The Board Game Thread - What have you Played recently?

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Bunch

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Z ZDL those look nice. What are they called and what type of games are they?
 

ZDL

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Z ZDL those look nice. What are they called and what type of games are they?
The first is called *The Battle for Julu 207 B.C.*, the second is called *Chaos in China*, the third is called *Naval Battle of the Sino-Japanese War*. All three are Chinese-designed and -published board wargames.

Wargames are really more of my SO's thing than mine (I find most wargames too fiddly and tedious) but I'll play some of the simpler ones (like these three) with him from time to time.
 

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The first is called *The Battle for Julu 207 B.C.*, the second is called *Chaos in China*, the third is called *Naval Battle of the Sino-Japanese War*. All three are Chinese-designed and -published board wargames.

Wargames are really more of my SO's thing than mine (I find most wargames too fiddly and tedious) but I'll play some of the simpler ones (like these three) with him from time to time.
I don't see many wargames from the Chinese perspective. How big is the wargame hobby there? Do they ever do English translations?
 

ZDL

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I don't see many wargames from the Chinese perspective. How big is the wargame hobby there? Do they ever do English translations?

It's a growing hobby, much like RPGs are. (For translated RPGs the top games are, naturally, D&D, but also Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, and FATE, whose translation I watched get crowdfunded to absurdly record levels on Modian.) I wouldn't call it large yet, but it's large enough to have spawned three full-time publishers now. (I spoke with one of the publishers, the guy who designed and published that naval game, and he quit a lucrative engineering job to be a full-time game designer and wargames publisher/reseller.)

None of them have been translated to English as far as I can tell. (I'm not exactly plugged in to the western wargaming world, given that it's not really my hobby, so I may have missed something.)

The history of the wargames (and RPG) hobby in China starts, as usual, with university students, specifically those who'd studied abroad and encountered the hobby. It grew slowly in such circles, the slow growth attributed mainly to the fact that American and European wargames were stupidly expensive to buy (seeing as they were imports). To bolster their hobby, a lot of them formed "DIY collectives"—think something like the fansub circles for japanimation in North America and you'll have the idea—where they'd clone the playing pieces in a cheap form (like the Paul Koenig's D-Day series depicted below), under the rule that if it ever gets domestically published the DIY clones would be taken from the market. 1654476050497.png

Unfortunately wargames publishers in the west were 100% unreceptive to translation and co-publication deals. I'm going to single out Victory Point Games in particular because the aforementioned designer expressed extreme upset with them: they'd take his money for orders of games, replying to emails of inquiry and email orders with alacrity, but as soon as he suggested the possibility of a joint translation/co-publication deal emails went unanswered, so, you know, "no answer" in the sense of the German expression "Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort".

This sparked the semi-pro phase, typified by this "Four Crossings of Chishui" game.
1654476409295.png 1654476428123.png

This is one of four semi-pro games the aforementioned designer/publisher/reseller made (and probably his most interesting to wargamers given some of his unique mechanisms (like a magnetic board for the Communist forces to plot movements on and the card-based events and command system). Continued frustration with western publishers finally resulted in several game designers in the Beijing community deciding to go pro, leading to that naval game being this designer's first pro outing (I think ... it may have been his second) and a large number of other games made by both him and several other design and publication houses.

Sadly I think the market for western board wargames has closed. The local producers make enough games to saturate the burgeoning market, and the bad blood left by western publishers completely ignoring overtures has made it that none of the local producers are likely to want to go into business with them any longer.

Which is in stunning and marked contrast to the so-called "Euro" board games which have been co-published like crazy to the point that equivalent Chinese games, although they exist, are nigh unicorns.
 

Bunch

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It's a growing hobby, much like RPGs are. (For translated RPGs the top games are, naturally, D&D, but also Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, and FATE, whose translation I watched get crowdfunded to absurdly record levels on Modian.) I wouldn't call it large yet, but it's large enough to have spawned three full-time publishers now. (I spoke with one of the publishers, the guy who designed and published that naval game, and he quit a lucrative engineering job to be a full-time game designer and wargames publisher/reseller.)
A niche hobby in a country as big as China is still a pretty nice place to be I bet.
None of them have been translated to English as far as I can tell. (I'm not exactly plugged in to the western wargaming world, given that it's not really my hobby, so I may have missed something.)

