The thing that makes it really interesting is that the board and the objectives change every game. There are 8 different boards, and you select 4 to place randomly, so the number of possible board setups is around 9000, assuming my maths is good. For the objectives, cities is always present, but there are 10 cards, of which you choose 3 (for 120 different scoring options), and which objectives are in play significantly change the strategy for any given game. What I'm basically trying to say with all that is that this seems to offer very good replayability, despite being a relatively simple mechanic. It's also quick to setup, takes under an hour to play and is fairly easy to teach new players, so it's great for game nights. There's not a huge amount of depth, and if you get a very bad draw you can be screwed out of any chance of winning, but it's not a major problem.

I've basically decided to pick up every Spiel des Jahres main prize and complex prize winner since 2008. So far I have: Agricola, Dominion, Dixit, 7 Wonders, Village, Kingdom Builder and Hanabi. I'm missing Qwirkle, Keltis and Legends of Andor. I also have Ticket to Ride (2004 winner), Carcassonne (2001 winner) and Settlers of Catan (1995 winner). All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about my collection, and might stop adding much to it except expansions to the games I already have, for a while at least. It's starting to take up quite a bit of space...

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Jorpho » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:49 am UTC

Adacore wrote:Agricola is so famous you've probably all played it already, but it's certainly a fun game, deserving of its reputation, albeit maybe a little overhyped. We've only played with either the basic card decks or no cards at all thus far. It feels to me like the cards add just a little too much random chance to the game; if you get a very good hand that synergizes and ramps up well (and you don't brag about it so much that everyone realizes you need to be shut down) then you have a hard time losing. The 'family version' with the cards removed seems a lot more objectively strategic, although significantly less varied and fun. It'll be interesting to try the interaction and complex card decks, though, and see how they change things. Probably a little too long to work for our game night, but a fun weekend game.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Adacore » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:05 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:The first time I played the game, someone insisted on taking out Ratcatcher. Not sure why.

In the most recent game we played I won partly because of the Ratcatcher. I didn't have it, but someone else did, and he revealed it after everyone but me had grown their families, so I got hurt less by the late family growth, and also got to time my growth for maximum impact avoiding the Ratcatcher spots.

There was an insane wood shortage that game, though, because literally all the other players but me had bonuses from taking wood, so it was really hard to get enough resources to expand your wooden hut. I, however, had a bonus on taking clay, so renovated as early as possible and managed to make a big clay hut while the others were fighting over wood, allowing me to grow the family twice in a row with no competition, which definitely helped.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Thadlerian » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:43 am UTC

Adacore wrote:7 Wonders works very well for out game night setup: it can be played with anything from 3 to 7 players, and fairly consistently takes about an hour to play, regardless of number of players. I'm not sure how balanced the wonders are (Halikarnassos seems very powerful), but it's certainly fun, with just the right amount of depth and replayability to work for both our core gaming group and any newbies that happen to come along. The only downside I can see is that having an experienced player sitting between weaker/new players results in a powerful advantage for the expert, as they get far fewer useful cards denied to them. Scoring highly seems as dependent on how well the people choosing cards before you play as it is on how well you play yourself.

Village is fun, and different. We've not played it much yet, so we're only just getting a handle on how the game balance works, but it seems quite deep and I've already thought of a few different strategies I might try out next time we play. I wouldn't want to take it to game night purely because of the large number of tiny wooden cubes involved, and the fact that it's important not to lose them. Time-wise it can be played in 60-90 minutes, probably faster if someone goes for a rush strategy and forces the game to end early (which is one of my ideas for next time we play).

7 Wonders is very solid, as it is brief and friendly to new players. I agree that you get a "Holy Carnassus" feeling when you think about the possibilities of Halikarnassos, but after 40-odd games my experience is that it's not that overpowered. If you play on the B-side you do get 3 extra buildings, but keep in mind that the discard pile is likely to contain only junk anyway, especially when players get experienced. And the B-side holds only 3 victory points. It's very easy to get burned.

If you want to talk about unbalanced, look at the B-side of Giza: 20 victory points, and requires you to build up a resource-heavy infrastructure in the first age, which means you can afford most of the expensive military and civil buildings as well by the third age. I got more than 70 points with Giza once, the highest I've seen. We've actually banned it in some games.

