Boardgaming in 2017!


I think I slightly prefer Rebellion, but I wish Forbidden Stars had gotten an expansion and not Rebellion (because other than the new combat rules I find very little about that expansion attractive, while, well, Tyranids).

Also, Forbidden Stars plays well with two. There’s no trading, so it’s a fast strategy game that’s it’s usually over in 1 or 1.5hrs (because one big mistake and the game’s over). Twilight Imperium not playing with two is going to make it harder to bring to the table…


I picked up Scythe…well, the Tabletop Simulator version. Does anyone here play?


Hmmm. I would be fine with choosing a card or with rerolls, etc. Interesting.


Amazon’s got some games on sale today:

Apologies for that link, that’s via a tweet from Kinja Deals so hopefully it lands you in the right place.

From the sale, I own and recommend Unfair, Dead of Winter, and Kingdomino. I ordered Citadels, The Manhattan Project - Energy Empire, and Dead of Winter - The Long Night. I know The Long Night isn’t supposed to be as good as Dead of Winter, but I love Dead of Winter so much I need to own it to satisfy my curiosity.


I’m interested in Twilight Imperium 4 since I adore TI3 and the prospect of a version that might make it to the table more is pretty appealing to me. That said, at $150 and very little discount on FFG games these days I intend to wait for more info/reviews. I don’t need another 8+ hour version of Twilight Imperium since it’s almost impossible to get a game like that to the table.

I also played another game of Scythe last night, and that game continues to impress. I’ve got 3 games played now and I’m starting to understand the game a bit better. It’s definitely getting more fun the more I play.

I’d also second the recommendation of Energy Empire, especially on sale. It’s a really great light to mid weight worker placement and the theme does a good job of tying it together for newer or casual players. It allows for thought and choice, without being a total brain burn. Definitely plan to order a copy for myself since I find having some lighter stuff fun, especially in a mixed group. Not everyone wants to spend 12 hours conquering the Galaxy, though I can’t fathom why not.


Several of these games have already sold out at the sale price. Sorry if you were looking to get a bargain on vanilla Dead of Winter.


Announced. Looks pretty cool - I wonder if I can just use the prepainted minis I already have.

Announcing Star Wars™: Legion, a miniatures game of infantry battles across the galaxy! #StarWars #Legion #miniatures @starwars

— Fantasy Flight Games (@FFGames) August 18, 2017


I’ve played a couple games of Fading Glory solo the last week. Its a combo box of four Napoleon 20 battles that was released by GMT 5 years ago. Its a real great system, and is a fairly lightweight wargame (relatively speaking). The basic rules are pretty standard chip and counter rules, but they have been streamlined so that games can be played with only around 20 counters. I highly recommend the system for anyone who is interested in hex and counter wargames.

I also tried to break out The US Civil War, but didn’t even make it through a full turn. It is probably the heaviest game in my collection, and I still haven’t fully internalized the rules. The map in that game is amazing through, and weighs a ton!


Thought I’d never see the day of this game getting a reprint. But here it is, Endeavor 2nd edition in 2018:


Hey @sharpe, I played my second game of Unfair tonight. The first game was with my not-very-experienced board gamers (a group I include myself in), and we definitely all had fun. Tonight was with the guys from work that game a bunch. I had a good time both games, and my coworkers generally seemed to enjoy it too, though the “expert” of the group pointed out the game seemed to be very luck based.

Has that been a problem in your experience so far, or is there enough depth in the strategy to keep the whole thing from feeling random?


I don’t see it as very luck based. It is true that the Funfair and Unfair events can have differential impacts but they are not changing and can also be planned for. Every negative act (Injunction, Inspection, Invasian) hase corresponding defences. Also if you are waiting for the last card you need to score a big blueprint on the final turn you probably did not plan that well. Also, as to get targeted by other players, that’s not random, that’s reading people.

What was your friend referring to, in particular?


Well the Fair/Unfair city cards don’t seem as easy to protect against as the Injunction/Inspection/Intrusion things that show up in Event cards. One player got burned on the final round by the city card that closes all thrill rides. He had three or four of those I think, I had none, another player only had one.

There are obviously ways to open attractions yourself, so there do seem to be defenses or reactions against most everything, but there’s a lot that can happen. In my very limited (again, only played twice) experience, it looks like it would be hard to make quick progress developing your park and start building up defenses (staff that can counter things or event cards to hang onto in your hand). So I’m sympathetic to his perspective.

But then I browsed some BGG posts and it looks like the designers contend you really can have viable strategies and defenses and that it’s not as wholly up to luck as it might look at first.

Bottom line, I really like the game even in this first two plays, I’ll keep pushing people to play it regardless. But it was interesting to hear that perspective from the guy that plays a ton of other games so I was curious what you thought.


The Funfair/Unfair cards are also Injunction/Inspection/Intrusion attacks and can be defended against just like an Event card. If you folks weren’t aware of that, then I could see the game seeming luck dependent. But the defenses that work against Events also work against Funfair/Unfair cards (which are actually considered a “City Event” card - so they count as Events).


Oh hey, the specific card I was talking about from the Pirate deck that closes thrill ride was an Inspection card, you’re right. I didn’t realize that when we were playing (again, I didn’t have any thrill rides anyway!).

But there are definitely city cards that aren’t Inspection/Intrusion/Injunction cards. Public Condemnation, for example:

Close all sideshows—pretty similar to shutting down all thrill rides—and not able to defend against this. You’d just have to have your own way to re-open them.


