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Board Games

Renegade Scout — Captain Redd versus The Swarm!


Come join Ludanto as he does an epic gameplay of Renegade Scout. This tabletop miniatures game is fantastically narrated as Captain Redd attempts to survive against the swarm in this Nordic Weasel miniatures board game!

To follow along with the rules, here is the link: https://www.wargamevault.com/product/249657/Renegade-Scout–Bleeding-Edge-Retro-Gaming

Edited by:
Jason Smith

Renegade Scout — Captain Redd versus The Swarm!

Arkham Horror 3rd Edition – Review


Today we’re exploring Arkham Horror 3rd edition, exploring the pieces and talking about what I like and dislike about this game and whether I think it’s for you.

I preordered Arkham Horror as soon as it was available, and since receiving it I’ve played a couple games and explored this fantastic Deluxe rulebook, and I feel ready to share some of my first impressions.
The game plays by choosing a scenario. Unlike Arkham Horror 2nd edition, this isn’t just a big monster, it’s an entire narrative that will affect many parts of the game.

You’ll build up the neighborhoods for the scenario you choose, in my case, I chose the Approach of Azathoth and this is the neighborhood setup for that scenario, scenarios also include event decks, monster decks, and even the Mythos Cup configuration, which is effectively a custom die for each scenario which determines what will randomly happen at the end of each player’s turn. The largest part of the scenario is the archive cards, these work like choose your own adventure stories which give you passes and failures to dictate what happens next.

In addition to the scenario configuration, you have headlines, neighborhood decks, items, and spell decks, then you’ll choose your investigators. None of the fruit loops of 2nd edition, these investigators look much more similar to Eldritch Horror with some basic stats, a single choice of which perk you begin with, and some powers that make your character fairly unique.

This game feels strangely similar and dissimilar from other Arkham games that came before it. Neighborhood encounter decks, travelling through neighborhoods? That’s Arkham Horror. Single decks that have mixes of types, streamlined play, that’s Eldritch Horror. Flat no dice monster attacks, a neighborhood layout per scenario, and using a bag to determine random events, feels lmore ike Arkham Horror the Living Card Game. All of these seem familiar to other Arkham games. What is most different is the combination of different Arkham elements combined with a very fast pace that seems faster and more than any Arkham game before.

We know we’re trying to save the world, we know we’re going to be pushed to the limits of our ability to cooperate and delegate tasks, but this seems like the most challenging and adrenalin pumping version of Arkham yet.

Arkham Horror the 3rd edition feels like a version of Arkham Horror that matches more what my group asks out of games. We want the complexity of feeling almost overwhelmed with our cooperative games,along with a strong thematic component, but we want quick setups and teardowns along with a reliable playtime of less than 3 hours.

From that perspective, the game is good, and I’m happy to continue exploring it. But I do have some misgivings that I’m unsure I’ll overcome. Arkham Horror 2nd edition had the first few rounds where not much threatening was going on, and the group, often always including some new players, would wander around, picking up some cool interesting good stuff, suffer some insanity-causing old lady turning into a slathering monster random event or whatever, and then, just when things seem easy, start to careen out of control as more and more things pop up faster than the team could deal with them until we either defeated the scenario or we failed. Those first few rounds were crucial to get people to bond with their character, often defining their image of their character based on what initially happened to them. It felt “narrative”, it felt like a lite RPG.

In this game, we have characters, equipment, stats, all hallmarks of an RPG, but then things happen so fast that we already feel on the verge of losing by the end of the first round. The focus immediately changes to the scenario, not the characters, which some might feel is a good thing, but in my opinion, it makes it harder to get new players invested in 3rd edition in the way that they were in 2nd edition.

The characters are “more” unique, in terms of abilities, than in other Arkham board games, many of them capable of and doing far different things than the other games, and hopefully they start releasing some of the content that existed in 2nd edition like the life goals and their consequences, but I’m not sure if there is room in the current game to allow for them to exist.

