A new batch of upcoming board game previews is up! We talk about a certain fighting game that many players have loved since the 90s. We’re also discussing a new dice heavy game about cultists competing for power. And there’s a third one, and that might be a happy surprise for fans of Ryan Laukat. Enjoy!
Cult of the Deep – February 2nd
Plenty of Kickstarter funded board games have a target audience of groups of 2-4 players, sometimes with a solo mode included. Games with bigger player countsare scarce and let’s be honest: when you really get into tabletop gaming, and addict your friends to it: 4 player games are simply not enough.
Luckily, a certain really promising project is coming our way and apart from being a 4-8 player game it has a fantastic theme and a gameplay to go with it.
The gameplay in Cult of the Deep features cards and most importantly: 37 dice. The latter are the most...
Reflections on 2020 Gameplays:
Wingspan unsurprisingly was played the most. This is Becky and I’s most played game and among our favorites. I may try and put together a list of our collective top ten games if I can convince her to do a video on it. Wingspan remains one of my personal favorite games and is fun to play solo as well.
Gloomhaven is underreported if I’m honest. I haven’t recorded every scenario I played online with my buddy over the past year. Almost no plays were completed in person given COVID. I am still working through the solo scenarios as well.
Crokinole and Exploding Kittens were played a lot initially and then tapered off. These are both games that fit that type of binge gameplay. Love Letter falls into a similar binge-play boat.
Half to ¾ of the Paladins of the West Kingdom plays are solo. Paladins is a great solo and I tend to play two rounds before putting away. Architects was played several times during the year with family.
I really, really, really, want to get Maracaibo to the table more this year and hopefully play through the campaign perhaps. Obsession was a late-year acquisition and will likely see more plays in 2021 as all 9 plays were done late in 2020. Viscounts was also a late gain.
I’m a little surprised Lewis & Clark was played 7 times. Good game, just figured it would be closer to 2 or 3 plays.
Magic was played about 3 times more often. Elijah and I play together regularly. Megaland also was played about twice as many times as I recorded. I failed on that…
Rococo was a late-year gain, I really hope to see it hit the table more this year. The Gallerist falls into the same category.
There are several games that only saw a few plays this year. Some of that I think is due to my obtaining more games in 2020 than I typically do in a year. I am interested to see how the plays pan out this next year as I try to avoid purchasing new games for myself. Of course, birthday, father’s day, anniversary, and Christmas will impact that a bit.
One game that got few plays but I’d like to see more this year is Terraforming Mars. Great game and it just got passed over more often for other games. With regular game nights scheduled frequently, I feel like many games will get played more often.
Have you reflected on your 2020 plays? What are your own personal observations?
I've been quieter than usual this past couple of days because I had to make a family trip. Trying to catch up on everyone's posts now and seeing some interesting news like the one @theDL posted about the upcoming #Circadians: Chaos Order. And sorry if I haven't responded to some of your comments or DM's yet! I had 150+ notifications and accidentally cleared them out by refreshing the page 🙃
Anyway, how's everyone doing so far with your board gaming related resolutions? Did you have a target budget in mind for your 2021 purchases? Wanted to get in more gaming time or get in more plays for the games you own rather than buying tons of new games? I'm curious how it's going!
For me, I mentioned before that my primary goals are
1. Keeping a budget of ~$350 for 2021 purchases
That "~" already isn't a good sign!
~$110: I've purchased #Star Wars: Rebellion and its expansion so far. It's a 2020 purchase but I "borrowed" from my 2021 budget so that I could keep within my 2020 bugdget. That's another strike in terms of how shaky my commitment looks for 2021 and that amount is a big hit on the budget 😆
~$60: I'll hit my first big hurdle in late Feburary when #Root: Militants Expansion hits Kickstarter. At this point I'm 100% on backing the new expansion, but there might be other pledge levels that will be tough to say no to. The price estimate is based on #Root: The Underworld Expansion's Kickstarter.
As some of you know, I've been wanting to buy #Too Many Bones this year but (1) finances are tight at the moment so that seems unlikely for a while, and (2) I really don't want to get it until I start making headway on my resolution #2.
