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  • #16
    A really good thematic game is the deck builder Legendary Encounters: Alien. The deck builder mechanic is nothing special but the game play has a sense of tension that really hits on the theme. The base game comes with set-up for the first 4 movies, each with their own objectives and character cards. You can mix and match, or play with the characters from the appropriate movies. Each turn you are taking the top card from the hive deck and having it enter "the complex"; a series of 5 spaces along the top of the board. These cards remain face down, so you don't know what card has entered the complex. You use attack points from your hand of cards to scan the face down cards, the first spaces cost more than the last spaces. You need to scan these cards as you are looking for cards to help you meet your objectives. But there is a much greater probability that the card will contain an alien (there are many different types based on the movies) or something. Not knowing which cards are helpful and which are likely to hurt you add much tension to the game play and feels true to the theme; you are looking to improve your situation but run into an alien creature instead. As you draw new cards from the hive, they slide ever closer to entering the "combat zone". If a card enters the combat zone (hidden or revealed, it becomes revealed), then it can attack the active player at the end of their turn. When an alien attacks, you draw from the strike deck, so the attack can range from a miss (0 damage), to massive blow (5 damage) or even trigger a draw again strike (1 damage + another card). Some wounds can be healed through player actions but some cannot. If a player gets too much damage, they die and are eliminated from the be continued....

    Another nice feature of this game that plays into the theme is the use of avatars for each player. Unlike many other deck builders, where you get the same starting deck and there is no distinguishing features between players until their deck is built up, each player chooses an avatar which include a special card that is unique to that avatar. In addition, each avatar has a different level of health. So while the researcher may have a stronger card to begin with, it has less health than the gunner or the scout.

    So if your player dies, you are no longer a part of the team but you can still play the game because the game also comes with an alien deck that allows someone to play as the aliens!! That player gets to actively work against the other players.

    There are other cool features of the game. The iconic face hugger - if you get attacked by a face hugger, you have until the next player turn to kill it before it enters your body and you have to put a chestburster into your discard pile. Eventually that chestburster will be shuffled into your deck and when it is dealt into your hand, you immediately die! So you know it's in your deck, but you don't know when it will kill you and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Great tension every time you draw a new hand.

    There are also some advanced rules, one that includes a secret agenda. So much like many of the movies, someone might actually be working against the rest of the team with a win condition based on being able to bring an alien back for study. This secret agenda is unknown to the other players, allowing for some cool strategy plays.

    All in all, a really good deck builder with a great thematic experience. The cards are violently graphic, so not really family friendly. Another nice feature is that the game is compatible with the Legendary Encounters Predator, so if you have both games, you could play Aliens Vs Predator. I don't own the Predator, so I haven't played that mode but the idea of being one creature against the other certainly sounds fun.
    Heir, Prince of Cambridge

    If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.


    • #17
      Isolation time is a great time to get into board games!

      Solo, duo, families, friends - whatever you got in your household, there is a game for you!
      Heir, Prince of Cambridge

      If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.


      • #18
        Man, this rabbit hole just keeps getting deeper and deeper. My collection keeps growing (well in excess of my posts) and yet there is always more. This is going to be a bit of a rambling post.

        COVID has definitely impacted my ability to get my regular gaming group together, as we've had just 2 weekends together since this all started back in March. Both times we made it a full weekend activity playing from 10 am - 2 am on Saturdays, with a little bit on Friday night and little bit on Sunday morning. We got a lot of great games to the table each time.

        Gloomhaven with 4 players takes about 3 hours per scenario, and we started a campaign together. This is a lot of fun as each player will start with their own unique character, level it up until it eventually retires and is replaced by a whole new character that we currently know nothing about because we haven't checked the sealed components yet and don't want to spoil the surprise.

        RoboRally is one of our go to games as a group. The game is played as a race to various check points across a factory floor. Each player has a robot, and you draw 9 cards, then set 5 down for your next 5 moves. Each card is something like move forward 1, move back, turn right, turn left, move forward 2, etc. Problem is, you choose you next 5 steps, but you have to rush to choose them (often making mistakes) or another player might bump you off your path, or you might mistime one of the obstacles on the board (like moving conveyor belts). The game is easy to learn but hard to do as it often devolves into chaos, especially as players buy upgrades to their robots weapons and defences. Strongly recommend this for a group of 3-5 people who will play it together regularly.

