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Subject: 5 player game, combat-oriented, minimal luck rss

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Ljusto Struhar
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Hello.

I have recently delved with some friends in board games and after I've gotten a taste with Small World, I'd like to expand onto other games.

So here's what my friends and I like/want:

1. Combat-oriented strategy game. It doesn't have to be 100% brawls, but there has to be a major combat element to it where you steal, destroy, or take over your enemies territories or other resources. I don't want to farm all game and just race my opponents without interacting with them.

2. Highly competitive, minimal luck. We like having the option to think/plan a few turns ahead, this is hindered by luck elements and thus we'd like those to be reduced to a minimum. Of course things like cards and the occasional dice throw that won't dictate the outcome of the game is ok and can be fun.

3. Asymmetry and game diversity helps. Everyone having the same exact starting position or faction doesn't amount to fun and having every game play out the same way (or close to same) makes for a very boring experience.

4. Thematically, we like fantasy, mythology, but alternative timelines with something more futuristic or steampunk/post-apocalyptic themes wouldn't be overlooked either.

*edit* 5. We'd like the game to at least make an effort to convey its theme - whether through cards, the board or tokens/pieces. Just playing with cubes or other simple geometry on a bland board kind of kills the immersion.

Thanks!
 
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XO_rocinante
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Dominant Species

It's a wargame at its heart disguised in a huge worker placement mechanism. It's crucial (steal, destroy etc.), has zero luck in it and is therefor highly competitive and got asymmetrical races with different perks. Well.. it's longer and heavier than Small World but also a much, much better game in my opinion.
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Chris
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Coo, that's an interesting ask... The more fantasy BS you want, the more dice you'll tend to have...
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Daniel B-G
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Shogun has luck, but sensible board play can nearly eliminate it's impact. The best player will usually win. It's also insanely stressful. Feudal era Japanese theme (as you'd expect from the name).

Imperial has no luck after setup. It has subtle asymmetry in the starting positions, that determine priorities. It has a fascinating dual layer of conflict vs. investment, and the way those 2 intersect is unlike any other game I've played (apart from Imperial 2030 of course).

As Chris has said, luck and fantasy tend to go hand in hand. These two satisfy your zero luck requirement, and they at least have an interesting theme (particularly Imperial, there is something entertainingly grim about playing an investor in a world power, forcing them into wars in order to make more profit for you.)
 
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Pasi Ojala
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In A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) the randomness is in the order of the events, otherwise the game itself is not unpredictable, only the simultaneous programming of orders causes double-thinking of what the opponents are going to do.

(1st edition would be better for 5 (because the map is for 5), but not as good otherwise.)
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Ljusto Struhar
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laexpls wrote:
Dominant Species

It's a wargame at its heart disguised in a huge worker placement mechanism. It's crucial (steal, destroy etc.), has zero luck in it and is therefor highly competitive and got asymmetrical races with different perks. Well.. it's longer and heavier than Small World but also a much, much better game in my opinion.


The game seems to be great from a mechanics point of view but looks really bland otherwise - what I'm trying to say is that if I didn't know what it was about upfront, it could be practically anything (theme wise).

TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
Coo, that's an interesting ask... The more fantasy BS you want, the more dice you'll tend to have...


Well it doesn't necessarily have to be fantasy like I said

DAAAN wrote:
Shogun has luck, but sensible board play can nearly eliminate it's impact. The best player will usually win. It's also insanely stressful. Feudal era Japanese theme (as you'd expect from the name).

Imperial has no luck after setup. It has subtle asymmetry in the starting positions, that determine priorities. It has a fascinating dual layer of conflict vs. investment, and the way those 2 intersect is unlike any other game I've played (apart from Imperial 2030 of course).

As Chris has said, luck and fantasy tend to go hand in hand. These two satisfy your zero luck requirement, and they at least have an interesting theme (particularly Imperial, there is something entertainingly grim about playing an investor in a world power, forcing them into wars in order to make more profit for you.)


Haha we're trying to have fun not stress I'll check them out, thanks for the recommends.

a1bert wrote:
In A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) the randomness is in the order of the events, otherwise the game itself is not unpredictable, only the simultaneous programming of orders causes double-thinking of what the opponents are going to do.

(1st edition would be better for 5, but not as good otherwise.)


Argh hate it when one edition is good for one aspect and the other one for something else.
 
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Lucas Schoukroun
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Kemet and Cyclades might give you a hoot
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Code Red
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Take a look at Kemet.

ninja'd Cyclades is a good choice too. And then you can combine their creatures with C3K.
 
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Alan Gaskell
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Chaos in the Old World with the Horned Rat expansion for a 5th player is what you are looking for.

Lots of fighting, lots of screwing with your opponents, and one of the ways to win is by acting 'in character'. i.e. if you're Khorne, you advance your powers by killing stuff, if you're Nurgle, you advance by corrupting populous areas with your filth.

