Board 8 > my top 32 tabletop games

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SeabassDebeste
02/13/20 4:38:52 PM
#1:


Part 1 is still up: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/8-gamefaqs-contests/78284791

Welcome to the thread! Nothing surprising here if you've been following along. If you haven't been, this is the third time I'm ranking pretty much all the tabletop games I've played since starting as a hobbyist in 2015.

Here's what I've got so far:

Eaten By Sea Monsters
133. Secret Hitler (2015)
132. Good Cop, Bad Cop (2014)
131. Survive: Escape from Atlantis! (1982)
130. Sheriff of Nottingham (2014)
129. Dead of Winter (2014)
128. Imperial Settlers (2014)
127. But Wait, There's More! (2011)
126. Word on the Street (2009)
125. One Night Ultimate Werewolf (2014)

Gunned Down
124. Guillotine (1998)
123. Sagrada (2017)
122. Innovation (2010)
121. Quiddler (1998)
120. Tak (2017)
119. Mascarade (2013)
118. Cosmic Encounter (1977)
117. A Fake Artist Goes to New York (2012)
116. Boss Monster (2013)
115. The Godfather: Corleone's Empire (2017)
114. Carcassonne (2000)
113. Colt Express (2014)
112. Bohananza (1997)

Settle For It
111. Settlers of Catan (1995)
110. Ticket to Ride (2004)
109. Machi Koro (2012)
108. Yeti Slalom (2001)
107. Fire Tower (2019)
106. The Grizzled (2015)
105. God's Gambit (2014)
104. Sushi Go! (2013)
103. Ghost Stories (2008)
102. Paperback/Hardback (2014, 2018)
101. Bloody Inn (2015)
100. World's Fair 1893 (2016)
99. 4 Gods (2016)
98. Zombicide (2012)
97. San Juan (2004)
96. Dice Forge (2017)
95. 7 Wonders (2010)
94. It's a Wonderful World (2019)
93. Small World (2009)
92. Qwirkle (2006)
91. Roll for the Galaxy (2014)
90. Thunderstone (2009)
89. King of Toyko (2011)
88. Balderdash (1984)
87. Call to Adventure (2018)
86. Century: Eastern Wonders (2018)
85. Welcome (Back) to the Dungeon (2013, 2016)
84. Two Rooms and a Boom (2013)
83. Anomia (2010)
82. Coup (2012)
81. Lost Cities: The Board Game (2008)
80. Quadropolis (2016)
79. Love Letter (2012)
78. D-Day Dice (2012)
77. Turn the Tide (1997)
76. 6 nimmt! (1994)

Funded Awards
75. Burgle Bros (2015)
74. Shipwreck Arcana (2017)
73. Word Domination (2017)
72. Quacks of Quedlinberg (2018)
71. Acquire (1974)
70. Takenoko (2011)
69. Modern Art (1992)
68. Blokus (2000)
67. Ra (1999)
66. Tokaido (2012)
65. Isle of Skye (2015)
64. Seasons (2012)
63. No Thanks! (2004)
62. Terraforming Mars (2016)
61. Pret a Porter (2010)
60. The Mind (2018)
59. Tzolk'in (2012)
58. Pit (1903)
57. Jungle Speed (1997)
56. Cottage Garden (2016)
55. Agricola (2007)
54. For Sale (1997)
53. Dr. Eureka (2015)
52. Mysterium (2016)
51. Decrypto (2018)
50. Ghost Blitz (2010)
49. Ca$h 'n Guns (2014)
48. Pandemic (2008)
47. Hanabi (2010)
46. Raiders of the North Sea (2016)
45. Five Tribes (2014)
44. Karuba (2015)
43. Magic Maze (2018)
42. Celestia (2016)
41. When I Dream (2016)
40. Orleans (2014)
39. Dixit (2008)
38. BANG! The Dice Game (2013)
37. Power Grid (2004)
36. Glory to Rome (2005)
35. Viticulture (2013)
34. Scythe (2016)
33. Villagers (2019)

Starting with 32 are games that I've really enjoyed. Some are manic, others are tense, some are just thoughtful, some are sentimental. All have been fun.
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turbopuns3
02/13/20 4:43:46 PM
#2:


I noticed Coup is quite a bit higher than werewolf and secret hitler. Why is that? And how awful of a time did you have playing secret hitler to rank it dead last?
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SeabassDebeste
02/13/20 5:08:20 PM
#3:


turbopuns3 posted...
I noticed Coup is quite a bit higher than werewolf and secret hitler. Why is that? And how awful of a time did you have playing secret hitler to rank it dead last?

