Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by CivCube, Apr 30, 2013.
Which edition? I have an original 1985 2nd Edition boxed set, dating back to 1989 or so.
Three rounds of Race for the Galaxy last night. I'm still not sure what to think. For a game with so many superficial possibilities (and a welcome return of Puerto Rico-style phases), the main strategy seems to be to wait for an engine card and maximize it and your luck as much as you can. I think I need more time with this before I can wrap my head around it. The idea of cards doubling as infrastructure and currency is too intriguing.
There is a digital game Talisman available on PC and iPad so I play that a lot too.
I must say I absolutely love that game.
Not only does it offer a fantastic amount of replayability, but it also has an interesting learning curve, something that I have rarely seen in other games:
When I first played it, I had no idea about the possible strategies or counter plays, so what our group did was just playing stuff we thought worked best. Then we got the cards to know and found the first combos, stuff like "Colony Ship + Ark World", "3 cheap colonies + Diverse Economy", "Alpha Centauri + brown worlds + Mining League". Then we started to include other player actions into our decision making, turning the game into a more poker-like experience at times:
"Okay, he used explore 5 and placed Spice World last turn although he had 10 cards. I got rid of several blue economy improvement already, so he is ulikely to call improveme. So I should call trade, because if he calls settle, I can place down my windfall world and consume the yellow good, which gives me enough cards to play Galactic Film Studios next turn to counter his obvious production buildup. If he does anything else I still have a blue good to trade and force him to consume his alien toy shop for just 1 VP and 1 card."
And then we started to learn how to counterplay and "leech" the other players. Oh, he is going for a production/consume engine? Well, I guess I'll play Black Market and get my Ark out early to use his calls for my advantage.
It's just amazing how many layers of skill this game involves - not only will you make a lot of hard decisions each turn because of the "cards = currency" mechanic, but you also need to develope a grand strategy as the game unfolds and react to the other players and their plans.
...two thing I'll say, though: First, you should absolutely get the first addon ("The Gathering Storm"), because it balances out the somewhat overpowered produce/consume x2 strategies from the main game by giving players other good options (and adding the objective cards). Second, I think the game is better if you play with 3+ players. The 2 player games, even when not playing with the optional 2 actions/player rule, feel a lot more lopsided to me.
Any recommendations for games for 7 or more players?
Already have 7 Wonders + Munchkin, know Machiavelli/Citadels and Arkham horror.
Anything else which allows a high amount of players?
Civilization (the original Avalon Hill version, the one that partly inspired the computer game rather than vice versa) allows up to 9.
The latest entry in the Axis & Allies series, 1914, nominally allows up to 8 players, but in practice 7 is the maximum (player 8 being the United States, that player would have nothing to do but build until his fourth round as the US is neutral until that point).
Arkham Horror, as you mention, can nominally support more or less any number of players, and is advertised as supporting up to 8, but limitations to the numbers of available events and items before they start to become repetitive, and the degree to which extra players slow gameplay, mean that it's not especially practical or enjoyable with more than about 5, and its rule-of-thumb monster escalation for additional players does not seem terribly well-balanced from my limited experience playing it with large groups: the more players you have past the intended limit the easier the game progressively becomes, since the penalties don't approach the benefits from having additional investigators.
I've recently played both Civilization and Axis & Allies 1942 - the former with friends, the latter on the online Gametable.
The Civilization game is ongoing but nearing its end: I've been playing as Africa, watching Egypt occasionally get washed away by successive floods (though not washing away Egypt's lead), watching Thrace benefit from the Babylonian civil war only to be laid low by a combination of an epidemic (contracted from me, as I'd had it traded to me by Egypt) and famine, leaving both without cities and Babylon very nearly out of the game altogether. For my part I was stuck in Africa and in a long-running war with Italy for control of Sicily until I learned astronomy and sailed for Crete - something of a rat leaving a sinking ship as civil revolts and yet more epidemics took out most of the cities in Africa itself.
As an aside, while playing it struck me that Civ (computer Civ) could benefit from something close to the board game's calamities. Anyone who's played the computer game will be familiar with the board game's early progression: everyone expands and settles, and for a while not very much happens and gameplay is somewhat static as everyone does their own thing to tech up.
In the computer game, in all incarnations, you reach this stage and basically stay there barring major wars. In the board game, calamities drastically alter the balance of power and typically eliminate one or more cities - these are not Civ IV's token random events; the only time Civ really approached this was the civil war mechanic of the first two games (which works in pretty much exactly the way it does in the board game, right down to resurrecting exterminated factions). It makes a much more dynamic experience, and calamities scale in severity with the number of cities a player has, making 'wide' play somewhat risky. Computer Civ could really do with something similar to shake up the gameplay and promote genuine strategy - i.e. actively adapting and responding to game events - rather than selection of optimal build orders.
As for Axis & Allies, the computer demo game I used placed me in the Axis role in a two-player game. My strategy was to encircle Russia, outproducing it as Germany and wearing it down through attrition, and moving into it through China as Japan. America was very passive for some reason, losing its fleet very early and never regaining it. The British, however, foiled German ambitions at every turn, forcing me out of Africa (there really should be some incentive to stay and fight in Africa, but the territory values are small and there are no victory cities) and, by the time I asserted naval superiority, having established a production facility in Norway. The Japanese did well and took the whole of the Pacific, but I eventually conceded after losing a major engagement with the Russians in India - the Germans were by that point more or less out of the game, needing to devote all their production to defend Germany and having no way of launching an offensive into Eastern Europe, which was defended by the bulk of the British forces plus American bombers en masse and Soviet infantry and artillery.
