Boardgaming in 2020: the year of the, uh, post-minis era? We can only hope!

Finished 5th game of War of Whispers.

I don’t dislike it, but I don’t think I’m going to bring it out again. If someone asked for it I’d play, but I’m not going to propose it, and I bought the thing!

I still think it’s weighted too heavily on crazy out of nowhere card plays, and players who don’t know what they can all do are sunk. Careful, long term positioning seems secondary.

I also think that it only really works with exactly 3 players. 2 loses most of the intrigue feeling, and with 4 the action spaces get clogged up too quickly and it feels like there isn’t much choice beyond the halfway point.

There’s also the issue of length. It has the same person problem I had with Terraforming Mars, where its entire appeal was quick, light play and if you have even one AP player that pushes the play time beyond a certain point, I have zero interest in playing it. In two games of WoW, we had an AP player who took forever and pushed the game well past an hour. I did not enjoy those games.

I dunno. I’ve definitely lost any excitement for it. It seems I only like SU&SD games that come with conditional recommendations. Every single one of their gushing recommendations I’ve been lukewarm on or outright disliked.

Would anyone like to play a game of Kanban online? It’d be fun to get a forum game going.

I’ll agree conditionally, but counter that I do like games that provide a separate book with an initial guided playthrough to help learn the rules, e.g. Mage Knight and Navajo Wars. But FFG’s practice of having a Quickplay book and a Glossary, with separate and occasionally inconsistent rules between them is maddening.

Sorry to make a 3rd post in a row, but they’re all at least unrelated.

Does anyone have experience with Friedemann Friese’s Fable and/or Fast Forward series. (Fable is a legacy-like system that he developed. Fast Forward is a way of introducing rules by printing them on the game components, so no rulebook is needed. Many titles are both.) Specifically, I’m looking at Fabled Fruit, Fear, Fortress, Flee, Fortune, Fine Sand, and Fire! I usually like FF’s designs. Are these any good?

See, I’d put the Mage Knight booklets up there in the realm of 275% infuriating. Every time I dig for a rule, I end up picking up the wrong one first.

I’ve also come to realize that my tastes don’t generally jive with Quinns’ and Matt’s (or even Paul’s, for that matter). It can be tough to resist their siren call, since their videos are excellent and well-produced and their enthusiasm is genuine. Although, it does irk me (in ways that I can’t quite understand) that a gushing review from them impacts sales of a game so profoundly. I’m not sure if reviewers should have that much power.

My insert for Arkham LCG arrived, so I’m feeling ready to make a go of a full campaign now. Also, I caved and bought an insert for Terraforming Mars.

Maybe it’s the journalist in me, but I find it depressing when reviewers don’t have any power (as with movies, say).

While it’s not a review site, Rodney’s Watch it Played is my go-to for gaming information. Usually, seeing a walkthrough is better for me. One time a review did change me to a buy was the Dice Tower review/play through of Rebellion. I was very much on the fence with that one, but they sold me on the game. It’s now one of my favorite games.

I could be convinced, although I’ll have to learn the rules.

I got Flee (a Fast Forward game) at PAX Unplugged. It looks interesting (and really simple to play) but I’ve not actually played it yet.

I think it’s just that hobby boardgames are a market where there are a lot of competing products to sort through and average sales per product tend not to be that high. If the numbers were bigger overall, a YouTube channel run by a couple dudes probably would not have that kind of outsized impact.

110% this. Mage Knight is the classic example of how to do this wrong. I love the game, but seriously, there are rules in the ‘Learn to Play’ book that are never mentioned in the ‘Rules Refernce’ book (or whatever the books are called). At least, that’s with the 1st printing that I’ve had since it came out. Hopefully that’s gotten better.

On the other end of the spectrum, I got Mansions of Madness 2e to the table last night, and the split rulebooks for that are divine- the Rules Reference is really just an extended and detailed glossary of every term and system in the game, all in alpha order, and cross-referenced. It makes looking up anything at all a snap.

I played it a few years back, and own 1e and a bunch of expansions, but was always put off a little by the price, and fairly limited number of scenarios (5 in the base game, plus 2 for imported 1e content, and 3 more as DLC for $5 each). I found a copy on FB Marketplace for $50, still in shrink. Score! But what really pushed me over the edge was finding out about Valkyrie, a fan-produced app (PC, Mac, Android) that imports all the assets from the official app, and runs the same way, but allows for fan-created content (and includes a construction kit and examples). Well, with my set, and in English, there’s another 25+ scenerios right there. w00t. And who knows, I may try my hand at writing a scenario myself. I know Tom is down on app-driven games, but I feel like this one hits the sweet spot for just doing bookkeeping and slowly spinning out the game, and not just running it for you.

I’m in for an online Kanban. Haven’t played in a while, so I’d be quite rusty. I’m JoshL on there too.

And I have played Fortress and Fabled Fruit. Both good, light games. Fabled Fruit took a while to grow on me. Fortress is almost like a trick-taking game? We played like 6 games of it in a row, the whole thing took maybe an hour.

You are absolutely right, and I understand from a consumer’s perspective the value in finding a reviewer, or channel, that helps you make informed purchasing decisions on games that can easily cost $70+ nowdays. So different from the times when I, as a pre-pubescent boy, walked into a hobby store and decided to buy Talisman on a whim!

However, the bigger related issues that this touches upon continue to be: the growing influence of “content-creators” (including their increasingly cozy relationships with designers and publishers), the blurry distinction between (paid) content-creators and (unbiased) reviewers, the challenges of promotion for small companies/independent designers - esp. when competing with the blaring clarion call of BIG KS’s, the absurd overabundance of games, the equally absurd desire to acquire zillions of games by hobbyists, the slow but gradual extinction of written review in lieu of flashy video (Tom and Dan excepted, of course), and so much more that sometimes depresses me about this “golden age” that it’s a bit of a challenge to keep the chin up.

Kanban online sounds great. I need a refresher.

Played Res Arcana tonight. New fave.

I will say that a reviewer whose tastes are consistently the exact opposite of mine IS more useful than one who matches up 50/50.

They’re almost more tastemakers than reviewers. It’s indeed a lot of power, but I think they can take a little of the credit for the average board game being as good as it is today.

I also find myself consistently unaligned in a way that still makes their reviews helpful. I think this means there should be another super good reviewer boosting sales of games I love, but there are so many channels and sites now that maybe it’s not possible for a newer entrant to gain their popularity and the power to make other games sell out is present but more evenly distributed.

And the TM insert arrived. It just barely fits the project and corporation cards for the base game, Prelude and Turmoil in the base box - I’ve had to leave the Turmoil event cards in a baggie on top. I’m not sure it’ll be able to cleanly separate the project decks either, as the dividers go in a limited number of specific places.

Yeah, I’m waiting to see if Broken Token (or another insert company) does an update to reflect all of the current TM content, personally.

I think you’re just going to run out of box space, frankly. With the new player mats and the Turmoil boards, the lid is resting about half a cm above the base.

It might need to use an expansion box, yeah. Or do one of their crates. But the current one was designed for base game plus Venus Next, Preludes and the two other Mars boards, not Colonies or Turmoil.