Boardgaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

I’ve now acquired a used copy of Imperium: Classics to go with my Legends set, and my 20-something son and I played today. I had the Greeks; he had the Celts. He built a big sprawling country, with Hibernia and Brittania and all sorts of other holdings, and eventually he produced all but one of his developments.

I, on the other hand, had a little city-state, with almost no land holdings, and Scientists and Philosophers wandering around. Every time I had three lands, I played Glory to recall them, allowing me to draw Fame cards. I also pinged him with Notorious attacks, which annoyed him, as he’s usually the more aggressive player. We sensed I was ahead for most of the game, and the final score bore that out: Greeks 77, Celts 65. A fun session.

Very cool, would love to play this with some folks that can’t meet up in person.

So we played a game of Warrior Knights last night with some friends. Long game, but we all had fun. Like a 7 hour game, like the diplomacy/war aspect. Just felt a little long by the end.

We also played the first few missions of Jagged Alliance the boardgame.. If you are a fan of the computer game, this is essentially playing the board game version of it, with a Conan-type fatigue system. Its co-op campaign with a LOT of depth!

The first few missions are fairly easy but the difficulty and depth ramps up quickly. You can do bounty hunting, missions, train rebels, recruit npcs, very much a translation of the computer game. The only reason we stopped is we were exhausted after 9 hours of gaming lol. Hate being old.

It has Deidreanna and Elliot, but also an alternate bad guy, so has replay, plenty of aim mercs to recruit, and 14 (i think) base mercs to choose from. Also have the mines, the alien creatures and blood cats as optional content so LOTS of replayability possibilities!

Very much want to find a group and play the whole campaign!

Downside to the game so far, no table of contents, no turn reference sheet…so thats kinda annoying.

I still have the original Warrior Knights. That was one of the most played games in my teen years. It always seemed to end up being the consensus game. If I’m remembering right this is where you could do things like vote other players to an ambassador somewhere sure they got money or some benefit but it took them out of the main kingdom. You never wanted to look to obviously powerful or you were banished at assembly. Good times. Lots of heated games, in a good way.

Okay, this was a solid week.

1979: Revolution in Iran is good. Very good. Shakes up the binary influence that most of these CDGs use. Rather than simple support/opposition influence (Twilight Struggle, COIN, etc.), it uses a bunch of neutral influence discs that may or may not be in favor of your side depending on who’s in power. Propping up a neutral faction to erode your rival’s support can swing back around to bite you when you take their place. Good stuff.

Other than that, got some good solo time in. Arkham Noir and Final Girl are both strong, especially the latter. I’ve only managed one play so far, but I can’t wait to dig into it more.

Would love to hear more about this.

Same. That seems like an interesting idea.

Because he’s probably too polite to link it himself, here’s @DT’s write-up of 1979: Revolution in Iran.

Glad to hear you’re pleased with Final Girl, @DT. I should be getting a copy soon, but it was a total impulse buy and based on Hostage Negotiator, I figured there’s equal odds that Final Girl is a winner or a stinker. I like a lot about Hostage Negotiator, but I feel like it’s perilously close to being junk. I’m hoping Final Girl is a move in the opposite direction.

-Tom

Tom already linked my review, but what I can’t overstate is how impressed I’ve become with Dan Bullock this year. Between No Motherland Without and 1979: Revolution in Iran, he’s been riffing on the CDG formula in multiple directions. Neither of them are especially heavy — they’re lighter than Imperial Struggle, probably even lighter than Twilight Struggle (although that’s a hard call; it’s such a part of my gaming bloodstream) — but in spite of that, they home in on the details of the topics Bullock is dissecting. Sort of like Hollandspiele titles with fewer sharp edges. (And I say that affectionately.)

1979 is the stronger of the two. The idea is that both sides, the Coalition and the Shah, alternate periods of power. When you’re in power, that’s your opportunity to score big. When you’re out of power, you’re trying to erode the support structure of your rival. All those neutral influence discs will play into that. Early on, the Shah wants to promote Ulama and Bazaari influence because it chips away at the Coalition’s support. Later, once the Shah’s coup has put him back in direct authority, those same influence discs work against him.

It isn’t a perfect representation. I could see it being taken further with iteration. But I love how it emphasizes non-binary influence and how social revolutions often turn against their peripheral supporters. (Or, in the case of the Tudeh Party, their original activists.) I’d love to see it influence other attempts to portray support as dynamic rather than binary.

Glad to hear you’re pleased with Final Girl, @DT. I should be getting a copy soon, but it was a total impulse buy and based on Hostage Negotiator, I figured there’s equal odds that Final Girl is a winner or a stinker. I like a lot about Hostage Negotiator, but I feel like it’s perilously close to being junk. I’m hoping Final Girl is a move in the opposite direction.

I actually only picked it up because it was mentioned here! I’m glad I did. I ordered straight from Van Ryder, so it showed up within a week. No more being burned by Game Steward for me.

I enjoyed Hostage Negotiator well enough, but certain elements are a little too abstract for me. How many times can I “small talk” the guy on the phone? Final Girl takes the same system and makes it so tangible. Actions are things like moving, attacking, searching for items, making distractions, shepherding other survivors to safety — all of which carry so much more weight than playing a card to move some tracks.

So Board Game Arena recently added Tapestry to their digital stable so I had a chance to try out a couple of games with some strangers. And boy does this game exemplify the metastasis that is modern-day Stonemaier design. It’s a frankly awful game with virtually zero thematic resonance, where you constantly have to make choices when there’s no possible way you can know the tradeoffs, so gameplay feels utterly random. Maybe with a few more games under my belt I’d be able to pick out a strategic thread, but there’s nothing at all compelling me to gain that experience. There’s some words and some tokens and a few minis and you push them around for a while in guided patterns until the end, when someone has a bigger mound of points than everyone else. Thanks BGA for saving me the dollars and cupboard space on this one.

Ha ha, you played Tapestry!

Psst, I have it on good authority that @hassanlopez actually enjoys that game.

-Tom

Yup. Since it appeared on BGA, my Tapestry-liking friend talked us in to trying it again. I thought, what the heck, maybe it’s not as bad as I remember.

It is. Or, maybe, worse.

The good news is, having played it async on BGA, it didn’t waste my game night. So there’s that.

Fun note: I wrote the first negative review of Tapestry! And I received not one but two nasty threats over it!

So now I especially don’t like it. Take that, people who thought they could change my mind! Tapestry stinks!

How long did you play it? If you didn’t play it for a long time, your opinion can’t be trusted.

If you DID play it for a long time, you obviously must have liked it, so your opinion can’t be trusted.

Only positive reviews can be accurate.

How long did you play it? If you didn’t play it for a long time, your opinion can’t be trusted.
If you DID play it for a long time, you obviously must have liked it, so your opinion can’t be trusted. Only positive reviews can be accurate.

I don’t remember specifically, but I do recall trying it a solid handful of times. More than three, which is my usual minimum. We kept thinking there had to be more to it.

There wasn’t.

(Crying, blubbering)

NO! GAME GOOD!!! SPENT MONEY ON IT FROM MOMMY!!! NO MORE MONEY FOR GAMES THIS YEAR!!! GAME GOOD!!!

I even played two games. Actually I was so excited to try it that I joined two games at the same time. Then totally regretted it after the first round or so, but was already committed and am even now waiting for one of them to finally lumber to its who-cares conclusion. I already, thank god, took my final income turn so I can just sit and wait for the game to end, however long that takes.

That’s such an amazing summary!

Tis the season…
In to Deep and Beyond Humanity arrived, but I’m swamped with work until April that I don’t even think I’ll have a chance to open the boxes they came in.