In our games, many players expressed frustration that they were surrounded by monsters or were delayed by random events, such that they had very little they could do other than deal with the monsters. The idea is supposed to be that now you choose whether to engage with monsters, and if you do, and aren’t able to kill it, then you will take damage. But the reality in our games has been that the monsters move and attack us faster than we can get away, and even though none of us have died, the consequence has been endless rounds of fighting monsters.

I’m sure to a certain extent we’ll get better, not just better at our decisions, but also better at choosing our party to make sure we have a balanced team that can better handle all the challenges put before us. That too is a part of Arkham, though it never was as quickly obvious in other Arkham games as it is in this one.

In addition to the break-neck pace, I feel like the game is lacking some things that I feel are a crucial part of the Arkham “horror” experience, which is otherworldly gates. It feel strange to play an Arkham Horror game without gates, but on the other hand, I REALLY hope that we get a scenario or something that allows our characters to journey into another neighborhood that is really another dimension. We have that slightly by way of the anomolies, but I really want the full experience capable by this new dynamic board. I’d love a bit more staggered approach to the game as well, something more similar to Eldritch Horror where the game gets progressively more crazy the longer it continues. They have that with the scenario via the archive cards, but future scenarios could leverage that a little bit more, perhaps set the scenario starting BEFORE things go off the rails, then the 2nd or third archive really unleashing hell on earth. Full disclosure, I’ve only played the Azothoth scenario as we’re still trying to defeat it, its possible other scenarios have less combat.

Overall, I like this game, I’m an Arkham fanboy and will gobble up all of the future Arkham Horror 3rd edition supplements they release, but I do hope they come out with those supplements sooner than later as 4 scenarios likely isn’t enough.

What about you, is the game too punishing, just punishing enough? What about the speed of the game? Tell me down below in the comments! As you watch this video, we should be just about cresting 1000 subscribers, and with that, our Cthulhu Wars contest will begin! We’re going to be announcing the details in the next two weeks via our Twitch and youtube livestreams.

The Library at Celaeno – a Cthulhu Wars Alternate Game Map Expansion Guide


Hey everyone, today we’re going back to our roots and covering some Cthulhu Wars material, in this episode, we’re covering the Library At Celano, Cele-ano, Celeano, however its pronounced, this one!

