• iOS/Safari issues when launching the site from mobile home screens should now be fixed! A2HS button compatibility on Android Firefox has also been fixed! Add some purple to your home screen today.

Board Gaming Era |OT| (Mostly) Unplugged Gaming

Jan 12, 2018
1,943
Thinking of picking up Tokyo Highway and Azul. Quick impressions?

KarneeKarnay Thanks for mentioning Villainous--it looks like a game my fam would enjoy (as they are not super-nerdy about games... yet :-))
 
Nov 16, 2017
1,270
Thinking of picking up Tokyo Highway and Azul. Quick impressions?

KarneeKarnay Thanks for mentioning Villainous--it looks like a game my fam would enjoy (as they are not super-nerdy about games... yet :-))
Do you like dexterity games? That's all I know about Tokyo highway.

Azul is great though. Grab tiles and hope you don't get too many or negative points. Trying to get a sets of the tiles (1-5 sets) to be able to put them on your wall and score them. A lot of strategy with how/when you get which color to maximize scoring.
 
Jan 12, 2018
1,943
Do you like dexterity games? That's all I know about Tokyo highway.

Azul is great though. Grab tiles and hope you don't get too many or negative points. Trying to get a sets of the tiles (1-5 sets) to be able to put them on your wall and score them. A lot of strategy with how/when you get which color to maximize scoring.
Azul sounds great; Tokyo is a bit like Jenga? Nice!

Thanks!
 
Nov 16, 2017
1,270
Azul sounds great; Tokyo is a bit like Jenga? Nice!

Thanks!
Azul is great. There are two versions. I've only played the base one and not the new Glass-stained one. I haven't played Tokyo since my group don't do dexterity games I learn not to bother with them.
 
Oct 26, 2017
882
I got my hands on a copy of Concept for 50% off. I have seen it a ton in various sales, like whenever Amazon does a game sale, but I had never looked into it. The back of the box made it look interesting so I checked what people were saying on BGG about it. I guess it looks like a good party/family game. I'm currently bored out of my mind at a New Year's Eve party where my wife and a ton of other people are playing BINGO and singing Karaoke while I browse the net on my iPad. I'm debating bringing it in since it looks extremely easy to teach.
 
Jan 12, 2018
1,943
I played Arkham Horror 3rd edition for the first time last night and while it took the three of us a bit of time to learn how to play and we still missed a ton of game elements (I think we spent more time reading and arguing about the rules than playing--maybe that's the meta?), it was a great time. Everyone else was watching Ryan Seacrest and we watched the Ancient One rip Arkham apart... I don't know which kind of doom is worse...
 
OP
OP
XShagrath
Oct 25, 2017
456
My year in review didn't see nearly as many plays as 2017.

Plays: 161
Games: 75

Top 10

10. Too Many Bones (3 plays)
9. Legacy of Dragonhold (3 plays)
8. Folklore: The Addiction (3 plays)
7. Star Wars: Imperial Assault (4 plays)
6. Keyforge (5 plays)
5. Pandemic Legacy: S1 (7 plays)
4. Welcome To... (8 plays)
3. Charterstone (8 plays)
2. Gloomhaven (2 plays)
1. Arkham Horror: The Card Game (29 plays)
I had my introduction to Roll & Writes this year, and actually enjoyed what I've played more than what I thought I would. I'll be on the lookout for more interesting ones in the future. I also want to try more solo gaming this year, so I guess that's going to my gaming resolution.
 
Oct 27, 2017
226
My top plays:
1) Concordia (15 plays)
2) Skull (9 plays)
3) Battle for Rokugan (6 plays)
4) Tzolkin (6 plays)
5) Lords of Hellas (6 plays)
6) Architects of the West Kingdom (6 plays)
7) The Grizzled (5 plays)
8) Azul (5 plays)
9) Coimbra (5 plays)
10) Great Western Trail (5 plays)

Total plays: 142

We had a lot of Concordia games. It was a great starter to our gaming nights. Battle for Rokugan didn't have legs and most of those plays were early in the year. Tzolkin saw a bit of a revival which was nice. Most of those GWT games were later once we got the expansion as well.
 
