Bunch's Thursday night games

Bunch

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Almost every Thursday I have folks over for games.
This week was Ra (Uberplay version) and Infinite City.

Infinite City is a tile laying game like Carcassonne. You do get a hand of tiles to choose from so there is a little more planning available but tiles get and workers get moved a lot making plans longer than a turn away a waste of time generally. Quick to learn and fun for groups up to six. Everyone enjoyed it.

Ra (Uberplay edition). Ra is an auction game about collecting sets if you boil it down to it's base. On your turn you either draw a tile from a bag and place it in the auction group, call an auction or if you have a specific piece you can steal an item from the auction group by discarding said special piece. Auctions end when either a player chooses, the bid slots fill up or a Ra tile is drawn. Strategy is around what tiles to collect, how much to bid and when to call auctions.
We've played this version and the new version. The Uberplay version is the more attractive version and very thematic but hard to read at times. The new version has excellent player aids.
 

Bunch

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Missed two Thursdays in a row but I did put an all day game day in last Saturday.
Games played:
Vegas Showdown
Tsoru
Metro
Paris Connection x2
Citadel
Bang

Vegas Showdown is underrated in my opinion. It's a solid euro style auction game with good theme.
Tsoru - we had five players and most with kids so we played this as an example of a game that might play well with young kids. From that perspective it's great. No reading, simple mechanics and challenging. Still a bit too random to take serious. Fun.

Metro - Tsoru with a bit more challenge and strategy but not a ton more.

Paris Connection - continuing the rail theme. Has elements of Aquire and something like Ticket to Ride maybe. Overall while challenging something didn't feel right about this. I have no interest in buying it.

Citadel - classic and played ok with the eight players we had at that point. Too long.

Bang - ok this was just a slog. Sheriff had the ability to draw from attacker each time he was banged. Outlaw could heal by discarding. Took forever.

Overall I almost wish we'd played a big ameritrash game like axis and allies or kingmaker or something.
 

The Butcher

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Citadel and especially Bang are perennial favorites with our group. We've had countless hours of fun with Bang.

Citadel we've played less often but it's a fun one too.

If you like 'em faster I'd look into Dicetown and King of Tokyo.
 

Bunch

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A couple showed up mid day to play and only made it through one game of Citadel before having to leave. The wife was exited to see the group play Bang! but for some reason we picked citadel first. I think we got unusually unlucky in the role/character selection resulting in a very long and boring game of Bang. It might have just been the wrong group to play with too.
 

The Butcher

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A couple showed up mid day to play and only made it through one game of Citadel before having to leave. The wife was exited to see the group play Bang! but for some reason we picked citadel first. I think we got unusually unlucky in the role/character selection resulting in a very long and boring game of Bang. It might have just been the wrong group to play with too.
Four people is not nearly enough for Bang! to shine. The whole deputies vs. outlaws fog-of-war thing really starts getting fun with 5+ players. I'd say 6-8 is ideal.
 

Bunch

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Four people is not nearly enough for Bang! to shine. The whole deputies vs. outlaws fog-of-war thing really starts getting fun with 5+ players. I'd say 6-8 is ideal.
We had 6. It started out fine but as I mentioned the sheriff had the ability to take a car each time he was attacked by a person combined with an outlaw who could discard two cards to heal one. The net effect was no one wanted to shoot the sheriff if they had more than one card and potentially hand him bang cards to return fire. The sheriff couldn't get enough bang cards to keep up with the healing ability of the outlaw when combined with whatever beer or other heals he pulled. The game dragged on and on with 4 people watching. It was the last game of the night so those of us on the sidelines didn't start a separate game. Eventually I believe we just called it a draw.
 

