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Fun nerdy dice,card and board games Yes, a non-videogame thread

#101 User is offline   Sir Thursday 

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 11:53 AM

I've been playing quite a bit of Hanabi, recently. It's a cooperative card-game with a unique twist - you don't get to look at your own cards, only everyone else's! You have to work together to try to play the cards in sequence - you're allowed to give limited clues to your teammates to help them out. Really good fun, especially once you've played a few games with the same group and figured out how they think. Takes 2-5 players. I'd highly recommend it if you've got some people who are willing to put some thought into things.

A few other ones I've tried recently (it seems as though I've been playing slightly more casual games than before, looking through the list):

Love Letter - Very casual card game for 2-4 players (works best with 4). It's easy to pick up and play, so ideal for teaching to people who just don't get those crazy board/card games they always see you playing. There's a heavy degree of randomness, but the right amount of skill involved that it feels as though you can influence the outcome in your favour. There's a lot of targeting other players and it's almost designed to have a sort of rubber-band mechanic built in. Makes for an entertaining half an hour or so.

Lost Cities - Two player card game. Very quick to play, easy to learn the rules but takes a while to figure out how to play it well. Only takes 10-15 minutes to play a game once you know what you're doing. Might be a good one if you've got an SO you want to play something with.

Mr. Jack - Victorian London themed two-player game. It's a hunter/hunted game (eg. in the same vein as Scotland Yard, if you've ever played that), but with some interesting mechanics about how the 'hunting' part happens. Very tactical, takes a few plays to get the hang of (probably about 45min duration, maybe a little longer). I've quite enjoyed this whenever I've played it.

Escape: The Curse of the Temple - This only takes 10 minutes to play, but it'll have your heart pounding. It comes with a soundtrack you play the game to. You are explorers in an ancient ruin and your aim is to find all the gemstones inside and then escape before you are trapped forever. Each player has a set of dice that you can roll as often as you like to achieve this. You have to work as a team - either you all make it out and you win, or one or more of you is stuck and you all lose. The result is a lot of very frantic dice rolling as the music can make you a bit panicky. Very good fun (although this game is more on the 'light' end of the scale in that there's not a whole lot of strategy involved). Takes up to 5 players.

King of Tokyo - You play a monster trying to assert dominance over Tokyo! Takes up to 6 players. In practice it's like a cross between King of the Hill and Yahtzee. You attack other monsters and either try to amass enough points (either by being King of the Hill for a long time or by other methods) or kill all your opponents to win. It's good fun (there are powerup cards that add some spice) although I would say that with a lot of players it suffers slightly from the fact that it's possible to be knocked out and have to sit around waiting for the game to finish.

Tzolkin - This one is a bit more serious/intensive. It's a worker-placement type game with a Mayan theme. Unique selling point - the board has gears on it that turn and stuff! Definitely one of the best boards of any game I've played. And it's probably one of my favourite boardgames overall, actually. You put workers on the gears and they rotate to different actions, then you take them off at the optimum moment to do what you need. There's a lot of planning involved, but there are multiple paths to victory that all feel refreshingly distinct. I always enjoy this whenever I play it. Takes 2-4 players, probably 90 minutes to 2 hours play time.

ST

This post has been edited by Sir Thursday: 07 May 2014 - 11:57 AM

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#102 User is offline   Blend 

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:49 PM

My friends and I have recently been playing Betrayal at House on the Hill. It's a great game for 1-6 players where you explore a haunted house - there are 3 floors (Main Floor, Basement, Upper Floor) and as you discover new rooms, you draw from a room tile deck. You draw Item, Event or Haunt cards when you land in a room with the relevant symbol, and follow the instructions on whatever card you draw. Eventually the Haunt is revealed based off a dice roll done after every Haunt Card that is drawn, and when that happens, one player becomes a traitor and everyone else has to defeat him or perform certain tasks to win the game while he tries to kill you all, or perform some other task to win the game. It's fun because there are something like 50 different possible Haunts based on what Haunt card you drew when the Haunt was revealed, and in which room you drew it. So far we've played about 8 times and still haven't had a Haunt repeat itself!
There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail - should we fall - we will know that we have lived. ~ Anomander Rake
My sig comes from a game in which I didn't heed Blend's advice. So maybe this time I should. ~ Khellendros
I'm just going to have to come to terms with the fact that self-vote suiciding will forever be referred to as "pulling a JPK" now, aren't I? ~ JPK
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#103 User is offline   Sir Thursday 