Nov 1, 2017
2,522
Just got and played 'Escape the Dark Castle'.

Great little game, super simple, you can teach it as you play, quick setup, and lot of replay. Love the gnarly old school dark artwork too.
 
Nov 4, 2017
700
I managed to get a few games in over the holidays.

Azul. This game plays great! It has a surprising amount of depth for how simple it looks with lots of advantageous non-obvious moves. This is one I have to get.

Forbidden Desert. It's a pretty good co-op game and it went over pretty well.

Century: Spice Road. This game has been a big hit every time I brought it out. It's easy to get for gamers and non-gamers alike, and since it plays so fast, it's the perfect wind down game to end the night on. If you're not interested in getting Eastern Wonders as well, then I'd suggest the Golem edition instead because the art for that game is so much more fun.

Through the Desert. I played this with a group of mostly non-gamers, and I think that it was a bit too much for them. I love it though, and I'd love to try it out again. It really feels like a variant of Go.

Codenames: Duet. It didn't go over nearly as well as I expected, but that may just be the particular words that came out.

Game of Thrones Risk. We played this with the advanced rules with the cards and objectives. Honestly, I think that the basic game probably would have worked better as the game is just too damned slow. We only managed 18 player turns over the course of around 3 hours. It's also unbalanced since the game ends on 10 victory points and I managed to score two 4-point objectives on turn 4. Nobody could have known what objectives I had, and no one could have done anything to stop me. I wasn't even winning the game up until that point.


My gaming group are mostly relative newbies so I'm trying to come up with new games for them. Unfortunately, most of the games I'm interested in are 2-4 player but it looks like the group will have 5 people. So far, I'm trying to get Concordia and Kemet played, but I would love more suggestions.

Thinking of picking up Tokyo Highway and Azul. Quick impressions?
I've only played the original version of Azul, but it's a great game. It plays 2-4 players, and it works pretty differently at each player count. At 4 players, it's a pretty chill build-your-tableaux game, but it becomes a cutthroat stick your opponent with penalties game.

My year in review didn't see nearly as many plays as 2017.

Plays: 161
Games: 75



I had my introduction to Roll & Writes this year, and actually enjoyed what I've played more than what I thought I would. I'll be on the lookout for more interesting ones in the future. I also want to try more solo gaming this year, so I guess that's going to my gaming resolution.
How would Folklore work in a bit of a newbie group? Does it play pretty smoothly, or is it a bit on the fiddly side?

My top plays:
1) Concordia (15 plays)
2) Skull (9 plays)
3) Battle for Rokugan (6 plays)
4) Tzolkin (6 plays)
5) Lords of Hellas (6 plays)
6) Architects of the West Kingdom (6 plays)
7) The Grizzled (5 plays)
8) Azul (5 plays)
9) Coimbra (5 plays)
10) Great Western Trail (5 plays)

Total plays: 142

We had a lot of Concordia games. It was a great starter to our gaming nights. Battle for Rokugan didn't have legs and most of those plays were early in the year. Tzolkin saw a bit of a revival which was nice. Most of those GWT games were later once we got the expansion as well.
What was the problem with Rokugan? I've heard that it has balance issues with the objectives but it was otherwise pretty good.

Also, how well do you think that Concordia will work with a relatively new game group? I'm dying to get it to the table, but I'm worried that it might be too much for the players. Also, do you have any advice on teaching the game?
 
OP
OP
XShagrath
Oct 25, 2017
456
How would Folklore work in a bit of a newbie group? Does it play pretty smoothly, or is it a bit on the fiddly side?
I don't think it's that fiddly, even though the weight on BGG is fairly high (3.5/5). If your playgroup is used to play video game RPGs or dungeon crawlers, they should be able to get through fairly easily. It's got quite a bit of randomness, but it provides a pretty cohesive narrative experience. That narrative is one of the reasons my friend picked it up. He wanted a board game RPG, since our group is so small that we can't do a normal pen & paper one.
 
