Bobby's Games

I will be posting monthly recaps of my gaming which I have been doing in GeekLists. I'll also be commenting on games on occasion, though I can tell you that I will be behind the curve because I just don't get to play the new games as soon as some people do.

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September gaming afterthoughts

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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My average rating of the new games I played in September, using the BGG scale, was 6.7. There were three sixes, two fives, two eights, and the rest were sevens. I had higher hopes for one of the fives (A Study in Emerald) and the other feels like it should have a higher rating but drops because it isn't much of a challenge.

I only own three of the games. I Kickstarted Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King and haven't opened my box of booty yet, and I purchased Cthulhu Realms hoping it did what it did. I also picked up Carcassonne: Gold Rush because it looked like a nice addition to the family. I do plan on buying Tiny Epic Galaxies because it was a lot of fun. I've been saying this a lot, but not that long ago I would have bought several of the games immediately. As of today, I can see myself buying only one more of them and that is Welcome to the Dungeon should I be looking for a fun, quick filler sometime when playing games at the Game Depot.

A big reason for the reduced buying is nothing feels exciting and new. It either is a re-tread of old ideas – what some podcasters might wrongly call new and unique – or ends up being exciting, new, or really fun but rarely more than one of those. I have a lot of games I am not playing enough as it is which scratch the same itch as most of the new games.

There is also the Kickstarter glut which has games being produced that shouldn't have been made or that could have used development by a top-notch development team like at Hans im Glück, which almost never releases something that is not polished. You might not like the game, but if they produce it then it is playable.

I'm also running out of room. Seriously. I need to sell some games, but hate dealing with all the steps for doing it. Maybe sometime in the next few weeks I will start with a small one and work up to selling 50+ games at a time?
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Fri Oct 2, 2015 1:35 am
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Games Played in September 2015

Bobby Warren
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September had the return of Mr. Tony and was a month of lots of new games! It was also a month with a lot of two-player games as the Saturday group has shrunk a little and we aren’t seeing as many regular attendees these days, especially when we can’t play at the store and have to go to someone’s house.

My highest-rated game played this month was a nine and it was the winner of the 2006 Spiel des Jahres. My lowest-rated games were both new to me and came in at disappointing fives. They were disappointing because I had higher hopes for one of them for a while and the other felt like it should be rated higher, but the game just didn’t warrant it.

I did play 29 games a total of 50 times and five expansions six times. I played a whopping 17 of the games and two of the expansions for the first time in September. I played six of the games and two of the expansions in August.

So here is what I played in September:


A Study in Emerald
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 5

I really thought about backing this initially, but decided against it. Then regretted it.

Then I almost bought copies a couple more times.

I finally got to play it. I liked it, but in the end it isn’t a game I plan on getting and really don’t need to play again. I am just not a fan of how the winner is decided based on the teams. Amelia, Morgan, and I were on the team that won with Morgan scoring around 13 points with Amelia and I being tied just one point behind her. Matthew should have won because he had 22 points and triggered the end game, but he took the points to rocket him to the win from Charles, who was his team mate.


Artifacts, Inc.
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

This was an okay game. There was neither anything all that engaging about the game nor anything which was wrong with it. I just found it “meh”. Well-designed, but “meh”.


Can’t Stop
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2014
My Rating: 8

I started off with some unlucky rolls and then tried to make big runs the rest of the game and ended up locking a couple of numbers, but Michael ended up winning.


Carcassonne: Gold Rush
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Mike and I played this as a two-player game and liked it, though not better than the original. I suspect the gold chits would work better with more players and am rating it a seven now, though I suspect it could reach an eight after playing it with more players.


Ciúb
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 7

The week after both Nico and I separately mentioned we wanted to play this again, Mike grabbed it when I was at his place and we played a two-player game. I still enjoy this die-manipulation and acquisition game and should take my copy with me more often on Saturdays.

Yeah, it’s not like I haven’t said that before! shake


Cthulhu Realms
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

I wasn’t overly thrilled by Star Realms, and when I heard about the changes in the game with the re-theme I thought I would give it a try. I really liked it.

First up, Mike taught me the game and we played a couple of times. Later in the Month, Nico and I played a couple of times as well.

I couldn’t tell you if the rule changes were the difference, or the theme, or the use of iconography was the difference, but I’m glad I purchased it. Now to try it with more than two players.


Deus
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2015
My Rating: 8

I kept trying to find a way to end the game because I did a much better job of scoring in-game victory points, but the last couple of turns saw Nico get out a couple of temples which score the maximum number of points, and he ended up pulling out the win by just two points.

If I hadn’t remembered to count the VPs for the resources and money it would have been a tie. Drat!


Elder Sign
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Unseen Forces.

Private Eye Joe Diamond, soldier Mark Harrigan, and professor Harvey Walters took on the followers of Abhoth and came out relatively unscathed as the gates were sealed and the old one was blocked from coming over to our world. The biggest contribution to the cause was the spell that Walters started with which allowed him to banish three monsters, which allowed the group to ignore the Children of Abhoth monsters which were dispatched when they became a nuisance.


Flip City
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 8/2015
My Rating: 7

Am I the only one that hears Klaus Meine singing about this game?

Flip City, Flip City nights
You keep me flipping
Flip City, Flip City nights”

I thought so…


Guild Ball
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2015
My Rating: 8

After several plans falling through, Mike and I got to play a full game with my Brewer’s Guild against his Mortician’s Guild and I recapped it here. The game ended up going long and we ended up in a tie when the game was called because we ran out of real-world time.


Imperial Settlers
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Why Can’t We Be Friends.

Nico mixed in the expansion cards in his set and we played the game. He was the Japanese and I was the Egyptians. I thought was easily winning because I had so many of my race-specific buildings in play, but he did a pretty good job on the last turn and did some catching up. That, and his lead from in-game points and he ended up with a one-point victory.


Isle of Skye
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

This is one of those rare games that gets played three weekends in a row. Initially, Nico bought this and we played with Mike, who then bought the game.

When I hear auction game, I think of bidding either openly or blindly and the highest bidder wins the item, or the Dutch auction like in the under-appreciated Merchants of Amsterdam. In this game, the players draw three tiles, lay them out in front of their player screens and then secretly set a price for two of tiles, using the cash they have on hand, then select the third one to discard.

Once the players reveal the prices set, each player has the chance to buy one tile using the cash they have left. When a tile is bought, the buying player gives the selling player the amount of money equal to the price set and the selling player also gets to keep the money used to set the price. Any tiles that aren’t bought stay with the player that set the price, but they lose the money they set as the price.

Then the bought tiles are placed, using Carcassonne-like rules (except for roads) and scoring is done based on conditions for the round. The game is played for 6 rounds (5 rounds in a 5-player game) and then any bonuses are scored.

There are four scoring conditions, which are randomly determined from a mix of 16 tiles. Each are scored three times, depending on the round, so the game will always be a little different. My one real concern is you might not see the tiles that play off the scoring that is coming up next so there could be some really frustrating games. I still rate it a solid seven on the BGG scale. Five years ago it would have been added to my collection, but these days it sits on the fringes as something I could buy at some point, but since both Mike and Nico own it there is no rush.

