Boardgaming in 2019!


Okay, I didn’t know how much Phil was/wasn’t involved in the production!

I usually do separate art from the artist, but I guess there’s something in this specific instance (Pax Em, not Pax Pamir) that makes it harder.

I guess because the ideas of the designer permeate the whole project throughout and are the basis for it, as opposed to a (some) song(s) for instance?

Not to mention that unprofessional behaviour in his posts, that’s easily a tipping point.

I might be wrong but I didn’t take his views to be that there are advantageous elements in Western Civilization, a position that’s legitimate and can easily be argued for, but a subtle and at the same time classical justification of colonialism supported on some spin on the white man’s burden myth.

I find that his arguments, used with carelesness like he does, can easily go down a very dark slippery slope.

At the same time, I’m not even half as knowledgeable about these topics as other people can be here or BGG, so I’m happy to keep learning from it!


Being luck dependent is a legit critique of the A&A series and yet core to the series. It’s most definitely not a Euro and the RNG can be a vicious and inconsistent deity, but that’s part of the deal.


Heh, but then I’d actually have to keep updated scores on BGG. Probably not going to happen.


It needs some work. Or BGG really thinks I’ll like Gloomhaven.

I don’t.


But the manuals are awful and constantly changing. It’s a shame he doesn’t put more effort into making them readable and concise.

That’s because BGG doesn’t care about you or your opinions! :)

(The recommendations aren’t tailored, everyone sees the same ones.)


Nah, his latest games have readable manuals, perhaps not concise, but pretty clear (the company has come a long way in accessibility and graphic design, I’m really looking forward to see what they can do with High Frontier 4). It’s just that they are structured weirdly and it takes a full read and a turn play through to grok most of it, but after that they are pretty easy to reference (which is pretty hard to do well and something I appreciate).

The constantly changing “living rules” are another matter. It’s also getting better in that regard, but you can still expect a couple of important changes from the rules as printed.


Yeah, BGG thinks everyone likes Gloomhaven. Pfft.



Oh, happy days! Outlive has an expansion: Outlive Underwater.

I had been wondering about whether the game would get one earlier this week and lo and behold, it’s waiting for me.

As @Lykurgos reported back in 2017, our first session with Outlive was a ton of fun and I’ve enjoyed the game ever since.


And now we get to play in the same world with an added underwater base and robots to build. I’m curious to see what it will do to the strategy @Lykurgos successfully employed back then of focusing on equipment. This is going on my purchase list immediately.



Wendelius, Lykurgos,

Sell me on outlive some more. Which version do you have? How is the downtime? How long is your first game? Is it whoever has the most equipment going to win? Is there only one path to victory etc?


Yeah but BGG thinks every -

Uh yeah, that.


I made something like this to save some table space:


Played a couple new games today:

18Lilliput is a “streamlined” 18xx with a relatively short playtime (around 2-3 hours). Instead of playing on a hex board of a country or region, you lay out square cards to build rails and link to cities. This works surprisingly well, and is much easier to parse than a hex board. While the operational side of the game worked fine, I think the stock portion was a bit lacking. Instead of having set operations and stock rounds, the game uses action cards to perform actions, like an action selection euro game. This means that if all the “buy stock” cards are gone, then you can’t buy or sell stock in a round. This also means that in our three player game, only two stocks could be bought per round! As you can imagine, this makes the stock market pretty rigid and predictable. Also, classic 18xx strategies like trashing companies doesn’t really work, since there is no way to transfer ownership.

I was originally interested in 18Lilliput because I thought it would be a good way to introduce people to 18xx. It definitely has a shorter playtime than most 18xx, but I don’t really think the rules are much simpler than 1889 or 1846. More importantly, its missing the rules flexibility that makes playing new 18xx games so exciting. Some people on BGG have said it feels more like a euro game, and I can understand why. The problem is that euro game fans will probably feel like 18Lilliput feels a bit bloated. This leaves the game in a weird place, and I have a feeling its going to have trouble finding an audience.

The other game we played was The Estates, which I enjoyed immensely. In fact, I think it may be one of the best bidding games I’ve ever played. It has some of the best player interaction I’ve ever seen in a game. Since only completed columns of buildings get scored at the end, and since uncompleted columns give negative points, everyone is constantly trying to screw over everyone else construction projects. And boy, the game gives you lots of ways to do that. Yet, there is no violence or explosions or direct conflict in the game. A player may not score any points and the game and still win by disrupting everyone else, causing them to all negative scores (in our game, only one person had a positive score). Though I think it not work as well in all groups (especially those who enjoy multiplayer solitaire euros), we had a blast and were laughing the whole time.


Capstone has been knocking out of the park lately. I really want to try the estates. Pipeline should be out in a few months and it looks to be awesome.


This has been discussed here, I’m sure, but I’m impressed with Tabletop Simulator. It seems as close we are going to get to sharing a table with other players until we have full Star Trek style VR/ Holograph rooms. I’m dinking around with the Paths of Glory mod. It may or may not be more practical than Vassal, either way it looks amazing.


I don’t like the 3d-ness of Tabletop Simulator. Doesn’t it have a physics engine? Seems like an unnecessary layer of fiddliness to me.


It does, but you can partially or fully disable it on the fly or by default. It’s been pointed out to me that it couldn’t properly replicate dexterity games if it didn’t have physics, but it’s certainly true that they’re annoying in a lot of other games.


Played New Frontiers (a more “tabletop” version of the Race/Roll for the Galaxy franchise) today. It required more setup than Race or Roll, but also b/c the development tiles were displayed for acquisition, allowed for much greater planning and less randomness. We played with just 2 players (2 phases per player per turn) and overall it was pretty good.

Based on the first play, I will try it again to see if it clearly distinguishes itself from Roll, which is my current favorite of that series. I’m also curious how it plays with 3 or 4 players.


Every DLC for Tabletop Simulator is half off for the Steam Lunar New Year sale.

I picked up Darkest Night for $3.50. Going to give that a try. Looks a bit like Eldritch Horror and Mage Knight had a baby.


A very small baby with stubby arms and legs.



Don’t mind Tom. He hates everything.

I’m sure Darkest Night is worth $3.50.