A couple of first impressions

Gameplay

I got to play a couple of games for the first time over Tabletop Simulator this weekend.

  1. #Ethnos - I played this with a coworker on Friday. We were supposed to have a group of 4, but 2 people couldn't make it, so we just played a 2 player game. There are some slight differences here, but the game mostly plays the same. I really enjoyed this one! The balance of quick turns and strategic decisions is great. Most turns took less than 15 seconds, but there were still interesting decisions to be made. Do I hold out for more cards for this territory to place a control token, or do I play a tribe that won't get me a control token, but will get me a fair number of points at the end of the age? I really liked all the different tribe abilities, and look forward to seeing all of the tribes at some point (in a 2 player game you play with 5 tribes out of something like 10). I think this would be a lot of fun at a higher player count, so hopefully we'll get our group of 4 together for it soon!
  2. #Boss Monster - played this 3 times last night - twice at 3p and once at 4p. This game is...okay. It's easy to learn, and the theme is fun, but it's really not satisfying in the way that I like my games to be. I think of this one in the same vein as #Munchkin, as they are fairly similar in theme and even in mechanisms, but I prefer this to Munchkin. Boss Monster, theme-wise, is the same as Munchkin, but the inverse - you're playing a Monster luring adventurers to your dungeon to kill them and capture their souls. Unlike Munchkin, however, there are not a ton of mechanisms to learn, and the game plays fairly quickly, so the simplicity of the game is justified. All in all, I had fun playing, but wouldn't ever vote for this game.

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7 months ago

Did you get the point in Ethnos where you were just digging through the deck for specific cards very quickly?

7 months ago

There were a couple turns like that. Those times were a bit anticlimactic, but at least the turns were really quick. I imagine that in a larger game it might not happen as much, because it's harder to get the larger bands and you have to be more ready to pivot. Am I off in thinking that?

7 months ago

I only played once at 4-players and it definitely got to the point where you basically had to sift through the deck for cards you need!

7 months ago

Haha, well maybe there comes a point where it's more advantageous to play bands to get points, even if they don't get you any control tokens on the map. If everyone is doing one strategy, sometimes it can be good to go the opposite way. For instance, playing a band of 3 with a dwarf leader would get you 10 points. Not too bad!

Edit: I think a band of 4 is actually 6 points now that I think about it. Either way, still not bad if you're able to churn through small bands and force the end of the game while everyone else has a bunch of cards in their hand.

7 months ago

Mmmm Interesting, I would need to play it a couple more times to get a better feel for it I think!

7 months ago

Ethnos is really good with more players, but still fun with two. This is one I really need to bust out again.

7 months ago

Yeah I'd really like to get a group together to play it IRL. Hopefully we're not too far off!

7 months ago

I think most states will be back in action pretty soon. Kentucky is starting their “soft open” tomorrow and moving along from there. Hopefully a few more weeks. I know it’s supposed to be “safer” during the summer months, so it’ll be nice to be allowed to meet up as a game group again. 

Supporter7 months ago

You still think #ethnos looks pretty? 

7 months ago

I never said it was pretty, and I still haven't played it in person, so I can't give a true opinion on that. I just said I thought it looked a little better than Ticket To Ride, which to my eyes is kind of bland.

Supporter7 months ago

My bad. 

Owner7 months ago

Sounds like Tabletop Simulator is working out well for you! How did your group go over the rules?

I've had interest in #Ethnos since watching SUSD's review, but I just know that it's a tough game to get to the table for our typical group. Are you thinking of getting it anytime soon? And do you feel like it's something your wife would enjoy playing 2p only?

7 months ago

For rules we watched a video beforehand and then reviewed the rules briefly before playing. Worked out pretty well!

I'd say if you can convince your friends to play it once, you wouldn't have trouble getting it to the table after that. It's so quick to play, and there aren't too many games like it. It's medium-light area control with set collection. It feels strategic enough to entice gamers, and I think it's simple enough for most people to be able to pick it up fairly easily.

As far as getting it, I have considered it, haha. My work actually bought a copy right before we went into quarantine, so I may borrow that to try it with my wife and friends before I ever get a copy for us. I think wife would enjoy it. I don't see it being one of her favorites, but who knows!

Owner7 months ago

Gotcha, that does sound very approachable. It also feels like a game where if I were to love it, it'd make a great side project to work on a reskin haha

Wait.. your workplace got a copy? Who decides on which game to get? And you can borrow it?? I know you've mentioned it before but it's great how board game friendly it is! Looking forward to hearing how it goes with your wife.

7 months ago

Haha a reskin probably wouldn't be too difficult. You honestly don't even need the board... You could probably make "Ethnos: The Card Game"and not change any of the rules. I'd be very interested in that, because that would make it super portable.

And yeah, my workplace is very cool in that way. Me and one other guy are the people who sort of started our unofficial board game club, so I asked one of the owners if the company was willing to buy a couple of games in the name of team building. We picked out a couple games and he bought them! Ethnos, #Sushi Go Party!, and #Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig. We purposely picked games that have a high player count and are relatively easy to learn, as well as quick enough to play in a lunch hour.

Owner7 months ago

Some day.... I'd like to reskin a game with a "kids on the playground" kind of theme. With different types of stereotypical bullies, king of the jungle gym, science kids, sports kids, you name it.

I'm sure the games are a great addition to the office. Nice going!

7 months ago

Haha, that sounds fun!

Linked Games
Boss Monster
Ethnos