Author Topic: So, what tabletop games are you playing?  (Read 10462 times)

BeerDrinkingBurke

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So, what tabletop games are you playing?
« on: July 17, 2023, 04:14:06 PM »
Maybe this section can have a "what are you playing" thread like the gaming section does. ;-)
Anyway, first a little me update:
I have been getting into tabletop gaming (board games and card games rather than wargaming) since my vision issues kept me away from PC gaming for over a year now.

It's been a real revelation to discover just how much has been going on in the boardgame space over the past few decades. I'd seen glimpses of it here and there. Now and then I'd wander into the game store, see something that looked interesting, and grab it. So I had a few games in my collection. But I wasn't a hobbyist by any means. Now I am a fully fledged hobbyist boardgamer, with a 30 + game collection, including plenty of mid-to-heavy euros like A Feast For Odin, Brass Burmingham, Food Chain Magnate, and Concordia. ;-) (Just an aside, but gosh, Youtube really has made it easier to get into a new hobby so much faster. Within just a few months I had a pretty good grasp of the landscape of what was out there, and what I wanted to play.)
So, what am I playing?

At the moment, I have a recurring Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion game going with some friends. We are still trying to get through mission 4. We failed on our first attempt, and had to pause our game mid-way through the second. I'm hoping we make it this time. ><
Also, we just had a great 4 player game of Concordia on Saturday. It was my fifth time playing it I think, and it only grows on me more each time. The card system is really quite genius in how it integrates the point scoring multipliers, forcing you engage with this subtle decision matrix from turn one.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2023, 10:18:24 AM by Jubal »
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Jubal

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2023, 07:03:46 PM »
Ooh, I like this idea :) And I have some things to report too!

I kind of wish YouTube did that easing effect for me, I just absolutely cannot focus on video content well enough for it to be useful, I need things written down for my brain to handle them. I've not played any of the list of mid-heavy Euros you mentioned, any especial recommendations from them? I've not played Gloomhaven either.

On the other hand, I have been playing some board and tabletop games lately, mostly during a short stop in Lincoln where I played Bolt Action with Crazy0c via Tabletop Simulator and a couple of games of Betrayal At The House On The Hill with the aforementioned and her girlfriend.

Bolt Action is a WWII tabletop wargame: I took a band of Maquis/French farmers with more horses than motorised vehicles and a lot of shotguns up against the German army in a scenario to retrieve a wounded message carrier. I had one car - not like an armoured car, literally a regular car. The French farmers pretty definitively won, including blowing one of the Nazi vehicles to pieces and barbecueing a bunch of the Waffen SS with a flamethrower. The only nominal professional military person in my force never rolled well enough to get onto the table in the first place which was rather chaotic. I think neither of us were playing super aggressively, but I had some small units that had an OK chance of running in and grabbing the guy, then did a hand-off run to get him off the board very fast.

Betrayal At The House On The Hill, meanwhile, is one of my favourite story-driven balls of chaos. Both scenarios we did the heroes actually won rather effectively: the first one death (Crazy0c as traitor) was challenging people to games of chess and lost, and then in the second game I as traitor was a ghost trying to drown everyone in a sinking swamp, but actually ended up stuck in the basement and unable to find my way out fast enough to do anything much to prevent the other players finding a boat and heading off into the distance which was slightly frustrating.

I want to do more tabletop game testing in the next bit, especially for the new Cepheida game I'm working on. We'll see if I actually manage to organise that.
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BeerDrinkingBurke

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2023, 09:31:52 AM »
Those sound like fun!
Re: recommendations, I can recommend all of the ones I listed, as I did a lot of research on them before buying them. But A Feast for Odin is my current #1. Be warned that it is expensive, but you will certainly get your moneys worth in terms of how much is packed into the experience. It's a veritable feast of a game. Otherwise, I would recommend Concordia very much as a starting point for Euros. It's got lots of crunchy decision making, but also has a nice quick turn order.

