During my time between jobs, besides spending a lot of time doing mind numbing training in new programming languages, is go to Fantasy Flight Game Center and try out some different games than I’ve played before. And yesterday I went with a friend and played…
Month: June 2017
So, if you follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Nerdologists/), you’ve seen me posting news about the newest season of Pandemic Legacy. I wanted to talk about the legacy games that Kristen and I’ve played thus far, and what we’ve found that works in these games and makes them good. And then go into some games that I wouldn’t mind seeing turned into a legacy game that I own and how that might work.
What is a Legacy Game
Legacy board games are games where you play for a certain number of times or until certain conditions are met, but each time you play you are updating the board/cards. This means that the game evolves and changes each time that you play it. So your experience playing the game will be different than anyone else’s experience with the game. It also means that you’ve bought a board game that you can only play a limited number of times.
Why would I want to do that?
Because these games are capable of having a bigger and grander feel than other games. There is a consistent story and decisions feel like they are more important. So even though you can’t play it as many times as a normal board game, legacy games have more of an experience as you play it.
What are some of the good/bad things we’ve seen?
So, thus far there are three true legacy games, Risk Legacy which we haven’t played, Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and Seafall both of which we either have played, are playing, or will shortly be playing again. Pandemic Legacy is going to be where most good things come from, though as compared to our game group, I don’t mind Seafall as much as some of them do.
- Having a good/epic feeling story
- Feeling the pressure of the story
- Consistently progressing story
These are all important things that I would say make a good legacy game. When you have an idea of what is happening and the story is always moving forward at a consistent pace no matter if you win or you lose, there isn’t any point where you stagnate. It is also important for each of your decisions to feel important, but for there to be some story direction as to why you might want to head in a certain direction.
- Poorly Written rules/spelling errors
- Inconsistent story pacing
- Too many options without enough direction
So, these are all things that Seafall does, in spades. If you decide to play Seafall, look up a how to play youtube video to learn, don’t look at the rules, unless you are a seasoned gamer and patient you won’t learn from them. Also, if you have an analysis paralysis player in your normal game group consider having them not play, or at least be aware the game will come to a halt for five to ten minutes on their turn. If you have two, just don’t play this game.
Would we recommend either of the games?
Absolutely for Pandemic Legacy Season 1, and we are stoked for Season 2 coming out this fall. The information thus far on it make it look different but similar.
For Seafall, I would say yes, but some caveats. If you have primarily passive players, meaning they aren’t going to push action/conflict, if you have primarily casual players, or if you have primarily analysis paralysis players, don’t play this game. Also, realize that this is a slow burn game, with huge rushes of stories that add in awesome stuff. So, if you get Seafall, read up about it and decide if it’s right for your group.
What Games could get a Legacy Treatment?
This is the real reason that I wanted to write this, to do some games that could be turned into a legacy game, I’ll just do one now, but expect to see part 2 later this week.
Dead of Winter
Why it could work: Surviving a zombie apocalypse already has story elements built into it. In Dead of Winter you are trying to survive, but maybe it could be more than that, maybe you are trying to find enough supplies/clear out a path, and going from town to town in a way that is leading you to finding a cure, or more likely finding a safe haven where you and settle down and not worry. I’d play that story, and it lends itself to seasons as well, and good progression.
What would have to change: First, the tone would have be a lightened a bit. The game is quite dark with the crossroad cards and the things that can happen based on them. Those crossroad cards would have to change to be stuff that’s a bit more general. Also, the whole traitor aspect, you’d probably need to drop that, otherwise someone who started the game playing with you might just end up torpedoing everything early on and getting exiled, then what’s the fun for them?
What would I keep: I’d keep the hidden objectives. I like this idea that each player has their own secret dossier that tells them that they are trying to do by the end of the whole first season. Or maybe it isn’t even that big, maybe it’s a secret objective that you have to complete each game or different ones per player in each city/town that you go to. I’d also keep the idea that you have a base in each town (with my story idea), but then the buildings in the town can be different for each town which would be simple to set-up as an in game mechanic. I would also keep it semi-cooperative, but how does that work without there being a traitor?