I really liked this game, though maybe not as much as Mike and Nico. Mike and I played it again that first night with Hilary. During the first game I had no problems placing my tiles, but I kept making mistakes the second game. Nico and I played it again later in the month with Michael and I was back to my normal placing of tiles properly. Nico and I then played it again the following weekend as a two-player game and I found myself more into that game because it was more important to watch out how the tiles available might help the one opponent score. The more I think about it, the more I like it best with two players.

P.S. I know I am getting old when I refer to two games which have BGG IDs under 1000!


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

I’ve been trying to upgrade my train cars as much as possible in games because those are often points that can make a difference, and the better cars are also more-tempting for others to load. In this game, I got out the only box car early on and was able to upgrade it to the best version of it, and it kept getting fed so I didn’t buy as many cars as I normally would since I had a constant supply of goods.

I completed and flipped two contracts and triggered end-game by buying my third and thought I would have an easy win. The scores were actually closer than I thought since Mike had several upgraded cars and a building. That just shows that players can win by playing a couple of strategies.


Jarl: The Vikings Tile-Laying Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

It’s The Duke with different tiles that are made of Bakelite instead of wood. I liked the tiles and the feel of them, but the “command” marks on the corners was kind of hard to see on the black tiles because of the white specks in the black Bakelite. Other than that minor quibble, it is an awesome alternative to playing The Duke.


Kraftwagen
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

One of two new-to-me games that Dion brought along one Saturday.

It’s essentially a rondel-driven action-selection game similar to Cramer’s Glen More which determines how and when players get to take their turns. The theme this time is about developing cars in the early years of the auto industry.

It was a good game and one which I might pick up at some time.


Machi Koro
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion and Millionaire’s Row.

I think dealing out only 10 establishments when combining both expansions might not be enough, especially when two of the three cards that rely on one other card being out to generate any coins, like the Cheese Factory, are out and the cards that they rely on haven’t made an appearance.

I suspect I will try some variant that deals out more cards to purchase, like 12 instead of 10. I saw someone else suggest dealing out 15 but that is a little more than I would want to try before making the more minor change of dealing out 12.


New York 1901
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

A lot of fun. We played with two players and it appears that it is easier to lock up areas than it would be with more players. I am looking forward to trying it with more and hope to do so soon.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous
Times Played: 10
Last Month Played: 8/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: [thing=171818]Sword of Valor for two of the games.[/thing]

Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I made it through the first adventure pack and into Sword of Valor.

Both Mike and I independently decided that we likely won’t play the intro scenario next time since there is no reward or growth beyond more of the low-grade cards that really don’t improve much at all on the basic cards. The initial scenarios are also too long at five adventures. It was better in the first set when there were three. Maybe there were more useful cards in the initial basic set because of the fewer scenarios and therefore fewer supporting cards needed for the scenarios? I should have a look and compare sometime.

There’s also been some comment during the campaign that the things added to make the game more challenging adds on too much extra record keeping to the game. It’s too bad that the adventure path can’t just change the feel or ramp up difficulty by changing the cards in the game. Instead they add things to track that make it more and more like an RPG and less like a card/board game.

Michael, Greg, and I played the three-player group in my set and we played three times, not quite getting out of the base adventure from the box.

After just making to the second adventure pack, I highly recommend using the cleric because she can be a healing machine and is often able to shuffle her deck, which allows the recharged Cure spells to be avialable more often.


Smash Up
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2015
My Rating: 7

I picked up the Munchkin version and Nico and I gave it a go. He played the Thieving Orcs and I played the Elvish Halflings.

I could have called this a new expansion, but I am not tracking expansions plays for Smash Up any longer.

All-in-all, I like new additions from this latest version. The Monsters and Treasures are nifty. That’s right, I sad “nifty”.


Space Cadets: Away Missions
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Mike and I played the first scenario twice with what we think might be a bad couple of characters for the two-player game (the first officer and the professor). We lost fairly quickly the first time and managed a win the second time.

There wasn’t a lot to the mission we played, but that appeared to be because it’s an introductory scenario that is intended to be a learning game. It did help us realize a few things about how to play the game and we had some strategy thoughts after playing it, so it was a successful introduction. Scanning over some of the other scenarios, it looks like it would be a heck of a fun ride.


Star Trek: Five-Year Mission
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 5

Is this game too easy?

We played twice with four people. The first was at the medium level where we needed 14 points to win and the second was at the hardest level: 20 points (successfully completed mission with a scoring indicator), two completed scoring missions of each color, and one timed mission to win. We didn’t fail a single mission in either game. The first was with the original show’s crew and cards and the second was with the Next Generation of crew and cards. It felt as if the Next Generation missions were harder to complete, but we really were never too challenged and that included not playing with the doctor in the second game as well.

I wanted to peruse the rules to see if we possibly did something wrong, but Mayfair’s site is not even at a Y2K level of functionality and they don’t have the rules for anything posted, as far as I can tell. After some contentious comments by users that we had to be doing something wrong because it wasn’t likely that we played anything wrong, I watched a couple of videos about the game and it really does look like we played it correctly.

The game has a lot of potential and maybe we will discover we did something wrong which will make the game better, but the research I was able to do makes that seem unlikely.


Steampunk Rally
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Not the best game but I would play it again at some point if Nico brings it to the game days.

I played Tesla against two of the thieves of his ideas and the peanut mogul: Marconi, Edison, and Carver. Michael’s Edison made the most of his card drafting and good die rolling and won. He probably stole something to give him an edge.


Stockpile
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

This is an auction game. We played the advanced side where the stocks pay out variable rates and some are more volatile than the others.

This was with three players and I bet it is better with more. Each player knows one of the five stocks and if its value will increase or decrease or if it will pay a dividend. There is one stock which is public that the same information is known about it by everyone. With three, there are two stocks that no one knows. The players then seed three auction piles with two cards they are dealt, putting one face up and one face down. Bidding is then in like Amun-Re where when any player is outbid they place their bid on one of the tracks higher than any existing bid.

There are payouts, stock sales, and even stock crashes, which is what cost me the game about 2/3 of the way through our playing. It was a lot of fun and something I still enjoyed even when being crushed by the other two.


Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Yeah, I’ve played Super Dungeon Explore before and I even backed it this version, though my copy is still in the shipping box.

I never pull out the original edition because I just don’t want to try to explain it and I don’t want to run the monsters. I backed this since it had a cooperative play mode.


Super Motherload
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

The second game Dion brought that was new to me. It’s a deck builder where you use the cards to drill into the crust of Mars to collect gems to gain goals and more cards for the deck.

This was not an exceptional game and, like the other game I played this month from the same publisher, not something I need to play again.


Thurn and Taxis
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2014
My Rating: 9

Wow. I actually had to look through the rules because I was confused about whether or not to put down a carriage card, which I knew was different in Power and Glory, but didn’t remember if it was needed at all in the original version. It wasn’t.