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 12:40 AM

View PostBlend, on 27 May 2014 - 08:49 PM, said:

My friends and I have recently been playing Betrayal at House on the Hill. It's a great game for 1-6 players where you explore a haunted house - there are 3 floors (Main Floor, Basement, Upper Floor) and as you discover new rooms, you draw from a room tile deck. You draw Item, Event or Haunt cards when you land in a room with the relevant symbol, and follow the instructions on whatever card you draw. Eventually the Haunt is revealed based off a dice roll done after every Haunt Card that is drawn, and when that happens, one player becomes a traitor and everyone else has to defeat him or perform certain tasks to win the game while he tries to kill you all, or perform some other task to win the game. It's fun because there are something like 50 different possible Haunts based on what Haunt card you drew when the Haunt was revealed, and in which room you drew it. So far we've played about 8 times and still haven't had a Haunt repeat itself!


Ah, my housemate bought himself a copy of that a few weeks back, I've been waiting to play it desperately! Was wondering if the title of the Mafia game was related in some way...

ST
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#104 User is offline   Gnaw 

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 04:08 AM

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this here before. Imperial Historian linked to it from the Eclipse thread. Table Top Simulator. You can create your own boardgames. (I'm working on porting Eclipse to it, although I fear a copyright infringement could result.)


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#105 User is offline   Blend 

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 05:23 PM

View PostSir Thursday, on 28 May 2014 - 12:40 AM, said:

View PostBlend, on 27 May 2014 - 08:49 PM, said:

My friends and I have recently been playing Betrayal at House on the Hill. It's a great game for 1-6 players where you explore a haunted house - there are 3 floors (Main Floor, Basement, Upper Floor) and as you discover new rooms, you draw from a room tile deck. You draw Item, Event or Haunt cards when you land in a room with the relevant symbol, and follow the instructions on whatever card you draw. Eventually the Haunt is revealed based off a dice roll done after every Haunt Card that is drawn, and when that happens, one player becomes a traitor and everyone else has to defeat him or perform certain tasks to win the game while he tries to kill you all, or perform some other task to win the game. It's fun because there are something like 50 different possible Haunts based on what Haunt card you drew when the Haunt was revealed, and in which room you drew it. So far we've played about 8 times and still haven't had a Haunt repeat itself!


Ah, my housemate bought himself a copy of that a few weeks back, I've been waiting to play it desperately! Was wondering if the title of the Mafia game was related in some way...

ST


Yeah, my original intention was to use some of the events and stuff from the game to create my lynch and death scenes, but everytime those came around, you ended up resolving because I wasn't near a computer!
There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail - should we fall - we will know that we have lived. ~ Anomander Rake
My sig comes from a game in which I didn't heed Blend's advice. So maybe this time I should. ~ Khellendros
I'm just going to have to come to terms with the fact that self-vote suiciding will forever be referred to as "pulling a JPK" now, aren't I? ~ JPK
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#106 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:03 AM

Played two rounds of the Game of Thrones boardgame. It was a lot of fun. I was surprised actually. I expected it to be more gimmicky and less a solid strategy game than what it turned out to be.

I didn't win either round, though I was a hair away victory with the Ironborn in game 1.

This post has been edited by Morgoth: 25 August 2014 - 11:03 AM

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#107 User is offline   Tapper 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:35 PM

I bought the Talisman app. It is oddly addictive for an Ameri-trash game and I might actually invest in the table top version at some point.
When in the States, I purchased Sentinels of the Multiverse, which so far proves good fun as a co-op game for the GF and me.
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#108 User is offline   Blend 

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 05:38 PM

I recently bought Pandemic and my friends and I played it last Friday. Thought it was a lot of fun! You work as a team to cure 4 diseases that are infecting different parts of the world. Each character card has different useful abilities that make the game a little different every time you play it, and the way the diseases spreads is inspired, and a lot of fun! Definitely going to get a lot of enjoyment out of this game!
There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail - should we fall - we will know that we have lived. ~ Anomander Rake
My sig comes from a game in which I didn't heed Blend's advice. So maybe this time I should. ~ Khellendros
I'm just going to have to come to terms with the fact that self-vote suiciding will forever be referred to as "pulling a JPK" now, aren't I? ~ JPK
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#109 User is offline   Khellendros 

