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Subject: In need for good ameritrash rss

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Switzerland
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This recommendation request may be a little unexpected in terms of what I'm asking for. Not because I'm asking for an ameritrash title, but why I ask for and what I would like it to be...

So here is the Why:
My collection already contains some pretty good ameritrash titles (at least that is what I think), but I spend pretty much time at another city. Transporting my favorite games all the way to that city and then back again is not an option. Sadly, there is a regular gaming group. Sadly because these people are die-hard eurogamers. While I don't have a problem with playing eurogames in particular, I enjoy it only once and then. After repeated plays there is always the feeling that I'm just playing a (good or not-so-good) mechanic with a theme that doesn't matter in the end. Plus the last few times I caught myself being completely uninterested in who would win the game - I just didn't care about selling cheese for VP, placing workers for VP or building chapels for VP. Last time they made me playing "Frank's Zoo"!
To avoid getting in such a situation again I'm looking for a good ameritrash game that I will bring along next time when showing up. (I suppose they even don't know that there are other games than euros...)


And here is what I would like it to be:
- atmospheric and involving (like Space Hulk - propably impossible)
- cool fluff
- differently equipped characters, tanks, ships, titans,...
- tech-tree would be nice
- high replay value
- great components
- good amount of bashing and smashing (and feeling that way - like a Tau railgun ripping trough an imperial Leman Russ. Not like removing a wooden cube for another wooden cube...)
- no coop (we already own enough of them)
- no victory points involved or at least being only secondary
- not too long to play (3h should be okay I think)
- 2-6 players (2 when playing it with my girlfriend, up to 6 when showing up at the gaming group...)


Hopefully there are some good ideas out there...
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Nate Owens
United States
Saginaw
Michigan
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My two favorite AT games are easily Battlestar Galactica and Cosmic Encounter.

BSG seems to strike most of the points you wanted, although you really need 4+ to make it good. There is a two-player variant, but we thought it sucked. Still, it's an intensely thematic game, without VPs that seems to be pretty well-regarded by Euro players. The game might be a hard sell for those who've never seen the show, but if you can get them to the table, there's a good chance they will get into it anyway. That's been my experience anyway. It's also sort-of a coop, although I consider it more of a team game.

Cosmic Encounter is probably the most endlessly replayable game ever designed, but it also needs 4+ to be really good. It's also not a particularly thematic game, although the setting is very fun. It has a lot of intense negotiation that goes with it, and the alien powers make for one of the most off-the-wall games out there. I highly recommend it.
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Cyrus the Great
United States
Atlanta
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Ditto to CE.

For an epic game with awesome bits and a great techtree/civ-building feel, try Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame. 750+ minis, 12 sq. ft. map, and an incredibly immersive game.
 
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Cracky McCracken
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Ohio
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Doom: The Boardgame plus Doom: The Boardgame Expansion Set. 'Bout as Ameritrashy as it gets. Your only criterion it breaks is "co-op". But you can always play Deathmatches...
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Ted Dickinson
United States
Ohio
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I agree with both BSG and Cosmic Encounter (though you'll need the expansion for Cosmic Encounter to play 6). Both games have almost everything you're looking for:

- Atmospheric
- Each player has different abilities
- Cosmic Encounter has a "tech-tree" variant
- Component quality is good for both (though you'll want the BSG expansion for the 3-D basestars)
- Both games have a fair amount of combat
- BSG is "semi-cooperative" (one or more players will become traitors at some point), CE has at most temporary alliances
- BSG doesn't use victory points, CE uses the very easy-to-"get" metric of winning by getting five foreign colonies
- BSG typically takes 1.5-3 hours depending on which variants you play and how many players you have, Cosmic Encounter rarely takes over 2 hours.
- BSG comfortably handles up to 6, CE plays 5 out of the box but can go up to 6 with the expansion.
 
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Sicaria Occaeco
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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I haven't played it yet but from what I understand Senji is on the edge of both AT & Euro.

It might be a good step for your 'Euro' group.
 
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Sean Shaw
United States
Idaho
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I'd say there's always the easy standby of Axis & Allies: 1942 which is easily available, though playtime could go longer then what you are asking, as well as some may not think it has as much variety as they want.

