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Re: Board Games

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:50 pm
by Eigenbasis
My coworker got the KoL board game and I played it today. I enjoyed it!

Pretty solid deckbuilding game, although I got screwed a couple of times by not drawing enough myst in some hands to cast my buffs. I guess that's where strategic discarding comes in. Buying skills is really important and will make or break you.

Re: Board Games

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:46 pm
by arkohn
Pandemic is a perfect game for not hating everyone you play with. It's cooperative, and everyone works together to take on the game itself. The only relationship strain I can see from it is someone being too bossy about how the other players use their turn. It's personally one of my very favorite board games.

Everyone gets randomized roles which give you different special abilities to help you hold back to pandemic that is consuming the planet, and if you can cure all four disease strains before one of the lose-conditions occurs then you win. There's also a very simple method of adjusting the difficulty for players with different experience levels.

Re: Board Games

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:30 am
by ungawa
Last night I played a great game called Alien Frontiers: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4872 ... -frontiers
I'd recommend it for anyone that likes competitive strategy board games. Lots of dice rolls, but balanced in a way that every turn takes some thought but you can almost always do something productive.

The basic premise is you have a fleet of space ships, where each ship is represented by a d6. Every turn, you roll your dice, and assign each ship to work at an orbital station around the planet that all the players are racing to colonize. The planet has 8 provinces to colonize. The game ends when any player places their last colony. Each colony is worth 1 victory point, and each province is worth 1 victory point to the player with the most colonies on it at the end of the game (no points for ties).

You start with 3 dice of your color and you can buy more as the game progresses.
-If you roll doubles, you can place them on the shipyard and spend some resources to buy another die to add to your fleet, up to 6 dice
-If you roll triples, you can place them on the colonization hub and spend some resources to place a colony
-If you roll a strait of 3 dice, you can place them on the raider's station to steal resources from other players
-You can use any combination of dice that add up to >= 8 to buy a technology card. The tech cards grant powers that can be used once per turn by the owner, a majority of which manipulate your dice after the roll. For example, depending on what tech(s) you have, you might be able to spend some resources to increase the number on a die by 1, or flip a die to the number on the opposite side. Tech cards also have different abilities that require you to discard them to have some impact on the planet, such as to move/swap colonies or apply other effects to certain provinces.
-Any dice that are not used for the above can be used individually to get either of the two resources.

Overall, having just played one game, it felt really well balanced, and each turn required a pleasant amount of planning. It's definitely a competitive game, with the option to raid resources and move your opponents colonies around.
The other competitive aspect is that each orbital station only has room for a certain number of dice, and your dice stay on the board until the start of your next turn. This opens up the option to block players so even if they roll something useful, they may not be able to use them the way they want.

All 4 players had different strategies based on the tech they got early on and the different bonuses for controlling different provinces.
Spoilered for more detailed info about the variation in strategies
My first 2 provinces gave me a better conversion rate to convert the more common resource to the less common one, as well as a better yield on the common resource. This let me have a pretty good supply of resources the whole game while bypassing the main mechanic for getting the rare resource that had more competition between the other players.
Another guy went tech heavy, with a province that reduced the resource cost of activating your tech cards each turn, and he got the most tech cards for manipulating his dice so he could do what he wanted.
Another guy went with a small fleet approach. Buying an additional die costs more resources the more dice you have. His first province reduced the cost of buying ships, so (when he got doubles) he could make a 4th ship for free or a 5th ship for cheap. There's an alternative colonization method that lets you sacrifice a ship to place a colony, so although he wasn't generating a lot of resources, he was able to place colonies fairly regularly.
The 4th guy (who won), went with the large fleet approach, getting all 6 of his dice early, and controlling the province that grants a 7th die. The resources he could make with his large fleet, along with some powerful tech, let him get his last couple colonies out in quick succession.

Re: Board Games

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:45 pm
by Raccoon
Over the past six months or so, my family has really gotten into board/card games; and then we discovered that my brother, who recently moved to Vancouver, BC (and is hence very close to us now) is a big gamer .... My wife picked up "Ticket to Ride" and I got "Munchkin Deluxe" when it was an Amazon Deal of the Day. Since then, my brother gave my kids "King of New York" for Christmas; and I just got "The Manhattan Project."