I had a great time and I was very happy to play it again.


Tides of Time
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

This is a very-clever, two-player, card-drafting, tableau-building, highly-hyphenated game. (Really, the hyphens are just mine.) There are only 18 cards and four markers in the game. It’s quick and a great filler, though I would be a little concerned about the replayability if it was played a lot over a short period of time because I suspect the players will develop set patterns. Still, if I was still getting two-player games I could see myself picking this up.


Tiny Epic Galaxies
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Tiny? Yup.

Epic? Nope.

Can I make the same lame joke over and over? Yup!

This is the best of the Tiny Epic games I’ve played. If it lasted two or three times as long and kept the players engaged, then it would be “epic.” As it stands it has to settle for being excellent! Hopefully, they can live with being excellent in my eyes? shake


Welcome to the Dungeon
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

A light, quick, push your luck game that I would happily play at any time. I might pick it up sometime when we are looking for something quick to play.
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Thu Oct 1, 2015 7:00 am
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Mortician's Guild draws the Brewer's Guild

Bobby Warren
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After several plans falling through, Mike and I got to play the full game of Guild Ball with my Brewer's Guild against his Mortician's Guild and it wasn't as successful an endeavor as I hoped.

The game moved very slowly. Mike hadn't refreshed himself on the rules and I was quite rusty myself. We didn't have any reference sheets printed out and that also slowed things up and we both forgot about abilities on our players.

His lineup was Obulus, Dirge, Casket, Cosset, Ghast, and Graves. My team consisted of Tapper, Scum, Friday, Hooper, Spigot, and Stave. I kicked off and Mike grabbed the ball and started to move down one flank with much of his team. I had Friday attack Graves who was lagging behind the rest and used Stave's exploding barrels to loosen up Mike's formation, which ended up causing the ball to scatter outside the field of play. It ended up in the center of the field where I grabbed hold of it.

Then everything turned into a scrum in the middle of Mike's side of the field. I was unable to get into a position to score and Mike wasn't able to get the ball out of the scrum either. When we called the game because of the available time, he almost had Friday down to being knocked out, though I did have some momentum I could have used to heal her up a little. I was also in a decent position to try for a goal, if I could make a couple of things happen, but the score was still zero to zero when we timed out.

Scum saw a bird and attacked, because that is what cats do. Dirge ended up down to one hit point left by the end of the game so Scum just missed out on catching dinner. Next time, little tweety bird, next time!

Thoughts

As we finished, I suggested that maybe the next couple of times we played that we try the smaller game with the starter boxes, which would be three on three. This would allow us to become a little more familiar with both the rules and our teams. I think it is what we will do next time.

Mike is also not happy with his choice of teams. He would prefer a more straight-forward team. The Butcher's Guild might be a choice, but he doesn't like the look of some of the models and believes they might be too difficult to assemble.

Thinking about it over night, I also think Mike made a mistake trying to protect the ball and move it down the side of the field with multiple players protecting it. He should have move the players and then tried passing the ball down the field. It seems that keeping control of the ball is near impossible. I agree with him that the Mortician's Guild might not be a good match to his play style.

Stave is an awesome character and his barrel bombs really make it hard for the other team to get in and keep any kind of formation.

There is a lot of tracking conditions and I suspect I will end up buying the official tokens for the teams I have, which means it is less likely I will buy more teams since the tokens are running about a $30 a set.

Mike's opinion of the game dropped a little and I still really like the game and know I need to play some more to learn more about the game.
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Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:15 am
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Issues and surprises with new releases

Bobby Warren
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I've already played a lot of new games and expansions in the last few days. I have some gripes and one that was surprisingly good.


Star Trek: Five-Year Mission

I really want to like this cooperative game, but we had no difficulty beating it twice.

The first time we played it was with the original crew and mission cards at the Lt. Commander difficulty level (third hardest level out of six) and the second was with the Next Generation crew and mission cards on the Admiral level (hardest level). We played Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty in the first game and Picard, Riker, Worf, and Geordi in the second.

The way you lose the game is to fail a number of missions. We didn't fail a single one. Part of that is luck of the draw, but we were also drawing and beating a lot of the harder missions. The easier missions sometime generate other missions being drawn and when the fourth one of a type appears, you fail. Since we were focusing on the harder ones, I suspect we missed a couple of mission failures by not drawing some of the easier missions.

The game was quite easy and from scanning the forums it looks like we didn't do anything wrong. I wanted to read the rules after playing, but they aren't available anywhere. Mayfair's web site is not even at a Y2K level of functionality and they don't have rules for download on their site. The game's graphic presentation is also the same level as the 80s-era West End Star Trek and the pictures do not look like they are from high definition originals.


Steampunk Rally

Not the best game. Mike pointed out that the card drafting each round didn't really enhance the game and maybe made the construction a little too random. I think it might have been better served by finding some other way to distribute cards and generate dice.

I wasn't as bothered by the 'take that' cards as other players were, but don't play this with people who don't like games with conflict.

For our group/game, the real winning strategy seemed to be to add parts, fill them up, and let them get damaged and removed, adding new parts as needed.

P.S. Someone needs to learn the meaning of the word "unique" or play a few more games!


Game's More Information section wrote:
Unique Gameplay Elements - (Written by Gavan Brown)

• 8 player Support
• Simultaneous Resolution during the racing phase allows for a huge amount of gameplay to be packed into one hour.
• Simultaneous Resolution allows the game to scale to any player count without significant increase in play time.
• Boost cards are hidden information and allow for huge comebacks, removing the feeling of hopelessness traditionally felt in racing boardgames.

Are any of these really unique?


Welcome to the Dungeon

This was a surprisingly fun, quick dungeon push-your-luck game which played well with both two and four players. There are four heroes to use while going into the dungeon. Once the hero is chosen, the players collaborate to create the dungeon by secretly choosing cards and either adding them to the dungeon or removing them and sacrificing some of the hero's equipment. Once a player passes, they are out.

The last player standing will go into the dungeon and face the monsters added by the players. If the hero survives, the player gets an award. If they lose, they take a wound. If a player fails twice they are knocked out of the game. If a player succeeds twice, they win.

I thought it was a blast and will likely pick it up at some point.


Machi Koro: Millionaire's Row

Adding it to both Machi Koro and Machi Koro: Harbor means you never see some of the cards and after two playing we haven't seen a Vineyard come into play even though we saw the Winery in both games, which pays off if you have Vineyards. There are a couple of variants in the forums which might help with this, but I don't want to do anything which makes the game harder to set up or play.

I'm leaning towards trying it with 12 different cards dealt out instead of ten. If that doesn't reduce the problem then I will try with 15 different cards dealt out.
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Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:40 am
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Awesome Terrain

Bobby Warren
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I was looking for some neoprene mouse material to make myself some terrain to use for Guild Ball to represent rough ground or slick ground since most 3D terrain can make it hard to move figures or can eve make it impossible for some to stand on. Plus, the neoprene would be easier to transport.

Someone on the Guild Ball forums pointed me to the Neoprene Terrain and Zone Kit for Warmachine and Hordes Kickstarter which ends in about a month and they plan on shipping in November.

