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 […]
Tag: Mansions of Madness
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.
The lightest game on the list by far, but one that has a ton of different variable powers. In fact, every race and power is unique, and those combinations are randomly generated each game. So how you play is going to change each time. Add in the fact that you will have multiple different race and power combinations throughout the game, and this game is basically just about those variable powers. However, it works really well in this game, because you get that silly area control, but you also have some decisions to actually make in the game. I’d highly recommend this or my #2 on the list as options for introductory games with variable player powers, and then work your way up to the rest of them.
4. T.I.M.E. Stories
Not one that I have put on a list before, but T.I.M.E. Stories has an interesting way for unique player powers. Because you are traveling back in time or to other dimensions, and how they do it in this game is by sending your brain back into another person’s body, you now have all of that persons stats and issues. No spoilers for anything more than the base version of the game, but you might get sent back into the body of a cannibal or someone who is addicted to cocaine, so good player powers like you’d expect. And you can change it up between jumps depending on how you want to play through the scenario. The one thing I wish it would do a bit differently though is that you need a balanced party with mental stats and physical/combat stats. It would be nice to avoid combat more often if you wanted to.
3. Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition
This one is great because not only are your characters different because of stats, such as lore, strength, agility and others, they also have different powers. You could go into a scenario with a character who can attack better, gain clues when monsters die, or maybe you have someone who can reroll when doing lore checks and has a great lore. There are support characters and there are attacking characters. While the scenarios might be the same, with the exception of slightly different generated rooms, the game can feel different depending on who you are playing each time you play a scenario. And how you go about solving scenario might change as well, because sometimes your investigators might prefer a more direct approach.
2. Pandemic/Pandemic Legacy
Both are rolled into one since I really shouldn’t spoil characters in the Legacy version, but even in the base version it’s great. The medic can do something different than the dispatcher, the scientist different than the researcher, and so on. Each role has something that they are better at, and people can pick to tailor to their playstyle if they want. Or you can just try and random combination to see how well they work. They do a really good job of balancing the characters in the main game. And in the legacy version you get to decide even more options to make your character feel even more unique which is great.
Each character in Gloomhaven plays differently. You might be the ranged character, a magic user, a healer, tanks, there are so many different unique options. Gloomhaven is a massive game, a huge story driven dungeon crawler, and because of the card play, the combat is less random than a lot of dungeon crawlers where you are just rolling dice. And from the start you feel like each character is unique in what they do. I’ve played three different characters so far, and while they have all kind of been support characters, they all feel different and support in different ways, they haven’t been just healers. Overall my favorite game, and just great variable powers that the player can then even customize themselves.
There are a ton of games that I haven’t listed with variable player powers. Most of the time they are in games it works really well. But there are risks that a certain combination might be too powerful in a game if not properly playtested.
A few for the honorable mentions:
Cry Havoc – Gives each race their own buildings and style for getting points. Definitely a fun option that allows people to go from Euro to Amerithrash in the game.
Imperial Assault – Each playable Star Wars character has their own stats and powers. See Mansions of Madness for how the game play works somewhat. Or at least how the variable powers work.
Arkham Horror LCG – Fantasy Flight does a good job of creating Lovecraftian games with variable powers through their investigators. This one is probably my #5, but it’s similar to Mansions of Madness, so I didn’t need a double up.
And there are so many more games that I love like this. Root, Star Wars Rebellion, Legends of Andor, and so many more that it’s hard to keep track. What are your favorite games with variable player powers? Do you find it confusing in some games or do you generally want it?
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This is more of a house keeping post to help myself focus in on what I want to do with video streaming and give all of you an idea of what you can expect.
My Reason for Doing This
This is a two fold thing.
- I wanted to play more solo or solo playable board games.
- I want to help create interest in this type of game and in the hobby in general.
Now, to unpack that a bit more.
I Want to Play More Solo or Solo Playable Board Games
Why don’t I just play them? I could, but I like to talk through my strategy. I’m not someone who just looks at the board in silence when I play. In a competitive game I will, but in a solo or cooperative experience, I’ll talk through my plans. I find it weird talking to myself. Even if no one is there while I live stream, I feel better talking to that invisible audience than I do to myself.
I want to help create interest in this type of game and in the hobby in general.
I think part makes a lot of sense. I have gotten further into my interest in table top gaming, both RPG and Board Games because of content like podcasting and video reviews and game plays. I want to add that content on our website and onto YouTube as well so that more people can find good content on solo games and board games in general.
What Isn’t It Going to Be?
Right now my plan isn’t for it to become another review channel. And I don’t plan on it becoming a how to play channel. The Dice Tower does an amazing job with tons of reviews, and Watch It Played puts out a lot of great rules videos, so you can find them easily on YouTube.
Now, let me add in a little more information with that, I am not just going to sit down and start playing a game without any rules talk. But I’m not going to spend a lot of time going over the rules ahead of time. I’m going to talk about the game that I’m going to play, and then go through the rules as they come up in the game. So it might not teach you precisely how to play, but especially early in games, you’re going to see more rules talk and then the game go faster as time goes on.
