Thematic Colors of Gaming

Weekly wrap up of games played. A few years ago I was lucky enough to find a great game group, Louisville Card Board Gamers. Since then I've become good friends with several people in the group. We often game every weekend, even when there is no group event.

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I Gotta Stop Playing New Games

Dustin Crenshaw
United States
KY
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Microbadge: Runebound (3rd Edition) fanMicrobadge: StarCraft: Brood War fanMicrobadge: Warhammer 40,000: Conquest fanMicrobadge: Galaxy Trucker fanMicrobadge: Star Wars: Rebellion fan
Greetings Earthlings. Why oh why do I keep trying new games, when there is so much I love not getting played. Why oh why.

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Impulse buy, usually a mistake

- NEW TO ME -
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Cosmic Encounter Duel
Played 2 games. I won both.


Unlike a lot of people, I was fine with them using this universe for a new game. People mad it's not a negotiation game boggles the mind. That said, they still failed. There is plenty of good things they did here. But not having flair cards, or fun cards in your deck is a big mistake. The combat has an abstract feel to it. Not what you want when it's a game about crazy aliens.

27 aliens in the box
Different new ideas works

soblue How do you remove flair (aka fun) cards?
soblue Terrible tactic token design
soblue Planets also uninteresting. Should have had their own powers.


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Martin Wallace has never delivered a game I'd call bad, well until now.

- NEW TO ME -
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Wildlands
I lost the gem race.


Sometimes a game gets a low score for bad rules, fiddlyness, lots of book keeping. This game has a fantastic insert, clean gameplay, great rulebook, good graphic design. I don't think I've ever hated a game so much that does all that so well. But I do. I have no earthly idea why this game is popular. It's so boring and uninteresting. Probably the most unfun dueling game I've ever played. And I play a lot of them.

Great production, rulebook, iconography, insert

gulp Dreadfully boring
gulp Every action you can do is uninteresting


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I love these types of story driven sandbox games

- NEW TO ME -
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Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl
Brother went down before I did, but I was happy it was over.


We got no chance to enjoy this game. Instead of building up and improving your character like you are suppose to, we just went backwards every turn. Failed check after check after check. The dice system is infuriating. So you could say we just got bad luck and dug ourselves into problems. Maybe. But it felt more like you need good luck to get going in this game. We even cheated after finishing, gave ourselves some items and did some events. We still were failing lots. No thanks.

Damn shame too. Production and world really cool. Like this has a KS like production with a wonderful insert. Big colorful board with big cards. Really wanted to like this. But man was that unfun. Thankfully the new fallout expansion is getting glowing reviews. That is if gamenerdz ever ships it to me. Probably won't be ordering from them again.

Better insert than most KS games
Beautiful board, well laid out
Good iconography and smooth turn structure

soblue Feels like you need good luck to do anything
soblue We had constant turns of progressing backwards, skip a turn would have felt better
gulp Bad dice system


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A demo and ending on a positive note

- NEW TO ME -
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The Librarians: Adventure Card Game
We pretty much crushed the first scenario

PROTOTYPE

If you like marvel champions, warhammer quest the card game, or sadler bros games. You might love this game, it's very similar to them. Now this was just 1 game full playthrough, but I was certainly asking lots of questions. It does several things right.

First I felt they did a good job with the characters. Being a show I love, that's important. The resource system is pretty good. It does use dice but I felt we had control over what was going on, while having excitement about rolling (something the sadler bros games have lost for me). The deckbuilding is really well done. Basically cards are broken into 7 card pods, and you pick a few to mix with your character specific cards. Great, will allow fast customization and adds replay value. Also the scenarios have their own decks that don't use cards from others. This keeps them more thematic, and means quick setup/tear down compared to the other games I mentioned. Though this will hurt replay value. Which is probably my biggest concern. They have a unique way they are tweaking the difficulty, but I feel some hard cards to throw into scenarios or something would be a big help to replay value with the enemy deck.

I did not get to see the final graphic design, so can't speak to that. You all know how I hate coops, but I do enjoy coop card games like this. Marvel Champions heartbreaking missed the mark for me. Heroes of Terrinoth will never get expansions it needed. Sadler games are too expensive (though contra uses similar system and wasn't expensive). I will be backing this game. I think it will have enough content. Something like 6 characters and 7 scenarios. Not sure how many pods there are for deckbuilding. Hopefully it'll be enough to stand on it's own for repeated plays. I think it's gonna be a fun one. Hopefully not overlooked due to it's IP. Seriously if you like those games mentioned, keep an eye on this one. KS is next month I think.

Fantastic deckbuilding system, and self contained scenarios
Does well by it's theme
Good resource and dice systems

soblue Not a fan of how it scales difficulty
soblue Well there be enough content for it to stand on it's own for a long time


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Occasionally, I play video games

- NEW TO ME -
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Marvel's Avengers
I'd say it took about 20-25 hours for me to finish the campaign taking my time and doing side missions.


A very hard game to rate. There is no getting around it, this game should not have been released yet. It's one of the most buggy games I've ever played. It's constant. On the other hand, I loved the campaign. And I enjoy the combat. So rough to rate.

Bugs will eventually get ironed out of course. Much has been said about it's microtransactions. I can't express how much it's not a big deal in this game. The only thing you buy, is obscure skins for the characters. That's it. I unlocked plenty of cool ones for every character just playing normally. It's not a big deal, whatsoever. The loot system, sucks. You don't feel attached to them at all, and honestly something else should have been in it's place. Or they should have scrapped the skin system for loot that actually shows up on your character. So that's all just an annoying distraction.

What's not annoying or poorly done is the skill trees. Every level you gain a new highly useful ability. Another common complain is everyone feels the same. This may be true at lvl 1. It isn't true by lvl 15. I love what they did here. I mean they couldn't go crazy and I think what they have works well for this type of game.

The campaign is mostly all I cared about anyways, and it delivered. I had no feelings towards Miss Marvel. I knew little about her. After this game I love her. I will be picking up comics. She's also my favorite character to play in the game. It's a well told story. And I love it uses someone new to tell the story through, on both sides. It really is Miss Marvel and MODOKS game. The voice acting is good. But I can't not hear Nathan Drake everytime Iron Man speaks. Near the end, the joke quality plummeted. But I thought they did a great job making all the characters important to the story, well except Thor. He's just there. The story between Bruce and Kamala is really good in particular.

So might be worth waiting for them to work out the bugs. Personally I don't plan to keep playing. But instead revisit the game next year when more characters and stories are added (and the ability to replay the campaign, wtf how is that not a thing). But I am happy I got it.

Great campaign story
Made me love a character I know little about
Fun combat
Great skill system makes every level feel rewarding

soblue Lots of bugs
soblue Poor loot systems
soblue Repetitive enviorments (particularly for multiplayer)
gulp Did I mention this game is buggy?


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FINAL THOUGHTS
Well that sucked. I'm to the point I'd like to sell a nice chunk of my games that are just sitting around. Look forward to the few kickstarter games I'm excited for, a few retail ones, and let that be that. I gotta stop trading for games that might be good. Gotta stop bargain shopping online all the time. I gotta just enjoy the great games I already own.

Show watching been slow. Catching up on Supernatural to watch the finally when it airs (since I was there on day 1). Gotta get going on the boys. Did watch Idiocracy, had no idea it was a documentary. Still been rewatching batman animated series slowly. In anticipation for the board game. Also hoping to finish Gotham with my brother this week. We missed a few episodes and had to wait. We are on the final season.


NEW TO THE COLLECTION
Fallout: Atomic Bonds
If gamenerdz ever sends me my order. Frustrating. Anyways, hoping this is a great fix to a game I mostly really liked. Impressions from folks have been great so far.

Super-Skill Pinball: 4-Cade
I love pinball, and I love roll and write. Though no roll and write game has been great for me. I hope this one can bring it all together. Every review I watch makes me think it will.

The Few and Cursed
Just gotta get with Logan to pick it up. This one is more of a hope it's good. I did buy the comic books and I have been enjoying them. On the last one and the chronicles. Need to finish them up before I play.


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Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:07 am
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Reflection on my Collection

Dustin Crenshaw
United States
KY
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Microbadge: Runebound (3rd Edition) fanMicrobadge: StarCraft: Brood War fanMicrobadge: Warhammer 40,000: Conquest fanMicrobadge: Galaxy Trucker fanMicrobadge: Star Wars: Rebellion fan
Greetings Earthings. This is a view at all the mainstays, evergreens, whatever you want to call it in my collection and why. I've worked on this list a few times under different reasons, but I've settled on doing it this way. All of them, in order by year. So it's also a look at how well some years did for me. Am I cult of new? I don't think so, next year that might be a different story haha.

These are games I don't see coming out of my collection. And I keep a pretty small area for my collection. 2 bookshelves is all I got. And as I general rule, I don't buy new games without generating money with old ones. This bubble has worked well for me, to keep my collection from getting out of hand. These games have a permanent home, and it'll pretty much take a better game, doing the same thing for them to be gone.

You might think this will just be my top games of all time list. It's not. I own several games that are not in my top games of all time that is on this list. There are also several games that are in my top games, I don't own.

New editions and such are tricky ground. For the most part, I will stick with listing the original. Unless I feel the new version is different enough. Even if I only own the new version. I will of course talk about both if needed. Also will discuss expansions for them.

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1998 - 30+ plays
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CribbGolf
Kicking off with 1998. Yes there are older games I play. Like Chess, poker (in many variations). But they are not taking up space in my bookshelves.

This game is one of the most awkward boxes in my collection. It's kind of a pain, but necessary for the beautiful boards (different sets have different boards). This also took a few minor house rules. Nothing major, just some cleaning up and modernize rules. I think it's better than regular cribbage. Due to the fact you are navigating a course. So you just don't always take obvious points. It makes the back and forth game more interesting too. As you can set up your opponent based on their board position. Love this game.

Big Beautiful Boards (non first edition)
Improved card play over regular cribbage
No first count advantage

Box is big and awkward, but necessary
A few minor house rules, quality of life changes
Dice rolling may turn off Cribbage players, but optional

soblue Cribbage and dice rolling make luck play apart
soblue Don't like Cribbage, this probably isn't gonna change your mind
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2000 - 10+ plays
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Game
The first game on this list, to be here because of the IP. That's not to say I don't enjoy the game. But there is no denying that IP is a MAJOR pull for me. Not just here, but in general.

This game is made by Rob Daviau, maybe you've heard of him. Does some good things, but does some bad things. I would love just an updated version of this. We like to bust it out once a year, but it has been awhile now. If they make a better Buffy game, this one would probably be on the chopping block.

Retro, but not dated
1 vs all works well
It's Buffy!

- Is it balanced

soblue Not gonna appeal to non buffy fans
soblue Final 3 seasons not covered
soblue Roll and move
soblue Dice chucker
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2006 - 20+ Plays
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Marvel Heroes
This is still the best super hero game made. It's one of the few games I owned before really getting into the hobby. It has rough edges for sure. But player aids go a long way. Mix of euro and amerithrash that works well. One of my favorite dice chucking systems. As you have a good idea how it'll go, but upsets can happen.

This still sees a few plays a year. And I don't see it ever leaving my collection. It's not coop, and does unique things. And is fun every time it hits the table.

Heroes feel like the heroes
Lots of villains and heroes stuff in the box
Great minis
Euro mechanics work well with ameritrash

soblue Board is completely unnecessary
gulp Troubleshooting level is insanely fiddly, and way too swingy
gulp Fantastic Four are broken (play with errata)
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2007 - 30+ Plays
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Galaxy Trucker
Anniversary is what is in my collection, a big box. I hear it might finally have a friend up on the top shelf where it sits. As Tidal Blades is similar size. Nothing else is. I love the expansions, and they certainly helped the game.

Anyways I've loved Galaxy Trucker from the moment I played it. It was my #1 game of alltime 3 years in a row. It fell out of regular rotation for a bit, but found a resurgence. Thanks to finding out 2 of my friends really like it (when I thought they didn't). Still amongst my favorite games of all time. Not going anywhere.

And maybe someday I'll get to play with the invaders.

Awesome theme
Super fun gameplay
Great components
Awesome expansions
Different ships
Difficult
Provides the laughs

- I never get to play with the invaders

soblue A pain to set up
soblue Can fall flat
soblue Evil machination cards make the game too random
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2007 - 25+ Plays
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StarCraft: The Board Game
One of the few to be an IP I adore, and be one of the best games ever made. It never got a cleaned up edition it deserved. But I did make a more detailed player aid that helped a lot. There are still 2 things I need to do with this game. Paint it. And make an insert for it. If I could get the setup and teardown time lowered, it would see even more plays.

Expansion is great. But it took 1 simple house rule that sent it to the top of my list for 3 years. I have several friends who love it. If group ever happens again, this one will be one of the first we play.

Starcraft theme is awesome and well done
Awesome minis
Different playing armies with different options
Tons of strategies to take
Cool order system
No dice combat
A fantastic expansion
Hero units are very cool

OOP
Invented deckbuilding

soblue No minis for hero units
soblue Unique win conditions suck
soblue Downtime can be an issue when there is big battles going on you are not involved in
gulp Steep learning curve
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2009 - Limited Plays
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Middle-Earth Quest
This game I have a hard time getting to the table. It's on here, despite it's theme. I don't like LOTR, my brother hates it, and several friends not much on it. So that should tell you how good it is. I did make the mistake of playing this will full groups first few plays. It's at 3p, this game shines. It's combat system is phenomenal. I love how the 1 vs all works, and it feels unique throughout.

This game is only endangered of being replaced by itself. As it's one I want to retheme.

The best combat system in board gaming
Beautiful board with spots to hold most everything
Well balanced
Plenty of decisions on both sides
Card driven that is multiuse, with good damage/travel system
Unique decks for the heroes, different enemy combat decks
Lots of flavor text, thematic abilities and encounters
Different end game goals for each side each game
Great corruption mechanic that feeds many of the card effects
Cool VP race

soblue Brittle minis that will break
soblue Set up can take awhile, it's a lot of cards to shuffle
soblue Downtime is an issue, I wouldn't play with 4p
soblue Monsters rarely put up a good fight
soblue Not colorblind friendly
soblue Execute should not kill minions
soblue Finale tie breaker isn't as strong as the rest of the game
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2010 - 20+ Plays
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Mord im Arosa
One of the more unique games in my collection. At no point have I played anything even kindof similar. Whats great about this game, is it works so well with all kinds of gamers. I played family, non gamers, kids, elderly, all kinds of gamers. It's a great ice breaker if you are at a gathering with strangers. Females in particular seem to really like it. Not sure why, but it's always near the top of their request lists. And I usually use it as one of the first gateways, to someone new I'm dating (before they realize how obsessed with board games I am, thus why I've used it MANY TIMES).

So it's unique and a fantastic, small gathering game with friends or strangers.

Very unique
Creates the laughs
Can be enjoyed by gamers and non gamers at the same time
Plays different player counts well

soblue Not as good when there is alot of noise
soblue Odd box choice
gulp Hard to get murders to start new the bottom of the hotel
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2010 - Limited Plays
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Show Business
Limited plays, just because it's a fairly new to me game. And it was poised to see lots of plays in 2020 due to a new expansion. A really unique euro game, with an underused theme. This game could be a massive hit I feel like with a polished ks release. It has went over well with others, even Dodd (singling Dodd out is an inside joke).

Main thing I don't love is the box, it's too small. And everyone does need a player aid for all the different cards. I think they are easy to learn, but big learning curve with expansion if you are new.

Finally a game with a music theme that is deep and thinky
Theme completely comes through
Multi use card system
Money is both easy to get and tight, somehow
Every action you do is important

Big strategy learning curve
Take that cards won't be for everyone. But they are easily countered, and have official non take that variants here on the geek

soblue Last player advantage
soblue A few rules that are hard to remember
soblue Updated rules a must
soblue Whole band breaking up seems overly punishing
gulp Bad rulebook, dice, and odd card size. Rulebook fixed on bgg, along with a fantastic player aid. Stickers for the dice are also available.
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2011 - 10+ Plays
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Dungeon Petz
A game I certainly would like to play more on this list. But my group isn't crazy about it. For me, it's one of the best worker placement games of all time. The expansion brought unique pets, and I wished so much they would have done this with base game pets too. I plan to add it in. This creams dinogenics and dinosaur island when it comes to taking care of volatile creatures. And it's worker placement mechanic is really cool. I love it.

Really sad it didn't get an anniversary edition and base game unique pets.

Fantastic theme
Unique and awesome worker placement mechanic
Some of the best artwork there is
Tough in the right way

soblue Can go on a tad too long sometimes
soblue Loosing a pet early is game over for you
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2011 - 10+ Plays
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Eselsbrücke
I don't do a perfect job of logging plays on bgg, but this one is way off. Am I just having too much fun and forget? Probably.

This is my most asked "will you sell this to me" games in my collection. Much like Mord Im Arosa, goes over well with gamers and non gamers. It is also a great ice breaker, but in a much different way. At first it will make you feel super awkward if you are playing with strangers, by the end you will be laughing with everyone.

Shame it never got a usa release. Certainly one of my favorite party games. And I bet several of my friends would say the same.

Fun creative stories
Creates a ton of laughs
Cool memory element

soblue Ugly, and tiles don't match what they say they are
soblue Too long for what it is with 6 people and 5 rounds
gulp Being punished after getting part of the story right is ridiculous
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2012 - 20+ Plays
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Agents of SMERSH
A game poised to replace itself, as a new edition is coming. It does sound different enough I'm not getting rid of this copy (I own everything for it) until I see what they've done.

This game actually fired Tales of Arabian Nights. I think this is a far superior game. It's theme is also underused in board gaming. So it would take more than just another book storytelling game to replace it. I love the dice system. I hope they don't change it in the new edition, it would ruin it.

Awesome theme
Fun stories
Unique characters
Creates the laughs
Really good expansions

Kickstarter exclusives are a must

soblue Anti-climatic ending without showdown expansion
soblue Long set up time that takes a ton of room
gulp Too long

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2012 - 10+ Plays
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Dragon Rampage
If you are confused by the name and picture not matching, that's because Dragonscales is a new edition of Dragon Rampage. They actually didn't change much mechanically. Only minor tweeks. Which is great as Dragon Rampage mechanics were fantastic. The big change, is production and look. Dragonscales is a massive improvement. Infact, it's probably the biggest difference I've ever seen between editions. The old one was an ugly eye soar, the new one is beautiful. Another great change was everyone has their own dice, it greatly helped reduce fiddlyness.

