I picked up a copy two weeks ago from a local game store. They’re slowly getting out into circulation.
I played New Angeles recently and found it very interesting. I know it’s been discussed here before (or maybe in last year’s thread). It’s a negotiation game where players represent super huge corporations. Its central mechanic is voting on board changing measures with individual players vying for specific board states and changes as well as everyone trying to keep the board state from fomenting a rebellion. I found it an interesting and fun experience, but probably not my go to negotiation game.
However, I thought my friend’s perspective on it was more interesting. She felt ignored for the majority of the game by other players and it left a really negative impression for her. I think it was exacerbated by being the only woman in a game where we’re all pretending to be jerk CEOs. We had accidentally made a really hostile gaming environment when we really didn’t want to.
I thought this was interesting because while I think there’s a lot for us to learn about cultivating a more fun environment at the table for everyone (and I’m trying to take some specific notes on this experience), I also think New Angeles as a design encourages shutting out players. Due to the strange win conditions, it can be the case that more than half the table has shared interests that don’t align with the other half the table. Since everything in the game is voted on, this majority can shut out other players desire to have any say in what’s happening in the game. Even structurally the game feels like it’s built around silencing. The active player proposes an initiative and then every other player has a chance to propose what they believe is a better initiative. So what you propose only happens if enough of the players at the table believe it’s in their interest for it to happen, which often requires convincing.
Other negotiating games I think have strong incentives to get everyone involved. In Cosmic Encounter, you usually want people on your side so they won’t be fighting against you. In Sidereal Confluence, someone at the table has what you need, but it will probably be a different person every round. In Rising Sun, everyone wants an ally to benefit from the bonus action, it’s more a question of who you’re willing to work with. In New Angeles I don’t think there’s a strong incentive to involve quieter players and it’s really easy to just overrun them.
I personally had a fun time with the game. The theme is well executed and I was positively involved in a lot of the conversations and votes, so I felt like an important part of what was happening. I’m not sure this is necessarily a knock on the game but more an interesting note about the type of experience it’s trying to generate. I think the game expects players to all loudly engage the game without a strong push for each player to have to engage each other player. In the right group, I think it’d be a great experience.
I think I’m at the point now where Dark Moon has made it impossible to go back to Battlestar Galactica. The dice mechanic is vastly superior to the cards in BSG, it plays in 1/3rd the time, is infinitely easier to explain and pick up, and the only thing you’re sacrificing is the space portion and I’m okay with that.
We played an actual forum game of New Angeles last year: New Angeles Forum Game: Capital, CAPITAL!
Oh man that’s a great idea for a forum game! I totally missed that thread.
I picked up the Legendary Encounters Alien game, and I should probably get some sleeves for the cards.
I’m assuming my local shop can point me in the right direction for the right size and get me what I need, but does anyone have any strong opinions about sleeves before I do that? Good brands or anything, or am I okay just buying whatever the local place stocks?
I followed a guide for opaque back colored sleeves and I love it. Normally i sleeve transparent, but this helps the game organization too much.
Edit: Here you go.
Whoa, glad I asked, that’s way more than I would’ve considered. Thanks!
Finally got Street Masters kickstarter. 4 boxes worth of stuff. Loads of fighters with 24 card decks each. Lots of baddies and stages to fight on. 16 small maps for locations. Should be a lot of game in those boxes. Will play some solo and with my kiddo this weekend…looks very cool.
After many years of loving to sleeve cards I think KMC Hyper Mattes feel the best. I’ve had them blow out from time to time, but I use them exclusively nowadays so I don’t think that’s a commentary on quality. They just feel great in your hands. They’re pretty expensive though, so might be prohibitive on a game like LE: Alien (~1300 cards).
I played Mansions of Madness (2nd edition) for the first time last night with my coworkers. Two of us had never played, the other two had only played once. That was interesting.
Lovecraft stuff? I can take it or leave it. The mechanics of playing, exploring, and investigating were pretty cool. Did the original require a GM, or was there a way for co-op play without one? It’s hard to imagine juggling everything the app did without a dedicated GM.
Things went poorly at the end though, our scenario had some ambiguity between the narrative and the gameplay that ended up feeling like a cheap “gotcha” at a point where it was too late to go back and address what needed to be done. But it still took almost an hour between realizing that and playing out the rest of the game to our inevitable demise. I guess that’s partly because the point where I assumed it was hopeless was different from when the rest of the team did, which is again down to some ambiguity in exactly what could/couldn’t/needed to happen.
I’d definitely play it again some time, but maybe not for a couple of months, and I’m not even a little tempted to own my own copy.
It was a dedicated one vs many game, yeah. And a heavily overproduced one at that. Every scenario had a bunch of its own components, with three variations that the GM player picked between secretly at the start. Even the basic cards they can pay for to mess with you weren’t explicitly scenario specific but the sets were only used in a couple scenarios each.
I really want to play Mansions of Madness. I can’t tell from everything if I’d hate it or love it. It sounds like a unique experience at least. Still holding out that one of my friends will pick it up so I won’t have to.
Though I have to admit your write-up makes me apprehensive. Nothing kills a game quicker for me than knowing we can’t win and it going on for another hour.
I would say it’s an excellent game for a friend to own.
Don’t let my cynicism put you off too much. Just because I was cynical at the end and also right doesn’t mean I was right to be cynical, if that makes sense. The three other players still thought we had a chance, albeit a slim one.
I’m 100% in favor of MoM. It’s great.
And it’s a great game to own.
My only issue with MoM was the pricing and business model. It’s another super overproduced minis game (the star spawn is practically the weight of all the other minis combined, and barely shows up in 2 scenarios), and rather than focusing on releasing more $5 DLC scenarios, they’re leaning more and more towards $40 expansions with only 2 new scenarios (and more unnecessary minis). Or you can buy the new $60 expansion with THREE new scenarios!!! It’s even worse than Arkham Horror TCG in that regard.
Look what’s new on KS. Paradox Interactive now wants you to spend hours on their Crusader Kings boardgame too.
I thought I was done with boardgames Kickstarters for a while (shelf space used up) but I’m a sucker for CK2.
I went from “Oooh, EXCITING!” to “More miniatures as stretch goals, I’ll pass”. I’ll take a proper look when I have the time, though.
I hear you. That was my initial reaction to the minis (this does not seem to be the type of game that needs minis at all) but they do offer a no-extra-minis version too, which I am considering if the stretch goals are purely cosmetic.