Board games anyone?

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Vaniver » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:39 pm UTC

Thadlerian wrote:Another new game: Alhambra. Build a palace in Muslim Spain. Very simple rules, very easy to get into. Classic eurogame - few conflicts, hard to predict the winner until the end, but some competition. Plays like an even simpler hybrid of Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne. Just a little too simple for my tastes, but as I said a great entry into eurogames.
Alhambra is okay. I dislike the "pay exact change and go again" mechanic, though.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby BoomFrog » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:33 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Alhambra is okay. I dislike the "pay exact change and go again" mechanic, though.
I like that mechanic, it makes different values of money and different tiles more appealing to different players, which I think is a good thing. Why don't you like that mechanic, because it's illogical that smaller values of money could be more valuable?
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:56 pm UTC

La strada. Awesome awesome awesome.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Vaniver » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:14 am UTC

BoomFrog wrote:I like that mechanic, it makes different values of money and different tiles more appealing to different players, which I think is a good thing. Why don't you like that mechanic, because it's illogical that smaller values of money could be more valuable?
It adds an element of randomness that I don't think makes the game significantly better. It is good that it makes tile values vary like that, but the scoring system (and wall arrangement and so on) also have that effect, so I'm not sure another thing that does that is worthwhile.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby marcel » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:16 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:For starters, the ship upgrades don't make a lot of sense; if you upgrade from the Marauder starting ship to the Marauding upgrade ship (Sloop to the Frigate, I believe?), you actually diminish your ability to successfully capture NPC merchants by one, while increasing your cargo carrying capacity by one. This isn't much of a trade off, considering as a Marauder, you're primarily interested in scoring victory points and gold, not cargo, so maneuverability is most important (Sloop has 4, Frigate has 3). Given that the Sloop is fairly weak, and will be destroyed after 1-3 NPC merchant raids, marauding isn't a particularly favorable route to take, even with pirate happy captains. This is further compounded in ship-ship combat; ship captains have 3 pertinent stats in actual ship combat, and some captains can easily be in a position wherein they cannot even fire upon another equivalent vessel.


I wont go into the combat mechanic discussion here, since I agree that it is a bit odd here.

I do want to point out though that there is no marauder or merchhant vessel here. There is only that certain vessels are more suitable for certain tactics then others. If you are going a hard marauding route, that you should work with a sloop. A frigate is a better vessel for some tactics, but it is not an upgrade from a sloop.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby ConMan » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:55 pm UTC

I like Alhambra's "pay exact and go again" mechanic too, because it makes you concentrate on getting a good mix of money values rather than just grabbing the highest number at every opportunity. The rest of the game ... meh. I think the pace is just a bit off, and there's far too little interaction with the other players besides complaining when they grab the tile you wanted.

The game that's got me hooked at the moment is Innovation. It's confusing, slightly chaotic, and the shared action concept makes it possible (but not always easy) to take a runaway leader down with a sneaky move, as well as guaranteeing that you have to take your opponents into account at every step.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:57 pm UTC

marcel wrote:I do want to point out though that there is no marauder or merchhant vessel here. There is only that certain vessels are more suitable for certain tactics then others. If you are going a hard marauding route, that you should work with a sloop. A frigate is a better vessel for some tactics, but it is not an upgrade from a sloop.

I can't remember the specifics, but I remember upgrading to a combat ship, actually looking at the stats, and mostly using it for shipping cargo. Something about a speed downgrade when you go to the better combat ship making it actually less effective?

Anyway. There are four ships, two 'merchant' vessels and two 'marauder' vessels. The two merchant vessels are good, and the starter marauder vessel is also good (but a bit flimsy), and the upgraded marauder vessel sucked, comparatively.


Picked up Ascension, which I absolutely adore now. Very similar to Dominion, but manages to feel both more streamlined and more dynamic.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:41 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Picked up Ascension, which I absolutely adore now. Very similar to Dominion, but manages to feel both more streamlined and more dynamic.
Ascension is a favorite with my group. Personally, I prefer Dominion- much more planning and much less randomness.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:22 am UTC

The 'get rid of cards in your deck' ability is far more important in Ascention than it is in Dominion. But I really like the randomness actually, it takes a game of 11 cards that only interact in a handful of ways, and turns it into something that feels closer to Magic The Gathering. The last game I played, I pruned away all my Apprentices and Militia, and was left with something more streamlined.

