Boardgaming in 2019!

I’m starting this thread a few days before 2019 because of a issue with the forum software generating a 502 error in the old boardgame thread. :)

This last weekend we played Big Trouble in little China. I was really impressed how will it plays for a co-op game! It also a strong narrative experience with lots of story elements playing out

In my experience co-op games often devolve into one player basically helping everyone else toward the goal. The mega player, that everyone else is being a ride along with. This game doesn’t enable/encourage that at all. It does encourage players to break up into teams that is suited to their strengths, but there is a lot of reason for each player to own their own agency. Each character has their own quest, as well as three random side quests and the big baddy quest. Each character has their own strengths and abilities they start with (all which you can choose). As you defeat enemies and complete quest you level up and get additional dice to your pool, a new ability or turn a existing ability into a epic.

The first chapter is spent trying to gain audacity and leveling up your character with new abilities or stocking up on equipment, while completing quests (hopefully your own) and gain audacity. Once the 2nd chapter is triggered the board is flipped over and how the game is set up is purely determined who triggered chapter 2, what the status of the various quests are and your new goal is to gather 3 keys and unlock the final area to face lo pann. The variety of quests, and the status of quests make each game feel unique as well as your own ability to effectively level up/gear up. Right behind gloomhaven as far as co-op games go.

The other game we played was Dragon Tides

Very fun and strong narrative, with branching story lines between mission based on the choices you make and the outcome of your battles. If you win as the Dragon (good guys) you level up and get new cards, but face a tougher next battle. You lose the person playing the enemy gets a boost and the Dragons get a easier battle. The Dragons you can play are Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee and a few other folks that look like popular a and b movie stars from action/kung fu films. The game fairly basic and has a few problems but its also a quick game that is the best thematic kung fu board game made yet.

A turn is as simple as choosing your special move, moving your movement, and taking a action (usually attacking). Combat is choosing between 3 movies, grapple (immobilizing your opponent and reducing his combat efficiency), Throwing (throwing him across the map) and Strike (doing pure damage). Each choice has a weakness so throwing beats strike and grapple beats throwing. If you get the advantage you get to roll 2 extra dice for your attack and power up your special. The battle maps are often cluttered with chairs, tables, chicken, sodas, and weapons which you can optional pick up and use in the battle. The rules are pretty straight forward and the combats are typically 30 to 45 min long. This isn’t the best mini board game out there, but its the best thematic kung fu board game ive found so far.

Just to let everyone know that we’ll be doing a PBF in 2019 that is channelling 1986. :)

Trying to continue from the 2018 thread. My copy of SpaceCorps arrived last night. My 8 y/o son and I set it up and played through the Mariners era. What I was surprised by was how not heavy the game is. It’s your standard deck builder, but without a deck. It’s Mage Knight with the Unit market, but without the Advanced Action and Spell offers. It’s Ticket to Ride with numbers. We had fun though, and the play through the Mariners age was pretty slick. We’ll see how much more involved stuff gets with Planeteers and Starfarers. I know things now that I would do differently in Mariners.

I found the game pretty theme light. The cards are just actions with numbers. At least for the Mariners era, you could easily re-theme it to a train game–establishing depots and stations or whatever–without changing a single rule. There’s no sense of the time/fuel trade-off that movement has in High Frontier or Leaving Earth: rockets cobbled together from whatever you can find, racing not just against your opponents, but against the frontier of human knowledge and technology, gravity slingshots, aerobrakes, solar powered ion drives. Maybe it gets more thematic at the eras progress though. We’ve set up to continue our game this evening.

I assume that we’ll be starting the “Boardgaming in 2026” thread in August 2025.

Why wait? Let’s do it now.

But isn’t that true of many boardgames? Boardgame abstraction usually allows for pretty much whatever theme you want to apply.

As for SpaceCorp, I don’t think playing a single era does it justice. What’s unique here isn’t the basic ruleset, but how it takes the basic ruleset and extends its across larger scales, folding in new detail along the way to express its speculative science/sci-fi. The Mariner era just teaches you the basic moves. The outer solar system and then the interstellar colonization are the real potatoes and meat, respectively.

That’s why I complained about the colonies in the interstellar era. It’s as if John Butterfield just stopping trying to apply theming, and the result is a bunch of desultory endgame point dumps. I’m actually working on some house theming – hey, I’m modding a boardgame! – to make the colonies more intuitive next time we play.


