Please, Carcassonne Was My Father's Name: The Board Game Thread


I actually played a full game of TI4 for the first time last weekend and I liked it much better than 3 – it’s significantly less clunky and better-balanced – but I still think it’s unjustifiably long, and neither the tech or the unit customization is as interesting as eclipse. the one respect in which TI is still solidly better is the sheer amount of politicking it makes explicit; in Eclipse in the absolute best case with fun and evenly matched players you’d only ever get some of that through implicit negotiations.


The politicking is absolutely the core of Twilight Imperium, and the main reason to play it. I would argue that the length is actually a plus - there’s nothing like secretly coming up with a deliberate, detailed strategy in hour 2 and making subtle actions and political manipulations for the next four hours until the make-or-break moment when it’ll either succeed or fail miserably.


Maybe! It’s a pretty big box, and I’m not checking any luggage. But it does fit in my backpack. If the game is fantastic then I’ll consider it, but it only takes four players and it’ll take up most of the space in my luggage so we’ll see.


I struggle to fit it into my life honestly. I have a lot of potentially 4-5 hour games when played slowly and those are already a lot for my group.


Yeah, it’s absolutely an impractical game. You need to know enough folks who are boardgame-literate and enthusiastic enough to commit to an 8-10 hour game, and you need to be able to set an entire day aside where everyone can make it.

Basically, it’s the same as scheduling an acid trip.

I’m generally able to play about twice or three times a year on average.


This thread now has me thinking about bringing board games to Bumpass. I don’t have a lot in the way of rare videogame stuff with me in Boston, but I do have a board game collection I could bring something from. I’ll have to check if Captain Sonar fits in my backpack. That’d be a great game to bust out since it’s an accessible but unique “event game” that requires 8 players to really shine.



I got to try Spirit Island yesterday. I’d long suspected that I’d like it, but it was too expensive to buy totally blindly. Thematically, it’s kind of the opposite of Settlers of Catan. You are nature, trying to repel colonists. Mechanically, it’s a cooperative puzzle in which you try to find the optimal combination of the different players’ asymmetrical powers.

I think I will have to pick this game up at some point, though I don’t know how often I will get a chance to play it.


definitely get a chance if you’re ever over here, anyway


Sprit Island is fun to lose at, but is sure gets easy after the tutorial setup they recommend for the first game. Some of the spirit powers in the full deck are ridiculously powerful, like one that lets another spirit choose a new power.

This isn’t a knock against it, I would play it again at the drop of a hat.


Played Ascension and had a great time. Plus I’ve gotten hopelessly addicted to Slay the Spire. This all has made me want to go out and buy a deck building game. Any recommendations? Dominion is OK but it’s really dry and I don’t want to buy 100 expansions. What is the best deck builder? I want something meaty where you have plenty of time to build up a big fat deck and remove your bad cards and really optimize the hell out of it within the constraints of the game.


Valley of the kings isn’t quite meaty (in terms of card quantity) but it is an amazing deckbuilder that has the perfect amount of deckbuilding, excellent turn engines by the end of the game. The second set, afterlife, is the best one.

If you are ok with tableau builders that is way more choice


My cousin gave me a game called Splendor for Christmas. I played it with my folks. I guess it’s what you’d call a euro game? It’s all about perfect information and compounding investment. I had a fun enough time, but the dry, contextless feel doesn’t really work for me. I gather that’s pretty typical with these.


Splendor is inexplicable to me…

It is pretty much the most average game ever made but it won tons of awards and topped a lot of lists of good games when it was released? I don’t know who it was for or who found it so compelling. Its not “bad” in any sense but it doesn’t make me feel anything at all.


Having never actually played another one of these, I thiiiiiink it’s just pretty easy to get your head around? There are few rules and from what I can see only a couple viable strategies. A euro game for normies I guess you’d say. Like, my parents enjoyed it! They made sure to note that they wanted to play it again whenever the next time they came down and visited me. I was like uuuuuuuh sure


Yeah I’ve played it 6 times this holiday season and I don’t really get the appeal, but it’s easy to learn, small to pack, and I guess an ok substitute for poker re: satisfyingly weighty piles of tokens

It is a game to talk over


Oh also TSA grabbed my bag twice to check my suspicious coins, added bonus


Yeah, Splendor is enjoyable enough, but it also isn’t the best game ever. I also got a copy for Christmas, because they started selling it at Target/Walmart. It is easy enough to explain that I can get people to play it. It’s also a euro game that doesn’t feel too gross to think about (for the opposite example, teach someone to play Peurto Rico and wait for them to think about it).

Also, never underestimate how good those chips feel. They have a pleasant weight to them. To the point that anyone I have ever played this game with has noted that.


Yes, I find it hard to resist bakelite-type components myself. I think Splendor is a good game. It’s one that I would always be willing to play but wouldn’t generally suggest myself unless I’m among people who rarely or never play board games. I don’t see it joining my list of popular games that I hope no one will ever suggest or my shorter list of games that I actually refuse to play when they come up.

Most people I have introduced to Splendor in the past have loved it and immediately purchased it for themselves. So anecdotally, I’ve seen the game’s appeal in action.


Thanks again @Felix for bringing about Two Rooms and a Boom (which I realized I played incorrectly only after we finished) and Sidereal Confluence at Bumpass! I had a lot of fun, and it really reinforced my desire to one day own SC. Also congrats to @gary for your victory!

The game we’ve been playing the most right now is the card game golf. It’s very simple, if you’re not familiar with it:

for when I forget this game in six months

Each player has three face-down pairs of cards; your objective us to end up with the lowest-scoring set of pairs among the other players. There’s also a communal draw and discard pile.

When play begins, you each turn up any two of the cards among your six, and then each turn, you can either turn up one of your face-down cards, or you can replace one of your cards with the top card of the discard pile, or you can look at the top card of the deck, choosing to replace one of your cards or putting it directly into the discard pile. Scoring works as follows: aces are worth -2, kings are worth 0, every other face card is 10 points, and numbered cards are worth their value; however, two paired cards of the same value cancel each other out and are worth zero.

When one player has all six of their cards face up, each other player has one more turn to get their score as low as possible. If the player who started the final round doesn’t have the lowest total score after adding up each player’s three pairs, we give them a penalty of 20 points. All player’s scores are added to their running tally, and we usually play until somebody breaks 100.

I’m surprised how much depth there can be to such a simple game; it’s been great for holiday gatherings.