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Clank Legacy - Game 1

 

Quite like this - it's a nice twist on base Clank so far, and the additions to the map in just the first game are interesting. I'm not sure how the co-op but competative thing is going to work out.

 

We did this on TTS due to current conditions. The mod was good - but you definately lose a lot from the experience not actually destroying cards/adding stickers etc

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The scene is set for some socially distanced Zombicide tomorrow.  Exciting times - physically playing a board game with someone for the first time in months! :o

 

We'll be either end of the table sanitising those mitts, separate sets of dice, I'll handle all the zombie minis, card draws and components. 

 

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Broke out an old chestnut last night and had a game of Scotland Yard against my wife and my 7 y/o daughter, me as Mister X and them as the Detectives. Well, for about 10 minutes it was against the two them, then my daughter lost interest and started doing some drawings instead.

 

Things got pretty tense in the middle stages, with my wife efficiently blocking all the tube stations, but I eventually worked out she was never checking I was backtracking, and slipped past her line using pleasingly ambiguous taxis, and hid down by the Oval while she was tightening a net around Regent's Park. We called it on turn 18 or so because everyone was knackered, but I reckon I would have survived, as they were running out of tickets.

 

I really like this game, unfortunately more than anyone I've tried to play it with.

 

We were playing the lovely looking modern edition with the original, SdJ-winning 1983 rules downloaded from BGG, because the modern rules are spectacularly, massively broken. I'm absolutely amazed they're in the box. Someone who did not understand the game at all just added a bunch of shit which neither works thematically or mechanically. It actually makes me quite angry how bad it is.

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After seeing positive reviews of Paladins, I got Architects of the West Kingdom, the earlier and simpler game.  It's rather good (no photo unfortunately).  On first glance it's nothing we haven't seen a million times before - worker placement to obtain materials, and use those materials, with the assistance of apprentices to construct buildings for points, or to work on the community endeavour.  There are a couple of delicious twists however.  The first is that the more meeples on a space the more powerful it becomes to you (more resources or more actions available) - however these meeples represent an easy source of cash to other players - they may capture them and sell them to the guard on a later turn (you can get them back sooner but you have to pay dearly).  Secondly there is a "virtue" system in place whereby certain actions such as raiding the tax coffers or using the handy black market reduces your reputation, whereas certain buildings and apprentices will increase it.  These factors mean you can't just work away on your board and ignore other players - or you do so at your peril.  The single player game is very clever - its both simple and yet it mimics the actions of other players well by regularly whipping away your meeples and contributing to the guildhall) the completion measure.  After a couple of run throughs you should be able to beat it using the vanilla character and then you can experiment a bit with other "builds" - it's too quick a game really for complex engine building but there are some testy synergies if the cards fall your way and you want to be bad (the character sheets encourage this approach in some cases). A nice contrast to the likes of Post Human Saga and Cooper Island which are real ball breakers. 

 

And that leads on to On Mars, my second game.  I got hold of a KS version of this and its a right bastard to wrestle with in some ways.  The USP is the difference between actions which are possible on the colony itself and those which are only possible on the orbiting station, and one travels back and forth using a shuttle (or by other means).  It's wise however not to consider the gameplay too literally because some of it just doesn't make sense.  It's also a mistake to consider it a worker placement game, because although there are colonists to place in certain spots, not all actions require this.  In addition there is a resource cycle which requires you to spend resource of type A to obtain the services of a scientist to work on a building of type B, and this scientist will score for all buildings of type C in the end game. A really non-intuitive system.  I've been playing the SP mode and it adds another complication in that your opponent has different behaviour in some instances, and doesn't always travel with the shuttle.  However, one nice touch is the introduction of progressively harder objectives to the SP game, which is the sort of thing I've being doing when playing Mage Knight, just to ease into it.  Not giving up on this but it was certainly a rocky old start - "snaggy" would be the term.  On the other hand there is a certain joy about moving your rover around on Mars to collect free tech upgrades (as you do) and the ubiquitous crystals.  I haven't played terraforming Mars by the way.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

And it didn't disappoint - a six hour session was had.  We played the first mission with a character each to start with, failed once after letting ourselves be overrun and not making the most of the ability to choose turn order or rest up to heal wounds, then we played with all four characters between us, beat the first mission and the second.  It really is a great game.  The unpredictability of the activation dice against the player determined turn order add such a rich layer of strategy and discussion about what to do.  Each of the characters is very distinctive.  My chum set Not Arnie up as a sniper, with a shotty for close range and John Connor as a healer/support. I had Future Matt Smith as the tech dude and Kyle Reese as DPS doing murderous rampages against the machines. 

