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#121 Jason Panella

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 09:59 AM

Whoa. That sounds incredible. Is it readily available around the world?

I'm going to continue to plug Arkham Horror as a game. It's fairly expensive ($50), and there are currently four optional expansions (two big-box ones at $40 each and two smaller ones at $20 each).

The game is based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, the eccentric guy that influenced everyone from Stephen King to Neil Gaiman. For the record, his stories are really hit or miss, his creativity was just jaw-dropping.

It's for 1 8 players, and you basically play against the game. That said, teamwork is a must. Everyone plays an 'investigator' in 1920s Massachusetts; you can be a jazz musician, a soldier, a student, you name it. The players goal is to stop the various creepy things from destroying the fictional town of Arkham (or Kingsport and Dunwich with the expansions). Players have encounters at various places in the town, collect clues to close and seal portals, buy weapons or spells or an education to fight the Elder Gods. The amount of re-playability it through the roof; with the expansions, I now have over 50 different investigators, 20 Elder Gods (the main bad guys running the show), dozens of different encounters for each location, hundreds and hundreds of items, spells, etc.

One downside is that the game is unforgiving. There's a good chance that everyone will lose. A very good chance. The game is rule heavy too, with hundreds of little chips and counters and things. It has a lot of similarities to a traditional pencil and paper role playing game, rule-wise. The game also consumes entire evenings or afternoons; my friends and I found out that if we start playing after 8 p.m., we might as well quit right away since we're normally too exhausted to finish.

But it's REALLY well put together, well illustrated and written. Highly recommended, but it's definitely not every board gamers' cup of tea.

#122 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 02:15 AM

I stumbled on "Wordthief" at our block sale. A card game owinf a debt to Scrabble, all are dealt seven cards. One card turned up as "Trump". The rest is a "kitty". Bonus for longest word per round and for most words. Suits are significant. Multi-suit words can be stolen to make words of your own. The original wordcrafter loses the letter points, not any bonuses. Flushes are locked and double scored. Trump flush words are triple score. Game ends when no cards are left to draw and someone runs out of cards. Our addiction to this game has spawned a quest for other word games.

#123 John Drew

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 10:40 AM

Alright, I went through this entire thread hoping to see a couple of posts about who was the greatest player at achieving total world domination. But imagine how shocked I was not to see a single post about RISK....

#124 Jason Panella

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 10:45 AM

QUOTE (Baal_T'shuvah @ Aug 16 2008, 11:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Alright, I went through this entire thread hoping to see a couple of posts about who was the greatest player at achieving total world domination. But imagine how shocked I was not to see a single post about RISK....


Risk is a great game, but it's one I can only handle in small doses. I think I've gotten hooked by more German-style board games in the past year or two, so Risk is also, uh, seeming sort of tame in comparison. (Don't hit me, please! biggrin.gif )

#125 yank_eh

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 03:25 AM

This year, I have been the benefactor of a strengthening friendship with an absolute board-game nut. He claims 75% of his possessions are games! And when he goes away this summer for work, <cue maniacal laughter> my home becomes his storehouse. 'twill be a superlatively gamey summer.

Without further ado, a new fave:

Dominion - For 2-4 players. It is essentially a customizable card game (CCG) but since it includes all the necessary cards, you can forgo all the collecting and trading nonsense. I hear there is an expansion in the works but I don't expect the quantity of expansions to get out of hand. The game doesn't need them. At least not for a long while. My wife and I played it every dinnertime for almost an entire month and didn't get tired of it.

From Board Game Geek:

QUOTE
In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can "buy" as they can afford them. Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end.


Every game is different or can be, based on which 10 (of 30 or so) action cards you choose to play with. It's also a quick play with games typically lasting less than half an hour. I highly recommend it for anyone even mildly interested in games.

I'll be back soon to share a few more new discoveries.

#126 yank_eh

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 03:35 AM

QUOTE (yank_eh @ Apr 11 2009, 01:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This year, I have been the benefactor of a strengthening friendship with an absolute board-game nut.


Whoops. Meant to say 'beneficiary,' not 'benefactor.'

#127 SudsySutherland

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 01:29 PM

Board games are a fantastic past time when I was growing up. My parents weren't the norm, and didn't get us Nintendo or Sega... We had PC's though, but when you use a Commadore 64... You might as well set up a board game while your game loads ("Jumpman" anyone? "Gunship"? "Donkey Kong"?)!

My dad and I were very into the strategic and tactical simulations using hex or square based maps, war gaming!
Afrika Corps by Avalon Hill, a great campaign game about the North Africa Campaign in WWII prior to American involvement in WWII, Germany versus the British.
Tactics II by Avalon Hill was an introduction to strategic level war gaming. Was great the first ten games or so, then using the Optional Rules like weather were a welcome addition to break up the monotany of the game...
Starfire I, II, and III, by Task Force Games was a fantastic tactical level starship combat game. Think Star Wars space opera style space combat.
Ogre/GEV, by Steve Jackson Games the quintisential science fiction tactical armored warfare game invovling self aware cyber tanks with the equivelent fire power of a tank company

Of course, there was Risk and Axis and Allies, but those just paled in comparison to the above games for me...

Right now, I play Munchkin Quest with some friends and family along the the various Munchkin card games (my personal favorite being Star Munchkin). These are fantastic paradies of mostly science fiction, fantasy, and gaming culture...

#128 metalfoot

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 09:42 AM

Don't know how I ever missed posting on this before. But sure:

Carcassonne and especially The Ark of the Covenant version.
Lord of the Rings RISK (because the theme fits and works and the movement of the ring keeps the game from devolving into endless stalemate).
Hey! That's My Fish --- great strategy with simple gameplay.
Full House --- a simple roll-and-move game that I grew up playing, about hotel management.



