Table Games in 2016: Board, Card, and Miniatures Games


Wait what is this? I’ve never even heard of this game, can you give us a quick summary of what makes it great?



Game of Thrones…totally forgot about that. My impression was that it was quite finicky?

Also, it turns out we bought Marco Polo a while ago and haven’t even unboxed it yet. SUSD thinks highly of it. Your thoughts Mr. Chick?

Thanks for the recommendations btw.


Well, pretty much the things I wrote to BiggerBoat.

But to elaborate, I’m kind of over worker placement. However, New Bedford is a solid and streamlined worker placement design with a healthy dose of randomness and competition to represent the whaling. Each turn you draw whale tiles from a bag and the players get to choose among them based on ship placement. You want your boats farther out to sea than everyone else’s so you can get first dibs on the bow whales and sperm whales. Sometimes you just get bupkis. Really thematic buildings, too. How many worker placement games have a tryworks and a seaman’s bethel? I don’t know if it was just a Kickstarter thing, but my copy included a mini-add-on that gives you a Moby Dick and a Robinson Crusoe tile.



That I could have told you a year and a half ago that it’s great. :)



I think a table that’s willing to take on the big sprawling mess that is Arkham Horror could very well be equipped to take on Mage Knight, although it’s certainly a harder game to master. I didn’t recommend Mansions of Madness 2E because it’s $100 MSRP and the lowest I’ve EVER seen it sold (around Black Friday) was $80, which is a bit over the $70 cap that was given.

@CraigM, I hate regular Pandemic and the Legacy version is great, FWIW.

@Brooski, SU&SD did a video of playing the first scenario that might give you some sense of what you’d think about it:
Personally I’m excited to check it out but haven’t seen it in stock at a reasonable price and since it’s Christmas season, I’m trying to focus my spending on gifts for my family and not me.


One half of the SU&SD podcast called Arkham LCG game of the year, FWIW.

I’ve only played a few games, but so far loving it.


Mage Knight is good but takes a lot of commitment. I will do a solo round one of these weekends.

As far as Arkham Horror:TCG. Six months ago I bought and started playing LOTR:TCG, bought a few of the cycles and “kind” of enjoy the game. Too much deck building for me.

I bought AH:TCG a few months back when it came out and played it a few times and enjoyed it more than LOTR. Not as much deck building…obviously not yet with the limited cards…but I really enjoyed trying the different investigators to really see their individual strengths and weaknesses…I bought that first stand alone adventure but have not had a chance to play it yet. I did not have to hit the rule book or BGG nearly as much with this game than LOTR…that’s a plus. We’ll see when the first major expansion comes out how much deck building is really going to be needed but right now I’m very happy with the game.


So, we got to play Captain Sonar on Sunday.

The game turned out every bit as good as it seems to be in the reviews. We finished the first game, talked excitedly about the hunt and dove right back into a second one with shuffled crews. Good times.

There were 7 of us playing and I think a group of 6 is pretty much perfect, unless 2 in the group prefer a stress free experience focused more on coordination (i.e. want to play the First Mate, like my youngest did). In that case, 8 is awesome too.

I was worried before the game that it would be too stressful, frantic or devolve into an unintelligible shouting match. But the game is cleverly designed. It imposes a rhythm that’s steady, rather than frantic (with the sequence of 1 order, 2 acknowledgements). And yet, there are times when you are closing in on the other submarine where both the hunter and hunted are caught up in the excitement. Then the game is paused and a torpedo is launched. Everybody holds their breath waiting for the coordinates and the result.

The themes comes out so well in this game.

It’s not a heavy game. But if you want a team based experience where all roles are collaborating to deliver victory, this seems like it.

Each crew won once. All players left the table satisfied and looking forward to more.


Boardgaming in 2017!

How is the learning curve on this? Can you read the manual and just go or is there a lot of studying before hand?


It’s a very simple game. The owner definitely needs to read the manual (I also watched the JonGetsGames video about it to hear a second explanation in case I missed anything). But, after that, each role is very straightforward.

The manual is only 7 pages and 1 page of information on the various maps, by the way.

I spent a couple of minutes on each and what the ship systems do, giving a few tricks (have the sonar start tracing in the middle of their plastic sheet, be aware that, due to its limited range, a torpedo will betray your general position, …) then we dived right in.

During the first game, we paused a couple of times to clarify a rule. For instance, the first time a crew surfaced, I quickly re-explained what they would have to do before diving.

But that’s it. Because each player gets to focus on one role, there really isn’t much of a learning curve. The game is designed to be simple and focus on the interactions.