Senji is a good suggestion, but I'm not certain how willing your group may be to play it.

A Brief History of the World is actually a GREAT game, history of the world was probably more AT, but the new version has a shorter play time, and some elements with Euro in it, but at the same time has a lot of what many would call AT as well.

HeroQuest is old and hard to find for a nice price, but I'd suggest that ANY DAY, ANY WHERE, over the base game of Descent. Descent as the base game is nice enough, for the first 1/2 of the game, but after that it get's TOO long for what it presents. I like it with the shorter dungeons of Return to Legend, but the base game goes on for waaaay too long for what it presents. Heroquest on the otherhand has a ton of minis, and adventures, but plays in a shorter time period, if you can find it.

On a similar note of going through a dungeon for treasure, The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac is also a great game with TONS of theme, short play time, intensity out the wazoo, and seems simple enough for everyone to grasp and have a GREAT time playing.

Nexus Ops has victory points, but if you can find it is a great Multiplayer AT game, with differing powers and strengths.

Risk 2210 A.D. Like Axis and Allies 1942 is relatively easy to find locally in most places, BUT doesn't has as much variety in the units...in fact the units are all the same. It DOES have commanders however, and each commander has special abilities that make your army (as a whole) varied and different from the others.
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Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
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StarCraft: The Board Game

Although it does have victory points. Epic Ameritrash though.

And then add in StarCraft: The Board Game – Brood War Expansion
 
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Aaron Hedegaard
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+1 for FFG Cosmic Encounter with Incursion expansion. Doesn't work with 2 though.

A caution when teaching this game to very prim-and-proper europhiles: be sure to warn the players for unpredictability! I've generally had a lot of success introducing this to my group with one exception. The lone new player to one of the games went first (bad call in retrospect...) and witnessed such a barrage of powers, allies, flares, artifacts, and zaps on his first turn. He was pretty overwhelmed, and it almost turned him off from the game for good.

To supplement your 2 player ameritrash fix, I can't recommend Summoner Wars enough! Components might be a little lackluster (paper mat and cards instead of board and minis) but the game is fantastic!



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Adrian V.
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Of all the suggestions here, I too second Battlestar Galactica.

From what I can see in your collection, I guess my gaming group and you have a largely overlapping taste of games. Try Battlestar. I honestly haven't met any gamer yet who doesn't like it. It's got an atmosphere more dense than in other games I know, and it fits in most of your categories, except that you really need 4 and more players, and there's no tech tree and it's semi-cooperatve.

However, I see you already own Cosmic Encounter, which was suggested - get it on the table.

And maybe, it's worth taking a closer look at Chaos in the Old World? It's no true AT, but fits in your categories.
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Michael Vinarcik
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BSG is a good choice.

I'll go out on a limb and suggest A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game (competitive rules).
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C Lloyd
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North Reading
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Lots of good suggestions here. I'll second Battlestar Galacica and A Touch of Evil. And I'd also recommend Arkham Horror and Twilight Imperium, which is actually kind of an epic Ameritrash game with a sprinkling of Euro thrown in.

Good luck finding what you're looking for.
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Switzerland
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Thanks for the recommendations so far.
Some of the mentionend games are already part of my collection (or my girlfriend's). These are:

- Twilight Imperium (great, but way too long since we're meeting during the week)
- A Touch of Evil (nice and short, maybe I'll bring it along next time...)
- StarCraft (one of my favorites, but the transport...)
- Arkham Horror (another favorite, but same problem as with StarCraft; especially since I don't play without expansion)

Especially two games got a lot of recommendations: Battlestar Galactica and the new Cosmic Encounter with expansion.
The new version of Cosmic Encounter was already on my radar since being released, but priority wasn't high. Partly because the AH-version is a nice game every now and then. But exactly that - nice. Nothing more.

Well, Battlestar Galactica. I'm not quite sure about this game. True, it features everything a good ameritrash game should. But, and that is a BIG but: it will really shine when there is a lot of talking, blaming, intriguing. After reading the reviews and talking to a friend of mine owning Battlestar Galactica it seems that the game itself is the meta-game, all the talking being the primary game.
And, to a lesser extent, this is also true for cosmic encounter.