        Tiny Epic Galaxies is a fantastic small-box game where each player is trying to score points by colonizing planets. Roll dice to see what actions you can do on your turn such as fly ships, gain culture/energy, use colonized planets abilities, etc. The game has great depth for such a small game, which is the trademark of the Tiny Epic series of games, which includes other titles such as Tiny Epic Zombies, Tiny Epic Tactics, and Tiny Epic Dinosaurs.

        With Christmas right around the corner, I'm looking forward to adding several new titles to the collection, most notably Unmatched (Jurassic Park, Buffy, and Cobble & Fog). Happy gaming!
        Heir, Prince of Cambridge

        If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.


        • #19
          What's that Axel? A really good strategic game of head to head competition? Each character plays entirely differently you say? Well that would make unique game play depending on which characters are chosen.

          The Invisible Man vs Sherlock Holmes certainly sounds interesting.

          Park Warden Robert Muldoon vs the Raptors pack would be fun.

          Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs Angel is like playing out season 2 of Buffy.

          But...mix and match you we can play Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde against Buffy? Robert Muldoon and his trapping skills against the Invisible Man? Bruce Lee vs a pack of Raptors? How is any of this possible?

          Welcome to the world of Unmatched.

          UnMatched is a head to head battle game, best played with either 2 of 4 players (1v1 or 2v2 teams). Each player chooses a character from any of the Unmatched sets, gets a unique deck of cards specific to their character and their character mini-figure, then duels it out with their opponent on a board that allows for strategic movement (to get in or out of attack range, or to trap a player). At it's heart, it's a game about using that custom deck to do things that no other character can do. For example, the Invisible Man has 3 smoke tokens, that he can move around the board. He has the ability to move between those tokens no matter the distance to keep their opponent from locking on for an attack. He has cards that allow him to deal damage when the opponent is on a smoke token. No other character has these tokens or these cards, but the Invisible Man also has fewer attack cards than others. Most characters also come with a sidekick, a weaker character that helps them. So Muldoon comes with 3 generic Ingen Workers (canon fodder!), while Holmes of course comes with Dr. Watson.

          The beauty of this game really comes from the ability to mix and match characters from any of the sets. Any character can face any other on any board, allowing for endless possibilities. And the character options are very interesting.

          So far, I own 3 sets:
          Cobble & Fog: Invisible Man, Dracula, Jekyl/Hyde, Holmes
          Buffy: Buffy, Willow, Spike, Angel
          Ingen: Muldoon, 3 pack of Raptors

          My friend owns 2 sets:
          League of Legends Volume 1: Medusa, King Arthur, Alice in Wonderland, Sinbad the Pirate
          Robin Hood vs Big Foot

          There are other sets:
          Bruce Lee (only single character set so far)
          Little Red Riding Hood vs Beowulf - available now
          Jurassic Park Dr Ellie Sattler vs the T-Rex - available in 2021

          Future sets will contain Marvel characters, coming in 2021. One looks like it will be Black Panther, Black Widow and Winter Soldier together in a set. One is Luke Cage, Ghostrider and Moon Knight. Another is Ms Marvel, Squirrel Girl and Cloack & Dagger - no idea who some of these are.

          Finally, the art work in these games is great. Each card has been carefully crafted to give each deck a unique look and feel in addition to its unique play style.


          A really good game and there isn't a "base" game that you need to buy first to be able to enjoy the expansion options (as is typical in board games). Any set can work to begin with (except Bruce Lee), so choose your favourite and start there.

          Heir, Prince of Cambridge

          If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.


          • #20
            A few months ago I picked up one of my grail games, Nemesis.

            This is one of the most thematic games I've ever played, as you can feel the tension in every decision. The game is essentially like a Sigourney Weaver Alien movie. Each game the story is that you awaken from hyper-sleep with ship system alarms blaring and a body of one of your crewmates dead. You and the remaining crew have specific objectives to complete to get the ship fully functioning to continue your journey. But as you venture out into the ship, the noise attracts the aliens. With limited weapons and resources, it's more survival than fighting.

