Boardgaming in 2017!


[quote=“sharaleo, post:113, topic:127711, full:true”]Hmmm, I have a line on a copy of 2nd ed. for $40, is it worth picking up? How does it compare to 1st ed.?

It’s just more streamlined. I just loved a lot of things on 1st edition that are not there anymore. But as a pure system (balance, accesibility) it might be even better than 1st. It lost some of the magic, though.


I’m just going by the rules books. The core game says fleet sizes are 300 points (impossible with just the “core” game, by the way). The Corellian Conflict suddenly decides it’s 400 points. That may very well be a product of the tournaments, but either way it goes to Fantasy Flight’s crappy balancing or their business model.

They’re pretty much separate games in that 2nd edition is missing so much of what made A Study in Emerald great. It’s a simplified card game lifted from the full board game, only loosely based on how the full game plays. I imagine it was so they could sell a cheaper version (?), or maybe because the rules in the first edition are a bit of a bear, mainly because they’re not very well written.

Now I can’t speak to whether 2nd Edition is any good, since I haven’t played it. But having read the rules, I can say it’s a real stretch to call it a 2nd Edition when it’s missing so much of the 1st Edition.

Oh, I wasn’t criticizing you for having it! I love your enthusiasm for X-Wing, and I love that you don’t mind having a completely separate version of the Millennium Falcon. And more importantly, I completely understand. I accidentally ordered two copies of the Imperial corvette. When they arrived, my immediate instinct was to send one back. Then I thought, “Oh, wait, I can use this!”

As for Fantasy Flight doing it “because it’s what the community wanted”? Dude. Please. Do you know why Philip Morris makes cigarettes? Do you know why Clash of Clans sells $49.99 gem packs? Do you know why there are nickel slot machines in casinos? Because the communities want them!

-Tom, proud owner of two (2!) Imperial corvettes


Funny you mention Wing Leader. I’m putting together a big online order including some of @CraigM’s recommendations for X-Wing and I’m buying Supremacy. (I bought Victories at a GMT warehouse event about a year ago.) The similarities haven’t escaped me. :)

Another thing I’m very close to pushing the button on is Comanchería.

@tomchick I’ve seen you posting on the BGG board in my research on that game. Thumbs up or down so far? :) Or do I need to wait for a review? I haven’t played Navajo Wars.


Oh, definitely thumbs up for Comancheria. I’m in the middle of putting together a video runthrough. I got through a full game this week only to discover there was a glare on the enemy instruction display that made it unreadable. That’s a substantial part of the gameplay, so it pretty much made the whole video unusable. So much for that playthrough. So I’m shooting that part of the video again this weekend. Hopefully I’ll have it up by Monday morning.

But thumbs up for Comancheria. I don’t think I like it as much as Navajo Wars, but I really like it.



You want board games? Fine, I played Quartermaster General, 1914 for the first time tonight. Considering how much I’ve enjoyed the previous games in the QMG series, this one was a no brainer for me.

The basic rules are actually simpler than the original. Now, supply asks simply if you can trace it back to your capital. Units don’t die when out of supply. No need for shore support for navies either.

However, the card play itself has gotten more complicated. Now, EVERY card can be played as a response card, in a separate game step. You get two chances to play cards on your turn, your play step and your prepare step. Every card has a main affect similar to previous QMG games, and a secondary “response” effect. For example, Build Army cards have a reinforce icon, which means you can reveal them when one of your units is attacked to keep it alive. Of course, the attacker can reveal a “sustain battle” card to keep it going, and back and forth it goes. Kind of thematic, lots of cards being played, but the board changes slowly after the initial land grab is complete.

Another thing borrowed from the Alternate Histories Expansion is players controlling multiple countries. Austrians and Ottomans are controlled by the same player, as are United States and United Kingdoms, and Italy and France. This means separate build and battle cards.

Also what is very strange about this game the player count (3 v 2). This appears to be a recipe for unbalanced play, but Germany has many really powerful cards in its deck that give it multiple actions. It’s ally Austria (and the Ottomans in the same deck) are less active, but probably have the best scoring opportunities of any side.

