Also Here I Stand and Virgin Queen, if you like. Any non-two-player game where the players, rather than the mechanics, are responsible for the balance, has this feature. Some implement it better than others. I’d rather play Virgin Queen for eight hours than Munchkin for one, but I can well understand people having the opposite preference. These games rely on the players to create the entertainment, which is a thing that SUSD appreciates. They also sustain a fun level even with differential player skill, so are handy for newcomers. Hence the love for Cosmic Encounter, I guess. [Full disclosure: I enjoy Inis, own but haven’t played Cosmic Encounter for ages, and absolutely love the Ed Beach games. I’ve played Munchkin once, and it was memorable, but I don’t mind not playing it again.]
Played Terraforming Mars with the Colonies expansion, and right off the bat, I prefer Colonies over Venus. Maybe because I didn’t went for the Venus strategy last time, but Venus feels like a bolt-on, a sideshow. But Colonies feels integrated and important to your engine building. Also another avenue for your excess titanium that none of us usually give a damn.
But even then, I’m still not a fan of Terraforming Mars. It’s a game that I feel that it’s too long - meaning, it overstays its welcome every single game - even without the drafting variant. God forbid we actually play with drafting. The card plays are compelling but to win you need to terraform, which is meeeh for me. Minerals and titanium are still second-tier resources. Money production is still an obvious strategy, otherwise, you’ll be left behind early and mid game.
My friends still love this game to bits, but I had enough of it. Sigh. If only Libelud kept supporting Seasons with expansions.
Getting back to the thread topic, I had another solo games session on Saturday.
Rallyman for the BGG 1 Player Guild challenge (the version I built on computer). Love this. Wish I could get it. The new edition is reserving the time-trial mode to an expansion; oh well.
Colt Express using all six robo-bandits. It’s a bit awkward but works reasonably well.
Renegade, where thanks to a quirk of setup I ended up auto completing the second goal (there were no closed partitions on the map) but completely failed to generate enough blue to finish off Roman Road.
Sagrada which I still find remarkably challenging.
V-Commandos, first real mission (Operation GREEN). Pick the right team to fit your play style and it all works much more cleanly.
Star Realms Frontiers solo mode against Assimilation. Solo mode is very badly explained, but I think I got it right.
Whoops. Got distracted on my rant on TFM that I forgot the others I’ve played recently lmao.
I was so hyped for Blue Lagoon when I found out about it. I am fully expecting it to be light, but I felt it was drier than I expected. It didn’t feel as thematic as Tigris and Euphrates. I still haven’t played Samurai to make a comparison. It’s good, but I need more plays of it.
Pandemic: Rising Tide reminded me why I’m not a big fan of co-ops. I still love Escape: Curse of the Temple and Ghost Stories, but those games are co-ops that kept me excited. Pandemic is just fine for me, but ti’s not something that makes me ask to play it.
It seems that I’m falling out of love with Lords of Vegas
First time playing Bunny Kingdom. I love card drafting games, so I had a good time with this. But sometimes it feels like it’s obvious on which card you’re suppose to pick.
A heart breaking loss another game in the A:NR:TD campaign and all because I didn’t clue in that Heimdall 1.0 can be broken with Clicks. If I had put 2-and-2 together I would have won nicely.
This exactly why I have zero interest in playing Inis (and Munchkin).
For me, Pandemic is a solo game. It’s a sudoku or crossword. A nice little puzzle to unwind with over a coffee or glass of wine. It kinda works as a couples game, but not really more than that.
As a coop it makes no sense. Everyone has different abilities, but to use them effectively you need to at least pair up abilities each turn. So someone is bound to tell someone else what they want them to do, or all players are working too inefficiently. Ultimately, each individual turn isn’t really satisfying, it’s the grand strategy that’s fun.
Playing Pandemic Legacy 4 player was fun, but reminded me why I love it as a solo game. There were certain things I REALLY wanted to do, but relinquished to democracy. Some quite major things would have been completely different - I’m really curious as to how it would have ended up.
Played Fog of Love. It’s fun, but definitely nothing more than a RPG generator. Only played the first story, so it felt really limiting just picking from one deck. Could see it having more longevity once onto the proper stories, but I’m not massively excited about it.
And for a game where the cards tell you everything you need to do, it seemed really jarring having limited tutorial mechanics AND a tutorial deck to guide you. We got through maybe a third of the rule cards then decided it was far too slow and seemed straight forward enough - we just wanted to play!!! Got through the game will no worries at all (my friends isn’t a gamer at all and had no questions). I like the idea of a tutorial deck that teaches as you play, but in this case it doesn’t do anything other than walk you through set up in painful detail before describing the player aid in a massively long winded manner. Even if this was someone’s first board game ever, I can’t see them sticking through all 20+ tutorial cards .
That’s a good note. It can be done in a satisfactory session, or it can drag on and on even though everyone knows who’s going to win. There are better games out there, for sure (but I still like it, it can be fun).
That’s usually when we all give up and play something else. Take a break with Exploding Kittens or something.
But, I digress. The last three games we played were Catacombs, Boss Monster, and Pie Face (again).