The history of the wargames (and RPG) hobby in China starts, as usual, with university students, specifically those who'd studied abroad and encountered the hobby. It grew slowly in such circles, the slow growth attributed mainly to the fact that American and European wargames were stupidly expensive to buy (seeing as they were imports). To bolster their hobby, a lot of them formed "DIY collectives"—think something like the fansub circles for japanimation in North America and you'll have the idea—where they'd clone the playing pieces in a cheap form (like the Paul Koenig's D-Day series depicted below), under the rule that if it ever gets domestically published the DIY clones would be taken from the market. View attachment 46279

Unfortunately wargames publishers in the west were 100% unreceptive to translation and co-publication deals. I'm going to single out Victory Point Games in particular because the aforementioned designer expressed extreme upset with them: they'd take his money for orders of games, replying to emails of inquiry and email orders with alacrity, but as soon as he suggested the possibility of a joint translation/co-publication deal emails went unanswered, so, you know, "no answer" in the sense of the German expression "Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort".
That's unfortunate. If you know, did they stop filling orders as well or just ignore the co-publication part?
This sparked the semi-pro phase, typified by this "Four Crossings of Chishui" game.
View attachment 46280 View attachment 46282

This is one of four semi-pro games the aforementioned designer/publisher/reseller made (and probably his most interesting to wargamers given some of his unique mechanisms (like a magnetic board for the Communist forces to plot movements on and the card-based events and command system). Continued frustration with western publishers finally resulted in several game designers in the Beijing community deciding to go pro, leading to that naval game being this designer's first pro outing (I think ... it may have been his second) and a large number of other games made by both him and several other design and publication houses.

Sadly I think the market for western board wargames has closed. The local producers make enough games to saturate the burgeoning market, and the bad blood left by western publishers completely ignoring overtures has made it that none of the local producers are likely to want to go into business with them any longer.

Which is in stunning and marked contrast to the so-called "Euro" board games which have been co-published like crazy to the point that equivalent Chinese games, although they exist, are nigh unicorns.
What do the Euro games go for in China? I'm curious if the difference might be due to Euro games being part of larger conglomerates used to adjusting prices for local wages vs smaller wargames companies only used to dealing with US/Europe. That's got some big assumptions baked in on my part so I'm trying to see if I understand the various markets correctly.

Whatever their logic it seem like the foreign wargame companies made competitors vs customers which doesn't seem wise for them. Seems like it could be good for global consumers. Always nice to see more perspectives and scenarios.
 

ZDL

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A niche hobby in a country as big as China is still a pretty nice place to be I bet.

It's hard to hook up sometimes, depending on how niche, but overall it's not bad. Doing RPGs in Wuhan, for example, would be like doing RPGs in New York City c.1980. Rising, but not there yet. You can find players, but it's not omnipresent.

That's unfortunate. If you know, did they stop filling orders as well or just ignore the co-publication part?

That's why he was so grumpy. He'd send an order, get instant response. He'd send a query, get instant response. He'd send a proposal, get tumbleweeds. He'd send an order, get instant response. He'd send an order with a section that had a proposal, they'd fill the order.

They simply refused to even talk to him about co-publication, even to say "no".

What do the Euro games go for in China? I'm curious if the difference might be due to Euro games being part of larger conglomerates used to adjusting prices for local wages vs smaller wargames companies only used to dealing with US/Europe. That's got some big assumptions baked in on my part so I'm trying to see if I understand the various markets correctly.

I just took a quick stab at TMall (the "more likely to be authentic" part of Taobao). An import copy of Letters from Whitechapel goes for about 370RMB (US$55 or so) while a translated, locally-produced version of it goes for about 70RMB (US$11 or so). In terms of purchase power for day to day things (as in not for international trade) 1RMB is roughly equal to 1USD, give or take some depending on where you live. Basically 370RMB is a sizable cost for a pastime and 70RMB is about right.

Which means, of course, that Fantasy Flight Games (if I have the publisher right) is not getting a lot of money from the Letters from Whitechapel game being sold in China. But "not a lot" is still a larger value than "zero", and with a copublication deal it's not like they're paying the expenses involved. They're essentially getting a franchise fee off of the local publisher. Free money. The local franchisee has to pay for the translation, the production costs, etc.

