Love Letter and Masquerade. I have no idea where the game is in either of these.
I felt the same way about Shogun, to the point I have purchased it (thank you FFG holiday sale!) though I have not yet had the opportunity to get it to the table. Since I’m trying to play every game I own at least once in 2017, I hope to rectify that.
I haven’t played Masquerade so I can’t comment on that, but I find Love Letter to be a fantastic filler game. Plus since it is so portable it is great for killing time while waiting for a table at a restaurant (or your food), or any number of places.
I absolutely love Fief. It has the political game mechanics I wish Game of Thrones had.
I thought he kind of recommended Shogun?
It basically boiled down to “good, not great” and thus was not quite good enough to recommend. Still seemed to like it though.
I’ve only played coup once, but really liked it. Was it the elimination part you didn’t like?
I’m not the OP but what I don’t like about Coup as someone who primarily games with non-gamers is that it’s really hard to teach, and equally hard to play when you’re brand new and don’t have the roles memorized yet.
That’s not a big deal if you’re playing with experienced gamers who are used to being lost at the beginning of a game. But non-gamers can be really self-conscious about not understanding the rules, and likely to get frustrated if they don’t get it right away.
I like the game itself, but I only ever play it with folks I know aren’t going to get embarrassed or feel dumb for not immediately picking it up.
Gotcha. Yeah, I could see how it would be more of a gamer’s game and that a different bluffing game would be a better introduction.
Yeah, Coup definitely works best when people actually know they’re doing. We used to have a group play Coup a couple times after lunch. Then someone got Coup: Rebellion, so now instead of the setup we all know, we’re dealing with random combinations of new characters, which makes it really hard to bluff appropriately and lie convincingly.
Maybe instead of throwing new players into a game of Coup, have them watch a game (shouldn’t take too long) and possibly explain some of what went on afterward?
That’s a good idea!
One way I’ve taught it in the past is to play an entire round with the character cards face up, with no mention of the bluffing aspect. Then, after a round or two is over, tell everyone the Big Twist…that the game is actually played with our cards face down, and we can totally lie about who we are.
That seemed to help a bit, and I’d recommend giving it a shot. But…I don’t know, I’m probably oversensitive about what non-gamers will balk at, but I’m always nervous when I bring it out.
Playing with cards face up also sounds like a good idea. Get first-hand experience with the flow of the game (get money before stabby stabby) before adding the bluffing layer.
I’ll second that this seems like a great idea. I’ve brought Coup to the table a few times and it’s never gone down particularly well. We played it 3 times last week in a row (me and 3 new players) and none of them seemed comfortable with or to enjoy the bluffing aspect very much.
Perhaps they don’t enjoy bluffing games or perhaps the game just didn’t empower them but more made them feel uncertain or a bit dumb. The face up cards idea would give them a better concept of what the cards do before the bluffing aspect is introduced.
(I did teach it with the cards face up, but more just to run through the card types rather than very much gameplay).
The SU&SD folks seem to really dig certain mechanics and categories of game that either do nothing for me or actively put me off a game, like bluffing and auctions, as well as my generally not particularly caring for light, fast games of whatever stripe. Similarly, there are games they wouldn’t recommend, like Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror, that I love (well, I love Arkham. Eldritch is nominally an improvement and has some good new ideas and yet I don’t get the same joy out of it - I think in significant part because of how slow movement is and how much harder it is to succeed at rolls). But I don’t necessarily disagree with those reviews, I just value different things about gaming.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is, I think, their only review where their description of the game and its purported flaws seemed completely alien to my experience of it, and I remain baffled by it to this day. The game I played was a rich, heavily thematic superhero experience with tons of variety and many interesting, difficult decisions, which has stood up to 40+ plays without me ever souring on it (making it quite possibly my most played game in my entire collection, although there are a few games with campaign modes that make a stab in that direction and Gloomhaven bids fair to go well past in time). Can’t wait for OblivAeon to finally ship. (Admittedly, I’ve not played it recently but between waiting on the aforementioned expansion and my having a few dozen other games that need more play…and Gloomhaven…it just hasn’t percolated back to the top yet. it will!)
I’ve played SotM a handful of times with 2 friends who are obsessed with the games, probably have played it a similar amount as you, and I just couldn’t find the draw. The biggest detractor for me is that when my character died my card flipped over and each of my turns I could heal someone for 2 hp if I’m remembering correctly. One of the other 2 players had Visionary out and the card that makes her immune to damage with the option of getting rid of the card to continue doing anything. So she would get really low on health play that to become immune and we would just go around the table and on my turn I’d heal her for 2 hp, she’d get back to full health, get rid of the card and continue play and would go enough through the deck to get back to that immune to damage card before she died and we’d rinse and repeat that until the bad guy was dead…
This made the game seem really boring. And I’ve looked online, it’s not the only sort of infinite combo you can do to make sure you win the game. This sort of killed any interest I had in playing the game. I mean, I could definitely play it without any characters that have those capabilities but that seems to defeat the point in having those characters. I have played the game a few more times since, simply because my friends get so enthusiastic while playing it that I can manage to look past the terrible game mechanic design which can make it virtually impossible for the players to lose in situations purely dependent on the heroes you’ve chosen.
Here’s the thing: maybe that worked in one circumstance (although I am skeptical things were being played correctly), but I think you’d pretty much have to have the perfect storm of villain, environment and hero team. 2 HP a round is very slow healing and Visionary can’t actually do anything while cocooned, meaning the only way the villain isn’t building up during that time is if they draw nothing but direct damage (unlikely, but I think there might be one or two villains that could hit that), or the environment is somehow countering them. And once Visionary is out of her cocoon, a built up villain should easily be able to take her out before she gets back into it. Certainly she would be very unlikely to make significant progress on actually defeating the villain in the meantime, because she isn’t a powerhouse damage dealer, and many villains have ways of recovering health or deflecting damage, etc. Some have ways to win other than killing everyone on the team. Her cocoon is generally just a way for her to take a bit of time out and gather resources. I’ve almost never found it to be a game winner.
But yes, there are a very large number of combinations of decks with all the expansions out there, so there are occasionally particular combinations that might not be all that fun. I think it would be a shame to let having bumped into one of those configurations sour you on the whole thing.
I hear ya, and that’s why I’ve still occasionally played with my friends, it still hasn’t grabbed me even after. I’m not really sure why. I think I’ve just played other co-op card games (Like the LotR LCG among others) that I’ve enjoyed more.
I agree with you (@GammaGoblinz) on Sentinels of the Multiverse. I found the decisions to be virtually non-existent and the game essentially boiled down to doing some simple arithmetic.
I thought it was incredibly thematic, though. All of the heroes and villains had great back stories reminiscent of old-school comics, and the environment deck also generated great atmosphere.
EDIT: Something about replying when on my phone swallows up the reply to person.
LOTR LCG definitely has significantly more depth, but it’s also a lot more to deal with. In particular, I don’t actually like building decks for card games and so I love Sentinels’ pre-designed deck format and would love to see it replicated with other themes - perhaps with more complexity as well.
There’s a couple that do that - Red Dragon Inn being another example. The main reason I suspect it’s not quite as common a mechanic is that deck building offers a fairly simple way to increase the game longevity without necessarily needing to add any components. Although that said pre-built deck games tend to be easier to launch expansions for.
I can’t think of any review off the top of my head where any difference of opinion hasn’t simply been down to different tastes in gaming. Though even when it’s something not directly related to the game it’s not so much a question of thinking they’re wrong, simply that they’re approaching it from a different position.