Board Games!

This forum is specifically for discussing non-Mafia games (board, card, video, we're not picky). Playing such games should happen in the Mish Mash forum, of course.
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:15 am

We lost our last new thread talking about board games, so here's a new one.

BGG.Con registrations will open soon. It's a big gaming convention in Dallas, Texas from November 14-18. We usually have a few scummers (mostly oldtimers), an last year I know we had at least 6. It's easily the highlight of my year every year, and it's always been a blast. They have a fairly active werewolf crew as well. Is anyone else joining us for this throwdown?
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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:29 am

I won't be making it to BGG.con.

I AM having serious board game withdrawal, though. I'm planning for what board games(s) I want to get this summer to help me deal with the cravings. Has anyone here played Eclipse, Ora et Labora, Earth Reborn, or Through the Ages? I'm specifically curious about them for 2-3 players because I sadly don't have a really big group to play with. :/
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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:39 am

I want to play Eclipse.
I hated Ora Et Labora (which is a shame, as I love Le Havre & Agricola). A friend of mine really likes it, though.
I enjoy Through the Ages, and it's probably fantastic with several people who will play it semi-regularly, so you don't have to re-explain the rules each time. It's particularly great with 2-3.

Of course, my favorite game for 2-3 is Race for the Galaxy, and it's worth trying if you haven't yet.
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:50 am

In post 2, Thesp wrote:I hated Ora Et Labora (which is a shame, as I love Le Havre & Agricola). A friend of mine really likes it, though.


Would you mind expanding on this? I'm hearing conflicting things looking around, with some people saying it "makes Le Havre and Agricola redundant" and being a huge return to form for Uwe, while others are saying it's shallower and a lot worse. It's hard to get a read on what sort of game it actually is.

I'm personally not a fan of Race for the Galaxy. I don't hate it or anything (I DO hate Cosmic Encounters, and sometimes I mix the two up >_<), but there just aren't enough times where I want to play RftG but not Puerto Rico that it's worth getting for me, especially when there's a pretty hefty list of games I DO want to get.

It's cool to know Through the Ages is strong with 2-3. Generally I assume any game with civ elements is going to want big numbers of people. But if 2-3 is a good number for Through the Ages that gives it a shot in the arm.
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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:07 pm

In post 3, hitogoroshi wrote:
In post 2, Thesp wrote:I hated Ora Et Labora (which is a shame, as I love Le Havre & Agricola). A friend of mine really likes it, though.


Would you mind expanding on this? I'm hearing conflicting things looking around, with some people saying it "makes Le Havre and Agricola redundant" and being a huge return to form for Uwe, while others are saying it's shallower and a lot worse. It's hard to get a read on what sort of game it actually is.

I'd be happy to! I will confess that we only tried the short game. In any case, it did feel similar mechanically to Le Havre, and it didn't add anything I particularly liked. There is an awkward development tree of goods and buildings, and it's very hard to get a feel for what other players can do/are doing. Essentially, it felt like a way more fiddly version of Le Havre. I'd be willing to try it again, but I have no strong desire to do so.
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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:53 pm

I'm just now starting to get into more complex board games. Or rather, board games past whatever Hasbro puts out. I've been playing Shadow Hunters for over a year now, and the game is still damn fun every time I play it. I recently purchased the Dominion base set after spending time playing the game on Isotropic... and goddammit, shuffling is a pain in the ass and slows the game WAY down. Any tips for speeding up gameplay in Dominion?

Nuwen recently bought Arkham Horror while we were staying with her for a few days and I really liked it, even though it felt unnecessarily complex.

What are some staple board games? I've heard some people mention Settlers and Puerto Rico as possibilities, but what are some solid games that everyone should have in their collection? (And I don't mean Monopoly and Clue).
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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:25 pm

I find Settlers mildly amusing enough to play it once in a while, Carcassonne is pretty junk in my opinion, but I'm a huge fan of 7 Wonders which I have yet to tire of and recommend highly; I'm intrigued by the expansion(s) as well but haven't gotten it yet.

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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:29 pm

OH GOD I FORGOT ABOUT CARCASSONNE.

I loved that board game back in high school, I think we had like three expansions for it.
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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:54 pm

In post 5, xRECKONERx wrote:I'm just now starting to get into more complex board games. Or rather, board games past whatever Hasbro puts out. I've been playing Shadow Hunters for over a year now, and the game is still damn fun every time I play it. I recently purchased the Dominion base set after spending time playing the game on Isotropic... and goddammit, shuffling is a pain in the ass and slows the game WAY down. Any tips for speeding up gameplay in Dominion?

Nuwen recently bought Arkham Horror while we were staying with her for a few days and I really liked it, even though it felt unnecessarily complex.