this is all covered in the previous topic! the tl;dr version is

1. secret hitler is a knockoff of a superior game
2. one night ultimate werewolf feels more chaotic than fun
3. coup is easily grasped and quick and inoffensive
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SeabassDebeste
02/13/20 5:08:43 PM
#4:


32. Specter Ops (2015)

Category: One vs Many/Team vs Team
Genres: Hidden movement, player combat
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 4
Game length: 75-105 minutes
Experience: 5-6 plays over 5-6 sessions (2015-2018) with 4, 5 players
Previous ranks: 9/100 (2016), 21/80 (2018)

Summary - One player, the Agent (who has special powers), infiltrates an evil corporation and moves secretly around the map fulfilling objectives (i.e. reaching certain points) and attempts to escape. The rest of the players are Hunters (each with special powers) hired by the corporation, and they move around the map attempting to locate the Agent (who places their mini onto the board if they are seen/caught). Once they locate the Agent, they have to land a certain number of hits to kill the Agent, who also has a few pieces of one-use equipment to get them out of jams. In the five-player variant, one of the four Hunters is secretly on the Agent's side.

Experience - The first time I played Specter Ops was sublime. We had all just learned it, and I was the Agent and got to choose my ally. The tension was incredible. As I tried to parse the state and bluff my opponent, I also tried to psych people out on who my ally was. With so many powers around the table, every move felt do-or-die. Finally, my tricks ran dry, and my enemies tracked me down. My ally came to my rescue, but it was too late. She was defeated and so we lost, though I certainly would have been had soon after. It was one of the most exhilarating games I'd ever played, immersive and tense, and I was super-excited about the prospect about getting it to the table again.

The next year, it did come to the table again with five players, and I was again the Agent. It was a different crew, and the tension started out again... but I felt like I was getting boxed in sooner, and this time, it felt like everyone else was taking a really, really long time when I felt I had already lost. There was a point where I told people rather rudely to hurry the fuck up. Not my proudest moment as a board gamer. I still managed one clever move to fake everyone else out, standing almost entirely still, after I'd been cornered. But I think that not being personal friends with the ally I'd chosen made a big difference that time, as well as the time and sense of losing that only I could experience.

Subsequent plays, with my new gaming group and at four players, went much faster, much smoother, and much less tense. The Agent has yet to win (because with no doubt, it's easier to be certain on where the Agent is), but these games have gone much more snappily. They did not hit the insane highs of the first game or the mind-numbing lows of the second game, but they were good opportunities to have fun and play a large puzzle.

Design - Specter Ops isn't exactly beautiful, but it's wonderfully chrome-y. The Agents and the Hunters all have great variable powers and cool designs and awesome minis. The board has an extremely cyberpunk-y feel, gloomy and ominous and corporate. The tension is naturally high in a hidden-movement game; once you manage to deduce where the Agent is (by moving your Hunters there to spot it), the Agent has to drop their mini on the board, and it is phenomenally satisfying.

The ruleset is pretty slim and is clearly designed to maximize tension on both sides. The Agent is badly outnumbered, but there are lots of corridors that prevent easy line of sight. It's easier to hide in the maze, but getting spotted in the maze also means that your enemies are up close and that you can get whacked more easily. The Agent also gets to make choices - which specific locations they need to reach the objectives; the order in which to tackle them; which exit to go for. The Hunters have three people and infinite health and more "active" abilities.

As a "battle of wits" game, Specter Ops offers tons of opportunity to feel clever and feel dumb and pump your fist. It can be satisfying either doing it alone as the Agent or as a team as the Hunters, and it can be very interesting doing it with the benefit of a hidden traitor.

Future - For a while, Specter Ops kind of made me feel a bit of dread. It still does, but I think the fallow period has expired, and I'd like to get a play of it soon.
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Colegreen_c12
02/13/20 5:10:39 PM
#5:


tag

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Naye745
02/13/20 5:12:43 PM
#6:


I have heard specter ops is very good! haven't played it, though.

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Peace___Frog
02/13/20 5:27:07 PM
#7:


Tag

I have some catching up to do

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Great_Paul
02/13/20 5:40:58 PM
#8:


I've played Specter Ops twice and both plays didn't go so well. The first play was with a very negative group that were hating on it because they couldn't find me the entire game. The second play was a little better but it didn't really wow anybody.