That said, I picked up Storm of Souls, and was kind of disapointed that there were only ~5 Events; one came up early on, and stayed because a two player game simply doesn't burn enough of the deck to get to another event. I think it's more fun if you play longer than the point totals they suggest.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Purky » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:15 am UTC

I have to agree with Novax6, Chaos in the Old World is a really great game and so much fun to play. The Horned Rat expansion is really good as well and having the extra player really adds to the game.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby BoomFrog » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:39 am UTC

ConMan wrote:The game that's got me hooked at the moment is Innovation. It's confusing, slightly chaotic, and the shared action concept makes it possible (but not always easy) to take a runaway leader down with a sneaky move, as well as guaranteeing that you have to take your opponents into account at every step.

I like Innovation but Mathmatics is way too strong, demanding strong countermeasures as soon as it's existance is known. I think we eventually just took it out of the game. Engineering can be a punch in the crotch too if you didn't plan for it, but that's more of a "knowing the deck" problem then mathematics is. Definitely a fun game and I've seen a lot of different paths to victory which is awesome. I didn't like the expansion that much though, the cards we're too bizarre.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:15 pm UTC

Well, got kinda bored drunk and ordered Tales of the Arabian Nights from BGG. Hope it lives up to the hype.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:29 pm UTC

emceng wrote:Well, got kinda bored drunk and ordered Tales of the Arabian Nights from BGG. Hope it lives up to the hype.
Awesome. I hope you like it.

My only complaint with the game is the win conditions seem arbitrary and a little tacked on and going from morning->afternoon->night in the game has never happened in any game I've played.

Although one time we decided to just start at night just to see some different things.

On the other hand every time I've played we pretty much ignore the victory conditions and play until we feel like stopping.

So, a couple minor quibbles, but I still love the game and I've always had a great time whenever I've played it.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:42 pm UTC

Well son of a bitch. The seller on bgg never acknowledged the order, so it was cancelled.

Update: And it's listed on there again, for $5 more. WTF?

Update 2: I saw that the 2009 version is a redone one of the 1985ish version. So found a copy on there for $30, and just sent the money via paypal. Here's hoping I get the game soon.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:33 am UTC

Just played Space Hulk. Oh. My. God. I want to buy that game NOW.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby flarpfreak » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:09 pm UTC

If you are into really intellectual games, try Kaylus, Puerto Rico, or Tikal
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Xanthir » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:23 pm UTC

BoomFrog wrote:I like Innovation but Mathmatics is way too strong, demanding strong countermeasures as soon as it's existance is known. I think we eventually just took it out of the game. Engineering can be a punch in the crotch too if you didn't plan for it, but that's more of a "knowing the deck" problem then mathematics is.

Interesting, I've never thought to fully exploit Mathematics, though I see now how it could be done. You can jump to an arbitrary age in only a few turns. It seems powerful, but not *ridiculously* so. Perhaps my group has realized the exploitability of other cards such that things end up more balanced. ^_^

If you wanted to limit Math, it's easy - just put a ceiling on the maximum level of card it can pull. While it's *nice* when low-age cards continue to be useful in late-game, it's not necessary.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:53 pm UTC

flarpfreak wrote:If you are into really intellectual games, try Kaylus, Puerto Rico, or Tikal


Intellectual games? I wouldn't call Puerto Rico any more 'intellectual' than, say, 7 Wonders. Or Agricola
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby novax6 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:43 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Just played Space Hulk. Oh. My. God. I want to buy that game NOW.


Space Hulk is freaking great. Hope you have some cash if you want the newest edition though, can go for 2-3 times what the original retail price is now, since it's OOP (was out of print pretty much as soon as it came out, weird limited run). I'm really glad I was able to pick up a copy when it was normal price.