The Village is awesome. I've played it twice, and am amazed at the number of viable strategies. I like to compare it to the much hyped Terra Mystica, which I've played a lot lately: Terra Mystica feels so dry in comparison with the more "juicy" The Village.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby drego642 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:04 pm UTC

I was lucky that my local University has an active gaming club, which I'm still involved in after graduating. A couple of my favourites are:

Settlers of Catan
Carcassone
Munchkin
Pandemic
Smallworld
Dominion
Ascension

There are a bunch of others I keep meaning to try (Ticket to Ride, for instance) but never got the chance.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:44 pm UTC

Just picked up the On The Brink expansion for Pandemic. Can't wait to play it with friends. I want to be the bio-terrorist and troll my friends!

I'd like to get Elder Sign: Omens, having played the android version on my phone. But it seems hard to get.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:01 pm UTC

Thadlerian wrote:If you want to talk about unbalanced, look at the B-side of Giza: 20 victory points, and requires you to build up a resource-heavy infrastructure in the first age, which means you can afford most of the expensive military and civil buildings as well by the third age. I got more than 70 points with Giza once, the highest I've seen. We've actually banned it in some games.


The consensus on BoardGameGeek is that Halikarnassos B is the strongest Wonder/side from the base game.

If you're going heavy resources, then other players should be doing something with those picks that gives them at least as much of an advantage - otherwise, they're playing badly.

What it sounds to me like you're saying is that Giza B pushes you into playing in a way that would still be good with a different Wonder - is it really the case that a player with Rhodes B, for example, can't get an extra 10-12 points from the extra two cards he's not using to build Wonder stages?

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Adacore » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:04 pm UTC

The interesting thing is, I think the game is still balanced even if the wonders are objectively not balanced (although not if they're very unbalanced, but I don't think they are). Because what wonder people have is public information, so if one wonder is accepted as stronger, the other players can target that player proportionally more to counteract the effect.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Thadlerian » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:11 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The consensus on BoardGameGeek is that Halikarnassos B is the strongest Wonder/side from the base game.

If you're going heavy resources, then other players should be doing something with those picks that gives them at least as much of an advantage - otherwise, they're playing badly.

What it sounds to me like you're saying is that Giza B pushes you into playing in a way that would still be good with a different Wonder - is it really the case that a player with Rhodes B, for example, can't get an extra 10-12 points from the extra two cards he's not using to build Wonder stages?

People of Boardgamegeek say all sorts of strange stuff, I've been there. Maybe they're right, I only recently started to note what cities people play on the scoring boards to make statistics. But I think my point is a strong one: Halikarnassos is very situational, and requires other players to be unaware of the city's ability, just like science is powerful if people are unaware that it is.

If you want to talk about how much you can get out of the cards using to build a wonder: Keep in mind that the cards you use for the Halikarnassos wonder are essentially high value known second or third age cards that you trade for low value unknown first or second age cards (unless, of course, you complete the wonder on your final turn, but that's just one card).

As for Giza, the thing is that the Giza wonder is safe points. There aren't very many options for getting over 60 points, it hasn't happened often in my experience. With Giza, you're already 1/3 on the way, you just need a somewhat steady supply of basic resources. And you know from turn 1 that's what you should spend the first age on. If you're relying on science or civil, you need to know your path nearly from the onset, and get the cards in desired orders, and be able to acquire multiple grey resources - which is OK if you've built them in the early ages, and prohibitively expensive (or flat out impossible) if you haven't.

Science is extremely dependent on luck. People make it into a big deal about neighbors blocking cards and strategy and whatever, but all it takes is for chance to bundle 3-4 complementary science cards together in one hand (which, at the small sample sizes we're looking at, is a fairly likely occurrence), and the strategy is a no-go.

Giza gives a predictable path to high scores. It is of course possible to do it with other cities, but you need to be lucky. The Giza player needs to be specifically unlucky to fail to get high scores.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Adacore » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:49 am UTC

Thadlerian wrote:If you want to talk about how much you can get out of the cards using to build a wonder: Keep in mind that the cards you use for the Halikarnassos wonder are essentially high value known second or third age cards that you trade for low value unknown first or second age cards (unless, of course, you complete the wonder on your final turn, but that's just one card).