Is It Just Going to be Board Games?
As of right now, probably. But that’s going to be for right now. I hope to add in RPG content as well eventually. Whether it’s more character creation videos, game play, or what else it could be, I’m not sure. Eventually I want to grow what I do with these videos beyond just a stream every couple of weeks or sporadic into something more consistent. When that happens, expect the content to become broader as well.
YouTube, why not Twitch?
Because I’ve done some streaming on YouTube already so I know how that works, generally. Expect to see some hiccups with that, but right now the plan is YouTube. I could see doing both YouTube and Twitch or having different content on both mediums, but right now, YouTube is the plan.
Hopefully this gives some clarity as to what I’m doing. I think it is something that I’m going to have a lot of fun with. I also want to ask for patience with this as I’m sure there are going to be a lot of ups and downs, especially to start.
So the last question I want to ask:
What Games are I Going to Stream?
I am planning on throughout the year playing a number of games, a lot of campaign or legacy style of games, some I’m planning on possibly doing are:
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and 2
Aeon’s End Legacy
Arkham Horror LCG
Legacy of Dragonholt
Mansions of Madness
And there are so many more I’m interested in doing. As you can see, I have a pretty big backlog of games that I can work on, so it should hopefully be a fun time.
The reason I’m writing this now is that my desktop should finally be coming at the end of this month, so expect some test streams early in February before we really launch into a lot of content. I might start with a few hands of the game Onirim to get everything figured out, and I’ll let you know when that’s happening.
If you have questions or suggestions about streaming, let me know, and I’ll try and answer them.
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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 well, though this is a bit more Halloween focused and Mansions of Madness is a pretty big and well known game. But with it being around Halloween, this seemed like the right thing to do. So you might notice that the theming isn’t going to be as closely tied to Mansions of Madness but more focused on Halloween and how you can incorporate the two together. If you want more specially themed to the Lovecraftian set-up of Mansions of Madness, you can checkout the article that I wrote about Eating Nerdy and Arkham Horror back in September of 2016.
So what are the things to think about with Mansions of Madness, how would that have a Halloween feel to it? The game is an investigative game where you are exploring a house or various locations trying to stop cultists from bringing about the end of the world, or there are other scenarios as well. I’ve only played the one introductory scenario twice.
Starting with invitations to the party, they should probably be mailed out with some old time font or better yet hand written. Then add in a request that people dress up like they’re from the 1920’s. Whatever they feel like is appropriately 1920’s should work as that is when Lovecraft wrote and when the games are set. I’d definitely also find some nice atmospheric music to play during the game and during the party as well. Also, figure out a way to dim your lights or to create that feel of suspense through the mood. If you could get enough electric or other candles to make the room bright enough to see, that would be good, or figure out a way that it’s light enough to see the board well, but the corners of the room are a bit dark.
As for drinks, to borrow from my Arkham Horror post, stick with the classic drinks. Old Fashioned or a Martini would work really well. Just straight up scotch also would be really good. Have some mulled hot apple cider for those who might not want to have an alcoholic drink or for when people want to switch it up. A good old fashioned rootbeer would work nicely as well. There’s a book, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails that has a lot of very nice recipes that you could pull from to create more thematic cocktails as well.
I’m not going to recommend a big meal for this, this is supposed to be a Halloween get together as well as Mansions of Madness, and I’d say just get down to gaming. Instead, focus on easier to eat finger foods. Caramel apples is an obvious choice for Halloween. Chips and salsa, peanuts and pretzels, just keep it simple for as you are playing. I’d also suggest that you ask people to bring food for this as well, it can be a longer game to play, so share the bringing of food, and if you do that, you can maybe got with some more labor intensive foods that would be more thematically appropriate for Halloween or for Mansions of Madness. I think going either way with the food would work for the event.
While you are playing, lean into the role playing your characters. People should be encouraged to pick the person who most looks like them or most looks like how they are dressed up. Do you over the top east coast accents or your noir detective voices, and really encourage people getting into and creating the story of your characters in the game. The Mansions of Madness characters do have some information about how they started to investigate these horrific events or ones like them, so have some fun with that. If you’ve made it atmospheric you’ll have a nice combination of suspense and goofy by getting into the role playing.
One thing to consider with Mansions of Madness is the app integration. In my case, since I have a projector, I’d be tempted to figure out a way to display it up there, because it wouldn’t be too obtrusive there and would allow everyone to easily see the text that is coming up. A tablet or laptop would work just fine as well, but figure out a way so that people can see it. I’d also consider, if you can, changing away your laptop from the normally harsher blue light that you get on TV’s, computers, and tablets. A lot of the newer tablets and other devices, you can go with a more yellow based lighting scheme, and that will fit into the aesthetic that you’re trying to create better than a blue light would.
What other things would you want to do to give it more of a Halloween feel? Doing something like pumpkin carving, to see who could carve the best elder god would be fun way to start the night and would also give you some fun lighting to use later as the jack-o-lanterns are lit.
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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 […]