I won’t call the game scripted after only one playthrough, and that is probably to harsh a word, but in the original WW2 game almost any sort of ahistorical thing could occur. Japan in the Western United States? Sure. Italy in India? Why not. Russia conquering Italy? Hey, it was the soft underbelly from above, too. 1914, however, seems to encourage certain paths as optimal, and I imagine a lot of games will end up looking very samey.

Regardless, I definitely enjoyed it, and it was notably less driven by luck than its predecessors.


Thanks for that! I’ve seen the QMG games mentioned before but have always barely skimmed the posts as the game name makes it sound very dry and not really the preferred style of game in my household.

Your post made me check out write ups on the original to find out what the differences you mentioned above mean.

One consideration is whether it might be a way to help my kids (15 to 18yrs old) move on from Risk when they want to play a conquest game. They play all kinds of games. But when it comes to world conquest, they are still as addicted to Risk now as when they were younger, much to my despair. But I think we’ve all been there in our teenage years. :)

Having read about the focus on area control and supply lines, I’m not sure I’ll be able to hook them on QMG. The focus is not on the trenches and the actual fighting. But it sounds like the 1914 version does add some interesting interactions with the prepared cards.

I’ve read another write up where players seem to complain the game does feel a bit more scripted than the base version. Not sure whether that impacts multiple replays.

One thing I liked is that it seems the scoring only happens every few rounds. One of the complaints I read about the old game is that the constant VP book keeping could get tedious.

In any case, thanks for the write up. I’ll try and wait until some more video reviews appear and keep it on my list of purchase candidates.



I would suggest Kemet as it is all about attacking and then attacking some more with the added feature of unique abilities as a player purchases upgrades etc. Cry Havoc is supposed to be good too and I own but have not yet played it.

Another great game for risk players is Nexus Ops. That may be a game you want to try before Kemet.

If there was a progression map:

Risk > Nexus Ops > Kemet (maybe Cyclades as an alternative - same designers as Kemet; not sure if Cry Havoc is now the thing to play after or instead of Kemet).

I would say first game of Kemet with three players figure about 2.5 hours for first game (maybe three but you will get quicker once everyone knows the rules).

The reason I like Kemet is that a player can come back. I have seen players in last and second to last place almost win the game on the last turn (both of them). So you always feel like you have a shot and stay engaged in the game.

Shut Up & Sit Down has a good episode on Kemet.


Kemet is great, but it has a huge design idiosyncrasy that can make it a tough sell: a new player has to stand up under an avalanche of choice from the very first turn. A fundamental pillar of the gameplay is the tech tree. Right off the bat, there are about fifty techs to choose among. These techs define the gameplay. They’re all available quickly. It’s overwhelming enough to make a choice, much less learn how they interact.

From my review:

Actually understanding the game means wrapping your head around the techs. All the techs. Not just the ones you have. You have to grok the entire tree before you can play in earnest. That guy got Charge!, but then that guy got Defense!, so now you’re a natural target unless you get the last Defense! Or do you go straight to the Blades of Neith? Of course, once the Ancestral Elephant and Royal Scarab arrive on the scene, the temptation to pick up the Deep Desert Snake is enormous. On the other hand, how sweet it is to be the guy with the Mummy and Vision. Couple that with Divine Wounds and it doesn’t really matter if some other jerk has Prescience. Until you can think along those lines, you’re not playing Kemet. And even then, until you’re past the hardest difficulty hump in any boardgame — a willingness to be aggressive — you’re not playing Kemet well.

The system itself is great, and one of the reasons it’s great is what geewhiz mentions about the fluidity of battle. Players fight a lot and losing a fight doesn’t mean a painful setback (Scythe is also very good about this!). It’s a really elegant game and it’s super easy to teach with some simple intuitive gameplay system. But, oy, that tech tree!



I agree with geewhiz that Quartermaster General (the WWII one) is a great idea for your kids, but there’s a problem: it’s a six-player game. Risk supports any number, but Quartermaster General is either two players managing three sides each – which can be a handful until you learn the game – or six players with their own factions. For six players, it’s really fantastic, and really accessible.

