What sort of Board Games do you Play

BobO'Link

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Have any of you played Great Western Trail? It looks to be receiving another printing and, to me, looks interesting. My oldest grandson has declaired a dislike for "pick up and deliver" type games and that's what one part of this one looks like. I think that's a minimal mechanism but... It also looks like worker placement/management and resource management as well. Basically several mechanisms we tend to enjoy.
 

DaveF

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Quacks is a really neat press-your-luck game. It's not a perfect game, as some of the options are too powerful and some are too weak. But it's got enough variability and enough tactical choices amidst the luck to continue to be fun.

I've only played Wingspan three times the past year or two. My take so far is it's a highly refined worker placement game. It's not super heavy, but it's a solid Euro style game.

Its taken me 10+ games to understand Space Base. But now that I've played it a bunch, I really enjoy it. It's Machi Koro done right. It works well two player. It plays 5 player base and 7 player expanded, I think. I look forward to play four player and beyond eventually.

We'll certainly play Isle of Cats this weekend. I can say the production quality and style is top notch.
 

BobO'Link

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My oldest grandson indicated a willingness to play Memoir '44 so I picked up a copy. We played this afternoon - but only half a game (didn't swap sides and play again) due to his recent surgery (he had a foot operated on and is still feeling the effects of being tired/drained with occasional pain killer use). He looked a bit rough when we played but was game enough and won. We played the suggested first scenario with him commanding the Allies and me the Axis. In that scenario the Axis is outnumbered at least 2-1 in a difficult to defend position with a smaller hand of "command" cards than the Allied leader. You normally play 2 sessions on a scenario swapping sides once one session is won. You then add the total of victory tokens earned for both sessions to determine the overall winner.

I enjoyed the session and am looking forward to more games with him.
 

BobO'Link

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My oldest granddaughter and I played a fun family filler type game this afternoon. Planet:

1594421214346.png


You draft a magnetic tile from a group of 5 and place it on your globe (each face has a metal circle that holds the tile in place). Starting in turn 3 you have an opportunity each turn to win one or more animal cards - if the regions on your planet best fit the habitat area(s) the animal needs. There are 12 turns in a game with your planet being completed in turn 12. You earn points based on the animals you won. You have a secret terrain card (there are 5 terrain types) and want to get specific numbers of the terrain on your card for bonus points. With 2 players it played in around 15 minutes with the box saying about a half hour. That sounds about right for a 4 player game.

It's really fun building your planet and planning properly to snag animal cards. In the standard game you can see which animals are coming up so can plan accordingly. A variation has the animal cards hidden until the 5 tiles for a turn are revealed.
 
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DaveF

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We played a couple of two player games of The Isle of Cats. It's good. The mechanics are polynomial (Barenpark, Patchwork) plus card drafting goals. Basically, you get fish (money). Then you get a hand of seven cards. You draft two, pass the remainder, and repeat until you hae a drafted hand of seven. Then you decided which to keep and pay for them Cards can enable you to rescue cats and/or move up player turn order, claim special cats or treasures, secret victory point goals, public victory point goals (that everyone can benefit from), and bonus actions (get money based cats rescued, rescue two cats at once, etc.)

Then you rescue cats and play cards. Rescuing cats cost money. So, there's the money management running through the game as well. Cats are polynomials. They have to be played on your ship when claimed. Connecting multiple cats of the same color gives victory points. The board is composed of seven rooms and also has rats scattered across it. Not filling rooms loses you points, having visible rats lose you points. So you want to be strategic in how you play cats to try and fill rooms or cover rats.

There are five total rounds to the game. Because of the drafting and the "tetris" cat selection and placement, there is real opportunity for analysis paralysis.

Overall, I enjoy it, as does my wife. I don't love it. I don't want to say it's simple, because there's obviously different tactics to take based on the cards and cats avaiable. But it's not a deep game. Crunchier than Barenpark, but still of that kind of complexity.

Helping out, the artwork and style is to notch, especially if you're a fan of cats. :)

Recommended, but not a must have, after two games.
 