What are some staple board games? I've heard some people mention Settlers and Puerto Rico as possibilities, but what are some solid games that everyone should have in their collection? (And I don't mean Monopoly and Clue).


If you are looking for complexity, Agricola might be an idea. It's mostly complex in the way you have to plan, and you do need at least 1 other boardgames enthousiast. IMO, it's a game for the hardcore boardgamer. But others might disagree.
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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:09 pm

I recently purchased the Dominion base set after spending time playing the game on Isotropic... and goddammit, shuffling is a pain in the ass and slows the game WAY down. Any tips for speeding up gameplay in Dominion?


get a chapel. a deck that is only 10 cards big is quick to shuffle and will also win you every game >_>

ghost stories is a super fun, very difficult co-op game. shorter than arkham horror but a LOT harder, especially at first. Its expansion White Moon is amazingly good. It takes up very little table space which is rad.

kingsburg is fun game with enough luck to accommodate disparate skill levels but a good strategy core to keep it interesting. Its "To Forge a Realm" expansion is good; if you don't get it, look up the rules on soldier tokens in TFaR and house rule them in, they help SO SO MUCH

agricola is fun but I wouldn't recommend it quite yet, it's a notoriously unforgiving game. ("In American games, you take tons of actions in a turn. In European games, you take one action a turn. In Agricola, you take a third of an action a turn, oh, and your family is about to starve to death.") Even once everyone gets the basics, it's a game where a player who just gets it a little more will consistently blow everyone else out of the water time and time again. it's fun if you've got like, a regular weekly group and you're all willing to dig in, but I'd pass until then. get Puerto Rico instead.

Twilight Struggle I have to give a shout-out to as it's probably my favorite board game at the moment, but it's only two player, so yeah. If you have two people, and you're willing spend a few hours per game, it's super rewarding.

runewars is pretty fun if you have a big enough table for it! it's one of those epic, plan your day around playing a war game games, but it's significantly easier to get going than Twilight Imperium.

don't get settlers settlers is trash. I would also shy away from Pandemic - it's fun for a few plays, but it's just kinda...solvable. :I

shadows over camelot is a lighter co-op strategy game. if you're looking for a co-op game you can play drunk or whatever, it's an entertaining game that isn't too deep but good for some chuckles
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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:23 pm

I don't really "get" Puerto Rico, but I keep hearing about it.

What's up with all the "everybody is on a team" games? I like games where there's actual competitiveness to it.
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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:34 pm

In post 10, xRECKONERx wrote:I don't really "get" Puerto Rico, but I keep hearing about it.


Basically, Puerto Rico is famous because it's a very archetypal eurogame with lots of depth (not a "training wheels" game like Catan that quickly becomes shallow and silly), but it has a couple of mechanics that make it difficult to completely muscle people out (in Agricola, you can take animals you don't need just to have another players family starve - in Puerto Rico, the worst you can do is deny trader/captain ships). Also, it's a little more transparent than most. So it's a unique blend of being a eurogame that is relatively easy to pick up while still have tons of depth and strategy so you don't "graduate out" of it.

What's up with all the "everybody is on a team" games? I like games where there's actual competitiveness to it.


Co-op games have a few advantages. The principle one being that skill differentials aren't a big issue. For example, lets say I come to the Re-Reckoning and bring Ghost Stories. I've played around 50 games, you've played none. But all that means is that sometimes I'll need to give you pointers for your moves; there's no crushing of faces or "going easy".

Plus, I enjoy it sometimes that there's either the "Alright, we've triumphed" or the "Damn, that was a hard fight/Damn, that was some serious cheese". No one walks away from the table with sore feelings, which can happen in some games (aforementioned Agricola family-starving).

Don't get me wrong, I love competitive games too, but it's always good to have a couple of co-ops around for severely mixed skill groups or if one of your members is already really angry for whatever reason.
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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:56 pm

In post 10, xRECKONERx wrote:What's up with all the "everybody is on a team" games? I like games where there's actual competitiveness to it.


Playing against the board tends to lead to less hurt feelings than playing against other people. In Arkham Horror especially, it really feels like a triumph to beat the board, and I just like co-op in general. Or 1vEveryone like Betrayal at House on the Hill in Haunt mode or Mansions of Madness(which is good for a couple games, but gets a bit old after one or two games of each scenario).

Cutthroat games just lead to people complaining about how screwed over they get, and in games like Settlers of Catan, it's no fun to be the person getting nothing while everyone else gets everything. Things like Race to the Galaxy, where it's competitive but not cutthroat, are also among my favorites.
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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:45 pm

Me and my friends are more into the board games that are more..."user-input," I guess you could call them. Apples to Apples (and it's dirty cousin Cards Against Humanity), Pictionary, etc. Therefore I have trouble relating to all this. Like one time someone brought Risk and they were all like LOLNO...