Victory Point Games is getting zero. And will likely always get zero. Because even a cheap VPG game like is spending US$50 for a ziplock baggie with a cheap, thin cardboard board and a handful of tokens. Some crazed people with more money than common sense will buy the imports still, sure, but they're a vanishingly small breed in comparison. Even my SO, who is somewhat of a wargames fanatic, won't buy them at those prices and buys local products now. Or the aforementioned DIY versions... (The picture of a representative DIY example came from his collection, after all.)

Whatever their logic it seem like the foreign wargame companies made competitors vs customers which doesn't seem wise for them. Seems like it could be good for global consumers. Always nice to see more perspectives and scenarios.

By my research (I do market research for a living) I would guess there was about a 15 year window, beginning c.2000 where struggling American board wargame makers could have made a killing by expanding into the Chinese market. Wargames are serious business in China because they're "serious" games. (There's still a stigma attached to doing things that are "only" recreational. If you can draw a line, however shaky, to something being "educational", however, you'll be on easy street.)

How serious a business? Here are three books SO owns on the subject of wargames. One of them is an "introductory" book (that goes so deep into the thing I can barely follow along!), and two are full-on scholarly works used in university courses!

Virtual Military Training -- Wargame Combat Simulation (25 Percent) (25 Percent).jpg Wargame Design (25 Percent) (25 Percent).jpg Wargames -- From Laboratory to Battlefield (25 Percent) (25 Percent).jpg
(From left to right: Virtual Military Training -- Wargame Combat Simulation, Wargame Design, Wargames -- From Laboratory to Battlefield.)

There are several more such books.

In 2015 (which is when that game designer I know tried to contact various makers and got stymied) the window began to close. In 2017, when several game designers and publishers realized they could go full-time and do well, the window started free-falling to the sill. And in 2020 it slammed shut (for unrelated reasons, but ... let's just say that American businesses are not trusted partners any longer and leave it at that).

There is now a healthy, thriving ecosystem of games on topics that are of interest to the Chinese and they don't feel any particular need to import wargames from a part of the world that actively fought it. If someone were to come to me and ask how to penetrate the Chinese wargames market with their product now, I'd say "you can't" and would refuse to take on the customer. Maybe when people start viewing, say, the Chu-Han Contention as a done-to-death premise like the Battle of the Bulge is to western wargames players, there will be an opening for a second wave of wargames spearheaded by "exotic" games like the plethora of Bulge games that will be "fresh and new" to jaded Chinese players.

So, you know, around 2040 to 2050.

As for the other direction, I'm again not sure there's a market for them, although here I'm far less certain. There's not a lot of interest in the Chinese perspective on ... well ... anything, really, out in the west at large and the Chinese know this. That cuts out any wargame that isn't set in ancient times, pretty much, since anything else would have a western perspective that stands in sharp contrast to the Chinese perspective. China's market for wargames is currently a growing one so there's not a lot of incentive to look outside for more revenue sources. They may think they have their hands full managing demand now.
 

ZDL

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For a sense of perspective here, this is Conflict of Alliances: Warring States.

1654501092299.png

It's made by the same people who made the Battle for Julu 207 B.C. game (and indeed it's the same woman who designed both; I got them at the same time and chatted with her when I did). It's got a smallish folding cardboard game board, about 80 thick, double-sided colour tokens (the "easy-punch" variety with rounded corners), a substantial rulebook/history summary, a deck of about 120 custom cards a little smaller than a standard poker card, and a sturdy box to hold it all. This game cost me about 130RMB, which is about US$20. Getting the cheapest of the cheapest baggie games from Victory Point Games at the time I got this game (another of the rare games I'd play with my SO!) would have cost me about 50RMB out the gate just for the purchase price. Adding shipping to it and we'd be paying closer to 70RMB, likely. Add the shop overhead (because I don't have the resources to get money out of China to buy things) and we're now looking at 80RMB minimum. For a game that's uglier, cheaper-made, less durable, and less likely to have replay potential.

A proper (read: boxed) wargame from GMT or VPG or whatnot comparable in size and components to this game would likely set me back 500RMB once all the costs are paid.

This is why I say there's no longer a market for western wargames in China. Professionally produced games of interest to the Chinese market are available at a quarter or less of the cost.
 

Bunch

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For a sense of perspective here, this is Conflict of Alliances: Warring States.

