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Old 03-09-2012, 08:46 PM   #381
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Spent the afternoon sorting my Thunderstone Advance set. I got an out of town extension a local game store to send one to the store hear, and they were kind enough to even include the promotional Avatar cards. I'll spend the evening going through the rule set.
Prepare for me to ask you a bunch of questions soon
Fark! Forget it, I didn't read the advanced part. Shitbang.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:54 PM   #382
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Prepare for me to ask you a bunch of questions soon
Fark! Forget it, I didn't read the advanced part. Shitbang.
Feel free to ask, it's not that different. There are a couple more mechanics, but mostly it's rules clarifications and cards designed to play a bit different.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:00 PM   #383
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Feel free to ask, it's not that different. There are a couple more mechanics, but mostly it's rules clarifications and cards designed to play a bit different.
I copy. I will most likely be rolling this out in the next weekend or 2. Same weekend as we break out the Talisman 4 and expansions. Good times.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:49 AM   #384
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Not really a new purchase... I've been sitting on it for a while... but I busted Core Worlds out of the shrink yesterday and gave it a play with some of my co-workers.

It's not a bad game at all! It's a deck building game with a space theme, and while it's probably not going to de-throne Dominion or Acesnsion as the deck-builder of choice for many players, it brings some interesting elements to the table, or rather it combines elements from many of the popular deck-builders in a way that makes it feel a little bit like all of them.

From Ascension it borrows the center row, which gives you a pool of cards to draft into your deck or worlds to conquer. From Race for the Galaxy (a great game in its own right) it borrows the tableau, used here to keep track of your conquered worlds and also your currently deployed units, which you can use to conquer more worlds. You don't play cards from your hand into the center, though - you play them into your tableau... once there's enough stuff in your tableau you can make a move on the worlds that are in the center, but the other players will likely be doing the same and watching what you're playing into your tableau to try and predict what you're going after (so they can steal it).

Turns are broken up into phases - all players draw their hands for the turn, their captured worlds produce energy, then the center zone gets repopulated with cards (and cards that have been around for 2 turns go away, to keep the game moving forward), then players take turns using up their action points and spending the energy their worlds generated to draft new cards from the center, play stuff into their tableau, or launch invasions on worlds still sitting in the center. After that, there's the discard of unused cards from players hands (but players can opt to hold onto one card until the next turn), and the movement of the round marker to the next round.

One other thing I liked about the game is that rather than one draw deck, it has 5, with progressively better (but more expensive) cards in them. Every 2 rounds, you move to a new deck to populate the center from. The last deck contains the "core worlds" that are worth the big points, as well as bonuses for players that composed their decks a certain way throughout the game - for example there's a world that gives you one point for every infantry type card in your deck, and another that rewards players for having heavy cruisers and cap ships in their decks. On the player sheet, there is a reference that shows all of the core worlds and that their bonuses are, so smart players can use this to plan ahead to think about what core world they're going to go after when the endgame hits (for the last round, the entire remainder of the 5th deck enters the center row, so every core world becomes available). This adds a really nice bit of strategy that I didn't catch until it was too late, and I lost handily.

All in all though it's a really interesting take on deck building games... I like how it uses the 5 decks to slowly ramp up as the game moves forward (this is to represent the fleets starting on the outer edge of the system and moving in on the core worlds)... it helps make sure that the center area is always full of cards that players can actually afford, and helps the excitement build up over the course of the game's 10 rounds. Using the tableau to deploy units makes players be a little mindful of how they plan their attacks, since everyone will know when they see that player amassing an army in font of him. There's enough to do in the short game, and a nice mechanic for planning out a long term goal. It scales well, with different numbers of cards populating the center depending on how many players there are, as well as energy boosts for players that start late in the turn order (turn order also changes every round, so those guys will get to go first at times later on), and the space theme is one I enjoy a lot more than the themes in games like Dominion or to some level Ascension (though I dig the art in Storm of Souls, the newer Ascension game). It's pretty inexpensive (I think I got mine for $30), and I'm happy I added it to the collection.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:12 PM   #385
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Finally ordered Thunderstone Advance. My game purchases have slowed a lot lately (thank you, student loan payments, for eating all my excess income) but I've been itching to get this one.

