There are plenty of games in my collection that I have yet to play. The common term for this is one’s ‘pile of shame’. The thing is, it’s not just these unplayed potential-gems that are sitting gathering dust. With Covid, and the lockdowns that it precipitated, there are games that I have played that I’ve just neen able to revisit. And I really want to revisit some of these.
Some, like Twlight Struggle, Star Wars Rebellion, Century: Golem Edition, and Ticket to Ride, I just want to play because I love them. They’re amazing and I want to play them all the time. Others are games that I have played once or twice and I want to play again to really get the most out of them. Maybe I played them once and the game wasn’t all it could have been because we were learning the rules. Maybe I just feel that I need a few goes at the game to truly get it, or to explore it properly and really see everything that the game has to offer. So what games, though they have seen play, do I really want to revisit for these reasons?
Caverna: The Cave Farmers
This is a game that I was very excited for when it came out. I’d played Agricola once and quite enjoyed it, but had not taken the plunge. This followup really appealed to me, so I went with it over the original. The box is pretty heavy, packed full of cardboard pieces and wooden bits. It’s a pretty cool production. The thing is, it just never really clicked with the group who tried it. Perhaps that was the issue: the group. It was very much my more casual group who aren’t really gamers but enjoy dipping into games of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Quadropolis, and the like.
I’ll try to get this back to the table with a more “gamery” group, who won’t balk at the sheer amount of stuff that comes out of the box. This sheer amount of stuff also leads to sizeable setup and teardown times as everything needs to be taken out and put in the right place as the start, and then sorted and placed back in the correct baggies at the end.
I think there’s a really great game in here, but I do need the right group, the time, and the inclination to schlep through the logistics.
Dominant species is a game I had my eye on for a while, though it was out of production. When it did come back into production, I snapped it up. We played one game of it, which went pretty well, despite being a ‘learning game’. There are a trio of factors that have conspired to my not getting to play this again. The first, obviously, is Covid. Of course. The second is the fact that the only other big GMT Games fan that I know in the area has moved away. I miss my GMT buddy, not only for their company, but for the potential to get my oft-neglected collection of GMT products to the table.
I’d like to break this out again, but I think this will be one to play at home with guests, rather than a club one, as I’m doubtful that this is really a game that people would just rock up to and play, y’know? The same goes for the majority of my GMT titles, except for the most accessible of them, such as Twilight Struggle, 1960: The Making of the President, and possibly Washington’s War. You know, the card-driven games. They’re all pretty great, but the weight of them, and the often-dry presentation can be off-putting for some.
Battlestar Galactica is a great board game that has seen a lot of play in our local club. The traitor mechanism works really well and fits the theme perfectly. The core mechanism of that game, where players secretly commit resources to a shared task, is re-used in new Angeles. There’s also a traitor mechanism.
Thematically, the game sees players take on the roles of different corporations, pursuing their own interests within a cyberpunk-themed city (the titular New Angeles), making deals and backstabbing one-another. The traitor is a corporation conspiring with the government.
Despite the fact that I think this is a better game, many in the local group would simply rather play Battlestar Galactica. This is fair enough. I love BSG and I have no interest in trying to get people to play a game they don’t want to play. Only misery that way lies. That said, the makeup of our local group has changed of late, so it might be worth giving this one another go. I do love it, and I think that, pitched right, and with a couple trial games under their belts, others will, too.
Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia
Of the games that I have listed here, Euphoria is the first one that I owned and the last one that saw a first playthrough. It actually got about three playthroughs and was getting some traction at the club, just before we shut for Covid. The fact that it’s a Stonemaier game helped with this, as there are a fair few Stonemaier fans at the club. This was an early Stonemaier game and is a little less sleek-looking that some of their later titles, but it’s still really cool.
I think it’s true of worker placement in general that it takes a few games to really see how the whole thing works, how to get an engine going, and how to really know what your workers should be doing. I think, given the accessibility of this game and the appealing pedigree, that there’s no excuse for it not having made it back to the table. I just need to remind myself of the rules and take it along. Actually, thinking about it now, I’m quite excited to try to get this back to the table soon!
Twilight Imperium IV
Twilight Imperium is big beast of a game. It’s not one that I can take to club as there’s just not enough time on a club night. It’s a Saturday afternoon game, possibly with a lunch break built in. That’s certainly how we approached it shortly before the first lockdown when we got 4th edition to the table for the first time. It was a long game, but it was a lot of fun.
I think that 4th edition is better than 3rd, at least based on our playthrough. Not that we had a lot of third edition under our collective belts, having only played it around half a dozen times. It just seemed to flow that bit better. Perhaps it’s because some of the better changes from the 3rd edition expansions are already baked into the core game this time around.
This is definitely one that I need to try to get back to the table, but it’s also very much a commitment on the part of the players. You need to gather around a table and know that you’re going to be there for a pretty considerable time. That’s okay. It is. it’s just something you need to plan for. That’s often my failing!
Any RPG That is Not D&D
Yes, yes, I know. Not a board game. Still, though, I would like to get back to the table with anything that is not D&D. D&D is great. It’s a solid game. I’m just so sick of it being the only RPG that I’m playing at the moment.
There are so many great titles that I’d love to either revisit (Dresden Files, Paranoia, Vampire) or get to the table for the first time (Shadowrun, They Came from Beneath the Sea, Changeling). There are plenty more beyond those listed, but they are the ones that really come to mind first.
As with Twilight Imperium, one of the issues is that of commitment. It’s a commitment to sign up and stick with an RPG campaign. It’s pretty significant. We did talk a while ago, locally, about taking turns running some one-shots, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside somewhat. Maybe something to try to revisit later?