If you don’t know what this is, this is an alternate game map for Cthulhu Wars, instead of fighting to destroy Earth, you’re fighting to…that’s sort of the question, are you destroying the Library when doom reaches the max, or are you getting the resources you need to destroy Earth? I want to think they’re destroying Earth because the Librarian probably wouldn’t put up with crap.
Who is the librarian, this monstrous being who helps maintain order in the library, and in this game mode, the players have some influence on two greater beings, the caretaker and the Librarian. You can’t attack either, and they have great influence so I want to think that suggests that these beings are very powerful, if only inside their domain.
The game mode puts you on this very different looking map, which operates the same way as Earth in that you can flip each side to reveal a different number of players. If you have more than 5 players, you’ll need to acquire the larger 6 to 8 player map.
Inside the Library, movement is different. Cthulhu players take note, there is no Rylea, and the ocean’s don’t connect, instead there are these tiles that indicate the word “sea” meaning they’re submerged and count as oceans. Also, you have these two special types of areas, gates and stairs.
Stairs allow you to connect to the other set of stairs with the same letter. This allows you to travel between floors.
Gates allow you to travel to any other gate, which if you look, is quite a few of them.
This brings up my first bit of advice, in general, I’m not a fan of Crawling Chaos on this map, their advantage of flight is less advantageous when there are so many different ways of travelling great distances within the map. It might be a small thing, but if the factions are balanced on Earth (which is questionable depending on which set of optional rules you’re using), then CC is less so.
What else? Well you have these four special rooms, each of which contains a special tome, and at the start of the game, a gate spawns in each gate with no player necessary. These tomes are very powerful, and anyone can get them by taking control of the tome’s corresponding gate, they do not take the spot of any of your faction spellbooks.
Each of the tomes occupy a different role, and each tome except Barrier can be reset by releasing a captured cultist, discarding an elder sign, or discarding a Silence token.
• Guardian Under the Lake – For 1 power, You can force an entire faction occupying an area next to a gate, to any other area with a gate.
• Yr and the Nhhngr – For 1 power, If anyone has more doom than you, either place a monster at no additional cost or gain 2 power.
• Larvae of the Outer Gods – Gain 1 elder sign if anyone has more Power than you.
• Barrier of Naach Tith – this book is a bit different, no other player may declare an attack against you unless they release a captured cultist, discard an elder sign, or discard a silence token.
You gain the tomes by being the first person to control a gate with a Tome in it, and if you lose control of the gate, you don’t immediately lose control of the tome, instead the tome becomes OverDue.
What are Silence Tokens? Well you get one of these things each doom phase, and if you don’t spend it, you won’t get another, so use it or lose it!
Silence Tokens are primarily how you interact with the two iGOOs, the Custodian and the Librarian, as well as activate or cancel certain Tomes.
By spending a Silence Token, you can move the custodian to any area and roll the Agony die, if you don’t move the custodian, it gets +1 to the Agony die. Bump as many units as you roll into the oubliette, possibly including your own units as you must spend as many Agony points as possible.
Alternatively, if any player has any Overdue Tomes, you can sick the library on them! Spend a silence token, move the librarian to any area, and roll the Agony die, likewise, the Librarian gets +1 to its agony if it doesn’t have to roll.
You can target any player who has a unit in the area who also has an overdue Tome. That player must satisfy all Agony, however they choose based on the following list.
• Eliminate a unit in the area satisfies one agony.
• Losing a doom point satisfies one agony.
• Returning an overdue Tome satisfies one agony.
This is the only way a player may lose a Tome, is by being targeted by the Librarian.
Who wants this map?
Anyone who enjoys battles will enjoy the close confines of this map, everyone is close and the consequences of letting a player hold onto a tome can be severe, while losing control of a Tome area can likewise be severe.
The map is really crazy, and causes some severe shifts based on what happens with the agony dice, I really don’t think anyone who isn’t very comfortable with the rules should play this map, but if you are, you might enjoy this very differently played game.
What about Faction tips?
Barrier can be interesting for Black Goat, because often BG has to put themselves at risk to occupy so many areas to get their spellbooks. Suddenly with Barrier, they’re a bit safer. You should have more doom than other players and often more power, so the only other Tome that is useful to you is Guardian Under the Lake which can help you afford all of your dark young.
Like I said, I’m not a huge fan of playing Crawling Chaos on this map, but if I do, I really try to get Yr and the Nhhngr, I always struggle with power as Crawling Chaos, and extra power or monsters can really help to secure the Harbinger.

Great Cthulhu can really enjoy using Guardian under the Lake as often Cthulhu will have a large powerful submerged force, and instead of emerging on dry land, you can first move an enemy to one of the seas that has a gate.
For Opener of the Way, try and get Yr and the Nhhngr as soon as possible, the free monsters can help you get your Great Old One out faster.
Oh wow, I think this map is really great for Sleeper. Yr and the Nhhngr allows Sleeper to unleash their specialty units faster. Guardian under the lake can allow you to move monsters closer for your GOO to capture. Barrier of Naach Tith can help give you time to build up your retinue of monsters.
The Tcho Tcho can really struggle with this map, you can’t hide far away from everyone else, instead you must become more aggressive knowing you’ll be attacked early and often. Barrier can help with this, but personally I like Larvae or Yr and the Nhhngr, either of which works well with your goals.
Windwalker is very interesting. Start at the square that isn’t the oubliette, then use your silence token to have your custodian sweep your units into the oubliette. Tada! Create a gate and you’re now got one of the hardest spellbooks for you to gain.
I often feel like playing this map is like playing 3 dimensional chess, you have to constantly visualize and count how far away every other unit is from each of your units, it definitely can add to the stress level of the game.
Having said that, I really love how suddenly with just a few tweaks, you’re able to experience this very different game.