Would anyone have an opinion on which is the "best" D&D-based boardgame? I've looked at ravenloft and some others, but am unsure as to which is the best investment.

I was also going to invest in Elder Signs until I noticed I could buy it on Google Play for my Droid. Not exactly a group activity, but it's slick as hell and with the recently released expansion that adds a couple new Great Old Ones, totaled about $6.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:35 PM   #386
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Drizzt is easily the best of the DnD games. Ravenloft has the coolest theme, I feel, but is flawed in many ways. Wrath added campaigns which I really enjoy, but the characters they added to LoD along with a few new mechanics to balance the playing field makes it the easiest choice to recommend IMO. I'd recommend snagging Ravenloft after the fact when you can mix/match and make it a bit more balanced and less of an attrition-fest.

And I really like Elder Signs personally and being able to play which AO I want to, but honestly, I pull out the app far more than I do the board game for ease of use. And with the newest update where they added Yig for free and then the paid Cthulhu campaign for $2.99, it's a bit of a no-brainer.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:42 PM   #387
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Speaking of which, I'm actually trying to sell a couple games so I can buy Mage Knight when it rereleases next week. I have a thread in the trading forum, but I'm looking to offload Castle Ravenloft and a mixed set of Thunderstone Dragonspire/Wrath of the Elements. Support a good cause!
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:24 PM   #388
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Drizzt is easily the best of the DnD games. Ravenloft has the coolest theme, I feel, but is flawed in many ways. Wrath added campaigns which I really enjoy, but the characters they added to LoD along with a few new mechanics to balance the playing field makes it the easiest choice to recommend IMO. I'd recommend snagging Ravenloft after the fact when you can mix/match and make it a bit more balanced and less of an attrition-fest.

And I really like Elder Signs personally and being able to play which AO I want to, but honestly, I pull out the app far more than I do the board game for ease of use. And with the newest update where they added Yig for free and then the paid Cthulhu campaign for $2.99, it's a bit of a no-brainer.
Your feeling about Ravenloft (which is sadly the only one of the three I own) match mine exactly. The theme is so right, but the mechanics just don't quite work and require quite a bit of effort to tweak into a "fun" zone.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:44 PM   #389
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Drizzt is easily the best of the DnD games. Ravenloft has the coolest theme, I feel, but is flawed in many ways. Wrath added campaigns which I really enjoy, but the characters they added to LoD along with a few new mechanics to balance the playing field makes it the easiest choice to recommend IMO. I'd recommend snagging Ravenloft after the fact when you can mix/match and make it a bit more balanced and less of an attrition-fest.
I agree with the above. Drizzt far over Ravenloft. But neither rate very high in my book for all out fun. But if choosing then Drizzt.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:03 AM   #390
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Drizzt is excellent, even though I'm not a big fan of the novels. As far as gameplay goes it takes what they've done in the first two games and expands on it once more. I didn't think it was different enough to buy (I already have the other two), but it is easily my favorite of the three. I think further back in the thread we went over the list of additions to the game (a "basic" and "advanced" deck, much better monster AI, a bit of expansion on the campaign options).
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:30 PM   #391
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Wow, thanks for the input all. I was originally siding with Ravenloft just because it's my favorite D&D setting. I had heard some negatives associated with it before though, thus why I felt the need to ask. I used to like Drizzt and co. back in the day, but honestly, he became such a Mary Sue as time went on that I started to get really sick of constantly hearing about how awesome he is. For gameplay purposes though, I'm willing to put that aside if it's just a better game.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:51 PM   #392
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Honestly, I like the idea of Drizzt as a character but don't care much for R.A. as a writer. While you are going through some of their more famous stories, it works in a board game setting as they act as the overall theme but you can still run into a random cave troll and toss a magical cat at it.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:02 AM   #393
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You know, my experiences with Ravenloft so far haven't had the negatives that most encounter with it. We've actually been making changes to it to make it more challenging as we've been finding it too easy, granted we've only played about 3 or 4 adventures so far but they haven't been in order. Tonight skipped to the Dracolich because every time I open the box someone in the group points at the Dracolich and asks "When do we get to fight that?"