I've heard Emerson is working on a MGS game so I'm curious how similar it will be to Specter Ops.

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NBIceman
02/13/20 6:48:15 PM
#9:


From last topic...

what else ranks highly for you?

Without thinking about it too hard: Root, Inis, Heroes of Land Air and Sea, Twilight Imperium 4e, Kingsburg 2e, Feast for Odin, Eldritch Horror, Rum & Bones Second Tide, and Keyflower would join Scythe to make my likely top 10 in some order or another. Wingspan and Last Bastion are up around that level as well, but I haven't played them enough to make a final judgment on them.

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ChaosTonyV4
02/13/20 6:53:35 PM
#10:


Specter Ops always seemed cool, but difficult to get to the table so I never picked it up. Like that one Dracula game it's hard to get non-hobbyist gamers to grok the idea of hidden movement, in my experience.

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Grand Kirby
02/13/20 6:58:02 PM
#11:


Oh, tag

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That you're a cheater. This is a 12-sided die. Chan
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MariaTaylor
02/13/20 7:05:10 PM
#12:


I don't think I've even played 32 tabletop games

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KommunistKoala
02/13/20 7:18:44 PM
#13:


played letters from whitechapel recently as my first hidden movement game and that was pretty fun (though I think I'd prefer Whitehall Mystery a little more after seeing that it exists)

that's all i can say thats related to that game! interesting that it keeps going for a bit after you've been spotted but is there much room to escape once youve been found? unless you're like right next to the objective/exit/whatever it is

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TomNook
02/13/20 7:40:55 PM
#14:


Tag.

Some of my favorite games haven't shown up yet. A lot of them are top ranked on BGG too, so there is a decent chance they'll show up here!

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turbopuns3
02/13/20 7:43:40 PM
#15:


We have a board game night once a week and man I just love how many great board games exist. Some recent ones I've really enjoyed:

Yellow and Yangtze
Calimala
Dice Forge
Exceed (1v1 dueling card game)
Anachrony
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Obellisk
02/13/20 8:55:07 PM
#16:


Have you ever played Dark Tower?

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SeabassDebeste
02/14/20 11:30:57 AM
#17:


Great_Paul posted...
I've played Specter Ops twice and both plays didn't go so well. The first play was with a very negative group that were hating on it because they couldn't find me the entire game. The second play was a little better but it didn't really wow anybody.

yeah, specter ops can produce real highs and lows in experience and that's part of the nature of the beast i think. a consistent specter ops experience is likely not to hit the same highs i felt that first time.

NBIceman posted...
From last topic...

Without thinking about it too hard: Root, Inis, Heroes of Land Air and Sea, Twilight Imperium 4e, Kingsburg 2e, Feast for Odin, Eldritch Horror, Rum & Bones Second Tide, and Keyflower would join Scythe to make my likely top 10 in some order or another. Wingspan and Last Bastion are up around that level as well, but I haven't played them enough to make a final judgment on them.

i've only played three of these, and only one of them enough to rank it. that one does rank highly though! and i'm interested in all of them, lol.

KommunistKoala posted...
played letters from whitechapel recently as my first hidden movement game and that was pretty fun (though I think I'd prefer Whitehall Mystery a little more after seeing that it exists)

that's all i can say thats related to that game! interesting that it keeps going for a bit after you've been spotted but is there much room to escape once youve been found? unless you're like right next to the objective/exit/whatever it is

i think specter ops is a bit more fun than LOW, though i've only played it once never played whitehall mystery.

one of the neat things about specter ops is the "last seen" token. it is placed if you cross the line of sight of a hunter on your turn so it gives a clue as to where you headed, but theoretically you can blow by hunters with cards even after getting caught once.

TomNook posted...
Some of my favorite games haven't shown up yet. A lot of them are top ranked on BGG too, so there is a decent chance they'll show up here!

there are a lot of games i haven't played, and the top is loaded with games that aren't bgg darlings. you might spot a few though!

turbopuns3 posted...
We have a board game night once a week and man I just love how many great board games exist. Some recent ones I've really enjoyed:

Yellow and Yangtze
Calimala
Dice Forge
Exceed (1v1 dueling card game)
Anachrony

covered dice forge (which i played again earlier this year) in the list. anachrony is really neat, only played it once but i liked the two tiers of WP and the theme is super-unique. Y&Y i haven't played but i recently (too recently for this list) got a bit into tigris and euphrates. very interesting game.

