Discussion in 'Traditional Non-Video Gaming Gaming' started by awdougherty, Jan 4, 2012.
Kirian will be buying the expansion shortly, if he hasn't already.
Possibly, but it's also possible that my copy of KoT is elsewhere at the moment.
I went to play Earth Reborn tonight and we got through the part where you dig through 5000 puzzle pieces to make the map and then realized we needed to also put 10000 little tokens on said map before we put everything away and ER went straight to my trade pile. Only Z-Man would publish a game like that. I've never in my life seen something that screamed more loudly, "just make a computer game out of this already!"
The good news is that we redeemed those 45 wasted minutes by trying out Core Worlds with the new expansion, which should really be called Core Worlds: The Core Game, because the expansion is so good it should have been folded into the main game from the beginning.
I used to love expansions, but got sick of how they often tacked on more mechanisms and increased setup and takedown time (not to mention playing time). This one might make me love expansions again. It comes with a bunch of cards you simply mix into the existing Core Worlds decks, so it adds zero time to setup/takedown. You get some replacement cards, too, which don't cause any problems once you've tracked down and eliminated the old cards. It should have come with new player boards with the new Core World printed on them, but they give you a token to put on the existing board instead. No big deal. Then there are six Galactic Order boards that represent one of the big new mechanisms, and all you have to do is line them up somewhere on the table. Again, no big. Each player also gets a pile of faction tokens they place on those boards throughout the game.
That's it. You play normally, only with a bunch of neat new cards mixed in, a new faction to try out, beefed up home world powers, a new card type and those awesome Galactic Order boards.
Why are they awesome? Remember those weird icons on most of the cards that weren't used in the core game? They correspond to those six boards. Each time you deploy a card that has a symbol on it, you put one of your faction tokens on the Galactic Order board that has that same symbol. At any time during your turn you can remove a token to activate that board's special power (like reduced deploy costs, an extra action, ground and fleet strength bonuses, etc.). You can even remove multiple tokens to stack bonuses. But at the end of the game, if you have the majority of tokens on a Galactic Order board, you get one point per token. And the new Core World's bonus gives you even more points if you let your tokens pile up there. The special abilities are so powerful that you are constantly tempted to use them, but the extra points they can provide at the end are also extremely valuable. It's something that opens up a ton of options without adding a lot of complexity, all while increasing the number of interesting decisions you get to make each turn.
Event cards are the other major new addition. These are mixed into the five decks you draft cards from, and when they come out during the Galactic Phase (I think that's what it's called--the one where you add cards to the center) you place them face-up on top of one another. Whatever event card is showing at the end of that phase is triggered, and the ones we saw either let players sacrifice something to get a benefit in another area, or flat-out force them to sacrifice something. They don't screw with the game too much, and once again offer up some interesting choices without bogging things down.
If you like Core Worlds, this is not a nice-to-have, it's a must-buy. The only thing I don't like about it is that it comes in a box so big you can put the core game and the expansion in it and still have enough room left over to park a small Hyundai inside it. Game-wise, it makes a great game sublime. I'll never play the core version again.
Welp. I guess I know what I'm buying next.
I got it for Christmas last year. Took it out of the box, carefully punched and bagged everything, put it all back in the box (which took forever, since it didn't fit anymore) and then put it up on BGG for trade. I'm sure there's a super fun game in there somewhere, especially with the scenario builder, but I know there's no way I'd ever get something like that to the table. Or the floor, as it were.
So glad to hear you say this. I know you're as much of a Core Worlds booster as I am. When I first read about the expansion I didn't think it sounded very interesting, but I still followed it. Some of the interviews got me more on the fence. I'm glad that they're doing something with those useless guild cards people would end up having to buy at the end of the game if they couldn't afford to actually settle a core world. Those things always stuck out like a sore thumb, so I knew they had to do with an already-planned expansion.
Can the expansion be merged with the core game enough that both could be kept in the core box, or do you need to use the expansion box and throw away the core box? I'd definitely prefer to keep the smaller box, but ultimately it doesn't matter cos they both have some pretty ugly box art.
Dear Core Worlds Guys,
Get the dudes who did the Eminent Domain box to do your next expansion.
Earth Reborn is a disaster in terms of logistics, and that's setting aside the requirement to learn through steadily more complex games. I'm huge fan of the genre but I have no idea how people play more than one game of it.
So Lock n' Load Publishing is in the middle of a Kickstarter-esque fundraiser for Eisenbach Gap: Deluxe, with stretch goals and all the trimmings. I've only played one scenario, but I liked what I played, and the $60 for two games (assuming a wargamer friend in the vicinity) seems like a deal to me.