This is one of the only take that games I love. It mixes that with a very underrated unique worker placement mechanic. I would love to see more games use it. I can't imagine anything replacing it. And it's about to get painted.

Original improved on in pretty much every way
Awesomely themed characters with chucky minis
One of my favorite dice worker placement mechanics ever
Take that done right
Flee or slay is fun win conditions

For the love of everything good in the world. Play with magic the gathering simple "last in, first out" timing rules.

soblue Some will not be able to take the meanness
soblue There is one character card loop that is annoying
gulpgulp Timing of cards (in a game with "play any time") not covered whatsoever. Designer answers inconsistent.
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2012 - 15+ Plays
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Legacy: Gears of Time
I'm really surprised there has never been a new edition of this. They sort of announced one, but it never came. This game has the issues. Stealing from others is not only frustrating, but an OP strategy. Some of the 1 use cards of overpowered as well, but there is variants for that. The expansion is a better game, but harder to teach. The artwork has not been well received by many.

So I think a 2nd edition could do great. Sort of mix the expansion and base together, new paint job. But it still is a very unique card game that uses time travel better than most games.

Awesome time travel mechanic
Cool theme
Lots of options

Love it or hate it art
Fiddly scoring (though I see no way around it)

soblue Stealing others inventions seems OP
soblue Feels off, long, and too much downtime at 4p
soblue Steep learning curve
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2013 - Limited Plays
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BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia
Another one of those IP games that make this list. The video game is a masterpiece. The board game isn't. But it does a lot of cool things. Particularly 2p area control well and cool card upgrade system. However it's way way way way too dice chucky.

David and I started playtesting my own house rules for it. And it was going pretty well. We basically removed a great deal of the dice for just static strength. More cards in hand to influence things. I am on my 3rd revision of them. Just gotta get it to the table to test out. But I think I'm close to posting it all up and I think it could be great.

Cool card upgrade system
Great job on the theme
Cool voting and Booker/Elizabeth mechanics

soblue Upgrades come too fast in 2 players
soblue Too long at 4 players
gulpgulp Way too much dice chucking
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2013 - 40+ Plays
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Theseus: The Dark Orbit
One of the earliest examples of a heavy euro with a ton of theme. I think the world wasn't ready for that back then. I doubt it'll ever get revisited. It's a 2p game at it's heart, but can be played with more.

I think so many euro fans would love this game. But they see the theme and go running. I don't get it to the table as much as I'd like to anymore. But always up for playing.

Very unique factions, all balanced
Offers strategy and tactics
2 Player and team play are awesome
Great use of theme
Double sided cards that explain exactly what they do
Plays fast
BOTS expansion is alot of fun
Proof euro games don't have to have boring themes or a million chits

soblue 3-4 Player deathmatch is very chaotic and hard to plan.
soblue Secret room promo and playmat is impossible to get
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Way to stink it up 2014! Zero games from that year.

2015 - 20+ Plays
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7 Wonders Duel
I guess a similar dueling drafting game could replace this. But it stands tall in the "board game turned into dueling game" genre. It plays fast and smooth. At first I was so-so on the expansion, but more plays I never want to play without it.

Fantastic drafting system
Multiple ways to win
Constant tough decisions
Expansion fixes the small issues with the base game

soblue Theme is thin
soblue Economy science skill is overpowered
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2015 - 125+ Plays
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Baseball Highlights: 2045
I've played this game so much. I love baseball, so the theme helped. But it's been a hit with friends who dislike baseball. If that doesn't speak to how well it's designed, I dunno what does. We need more deckbuilders like this.

With so many plays, it has been getting less plays. But it is always fun when we do and I think Roger and I will be playing it forever.

Games are fun and exciting
Fantastic back and forth gameplay
Adding to your team (and subtracting) is tough decisions
Awesome expansions
Way more gameplay decisions than all deckbuilders
Game is very balanced...

soblue Except for Coaches. I don't feel they are at all
soblue Ballparks are luck based (for no reason either)
gulp Terrible theme of robots with 1950s baseball
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2015 - 30+ Plays
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Loony Quest
I never thought I would love a drawing game. And I think that's a reason some people haven't played this game. But it isn't really drawing for skill. It's just used to create paths. Anyone can do it. Because I'm a terrible drawer, I mean really really bad. But I win 90% of the time in this game.

I still haven't gotten to play the expansion much, just because we seemingly always have someone new. I bet I've taught this game to 50 people by now. Even if a similar game comes out, I'll keep both.

Awesome theme
Anyone can play it
Creates the laughs
Gameplay is engaging and addicting
You don't have to like drawing games to love it
Fun power ups and bombs

soblue Promo isn't good
soblue Markers/erasers in the import version are not great
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2015 - 100+ Plays
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Love Letter: Batman
Yes I'm not listing regular love letter like I did with some other new editions on here. That's because I think the game was greatly improved in this edition, and it's the reason it's seen so many plays.

This will get custom cards, it won't get replaced. This is the best bang for my buck of all time. We still play it often. And we still have amazing moments. In fact, that last time I gamed with my friends was one of the best plays of this.

New guards rules improve the game in several ways.
Mostly great art
Theme totally works
Cool scoring tokens

soblue Some of the new cards in foreign versions would have been cool
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2015 - 15+ Plays
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Runebound (Third Edition)
I wanted to list Runebound 2nd edition, because I loved it too. But this has several big changes. For me the biggest is the combat. It's really fun and unique. And for that reason, I don't see it ever getting replaced. I have other games coming that are similar. But I just don't see the gold standard of this type of game leaving my collection.

Improves and balances 2nd edition in nearly every way
New combat system is innovative and awesome
New different decks work really well
Good amount of choices to customize your characters
Unique scenarios getting their own cards
Flavor Text is well done, everything ties together to tell a story, even combat

Difficulty scaling and turn offset fixed by house rules
A few gear shows you some really cool things they can do with the combat token system, but for some reason they never go in that direction

soblue Base has FFG lack of content
soblue Goal of scenarios are a little too samey
soblue Lack of tokens/figures for scenarios
gulp Too lengthy, didn't have to be
gulp Downtime at 4 players
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2016 - 10+ Plays
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Bloodborne: The Card Game
A game on here NOT for it's IP. I hate dark souls and the like. This is on here because it's super fun. It does the whole "lets fight together but I'm gonna stab you in the back" thing the best I've played. The expansion certainly helped, and is needed. It like doubles the content, and card combos. It's one of the best expansions to a game.

We always have a good time with this game. I guess it would get replaced by a game that did a similar thing but better. But as of right now, there isn't even any potential contenders.

Expansion adds a ton of content
Fast good cardplay
Hard (in theory)
Good variety in monsters and bosses
Expansion adds new cool combat cards to mix up the meta
Player powers...

soblue Not sure they are created equal though
soblue Base game only, lacks variety
soblue May get old with the same group
gulp Boring trophy system
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2016 - 20+ Plays
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Star Wars: Rebellion
My reigning, defending, undisputed favorite game. Ok, it could have easily gone to starcraft again. I love this game, even though my love of star wars has taken a massive hit.

I just love the leader system, and win condition, the mechanics that work well. The expansion is a must IMO. This game wasn't even in my top 25 until the combat got a revamp. But we are having a balance issue with the expansion. It may require house ruling. We'll see.

My favorite game get replaced? Not unless they retheme it or sequel it. That ain't happening.

Phenomenal leader system
Fun, tense, empire win condition
Expansion combat system is a vast improvement
EPIC
Different strategies to take
Clean, with great components

soblue Set up is a bear. FFG rules don't help.
soblue a 2p game, I will never play with 4p again
soblue Needs iconic unique ships
gulp Expansion heavily favors empire
gulpgulp Imperial Choke strategy sucks all the fun out of the game (fixed with simple thematic house rule)
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2017 - Limited Plays
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Fallout
The hardest inclusion on this list. Because if Atomic Bonds isn't great, it isn't on this list. So you could say it shouldn't be here then. But I'm so confident in that expansion, we've already painted up fallout and it's 1st expansion.

Fallout's endgame as is, can only be described as a mess. However, everything else I like. And I've had fun with the game despite that massive issue. I think the switch to coop will fix this problem. Especially since you see a story to it's conclusion.

So yeah, odd inclusion on shaky ground. But it's an awesome IP that my brother and friends love. And it has several things in it I love. The things I hate, are being removed.

Fun story choices
It's fallout!
Surprisingly clean and simple ruleset
Better production than usual from FFG

soblue Bad rulebook
soblue Downtime at 4 players
soblue Lack of variety in agenda deck
gulpgulpgulp End game and scoring is a giant mess
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2018 - Limited Plays
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8Bit Box: Stadium
Probably the most surprisingly inclusion on this list for some. But the I love the Stadium game in the 8bit box. It's basically a bunch of team bidding mini games. And you have to manage resources over many of these mini games. It's great. I'd love a big box version. It could be expanded on to be more for sure. But I am happy with whats here.

Lots of unique mini games
Secret wagering is fun
Team gameplay
Nostalgia

Don't like secret wagering, won't like this probably

soblue Restrictive player count can make it hard to get to the table
soblue Some player powers would have been cool
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2018 - Limited Plays
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Big Trouble in Little China: The Game
Another IP influenced game. This game does some really cool things. I like the progression and the push your luck bonus dice system. You can't help but feel they streamlined a bunch of stuff at the last minute so they could say "2 hours" on the box. Like Bioshock, I'm currently working on an overhaul to the game. Notably the action system which is so odd. It certainly feels something got majorly stripped out.

But even as is, a lot of fun. Just rough around the edge. Unless a better Big Trouble game comes, this one is a keeper forever.

Giant love letter to the movie and they nailed it
Fun fate dice system
Story quests are well written
Fantastic art everywhere including the board
Easy to learn ruleset
Leveling is rewarding
Minis insert, hold the minis very well (and has pic of where they go)
Variety in difficulty set up

Table hog
Luck can play a big part

soblue Length feels off
soblue Story quests are not branching as advertised, thus low replay value for each
soblue Poor player scaling, mostly caused by the OP companion mechanic.
soblue Lots of typos that should have been caught
soblue Lo Pan is too easy to defeat (but thematic I guess)
soblue A few thematic breaking rules
soblue Deluxe version hell cards are mostly unthematic
soblue Insert doesn't hold sleeves (and cards are thin)
gulp Action system (and other places) feel like they were stripped down for sake of overall game time.
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2018 - Limited Plays
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Dino Dunk
Another game I have clearly missed logging several plays of. The best basketball game I've played, and the best flicking game I've played. I completely understand why it's flown under the radar. You see the cover and expect it to be for kids. When actually it's got a lot of strategy and thought behind it. It'd oddly thematic to basketball, in just how it plays. You would think a flicking game could never do that, but they've done it.

Very underrated, and one I haven't gotten to play as much as I'd like. Again, I feel the cover misleads. It would take a better flicking game and a better basketball game to leave my collection.

Surprisingly thematic to basketball
10 Different player choices gives a lot to consider
Fantastic components. Playmat, double layered score track.
Fun to play

soblue Water dino is not as good as the other options
soblue Volcano board too busy
gulp Rulebook surprisingly unclear even on basic rules
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2018 - 5+ Plays
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The Grimm Forest
I really enjoy Grimm Forest, but it's on this list for a different reason that all the others. The minis and it's price. It's such an affordable game, with such awesome minis. My brother has painted it up and I told him I'd never get rid of it. Still I do think the game is a little underrated. Playing fast and true to the theme. Skybound has 3 pending kickstarter games from me. I clearly like their company goals of clean games with amazing production.

Amazing production
Some of the best minis I've ever seen
Fun and exciting action selection
Other Fairy Tales show up too

Super mean

gulp Missing multiple times with Fable cards can be very frustrating
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2018 - Limited Plays
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Kick-Ass: The Board Game
A game I wouldn't play without it's theme. As I've stated multiple times, I hate put out fire coops. That's what this is at it's heart. To it's credit though, it does do some neat stuff most don't. A cool level up system, hand building, boss battles. The initial release proved the game to be massively too hard. I've since found 2 ways to ease the difficulty. But it hasn't hit the table yet since then.

Like Buffy. This will be around until a better kick-ass game comes along.

I love the theme
Fantastic miniatures
Good variety
Easy to understand iconography
Gear, characters, and action cards make leveling up fun
Different color minis for each type of characters
Gives a bonus to cleaning up an area. So even if something spawns back there (like other put out fires coops) you don't feel you wasted your time.

soblue Missing the humor of kickass
soblue Swingy dice
soblue Overly difficult start
soblue Box size
soblue Subpar rulebook
gulp Way too difficult
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2018 - 5+ Plays
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Monster Lands
I believe this is my current favorite worker placement game. I just love the marriage of theme and mechanics. It's a constant game of risk assesment. Not just for you, but gauging others as well.

Plenty of variety play to play that I don't see it ever going away.

Fantastic theme
Stellar production all around for KS version
Theme and rules work so well together
Interesting push your luck combat puzzle
Pretty clever discount mechanics
Heavy weapons is a fun addition
Great amount of variety with the KS version
Modules and difficulty tweaks so you can have the game as punishing as you want

Tricks will greatly vary in how people like them

soblue Unlikely I'll like the game as much at 2p and 5p
soblue Death early in the game will cost you severely
soblue Heavy weapons have poor iconography
soblue Set collection scoring feels tacked on
gulp Retail version missing a lot

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2018 - Quacks of Quedlinberg
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The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Some may call it crazy to put a recent aquire on this list. But I just know what I like, and how well this game is gonna go over with others too.

I don't see this going anywhere. But I guess Wonderland's War could be competition. And due to it's success, others will come out with similar games I bet. So we'll see.

High fun factor
Tons of variety
Good ramp up each turn
Catch up mechanic works pretty good
Different strategies seem well balanced
Expansion adds new token and token sets

soblue Boring bonus die
soblue Ugly cover, and a mislead of the game inside
soblue Lack of unique player powers
soblue Expansion Witches poorly implemented
gulp So many reports of tokens wearing out fast
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2019 - 10+ Plays
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Football Highlights 2052
Roger and I love sports games. They are a safe bet to stay around. This one is one of the best ones. Exciting and unique. Doesn't have a retail release yet, and that's a shame. I think plenty of people will like it.

I guess another football card game could replace it. But I've played so many football games and most were not even close to this one.

The best football game on the market
Cards being both your defense and offense is really great mechanic
Considerable amount to consider during the game
Teams play different (more so than baseball highlights)
Really exciting due to the action deck

The action deck will ruin this game for some
Long term strategy is a learning curve

soblue You will lose some games from pure luck
soblue Bad artwork
gulpgulp Terrible graphic design look from the 90s
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2019 - 5+ Plays
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Warehouse 13: The Board Game
Ending this list with one I'm sure will be in my collection forever. Like starcraft, a perfect blend of an IP I love and gameplay I love. There is nothing like this game's dice system. And the way you try to solve each episode is fun. And that's before you throw a traitor in the mix. I just hope the expansion sees the light of day.

Nails the theme
One of the more unique dice games out there
Mix of game ideas work great
Will likely play solidly as a coop
Unique characters

soblue No good flow to the rulebook
soblue Small cards always suck
soblue No HG Wells
soblue Hidden traitor lacks options to mess with folks
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FINAL THOUGHTS
Well I hope you all enjoyed this trip through my collection. I'd say I own some other potentials, like Crisis at Steamfall. Pretty sure Batman will be on this list when it arrives. It would have to somehow be a weird step backwards from TMNT, to not. Race Formula 90 2nd edition if it ever comes out.

And while I wish every KS I've backed is amazing, I know that won't be the case. But hopefully a few land that well. I feel I've been backing some really great stuff. I'm more excited for 2021 new games more than any other previous year.

Speaking of years, what did the best here? You could point to 2007 for delivering 2 games that have dominated my #1 spot of all time, since I've been doing the list. But I think I'll go with 2015. So many plays from games there. And they are games I still want to play, that are not hard to get to the table. Am I cult of the new? Hard to say. Sure there is more on here more recently. But that's because IP games are being made by real designers now (not mass market junk), and 10 years ago that wasn't the case.

Still not much current gaming from me. Brother has been more into painting recently. And I've been video gaming a lot. Been playing a lot of Fall Guys with friends, which has been a blast. I gotta get playing Deus Ex before Cyberpunk gets here. I've been spending time rewatching Batman The Animated Series. Not much else. Boys 2 lands soon I think. And my brother and I have to catch up on Supernatural before the finale airs.



My geeklist that I keep up to date of things I have coming or own and haven't played.
Unplayed and Pre-Ordered Games. Likelyhood of Them Getting Played.

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Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:22 pm
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Top 25 Upcoming Games Redux

Dustin Crenshaw
United States
KY
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Greetings Earthings. A just did this list a few months ago. But gencon happened, along with some other exciting things. I was just updating the old list, but I think it's just better to refresh. Plus I love discussing upcoming games. Especially during times where I can't game as much as I want.

Last time I honestly struggled to get to 25, this time it hard to get it down to 25. Decided to bump several expansions/new versions. Removed Race! Formula 90 2nd edition until it's officially announced. I'm pumped for Steampunk Rally Fusion, but it's a game I already really like and I know what I'm getting. Guards of Atlantis II: Tabletop MOBA hype has worn off just due to price, I'm still planning a homebrew version. New Clash of Cultures: Civilizations is potentially very exciting, but gotta see how much it changes the issues we had. Unmatched: Buffy the Vampire Slayer just missed the list. I think unmatched is just ok, while Buffy is the greatest TV show of all time.

Enough rambling, on with the list!

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#25
Board Game: Dinosaur World

Dinosaur World
A sequel with a new design team. This is my 4th attempt at a Jurassic Park board game. I liked several things in Dinosaur Island, except it didn't feel like dinos. It could have been a cat park. This time the dinos will be unique. Sounds like cards are replacing the awesome amber dice though. Kickstarter is Sep 22nd.

EDIT: They clarified they dinos are not different, just their patterns. Boo, why not fix one of the biggest complaints from the first game? Slides down my list. Still I enjoyed Dinosaur Island, so there is still hope for a great Jurassic Park game.

I just need 1 great Jurassic Park game
Unique dinos this time

soblue No more ember dice?
soblue Little info at this time
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#24
From gallery of Photodump

Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg: Die Alchemisten
Although Quacks is new to me, I'm already in love with it. This expansion sounds like it's gonna mix it up more than the first expansion did.

Quacks is fun in a box
Looks to mix up the game more than the last expansion

soblue Witches were poorly done in the 1st expansion
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#23
Board Game: The Librarians: Adventure Card Game

The Librarians: Adventure Card Game
I am a big fan of the show, and shows like it. So this easily has my attention despite being coop. Not sure what kind of game it is yet.

