Boardgaming in 2017!


It’s interesting that the idea of a big book of paragraphs isn’t terribly different from cards, with the important exception that dice are doing the randomizing within certain parameters. That’s pretty cool. It gives a game a really solid physical presence, almost makes it feel as substantial as a novel!

One thing I like about the text in Tales of Arabian Nights is that the writing isn’t terrible! I can’t say the same thing about Eldritch Horror, Agents of Smersh, Dead of Winter, and Down Below. Who would have guessed that boardgame designers don’t necessarily make good writers. :)



Heading out in a few minutes to play the last boardgames for 2016. :)

Played Inis which was terrific followed by the coop version of Orleans. Fun night!

Inis is kinda like an awesome version of Blood Rage. It uses a lot of similar concepts but delivers a far more cohesive and engaging experience. Coop Orleans was some good old fashioned mathy boardgame fun. It did boil down to deciding on jobs and coordinating where they overlap, but still was fun from an efficiency standpoint.


Just ordered one of each of the Star Wars Destiny starter sets for my 8 y/o son and I.

Yes it’s collectible but it looks like it’ll be more interesting (for me certainly) than Pokemon, and Star Wars is flavour of the month with my son having been to see Rogue One on Xmas Eve.

I’m sure I’m setting myself up for a booster box purchase at some point but we’ll see how he handles the starters first. It does appear (marginally) more complex than Pokemon but I’m thinking the dice rolling and character recognition will maintain his excitement while he gets to grips with it. ☺️


I’ve been actively playing the Pokémon TCG lately, and reading the rules of this Star Wars game, it seems like FFG managed to make a card game even more luck-based, at any skill level, than the coin flip hell of casual Pokémon TCG play. (Most competitive decks avoid coin flips entirely, outside of occasionally flipping for the two status effects that require it, or cards that have a positive effect regardless of the results of the flip.)


It’s pretty fun and simple enough in mechanics for non-gamers, though still deep enough to deckbuild if you’re into it. I’ve introduced it to a few friends who aren’t really what you’d call gamers, and I think I’ve got a couple of them ready to buy a booster box.

Yeah, there’s a lot of luck involved, but that’s perfect for casuals. They don’t want pore over spoilers and wikis to glean deep strategies. They want to play cards and roll dice…to most people, that’s what gaming is.


I’ll be playing against my 8 y/o so having matches which could swing either way based on a good draw/roll is perfectly fine. He’ll mostly be wanting to use his favourite characters from the films, yelling excitedly when he gets a big roll, and making blaster pistol/lightsabre noises as he acts out each and every hit. :)

I’m hoping it’ll hold my attention more than Pokemon has. We’ve played half a dozen games or so using two starter packs and I’ve been put off by the theme and the 1v1 nature of the battles (only your active Pokemon can use its abilities, which irks me having played a bit of Magic in the past where every creature on the board could usually contribute in some way).

Oh, and the endless trainer cards which allow you to search your deck - I understand why they’re needed but with an 8 y/o it means an awful lot of reading cards and asking Dad to do the reshuffles!

Yep, I’m not looking for deep strategy - just something fun, thematic, and engaging. At some point I’ll introduce him to something a bit more complex but at this age he just wants to use his imagination and hang out with Dad. :)


A lot of the Pokémon starter decks keep the complexity low, but there are quite a few Pokémon that affect the game from the bench! Just for a few specific examples I’ve played against, Octillery has an ability that lets you draw until you have five cards in hand once per turn, Shaymin-EX lets you draw until you have six cards in hand as an enters-the-bench effect (so good that the card in question goes for about $50 each for the physical game; this is part of why I’m glad my preferred deck doesn’t use it!), there are several Pokémon with abilities that reduce retreat costs to zero for Pokémon with a certain type of energy attached, Pokémon that inflict status effects from the bench (usually on both active Pokémon, and used in conjunction with Pokémon that are immune to status effects) and even some ramp cards I ran into while playing with the Keldeo-EX vs. Rayquaza-EX duel decks I bought my girlfriend’s brother for Christmas: Eelektrik, which lets you attach an Electric Energy from your discard pile to something on your bench once a turn, and Blastoise, which lets you play any number of Water Energy from your hand every turn.

As far as the endless fetching and shuffling, that’s part of why I prefer playing the digital version of the game, which handles all of that as seamlessly as you’d expect from a digital card game. As a Magic player, I heavily appreciate the ease of tutoring for specific cards in Pokémon, but I’m also experienced with tournament matches running to time because fetching and shuffling take so long.

I can also appreciate the complexity of some of this stuff being more of an issue for a young/inexperienced player; my group’s ages are 12, 22, and 25, and all of us are Magic players, so we picked up the Pokémon TCG pretty fast, but I can easily understand a younger player just wanting to roll with characters they recognize and not worry about whether or not they can get their engine up and running on turn two consistently.


I’ve recently played a couple games of Crisis. It’s a worker-placement engine-building game and it’s pretty darn fun. It’s gone a little long both times I played though.


