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Author Topic: Board Games
Torie
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Post Board Games
on: February 3, 2012, 11:23
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I haven't played any video games in a while, but I've been on a real board game tear. Our house has become obsessed with Arkham Horror, though the insane number of little pieces, needless complexity, and long playing time aren't ideal. I'm addicted to Betrayal at the House on the Hill, though we've had to develop house rules because it's the most broken game I've ever played. Other co-op favorites include Pandemic and Forbidden Island. Games banned in our apartment: Settlers of Catan (cutthroat!) and Scene It? (the roommate is preternaturally good).

Games I own but don't get as much play out of: Lord of the Rings (fantastic game, but so hard to win!), Carcassonne (somehow unsatisfying), Puerto Rico (too frustrating), Last Night on Earth (impossible for the zombies to win), Shadows over Camelot (weirdly tense), Munchkin (always fun but not challenging). I also have some card games like Gloom (silly and fun), Fluxx (eh), and Nanofictionary (depends on my mood).

But I'm getting tired of my games, so what games do you guys like? Any recommendations for ones that are challenging and fun?

S. Hutson-
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 3, 2012, 14:20
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Small World is a lot of fun--a fantasy-flavored conquest game with a lot of humor. It plays like Avalon Hill's History of the World, which is one of my favorites.

toryx
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 3, 2012, 14:38
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I'm very sad to say that all my board game friends live in Michigan. So I very rarely get to play them.

Having said that, Arkham Horror and Betrayal At the House on the Hill used to be favorites of mine. I totally remember how bad the latter's rules were. First time we played that, we all got a headache trying to figure out how much pot the creators must have been smoking.

I love Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne is a great game for people who hate Settlers. Shadows over Camelot I liked because it was one of the few games that didn't take forever to set up. Munchkin always pisses me off but I like Fluxx.

So having said that, a game I got not too long ago and have only been able to play about twice is Ticket to Ride. I liked it the few times I've played it. Not TOO hard to set up and fairly easy to get the hang of, but it's reminiscent of Settlers. I like the Game of Thrones boardgame (the original...never played the more recent edition) but that's more fun if you're a fan of the series playing with other fans.

Apples to Apples is a good game to play with people you're still getting to know. It's more about relationships than strategy which makes it a decent party game but it's also better with alcohol, so take that for what it's worth.

Sadly, that's about all I've got. I need to find more board game friends.

bobsandieg-
o
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 3, 2012, 17:50
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Popular games on our board and card gaming weekend (Would have been this weekend but Staurday and Sunday I'm hosting a Potter-thon. All the movies 4 on Saturday and 4 on Sunday)
Car of Cuthulu - atlas games - a very cut throat game of racing cars and terrefice lovecraft based puns. (The Crankcase of Charles Dexter Ward is a mod for your car.) Lot of player interaction in that you screw over each other a lot.
DominonThis was gift and man we love this game. It has 24 decks of cards but you use 10 in any 1 game, so it's rarely the same game twice. Low interaction, it can be played very fast once player are comfortable with it. (under 30)
Inn-fighting A card and dice game of a bar room brawl in D&D. It's strictly beer-and-pretzels level of gaming. Almost no skill required, but can be fun.
The totally renamed spy game Originally called before I kill you Mr. Bond that got sued adn hence the new name. Players are bad guy luring spies into their lairs and then deciding between killing them or taunting them for more points.
Showbiz Shuffle Blood and Cardstock games -- card game of making movie with satrical drawing of well know stars and directors. Can be fun esp for movie buffs as we explain the films were making. (It's a remake of Spartacus with Arnold!)
Last Night On Earth really? Human winning how does that happen. Brad, the player who loves this game in our group thinks its just the opposite. My sweetie-wife and I playe Zombies and we win more than we lose.

DemetriosX
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 4, 2012, 10:56
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Although I live in the land of board games (they're big business in Germany with an annual prize and famous game designers) we don't get to play very often. It was hard to agree on something when there were five of us and now there's just the two of us and we mostly play computer games because it's business (no, really, I swear). But I can recommend Attika, which is available in English from Rio Grande Games. It's somewhere between Carcassone and Settlers and is fairly simple to learn. Lots of parts, though.

The Pillars of the Earth is available in English from Mayfair Games. Another one with lots of parts and it is semi-complicated to learn, but fun.

Finally an American game, Kill Doctor Lucky. This one is a lot of fun, especially with more people. And since you can get it from Cheapass Games, it's not terribly expensive and you don't have to worry about finding out you don't like a game you invested a lot of money in.

Torie
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 6, 2012, 15:42
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@ S. Hutson-Blount
This looks great. I've added it to my wish list.

@ toryx
Aw, that is sad. I'm always on the lookout for two player games just for that reason. Co-op games are good, too, because sometimes we'll play Arkham or Betrayal or Pandemic and play two characters each to meet the minimum.

I do have Apples to Apples but it's a party game only, but I've basically retired it. It's a game of "how well do you know your playmates" so those of us who know each other really well aren't as interested and new folks feel left out.

I added Ticket to Ride to my list. Looks fun!