You might be right about Arkham horror.
The last time we played was with 2 persons, and we got utterly destroyed.
This time we played with 6, and the game was relatively easy. We had for some time only 1-2 gates open and no monsters on the board, at least one of the characters was really damn powerfull, and I think only 1 person went insane at some point (and the whole thing lasted 5 hours ). Was a fun game, but we were obviously winning.
Good to know about the original civilization. I thought about getting a civilization boardgame (because...uh...well...obvious reasons), but the newer version supports only 4 players, if I got that right.
I think Axis & Allies might be too complicated (and it's also expensive, if I remember that right).
Simply due to the group I usually have available I generally play with 3, and I suspect 3 or 4 is optimal. Two really is too few.
Never played the newer ones, but they aren't related mechanically to the original board game.
All board games seem to be remarkably expensive. Axis & Allies 1914 is US$69 on Amazon at the moment, pretty much on a par with things like Star Trek Catan (yes, it exists), Euphrat & Tigris or Maria. There's a PDF version of the rulebook here:
Gametableonline.com has online versions of the Revised and 1942 versions which can be played free vs. AI or as demo games to get a feel for them.
7 is a tough number... only one in my repertoire is Battlestar Galactica plus Pegasus--unless you have the expansion, you are limited to 6. It's insanely fun and one of my favorites. Shadows over Camelot has some similar game mechanics and I think it seats 7, but I think BSG implements those mechanics better.
If I'm not mistaken, some of those super-involved 18XX railroad games can support 7 players. Haven't had the opportunity to play those yet.
A group of us from work started having boardgames nights 6 weeks ago. Most people have a preference for shorter games, .e.g, if one group are playing Dominion and another group are playing Power Grid, the latter becomes frustratingly long as the Dominion players get multiple games in to Power Grid's one. I wonder how long people find this game tends to last, for given player counts.
I also made a mistake of introducing people to Power Grid without knowing the rules perfectly. I'll be using this guideline in future for all new games: SUSD. Not knowing the rules well contributed to the slow game.
After watching SUSD's review of Suburbia, I'm waiting for it to arrive from Amazon. And other resources I've checked since then are making me anticipate it even more. A hex-tile laying, 4 player, competitive, city-building game.
Tales of Arabian Nights is the top of my wish list. I've held off on buying it because I suspect it's a very long game, and I'm not sure if it will appeal to the gorup I play with.
I saw Dixit mentioned earlier. We had a 12-player game of this 6 weeks back. It's really good. I'd only hope that there exist expansions, as we had every image in play and it'd be nice to see some variation.
Polarity is a 2 player game of balancing magnets on each others magnetic fields. Connecting magnets - or worse, causing a complex arrangement to collapse into a tower - scores points for your opponent. Tricky and very tactical as you try to force your opponent to make dangerous moves.
Avalon (The Resistance) is great, but I need to learn how to play it without shouting.
I've found, with people who know how to play, we can finish Power Grid in 2-2.5 hours. If you go up to 5-6 players, it tends to take 2.5-3 hours. Rules explanation/first timers tend to add 0.5-1 hour to the game, depends on their personality and how well they handle AP.
I've only played Dixit once and enjoyed it, but we had 4-5 people, I think. Not sure we saw all the cards or not, but I'd definitely give it another go.
To handle the timing issue, our gaming group will always start with a short game while people are arriving, and then we break off into however many long games we can support with the people around and the games we want to play (1-3). We never play a short game alongside a long game because we run into the timing problem you mentioned.
I got it recently and played two games with my girlfriend. I'd say it's probably best reserved for play with 3 people, maaaybe 4 max. With 2 players it's usually over in 90 to 120 minutes. It's not really a game per say, as you're not really playing to "win", but more to see what crazy things the board will throw at you. You need people who like emergent stories, randomness, and having things be thrown at them. Or at least, people who can enjoy that among other things. People who only enjoy "gamey-ness" and optimization will loath this game.
I want that game so bad, but I don't know if my roommates would be interested :/ We do have Dixit though, so maybe they would be. Need to find out.
Smallworld is pretty fun with three players, just avoid getting sandwhiched.
Apparently, Talisman Revised 4th Edition is barely available in the UK. Amazon.com has 30+ copies for around $50; Amazon.co.uk has just five, starting at around £60 + huge P&P.
It's a Fantasy Flight game and can be ordered from their website; pretty sure they deliver to the UK, but FFG prices for pretty much everything are astronomical.
When I was on holiday I played two board games, Carcassonne and Forbidden Island I guess everyone here is familiar with both of them.
I think I may have to find another game that's similar to Forbidden Island considering how everyone liked the game. I think the aspect they liked the most was how it was co-operative instead of the usual competitive games. They also liked Carcassonne more than I thought. I think the only reason those games were played because it was late at night, so there wasn't enough time for Risk.
I just checked. They were quoting over $50 P&P for a $60 game and explicitly refusing to take any responsibility for additional customs charges. I won't be ordering the game at all, it seems.
Try going with Amazon.com, then - they'll likely charge less for overseas shipping.
I already tried. Amazon.com simply will not ship any copy I tried to add to my cart to my address.
Fantasy Flight does pretty good components... But... They are pricey and are pretty much the "DLC-leeches" of the boardgame world.
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