Qt3 Boardgames Podcast: Brass, The Mind, Metal Dawn, Railroad Ink


You can pre-hate it all you want. But you’re not allowed to hate it unless you actually play it.


I meant manual re-mixing.


Fair enough. I’ll revise my invective to specify it’s just pre-hatred. :) Seriously, though, I can understand the appeal. It’s just not the sort of thing I look for when I sit down with friends to play boardgames. Which is probably one of its strengths: that it’s unique.



I enjoy BaHotH, for the atmosphere and the effort that went into all the creepy text and writing, and yes it is extremely random.

Games with this much randomness can be great, or awful. If you are only going to play it once or a few times, this is a terrible design for a game. But if you are going to play it dozens of times, then a few clunkers mixed in don’t ruin it.

It’s a bit like playing a one-off game of Magic the Gathering: your random deck arrangement may sometimes dictate you will have a terrible time, but if you are going to play that deck dozens of times, then those rare real stinkers don’t dominate the overall play experience.


Well, I’ve never been so entertained being put in my place, so thanks for that.

And de gustibus, and all that. So we’ll just have to disagree. But I’ll never be convinced that a game where you play most of the game not knowing the goals is a good game. It might be a fun activity, like that thing where you take turns making up a story, or MST3K-ing a movie, or playing music together; but it fails at being a game

Yeah, ok, I won’t disagree with that. But you know what else is a gonzo horror story generator? John Carpenter. And you’ll probably have a better percentage with him.


I don’t disagree that it might be acceptable to have random outcomes compromise the experience occasionally in a game one will play dozens of times but a) the ratio of stinker to great in Betrayal is much much more skewed to stinker than you are making out (not least because the pre-haunt often comprises a substantial portion of the play experience and just isn’t very interesting) and b) I have found that is exactly the problem with Magic - the random shuffling of the deck plus the resource system make terrible experiences dominate play. Almost every other CCG I have ever played has a better solution to the problem.


Oh! In all of that, I missed addressing this point. I actually think the goals are kind of interesting in the pre-haunt game. At least, different from other games. In general, you’re trying to build yourself up for whatever side of the good/evil line you end up on. Find useful objects, don’t lose too much in your stats, etc. But you’re also looking at your friends and seeing them build up and wondering if they’re going to be The One. I don’t know that you have much ability to KEEP them from getting too powerful, but you’re at least cognizant of it, and hoping they’ll be on your side. (Or hoping they’ll be the traitor, if they’re striking out.) Since most of you will end up on the survivor side, you are still incentivized to generally play cooperatively. Anyway, for me, there definitely aren’t ZERO goals. You’re just working towards what you are aware is a huge unknown.

Haha, yes, that is definitely true. Film has the benefit of consistency.


Naw, Scythe is just a different kind of sausage.



Nightgaunt’s post is fantastic, but I disagree that Betrayal’s (previously) unparalleled use of the unexpected is viable in today’s market. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and 2 as well as Aeon’s End Legacy do fantastic jobs delivering unexpected mid-game shifts with story related content while consistently being great games. Those are the only Legacy games I’ve played, but I’d city lawyer you (is that a thing?) with the argument that good legacy design obsoletes any reason to play Betrayal. Unless, I guess, you want to do a one-off. Dang, why hasn’t someone figured that out yet?


Well, I did not really enjoy my experience with Pandemic Legacy (and I love the basic game). I do expect that Betrayal Legacy will work for me, but a scripted (or branching, if that’s what it is) set of haunts is just fundamentally a totally different thing from regular Betrayal. And, yeah, the one-off thing is totally an appeal (while legacy campaigns have their own different appeal).


It’s still semi random, but heavily guided random. They know what branches you might end up and when. When you finish the legacy portion (13 sessions) it turns into full random like the original. The book even has a folded up section with the haunt/omen-cross reference chart to use at that point.

Someone else (@tomchick or @Nightgaunt) should really play this thing so we can talk spoilers!


I’m working on getting my group together! It’s hard!


Hey, how’d you get to play Aeon’s End Legacy? You’re cheating! Everyone I look shows it as a pre-order.

I like the basic gameplay of Aeon’s End, but it really needs some sort of structure or context other than, “Hey, just pick some of these spells and play.” I figure a Legacy version would provide that structure and context.

I’ve got my copy here! We only need to start playing. Which would have happened by now, but unfortunately, there’s a bit of a stand-off in my gaming group. We have one mission left in Charterstone, which I’m not terribly interested in playing because I read all the cards to see what would happen for my review. Furthermore, it will almost always mean making new people play someone else’s faction, which is a horrible way to introduce someone to Charterstone this late in the game. “Hey, here’s a bunch of stuff someone else put together! Have fun playing it!” And further furthermore, I’m really over basic worker placement games. I need something more with my worker placement these days.

However, one person in our group really wants to finish Charterstone. So when I tried to roll out Betrayal Legacy, she veto’ed it, saying we need to finish our last legacy game before we start a new one. So Betrayal Legacy is kind of being held hostage by that last game of Charterstone.



I did the Kickstarter. I think it’s among my wife’s top 5 games so it was a shoe-in for me.

Yeah, I’ve never played that way. I always use the publishers website for random board setups. Usually, we know what nemesis we want to face and ignore that, but take random generator on everything else. Personally, I hate the idea of building a market by choice and much prefer games that give me random tools and expect me to make them work.

But I think Aeon’s End Legacy will fit the bill for the structure you’re looking for. The core loop of the game is you start with a pre-made market, fight a boss, and post boss you get 4 additional cards added to your market, then you have to remove cards from it till it’s back to 9 cards. The cards you remove you’ll never see again. This allows your group to try and build a synergistic market of cards, but based on limited information because you don’t know what cards are coming next. It’s interesting and simple and creates great table discussions.

As for context, there is definitely a story, but it feels like a bad comic book or anime story. My group is really enjoying it in a B-movie sort of way. I think it’s great over-the-top nonsense, perfect table fodder, probably executing exactly as it intends to. But that’s not going to be to everyone’s tastes.

My favorite part about it is how well it handles legacy ideas. There’s a lot of gut-wrenching decisions with long-term ramifications made mid-game. This game introduces a bunch of great ideas that hit at the fear of the unknown, where you’re making a choice with one clear consequence and one completely unknown consequence. It slots really well into Aeon’s End, which is already a game more about how players choose to suffer than it is a deckbuilder.


Betrayal at the Haunting of Hill House is objectively the worst board game ever made. Worse than Catan. Worse than Monopoly. Worse than Sorry.

The first half is as interactive as Candyland. It’s a setup that’s less fun than setting up a typical game. Spending 3 hours doing nothing but setting up and taking down Eldritch Horror would be more fun than “playing” BaHotH.

The second half is 40% broken scenarios, 40% screwed up interpretations of the rules that break the scenario, and 20% foregone conclusions as a result of the zero interactivity of the setup phase.

That’s just plain old math. Inarguable numbers. Empirical awfulness. Betrayal at Stupidest Name Ever is so terrible that I would rather play The Mind, which is the worst possible absolute zero score you could give a board game.




You’re right, he is telling the truth!


So you’re the mean Pharisees and I’m Jesus?

I’ll take it.


Yeah my long time thought has been, “If you are into a haunted house game, why not just play Mansions of Madness?”

There’s the, “Betrayal has a hundred haunts!!!”, but how many of those end up being not broken or any fun at all? Then divide that number by 2 because the first half of each is worthless. Mansions might only have half a dozen scenarios but that’s 6 more fun experiences than Betrayal.

Betrayal is the Action 52 of boardgames.