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Subject: Asymmetric heavy-ish game rss

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Maximilian Berbechelov
Bulgaria
Sofia
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Hello world,

I played Scythe the last couple of weeks and am having a blast with it. It's not the most asymmetric game in the world but it still is and I enjoy this aspect so much.

The next game I have on my radar is Cry Havoc, I know the rules pretty good, plus the very-hyped Tom Vassel review. I love the building aspect of the game (even though buildings being cardboard tokens is a bit of a let down) and I love the fact that there's a shitton of stuff in the box.

Is there anything better that I can go for? Production quality is very important, so Cry Havoc gets a point there and plus the battle mechanic is pretty good. I don't care so much if it's not perfectly balanced as long as it's asymmetry is very fun.
 
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Benny Yuen
New Zealand
Wellington
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Terra Mystica is a great game if you like Scythe.
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Robert Zorko
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I would guess it might not exactly be the style of game you are looking for, but I would still like to mention: Vast: The Crystal Caverns - each player plays effectively a completely different game, but the main negative point about that is that the rules explanation can be though, since everyone needs to learn their own rules and goals.
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Radu Stanculescu
Romania
Cluj-Napoca
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Are you looking for games where players have very different gameplay, or games with variable player powers?

For the first type I'd recommend Star Wars: Rebellion.

For the second type, I'll second Terra Mystica. Scythe has been called "Terra Mystica with fighting" (or something similar), so you'll probably like it. It's best with 4 players, and a bit too crowded with 5. It's a complete information game with a lot of focus on strategy, and much more unforgiving than Scythe.

Nations is also an excellent variable powers game, and the expansion brings even more diversity to it. Plays best with 3 players, a bit long with 4, and I'd never recommend it with 5.

Agricola and La Granja have starting cards which will make you focus on different things, so in a way they'd also qualify for that second category. Agricola is probably the more replayable of the two, but La Granja is also excellent.

The Voyages of Marco Polo has some awesome variable powers, many of them seeming to be overpowered.

And for something a bit different, try Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. It's a beautiful team game with lots of tension and different feel from game to game. Plays best with 5.
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Florian Woo
Germany
Stuttgart
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I like asymmetrical games and the two games I adore which feel amazingly different depending on your faction are:

Android: Netrunner - for two players
Rex: Final Days of an Empire - for four to six players
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Paul Dale
Australia
Moggill
Queensland
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
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When will the die stop rolling? What face finishes showing?
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World in Flames
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Maximilian Berbechelov
Bulgaria
Sofia
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REX and Rebellion are on my "must buy very soon" list anyway. Rebellion sold out in my FLGS while REX turns me off with not supporting two-players which I often do.

I am not a fan of LCGs usually but GOD DAMN Android: Netrunner looks AMAZING.
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Radu Stanculescu
Romania
Cluj-Napoca
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If you want to play the game(s) with 2 people too you're probably better off forgetting about Terra Mystica and picking up either Gaia Project (from the same designers, basically Terra Mystica in space), or Clans of Caledonia (has a few mechanisms from TM and others from Marco Polo, etc, and is likely to be easier than TM and GP). Neither game is out yet but they will be available soon.

Agricola and La Granja also play well with 2. I haven't tried Nations and Marco Polo with 2, though at least Marco Polo seems better with more players.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Falmouth
Maine
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Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant- a rare pure trading/converting game with excellently balanced factions. A must have in any collection of asymmetric games.
 
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Andreu P.
Spain
Barcelona
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I'm surprised that nobody named Stronghold yet, but if you're into asymmetrical 2P games that play out completely different for each faction it's a "must check". Just imagine the Assault on Helm's Deep and one player standing at each side of the wall.
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Paul T.
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War of the Ring is great, asymmetrical but really well balanced.
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Claudio Coppini
Germany
Frankfurt am Main
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Anachrony

An asymmetric working placement game with great production value. It's very well balanced, has a cool time travel mechanism and some gorgeous and functional minis too.
 
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Michael Dillenbeck
United States
Deerfield
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Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection has most of the rules that you'll encounter in other GMT COIN series games (if a particular conflict interests you more), but it isn't the most asymetric in victory conditions for the series.

COIN basics in 4 paragraphs

Each COIN game has abstracted standardized pieces. Cube represent either regular army troops or police/paramilitary troops, Hexagonal pieces represent guerillas/irregulars and have a plain face that represent being "underground" and embossed side that represents "activated/location known", and disks that represent power bases (camps/local government seats/army bases/etc). Some may have some extra pieces.

