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RPGFan Community Quiz!
Subject: Persona 3: FES
Prize: $20 eShop, PSN or Steam code
Date: 3rd October 2014 Time: 16:00 EST
331472 Posts in 13573 Topics by 2191 Members
Latest Member: Zaltys
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16  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: August 25, 2013, 12:50:58 PM
Played the heck out of Ascension on Saturday. 3 games of Storm of Souls and 1 Chronicle of the Godslayer + Return of the Fallen. The new mechanics in Storm of Souls really improve the game balance. People who run Mechana are less likely to have ten thousand constructs in front of them for super long combos because the new cards encourage destroying constructs for bonuses. The difference really showed when we went back to Chronicle of the Godslayer and someone managed to get 8 constructs out by end game--and we were trying to stop him. It was ridiculous.

Also learned two new games: Last Will and Hanabi. Hanabi is a quick co-op game where players see everyone else's cards but their own and give others clues on what cards to play. Goal is to get as many points as possible based on placing 5 card suits in 1-5 order on the board. A good light and fun game.

Last Will turns most Eurogames on their head with players competing to lose the most money/all their money, whichever comes first. It's really a resource management, worker placement game, but the theme is refreshing compared to the usual "get most VP to win." Also has good player turn mechanics and balanced cards. There's no "auto win" card or strategy. Definitely will play again.
17  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: August 18, 2013, 10:34:53 PM
... I am speechless. Vassal looks like a potential board gamer's paradise, though the system is a little unintuitive and likely more for trying out something with friends than with strangers. Boardgame Arena and Brettspielwelt are some of the online places I use to play board games, though rules are rather lacking in these cases. Luckily, there are a few strong board game groups in my area and that's how I try out new games--by using someone else's library.

I'll still have to mess around with Vassal a bit though, the number of modules is impressive.
18  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: August 18, 2013, 09:59:29 PM
M&M definitely sounds worth trying out, though it seems that having a dedicated group is fair better than mixing and matching chapters with players. Thanks for the insight!

I've heard so many good things about Eclipse but have yet to give it a go. I own a copy--what are the odds we'll be able to stumble through a game with a group of 3-4 newbies within 4-6 hours without messing up too many rules?

Arkham Horror definitely needs the expansions after multiple playthroughs (you start "solving" the game), and they're all great! As long as you have someone who knows all the rules, the game time becomes significantly shorter. Our games for 3 people usually run about 2 hours.
19  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: August 18, 2013, 03:54:42 PM
If you end up getting Resident Evil and its expansions, let me know how things go! I feel the same way about my collection of board games... I have some that haven't seen the light of day in a year or so, and I feel bad but there are too many games to play and not enough time.

I'm curious about Mice and Mystics, which sounded very interesting when I first heard about it; how does it hold up to other co-op games like Arkham Horror, and dungeon crawlers like Mansions of Madness in terms of gameplay? Do you gain things like level ups and stat boosts, and do they carry over into subsequent chapters? Another concern is replayability--how different do you think your second playthrough with friends will be without considering the added numbers?

Castles of Burgundy is currently on my "I will play right now as long as someone wants to" list and I've been meaning to learn Le Havre for awhile. How does it compare to Rosenberg's other games?
20  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: August 18, 2013, 09:55:14 AM
I've only played the base game and Mercenaries expansion. I think its winning point are the different modes and scenarios you can play. Unlike Dominion, multiple draw + actions deck are rare or expensive to build; though expansions may change that. Character balance (gives each player a special power that can be leveled up) is debatable... some are clearly stronger in co-op modes while others dominate in versus. Theme wise it is strong. Gameplay has few "brilliant combo moments" that other strong deck builders have. Monsters are similar to Thunderstone as they could have combat or death effects, and you can buy AND kill, which is nice (ammo is money and also used to load weapons). The base game alone is decent but feels lacking.

Has anyone tried the other expansions? What I've played is promising and it would be nice to see the game fully blossom.
21  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: August 12, 2013, 08:03:47 PM
I would totally give Risk Legacy another try. I was also under the impression the game only gives a limited number of plays--what happens when the units are fully leveled and the board is fully labeled? Does it become a customized Risk game from then on?

P.S. Risk Legacy is now ranked 100 on BGG.. that has to mean it's doing something right.
22  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: August 10, 2013, 12:32:46 AM
I am not a fan of Ticket to Ride either (too much luck), but Ticket to Ride Asia is quite the standalone game. I like that they introduced teams, but you can't speak directly to your partner or discuss strategies. All you can do is put cards out on a shared board and hope they take a hint--and you sometimes have to sacrifice actions to do it. The "gambling" roads are also pretty neat, where if it's yellow 6 for a two-tile road, you draw 6 cards twice and if there are any yellows or rainbows you have to pay equal amount in yellows/rainbows.

I was fortunate enough to play two games of Terra Mystica, and based on the hype surrounding it, I thought I would be more blown away. It looks great but doesn't really stray from the usual resource management and area control elements. It also seems that your game strategy is quite dependent on the race you get--attempting to do otherwise will only hurt your chances of winning; I haven't decided if it's a good or bad thing. Tzolk'in is another game I learned recently that garnered a lot of hype for its seemingly complicated "wheel" mechanics that turned out to be fairly straightfoward. It's very much a worker placement, resource management game, but I really enjoyed it and would play it or Dominant Species (mentioned above) over Terra Mystica.

A gateway game I think is good for new players is Lords of Waterdeep. Very basic worker placement and resource management, but with a lot of replayability. Many boardgame "snobs" I know like the game in spite of its simplicity. You place workers to get resources, and use the resources to complete quests that give victory points and/or resources; that's really the gist of the game. You get a secret character that determines bonus points end game and a hidden hand of cards that let you spice things up a bit, but everything else is out in the open, including pending quests.