Opening Brass Birmingham by Roxley Games


Next week I’ll have a more proper board game video, I just wanted to open this and see whats inside! I’m super excited, I love Brass so much. 🙂

To get this game and help us keep the dice rolling, here is an Amazon link so you can pick up your own copy

https://amzn.to/2QBQCSN

For more of our reviews, check out our blog: https://dorksidecookies.net

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Brass birmingham on BGG
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/224517/brass-birmingham

Question, Legacy Games, have they rendered other RPG-lites obsolete?


Hey everyone, I’d love to see your comment down below regarding what do you think, have legacy games rendered RPG-lites like zombicide obsolete?

To get this game and help us keep the dice rolling, here is an Amazon link so you can pick up your own copy
https://amzn.to/2CWB1KV

How to setup and play Brass Lancashire!


I’ve become totally enamored with Brass! I’m talking about ordered the newest kickstarter for the expansion, bought the upgraded money, everything.

My group struggled with this game, so I put this video together to very explicitly go through each action in a way that lets people know whats going on in context of the larger game.

Too Much Stuff from Kickstarter? Overflowing Games that don’t fit in their box | Game Rants


So this is my first rant of my new game rant series, I’ll be doing these occasionally, this one was inspired by the overflowing nature of game components for kickstarter games.

Its my belief that without Kickstarter, most of this stuff would have a container or find a way inside the box, but now, with kickstater, all of that has been thrown out the window, leaving me…with overflowing things everywhere.
What do you think?

How to win with Insects From Shaggai in Cthulhu Wars

This turned out to be a very cool unit!  You can use them to attack people using cultists to defend their Great Old One, take their cultists to defend your own Great Old One.  Its pretty awesome.

Alohamora! Opening Clue: Harry Potter edition!

I saw this Facebook ad and thought this “family friendly” edition of Clue: Harry Potter looked totally awesome, and I was right!  Simple, easy, I can’t wait to play it!

CharterStone Overview + 5 Tips BEFORE you play the game! (light spoilers)

 

SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!

So my gaming group has been playing Charterstone every game night for the last 5 game nights.  We’ve been having a great time, and I wanted to give some explanations of how the game is played, and some tips on what you should expect and how to have a better gameplay experience.

Just a heads up, while my normal strategy videos might give you some things to think about that might give “you” advantage, I recommend that you share these tips. They’re mild spoilers and the intent is for everyone to get the most out of the game.  They might give you a slight advantage too, though that is merely a side effect.

What is Charterstone?

Charterstone is an economic city building game.  A bit more precisely, it’s a legacy game, which effectively just means that there are permanent consequences for future games based on previous games.  In fact, in this particular legacy game, the rulebook itself starts mostly blank, with the rules getting unlocked as you play the game.

 

Charterstone has some like RPG elements, including an interesting somewhat dark-fantasy storyline that you reveal over the course of the twelve games that consist of the core game.  Your king has decided to expand and granted you a charter to help grow the shared village.

Over 12 games, you’ll unlock a storyline, new rules, new buildings, and new strategies.  In addition, you have a box that you permanently unlock different advantages and upgrades for your charter, all of which combine to make your charter somewhat unique and when combined with the entire village and all of the various upgrades, a unique gameplay experience custom to your gaming group.

At this point, I’m going to talk a bit about the first game, this is very mild spoilers as I’m not revealing anything that you wouldn’t discover on your first play, but again, you’ve been warned.

When you first start the game, you have just your persona, a box, a couple buildings,  a meeple for you and your assistant, and some influence tokens.  The board has six empty charters, then some core buildings in the center of your village.  Each player controls one of the charters and each player can only build in their charter.

You build by peeling stickers off of the cards you get first, and putting the sticker into your charter.  The remaining card often has whats called a crate, and you can “open” the crate to pull more cards out of the box and add to the game.  This action is called the charterstone action and is the primary way that more cards get added to the game.

