Board games

Talk about nerdgames FOR NERDS.
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Charnel Mouse
Location: England, UK
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Re: Board games

Postby Charnel Mouse » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:59 pm

Lachlan the Mad wrote:I'd also consider a houserule (for those who have the dice for it) that conflicts can be escalated somehow as the game goes on (instead of 3 dice against 2, you can roll 4 against 3 or 5 against 4 -- not sure how you should decide when escalation is allowed, maybe it increases every second or third round?)

As that stands, that looks like it would increasingly benefit the defender over time, was that what you were going for?

I can't remember the details, but I think there are common variant sets of rules where the continent bonuses increase over time, or where the reinforcement bonus from turning in a card set increases after each turn-in.

Also, someone on BGG tried writing up a board version of the rules from the Risk II PC game, which might be of interest. It uses simultaneous movement, like in Diplomacy, and the combat rules favour attacking from several sides at once over the usual stack of doom.
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Trix2000
Location: California

Re: Board games

Postby Trix2000 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:16 am

Charnel Mouse wrote:I can't remember the details, but I think there are common variant sets of rules where the continent bonuses increase over time, or where the reinforcement bonus from turning in a card set increases after each turn-in.

I seem to recall the times I played we always ran it with increasing card set bonuses, to the point where I thought it was the default. I don't know how much I liked that solution, though. Takes a long time to ramp up.
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StashAugustine

Re: Board games

Postby StashAugustine » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:08 am

Risk's issue is that at its heart it's the same political game as Diplomacy- forming coalitions to off the leaders while making yourself appear weak- but its combat resolution is not only incredibly random but has little interesting input- the only tactical decision is "commit more dudes" which you would do anyway.

The greatest boardgame ever made, Twilight Struggle, is now on Steam, by the way. (http://store.steampowered.com/app/406290/) I've played it a ton IRL with my brother and look forward to converting newbies to the glories of international socialism.
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Charnel Mouse
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Re: Board games

Postby Charnel Mouse » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:08 am

Eh, that's enough of Risk for me. Some games I've played recently:

Innovation. The cards are divided into historical ages, and each represent a unique invention, which can have various effects when activated. In the Stone age that means fairly modest effects like drawing a card, then playing one, which would normally take two actions instead of one. By the end of the game a card can introduce an alternative win condition, or pull some ridiculous nonsense, like cutting all other players' score piles in half up to twice a turn. Perhaps the silliest is Fission, which has a chance of nuking all players back to the Stone Age each time it's activated. You don't have much control over which cards you get, though, so you have to roll with what you get and work out which ones are worth playing. There's a free online version by the developer of the old online version of Dominion, which I suck at.

Monad. A Sid Sackson game I got from Kickstarter a while back, it involves a lot of trading pairs or sets of cards in for more valuable cards, where the goal is get a certain number of a high-value token. You can make as many trades as you like in a turn, and certain pairs of cards can be traded in to get bonus cards, so a lot of the strategy is in setting up the draw piles to be able to do a lot of trades in one go.

Dungeoneer. On paper, this looks like a dungeon crawler, where each hero is racing to complete three quests and leave the dungeon before everyone else. In practice, everyone's hit points are so low that the game usually ends with all but one hero being killed. You pick up glory points and peril points as you move through rooms - glory points can be used to play equipment cards an abilities, peril points are used by other players to send monsters at you. The latter means that it's very easy to run around too quickly and get mobbed.

I've also been spending far too long trying to mathematically work out optimal play for Super Farmer, even though I don't own it.

Next games on the list to try are Regnum Angelica and Pendragon. The former's a war between angels and demons that looks like it uses a lot of TCG elements - I mostly bought it for the card art. The latter is in the COIN series StashAugustine mentioned upthread, and covers Dark Ages Britain.
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Ygor
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Re: Board games

Postby Ygor » Thu May 05, 2016 7:17 pm

This week, we played a bunch of games with my friends:

Citadels: It's a really clever card game about building a city. Each turn you secretly take one role out of 8 characters, that has different abilities, that range from stealing money, building more, razing buildings of other etc. You then proceed to use your abilities to build the biggest city you can.
I've played it with my friends, and family too- and everybody found it really engaging.

Mascarade: Mascarade is a mess. A confusing, chaotic mess about bluffing, changing of cards and claiming to be someone you're not. Definitely one of those games I recommend for bigger groups.

I also played A Game of Thrones board game with another group, and after 3 hours of lying, making shady alliances and using every underhanded tactic I could, I bought honor to the house Lannister and claimed the Iron Throne!

