Tactical Games on Your Table #3 (March 2018)
Pater Absurdus
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Welcome to Tactical Games on Your Table!

The term "Tactical Game" can cover a wide variety of titles. Generally, games featured on these lists encourage players to adapt their plans to address the current game state which changes as the game progresses. They do not encourage the creation of long term plans but are not primarily luck based. They are skill based but that skill is focused on short term planning and goal setting along with flexibility.

Please post entries only for games that you have actually played this month, and include a description of the session, interesting things of note, photos, analysis, etc! The list is designed for more in-depth discussion of heavy games.

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Format stolen from Heavy Games on Your Table


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1. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:450]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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I don’t play kingdom builder often but it is pleasant when I do. I played with my wife and two eldest daughters. It was also our first time using th marshlands expansion which added goal cards that had a one time goal and boards with two different ability tiles on them. It was a decent expansion as well.

The tactical natur comes from not knowing what land type you will be able to place in on future turns. Since houses that can be adjacent must be you want to place in a way that sets yourself up for the future but it’s all a gamble each round.

Some have proposed “solutions” to the luck issue. Realizing now that I prefer tactics anyway I would not be interested in a significantly more strategic version of this anyway. The tactical nature is part of why I still play this on occasion after all this time.
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2. Board Game: Mission: Red Planet [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:726]
Sloan Lee
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Farmers Branch
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I played this gem today. I always have a good time, but this time around I realized that there is a tactical element to the game... and it isn't all just about luck (even though there is an undeniable luck element).
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3. Board Game: Cat Lady [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:1567]
Pater Absurdus
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Carrollton
Texas
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First play.

The theme is competing cat ladies trying to have the most fed cats worth the most points. Mechanically it's like Sushi Go but the blind draft (which sucks hard) is replaced by an interesting market in which you draft 3 cards at a time from a 3 by 3 grid (which is way better). Also, a cool food mechanic is added that makes it so that you want to collect the right foods to feed your cats and points are lost for excess food and unfed cats.

It was silly fun. I would consider getting it for the kids if I see it cheap.
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4. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:181]
Pater Absurdus
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Carrollton
Texas
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So I realize that this game will punish those that don't plan ahead. To me this feels very tactical because it requires a significant amount of adaptation and risk tolerance.

I love this game so much. It is so good. The programming, the battle, the paladins, and the theme are so magical. Darn its great.

I played 2x. Both started super late leading to me staying up until 4am last Friday and Saturday. Totally worth it!
 
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5. Board Game: Deus [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:301]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Deus is excellent. I don't get to play it as much as I would like but am always glad when I do.
The hand management is akin to Race for the Galaxy but without the role selection. I love the way the cards stack so that as the games progress you get to do more and more each turn. Good times.
It is very tactical like more great card games!
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6. Board Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:160]
Pater Absurdus
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Carrollton
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I have yet to read the rules myself or play it with someone that knows them well. In spite of that and the crazy amount of luck I still have enjoyed this both plays. I really need to read the rules before my next play.
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7. Board Game: Wasteland Express Delivery Service [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:848]
Pater Absurdus
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Carrollton
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I love this game. The theme is excellent. I love how the truck upgrades work. It has just enough luck and randomness to avoid it being stale without being overbearing.
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8. Board Game: The Game of 49 [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2382]
Pater Absurdus
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Carrollton
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Images were borrowed from the game due to my forgetting to take a pick.

This is a great light filler auction game. It has a connect four bingo sort of deal on a shared board. What is fun is the way the auction gives agency on where pieces go on the board and its allowance for trolling.

I play with a variant in which there is a market of three cards that the first player gets to choose from to start the auction. That increases agency (or at least the illusion of it) in a nice way.
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9. Board Game: Impulse [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1160]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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image stolen due to forgetting to take a picture

Every turn of this game is so dang satisfying!
I am constantly surprised by how much I love it. It is a tactical masterpiece of card play and fun combo's. People that hate downtime and epic turns may be turned off but I would much rather wait and take a really interesting turn than have my turns come up quick and only get a mini turn (a game style exemplified by Stonemeier games, ugh).

The impulse is a clever replacement for the role selection of GtR.

This game has my favorite battle mechanic. Battle is always a risk but you can plan ahead a bit to increase your defenses. The game is also short enough that a huge loss doesn't haunt you for long.
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10. Board Game: Adrenaline [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:543]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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image stolen due to forgetting to take a picture.

I finally got my 3rd play in after about a year of ownership. I don't know why this is hard to get to the table. Perhaps because my wife and the other lady gamers we play with haven't shown much interest and it doesn't play 2 players well.

I couldn't decide if it was worth the trouble of keeping after my first two games. They dragged a bit and I had too many uneventful turns. For my third game I used the smallest board size which kept the action going and I knew the rules better so I was able to keep things moving faster.

It's safe for me to say now that I really really like this game. I may love it after more plays. It has plenty of tactical yumminess and interesting choices. The scoring system is interesting and the weapons are super fun.
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11. Board Game: Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.63 Overall Rank:3]
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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I have played this 2x with my mom and wife this week. Such a great game and a perfect mix of planning ahead (strategy) and wise adaptation to changing circumstances (tactics).

The first game I took Napoleon and went hard military. They both quit after Multiple aggressions and wars.
The second game I went with Shakespeare and ended the game with 4 library lab pairs and having completed Hollywood for nearly 50 points.

We are in the middle of a game in which we are playing with the leaked unfinished versions of the wonders and leaders from the upcoming expansion. Sadly it keeps getting pushed back. I really hope it comes out this year.
So far it has been really fun and none of them seem significantly more/less powerful than the leaders from the base.
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