RogerBW's Blog

Boardgames in Isolation: May (part 2) 03 June 2020

More boardgames played from home.

The great thing about on-line boardgames is that you can have as much or as little as you want. I can spend a quick 15 minutes playing a short game in real time on BGA, and then I can do something else, rather than necessarily carrying on playing games for another few hours. Not that I mind doing that once in a while, but I wouldn't do it every day or two; and there haven't been many days in this half of the month when I haven't been playing something

Five games each of Can't Stop and 6 nimmt! which are good examples of this, even if (a standard problem on BGA) the random strangers you play against may be people who've played that particular game a lot. I haven't won at 6 Nimmt yet on BGA.

I've been carrying on with six more games of VOLT, though I seem to have found my level; there are people who are a lot better than I am.

The Go 500 Racing Dice Game league came to a conclusion after six races, which was probably about the right length. This is a pretty simple push-your-luck game at its heart, though the advanced rules do give it some interesting subtlety. (Still haven't found a copy for sale in the UK.)

Lots of Rallyman: GT, though largely on BoardGameArena rather than with the physical bits. Someone's started a championship, so naturally I'm participating in that, and there are pickup games too… in this particular one, all four of the Chinese players crashed and then dropped out. Ten games finished.

(Also, very good news, the "rally" edition of the game is to be Kickstarted in July. All the trickiness of tight bends and streams and bumps, plus hex tiles.)

Back on Tabletop Simulator, some two-player gaming: Onitama and two games of Jaipur (which has a thoroughly dreary theme that I'm tempted to reskin, but the gameplay is rather fine).

Two games of A War of Whispers, as mentioned elseblog.

Machi Koro on yucata.de seems to get played very slowly, to the point that I tend to forget what my strategy may have been by the time my turn comes round several days later.

Three games of Red7, which is on both yucata and BGA

A new game to me, K2: a card game of killing your mountain climbers. Well, that's how it tends to end up for me; I haven't got both off the mountain yet. For this sort of game, surprisingly thematic (i.e. a little bit rather than not at all).

The play-by-forum instance of Firefly: The Game that I started at the end of March came to an end. This was the 15th Firefly game I've run, the 36th that's happened on BoardGameGeek, and certainly the longest I've had anything to do with – a total of 32 rounds, when most games are over in about 20. I think this was because of the combination of story and setup cards: The Rim's The Thing setup pushed people into longer voyages than usual, and The Great Recession, with a limited set of jobs at each contact location, and the end of the game being dependent on players' choosing to pick up the last jobs (which they'll only do if they think they're in the lead). It was a lot of fun to run, but this is longer than the game really ought to last.

I also ran a PBF of the 2016 Robo Rally, which from a game management point of view turned out to be all about working out which upgrade could interrupt the sequence of play when. (If I were building my own version, this would be an explicit tag on the cards: "in the programming phase", "at the start of a register once all cards are revealed", "when you shoot a robot at range 1, or push it", etc.) This is probably a bit too slow to make a good future PBF; it goes much faster round a table.

Key point on PBFs: the feeling of slowness is dependent less on what the moderator, or a player, has to do, then on the number of round-trips that need to be taken between moderator and players. A game turn in which players need to see the results of one action before deciding on the next one will be much slower to play than one in which they can send in their entire set of orders at once.

Coup on BGA is a premium game (i.e. you have to be a subscriber to start a table, though not to join one), but it turns out I'm still at least moderately good at it.

Potion Explosion has just come into public beta on BGA, and I played one of my better games… and got beaten hollow by a woman from Ukraine.

[Buy Can't Stop at Amazon] [Buy 6 Nimmt! at Amazon] [Buy VOLT at Amazon] [Buy Rallyman GT at Amazon] [Buy Onitama at Amazon] [Buy Jaipur at Amazon] [Buy A War of Whispers at Amazon] [Buy Machi Koro at Amazon] [Buy Red7 at Amazon] [Buy K2 at Amazon] [Buy Firefly: the Game at Amazon] [Buy Robo Rally 2016 at Amazon] [Buy Coup at Amazon] [Buy Potion Explosion at Amazon] and help support the blog.

See also:
A War of Whispers

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