Tag: Lovecraft

Board Game Battle – Star Wars Imperial Assault vs Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth vs Mansions of Madness

Board Game Battle – Star Wars Imperial Assault vs Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth vs Mansions of Madness

We have a triple threat match this time as we have three heavyweights from Fantasy Flight facing off. The reason that they get to face off is because all of them have app integration. What this means for all these games is that you don’t […]

Friday Night D&D – The Towers of the Gods

Friday Night D&D – The Towers of the Gods

This one comes from a handful of places for my newest campaign idea that you can steal, pick apart, etc. The first spot is Nerdarchy which really got me thinking about it on one of their videos where they were talking about a dungeon/tower that […]

Top 5: Action Point Games

Top 5: Action Point Games

Final top 5 list, I think that I could maybe come up with some more lists, but I might do eventual lists of games that play best or up to two through six or seven to give ideas for games like that. As I know that’s something that I want to think about as a person who hosts a board game night, what games provide that range in player count or allow players to split up more.

But we finish off with action points. What are action points, they are points or tokens that tell you how much you can do on a single turn. Maybe you can take five actions, and then you allocate those points to specific actions you can take, like moving or attacking.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

5. Dead Men Tell  No Tales
A cooperative game, in this one you are spending actions to try and find treasure on a pirate ship that is haunted and currently on fire. You have to contain the fire, try and find the treasures, deal with skeletal deck hands, and you have a certain number of actions you can take to do all of that. This game is like a lot of cooperative games in that you feel like you can never do enough. The interesting thing this game adds in with action points is that you can pass on your unused action points to the next player. So it might be that you are limited in what you can do, but the next person has a lot of useful things that they can do. You can move closer into position to set-up what for your next turn and then pass any unused action points to the next player so that they can do more. In a lot of cooperative games the action points are static but you can act upon other characters, in this one, you can’t do that, but you can pass out action points.

4. Dead of Winter
Dead of Winter is an interesting game on this list as it uses dice as your action points in the round. The dice don’t encompass every action you can take in the game, but the strongest actions, the ones that help you complete objectives are going to spend a die. Not only that, but the number you roll on the dice makes a difference as well. Some characters aren’t able to search or kill zombies with a low die roll. So in that case your die, which is supposed to be your strongest action is now made weaker and it looks like you are hurting the colony and people are starting to suspect you are the traitor more, but at the same time, they can see the roll, so they know it wasn’t great. And then you get more dice and actions when you have more survivors, but you are also responsible for more zombies showing up and more mouths to feed and making the game harder that way.

Image Source; Geek Alert

3. Arkham Horror LCG
This game doesn’t use the points as a physical token, but a lot of the games with action points don’t. Action allowance might be a good way of describing it as well, because you have a certain total number of actions you can take on a turn. Arkham Horror does this well, limiting you to two actions, and while you can do the same actions multiple times, you always feel the crush of not being able to do enough. Arkham Horror LCG is a placeholder on this list for all of Fantasy Flights Lovecraftian games as you feel the crunch Arkham Horror, Elder Signs, and Mansions of Madness as well. It’s a system that works well for them as it keep the tension high when you don’t have enough actions to do everything that you’d want.

2. Blood Rage
Action points are huge in Blood Rage as you try and get into territories, move troops around, and be able to hang in the round long enough to stop your opponent from doing what they are trying to do. What I like about the action point system in Blood Rage is that certain actions cost a certain number of action points. And the monsters, who are possibly more powerful or useful in some other way, also have action point costs. So you’re trying to balance using your action points so that you don’t run out much before anyone else, because once you are out of action points, you are out of the round at least in being able to take the large actions that are going to be most useful long term.

Image Source: Z-Man Games

1. Pandemic Legacy
This game does great with action points, basically each turn the active player spends up to four action points, moving around, curing diseases, trading cards, and finding cures. Then as the game continues, you gain more and more actions that you can take. At the end of the game, you’re trying to balance out these actions in hopes that you’ll be able to survive. Pandemic does a really good job with these actions, because it evolves over time. A lot of games have more of a static action pool with maybe unique characters have special player power actions that they can take, but Pandemic Legacy, both seasons one and two, give more options as you play and unlock more of the game.

Image Credit: BoardGameGeek

There are a ton of games that use this action point/action selection mechanic. It’s a strong mechanic for adding tension to decisions, because you’re almost always short of the action points you want to use in a round. This mechanic, however, isn’t always an ideal for players who might have AP, because it makes your choice really matter. But let’s talk about some honorable mentions:

Forbidden Desert/Forbidden Island – Cooperative exploration games that feel like Pandemic light.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Another Pandemic like game that also has a bit of a Dead Men Tell No Tales feel to it as well, this time you’re being fire fighters though.
KrosMaster Arena – Plan your movement and attacks in this Chibi MOBA style game. A little bit simple at times, and almost ways a best way to use your action points.
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game – This game is all about the Fate Points, as the action points are called. It’s a pool of action points which is a very different feel from a lot of the games as you as a team have to replenish and manage that pool of points.

