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Subject: I want a BIG one! rss

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K S
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I've been playing games casually for years, but have recently really gotten into it. I've had some success hosting game nights, but as my friends and I aren't particularly "hardcore" gamers, lighter and shorter (around an hour) games have ruled the day. Roll for the Galaxy is probably the heaviest game that's gone over with the group so far.

I enjoy these games, and am happy to keep playing them but I would also like to identify (though not necessarily immediately obtain) a "goal" game that's a really big and splashy sandbox and that I can hopefully work toward finding a group of folks to play with me eventually. What I'm trying to find is something that matches this description:

Big, splashy and pretty; toys are welcome but unnecessary
Play time should extend to 2-3 hours, but it would be ideal if a fun (even if simplified) game could also be had in an hour
Low downtime; either very short turns, or players interacting on each other's turns
Lots of player interaction, but this can be in any form: combat, trading, bidding, partnerships, bluffing, etc. The more the better
Scales well; should work at 2, but also great if it works for more than 4
A ton of variation: modular setup, variable powers, random elements welcome, scenarios welcome
Multiple paths to victory; something like 4x or a "sandbox" game with multiple viable playstyles
Should be thematic, what particular theme doesn't matter much (though I'm partial to sci-fi and not much into horror or colonialism)
Less important, but desirable if the game had optional co-op and if it had some sort of "campaign" mechanism
The rules and strategy should have a bit of "heft" to them, but I think something "medium" is probably a good goal; I may be able to convert "light" gamers to "medium" gamers, but trying to get them to "heavy" any time soon may be pushing it...

I know that's all a bit vague, but that's because my notion of what I'm looking for is still quite vague at this point. Let me know what you think.
 
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Ned Meier
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Imperial Assault seems to hit just about every one of your selling points.

You can skirmish with 2 players or play the campaign(s) with up to 5. Very little down time and a ton of interactivity. I love the game and its ever expanding so you would be able to play for a long time into the future (hopefully).
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Jacob Schoberg
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Cthulhu Wars!
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K S
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Meiere01 wrote:
Imperial Assault seems to hit just about every one of your selling points.

Thanks for the recommendation, Ned. I have definitely looked at Imperial Assault (as well as other "dungeon crawls"). My concern with games in that genre is that they seem to be a bit "samey" in the sense of while there are different scenarios, the rules seem to generally be all about combat, so each scenario tends to be "Kill the X". I have to admit that I haven't looked in great detail yet, so does Imperial Assault actually allow a bit more variation than this?
 
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Nibble Wut?
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emodiu5 wrote:


With ALL of the expansions thrown in!
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H C
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Best games that come to mind that are sprawly semi scalable with many paths to victory are Caverna: The Cave Farmers and Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game

Components good too and 2-3 hours.
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Ali B

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Seconding Imperial Assault. We just started a second campaign with some members of our gaming group, and it's been an entirely different experience so far from the first one. The scenarios do a good job of feeling different; the maps are all unique, and the goal of each mission can vary hugely. There are definitely some "kill all the guys" missions, but more often it's a race against the clock to complete some objective.

I'm not sure how well these would fit for you, as they're definitely a little heavier, but we've enjoyed Xia: Legends of a Drift System and Eclipse quite a bit. Xia's more of a pure sandbox game, and you can pretty much play for as long as you'd like, upgrading spaceships and traversing the star system doing... whatever you want, more or less. Eclipse is a 4x, but also has a time limit and super quick turns. There's very little downtime, and it's pretty quick to get the hang of, in spite of its size. It's also entirely possible to win on a variety of different things: combat, science, colonization, etc.

For more specifically co-operative games, we like Dead of Winter (which might not be for you, given zombie apocalypse theme) and Shadows over Camelot.

Good luck!
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Tomáš Sládek
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wamsp wrote:
Meiere01 wrote:
Imperial Assault seems to hit just about every one of your selling points.

Thanks for the recommendation, Ned. I have definitely looked at Imperial Assault (as well as other "dungeon crawls"). My concern with games in that genre is that they seem to be a bit "samey" in the sense of while there are different scenarios, the rules seem to generally be all about combat, so each scenario tends to be "Kill the X". I have to admit that I haven't looked in great detail yet, so does Imperial Assault actually allow a bit more variation than this?


