Recent Board Gaming

It’s a new year in a new forum. What an appropriate time to start a new thread! No deep analysis required, just casual discussion about board and card games you have played recently.

Dungeon Petz - Last played a year and a half ago. Unlike Dungeon Lords, Dungeon Petz isn’t as proactive about ruining your position, which makes teaching it much easier.

Caverna - Last played two years ago! Caverna is still enjoyable, but no longer my favorite of Rosenberg’s resource conversion games. That would be Glass Road. Or Le Havre if you don’t think Glass Road is “big” enough.

Factory Fun - Real-time is a dealbreaker for a lot of the gamers in the Friday group. But new guy Josh threw himself into the deep end with an expert factory board and did really well. We told him to keep coming back. ;]

First Class: Unterwegs im Orient Express - Now I’ve seen a number of strategies work well. On Friday, I managed to get six cars upgraded to 12… but not fast enough to keep up in the second scoring round.

Familiar’s Trouble - We got a score of 41 after three attempts. Oh yes, and we played three times in a row, which might be considered an endorsement.

Clod (new to me) - I was gifted an excellently-produced custom deck of Foppen cards by my friend Dan. It was good with four, but I suspect it plays best at 5-6.

Speculation - The last game of 2016…

Trick of the Rails - … and the first game of 2017! I wanted to try a second hand to close out the evening, but we ran out of time.

Scythe - So far, every game after the first has been unsurprising, but enjoyable. I am kind of looking forward to playing on the tremendously-oversized expansion board just for the experience of it.

Fresco - I was not enthusiastic about the expansion modules, specifically the extra colors. The small number of options for brown and pink fresco tiles lead to some nasty blocking that make the difference between 0 and 25 points with a single worker. Also thoroughly exacerbated by the decision to make a player’s paint hidden trackable information.

My friend and I have been slowly corrupting his girlfriend into liking board games this past year.

We introduced her with King of Tokyo since it’s most familiar with Yahtzee. Then we taught her objective based play with Colt Express. Poor friend seems to always wind up with the 50 cent award. Currently the hardest thing we have her on is Splendor. She quickly picked up on resource management and denial. We tried Tzol’kin but it was too abstract for her tastes, baby steps.
Our goal is to create the most ruthless Eclipse and Tera Mystica competitor by end of 2017.

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I can’t tell if this title is a joke or what.

Andrew edited it. I fixed it :stuck_out_tongue:

Did you play two games of Factory Fun? I remember our game where I hadn’t played in a while, but liked how the Expert board was setup.

Yeah, I played two games that evening.

My favorite “hold a conversation and play without losing anything” games are traditional card games, but at a party, you’re more likely to find people playing A) Apples to Apples / CAH or B) social deduction games.

Unless a party is specifically a gaming meetup… you might go in with a dream that you’ll find some time to play something moderately involved, and it will almost never happen.

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I’m hoping to get a lot of good stuff played at MAGFest; I’ve got my list of stuff to take and need to be sure I don’t end up just taking everything on our shelves.

For NYE, I played Toc Toc Woodman, Lotus, and Oceanos for new board games for me.

Lotus is a nice card matching game. I really enjoyed Oceanos, but again it’s a Bauza joint. It has some nice 7 Wonders feel where you build your sub/ocean for end game scoring, and definitely a lot more simple.

Also played Potion Explosion and Between Two Cities, but they aren’t new to me.

@DemoWeasel Ping me on twitter if you need people for a game of Scythe.

My NYE consisted of Dr. Eureka and Ice Cool (two must-own dexterity games, and both new 2016 releases). Getting beaten by a drunk person in both, and then playing Jackbox the rest of the night.

Uper Amel Up is actually one hell of a game. While the odds in the base game are trivial to calculate, it adds enough complexity to make it a pretty real risk-taking game.

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Cuper Amel Sup, get it right.

It’s easy to remember, just think of CAS latency.


Magfest this weekend was an opportunity to stay up until 2AM playing games - often a lot of short games. I observed one game of 1846 and two games of Food Chain Magnate which I didn’t get to play. I did play two games of Tigris & Euphrates, which I’m quite happy about.

Magfest Highlights:

Power Grid: the Card Game - Played three times this weekend. We even played a 5p game in 45 minutes and it just… feels like Power Grid.