Betrayal at the House on the Hill is thematically awesome. We don't play enough of it, really. And Arkham Horror's setup time alone always warrants at least two games before we decide to put it away.
23  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: So... Board Games? on: August 09, 2013, 10:47:14 PM
Battlestar Galactica--I only got about 3 hours in and we had to stop because the place was closing. It's one of the better social/hidden-role games. I actually like the mechanics it has for both parties and how they introduce a possible additional Cylon mid-game. That really changes things up for the hidden-role genre, and there are many ways to try and deduce if someone is sabotaging plans (it's usually a blind accusation in most hidden-role games, e.g. Werewolf, Resistance). I know nothing about the actual series itself though. I will definitely give the full game a go if I get the chance and you should too. I'd like to hear what you think of it.

I played Risk Legacy once... and established a Kitty Town! It put a good spin on a classic game I've heard so much bad stuff about (my first time playing Risk, actually). There are better territory control & conquer games like Smallworld, though. Smallworld was one of my introduction games to the non-monopoly board game genre and I still enjoy it every now and then. The expansions for races and powers really mixes things up. The gypsies might be my favorite race (expansion). I also love that they hold competitions for players to create new races and powers, and then publish the winners.
24  The Rest / General Discussions / So... Board Games? on: August 09, 2013, 09:09:22 PM
Hey everyone,

So there's a book thread, movie thread, anime thread, etc. and I wanted to start one for a pastime I greatly enjoy--boardgaming. What are some of your favorites and why? What new game have you tried recently that you really enjoyed or disliked? I'm not heavy into tabletop gaming but I would be interested to hear about that too.

One game I really like is Mage Knight. There are just so many tactical decisions one can make in a turn and I really like the level up system they implemented. Players can be co-op, semi-co-op, or competitive, and explore a random map to uncover enemies and locations to get stronger in order to defeat boss castles hosting many enemies. Games can run up to 8 hours or so but it always feels like a full adventure.

Ghost Stories is my favorite game, hands down. It's a co-op game that's brutally hard with a very strong Asian ghost theme. Players are monks trying to save a village from invading ghosts, and they have to survive waves of enemies in order to get to a final boss. Everyone has a special power of their own and have to work together and strategise to survive and defeat Wu Feng. Villagers aid the monks in their endeavor by providing perks. The game carries a constant sense of urgency, and wins and losses are usually nail-bitingly close.

Ginkgopolis is a newer game I enjoy has a bunch of elements that are uncommonly seen together. Players use cards to place territories, thus building a city outwards and upwards while managing their resources and displacing other players. In the process, they gain area control that grants points at the end of the game, and by playing the right cards, give themselves bonuses that either aid them during the game or provide points at the end. Oh, and your hand of cards rotates every turn. It's fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it, and it's a beautiful game with well made components.

Thoughts, comments, random ramblings... go! I'm always on the lookout for more games to learn and play.
25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: International Travel Haps. on: August 04, 2013, 11:27:46 PM
Last time I went to Japan, we stayed in a few different hostels (Osaka and Tokyo). Decent budget, good place to meet other travelers, and usually not too far from a subway station. You can likely get help from the staff there as they usually speak some English. I definitely second getting a map that has both Japanese and English on it for Tokyo, particularly of the subway routes. With that, even if you wander around and get a little lost, as long as you find a train station, you'll be able to identify where you are and what routes you should take to get back. You can probably find a quick explanation video on how to buy the right subway tickets and how the transportation system works.

Japan is very safe--even the more dodgy areas are not really threatening. Just make sure to keep clear of staring at Yakuza members...usually men in suits and sunglasses and/or with tattoo sleeves. If you are going to Tokyo, make it point to go to Akihabara and spend a couple days checking out every little store in the area. There's lot of gaming goodies and hidden gems lying around.

As for ordering food, if you're adventurous, you can sit yourself down in a restaurant that has pictures for its food (quite a few show models of what they serve) and point at what you think you'd like. You may also find vending machines that produce a ticket that you hand to a counter for food--those sometimes have small pictures as well. One of my best adventures was stumbling upon a traditional yatai with a couple friends, not knowing a single Japanese word and having other customers at the stall buy us things to try. The stall only served eel. Just eel, ALL PARTS of the eel, cooked in different ways but mostly skewered. I've had regular eel before, but not the innards or the head. Suffice to say it was an interesting experience and I will still eat eel. This was at some part in Shinjuku, which is the biggest most maze-like area you'll find in Tokyo, but it's full of small surprises like that.

It's also not a bad idea to visit the fast food places like McD's and Wendy's--they have Japanese inspired items like tempura burgers. Mos Burger is another good place as they actually serve rice burgers: the bun is replaced with rice cakes instead. Coco Curry is a Japanese chain I adore, and they have pictures. It's Japanese curry with 10 levels of spiciness (you have to prove you've eaten certain levels before you can go up the charts), and you can choose whatever toppings you want added to the curry. If you're less adventurous, the convenient stores have a great selection of pre-made meals and interesting instant noodles that you can choose from, so you would at least know what you're getting most of the time.

Learning some common Japanese food dishes that you would like to try is also not a bad idea. You can then ask the servers if they have a particular type of dish, and if they don't you can always head elsewhere. If you stumble upon a Japanese bakery... just go in and buy everything that looks awesome. It will be awesome.

Protip: grocery stores slash their sushi prices at night, great time to pick up some deals for the next day or a late night snack.

So... if you're going to go, get a good map, an adventurous stomach, a wandering spirit, and you'll probably have a great time.

P.S. Lard is right that Osakans are friendlier--they are considered "too friendly" by most Japanese.
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