@ bobsandiego
At PAX East last year the copies of Dominion were ALWAYS checked out, and they looked SO intimidating. I've never seen so many cards and pieces before. We finally got a chance to check it out and the rule book was so long that we put it back and played some easier ones instead (I remember trying Atlantis and Pompeii which were both simple and fun).

We've played Last Night on Earth at least 6-10 times and the zombies only won once--when I played them. I do like it.

@ DemetriosX
Pillars of the Earth can't possibly have more pieces than Arkham Horror. When I got AH about a month ago, it took me an entire evening to punch out the pieces. By the time I was done I was too tired to try it.

I actually have Kill Doctor Lucky. It was the first game I ever bought at the first science fiction convention I ever attended. I played it only once or twice and wasn't in love with it. It doesn't help that I am superficial and really, truly love and obsess over beautiful quality games. For instance, it drives me BATTY that Betrayal at the House on the Hill is the most shoddily constructed game ever. The tiles are warped right out of the box. Last Night on Earth, on the other hand, has some beautiful glossy pieces, and Shadows Over Camelot has some nice little figurines.

@ All
Here are some games I've been eyeing--have any of you tried them and can recommend? 7 Wonders, Scotland Yard, Ghost Stories, Red November, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Fury of Dracula, Cutthroat Caverns, Saboteur, Space Alert, Defenders of the Realm, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Olympos, King of Tokyo.

DemetriosX
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 6, 2012, 17:40
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@Torie
Pillars doesn't call for you to punch stuff out, since most of the parts are little wooden cubes and wooden pawn style tokens. Plus the pieces of the cathedral. If you're into good-looking games, it definitely qualifies.

Is Scotland Yard the one where one player is Mr. X and the rest of the players have to search London to find him? I've played that a couple of times and it is fun.

It's long out of print, but if you can find a copy of Alaska it might be worth it. Up to 4 players start from the corners of the board with a Sno-Cat. On an island in the middle are supply containers. In the first phase, the sea freezes. Players draw cards to determine if they get to place a one, two or three hex tile. Then there are event cards, like getting sick, finding a container, running into the polar bear, helicopter lifts, etc. Once all the tiles are placed or there isn't room for the ones that are left, the thaw phase begins and the cards say what size tile gets removed. Lots of strategy and annoying the heck out of each other. And that polar bear.

bobsandieg-
o
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 6, 2012, 17:51
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@ torie
Sounds like the Dominion sets you were looking at are ones with the expansion sets, of which there are several. At my home we have just the base game -- o far -- so the rules are very thing, no pieces, and just cards. Really the games is a snap to play but subtle in its complexity. (I do fairly well 1 on 1 with my sweetie-wife, but I have a hard time adjusting to 4 players)
We don't play that many fully cooperative games simply because one friend of mine, nameless, is tough to work with and fairly demanding as a teammate. Much more fun ot beat him down than work with him.

Torie
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 9, 2012, 10:27
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@ Demetrios
Yes, that's Scotland Yard. I will definitely look into Pillars of the Earth. I kind of love little fiddly bits games.

Alaska sounds fun! A little like Forbidden Island but with more variety. I see a game on Amazon called North to Alaska--is that different?

@ bobsandiego
I will definitely reconsider Dominion, then.

We get very, very competitive so co-op is usually better to avoid all-out warfare.

DemetriosX
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 9, 2012, 11:46
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@Torie
That looks like a different game altogether. AFAIK, Alaska is completely out of print, but you might be able to find a copy on Ebay or some other used games source.

Scotland Yard is recommended, but it's definitely a case of "the more the merrier". 4 players is an absolute minimum, but then it's almost impossible for Mr. X to lose unless the others get really lucky.

bobsandieg-
o
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 9, 2012, 17:57
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@ Torie
Oh I know competitive. We have a saying in our board and card gaming group lifted from Team America: World Police 'Dirka Dirka Jihad!', which is the declaration that the announcer no longer cares about winning but only about making sure the target loses. Doesn't happen in the less interactive games like Dominion, and is pratically a ritual in other games.

DemetriosX
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 10, 2012, 06:35
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Another game that's probably out of print that I bet you'd like is Civilization. Not the one based on the computer game series, but the one that was originally put out by Avalon Hill. Lots of fiddly bits, nice optics, decent haptics. It does have 2 major drawbacks. First you really need at least 6 people for it to be really fun, the max of 8 is better. The other is that it takes a LOOOOOOONG time to play. Like 6 to 12 hours, averaging around 8.

I keep coming up with these out-of-print suggestions. If you're looking for inspiration for games that are easier to find, track down a list of the Spiel des Jahres winners and nominees (Wiki has a listing of the winners and the most recent nominees). That's Germany's top board game prize and made people like Reiner Knizia into household names.

Torie
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 13, 2012, 14:55
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@ bobsandiego
Haha, I'll keep that in mind if we ever do a gaming weekend.