Obellisk posted...
Have you ever played Dark Tower?

i haven't - don't often get around to games based on IPs (with a very notable exception!)
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Obellisk
02/14/20 11:39:48 AM
#18:


SeabassDebeste posted...
i haven't - don't often get around to games based on IPs (with a very notable exception!)


Pretty sure it is not based off of anything. It's from the 80s. Milton Bradley game. It just had a kick starter campaign to fund Return to Dark Tower that brought in like 3 million dollars. (I gave them my $125 because the new game looks amaze balls)

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Great_Paul
02/14/20 12:01:51 PM
#19:


Yeah that Dark Tower campaign looked really neat but it was out of my price range to even consider.

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Obellisk
02/14/20 12:12:25 PM
#20:


Great_Paul posted...
Yeah that Dark Tower campaign looked really neat but it was out of my price range to even consider.


I had to talk myself out of the $225 price point which came with a ton of add on stuff. I think the base game will have plenty of replay value.

Fiance and I still sit around playing the original she had when she was a kid. It's such a fun game and for 1981 very ahead of its time.

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SeabassDebeste
02/14/20 12:18:49 PM
#21:


wait what

dark tower ISN'T based on the series by stephen king???
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Great_Paul
02/14/20 12:28:49 PM
#22:


Obellisk posted...
I had to talk myself out of the $225 price point which came with a ton of add on stuff. I think the base game will have plenty of replay value.

Fiance and I still sit around playing the original she had when she was a kid. It's such a fun game and for 1981 very ahead of its time.

Yeah that's a great reason to get it if you like the original. I have no nostalgia for it since I haven't played it before. Similarly to how Restoration Games also brought back Fireball Island. I thought it looked cool but I didn't have nostalgia for the original so it was easier to pass on.

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Bear Bro
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Obellisk
02/14/20 12:36:29 PM
#23:


Yeah I had no idea that they remade fireball island and I had that as a kid and fucking loved it. Need to get that.

SeabassDebeste posted...
wait what

dark tower ISN'T based on the series by stephen king???


I thought the same when I first heard about it.

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SeabassDebeste
02/14/20 3:04:21 PM
#24:


31. Azul (2017)

Category: Player vs Player
Genres: Tile-laying, drafting, abstract
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 2
Game length: 25-40 minutes
Experience: 8+ plays over 5+ sessions (2018-2019) with 2-4 players
Previous ranks: NR (2016), NR (2018)

Summary - Each player is filling in a 5x5 mosaic using five suits of otherwise identical tiles. Tiles are only moved into the mosaic after a round, during which tiles are drafted and placed in a staging area, which has slots for each row. The drafting process involves taking all the tiles of one color from either the center area or from one of several pods of four tiles (after which you move the untaken tiles into the center area). When you're forced to take tiles that don't fit into your staging area, you lose points. When a round finishes, depending on your staging area, you start moving tiles onto your mosaic into predetermined spots, scoring bonus points for adjacent tiles, completed rows, completed columns.

Design - The tiles in Azul are beautiful - thick, heavy, plastic squares with five vibrant, distinct color patterns. They feel great to pick up and slide off the circles. The arrangement of the circles around the center area is visually appealing. The cloth bag feels good to draw tiles out of.

Like the game about to follow it, Azul excels at the small things and it just feels good to play on a physical level. That's before you get to the design of the game itself, which is very clever (though arguably not as remarkable without components). While you're focused on filling your own mosaic and left-hand-side, Azul's rules on both the staging area and the placement area, plus the hybrid scoring system, provide a lot to consider. Do you try to fill the longer staging area first? How much do you value the sequencing of completed rows in terms of how many points they'll award? Are you going for completed rows (ending the game), getting the oodles of points for a completed column, the in-game placement bonuses, or perhaps the highly valued (but well-spread-out) five-of-a-color?

How about the hate-drafting? Many rounds of Azul end with someone having to take a large set of tiles that will result in negative points; trying to swing it so you don't wind up with that set of tiles is a game within a game, too. Two-player games of anything tend to be highly zero-sum, and you can really math out the right number of moves to strand your opponent. Bigger games feature less hate-drafting but more chaos; the larger number of total tiles means a bigger opportunity for one person to get utterly hosed. It never feels particularly personal in Azul.

