Boardgaming in 2017!


Not exactly a board game, but my wife and I have just moved to Seattle. In the process we ditched our old dining room table as it wasn’t comfortable for us and not conducive to games, especially long/large games like Firefly with cats wanting to lay on it.

We are looking at getting a good gaming table, like Geek Chic. Specifically one that can function as a dining room table as well and has the cover to keep our current game state cat safe when we are done for the night.

Question is, has anyone had any experience with the gaming tables? Any pros/cons. We are looking at the Geek Chic pre built Vanguard especially since we can drive up and check out the factory and such.


Welcome to Seattle, dude!


Never sunny here…great place for boardgaming!


And FYI, that was more thunder and lightning yesterday than I think I’ve seen in the last five years, combined.


Ha I just was about to post this too. Really enjoyed it as well. Although, I kept getting very nervous that Professor Finkel would knock the ancient cuneiform tablet off the table with a violent hand gesture. It had to be a replica I would hope. :)


Harry Potter is good! This thread is betterer than Tabletop, which is responsible for a large backlog of unplayed and rejected games.

Anyway, we played books 1-3. Simple enough for casual people to play, yet did not bore me. Rules are fine. Turns move quickly. I actually got asked to bring it over again, which never happens.


For fans of Zombicide, don’t forget that the new Zombicide Kickstarter is going live at 3 eastern today!


And they recently released a companion app for Black Plague that helps with some bookkeeping! Have not had a chance to try it yet, however.


I have the Emissary for about 6 years now, and love it! The drop-down playing area is 4x6, so the table is slightly larger than that, so 5x8? 5 player drawers and 1 GM drawer, plus 6 drink holders for each place setting. I picked up matching chairs and a bench separately, which made it far more affordable.


Thanks! I’ll take a look. I think Black Plague was a solid improvement on Zombicide. However, intitial hubbub had the new one as an identical rule set. Which is disappointing as Massive Darkness (from the rules at least as my copy is still on the way) makes Zombiecide (IMO) obsolete. By this I mean that Zombicide eventually breaks down to a puzzle of applying 1,2, and 3 damage actions the most efficiently against said target hp monsters. Massive Darkness seems to have really upped the game by breaking out of the 1/2/3 mold while also giving more meaningful class and upgrade choices. It also has a more functional noise mechanic via level progression of a dungeon.

The only thing that remains to be seen is if the map setup is as directionally interesting as Zombiecide as the only available sample have it as linear as the tutorial/first Black Plague scenario.


Arkham Horror the Card Game is finally back in print after selling out over lunch hour earlier this year. I managed to find a copy over this weekend (or maybe there are more than enough copies now with a more aggressive 2nd printing). So, let’s talk about it. Or, I will talk about it.

Not only is Lovecraftian horror an overused theme in gaming, it’s driven to over use by Fantasy Flight alone. The original Akrham Horror, the streamlined Eldritch Horror, the diced based Elder Signs, the card game with booster packs Call of Cthulu, and the dungeon crawl Mansions of Madness. And don’t let Tom Chick get started on the expansions all the tangentially related franchises have. And what do all these games share? Artwork, I think.

OK, so I’ve only played Eldritch Horror and Elder Signs. The latter was an OK push your luck dice game. Eldritch Horror, when not being ruined by expansions, was a great way to spend time with my brothers, albeit fiddly once the board started to fill up. It’s like you needed an accountant to figure out all the events when a reckoning occured. Anyways, because I am a sucker for card play and hand management, and a glowing review from those jokers, I wanted to try this one out. So, $40 plus tax later…

The game comes with a) a lot of cards, b) three separate rule books, c) a bunch of cardboard tokens, and d) a fantasy flight insert which needs to be mentioned just for how bad it is.

That seems to be OK value for the money. Players are now represented by a deck of cards. You will be drawing cards from that deck, and playing them for affects. Instead of a board, each scenario provides “location cards.” Some more cards serve as agendas (bad) and acts (good). Every turn, players draw from a Mythos Deck, which can put monsters into play. There is no dice. Instead, players will draw some numbered cardboard tokens out of a bag (not provided) or some other opaque object.

So, I think I’ve paid more for less components. HOWEVER, in terms of gameplay you are just buying 1 campaign with 3 scenarios which I’d estimate take 60-90 minutes apiece. It isn’t necessarily a one and done campaign, but I suspect most players will get most enjoyment out of the first run. Furthermore, it only comes with the cards for two players to have a deck. The box isn’t lying, it said right up front 1-2 players, but boy does that feel limiting. It suggests you can play 3-4 simply by combining another core box, but that’s also buying a ton of redundant cards so you can have the ~60 cards needed for extra investigators.

Does this play well solo? Well, in my infinite wisdom I ignored the recommended starting solo player and tried “the drifter.” It did not play well solo with her. The lack of a combat ability meant I got overrun quickly, and couldn’t complete scenario objectives. More than that, I don’t think the game balances player count perfectly, meaning more players could make the game easier, but that is theoretical for the moment. And at 1 player, there is just no room for error. Get trapped by a monster, you are in trouble.

So, here we have a game that really should be played with multiple players, but only the necessary stuff for 2 of them.

Which, brings us to the business model. This is just a “core set.” You buy it to learn the game, and have a little fun, but the hope is you will go out and buy the next campaign… the Legacy of Dunwich which comes with 2 scenarios. Wait, two? That is less than the base game. What’s going on here?

Well, the core set starts you off, and the big box expansion kicks off another campaign. However, you need buy the rest of the scenarios in the campaign as $15 boosters. There are a total of 6 for Legacy of Dunwich. So, for the $40 core set, with the $30 expansion, and the 6 $15 boosters, you get two campaigns with 11 scenarios and STILL not enough cards to reliable play 3 players (that’s $160 MSRP). Oh, you can probably scrape together the cards for a 3rd player at some point. You are encouraged to build your own character’s deck after all. Maybe use a proxy?

