Tag: Kickstarter

Back or Brick: ISS Vanguard

Back or Brick: ISS Vanguard

This is a special edition one because ISS Vanguard is a new game from Awaken Realms. This is a massive space game, and I have liked Lords of Hellas and Tainted Grail, but will I back this one? Unfortunately I can’t drop in anything more 

Back or Brick – Momiji

Back or Brick – Momiji

The autumn leaves fall, will you collect and place them the best out of any player in this calm game by 3 Emme Games? Pros Price Solo Play Theme TTS and Tabletopia Demo Cons New company Game Play The Page This page I have mixed 

Back or Brick: Creature Comforts

Back or Brick: Creature Comforts

Craft cozy comforts in this animal themed light weight Euro dice placement game from Kids Table Board Gaming.

Pros

  • Theme
  • Aesthetic
  • Mechanics
  • Game Difficulty
  • Price and price options

Cons

  • Theme

The Page

I love this page, they do a great job on it and honestly, I could just look at that artwork all day. Shawna JC Tenney’s artwork is just beautiful and it fits so well for the theme and the weight of the game. This is not a heavy Euro, you are not fighting for spots on the board in hopes that you’ll be able to do what you want to.

They also have a ton of previews for the game as well. And I know it says reviews in there, but assume that anything on a Kickstarter page is always going to be more of a preview. If it were a review and it was negative, they won’t put it up on the page. So maybe checkout Board Game Geek for reviews. But that’s about the only knock that I have on the page.

The Game

This is a company with pedigree for creating good and interesting kids games and family weight games. And this game looks like it falls in line with that. The mechanics are pretty standard Euro but with a bit of dice rolling to supplement what you are trying to do. I like the idea of crafting things and building up a tableau of things in front of you to score points.

What it also does, and I commented about it above is that it’s friendly in your worker placement spots. There are generally three types of worker placement games, ones that don’t limit where you can go, ones that allow you to bump someone from a spot – generally giving them a benefit, or ones where only a limited number of people can go. This one is the friendly type where anyone can go anywhere which really does help keep it in that family weight game.

Back or Brick

For me, this is going to be a brick. Now, that seems weird considering how much I’ve been positive about it. But I’m looking for a spot for it on my shelf. Will it replace those introductory family weight games that I already have, I’m not sure. Is it one that will get played much right now or even in the next few years as I have a 2 year old, not a kid who is ready to learn a game like this, I don’t think it will. I think this is probably a really good game that most people will enjoy, and I think if you back it you’ll like it, for me, this is just not the right time for me to back a game like this one.

How about for you, is this a back or a brick?

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Back or Brick: Elements of the Gods

Back or Brick: Elements of the Gods

Will you be able to outmaneuver your rival gods and get your worshippers in this area influence game? Pros Looks amazing with the minis and the map Elements make sense in what they do Price Established company Solo Play Cons Abstract in nature Confrontational The 

Holiday List – For the Board Gamer

Holiday List – For the Board Gamer

So we’re back into the realm of board games for today’s holiday list. But I don’t want to just list off the most popular or highest rated games. Those you can find on Board Game Geek if you want. But if the person is pretty 

Back or Brick: Bardsung

Back or Brick: Bardsung

Become those who songs are sung about in the epic dungeon crawler from Steamforged Games.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/steamforged/bardsung?ref=profile_saved_projects_live

Pros

  • Quick to set-up
  • Non-standard fantasy races/classes
  • Dungeon crawl
  • Session Length
  • Campaign Game
  • Price

Cons

  • Dungeon Crawl
  • D20 based
  • Very much D&D inspired
  • Price

The Page

I think that they do a solid job on the page. I get some idea of the game play and while there are obviously a lot of minis in this, they could highlight them a lot more. And that’s not saying that I want them to highlight it more, in fact I appreciate that they don’t. Too often games like this focus on the minis and then not at all o the game play.

I also like how they show off a number of guest writers for it, which some fun names in there. I like it when games can pull in more creators to help give different parts of the game a more robust and interesting feel to it. It also helps with the diversity in the game, because a smaller team, though Steamforged Games is not small by any means, can mean that you have less diversity in the game and creators.

I will knock them a little bit, as I do most campaigns on Kickstarter, the information for the game play is pretty low on the page. So I don’t have a ton of idea until I’m about halfway down and they’ve tried to sell me on add-ons shown off the minis a few times. And while the section is fairly large, I feel like it’s actually light in details for the game play itself.

The Game

So, this part is interesting and I am looking at the game from what I can tell in the rules, plus watching some game play.

They talk about simple character creation and it being simple to get up and go overall for this game. This is both true and a lie. Character creation is definitely simple, you get a starting set-up for your character, you toss on a couple of tokens to note things, and that is great. I like how simple that get into the game is. Same with setting up the map, you have a starting map spot and your character and that is it, and you’re ready to go.