~$100: This is my estimate for #John Company (Second Edition)'s Kickstarter for the base game + metal coins + shipping. Seems like Wehrlegig is trying to go for a similar production quality and price point as #Pax Pamir (Second Edition). I'm still doing homework to find out whether the solo experience alone will make this purchase worthwhile because if it isn't, I'll drop this from my list. And if it comes to a point of whether I should get this vs. Too Many Bones, I'll definitely go for TMB. Although... if John Company manages to reach Pax Pamir's level of Kickstarter success, it'll be hard to get for a long time.
2. Getting 3-5 plays in for each of my favorite solo games before I buy #Too Many Bones
This has been tough :(
There are always tons of things to do for Board Game Atlas and there's been family related matters to take care of. There's time, but when I have too much stuff on my mind, I tend to default to lazy mode and watch stuff on YouTube. The only table I can use also has a bunch of items I always to need to clear off first, so that doesn't help either. I really enjoy my solo sessions when they happen but need zero friction to get there haha
I was pondering this morning that it might be fun to have a discord video or perhaps some other medium to host a semi-structured gathering to hang out and discuss a pre-arranged topic of choice. As I patiently await @cbrady748 to PM that he and his wife are coming to Denton to play games (side note on Denton....one of the best brewpub strips in the country....best cinnamon roll....fantastic hamburgers....best city square....best cheese menagerie...) what was I saying...
Oh yes, a video medium to ponder game topics and new discoveries, etc. I'll be honest, I'm not too excited about video calls these days due in part to working all day on three computer screens. That being said, I also find myself self-isolating fairly easily and this is rarely a good stacking mechanism for me.
I thought I'd throw the idea out there and see if it has any stickiness.
There's also Gloomhaven online at 4:30 am...
Hey everyone! Some of you may already be aware, but I have my own website I do on the side. I started it last year but, with a kid close to coming and studying for Praxis exams (me studying, not the kid), I had to put it on hold. But now I am back at it and am starting the year off with a giveaway! The game is #Tiny Epic Galaxies: Blast Off, new in shrink. It's a great game for any time of gamer, so I hope you give it a look! And, of course, may the Force be ever in your favor. 😀
Keeping these coming, this is our current list of board games like #Catan. Given the new year we are evaluating everything and must ask, what titles deserve to be here more than these five?
Ticket to Ride, for example, has no business on this list. This one really needs an update. Love to hear your thoughts.
ARTICLE LINK: 5 Games Like Settlers of Catan
Thank you BGA! I bought all these with the gift certificate I won in one of the contests.
- #The Artemis Project
- #Brass: Birmingham
- #Colt Super Express
- #Forgotten Waters
- #Brass: Lancashire & Birmingham - Folded Space Insert
Have you guys played any of these?
Here's a quick rundown of the 1/21/21 update from GMT Games!
- #Dominant Species: Marine and the #Imperial Struggle 2nd printing are shipping.
- P500 orders for #Atlantic Chase, #Bayonets & Tomahawks, and #Commands & Colors: Samurai Battles will be charging on or around February 4. Last chance to get in on the P500 for these.
- GMT One - A new inhouse development team making card driven solitaire versions of new and existing games. Starting with two of the new P500s.
- Three new items on the P500: #CDG Solo System, #Prime Minister, and #In the Shadows: French Resistance 1943-1944
- 2 reprints added to the P500: #Dominant Species 6th printing and #Talon 3rd printing.
- Reprints of #Panzer and its 3 expansions, plus #MBT are heading to the printer in February.
P500 in final art and next to print: #1848: Australia, #Commands & Colors: Ancients 7th printing, #Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #5 – Epic Ancients II 2nd printing, #Churchill 3rd printing, #Normandy '44 3rd printing, #The Russian Campaign Deluxe 5th edition, #Tank Duel Expansion #1: North Africa, and #Tank Duel: Tank Pack #1.
