Boardgaming in 2017!


I completely agree. I’ve played a few KS board games that felt, well under-cooked, like they’d not been play tested much or the rules were just not quite there. Zombicide though has been great if a little complicated to set-up. I’ve just received Villages of Valeria, not played it yet though, and one Druid game a friend brought over is just not… well fun. j

If someone was to ask me if i was going to put down day 100+ on a proven company pitching a board game vs a similarly somewhat proven other campaign like a video game… board game campaign all the way. It might not be a polished pearl but an amoeba pearl still feels like they tried whereas my other kickstarters range from sob stories to shrugs

I say that as someone who supported both Divinity games which were good, but they don’t overshadow that other crap.

I am actually surprised though with the number of miniature based games being pitched. I know nothing about the industry, but you’d think several dozen miniatures would complicate the process, but maybe not.


Some boardgamers go as wild for tons of miniatures in some Kickstarter project as housewives used to go for Tom Jones. It’s a mystery to me – I’d much prefer games without all that excess crap. It’s certainly a successful formula to this point. I tend to think it’s people saying, “Oooooohh!! Look at all the crap we’re getting in this game!! Even if the game stinks, we can theoretically use all this crap in other games!!”.


Tom Jones! Now that shows our age! : )

I listen to him everytime I rewatch Duck Dodgers.


I’ll freely admit I’ve backed a couple of kickstarters because the minis were a great value… but the games also looked fun- the first KD:M and Myth right off the top of my head.

Myth was a stinker for sure- I sold it for a modest profit during their second Myth KS. KD has been better for sure, but it still isn’t what I’d call a great game. That said, a couple members of my group are super into it, even without the minis- I actually sold off all the expansion minis, and just kept the game content. Including whatbI pledged for this new KS, I think I’m actually profiting about $150 for owning all the KD:M material. I’ve just found I don’t really care about the plastic so much anymore.


The original QMG would be a great next step for a 15 and 18 year old… except for the 6 player thing. At 5, somebody just doubles up Germany and Italy and play mostly proceeds fine. With 3, one player plays an entire side (3 decks), while 2 plays split the other three… menaing somebody is going to be playing 1 deck to your 3. Akward! One might recommend the next game in the series, which is probably my favorite, Victory or Death since it plays 4, and somebody doubling up isn’t that unbalanced. Unfortunately, it is much more deck driven and setting yourself up in the right place at the right time. That game is won by playing permanent Status Card which grant VP when certain conditions are met.

Instead, I think the next step past Risk is Rebellion: 1775. As the name implies, the back drop is the American War of Independence. The weight is “Beer and pretzels,” and lucky rolls can swing the game above and beyond skill. But, it has a real tension to it, where a single cube move can deny your opponent a victory point.


Two and a half of those are great purchases!

It is a really cool system, isn’t it? Especially for modeling different kinds of combatants in a war. Unfortunately, I think the subject matter discourages a lot of their potential audience. The implication is that it’s really nerdyman history wargamey. If it was about, say, ancient Egypt or World War II or spaceships, I can imagine the game would appeal more to folks who don’t really care about whether there are Redcoats in Baltimore.



Just in case you’ve ever wanted to learn Twilight Struggle and missed the last tournament that we held on Qt3 last fall, we are going to kick off another round in about a week. There will be several new players and we are hoping to start with some round robin so everyone gets a few plays in.

Just post on the tournament thread to let us know you are interested!


Yesterday, I got to try Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery for the first time. The game bear its name well!

Based on the STARZ TV series, it’s a deep game that’s not afraid to also be trashy and gory because it can. In that way, it’s a great fit for the TV series.

You start the game Dominus of a ludus with a few starting gladiators. I was House Batiatus. Awesome.

But much like Batiatus in the show, you won’t stop until your influence opens you the gates of Rome and leaves your opponents bleeding on the sands of the arena.

What makes the game so intriguing is that it’s the sum of very different parts that somehow mesh to really evoke managing a ludus and fighting to be noticed by Rome.

There is an Maintenance phase where you need to maintain your ludus and heal your fighters’ wounds (or watch them die).

It’s followed by a card based Intrigue phase where shifting alliances allow you to play schemes and try and raise yourself above the others. But doing so makes you a target. Counter schemes and house guards can help the others foil those attempts and get their own back. Choose wisely who to bribe and who to betray.

Then you get to visit the Market and place hidden bids on whatever comes up for auction. Do you bid all your money on that tempting Gladiator or the weapon that might save his life? Do you need more house slaves to generate income and/or carry out actions on your behalf? Or should you keep your money to bid to become the Host of the games in the next phase? Every decision is agonising.

Finally, there are the games. There is much honour and power bestowed to the Host. Who shall they invite to fight in the arena? Will they accept? Will players try and bribe the host to be or not to be picked for the fight?

And then the gladiators fight!

The fighting takes place on a tactical grid and is where the dice come out. Players place bets on victory or on more gruesome outcomes like injury or even decapitation

If the defeated gladiator doesn’t die, the Host has power of life or death on them (though killing a favoured champion would cost them influence).