"King of New York" is big monsters rampaging in New York City. You win by killing your competitors or by racking up enough victory points through destroying vehicles, buildings, etc. and doing other stuff. It's a Yahtzee-mechanic, with six dice that you can re-roll up to two additional times to determine what actions you're allowed to take.

"The Manhattan Project" is a worker placement game where the only way to score points is to build atomic bombs, test them, or load them onto bombers. It's all about building your engine to produce enough enriched uranium or plutonium to build nukes. But this isn't some Euro-style game where there's little direct interaction with other players. No siree, you can build bombers and launch conventional attacks against your opponents' buildings, or better yet, you can develop spies and infiltrate their buildings, reaping the benefits of their infrastructure!

I haven't played "Agricola," but I've read reviews/bulletin board posts comparing it to "The Manhattan Project," and the best response I saw was one that said in "Agricola," you build a farm; in "The Manhattan Project," you build nukes. 'Nuff said.

Re: Board Games

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:56 am
by ungawa
I played Alchemists for the first time last night. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/161970/alchemists
While I can't say I enjoyed the experience last night due in part to a steep learning curve, it felt like there's a good game there and I'd like to play again now that I have a better idea how it works. It seems like an interesting logic/strategy game for groups that are interested in investing the time.
The players are alchemists that are trying to deduce which characteristics were randomly assigned to which ingredients by a smart phone app at the start of the game. By mixing pairs of ingredients in secret (taking a picture of the two ingredients with the app), a player receives information about the resulting potion, from which they can start to draw conclusions about the characteristics of the ingredients and start filling in their private logic puzzle style grid.
Once a player believes they know the characteristics of one of the ingredients, they can gain reputation (victory points) by making their theory public. Then other players may believe the theory and use that shared information to further their own conclusions, or they may think the other player is bluffing or mistaken and challenge the theory to try to lower their reputation.
The way the logic puzzle information is accumulated slowly, and the fact that information from other players is not reliable, ensured that every round required a descent amount of thought, and there was pressure to gamble on incomplete info which meant analyzing many scenarios for risk vs. reward.

Re: Board Games

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:42 pm
by Manendra
I played Unspeakable Words last night, and it was fun! A faster paced version of scrabble, basically. Some strategy components, too, if you want to think a bit.

Re: Board Games

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:17 pm
by Raccoon
The new favorite board game for my two boys (ages 11 and 8) and me - but not my wife - is Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy. It's a 4X space opera game with a mix of euro and american elements. Each player is a Terran faction or an alien species, starting in one part of the galaxy on a home hex tile. There's a galactic center hex tile. Each turn, players take actions, one at a time, until everyone passes. Actions include exploring (taking an unknown hex tile, turning it over, and placing it adjacent to a hex that you already control), researching technology, building warships, upgrading ships, etc. The catch is that the more hexes you control and the more actions you take, the more upkeep you have to pay at the end of the turn. You get more resources (money, science, materials) by controlling hexes with useful planets, so you have to balance your exploration and the size of your empire within your economy.

It's a very elegantly designed game, and plays reasonably fast - about 90 minutes for a three player game.

Re: Board Games

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:40 pm
by reverkiller
Played Lords of Waterdeep for the first time last night.
It was perfectly weighted for the friends that I have - They want the interesting economic aspects of euros without the complexity.

Raccoon, I have a copy of that game that I have not played yet, because I am a little afraid of it. Is it challenging for first time players?

Re: Board Games

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:34 pm
by Raccoon
reverkiller wrote:Raccoon, I have a copy of that game that I have not played yet, because I am a little afraid of it. Is it challenging for first time players?
It's a pain in the ass to set up and to clean up, but it actually plays pretty well; the game mechanics are really well-designed in that regard. It did take me a few plays to figure out all of the rules. Once I got it down, I was able to explain it even to my 8 year old son. I mean, he understands how to play, but he doesn't quite get the strategic implications. He just likes building dreadnoughts and attacking.

I'd say that if you game play it against yourself (it works fine for 1 vs 1), you'll be able to explain it to others.