You can choose to order just the terrain or the zones, or combine them and save a little cash.

I just wanted to point it out for the more casual mini gamers who might not have heard it about it yet.

The terrain is pictured below.

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Wed Sep 2, 2015 3:46 am
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Games Played in August 2015

Bobby Warren
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August.

Mr. Tony is still on vacation, but he should be back soon. The worst Fantastic Four movie ever made was released to theaters. The really fun Man from U.N.C.L.E. failed to find an audience. Fake football started, leading to real football in September. I didn't get to play Warmachine or Hordes. I developed a new miniatures obsession. I asked the all-important question: Can you ever not be pre-approved?

I did play 30 games a total of 62 times and eight expansions logged 18 plays. I played six of the games and three of the expansions for the first time August and played six of the games and two of the expansions in July.

So here is what I played in August:


10 Days in Africa
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 3/2010
My Rating: 7

After playing the next game I talk about, I pulled out this one later in the month and played against Nico, who had never played one of the games in the series. That happens again later in the month.


10 Days in Europe
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Michael and I played a couple of games on the original board with fewer ferry connections and with Serbia and Montenegro still being joined as a single country.

Always fun with just the right amount of tension to not be stressful.


Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 10/2013
My Rating: 7

Expansion Played: Even More Buildings Big and Small for one of the games.

Mike and I played one refresher game with just the contents of the box, then added in the special buildings from the second expansion for the second game.

If I played a lot of two-player games with anyone but Mike, I would likely own this and at least one of the expansions. To own both expansions I would have to play the game a lot because only four expansion buildings are used each game.


Clippers
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2010
My Rating: 8

A blast from the past which I was surprised neither Charles not Greg had played before. It didn't surprise me that Brandon hadn't played before because he's a young pup. A royal pain. Other things he would expect me to say about him that aren't fit for print! devil

I volunteered to take Japan since they are one of the bad starting positions. In the end, Michael won with Great Britain and I came in a respectable second. I'd forgotten that the other bad starting position was France which has the double base in Australia. I would have suggested that for Michael, but wasn't around when they were pulling the rest of the player positions.


Dark Gothic
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Both games we played were dominated by one player who won all three of the big monsters. That being said, I still really enjoyed the game. It is a nice implementation of the Ascension/Cerberus Engine type of deck builder. I suspect any future games will be closes since we now have an idea of what to expect from the game.

I doubt I will be buying it since I have a couple of the DC Comics Deck-Building Games and will stick with that in my collection, but it is fun and I will definitely play it any time Mike wants to bring it to the table.


Deus
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Greg explained it to Charles and we discovered a couple of minor things we had been playing incorrectly. Nothing too serious, though the game with Arjun, Narani, and Nico would have been quite different because they ended up starting right on top of each other and competing for the same area and they should have started at least three spaces away from each other.

We corrected those things the following week when Michael, Nico, and I played. One of the important things to try and avoid in this game is keeping a card that you want to use much later in the game. I, being all-wise, tried keeping two of them. Sure, I was able to play them both and score well from them, but by that point I had pretty much assured myself of coming in last. Moron.


Dvonn
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2010
My Rating: 8

Mike pulled out this classic game and we went through a rules refresher before playing a game. Always an awesome game and one which we need to play again before too long.


Finstere Flure
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2014
My Rating: 7

Michael did something completely wrong. He played to win from the first turn and managed to get two people off the board before we made it through the monster movement stack the first time. Geez, talk about doing it all wrong!


Five Tribes
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 7

Expansion Played: The Artisans of Naqala.

I liked the mountains and the chasm tile. I also liked the new market tiles that let you buy one of the nine cards. I am not so sure how I feel about the random points from the Artisans, even though I used them to cruise to a victory. Michael didn't like that they were another way to score secret points that couldn't be accounted for by the other players. This is less worrisome to me because anyone that wants to count the cards can see how many points the other players have and it's safe to assume that every face-down item is five points and might be worth a little more.

It'd be nice if the mountain tiles could be used in the base game, but that would throw off the mix of the markets and the chasm can't be added because it would mess with the meeple mix.


Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 9

We made a couple of attempts at putting out fires in a high rise. The first time went well until it didn't, and then it went bad quickly. The second went much better.

It really feels like the high rise is one of the best boards to have the Driver/Operator character, especially with fewer players. The board is naturally divided into quadrants which the characters tend to work together, leaving others for the Driver to keep under control.


Flip City
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

This sounded like a really dumb game. Truthfully, I thought it would be a dumpster fire hiding under the guise of a mechanism the early adopter crowd wanted to like. I was wrong. It was a lot of fun and I hope to play it again soon.

The second week we played at the store we used the Office in the second game and I bought them up and it made scoring the 18-card victory a lot easier. I wasn't sure I liked the Office, but after playing it again later in the month, with the other players being sure to get in on buying them I liked it a lot more.

The only complaint I have about the game is it felt like it took a little long for what it is, but not so long that I was wishing it was over. This could change as the players get experience with the game, especially since the Office gives you some available cash certainty when the deck is shuffled.


Guild Ball
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Whoa! New obsession!

I have a Brewer's Guild team of seven figures which is painted, a Union Team missing only one of the 12 models in the faction, and a Fisherman's Guild team of seven players which I plan on sending off to be painted. I've also ordered the three-player starter for the Butcher's Guild which I picked up so I could teach the game using the Quick Start rules.

I was trying to find a good way to make a 2' x 2' pitch which I can use for teaching games, and realized I had the mat from Deadzone which is the right size and the lines on it work for the needed lines for the pitch. For the full game, I picked up the official 3' x 3' pitch.


Istanbul
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Wow, this was a fast game with three players. I liked it and a few years ago I would already own it, but I am being significantly more selective in my purchases of board games because of the space I have for games.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 7

Keltis and dice. Or dice and Keltis. Either way it was played. Mike's luck beat my die-rolling skill.


Machi Koro
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion for all the games and Millionaire's Row for one of them.

One game with four players and another with three using just the Harbor.

The last game of the month used Millionaire's Row. The deck sure is awful big with all the cards and we never saw some of the new ones or some of the classics. It might just be more random with all the card choices and I can see myself removing Millionaire's Row from the mix in the future.


Pandemic
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 9

Expansion Played: On the Brink.

The first time this month was a two-player game which started off quite well and was finished with some tension, but not a lot as we cruised to an easy win.

The second was with Mike and Hilary and just as the deck was running out, the world collapsed under the weight of the crippling blue and yellow diseases.

It's always a blast to play this and I really should bring my copy with me from time to time instead of relying on others to bring it.


Parfum
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

I liked it, but it felt a little lacking. Since it appears to be heavily influenced by Fresco I would suggest that the game would be better if the customers were all laid out in a grid at one point and the players had to manipulate a bishop-like figure to be able to get them their favored scent or to get bonus points. Since it isn't this way, the game is just "meh," but maybe just a little better than that.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: From Hell's Heart for all the games.