Anyways, that’s work. Do people really want to go through the process of choosing a balanced set of cards to include with an investigator, when the real joy of the genre is dealing with the unknown?

So, is there good news about the game? Yes, card play works wonders compared to the Eldritch Horror. On your turn, your hand of cards gives you a options and opportunities. Managing those options means you have more interesting decisions. There is of course luck of the draw, but far less “forced” moves than rolling dice and hoping for the best. So, gameplay wise, I do see an improvement.

It’s the business model, though. Why is it so hard to get a third player? With all the expansions and boosters planned, none of them are simply to increase the player count. Is that hard to sell ~35 cards as an independent investigator to join the escapades?

So, whose this for? If it’s just going to be you, then why are into board games? If it’s you and one other person who enjoys some Halloween style horror (as in nobody is actually scared), then MAYBE this is for you. Do you want a game you can take off the shelf twice a year to have a spooky adventure? OK, buy the core set. Or, do you want “narrative” gaming experienced and are willing to commit your budget to this goal? Provided its just you and that other person, I can recommend this.

Otherwise, I’d say just get Eldritch Horror and a small box expansion or two, and you are set. Or, get some other game focused on deck management such as the Quartermaster General games.

Still, I will probably try out the next expansion, it comes with five new investigators! Just not the cards to actually build their decks.


Why should it be played with multiple players? I can tell you from experience that one player playing two characters works just fine. Better, in fact, that dragging a friend to the table and having to coordinate what you’re going to do, which just adds playing time for no meaningful gameplay return.

Nope, not a part of the game at all. :( You might upgrade or replace a few cards in a character’s deck between missions, but there is no meaningful deck building for two reasons: 1) each character is specifically limited to which and how many cards by his primary and secondary class, and 2) that limit is pretty much all the cards that are available anyway! The only real decisions are which “neutral” cards you want. Do you include the knife or the flashlight? The one-use card for strength or dexterity tests? That’s pretty much it.

If you want a game based on building character decks, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a far better bet as a tabletop purchase, iPad purchase, or – on June 15th – PC purchase.

The only advantage of Arkham Horror over Pathfinder is that the missions in Arkham Horror vary the basic structure of what you’re trying to do each mission (find Lita in mission 1, gather as many cultists as you can in mission 2, explore the wood to find where you fight the main baddie in mission 3). Those variations are pretty cool as different kinds of puzzles with different kinds of layouts.

Pathfinder is always built on the idea of searching for the main badguy through multiple stacks of cards representing different locations. But the character development, deck building, character interaction, theming, and mechanics are top notch.



Just want to say I love Pathfinder. I am super excited it’s coming to the PC because my local friends are not consistent enough for game nights to keep an ongoing group going. It was super easy though for people to pick up, groups that have learned several games with me but have never, would never, and couldn’t even think about playing an actual RPG.

For my group, ever Cthulu game has fallen flat so far, Horror, Signs… I considered the Card Game but I decided I’d rather spend that kind of money on something else over having two core sets hanging around here.


Except I would start with one of the later adventure paths if you’re getting the tabletop version. Rise of the Runelords was a fine proof of concept, but Skull and Shackles is already a significant improvement with skills other than combat being much more consistently relevant, character development choices being tougher, the level of challenge being higher from the start, and they’ve only gotten more creative and mechanically interesting in the scenario and card designs. I haven’t actually played Wrath of the Righteous or the Mummy’s Mask adventure paths yet but just reading the rules and character cards for Wrath was very exciting and I have faith that the trend continues. And there’s enough game there on such an aggressive release schedule that I don’t think most people are likely to catch up even if they skip the first path or two.

Unfortunately, Obsidian’s only digitized Rise so far, and I’m not sure they’ve actually released all the adventures for it yet so followups may be a while. But it’s a fine implementation so if that’s your poison, it’s still a good time.


This it he one I have. I enjoy it a lot. The one kind of downer is the monsters/demons are kind of hard to pronounce and therefor not really something you remember very well I guess that can be said for anything that steps outside of something like here’s an orc and there’s a goblin. It seems pretty fun so far. Hell we didn’t even win one of the scenarios but survived so… still made progress and had fun.


So I went on a bit of crazy spree and picked up:

Energy Empire
Guardians of Atlantis ( a MOBA boardgame)


Really, the Arkham Horror card game – and I think even their Lord of the Rings LCG, or maybe the Game of Thrones one, if not both? – is just a half-assed deck-building iteration on this formula:

Which is a complete package without the money grubbing business model.

I’m so glad to hear that! I hope the digital version sells like gangbusters and they get to implement the later iterations, because I think I’m spoiled by the iPad version into thinking of this as a videogame instead of a boardgame.

Speaking of which, check this out!

Paging @jsnell! Who probably already knows about it.



GOT 1st edition was really cool a bot long but i liked the 4 player game.


I love this game. My 11 year old loves it. Everyone should love it. The Deluxe bits are nice and actually help in the gameplay as far as the placement of shops and trading houses as the visual representation of the wooden buildings is superior to the flat, cardboard. I would recommend getting those when/if available. Of course by then, you may be used to looking for the cardboard on the very busy board.

Quick Miniature Market Clearance Sale someone posted on FB.


That’s pretty cheap for a 1-4 gaming, even a deck-builder. I don’t mind most deck builders, but this doesn’t solve the absents of Cthulu. There must be a game out there my group will like with the whole dark mystery, evil gods, investigator theme going. I might even get Alexa set-up with some “mood” music if that helps.