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Popular Fantasy Board Games (Category)

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Was not expecting #Paleo to win even after the GameNight! crew on BGG predicted it. I felt they came across as a little too hyped over their first play. I will admit it's the one game in the Kennerspiel category that's at least doing something different with the backs of the cards representing what you might see on the fronts.

No shock for #MicroMacro: Crime City wining the Spiel.

Oddly enough, watching a playthrough of #Zombie Teenz Evolution and #Fantasy Realms got them added to my wishlist.

I think the one thing everyone can agree on is not one thought #Fantasy Realms would win anything and everyone was right.

"I AM A BEAUTIFUL DARK FANTASY GAME" Haha, I agree that this game screams that.

Lots of games this week!

All online or solo.  I don't normally get replies to my posts so I figured I'd leave out most of the details and not present a wall of text this time.  :)


Not sure if he's done any boardgames yet, but Dmitri Burmak has done some great work on #Frostgrave and #Magic: The Gathering. Probably my favorite fantasy artist. His art book for Frostgrave is outstanding.

Another one I like - whose work you have almost certainly seen - is Franz Vohwinkel. He's done a ton of games, as well as RPGs and MtG.

Doris Matthaus established the classic look of 90's-00's Euros. It was a crime when they put out the new edition of #Carcassonne without her art.

Ryan Laukat has a distinctive style which ties together his games - and he's the designer, too!

This is something my wife and I want to do as well, and while that probably won't happen (sigh), we've thought about it quite a bit. One place we really loved was Good Move Cafe in Provo, Utah. They had a great setup (although not fantasy-themed), with tables and booths, games galore, good food and a knowledgable staff. What I loved was the tournaments. They had them weekly (sometimes more) and were well attended. Tournaments were everything from #Codenames to #Captain Sonar and everything in between. There was a small buy-in, but it was worth it (and I'm a tightwad haha).

When it comes to food, keep in mind that the greasy stuff will get on your games, which could be a turnoff for other patrons. I like the idea of sandwhiches, burgers, and other things that aren't too messy (burger depending, of course). Aside from the meal-type foods, snacks like trail mix, candies (M&Ms, Canadian Smarties, etc.) are a great choice for those who want something to munch on but not necessarily a full meal. 

I think if you're doing a fantasy theme, specilaized drinks like butter beer can help add to the theme. 

Let me know when it's open and if I ever make my way to wherever you are, I'll definitely hit it up!

Only a couple titles this week:

#Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile 4p - Finally got this back to the table for Era Five of our ongoing story. This was our best session yet as every person has a legit shot at winning in the final two rounds. Our Chancellor started off strong during the Protection Oath with the bandit crown from the starting Cradle site, but mid-game I was able to campaign for this and took over the Oathkeeper title. Our orange Exile threatened all game with the Darkest Secret vision. Another vision proved troublesome though and in the end our yellow Exile ended up winning through some crafty maneauvering. 

#Regicide 1p x 5 - Picked up this little fantasy card title and am still trying to beat it solo. Excellent artwork on the linen-finish standard playing cards. I'm also using the free companion app to make tracking a breeze. This is going to be a sure-fire pub game for us in the coming days.

I'll play for great art, but I could honestly forgo most fancy components. I actually just posted elsewhere about how I would love to have the opposite of a deluxe option - - a cheap barebones edition in a plain box with no special tokens. I have so many cubes and meeples and other little tokens that I really don't need my games to come with them.

The craze for metal coins baffles me more than anything. We all have currency with actual metal coins, right? It's not like metal money is an exotic element of fantasy that whisks us away from the real world? People could use our actual metal currency at a lower cost than they are paying for pretend metal money! I just don't get it. I especially don't get why people would pay metal money across multiple games. Just buy one set of cool fantasy money and use it for everything.

But then, I also would have laughed the crazy man out of my office if someone had offered me an investment pitch for the world's first roller coaster, so I clearly don't have any intuition for what the typical person finds fun and rewarding!

I would make exceptions to my components indifference for games that I adore and that get a ton of playtime. I like the relatively fancy components in Wingspan, for example. The eggs feel nice. Everyone loves sending the dice through the rolling tower. In fact, the pleasure of rolling the dice this way is practically a mini game for some of my family members. So there are occasional games where the components intensify the pleasure of the game. But the vast majority of my games just don't get enough plays to make higher priced components worthwhile, and/or don't benefit enough from the fanciness to justify the price.