Anyone else have experience with this system?
The expansion and main game fit pretty easily in the original box. And yeah, it's some pretty horrendous box art.
Yep, it all fits in the original box. I put it in the expansion box because I may sleeve all the cards at some point, and it would be a tight fit in the original box if you did that, methinks.
Today's happy realization: our lunchroom tables at work are exactly 3'x3', making them perfect for X-Wing. Good thing I have a core set box in my office!
Last night at game night we tried Martin Wallace's Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant.
I wish I could be more up on it, because I consider myself a big fan of Martin Wallace, and every time he's interviewed, I find his perspectives interesting. But this one really felt half baked. Almost like there was a completely different game built and then someone said "you know what the kids these days like? airplanes!" And then the bolted a theme and changed some rules to try to make it fit. Then didn't playtest it enough.
Things I liked:
1. You have to buy planes, and the game uses the same mechanic as Small World's race chooser to new planes available as ones are bought. Whats cool is that the planes are stacked in an original order where its almost like a conveyor belt of technological growth, starting from very early (and small) passenger planes and moving forward. So there's both an incentive to invest early, then rewards for buying the more modern, larger capacity planes at the end.
2. I dont understand it thematically, but stealing airports in cities from your opponents in their cities and taking passengers from them is the most interesting strategic part of the game.
Things I didnt like:
1. ALL THE TILES HAVE THE SAME BACKGROUND. Even though they have vastly different functions and places in the game, they are all the same light blue on the back, which means that if they get mixed up, they are a pain to sort out. And there are a TON of them.
2. The rulebook is awful. Grammatical errors, bad ordering, weird layouts. This probably led to a lot of our frustration with the game because it was new to all of us, and we kept finding new rules in weird places in the book which radically changed the game.
3. There is no reason to expand much beyond Europe. It really feels like the stuff outside Europe was added at the last minute, and its stuff that literally takes up half the gameboard. Expanding down there beyond the close cities is usually not worth the risk.
4. Strange next player mechanic - Basically, each player takes a turn in a round, then the first player rolls a dice and you count counterclockwise (despite the fact that every other action in the game goes around the table clockwise) by the number on the dice and the person you stop at is the first player for the next round.
Anyway, my thoughts can be pretty much summed up by the Dice Tower video review, where they seem just as befuddled as we felt after we were done.
And then as a palate cleanser, we played King of Tokyo with its new expansion (which I got for Christmas), and everyone loved it. 10/10, would play again.
Damn Skippy. I really really like the mechanic where 3 Hearts unlocks a cool personal evolution. In the base game you could get stuck in a cycle where you get knocked down into fear-of-dying range (<=4 life) and you'd basically be stuck rolling for hearts to stay alive - and if you didn't get enough hearts or you got hit more on the go-around then you were back doing nothing but trying to heal. Now healing back up also carries with it the fun of gaining new powers, so instead of feeling like it just sucks to be doing nothing but healing just to stay alive it's actually a perfectly good and fun use of your turn. There's always something to strive for on your turn that lets you feel like you're making progress and not just treading water, and that's a great thing.
I heard all sorts of bad things about the KoT expansions, but based on the reports here I think I'll add it to my next order. Thanks for the feedback, all.
It seems pretty simple (yet elegant)... what did you hear that was bad about it?
That it's overpriced for what you get, increases playing time, and adds stuff that doesn't improve the ability to strategize or otherwise help elevate the game above entropy-driven filler.
The playing time one is the most worrisome for me. I fully embrace KoT for what it is, but don't want it to overstay its welcome at the table since it's often used as a warm-up game while waiting for people or a wind-down game after a heavy Euro. A night of KoT would be hell.
EDIT: I just found this variant at BGG that I wish I would have found a long time ago. It amps up energy so more cards get into play, which I've always felt is one of the shortcomings of the game. There are all these great cards and combo possibilities, but everything is so expensive very few ever see play.
At 21.99, which is the price it appears to be (even out of stock) at Amazon right now, I would say the same thing. But at 13 to 15 (Cool stuff Inc and other places, and I think it was that price or lower on Amazon before Christmas), I think the extra monster and the completely new mechanic (which is exactly the mechanic I wanted in the game. ie, some monster individuality), I think its worth it.
As for lengthening the game, it really only did that the first time we played, because everyone was trying for hearts to see what upgrades would pop up, rather than claiming Tokyo or punching. What we found quickly was that while the upgrades are all useful, its not really a dominant strategy to try for them repeatedly, because while you are trying to do it, others are racing way ahead of you gaining VP's and energy.
