Boardgaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

Well, it is basically a re-skinning of Source of the Nile as mentioned above, so there is that. But my feeling is that this gameplay was only notable for the “emerging landscape” element that in retrospect feels very mechanical and random. You find a big mountain, and you’re like, “ooooh!” And that’s it. At least in Source of the Nile, my ten-year-old self was like that. In my very personal opinion, this seemed cool then because I was totally make-believing with the game as the imagination portal, but now it feels pretty flat. Rather than just being happy to find a mountain, I’m like, ok, we’ll, can I do anything with it?? Other than score points. In this way, games like Mage Knight take the exploration mechanic and give the things you find some utility. But that’s not an exploration game, it’s a fighting game where you find mana lying around in the exploring parts.

I think Heart of Darkness is a very decent attempt at this, with a brilliant solution to the idea of how to make you experience “being drawn into the wilderness by the tantalizing vision of something shiny in the distance.”Really, the individual area exploration system is both simple and ingenious. I toyed around with making extra rules for things like fighting the dinosaurs if you discovered the actual Land of the Lost (included in the game) or fighting the Mad King (also included in the game) or Cthulhu (not included). But that would make it a different game. And if I’m honest with myself, almost certainly not a better one.

Ha, @Brooski didn’t even have the common decency to mention 7th Continent! What a 7th Continent hater!


A long time ago I picked this up in the old Game Empire in Pasadena:

It doesn’t take up too much table space but I have young cats around that make it difficult to leave these up without too much trouble. I got as far as sleeving the very old paper cards and it looks interesting enough. It’s from Tom Lehman before he did Race for the Galaxy and all those train games I think he works on now (1846 published by GMT is great). He also did this Time Agent game I really thought about trying to find:

Not an exploration game though.

I used to own, and have played, Time Agent! What a weird game. I’m still not sure it actually worked. It was certainly long.

Just received the blinged out miniatures kit for Dune Imperium today, so if you are waiting on that, it should arrive any day. I don’t normally care for this sort of stuff, but I’m glad to have this one, since I like the Dune world so much. Plenty of storage for the stuff, although the box is obnoxiously large.

Yeah, mine came about two weeks ago—note that it has fixed printings of the Missionaria cards, plus a “bonus” Duncan Idaho:

Question: can you tell which guys are supposed to be which? Because I sure can’t.

Ha, I had thought it somewhat odd the Missionaria Protectiva did not count as a Bene Gesserit, but just assumed it was intentional.

Haven’t had time to even look at the stuff, but this thread at least appears to be helpful, as far as IDing what is what.

Ha, even THOSE guys don’t know which faction is which faction :)

EDIT: the set is fairly straightforward to figure out: the 12 smaller units are obviously the tr00ps, the three larger dudes are the agents, the large models are the VP tokens for the 4 factions, and the odd guy out is the Mentat. What I’m trying to figure out is, which set is supposed to be, say, Rivoli and which one is Thorin?

I was just watching a video by some Dungeon Crawl experts (German language) about the new Descent Legend Of The Dark… It was really great, they kind of sold me on it, but they insisted that the best experience would be to play on the hardest difficulty, Warfare. It adds a timer during battle, monsters getting stronger the longer the battle takes (as I understood). Then you really need to get thinking about your turns. The video even stated that on normal difficulty it is not worth playing. That is a strong statement…

I checked BGG and can’t find much of discussions about difficulty, mostly it is “too easy” I think player count is relevant here… but nowhere I read that Warfare is the only way to play it proper.

Can anyone confirm? I am thinking on getting this as a christmas present to myself, but I find it a risky proposition if it is only good on the hardest difficulty…

just read your review! So on what difficulty did you play with how many characters? Did you finish the game?

Check out the Shut Up and Sit Down video. They mention that, while the game is enjoyable enough, it mostly plays itself on normal difficulty and you have very little to think about. I’ve heard that from others too. Seems to be a game normally played for the story and to spend time with friends who are not into super crunchy games.

Too many Thanksgivings.

It was nice to get back to Santa Monica. Still one of my favorite tableau-builders. Got the expansion on a Black Friday deal, so we’ll see how that shakes it up.

Brian Boru continues to please, although I’m curious if it will have a short tail. It’s very pacey, but almost too short at certain counts. I know, I know, that’s a weird complaint.

We finally completed the core box of Unsettled. I’m not often excited to dive straight into an expansion for one of these mega-Kickstarters, but I can hardly wait to try the next planet. So that’s a good sign.

I am playing on the standard difficulty and am only 7 scenarios in. I’m enjoying it mightily. I would say that the criticism of “the game plays itself” isn’t really coming off too valid for me. Quite the opposite, the longer I play, the more choices open up to my party members.

But I also haven’t played even halfway through, obviously. And Final Girl showed up on my porch on Saturday, so…

I heard the same feedback from another friend. If you keep playing it I’ll be very curious to hear if your opinion changes. Love the idea of a trick-taking area control game, especially with great art, but am pretty disappointed when I get a game that feels too samey after 5 plays.

Looking for a bit of a recommendation.

My 7 y/o daughter expressed interest in wargames. She likes moving the troops against one another in pretend battle.

Anything in this genre for that age? She liked the sound of Root, but that is too complicated. Stratego maybe?

A few years old, but check out this thread:

Memoir ‘44 might be a good choice. The miniatures give her the hands-on, moving the troops vibe, while the card play is visual and pretty straightforward.

I would go with Small World, but you don’t actually move your troops. But it’s a war, man.
The better Stratego is the Lord Of The Rings: The Confrontation version by Knizia. I wish I had this as a kid instead of Stratego.

And then there is Risk and Risk Junior… Risk junior is with pirates though.

This may have been because I was a poor teacher, but the whole “going into decline” thing was difficult for me to get through to my daughters when they were about 9 and 13.

It is a great game though and your kid may pick it right up.