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What sort of Board Games do you Play (1 Viewer)

DavidJ

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I got my copy of Ticket to Ride: Heart of Africa from Amazon in February of this year:

Amazon product
However... I'd waited for quite some time for a copy at a "normal" price (the MSRP is $29.99) and Amazon just happened to get a few themselves for less than MSRP (they'd had some at MSRP off and on for some time but I wouldn't go that high). I paid $21.67 for that copy (tax and shipping included). It's now going for $50+ from MP vendors.

According to camelcamelcamel, July this year was the last time Amazon had copies.

Gamenerdz has it listed but OOS (for a very long time). You can set up a "notify me when it's in stock" with them:

Also at Miniature Market (again OOS for a very long time):

I watched both for a copy until I snagged that one from Amazon (I also picked up TTR:Asia - another hard to find title - around that same time for a normal price from gamenerdz).

Supposedly it's still in print, currently in Asmodee's catalog, but copies at the normal price ($20-$25) rarely come up.

FWIW I prefer Gamenerdz to Miniature Market because their prices are usually a bit lower and their free shipping minimum is $75 vs. $100 at MM. Outside that I like both stores equally as well and have ordered from both.

Hello Bob, I thought I would follow up with you since you were so helpful. I wasn’t able to find it at any of the places mentioned, but yesterday it showed back up on Amazon from a couple of sellers and Amazon themselves. I was able to order a copy directly from Amazon for $48.59. That’s obviously higher than what you paid, but they also listed the MSRP higher. I’m just glad I was able to get it at all and at a somewhat reasonable price (not $80-$100). It’ll bring a smile to one of our kids on Christmas morning.
 

BobO'Link

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I've looked at organizers for other games and just can't bring myself to pay what most of them cost (looking at you, Broken Token). They're often as much as the game you want to organize and sometimes higher! I've looked at purchasing some project board and making some myself but haven't yet taken that plunge as it's a rabbit hole I'm not 100% sure I want to dive into...

That said, there *is* a manufacturer of inserts who sells most of theirs at quite reasonable prices. They have one coming out soon for G:JotL: https://www.gamenerdz.com/box-insert-gloomhaven-jaws-of-the-lion-preorder and I'm looking at getting one if I enjoy the first few levels enough as it looks like it could speed up the setup even more. The drawback for me with this one is they separate the cards and monsters. I really like having all the stuff for a monster in a single bag and it looks like setup wouldn't be sped up that much since you'd have to find all the bits for monster setup.

Their other inserts are similarly priced and make them look quite attractive... If they had one for Blood Rage I'd likely jump on it as all the others I've seen are stupidly overpriced, costing as much or more than the base game!
 

BobO'Link

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I use snack size baggies (I get the "Hefty" brand at BL) for bits and pieces and smaller card decks. The Hefty brand has both horizontal and vertical types. The main drawback to them is they don't have the nice little hole in them to collapse easily so you have to make sure to bleed them while zipping them shut. Fortunately lots of publishers have started including enough baggies in the box for organizing things. I really like it when publishers include organizers as part of the package. My Little Scythe is an excellent example of that. The organizers included in the game box are absolutely superior. Unfortunately, storage of the game pieces seems to be an afterthought with many publishers.
 

BobO'Link

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We’ve (that is, my wife) have bought some organizers, some 3D printed pieces, some bags, etc.
I've been *this close* to blinging out a few games in the past. I actually ordered some Wingspan acrylic food tokens, on sale, before my copy of the game arrived. They look very nice:
1608388830602.png

But I came to my senses and canceled before it shipped. That was because I'd not seen the tokens that come with the game and decided I didn't need to bling up a game that I've never seen, much less played!

I have a couple of sets of these:
1608388954418.png

The combo pack has a good variety of sizes and it really works well in the games I've tested them with, although snack size baggies also work quite well (and are very inexpensive).

I also have a couple of tackle boxes, a Plano and a Flambeau, that should fit in a standard game box. I've not yet decided which game might need them to try them out. I think I like the Flambeau better as it has squared off corners while the Plano is more rounded.

Much like the Broken Token storage solutions I have trouble justifying blinging a game when that would cost as much, and often more, than the price of the game. For that kind of money I could purchase another game - so that's what I do 90% of the time. That leftover 10% typically goes towards card sleeves for the games that see more table time.

