surrealcouchuniverse

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


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THINGS I LOOK FOR IN BOARD-GAME KICKSTARTERS

So no new music has been added to the playlist. No big new kickstarters have come out. So I thought I would just talk about what I normally look for when deciding to back a Kickstarter:

History of Delivering Games- Kickstarter isn’t about companies delivering on dreams anymore. It is much more of a pre-order service. For this, I look for the history of a company delivering quality products (well reviewed games) in the past.

Good Customer Support- Similarly, I know Kickstarter’s often have first print runs. However, a company that doesn’t seem interesting in addressing issues with previous kickstarters (errors, component quality, etc.) isn’t going to get my money.

Uniqueness in the Game- Probably less important than the other two, I am looking for games that give me some advantage to getting a Kickstarter. Whether this is unique components or Kickstarter bonuses (although I hate the practice of game-affecting exclusives). I need something to justify spending the money when waiting for retail will likely be cheaper.

That is what I look for. Sometimes companies can succeed and then fail later, in which case they will have to earn my trust. As a Kickstarter backer, I am not a proto-typer or investor. Pure and simple, I give you money (including some for postage) and I should get a quality, tested game.


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BOARD GAMES I PLAY IMMEDIATELY

The following is a list of board games that I would play immediately (pending organising a group) when they come out:

TIME STORIES: A bit hard to organise as we need a group of 4, but as soon as it comes out I am ordering it and giving people the heads up to organise a day. This is definitely a game I will drop most things to play but is slightly hamstrung by needing to organise the same group of 4.

UNLOCK: Also by Space Cowboys, I will try to organise people to come around and play it immediately to see what new tricks they have in store for us. I would imagine that EXIT or Deckscape would be similar to this if I played them.

MANSIONS OF MADNESS 2nd EDITION: When a new scenario or update comes out, I look forward to playing this. This also has the advantage that I can play it solo quite effectively and then have things play out differently if I play it again.

The only other game that may be added in is Arkham Horror Living Card Game when I have the chance to play it a bit more. I have read the rules but just need time to sit down an give it a play. The Scythe expansions (I think 2 more are coming soon) are also instant buys to want to play.

 


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Board Game Movements

 Well, 2017 has seen some movement in the games collection. Some unplayed/unenjoyed games have been traded off (CO2, Swarm, Dice Masters, B.Sieged, Endure the Stars). However, it is nearly a 1:1 trade with what has also come in. Here is a quick summary of the added games:

Kickstarter: Kickstarter delivered on Mistfall Heart of the Mists Expansion and Perditions Mouth: Abyssal Rift. These games are games I am looking forward to trying out, although travel commitments means it may not be for awhile.

Trade: Trade saw Warhammer Invasion, ZPocalypse, Ravens of Sri Sihari, Dust Strategy Game and Ginkgopolis come in. These are all games I wanted to try (and Ginkgopolis was a bit of a grail game for me), so really looking forward to trying these out.

Retail: Retail was mostly games that were to fill gaps in my collection. Cry Havoc and Clash of Giants are some good war games, Doom and TMNT: Shadows of the Past are 1 vs all games, and Ultimate Warriorz and Ethnos just looked cool.

So, with nearly half the year done, the collection saw some cycling happen. There are still games on the to-sell list (New Zealand is a small market), but the collection is looking good.


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Thoughts On Some Board Game Kickstarters

The following is a list of a few board game Kickstarters that I feel like talking about and my thoughts on them:

GLOOMHAVEN – BACKING: After the Dice Tower’s glowing review, I am kicking myself I missed the first Kickstarter. But the second, updated printing is coming and I have no shortage of games to play until then.

RISE TO NOBILITY – BACKING: I backed this at the deluxe level because of free shipping (actually making it cheaper then the tier below) and because it looks like a Stone Age/Castles of Burgundy hybrid. It also is from a proven publisher, and Cavern Tavern has good reviews from what I have gathered.

VILLAGE ATTACKS- CANCELLED: I jumped on the early bird pledge, but cancelled. I love the theme, but Endure the Stars was a broken mess where the designer didn’t bother with proper blind testing. That and it just kept trying to sell add-ons.

CITY OF KINGS- BACKED: This looks like Mage Knight but you have workers to go gather resources. I really like the art and the Rahdo run-through so am really looking forwards to this.

PETRICHOR- UNDECIDED: This looks pretty with a compelling theme. However, it also looks very take-that and the shipping is expensive. But I love Great Dinosaur Rush so may jump back in before the end.

BARBARIANS THE INVASION- WAIT FOR RETAIL: The Rondel looks cool, but I will wait for retail. Nothing in the Kickstarter looks like it will bother me not having it as retail, so I can probably pick it up cheaper. If the expansion map unlocks (which is KS exclusive), I may look into it a bit more.


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CARD GAME: CTHULHU REALMS

Cthulhu Realms is a game I really like. Similar to Star Realms, it feels a bit less swingy. However, one of the things that really bothers me about this is the artwork. The artwork is horrendous. Choosing to go with a satirical-cartoony style (compared to how Star Realms make space lobsters look serious.

Which is a shame. It comes with enough cards for four players (as well as rules) and decent scoring tracks. However, the bad artwork makes me shy away from this game. In my opinion, this was a really poor design choice for this game and takes me out of the game too much. Which is a same: this could have been a real winner.


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7 Wonders- Over-rated?

I recently watched the Dice Tower list of over-rated games, and 1 game that kept showing up was 7 Wonders. They seemed to focus on the game being about card-drafting and how more card drafting games have come up. However, I feel this ignores the biggest strengths of 7 Wonders.

In effect, the card drafting is a way to keep the play time down (with simultaneous play) in order to effect the civilisation building. And this civilisation building, particularly around the escalation between ages (Age 3 cards score more points than Age 1, but Age 1 are the foundation cards). Games like Fairy Tales and Between 2 Cities use a similar card drafting but without this escalation, they tend to feel quite dry quite quickly (despite playing quickly).

Other games could learn how they can use a mechanic like card drafting to keep play-time down while still providing a full civilisation game. This includes things like tech-trees, game escalation. Instead, allot of drafting games I play tend to be doing the same things from beginning to end. In conclusion, I don’t think 7 Wonders is over-rated but is really good and appealing for what it does, appealing as a gateway game and a heavier game (especially with some of the expansions).


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Board Games and Computer Games

Both computer games and board games have good things to offer. I guess the main thing is what sort of experience you are after at the time.

Board games are great to get to meet a bunch of people physically. Also, due to set-up time and actual physical components, I always found it easier to get invested in a board game where quitting is harder. And once you have a board game, you can normally play it at any time at a moments notice.

Computer games are fun to play if you are more a solitary gamer. They are also much easier to organise, often not requiring specific nights or geographic proximity to play multiplayer with friends. Extra variety is also great, with mod’s for games and custom maps often giving games new life after they have been around for awhile. And if you don’t like a game, you can switch at a moments notice.

So which one wins for me. If I have a choice, I normally go for board games. However, due to the convenience of computer games, I often play more computer games (as I don’t tend to have a choice due to availability and timeframes). Also, if I feel like trying something new, computer games make it much easier (from both a convenience and financial perspective).