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Had a full day of games yesterday and I remembered that i've not put anything in here for a while. This might be a bit of brain dump!

 

Age of Industry - Absolutely loved this. I'm a sucker for any game which requires you to balance your finances and the ability to plan ahead based on what your opponents are doing. You're aiming to have different industries on the board and ports which are linked to ships. The aim is to get these industries to flip and thus pay out and then be worth victory points. Coal and Iron works flip when all the resources on that tile are used by players and Cotton mills and Warehouses flip when you manage to sell to a port. Spaces are limited and in a five player game, they fill up really quickly. Theres rules on placement and what technology level can go on the board so you're constantly judging when is the best time to place an industry and when to develop instead. I can't wait to try Brass when my KS turns up now.

 

Poison - Knizia card game. The most prolific man in the industry. There are three cauldrons and each take either red, purple or blue. Green is wildcard but poison. The cards in your hand are differing values and on your turn you place one of them into a cauldron. The cauldron can't go higher than 13 and if you take it over you take all the cards in that cauldron and place your card on it instead. Keep going round until everyone is out of cards. Each card you take is worth 1 point and each poison is 2 points but if you have the most of one colour you discard them and they become 0. So you have to play off what other people are taking and what you can afford to go nuts with because you know you'll have the most of that colour. I love his little card games and this was no exception. One of the chaps brought up a good point and that there is no targeting in this game, you're just playing into the cauldrons and not specifically making one player have to take cards back. We have a guy who occasionally turns up who really doesn't like any game with player conflict, even light, so this would work for him. For example, he thinks Notre Dame is a mean game!

 

Powerboat - One type of game i'd never really looked at is racing games, now we seem to play them all the time. This one has a board with no straight lines just lots of obstacles, so you can take whichever route you want. The board is made up of hexagons which affect which direction your boat moves. you can only turn one face each turn, so no sharp hairpin turns. To move you roll a D3 and move that distance in a straight line or one face turn either way. When its your next turn you can either move that distance again, roll the dice and move the new distance,  pick up another dice and roll that, or pick up another dice and roll both. Each turn you can only pick up or put down one dice so if you've got four dice and are blasting away in a straight line but all of a sudden you want to turn, you will be turning with three dice and potential careering into a wall! You do three races and the courses are randomised but also the way you go round the buoys is random too, you could place them in a square and you go round clockwise or you flip two and have to do a figure of eight. Loved this but one guy really struggled and basically retired after the second race because he ballsed his moves up on both previous races.

 

Puerto Rico - Loved this. It has a mechanic where a player chooses a role, everyone else gets to do it but the player who chose it gets a slightly better version of said role. Means for a average length game, you're constantly involved on each players turn so there is hardly any downtime at all. You're producing goods, selling it on or shipping it out, making money, buying more benefits or storage houses for goods and repeating the process. I got a nice little combo about taking extra fields and victory points on having fields on my board.

 

Plague Inc. - This to me is what Pandemic feels like it should be. Co-op games can be ok but i've soured a bit on them. In this you're infecting cities and trying to cause them to collapse. You have to pick trait cards which give you better abilities but a nice twist is that the currency in the game are you victory points. There are event cards which can be played on your turn or to interrupt a players turn to add more shenanigans. Really enjoyed this so might have to hunt the app out. Interesting decisions when you're debating to give yourself diarrhoea or dysentery .

 

Zero - Knizia card game. You're collecting two different sets, a set of five numbers and a set of five cards of one colour, but the twist is you only have nine cards. So one of the coloured cards you're collecting has to be the same value as the set of numbers that your're collecting. We played a five player game and it definitely works better at a higher player count. At the start of the game some cards are removed so you don't know if all the '4's can be collected as a set or if there are enough yellow cards. Plus you're also looking at what cards other players are picking up to see if they are collecting what you're after. If you complete a set of five they are classed as 0 points. Anything not in a set is the value on the card but only one number so if you end up with 1, 1, 2, 2, and 3 as scoring you only score 1, 2, 3, for a score of 6. This also means a lot of players steer clear of the high numbers which make them slightly easier to collect as a set, but if you don't finish the set you could score quite a lot. Lowest score wins the game. 

 

That'll do for now, but over the last few weeks i've played: 

 

Taluvia

Trains

Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix

Medici: The Card Game

Snow Tails

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy

M

Batavia

Horse Fever

Keltis: Das Kartenspiel

Battle Sheep

Attika

Flamme Rouge

Factory Fun

Glen More

New Haven

Ulm

Glass Road

 

Thats more than I thought!

