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I've got back into the groove a little recently.

 

Did another 3 Gloomhaven scenarios last week which resulted in 2 retirements and introducing  the last of the "fresh" classes, so I'll be recycling the favourites now.  Three seems to be the golden number for me - one to get back into it, two and three to really enjoy and then leave it again before it gets a little boring, and having mapped out the next 3.  I could complete the final boss in the next 2 sessions on this basis, but I like playing the higher numbered scenarios which are usually puzzle based rather than kill everything.  On the other hand I've got the post Gloom defeat  expansion - just the mere 20 new scenarios - although the format looks a little different, with more cross referencing to other material (don't really want to look too closely as yet).  I've also discovered that a lot of the more advanced classes use the same shade of muddy brown for cards which is slightly annoying when soloing coz its easy to get them muddled.

I also received the Vastaryous's Lair final expansion to Sword & Sorcery Season I (I think that's the correct terminology). This only has 4 new quests but on first glance they look pretty lengthy, culminating of course in the final boss battle against the dragon himself.  This seems to be a standard battle (however lengthy) so I'm in the process of re-assembling my good team and we'll probably have a go at the first quest tomorrow.  BONUS - the new box is mostly air required by the huge dragon figure, so the materials from this may be fitted into the other 3 boxes with no increase in footprint (after removing the original innards).

Finally I've been tinkering around with the Valley of the Dead King, the first volume in the Hexplore it series.  I'll write a bit more about it when I link to the Vol III kickstarter which goes active 1 August.  They are excellent, if perhaps niche, games for soloists with the confidence to derive their own house rules, and would appeal to those who find the class interplay in Gloomhaven one of that game's key attractions.

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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1 hour ago, moosegrinder said:

Doppelt So Clever - this game is great but I am ffffffffffucking rubbish at it. A roll and write that looks incomprehensible at first, you roll dice pick a colour that corresponds to a section of your score sheet which itself has its own set of rules and scoring. It's truly baffling first off. Anyway we've played a few games of it and thought I'd got the hang of it but then got absolutely rinsed by @strawdonkey  by his 300+ point score to my pissy 140-odd score.

Did you play Ganz Schon Clever at all? That preceded Doppelt, and I really enjoyed it until I made the mistake of reading up online and finding there is basically one key strategy you should always use, at which point the game becomes far less interesting. Haven't had a chance to get Doppelt to the table yet.

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10 minutes ago, Kauwiks said:

Did you play Ganz Schon Clever at all? That preceded Doppelt, and I really enjoyed it until I made the mistake of reading up online and finding there is basically one key strategy you should always use, at which point the game becomes far less interesting. Haven't had a chance to get Doppelt to the table yet.

 

I'm pretty sure that's why we went for doppelt because we'd read that the first had a major flaw in it.

 This one doesn't seem to have a sure fire way of winning. 

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16 hours ago, scottcr said:

I think I’ve fallen in love with Mage Knight

I don't think there's a game that makes me think quite so hard.  And feel so clever when I can *just* afford to do the thing I want to by comboing the cards just so.

 

On 24/07/2019 at 13:06, moosegrinder said:

Race For The Galaxy. One of the top 5 games ever. Easy to fuck up but easy to switch strategy too. 

This.  You have to be so reactive, and pay attention to how what you're planning might just benefit your opponent more.  I'm sure RFTG is my most played game (I don't log my plays).

 

Had a quick few games if Tides Of Madness again the other day.  I think it's the perfect game for it's length, and has a good degree of play again.  I won all of the games I played by forcing madness upon my opponent, them having played for high scoring cards that left them vulnerable to that later on.  Mwa ha ha.  Will they never learn? 

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5 minutes ago, uglifruit said:

I don't think there's a game that makes me think quite so hard.  And feel so clever when I can *just* afford to do the thing I want to by comboing the cards just so.

 

 

Exactly this... it's very very thinky.  Every turn is a puzzle of trying to get the most out of hand.  I've got a solo game on the go just now that I dip in and out of.  Every hand often has a huge amount of things that can be done... but when you work out how to get from A to B and defeat bast X by using this from the source, then that from the card, then this from the other card and then do that thing from that... it's *really* rewarding when it you do it.

 

I've got some VERY thinky friends though and I can imagine a 4 player of this would take an entire day.  I can see a 2 player competitive being really good though.  

 

Probably the best solo game I've played, where it doesn't feel like I'm playing something cut down or I'd be better off playing a video game.

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You've both got me thinking about Star Trek Frontiers again, dang it. I know the guy I sold it to, maybe I should buy it back...

 

I wish there was a version that had a simpler board/goals and the same great card mechanics.

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We prevailed in the Dunwich Legacy! After, uh, only forgetting a few important things, but that's been par for the course in the campaign. My wife wants to go back through it again, because she's enjoying the game more now she's got practice with the system. So that's a success.