 

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The aftermath of mission 2 above.  We had to fight our way from the left most tile to the one nearest the camera in which we're gathered, then survive for 3 turns once we reached the waypoint there. Waypoints along the way triggering various other effects, such as extra enemy spawns and shifting spawn points which really screwed us.  It was super stressful when we opened the final blast door to the exterior to be greeted by a Flamethrower T-800 boss which has naughty dice driven logic.  We kept rolling 5's and 6's for it which makes it do the most aggressive thing it's capable of :D.  Anyway, we managed to set up a nice choke point and survive - despite taking a couple of KO's - until the transport arrived to whisk us away to mission 3 next time.

 

This morning, @Rikku and I polished off another couple of adventures in the Temple of Elemental Evil.  I was grumbling the other day about how this game has been easier than the others in the series but the second quest we played today kicked our asses.  We just about survived it with a moderate win, rather than a super duper one (slightly different adjustments to the decks for the next game), but it was a stark reminder of how cruel the system is and how lucky we've been to get this far with little trouble.  We have picked apart the four elemental cults, defeated their elemental bosses, smashed an Ettin and now we have to finish off the final boss of the game, the acid-spewing black dragon, Valethidros.  We already fought her once, driving her away from the town of Red Larch (below) and rescuing the villagers.  Now we have to head into her lair to finish the job in the final mission of the campaign.  It's been great.  Comfortably my favourite of the DDAS games to play multiplayer.

 

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It's been a HEXploreit Valley of the Dead King weekend here.  Given the current difficulties in the hotel sector, Basil, a wrathful dwarven brute, Sybil, a stingy angelborn oracle, and Connie, a headstrong elven shaman decided to set out on a long mission to rid the valley of the menace once and for all.  They had a tough beginning to their campaign with a kobold invasion of their home town, but next encountered a real stroke of luck with encountering the first boss in a way in which the rewards were doubled.  Their passage thereafter was long and not always agreeable, and it got more and more difficult as more bosses were slain, but they were determined to vanquish each and every boss in order (14 in total) and to confront the Dead King at his deadliest, so needs must.  Basil was a whirlwind of hack and slashing, even at some cost to his health, Sybil divined the boss's intentions and either defended, healed or absorbed damage, and Connie used her totems to power up her spirit summons to wreck havoc on boss's energy levels.  Another major stroke of luck was the opportunity to eliminate the Dead King's bone army before the final battle, one which was grabbed by both hands.  Finally, after many many weary miles (and a few teleportations), the team faced up to their ultimate adversary - he of 480 health and 420 energy.  No problem whatsoever for our intrepid trio.  He rolled a 3 - a further double action - potentially disastrous but fortunately not so here.  Basil wound himself up for 450 health damage, totems were set out, Sybil did her thing and we were into round 2.  The boss rolled a 1 - damage of 16 to each hero - no problem when you may absorb up to 34 at a time and everyone's health was over 30 initially.  Connie got her Will o the wisp to eliminate all his energy in one go (via the 18 totems she had in place), and that left Basil simply needing a final swing of his axe to do the job.

 

In all seriousness, a brilliant game, even though this group was ultimately somewhat OP given that boss battles yield the best rewards.  In this instance I set out the world map to extend the game length as long as necessary to complete my objectives for this team, and gain a couple of achievements (valour points) for myself, which carry over to other games in the franchise, each of which introduces new elements - this is the most basic of the games.  All of the role and race cards carry over to all games afaik.

 

I also looked at the versus game and I'm for that too now- in this one player plays as the DK and appears to have all the advantages - he chooses his targets to corrupt (rather than rolling for them), he may up the game difficulty which is usually the party's prerogative, and he has some truly evil "anytime" cards he may play. I'm thinking a very fast game might be the best approach - possibly using the brute and oracle again (that power of the oracle to roll the boss die before committing to actions is unique and extremely beneficial), with maybe a buffer in there to to speed things up even further.  