P500 in art department: #Absolute War!: The Attack on Russia 1941-45, #Almoravid, #Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East, #Barbarossa: Army Group Center, 1941 2nd Edition, #Conquest and Consequence, #Flashpoint: South China Sea, #Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh, #Mr. President: The American Presidency, 2001-2020, #Norway, 1940: A PQ-17 Expansion, #Pacific War: The Struggle Against Japan 1941-1945, #Red Flag Over Paris, #Red: Storm: Baltic Approaches, #Skies Above the Reich 2nd Printing, #The US Civil War 2nd Printing, and #Triumph & Tragedy: European Balance of Power 1936-1945 3rd Printing.
An intersting AMA from Clay Ross of Capstone Games. A quick summary of the most interesting bits:
- They are continuing to develop the Iron Rail series ( #Irish Gauge and #Ride the Rails) and the next game is #Iberian Gauge. They would like to expand into 18XX games in the future.
- They'd like to add new, original games ot the Iron Rails series. (current titles are new editions of existing games)
- They'd like to have game nights and a convention at their HQ. (I live in Cincinnati, so this gets an endorsement from me!)
- He wants to publish an historical conflict simulation game.
- He has spoken with Matthias Cramer abut working together more in the future and he was excited at the prospect.
- There are expansion plans for Gaia Project and Terra Mystica.
#Root has been hot with my gaming group lately and I'm really glad because it's my favorite game. One of the things I love is how each game tells it's own unique story and how it seems like each game a new player wins... and not because of some attack the previous winner strategy which I know some people use as a critique for the game.
The Factions: This was a 4 player game. The Woodland Alliance, The Underground Duchy, The Corvid Conspiracy, and The Eyrie (this was me).
The Story: I will start off by saying that the player who played the Corvid had only played once before and as the Vagabond in a base game play. I did suggest they use someone else since the Corvid is tricky, but the player loved the theme so we went for it. However, this lead to an Avian Civil War from the get go. The Corvid seeing the size of the starting army for the Eyrie went right to them. Because the Duchy were more spread out he was hyper focused on me. This caused strife between the birds from the start and gave a huge opening to the WA since the Corvid stopped the Eyrie from policing the board. While it seemed to work well at first this slowed the Corvid down as well. This in fighting among the birds became their downfall.
Meanwhile the WA came out to a roaring start and much of the Eyries decree and other factions attack actions went to trying to slow them down, which only caused them to speed up. However, all this fighting allowed for a sneak underground dynasty to rise up out of nowhere. With 4 turns left it looked like the WA was poised to bring a revolution to the Woodland. But with the focus being mostly on the WA the Underground Duchy was sneaking around getting ready to take the Woodland from below.
On the final turn the WA was able to get to 29 points, but the Duchy overtook them to win. Final score, Duchy 30, WA 29, Eyrie 17 (I made a huge mistake after my first turmoil), Corvid 12.
My last post was a little bit heavier. So, I am coming in hot with a post I think is more fun, and is, I believe, significantly lighter.
When thinking of games that one can use to introduce this fine hobby to others, I have primarily thought of accesibility. Now, I have looked at accesiblity to be much much wider than how simple the game is. I know people who's gateway experience was #Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition, which is not a light game. I think for me, my real gateway experience was #Fief: France 1429, also not a light game. Nor, even a game that has a nice logical flow to it. But, it was accesible to me. It captured a period of history that I loved. It allowed me to act like I was the head of one of those despicable French families during the that tumultous times. For me, with my interests and background, the game was accesible. So, it was a great gateway game.
Now, in the last Played it Once podcast episode that Quackalope released, one of the hosts made a comment that really grabbed my attention. He refered to the ideal gateway game as one that makes them look for the next experience. I loved that. It rung so so true for me. I had, prior to #Fief: France 1429 played a number of good games, including: #Catan with a number of expansions, #Puerto Rico, #Carcassonne, #Ticket To Ride, #Acquire, #Power Grid, and, #7 Wonders. I enjoyed all of those games, I also played a lot of typical mass market titles that I loved. But, none of them ever got me looking for the next experience. None of them ever got me interested in the hobby. None of them ever got me interested in gaming as such.
