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Subject: Help!, and other vague thread titles rss

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Martin Jonassen
Norway
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Hello there, citizens of BGG. No, this isn't a complaint thread about titles, I just don't know what to call it. I'd like to make another purchase, in order to make my currently somewhat lacking board game options more flexible. However, my experience on the subject is only slightly larger than my collection of game options. I'm currently owning Dominion with a few expansions (plus Munchkin, but some of the mechanics really irks me with it), so I'd like something that's less of a card game, and with a touch more interaction. Preferably something that scales better in multiplayer when it comes to downtime too. My current group is 5 players, but 4 players seem to be most common.

However, I haven't played enough to know if I like traditional euro games, ameritrash or whatever you call it, and all the other genres, so I'll just give a summary on how I think my brain functions to give some guidance. It will probably be slightly long.

Stuff I (dis)like, probably

Strategy
I can deal with some randomness, as long as I can roughly expect what it will be. When I win a game, I want it to be because of decisions I made, not the shuffler. Preferably if I need to react to the decisions of my opponents. Due to this, I'm also not too fond of co-op games. Human opponents makes for more interesting games.

Setting
The theme will for the most part probably not be too big of an issue. I like magic themed stuff, and have somewhat of a stigma against guns. Technology/Sci-fi in general bores me, but if the gameplay is good then that's what matters.

Victory Condition
Victory Points are boring, but I can accept that they are one of the easier ways to handle a winner. I like them in Dominion, because buying them is an interesting decision. I really don't like them in 7 Wonders, since it's just counting them all at the end. I don't like games with a set number of rounds. I want the victory to be triggered by a player decision.

Interactivity
Probably the main thing I'm looking for, but not sure how to specify it. I think I'm more interesting in having to adapt to what opponents do, rather than them just doing something that deals damage to me or whatever.

Board Structure
I like grids a lot. Moving around grids are fun, for some reason. However, only when it's one unit, having to control multiple units makes me uneasy. I don't think I like worker placement games for this reason, but that might be incorrect.

Character Expression
Related to the previous topic. I like expressing myself through the cards I play and the factions I choose. Games with racial options are fun, especially when I can build parts of it myself. Deckbuilding is also fun, but as I said, not looking for that right now.

Games we have

I contribute with Dominion, which I enjoy a lot. I can also bring Munchkin (Axe Cop) if I'm feeling desperate.
Others:
7 Wonders - Okay. The cards are uninteresting until age 3, and I'm not engaged enough with what my opponents do.
Forbidden Island - We haven't really played it after the initial purchase. Not really sure, game doesn't excite me enough.
Lotr TCG - We play 4-player with the initial deck only. The turn structure feels like somewhat of a mess. Not enough cards currently to make deckbuilding interesting.
We have a few others too, like Settlers of Catan, but I haven't tried them yet. One guy is possibly purchasing Lords of Waterdeep/Civilization this weekend.


Other questions:

Does anyone have experience with Dragon Sleeves (59x92) for Dominion? FFG sleeves are significantly more expensive from my online retailer of choice, and I'm not terribly fond of Ultra Pro.

In addition, I'm looking for a game I once saw a review of, but haven't been able to track down since. It was a card game about researching and getting schematics, which you then built. The cards had a 3-fork arrow meaning it hit opponents, or a green arrow indicating it affected you. I think the only economy was money, and you have four options each turn. Something like research, work, build and a fourth thing. You could also put workers on these mats to gain resources whenever an opponent used it. Variety was added with two random starting cards having a global effect on the board. I looked through my internet history, and googled a lot of random stuff, but haven't been able to stumble upon it again.

I tried looking for some sort of way of hiding blocks of text to make it easier to look through, but couldn't find anything looking through stickies.

Thanks in advance for reading it.
 
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Matt Boehland
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So a thread whose title is about vague thread titles is not at all about what the thread title implies.

Deep. wow
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Matt Davis
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This is a step up in complexity, but you might consider a train game - something in the Steam / Age of Steam / Railways of the World line. I'd start with RotW because it's easier than the others and you can always decide later you want something more brutal. They're pick-up-and-deliver games that are all about building up your network and trying to deliver goods to various places for maximal profit.

