Recent Board Gaming


I’d give a kidney for a Big Box version of Clash of Cultures. Cannot recommend it enough.

On topic, finally got another 4p game of Archipelago in. It was a teaching game for the other three with “short” game objectives, but everyone was impressed by the game. Short games tend to end just as everyone’s getting into the swing of things, but this one showed me just how strong stone is as a resource. The winner was the only player with reliable access to stone which he used to build churches to make his tax revenue higher to buy more Character cards. He was just lucky that all three of those things got scored on in this game.


Yeah, it’s a shame that the expansion is out of print. I own it, and have considered selling it because it goes for stupid amounts of money online, but the whole problem would just be solved if they reprinted the game with expansion included.


@Rym - we found your game


I forgot this game existed.

I went to get a box photo from Amazon… and…

Really? -goes to the closet-

Welp. That’s certainly there.

I think I have a problem.


FWIW I remember you buying it.


Let it be declared, from this day forward: Scott has a better memory than Rym


So are we playing EmDo at Pax East this year?


The last expansion to EmDo (Oblivion) is coming out “Really Soon” according to the desiger. (As in should be in game shops within this month)

It looks like it adds “Communal Rules” people basically use political action to “Vote” on policy changes to the game. An example would be; “Colonization requires an extra colonize symbol”

EDIT: Link to Oblivion Rulebook HERE


I listened to our own review from 2011, and I realized that I’ve been vaguely conflating Eminent Domain with Core Worlds for a few years now in my head.

I don’t think I like Core Worlds.


Core Worlds’ popularity owes to being released at the beginning of the board game trend. Once better games with a similar theme came out it got left in the dust.


I disagree about Core Worlds. For whatever reason, it was never really that popular to begin with, and it wasn’t left in the dust because better games with a similar theme came out, it got left in the dust because most people didn’t want to play a 2-3 hour deck builder. Fairly or not, the expectation is that a deck building game will be relatively quick, and Core Worlds didn’t fit that expectation. It was too heavy and too “thinky” for most deck builders.

That being said, unless my knowledge of the genre is missing huge gaps, I can’t think of any games that did what Core Worlds did better. They might have been faster, but to my knowledge, Core Worlds’ use of “controlled randomness” in how the cards came out, how the game gradually increased the strength and cost of the cards as the game went along, almost having a narrative arc, has never been used in any other deckbuilder, and was, and still is, revolutionary to the genre.

Personally, like I wrote above, I put Core Worlds’ lack of popularity down to being relatively obscure in the first place, being too long for what people expected, and the trend away from “pure” deck building games like Dominion and Core Worlds to more “hybrid” games with deck building aspects like Concordia, Gloomhaven, Mage Knight, Rococo, Clank, etc.


Friedemann Friese’s solitaire deckbuilder Friday does this using a different mechanism (each trip through the deck changes the relative cost of cards, and makes them more dangerous). It even adds extra rules for the final round like the Core Worlds in Core Worlds.

Valley of the Kings randomizes all of the era II cards before the era III cards.

Legendary Encounters tiers the encounter deck, but not the buy row.

Shadowrun: Crossfire (and presumably Dragonfire) also adds increasing danger across successive rounds of play, but doesn’t tier the cards that are available in the market.

Every other example I can think of is a hybrid ala Mage Knight, Concordia etc.


True, but Core Worlds also controls for the types of cards drawn as well. Not only do the cards become successively more expensive and more powerful, but the game makes sure there is a correct ratio of cards to buy/cards to conquer/events, to prevent lopsided randomness.

The games you listed, excluding hybrid games, don’t do this to my knowledge. Core Worlds controls randomness in two ways, while the games you listed only do it in one way.

There may be a couple of games that try to control randomness in the way that Core Worlds pioneered, but that doesn’t take away from my theory that it became less popular (not that it was every truly popular to begin with) not because it was eclipsed by other games, as you argued, but because it was too long, too complex, and in general “pure” deck building games just aren’t as popular as they were when Core Worlds first came out.


Bit of a late update.

Love It: 1846, Gloomhaven
Like It: 2x Azul (new to me), Rajas of the Ganges, Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn

This is my third game of 1846 in three weeks. I managed to make several small poor decisions, and as a result, the newbie who we were collectively helping to run the B&O + Steamboat company won by $40. I was pretty happy to get the Mail Contract for $40 in the opening draft, that’s the cheapest I’ve seen it go for. If I had got it for free, I would have won. :slight_smile:

Azul is undeniably a good game. If it overtakes Splendor as the default super-filler at our store I won’t complain. It’s no Saint Petersburg, but what is?