Michael and I finished off our two-player campaign. We will also be moving on to Wrath of the Righteous. I can tell you that I will not miss the ship mechanism, which was novel at first, but really just became an annoyance as the game continued.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous
Times Played: 8
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I started this with Mike playing Seelah the Paladin, Jerry playing Adowyn the Hunter, Damian playing Imrijka the Inquisitor, and me playing Enora the Arcanist. That is the same four characters that were played when we played with four at the store.

Michael and I also started up a two-player game with him playing Crowe the Bloodrager and me playing Kyra the Cleric.

Generally speaking, it feels like a couple of the new characters are not thought highly of, namely Balazar and Alain and no one has shown an interested in playing Shardra. It looks to me as if the first two become fun to play when you get to pick the advanced role, but before then they are just gimmicky and under powered.

The group at Mike's has also not been enjoying the game as much as we finished out the "0" adventure. There are no real rewards to gain, other than the card feat for suffering through the five scenarios, and the felt like maybe they got too hard without any better cards available or feeling like there is a chance to succeed. Success in a couple of them felt like pure luck. I still think the original set had it right with the three-scenario "0" adventure and that five scenarios are too many not to get real rewards from. Let's see how things look as we advance through adventure 1.


Qwixx
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

Qwixx Gemixxt for one of the games.

This time the expansion play was with the sheets that mix up the numbers in the same color. I'm less enamored with that expansion than the other, but it still is a fun game however it is played.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

This time I won using the many monuments strategy.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Alien Artifacts.

Three games against Nico and Michael and three more games against Michael. I've played the game 465 times and many of them have been two-player against him.


Smash Up
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 7

It was my Dinosaur Werewolves against Mike's Fairy Vampires. Was there ever any doubt which side was the most dominant?


Splendor
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

I suggested Mike and I play this and, as always, fun was had.

And his beagle puppy ate my shoelace. Well, the tip of it…


Tumblin-Dice
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 8/2012
My Rating: 7

Mike picked up the new board which is my least favorite of the bunch, though it does fit in a much smaller box. The join on his launch board and the 1x scoring board is not solid and it appears that one of them must be warped.

It's always a fun game and the only reason mine doesn't make it out is because the box is so huge. Even though the new box is much thinner, it still has a pretty big footprint and I can't imagine I would want to haul it around either.


Undercity: An Iron Kingdoms Adventure Board Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

After one play, I am glad I did not buy this. It's a decent enough game, but the limited movement and options on player turns feels too restricting, and not in a "not enough actions to do what I need to do" kind of way. There are only four characters to choose from and all four have to be played each game.

It looks like the game might get better with more plays, but like with High Command it appears that Privateer Press has managed to put too many limits on the genre of the game to make it really fun.


Viceroy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 6

The second playing didn't improve my opinion of the game and even reduced it a little. There definitely is an advantage to the players that manage to get dealt law cards that score points so they can plan around them. If a player isn't dealt one or more of them, then it feels like they are not in the running.

The auction mechanism is something I still wouldn't want to play with four players because it interferes with what is the core fun part of the game. Even if two players bid the same color where there are two available characters there is no real negotiation in the game, just take it or leave it, which is not at all fun.

I'm still willing to play it because building the tableau is interesting enough that it keeps me engaged to the point that I don't mind if I am not scoring a lot. I guess I am saying the "game" part is a little superfluous since I didn't play the game so much as build my own tableau this time and it just didn't matter?


Village
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2014
My Rating: 7

I asked Mike if he could explain it. He said he could with the rules, but it was more difficult than we thought to explain and the game took some time to develop. In the end, I believe everyone enjoyed it but it's just not a great game. It's just solidly good.


Voyages of Marco Polo
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 7

I bumped this down to a solid 6 from a 7. There is just nothing about this game which is very enticing. It's a functional game and the stress of not having enough time to do anything just isn't there. I suspect I feel this way because it is completely obvious that there isn't enough time and there isn't anything that can be done to mitigate it.

Still, I hope Nico continues to bring it and I get t play it a couple more times to be sure of my feelings towards the game.


Wyatt Earp
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2013
My Rating: 8

Another game which Nico had never played, and wait, there's more! This is the first of the Mystery Rummy family of games he had ever played.

Because of time constraints we had to finish the game after two hands with him a couple of thousand dollars from winning and a few thousand ahead of me. So we called it as a win for him.
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Tue Sep 1, 2015 3:25 am
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Building the Fisherman's Guild and the Union

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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Besides getting the Brewer's Guild, I picked up the Union players that would play for them. Later, I picked up some more Union figures and then bought the Fisherman's Guild from a Kickstarter backer who might have overdone it when all was said and done.

I wrote how easy it was to build the Brewer's Guild figures for Guild Ball. Since then I have built the Fisherman's Guild (seven more figures) and all of the Union except two characters (Eleven-ish figures) and these were not all as simple as the Brewer's Guild.


Something fishy this way swims...

The Fisherman's Guild is the fast, score, score, score faction. Generally the figures were not that difficult to assemble, though their tabs were still loose in the base. Green stuff is your friend!

Shark, the team captain, is holding a spear in two hands and they line up pretty good, though it is a little more difficult that lining up Tapper and Hooper of the Brewer's Guild. This is because his right arm is detached at the elbow and not just the hand, so there is just a little more work in making sure everything lines up but it isn't that difficult.

Salt, the mascot otter was more of a pain to assemble. His tail is a separate piece and it is tiny. My final join of it to the body is obvious, even after trying to drill out the hole a little. He also has no tab and only connects to the base by two tiny feet and part of the tail.

Kraken, the giant with the harpoon, only has his hand and weapon to connect and he has a pile of rope which goes on the base. The nub on the arm was bigger than the hole so it took some work to file down the nub and expand the hole so the hand fit on cleanly. It's not something that is unusual to do when building miniatures. I saw some pictures where people connected the rope on the harpoon to the rope on the base, but it doesn't appear to be the actual intent and probably would take some conversion to make work, so I skipped trying to do it. Like a lot of the big guys, he doesn't have a tab but his feet are a pretty good contact point and he should stay put on the base.

Angel only has one piece to attach and it is her hand and weapon. Maybe my eyes are old, but I could not see a definitive point to connect the hand. Sure it seems like the spot is obvious, but there was no definitive hole for the nub to connect to. I am also not happy that the long weapon is connected by such a tiny connection point.

Siren was worse to work with, but not because her pieces weren't all together. She is connected to the base by the tips of her toes and while I was holding her arm to let the glue set I managed to bend her a quite an angle and was afraid she would snap off the tab like Hemlocke did (more on that later). Luckily I was able to straighten her out and glued a small piece of wood to the base and against the bottom of her feet so she is now sturdy. Her arm glued on easily as did her netting/skirt front.

Greyscales was also a bit tricky. He has to be attached to the base in such a way that you can also get his front leg into the anchor spot on the torso while still getting it to look good. I think it might also be possible to attach it in such a way that it would interfere with the harpoon which also is glued on, though it would be difficult. Being the unskilled oaf, I tried gluing the tab into the base with the green stuff filler while gluing the leg on at the same time. I got glue all over my hands but after a bit of fumbling I was able to make it work. If I had shown some patience, gluing him to the base while holding the leg, I bet it would have been easier. His harpoon is connected to both hands and went together quite easily.

