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"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." – Dean Martin


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INFURIATING THINGS IN BOARD GAME RULEBOOKS

The following thing I find infuriating in the rulesbooks for board games:

Multiple Gameplay Walkthroughs- Having more than 1 gameplay runthrough, with the rules split between them, makes it extremely hard to look-up rules. It also confuses people as they are trying to go through the rules to learn the game. Have all the rules in one spot in a logical order. See Portal Games for the worst examples.

Missing Significant Rules- If something is in the game, it should be defined in the rulebook. This is a problem with Kickstarters, with terms defined (oftentimes not intuitively) on cards that are just missing from the rulebook. See Endure the Stars (1st Edition).

No Player Aids or Rules Only on Summary- The summary should give you the rules that have been explained in depth elsewhere. If your game has 11 different actions (with effects that aren’t indicated anywhere) and an action only fully defined on a summary, you need a decent player aid and blind test. See In The Name of Odin.

Wall of Text- This is self-explanatory. Things should be set out with headings, examples, etc. Having just a wall of text to try to find rules and definitions is a nightmare. See Ravens of Thrh-Sahari.

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Kickstarter Board Game Thoughts (15 June)

Well, wasn’t this a busy month for boardgames on kickstarter and through retail. So here are my latest thoughts on a few boardgame kickstarters that have started up recently:

EPIC AF by AWFUL FANTASY: This game re-implements the awesome Warhammer Quest: Adventure Card Game system. Unfortunately, the theme and artwork is not serious nor cartoony, instead trying to be tongue-in-cheek. I see this struggling to get to the table, similar to Cthulhu Realms. So this will be a pass.

HUMAN INTERFACE: BE A BETTER HUMAN by POSTINDUSTRIAL GAMES: This is a stand-alone expansion to Human Interface: Nakamura Tower. It offers plastic miniatures and playing out of the box. However, the first game wasn’t anything special compared to Necromunda or similar and the rules and miniature quality were sub-par at best. A hard pass.

RONE (2nd Edition) and RONE EXPANSIONS by STEPAN STEFANOVIK: This seems like an interesting game. It takes the rotating damage idea from Blood Bowl and makes a full fledged Magic-style duel game from it. Unfortunately, the lack of any proper reviews of the first edition means that I am hesitant to pull the trigger on it. It is currently a pass but free shipping and decent reviews could turn it around.

BLOOD AND DUST by MATEUS ALBRICHT: Well, it hasn’t set the world on fire after being launched. But Exiled: Siege was really solid and good (with some poor component choices, though), and this looks like a detailed miniatures game minus the miniatures and on a grid. This looks cool, and I am hoping we get some more armies in there. A proven track record nails it for me. Backed.

METAL DAWN by EVERYTHING EPIC: So this game looks like Dead of Winter but full co-op, progressing characters and a final boss fight. Looks very cool, but the price point seems high (compared to the plethora of miniature games out there). There is also a lack of videos showing this off, which makes me hesitant. At the moment, it is a tentative backed but the heavy competition might make this a reluctant pass.

Well, wasn’t this a busy month for boardgames on kickstarter and through retail. So here are my latest thoughts on a few boardgame kickstarters that have started up recently:

EPIC AF by AWFUL FANTASY: This game re-implements the awesome Warhammer Quest: Adventure Card Game system. Unfortunately, the theme and artwork is not serious nor cartoony, instead trying to be tongue-in-cheek. I see this struggling to get to the table, similar to Cthulhu Realms. So this will be a pass.

HUMAN INTERFACE: BE A BETTER HUMAN by POSTINDUSTRIAL GAMES:  This is a stand-alone expansion to Human Interface: Nakamura Tower. It offers plastic miniatures and playing out of the box. However, the first game wasn’t anything special compared to Necromunda or similar and the rules and miniature quality were sub-par at best. A hard pass.

RONE (2nd Edition) and RONE EXPANSIONS by STEPAN STEFANOVIK: This seems like an interesting game. It takes the rotating damage idea from Blood Bowl and makes a full fledged Magic-style duel game from it. Unfortunately, the lack of any proper reviews of the first edition means that I am hesitant to pull the trigger on it. It is currently a pass but free shipping and decent reviews could turn it around.

BLOOD AND DUST by MATEUS ALBRICHT: Well, it hasn’t set the world on fire after being launched. But Exiled: Siege was really solid and good (with some poor component choices, though), and this looks like a detailed miniatures game minus the miniatures and on a grid. This looks cool, and I am hoping we get some more armies in there. A proven track record nails it for me. Backed.

METAL DAWN by EVERYTHING EPIC: So this game looks like Dead of Winter but full co-op, progressing characters and a final boss fight. Looks very cool, but the price point seems high (compared to the plethora of miniature games out there). There is also a lack of videos showing this off, which makes me hesitant. At the moment, it is a tentative backed but the heavy competition might make this a reluctant pass.

Well, wasn’t this a busy month for boardgames on kickstarter and through retail. So here are my latest thoughts on a few boardgame kickstarters that have started up recently:

EPIC AF by AWFUL FANTASY: This game re-implements the awesome Warhammer Quest: Adventure Card Game system. Unfortunately, the theme and artwork is not serious nor cartoony, instead trying to be tongue-in-cheek. I see this struggling to get to the table, similar to Cthulhu Realms. So this will be a pass.

