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Last post Author Topic: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective  (Read 33620 times)

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2015, 12:08:19 AM »
Quote
Just wondering, based on your reviews of Settlers of Catan and Heroscape, if the two could be blended; combine the fast-action gameplay of Heroscape with the simpler map and social aspects of Settlers?

it's a great idea.. the "small battlefield" idea is often called a "skirmish" game mechanic.


mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2015, 12:16:43 AM »
Ok another mini board game review for you.

One of my recent favorite two-player head-to-head games is Summoner Wars:
summonerwars2.jpg

People have called Summoner Wars a "miniatures" game played with cards -- essentially players square off against each other moving around an army of units that are represented by cards.  It's a little like chess except with a very heavy fantasy theme, and a huge variety of unique cards and assymetric abilities (each player has a different army with different abilities).

It's one of those games that hits a sweet spot for people who are addicted to variety because the sets come with tons of different factions you can choose from to represent your army, all of which play *very* differently.

It shares some of the same feel as Magic the Gathering, but on a spatial map.  You can buy tons of additional sets of armies, and if you get really into the game you can construct your own custom decks (not for me) but this isn't a "collectible" game like Magic so there is no issue of rare and expensive cards.

I'm not a fan of overly complex and fiddly rules, and this game is definitely manageable, unlike similar games i've looked at, and it's very fast to setup and tear down.

Very fun stuff, highly recommended.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 12:27:31 AM by mouser »

phitsc

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2015, 03:02:06 AM »
This looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing! You know how this would be played with more than 2 players?

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2015, 06:35:57 AM »
It can be played with 4 players using 2 sets, but no one really plays it with other than 2 players as far as i can tell.

phitsc

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2015, 01:34:01 PM »
Played it today with my 9-year-old daughter. We both played it for the first time. She won :o

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2015, 02:15:45 PM »
We've been playing this non-stop, it's become one of my favorite board games.
How did your daughter like it?  Remember that some of the factions are definitely harder to play than others -- so help her to avoid the crazy ones.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #56 on: September 10, 2015, 02:27:58 PM »
We've been playing this non-stop, it's become one of my favorite board games.
How did your daughter like it?  Remember that some of the factions are definitely harder to play than others -- so help her to avoid the crazy ones.

What Magic the Gathering taught me is that sometimes it's one of the "crazy" systems are the ones that beyond-break the game.

So I don't know which tone to use - "help her play a nice sensible system, or one that breaks the game so badly the company has to invent entire new rules to stop it!"

 :o

phitsc

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #57 on: September 11, 2015, 01:54:54 AM »
We've been playing this non-stop, it's become one of my favorite board games.
How did your daughter like it?  Remember that some of the factions are definitely harder to play than others -- so help her to avoid the crazy ones.

She liked it very much I think. She played the Tundra Orcs and I the Phoenix Elves. That's all we've got at the moment.

wyrwolf

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #58 on: September 15, 2015, 06:15:08 PM »
Been hosting a regular drop-in at the local gamestore, we do RPGs as well. What we play is determined by those who show up each night (and what the store has or people bring). I've been learning a lot of new games, many of those reviewed above. I will try to get to addng to them, but in the meantime, it can be followed on Facebook using the tag #Come_Game_With_Bob
It is what it is.

kyrathaba

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #59 on: September 21, 2015, 10:25:14 AM »
Quote
well i never played magic the gathering, though i have watched some of it being played -- and from watching i know it can get quite complicated.
there has been a rebellion against the "collectible" aspect of card games, as seen in magic the gathering, and most new deck builders do not follow this path.
instead there are fixed card sets that everyone can by for affordable prices and there aren't these super rare expensive cards, etc.

I was really into Magic The Gathering for several years (1993-1996). Still own quite a few custom-built decks. The problem I have with MTG is that there is power-bloat in successive card sets when compared to earlier card sets. They let things get a bit out of control in that area.

wraith808

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2015, 11:31:51 AM »
Quote
well i never played magic the gathering, though i have watched some of it being played -- and from watching i know it can get quite complicated.
there has been a rebellion against the "collectible" aspect of card games, as seen in magic the gathering, and most new deck builders do not follow this path.
instead there are fixed card sets that everyone can by for affordable prices and there aren't these super rare expensive cards, etc.