So, I am curious, what sorts of things do you think of for a gateway game? Now, I know, that for some of you, you don't like the term gateway. That is fine. You can comment on here with why you don't like it, or what you would prefer to see used. But, I would prefer, you start another thread to discuss that. I chose to use the term gateway as the term that the most people will understand the quickest.
I've done something similar before with dice worker games which I thought was well received so I thought I'd do something simiilar with deck building games.
I thought I would compare the 5 games I own where deck building is the main mechanic to show some of the different flavours and interesting takes that are out there. I am excluding deck construction games. (So #Marvel Champions: The Card Game isn't in here.)
I've written this assuming you know the basics of deck building so I can just highlight the interesting nuances.
In this game you are building a deck from a shared pool of cards that will then be used to directly attack your opponent and their cards. Typically in deck builders the cards interact indirectly with your opponent or not at all.
It takes the game play of #Magic: The Gathering but in a deck building rather than deck construction style. This is a fun game to pop out for a quick game of in your face action.
#Clank! In! Space!: The Clank games are my favourite style of deck builder.
I love deck builders that manipulate things on a shared board but the thing that really sets this apart from the other games is the concept of Clank!.
Certain cards and actions add one of your coloured cubes to a bag. Every so often the game will have the players pull a certain number of cubes from a bag and if your cube is pulled you take damage.
Usually cards or actions that create clank are more beneficial to you. This creates a tension all game around whether or not you create that clank which might bite you later, and whether or not you should take the loot you have and escape before you take too much damage or go for that extra bit of loot which might win you the game..
Clank! The games that hit back!
#Trains: Another deck builder that manipulates a shared board, and also has different sets of cards that can be played every game.
The real nuance for this game is the concept of waste. Many actions in this game will require you to take a waste card which clogs up your deck. It is completely unavoidable short of basically not playing the game. Depending on the cards in the game you might be able to get rid of that waste but if you get a hand with a lot of waste you can discard it all and skip your turn.
It's an interesting take on "deck thinning" which I enjoy along with the play on the board and the many, many different card sets you can play with.
#Arctic Scavengers: Base Game + HQ + Recon: This game has a really good theme along with many different card sets you can play with.
It also has two nuances to it that makes it a bit different from other games.
The first one is that you can take several different actions on your turn but you can only do each ONCE. So you can play cards to draw cards but you must play all of the card draw cards then and there. You can scavenge the junk pile for a card but again, you have to commit all the cards you are going to commit to that action.
The second one is that at the end of every round (except the first couple) there will be a combat for a contested resource that is more powerful than the cards you can typically buy or worth more points than other cards. This combat plays out with all of the cards you didn't play during your action phase. Cards can be sniped, weapons can be used, and wins can be stolen by someone less powerful.
It's a delightful mix of in your face action and bluffing.
#Vikings Raid & Conquer Game: Probably the lesser known of the games. I played it first at SHUX having never watched the TV show. (Still haven't.). I often shy away from IP based games but this one grabbed my attention.
The nuance to this game is that at the beginning of the round you decide if you are going to raid for a victory point card on your own, in a group, raid another player, or defend yourself. After everyone has played their cards they then take that action using whatever cards they managed to play.
Raiding another player allows you to take their point cards or cards from their deck! Raid for victory points solo can be hard to get good cards but in a group is chancy because the leader of the group gets the card and the leader is whoever has the most leadership points played that turn. It might not be you!
So do you decide to go on a raid hoping that your card draw gets you some powerful attack cards? Do you go raiding for a victory point card but you know that other player likes to raid the leader?
I really enjoy the deck building mechanic and these 5 games while very similar have interesting nuances and takes on the genre.
Hopefully this was interesting. :)
I won't parrot the blog post (it's short), but I'll include this quote, which has me excited:
From the few details about the game shared in the article, I'm getting the same impression.
We've just launched a new feature for the website which introduces some new features! It's essentially two ways to upgrade your account. We've got a premium account level which is what most people will be looking for which lets you turn off ads, use exclusive reactions, and you get some more gold to spend!
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