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DaveF

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I should add: The Isle Of Cats also has "Family" play the removes the costs for rescuing cats and has specific VP goals and I think some tweaked rules for family play. It also has a solo play mode with additional solo cards.

I'm not playing those modes, but might tip the scales for some folks.
 
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BobO'Link

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Thanks for your comments, Dave. I think I'll give this one a pass for now. I like some of the mechanics but really think Barenpark can scratch the same itch and we already have that one. Plus, when looking over a "new" game to play (when she chose Planet), my oldest granddaughter commented "You sure have a lot of games with card drafting." And she's not wrong because we like that if it's done and/or integrated well.

For a change, she was up to play something we'd not played before so I was showing her the new games and offering brief comments on game mechanisms as she looked at the back of the boxes "This one's area control and worker placement. This is card drafting, worker placement, and resource management." As I was doing that I realized how similar it makes many games sound when you go by mechanisms. She also said "Why do so many of these have really strange names?" :laugh: That also made me wonder how often they reject games simply because of a "strange" game name. At least we found a half dozen or so she seemed interested in trying so there's that.
 

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We played a 3 player version of Star Wars Rebellion over the weekend. Other two folks were Empire ground and air forces and I played as the Rebels solo. I lost, badly. I think for similar games I much prefer TI.
 

DaveF

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I haven't played Star Wars Armada since the march shutdown. I was hoping to use Vassal to play online games. But my Armada partner has not had time to even consider learning the system, so I abandoned learning Vassal.

And our regular gaming location is closed for such use for the time being.

Don't know when we'll be able to play again.
 

BobO'Link

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After agonizing/researching Great Western Trail I decided against it right now. I think it looks interesting and that we'd enjoy the game play but it has some "pick up and deliver" mechanisms that my grandson dislikes enough to say "nope" without even trying a game in which they play a part. So... While I was researching it also went OOS at gamenerdz so that helped.

However, within days of that happening they got more stock in of Wingspan, another I've been looking at quite hard and has also been hard to find in stock. After watching a few reviews I decided it would be a good addition to the library and one I might be able to get everyone to play so it was ordered along with the Clank! The Mummy's Curse and Gold & Silk expansions. Clank! is one of those games that we all like so adding the last 2 expansions which have new boards seemed like a good move.

I'm impatiently waiting for the Clank! Adventuring Party expansion as it has bits for a 5th & 6th player. It also has custom/different starting decks for each player and a unique special ability for each which looks quite good. And... new play mechanics and cards to add to the base deck to support them. Custom/different starting decks is something you can also get in a couple of Clank! Legacy expansions along with character minis for each starting deck. They work with both Clank! and Clank! Legacy and with my son having a copy of Legacy he claims he'll be bringing on visits they seem like a good purchase.
 
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BobO'Link

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My son brought his 3 kids to stay with grandma and me for a few days. Of course he and I played a game (wanted more but he wasn't here long enough) so, for a change (we usually play Suburbia since neither of us can normally get anyone else to play) I put "The Quest for El Dorado" on the table with one of the middle-challenge maps. He enjoyed the game and just barely won (only because he had more "block pieces" from the race). I'm sure I'll be able to get it back to the table with him and since my daughter's youngest (10) really likes it and does quite well I'm sure she'll want to join us in a game.

His youngest son (6) wanted to play "that dinosaur game Grandpa has" with him before he left. That's "Dino Hunt" for clarification:
1596309645573.png

He's a dinosaur nut and loves this game. I purchased a copy at the local comic store 5+ years ago for my oldest grandson (who was a dino nut at the time) and I to play - at his request. It's really not too bad for a kids type game. It's also a CCG.

You each have a nicely detailed little rubber dinosaur in your color (each is different), an "energy" card (how you limit your turn), and a "special" card (can be an end game bonus, a in game continuous power, or an in game hazard to play on others). Dinos go on the "time track (seen above) in their named time period (some can be in any of 4 - depends on just when they lived). There's a deck of dinosaur cards that get shuffled and go out for hunting (here's an "ultra rare" one):
1596309898554.png


And a non skeletal card (a promo card but, other than the gold border, looks like most of the cards):
1596310486283.png

The dino cards go on a "time track" which has 5 different dinosaur periods. The guy above is "Late Cretaceous". You start your turn with 10 energy, get a "effect card", and roll the die to determine how many new dinos come out which are then put in their correct time period. You then begin your hunt.