Jac went together with little effort. Both arms need to be glued on, but have good contact points.

Overall, the Fishermen weren't as easy to assemble as the Brewer's Guild, but still weren't too difficult. The only real caution is Siren's connection to the base.


Making life difficult

Ahh, the Union. Their sole purpose in the world seems to be to meddle in the affairs of the hard-working guilds who are just trying to make ends meet. At least that was the thought until I started building the figures and decided their real purpose is to increase the suicide rate in miniature builders.

Sure, it all starts off fine with Blackheart, the captain of the team. He has a very dynamic pose, but the figure is well-cut and his sword arm, cape, and head all glue on with no difficulty and he looks smashing. Coin, the mascot is one piece so only a total moron would screw it up. I guess that means I am not a total moron?

Fangtooth is one of the big guys and he is one piece and even has a tab which connects him to the base. So far, so good.

Gutter has one arm to attach, but that arm has a tiny contact point. What prevents her from being a pain to assemble and keep that way when using her is the chain from the weapon also attaches just under the arm and gives a nice two-point connection. She was pretty easy as well.

Rage was cut in an odd way, though I guess I understand the reasoning. His sleeves are rolled up and he is holding a weapon in each hand. The arms were cut at the sleeve and not the shoulders. I think the shoulders would have made better connection points, but these do work. He went together fairly easily as well.

Avarisse & Greede is a strange pair of figures. They count as one in the game. Avarisse is on a big base and he assembles fairly easily. Both arms glue on at the shoulders and are a snap to do. He doesn't have a tab so you have to glue him directly to the base, which is a little bit of a problem since they sculpted the cleats on his feet. So instead of a nice connection point, there are about a dozen tiny points which I suspect won't hold him well. So I laid down some green stuff, pressed his feet into it, and let it set before gluing him to it. The unusual part of him is the big hole in his chest. There are three magnets in the kit and one of them goes in there.

There are two Greede figures, one which fits on a base and one which rides on Avarisse's chest. The one on the base needs to have a tiny arm glued to his tiny body. I am not sure it will stay connected, but it wasn't hard to attach. The rider Greede needs to have both legs attached and one arm. The arm is similar to the one on the other Greede and I feel the same way about it. The legs have much better contact points and should be fine. Then comes gluing in the magnet on the rider. Make sure you have the polarity correct, or you will be out getting some acetone to soak the figure in to dissolve all the super glue. There is one other piece which is the harness that is on Avarisse's chest when Greede is off running around. That also needs the magnet glued into it and also needs to be glued in the right way. I didn't and had to go buy some acetone.

Over all, Avarisse & Greede were pretty easy to assemble. The connection issue with Avarisse's feet was a portent of bigger issues to come and I also know is repeated on at least one figure from the Mortician's Guild.

Hemlocke connects at one toe to the base. I made the mistake of gluing her to the base before gluing on her other leg and arm. I recommend at least gluing her leg on because it connects nicely to her body and the foot connects to her cape and it is easier to position without having the base in the way. I know, I did it both ways. When gluing on her arm, my ham-fisted ways which were again displayed when I tried building Siren of the Fisherman's Guild reared up and bent Hemlocke so bad that she broke right off the tab. I tried to get her to stand on the base using green stuff and glue but nothing worked. I thought about sawing her in half and using the legs of Feiya, the Pathfinder iconic witch figure as someone on the Guild Ball forums did, but once I saw how much additional work would need to be done, I went with convention wisdom and decided to pin her. Since I had the acetone from the magnet fiasco, I dropped her in some to clean off all the glue and green stuff residue. I broke out the tiniest drill bit and was able to insert a pin going up her heel into her ankle and inserted a tiny (0.02") pin. That worked to give her a solid connection to the base. Her arm still has a tiny connection spot and I am worried about it staying connected. I might have tried pinning it, but the tiny bit broke while I was working on her ankle.

Mist is another figure which connects with just a toe. He also has a couple of pieces of his cloak which connect to the front and they go on with no real effort and have great connection points. His foot, however, is a pain. He broke off the tab while I was washing the figure before gluing him (which removes the mold release powder which can make gluing impossible)! I've washed hundreds of figures and never had that happen before. I grabbed the next smallest drill bit I had, maybe 0.03" or 0.035" and tried drilling into his heel but was unable to get a good hole started. Instead, I drilled a hole on the boot overhang so the pin would run parallel down the inside of his ankle. I then built up a little mound on a base with some green stuff, marked where the hole needs to go when it dries and gently pushed the figure into the green stuff so I have a good spot to glue him on later. I want to let the stuff set, so I haven't glued him onto the base yet. I figure I will use some grass or flocking to hide the pin if it is obvious after he is painted.

Snakeskin is another one which connects at one small toe point, but unlike the other she doesn't even have a tab. Luckily, her cape is this and comes close to the ground, so she can be glued with her foot connecting to the base while the hem of the cape also glues to the base. The other thing which I thought about doing was running a pin or two into her cape and connecting them to the base, and if I hadn't had to deal with Mist and Hemlocke, I might have. One of her legs also needs to be glued to the body as do both arms. The connections are pretty good on these. She also has a sword to glue onto her body somewhere, but I didn't see an obvious spot for it so I left it off.

I also have Decimate which showed up after I finished building the rest. She looks easy to build, though one of her epées is really curled up. If I recall correctly, one arm needs to be glued on as well as a cape and she looks like she will go together fairly easily.

The only Union figure I don't own is Minx. She also has one of those one-toe poses and her arms are flailing out and look brittle. I don't know if I will buy her any time soon because I just don't want to deal with worrying about connecting to her base.

Summing it up

The Brewer's Guild is the easiest of the three to build. If you are a novice to building miniatures I would definitely recommend buying them. The Mason's Guild also looks pretty user-friendly when it comes to assembly, though I haven't seen any pictures of the retail version of their captain.

The Fisherman's Guild isn't too difficult, though anyone building them should be way of Siren's feet and Angel's hand plus should be prepared to be patient with Greyscales.

Some of the Union are a breeze to assemble. Blackheart looks awesomely menacing but is still an easy build, but the decision to have so many figures with tiny connection points to bases when the figures are going to be constantly handled and moved is a bit discouraging. I know Mike has had some issues while building his Morticians as well which is one reason we haven't played again, though we hope to play next week since the official play mats will be here!

On the D6 Generation podcast episodethey appeared, the designers did say they learned some lessons from their initial miniature run and let's hope there aren't this many challenges for those looking to buy figures to play with over modelers looking for cool looking figures to paint. Blackheart and the Brewers show that there can be dynamic poses which are easy to assemble and sturdy.

Since the rules for the figures are all available, you can always use proxy figures, like Feiya for Hemlocke, if there is someone you wouldn't want to try building.

