New to us: Recent successes and disappointments

WorkingMike
WorkingMike
edited July 2016 in Tabletop Gaming
Mare Nostrum: Empires is quite good. There is a little downtime for bookkeeping, but overall it has kept me engaged throughout each of our games. It looks like a wargame and plays like a euro.

Ginkgopolis - I scored a copy of this at Dice Tower Con and it has quickly risen to the top of our favorites list. It's a tile laying game with economy and area control mixed in. A little fiddly and sometimes random (The expansion fixes this), it's great fun and our entire group loved it.

What's He Building in There!? - do you want to build a doomsday machine in your garage? Sure you do, but you'll need to procure the resources to do so and construct an escape plan as well. It runs a little long and can be a wee bit brain burning, but we all enjoyed it.

Mombasa - A really well implemented euro. Players are assuming shares of companies in Africa and expanding those companies into the region. There are many interlocking parts and they are all beautifully done. We all loved it, our best purchase of the year.

Scythe - my buddy Nate backed the collectors edition on Kickstarter and we played it at Dice Tower. It was a little longer than we expected, but with a learning game that was understandable. We both walked away a little disappointed, as it seemed to be both a euro and an area control game, but not very elegant. Where Mare Nostrum (and even Mombasa a little) is able to take different mechanics and blend them in a way that plays quick and makes your decisions seem to matter, Scythe tries to be all things and your actions seem a little less important somehow. We all loved the Upgrade action though, it's very clever.

We played again last night and the entire table was very "Meh". I was actually bored by the end of the game ("Most of my crap is out and I already moved last turn, so I guess I will go for popularity"). We Love Viticulture (well, we love Tuscany) and were all very surprised at how much we didn't care for it.

If anyone has 200 bucks Nate is selling his copy :)

Onitama - What a cool game! Basically it's kung-fu chess. I was underwhelmed by The Duke, but I love this game. Great pub game!

Student Bodies - My buddy picked this up cheap. Zombies have risen (are we done with zombies yet?) and the players are high school students. You must make it to the science lab, quaff an antidote and escape. It is anti-cooperative, as everyone is trying to screw you over and be the first out. If you get killed on the way you rise as a zombie and try to kill the players, which is cool. We've played it twice and had some good laughs both times.

Pi Mal Pflaumen - a neat little trick taking game (called Plums in the english edition I think). Collect fruit and fill victory cards.

Barony - a cool area control game by Marc Andre, the designer of Splendor. I expected to hate it (I'm not terribly fond of Splendor) and I really had a fun time. It's pretty abstract and yet everything works well, with a bit of a tug of war between players at the table.

Neolithic - I love games by John Clowdus, who's company (Small Box Games) specializes in small. aggressive card driven games. This one is a little different as it's a civ game in a tiny box you play in 30 minutes. Really fun little two player game.

Bear Valley - I really like Carl Chudyk games. I love GtR, and really enjoy Mottainai and Impulse. I hated this, it was weird and a little too fiddly and super random, even for him. Perhaps with multiple plays I will find something I like, but I will never know as I intend to never play this shit game again.

Yokohama - they demoed this at DTC and my wife and I played a little. It's superficially similar to Istanbul, but to the Nth degree. The artwork was hideous, hopefully the Deluxe Edition I backed on KS cleans it up some, but the game was fast and fun. I really appreciate elegance of design and this one had it.

Wombat Rescue - Did you know that wombats poop cubes? They do and that is how they navigate. Fun little game that took twice as long as it should have, this one is destined for the Trade pile.

Anyway, that isn't all we've played, but some of the highlights. On deck is Age of Discovery and Urban Sprawl. I think we are playing Concept this week as well for a few laughs.






Comments

  • Lordnine
    Lordnine
    GT Member
    I’m surprised at your “meh” impression of Scythe. My group loves it. The early fight for the Factory, laying out your workers as human shields, using your mobility power to sneak enemy resources is all good fun.

    I’m a little confused how someone could have all their stuff out and have not ended the game. Once stars start appearing they show up in mass. The last game we played I managed to get 3 stars out on the same turn, thus ending the game. Also, popularity is the most important resource you can go for. It should feel like a rush to hit the third tier of popularity and then force end the game before your opponents can catch up. That or realize that you are never going to hit the third tier and force an end as soon as you secure some form of advantage.
  • WorkingMike
    WorkingMike
    GT Member
    On paper it should be a great fit for us, but after a couple of plays it simply didn't fit with our group. i think timing your stars is pretty important and perhaps that was something we didn't fully grasp in our plays. We all agreed that it felt a little bloated.

    We played with 5 players both times, maybe player count was part of it? Nate and I wanted the combat to be something else as well. I understand that it isn't the focus of the game, but it felt a little lackluster.

    We loved the upgrade mechanic and the popularity loss from attacking other players workers.

    I have other games that fit better for us (Age of Discovery was a hit), so I'll write this off as more of a player issue than a game issue.

  • Bullwinkle
    Bullwinkle
    GT Member
    I've heard a number of people with similar impressions of Scythe (though overall the impressions on BGG seem very positive).

    I guess it's mildly divisive?
  • Lordnine
    Lordnine
    GT Member
    on 1469550056:


    We played with 5 players both times, maybe player count was part of it? Nate and I wanted the combat to be something else as well. I understand that it isn't the focus of the game, but it felt a little lackluster.

    We loved the upgrade mechanic and the popularity loss from attacking other players workers.



    We have played most games with five but yeah, the game is about the threat of combat versus outright aggression. You always need enough military might to defend your resources but you probably won’t use it unless you decide to keep all your goods on a single tile. The one exception is the black faction (I don’t remember the name) who can use combat to fast track the game. Since he is not limited in the number of stars he places from combat, he can easily end the game at any time once he has three stars.

    In all the games we’ve played, I think the most battles fought in a single game were 5, and usually they are over the factory in the center.
  • WorkingMike
    WorkingMike
    GT Member
    on 1469556601:

    I've heard a number of people with similar impressions of Scythe (though overall the impressions on BGG seem very positive).

    I guess it's mildly divisive?


    That has been my experience as well, I'll be really interested to see if this one has staying power after the "cult of the new" wears off. I really think it was more us and our expectations, rather than the game itself.

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