And all that is just 1 turn of the game. Then it starts all over again!

Throughout the whole game, players can barter, make and break alliances and stab each other in the back… if they aren’t afraid of the consequences.

It’s quite the experience.

I wouldn’t play it with novice players who can’t bear to spend time listening to an overview of the rule. And as the game owner, you really would have to spend time online getting familiar with the rules before trying to explain them to anyone.

But we were lucky and had an experienced @Lykurgos to explain the rules. And we had a lot of fun with the way all those parts mesh together. I’ve never played anything quite like it. You might get cross at people you thought were your friends though. :)

It’s gruesome. It’s mean. It’s full of intrigue. It’s totally Spartacus.



GMT just sent me an email saying my order of Comancheria should have shipped by now but they cannot locate any shipping info. Will ship me a copy and if two copies show up, to send back one of them with a shipping label they will provide. No biggie even though I was out sick for a week and that would have been the perfect time for a long gaming session.

Now i have to spend some time with Twilight Struggle so I dont get embarassed in the tourney!


Great description @Wendelius. Did you notice I meta-gamed by underperforming and being honest and upright the entire game, setting myself up for a devastating and glorious victory next game to be built on the back of masterfully timed and executed treachery?

There is just so much about Spartacus to love. It feels like a game where the progression and outcome is often a consequence of the deals, temporary alliances, deception, treachery and plots and schemes cooked up by the players within a wonderfully open framework with a strong and distinctive theme setting. I treasure memories of successful plots and betrayals from Spartacus plays dating back several years.

There are potential features which can lead to an underwhelming experience. The asymmetry of the Houses means that if a player doesn’t leverage the unique strengths or somehow doesn’t find opportunity to they may feel aggrieved. I admire and enjoy the combat but the initiative and movement mechanic can sometimes result in a manoeuvring stalemate until one player concedes first strike to the other. Finally if players don’t make deals and bargains and extort favours and promises from each other the residual game may not impress. When these things work well though . . . . Wow. Just Wow.

Minimal down-time, constant scheming, hopes and dreams being realised or crushed without mercy. There are few games that can deliver such marvellously memorable plays.


You know what else doesn’t suck? The Sons of Anarchy boardgame. True story.



There is some of that. For instance, House Batiatus has got to discard 3 gladiators to gain an influence. Gladiators are a costly endeavour and important resource which make them difficult to purchase just to discard. I didn’t know how long a game it would take for me to be able to use the ability.

We were talking about that. I’ve heard that too. I don’t know the show but have been curious to try it.



The rules for the Dark Souls boardgame were sent out to the backers… 40 pages (pdf file). I will give some impressions after closer inspection/study of the rules… I bought it mainly for the miniatures, maybe I will stay for the boardgame. If the game sucks, I want to make a Dark Souls diorama…


For anyone interested, Omen: A Reign of War Omega Edition is getting what will probably be its final reprint and a Kickstarter is up to fund it. I know this game gets some attention around here and figured there might be interest.


It is a very good two player game. I should mention that you do not have to deckbuild in order to enjoy it though you can play that way if you wanted to.

I would encourage two player game lovers to watch the videos on the kickstarter.


I just received my annual gold gift from BGG and because I am an annual supporter they give me a bunch extra. Not sure why but I love getting this gold and buying those little micro badges. I just wish I could select more than the 5 micro badges allowed at one time!

I also get a kick at looking at what I have selected as my choices (I tend to forget).


I just wanted to follow up the discussion on X-Wing with a battle report I was just randomly watching:

Look, I’m not gonna say it was impossible for the rebel player to win. But even if it wasn’t impossible, I do truly believe that nearly all of the important decisions for this game were made at the list building stage. The rebel player was facing an enormous uphill battle to make it through all of those shield and hull points, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he failed. Once the power of choices made at the strategic level grows so significantly, they eclipse the part of the game where you’re, you know, dogfighting. And that is what is so disappointing to me.


Those Y-wings are very simple builds. I mean, the alternative to highly customizable ships with a lot of upgrades and different abilities are ships that fly straight at each other and let the math decide. That was wave 1. The TIE fighter was utterly dominant for three waves before a ship came in with an obscene level of maneuverability that allowed a different archetype to work.

Most Falcon lists are afraid of the 4x Y-wing with TLT list. I played one, my game plan was to hope never to play it. It was a big boogeyman when wave 7 dropped but I think people learned to cope with it eventually. Ships with autothrusters could deal well with it, as well as ships with good maneuvering options to get in the range 1 band.


I am not questioning whether they are beatable- I am quite sure they are. I am just saying that this game, a finals game, was basically over before it started. How many other games in the tournament worked that way? I don’t know, but I personally don’t want to spend an hour doing that from either side of the table, winner or loser.


My friends and I got back to our Pandemic Legacy game and as of October are down to zero funding and have opened literally every Top Secret door and package except the one you open if you lose four consecutive games. Whole sheets of them this last game. It was very satisfying,