I was really into Magic The Gathering for several years (1993-1996). Still own quite a few custom-built decks. The problem I have with MTG is that there is power-bloat in successive card sets when compared to earlier card sets. They let things get a bit out of control in that area.

I was into playing at the very beginning.  But I really had fun when I got into selling them.  Financed part of my college with the proceeds  ;D  Amazing what 1st ed black lotus and other cards were going for at the time.  Opportunistic?  Who... me?  Nah... just a poor college student.  ;D :Thmbsup:

kyrathaba

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #61 on: September 22, 2015, 08:44:13 AM »
I got into it a few expansion sets after the original, so I never owned any super-valuable cards (Black Lotus, etc.) Still, sold some Uncommon and Rare cards a time or two when I had trouble making rent.

phitsc

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2015, 10:32:02 AM »
Concerning summoner wars:

How long should a typical game take? What do you do when you've taken up all the cards of your draw pile?

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2015, 10:37:23 AM »
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How long should a typical game take? What do you do when you've taken up all the cards of your draw pile?

games go quite fast and the answer to your question is one of the reasons.

when you run out of draw pile, that's it! no more new cards for you.

so a KEY part of strategy is not burning through your cards too quickly.

phitsc

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #64 on: November 19, 2015, 01:33:40 AM »
Thanks mouser. We were playing for like an hour and still not finished. I guess the main reason being that we still always need to read all the cards because we're not playing that often.

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #65 on: December 03, 2015, 11:43:28 AM »
Today's Micro-review is for the 2-player-only card game "Lost Cities":
lostcities_pic122441_md.jpg

https://boardgamegee...dgame/50/lost-cities

Lost Cities is highly recommended on board game geek as a fairly casual and easy-to-learn, but strategically rich, two-player card game.

I found the recommendations were well warranted.  We learned it during the first game and were excited to replay it immediately after.  Gameplay is simple and fast.  We were both quite intrigued by the strategic decisions during the game and felt compelled to talk about them afterwards -- always the sign of a good game.

Gameplay is simple and fast.  I would definitely recommend this to couples looking for a different kind of card game to add to their collection.


mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #66 on: December 03, 2015, 11:50:13 AM »
Another quick micro-review for today, Tides of Time:
tides_pic2662902_md.jpg

https://boardgamegee...me/176229/tides-time

This is another two-player-only card game -- but it's a tiny one -- only 18 cards TOTAL in the game.

If you've never played a game with a "card-drafting" mechanic, I can't think of a more wonderful condensed example than this.

It is a surprisingly rich/deep and thinky game, and at less than $10 this is a fantastic candidate for a stocking stuff.

Essentially, players take turns choosing a card from a set until they built up a collection of interacting cards which score different points based on each other.

Very cool unique micro-gaming experience.  The only caveat I would give is that it is about optimizing a numerical score based on interacting cards, and so you have to be able to get into that if you are going to enjoy it.

Here's Rodney from Watch It Played to teach you how to play (no one, but no one teaches better than Rodney):

ayryq

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #67 on: December 03, 2015, 02:07:35 PM »
I would definitely recommend this to couples looking for a different kind of card game to add to their collection.
My wife and I played this occaisionally. I liked it, she didn't. But she won every time. So annoying

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #68 on: December 25, 2015, 11:41:48 PM »
This christmas day we played two great board games that I would highly recommend to casual gamers.
The first was Tokaido:
https://boardgamegee...dgame/123540/tokaido
tokaido_pic1496870_md.jpg

Tokaido is a very casual, stress-free, beautiful board game where players travel along a famous road in Japan and choose from a few basic activities.  The activities are things like eating at a restaurant, visiting a souvenir shop, etc.  It's a very relaxing experience but with real strategic elements, and it was enjoyed by a new gamer who was scared of complicated rules.  It's a very atmospheric experience and feels like traveling in a foreign land.  Perfect for non-gamer families.

I'm not sure it would hold up to dozens of plays, but highly recommended as a gaming experience for a non-boardgame family looking for a relaxing but engaging experience.  The art design is incredibly elegant.

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #69 on: December 25, 2015, 11:50:04 PM »
The second board game we played this christmas day was "Evolution".
https://boardgamegee...ame/155703/evolution
evolution_pic2474176_md.jpg
(note: we actually played with the FLIGHT expansion).

I have played this game before with my nieces (12 and 20), with great success.