But it’s also a lie. When building your character, you get to choose how you progress. They made it free and open so that you won’t have to be stuck in a class. I like that aspect about it, but that means in future games and future times when setting up your character, it won’t be as simple, in fact you’ll have to keep track of what you’ve done. Plus the action dungeon crawl itself. Gloomhaven doesn’t pretend it has fast set-up, this does, this probably has longer in game set-up than Gloomhaven does just because you are flipping a card, that tells you what map tile is next, you find that tile, then you need to figure out what bad guys go on there, then you need to shuffle up the combat order that people go in, the marching order. I’ve played Shadows Of Brimstone which uses a set-up mechanism like that, it’s faster to get it going on the table, it is not faster when all set-up time is considered.

I do like how the enemy AI works. It isn’t completely unique, as things like Sword and Sorcery and Imperial Assault have done this as well, but it’s basically a list of things. If the enemy can do the top thing, that means they do that, if they can’t, look at the next one, and so on and so forth. It makes enemy combat easy to do, but can make it a bit predictable. This compared to Gloomhaven which has an enemy deck so you don’t know what might be flipped up.

Back or Brick

So there are things that I like about this game and things that I don’t. I do think that this game has some interesting characters, but at the same time, it also has a lot of D&D related characters and monsters and I could just play D&D. Then there is the D20, I didn’t talk about it much in game play, but you are rolling a D20 to do things, and the issue with that is that a D20 has massive variability. In Dungeons and Dragons that can be an issue, but D&D is a much about the role playing as it is the roll playing. This is a board game, so as much as they want it to be like an RPG Board Game, it is going to be a board game first, which means that variability sucks. For me, this ends up being a brick because of that, and because I don’t believe the set-up and getting going is that much faster, it just shifts it to down time in the game versus at the start of the game. Add in the title, I like the idea of bards singing about your deeds, but from what I can tell the name is just a fun name and doesn’t have anything to do with what you really are doing in the game.

How about for you, is this game a back or a brick?

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Back or Brick – Burncycle

Back or Brick – Burncycle

Can you lead the robots in this cooperative game as they try and take back control of their programming from their human overlords? Pros Established game company Cooperative play Theme Component Quality Cons Price Game Play The Page Chip Theory Games are definitely a well 

Back or Brick: Atlantis Rising: Monstrosities (2nd Edition Reprint)

Back or Brick: Atlantis Rising: Monstrosities (2nd Edition Reprint)

Can you escape from the lands of Atlantis as the waters rise in this cooperative board game from Elf Creek Games. Pros Known game Great production quality Existing KS Board Game Company Cooperative Price/Shipping Cons Base game has been available not via Kickstarter The Page 

Back or Brick: Darkest Dungeon

Back or Brick: Darkest Dungeon

Can you survive the darkest dungeon in this Rogue-Like RPG Dungeon Crawler from Mythic Games based off of a video game?

Pros

  • Very established company
  • Dungeon Crawl

Cons

  • Dungeon Crawl
  • Theme
  • IP Based
  • FOMO

The Page

Mythic Games knows how to lay out their game pages, they are a very established company and one that I have one of their products, Reich Busters, and kickstarted another with Hel. You clearly get the pledge levels explained, though there is one odd thing about the pledge levels, and that’s that you are “saving” money on a KS exclusive game. If this is Kickstarter exclusive, and I realize it could be that you can get it in the pledge manager and you’d have to add-on the one character, you really aren’t saving anything, because where else are you going to get the game. Now, like I said, it probably means to get everything you’d have to pay $10 or $15 more in the pledge manager, but still, not great advertising and just odd. Also, while they do have a solid amount of information on the page, you have to get through so many pictures of minis, stretch goals and what not before you get to game play. Highlight the minis and the game play at top, that’s my preference.

The Game

This is a grim dark game with perma-death in it, so that is interesting, we’ve seen some games like that, Tainted Grail is kind of like that, though not really, but you an play it that way. And while normally I’m down for fantasy, the grim dark style is something that I feel like is played out for me at this point. I have Tainted Grail, I’m getting Oathsworn and Hel, so though it should be a theme that I like, right now I’m less here for it.

That said, I like that we’re starting to see Dungeon Crawls incorporate in some elements like town building and making the downtime between quests, between dungeon crawls more interesting. That’s something you can see that I’m baking into my game idea, but also that you have in this game, Frosthaven, and more. It makes it feel like a more complete world.

Back or Brick

This, for me, is a brick. I have no connection to the video game, if I did, it might be different. For me this game just doesn’t add much that I’m looking for. I already have games like Frosthaven coming that does the town thing, and grim dark worlds as well. So while I don’t think that this game isn’t interesting looking, I look at where I’d put it on my shelf, and I’m just not sure that there is a home for it. I also don’t love the FOMO of Kickstarter Exclusive, but then also advertising how much you’ll save on the Kickstarter (versus what), that bit just turns me off to it slightly as well. And knowing Mythic Games, I might have a chance to get this from their online store, but right now, not for me.

How about for you, is this a back or a brick?

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Back or Brick: Project L: Finesse

Back or Brick: Project L: Finesse

This polymino game has you filling in spaces on cards, trying to get the most points in a light engine building game. Pros Established company Engine Building Expansion and base game Good price Quality components Cons No base game only level The Page I like