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What sort of Board Games do you Play (2 Viewers)

BobO'Link

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I've never heard of the book series (but I'm also 50-70 novels behind in my reading so haven't kept up with new releases). The game sounds interesting so I signed up to be notified when it goes on sale. I generally like Stonemaier games so that's a plus.

I have a couple of IP-licensed games but I also vet them very carefully because when I was a kid *tons* of those type of games would get released and they were uniformly bad (I spent my hard earned allowance on many of them so know first hand). So bad that I wouldn't even consider purchasing an IP-licensed game until the past year.
 

DaveF

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We do have a Disney Villainous game, got it for Christmas. It’s surprisingly good, and surprisingly nuanced for a mass-market Disney game.
 

Yee-Ming

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Speaking of IP-licensed games, I recently got Dune: Imperium (not the same as Dune). It's a combo worker-placement and deckbuilder game. Quite intriguing, though perhaps that's because I've hardly ever played any deckbuilders so there's some novelty element in that for me. It seems almost completely sold out around the world, with prices on Amazon spiking, so I guess it must be quite in demand?
 

BobO'Link

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We do have a Disney Villainous game, got it for Christmas. It’s surprisingly good, and surprisingly nuanced for a mass-market Disney game.
That's one of the few I own. Haven't played it yet but I've seen it played and was surprised at how good it looks to play. I went so far as to purchase the main game and all 3 "expansions" (those are really stand alone additions with fewer characters).
Speaking of IP-licensed games, I recently got Dune: Imperium (not the same as Dune). It's a combo worker-placement and deckbuilder game. Quite intriguing, though perhaps that's because I've hardly ever played any deckbuilders so there's some novelty element in that for me. It seems almost completely sold out around the world, with prices on Amazon spiking, so I guess it must be quite in demand?
I have plans to pick up a copy of that one pretty soon. I really enjoy deck builders *and* worker placement so it just seems like a natural, plus it gets very good reviews.

I recently picked up "Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle" to play with my 10yo granddaughter. It's a cooperative deck building card game based on the Harry Potter franchise. It has very good reviews, looks like it'll be fun and, similar to Gloomhaven, has new stuff to add for each level with a level being a book so there are 7 separate boxes of stuff to add to the game as you move from level to level. The boxes add cards and possibly change the way some things work. Each box has a small rule book addressing those changes. Those are added to slots in the back of the main rule book.

Other IP games I have:

"A Game of Thrones Catan" which adds "The Wall" as a barrier and "Wildlings" as invading forces. Looks interesting and we like Catan.

"Firefly: The Game" - Card drafting, dice rolling, pick up and deliver, wrapped up in a Firefly skin. I've played one game solo but didn't do it right. It's interesting but takes some time to set up and take down.

"Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion" - A very good dungeon crawler. I've only played one game but it was quite fun. Has interesting card mechanics.

"Jurassic Park: Danger" - purchased very inexpensively in a Target B2G1 sale (same one where I purchased the Villainous games). I got it mainly to play with my 6yo dino loving grandson and his dad (my son). Sounded fun.

"Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons" - also picked up cheaply in that Target sale. It plays solo, something I'm finding myself doing more and more these days, and sounded interesting enough for the very low price I paid.

"Bob Ross: The Art of Chill" - a surprisingly good game. My oldest granddaughter loves Bob Ross and talked me into getting this one (also during a Target B2G1 sale). You collect paint color cards to "paint" sections of Bob's artwork (you get cards in a method similar to Ticket to Ride - there are around 40 paintings with 3 areas to paint and each is chosen randomly during the game).

"A Column of Fire" and "The Pillars of the Earth" - both based on books by Ken Follett. They have good reviews and look like something we'd like. Neither has been played.

Hmmm... far more than I thought. Still, all were vetted carefully before purchasing all because of these crappy IP games I purchased as a kid.
 

DaveF

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I’ve got a Villainous expansion, which plays as a standalone two player game.

