Boardgaming in 2019!


:) Even after all these years, Powergrid is still a top 5 game for me. So much player interaction: auctions, supply-and-demand market, cutthroat area control, the impact of player order and constant decision making! It’s a pretty glorious game.


Having played Porfiriana extensively and owned Pamir and played it a handful of times, and owned Renaissance and never even truly understood the rulebook let alone played it, I would like to opine that there is a very direct line from Porfiriana to Renaissance in terms of fiddliness and complexity of systems, but Pamir is much more understandable than either of the others and has by far the best rulebook. Wehrle’s influence on the design of Pamir appears to be very strong, and all to the good. I have no experience with the 2nd Edition, sadly, because $70 was just not in my budget for a game I (basically) already own and so very seldom get onto the table, because the theme is a tough sell.


Hey, if you guys wanna go on record as steering someone from Terraforming Mars to Pax Pamir, be my guest! I’m just saying it might not be a very smooth lateral move if you’re looking for a game to play with the family.



I won’t say that Pax Pamir is any kind of natural step from Terraforming Mars. I’m the weird guy that says if a game seems interesting to you, just play it.

I don’t know what kind of game Hal was trying to move too. If it’s a heavier economic game with board placement being a larger factor I’d say something like Fast Food Magnet or a lighter 18xx, maybe 1846. An even heavier pure economic game I’d say Arkwright.


Powergrid rocks! And it has auctions!


Yeah I have some pizza magnets on my fridge also. Oh, you meant


Wow, looking at that typo and my confusion about the title I was only batting about three hundred there. Zero, if we were looking for the correct order.

But yeah, I like that game quite a bit. I don’t understand why it’s expensive but the retro aesthetic is nice and the game’s systems are pretty solid.

Thanks for actually putting in the link too. I’m going to add Arkwright here:

That game does a fantastic job of integrating, wages, and supply and demand into the worker pool. It’s a great design.


Finally got to play Mansions of Madness last night. My face when I go insane. So instead of playing for the good guys, I help the elder gods defeat them. Bad guys win = I win, wooohoo 🙂

Also, finally unboxed New York Slice. Big thumbs up.

Still haven’t gotten Reef or Gizmos to the table. I have failed you @Vesper sorry!


There’s an online implementation, too! I played it once, but had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on or why. Thankfully the other party didn’t, either. I won!


I would love to play FCM online if anyone wants to do that. It’s a brilliant game.


FCM is a great game, but it has one of the worst setup times I’ve seen, and is a serious table hog. If they could somehow fix those issues, I would order my own copy immediately.




I am trying to think what the “next” step from Terraforming Mars would be. Yeah, you could go more complicated, but part of the appeal of Terraforming Mars is the theme and the fact the gameplay is ultimately straightforward. Play cards to build your engine (and get points), to ultimately build points. I have not played Pax Pamir, but the other Pax and “Elkland” games lack that linear development. Players are required to balance themselves, there are weird times when you hurt your personal game state to gain a longtime advantage, and the game might have a sudden win condition. So, games for players who like learning the “meta” in addition to the listed rules.

Instead, if the group liked card play with a colorful board, I recommend the Quartermaster General games (because of course I do). If you think what they really like is the engine building with some minor player interaction, then something like Scythe or Suburbia would seem to be better bets. Perhaps the newly released Architects of the West Kingdom might find a sweet spot as well. If they really want a strong theme with a sense of turn to turn accomplishment, Sentinels of the Multiverse is a pleasure for me as is the Pathfinder card games (though I’ve only played the latter on PC).


So at my monthly game night we laid down some Space Base and Architects of the West Kingdom, both new games I got recently.

Space Base was enjoyable, but also a disappointment. Frankly, I could tell as soon as I opened the box. What was obvious was that this game adds some smart mechanics on top of the Machi Koro formula. On the flip side, it totally flubs it on the thematic front–or more precisely, the “theme-reinforcing-mechanics-and-vice-versa” front–and you can tell as soon as you look at the cards. Let me start with the petty point: It’s called “Space Base,” but where’s my base? All I have are ships, basically. Okay, fine. What differentiates those ships, fictionally? Barely anything. I can tell that some abilities are associated with a type of ship, but that’s a simple correspondence of mechanic to fiction, and it goes no further than that.

Compare with Machi Koro: If I have a couple of Ranches, I’m going to want to build the Cheese Factory. How do I enable my various fishing boats? I’ll need a Harbor. When I roll the number to activate the Stadium, it’s like calling people from all the surrounding towns to come to the big game! None of this logic seems to exist in Space Base, and for me it really flattens the experience.

Architects of the West Kingdom, by contrast, seemed like a winner when I broke it open. And the mechanics seemed to basically work when I played a solo game (which operates with a robot opponent performing simplified actions). Played with four, it wasn’t quite what I was hoping it would be. The problem seems to me to be an improper balance of resource inputs and sinks. It felt like there weren’t effective things to spend silver on halfway through the game, for example. This meant we didn’t end up doing much capturing of our opponents’ workers. Apprentices are fairly useful early in the game, but they don’t provide any direct victory points, so that side of the economy languished. Several of us felt like we didn’t have a lot of effective moves to make as we made our way toward the end of the game.

I like the speed of turns. I basically like every individual component of the design. I’ll need to give it another play to see if we get a different dynamic with a different group. Here’s hoping!


Finally, after much sanding, effort, and help from my parents and two friends over four separate sessions, finished my Daedalus Mansions of Madness insert (I’ll take photos when less tired, also hopefully with bits in it.) Mixed feelings overall. It’s a really smart design with lots of cool filigrees and cosmetic touches, thoughtful engraving, etc. But this first run missed tolerances or something and became an absolute nightmare to put together, and even finally assembled is just a little sloppy-feeling. And the instructions are a bit lacking - the PDF that was eventually provided works, I suppose, but it’s less step by step than I’d like, and the original video was no help at all. I assume they’ve found the problem and future installments will be recommendable though.