I *am* looking at some dual layer player boards for Terraforming Mars. The ones that come with the game are OK but it's very easy to bump them and have tokens move out of place and those from the BGG store look to be exactly what's needed and are produced by the game publisher. Like all other "blings" they cost far more than they'd have increased the cost of the base game had they been included from the start.
 
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DaveF

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I was initially opposed to spending $30 to add aesthetics to a $60 game. But, my wife enjoys it. And as a hobby expense, it’s not a lot of money in an absolute sense. So, Ive accepted it as part of our gaming purchase now.

But as an nice “luxury” that benefits all games with dice, I really am happy with having bought these collapsible dice trays:

SIQUK 6 Pieces Dice Tray PU Leather Dice Rolling Tray Folding Square Holder for Dice Games, 6 Colors
by Siquk US
Amazon product
 

BobO'Link

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I picked up these collapsible dice trays:
Amazon product
Got 'em on sale for a very good price and figured 2 should work quite nicely.

My son built a dice tower for me for Christmas last year.

Here's a photo with one of the trays and some standard size D6 dice for perspective - it's 12" tall. It empties at the bottom so you drop the dice in the top and pick it up for the reveal. It works great on the table as the dice can't scatter. We often use a tray with it because it's a bit quieter.

1608404999690.png
 
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BobO'Link

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I played the first scenario of Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion this afternoon. It was interesting but, playing with level 1 monsters, very, very easy to beat with little to no character damage taken.

After looking over the cards for the 2 characters I chose, Hatchet and Demolitionist, I decided to go with the player guide suggestions for their first move. Those really weren't so good as the Demolitionist really wasn't able to do much that first turn with those cards. I went with that pair because Hatchet is a ranged attack specialist while Demolitionist is melee and felt that would provide a good chance of attacking every turn. However, Demolitionist also has some range attack cards making the pairing somewhat redundant. Most of the time Hatchet was doing all the work with Demolitionist only handling a bit of cleanup.

I may go back and replay the first scenario with a different pair of characters, especially as characters do not level up after completing that scenario and there are no monetary rewards upon completion. That one possibility is what kept me from continuing with scenario two.

I wish they'd have added additional trays for monsters, etc. rather than baggies. After only one scenario I'm seeing where it's going to be somewhat of a chore getting it out and putting it up with the current storage methods. This will be a rare time that I'll seriously consider a 3rd party storage solution. Even the large character boxes aren't good enough to hold things properly requiring great care for them to not bulge a bit and cause other items to not go back in the game box allowing it to close fully. The game box *really* needs to be 1/2" deeper.
 

BobO'Link

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Twas a board game Christmas at my son's house. He got his wife to start playing a year or so back and she's embraced board gaming. I picked up Dinosaurus for my youngest grandson (age 7 - the dino nut I've talked about), my son got Voltage (a simple 2 player game we'd played at my house and one I thought would work for his oldest - age 9) and Ascension: Darkness Unleashed (mostly for the box and gem tokens to bling out his "basic" edition), and for their family game, Trekking: The National Parks. My daughter-in-law picked up Trekking: The World and Ticket to Ride: Europe for their family.

If the grandkids handn't gotten us up at 5:30am we'd likely be playing a few board games right now. Instead, we're vegging while watching the 9yo play his new Switch and I've been "helping" (he does all the work - I just hand him the pieces) the 7yo assemble Lego sets.
 

DaveF

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I’m a fan of Camel Cup and have the 12 (?) person expansion. No chance for me to play it the last year, of course. But looking forward to it again in 2021!
 

BobO'Link

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I took my copy of Terraforming Mars to my son's house over the weekend. We managed to get in a couple of games the past 2 days with each of us winning a game. I really enjoy it as a 2 player game. Both were rather lengthy, taking around 2 hours each, mainly because we're having to read each card, examine the full hand, and try and figure out which makes for the "best" strategy based on the corporation card. Both games felt well balanced with only 3-5 points between winner and loser, and that was with wildly disparate corporation abilities and starting money amounts. I have "Prelude" but we chose to play without it or the "corporate" cards/rules even though both sounded very interesting (I've never played with either and "Prelude" was an early Christmas present). Those can come at a later date.
 

DaveF

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Played our first game of Wingspan with the European and Oceania expansions. I liked it. Food can be easier with Nectar, which serves as a Wild. The player board is revised, generally adding flexibility and options to discard for resources.
 