RotW hits basically all of your criteria. Most of the randomness is set at the beginning, when you randomly distribute goods cubes. VPs are scored as you go along - points correspond to the amount of business your railroad is doing, with some bonus points at the end. Interactivity is strong - you always have to keep an eye on opponents to make sure that others don't deliver certain cubes before you do, or (better) so you can build key connections that let you mooch points off of their actions. And RotW has a bit where each player has basically a secret mission they're going for to get bonus points at the end - not exactly character expression, but it's close by Euro standards.
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Joshua Wright
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Agricola. But then again I always recommend Agricola.
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Andy W
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My mind looks to have gone in a somewhat similar direction to Matt D. above.

The game that jumped out to me was Iron Dragon. If you're willing to accept the longer playtime (or splitting the game into two sessions), it may fit the bill. You'd lose the magic theme and character (foreman) and ship selections, but the whole crayon rail genre may be worth looking into (Empire Builder will likely be easier to find).

They're not overly complex (though again, longer playtimes), can support up to 6 players, (more players certainly give longer downtime). You have a single piece moving around a grid, you map your route out with crayons, there is a good amount of interaction with opponents due to route selection and using each other's track while avoiding direct conflict (you can't steal another player's loads or tickets for instance).

There are no victory points, it's a race to connect the cities and accumulate enough cash, so the end game will be very much dependent on player decisions. They're pick-up-and-deliver games where you are trying to optimize route building with your ability to deliver, while taking into account distance and train movement. The tickets for delivery give three options each which helps with strategy and removes a bit of the randomness associated with card draws.

Iron Dragon specifically gives a little bit of character expression that will be lost in the other titles (the foreman gives you a special ability), though you do get some limited choice in upgrading your train, in essence selecting speed or carrying capacity.

From your description, I think the games Matt D. mentions could also work great and would highly recommend taking a look at them as well.

Edit - Gave the wrong name when referencing previous poster (sorry coolpapa!)
 
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Martin Jonassen
Norway
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Okay, this forum is confusing the heck out of me, bear with me if I do something silly.

@Train Games: It seems like this is a pretty big genre, much to my surprise, so I should probably explain my thoughts on them. I've never been fan of putting a lot of minor things on the board on small sections. I get pretty ocd about the placement of everything, and feel like it all ends up like a fragile mess. Is this not at all an issue? World Builder's crayon take on it intrigues me.
I like the thought of secret objectives.

@Agricola: I've never been able to watch an entire review of the thing, but it's on a ton of top X lists, so I suppose I should.


There isn't any wiz-war style game with bigger board and less randomness, is there?

 
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Kambria McLean
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I'm not sure whether this will be helpful, but you might want to check out Shadows Over Camelot. It's a co-op; somewhat random, but it wouldn't be much of a game without some randomness (I think that's generally the case for co-ops).




 
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Chris Stanton
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Other questions:
The game you describe is Nefarious


As to a suggestion on what to get-have you had a look at Utopia? It may be of interest to you
 
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Mown wrote:

4 players mostly, sometimes 5

Strategy
I can deal with some randomness, as long as I can roughly expect what it will be. When I win a game, Human opponents makes for more interesting games.

Setting
I like magic themed stuff, and have somewhat of a stigma against guns.
Technology/Sci-fi in general bores me, but if the gameplay is good then that's what matters.

Victory Condition
Victory Points are boring

Interactivity
Probably the main thing I'm looking for, but not sure how to specify it. I think I'm more interesting in having to adapt to what opponents do, rather than them just doing something that deals damage to me or whatever.

Board Structure
Moving around grids are fun, for some reason. However, only when it's one unit, having to control multiple units makes me uneasy. I don't think I like worker placement games for this reason, but that might be incorrect.

Character Expression
Related to the previous topic. I like expressing myself through the cards I play and the factions I choose.


Well, it'll be tough to satisfy all of that.

Strategy: (all of these have lots of units)
Chaos in the Old World has victory points with a twist that might be interesting enough for you (the threat dials). Needs expansion for your 5th player. Very much gives you what you wanted in interactivity and character expression.

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) Maybe not the best with 4 players. Character expression through diplomatic dealings.