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I also picked up in a trade EuroRails by Mayfair. Train game which is pick up and deliver but you have to pay to create your line. The balance is making money from deliveries and then expanding your network but the cool thing is that you draw on the bard with coloured crayons. The game is from 1991 and the cards inside were still sealed!

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Yeah, it was manic but also quite controlled because you could play it conservatively. Not much activity on BGG and looks quite expensive to pick up too, which is a shame.

 

Its different to the other racing games i've played like Flamme Rouge where the track is an element but your choices are limited. Things like this happen in Powerboats

 

https://boardgamegeek.com/image/1002232/powerboats

 

Start of the race and everyone picks a massively different route

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Played a five player game of Twilight Imperium today. With the Fourth Edition coming out any day now, our group had arranged for one last game of Third Edition as a sort of send off.

 

Although conflict-heavy 4X games are far from my favourite, TI3 is a game that has grown on me each time I've played it. Every game begins with hope and anticipation as you work on capitalising your race's unique abilities, and culminates in a fierce battle, with stacks of spaceships crashing against each other and alliances broken and shattered.

 

It's a ridiculous game, with hundreds of pieces, and it takes a whole day to play, but it's really like nothing else. Can't wait to try TI4.

 

IMG_20171112_165733.jpg

 

IMG_20171112_161543.jpg

 

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On 12/11/2017 at 11:24, LaParka said:

I also picked up in a trade EuroRails by Mayfair. Train game which is pick up and deliver but you have to pay to create your line. The balance is making money from deliveries and then expanding your network but the cool thing is that you draw on the bard with coloured crayons. The game is from 1991 and the cards inside were still sealed!

 

I recently found Empire Builder in a charity shop for £2. I'm interested in seeing how it plays, but am quite sure that I'm not going to get it to the table anytime soon.

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4 hours ago, Andy_Why said:

@LaParka

 

What did you think of Taluva? One of my favourite tile placement games, but nobody seems to have heard of it. I love how the board looks once you've finished a game too!

I really enjoyed it. I know there's one guy at the pub who wouldn't play it because you can destroy peoples villages but it goes with the theme. 

 

There's something very satisfying when you either chain a nice line of villages or you manage to place a three tile high tower :)

 

Looks ace when it's all finished too. Highly recommended 

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On 13/11/2017 at 19:46, LaParka said:

I really enjoyed it. I know there's one guy at the pub who wouldn't play it because you can destroy peoples villages but it goes with the theme. 

 

There's something very satisfying when you either chain a nice line of villages or you manage to place a three tile high tower :)

 

Looks ace when it's all finished too. Highly recommended 

Oh you guys, another game added to my list @_@. Did Google and there was a deluxe edition kickstarter a few years back. You can grab deluxe edition from here http://www.eaglegames.net/product-p/101846.htm

 

Did just grab 

 

Specter Ops

 

Like Scotland yard, hidden movement with one going in to complete a mission and the rest trying to get them. (when playing with 5 players exactly there is a hidden traitor mechanism added - I played with 3). But it's basic/simple rules and a lot of fun. It's simple and each session is short too so we easy to get to the table. Already saw there is a standalone expansion out soon which I'll grab right away to have a bigger box of fun. I was waiting for Fury of Dracula but this was an impulse grab with it low entry bar and quickness of play it is going to see a lot of use. 

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BattleCon

 

Street Fighter the card game (with a board).

 

Each person has 6 "Base" cards. Strike, Blast, Punch, Grapple etc. Each has a range, a power and priority. So you know everyone has the same rough set up.

Every person also picks a character (out of about 30+!) that have 6 move cards specific for that character. Their modifiers to personalize the moves to that character, add flavor and abilities to base move. These cards can affect power/range/priority and always add modifiers and interesting interactions.

Both cards can also have move, retreat, pull/push, block, soak etc

Each turn each player plays a "Base Move" and a "Modifier". 

 

Some characters also have special abilities - e.g. my character gain shield tokens to spend later when they take damage, another could curse people to lower their stats, another could leave insect swarms on people doing damage over time and enhancing their own attacks)

 

So for example here: everyone has a Drive, but your character has chosen to make this "wandering" (unique to them)

 

battlecon-devastation-of-indines-pendros

 

 

They are the resolved in priority order.

