The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

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1889: History of Shikoku Railways

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1889 is pretty much a straight 1830 (assuming I got the rules right), but made for 2-5 players and shorter. We played for 2.5 hours before we called it. (I had relatively new opponents, which slowed the game down a bit).

Rating — Pretty much whatever you rate 1830 (with maybe a small kick for novelty). For me that’s suggest.

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Written by taogaming

February 14, 2019 at 9:55 pm

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Forty-One

…was almost there for a decade and a half

Also played another 3er game of Root. I’ll need to read the balance rules again. I think Cats are a bit weak. Certainly the way I play them. Woodland Alliance seems strong (although they lost, barely).

Also, over the weekend the TaoLing and I lost a cooperative game of Mage Knight Conquest. Granted, with cities at 10/10/20, but still the first game of Conquest we’ve lost in probably 50-75 plays. (Volkare games are harder). It was actually invigorating.

Written by taogaming

January 14, 2019 at 9:57 pm

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Quick Hits

T2R: Old West is pretty good. I like the idea of stations that ‘steal’ points on their routes and the fact that you must expand from existing track (or station).

Played another game of Arkwright. It was tough going (9 months between games) but it’s growing on me. I’d like to try again.

Also — I’ve never played EVE Online, but stories like this make me respect it …. from a distance.

Written by taogaming

January 9, 2019 at 8:01 pm

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Quick Thoughts from a small game session

Space Base — OK Machi Koro-ish game. Not different enough to make me want to buy it, but I’d play it again. Indifferent-plus.

Cryptid — OK deduction ish game that I don’t care for, although I do like hunting for the rare and delicious chalupacabra. Indifferent.

Oh yes, Superfight. Another “Who would win” party game. I believe I will surprise nobody with this one. Avoid.

Written by taogaming

December 29, 2018 at 11:26 pm

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Forty….

Probably could have been added when the list started, just because I must have played it fifty times. But I wanted a fair number of recorded plays on it too….

Check it.

Written by taogaming

December 12, 2018 at 9:49 pm

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Gaming A to Z with a quick stop at U

Some Quick thoughts:

Azul — The Stained Glass of Sintra — I was not a huge Azul fan. I’m not a fan of this variant. I think it doesn’t help that I played both games (once each) with the max number of players. Indifferent.

AuZtralia — I’m kind of a Wallace anti-fan, such that I often turn down his games (although I’d play Age of Steam again and wouldn’t mind getting Struggle of Empires back to the table) and so when this was pulled out I got a somewhat deranged “glance around the room and check the exits” vibe. And honestly, by the end of the rules I would have happily jumped out if someone else wanted to play. And during the early part of the game … I felt nothing. This is one of those “Whoever has spent the last time goes next” but unlike the more interesting games, as soon as you are out of last you are done. So it often goes A-B-C-D-D-B-C-A but sometimes you spend 2-3 time and it goes A-B (spend 2)-C-D-D-C (spend 2)-A-A-D-D-A-B….

And you pay a penalty for taking the same action multiple times before you “sweep your board clean” of action markers (at the cost of a time), which frankly makes me think Wallace is going soft. It’s like a non-crippling loan — totally out of place in his work.

And frankly I’m not wild about the thematic mixing of Age of Industry with Cthulhu. (Really all Lovecraftian stuff is done to death). But I admit that once we hit the part where the monsters started activating, it became more interesting. We all lost (rather quickly) to C, but I’d give it another try or two. Tentatively Indifferent plus.

My copy of SpaceCorp arrived, sadly lacking in either the letter ‘Z’ or ‘U’. Haven’t played it, but some quick thoughts:

  • No inserts, and a box big enough to support the punched game. Nice heft.
  • Having totally distinct rulebook for Multiplayer and Solo (even though 80% of the rules are the same) is an … interesting decision. I do worry that I’ve only skimmed the solo and would miss out a subtle different, but it does really look like it’s just a cut and paste. If you only play one way or the other, that’s no doubt better. But if you play both (which I intend to) … I’m not sure how I feel about it.
  • In order to get a feel I quickly (well, punching and reading rules was slow) set up a 2 player game (to avoid the whole “automated opponent” rules) and played out a fair chunk of the first map and … it seems easy enough. Maybe too easy. Frankly that may be a function of comparison to High Frontier, where getting to the moon is an hour or two of assembling various parts and here its. “Oh, I need to have 4 points of move and I start with 2 move cards already.” Everything is easy but its a race. But by the second map it starts to add more rules and bigger numbers and rule-breaker cards…
  • But since I got it for solo games, we’ll have to wait until I have a chance to play that a bit.
  • Update — The components are mostly good and readable, but the colonies have a small legend like “124” indicating it is used for 1,2 or 4 players, and I really had to get out my jeweler’s loupe to read them. I posted a solitaire game session to BGG.

Unrelated Update — Looks like the Root balance fixes are posted.

Written by taogaming

December 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm

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Shards of Infinity 3 Player

Played a few 3er games, using the rule that all damage (and destruction effects) hit both opponents (you assign for each) to make no kingmaking. Just a few games, but some thoughts.

  • If I thought early beat down was effective then … vhojha moi!
  • Therefore shields are much better. Cryptofist monks were in high demand.
  • Going last feels much worse, for two reasons:
    • There are often 2-3 good cards in the initial offering, so getting second pick is reasonable. But you will get a worse card much more often.
    • You are always a turn behind on getting beat down.
  • I’d suggest start player rotates each round, except…..that would do weird things to shields (at some times, a shield would protect you for two turns). As a practical matter perhaps the last player should get three mastery instead of two (which gives them a shot of getting to five on T2, prior to playing their shard reactor), or 2 mastery but starting at fifty three life (unable to go above fifty once you drop to it).

I would definitely suggest that 4 player with teams of two that Players 1 and 4 should be teammates.

Despite the early beat down propensity, one game ended with the TaoLing knocked down to 1 Life, at 13 Mastery facing an opponent with 20+ life and the ability to do at least one damage next turn …. The TaoLing played a few cards, then dropped Omnius the All Knowing to draw two cards and earned five mastery for Dominion. He bought  master and earned one from a card, then played Ojas to copy Omnius twice, which put him at 30 mastery with his entire hand in his deck, save one card … his Infinity Shard.

So he bought the cheapest cards available and luckily (for him, not so much me) a Data Heretic showed up and he burned it to draw the Shard and win one of the best comebacks I’ve seen in any game in a while.

Written by taogaming

October 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm

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