Now don't get me wrong - I really enjoy games like StarCraft or Twilight Imperium, where this will also happen. To a certain degree.

I prefer knowing my enemies - and I can't stand intrigues. To name an example: the highly praised Werewolf. Played it twice - and won't play it ever again. I hate it.

And Doom - well, thought about it. But I already own Descent, which is in my opinion the better Doom.

Chaos in the old world was originally high on my list. It still is, but its position is a bit weakend by the fact that in the end you're playing a game of area control in order to generate victory points. It is a really cool game when it comes to the background and the toy-factor, but it lacks in terms of battle. My brother, who already played it a few times, assured me that it doesn't feel like tons of enemies are perishing by the axe of the blooddemon or like corrupting whole regions, enslaving the townsfolk. He described it as playing a nice mechanic which happens to have a well chosen theme to it.

Now things are getting difficult, aren't they?
 
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Allan
Australia
Adelaide
South Australia
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I think you're going to find, by your own requirements, the game you're looking for does not exist.

What you might want to try doing is seeing if you can pack Starcraft into a smaller box. It honestly sounds almost exactly like what you're describing (you own it so you should know this already) and if I remember right theres a fair bit of wasted space in the box. Maybe get a backpack and some plastic containers instead of a new boardgame and see if its possible to pack one of your bigger games into a smaller area.

Runewars would be perfect for this. It could easily have come in one of FFGs square boxes. Unfortunately its only 4 players.
 
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zethnar wrote:
I think you're going to find, by your own requirements, the game you're looking for does not exist.

The features I listed in the beginning are not ment to be fulfilled in every single aspect. I know that this is nigh on impossible, but I wanted to give you the complete picture of my tastes. Not just a fragment.



zethnar wrote:
What you might want to try doing is seeing if you can pack Starcraft into a smaller box. It honestly sounds almost exactly like what you're describing (you own it so you should know this already) [...]

No, that is exactly what I want to avoid at all cost.
There are two main reasons:
First, I love gameboxes with awesome covers. It would feel like blashpemy to take all these great components out of their traditional home.
Second, it still means transport. I'm travelling mainly by train, having my (large) backpack with me. While it can handle even large gameboxes like StarCraft and the like without problems, I have to take more with me than just a huge boardgame. This especially comes true during summer when I usually are in company of my downhill bike plus all the equipment needed to ride. There's no room left for a boardgame - plain and simple.
If transportation was an option, then, yes, you are right. StarCraft is awesome and a very good example of what kind of game I'm looking for.



zethnar wrote:
Runewars would be perfect for this. It could easily have come in one of FFGs square boxes. Unfortunately its only 4 players.

The thought of getting this one crossed already my mind. But then it's limited to 4 players (not that much of an issue), is fantasy-themed (generally good, but read on...) and is with its hefty price tag in direct conflict with Horus Heresy. And in this battle Runewars is defeated before it actually begun. The only reason why I didn't Horus Heresy right away is the transport issue (as you propably guessed I'm not at home right now).


So, actually I'm looking for a new game. It doesn't have to meet all the features I mentioned in the beginning, but the more the better, of course. It won't be transported a lot, instead it is meant to stay where it is. Another point is my missing interest in duplicating my collection.


After so much given recommendations for Battlestar Galactica and the new Cosmic Encounter, I'll take a second and closer look at these two.

Nexus Ops was also a consideration, but it's OOP and a bit difficult to find over here in Germany.
I'm a bit indifferent in what to think aboutAxis & Allies 1942 Edition. While I played and enjoyed the previous version as well as some old version, I don't know what to think of this new one. I thought about purchasing it several times, but every time when I had it in my hands it looked so... incomplete and small, somehow...

Edit: typo...
 
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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This one is OOP (but can be found rather easily on ebay or in garage sales) :
Space Crusade
It's a very light "space hulk offsping" but it seems to me that it could fit almost all your requirements, except the following:
- great components : the "plastic tee fittings" to attach the board sections suck. Otherwise great for a 90's game.
- 2-6 players: only 4-p, but you can push to 5-p with the Eldar expansion (or more if you houserule an extra squad).
- no coop: there's often a bit of coop to contain the alien player but marines generally end up bashing each other to get the objective.
 
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