Then we played two rounds of three player Dice Throne. This was our second and third time with the game and we all came away glowing and fired up about the whole thing. Both games were incredibly close and dramatic, and the characters are varied yet seem super well balanced against each other. Even the complexity 1 Barbarian, played in all three games by my friend Drew, may not be fancy but he is an incredibly real threat between intense damage output and significant self-healing capacity.

This time around we did Artificer (me) versus Tactician and Barbarian, and Paladin (me) versus Samurai and Barbarian. I won the former on the razor’s edge, choosing to take out the Tactician when I had the ability to rather than merely drop the Barbarian into danger range, and getting a very clutch kill a couple of rounds later on said Barbarian. The Artificer spends a lot of time building a status resource called Synth in order to build, upgrade and activate three robots (defensive healing, electric shock added to attacks, and the ability to detonate Nanites added to other players, respectively). The Tactician is, as you might expect, very flexible and has a lot of defensive options.

The Samurai won the second game, but it was incredibly dramatic. See, the Paladin has a really unusual dice spread (compared to most of the characters) and no basic attack option, so has significantly fewer viable roll combinations and not really any straightforward damage output. But he does have a passive that lets him spend the game’s currency (combat points) to reroll dice whenever he wants and buy extra cards, and many of his powers reward combat points. And he has several powerful status effects, including the Blessing of Divinity, which allows him to survive death once and cannot be meddled with otherwise. This only fires when he scores his ultimate…but I managed to do this in the late stages of the game with a bit of card-based dice-meddling. A little later, the Barbarian managed to do me in, so I popped back up with 1 HP left, vulnerable to literally any attack. But then I was able to pull up my Ultimate again, which would have eliminated either player and healed me and given me another free death save, effectively handing me the game…except the Samurai managed to slip the dice out from under me at the last possible moment, so I just ended up taking a bunch of CP instead. The Samurai then eliminated the Barbarian and…could I do 9 damage and take him out before he could turn back to me? Nope! But I got my Retaliate status, which would let me do half (rounded up) of incoming damage, and enough CP to upgrade my defenses and I had a special Paladin card in my hand that let me defend even more. I could, conceivably, take the Samurai down with me between Retaliate and my defensive power, or maybe even kill him with counter damage and prevent enough to survive, even at 1 HP. And I probably would have managed it if he had either gotten a big attack (which I could Retaliate into a lethal blow combined with my defensive power and the card in my hand), or done a weaker undefendable attack. But he managed to hit the one single attack he had that a) wasn’t worth Retaliating, b) was undefendable so I couldn’t use my defensive power, and c) did just enough damage that only 1 in 6 results for my card would save me. I used my passive to reroll twice and still didn’t quite manage. But good lord was it close.

I really cannot recommend this game highly enough.


Western Legends or Dinosaur island? Both? Neither?

Western Legends
Like= Sandbox
Like= western theme
Worry= that it’s too light
Worry= I already have Merchants and Marauders

Dinosaur Island
Like= Jurassic Park
Like= Worker Placement
Worry= Nothing new
Worry= Missed opportunity to differentiate between the different Dino types.
Worry= Is DinoGenics the game I want.

Bonus Question:
Did anyone here back Lifeform?


Keep us informed if your opinion changes! A game running out of steam before the end always completely kills a game for me. You might’ve talked this off my list for now.


New games this week!



Missed one:



Only just bothered opening this thread. So here’s a months worth of replies :)

Me! Did you pick it up? From what I can tell from all of the whinging on the BGG forums, it’s out of stock in most places and so quite hard to get hold of. But I’d say you should definitely grab it if you want something like “Jagged Alliance themed Catacombs”. I’m having a hard time getting it to the table as flicking things isn’t cerebral and number-crunchy enough for the groups I play with :’(

IMHO: Exit is best, then Unlock!, then Escape the Room. I played Escape the Room: Stargazer’s Manor, which is apparently the hardest one [at least, at the time], and it was a bit too simple and not enough of a challenge for me. Still, it’s fun to play, but if you’re a keen Exit and Unlock! player than ETR might not cut it for you?

I have this :) I found that the “miss a go” and “lose all your acorns” spaces came up way too often. And both of those spaces are, as most little kids like to loudly point out, “unfair”. Still: kids seem to enjoy it.

For 2 year old kids I’d recommend First Orchard over Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, it seems to go down a bit better.

Hobbit fingers? The English word is “tweezers” :)

I have this set (though it cost £5), and I find the ones with the “hooked” end are the best for chits, so I bought a few more separate pairs.

Your board is the base! The ships are docked with it, and when you send them off into deep space you turn them over and tuck them under.

But I agree, the theme is irrelevant. I definitely felt that Machi Koro’s theme “worked”, whereas Space Base’s doesn’t.

We must be playing different games! If anything it suffers from the usual Euro/Worker-placement problem of “ARGH, NOT ENOUGH RESOURCES TO DO X Y Z”. Running out of money is often a real engine-breaker, and money seemed to be spent by players at all times throughout the game, with some people even needing to resort to the desperate measure of collecting from the tax box. Though saying that I did see one player amass loads, but he used it all in the end to improve his score.

Depending on your strat and what apprentices you have, they are useful right 'til the end. Especially the ones at the storehouse that allow you to switch goods, that seemed to be very effective.

Maybe, because no one was lassoing their opponents meeples often enough, people were getting 6 resources a pop, rather than 2, which led to your perceived imbalance? (Though surely you’d run out of meeples? We found lassoing was very necessary!)

Maybe they’ll be able to print the cards correctly in this version? :)