Boardgaming 2022: the year of "point salad really isn't very filling"

Lots of HMMMM moments this week.

Kardashev Scale is rochambeau with illustrations and a tiebreaker, which is a weird thing to say of an action that usually functions as a tiebreaker itself. Free Radicals has lots of asymmetry — ten separate factions’ worth! — but none of its minigames are worth the downtime. Unfathomable shows how far social deduction has come by not stretching past Battlestar Galactica, while also missing out on that game’s 9/11 paranoia.

The other plays were good, though.

Well, I whipped out my 7th Continent this weekend, took another run at Voracious Goddess, and failed miserably.

I was too frustrated to take another run at it, but rather than pack it up I decided to try another curse, The Veins of the Earth. I was enjoying it for a while, when it seemed kind of on-rails so I couldn’t really make a mistake and go the wrong way; eventually I’d die or get to the end.

But… then… I didn’t die or get to the end. I got released into the wider world with no clue what I was supposed to be doing, or how to make progress or complete the curse. I guess I missed something along the way.

I’m starting to wonder how much it is cheating to just take pictures of all the cards you see. There’s some cards (spot-the-differences-puzzle, I’m looking at you), where if you just took a picture of the results card you’d always succeed. But I play once every few months or so, I’m never going to remember what the answer was.

At this point, I’ve tried a few different curses, and other than the super-introductory gather-the-crystals one, I’ve never come very close to finishing any of them. I’m not sure what I’m missing. Are you just supposed to memorize the continent? I don’t play often enough for that to ever happen. Am I making some kind of rules mistake? I don’t think so. Do people just cheat all the time?

Yep, more or less. Keeping notes or even just photos is pretty much mandatory if you’re going to make much progress.

-Tom, who never made much progress

Tis the season for kickstarters to show up apparently!

I feel like a bit of a rube for buying into the Sentinels reboot. But I was just super-curious what they would redo when they had the chance, and I could see it being a game where they had a lot of lessons learned they could apply. We’ll see if it seems any different when I get it to the table!

Dan, what game is the pink one with the monk which regularly winds up on your list?

Oh, that’s, um, me. When I post my little played-last-week list to social media, I sometimes include that. Branding, I think.

Ahaha, okay, that makes a lot of sense actually.

Final Girl help needed!

I’m playing my first game with the Poltergeist in Creech Manor. I got lucky and found Carolyn right away and starrted heading for the exit. With the killer at the other side of the house, I thought I was in good shape for an easy win. Then I drew a Terror card called “The Ground is Shaking” and it teleported the Poltergeist right into my space!!

I shat myself and took damage but the part I don’t understand is this: “All of your moves during the next Action phase are panicked.” I know what it means to roll a die to move victims during the Panic phase. I thought maybe I should roll a die to see if I panic in some direction. But it says "All of my moves–

Wait. I figured it out. If I use my Sprint card (or any other movement card) I’ll have to roll a die to see which way I take off running.

EPILOGUE: Rather than calmly climbing down the ladder outside the bedroom window as she had originally planned, Alice grabbed Carolyn and ran screaming down the stairs and out the front door where they lived happily ever after.

I noticed that the Lord of the Rings LCG just got a revised core set. I own and play and both Arkham Horror and Marvel Champions frequently.

Anything exceptional that LOTR provides the other 2 doesn’t (besides Hobbits)? My research only tells me LOTR is more puzzle-like and harder due to rules changes in each scenario.

Edit: I mainly play solo.

So I’ve watched several reviews of final girl, but I have yet to see any that really talk about the differences in the scenarios other than thematically. I’m not a solo gamer but I love horror themed games and I’m always trying to find a solo game that’s not just an exercise in accounting. I realize there’s about 10 pages of comments on the game but how different are the scenarios are any better than others?

It’s not a scenario based game, although you can get a lorebook that provides specific scenarios with additional setup specifications. The Feature Film boxes are pairings of a killer and a location for packaging/purchasing (and thematically tied), but you can pair any killer with any location. And they’re quite different.

