James
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Midlothian
Virginia
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I’m on the fence between these two, possibly four games. I am the board game collector and organizer of my group and I have brought them into different kinds of games over the past four years. At first, thematic games were the only thing they could enjoy (and would enjoy a lesser game with a geekier theme rather than a great game about, say, farming or shipping). I’ve begun being won over by elements of Euro design, though, and have particularly liked those games with both Euro elements and plenty of conflict. I’ve managed to bring over a few of the players with me, too. Fusion games such as Chaos in the Old World and Cyclades have gone over well. Eclipse, though, has been a real revelation for us. It’s time for a new purchase and I need your help in picking out the next big game.

Dominant Species – The reviews are so laudatory that it almost hurts not to own this. One concern is that direct conflict is not so obviously present. Another is the playtime. My group usually doesn’t do well with games that last over three hours. If it’s good enough and we play quickly enough – and the game is so good that it would merit risking four hours – do I take the plunge?

Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery/ Age of Empires III – It’s been out a while so the rush of praise has stopped. It seems to have a lot of what we we’re beginning to like, though: thoughtful design with direct conflict. Has it been “fired” by later games or is this a classic that needs to be our next acquisition?

OR…

Lords of Waterdeep – The D & D theme will get it to the table. My concern, though, is that reviews have deemed this a light game on par with Stone Age. With SA, a frustration is with repetitive action and the lack of building any kind of engine. If I’m going to play a game with Euro elements, I want it to offer more complexity and a sense of building something over the course of play.

OR…

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Do I just have to forget Euro design elements and pick this up because a gaming group which loves thematic games is committing a sin in not owning and playing it? We play intermittently so the campaign geared system worries me. Additionally, I’m worried that after games like Claustrophobia, for example, this might seem like a step backwards in a game having enough substance under the hood to compel us.

Any thoughts would be appreciated; thanks so much, folks.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I own AoE III and would be happy to play it, but it doesn't hit the table unless I really lobby for it.

Downsides of AoE III:

You don't know what stuff is going to be available to bid on, and if you plan around an item that doesn't show up, it can be the difference between winning and losing.

Big box may create storage problems.

Longer game, especially if you have new players or people with AP. I personally find it plays quickly because you're just doing one little thing each time it's your turn to choose.

And some people don't like the luck involved in the discovery action. That part doesn't bother me at all because you can decide not to focus on discovery, or you can put a lot into discover and be guaranteed of success.
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James
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Midlothian
Virginia
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Thanks, guys, for your comments. So far it seems my suspicions were correct. I am leaning toward AoEIII, then.

Further comments are welcome as there may be something I haven't considered about one of these titles.

 
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