Boardgames 2024

I bought the digital version of Dune Imperium and in the course of playing a few rounds, I noticed that I never played the cardboard version correctly, as in I somehow got the notion that the agent box is optional. I can’t put this on my fellow players, because I am the rules book reader around here, and the sad thing is that it occurs in almost any game we play, to my chagrin. In Carnegie I missed the part were you did not have to take all your employees from a region back, which made it pretty hard to get a constant flow of resources going. On the other hand I thought found weapons in Nemesis came with a full clip of ammo, which made that game a little to easy. It happens so frequently that I dread the moment we will realize whatever it is we are doing wrong with Gaia Project, or Ark Nova, or what have you. What are your most painful rule mishaps?

I misdealt the identity cards in Battlestar Galactica once and after the mid-game Cylon switch we ended up with one human (Admiral Adama) and the rest Cylons. Honestly, it was pretty funny. Every event was failing and slowly all the Cylons started looking around the table like, “This can’t be happening.” My friend playing Adama wasn’t amused, given that the game had taken 3 hours or something at that point. Still, the story has lasted way longer!

Didn’t want to put this in the '23 thread, tho I did throw it into an R&P thread.

Now you too can commit insurrection!

My game of the year for 2023 (unless you kickstarted it you got it in 2022), i pulled out to play it solo today since i haven’t been playing game events at all this past year.

Fallen Lands 2nd edition w/ expansion

Summary: Imagine playing Wastelands 3 as story-driven boardgame, including 5 characters you control, a vehicle you can own, equipment and building up your base to push toward victory. Add in some optional PVP and ‘mess with you’ mechanics and you have the game in a nutshell.

The second edition is an improvement in every way and it includes the expansions from the 1st edition automatically. The rules are cleaned up, the descendants include a new Town Event that add to the thematic play of the game and often forces you to decide between gaining objectives or stopping a potential impact to your faction. The game has really been boosted up with multiplayer interactions that were less frequent or interesting in the first edition. This makes playing solo a little bit more of a chore at times though.

Some screens:

A monster tornado whipped across the southern US, making areas that had to be avoided without taking lots of damage

The game takes up most of the table

The story cards for my game

I almost lost, i picked up a jinked copy of the Necronomicon that was slowly driving my party insane (there is sanity damage in the game). I also had a tough last mission where a found a diragable and failed my skill check and was damaged by the team i was trying have join my team. Betweeen that and the darn Necronomicon i was about 1 turn from losing my party to damage or sanity loss if i hadn’t got the money i needed to buy a faction improvement that finally gave me victory!

That looks super-cool. Totally a game I would have been very into just a few years ago. Nowadays, I can’t seem to gather the time/energy to set up and play BIG solo games. I’ve definitely shifted my preferences towards things I can unpack and play in under an hour. I think this would change if I invested (one day!) in a nice gaming/dining table with recessed play area and top.

The game supports up to 6 players, but i wouldn’t play it with more than 3 as the game can take roughly 1.5 hours per player

Is this just a reskin of Wingspan?


I’m skeptical this will feel different than Wingspan. Wingspan’s flaws imo are 1) the theme is pasted on and everything is just points: eggs=points, prey=points, etc. None of the game mechanics actually evoke birdwatching. 2) It’s very multiplayer solitaire. It doesn’t look like Wyrmspan solves any of these.

I believe there are a few mechanical differences but largely yes.

If you watch the reviews that started appearing a couple of weeks ago (Jamey Stegmaier likes to make sure there are reviews before pre orders open), you will see the Wingspan lineage but also that it is its own iteration of that game.

That’s why it credits a different designer (Apiary’s designer) with Hargraves consulting only.

It adds exploration, a guild board, removes some randomness, … So it’s not a simple reskin and is considered a small step up in complexity. But I think anyone who has played Wingspan will learn it quickly.

But yeah, I don’t think it will necessarily solve the issues you have with Wingspan.

I just do not get wingspan. I get the broad appeal for non gamers and/or those just getting into the hobby, but having played the game there just isn’t much there that hasn’t been done better or more interestingly. So I’m curious to see what they changed and how the game does overall.

On the contrary, sounds like you get it just fine. : )

Maybe, and to each their own. I see how popular it is and I’m like, come on gamers we’re better than this.

Come on gamers, we are better than this?

Sounds dangerously like elitism to me. I know non gamers who enjoy Wingspan because of the theme, art and approachability of the engine building loop.

Then again, some of the gamers in my circles who enjoy the game are also people who enjoy and recently played Hegemony, Gloomhaven, TI4, Terraforming Mars, …

You don’t always have to be in the mood for the heavier and longer games. Games like Wingspan are great when you want something more chill or you can share with pretty much anyone.

It really bothers me when people seem to say: can’t you see this game is not worth your time?