A game I recommend, and one that I know has been recommended by others, is Quelf. It's pretty crazy, and I like all the various aspects it combines. One of my favorite aspects is the fact that there are "Roolz" cards, which are like rules which can either apply to everyone or one person. They can twist up the game pretty well and make a new experience every time.
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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:47 pm

I need to try these co/op board game thingies.

I feel as though I am severely lacking in geekiness.
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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:08 pm

In post 11, hitogoroshi wrote:No one walks away from the table with sore feelings, which can happen in some games (aforementioned Agricola family-starving).


Which is just punishing bad play, tbh. Even forcing them into fishing or the other food thing (don't know the english name) is setting them back, so if they let it get so far that they can be forced into that... yeah. In my experience it's a lot better then settlers of catan, which does suffer from that if you are playing with people you want to stay friends with... on the other hand, most of my family doesn't really see it as "suffering". Some people like the arguing.
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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:19 am

Some of my friends want to play Settlers of Catan with me. Any good tips?

Oh and I think they want to play Catan: Cities and Knights too. Strategies would be awesome.

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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:09 am

Had a huge board game night tonight with Gamma, Grimm, and a couple others. I began by teaching Dominion, but quickly saw the pace wasn't going to do well with the "feel" in the group. We pulled out the Game of Thrones game to learn the rules... we got them okay, but we didn't want to sink 3 hours into it since we had so much to play. I bought Ticket to Ride: Europe today as well, so we played a game. I liked it a lot, though we didn't get to play much. I can see the higher bits o' strategy coming into play, but it'll take a couple more plays to actually get it completely. Also played Cards Against Humanity which is always hilarious, and ended the night with a couple games of Betrayal at House on the Hill.

I think Betrayal at House on the Hill is an amazing game. The 1-against-all bit makes it twice as fun... tonight we got the Tentacle Monster (in which Gamma got owned) and the Crimson Jack SK thing. "Town" won both sets, but the psychological bit of strategy makes the game so enthralling. I think it's my #1 right now.

In Dominion... what would you say is a good setup for a game? The suggested ones don't lead to many "interesting" games, especially the "First Game" one. Gimme something to play that'll make me go "OH SHIT THIS IS WHY DOMINION IS SO AMAZING!"
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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:12 am

In post 13, Chevre wrote:Quelf

yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
god yes

one time i had to go dip my head in a sink and soak it then come upstairs shouting OMG IT'S A MONSOON OUTSIDE.

then one time i had to stand on one foot until someone asked a special question

it's an absolute blast, esp. when consuming alcohol
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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:21 am

i'm just going to throw a mention of risk legacy in here

not necessarily the "risk" part since risk is shit but the "legacy" part is one of the best mechanics i've seen for a while

also does anyone want to teach me twilight struggle
i'm pretty certain it's my next purchase and i kinda get how the game works from reading the manual a lot but i haven't really had experience with it
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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:17 am

also does anyone want to teach me twilight struggle


I love Twilight Struggle to death, but I'm not aware of any good online methods or whatever to teach it. I could answer questions you have, certainly.
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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:29 am

Next buys: Citadels, The Resistance, Race for the Galaxy, BSG (can I enjoy it w/out watching the show?), Cosmic Encounter, Pandemic, Kingsburg

TBQH, I'm a little "ehhh" looking at Resistance & Cosmic Encounter... thoughts on these games?

Also that Dominion question still stands :)
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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:29 am

You get to the point where you are super fast.
3 people can play a game in 15 tops if they know what they are doing
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Post Post #23  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:42 am

In post 21, xRECKONERx wrote:Cosmic Encounter, Pandemic


I would anti-nominate both of these games personally. Also if you really get Pandemic hankerings I don't ever use my copy anymore

Also that Dominion question still stands :)


how to make dominion a more interesting and engaging game, the guide

step 1 wait for the new edition of puzzle strike to be released
step 2 buy the new edition of puzzle strike
step 3 play puzzle strike

okay not being facetious I think certain expansions include cards with more player interaction, but yeah, when the only variable seed between the player is gold/province distribution, when there's no forced buy (meaning that slimdeck is just super strong in most banks), and with a wincon that has a bit of comeback advantage but not enough to stop massive lame duck, well there's only so exciting a game of Dominion is going to be
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Post Post #24  (ISO)  » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:44 am

bleh.

also did you just kindly say youd gimme Pandemic? cuz i wanna play it >.>
also you said youd pass up Catan too

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