fortressfire

fortressfireLevel 33

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Been away from the community a while after getting my latest foster placement, but this was a nice surprise! 

I haven't played enough story-based board games to really name one with any interesting story arc or substantive depth, but #Cosmic Encounter probably has the widest variety of interesting character powers ever, and they kind of let you create your own stories. You can be an alien that marries and divorces opponents, one that asks your opponents yes/no questions which become binding obligations, one that is allowed to commit a variety of rules errors that newcomers often make, and so many others.

Some of my favorite film characters:

  • Jesse and Celine from the Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy. These movies are so well-written and give such deep insights into these two people whose lives intersect for a brief few hours
  • Bill from Kill Bill Volumes 1&2. Shrouded in mystery and preceded by the most dangerous people on the planet, he's built up to be an incredible badass. The final confrontation with him is such a surprise, at once living up to your expectations and also throwing them out the window.
  • Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men. Quite possibly the most menacing film character in recent memory. Unflinching, seemingly unstoppable, and unforgettable.

Etsy is a pretty popular place to find game-specific bling, and possibly more generic items for your purposes.

A bunch of these are available to play for free on various websites like Board Game Arena! Then you can get a decent multiplayer experience too. Honestly some of these games are so well implemented I almost prefer them on Board Game Arena. I can finish a game of 7 Wonders in five to ten minutes, which is insane.

So nearly all my exposure to the game is through the Digital Edition, which has the base 5 factions and 2 expansion factions, which determine character and mech abilities. There are also 7 player mats which determine your action layout and turn order. So I'm used to playing with 49 possible combinations. As far as I know, the factions from the Rise of Fenris have not been incorporated into the current popular tier list.

I'm not super involved in tournaments but after playing a few games online I was interested to see what "good" play was like (because it wasn't coming from me lol) and that's when I stumbled onto the tier list posted by FOMOF, a highly ranked player in the Digital Edition who also has a YouTube channel with great videos. Also recommend Joydivision's YouTube channel.

I've heard good things about this digital implementation!

Yeah I think those are all considered classics at this point. A lot of these have app versions that may be on sale right now if you're into that! There are so many games coming out every year (and so many good ones, too) that it's totally possible to be playing a lot of games and still never get to the older "classics." This is even without accounting for things like taste or group sizes. 

I think the silver lining here is that people loved the game to the point of discovering its flaws, and even then continued to love it and find ways to make those flaws interesting. In that way, board games are a little like video games back in the day before constant patching. Board games can have some mass appeal but also may attract a dedicated group of fans who find a way to take the game to the next level and keep discovering new things years after the game's release, even without updates. Biggest video game parallel that comes to mind is Super Smash Bros. Melee, a game from three generations back that is also unbalanced but nevertheless is constantly evolving because its fan base just keeps digging deeper and deeper.

Biggest disappointment is just not being able to play many games with people (and perhaps losing a little faith in humanity, at least where I live). It's been a really tough year to even schedule virtual games with my friends for various reasons, so basically the only game I've played is #Scythe Digital Edition, which I suppose would qualify for...

My biggest surprise, which would again be the only game I played! I picked up the Digital Edition and was impressed by the amount of information it collects for you during play. I only played #Scythe once before, physically, and was totally lost when the game ended (I think I had zero stars lol). The Digital Edition has a pretty good tutorial and I had a group of friends that had the game who were also relatively new to it. I thought I wouldn't like this game at first, because I tend to play on intuition rather than planning out many moves in advance and calculating point values of different actions. Scythe definitely pushed me in ways I didn't know my brain was willing to go, because playing ranked games online is brutal if you aren't both well-prepared and ruthlessly opportunistic. 

I think someone had said this in another thread, but I can imagine it will just take some time for the gems of this year to be picked up and played. This year was a difficult one for many, financially and socially, and it'll be a while even in 2021 before gaming seems normal again (at least in many countries). 

Haha I just read your reply to my comment in which I talked about the severe faction/player-mat imbalance in #Scythe. Without rehashing too much, the competitive scene has a tier list for the factions crossed with mats and it goes from F-tier all the way to SS, with each tier loosely worth I think about 5 coins in score. This has led the current "metagame" to pre-game bidding for whatever combos come up, which can force some really interesting adaptations in strategy, but also requires a certain level of experience to wield properly.

A common issue with some of my favorite games like #Deception: Murder in Hong Kong and #Cosmic Encounter is a high amount of input randomness (in the case of these games, random card draw). Both these games depend on players to balance the randomness of the cards drawn, which can lead to some incredibly clever plays but just as often can lead to some less-than-stellar game experiences.

#Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases is a fantastic game with a frustrating scoring method. The game tries to encourage players to make some logical leaps and refrain from dawdling, but the general consensus is that "beating" Sherlock in a case requires some truly hasty detective work. I mean, Sherlock's methods may be effective but they would likely not be considered thorough detective work in a court of law. Following leads is a really fun part of the game, and trying to do as little of it as possible to "win" is a good example of the "fun thing" and the "right thing" not being fully aligned.

Thanks for trying to describe the criteria for a game to meet the 10/10 metric. I think your first point is a pretty nuanced view; sometimes games go in a different direction from where we might want them to go, and it may be unfair to hold that against them.

