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Popular Combat Board Games (Category)

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Case Study of Blood Rage, Rising Sun, and Ankh - Part 2 (Combat Systems) - image
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Since the picture didn't get pulled for some reason:

I actually have zero experience with Elder Scrolls and Skyrim. Does anyone have any guesses as to what the game will involve?

Knowing CTG, it's got to have dice-based combat right? Besides that, I'm curious how much of an open-world feel the game will have since all of their games so far have been rather contained.

No idea, and its pretty far until we know anything, but I'm excited! A company like chip theory games getting an IP like this, theres potential here. Obviously I'll check out how it will be but considering I have tmb and I'm waiting on burncycle, I'll probably buy into this too lol.

I loved playing skyrim a few years back, cool combat and awesome side quest story lines. Not sure how that would translate as ctg doesn't really focus on narrative all that much. 

Dice based combat... I would guess that to be likely. But in Cloudspire the combat isn't necessarily dice based. 

My small gaming group met up for the first time in over a year on Friday and I introduced them to#Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion.  I have previously played the whole campaign solo with all four characters but that was a bit of a beast to do and each session took a long time solo.  Even with teaching the game we managed to play the first 4 scenarios in about 5 hours total.  First three went very smoothly and great fun was had by all.  Fourth scenario got wrecked hard and luckily that did not scare them off.  They were eager to talk about what we could do better next time without me trying to "run the show".

On my own I played my first ever game of#Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition and I was pretty pleased with the initial experience.  It was a lot to absorb and I went through the walkthrough pretty slowly but I feel pretty confident I understood the actions I did take.  Combat rules seemed to get real deep quickly so I didn't venture outside the box very much on my first try but I look forward to trying it again.  I may run the tutorial a time or two again with other characters to see how much I can do without the guide before I try a full blown solo conquest.

Other than that I just played some simpler games with the kiddos throughout the week as we usually do after school sometimes.  This week only some#Clue and #Ticket To Ride: First Journey but it's gotta start somewhere.

"Card game" is a pretty broad category, so I'll break it up a little...

#Dominion: The granddaddy of the genre is the best place to start and still has the best pure deckbuilding gameplay. For more combative alternatives, go with #Nightfall if you'll have at least three players or #Shards of Infinity: Deckbuilding Game if only playing with two.


Tableau builder:
#Innovation is a nasty game of finding temporary advantages and beating your opponent to death with them for as long as you can. Great fun! For a less in-your-face alternative, go with #San Juan (Second Edition) or #Race for the Galaxy depending on which theme appeals to you more.


#Sushi Go Party! is a sweet little pure drafting game that handles a big group - and the art is cute as hell. :)

Card Battler:
I know you said you're getting away from MtG, but have you tried Jumpstart? The #Smash Up-like setup of shuffling two half-decks together means there's no deck construction, and they've done a good job of balancing things. My boys and I have bagged up each half-deck, and we play by drafting from three picks.

But if you're really trying to get off the cardboard crack, check out #Epic Card Game. It's a non-collectible MtG-style game that has eliminated mana screw! There are some good formats for drafting, or you can just deal out some random cards and go!


Hope that helps - good luck!


Me and my lovely wife act like idiots as we unbox Direwolf's 'Dune: Imperium' board game -- based on the upcoming movie directed by Quebec's own Denis Villeneuve.  Worker Placement meets Deck Building meets Combat and Hidden Information!!! Count us in!  But that box art, man... It looks like a game of bocce shot through a fish-eye lens...

0:00 Start
0:09 Opening Comments
1:09 Flavor Text - Box
2:06 Unboxing Begins
2:53 Flavor Text - Rulebook
3:45 Rulebook
5:37 Tokens & Stuff
7:27 Character Boards
10:41 Some of the Cards
14:00 Board & Game Overview
17:17 Comments
18:39 See ALL the Cards
23:44 End Comments
24:10 End Gag

Very good overview of the game!  I was thinking of doing a review of the game as well but I don't think I have to now as you have covered it very well. :)

As someone who owns quite a few COIN games I have to say that Pendragon is a big one to start with!  It is also in a different vein from many of the other COIN games.  Combat is more complicated and the way the factions interelate is different.  The Dux/Civiates relationship has a ton of nuance to it although I've only played it solo at this point I can see that is going to be an interesting one to balance multiplayer.

And it's a tricky solo game as well.  Lots of rules to lookup and situations to try to get correct.  However, if you enjoyed that then the other COIN games shouldn't be an issue for you.  

#Star Wars X-Wing: Core Set will probably always be my favorite, even if I don't play anymore. My oldest (soon to be 6) should be old enough to fly the ships around and roll dice, so I need to try that with him. I may get more into 2.0 once he's older, but for now, I stopped playing when 2.0 launched because I didn't want to re-invest in my sets.