Wyatt Earp - This weekend I won a 13 point hand, which is the highest I’ve seen. On Thursday, I unintentionally played a variant because I forgot to draw two instead of one. I’m happy to report the game still works fine (although it makes bad hands worse)

Orléans (new to me) - This is a board game with a similar feel to a dice game; limited interaction that comes down to completing separate tasks earlier than the other players, and decisions limited by the hand you draw. Worth another play.

Chicago Express - I did much better the second time, because I didn’t make the mistake of investing all my money (‘shares’ don’t appreciate, they only pay dividends). The system is unintuitive but the game is still interesting (for now).

Honshu - Still holds up. A good amount of decisions in a short amount of time.

Junk Art - Playing all three games (“cities”) actually feels wrong sometimes, especially if the last game is longer and there’s already a clear leader. We may experiment with playing individual games or a two game series.

Foppen - There’s a lot of interesting interactions that don’t normally show up in trick-taking games, because not every hand is in every trick. I also can’t imagine it without the custom Steven Universe deck, now. Also interesting: every game so far has seen only one player end with a positive score. This may improve over time, because a lot of muscle memory needs to be relearned.

Fuji Flush - Along with Foppen, this was a perfect fit for Magfest. I played it every day of the convention.

First Class - I’m still happy with this after 6 plays. Even playing the same modules there’s a lot of variety depending on which rounds certain cards appear.

Carcassonne: The City - The benefits of the walls often create unusual incentives to score or avoid scoring features, which changes some of the patterns common to other Carcassonne games. I’m still interested.

Tigris & Euphrates - I love teaching T&E, and it often means I don’t get resistence toward playing with open scores. On Sunday we played a game where there were no conflicts until the board was nearly full. I was amused by the unfolding ancient cold war.

Saint Petersburg - When I rediscovered board games in 2012, Saint Petersburg was the first German game I played. I’ve played at least once in every year since, which is only true of three other German games I played in 2012 (Bohnanza, Carcassonne, and Puerto Rico).

PitchCar (new to me) - More enjoyable if you construct a course with less built-in entropy. Unfortunately no one could make the first turn for five minutes. The potential for more fun is there ;]

The only major game I was able to play at MAGFest was Rebellion. I taught some people on how to play Conquest of Nerath and played briefly in a 7 wonders tournament. There were also games of Foppen to be had.

I played as Imperials this time, and was able to win my first game. To be honest it was closer than it really should have been because I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been. I pulled out the win by figuring out where the Rebels had relocated the base to, and then came in with a planetary assault.

Here’s the thing about Rebellion, the learning curve is steeper than the actual gameplay. Once you know what the cards on both sides do, it makes for more interesting play.

Between office stuff and icy weather I only played a single tabletop game in the past week.

The Princes of Florence (new to me) - I’ve encountered a lot of Wolfgang Kramer designs in the past year, but somehow never played this game from the year 2000. The Princes of Florence was in the BGG top 10 before falling out sometime around 2009. We had to settle for a 2p variant, but what can you do.

A lot of gaming for a non-convention week. And with PAX South coming up this weekend, there is a lot more coming…

First Class - I’ve played six times with the “starting” modules, and it still provides a lot of space to explore. At this point I’m mostly testing the limits of what you can do (taking 4+ contracts, for example)

The Princes of Florence - I’ll be bringing this to PAX South, and will hopefully play a few times there. The struggle to put together a working hand of artisans and the timing of your 14 actions is an interesting puzzle.

Witness - For the first time ever, a perfect score (on an easy case). We did need to get a neutral party involved to help correct for colorblindness, though. (A very specific color-based clue)

For Sale - I (finally) purchased a copy of For Sale after playing it nearly a dozen times in the past several years. I made sure to get the Eagle-Gryphon bookshelf edition after seeing the poor components in the pocket version, however.

Welcome to the Dungeon - The new additions in “Welcome Back to the Dungeon” amount to two small expansions (bonus monsters and new adventurers, as well as some new art for the original monster deck). Fine, but the game works just fine without them, too.

Dream Home - I still prefer this to Oceanos and Kanagawa, which are superficially similar - Dream Home has a more enjoyable theme (I really like the tiebreaker, which has the tied players play Where’s Waldo with the cards they drafted).

T.I.M.E Stories - I thought we pieced together all of the Marcy Case, but our confidence was misplaced. Next time. The mission did troll us in a pretty amusing way, though. ;]

SeaFall - We just got our first new rules, and I’m still in the lead (despite losing the second game), but I suspect that lead won’t hold based on what we just revealed.