            The game sets up with the room tiles face down, so you don't know the exact lay out of the ship. You have a hand of cards specific to your character, and have to discard cards to activate cards or basic actions (such as movement). This gives each character their own unique skillsets, so working together to achieve the objectives is paramount. Need to repair the engines, the mechanic is best suited to make those repairs and build a flamethrower for good measure. Need to sneak into the nest and steal an alien egg, the scout can sneak into rooms without attracting the attention of your xenomorphic enemies.

            As you move between rooms, you have to roll a special die to check for noise. Place a noise marker in the corresponding corridor but if you ever need to place a 2nd marker in the same corridor, you've gotten the attention of an alien. Draw a token out of the bag to see which creature you've attracted. Perhaps you're lucky and it's just a small larvae. Perhaps it's a fully grown adult. Perhaps the queen. With massive miniatures for the aliens, their presence is always felt on the board.

            The game is an awesome experience. I've played 1, 2, 3 and 4 player games, all co-operative where we share our objectives and win or lose together (although you can die alone and have your teammates win if they complete all the objectives). A 4 player game took us 3.5 hours to complete. There is also semi-cooperative play, where you get two objective cards but keep them secret. Once the first alien comes out, you must secretly choose which to keep. One will be similar to the cooperative objectives. One will be a bit more selfish, such as make sure player #2 doesn't survive due to an old grudge. You can't directly attack your crewmates, but you could lock them in a room with an alien and see what happens.

            Each game is unique thanks to the variable board set-up, the variable character decks, and changing objectives. It's an epic experience with the story of an Alien movie played out for all to see.

            Last edited by Axel; Wed Jun 16, 2021, 12:17 PM.
            Heir, Prince of Cambridge

            If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.


            • #21
              As Canada continues to see lockdowns all over, board games are still a hot commodity, so I thought I would post a list of some of the best games available that wouldn't break the bank. So my goal was to compile a list of games under $40 (pre-tax) that are available from Canadian retailers that I personally feel are great options for any household.

              Sushi Go Party $23 - mentioned in a previous post, game plays well from 2 players to 8 players. Game mechanics are simple to learn and since all plays are simultaneous, there is no sitting around waiting for your turn. Great art, easy to learn, great option for all ages 6-99.

              Codenames $17 and Codenames Duet $19 - the regular game is team based, while Duet can be played with just 2 players. The game is basically the same. A tableau of cards with words are layed out and only the codemaster knows which cards are their spies and which are their opponents. The codemaster will give hints to their team to try and get them to choose the correct spies. For example, you might say "cooking 2" as your clue, indicating that there are 2 cards related to cooking. Your team might guess the card "pan" correct but are torn between "gas" and "fire" as the second choice. The codemaster can't give other clues and have to hope that their clues are good enough the first time. Duet is basically the same thing but played as a 2 player game.

              Disney Villainous $40 - this is a very cool game that probably plays best with 3 players, but also works with 2 or 4. Each player takes control of their own Disney villain, with their own board, cards, and victory condition. Players take turns activating abilities on their board, allowing them to gather resources, play cards, or interfere with an opponent. Numerous expansions (and a Marvel version) exist, but the base game comes with 6 villains; Jafar, Queen of Hearts, Prince John, Ursula, Malecifent, Captain Hook.

              The Crew $15 - a co-operative trick taking game that features 50 missions that get more and more difficult. Work together for 2 - 5 players.

              Patchwork $38 - a 2 player game about making quilts. Sounds strange I know, but it's more of a Tetris style puzzle to build the best (most point scoring) 9 x 9 quilt.

              Exit (numerous titles) $15 - these are escape rooms in a box. Numerous titles of varying difficulty. Note that these games are one time use games, as components may be destroyed. Another series, Unlock, allows for re-use.

              King of Tokyo $36 - mentioned in a previous post. Easy to learn and easy to adapt for young kids (I recently played with my 5 and 7 year old with modified rules to eliminate cards so no reading necessary).

              Carcassonne $34 - a modern classic where players draw and place tiles to try and score points by building roads, cities, churches etc. Plenty of expansions available. Plays for 2 -5 players in about 30 - 45 mins. Easy to learn.

