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


Tom is streaming playthrough-y type stuff of Apocrypha!!!

Why would he do this to me? I don’t need it, I don’t have the shelf space, but it’s on sale and Tom makes it look fun!

It’s a really great iteration of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game system, kind of all growed up a little, and really well matched to the theme.

Oh, and I guess I could’ve done a link to this series on Youtube…

I’ve officially become a buy a plastic plano box like bin to keep components in guy. I feel…content.

The game that did it, for whatever reason, was Street Masters.

I played my second game of Arkham Noir this morning. Unlike the first game, I lost this one. I think I dug through 3/4 of the draw deck before I found my first key, and I was up to three cases and regular case delays and investigator fatigue by the time I closed my first case.

I did manage to get 4 out of 5 of the unique clues I needed to win, but failed one final stress check and lost.

I feel like I played very well, although I did briefly get my delay stack confused with my hand one time when I was trying to draw a card from it, at the orders of another card I had just played.

Except for memorizing all the action symbols, and counting how many of each clue card I have in the deck, I haven’t needed to rely on the reference material much at all after the first game.

Finally got to play my copy of The Crew. It’s brutal hard with 5.

See now when Geek Chic went out of business it relieved me of the ongoing dilemma of whether or not I could afford and or accommodate one of their wonders in my house. I now studiously avoid learning about any other makers of tables that I would fall in love with, lest I re-experience this terrible trauma. So @Wendelius educating me is banned! :-P

I really appreciate this post.

I was excited for the final expansion for EH with the campaign system they brewed up and ultimately let down by both its implementation and the whole rip off expansion as a whole. Part of me wanted to boycott Fantasy Flight after that, but Mansions of Madness seems pretty cool, sooooo, yeah.

The campaign though was something I wanted to bring on as a journey exploring character development that happens within a single game. The heroes and the tragedies all based around saving an increasingly devastated world in increasingly desperate times. There’s so many cool items, spells and effects to fiddle with, especially considering the abundance of stuff that the expansions have brought on, maybe in part to its own detriment.

Also, I sleeve cards too because of humidity. I’m hugely conscious of oils from my skin tarnishing the quality of the cards.

I would never! I will simply leave this random Youtube video here… :D

After hearing Tom Vasel and others on Reddit positively rave about the storytelling in Forgotten Waters, I got my copy this week:

It’s a pirate themed Crossroads game and, from accounts of those who played, it’s Crossroads done right.

Each scenario (5 come in the box) is a 3-4 hours story (with a save system to allow you to pack up the game half way through a story) where 3-7 players collaborate to see the scenario through without the ship sinking while trying to fulfill secret objectives.

The designer has also released a solo variant (which based on a single account on Reddit seems well made, but I’ll have to try it) and a 2 player one.

The really neat thing is that Plaid Hat Games has released a remote assistant app.

Along with the character sheets used for the game being available as free downloads, it helps you play the game remotely, with only 1 player needing to own the actual game. The remote assistant apparently gives all the required info to the remoter players and helps with the housekeeping.

I’m looking forward to trying it, but the trick is going to be to find enough volunteers for 2x2 or 1x4 hours gaming sessions.

I find the way publishers have been pushed to adapt to the new normal and find ways to support remote play interesting. I don’t expect attending a board game club for a while. So I’m hoping they will only get better at this.

Ooh, Plaid Hat games? Crossroads system well applied? Wide player count? Good story? These are good buttons to be pressing. I liked the idea of Crossroads in Dead of Winter more than I enjoyed it in practice.

It is about time for me to be buying something new and the London Gomm Road Gaming club will meet again! Heck, if nothing else I need help to clear my overstock of ice creams @Wendelius @Ginger_Yellow @Kirian and what the heck were the handles for Rich & Jamie, I forget!

There is room for one more in our discord game of Ecos! Games have taken about 10 days to complete, and everyone plays 1 or 2 turns a day. It’s good quarantine fun. Try to dethrone the current champ: @thraeg!

We invented a house rule that speeds things up and gives you more to think about each turn: we draw three tokens at a time instead of one.

Beginners are welcome! You don’t need to own a copy.

It seems to be all those things, yes. I’m looking forward to trying it out! By the way, if more than one person owns the game, it makes keeping up and playing with the remote assistant easier apparently. But I really like that they went the extra mile to make it not required.