So good though, probably my favorite direct 1v1 game ever.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:26 am UTC

Yeah, I'm not sure I'm willing to spend 300 bucks on a boardgame. Truthfully, I feel kind of bad about this, but I think I'm just going to end up photocopying and making a pirated set.

I was spitballing with a friend about it, and we were trying to figure out a way to make the game without dice, since both of us hate die as random modifiers. I was thinking of making it so Marines always hit to kill for one action (and can still move and shoot), and genestealers will always kill if attacking from the side or rear, or, if they attack two deep from the front. Obviously guard and overwatch has to go, but in it's place, I think the command point bluff mechanic should be lengthened to have more possible points. Just an idea, obviously not play tested or balanced.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby BoomFrog » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Truthfully, I feel kind of bad about this, but I think I'm just going to end up photocopying and making a pirated set.
If it's out of print then your not doing any damage to the game developer's pocket.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby novax6 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:28 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Yeah, I'm not sure I'm willing to spend 300 bucks on a boardgame. Truthfully, I feel kind of bad about this, but I think I'm just going to end up photocopying and making a pirated set.

I was spitballing with a friend about it, and we were trying to figure out a way to make the game without dice, since both of us hate die as random modifiers. I was thinking of making it so Marines always hit to kill for one action (and can still move and shoot), and genestealers will always kill if attacking from the side or rear, or, if they attack two deep from the front. Obviously guard and overwatch has to go, but in it's place, I think the command point bluff mechanic should be lengthened to have more possible points. Just an idea, obviously not play tested or balanced.


Yeah I don't see anything wrong with making a print-n-play version, if it's out of print.

I dont' know about those rules changes. I know dice are a personal preference thing, but I think they work fantastic for it, and are only a problem IMO if you're not rolling them enough to balance out the random good/bad-luck series of rolls, and in space hulk you definitely roll enough. I personally think that would sap a lot of the tension out of plenty of situations, as part of it comes from not 100% knowing if your terminator is going to kill the approaching gene-stealer with his last AP, and having to make a calls where you estimate how safe you want to play it with your remaining AP, or when you know there's the chance your lone terminator's gun could jam against the 3 stealers coming down the corridor, etc.

I mean I dont' know for sure, but I would imagine it would become almost puzzle like, and that it would end up really hard for the gene-stealer player to win, esp if he's assuredly not going to kill a marine head on, which is usually a pretty safe move normally, and rarely not worth trying.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:04 pm UTC

Yeah, don't get me wrong, dice have their place for making for awesome stories. Like when Lightening Claws cuts his way through 6 genestealers to heroically clear the hallway so the Librarian can dash in and wake up a sleeping marine. That's epic. Or when the Sergeant parries 4 attacks in a row and then kills both gene stealers attacking, only to jam... Dice add an element of 'Oh shit I can't believe that happened!', which does add a lot of fun tension. And they did a fantastic job balancing the game such that the Space Marines and the Genestealers each have a legitimate chance to win.

My idea would require a ton of balancing to recapitulate what's already there. I'm thinking, say, dropping marines down to 2 actions, and gene stealers up to 7, but allowing 3-10 command point actions as a 'bluff' for being able to shoot during the genestealer turn. It would take away the tension, to be certain, but I think it would add an element of strategy.

Of course, I have to acknowledge that dice balance out in the end. I just dislike them as a means of deciding any given actions outcome.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby ConMan » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:28 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:
BoomFrog wrote:I like Innovation but Mathmatics is way too strong, demanding strong countermeasures as soon as it's existance is known. I think we eventually just took it out of the game. Engineering can be a punch in the crotch too if you didn't plan for it, but that's more of a "knowing the deck" problem then mathematics is.

Interesting, I've never thought to fully exploit Mathematics, though I see now how it could be done. You can jump to an arbitrary age in only a few turns. It seems powerful, but not *ridiculously* so. Perhaps my group has realized the exploitability of other cards such that things end up more balanced. ^_^

If you wanted to limit Math, it's easy - just put a ceiling on the maximum level of card it can pull. While it's *nice* when low-age cards continue to be useful in late-game, it's not necessary.