The Butcher

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We had 6. It started out fine but as I mentioned the sheriff had the ability to take a car each time he was attacked by a person combined with an outlaw who could discard two cards to heal one. The net effect was no one wanted to shoot the sheriff if they had more than one card and potentially hand him bang cards to return fire. The sheriff couldn't get enough bang cards to keep up with the healing ability of the outlaw when combined with whatever beer or other heals he pulled. The game dragged on and on with 4 people watching. It was the last game of the night so those of us on the sidelines didn't start a separate game. Eventually I believe we just called it a draw.
Wow, that was unfortunate. Yeah, the characters are not balanced against each other (the Sheriff one is super annoying) and I encourage you to remove the disruptive ones from the deck. Or serve more alcohol; that always gets my group to throw caution and tactics to the wind. ;)
 

Bunch

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Missed several session updates. Since the game day I've played Zombicide Black Plague, Hyperborea, Ra, Castles of Burgundy,a few others. I'll try to keep updating.
 

Bunch

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Sort of forgot about this thread. The baby and sleeping issues kept me from my regular game for months.
Coming up next weekend is the annual game weekend. I go to Tahoe to play for two solid days of gaming. It would be longer but getting to and from takes awhile.
On deck is:
Rising Sun
Zombicide Green Horde
Terraforming Mars
Scythe
Betrayal at balder's gate
Blood Rage
Medieval (2018)
Hyperborea
Junta
Ogre
Cheaty Mages

Really looking forward to this one.
 

Dumarest

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Four people is not nearly enough for Bang! to shine. The whole deputies vs. outlaws fog-of-war thing really starts getting fun with 5+ players. I'd say 6-8 is ideal.
What is this Bang! Board game? Card game?
 

Dumarest

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Sort of forgot about this thread. The baby and sleeping issues kept me from my regular game for months.
Coming up next weekend is the annual game weekend. I go to Tahoe to play for two solid days of gaming. It would be longer but getting to and from takes awhile.
On deck is:
Rising Sun
Zombicide Green Horde
Terraforming Mars
Scythe
Betrayal at balder's gate
Blood Rage
Medieval (2018)
Hyperborea
Junta
Ogre
Cheaty Mages

Really looking forward to this one.
Bunch, where on earth do you find the time? :shock:
 

Bunch

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Bunch, where on earth do you find the time? :shock:
It's my one weekend off in the last two years. All games all day two days. Break for some sleep and food but otherwise games games games
 

Voros

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Card game. A sherif, a deputy, and outlaws. It does shine at 6-8.
I dig this game but as you say it is best with a bigger group. There is a duel version for two players I want to check out for my wife and I.
 

Bunch

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We played The Grizzled coop WWI card game last night. Three players. Won handily both times. Interesting game but with three far too easy to win. Might get better with four+ players.
 

Bunch

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Sure it's been ages since I updated this but it is time for another one.

Last five weeks of games
Arcane Academyx2
Azulx2
Clank & Art of War
Castles of Burgundy
Massive Darkness

Arcane Academy - a nice light engine builder where you have two resources and a tableau. This gets played a fair amount.

Azul - pick tiles from a set of locations to try and complete rows and columns on a tableau.

Clank - Dungeon crawling card game. I won due to everyone else dying too deep. Amusing but not sure how often it will come back to the table

Art of War - A push your luck tit for tat dice game. Quick to learn and relatively quick to play.

Castles of Burgundy - This was the third or fourth time we played it. It's long and requires thought and plans over a good length of time. I enjoy it. Hilariously I pulled this out because my friend described a game that he said was his favorite. I knew it was this one. He showed up and swore up and down he'd never played (he had 3 previous times). Middle of the game he admitted he had played and yes he loved it. I didn't play my best and got my ass handed to me.

Massive Darkness - Ok finally got a chance to get this on the table. 50 minutes later after reading the rules we started. Intro scenario which was by design too simple and easy just to help you learn the rules. I'm not sure I enjoyed it which depressed me. It should have been my jam. Cool minis, leveling and skills, exploration. It just took sooooo long to get from pulling it out of the box to playing half way effectively. I think I might enjoy it in a group with at least 3 people who have good knowledge of it.
 