Each turn, you either place a worker onto the board to activate a building action, or take all of your workers off the board, that’s it, which makes the turns fairly quick.

Some actions require you to spend influence, often triggering the progress track to move as well.  When the progress track ends, the game finishes after the next complete turn.

Influence is often used for victory points, there is a quota track, a reputation track, and there are objective cards, all of which require influence and can give you victory points either immediately or at the end of the game.

In case it isn’t obvious yet, at this point you’ll have put stickers onto your board, so right from the get go you’re making permanent changes that you can’t quite undo.

If you want to play the game again, you can buy one refresh pack and turn the board over, in fact, that’s how I’m showing you this, as the other side of this board has our game on it with lots of spoilers.

There are more boxes, more cards, more tokens, more every thing inside the box, but you’ll need to play a few games before you get to see those.

Tip #1

My first tip, now that you know a bit about how the game works, is to avoid winning the first couple games.  Yup, you heard me right, I highly recommend you avoid winning the first couple games.  There is a catch up mechanic which gives an advantage to the ones who don’t win.  Not only should you not win, but if everyone chooses not to try to win, you may find that your group has built up its village more early on, which means that later games will have more options.

Tip #2

Build as much as you can build the first two games.  Later buildings in the game dramatically change the game, the more you build and then charterstone those buildings, the more quickly you’ll get to the advanced strategies that really allow you to define your strategy.

Tip #3

Don’t ignore the quota track.  Like all games, you want to constantly think about action efficiency.  In this case, you can measure action efficiency by how many victory points you gain per resource spent  For example, the quota track says you get 3 victory points for 1 resource.  If you’re the first person to do a quota for 2 or then the first for 3, you get a bonus victory point.  In the beginning of the game, it takes 1 action to gain 1 resource.  Effectively, that means you get 3 victory points for 2 actions., at least to start.  What I really like, as someone who explores a lot of games, is that every game, this calculation becomes slightly different as new buildings unlock different options to gain and spend resources.  However, when you’re calculating the value of an action, make sure that in general, each action gives you at least 1.5 victory points.

Tip #4

Who has what building matters.  In the beginning of the game, you and your assistant meeples can go anywhere in the village to get what they want from a building, even if its already taken.  Later in the game…you’ll have advantages at using the buildings in your own charter versus the buildings in someone else’s charter.  I can’t say much more than that without causing the spoiler gods to come crashing down on me.  However, the important bits here, is that IF you can get a building for someone else’s charter and place it into your charter, you may be able to pull off a combo more readily than someone else.

To elaborate “just” a tiny bit, each charter begins the game with the ability to produce one particular type of resource, say wood or brick.  Later in the game, you unlock buildings that require brick to do things it makes sense for brick to do, or buildings that require wood to do…well things wood would be required for.  Sometimes buildings get into the general available pool, if you grab one of them, now while you may produce the brick, you might have a powerful building that lets you use wood.  This will do two things for you, the wood player might be tempted to use your building more often, but also, you might be good at two different components of the game instead of one, because your buildings blend both brick and wood.

Tip #5

Your Charter box has a few different tracks that you permanently mark as you play each game.  One side is capacity, one side is generally what you start each game with.  These seem similar but in effect are very different.  Capacity eventually restricts how much of a resource you can hold.  That’s a little spoilery about game 3+, but its on the box, so just go with me here.  Glory on the other hand, lets you start each game with the thing that you unlocked.  For example, if you unlock the resource glory , that means that each game you can choose a resource and add it to your supply.

Just to reiterate, that means if you end a game with only 1 resource capacity, at some point you will only be able to retain 1 resource, but if you spent all of your resources you’ll have 0 resources.  On the other hand, if you’ve unlocked the resource glory, then even if you ended the previous game with 0 resources, you’d add 1 of any resource to your pool.

This means that in general, glory  is more powerful than capacity.

Bonus Tip #6

Out of all of the glory tracks, I think the advancement track is one of the most powerful, being able to take an advancement at the beginning of each game can be VERY powerful.