Next week we're going to play Secret Hitler. Looks like it will be really fun.
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Lachlan the Mad
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Board games

Postby Lachlan the Mad » Fri May 06, 2016 1:30 am

Ygor wrote:Citadels: It's a really clever card game about building a city. Each turn you secretly take one role out of 8 characters, that has different abilities, that range from stealing money, building more, razing buildings of other etc. You then proceed to use your abilities to build the biggest city you can.
I've played it with my friends, and family too- and everybody found it really engaging.

I love citadels except for the GOD DAMN FUCKING BALL ROOM FUCK YOU YOUR MAJESTY AND YOUR FUCKING BALLROOM

Ygor wrote:Next week we're going to play Secret Hitler. Looks like it will be really fun.

Secret Hitler is indeed fun, but you really need 7+ players to make it good. For those of you who don't know the rules; it's vaguely like Mafia or Resistance. Every player is either a Fascist or a Liberal, and one of the Fascists is Hitler. If you're playing with 5-6 players, then there are only two Fascists, meaning that Hitler knows who the other Fascist is and vice versa. If you're playing with 7+ players, the Fascists know who Hitler is, but Hitler doesn't know who the other Fascists are.
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Ygor
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Re: Board games

Postby Ygor » Fri May 06, 2016 8:29 am

Lachlan the Mad wrote:I love citadels except for the GOD DAMN FUCKING BALL ROOM FUCK YOU YOUR MAJESTY AND YOUR FUCKING BALLROOM


There's no such card. It's just like the Transformers movies in my mind. It doesn't exist and the world is a better place.
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Lachlan the Mad
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Board games

Postby Lachlan the Mad » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:41 am

Today's very important lessons:

1. Takenoko is a freaking awesome board game.
2. I am the best panda keeper.
3. Crushing my girlfriend at board games is surprisingly cathartic.
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mwchase
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Re: Board games

Postby mwchase » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:19 am

One of our friends has Betrayal and the expansion, which adds a whole lot more... everything except player characters, pretty much.

We played two games last weekend. The first game required me to improvise rhyming couplets, and was therefore awesome. I might have won, even, if I'd played more aggressively.

The second game... whoo. I won, but in the process my character revealed himself to be a petty asshole. Dude projected his mind back from a dark future into the present, and promptly... did his best at bringing about the dark future. That game was kind of a confusing slog, because everyone was the traitor, but never more than one at a time. That scenario might work better with more players, so it's not so hard to switch strategies. But at the same time, it would require the players to complete more steps.
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Lachlan the Mad
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Board games

Postby Lachlan the Mad » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:05 am

It's actually been hard for me to find a proper review of the Betrayal expansion, because unfortunately politics got involved. Apparently a lot of the scenarios were written by guest writers from the halls of nerd celebrity, and the developers at WotC made their personal biases pretty easy to follow. I mean, they got Anita Sarkeesian to write a scenario, and while I myself have no major problem with Sarkeesian (she's a long way from perfect, but she has the right to say everything she says), there are a lot of people who do. I was casually browsing 1d4chan's lists of board games, which is generally a decent read for giving you a general idea of how board games work, then BOOM huge torrent of anti-Sarkeesian sexism at the bottom of their Betrayal article and I'm reminded of exactly why the "4chan" is there in "1d4chan".
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SpammyV
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Re: Board games

Postby SpammyV » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:26 am

I always love hearing Betrayal gaming stories though.

Like the game that came down to the three remaining survivors standing back to back having a kung-fu fight against the plant tentacles. Or the game where the little girl traitor won by kicking an old man in the shins and pushing him down the stairs.
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Retsam

Re: Board games

Postby Retsam » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:39 pm

So I've got a bit of a love/hate relationship with Betrayal. I love the idea, but in practice I'm frustrated by the general lack of agency (which often boils down to "walk through random door and hope for the best"), and a rather lack of balance. "Strength > Speed > Intelligence > Sanity" holds in about 90% of the scenarios, that I've played: very few scenarios can't largely be solved by "Ox Bellows kills everything".

I've only played one round with the expansion, and it was with a friend who was trying to make a big deal about the atmosphere: trying to set mood lighting, playing spooky music, etc... which made it more hilarious when the haunt ended up being a game of Hangman, against a traitor who speaks in a terrible Cowboy voice. Oh, and, the Survivors won the game by Ox Bellows killing everything, specifically the traitor.

But I do like a lot of the elements that the expansion adds, that I've seen. (Though, man they could have used some clarifications in the rule book...)
Steve C

Re: Board games

Postby Steve C » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:46 pm

Ah Betrayal. This past weekend I played a game that was not Betrayal but occupied the same headspace for me. For me the real fun of Betrayal is the emergent story that comes out of the game. The game was Tales of the Arabian Knights and it was awesome.

