Tag: Board Game

Board Game Mechanics – Engine Building

Board Game Mechanics – Engine Building

Continuing on my series of board game mechanics, we’re going to be looking at Engine Building games. This has nothing to do with motor vehicles but it is building together pieces to make it work. Engine building games can be fun because they are games 

Point of Order: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

Point of Order: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

It’s Gloomhaven, the end. No, to go into more than that, why do I need Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion when I have Gloomhaven and Frosthaven? First part of it is being a completionist for that game. I have everything else, or it’ll be coming, 

Back or Brick: Ascension Tactics

Back or Brick: Ascension Tactics

The heroes of Ascension come to the board as miniatures in this new tactical fighting game.

Source: Kickstarter

Pros

  • Based off of a proven system
  • Company has Kickstarter track record
  • Deck building
  • Cool looking minis
  • Demo on Tabletop Simulator

Cons

  • Complexity versus simplicity of Deck Building game
  • Price Point
  • Dull dual sided board
  • Theme

Thoughts on the Page

Well laid out page, I like that it wasn’t just a barrage of minis to start the page, and while obviously there are minis it isn’t so over the top that the game only seems to be about the minis with how it’s laid out. And the fact that it seems to stay fairly true to the core of Ascension a deck building game, it is interesting. Speaking of the minis though, they do look good.

I like that they give you a bunch of price points, like I said, I think the entry level is pretty steep, not because it shouldn’t be that, it should be with the number of minis it has, but it’s more considering the system it’s working on. They are clearly doing well with the kickstarter though, but I wondered compared to the price of the original Ascension to the price point of this if it’s a big enough difference to keep people from backing.

Back or Brick

I’m very torn on this one. Do I need a tactical miniatures game? I think it could be cool and I love the game it’s based on, pretty high in my Top 100 games. For me Ascension is just a great introductory deck building game. Right now this is probably a brick for me, but I could see that changing to be a back. Mainly because it is on Tabletop Simulator. Normally I’d call this a try before you buy sort of thing, and I’m hoping it’ll hit retail. So I’ll be giving it a go to see if this is one that I really want to get via Kickstarter. The price point for the type of game, I’m just a bit worried. Give me a $50 standees option with the same shipping costs even and I’d be more tempted. Overall, I’ve gotten massive story driven games for just a bit more all said, so it seems just a bit off to me.

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Board Game Mechanics – Deck Building

Board Game Mechanics – Deck Building

Welcome to a new series of Board Game articles. In this series I’m going to be looking at a number of different mechanics in board games, starting off with one of my favorites, deck building. I’m going to explain how the mechanic works and then 

Point of Order: Cross Clues

Point of Order: Cross Clues

This one is thanks to the Dice Tower and their Summer Spectacular. Cross Clues is a really interesting game because it’s a cooperative party game. And I’m always interested in those, like Just One. In this game you put out a 5 by 5 grid 

Board Game Battles: Roll Player vs Sagrada

Board Game Battles: Roll Player vs Sagrada

Now, I know what people are going to say, these games aren’t the same, but there are some similarities to them that I want to look at, and I think for a number of people they might scratch the same itch with the dice placement. So let’s take this to the mat and meet our two competitors.

Roll Player

In Roll Player you are rolling up and drafting dice to try and create your best RPG character. You do this by selecting dice and placing them in the stats of Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. At the same time you are buying gear and traits in order to make your character even better. The game gives you stats that you need to target for your character, dice placement of color which can get you extra points, and an alignment that you are going for as your ideal. Plus, you have a character race with modifies your stats as well. In the end, the player who can match up their background and stats the best will get the most points and win.

Sagrada

In Sagrada you are building a stained glass window by placing translucent dice onto a grid. To get these dice you are drafting them from a pool that is rolled each round. You don’t get to just place the dice, you have to place them according to certain rules. The dice can’t be next to the same color or number on the top and bottom and left and right sides of them, the diagonal doesn’t matter. You also have to place a die so that it’s touching another die, this time it can be diagonally as well as orthogonally. Beyond that, certain spots on the board are going to tell you that it has to be a certain color or a certain number, so that limits what you can place around it. There are tools that you can use to manipulate your dice placement or the face or die itself. However, you have a limited ability to do that. The game is won by whomever has placed the most dice, how well you scored on three public objectives, and their private objective.

Image Source: Thunderworks Games

Comparison/Differences

The big area that these two compare is on the dice placement. Now, it’s done a little bit differently for that, because with Roll Player you’re just adding it to the end of a row of dice for the stat versus in Sagrada where you can branch out more so to fill in certain areas. This makes Sagrada a bit more strategic on that end, but not that much more, both of them are pretty straight forward with that.

Another area is dice manipulation, in this one Roll Player offers a considerable number of more options. Each time you place a die for a stat, you have a power that you can do, and all of them, minus Charisma, manipulate the dice, the side, the placement, whatever it might be somehow. So you’re manipulating your dice a lot in the game. Sagrada, on the other hand has tools that you end up using, but you have a limited number of times that you can use them. A hard stained glass window gives you five or six tokens to use, and after the first use of each tool it costs two tokens. So you’re manipulating the dice less, but also low numbers have more value if it matches a number requirement or color requirement on the stained glass window.