This is me! There are a lot of engine building card games I like better than Wingspan (Race for the Galaxy, Earth, Res Arcana, etc.), but Wingspan is prettier than all of them by a pretty wide margin, and playing with pretty things is nice sometimes. I also like its theme better than all of those games. It’s not the best game, but it’s not bad (except at 5 players, who the heck does that?!).

Not at all, it’s experience. Like I said, to each their own. I know non gamers and dare I say… gamers (that sounds elitist) who love Monopoly too. Doesn’t mean it’s good game or that there aren’t games that do the the same thing better.

Edit: After I posted this in the 2023 thread I decided it should have gone here. The quote is from the 2023 thread.

I kind of fell of a cliff on it a couple of chapters after I last posted. I was trying to figure out why that is, because on paper it should be a keeper. For some reason when my wife brings up playing it, my immediate reaction turned into, “Ugh I don’t feel like playing that now”. It started to feel like work, which is weird, because it doesn’t nearly have the setup time that Gloomhaven did, especially now that we have a game table where we can leave our current game out.

Maybe it is because the chapters seem to end in one long battle, as opposed to Gloomhaven being broken down into several smaller battles? The boss monsters have had some interesting mechanics to them, they are pretty cool - so I don’t know why it hasn’t been appealing to me.

Leveling up isn’t quite as interesting as it was in Gloomhaven - some levels don’t really have anything that new that is interesting. It would be better to get a new card each level.

Maybe my tastes have changed and I don’t have the patience for an ongoing game that takes so long to get through? I don’t know. Have you gotten a chance to play this recently?

I’ve found that with looong campaign-style boardgames, I need to either really like the narrative, or really like the core gameplay elements or some combo of both…or it’s just not going to work for me over the long haul. One trick that really good epic-length videogames (I’m thinking of The Witcher 3 and the two Red Deads) can do is make changes in the world and characters and even in gameplay that keep pulling you back in. Getting tired of the main gameplay story in RDR2? Go fishing or hunting for a while!

While I think tabletop designers are aware of that and have tried to implement those kinds of changes I’m not sure they’ve ever quite gotten yet to the place that videogames can get to – because any mechanics in a board game are going to be rules-involved, and introducing new mechanics means new rules which means a high risk for rules cruft, feature creep, and fiddly-ness that can be very off-putting.

With all that said…yeah, I’m really enjoying Oathsworn. I think I’ve said this elsewhere, but it essentially fixes most of the biggest issues I had with Gloomhaven, a game that I just do not much care for much. I think the core gameplay loop is pretty similar, and I think the interior mechanics Oathsworn uses to manage that loop is something that is made for every dork like me who liked the card-play aspects of Gloomhaven, but not the fiddly setup and the way everything feels like a fixed puzzle in the latter due to the mostly irreversible card attrition.

And to Oathsworn’s credit, it tells you right up front how it is going to be presented to you as a player: town and story part, then tactical boss fight. And I find the level progression to be more rewarding than Gloomhaven. Especially because in the story half of each chapter, I can kind of pick up on cues to try to find the combat bonuses my gameplay style is most comfortable with later in the boss battle.

So…I can’t tell you if it is the game, or game type. Maybe you’re burnt out on long games?

And while I was really down on Oathsworn last year for a few months when I felt like there was no way I was going to be able to upgrade my 1st edition to 2nd edition, in December I found someone (who is a miniatures painter and buys games with a lot of minis, paints them, and then sells the games aftermarket with the painted figs) who had no use for the “Everything new” pledge for Oathsworn and sold me the whole lot (which was I think $135 in the pledge) for sixty bucks. Score!

I’m glad Oathsworn working for you! Do you use the app or the storybook? We used the app for most of what we played, but there was one part we found the app confusing - I can’t recall where it was, maybe chapter 4?

We got it all back into the box, with everything back to where it needs to be to start a new game. I’ll probably end up seeing if someone in a local board game group in the area wants to buy it. It is big and heavy, so it makes more sense than shipping it somewhere. I asked my wife if she wants to hold onto it and maybe try again after some time has passed and she said no because she doesn’t think I’ll change my mind. She would have kept playing if I was enjoying it more, even though she had some problems with it.

I have the Tainted Grail kickstarter on its way, so I guess I’ll see if I fell out of love with this type of game. I ordered the 2.0 version of the original and the new campaign, so I hope I like it. I don’t go all in for the miniatures and stuff, so it’s not as expensive as it could have been.

As a side note, I’m glad this is something these companies are finally figuring out- some of us are just burned out on boxes full of minis. I have the standee version of Oathsworn (haven’t cracked into it yet, so no opinion) and I backed the minis-less version of the Pokémon thing Awaken Realms is doing (Dragon Eclipse?).

Does anyone have a particular dice tower that they like? I’m thinking of getting one. Also, would it accommodate games with a lot of dice, like Too Many Bones?