I forgot to do my Unpub dump so here are the ones that are worth commenting on:

Pizza Coven: You are a group of witches who own a pizza shop who conjure pizza slices via territorial auction in a normal web formation. Highest person gets their pick of the pizza slice but their tokens are removed from the board. Given the weekend rush is an auto win if you have a token or if less than one of you have a token next to the area the placement of numbers is vital to victory. This would have won best game for me but another one takes the slot later on.

Fire Tower: You are firefighters who are a bunch of jerks who want to burn down a forest and protect your tower, the game is fast and with the premise being a bit too…arsony the game was fine.

Picky Eater - The most take that game I have ever seen, in which you are assembling the best lunch tray filled with food.

Shapes the Game - Still a good game, but Mayfair was there and was talking to the designer, really cool guy. Also lots of Jungle Speed was played after hours with him and his skills are quite good

Pipe Riders - A pipe and water droplet 3 player game, it did not solve any three player game issues but got a moral victory after being screwed for the entire game

Zeno - A deck building black jack game in which you never have more than 5 cards in your deck. Really interesting with the scoring and good tactics. A little rough at the moment but has promise.

Nyctophobia - Best game of Unpub 8. You are either a horror movie killer (think Jason) and the campers are trying to get to the car and call for help. The catch is that all the campers are blindfolded and the board is tactile and customization. You can throw rocks to have the monster go towards that but the monster has card to help it move into position to strike back. In hiding you can not talk, but if you do you get a noise token and the monster is gunning for you.


I really want to play Vinci again.


Love It: 1889: History of Shikoku Railways (new to me), Gloomhaven
Like It: Legacy of Dragonholt, 3x Cities (new to me), Little Town Builders, Anachrony

We wrapped up the Legacy of Dragonholt adventure book. Being free from RPG class restrictions, my Wildlander Harud was free to use his new frost rune to perform every one of Sub-Zero’s special moves in the climactic scene, unlucky catfolk Natasha collapsed a rickity trellis AND a rickity bridge and take out several bandits, and gnome brawler Eliza literally added “empathy” to her character sheet at the last moment to avoid starting a war.

Cities is an ugly box that I’ve been looking at in the store for years, and finally played on Wednesday. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s an excellent no-interaction spatial game (ie. who can score the highest with the same random inputs).

1889 is the 7th 18xx game that I have played, I guess I’m an 18xx person now. I lost 5060 to 4942 because, as usual, I purchased the wrong share at the wrong time. There are probably more important things that could have been done (starting a third company when I had the chance would have given me an extra $500 for permanent trains, and better position in turn order, for one thing) to prevent it from being that close in the first place.


I was able to teach some people Scythe over the weekend. While looking up stuff I found out they’re adding a “Campaign expansion” to Scythe.


Yeah, I’m kind of curious about that. I think that while decent, Scythe is incredibly overrated and overhyped, and I’ve kind of gotten bored with it a bit. The addition of a campaign to it though, if done well, could renew my interest in the game.


To me, Scythe suffers hard from an identity crisis. All the art and minatures (and upcoming RTS game) suggests a full-on war game. The theme and setting suggests a limited skirmish, where you and your rivals are poking your turrets into a shared neighbor’s business. But the game itself chugs away as a pretty standard Euro with the looming threat of violence. There’s a lot to like and there are a few brilliant bits of design. My favorite by far is harvested goods sticking around on the map until you use them. For me though, the game just feels too clunky.

Apparently trading and negotiation are things in Scythe? I’ve never seen it happen across three games. I know Popularity is important but I’ve never been able to look at the board and figure out what the final score is going to be. The randomized action boards unnerve me for some reason, plus there’s a loud thunk once people get the “mechs can move two spaces” upgrade that I want the mechanic to take a look at.

A campaign mode though? Yeah that might be worth a look, if only to get a better idea of how the game is “meant” to be played.

So I know 1846 is your choice for entering the 18XX genre, but do you have any recommendations on other stock-market games besides 18XXs and Black Friday? I’ve tried out Imperial 2030 and Gnomes of Zavandor, and would like to try out others.