Its a nice catchup mechanic, like
Reldan said, and it definitely makes the re-rolling choices more interesting. I think I would have trouble going back to the Vanilla game now. The only person who liked vanilla better was my wife, who has a massive aversion to all forms of complexity in board games, and did not like worrying about what those cards in front of other people were going to do.
Yeah - generally the evolution cards are roughly on par with a normal card that would cost you 2-4 cubes. If it weren't for being able to heal on top of getting the evolution card it would be pretty similar in terms of overall effectiveness to rolling 3 lightnings. Basically if you're at full life and randomly rolled 3 hearts you'd probably keep it as the evolution would be pretty much worth it, but my group has pretty much figured out that it's not advantageous to go out of your way to chase them down unless you actively need the healing as well.
Wader is spot-on that it only makes the game longer at first because people think chasing hearts is some sort of master strategy and wind up giving up on scoring points/damage. Once they realize it's not I think it goes back to being the same length - the changes puts a slight emphasis on healing which would make the game longer but is generally offset by the evolution card effects allowing people to score/damage faster.
There are a LOT of tiles that give you VPs for going to non-European destinations. In the game I played, getting through the middle east to Japan directly gave me like 20 VPs, and then plus I was transporting passengers 'n' getting profit points for that along the way.
An important thing is that the non-European cities go into the "overflow passenger" box, too, so after the first era, you have a big pool of passengers going to non-European places to choose from -- and if you can get big rewards there, and few rewards from fighting over an already-crowded Europe, it's definitely going to be a big win.
I will admit that we might have gotten some rules wrong. We actually restarted because we didnt' realize you could chain build airports at first, which completely changes the strategy of the game.
The thing I really like about it is the subtlety of the scoring system. You don't directly get points for building airports, or for buying planes, or for transporting passengers. But you do get points for transporting passengers efficiently (number transported minus wasted capacity), and you do get points for dominating a region, and you do get points for transporting certain high-value passengers. So you have reasons to do all the core activities, even as none of them is an end in itself.
That level of indirection made it feel a bit more thinky. In more straightforward game, you might be like "Okay, I'll build an airport in Berlin" or "I'll take a passenger from Paris to Berlin." In Aeroplanes, that may or may not actually help you win -- you might just be killing time with moves that seem to advance a goal, but really don't get you anywhere. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should.
But even that gets messed up because of the way the rules are written. As I understood it, that "efficient scoring" happens at the end of each era. But the handout cards tell you that it happens at the end of the round, but tell you to subtract from all the planes you bought that era. I am still not sure we were doing the scoring right.
The scoring happens at the end of each era, for sure. There's no scoring at the end of every turn!
I've never bought from the BGG vendors, but I figure some of you have. I found that the best price I could see for El Caballero was $25; it being a modest box about the size of Battle Lines from what I recall, I didn't worry about it. But when I got the tab by email, it was 25$+12$. While the total sum is still not terrible, I was annoyed at a 30% markup via shipping (I did look for shipping prices but found nothing beforehand, and assumed 3-5$ at most). Is that just par for the course?
Always send them a geekmail first with your ZIP code to get a shipping estimate before ordering anything. $3-$5 wouldn't cover their costs, even for something that small. $12 is ridiculous.
I always give a ballpark quote and tell them that if actual shipping is lower I'll refund the difference (I only take PayPal so partial refunds are quick and painless), and if it's higher I'll eat it.
EDIT: Actually, I just looked up the box size and it's the same as Power Grid, so $12 is reasonable. Shipping sucks these days.
Balls. Thanks. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't an out and out shipping ripoff.
Shipping is insane, when you have to actually pay the real cost. I did a bunch of GMT P500s, on the basis that hey, it's the same price as ordering from a regular online store and then I get it immediately, so why not. Well, $10 of shipping for each one is why not. The first one that made the cut made me cancel the rest of my preorders instantly.
I don't like the high cost of shipping, but $10 for a normal-weight GMT game is entirely reasonable. Those things are heavy...I have vast experience with them. Occasionally, you might find better shipping online, or sale prices, but only used are you going to get a lower price where shipping is concerned.
And you can cancel your pre-orders easily, though hopefully after they've Made the Cut.
It's reasonable as a true price. But if I buy three games through P500 instead of through CSI after they're out, it's an extra $30, in effect (since CSI prices are basically the same as P500 prices, and they have free shipping).
Yes, absolutely. Then, of course, you're not doing the P-500, for whatever that's worth.