Nov 4, 2017
700
I don't think it's that fiddly, even though the weight on BGG is fairly high (3.5/5). If your playgroup is used to play video game RPGs or dungeon crawlers, they should be able to get through fairly easily. It's got quite a bit of randomness, but it provides a pretty cohesive narrative experience. That narrative is one of the reasons my friend picked it up. He wanted a board game RPG, since our group is so small that we can't do a normal pen & paper one.
I used to play old school hardcore wargames so I'd probably be able to handle anything. However, my group doesn't play video games, and they've only played games like Risk, Settlers of Catan, and Axis and Allies so I'd prefer to go with something more gamey. My pick for dungeon crawlers would be Gloomhaven, but it only plays up to 4, and it's not a game I'd want to lug to other peoples' houses.
 
Oct 27, 2017
226
What was the problem with Rokugan? I've heard that it has balance issues with the objectives but it was otherwise pretty good.

Also, how well do you think that Concordia will work with a relatively new game group? I'm dying to get it to the table, but I'm worried that it might be too much for the players. Also, do you have any advice on teaching the game?
We felt that Rokugan was rather themeless in the end, which is fine if the gameplay is great. But, to us, the game is just good. We had issues with the secret objective cards.. tried using them.. tried leaving them out and neither seemed to satisfy us. We also thought that the last turn's turn order needs to be more than just random. It's too powerful going last. Again, we played it six times so we're not experts with it but my group seems to have moved on from it now and even if I suggested it I don't think it would get played. To scratch that area control itch, I think we would try Kemet, Inis, or AGOT with the new expansion.

Concordia sounds like a decent game for your group to try next. I think it isn't a true gateway game but it is a game that is probably a game that could be played after a true gateway game if that makes any sense. Once you learn how the cards work, you're pretty much set to go. It's also great for our group because there are so many different maps available and each game feels fresh even though we have played it 15 times this year.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,204
Happy New Year, all! May 2019 bring you bountiful boardgaming!

2018 plays (including expansions) for me:

-Race for the Galaxy 23 (love how fast this engine-builder plays)
-Legends of Andor 21 (going through this campaign trilogy has been an epic journey - I find it very thematic for what is ultimately a puzzle game)
-Aeon's End 20 (coop deckbuilding at its finest)
-Kingdomino 18 (quickest filler game I can introduce to non-gamers; fast to learn, fast to play)
-Spirit Island 14 (best coop game I've ever player)
-Gloomhaven 13 (love how grandiose this is, but setup is also a pain)
-Hive Pocket 12 (neat little portable abstract)
-Arkham Horror LCG 11 (love the narrative/campaign and deck construction)
-Fields of Arle 11 (possibly my favorite game; and for a simple farming game, it is so incredibly thematic
-Orleans 10 (the coop Invasion mode is a blast but also overwhelming - in a good way; also really like how they turned a euro into a full-fledged coop while retaining the heart of the game)
-Dungeon Alliance 9 (awesome blend of dungeon-crawling and deck-building, and I really like controlling 4 characters via one deck)
-Carcassonne 8 (probably my favorite gateway game, which can also introduce non-gamers to more complexity via the expansions)
-Evolution Climate 8 (good chaotic fun - I especially enjoy the theme as a sucker for BBC nature documentaries)
-Glass Road 8 (fastest brain-burning game I own; I really the resource conversion in this one)
-Hanabi 4 (fun unique card game that works nicely as a filler)
-Ticket to Ride Europe 3 (fun gateway game; first time I played it and I can see what it's a classic)
-King of Tokyo 1 (only played once, but it was incredibly meh; wouldn't play this again without kids around)
-Power Grid 1 (returning to this timeless classic was as fun as ever)

Plays: 195
Games: 18
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,204
I've never really played a board game beyond Monopoly as a kid and a few other basics but for Xmas I bought my girlfriend Gloomhaven. We're playing together and I'm really enjoying it. It was crazy hard to remember all the rules and I'm still learning but it's fun! I'd be keen to try others now too.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,914
I've never really played a board game beyond Monopoly as a kid and a few other basics but for Xmas I bought my girlfriend Gloomhaven. We're playing together and I'm really enjoying it. It was crazy hard to remember all the rules and I'm still learning but it's fun! I'd be keen to try others now too.
You really went from like 10 to 100 complexity, but more power to you! That's a heck of a game to start on which will last a very long time.