I want the Kenny G Keep It Saxy game, but I failed to buy it when I had the chance :)
 

BobO'Link

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I couldn't get past the title of that Kenny G game and it's a coop game (something we generally don't care for - yet I've purchased a few though mainly for solo play). Recalling it receiving fairly good reviews I just watched the Dice Tower review (Vasel) who says it's a light, family style game that's just a bit dorky, goofy, and cheesy which adds to the fun. It looks to be very much in the same vein as that Bob Ross title (though it's not a coop game) I own. Something light that makes for a good filler title. If it came up cheaply enough I'd consider adding it to the collection.

There's a Jaws game that also has good reviews. Some time back it was mentioned in this thread. I've looked at it a few times but have always just passed as I don't feel it would make it to the table that often at my house, mainly due to the 1 player who is the shark attempting to sink the boat vs. 1-3 players attempting to kill the shark before that happens. I'd really want to play it somewhere before considering the purchase because of that mechanism.
 

Yee-Ming

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"Firefly: The Game" - Card drafting, dice rolling, pick up and deliver, wrapped up in a Firefly skin. I've played one game solo but didn't do it right. It's interesting but takes some time to set up and take down.

Heh, I have that too. Great fun and quite thematic. I even got the expansions, but haven't got around to playing those.
 

BobO'Link

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Heh, I have that too. Great fun and quite thematic. I even got the expansions, but haven't got around to playing those.
There are several of the expansions I'd like to get, mainly the ones that add to the game board. Right now most of them are sold out at most vendors or going for inflated prices.
 

BobO'Link

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B2G1 Free sale this week at Target - online and in store. Includes board games, books, DVD/BR - excluding pre-order titles.
 

BobO'Link

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Well... Target's sale got me to purchase several more games for the ever growing piles.

The one I wanted most, Le Havre, went OOS before I woke up last Sunday (I started to stay up and get it in but thought it wouldn't be a "hot" title - how wrong I was) so I put in a "notify me when you get more" and went on... Got the notice, but I didn't see it for over an hour after it was sent - OOS again, another notice. Repeat. It *finally* went in stock and I noticed in time and put it in my cart to order only to find it'd gone up $10 to make the final price ~$54 instead of ~$42. Well... I can get it for $55 shipped every day at another vendor so bummer...

Here's what I picked up this time out (BGG links on box images):

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Small World of Warcraft - Yep... I caved. It was ~$37 final cost and I realized the game board pieces can be used for non-WOW play making it both an expansion and a stand alone game. People say you can mix the races/abilities from this one with everything else but I have my doubts after reading the rule book.

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Mice & Mystics - A solo/multiplayer coop dungeon crawl type game that looks like it'll be fun to play with my 10yo granddaughter. Battles and movement are done with dice so it's rather random and you have cards that change "encounters" and can provide upgrades to your character's weapons and/or abilities.

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Dominion (Second Edition) - The granddaddy of deck builders. I've wanted a copy for some time and the price was absolutely "right." I have no plans to add any of the many, many, expansions - but I'm not ruling it out either.

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The River - A Days of Wonder game with somewhat "middlin'" reviews. Still sounded interesting and for the price I paid (on sale in addition to the B2G1) made it worth the purchase even if it only hits the table a couple of times.

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Suburbia 5 Star - The last expansion I "needed" for Suburbia. Adds more building tiles, a new scoring mechanism, and a 5th player. It's gotten somewhat hard to find so I snatched it up. Of course that means it'll now get restocked everywhere at a price the same or lower than what I paid (which was quite good). Main game plays solo.

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Parks - Another I've wanted to pick up but is always OOS. My final price from Target was the same as the lowest price from some of the online game stores but Target had it in stock and they didn't. Plays solo.

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La Granja - Another that sounded interesting and the price was right. Also plays solo.

There were several more I had my eye on but decided to hold off as that was really more than I'd intended to purchase going in. I tried to focus on expansions or games that would play solo due to current circumstances.