The issues were more frustrating for me than challenging. Both Mist and Hemlocke can be built with care and then their feet shored up like I did with Siren or using green stuff to make it look like they are pushing off a rock or a clump of dirt. Knowing what to expect in the future I will be a little more careful with the figures, like I was with Siren, though I am less likely to just buy every team now. This is supposed to be fun for me, not work.
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Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:05 am
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Guild Ball Overview

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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The other night, Mike and I played a game of Guild Ball using the Quick Start Rules which can be downloaded from the Guild Ball web site. We had both read the rules on the previous week but were not fluent with them.

We made some mistakes, but both liked the game a few moves in. The game went fast, as you might expect from a shortened, quick start game. Mike ended up winning by knocking out two of the three players on my side and I had scored a goal. We were in a position where I thought wouldn't be able to score and it wasn't likely I would be able to damage him before the head Fisherman would have been eliminated. So we called the game with him winning.

Thinking about it now, I should have kept playing. I would have been able to score if I pulled off a single success to gain a Momentum point, which is needed to shoot, then taken the shot. Oh well. And that's yet another reason why I like the game because there was a to pull that victory out if I had played it just right.

So what about the game?

Pros

The number of rules is relatively few and shouldn't take much effort to get the hang of and play a game correctly.


The playbook system for choosing a result for an attack/tackle attempt is brilliant! When a player attacks another, they count the number of success they have then look at the active character's "playbook" and count a number of columns from the left to right on the playbook. Once they reach the point which equals the number of successes the character has they can choose any result from that point, back to the left and the beginning of the playbook. The choices are usually damaging the opponent, pushing the opponent, dodging away from him, knocking them down, taking the ball away from him, or activating a special play. This means the more successes are rolled, the better the chance of pulling off the desired goal.

The players do not have point costs. Each team is made up of one captain model, one mascot model, and four other players. The players are supposed to be balanced and work within the teams, so any player can be used in any game as long as the team construction rules are followed. The way the results are ordered on the individual character's playbook allows the teams to be thematic and synergize with each other.

The model count needed to play is six. That's it. Adding a seventh figure (a fifth normal player) means the team you field can have five different roster choices. Adding an eighth or ninth figure increases the options to 15 and 35 possible teams to play.

The game is also not campaign-driven like many sports games are. There is nothing wrong with campaigns, but I've always had a hard time keeping them going because real life often interferes with fun times and some players just lose interest faster than the rest. There will be a campaign system in the second release, Season 2, but the players are already different from each other and don't need an experience system to give them a personality. They also don't die from under you. Except for one character in the rulebook fluff, but they are still, and will be officially playable in events.

And you can play for free! Did I mention this already? Maybe? Unlike many, many miniatures games, you can try it before you buy it. Even after buying in, you can print the stats out for certain characters and add them to your existing team to see if you want to buy a particular player.

Some cons...
I'm unsure about being able to measure everything before committing to a move or action. In my experience, this could cause the game to drag when playing with some people. Still, with only six players a side, it shouldn't be too big of an issue.

It's also disappointing that there isn't at least some kind of marker for the goals in the team box. Sure, I have lots of 50 mm bases I can use for them, but not everyone buying into the game will be in that position. Maybe Steamforged Games will make some cut-out stand-ups for goals and place them on their site? I did find a link to a company in the U.K. that has a couple of nice MDF ones which might work, so maybe I will order them?

Buying the game

Okay, you can get the game from Armada Games in Florida. Everything is retail, but they don't charge for shipping it (I don't know their overall shipping policies) and they ship quickly. All three of my orders went out the next day and Mike's order placed in the morning (about 11 a.m. Florida time) went out the same day.

They are also responsive to questions and have been helpful when I was first looking into buying the game and even gave me a head's up when a second order of the Play Cards and Tokens arrived after they were short on the initial order. Awesome service! It's like dealing with my FLGS, the Game Depot in Tempe, AZ but they are on the other side of the country.

So far I have the Brewer's Guild, all the Union players that will play for them, the Union captain and mascot as well as a couple more Union figures I ordered when I ordered the rulebook after Mike and I played.

The Union players were a little harder to build with several having very small contact clue points and Hemlocke having one of those as well as a tiny foot on the base and she is east to bend and might break off at the connection to the base.

I suspect I will end up with several teams. All of them are appealing in one way or another. I am also impatiently waiting to get official pitch when it is released. Yeah, it isn't cheap, but the price seems in line with other war game mats. I've even thought about buying the Butcher's Guild and the Fisherman's Guild starters to get painted up and leave at the Game Depot so they will have the figures to let someone (not me) teach the game to potential players using the Quick Start Rules. Assuming, of course, that they will carry the game when it becomes generally available.
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Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:40 am
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Guild Ball!

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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As I mentioned earlier, I picked up a Guild Ball team, the Brewer's Guild. They were very easy to assemble and everything fit exactly as it should. The one issue I thought I would have is with the character Friday who has a handful of knives in her left hand and that tiny piece is supposed to be glued on to her left wrist. Fortunately, the looks like it was meant to lean against her hip and that made for a really stable gluing point and I don't think I will have any problems with her hand in the future. In her right hand, she is holding a throwing knife which is very thin and pliable and that could break off at some point.

Another small issue I had is the tabs which insert into the bases were very thin and I needed to add epoxy putty to the base slots so the figures could easily be positioned as they were meant to be. Neither issue should be a recurring problem because in the current episode current episode of the D6 Generation podcast, designers and grand poobahs behind Guild Ball, Mat Hart and Richard Loxam, said they learned from the issues in their first batch of miniatures and are mindful of those mistakes when designing future figures.

I have sent the figures off to be painted and hope to have them back soon since there are only six characters, a mascot, and a ball and Ken's a pretty quick painter. That's all that's needed for a team, plus another character so a substitution can be made as needed depending on the opponent.

Did someone say free?!?

Hidden in my earlier post is my saying that the game is free to play. You can download the rules, templates that are needed, and paper stand-ups for the figures from the Guild Ball web site. [http://guildball.com/#downloads]

Do it if you're at all interested because it looks like a really solid mix of a miniatures war game and a sports game. Hart and Loxam did everything they could to reduce the amount of math in the game to streamline the play of the game.

More, more, more

It's really hard for me not to buy even more figures because all seven of the normal guilds and the Union all look awesome. I did order the Union figures which will play for the Brewer's Guild as well as the starter so I can play them as their own team. Mike has ordered the Mortician's Guild and did the same for the Union players which will get on the field with his assortment of unsavory characters.

One of the reasons to resist buying more teams is I really need to focus on one team and their tactics. It's something I always struggle with in miniatures games because I often end up wanting to play multiple factions and leaders. I will likely pick up the extra Union players and am looking forward to getting one of the official play mats which should be available in the next month, or so.

As I post this, I am off so Mike and I can play the quick start game to get the hang of the game and I hope we'll play a full game later in the month. I also hope others in the group will think about getting involved in the game.
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Fri Aug 7, 2015 2:15 am
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Games Played in July 2015

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I only got in a single Warmahordes in July. I ended not being able to make a couple of times Shawn and I were supposed to play so it is all my fault I didn't get to play more this month. I ended up buying into another miniatures game, Guild Ball, this month. My team, the Brewer's Guild, should be here on August 1 and Mike and I should get in at least one game in August.