View attachment 46288

It's made by the same people who made the Battle for Julu 207 B.C. game (and indeed it's the same woman who designed both; I got them at the same time and chatted with her when I did). It's got a smallish folding cardboard game board, about 80 thick, double-sided colour tokens (the "easy-punch" variety with rounded corners), a substantial rulebook/history summary, a deck of about 120 custom cards a little smaller than a standard poker card, and a sturdy box to hold it all. This game cost me about 130RMB, which is about US$20. Getting the cheapest of the cheapest baggie games from Victory Point Games at the time I got this game (another of the rare games I'd play with my SO!) would have cost me about 50RMB out the gate just for the purchase price. Adding shipping to it and we'd be paying closer to 70RMB, likely. Add the shop overhead (because I don't have the resources to get money out of China to buy things) and we're now looking at 80RMB minimum. For a game that's uglier, cheaper-made, less durable, and less likely to have replay potential.

A proper (read: boxed) wargame from GMT or VPG or whatnot comparable in size and components to this game would likely set me back 500RMB once all the costs are paid.

This is why I say there's no longer a market for western wargames in China. Professionally produced games of interest to the Chinese market are available at a quarter or less of the cost.
Thank you. Your posts are very educational.
 

Klibbix!

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Got The Awful Green Things from Outer Space to the table! Much fun was had. I played the Green Things and lost after a fairly close game, though I was able to consume Captain Yid. Some pretty lucky draws for the weapons had something to do with it, I think, and my opponent’s strategic use of the Fuel Pods and Electric Fences.

I forgot that when Adults grow they lay an egg and I kept growing my babies and eggs instead of laying more. Next time I’ll do better!

We enjoyed it enough that I hunted down the 8th edition for the better board, the Obnoxious Orange Things expansion and I’ve been eyeing the STL files for a poster on Boardgamegeek’s homemade minis. An expensive endeavour I feel, I don’t know much about 3d printing.

DB3F0067-322E-45C1-98BB-EB54EB56AF36.jpeg
 

ZDL

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A long time ago (1908) there was a game published called L'Attaque!. Those who are fans of board game history probably know that this went on to inspire the creation of the game Stratego in 1947. What is probably lesser known is that it also inspired several games in China. Among these are Doushouqi (a.k.a. Jungle) and Junqi (a.k.a. Luzhanqi a.k.a. Army Chess)[1].

The latter has spawned many variants. A common variant (to the point that it's effectively "traditional") is the four-player one. Another is a two-player variant that includes sea and air forces. This doesn't end with these, however. I personally own two more variants that are six-player variants, one of which is a minimal extrapolation of the four-player rules, and the other a much more ambitious project that keeps the flavour of the original but adds resource capture and management and terrain among other interesting enhancements.

But none of this is the topic of my little photo-essay today. Today's is a three-player variant made by a gentleman of my loose acquaintance who makes reproduction of authentic, ancient board games (which he lovingly recreates in gorgeous, high-quality, thematic-looking components). As a side hobby, however, he makes his own little games, some of which are variants of existing ones (like this one), and some of which are his own creation entirely.

This game is a three-player game inspired by Junqi, with a few of this designer's little signature tricks (most of which are inherited from some of the ancient games he recreates). The layout below is just for illustrative purposes to show the pieces and the overall look; it is not done according to the rules. The board is thin plastic with the elements printed on it (as is actually very traditional in Chinese board games: a lot of ancient games were played on "boards" extemporaneously drawn on whatever flat surface was handy!). The playing pieces are two-part injection-molded plastic with stickers for the piece names. (The game cost me the equivalent of about 6 bucks US, so...) The rules are fairly straightforward and are clearly inspired by Junqi (itself inspired by L'Attaque!). Really the only thing that makes it stand out at all is that curiosity of it being a three-player game. There's not a lot of three-player games out there.



[1] The word "Chess" is often used as a translation of the character 棋 (qi). This is, strictly speaking, a bad translation since 棋 means 'strategy board game' not 'Chess'. Hence Weiqi (a.k.a. Go) sometimes being erroneously called "surrounding Chess" and a Parcheesi-like game sometimes being called "aircraft Chess".