I love the IP
Card game should keep price point down

soblue Everything Epic's past of poor editing
soblue Hoping it's not too simple, or it will likely not be for me
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#22
Board Game: Contra: The Board Game

Contra: The Board Game
Sadler bros I think have the best shot of making a coop game for me. Street Masters was close, but had way too much book keeping. Brook City suffered from a very boring dice system. This seems to not have either of these issues, and was a much better price point.

MDS system
Multiuse cards
1 life point just like the video game
Not expensive

soblue Sadlers have come up a little short for me every time
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#21
Board Game: Lost Ruins of Arnak

Lost Ruins of Arnak
I'm a scifi guy, it's my favorite theme. But 2nd, is this. Treasure hunting for fantastical things. Uncharted is my favorite video games of all time. And I am happy to see this type of theme get a euro game. I am however, worried about variety play to play.

Theme I adore
Worker placement mixed with deck building could be amazing
Not coop

soblue CGE has been whiffing last few years for me
soblue Lack of variety play to play
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#20
Board Game: Merchants Cove

Merchants Cove
The idea behind this is great. Everyone playing their own little game. We've seen this kind of thing before, but never in a euro game. Hopefully it won't be a root situation to learn. I didn't back it, some might be some time before I actually get to play it. Thus it's slowly been slipping down the list for me.

Cool mix of mechanics
Looks to be a great production

soblue Can this idea work in a euro game?
soblue Will it be quicker to learn than others
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#19
Board Game: Yedo: Deluxe Master Set

Yedo: Deluxe Master Set
This one has slide down some. And I think it's just because I didn't back it (didn't have funds at the time, but lots of friends did back it). And I haven't looked at it really. So dunno what all the changes are. But the 1st one is certainly one of the best worker placement games.

Original one of the best games of alltime.
Lots of new stuff

soblue How much of it is improvements?
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#18
Board Game: Bloodborne: The Board Game

Bloodborne: The Board Game
I have been saying for years a deck builder dungeon crawl would make for an awesome game. CMON went big. I'm mostly getting away from these types of big. Especially from CMON. I am not in for this, but Corey is all in as it's his favorite video game of all time. I hope it lives up to his expectations. I just need it to be solid.

Fresh take on dungeon crawls
IP friends love

soblue Coop
soblue Set up time?
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#17
Board Game: Valor & Villainy: Minions of Mordak

Valor & Villainy: Minions of Mordak
A world of warcraft vibe, from a company I really like. Yes I love warcraft, been playing it since the 1st. Small World of Warcraft was in consideration for the list, but my only small world experience was one of my worst board game experiences. I will be trying it out with a fresh look.

As for this, I'm mostly just worried about how much dice chucking you do. But scores this high due to the company.

Fantastic production and minis
1 vs all

gulp Too much dice chucking?
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#16
Board Game: Sniper Elite: The Board Game

Sniper Elite: The Board Game
I think this game looks really neat. But I guess due to the IP it's getting no love? This for sure looks like the most interesting hidden movement game I've seen. I really like it doesn't use dice either, instead bag building. A week ago I was sure I was backing it, now I am not sure. It hasn't been ran very well, with the front page doing a poor job of explaining most things (same for updates). Maybe that's the other reason it's not getting the hype.

Very interesting hidden movement game
Bag building instead of dice
Good variety in the all in

soblue KS is doing a poor job
soblue So much so, I may not back
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#15
Board Game: The Few and Cursed

The Few and Cursed
I didn't know the IP when this launched, but if you say anything is like Buffy you have my attention. I now dig the world and plan to read throught he comics. I like the game is competitive. Also like the removed the overused buy row in deck builders and you just get to it. Loved the quick draft in slay the spire, and this is similar. Deliver soon! Planning to do a photo unboxing of it when it does.

Really cool world
Sort of adventure mixed with deckbuilding
Great artwork from the comics

soblue Will the gameplay have enough meat?
soblue Have enough variety?

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#14
Board Game: Crisis at Steamfall: Genesis

Crisis at Steamfall: Genesis
The original has lots of rough edges. This is expansion is meaty. Essentially replacing and improving the game modes found in the base game. That's kind of crazy when you think about it. But that's how cool the core game is. A wild mix of heavy euro and crazy theme with lots of customization. If this expansion can deliver what I feel like it can, Crisis at Steamfall might become a favorite.

Core game has lots of great mechanics
Love we are getting minis, a bigger board
Every part of the game improved

soblue Still doubt coop mode will be for me
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#13
Board Game: Ascension Tactics: Miniatures Deckbuilding Game

Ascension Tactics: Miniatures Deckbuilding Game
I am not an ascension fan. But I think this game looks great. Made by the guy who did wow minis, and that game had some great innovative mechanics. I think mixing a game like this with deck building could work really good. And their foundation has already shown it can do all sorts of scenarios.

Innovative mix of deck building and skirmish games
Models look like they will be fun to paint
Foundation for lots of unique scenarios

soblue Ascension lore lost on me
soblue Lots of minis got unlocked, how late will it be
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#12
Board Game: Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles – Episodes 1 & 2

Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles – Episodes 1 & 2
I know a lot of people loved the campaign, but my interest went down somehow. Worried about it's scope, size and length. This became a big problem with their other games. I'm just gonna have to watch some full playthroughs and see if I want my own copy or not. I know I have a friends who backed.

Great theming
Dice drafting
2 games in the box

soblue Set up and tear down time
soblue Will be able to handle plays months apart without feeling like you gotta learn the game all over again.
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#11
Board Game: Agents of SMERSH: Epic Edition

Agents of SMERSH: Epic Edition
Smersh is one of my favorite games of all time. It also sort of needed a new edition. But they can't go in changing too much. Also epic has a terrible track record with proofreading, and this is tons of text.

The addition of endgame sounds great. And hopefully Australia is more naturally put into the game. And minis for the heroes would be cool.

One of my favorite games of all time
Love the idea of getting minis and other improvements
New endgame, and scalable length

soblue Epic games poor proofing in previous games
soblue I think I heard rambo is like crazy late from same company
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#10
From gallery of SeerMagic

ISS Vanguard
Weird this game doesn't have a bgg page yet. Pretty sure it's the next game Awaken Realms are launching on KS. A scifi exploration game from them could be a dream come true. But so far they've only shown off humans and more humans. Hope they get more creative than that.

Awaken Realms
Mass Effect inspired

soblue How creative is it
soblue How much will my wallet cry?
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#9
Board Game: Fallout: Atomic Bonds

Fallout: Atomic Bonds
Release date just a few weeks away. It's odd FFG seemingly ignored these issues with the 1st expansion. And then after a few years you just assumed they were done. But I am real happy they are doing this. Mine is almost all painted up ready to go.

FFG finally listened
Works for all scenarios in base and expansion
Finally get to play stories to their conclusion

soblue Will coop rules be good?
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#8
Board Game: Trick Shot

Trick Shot
Not even sure this is still coming this year. Pre painted minis has seemingly been a nightmare for the designers. Hopefully the end result will be worth it. Love sport theme games and push your luck.

I love sports games
Looks fast and fun, just like the sport

soblue How will the painted minis turn out?
soblue Will it ever see plays in my gaming group
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#7
Board Game: Vampire: The Masquerade – Rivals Expandable Card Game

Vampire: The Masquerade – Rivals Expandable Card Game
I love the World of Darkness. I'm so happy they have opened the IP up to be used. This game looks awesome... well from a gameplay perspective. There is no getting around the fact this game has horrific graphic design pretty much everywhere. It's not the worst I've seen, and hopefully won't get in the way of the gameplay. In the end, gameplay is what I'll care about the most.

World of Darkness
Multiplayer
Innovative ideas for this type of game
LCG like model, but even better
KS has done well, which is good for life of the game
Locally lots of friends are in

soblue Mixing factions seems too forgiving
gulp Graphic Design is poor it most places
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#6
Board Game: Lawyer Up

Lawyer Up
I was in when Rodney just described the game on the dice tower. But once I watched videos on it, it shot way up my list. This game looks incredible. I really hope it lives up to my expectations. There is so many things I like about it. Unique theme, with unique gameplay.

Original theme
Some really unique gameplay

soblue Will replay value be to low?
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#5
Board Game: Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef

Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef
Sadly this game just keeps running into issues. But it's close to getting on a boat. I'm guessing this is like the board game equivalent of sitting across from Alexandra Daddario, you gonna stare and there might be drool. So pretty. Just hope the gameplay can even come close to how good it looks.

Beautiful
Skybound will deliver a stellar production
Cool theme with good mix of mechanics

soblue Pretty won't matter if gameplay doesn't deliver
soblue Will it ever get here?
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#4
Board Game: Wonderland's War

Wonderland's War
Skybound goes back to back. This game looks great too, but I'm more intrigued by the gameplay than in Tidal Blades. Especially after playing and loving Quacks.

Three of my favorite mechanics in 1 game
Alice in Wonderland
Beautiful and should be a great production
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#3
Board Game: Sea of Legends

Sea of Legends
I somehow missed this game when it was on kickstarter. I just found it a few days ago, and it's love at first sight. I can't shut up about it. The app integration looks amazing. The gameplay looks clean and fun. It's pirates and fantastical. It's competitive, and offers ridiculous amount of variety. It's like this game was made for me. It really does check off all the boxes.

App on paper seems amazing
Pirates and fantastical
Tons of variety play to play
Perfect amount of minis
Clean gameplay
Great disney esque artwork

soblue But why is the cover so blah?
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#2
Board Game: Batman: The Animated Series Adventures – Shadow of the Bat

Batman: The Animated Series Adventures – Shadow of the Bat
I'm currently rewatching the show. It's been a long time. I believe this will be my only dungeon crawl in my collection by the time it gets here. A core system I already really like. They improved on it, and cleaned it up. I think this one will see lots of plays. And it has a lot of content.

TMNT was really good
Gameplay improved over TMNT
Batman themed from one of the greatest cartoons
Kickstarter stuffed full of characters

soblue Will the quality in components be there?
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#1
Board Game: Waste Knights: Second Edition

Waste Knights: Second Edition
Lack of info lately almost moved this one down. But I feel they are doing what they can to get it done. This is basically a more story driven runebound. 2020 has sucked, but 2021 is looking amazing for games for me. Like best year ever.

One of my favorite game types
So much content and story
Great theme

soblue Too many coop scenarios
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______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
FINAL THOUGHTS
Hope you all didn't mind another look at upcoming games. Any exciting Gencon announcements I missed? What are you all looking forward to?

My geeklist that I keep up to date of things I have coming or own and haven't played.
Unplayed and Pre-Ordered Games. Likelyhood of Them Getting Played.



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YOU -LOVE!
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Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:44 pm
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Why I Dislike Coops. And I Finally Get To Play Quacks.

Dustin Crenshaw
United States
KY
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Greetings Earthlings. Finally got in enough gaming to post up a blog. Still haven't started solo gaming. Video games are just less work haha. But I do plan to try a few out.

Also gonna rant on coops. I often get questions about coops. I knew I wasn't a fan of them, but after looking at the stats... yikes. I've been giving way too many of them a chance. Their success rate with me is really bad. The majority I walk away thinking "meh" on them. But why don't they work for me?

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A 2nd chance to

- EXPANSION NEW TO ME -
External image

DinoGenics
DinoGenics: Controlled Chaos
Played a few games. Winners were decided after 2 rounds.


So the original had 2 big issues with me. Pace of points, and the dna system. The dna system I thought would be fixed with wild dna. It's not. It's slightly helped. But for some reason all the wild dna you can draw is in the new expansion dna deck, that is filled with water and land dinos. I do not like how this deck functions at all. You feel forced to go into it. I thought it would be water dinos, and the other deck would be land. Not how it is. The token dna is a worker spot, and it gets used every round. But that is because the decks even have more different dinos. The dna system remains bad. Dinosaur Island has a far superior system. Sure it's more generic, but drafting is way better and more fun. This system is just luck and frustration.

The pace of points problem is still completely there. After a few rounds, everyone will basically stay at the same pace of points. I thought maybe reversing turn order would address this. But that didn't work either. That house rule seemed more fair, but didn't fix the issue.

They did add some crazy events to try to get dino danger to happen more. But it's still pretty tame overall. I do like the dinos are different which is my biggest issue with dinosaur island. Dungeon Petz slaughters this and DI in this regard though.

This is just a giant game of coming up short in nearly aspect. I want to like it, it feels like every inch of this game is just short of being something cool. Instead it's a beautiful disappointment... again.

Fantastic production. Meeples and Fences especially.
Dinosaurs are different (unlike dinosaur island
Building your park matters
Event deck is good for variety
Expansion adds wild dna and lots of new dinos

soblue You have very little control over what dinos you make
soblue Players doing better go higher in turn order
soblue Manipulation cards too strong
gulp Terrible luck driven DNA system
gulp gulp Everyone stays at same kind of pace of points. Making catching up near impossible if you fall behind


External image

External image


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The definition of blinged out

- NEW TO ME -
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Miremarsh
I died on turn 1 haha. But I eventually turned it around by taking some chances.


This is a game that without all the bling and minis, might be more popular. It's a very light push your luck beer and pretzels games. And I think some people would enjoy it. But it's expensive. Not saying what you get isn't nice. This has awesome minis, duel layered main bored, great metal coins, it goes on and on. I just didn't feel it did anything special. Well other than the end game goals, those were funny and there was lots. But even if it was a $20 game, it would have not been a game for me.

Insane production
Love the end game goals
I like you are not forced to reroll your dice to do actions.

soblue Very little control though
soblue Especially in the beginning
soblue End of the day, you are just building a dice pool of luck


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Trying another unsupported FFG game

- NEW TO ME -
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Heroes of Terrinoth
1st scenario was a massive cakewalk.


It's been a long time since I played warhammer quest. But I feel like they streamlined it. And that's not a good thing. Everything just feels a little simpler and generic here. I remember the heroes being pretty different in warhammer. They feel samey here. And I am official sick of this Sadler brothers dice system. It's the most unexciting dice system in gaming. Yeah super swingy dice suck, but this is the other extreme. Just get rid of them.

Do like the system despite these problems. But it needed support. It didn't get it.

Easy to get into
Like enemy system
System built to make great use of expansions!

soblue That it never got
soblue Boring dice system
soblue Feels more generic and streamlined (in a bad way) than warhammer quest


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Another game claiming to be a MOBA, yet not being like one

- NEW TO ME -
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Radiant: Offline Battle Arena
Brother smashed my hero by the end of my first turn.


This game sounded very similar to Guardians from Plaid Hat, but with a deeper combat system. I was surprised to find I hate it. It has this very weird pacing, and it's ridiculously bloody. Heroes hit back, so you don't ever really want to attack them and just go for the base. None of it felt very good. And I'm not a fan of the artwork.

Deity system is pretty cool

soblue Overly bloody
soblue Odd pacing feel to everything


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Many years between plays

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The 7th Continent
Couldn't convince my dad to hunt in the 1st area, we died in the 2nd.


One of the most overrated games of all time. It's ok. I couldn't tell if my dad was liking it or not. But he does want to try again. I can play it, but I will never seek it out.

Good feeling of adventure and discovery
Cool combo crafting system
Different characters have their own feel and abilities
Pretty easy ruleset

soblue A fine but lackluster resolve system

soblue Too much downtime at 4p
soblue Odd unthematic action system
soblue Save system not the best
gulp gulp Find cards, shuffle, pick one, put them back. Repeat. Find cards, shuffle, pick one, put them back. Repeat


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For years I've been trying to get this game, why is it always sold out?

- NEW TO ME -
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The Quacks of Quedlinburg
I've yet to win one. I just seem to do really poorly in the early game. And by the time I'm stronger than others it's too late to catch up.


My hype was high for this game, and it lived up to it. Really fun, with lots of variety. I love push your luck/gambling, so it's not like it had a longshot of being for me. I think this will go over well with some of my other friends if we ever get to play games together again. Keeper for sure.

High fun factor
Tons of variety
Good ramp up each turn
Catch up mechanic works pretty good
Different strategies seem well balanced

soblue Boring bonus die
soblue Ugly cover, and a mislead of the game inside
soblue Lack of unique player powers
gulp So many reports of tokens wearing out fast


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A blog first I think, I also got around to playing the expansion too

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The Quacks of Quedlinburg: The Herb Witches
My brother combo'd the witches well before I could get it to work out.


This one not such a slam dunk. The witches are a neat idea, but there is nothing to balance them out. They simply make the game easier. I wish that games with witches, it would add more white to your bag or something. So that makes them a different way to play, not an auto include each time.

The new tokens are good though. I see no reason not to include them in all games. One has 2 modes. You can copy your last colored chip. That's just fun gambling. The other choice is a catch up mechanic. I'm not a big fan of catch up mechanics, and I think whats in the game is good enough. But I know there was lots of people that think it wasn't good enough, this should be a great fix for them.

The other token is a 6 pumpkin. Easy to always include. Also adds a 5 player, which is fine. New abilities for the tokens is great. Worth it just for that. And due to how much easier it is with the witches, you now have a way to get more points if you fill the pot. I think over time I will actually like the witches less and less unless there is something to make the game harder when they are in. Hope they do a promo or something.

New tokens are great and will be included always
New token sets to play with
5th player option

soblue Another catch up mechanic not for me
soblue No new event cards
soblue Witches poorly implemented. Make the game easier without adding anything to balance them out. Which is a shame.


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______________________________________________________________________
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FINAL THOUGHTS
It's nice to find some keepers for my collection lately. I've very picky and keep a pretty small gaming area. Infact I've been considering a list from each year, of games that made it in to my collection to stay. Sound like an interesting topic for a list?

COOPS
Lets talk about it. I decided to count how many coops are in my collection, that I have no intention of getting rid of. I've been board gaming pretty regularly for about 12 years now. And in all that time, only 6 have a home in my collection. I was pretty surprised. And those 6 fall under 1 of 2 catagories. Either heavily story driven, or a loved IP. That made me quickly check the ones I've kickstarter. Funny enough, they are either heavily story driven or an IP I loved. So subconsciously I guess I had already figured this shit out.