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 08:59 PM

View PostSir Thursday, on 07 May 2014 - 11:53 AM, said:


Love Letter - Very casual card game for 2-4 players (works best with 4). It's easy to pick up and play, so ideal for teaching to people who just don't get those crazy board/card games they always see you playing. There's a heavy degree of randomness, but the right amount of skill involved that it feels as though you can influence the outcome in your favour. There's a lot of targeting other players and it's almost designed to have a sort of rubber-band mechanic built in. Makes for an entertaining half an hour or so.



I got this as a Christmas present and played it recently. Fun and quick, and uber simple. A very casual game for when you have twenty minutes free with nothing to do. Not sure it has too much replay value though.



View PostBlend, on 28 January 2015 - 05:38 PM, said:

I recently bought Pandemic and my friends and I played it last Friday. Thought it was a lot of fun! You work as a team to cure 4 diseases that are infecting different parts of the world. Each character card has different useful abilities that make the game a little different every time you play it, and the way the diseases spreads is inspired, and a lot of fun! Definitely going to get a lot of enjoyment out of this game!



Another game I played over Christmas. It was a lot of fun, we completely failed the first time round because we didn't work together enough. And we tried to eradicate the diseased wherever they popped up, which was a mistake. Second time round we were much more coordinated, and focused on curing rather than containing. Ended quite quickly once we did that actually, so again not sure how much replay value it has. However, I hear the expansions are pretty excellent - like you can get one character who is actually trying to screw you over rather than help.



The big board game I got over Christmas was Battlestar Galactica. For a big fan of the show (the rebooted one) like myself, it was incredibly fun. Paranoia sets in so quickly about who the Cylons might be, which is why they ended up absolutely annihilating us humans in the end, as one of them cleverly made us expend huge amounts of resources continually vying for control of the Presidency, when we could have just worked together.

Takes a bloody age to set up though, and it's quite a time sink.
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#110 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:58 AM

View PostKhellendros, on 28 January 2015 - 08:59 PM, said:

Another game I played over Christmas. It was a lot of fun, we completely failed the first time round because we didn't work together enough. And we tried to eradicate the diseased wherever they popped up, which was a mistake. Second time round we were much more coordinated, and focused on curing rather than containing. Ended quite quickly once we did that actually, so again not sure how much replay value it has.


Hoe many epidemic cards did you use? We play it lots and still enjoy it, 6 epidemic cards in the mix makes for utter chaos even with decent coordination.

Speaking of cooperative games, anyone here who has experience with the Arkham Horror games? We're thinking of getting that next, as a downside of PAndemic is that if you have one experienced player and several newbies, it does tend to be mainly one person playing and the rest just following instructions, whereas Arkham Horror seems to involve all players a bit more through dice rolls and such.
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#111 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 02:19 PM

View PostGorefest, on 29 January 2015 - 09:58 AM, said:

View PostKhellendros, on 28 January 2015 - 08:59 PM, said:

Another game I played over Christmas. It was a lot of fun, we completely failed the first time round because we didn't work together enough. And we tried to eradicate the diseased wherever they popped up, which was a mistake. Second time round we were much more coordinated, and focused on curing rather than containing. Ended quite quickly once we did that actually, so again not sure how much replay value it has.


Hoe many epidemic cards did you use? We play it lots and still enjoy it, 6 epidemic cards in the mix makes for utter chaos even with decent coordination.

Speaking of cooperative games, anyone here who has experience with the Arkham Horror games? We're thinking of getting that next, as a downside of PAndemic is that if you have one experienced player and several newbies, it does tend to be mainly one person playing and the rest just following instructions, whereas Arkham Horror seems to involve all players a bit more through dice rolls and such.


I've played Arkham Horror twice. It's pretty good. There's a lot more little things for players to keep track of on themselves (money, items, character stats, special abilities) and it is often a lot less obvious what the best thing for any given player to do is, and I think that does go a long ways towards preventing one experienced player from dictating what everyone should do.

