David Werner
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The premise of this thread was attempted earlier here, but there was a misunderstanding on what the thread was meant to be about. I understand there has been a comprehensive, year-long previous discussion about the vices and virtues of semi-coop games and the implications of what the term "semi-coop" actually means, and I'm glad that discussion took place, but that's not what I'm here to do today.

In the previous thread, I was interested to see what games were out there which used a semi-coop mechanic, and which people considered to be there favorites. Debate over what constitutes "semi-coop" or whether it sucks or not is not the aim of this thread, to be clear.

So, I'll offer a recent favorite game of mine, which also just so happens to be a game which makes use of semi-coop mechanics. Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game was Kickstarted in 2016, and the pre-order sold out pretty quickly after, most likely because it was mentioned on a Secret Cabal podcast (where I heard about it). Despite these strong initial sales for the designers, it seems like it's still a relatively unknown game. I think it's a shame and I hope they do a second printing. In the meantime, I'd strongly recommend doing the Print and Play], especially since this game is very PnP friendly as it is tiled based. Very easy to set up and play as a PnP as long as you have some counters to act as the Blocs and cops.

In Bloc By Bloc, each player plays 1 of 4 factions attempting to have a successful insurrection against a repressive state, which they do by moving around the city, looting shops, fighting cops, flipping over riot vans, building barricades, and constructing operational centers to occupy the state's city blocks. Generally speaking, the goal is to cooperatively come together to beat the state, but some players may have their own goals which makes them win on their own, sometimes by causing everyone else to lose. For example, one faction may just be in it to cause as much chaos and anarchy as possible - they want the insurrection to fail, and in the process, burn as many shops as possible. Another faction may want the insurrection to succeed, but may be working specifically towards being the new de facto state once the smoke clears.

I think the semi-coop element of this game works particularly well, mainly because the general design of the game lends itself to this sort of play, but I believe there are also two additional important reasons why it works. First, if you don't like the semi-coop element, are just not in the mood for it that session, or want to delay trying it, you can simply choose to forgo the Agenda cards completely and play the game as a fully cooperative experience. It's still very challenging, and works just as well (arguably better, I'm sure, according to some folks on this site). Secondly, out of the dozen or so Agenda cards which are dealt to each faction, only two of which have solely "Win Alone" conditions. Many of the cards have a choice of "Win Alone" or "Win Together" conditions which allow the player the choice to pursue a different method if the flow of the game doesn't appear to be working in their favor.

What other semi-coop games are out there that you've experienced that you would recommend?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete
United States
Northbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Even with all the aforementioned warts, Archipelago is still a fantastic experience of a game. That's the game that gets my vote.

I also enjoy Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game quite a bit, though I set forth before each game that we're either paying competitively or cooperatively, but not both.

Pete (plays these games without the "all win" nonsense and enjoys them quite a bit)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Elizabeth Nugent

Washington
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I did not read the other thread and have no idea if this was said before - my guess is that it probably was.

Between Two Cities is a semi-coop game where you must collaborate with the person on either side of you. There is a city between each pair of players around the table (so everyone sits "between two cities" - get it?), and you need to add one building on each side every turn. Each player's score is the lower scoring of the two cities they helped design (so it does you no good to build one great city and one crappy one, because your score is the score of the crappy one). But each player involved in each city has the incentive to make it as high-scoring as possible, so there's no take-that element at all, in my experience.

I find this game enjoyable for a few rounds, but not as the only thing I play all night - it's a little too light for that. But it's the only game I play that I would describe as semi-coop, so I guess it's the best.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Vomkrieg
New Zealand
Wellington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
New Angeles has the "the board is trying to kill us, but we all want to maximise our profits" as it's core, and as the players are different megacorps running a city, it works well thematically.

Nearly nothing happens in that game without other players permissions, and it is clearly framed as a competitive game with co-operative elements. There is also a potential betrayer.

So, the mechanic I like is the offer system. You put up a plan for an action, others counter that plan. And then the players without an offer decide who's gets picked. So you need to do some dealing and trading, and also appear to be acting in the best interest of the city in order to get by.

It just removes any illusions about what kind of game it is.