Thank you. That looks… really cool.


No worries. Apologies for the typos and missing words in my original reply. I typed it from my phone and it can be a tad unreliable for those things.



It’s pretty rare for this board to ever get 100% of my attention. I’m squeezing in posts between meetings, calls and fighting sleep sometimes. I completely understand barely understandable posts… but yours was clear.


I finally got to play Quartermaster General 1914 last night. The original game was one of my favorite games of this past year, and the new version did not disappoint. In fact, I think I may enjoy it even more. I especially like the multi-use card mechanics they’ve added, which make it even harder to discard cards. Also, really love how you add up points every third or forth round (though I understand this was added in the Greek QM game). What surprised me the most was how much it actually felt like WWI. In our game, the beginning was aggressive, then it turned into a stalemate for the middle part since we had lot of prepared cards, and then in the end it came down to attrition and late game moves. I can’t wait to get this to the table again. Highly recommended!


Awesome! I also played it for the first time last night. I’d suspect you were someone in my game group, but our game didn’t really work out that way. Germany just romped throughout the whole game with their crazy events (that often allow them to do two or three things in a turn). I just sort of held on as Austria-Hungary, and we pulled out a narrow victory. Everybody ran through their deck, and the UK and I both ran out of cards altogether before the game ended.

The “prepare” mechanic makes for agonizing choices every turn. I want to play again just to try to make better use of them.


Mechs Vs. Minions making Twilight Imperium look small. That’s a feat.


Hmmm… do you like games with heavy theming? Just noticing a trend there.

Hey, I’ve been playing games lately!

Energy Empire. A spiritual successor of sorts to Manhattan project. It’s a worker placement game where you build up your own personal tableau of buildings for your workers to go. However, when you retrieve your workers, you can also roll dice representing power plants to get “energy,” which can function as a worker. However, you might (or certainly depending on what types of power plants/dice you have) create pollution. Pollution goes onto your personnel 3x5 grid, blocking a VP.

However, despite thinking I would like the game as an improvement over the Manhattan Project, its kind of fallen flat for me. I think it has to do with how players earn VP. Its an engine builder, but the engine doesn’t really lead to more VP unless you have specific VP awarding tiles (called achievements). Even then, they don’t score a lot of points, 5 max. It does have a pretty quick play time.

Trickerion. You play 19th century magicians. Not spell casters, but illusionists like Harry Houdini or… Gob? However, this belongs to the Scythe family of theming, it comes through the artwork but not really the mechanics. This is a heavy euro, with multiple mechanisms at play. The core mechanic is ultimately worker placement, but you have different types of workers with different action amounts. So, send your magician (representing the player character) to the market to use his 3 actions to buy multiple things. In addition, the worker at a spot gets bonus actions. Sometimes, this is absolutely necessary to use an action, like learning a new trick (illusion) needs 3 actions. This results in a lot of thinking about which workers need to go where to make sure you can do what you need to do this turn regardless of what other players do.

Then comes shows.

I’ve only managed to play this once, but I certainly liked that play. This is game about careful positioning, squeezing the most out of limited actions with imperfect knowledge of what your opponents hope to achieve. The base game (it comes with an advanced variant which is basically an expansion with the base game) only lasts 5 rounds.

Karmaka An interesting card game about reincarnations. This is a surprisingly thinking card game about reincarnation. Essentially, your life is represented by a hand/deck of 6 cards. Every card has a color, a number, and an action on it. On your turn, you must play one of those cards. One way you may play a card is into your future life. That means playing it facedown. When on your turn you have no more cards, you “reincarnate,” and take that stack of cards as your new hand. You may play the action, at which point you resolve the affect which might be to take a discarded card into your hand. Or, force an opponent to discard a card. However, before resolving an action, your opponent has the right to place the card in his future life. Meaning, use a powerful card this turn, it may come back to haunt you. Alternatively, you play it as a deed, face up in front of you. When you reincarnate, you add up the score of a single color. Get enough points, you reincarnate. The next time you reincarnate, you’ll need more points. This starts out easy, but you have to plan ahead to complete the last reincarnation stage.

Overall, I liked this one, kind of like Tides of Times only better since it doesn’t have drafting. I will say 4 players had a bit of a Munchkin dynamic, with players ganging up on the player about to win. Or, deliberately not and forcing another player to waste his resources to block the winner.


Yeah, I like games that tell a story as you play them. those types of games tend to be pretty thematic.


18 posts were merged into an existing topic: Boardgaming in 2017!

Boardgaming in 2017!

8 posts were merged into an existing topic: Boardgaming in 2017!