 

 

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2 hours ago, Nathan Wind said:

Pics or it didn't happen!  I just watched a review, that looks pretty good.  I've not heard of it before.  Some of the artwork looks really nice.

Oh it happened alright, it's just that the game doesn't photograph well. I'll try to get some pics of the current game.

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OK, so this is a bit more info based on the versus game I just completed (and WON).  This is a surprisingly good mode, even when continually swapping hats as a soloist because the Dead King has a number of things to consider.  He has to balance going straight for the jugular and corrupting cities and shrines, with opportunities to increase his attack statistic by undertaking his equivalent of quests, and having fun at the heroes expense by disrupting their circumstances and raising minions to go after them, but also at the expense of his energy level.  As noted earlier, he has various opportunities to roll to increase difficulty (which will pump his stats in the final battle, and which is irreversible), and he also has powerful "play anytime" cards - in this game he prevented the heroes from purchasing gear upgrades for 6 turns which is why they all have cash in hand at the end.  So not all the cards are stacked in his favour.  I thought about an effective team for this game and I decided to go with 3 races which each had undead as a favoured enemy - this gives an unblock able damage bonus - but he had the answer to that in the form of a ritual he can use each combat round to reduce the value of this (one with re-roll capability would be more useful)  I also thought it would be useful to build the hero's citadel very early in a central position so that they would always have a safe place to turn in quests and to obtain teleportation stones.  Both sides alternate placing the initial 4 pieces on the map - I decided the heroes wouldn't try to extend distances in this case (unlike the earlier game where the initial set up was very different with lots of empty space in the middle).  The team this time comprised Lucifer, a Fallen divine one (healer), Bhaal the demonborn bserker (striker) and a shady weapon smith to buff the berserker.

 

If you are not familiar with the gameplay, the team moves around the map resolving circumstances rolled for with d6 (top row) and seeking to complete quests at particular locations (bottom row).  Boss lairs are marked in red and there are also caves to explore (green) which offer a menu of threats and opportunities depending on a d10 roll.  The DK moves around and corrupts every city he reaches (the red and black markers).  These are then closed to heroes although there are 5 talismans available to purchase which enable the city to be freed.  As and when you turn in quests or complete boss fights you power up.  This is the crux of the game (indeed the franchise).  Each role has 4 statistics which are the focus here (as well as health, energy and the 3 skills corresponding to dice which you roll every turn and which are also used to complete many quests).  These statistics are attack, defence, and 2 masteries denoted by different symbols  The masteries will reflect the role.  The flipside of each role board features artwork of the role where you can see the nature of the weapon used and general appearance of your character, but there are no weapons or equipment to acquire in this.  Instead you raise the level of these key stats either via cash (representing purchasing upgrades) or via the direct power ups.  The intriguing and technical aspect of all this is how the derived values of the 2 masteries are adjusted as you increase your 4 stats.  At the simplest level you simply add say attack value to rage (mastery 1) value to achieve a greater attack value at the expense of one energy.  Sometimes though these masteries also allow you to do something else as well once you reach certain levels e.g the weapon smith may buff attack level for a number of rounds, and also defend.  Sometimes an action taken in round 1 doesn't manifest until round 2 e.g laying traps, or drinking to enhance attack (as you do).  So these roles develop and intertwine with each other in a way which I find fascinating.  The laminated boards provide space for all the necessary calculations.  The easiest way to succeed is to have a big hitter such as the brute or the berserker here, but energy may also be damaged and the next game in the series makes more use of this.  

 

The game is remarkable albeit expensive, and with versus mode (from the expansion) and the campaign which is currently being written represents good value for money for a certain fanbase.

 

Anyway here are a couple of pics of the map - which is very detailed even if it doesn't come across very well, and the team going into the final battle which they won over 3 rounds.  

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50 minutes ago, Nathan Wind said:

Unagreed!, that looks awesome on the table.

Thanks.  It certainly gets under the skin at times. I should probably break open volume 2 shortly - it has a forest setting and from watching some videos last year it seems draining energy becomes more significant.  Volume 3 is in production and has a desert setting with heat and radiation hazards, together with new gameplay factors such as city states and faction reputation, caravan routes, gambling and arena combat. Volume 4 is in development and has a vampirism theme or background with day night cycles, new buildings etc.  Goodness knows what they have planned for 5 and 6.

