Boardgaming in 2018!

I hear Mage Knight is pretty solid.

That’s almost like the shelf in my closet as a teenager! Magic Realm, Anzio…but underneath I had CV (an amazing Yaquinto game about the battle of Midway) and Wings (a ridiculously complex Yaquinto game about WWI dogfighting).

I have yet to find a fantasy adventure boardgame that is any good (other than Magic Realm). They all seem to fall into two camps, one is the “draw a card and see what happens” camp (e.g. Talisman, Rune Age, etc); the other is the “co-op tactical battles” camp (e.g. Sword & Sorcery, Gloomhaven, etc.). There are some oddballs like the Pathfinder card game, but I don’t like any of them.

I did that on purpose, personally. Not so much because $8 shipping is a huge deal either way, but because getting a giant box full of All The Stuff ™ is way more satisfying than getting it piecemeal. Also, it’s not like I actually need more games to play. I just keep buying them. >.>

Mine is next to it :)


The summer between junior and senior year in high school, the guy who owned the local game store in St. Charles would shut down at 8pm every night, and then he’d order pizza for the whole group and four or five of us would play CV. I think we managed to play 5 or 6 of the big campaign, start to finish.

Another thing I remember from that time: Yaquinto had a really impressive lineup of games. Some top-notch designers there.

S. Craig Taylor designed both CV and Wings. He then refined the CV system to cover the carrier battles around Guadalcanal and called it Flat Top. I played Flat Top about as much as it sounds like you played CV! It is such a great system. We even played Flat Top by postal mail with a gamemaster to keep the moves totally hidden. What a great time.

I got the chance to play Wings with Craig Taylor at Origins ‘83 in Detroit - he was demoing it with tiny little biplane figures on those tall, thin stands. I remember him being very friendly, even to some nerdy kid like me.

Taylor died about four or five years ago - I think he was in his fifties. It’s a real shame. He died much too young. As you said, he was very talented.

Perhaps, yon reader, you are going to Dice Tower Con sometime tomorrow and you saw an earlier message I wrote here. And you thought, “that dude’s an idiot” and thus you did not contact me. Well, @geewhiz is going to go to DTC as well, and he is certainly not an idiot. Perhaps you can meet up with us and discuss with him in what ways I am an idiot.

Message me (or him) if interested.

That’s interesting to know that it was the same designer, and yeah, that’s too young to go.

First game we ever played of CV, I was paired up with the game store owner against two other guys who were his age (I was the kid, so I guess I was the handicap!) We were the USN, and we had one small non-CV TF get caught away from any cloud cover, and they got mauled when the other side sent wave after wave of planes at it.

But…we spotted their two main CV task forces a couple of turns later, and launched all strikes…and caught them much like Yamamoto’s demise, as they were refueling on the decks to wipe out the last few light cruisers and destroyers in the TF they spotted. It was glorious. And I was totally hooked.

That same summer Grigsby/SSI released Guadalcanal Campaign on the IIe. It actually mimicked a lot of those CV/Flattop mechanics, i think.

EDIT: Just noticed that Taylor designed Wooden Ships & Iron Men. WOW. That design still ripples through computer and boardgame ship-to-ship combat.

And Machiavelli. And Swashbuckler, a stupidly fun little beer-and-pretzels combat game.

Well, I picked up a 3rd printing copy of Doomhaven on the weekend, and my son, a couple of his buddies and I banged out the first scenario. It was touch and go, and basically succeeded in the scenario with 1 player left standing… barely.

The game is really Fun™! It is very much like a video-game on the table top. I’m going full legacy on this one, too… marking up the board with a Sharpie and placing stickers. We’ll tear up cards when the time comes, too. I figure if we can keep this group together long enough to get through at least half of the campaign, it’ll have been worth the CAD$140 expense, and if I ever want to play again with a new group, we’ll just get another copy.

Storage is a bitch, though. I’m not paying another $100 just for little wood boxes to put stuff in, so I’ve got all the tokens in Ziploc baggies. It takes some time to set up and teardown, but it’s not like Doomhaven is a spontaneous play session; I just start setting up 15 minutes before the group arrives.

My memory is faulty: he was in his mid-sixties (either 65 or 66) when he died. Still too young.

Here is a remembrance from C3i magazine (at the time published by GMT Games) from 2012:

And those would be …

Besides Mage Knight?

…the ones I’ll be covering at some point in the future. Duh.

Spoiler: Gloomhaven isn’t one of them. I don’t think the usual dungeon crawls are really Magic Realm successors so much as the parts of D&D that don’t involve players having to pretend they’re elfs talking to a tavernkeeper. Besides, the combat in Magic Realm is so, well, weird. As a tactical combat game, I think Magic Realm is an evolutionary dead end.


The combat system in Magic Realm is weird because it supports any number of: Characters, hirelings, natives, and monsters; any of which can be attacking anybody else, using ranged weapons, melee weapons, spells, and magic items.

You could have two characters in a clearing teaming up to beat a dragon, then (in the same combat), the characters turning on each other. Name another board game where you can do that!

This is a game I have never heard of.

I assume you mean Gloomhaven…and I don’t think you’re actually meant to tear up cards.

Plano boxes are your friend and fairly cheap.

@Scotch_Lufkin has some solid layouts he got from somewhere for them. Organization makes it bearable. Without it, things would rapidly become a nightmare.

Ugh… I feel like an idiot. Of course it’s Gloomhaven. WTF was I thinking??

As for tearing the cards, the loot in the Scenario 1 treasure chest is a Random Scenario. That scenario will never be played again, so tearing up the card was kinda thrilling.

I have an unopened copy of Risk: Legacy in the basement (did I get that name right?) and I’ve been looking for a group to commit to that one. Lots of card/envelope tearing and stickers and Sharpies in that one…

I put together my thoughts as I was researching stuff for storage (and what I ultimately came up with) around here:

Highly recommended!

I also more recently sleeved a few of the cards - the monster and character combat decks, and the character ability cards (enough sleeves to swap cards in and out, not obviously enough for every possible card) - and I also recommend that because shuffling and general feel of the cards is just amazing, plus it keeps those frequently shuffled decks in good shape.