Lots of finnicky rules though, so whoever buys the game should be prepared to study and memorize the rulebook so they are ready to remind everyone else about all the little things that come up (ie when a yellow monster is drawn "okay guys, this is a flying monster so instead of normal movement it will go to the closest player in the streets or to the sky if no one is in the streets" or "Yes, normally you'd go to the hospital when that happens but because you're in another dimension you will get lost in time and space, but because you're the nun character after 2 turns you will then move to the asylum").

It's nice that there isn't much that is hidden from you (whereas in Pandemic you could feel like you're doing okay and then the next four infection cards turned over give you 6 overloads and you lose) and the variety of randomly-drawn characters and Elders I would guess help keep the game pretty fresh in subsequent plays.

Perhaps most importantly, it has a really smart way of ending the game. A lot of cooperative games like Pandemic can feel kinda crummy when you lose because you ran out of cards or cubes and suddenly the game just ends. AFAIK, there's only one way to lose in Arkham Horror - everyone dying *and* the Elder one awakening. Running out of monsters to draw, having too many gates, etc, don't end the game, they just speed up the Elder one's awakening and when it awakens you have to fight it. It's a perfectly legitimate tactic to ignore closing gates and just concentrate on being ready to defeat the Elder to win, but if you're doing poorly you won't be ready and you'll all die fighting it, which is a nice, climactic way of ending the game and feels like a proper loss (or desperate win if you pull it off).

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#112 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 02:31 PM

Sounds good! We got tons of other games as well, but lately we are really getting into the cooperative spirit. Us against the game. Things like Forbidden Island and such.
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
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#113 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 03:00 PM

View PostGorefest, on 29 January 2015 - 02:31 PM, said:

Sounds good! We got tons of other games as well, but lately we are really getting into the cooperative spirit. Us against the game. Things like Forbidden Island and such.


See up-thread for Space Alert, the best cooperative game OF ALL TIME!!! :)

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#114 User is offline   Blend 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 03:12 PM

I've also played Arkham Horror once, and it was a lot of fun! As D'rek said, be ready to have someone know the rules inside out, because there are lots of little ins and outs involved in the game. It takes a while to set up well, too, because there are just so many different cards and such, but once it's set up, it's not too complicated to learn the basics of how to play, and once you're playing, it just gets more and more fun! I definitely recommend it as one of the cooperative games I've very much enjoyed playing.
There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail - should we fall - we will know that we have lived. ~ Anomander Rake
My sig comes from a game in which I didn't heed Blend's advice. So maybe this time I should. ~ Khellendros
I'm just going to have to come to terms with the fact that self-vote suiciding will forever be referred to as "pulling a JPK" now, aren't I? ~ JPK
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#115 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 03:19 PM

View PostD, on 29 January 2015 - 03:00 PM, said:

View PostGorefest, on 29 January 2015 - 02:31 PM, said:

Sounds good! We got tons of other games as well, but lately we are really getting into the cooperative spirit. Us against the game. Things like Forbidden Island and such.


See up-thread for Space Alert, the best cooperative game OF ALL TIME!!! :)


Thanks for the tip!
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
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#116 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 03:21 PM

View PostMorgoth, on 25 August 2014 - 11:03 AM, said:

Played two rounds of the Game of Thrones boardgame. It was a lot of fun.


The card game is actually pretty good too. I thought it would just be a Magic: The Gathering rip-off with GoT themes, but it has a completely different game mechanic. Didn't bother with any expansions other than the Greyjoy and the Martell Houses, no need really. Good fun.
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
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#117 User is offline   Imperial Historian 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 05:06 PM

Recently played dead of winter, which was a great Zombie co-operative survival game with a twist, in that everyone has individual objectives which can range from relatively harmless like hoarding food or fuel, to betraying everyone with everything in between. Then there are a variety of main objectives with different difficulties and length of time to play which is good for picking how long you want to play for. It plays like a cross between pandemic and the mafia style games, and was a lot of fun. Our efforts to survive the zombie horde got increasingly chaotic as we went along and became increasingly paranoid and desperate.