What I would add: I’d add rewards for completing your hidden objectives, and since this is a legacy game, the players who complete their’s would end up with more of a reward at the end of the game. So that there is real incentive to completing your objective. Also, besides the zombies, there should be a big bad guy at some point, doesn’t have to stay around for the whole game, but having one appear sometimes, or maybe sometimes you are even competing against another group trying to get to safety, and all of this is done mechanic wise in the game.
Would I play this game? Yes, I think that Dead of Winter is ripe for a bigger story to be added to the game, and they’ve already built on it, I think this game needs a legacy version.
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After some time without a post (sorry about that), with a new job hunt and some vacation time, I’m back with another TableTopTake review. This one for the Star Wars Rebellion game.
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away the Empire was in search of the Rebel’s secret base. They were sending out probe droids, building new AT-ATs, taking over planets, and trying to deal with those pesky rebel scum. But that wasn’t the only problem, the Rebels were gaining ground as they completed missions to subvert the Empire’s plans and it was only a matter of time before they’d be able to stop them.
If that sounds a lot like the actual Star Wars movies (or at least the original trilogy), good, because that is what Star Wars Rebellion is built around. It’s only a two player game, which is a little bit odd, though I guess you could split up the duties and play as a team, but that would also be odd for the game, where one side is the Empire trying to destroy the Rebel base, and the other side is the Rebels trying to complete missions and last long enough until they have enough influence in the galaxy. Star Wars Rebellions takes the grand space epic feel and distills it down into a board game.
The game is a lot of fun to play and runs off of a number of interesting different mechanics. There is space and ground combat that allow you to battle it out with the other players troops, there are missions that you go on that the other player can challenge. And there is strategy of hiding your secret base and of searching for it. Most of these actions require that you use a commander, which are the named characters of Star Wars, to complete them, so if you decide to subjugate a planet, you use Darth Vader or the Emperor. Maybe you want to sabotage a supply line with Princess Leia. There are tons of different options, or maybe there will be an epic space battle between Tarkin and Wedge.
Star Wars Rebellion is split into different phases of the game as each player picks secret objectives on their turn to try and complete. These objectives, or missions, give you things and you can play them in any order. But if you play an objective, your opponent has a chance to try and stop you by sending in one of their guys that has the skill you are using. However, once you’ve used a character in a round you can’t use them again. Even moving your troops requires characters to do. This turns the game into kind of a bluffing game, can you stop some of your opponents plans or maybe you need to let something that isn’t ideal for you go through so that you can complete your own plans.
Besides these objectives, there is combat as well, maybe I send some ships into a system that contains a couple of enemy ships. If so, now we engage in combat. Combat is based around the ships that you are using and you roll dice with them. So the more or better ships that you have, the more likely it is that you’ll win. But if you send in a leader, like Tarkin or Wedge, you get some cards that can help you in battle. Maybe you’ll draw a card that can help you, and maybe you won’t, but maybe you won’t need them, because your dice roll could be amazing or terrible. The combat is based around dice that are determined by which troops you have, so there is an element of random luck to it. As are the rolls for challenging someone as they try and complete an objective. So even the better fleet might not win. This can be interesting, especially if you’re rolling well, or it can be poor, however, it doesn’t always lead to the most balanced game because finding the rebel base might be deduction, but destroying it is all about the die rolls.
Overall I really do enjoy the game. The cards help balance out the combat so you feel like you can win if you have the lesser fleet, but more often than not you won’t. There is a fair amount of strategy that goes into if you stop someone’s objective or if you need to move the troops, especially playing the Empire side which is searching out the Rebel base. The game takes a little while to play, but it does feel immersive on the story side of the game as you have characters that you really recognize from the original trilogy. I’d highly recommend playing this game, and I do recommend buying the game as well. I haven’t bought it yet, but it’s on my list of games that I want (which is huge), the downside is with the awesome figures, lots of cards, a huge board, the game has a pretty high price tag. The components are worth it, and especially when you play with the advanced rules as to how to set-up the game and leader powers, the game is immensely replayable.
Overall Grade: A
Gamer Grade: A+
Casual Grade: C
Just a little comment on the casual grade, I do think it will be enjoyed by most people, especially Star Wars fans. However, it isn’t a light game, there are a number of rules that all make sense and are written out well, but for a casual beginning gamer, it might be a bit much.
Have you played Star Wars Rebellion before? What are your thoughts on it? Does it feel like a part of the original Trilogy?
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