 

(There are 6 of each card, but once played, cards are discarded and come back to your hand after 2 turns, so you have a limited pool, and can keep track of other people's limited options)

 

Really liked this. You can see the basic of fighter games (same combos, different implementation) come through, and it works really well. 2v2 was a little hectic (there's 1v1, 2v1, boss battles etc in the box as well)

 

The 30 characters seem really varied (in mechanics and complexity...we played tier 1 and 2 complexity - but it goes up to tier 5)

 

Having said that...it's really pricey. £60 on Amazon right now. You'd have to play it a lot to get money's worth (should be £80 I believe). I'd happily play it again - but I couldn't justify buying it

 

When I Dream

 

A mix of Dixit, Codenames and hidden roles.

One person is blindfolded (or closes their eyes).

The rest  form a team and have a series words (one at time over 2 minutes) they try to communicate to blinded by each taking turns to say 1 word (no rhymes etc)

But most of the team are trying to get the guess to be the right word and some of the team are trying to sabotage and get any other word guessed.

Each team scores gets points for each word they "win" (either right or wrong).

There's also a middle role who scores points by a balanced number of words on either side.

(There's players + 1 role cards, shuffled and dealt - so you never quite know the role make up in play)

After the 2 minutes scores are toted up, the blind fold is passed round to next player and role cards re dealt.

 

HATED this. It's sorry horribly stressful to be blindfolded and guess. Trying to keep track of clues (some of which you know are red herrings) and players for 2 minutes.

 

It's really good though, it works really well and the changing roles each time (and blindfolded) work as a great equaliser.


You just have to deal with the high stress 2 minutes :P

 

 

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Taluva hits that sweet spot between regular carcassonne and princess and the dragon expansion. There's some element of screwing someone over but because it can be quite tight, you'd only really do it if it benefits you. 

 

Played Age of Industry again last night, this time with just three players. Amazing game. The mechanics of the game are relatively simple, especially compared to something like Great Western Trail but putting together a coherent plan, oh boy. 

 

You're constantly juggling taking loans (which you pay interest on) with paying for industries, which you need to flip to get paid out on to keep your head above water. On one turn I had to take two loans to add to my other three to build two industries. On my next turn I was able to flip a load of industries, ports and ships and got a huge payout. I paid off all my loans and made a gain of three money. Doesn't sound much but I felt like a genius :D

 

scores at the end were 36, 40 and 40 and I won on the tie break. 

 

I'd play it again right now if I could and it's got me pretty excited for Brass. 

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Started sorting out Gloomhaven. It's astoundingly tricky. The boy and I had a game yesterday and the tried again this morning but haven't managed to beat scenario 1 yet. We looped the wife in for a go thinking a third character would help.

 

Game 1: She died on the first monster activation. We immediately reset.

 

Game 2: we got 80 minutes in and part way through the second room. Wife rushed forwards, ignoring the 3 archers, and disabled a trap. She took many arrows to the face for her heroism.

The boy tried to avenge her death but a) had mixed up all his discarded cards with his hand and b) had forgotten he'd taken an arrow to the foot so was stuck doing nothing anyway.

 

I ran forwards, almost did something but then looked at the corpse of my wife and my cheesed off son/brute and thought we've probably learned enough humiliation today, so we jacked it in.

Wife enjoyed it, but was overwhelmed and wants to try again, Boy seems to love it but I think we likely need to win the scenario to retain his interest much further.

 

I think it's fucking brilliant. 

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Played Age of Industry three times in as many weeks and I'm love with it. We played the Japan map which had a few rule changes but made you think about the puzzle in a different way. Much fewer train routes to build, with a potential to be locked out in certain regions. More ship spaces but less industrial spaces, you could only build iron in one space and it was off up in the corner. 

 

Biggest change was the 'draw two cards' action. In regular AoI there are two cards face up or the draw deck and that's your choice. In this one there is a display of six cards with a money value next to each card. When you do the draw action, if you pay that cost you can spend the card immediately which means you can be building in four spaces instead of two etc. Couple of turns where you could spend a fortune but get a huge jump on the board. 

 

This card selection means you go through the deck quickly so it's a quicker game than normal. Finishing scores were 26, 24, 22 and 17.

 

Next week we're going to play the Chicago map which is iron heavy, the ability to sell coal and iron as an action and huge mega cities to build in. The aim is to play every map over the coming weeks (there are 8).

 

Still hugely excited for Brass since playing this. 

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They've balanced a couple of things and put rules in for 2 players where you modify the deck but its mostly the same with a really nice art upgrade. The biggest knock against wallace's stuff is the art is pretty bland.