Before that Target sale was announced I'd picked up these due to lower/sale prices at Amazon:

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Viscounts of the West Kingdom - I have Architects of the West Kingdom and enjoy it. The mechanism on this one looks interesting and fun plus it, too, plays solo.

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Godzilla Tokyo Clash - A monster battle game with miniatures. Looked like something my oldest grandson might like and has a quick play time.

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Lorenzo il Magnifico - Another that sounded interesting and has a few player created solo modes that sound good.

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Trash Pandas - A card game I thought sounded like something my younger grandkids might like.

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Imperial Settlers - Another I've had my eye on for a while. Also plays solo.

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Elysium - And another I've been eyeballing for some time dropped in price. Also has some user created solo modes that sound viable.

And I finally ordered a copy of
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Viticulture Essential Edition - Another I've wanted for some time but it just never seemed to be in stock at my preferred vendor when I had the funds available. That all finally synced up.

Now I just need to sit down and play some of these. We're supposed to get 3-7" of snow tonight and tomorrow with more forecast for mid-week. That's enough to mostly shut things down in this part of the country (Mid-South), especially the schools (I'm a network admin for the local school district). That means I'll likely be working from home (I can go in if I choose, but why get out if you don't have to?) and can play games while I work. :)
 

BobO'Link

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So... I'd read lots of good things about Mage Knight both as solo and coop/competitive play. The preferred version was the "Ultimate Edition" which has the base game and all 3 expansions.
1614196342020.png

Thing is, it's been OOS and priced like an OOP game for most of the past year with prices in the $200+ range. Suddenly, out of the blue, Amazon got some in (everyone else is still OOS) and *then* dropped the price to right at $89 so I immediately jumped on it. It's shipped and should arrive in the next day or two. And within hours of my order they jumped the price to $161!!

I'm a bit excited about this one - even more so than when I'd ordered Gloomhaven when it got marked down for a day or so (of course as I cancelled that Gloomhaven order but not this one - never even considered cancelling this one). FWIW, it's currently in stock at miniaturemarket.com @ $125 which is the MSRP listed on the Wizkids site.
 

BobO'Link

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My 10yo granddaughter came over a few days back and we played "game 1" of Harry Potter Hogwart's Battle. We really enjoyed it, especially her. It was the first time she's played a deck building game and she did quite well. We'd talk about the available cards, what they do and how they could help her deck, and what she could afford, but I wouldn't tell her which to purchase. It was always "It's your choice - any of them would be good - you just have to decide which you want most or which you think might help you most." She got a bit annoyed with that but it's a good learning experience and really made her think about how she wanted to construct her deck and, ultimately, play the game.

She came over yesterday after school and we played "game 2" which adds more cards to purchase, more villains (6, up from 3), and slightly ramps up the villain location spots (adds one more which when active causes 2 "Dark arts" cards to be drawn per turn). We again had fun and beat it easily in spite of a couple of the new villains being especially nasty (one prevents you using a card's "draw a card" mechanic - I had lots of those in my deck so it really hurt strategy).

The additions for "game 3" were a permanent player power (each player has a unique one), more cards to purchase, more villains (8 now - you have to beat *all* of them to win), made the villain spots a bit tougher, and you now put out *2* villains simultaneously (there's room for 3 so I expect that's coming in a couple more games).

One thing I found interesting is you fully reset the player decks before each game by removing all purchased cards and going back to the original 10 card decks. All of the cards have text on them indicating just which "game" they belong with, or were introduced. That makes me think some of those initial deck cards could be swapped out or more added. It also makes it very easy to reset the game back to "game 1" for replaying.

She spent the night so I fully expect that we'll play "game 3" sometime today.

