I’ve never heard of this game and now I want it…even knowing I’ll never get round to playing it.
I’ve never heard of this game and now I want it…even knowing I’ll never get round to playing it.
Our 4-player game was quite short by Dune standards at under 90 minutes, but the game did end up abruptly (due to a TRAITOR!! in my ranks) in turn 7 out of 14. I would say the typical 4 player game is 2 to 3 hours, probably 3 to 4 hours for 6 players. It’s not a whomping huge game like Panzer Leader or some of those map-sprawling hex orgies. The length is not in moving fiddly bits as the game is not very fiddly by Avalon Hill standards. The length is really in the human element: bidding, negotiating, staring people down when they attack, trying to figure out who’s got one of your leaders on their secret payroll, that sort of thing.
Just as an example of game design, I feel like it’s worth checking out. Also for people who like Frank Herbert’s Dune, it’s a really well done integration / evocation of the theme and setting. The bad news is, getting your hands on a copy might be hard. Mine was lost years ago due to water damage, but two people in our Sacramento gaming group have copies that have been preserved over the years. The copy we played on Saturday was actually shockingly pristine for a nearly 40 year old game box.
Agreed, Dune is a classic that holds up. Fantasy Flight did a re-make of it called Rex a few years ago which is not as good.
The playing time is highly variable. It’s a 15 turn game and it really can end on ANY turn.
For those who aren’t familiar with this game:
Each faction has special powers. The Bene Gesserit get to try to predict how the game will end. At the start of the game they secretly write down who will win the game, and on which turn. If they are right on both counts, then the Bene Gesserit win the game (and the player they named in the prediction actually loses!)
It’s a pretty dramatic way to win a game.
Which, in a game based around diplomacy, means that for the entire game the other players will be asking “Wait, why did she do that?”
Which is exactly how they should be regarding aid from the Bene Gesserit.
I was asked to join another game of Chaos in the Old World. They needed a fourth, so I said OK, though I probably would have sold my copy if it had not become a collector’s item. Here’s the thing, I like the game much more in theory than in execution. Wild asymmetry is interesting, especially in how that different factions interact. However, tracking a region’s corruption and figuring out wether or not it is about to pop is so clumsy. Plus, some of those regions are tiny and players can’t fit figures, spell cards, and corruption tokens.
About a week later I played the “successor,” Blood Rage. I haven’t liked Blood Rage when I’ve played it in the past. At 3 players, I still did not like Blood Rage. The play feels like a combination of “take that,” “runaway winners,” and “luck of the draw.” I will say the “play” of the game is a lot cleaner than Chaos in the Old World, without having to continually count corruption tokens and adding up domination. Yet, the fact one bad battle can wipe you off the board is not an improvement for me.
So, I’ll talk about a game nothing like the previous two which I am enjoying, Masters of Orion. No, not the classic PC 4x franchise, but what is essentially a tableau builder with action selection. You spend resources to build cards, but you only have 4 systems (columns) to place your cards. Hence, eventually you will have to cover up a previous card and lose its ability, but not its income if it comes with income. Then, at the start of a round after getting your income, the amount of resources determine the number of actions a player gets a round. Actions can be used to build cards, get more cards, turn a card in for resources, etc. There is also “attacking,” which is more annoying and an OK source of points than a disruption of other players.
The theme comes from the variable alien races players can choose and their unique powers. Plus, some of the cards share names with buildings from the games. I have to believe this game was designed with a different theme in mind, and the MoO was pasted on top for name recognition. Regardless, good game is good. Some luck of draw, but lots of options and interesting choices in a 1-2 hour experience.
Finally received my Gloomhaven game (2nd printing). I’m pretty excited but… how the hell am I supposed to organize all these pieces in this giant box?
I ordered this aeons ago and haven’t got anything yet lol.
US orders are just starting to ship. EU ones went out a little bit earlier.