One of the changes we've made so far have been introducing initiative, we treat each set of turns as a round and at roll for initiative at the start of each round. It helps prevent us from having a strategy worked out 3 turns ahead of the game. Another is selecting abilities at random.

We also try to not correct actions if we realize we've made a boneheaded move or read a card wrong as well try to not take too much time think through a round. Those are bit tougher to enforce depending on who's playing though.

I did pick up Drizzt recently, but I've only played a solo adventure with it so I'm not sure how different it is in the group setting. Drizzt felt a bit broken to me, especially if he's got Guenhwyvar out. Fortunately I had mixed in the "Advanced Deck" and got a cave troll to come out the end and provide some challenge.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:05 AM   #394
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I didn't know the D&D games supported solo gaming.

I might actually pick one of these up if that's the case.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:41 AM   #395
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They all do. There's adventures in the book that are for multiple players only, but there are quite a few that support solo as well. There's also PDF advetures WotC was putting out, or at least they were for a while.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:14 PM   #396
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They all do. There's adventures in the book that are for multiple players only, but there are quite a few that support solo as well. There's also PDF advetures WotC was putting out, or at least they were for a while.
FYI I tried Talisman 4th which was all kinds of awesome and we also threw down some Quarrels. Very fun.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:07 PM   #397
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Finally pulled out my Thunderstone Advance copy to give it another whirl. I was a little meh on it the first time I played it (which was my first time with Thunderstone period), but this time I just "got it" and had a really good time. To be honest, the real mistake was following the "first game setup" in the manual, which might normally be just fine, but is crazy unbalanced for a solo game. There were so many monsters I had no chance of killing there was almost no point in playing.

Second go round I played one of the scenario options and focused more on improving my deck, like I'm supposed to. Focusing on numbers ruins a little of the thematic element (for me), but I had a much more enjoyable time. Combat can be fun and exciting instead of just the numbers game because of so many ways to draw cards and the strength of some of the monsters requiring those abilities. Adds that unknown element that I crave in game combat.

The abilities on the heroes just seem well thought out to make combat fun. For example, the ability on one of the thieves gives you a (significant) bonus if there's darkness left, so you may not be able to use him to his full extent if you draw too much light. Do you prepare and try for another hand that can take out a strong monster? Take out a weak one? Get rid of some of the light in your deck? I just find it cool that even if you have a level 3 hero--which are almost nuclear in terms of power--you could get screwed into not getting his bonus by something that's normally a good thing.

Anyway. It seems pretty fun, there was an expansion just announced for it, and I feel a deep need to try out Quarriors, but there doesn't seem to be any solo variant and I'm not sure my wife would like it.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:44 PM   #398
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Finally pulled out my Thunderstone Advance copy to give it another whirl. I was a little meh on it the first time I played it (which was my first time with Thunderstone period), but this time I just "got it" and had a really good time. To be honest, the real mistake was following the "first game setup" in the manual, which might normally be just fine, but is crazy unbalanced for a solo game. There were so many monsters I had no chance of killing there was almost no point in playing.

Second go round I played one of the scenario options and focused more on improving my deck, like I'm supposed to. Focusing on numbers ruins a little of the thematic element (for me), but I had a much more enjoyable time. Combat can be fun and exciting instead of just the numbers game because of so many ways to draw cards and the strength of some of the monsters requiring those abilities. Adds that unknown element that I crave in game combat.

