Boardgaming in 2018!


Tried this yesterday. Whoa. It looks like a simple “pick-up and play” game, but I got the feeling that in order to really experience it you have to go really deep in learning all the intricacies. You plan a move, but it can be thwarted by clashing on priority or movement. Really fancy. Completely different in play from what you think just looking at it. It also gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling of nostalgia from when we played a heavily modified version of Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game back in high school.

Going to the Toronto Area Boardgaming Society Con on Saturday; my first real boardgaming convention experience. Looking forward to it, heard good things about the event.


Well I went all in damn it. The game just looks good and different from any game I own. That and Pipeline make for an expensive ks month.
Still on the fence on Tainted Grail. I love the idea but I’m terrified it will fizzle out before I can even start a campaign much less finish it. Add to that the Ludicrous amount of free stuff they are throwing at it. That game will last a lifetime.


Hey, speaking of, the BattleCON developers got the Street Fighter license for their next Exceed season. I have a ton of Street Fighter nostalgia and have been looking for a reason to try Exceed, so using this as the jump off point.


Exceed is the simplified version, right?


I don’t think Exceed and BattleCON share mechanics to any significant degree but I haven’t played the former. What it definitely is is more random because you have a deck you shuffle and draw from, whereas BattleCON you have a hand of cards you combine and which then spend a couple turns unavailable before cycling back in.


That seemed to be a common thread with the first season of characters. The second season has gotten a way more positive response (and sounds like the characters are generally more complicated). Hoping it’s just a design space they’re getting comfortable in and everything going forward will be great.


Has anyone picked up Midnight Legion?

This is a interesting choose your own adventure with stats, skills, map, and combat. Only reading the rules so far, but seems like a very neat evolution of the old gamebooks! I like how the sixth sense skill is used to preview two of your choices, but it uses energy. Food regains you energy and health, but you have to find it! Spending energy in combat not only lets you increase the chances to hit but ALSO adds to damage.

The game centers around you regaining memories, which has a mechanic for it, and I assume they can also add to your skills or give you special bonusus based on some of the examples. You can also get equipment, and implants. Seems to have a lot of depth.


Based on our first and only play so far, very cool and unique game.

We played with @Ginger_Yellow @Kirian and one other, 4 players total. I played as the Goblins. Goblins have lots of area move cards and lots of melee which means they are strong as a close knit pack. I failed to recognise this from the get-go. Instead, fearful of their low HP, I deployed them separately close to raised areas and tried to play them as lone ranged snipers.

That play did not work well and I won anyway. Credit to most of my ‘wildcards’ allowing card draw, interrupts and use of any character coming up in bundles within the second half of my deck.

When I chose my distributed deployment zones I also passed a deck of very closely clustered VP card to the player on my right @kirian I figured having all his VPs clustered together might give him an advantage but also make him the king of the hill target. Neither became true! He could not deploy close enough to the VP crystals to hoover them up.

~ Faction asymmetry invites very different play styles and probably oodles of replay value
~ Miniatures are detailed and gorgeous even unpainted, but they deserve paint!
~ Interupts and next turn planning result in very little inactive downtime

~ Very tricky to recognize which figure belongs to which player once they are deployed
~ Also tricky to match figures with their character cards, you can ask your perfidious opponents but that might give them clues about your yet to be deployed character locations or cards in hand


I think top left won but am not 100% sure.

Game is on sale at Amazon for $26 so I grabbed my own copy. Looks like it’s back up to $32 now.


Lost and loved my first game of Keyforge! Games I enjoy losing get slotted right into my play this again soon category!

I cannot compare it to MtG. I have a lifelong resentment of MtG thanks to it displacing Warhammer Fantasy Battles in my teenage gaming club. Years of enjoying marching miniatures across varied battlegrounds, rolling buckets of die for attacks, guessing ranges for war machine volleys, herding squigg hoppers & hoping that my Snotling Pump Cart would hurry up was replaced by all these flat & lifeless cards in the space of a few months after the initial release. Damn you MtG!

Anyhoo, for someone that loves card games but who dislikes and mostly lacks the time and inclination to design decks the ‘every pack is a unique deck’ feature is hugely welcome. Quick to learn, quick to play and feels like there is sufficient depth to the tactical choices available from turn to turn. Decks may well not be balanced but the mirror match format (play a game, swap decks, aggregate scores between the pair of games) is an effective solution.


