Boardgaming in 2019!

Not having played it with people yet, I can only speculate but I believe there are probably two levels of player interaction:

1)the typical level of indirect interaction you see in many Euros “Damnit you took the cargo I wanted from the market!” - and also it is possible to move the patrol ships in such a way to affect other players.

2)There is some direct interaction: you can get a bounty on a character on someone else’s crew, and if you attempt to capture them, that player can defend them. There are also some cards that allow for direct player to player combat in certain circumstances.

I feel about this solo game the way I feel about Terraforming Mars solo, except the Star Wars license adds a lot of flavor. TM solo and Outer Rim solo both seem like good ways to learn the systems of the games, and to get a sense of the various decks, cards, etc. However, playing with people is almost certainly better.

Solo play was not my first choice, and in fact I had no plans to play it solo when I bought it. But, needs must, etc. I feel like when I do get it on the table I’ll be able to both play and teach it better due to solo experience.

We tried diving into that King in Yellow Mysterious Package Company thing yesterday.

Ugh. I think these things are just pure atmosphere props. Just a bunch of fake newspaper clipping and journal entries that are just flavor text. And not very good flavor text either. What was that website featured a while ago on the front page? The one that was a modern take on Jerusalem’s Lot about the cursed house? That did what this King in Yellow experience did a lot better, and for $160 less. What is your friend going to do with that large heavy ugly prop? Certainly not display it where company can see it.

There was only one “puzzle” to it in the form of decoding symbols. There’s no trick to figuring it out though. It outright tells you how. But the trick is that it’s a lot of time consuming grunt work to translate it into letters even after you know the trick. We quit after an hour because it felt too much like homework. And instead of some further mystery or revelation at the end, I suspect it’s just going to be a “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine” moment.

Just picked up Outer Rim for solo only unless i can get my kid to play. The FLGS had it for only $34.99…think they miss priced it…didnt say a word and ran out of there!

Someone marked wholesale as retail price. Oops!

Anyone in Seattle want Outer Rim for $34.99…call Wishes in Alderwood Mall…one copy left…“might” still be $34.99.

New games this week:


I’m surprised Inis sold well enough to get an expansion. It’s great; I just never see anyone with it and I’ve heard complaints from rubes about the excellent art. Seasons looks good, and like it could possibly make the game a little less calculating.

I own it, and I’d love to get it to the table more, but I’ve found it hard to find players. I think people just don’t know what it is at a glance. And it’s kind of unlike anything else, so it’s hard to find a comparison: it’s a card drafting game mixed with Stratego on a procedural map?

What’s up with those Cthulhu Wars expansions? Is it a reprint or something?

2 are reprints 1 is new. The game has been hard to get for awhile and it just came back with the expansions.

I got Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. It’s getting commentary on BGG and coming off as kind of ho hum. I can see the complaints. It’s a race game, where there is no real direct interaction with other players beyond grabbing the useful stuff first. The invitation, introductions and Feats of Magic are not incredibly flavorful. But, I do like the idea of being able to set this up and play quickly. Turns look to be pretty snappy and I’ll think what comes off as to simple and plain I’ll try to take as elegance of design.

I am still pretty positive on Star Wars Outer Rim after my first play through. That game is also a race but dripping with theme. I don’t know about solitaire play. What do you use as a score chase? The number of turns you complete the game in? I’m still inclined not to use the bot at all.

The bot IS the score chase. The bot will be botting around the rim, under the control of Droid (AI) cards, and will be earning fame as it delivers various cargoes, completes jobs, and occasionally gets to just straight up buy a fame for credits (if it has enough). If the bot gets to 10 fame before you, the bot wins.

Just started my first Outer Rim game solo with Lando. One of the market cards that came up on top was a smuggler mod for my ship…perfect for Lando as his personal goal is delivering 2 illegal goods and the smuggler mod helps the odds with dice rolls for dropping off those items.

Now i gotta just get my wife to stop needing me so much with her broken foot so I can become the best smuggler in the universe!

For those who like Clank!

Played some more Outer Rim last night. Han solo, the AI I’m challenging, was able to pick up a luxury good job, some jewels from Naboo, So he arrived there and had to get through 5 tests to be able to pass the job and get crazy credits. He made it to the last test with 3 damage (he has 4 max) and the last test he rolled a crit to pass, and was able to heist the jewels and get off the planet.

With that fame, he is now at 6 and I have 3…BUT, there is a mod in the market that gives you 1 extra fame each time you receive a fame but it costs a lot of credits so Lando is going for that but needs to wait until he delivers his 2nd illegal cargo so he can finish his personal goal, and then he can swap the Fame mod for the Smuggler mod he is using now to help with delivering illegal goods.

The AI is fun to play as it’s like another player and rolling for him is pretty tense in some of those tests.

I’m enjoying this quite a bit so far.

Does the game feel like the typical FFG Arkham game roll dice and see if you pass your test?

Got my copy of Pax Pamir. (I stopped doing KS pledges about a year ago, and after this one, I think I only have one more (Bios: Origins 2) before they’ve all either arrived or collapsed.) I almost didn’t open it–thought about trying to resell it instead. But I couldn’t resist. And it is, of course, lovely.

And I love the game dynamics of the Pax model: how every system interlocks neatly with every other system. I played a game against the AI, made a bunch of mistakes, but now have a general sense of how to play. Hopefully I can bring it to the table when my gaming uber-geek brother-in-law visits in a few weeks.

EDIT: I should mention, the AI won even though it seemed like I was dominant the whole game. She built up a collection of patriots in her court and I hadn’t focused enough on spycraft to do anything about it. It’s interesting that because the AI has no loyalty, she just accumulates influence. Since you can’t do anything about her gifts and prizes, you kind of have to spend effort turning her patriots.

Took a trip to Arcon yesterday (Oslo’s yearly board game conference).

Played a game of Vikingjarl, which is a great little Viking-themed boardgame; trading, combat, colonization, random events, and playable with 4 players in about an hour. Disclaimer: I consider the designer a friend and I remain undefeated in the game, so I might not be completely unbiased.

Got another chance at playtesting Europa Universalis: The Boardgame ( Played England in the 1444 setup; got immediately into a war with France (who was basically just “screw this, I want some action”). Was able to repel his assault and captured Paris, leaving France pretty much in ruins (in addition to having lost Paris, I also wiped out the tax base of his two biggest provinces with a Plague event), but we only got that one turn done, so didn’t have time to see what would have happened next. Game mechanics seem solid (and have improved since last time I tried it). My main worry about this game currently is the play time which still seems daunting, but I like the basic gameplay. Disclaimer: The designer of this is another friend.

Finally, got to try Detective Club (, which was a fun little game to round out the evening. It’s a deduction game (obviously), where you have to place down two cards (and later justify them) matching a word picked out by one of the players, with the tricky bit being that one player does not know the actual word. Seen it compared to Dixit, which I haven’t played, but this was definitely hilarious.

Was this kick-started or something? I watched a video on the rules for this game at some point and have no idea why I’d do that.

Yep. It failed in its first attempt on KS, but succeeded on its second try. They’re still accepting late pledges, if you’re interested:

The plan is to start shipping in November; based on my chats with Rickard, sounded like they were well on course to hit that target.