If there's one thing I see both the makers of the game and players point out, if you're doing the same actions every turn then you're probably doing something wrong. I agree that about half of the age 1 and 2 cards get proportionally quite strong if you keep them out to later ages (and most of the rest are horribly underpowered no matter what age it is), but there's usually either an easy counter-move or self-limiting factor. With Mathematics, the counter-move is to have more lightbulbs than them so that you get to take the action first, and the self-limiting factor is that since you draw and meld, there's a 20% chance (roughly) each time that it will cover itself up. That said, anyone who gets two out of Calendar, Mathematics and Agriculture early on will almost certainly get themselves a healthy lead, so watch out for that.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:22 am UTC

Played Ascension for the first time today. I did really enjoy it. Does have quite similar mechanics to Dominion. There are some balance issues. Might have needed better deck shuffling to help that. Short answer is there are some great cards for the mechanica constructs, but not enough of them to justify the cost of going that route.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby clockworkmonk » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:44 pm UTC

the thing about Mechana constructs in Ascension is that they are worth the same number of points that they cost in runes to acquire, and, along with 1-cost creatures, are always worth buying if you can afford them.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:00 pm UTC

Mecha has some of the best combos, if you can get PRIME and Dreambuilder. I agree though, one of the problem with Ascention is the difficulty laying out a strategy.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby pseudoidiot » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:14 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I agree though, one of the problem with Ascention is the difficulty laying out a strategy.
I have no problem with that. See, the one and only time I played I just started buying whatever sounded fun. Beat my friend (that owned the game) into the ground. Didn't see a need to play after that :D

In all seriousness, having played a few rounds of Dominion and a single game of Ascension, I definitely prefer the latter. I found the options a lot more interesting and I felt like I had to interact with the other player more.

On the other hand, I'm not really a fan of deck building games (I've played the two above as well as Puzzle Strike). They just really don't do anything for me. I just found myself being incredibly bored while playing. The socialization was fun, but that's all I got out of it, and I can get that out of any other game. If given the option I might play Ascension again; I'd kind of like to see what it's like with more than 2 players.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 01, 2012 2:11 pm UTC

The thing I like about Dominion is that it's a very equal playing field. The thing I like about Ascension is that there's more than just 9-11 different cards to accumulate. I feel that both have ample options and strategies, but that Ascensions strategies are based on card concepts rather than specific card combos (Stacking Void means you're going to have lots of military/combat/whatever points).

In Ascension I've come across a couple of really awesome combos, but the probability of getting them on the board, and then buying them, is low. I wonder if adding more of the sets brings more combo potential to the board.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Chen » Tue May 01, 2012 3:22 pm UTC

I've been seeing some rave reviews of Twilight Struggle. I've been looking for a good 2 player game for me and the GF and wondering if anyone here had any feedback on it?
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Tue May 01, 2012 3:37 pm UTC

Ok, played Arabian Nights for the first time this weekend. It was a ton of fun.

A few questions though. Not sure we were doing movement right. If you have say 3 land/2 sea, can you move 2 on land then one on sea? Or 2 on sea then one on land?

Also, statuses were a little confusing. The manual said you can only have one at a time, and lose the previous ones you had. Is that right? So if I was imprisoned, but then got ensorcelled, I am no longer imprisoned? What about the items like robe of power, etc.?

Some skills seem very useful. Others almost never come up. Wisdom and Piety were especially common. Minor Magic very rare...can't recall others offhand.


Also, just found out there is a Dominion app for andriod! Played 3 games with it so far. The last one though confused me - the game ended after only one stack of cards was emptied. All the other games went normally. I also managed to lose the last two :(
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue May 01, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

Yeah, movement can be a little strange. Think of the higher # as your max movement, some of which can be used for the other mode

So for 3 land/2 sea. You can move up to 3, 2 of which can be by sea. Then when you're richer you might have 2 land, 4 sea (or something), so you can move up to 4, but only 2 can be by land.

I'd never noticed that about statuses. I've always been playing as you can just keep collecting statuses. I'll need to check out the wording in the manual and maybe do some internet research to see what the consensus says.

I will say that playing it like I have has been lots of fun. For the most part, statuses aren't just awful (unless you get Grief Stricken early on, fuck that status).

