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Okay, Im thinking of getting this game..I was wondering how the theme plays in it? I know its a hard game to beat, but is it a game that stays fresh and I will want to pull out now and again? What about Expansions, are they needed, do you recommend them, Thanks for the help..
 
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Shane Larsen
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You're asking questions to a biased audience here. Normally people who will see this post (BGGers who are subscribed to Ghost Stories), like Ghost Stories a lot. So you won't get the most helpful/critical responses to your questions in general.

For better help, go to the Recommendations Forums and ask the question there.

IMO, the game stays fresh. The expansion are not needed, but I love the game enough that I got them and I'm happy with them both. I also try to track down any of the bonus/promos when I can.
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Lance Codarin
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i'll try not to be biased!

basically it is a pure coop game so no traitor mechanic like Battlestar galactica or shadow over camelot.
The theme of the game is NOT pasted on! you will feel like an exorcist desperetly trying to save the village!
not much dice involved apart from some things here and then but the dice is esaily avoided with the right preparations!

the pros of the base game:
- great and original theme
- pure coop no traitor
- great miniatures and components
- luck present... what will really get you out of the mess, though, is the right amount of collaboration and decisions in the most dire situation

the cons:
- this game will kick your ass... be ready for it
- no traitor mechanic (solved with Black secret expansion introducing a fifth player that will play the evil one)
- frustrating at times because the game wants you to lose and not everyone will like it
- rules are a mess!

hope that will help you

 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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I love Ghost Stories. That said, lets address the points you raise specifically.

First, the theme is irrelevant. It could be anything and still work. However the theme is very pleasant, and its not a "Yet Another Math Puzzle by Herr Dr Knizia" kind of segregation. But this is a very mechanical tactical strategy co-op game.

It does stay relatively fresh as there are 8 different player powers you can use, and multiple valid paths to victory. There are also multiple levels of difficulty and variable challenges in the different Wu Feng incarnations. Some paths to victory are not really valid when played solitaire, but only a small amount.

However, it does feel kind of brutal at first - I strongly suggest a non-random setup to learn the mechanics, but some people on here would call that heresy.

That said this is a coop game and the challenge is relatively similar game over game.

The White Moon expansion increases flavor, at the cost of being a bit fiddly. But most people do really like it, and it does make the game a bit easier to win. Black Secret is actually a pretty fun semi-coop but it could be argued its kind of a weird fit with the base game. Despite so much of it being the same it doesn't really feel like the same game anymore - and the additional powers are very fiddly. So White Moon = Great, Black Secret = Good - both are not at all required.
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Jeremy
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This is one of my all time favorites and a large part of that is due to the atmosphere and theme of the game. It's challenging and fun, even as a solo game.

The components are great, art is great, gameplay is challenging and fun. White Moon expansion is a great add on, but take time to enjoy the base game first.

The only down side, I found the rulebook very challenging. First learning this game took some work. It took some work figuring it out. It might just be I'm a bit dense, but there are videos and of course forums here to help out.

If the theme appeals to you, I honestly feel you'll enjoy the game.
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Manary Corte
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This is one of the best coop games out there. The game is very hard to beat, but with some experience you'll figure things out and start to beat the board.

At the beginner level, you'll be beating the game on the 2nd or 3rd try. Then, just go to the harder levels to get your ass kicked again. devil

This is a great, great game and there is no mistake on getting it.
 
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John Q.T. Nguyen
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thedacker wrote:
You're asking questions to a biased audience here. Normally people who will see this post (BGGers who are subscribed to Ghost Stories), like Ghost Stories a lot. So you won't get the most helpful/critical responses to your questions in general.


Here's where I maybe mess that up, as I subscribe to every game that I own, regardless of whether or not I like them a lot. ;D

coco123 wrote:
Okay, Im thinking of getting this game..I was wondering how the theme plays in it? I know its a hard game to beat, but is it a game that stays fresh and I will want to pull out now and again? What about Expansions, are they needed, do you recommend them, Thanks for the help..


Ghost Stories was a game that I purchased as something to play with my significant other. That decision was influenced in large part by the theme, as I narrowed down the choices and then she chose this game from the available options based on the box art and the short description of the game from BGG. The two of us are Asian and we both grew up watching a lot of Chinese movies, so I was anticipating that the theme would also play a large part in bringing the game back on to the table.

In practice, the theme has not factored into the equation for us at all when deciding whether or not we want to pull the game out again, as we found the game mechanics defined the experience for us far more than the theme did. Now, Ghost Stories only ever gets mentioned in the conversation when 1) we want to play an involved game and 2) we have a lot of time to play a game. Sadly, those instances are few and far between, and Ghost Stories hasn't seen the light of day in months, even after I picked up the White Moon expansion.

Speaking of the expansions, I have one other friend who owns Ghost Stories and, in his main gaming group, they will NOT play the game without the White Moon expansion because they find the base game a bit too stale. In their opinion, the game absolutely needs this expansion.

When I was first thinking about picking up Ghost Stories, this video tutorial/review was helpful to me in gauging my general interest in the game. If you're thinking about picking it up and have an iPad, I would recommend making the small investment of downloading the iPad version first to try it out before committing to the actual game. If I had an iPad at the time and done that first, I most likely would not have picked up the actual game.

Hope this helps!
 
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coco123 wrote:
Okay, Im thinking of getting this game..I was wondering how the theme plays in it? I know its a hard game to beat, but is it a game that stays fresh and I will want to pull out now and again? What about Expansions, are they needed, do you recommend them, Thanks for the help..