What are some of your favorite games with action points? Is action points/action selection a mechanic that you enjoy?

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Top 5: Cooperative Games

Top 5: Cooperative Games

One of the last two board game top 5’s I’m going to do. Cooperative games are a ton of fun, sure you might like to beat up on another person in a game, but what works well with cooperative games is the game is going […]

Top 5: Variable Player Powers

Top 5: Variable Player Powers

Between campaign building, I want to go back to some of the board game lists. And this is probably my favorite mechanic for a game, where people can do things just a bit differently than other players. 5. SmallworldThe lightest game on the list by far, […]

Themes in Board Games

Themes in Board Games

I’ve talked a lot about theme in board game before and how I like board games with a good theme on them. Instead of talking so much about why I like themes in board games, I think I’ve covered that decently well, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite themes in board games and why I like them.

Now, that could be less exciting, because there are a lot of generic themes out there, and a lot of games that are using themes over and over again. Especially now with copyrights not being extended to kingdom come, there are more works that are now public domain. A few years ago Sherlock Holmes became public domain and HP Lovecrafts work some time before that.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight

So what are some of my favorite themes on board games?

Epic Fantasy –
Super generic, but I really do enjoy a good fantasy game. Especially since a lot of them have a better developed story than most. Now it helps that I’m a big fantasy fan, so I can quickly understand what is going on with the various fantasy tropes and it allows me to get quickly into the story being told. Games like Gloomhaven and Legends of Andor do a good job of baking story into the actual game play themselves. I think what I like about the fantasy theme on board games is that it gives me a bit of that feeling of playing an RPG in a lot of the games and I can make my decisions like I am that hero. In a lot of ways it scratches my itch to play an RPG when I can’t be in a game as a player or as the GM.

Image Source: Cephalofair Games

Lovecraftian –
I did a big board game battle post about all of the Fantasy Flight games that I’ve played with the HP Lovecraft world theme on them. I’m a bit surprised with how main stream Lovecraft is in board games, but it works in most of the cases. I will say that it gets slapped onto a lot of games that don’t need it. Like in Unspeakable Words, you’re just doing a pretty standard word game, but it has the Lovecraftian theme and cute Lovecraftian artwork on it. Now, that’s fine because it takes a game that wouldn’t have artistic direction and gives it some, but it’s kind of silly. Then there are games like Arkham Horror, Mansions of Madness, and Arkham Horror LCG that are just steeped in theme. Those games seek to make you feel like an investigator of some background who is really going through this world, dealing with the monsters, progressing the story, looking for clues, and sometimes dealing with the events of the normal world. It also does a good job of setting an aesthetic that is generally pleasing to play in but also being a horror focused game. It really doesn’t rely on blood and guts like some horror games would.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight Games

Sci-Fi –
Another super generic option, like epic fantasy, but I figured I should say more than just Star Wars. While the Star Wars games are great that I’ve played, Imperial Assault and Star Wars: Rebellion, there are other sci-fi games out there that I’ve liked as well. It’s interesting because you have a wide variety of scope with games in the Sci-Fi genre. Games like Star Wars: Rebellion, Battlestar Galactica, and Cosmic Encounters are planet level Sci-Fi games. And while Cosmic Encounters doesn’t feel like quire as grand a scope as Rebellion, it’s still a bigger game in some ways. Compare that to Imperial Assault and Clank! In! Space!, those games have a focus that is much more on a smaller part of the world. You’re on a planet or in a space ship dealing with things, but you aren’t as worried about the whole cosmos. Having that variety is what makes Sci-Fi such a strong genre to me.

Now, there are so many more genres out there, but you’re not going to have that much issue finding games in these genres, and I tend to gravitate towards them. There is one that I want to see more of though.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

Weird West –
I really enjoy the weird west setting. Some might say that it’s a bit Lovecraft mixed with the wild west, and that’s probably pretty accurate. But when people say a Lovecraft game, that’s generally meaning 1920’s and Arkham area. Weird west can be a lot more than just that, and I like Shadows of Brimstone for that, though I’ve only gotten it to the table once. I need to go back and fix the monsters and hopefully stream that game at some point in time so I can actually play it some more. But the game is interesting and has some cool big moments to it.

Mythological –
Now, some might say this is part of fantasy, but I think I would qualify it differently than “Epic Fantasy”. Theming of games like Lords of Hellas, which I haven’t played or Santorini which is really an abstract game, but has the Greek mythology added to it, that’s a theme that I can get behind. What makes it generally pretty thematic is that all the deities have their own powers which really do track with the mythology that you’re in. Even if you aren’t going the standard Greek, there are now a lot of games with Norse Mythology. Blood Rage on the cards you draft does a really good job of creating that mythological feel for each deity that you can draft cards from. In fact, those cards are where you really get the theme of Norse Mythology in Blood Rage.