El Grande victory points. Maybe not the kind of character expression you are looking for.

Dominant Species victory points. Not the first game you should buy after playing Dominion & 7 Wonders, but if your friend buys Civ or LoW, you should be good to go for this game.

Cyclades Character expression on the auction board and in trying to win by building, conquering, or combination.


Adventure:
Merchants & Marauders has victory points, guns. Needs extra ship minis for your 5th player. (Otherwise, map and gameplay works fine with 5.) Mentioned it mainly because you have great opportunities for character expression here, you can be many different kinds of characters here.
Maybe too random for you.


1 vs many: Fury of Dracula (second edition) well you know the setting has some technology and guns.
Middle-Earth Quest Sauron player will have several units, but not the fellowship players. Not much character expression imho.

Upcoming game that could fit: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition).



 
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TS S. Fulk
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Mown wrote:



There isn't any wiz-war style game with bigger board and less randomness, is there?



Dungeon Twister 2: Prison and Claustrophobia.
 
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Geoff Hall
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Cyclades is worth looking at, although the player interaction might be a bit more combative than you're looking for.
 
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Martin Jonassen
Norway
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Toc13 wrote:
Other questions:
The game you describe is Nefarious

Thanks a bunch. Saved me from going through my history yet again.

First off, a bunch of games I think I'll at the least delay purchasing:

Agricola: I've invested some more time looking into it, and I'm still not getting it. The game doesn't have anything that interesting me.

Shadows over Camelot: The traitor aspect is quite interesting, but I don't think it appeals enough for me to buy it. At least not yet.

Utopia: From the few reviews I have found, it doesn't look too exciting. I'll take a glance over the rules though.

Dominant Species: The board in this game just looks like a mess to me. It would probably distract me too much from the gameplay.

Merchant and Marauders: I like the bounty mechanic, but I don't quite like the whole npc thing (don't ask me how to implement it without though). I'd also like a game that forces me to interact more heavily, since I tend to go for a more pacifist route. (I want a game that forces me to be uncomfortable, whut?)

El Grande: The bidding looks fun, even if I haven't grasped how significant it is. My biggest issue would be the predetermined length of it. It does look like a solid game though.

1vX: They are interesting, but I'd prefer a FFA game for now.

Dungeon Twister & Claustrophobia: Those are both two player games, to my understanding. I know there is an expansion for Dungeon Twister, but I'd rather not have to invest in two games to get an understanding of it for 4-player. Not sure if expanding Claustrophobia is possible, but I assume the same problem is there.

If you want expanded details, I can provide a longer list of issues, but a lot of this is on gut feeling.
However, everything is not dark and gloomy. Which makes it ironic, given one of the two games I have taken an interest to, Chaos in the Old World and Cyclades, the latter to my surprise.

Chaos in the Old World is a game a friend of mine has played previously, so I can be quite certain that he would enjoy it. I'm also quite fond of the Warhammer universe, even if I've never done much with it past playing 40k the computer game. I quite enjoy the dark flavor of everything, and shouldn't have too much trouble with it. It might be a barrier to entry for other people though, as a potential issue. The promise of four distinctive playstyles are also appealing, even if I do have a voice in my head screaming "But that can't possibly be balanced!" I haven't quite gotten a real grasp on the gameplay mechanics though... Some reading will be necessary

In Cyclades, the auction house mechanic excites me. The tiny mind games of not being able to just bid higher but having to move to another place, and how your strategy supposedly unfolds based on it. I do wish the game had more cards that does stuff outside of Zeus. To me, I consider them the best way to make fun effects, something that is hard to integrate into the core concept of the game. I'm on boat with Greek mythology as well, and multiple paths to victory is always nice.

Now, both of these look like macro games, so I guess I'll have to accept that I might not have such a stigma against it as I thought. I think it comes majorly from RTS games and possibly Risk. Either way, I'll have to bring it up to the rest, to see if anyone vehemently disagrees with me. Not that I think the majority of them will actually care enough to voice an opinion, but enough of that.

Anyway, you all have my thanks. I will still look from time to time in case there's more input. Still curious about the Dragon Sleeves issue, since I have to buy over a thousand of the damn things.
 