And don’t be fooled by the supposed emphasis on supply. It’s pretty straightforward, so long as you can help new players wrap their heads around the special rules for navies. Woe betide the new player taking control of Japan and forgetting how difficult it is to project naval force with only three armies!



Kemet is definitely going to be more fun around the end of second or at third game once you know the upgrades and can make a plan based on what people purchase.

Quartermaster General is a great game but as Tom states best at 2 or 6 players. I have played it with 4 with more experienced players playing two factions; some factions can make sense to play together such as Italy and Germany so it is doable once players are more experienced. I would prefer 2 or 6 but would not turn it down if only had 4.


Thanks, I bought it!


There’s a bit of a delay in shipping atm at GMT. I bought mine over a month ago and it’s still not been posted.

They replied to an email I sent them asking about the delay, saying they’re clearing all P500 orders first and that’s taking some time.


Not sure whether to put this here or in the KS thread.

The Kickstarter for Kingdom Death: Monster just ended. 12.4 Million dollars. That makes it the 4th-most funded KS in history, and the top boardgame KS by almost 4 million- the previous top spot being held by the Exploding Kittens project. That’s insane.

I myself only went in for the $60 basic pledge to upgrade my current set. There were a few expansions that looked neat, but those were mostly the ones that expanded my existing stuff, and I haven’t even played a lot of that content yet. Not to mention that none of the new stuff will even ship for at least 3 years. That’s just crazy, especially for such a middling game system.

I honestly just think most people were swept up in the frenzy of ‘good deals’. After they start to get their product, I think a lot will have buyer’s remorse.


First boardgame of 2017 was Zombicide with my cousin and her husband who were in from Germany. Much fun was had by all as things went hilariously wrong. Zombicide really is a terrifically fun game for people who enjoy a comedy of errors.


My experience with Kickstarter and boardgames makes me want to spent more on board games in that platform. And those i didn’t KS I often purchase later like Zombiecide (and I am not a miniatures kind of gal at all).

My experience with video games on the platform makes me likely to spend a lot less.

I guess my point is. I think the platform is not only great for boardgames, I’d be curious if those campaigns actually deliver more. I know there’s been some playing card kind of issues, but I’ve not heard of a big board game campaign fall flat… yet.


Most KS boardgames don’t make much- I think 3 of the other top-five projects were for Pebble smart watches (and one of those is failing to deliver). It seems like most of the ones that make a ton of money (in the ~$1 million range, for comparison) are stuffed with miniatures- Exploding Kittens was the huge outlier here, mostly because it had the weight of The Oatmeal behind it. And a lot of the ones with minis tend to get middling-to-bad reviews once they’re actually shipped. At least, that’s my perception.


Well I didn’t claim that they made much. I said It feels like they actually deliver. If most the board games are actually delivering the game, then it would make sense that the board gamers on Kickstarter might be willing to increase their risk due to positive past experiences. If I buy 3-4 board games, whether they make 50k or 1million, and I wind up with 3-4 actual board games delivered… then I am more likely to up how much I am willing to risk. This is actually what I personally did. I am a lot more likely to risk 60 on KS for a board game than I am for say a video game. I’ve not had a board game fail yet.


I believe they are opening every box and checking the packaging because there was an issue with their supplier. Something about the cards not being packaged right and they wanted to make sure things didn’t get damaged. I don’t think this is normal for them but this is my first P500 order with them.


Ah. Yeah, you’re right. Sorry for misunderstanding. I don’t think there have been many real failures to deliver completely- the couple I can think of off the top of my head are outliers for sure. That said, while I’m not sure how widespread it is in the wider boardgame-playing populace, I have a few friends that are pretty gun shy about supporting a project without a track record from the designer/publisher. Too many games received that just end up mediocre, if not actually broken.


I should be (hopefully) receiving my copies of Castellion, Sylvion, and X-Wing today. They were expected to be delivered on Wednesday, but then Boise got buried under a foot of snow, and then another three inches Thursday, and then another six inches today…

I’m willing to cut the postman some slack, but it’d sure be nice to have some new games while we’re snowed in.