Finally got Apocrypha to table last night. For fans of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Apocrypha will feel simultaneously quite familiar and yet very distinct. It’s early days, of course, but I think it might well be a better game overall, unless you’re specifically looking to simulate the Pathfinder experience through a card game.

You play characters who have been awakened to the supernatural side of the world, known collectively as saints. Each saint has ratings between 1 and 4 in each of four stats (Body, Mind, Soul and Rage), each stat located on one side of their character card, a hand size, and a number of Omen cards that are added to their deck at the start of each scenario. They also have two unique ongoing powers and ratings in a couple of skills. Each saint also has a “halo” which consists of eight card positions around their character card. The main things that “slot” into the halo are memory fragments (which give you a one shot or ongoing power and a big whack of flavor text) and deaths (which lock the slot and eventually kill you permanently), but there are other cards that may temporarily go there. They sell a card binder that makes this easier to manage, especially between sessions.

One of the biggest differences between Apocrypha and PACG is the dice system. Apocrypha uses a set of 20 colored d6s, four per stat (color coded to match) and four white bonus dice. When you go to perform a check, you take your stat rating worth of dice of that color, and if you have a corresponding skill you take that skill’s rating in white dice. You can also get bonus dice from other sources, and you can boost your dice pool with cards, but you can never have more dice than the game makes available, so unless you can use an effect to specifically add dice associated with a different stat than you’re using for the check, most pools will top out at 8 dice (four stat and four bonus). You can also have one or more saints assist depending on where that player is relevant to the stat you’re using, potentially including yourself. The benefit is that you get to reroll a number of dice equal to that player’s rating in the stat you’re using. The penalty is that you draw a “mutation” card and roll dice equal to the number of saints assisting, taking the lowest result, to see what that mutation card does to the check. Finally, you roll your dice pool and keep the highest 3. At this point you can use effects to manipulate dice in a bunch of different ways including rerolls, flipping the die to the opposite side, adding flat bonuses or penalties to your result, lowering your target number, causing dice to explode (i.e. be rerolled and added to your original result), etc. This makes checks feel significantly more fraught than in PACG since adding dice gives you more chances to roll well but does not guarantee a baseline addition to the end result. It also gives a lot more possibilities for card effects messing with the results.

There are some other interesting innovations. For example, each scenario uses a combination of Structure cards that define a wider array of possible game parameters than the PACG default “move freely between X locations hunting a villain. once you trap and defeat the villain, you win”. That’s one possible approach in Apocrypha, but there’s also the structure “At the Stronghold” which takes the decks from every location specified by the scenario and piles them together at one location, preventing anyone from moving and only allowing the location to be sealed by the scenario’s criteria, not the location. Or “Duel”, which prevents you from confronting the Master (Villain, in PACG terminology) until the deck is almost empty, automatically avoiding them if they come up before that and reinvestigating.

Also, you don’t have a default investigate step. Rather, you must play an Omen card to do so - and these can be Hope omens, which give you some advantage to that investigation, or Doom, which penalize you in some way. You start with a random set shuffled into your deck, but most Structures have you advance the timer by actually drawing and taking the Omen cards that compose your clock deck. (Some also mix other things into the clock.)

They didn’t print individual cards for every single henchman this time, either. Instead you get 3 Master archetype cards and 16 Minion archetype cards, and the scenario will tell you which True Threats are encountered when you encounter those cards. And boy do those enemies not pull any punches. Whew. Even Minions have some pretty horrifying powers and the Master we fought was nailbitingly tough every time.

I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to playing more. Of course, it’s competing with Gloomhaven so it may be a bit.


Sounds very interesting! Are the characters different? Tell me more about “deaths” that you slot, por favor?


Each character has a different arrangement of stats, different skills, and two unique powers. So yes. For example, the promo character I’m using, One, has 4 Mind (left), 3 Body (top), 2 Soul (right), and 1 Rage (bottom), Conjure 1, Resist 1, and Sense 2. It can also automatically avoid any encounter during the Avoid step, and discard a Body or Rage gift card to use Mind instead of Rage in a Rage roll. Another saint is a lucky gambling grandma, who has high Soul, can reattempt a roll to close a location (seal a nexus, in this game’s terms) that someone else has failed, and can spend a card to flip a die after rolling.

If you are in a position where you are out of cards in your deck and would need to draw more, in PACG you would die. In Apocrypha, you “fade” and put a death card (each of which has a skull and a few unique lines of creepy text) by your character. You can keep playing but at the end of the mission, if your “choir” of saints has lost the mission, you slot the death card and you can never put anything else in that slot. If you would slot a ninth death that saint is dead permanently. If you win, you are rewarded with memory fragments, at least one per player. If you faded during the mission you can sacrifice an earned fragment to put the death back in the box. If you don’t, you slot it and it’s there permanently, etc.


In continuing discussion of Unfair, If they ever revise the design I think they should change all the negative Events to have some kind of defense, in addition to the re-opening ability.

So, with the current design, there is an element of luck, but I don’t believe it is game changing. For example, your friend was unhappy with the event that closed all thrill rides, but what did that really do? He lost the income from thrill rides for that turn, which reduces your victory points from gold. However, you can still build upgrades on a closed ride and still work towards blueprint and icon victory points.


So what is the general thought on Unfair?
I picked it and Lorenzo up for about $50 dollars off an amazon sale. Also did anyone pick up TI4? I think I’m going to break down and pick it up. I loved 3 though only played it 2 times and this seems to have at least made it a little quicker.


Sharpe and I both really like it, though he’s played it more than I have.