Experience - Azul feels like a modern classic to me. My friend and I learned it at a board game cafe in January 2018 from the rulebook and played a game. He got it very shortly afterward. It's since come up a few times at game night (he's been a sparse attendee lately) and at game cafe meetups - it's a fantastic go-to when waiting for a bigger group to finish a game if it's present in a library; quick to set up, easy to teach, and beautiful to touch and look at. I've never had a gameplay moment of WHOAAAAA in Azul, but it's very consistently satisfying.

Future - Knowing the full extent of Azul, it's hard to be like "man I NEED to play Azul," but when I talk about it, it's easy to get a bit of an itch. It's the type of game that makes you look forward to those oddly shaped gaps in game night instead of feeling awkward. It's a game I'd absolutely love in my collection if only Gaming Pal #1 were a fan of it.
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KommunistKoala
02/14/20 3:15:45 PM
#25:


have you played the Summer Pavilion version?

or the other one I can't remember but I feel like I've heard Summer Pavilion is the most well-regarded? might be making that up

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NBIceman
02/14/20 3:28:06 PM
#26:


KommunistKoala posted...
have you played the Summer Pavilion version?

or the other one I can't remember but I feel like I've heard Summer Pavilion is the most well-regarded? might be making that up
Personally, the opinion I've heard most often is that Summer Pavilion actually is the worst, but it's the only one of the three I haven't played so I can't comment myself.

Vanilla Azul and the Stained Glass are both really enjoyable, think I have a slight preference for the latter though. That being said, I'll still take Sagrada over either one of them as a "draft from a pool to fill out an individual board" game.

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KommunistKoala
02/14/20 3:33:46 PM
#27:


oh maybe it was the other way around, my group is almost always more than 4 people so I've never looked into Azul too much

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TomNook
02/14/20 4:04:00 PM
#28:


Yay Azul! It's a favorite among part of my family. We are also a fan of that same company's other games, which includes the Stained Glass Azul (though not as good as the original, it plays differently enough to be worth playing from time to time), and Reef. Reef is pretty awesome too. I think I barely prefer Azul, but they are very close.

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Maniac64
02/14/20 4:39:39 PM
#29:


What kind of game is Dark Tower?

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Obellisk
02/14/20 4:50:14 PM
#30:


Maniac64 posted...
What kind of game is Dark Tower?


You have to travel around the board from your starting position collecting the three keys to the tower. Fighting baddies, collecting gold to buy warriors and food, and then attacking the tower. Each turn you press buttons on the tower depending on what you choose to do and it randomize what happens to you. It's just a lot of fun. Except when you get attacked by the dragon.

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Obellisk
02/14/20 4:51:17 PM
#31:


You can try to haggle with the bazzar to get a better price on warriors but haggle too much and the bazaar closes on you and you lose your turn.

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Maniac64
02/14/20 5:19:36 PM
#32:


So its cooperative or everyone is trying to beat the tower first?

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Obellisk
02/14/20 5:45:07 PM
#33:


Maniac64 posted...
So its cooperative or everyone is trying to beat the tower first?

Each player starts in their own area and are going against each other. You can do things to them secretly through the tower. First to get all three keys, figure out the combination to unlock the tower and beat all the bad guys wins

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SeabassDebeste
02/14/20 6:42:23 PM
#34:


i've played azul: sintra once. it has very interesting mechanisms and seems deeper in strategy. that said it loses some mindless simplicity and has much iffier components, which may weaken its light-game niche and especially its standing as a simple-but-flawless.

would totally play it again, and would love to try summer pavilion too!
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skullbone
02/14/20 9:34:00 PM
#35:


Have you ever played Werewords? It's like 20 questions meets Werewolf and I find it's the best version of a mafia type game. Werewolfs are intentionally asking bad/stupid questions to throw people off (they know the word) and the seer type character is trying to ask subtle questions to guide the group toward the word. The Mayor is the person answering questions and they can also be the seer or werewolf (so they can lie about the answers).

Werewolfs win if the group doesn't guess the word BUT the group gets to vote on who they think the werewolf is. Town wins if they guess the word but the werewolf gets a chance to guess who the seer is. It's very simple to grasp and it's a LOT of fun. Avoids the normal issue that those games have where it devolves into guessing and screaming at each other. You can actually use a little bit of strategy AND you need to figure out the answer to the 20 questions game at the same time!

