Boardgaming in 2017!


Ooh, some nice tidbits in there I didn’t know about, Sharpe! Unfair looks really cool. I would have assumed at first glance it was a family (i.e. kiddie) game.

Glad you’re digging Scythe. For a few reasons, it’s hard to imagine anyone not liking it, but chief among them is the pacing. For such an intricate game, the systems are super accessible and it’s never not far from your turn. It even throws in more activity with the grain recruiting, where you can benefit from players on either side of you. Even when it’s not your turn, you get stuff! I also love how it models combat as a matter of opportunity for one player without necessarily being a huge setback for the other. That’s something you almost never see in any game. What a great great design.

Have you tried the add-on? No new systems added, but the two new factions have some nifty gimmicks. Certainly not a must have, but a fun-to-have. I’m not sure how I feel about Scythe adding stuff like airships in the next add-on. Fantasy Flight has made me permanently and forever skeptical of add-ons to games I already like!

I’ve actually warmed up to it. But I think it took the Sunken Treasures expansion. Seems to me the base game rewards boot-based decks too much (?). The underwater areas on the Sunken Treasures slow boots down. They also create a sense of urgency and a new risk/reward trade-off with the possibility of getting trapped underwater. Drowning sucks.
Water even feeds into the stealth system. If you drop into the water from too high, you make a big noise. But if you walk down to the shore and slip in quietly, you’re not as likely to attract the dragon’s attention. Cute stuff, with more opportunities for funny magic items gimmicks with the cards.

So I just looked it up and, hoo boy, does it sound BO-ring. But then I looked at the artwork and realized it’s not quite so dry as the official synopsis made it sound. It doesn’t look very easy to get a copy, though. Stop telling me about good games that are hard to find!

In terms of what I’ve played lately, I’m not a big fan of worker placement games that don’t offset the worker placement with some other system, preferably more interactive than the usual cock-blocking. So I loathe Manhattan Project. Ugh. Simply can’t stand it. Which is why I haven’t tried Manhattan Project: Energy Empire. Even though I know it’s not based on the Manhattan Project design, it just evoked too many unpleasant memories of Manhattan Project. And Power Grid, another game I hate because it’s just math math math and more math. Kill me now.

But we played Energy Empire this week and I love it! The pollution system, the global events, the card theming, the interplay of manpower and energy. It’s still a bit more “multiplayer solitaire” than I like, with everyone’s nose down in his own tableau. But this is still a game I’d buy if my friend didn’t own it.

Oh, I guess I should boldface the name, since that’s what all the cool kids in the thread are doing. Manhattan Project: Energy Empire. There.



Xenon Profiteer is great. It feels like the designer started with the idea that trashing cards is overpowered in deck-building games and decided to make trashing the central mechanism of the game.


Really looking forward to the Champions of Midgard KS being delivered (base game + expansion) since my wife really likes Lords of Waterdeep. Clank! was also a hit with our group after a couple games.

I just finished building my Gloomhaven insert and work will be back to normal this week so a game of Nemo is in my near future too. Hopefully tomorrow or Tuesday.


Well, while we’re listing our most-played games lately, here’s mine.

Gloomhaven is currently once every week or two. I try to keep it out of our usual Tuesday night meetup, so it can be somewhat sporadic. A few characters are just hitting their strides, and the various plotlines are ramping up nicely- that said, the ever-shifting group seems to be all about exploring every plotline it can evenly, without barreling down any one track. But eh, we’re having fun even if not making fast progress.

Formula De is back in fashion. I got the group hooked on it a few years back, and we ran a league with all the bells and whistles (time trials, weather, etc) for a while. It went away for a bit after that, but it’s been back the last few months. The folks arriving early-ish for the meetup tend to start a game when there seems to be a critical mass (4-8 players, though it plays to 10), and play until the rest of the gang shows up. Gets everyone in a good mood.

A Feast For Odin and The Colonists are getting a lot of play as the ‘heavy’ games of the evening more often than not, and Great Western Trail on the nights when those aren’t being played. I like all three, in pretty much that order. Odin keeps beguiling me with its obvious depths and strategies that I can’t fathom (how in hell do you make exploring islands viable at all?), The Colonists is way-too-long brain-burning fun, and GWT is kind of starting to get stale after 8 or so plays.


The way Tom talks about Energy Empire I gotta wonder if he’s played CO2 yet.

Tom Mc


was the table part of the Kickstarter? It certainly looks like a stretch goal ;)


I love Feast and GWT, but don’t get to play enough due to limited time, but I have people in my group that like each. They also take a significant amount of time to teach.

I have The Colonists and intend to learn it and at least convince some in the group to play one Era, but I have been slow in getting to it.

I just picked up Perdition’s Mouth: Abysal Rift in like new condition for $40. I don’t know why I did that with Descent just getting started and Gloomhaven on the way. It is similar in weight and genre and looks really cool, plus I was a sucker for a Convention flea market bargain having bought very little.

Having just gotten back into hobby gaming a couple years ago, I imagine I am doing what others do. Buying games that are coming out as well as catching up on ones you may have missed upon release and simultaneously thinking you will fall into all of this spare time with an available table at home where you can play all of this shit and catch up on your back log.