Every player has their own story. It can intersect other players but it is entirely their own. Each turn the player does something that checks the 'book of tales'. In it there are 3000 entries, where each one is a few paragraphs of what happens and what skills apply to change the outcome. It's a thick dense book. Basically it is a Dungeon Master in book form and it is surprisingly good as a DM. Skills are pick three from a list of a couple of dozen things you would find in an RPG at the start of the game. Then stuff happens to you and you might gain more skills or you might become a master at something you already know.

Players win by getting a combined score of 20+ on their Story and Destiny stats. Players secretly pick how to split their goal between the two. Story tends to be interesting encounters happening to you, while Destiny is more interesting results. (For example, Story= Having your legs broken and then thrown into a pit to starve. Destiny= finding a giant treasure trove.) The worst thing that can happen on your turn is something boring. I had bad thing after bad thing happen to me and I almost won because things happening to a lost, penniless, envious, grief stricken cripple (all bad statuses I gained) are generally more interesting. I went with a 10/10 split between Story/Destiny and ended up with 16/9 and lost because I was short 1 destiny. However the guy who ended becoming a wealthy outlaw sultan finding treasure and fame through dumb luck also lost because he had 10/20 and he picked 12/8 as his goal, resulting in him 2 story points short when the game ended.

Marketing description:
In tales of the Arabian Nights, you are the hero or heroine in a story of adventure and wonder just like those told by Scheherazade to her spellbound sultan. You will travel the land seeking your own destiny and fortune. You will learn stories and gain wisdom to share with others. Will you be the first to fulfill your destiny? The next tale is yours to tell. There is, of course, a winner in tales of the Arabian Nights, but the point of the game is less to see who wins and more to enjoy the unfolding and telling of a great story. In this new edition of the groundbreaking storytelling game, you enter the lands of the Arabian Nights alongside Sindbad, Ali Baba, and the other legendary heroes of the tales. Travel the world encountering imprisoned princesses, powerful 'efreets, evil viziers, and such marvels as the magnetic mountain and the fabled elephant's graveyard. Choose your actions carefully and the skills you possess will reward you become beloved, wealthy, mighty - even become sultan of a great land. Choose foolishly, however, and become a beggar, or be cursed with a beast's form or become insane from terror. You will bring to life the stories of the inestimable book of tales in this vastly replayable board game with over 2002 tales that will challenge, amuse, astound and spellbind you for years to come. Game contents 1 game board, book of tales, 1 reaction matrix, 6 stand-up figures, 6 player mats, 125 cards, 100+ counters, 3 dice, rules. For 2-6 players. Takes about 2 hours to play. Tons of replay value.
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Lachlan the Mad
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Board games

Postby Lachlan the Mad » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:23 pm

...So I'm pretty sure I just played the best game of Betrayal ever...

Let me set it up for you. We have me as Zoe Ingstrom (8-year-old girl, hard to kill) carrying pickpocket's gloves and being followed by a dog; my girlfriend as Flash Williams (college jock, pure speed) with an axe and a madman; my ten-year-old brother as Heather Granville (18-year-old girl, balanced) with a suit of armour and a lucky rabbit's foot; and my mate as Father Rhinehardt (THE SANEST MAN IN THE WORLD). The entire bottom floor of the mansion has been filled out with the exception of the coal chute to the basement, the top floor is large but with several rooms cut off by a revolving wall, and the basement is completely unexplored -- we've discovered the Collapsed Room, but nobody's fallen down there yet.

Father Rhinehardt discovered a lost ring and unconsciously slipped it on. At that moment, a ghostly bride appeared before Zoe, crying that her lost husband had been found once more, and they were at last to be married. Zoe leapt at the opportunity to be a flower girl, and thus freely agreed to the ghost's suggestion of murdering anyone and everyone who wanted to stop the wedding. The other people trapped in the house had to discover where in the basement the ghost's true husband was buried, and bring his corpse and his ring to the chapel on the top floor.

Heather made her way to the library and, after a brief search, discovered the true name of the ghost bride's beloved, while Rhinehardt ran to join her. Flash Williams leapt down the hole in the Collapsed Room and found himself only a short distance from the family crypt. Unfortunately, the mansion was equipped with a most mysterious elevator, seemingly unconstrained by conventional space, and the ghostly bride had taught Zoe its secrets. She used this elevator to reach the basement, then used her gloves to wrench Flash's axe from his grasp. While Flash stood firm against Zoe's subsequent attack, he couldn't withstand the shock of the ghostly bride descending through the hole above him, and he promptly died of fright.