PS. Bloc by Bloc is also an excellent game, but we are still trying it fully co-op.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Duo Maxwell
United States
flag msg tools
mb
plezercruz wrote:
Even with all the aforementioned warts, Archipelago is still a fantastic experience of a game. That's the game that gets my vote.

I also enjoy Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game quite a bit, though I set forth before each game that we're either paying competitively or cooperatively, but not both.

Pete (plays these games without the "all win" nonsense and enjoys them quite a bit)


I agree "Archipelago" is a fantastic game. I have never played it with people that try to get everyone to lose if they think they can not win. The major flaw of This could be playing into the guy's whose objective is to have the colony revolt.

I have New Angeles and I'm hoping it has a similar feel.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Werner
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
plezercruz wrote:
Even with all the aforementioned warts, Archipelago is still a fantastic experience of a game. That's the game that gets my vote.


I noticed the two "hot" threads for this game were both themed with the idea that it doesn't get played enough or given enough of a chance. Kind of how I feel about Bloc by Bloc. Seems this genre really is a hard sell for some.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Werner
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ENugent wrote:
I did not read the other thread and have no idea if this was said before - my guess is that it probably was.

Between Two Cities is a semi-coop game where you must collaborate with the person on either side of you. There is a city between each pair of players around the table (so everyone sits "between two cities" - get it?), and you need to add one building on each side every turn. Each player's score is the lower scoring of the two cities they helped design (so it does you no good to build one great city and one crappy one, because your score is the score of the crappy one). But each player involved in each city has the incentive to make it as high-scoring as possible, so there's no take-that element at all, in my experience.

I find this game enjoyable for a few rounds, but not as the only thing I play all night - it's a little too light for that. But it's the only game I play that I would describe as semi-coop, so I guess it's the best.


This was actually not mentioned in the previous thread, at least not the first one I linked. The implementation of the semi-coop element in this one seems pretty unique. It sounds like instead of hard lines drawn in the sand of "do this, or instead if you're feeling sneaky, do this," there is literally a common goal which each player must contribute to, and the main factor in a semi-coop win is the strategy of how they contribute to that main goal, rather than the strategy of subverting it. Sounds pretty nifty, might have to check that one out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Werner
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sthrjo wrote:
ENugent wrote:
Between Two Cities is a semi-coop game where you must collaborate with the person on either side of you.

I don't know this game, and I am not sure of what the aim of the OP is, but in other threads this game would not be described as a semi co-op. A semi co-op is a game where there is an "everybody loses" result, not just "you and your neighbour lose". The alleged flaw of many semi co-op is when the RAW tells you it is better to share 2:nd place than an all-share last place, and you as a competitive gamer realize that an all-share last is equal to an all-share win, and thus the RAW tells you it is better to share 2:nd than to share 1:st.


Part of my aim with this thread was to avoid parsing too heavily what is and isn't semi-coop, so I'm more interested in people's game recommendations, even if it might not strictly fit a particular definition. It's evident from previous threads that there's several ideas of what semi-coop is and isn't out there, and I believe it's been well explored in those threads. Perhaps we could do better, but that should be another thread for another day For what it's worth, this game sounds as though it could fit the semi-coop mold, according to my mind's definition, though it is certainly a twist.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Werner
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ithkrall wrote:
So, the mechanic I like is the offer system. You put up a plan for an action, others counter that plan. And then the players without an offer decide who's gets picked. So you need to do some dealing and trading, and also appear to be acting in the best interest of the city in order to get by.


I dig negotiation mechanics. Probably why I like social deduction games a good bit. I like when board games integrate actual human interaction and decision making. There's something liberating about determining an outcome entirely outside of a rule set. For obvious reasons, negotiation also fits well into a semi-coop game. Seems like a natural component.

Ithkrall wrote:
PS. Bloc by Bloc is also an excellent game, but we are still trying it fully co-op.


It is excellent, isn't it? I was excited to get it and the more I play it, the more I just want to play it again. I'm totally fangirl-ing over this game lately and giving the devs lots of free promotion.

Why haven't you tried out the Agendas? Struggling with the difficulty?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.