I like the theme. It is fresh and new. Pandemic is about disease control in a modern world, I hear Red November takes a page out of the movie Red October, Yggdrasil's about the Norse Mythology, Forbidden Island has that "Barnes & Noble fiction novel adventure approach", Space Hulk The CG is a blend between fantasy and sci-fi, and D&D Board Games are literally from the D&D universe... and then you've got a horde of fantasy themed stuff too. Asian ghost theme is unique enough to me. The bits and the mechanics work well towards that too.


I like it. If you're playing with a group that mostly does easy mode of fully-coop games b/c they like winning, then GS may not be up their ally. You could always hosue rule stuff to make it easier and more fun though.

I can't comment on expansiosn though.
 
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Pol Michiels
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Ghost Stories is one of the best pure co-op games on the market. As someone who has played the game at least 50+ times, I can say from experience that the game getting stale is something you'd only need to worry about on a geological timescale. A big reason for that is that there is no "one way to play", as is often seen in other co-ops. My group tired quickly of Yggdrasil, Pandemic, Shadows over Camelot, etc. since after 10+ plays it was obvious what the best strategy was, and then it became just mindless execution, with moments of tension and brilliance few and far between.

Not so with Ghost Stories. After those 50+ plays, we still argue often on what the best course is in a given situation, and there's still a lot of fun, a lot of skin-of-the-teeth, a lot of cheering and shouting every game. The reason for this is the great variety: every game your town is different (with about 360000 configurations), the player powers are different (with about 192 different permutations of player order and powers), and the Ghost deck will differ ("Hell no, I'm not calculating that!"). All this means that it's hard to predict the best course of action (though that doesn't mean some aren't obviously worse). And that's just with the base game. A pleasant side effect of this is that, in a group of roughly equal experience, there is less of an alpha player problem than in other co-ops.

If you're worried about the difficulty, I have a recommendation: the Guardhouse mini-expansion. It contains 4 ghosts and 1 town tile, but that town tile can make a lot of difference for a starting group. It allows you to arrange the top cards of the ghost deck, and draw a tao token. Use it instead of the watch tower from the basic game, and you just might find life a bit easier. If you can't find a copy, just houserule the watchtower tile into the guardhouse.

As for the other expansions, others have mentioned it, but I feel that Ghost Stories stands well on its own (and I still play without the expansions almost as often as I play with them). That being said, if you like Ghost Stories, and want more, then White Moon is certainly worth picking up, and if you want the thrill of playing a human opponent instead of an impartial system, Black Secrets offers a wonderful experience of getting your face stomped by evil. Just a warning, though, Black Secrets is entirely about the All vs 1. If you just want to keep playing pure co-op, then this expansion will hold little to no value for you.

In closing: Get Ghost Stories. It'll be one of the best decisions you make in your gaming life.
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Josh Trumbo
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Full disclosure: Ghost Stories is one of my favorite games, so take what I say with a grain of salt (or some incense and a bowl of rice)

The thing about Ghost Stories that really stands out to me is how important the theme is despite the fact that the mechanics really do dictate how the game works. You COULD give it any theme-- sci fi, medieval, etc-- and it would still operate the same way. However! I can't imagine it any other way and I can't imagine enjoying the game as much if it had any other theme than what it has. I absolutely love the components and get a jolt of excitement every time I set up the board. It is elegant in design from top to bottom (once you get past the poorly-worded rule book), and it is as brutal a game as you'll ever play. And that's a good thing.

You'll get a lot of good value out of the base game, so don't worry about it feeling "incomplete" or getting stale too quickly. I find there's enough room for discussion of how to proceed that the game doesn't fall into the typical co-op trap where one person tells everyone else how to play (it can, if you have a real A-type personality in the group, but I haven't had that problem so far), so that's a definite plus. And it plays great solo, especially if you love difficult puzzles.

Now as for expansions, White Moon is fantastic, and just recently saw a reprint (thank the heavens). If you enjoy the base game, you'll likely want to pick this up as it adds another dimension to the game and gives you plenty more decisions to agonize over, giving the game even more longevity. I've only played one full game of Black Secret, but it's an interesting twist to make the game 1 v. all, and again adds more dimensions and difficult choices (for all the players), which I think is a testament to how solid the base game is. I personally would grab White Moon first, but it's a great expansion in its own right.

There's also the Guardhouse expansion, which is simply a new tile, four ghosts, and an incarnation. Last I checked it was still available (check the expansion forums for a link, if you're interested), and it's a fun addition. I think I picked it up for $10 shipped, which is definitely worth it if, again, you find you enjoy the base game.

Hope any or all of that is useful to you in your decision-making process!
 
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Another point is I heard that White Moon and Black Secret expansions were OOP at some point? If true, they seem to be back in print, so you can always just try the base game, and get the exps if you do need more spice to GS.
 
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r0t1 prata
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10 solo plays and 3 plays with people over 2 months. Still don't need the expansion.
 
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Thanks for all the replies I ordered it and it will be here Saturday..Thanks Again..
 
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Paul Round
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While you're waiting for it to arrive you may want to check out the play through videos by Callasmar, The Lonesome Gamer that were posted on YouTube fairly recently. Pretty entertaining and a good way to get a better understanding of the rules.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1Ayh6KU5Fc&feature=c4-overvi...
 
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Thanks, I will check it out..
 
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Larry Rice
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If you have an IPad, the game app is free for 24 hours (not sure when the 24 hours started) so you could try it out at your leisure.
 
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larryjrice wrote:
If you have an IPad, the game app is free for 24 hours (not sure when the 24 hours started) so you could try it out at your leisure.
AFAIK, it's always 12am... EST or PST (where Apple's at), I can't remember.
 
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