What do coops do I don't like? I feel like it's a few things.
#1 There is only 1 correct answer to do on your turn.
This is a big one. They are basically puzzles with a right answer. I'm sure someone would argue competitive games are this way too, but I don't think they are. Maybe if you are a crazy mid/maxer, but thankfully my friends are not like this.
#2 They have to be perfectly balanced.
You always hear that coops should be 50/50 win/lose ratio. Lets say I agree (I think that number is fine). This does not mean that a coop game is balanced. And it drives me nuts. Just because you play a coop game 20 times and you won 10, doesn't mean you have some wonderfully balanced game. I need only 1 example to disprove this. Robinson Crusoe. A game I use to love, or more correctly, wanted to love. And I pushed it in group pretty regularly. We had about a 50% win rate. Now ask me how many of those games came down to the wire. 1 in our 12 plays. 1. Only 1 game we didn't just get destroyed, or we didn't cakewalk to the end. It's one of the most unbalanced games I've ever played. And once my friend Jason pointed this out, I traded away my blinged out copy and I've never played it since. It isn't worth all that effort to get 1 good play out of the game. And that's a problem I feel a lot of coops have.
#3 Lack of interesting choices.
This sort of ties into the #1. But so many coops have uninteresting choices. Because they have to try and keep a balance. Rarely are you gonna have swingy game changing turns, or build interesting combos. The game plays you.
#4 Lots of bookkeeping.
If a coop does give you interesting things to do, usually it's at the cost of heavy bookkeeping. The MDS system from the Sadler brothers is a good example. Street Masters and Brook City are cool games. But 1/2 your time spent will just being handling bookkeeping and such. I want to play games, not run them. (Their game Contra is one of the few coops I have coming. I like their stuff and this is suppose to move quickly)
#5 Putting out Fires.
So many coops you just clean up the board, and then it takes a turn putting the same crap right back out. I'm sorry, I don't see how that's fun or interesting. Death May Die is the most recent example of a game that infuriated me with this. That game could have had the coolest mechanics ever (it doesn't), and I still would have had no interest. Because spending 5 minutes to kill like 4 dudes with some cool combo, just for the AI to spit them right back on to the map. I did nothing. It's such an unfun feeling.

I think these are the main reasons for me. Maybe I'm missing some more. I think I'm much more forgiving of these issues if the game is heavily story driven. I don't care if we never win This War of Mine. It's the journey and tough choices. It doesn't bother me SMERSH main mechanic is push your luck like. Which means a great start or bad start can swing the rest of the game. I've laughed so much playing that game, at the things that have happened in it.

Mechanically I think coop Dungeon Crawls stand the best chance of not being story driven, and maybe finding a home in my collection. But it hasn't happened. I will always prefer a human opponent. And what sucks is like 90% of dungeon crawls (maybe higher) coming out are coop. I will say I enjoy some of these games digital. I think Gloomhaven is better without the large setup and tear down time. Street Masters goes through the bookkeeping faster than you can. Digital works better for coop imo.

Anyways that's my rant on coops. It doesn't mean I'm never excited for a game just because it's coop. Fallout is a great example. As a competitive game it's a mess. But the coop expansion comes out in a few weeks and I'm pumped for it. But it's story driven and IP based haha.


NEW TO THE COLLECTION
WWE: Headlock, Paper, Scissors
A party esque WWE game. Wrestling will always have a place for me, even if it sucks right now.

Undaunted: Normandy
I got this to play with my dad. Low amount of text on the cards, and he's a massive WW2 history buff. Plus I wanted to check out the system before the Horror game using it's engine comes out.

Welterweights
Light 2p boxing game. Usually sports themed fillers works for me.

Wildlands
Finally getting around to trying out this system.




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Unplayed and Pre-Ordered Games. Likelyhood of Them Getting Played.

Dustin Crenshaw
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KY
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Greeting Earthlings. I often get asked what games I got coming in, what am I gonna play, etc. Decided it was time for a geeklist, one that I will keep updated. Feel free to discuss any of these with me. Or give me insights if you've played them. I love chatting board games.

Unplayed and Pre-Ordered Games. Likelyhood of Them Getting Played.


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GenCant 2020. Rumblings on Gencon Online and a Little Gaming.

Dustin Crenshaw
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Greetings Earthlings. How was your Gencant? Mine was ok. Watched some streams of games. Some were ok, some where bad. Got in a little gaming. I will probably rant a little more than usual. As I just wanted to get my thoughts on announced games and such.

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Finally getting around to

- NEW TO ME -
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KeyForge: Call of the Archons
Played several games. None were close.


I really wanted to like this game. I like it's concept, it's world, and graphic design. But I honestly think it's a terrible. Balance is no where to be found. And I don't mean just in how it creates the decks. But the actual mechanics in the game. I know no other game in which card draw matters so much. I may get to play double cards than you on a turn, and they are better than the ones you played. There is a reason 99% of games like this have a resource system. They NEED IT. Not having one feels like a card game for kids. Except it's not.

Aside from that major complaint, I also hate competitive card games in which you twiddle your thumbs on opponents turn. It's ultimately why I let go of Codex, which I gave game of the year a few years ago. Just don't like that. So anyways, a huge skip. I know lots of people will disagree with me. That's ok. Hope you enjoy it.

Fantastic original IP
Really good graphic design
Different kind of win condition for these types of games

soblue Why too much board wiping
gulp No resource system
gulpgulpgulp Maybe the most unbalanced game I've ever played


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A solo play of

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Street Masters
Had a lot of defense tokens, so I decided to just try and take down the boss and hope I had enough to hold off all the minions. I did.


This play was on iOS. It seems like a pretty good app. There is a lot going on in this game, and I think it does about as good as of a job as it can. I still find the game to be too fiddly, and I don't really enjoy the tableau building. It's similar to Warhammer Quest TCG or Heroes of Terrinoth, and I feel they do the same thing but cleaner. But this has a way better theme. Some people love this, and I would understand if someone told me this was their favorite game. It's gonna be wonderful for some people. And if it's out of your price range, check out the app. For me I'm looking forward to another game with this great MDS system. I talk about it below.

Early thoughts on app
Though just base, still good variety for the price
Good tutorial
Non swingy dice
Really friendly company and designers

soblue Defense tokens still look too similar to me. But for these tokens, app is an improvement over physical.

soblue Physical version is strictly a 1p or 2p game
soblue Still a lot too keep track of even with app help
soblue Doesn't fit screen well. You have to constantly zoom in and out of the map. Gets old. I can't see them doing it better though.


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I heard great things

- NEW TO ME -
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War Chest
Eventually I beat my brother.


I also did not like this game. My brother HATED IT. Some how this game moves at a slog pace, but is overly bloody. Things I thought I would like (how units activate for example) I did not. Components are nice. But I'd rather play pretty much any other abstract I've played in the last 5 years over this one.

Nice production

soblue Lackluster defense
gulp Slog


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Massively underrated

- NEW TO ME -
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Crisis at Steamfall
My brother was having a much better game than me. But I used my alchemy to great effect on the last turn for a 9-7 victory.


This game is fantastic. It's a heavy euro, with theme and humor. And it innovates with how you create your own actions, and it's cool item crafting. By the end, you are burning your brain with all you can do. And the way you interact with civilians is really fresh too, as well as the hidden locations. Did I mention the characters are asymmetrical? The set up for the characters can be a bit fiddly though.

The big complaint about this game was the rulebook. That's probably a fair complaint. I didn't learn the game with that rulebook, I learned it from the new rulebook that is coming with the recently KS expansion. The expansion looks AMAZING. They've revamped both competitive and coop modes. Competitive added story choices (that gives different asymmetrical actions) and coop looks much better. Rahdo says is a massive improvement, I believe him. I have only played competitive, and will likely wait for the expansion to try coop out. They also cleaned up the set up for the asymmetrical characters. It just looks like an improvement all around.

I obviously haven't played nearly as many new to me games as I usually do this year. But this is still the best game I've played this year. My brother said it's the best new to him game in years. And the expansion looks to only improve on it. Sure we haven't played it much. But I don't see it falling on repeated plays. Lots of variety I think.

A heavy euro mixed in a sandbox steampunk theme
Fantastic customizable action system
Super fun item modification
5 unique characters with their own goals
Lots of different ways to try and get the limited victory points
Expansion adds story decisions and other great additions
Has both coop and competitive modes (I've only played competitive)

soblue Bad rulebook (fixed in expansion with master rulebook)
soblue Needs more tiles
soblue Can certainly be AP inducing
soblue Not easy to teach
soblue Some production issues
soblue Don't get enough item modding in (again addressed in expansion)


______________________________________________________________________

Please get the bad taste of last of us 2 out of my mouth

- NEW TO ME -
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Ghost of Tsushima
One of the few games I really sucked at, but got much better at.


This is one of the prettiest games ever made. It has a combat system I really like. A setting I LOVE. So why not a higher score? Open world.

I am not an open world fan, and sadly this has all the problems those brings. Constant theme breaking collect a thon of crap. Way too many side things that are repetitive as hell. And I grew sick of it before the end.

If it gets GAME+, it will be one of my favorite games of all time. I sure hope they add it.

The prettiest game of ALL TIME
Amazing setting
Super fun combat system, with different ways to go about it
Enjoyable characters
Mostly smooth controls for all that is going on
Bow has better shooting than any game I've played
Great leveling system

gulp Side activities get old fast
gulp And they are everywhere
gulp No Game+
gulp gulp Bend over a thon


______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
FINAL THOUGHTS
So a major mixed bag of games this time. Sometimes that happens. Thankfully the games I disliked were not super long. I am still hoping to get more games to the table than I am right now. Might mean more solo stuff. We'll see.

Got Black Rose Wars in, very excited for that one. Skytear managed to annoy me enough I sold it unplayed. Unacceptable they have no casual way to play the game, and no way for 2 people to play it as it's meant to with deck construction. See they only give you 1 set of cards, and you can't even buy a second set. No no, they want you to spend a few hundred buying a 2nd set of minis and stuff you don't need. Screw that.

I felt I did good on my Gencon spending. Just 1 game really. How did you all do? Some announcements are gonna cost me money down the road. Lets take a look at them now.

______________________________________________________________________

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Contra: The Board Game
I am not a contra fan. However I do like the MDS system the Sadler brothers have. If you haven't played it, it's similar to marvel champions. In how you can mix and match stuff. Contra looks very similar to Street Masters. But streamlined. Usually I'm not a huge fan of streamlining, but I like what I hear... here.

First the tableau building is gone, instead it will all be 1 off cards. Love that change. Also you are not restricted on what you can do. You can play as much as you like, however the cards are your defense. And just like contra, 1 hit kills you. I'm so hoping that brings the wonderful tension in from Guards of Atlantis (another game that 1 hit kills you). It's just awesome in that game. That's not all, it's affordable and not a minis bath. They announced all their games with have this option going forward which is awesome. Contra is a mere $50, and gives you 4 bosses to mix and match on 4 stages, with 4 playable characters. It has some exclusives for pre ordering (it's non ks). Hoping for the best sadler borthers game yet.

Based on MDS system
1 life
Great price point
No minis bloat

soblue Hope it's not a do the obvious coop
soblue Not a theme I care about

______________________________________________________________________

Oh FFG, wtf are you doing?

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X-Men: Mutant Insurrection
FFG hyped up their show, and managed to announce ZERO original games. Unreal. This game, is a reworking of Elder Sign. I'm fine with that. I like dice push your luck games. I wasn't ever gonna play elder sign due to theme and horrible components. So this is fine. However $55 seems ridiculous for this, $40 seems more right.

Then there was Descent. Why oh why FFG. Why are you going back to the Terrinoth generic fantasy well. And I've heard they've removed the best part, being a dungeon master. Why the **** don't they use their other IPs for games? Keyforge, Twilight Imperium, Android, Marvel, L5R, anything else FFG. ANYTHING ELSE. What was terrible sales for the last few terrinoth games not good enough for you? Just imagine if it was cyberpunk world of Android, or X-Men. Nope, something we've done to death... AGAIN.

And where the hell was the Outer Rim expansion. BOO all around!

X-Men better than Cthulhu

soblue Seems overly priced
gulp Their baffling decision to never use their other licenses
gulp No Outer Rim expansion

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When someone teaches a game, you want it to be Paul Grogan.

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Lost Ruins of Arnak
So I'm sort of mixed on this one. I love the deck building mixed with worker placement. Looks very clean. Like that it has surprises (as adventure should). But I'm not seeing any variety play to play. You are doing the same things every game. Sure your deck will be different. But not unique player powers. No event deck. No goals of any kind. That may be enough to stop me from buying.

Deck building mixed with worker placement
Adventure in a euro

gulp Lack of variety play to play

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A very fun silly show

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The Librarians: Adventure Card Game
Sounds similar to other coop card games with dice. Not much was shown, just 3 cards. Love the show, so that has my interest. Epic games track record with proofreading/wording in games is not good. Hopefully they have learned from those mistakes.

Theme I love
Shouldn't have a high price point

soblue Company's past of poor proofreading is a concern in a card game

______________________________________________________________________

Both very happy and out $100

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Agents of SMERSH: Epic Edition
Agents of Smersh has been in my top 10 games of all time for a long time. And the truth is, it could use some cleaning up. So it's awesome it's getting a new edition. I'm assuming with minis and all sorts of things. Sucks my old edition may become worthless. I've watched my friends have to deal with 2nd editions, I have managed to avoid that for the most part. This time though, gotta hit hard.

Because I can't sell the one I got. Because they have mentioned some things of concern. Like more mitigation to dice. More control with skills. Those are not good things. The dice system was pretty much perfect. And I don't think I want more control. But pretty much everything else they talked about, an improvement. We'll see. Certainly very excited for a new edition to one of my favorite games ever made.

Smersh is one of my favorite games
Could use cleaning up
Excited for nicer production
Most gameplay tweaks sound good

soblue More control of dice does not
soblue Campaign will not be in this edition
cry My edition will likely be worthless

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Launches today!

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Vampire: The Masquerade – Rivals Expandable Card Game
My local gaming group started as an LCG group. FFG dropped the ball so much with every competitive LCG, the scene is dead. We are all hoping for a new one to catch fire. This one has a chance. Because the theme is awesome. And it does all kinds of things these games don't normally do. For example it has a neutral deck you interact with. That's unheard of in a competitive card game. And the things they can do with that is really neat.

What is horrific, is the graphic design. It is horrible 90s ccg looking. The iconography looks really good, but I have no idea why they are doing with such a dated look. It's so bad, I think it will scare people away. Just looks amateurish, from a company that should and can do better.

It launches like 12 hours from now. It would have to do something pretty bad to make me not want to back. I watched some streams. They were bad, but in theory I love the look of the gameplay.

Vampire is a wonderful setting
Not just a combat game
Neutral deck in a competitive card game is genius
Nice mix of clans to start
Good price point
NOT collectable card game
Good release plan

soblue Multiplayer looks awesome, how will 2p be?
gulp How can card game bling be another $60
gulp gulp Horrific graphic design from the 90s, the bad graphic design of the 90s

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______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
MORE FINAL THOUGHTS
Um, guess those first final thoughts, were not final. Anyways. I must say Gencon online was pretty bad. I do not want to sit through demos on clunky TTS of people who don't know the rules. At least FFG did a video presentation. That's totally what these other companies should do too. Even if they are simple ones, still would be massively better than what we got. The video game industry has switched to this and the response has been amazing.

Not sure what all else I seen. I'm a big fan of Skybound, but their 3 game announcements look bad. I've backed their last 3, I won't be in for these 3. I am in for Ascension Tactics, despite a bad campaign. 1/2 the updates are about regular ascension stuff. They have rarely shown off stuff for tactics. But that doesn't change the fact it looks like a breath of fresh air for the genre. The designer did innovative things with WoW minis game.

Blacklist announced a game based on Undaunted Normandy. Same designers, but horror theme. Could be cool. I have Undaunted on the way to play with my dad. Won't ship until the new fallout expansion comes out (this month supposedly).

Frostpunk showed off some things. New company will keep me away. Oathsworn reopened it's pledge manager. So I have that tough decision again. Buffy Unmatched cover got showed off. I will get it, Buffy is my favorite show of all time. I just find unmatched ok, but will play it. Everyone else around here likes it more than me. Can't wait to see the art for Buffy, since unmatched is the best in board gaming.

DinoGenics still not here. Suppose to start shipping this week. Which is what they said last week. Tidal Blades had shipping issues after being loaded up to get on a boat. Someday. I don't think anything else is on the boat. Most of my pending kickstarters are currently in production though.

As for TV, I've slowly been getting through Warrior Nuns. It's good, I just haven't been in TV watching mood. I'm at the start of Season 4 of Agents of SHIELD. So bad it's hard to continue. Been in Keanu Reeves mood. Currently rewatching Matrix.

Oh did watch
External image


I quite enjoyed this. Why oh why doesn't Cristin Milloti get cast more? She's great, samberg always is. Groundhog day like movie. That did some neat stuff I haven't seen before with the gimmick. Really the only thing I wasn't crazy about, was the ending. It's fine, but they could have done something amazing with it and didn't. There was also a tiny plot hole at the end, but nothing major. Solid recommendation if you like either of them, or groundhog day gimmick.


NEW TO THE COLLECTION
Cowboy Bebop: Boardgame Boogie
Taking a chance on this one due to theme.

The Ancient World (Second Edition)
I was a fan of the 1st edition, this looks like an improvement in just about every way.

Runebound (Second Edition)
Runebound: The Island of Dread
Being stuck at home, I'm finally doing something I've always wanted to. Converting 2nd edition runebound to 3rd edition. And I'm starting with one of the best pirate games I've ever played. So much great story and content in 2nd edition, I hope I can convert it over without too much trouble.




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Top 25 Underrated Games of All Time

Dustin Crenshaw
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Greetings Earthings. Time for another list. I have gotten in a little bit of gaming, but want to get in a few more plays of some before I do my thoughts on them. So this time we are looking at Underrated games.

This was not an easy list to make. Should these just be ordered by bgg rank? No. Should these just be based on my personal like of a game? No. Sure I have several games that a low on the BGG ranking scale, that I love. But some of those, I know why they are not more popular. Maybe they have some really rough edges. Or they were just tailor made for me.

So really, these are games I think should have done better in general. Maybe they were just from small publishers. Maybe a few bad reviews doomed them. Whatever the case. These are the top 25 games, I think would and should be liked more in general.

______________________________________________________________________

A follow up to a well liked game

#25
Board Game: Football Highlights 2052

Football Highlights 2052
You think with how well received Baseball Highlights was, this would have been smashing follow up. Yet a low amount of people own it. Maybe they think it's too similar to the baseball? It's not. I love Baseball Highlights. But after a hundred+ plays, the game is kind of on auto pilot for me. This plays plenty differently, and I would say is deeper and more exciting. It does take a few plays to really start to get it. Maybe that is also turning people away. Great game folks.

