Boardgaming in 2018!

I’ll kick off the new thread for this year by pointing you to where I thought I was posting in last year’s general boardgaming topic, but accidentally posted in the “Best of 2017” topic about my Dad’s quick progression from “I don’t like games” to “let’s stay up past midnight learning Photosynthesis!”

Anyway, the new general-purpose boardgaming thread for 2018 is fully operational, everyone gather their resources, cast your vote for the traitor, and tear two city cards in half!

Only 21 hours and 50 minutes to our third Gloomhaven session.

Gloomhaven preorder for under $137 shipped Amazon Prime. Under MSRP for those of us who missed the Kickstarter

The new Scythe expansion sounds cool.


I got a copy of Mysterium for my birthday, and although it’s definitely not a 2018 game, it has been popular among our friends and family in 2018 so far. Easy to pick up, nice and social…

Since my wife isn’t the competitive sort (she’s too competitive for that to be fun), we spend a lot of time on co-op games. Anything recent on that front I should keep an eye out for?

Joined a local gaming group and played Dragon Something and Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Highly enjoyed both.

I played Terraforming Mars which has scaled the bbgeek ladder pretty quickly.

I am mixed. It sort of reminds me of Race to the Galaxy in that you are trying to build your own engine with card powers, and your own tableau of resources to focus on, and seems like there are a ton of routes you can take, and similarly there is low player interaction outside of often expensive asteroid strikes to blow up ONLY farm production? The gamey milestone/end game point rewards are just pure eurotrash. Unlike Race for the Galaxy is takes hours instead of minutes and you have some area control with a board. I can see the appeal. I suppose I need to play it more.

I’ve played Terraforming Mars a couple of times, as well as the Venus expansion (I think it was). My experience mirrors yours, I don’t see why this game has gotten so much positive buzz. My group and I are not convinced that there is much more to see by playing it more, though.

I see the likeness to Race for the Galaxy you’re describing, but it also reminds me a bit about Outpost. Another game where you build an engine to produce resources and invest in more production. However, that game is really math heavy and it feels like the last third of the game is just playing out a conclusion you could make 2/3 into the game.

Yes, Terraforming Mars is a total clusterfuck mechanically. I think people like it partially for the theme, partially because it usually tells a story.

Like the last time I played it, I happened to stack up a bunch of bonuses that allowed adjusting the temperature threshold for playing cards. Which allowed me to take on the role of this group of scientists that became more and more detached from the reality as the game went on.

So I’d play the Fish card, and give a short little spiel about how only a genius of my caliber could genetically engineer barracudas to live in the chilly Martian oceans. Somebody would object that the actual planetary temperature was -10 degrees, and that a frozen block of ice doesn’t count as an ocean. "Well, that’s not what my calculations show! Release the fish! "

And then we could all chuckle at the mental image as this crack team of scientists tipped over crates of fish on a glacier, and wondered why they weren’t submerging into the ice. When I at some point made a mistake and forgot to activate some special power that required a oxygen level of smaller than X, thinking it had to be larger than X, you could tie that right into the same narrative. “Look, my specialty is temperature. Not this air nonsense”.

Or my friend in the same game who might as well have been roleplaying a megalomaniac who liked explosions and smashing progressively larger rocks into Mars. And then could pretend to be very cross when somebody cracked open the crust of Mars to create a new super-volcano. Muttering about irresponsible show-offs, and about how he could have done that if he really wanted to, etc :)

So it’s an archetypal Eurogame but with a cool theme and great potential for player driven narrative? Sounds awesome! Seriously, though, I’ve only played one game of it so far, so I’m not in the best position to judge, but I thought it was great.

I spent a few hours of quality time with Gloomhaven solo, with two characters and four characters, last week.

@tomchick, did you ever have any luck on that first scenario? I’m in the same boat, where I’m using the recommended difficulty settings, and it’s just a slog. At the end of the first room, my party has already burned through like half their cards. If I change my strategy to try and be more conservative with my cards, then I don’t do enough damage, and the enemies just wreck me.

I’m not convinced that having perfect information about the party is “worth” a full level’s increase in difficulty, as the manual says. Unless there’s something I’m missing about how to manage my hands or something, my next attempt is going to be without the difficulty increase, or even down a level. I just don’t see how you can get through, what, over a hundred? enemy hit points with the abilities on the starting cards.

I don’t really like Terraforming Mars much either. I think one of the reasons it’s successful is part of why I don’t like it: the cards are so balanced. Playing a card that costs 30 mega bucks produces a pretty similar benefit to playing 3 cards that cost 10 mega bucks. Also, the cards draw from a pretty small list of bonuses and special abilities none of which are that exciting.

The good part about the super-balanced cards is you can play a really long game without anyone running away with it. (Whereas if you extend the length of a game like Race for the Galaxy it falls apart.) I have a friend who loves this game because it has the joy of building a huge engine with nearly no complicated rules or systems and ends with all players (even newbies) relatively close in score. It’s a game that feels epic without the complexity and often punishing rules epic games usually entails.

I played a game of Supply Lines of the American Revolution yesterday

and came away really impressed. It’s not quite a wargame but not quite a euro. In fact, it might almost fall into the category of those “intro wargames” that are simple enough to teach people who like those euro-type games with the blocks and whatnot but aren’t super interested in anything resembling non-fantasy history. The only problems I could see are that it is very optimizey and can be pretty punishing. I could see a situation where you really hose yourself with one bad move, which the rule book even warns against and suggests that if this happens, the winner should allow the loser to concede and not force him/her to play it out. Which is a pretty strong statement if it has to go in the rule book. In the game we played, we made a ton of fatal mistakes, but neither one of us was able to recognize or take advantage of them.

If you get past this, or if it doesn’t bother you in the first place, it’s a simple, very thematic game of feinting and jabbing, with no hidden information. There can probably be some analysis paralysis so be warned that you should play with the right people. This doesn’t sound like a huge endorsement, does it?

I really enjoyed it. The way in which you use cities and armies to generate supply, and then move supply, in order to be able to do anything, means you have to plan well or you can find yourself in situations where you simply can’t do anything or effectively defend yourself. I think I already said this. But the decisions themselves are pretty simple. And it does a great job of showing how armies of that period were dependent on huge logistical tails that made campaigning a long, plodding affair. But an interesting one!

Have any Gloomhaven owners sprung for any of the custom storage inserts? If so, thoughts please?

I like mine (Laserox) . It does reduce setup time, but I have issues with it. It doesn’t have a tray for the terrain boards nor does it have specific compartments for current characters.

Other than that, it doesn’t seem bring the game from unplayable mess to tolerable, but setup is still way too long.

I bought this one because it’s by far the cheaper you can get in Europe, and it’s pretty good. But I do think the Broken Token one looks a little more practical and can shave perhaps 10 more minutes of setup time.

I have the broken token one and like it. That being said I haven’t actually played the game yet. It took quite awhile to assemble and glue and I had to look up on YouTube what goes where.

One note: it doesn’t have room for 4 of the character boxes. It is designed with the intention that you open 4 and put their components in the player trays, and then store those 4 boxes flattened. This is irksome until I play the first time, but after that will be fine.

I think you have to right idea to ignore the “add one level to all the monsters” adjustment for solitaire play. It’s an inane rules tweak, especially given how loosey goosey the rules are about players communicating with each other.


I signed up to play Twilight Imperium 4th Edition tomorrow - I’m familiar with 3rd edition. Is there a video or web article people here would recommend to help me prepare for 4th edition?

“Signed up?” Are you playing with randos?