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Ljusto Struhar
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Some really interesting stuff among Kemit/Cyclades/Chaos in the old world guys, thanks and keep the suggestions coming
 
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chris thatcher
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El Grande (still the king of area control games). I also love Cyclades and Kemet, but they do have luck in them.
 
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Nigel Buckle
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Blood Rage might work, but you'd need the Blood Rage: 5th Player Expansion
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Ljusto Struhar
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bucklen_uk wrote:
Blood Rage might work, but you'd need the Blood Rage: 5th Player Expansion


That one looks really good but holy crap, that price point? Is it bound to drop at least a bit, if I had to add shipping costs it'd cost me quite a bit..
 
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Johannes Hihn
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Even though it has no fantasy theme Antike II could fit your bill very well. It's a struggle for territories and resources with a deterministic combat mechanic. At the same time you try to get some techs to improve your civilization. Really neat game.
 
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Nigel Buckle
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Infiltrator84 wrote:
bucklen_uk wrote:
Blood Rage might work, but you'd need the Blood Rage: 5th Player Expansion


That one looks really good but holy crap, that price point? Is it bound to drop at least a bit, if I had to add shipping costs it'd cost me quite a bit..


Prices are for the Kickstarter version
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coolminiornot/blood-rag...
- and are the usual scalping (or entrepreneurial spirit)

It's supposed to hit retail in November (including the 5th player expansion) and price will be more 'reasonable', MSRP of $79.99 for the base game
http://cmon.com/br/
but you won't have the extras such as Blood Rage: Kickstarter Exclusives
 
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Donald Walsh
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Sounds exactly like Dune/Rex...
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XO_rocinante
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Infiltrator84 wrote:


The game seems to be great from a mechanics point of view but looks really bland otherwise - what I'm trying to say is that if I didn't know what it was about upfront, it could be practically anything (theme wise).


You looked at some 1st edition photos, didn't you? The game in its current edition is gorgeous in every single aspect. surprise
 
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J M
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It still looks like The Cones of Dunshire. Solid game, though.
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laexpls wrote:
Dominant Species

It's a wargame at its heart disguised in a huge worker placement mechanism. It's crucial (steal, destroy etc.), has zero luck in it and is therefor highly competitive and got asymmetrical races with different perks. Well.. it's longer and heavier than Small World but also a much, much better game in my opinion.


You can't say zero luck, since the Dominance cards come out randomly each round, which means you can't plan for them. But it's pretty close to zero luck.

For the OP, while the pieces are simple, the game is definitely awesome, and the third edition does have a graphic overhaul on the tiles and cards that make it a bit more exciting to look at then the first two editions.
 
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Johnpatrick Marr
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March of the Ants has really been filling this niche for me lately. It has an additional advantage of being relatively quick. The assymetry really ramps up as you develop your species and I liked the fact that your opponents' action selection can impact your play. Happy hunting!
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Paul Brudz
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Moe45673
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niftykracker wrote:
March of the Ants has really been filling this niche for me lately. It has an additional advantage of being relatively quick. The assymetry really ramps up as you develop your species and I liked the fact that your opponents' action selection can impact your play. Happy hunting!


It is a really good game but with 5p you don't have asymmetric factions
 
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Johnpatrick Marr
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Moe45673 wrote:
niftykracker wrote:
March of the Ants has really been filling this niche for me lately. It has an additional advantage of being relatively quick. The assymetry really ramps up as you develop your species and I liked the fact that your opponents' action selection can impact your play. Happy hunting!


It is a really good game but with 5p you don't have asymmetric factions


Yeah, I haven't used the assymetric starting setups yet. I'm always worried those throw a wrench into play balance. But by the midpoint of the game your species will be quite different due to the adaptations you've chosen (unless you're pursuing a totally vanilla ant strategy, which I haven't seen anyone try yet but is probably viable?).
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David Gibbs
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Eclipse has many of the elements mentioned -- economic engine building along with combat being a major element. With the different races, it provides asymmetry. It is sf themed, though, rather than fantasy. The artwork and playing pieces also seemed (to me) to be good for theme. I think the major weakness is the amount of randomness involved -- the explore aspect results in a random map, the tech that becomes available is randomized, and the combat is dice-resolved. There is, still, large amounts of planning an optimization, though.
 
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Mitch Willis
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Empires: Age of Discovery: each nation has asymmetric powers and there's lots of interaction with other players, for both territory and/or resources. There's not much luck; no dice, luck is just which buildings/resources come up each turn. However, it's not fantasy or sci-fi, but based on the age of exploration/discovery (late 1400's - 1700s)...combat is a significant part of the game but may not be as major as you'd like...

Scythe: you might want to take a look at this one as it is on Kickstarter now; however, it won't be released till around October of next year. Plays up to 5, each faction is asymmetric, there are no dice, and it's an alternate history (after WWI in Eastern Europe, with mechanized combat units and farmers)...

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