**EDIT**
Played "game 3" - it was much harder this time out with us coming closer than ever to losing. We lost 2 of the 3 locations and almost half of the last before pulling out a victory. We got lucky with some of the more difficult villains coming out after we'd purchased several cards that work well against them. Still, we both hit zero health several times (you lose any attack/coin stash earned from other Heroes and *half* your hand of cards rounded down - that means 2 of your standard 5 are gone and there are "Dark Arts" cards and/or villain's triggered effects that can remove more, which happened at least once) and she got quite a bit discouraged several times as she had a good strategy for her turn which got completely upended.
 
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BobO'Link

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She's able to spend the weekend so tonight we played a couple of games of Sagrada. She absolutely loves it! I'd played it solo several times and liked it myself. Little stinker beat me both games - by 3 points on the first and 1 on the second. Had I not been forced to use a tool on my last draft we'd have tied. :D
 

BobO'Link

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Over the weekend the 10yo and I played 7 games of Sagrada. I won *one* game... *one*... I didn't cut her any slack and we were using the 5&6 "dot" boards on the last 4 games (the group in which I snagged my *single* win)! One of those games she royally cleaned my clock with a 20 point victory!

Suffice it to say - she *really* likes this game. :D
 

DaveF

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We’ve got the two expansions for Sagrada. The 2019 expansion, I like and would recommend. The 2020 expansion, I’m not sold on so far.
 

BobO'Link

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Mage Knight arrived. Wow! The box is *HUGE* and quite heavy.

Here it is beside Stone Age, one of the larger sized boxes I have. I started to use the Scythe box as it, other than a couple of "Big Box" games, has the largest box I've seen up until now. Mage Knight's box is 14 1/4" square (same as the long side of Scythe's box), 5 1/2" thick, and weighs almost 8lb.
1614643326236.jpeg
 

BobO'Link

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Because the 10yo and I have had so much fun playing Harry Potter Hogwart's Battle I ordered "The Charms and Potions Expansion" because it adds new play abilities (once you get past the 7 games in the core box) *AND* Ginny Weasley as a playable hero (can be used with the core box). That, more than anything else, was the big draw for her. She can now play as either Hermione or Ginny and if we can get her sister (14yo) to play, both can have a female hero. That expansion also adds the 5th player we sometimes need. The "Monsters" expansion, the first expansion for the game, added Luna Lovegood as a new hero player but not the board or rules changes to increase player count (the designer, when asked, said "it was made for 4 - she's just another choice). Since our main group, when we can all get together, is 2 boys and 3 girls I'll likely add that expansion just for that character so everyone can play their gender should they choose.

AND...

Again because she really likes the game, I ordered the 56h/6th player expansion for Sagrada so we can all play *and* for the new player mechanic and additional "Window Pattern" cards. Then I sucked it up and ordered the "2020 promo pack" from the publisher (another 9 double sided pattern cards). I could probably have just made them myself but they weren't that expensive so...
 

BobO'Link

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I *thought* I'd play my first game of Mage Knight this afternoon. I read the "first game play guide" yesterday and felt I knew enough to be comfortable with a game.

This afternoon I opened the rest to punch the cardboard bits and open the cards. I'd waited as it really didn't look like that much product. Boy was I wrong! 6 or 7 punch boards (lost count), 4 packages of cards, and 3 *hours* later I'd managed to sort through and organize everything according to type/expansion. The extra bits, boards, and cards for the 3 included expansions weren't that easy to sort out as they're packaged in a very illogical fashion. Fortunately, the cards all have a number on them - a number that's so small I needed a magnifying glass to be able to read them - which aids in the process. Some cards have expansion iconography that's as small as the numbers, some don't. The cardboard bits can only be identified by the parts list images. At least the instructions have very detailed lists of what goes with which expansion.

In the process I discovered there are *two* cards missing from *one* of the character (player) decks. Fortunately, the character is from one of the expansions so even though it can be used with the base game it's not one I'd likely play any time soon, I want to try the "base" characters first, but there was still the need to put in a request for replacements.