In fact, I frequently find myself holding back on games that looks interesting because the prices have gotten so inflated. This seems like it is often a function of overproduction. I just don't want to take a risk on a $75 game only hitting the table once or twice.

Additionally,  the trend for overproduction and higher prices seems to be leading to price inflation even on simple little games that have no reason to be expensive.  Why on EARTH does Splendor cost $45 MRSP? It's a card deck with about 15 unique faces and a handful of poker chips with gem stickers on them. I felt ripped off even at $25, to be honest. At least a game with great production has an excuse for the price tag!

I can only think of a single game that was actually unplayable due to component quality, reaching far, far back into my early childhood: Mousetrap! 😆 Yes, the mainstream childhood classic, where you race to construct a Rube Goldberg contraption to catch a mouse, almost always ended in a disappointing anti-climax when said contraption failed to actually work due to the shoddy, wobbly construction of the interlocking components.

I'm pretty sure it's still in print, being sold at Targets and Walmarts to parents who have apparently forgotten how disappointing the gameplay was, so I suppose that says a lot about how consumers are seduced by cool looking game bits.

The first point that I will address is metal coins. For years I was a coin collector. I have since sold most of my collection, but I still have a an numismatic bent. For me, the way the coin looks is super important. I have 0 interest in using mismatched money, especially in historical games. For me, in PP2e for instance, it is important that the coin "looks" right. I would far rather use the cardboard money that looks right rather than use a generic metal coin. That being said, I do agree that metal coins aren't even close to necessary. And, I think for fantasy games the idea that you mentioned of buying one set, would work well. But I also must admit, that for #John Company (Second Edition), I did spring for the metal coins.

I am with you in some ways with the desire for cheaper, more basic, games. I do welcome what Awaken Realms did with #The Great Wall. There they sold a version with meeples and a version with minatures. There have been a number of other companies that have used this approach as well. I do think that this is a small step in the right direction. I do hope that it does portend offering more choices on game components in the future. Actually, I do think that one potential outcome of the price increases in everything connected with game production and shipping, MIGHT be towards a simplification of some of these things. Also, if you want basic components, have you checked out Hollendspiele's offerings? 

Not gonna buy Legends of the Dark? ... Then join me as I play a 3-handed solo game of a side quest from Descent Journeys in the Dark (2nd Edition) using Fantasy Flights 'free' Road to Legend App. Whew, that was a mouthful! This video should help you learn How To Play with the app and give you a good feel for the flow of the overall gameplay.

0:00 Start
0:08 Intro Comments
0:47 Map Interface
6:05 Travel Event #1
7:06 Tamalir Shopping
9:25 Choosing My Quest
10:12 Travel Event #2
11:27 Scenario Start
17:54 My Heroes
22:12 Monster Activation (1st time)
34:48 Monster Activation (2nd time)
50:38 Search Tokens
1:01:51 Some Variants I use
1:06:55 Using the I.A. Rest Action
1:20:57 End Gag

And we are back with our first recap in a month, Marvel Champions. The superhero co-op customizable card game from Fantasy Flight games.

The main thing I want to see in a boardgame cafe is myself....LOL

Their are several things to keep in mind:

  • You need to make sure you have the population center needed to support such an enterprise. Then you need to make sure that the local population is open to that sort of gaming. If the local gaming scene is DnD and Fantasy dungeon crawl focused.... then that sort of cafe would possibly be quite good. If your local scene is more into 18xx and Vital Lacerda...... That strong a theme in a boardgame cafe may be an active discourgement.
  • The paperwork for selling food and drink can be a bear..... You have to make sure that you have those permits figured out ALL the way before you invest too heavily in infrastructure. You don't want to plan something and then figure out that that won't come up to code for what you want to do with food.....

Those things being said.... What would I want in such a cafe...... I would want something fairly neutral, in fact, I would want something pretty similar to a public library.  I would want something I could play a really dry Euro game in, or a thematic fantasy game, or a historical wargame, or...... whatever without feeling too out of place. I think I would also like to have the cafe maybe be a seperate from the gameplaying area..... But, that's just me.