Consulting the boardgames pricing website I see you can pick up copies of volumes 1 and 2 for less than £60,  which I would think reasonable for the quality and replay value if appealing.

Edited by Cosmic_Guru
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More Termo today, culminating in a boss battle with the T-1000.  The way it works is a great piece of game design - clearly a lot of thought went into replicating the liquid metal bastard from T2.  It can't be killed so you have to keep damaging it to try and slow it down (tracked on the stagger card with penalties to its move and attack), but it self repairs every turn and is relentless.  Always pressing forwards trying to get you with its big spiky arm.  Not-Arnie  managed to nail it hard at point blank range with a shotty right after it spawned, which gave us a little breathing space to keep the damage ticking on it and we got away, but it was proper touch and go stuff.  Brilliant.

 

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Finished Pandemic Legacy Season 1 yesterday, after a 2 year, 2 player campaign featuring my missus and I.

 

Ended on a wonderful, victorious narrative high note, but we got absolutely smashed in Autumn/Winter so overall we did not perform well.

 

It's so, so good how it's structured. Looking forward to cracking open Season 2 soon, though I may leave it a couple of weeks.

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19 hours ago, Nathan Wind said:

Big day tomorrow. Coffee table is all set up for @Rikku and I to embark on a remote Folklore the Affliction campaign.  Dem tokens! :wub:

 

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What a special game this is.  I knew I would love it from the moment I backed it on Kickstarter, and really, really happy to have finally gotten to play it properly!  :wub:

 

Story One told us it would take 90 minutes, but I think it took us a good 5 hours? There was quite a few rules references on the way, and obviously a couple of comfort breaks, so I expect it will be quicker when we're more up to speed on all of the rules. 

 

Biggest complaints of the game on BGG, or probably the most common complaints is the combat is too random or luck based.  I found it perfect.  Exactly what I expect from a dice based combat system.  Roll to hit, add or subtract modifiers, roll for damage, add or subtract modifiers.  I'm gutted that the one and only natural 100 I rolled was when I was controlling the BOSS, then maxed out the damage I rolled on our poor Avenging Madman. :unsure:  The other common complaint is that the game is very punishing for a 2 character set up.  I can see how this would be an issue if I hadn't been playing a healer type character.  Plus we got some very lucky rolls for items quite early on, and some nice heirlooms.  I think we were evenly matched by the time we met the affliction and dealing good amounts of damage. 

 

The writing isn't exactly the best, but it's definitely not the worst I have seen.  I also really like that the choices we made had consequences - and you're not quite sure whether something is going to help you massively, or come back and bite you on the bum later.  My character being a do-gooder did something he thought was the right thing to do and was rewarded well later, the Avenging Madman did something and almost lost a finger at a later time. :D It definitely adds to the RPG feel of the game when you decide to do something your character would do.

 

Just got to deal with a small case of Lycanthropy before starting on story 2 tomorrow...

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I really like Folklore although the housekeeping is a real nightmare.  Ive finally devised a system which keeps things as streamlined as possible which includes tricks like relegating all gear with passive bonuses to the character bags, scribbling all the small changes in game  to cash and xp on sheets of paper to save wear and tear on character sheets, and using the Gloomhaven dials for health and MP.  

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4 minutes ago, Cosmic_Guru said:

I really like Folklore although the housekeeping is a real nightmare.  Ive finally devised a system which keeps things as streamlined as possible which includes tricks like relegating all gear with passive bonuses to the character bags, scribbling all the small changes in game  to cash and xp on sheets of paper to save wear and tear on character sheets, and using the Gloomhaven dials for health and MP.  

 

For sure, I was using the Gloomhaven dial for my HP and PP and we used d20s for health tracking on the monsters - die at the feet of the standees!  I can definitely see using the other tricks as well!  Random scribble pad for changes. :D  I would like to have a laminated sheet - ala Hexplore It for the tracking of the stats!

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1 hour ago, Rikku said:

 

For sure, I was using the Gloomhaven dial for my HP and PP and we used d20s for health tracking on the monsters - die at the feet of the standees!  I can definitely see using the other tricks as well!  Random scribble pad for changes. :D  I would like to have a laminated sheet - ala Hexplore It for the tracking of the stats!

Using dice to track monster damage is a great idea.  I marked my standees as I couldn't see any other way of identifying one from another, obviously not ideal.  