IMG_20220508_142242 (25 Percent).jpg IMG_20220508_142821 (25 Percent).jpg IMG_20220508_142800 (25 Percent).jpg IMG_20220508_142612 (25 Percent).jpg IMG_20220508_142600 (25 Percent).jpg
 

Skywalker

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Played Outer Rim with the Unfinished Business expansion. It’s one of those annoying times where the base game feels deficient by itself, but the expansion resolved that deficiency and then adds more. It has elevated the game considerably in my ratings.

1656398794034.jpeg
 

Necrozius

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Just had another fun game of Marvel United with my son.

This is the fourth game we've played. 2 losses, 2 wins so far. This past game was the funnest due to the sheer dynamic, rushed craze it caused.

Captain America and Ant-Man vs. Juggernaut. It was SOO close. The last few turns were just like a movie.

Juggernaut takes out Cap. Next turn Cap staggers up, bloody and broken and deals a walloping left-right hook combo and takes Juggernaut down to half his health. The monstrous goon rushes off to finish the day but bumps into GIANT MAN (ie, Ant-man's last card was his Giant form special effect. Juggernaut got booted into the ocean.

So much fun, we cheered out loud. It really did feel like a movie moment.

Really glad we got this game. It is lots of fun.
 

Necrozius

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I have everything for the game and it is amazing.

For anyone in the states that is interested in trying it out, the base game is like, $12 on Amazon right now.
I sadly missed out on the Kickstarter and so I’m picking up the game and retail expansions as they come available.

I scored that bundle of the original core with the Spiderverse and Doctor Strange. Loved it so much I ordered the Xmen game and preordered whatever I could for the expansions.

Money that was saved up for other games LOL my frivolous expense account is empty now.
 

EmperorNorton

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I scored that bundle of the original core with the Spiderverse and Doctor Strange.
Yeah, at $35 that was also a good deal on Amazon.

I bought the original base game at Walmart like, forever ago and then fully backed the 2nd Kickstarter + everything from the first Kickstarter except base game.

... Ended up buying the $12 second copy of the base game on Amazon yesterday cause I was missing one figure (the Walmart version of the game had Venom instead of Wasp... even though Venom is in the Kickstarter extras box, so I had two venoms and no Wasp).

Plus my son wanted to learn to paint the figures, so having most of an extra base game box gives me 9 duplicate figures he can learn on.
 

Skywalker

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Game Steward still has a few expansions and bundles available (with a reasonable premium). Its such a shame that most of Marvel United isn't making its way to retail.

 

Necrozius

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Whoah that’s expensive. It would be nice to get a few more things but I’ve dumped almost 200$ into this already so I’m gonna stop there.
 

Sable Wyvern

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I had a friend who was bugging me for a while to get on Board Game Arena. I finally did so a week or two ago, and now I'm playing everything.

Currently have the following games on the go:
  • Carcassonne x 2
  • Puerto Rico
  • Blood Rage x 2
  • Abyss
  • Tigris & Euphrates x 2
  • Kingdom Builder
  • Arctic Scavengers x 2
  • Splendor
Half of those are new to me. I'm really liking Tigris and Euphrates (although I finished dead last in my first game).
 

sdmsec

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The last time I played any version of Castle Panic was pre-pandemic, so my memories are a bit hazy at this point. That said, I have tried each of those expansions and found them both enjoyable. To the best of my recollection, The Dark Titan basically takes the base game and makes it harder, whereas the Wizard's Tower has enough differences that playing with it feels like a different game.
We played with The Dark Titan expansion twice and enjoyed it. We lost the first time at the simplest level and won the second time.
I'm glad for the increased difficulty, because we'd never lost at the base game though we'd come close a few times.
Looking forward to adding the Wizard's Tower soon.
 

E-Rocker

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Something I've found enjoyable playing with people who find the base game too easy is the "Under Construction" variant, where you start with no walls in place.
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

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Finally got my complete package of Escape the Dark Sector with all the extras from a long delayed Kickstarter today and have given it a trial run.
A fun game that could easily be used as a simple SF RPG.
 

Lofgeornost

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A while back, I got Pandemic: Fall of Rome as a gift. This weekend I got around to opening the box and my wife and I played a couple of games. We stuck to the introductory level (5 revolts) but nonetheless lost our first attempt, when Rome was sacked. We would have lost anyway, since we were nearly out of player cards. The second game we won, by making alliances with all the barbarian tribes.