Heather took over the duty of finding the husband's corpse with the help of a coal chute, which was for some reason adjacent to the library; she slid her way down to the basement and, in spite of her being harassed by the ghost, was able to exhume the husband. Meanwhile, Zoe convinced the madman who had been following Flash to accompany her instead. They took the elevator to visit Rhinehardt, still hobbling his way from one side of the ground floor to the other, and struck him with the axe. Maybe it was luck, maybe it was providence, or maybe Zoe's madman tripped over her dog, but he somehow survived the assault.* Furthermore, he was able to use the ancient ring to focus his iron will upon Zoe, disorienting her for long enough that he could sneak past and wrest control of the Mystic Elevator. Even without knowledge of the elevator's secrets, he was able to pilot it to the basement, with the intention of using it to pick up Heather and the true husband's corpse.

Enraged, Zoe ran for the coal chute and slid to the basement, leaping into the Mystic Elevator once more. She stabbed wildly at the buttons, hoping to cause it to crash, but all she managed was to move it slightly further away from Heather in the Crypt. The ghostly bride sensed the presence of the ring and also moved into the elevator, hoping to terrify Rhinehardt into submission or death, but once again his iron will let him stand strong. Heather was thus able to haul the true husband's corpse into the Mystic Elevator.

At this point, we have an elevator which contains an elderly priest and a teenage girl carrying a corpse, fighting an eight-year-old girl with an axe, her pet dog, her pet madman, and an increasingly enraged ghost bride. Must have been crowded.

Heather managed to wrangle the elevator as close to the wedding chapel as she could -- but this was not very close. The survivors had to cross the Collapsed Room and the Organ Loft before reaching the altar. Father Rhinehardt took custody of the corpse, but injured as he was, he could only reach the Collapsed Room. Zoe stepped out of the elevator with murder in her eyes. That's when Father Rhinehardt's luck ran out. His crumpled corpse fell two stories to the basement, and a second ghost -- looking much like Rhinehardt, but now wearing a lavish tuxedo instead of priestly vestments, with the accursed ring burning gold upon its pale finger -- rose up. The ghostly bride shrieked with glee, and left the elevator. She grabbed Rhinehardt's ghost by its ringed hand, and dragged him towards the chapel.

The chapel bells rang once.

It's at this point that I have to take you out of the story to explain a rules error that I made. When Rhinehardt died, then according to the rulebook he was supposed to drop the ring along with the true husband's corpse and all his other possessions. However, this made no sense to me, since the ring was supposed to be the thing which compelled him to marry the ghost bride. And so, while I fleeced him of his other items, I chose to let his ghost keep the ring. This made things turn out... somewhat differently than expected. But I digress.

Zoe, bloodied axe in hand, stepped into the Mystic Elevator. She once again stabbed at the control panel, hoping to crash the elevator and leave Heather bleeding out in the basement -- but the ride remained smooth. Heather rubbed her lucky rabbit's foot, pushed Zoe aside, and took command of the elevator once more, guiding it back to the Collapsed Room. She leapt out of the doors, picked up the true husband's corpse, and hauled it into the Organ Loft.

The chapel bells rang twice.

Zoe and her entourage followed Heather to the loft and attacked again. Heather was gravely wounded, but between her armour and her rabbit's foot, she did not die. And so she hauled the corpse to the chapel doors, screamed "I OBJECT!", and threw it with the last of her strength...

...And my little brother won the game.

Seconds before the wedding was to be concluded and Rhinehardt's spirit was to be trapped forever, the survivors managed to bring both the ring and the corpse to the chapel. They won the bloody game.

And so it was that the ghost bride found her true husband, Father Rhinehardt was freely able to pass on, Heather Granville limped her way back to a normal life, Zoe didn't get to be a flower girl after all because she was presumably eaten by her pet dog and/or madman, and Flash Williams died in a hole.

I always cry at weddings.

*In seriousness; I was rolling a pool of 7 dice against Rhinehardt's pool of 2. We tied.
Steve C

Re: Board games

Postby Steve C » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:50 am

When Betrayal is on point it really works and is a ton of fun.
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Lachlan the Mad
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Board games

Postby Lachlan the Mad » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:00 pm

Today's Betrayal adventure consisted of my attempt at summoning an Elder God to the house. When the Elder God is summoned, he immediately kills the Traitor, so I described a gigantic foot stomping on them. My intention was that this foot would be followed by the rest of the monster. Everyone else's reading was that they were being chased around the house by the fucking foot from the Monty Python credits.

Image

Thus began the underwhelming rampage of Mighty Foothulu, in which he kicked a dude in the shins, worked his quads in the gymnasium, and then got banished.

Never play Betrayal immediately after Monty Python Fluxx.

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