Roll for the Galaxy - Good to see this again, since I haven’t played this in a year. Brings my total play count to 55, most of them in 2015.

The King of Frontier - Despite how light it seems, I suspect this would hold up to Race for the Galaxy/Puerto Rico levels of analysis if someone wished to do so. I need to remember to fold up the translations for the buildings to go in the box, though.

Indonesia (new to me) - Not really a full game, but a few turns with my new copy, solo playing three sides. The players are so interdependent, and the mergers are so flexible, that it’s nearly impossible to solo. I’ll have to wait until after PAX South to actually play.

Bonus box art!

We finished game 7 of 15 of Risk Legacy. So far we opened two packets and one box—there was a packing error in that the two boxes’ contents were swapped, but we figured that out very quickly. It’s pretty good nowhere near Pandemic Legacy.

Just got back from San Antonio, which accounts for all of my gaming this week. I am glad we were together, because I really needed some affirmation that there are good, conscientious people in the world this weekend. PAX South is also the location of our now-annual Freemarket game, so there’s a single RPG in here with all of the other games.

Chariot Race - We finally played a game with rubble and all six players, and the carnage was perfect. I don’t think I’ll bother with fewer than five players now.

Potion Explosion (new to me) - A fun physical mechanism with an OK game.

Schnäppchen Jagd - I first played this last January, and I’m still impressed by its cleverness. Uwe Rosenberg’s card games are often eclipsed by his worker placement games, but I generally prefer the cards.

Foppen - The Steven Universe deck I got for Christmas is seeing some use this month. I’m beginning to notice a pattern, where I primarily play trick-taking games at conventions… I think I’d have difficulty finding five people to play with the Steven Universe cards anywhere else.

Freemarket - Not a board game, but an RPG that I have only ever played with Tresi. For the past two years, my character Rattle Cattle has been an excellent outlet for comedic body horror.

Thebes - I’m glad this is finally back in print, because I’ve introduced a lot of people to Thebes and I have been getting tired of saying you can’t get it. This game, I resolved to spend 12 weeks digging as much as possible, and did very well! Until I lost every majority.

Tzolk’in - The game was won by half a point, which means I probably angered the wrong god at some point in the game.

1846 - Scheduled a game with Matt ahead of time, and was surprised that Scott also played. I ended with six shares of NYC and four shares of PRR, which both tokened out Toledo… and only three corps ever reached Chicago. ICR reached Chicago, but ran out of permanent trains and couldn’t get east from Chicago anyway.

Five Tribes - We’ve played this regularly, but at a rate of about 1/month. So even though I enjoy it, I’ve never quite internalized the setup rules. This game I took no white meeples and the most yellow meeples for the first time (there were too many good opportunities not to)

Mamma Mia - A game where sometimes you lose for want of a single pineapple. What’s not to like?

Viticulture - Thanks to a visitor card, I had a field with unreasonably high yields: 8 red / 1 white. I probably could have won if the target score was somewhere around 40 instead of 25 :stuck_out_tongue:

Burgle Bros (new to me) - I wasn’t a fan of Paperback, and co-ops don’t always make an impression on me, but this is very good. I’m glad Anthony picked up a copy at the con.

The Princes of Florence - I was enthusiastic about the 5 player game (Rym and Anthony were not). Great auctions, and trying to nail the bonus points or score prestige cards is taxing with four opponents.

Trickerion - An odd choice for Sunday night, but we crammed onto a hotel lobby table and Anthony taught. I really need to play the “full” game, since the basic game is starting to feel a bit limiting.

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There was a board game night at my library, so I got to burn through a few games.

That Camel Racing Game That Nobody Can Agree On The Name Of (new to me) - I loved the push-pull of the mechanics, where you had the movement mechanics punishing going first, but the betting mechanics rewarding it, which made for some tense decisions. The mechanics of it, too (with the pyramid) are very good.

7 Wonders - Once again my “get cards that build in to free cards” strategy falls apart because Will’s an asshole.

Above and Below (new to me) - A really neat worker management game. You’re never blocked from doing something because someone else did it (which make for a different decision-making dynamic and blunts the first-last problem a lot of games have. The adventuring mechanic means you can always pull back from a bad position, and rewards you with access to cheaper buildings and free resources, and the push-pull between wanting to hold on to your resources to slot them most efficiently vs. wanting to gain the benefits of putting the lower-rarity items in the higher-VP slots is also fun. I’d have to give it a few more plays, but it’s definitely one I wanna add to my collection.