The best football game on the market
Cards being both your defense and offense is really great mechanic
Considerable amount to consider during the game
Teams play different (more so than baseball highlights)
Really exciting due to the action deck

The action deck will not be for everyone
Long term strategy is a learning curve

soblue You can lose some games to pure luck
soblue Bad artwork
gulpgulp Terrible graphic design look from the 90s
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Often dirt cheap on amazon

#24
Board Game: Armageddon

Armageddon
This is a tableau builder of sorts. You gain workers to bid with them of sorts (not blind) to gain new cards for your tableau. You use different types of workers on the cards. This game has one of my favorite "bidding" mechanics of all time. And the game isn't confusing or complex either. You can get playing pretty fast and know whats going on. It's got a refreshing theme for this kind of game. Yet, you never hear anything about it. Not an amazing game, but I'm very surprised it's not more popular.

Well done theme
Nice components
Fantastic bidding. One of my favorites ever

Unforgiving and brutal

soblue Impossible to recover if you mess up early
soblue Lack of variety in buildings
soblue Manipulating "euro tracks" is meh
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Semi Coops never work, right?

#23
Board Game: Robin Hood and the Merry Men

Robin Hood and the Merry Men
People heard semicoop and went running for the hills. I get it. I also view that word as dirty. And yes, the semicoop part can be an issue. But not to the extreme. This game is pretty, has a really cool card system. And the theme shines, which is pretty uncommon in a worker placement game. Not a light game by any means either, it gives you a good amount to chew on. They even added a full coop mode if that's more your thing.

Fantastic theme
Theme shines through gameplay, which is not common in worker placement
Good card system
Some fun modules to be added

gulp Semi Coop
soblue Player powers work better if you allow each player to keep both options during the game
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Better than Magic? Well yeah by a landslide

#22
Board Game: Warhammer 40,000: Conquest

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
Part of me certainly understands why this didn't see a bigger audience. It's warhammer 40k themed. Which I LOVE, but I understand some don't. It's also an FFG LCG. And like, well all of them, FFG did this game dirty with poor support. But if you don't dislike the theme and don't care the game is no longer supported, this is one of the best dueling card games of ALL TIME. Unlike other FFG lcgs, it's not clunky or has a complex rule set. In fact, it's very clean. Something Eric Lang does well. If you've played magic, or other similar games you can learn it fast. It offers this wonderful system of back and forth play. So there is no downtime and you constantly make tough decisions. This sort of plays like an area control game. Making it also the best 2 player area control game of all time.

Seems like a lot of praise yeah? Yep. It's a simple ruleset, with asymmetrical factions, with constant tough choices.

9 Unique factions
Genius movement mechanic
Really good artwork
Lots to think about, but simple ruleset
Resource system just as important as combat

soblue Usual FFG ripoff of "core sets"
soblue Unbalanced leaders
cry Ended much too soon

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Kill that monster, I will certainly not stab you in the back.

#21
Board Game: Bloodborne: The Card Game

Bloodborne: The Card Game
Another Lang game, another clean and smooth game. Cuthroat Caverns at one time had a huge following. This is a similar game, in that you are trying to score points while screwing over your neighbors. Sound semi coop, it is not. It is 100% competitive. Sure you are all fighting a boss, but it's a race to kill him. The main mechanic is hand building, and simultaneous hidden selection. Again a game with no downtime. I will say the base game content is light, and the expansion is a must. The expansion legit doubled most everything. My group still consistently plays this game. Not many games do that well with our mix of gamers.

Expansion adds a ton of content
Fast good cardplay
Hard (in theory)
Good variety in monsters and bosses
Expansion adds new cool combat cards to mix up the meta
Player powers...

soblue Not sure they are created equal though
soblue Base game only, lacks variety
gulp Boring trophy system

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Someone needs a 2nd edition

#20
Board Game: Clockwork Wars

Clockwork Wars
While I love the theme of this game, I think it's what stopped it for being a huge success. This is an area control game with no dice. Instead, hidden movement. Which gives it this wonderful fresh feeling. Something very hard to pull off these days, especially in that type of game. It did have some small balance and issues. They did post up some minor rule changes. Still, even with those issues I think way more people would love this game if they gave it a go. Theme and area control screams ameritrash, but really it's more rooted in euro design.

Very fresh feeling
Simultaneous hidden "worker placement" is amazing
A great amount of replay value, no 2 games the same
Very cool overpowered discover cards
The crazy mix of magic, religion and scifi works well
Fantastic insert

- Some will not like how powerful the discover cards are

soblue Wood discs for workers. Minis would have been awesome. Stickers should have been in atleast
soblue R&D Always gets taken first. Needs different way to deal out those cards. Which the designer has added through official variant. I still like our way better.

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Euro game + pizza. Oh wait, I just got why this isn't popular. The pizza isn't real people! It won't get grease on your wooden pieces!

#19
Board Game: Papà Paolo

Papà Paolo
Why do euro gamers like boring themes redone over and over and over and over and over and over and over (ok I'll stop). This one has a fresh theme. It mixes drafting and tile laying. It mixes theme and euro mechanics well. It has a nice scoring system. Why isn't this more popular. Even if you don't like euro games, you might really like this. Due to the theme and clean mechanics. The only negative is it doesn't offer anything to change up the play to play. An event deck or hidden goals would do wonders.

Captures the theme well
Interesting drafting
You create your own puzzle
Wooden components look nice...

soblue But are a massive pain in the ass to sticker
soblue Can't imagine playing 1st edition without highlighted houses
gulp Severe lack of variety play to play

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Better than Santorini? Yep

#18
Board Game: Zodiac Clash

Zodiac Clash
No one has heard of this game. It is a light 2 player filler. It uses a rotation board and all you are trying to do is line up 4 of your pieces. Sounds way easier than it is. Oh and there is a bunch of unique powers, which players get 1 of each play. I would compare this to the Santorini's of the world. I like this one better. It's cheap, easy ruleset, and fun gimmick. Great way to kick off a gaming day.

Pretty (box cover is neat too)
Lots of different powers that are fun
Fast simple gameplay that will work for all types of gamers
Rotating board works well

soblue Doesn't fit back into the box fully built
soblue Just as easy to mess up and gift your opponent a win
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Basketball and dinosaurs. I understand why you looked away.

#17
Board Game: Dino Dunk

Dino Dunk
While I haven't played a ton of flicking games, this is easily the best one. The theme is silly, it's true. But the strategy and ruleset is not. There is a lot of special abilities, and everyone can get behind shooting a thing at a goal. Somehow it has very little basketball rules, but yet plays kind of like basketball. I love this game. It's fun even though I suck at it. If you like flicking games, and want more strategy and special abilities in them. Give this a look. The cover/theme is deceiving.

Surprisingly thematic to basketball
10 Different player choices gives a lot to consider
Fantastic components. Playmat, double layered score track.
Fun to play

soblue Water dino is not as good as the other options
soblue Volcano board too busy
gulp Rulebook surprisingly unclear even on basic rules
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When price keeps a game from great heights

#16
Board Game: Codex: Card-Time Strategy – Deluxe Set

Codex: Card-Time Strategy – Deluxe Set
Tons of people love deck building games. Star Realms is crazy popular. This is similar in that it's a back and forth dueling gaming, but without all those interrupts and out of turn cards. And it's MASSIVELY better than Star Realms. It's true star realms is popular because of it's quick play. This isn't quick, but it's massively deeper, and much much more skill based. So if you like those kind of deck builders and are wanting more from them, you really should give this a look.

Price murdered this game. Like Mage Wars, you get a book and get to choose what cards you want. But it's price was so much more. Maybe you can find it cheaper now. I wish I could have kept my copy to be honest. It was kind of a pain to carry around with it's ridiculous deluxe box. But I could have found a better solution.

So many decisions
Strategy and Tactics are both high in the game
Six very different factions to play
Cool mix of mechanics
It does all those mixes better than everyone else
Phenomenal hero system
A very low amount of luck
Not an LCG or CCG. It's complete. Which will make learning and mastering the ins and outs awesome.

soblue AP can be a major problem
soblue Some really hokey art
soblue Sirlin games other IPs feel forced and out of place
soblue Way too long at 3+ players
gulp Infuriating price gouging and excuses
gulpgulpgulp So big and heavy, I didn't keep it (the game)
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Too oddball for it's own good?

#15
Board Game: Quodd Heroes

Quodd Heroes
This is a wonderful game, with wonderful minis, and lots of game modes. I can only think that the mix of craziness and puzzly movement kept people away. But it's fun puzzle, not punishing or complicated. It has an old school video game charm some how. I've played this with plenty of different people (even non gamers) and it's went over well every time. I have 1 major complaint, and it's significant. And that's the organization. Double sided tokens sucks, and I wish I could buy enough to just sort everything by scenario. As is, it's a pain in the ass to set up. Which is keeping it from seeing more plays.

Tons of gameplay modes/scenarios
Fantastic production
Very fun to play
Upgrade system works well
Eleven unique characters to play as
A chaotic and strategic mode

soblue Not good at 2p (I haven't tired buddies yet though)
soblue Can be AP inducing
soblue Unclear rules that pop up often (worked out on bgg)
gulp Set up takes way too long
gulp Some cards should not be allowed in some scenarios
gulpgulp Desperately needed an organizer for the 200+ tokens

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Goes over great 100% of the time

#14
Board Game: Eselsbrücke

Eselsbrücke
I buy and sell/trade a lot of games. My group/friends know this. No game in my collection gets asked if I'll sell it, more than this one. Not even close. This game is a BLAST. It is the best make up story game ever. And points are earned in this game. So it feels like a silly party game, but you are trying to win. It's never the same twice, and it's always a blast. Well unless you are just a dry euro gamer that hates anything that isn't cubes for victory points.

Fun creative stories
Creates a ton of laughs
Cool memory element

soblue Ugly, and tiles don't match what they say they are
soblue Too long for what it is with 6 people and 5 rounds
gulp Being punished after getting part of the story right is ridiculous
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A heavy euro game about music, those don't exist right?

#13
Board Game: Show Business

Show Business
I bought this just because of it's theme. I had no idea what was waiting for me in the box. What I got was a heavy, punishing euro. At first I thought maybe my love for it was blinded by finally getting a serious game with this theme. But then I played it with Dodd, who is particular hard on games, and he also enjoyed it. I knew it was gonna have permanent home on my shelf.

It's hard to explain this game. I guess it's best defined as a hand and action management game. It's more than that, and it's hard. It's also the only game I know that money is tight, while being easy to get. The goal of the game is to make songs that will do the best based on current trends. No you are not singing or writing songs. You are just choosing things like type, tempo, etc. And you building a band to help make your choices better. There is a lot going on, and I would certainly say it's medium+ weight game.

It's easy to understand if you haven't heard or played this game. Small print run and never came out in a lot of places. It actually got an expansion last year many years after it's original release. The new ruleset is great. Sadly covid has prevented me from getting to play with the new cards, which there is plenty. This game needs a kickstarter.

I did an overview of this game here
Photogasm #7 ~ Show Business Overview

Finally a game with a music theme that is deep and thinky
Theme completely comes through
Multi use card system
Expansion improved the rules, and added lots of new cards
Money is both easy to get and tight, somehow
Every action you do is important

Big strategy learning curve
Take that cards won't be for everyone. But they are easily countered, and have official non take that variants here on the geek

soblue Last player advantage
soblue A few rules that are hard to remember
soblue Updated rules a must
soblue Whole band breaking up seems overly punishing
gulp Bad rulebook, dice, and odd card size. Rulebook fixed on bgg, along with a fantastic player aid. Stickers for the dice are also available.
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Most likely to leave this list?

#12
Board Game: Guards of Atlantis: Tabletop MOBA

Guards of Atlantis: Tabletop MOBA
I get why this game got overlooked. People see minis moving around fighting, they assume it's like the zillion of those games out there. You know, the roll dice, beat on until dead, line of sight confusion, status effect galore, etc. Guards is NONE of those things. There is no randomness, no dice. Every hero, has 1 health. Which makes this game something very different. There is so much tension behind every move. You know what heroes can and can't do as the turn unfolds. It's almost chess like.

So besides that, it also boasts one of the best level up systems in a game. You truly feel so much stronger than when you started. The moba aspect (minions on the board) is abstracted. So no constant fiddlyness like a Rum & Bones. This game just ks a new edition. So maybe it won't keep it's hidden gem status. No Pun Included has a great review of this to check out. I would say this game appeals to those who don't normally like skirmish minis games. Skill will win the day, every time.

Fantastic tense no randomness gameplay
One of the best leveling systems I've seen
Very unique fun characters
Good quality miniatures, color bases, and 2 maps
Does a great job of feeling like a moba, while not being fiddly at all

The no luck combat will not be for everyone

soblue Cards are printed so dark, you can barely see the artwork (1st ed)
soblue Mistakes can be very costly
soblue Hex spaces/board needed to be bigger
soblue Doesn't play well with 2 players, unless each player controls 2 heroes
gulp $30 price hike in the pledge manager/late pledge for sequel

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How to make a 2nd edition

#11
Board Game: Dragonscales

Dragonscales
A game a never thought would be. I really liked Dragon Rampage, but damn what an eye sore. It was one of the only successful semicoop games I've ever played. With this new edition, they removed semicoop and just made it competitive. But that's not all they did. Revamped the theme, components, pretty much everything. It's all great.

Dragon Rampage is a dice worker placement game. Their new way of doing this is everyone rolling dice behind a screen in secret. However the rules for the more strategic way is still in there, but it'll add to game time. You are trying to do the most damage to the dragon, or just escape the dungeon. You will be hampering others and gaining loot. It's a really fun game, with asymmetrical characters to play as. It's personally one of my favorite games. I really thought a pretty edition would bring much more eyes to the game, but for some reason that hasn't been the case.

Original improved on in pretty much every way.
Awesomely themed characters with chucky minis
One of my favorite dice worker placement mechanics ever
Take that done right
Flee or slay is fun win conditions

For the love of everything good in the world. Play with magic the gathering simple "last in, first out" timing rules.

soblue Some will not be able to take the meanness
soblue There is one character card loop that is annoying
gulpgulp Timing of cards (in a game with "play any time") not covered whatsoever. Designer answers inconsistent

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How can a high ranked game be underrated?

#10
Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game

StarCraft: The Board Game
Even after all these years, Starcraft is ranked 431. How in the world can it be on this list then? Well, do you ever hear it talked about. Does any of these video reviews talk about it. It doesn't even get a mention when dice tower talks about best area control games (which it is the best). Doesn't get talked about when deck building comes up even though it invented it.

So it's just an amazing game, that seems forgotten. It's subpar follow up is somehow ranked higher. Yes this game is crazy expensive now, but that doesn't excuse it not even getting mentioned anymore. It deserves better.

Starcraft theme is awesome and well done
Awesome minis
Different playing armies with different options
Tons of strategies to take
Cool order system
No dice combat
A fantastic expansion
Hero units are very cool

OOP
Invented deckbuilding

soblue No minis for hero units
soblue Unique win conditions suck
soblue Downtime can be an issue when there is big battles going on you are not involved in
gulp Steep learning curve

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If only they would have stuck to doing DC's Injustice

#9
Board Game: Exceed Fighting System

Exceed Fighting System
I love the dice tower, and most video reviewers out there. But man, Vasel did damage to this game. He called it luck based and random. What? It's completely neither of those things, and I think that really hurt it. Because for some reason, it hasn't been reviewed by other outlets really. I mean did they just think this was battlecon 2.0 or something. It's so much more than that.

It's the best, 2d fighting game board gaming has to offer. It's accessible, quick, and most importantly fun. I think they took too long to start using IPs. We were suppose to get DC Injustice early on. Man that would have sold so well. It has gotten better every set, but every set brings something unique. If you are looking for a 2d fighter, the street fighter set is a great place to start. And if you are not into 2d fighters, that's ok. I'm not, and I love it. It's just a great 2 player game period.

Feels like a 2D fighter
Multiuse cards
Tense simultaneous action selection
Characters play very differently
Season two improved the game in every way
Street Fighter's unique "critical" mechanic is one of the best yet

soblue Some matches up lopsided
soblue Playmat (optional) feels like a must. Each season's is improved.
soblue You can miss like crazy (by gameplay decisions, not luck)
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How can a CMON dungeon crawl be overlooked?

#8
Board Game: The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch

The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch
I think this is CMON's best dungeon crawler. And I think that is because eric lang had nothing to do with it. I also thing maybe why that's how it got over looked. I clearly love some of Lang's design, but you won't find his dungeon crawls on any liked list by me.

Anyways, this is a 1 vs all type of dungeon crawl. And it uses an amazing mechanic, where the heroes can do extra things but must pay resource to the villain he can use (similar to omega protocol). It's a dice chucker, but with good systems. But the best, is the theme. It's awesome. It's steampunk/freak show 1900s. It's so cool, and the minis are so neat. So if you are a fan of dungeon crawls, and those things sound good to you. You should check out this game.

I LOVE this theme
Resource system is one of the best I've ever seen
Clean mechanics all around
Good production, minis, art, graphical design
Really good rules for campaign and 1 offs
Much less than a bear to set up that others in the genre
Good systems with the dice symbols...

soblue ... but very dice chucky
soblue Backstories a bit too dense
soblue Poor rulebook and CMON support (but bgg has worked out many things)
soblue A few broken cards in certain scenarios (make sure to not allow them)
soblue Everything but base game is OOP
soblue Too much downtime for me at 5p. Shining best at 3p

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Been waiting years for the 2nd edition

#7
Board Game: Race! Formula 90

Race! Formula 90
This game is the best racing game there is. What hurt it was a poor rulebook, and limited availability. Why is it the best? Because it's card based, exciting, and feels fast. Something many racing games fail to do. You can take chances, try out different unique abilities, all on various unique tracks.

I really hope the 2nd edition is still coming. They've made some clever changes that lowers luck, and rewards even more skillful planning. It's coming to KS 2018! Keep an eye out.

Best racing game ever
Card based, no dice chucking!
Creates exciting moments all the time
Theme is very well done
Tracks play very differently
Brilliant AI system
Very adjustable rule set
Lots of strategies to take
Fun beginning to end
Expansion #1 adds to very cool tracks and teammate rules

- Long

soblue Too many little rules
soblue Fiddly qualifying
soblue Some unbalanced skills/strategies that require house rules
soblue Weather rules also require house rules
soblue Very expensive, especially the expansions


The very small problems are easily fixed with house rules

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Please let the expansion happen, I need HG Wells in my life.