It costs 1 energy to move to an adjacent time period to hunt (you can move as often as you like as long as you have the energy). To hunt, you simply select a dino in the time period you're in and roll a die. As you can see, the roll determines what happens. Every card is different with different rolls needed to capture, etc., although a 5 or 6 will *always* get you your prey. If you roll a capture number you pay the energy on the card. You can hunt as long as you have enough energy to capture a dino in your time period. To hunt in a different time period you must spend energy to get there (and hope an opponent doesn't have a special card which allows them to "extinct" all cards in that time period). One real neat aspect of the dino cards is the reverse of the card has "fun facts" about the dino on the front.

A part of the "time track" set up for play. The cards in the lower right are some of the special cards you get:
1596310572830.png


And, being a CCG, there are booster packs. A year or so after purchasing that copy I discovered it was apparently OOP so bought out the supply of boosters at that comic store (I'd been picking up one or two every few weeks anyway and their remaining supply was ~12 packs) as well as their last copy of the game.

After playing with us today, my son looked it up to find copies on ebay are rather expensive. I didn't tell him I have a reserve copy simply because this is a special game I can play with my grandson - a game he doesn't have at home. I may tell him... not sure. I probably should as I'm positive that new copy will collect dust otherwise.
 
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DaveF

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Fun press your luck game. It’s not perfect, in that I think some “books” of it are too “perfect luck” and rarely benefit the game, and one “book” is overpowered and draws away from the game’s variety when in use.
But overall, good game and recommended. And the Witches add a fifth player.
 

Sam Posten

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Well Gencon has passed. Tabletopia + Discord + newbies to both was a shitshow. I learned and won Bosk. I preordered and played Aquatica and liked it despite an awful teacher with language diffficulties speaking Russian to 4 others trying to teach in the same small room. I missed my Holi time slot cause I had to head in to work on my normal lunch hour :(
 
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DaveF

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Didn’t know gencon was doing online gaming. A friend regularly attends, and was posting about it, but I didn’t seem him mention this aspect.
 

BobO'Link

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I had a general PM about it on BGG (almost didn't see it as I don't pay attention there) but didn't try to attend. Can't wrap my head around an online conference, much less one about board gaming. This in spite of watching videos about various games on a very regular basis.
 

DaveF

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I should also add on recent gaming: Perhaps a dozen games in, I now agree with @Sam Posten that Space Base is a terrific game! Especially with the Shy Pluto expansion! For some reason, it took me more games than usual to grasp Space Base's mechanics and tactics. But I love rolling dice and I enjoy drafting and engine building games. So I've belatedly really come to enjoy SB a lot. It's definitely better than Machi Koro, if you have that as a frame of reference. I look forward to playing 4-5 players again some day. Two player is good, but 3+ is necessary for the game to really be what it's meant to be. :)
 

BobO'Link

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My first Kickstarter - Tiny Epic Dinosaurs - arrived a couple of days ago and my oldest granddaughter and I gave it a play test.

A shot of the bag of dinosaurs and other bits (from the Deluxe Edition):

1596766202468.png

It was lots of fun and plays rather quickly. You feel like you're just getting started when the next to last round begins. There are lots of action choices per turn and you always want to do more (IMHO the hallmark of a well designed game). Even if someone takes an action you wanted you can still do it as long as you're willing to commit one more rancher than is on the action space (that's cumulative so 1 for the first to take it, 2 for the second, and if a 3rd wants it too then they'd pay 3). If you don't have proper enclosures for your dinos they can escape with detrimental effects. Special Laboratory cards bring enhancements to your ranch or special breeds of dinosaurs which can't escape. You earn points by raising specific groups of dinosaurs to sell at market, with laboratory cards, and by the dinos you have left in your farm at game end.

My granddaughter won by 2 points which thrilled her to no end. :)
 

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