Played My Little Scythe

Played at Home, Gilbert, AZ with 2 players.

K.A.T.S.: the Musical - YouTube image
K.A.T.S.: the Musical - YouTube (https://youtu.be/aH9ZFXUg6Bg) [Orleans: Invasion, Orléans: Trade & Intrigue, Orléans]Like| 0 comments | [+]

As a heads up, this does not appear to have the balanced patches like the Halloween edition.

Played at Beaumont with 3 players.

Played with the upgraded bits. Never going back

Played at San Antonio, Texas with 2 players.

What a complete beatdown. I guess she decided to take out her frustrations on me because I've beaten her at Terraforming Mars two times in a row. And take them out she did! Cows, discs, train advancement, you name it. Outside of building placement there wasn't a scoring section she didn't win and win handily. I better up my game significantly if I want to win because she's got a handle on engine building in this game!!

I'll be interested to see more of this game. My wife used to watch a lot of Doctor Who, so I could see her getting excited to play this.

Played 7 Wonders Duel

Played at Beaumont with 2 players.

Played at Beaumont with 2 players.

I won by four

Played at Umma house.

War Machine (Protection), Ms. Marvel (Justice) vs. Absorbing Man, Power Drain; Expert

Played at Home, Gilbert, AZ with 2 players.

Backed #Rise of the Necromancers w/ the #Rise of the Necromancers: Dawn & Demons expansion.  I didn't go in for everything as I couldnt see spending that much money on a game that while it looks good, and i'm pretty sure will be a hit with my gaming group there was enough uncertianty to make me just get base game.

Today's recap is one of BGG's top games, Through the ages, the classic heavy euro, cube obsessed, civilization building game from Vlaada and Czech Games Edition. 

Through the ages in about 3 minutes - YouTube image
ReviewThrough the ages in about 3 minutes - YouTube (https://youtu.be/WJr4I6xybck) [Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization]Like| 1 comment | [+]

Done! I think this looks really fun. Sports related games have not gotten enough love. The art on this is fantastic as well!

I've actually never played Merchants of the sea oddly enough! I'll provide a brief list of the various expansions to Terra Mystica and my thoughts on each. I realize you asked for my thoughts on the major ones only, but once I got writing I just thought it made sense to go through them all. Hope this helps! Let me know if anything is unclear, you disagree with any of my thoughts below or have any follow up questions.

  • Extra maps
    This is perhaps the best thing that the expansions offer. While I certainly favor certain maps over others, they're all pretty great. Revised base is kind of goofy, but the rest I like quite a bit. I'd order my map preference in the following way: Base, Fjords, Lakes, Fire & Ice, Revised Base. Having such a great collection of maps is SO important for replayability.

  • Fire & Ice end game scoring
    It's pretty good! Provides some additional variability to the game. For instance, if cluster scoring is in, Witches are slightly less incentivized to build towns. If edge scoring is in, Darkings, Alchemists and Halflings are more interesting in setups where they otherwise might be less good. So it just gives another layer of the game to have to take into consideration. Having said that, I don't really think Terra Mystica needs it, as the base game itself is complicated enough and with the mini-expansion, landscapes and map selection, I have all the variation I need without adding more components to the game itself.

  • Fire & Ice factions
    They're okay, but I'm not in love with them. One of my least favorite factions in regular TM are Giants. I find when Giants are in, it adds a higher degree of luck than would otherwise normally be found. Giants don't care which colour hex they dig as they all cost the same, so whether they happen to dig your hex versus mine in round 1 is a big swing in the game. So with giants in I might argue the game is slightly less strategic, less points are scored and RNG becomes more prominent. Why am I talking about Giants here? Because the Fire factions both work kind of the same way. They don't care THAT much which colour hexes they dig, so they're adding in more volatility to the game. Overall, I find their powers interesting, but not craveable in the same way that the base 14 are.

  • Landscapes
    Many of them are actually not designed that well. Halflings', for instance, is effectively useless. Nomads, kinda the same. Having said that, some are great and provide a lot of additional power and flexibility to otherwise harder to play factions. Fakirs, for instance, are perhaps one of the weaker factions in base TM, but their landscape is so powerful that suddenly they're an A tier faction and can excel incredibly in good setups. Dwarves' landscape provides them with additional connection flexibility which arguably reduces swingy-ness/RNG in the game. So, overall, the good landscapes I give a thumbs up to and the bad ones, well, they don't add anything to the game but don't take anything away either. Worse case scenario your faction now has an 18th structure: just consider it a 9th dwelling that, like the 8th, doesn't produce a worker income. No real downside to having them in.

  • Merchants of the Sea
    As I mentioned previously, unfortunately I haven't played it.

  • Mini expansions
    This is the ship VP tile and extra town keys. They're mandatory for all games as far as I'm concerned. I just consider this "base" TM at this point and not even an expansion.