It's a tactical dungeon crawl, so it's variable within those bounds - tons of units with different abilities and mission layouts and plenty of theme. It definitely ticks all of your boxes, however stripped down to the bones you're just moving and/or shooting all game long. Though you'll be pursuing other objectives than simply killing everything in sight - that's actually a mistake in most missions! I consider it great fun, but if you're on the fence because of this, best try first before you drop hundreds of $ on expansions. Or maybe just buy the base box, it's amazing value for $70 or how much the base box cotst in the US.
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John Burt
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What you want is The Gallerist
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Eric Chiriboga
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Maybe look at Clash of Cultures.
The theme is just kind of generic civilizations, but it hits most of your points.
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K S
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parp wrote:
emodiu5 wrote:


With ALL of the expansions thrown in!

Thanks Jacob and Nibble! While not Cthulhu wars per se, I've seen the current Kickstarter for Gods War, which I understand is supposed to be quite similar, but the theme attracts me more (and Cthulhu Wars seems to be out of stock everywhere). I haven't had a chance to look in great detail, but is it possible to expand either of these games beyond 4 players, and are there multiple paths to victory?
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Joachim Francois
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Hmm apart from The Campaign mechanism, Scythe ticks quite a few boxes.

However if I understand you correctly you want to move some 'light' gamers towards the dark 'medium' side, you might want to check out Arcadia Quest or Arcadia Quest: Beyond the Grave, that will bring you the campaign element you're looking for while keeping the game light and having interaction between all players for most of the time.

A dangerous one to drop in some threads, but Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 would do nicely as well (my personal opinion).

You can always grab any slightly harder game than what the group's used to and make your own campaign around the game's theme. With a little bit of creativity you can embark the group onto a greater quest with little effort arrrh

Good luck!

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Andrew J.
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Best sandbox game I've tried is Xia: Legends of a Drift System - check it out!
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Niko
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wamsp wrote:
parp wrote:
emodiu5 wrote:


With ALL of the expansions thrown in!

Thanks Jacob and Nibble! While not Cthulhu wars per se, I've seen the current Kickstarter for Gods War, which I understand is supposed to be quite similar, but the theme attracts me more (and Cthulhu Wars seems to be out of stock everywhere). I haven't had a chance to look in great detail, but is it possible to expand either of these games beyond 4 players, and are there multiple paths to victory?
There are expansion factions to expand to up to 8 players for both games.

For Cthulhu Wars you'll need to buy a 6-8 player map (each of the different maps also has a 6-8 player version) and enough expansion factions for however many players you want. Factions are sold individually (aside from those in the base game) and there currently are 4 factions in addition to those in the base game.

Gods War just has one expansion you need for more than 4 players: Empires. It includes the 6-8 player map and all 4 expansion factions. This means you don't get to pick up just one or two individual factions, but it is cheaper than getting the larger map and all factions for CW.

Gods War will be a lot easier to get a hold of since the kickstarter is still ongoing, but Cthulhu Wars should be available in retail early next year too since they are currently re-printing it.
Fair warning; you probably won't be able to get quite everything at that point (though the extra factions and maps have been said to be high on the list of what makes it to retail first) and it will likely be sold out again quickly!

As for different paths to victory: In both games the player with the most VP wins. How you get those VP varies slightly by faction and play stile, but nowhere near the kind of variance you expect from e.g. a 4X.
The replay ability in both games comes from the different faction powers as well as needing to react to the other players' actions, not so much from different ways to achieve victory.
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Jamie Specht
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Okay it isn't the BEST fit of ALL of the above.... but might want to check into Firefly: The Game
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J. Simcoe
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Although not mechanically the best game, Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients certainly fits most of your criteria.
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Quantum Jack
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Galaxy Defenders

Tactical skirmish game. With objectives besides "kill X". Has full campaign mide. Plays 1-5. Very thematic. Each scenario takes 1-3 hrs.

Sounds to me like its right up your alley.
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Thanee
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+1 Xia

Seems like a good fit to me.

Galaxy Defenders is awesome, but might be a tad too heavy.