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Naye745
02/14/20 10:30:58 PM
#36:


azul is good! my mom likes it a ton but i prefer less abstract games. it's weird where the line is for me between a generally themeless euro game and a pure abstract, but there ya go

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SwiftyDC
02/14/20 11:11:15 PM
#37:


Tag

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Great_Paul
02/14/20 11:22:43 PM
#38:


I played Summer Pavilion for the first time tonight and I already like it much better than Azul. Not that I didn't like Azul, I thought it was only okay. But SP is one I definitely want to play again.

Also played Detective Club finally. Super fun game with some really funny moments.

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turbopuns3
02/15/20 3:01:49 AM
#39:


turbopuns3 posted...
I noticed Coup is quite a bit higher than werewolf and secret hitler. Why is that? And how awful of a time did you have playing secret hitler to rank it dead last?

I got around to going back and skimmimg the comments about these games from topic 1. Better late than never...!

First I will say, yes, with social deduction games especially, if you don't have a good group you aren't gonna have a good time, period. But when you've got a table of 10 who have all played such games extensively, it's an entirely different conversation. I have a significant amount of experience with each case, and here's my take on the games I mentioned.

Secret Hitler
What stands out most to me about SH (in terms of positives) is the high tension that happens when you're in danger of electing Hitler, or when you have to shoot someone and if you hit a liberal, it's game over, etc. Those moments are just so juicy and fantastic. There is nothing better than that moment of truth when the election has passed after 15 minutes of discussion and you have to then look the chancellor in the eye and say, "OK. Are you Hitler?" Nothing in the other games comes close to that. I got chills just now thinking about it. The relief that hits like a waterfall when they say no, or the gut wrenching feeling when they get a big devlisih grin.

In addition, the whole nature of Hitler not knowing the fascists is just plain fun. Allows for cute plays such as, as a fascist, investigate Hitler and report that he is liberal. It also removes a great deal of pressure from being a regular fascist because it is stilly pretty possible to win and to mess with people even if most everyone thinks you're a fascist. If I'm regular fascist in a large game, if I'm given a choice as chancellor early I will just burn the blue and play the red most of the time.

As for negatives...well, the order of liberals/fascists around the table can really mess with a game a ton if the teams are all grouped together consecutively. Sometimes that makes a game feel pretty lame. Or when you just can't manage to draw liberal cards when you get a liberal government. I want to be clear in saying I don't oppose RNG as a blanket rule. There are situations where it fits well and others where it doesn't. I don't think any of the random elements of SH are a positive, though.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf
First off all - Vampire is the best, hands down, for me. Base game and alien are really close, just kind of depends on what mood the group is in. Daybreak just misses the mark with roles in some ways, I think.

One of the greatest qualities of ONUW is the obvious fact that you can easily play 6 games an hour, or more if you don't dilly dally between rounds. As a lifetime lover of card games, the ability to get dealt a lot of hands in a short time is very appealing. Given the choice between one night and its multi-night cousin (just plain Ultimate Werewolf), I will choose ONUW 9 times out of 10. The longer version feels more like an "event" and less like a game, which has its own place, obviously! But in general when I think "game night", I don't like the idea of a two hour long game of social deduction where people are getting eliminated all throughout, and then several people are too exhausted to do anything else after it's over.

But anyway as for gameplay I just love the limitless avenues you have. Yes of course sometimes you get trapped in ways like revealing you are seer who saw a werewolf and then troublemaker reveals they swapped and now you're actually the werewolf. But then you evolve your game and you don't just cough up info quickly after that! You have reasons to be cagey and on your toes as village which is pretty unique and fun.

One thing that often goes overlooked which ONUW really has going for it is the tanner role (well, and the minion, to an extent). By virtue of the tanner existing, the game can become considerably more accessible to those who aren't good at lying or who haven't grasped all the nuances of the game yet. It instills this inherent doubt in villagers minds when they've caught a wolf and it also allows wolves the option of being blatantly suspicious which is, obviously, a hell of a lot easier than being an evil mastermind.

In general, two of the most fun hings about werewolf/hidden role games are 1) finding out your role, and 2) getting to leverage your special ability. This game allows rapid fire shots of endorphins in that way. I find it to be a game with very high highs and almost no lows to speak of (why get bent out of shape? What just happened was ridiculous and the next round is starting!)

Oh also, we never really use the timer. We still keep rounds short but after like 5 times playing we realized there is no actual reason to respect the arbitrary time limit. Some rounds need lots of time and others not so much.