I'm in the same boat, I think I'm still not quite experienced enough to define what a 10/10 game is. I've played a decent number of games, but none have struck me as flawless, but then again maybe that's not what a 10/10 game will mean for everyone.

Take #Scythe for example, which many others have named in this thread. After dozens of plays, I've come to a conclusion many other "competitive" players have already reached, that some faction/mat combos are unquestionably stronger than others. Even Stonemaier has "banned" a couple of combos, and over time even stronger ones have been found. A common fix for this is bidding coins for combos, but this is a fan-made solution for an inherent balance problem. I enjoy Scythe, but can I really call it a perfect game? I don't know.

That's kind of my take on a lot of games I really love, and maybe that's unfair. I would like to hear what others think a 10/10 means!

Interesting choices, though it was only a matter of time until Marvel injected itself into another well-regarded board game! I suspect that we will see more Marvel expansions in the future because they left out a lot of the core MCU characters.

My house rule was made to use with what game: #Deception

What you named your house rule, if youi did: I don't have a name but I guess I would call it "Story Time"?

Why you made a house rule: With a bunch of people, it's really hard for the murderer to blend in when they can only see a few other people's cards. Rather than adjust difficulty with the number of cards, we decided the murderer should have a greater opportunity for clever play.

What your house rule changes: After handing out roles, all players share their cards with the rest of the table before the murderer chooses their set

What was the impact on your game experience? It definitely improves the suspense and the strength of arguments on the murderer's side, and it's fun to hear about some of the more ridiculous cards on the table. The downside is that the game length is extended by about a minute+ per person.

It left a strong impression on me after my one play and has remained in my thoughts ever since (though it helps that everyone else keeps talking about it too). I remember struggling to keep the entire decision space in my mind because everything is so interwoven and consequential, so I definitely want to try it at least a few more times and get a better idea of how everything flows.

Honestly, these seem like good metrics for any game experience, solo or not. The main thing that jumps to mind as "missing" if applied to multiplayer would be metrics about interaction, but we all know how subjective that can be.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it seems like you really like Star Wars, since you mention the strong theme in each of the Star Wars game entries. Hypothetically, if someone, say...didn't care much for Star Wars, how well would those games still hold up?

 

 

 

I think video games definitely have broader appeal, especially when mobile games became more popular. You brought up some well-known single-player titles and I think that's one aspect in which tabletop games may have a hard time competing. It's so much easier to just jump into a video game: there's minimal setup, you don't have to front-load rules, you can (usually) pause, it's easier to be immersed, and there's so much more potential for complexity and variety without placing additional rules burden on the player.

Edit: on the flip side, I think a lot of board games offer things video games often don't, like complete rules transparency often leading to bigger strategic horizons, negotiation/discussion, trading, and auction mechanics.

Thought of one more: the wildly popular Among Us game is totally reminiscent of social deduction games like #Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game and #Dark Moon, though I don't know how much board games were an influence in its development compared to general social party games like Mafia and Werewolf. I've seen some people make attempts at a board game version too.

I started with video games; it wasn't until college that I played a board game that generated enough interest for me to feel like it would be better than video games. The connection between them used to be really strong, since the entire RPG genre is a reference to the tabletop genre that came first. For a while I think they drifted apart, but as board games have started to grow in popularity, I've definitely seen a lot more video games take cues from board games.

Digital deck building games like Slay the Spire combine deck-building with a level of accessibility and complexity that would be difficult to do in a physical game. Hand of Fate was a deck building video game that later became a board game. The Witcher 3's card mini-game became popular enough to spawn its own separate app. There are also a lot of board games now that are based on video game IPs and try to emulate the general feelings or certain parts of the video game.

Shut Up and Sit Down posted a glowing review of Season 0. I believe they've actually got video reviews of all three. The collector in me says, "just buy season 0, you've already got 1 and 2," but the tiny, faint pragmatist in me tells me to just wait until I've at least played 1.

I appreciate the commentary you've put into each game and their position movement on your list! Thinking about this, it suddenly dawned on me that I probably haven't even played ten games this year... although I have been fortunate enough to play quite a few games of #Scythe Digital Edition with friends and randos.

If you're at all concerned with not having played as much Scythe this past year, I encourage you to check out the Digital Edition (PC or mobile). The UI will probably take some getting used-to but it's got a solid player base and the competitive scene is actually growing.

Online 4 player games frequently take 60-90 minutes (sometimes less) depending on the game owner's settings, and you also have the option for asynchronous play (less common with strangers). 

Very true about collecting games, especially when more and more people are interested in consuming the newest games. #Scythe has an active online presence with the Steam/mobile Digital Editions. There's also a discord and a burgeoning tournament scene.

Here I am looking at #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and #Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 on my shelf, unplayed except for writing names on character sheets months and months ago in Season 1. Legacy games are just more difficult for me to get to the table...

Permission to also join the "My SO Doesn't Like #The Fox in the Forest Club." Game is a little bit too confrontational and kind of designed around making your opponent constantly second guess their own plays.

I think the colorblind thing is a good step towards cataloguing accessibility in games. Something else that BGG does that was super helpful sometimes was language dependency ratings. 

Whoa, I've wanted to play #Cthulhu Wars for the longest time and couldn't bring myself to be the purchaser because it was so prohibitively expensive. Glad that a scaled-down version is thought to be just as good! Now if there was only a scaled-down, non-duel version of the game...I am probably asking for too much, huh?