Boardgaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

There were a few gripes and teething pains for my group, but it was the only way we were going to have the chance to keep playing most games so people accepted it. It’s now working pretty smoothly.

For convincing skeptics, it helps a lot if you have tried out some mods beforehand and found some that have really good scripting. Makes everything so much smoother and helps get over the initial annoyance and unfamiliarity. None of them are up to the quality and ease of a dedicated app, of course.

I drove a green 1976 AMC Gremlin, which is even more obsolete cuz the company no longer exists.
The ladies flocked to it. Not.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming about boardgame vs wargame.

But of course, with dedicated apps, everyone has to have a copy (not that they don’t have to have TTS, but that’s one purchase for thousands of games) and frequently TTS mods are much much faster about including expansion content (if the apps even get around to it) and vanishingly few boardgame apps support fan-made content and it’s more work to add even if they do have mod support. Plus, the rules enforcement can be a bit draconian in terms of letting you undo fuckups. So, I like the dedicated apps in a few cases, mostly for solo play, but I’ve ended up defaulting to TTS most of the time. Spirit Island, for example - the app is nice, but it’s just the base game and I think the first two promo spirits right now, and I really gotta have Branch and Claw at least and preferably Jagged Earth. Which a very nicely scripted TTS mod has covered. Or Sentinels of the Multiverse. Very nice, complete these days, even finally put in Workshop support…but it’s way easier to play with friends on TTS and include e.g. The Cauldron or potentially other fan decks.

I am playing through Pandemic Season 2 Solo with 3 characters. I kind of liked P1 with a friend, but we only played 2 characters, and I wished for more choices during play.

I am in March now and already misplayed some stuff, build 3 resource stations is mandatory, duh. I like the exploration part of it, mapping out the territory, 70+ years after the breakout.

Why Pandemic? It is an easy system where I mostly do not have to be fully concentrated on. Also they spiced it up. Now the infection card stack has each city 3 times, quite a change of pace. Also, the resource management is similar to classic pandemic, but not exactly. It is more of a pickup-deliver system now.

I did not use the blue production cards until march, until I realized how to use them to my advantage… Overall, I like it.

Since those are Legacy games and Season 1 and 2 are on my play list, can you ensure that anything not immediately visible when opening the box (i.e. components or other rules / events hidden behind progress) are spoilered in posts?

I’ve been waiting forever to go through S1 and S2. We were going to start last year, but then Covid struck. So we can’t meet friends, and our daughter will no play Pandemic Legacy during a pandemic. Bit too close to home for her.

The boxes have been staring at me. :/

What oboletes it? Labyrinth? The Expanse, even?

sure, I think in above post is nothing legacy related, good point! Go ahead and play Season 1, I think you will have a good time!

I can’t wait! But I have to.

I’m curious about this too, because I want to play whatever makes Twilight Struggle obsolete :)

Excellent! My favorite element of Shem Phillips solo games is the advanced actions deck. You take a card from the advanced deck which slightly specializes the AI and put it in their discard, face-up, so you can see how the AI is focusing. It’s such a simple way to mock out watching opponents in the game and trying to understand how their motivations are going to affect you.


Since there was a bit of discussion of Tainted Grail’s rulebook and its possible deficiencies in the old thread, I just wanted to link this clarifying summary and reference from Universal Head, who does good work, in case anyone finds they’d appreciate such a thing:

Labyrinth is NOT a good game.

Haven’t played it enough to really comment on that, but I certainly didn’t think it would obsolete TS, hence my asking.

I disagree with Tom on the premise of this thread just as much as I do when he says movies didn’t get good until the 1970s, but i agree with him on Twilight Struggle. If I’m going to play a 3+ hour long war game for only 2 players (which is almost never) that game is going to be War of the Ring.

Maybe Rebellion, but to me Rebellion is just not-as-good War of The Ring but for Star Wars. I haven’t played it with the expansion, though, and I hear that improves the game a bit.

But for 2 player card driven historical war games that aren’t 3-4 hours long I really like both the second edition of Washington’s War (which is more like 90 minutes) and Sekigahara (closer to 2 hours).

I know this is a bit late, but I opened up my kick-started of TG last night.

There’s…alot there.

So, I set up the game, and immediately cane afoul of what I think will either make or break this game for a new player.

I refer to the rules, specifically the explanations.

The rules explanations are some of the worst I’ve ever come across.

Instructions given are goddamed annoying and I have spent bout 2 hrs on Board Game Geek getting clarification.

To put that in perspective, we played this game for a total of maybe 4 hrs…so half of that of me scratching my head over instructions and at one point drifting embarrassingly close to a hissy fit.

For example, see if you can decipher, on first reading and with no searching, the rule for upgrading an attribute.

I can’t upload the pdf here.

Also, some things that are actually very simple have needlessly complicated instructions, such as how to set up your combat and diplomacy decks.

And regarding those 2 sets of cards, some genius decided the only marker, to help you classify them, would be a 25mm (millimetre!) Mark of colour referred to as a “banner” to see which your initial 15 cards are.

Seriously, they could very easily have printed the back of those cards in the colours of the character.

Spirit island has 4 start cards per spirit and you can find then in a matter of seconds.



Once the irritation subsided, the actual game is fun.

It is not something like Mage Knight and the closest I’ve played to it is Gloomhaven, which I now miss.

It is more like those choose your own adventure books except …well bigger, and more entertaining, and you get to move people around.

I’ve seen some people complain about the combat and diplomacy systems, which are basically the same system with different cards and at first I found it confusing.

But after about 3 encounters I got how the system worked and I actually like it.

I got my arse handed to me on one occasion by “an angry mob” before I realised I could just run away.

Anyway, now that I’ve (mostly) gotten past the poor rules writing, I am.actually going to play the game again, and am.looking forward to it, tonight.

I didn’t have any trouble figuring out the rules, personally. Like, upgrading attributes, each attribute is paired with the one on the other side of the character card, so you add the two together and then check the little table as to how much another point between the two would cost in XP.

No, they couldn’t have, because then you would be able to see whether you were getting a starting card or an advanced card next. Spirit Island doesn’t have you draw power cards randomly, so it’s not the same situation at all.


There are 80 combat and 80 diplomacy cards per character.

All the cards for Maggot, for example could have had Maggot on the back.

Their chosen system of 1/25 B card annotation in the lower corner of the card is…inferior.

That would have made the initial set up much easier:

Take all your character combat cards.

Next, (using something more obvious than the little smudge of colour they decided to call a “banner”) take the 15 cards marked thus (and given these are face down, they could quite easily be labelled starter cards on the face, perhaps in the corner where they put the 1/25 annotation, so when you draw them) and shuffle them. These are you start cards.

Shuffle the rest.

Repeat for diplomacy cards.

It took me all of 5 minutes to come up with better instructions.

Clear as mud.

And still clearer than what the rule book says.

And I’m sure it isn’t a hrs operation, but the explanation of the rules sucks.

Imho by far the worst aspect of the game so far. So, my essential point still stands, if you can get over the rules (and evidently for some that’s easy) then the rest of the game is interesting enough.

They couldn’t, though, because there are three characters (one from each campaign) that share that color of card (plus potentially a fourth if you have Niamh, who’s campaign agnostic for…reasons, and can be any color). And then each of those characters have their own unique personal cards as well.