OMG, so much Pokemon in this thread! Kill it with fire! :)

@merryprankster, how long did Inis take? It seems like it would be a really short game that just suddenly ends. Does that feel like an accurate assessment?

BTW, I’m now two-for-two in Bora Bora, the Stefan Feld South Pacific Islander game of which I am the undisputed champion! What a nifty system! I love how it dribbles out microgoals that guide the gameplay for each player, which gives it a lot more structure than the usual points salad design. And its just soooo colorful, with really endearing theming about dudes getting tattoos, chicks making jewelry, and everyone going fishing, building huts, and praying to the rules-breaking gods. Unfortunately, it’s got that usual multiplayer solitaire feel (everyone’s nose down in his own tableau, for the most part), but I like it enough that I’m willing to cut it some slack on that front. I’m so glad @Nikolaj tracked this down from my long forgotten wishlist.



I think Inis was about 1.5 hours to play. The ending was a bit abrupt, but the way the game I structured it takes a good bit of reading the table and timing your move to actually win. If you liked Blood Rage but wanted a tighter experience I think Inis is for you. I’d play it again, but area control and drafting aren’t really my favorite mechanisms. It’s not up there in my “must own” category.


Really glad you’re enjoying Bora Bora, Tom. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, that is one of the only Feld games that I still enjoy enough to keep in my collection. I’m surprised how many people dislike it, or say that it is ugly (which is certainly isn’t!).

As for me, I broke out Guild Ball the other day. I recently got the new two-player starter set, and have to say I’m impressed with what you get. Like Blood Bowl, this is a full game in a box and doesn’t require any expanding. Unlike BB, it actually seems to have a bit more depth and replayability out-of-the-box. The gameplay is best described as a weird mix of BB and Warmachine. Unfortunately, it is a bit more complex than BB, and my wife, who has never played miniature wargames, had some trouble understanding it. I think I am going to have to bring this to our FLGS one day and teach it to my Warhammer/Warmachine buddies.

Speaking of Warhammer, I played a 20,000 pt new years game of 40K yesterday that lasted 8 hours and involved 10 players. That was quite an experience, even though my Orks got smashed pretty hard. We ended up losing, but still had a lot of fun. As I was about to leave, I snagged a copy of Spire of Dawn, which a re-packaged Warhammer Fantasy starter that is retailing for a discounted price. I’ve been wanting to try Age of Sigmar for a while, and I figure that this is a great (and cheap) way to give it a shot.


I have Agents of SMERSH because I was super-excited to see something taking the Big Book of Paragraphs approach of Arabian Nights and applying it to a gamier system and a fun pulpy setting. Then I read some random selections of text from the book and lost all interest in playing it. Arabian Nights is nothing terribly special as far as writing goes, but it’s colorful and entertaining. SMERSH seemed downright bland and hard to follow. Still sitting on my shelf…


Wait, did you enjoy or didn’t you?

So, my very first encounter was an “impossible mission.” It didn’t test 1 skill, it was a series of 5 challenges. I passed the first four, but finally failed on the fifth. My reward was injuries and a 2 resolve hit. Ouch! My brother then took his turn, and on his very first encounter, he passed automatically because his character was a female agent who made a diamond smuggler fall in love with him. Unbalanced? Yes. Hilarious as all get out? Yes. Plus, it played in a very manageable 60-90 minutes.


Oops! I did enjoy it. Did!

And, yeah, part of the appeal of these games is their wild swinginess, isn’t it?



My son, who is a big thrift store shopper, got me a copy of Core Worlds. We did not get a chance to play, but I’ve read a few reviews that are high on it. The only downside is that it’s considered “gamer’s game,” so it’s not terribly accessible from what I read. But as far as the game mechanics go it gets high marks.


I like it, but it takes a bit too long. We play it fairly unregularly so that might change for groups that play it more often. It took the first expansiom for it to really grab me, though. It adds some more interesting dynamics with the guilds and some more options in the endgame.


Just finished reading the rules to Gloomhaven. Wow this game seems interesting, maybe a co-op game I’m actually interested in checking out.

It really sounds like it takes the ‘legacy’ game concept and mixes things up a lot. I particularly like that they’ve thought about how to make a game like this actually playable by real humans, so you can have different groups running through the same world (meaning copy of the game), or just drop in for a single scenario.


Thanks for that @WarpRattler. I may browse through the cards my son’s picked up through trading at school to see if there’s anything like that we could substitute into our starter decks.

The Destiny starters won’t be here for another week so we still have a few more Pokemon battles to play till then. :)


Can we switch to the 2017 thread created by Tom (just in case someone new comes to the forums)

I still have a lot to learn with Discourse; how can I paste a thread without a quote appearing?


Starting the year out right. 6 person Railroad Tycoon, which my wife won a narrow victory by emoting a few cities a turn before I went nuts (or my brother, either way another turn or two and she finishes 3rd).

Then a game of Formula D on the Nevada map we got my brother for Christmas. That map was ridiculously fun, and the question was if we would all survive.

Spoiler, we didn’t.

Ended with a late night we don’t want to go to bed but don’t want to think King of Tokyo.

Today looks like X-wing. 2017 starting out right.