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Popular Asymmetric Board Games (Category)

These are the board games with the Asymmetric category.
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What is your favorite game with Asymmetric powers? Like| 10 comments | [+]
ReviewRoot Asymmetric Strategy Game Overview ( [Root]Like| 0 comments | [+]
The Hungry Gamer Previews Merchants Cove image
The Hungry Gamer Previews Merchants Cove Like| 13 comments | [+]
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I think I make it really clear up front that I'm a huge Dune fan, so bare that in mind, though I do try to address it from the perspective of someone who could care less about the property in the vid as well. Anyway, as always, I know some of you can't / don't want to / hate watching video reviews so here are the timestamps and a quick TL;DW (though you'll be missing out on dat pipe-cleaner sandworm).

00:00​ - Intro & synopsis

01:21​ - Game overview

02:37​ - Why is everyone so hype on this game?

03:45​ - Competing focus & specialization

05:30​ - What doesn't work?

06:40​ - Do you need to be a fan?

07:14​ - Solo mode & 2 player with automated house

08:15​ - Final (final) thoughts

What makes it cool?

-Integration of clean, simplified versions of deck building, area control & worker placement creates great tension

-Initially I was skeptical of automated opponent in 2p but it turned out really great

-Diverse strategies

-The signet ring as a card in the starter deck that activates an asymmetric power is a cool concept

-Overall evokes Dune pretty well

-Solo is challenging and fun

-My wife couldn't care less about Dune but LOVES this game (Lords of Waterdeep and Lewis & Clark are among her favorite games)

What doesn't work?

-Why oh why is there no inherent way to flush the face up cards in the market?

-Worker placement spaces on the board lose some of their luster after several plays, becoming just a way to obtain/exchange the games many resources

-I didn't really mention this in the review but the board focusses too much on the cold blackness of space and makes look barren like mars; this contrasts to how I envision it as a fan. Arrakis should be arid but brilliant, dangerous but beautiful. Some of the cards nail it, the board just kinda looks blah.


Really like it. I've played it 8 times at this point and just want to play more. It's not particularly innovative in any one department but super cohesive with it's disparate elements which makes it really compelling.

Clank is one of our favorites! We own everything for regular clank except for a few promo cards. The game is unique because players truly determine the level of tension in the game. We love that with sooooo many cards and board options (including the completed legacy board) every game and playthrough is different, and you need to base your deckbuild on what is available, which always varies greatly. The only flaw used to be player count, but the latest expansion fixed that. The only flaw now is the new asymmetrical characters are a bit unbalanced, with some much better than others.

Is it asymmetric?  US, Europe, and Global South try to reduce greenhouse gasses while China doesn't care and keeps developing industry anyway? Lol 

But yeah, I'm also a no on this one. 

  • #Noctiluca 1x @ 2p - bought this on sale to play with my wife. We gave it a try, and we liked it! Not sure it will make it into "love" territory, but we enjoyed it. I could see this getting half a dozen plays and then leaving our collection, but we'll see how our feelings on it develop.
  • #The Blood of an Englishman 2x @ 2p - I got this game for Christmas and finally got it played with a friend! We played twice and switched roles, as it's an asymmetric, 2-player card game. It's a neat game! Super simple rules, but interesting and tough decisions. It's probably a 15-20 minute game which is nice as well. I can see playing this more in the future when we have a few minutes! I'm not sure if my wife would like it, but I'll make her try it, haha
  • #Innovation 1x @ 2p - I also got this for Christmas, and this was my first time playing the physical copy; I played with the same friend. I think we forgot some rules, but overall we enjoyed it, and I can definitely see us playing it more. I don't think my wife would like it at all.
  • #Villagers 1x @ 2p - my friend asked to try this one out as he's seen it on the shelf for a few months without having tried it. He enjoyed it, but I'd be surprised if the two of us played it again. I'm personally pretty much done with this game, so I'll never suggest it, but my wife likes it so we keep it :)

To some degree, I think I like any mechanism employed well.  I used to think I really liked worker-placement games but after playing a few that fell flat for me I decided I enjoy the mechanic but it really has to be woven into the gameplay nicely.  Some other mechanics I tend to find appealing:

1. Kick-out/Executive Actions:  These are most notable in Vital Lacerda games but other games have hints of the same idea. #Clans of Caledonia has the neighborhood bonus that sort of does this. #Viscounts of the West Kingdom allows for a bonus now and then when landing on a player's space or during collisions. #Coffee Traders has a follow mechanic in the third phase that is closer to the mechanic I enjoy and #Wingspan has pink powers that do something a tad similar.

2. Dynamic Board state changes - #Brass: Birmingham is certainly the best I know at this and I love the dynamic game situation from turn to turn. #Coffee Traders isn't too far removed from this and #Teotihuacan: City of Gods captures a bit of this with it's system. #Founders of Gloomhaven does this reasonably well also.  

3.  Asymmetric Powers - #Dinosaur Island: Totally Liquid , #Root , #Scythe , and #Anachrony, offer nicely balanced asymmetric starting points in the game.  I enjoy the replayability of a game that gives you the option of trying for different starting positions.

I have to stop at three given my time, but this is fun to consider.

Love it! Lost Ruins is a very fun game! I saw a lot of reviewers say this game would be same-y. I just felt CGE would be bringing an expansion for this one. Alternate research tracks and asymmetrical starting players will help make this game feel different for many many plays.

Last week was a great one: 

  • 3x Cartographer (7/10): This is my low-key puzzle game I play with anyone who's up for a quick and easy entry-game. 
  • 2x Under Falling Skies (??/10): I just started the campaign mode (which isn't really a campaign tbh) and I have fun playing it. However, it's not as enjoyable for me as for many others. I like it's so easy to set up and that it plays quickly, but I don't think this one will last for me.
  • 2x Spirit Island (10/10): Boy, I love this game. It just hits all the marks for me. I played it to death in 2018 and recently rediscovered it because of Jagged Earth. Every asymmetric spirit is a joy to discover and the replayability is out-of-this-world. I think that I will first play all the spirits once, before playing multi-handed. 
  • 2x Underwater Cities (9/10): I won my first solo game after 9 plays. I got EXACTLY 100 points and 7 cities connected and I could not sleep afterwards because of the excitement. Losing in this game just keeps me going back to it, which is a very compliment to the designer. I haven't tried the expansion yet. Should I get that one? Does it add more than pretty player boards? 
  • 1x Terraforming Mars (9/10): Great game, will be playing this both multi-and single player for years to come. 
  • 1x Roll Player (7/10): Fun puzzle, quick game. The replayability for me is not that high. I find it a pity that the attribute effects of all races are similar. It's probably because of balancing reasons, but personally I would have liked if each race would have had different attribute actions. Perhaps adding some expansions will add more replayability. 

What do you guys and girls think about my week? 

My top 3 would be #War of the Ring: Second Edition which is just excellent and epic (although is a whole day affair), #13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis which for me packs plenty of the punch of twilight struggle in just 45 minutes, and #Android: Netrunner which I haven't played loads of but it is just such a fun asymmetric game!

Maybe this is just on the phone, but by having the description beneath each entry it meant looking through the list (if I just wanted to see the names) a bit of a chore (I'll be honest I fast scrolled quite a lot). Personally I'd love to the see the list compacted with the option to open up the description of ones that catch my eye. That said, I am always on the look out for 2 player games so I very much appreciate you putting this list together!