One problem is that it's also a very good game so you might be a little spoiled, but there are still a ton of interesting options out there. You might get lucky and find a local game store or meetup group who plays games, too.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,218
I've never really played a board game beyond Monopoly as a kid and a few other basics but for Xmas I bought my girlfriend Gloomhaven. We're playing together and I'm really enjoying it. It was crazy hard to remember all the rules and I'm still learning but it's fun! I'd be keen to try others now too.
That's a pretty amazing contrast in games, both in complexity and quality. If you could get into Gloomhaven that easily, you're already prepared for the majority of other games on the market. Welcome to the wonderful world of cardboard gaming!
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,890
CT
I’m bad at tracking plays, but going off a mix of number or plays or length of plays from memory my top games from 2018 were

Arkham Horror TCG
Star Realms (app plays)
7th Continent
Thunderstone Quest
Keyforge
Time Stories (estella drive and brotherhood)
 
Oct 30, 2018
130
I've never really played a board game beyond Monopoly as a kid and a few other basics but for Xmas I bought my girlfriend Gloomhaven. We're playing together and I'm really enjoying it. It was crazy hard to remember all the rules and I'm still learning but it's fun! I'd be keen to try others now too.
If you're interested in discovering more games, I really recommend you check out the Shut Up & Sit Down site. It's run by two guys (Quintin Smith and Matt Lees) with the goal of talking about and reviewing board games.

https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/

They're honestly really great! They talk about games big and small, and I really like their style and how they do reviews. Don't take their words as gospel, though, as some games they didn't review well are some of my favorite (and vice versa), but they are very constant with the kinds of things they like and don't like. So it's easy to wrap your head around and discover if you would like a specific game they're talking about. And they are always so entertaining and funny.

During Christmas I bought a small light party game (Mafia de Cuba) to play with the family based on their recommendation and everybody had an absolute blast! Here's the old video review of it to give you an idea of their style:

 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
1,068
Not big on tracking plays, but a rough guess at most played this year:

Catan: Group insists on playing it every week
Love Letter
Thanos Rising
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
Secret Hitler
Escape From the Aliens in Outer Space
Zombicide: Green Horde/Black Plague
Villainous
Star/Zombie/Cthulhu Fluxx
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,125
Thinking of picking up Tokyo Highway and Azul. Quick impressions?
I've played this about 4 times now. I like it a lot. I wouldn't liken to Jenga at all, because Jenga always starts with the same pillar of blocks that you are deconstructing. Nothing too interesting about how the game progresses, other than trying to not topple it.

Tokyo Highway is more creative, as you are building an insane network of highways and trying to score points as you go along. There is a fear of toppling stuff over, but it's usually not game-ending. You end up with a resulting web of structures looking like 'art' that you all made together. I say that even though the game is competitive, and the rules are pretty solid (which is not often the case for dexterity games). The localized big box currently for sale is a great value, IMO, as it's the same price as the import copy but has all the expansion stuff.
 
Jan 12, 2018
1,943
Tokyo highway is super fun. Very simple but fun. Played first time this week

Azul is a must buy
I've played this about 4 times now. I like it a lot. I wouldn't liken to Jenga at all, because Jenga always starts with the same pillar of blocks that you are deconstructing. Nothing too interesting about how the game progresses, other than trying to not topple it.

Tokyo Highway is more creative, as you are building an insane network of highways and trying to score points as you go along. There is a fear of toppling stuff over, but it's usually not game-ending. You end up with a resulting web of structures looking like 'art' that you all made together. I say that even though the game is competitive, and the rules are pretty solid (which is not often the case for dexterity games). The localized big box currently for sale is a great value, IMO, as it's the same price as the import copy but has all the expansion stuff.
Much appreciated. I have moved them to the top of my buy list.
 
