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rynelf

rynelfLevel 47

I'm an old person that has been playing boardgames for most of my life.

In these covid-lockdown days, I've been spending some time implementing games that amuse me in Tabletop Simulator.  And not in the 'oh, look; one can manually manipulate the assets' sense; I'm trying to create a game experience that works aesthetically for me.  Along the way, I've been trying to explore the way a user interface drives a game system; and I think the more recently implemented games are a bit cooler to play than the first ones I'd attempted.

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Taking a chance is one thing - but there's quite a bit of lookahead possible.  Setting the next player up for a big score is rarely a good plan :)

At it's best, it's dynamic and clever and enjoyable.  It also stagnates from time to time: the pool empties, and folk (yeah; probably local groupthink) are afraid to do anything terribly significant because it gives too much of a subjective advantage to the next player.

I've played ~30 times.  I'd guess five or six of those have been spectacular; a similar number relatively poor; the remainder good to solidly good.

  1. I think #Glory To Rome is quite excellent.  I have the clamshell IV edition (with the amusingly garish clipart.)  'Upgrading' to the Black Box edition would be quite amazing.
  2. The answer to 'which game did I most enjoy playing' is always #Magic Realm.  This year is no different.
  3. #百科審議官!  It's not new, but it is clever and hilarious.
  4. My top games are pretty stationary. #Magic Realm; #Race for the Galaxy; #Dune; #Princes of the Renaissance.  #5 is a bit harder: one of #Merchant of Venus; #Bus; #A Study in Emerald; #1860; #Die Dolmengötter; #Brass; #1846; or #Through the Ages

Fancy!  #Obsession is great: probably my favourite title from 2018.  (But: I already have a copy; so I'm not in the running to win another.)

Want a copy of #Conquest of Nerath?  (That's the last thing that I'd won.   Played it a couple times with my kids, and we said (mostly) "Ok; that's enough.")

I've played #Gloomhaven a couple times with my (adult) children.  I enjoyed it, mostly because I was playing with them; but I think I'd want to avoid it with others.

Some of that is an inherent grumpiness within me, I think; but I really don't like being herded.  Any time the Alpha Player says "It's obvious you now need to do <thing>" I immediately want to do <otherthing>.  Some of my delight in playing games is the freedom to choose the not-necessarily-best thing: to see how it works; to explore; to not be completely predictable; I'm sure I have less-virtuous motivations, too.

So if I'm playing a game that presents me with a Clearly and Obviously Correct choice (and a bunch of false choices: things that I could do, but are decidedly worse for me) I'm grumpy.  And I'm equally grumpy in a co-op (group) that forces me into a choice.

I acknowledge that there is a group out there somewhere where the exploration is more important than the success; and I'd fit in fine.  But - other than with my kids, who treat me far better than I deserve - my observation of nearby game groups has lead me to believe that I'm better observing them mistreat (admittely: in my opinion) one another while playing a co-op than to be part of the experience.

Interest in #Inis?  Low.  I don't find the presentation attractive (I tend to avoid games with minis!); and the gang-up-on-the-leader endgame isn't something my game group would enjoy.  So: low enough that if (by some mischance) I won a copy I'd recommend you choose a different target.  I'd sell it or give it away.

If I had $200 today for games?  I'd put it aside, and use it the next time I made an order.  The most recent $200 of things I've ordered are all over the map: #SCOUT! ; #UGO! ; #Beyond the Sun ; #Blue Skies ; #1882  - and I'd expect something similar of the next bundle.   And if I sort those descending by price, they almost make a nice sequence where each title is 2/3 the price of its predecessor: so neither all big games, or all smaller games.

Absolutely yes.  There's two streams of games that don't interest me.  1)  Co-ops.  Not interested.  I don't want to play; don't need to own.  Completely happy to watch others play, but you're better off not including me.   2) Games with minis.  Mostly not interested.  But it's not quite the same issue as the co-ops.  While I'm biased against, I'm (mostly, and unless there are other issues) willing to give such a game a try.

If I was to win a co-op game, I'd try to get rid of it.  I expect posting on the internal for-sale list at work (Free <whatever game>) would be successful.   If I was to win a mini-game, I'd (probably) try it.  If the minis were cool enough that son #2 wanted to try painting them (unlikely: he's interested in his WH40K army, but not in abstract minis) I'd give it to him; if the game was interesting, I'd keep it and try to play more; and otherwise I'd give away or sell with low priority.

Perhaps ridiculously: yes. #Super Big Boggle is a 6x6 grid - so 36 cubes, rather than only 16.  And some of them have ligatures (Th; Qu; At; In) or blanks (that one can't use for a word) on them; so it's weirder than two-and-a-quarter sets merged together.

Mostly ridiculously old things: #Morisi; #Die Dolmengötter; #Super Big Boggle; #Outpost.  A couple recent european card games: #UGO! and #Partout.

(And a few more recent silly Japanese titles: #Birth; #ジンバブエトリック; #落水邸物語)

The old things were/are lovely.  Very much enjoyed. (And there: even though my lovely wife is Far Far better than our kids and I at #Super Big Boggle.)  

