Boardgames 2023

Guards of Atlantis looks great, but was an easy pass. I would never get that to the table.

AT can takeover my kitchen table for 3 months and played solo!

I caved on them both (Guards of Atlantis 2 and Aeons Trespass). My wellspring of hope hasn’t run dry–all board games will hit the table. History has no bearing on future vents.

Just executed my first BGG trade. An old, well-played version of Clank! with Sunken Treasures for a in-shrink copy of Zombicide: Dead or Alive.

I know Zombicide has a mixed reputation, but I’ve been looking for a light coop game like it to add to the collection, and I think it could be fun with my kids or friends who are into the lighter nature of it.

Clank! I love, but plan on eventually replacing it with Clank! Catacombs.

I also have to say that the BGG trade tool is great. So simple and light, but gives all the information you would need. My main problem is folks working hard to ‘win’ trades and rejecting everything - even of equal value… or just not responding at all and having your trade for that game locked up for 3 days.

My kid and I really like the newer Marvel Zombies. With streamlined mechanics and some randomness on which Supes come out to fight the good guy zombie supes, it’s been a good time for us. Played so many of the other Zombicides and was just sick of em, until this one.

I always send a GeekMail to assess trade interest before submitting a trade for this very reason. The response rate is so low on trades that I often put several feelers out at one time.

That said, I’ve had very good experiences using BGG for trades.

I have a page and a half of trade requests just as you describe. Most no response. A few declined offers. All were for even value trades

A friend on another board suggested I send a personal geekmail to see if the person is interested in a possible trade. If they agree, then post the official trade offer. This is what I did the one and only time my offer was accepted. Even then, most were still no responses.

Guards of Atlantis II is awesome for those on the fence.

Frostpunk is very well designed, but co-op and solo only so was not for me. I’m sitting on the fence on backing Apex by the same company. The mechanics look good and I’m a huge fan of the video game, but the I’m less than impressed with the art and some of the style choices. I think maybe Awaken Realms and Ludus Magnus has spoiled me.

Tom, I’m interested to hear what you think of This War of Mine. I thought the game was very well done, but didn’t want to play solo and couldn’t bear to drag my friends into playing such an utterly depressing game.

Frostpunk is really solo only. The “coop” is essentially just handing off certain aspects of game admin to specific people. There’s no individual characters, no per player turns, nothing to differentiate playing “coop” from just jointly making decisions in solo.

I agree. The Zombicide formula was good enough as a light game to start with, but it’s been seriously milked over the last few years. That said, Marvel Zombies breaks from the formula enough to really make good use of the alternate reality superhero IP and with it some considerably more varied games that each offer memorable interactions. I like both iterations too as the hero mode feels like spending super power points and the zombie hero mode feels less controlled as the hunger can take over.

With only the two starter boxes, Marvel Z has been a hit with the family here and I very much look forward to the delivery truck of content coming soon.

I am not a Marvel fan and thought the western theme would be fun, so that is why I went for that one

Which is why I disliked it. I can never get those 2 1/2 hours back. That game feels like it would do so well as a competitive game or at least semi-coop. Trying to become the leader and gaining followers as you all try to survive.

I’ve not tried the western one, but I do find the classes, corpse piles, and super crazy hard elements intriguing. I won’t say you may a bad choice at all. It got a lot of emphatic, and surprised, praise in the face of serious franchise fatigue. I was done with Zombicide with way too much of it in my house already when the western one hit. I only bit on the Marvel one because of the IP’s popularity in the house. If I can ever find the courage to dump large swaths of my bloated KS collection, I could see the argument of keeping/obtaining western + marvel Zcides and then ignoring the franchise forever. Zombicide White Death looked like a desperate attempt to pull in cash off CMON’s greatest hits. It seems like CMON is out of ideas, and for the Zombicide franchise, that means the best ones were West and Marvel. Yes everyone says Black Plague, but I own that and I strongly disagree.

All that said, I do still think the BEST Zombicide is Massive Darkness 2.

Yeah - I really just want a single Zombicide, and I was either going to do the Black Plague or Dead or Alive. It’s wild to me that people love the franchise so much to buy every version (no judgement if you are that person) - are they really so different from one another?

Not what I want from games generally, but hey, their next project is Apex Legends, so maybe that would be more to your taste… (I’m skipping it).

Oh I know. I’m testing it. I am a HUGE apex fan. I have some component issues with the campaign (more aesthetic than anything).

They are both very similar and different from one to the other. Usually the design is messing with the main mechanic on how the baddies put pressure on the players. In your case that would be Necromancers (BP) versus Corpse Piles (DoA). The thing I hate about the franchise is it usually breaks down to a puzzle of applying 1dmg / 2dmg / 3dmg actions. I don’t enjoy the puzzle, so I prefer the Zombicides that open up the damage model. I also think when they lose the 1/2/3 damage limitations, it gives room to make abominations different (who cares what the special rule of this one vs that one is when you are just going to kite it then apply some source of 3 damage). Marvel does this especially well which gives them a lot of design space to have the abominations (enemy heroes or enemy zombie heroes depending on the mode) feel unique and provide a story generating focus.

Otherwise, yeah, most of the rest of the franchise boils down to walker, runner, fatty, and indistinguishable abomination action puzzles to best apply 1/2/3 damage while avoiding the big enemy mechanic of that particular Zcide game.

We played a the first season of HEAT with three real players and three bots, with the bots being 4th, 5th and 6th at the final podium. I don’t know if we played them wrong before or if the upgrade and sponsorship cards made the difference, but we had not as much trouble with them as before. I wouldn’t want to play without them, either: with six cars on the road, the races are much livelier. But playing solo with 5 bots doesn’t sound so interesting to me, nevertheless.

We thought about having each playing getting two cars, but I think that would lengthen the playing time considerably. I am a fan of mutlihanding, I played Spirit Island and Gloomhaven (digitally) with four hands, but that’s in a solo context.

I also played Heat yesterday, and had a surprising challenge with the teach.

My group just did not understand shifting gears, when to take heat, and how to return heat.

I think the iconography of having a heat symbol next to each gear to indicate boost confused them a lot. I probably had to explain it 10+ times throughout the race and was getting frustrated myself.

Still, the game has a really incredible flow when everyone is clicking. It truly feels like accelerating on straightaways and trying to brake around corners.

We did not add the bots since it was a first game, so played at only 4

In other news - I received $180 amazon gift card for participating in a 90 minute UX testing session with GitLab.

What did I spend that on? Boardgames. Why would I do that when I hardly get the games I already have played? Because I have a problem

But this is what I pulled

Isles of Cats: Kittens and Beasts Expansion, Boat Pack Expansion (this is a favorite game in our house)

Quest for El Dorado

Undaunted: North Africa

Final Girl: Core Box, Episode 1, Happy Trails, Into the Void

Is this the place to post our derpiest Mage Knight pics?


Ultimate Edition pre-painted Bravelar! Wiz-Kids production values! That’s a skull on his head, BTW. Tres edgy!