Image Source: Renegade Games

I could go on talking about more themes in board games. There are games with a heavily influenced theme by Japan and/or Anime. There are games t hat have cool adventuring themes that give you the Indiana Jones feel. There are a few themes that I’ll generally avoid though. If a game has the “trading in the Mediterranean” theme, that’s a hard pass for me. I’m also kind of done with the zombie theme at this point. I do like Dead of Winter, so I’m not opposed to it, but a zombie themed game isn’t all that interesting to me most of the time.

What are some themes you like in board games. What are themes that you want to see more of in board games?

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Kickstarter FOMO

Kickstarter FOMO

For the fun of it, I check Kickstarters new board games every day, actually a few times every day. I like to see the new projects that are coming out and the trends in the gaming industry. The video games and decks of cards are […]

Eating Nerdy – Mansions of Madness

Eating Nerdy – Mansions of Madness

Normally with Eating Nerdy, I try and go with a movie, show, or game that is a bit more obscure that you can make an event around and how you can feed people while staying in theme. That’s what I’m trying to do here as […]

Board Game Movies

Board Game Movies

So, the news came out that Mice and Mystics might be getting a movie. Check out ComingSoon.net for more information about it. There has also been talk about Catan having a movie. Then there are movies like Jumanji and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle which have a board game focus. However, Clue is clearly the best of the batch that have come out thus far. So what would make a good movie, as a board game?

Image Source; Geek Alert

Now, I am going to toss one out here fast, Dead of Winter, however in a lot of ways, that’s basically The Walking Dead. So I’m not going to say anything about that one beyond it.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is the first other one that has popped into my head. And that’s because a lot of the haunts have such a classic feel. You could also most a series for it as well as a movie where a group goes into the same house over and over again to see what horrible thing would happen to them and who would betray the party. This has a bit of a Cabin in the Woods feel to it, because in that one there were a lot of “omens” lying around that they could have picked up. But having a betrayer as part of the group I think would add an interesting dynamic to it. Add in the Betrayal Legacy that is coming out, and you could get yourself a nice franchise.

Then from the same game designer as Mice and Mystics, you could do Stuffed Fables. In some ways, I think that would make a cuter story, stuffed animals going on a grand adventure to get back their girls lost blanket while they travel through a crazy world that has developed under her bed. Any game that has that strong a story element to it would obviously work better as a movie as compared to say, Catan. And this one has a very cute aspect to it that would make a very good family film.

So what about a game with less story focus as the driving storyline for a movie?

Image Source: Alderac

Love Letter, now why would that make a good movie? I think you could do a romantic comedy with it and have a lot of good humor surrounding trying to get the letter to the princess. Of course things would go wrong, the guards would throw someone in jail to stop one persons letter from getting through, and somehow at some point in time one of the suitors would end up getting their letter to the princess so that she can deliver the letter to herself and that person would just immediately lose, obviously. Almost would have a bit of the goofy feel of the Clue movie to it.

Root would be another cool game to see be made into a movie. Another one that definitely would have to lean towards a kid focused movie, but probably more intense than something like Stuffed Fables would be. Root would show the struggle in the forest for control. I would think that the Woodland Alliance would likely be the sympathetic main characters with the vagabond playing a large role as well. The Marquise de Cats would definitely be the evil group, and the Eyrie, while probably not being evil wouldn’t be well liked because they have too many rules. Personally, form having played the Eyrie, they are definitely the good guys, but maybe slightly misunderstood, but that can’t be helped.

Image Source: Leder Games

Arkham Horror LCG, to get back to more story focused games (though this game is fairly abstract with nice chunks of flavor text throughout), would be an obvious choice as well. You’d focus in on the investigators and what they are doing and the madness surrounding them. In some ways I’m a bit surprised that there hasn’t been something so Lovecraft focused done already. I might be forgetting something though. But a good movie set in that time frame of the 1920’s-30’s with the monsters possibly being released, that would be nice, and the potential for sequels is high with this one as there would always be another threat that the investigators would have to deal with.

Now, I’m sure that I could come up with a ton more games that would make interesting movies, if done well. What are some that would make great movies, in your opinion, that you want to see done? What are some board games that would make the worst movies?


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This Is Halloween: Board Games

This Is Halloween: Board Games

THIS IS HALLOWEEN! With possibly my favorite holiday coming up, probably Christmas then Halloween, I thought it would be a fun to toss out some of my favorite or good ideas for scary books, board games, movies, anime, or anything else. They are going to […]