For more recommendations besides the Tube of You, Board Game Geek of course is the go to resource to find what the hive mind thinks is the very best.  ;-)
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Jubal

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2023, 10:33:57 PM »
Thanks - duly noted :) Do you find Euros are mostly your thing, or do you do a mix of those and swingier/more narrative games?
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BeerDrinkingBurke

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2023, 02:59:52 AM »
Hmmm. I quite enjoy lighter games too.
Auction games can be quite fun. Reiner Knizia is the king of that mechanic. I could easily recommend his game Modern Art, which is quite excellent at 4 players. High Society is a auction card game by the same designer that is a light card game that has plenty of depth.
For a fun 2 player game with some spatial-reasoning, I'd go with Patchwork.
For narrative games, I can't really say. I have got a copy of Sleeping Gods, which is really highly regarded, but I haven't played it yet.
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Spritelady

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2023, 11:17:38 AM »
Ooh I'd like to get in on this line of conversation! I rarely played board games until a few years ago when my fiance introduced me to them. Where I grew up watching films and reading books as family activities, he grew up playing board games and thus loves them!

We have a fairly large collection now but our personal favourites to break out with the family or friends include Carcassonne (we're building our collection of expansions and now own the first four on top of the base game), Catan, Seven Wonders and Smallworld.

I am on my way back from a holiday in Cumbria at the moment and on our way up we stopped in Lancaster to see an old friend of mine - while there, he took us to the local board game shop because he clearly wanted to bankrupt us, and we bought some seven wonders expansions that I'm looking forward to getting stuck into.

I've played Betrayal at the House on the Hill before and fully intend to add it to our collection when I get a chance.

As a board game novice, I'm clearly a little behind on the lingo - what is a euro game?
 

Jubal

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2023, 12:00:07 PM »
We should do more Exilian boardgaming :) Tabletop simulator is apparently much better than it used to be for stability and has lots of stuff on it.

I like Smallworld and Seven Wonders but it's ages since I played either - the only games I have here in Vienna are Evolution: Climate (which is fantastic), a big Catan boxed set in German which I've never used, and a game called something like Fluss Der Drachen which is involves using straws to blow tiny ships along a water track with actual water? I have also never played that.

Quote
As a board game novice, I'm clearly a little behind on the lingo - what is a euro game?
BDB may have a clearer definition than me, but broadly my understanding is that Eurogames tend to be low randomness, strategic, economy focused, indirect in how the players interact, as compared to Amerigames which tend to be more direct, swingy, dramatic and narrative. So Carcassonne is (I would say) a lightweight Eurogame: scored at the end, interactions are fairly indirect, etc. On the other hand Betrayal at the House on the Hill, with its traitor mechanic, direct PvP combat, and complete lack of game balance in favour of providing more excitement and themed scenario mechanics, is very much in the Amerigame tradition. (The names are due to Eurogames being generally percieved as closer to German boardgame making traditions, and Amerigames to American ones, but of course in practice this isn't so clear cut).
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Spritelady

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2023, 03:19:08 PM »
Excellent, now I can impress my fiance with some more in depth understanding of these things!

Also if anyone has any recommendations for good eurogames (now that I know to use that to describe my preferred type of game!) that work well for two players, I would gratefully receive them!

BeerDrinkingBurke

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2023, 03:28:29 PM »
A Feast for Odin is certainly good at two! I would also recommend Obsession if you think you might enjoy a Downton Abbey or P&P setting. It's super thematic Victorian social climbing where you collect acquaintances and invite them to attend tea parties. ;-)
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/231733/obsession
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Spritelady

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Re: So, what are you playing?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2023, 03:32:52 PM »
That, in fact, sounds like exactly the sort of thing I'd love! I shall make a note of that immediately, thank you!