              Kingdomino $25 - use custom dominoes to build your own kingdown, scoring points by combining like tiled sections (fields, water, forrest) with the most crowns (point multiplier). 2 - 4 players and plays in about 15 mins.

              Quest for El Dorado $37 - mentioned in a previous post, but one of our favourite games. I prefer at 2 players, but is great at 4 as well. Easy to learn, but scalable strategy. With a module board creating different paths each game and numerous player cards available to upgrade your deck, each game can be very unique.

              Chronicles of Crime $37 - 1 to 4 players, this co-operative crime solving game uses an app to let you inspect the crime scene. Players start the app, choose the scenario they want to play, and follow the story. The goal being to catch the killer of the current case in the shortest time possible. The VR experience only requires a mobile phone. Players simply put the VR glasses (optional buy) onto their mobile device, and put the VR glasses on their nose, holding their mobile device in front of their eyes, to immerse themselves in the game's universe and search for clues in a virtual world. The game comes with 1 tutorial and 5 scenarios, but more can be downloaded directly inside the app! Each session last around 1h to 1h30 minutes and many scenarios are connected to each others in order to tell a much bigger story.

              Many more available but hopefully you find something for you and your household!
              Heir, Prince of Cambridge

              If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.


              • #22
                So I see board games thread has exploded with popularity over the years

                People should really check some of the stuff out there though. There is literally a game for every interest and taste.

                I've recently been playing a lot of Star Wars x-wing. It's basically as it sounds, you have ships and you fight each other. There is no board (just a 3x3 space), different ships move differently, different pilots have different abilities, and you can customize your ships (add missiles, bombs, astromech units, etc). All the ships are fully painted out of the box and look absolute mint. Even if you don't want to play, if you love Star Wars, an easy display collectible would be like the Millenium Falcon which looks epic and is about the size of a cell phone in length.

                Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.


                • #23
                  My fiance and I are trying to get into board games. Any good recommendations for 2 player games??


                  • #24
                    Joey wrote: View Post
                    My fiance and I are trying to get into board games. Any good recommendations for 2 player games??
                    Absolutely. I would say for couples the first consideration needs to be how competitive you each are. There are tons of head to head games of all sorts, but if the competitive juices cause any friction, then they aren't the right ones and to go for co-operative games.

                    Quest for El Dorado (check up a few posts for details) but it's our most played game as a couple.
                    Kingdomino (check up a few posts for details)
                    Dice Throne is good, best at 2 players. Basically plays like Battle Yahtzee - rolling to try and get the right combinations for your characters abilities. Just dice, player boards with their moves, and a deck of cards to upgrade your character, so not too much to set-up and not too deep into the geek end of the pool compared to other similar games (like Unmatched, which is great and detailed in a previous post). There is original and Marvel versions, 2 character and 4 character packs.
                    Wingspan is super popular as a lighter theme (it's about bird watching) as it's really a set collecting game. I've not played it before to offer a personal recommendation.

                    Horrified is great; uses some fairly standard co-op elements but adds some new things too. Play as characters trying to defeat movie monsters (it's the Universal Studios franchise, so Dracula, Invisible Man, Wolf-Man, Frankenstein, Mummy, and Creature of the Black Lagoon) and rescue innocent by-standers. Set up is easy and the rules are simple but the game can ratchet up very quickly. You can modify difficulty by changing the # of monsters in the game, or by player count (play with friends or each play with 2 characters).

                    Forbidden Island is part of a series of games and is a popular one in my house. My wife and I played it a lot, got really good at it and then found some different set-ups to change the difficulty. Rules are very straight-forward so now we play it with the kids. You make the map of the island using a stack of double-sided tiles. You draw cards from the deck to sink tiles on the island, first flipping them over to flooded, before removing them entirely. You need to do damage control to make sure you can still navigate the tiles so you can collect enough cards to claim the 4 treasures and get off the island. Simple components and rules but can offer some good strategy and you need to work together.

                    These are all fairly easy entry games; lower cost, simple rules, simple set-up but all offer good replayability and can scale to include more players. You can scroll through my previous posts and probably find some others that might offer a theme you are both more interested in.
                    Heir, Prince of Cambridge

                    If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.


                    • #25
                      Nice, thanks man! Will report back!