#6
Board Game: Warehouse 13: The Board Game

Warehouse 13: The Board Game
This hasn't gotten a wide release, which explains some of the reasons it hasn't gotten more buzz. Also, has any notable reviewers covered it at all? It also gets compared to Battlestar Galactica a lot, and I think that is unfair.

This is a hidden traitor game, that is kindof a dice puzzle game. The rulebook doesn't do it any favors, but it's not complicated once you understand. However understanding isn't super easy, as it's pretty unique. I'm not sure I've played any game that uses dice like this game does. There is a coop mode I think will work well, as the game is tough. And several ways to modify difficulty. Replay value is good too, as the characters play differently and the variety in decks is good. You will certainly see similarities in it and BSG. But they are pretty different in how they go about things. And I don't think if you love or hate BSG, would mean you'd love or hate this game.

I did an overview of the characters in the game here
Warehouse 13: The Board Game - An Overview of the Characters and Their Abilities.

Nails the theme
One of the more unique dice games out there
Mix of game ideas work great
Will likely play solidly as a coop
Unique characters

soblue No good flow to the rulebook
soblue Small cards always suck
soblue No HG Wells
soblue Hidden traitor lacks options to mess with folks

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A true hybrid

#5
Board Game: Monster Lands

Monster Lands
Dice worker placement is all the rage. Some how this game got completely lost in the shuffle it seems. It's one of the most thematic worker placement games on the market. I'm not really sure why it isn't getting the love, but I have some theories. 1st is the way you can screw with people, but this is completely optional module. I know I seen a few reviews mentioning this, but complaining about an optional module you chose to play with seems odd to me.

The bigger reason is the dice, and the fact they are "used for combat". This isn't combat like other games exactly. You are capturing monsters. You need to hit a certain number to do so. So you roll dice. But you have a lot of control and options to get it done. It feels more like push your luck, and the push part is just based on how greedy and carefree you chose to do it. I don't think I've felt luck ever decided a winner in this game. I have seen 1 game where luck chose a loser. But it's rare, just like any game that uses dice.

This game is just a great mix strategy and tactics. Mixing tableau building, push your luck. Even without the "take that" module, it still has good interaction. As you are constantly evaluating not only where your opponent will go, but where they've already been (if they are pushing their luck too much). Because you can benefit from that too.

The kickstarter version of this game has a ton of content. It's getting an expansion on kickstarter early next year. So all that exclusive content can be had. I don't even think it needs an expansion, but I'm excited to see what new mechanics they throw in.

I did an overview of the game here
Photogasm #9 ~ Monster Lands

Fantastic theme
Stellar production all around for KS version
Theme and rules work so well together
Interesting push your luck combat puzzle
Pretty clever discount mechanics
Heavy weapons is a fun addition
Great amount of variety with the KS version
Modules and difficulty tweaks so you can have the game as punishing as you want

Tricks module will greatly vary in how people like them

soblue Unlikely I'll like the game as much at 2p and 5p
soblue Death early in the game will cost you severely
soblue Heavy weapons have poor iconography
soblue Set collection scoring feels tacked on
gulp Retail version missing a lot

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Gloomhaven runebound?

#4
Board Game: Champions of Hara

Champions of Hara
Sometimes I play a game, and maybe only like it, but understand why it's a smash hit. I liked this game plenty, but I feel like it could be beloved by many people. The main reason, is the card system.

This is an adventure style game, that can be played coop or competitive (both modes seem to work fine). It certainly does things to set itself apart from other games like it. The card system is like a lighter version of Gloomhaven. There is no dice, instead you play cards from your hand into play, or from play back to your hand. They do different things based on that. So it sort of has this puzzly feel to it, as you try best to combo your actions. The characters are all different, with their own unique cards. And you get to upgrade them throughout the game. Changing your combos and making decisions on what to upgrade. And what you want to upgrade requires doing different things during the game. It's a fantastic system.

It's theme is weird, sort of anima ish. The board is big, and uses hexagon cards to generate it's world. The board is broken into zones, and each zone has a ton of personality. Somehow you feel you get to know each zone. Doing that in a board game is a pretty neat trick. The minis are seriously so of my favorites. I would probably put it in top 5 best minis, based on creativity and quality.

I seriously think some people would LOVE this game. Just on it's card system and colorful world. And this game isn't some clunky, over produced ks game with lots of rules. It is a table hog, but the gameplay and rules are not fiddly. So if you would like to play an adventure game not made by FFG, and like feeling clever through card play with low randomness. Check this game out.

Wonderful world and characters
Some of my favorite minis in board gaming
Unique, diceless card system
Pvp and Coop modes both work

soblue Feels a tad easy
soblue Table hog and messy
soblue Low random factor wasn't for me, others will love that

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A recent surprise I haven't covered on my blog yet

#3
Board Game: Crisis at Steamfall

Crisis at Steamfall
This is a heavy euro game. That's right. A sandbox, steampunk game. Like the Vital Lacerda kind of designers made this game. They didn't, but that's what it feels like.

This game had some issues at first, mostly a bad rulebook. But it recently got an expansion. That not only fixed those issues, but improved both game modes. Adding story decisions to the mix. Story decisions in this kind of euro is just crazy.

My brother loves euro like mechanics, but is also huge on theme. So outside dungeon petz, I haven't found much for him. This one is heavier than that for sure, and I though it would be too much for him. He did struggle understanding things at first. It might be the first time we played a 2 hour game and he asked can play it again right then.

Besides mixing 2 things that don't seem like they would mix, this game does some clever things. The biggest is the action system. You slowly get to customize your action choices during the game. It's so neat and clever. There are 5 characters, and they are unique and so is their customizable actions. There is so many ways to get points, but it isn't a point salad game. I won our first game 9-7. You can make friends with civilians, which gives you unique powers but also gives you a goal for vp. You can just go for breaking codes, which is basically just a resource conversion thing. You can try to spread out around the city and place influence that can lead to free resources or extra actions. Your characters may have unique goals and you can focus on that. For example I was playing an Alchemist who wanted to test out a serum on civilians and I could get points for doing so. And I haven't even talked about the item system. You get to customize items. Something so cool, they made it a focus is the upcoming expansion.

I haven't gotten to play this with my game group, and won't be able to for awhile. But I think it's gonna be a massive success. The expansion looks like a big improvement on something I've already really liked. It's unique, clever, and pulls off being a crunchy euro while doing things like building funny devices with crazy characters.

A heavy euro mixed in a sandbox steampunk theme
Fantastic customizable action system
Super fun item modification
5 unique characters with their own goals
Lots of different ways to try and get the limited victory points
Expansion adds story decisions and other great additions
Has both coop and competitive modes (I've only played competitive)

soblue Bad rulebook (fixed in expansion with master rulebook)
soblue Needs more tiles
soblue Can certainly be AP inducing
soblue Not easy to teach
soblue Don't get enough item modding in (again addressed in expansion)

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One of the best 2 player games ever made

#2
Board Game: Theseus: The Dark Orbit

Theseus: The Dark Orbit
Back when this game came out, euros with theme or direct player interactions wasn't as common as they are now. And I think, that got Theseus overlooked. This game uses a Mancala system, and VERY assymetrical factions to fight each other. But fighting each other feels more like VP gathering. You don't destroy each other pieces, ever. The way the game works is you are slowly putting out special powers in rooms, which you get to activate when you move into them. So you start doing simple things. But by the end things have ramped up quite a bit.

This game deserves more eyes, even now. I dunno if Mancala mixed with an Aliens like theme just turned people away or what. But very few 2 player games (it can be played with more) are this thinky, and reward clever play. This is one of the few games I rate a 10.

Very unique factions, all balanced
Offers strategy and tactics
2 Player and team play are awesome
Great use of theme
Double sided cards that explain exactly what they do
Plays fast
BOTS expansion is alot of fun
Proof euro games don't have to have boring themes or a million chits

soblue 3-4 Player deathmatch is very chaotic and hard to plan.
soblue Secret room promo and playmat are impossible to get

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Even as more and more super hero games come out, this one is still the best

#1
Board Game: Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes
In the last year this came up on the dice tower, and they basically called the game unplayable now. They are dead wrong. How they came to such an asinine conclusion I have no idea. This game got hate way back in the day for it's rulebook. It's not as bad as people claim. In fact, it's better than some FFG rulebooks now. Yes it has rough edges, for sure. And they didn't do nearly enough with the board. But as far as games making you feel like a super hero team, this is it.

You get to manage one of 4 teams, Avengers, Marvel Knights, X-Men and Fantastic Four. You can recruit others, but they only offer small assists. The game is really a resource and action management. Someone at the table will control your nemesis, and they will make decisions to make things rough on you. Yes this is a competitive game. The heroes will never fight the heroes though. Instead there is a villain deck, and they get played by all players. This may all sound confusing, or a lot to control. But it's not. It works really well. The goal is usually victory points, but there are several scenarios that change up things. These are just done with simple cards, so no big page of rule changes or anything like that.

If you are a fan of super heroes, you gotta check this game out. The rough edges are much easier to get around if you just print off some player aids found here on the geek. That's it, just have a few player aids for everyone and it goes much smoother. And it scales well too. Yes the combat is dice chucky, but it's just done great. You can picture the fights in your head. And upsets can happen, rare but nothing is a given. Even toad can have his day against Thor (well maybe not). The teams play different too. There is a lot to like in this box. I've been playing this game consistently for many many years. And it's always joy when it hits the table.

Heroes feel like the heroes
Lots of villains and heroes stuff in the box
Prepainted minis
Euro mechanics work well with ameritrash

soblue Board is completely unnecessary
gulp Troubleshooting level is insanely fiddly, and way too swingy
gulp Fantastic Four are broken without errata

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______________________________________________________________________
FINAL THOUGHTS
Glad to do a list more upbeat than my last one. If you have any questions about any of these games, please let me know and I'll do my best to help you out.

So what about gaming? Well I'm starting 7th Continent with my dad tomorrow. He's not a gamer, but I can occasionally get him to play some. He loves history and survival. So hoping 7thC goes well with the surivival thing. I have acquired way too many games lately. But my brother and I can't stop playing Ghosts of Tsushima to play any. But we are shooting for once a week playing of some games.

NEW TO THE COLLECTION

DinoGenics: Controlled Chaos
Giving this game another chance.

Skytear
One I've wanted to try for awhile as I'm a big fan of mobas.

Big Trouble in Little China: The Game
Sometimes I flip things when they are hot, to get later when they are cheaper. I got burned on this one. Went OOP super fast never to be printed again. But I finally have a copy again!

War Chest
I like these types of games usually. I know John really likes it.

Guards of Atlantis: Tabletop MOBA
Reacquired the 1st one. Decided to just get the upgrade pack in the 2nd ks.

Radiant: Offline Battle Arena
You might be noticing a theme. I am trying to find a 2 player dueling game to play with my brother. Since during covid he's most of my game group now.

Black Rose Wars
I have been waiting and waiting to get this game. Trying to not overpay. Finally it's mine! Very hyped for this one. VERY HYPED.






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Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:49 am
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Why Don’t You Make Like a Tree, and Get Outta Here

Dustin Crenshaw
United States
KY
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Greetings Earthlings. Games where played, like 3 of them over 3 months! I really am hoping to get more, because I sure the hell keep getting more.

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A blast for the past sort of

- NEW TO ME -
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Clutch Baseball
I've played many games with my dad. I suck, I've lost most of them.


This is a remake of MLB Showdown. Sadly it's based on the later years of that in which the game wasn't very good. The first year was the best when all the cards have uniqueness. But instead, most of the cards feel the same here. And no art isn't helping anything. However the card play is amazing. It's so good, I've actually made a 104 card set for stratomatic.

Fantastic card system
Power die is a cool addition over mlb showdown

soblue Cards all samey
gulp No Artwork


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JRPG?

- NEW TO ME -
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Diceborn Heroes
We got pretty destroyed by a scenario that we wouldn't have if we knew the surprise coming.


I think some people would really enjoy this game. The level up system is really good. I think it might be a little too hard for my liking, which makes it feel more luck based than needed. But it's a decent little game.

Fantastic level up system
Dice systems work well

soblue Too difficult?
soblue Feels more luck based than I'd like


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A good game for my most watched movie of all time?

- NEW TO ME -
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Back to the Future: Back in Time
We got off to a really good start. We were ready for the end with a couple turns to go. But then a nasty biff event started moving love back fast. We barely was able to fix it in time.


I don't like these kind of coops. My brother hates coops. And we both had a lot of fun playing this game. It's very thematic. Good artwork and graphic design all around. The skill system is pretty good, and you really feel like you impact the game greatly on your turn. Not too many games pull that off. The biggest problem (and I have this with most coops), is there just isn't much variety play to play. Also Jennifer and Einstien additions are weird. I would have prefered atleast one of them swapped out for Back to the Future II Marty. But overall, happy with the game. It's gonna be one of those once or twice a year games.

Does right by the theme
Your turns are impactful
Nice upgrade system
Good art and graphic design

soblue Can snowball easy or hard based on first few turns
soblue Unthematic inclusion of Jennifer/Einstein
gulp Lack of variety play to play


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The most I've ever played a deckbuilder?

- NEW TO ME -
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Slay the Spire
Probably 60+ hours put in.


What a fantastic game. It's so addicting. This is certainly one of the best solo games ever. It's one of the best deck builders too. I really hope they make more classes to play. Richard Garfield has a game on the way similar to this one. Just came out for iOS.

Addicting
Never plays the same
4 classes that feel pretty different
Pushing yourself for better scores

soblue A touch too easy


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A sequel to one of the best video games ever made, what could go wrong?

- NEW TO ME -
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The Last of Us Part II
Took around 28 hours to beat.


What could go wrong? Pretty much everything. This was soul crushing. In my entire life, I've never played through a more miserable game. Joel & Ellie are 2 of my favorite characters ever, and they did wrong by them at every turn. They completely failed to tell a good story. Worse, they told a story NO ONE wanted. Ruining an IP in the process. And then their reaction to fans ruined their company. Who makes my favorite games of all time btw. Just a giant mess all around. This will go down like Game of Thrones Season 8 and the last jedi. And is my biggest disappointment for a video game ever.

One particular flashback was fantastic
Crazy boss fight

gulp Most unfun game ever
gulp Did the main characters dirty
gulp Told a tired story
gulp A story no one wanted
gulp Story told poorly
gulp Company reaction poor
gulp Abbie more hated than JarJar


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FINAL THOUGHTS
Last of Us 2 so bad, I wasn't able to enjoy anything for like a week. I still haven't started any other games. So damn bad.

Hoping my brother and I can start getting in some games. I think moving away from bigger epic games that can be hard to get to the table will help get him in the groove of playing more again. Back to the Future was most fun he had with one in awhile.

Who was blown away by Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles – Episodes 1 & 2 today? I love the story, it's like Lost with dinosaurs. 2 games in one makes the price point pretty sweet too. I think Roll Player Adventures looks good, but I'm gonna wait for retail on it. I am hoping to get Rallyman Dirt. GT turned me off with it's unthematic play, this will hit the spot much better. I play the heck out of Rally racing video games. Always have, dunno why. Finally watched videos on Lawyer Up and promptly ordered. Wow that game looks incredible. I'm strongly considering late backing Bullet.

Finally picked up games Travis and Logan have been holding for me for like 5 months. I also did some trading this week. So lots of new stuff to get played.


NEW TO THE COLLECTION
Cleaned up lots of room only to fill it again.

Dawn of Mankind
Tech trees are fun. Dunno if a whole game can pull it off. I hear you need atleast 3. So this one will collect dust for awhile.

Guardians
I like Guardians. I'm curious to see what my brother thinks. I think the win condition is a bit flat. But I have a Paladins inspired variant in mind if he likes it. Also got the expansion pack.

Reworld
I like space and building things, this was cheap to get.

Huns
This came bundled with reworld. I don't know much about it, other than zee garcia liked it.

Kick-Ass: The Board Game
I'm determined to fix this game, because I love kick ass so much. I hear rolling for enemy hits does the trick.

Narcos: The Board Game
This one has the best chance to not get played. Unless I find out it plays well at 2p. Guess I should look into that.

Rick and Morty: The Morty Zone Dice Game
I love the idea of roll and writes. Haven't found the one for me yet though.

The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch
Finally met up with Brett to get this back. After the time machine KS, I now have everything. I'm planning to learn how to make foam core inserts, starting with this game.

Champions of Hara
I covered the base game on here not long ago. I liked it, more than others did. But I wanted the expansion. I read it wasn't coming to retail. So I traded it away to track down a copy with expansion. Of course the day after I do the expansion popped up retail everywhere. I think this might go over well with my brother. No dice, anime ish theme.

Heroes of Terrinoth
I really enjoyed the Warhammer card game. I don't know how many plays this has in it. But I'm fairly confident I will enjoy it until I feel I've gotten all I can out of it.

Highway to Hell
Artwork alone sold me on wanting this game.

Miremarsh
I had never even heard of this game. Was buying a game for a friend when I seen this. Researched it, and it looks great! I personally love Goblins. And I love push your luck and adventure. High hopes for this one.

War Chest
I hear great things. I use to play chess high competitive. So could be something I really like. The activation system seems neat.

Warhammer 40,000 Dice Masters: Battle for Ultramar Campaign Box
I haven't played dice masters since the original launch. I had some issues with it back then. Hoping those things have been ironed out. Because I love me some 40k.

Star Wars: Outer Rim
I really enjoyed this game, except for the severe lack of content. I missed the announcement from a few months ago an expansion is coming. As soon as I did, I repicked this up. Along with the massive playmat. Might 3d print some bling for it too.

KeyForge: Worlds Collide
Finally trying out Keyforge.

Crisis at Steamfall
One of the games I'm most excited to get to the table. Heavy theme and heavy euro mechanics often don't mix. Can this pull it off?


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Wed Jul 8, 2020 4:37 am
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Top 25 Disappointing Games of All-Time

Dustin Crenshaw
United States
KY
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Greetings Earthings. As mentioned in my last blog, I'm not gaming much right now. So thought it would be fun time for lists. This time we are looking at disappointing games. These do not mean bad games. Games that I was hyped for that didn't live up to the hype. I don't mean any offense to anyone who loves these games. Just because something didn't work for me, doesn't mean I think no one should be playing these games. I wish we could all love every game we get.

Does some of these games deserve another chance? Probably. Infact at least 2 that was gonna be on this list are getting another chance and where removed (DinoGenics and Fallout, due to expansions addressing major issues).

