Board gaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

It’s called “Board Game Trading and Chat UK”. It’s obviously UK centric. Pretty good bunch and old and new games come up for trade and sale constantly.

That’s where I got my Space Hulk copy for £25. Now I just need to do the purchase justice and play it. Though I wonder if I can convince my wife to paint the minis first. That would be awesome.

Going back to A Glorious Day, I believe the consensus is that the quality of the models is Ok. If you already have your own painted models, these ones likely won’t blow you away. That said, your own models might improve it. Would be cool to see the game on the table with your fully painted models. Share pictures if they fit.

New games:

Captain Silver and Cantaloop are the 2 that I’m curious about this week. We’ve enjoyed our plays of Treasure Island, but it’s been a while since it bit the table (partly because Covid). Curious to see what the expansion brings.

As for Cantaloop, the theme is intriguing.

Gwar vs. Time, eh?

Tragically time won :(

(I know they kept going, but damn, RIP Dave)

It usually does, alas.

Yeah, baby, yeah!

I just printed the print and play prequel/tutorial for cantaloop! Haven’t played it yet, but now that I see how it works, I suspect it might take less time to play than it did to print and assemble :). But maybe it will be cool.

I ordered Dune Imperium as I have read it makes for a good solitaire experience plus I am interested in trying it with my son two player with the AI I have seen mentioned in various articles on the game.

Sadly, Dune Imperium is a terrible solitaire game. This applies to the two-player game as well, since the minimum player counter is three, so you have to use the AI deck. The AI deck is just a collection of arbitrary moves that have no regard for the game’s deck-building and economy. And there’s no provision to cycle the cards on offer, which makes me think whoever designed the solitaire mode didn’t even know he was making it for a deck-builder. :(

That said, I’m super stoked to play it with other people. I think it’s a nifty design with really slick Dune theming.



I read somewhere that there is an app that can be used in addition to whatever they had in the instructions?

Oh, well - I was going to get the game no matter what as I love Dune and wanted to try the new game. Maybe there will be a way to play it online. I am signed up for the Dice Tower Con in Orlando but not sure if it will be safe to go in July.

There are currently multiple Tabletop Simulator mods. I don’t know what the odds of it turning up on other online platforms or getting a proper digital version are. I think a possible issue is the license - which obviously is owned by Frank Herbert’s estate, not anyone making Dune games.

If it was UK, where we vaccinate fast, I’d still think it would be very unlikely to be allowed. You need the type of population that attends those cons to all have gotten their 2 does of vaccine, plus another 3 weeks and you need infection levels to be well under control. Neither of those will be true for months. What’s the chance that large scale events are a safe thing in 5-6 months? Not very high, IMO.

Of course, I have no idea how permissive the state will be and whether anyone will care in the US. The attitude over there has been a tad more lackadaisical…

But I know I’ll not be happy to attend a con in 5-6 months.

I think Florida is among the least likely parts of the US to be COVID-safe by July.

And yet sadly, one of the most likely places to possibly set safety protocols aside in service of potential tourism dollars.

Sorry you had a terrible experience with it. I designed it. My design priorities were ease of play and the opponents providing a challenge. I dislike solo modes that use complex methods to make an opponent’s move to simulate smart moves. So I chose a quick/easy process to determine an opponent’s moves that aren’t individually smart but the sum of its parts puts up a challenge.

As for no deck cycling, again that goes to my preference for simplicity. The game is already complex enough, adding deck cycling rules did not feel critical (and would have added fiddliness). But we did choose to put some cycling into the companion app.

To be clear, I’m not in any way saying that the solo mode is perfect. It was quite a challenge to make for the game structure that I’d designed for multiplayer (and I think deckbuilding games are generally difficult to design for solo, because one of the nuances of good competitive deck builders is, imo, reacting to what your opponents have drafted, and nobody wants to manage actual deck drafting and shuffling for bot opponents). But a lot of people do seem to enjoy it solo from what I have read and watched.

Yeah. I mean, I was just addressing the question of whether going to a con there would be safe by then, not whether Florida is likely to allow one to be held. The answers to those questions are very different. :P

Hi, Paul - Thanks for stopping by the forum. I will give solo and two player a try when it arrives. They seemed to have available copies where I purchased it so hopefully I am not wait too long for my copy (most places are out of copies).

Question for you. Star Chamber - how much did that digital game influence your board game designs?

Man, I did not want to be interested in that game. It’s expensive and bit of a shelf hog and I could do without both of those right now, but I’ve been obsessing over it since the kickstarter went up. At first glance it looks like another massive campaign game that goes on forever, like Frosthaven or Oathsworn or Aeon’s Creed Odyssey, and I also don’t need that. But instead this seems to be living up to the Monster Hunter comparisons in more ways than one.

What got my attention was that the campaign and town stuff is kept to a bare minimum in this game (there’s literally only one board for the entire game and it’s so simple you could recreate it with pencil and paper in about 15 seconds), which tells me that either it’s incomplete and rushed out the door or they’re so confident in the gameplay they’re happy to let you skip the conversations with the barmaid and the band of dwarves you meet on the road and just get to the good parts. From what I’ve seen it’s the latter, this game is as streamlined as it’s packaging is not.

From the playthroughs on youtube a session of Primal is going to be about 45 minutes and I really dig that. I don’t want to have people over for “Primal night” for months on end. You can actually have a game night, play some other stuff and cap the night off with a 45 minute dragon battle. That’s perfect. Also really digging the way the monster doesn’t get its own turn, but instead it reacts to the cards you are playing. That’s so cool! And kind of mimics the way you can eventually learn a monster’s tendencies in Monster Hunter and use them against it.

I’m also really impressed with the content of the core set and for the first time on a big Kickstarter I’m considering skipping the all in pledge. If I do pledge I’ll likely only get the cheapest of the four expansions since it adds 2 new character classes (for a total of 6). The base game already has 13 monsters (and one more that’s a kickstarter exclusive), you’ll likely fight each of them more than once, and then there’s a nightmare mode for each. So that seems like a ton of replayability. The other 3 expansions add a total of 6 new monsters for an extra $100 if you go all in or $150 bought separately. Plus it’ll save me 3 boxes of shelf space.

So yeah, I’m almost definitely in for some level of backing on this one. The minis add a lot to the cost and I get that’s not everyone’s bag, but I’m down for some cool minis and I may even try to paint some of them. Bonus side hobby!

The comments on Reddit seem pretty down on this game. It’s not for me, so I haven’t dug too deep into it. But you might want to check out whether anything in the top 2 comment threads is a concern for you. They seem a lot less sure about the quality of the gameplay.

That said, it might be awesome or just what you are looking for. As I said, I haven’t really looked too much into it. I don’t do silly expensive KS projects at all. If they are good at release, then I keep an eye out for them.