The only game off the list this week is Myth – one of my first purchases in 2014. This co-operative board game has each player taking the role of an adventurer moving through tiles defeating the Darkness. I’m not going to get into depth about the rules since I am sure that this game will be covered in detail soon on this site. The game itself has a lot of cool mechanics on how you deal with setup, questing and treasure, merchants and even when and how the monsters of Darkness act. Be warned if you are planning to read the rules and learn the game that way – I had a heck of a time learning actual game play without watching a couple of gaming videos and a FAQ or two. My advice is to find someone that already knows the game and get them to teach you.
What I will say is that I bought just the retail version of the game and I have to say I’m pretty disappointed since it is obvious that this game was planned around those people that got in on the Kickstarter. The retail game has many glaring holes – for example, I get 8 hero tiles, but 3 of those are not included in the game and it looks like they were for the “Kickstarter Exclusives” characters – meaning I can’t get a hold of them unless they provide those at the later date (I’m hoping that they will be add-ons for a second Kickstarter in Q3 of this year). Another example is that one of the mini-bosses (and a quest) talks about “Soulless”, but there aren’t any included nor is there a card giving their stats provided with the base game. Since I got the retail version, I will have to but the Soulless expansion pack separately if I want to ever play with that mini-boss. Still from what they talk about in the rules and the general hubbub in the gaming community, there are many cool and interesting things coming soon for the game (but can I justify spending an additional 200 dollars for all the extras that will be coming out due to the huge success of the Kickstarter just to give the game some variability). Still it is a good game once you work through all the issues and only time will tell if this will have a place between the other campaign games on the horizon (more on that later).
Other non-list gaming:
I didn’t get as many board games in as I would have liked this week since I played Warmachine on two days this past week. I only bring this up since one of my friends (and long time Warmachine player) is moving back home in mid-May. This has happened a lot (I live in a college town so it’s not unexpected) so I wanted to get some last minute gaming in before he leaves. The second Warmachine day was to get together with someone that is going to school in Bloomington even though he lives about an hour south of here. It was a pretty fun game and hopefully we can get together more often – but that is a conversation for a different column.
Most board games don’t have a campaign system – you just don’t carry over what you have done in previous games. You sit down, set up the game and play until completion (whatever that means – first to a certain victory point total, a set or random number of round, etc…). Once the game is complete, you clean up and put everything back into the box. The next time you play it, you start the game fresh with nothing carried over from past games. There are exceptions to this rule (Descent, Pathfinder: the Adventure Card Game, Blood Bowl & Risk Legacy to name a few), but most of the games out there start with a level playing field each and every time. Imagine how weird it would be if you got to keep certain ‘achievements’ whenever someone pulled out a game of Agricola or Suburbia!
Still, my background is from role playing games and even though I don’t play them anymore (except at some conventions), I like the idea of a campaign game – I could go even farther and say that I like dungeon crawl campaign games, but these days I’ll take whatever! Building and advancing your character (kingdom) through a series of adventures (epochs) has a special place in my heart. Of course most often someone has to take on the role of the bad guy (even if that is a computer AI for some really fun computer games – again a topic out of scope of this discussion).
The first campaign game that was completely cooperative that I have played in recent memory is Pathfinder: The Adventure Card Game – it has character development and cool treasures over the course of 5 expansion packs. Then came Myth and I was super excited (I still am even with the issues above). Of course, there is a plan for Descent: Journey in the Dark and Super Dungeon Explore to have a fully cooperative game system included which has me quite excited for when those come out (mainly since I own a bunch of expansions for those games already). Only time will tell if I can find a perfect campaigning board game.
Until next time – Explore a dungeon, slay the dragon and find some loot!