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BobO'Link

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I got an email on the 22nd from Miniature Market that Small World: Realms was back in stock. I check - yep 20+ copies at the reasonable $29.99 price (instead of the ~$50+ everywhere else). It's been in the $100+ range for over a year at most vendors only recently coming down to that $50+ price at Amazon. I've wanted a copy of this for some time so when available copies dropped below 20 on Christmas Eve I jumped on it. Of course I had to add other stuff to hit the free shipping threshold and they just happened to offer a $5 off coupon which negated most of the sale tax!

It all came in yesterday:

Smallworld: Realms - This pretty much completes my Small World collection. The only thing Small World I don't own is "Tales and Legends" (not real sure about it but might get it if it comes up at a reasonable price), and the new "Small World of Warcraft." Since the latter is a stand-alone version I'm not sure I'll bother with it unless the price drops a bit.

Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium - added simply because I really have been enjoying playing and having new maps just seemed like an excellent idea.

Memoir '44: Terrain Pack - only played the base game once but it was pretty good. This one, too, has been OOS for some time and they had it for much less than anywhere else.

Scythe: Invaders from Afar - Another that was long OOS or selling for MSRP+ everywhere - MM just happened to get stock first at a normal price. I wanted it to "complete" the base game and have the extra colors/factions as options. It's rarely played with even 5 players so absolutely wasn't purchased to increase player count. It somewhat annoys me it wasn't included in the base game since there are pre-printed board locations for these - yeah... I get that it's to reduce the price of the base game but I believe including these wouldn't have increased the price even half as much as the expansion cost stand-alone - basically another $10 to the price of the game opposed to ~$25 stand-alone. Oh well... it is what it is...

Ticket to Ride: Amsterdam - The only thing that's not an expansion. Since we really like the "smaller" quick play ones - London and New York, which make great fillers - Amsterdam was a no-brainer and somewhat mandatory (plus the 9yo got excited about it when I told her it was coming out and she's my main game buddy).
 

BobO'Link

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Well... I've added more to the ever growing pile:

Skylands - sounds interesting and I like tile laying games, plus it was on sale at a very low price.

Harry Potter Hogwart's Battle - Sounds pretty good. Is a deck builder (which I like) and is a coop type game where everyone is attempting to defeat 3 "villians" before they take over an area. PLUS my almost 10yo granddaughter currently *loves* all things Harry Potter and Amazon put it on sale.

Terraforming Mars: Venus Next - because it's highly rated and I really enjoy the game plus it went on sale at Amazon. I think I'm done with expansions for this one though as the others don't sound all that interesting for either solo or group play.

Dinner in Paris - I'm a VINE member/reviewer and this was offered. It sounds like it might be pretty good so I snagged a copy to play for a review.
 

BobO'Link

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1611325943655.png

This is a fun, mid-level family type game. However, it has some component and design issues.

The main board and player boards are a nice, thick, cardboard with dual layer player boards. The individual player pieces are also a nice thickness and sturdy. The buildings are very sturdy but have to be assembled with stickers (blech) that are difficult to apply (thin with a very small application area) and roofs that have to be snapped in place (Lego style - at least they feel to be firmly attached and don't come off easily). The roofs have slots for placing individual colored player restaurant chits to show the owner.

There's an insert that looks to be there solely to keep things in place during shipment (the player and punch boards are under a section of the insert when first opened). It is odd shaped and actually creates less space in the box if used as shipped making it difficult to get everything back in the box. I flipped mine upside down to reduce wasted space and have everything fit better. Plastic bags are provided for each player's pieces and a single bag for the cards. That card bag is a bit too small so I supplemented it with one of my own.

Cards are rather cheap feeling - kind of cardboard feeling where you can easily see the layers (top/middle/bottom) and the large ones warped on us while playing that first game. They also didn't shuffle easily due to the design. I figure they'll straighten out but I'm going to sleeve them anyway to make them easier to handle/shuffle. Here's a shot of a smaller, resource card. They are the same as the 3 main stacks, just smaller. You can tell by the sheen the type type of material from which they're made. No, that's not a linen finish (and it's needed).
1611326480285.png


The money track is a bit wonky as it does double duty as a "how much money each turn" and a "what's left to spend this turn" - but has a single slot for both. You count down your money with a second, differently colored, square. Took some getting used to. In this shot, the yellow cube is how much you have available each turn and the white tracks what you've spent in the turn. It resets to the same spot as the yellow at the start of a turn.
1611326364170.png


The buildings are neat but also block your view of the "terraces" on parts of the board depending on just where the buildings are placed relative to where you sit. As you can see in this shot, you'd be hard pressed to see any terrace tiles behind the buildings in the front. You do a lot of leaning to see or just stand up. They also get in the way when placing terraces. We gave up on using them and simply placed our player restaurant identifier tile on the board, tossing the building in the box when purchased (there's a limited number of each).
1611326238875.png


Another shot of the board:
1611326711841.png

You can not see the terrace tiles "behind" that first row of mostly yellow buildings. The buildings go on the row of spaces on the perimeter of the board. The colored bits on top of the buildings are the individual player chits - they have the building name so it's quite easy to play with just those on the board while using the buildings in a pool simply to indicate availability.

