I don’t feel much inclination to get rid of any games but I relate to your particular quandary. My wife, who enjoys games when we actually sit down to play them but will rarely do so, keeps buying me (Xmas, birthday, Father’s Day etc.) card-based party games. I think this is based on the aspirational notion that we will have parties at some point. Or friends. We now have CAH, Red Flags, Superfight (and two expansions for it!) and some other “Hilarious©” card game whose name escapes me. We have never broken them out of shrinkwrap and probably never will–whenever we have or go to anything resembling a party, Codenames is the one we bring–but I can’t get rid of them because she bought them for me. I guess I have to wait until the statute of limitations for being an ungrateful dick runs out, at which point I will gleefully trade in these pristine duds for something we will actually play.
Once Upon A Time (french version) bought this because I thought it would be hilarious, turns out it has so-so rules and is not that fun, even with literary minded friends. At least it was pretty cheap
…that could only improve things. …heck, now that you mention it–maybe I should look at a Subbuteo crossover with my Crossbows and Catapults set?
scene from the Subbuteo/C&C mash up game
“…right, that’s a penalty kick. Line up your forward here…”
"…forward? Fuck that. …Blue team! …ready the BALLISTA!"
Sell Fief, buy Crusader Kings II?
I think the problem with Once Upon A Time is that the victory condition incentivizes players playing their cards as quickly as possible, leading to random, disjointed narratives as players introduce new cards as throwaways rather than integrating them into the story. Anyone know a storytelling game that incentivizes good storytelling?
And now you have Phil Collins in your head.
You still won’t stand a chance. My goalie is this guy.
Ah well, EVERYTHING needs more tanks!
CK2 is amazing, and is the reason I wanted to try Fief to begin with, actually.
I’d play that. A lot.
Ah, shinty. Always amuses me that the whilst the outfield players all have a nice team kit and (some) wear head guards, the keepers tend to look like someone whose just turned up in a track suit and been given a stick. “Go stand there and look big.”
I would like to know to!
Anyone tried Baron Munchausen?
I might try to get this played at my games night on Friday! It’s really sitting in the gray zone between “game”, “RPG”, and “improv theatre activity”, though…
Have you come across Hobbit Tales at all? Card based story game where you try to weave a story around the cards in your hand, whilst other players can add complications to thr tale. Players give out ‘cheers’ tokens for the best stories if I remember correctly.
I’ve recently bought both Once Upon A Time and Baron Munchausen. Shall have to see how they go …
Hobbit Tales sounds like Baron Munchausen, though I haven’t had the chance to play either. Mechanically speaking, Baron Munchausen sounds like it might work: the players’ goal is to tell a good story, and other players will throw out things that the storyteller has to integrate into their story, which avoids two of the problems in Once Upon a Time.
Tangentially related to storytelling games, when I first got Firefly the boardgame, I was thinking that it would be great if there was random episode generator. Right now, Firefly scenarios have the players going in knowing to do A then B then C to finish. I thought it would be great if it was a bit more sandbox and have players explore locations, figure out what the story is, and decide what to do about it. Something like Tales of the Arabian Nights, but instead of a series of random encounters, give the encounters some narrative cohesion. But I barely got into brainstorming design ideas before getting distracted.
I bought The Siblings Trouble because it looks like it would be the kind of game you’re looking for too. Haven’t had a chance to try it, or really even find some people willing to give it a real shot, yet.
And there’s Ace Detective if you’re interested in telling hard-boiled detective stories. One variant of it puts the onus on the players to tell the best story, which gets voted on by the other players.
Oh, and I now have Fall Of Magic, partly because of the great SUSD review. This one is fantasy based and seems to play more like an RPG than those other two I’ve mentioned, with guidance from a map and a very few cards used at a specific time. Haven’t played this yet either, and I’m thinking this is the next level after trying out Siblings Trouble first.
Star Fluxx. I got it before I knew better. Also, Zombie Munchkin is a close second, for all of the reasons that Munchkin is terrible, although admittedly, Zombie Munchkin is slightly better than the standard flavor.
This sounds a lot like one of my current grail games: Star Trek: The Adventure Game, which is an old West End title from around the time of the third Star Trek movie. It was co-designed by Doug Kaufman, who also work on the original Tales of the Arabian Nights.
Much like TotAN, Star Trek: The Adventure Game sees you moving around a map, and engaging stories from a big old storybook of various Star Trek adventures. I’ve not played it, but it seems to me to fit better than the conceit in Arabian Nights–even if the story points were one-off and disconnected, at least they were connected to a single planet or encounter, much like the Star Trek TV episodes were.
Plus, if I understand the rules correctly, the attributes you bring to any encounter are determined by the make up of the away team you choose–so rather than having a number of odd adjectives to describe one character that come and go, your crew could be selected for a particular mission. And, from what I’ve read, the choices you make tended to be logical–if you made Federation like approaches towards a planet, say, you would be rewarded for being peaceful, etc.
I think something like this in the Firefly universe would be great–but these days, apps are the new storybooks, and branching stories are likely handled much better by that technology. Still, there’s something nice about a physical book or even set of event cards that just feels more organic–so part of me is rooting for more games with analog components.
Anyway, worth looking into…for design purposes, of course! I’m sure the game system could be vastly improved if it was revisited today…
I can say with certainty that Baron Munchausen works. Like all loose storytelling games, it requires a strong group or at least a set of people willing to put effort in. It also suffers a little bit in that it’s really intended to be a drinking game. You don’t have to, but the rules are there and dropping them loses a quite a bit of the flair.
According to BGG’s geek rating (which is admittedly pretty harsh on things that haven’t had many ratings) G.nome and Bear Valley are my two worst games. Worse than that, I can’t actually make a case in defence of them because I’ve never played either. Bear Valley was very exciting, as it’s Chudyk + Bears, but looks in person like a very ugly, intensely complicated push your luck game that just seems the wrong sort of fiddly to even let my love of Chudyk help it hit the table. G.nome I got because I was excited about odd team mechanics at the time, but it turned up and just looked a bit naff, and I never quite fancied teaching it to anyone.
In terms of games that have actually earnt their space on the shelves, I’d say Mafia de Cuba probably tops the bill. I’m still fairly convinced there’s too many obvious ways to (nearly) guarantee a personal win (depending on seating position for me to call it a great game. If people play ‘logically’ it’s very, very predictable. BUT, it’s such a wonderful piece of interactive theatre, that every. single. game. has been amazing! The sheer drama of it. The sheer lies. The grim accusations. And people rarely actually want to do the ‘obvious’ best thing anyway, because it’s fun.
So it’s obviously not the worst, because it IS great. But i can’t quite call it a good game.
Otherwise I’m pretty sure I cull pretty ruthlessly.