Board gaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

Tom,
I won’t deny the miniatures are a total gimmick but they really do add to the table appeal and theme. That said, the game offers multiple paths to victory, 4 different types of workers, asymmetrical clans to play and tons of modules (all of which are good and make the game feel different).

The cataclysm is a warning bell that the game is almost over. Now actions on the board are going to speed the game up even more. It’s one way to score a lot of points but it’s not the only way and you can win even if you don’t prepare for the cataclysm, but you miss out on a lot of points. I love the puzzle of how many mechs am I going to pay for and hopefully be able to send to the main board this round? Am I going to do that first or use what’s on my board first? What loan am I going to ask for and how am I going to pay off the 3 I already have? I love the constraint of not enough workers, worker spaces or time to complete everything I want to do. You feel the pressure of being under the gun to get things done. I will say watching Anachrony played is not as fun as actually playing it. I can go into more of the game if you want, but I think you really just have to play it. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but if you like unique worker placement games that burn your brain, take a look. Besides, I’ll take time travel Armageddon over farmers and sheep any day of the week. I have yet to play a bad Mindclash game.

Oh! Did I mention the customer service is amazing? I was missing a piece in the game and wrote them asking if they could send it. A few days later, I realized that one of my mechs was missing an arm ( did I mention I had already started painting them) . Well they sent me one of those too.

Have you tried Agra?
Full disclosure, I haven’t played it and I hear the rules are a bear to learn. That said, once you know the rules game is really, really good (so says, Paul Grogan).

Ora and labora and Merkator are all about resources into other resources.

Yeah, we play Ora et Labora - we love Uwe. One of the guys actually scanned in the Ora cards and tiles and made our own TTS mod for it, which we use.

Haven’t tried Merkator or Agra.

Is this based on the video game or vice versa?

They’re primarily a boardgame company. They decided to do a digital Tainted Grail towards the end of the Kickstarter, which every backer got, but it’s a side project born out of the boardgame. These are the second wave items. (Minus the second minis box and a card pack to make more of the critters Guardians that move on the map, which I opted to skip.)

So I grabbed the demo copy of Under Falling Skies we had gotten at the store. I like to take demos home to try out games and be able to speak better to them for customers in the store. I opened it up to be greeted by this text:

Blurred out? That must mean they have things wrapped in paper or something.

No, CGE printed 8 cardboard sheets plus other components in completely worthless form. This is so wasteful and stupid. It’s taking up half of the box with components that look like this. Now I dislike this game before I even read the rules.

WTH? A printed out “demo” copy? That seems like a …quixotic amount of work to not make a full copy of a game.

That’s bananas.

OMG, I’m laughing so hard at this. I’m trying to imagine the meeting where someone thought this was a good idea.

“Why wouldn’t we just, you know, not include the campaign material?”
“Because we want to be able to show all the stuff that comes in the box.”
“So you’re saying we should pay our printer extra to print worthless blurry components? Really? I mean we don’t actually ship out that many demo copies of the game.”
“Yeah, well that way someone can’t just play through the campaign using the demo copy.”
“But, we could just not include the campaign material…”

I saw those in Quinns’ review of the game on SU&SD. I was like “wait, is he using camera effects to blur those?” apparently not.

Saw that in a few reviews (including SUSD). They mentioned it was too avoid spoiling the campaign. But I agree they should have included a shell without all the blurred components, or normal components under a blurred sheet.

It is wasteful. But I know many people who have gotten a lot of enjoyment from the base game only. So that shouldn’t prevent you from trying it and being a good feel for whether you will like it. By all accounts, it’s worth it.

That is hilarious…hope my copy coming today is a real copy!

Merkator is literally cube pushing into spaces to turn them into other cubes. It’s a race game but very well done. Not my favorite game, but if that’s your thing, I recommend checking it out.

I’ve seen a ton of stupid in the boardgames industry. Like, a ton! That might be one of the stupidest.

-Tom

Ug, I’ve totally missed out on 9 days of boardgaming talk because I was just counting on the notifications and didn’t realize we had a new thread. So sad.

Fair enough, I also hated that thread title. QT3 is my favorite forum full of the worst thread-titlers in the business.

The theme goes a long way in Anachrony. It’s a solid worker placement game with a loan system I actually like using, plus cool exosuits. The new single player bot that comes with the latest expansion is really cool, though. Very clever and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite bots in any heavy Euro.

Also, Cthulhu Wars: Duel arrived today. No minis in this one! Old thread title would be so proud.