My group at work just got back into Pandemic Legacy Season 1 after almost a year-long hiatus. Just finished September, it’s still really fun and still so full of spoilers.
I think Munchkin has two main problems:
It’s a party game regularly pitched as something more. The shenanigans are only one step more strategic than Flux and Exploding Kittens or two steps more strategic than We Didn’t Playtest This At All and Uno, but it’s rarely presented as a silly party game, giving people weird expectations. Also, who makes a party game that can go on so long without ending?
The theme is purely inside jokes for people who played D&D in the 1980s. My wife didn’t do that, so the humor is lost and the game devolves into “take that” with weird card names. There’s almost nothing legitimately funny to people who don’t know D&D or the tropes surrounding it, so the silly party game isn’t silly to many people.
Other than those objections, it’s fine… It’s never great, and the long, drawn out ending sucks, but it’s good for a few laughs with a certain crowd.
This is only a half truth. Yes, Munchkin is just inside jokes for D&D fans, but with all the versions that are out there, there is a Munchkin game for almost every fandom. Like sci-fi? There’s Star Munchkin. Bond films? Munchkin Impossible. Superhero comics? Super Munchkin. Etc.
If you are a fan of any of the available genres, there will be tropes and inside jokes for you. Westerns, Pirates, Mythology, even Shakespeare now. Nothing is sacred.
During the office lunchtime game session a co-worker I play A:NR with decided to give Keyforge a whirl and the first game and I feel that we were both a little underwhelmed with the game. It seemed like regularly I wasn’t able really to do anything amazing and ended up hedging my bets hoping that I could do something cool the next round.
That’s not to say that there weren’t some devastating rounds (wiping out 6 creatures in one fell swoop, gaining 6 ambers from a well-played card, etc) but most of the game was us just going 'hrmm… I guess I’ll do this then.". After playing a lot of A:NR recently this felt very rudderless and that I wasn’t really in control of the strategy.
Finally got round to playing Parade. So great! First game the other players were grabbing the cards and not really getting the points system. Second time there was some strategy but still pretty light. Third game everyone twigged onto how it worked and it suddenly became so much tenser! Really loved the game once everyone got into it. Sort of game we could play over and over without tiring.
And Sushi Go Party. Had a mix of experienced and new players which maybe meant we took it a bit too fast. There was a few moments of confusion and people misplaying special cards. Not entirely sure some people scored themselves right, but everyone had a good time.
Wanted to play KeyForge, but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to just play 2 player
Tried out Tabletop Simulator this evening with a friend who’s too remote for regular boardgaming – a somewhat clunky game of Onitama, followed by a rather smoother Star Realms. This has a lot of potential (though I still prefer the physical artefacts when I can get them).
I would never play a TS game if an official app is available (Star Realms). I have yet to find a game in TS that didn’t feel horribly clunky - I think it’s an unavoidable result of the “3D” interface.
I tried Gloomhaven on TS, and I found it incredibly annoying, having to zoom all over the damn place. Possibly Gloomhaven is not the best game to simulate that way.
Gloomhaven – another long slog, and we failed the scenario. I’m surprised we got as far as we did actually, and could actually have won. I had one thing left to kill, there was only one attack modifier card that could screw us, and I turned it up (the null damage card). So, 4 hours and it came down to that card, so that was a bit heart breaking. Was playing a new class, the mindthief.
The scenario was we had to destroy 4 altars, which of course were all in different rooms. We stuck together for the first room, then realised there was no way we were going to get the others without splitting up. We lost our Spellweaver. Each of the rooms contained a demon, and they were buffed by the remaining altars, increasing their attack value. Very nasty. So that left 2 of us, and we got to the last two altars. I’d already damaged mine, just had 2 health left, and I had an attack of 4. Even the -2 attack modifier would have been fine, but instead I drew the null damage card. So much work, all for nothing. I did get a lot of xp, which the mindthief is good at.
Vanuatu , first play. Its a great looking game, with a very colourful board. You add tiles as you go along, either ocean files, or island tiles. An ocean tile can have fish and/or treasure chests, and an island tile has goods, plus areas for building huts and sand drawings. Each island tile also can hold a number of tourist pawns. The components are excellent – big chunky character tiles, cute little fish tokens and treasure chests. Goods are just cubes tho. Each player has a sailboat that they move around.
Its a good game, but can feel a little mean. Its easy to get caught out and have to not take actions, even if people aren’t playing to be cutthroat.
Fast Forward Fortress – I reset the deck so the new player could experience the game and learn the rules as we went along. Its very entertaining, we had a lot of fun with it.
We just did that one too. Without foreknowledge of which demons were in which room, which nearly killed us. Cleared Fire first, then Earth (all together), then one guy opened Wind all by himself thinking he could run away, of course he couldn’t, and basically died. Two of us finished off the demons and stayed to finish the altar, while the Brute ran into Ice by himself (sped along by the other player, who then exhausted), and managed to take out the altar just before dying.
I just played Ravine the other day at work and I thought it was pretty fun. I would like to play it a couple more times but the art was beautiful and the pieces were really nice quality. There was a good amount of interaction between players that was meaningful. My only criticism of it is that it seemed like the randomness was SUCH a master of the game it would be hard to become a better player the more you play.