Thursday, October 8, 2009

Game Night 10-7-09 and Board Game Reviews


Hans, make sure the ghost gun is loaded ja...

So board game grab bag month is fully in swing (to the chagrin of those op-forians that voted for necromunda 4 times...), and we've already broken in 3 new (or rereleased) games in the newly remodeled and always swanky CR games bunker.

Games in rotation so far:
  • The new and improved Space Hulk(TM)
  • Tannhauser
  • Cutthroat Caverns

Here's a rundown on each of the games and my humble rating (1-5 rating based fun factor, replayability, and component quality/value). Weigh in with your own opinions gents.

SPACE HULK

Ok so GW has released a super slick new version of Space Hulk that has gamer nerds across the interwebs excited. Really nice compenents, a nice hefty box, and 'limited edition' status add to it's appeal. We were able to get 4 guys together to bust out some alien bustin' action, space marine style and here are my impressions.

Man I have to hand it to GW, this game is pretty! The space marine minis are beautiful and highly detailed and the genestealers (aliens) look pretty cool too. The modular space ship board is also really nice and the components add alot to the game. This all comes with a hefty price tag - 100 bones, which is pretty steep by boardgame standards, but seems like a decent deal if you can multi-task the minis that are included in the box. Component quality rating 4 (components are awesome, but price is pretty steep).

The game runs pretty fast, we were able to get in 3 games in one evening even though we were learning the rules as we went along. This being said, the rules set feels a little dated when compared to similar games that have been released in the past 10 years, and the game has a bit of a wind it up and let it go feel do to the limited corridor space. Luck feels like it is very much a factor in this game, and even though it plays fast, it seemed to drag on a bit for me. The range of scenarios should probably help with the replayability, but it may feel a little 'samey'. Fun Factor 2 - (got a little boring for me...), Replayability - 3 (other scenarios should help mix it up at bit).

Overall it's a nice product, but feels a bit like a pretty facade on a average game, and doesn't really capture my attention.

Would I play it again? Sure, if someone else wanted to play, but not my first choice.

TANNHAUSER

So we have 2 games of weird war 2 Tannhauser behind us. I've been interested in this game for quite awhile now mostly because of the theme (come on it's like Hellboy or Indiana Jones, with a heathy dose of Lovecraftian Horror thrown in), and tend to like most of the stuff Fantasy Flight games puts out.

The game components are nice, not Space Hulk nice, but they are solid and fit the game theme well. Like most FFG games, the box comes chock full of counters and has clearly written rules. The game board is nice a big and the pathfinder line of sight system is pretty cool and makes determining LOS quick, easy, and painless. The pre-painted models are cool scupts but the prepaints are pretty lousy, but could be repainted. This being said, they look fine on the table top and don't really detract from the actual game play experience. Components (4 - Lots of nice components, and a good value at $50-60 for the box, prepaints aren't the greatest, art is rad!).

Like many of FFG games, Tannhauser is pretty complicated for a board game. We've been learning new rules as we go along and most rules questions can be easily answered by looking in the rulebook. The pathfinder system, and opposed combat roll system is pretty intuitive, it's just the details that are getting us now. Different play options (free for all, capture the flag, objectives), provide different gameplay experiences, and add some strategy to the game. The game is fun, relatively quick, and captures my imagination. Fun factor - 5 (fun, has minor issues, but has a ghost gun, and BDB!). The base game comes with a set number of characters and 2 game maps. Objectives, different equipment loadouts, and expansions, should help keep the game fresh, but I can see the game maps getting stale or played out. Replayability - 3.

Fun game, and look forward to playing again.

CUTTHROAT CAVERNS

So most gamers have a soft spot for dungeon crawls and most also have a hidden (or not so hidden) desire to just be a cold-hearted bastard sometimes. This simple fantasy card game scratches those itches.

This game does look nice, but you can tell it isn't published from one of the big boys. The artwork is nice, but not spectacular, the card stock is ok, but not bomb proof, all it all, the components get the job done and let you play the game. Components - 2 (nothing spectacular, but let you play the game which is the important thing).

Ok, on to the meat, the game play! This game pits the cunning adventuring party against a series of 9 monster encounters, and requires the party to work together, but requires each party member to stab other players in the back in order to gather loot and fame (renoun or victory points). Combat is card driven, and includes special attack moves, magic equipment that provides bonuses, and screw your neighbor cards that mess with other player's actions. The mechanics are simple and fast. The most entertaining part of this game is sticking that knife in your neighbors back and twisting it....it's pretty cool. Attacking the monster isn't that exciting, but the one-upmanship and back-stabbing is great. Fun game for sure! Fun factor - 5. The game is way fun, but each monster isn't that different, and I think we had all of the moves, attacks, and actions memorized after 1 game. Could be a limitation. Replayability - 2 (expasions could address this, but hate to have to always rely on those to keep a game fresh).

Over and out CB.

7 comments:

skywatcher said...

Excellent synopsis of the board games. Breaking down the different factors such as bits, fun factor, and re-playability really help.

CB said...

Thanks man, these are just my opinions though, I'd like to hear how everyone else would rate the games...

Op-For said...

Haven't played the new space hulk yet, I'm getting my copy this weekend. But I have played 1st edition space hulk and it was pretty cool. I guess I have the advantage (or whatever you want to call it) of having all the expansions to 1st ed. So instead of just the 12 standard missions, I can look forward to Grey Knights, Genestealer Hybrids and the Patriarch (who makes the broodlord look like a puppy).
Tannhauser is rad, I need to play it more and think about the load outs more critically. Much like other games, I have to remember reliable before optimal.
Cutthroat was crazy fun. There has to be something great about a game where all the rules can be learned on the first encounter. I loved the set card mechanic and the cooperation and competitive (coopetitive?) nature of the game. Arkham Horror mixed with Poker. Second time around I won't use the lightning shield to save the Rogue and I'll focus more on shaving damage off my party. Shaving slowly layer by layer, like a spiral sliced ham in chainmail...

Op-For said...

BTW, who did the Oppo-quest header pic. Flippin' Sweet!

skywatcher said...

I thought it was appropriate with the board game themes. Oppo-Quest would be a good title! Enjoy!

A^2 said...

My taste actually runs very similar to Chris's in aspect of these games. I really really enjoyed Tanhauser, and I'd say I liked it a bit more then Chris did.


A^2

CB said...

Tannhauser is awesome! It's up there amoung my favorite board games at the moment.