You're absolutely right: the turns are called 'days' :)  They're much shorter to play.

As to buying a copy; I've not seen one for (what I'd think was) a sensible price for years.  (At a con a ~dozen years ago, there was a dude trying unsuccessfully to sell an unpunched copy for $20.)  The copies on eBay right now are all stupid expensive.  

 

The game is played in 'days'; and normally for four or eight weeks of them (though it's completely possible to extend the game for longer periods.)  If and when one dies, one typically takes a day off then restarts.  We've had games where a restarted player has won!  (But, yeah:  restart with beginning equipment; not respawn with accumulated gear.)

The game, by default, has each player playing independently.  Whether that devolves into a loose cooperation; explicit cooperation; mutual ignoring; or an active Player-vs-Player aesthetic is totally up to the players; the game doesn't require any of those postures.  (It is useful to try to make sure - before the game - that one is on the same wavelength as the others.)

#Magic Realm is a fantasy adventure game.   The game presents a hostile realm for the players to visit; and they wander around and try to survive; to gain fame, treasure, and notoriety; and possibly to master new and arcane magics of which they had previously been unaware.

The game isn't remotely balanced.  The game gives the players a choice of sixteen different characters to play.  Some are easy; some have serious advantages that are situationally valuable; and some are really hard to get right (and consequently really rewarding when they succeed.)

The game setup is even more varied:  there are ten different native groups; dozens of different monsters and weapons; the occasional wandering NPC; and more than a hundred different spells and treasures that might appear.  The map is drafted by the players out of 20 different hex tiles.  And the locations of all of those things are randomized on the map that results.  It's inconceivable (and there I assert that word really does mean what I think it means) that you'd encounter the same setup twice* in a hundred lifetimes.

Back in the 70s I played with my younger brothers.  Then again with my eldest child when he was a pre-teen.  And now again with my now-adult children.  It's engrossing, rewarding, occasionally frustrating, but absolutely worth trying.  It also has a 240ish page rulebook in its most recent incarnation which is ridiculously daunting.  So the barrier to entry is nontrivial.

*: Not technically true.  If you were to play the game using Robin Warren's cool Realmspeak java implementation it'd be completely possible if you used the same random seed twice in a row.  But with the cardboard parts?  Inconceivable!

1) I think it was the banner ad on boardgameprices (though @indigopotter might have also suggested boardgameatlas.com was becoming increasingly interesting.)

2) Never?  Since my earliest childhood?   I suspect both are true to some degree.  My parents - for their first ('paper') anniversary gave each other games.  They divided the alphabet in half, and bought games from their side to ensure there'd be no duplication.  And so, when I was born a few years later, I entered a house with loads of games - and with parents (an later: siblings) that were happy to play them with me.  But is that 'the hobby'?  Not sure.  While I love games, I've never been terribly motivated to chase the new hotness, or care particularly about what Important Industry Personages thought about a game.

3) #Magic Realm is and has been my favourite pretty much since I bought my copy in the fall of 1979.   And while there are few things that I've rated higher the next two games that currently have my attention are #Bus and #Die Dolmengötter.

Let me get back to you on that navigation front in a week or two.  I'm still in the confused zone (I'm old!) but I'm learning.

Nice pickup!  I'd bought mine on ebay.de (only German rules in the box; and the English rules downloaded from Splotter Spellen's site) back in 2005; I'm a bit jealous of folk that were playing it since it was released.

What's the lowest winning score you've seen?  My most outrageous play so far ended 5 - 4 (+2 stones) - 4 (+1 stone).

For question #2, I'd absolutely go with #Horus (the last, and possibly the most ridiculously gloriously overproduced of Theta Games' output.)  Of course, there aren't many copies in the world; and I've seen none for sale in the past 10 years.  So it might be yet another level of Hard to Find.

(A bit easier, perhaps, would be the two expansion cards for #Trollmaster that were given away at the 2012 Osaka game fair.  Ok; not a lot easier, but it was a low bar.)

Restarting with $200?  I'd go with Capstone's #Stick 'Em and #Bus ; sign up for the P500 reprint of GMT's #1846: The Race for the Midwest; grab a copy of Mercury's #Princes of the Renaissance; and finish things off with a copy of Ludonova's #Babylonia.

Consulting boardgameprices (except for the P500 title) and choosing the cheapest vendor, I come just under $190 for all of them.  So I'd add a copy of daVinci's #Vivaldi  to consume the remainder.

Played TZAAR

Played at Belmont with 2 players.

Played Metropolys

Played at Belmont with 2 players.

Played Cluzzle

Played at Belmont with 2 players.

Played Metropolys

Played at Belmont with 2 players.

Played TZAAR

Played at Belmont with 2 players.

Played TZAAR

Played at Belmont with 2 players.

Played Jenga

Played at Seaside with 2 players.

Played Games Gulo Gulo

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Zooloretto

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Mexican Train

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Mexican Train

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.

Played Big Boggle

Played at Victoria with 2 players.