I guess recent events have helped me be good on the game buying front, as we are going through our pile of shame and giving little played games another chance at home right now. No real need to buy new games to try out with a group. I couldn’t quite resist this one though. Like you said, lots of good buttons to press.

I have a conundrum. My wife doesn’t like playing competitive games, but I do. For the first time in around a year I got her to play one, 7 Wonders Duel. She hated it from the start because she hates the feeling she might lose (spoiler…she won). She says she just gets all anxious.

There are three things she really doesn’t like, and if I can avoid them she may be more open to competitive games.

  1. She doesn’t like the feeling of getting screwed over / attacked by another player. Someone stealing a route out from under her (Ticket to Ride), or eat her creature (Evolution) makes her sad.
  2. She doesn’t like counting victory points at the end, or really VP at all. She dislikes them more when there are when they are counted up at the end with a not obvious formula.

Is there a competitive game that may sit better with her? We have played Race / Roll for the Galaxy and I think she didn’t hate it. I don’t recall what she thought of Castles of Burgandy.

So a game where the players are playing against a difficult game and only competing with each other somewhat incidentally? Are you after 2 player games in particular?

  • Galaxy Trucker fits the description pretty well (including the official victory condition).
  • Dungeon Lords you can get screwed over by other players’ actions, but it’s generally indirect and often feels a bit like mischance. Tough game, mind.

Before some suggestions, I have a question for you: Are you capable of playing less competitively? Not choosing the offensive route, not drafting the card you know she really wants, that sort of thing? This isn’t a backhanded accusation, it’s a sincere question–some people really can’t stand to play suboptimally no matter what the conditions, while others can play competitive games in a more friendly way without it ruining their experience. Maybe you already do that, but if you don’t usually do so, then trying to adapt to that mindset might make a bigger difference than what you choose to play.

Anyway, tableau builders seem like the genre to look at, and maybe some deck-builders, as they often let you get invested in what you’re building for yourself more than messing with the other player.

Era: Medieval Age (or Roll Through the Ages, for the original, cheaper version) might be good. Attacking is kind of indirect and you can choose not to be super offensive. There’s some VP-countiness at the end, though.

Dice City is a nice tableau builder, too. You can attack the other player, but it’s easy to choose another route to victory, and it’s rarely the most effective use of time anyway. Again, some VP counting, but I don’t think its of the arbitrary-formula variety.

Villages of Valeria is another little tableau builder without a lot of direct competition and with simple scoring.

What about Dominion? Plays great with 2, especially casually. Counting VPs is quick. And you can choose to not include the rudest attack cards and it’s still perfectly fun.

Eminent Domain is like a mix of RftG and Dominion. If I remember right, the worst you can do is take a the last research card someone else might like to have. But maybe the sci-fi theme is what left your wife cold on RftG?

I wonder if a highly asymmetrical game might change the dynamic. I’m thinking of something like Treasure Island, where one player searches the map for the treasure and the other player has to do their best to lead them astray.

Also, just consider more casual games. Games that play more quickly feel less punishing to lose. Kingdomino, CarcassoneFortress is a kind of competitive Legacy game that plays a round in 10-15 min or so and teaches you the rules–and expands them–as you play. Pretty neat, and it avoids the feeling that you’re already an expert at a game before you even teach it to her, if that’s an issue.

She kind of sounds like one of those non board gamer board game players. Tokaido is actually pretty good for that group since it’s pretty and feels rewarding to play even if you don’t win but… it’s not as great for 2 player. It can be played 2 player though. It’s such a lite game I am not sure it would satisfy you though. I have to be in a certain mood to want to pull it out myself.

Does she like themed games at all? The Lord of the Rings Deck-Building games, by Cryptozoic, not the other one, is a cooperative but ultimately competitive game that works well for those not wanting to directly attack each other. It’s pretty easy for someone who is competitive to really get a good deck but at least the losers can keep playing.

Sadly most the 2 player centric games I know of are pretty screw your competitor orientated.

My wife is the same way. I have to be ‘nice’ while playing games like Ticket to Ride. So I would suggest trying Viticulture. The only sort of blocking you can do is minor and for that turn only — nothing akin to destroying a whole route in TTR that she’s been working on.

I’m tempted but I think I still prefer the rathskeller.