Both of those board shots show a two player game in progress. The board is two-sided with a 2-4 player board on one side (shown in the top image) and a two player board on the reverse (the bottom image). You skip edge rows on the 4 player board based on the number of players.

Game play is interesting and fun. You have resource cards that are used to build each type of restaurant (there are 8 different) with different resources needed to build each type. Player boards are two layer and make keeping up with terrace tiles easy. The cost of terrace tiles varies by building type and how many you've played.

In this shot you see it costs 3 "potatoes" to build a "Friterie" with the first terraces costing 1 coin each. The larger, Fruits demer, takes 2 crabs and a bread to build. The numbers in the white circle shows how many of each is available, the yellow circle shows how much your income increases with each built, and the red/black circle with a number is the end game points each type earns. Under the terrace line you also have points or money earned for each built. This is the yellow player board showing the individual terraces available to that player.
1611327022014.png


Each turn you get a card and 2 actions. An action can be to draw another card (either from a face up pool or off the top of the resource deck - ala Ticket to Ride without "wild" penalties), build a restaurant, place terraces (can place as many as your current money allows), or complete an objective (personal or common). If you complete a personal objective you draw a new objective card and either keep it or make it a common objective.

Objectives can be to create a terrace containing a specific shape, place a specific number of terraces by a fixed board "decor element" (there are musicians, flower beds, fountain, and lamp posts that can't be covered), or a specific number of terraces in 1 of 4 board regions.

There are bonus spots (fixed - wish those could have been randomized) called "pigeons" with, what else, a pigeon on the board. Placing a terrace on one of those spots earns a "pigeon card" which provides immediate bonuses (draw 2 cards, place free terrace tile on the same restaurant) or special actions, which do not count against your 2 per turn, you can save for another turn ( 2 coins to add to your purchase ability, draw an objective or complete a 2nd in your turn, open a restaurant with one less ingredient, place terraces next to other player's terraces *and* cover up to 2 terraces). Those can be very nice to have.

You normally can not place a terrace right next to a terrace belonging to another restaurant, even it it's your restaurant, so those cards can let you make moves to complete an objective or just mess with an opponent. Placing on top of another terrace cancels any bonuses the first terrace(s) may have earned.

And there are what's called "Majority" cards which provide end game bonuses. 1 card is randomly selected from a small deck and has 3 different areas where you can earn extra points for achieving majority in a particular item. It can be the number of pigeon cards, number of terraces around a specific decor element, number of restaurants in a specific area, most restaurants, or most money. Bonuses are earned in a 1st-4th ranking.

The game ends when a specific number of restaurants is built (changes based on player count), a player has placed all of their terrace chits from 2 restaurant categories (rows), or it's not possible to place more restaurants or terraces on the board.

It plays fairly quickly and has a bit of player AP due to choosing tiles and placing terraces, but it's not too bad (I'll know for sure if I can get my daughter to play - she's the most AP prone of the bunch).

It's a shame the cards aren't better quality and the restaurants block seeing parts of the board.

I gave it a 7 on BGG.
 
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DaveF

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7 Wonders: Duel Agora Expansion is a must buy if you're a Duel fan. We're kinda take-it-or-leave it on the Pantheon expansion. Agora, however, is perfect, and we consider it base game and will never play Duel without it. (I keep forgetting to take photo.)

 

DaveF

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Stonemaier Games is doing a Red Rising game! I’ve not gotten into IP-licensed games so far. But I’m thinking seriously of buying the deluxe edition sight unseen at launch.

Red Rising is the most thrilling, engaging, unputdownable scifi series I’ve read in recent years. It’s over the top, military, space opera. The first three books are phenomenal. The audiobooks are brilliantly narrated.

None of that means it will be a great game. But this is a series I love so much, I’ll take a flyer on the game!
 

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