Boardgaming in 2017!


That was an excellent write up! Didn’t realize the game could be that exciting with just 3 players.

It reminds me I’ve been playing Antike 2 a couple times lately which is a significantly different game (way smaller and simpler) but it has a similar win condition of just 10 VP. It’s my favorite part of that game. Low scoring VP games feel so tense, every point is super meaningful. I want to play more games with that sort of focus.


We got First Martians and my wife and I played it for the first time. This is definitely a game of complex rules but actually minimal game decisions. I will say that it really isn’t even a COOP game, but just a solitaire puzzle that you can split up with friends if you wish.

I see mixed reviews on this game, but I personally love it, and my wife absolutely hated it. It is a game of juggling priorities, trying to figure out what systems are needed to optimize for the goal, and allowing other things to get to the breaking point. The big key to this game is watching the clock. It is okay if to start letting things go that are required for the goals as long as they won’t have significant impact before the clock ends.

It is a fun puzzle, the cubes really do make it look a lot like a light board that you are watching. The text and story elements aren’t great but the layout is really cool. It is also REALLY easy to get sidetracked into trying to keep everything up and not getting to your objectives as quickly as possible. Often you only have 6 or 7 turns, and some goals require multiple steps to succeed. So if you aren’t optimizing at turn 1, it is easy to get into a hole that you can’t come back out of.


I’m going back and forth about whether or not to back War Room, the game by the designer of Axis and Allies, on kickstarter. On one hand, its gameplay looks like its not much deeper than A&A (pretty damn shallow), and the game length is about the same (loooong). On the other hand, the production looks really awesome, and it looks like a great once-or-twice-a-year game, like Twilight Imperium. I especially love the pieces that actually snap together to make army stacks.

Is anyone else backing it? Any thoughts?


I read into it but I don’t see much of an advantage over GMT’s Cataclysm other than the components. It’s got an interesting pre-plotted move thing going on but honestly that feels like cruft- they’re also not going to do dry erase to mark the moves and it strikes me as a clunky mechanism.


I have War of the Ring, along with the Lords of Middle Earth & Warriors of Middle Earth expansions, arriving tomorrow. My oldest boy really enjoys these games of mine (Star Wars Rebellion & Yggdrasil sre his 2 favorites).

Looking forward to playing War of the Ring!


Wow, I hadn’t heard about Cataclysm before, but its mechanics look much more interesting. A shame about its components though. I wonder if it will even have mounted map boards…


Unfortunately the game didn’t do well enough in pre-orders to get mounted maps.

Basically with GMT you’ll get a mounted map if you’re a sure hit or you’ve done well enough to get a second print run.


Way too complex for me


Speaking of kickstarters, does anyone have any thoughts on D-Day Dice? The theme interests me, but when I saw that uses a yahtzee mechanic as its main mechanism, it made me a bit hesitant. I’ve heard some very positive things, as well as some more “meh” opinions about it. Anyone play it?


A friend of mine went all-in on the kickstarter. We played it once. It’s a co-op (i.e. a solitaire game where you argue with your friends about how to play), so already I’m not interested, but it also just seemed all luck and chrome and not really very interesting to play.


There’s a print and play trial version, if you haven’t already tried that.


I enjoyed D-Day Dice enough solo to buy the 2nd edition,.


I had a pretty good weekend getting Time of Crisis out to play on Saturday with a full four player complement. I am still figuring it out but I like it quite a bit. I love this take on deckbuilding, where you will pick out rather than randomly draw your next rounds hand. It leaves you free to tune and tweak your engine in a marvelously elegant way. The territory control is blended in marvelously and events and barbarians keep things just chaotic enough that the players do not stagnate and keeps their focus on the board and each other.

I just picked up the Fallout board game but only here at the end of the weekend so I have no play time with that yet. Has anyone played it yet?

Tom Mc


I love this aspect of the game. At first, things seem so straightforward – build up armies and political power and conquer Rome. However, once you get a few rounds in, then barbarians start throwing a wrench in everyones plans. Sometimes you have to weigh whether or not to keep on pushing towards Rome (at the expense of your general stability) or stay back and protect the provinces you already have control of. I also think the crisis dice rolling mechanism is a great way to draw back other players attention to the game at the start of each turn.