Bye
Thanee
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Jason Brown
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Zepherion wrote:
However if I understand you correctly you want to move some 'light' gamers towards the dark 'medium' side, you might want to check out Arcadia Quest or Arcadia Quest: Beyond the Grave, that will bring you the campaign element you're looking for while keeping the game light and having interaction between all players for most of the time.

+1 to Arcadia Quest! It's a great game that ticks all your boxes and has a bunch of extras available if you enjoy it. Also, there's a sequel (Arcadia Quest: Inferno) and spinoff (Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia) coming later this year!
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Tomáš Sládek
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
Zepherion wrote:
However if I understand you correctly you want to move some 'light' gamers towards the dark 'medium' side, you might want to check out Arcadia Quest or Arcadia Quest: Beyond the Grave, that will bring you the campaign element you're looking for while keeping the game light and having interaction between all players for most of the time.

+1 to Arcadia Quest! It's a great game that ticks all your boxes and has a bunch of extras available if you enjoy it. Also, there's a sequel (Arcadia Quest: Inferno) and spinoff (Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia) coming later this year!


+1 Arcadia Quest as well.

Though technically this is the exact same thing as with Imperial Assault - the game is mostly about completing objectives by moving and attacking.

Between the two I'd say IA has a slightly more interesting/complex game system, but it comes more down to theme preference and the fact that while AQ is PvPvE, IA is one player vs others.
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Matt Brown
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wamsp wrote:
Meiere01 wrote:
Imperial Assault seems to hit just about every one of your selling points.

Thanks for the recommendation, Ned. I have definitely looked at Imperial Assault (as well as other "dungeon crawls"). My concern with games in that genre is that they seem to be a bit "samey" in the sense of while there are different scenarios, the rules seem to generally be all about combat, so each scenario tends to be "Kill the X". I have to admit that I haven't looked in great detail yet, so does Imperial Assault actually allow a bit more variation than this?


I can't recall the percentage, but there aren't that many kill "x" missions in SW:IA.
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K S
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
Best games that come to mind that are sprawly semi scalable with many paths to victory are Caverna: The Cave Farmers and Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game

Components good too and 2-3 hours.

Thanks, HC! These look great. I'd heard of Caverna but don't know much about it. I hadn't heard about Civilization (the board game) before, and it looks really interesting! I'll definitely need to look more into these.
 
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Evan
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Blood Rage has all of what you have required except the co-op campaign aspect. It's also more like 120 minutes than 120-180, but that's semantics. Great game, great experience, and medium weight as you wish.
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Tomáš Sládek
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wamsp wrote:
NowOrNever88 wrote:
Best games that come to mind that are sprawly semi scalable with many paths to victory are Caverna: The Cave Farmers and Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game

Components good too and 2-3 hours.

Thanks, HC! These look great. I'd heard of Caverna but don't know much about it. I hadn't heard about Civilization (the board game) before, and it looks really interesting! I'll definitely need to look more into these.


As great as these games are (Civ is in my top ten), they never come close to an hour hour of playtime, in fact with slow players and full player count both can well exceed the 3 hours mark with and downtime may be an issue. If such a length turns out to not be an issue, consider also looking into Runewars, which is a like a cross between Civ and Heroes of Might and Magic. Or Eclipse for scifi.
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geoanomaly wrote:
Seconding Imperial Assault. We just started a second campaign with some members of our gaming group, and it's been an entirely different experience so far from the first one. The scenarios do a good job of feeling different; the maps are all unique, and the goal of each mission can vary hugely. There are definitely some "kill all the guys" missions, but more often it's a race against the clock to complete some objective.

Thanks for this, Ali! I should probably look a bit more into this one.

geoanomaly wrote:
I'm not sure how well these would fit for you, as they're definitely a little heavier, but we've enjoyed Xia: Legends of a Drift System and Eclipse quite a bit.

Honestly, Xia and Eclipse are definitely two of the games that I've been looking at (I'm looking for an "aspirational" game, so some rules weight is desirable). The "red flags" I've seen mentioned are that Eclipse might be lacking in player interaction, and Xia can have a lot of downtime due to lengthy turns. Since you enjoy both games, what do you think of these factors?[/q]
 
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