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Donald Dennis
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On Board Games » Forums » News
Episode 12: Role-playing Board Games

OBG 12: Role-playing Board Games
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Letters
Scott gives an impromptu Quelf review
One fan of the show asks about Scott's weird games
Donald is mocked due to the episode's likely delay and fading relevance to Essen
Return of Return of the Heroes

On Board Games Round Table
Don, Erik, and Scott discuss board game/role-playing game hybrids

Stoplight Reviews
Battlestations reviewed by Erik
Galaxy Trucker reviewed by Scott http://cge.czechgames.cz/
Slamwich reviewed by Erik

 
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Gary Goh
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At last! Now all I have to do is to listen to it....

*tries very hard to keep his shaking hand and other withdrawal symptoms under check to click on the "play" link*
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Donald Dennis
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I forgot to ask:

Do you like role playing elements in your board games?

What RPG/BG hybrids do you enjoy?

Have you played the games we reviewed? What do you think of them?
 
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Doug Kuhlman
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Walsfeo wrote:
Do you like role playing elements in your board games?

What RPG/BG hybrids do you enjoy?

Have you played the games we reviewed? What do you think of them?


Generally, no.... I prefer strategy. Even when I play a "role-playing game", I generally think strategy. Maybe my brain's limited, but I can act *or* think, but not both, at the same time.

I can't say I've particularly enjoyed any hybrids. Maybe the old FASA BattleTech stuff, which was semi-officially a RPG, but played like a board game with Mechs fighting it out on a hex grid. More like serial board-gaming, where you got new abilities/better stuff each time you played.

I've not played any of the reviewed games. I might try Slamwich with my kids, but I'm afraid the older would just SLAM down hard if/when the younger beat him to the stack, discouraging the younger from trying and generally leading to a BAD situation. Boys are so challenging.
 
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Donald Dennis
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Arathorn73 wrote:
... Even when I play a "role-playing game", I generally think strategy. Maybe my brain's limited, but I can act *or* think, but not both, at the same time.
I hope you still find/found something of use in this episode of the podcast. Let me know if, as someone not inclined towards the kinds of games we were discussing, the episode was still interesting enough to listen through.
 
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Doug Kuhlman
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Quote:
I hope you still find/found something of use in this episode of the podcast. Let me know if, as someone not inclined towards the kinds of games we were discussing, the episode was still interesting enough to listen through.


Sure. The quirky sense of humor is always worth a listen. And, listening re-affirmed that I shouldn't play this kind of game. Or, at least, I need to be very careful about my attitude if/when I do play them. That's as valuable as knowing what to play. The only thing I found a bit off-putting was the dismissal of computer gaming (don't even remember the details now), but I expect and enjoy some snarkiness, so.....
 
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Erik Dewey
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[q="Arathorn73"]
Quote:
Sure. The quirky sense of humor is always worth a listen. And, listening re-affirmed that I shouldn't play this kind of game. Or, at least, I need to be very careful about my attitude if/when I do play them. That's as valuable as knowing what to play. The only thing I found a bit off-putting was the dismissal of computer gaming (don't even remember the details now), but I expect and enjoy some snarkiness, so.....


It's been a while since that roundtable, could you refresh my memory on what we said about computer gaming?

As an aside I enjoy computer gaming quite a bit so I might need to make an comment on next episode.
 
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Donald Dennis
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Arathorn73 wrote:
The only thing I found a bit off-putting was the dismissal of computer gaming (don't even remember the details now), but I expect and enjoy some snarkiness, so.....
I made a comment about how older games were kind of like computer games. What I meant was with the automatic actions the games would benefit if they had an automatic facilitator. I don't dislike computer games, heck I am now a designer at a video game company. (Which is why we won't go into covering computer games, or at least I won't give reviews of specific games.)
 
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Gary Goh
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Walsfeo wrote:
I forgot to ask:

Do you like role playing elements in your board games?

What RPG/BG hybrids do you enjoy?

Have you played the games we reviewed? What do you think of them?


I have only played Descent, and I thoroughly enjoy the gameplay. I like the dungeon crawl feature (reminds me of many video RPG games I have played) and the fighting system in general, though I wish the magic-casting heroes could select between different spells just like a real RPG game would allow. Since there is no levelling per se, I tend to see the weapon system as a proxy for this, though the gold weapons are a little extreme. Using video RPG games to illustrate if I may, the heroes can be said to have over-trained (once they have gotten these weapons), with respect to the next boss enemy's level. Of course, this disregards the balance issue and the lack of an official campaign ruleset in the base game, which dampens the attractiveness of the game by quite a bit.

However, I think Descent merely scratches the RPG itch because the more I play it, the more I view it as an adventure game instead. As a result, I look forward to trying out more RPG-lnclined games than Descent.

Battlestations is on my wishlist but I have yet to decide if I should really go ahead and purchase it because I'm unsure as to how the gameplay unfolds, i.e. does the GM make up the background as gameplay progresses, or is there a "questbook" of sorts (like in Descent) which the GM can follow and lead the players along with. I am hoping it's the latter but I will still have to do my homework before I actually decide.

I have also played Slamwich, and agree with Erik that the game can drag if both players alternate accumulating the cards, only to lose them to their counterparts. My longest Slamwich game with my girlfriend spanned an hour, and we were so glad to have the game end when it finally did. Having said that, the game is a good filler and should provide a good gaming experience, as long as it does not drag.

As a tip, do be careful if the other player has long nails, or you might be in for some minor scratches during some frenzy card slappings.
 
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Erik Dewey
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In regards to Battlestations, there are a whole bunch of scenarios in the rule book, over twenty, so it would be a good long while before you are forced to make up your own. Plus there are at least two additional expansions out, each with their own chunk of scenarios.
 
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Doug Kuhlman
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Quote:
It's been a while since that roundtable, could you refresh my memory on what we said about computer gaming?


Yeah. It took me a while to find. But at about 28:07, Scott says "Oh, Doom, Doom...based off the sort of Science Fiction video game-y thing." That just came off as awfully dismissive of a MASSIVE computer game series (that I don't even like). I think the -y threw me. And, yes, it's probably oversensitive, but it really struck me the first time through.

Anyway, keep up the good work.
 
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Ben Lott
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Walsfeo wrote:
I forgot to ask:

Do you like role playing elements in your board games?

What RPG/BG hybrids do you enjoy?

Have you played the games we reviewed? What do you think of them?


We only have a few games that I would consider RPG/BG hybrids. Our family is pretty shy about getting into the role-playing aspect of these games, and it often comes back to the mechanics. So in a game like Shadows over Camelot we still have a lot of fun, because the mechanics are very strong on their own. But a game like Bang falls completely flat, because the mechanics are heavily dependent on getting into the theme.

(No I haven't played any of the reviewed games.)
 
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