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I talked myself out of backing, glad I did

#25
Board Game: Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness
I really love card crafting. And for the most part, I like Mystic Vale. But it was a bit on the light side. This seemed like the perfect answer. A deeper, euro ish game. This game is way too fiddly and cumbersome for what you get out of it. It just left me with a giant meh feeling gameplay wise.

Card crafting is great

Nothing about the gameplay stood out
gulp Fiddly AF
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After striking out with other Jurassic Park like games, I was sure this would be the one.

#24
Board Game: Welcome to Dino World

Welcome to Dino World
This game is really close, to being awesome. I love the park building. The danger is real and growing. It has one problem, and it's significant. You can only build 1 dino and 1 building per turn. This means after turn 2, you can go ahead and figure out who is getting what visitors (bonus points). It's so unsatisfying. I wish I would have tried it without the building restriction before I got rid of it. Because being able to hand out all the scoring cards with 75% of the game to go is not acceptable. It feels on rails and limits creativity.

Feels like you are designing a park
Really strong variety play to play
Simultaneous play
Crunchy in under an hour
Danger done significantly better than Dinosaur Island and DinoGenics

soblue Too easy to get whatever you want
gulpgulpgulp Restriction of 1 dinopen and 1 building per turn leads to big problems.
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So glad I was able to track down the standee version while the mini version was on kickstarter of

#23
Board Game: Tsukuyumi: Full Moon Down

Tsukuyumi: Full Moon Down
The world is so cool, but the game let me down pretty much everywhere. First the most talked about thing was the card drafting. But it was not very interesting. Most of the cards are very samey, with only minor differences. The combat is very mathy, and not particularly fun even when you are winning. It's a shame, I love the asymmetrical factions and world.

Fantastic world
Asymmetrical factions

soblue Most of the draft cards are samey
soblue Mathy uninteresting combat
soblue Standees suck
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An expansion to one of your favorite games has to be a slam dunk right?

#22
Board Game: Great Western Trail: Rails to the North

Great Western Trail: Rails to the North
Everyone loves this but me. Like another expansion that will appear on this list, it kills my ability to play the base game anymore. This does some cool things. But it drastically nerfs points for cows... which is the point of the game. Worse, the tension of speed vs actions of the base game... completely gone. Every just lollygags around and the race part of the game is just not there. I don't like it.

New auxiliary action choice is great
Train action improved

soblue Cow scoring overly nerfed
soblue Fiddly set up
gulp Race part of the game removed
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Warcraft ish board game, yes please!

#21
Board Game: Heroes of Land, Air & Sea

Heroes of Land, Air & Sea
Some things it does is very well (like worker/resource system). But it has one of the worse scoring systems, that all of us has ever seen. It's so weird, and very bad. Combat giving points to both players win or lose, literately incentives you to beat on the person in last. So the problem with a lot of area control games, is made much worse. It's not just wonky there, but combat is certainly the main chunk of points. And what sounds like fun cat and mouse card system, fell flat.

Then there is the explore tokens. What an unbalanced mess. One player can get like 7 resources from his first 3, someone else can lose two or three troops. You can imagine how game effecting that can be. Downtime can be high, like if there is 3 or 4 fights in a row without you, 20 minutes of doing nothing. Game has cool pieces, and I like how the heroes work. The action system is very solid. It tries to be warcraft 3, but it's not as good as the Warcraft board game (with expansion) is. Shame we can't get a new streamlined version of it.

Great pieces
Solid action system
Variety in factions and buildings

soblue Incentivized to beat up on the player in last
soblue Combat falls flat
soblue Downtime can be an issue
soblue Horrible swingy explore tokens
soblue Clone islands for a board
gulp Terrible point scoring systems
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I've tried to give it fresh chances, it fails

#20
Board Game: Blood Rage

Blood Rage
Every single time I've played this game, or been around other people playing. The loki combat always wins. Not some of the time, not most of the time, 100% of the time. Last time I played I built this whole tableau of leader powers, and only won 2 fights the entire game to trigger it. I won by like 30 points. Jordan, who messed up in round one and basically did nothing. Got second. He did this by blowing up his boats and losing fights.

I like most of the things about this game, but this game ultimately sucks. This whole win by losing thing is junk in many ways. I will still play this, because Jordan and Corey love it. And I'm atleast engaged with it to not be angry while playing, so everyone has a good time.

Drafting is fun
Building your tableau is engaging

gulpgulpgulp Awful win by losing stuff
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A better theme, and deeper Great Western Trail with story!

#19
Board Game: Maracaibo

Maracaibo
My hype was high, as I wanted a new Great Western Trail. What I got was everything I hate about euro games. Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but 7 boring euro tracks to move up on. Without a doubt, one of my most hated mechanics in gaming. I don't mind them when they offer unique rewards or something. But when it's just dry points, YUCK. It's like awful dry set collection just done with a tracker. Then the tableau building, also let me down. Outside the assistant ones, they were mostly boring too.

Campaign in a euro game
Unique workers done in a different way
Synergy token system

soblue Board feels stripped in regular mode
soblue Rulebook left out a rule that led to confusion
soblue Some of the least interesting tableau building I've played
gulpgulpgulp Dry generic overdone uninteresting euro tracks
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I'm a huge wrestling fan, so this is a slam dunk right?

#18
Board Game: RUMBLESLAM

RUMBLESLAM
This game is fun. But it is much too costly, and a pain in the ass to put together the figures and paint them. If it came pre assembled at a board game price, I might have kept it. But then again, I'm not sure it's as good as the other wrestling games I've played.

Good job feeling like a royal rumble
Cool theme
Luck based dice system is good at creating upsets

soblue Some clunky rules in spots, needed better player aids
soblue Abilities feel samey
gulp Overly expensive
gulp Giant pain in the ass to put together
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One of our first big Kickstarter disappointments

#17
Board Game: Argent: The Consortium

Argent: The Consortium
This is a game I want to like more than I do. During out last play was a perfect example of why this game doesn't work for me. 15 minutes of spell casting, and I noticed all our guys where back where they started. Much ado about nothing. I could probably customize the decks and such to my liking and find a much shorter game I dig. But as is, just way way way too much bumping and rebumping. I can get the same feel from Code of Nine in a fraction of the time. The new bits are a big upgrade over the fiddly annoyance of the old one.

Cool theme
Tons and tons and tons of replayability
Solid production

Eats up a ton of table space

soblue Way too long
gulpgulp Too much bumping, rebumping
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One of my first lessons in hype

#16
Board Game: Space Cadets

Space Cadets
Back when I was newish to group, this game looked so fun. Rarely has a game sucked the fun out of a room like this one. I didn't like anything about it other than the ideal behind it.

Fun ideas on paper

gulp Unfun games and overly lengthy for what it is
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An expansion for a game I really like, that's been well reviewed

#15
Board Game: Champions of Midgard: Valhalla

Champions of Midgard: Valhalla
Champions of Midgard: The Dark Mountains
I can't believe how much everyone seems to love this expansion. It destroyed what made the base game so unique and fun. So much dice mitigation just as well remove the dice. The fantastic push your luck is gone, and it just feels like you are going around midmaxing point buying. YUCK.

Much more interesting monsters

soblue Dice mitigation overdone
soblue The push your luck is removed with "point buying"
soblue Takes up a ton of space
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Love the designer and theme

#14
Board Game: Dungeon Lords: Happy Anniversary

Dungeon Lords
This game has an awesome theme.
This game has awesome humor and art.
This game has a really cool combat system.
This game is no fun.

How does that happen? I think it's the only worker placement system I've ever disliked. And really it just takes way too long to get to the combat. I played around with making my own card version of this. But like most projects, I never finished it.

Great theme, artwork, and humor
Fantastic components and insert
Cool combat system...

soblue ... that takes way to long to get to
soblue Unfun worker placement system
soblue Feels like work getting to the combat
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Super hyped for a diablo board game!

#13
Board Game: Sanctum

Sanctum
The part I was worried about, was the end game. I really liked it. The other players hated it. What I was not expecting to find, was how lifeless the combat is for the 1st 5 acts. If feels so dry. Why don't these monsters have abilities and such? It's mostly easy to get what you need. Really it just comes down to how you equip your loot and lvl your skills. The skill tree is awesome. The loot is good, not great.

I wish they would have spent more time on the monsters, and the movement. Because the skill tree mechanics are really strong. With how dry and boring the monsters are, how easy it all is, this game has next to no replay value. Sad.

Awesome skill tree system
Nice production
Characters play different

Polarizing end game

soblue Little too easy to fight monsters
gulp No abilites on monsters, makes them lifeless and dry
gulp Severe lack of replay value
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Super hyped for a game I could play with friends and family

#12
Board Game: Western Legends

Western Legends
Very sad. This game isn't great. I wanted it to be as I love the theme. It has one problem, and it's one that was shared with others who played it multiple times. The game is just way too easy. It showers you in money and cards. Which makes everything sort of feel pointless. You can get the best items in the game very quickly. All the ideas work great, and I love the card system. But it simply gives you too much money too fast and easy. Wounds are not a big deal. Goal cards are really lame. Story card rewards often felt underwhelming. Poker isn't even poker. Bandits just sit in a spot, do nothing, and are easy to defeat. Even Production value is uneven.

This is just an ok game. It feels more for the beer and pretzels crowd than the gamer crowd. But it didn't have to be with the mechanics in place.

Great card system
Wanted/Marshal tracks work well
Story fluff is good with a big stack of them
Lots of characters to choose from
Minis are nice...

soblue ... but some are character specific and some are not. Could have easily been all
soblue Too easy to get poker cards, making wounds not impactful
soblue Lame character goals
soblue Uneven production. Poor quality box, cheap player aids & cattle tokens
gulp Poker isn't poker
gulp Massively too easy to get money
______________________________________________________________________

What a great theme

#11
Board Game: Brook City

Brook City
Street Masters was considered, but I loved that game 2p. It sort of just had problems with player scaling. So with this, I knew it had similar systems so my expectations was at 2p.

I really want to like this game more than I did. I had fun with it. But every step it takes it seems to stumble. First off, this might be the #1 example of kickstarter mini bloat. This game could have been meeples as bad guys don't move or anything, and saved everyone a $100 bucks (and room, time, etc). And if you are not a painter, it would have been better. Seriously ridiculous the amount of minis you get you don't really need. And had this game been cheaper, I may have kept it.

The cases and criminals feel really samey. The unique decks for characters in street masters worked great, here it doesn't as well. Honestly it feels action selection or something would have been better than 25 card deck. Which again created a ton of unnecessary bloat imo. SM things where moving and it felt actiony just like the video games that inspired it. Here it's just go to a spot and roll dice until it's successful, repeat.... then repeat.... then repeat.... then repeat.... then repeat. With the most boring dice system of all time. And my goodness, the game length is not right for the game. It goes on way too long for what it is. Like you need 5 clues, should have been 3. Again I look to the modular deck system as a problem here. The criminal and case decks are too big for the simple things they do. They should have been made smaller and tighter. This game goes on and on, and that's at 2 fricking players. Four players? No fracking way.

Fantastic theme
Cops play differently
Turn structure pretty easy to understand
Tokens distinct and big

soblue Boring dice system
gulp Ridiculous kickstarter mini bloat
gulp Player scaling is bad
gulp Ridiculously too long. Everything should have been thinned.
______________________________________________________________________

An IP I adore

#10
Board Game: World of Warcraft: The Boardgame

World of Warcraft: The Boardgame
They took simple dice chucking for high numbers, and did something a little more with it. It's probably the best chuck for high numbers system I've played. However, getting to the combat is a giant chore. It's fiddly, long, and boring. The combat system would have been much better built around a card game. Probably a coop, built around the instances of world of warcraft. Then, this probably would have been a winner. The expansions did little to help the core problems of the game.

Does something good and interesting with the "chucking dice for high numbers"
Lots of character progression options
Great minis...

soblue That are a pain in the butt and not needed whatsoever
soblue Lots of downtime
soblue Fiddly
soblue Insane set up and tear down time
gulp No sense of story or direction
______________________________________________________________________

Theme was so cool I gave it another chance years later

#9
Board Game: Millennium Blades

Millennium Blades
Much like Argent, I love the idea of this game. In this one, I really love it. Sadly the actual game in the game, is just bad. I'm just not invested in the deck building phase. The most fun I got from this one was reading the flavor text. I think the other players felt similar, great idea, meh game. I'm still really interested to see how Seventh Cross comes out though.

Unique theme that works well
Some very funny cards/flavor
Ton in the box

soblue Too long
soblue Set up/tear down is awful
soblue Paper money took hours to put together
gulp Duel game is just bad
______________________________________________________________________

A new Summoner Wars?

#8
Board Game: Crystal Clans

Crystal Clans
Very, very disappointing. Admittedly my hopes were very high, I love dueling card games and always on the look out for new ones. This certainly isn't it. Outside the artwork, I really didn't like anything. The asymmetrical races do feel different. But the individual abilities inside the faction don't even come close to summoner wars. The unit stacking thing isn't as cool as it sounds, and my brother in particular hated it. The paper rock scissor mechanic is cool, but you often have little choice to go with it as your hand is likely small.

But the part I really hated, was the scoring system and the dry combat. 90% of the time, you know if you can defeat another squad or not. It was dry, mathy, and not fun or exciting. The scoring/win condition, I personally cannot stand. I can honestly say for me, it's one of the worst I've ever seen. You need 4 points to win. You can choose when to score these because of the combat system. But you often don't want to. Because you then have to give your opponent a bunch of resources (like 7-9). Think if in Magic The Gathering, every time you did 5 damage to your opponent you'd have to give them 8 free mana next turn. You don't want to hit them. I cannot stand this feeling. I want to play the best I can at all times, not hold back because of game mechanics. For some this won't be an issue, and some may love it. For me I hate it in all games, board games too.

Fantastic artwork
Asymmetrical races
Interesting paper rock scissor card system...

soblue That the game doesn't take advantage of
soblue Stacking units isn't as cool as it sounds
soblue Combat too deterministic/mathy
soblue Special abilites isn't nearly as well done as Summoner Wars
gulp Awful win condition
______________________________________________________________________

Galaxy Defenders was really good, surely they would improve on it

#7
Board Game: Sword & Sorcery

Sword & Sorcery
What I wanted from Sword & Sorcery was a cleaned up Galaxy Defenders. That is not what I got. Instead I got a fantasy dungeon crawl that mixed ideas from other games and GD. For those you like dice chucking dungeon crawls, will probably be pretty happy with whats here. Sadly for me, they ripped out the highly tactical movement of GD, and that was my favorite part. The best thing about the game is the story choices that pop up during the game. They are pretty cool. I didn't like how crazy easy it was to get gold and gear up. And it was mostly do the obvious gameplay.

Good components and artwork
Best AI in this type of game
Good story elements
Pretty solid rulebook considering how big it is

soblue Like most dungeon crawls, do the obvious
soblue Highly tactical movement of GD removed
soblue Having to reference 2 cards for enemies, and lots of abilities
soblue Too easy to gain gold
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I loved the old version, so this is no brainer

#6
Board Game: Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game

Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
The worst LCG I've played. I really liked the old LCG. Sadly FFG tried to do to much. It also hurt them they already did a take on L5R ccg, with star wars lcg. Fate system in particular I really hated.

Some of the best artwork in gaming
Fixes some issues from the original
Different factions play differently

soblue Way too similar to AGOT
soblue Fiddly
gulp Crappy fate mechanic that replaces characters dying
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My #1 hyped game for like 2 years

#5
Board Game: Agents of Mayhem: Pride of Babylon

Agents of Mayhem: Pride of Babylon
I think this game is really good, and flying way under the radar. But it did not end up being one of my favorite games ever. Why? I think it is purely because of the iconography that makes it have a ridiculous learning curve. If this just had text on everything, it would have landed much better.

Out of everything on this list, this one will get played the most going forward. We were planning a campaign before pandemic hit.

Euro style resource management is a breath of fresh air
Fantastic theme, with an amazing implementation
Craziness mixed with high military like tactics
3d board, and the giant ones rock!
Double layered player boards, Game Trayz and fantastic player aids
Phenomenal generated missions with lots of story
Simple but well done line of sight, cover, terrian
Good dice system
Lots of customization for each, and they all feel different

soblue With KS content, it's bulky to carry around everything
soblue Set up/tear down will take a bit but unavoidable
soblue Missing several villains from the game
soblue Missing some of my favorite agents
soblue Bases facing could have been done better.
gulp Had questions not easily found in rulebook (or at all)
gulp Mini quality is below expectations
:gulpgulpgulp: Steep initial learning curve. Should have had text on everything.
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I love adventure. I love story driven games.

#4
Board Game: The 7th Continent

The 7th Continent
It's fun discovering things, but sadly getting to those moments is just too time consuming. And worse, getting too them involves a very unfun gameplay loop. And the downtime at 4p is historic.

Great feeling of adventure and discovery
Fantastic setting
Cool combo crafting system
Different characters have their own feel and abilities
Pretty easy ruleset

soblue A fine but lackluster resolve system
soblue Too much downtime at 4p
soblue Odd unthematic action system
soblue Save system not the best
gulp Find cards, shuffle, pick one, put them back. Repeat. Find cards, shuffle, pick one, put them back. Repeat
______________________________________________________________________

Another shot at a diablo ish board game

#3
Board Game: The City of Kings

The City of Kings
What a big disappointment. So many things in this game sounds great. In actual play they work, but are so so boring. The biggest draw is the random enemy thing. Which sounds amazing. Until you realize fighting the enemies is nothing more than a math problem. Story and Quests was another big pull. The story stuff seems well done. However, the goals you need to do are so boring. You ever play an MMO, and you do those endless fetch quests? That's what this is. I was worried about the pick up and deliver in the game, but reviewers kept saying it was fine. It isn't. It's just as boring as it sounds, go here, get wood, go back to town. Repeat until sleepy. You then are either spending those resources on the quests, or using them to shop. I have never seen such boring items in an fantasy adventure game. The art is mostly great, but they are just dry stat boosters. You are never gonna say "oh man I can't wait to get that item, then I will have 8 health instead of 7!".

Then we have the characters themselves. You get excited about the skill tree you make. It's a great idea. Again, it's so slow and boring. A lot of the lower abilities are just not interesting. Some may never be helpful. Worse is you have to take stats you don't want to get to abilities you do. I really disliked some of the art. Adventure? What adventure. You flip tiles over you don't know, and much like the rest of the game they are never exciting or interesting. The time mechanic is baffling. Instead of a set time that you can alter a little bit, you do quests that add like 1/3 more time to complete the entire game. It was a really odd design choice for us.