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* emerges gasping from complete immersion in Sword & Sorcery since Thursday morning*.  

 

Final boss, Vastaryous the 5 headed dragon, is down :sealclap:.  

 

As usual spoilered mostly for length. 

 

Spoiler

It was always going to be a case of when and not if because there were a couple of really heavy hitters in the team, and plenty of soul fragments available for resurrection.  However, it was a fun, if lengthy fight, with a couple of twists both helpful and otherwise along the way.  It also demonstrated the worth of soul infused weapons which frankly seemed rather underpowered to me in earlier scenarios, compared to treasures, (coupled with a natural reluctance to spend soul fragments on energising them each round when they were being prioritised for levelling up purposes), despite being badged as ultimate quest rewards.  Here, where all the team were maxed out level wise and there were 100+ available at any time they really shone.  The Sceptre with AOE [1] and the bow with double attack functionality were particularly useful in the fight, as was a lance which was stolen from under the nose of an angry boss orc.

 

I wouldn't say this expansion was the best of the bunch though - darkness falls adds far more new features and content and has some lovely scenario design.  This expansion cannot assume the prior purchase of the others, so one is back to facing hordes of orc and a few gremlin thrown in for resurrection / activation by the orc shame.  None of the scenarios in this stand out particularly.

 

Regardless, I really can't recommend this too highly for those who like a good crawler with a fantasy setting (I think Ares produce another series with a Sci Fi / XCOM setting but I imagine the mechanics and rhythm are very similar).  Basically there is a very good analogy with Baldurs Gate 2 to draw directly from - so many skills and items to choose from after the first couple of levels - its great stuff.   The detailed enemy AI, the importance of maxing out your kit and having a range of capabilities really stand out.   Sure, it's quirky with some skills badged as free actions and others as limited for no obvious reason, and some characters have marked differences between their good and evil versions and others very little. Cash also tends to accumulate very quickly after initial gear is swapped out for treasure items (in theory at least one is meant to do most of the scenarios back to back without shopping, but the crafty team keeps the town portal artifact close to hand :ph34r:).  It would have been cool to have had some really expensive stock items available for the end game, particularly if not playing with Victoria who can use cash to (presumably) bribe monsters to attack their peers, and also (more logically) to heal team members.  Speaking of Victoria, all the team members develop their own characters, despite being pre-named, which doesn't always happen in these types of games.  I used these for the goody goody run;

 

Victoria - Sea Captain by trade, she is one mean tank.  Her trade also enables her to extinguish fire (extremely helpful in the portal expansion since that features a lot of fire) and do more interesting things with surplus cash than the others.

Onamor - fire summoner.  A bit of a passenger for the slog through the portal section, where fire was overused, but very good against undead.  His evil counterpart is a necro.  Auriel would be your alternative magic user.

Laegon - archer.  The only original character and frankly a bit meh at times, but can do things others can't because of his dextrous nature, and really came into his own in the final battle with up to three (4 red + 4 blue) rolls available.  I have a feeling he might have become a werewolf during the undead invasion (assume he found out how to be cured in-between times).  

Samyria - druid (faith weapon user i.e. cleric type).  Most interesting feature was being able to transform into a giant bear.  Her evil counterpart is a shamen, and I have her pencilled in for tank in the evil run.

Kroghan - barbarian "The Krog".  What a guy!   He benefits from a high AP from the get go and can add +2 - +4 damage very easily.    It was only fitting that he took the final blow.  Interestingly his evil twin has a very different character development profile, gaining 2 combat actions but never more than one AP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Had the first couple of plays of Awkward Guests. It's a card-driven deduction game (like Cluedo, Mystery of the Abbey, Mystery Express etc), but rather than just crossing cards off that you happen to have seen, you have to use the snippets of information given on the cards to piece together the solution. For example, if you find out that Suspect A claims to have been alone in the Library at the time of the murder, but then later find out that someone else also claims to have been in the Library, then you know one of them is lying (and is therefore the murderer). Or if it's established that nobody passed through the Kitchen, then that means none of the Kitchen implements were the murder weapon. There are many different sorts of clues and you have to establish who commited the murder, which weapon was used, what the motive was, and who the accomplice was – the accomplice is only in the harder levels, and will give false info to protect the murderer.

 

I have to say, it's probably the best game of its kind that I've ever played. It's so much more satisfying than other games in the genre, and gives you a genuine sense of having used deductive reasoning to arrive at the solution. Really looking forward to playing it again.