Oct 27, 2017
226
Any of you guys played the Mother of Dragons expansion? Thoughts on how it affects Balance? Does Lannister have a shot now?
I have only played it once so take this for what it is... Lannister hasn't changed much and Targaryen puts some pressure on the whole board with their dragons and also on the Eastern coast houses. The good thing is now you can let Lannister be a vassal house and someone else can play a better house. The vassal houses should be used to replace houses that aren't in the game unless you are playing with maximum number of players.

I think the expansion is worth picking up if you like the base game at all.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,090
Oct 27, 2017
46
Hey fenners, here’s a blast from the past - did you ever find something more efficient for Arkham Horror 2E than the three large box solution? I’ve now got all 4 big box and 2 of the small box expansions. Hoping to fit it in two big boxes if I can.
 
What apps do y’all use for keeping track of stats?

I don’t have official stats but the Arkham Horror LCG and Smash Up would be at the top. I got King of Tokyo for Christmas and my Dad ended up really loving it. Had some really close games on New Years that would often come down to me and him with both of us down to our last sliver of health and 17 stars. Super fun, super simple game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
225
Just picked up the 7 Wonders Cities Anniversary Pack. Waiting for Armada to come in.

While it's "only" 15 new cards, I'm rather impressed that they seemed to ramp up the griefing value with these. Now, I get that seems to be the trend with Cities, in general, it felt like those group effect cards were still few and far inbetween. Directly dropping debt tokens onto your neighbors just seems deliciously mean.
 
Oct 25, 2017
225
Did any of the 7 wonders expansions make military an actual viable victory strategy and not just a gimmick to bait beginners?
It's strange, but I don't think any of the expansions thus far have straight up given a direct buff to military. It's more like they give and take to make the dynamic less stagnant than in the base game.

Cities gives you some pretty strong (for the age) direct military cards for a leg up if you're in an arms race and near-guild power cards that turn into VP for each victory token you've got at the end. On the other hand, the expansion introduces Diplomacy, which can really kill your momentum if you're playing with less than 3 other people. Also a couple of cards that force you to pay a coin to the bank for each victory token you've got.

Leaders also give you some direct military power leaders plus some that grant money/VP which scale to the number of victory tokens you have. Then there's Tomyris that sends all defeat tokens of a player to the winner of a conflict from there on out.

Same thing with Babel, to a lesser extent. It's got a tile that lets everybody build red cards for free, but also one that diminishes the value of your victory tokens. Red great projects can give you a leg up on military power as well as direct victory token rewards if you participate.

Of course, all of this is still based on what cards are in play, so the tl;dr answer to your question would be maybe.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,914
I detested whichever 7 Wonders expansion added the neighbor thing that makes them go broke -- was that Cities? It just felt stagnant, sort of random, and super frustrating for people to keep skipping turns with no money.

On the other hand, the Leaders expansion seemed neat and added new mechanics and options without making people skip turns.

7 Wonders Duel has military as one of the viable win conditions if I recall correctly.
 
Oct 27, 2017
226
What apps do y’all use for keeping track of stats?

I don’t have official stats but the Arkham Horror LCG and Smash Up would be at the top. I got King of Tokyo for Christmas and my Dad ended up really loving it. Had some really close games on New Years that would often come down to me and him with both of us down to our last sliver of health and 17 stars. Super fun, super simple game.
https://www.bgstatsapp.com/
 
Oct 25, 2017
225
Did any of the 7 wonders expansions make military an actual viable victory strategy and not just a gimmick to bait beginners?
Well, Armada came in, and skimming the rulebook, it looks like land military gets the buff you wanted. You can now potentially fight up to 4(?) people in ground conflicts in addition to naval conflicts (calculated separately).