This is a game where players evolve species and struggle to feed them (or each each other).

There are few games I've played that do as good a job of capturing an engaging theme as this one..  It is a wonderful experience that everyone I've played with is captured by and quickly embraces.
Very fun to see how your creatures struggle to compete with each other.  We had some great moments in the last game where a bird evolved to become a carnivore predator and killed off a bunch of us and then quickly found itself in the unfortunate position of having to canibalize its owners other species.  Great fun.

This is more of a gamer's game, with a higher learning curve, but one that is extremely engaging and thematic.

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #70 on: February 01, 2016, 09:19:19 PM »
Finally got a chance to try Alhambra -- I liked it!

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #71 on: March 11, 2016, 06:11:48 AM »
Pandemic Legacy: My Favorite Board Game Experience Ever

pic2850406_md.jpg

Pandemic was a groundbreaking cooperative board game that was released in 2008.  Players work together to cure diseases that are spreading around the globe.  It's a wonderful game, and ushered in the modern era of cooperative board games.

The game has seen many expansions, but in late 2015, the creator of Pandemic released a very different twist on the game called Pandemic Legacy.

The "Legacy" term was first used in a game called Risk Legacy (2011), where new rules and pieces are unveiled (and old ones destroyed) as you play a series of games.  Stickers or writing is applied to the board as you win or lose, etc.  It was quite a radical idea.

Last week I had the opportunity to play 7 games of Pandemic Legacy with a good friend -- half the campaign.

It was the most compelling board game experience I have ever had.  The fact that each game was a continuation of the next, with true consequences to the outcomes, gave the entire experience a completely different weight.  Decisions suddenly mattered more than in a normal board game.  Having new surprises after every game was amazing.  My heart was literally racing and i had to get out of my seat often out of nervousness.  I've never taken as much care in weighing my options in a board game.

It was, for a board gamer like me, heaven -- the best board game experience I have ever had.

This is not a game for casual gamers -- but for anyone who is looking to have a unique board game experience that spans a dozen games -- who loves thematic elements, I cannot recommend Pandemic Legacy any more highly.  If this is the future of board games we are in for some amazing times.  And because we really enjoyed chewing over decisions, my guess is that (at least for me) playing this as a two-player game would be the sweet spot.

10+ of 10.  Best board game experience ever.



More on Pandemic Legacy at board game geek: https://boardgamegee...emic-legacy-season-1
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 07:43:09 AM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective
« Reply #72 on: May 02, 2016, 08:49:50 AM »
Well the time has come at last for me to post about: AGRICOLA.

Agricola was one of the first board games I bought about 9 years ago when I was getting into the hobby, based on the glowing reviews it was getting on hardcore board game discussion sites.

I tried playing it once and completely gave up on the game in disgust and sold it.  The complexity and sheer number of things to figure out, as well as the fiddly scoring left a bad taste in my mouth.

Skip ahead a few years, and with some more experience with heavier/euro board games, I felt an unexplained itch to try it again, and after a more determined effort to learn the rules I found that I became an Agricola fan, and it's become one of my favorite modern board games.



What makes Agricola such a special game?

Agricola has been called a "farming simulator" and that's an apt description.  More than any other game I have it feels like a true sandbox simulation, where components and actions interact and unfold over time creating dynamics that are sometimes hard to predict and control, but always with a satisfying level of stress and amusement.  Even if you have no interest in farming, there is something utterly compelling about the theme and the setting.  It's a hard scrabble existence as a farmer, and resources are always in short supply.  Do you try to make it growing grains and vegetables?  Or specialize in sheep, boar, cattle?  Or focus on growing a big family and expanding your house into a mansion.  Everything takes work and planning and you never quite have time to do everything you want.  It's a worker placement game, which means that you'll have to constantly adapt your strategy to be different from your playmates.

agricola.jpg
farmers.jpg

I taught it to a group of people yesterday and they loved it.  In fact I highly recommend you find someone who can teach it to you rather than try to learn it from the rulebook, which can be a very frustrating experience. I also highly recommend the "Farmers of the Moor" expansion, which adds horses and the need to heat your house, which helps balance things out.



This is definitely NOT a casual board game -- it can take quite a while to play and requires some serious rule learning -- but I do highly recommend it.  It can also be played solo -- which is never hugely fun, but i'd say it was one of the very few board games that actually can be enjoyable to play solo.