I got space alert for XMas, but haven't had a chance to play it yet.
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Posted 22 February 2015 - 05:24 AM

Second (third?) the love for Arkham Horror, but new players to the game might prefer the newer version, Eldritch Horror. It's got a lot of the same mechanics, but the rules are much more streamlined than in Arkham Horror.
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#119 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 03:36 PM

I tried out Archipelago last week. It is an economy-focused multi-strategy game. It's sort of like a blend of Settlers and Eclipse, with some cooperative elements thrown in.

You start with just ships on an all-water hexagon and can explore new hexagons outwards, discovering islands with a variety of resources on them that can be harvested where you deploy your initial meeples.

There's a mechanic where you continuously keep track of the employed and unemployed population of the archipelago as a whole, as well as how many many are dissatisfied with the players colonizing the archipelago (it's basically a Europe-colonizing-the-caribbean theme, though those specific names are not used).

There's a crapton of possible actions you can do { hiring natives into your colony, having your colonists reproduce, harvesting resources, taxing your colony (gets you a lot of money but increases the local dissatisfaction), building ships, building structures, buying/selling goods on a domestic market, buying/selling goods on an export market, exploring new hexes, mass-migrating your people, ... } so there's a lot of different ways you can play. ie you could focus on exploration and then consolidate the best tiles you find. Or you could recruit/reproduce tons of meeples and then mass-migrate them into your opponents' best territories (there's no direct confrontation, and it is difficult to establish complete control over a region early on).

In addition to 'actions' there are "evolution cards" which you can buy once per round and give you unique abilities. Some of them are just bonuses like receiving double the amount when you harvest pineapples, but others completely change things - like the pirate letting you destroy opponent ships or the spy letting you look at someone's objective card.

With all of the above, the game is basically a much more complex Catan, but there's two more mechanics that are really the heart of Archipelago:

First, there are "crises" that occur (one kind occur sort of spontaneously, and the other is guaranteed to happen at least once a round). These are random resource demands that are needed to placate your people or they will rebel. So, for example, everyone's meeples are flipped into the rebel state and (in player order) each player can take fish from the domestic market, with each fish cube allowing them to stand back up 4 meeples. Of course, the first players will use up the domestic market resources on themselves, so the later players (who didn't bid enough on turn order) will have to use their own stash of fish... or failing that have to beg and bribe other players to help them. Any meeples that don't get stood up can't be used for actions and increase the dissatisfaction counter.

If the dissatisfaction marker moves above the colony population marker? The game ends and everyone loses. Period. So there is a strong incentive for players to cooperate to some agree, and the highest pressure to help with solving crises is usually on whichever player is perceived to be "winning".

But, that's where the other mechanic comes into play - scoring. At the start of the game, one random objective is set out for the whole table (ie: the player with the most iron in their stash at the end of the game scores 4 points, the second-most 3 points and the third-most 2 points) and each player receives an additional secret objective. At the end of the game, everyone scores points based on *all* the objective cards. So, there's a high degree of analyzing and bluffing other players - is Bob building temples because his objective card gives points to the most temples, or just because he's low on money and wants to avoid crises?

Furthermore, each objective card specifies an end-game condition, so you might be thinking you just need two more rounds to achieve your master plan... but suddenly Bob builds another market and Jenna immediately reveals having six markets on the map was the end-game trigger of her card.

Plus, one of the objective cards is that if the island does rebel and everyone loses... you win!


I could definitely see this being a game that does not work at all for some groups if they have people who would completely refuse to cooperate in crises even if they weren't the separatist, but I found the cooperation/competition duality of it combined with the hidden objectives really interesting. It makes for a cool change of focus and pacing as the game progresses - early on you're focusing on setting up your colony, then mid-game the crises start to hit pretty hard and you're all spending a lot more time on hiring and reducing the rebellion marker, then once you have that contained the players turn cut-throat trying to monopolize resources and aggressively building, then finally near the end you start trying to grab whatever hypothetical points you still can while the player(s) who thinks they are in first place starts trying to trigger any end-game conditions they can (and possibly, when the game does not end, reveals for sure 3 or 4 objectives which now everyone knows will *not* be worth any points, so you all start desperately shifting to other objectives).

If you like deep strategy games, check it out, it's pretty unique!

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#120 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 05:56 AM

Twilight Imperium for the first time yesterday. It was a lot of fun, and surprisingly easy to understand. And I won, after a number of tense, very tense hours.
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