Oddly, in both games my wife ended up as the combat monster--she drew the barbarian queen as her role the first time and the magister militum the second. I had the consul and the merchant.

We enjoyed the game quite a bit and I look forward to playing more in the future. The components are quite nice, too, though the images of Roman soldiers are from the 1st century (or so), rather than the 5th century when the game is ostensibly set. But it's not meant as a realistic simulation, and everyone's picture of what a Roman legionary should look like is based on the Principate, not the later Empire.
 

Stan

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A while back, I got Pandemic: Fall of Rome as a gift. This weekend I got around to opening the box and my wife and I played a couple of games. We stuck to the introductory level (5 revolts) but nonetheless lost our first attempt, when Rome was sacked. We would have lost anyway, since we were nearly out of player cards. The second game we won, by making alliances with all the barbarian tribes.

Oddly, in both games my wife ended up as the combat monster--she drew the barbarian queen as her role the first time and the magister militum the second. I had the consul and the merchant.

We enjoyed the game quite a bit and I look forward to playing more in the future. The components are quite nice, too, though the images of Roman soldiers are from the 1st century (or so), rather than the 5th century when the game is ostensibly set. But it's not meant as a realistic simulation, and everyone's picture of what a Roman legionary should look like is based on the Principate, not the later Empire.

We have this and Pandemoc: Cthulhu. They're both fun variations on the core mechanics.
 

Lofgeornost

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We have this and Pandemoc: Cthulhu. They're both fun variations on the core mechanics.
I'd like to play the Cthulhu variant also. Oddly, I have less interest in the original game, especially post-Covid. Now if there was a Black Death version...
 

Skywalker

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A while back, I got Pandemic: Fall of Rome as a gift. This weekend I got around to opening the box and my wife and I played a couple of games. We stuck to the introductory level (5 revolts) but nonetheless lost our first attempt, when Rome was sacked. We would have lost anyway, since we were nearly out of player cards. The second game we won, by making alliances with all the barbarian tribes.
Fall of Rome is my favourite iteration of Pandemic. Not only do I like the theme better but I like the ability to be able to plan and predict more to stop the advancing barbarian hordes.
 

E-Rocker

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The other night, I got out an old favorite, Zombies!!! with one of my best friends and his girlfriend. It was fun. Will probably get it out again sometime soon along with some of the expansions. I own all of the numerous expansions.
 

Skywalker

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I recently played Oltree. It is very much Pandemic as a fantasy RPG, which is probably as its based on a little known fantasy RPG.

Its enjoyable and the narrative adds to the experience, but without detracting from the gameplay which is solid. Its also super pretty with Vincent Dutrait doing the art throughout.
1661817176651.png
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

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I got myself a copy of Warhammer quest adventure card game from eBay recently. I've played a couple of times so far and am not jumping up and down with excitement.

It gives me the vibes of the lord of the rings or Arkham horror card games without the deck building or storytelling inherent in those games
It is also brutally hard for a beginning player even the first scenario, which is good for some but I prefer a range of difficulty to break me into a solo or co-op experience.

I will try it a few more times but I don't think it's a long term keeper.
 

Brock Savage

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About to settle in for a solo game of Four Against Darkness. I keep saving playing it as a reward for finishing other stuff I need to do, but that means I never get to it, so today, I'm starting with the game! After that, I can do chores and other boring but necessary stuff.
I own this game but haven't tried it out; lemme know how it goes!
 

Necrozius

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I got myself a copy of Warhammer quest adventure card game from eBay recently. I've played a couple of times so far and am not jumping up and down with excitement.

It gives me the vibes of the lord of the rings or Arkham horror card games without the deck building or storytelling inherent in those games
It is also brutally hard for a beginning player even the first scenario, which is good for some but I prefer a range of difficulty to break me into a solo or co-op experience.

I will try it a few more times but I don't think it's a long term keeper.
Yeah I’ve had that game for a while and it’s just collecting dust now. The high difficulty, combined with the rather complex rules (which I have to re-learn, awkwardly, every time I sit down to play) is discouraging. I can have a funner time playing Bloodborne or Marvel United more quickly and rapidly.