HUMAN INTERFACE: BE A BETTER HUMAN by POSTINDUSTRIAL GAMES:  This is a stand-alone expansion to Human Interface: Nakamura Tower. It offers plastic miniatures and playing out of the box. However, the first game wasn’t anything special compared to Necromunda or similar and the rules and miniature quality were sub-par at best. A hard pass.

RONE (2nd Edition) and RONE EXPANSIONS by STEPAN STEFANOVIK: This seems like an interesting game. It takes the rotating damage idea from Blood Bowl and makes a full fledged Magic-style duel game from it. Unfortunately, the lack of any proper reviews of the first edition means that I am hesitant to pull the trigger on it. It is currently a pass but free shipping and decent reviews could turn it around.

BLOOD AND DUST by MATEUS ALBRICHT: Well, it hasn’t set the world on fire after being launched. But Exiled: Siege was really solid and good (with some poor component choices, though), and this looks like a detailed miniatures game minus the miniatures and on a grid. This looks cool, and I am hoping we get some more armies in there. A proven track record nails it for me. Backed.

METAL DAWN by EVERYTHING EPIC: So this game looks like Dead of Winter but full co-op, progressing characters and a final boss fight. Looks very cool, but the price point seems high (compared to the plethora of miniature games out there). There is also a lack of videos showing this off, which makes me hesitant. At the moment, it is a tentative backed but the heavy competition might make this a reluctant pass.

Well, wasn’t this a busy month for boardgames on kickstarter and through retail. So here are my latest thoughts on a few boardgame kickstarters that have started up recently:

EPIC AF by AWFUL FANTASY: This game re-implements the awesome Warhammer Quest: Adventure Card Game system. Unfortunately, the theme and artwork is not serious nor cartoony, instead trying to be tongue-in-cheek. I see this struggling to get to the table, similar to Cthulhu Realms. So this will be a pass.

HUMAN INTERFACE: BE A BETTER HUMAN by POSTINDUSTRIAL GAMES:  This is a stand-alone expansion to Human Interface: Nakamura Tower. It offers plastic miniatures and playing out of the box. However, the first game wasn’t anything special compared to Necromunda or similar and the rules and miniature quality were sub-par at best. A hard pass.

RONE (2nd Edition) and RONE EXPANSIONS by STEPAN STEFANOVIK: This seems like an interesting game. It takes the rotating damage idea from Blood Bowl and makes a full fledged Magic-style duel game from it. Unfortunately, the lack of any proper reviews of the first edition means that I am hesitant to pull the trigger on it. It is currently a pass but free shipping and decent reviews could turn it around.

BLOOD AND DUST by MATEUS ALBRICHT: Well, it hasn’t set the world on fire after being launched. But Exiled: Siege was really solid and good (with some poor component choices, though), and this looks like a detailed miniatures game minus the miniatures and on a grid. This looks cool, and I am hoping we get some more armies in there. A proven track record nails it for me. Backed.

METAL DAWN by EVERYTHING EPIC: So this game looks like Dead of Winter but full co-op, progressing characters and a final boss fight. Looks very cool, but the price point seems high (compared to the plethora of miniature games out there). There is also a lack of videos showing this off, which makes me hesitant. At the moment, it is a tentative backed but the heavy competition might make this a reluctant pass.


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Orcs Must Die Board Game- Initial Impressions

So I finally had a chance to sit down with Orcs Must Die to play through it a couple of times. So far my first impressions have been pretty positive but there are definitely some negative things that temper it.

I have only played the vanilla game so far so haven’t had a chance to use Bosses or the Critter Pack, but the game is pretty fun. You have to balance immediate defense with long-term gain and more expensive upgrades. Your heroes progress with their upgrades, attacks and special abilities while minions pour in. Everything is scaled, with Tier 1/2/3 cards all being separated…

… Except for the army cards. The army cards are all random so you are at the mercy of these. For a 20-30 minute game (like Pandemic), not a problem. However, if you don’t get enough minions early and  large minions later, you don’t earn enough to upgrade and kill them. I am not sure how this didn’t come up in playtesting, but having scaled army cards or at least even cards would be good (as the minions auto-scale between rounds). My solution would be having them even, and then draw 1 on Round 1, 2 on Round 2, then shuffle and 3 on Round 3 (so you know what is coming). Or just have them as Tier 1/2/3 as per the items and traps.

The other thing is that most the abilities and traps are simply ‘boost damage/dice rolled for damage’. There are not many wacky, out there abilities to play around with. The monsters have some good variety although they have this same problem, so I am hoping adding in Bosses and the Hero Pack and Critter Pack may improve this. Also it looks like a missed opportunity to have different Critters in each pack (and then, instead of a separate critter pack, you can combine these for more variety).

Overall, I am still happy with the purchase. However, I think the extra’s are going to add the variety (particularly Bosses, Heroes and Critter pack) that will really give this game legs. I guess it is similar to Cthulhu Wars in that regard, which is potentially worrying trend with Peterson Games.


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Game Themes and Lords of Waterdeep

I was recently playing the Lords of Waterdeep board game and just couldn’t find myself getting into it. I am normally big into game themes and realised that the main problem is I didn’t feel like a Lord of Waterdeep. It just felt like I was pushing cubes around instead of directing what the cubes are meant to represent- Adventurers. Also, for controlling adventurers, their is very little conflict or attacking (outside the euro-game thing of blocking actions). I would have really been more into this game if they used meeples or shaped tokens as opposed to different colours of cube for wizards, fighters, etc. Giving  the option to attack other players would have also helped. As it stands, I don’t think the mechanics or the game is strong enough and the theme not really good enough to make it a must-play for me.