#129 Jason Panella

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 12:50 AM

Two games I want to plug:

-Race to the Galaxy, from Rio Grande. It's basically a card-based game with little scoring chits. It has a steep first-five-minute learning curve until you realize that, hey, it's actually kind of easy. Players try to create the first big galactic civilization, and try to gather resources and so on as you go. There are five main actions, and you're only able to play one per turn (one lets you add some cards to your hand, another will let various colonies or planets produce resources). What's neat is, you only go through the actions picked; if one player decides to settle a planet, the other players can also settle a planet that turn then too, but the player that actually CHOSE the action gets a bonus. So the game requires some tactics, since have to weigh your benefits against how that action will benefit (or, in a few cases, hinder) your opponent. Very well-designed, with tons and tons of cards in the basic set (there are two expansions as of now, too, that also raise the number of allowable players from 4 to 6). I believe it's currently ranked at #11 on Board Game Geek (kind of like the Metacritic of board games).

-Betrayal at House on the Hill, from Avalon Hill/Wizards of the Coast. I picked this up a few years ago from one of those seasonal board game stores that pop up in shopping malls around Christmas, and it was marked down 90% or something ridiculous like that. It sat on the shelf of my favorite coffee shop for two years, and I could never get anyone to play it. I finally took the time to figure it out, and it's pretty awesome. Basically, you and the other players are various Hammer horror film stereotypes (spunky kid, cool young guy, troubled priest, etc.), and you explore a haunted mansion. The game has a really randomized house generation system, which is where a lot of the fun comes from: when you go through a door, you look at the top of the shuffled house tiles, and if the tile can be placed on your floor (upper, ground, basement), that's the room you enter into. It makes for some funky layouts, but more often than not it's pretty cool. As the players work together, various events are triggered, and before too long, one of the players triggers the "Haunt." At this point, one of the players (usually) becomes the traitor, and everyone refers to either the good guy or the bad guy rule book to see how to play the scenario (it's different for either side). There might be a scenario, for instance, where the traitor controls doppelgangers of the other players, and he'll win when he kills the other players (and the good guys will win when each kills their own doppelganger). The various scenarios are MAJORLY broken, though, which has led to an entire community to revise the rules. Having played through a few of the fixed scenarios, it's pretty dang fun. Also, it turns out that the game went out of print right after I bought it, and is fetching around $300 (US) on eBay. I'm kind of tempted to sell it, but it's fun enough that I want to keep it!

There's also a game called Dominion that I want to check out. It's been winning tons, and TONS of awards over the past year. Anyone played it?

#130 M. Leary

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 08:13 AM

You find the best games. I have been looking for someone that plays Arkham Horror ever since you posted that. Still no luck.

#131 Jason Panella

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:27 AM

You find the best games. I have been looking for someone that plays Arkham Horror ever since you posted that. Still no luck.


After so many brutal sessions of this game, I'm trying to find someone that plays too! :)

#132 Jason Panella

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:24 AM

If any of you are interested in a great way to learn about board games in general, I can't recommend The Dice Tower highly enough. Not only is Tom Vasel — the main creative force behind the podcast/review site — very well-respected in the game industry, he's also a Christian missionary in South Korea. His reviews are funny, energetic and enlightening.

#133 SDG

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:35 AM

How have I missed this thread all this time? I've just been thinking about getting some new board games, and I'm looking forward to going back through the whole thread.

Has the subject of target age come up yet? I'm sure no one will be shocked to learn I'm most interested in games for up to five or six players, ideally accessible to younger children as well as interesting and engaging to older ones. Any highlights from the thread spring to mind?

Jason, thx for recommending Vasel's site.

Edited by SDG, 11 November 2009 - 11:35 AM.


#134 Jason Panella

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:44 AM

Jason, thx for recommending Vasel's site.


No problem, Steve. As far as age, Tom has several daughters that are all fairly young, so he has some kid-specific Top 10 lists on his site. (In fact, all of those lists are worth reading.)

#135 metalfoot

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:25 PM

Also recommended: Tanga.com has daily deals on board games and such. Plus daily puzzles to solve.

#136 Jason Panella

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:30 PM

Thanks for the link, metalfoot.

I'll share Funagain Games. They claim to have the largest collection of games on the Internet (and from what I've seen, can do so rightfully). Very cool site. I actually have a box with Dominion and some Power Grid cards coming in the mail soon from them. I'm excited!

#137 Jason Panella

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 02:01 PM

I'm starting a bi-monthly board game review column for a magazine, and I'm trying to think of a snappy title. Any suggestions? My sense of snap is, er, lacking today.

#138 Christian

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 02:55 PM

I'm starting a bi-monthly board game review column for a magazine, and I'm trying to think of a snappy title. Any suggestions? My sense of snap is, er, lacking today.

I'd play off the word "Board" rather than "Game," but that said, I can't think of anything clever. Board Meeting? Bimonthly Board Review? See ... not clever.

Young, Restless and Board?

Should I quit now, before I fall further behind?

#139 Jason Panella

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 02:59 PM

I'd play off the word "Board" rather than "Game," but that said, I can't think of anything clever. Board Meeting? Bimonthly Board Review? See ... not clever.

Young, Restless and Board?

Should I quit now, before I fall further behind?


:D

These are hilarious! The only one I came up with was "Tiny Wooden Houses," but that's...yeah.

#140 Jason Panella

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 03:12 PM

And here's the first installment of my column, on the game Bohnanza.

(Oh, and did anyone else notice the number of hits for this thread?)