As far as killers, Hans is beefy and lethal but doesn’t have any special mechanics. Inkanyamba is relatively weak in his basic stats but has a Wrath track that various things buid, with 11 different escalatingly bad things he’ll do if his Wrath is unleashed at that point and a special action card you can use to placate him and reduce his Wrath. Dr. Fright is a dream killer and you cannot interact with him (doing or taking damage) unless you are asleep, which can be triggered by terror cards or taking the Rest action. While asleep, every turn you have to reveal a Boiler Room card, and depending on the direction you choose to approach it from, he may get a free attack on you. Geppetto has 3 puppet Minions which can independently move and attack (but are tied to him with strings so can’t get too far away) and can take control of victims. The Poltergeist is immune to damage - you win against her by finding a little girl in the item decks and getting to an exit with her still with you (attack cards are still useful because the Poltergeist will sometimes confront you with other things that can be attacked). The Terror From Above vignette has no “killer” but spawns lots of bird tokens that will build up and attack you specifically as well as go after victims when sufficiently concentrated. You win not by killing them but by rescuing special victims. All of the above have their own unique terror cards, Dark Powers (one of which will be played with per game) and Finales (same).

The locations also have different layouts and special rules, and of course different terror cards and items and events. Camp Happy Trails is again, relatively generic. The Sacred Grounds also have a Wrath track, although it’s separate from Inkanyamba’s and has different effects (the two in combination is actually super rough IMO), and add Bloodlust effects to the killer. It has sacred sites that the stupid tourists will wander into to especially piss off the gods. Maple Lane is a district of houses you have to talk your way into with a special action card to enter (if anyone’s there) divided by a cross of street spaces, and has different rules about finding items (one per house, basically). The Carnival is most characterized by having traps - both in the item deck, and in the terror cards (and also a go cart if you get the right event). And Creech Manor is vertically oriented, with the exits at street level, so you have to climb down from higher floors if you want to lead victims to escape. One of the ways down is a ladder that can be removed if you’re unlucky. And there are Window spaces that some of the cards reference.

I haven’t played with them enough to have favorites. But you can see there’s a lot of variety.

I am totally onboard for Anno 1800 by Martin Wallace. After playing some Rosenberg games, I am totally in a production/tech tree mood now.

There looks to be an official solo campaign, too.

So, you want to have more workers, to do more stuff. But whenever you get a new worker for your production board, you draw a card representing the needs of the worker. But the game ends whenever you don’t have any more cards. You need factories to produce goods to fullfill the needs. Some worker will give you another worker (and card)… So this looks like an interesting dynamic. At some point you just want to fullfill all the needs and end the game in your favor when you collected most points.

I like it that you have to spent a whole turn to get all your workes back home by doing a “festival”. You can get a worker back, by paying him. Time for a revolution, me thinks.

There are 44 different types of factories that you can build. Reminds me a bit of the action board of A Fest For Odin, overwhelming at first.

My theory about Martin Wallace is that 30% of his games are sheer genius, 30% are just iterations on the genius games, and 40% are throwaway stinkers. However, I haven’t conducted the necessary scientific research to verify those numbers.


Your math is definitely off. They’re either genius, iterations, or stinkers. Since each game can only be one of those things, they are either that thing (50%) or not that thing (50%). 50/50 chance, and a 50 would be an F if you were in school, or 2.5 stars on a 5-star scale.

I love Anno 1800! It feels like a pretty peculiar game for pretty peculiar type of gamer, but I’m definitely in that category. One of the more relaxing games I’ve played in a while. I like that you don’t get points for building things, you only get points for pleasing your citizens. It’s a ridiculously optimistic view of politics. The whole game is built around setting up tons of goals and then combo finishing them in a flourish at the end, which is super satisfying.

Same. It’s just does what it does really well.

How is the solo campaign? I watched rahdo played solo sandbox mode, and that looked good enough for my solo needs…

No idea! I thought the solo campaign was rumored for the expansion, didn’t know it was out already.

It is on the Kosmos site as download (in German), and there is a translated pdf on bgg. Currently reading it…

That’s awesome.