@ Demetrios
Civilization sounds less than ideal, then. The Spiel des Jahres list is how I found 7 Wonders (last year's winner), which I may pick up. My only complaint is that they often lean too far towards "family" (i.e. less complex) games, and not all of them get released here in the U.S. I would import something if it came heavily recommended, though. I learned to play Monopoly on a Dutch set my parents picked up while living in Europe.

DemetriosX
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 13, 2012, 15:19
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@Torie
If the Spiel des Jahres jury is leaning towards family-friendly games, that's something new. I mean they gave the award to Settlers of Catan after all. They used to have a special category for family/kids' games. Another good source is Games Magazine. They have reviews every month and the year-end issue has lots of games in a lot of categories.

DemetriosX
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 14, 2012, 06:13
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Settlers of Vulcan

http://nerdapproved.com/gaming/star-trek-catan-settlers-of-vulcan-actually-exists/

Torie
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 16, 2012, 13:13
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Demetrios:
I saw that!! Alas, looks like a German release only.

I wound up ordering Dominion and Yddrasil to start. I'll report back once they arrive.

CaitieCat
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 19, 2012, 12:05
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What's wrong with German-only? Buy it, send me the rules, and I'll send 'em back in English in a day or two. I've actually been thinking about approaching game companies as a long-time gamer and twenty-year translator, and suggesting I'd be a valuable asset. I've talked to one company in Russia already. :)

Torie
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 25, 2012, 15:05
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@ Cait
I'll keep that in mind. :)

So I got both Yddrasil and Dominion and they are both really great games! In Yddrasil you are all various Norse gods trying to save the World Tree through Ragnarok. So basically damage control as Loki, Hel, ice giants, and other baddies of mythology screw things up. A lot of fun, cooperative, and the difficulty scales with the number of people involved.

Dominion was really intimidating (so many cards!) but I played a round last night and had a great time. I like the way the actions chain off each other, and I found myself more interested in assembling fun plays than worrying about winning (which is good, because I didn't win). Thanks for the recommendations! We also played a little Castle Ravenloft in our quest for a less broken version of Betrayal at the House on the Hill. It's kind of brutal. The times we've won were, I think, because it turned out we weren't playing the game properly.

I want to try Ticket to Ride, Pillars of the Earth, and all the others Bob recommended. But one expense at a time...

DemetriosX
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 25, 2012, 17:16
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Hey, Pillars was my recommendation. Credit where it's due. :)

Re expense: in Germany lots of libraries have games you can check out just like books or movies or music. It wouldn't surprise me if there's something like that in NYC.

And I bet Settlers of Vulcan will get a US release within a year or two. I can't imagine Paramount would waste the license on just the German-speaking market. If it gets any kind of decent response, it will get localized.

bobsandieg-
o
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Post Re: Board Games
on: February 26, 2012, 22:28
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Tori: Did you use one of the set-ups in the rule book? if so which one? These days we shuffle and use ten random cards for our Dominion games. (Mostly, we do have a house rule loser of the last game can set the conditions of the next game)

Torie
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Post Re: Board Games
on: March 6, 2012, 10:48
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@ Demetrios
Sorry, those were meant as different categories: Ticket to Ride, Pillars of the Earth, the many Bob recommended (separate category). Clarity, I has it.

Alas, nothing like that exists in NYC. We barely have libraries over here in the States, let alone games libraries.

@ Bob
So far we've played four games, all the setups from the rulebook. Some of their combinations are weird, though. For instance we tried the "Big Money" game last night, which includes a card allowing you to permanently trash a card, but there are no witches/curses in the game so why on earth would you want to trash a card?? We're still figuring it out.

bobsandieg-
o
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Post Re: Board Games
on: March 6, 2012, 15:51
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@ Torie That confuses me too. My friend Brad seems to think keeping your deck small (unless Gardens are in the game) is a good idea to that you have a higher percentage of 'good' cards vs 'crap' cards in your deck and thus a better chance at useful combinations in your hand. I'm not sold on that theory.

DemetriosX
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Post Re: Board Games
on: September 7, 2012, 13:07
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As I predicted, Star Trek: Catan is now out in English. Mostly it's just a reskin but they've added TOS characters that have special powers.

http://io9.com/5941159/boldly-settle-where-no-settler-has-settled-before-with-star-trek-catan

Torie
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Post Re: Board Games
on: September 14, 2012, 01:33
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@ Demetrios
I saw ST Catan in Target, but it looked like pretty much the same game, so I didn't bother. I didn't know about the special powers, though, maybe that'd be worth getting.

@ Toryx
Finally picked up Ticket to Ride about a month ago and I'm enjoying it a lot. It's free on the iPhone right now, too, so I've been binging a little on my commute! I love that it's competitive without being cutthroat or zero sum. Gameplay is also well-paced (a nice change from, say, Arkham Horror).

toryx
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Post Re: Board Games
on: September 17, 2012, 10:34
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Glad you're liking the game. I'm sad that out here in NH I don't know enough people who like to play board games... I've only been able to play Ticket to Ride a few times. I always quite enjoyed it though. I'll have to see if I can find it for android.

I was actually in NYC over the weekend and thought about getting in touch with you and Deepthroat but my schedule was just too busy.

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