The replacement process from WizKids is a bit of a pain. You *must* create an account on their site. Once that's done you have to use a special link to order replacement parts. At least that part is mostly painless as you simply select the game and then pick what's broken/missing from a complete parts list. BUT - you have to submit a proof-of-purchase that's no older than 90 days (no problem - purchased it a couple of weeks ago) *AND* you can make a *single* parts request per game! You'd better make sure everything has been fully checked before making a request as you can't make a 2nd should you later discover another issue. Fortunately I'd already done that after discovering those 2 missing cards.

So, after over 3 hours opening, sorting, checking parts and filing a "missing stuff" replacement I didn't have the heart to play a game that would likely take another 1-2 hours. Plus I wasn't entirely sure I'd be able to fit everything needed on my card table I use for solo gaming. Bummer... I'll try again sometime next week.

My wife is having gall bladder removal surgery next Thursday so I took off Thursday and Friday just in case. I figure she'll be mostly OK on Friday but groggy after the pain meds so I plan to try a game then using the dining room table (that way I can play and be close just in case). I know everything will fit on that table OK.
 

BobO'Link

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Didn't play Mage Knight. Surgery went well with no home issues at all. But I felt kind of puny Friday (the weather played ping pong with my sinuses and sitting at the Hospital for ~5 hours didn't help) so just vegged and watched some James Bond movies.

I *did* open Imperial Settlers and read the instructions thinking I might try to work in a game of that one. Didn't happen either...

BUT - the day before her surgery my grandson and middle granddaughter came over and we played the "Amazon Exclusive" release of The Lord of the Rings Monopoly (another of those Vine review things for me - all images lifted from Amazon):
1616423744032.png

It *looks* very nice and the "Fellowship" is fully represented with a player token for each. The player tokens and ring are metal (looks to be pewter) with the ring having a "gold" plating. Coins are cardboard and a bit on the thin size. Properties and "Quest" cards (these replace both Chance and Community Chest) are very thin and cheap feeling (just like the standard mass market versions of Monopoly). No linen finish here on anything. It has a pair of custom dice (each has an "Eye of Sauron" icon replacing the "1" pip) with very nice plastic Outposts and Fortresses (Houses and Hotels).

The rules and monetary system is changed a bit. Money is multiples of "1" with 1 and 5 value coins. This creates some issues with the perceived value of things as rents can easily be as much as it cost to purchase the property. The "Utilities" (here the shards of the Sword) are especially problematic as you still roll 1 or 2 dice to determine the rent - which can be #2 to #12 coins! You only get #2 for passing "Go!" so that one little landing can easily cost you the game.

The "Quest" cards are mostly very thematic with several that can cause the balance of power to swing wildly. There's one which allows its possessor to take a monopoly, including any improvements, from another player without paying compensation. Yes - you can lose that entire monopoly you so carefully built up by the drawing of a card! Others allow the theft of a single property or all those of specific color groups.

The whole time you also have to contend with "The One Ring" as *someone* is always the Ring Bearer. There's a "Ring Tracker" in the middle of the board. It starts at "Zero" and increments the more turns a single player holds the ring. If the Ring Bearer should happen to roll a die showing the Eye of Sauron they immediately drop the ring and pay whatever amount is under the Ring Tracker at that moment (from #1 to #16 coins). The next player to pass that space automatically takes up the ring. Should you pass another player you can force them to take the ring from you. Should another player pass you than can "battle" you for the ring (rolling a single die with the highest number taking the ring). With any of these events, the Ring Tracker resets to "Zero" and the count begins anew.

When you are the Ring Bearer, the Ring sits nicely over your player piece. The bottom is sculpted in a manner to allow the ring to fit over the base. It really looks nice on the board.
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It *does* play faster and slightly better then regular Monopoly but it's still Monopoly at its heart and has all that inherent baggage. It's still a pure luck based game. In spite of that, if someone insists on Monopoly as the game to play I'll pick this over regular Monopoly any day.
 

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