Piety does definitely come up a lot. But I think it fits the theme. It is worth noting that using a skill is not always beneficial. That's why you're supposed to give a choice of whether to use the skill or not, unless it's mandatory.

Glad you like the game, though.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 01, 2012 3:47 pm UTC

emceng wrote:Also, just found out there is a Dominion app for andriod! Played 3 games with it so far. The last one though confused me - the game ended after only one stack of cards was emptied. All the other games went normally. I also managed to lose the last two :(

The victory conditions are '3 stacks of cards or all the Provinces'. I think different people probably just play with different variations though; quicker games can be had with 2 stacks, etc.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Tue May 01, 2012 4:01 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
emceng wrote:Also, just found out there is a Dominion app for andriod! Played 3 games with it so far. The last one though confused me - the game ended after only one stack of cards was emptied. All the other games went normally. I also managed to lose the last two :(

The victory conditions are '3 stacks of cards or all the Provinces'. I think different people probably just play with different variations though; quicker games can be had with 2 stacks, etc.


Ahh, dang completely forgot about the provinces win condition. Sucks too, because I lost by like 5, and if I'd bought a few duchies instead of provinces I likely would have won.


pseudoidiot wrote:I'd never noticed that about statuses. I've always been playing as you can just keep collecting statuses. I'll need to check out the wording in the manual and maybe do some internet research to see what the consensus says.

I will say that playing it like I have has been lots of fun. For the most part, statuses aren't just awful (unless you get Grief Stricken early on, fuck that status).

Piety does definitely come up a lot. But I think it fits the theme. It is worth noting that using a skill is not always beneficial. That's why you're supposed to give a choice of whether to use the skill or not, unless it's mandatory.

Glad you like the game, though.


The status thing may depend on your version though. I got the 1984ish version, so maybe it changed. Yeah, grief stricken sucks. I got it first turn in my first game. Then of course all the skills I had came up, and didn't once I lost it.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue May 01, 2012 4:13 pm UTC

Oh, interesting. I didn't realize it was that old. I know the version I have talks about being the new & improved version or whatever. I'd be curious to see all the differences now. Wonder if anyone's got pdf's of the manuals.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue May 01, 2012 6:17 pm UTC

I know in the most recent printing that the number of status' you have is the tie breaker if more than one player meet the conditions of being in bagdad with enough story-destiny points.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby emceng » Tue May 01, 2012 7:50 pm UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:Oh, interesting. I didn't realize it was that old. I know the version I have talks about being the new & improved version or whatever. I'd be curious to see all the differences now. Wonder if anyone's got pdf's of the manuals.


If I remember(not likely) I could scan the manual at work.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby SiimN » Wed May 02, 2012 12:14 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I've been seeing some rave reviews of Twilight Struggle. I've been looking for a good 2 player game for me and the GF and wondering if anyone here had any feedback on it?


I have played it with my brother, and it was a good game, if you and your girlfriend like strategy and thinking and are avid boardgamers then go ahead. What you certainly should do is read the rules VERY thoroughly because in our first game we had some trouble with them. The version we were playing had some rules that could be understood in multiple ways. Maybe they have reprinted them and have fixed the problems but still.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby Vaniver » Wed May 02, 2012 3:55 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I've been seeing some rave reviews of Twilight Struggle. I've been looking for a good 2 player game for me and the GF and wondering if anyone here had any feedback on it?
I've played it twice, I think. It's very deep, which I like, but asymmetric, which I don't really like. It feels like the USSR is strong right out of the gate, and have a chance of ending the game in the first third, but the US grows progressively stronger as the game continues. That the game could end by an early rush is meh, as is that the USSR player seems disadvantaged if they don't go for that.

If your GF (or you) are new to board gaming, go with something like Carcassone as a two-player game. If you like long, deep games, give TS a try.
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Re: Board games anyone?

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed May 02, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

You might also look into Lords of Waterdeep if it looks like your kind of thing. I don't get a lot out of resource management/unit placement games like that, but I enjoyed it more than most and I've heard that it actually scales really well for just two players.
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