  • Variable turn order
    I'm throwing this in the list because it came out officially in the Fire & Ice set. Once again, I consider this mandatory for all games. Even when playing with beginners, tabletop, I'll grab a piece of paper and some tokens to track this if we don't have the official turn order tracker mat that comes with F&I. It's just so important.

  • Gaia Project
    I've played a handful of times and think it's an incredible sequel to Terra Mystica. They've basically taken all of the components of TM and reorganized them in a wonderful way. Gaia Project's "Tech Track" for instance, blends TM's technology advances (shipping and exchange/digging), with the round scoring cult rewards and the cult track into a single game component. Very cool. They've also made coins more available in the game, and workers harder to come by, so the economic pressure in Gaia is kind of the opposite to TM (workers are everywhere, coins are tight). In TM, dwellings are the best building to build economically while Trading Posts have a terrible ROI. It would appear that, in Gaia, it's shifted the other way to some degree: the TP equivalent aren't that bad, and not all dwellings provide you with worker income so they're less good. So although I'm by no means a veteran Gaia player and still like TM more, I think it's a fantastic game and not at all simply a space reskin of the original game.

Excellent game. I haven't been able to play in a few months, but I would like to play again soon. The #7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon expansion takes the game to the next level too (after you've played the base game a bunch of times).

I'd like to think that I was neither a hardline modernist or hardline traditionalist. 

My collection certainly leans towards more modern games, but then I was out of the hobby from late 1990s for about 15 years, so the return has brought more modern games, with many I had from before now despatched to charity shops or the bin. My oldest game is 2nd ed. Roborally plus 3 expansions and it's certainly sad to see how badly the game has been treated in later editions. Beyond that Carcassonne (old art), the Discworld games, a rather odd US football game and Saboteur might vie for next oldest. 

There are certainly some elements of older games that were flawed, but we played through them. I'm thinking especially of games where there was player elimination, plus where the death throes could go on for well over an hour, with the eventual winner obvious for all that time. Similarly there is now much better pitching of luck vs. game length. By that I mean there are still games of mostly chance, but they are typically shorter length. Longer games may still have quite a bit of luck, but are more likely to reward good tactical / strategic play. Thankfully there are a lot less games with roll to move around a circular track. Monopoly for a long time was thought of by too many as 'what a board game should look like / play like'

I also chuckle at the amount of times I read that a game I have "has the worst rules ever". If only those people had seen some of the hideous rules that we used to have to fight in the 1970s and 1980s! 

The overall standard (and sheer breadth/volume) of games has improved massively IMO since the turn of the milennium, but there were great games before and some dubious ones created afterwards, hence generalisations are dangerous.

There are also some potential issues to watch out for, such as getting caught up in the latest 'hot' game, only to see it have 6 months in the limelight, then fade to obscurity. Production quality has generally improved massively, but sometimes people get carried away. Quality where it matters, not simply to increase the amount spent! 
 I chuckled when I saw someone say that what was missing from the Rome: Total War campaign on Gamefound was a 2 foot high statue of Augustus 

There is also a danger that 'good game design' stops being a positive and becomes more of a strait-jacket, meaning so many games are using the same tried and trusted mechanisms, albeit in slightly different combination / pasted on theme. These days I am much more drawn to braver / more innovative designs, even if they come with greater risk.

Top Kickstarters Ending Soon! (1/21/2022) [Viscounts: Gates of Gold + Keeper of Keys, Skytear Horde]Like| 1 comment | [+]

Played at Home with 3 players.

Totally agree!  I've always enjoyed the simple little card games or small box games, things I can teach in two minutes and enjoy all night.

One "classic" we recently discovered was Papayoo. I watched the I Heart Board Games krewe play it on stream one night, jumped in and had a blast. Finally we ordered a copy for ourselves, and it's been the perfect game to teach to family. For some reason we play this thing for hours!  It's the combination of an easy rule teach, high interactivity and penchant for laughs that make games like this one great. 

Great topic! 

The screen printed wood tokens stretch goal has been met, and a whole list of new stretch goals has been posted, including engraved dice, upgraded dice bowls, and a dual layer gameboard!

Played at Umma house.

Captain America (Leadership), Black Panther (Protection), Black Widow (Protection) vs. Kang, Temporal; Expert

Played with 2 players.

Played Yahtzee

Played at Online with 2 players.

Played Black Sonata
Played Under Falling Skies

Played at Kraus Haus with 2 players.

Played Codenames: Duet

Played at Wilson House with 2 players.

Played Codenames: Duet

Played at Wilson House with 2 players.

Played Codenames: Duet

Played at Wilson House with 2 players.

Played Codenames: Duet

Played at Wilson House with 2 players.

How do you feel about the TM expansions, meaning the big ones, Fire & Ice and Merchants of the Sea? I know Merchants isn't on BGA, but possibly you've had a chance to play it IRL.

Likewise, how do you feel about Gaia Project?

This is very cool sounding.  I have only played #Undaunted: Normandy but this would almost be an instant buy for me.