Played Archipelago today at a friend’s place. I’ve been really looking forward to finally trying it out, however my impressions weren’t exactly positive after we finished. I like almost every individual mechanic in the game, but there are just too many of them. I think it would have been fantastic if it had been streamlined a bit, the graphic design made more user-friendly, and the manual re-written to make the rules more clear. Also, why the heck aren’t there any real player aids included in the game? Seriously disappointed by this game.
On the other hand, we played through Imperial 2030 the other night, and had a blast! That game deserves much more attention than it has. It’s basically if Risk and Chicago Express had a baby. It re-affirmed my love for shareholding as a mechanic, and makes me wish there were more games that used it.
2nd printing for US distribution went to a warehouse that’s actually here. I didn’t even know they had that big ole warehouse until I picked it up in person on Friday. They told me that warehouse has been around for about a year, so clearly our lil company, FunAgainGames, that used to actually buy used games and combine them with other used games for a complete game has gotten pretty big.
I have some friends here in Alabama that have made a couple of games and they use Funagain for distribution as well. I keep meaning to ask how that came about.
Are you near Ashland? We drove through there on our way to Portland over a year ago and I stopped to pick up my copy of Scythe! The guys at the warehouse were really nice.
Yep I am. I lived there as a kid. I am in a city close there. Southern Oregon has a number of gems here actually. I was a teen when I first went to FunAgainGames and I bought a used copy of HeroQuest from them… I don’t buy from them often because they really can’t beat the prices of other online but they have some deals and if you want a good game that day, they probably have it.
So there’s another Dead of Winter expansion now, Dead of Winter: Warring Colonies. If you have the original DoW and the “stand-alone expansion” The Long Night, you can combine those two games with this expansion and I guess have two huge colonies fighting it out for survival in an 11 player game, or something crazy like that.
I can’t imagine ever getting enough interested people together for that, but Warring Colonies does function as a “regular” expansion for either of the original stand-alone games too, adding some new survivors, items, crossroads, etc., and I think a couple new play mechanics.
Anyone had a chance to try it? Is it a worthwhile addition to the original game?
Awww. Mine hasn’t shown up still (I ordered the standees because I don’t like the look of player minis and monster standees, and that puts me at the end of EU shipping).
I did get my copy of Kingdom Death Monster, though, and so far I’m really enjoying it, with a couple of caveats: 1- it’s problematic to store since the minis don’t fit back in the box. 2- I could use some expansions, the game design wants more variety than what comes in the main box. I will be working on this if they reopen preorders for second wave shipments, I think. 3- This is really a solo game. I can not fathom playing it co-op. You have no character to identify with long term and many decision require sacrifices that would be problematic playing with other people.
Also still waiting for my Gloomhaven.
My wife and I finally got New Bedford onto the table for a two player game. While we had played the Nantucket card game that was part of the kickstarter in bars, this was our first time with the main game. I really enjoyed it, and love the 12 turn limit. With how long ships can go out to sea, spending time building up your economic engine and such, it really makes the early decisions very important.
I do wonder though if it is really good as a two player game. I think it needs at least three, if not all five with the expansion. That way the town really gets built out and your decisions in the games become even more interesting. As well, with the same 12 turns only, but the limited sea space (and whales) I think the hunting part would become richer and more interesting. As well, with only one other person, if you bring in a whale you can’t pay for, it is more likely someone else in the game could take advantage of your harvest.
We also found that with just two of us, it was easy to jockey for dock positions, which I think will be harder in a larger game. This is definitely one of those games whose dynamics change drastically with the number of players even though the actual rules stay the same.
We’ve started Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 (in addition to Gloomhaven and KD:M- too many campaign games!). We completed the second month (February) last night, after failing our first try. I never got to play the S1 campaign, and am finding this a lot of fun- it’s been years since I’ve played any flavor of Pandemic, though, and that might be helping. it’s got a neat ‘pandemic in reverse’ thing going on, trying to stack up cubes on the spaces while the game tries to deplete them, while also trying to accomplish objectives like exploring the world and re-establishing supply lines and whatnot. I’m excited to see where it goes.
Still waiting on my Gloomhaven KS to arrive! Really looking forward to this one, especially as I now find myself with a pretty regular gaming group these days.