It pains me why they never released the expansion for the iOS version.


Whenever I do a Kickstarter, I usually have any “your name” stuff done under Sarah’s name. So here’s Sonky McMaster going into the official Gloomhaven development set owned by Isaac Childres. Ol’ Sonky “DOOM POWDER” McMaster hahaha


I really agree with this assessment. The game is pretty fun and satisfying, but nothing too impressive. But the theme is so well executed that it really raises this game quite a bit above it’s peers. Just played it yesterday and had a great time crushing everyone under France’s brilliant nuclear wasteland.


Played both Scythe (finally!) and Energy Empire in the las week and I enjoyed both. I think Energy Empire is the real winner for me though. Definitely my favorite worker placement game to date. The balance between pollution and energy is pretty fun. EE is also a great weight for me for a Euro, being complex enough to be interesting to my but not overwhelming to me.

Pretty pleased that my copy of Nemo’s War just shipped too! Pretty excited to give that a go!


Quick question for the group: I’m reading Redwall to my oldest daughter (8) and she loves it, I’ve heard that Mice and Mystics is kind of like the Redwall board game, is that true? Is this a good game for an 8 year old and her dad? She loves stories, books, animals, and all things games.


I picked up a copy of Magic the Gathering “Duel Decks” this morning, looking for something to play with my wife in the off-hours when we’re hanging out at a hotel in a few days. Neither of us have played Magic before, but the clerk assured me that if we can play Hearthstone (we both do), we’ll have fun with this. And it’s easy to learn, and everything we need to get going is in the box (2 pre-made decks, right up our alley).

The problem is, there’s no freaking instructions in the box on how to actually PLAY Magic. There’s a short little cheat-sheet, but it’s using a bunch of terminology I’m not familiar with, and I really have no idea WTF I’m doing.

I guess I’ll have to bone up by watching watching a video tutorial or something before our trip.

What a stupid package. It’s obviously meant for brand new players, what, with the pre-made decks and all, but what’s the point of all that if they don’t even teach you how to fucking play? I guess they assume every new player will have an experienced player sitting there to show them the ropes. And I guess it doesn’t occur to them that if they’re selling a 1v1 duel package intended for new players who don’t have the cards or the willpower to collect and craft an entire new deck all their own, that maybe, just maybe, we kinda sort of need instructions on how to actually play too.


The various Duel Deck products are decidedly not intended for brand-spanking-new players - rather, they’re meant for players who are familiar enough with the game to understand a few of the stranger interactions that have come up over the game’s almost-25-year history, and would be interested in a standalone preconstructed product based around a specific theme and featuring some older cards that are a little too powerful for Standard, but fine in supplementary products. That said, once you learn the core rules, the Duel Decks are usually easy to pick up and play, and any weird stuff you might run into is almost certainly thoroughly explained online.

I’m guessing if you picked it up at a regular retail store (as opposed to an LGS or online retailer that might have a few older ones in stock), you got one of four specific recent Duel Deck boxes: Zendikar vs. The Eldrazi (has a couple of odd interactions, but isn’t too bad), Blessed vs. Cursed (slightly above average for complexity for these boxes in general), Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis (probably the most straightforward of these four, though unlike the rest, you’ll need to read the rules for how Planeswalkers work), and Mind vs. Might (the most complex Duel Decks box they’ve ever released, featuring an actual combo deck and a highly synergistic creature deck). All of those except Mind vs. Might are totally fine to pick up and play, and shouldn’t have too much that would be totally baffling to anyone who’s played other CCGs; if you got Mind vs. Might, you’re in for a somewhat rough time as a brand new player, but once you’ve learned a bit, both decks are a joy to play, with some very cool cards and the most powerful mechanic in Magic’s history.

Let me know if you need help with anything!


I picked up Mind vs Might.

I watched a couple tutorials on Youtube to at least figure out how turns are structured, starting hand, hand card limits, the concept of tapping cards etc. That will have to do for now. I might watch a couple more tomorrow, but I have the barest basics for now. I assume the card text will provide any further instruction once they’re in play.

I figure I’ll run the Mind deck, since it seems a little more complex, in that you have to sit patiently for a bit before cheating out expensive minions, and I’ll have my wife run the Might deck, since it looks like straight up early aggro, and might be easier to figure out sooner.

We’re just playing against eachother, so I’m not especially worried about making ridiculous plays as we learn.

And yea, I stopped in a local store for the first time. I was hoping to look at board games, turns out they just deal in TCGs.


Even as someone who loves TCGs, it’s always disappointing to find out a shop only carries them (or miniatures games). Along with just being frustrating for people who might want to buy or play other games, it’s usually not healthy for the shop in the long term, unless they have a very strong online sales presence.