Bunch

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Last week we played Vegas Showdown.
A perennial favorite. The theme, mechanics and game play work very well together. The only complaint is the components quality could be higher. It's a Vegas game with money at it's core. Couldn't put some good clay poker chips in? Flimsy paper player boards, bland room tiles. Really Vegas is the kind of thing you can and should go over the top for.

Anyway real fun game.
 

Bunch

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Last week was Flashpoint the coop firefighter game (played with 2 players but it handles up to 4 I believe). For us it seemed challenging. We had six of the required seven rescued and were one move away from winning when the while building fell down on us.

Next was Balloon Cup. This is an old two player only game from 2003. You're racing balloons across valleys and mountains. I got my but handed to me.

Around that time Kosmos/Rio Grande games produced a number of great two player games in small boxes (Balloon Cup, Jambo, Odins Ravens,Lost Cities, etc). If you ever see them cheap you should pick them up. My wife is not a big gamer but she'll play a few (Ticket to Ride and Thurn and Taxis being her favorites). These games are in her wheelhouse and also appeal to more dedicated gamers.

This week was Firefly Adventures. Really cool components. Between the theme and components and my like of miniatures games I was really looking forward to it. One thing that I thought was super neat was it has small half boxes with graphics in it and grids that play as buildings in the game. Go check BGG pictures for it and you will see what I mean. It also has an interesting time mechanic that keeps some pressure on you to get the job done.

Unfortunately after a fairly long setup, read-through if the rules and play the game just felt underwhelming. We played the scenario Questionable Objectives with Kaylee, Mal, Jayne. Between Kaylee's female charms and Mal's smooth talking and only three players on the board it was a cakewalk.

Basically if you don't go Heroic you draw no aggro and can walk wherever you want. None of the random events forced us into Heroic and we never opted to go Heroic. Oh and we got pretty lucky. We fought one goon in an out of sight location leaving a body that never drew suspicion. That goon randomly had the magic master key making all locked doors open .

Genre wise it did play out like an opening set of scenes for the show but lacked the complications you'd have expected from the main plot.
 

Bunch

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Played a lot of games since last update. too many to mention. One thing that did happen is I moved the game night to Tuesdays(mostly).

Last game night we played Roll for the Galaxy. Seems like a consistently good game enjoyed by all. Some kind of broken starting worlds though can really ruin the fun for a player. Tonight we're going to play Root with three players. Hopefully I remember to update this after the game.
 

Bunch

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Root was really cool. Asymmetrical. Basically a wargame thinly disguised as a euro game. Lots of direct conflict, good lore.
Unfortunately for the Marquise De Cat the Woodland Alliance snuck in a thirty point victory seconds before they could claim victory by mouse clearing domination. True to their decreped nature the Eeryie Dynasties were unable to do anything other than be a minor nuisance..
 

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I own Root but haven't managed to give it much table-play yet. I really love the asymmetrical play.

I am hoping that with the Clockwork Expansion I can play it cooperatively, so it will see more use.
 

Bunch

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Last night was Scythe. First time for most of us. I played once at a con and had to leave early. Another guy plays My Little Scythe with his kid so conceptually he knew the game.

From explaining the rules to end of game took 3.5hours. Next game I would expect half that or less. Once each of us had used both the upper and lower actions on the cards twice we seemed to really pick up speed and a round could take a few minutes baring the impact of some direct conflict.

Everyone enjoyed it and I take it as a sign of how good the game was that our guy who says 10pm is late for him instead said "Whoa! It's midnight!"

The game is a nice mix of area control, economy engine and exploring. I lost handedly. But now I know the rules.
 

Skywalker

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Did everyone have a feel for where they would end up pointswise at the end of the game? Every time I have played Scythe the points salad scoring seems fairly random.
 

Bunch

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Did everyone have a feel for where they would end up pointswise at the end of the game? Every time I have played Scythe the points salad scoring seems fairly random.
Points for us so far have been all over the place.
It feels like a game that has to be played a few times to understand the factions powers and the culture boards. Each game we had a runaway winner. The second game it was red(rusviets I think).