#Star Wars: Rebellion I've only played once but LOVED it.

I haven't played it yet--and I'm sure I'll love it when I do--but I asked for #Star Wars Imperial Assault for my birthday in July but I told my wife not to worry about it if she couldn't find one for a decent price. So fingers crossed! 

#Star Wars: Destiny is also a favorite, although I haven't played in some years now. I'm hoping my kids will want to play when they're older, so I'm keeping everything (I have enough for 3, maybe 4 decent decks). I always played casually anyway.

My kids love #Loopin' Chewie, and used to sit around and play that for hours. Great little babysitter haha

I'm a big fan of #Star Wars: Outer Rim, although I've decided I much prefer it at a higher player count. Solo just feels like a race (although I'll still play solo on occasion), and two-players leaves too much space between players. What I want to do is figure out a house rule to make ship-to-ship combat a regular action. That would be wonderful, but I haven't yet given it much thought.

And, lastly but not leastly, #Star Wars: Epic Duels Game is my grail game. One day it will be mine. Until then, I shall dream on.

Lots of good games this week!

  • #Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947 (solo, physical) x2: Played the last half of the game.  This one definitely felt very different from other COIN games I've played so far.  I think I was playing the bot for the non-violent factions incorrectly to start with but finally got things straight and the game started heating up in the second half!  
  • #Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain (solo, physical) x4: WOW!  What should I say about this game?  It's definitely a big game.  It's very long and is super different to the other COIN games I've played.  It's not just a couple of different faction powers or whatnot but different in a ton of ways.  The combat as well plays incredibly different.  I really enjoyed the play, especially after I really understood what each faction was trying to achieve and was able to run the bots easier.  I don't know if this game is for everyone as it adds quite a bit of complexity and rules to the COIN ruleset but if you can get in to it I can see this being an incredibly enjoyable experience!
  • #Ecos: First Continent (multiplayer, TTS): I really enjoy this game.  (Hey, you build a map so right there I'm in.)  I think the one issue is that if you get the right card pull from the deck it can potentially make or break your game.  However, there are some strategies that can help with that but, especially for newer players, if you didn't get the card or aren't in a position to utilize it then it might be hard to capitalize on the board state or stop others.  I think you have more options than it first appears but it takes a couple of plays to really get it.
  • #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (multiplayer, TTS): Bit of filler after we finished Ecos.  Such a wonderful game.  We had 2 of us veterans playing with a newer player and you can see how much we have improved via that experience.  Still a ton of fun!
  • #Carson City: Big Box (multiplayer, TTS): First time playing this one.  It was a fine euro with the dueling being the hook that made it different.  My plan was to not be aggressive with it and mitigate against it as best I could.  So I ended going in to ranching which had pistols inherent in it.  I ended up being dueled against twice, winning one and losing one.  Some players really didn't like that aspect of the game as you could lose a lot of money or waste moves if you lost a duel.  I could see that.  For me the dueling is the only thing that made it better than "just fine".  All in all I'd play it again but I wouldn't consider it a great game.

Good week!

Got a good variety of games in this week:

  • #Arctic Scavengers: Base Game + HQ + Recon (tts, multiplayer): I was thinking of trading of selling this one but after our multiplayer game I decided to hang on to it.The combat at the end of each round is super fun and adds something to the whole game. The official solo mode and variants I have tried aren't very good at least in my opinion. But multiplayer it shines!  Yup. I'll find space for this one!
  • #Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King (tts, multiplayer): And with this play my shelf of shame is empty.   I love tile laying games and this one has a great twist in how tiles are acquired during the buy phase. 
  • #Marvel Champions: The Card Game (physical, solo): played with Scarlet Witch and then Quicksilver vs Crossbones. My one game conclusions: Quicksilver has a lot of internal card synergy like Ant man. The Scarlet Witch needs a bit more deck building care like the Wasp. I look forward to figuring out some good decks in the future!
  • #Sword & Sorcery: Immortal Souls (tts, multiplayer):  First time playing this one.  I had quite a lot of fun!  I think we are going to play some more of the campaign. Fun dice checker although the rulebook needs a lot of work.
  • #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine (tts, multiplayer):  missions 22-24 accomplished. Things are getting tougher but once we shook the rust off we did quite well.
  • #Lorenzo il Magnifico with#Lorenzo il Magnifico: Houses of Renaissance Expansion (physical, solo): I found a really good variant that covers the expansion. This is probably my favourite dice style placement euro. The expansion is excellent and I can't wait to give it a whirl with the gang!