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1 hour ago, Professor Rob said:

Had the first couple of plays of Awkward Guests. It's a card-driven deduction game (like Cluedo, Mystery of the Abbey, Mystery Express etc), but rather than just crossing cards off that you happen to have seen, you have to use the snippets of information given on the cards to piece together the solution. For example, if you find out that Suspect A claims to have been alone in the Library at the time of the murder, but then later find out that someone else also claims to have been in the Library, then you know one of them is lying (and is therefore the murderer). Or if it's established that nobody passed through the Kitchen, then that means none of the Kitchen implements were the murder weapon. There are many different sorts of clues and you have to establish who commited the murder, which weapon was used, what the motive was, and who the accomplice was – the accomplice is only in the harder levels, and will give false info to protect the murderer.

 

I have to say, it's probably the best game of its kind that I've ever played. It's so much more satisfying than other games in the genre, and gives you a genuine sense of having used deductive reasoning to arrive at the solution. Really looking forward to playing it again.

 

It's been on my list for a while after Tom Vasel fell in love with it. Did you print and play it or did you back the kickstarter?

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7 hours ago, Professor Rob said:

Kickstarter. I’m not sure when the retail release is.

 

I literally forgot to back it. “I should do that”, I said. Then didn’t. 

 

Great story, I know. 

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1 hour ago, Rev said:

 

I literally forgot to back it. “I should do that”, I said. Then didn’t. 

 

Great story, I know. 

 

Better than me - I thought it looked good above and went to try and buy it. At least you had a chance :(

 

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7 minutes ago, Hexx said:

 

Better than me - I thought it looked good above and went to try and buy it. At least you had a chance :(

 

 

I think it’ll be in every branch of Waterstones soon(ish). Very strongly suspect it’s going to join that list. Why a publisher hasn’t jumped on it yet, I’ve no idea. 

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Played through the first two cases of Detective: City Of Angels.  I played this solo, so I can then play as the 'chisel' (game master) for fiends later.  The solo mode is fun.  There's a paragraph book to look up responses to each person you question; and you can ask each suspect  about any other characters, the victim, or any clues/evidence you may have revealed.  Each case comes with a table of response references - so it's akin to Tales Of The Arabian Nights, (but actually makes some sense).  The setting is L.A.Noire style hard-boiled style, with typical tropes.  And surprising string language ("you prick") that seems to limit the audience unnecessarily.  The writing on each paragraph is very succinct (a couple of lines for each entry) rather than the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective verbose paragraphs.  I'm looking forward to playing it with others, to see how that goes, and how the bribing/money things work.

 

As a solo game with this kind of setting I think Gumshoe (long out of print, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective 2.0 by West End Games, set in 1930s San Francisco) is probably the benchmark, but Detective:CoA is fun so far and I'm eager to try the Classic multiplayer mode.  (Why oh why doesn't someone republish Gumshoe, and write some more cases, eh?  Eh?  Ystari can you hear me?)

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I've just run through a solo game of Gloom of Kilforth, the first since April.  I played an elven wizard who boosted combat via spell numbers, and who wielded a big sword, but who also had very useful demon slaying (great v the minions) and electric bolt abilities.  I'd totally forgotten how tough this can be at first though - getting the 3 rumour cards you require which always relate to terrain or encounter types in just the one day, probably from 2 or 3 locations (and then requiring another action to regale) is incredibly tough with just the 4 AP.  You really have to accumulate some free action loot or other useful items first, and that can take some time.  After that first level up however, things went really fast since the later keywords from my quest could be satisfied mainly from assets (probably assisted by the lucky chance that I was using the magic appropriate quest).  I scraped though this one in day 23 with 1HP remaining.     3 wins and 1 defeat to date with this mode.

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5 minutes ago, SeanR said:

Dobble. You guys dobble?

 

Yes. Although I’ve got the beach waterproof set, and the cards are ridiculously slippery which is Not Helpful.

 

I do quite like it, but it does very much wander towards the Uno genre and it’s definitely not Uno. But what is?

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9 hours ago, SeanR said:

Dobble. You guys dobble?

Everyone Dobbles at some point or another.  Moderately interesting story:  My co-worker (52 years old) has recently been introduced to the joys of Dobble having meet someone for a date (from some Internet dating site) who brought it along.  He was so impressed with it as an icebreaker he bought his own copy (and we had a few games at work) and took it on subsequent first date with another lady... Who also has brought a copy along in the date.  Yep, Dobble seems to be the dating accessory of choice.  (He and this lady have had further dates.  I suspect they have progressed passed playing glorified snap).

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A day of Android Netrunner (just unrevised core).  The mind games here, when you know the cards so well, is so much more satisfying than the playing-someone-you've-never -met-and-them-kicking-your-arse-with-cards-you've-never-seen-before.

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Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set :wub:.  