 

This is the board we played on last night

 

aoi-e2-japan-l.jpg

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Massive Darkness will be arriving later today for me and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in. Watched a bunch of videos on it and read the rule book in preparation. Seems very accessible, and needs to be, as this'll be my first tabletop game of this type. The last board game I played was probably Monopoly as a kid.

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Played another game of Terra Mystica last night. One of us hadn't played before so I was dreading having to explain the bowls of power again, but they understood it straight away and went on to play a good game.

 

This copy is owned by my friend, and every time we've played it I've somehow managed to scrape the win, so secretly I view it as revenge for him always beating me at my favourite, Terraforming Mars.

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Played Istanbul the Dice Game on Wednesday night (4 players). I believe the owner of the game picked it up in Essen, as it hasn't quite been released over here yet. I'd never played Istanbul the board game before so the whole game idea was new to me.

 

I really enjoyed it, although I am a sucker for a good dice rolling placement game. The general idea was that you needed to acquire rubies, and these can be obtained numerous ways - either by rolling fortunately (4 of a kind, 4/5 of the same resource), or by acquiring cards which have a certain ruby offer on them (e.g. swap 2 green, 1 red resource for a ruby... although these have to be fulfilled on the spot) or by buying rubies through spending coins (which you get either as a secondary effect from other people's cards, or by rolling the "gain 2 coins" dice).

 

You only have two actions per turn, so you're really looking at what you roll, and what you're prioritising. E.G. if you roll 2 Blue spices, you can take 1 Blue spice resource, with 4 needed to claim a ruby. Once someone has claimed the "4 Blue spice" ruby, the price increases to 5, and so on, so you're really keeping an eye on what other players are prioritising and plan accordingly.

 

Also rubies are finite, so once all the "4 of a kind" rubies have gone, they've gone and you need to target others. This means, as in most good games, you need to hedge your bets a bit. You can allay this by picking up "mystery box" resources (obtained by rolling 3 different dice items) - these can take the form of any of the coloured resources, I tended to keep 2-3 of these back at all times to give me a bit of leeway depending on what was left and what other players were getting to before me.

 

You roll 5 dice. You can buy "palace" cards (most of which asked for 3 a kind roll of a specific colour) which give you a buff at the start of these each go. I neglected these - much to my chagrin - as they are super powerful and are well worth investing in early (if you get the dice roll of course). You can also attain "diamonds" (you start with 1 at the start of the game), and these enable you to reroll as many of your dice if you'e unhappy with the results. One palace card gives you a diamond at the start at each turn which also turned out to be really useful.

 

One player got a "3 coin" palace card early doors which helped him acquire 3 coins each turn and then monopolise the rubies which cost coins to buy, which I felt was a bit OP. He basically ran away with it, but, bizarrely, I snatched victory on my turn as the two players before me incredibly fortunately picked up cards which gave all other players 4 coins, and so by the time it came around to my turn I was able to purchase the final 'coin ruby' and also acquire a 4 red resource ruby which I had already lined up, thereby snatching victory.

 

Lovely little game though. I'd personally make the "coin" rubies more expensive, and perhaps limit the "palace" cards to allowing players gain the benefit for say 5 turns (rather than the entire game), but still top fun, and actually well balanced (all players were 1 or 2 rubies away from victory at the game's end). I look forward to playing it again soon. ^_^

 

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Istanbul is something that's been on my wishlist for ages, but despite some good reviews and its propensity to turn up in sales, I've never picked it up as my group already has more eurogames than we have opportunities to play. I'd not heard of the dice game, so thanks for bringing it up @Jamin, that sounds like something that might actually hit the table, I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

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Yeah definitely give it a shot if you see it @revlob. I'd never heard of it, but was very pleasantly surprised. It took an hour for the 4 players, that was even considering none of us had played it before. Pre-orders for it in the UK are around the £20 mark (release date "November") so not too pricey too. Considering getting it as I reckon I could even convince family to play it over Christmas. Also would work well in 2-player I suspect.

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  • 2 weeks later...

X-Wing: Heroes of the Aturi Cluster

 

Well this was interesting - and that's from someone that prefers Armada and capital ships.

 

Lovingly made fan campaign - a big X-Wing player brought to our group to try out having printed/laminated it all (and having enough stuff for others to play)

 

http://dockingbay416.com/campaign/

 

We did that basic tutorial/starting mission. 3 Players (X-Wing each) versus 4 NPC Tie Fighters (then an Interceptor and 2 more Fighters)

 

We did alright - but the NPC characters were flown better! (It's a simple 'AI' routine you follow yourself for each fighter/squadron...surprisingly effective).

