Boardgaming in 2017!


So the Root kickstarter that was mentioned earlier this month in this thread is almost finished. We played a test game last night on Tabletop Simulator, and had a lot of fun with it. It has relatively easy-to-learn rules (though each side has a set of their own rules), quick playtime (60-90 mins), and seems to have a decent amount of strategic depth.

I played the Eyrie, which are a group of deposed royal birds who want to re-conquer their old lands. Their action system revolves around programming cards into their “decree” every turn, which lets them perform more and more actions each round. However, if they are ever unable to perform a programmed card’s action, the train derails and they have to start over from scratch the next turn. It was a very interesting puzzle in itself, and I could see other players actively trying to screw up their actions.

I recommend taking a look at this game if you want an interesting asymmetrical experience with a COIN-esque theme (insurgents, etc). Oh, and the artwork is amazingly charming!


Root does look great. I’m a fan of Cole’s concepts and cannot wait to get my hands on John Company

Tom Mc


Doesn’t hit the street until Dec 2, is my understanding, so no. (Although I think some people got it as Essen, or through some charity auctions or whatnot, so there are some copies floating around). I’ll definitely pick it up soonest.


All you guys are wrong. Dominion is not a great amateur intro game because it’s the most synergistic and strategic (it can depend on the cards in play) of the deck-builders. I still haven’t played a deck-builder that understands deck-building as a design structure like Donald X. Vaccarino does, though I haven’t played Arctic Scavengers or Clank! yet. Put me down as “skeptical,” though. Most deck-builders (including games I like just fine) don’t even come close. And I’ve made this argument before in this thread, so I’ll leave it there.


We’re about halfway into SeaFall and I do not get the criticism it has gotten here. Does not match with my experience. I recommend it highly!


My group is in the ‘Seafall was highly dissatisfying category’. We were all waiting for the fun to begin but it never did.
Playing Pandemic legacy was much, much better.


To be fair to you, my long-time Dominions nemesis, I should point out that I’m not hip to all the changes that have been introduced with the various expansions. I know it’s come a long way and I will gladly defer to your opinion as more informed than mine.

That said, dudes, Arctic Scavengers! Come over to my house for the holidays and let me show you it!



Arctic Scavengers is rated 6.9 on Boardgamegeek.

‘Nuff said.


Remind me again, is that the same site that lists Pandemic: Legacy as the Best Game of All Time? OF ALL TIME!

But, yeah, Arctic Scavengers isn’t very flashy. It’s actually kinda drab. One of the ways you add cards to your deck is by digging through trash.



Well, that makes its use of the word “scavenger” very historically accurate.


Arctic Scavengers is an interesting game, I’ll give you that. Its one of the only deckbuilders i’ve played that doesn’t feature combo-building as a main mechanic. However, I feel like its one of those games where you play it a few times, and then it sits on your shelf for years later. At least that’s how it was for me (its still sitting there). I’ve heard that the expansions add some new twists that make it more replayable, but for the time being, it will probably continue to stay right where it is.

My personal favorite deckbuilder is Core Worlds, though admittedly it is not for everyone. I really enjoy the game’s narrative, and I feel like it is more of a "meaty“ game experience than most deckbuilders.

I feel one of the greatest weaknesses of deckbuilders is that they usually have very uninteresting player interaction (unfortunately, Core Worlds shares this problem). Usually, it is either card denial (in card-row deckbuilders) or direct conflict (attack cards) – both of which I’m not a fan of. Where are deckbuildings with auctions and shareholding? Where is my 18xx deckbuilder?


Yep, absolutely. I also really really like Core Worlds, but you’re right about the interaction issue (although the expansion adds a very cool and very interactive faction system; have you tried it?). The more I play boardgames, the more I appreciate how important interaction is to me. I love a good economic engine game, and deck-builders generally fit into this category. But I love more being able to interact in interesting ways with the other players at the table. That’s why games like Study in Emerald and Archipelago are among my all-time favorites.

And that’s one of the reasons Arctic Scavengers is probably my favorite deck-builder. Every single round is based on players fighting over a card to be added to one of their decks, but only one player knows what the card is. If someone lays out a powerful military turn, is it because he really wants the card? How badly? Or is there some kind of bluff going on and he’s trying to get you to waste your resources? And is someone else at the table sitting on dirty tricks like a sniper?

The other ways to get cards into your deck are more conventional – buying from a central pool and drawing blindly from the junkyard deck – but that basic idea of everyone fighting/bluffing against everyone else for unique and powerful cards is something no other deck-builder does.



Hmmm, maybe I should give Arctic Scavengers another try then. Maybe it one of those games that gets better if the players are more familiar with the game.

Another deckbuilder-ish game I want to try is Flamme Rouge. In that game, you aren’t trying to build a deck per se, but rather avoid adding exhaustion cards to your deck by drafting (the non-card game kind) behind other cyclists. That sounds like a pretty cool mechanic.


It definitely helps if people know exactly what’s in the contested resources pile. Otherwise, there’s not much context for how much to care about a card. Although the Recon expansion adds all new contested resources, so you can shuffle them all together, and randomly play with 14 of them for a bit of uncertainty.

Flamme Rouge sounds cool, but…bicycling? Like the things the little kids ride in E.T.?



Flamme Rouge is light and fun. I really enjoy the mind games when trying to get free moves for your racers by using an opponent’s slipstream.

It’s indeed not really a deck builder. More like a “try not to deplete your choices and resources too fast by selecting cards judiciously” type of game.

So, if you are looking for any engine building, you’ll likely be disappointed. But as a fun cycling racing game, it works for me.


Thank you for finally calling it by its real name. I thought I was going crazy when everyone suddenly started calling it “Dominions”.

I agree with you, though I think the mechanics are easy enough to grasp for new players that I’d say it’s a good starter deckbuilder if you’re not playing against skilled players. And I can verify that Clank! ranks pretty low on the strategic depth of its deckbuilding.


I have Charterstone ordered. I know a couple people that play tested it locally for Stonemaier. They had to play the whole thing within a couple weeks. The two I talked to said that part of it was arduous, but each enjoyed it and will play again. I did not get any details as I did not want any.

I think there are a lot of “bland” games that I still enjoy and as mentioned above, the Dice Tower crew, like any reviewers, have certain tastes that don’t always align with mine although they often do. They certainly seemed to give SeaFall a fair shake and ended up really disliking it. I avoided that one, but no one I know was really interested in giving it a shot anyhow.

All that said, I have been invited to play in one Charterstone Group and then also have my own copy, so it better be good. ;)


I like Dominion the best of the deck builders as well. Never really liked Ascension at all.




I can certify your verification. A friend of mine really likes this game and while I see some of the appeal (how deep you gonna delve?) the deckbuilding is pretty obvious and straightforward.