Board gaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

I see now on your update on the BGG thread that you did have a good call with someone else w/the publisher, which is good. Still no answer, but at least they were gracious and not adopting the other guy’s ‘kill the messenger’ approach.

New games:



Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers - Long awaited reprint
Dice Throne: S1 Rerolled individual sets that were bundled for the Kickstarter. Treant vs Ninja is new

After the Empire looks cool.

Nice work, Fantasy Flight. Way to really nail the timing on that Scarlet Witch pack.


I mean motions to 3 weeks ago with the Quicksilver pack

So last night I played a new game.

Well, really, an old favorite with a new map.

Railways of the World, one of my all time favorite board games. Second only to X-wing. I finally picked up the Railways of North America map, which is Canada transcontinental. With Seattle and Juneau as a bonus.

That, in itself, isn’t terribly interesting. It is a good map with interesting mechanics and a greater emphasis on industrialization and the unique ferry and mines mechanic. Which are cool! They give a distinct feel and the layout and major lines encourage either going trans Canada, running ferry lines in the Ottawa-Quebec-Maritimes corridor, or running to the Arctic and building up frontier town mining operations. Map design and mechanics evoking thematic elements? Solid A+ map design there.

But what was most interesting is we played with my brother and his wife.

Who live 2000 miles away.

We both own a copy, and it worked really well! A Google Duo call and calling out the board setup, then we just played. And it was a pretty good experience. The game works well, as there is monomial hidden information that is easlily handled at game setup, and with both couples having a board setup all we needed to do was mirror changes on our board, and occasionally do checkups to make sure we didn’t miss an update. Kind of a modern incarnation of PBEM.

I’m not sure every game would support it, something like 7 Wonders would be a hot mess, but some game types flow really well with it.

Sounds like an interesting map. I’ve been playing on TTS which has worked pretty well. We have Eastern US and Europe maps there.

It is. With 4 it is a brutal map, but not nearly as prone to trap zones as Europe.

Spain is an always tempting, but almost always inadvisable, area to build in. Building there too early is almost certain to end in defeat.

The Western US map is better than the east, I think. And England and Wales is also pretty good for 4 or less.

Canada might be better than those, need a few more plays to be sure. But in balance it has a nice layout that is tough, but tends towards multiple viable options. Planning is needed, most service bounties require industrialization, and it has a very unique end game card in the mines. Mines are a starting card, there are 5, and they cost $10,000 on top of your action to take. So they only come out mid-late game. They also only deploy on grey cities.

You take one, and draw cubes one at a time until you either draw a matching color, or draw 5 cubes (since there are only 5 colors) and put any unique colors on the board. Yesterday this gave me 3 cubes on Repulse Bay, which I converted into 6 points each. It’s a way to reward building in the expensive north, which costs $1000 more per hex for everything, and also lacks delivery cities. But 3 of the 4 major lines terminate in one of the far north cities. So it is costly, has limited deliveries in theory. But the mines take what would be a resource sink and turn it into a very profitable setup if you plan ahead and set up a network that you can take advantage of the cubes for. Which is a nice twist, as often the end game has you with a level 6 train, and nothing to deliver more than 1-2 spaces, as the cubes are depleted. This gives you a way to benefit from rail networks rather than simply lose steam.

This happened. I booted up my Steam version of TS and setup the board game. I am playing US. Still a learning game to me, although I read the rules many times. The USSR is on a run. On start of Turn 3 the AI played a Europe scoring card in the headline phase, which would put the score to 19. But I had huge luck and got Defectors in my hand that can cancel any headline event. I had a gut feeling, and played it. I prevented the worst. But it still not looking good. I have Middle-East scoring in hand.

In Turn 2 I could barely manage to get my military operations done without causing a nuclear war. We were at Defcon 2 but I could combo “Test ban” and “Duck and Cover” to get me room for a coup.

The AI is pretty good for a noob like me. I think I will lose soon. Not sure if I can come back.

Um, why?

Remember, you only need to be at least as far along the track as your opponent (and you’re safe if you match the Defcon level). If both of you have zero MilOps, there’s no VP change. Conversely, if in this situation you have at least 2 MilOps, it doesn’t matter what your opponent has.

When I play Pathfindor: Teh Kingmakener, I dress up like an elf. Same diff.

By the way, once you’ve got a couple of learning games under your belt, I highly recommend having a look at the Twilight Strategy blog. There are a lot of strategic and tactical considerations you’re probably not even aware of at this stage.

because I want to play a boardgame and due to lack of a physical opponent, I use the computer AI … it works pretty good. Also I am plannig to meet a buddy in a few weeks, and I want to play it with him. Better to know how to handle the physical game… there are some fiddly things. Also markers for several game states.

yes, the USSR already had 3 military operations and pushed Defcon to 2 … I did not want to lose VPs, glad I had test ban in my hand.

Fair enough I suppose, though the app UI is a pretty faithful recreation of the physical game, so I’m not sure having the board in front of you is going to add much. And obviously you can’t replicate the card draw.

I had bad luck of draw in the 1st turn … almost all cards had soviet events. I think the events will always be triggered except for one space race action.

I wish I had some AI for Star Wars Rebellion … why is there no app for it.

It’s discussed on this BGG thread: BoardGameGeek (I have not tried it.)

thanks, but this looks like a lot of work…

As a general rule, but there are a lot of exceptions. You’ll generally hold over one card. If you play the China card in a given turn, then you’ll hold over another. There are lots of cards that prompt discards. There’s a card that nullifies an event that it’s played with, etc.

A key thing to bear in mind is that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have your opponent’s events in your hand. A given event is likely to happen one or another, at least you get to control when it happens, and potentially respond to it (eg if an event removes all of your influence in a country, you can play it when you have no influence there, and maybe add some in after using the ops)

yes, that is right. Figuring out when to play which card.