 

In a world in which board game STUFF increasingly constitutes a mountain of grey plastic and / or a snowstorm of cheap cardboard tokens, what a lovely surprise this KS is.  It contains the base game and all the various scenarios and mini-expansions which have been produced officially or by fans since the first edition, including 100 or more engines (not that they are all trains as such..).  The wooden components are all gloriously colourful, detailed and tactile and there are organisers to help sort everything out (I'll try to get a decent picture to illustrate).  

 

I'm new to the game so all I have done so far is play the basic Snowdonia scenario a couple of times but I can see already how clever the game is (playing 3 hands in default, can't be bothered with the automaton version which is included in the package and which is available for many of the scenarios).  The way everything speeds up towards the end if you don't recycle sufficient stone and ore, the way the incessant rain and fog frustrate and slow things down further  (very Welsh ;)) the bottle neck in steel production which can be a bitch when it comes time for train maintenance....  

 

Needless to say there are a few folk on BGG losing their rag at various typos and errata but for a train nut who likes a nice compact Euro, this is absolutely gorgeous.

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I love Snowdonia.  It's so good.

The deluxe master edition turned up here yesterday. I need to audit the components etc, but I'll be almost sorry to see my original edition go it's been such a good friend.  I can't warrant keeping it though.  Or the now duplicated expansions I bought for it.

 

Addendum:

I do wonder if there's actually a worker placement game that I like more than Snowdonia. Hmm.

Also: Tony Boydell, designer, is very funny and was really lovely when I chatted to him at length at ukgames expo a few years ago.  I asked him about how he came to have made Igor the Stream Engine game (which struck me as an odd licensed game) and he told me all about it coming out of approaching the Ivor rights holder in order to do a limited run Ivor promo card for Snowdonia.  And led to meeting with Peter Firmin (who originally drew Ivor), and him doing lots of new art for the Ivor game.  Much to Tony's star-stuck amazement.

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Upon filing some of the unnecessary cards back into the index I discovered a few more SD contracts which hadn't been included in the games yesterday - needless to day ones with sunny backs!  I also realised I was interpreting the bottom half of the contract cards incorrectly, i.e as a one off opportunity to be taken when advantageous, regardless of the precise wording, or whether one has placed a worker in that spot (sometimes it's obvious you would only do it if you had, but not always).  Now that's sorted out, its time to take a look at some of the bonus content and, sticking with Snowdonia scenario for the time being (no Yeti yet), I decided to have a look at seasons, the "card 31 of 30" type extra contracts, the train scrap yard and the station with the unfeasibly long name.  Seasons are excellent since they really add another layer of tempo change and strategy, the scrap yard is brilliant for the end game and only the extra station seems a bit inessential (there is a also a hotel you can tack on in the same way to provide additional building opportunities which cannot be blocked).  For the first time the excavate rate counter was jammed up at the top speed and we actually completed the track laying before the Man / Competition / whatever took it away from us.

I think I'll play again to really cement the mechanics and then bring out the promo trains for a laugh.

 

A couple of pics to illustrate the components and the conclusion of the latest game in Autumn.

 

 

 

IMG_1298.JPG

IMG_1303.JPG

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TIME Stories : Asylum

 

Loved this. The systems work well and it's thematicaly strong. There aren't so far any real puzzles (so far), just a how do you want to explore/do this - but choices matter as they cost you...time 8-)

 

The fact you read a card to yourself, and then explain and evoke to your team what's happened in your own words adds a nice bit of flavour. We had a group that played up the roles well which added to the fun.

 

Got asked/told to bring it back to the group next week, and one player is off to badger people to let her borrow xpacs - so that's a sign of like

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I'm sorry to say you are SO wrong. 

 

 Going camping this week so planning to pack Castles of Burgundy, the Space Hulk card game, Pit, Greedy Wizards, Pandemic, Viticulture, and Fumie no Tame ni. 

 

What will actually happen is that I'll pack half of those and my wife will refuse to play any of them. I reckon I'll get a good game of Greedy Wizards in with my daughter though. 

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4 minutes ago, Hexx said:

TIME Stories : Asylum

 

Loved this. The systems work well and it's thematicaly strong. There aren't so far any real puzzles, just a how do you want to explore/do this - but choices matter as they cost you...time 8-)

 

The fact you read a card to yourself, and then explain and evoke to your team what's happened in your own words adds a nice bit of flavour. We had a group that played up the roles well which added to the fund.

 

Got asked/told to bring it back to the group next week, and one player is off to badger people to let her borrow xpacs - so that's a sign of like

 

 Unfortunately the game never quite lives up to the 1st adventure, Marcy case is decent and  prophecy of dragons is OK as well but it kind of loses steam and got to the point we didn't actually bother with the last few expansions and sold it on. It becomes more a test of memory and what the "correct" route is through the cards, I'd even go as far as say Asylum is the best scenario of the entire game.

 

 Obviously that's our group's opinion and I can't speak for everyone in this regard.

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