The map and rule book confirm what absolutely no one doubted: PG will be releasing multiple versions of CW: Duel in the future, each with 2 new factions and a unique map, all interchangeable. You can already see the faction icons for the others on the map in this one, and the rule book contains stuff for them as well.

Also wouldn’t be surprised to see a multiplayer pack in the future with a bigger map for more players. Here’s a picture of the box next to a reference Ganz to show how much shelf space this one will save you:

Is it Hallertau time yet?

I hope they do do multiplayer, because I’m up for an affordable, storable Cthulhu Wars, but I just don’t have a lot of room for 2 player PvP in my games library, or 2 player at all honestly.

In previous years, 2p games were a tiny portion of my plays. It was all about the boardgame meets.

That said, 2020 has really brought good 2 players games to the forefront for me. My wife and I have had a tons of fun playing 7 Wonders Duel, Caverna: Cave Vs Cave and Whitehall Mystery (which was 1v1 last year because my daughter will not come near that game). Arkham Horror The Card Game has been a 2p game for us too (also, the core box only supports 1 or 2 players). Though I might start playing a bit more solo as well.

My son and I have (when he was still allowed to visit in the summer) also had a lot of fun with Air, Land and Sea and Fugitive.

There is something to be said for a well designed 1v1 contest.

Nice! How difficult was it for your wife (And you, for that matter) to get into?My GF isn’t a CCG player in any way, and this will be the second one she ever tries (First one was Shadowrun!).
I really want to try it out this coming week, since we’ll be spending some nice time together at home, but it does have some rather intricate rules I think from what little I’ve read and seen in videos.
Also - the setup, and subsequent packaging seems needlessly annoying - I REALLY like that Jaws of the Lion has specific instructions on how to handle just that.

I think the game looks intimidating at first, but the core box does a good job at guiding you through the rules. It is certainly a game where I took learning it seriously (not reading the rules 20’ before and hoping to wing it :) ). But it actually plays in a very predictable way. It’s easy to grok how a turn goes. So, after a couple of turns, you and your GF should feel pretty confident that you understand the flow. The harder part is doing well against the mysterious forces at work. :)

As for how I learned, I watched this video to get the quick start rules:

I think I also watched this one to see someone setting up and playing. But the quick rules would cover the same grounds:

So you would have watched 25’+ of video before playing. But, really, all your GF will need are the player reference cards. They remind the players of the sequence of a turn (just follow along and do what it says) and what actions you can take on your turn on the other side.

As you go through the set up for your chosen investigator (may I recommend Wendy for your GF? She is very cool), you can tell her about the the cards you are pulling (this is an asset. It will be on the table and let you take advantage of its effect. This is a skill card, that will help you when you look for clues / fight a monster / run away / … depending on the card. And so on). Tell her what the cardboard tokens on the table mean. But leave skill checks explanations for when they happen (look at your investigator skill value, use assets or skill cards, draw a token and hope for the best :) ). Keep the rules overhead low.

And then you can start playing the first couple of turns with your hand on the table. That way, you can discuss what you are doing on your turn with her. Same for her turn. Once you feel confident, you can pick the cards back up!

In effect, all you really need is one person with a relatively good idea of the card types and structure of the turn. And the other can follow the prompts and learn as they go. I never looked at the full reference manual before playing. We simply would open it and look a special term we didn’t know when it came up. Worked very well that way.

If you have some time before you play, I might recommend watching this video as well. For your own peace of mind that you understand how interactions with the monsters will work. But, again, it’s more for you to have the confidence to put the monster in the right place when it is drawn. You can also look up the same things in the reference guide as you play.

The video above helped me keep the game flowing more smoothly when combat occurred though.

The set-up is a bit of a bear. But it comes from the fact that each scenario needs to be set up differently. They have their own combination of scenario, monster and treachery cards. They might have a different distribution of tokens to put in the draw bag. So there is no standard set up beyond: characters shuffle their deck and will draw 5 cards and 3(?) resources at the start.

I think the game is worth it though. It’s tense. It’s thematic. My wife and I had a good giggle at how badly we have been doing in the first campaign. It’s part and parcel for the Mythos games. And part of the fun for us.

I hope you 2 enjoy it!

PS: Do you play with the English version? If you do, enjoy the game and decide to get The Dunwich Legacy to play more stories, let me know. I have a duplicate of the first mythos pack used after the core Dunwich box (the pack is called Night at the museum). I’m not using it and would be happy to send it to you to save you from having to source it.