Boardgaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

Wow, we have the same middle name!

It’s actually out today. I picked it up at the local store but I think most of the online spots started shipping today.

Oh Tom, I forgot to mention. See that building in the middle there? That’s my community center. Like in Stardew Valley! It’s actually on top of a wider board that you can see to the right of it but it extends all the way to the left edge of the community center. And when you do stuff…the building slides to the right! Well I guess you slide it, but still omg so cool. And it has a window and the window tells you how many workers you get so you can slide it to see more workers. And then towards the end it shows a whole bunch of victory points. A sliding building with a view of victory points inside! And there’s sheep and they get you stuff, too.

Anyway that’s my review of Hallertau.

There’s like literally a homebaked loaf of bread in the upper right of the pic.

Yeah, that’s the first one I looked at. I was concerned because it said in-mod that the scripting didn’t support the Curse of the Crimson Throne stuff but apparently that’s no longer true based on the workshop description. The big comprehensive one I was thinking of does have the 2.0 cards but apparently didn’t finish scripting for them, so that seems more like an “if we ever wanted to play 1.0” thing.

But yeah. I’m down. Maybe try out Saturday afternoon or something? I’m in CST. I’ve got a Spire one-shot on Sunday this week, and the evenings I have free during the week I would prefer to keep free at the moment, but that’s negotiable if need be.

Yeah thanks to 2020 my house is now like half baked goods.

Hallertau turn 5 (of 6) report: so good. I’ve got 3 sheep and 5 bricks. I’m not sure I can plant either of those. Further reports as events warrant.

Try rotating the sheep production with the brick production, and vice versa. I bet you’ll get a ton of points!


Let me know, I’d be up for it. I have three hours of work stuff, but should be wrapped up and good to go by 2pm ET/1pm CT…or later, obviously.

Thanks, I think that helped. The bricks weren’t happy about it, though.

84 points, which is the highest score I’ve ever heard of anyone achieving in this game. Expert level unlocked. Uwe tells me I should aim for 100, which he also said about Odin. I’m pretty sure 84 is higher than my first game of Odin, so I’m getting better.

Interested to see how much this changes after a few plays. It definitely feels like almost all of my actions went towards advancing the community center each turn. Unlike, say, Odin where you’re able to meet your feeding quota pretty early each turn and then move on to fun stuff to score points. Here it’s a lot more effort to push that building and the thing is worth so many points it seems like you really want to do that a lot.

But I did grow a big pile of stuff so overall a solid night.

I had my first play of Dune: Imperium last night with two friends. We all really enjoyed it! Awesome to play a board game in person again (the covid numbers are pretty low where I live) - I’ve really missed it.

The game has an interesting mix of familiar mechanisms. I’m a fan of both deck building and worker placement, but cards you play limiting which locations you can send workers to was a nice twist. The combat phase at the end of each round reminded me of Arctic Scavengers and the combat it self reminded me of Blood Rage.

I thought the theme came through more than in most euro games. Especially trying to build reputation with the four factions and their thematically appropriate worker placement actions. Half-way through the game I realized I had made a pretty huge mistake. I had bloated my deck and ended up with too few cards that allowed me to visit those factions. Since they are a big source of victory points, I had a hard time recovering (there’s not that many ways to trim your deck).

I do have a couple of concerns with the game, even if I have only played it once so far. I’m not sure how well the leaders are balanced. You pick one at the start of the game and they give you one passive ability and one ability triggered by playing a specific card. Some of the passive abilities seemed to trigger a lot more often than others. Also since the victory points are very hard to come by (the winner in our game ended with 10), being able to expland your deck with one of the few cards that can generate victory points seemed a fairly big deal.

Pretty early in our game, one of my friends was able to buy a card that, when played, forces other players to discard 2 cards from their hand. And she was able to trigger this card in 3 (or 4) of the 10 rounds in the game. That kind of sucked since you only start every round with 5 cards. Still, she was not able to win so I might be over reacting - I’ve not been a fan of forced discards since playing with/against blue denial MtG decks years ago :)

New gamezzzz


  • 7 Wonders Leaders is the new edition
  • Air, Land, and Sea has a new revised edition out

So many of the adorable ones are 1-4… why???

Ooh pretty, it’s Crater Lake on the cover.

I really need to just get this game, if only because the theme.

I think I’ve gone to 15 National Parks and another 5 National Monuments, and half a dozen National Forests in the last 2 years. If nothing else I like the stylized depiction of the parks

Designing games that play well at 5-6 is hard and most people don’t have that many people, I’d guess.


At last! My prayers are answered!


Boxing up your copy now!

Is the ERA: Medieval Age expansion just called… “ERA: Medieval Age Expansion”??

Hmm. Boardgamegeek seems to think it’s called Rivers & Roads. Might be worthwhile…

Yeah it’s Rivers and Roads. For whatever reason the box doesn’t say that.

Having now tried 2nd edition Pathfinder Adventure Card Game with the estimable @Andon and @triggercut I have to say, I was skeptical of the need but it is a real improvement. Things I noticed:

  1. Armor is actually useful now. Before, for most characters it was at best an ablative soak for one instance of damage and at worst, clogged up your hand forever. (The nice armors you could recharge to get out of your hand. If the best thing you can say about a card is you can get rid of it without much trouble, it’s not good.) Now, it’s something you display in front of you and can use as needed. Plate armor, on our tank, could go back in his hand to absorb some damage, while weaker armor might be more temporary or specialized. I myself picked out an Armored Coat, which softens one discard from each hit into putting the card back on top of your deck instead.
  1. Instead of having a bunch of henchmen cards for each type, they have proxy cards and then you stick the actual henchmen card off to the side as a reference. Similarly, there’s a Scenario Danger for each scenario that is referenced by more generic cards.
  2. The Blessing Deck has been replaced by the Hourglass Deck, which means blessings can have effects that only happen when they come up as the current “hour”. Also, blessings are less generic.
  3. Overall, the majority of cards that give additional explorations seem to lend some specific effect to that exploration - blessing it, giving an extra die against specific kinds of checks, etc.
  4. There are Scourges that can be inflicted by cards - persistent status effects, basically. And locations can be Scourged. We encountered a poison gas trap that marks that location with Poisoned, and so anyone that goes there is marked with the Poisoned scourge.
  5. Clearer and more precise card templating. Better card art that’s a bigger part of the card.
  6. Every location lists card lists for Small, Medium, and Large versions of that location - this is a way you can tune the difficulty and game length - have more or fewer cards in one or all of the locations. We just did the “medium” setting on everything, though.
  7. Perhaps the best change for me: the scenario and adventure card system has been replaced by a scenario booklet. This means instead of a sentence or two of flavor text, you get probably a page or more, which does far more to ground things in narrative, and it also allows more special scenario-specific rules, etc, more easily referenced.

So my group has tried Anno 1800 3 times now and while there are some brilliant things in the design, it has some severe issues with both randomness and balance, which I feel are deadly in a game as long as Anno is

The randomness is at a level that would be fine for a short game but given the compounding effect of a long game with long production chains, can be deeply unbalancing. And adding to that is that there are a number of cards and tiles that are equal in cost but extremely variable in effectiveness, and yet other cards/tiles that are different in cost yet equal in effectiveness: if you get too many of the “bad” cards/tiles or if someone gets too many of the “good” cards/tiles, it can be game over.

It’s also possible to get into situations where the players have “no good moves” which is always deeply frustrating.

I’m not sure if its fixable with house rules or official rule modifications. I’ll have to think about it some.

Right now I’m going to take a break from playing it.