EDIT: PSA- From the reviews I've read and my observations, the plastic boat game pieces that come with the expansion do feel a bit delicate around the masts. As a precaution, would recommend rounding out the edges of the pegs so they fit more smoothly into the Dockyard boards.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
3,103
I don't know if it is possible to win as Riverfolk Company in Root. If no one buys your stuff, you are out of luck.
So, I've been toying with making a board game based around some ideas my GF and I had tossed around. My friends who play board games much more often warned us that competative trading is often a bad idea because ruthless players won't play the game as intended because they'd rather win through more difficult means if it ensures their opponents don't get anywhere.

Sounds kind of like what might be happening when you're playing the Riverfolk Company.

Edit, also, my Nemesis copy arrived, and I'm one of many who got a melted soldier. If Awaken Realms don't want him back when then ship out the new piece, I might really try to melt the guy and give him a bit more character.
 
Nov 16, 2017
1,270
I believe a friend this weekend convinced me back to doing Gloomhaven solo after hearing him complain about "oh hey, we should do a Lore Quest next" or whatever to finish a hidden objective. Also speed things up and make it easier to get a full thing done.

Negative thoughts on Gloomhaven solo?


So, I've been toying with making a board game based around some ideas my GF and I had tossed around. My friends who play board games much more often warned us that competative trading is often a bad idea because ruthless players won't play the game as intended because they'd rather win through more difficult means if it ensures their opponents don't get anywhere.

Sounds kind of like what might be happening when you're playing the Riverfolk Company.

Edit, also, my Nemesis copy arrived, and I'm one of many who got a melted soldier. If Awaken Realms don't want him back when then ship out the new piece, I might really try to melt the guy and give him a bit more character.
It is just the benefits of the Riverfolk is just not so good. I can't imagine anyone desperate enough to pay 4 warriors for a card, river passage, or mercenaries. Maybe they might be okay if you were playing against the cats and birds only it would be okay cause they fight a lot?
 

Lyng

Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,036
Any of you fine folks have some input on Wildlands and Western legends? Which one would you choose for two players? How luck heavy are they?
 
Oct 25, 2017
18
It is just the benefits of the Riverfolk is just not so good. I can't imagine anyone desperate enough to pay 4 warriors for a card, river passage, or mercenaries. Maybe they might be okay if you were playing against the cats and birds only it would be okay cause they fight a lot?
I think I found the problem. You can't really charge 4 or even 3 unless you know they were planning to do stuff with your services.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,006
I think I found the problem. You can't really charge 4 or even 3 unless you know they were planning to do stuff with your services.
Yep. Riverfolk player set at 4 and 3 the entire game is asking to lose. It also depends on the other factions in play. Woodland and Vagabond will hardly buy anything. Lizards and Birds will most likely want something every round and have warriors to spare.
 
Nov 16, 2017
1,270
Yep. Riverfolk player set at 4 and 3 the entire game is asking to lose. It also depends on the other factions in play. Woodland and Vagabond will hardly buy anything. Lizards and Birds will most likely want something every round and have warriors to spare.
I think I found the problem. You can't really charge 4 or even 3 unless you know they were planning to do stuff with your services.
Riverboat and Mercenaries are always at 1 (typically never gets used). Cards I will put at 1 or 2 and only ever put it at 3 if there is the Mouse/Fox/Bunny killer cards, an Ambush is there, or something someone is super excited about when I revealed. Never thought of putting it at 4 cause no one ever buys the stuff and that's the problem. It needs to be updated/more beneficial for players to want to trade.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,006
Riverboat and Mercenaries are always at 1 (typically never gets used). Cards I will put at 1 or 2 and only ever put it at 3 if there is the Mouse/Fox/Bunny killer cards, an Ambush is there, or something someone is super excited about when I revealed. Never thought of putting it at 4 cause no one ever buys the stuff and that's the problem. It needs to be updated/more beneficial for players to want to trade.
Is everyone new? New players don't really know what they are doing to put it plainly. I can't even imagine what kind of board state there is if no one is buying riverboats or mercs for 1 and cards for 1 and 2. I have played a lot, dozens and dozens of games, and the Riverfolk have no trouble winning.