I can't think of a reason you'd ever play Halikarnassos and not save the final stage until your last turn. Even in the worst-case situation that you wanted to build a card from your final hand of two, you could still build the final stage and play your other card with the special ability, but there's a reasonable chance you'll be able to pick up a guild or a high-value victory points card that you would otherwise have missed out on. I'd try to build the first stage of Halikarnassos with my final play in the 2nd Age, for a free 2nd Age card, then build the second stage at some point when there isn't a great selection in the 3rd Age, saving the final stage until the end of the game. It also has the advantage of rewarding delayed construction, where for every other wonder in the game except Giza it's advantageous to build a stage or two as early as possible, which forces most other wonder builders into difficult early-game choices on whether to do a sub-optimal rush for their wonder over taking the best available card.

Thadlerian wrote:As for Giza, the thing is that the Giza wonder is safe points. There aren't very many options for getting over 60 points, it hasn't happened often in my experience. With Giza, you're already 1/3 on the way, you just need a somewhat steady supply of basic resources. And you know from turn 1 that's what you should spend the first age on. If you're relying on science or civil, you need to know your path nearly from the onset, and get the cards in desired orders, and be able to acquire multiple grey resources - which is OK if you've built them in the early ages, and prohibitively expensive (or flat out impossible) if you haven't.

It's very possible, and indeed fairly easy in most setups, to deny a Giza B player the chance of finishing their wonder, or at least make it extremely expensive for them, if all (or even most) of the other players consider it to be a major threat. For Giza B you need 4 stone, 3 brick and 2 wood - in a 7 player game there are 4 different cards (one with 2 copies) in Age 1 and 1 card in Age 2 (with 2 copies) that generate each resource, plus three copies of Caravansery in Age 2. If everyone thinks Giza is too strong, you can bet anything that the other players are going to deny you the Quarries unless you either start with one or the player to your right starts with both in Age 2. So you're either reliant on your neighbour(s) having stone, or you're planning on building 3 out of 5 available cards in Age 1, and also managing to get a Caravansery. You don't have to do the maths to work out that playing 3 of 5 options is basically impossible unless the cards fall perfectly for you, especially since stone and brick are the two most contested resources, so will be the first to be taken (B-side wonders require 14 stone, 11 brick, 10 wood and 8 gold in total, and that's not counting the stone twice for Giza, which would bring it up to 17). Sure, with a fair bit of luck all the cards will fall to you and you'll have no problem finishing it, but I can't see it being reliable if the other people know what they're doing.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:58 pm UTC

What sort of point totals are you guys achieving? My group usually competes in the 40-60 range, 60 being a pretty impressive turn out.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Adacore » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:29 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:What sort of point totals are you guys achieving? My group usually competes in the 40-60 range, 60 being a pretty impressive turn out.

Yeah, that sounds about right for the games we've played. I hit 62 with Halikarnassos B with relative ease in the first game we played with it, and one of my friends got 65 in another game (Alexandria, going science-heavy and having the cards fall nicely), which I think is the highest I've seen. The winner seems to mostly be in the ~55 point region, with anyone who played competently and didn't get screwed over getting at least 40 points in most of our games. I think the points average is dropping, though, as we're learning the importance and strategy of denying important resources to other players, which naturally reduces the total points accumulated overall. I feel like scores much over 50 will be unusual with a group of experienced players.

In one of our more recent games, a complete novice player with Rhodes totally destroyed everyone because the people next to her had to buy resources from her constantly. Somehow the way the trade buildings worked out, all the money on the table ended up flowing to Rhodes, and she ended the game with almost every coin token. I don't remember if her score was in the 50s or 60s, though.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:45 pm UTC

Have you tried leaders? It adds a fun twist of enhanced flexibility, both with leaders that increase your first turn coin total (Crosus) and leaders that affect the point paradigms you chase (Socrates)
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Adacore » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:23 pm UTC

Nope, no expansions. I'll probably pick it up in May, when I'm back in the UK next. I don't really want to mess around with getting it shipped to Korea.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:21 pm UTC

The thing with Halikarnassos B is that it doesn't cost you any cards to build it - yes, the card you build is typically chosen from that Age's discards, meaning it's one that other players were unwilling or unable to build, but, particularly in Age III, that "unable" bit means some pretty juicy cards end up discarded (also, if Halikarnassos B ends up having to discard - typically because they need money - they can guarantee their stage bonus will be at least as good as the card they discard...)

The thing about 7 Wonders is that there are no bad cards - there are situations in which a given card has no value for you (your fifth stone resource), but those are pretty rare - and then it'll be in demand somewhere else. In the worst case, Hali B lets you build your 6th card of each Age without worrying about its resource cost (assuming you can pay for the Wonder stage) in addition to getting the free points for the Wonder stages themselves.


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