I played 29 games a total of 45 times and three expansions logged 11 plays. Eight whopping games and two of the expansions were new to me in July. I played six of the games and one of the expansions in June.

Those things played in July were:

7 Wonders
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2014
My Rating: 8

Two games with Mike and Damian. Damian had never played before and won both games. Mike had built the Broken Token insertwhich made set-up and tear down a lot easier. Really, you can say that about any game with one of their organizers, and I bet I say it again soon.


Bora Bora
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Another in the alea line that I can mark off as being played. I liked the game, but it falls into the category of games I will not want to teach.


Cacao
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

A nice, fiarly light tile-placing game which is more similar to Samurai: The Card Game than it is to Carcassonne.


Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 6

Having the insert from The Broken Token really helps set this game up and put it away.

Again I focused on not going adventuring at all, this time Shawn focused heavily on adventuring, and Nico worked on a balanced attack of the game's mechanisms. Once again, I pulled out the win but think either of them could have won the game. Sometimes it just comes down to who selects certain roles at a certain time.


D-Day Dice
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 6

Two scenarios with four players, which meant they were easy: even after we pulled the Bangalore torpedo from the mix.


Eminent Domain: Microcosm
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 4

This might have been fun if the rules actually explained the game, the terms, and, you know, the goals.

A bad purchase on my part and a terrible job of writing the rules.


Exxtra
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2014
My Rating: 8

Nico pulled out Excape, which he overpaid to acquire. Here's hoping it gets reprinted sometime soon since we both know people who would like to get their hands on copies.


Guildhall
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2014
My Rating: 8

Wow, it has been a long time since this was played. It's still fun and two sets is plenty of card interaction so it doesn't need to be expanded any more.


Hanabi
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 6

Three players with a score of 19. Not bad, not great.


Hordes
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

I played Trollbloods against Shawn who decided to try Khador.

As always, I documented the battle and it can be found here.


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Two games. Once with two players and once with four.


King's Gate
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2013
My Rating: 4

Still not a favorite, but I only have to play it ever couple of years. Both Cacao and Samurai: The Card Game handle the process of playing on a board to surround areas better than this, and nothing is quite as ugly as King's Gate.


Mystery Rummy 4: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Mike broke out his new copy which has cards that can be easily shuffled. How sweet it is.


Nations: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 6

A "flavor of the quarter" which I am still enjoying playing, though I suspect I will tire of it soon. The question is who will tire of it first (or get distracted by the new shininess)? Me or Nico who brings it and suggests we play it?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game 2.0: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 10
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: The Price of Infamy for two games and From Hell's Heart for six of them.

Michael and I finished The Price of Infamy in our two-player campaign and then later in the month played the beginning of the last adventure pack. Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I played two scenarios from that last pack, From Hell's Heart, which were supposed to be the first two, but we erred and played the first one and then the third, which we lost and replayed immediately. Whoops...

So the next time we played, we went from scenario 2 to scenario 4, then on to scenario 5 and we ended up finishing the adventure path and are ready to move on to Wrath of the Righteous. We decided we won, since we were set up to kill the boss on the next turn when we ran out of time by the random roll of a die. The last scenario is one which is determined solely by the location of the bad guys in the decks. If you don't have enough explores the you can't win.


Princes of Florence
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2013
My Rating: 10

I taught the game to Michael, Alex, Ben, and Shawn. Michael may have played many years ago when Jason S. was still around, and he played like a pro and pulled out the win over Ben. I was embarrassed because I didn't play smart and waited too long to start a work and never got a jester, which I would have needed to wait as long as I did. My final score was respectable because I managed to pull a couple of eight-point prestige cards and meet their requirements.

Here's hoping it doesn't take another two years before I get to play again.


Qwixx
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Nico picked up the Qwixx Gemixxt sheets and ordered an extra set for me. How cool is that?

I did have the chance to play with the mixed-colors score pad and it was definitely a different challenge, but still close enough to the original game.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

I decided to focus on getting a lot of monuments and it didn't pay off.


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 6

What? Not a two-player game and not with Nico? Say what?

Both games were with Mike and Damian.


Saint Malo
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2014
My Rating: 8

This was a brutal game. We ran through all the possible pirate attacks and in the end I lost 20 points and Mike lost 25 from the attacks. In other words, it was fun.


Samurai: The Card Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2011
My Rating: 7

After playing Cacao I wanted to get this played again since it shares mechanisms with that game but the scoring is completely different, which changes the game completely.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 9

Mike, Damian, and I played a couple more games with our Rancher, Preacher, and Scout. Mike's Rancher is significantly more powerful than ether Damian's Preacher or my Indian Scout. Maybe we'll catch up in power level as we increase in level? Mike made it to level five between our two scenarios and Damian and I are probably one adventure away from getting there ourselves.


Sheriff of Nottingham
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

It reminded me of Hart an der Grenze, though I enjoyed this more. I looked and it really is a re-implementation of that game. I wonder if the change is theme is why I enjoyed this game more, or if there was some change in game play? It's been a long time since I played Hart an der Grenze. It wasn't the company, because when we played it way back in 2006 at the Gathering, it was a blast becuase of the bad Spanish accents and acting by the players and soem of the players might have consumed some tequila-like substances.

The one thing the original had over this version is the means of hiding the cards. The tins were much better than the oft hard-to-open bags. Shawn accidentally ripped the snap out of his bag when trying to open it for the first time.


Splendor
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 8

Two players with Nico. I was surprised to see that I only played it three times this year before this.


Valley of the Kings
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 5

I didn't like the pyramid for buying cards and that only cards buried are scored. I'd play again because it's possible my thoughts might change if I played it again, or even a few more times.


Viceroy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

I really enjoyed the building of the pyramid with the cards, but the auction phase for selecting the cards feels like it could make the game really frustrating for the players that end up tied a lot when making their selections.


VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2014
My Rating: 6

Nico brought this along and we played a four-player game.


Voyages of Marco Polo
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

A game Nico had played previously and he discovered that they were incorrectly placing the houses.

We played it with four players and I put almost my entire focus on acquiring contracts and completing them because my character was the one which received a good every time someone visited the market. I didn't enter a single city that my bonus cards would have scored for, and only moved two spaces on the board the whole time. Some traveller I turned out to be. Still, it proved the explorers might get the glory, but the merchants who stayed safely at home were the winners. You know, like me.


XenoShyft Onslaught
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Mike and Damian have been playing this cooperative deck building game two-players and Damian suggested the three of us play it when we didn't have enough time for another Shadows of Brimstone game. It is a pretty good cooperative game which feels nearly impossible to win, while still hinting that the players could have a chance to win. The possibility of a win snatched from the players in the third phase of the game and all hope is wiped from the game.
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4 Comments
Sat Aug 1, 2015 4:15 am
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