The abilities on the heroes just seem well thought out to make combat fun. For example, the ability on one of the thieves gives you a (significant) bonus if there's darkness left, so you may not be able to use him to his full extent if you draw too much light. Do you prepare and try for another hand that can take out a strong monster? Take out a weak one? Get rid of some of the light in your deck? I just find it cool that even if you have a level 3 hero--which are almost nuclear in terms of power--you could get screwed into not getting his bonus by something that's normally a good thing.

Anyway. It seems pretty fun, there was an expansion just announced for it, and I feel a deep need to try out Quarriors, but there doesn't seem to be any solo variant and I'm not sure my wife would like it.
This sounds cool I guess I will have to try my hand at the game as well.
Ya Quarriors doesn't seem like it would fit soloplay.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:56 PM   #399
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I picked up Alien Frontiers over the weekend. It was very rare back in 2010 when it came out - a kickstarter project that resulted in one very small print run. I was shocked to see it on the shelf at my FLGS. Immediately picked it up.

It's a lot of fun, even when limited to the 2 player game (a co-worker and I set it up and gave it a play in between calls at work today), but I can see it shining with 4 people for sure.

Basically you're all working to colonize a planet by placing colonies on it to earn victory points. Along the outer edge of the board are different "orbital facilities" you use to gather resources to build said colonies and then get them into play. So the main game involves both resource gathering to build the colonies, and then some light territory control in actually placing them (whoever has the most colonies in a region of the planet gets a bonus VP and that territory's special power). The clever twist on this game is in how you gather the resources (and this is the part that some will love and others will hate).

Each player starts the game with 3 large dice of their color. The dice represent the player's ships - so every turn you roll your dice, and then "dock" them at the orbital facility you want to use, where they sit until your next turn. Each facility has rules regarding how to dock with it, and a limited number of spaces to actually accommodate ships. For example, to dock a ship at the mine to gather ore, you have to use a die that's equal to or greater than any dice that other players have there already. To use the shipyard (and get extra dice... very critical) you need a pair (and the required fuel and ore to pay for the ship). To steal resources from another player at the raider's outpost, you need a straight (like a 3,4,5). Roll a triple? You can instantly build a colony for 3 ore! We REALLY liked this element of the game - it's very easy to pick up and between the luck element and the limited docking spaces at each facility, there's a few different ways players can work to block their opponents and get an edge. My opponent kept filling all the spaces at the mine once he got a fleet of 6 ships, so I had to resort to stealing it from him or trading fuel for it at the trade station (which meant that I has to use more dice up to achieve the same goals).

There are a couple of other modifiers, like alien tech cards that you can buy at one of the facilities that give you useful powers to modify your rolls or even destroy opponents ships to free up a docking station for your own ships, and this helps complete the package nicely.

It's a very easy game to learn... took maybe 10 minutes to get us both up and running and 1-2 coached turns, and it was a very tense game once the planet got crowded, and this was just with 2 players.... I can see it getting nuts with more. Using the dice in place of ship minis hurts the theme a little bit, but it's very clever and it makes the game itself just flow brilliantly. It's definitely a game you can play multiple times in one sitting because it's SO streamlined. Some may find it a little too simple, but I found it to be just the right mix of stategy, luck, and mechanics. The die rolls can screw you, but you're never without options and I was able to take some bad hands and make them useful through judicious use of the alien tech cards. Getting extra ships early on is key to really beating the other guys, and that can be hard if the dice aren't kind, since you NEED pairs to buy ships. Once you have 4 or more dice though (to a max of 6....7 if you control the relic ship from the planet surface), it's not hard to get the resources and rolls to get more. I suffered early on due to the lack of pairs on my 3-die rolls, but managed to catch up towards the end of the game.

If you can find a copy of this one, it's totally worth it.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:14 AM   #400
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Mage Knight should be at my local game store Thursday or Friday. I was the third or fourth person to ask them to hold a copy, so I'll keep my fingers crossed they got enough. I understand the distributor has already shipped all the copies for this printing.
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