Deluxe edition includes very nice bits
Monsters getting randomly generated abilities
Flavor text well done
Nice vivid colors and some really good artwork

soblue Some bad artwork
soblue Box quality is bad and is hard to fit everything back in
soblue Boring pick up and deliver
soblue Boring equipment
soblue Adventuring is lackluster
soblue Quests are the bad parts of MMO quests
soblue Severe lack of special abilities for characters
gulp Do the obvious, abstract mathy combat
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One of the most expensive games I've ever backed

#2
Board Game: Okko Chronicles: Cycle of Water – Quest into Darkness

Okko Chronicles: Cycle of Water – Quest into Darkness
There are flashes of something special in this box. Unfortunately, for every cool thing it does it does one thing terrible. This game makes me sad. I love the Okko world, and this is made with great love for the IP. My biggest problem was I felt the overlord player doesn't get enough cards. Many disagreed with me. But the coop version that is now coming, the AI gets way more cards. I may revisit this in the future with the coop expansion. But only if I can find it for a decent price.

Crafted with love for Okko (which is awesome IP)
Movement system one of my favorites ever
Fantastic minis, tiles, and artwork
Lots of character choices

soblue Mini-campaigns take much too long to play in 1 session
soblue Swingy dice
gulp Rulebook is BAD
gulp Balance, this game doesn't have it
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Mindclash had delivered 2 smash hits for me. This one had a wonderful theme

#1
Board Game: Cerebria: The Inside World

Cerebria: The Inside World
Another game destroyed by iconography. This would have gotten more chances if the cards had text (which they certainly had room for). And damn this was not good at 4p. In one game, a player only got 2 turns.

What did I like? Action system is cool. Board upgrades are great. It's very pretty. There is changing goals. Lots of decisions to make. However, the game ended way too quick. None of us could understand why all the bowls didn't refill during scoring. 11 turns total, like 5 of them was scoring? And as someone who likes hidden goals, they seem pretty dumb in a two team game. I didn't like the team aspect at all, and again I'm someone who usually does like team games.

If they ever come out with a version with text, I'll give it another go. But I will no longer blind buy MindClash games.

Amazing theme
Fantastic looking, bits and art
Asymmetrical powers
Lots of choices pre game and during
Ruleset actually isn't that complex

soblue Didn't like the team aspect at all
soblue Length seems severely off
soblue Hidden goals in a 1v1 game do not make sense
soblue Poorly laid out rulebook
gulpgulpgulp Iconography Hell
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______________________________________________________________________
FINAL THOUGHTS
I know this was sort of a debbie down post, but the reverse list will come (surprises). I miss gaming, and might have to start soloing some games. Pandemic is only getting worse with no end in sight. So gonna be awhile to game with others.


NEW TO THE COLLECTION
XCOM: The Board Game – Evolution
Finally picked up the expansion to this. Next thing will be to print out the real rulebooks for it.

Crisis at Steamfall
Been after this one awhile. The recently kickstarted expansion made it look even better. So picked up base in trade, in time to late back the expansion if I dig it.



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Top 25 Upcoming Games

Dustin Crenshaw
United States
KY
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Microbadge: Runebound (3rd Edition) fanMicrobadge: StarCraft: Brood War fanMicrobadge: Warhammer 40,000: Conquest fanMicrobadge: Galaxy Trucker fanMicrobadge: Star Wars: Rebellion fan
Greetings Earthings, and those not from this planet (who know who you are). I hope everyone is doing well in these crazy times. Where have I been? Pretty simple, not board gaming. Thus no blogs. And I was gonna do the previews and such, but decided if there ever was a time for a break this was it. When will I return to board gaming? Not for awhile sadly. So might do more of these lists. Will very likely cover new KS games as they come in.

Today I decided to talk about my top 25 upcoming games. Games that are not out yet. I probably have enough games sitting around, I could do top 25 unplayed games. Would you all like to see that list? Hope to hear from you guys on anything!

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We kick it off, with one that should be higher

#25
Board Game: Ankh: Gods of Egypt

Ankh: Gods of Egypt
I didn't like blood rage, mostly because of loki stuff. I liked Rising Sun. But I still maintain it would be a far more interesting combat if people had more money. So this one should be higher. But realistically I think it will be a game I find ok that my friends will love. KICKSTARTED BY FRIEND

Awesome theme
Great production as usual

soblue Lang hasn't made a board game I love in quite some time
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Not quite the earth shattering team up most expected

#24
Board Game: Marvel United

Marvel United
I wanted to back this. What can I say I love marvel. And I love the look of the minis, think they would be really fun to paint. I hate coops though. So this one will have it's work cut out for it. KICKSTARTED BY FRIEND

I think the minis look awesome
KS has a ton of content
Card based gameplay

soblue Looks overly simple
gulp Tiny Epic Defenders gameplay vibe, one of the worst games I've ever played.
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What happened to this game?

#23
Board Game: Shadow Tactics: The Board Game

Shadow Tactics: The Board Game
I missed the KS. They said they were going to kickstart another run of it for people who still wanted it. That was last year. I'm still waiting, I dunno whats going on with it now. The video game is AWESOME. And I love how the gameplay here is all card based. Could be one of the first 1vsAll dungeon crawl ish games based on skill. I still want it.

Based on fantastic video game
Card and skill based

soblue What happened to late kickstarter?
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A recently announced game

#22
Board Game: Freedom Five: A Sentinel Comics Board Game

Freedom Five: A Sentinel Comics Board Game
This one might be a headscratcher. I didn't care much for sentinels of the multiverse (too much book keeping). And I don't like coops. However I did like Defenders of the Last Stand. You know that ugly game with poor production and typos galore? Here's hoping that meshing that and sentinels can deliver a nice looking product that at least 1 person proof reads.

I really enjoyed Defenders of the Last Stand even with all the issues
______________________________________________________________________

A 2nd edition

#21
From gallery of Photodump

Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition
Few games have ever seen the highs and cliff like fall of this game. The original blew us away when we first started playing it. But after like 4 plays it nose dived fast. The first chunk of the game kindof played itself. And everyone mostly went after same tech. I really hope they clean up the rough edges and fix my other issues with it. Because it can be, the best civ game on the market.

First one had some great ideas in it
One of the best d6 combat systems ever

soblue Original had issues that became bigger and bigger problems each play
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A really original game

#20
Board Game: Lawyer Up

Lawyer Up
I was watching the Dice Tower live when rodney started talking about this game. Just like Vasel, he had completely sold me on it by the time he was done. Original theme, unique looking gameplay. I missed the KS, hopefully getting it at retail won't leave me missing out on stuff.

Original theme
Some really unique gameplay

soblue I missed the KS
soblue Will replay value be to low?
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Just announced

#19
From gallery of SeerMagic

Frostpunk
I really like this company, as they seem to make heavy narrative driven games. I haven't played the video game, but hope to before this hits kickstarter.

Love the company making it
Unique theme

soblue How pricey?
soblue Lack of info at the moment
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The expansion I heard about many years ago, I thought was never gonna happen.

#18
Board Game: Steampunk Rally Fusion

Steampunk Rally Fusion
I really liked the original. Shouldn't be a surprise if you know me, I love racing games. And it had a cool mix of drafting, tableau building, dice placement. The thing that I feel held it back from greatness, was simply lack of variety. That's all I wanted from the expansion. But instead of just that, they also added several really cool mechanics. I'm very excited to try it out. Honestly could easily crack top50 games for me all time. KICKSTARTED

First one was a fun mix of mechanics that worked well
New additions look awesome

soblue But will they be?
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A few years ago, this probably would have been #1

#17
Board Game: Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles – Episodes 1 & 2

Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles – Episodes 1 & 2
I'm a big Mindclash fan. But people certainly noticed how their games fell on my annual all time list. The reason? I think it's how big they are. Trickerion really needs consistent plays or you can just mess up over and over while playing. Anachrony is just a beast to set up and tear down. I still really enjoy them though. I haven't done much research on this game. All I know is dinosaurs, and dice drafting. Dice drafting is one of the most underused awesome mechanics I know. And dinosaurs be dinosaurs yo.

Dice drafting is fantastic
Mindclash games
Dinosaurs

soblue Will it be too big for it's britches?
soblue Will it be too complicated for casual play?
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Not the only game from this company that will appear on the list

#16
Board Game: Valor & Villainy: Minions of Mordak

Valor & Villainy: Minions of Mordak
Despite not playing much from this company, I really like them. That make games the way I want them to look. And seem to offer good gameplay decisions in a small clean ruleset. This game certainly looks light and clean. I'm not much for dice chucking, but this one does look like it's done in a fun way. I sort of get a world of warcraft vibe to it. KICKSTARTED

Fantastic production and minis
Light with decisions

soblue Too much dice chucking?
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Another try to finally get a good pirate game

#15
Board Game: Lost Ruins of Arnak

Lost Ruins of Arnak
I love treasure hunting. It's one of my favorite themes in anything. Uncharted video games are my favorite of ALLTIME. I like CGE, though they have been missing with me lately. Sanctum was a big let down. Theme alone gets it here, but competitive and worker placement raises the hype.

Theme I adore
Worker placement mixed with deck building could be amazing
Not coop

soblue CGE has been whiffing last few years for me.
______________________________________________________________________

How to make a boring theme better

#14
Board Game: Merchants Cove

Merchants Cove
The idea behind this is great. Everyone playing their own little game. We've seen this kind of thing before, but never in a euro game. Hopefully it won't be a root situation to learn.

Cool mix of mechanics
Looks to be a great production

soblue Can this idea work in a euro game?
soblue Will it be quicker to learn than others
______________________________________________________________________

Corey's favorite video game

#13
Board Game: Bloodborne: The Board Game

Bloodborne: The Board Game
I have been saying for years a deck builder dungeon crawl would make for an awesome game. CMON went big. Corey was obviously excited. I'm not as excited, but certainly looking for a fresh take on dungeon crawls. Coop is the biggest fear here. KICKSTARTED BY FRIEND

Fresh take on dungeon crawls
IP friends love

soblue Coop
soblue Set up time?
______________________________________________________________________

A rare 2nd chance

#12
Board Game: DinoGenics: Controlled Chaos

DinoGenics: Controlled Chaos
We played the base, and we really liked it. But it also had some really bad flaws. One of which, is address by this expansion with wild DNA. The second problem, most didn't see as a problem. Is that scores keep the same pace. They said they had some ideas to address it, but I dunno what came of it. If every thing else is great, I will house rule a fix. KICKSTARTED

Great production
Much needed wild DNA
New special powers

gulp Base game has bad score problem
______________________________________________________________________

One of the biggest surprise announcements of the year

#11
Board Game: Fallout: Atomic Bonds

Fallout: Atomic Bonds
I really liked a lot of Fallout. But man the end game was a giant mess. And it being pvp made it have all kinds of weird problems. When the 1st expansion didn't address these issues, it felt like they were done with the game. 2 years later this small expansion got announced. Doing what needed to be done, a full coop experience. Hopefully it finally fixes the bad endgame.

FFG finally listened
Works for all scenarios in base and expansion

soblue Will it still end abruptly?
______________________________________________________________________

Coming very soon?

#10
Board Game: The Few and Cursed

The Few and Cursed
I didn't know the IP. But if you say anything is like Buffy you have my attention. Competitive? Great. Cool theme and great art. Gameplay doesn't look groundbreaking, but I do like how getting new cards work. They had this awesome deal if you backed a group of 6. We were able to round up that many. Too bad that deal was nullified with a ridiculous $100 shipping cost. But it is what it is. Hopefully the game has it were it counts. I plan to check out the comics too. KICKSTARTED

Really cool world
Sort of adventure mixed with deckbuilding
Great artwork from the comics

soblue Will the gameplay have enough meat?
soblue Have enough variety?
______________________________________________________________________

Another 2nd edition on the list

#9
Board Game: Guards of Atlantis II: Tabletop MOBA

Guards of Atlantis II: Tabletop MOBA
The first one is one of the most underrated games on the market. A super tense game were skill will when the day. Part II looks to build on that. Original was hard to get to the table because people expected ameritrash and it was very much not that. It could certainly go on too long too. Part II seems to offer a faster playing game. Sadly, I didn't have the money for it. Hoping I can get a copy once it's out.

Original is a fantastic game
Changes all seem like improvements

soblue Very expensive
soblue Ugly cover
______________________________________________________________________

We asked and asked

#8
Board Game: Yedo: Deluxe Master Set

Yedo: Deluxe Master Set
I have shown the original to so many people. And it's always gone over well. I loved it. But playing that one so much, it needed new missions so badly. That's all I wanted. But we are getting much more than that. Doesn't mean they'll all work, but it'll be nice to refresh a great game after all this time. I feel bad I got so many friends to buy the original, and now several of them got this one. KICKSTARTED BY FRIENDS

Original one of the best games of alltime.
Lots of new stuff

soblue How much of it is improvements?
______________________________________________________________________

Gotta save money, gotta save money, gotta save money

#7
From gallery of SeerMagic

ISS Vanguard
Awaken Realms is similar to Mindclash. Big awesome games, but that can make them hard to get played. This one, is a Mass Effect inspired game. And that's all I need to hear to know I want to own it. KICKSTARTED BY FUTURE ME

Awaken Realms
Mass Effect inspired

soblue How much will my wallet cry?
______________________________________________________________________

Oh so pretty

#6
Board Game: Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef

Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef
Such a pretty game. Another Skybound (though this is under druid city, I dunno the difference) title. It looks to have a lot of cool mechanics, and I love worker placement and I love push your luck. And did I mention how great it looks? KICKSTARTED

Beautiful
Skybound will deliver a stellar production
Cool theme with good mix of mechanics

soblue Pretty won't matter if gameplay doesn't deliver
soblue Will it ever get finished?
______________________________________________________________________

Not to many designers go and make a sports game

#5
Board Game: Trick Shot

Trick Shot
I love sports game. I think they translate to board games extremely well. Or atleast they should. This one looks great. A nice mix of push your luck, easy ruleset, and plenty of decision making. I think this could be the kind of game me and my buddy roger play for years. I dunno how it'll go over with my board gaming friends. Sadly it's gotten crazy delayed over pre painted minis (which I got). KICKSTARTED

I love sports games
Looks fast and fun, just like the sport

soblue How will the painted minis turn out?
soblue Will it ever see plays in my gaming group
______________________________________________________________________

Waiting. And waiting. Some more waiting. Followed by some waiting.

#4
Board Game: Race! Formula 90

Race! Formula 90
This is for the 2nd edition. Which was announced years ago. Which made me sell my copy. 2020, and still no kickstarter date. However, there has been progress. I love the first game. It is the best racing game ever made. It does have a dense ruleset, and some rough edges. And that's exactly what the 2nd edition is tackling. They've made great strides to reduce edge case rules. And I really hope they do text on abilities, because the iconography really made it much harder to teach and learn than needed.

Original one of my favorite games of all time
Improvements to the best racing game ever made

soblue I do not like the new board icons
soblue Will we have it by 2022?
______________________________________________________________________

The 3rd skybound game on this list

#3
Board Game: Wonderland's War

Wonderland's War
I love bag building and push your luck. I never thought I'd see them in a big game like this. And it has 1 way street? The theme could have been something generic and I would have been in. But instead it's Alice? And it's made by company that produces games how I like games? This was so much in. Super stoked for this one. KICKSTARTED

Three of my favorite mechanics in 1 game
Alice in Wonderland
Beautiful and should be a great production
______________________________________________________________________

A kickstarter that exceeded expectations

#2
Board Game: Batman: The Animated Series Adventures – Shadow of the Bat

Batman: The Animated Series Adventures – Shadow of the Bat
The original TMNT game was a pleasant surprise. It has one of the best coop mechanics I've ever seen, and the evil player had solid mechanics as well. I had planned to get the second TMNT, then I heard about this one. And once I found out it had deeper mechanics and more replay value, TMNT sadly got let go. We all know this batman cartoon is one of the greatest of all time. It gave us Harley Quinn. And the kickstarter is stuffed full of characters. I really feel, this will be the dungeon crawl that will be consistently played in group. Due to it's easy ruleset and theme.

TMNT was really good
Gameplay improved over TMNT
Batman themed from one of the greatest cartoons
Kickstarter stuffed full of characters

soblue Will the quality in components be there?
______________________________________________________________________

My #1 for awhile now

#1
Board Game: Waste Knights: Second Edition

Waste Knights: Second Edition
Everytime they show off more of this game, it looks great. Adventure games are absolutely one of my favorite type of games. Stuff like Runebound. This has a wonderful theme, and ton of story in it. It's got so much stuff, it's getting a spiral bound book. Yesterday's update revealed a ton of solo content. I'm not normally a solo gamer, but the stuff looks great. I think they are nearing the finish line. I don't expect it this year though. Hopefully early 2021.

One of my favorite game types
So much content and story
Great theme

soblue Too many coop scenarios
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
FINAL THOUGHTS
Wish some of my kickstarters would get here just for painting purposes. I finally got my CMON time machine stuff, now I just need to pick up the rest of SMOG from Brett. DinoGenics is on a boat. I believe Few & Cursed is not long behind it. I would like to track down a copy of Skytear to play.

What have I been doing instead of board gaming? Mostly video gaming. I went back to wow classic for a few months. Played some old favorites. Tried and disliked Assassin's Creed Odyssey thanks to the terrible bounty system.

Sort of board gaming, I discovered Slay the Spire. One of the best deckbuilding games I've ever played. I have played the snot out of it. I highly recommend if you like deckbuilding games. Last of Us 2 is out for delivery! I can't wait. Of course I was more excited when I thought I would sleep more than 2 hours today. The first one I consider to be the best game ever made. After that I'm planning Rage 2, Guardians of the Galaxy and Outer Worlds.

TV wise, been a lot of standup comedy. I have been watching Scrubs for the first time ever. Love comedy shows before PC and wokeness has destroyed them. Sarah Clarke, what a hot mess, and a hot babe. Just started season 3. Watched an episode of Hanna. Love the movie, will probably knock it out pretty quick.

What have you guys been up to? Play anything good?


NEW TO THE COLLECTION
Fallout: New California
Didn't realize this thing got rare, grabbed a copy before they were all gone. As I certainly want all the new items and classes for atomic bonds.

Battlelands
Been wanting this, when I seen amazon was down to their last copy I pulled the trigger.

Back to the Future: Back in Time
Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies of all time. I've seen it more than any other movie in my life. I don't like coops, but I'm hoping the theme and dice systems can elevate it for me.

The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch
Once I pick it up from Brett, I'll have everything for it.



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