This article is pretty fascinating. The author does a regression fix to correct the BGG top 100 for its complexity bias and produces a new top 100. The resulting list seems fairly reasonable to me. (Except that Gloomhaven is still near the top.)


It pushes Pandemic Legacy to #1 and Railways ofnthe World our of the top 100, so those are big negatives to me.

However it does a good job with lighter games that are quite enjoyable. I am 100% ok with Codenames at 2, King of Tokyo in the 30s, and Sushi Go and Love Letter in the top 20. Games I think defininitely fall afoul of the BGG hive mind.

That Uwe Rosenburg in particular gets downgraded from ‘best thing evar’ to ‘generally good’ is also nice.


Sheesh. Even when corrected for bias, Gloomhaven is massively overrated.


Nah, it’s perfect at #1.


Yeah, BGG should have a “fiddliness” rating, referring to setup, takedown, and rules explanation time, and how much manipulation of little cardboard and wooden pieces you have to do during play. On a scale of 1 to 10, Gloomhaven would be a 98.


It’s a nonsensical analysis that basically assumes its conclusion. You simply can’t apply this kind of “unbiasing” without knowing anything about what the actual populations are. Nor can you do it just along one dimension. For example it’s well known that BGG ratings vary widely by country. And for obvious reasons, American users have a disproportionate representation on the site. Should votes also be weighted by country?

On another note, that list is total garbage given the author’s with that it should be an approachable recommendation list for non-gamers. If you wanted a list like that, it’d be much more appropriate to just restrict BGG’s list to family games:


Huh, I didn’t even know that was part of the site. And it’s a pretty good list. Indeed, better than the article’s one for recommendations to non-gamers. I don’t know though, who decides what’s a family game?

Also, I’m no statistician, and you’re way more qualified to comment on this stuff than I am. I’ve spent many many hours playing Terra Mystica on your site, and your analysis there is pretty fascinating to read. But if I notice a correlation–say tall people tend to have longer feet–I can plot height vs. foot length on a graph, determine an average trend, then look for outliers against that trend. Someone could have long or short feet for their height. I think that’s all the article is saying: this is a list of the games that are highest games above the score vs. complexity trendline. Am I off base? I would actually like to see a chart that shows games that are disproportionately liked or disliked by non-Americans.


From Pax Unplugged, highly recommend Catch the moon


It’s part of the game’s metadata, which is user-editable but moderated. (See the “classification” box on the game page, and click on the little pen icon). All of the metadata tends to be pretty decent quality, since this is exactly the kind of taxonomical task that appeals to a certain subset of gamers. Except the 18xx family, that’s a total mess since publishers want to insist on putting their non-18xx games there :)

Oh, the correlation is definitely there. Though I think the confounding factor of very old games that are both light and universally agreed to be crap is affecting the curve fit, making it steeper than it should be. Given the author identified that problem, they probably should have adjusted for it e.g. by having a cutoff date.

But… The author didn’t stop at just observing a correlation. They decided that it expressed a bias, that the bias came from the BGG user population not matching the general population, and then tried to adjust for that bias to create a “true” list. That’s like saying that the 2018 US elections were biased in favor of the Democrats, making some sort of regression fit to unbias the data, and then declaring that actually the Republicans would have won if the voters weren’t biased. But expressing a preference is the whole point of voting, not a bias that should be corrected!

So let’s say that the actual goal is to use the BGG user population’s preferences to figure out what the general population’s preferences would be. And let’s accept the hypothesis that BGG users are biased toward heavy games and the general population toward light games. Well, the general population is 100x or 1000x larger! Then it makes no sense to try to make the effect of weight be neutral. You’d need actively penalize heavy games, since the opinion of a normal person should count for 100x that of a boardgame enthusiast.

Just controlling for the weight in isolation though? I have no idea of how to interpret that data in any useful way.

This is the one I was thinking of: (but see also the one with a fewer ggames but a table of correlations between countries:

Not aware of anything newer, though it seems like the kind of thing that somebody would have repeated.


Maaaaybe a 6, tops. You clearly haven’t played the really fiddly games.