It is a shame, because I really want to like it.
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

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I recently picked up a copy of Hit Z Road. A simple game of a journey along a zombie apocalypse hit route 66 and trying to do better than the other groups.
The game is fine as a long filler and there are solo rules included but at RRP it's hard to recommend.

What changes is that firstly it is possible to get a new copy for about £10 if you shop around and secondly the bgg site has a bunch of alternative (better) solo rules sets which are worth exploring.
 

Skywalker

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Played Dune: War on Arrakis on TTS. It’s good. A more forgiving, less asymmetrical, and easier to play Star Wars: Rebellion in many ways. Enjoyed the lore in the game and how using a Hunter-Seeker to assassinate Paul basically won the game for the Harkonnens. CBB23AD6-102C-48AE-9EF3-4553C8E271B1.jpeg
 

3rik

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Massive Darkness (1st edition). Campaign mode gets really boring after a while. After about 3rd level, the heroes are just too powerful. Going to be scouring the web for good house rules (apparently this is a known issue with the game).

Zombicide Night of the Living Dead. Fun, but also a bit too easy. Definitely house ruling a bit. Medieval Zombicide is still the best.
I keep reading Massive Darkness is similar to Zombicide Black Plague. What are differences, in your experience, that make Zombicide Black Plague the better game?
 

3rik

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Playing through the Washington Z.C. campaign for Zombicide 2nd Edition. We just finished Mission 5, after failing it the first time (major difficulty spike). The campaign rules are not super intense, it's almost barely there, but having the unknown objectives is a nice light twist on the normal gameplay. After a TPK on the first run of this mission, we are using the Presidents pack, except we replaced Reagan with the Queen of England.

View attachment 44546
Would you say 2E is a big improvement over 1E? What are notable differences?
 

3rik

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The other night, I got out an old favorite, Zombies!!! with one of my best friends and his girlfriend. It was fun. Will probably get it out again sometime soon along with some of the expansions. I own all of the numerous expansions.
We own a few expansions but while the components make it look so inviting, every time we play it the experience is kind of underwhelming. We played the Humans!!! variant with my sister-in-law and that felt like it was somewhat more thoroughly thought-out and play-tested.
 

Imaginos

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A few people were out for our D&D game this week so we played board games instead. Played 7 Wonders, Ethnos, deception Murder in Hong Kong, Pictionary, and started Dominant Species Marine until an inebriated player picked up all the wrong pieces and nobody caught it.

For me, the winner of the night was Deception. Surprisingly fun and quick game with a lot of replay ability, but a minimum of 3 players needed.
 

chuckdee

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I've started going to a board gaming night at a local bar, so I've played a lot recently. The ones that I can remember are:

Skull
King of Tokyo
Century: Golem Edition
Splendor
Chakra
Kingdom Builder
Tiny Towns
Greed
Cascadia
Azul

I really like Skull, Century, and Splendor- I think I might add Greed and Chakra to the really liked list if played again. But I enjoyed all of them. It's nice to have a group I can play with weekly.
 

Necrozius

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I keep reading Massive Darkness is similar to Zombicide Black Plague. What are differences, in your experience, that make Zombicide Black Plague the better game?
Oops, sorry for not getting back to you sooner!

Please note that my experience is only with MD 1st edition. 2nd ed is supposedly a vast improvement.

Similarities:
  • quality and presentation of miniatures and components (eg the board).
  • Game time (roughly the same to set up, play and take down).
  • Scope of monster slaying: you’ll be killing lots of monsters all the time
Differences:
  • scenarios: Zombicide is usually a mad scramble all over the map (sometimes there’s a destination, like an exit, but even then you usually have to run around all over the place). MD has a more linear path (start tile to end tile) and the difficulty of encounters increases as

  • MD has campaign mode (which you can KIND of do with Zombicide). There’s a definite feeling of levelling up and character progression in MD that is far more detailed an complex.
  • Dice mechanic: Zombicide uses pools of d6, but you only roll for the survivors. In MD, you roll attacks and defence for everyone, including monsters, so it is slower.
  • Treasure: holy moley is there a lot of treasure in MD. Too much at times. You know that there’s too much when the players actually groan when it’s time to draw more treasure cards
  • Hero strength: after a while, in both games heroes start to feel really powerful. But in Zombicide there’s always a good chance of death if you have bad luck or make a poor decision. In MD you become godlike and the game becomes really boring.
 
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