We played a demo of that a couple of years ago at Pax East run by one of the Z-man guys. He already had it all set up, so we didn't have that pain to go through. He walked us through a 2v2 scenario and it took way too long.
We all concluded that there were too many fiddly bits and too many rules to account for absolutely everything. It was like someone there said, "Hey, FFG makes games with lots of fiddly bits, so let's make a game with even more fiddly bits and then our game will be better!"
IIRC you need to play about eight or ten scenarios in order before you are at the final form of the ruleset. I played the basic one that only had melee and it still took forever. This is really what turned me off 1v1 games that I haven't tested for good. Oh wait, nevermind, what was I thinking.
The parts of that sentence can't even coexist with one another.
Man, what a crazy search mechanic. You LITERALLY search for a card from a deck of cards. Sounds intriguing. You've got to let me play this game sometimes LK.
This is one time when my instincts overruled my boardgame libido, although to be fair it was the theme that provided the first "why do I want this game" moment.
On the other end of complexity, I played a dozen or so games of Battle for Hill 218 yesterday while watching football.
As super-quick (it plays in about 5 minutes) two-player games go, this may well be my favorite. It's a lot like Hive -- simple rules, minimal setup, playing pieces to jockey for position -- but for whatever reason, Hive's never clicked for me, whereas Hill 218 has.
Not exactly. Using Search Points, you're only allowed to view the top-most card (each card is double-sided) of the Search deck; you're not allowed to fan the deck or flip through the cards indiscriminately to find the card you want. Each time you pass on the top-most card, you expend one Search Point. There are also special actions you can apply to the Search deck, such as flipping and shuffling it, if you rolled the associated icons on the Search dice.
(not aimed at you, Mysterio, of course)
Thanks for the explanation - that sounds much better. Still not quite as good as my Jump To Conclusions mat, but not much is.
Played a game of 4 player BSG tonight. The Sympathizer rules are kinda dumb (or so it felt, being the sympathizer who got tossed into the brig but still was on the human side), and our first few draws were so punitive that it was goddamn miraculous that we made it to probably 2 or 3 turns from the final jump out before finally losing.
Game kinda dragged, though, even after everyone knew what they were doing. The amount of time spent doing interesting things (actions, drawing a crisis card) is much smaller than dealing with the tedious stuff (shuffling, shuffling, shuffling; creating the destiny deck; going around the table tossing in cards; more shuffling and tallying), mostly because of the amount of shuffling involved. But I expect that this will be mitigated by playing with more people, ideally more people who have already played the game, and by not having the Cylon reveal themselves on the second bloody round of play.
When it comes to expansions, I've heard that Exodus is worth picking up but not the others? Is that so, in the opinion of Broken Forum?
One more person, no sympathizers. You are so close!
Sympathizer rule is dumb - it's a flaky mechanic to enable them to take a game that's balanced when there's 60% humans and 40% cylons at the table and try to cut the baby when you don't have the number of players such a design actually works for. It's not fun being the baby though, because to make the math ratio work out you either have to be a less-productive-than-normal human (the brigging) or a gimp "cylon".
Exodus single-handedly fixes the worst mechanic in the game - the space combat. The space combat is supposed to be the thing that gives everybody something to do and/or prepare for, but having it only happen by random crisis draw and then having Jumping work to effectively destroy the entire Cylon fleet every time leaves this a busted mechanic that fails to provide a consistent sense of threat. Exodus rules say that you take all the "Cylon Attack" cards out of the crisis deck (which means you get an actual crisis every turn) and that Jumping only temporarily escapes the Cylon ships - the game tracks how many and where the Cylon fleet was and they catch back up quickly. You have to fight back, or you will get overwhelmed because the number of Cylon ships will just grow and grow. You run into interesting situations like when every single Raider is on the board at once and you honestly need them to be blowing up civilians because the risk of letting the cylon players roll 16 attacks on galactica (damage on an 8!) is too much.
Pegasus is not as critical as Exodus, but without it you might find the rules under Exodus too hard for the human players (especially starting out). The Pegasus board itself is geared towards direct confrontation with the Cylons, which sadly doesn't become an important part of the gameplay until Exodus. Pegasus by itself is a "meh" expansion, but if you have Exodus then Pegasus actually shines.
In short, without Exodus I do not recall a game ever actually ending due to Galactica being destroyed. With Exodus I'd say that becomes a 50/50 victory condition for the Cylon players (along with the usual 0 resource win). This is more fun for the Cylons because they have multiple paths to win, and it's more fun for the Humans because there's more to do to fend the Cylons off. Increasing individual player agency in a co-op game is always a good thing.
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