Coup
This one I personally rank the lowest of the three. For my taste, the game feels a bit too...mechanical, in a way? Sometimes your deal stinks (double assassin! ...great) and you just flat out have to bluff early. And yes, I realize it's a bluffing game. But what I'm getting at is that particular flavor of bad deal is especially unsatisfying to me for whatever reason. Like the dude who started with captain and duke is just gonna bully everyone, or whatever.

The bluffing is more...quantifiable? I guess? Like it's very binary and driven by a series of calls. As opposed to say HS or ONUW where it's more of a group conversation that is fluid and qualitative. Also, your state of whether you're "bluffing" (so to speak) or not is long lasting and basically permanent, rather than a series of situations where you alternate back and forth between bluffing or not as a response to other people's actions.

I guess I just enjoy the broader flavor of deduction over time from a general feel for people as opposed to the turn-based, money counting type where sometimes you flat out win based almost entirely on getting a good deal with one or two lucky breaks where other people blunder a challenge that doesn't even involve you.

Also it's solo play as opposed to team play (though from the comments I guess they made a team version? I've only played the base game) which I don't like as much.

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turbopuns3
02/15/20 3:08:05 AM
#40:


Avalon is the best though I won't be elaborating at this time, lol
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turbopuns3
02/15/20 3:15:05 AM
#41:


Also somewhat contrary to some comments I just made about coup, I thoroughly enjoy cockroach poker
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cyko
02/15/20 8:18:07 AM
#42:


I still don't like bluffing games. Never have.

Azul - That is definitely a modern classic. It's also one of my go to gateway games. Casual gamers and even non-gamers seem to grasp it pretty quickly and almost everyone I've played it with has enjoyed it and wants to play it again. I think the best measure of a good gateway game is the number of people that went out and bought the game after playing it. The top 3 for me following that criteria have been Ticket to Ride, Azul, and Sushi Go Party.

Scythe - I love Scythe so much. I totally get how some people feel misled when they see the game set up and expect the game to be an alternative universe cold war game with epic battles, but I love everything about it. I appreciate that fighting battles is beneficial - but only to a certain point. I think it balances military value a lot better than most games - especially Through the Ages. I absolutely love Through the Ages, but if you ignore Military in that game, you will lose and you will likely get absolutely crushes. I like it when a game gives you the option to fight with other players if you want to, but doesn't require it to win.

Specter Ops - I would like to play it, but still haven't yet. It looks like a super-powered version of the old 80s game Scotland Yard.

Fireball Island - One of my friends in middle school owned this and it was my favorite game back then for several years. The same friend picked up the rebooted version and it really is a game of pure nostalgia. Objectively, the gameplay is simple and kind of dull - it's still just a roll (draw) and move game. But the nostalgia aspect makes it somewhat fun. If you didn't play this as a kid, I don't think you will enjoy it very much now.

Anachrony - Turbopun mentioned Anachrony. I've only played it twice. It's a long, deep worker placement game, but it's awesome. It's deep and seems really complex, but once you understand that the time paradoxes are basically just loans you need to pay back, it becomes less confusing. The game feels like it has a real story arc the way it builds toward the meteor crash and then you need to draw people into your faction as the board falls apart. It takes a while to play, but I would really love to play it again.

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Yay - BkSheikah is the guru champion of awesomeness.
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Maniac64
02/15/20 11:02:54 AM
#43:


Great_Paul posted...
I played Summer Pavilion for the first time tonight and I already like it much better than Azul. Not that I didn't like Azul, I thought it was only okay. But SP is one I definitely want to play again.

Also played Detective Club finally. Super fun game with some really funny moments.

What is detective club?

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"Hope is allowed to be stupid, unwise, and naive." ~Sir Chris
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Great_Paul
02/15/20 1:16:33 PM
#44:


Maniac64 posted...
What is detective club?

Everybody has a hand of Dixit style cards and each player receives a notepad with the same word on it. However, one person receives a blank notepad. Then in turn order players play one card face up that fits the word and it goes around one more time so each person plays two cards. Then each player must describe why they think their card fits that word. So as the person with no idea what the word is, you need to watch the cards other people play and try to think of one of your cards that might match the theme, and then make up a reason of why your card matched. Then everybody guesses who they think had no idea. It's pretty funny when people who actually knew the word played bad cards and tried to explain it because it was the best they had.

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Bear Bro
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turbopuns3
02/15/20 2:39:25 PM
#45:


Man the longer I look at this topic, the more games that come to mind that I want to talk about. I guess I've gotten much deeper into the hobby than I realized. One night a week really adds up!