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Kevin Garnica
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Mown wrote:


If you want expanded details, I can provide a longer list of issues, but a lot of this is on gut feeling.
However, everything is not dark and gloomy. Which makes it ironic, given one of the two games I have taken an interest to, Chaos in the Old World and Cyclades, the latter to my surprise.

In Cyclades, the auction house mechanic excites me. The tiny mind games of not being able to just bid higher but having to move to another place, and how your strategy supposedly unfolds based on it. I do wish the game had more cards that does stuff outside of Zeus. To me, I consider them the best way to make fun effects, something that is hard to integrate into the core concept of the game. I'm on boat with Greek mythology as well, and multiple paths to victory is always nice.

Now, both of these look like macro games, so I guess I'll have to accept that I might not have such a stigma against it as I thought. I think it comes majorly from RTS games and possibly Risk. Either way, I'll have to bring it up to the rest, to see if anyone vehemently disagrees with me. Not that I think the majority of them will actually care enough to voice an opinion, but enough of that.

Anyway, you all have my thanks. I will still look from time to time in case there's more input. Still curious about the Dragon Sleeves issue, since I have to buy over a thousand of the damn things.


Cyclades has the god/monster cards which add more "cards that do stuff" as you put it, so there's that element in it which I think you will find enjoyable.

Let me just say that, without knowing you personally, if you're really interested in games, you will probably ultimately become less picky in the long run. I was the same way as you when I first started exploring board games and refused to accept that anything other than abstracts could be any fun. Mostly because of my OCD way of thinking: how could a game "about" anything really be exhaustive sufficiently for the purposes of a board game? I thought "surely, a game with a "theme" isn't as complete and perfected in an objective sort of way the way abstracts tend to be...

Well, that didn't last too long. After playing many games, I know exactly what sort of gamer I am; in a way, this hobby has really been a process of self-discovery more than anything else.

If you ever find yourself back in these recommendation threads and take the collective wisdom/advice with any less a grain of salt, (I can't speak for others, but) I certainly won't treat you any differently.
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The four Chaos gods are balanced wonderfully, nothing to worry about there.

In Cyclades, not sure what you mean by "I do wish the game had more cards that does stuff outside of Zeus." 3 creatures are made available at the start of a turn and the creatures get cycled so you have one new creature card every turn. Zeus just gives you the ability to cycle x creature card(s) for x gold.

P.S. bor du på Østlandet?
 
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Martin Jonassen
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Yeah, I'll probably find out I like a lot of things, but since my collection is so small, I want the first games I invest in to be closer to my expected interest. For the most part, the game is just there to enhance the group.

About Cyclades, I've probably just misunderstood the reviews I've come over. I understood it that Zeus' power was drawing cards, but I'll have to take a more extensive look over a rules pdf.

When it comes to my location, I'm currently studying in Gjøvik. I live in Mysen (Østfold), so yeah, I suppose.
 
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Geoff Hall
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Zeus' power is basically to draw cards (priests). He also lets you build temples. The priests give you discounts when paying your bids on other Gods, which is very powerful, especially if you get in there early.
 
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Martin Jonassen
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I think my confusion came from Zeus' ability to let you pay gold to cycle through the creature deck and how the reviewer explained it, but now that I've read the rules I understand the card system slightly better.

I am slowly moving towards the direction of CitoW. The main appeal is the wonderful dark theme that playing Binding of Isaac has gotten me addicted on, and I like the more traditional take on cards. Cyclades is certainly a contender though, as I won't need an expansion to play with four guys, the theme is easier to introduce to others, and has an ingame mechanic that forces you to change your plans in more interesting ways than CitoW does.

CitoW is also cheaper from my retailer, by something like 20%.
Anyone know the difference between the original and revised edition? As far as I've gatherer, the original box is way cooler, has a few errors like with Slaanesh, and the newest edition's map folds the dials inwards instead for whatever reason.
 
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Chaos doesn't need an expansion to play with 4, it needs it to play 5.
Also Chaos doesn't scale that well and is best with 4, your first games should be with 4 or it could be a disappointment.
(Once you know the game and how the gods balance each other out, you could enjoy it with 3.)

 
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Martin Jonassen
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My bad, meant 5.
 
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