In 2019 I’ll be playing more Skies Above the Reich, adding Zeppelin Raider and maaaayabe some of that White Tribe @Brooski was so effusive about…

I though the colony system was fine thematically. It was a jarring new set of numbers to deal with; but, I got my head around it by considering the macro scale that Starfarers is at. Basically you are considering resources in a system as a whole when looking at Colonial viability and CP. You get used to the fact that two bases (any system with more than a primary exploration site) will give you a CP. The exploration tiles will have more, you can sacrifice a team for another, etc. Like I said Jarring but it doesnt look too hard to process in the long run and seemed to jive pretty well with what the discoveries described on a thematic level.

If you are a fan of Champions of Midgard like me, The Jarl Edition is back in stock for $60, great value!

Ok I’ll try here for my belated new games post. Wumpus’ Revenge was stopping me from posting in the main thread:




I have also received Aeon’s End Legacy, with expansion & promos. It’s a huge box, way bigger than I was expecting.

God I want to play some boardgames but my family don’t play anything this complicated and it’s a bad time of year to try to get friends together. -sigh-

Oh, no, no, that stuff is fine. Great even. Although I do think the player aid should have the breakdown for how to get colony points. The theming I’m talking about is the actual colonies:

Have fun poring over all those different unthemed symbols, each on several tiles with teensy asterisks arrayed along the top to indicate cost. Is that five asterisks or six? Butterfield does a good job theming actions, bases, sites, and discoveries. And then totally whiffs on the endgame colonies. How hard would have been to give them names to indicate what they do? Even the dopey aliens get names based on what they do! So that’s where I’m modding my copy of SpaceCorp. I’m coming up with a name for each type of colony to indicate what it does.


Whoa, Zeppelin Raider looks cool! Here’s a link for folks.


I’m hoping it’ll make for some good AARs. I’ve got a Skies Above the Reich one going over at Stately Play:

I kind of phoned in the last mission. Gotta step it back up to my previous heights of narrative genius.

I got mine too! It looks like a beast.

If your family and friends don’t Boardgame the best thing you can do is join a local for the hobby. If there isn’t one start one, you’ll be flooded.

My copy of SAtR just arrived. I read the rules and it seems it’s going to be a blast to play, but I fear not having time to set it up over Christmas (the box is heavy and I might decide against travelling with it).

I’ll read your AAR to enjoy it vicariously ¡:P

No, I have people to play with most weeks, it’s just that it’s almost Christmas.

Share when you’ve got them.

I wonder if they had names that were scrubbed during production. My copy of Robinson Crusoe has discovery tokens (things you find while exploring the island) with generic effects on them, e.g. gain 2 food if you have a knife. The 2nd edition (and non-English first editions) have names on the tokens; the above example is a goat.

Played a bunch of miniatures games lately…

Played a couple rounds of Warhammer Underworlds the other day. Though its not exactly the deepest game, its still very satisfying. Its a fun diversion, but it doesn’t quite have enough meat to hold my attention. That said, considering its simple rules and quick play time, I think it is much more enjoyable than other similar 1v1 battle arena games. Its also a great weekday night game to play with my wife.

Finally got in a full game of Gaslands earlier today. I’ve been meaning to play this for over half a year, and it didn’t disappoint. The rules do a great job of balancing theme with smooth, easy-to-learn gameplay. Despite having movement templates like X-Wing, it feels completely different. Also, the hazard tokens are brilliant, and add a “push your luck” mechanic to the game (as there should be in a racing game). Highly recommend this, though it does play a little longer than I expected. We played for about 2.5 hours in our first full game.

After our game of Gaslands, we pulled out Tanks, a light tank warfare game. It is basically X-Wing for tank nuts, though I think most armored warfare fans will be pretty disappointed with it. It is not realistic at all, with tanks having HP points, Sherman tanks performing vastly better than Panzer IVs, and T-34s functioning as light “swarm” tanks. If you can get past the historical inaccuracies, then it is actually a really great light miniatures game. In fact, I think that it may actually be better for children than X-Wing, since movement is not limited by templates. I believe its also cheaper than X-Wing (though it doesn’t have assembled painted minis).

Oh, it’s super fun, and it has the best, clearest rules I’ve ever read, bar none. Make sure you stop by BGG to get the post-production document that contains the new (optional) approach rules they’re adding to Storm Above the Reich.