But anyway, wanted to comment on viticulture. I agree with your sentiment that the ending tends to feel...abrupt. The design tricks you into thinking it's an engine builder, but in reality, it's a sprint. I haven't played a ton of it (maybe 5 games) but I've found that it's almost always more successful to just sell off two of your fields immediately, build a cottage, churn two-buck chuck (low quality wine) like a madman** and just draw as many cards as possilbe. No kidding I have won Viticulure while only planting one vine. But maybe this sort of stuff depends on the group. I've always said I want to play a game to like 100 instead of 20, because the cards are OP and it's too easy to nickel and dime your way to a win.

**edit: to clarify what I mean is mainly just sell grapes or leverage the cards that say pay a grape to do something, or whatever. And if you happen to draw a low quality order, sure go for it, but don't go out of your way
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SeabassDebeste
02/17/20 9:09:15 AM
#46:


will respond to some, but realized i never posted this one!

30. Splendor (2014)

Category: Player vs Player
Genres: Set collection, drafting, tableau-building
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 1
Game length: 25-40 minutes
Experience: 25+ plays over 20+ sessions (2015-2020) with 2-4 players, including one with Orient module
Previous ranks: 13/100 (2016), 22/80 (2018)

Summary - Three tiers of market cards, five different suits of gems. On your turn, you collect gems, reserve a card to yourself, or buy one of the cards from the market. Cards all have the same ability: they are worth a number of victory points and they offer a future discount of one on all purchases in a specific suit. The player who gets the most victory points from cards wins once a points threshold is reached.

Design - The cards in Splendor are mostly functional, depicting art no one needs but effectively communicating cost and benefit. The real physical component of Splendor that's awesome is its heavy poker-chip resources.

The game design in Splendor is as minimal as its components. On your turn you take one action, and that's it. No round structure; no intricate combos. But the few actions available to you actually have tons of different options - which three gems should you get? Should you angle for a double-dip, and will that tip your hand? Can you hoard gems effectively to deny an opponent? Is it sensible to reserve? Should you build your engine or go for the steadier points?

While it varies depending on player-count (again, hate-drafting more powerful in a two-player game than in a four-player game, while you can go really deep in resources but the market may churn faster in four), it winds up being that the best strategy in Splendor tends to be racing by going for high-value cards. In my experience, the Nobles (associated more with a Tier 1 strategy) don't tend to happen if someone pushes for the Tier 3s fast.

This runs slightly counter to what I feel is fun for most players, which is getting your engine to a point where you can pick up basically any card for free. It's said that the Cities expansion addresses this, though apparently it introduces its own issues.

Experience - Splendor has been described as an incredibly silent game. Indeed, it's math-driven and features no real reason to talk to one another. And my first game was played agonizingly, with me staring at cards and chips, hoping that no one stole what I was angling for. That was pretty painful, even though I've had fun in silent tension too. A year or two later, it was available used, and I heard that Asmodee was phasing out the original awesome heavy components. I snapped up the copy despite not having loved it the first time, and it's become a major go-to.

A nice thing about Splendor is that it's simple enough that you can actually chat over it. Additionally, it's one of the fastest games to teach, and possibly the single fastest-to-teach eurogame I know. To me, that has tremendous value. It's the game that games like Azul aspire to beat.

Future - The only thing preventing Splendor from making more appearances is that on the home front it's not loved as much. I suspect its abstractness is a bit much; slightly more thematic or "build-stuff"-y games tend to be more appreciated. That said, I got it played with some old non-gamer friends just last week, and it was a huge hit. Vindication!
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yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
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Peace___Frog
02/17/20 9:37:36 AM
#47:


Splendor is so awesome. I've yet to have an instance where I introduce it to a friend and they aren't asking to play another game of it after the first.

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~Peaf~
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KommunistKoala
02/17/20 10:48:24 AM
#48:


Splendor is good times.

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does anyone even read this
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banananor
02/17/20 11:03:20 AM
#49:


Splendor is a good one, and I've played it a decent number of times

I don't particularly recommend 2 player mode, but the strategy is different and it was interesting to learn.

Continually surprised it doesn't support more than 4

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You did indeed stab me in the back. However, you are only level one, whilst I am level 50. That means I should remain uninjured.
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Naye745
02/17/20 11:30:06 AM
#50:


splendor is very okay, it's a well designed game but i was bored of it after playing it 2-3 times tbqh

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it's an underwater adventure ride
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