The game seems to requires you to understand all the factions and know what your factions expected role is in slowing other factions. If that remains true then that could eventually kill the game for us. It's a bit like being in a railroad RPG game. If you buy into the railroad it can be fun but if you want freedom it might not be your game.
 

Skywalker

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Yeah. We found that the scoring was so opaque, unless you have a group that’s willing to play Scythe a number of times to learn the scoring system, someone had a clear advantage that was difficult for the others to see, let alone counter.
 

Bunch

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Yeah. We found that the scoring was so opaque, unless you have a group that’s willing to play Scythe a number of times to learn the scoring system, someone had a clear advantage that was difficult for the others to see, let alone counter.
Looking at some of the online discussions it looks a little disappointing that there's an expectation that if you sit to the right or left of the rusviets you are expected to attack them to counter their ability to do any action they want. Similar if you are near the blue faction you need to try and stop them from gaining encounters.

I suspect that is actually true of most games that there is an optimal reaction to various other strategies. It just makes a game seem less open ended when it becomes obvious.
 

Bunch

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We played it again and the OP faction ran away with the game. I was in second because I think I understood my factions powers and advantages next best but I was just blown away score wise. I could have played better but I had little ability to slow the other guy down. The other two players just got slaughtered score wise. I'm not sure I'll be able to get it to the table a ton unless we house rule out the OP faction/combo. I can't recall what it was called but it's the red faction.
 

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I suspect that is actually true of most games that there is an optimal reaction to various other strategies. It just makes a game seem less open ended when it becomes obvious.
Games with asymmetric factions but similar enough generic actions and turn-to-turn gameplay can suffer from this with lack-luster playtesting.

TI4 is my prime example because there are great factions and there are dud factions. We at least have the ability to do a draft to filter our what we want or don't want thanks to the larger faction list. I am not sure if Scythe has that same capability.
 

Bunch

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Played Root for the second time tonight. First time with four players and the Vagabond. Man that guy with three swords is a badass.
 

Skywalker

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At three swords, you had better stop trading with him and force him to get VPs through combat (preferably with your opponents :smile:).
 

Bunch

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At three swords, you had better stop trading with him and force him to get VPs through combat (preferably with your opponents :smile:).
No one ever traded with him. He literally was the newest,least tactical person playing. If the mice hadn't triggered a Domination card and almost won the game he (and the rest of us) would have never known about his awesome combat abilities.

We'd never had four players so we have never played with the Vagabond before. Good Lord he seems badass.
 

Skywalker

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Actually, thinking on it, trading may have been a better answer to discourage the violent path to victory. Just craft items other than swords and crossbows (and maybe hammers).

Its an interesting dynamic in wanting to craft all the items for VP, but also needing to be careful so that you don't craft an item that the Vagabond needs to mess you up. Attacking the Vagabond is a good way to slow his VP advancement but it also makes you his target.

We are going to have a crack at a game with 2 Vagabonds. It should be insane :grin: This game is so good.

We also recently played the Root RPG and it was really cool to see how much the board game informed play. Its just so full of story and setting for a board game.
 

Bunch

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We played two games of 7 Wonders last night. For two of us it was something we'd played a few times and for two it was their first time. Everyone enjoyed it and it's easy to see why it ranks so high on BGG. Play is fast even with four and it's quick to learn.
Discussing it afterwards brought up an unexpected comparison to Blood Rage which I can see. It lacks the direct confrontation but the drafting and economy are similar.

Then we had a post game discussion of old games like Titanic, Bermuda Triangle and Sub Hunt. Some old games really worked hard with the visuals back in the day. A shame more work wasn't put into the rules.
 

Bunch

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Did our first virtual game night. Root via Vassal with 4 players. Cats, Eagles, Woodland Alliance and Vagabond. Vagabond won due to massive gang up on the eagles at the last round.

Not sure I like the vagabond. It seems like they exist in their own world and only come out to mess with everyone else.
 
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