 

It's still X-Wing combat so nothing changes there, but the co-op element (and earning XP to upgrade ships/pilots for later missions) worked really well.

 

The campaign elements seem good. Basically 5 story arcs, but only 3 in your campaign. You add the next mission to each arc to your deck and then "draw" to see what you play. Then replace it with next mission in that arc and draw again. So you're never constantly following one story thread, it's all luck of the draw.

 

We ended up with 6/8 enemies killed, 1 of us down (but he managed to eject safely, so no penalty/death) but survived long enough to "win".

 

Chap is on about getting 5 people involved with pilots and then playing missions with whomever is available...hope it pans out.

 

 

 

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Another good evening at the game club, played Signorie from What's Your Game. I've only played Railroad Revolution by them previously and enjoyed it immensely, they publish games which I think I'd love. I've got Zhan Guo but not actually played it yet :(

 

Anyway, this game has dice. I've become more and more frustrated with dice in longer games just due to the randomness of them but I'll always look for interesting ways to use dice like in games such as Troyes or La Granja. 

 

In the Signorie you have a player board with five action spaces denoted by a colour and a number,  yellow 1, red 2 etc. Each space has extra spaces underneath which need to have a token on to activate it. So if you take the yellow action and have a token in one of the three spaces whenever you use the yellow action you can do that extra action. 

 

The numbers are important because it impacts the dice. Start of the turn all the dice are rolled and placed on the board. If you take a blue dice which on your board is value 4, you have to take at least a blue dice of four or higher, or pay the difference in coins. The really interesting part is of the five actions you can only choose a maximum of four per turn and if the total of all dice is equal to or less than 13 you get access to the bonus action (which is good) so choosing those two 6 dices and then there not being a 1 value dice means out of four actions you can only do two or not get the bonus action. 

 

Really interesting mechanic. Keeps you engaged not on your turn because your evaluating what dice are left and in which colour. 

 

Points are taken by collecting tokens which you get by sending male meeples in diplomatic engagement organisations female meeples in marriage proposals. Both have their own way of doing it and the puzzle is being efficient and also doing it quickly. 

 

I decided pretty early that spamming my player board to get the extra actions was worth it so at one point I was about 40 points behind but once I got my little engine running I was just able to do so much more on a turn, even having the luxury of only taking three of the four actions and still achieving what I wanted to. 

 

Ended up winning by about ten points. Couple of things I would have done differently but definitely want to play it again. Good stuff 

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Barenpark

 

A simple and elegant tile placing game that takes about 10 minutes to teach and 20 minutes to play (3 player). My 9yo boy picked it straight up and slammed us all on the first game, then I came back to punish him on game 2.

 

It's devilishly simple resource management/tile placement that doesn't have the strategic complexity of Alhambra or the depth of Carcassone. But you are making a bear park! It's like some strange mix of both of those games, plus Patchwork, and has an advanced game mode that has the achievement cards from Takenoko added in. It's filler light gaming, but fun and fluffy and enjoyable.

 

Really very good, perfect for my old useless mind.

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5 hours ago, Hexx said:

X-Wing: Heroes of the Aturi Cluster

 

 

That sounds amazing. Wonder if anyone has made an epic campaign incorporating X-Wing, Imperial Assault and Armada.

 

Lately I've managed to play Fury of Dracula twice. Very fun and we enjoy this one. I haven't been Dracula yet so will write up a bit more once I've had a go at that role.

 

Also got Codenames off @LaParka (thanks!). We played about 8 games throughout the night. This was brilliant, it can be a real nightmare trying to come up with clues for multiple cards, while trying to avoid pointing towards enemy agents / assassin. There are so many cards in the box, we left out the ones which had people's names on them as they seemed overly difficult for first timers. Got pretty competitive and everyone was fairly blocked by the last few games, leading to some interesting interpretations. Great feeling when you nail a clue and your team turns over 3  of your agents! Also terribly frustrating to give a clue and have your team charge off in entirely the wrong direction. This will be a firm favourite when we have a large group!

 

Secret Hitler: Still love this. Played a blinder as Hitler (overcoming my group's natural suspicion of me in every game) only to be outed by a mistake from one of my fascists when close to victory. I shot him as punishment.

 

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