The two biggest things to note with the Mind deck are that storm counts spells cast by all players during that turn and that you don’t always need to be concerned about getting combat value from your creatures. The Mind deck can easily win without casting any creature above three mana; in fact, it’s technically able to kill by turn five, regardless of what the opponent does and without entering combat, by way of the two cost-reduction creatures, burn spells, and the storm mechanic. That said, this would require quite the nut draw, and the deck is far more likely to win via the creatures that generate tokens whenever you cast noncreature spells, the creature-token-generating storm spell Empty the Warrens, or just cheating out the big spells and creatures. It’s also worth noting that using Snap to remove a creature during combat can totally blow out an attacking opponent - bouncing Lovisa Coldeyes or a large Rubblebelt Raiders can very easily save your ass, and since Snap lets you untap two lands, it leaves mana open if you’ve got any other instant-speed spells you want to cast that turn. Later on in the game, if you’ve got six mana open, you can cast Quicken and then cast the sorcery Temporal Fissure at instant speed, taking advantage of any spells your opponent may have cast during the turn for a higher storm count to bounce more permanents - unlike Snap, Temporal Fissure can bounce things like lands or the very powerful artifact Coat of Arms. Finally, when casting either Snap or Temporal Fissure at any time, note that the many creature tokens your opponent can generate will disappear forever if you bounce them! Despite the set including physical cards to represent various creature tokens, they don’t count as cards and can’t exist in any zone except the battlefield.

The Might deck is for the most part straightforward aggro, but it’s got a few tricks of its own - for example, despite blue being the color of counterspells, the red/green Might deck is the only one of the pair that gets a counterspell of any sort (the one-of Guttural Response, which can blow out many of the Mind deck’s strategies for just one mana). It also includes several spells with flashback, so the Mind player will need to pay attention to what the Might player has in their graveyard - even with an empty hand, the Might player can cast Sylvan Might or Beast Attack from their graveyard during combat and run over the Mind player or make a surprise blocker. Finally, just like the Mind deck, the Might deck is capable of winning incredibly fast (unsurprising for an aggro deck, of course), and unlike the Mind deck, it’s able to do so somewhat consistently. The deck is capable of getting a large number of creatures out very quickly, and with Lovisa Coldeyes (who gives almost every other creature in the deck a sizable boost and haste) and Coat of Arms (which can win the game on the spot, depending on what creatures you’ve played so far), the Might player can roll over the Mind player with ease.

A couple of things for both players to note: Coat of Arms affects all creatures, not just its controller’s creatures, so if the Mind player controls both of their Goblin Electromancers and the Might player controls Zo-Zu the Punisher, all three Goblins will get +2/+2, and the Mind player can easily benefit quite a bit more from Coat of Arms if they’ve got one of their token generators out, as each additional token of the same type will boost the others more and more. Also, since the decks share a color, there’s some neat customization you can do between the two without having to buy any extra cards - for example, after you’ve played with the decks a bit, you could try swapping the Mind deck’s Volcanic Vision for the Might deck’s Beacon of Destruction if you want to go harder on a burn theme in the Mind deck while giving the Might deck a way to deal with the large number of creature tokens the Mind deck can generate, or trade the Mind deck’s Young Pyromancers for the Might deck’s Burning-Tree Emissary to make the Mind deck’s storm gameplan work better while giving the Might deck another way to go wide.


That’s a good read. I’ll have to save the post for when we get into the game in a few days.


Yes, Mice and Mystics is clearly inspired by Redwall, though the backstory is that you are humans turned into mice.

It has nice narrative elements, it’s a pretty simple coop, should be right in your wheelhouse.


Played Scythe and Clank! again last night. Good games of both, but I think I’ve reached “peak Scythe” while Clank! is on it’s way up on my gaming-O-meter.

I’ve played enough Scythe that the initial complexity of the game is being replaced by the sense that winning really comes down to pumping up popularity and timing the sixth star right. Early on, Scythe’s layered approach to engine building and it’s integration of engine building and map control make it seem incredibly deep. However, I’ve been on a winning streak and I’ve won using a whole bunch of methods (military, econ, aggro, turtling) that all ended up with me pushing for a sixth star when my popularity was high and I was choosing the timing. Generally, winning with a Move action to spread my map control and getting that sixth star for a successful battle. It doesn’t seem to matter what method I use to get 5 stars and to get high on the popularity; once I’m there, grabbing the sixth star seems to guarantee victory. I’m not saying this makes Scythe bad; it’s great. But I feel like the mystery has been peeled back.

As for Clank!, last night’s game was still just the base game, without the water expansion, but it was a very good and very tense game. I made it into a race by grabbing a 20 point treasure and getting the hell out of dodge quickly, but I timed it poorly; I got out while the other 3 players were lightly damaged so although I dropped the hammer of dragon wrath on 1 of the 3, one of the other two made it fully out, and the other made it to the upper part of the dungeon and still scored. Interestingly, it was the guy who made it out of the deep dungeon but not all the way out who won; he was slower than 2 of us, but had a lot more skill cards and ended up winning by buying cards like gems that give victory points. Right now, I’m really liking Clank! with it’s mix of deck building and dungeon map crawling.


I think you’ve sold me on this. Sounds like a blast! I wish it went up to 5. I find my groups are at 5 players a lot recently, which is a frustrating number for a lot of board games. (Mostly we play Archipelago, A Study in Emerald, Concordia, and Energy Empire at those counts, which isn’t all bad, but I’d love a bigger well to draw from.)