Battle…

Both of these dice placement, dice selection games look pretty evenly matched, with Roll Player using it’s weight advantage to push around Sagrada. It gets the early advantage with it’s simpler dice selection, but it tries for some complicated moves as it manipulates the dice. Sagrada starts to get in some quick hits and soon they are brawling again. Sagrada, knowing that Roll Player is going to come in for some bigger moves, starts to use it’s speed as it strings together move after move versus Roll Player who seems to be struggling at times to keep the momentum going. Sagrada eventually uses it’s speed to roll up Roll Player and the winner is…

Image Source: Floodgate Games

Sagrada

For me, the game just plays cleaner. I do really enjoy both, but there book keeping aspect of Roll Player, having to refresh the market every turn, setting up the dice, it’s all just slower. Sagrada gives me a number of interesting choices still, and less downtime and just less overall time in the game. I can sit down with people who are familiar with Sagrada and probably knock out two games in the time of one game of Roll Player. Now, the length of Roll Player isn’t a bad thing, Sagrada is just easier and smoother to get to the table.

Which do you prefer, Sagrada or Roll Player?

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Back or Brick – Yura Yura Penguin

Back or Brick – Yura Yura Penguin

In this dexterity and speed game you are building your iceberg as fast as you can for your penguin, but don’t let it fall. Pros Penguins Dexterity Aesthetic Price and shipping Cons No Kickstarter History Kickstarter Exclusives “Uno” rule Thoughts On The Page I really 

Building a Board Game Collection

Building a Board Game Collection

I will say that if you’re looking for a board game to buy, you can check out my articles (Part 1 and Part 2) because there will be some overlap, but in this case, I’m talking about building that collection when you want to play 

TableTopTakes: Silver

TableTopTakes: Silver

Bezier Games is known for their One Night Ultimate Werewolf games, but they have more than that, though, still, with a werewolf theme. One of those games is Silver. Does it really branch from what they’ve done before?

In Silver you have a village of five cards in front of you. These cards are face down and at the start of a round, there are four, you look at two of them. Then you take turns either taking cards from the discard pile to put into your village – face up, drawing a card to put into your village from the draw pile – face down, drawing a card and playing it for its special power, or calling for a vote. You call for a vote when you think your village has the fewest points left in it. Each villager has a point total, and while you don’t want to get a 12 in your village, using it to steal a good card from someone else and giving them a high value card always works out nicely. There’s one trick for calling for a vote, though, and that’s that your village has to have fewer than five cards. To get rid of cards, you can trade in two cards of the same number when playing a card from the discard or that you drew into your village. When the vote happens, whomever calls for the vote, if they have the fewest points, they get zero points for the round, everyone else gets what is one their cards, but if they don’t have the fewest points, they get ten plus their total while everyone else just scores the total points on their cards. After four rounds, the person with the fewest points wins.

There are some things that I really like about this game, but I didn’t love it the first time that I played it, which was at GenCon. The concept of the game is quite simple, and I hadn’t picked up on the amount of depth that you might need for the game. Knowing what cards are strong when is interesting, and knowing to just discard a card sometimes and do nothing with it, because it isn’t worth the risk. There’s more depth to it than you’d initially think. That said, just the base box with the base set of cards, that is enjoyable, but for long term replayability, I think that you need some of the stand alone expansions. Silver Bullet and Silver Coin I haven’t actually played yet, but from what I know of them, they mainly add more villagers that you can play with.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

In Silver there are villagers numbered from 0 to 13. A 0 is just a normal villager, no special power, unless both are face up in villages, at which point you just score. But other numbers have powers. A 13 is a doppelganger of any other number when trading in two for one (or even three for one or four for one if you can set it up). A 2 face up in your village allows you to peak at one of your cards each turn so you can figure out all the numbers that you have. A 7 lets you look at two of your cards once, if you discard it after drawing it. And every number has something that it allows you to do. However, in the base game there is only one set of cards from 0 to 13. 12 is an exception to that, but you pick which set of the 12’s you want to play with. Silver Coin and Silver Bullet give you more sets of cards of various numbers. That means that you choose which set of 1’s, etc. you play with and you can create your own combinations. This is very much like having Sushi Go and then getting Sushi Go Party! which gives you more possibilities, this just creates them as stand alone expansions so you don’t have to buy everything.

But even with that said, I do like Silver a lot. I think that while the expansions would make it more playable over time, just the base game is nice because it’s easy to teach and it plays quickly. Once you have a concept of what you can do on your turn, you just need to learn the cards, and as the teacher, I don’t need to teach all of them. I can just show you what a few symbols mean and you can learn as you go. Now, learning as you go can sometimes suck because that probably means you’ll lose the first game, and in Silver, that’s no exception, except for the fact that the games are short. Maybe a four player game would take 60 minutes, which isn’t that short, but a two player game, even the first one with me teaching someone, maybe took twenty minutes, and after that, probably could play a game with two players in fifteen minutes. And I think with four, maybe 45. So as a two player game, it can really fly, with more, it does add more time, but the more comfortable people get with the game, the faster it goes. And even if the person is picking stuff up in the first round to figure out the game, rounds two through four will go much faster. Plus, as I’ve said, it’s so simple to teach, it’s easy to get to the table.

Overall, I think this is a good family weight, almost party game. Yes, it can only play up to four, but it’s one of those games that I’d use as a filler between bigger heavier games, and that people can really get into because of the simplicity of the game. If you’re looking for something with longer term strategy, I do think you’ll need the expansions, but for a good game to pull off the shelf with your more casual gaming friends, I really like Silver as a new game to do that. And I do now, after teaching it once, think I could teach it in five minutes to new gamers.

Overall Grade: B
Casual Grade: A
Gamer Grade: B-

Have you had a chance to play Silver, is it a game that you like?

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Back or Brick – Roll Player Adventure

Back or Brick – Roll Player Adventure

Take your heroes on an adventure in this story driven follow-up to the popular game Roll Player. Pros Successful Kickstarter Company Based off of a good game Great demo at GenCon 2019 Campaign/Story driven game Solo play Cons Dice Luckiness Thoughts On The Page Great