RE: Gloomhaven

I did take a run at the first scenario after a lot, but not enough preparation and made it through…barely. The rulebook is very good, but there is so much of it. It doesn’t really follow any sort of quick start method, but having now made it through a scenario, I do not think that would have been possible. Nothing is incredibly complex or confusing. Like any good RPG, there are a lot of little systems you simply have to learn.

I find the interaction of all of it almost elegant. That may break down as I play more scenarios, but with each round I played, I got more excited about the possibilities, the possible synergies and also playing with others (I started with 3 characters and played solo).

BGG has a good “getting Started” guide for the initial setup for wwhen you first open the box and want to prep for the first scenario.

I also found this rules summary, which I printed out, helpful for running through player and monster turns. It pairs it all down and then if it is not enough, you can refer to the rulebook. It should also be good to handout to new players when you are teaching so they can flip through while you or another player takes their turn.

I downloaded the campaign tracker and have yet to decide if I am going to use it or let my solo group and co-worker group play as intended with each affecting the world in different ways. There’s an Android version as well.

There is also a scenario viewer that mimics the scenario booklet, but covers up information including the rooms, monsters and story line until you are ready to uncover them. I believe there is also Android for this.

Much of this may have been previously covered, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to repost it.


After a weekend with Twilight Imperium 4th edition, we were all ready to declare it one of the finest and most engaging and fun games we’d every played. @ShivaX said it was his favorite game of all time, and he’s not wrong. I still prefer the “roam around the map collecting loot and getting more powerful” type stuff that Talisman, Runebound, Pathfinder Adventures, and similar provides (consequently I’m fucking stoked for Gloomhaven, and hope the copy I pre-ordered from my local retailer comes in soon, but also Fallout which I should get today) but for pure competitive, live and die by the choices you make type of board games and overall just “fun” experiences (we had three great games out of three, and one game (our final one) was so tense and amazing as it wrapped up it is most likely one of our favorite board gaming experiences) I’ve had in gaming in a while. God damn this is fun.

If anyone is on the fence, as I have been for years, and maybe watching videos doesn’t really do it for you (it didn’t for me, only grabbed it to fulfill a bucket list more than anything) trust me when I say playing the game is a thing to marvel at. Even with just 3 players we had a blast, though I think a 4 or especially 5-6 player game would be just the dream. Though a 3 player game seems doable in around 4-6 hours, none of our games ran much over 5 and one was just over 4 (the one my son won, with War Suns, holy crap).


I regret being unable to come over for TI4.


We hope to see you next time. A 4 player game would be crazy awesome.


Well I guess I have to put this game near the top of ones to try and play. Now how to find enough people who are down for this level of board game commitment?


Played a little bit of more of Kingdom Death Monster solo. I’m slowly making less and less mistakes in the rules (the rules are not hard to grasp, but there are some subtleties around the use of survival that are easy to forget).

I’ve made it to year 5, so now I can finally start to craft armor/weapons that start to bring a LOT more control and strategy into the combat. Also, terrain is becoming much more important once you move into the second monster hunt (the antilope).

And I’m finding myself spending as much time in the crafting phase as in the combat phase, although it looks like with repeated plays there will be a couple of gear pieces it’s probably good to beeline for and thus the crafting phase won’t be so complex. But right now, not knowing what anything does, there’s a lot of reading to decide the proper course of action (I’m not reading everything, but still it’s a lot). The crafting phase is excellent and is perhaps the real core of the game, since there’s a lot you can do here to influence chances in combat.

The game is still fiddly as hell, mind you, but some patience and the play aids I printed are helping a lot in keeping everything under control for a solo player

So far I’m still loving it, perhaps more after a couple more sessions than on first impressions, and I think it’s actually a pretty clever design, except for the issues regarding hit point and status tracking I mentioned before, where a deck of hit card with effect would be more interesting and elegant, and other effects should allow you keep the card for direct reference, even if it meant their chance of reoccurring would go down. Noting things down on apiece of paper is really not necessary in this day and age. but that’s pretty much it and it’s a minor gripe (having cards instead of notes would add even more fiddliness) so I’m a little bit baffled there are so many people criticizing the core mechanics here.

I haven’t yet gotten to play my copy of Gloomhaven (I want to play this with a group). Really looking forward to it, though.