Jubal

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Re: So, what tabletop games are you playing?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2023, 10:24:00 AM »
I think two player Eurogames are interesting because it's often hard for the two player nature not to shift the dynamics. Take Carcassonne: in a two player game you have a LOT more incentive to do "aggressive" plays that are there largely to try and stop another player completing a city or feature. Whereas with 3+ players, that play will more often be hurting your point maximisation while letting player three get a free turn to work on scoring something, which makes the game very different. So I think there's something interesting about that two player dynamic in a lot of games where even if the game isn't based around direct interaction, suppressing your opponent's points becomes more core to the game?
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Spritelady

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Re: So, what tabletop games are you playing?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2023, 11:00:24 AM »
Yes I think I'd agree with you there - certainly my two player games of Carcassonne involve my having to be more aggressive, although I admit I attributed that to my partner being quite an aggressive player anyway  :gimli:
(That emoji was an accident but actually I quite like it so it's staying there!)

BeerDrinkingBurke

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Re: So, what tabletop games are you playing?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2023, 11:13:19 AM »
Yeah that's an interesting point. It really can change the dynamics depending on the game. I also have a copy of Food Chain Magnate by Splotter, and it's very cut-throat at 2.
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BeerDrinkingBurke

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Re: So, what tabletop games are you playing?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2023, 12:48:53 PM »
Here's a little update on what I've been playing.
 
I grabbed a copy of Splendor: Duel to play with my partner. We quite enjoyed the original Splendor, and both agree that this version is a solid improvement over the original, much like 7 Wonders: Duel was an improvement over 7 Wonders. 

I also played a game recently of Acquire. We had gathered for Jaws of the Lion, but our friend drove all the way over without bringing it by accident. So we ended up finally playing this older classic that had been sitting at our venue friend's house for years entirely unplayed. It looked a little venerable and drab, but the core design was excellent. It's all about buying stock in companies, and then trying to get them acquired / or acquire others, so you can get those juicy shareholder payouts. Mechanically, it's about placing tiles on a board (you have 6 in your hand, and draw 1 per turn randomly from a bag), which represent business plays / moves I suppose you could say. When a tile links up two existing clusters (companies), the larger one aquires the smaller one. If you have the majority (or second most) shares, you get a substantial bonus payout. Plus money for the value of your individual shares, which scales on company size. You can only buy 3 stocks per turn, so this means each turn you are thinking very carefully about which companies you can realistically compete for being first or second for number of shares owned, while taking into consideration growth potential, and the location of the company itself on the board. A company in a corner isn't going to be able to grow that much after all. I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Simple yet deep. Actually in my top ten games of all time as it stands.
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Jubal

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Re: So, what tabletop games are you playing?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2023, 03:12:45 PM »
I have played some boardgames recently! Largely this is thanks to me visiting Spritelady and her partner.

I think my favourite was probably Call To Adventure, a boardgame about creating heroes and their backstories before fighting a final boss - it's got some interesting mechanics in that you need to beat the boss to win at all, but the winning player is then the one who got most points according to a range of other markers. As such often the ideal strategy is to contribute as little as possible to winning so you can focus on filling out your other goals (I personally felt this could have been improved by making a player gain score according to the amount of damage they dealt the final foe). It's nice how the game builds characters and an implied story though.

I also played a game with very unlucky dinosaurs the name of which now escapes me, it was quick but fun, one of those where really the humour in the cards is the actual point of the thing.

There was also Smallworld, which I'd played before but not with the sky islands expansion: I had a pretty strong early game but a pretty weak late game, it's a fun one to play regardless and again I like the narrative/switching bit. I wasn't super keen on all the expansion's new races: scarecrows seemed a bit odd, and I'm never convinced about Wendigos just being transmitted as forest monsters (where the key part of them is really more a matter of emobodying social taboos).

Also in "I played this but now it has islands", played the Catan islands expansion for the first time, and one other expansion attached as well, with the commercial goods etc. I didn't actually get to use any of the commercial goods stuff, that expansion really rewards the three resources that give commerce goods (sheep->cloth, ore->coin, wood->paper) over clay and wheat, and I was mostly running a wheat economy and desperately trying to expand onto the islands in the hope they'd reveal the resources I needed, which they did not, they revealed more clay and wheat. I liked the island/exploration section though, and my main strategy ended up being about building lots of boats and getting the extra VPs for exploring islands which was enjoyable.

Not sure what if any boardgaming I'll get done over Christmas, we'll see. :)
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