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Tracker dice make it easy peasy.  Really enjoying this, and being used to pen and paper RPG's, the bookkeeping isn't an issue.  Having said that, due to the amount of paperwork it's probably not a game I'd choose to solo - as I've mentioned previously, quick set up and non-fiddly play are what I like when it comes to playing alone, but with two players this is absolutely great.  Dripping with atmosphere and very much a D&D Ravenloft feel about it.

 

Dice trackers in action -

 

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Yep, it's the 4 character solo game which ramps up the busy work.   I also have control schedules for crafting wants, key facts about each character ( immunity, added damage,  re-roll opportunities beong the main ones), levelling up and a scan of the combat terminology page (all of which sounds excessive but 4 shheets fit back to.back in 2 clear plastic document holders so it's quite tidy in play). This all being in relation to a by now high powered team of slayer,  witchhunter,  illusionist and scientist who have completed all the chapters in the first 2 books.  Not sure the aesthetic of some of these fits with the 16th or 17th century setting,  but they are a cool bunch.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My game of Pandemic Legacy 1 continues to move incredibly slowly! One game left. I think it’s taken us over a year to get together and get it played!

 

Meantime, been playing with the kids more — Spy Club and Machi Koro Legacy. 

Machi Koro seems fairly unbalanced, but a fun legacy style game that they can enjoy. There’s a real sense, though, that once someone is on a roll and wins a few, they’re going to stomp the others until the end of the campaign. 
 

Spy Club, on the other hand, is exceptional — not far from your Pandemic, but without the movement element. And some very nice ideas in the legacy-style campaign deck; their ‘mosaic’ system of semi-random unlocks is very smart, and some of the add-on rules have become our favourite mechanics. 
 

And, finally, I instantly ordered the new Villainous set for the beautiful black and white character. Sadly, my 11yo remains unconvinced — a bit long and too much text parsing for her, I think!

 

Next up: I’m really interested in the new Funko Back to the Future co-op game, which I think is out now / soon. I also hear Zombie Kids Evolution is a good family legacy title, but not 100% convinced. Would welcome thoughts from anyone that’s played it!!

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Been hammering Board Game Arena with my regular gaming crew the past weeks, playing:

 

Russian Railroads

Keyflower

Puerto Rico 

La Granja

 

...and multiple quick games of 6nimmt and Colt Express. Really enjoyed all the above to be honest.

 

I do think Russian Railroads is a bit OP for whoever goes first (and therefore whoever gets the first engineer - especially if he/she is a good one!) but otherwise very thematic, easy to follow and a enjoyable Euro game. 

 

Keyflower is great, but I have only played it once so hard for me to comment too much, other than love the multiple scoring mechanics, and the fact you 'build' your own town separate from the main board, taking planning to a level higher than I was able to get to grips with! Maybe next time. 

 

Puerto Rico I have forgotten all about tbh (long night!) but I did enjoy this, a fair bit more than I had any right to on my first play. 

 

La Granja...unfortunately I did not enjoy quite so much. I think it suffers from the excessive amount of "free actions" that each player gets to do - I get that doing so allows everyone to "do" what they want (at a resource cost) but it's just too stop starty and also very hard to see how well you're doing vs the other players. The theme and art style didn't grip me too much either tbh (Mediterranean farming) but that's super objective I admit! 

 

Also been playing a good amount of 2p games w/ the missus during past few months, will post again on that at a future date...

 

TLDR: games, they is good. 

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Some of my favourite games there, Jamin.

 

The engineers in RR are definitely powerful, but by going for one first you're missing out on other cool stuff like the double worker action or the making progress towards your bonus awards. I think it's pretty well balanced, but I've played it a few times now. I wish the expansions weren't OoP, there are rumours of a big box edition coming next year but I'm not going to hold my breath.

 

PR is something of a classic, although with its brown piece 'colonists' it falls into that embarrassing category of games that whitewash history. Better players than I think it's a 'solved' game but I still enjoy playing it.

 

Keyflower is a brutal auction game once you get the hang of it. The battle for the special green meeples is often amusing to watch, unless you're part of it.

 

La Granja, gutted you didn't like this, it's one of my favourites. I love games that let you use the cards in your hand in different ways. It's one of the heaviest Euros I own though, so it does have a tendency to slow down with players prone to AP.

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