Boardgaming in 2018!


I got Pulsar 2849 to the table 3 times this weekend. I came in last all three times and am still really loving this game. Hopefully if I finally figure out how to do well, I’ll still dig it.

It’s hard to sell it as exciting… The box looks like you’re getting into a crazy space 4X but the actual theme is more “Space Factories: Make Money Not War”. (Which, frankly, is good for me. I couldn’t care less about space 4Xs.)

It plays a bit like Troyes mixed with Russian Railroads. It’s a dice drafting game with tons of setup variability and a really fascinating dice drafting system, sort of like Troyes. And most of your actions will set you on a path that scores points every turn for the rest of the game, sort of like Russian Railroads.

If you’re in the market for a Euro where every action you take makes you feel like a badass space-points-lord, this one is worth seeking out.


That’s not a thing!

Still, I’m intrigued. But for my immediate space 4X boardgaming needs, I just got Alien Artifacts, which I’m looking forward to trying out this week.



Oh, I want to hear about that. I didn’t love Imperial Settlers so I’m on a bit of wait-and-see for Alien Artifacts. But Portal usually does pretty interesting stuff!



My kids and I really like Flashpoint, I just hate the setup and all the little pieces. Is there 1 expansion that you think really improves the game that we should own?

Rumors are they are making an ios port of the game which would be awesome I think.


It’s a multiple system digital version, not just iOS as far as I know.

Flash Point expansions are very self-contained and modular for the most part, aside from new specialist roles and the decks in Tragic Events. I don’t think there’s any particular one that’s a must have as a result - just see what sort of challenges sound interesting to take on. But Tragic Events does bring a little extra to everything.


For some reason, my local game store’s distributor has a Gloomhaven release date of January 24th instead of the 19th. That’s OK because my wife and I are in the middle of a Pandemic Legacy Season 2 game. In any case the store confirmed with the distributor that 3 copies are being sent to them. One of them was already claimed, so I claimed the other. They sell the game for MSRP (looks like $140), so hopefully Amazon doesn’t decide to sell it for $99. I just didn’t want to risk not getting one.


Miniature Market opened up preorders again today for $120 so I canceled my amazon order and placed a preorder with MM since I’m only 45 mins away. I called them to confirm I could pick my preorder up in store and the release date and the employee told me I could and that they were “expecting a release on the 19th”. Hopefully that’s true but I’m still pretty confused by this whole release schedule. If you have the game in stock what are you waiting for at this point? How can they be unsure two days out? How can some stores claim the 19th and others the 24th?


Played Vegas Showdown for the first time last night. Seems like a minor title but still enjoyable. We played a 5 person game, including teaching two new players, in just over an hour.

Also, observed part of a game of Gaia Project: that’s another one I want to play again soon.


Oh wow, that’s a blast from the past!


Yep, it will be available via Steam, that much I know.


Vegas Showdown is a great game.


Amazon has Gloomhaven in stock now for $133.


Just got back from a gaming meetup. One of the guys had just received Gloomhaven and he started a group on that. I can’t always make the Thursday night meetup so I had to bow out, but it looked awesome.

I played Century: Spice Road and Azul. I had previously played Century: Golem Edition and Spice Road was essentially the same. Azul I had not played. I liked both of these games as simple, yet deep, and very strategic. Azul in particular meshed well with my brain.


Here’s a shocker: I do not like games with rules that are anything less than air-tight. I played Lifeboat, a party game that’s been around for a while, for the first time last night. One person had played it long ago, no one else ever had. Man, there’s some ambiguity and missing information in that rule sheet. There’s a lot that seemed obvious to me for how to navigate the gaps in the spirit of the game, but no game should come down to that sort of interpretation. After one play through I’m entirely confident I could write a superior rule sheet.

It was still mostly fun, but we also had one of those “I just wanted to see what would happen if I did something random that doesn’t advance anyone’s agenda” sort of players, and I always find that mentality hard to empathize with—especially, obviously, when it ends up hurting me. Anyway, I died on the lifeboat and they ate my body.


Or, if you’re in the UK, £224!


When I first got into boardgaming, I had a lot more disposable income, so I bought a lot more games that “looked interesting” without doing any research on them.

I bought one called Globalization, which looked like it would be kind of a crunchy, money-management sort of game with some humor. The first time I played it with some friends, we spent SO much time trying to comb the rule book looking for clarification on what you would think were really basic things. Like when you could play a card. Or how many things you could do on your turn.

We decided that we were just going to run with the rules as written instead of trying to hunt for rulings online, which enabled one player to basically take an infinitely long turn, leeching money from everyone else until we all quit. I haven’t played it since.

I remember being so annoyed because I was also playing a lot of Magic the Gathering at the time, which has pretty damn airtight rules. I just assumed that every game needed an equally good rulebook to even be made.


Hah, Magic probably also set the standard for me, now that you mention it. I don’t really connect it with my current board gaming habit since it was long ago and collectible card games are a different beast in some other ways, but when it comes to rules, at least as far as I fondly remember it, Magic did a great job of laying a simple foundation of rules, letting any card contradict and override the rules, but keeping it unambiguous. If you groked the underlying mechanics of how to resolve things, there was almost never any doubt and you could work through any complicated combination of contradictory cards to a clear, indisputable resolution. I mean, I know there were mistakes on cards here and there, but overall, it was great.

I also thought of Magic the first couple times I played Smash Up! last year (I might have already posted about it, I don’t remember). Same idea, “follow these real simple rules unless the cards say something else, then do that!”, but a very sloppy implementation.

I backed Ravine on Kickstarter, an upcoming survival party card game, because it’s from the team that made the Space Team card game, so I just wanted to support them (out of love-by-extension for the original Space Team mobile game). But thinking about it, the Space Team card game was pretty loose with some explanations, and a PDF of the Ravine rules that went out to backers a week or two ago has me thinking it’s gonna be another vague one. Oh well!


I got alerted yesterday that my copy of Gloomhaven shipped, so I should have it soon. VERY EXCITED!!!


For those getting Gloomhaven, I highly recommend the Broken Token organizer. That game has a ton of pieces to keep track of.


Haha, we fooled all of you. Actually it is terrible.

No, kidding. Is great!