The game is played on a map board, and most of the games have everything on the map board. A place to store pieces, track available resources, note casualties, see who is eligible and if they chose to act in a round, and so on. About the only thing universally without a spot on the board is the actual deck of cards. Pieces go on spots on the city, and each spot has a population. Control is determined by comparing pieces, and can be COIN controlled or insurgent controlled. Additionally, populations can be neutral, in support of the government, or in opposition to the government (which is often important to victory conditions).

Each faction has 4 operations and 3 special actions they can perform. Operations and special actions will allow players to: place playing pieces from their available pieces, move their pieces, force underground guerillas to become active, attack to remove enemy pieces, gain resources, and influence population. Special actions also often have something that help that player work towards their goal.

Each turn is represented by an event card revealed from a common deck, and the next turn's card is also revealed so players can make more informed decisions. The icons on it determine play order (except in the 2 player games), the first player who acts determines what actions the second player who chooses to act can do (but any player can pass to gain resources). Victory check cards divide the game into years/campaigns and represent a lull between periods of heavy conflict (where players gather resources and regroup for the next campaign), which means the deck is built like the player deck in Pandemic (divide into equal parts, mix one victory check card into each stack, stack the decks together); if the next card is a victory check card, actions are limited. 1st player -> 2nd player options are: Use the event on the card -> operations & special action; Operations only -> Limited Operation (operation on only one space on the map); Operations & special action -> Event card or Limited Operation.

Liberty or Death Primer

Here is Liberty or Death in action:


The British

Pieces: red cubes for regular army (Redcoats), green cubes for police (tory supporters in militias), and red stars for forts (a variant of disks, and thus a special base piece), 3 different leaders.

Victory Condition: (Support population value - Opposition population value) > 10 AND Rebel casualties > British Royals casualties.

The Indians

Pieces: brown irregulars (warbands), brown disks (villages), 3 different leaders.

Victory Conditions: (Support population value - Opposition population value) > 10 AND (Villages - Patriot Forts) > 3

The Patriots

Pieces: blue irregulars (militias), blue cubes (continental army), blue stars for forts (a variant of disks, and thus a special base piece), 1 leader.

Victory: (Opposition population value - Support population value) > 10 AND (Villages - Patriot Forts) < 3

The French

Pieces: White regular (French army), special tiles representing the French Squadrons (3 squadrons that can be placed in the West Indies and moved & flipped to blockade cities), and 2 leaders.

Victory: (Opposition population value - Support population value) > 10 AND British Royals casualties > Rebel casualties.

Combat

Combat is a bit different in this COIN title. You calculate force based on the number of pieces attacking (usually 1 for a cube, 1/2 for an irregular activated), roll 1d3 for each 3 full points (so 3 points do 1-3 damage), then modify based on the situation (leaders, forts, having underground irregulars, etc). A very good success that destroys many enemy pieces "wins the day" - rumors of the battle spread and influence the populations to your side.

Other Unique Play Elements Not Yet Mentioned

In the full campaign, the French don't start in the war and must wait for the Patriots to bloody the British and/or for them to have enough troops and squadrons ready to fight. They different operations & special actions to help the patriots fight better, and once in the war get some different ones.

The short/medium/long campaign can be "historical" - cards are set up to be 75-76, 77-78, and 79-80 and thus stacked so they occur in a more logical historical order.

Each victory card (winter quarters) has an event that triggers which will push the players to a more even footing (representing how hard it was for one side to get a decisive advantage in the conflict), and uncertain snows mean that a revealed next card that is a victory card is swapped with the active card. The next event card after the victory card determines if there is a leader change for a faction (players only have 1 leader at a time, each with its own special powers).

Each player has one (two for French) Brilliant Strokes card that they can play to override the event card at the start of a turn. The first one played must be the French declaring entry into the conflict, and no other brilliant strokes can be played until this time.

Why I recommend it

Most asymmetric factions in terms of pieces; the wood pieces and mounted board is high quality; 3 lengths of play; works naturally for 2 players due to shared victory conditions (or 2-v-2 team play or 2 player cooperative); C3i #30 has a very short 2 player "southern campaign" that uses half the map; is sort of Euro-styled in its wargame-iness, but also has a slight bit of randomness to keep it exciting; and it will teach you most of the rules you will encounter in all other COIN titles (so is the best to judge if you like the series and should buy more).
 
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Laura Creighton
Sweden
Göteborg
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Well, if you don't mind long and heavy:
Here I Stand -- the new version is at the printers right now! yay!

there is also
Dominant Species but it is out of print (307 orders of the 500 needed before a reprint, says GMT):
 
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Adam Tucker
United States
Warren
Michigan
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A game is a series of decisions; a good game is a series of interesting decisions
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Chaos in the Old World

Cthulhu Wars
 
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