RogerBW's Blog

Thirsty Meeples April 2015 15 April 2015

Back to the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

We began with Tragedy Looper, a deduction game that's been getting a lot of buzz recently. I rather liked it, but the rules did a poor job of explaining what was going on, and one player was definitely put off. I wouldn't mind giving this another go at some point, even though by design it has limited replay value. (Not as bad as Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, since you can at least put together your own combinations of plot elements to create new mysteries once you've solved the ones in the box.) We didn't solve the initial mystery, though I think with another loop we probably would have.

Next were a couple of games of Timeline: Inventions, one of the more interesting entries in the huge Timeline series. As with all of them, one has to work out how the date associated with one's card (in this case things like "invention of the phonograph") fits into the collection of cards on the table. Get it right, and the card goes into the timeline; get it wrong, and it's discarded and you draw another. First to get rid of all their cards wins. I was quite surprised at how well I did (and at the things I missed). This is a very short game, good filler while waiting for people to turn up.

We hadn't played Splendor for a bit, so gave that a spin. (I really should try getting the bits of my set into a smaller box.) I thought I was doing reasonably well, but was still a turn or two off winning when the game ended. I'm definitely not at the second level of play yet (where you're working out what your opponent wants and taking it first).

Last game of the evening was Welcome to the Dungeon, which is a push-your-luck variant: players take turns to draw monsters, then either put them into the dungeon or discard them to get rid of one of the hero's items of equipment (each of which is good at killing particular sorts of monster, or just makes him tougher). The last player not to pass then has to take the hero through the dungeon, fighting the monsters (in a basic deterministic way) and hoping to have enough hit points to survive.

It's all pretty simple, and there's a fair bit of luck involved, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. My feeling was that it was best to pass early if one was going to pass at all; that decision's the core of the game, along with deciding whether a card goes into the dungeon or removes a bit of equipment. I might buy this at some point. One of my fellow players did, on the spot.

On Monday week (27 April) there's a Revolution tournament. Come along!


  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 11:27am on 15 April 2015

    I felt guilty about suggesting TRAGEDY LOOPER in the first place: I was passing on a recommendation from an acquaintance. I could not see how we were to deduce anything from the data given us by the three loops.

    Perhaps if the 'protagonist' side had clearer ideas about the sort of stuff the Mastermind could throw at them... Or maybe not.

    I was not at my intellectual best last night: I do actually normally have enough brain to give some sort of chance at SPLENDOUR. But TIMELINE and WELCOME TO THE DUNGEON were more my sort of speed this time.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 11:37am on 15 April 2015

    Whereas I really enjoyed TL, and would like to play it again some time. I'm fairly sure there was a GMing error on loop 2.

    I was also feeling a bit slow last night.

  3. Posted by Michael Cule at 03:16pm on 15 April 2015

    Well, maybe next time. I could try the Mastermind role and see if it makes more sense from that POV.

    Oh, and one small thing we did wrong on WELCOME TO THE DUNGEON: when you take a card out of circulation and put a piece of equipment on top of it you put the card in front of you face down.

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